Central Park

What you need to know about neighborhood balcony staterooms on Royal Caribbean's Oasis class ships

In:
19Oct2016

Among the many impressive features on Royal Caribbean's Oasis class ships, are two neighborhoods that offer a lot to see and do, as well as incredible staterooms that look into these areas.

Central Park balcony and Boardwalk balcony staterooms are a compelling choice for anyone looking at stateroom choices on any Oasis class ship, and here is the important information to consider when booking these kinds of rooms.

What is a Central Park or Boardwalk balcony room?

These neighborhood facing balconies are a balcony category stateroom that offer a balcony that looks towards either Central Park or Boardwalk, instead of a balcony that overlooks the ocean.

The idea was a first in the cruise industry because prior to Oasis of the Seas, balconies had never been internally facing. 

The neighborhood balconies offer the same fresh air and light that ocean view balconies do, but with the opportunity to enjoy the ambiance of the Boardwalk or Central Park neighborhoods.  In addition, neighborhood view balcony staterooms tend to be slightly cheaper than ocean view balconies.

The exact size of a neighborhood view stateroom with balcony is 182 square feet with a 52 square foot balcony. Both types of rooms include twin beds that convert to a queen, a desk, sitting area (some with sofa bed), TV and minibar and a balcony with two chairs and small table.

Central Park balcony rooms are on Decks 10 through 14, and Boardwalk balcony rooms are on Decks 8 through 14.

Why might you not want to book a Central Park or Boardwalk balcony stateroom?

Other than what you can see from your balcony, the room experience between a neighborhood balcony and an ocean view balcony are pretty much the same. For some folks, a balcony without an ocean view is not desirable.

A common concern that we hear about is noise from the neighborhood impacting the guest experience. In our experiences, the ambient noise from Central Park or Boardwalk is negligible and does not bleed into the stateroom itself. Of course, if you desire the sound of the ocean with your balcony, that will be missing here. It is worth noting that Boardwalk balcony rooms can have more noise when there are shows occurring in the AquaTheater, but your stateroom location and noise tolerance will vary.

It is also worth noting in terms of privacy, there are neighborhood balcony rooms on the opposite side of the ship that will face your balcony.

What do neighborhood balcony rooms offer that ocean view rooms do not?

There are some inherent advantages to booking a neighborhood balcony room over an ocean view balcony room.  First and foremost, the price for neighborhood balcony rooms is often less expensive than ocean view balcony rooms.

In addition, Royal Caribbean is offering complimentary perks for neighborhood balcony staterooms on Oasis class ships. Beginning in November 2016, guests staying in Boardwalk or Central Park view balcony staterooms will be able to enjoy complimentary amenities such as free food, drinks and more.

Moreover, neighborhood balcony rooms allow guests staying in them to enjoy some great people watching opportunities and enjoy the general ambiance of the neighborhoods you can view.  Boardwalk view balcony rooms also have an added benefit of some offering full or partial views of the AquaTheater performances.

Differences between Central Park and Boardwalk rooms

As the name implies, the primary and most noticeable difference between Central Park and Balcony rooms, are the view.

Central Park view balcony rooms offer a view of the Central Park neighborhood below.  Central Park is 

Central Park is one of seven distinct "neighborhoods" that help break up an Oasis class ship.  It is an immense area in the middle of the ship that offers a lush park for guests to enjoy with tropical plants, trees and walkways. Central Park features a lush garden in an area about as long as the Royal Promenade and twice as wide.  Central Park rooms tend to have a bit less noise from the neighborhood because there are no shows in this area (there is live music in the evenings), and there tends to be less guests hanging out in the area.

The Boardwalk neighborhood is reminiscent of the whimsical seaside resorts that dot the coast of England and the nostalgic boardwalks of yesteryear such as Coney Island. There is a carousel, restaurants and the AquaTheater stage. Unlike Central Park balcony rooms, there is a partial view of the ocean when facing aft, and some rooms even offer views of the AquaTheater (the more aft your room is, the better the chance). Because of the shows and the fact the Boardwalk tends to have higher foot traffic than Central Park, it can be a bit noisier than Central Park.  

Summary

In the end, Royal Caribbean's neighborhood balcony appeal will depend on how you cruise. Do you like quiet time watching the sea, or enjoy arriving into port? Do you find the Central Park or Boardwalk neighborhoods particularly intriguing? 

When you consider the usual less expensive cost for neighborhood balcony rooms and the new perks for neighborhood balcony rooms, it is a particularly compelling option. In addition, many Boardwalk balcony rooms still offer a view of the ocean when looking to the aft of the ship.

