Assuming you are reading this on schedule, I am in Ft Lauderdale to see the world's most exciting ship ever. That's right, as I was thinking of superlatives the most exciting ship ever is what I decided upon, and to my way of thinking nothing is more flattering than that. I want to point out the picture to the right - it is for the inaugural ceremony which will feature seven godmothers. It is also a benefit for the Make-a-Wish Foundation and it needs your support. More Information below!
Yes! Oasis of the Seas is finally here, no longer just a concept, and she is ready to take on her first contingent of passengers. Some people will be boarding the ship tonight to see Rihanna in concert in the AquaTheater - that is the night before my cruise and will be the first official Oasis shipboard event ever. But I won't be there.
I will be boarding tomorrow (Friday November 20th) when she sails on a two-night trip mostly for media and travel agents. That really means just one full day to get a few pictures and sample the dining room food. I seriously doubt if all 5000 passengers will be invited to try the chic 150 Central Park restaurant either night - since it only holds 150 people.
I also doubt we will see the first at sea production of the Broadway hit Hairspray, since it has already been announced the show won't be ready due to some needed maintenance of stage rigging. I am hoping to see an AquaTheater show with its professional divers and acrobats on our two-night cruise, however. I am also hopeful of the opportunity to see the cool new Loft Suites with wall to wall and floor to ceiling glass windows two decks high for ocean views from nearly every square inch of the room.
I know we will see the Boardwalk with the carousal, Dazzles Nightclub, Central Park and the grand new Royal Promenade which is longer, deeper, wider and taller than any of the previous Royal Promenades on any other Royal Caribbean ships. I will also be strolling through Central Park, with its live grass and trees full of Tivoli lights to illuminate the paths between al fresco dining spots.
I will be taking breaks to write down my impressions and upload pictures for your viewing pleasure. You should know that on a two-day media cruise they won't be serving the full menus in the restaurants and most of the stage shows will not be performed.
That is why I am also booked on the first voyage for regular passengers the ship will make on December 1st. We will be seeing all of the stage shows including Hairspray, the Comedy Club and the Studio B ice rink. I do have reservations for 150 Central Park, the first restaurant at sea ever to have a world-class executive chef actually working onboard the ship - designing the food and supervising its preparation. Now that is first-class dining - something to anticipate with a good deal of passion.
We will also be stopping at Labadee on my four-day cruise, the private island enclave belonging to Royal Caribbean with a roller coaster and one of the world's longest uninterrupted zip lines - over 2600 feet. The 2-day media cruise will not be doing that - unfortunately.
Yes, Oasis is finally here, and I can't lie, I am excited like it's Christmas. I have been looking forward to this event for nearly six years now, since they first announced the Genesis Project, the initial name for what they knew would become the largest cruise ship in the world.
The Oasis Naming Ceremony
This is important and I appreciate you thinking this over carefully. On Nov. 30th, the gala, star-studded naming ceremony for Oasis is also a party to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation®, which grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Royal Caribbean is donating 100% of the proceeds of the sale of 1,000 staterooms that night to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Royal Caribbean will have seven godmothers for Oasis - one for each neighborhood on the ship. They will be Gloria Estefan, world Champion figure skater and Olympian Michelle Kwan, Olympic swimmer Dara Torres, Academy Award winning actress Jane Seymour, that cutie from the Cosby Show actress Keisha Knight Pulliam, another Olympian: 2008 medalist-gymnast Shawn Johnson and finally Daisy Fuentes, international television personality and producer!
For the wish kids there's another special guest: Corbin Bleu of High School Musical will be onboard to grant the wishes of several children who want to meet him.
Per-person rates for the Make-A-Wish event/inaugural cruise begin at $500 each and up, depending on cabin category. Event packages are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. So if you are waffling about trying the first four-day cruise of Oasis of the Seas then this is the best reason yet. Sign up for the one-night naming ceremony and you can also get a discount on the following inaugural 4-day cruise sailing December 1st, which I am booked on. Anyone who books this charity event and sails on the four-day cruise is welcome to meet with me and I will buy you a drink.
The one-night inaugural will have all the onboard amenities open including the rock-climbing walls, the zip line and carousel, the FlowRider surf simulators, four pools, the Vitality Spa and an acrobatic diving show in the AquaTheater. After a special dinner menu in the Opus Dining Room (certain event packages substitute that with the ship's specialty restaurants), you can visit the Opal Theater; see comics in Comedy Live, relax in a lounge or gamble in the Casino Royale.