With Captain Hernan Zini at the helm, Allure of the Seas departs Turku today, starting the 13-day countdown to her U.S. debut into her homeport of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Thursday, Nov. 11. Allure of the Seas joins sister-ship Oasis of the Seas as the world's largest cruise ship. Fans and enthusiasts are invited to follow her trans-Atlantic crossing through daily onboard webisodes and updates posted on Chairman and CEO Richard Fain's "Chairman's Blog" at AllureoftheSeas.com and the "President's Blog" by President and CEO Adam Goldstein at RoyalCaribbean.com.
In Finland for the handover, Fain took time out from kicking the tires and checking under the hood to share some observations on the Chairman's Blog:
The official naming ceremony for the 225,282 gross registered tons, 5,400-passenger (double occupancy) Allure of the Seas will take place on Nov 28 during a one-night celebration to benefit the United Way chapters of Miami-Dade and Broward counties, among other charities. A special 4-night sailing on Dec 1 will call at the cruise line's private beach destination of Labadee, along the north coast of Haiti, and Allure of the Seas' inaugural 7-night Western Caribbean itinerary will depart on Dec 5, which launches her year-round alternating Western Caribbean and Eastern Caribbean 7-night itineraries.
"The most striking feature is just how complete the vessel is. At delivery, Oasis was largely complete, but there were significant areas where workers were scurrying about frantically trying to finish. This was especially apparent in the entertainment areas such as the main theatre, the AquaTheatre and the upper decks. In addition, although the hardware was ready, the crew was rushing to get all the soft codes in place: plates, silverware, towels, retails supplies, casino chips, etc. As a result, it still looked very much like a construction site with the same kind of frenetic activity and the same kind of cacophony of noises coming from all directions.
By contrast, Allure is calm and the ship pristine. Here, the crew was able to get access to their areas much earlier and have already gotten most of that stuff put away. As a result, there is a calmness onboard that one rarely sees at a ship delivery. At the same time, there is a strong undercurrent of not allowing ourselves to become complacent. Everything needs to be perfect and while it is almost so, it is not yet so. The net result is that our inspection felt like no other inspection I have done. Where normally, we would be discussing what details needed completing and what our plan for completing them would be, here we were simply observing how polished everything was and what operating activities would take it to a new level.
There is one exception to the unhurried and unharried pace. We decided to replace the donut shop with a fancy hot dog station called the Boardwalk Dog House. (Don’t worry, the donuts will still be available from a wagon nearby.) However, since it wasn’t part of the contract, we are building the Dog House ourselves and this work couldn’t start until the yard released the area to us. Finally we have something about which I am an expert and I will weigh in on this important epicurean delight."