The world’s biggest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, is docked in Fort Lauderdale at Port Everglades, arriving after 13 days crossing the Atlantic from Finland, where it was built.
The Allure is the twin to the Oasis of the Seas. The Oasis also calls Port Everglades is home. But according to its captain, the Allure is almost two inches bigger.READ MORE: Wong Leads Brewers To 7-3 Win Over The Marlins
Hundreds of eager onlookers are watching her arrival from John U. Lloyd State Park and she was welcomed by a flotilla of fireboats, private watercraft and other maritime escorts.
“It is awe inspiring it makes you think what people thought about the titanic,” said cruising fan Charles Bolick.
The megaship is four football fields long, has 16 passenger-decks and features a tree-lined park, Starbucks Café and 3D movie theatre among many of its onboard amenities. There’s also a Coney Island-style Boardwalk and a wide array of retail options including a Britto Gallery fashioned by South Florida pop artist Romero Britto.READ MORE: Varieties Of Starburst, Skittles & Life Savers Gummies Recalled
Like Oasis, Allure cost $1.5 billion to build. It can hold at least 6,300 passengers and 2,400 crew.
“You can take a cruise like this for low, money it is cheaper than other vacation you can do and yet everyone comes back happy,” said Richard Fein, Chairman of Royal International.
Allure will sail weekly from Port Everglades to the eastern and western Caribbean starting next month, alternating the same routes with Oasis. It will sail out Sundays and Oasis on Saturdays, because even the new $75 million terminal built at Port Everglades for the super-sized ships can’t hold both at the same time, according to Adam Goldstein, chief executive for cruise-line Royal Caribbean International.
Business from Allure and Oasis should help Fort Lauderdale surpass Miami as the world’s busiest cruise port by 2013, becoming the “cruise capital of the world,” Port Everglades Director Phil Allen told The Sun Sentinel.MORE NEWS: Rickenbacker Causeway Shut Down After Vehicle Hits & Kills 2 Cyclists
CBS4’s Jorge Estevez contributed to this report.