As we continue to blog live from New York, where Royal Caribbean is revealing a variety of details about the design of its new Oasis of the Seas, one of the most interesting bits about this ship stands to get lost in the general hubbub -- that's the itinerary that the ship will sail when it debuts in December 2009.
The big news? The first itinerary is no big surprise, including a melange of the usual Eastern Caribbean mega-ports. Through April 2010, the Ft. Lauderdale-based Oasis of the Seas will call at St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau. There will be three sea days on the week-long trip.
Beginning in May 2010, the ship, which will cruise year-round in the Caribbean, will add a seven-night Western Caribbean option also from Ft. Lauderdale; this will alternate with the Eastern Caribbean voyage. Ports include Labadee, Haiti (Royal Caribbean's private island-like destination and we're pleased to see the line's being honest about the location, which it typically dubs Hispaniola, for a change), Jamaica and Cozumel. There are three days at sea here, too.
Falmouth of course is the new port that Royal Caribbean is creating there in conjunction with Jamaican officials. Also, Royal Caribbean execs said today that the line will be building a dock at Labadee -- an important step for a ship this size (consider the logistics of tendering 5,000 to 6,000 passengers!).
Royal Caribbean is working with other islands in the Caribbean to develop similar dedicated port facilities that will be large enough to accommodate the 220,000-ton, 5,400-passenger ship. Antigua, as we reported in March, is one port that's vying for itinerary inclusion.
Allure of the Seas, a sister ship, will debut in summer 2010.
--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief
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June 18, 2008