Culinary Offerings on the Oasis of the Seas, the World's Largest Cruise Ship [there will be cupcakes]

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The just-built cruise ship Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's $1.5 billion, 1,200-foot-long, 16-deck-high, 225,000-ton flagship, is on its way from its Finland birthplace to Florida, where it will now make its home. 50 percent bigger than the next-largest cruise ship, it holds 6,296 passengers, including 2,165 crew. And there's nothing subtle about it.

But forget about the seven different "neighborhoods," the 2,000 seat theater, the tattoo parlor, the zipline, the ice-skating rink — we're here for the food. There are over 24 restaurants, bars, and cafes on board, including: 150 Central Park, an upscale fine dining restaurant with a ten-course tasting menu (headed by Keriann Von Raesfeld, a 23-year old "culinary phenom"); the Opus Dining Room, a 1920s Art Deco style restaurant spanning three-levels; a family-style Italian trattoria; a wine bar with tapas; a steakhouse; an Asian restaurant with a sushi bar and "hot-rock cooking"; a New York-style pizzeria; a Johnny Rockets; a doughnut shop; and an ice cream parlor. There's also the "Rising Tide," an elevator/bar hybrid that moves slowly up an down through three decks.

And yes, there will be cupcakes: The ship boasts The Cupcake Cupboard — the "first cupcake shop at sea" — a dedicated shop serving fresh-baked gourmet cupcakes and hosting hands-on decorating classes.

To make this operation run smoothly, this floating city has a food and beverage support staff includes nearly 1,100 cooks, waiters, bartenders, and cleaners. And that's just the beginning: there's a second "Oasis-class" ship slated for delivery in 2010.

Renderings

Antonio's Table

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Central Park Cafe

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Chops Grille

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Champagne Bar

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Rising Tide - the elevator bar

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Central Park

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The Boardwalk

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The Promenade

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The Ship's Interior

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View larger.

The Restaurant Lineup

from press release:

THE BOARDWALK
Seafood Shack: A casual indoor/outdoor family restaurant on the Boardwalk; seafood, over-sized desserts and a vast selection of ‘mocktails’
Boardwalk Bar: The main bar on the Boardwalk; offering fruit, salads and sandwiches
Boardwalk Donut Shop: A classic haunt for casual snacks and delicious treats
Ice Cream Parlor: A variety of ice cream flavors and toppings take center stage against a backdrop of 1950s kitsch
Johnny Rockets: ‘50’s-style Diner with server-entertainers

CENTRAL PARK
150 Central Park: A trendy, upscale and intimate restaurant with a tasting menu with customized wine pairings
Giovanni's Table: An Italian trattoria with both indoor and alfresco seating featuring Italian classics served family-style
Park Café: An indoor/outdoor gourmet market featuring salads, sandwiches, soups, pastries and to-die-for fudge
Vintages: A wine bar with pre-dinner tapas and cheeses along with a robust selection of fine wines
Chops Grille: Royal Caribbean’s signature steakhouse with views of Central Park, and premium cuts or quality meats

POOL AND SPORTS ZONE
Solarium Bistro: A health-conscious dining option for lunch and healthful fare and dancing under the stars in the evening
The Wipe Out Café: A casual self-service buffet with pizza, hamburgers, sandwiches and fresh salads
Izumi Asian Cuisine: Featuring mouthwatering flavors and a sushi bar with hot-rock cooking

ROYAL PROMENADE
Mondo Café: Open around the clock this café offers coffee, sandwiches and pastries like those found in Italy, Spain and Cuba
Sorrento's Pizzeria: Featuring New York style pizza, with both made-to-order pies and by the slice
Café Promenade: Offering Seattle’s Best coffee, fruit shakes, pastries and sandwiches all day
The Cupcake Cupboard: Featuring fresh-baked gourmet cupcakes as well as parties and design classes

VITALITY AT SEA SPA AND FITNESS CENTER
The Vitality Café: Offering healthy snacks, sandwiches, wraps, fruit and smoothies.

