Plain sailing for Oasis sea trials

//Plain sailing for Oasis sea trials

Royal Caribbean’s chairman Richard Fain is back from sea trials for his giant new cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas, and from the report posted on his blog, you would think the only disappointment was that fog denied him a good view of his baby as he flew in by helicopter.
There were just 350 workmen on board the ship, which will carry almost 8,000 passengers and crew when it enters service in December.
Preliminary speed tests showed that the 220,000-ton ship is comfortably able to surpass its planned cruising speed of 20.4 knots and is capable of travelling about 0.7 knots faster than design maximum.
Not only that, its eight 17,5000 horsepower engines consume less fuel than expected, according to Fain – and I assume that in calculating that, his engineers have taken into account the fact that the ship is nowhere near fully laden yet.
The biggest surprise apparently came with the tests to see how stable the ship was while making hard turns at high speed.
“Everyone was warned to hold on. We are also told to watch that equipment around us is properly tied down,” writes Fain.
“I remained on the bridge watching the instruments and waiting for the expected heeling. And then NOTHING happens. The instruments show we are making a hard starboard turn and my eyes confirm the bow has swung suddenly to the right. But there is very little sensation of movement.
“The ship handles the turn like a trooper and the navigation officers are overjoyed.”
So far, so good. There’s no mention, however, of the blimp, or “aerostat” which was tethered to the stern of the ship as it left the shipyard, but which had disappeared – thanks to a sheared cable – by the time the trials had finished.
I am not convinced that the balloon was ever a potential passenger attraction, as had been suggested, and my suspicious mind thinks that it might have been somehow monitoring the sea trials, or was simply placed there as a distraction.
Maybe Richard Fain will explain more in his next blog.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:42+00:00 18 June 2009|Cruise News|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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