Sunday, 21 November 2010

The World's Largest - Together!

We have just been on board Royal Caribbean's stunning new Allure of the Seas (the 'world's largest cruise ship,' being 5cm longer than sister vessel Oasis, last year's BIG cruise news), and the highlight (among very many) was a rare sea rendezvous of the two leviathans of the seas outside Port Everglades last night.

Captain Hernan Zini of the Allure positioned his ship - on a two-day travel trade preview cruise - a few miles out to sea off the south Florida port for Fort Lauderdale and waited for the line's other big ship, which was on her way out on her regular Saturday sailing to the Caribbean.

The two unmistakeable vessels then met up at almost 6.30pm as darkness fell, and each launched a small boat to offer a special commemorative gift to each other.

Passengers thronged the rails on both ships and lightbulbs flashed madly as most people tried to snap a memorable photo of the event. Finally, after nearly an hour in close proximity, the two ships went their separate ways.

It may also be a long time before they meet up again as the Allure will begin her regular 7-day Sunday cruises on December 1, so the two colossi will only cross paths as they go hither and thither on either eastern or western Caribbean routes in future.

We will have a LOT more to say about Allure - both here on Time Spent at Sea and in the Winter edition of World of Cruising magazine - in the near future, but suffice it to say for now she is easily an equal technological marvel to her sister but the addition of new entertainment options really marks her out as THE cruise ship to see in 2010/11.