While neighborhood balcony staterooms do not offer a full view of the ocean, having a balcony, regardless of view, is still what makes a great cruise experience.

Royal Caribbean Secrets: Tony the Gnome on Harmony of the Seas

In:
13Oct2016

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas is filled with a lot of fun activities, exciting shows and incredible dining choices.  The level of detail on this brand new ship is truly amazing, including one very small (and cute) bit of detail that is easy to overlook.

Hidden in the Central Park neighborhood, among the beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers, is Tony the Garden Gnome!


Photo by Tracey Van Leeuwen

Tony was donated by Matt and Samantha Alexander, and have been adopted by the ship's horticulturist, Tom Brownlee.

Guests can find Tony under a tree, opposite the Trellis Bar in the Central Park neighborhood.  While not as thrilling as the ship's water slides, Tony is a great example of a fun hidden gem onboard Harmony of the Seas that you can visit once onboard.

Video: Maintaining Central Park on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

In:
04Oct2016

A tropical garden on solid ground requires constant care and expertise – but a lush, exotic park spanning the decks of the world’s largest ship takes gardening to a whole new level. Meet the horticulturalists passionate about maintaining Harmony of the Seas’ Central Park, where over 12,000 plants create a sanctuary in the middle of the ocean. 

Royal Caribbean's Central Park: Everything you need to know

In:
Category: 
21Jan2016

When Royal Caribbean designed its Oasis class ships, they came up with the idea for a living park in the middle of the ship that has revolutionized what a cruise ship experience can offer to its guests.  Central Park, as it became known, is one of the prettiest and impressive areas on an Oasis class ship and we are shining the proverbial spotlight on this fabulous area.

Central Park is one of seven distinct "neighborhoods" that help break up an Oasis class ship.  It is an immense area in the middle of the ship that offers a lush park for guests to enjoy with tropical plants, trees and walkways.

At its heart, Central Park is a public area on the ship that offers restaurants, shopping, galleries and of course lots of nature.  It is the perfect quiet place onboard to "get away" and just relax as the world goes by.

Central Park features a lush garden in an area about as long as the Royal Promenade and twice as wide.

From towering Cuban laurel and Black Olive to clusters of calla lilies and rabbit foot ferns, the park’s collection of plants is a mix of coastal and highland sub-tropical species from around the world that is well suited to thrive on Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas' Caribbean itineraries.

A series of columns interlaced with vines is just one of the welcoming entry points into Central Park, and is elegantly landscaped with tropical foliage and seasonal flowers, shrubs and trees. Drifts of calla lilies among giant elephant ears, red ginger, rabbit foot ferns, banana croton, gold dust dracaena, and butterfly lily are some of the plant life guests discover. Impressive ‘green walls’ spanning 25 feet and five decks high hosts fern and a variety of flowering vines such as red and white Mandevilla, Clerodendron thomsaonaie, and Thumbergia grandiflora. The park also has changing displays of accent plants, such as birds of paradise and Spathoglottis ground orchids. Trees, some eventually reaching more than two-anda-half decks high, include cherry of the rio grande, podocarpus nagi, and amstel king ficus. 

In addition to the beauty of nature, you will find four distinct features of Central Park to enjoy.

Dining

Royal Caribbean offers some terrific dining options in Central Park, including restaurants and bars.

These include

  • Restaurants
  • Bars
    • Trellis Bar
    • Vintages
    • Rising Tide Bar

The various eateries and bars are located throughout Central Park, and give a feel of a neighborhood rather than the shopping plaza that the Royal Promenade tends to convey.

Most guests come to Central Park to enjoy food or drink, and for good reason.  The restaurants located in Central Park are among Royal Caribbean's most popular.

Staterooms

Another innovation that came with the Oasis class ships are the idea of having balcony staterooms that face inward instead of the ocean.

On Royal Caribbean's Oasis class ships, guests can enjoy balcony staterooms that face Central Park.  This promises views of Central Park anytime of day or night.

There are 254 Central Park-view balcony staterooms and 80 park-view windows staterooms.

These are some truly unique cabins that give those that love the ambiance of Central Park a view to enjoy throughout the day.  Guests can enjoy fresh air like a regular balcony stateroom, but with a view that combines nature's beauty with people watching.

Entertainment

Just like all areas of Royal Caribbean ships, Central Park offers things to see and do as well.

Events such as wine tastings, Dreamworks Character meets and live music are all regularly offered in Central Park.

In addition, a free tour of the foliage in Central Park is usually offered once per cruise with a landscape specialist to get a better understanding of how Royal Caribbean maintains a living park on a cruise ship.