THE CLASSICS, Royal Caribbean hasn’t forgotten the classics of its fleet:
Opus Dining Room: The ship’s main restaurant features a three-level venue with a 1920s Art Deco style
Windjammer Marketplace: A casual buffet fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner
In-Stateroom Service: Order from the complimentary breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, or choose an original Johnny Rockets hamburger or Ghirardelli chocolate cookies from the new Dine In Delights menu

Video: Oasis of the Seas Overview

Video: Chef de Cuisine Keriann Von Raesfeld, at 150 Central Park

Video: Oasis of the Seas: Culinary Delights

[Oasis of the Seas via Gizmodo]

—Raphael Brion

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20 Comments

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  1. Ellen

    That ship is a montrosity, a monstrous city. It's a hideous big floating box, a giant culture chamber for growing disease! Notovirus anyone?

    So what with all those restaurants and buffets the passengers stuff their fat faces and crap and then the crew do what all shipping lines do, they release the raw sewage into the ocean.

    Vile not delicious.

  2. Ellen

    And inside? It looks like a mall. Ugh.

    I guess it serves a purpose. I guess it keeps all the morons from overrunning the Bahamas.

    Just so long as they never let this horror anywhere near Eleuthera.

  3. Beverly

    Hmm, I'm confused: so what's the point of traveling on a ship only to surround yourself with this artificial man-made environment? Nature's ocean not good enough? Might as well just take a plane and get there faster.

  4. Jake

    Hmmmmmmmmmm............do I possibly sense a little jealousy from the peasants? That's ok, just keep Serving those fries and asking people if they would like to "super size it", and maybe someday you won't have to convince yourself that you wouldn't like to take this beauty to sea.

    • Ryn

      Yeah, because that's why the only people I know who ever take cruises are either retirees, honeymooners, people who are too scared to travel on their own, or people who think that being able to take a cruise means that they've arrived.

      I prefer to spend my vacation dollars on something more interesting than a floating mall, eating glorified institutional food.

  5. logovo

    Jake, to me it's the idea of traveling in what is basically a floating shopping mall that's pretty repellent. Or maybe like a floating Vegas casino? This essay sort of covers it: http://www.harpers.org/media/pdf/dfw/HarpersMagazine-1996-01-0007859.pdf

  6. Mark

    Why is it that it's okay to go to a mega resort like Atlantis in the Bahamas, which has a variety of room levels, with different price points. And it's okay that these mega resorts, like the hotels in Las Vegas that have dining options ranging from McDonalds to five star French cuisine. But to try and do the same thing while sailing the ocean is somehow vile, repulsive and lowly?

    Look, no one is confusing this with world travel. THE SHIP is the attraction. I mean, who cares about the ports? It's just a variety of poor islanders selling booze, jewelry, and prescription drugs.

    But this is an EASY vacation. Step on board and there are no worries. The biggest decision of the day is, 'where should we meet for drinks before dinner?'!

    Why is this such a bad thing? I've hiked to machu picchu....I've walked the great wall....I've seen the pyramids...I've knelt before the great buddha. Why does that mean it has to be so offensive to say I want to take seven days and "unplug"? Sometimes, I want the polar opposite of ambitious. But, at the same time, I can get up early, work out in the fitness center, meet my family for breakfast, play basketball mid morning, take a wine tasting class in the afternoon, have a wonderful steak dinner, try my luck in the casino, enjoy some live late night jazz, and have a nightcap while sitting on my private balcony, watching the Atlantic ocean pass by!

    What exactly is so repulsive about this?????

  7. Ryn

    Personally, I avoid giant resorts and cruise ships for the same reason I also avoid Disney resorts: the kind of manufactured atmosphere in all of those places kind of creeps me out. Everything is just a little too perfect.

    • Mark

      That's fine, to each his or her own. But I think it's a lot more useful to get feedback from people who might enjoy cruising or mega resorts.

      I mean, it seems like everyone that has commented here hates everything about cruising. So, the critique about this particular vessel is kind of pointless.

      It's not like you're saying "I like cruising, but I prefer the mid-size ships". Instead, everyone is saying how terrible cruising is.

      Obviously there are a lot of people out there who feel differently. Otherwise these ships wouldn't have something like a 99% occupancy rate.

