Oasis of the Seas

Royal Caribbean announces second Royal 5K race

In:
07Feb2012

Royal Caribbean is bringing back the Royal 5K race this year and will take place twice.  First,  the event will take place in Falmouth, Jamaica in April 2012 aboard the Allure of the Seas.  Next, in December 2012, Royal Caribbean will hold the Royal 5K in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, onboard Oasis of the Seas. 

These cruises that include the Royal 5K race will also offer passengers other activities including

  • Private meet-and-greet sessions with high-profile racing athletes
  • Seminars and lectures with high-profile athletes
  • Personal training tips from experts
  • Speed tests onboard the track on your ship
  • A chance to win prizes, including a grand prize trip to ESPN headquarters

The Royal 5K package price is $25.  

The first Royal 5K was held back in December 2010 in St. Maarten.

Five Royal Caribbean ships make best cruise ships for families list

In:
06Feb2012

The Today Show Travel listed their favorite cruise ships for families and five of Royal Caribbean's newest ships made the list.

First up is Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.  The sheer number of amenities are notes for fun things for kids.

The two largest ships at sea each have pretty much everything you need to entertain the kids: a sprawling H2O Zone water park, a pair of rock-climbing walls, a miniature golf course, two surfing simulators, a basketball court, an ice-skating rink, and a hand-carved wooden carousel.

The Freedom-Class ships were also mentioned, including Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas and Independence of the Seas.

Aside from a huge playroom and video arcade aboard the Freedom-class ships, kids can't enough of the H2O water park, rock-climbing wall, ice-skating rink, surfing simulator, mini golf course, and basketball court. Kids of all ages love the Ben & Jerry's ice-cream parlor and the Johnny Rockets diner on board for burgers, fries and milkshakes (both venues at an extra charge).

Royal Caribbean offers new specialty restaurant dining packages

In:
06Dec2011

Royal Caribbean is offering new dinner packages at its specialty restaurants to help trim the cost of dining on four of its most popular ships.

Offered on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas...

  • Central Park Dining Package
  • Chef's Dining Package
    • $120 per passenger
    • Dinner at
      • Five-course meal at Chef's Table (with wine pairing for each course)
      • 150 Central Park
      • Chops Grille
  • Choice Dining Package (Oasis of the Seas)
    • $50 per passenger
    • Dinner at
      • Chops Grille
      • Giovanni's Table
      • Choice of Izumi or Solarium Bistro
  • Choice Dining Package (Allure of the Seas)
    • $55 per passenger
    • Dinner at
      • Chops Grille
      • Giovanni's Table
      • Samba Grill

There is also a dining package on Radiance of the Seas that offers dinner at Chops Grille, Giovanni's Table, Izumi and Samba Grill for $70 per passenger.  There is also the Chef's Dining Package that offers the Chef's Table in addition to every extra-charge specialty restaurant onboard and will cost $120 per passenger.

Splendour of the Seas is offering a Chef's Dining Package for $105 per passenger and includes a meal at Chef's Table, Chops Grille and Izumi.

Norovirus strikes Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas

In:
28Nov2011

Over 50 passengers aboard Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas suffered from the effects of Norovirus on their cruise last week.  Royal Caribbean promptly sanitized the ship before another cruise could go forward.

Royal Caribbean reported 54 passengers and 10 crew members who became ill due to Norovirus on the cruise that finished on Saturday.

Oasis of the Seas was sanitized to help combat the spread of the illness and Oasis left port again on schedule to begin another seven-day cruise.

Royal Caribbean wins awards at Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards

In:
16Nov2011

Royal Caribbean has come away with two lucrative awards from the annual Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards.  The cruise giant was honored by being named the "Best cruise line for Families" for the fourth year in a row.

Cruise Critic commented on Royal Caribbean's dedication to families by describing them as, "With brand partnerships with companies like DreamWorks and Fisher Price, and an astonishing range of onboard activities, from rock-climbing to theater programs, Royal Caribbean offers a superb all-around family cruise experience. "

Royal Caribbean also took home another award after Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas were picked as "Best for Entertainment".  Both ships were picked for the sheer amount of "stuff" to do onboard, "It's not just the scope of entertainment options -- ice skating shows, 3D movies, musicals, jazz and comedy shows in stand-alone clubs -- that set the Oasis-class duo apart. The quality of choices, culled from the Broadway stage and DreamWorks character army, is second-to-none. And we can't forget the AquaTheater; the outdoor amphitheater, which hosts jaw-dropping Cirque-style shows, is the most breathtaking performance venue at sea."

