An Evening on Oasis of the Seas: Onboard Entertainment
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- Guests on Oasis of the Seas pack the AquaTheater to watch the simulcast of Rihanna's concert, which is being performed live on the ship in the Opal Theater. The passengers are just as captivated by the video screen as they will be when acrobats and divers are performing live in the space, which has two giant LED screens, an 18-foot pool and two diving towers. If you book the corner suites that look over the AquaTheater, you'll get great views of the shows performed there. But we can't find a bad seat in the house -- even people watching from the higher decks benefit from great sightlines and amazing acoustics.
- Here's a shot of Rihanna wowing the crowd on the big screen. She looks amazing in her orange and black leather dress, as she performs a track off her new album, "Rated-R," which will be released on Monday, November 23, 2009. Rihanna performed a set of her greatest hits, and her vocals had guests almost in a trance. Patrons who had never heard Rihanna before talked about how great she sounded. Will Oasis of the Seas ever be able to top this performance? You'll have to come onboard to find out!
- We stumbled across this "Do Not Touch" sign when wandering through the Boardwalk neighborhood. It's been left by "Good Morning America" in anticipation of their Friday-morning live broadcast aboard Oasis of the Seas. We're sure the warning to keep away from the equipment tempted some passengers to do just the opposite.
- Here's a shot of the gorgeous two-deck high Dazzles nightclub on Deck 8 and 9. The band, Muzik Xpres, played to a light crowd -- many people were still off exploring the ship and finishing dinner before heading to the bars. In this shot, through the floor-to-ceiling glass wall you can just about make out the views of the Aqutheater and the Boardwalk. See it?
- Oasis of the Seas is a unique ship, but the Central Park neighborhood is a real-stand out feature -- rising five stories from Deck 8 of the 16-deck ship. It houses real plants and will have four full-time gardeners tending to it. Here's what the area looks like at night. It's not quite as excitable as the New York City version, but certainly worth seeing! This photo, shown outside one of the new restaurants, the Italian-themed Giovanni's Table, shows that the after-daylight hours on Oasis of the Seas can be charming. A stroll through the middle of this park late at night is much safer, too.
- It wasn’t too crowded on the Royal Promenade last night -- however, putting it into perspective, this venue is twice as wide as the promenades on the Voyager- and Freedom-class ships and runs the length of a football field! In this image you can see On Air, the sports bar, where many football fans gathered to watch the Miami Dolphins beat the Carolina Panthers during NFL Thursday Night Football. To the left of the shot is Bolero's -- the dance club had folks jamming to Latin dance music through the night! In the distance you can see Sorrento's -- the pizza place was a favorite late-night gathering spot for hungry travel agents! It's funny what lots of exploring and dancing will do for an appetite!
- The beautiful Champagne Bar on Oasis' Royal Promenade is one of the more elegant nightspots onboard. The bar's swanky décor felt like it was a throw-back to the roaring 20's. The Champagne wasn't bad either! The crowd was minimal, making it easy to get served, but the ambience is what kept us there. A great spot!
- Drink Up! One of the more interesting bars on Oasis of the Seas is the Rising Tide Bar. This bar, which "floats" vertically between three decks from the Royal Promenade up to Central Park, is very special. It is the first moving bar at sea, and we overheard one guest saying that he felt like he was "riding a wave"! The wave effect is given via jets of water that spray below the bar upwards to make it look like the water is pushing the bar upward. Hopefully, no one felt sea-sick, either from the ship itself (there was NO wake felt at all from the ship) or from the tipples served!
- More "Do Not Touch" photos from the crew of Good Morning America. For as many of these as we saw, we didn't see any on-air talent anywhere on the boat. Our dining companions last night did see Sam Champion, but there were no other sightings from what we understand. Also, Robin Roberts and Diane Sawyer are not onboard, as they are broadcasting from New York this morning ... so capturing GMA folks might be as tough as finding a needle in a haystack.
- Comedy Live, the ship's stand-alone comedy club, had no shows going on during this cruise, as the main headliners were playing in the Opus Room. We snuck a peak into the venue anyway. Typically the club will feature interactive shows, including family-friendly and adults-only comedy. The decor made you feel like you were in a subway car with bright casual furnishings, glazed tiling and a subway system map plastered on the ceiling.
- Jazz on 4 is a small lounge showcasing live jazz and blues. The European band was performing smooth, contemporary jazz -- rather than the New Orleans-style music we're used to. The venue was quaint and quiet, and the diverse crowd of patrons chatted among themselves. The band was treated more as background music than a show to watch.
- The decor of Jazz on 4 features walnut paneling, plush sofas and chairs, and velvet drapes. Royal Caribbean says the venue is inspired by prohibition-era Chicago, but we didn't really get that sense. After our "night on the town," we'd say that our favorite nightlife venues were the Champagne Bar, the On Air sports bar, the two-deck Dazzles nightclub and the Schooner Bar. We would've taken more photos but many of the lounges were really dimly lit. Mood lighting, perhaps?
- Good Morning America took over the ship Friday morning for a live broadcast. Here, the show's Melissa Wycroft prepares to cross the ship on the first-ever zip line at sea. She must have stood up there for 10 minutes at least to take a 10-second ride nine decks above the Boardwalk. "Go already!" shouted the impatient onlookers, who didn't understand that she was waiting for the show to come back from a break. We all got sore necks looking up while we waited for her to jump.
- Melissa Wycroft is a fearless lady -- her next challenge was climbing the Rock Wall on live television. With the crowd chanting "Go! Go! Go!", Wycroft made it all the way up, well, one third of the wall. She gets points for trying. The enormous rock walls (there are two) are six decks high.
- Co-host Sam Champion did make it all the way up and just barely managed to ring the bell at the top. Champion even gave the weather forecast while rappelling back down the Rock Wall, quite a challenge for sure.
- While Melissa Wycroft suited up to perform with Oasis' synchronized swimming team, Sam Champion yucked it up with the ship's divers during a commercial. While the divers simply showed off some stunts for the Good Morning America crew, on real cruises, they will regularly perform a water show called Oasis Dream, featuring music, lights, acrobatics and high-diving. When talking about the divers, Champion kept shaking his head, probably thinking to himself that he would never try that stunt -- the Rock Wall was tough enough!
- The Good Morning America co-hosts spent plenty of time after the show taking pictures with their fans -- a nice gesture. Here they pose with the diving team (Melissa Wycroft is in the yellow bathing cap). Champion was smiling the entire time he was at the AquaTheater, a refreshing reminder that some celebrities are genuinely nice. The crew and talent from Good Morning America were very professional and approachable, and the crowd rewarded them by going bananas during every rejoin.
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