Oasis of the Seas -- now the world's largest cruise ship, some 40 percent larger than Southampton-based Independence of the Seas -- made its U.K. debut today during a brief technical stop in the Solent. Approximately 300 workers, who've been putting the finishing touches on the ship, were tendered ashore before the ship continues across the Atlantic to Fort Lauderdale.

As we reported last week, the folks at Royal Caribbean were a bit tight-lipped with the details (where the ship would stop, and when). We knew it would not be coming in alongside Southampton, and would offer only a tantalising glimpse from afar rather than the usual port-side fanfare -- but U.K. Editor Kelly Ranson hit the road anyway, with a hot tip and high hopes of catching a glimpse of the ship from the Lee-on-Solent area.

Not surprisingly, we weren't alone. Stationed in a car park opposite the Isle of Wight, we waited for Oasis of the Seas to glide into view just as night began to fall, and chatted with dozens of other folks (armed with binoculars, cameras and Thermoses full of tea!) braving the blustery winds -- and that's just at one of many viewing points along this stretch of waterfront. Locals, ship fanatics and those just passing by all made the stop to see just what the fuss was about.

Check out a few first impressions and new photos in our slideshow!

Cool Tool: Follow Oasis' Progress on Google Maps