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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Oasis of the Seas Will Have First 'Beach Pool' at Sea, Private Cabanas and More

And the latest gee-whiz thing on a cruise ship is . . . a beach. That's right, Royal Caribbean's much-ballyhooed Oasis of the Seas will have its very own "beach pool" that recreates the vibe of a shoreside resort.

The new outdoor area, will include colorful beach chairs and a pool with a sloped entry where passengers will be able to wade into rolling water (see illustration above).

The beach pool will be part of what Royal Caribbean is calling the Pool and Sports Zone -- an area that will stretch across the top of the 5,400-passenger ship and also will include three other pools, more than half a dozen whirlpools, private cabanas and two FlowRider surfing simulators.

The Pool and Sports Zone is just one of two distinct "neighborhoods" that Royal Caribbean is announcing tonight for the 220,000-ton vessel -- the largest cruise ship ever built. The other neighborhood, dubbed the Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, will offer a wide range of pampering spa treatments and fitness activities (see the illustration of the area's entrance at right).

Royal Caribbean already has announced three other neighborhoods for Oasis of the Seas, which will debut in late 2009. The others: Central Park, an open-air atrium with live trees and outdoor restaurants; Boardwalk, a family-friendly amusement area with a merry-go-round and outdoor water theater; and Royal Promenade, an indoor mall-like zone with bars, eateries and shops. Royal Caribbean says the ship will have seven neighborhoods in all.

The Beach Pool will be atop the ship on one side of Central Park (people on the pool deck will be able to look down into the massive park-like area). Another pool area called the Main Pool will be on the other side of Central Park (see the illustration to the left). The Pool and Sports Zone also will have a Sports Pool and one of Royal Caribbean's signature H2O Zone pool play areas.

The Oasis of the Seas spa will boast new spa treatments not before found on Royal Caribbean ships and other new-for-Royal Carribbean options such as Kinesis group classes. The spa area also will have a Thermal Suite at sea with heated tile loungers, saunas and steam rooms; three couples massage suites and seven individual treatment rooms - the largest collection at sea. Kids and teen passengers, meanwhile, will find their own dedicated spa on the ship.

Royal Caribbean also says the ship will have an adults-only Solarium with yet another pool and six whirlpools (four of them cantilevered over the side of the ship). See the illustration to the right for a taste of the vibe.

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