Luxury cruises are a relatively new branch of tourism, but one with a huge increase in popularity. Profile organizations announced in early 2000 that compared with 1970, the number of people who have opted for a holiday on board increased by over 100%.
Specialized market grows ever faster, so that cruise operators are motivated to build huge ships, in order to meet demand. Thus appeared Allure of the Seas the largest passenger ship in history.
History of tourism by sea
For thousands of years, sea vessels were, strictly functional tools, serving to obtain food, transport and war. Travel on seas and oceans were fighting with the forces of nature, and survival requires tremendous effort. How did the ocean to be an ideal destination for rest and relaxation?
The first step was crossing the Atlantic Ocean by SS Savanah, the first boat propelled by steam leading to complete this mission. The ship left port on May 22, 1819 Savannah, Georgia, and arrived on June 20 in Liverpool, England.
Over time, the cost of crossing the ocean by steam vessels decreased because of improved engines. Thus, transoceanic trade has become economically viable. Once started the transport of goods between Europe and America, crossing the Atlantic Ocean has become accessible to ordinary citizens.
Ocean liners built for transporting passengers from one continent to another, recorded early age, inexpensive and reliable transportation on water. As the transatlantic route increased in popularity, companies that had ocean liners began to differentiate by the luxury offered on board. The most famous of this type is famous liner Titanic, on which there was a swimming pool, a gym, a squash court, Turkish bath, electric bath and a veranda café.
Even so, the main purpose of these vessels was transportation, not tourism. The first ship designed purely for leisure travel was Prinzessin Victoria Luise. Water released on June 29, 1900, this vessel was designed to provide a comfortable ride in the voyages of relaxation offered by the German company Hapag originating in Hamburg. The idea of relaxing voyages belongs to an official of the company, dissatisfied that the vessels were not used in winter, when there were no passengers wishing to cross the Atlantic because of difficult weather. He designed a "relaxing trip" across the Mediterranean and the Orient. These trips have proved popular among the general public, but used to travel transatlantic vessels were designed for efficiency, not comfort. Also, because these vessels there were areas reserved for different classes of travel, access to the bridge was restricted.
Prinzessin Victoria Luise was designed to give passengers the best conditions and the bridge was designed for hot climate which the ship was to pass, avoiding the necessary structures crossing the North Atlantic Ocean liners. All 120 cabins of the ship was luxurious and the on board passengers can enjoy a library, a gym and even a camera obscure, dedicated amateur photographers. It is said that Emperor Franz Joseph himself was jealous after he inspected the ship, disappointed that it was longer than the royal yacht Hohenzollern.
The success of Victoria Luise first voyage in 1901 was highly publicized at the time, so that competitors have designed, in their turn, ships exclusively devoted to the holidays. Thus began, luxury cruise period, which continued until the First World War.
At that time, cruise ships were available only to persons of the upper classes. Companies obtain most profit from transatlantic flights. Poor economic conditions after the war and immigration restrictions imposed by the U.S. led to a massive reduction in the number of transatlantic flights. To survive, companies had to expand the profile dedicated cruise industry.
Despite the Great Depression, the number of cruise passengers has increased. This apparently strange, quickly finds its explanation: Prohibition Era. Because anti-alcohol restrictions were imposed on the United States does not apply to boats, cruises dedicated to alcohol consumption, have become extremely popular.
With the Second World War and the emergence of transatlantic flights, ocean transport became an option too expensive and too slow for those who wanted to cross the Atlantic, so many companies went bankrupt. Those that have survived have done so making transport vessels cruise. Because this process was expensive, emerging companies, dedicated exclusively to cruise, had won. Royal Caribbean is only of European companies, which then entered the market, targeting especially the Caribbean, easily accessible from ports on the east coast of America.
In the 80s and 90s cruise industry has maintained a high level of passenger satisfaction, leading to massive growth in the number of tourists who opt for such holidays. If in 1981 about 1.5 million people were clients of the operators of cruise ships, in 2004 the number amounted to 9.1 million. To meet the high demand and also to offer a variety of activities on board, so that all guests are satisfied, cruise ships have become increasingly larger.
Royal Caribbean ordered in 2006, two new cruise ships, intending that they hold with the title "largest passenger vessel." Oasis of the Seas, twin ship, of the Allure of the Seas, was completed in 2009, a year earlier than the second. When completed, the construction of the ship Allure of the Seas, the official measurements revealed that the ship is 5 inches longer than the Oasis of the Seas, although the two should be identical.
Measuring 360 meters long, 64 meters in width and with a deck located 65 meters above water, Allure of the Seas is a true giant.
The ship had a unique baptism; godmother is Princess Fiona in the animated film Shrek. It was the first time in the history of cruise ships when a bottle of champagne with which it is named a ship was crushed by a 3D animated character.
Giant Allure of the Seas can carry 5,400 passengers, counting does not include all the necessary staff to meet the needs and desires of tourists. 2384 people in 80 countries working for passenger comfort. For comparison, the famous Titanic could accommodate only 3547 people, including crew.
Onboard is used every day more than 2,100 tons of water and the total area covered by air-conditioning amounts to approximately 150,000 square meters. The ship was built from 500,000 items, requiring 600,000 gallons of paint to give the final look. On board are 241 km of pipes and 5310 km of electric cables.
Guests can use elevators to reach 24 on one of the 16 bridges, along which there are 26 restaurants, 17 bars and cafes along. One of the elevators is also a bar: Rising Tide Bar called it connects Royal Promenade and Central Park, the first bar that ascends and descends in the history of cruise vessels.
