World’s Largest Cruise Ship Sets Sail

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After three years of construction at a French shipyard, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) recently took delivery of its fourth Oasis-class cruise ship, “Symphony of the Seas.” The ship is now the largest cruise ship in the world.

In this case, the world’s largest cruise ship means 228,081 gross registered tons; 238 feet tall; and 1,188 feet long. There are 2,759 staterooms which would accommodate 5,518 customers at double occupancy. The ship’s crew numbers 2,200.

After a 5-night preview sailing to Naples and Rome, the ship’s maiden cruise departed Barcelona, its current home port, on Saturday for a 7-day tour of the Mediterranean coast. This fall the “Symphony” will travel to Miami, Florida, where it will make its permanent home.

The “Symphony” will be the first new Royal Caribbean Oasis-class ships to make its home port in Miami. The company will offer 7-night cruises of the eastern and western Caribbean beginning later this year.

The Orlando (Florida) Sentinel noted:

The Oasis-class vessels have each held the title of World’s Largest Cruise Ship, certified each in turn by Guinness World Records. Each one has been slightly larger than the last, with Oasis of the Seas first inheriting the title almost a decade ago when it debuted in 2009, followed by Allure of the Seas in 2010 and Harmony of the Seas in 2016. The [Symphony of the Seas] becomes the 25th in the Royal Caribbean fleet.

How do the massive Oasis-class ships rate? Here are pros and cons from CruiseCritic.com:

If you want the Royal Caribbean experience you’ve seen in TV commercials, the Oasis-class ships are for you. … Cruisers who don’t like Oasis-class ships say the vessels are too crowded and they spend most of their time planning their day rather than actually enjoying their day.

Read more of the CruiseCritic review.