Cruise Critic staffers and members infiltrated New York City today for one of the hottest press events of the year -- Royal Caribbean's next big Oasis of the Seas "reveal." The press conference began just before 3 p.m. EST at the NOKIA Theatre in Times Square, and the surprises came fast and furious.
Cruise Critic managing editor Melissa Baldwin was on the scene and blogging furiously throughout the event. Get all the details direct from her laptop and join the discussion!
All the Big News on Oasis ... in a Nutshell:
Oasis of the Seas will spend its inaugural season sailing in the Eastern Caribbean. Get more details about the itinerary.
The second of the ship's seven neighborhoods is going to be "The Boardwalk." Passengers will find a vintage carousel, a tattoo parlor (don't worry, the ink will only be temporary) and ice cream bar. There'll also be a place to have your fortune told.
RCI will introduce a new category of deluxe double decker suites on Oasis. These are two-deck accommodations that are set up like lofts. The living area is downstairs and the bed is upstairs.
Just as there are cabins that will overlook Central Park, so too will there be cabins overlooking the Boardwalk.
The aft area of Oasis will be home to the Aquatheater, which will hold about 750 guests. They're going to have diving and water sports there in the largest pool ever built at sea. Get more details.
There will also be a new class of suites -- the Aqua Suites -- surrounding the Aquatheater. The balconies from these cabins will allow for private viewing of performances that will occur nightly.
Cruising's first onboard zip line! Part of the Boardwalk, you start zipping nine decks above the "ground," sliding down diagonally from one side to the other.
We already know Oasis will take the Freedom class by storm as the biggest in the world; it will measure 220,000 tons and carry 5,400 passengers when it launches in 2010.
Royal Caribbean has already revealed "Central Park" -- the first of the seven themed neighborhoods planned for Oasis of the Seas.