The oldest of the world’s largest cruise ships is set up for a $165 million spa day as Royal Caribbean announced upgrades coming to Oasis of the Seas.
The first of the current fleet of four Oasis-class ships, the 225,288-gross-ton vessel had its maiden voyage Dec. 5, 2009, and for its 10-year anniversary, the ship is getting an array of new features.
Most notably, the vessel will join its younger siblings Harmony of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas by getting its own 10-deck twisting dry slide, the Ultimate Abyss. The ship will also join the water park party with the three-slide Perfect Storm offering as well as a Splashaway Bay kids aquapark along with a top-deck overhaul with a Caribbean theme that mirrors the recent upgrades rolled out on Navigator of the Seas.
Also coming are a slew of features the line has rolled out across other classes as well as some firsts such as a new barbecue restaurant concept and karaoke venue.
The planned 63-day overhaul will begin at Navantia Shipyard in Cadiz, Spain, at the end of Oasis’ summer European sailing season in September. When it emerges, the ship will show off its new features sailing out of PortMiami for a winter season of seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages beginning Nov. 24. In 2020, the line will send Oasis to the New York market, sailing out of Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J., starting in May.
“When Oasis of the Seas debuted as the world’s largest and most groundbreaking cruise ship a decade ago, the typical cruise vacation as the world knew it was forever changed,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “Today, our Oasis Class ships continue to lead the industry and attract vacationers new to cruising. Now with the opportunity to disrupt the industry once again, we’ve gone all-in with our biggest and boldest amplification yet. Oasis will turn heads when she arrives to Miami this November and the Northeast in May 2020.”
The venue Portside BBQ is a first for the cruise line, one of 23 dining options on board the ship. The casual pool deck eatery’s menu will include smoked marbled brisket, pulled pork and chicken, beef ribs, burnt ends, mac and cheese, cornbread, baked beans, coleslaw and desserts. Also coming on board is the line’s recent quick-service Mexican venue El Loco Fresh.
Also new to the line is Spotlight Karaoke, located on the Royal Promenade, which will feature a main stage as well as two private rooms.
Oasis will be getting its own Caribbean-themed pool deck similar to what was rolled out on Navigator of the Seas this year, with bright greens and oranges and a plethora of lounging options including shaded casitas, hammocks, swing seats and daybeds. A version of the new bar concept The Lime &Coconut will also come to the pool deck in two locations.
Borrowing from the Quantum-class ships will be the Oasis-class debut of Music Hall, which will feature live cover bands, dance floor, pool tables and loungers in a two-deck offering. Robotic bartenders will also make it on board, as the Bionic Bar, which debuted on Quantum of the Seas but has been rolled out across other Royal ships in the fleet.
On the Boardwalk, the line is rolling out its latest Playmakers Sports Bar &Arcade, this one with 80 TVs alongside classic bar and arcade games. It’s also only the second version with the Owner’s Box VIP room. For candy and ice cream, Oasis will be getting its own Sugar Beach, this one with a walk-up ice cream window.
The ship will also be getting makeovers to its spaces for younger cruisers, from babies to teens.
A new glow-in-the-dark laser tag theme will debut on the ship called Clash for the Crystal City, in which participants can choose to be either on team Yeti or team Snowshifters. For Oasis’ new escape room, the line has queued up “Mission Control: Apollo 18,” in which cruisers solve puzzles to launch the last of the Apollo moon missions in 1973.
The additions bring Oasis of the Seas up to the level of the line’s newer Oasis-class ships Harmony and Symphony of the Seas. The remaining Oasis-class ship Allure of the Seas is slated for an overhaul in 2020 while the fifth and sixth Oasis-class ships are set to debut in 2021 and 2023.
Each Oasis-class ship has held the title of world’s largest cruise ship, with incremental size increase with each ship’s debut. Oasis of the Seas currently has 2,742 staterooms, but will be adding around 60 staterooms for more than a 5,500-passenger capacity based on double occupancy.
Each of the class of ships features the seven distinct neighborhoods such as the Boardwalk and Central Park, the open-air green space in the middle of the ship. They can only home port at select terminals that can handle their size including PortMiami, Port Everglades and Port Canaveral.
The cruise line currently sails 26 ships including the new Quantum Ultra-class Spectrum of the Seas that debuted in April. It has three ships on order with one more Quantum Ultra ship and the two Oasis ships. The oldest in the fleet is the 48,563-gross-ton Empress of the Seas, which debuted in 1990.
The $165 million investment into Oasis of the Seas is the most so far for any one ship in the cruise line’s $1 billion, 10-ship Royal Amplified program. This is the same program that put upgrades on Miami’s Navigator of the Seas as well as Port Canaveral’s Mariner of the Seas.