Royal Caribbean boss Richard Fain has an interesting problem to tackle as final preparations are being made for the maiden voyage of the biggest cruise ship in the world.
One of the many innovations on Oasis of the Seas is Central Park, an open-air leafy garden in the middle of the ship. Climatic conditions in Finland, where construction is nearing completion, are rather different from those in the Caribbean, where the ship will be sailing regularly from the end of November.
So it is not possible to plant up the park before the 5,400-passenger, 220,000-ton ship sets out across the Atlantic to her new home.
Instead, 12,000 individual plants of more than 90 different species are being made ready in planting modules at a landscaping company in Florida. When the ship arrives in Fort Lauderdale, gardeners will have just 48 hours to get the 2,100 units on board.
In order to complete the job they will have to call on one of the three biggest cranes in the United States to lift the units off the quayside, over the ship, and down into Central Park.
“Who knew that planting trees and bushes would be so complicated? ” says Fain, in his latest Chairman’s Blog entry.
You would have thought he’d be used to such problems by now. He is, after all, the man who agreed to put a real grass lawn on the top deck of Celebrity’s Solstice-class ships.
Oasis will be named in Fort Lauderdale on November 30, in a ceremony which will raise thousands of dollars for the Make A Wish Foundation. One generous benefactor will be able to spend the night in the ship’s palatial Presidential Suite for a donation of $10,000.