Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Anticipating Oasis

I have just finished putting together a preview feature on Oasis of the Seas for the next issue of World of Cruising magazine (but you'll have to wait to Sept 15 to read it, though!).

With the latest 'webisode' of the Oasis story now up on their website, it is pretty amazing to see this gargantuan undertaking all coming together.

Her maiden voyage is set for December 1 and this 220,000-ton leviathan (did I say 220,000? It seems only a few years ago that 100,000 tons was pretty mind-boggling) will not just break into the record books but stomp all over them for some time to come.

The statistics of the ship alone are staggering - the longest-ever at 1,181ft (finally beating the Queen Mary 2), bigger by 66,000 tons than the previous largest, 48 categories of stateroom, 17 dining choices, her own purpose-built terminal at Port Everglades, etc, etc.

But the steady stream of info from Royal Caribbean has ensured they have maintained a good, solid interest in the new vessel, whether it's for record-breaking reasons or just because she's a fascinating piece of hardware.

The build process has highlighted the incredible technology involved (check out the Building Incredible and Introducing Oasis 'webisodes' on the site) and it does leave you asking - how will guests get to grips with something this large?

With 16 passenger decks and a beam in excess of 200ft, this is truly a ship of overwhelming proportions. The Royal Promenade is more than twice as wide as the Freedom and Voyager-class vessels and the entertainment offerings are even more dazzling.

It will take people at least a week to get their bearings, find out where everything is - and then it will be time to get off!

But one thing is for sure, NO-ONE will ever again be able to come out with the hoary old objection to cruising of: "It's so boring!"