  8. Magsie

    We have only been on one medium sized ship cruise before (and we are not retired or on honeymoon or think we have arrived). We have booked the Oasis for next July and after then I will be able to comment further. We are all really excited about it and our 11 year old is too. People are all entitled to their opinion and we have been to many many places including all Disney resorts as well as little fishing villages. We will see if we enjoy the experience but having a good time is all about who you are with and your own ability to have FUN! - even at fifty!

  9. Dan

    I think Everybody is full of it... I love Cruise line's... your treated like a King and Queen, No pressure to do anything but relax. All the food you could eat, Games, Ect. AT ONE PRICE..Hummmmmm. thats so bad....NOT.... I have been to Vegas,Bahamas and other places and all they want is more and more money...mark is right...so don't knock it until you tryed it.. i have been on 2 cruises with wife, and man it was great...

  10. Luv-To-Travel

    Mark, you make perfect sense with your comments. I too have traveled extensively (most recently we rented two 10 person yachts and cruised the BVIs for 10 days, and it was truly an awesome trip). We will be on the December 19th sailing of Oasis of the Seas, and we look forward to "unplugging" on this beautiful floating resort. Should be a magnificent Christmas with all of our family, don't you think? Varity is the spice of life!

  11. Luv-To-Travel

    Mark, you make perfect sense with your comments. I too have traveled extensively (most recently we rented two 10 person yachts and cruised the BVIs for 10 days, and it was truly an awesome trip). We will be on the December 19th sailing of Oasis of the Seas, and we look forward to "unplugging" on this beautiful floating resort. Should be a magnificent Christmas with all of our family, don't you think? Variety is the spice of life!

  12. So well put by LUV. Variety is the VERY spice of life. Eating steak every day does become boring. One does crave poor peoples food too.
    I just booked the Oasis of the Sea for december sailing for my kids and grand kids along with my husband. We are looking forward to seeing this amazing ship. We are world travelers who started out in sleeping bags in the German Alps, Rocky Mountain Nat'l parks and rode Camels in the Sahara. Stayed in fancy Morrocan hotels and flea bag dives in Fez. Stayed in fancy Las Vegas Hotels and did Mickey mouse many times. I could go on and on because we have been to so many places and every place was unique and I thank GOD for allowing me to see all of this beautiful world and also mans treasures. To those that knock something that they havent even tried rings of envy.

  13. Anita

    Wow, some very negative comments here. I say "What ever floats your boat"! I too have traveled extensively but always come back to cruising. I love Royal Caribbean ships and cruise them exclusively. There are many appeals for us in cruising but some highlights are unpacking and getting rid of the suitcases for a whole week, eating in an elegant atmosphere every evening w/ excellent service and seeing magnificent shows, comedians, etc. You cannot get all the amenities provided anywhere else. We've been on close to 30 cruises and have NEVER been sick. Anyone can be ill ANYWHERE, not just on a ship. No one can expect a cruise ship or a land-based hotel to be "sick free" all the time. Lighten up and give it try. It's awesome..

  14. Carolyn

    I think it is a really cool ship. I have never been on a cruise, never flown anywhere. I have been to New Orleans pre-Katrina and I love it,..I drove, spent a week in late July one year. But if I had the money and opportunity to go on a cruise I would jump at it. I don't envy people with money, even though I am without it most of the time. If you have it you should enjoy it! I think it is a beautiful sip and I agree with Mark and the others. Rock on! :)

  15. WouldLikeToKnow

    How many of the above barrage of overly positive comments came from Royal Carribean employees, their families, or their Public Relations people.

    However, I most certainly agree about those nasty poor islanders & their barbarous excuse for a culture; avoid at all costs! Stay on the ship! Un-plug from it all.

  16. Anita

    Well, I don't work for RCL....I'm simply a huge fan. That is my only affiliation. I've gotten many friends and family to try cruising and they love it and cruise often now too. My husband and I took our kids who just graduated highschool this year on the Serenade in Alaska. After that sailing, we became Diamond Plus members.

  17. Well, as a Culinary Director I am wondering why they not use chef hats and gloves when placing ready to eat food! But indeed,- a challenge for RCCL and Kerrian! Wishiing you a lots of success and good luck!

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