MS Oasis of the Seas is classified as a “mega-ship”, and is together with her sister ship MS Allure of the Seas, the largest cruises ship in the world with a capacity of more than 5,400 passengers. MS Oasis of the Seas is owned by Royal Caribbean International, and was delivered to the company in October 2009.
The vessel was ordered in February 2006 and designed under the name “Project Genesis”. Her keel was laid down on 12 November 2007 by STX Europe Turku Shipyard, Finland. The name Oasis of the Seas resulted from a competition held in May 2008.
The ship was completed and turned over to Royal Caribbean on 28 October 2009. Two days later, she departed Finland for the United States. While exiting the Baltic Sea, the vessel passed underneath the Great Belt Fixed Link in Denmark on 1 November 2009. The bridge has a clearance of 65 m (213 ft) above the water; Oasis normally has an air draft of 72 m (236 ft). The passage under the bridge was possible due to retraction of the telescoping funnels, and an additional 30 cm (12 in) was gained by the squat effect whereby vessels traveling at speed in a shallow channel will be drawn deeper into the water. Approaching the bridge at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph), the ship passed under it with less than 60 centimetres (2 ft) of clearance.
Proceeding through the English Channel, Oasis stopped briefly in the Solent so that 300 shipyard workers who were on board doing finishing work could disembark, then left on the way to her intended home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The ship arrived there on 13 November 2009, where tropical plants were installed prior to some introductory trips and her maiden voyage on 5 December 2009.
Oasis had a minor refit in winter 2011, adding the DreamWorks Experience which allows passengers to interact with characters, such as Shrek, on board the ship. The Oasis-class also now features 3D movies.
Oasis underwent a second drydock refit in October 2014. During drydock the ship was modified to support Dynamic Dining, adding the suite-only “Coastal Kitchen” restaurant to the Viking Crown and dividing the main dining room into three separate restaurants: “American Icon Grill”, “The Grande”, and “Silk”.
Oasis of the Seas offers passengers features such as two-story loft suites and luxury suites measuring 150 m2 (1,600 sq ft) with balconies overlooking the sea or promenades. The ship features a zip-line, a casino, a miniature golf course, multiple night clubs, several bars and lounges, a karaoke club, comedy club, five swimming pools, volleyball and basketball courts, theme parks and nurseries for children.
Onboard recreational, athletic, and entertainment activities are organized into seven themed areas called “neighborhoods”, a concept which bears resemblance to theme park planning.
- Central Park features boutiques, restaurants and bars, including access to the Rising Tide bar, which can be raised or lowered between three decks. It has the first living park at sea with over 12,000 plants and 56 trees.
- The Pool and Sports Zone features a sloped-entry beach pool and two surf simulators.
- Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center features a spa for teens. The gym has 158 cardio and resistance machines, classes, and a range of spa services.
- Boardwalk features a handcrafted carousel, restaurants, bars, shops, two rock-climbing walls, and a temporary tattoo parlor. Its outdoor 750-seat AquaTheatre amphitheater hosts the ship’s largest freshwater pool.
- Royal Promenade features restaurants and shops and is viewable from a mezzanine.
- Youth Zone features a science lab and computer gaming.
- Entertainment Place