Playing and relaxing on Odyssey of the Seas

On Royal Caribbean’s new Odyssey of the Seas, there is something for all ages. 

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More of everything is packed into Royal Caribbean’s new Odyssey of the Seas. Here’s what to expect.

There may not be any water slides, except for the very little guests in the kids splash park area, but the 14th deck contains two resort-style pools adorned with lively, Caribbean pastel colors. Guests can order drinks from The Lime and Coconut.

As found on other Quantum-class ships, the Odyssey has the North Star observation tower, a pod attached to a giant arm that takes guests 300 feet in the air and allows for magnificent 360-degree views. The North Star offered a panoramic view of Royal Caribbean private island CocoCay in its entirety. 

The SeaPlex area is a multi-use center that offers bumper cars, virtual reality games, ping pong, roller skating and basketball. The basketball court is the largest indoor activity space at sea, claims Royal Caribbean, which says the court is regulation size. Overlooking the SeaPlex is Playmakers Sportsbar & Arcade, which offers a plethora of sports on 60 televisions. 

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For those who want to relax, the Solarium is a glass-covered rooftop area that houses whirlpools and pools meant more for wading than swimming. There are countless lounge chairs and a nearby bar and bistro. The Solarium is open only for guests ages 16 and over.

The Odyssey has 25-plus dining and drinking options. Besides the mainstay buffet, food choices include everything from Italian to Mexican to Japanese and a steakhouse.  

Perhaps one of the more innovative features on the Odyssey is the Two70 theater, which incorporates six high-definition screens, each rotated by robotic arms that rotate in synch with airing video. The combined setup weighs about five tons. 

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Behind those screens is a 135-foot video screen that offers 270-degree views (Two70, get it?). The two-story screen, which is really the back windows of the ship draped with projector screening, vividly presents video via 18 projectors that fuse nearly seamlessly. 

When in sync, the combination of monitors and screens offers three-dimensional visuals with a contrast of depth and panorama. A highlight of the Two70 is “The Book: Seven Chapters, One Adventure” performance, which mashes song, performance and dance with innovative visuals. Performers rise from the floor via  platforms and descend from the ceiling through portals, coming and going throughout the performance.

Not be outdone, the Royal Theater presented “The Effectors,” Royal Caribbean’s version of Marvel’s superheroes. Based on four superheroes fighting evil, the performance wasn’t just for kids, offering elaborate choreography, powerful vocal performances and dynamic lighting before a flurry of lighted drones flew over the crowd.

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Back down to earth, the Music Hall, a two-level music venue, is reminiscent of a House of Blues venue. A rock band played classic-rock staples. At the Latin-themed Boleros, a quintet performed up-tempo jazz.

In the Royal Esplanade, where most of the stores are located, shopping leans toward the exclusive with a lot of high-end jewelry and watches. Few stores sold budget-minded gifts like shirts and caps. So if you feel your child is not quite ready for a TAG Heuer watch, you might find more variety at the CocoCay Island Market.

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