Oasis of the Seas

Photo of the Day: Central Park at night


Restaurant Review: Seafood Shack


Tucked away on the Boardwalk area of Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas is the Seafood Shack, one of nine specialty restaurants found aboard the world's largest cruise ship.  For those who need a seafood kick, this is your place to go.


The Seafood Shack is located in the Boardwalk area of the Oasis of the Seas and fits right in.  In fact, it probably is the best themed element to the Boardwalk motif, as it does feel like the sort of restaurant you would find along an ocean front boardwalk.  The restaurant is decorated with a lot of surf items, from surf boards to water buoys, it's all about the ocean here.  

In fact, the menu you get is designed to look like a kickboard and is made of a hard wood.  These little elements really help establish one of the better decorated restaurants found aboard Oasis of the Seas.

The Seafood Shack is an open air restaurant, meaning it's not air conditioned and subject to the outside temperature.  Eating here in the middle of July for lunch, it wasn't terrible as it's shaded from direct sunlight and there are fans overhead to keep the air moving.


Before we jump into the food, we need to discuss the ordering system here.  The Seafood Shack has a cover charge you must pay per person, similar to other specialty restaurants.  However, the Seafood Shack differs from the other specialty restaurants in that your cover charge does not allow you to order as much as you like.  Rather, you can order one appetizer, one entree and one dessert.  You can order extra food on top of that for an additional fee per item ($3.95).

At first, I thought this would be a problem as the staple of any restaurant on a cruise ship is ordering as much as you like.  Once I tried it out, I found there to be plenty of food between the three courses you are allowed and it should be more than enough food for most people, especially once you start sharing some food around the table.

The menu at the Seafood Shack features, yes, a lot of sea food.  From fish to crab to shrimp, there's a lot to choose from. I was actually surprised by the amount of non-seafood on the menu as well.  Lots of chicken, beef and pork can be found to choose from, which is good for picky eaters or those who aren't keen on just eating seafood for the entire meal.

Be sure to ask before you order your meal what the fresh catch of the day is.  The fresh catch routinely changes from day to day and if you enjoy fish, you know whatever is freshest is often the best choice.  On the day I ate here, a butter fish was fresh and I opted to give it a try.  But before we get there, let's start with the appetizers.

I had the New England clam chowder, which came in a large sourdough bread bowl.  The soup was good, but the bread bowl was better.  There's just something about the combo that really made it so good and I had to forcibly stop myself from eating the bread bowl because I didn't want to fill up on that before the rest of the food came.  My wife opted to have the cajun potato wedges, which were your typical good tasting large french fries.  In both cases, we found there to be an abundance of food and we barely dented my wife's potato wedges.

Most of the appetizers that aren't soups are served wrapped in faux newspaper to look like the sort of thing you might find in England.  I've only seen this previously with fish and chips, but other appetizers came in this fashion which seemed to give people a kick.

Back to the entrees, my butter fish arrived grilled along topped with a fruit salsa and served with mashed potato and some other veggies.  The fish itself was okay, but I found the salsa on top of it to be really tasty and combining the two really made it a good meal.    My wife opted to get the Bermuda onion burger (can you tell which of us likes seafood?) and found it to be an above average burger.  Not great, but better than the usual burger you find around.

By the time we got to dessert, we were both pretty stuffed.  My wife got the cookies and cream ice cream sundae while I just got a regular ice cream sundae.  The great thing about ice cream is it's nearly impossible to screw up so as you might imagine, it was quite good.

If you have kids (or adults who like to behave like kids), every so often there's a song and dance the staff do for the children.  Basically, they parade around the restaurant singing a song (yes, it's a sea shanty) and the kids that we saw seemed to really enjoy it, so be ready to jump into the parade should it occur.


The Seafood Shack is an interesting restaurant offering a wide enough selection of food to be able to cater to most taste pallets.  If you can, avoid this restaurant around times when there's something in the nearby Aqua Theater as it seems whenever a show or event ends there, there's a bee line made for the Seafood Shack and Johnny Rockets.  It's best to check out the Seafood Shack for lunch, as it seems to be the least crowded then.

Considering there is no cover charge for kids under the age of 13, if you have young kids, this may be a good option among the specialty restaurants to check out.


  • Lunch: $7.95 per guest fee
  • Dinner: $9.95 per guest fee
  • There is no cover fee for kids under the age of 13

Seafood Shack is open for lunch from 11:30am to 3:30pm and dinner from 5:30pm to 10:00pm

And I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve been here! What did you order? Any suggestions or favorite items? Let me know in the comments below!

A look at Oasis of the Seas' audio system


For the technophiles out there, a couple weeks ago we posted information about the lighting on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas and this week, there's more technical goodness, with a look at the audio system that powers Oasis of the Seas.  Royal Caribbean hired FUNA International to outfit Oasis of the Seas with a multitude of BSS Audio Soundweb London processing devices. 

