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 today’s cruise ships.

First let me say that the two ships were built almost 100 years apart (Oasis of The Seas entered service in 2009). Titanic was a multi-class ‘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 one-class 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 (built in Belfast) and Oasis American (but built in Finland).  The different methods of construction, different eras and different purposes of each vessel influences the construction, décor and on-board facilities and experience.  The two ships are almost beyond comparison.  Never the less I will continue….

Little and Large (Click to enlarge)

Some ships are longer, some taller, some wider which makes any 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 (space) on board a ship.

Oasis beats the Titanic in every dimension: the Titanic was around 46,000gt.  She could carry a maximum 3547 passengers and crew, in both luxury accommodation and 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 are the world’s biggest class of ship at around 225,000 gt, which is nearly five times bigger than Titanic. Oasis can carry a maximum of 8,461 passengers and crew.  In terms of length, the Titanic was 269m and Oasis is 360m. The Titanic had 9 decks, Oasis has 16.

One statistic that both ships share is that they could  both achieve a maximum speed of around 23 knots.  This is quite modest, but I guess that’s was the maximum  speed that the Titanic’s coal boilers could deliver and modern cruise ship are not built for high speed. It’s not required for cruising.   Another interesting comparison is Cunard’s ‘Queen Mary 2’ (a modern day Ocean Liner) can achieve around 30 knots, if required and she’s around three times bigger than the Titanic at 148,00 gt.  However, propulsion systems has clearly advanced since 1912. Oasis of course does not use coal and steam and does not require a big workforce of boiler  ‘stokers’.

Titanic: 3rd Class cabin (steerage)

Perhaps the most dramatic differences between Titanic and Oasis, apart from the sheer size difference, is that of creature comforts and passenger facilities. Oasis has 2700 passenger cabins, all with air-con, TV, en-suite sink, toilet and a shower. Oasis is of course a ‘one class ship’ with no segregation.  In contrast, the Titanic was a three class ship with clear segregation.  The majority of Titanic’s cabins were cramped and  did not have private baths or toilets. In fact there were only two baths for the 700 third class (steerage) passengers, one for men and one for women.

Let’s not forget that Oasis has the modern methods of communication on-board such as telephones and Internet/E-main facilities.  On board the Titanic even the use of Morse-code, via radio, was new technology at the time.

Oasis: Royal Loft Suite

There was very little formal entertainment on-board the Titanic, just an orchestra of eight men. You will have seen in the James Cameron’s movie, where the steerage passengers had to make their own entertainment.

Of course modern cruise ships like ‘Oasis’  offers a whole host of activities and entertainment, including a ‘Theatre’ offering ‘Broadway’ style shows and an ‘Aqua’ show with divers and synchronised swimmers.  Oasis takes the whole concept much further than any other ship and is truly a ‘floating resort’. She 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, to name some of her facilities. Titanic’s designer, Thomas Andrews could only dream of such a floating city as Oasis.

However, one similarity was that both Titanic and Oasis featured a Gymnasiums, but you probably guessed that Oasis’s is so much bigger and hi-tech.

Titanic’s Gym

Oasis: Aqua-park

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.

Oasis: Azipods

Modern radar systems and ‘ice alert’ patrols help to prevent such an accident ever happening again.  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.  Oasis’s lifeboats are all enclosed  and have engine power.  Titan’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)

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 were:

  • 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 current price (2017) for a 7 night ‘Oasis’ cruise of the Caribbean is:

  • Inside Cabin: £613/$794pp
  • Balcony Cabin: £1,616/$2093
  • Top Suite: £2772/$3590pp

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 reasonable cost,  there are hundreds!

However, the Titanic wins this competition with the quality and tastefulness of her internal décor for the first and second classes.  No expense was spared. Titanic had  much fine wooden panelling, hand carved mouldings and ornaments, many of which were gilded. She had the finest china, furniture, high quality soft furnishings, not forgetting the beautiful oak ‘grand Staircase’.  In contrast, although ‘Oasis’ is attractive internally, and probably pretty expensive, her décor resembles Las Vegas in places.

