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Feeling Motion on Oasis Class Ships

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I was recently on Oasis and was amazed that I felt the ship moving more than I have on smaller ships.  One night we had effectively hurricane force winds, so I understand that, but even in much calmer weather, I noticed an almost continuous side-to-side motion.  I see a lot of comments that people are surprised by how much motion they feel on the Oasis-class ships.  Can anyone explain this, or is it that we expect to feel nothing at all? 

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All ships of any size can be influenced by sea conditions.  If you felt it more on this sailing, it isn't because you were on an Oasis class ship, but because that it how the ocean was behaving on this sailing.

There is a lot more to it than just wind or waves.  The two are not always coming from the same direction and the direction and speed of the ship relative to wind and the sea conditions are factors in the perception of motion and how it feels on board.

It's possible to have wind and following seas (wind and waves coming from behind the ship) but a distant storm in a completely different direction is producing a swell that originates hundreds of miles away and produces a sea condition that causes the entire sea to rise and fall slowly in an almost imperceptible manner.  I call that a slow roller because it's like a very slow and gentle rise and fall of the sea but covering a much larger area compared to a smaller wind driven waves that may be present.  

When the whole sea is rising and falling even the largest ships rise and fall with it.  They aren't massive waves that are high and obvious rather just a slow and spread out swell.  

If the ship was heading perfectly straight into this swell, the motion would be of a porpoising like action where the front and back rise and fall at different times (pitch).  When the ship is moving in a direction at an angle relative to this swell it can cause the front and back of the ship to move at different times causing the subtle side to side feeling (roll).  

Captain Rob recorded some videos played on the Symphony TV system during the transatlantic sailing this past fall.  He explained the sea factors that can create a feeling of motion in this video starting around the 7:30 mark into the video:

I shot this next video as a time lapse.  Even though there were no waves to speak of (the sea looks quite calm) there was a swell coming from the remnants of Hurricane Oscar hundreds of miles away to our North West.  When played back in real time the time lapse makes it much easier to see the swell of the sea.  When viewed live and in person the swell is nearly undetectable.

As Captain Rob explained you might have one swell coming from the North and a second swell coming from a different storm hundreds of miles away to the South.  These "slow rollers" can create a feeling of motion and depending on the angle relative to the ship heading, it can cause a pitching movement (front to back) or a rolling movement (side to side).  

Bottom line - you felt it more on this Oasis sailing because of the sea conditions that you just happened to sail under compared to other cruises.  Any ship big or small is influenced by sea swell.  



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I've been on Oasis class ships 6 times, eastern and western Caribbean cruises, I agree with @twangster , it has nothing to do with the ship, it has to do with the seas and the wind, the only time I have ever felt an O class move was when the ship was being hit broadside by a pretty good wind, even then it was hardly noticeable.

I just went through a bridge tour on Allure in January, I kept seeing these little deviations in course when I was watching the map on  the TV, so I asked the officer at the time what this was all about, he said they would deviate course to try and stay in smooth seas and the most sunshine as possible.


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Having only been on Oasis class (Harmony), I was surprised just how little movement there was compared to my first ever cruise on a ~70k ton displacement Carnival ship.  I remember getting off that ship and having to adjust to being back on land, whereas with Harmony I often felt I wasn't at sea.  That said, there were still times when you could detect the movement, probably (as noted above) just those situations you can't avoid.  Looking forward to comparing that experience to Allure later this year.

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@twangster Fabulous timelapse video, thanks for sharing.

When we sailed an eastern itinerary on Allure in June we never felt any movement. We then sailed another eastern itinerary on Oasis this past December and she was rocking side to side like crazy on night 6 as we made our way back to Port Canaveral. I am prone to sea and motion sickness, but surprisingly never had any issues. I was amazed how much Oasis rocked considering how huge she is. We were in the main theater and it was crazy how the drapes on the stage where swaying back and forth. Everyone around us in the theater was talking about how much movement there was. We all looked drunk trying to walk out at the end of the show.

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