Titanic vs The Oasis Class

The RMS Titanic is of course one of the most famous ships ever built, for all the wrong reasons.

It is a well-known fact that she was the biggest ship of the time (1912), but not everybody realises that she would be considered small when compared to many of today’s cruise ships.

The first Oasis class ship, ‘Oasis of the Seas’ entered service in 2009. So the two ships were built almost hundred years apart. Titanic was a ‘Royal Mail’ steamer built for the transport passengers and mail between NY and the UK, before the era of long-haul flying. Oasis on the other hand is a  floating ‘pleasure resort’ designed to cruise the Caribbean. Apart from both being passenger ships, they are chalk and cheese, designed in different era’s, with different levels of technology, for very different purposes.

Titanic is of course British, being built in Belfast and Oasis is American, being built in Finland. The different methods of construction (Oasis has no rivets), in different eras, being built  for different purposes has influence the design, facilities  and even the décor, of each vessel. They are ‘almost’ beyond comparison, but nevertheless I will continue…

Little and Large (click to enlarge)

Size Comparison

Some ships are longer, some taller, some wider – all which makes any size comparison confusing. Therefore the standard way of comparing a ships size is gross tonnage (gt). This is not a measurement of weight, it is a measurement of internal volume (internal space) inside the ship.

Oasis beats the Titanic in every dimension:

the Titanic was 269m in length. She had nine decks, was around 46,000gt. She could carry a maximum 3547 passengers and crew, in both luxury accommodation and some very cramped/basic accommodation (called steerage, because the third class was deep in the ships hull, near the rudder mechanism).

In contrast, Royal Caribbean’s ‘Oasis of the Seas’, and her sisters were the world’s biggest ‘class’ of ship at around 360m in length. She has sixteen decks and at around 225,000 gt, which is nearly five times bigger than Titanic. Oasis can carry a maximum of around 8,500 passengers and crew.

It is interesting to note that although Oasis is almost five times bigger, she only carries around 2.5 times the number of passengers, that Titanic did. This make her more spacious than Titanic. Part of the reason is that Oasis does not have the cramped 3rd class accommodation, that Titanic did. (More about this later)

Oasis follows Titanic (Source unknown)

Speed Comparison

One statistic that both ships share is that they could both achieve a maximum speed of around 23 knots. This is quite modest. In Titanic’s case, I guess that’s was the maximum speed that coal powered steam boilers could deliver. In the case of Oasis, modern cruise ship are not generally built for high speeds, as it is not required for ‘cruising’.

Another interesting comparison is Cunard’s ‘Queen Mary 2’ (a modern day Ocean Liner). She can achieve around 30 knots, if required and she’s around three times bigger than the Titanic at 148,00 gt. However she is in part designed to cross the North Atlantic regularly and the extra speed can occasionally be used, to enable her to fulfil her schedule.

In fairness to the Titanic, propulsion systems have clearly advanced since 1912. Oasis of course does not use coal and steam, She uses a marine diesel fuel and does not require a big workforce of boiler coal ‘stokers’.

Cabin Comparisons and Class

Perhaps the most dramatic differences between Titanic and Oasis, apart from the sheer difference in size, is the quality of cabins and range of passenger facilities.


Modern balcony cabin (NCL)

Oasis has 2700+ passenger cabins for over 6,000 passengers. All her cabins have air-con, TV, en-suite sink, toilet and a shower or bath.  Thousands of these cabins also have private balconies.


Balcony cabins on a modern ship (HAL)

Oasis also has some very lager,  two floored and expensive Duplex ‘Loft’ suites on offer.


Oasis class ‘Loft Suite’

Oasis is of course a ‘one class ship’ with no ‘class’  segregation, as such. Most of the ships rooms are available to every passenger, whatever the fare paid or cabin grade.

In contrast, the Titanic was a three class ship with clear segregation between them.  She had three classes: first, Second and third (the latter nicknamed ‘Steerage’ because some were deep within the hull, near the steerage mechanism).

Although there were no private balconies onboard the original Titanic,  her two grandest first class ‘Parlour Suites’ had two separate bedroom and a dining room and a  private promenade – see below. These suits also came with a ‘inside’ servants room.  Bruce Ismay, Managing Director of the White Star Line, stayed in one of the Parlour Suites.


Titanic 1st Class Suite B52/54/56, with private promenade

Although Titanic’s  ‘regular’ first class cabins were ornately decorated and reasonably spacious. (See below).


