World's biggest cruise ship is a floating resort
By Jane Sutton
FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (Reuters) - Royal Caribbean's new Oasis of the Seas is the largest, widest, tallest, most expensive cruise ship afloat, a cornucopia of amusements aimed at quashing the notion that cruising is a sedentary vacation, said chief executive Richard Fain.
Then he donned swim trunks, jumped on a boogie board and challenged fellow executives to a contest in one of the Oasis' two FlowRider pools that simulate surfing.
"I've never been a believer in building it big just for size's sake. We build large because we've had so many ideas they simply don't fit in a smaller hull," Fain said.
The $1.4 billion Oasis of the Seas, the world's biggest cruise ship, enters service during the industry's worst year in decades but is so exuberantly excessive that Fain predicts it will be profitable from day one.
Oasis is a floating resort that eclipses the condo towers it sails past at its new home, Port Everglades in southeast Florida. The 225,282-gross-ton ship has 16 passenger decks and can carry 6,292 passengers plus 2,165 crew.
It has rock-climbing walls, a basketball court, an ice skating rink, a carousel with hand-carved wooden animals, a shopping promenade lined with cafes and bars, cantilevered whirlpools overlooking the sea and a Central Park with 12,000 live plants and trees.
An amphitheater surrounds a deep-diving pool on the stern, where high-divers and synchronized swimmers perform. Passengers can harness themselves onto the "zip line" and soar across the ship above an open-air atrium nine decks high and lined with balconied cabins. Continued...