Oasis of the Seas might not be the newest ship at sea, but it's certainly one of the biggest. (Its sister ship, Allure of the Seas, is a mere handful of centimeters longer.) Its 18 decks offer room for more than 5,000 passengers and enough dining and entertainment venues -- spread among seven "neighborhoods" -- to keep them all busy. From a zip line, rock climbing walls and surf simulators to a carousel and real, live trees and shrubs, this behemoth vessel is innovative, captivating and, at times, overwhelming. Use these five Oasis of the Seas cruise tips to plan your time onboard.
Tip 1: Pace Yourself
Oasis of the Seas is massive, boasting seven neighborhoods: the Boardwalk, Central Park, the Pool Deck, the Royal Promenade, Entertainment Place, the Youth Zone and the Spa and Fitness area. You'll burn yourself out if you try to see them all and do everything in just a couple of sea days. Focus on those that interest you most. If you absolutely must see it all, be prepared to spend some time poking around the ship on port days, or book a cruise that's longer than a week.
Tip 2: Wear Sneakers to Zip-Line
If you're planning to try the onboard zip line, be sure to pack -- and wear -- a pair of sturdy shoes. If you show up to the platform wearing flip-flops, you'll be turned away and asked to change for safety reasons. (It would be a shame if falling footwear hit someone on the Boardwalk below.)
Tip 3: If You Want a Sea View, Don't Book a Central Park Balcony
Central Park balcony cabins face inward, which means you'll wake up to tree views rather than sea views and the recorded sounds of birds chirping instead of water splashing at the sides of the ship. These inward-facing staterooms line either side of Central Park -- one of Oasis' seven neighborhoods, which houses restaurants and real vegetation -- which means you'll also have views of balconies belonging to your fellow cruisers across the way. (These aren't the cabins to book if you're looking for privacy on your verandah.)
Tip 4: Don't Miss the Hot Dogs
Don't miss the Boardwalk Dog House located just to the left as you enter the ship's Boardwalk neighborhood. The hot dogs and sausages are free, and they include options like The Warsaw (2/3 pork and 1/3 beef in a caraway seed baguette) and The Big Apple (chicken and apples in a parmesan and cheddar baguette). Don't like any of those choices? Grab a Coney Island (all-beef kosher-style dog in a classic bun), and load up on your favorite toppings to create your own masterpiece.
Tip 5: Avoid the Rising Tide Bar
If you're short on time, steer clear of the Rising Tide bar on the Royal Promenade. This novelty bar, which levitates on hydraulics and travels between decks, is a fun concept, but ultimately it's overrated. It's particularly not worth the effort if there's a line. Instead, try Vintages, the wine bar in Central Park, which also serves delicious tapas for a small fee.