Re-creation of titanic 1st Class Cabin

Her second class were more compact, with more basic in fixture and fittings. Private bathrooms were rare.

However  Titanic’s Steerage cabins were even more cramped and did not have private baths or toilets. In fact there were only two toilets and two baths for the up to 1,100 third class (steerage) passengers, one for men and one for women. However the lower classes regarded all this as luxury, compared to their normal lives.

Titanic 3rd Class (steerage) Cabin

Let’s not also forget that Oasis has the modern methods of communication on-board such as telephones, Wi-Fi  and Internet/E-main facilities.

The Titanic had a Marconi ‘Radio Room’. Her use of ‘Morse-Code’, via radio, was new state-of-the-art technology at the time.


A re-creation of Titanic’s radio Room

Entertainment/Leisure Facilities Comparison

There was very little formal entertainment on-board the Titanic, just an orchestra of eight men for the upper classes and a piano in the first class dining room. You will have seen in the James Cameron’s movie, that Jack and the steerage passengers had to make their own entertainment.

Of course modern cruise ships like ‘Oasis’ offers a whole host of activities and entertainment. In fact Oasis took the whole entertainment/leisure concept much further than any other ship. Her entertainment facilities including a very big ‘Theatre, with a big cast of performers/musicians, offering full-production ‘Broadway’ style shows, daily.

Oasis also has a unique ‘Aqua’ show, using a purpose built external pool with divers, acrobats, ariel performers and synchronised swimmers. Oasis is truly a ‘floating resort’. She event has an internal street, a Park (with real plants and trees) an Ice skating rink, rock climbing walls, a water-park, beauty therapy centre and a surf simulators with real water. Titanic’s designer, Thomas Andrews could only dream of such a floating city as Oasis.


A modern Gym (RCI)

However, one similarity was that both Titanic and Oasis featured a Gymnasiums, but you have probably guessed that Oasis’s Gym is so much bigger and more hi-tech. However Titanic’s was also top-notch in her day. It was equipped with state-of-the-art exercise equipment, including two electric camels, an electric horse, a rowing machine (see below), a punching bag, a weightlifting machine, and mechanical bicycles.

Gymnasium (Titanic)

Titanic had a pool (called the Swimming Bath) which was deep inside the hull with no natural light. Both the Gym and Bath’s were only available to the Titanic’s First Class passengers. It was filled with heated salt water. This small pool was part of the ‘Turkish Bath’ provision.

Titanic’s Swimming Bath

Oasis by comparison, has multiple pools and hot tubs on her upper deck (in the sunshine) and even an extensive children’s Aqua-park.


Oasis: Aqua-park (RCI)

Modern cruise ships also have extensive ‘Spa and Wellness’ facilities. In fact most megaship have very extensive facilities occupying thousands of square feet, with a multitude of treatments on offer.


Modern Spa (Canyon Ranch)

Titanic had a ‘Turkish Bath’ which will be recreated for Titanic II. However there will not be an extensive Spa and Wellness Centre, that  modern cruise passengers have come to expect.


Titanic II Turkish Bath (Blue Star Line)

Lifts (Elevator) Comparison

The Titanic had three electric elevators, for fist class passengers and one for second class passengers. (There were none for third class). They served her 9 decks, which was quite an innovation in her day. I’m very impressed that you even got a lift attendant in each and a chair to sit on during your ride.

Titanic lifts (Modern rendering)

Titanic has 41 (yes 41) lifts, serving her 16 decks, including some scenic glass one in the ships atrium (see below).

Oasis Atrium Scenic Lift (Courtesy Kone)

Propulsion Comparison

No one is any doubt that Titanic sank because she hit an iceberg. However the reason why has been a matter of much conjecture. She was clearly going too fast and the iceberg was spotted too late. However one theory suggests that her small rudder did not allow her to take evasive action in time.

Titanic: Rudder and Screw

Oasis does not have a rudder. Her engines (giant electric motors) are housed in four pods suspended below the ship, all of which can rotate 360 degrees making her highly manoeuvrable for a big ship. Maybe if the Titanic had pods, she may have easily outmanoeuvred the iceberg and not collided with it  – who knows?

Oasis: Azipods

The good news is that modern radar systems and ‘ice alert’ patrols help to prevent such an accident ever happening again.