Cruise Critic editors evaluated lines and ships in 25 categories by comparing like-for-like, taking into account the audience to which each line markets, in order to highlight the very best cruise lines and their particular strengths. The annual Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards complement the Cruisers' Choice Awards, which are announced in the spring and highlight the cruise ships which receive the highest ratings from reviews posted on Cruise Critic.

First look at 150 Central Park restaurant by Michael Schwartz

In:
01Nov2011

A weeks after Royal Caribbean announced that super-chef Michael Schwartz will be taking over the signature specialty restaurant aboard Oasis of the Seas, Schwartz's restaurant is open and we've got our first look at what's cooking.

The Miami NewTimes was able to sample the restaurant's canapes with chef Schwartz and 150 Central Park's chef de cuisine, Jamie Seyba.

Schwartz said the biggest challenge for him was not being able to cook over an open flame because of the cruise line regulations, "I'm a fire guy, so working without flame was really hard at first."

Video: Michael Schwartz's new menus at Oasis of the Seas' 150 Central Park restaurant

In:
26Oct2011

Oasis of the Seas is voted best cruise ship for the Travel and Tourism

In:
21Oct2011

Royal Caribbean is celebrating again and this time double dose. In the voting of the 2011 Best of Travel and Tourism, the Oasis of the Seas was voted by readers of the magazine as the best cruise ship.

Besides the choice of Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean also received the award given to the Splendour of the Seas, the Top of Mind award, which means recognition for a large number of awards received by the ship.

"We are very proud of the result," celebrates Ricardo Amaral, director of Royal Caribbean to Brazil, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Oasis of the Seas, opened in 2009 was voted by readers who have traveled this year and could check the structure offered by the ship. Already Splendour of the Seas received the Top of Mind award after being voted the best cruise ship for six times.  

Interview with Chef de Cuisine for 150 Central Park, Maureen Brandt

In:
06Oct2011

The Chef de Cuisine for 150 Central Park on Royal Caribbean's Allure and Oasis of the Seas, Maureen "Molly" Brandt, is going to be a contestant on the ninth season of Top Chef, which airs in November.  Molly sat down for an interview with eater.com to discuss her life as a chef on a cruise ship.

Coming from working in restaurant kitchens on land, what has been the biggest challenge you've encountered cooking on a cruise ship? What's the biggest relief?
Sure, I miss gas heat, but that's surmountable. The biggest challenge of cooking on a cruise ship isn't the cooking at all, it's the inventory. On land you can just call up your favorite purveyors and order something different for the next days menu and it will be delivered in the morning. Here you have to plan a month to a month and a half ahead to get different products onboard. First I have to identify the exact product I want, and then contact our purchasing agents who then source it through a distributor at the best possible price. Then it's entered in to our inventory management system, and contracted for the Miami market. Then it's ordered by our onboard team 2 weeks in advance of the receiving date. It's a process! The biggest relief in cooking on a cruise ship is that I know absolutely that the cooks for the restaurant are going to show up every single day. Unless they intend to swim ashore I suppose!

What comes first when you design menus?
I have a really cerebral method to designing my menus for the ship. My first step is to figure out the focus ingredient of each dish for the menus. After a little over a year at sea I pretty much know what the tastes are of the demographic onboard, and that helps to determine what that focus ingredient will be. After that I decide on a theme per dish, and I don't limit myself, it could be a color, season, place, a classic dish.... really anything. Then I pick a the primary cooking method for each featured ingredient. After that I set up a grid, and work out the puzzle to achieve a balance of color, flavor, texture, and cooking method per each dish and tie it in to my decided theme.

