Big Ships: Oasis of the Seas & Norwegian Epic
By Jennifer Crivelli, Cruise Consultant, The Cruise Web.
READY, GET SET, GO! The race is on to see which cruise line can launch the biggest ship with the most attractions at sea. It all began with White Star Line in 1912, who at the time decided to build the “Grandest” passenger ship at sea. Ship building has come a long way in 97 years….
In the modern era of “BIG” ships, Royal Caribbean has led the way. Each ship designed is bigger and better than the last, and traditionally, the largest ship in the industry. Royal Caribbean was the first to offer rock-climbing walls on all of their ships. In early 2005, Royal Caribbean took the “BIG” ship idea to the extreme, when they stretched the Enchantment of the Seas, adding a 70 foot section into the middle of the vessel. Then again, with the launch of Voyager of the Seas, Royal Caribbean added the Royal Promenade (Main Street at sea), an ice-skating rink and miniature golf. In 2006, the launch of Freedom of the Seas drew attention worldwide. Again, the largest passenger ship to enter the industry, Freedom added to the amenities of Voyager of the Seas, featuring the Flow Rider on board surfing, H2O Zone aqua park, full-sized Boxing Ring, and suites exceeding 1,400 sq. ft.
And, if that is not enough, here come the two newest ships in the industry. Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas sails her maiden voyage December 1, 2009. Norwegian Cruise Lines is also getting ready to launch the Norwegian Epic, she begins service on July 17, 2010! Both ships will sail year-round out of Florida featuring 7-Night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. So, how do you choose?
Two comments that I often get from cruisers, new and experienced, are: “I’m afraid I will be bored on the ship” or “Each member of the family wants to go somewhere different”. Allow me to use the later as a reference point to highlight the features of these new ships.
A family of 4 is searching for the perfect summer vacation. Mom wants to go to New York City, relax, visit Central Park and see a Broadway Show. Dad wants to head west to California to take up surfing. The oldest child, wants to go rock climbing in the Rockies and spend some time getting ready for the upcoming high school sports seasons. His younger sister wants to spend time at the beach working on her tan, visit the boardwalk, and get some cotton candy. How will they possibly decide?
My recommendation – Oasis of the Seas!
• Mom can visit Central Park right on Deck 8, complete with live trees, gardens, and Al Fresco dining. In the evening, she can attend the Broadway Musical “Hair Spray” being featured on board in the Opal Theater. She can even visit the Vitally at Sea Day Spa to enjoy a massage or facial.
• Dad can spend his days at sea on Deck 16, practicing his surfing on the Flow Rider.
• Who wants to climb a mountain, when you can climb a 30 foot rock wall a hundred feet above the ocean and there is even a Zip Line on Deck 16. Sports practice is not a problem either. Oasis of the Seas has a full-sized basketball / volley court, fitness center, and much more in the Sports Zone.
• Isn’t the best part of the beach the cotton candy on the boardwalk? Not to worry, Oasis of the Seas has a boardwalk, complete with cotton candy vendors and a full sized carousel. Sis can lounge by one of the four (that’s right, 4) pools and work on her tan, or enjoy one of the many Caribbean beaches featured in the ports-of-call.
And, with all the stateroom choices – the family can divide into two staterooms, or share a suite!
A couple who is planning their honeymoon was considering a trip to Orlando, Florida, but it is out of their budget. The Bride who wants to visit Europe, is afraid to fly, so she is interested in visiting EPCOT Center and touring the World Showcase. The Groom, an athlete and sports nut, who is more interested in water sports is leaning towards Typhoon Lagoon, but he doesn’t want to have to wear a tux for dinner on the ship!
My Recommendation – Norwegian Epic!
• For the Bride, Norwegian Epic offers 17 different dining venues on board, including Le Bistro (French Cuisine), La Cucina (Italian Cuisine), Teppanyaki (Japanese Hibachi), Wasabi (Japanese Sushi), etc; she can try a different cuisine each of the 7 nights of the cruise. And, the Epic’s 7-Night Western Caribbean itinerary calls on Roatan, Honduras; Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico – all known for great local cuisine.
• For the Groom, Norwegian Epic offers the most sports and fitness options in the Norwegian Fleet. Along with the traditional pool and fitness center; the Epic features three (yes, 3!) water slides, batting cages, a rock-climbing wall, bowling alleys, basketball court, etc. AND, since Norwegian Cruise Lines offers Free Style Cruising there are no formal nights!
Now is the time to experience the “BIG” Ships – as you can see there is something for everyone. Right now, prices are at the lowest they have been in years and look at what you get! No other vacation offers this many choices for this value! I already made my reservation, have you?
The Cruise Web, Inc.
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