Cruise Ship Innovations you won’t Believe
Michael W. Smith is no stranger to cruising. Over the past decade, his Michael W. Smith and Friends cruises have sailed Alaska and the Caribbean several times—Christian travel experiences he often identifies as “church on a boat.” The worship leader describes these events as incredible experiences that combine soaring music, inspiring speakers, abundant laughter and amazing fellowship—all taking place in spectacular destinations. “It’s like a big family vacation,” Smitty once said. A family vacation combined with an unforgettable week of worship on the water.
This July, Smitty’s ‘extended family vacation’ takes place on its largest and most technologically innovative ship yet: Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas. When this ship launched in 2010, it became the world’s largest cruise ship, setting a record for carrying more than 6,000 passengers over its 16 decks. The Oasis of the Seas offers so many onboard attractions that as many as 30% of its passengers never even leave the ship when it’s in port!
What keeps passengers onboard? Maybe it’s the ship’s neighborhood concept, dividing it into distinct, thematic areas like its Boardwalk, Central Park or Royal Promenade. Maybe it’s the 12,000 live plants and 56 trees within the open-air greenspace, the first living park at sea. Perhaps it’s the Coney Island-like Boardwalk, with a handcrafted carousel and two rock-climbing walls. Maybe it’s the sunshine and serenity of the two-story solarium, a retreat of hot tubs and loungers. For more adventurous cruisers, the appeal just might be the zipline, ice-skating rink, five swimming pools and two surf simulators. From high-end boutiques to a host of delicious restaurants there are so many things to see and do on the Oasis of the Seas a week seems hardly long enough.
This world-renowned megaship is no slouch when it comes to technology, either. A series of upgrades in 2014 improved the ship even more than when it launched. It now offers touchscreen digital wayfinders throughout its multitude of decks. Its interior staterooms are equipped with “Virtual Balconies,” digital real-time ocean views visible from the exterior of the ship—but displayed in high-definition color on an 80-inch television on the stateroom wall. Voom, the incredibly fast ship-wide Wi-Fi, is one of the most reliable at sea. The Vitality Spa & Fitness neighborhood features top-of-the-line treatments and exercise technology. And the ship’s 28 ultramodern loft suites are some of the best staterooms we’ve ever seen.
Fabulous Fun and Friends
If you’ve never experienced a getaway-with-God hosted by Michael W. Smith, you’re in for a treat on his Caribbean cruise this summer. Guests Laura Story, Mark Lowry, Oliver North and Pastor Jack Graham are planning a week filled with exhilarating worship, concerts and other unforgettable events.
But even veteran cruisers and Smitty fans are in for something special when they board the Oasis of the Seas. This will be the “church on a boat” they’ve come to know and love…but this isn’t just any old boat. This is one of the largest, most creative and most technologically advanced ships at sea—an engineering marvel you have to see to believe.