Oasis of the Seas sailing from New Jersey in September is perhaps one of the most anticipated departures of a cruise ship in recent months. Last week, the ship arrived in New Jersey as the first Oasis-class and the most giant cruise ship ever to homeport in New Jersey.
Although her arrival was in the early morning hours when many were commuting or still in bed, Oasis of the Seas could be seen in all her glory Sunday evening as she set sail on her first test cruise. In pictures released by Royal Caribbean, the vast cruise ship can be seen sailing past the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline, giving a perspective on the immense size of the Oasis of the Seas.
Test Cruise And First Real Cruise From New Jersey
Oasis of the Seas set sail from New Jersey, sailing past the New York skyline and the Statue of Liberty Sunday evening. As seen in the photos, there is a perfect contrast between the dark skies and the lit-up ship, making it look like she belonged here all along.
Oasis’ test cruise is expected to take six days, in which she will sail south to A Perfect Day at CocoCay and back again. The CDC will verify if the ship complies with all the protocols and procedures the agency has set out during this time.
The test cruises have been implemented for cruise operators who would like to sail with vaccinated and unvaccinated guests. Cruise lines that do not want to sail with unvaccinated guests must comply with at least 95% vaccinated guests onboard.
However, from the start of September, Royal Caribbean will require all guests worldwide to be fully vaccinated. This is due to a protocol implemented by the Bahamian government, which mandates all cruise ship passengers are fully vaccinated and affects most Royal Caribbean ships.
Once the test cruise is done and the CDC awards the Conditional Sailing certificate, Oasis of the Seas will be sailing on her first actual cruise back in action on September 5. Sailing from Cape Liberty, New Jersey, the ship will be at sea for one day before calling in Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida.
Oasis will call at Perfect Day at CocoCay and Nassau in the Bahamas in the following two days before cruising back to Cape Liberty. From November onwards, Oasis will be relocating to Miami to start cruising the Caribbean.
A Long Time Coming
New Yorkers have been waiting for a long time to have Oasis of the Seas homeporting in their backyard finally. The ship was scheduled to start operations in New York in May of 2020, but these cruises had been canceled due to the pandemic, pushing the itinerary back almost 18 months.
Even this week the test cruise hit some stormy seas and was in threat of being postponed once again; however, tropical storm Henri stayed far enough away and made landfall, ensuring Oasis would not be affected at sea.
James van Fleet, the Chief Meteorologist at Royal Caribbean International:
“We will NOT be sailing in rough seas. Storm will be onshore and weakening, moving away as we head out and the Coastlines we will hug heading south are seas of 1-3 meters (3-9 feet) which for OA Class is not rough, or even close to it.”
Oasis of the Seas is a sight to be seen. The first-ever Oasis-class ship to be built, she shook the cruise world’s foundations when Royal Caribbean first revealed their plans for the ship under Project Genesis. The 226,838 gross tons ship set sail for the first time on December 5, 2009.
Although she is already 12 years old, after a massive refurbishment in 2019, the 5,606 guests onboard have virtually the same amenities as her youngest sister, the current record holder for the largest cruise ship in the world Symphony of the Seas, which set sail mid-August.
The time has come then for those on the East coast to start packing their bags, less than two weeks to go before Oasis of the Seas, the first of the mega cruise ships sets sail from the Big Apple.