cruise bargains

4.15.2008
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editor's notes
by Paul Motter

Project Genesis Innovates Cruising

The new generation of mega-ships currently in the design and building stage by Royal Caribbean is called Project Genesis. The word usually implies the birth of something new and unusual. So true, in this case.

Royal Caribbean just unveiled a new aspect of the Genesis class of ship design. But before we reveal it, we have to tell that these three ships, the first set to debut in 2009, are already mind-boggling in their innovation. They will be 220,000 gross tons. That is 1/3 bigger than the current largest cruise ship in the world. They will carry 5400 passengers, will stretch 1,180 feet long, 154 feet wide and rise 213 feet above the waterline.

The cost to Royal Caribbean to build this ship is 900 Euros (for one ship), which today would equal almost $1.5 billion. That is double the price of the most expensive cruise ships built to date.

And now here is the design evolution Royal Caribbean just unveiled today. The top of the ship will be an open spanse called "Central Park," and it will be the size of a football field. It will be lined on the port and starboard side by six decks of balcony cabins looking down onto the public expanse below - the industry's first inward facing balcony cabins.

At either end of "Central Park" will be various public rooms including the "Rising Tide Bar" which will be constantly moving up and down a three-deck expanse between Central Park and other public areas on decks below. An array of restaurants will surround the spanse, including the al fresco Central Park Café, Giovanni's Table, an Italian restaurant; Vintages wine bar; and Royal Caribbean's signature Chops Grille steakhouse.

Central Park is located on Deck 8 of the ship, with dimensions of 62 feet (19 meters) wide and 328 feet (100 meters) long. The sophisticated neighborhood will include 334 staterooms overlooking the Park, 254 with balconies. It will be landscaped with tropical foliage, including seasonal flowers, shrubs and live trees, some trees eventually reaching more than two-and-a-half decks tall.

The Crystal Canopies, two impressive arched-glass domes, one with a bar, will be a focal point of Central Park and provide sunlight into the ship's inner public spaces.

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