9 Tips for Sailing Royal Caribbean’s Massive Oasis Class Ships

Royal Caribbean’s five Oasis-class ships (Oasis, Allure, Harmony, Symphony, and wonder of the seas) are the largest cruise ships in the world, which means sailing on one will be unlike any other cruise you’ve ever experienced.

For that reason, there are unique things you need to know and tips we have to offer before you set sail.

1. Try something new.

The Oasis ships are packed with things to see, do, eat and drink. Each is a little different, which means that even if you sail several ships in this class, you will always find something new to enjoy.

When you book your cruise, consider trying new things, whether it’s the FlowRider surf simulator, a robot-created drink at the Bionic Bar, or even something you’ve had a chance to do before but haven’t been brave enough to, like singing karaoke or volunteering to go on a game show.

Have you ever ice skated? These ships all have an ice rink, and it’s free, so now’s a great time to give it a try. Also, how many people can say they have ice skated on a moving boat?

Have you ever done a zip line? You’re in luck – every Oasis-class ship has a zipline above the Boardwalk district.

Don’t like stepping out of your food comfort zone? Book a table in Wonderland, which is unlike any food (or experience) you’ve probably ever had before.

You may find something new that you like, but even if you don’t, you can at least feel good knowing you tried.

(Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

2. Don’t try to do everything.

It can be SO tempting to try and do whatever piques your interest while cruising on one of these huge ships. But if your list is long – like most of ours – you risk burning yourself out and exposing yourself to disappointment if you think you’ll really be able to do it all.

If you have a list of activities and a list of restaurants to try, consider numbering each in order of importance. Make a plan for when you’ll be able to check off the major items on each list, then give yourself some wiggle room. If the other things happen, great. Do what you can to make them happen, but don’t stress yourself out.

If you really want to experience it all, consider booking a back-to-back cruise or returning to this ship in the future.

central caribbean oasis of the seas
(Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

3. Book your “must-see” things as soon as possible.

In addition to our last point, for the best activities, shows and restaurants not to miss during your cruise, be sure to reserve your place for them as soon as possible. Some things (like restaurants) may open for online reservations a few months before departure date, while others (like entertainment) open a few days before embarkation day. Other things may not be available for booking until you are physically on the ship.

If you missed a booking for something you really wanted, it doesn’t hurt to check during the cruise to see if certain slots have been reserved for in-person bookings or if there have been any cancellations.

150 central park
(Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

4. Think carefully about which cabin to book.

Oasis-class ships have numerous cabin categories, thanks to an abundance of suites as well as window and balcony cabins that can face both inward and outward.

First, you need to select a category. These ships have everything from two-story suites with grand pianos to standard interior rooms. What makes the Oasis class particularly unique are the inward-facing window and balcony cabins. You can choose a regular balcony facing the ocean, or you can opt for one that faces the open-air areas of Central Park or the Boardwalk — some are even suites with picture-perfect views of the AquaTheater. There are also glass cabins that face the inner promenade further down the ship.

Keep in mind that balcony railings are unobstructed for interior balcony staterooms and you will be directly across from other balcony staterooms on the other side. If you value your privacy, consider a standard oceanfront room.

As always, if you are prone to seasickness, we suggest taking a cabin towards the middle of the ship on a lower deck, as this will minimize the movement you experience.

You should also consider potential noise when choosing a cabin (such as near elevators, above a nightclub, under an outdoor deck, etc.) and things you might want to be close to (buffet , promenade, bars, etc.).

Once these variables are sorted, you should have an easier time choosing the cabin you want.

suite royal loft oasis of the seas
(Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

MORE: 12 things to know before sailing Royal Caribbean

5. Don’t miss the AquaTheater shows.

A signature spot on every Oasis-class ship is the AquaTheater – an aft space that features amphitheater-style seating facing a curved plunge pool with high dive platforms above.

The high-energy performances look like a mix of diving, synchronized swimming and acrobatics, and they’re probably unlike anything you’ve seen before. You won’t necessarily find the same show on different ships – Royal Caribbean offers a few on Oasis Class ships. So, at least once during your trip, be sure to prioritize one of these spectacular entertainments. You’ll be glad you did.

harmony of the seas aquatheatre
(Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

6. Be aware that route options are limited.

Because Oasis-class ships are so massive, there are many ports they are simply too big to fit into. So if you want to sail an Oasis class ship but have very specific ports in mind when planning your next cruise, you may need to decide whether the ship or destinations are more important for this discount. gas, then prioritize what you’re not doing. choose for next time.

That’s why if you’ve researched the Oasis-class ship to sail with a certain region in mind, you’ll find many of the same ports on every route and ship. This isn’t a problem for most people as they treat Oasis ships as destinations in themselves – many won’t even disembark in port as a day in port is an opportunity to enjoy what there is to board with far fewer people.

harmony of the seas labadie haiti
(Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

7. Be prepared to do LOTS of steps.

Oasis-class ships are the largest cruise ships in the world, with a capacity to carry over 8,000 people, including guests and crew. For this reason, expect a lot of walking while on the ship throughout the voyage. Elevators help tremendously, but they can only go vertically – they won’t take you from the bow to the back of the ship for all the activities, entertainment and dining you’ll want to enjoy.

We recommend bringing a pair of comfortable walking shoes if you’re traveling a lot, especially on sea days. Bonus points if it comes to sneakers: you’ll need closed, secure shoes to navigate the zipline that flies over the outdoor neighborhood of Boardwalk.

wonder of the aerial seas
Wonder of the Seas (Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

8. Manage your expectations.

Whatever cruise you embark on, managing your expectations is always good. There will be plenty of times when your expectations will be absolutely blown away, which is one of the reasons so many people love cruising. But when things don’t go your way, you have to remember that nothing – and no one – is perfect.

For example, if you are looking to be near the ocean, you should probably choose another type of ship. These ships are very inward looking, as evidenced by the sculpted interiors that make up the Boardwalk and Central Park areas.

Another example is the impressive number of people on board. Ships do a great job of dispersing people and not doing it feel as if you were sailing with thousands of other passengers, but the reality is that you are. When it comes to very popular shows or activities, you might feel it more when you have to wait in line a bit to enjoy certain things.

oasis of the seas moored in labadie haiti
(Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

9. Go exploring at night.

My first time on an Oasis class ship was a media preview cruise for Symphony of the Seas after his baptism in PortMiami. It was a short two nights which meant a lot of people browsing were up late into the night and still the next morning trying to get all the content we wanted in a short time – including me.

Because of this, I found myself snapping photos of places like Central Park and the Boardwalk neighborhoods around 2am. I realized how much I really enjoyed being there at that time, so if you have enough energy on the eve of a day at sea, consider heading out with your camera in hand to capture part of the beauty of the ship when the lights are on glowing, and most people are hidden in their cabins.

symphony of the seas royal promenade of the caribbean
A picture of the walk I took that night

Even if your goal isn’t to take pictures, do it anyway. The peace that comes at night on a ship so full of vibrant energy during the day is relaxing and gives you a chance to really explore architecture and detail you might not otherwise notice.

Also, one of my absolute favorite things about cruising is hearing the ship go through the water and listening to what I can only describe as ‘ship sounds’, and the night is obviously one of the best times to do so.

READ NEXT: From smallest to largest: Royal Caribbean’s 26 cruise ships organized by size

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9 Tips for Sailing Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class Ships

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