After a much followed trans-Atlantic crossing, the largest ship ever built, The Oasis of the Seas, made her way to her new, custom-made berth in Port Everglades, Florida on Friday November 13, 2009. There were fireboats on hand with their water cannons blasting and local boaters waving flags welcoming the ship to her new home.
The Oasis of the Seas is enormous. I saw a comparison that said you could fit two US Capitol Buildings in this one ship. At 225,000 tons, 1,181 feet in length, 30 foot draft,carrying a maximum of 6,296 passengers and 2,165 crew it’s hard to believe she floats. But not only does she float, thanks to her azipod system (good luck with that!) she scoots along at 22 knots! Right now she is intended to stay year round in the Caribbean with seven day sailing between Florida and Eastern and Western Caribbean ports, Cozumel being one of them. Though Cozumel has grown over the years and now has a population of 74,000 people on the island, I can’t image what it will be like with 10,000 people being disgorged from this one ship alone. How many people can you squeeze into Carlos ‘n Charlie’s?
I admit I am curious to see her. It reminds me of when Boeing did the first test flight of the 747 over downtown Seattle. I, like many people, stood in the street looking up at the sky with my mouth agape; I could not believe anything that big could fly! It will be interesting to see what the Oasis of the Seas looks like underway. I’ll get my chance to check her out in a few weeks when the Voyager returns back to Ft. Lauderdale - hopefully she will be in port that day. In the meantime, I know of many people who have already booked a cruise on the Oasis just for the heck of it. It will be interesting to hear the comments.
I have looked at all the videos and photos of the restaurants, bars, theaters, zip lines, you name it - they seem to have it. Personally, I am not impressed with the open atrium Central Park concept - it reminds me of a huge Courtyard Suites hotel; you know the kind where everything echoes and you can hear kids screaming ten floors below you in the lobby? Isn’t the aft end of this atrium open? What about weather? What about upkeep? We’ll see how effective that layout is on a ship.
From the press releases I’ve read, the ship is the destination. With all the dining and recreation venues that makes sense. But if the ship is the destination, as a friend of
mine asked, why leave and waste fuel? Other than entering international waters to allow the casino to open, that is a good question. It may be that after the novelty wears off
these monster ships will not be welcome in some ports. What then? Lots of questions being created as we eagerly await the ship’s official launch, November 30th - remember this
one night cruise benefits the Make-a-Wish foundation.