By Michael Coleman
LABADEE, HAITI, Monday May 3, 2010 — Passengers aboard the world’s largest cruise ship, in the midst of her maiden voyage to Western Caribbean port calls, are in awe of their new floating home.
The architectural marvel that is Oasis of the Seas features seven distinct neighborhoods – Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, Pool & Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone — complete with extraordinary elements such as the first living park at sea; a thrilling zip line that races diagonally nine-decks above an open-air atrium; an original handcrafted carousel; 28 multilevel urban-style loft suites boasting floor-to-ceiling windows; an aqua theater; and an array of epicurean options too numerous to even sample on a 7-night voyage.
If ever a ship deserved the mantle of being a destination in and of itself, Oasis would win the prize hands down. She is without a doubt the largest and most revolutionary cruise ship in the world, spanning 16 decks and carrying some 5,400 passengers within her 220,000-ton frame.
While passengers enjoyed typical Caribbean pursuits here today under sunny skies — jet skiing, boat tours, snorkeling and catching rays on the beach — most looked forward to returning to Oasis and her plethora of events, activities, bars, dining venues and dusk-to-dawn entertainment.
Perhaps surprisingly for a ship this size getting from point A to B could not be easier thanks to touch screen technology, clearly visible signage and crew members eager to assist.
Later this week: Mexico rolls out the red carpet for the ship’s first-ever visit.