Our next cruising adventure is mere hours away! On Friday, December 21, we fly to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to spend a night at the Hilton Marina before embarking on the mega-ship Oasis of the Seas at Port Everglades on Saturday. Oasis, and its twin sister ship Allure, are the Oasis-class behemoths operated by Royal Caribbean International. RCI had these two ships built in Finland to meet the growing mass-market cruise ship demand and they are currently the largest cruise ships afloat.
Our primary purpose in doing this seven-day Western Caribbean Christmas cruise is to ponder the engineering marvel of Oasis of the Seas, plus we have the bonus of seven leisurely days in the warm Caribbean. We have an outside balcony cabin on deck ten, mid ship, and are amazed to learn that there are nine decks above us and six passenger decks below (who knows how many crew decks?).
A few statistics about Oasis are in order, being a nerd engineer:
1) Oasis has a GRT (Gross Registered Tonnage) of 225,282 GRT. In contrast, Titanic (hmmmm, not a good comparison?) was 46,000 GRT. The elegant Queen Mary 2 is 157,000 GRT (the largest ship we have been on to date). The USS Hornet, that launched the Doolittle Raid in 1942, was 29,000 GRT.
2) Oasis is 1,186 feet long (equivalent to almost four football fields).
3) The maximum beam (width) is 198 feet.
4) Structure towers more than 236 feet above the waterline.
5) Oasis propulsion includes three 20-MW (Megawatt) azipods and four 5.5 MW bow thrusters.
6) Maximum passenger load is 6,296, and crew is around 2,400.
Now for the fun stuff:
1) Oasis has seven distinct “neighborhoods”. These include Central Park, the Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, Sports and pool decks, etc. It has thousands of live plants in Central Park and a real wooden carousel in the Boardwalk .
2) This monster of the seas offers 25 dining options, from the Main Dining Room (three stories) to cupcakes, burgers, pizza, Italian, seafood, sushi, steak houses, and selective fine dining.
3) Several shows are featured, including aquatics and diving, ice-skating, aerial shows and Broadway shows. There are lounges with Jazz, comedy and other music venues.
4) Oasis has a running track that is nearly 0.5 miles in length and a huge spa and solarium. It has a surf zone, two climbing walls and a zip line.
5) Oasis has 37 bars!!! OMG, how will this Herculean task be accomplished in 7 days? Time for liver preparation….
Oh, and we stop in Labadee (Haiti), Falmouth (Jamaica), and Cozumel (Mexico). More soon….