Oasis of the Seas' audio system, covering everything from background music, acrobatic, musical and comedic entertainment, is handled by 29 Soundweb London BLU-800 and 21 BLU-120 devices, with BLU-10 programmable touch screen remotes for local control outfitted throughout the ship as well.

FUNA has a history of working with new cruise ships, as it's deployed its Soundweb London devices on the last four new cruise ships built out of its Turku, Finland manufacturing facility.

Senior Project Manager for FUNA International Derek Warner talked about the power of his systems, "As BSS Audio signal processors have continued to become more advanced in their ability to provide comprehensive system networking and control, we have been able to use them in more complex and larger applications. The Soundweb London platform provided us with a quality product, which was very user-friendly for our programmers. Collectively, we were able to pre-program and test our system prior to installation; a big help as our time for onsite programming can be very limited."

One of the more difficult tasks that Warner and his team had to tackle was the audio in the outdoor Aqua Theater, which suffers from ambient noise such as wind, engines, waves and thousands of excited guests.  His audio system overcomes those obstacles while providing guests the sound emanating from the stage is perfectly heard.

Restaurant Review: Izumi


Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas features a number of specialty restaurants that are available to book for an additional fee and Izumi is one of them.  Featuring a selection of Japanese food, today we take a closer look at this offering.



Izumi is a Japanese restaurant that features a lot of brown and orange with an Asian flare.  You will find a lot of bamboo and cherry blossoms adoring the interior of the restaurant.   Located on Deck 16 of Oasis of the Seas, Izumi partially overlooks the ocean as well as the sun deck and to a lesser degree the pool deck.  Only tables near the windows will allow for much of a view.  There is also a rather large sushi bar that encircles the chefs that prepare the sushi.  Seating here can vary in terms of something to see, as it can be difficult to see the chefs at work while sitting at the bar.


Upon entering the Izumi, you will check in and be seated.  There isn't much of a waiting area should you need to as the restaurant as a whole is rather small.  Once seated, the waiter will bring you a warm towel to refresh your face and hands.  This is a staple of any good Japanese restaurant and nice to see.


On my recent 7 night Oasis of the Seas cruise, I ate at Izumi every evening except one, so I like to think I got a good idea of the food here.  Izumi is a Japanese restaurant and has a few options beyond just sushi.  Sushi was the driving force that brought me here, but for those who aren't fans of raw fish, there's also some other interesting options.

To start with, Izumi currently features complimentary edamame (a preparation of baby soybeans in the pod boiled in water together salt, and served whole)  and miso soup.  Both were good and tasty and you can have as much of either as you choose.  You will also be offered a choice of various sparkling waters (this does cost extra).  Not being a fan of Peligrino or its similar counterparts, I passed on it.

Let's start with the sushi.  If you're looking for sushi on Oasis of the Seas, Izumi is your only option. Unlike other Royal Caribbean ships, there is no sushi offered in the Windjammer Cafe.  In addition to the set sushi menu, there's usually a special roll created each night by the chef.  I found the chef's roll to be the best sushi option each night, as they were routinely large portions, fresh and interesting combinations.

The sushi on the menu offered some good options, however, I found the options fairly limited compared to the various types of sushi rolls one can get at your local sushi restaurant at home.  That being said, there were still many more sushi options in Izumi than I've found in the Windjammer on previous cruises.  The sushi itself was fresh and most sushi rolls featured 6 to 8 pieces per roll.  Given the price of most sushi to be about $5 per roll, I found this to be a good value.

Beyond sushi, the most interesting item on the menu is the hot rock plate.  Basically, you get a heated stone the size of a small book along with uncooked meat (beef, chicken or shrimp) along with some vegetables.  You take the meat and veggies, stick them on the plate and they cook in front of you.  The first time we did it, we had the question of "When do I know when it's done?".  The waiter was very helpful in not only telling us, but helping us cook the first batch.  

This is definitely a fun dish to share, and kids are sure to really enjoy it and a good option for those not keen on really ethnic food.

In terms of pricing, I found Izumi to be mostly fair.  Entree dishes were good and there is no cover charge, the fee at Izumi is a la carte.  There were some items that I found to be rather unfairly priced, however.  I ordered a bottle of hot sake and that was $24 (there was no other option) and that special sushi roll of the day cost $10 (most other sushi rolls cost about $5 or $6).  It's always a good rule of thumb to ask how much something is when it isn't listed on the menu.


Overall I found Izumi to be a good option for fans of Japanese food, specifically sushi.  While Izumi features a few different dishes that aren't sushi, I feel their strongest suit is their sushi offerings.  I only wish they had a few more rolls to choose from, but given the price of their sushi, it's hard to go wrong.  

Izumi is open for dinner from 6:00pm to 9:30pm and for lunch at noon to 1:30pm.

And I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve been here! What did you order? Any suggestions or favorite items? Let me know in the comments below!

Photo of the Day: Oasis of the Seas in St. Thomas


Photo by Andre Harris

Video of the Day: Healthy entrees in the Solarium Bistro on Oasis of the Seas


Interview with DJ Big Phyll


Today we have the honor of talking to DJ Big Phyll, a Celebrity DJ for Royal Caribbean, who has recently been DJ'ing on Oasis of the Seas.  Big Phyll talks to us about his thoughts on where to have a great time on Oasis of the Seas, as well as sharing his favorite aspects of Royal Caribbean's newest ship.