If you could whittle down the list to the essentials, what would be your advice to a new chef at sea? What would be five things for chef Schwartz and his chef de cuisine Jamie Seyba to keep in mind as they prepare to execute the new menu with your help?
1. Have patience with the inventory.
2. Wear your track shoes.... Sometimes it's quite a distance between point A & B on the world's largest cruise ship.
3. Accept all assistance that is offered.
4. Invest in an alarm clock for those early United States Public Health internal inspection mornings.
5. Enjoy life onboard. Remember that this isn't just a job, it's a lifestyle.

What's the favorite chef hangout on board?
Probably the most popular place to decompress after work is to head to the deck 6 crew bar, located directly underneath the helipad. Some pretty epic parties are hosted there.

When chefs eat on board what do they prefer (venue as well as dish)?
Well officially we eat most of our meals in the Garden Cafe, which is the crew buffet. However my favorite thing to eat for lunch is the Kummelweck sandwich at Park Cafe. It's roast beef at it's finest on a salty caraway seed roll with special mustard and horseradish. I probably eat 3-4 a week.

How often do you go off-ship and what's the first thing you want to do and/or eat?
I have a very unique contract that allows me to be off the ship for little pockets of time, and when I fly in to Miami my first stop is invariably Michael's Genuine Food & Drink.... No, seriously, it is! I crave his heirloom tomato and burrata salad, and crispy hominy. Other than that I try to get out to as many different restaurants as possible to see what other chefs are doing, as I'm so isolated on the ship. I also may get off the ship at ports of call, and typically I go for lunch and an icy cold adult beverage!

You are a second officer's rank. What does that role entail?
Actually I'm a 2 1/2 stripe officer, which I find pretty hilarious as a chef, but don't worry, no one is saluting. All it really means is that I'm in a managerial position running 150 Central Park from top to bottom. It also allows me some nice perks onboard and most importantly for me, the ability to go virtually anywhere on the ship.

What do you think of the menus chef Michael has developed? Are there any dishes that stand out in your mind and why?
I'm a big fan of Michael's food, and only wish that he had a restaurant on my permanent ship the Allure of the Seas! The biggest standout for me is his roasted Harris ranch short rib with Swank Farms watercress, cipollini onions, and romesco. It is a huge combination of flavors and textures, and the execution is spot on. I'll take two please!

Is there any product you are interested in working with based on what chef Schwartz is sourcing from South Florida farms?
After tasting the Pak Choi last night from Swank Farms I will definitely be finding a way to integrate it in to my winter menus. The flavor is so complex and vibrant, I could have eaten just a plate of that and been happy. 

Royal Caribbean premieres new menus by Award-Winning Chef Michael Schwartz Aboard Oasis of the Seas

In:
04Oct2011

Royal Caribbean has announced that Michael Schwartz will create new menus for the 150 Central Park restaurant aboard Oasis of the Seas.  Schwartz is the winner of the James Beard Award and will pick the menu for the signature restaurant.  Schwartz is best known for his commitment to sustainable and seasonal food at Miami's Michael's Genuine Food & Drink.

Michael Schwartz will be responsible for creating new dishes at 150 Central Park restaurant and will also pull some of his favorite recipes from his restaurants in Miami, Florida and Grand Cayman.  

Schwartz has hand picked his new Chef de Cuisine, James Seyba, to oversee the new menu's implementation and to engage with guests daily.  

Royal Caribbean's Vice President of Food and Beverage, Frank Weber, discussed the decision to bring Schwartz onboard, "Royal Caribbean continually looks to deliver the Royal Advantage to its guests through diverse and innovative dining concepts and the freshest possible ingredients.  By joining forces with chef Michael Schwartz at Oasis of the Seas' 150 Central Park, we are gaining a respected hometown partner who will help us to navigate and embrace the local agricultural community by hand-picking the most appropriate local small farms to supply ingredients for our premiere dining venue."

Chef Scwhartz is excited about the opportunity as well, "I am thrilled for the opportunity to collaborate with such an acclaimed global brand as Royal Caribbean and to work with them to further the important sustainable philosophies I care so much about. It is so exciting for me to bring some of my favorite farmers' local products onboard for the first time, adding to the already impressive food and beverage offerings available to guests on Oasis of the Seas."

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