In a nutshell, Central Park, one of seven neighborhoods on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, is a lush park the size of a football field -- a courtyard of tropical plants and walkways, and a town square with dining and entertainment -- rising five stories from Deck 8 of the 16-deck ship.
The space features real, living foliage much like the Lawn Club on sister line Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Solstice -- but that's where the similarities end. Where the Lawn Club is a grassy section of that ship's lido for sunning and sport, Central Park is an area about as long as the Royal Promenade, the Royal Caribbean stable shopping and dining corridor found on Voyager- and Freedom-class ships -- and twice as wide -- housing myriad features and amenities including:
254 Central Park-view balconies (four are wheelchair accessible), and 80 Park-view windowed cabins. What's unique about the construction is that it allows for more outside cabins -- even those facing inward on the Park have balconies, fresh air and a view. Only about 20 percent of all cabins onboard are insides.
Boutique shops showcasing upscale merchandise such as The Parkside Gallery, selling original artwork, and Picture This, a portrait studio. Oasis also boasts the first stand-alone Coach store at sea, offering handbags, leather goods, sunglasses and scarves. (Sister line Celebrity does sell Coach items, but within a merchandise shop.)
Seven restaurants, cafes and bars. Royal Caribbean favorite Chops Grille is in this area, with tables indoor and out, as well as Vintages wine bar. New-to-Royal Caribbean eateries include 150 Central Park (the line's most upscale restaurant, complete with a surcharge of $35 per person), Central Park Cafe and Giovanni's Table (with an Italian theme). The Canopy Bar serves drinks underneath a glass dome, while the Rising Tide bar will actually glide up and down, as its name implies -- the first moving bar at sea.
Evening entertainment, including al fresco concerts and "street" performances.
Landscaped gardens including the Pergola Garden (featuring Caribbean vegetation), the Sculpture Garden (with artwork from artists across the globe) and the Chess Garden (featuring giant pieces for a game of chess or checkers). Four onsite gardeners can teach passengers about the gardens and those who want to hone their green thumbs can gather gardening techniques as well as lessons on the ecology of Caribbean plants. There are also trees and "Green Walls," showcasing flowering vines.