The Allure of a billion-dollar baby

//The Allure of a billion-dollar baby

Cruise ships are more than just giant hunks of metal and glass. They have personalities. Some people even treat them like living, breathing beings.
Take Richard Fain, for example. The chairman of Royal Caribbean has just flown home to America after a visit to a Finnish shipyard to check up on his latest billion-dollar baby, Allure of the Seas.
From November the ship will share with its sister Oasis of the Seas – older by just a year – the title of biggest cruise ship in the world. Right now the finishing touches are being applied by hundreds of workers at the STX yard in Turku.
“I am supposed to be a cold, hard-nosed businessman; it says so in my job description,” writes Richard in his Chairman’s Blog. “But it is hard not to get emotional about this ship and the people who create and operate her (and yes, Allure is a she). Her grandeur and her beauty are simply wonderful to behold and I was excited to see her as she approaches completion.
“I came away, as I always do, invigorated and eagerly anticipating the day when Allure makes her entrance. Like a beautiful woman getting dressed for the ball, she will look even better with all her fine outfits and jewelry. But she already has a presence.”
Before the ship is handed over, hundreds of last-minute snags will be eliminated, ticked off a list by a team of inspectors which today stands at 115-strong but which is growing all the time. Their checklist is shrinking, however. When Oasis left the yard last year en route for Fort Lauderdale, there were still 6,000 items to resolve.
The target for October 28, when Allure leaves the yard? Work has been going so well that Richard is aiming for zero – leaving the workers and the inspectors time to concentrate on the perfect mojito instead of worrying about engines that won’t start, and drawers that stick.
I will be visiting the yard this week to see how close they are to that target and although Richard has left the building, I expect to be joined by Royal Caribbean president Adam Goldstein.
Check back for my report – and some exclusive pictures – later in the week.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:22+00:00 31 August 2010|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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