The final neighborhood to be added into the deck plans of Royal Caribbean International's Oasis of the Seas was announced last night during an online unveiling sponsored by American Express Travel. The Youth Zone, a haven for children and teens, joins the ranks of six other previously-announced, diverse neighborhoods that will be aboard the world's largest and most revolutionary cruise ship due to launch in November 2009. Oasis of the Seas features a unique concept that will provide guests with the opportunity to seek out relevant experiences based on their personal style, preference or mood in seven neighborhoods, including Central Park, Boardwalk with the AquaTheater, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, the Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place, and the Youth Zone.
"We thank American Express Travel, for partnering with us to unveil the last neighborhood of Oasis of the Seas," said Adam Goldstein, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Oasis of the Seas will offer more of everything for every member of the family, including more for our younger guests. The Youth Zone aboard Oasis of the Seas will continue to build on our award-winning Adventure Ocean youth and teen programs, and expand to include dedicated space and programming for our guests as young as six months."
The latest neighborhood unveiling introduced a wealth of kid- and teen-friendly adventures that lie within the Youth Zone -- covering a total expansive area of more than 28,700 sq. ft. (2,669 sq. meters) -- including, Kids Avenue, a central boulevard connecting children with dedicated Adventure Ocean spaces and various themed play areas; the cruise line's first nursery for infants and toddlers (six months or older); and state-of-the-art teen areas. A video preview of these areas, including interviews with Royal Caribbean executives, is now available online at www.OasisoftheSeas.com.
"American Express Travel is thrilled with the opportunity to help reveal Royal Caribbean's final neighborhood aboard Oasis of the Seas," said Lynne Biggar, senior vice president and general manager, American Express Travel. "As a huge proponent of family travel, we are especially delighted to be a partner in the unveiling of the Youth Zone. In recent years, we've seen family travel increase and evolve, particularly in the area of multi-generational travel. This has prompted us to provide dedicated family travel specialists, as well as offer family vacation options that come with great value and memorable experiences for all. As such, Oasis of the Seas is a welcomed and wonderful addition to our cruise offerings."
The Adventure Ocean youth program aboard Oasis of the Seas will feature the cruise line's award-winning curriculum currently offered to young guests fleetwide, but with an exciting new and enhanced approach, including impressive spaces created and equipped specifically for designated activities allowing for a more robust program. All Royal Caribbean Adventure Ocean and teen programs are led by exceptional, energetic and college-educated counselors, whose goal is to create memorable experiences for the cruise line's younger guests.
Undoubtedly one of the most anticipated advancements is the addition of the Royal Babies and Tots nursery, a first for Royal Caribbean. This colorful space will serve as a fully-staffed nursery where children can be left in the care of Royal Caribbean's trained professionals, as well as host various playgroups created by Fisher-Price and Crayola for babies and tots.
Open daily, the nursery will offer parents childcare drop-off options in the daytime and evening, carefully maintaining an optimum staff to child ratio. Free-time play also will be offered daily, creating an interactive environment where parents and children can bond while playing with a variety of Fisher Price developmental toys in specially-designed programs offered exclusively for guests sailing with Royal Caribbean. The Crayola Beginnings line of toddler art tools will be featured in unique developmentally-appropriate art activities designed for parents and children to enjoy precious creative moments together.
Within the Youth Zone, Kids Avenue will serve as the main promenade for young cruisers to access the various Adventure Ocean areas. Crayola Arts and crafts activities, scavenger hunts, talent shows and other scheduled and guided age-specific activities will be offered to three Adventure Ocean program age groups, each with its own space: Aquanauts, ages 3 to 5; Explorers, ages 6 to 8; and Voyagers, ages 9 to 11.
In addition, Oasis of the Seas will introduce exciting new common play areas, including the Kid's Arcade for video games; the Workshop, where families can learn scrapbooking skills or create personalized jewelry; Imagination Studio where children can explore the world of color and imagination through Adventure Art by Crayola; a fully-equipped lab for Adventure Science Lab, where Einsteins-in-the-making can expand their knowledge; Play, a circular area where children can rollick and participate in a variety of sports and games; and Adventure Ocean Theater, the first-ever children's theater at sea -- complete with a stage and curtains, audience seating and state-of-the-art production equipment -- where children of all ages can learn about theatrical productions, take part in talent shows, or sign up for hip hop dance classes.
The teen-only spaces will be located one deck above the Adventure Ocean areas and adjacent to the ship's Sports Deck, where kids can test their skills on one of the ship's two FlowRider surf simulators; the miniature golf-course, Oasis Dunes; or the Sports Court for volleyball and basketball games. The physical separation of the teen-only spaces from younger Adventure Ocean guests will be one of the many striking enhancements implemented as a recommendation of Royal Caribbean's Teen Advisory Board -- a group of teens recruited last year to identify what youths between the ages of 12- and 17-years would want to see aboard future Royal Caribbean ships.
Longtime favorite Royal Caribbean teen-only spaces, Fuel disco and The Living Room, will return aboard Oasis of the Seas, only larger and more state-of-the-art. The Living Room will be the ultimate go-to hangout for teens to kick back and socialize at the "mock-tail" bar, which serves non-alcoholic sodas and juice concoctions; learn to spin and mix music in Scratch DJ 101 classes, a part of Royal Caribbean's Scratch DJ Academy; or surf the Internet and keep in touch with friends via the bank of computer stations dedicated to the space. Teens also will be able to kick it up a notch at Fuel, a disco which will feature a hip environment, where they can hang out with friends, and a dance floor, where they can show off their moves. A spacious outdoor deck adjacent to these venues will give teens more opportunities to make new friends while on their cruise vacation.
In addition to the areas within the Youth Zone and teen-only spots aboard Oasis of the Seas, special attractions for children of all ages also will be located throughout the ship's other neighborhoods. Along the Boardwalk, kids and teens will be able to shop at retail stores tailored to their interests, and infants and toddlers can ride the Carousel with their parents or enjoy the climbing and play space modeled after a 50's-style gas station next to the popular Johnny Rockets restaurant. The lively Challengers Arcade also will return aboard Oasis of the Seas, and will be decked out with the latest video games sure to entertain kids and teens. In the Vitality Spa and Fitness Zone, teens and tweens can enjoy a menu of spa options specially tailored for them in a dedicated space at the Vitality at Sea Spa.
A diverse selection of activities for families and guests of all ages will be found in all of the neighborhoods throughout Oasis of the Seas. Family-friendly innovations range from the industry's first amphitheater, the AquaTheater, featuring theatrical diving performances and spectacular water and light shows; the first zip line at sea stretching 82 feet in length and suspended nine decks above the exciting Boardwalk area; and in the Pool & Sports Zone, the H2O Zone aquapark with its toddler pool and the first beach pool at sea, featuring a true-to-form sloped entry and colorful beach chairs and umbrellas to give guests the ultimate beach experience.
When she launches in November 2009, Oasis of the Seas will be the largest and most revolutionary cruise ship in the world. An architectural marvel at sea, she will span 16 decks, encompass 220,000 gross registered tons (GRT), carry 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,700 staterooms. Oasis of the Seas will be the first ship to tout the cruise line's new neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, which include Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. The ship will sail from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Additional information is available at www.oasisoftheseas.com.