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Monday, November 16, 2009

Oasis of the Seas Now in Ft. Lauderdale

The world's largest cruise ship – Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas – rolled into Port Everglades Friday morning as thousands of people watched from shore. The giant ship blocked the view of portside buildings as it completed its transatlantic voyage to its new home port.

Escorted by fireboats billowing streams of water, the ship eased through the channel into the port shortly after 8 a.m.. Dozens of boats were there to greet it, and from the desk, people were waving to those who came out to welcome the new ship, while arrived 2 days overdue because of bad weather.

"While crossing the North Atlantic Ocean on its way to Port Everglades, Florida, Oasis of the Seas encountered strong winds and high seas," cruise ship officials said in a statement.

"The heavy weather meant no work on the outer decks and especially the AquaTheatre during most of the crossing," Richard Fain notes in his popular Chairman's Blog at the Royal Caribbean website. "And it took longer to do all the requisite work in the Opus Theatre than expected."

Fain says the line is confident it can make up for the delays and finish the entertainment areas in time for the ship's first cruises with paying passengers on Dec. 1.

Monday, November 02, 2009

World's Largest Cruise Ship Clears Crucial Obstacle

The Oasis of the Seas cleared a crucial obstacle Sunday, lowering its smokestacks to squeeze under a bridge in Denmark.

The Oasis of the Seas — which rises about 20 stories high — passed below the Great Belt Fixed Link with a slim margin as it left the Baltic Sea on its maiden voyage to Florida.

Bridge operators said that even after lowering its telescopic smokestacks the giant ship had less than a 2-foot gap.

Hundreds of people gathered on beaches at both ends of the bridge, waiting for hours to watch the brightly lit behemoth sail by shortly after midnight (7 p.m. EDT).

"It was fantastic to see it glide under the bridge. Boy, it was big," said Kurt Hal, 56.

It was built by STX Finland for Royal Caribbean International and left the shipyard in Finland on Friday. Officials hadn't expected any problems in passing the Great Belt bridge, but traffic was stopped for about 15 minutes as a precaution when the ship approached, Danish navy spokesman Joergen Brand said.

Aboard the Oasis of the Seas, project manager Toivo Ilvonen of STX Finland confirmed that the ship had passed under the bridge without any incidents.

It is due to make its U.S. debut on Nov. 20 at its home port, Port Everglades in Florida.