Allure just keeps on growing

//Allure just keeps on growing

Size really does matter, you know, especially in maritime matters. When Royal Caribbean showed off the almost-complete Allure of the Seas back in August, Captain Hernan Zini surprised a press conference by stating confidently that his new ship rightly held the undisputed title of “biggest cruise ship in the world” because it was 5 mm – about a fifth of an inch – longer than sister ship Oasis of the Seas.
That’s not much more than the thickness of a few coats of paint, or the head of a rivet, and it makes you wonder how accurately it is possible to measure a steel object that is (approximately) 1,181.1 feet (360 metres) long.
But now, with the ship en route from its construction yard in Finland to its home port at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Royal Caribbean president Adam Goldstein has announced that the difference in size is not 5 mm but 50 mm – that’s almost two whole inches.
As a proud – and macho – Argentinean, Captain Zini’s pride is swelling every minute. He is relying on measurements carried out by ship classification society Det Norske Veritas (DNV), but is considering bringing in scientists from NASA if anyone wants to challenge the claim.
Now it’s a long time since I passed my GCE O-level (GCSE to you) physics exam, but I can still remember being taught that metal objects expand with heat. And unless I am very much mistaken, the weather in the Caribbean – and hence the sea temperature – is rather warmer than the Finnish waters of the northern Baltic.
And I also seem to recall that Concorde, which was a mere 202 ft 4 in long, could grow by as much as 12 inches as a result of the heat generated by supersonic flight.
You can scale that up six times for the length of Allure, and reduce it a bit because even the hottest Caribbean day does not reach boiling point, but I reckon Allure will grow about a metre by the time it reaches Florida. Oasis is already there and has already grown.
On any given day from, the relative size of the two vessels will vary by a few centimetres depending on the temperature.
Capt Zini was good enough to acknowledge the scientific fact of my argument when I tackled him about it, and by way of a diversion, embarked on an explanation of how different-sized sheets of steel would provide varying amounts of plates for the construction of the ship depending on the way they were cut.
Irrelevant, I say, but a bit of fun nevertheless. Don’t you just wish that Royal Caribbean will park the two ships alongside each other so that they can have a quick “mine’s bigger than yours” contest?

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:18+00:00 2 November 2010|Cruise Gossip|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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