ABOUT OASIS: THE DETAILS

December 27, 2009 

Passengers: 5,400 at double occupancy; 6,296 total capacity

Passenger decks: 16

Passenger staterooms: 2,706

Height from waterline: 213 feet

Length: 1,187 feet

Beam: 208 feet

Draft: 30 feet

Volume: 225,282 gross registered tons

Crew: 2,394 from 71 countries

ITINERARY

Oasis of the Seas sails from Port Everglades on Saturdays for seven-night eastern Caribbean voyages. Through April, the ship will call at St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau. In May it switches to alternating eastern and western Caribbean itineraries. The new western itinerary has calls in Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico, and Labadee, a private beach in Haiti. In December 2010, a newly developed port at Falmouth, Jamaica, will replace Costa Maya.

PRICING

The least expensive regularly published fares start at about $1,049 per person, double occupancy, though currently Royal Caribbean has them listed on its Web site at $729, with balcony cabins starting at $979. www.royalcaribbean.com.

CABINS

Oasis offers a far greater variety of staterooms than most cruise ships, ranging from bi-level lofts to standard cabins overlooking the interior promenade. Winning raves was the AquaTheater Suite, a two-bedroom, two-bath suite with outdoor bar and a wrap-around deck overlooking the Aqua Theater (about $20,000 for a week).

If you’re considering more affordable digs, here’s what you need to know:

Standard cabins measure 170 square feet. Storage space is adequate, as are bathrooms. Some configurations put the bed up against the closet, making for a tight fit. Electric outlets are inconveniently placed beneath the vanity.

Family cabins offer a pair of bunks in an alcove plus a standard queen or twin beds. But there’s only one standard bathroom — making this a tight fight if you’ve got teens.

Balcony cabins overlooking the Boardwalk and Central Park areas offer natural light and outdoor access — but no sea views. Cabin doors seal tightly; with blackout drapes closed, we heard no noise. While all Boardwalk cabins offer similar ambiance, the views from Central Park cabins vary widely depending on location. (From some, you mostly look at the artful skylights, others offer verandas lined with living plants.)

If you take a non-balcony cabin overlooking the Promenade or Central Park, you’ll need to keep your curtains closed; other people can look in.

RESTAURANTS

Oasis features nearly two dozen eateries, from a grand dining room to a donut shop, Sorrento’s Pizza, Johnny Rockets, the breezy Seafood Shack, Solarium Bistro featuring healthy options, and the elegant 150 Central Park with tasting menus created by Keriann Von Raesfeld. For the first time, guests can opt for anytime dining in the main dining room.

Some premium eateries require an extra-fee ranging from $3.95 to $35. These generally are small and offer specialty cuisine. The vast majority of restaurant seats — about 80 percent — are in no-fee restaurants.

FOR KIDS

More than 28,000 square feet are dedicated to the Kids Zone, which includes a nursery for those over six months and is stocked with Fisher Price toys; activity spaces for age groups 3-5, 6-8 and 9-11; a workshop space where families can work together on projects like scrapbooking; a video arcade; an indoor playground for nerfball and dodge ball; 100-seat theater for children’s productions; and teen lounges for ages 12-17. Youth services are offered in a separate space in the main spa.

ENTERTAINMENT

New is the outdoor AquaTheater for high-dive and water ballet shows, not yet functioning when we sailed. Also new is Hairspray, a 90-minute musical stage twist on the John Waters film that featured spectacular performances and had the audience cheering. Another first: A dedicated comedy club.

Studio B, the ice-skating space, features a new show based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales. As strange as it sounds, one of the highlights is a sand-painting performance displayed on a giant screen.

The line’s signature parades — found on Voyager and Freedom-class ships — are staged in the Promenade. One carries a fairytale theme; the other centers on the disco era.

As on most ships, various types of bands play in lounges throughout the evening and at specific hours on deck.

Oasis also offers Dazzles, a tri-level dance lounge, traditional clubby bars and hip dance clubs.

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