Since my wife and I took our first cruise in 1981, the cruise industry has gone through a transformation, the like of which we have never seen before. The driving force, of course, is my generation, the Baby Boom generation.
That first cruise was aboard the Holland America Lines, Rotterdam.(Not today's Rotterdam, but the previous one. It was her last voyage for HACL as it caught fire, but that's another story) It was a 4 star, 24,000 ton ship and to us it seemed a monster ship. We thought it was wonderful (Until the explosion and fire of course). Anyone who cruises now would laugh at such a statement, where 100,000 ton, 5 star ships are becoming the norm and six star cruise ships are proliferating like 60's rock bands.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line seems to be leading the way in the "huge" segment. Two years ago they launched their "Freedom Class" at 160,000 tons. But even these monsters will pale in comparison to the "project Genesis line of ships now being build by RCCL.
At 40% larger than any other cruise ship in the world, the Genesis class is scheduled to enter service in the fall of 2009. The Genesis year-round home port will be Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale in Florida.
Genesis is 1,180 feet long, 154 feet wide, and 240 feet high and will accommodate over 5,400 guests. The ship will take 5,800 man-years to complete and is expected to float on water for the first time in Winter 2008 as it nears the finishing stages. At a cost of US$230,000 per berth, Project Genesis is the most expensive cruise ship ever to be ordered.
and I can't wait to set foot on her, can you?