| Royal Caribbean has announced the next unique neighborhood aboard Oasis of the Seas, the biggest and most innovative cruise ship ever built. The place to party onboard Oasis? Entertainment Place, that's where.|
The sixth of seven Oasis neighborhoods announced, the centrally located Entertainment Place -- down the stairs from Deck 7's Royal Promenade -- will feature a main plaza with entrance to a variety of nighttime venues designed to suit as many tastes as possible.
A Royal Caribbean spokesman tells us that the details were revealed last night at the Cruises Inc./Cruise One national conference onboard an Alaska sailing. Here's what to expect:
Passengers can spend the night working up a dance sweat at Blaze, a fire-themed nightclub ("burning" hot flame doors, "charred" threshold, etc.).
Those with dance fever of a different variety may want to head to the two-deck Dazzles (pictured), a dance lounge featuring musically themed evenings -- 1940's big band, disco, ballroom -- including dance lessons and competitions. Dazzles (actually located outside the main Entertainment Place, in between Boardwalk and Central Park) will have floor-to-ceiling windows, offering views of the Boardwalk and AquaTheater. During the day, the venue will host dance lessons offered by professional dance instructors.
Jazz on 4 is a small lounge showcasing live jazz and blues. The design, said to be inspired by prohibition-era Chicago, will feature walnut paneling, plush sofas and chairs and velvet drapes.
Comedy Live will be the ship's stand-alone comedy club featuring family comedy as well as adult-only stuff. Headline acts will interact with the audience. Expect an underground theme and decor inspired by a New York subway station -- bright casual furnishings, glazed tiling and a subway system map plastered on the ceiling.
The Opal Theater is Oasis of the Seas' state-of-the-art 1,380-seat main theater. A piece of this stage extends out into the audience to allow more cast-passenger interaction. According to today's release, entertainers will make their entrances from "unexpected locations around the venue and perform aerial acrobatics."
Oasis of the Seas will (surprise) feature the largest and most sophisticated casino afloat: Casino Royale. There is a themed walkway entrance, The Museum of Gaming, exploring the history of gambling. Design elements include dramatic sculptures, crystal chandeliers, and hues of amethyst, aquamarine and ruby. As for the meat and potatoes of the casino, you'll find 450 slot machines; extensive table games including Blackjack, roulette, craps, and Caribbean Stud Poker; a bar and lounge area; a sports book; a poker room; and a players' club.
Back by popular demand: Studio B, Royal Caribbean's at-sea ice skating rink. As on previous ships, Studio B on Oasis will host ice shows and themed events.
Previously announced neighborhoods include Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, and the Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center.
The debut of Oasis of the Seas is still more than a year away. The ship will depart on its maiden voyage in December 2009, beginning a season of seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruises out of Ft. Lauderdale.
Royal Caribbean tells us the next official "reveal" is scheduled for October 21. In the meantime, check out some Entertainment Place photos.
--by Dan Askin, Assistant Editor