- Double celebration at STX Finland's Turku Shipyard
- Holland America Line and Seabourn name My Nguyen Deputy Director of Interior Design
- Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines simplify dress code
- Viking Line reports steady interim loss as freight volumes fall, costs rise
- Cruise industry adopts Passenger Bill of Rights
Ports & Destinations
- St. Kitts to receive calls from Royal Caribbean's new Quantum of the Seas
- Port of Barcelona hits an annual record
- Athens prepares to host Posidonia Sea Tourism Conference
- Norwegian Breakaway makes maiden call to Bermuda
- Study demonstrates that BC cruise ports continue to be an economic hub in Canada
Products & services
- Trimline completes work on Pullmantur’s Monarch
- Wallem opens offices in South Africa
- Trimline and Carnival UK agree an on board interior maintenance service for five ships
- Wärtsilä Aquarius ballast water system received final approval
- Wallem opens first hub of expertise in Singapore as it looks to establish strategic maritime locations around the world
- Category: Cruise Busines Onboard
- Published on Thursday, 07 January 2010 01:28
- Written by Teijo Niemelä
When Royal Caribbean announced an order for the Oasis of the Seas in 2006, one question was: How can a ship embark and disembark more than 5,400 people without creating havoc for its passengers and crew?
To solve the problem, Royal Caribbean entered into a careful design process with the ship’s future base port and ports-of-call. The company had selected Florida’s Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale as the homeport for both its Oasis-class vessels. Port Everglades in turn invested approximately $75 million to expand Terminal 18 to 240,000 square feet – more than three times larger than it was 22 months prior to opening.
We had a chance to test the efficiency of the new facility on January 2, while embarking for our 7-night Eastern Caribbean sailing. This was a busy week: Lots of families were booked, which meant lots of luggage, too. We left our hotel, the Westin Diplomat, by taxicab at 12:15 and arrived at Port Everglades some 25 minutes later. The port was busy with several other ships that day, but the security check at the port gate was carried out in minutes.
The biggest bottleneck occurred while approaching Terminal 18. Despite new access roads with multiple lanes, it took about 15 minutes for our taxi to reach the passenger and baggage drop-off. Luggage was taken immediately from the trunk of our vehicle, and we set out to walk the short distance to security and check-in. Again, there were no huge lines. Inside the terminal, the check-in was organized by cabin deck and Crown & Anchor status (Royal Caribbean’s past-guest program). As Diamond members, we were able to advance a bit faster to the check-in counter.
After a few minutes, during which a staff member figured out how to register my green card, we were sent upstairs for embarkation. There are two specially made, glass-enclosed boarding bridges, and passengers arrive onboard to the Royal Promenade, where they are directed to the forward or aft elevator lobbies. We arrived in our cabin at 1:15 – about an hour after our departure from the hotel. Not bad, bearing in mind that the Oasis of the Seas carries about the same number of passengers as 15 fully-loaded Boeing 747-400s.
In ports-of-call, the Oasis has taken a new approach as well. The ship calls only at destinations where it can dock alongside. For example at our first stop, which was Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas, the Oasis uses the new Crown Bay facility, which has been dredged to accommodate both the Oasis class and Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2. Instead of clearing arriving passengers inside the ship, all security now takes place outside in a separate terminal building. Meanwhile, there are two wide gangways for passengers both forward and aft and escalators that facilitate passenger movement between decks 2 and 3.
In all, it was a very satisfactory experience.
- Category: Cruise Busines Onboard
- Published on Monday, 04 January 2010 14:13
During the first week of January 2010, Cruise Business Publisher Teijo Niemela is onboard Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas, sailing in the Eastern Caribbean from Port Everglades. Once more, we will take a closer look at the world’s largest cruise ship – but this time with revenue passengers. In addition to our shipboard review to be published in the March 2010 issue, watch this site all during the week for daily updates and pictures.
This special, in-depth coverage of the Oasis marks the debut of our new online department, Cruise Business Onboard, which will provide the latest postings whenever a core contributor to Cruise Business is sailing on any cruise ship. This will be the first step in providing a complete range of virtual ship reviews on our website.
Oasis of the Seas Coverage
- Crystal creates visual magic with water for the AquaTheater on the Oasis and Allure
- Allure of the Seas features 3D digital cinema engineered by FUNA
- Allure of the Seas sails with KONE people flow solutions
- Starbucks and Royal Caribbean to offer first ever Starbucks at sea on Allure of the Seas
- Autronica delivers extensive safety system to Allure of the Seas