Keep in mind that even the most desirable suites and cabins aren't necessarily private. Many of the Crown Loft Suites directly overlook one of the busiest outdoor spots onboard -- the basketball court and FlowRider areas -- and other passengers can see the balconies. Rock climbers pass right by the balconies of the AquaTheater suites. Central Park and Boardwalk cabins can see into the rooms across the way. Choose a cabin too low, and you'll hear noise from below; choose one too high, and you could hear noise from either the pool deck or sports complex. (Make sure your balcony doors are completely closed to avoid this.)
So what's the upside? Boardwalk cabins that are located farther aft do offer sea glimpses and are terrific spots from which to watch performances at the AquaTheater.
The 2014 refurb saw 10 new suites added to the ship, overlooking either the ocean, the AquaTheater or the Boardwalk. These include two Royal Suites, six Grand Suites and two Royal Family Suites that can accommodate up to six passengers each.
All standard cabins have two twin beds that convert to queens, small sitting areas and interactive flat-screen TVs on which passengers can book shore tours, order room service, make dining and entertainment reservations, and check onboard bills. A handful of national U.S. networks like CNN and Fox News are featured, and for the kids, there's the Cartoon Network and a dedicated DreamWorks station. You can also order movies on demand (for a fee). Outlets are U.S. and are situated under the vanities (not particularly close to the bed).
Even interior cabins have enough shelves and hanger space, although in some cabins, it's a tight squeeze between the bed and the closet. Suitcases fit under the beds.
Bathrooms feature glass showers with shampoo dispensers and foot rests for leg-shaving; there is no conditioner or lotion, so bring your own. Hair dryers are located under the desks in the main cabin areas.
Interior: The majority of Oasis' inside cabins are 172 square feet, which feels spacious enough, but there are also smaller interior cabins with just 150 square feet of space. There are Promenade-facing interiors with large bay windows overlooking the indoor thoroughfare; these rooms are 193 square feet apiece. Accessible interior cabins are each 258 square feet.
If you normally choose interior cabins, keep in mind that most public spaces on Oasis, including the dining rooms, do not have windows. You have to work to find the ocean on this ship, so unless you're someone who really doesn't stay in their cabin or who can exist without a lot of light, these cabins could feel claustrophobic.
Ocean-View: Windowed cabins vary in size. Central Park-view cabins are each 194 square feet, while Ocean-views are 174 square feet. You'll find the Boardwalk-view cabins on Deck 7; they're 187 square feet. Accessible ocean-view cabins are 264 square feet.
Balcony: Standard balcony cabins in every category -- Central Park, Boardwalk, traditional verandas with ocean views -- are typically 182 square feet each, with 47- to 53-square-foot verandas. Regardless of size, each outdoor space is furnished with a table and pair of chairs made of metal and mesh. Accessible balcony staterooms that face the ocean are 275 square feet with 42-square-foot verandas, while those on the Boardwalk and in Central Park have 73-square-foot balconies.
Mini-Suite: Junior Suites are 287 square feet; the additional space in each is taken up with a sitting area with a table and sofa. These rooms come with 78-square-foot balconies. In addition, bathrooms in these accommodations feature tubs instead of just showers. Accessible junior suites are 390 square feet, each with a 107-square-foot balcony.
While Junior Suites do not currently get suite perks, in 2016 they will be designated as Sea Class in the line's new "Royal Suite Class" program. Then, passengers in family-connected junior suites, family junior suites and junior suites will receive premium in-cabin touches, such as specialty bottled water; Hermes, Ferragamo and L'Occitane bath products; and pillow-top mattresses.
Suite: There are several suite categories (not including Junior Suites), all of which have access to the new Suite Lounge and Coastal Kitchen, which have replaced the Viking Crown Lounge on Deck 17. In addition to a concierge, suite passengers receive a number of perks, including a nightly cocktail "hour" with free drinks from 5 to 8:30 p.m.; priority check-in; reserved prime seating in the main theater; access to full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus for in-cabin dining; luxury bathrobes and complimentary pressing for formal nights; access to a private sun deck with loungers and cabanas; an exclusive reception with senior officers; and free dining in the Suites-only Coastal Kitchen. (Suite passengers can also eat in the main dining rooms, but after experiencing Coastal Kitchen, they will be unlikely to leave it for the larger venues.)
In 2016, Suite class passengers will get even more benefits. Those in AquaTheater suites, Crown Loft suites, Owner's suites, Royal Family suites and Grand suites will be considered Sky Class. Benefits include premium bath products, pillow-top mattresses, free spa thermal room access, free high-speed Internet, an in-suite welcome amenity, specialty bottled water and in-suite dining options.
