"Oasis of the
Central Park Brings
the Outdoors Inside, Creating an
Neighborhood for Guests That Reaches to the Sky
April 15, 2008: When photos appeared of steel rising into
the air at Aker Yards in Turku, Finland, a friend and I discussed
how we perceived Royal Caribbean's largest-ship-in-history (so far),
which is currently under construction. It appeared that it would
have a Royal Promenade of sorts. I jokingly predicted it would have
a sliding roof. I wasn't far off.
In its latest evolution in cruise ship design, Royal Caribbean
International's Project Genesis (now officially to be named Oasis of
the Seas) promises to bring the best of the
land to sea with Central Park, a revolutionary design in which the
center of the ship opens to the sky and features lush, tropical
grounds spanning the length of a football field. An exquisite public
gathering place featuring serene pathways, seasonal flower gardens
and canopy trees, Central Park
will provide cruisers with more choices in a unique outdoor space.
One of the ship's most ground-breaking spaces, this new concept is
the first of seven neighborhoods to be unveiled on Project Genesis.
Each neighborhood will provide passengers with the opportunity to
seek out personally relevant experiences in various locales based on
their lifestyle, preference, or mood.
Central Park By Day
Elegant and lively, Central Park's central piazza will be the
ship's "town square" which evolves from a tranquil and peaceful
atmosphere during the day to a gathering space for alfresco dining
and entertainment in the evening, where guests will enjoy concerts
and street performances. The neighborhood is lined with balcony
staterooms rising six decks high with views of the Park below and
the sky above.
Central Park After Dark
Surrounding this social space will be an array of restaurants,
with choices ranging from fine dining to casual chic. Guests will
have the option of an elegant dinner at the new 150 Central Park or
a picnic lunch from the more casual Central Park Cafe, where they
can sit outdoors and people-watch. Other dining choices will
include: Giovanni's Table, an Italian restaurant; Vintages wine bar;
and Royal Caribbean's signature Chops Grille steakhouse. Several
bars will be scattered throughout the Park, including the Canopy
Bar, located at one of two impressive glass-domed canopies, and the
unique Rising Tide bar, the first moving bar at sea.
Truly an engineering feat, Rising
Tide (pictured below) will span three decks and
allow passengers to enjoy a cocktail as they slowly ascend into
Central Park and then descend back into the public spaces below.
Central Park also will have stylish boutique shops, showcasing a
selection of upscale merchandise.
Rising Tide reminds us of Royal Caribbean's
signature Viking Crown Lounge on steroids. When Viking Crown Lounge
was introduced on the original Royal Caribbean ships back in the
1970s, it was modeled after Seattle's Space Needle. All it needed
was to rotate, ala Hyatt's top-of-the-hotel revolving lounges, to
make it truly revolutionary (oops, bad pun). Seriously, I can't wait
to sip a Martini and take a ride on Rising Tide. It sounds like a
"Our brand identity is founded in innovation and on delivering
the best cruise vacation through 'WOW' experiences," stated Adam
Goldstein, President & CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Central
Park is a true evolution of cruise ship design and allows us to
provide our guests with not only a more varied selection of balcony
accommodations, but also a stunning public venue that will be a
central element of the ship, both during the day and at night."
Central Park Fast Facts:
-- Central Park is
located on Deck 8 of the ship, with dimensions of 62 feet (19
meters) wide and 328 feet (100 meters) long. The sophisticated
neighborhood will include 334 staterooms overlooking the Park, 254
with balconies. Central Park will be landscaped with tropical
foliage, including seasonal flowers, shrubs and trees. Drawing on
the concept of unexpected surprises and intrigue, garden spaces
throughout the Park will sprout from charming pathways. Drifts of
Calla Lilies among Giant Elephant Ears, Red Ginger, Rabbit Foot
Ferns and Zebra Calathea are some of the plant life guests will
discover. Trees, some eventually reaching more than two-and-a-half
decks tall, include Black Olive, Cuban Laurel, Cherry of the Rio
Grande, and Painted and Golden Bamboo.
-- Surprises in Central Park include quiet reading corners; a Chess Garden with
large-scale pieces; the Pergola Garden,
an interpretive garden featuring vegetation from a host of Caribbean
locales; and a Sculpture
garden, highlighting work by international artists.
-- Irrigation and drainage systems will be incorporated, along with
micro-climate control techniques.
-- An on-site horticulturist will provide educational classes for
guests seeking to learn more about flora.
-- The Crystal Canopies,
two impressive arched-glass domes, one with a bar, will be a focal
point of Central Park and provide sunlight into the ship's inner
Restaurants and dining options in the
Central Park neighborhood include:
* 150 Central Park -
The most exclusive dining venue on the ship (below), 150 Central
Park combines leading-edge cuisine with leading-edge design. An
observation window into the kitchen of this stylish restaurant will
give Central Park passersby the opportunity to observe the executive
chef in action. Open for dinner.
* Chops Grille -
Continuing the tradition, Royal Caribbean's popular signature
steakhouse (below) will offer premium cut, quality meats in an
upscale, contemporary setting. Open for dinner.
* Giovanni's Table -
Influenced by the Tuscan countryside, Giovanni's (below) will be a
casual new Italian restaurant concept offering toasted herbal
breads, pizzas, salads, pastas, Italian sandwiches, braised meat
dishes and stews. Rustic with a contemporary flair, dishes are
served family style in an indoor and outdoor setting to provide an
alfresco experience in Central Park. Open for lunch and dinner.
* Central Park Cafe
- A casual dining choice providing a high level of variety and
flexibility, Central Park Cafe is an indoor/outdoor gourmet market
with walk-up counters. From freshly prepared salads and
made-to-order sandwiches to paninis,
crepes and hearty soups, guests order directly from the chefs behind
the food stations. European pastries, sublime chocolates and
decadent fudge round out the offerings. Open for breakfast, lunch,
snacks, dinner and late night treats.r>
* Vintages - Always a
popular hot spot for Royal Caribbean guests on Voyager- and
Freedom-class ships, the Vintages wine bar evolves into a larger
space on Project Genesis, offering a variety of options for those
seeking a tropical white Riesling or a mocha-inflected Merlot. Great
for a pre-dinner rendezvous, Vintages also provides a selection of
cheeses and a full tapas menu to accompany a robust selection of
fine wines. Open for lunch and dinner.
Central Park will also feature upscale retail boutiques for
discerning travelers, including specialty outlets such as
The Parkside Gallery,
showcasing original artwork for purchase, and
Picture This, a portrait studio.
When she launches in late 2009, Project Genesis, recently named
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 GRT, carry
5,400 guests, and feature 2,700 staterooms. The ship will sail from
her home port in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In 2010, she will be joined
by a sister ship (also unnamed as yet). Additional information is available at
Genesis Fast Facts
- Launching late 2009
- 220,000 GRT
- 7 Neighborhoods
- 5,400 passengers
- 2,700 staterooms
- 16 decks high
In our second installment, get
courtesy of Royal Caribbean International