Dispatch, Oasis of the Seas: Entertaining 6,000 cruisers

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Travel Weekly's Donna Tunney is on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, boarding the ship after its first visit to Falmouth, Jamaica. Her second dispatch follows. Click to read Donna's first dispatch.

Imagine trying to keep upward of 6,000 people entertained throughout the day and evening.

It hardly seems possible, but the entertainment staff on Oasis manages to do it with a long list of activities every day.

Live theater performances, movies, dance classes, art shows, volleyball competitions, karaoke and stand-up comedy acts are well organized and well attended.

Sometimes the passengers become the entertainment. The Men’s Belly Flop Contest, for example, drew a big crowd to the pool deck on a day at sea and lots of belly laughs from the participants and the onlookers.

This kind of lighthearted interaction enables passengers to make friends, talk about where they’re from and sometimes discover that the guy belly-flopping next to you hails from the same state that you do or even the same locality.

I’d been told that Splish Splash, an aquatic acrobatic show, was an absolute must-see so I hurried to the Aqua Theater one afternoon to check it out. It was standing room only when I arrived.

Aqua Theater is part of the ship’s Sports Zone. It’s a 735-seat amphitheater that in place of a stage has an 18-foot deep pool. Diving platforms, rising to 67 feet high, flank both ends of the pool.

The show began with a few comedy routines — clown characters "accidentally" falling into the water from the lower platforms, for example.

Then the divers came out. These are world class professionals, whose credentials show them to be national and world competition winners. In a few cases, there are Olympics connections. One diver was an alternate on the U.S. diving team in 2004.

From the midlevel platforms, these young people performed all the dives we see during the Olympics — double somersaults,three-quarter back flips, etc., and they did so with a precision that earned enthusiastic rounds of applause and cheers.

For the grand finale, two divers climbed to the top platforms and took their places opposite each other.

A moment later they dove together, beautifully synchronized. The crowd went wild.

Our next stop on the Oasis cruise is Cozumel, Mexico. Lots of passengers will disembark for excursions or to check out the town, but some of them are planning to stay put.

I happened upon a couple from New Hampshire who told me they’d already been to Cozumel a few years back, and that they weren’t all that impressed with the port calls on this cruise. But they booked it anyway because the vacation was all about the ship for them.

These folks, who booked their cruise through Priceline, didn’t even watch the diving performances. They couldn’t bring themselves to get out of the hot tub.

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