Royal Caribbean announced today that it has reached an agreement to purchase a 4th Oasis Class vessel for delivery in 2018. According to the press release,

“The Oasis Class was a revolution in maritime design when it was launched in 2009. Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas continue to be in a class by themselves both in terms of guest satisfaction and financial returns. Today’s announcement is a reflection of their success,” said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “We are thrilled to announce the order of a fourth Oasis-class ship during the keel-laying milestone of the third. This announcement is also a testament to the men and women of STX France who have worked so hard and so cooperatively on Oasis III.”

Having spent 2 weeks on Allure of the Seas, I can vouch that these ships truly are in a class by themselves. They may not be for everyone, but my own experience was that this was the least crowded cruise ship I’ve sailed on, a minor miracle considering I was sailing with over 6,000 passengers. Seriously, these ships are marvels of engineering, and I don’t think I was exaggerating when I called Allure of the Seas “Shockingly Awesome” in my review.

Given the apparent financial success of these ships, which is touted on every quarterly earnings call, it is not surprising Royal Caribbean has decided to add a 4th Oasis Class ship to the fleet. Speaking from my own experience, there seemed to be far more opportunities to present your onboard charge card to pay for something extra on these ships than any other. It’s not unavoidable, by any means, but there is a lot going on from the Coach Store to upcharge eateries of every description. All that said, these ships are a destination of their own right, and that’s one reason we selected Allure of the Seas for our upcoming first trans-Atlantic cruise.

-MJ, May 9, 2014