Sneak Peek at The World's Largest Ship - Allure of the Seas
That's the word from the STX Europe shipyard in Turku, Finland, where the newest Royal Caribbean behemoth is under construction, and where AOL Travel News was invited for a tour.
For now, Allure is a 225,282-ton ship, 1,187 feet long and 208 feet wide, which actually makes it the same size as Oasis. But some Royal Caribbean officials are saying Allure is actually 5 millimeters longer than its nearly year-old sibling.
Even if the size difference is not great, Allure is without question a ship for the history books.
Like its sister it is so big it will have actual neighborhoods – a Boardwalk with a real carousel and high-diving show; a Central Park with thousands of real plants and trees; a Royal Promenade as wide as a highway, lined with shops and including a bar that rises three decks; an Entertainment zone that includes an ice skating rink; and more.
The 16-deck deck ship will have as many as 8,460 people onboard when you combine full-capacity passengers and crew, certainly enough to declare Allure a city at sea.
Press wore hard hats and steel-toed shoes for a tour, with wires hanging, the smell of varnish in the air, cardboard covering carpets and plastic wrap protecting furniture.
While it may not look like it in the photos, much of the construction is nearly complete and officials say they will have no problem getting the ship to Fort Lauderdale in time for its pre-inaugural festivities in November and official debut Dec. 1.
Of course, it's odd to look at a zipline without the wire, a mini golf course without the holes, a basketball court without the court, not to mention all sorts of spaces without furnishings, but we're assured all will be in place soon.
New features on Allure include Shrek and other DreamWorks characters, who will make appearances in parades and at character breakfasts and pose for photos with passengers. An ice show and diving show will feature familiar characters as well.
In addition, the ship has a 3-D movie screen and rights to run DreamWorks movies at the same time they are in theaters – Allure passengers can see them for free.
On the entertainment front, the ship will also feature a 90-minute version of the Broadway show "Chicago: The Musical" (two lesser-known songs were cut) as well as a new Royal Caribbean-produced show with acrobats and aerialists.
Three new culinary additions are a Brazilian steakhouse, where endless meat and seafood will be served on skewers by waiters dressed as gauchos; a Mexican cantina; and a hot dog bar with all the toppings.
Two new shopping venues are a Guess store and a Romero Britto Concept store – the pop artist was on hand at the shipyard revealing a limited edition work that will be sold on the ship, featuring the blue Royal Caribbean anchor logo against a bright yellow background.
Additional ship features are still to be announced, so stay tuned. But also expect on Allure a lot of what's already proven popular on Oasis.
"We know the concept works," Royal Caribbean President and CEO Adam Goldstein told press at the shipyard.
The Allure of the Seas will cruise from Fort Lauderdale, alternating weeklong eastern and western Caribbean itineraries.
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Top photo by Royal Caribbean, additional photos by Fran Golden
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