Am I Seeing Things? Invite to Oasis Event Offers Clues

June 5, 2008

Royal Caribbean's official e-invitation for its June 18 press conference, where it will be revealing even more Oasis of the Seas details, offers some intriguing clues to aspects of the ship's design.

The invite unfolds, electronically, to reveal five zoomed-in pictures, much like those guessing games where you're shown an extreme close-up of an everyday object (like the crooked nose of a famous celebrity or the detailed fuzz of a ripe peach). We're not sure if the point here was to give us something to ponder in the two weeks leading up to the event, but it sure is fun to speculate! Taking into consideration the fact that we've already reported the ship will feature seven themed neighborhoods including Central Park, here's my take.

The image that was most recognizable right off the bat looks like the shiny, colorful body of a carousel horse. You can see wisps of a brown tail or mane, and a teal, yellow and fuchsia saddle. Unless I'm way off the mark, I'd bet a merry-go-round is in the works. Which begs the question: Is that it? Or does it represent a slice of cruising's first-ever amusement park (with boardwalk, we'd hope)?

The neighborhood: How does Coney Island sound?

Directly opposite the "horse" is what appears to be a pool in which two rows of individual cylindrical fountain nozzles are spewing small (or large, hard to tell!) amounts of water into the air. My guess: a central meeting place anchored by a dancing fountain like the one that fronts Las Vegas' famous Bellagio hotel. And hey, if the casino is here too, it could be part of a larger "neighborhood."

The neighborhood: I'm going with Las Vegas' Strip.

Another image clearly depicts a sleek, fashionable couch accented by fluffy pillows; it's the kind of furniture you'd see in a poolside cabana or hip rooftop bar in a chi-chi place like Miami's Delano.

The neighborhood: It feels like South Beach to me.

Next up is a series of square glass panels secured in a grid of dark steel, with a view toward the sky. It's rounded, and could be as simple as a dome covering a pool or public area. Other guesses from Cruise Critic staff members include: bird sanctuary, butterfly garden, greenhouse -- even a 360-degree planetarium-style observatory.

The neighborhood: Yes it's wild, but I'll go out on a limb and say Outer Space!

The last image -- which is only on screen for a few seconds before the invitation wording pops up and takes its place -- appears to be a very green leaf with folds that spread symmetrically from its center, perhaps a palm frond. But wait: The line already announced that its Central Park would feature landscaped gardens. I wonder if this indicates an expansion of that concept -- such as an arboretum. Or, I could be reading too much into it; it might have simply been meant to tie all of these themes together to represent one at-sea "oasis."

The neighborhood: We're stumped! Got an idea? Write me at

Remember, this is all conjecture -- we won't have any concrete goodies to share until June 18. But share we will, so be sure to stay tuned to Cruise Critic!

And in the meantime, we want to know: Which neighborhood would you like to see Royal Caribbean introduces on Oasis of the Seas? Take our poll and share your thoughts.

--by Melissa Baldwin, Managing Editor