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Oasis of the Seas Photos, Eight Months to Launch

Oasis of the Seas at the Shipyard Editor's note: This story is from the Cruise Critic Archives. Content was up to date at time of publication.

In April, it's still very much winter in Finland. Docked next to the frozen Baltic Sea at STX Europe's Turku shipyard, Royal Caribbean's 220,000-ton, 5,400-passenger Oasis of the Seas is taking shape. Just eight months from now, the largest and most innovative ship ever built will be cruising out of Ft. Lauderdale to islands in the Caribbean.

Almost a year and half after the first block was laid, the main engines have been turned on and tested. The ship, now 83 percent complete (as of April 2009), will take to the water for its first sea trial in June. Then it's onto the last outfitting stages, with flat-screen TV's and artwork added to cabins; counter stools, booths and insignia inserted into the old-timey Johnny Rockets burger joint; and real trees and shrubbery planted in the ship's outdoor Central Park "neighborhood." Oasis of the Seas will make its official cruising debut on December 5, 2009 (a preview cruise will take place on December 1).

But we're getting a little ahead of ourselves.

On a frigid April day, Cruise Critic correspondent Teijo Niemela, publisher of Cruise Business Review, joined a Finnish media contingent for an inside look at the under-construction beast. Niemela was able sneak a peek and snap some photos of several spaces currently under the knife -- a balcony cabin, the Boardwalk, Central Park, the Rising Tide levitating bar and much more.

His impressions? Check out our Oasis of the Seas slideshow!

--by Dan Askin, Associate Editor

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