Tell us about what your role is and has been on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship?
I am a Celebrity DJ for Royal Caribbean & Scratch Events.  I'm the headlining DJ for the featured parties aboard the cruises, as well as guest DJ appearances in the nightclubs.  I'll also play some sets on the Boardwalk, Promenade, & other areas.  I also teach DJ courses to teenagers on the cruises.
Of the places you DJ onboard the ship, what is the busiest/most popular time for dancers?
The most popular time is between midnight-3am.  There are so many activities, shows, great restaurants, & casinos on the ships, guests are well occupied until late night.  But they seem to enjoy finishing their nights at one of the featured parties, or the nightclub, having cocktails with other guests & dancing.  The nightclub stays open past 4am, and most nights it's crowded until the music ends. 
You DJ'ed on Oasis of the Seas recently. Talk to us about the dance and music venues you either worked at or saw.  Which ones stood out to you as great places to have some fun dancing or enjoying music?
The Oasis is an amazing ship, and it's wonderful that music is a major entertainment piece onboard.  There are great venues aboard for dancing, including Blaze Nightclub, The Royal Promenade during the 70's Party, Dazzles Nightclub during the 80's Flashback Party.  My favorite venue for parties is the Solarium.  Dancing under the Caribbean sky at night is an amazing feeling!  Two of the featured parties is on the Solarium deck, and there is always a great turnout.  The hot tubs & pools are open, so cruisers can choose to take a dip, dance, and relax.  
What story sticks out in your mind as the most memorable from being a DJ on a cruise?
There isn't any single event that sticks out in my mind because being on the Oasis for a month is a story in itself!  The most memorable aspects for me were the interactions with such a diverse group of people.  The staff was amazing!  They are genuinely nice people who will do whatever it takes to make their guests happy.  Interacting with the guests was wonderful.  I dined at the specialty restaurants nightly, usually alone, but I always seemed to have a dining companion.  Whether it was a sushi chef at Izumi, or a couple at the next table at Giovanni's, conversations were easy to strike up & enjoy.  When I would DJ for the guests, they danced & had fun, and were very appreciative of Royal Caribbean bringing me aboard to DJ for them.  They would thank me verbally, & with drinks sent to my booth!
Any suggestions for cruisers looking to have a great time onboard their ship if they enjoy music and dancing?
Be ready to have fun!  The dance parties are high-energy, and you'll find yourself dancing hours on end without realizing it...so wear comfortable shoes!
Let's get to know a little about you....
  • Favorite restaurant on Oasis of the Seas: 3-way tie between Giovanni's Table, Chops Grille, & Izumi.  I also love Vintages, which I enjoyed tapas & wine flights daily.
  • Preferred drinks on a cruise ship: Tiger's Blood - equal parts Courvoisier & port wine (introduced to me by a bartender at Blaze Nightclub); Italian wines;  Louis XIII de Remy Martin.  
  • Favorite port of call to visit:  Nassau, Bahamas.
  • Favorite track of the moment that you love to play when you're working:  "Shots" by LMFAO.

Be sure to check out DJ Big Phyll's podcast "Mixes for Music Lovers" and be sure to add him as a friend on Facebook.

Updates for Monarch of the Seas


Royal Caribbean detailed some of the new updates that have come to Monarch of the Seas in a report from the ship.  Royal Caribbean gave some TLC to its crew areas by adding an updated gym, new food stations and the crew outdoor deck areas.

Also of interest was the fact that Monarch of the Seas is the "number two ship in the fleet and her ratings are consistently improving and above target".  Legend of the Seas currently holds the number one position.

In addition there was a bit of trivia. Monarch of the Seas was a "test bed" for the Izumi restaurant that is currently on Oasis of the Seas and can still be found on here as a treat for those who love sushi.

Photo of the Day: Flowrider on Oasis of the Seas


Photo by Marchel Auguste

Looking at the lighting inside Oasis of the Seas Part Two


Last week we posted an article detailing the lighting that was installed on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, which gave a behind the scenes look at the inspiration and design of the interior lighting aboard Royal Caribbean's latest and greatest ship.  This week, part two of the article has been posted which explores the interior design of more of the ship.

Michael Riotto of Michael Riotto Design LLC was in charge of the lighting and for the nightclub "Dazzles", Riotto had an easier time than in other locations where the height of the room was an issue. Being three decks high, there's lots of room to work with.   Riotto used a selection of Elation Professional Impression LEDs above the riser, and some of his looks catch the steel beams and reflect off the glass, creating unique looks behind any band performing on the stage.

Over at the Comedy Live nightclub, Riotto built a scale mockup to demonstrate the different LED colors and intensities. “It ended up being a very collaborative process that turned out to be a very creative transition space from a public gathering space outside, to a colorful entertainment venue inside".