Spending your vacation on a luxury cruise ship is a class of its own. Traveling by plane may be tiring and entails countless hours of spending time at the airport or pressed tightly into uncomfortable plane seats. This may be worsened further if you are traveling with kids, or if there are flight delays, or if your luggage gets lost. A road trip, on the other hand, means constant pit stops for washroom breaks and meals, not to mention the threat of traffic or a car breakdown ruining your schedule and vacation.
In a cruise ship, vacation starts the minute you leave the port. A luxury cruise ship will have all the things you need, from fine dining to sports facilities to comfortable rooms. And what better way to spend it than on a cruise ship that has everything, if only for the fact that its massive size means there is space for practically anything you can think of. We are talking about the largest cruise ship in the world, the Allure of the Seas, operated by the Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited.
The Company Behind the Largest Cruise Ship in the World
The Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited is an American and Norwegian company that operates the Royal Caribbean International brand out of Miami in Florida. It controls 17 percent of the entire cruise market in the world. All the 22 ships operating under the Royal Caribbean International brand have a name that ends with “of the seas.” Thus, it has ships named Freedom of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Majesty of the Seas, etc. The ships divided into different classes, like the Freedom Class, Voyager Class, Radiance Class, Vision Class and Sovereign Class. But the most luxurious class of them all is the Oasis Class.
The Oasis Class of Royal Caribbean International
It was initially known as Project Genesis, but it has since evolved into the Oasis class that boasts of the largest passenger ships in the world. Two ships make up this class, namely the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas, which is the largest cruise ship in the world.
The two ships are actually identical in practically all measurements and dimensions. The first ship was ordered in 2006 for $1.24 billion from the Aker Finnyards of Finland. STX Europe later bought Aker Finnyards. The second ship was ordered in 2007. Construction started in 2008 at the company’s Perno shipyard located in Turku. A contest was held in the middle of that year to determine the name of the two ships.
The first ship, later named Oasis of the Seas, was delivered in 28 October 2009. Its nearly identical sister ship, the Allure of the Seas, was completed a year later and delivered in November 2010 in Florida. The maiden voyage from Florida started in December of that same year.
Identical but Slightly Different
The Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas are nearly identical to each other. Consider the following characteristics that both ships share:
- Gross Tonnage – 225,282 GT
- Beam – 213 feet
- Number of Staterooms – 2,706
- DBL Capacity – 5,412
- Max Capacity – 6,400
- Displacement – 100,000 metric tons
- Steel hull – 54,000 tons
All the above listed measurements and dimensions are exactly the same, with the displacement of both ships weighing just slightly less than a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier of the United States. The difference, however, lies in the length of the ship. While the original design called for a length measuring 1,181 feet, the final measurement slightly differed as a result of the temperature of the steel during the time of building. When the ships were finally delivered in Florida and measured, the Oasis of the Seas had a length of 1,187 feet, while the Allure of the Seas measured 2 inches longer. That mere 2-inch difference, or 50 millimeters for those using the metric system, was enough to crown the Allure of the Seas as the largest cruise ship in the world.
The Allure of Allure of the Seas
The Allure of the Seas will pamper you with a vacation during the journey. Passengers can enjoy the following activities and amenities while aboard:
- Casino, with 27 tables and 456 slot machines spread out over an area measuring 18,000 square feet
- Casual dining and cafes, courtesy of Johnny Rockets, Starbucks and Cupcake Cupboard
- Entertainment parks, through the DreamWorks experience where you can meet characters from Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, Shrek and other DreamWorks productions
- Fine dining, from a variety of specialty restaurants, including a New York-themed restaurant, a grillhouse, an Italian restaurant, a Brazilian steakhouse and a Japanese restaurant.
- Fitness center, featuring state of the art gym equipment and classes in yoga and tai chi
- Ice skating
- Inline skating
- Live entertainment, including ice shows and shows at the Aqua Theater
- Mini golf
- Movies, featuring a 3-D cinema
- Nursery, specially designed for babies and tots featuring activities sponsored by Fisher Price
- Rock climbing, using two walls measuring 43 feet each
- Shopping, duty free, including branded stores like Coach and Guess
- Spa, with different extensive treatment options available
- Surfing, using simulators from FlowRider
- Swimming, with four pools located around the ship
- Table tennis
- Theater, featuring the Broadway hit Chicago
- Themed parties, namely Rita’s Fiesta in Rita’s Cantina and the Prohibition Party at the Jazz on 4 lounge, both of which you can attend by reservation
- Water park
- Whirlpools, with ten of them all over the ship, including two overlooking the ocean
- Zip line, measuring 82 feet across while suspended at a height equivalent to nine decks
In addition, you can enjoy excursions at every shore where the cruise ship makes a port stop. This is, in case, the amenities and activities that you can do aboard the largest cruise ship in the world are still not enough for you.