Shopping

In addition to the great culinary and visual delights of Central Park, guests are sure to enjoy the various shopping options too.

Central Park also contains a number of shops and boutiques for guests to purchase souvenirs and luxury items while on their cruise (onboard credit does not spend itself, right?).

Shops such as Tiffany & Co (Oasis of the Seas only), Coach, Regalia (Allure of the Seas only) and Picture This are open for business in Central Park.

Central Park Must-Dos

There are definitely some aspects of the Central Park experience that every guests should check out at least once on their Royal Caribbean cruise.

Go there at night

While Central Park is beautiful at any time, we absolutely love how beautiful it is after the sun goes down.

At night, Royal Caribbean lights up Central Park with beautiful lighting that accentuate the beauty of the area.  Bring your camera, because the area really looks stunning.

Roast Beef sandwich from Park Cafe

Royal Caribbean's Oasis class ships offer  a lot of dining options, but a hidden gem has to be the roast beef sandwiches from Park Cafe.

These sandwiches are just amazing and no trip to Central Park is complete without one of these tasty (and complimentary) treats.

Take the tour

Royal Caribbean offers a guided tour of Central Park that is worth doing.

In our experience, it is usually held on the last sea day and lasts about an hour.

The tour offers an interesting look at what it takes to have keep all of those plants and trees be so beautiful.

Central Park is available on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas.

What do you enjoy about Central Park? Share your thoughts in our comments!

Everything about Royal Caribbean's Central Park View Balcony Staterooms

In:
Category: 
19Jul2014

One of the many innovations on the Oasis-class cruise ship are the Central Park view staterooms.  This stateroom category is available on all of Royal Caribbean's Oasis-class ships and we thought it would be useful to look at what this stateroom does (and does not) include and why you might want to consider booking it for your next cruise.

What is a Central Park View stateroom?

The Central Park view stateroom with balcony is a balcony category stateroom but instead of offering a balcony that overlooks the ocean, this stateroom category offers a view of the Central Park neighborhood.

The idea was a first in the cruise industry because prior to Oasis of the Seas, balconies had never been internally facing. 

The Central Park balconies offer the same fresh air and light that ocean view balconies do but with the opportunity to enjoy the ambiance of Central Park along with the people watching aspect.  In addition, Central Park view balcony staterooms are often slightly cheaper than ocean view balconies.

The exact size of a Central Park view stateroom with balcony is 182 square feet with a 50 square foot balcony.

What are the disadvantages of booking a Central Park View stateroom?

To some people, a balcony without an ocean view isn't a balcony so that may be an issue. In addition, overlooking Central Park can add some noise to your balcony experience.  We think the noise factor for Central Park balconies is not as high as their Boardwalk balcony brothers.

There's also less privacy with a Central Park balcony since there are other balcony staterooms on the opposite side of Central Park that face your balcony.

Summary

Central Park balcony staterooms offer the balcony experience for a slight discount and a great way to enjoy Royal Caribbean's magnificent Central Park neighborhood.

The opportunity to have a balcony experience but with a completely unique feel that is unmatched anywhere else is another Royal Caribbean benefit.  Staying in these staterooms gives you space and a different perspective.

While this balcony stateroom doesn't offer a view of the ocean, having a balcony, regardless of view, is still what makes a great cruise experience.

Photo of the Day: Central Park on Oasis of the Seas

In:
24Jul2012

Photo by Ambius

Where I want to be: Central Park

In:
03Jun2011

Photo By thejeffreywscott

Designer of Central Park on Oasis of the Seas wins award

In:
10Sep2010

Ambius, the group responsible for the plants decor in Central Park on Oasis of the seas, was "recognized for excellence in plantscaping sector" at the 18th annual PIA Interior Plantscape Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet at the CalScape Expo 2010 on September 2nd, 2010 at the San Diego Sheraton Hotel & Marina.

Amibus' Mark Hawry accepted four awards for his teams work on bringing the best of land to sea with the Central Park project for Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas ship.  Central Park showcases a revolutionary design that features a center of the ship that is open air and features lots of lush plant life.  

Central Park serves as a public area with pathways, seasonal flower gardens and canopy trees.  It provides cruisers with another and unique choice in outdoor space.  

Hawry accepted three Award of Excellence citations for Oasis of the Seas including oversight of the Exterior Garden, the installation of Central Park and the design and provisioning of the ships' silk replica and preserved foliage. Central Park on Oasis of the Seas also picked up the prestigious Judge's Award, which was awarded for the most outstanding overall project in 2010.