And we want to take you with us!
Every day through Friday Cruise Critic will be sharing the latest Oasis of the Seas news, images and videos. So be sure to check our home page daily for the hottest info -- live from the shipyard. Here's a teaser about what we'll be seeing and doing:
Public Spaces: We'll tour the most iconic and innovative areas of the ship, including the Boardwalk, AquaTheater, Royal Promenade, Rising Tide Bar, Central Park, Viking Crown Lounge, Solarium and pools. We're also getting a peek at a lifeboat and the bridge.
Cabins: Oasis of the Seas will sport some new types of cabins, and we'll check them out firsthand, including a loft suite, Central Park balcony room and Boardwalk balcony room.
Q&A with the Big Wigs: Instead of an ice skating show, we're headed to the ship's Studio B for Q&A sessions on design and guest experience. Here's where the techno-geek in us gets excited about navigation, energy efficiency and shipboard operations.
Crew Area: Lunch on Thursday is scheduled to take place in the crew's buffet restaurant, so we'll get a rare glimpse of where the crewmembers hang out onboard.
Shipyard Stuff: Not only will we don our hard hats to tour STX Europe's steel cutting facility, but we're also getting to meet Oasis' sister, Allure of the Seas. That ship, now just a hull, is a year behind Oasis in construction.
Plus, we'll spend our free time exploring the town of Turku, a pleasant day trip from Helsinki. If you're cruising the Baltic any time soon, consider checking out this riverside town. It was the first capital of Finland, still has a castle (we're eating dinner there!) and is one of the world's biggest shipbuilding capitals; cruise ships built there include Royal Caribbean's Voyager- and Freedom-class ships, Holland America's Prinsendam and Crystal Symphony. Turku's been named the European Capital of Culture for 2011 for its many art galleries, museums, concert venues and theaters -- including Finland's oldest operating theater, Abo Svenska Teater.
So mark your calendars and join us as we get a final look at Royal Caribbean's marquee ship before it leaves Turku for good and takes to the seas.
Psst ... while you're waiting, come vote in our poll and tell us which features you're most excited about!
--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor