Sunday, April 30, 2006

Some tub !


SOUTHAMPTON, England -- The world's largest cruise ship docked in England on Saturday ahead of its inaugural trip -- a floating behemoth four times the size of the Titanic, with facilities never imagined at the dawn of the liner age.

At 158,000 tons, the Freedom of the Seas offers a pool with artificial waves for surfers, an ice rink and cantilevered whirlpools that extend out from the sides of the ship, 112 feet above the sea.

The vessel, which will sail next Wednesday for New York before heading to its Miami base from where it will ply the Caribbean trade, wrested the crown as the world's biggest liner from the 151,000-tonne Queen Mary 2 launched over two years ago.

The ship can hold over 3,600 guests, is 15 decks high and is the length of 37 buses.

The gleaming white vessel edged into Southampton port, southern England on a sunny morning on Saturday and will be welcomed with a fireworks display in the evening.

The vessel will entertain guests including VIPs and travel journalists in Southampton before traveling to New York, where a naming ceremony will take place.

But Freedom's time at the top may be short-lived amid talk of even larger ships. A vessel code named Project Genesis is already set to make an appearance in 2009 at 220,000 tonnes.

The U.S.-Norwegian owners Royal Caribbean say Freedom of the Seas was designed to appeal to the broadest consumer base possible.

But although the industry appears committed to building ever-larger ships, there is disquiet among some operators that vessels are becoming too big and the market too crowded.

Earlier this month, the head of rival Carnival said it was shifting away from the dominant Caribbean market which has been weakened recently by hurricane fears and lower demand. Carnival said it would shift focus towards the Alaskan and European markets.

4 comments:

Debbie said...

Not sure I'd want to be on the "maiden" voyage as history has proven large tubs and NYC don't mix. But I'll sure be your Rose if you'll be my Jack. :)

dom said...

Debbie,you can Jack me anytime :)

yellowdog granny said...

would you two like to be alone??
damn..i need a cigarette...
wonder if anyone will fall over board and get lost like that guy on his honeymoon...plus we had a huge expose on one of the liners about the amt of booze given to guests to the point they had barf bags arranged every so many feet on stairs going back to the cabins from the bar...kids 14 were drunk and getting drunk...girls getting so drunk they just passed out on the floor and people were stepping over them.didnt look like a whole lot of fun to me...

dom said...

I was wondering,with something that big ,whether they have rickshaws to carry the lard-asses from their cabin to the restaurant.Or do they all roller-skate around ?