"If it doesn't move, it's a hotel." - The Royal Caribbean Fan

If it moves, it is a hotel.

It was scarcely 5:30 in the morning, the October morning sky was still pitch black. The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina afforded a sweeping view of Port Everglades, the 17th Street draw bridge and beyond them the condo lined channel leading to open water. Bleary eyed I managed to drag myself to the balcony and turn on my camcorder then flop in a chair. My son and daughter surprised me entirely by waking up as though it where Christmas morning. Ben emerged first and marveled at the twinkling cityscape. Vicky, two years his senior came out next. The show I had promised them for weeks could be seen at the two mile bouy outside the channel. The Oasis of the Seas was holding station awaiting the harbor pilot, her bow facing the port. With all the lights forward of the bridge dark while at sea she was almost invisible. The ship began to make her way into the channel. Midway in the channel the Oasis slipped behind a block of condos and hotels. Vicky asked again where the ship was and her brother pointed to the condos and replied "If it doesn't move, its a hotel." 

Oasis of the Seas arriving in Fort Lauderdale

The morning ahead would be the culmination of decades of following cruise travel that began with scouring old editions of Sea Classics, touring historic ocean liners to watching the Love Boat depart the Port of Los Angeles. The adventure that started two days ealier as we began our drive to Florida was more than just a family vacation.  Here I was about to have the classic "family vacation" but also share a deep personal love for cruising.

In 2019 Royal Caribbean International began to celebrate its fiftith anniversary.  The first scratch built cruise line, which decades earlier had eletrified the emerging industry with the first purpose-built caribbean cruise ships sailing out of Miami was the first I sailed on.  During the next year I am going to share my experience of cruising and how from that I began the Royal Caribbean Fan in 1999 from a single HTML webpage.  I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I have living it.

Oasis of Dreams Rehearsals - The Royal Caribbean Fan Blog.

When the ocming of Oasis of the Seas was announced to the world, one of the first features highlighted was the Aqua Theater. Situated at the very end of the ship, the seating bowl spills outward from the end of Boardwalk. The Aqua Theater hosts more unique features in one location than most new cruise ships do through their entire design. As the name implies the theater is centered around a large diving pool. Three tiers of diving platforms flank the pool on two sides. A trampoline emerges from the adjacent stage and adds a different dimension to what the show offers. A "fly gallery" allows actors to fly into and out of the area, even emerging from under the water. Under the water are three stage platforms. These rise above the water to allow for the entire stage space to be used or sink quietly for dramatic effect.

In our video here, you see the Aqua Theater from a deck ten stateroom balcony over Boardwalk. The cast is rehearsing a few hours before a show. The video screens were being replaced on this cruise so you might notice they are missing from the right side of the theater house. As a people watcher this view was one of the attractions of the cabin. Love Royal Caribbean?

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Symphony of the Seas - the Fourth Oasis Class.

Leave it to the wonders of social media to break the news that Royal Caribbean's fourth Oasis class will be named "Symphony of the Seas."

Symphony of the Seas, as seen by Lloyd Marchand

An image shared online by "Lloyd Marchand" shows the aft portion of the ship still being assembled at STX France was photographed and the news has spread widely online.  What you are able to see here is actually several things.  The ship is put together in large "blocks" which are in-turn moved with large cranes and lowered into position where they welded into place.  There are at least three blocks in this picture.  The middle block is where you see the name highlighted against the bear steel.  It is the section hosting the Aqua Theater, one of the signature features of the Oasis class.  Behind this block appears to be a section intended for the bow of the ship.  Finally a larger and flat section is seen in front of it that might be related to the lifeboat deck.

 

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