Allure of the Seas
Top deck view of the Allure of the SeasThis time, my adventures have taken me down another unexpected route. I have had the honor of being rehearsal pianist for the musical 'Chicago'. This run of it is being produced by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and it's being installed on the largest cruise ship in the world. It has been quite the experience.
Being on a cruise ship, at all, was not on my todo list this year, but it turns out the opportunity presented itself, and now my level of expectation of amenities aboard other cruiseliners has been irrevocably ruined. The ship is about 17 stories tall and 100 feet longer than a Nimitz class aircraft carrier. Here are some other fun stats from a Conde Nast article a couple years ago comparing the Titanic and the Allure.
SizeView from under the floating oval bar in the main gallery.
Titanic: 882 feet and 9 inches long, 92 feet wide
Allure: 1,187 feet long, 208 feet wide
Titanic: 21 knots
Allure: 22 knots
Titanic: The ship took three years to build and employed 3,000 men
Allure: 37 design firms, 20 architectural firms, and up to 10 million man hours went into building the ship
Titanic: 20 (though 64 could have fit on the ship), for a total of 1,178 seats—472 of which were left unused. If all 64 boats had been onboard, there would have been enough space for all passengers
Allure: 18 boats with room for 370 people each, for a total of 6,660 seats, plus giant life rafts to provide for the rest of the passengers and crew
Titanic: Four restaurants; the largest was the first-class dining room, which held 550 people and spanned the full width of the ship
Allure: 25 dining options; the largest, the Adagio dining room, holds 3,056 people, which is just a few hundred less than the guest list of the entire Titanic
Daytime EntertainmentView from the piano on the set of 'Chicago' in the Amber Theatre.
Titanic: Heated pool, gym for upper classes with stationary bikes and rowing machines, squash court, Turkish bath, gym with mechanical horse and mechanical camel
Allure: Four pools, ten whirlpools, two FlowRider surf simulators, two rock walls, a full-sized basketball court, ice-skating rink, mini golf course, and a carousel
Titanic: Billiards, musicians, men's brandy rooms for smoking and lounging by fireplace, large room for third-class passengers for drinking and dancing
Allure: Chicago on Broadway, 3-D movie theater, ice shows, casino, karaoke bar, jazz club
Allure of the Seas - scale modelThis model of the ship is about 4 feet long, just for visual scale purposes, and gives just the barest idea of the size of the ship. The structure of the ship was designed so that the entire middle section of the ship is actually in/outdoor galleries full of shops, dining, an elevating bar, outdoor Central Park, carousel, aqua arena, ice rink, and much more. It almost feels like you're vacationing in a floating city, more than a boat. But, I guess that's all part of the experience!
Some of the premium staterooms aboard are actually 2 stories. Sleeping quarters upstairs, and then a downstairs living space complete with a kitchenette and grand piano. And, with this premium price comes a wonderful, private, view of the Caribbean as well.
Believe it or not, there is another ship almost this size (it's shorter by 2 inches) called the Oasis of the Seas. Between these two ships, Royal Caribbean shuttles 10,000 passengers (at a minimum) per week, to the Caribbean. In port, the Royal Caribbean staff will shuttle an entire compliment of passengers off the ship, re-stock, and board the next group of travelers all in one day. The cruise port more closely resembles and airport than a dock :) If you ever get the chance to voyage on one, be prepared for quite the experience!
One of the many lounge and dining areas on the Allure.