Malcolm Oliver

For in-depth Titanic II news/information see my dedicated Titanic II blog: HERE


115 Responses to “Titanic Vs The Oasis Class”

  1. Darby Says:

    Well, as an academic exercise this has been rather interesting. But it seems that the only direct comparison between the two ships pertains to gross tonnage and corresponding dimensions. Perhaps a more interesting comparison would be between Titanic (and its sisters and contemporaries) and today’s largest ocean liners (rather than cruise ships). People still take world cruises, but not in floating hotels; I don’t think a ship like the Oasis is designed to navigate deep and turbulent ocean waters.

    One other comparison worth making is between Titanic’s engineering and technical features and those of a large passenger liner today (or perhaps super-yacht?)

    And then there is the luxury argument. Despite the fictional characters in James Cameron’s Titanic, I think we can all agree that he pretty much got it right when it came to portraying the sheer opulence, elegance, and style aboard this most storied of ships. Is there anything on the water today than can compare? I’d love to read something about that.

  2. Malcolm Oliver Says:

    Thanks Sam, nicely put!

  3. Sam Lebowski Says:

    Apples and oranges. Titanic marketed itself on luxury – i.e. the “floating palace” idea. And even then, it was only the richest who could afford to travel first class (admittedly, second class and even third class on the Titanic wasn’t actually so bad compared to many other ships of the era however).

    It wasn’t even the most fastest ship of its day, but it was definitely the most luxurious. Getting from point A to point B in the most comfortable way possible was the main goal of the Titanic.

    No, the Titanic doesn’t have casinos or rock climbing walls or bowling alleys or ice skating rinks or 10 swimming pools but that is not the point.

    Today’s cruise ships market themselves as packaged holiday destinations where one can have fun and enjoy themselves. Think of it as “Vegas meets Disneyland”.

    How much fun could you have had on the Titanic? Well, not much. You had a single swimming pool, a library, and?

    Quite simply, there is no place in the market for a ship like the Titanic today. Some might feel saddened by this and perhaps long for the days of old when the walls were paneled with mahogany and brass, meals had ten courses, actual music was played by trained live orchestras instead of having the latest Miley Cyrus beats pumped out through speakers, and people wore frock coats and top hats instead of t-shirts and jeans.

    However, the world has moved on.

    The truth is that air travel has completely supplanted the need for ocean liners. Nobody is going to want to spend 10 days on a boat just for the “luxury”.

  4. Malcolm Oliver Says:

    Thanks for the comments Lucy.

  5. Malcolm Oliver Says:

    Wow..thanks! At least somebody like my efforts.

  6. White Eagle Says:

    Thank you for the time taken to compare both ships. I’m watching Titanic for hundredth times and was wondering how it compares to modern cruiseships, which I see everyday in local seaport. Amazing how world changes.

  7. Malcolm Oliver Says:

    Hi, yes you are very right. RCI roots are Norwegian although they offer an American style product.

    I actually love America and the America people in general – but both countries have some undesirables!

  8. Principe Raphael Says:

    Both ships cater(ed) to the American market. And RCI is a Scandinavian, not American owned company. You make a lot of condescending generalizations about America and its citizens. What have we done to your country???

  9. zootycoon346 Says:

    Robin has made an important point; for most passengers the Olympic class were a scheduled and reliable (apart from crashing into an iceberg, a battleship and a mine) service for getting from a to b at a competitive price. Oasis and her kind are floating holiday/shopping destinations. Different market, different era. I still maintain that the safety of Olympic/Titanic after flooding was probably better than the modern cruise liners as Costa Concordia has proved. Also the likelihood of an engine fire on a diesel ship is higher than on a steam reciprocating/ turbine ship though nobody would want to return to the near slavery of stokers shovelling coal into boilers! Olympic and the rest of them were converted to oil after WW1 for good economic reasons but what will replace oil which is massively polluting (climate change) and may become too expensive in the near future?

  10. BT Says:

    chinese government wants china to become a major player in cruise building industry,so they may support his plan

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