Note: Cruzely was invited to sail on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas during her simulated voyage from Bayonne, New Jersey. Each day I will cover the experience, giving you an inside peek at what it’s like to sail a test cruise aboard one of the largest cruise ships in the world.
You can read each day here:
- Day 1: Boarding and Sail Away (With Big New Rules)
- Day 2: Sunny Sea Day to Try New Things
- Day 3: Casino, Casitas, & Robot Drinks
- Day 4: A Stormy – But Fun – Day at CocoCay
On Day 5 of the six-day simulated voyage aboard Oasis of the Seas, we’ve made the turn from The Bahamas and are on our way back to New York. Today and tomorrow are sea days, providing a last couple of days to do everything on Oasis that the ship has to offer. And I am taking advantage of that time.
First was something special that Royal Caribbean provided that most guests might not be able to experience. Since the ship only has about 600 passengers on the test cruise, a group of us were able to tour some of the higher-end rooms that many people simply dream about.
This included a Crown Loft Suite, a Royal Suite, an Ultimate Panoramic Suite, and an Aqua Theater Suite, among others. Let’s just say that while a balcony room is plenty nice for me, it’s hard not to envy some of the rooms on Oasis.
While each suite was dramatic in its own right (two-story cabins, multiple bathrooms, wraparound balconies that look out over the Aqua Theater in the back of the ship), the one that got my attention was the Ultimate Panoramic Suite.
The appeal of this cabin? The bedroom sits in the wing at the bow that juts out of the ship, right above the bridge. So one deck below the captain is using the panoramic windows to navigate the ship, but the suite uses that same feature to provide a 180-degree view. It is by far the most unique room I’ve seen on a cruise ship, and the view is simply stunning.
Following the tour of suites, it was time to check out the Royal Escape Room. Building on the trend of the popularity of these types of activities, Oasis of the Seas has its own version. The title is Apollo 18, and it’s a 1960s space-themed room.
You walk in and you are in mission control for a rocket launch of Apollo 18 (the real Apollo program ended with Apollo 17). But before the rocket can launch, your team has to figure out how to activate each station in the control room.
The first thing I noticed is how well-done the set is designed. It looks straight out of the 1960s, down to the black plastic ashtrays that are on each control desk. Each desk has a different puzzle you have to solve, using clues from around the room. To solve the puzzle, you have to adjust the switches, knobs, buttons, etc., to the right position based on the correct answer.
In total you have 60 minutes to complete the mission, and there is no way that you can do it alone. That’s why Royal Caribbean requires at least a group of six to play, and up to 12 people can participate at once. If you are in a group of fewer than six, you can join with others to work the escape room together. The cost is $20 per person.
You should know that the activity is vaccinated only, so right now kids under 12 can’t play. That said, the complexity of the challenge is definitely for older kids and adults. While the host of the game can provide hints when you need them, it takes some smarts to figure out how to complete the puzzles to launch the rocket. Our team completed it… with five seconds to spare.
As a day at sea, there was a lot happening as many of the activities around the ship were open again. So after a quick bite at El Loco Fresh, I headed over to the zipline. Oasis of the Seas has a line that runs from Deck 16 at the back of the ship, over the Boardwalk 10 decks below.
To ride, you have wear closed-toe shoes and have socks. If you don’t have the right shoes, they do have some that you can wear. You also have to empty your pockets and can’t have any loose jewelry like necklaces or bracelets. Just keep in mind that there are no lockers available, so you’ll want to leave it all in the room unless you have someone that can hold your things.
Next you put on a full body harness that goes from your legs, around your waist and over your shoulders. You also have a helmet with visor. After you are dressed, you climb a small platform while the staff straps you into the cable and gives you instructions on how to land on the other side. You sit down in your harness, lift up your feet, and gravity does the rest.
In all the ride lasts less than 10 seconds. It is quick. I found that on my turn, I was concentrating so much on the landing point that I didn’t really take the opportunity to look around!
After the zip line, I headed back to the room and had a quick change of clothes before heading to the pool deck. If you remember, I had a chance to try two of the Perfect Storm waterslides, but not the third one — Supercell. This slide takes you down, dumps you into a huge bowl where you spin around until you reach the “drain” at the bottom and then down another slide to the exit. Today, that slide was open, where it was closed the first day I tried to visit.
Of the slides, Supercell is the most extreme. It’s nothing like the big slides on CocoCay, but it does provide a thrill. You go pretty fast to get dumped into the bowl, slow down as you wind around, and then another quick drop to the exit. One thing to suggest — keep a shirt on if you plan to ride over and over. The joints between the panels on the slides can scrape your back a bit.
Dinner this evening was in the main dining room, where it was the famous lobster night, which is what I had. I never eat lobster in my day-to-day life, so it’s always a nice treat on a cruise. One thing to know is that a couple of my tablemates asked for another piece, and it was delivered with no question at all. If you ever want something else to eat, never hesitate to ask, even if it’s not listed on the menu.
In fact, when our tablemate sparked up a conversation about loving Indian food with our waiter (who was from India), he told her that he would bring something special. Soon he brought a couple of Indian dishes to our table, even though they were nowhere on the menu.
Even after a day of lobster, waterslides, ziplines, and suite viewing, I still hadn’t even gotten to the highlight of the day. That was Aqua 80.
Aqua 80 is the show performed in the Aqua Theater on the back of the ship. On the simulated cruise, everyone was treated to a dress rehearsal performance.
The theater is something completely unique to Oasis-class ships. It features a pool with a floor that moves up and down. Sometimes it is fully up and performers can walk on the water. Other times it is down and they can dive in from above. There are fountains to spray water, diving platforms (including two at the top of the ship that I’d estimate are 60 feet above the pool), lights, and more.
Aqua 80 is an ’80s-themed show, set to tons of music that you know by heart. The program started with a performer strapped into a harness with a hoverboard like from Back to the Future. He came from above and behind the audience, spinning and twisting as he flew over everyone. And that was just the start.
In many ways, I feel like any description I give can’t do the show justice. I’ve literally never seen anything like it before. There were swimmers and dancers doing moves in the pool. Performers flying over the audience. Divers jumping anywhere from five to 60 feet above the pool. Two slackline performers bounced and flipped on their lines above the water. And then someone walked a tightrope over the audience. It’s all set to music and lights, it’s high energy, and there are no lulls.
The entire show I was entertained, anxious for the divers, loving the music, and just amazing by the size of it all.
Let’s put it another way — if you are on Oasis-class ship, you can’t miss the show. It’s without a doubt the most amazing performance I’ve seen on any cruise. If you haven’t sailed an Oasis-class ship with the Aqua Theater, then just know that you are definitely missing out on something special.
One tip for you if you attend: Get there early. Despite the ship being only 600 passengers, the theater was packed. It seemed like everyone on the ship was there to watch.
Random Notes and Observations
- I don’t think I’ve mentioned, but menus everywhere are now largely done by scanning a QR code on your table, so you’ll want to bring your phone with you. You can get a paper copy on request.
- The daily Cruise Compass, however, is still delivered as a paper copy to your stateroom. All the information is on the app, but it’s nice to have the physical copy to read.
- One drawback of having a full complement of staff with so few passengers is that the service can be a bit too much. During breakfast at Johnny Rockets, I had three different members of the staff checking in with me a total of 7-8 times before and during the meal. That was too much when you’re trying to enjoy a quiet breakfast.