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Cruising toward gigantism

Oasis Just when you thought the era of bigger-is-always-better was over, the Oasis of the Seas heads on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic to Florida.

This isn't just a really, really, really big cruise ship -- 40% larger than the previous title holder. It looks like my grandparents' Bronx apartment building perched on a barge and topped with a flying saucer. The $1.5-billion ship has entire neighborhoods, seven of them, and no wonder. With capacity for 6,300 passengers and more than 2,000 crew members, this isn't exactly the setting for an intimate cruise. By lowering its smokestacks, the 20-story-high ship was barely able to squeak under a Danish bridge on its way from Finland. And for those who yearn for the biggest and newest in travel, its home port will be Fort Lauderdale, with passenger cruises scheduled to begin in December.

So far, cabins are selling well, reports Royal Caribbean, owner of oasis of the Seas, even with the ship's  urban-development design and curious name. An oasis is a wet, lush part of the desert, and even though it has come to mean a refuge of any sort, I can't help the picture of passengers' feet sloshing in puddles of water on deck in the midst of the Caribbean.

Photo credit: Johnny Holmen / EPA

-- Karin Klein


Comments () | Archives (7)

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7,000 people, a vacation? uh uh.


Ships used to look graceful - check a photo for the Cunard Queen Mary (1936) for example. Today the corporate owners' desire to cram maximum volume atop a hull has led to these horrible slabs. They resemble Soviet-era housing blocks. And I would not trust something that visibly topheavy in storm conditions.


Ship-A-Hoy! This is one big ship. I would think they would take it out on a shake down cruise and see how it does in a hurricance. Maybe on the way to Ft. Laureldale they will encounter a hurricane. 20 stories seems top heavy.

Peter Close

Me thinks two weeks aboard the Staten Island Ferry would afford more privacy, relaxation, and pleasure. This behemoth is the antithesis of a proper cruise.


I mean what is the point of making a big one, if you can make a several small ones ??


If I want to go to Las Vegas, I drive up the 15. And if I get tired of LV, I can always drive out of town and see other things.

Why would I want to fly to Miami and then be stuck in a floating Vegas Ship with no way to go see Hoover Dam or a chicken ranch? Can I at least borrow a lifeboat and try Cuba for a couple of days? Jeez, what an idiocy.

And yes, it's uuuuugly. Yuck.

Carrot Cake Man

What a big, ugly tub.

I'm very happy for the owners of this vessel they're getting bookings, but don't look to find ME on board. Smaller vessels are much more pleasant. You get a chance to get to know some of the people on board. And I can just imagine the nightmare in embarking and disembarking that many passengers. What's more, I wonder about the seaworthiness of it. Maybe that's why they're moving it to Caribbean waters. I understand the ships there simply don't leave port if there's any bad weather. Yawn. A rough day at sea is a joy. A rough night means being rocked to sleep in the arms of Neptune. It seems to me a vessel like this "Oasis" would be a plasticized version of a voyage.



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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

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