|(11 a.m. EDT) -- Oasis of the Seas is steaming toward its November 30 christening and December 5 maiden voyage, but there are still a number of milestones left for the 225,282-ton, 5,400-passenger behemoth -- the largest ever cruise ship by some 50 percent. |
At the end of October, the ship will sail from the STX Europe shipyard in Turku, Finland, to its sunny Fort Lauderdale homeport. En route, Oasis will pass under the nearly 7,000-meter-long Storbaelt Bridge, or East Bridge, which connects the Danish islands of Zealand and Sprogo (combined with a second bridge, the West Bridge, it spans the Great Belt, a gap that literally dissects Denmark). The suspension bridge is the only real height limitation for Oasis between Turku and Fort Lauderdale, and so with the push of a button, funnels will retract, and the ship will slide through. (Click here for a photo of Independence of the Seas cruising under the bridge; no retraction needed there.)
Then, upon arrival in Fort Lauderdale, workers will add thousands of tropical plants -- including vines, trees and bamboo -- to Central Park, one of the ship's seven "neighborhoods."
Several weeks of preview cruises will lead up to the christening ceremony and "official" maiden voyage, a seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise. And there's still news to come: Royal Caribbean has yet to announce a godmother.
Note: Two of the boxes link to corresponding stories. Click on the November 12-13 milestone to learn more about Central Park; click on November 30 for more info on Make-A-Wish and the christening.
Fan Cruise Critic on Facebook!
Follow Cruise Critic on Twitter!