The vessel is designed ingeniously, allowing each club, bar or restaurant to provide an atmosphere of intimacy, even if its board is 5,400 passengers. Each local has a maximum of 128 people, and their variety, from wine bars, restaurants Japanese type, allows anyone to find one for everyone.
Allure of the Seas is divided into seven "neighborhoods" and to see the ship as a whole it takes a whole day. Tourists will not be bored walking along the vessel; more than 7,000 works of art being exhibited in every corner of the ship, the total collection amounted to several million dollars.
Those who want to stay connected to what is happening on land can do thanks to Wi-Fi spots available throughout the ship. Also, those who want to keep in touch with people at home can do from your mobile phone roaming charges.
For the first time in the history of a cruise ship, the famous coffee chain Starbucks has opened a branch on the ship Allure of the Seas.
Also, buyers Guess brand clothing enthusiasts will be able to shop the brand of the first store is located on a ship.
It is the first vessel which houses a carousel in an amusement park, and for the most courageous there is a bar built entirely of ice. Those wishing to escape the sun and heat in this place will have to put thick: it is never higher temperature of -8 degrees Celsius!
If you want to do workouts, you have two climbing walls, a flying fox, basketball and volleyball courts, a 9-hole golf course for those who prefer less intense physical activity.
Jogging enthusiasts can practice their favorite sport without problems on board, With a running track which measures 700 meters. Also, fitness center offers everything required for you to keep fit during the holidays.
If all you want is a relaxing walk, you have Central Park, which houses 12,175 plants and trees from around the world. It measures 100 meters in length and 19 meters in width and include areas for those who wish to relax by reading a book, an oversized chess board, and a garden which showcases sculptures by artists from around the world.
For those curious, a specialist in horticulture may provide an explanation of flora found in the park. In addition to the four swimming pools dedicated, there are two special pools, known Surf Rider, where enthusiasts can practice surfing waves generated due to artificial machines.
In total, on board, there are 11 swimming pools (both freshwater and saltwater) and 10 Jacuzzis, the latter offering a stunning ocean view.
Aqua Theater is the main amphitheater where aquatic acrobatic performances, concerts and even scuba diving courses.
The scene of this amphitheater for concerts can be raised and lowered, providing access to the pool of 5.4 m water depth demonstrations and acrobatics taking place during the show Oceanaria.
Passengers on board the Allure of the Seas can watch Chicago, which made headlines hit musical on Broadway. For comedy fans there is a club dedicated to the board where there is a stand-up show, and those who taste jazz, have part of a club that plays live artists of the genre.
Children have part of many areas of entertainment, including a water park and the Dreamworks animated characters, including Shrek, Fiona, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar penguins, walk around on board, and organized parades and special moments, being extremely friendly with those who want to make a picture.
All these activities are useful and if you have kids, Royal Caribbean CEO explains: "We introduced several fun options for kids to do more enjoyable experience on board, those who are not parents. The children have fun better, with so is more likely to stay in the area that have been allocated without disturbing other people experience. "
Royal Caribbean company decided to give the 5,400 passengers a unique experience but also safe in Jamaica. This country is facing one of the highest crime rates worldwide and tour operator did not want to jeopardize passenger safety. This is why the company decided to invest over 200 million dollars in the town Falmouth.
A historic settlement, founded in 1769, Falmouth was many years a center of trade in sugar. Locals boast that today with their city had running water supply system before New York! Falmouth town now hosts about 10,000 inhabitants. This small town of Jamaica gave the world, Usain Bolt, and Ben Johnson, two of the best runners on the planet, repeatedly awarded the Olympics. Because the historic port city, could not manage the size of ship Allure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean has built a modern port. Engineers had to build an artificial island in order not to destroy historic buildings located on the shore.
The company has invested in renovation of houses in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but also in the arrangement of themed restaurants, commercial galleries of luxury (the largest being built in 1894) and concert areas.
Churches built in 1795 and 1844 are major attractions for tourists. To recreate the atmosphere of the time the port was a rich city thanks to the sale of rum and sugar, historic streets are populated by locals, dressed in costumes of the era.
Although some critics argue that such ports upgraded and made safe for tourists does not reflect local character, the company argues that the city's history is respected, and presented in an authentic way, while allowing guests to relax and enjoy the experience local without fear of the possible adverse events.
Fashion private cities that are built or renovated, by cruise lines, began in 1977, when Norwegian Cruise Line purchased Great stirrup Cay, a tiny part of the Bahamas Island, transforming it into a private island accessible only its passengers. Royal Caribbean owns such private areas in the Bahamas and Haiti, but by investments made in Falmouth was able to bring to life a historic city with authentic tourist points of interest.
Part of travel enthusiasts argues that cruise ships do not provide essential elements of a trip, such as discovering a new culture, but only a floating city mall. They argue that any hazard-free experience, where everything is planned without leaving room for a surprise element, is an artificial and meaningless experience. They take into account the fact that, in general, the time leave is limited, and exploiting as much. From their point of view, a vacation should be more active than relaxing.
On the other hand, supporters argue that stays, holidays is not only discovery, but also relaxation. People who appreciate cruises argue that such a trip allows the exploration of otherwise inaccessible areas and comfort could not be obtained in another type of travel. They also say that the variety of cultural activities, sports and cooking, and the large number of travelers and employees around the world access to other cultures and a common exit routine without exposure to risks that are subject to more adventurous tourists.
Whatever type of holiday you prefer, we cannot remain impassive at the Allure of the Seas, giant worth 1.4 billion dollars.