The Star Class includes the most comprehensive collection of benefits: all of the above, as well as 24/7 Royal Genie service. Royal Genies (or butlers) are trained and certified by the British Butler Institute. Royal Genies help passengers with restaurant and show reservations and in-room dining requests, as well as laundry, pressing, luggage handling and unpacking. Royal Genies also can assist passengers with creating and reserving customized shore excursions. Additionally, Star Class passengers receive a free fitness class, free in-suite movies, free mini-bar, daily gratuities included, access to specialty restaurants for free and a gratis Ultimate Beverage package.
Star Class is reserved for passengers in the two-deck Royal Loft suite, as well as the Owner's Loft suite, Grand Loft suite, Sky Loft suite and Two Bedroom AquaTheater suite.
The smallest suites are the Grand Suites at 371 square feet with 114-square-foot balconies. They feature marble entries, large bathrooms with tubs and two sinks, and a living area with tables and sofas.
The two-bedroom AquaTheater Suites (on decks 8, 9 and 10) are large (820, 720 and 659 square feet, respectively), with two separate rooms, a vanity with a chair in each bedroom, living area with double convertible sofa, dining room, marble entranceway, entertainment center and two bathrooms, one with a tub. But what really stand out are the location and dimensions of the enormous balconies, which are almost as large as the cabins themselves. The balconies give new meaning to the word "wraparound," allowing 180-degree vistas of the Boardwalk, the AquaTheater, rock climbing wall and open ocean, with space for stools, tables, chairs and loungers. Note the balconies also decrease in size by deck, starting at a vast 803 square feet on Deck 8, then shrinking to 716 square feet on Deck 9 and 648 square feet on Deck 10.
The 569-square-foot Owner's Suites each feature marble entries, large bathrooms with tubs and two sinks, as well as living areas with tables and sofas. The balconies are 246 square feet each.
The Loft Suites are two-deck accommodations that have been lauded for their layout and criticized for their garish, multicolored design. Crown Loft Suites measure 540 square feet with 98-square-foot balconies and feature living spaces downstairs with pullout sofas and bathrooms, as well as master bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs, each with a shower large enough for two (his-and-hers shower heads), fog-free mirrors and limestone mosaic tile accents. Accessible versions of these suites are also available.
The Sky Loft Suites add some extra space. They clock in at 724 square feet with 376-square-foot dine-on balconies and extra showers in the downstairs bathrooms.
Moving up, you'll find the Grand Loft Suite, which sleeps four and has a private balcony with a Jacuzzi. The size is 972 square feet with a 163-square-foot balcony. The Owner's Loft Suite has the same amenities but is larger, at 1,250 square feet with a 172-square-foot balcony.
The Royal Loft Suite is the most opulent accommodation onboard. At 1,599 square feet with an 875-square-foot balcony, it's the size of a modest home. When you enter the cabin on the main level, you'll find a baby grand piano, a dining area with a dry bar for entertaining, a bath with a shower, a living room sofa that converts into a double bed, and a wraparound balcony with a dining area and private whirlpool. Upstairs, there's a master bedroom and a massive bathroom with a tub, shower, two sinks and a bidet.
The refit saw the building of two new one-level Royal Suites on either side of the Suite Lounge -- where the Pinnacle Lounge and Pinnacle Chapel used to be -- overlooking the main pool deck. Royal has pulled back from the garish colors that characterized the Loft Suites and replaced them with grownup slates, dark grays, browns and black marble in the bathrooms; there's also a distinct absence of shiny chrome.
While these suites are on one level (as opposed to the loft suites), Royal Caribbean has opted to give them a double-height ceiling. The suites are entered via a marble entranceway and have everything you would expect to find in a five-star hotel suite: huge dining/living room with L-shaped sofa, entertainment center with large flat-screen TV, wet bar, special refrigerator to keep wine cool, and a master bedroom with a vast king bed and a couple of chaise lounges in the corners. The bathroom is accessed via a flight of steps and is completely open -- no separate door. There is a standalone shower room, toilet and wardrobe.
Suite 1701 (on the port side) is bigger, at 1,250 square feet with a 172-square-foot balcony; Suite 1758 is 972 square feet with a 163-square-foot balcony.
Family: Allure also has several categories of family-friendly cabins, including insides (274 square feet), ocean-views (272 square feet) and balconies (290 square feet with 81-square-foot balconies). Each offers sleeping for up to six via two Pullman beds, a convertible sofa bed and two twins that can be turned into a queen. There are no tubs in the bathrooms. A number of these rooms also feature bunk beds, tucked away in what can't really be classified as a room. It's more of a space that's divided from the main room by a curtain and just has room for the bed. It's a neat arrangement -- ideal for smaller kids -- and adds a degree of privacy for adults. Book well ahead if you're looking to rope a family balcony.
The six Royal Family Suites, which get all the suite perks detailed above, are generously sized at 575 square feet. Each has two bedrooms and can accommodate up to eight people. Other features include a vanity with a chair in each bedroom, two Pullman beds, living area with double convertible sofa, marble entry, entertainment center and two bathrooms, including a master bathroom with a bathtub. The balcony is 246 square feet and comes with a table and chairs.