Meet the Oasis of the Seas that never was


When Royal Caribbean designs its cruise ships, they consider a lot of ideas and possibilities.  Any company that designs a product or service will go through many iterations or concepts before settling on the final design.

This week, we take a look at an early design for Royal Caribbean's Oasis class cruise ships that incorporates many concepts that never made it to the final cut.

Boston-based Wilson Butler Architects was a key creative force behind many of the features on what would become Oasis of the Seas. Wilson Butler has worked with Royal Caribbean since 1997, and responsible for the main theater designs for Royal Caribbean’s Voyager-class ships and theaters on its Radiance-class of ships, including the 900-seat Aurora Theater on the Radiance of the Seas, and the 915–seat Pacifica Theater on the Brilliance of the Seas.

A few years before Oasis of the Seas would debut, the firm had an idea for what was then referred to as Project Genesis.  It was an early design for the ship meant to introduce the neighborhood concept.

Design by Wilson Butler Architects

Wilson Butler proposed the design, which has a number of areas offering different attractions.  Some of these ideas would make the final cut (albeit in different forms), while others never made it.

"Studio Sea" and "The Midway" are two ideas that would be a part of the eventual final ship design.  Studio Sea would become the AquaTheater, while The Midway would be renamed The Boardwalk.  Interestingly, "The Midway" featured additional features not seen in the Boardwalk, such as a Lighthouse and Aquarium Light.

Arguably the most intriguing idea was "The Ocean Pass," which appears to have a blue whale at the top and a number of decks designed to look like an under the sea area.

The two areas of "Market Pier" and "The Coral Strand" are also interesting places, with each offering dining choices, separated by something called "The Coral Arch".

Design by Wilson Butler Architects

Another early design by Wilson Butler had an area known as "Great Blue Way," which sounds like a play on words for Broadway's nickname of The Great White Way. 

The design has two lounge ideas not seen on Oasis of the Seas today.  The Speak-Easy is likely what we now know as Jazz on Four, and Inferno sounds like a nightclub.

Which design element do you wish Royal Caribbean would put on a ship? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Five odd facts about Royal Caribbean that you might not have known


Royal Caribbean is a cruise line rich with stories and fun facts that have accumulated over the years.  As students of its history, we decided to share five interesting facts you might not have known about Royal Caribbean. 

1. Royal Caribbean owns a trademark on "of the Seas"

Royal Caribbean owns trademarks on quite a number of phrases and logos, but you might not have known that it owns the trademark on "of the Seas".

All of its cruise ships currently follow a naming pattern where the ship's name is followed by the phrase, "of the seas."  Oasis of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Majesty of the Seas, etc. Interestingly, Royal Caribbean registered in November 2014 the phrase, "of the Seas" to presumably guard against any other company trying to hone in on that pattern.

2. Royal Caribbean's headquarters looks like its logo

Royal Caribbean's corporate offices and headquarters are located in Miami, Florida, and if viewed from the sky, the building is actually designed to look like the Crown and Anchor logo.

The cruise line's headquarters is cleverly designed as a three dimensional version of its Crown and Anchor Logo.

3. Vision of the Seas was not the first Vision class ship

Usually, the first ship of its class is also the namesake of that class.  Oasis of the Seas is the first ship in the Oasis class, Freedom of the Seas is the first Freedom class ship and Quantum of the Seas is the first Quantum class ship.  The Vision class ships are actually, the opposite of that.

Vision of the Seas was the last Vision class ship built in its original grouping. Part of the reason is technically speaking, the Vision class consists of three pairs of sister ships and is not a "class" of ships like other Royal Caribbean groupings.

4. 3 ships have been cut in half

Did you know that three Royal Caribbean ships were actually cut in half at one point?  In an effort to add more options and activities onboard, Royal Caribbean cut three of its ships in half and then added a new section between, and welded them all together.

The three ships are

  • Song of Norway
  • Nordic Prince
  • Enchantment of the Seas

The practice fell out of favor, because it is quite an expensive process.

5. Enchantment of the Seas was supposed to get a "hinge" put onto the bow

Back in 2004, Royal Caribbean announced plans to have Enchantment of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas fitted with a hinged bow, like many European ferries have, to allow the ship to pass through the Panama Canal.

The plan was for Enchantment's bow to be hinged so it can fold up during Panama Canal transits.

Obviously this never happened, primarily because Royal Caribbean had no plans for Enchantment of the Seas to actually pass through the Panama Canal, and the hinge project was put on hold.

Song of Norway cruise ship sold for scrap metal


The Song of Norway, Royal Caribbean's first ever cruise ship, has been sold for scrap metal according to a report by Maritime Matters.


Song of Norway was retired from Royal Caribbean's fleet in 1996 when she was sold to AirTours but prior to that, she was the pride of Royal Caribbean's young fleet.  She was built in 1970 and revolutionized cruising, becoming one of the first ships to be widened.

The ship's owner, ISP, was using the ship for private charters in recent years bit was sold to the scrap yard, which will result in the ship being broken up in China sometime in 2014.

It's a sad day to see part of Royal Caribbean's history go.