Cruise Ship or Village?
There was a lot of publicity last week about the largest cruise ship in the world, Oasis of the Seas, which begins its first cruise on Saturday. We thought that since there was so much publicity you wouldn’t want more from us but no, we were taken to task by some readers for not mentioning it.
The publicity by the media has concentrated on its huge size (225,282 tons, 16 passenger decks) and that it can carry up to 6,200 passengers plus 2,100 crew. By any standards this is big. I’ve lived in smaller villages. The response by writers has been to ask whether it is too big. Will it feel more like a resort rather than a ship? How will it handle the disembarking or embarking of all passengers? Won’t the queues be enormous? If the queues aren’t the interest is. Over a million people have watched different clips of it on YouTube. Supplements have been published about it. It has even been a news quip on the satire circuit in America.
So what can you read into the reports?
Only journalists, travel people and their families have sailed in the ship so far. They are in no way representative so treat what you have read with a pinch of salt. (Although one wrote that the walls between cabins/rooms was rather thin and she could hear everything!) The ship was only half full so it naturally seemed as though there was lots of space. Even then, some popular “food stations” (what a horrible expression) were turning people away. Ardent cruisers will no doubt make up much of the passengers on the maiden voyage so they will give a better view of things.
Royal Caribbean, who own the ship, must love all the publicity. And in a year’s time the sister ship, Allure of the Seas, will start sailing so they are probably hoping for more of the same.