Big, bigger, biggest at sea

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In a matter of days Oasis of the Seas, the biggest cruise ship in the world, will be handed over to Royal Caribbean by the STX yard in Finland which has built the giant vessel.
It will then cross the Atlantic for a spectacular inaugural celebration in Fort Lauderdale over Thanksgiving weekend, raising millions of dollars for the Make A Wish Foundation, a charity which makes dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses.
Crew for the ship have been flying into Turku by the planeload this week – 95 per cent of those joining Oasis are transferring from other ships in the RCI fleet – ready to cater for 5,400 passengers each week
And in Florida, dress rehearsals have been taking place for Come Fly With Me, one of two spectacular shows which will be performed each week in the ship’s Opal Theatre. Lisa Bauer, the company’s head of hotel operations, reported: “The combination of the singing, dancing, gymnastics, aerials, and specialty flying created one of the most complex and riveting shows we have ever assembled. I know we use the term ‘WOW’ very often, so I would say this was a double WOW.”
Here’s the full schedule for Oasis over the next few weeks:
October 28: Royal Caribbean formally takes delivery of the ship.
October 30: Oasis leaves the yard in Turku, where sister ship Allure of the Seas is still under construction.
November 3: The ship passes under the Great Belt Bridge, linking two Danish islands. The highest part of Oasis is 213 feet above water level, exactly the same as the bridge clearance. To avoid the ship being trapped for ever in the Baltic Sea, its funnels have been designed to retract .
November 11: Oasis arrives at its home port of Fort Lauderdale. Over the next two days, thousands of live plants and trees will be hoisted aboard to be planted in the ship’s Central Park The ship will then be introduced to the travel trade and media, including live TV broadcasts on Good Morning America. I shall be on board for a few days before the official naming ceremony on November 30.
December 5: The ships set off on her official maiden voyage to the Eastern Caribbean.
Meanwhile, in France, construction work continues on another giant ship, the Norwegian Epic, which will debut next June.
Unlike Oasis, the 4,200-berth Epic will visit the UK before setting off for America, and will be in Southampton from June 22 to 24.
Both ships will be full of innovations in entertainment and accommodation. They will both boast has two-level suites, and at the opposite end of the scale in size, Oasis has 254 cabins which have windows looking not out to sea but into Central Park while Epic has 128 studio cabins clustered around a two-storey living area.
The latest buzz is that these will have adjustable mood lighting – blue for calm, red for romance. Nowforgive me for a moment, but I thought that red light districts could be found near the docks, not on board ships.
As these cabins have windows facing into corridors, I hope there will be “Do Not Disturb” signs handy for those romantic moments. They should probably read “Don’t come knocking when the boat is rocking.”

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:36+00:00 21 October 2009|Cruise Ships|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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