Visit our travel agent friends at MEI Travel

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

21 Jan 2016
Matt Hochberg

An open-air park on a cruise ship might sound crazy, but it revolutionized the cruise industry when Royal Caribbean came up with the idea for a living park in the middle of its first Oasis Class ship.

Central Park

Central Park is now one of the prettiest and well-known areas on any Oasis Class ship.

Royal Caribbean's 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 live plants, trees and walkways.

The name is based on the well-known name from New York City, and it's in the middle of the deck in the same way Central Park is in the middle of Manhattan island.

Central Park on Royal Caribbean

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.

The Central Park neighborhood 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.

family walking in Central Park

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.

Icon of the Seas aerial render from the aft

Royal Caribbean is also adding Central Park to Icon of the Seas, which will be the first Icon Class ship and first non-Oasis Class ship to have Central Park. Icon of the Seas and Utopia of the Seas will debut next year.

Which Royal Caribbean ships have Central Park?

Aerial of Central Park

You can find Central Park on these Royal Caribbean cruise ships: 

  • Oasis of the Seas
  • Allure of the Seas
  • Harmony of the Seas
  • Symphony of the Seas
  • Wonder of the Seas
  • Utopia of the Seas
  • Icon of the Seas


Couple dining at Giovannis

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

The ambiance of the park is meant to evoke the sort of place you want to go for a romantic dinner, or just a meal out with a group of friends.

Park Cafe

Restaurants in the Central Park area include:

  • Specialty Restaurants
    • Chops Grille
    • 150 Central Park
    • Giovanni's Table/Giovanni's Italian Table
  • Complimentary Restaurants
    • Park Cafe
  • Bars
    • Trellis Bar
    • Vintages Wine Bar
    • 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.


Central Park balcony

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 choose from Central Park cabins that have a balcony facing into the 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 on the Oasis Class ships.

Central Park render on Icon of the Seas

On Icon of the Seas, there are 196 Infinite Central Park View Balcony cabins, 42 Central Park View Balcony cabins, and 45 Central Park View Interior rooms.

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.


Nighttime in Central Park

You can find live jazz music in Central Park during the evening hours.

Royal Caribbean converted the Jazz on 4 clubs into a casino space, and as a result, moved the live music up to Central Park.

There are evening performances near Park Cafe, similar to the sets that would have occurred in the former venue. The idea is to grab a glass of wine and enjoy the open air musical performances in the evening.

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.


Central park at night

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

Central Park sign

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

Central Park

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

Central Park benches

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!

Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost expert on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

Get our newsletter

Stay up-to-date with cruise news & advice

    We never share your information with third parties and will protect it in accordance with our Privacy Policy