Lifeboat Comparison

Of course Oasis has lifeboats, with a seat for every passenger and many extra seats too. Titanic only had 20 lifeboats which were not enough, so the sinking resulted in the deaths of 1,517 of the 2,223 people on board. Titanic was designed to have many more. However they were stored on the upper most deck (‘Boat deck’) and it was decided that the full compliment would clutter the deck making it less pleasant for the passengers. A very bad decision in hindsight!

Oasis’s lifeboats are much bigger, carry 327 passengers each, are fully enclosed to protect passengers from the elements and have engine power. In contrast, Titanic’s were open to the elements and had oars for rowing.

Titanic Lifeboats (passenger capacity 40-65, but few were full)


Oasis Lifeboat (372 passenger capacity)

Fare Comparisons

One final important difference is that some of the passengers on board the Titanic were rich, they had to be. The Titanic fares for her crossing in 1912 were:


(Courtesy National Museum Liverpool)

  • First Class (parlour suite) £870/$4,350 pp ($83,200 today)
  • First Class (berth) £30/$150 pp ($2975 today)
  • Second Class £12/$60 pp($1200 today)
  • Third Class (steerage) £3 to £8/$40 ($298 to $793 today)

In 1912 the Average American earned $300 per year.

The price for a 7 night ‘Oasis’ cruise of the Caribbean (summer 2020) is:

  • Inside Cabin: £795/$610pp
  • Balcony Cabin: £960/$735pp
  • Suite: £1330/$1325pp

Given the fact that modern wages are so much higher, Oasis’s fares are considerably cheaper than Titanic’s. Oasis is designed for the masses. Remember even Oasis’s cheapest/smallest cabins are very luxurious compared to that of the Titanic’s steerage class.

You can even have a cabin with a private balcony on-board Oasis, at a reasonable cost.

In Conclusion

Both ship were the biggest in their day. Even in 2020 (11 year after Oasis entered into service) the ‘Oasis’ class is still the biggest.

Both ships were state-of-the-art in their day.

However the Titanic must surely win on her ascetics, both inside and out. The Titanic used décor in her public room and cabins from 11 different period styles, including: Adam, Louis XIV, XV, and XVI, French Empire, Georgian, Jacobean and Italian Renaissance (don’t worry I do not know what they all are either). There was also a wide range of finely carved panelling, veneers, and marquetry made from exotic imported woods like Mahogany, Sycamore, Walnut, Oak and Satinwood used. Then there were many hand carved mouldings and ornaments, many of which were gilded. She also had the finest china, furniture, and high quality soft furnishings.  The list goes on and on…

In contrast, ‘Oasis’ is not exactly pretty externally. Although ‘Oasis’ is quite attractive internally, and probably pretty expensive, her décor is of course ‘contemporary’ resembling ‘Las Vegas’ in places, rather than a fine museum or art gallery. Modern cruise ships can’t even use natural woods these days, as they are a fire risk. Titanic’s beautiful oak ‘Grand Staircase’ would not meet current maritime fire regulations.

Oasis wins in terms of innovation, passenger comforts and range of facilities, but this is hardly surprising, as the designers and engineers have she had hundred years to develop these.

I will stop there. You should be the judge, in this ‘dubious’ competition.

Malcolm Oliver

Feel free to comment. Please message me!

Ship review – ‘Oasis of the Seas’


Titanic vs Icon of the Seas

124 Responses to “Titanic vs The Oasis Class”

  1. Malcolm Oliver Says:

    Thanks for the input, Leo’s Friend.

  2. Leo's Friend Says:

    I like that humans are creative and expand on what those before them have learned. I just eith their class, style, taste would enlarge as well — not to mention: concern for resources, commitment to fair labor policies, focus on quality natural materials instead of cheaper and environmentally impactful plastics, etc. I mean, would we really enjoy seeing those gaudy casino-like carpets spread out over 50 additional acres of deck?! Lol! Now, if it was a mix if nice, plush woolen carpet bordered by real marble flooring — I’ll take that long dance any evening across the Atlantic!

  3. Malcolm Oliver Says:

    Thanks for the comments Patricia. Yes, passengers used to just enjoy walking the prom deck, the sea and the air. Now many need gimmicks such as rock walls, even onboard roller coasters! Fortunately, there ate still are a few traditional style ships/cruises left.

  4. Patricia Says:

    Very interesting comparisons. I admit that I felt sad and ashamed, seeing what human people do today to enjoy life. Nothing natural, need for oversized, huge stuff such as floating cities -with pools!!-, etc. Humanity is a shame.

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