The World’s Largest Cruise Ships

Many of today’s cruise ships are essentially floating cities at sea, with the capacity to carry more than 6,000 passengers and crew with a multitude of different attractions on-board. The following are just a few of the world’s largest cruise ships. Royal Caribbean’s Harmony, Oasis and Allure of the Seas Currently, the three largest ships on the ocean today all come from Royal Caribbean International. All three of these ships, including the Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, are tied for largest operating cruise ship. They have the capacity to carry up to 6,680 passengers and offer many different options for transatlantic and Mediterranean voyages. The Oasis launched in 2009, the Allure launched in 2019, and the Harmony launched in 2016. All three have a variety of different accommodations and attractions for passengers to enjoy. Symphony of the Seas The second largest ship is also a vessel operated by Royal Caribbean. The Symphony of the Seas was deployed in 2018 with the capacity to carry 6,680 passengers. While technically the gross tonnage of the Symphony makes it the largest and heaviest vessel operating, it is behind in terms of passenger capacity, which makes it the second largest ship, next to the Oasis, Harmony and Allure of the Seas. The Symphony operates exclusively out of Miami and offers Caribbean cruises. MSC Bellissima Launched in 2019, the MSC Bellissima is one of the newest and largest cruise ships operating. It is the third-largest cruise ship by passenger capacity, being able to carry up to 5,686 passengers. The Bellissima offers voyages in waters near France,...

Carnival Corporation Issues Pledge to Reduce Ocean Pollution

Executives with Carnival Corporation issued a pledge this week to take active steps toward reducing ocean pollution caused by their ships. The statement was made during a federal hearing in connection with environmental violations the company has been accused of committing. Carnival has been embroiled in legal battle regarding these environmental violations and has recently been issued a $20 million penalty as a result of their conduct. Executives, including the company’s CEO Arnold Donald, faced a federal panel in Miami this week where they issued a statement, pledging to change their corporate policy when it comes to complying with all environmental regulations. They stated that this change would start from the top down, will be immediate, and will be implemented over the course of the next three years. The federal legal battle stems from probation violations the company admitted to committing in 2016. The original case that brought on this probation involved a separate $40 million fine. Despite the monetary loss and legal ramifications, the company did not fix its policies when it came to the environmental impact of its ships and continued to cause damage. Carnival was accused of dumping “gray water” from its ships in such locations as the Alaskan Glacier Bay National Park and discharging food waste into the waters off the Bahamas. Since Carnival has more than 100 ships around the world that sail to over 700 destinations, the environmental impact the company has caused with their actions is significant. As part of the case, Carnival also admitted to falsifying compliance documents in connection to ordered probation.  They also admitted to having cleaning professionals visit...

Royal Caribbean Cancels Stop in Puerto Rico Due to Area Protests

Royal Caribbean has cancelled a planned stop this week to San Juan, Puerto Rico due to a series of protests occurring in the area against Puerto Rico’s governor. These protests began last weekend after the Center for Investigative Journalism released 900 pages from the Puerto Rican governor’s private group chat. In the chats, the governor disparaged various journalists, made threats to turn political opponents over to authorities, and made a series of homophobic, profane and sexist statements. The timing of this release of information came the same week as two former officials from the governor’s administration were arrested by the FBI as part of a federal corruption investigation. Puerto Ricans took to the streets, protesting the administration and calling for his immediate resignation. In response to this political activity and out of concern for the safety of their passengers, Royal Caribbean canceled a planned stop this week for the Empress of the Seas. The ship was expected to dock in San Juan Tuesday but has been instead rerouted to Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Any guests who prepaid for shore excursions in San Juan will be refunded their money. Since Tortola was already a planned stop on the ship’s itinerary, this change only means the stop will be made one day earlier than previously planned. The Empress left Miami on Saturday, setting sail for an eight-day cruise through the Caribbean. San Juan was just one of many stops listed on the ship’s itinerary. Many have questioned whether any future stops in San Juan will be cancelled. At this time, Royal Caribbean has only canceled this one planned stop...

Cruise Ship Narrowly Escapes Collision with Yacht in Venice

One month after a collision between a cruise vessel and a smaller boat in Venice, another cruise ship has just narrowly missed striking a yacht while it was being towed out of Venice. This near miss has sparked further debate amongst the locals who argue that this demonstrates why large vessels should not be allowed in the Venetian docks. The ship involved was the 12-deck Costa Deliziosa. The vessel is 1,000 feet in length and can carry over 3,800 passengers and crew. At the time of the accident, the ship was being towed in what were reported as stormy conditions. A Venetian writer and artist, Roberto Ferrucci, took a video of what occurred and posted it on his website. The video has been shared by individuals who are advocating for the Venetian waters to be shut down to cruise vessels. In the video, crew members on-board the yacht were seen rushing out of the ship just as the larger vessel brushed by them, which means the cruise vessel must have been close enough to the yacht to give reason for them to believe that a collision was imminent. Fortunately, the lead tugboat was able to safely pull the cruise ship away from the yacht and guide it out of the lagoon with no further incident. Another boat was not so lucky in the same vicinity just one month ago. The MSC Opera collided with a dock and a smaller tourist boat, resulting in several injuries, on June 2. Those in opposition argue that these larger boats are causing irreparable damage to the city and its ecosystem. They say that...

Toddler Dies Following a Fall from Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship

Tragedy struck over the weekend after a 1-year-old girl died following a fall on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship while it was docked in Puerto Rico on Sunday. The child was traveling from Indiana with her family, including her parents, maternal and paternal grandparents, and younger brother. It was initially reported that the child had slipped out of her grandfather’s hands and fell from the 11th floor of the Freedom of the Seas to the concrete floor on the Pan American dock II in San Juan. However, there are now differing accounts as to what caused the child’s fall and whether the cruise line could have been to blame. The family insists the toddler fell due to an open glass pane that should have been securely closed on the ship. They state that at the time of the fall, the family was gathered near the dining hall on the 11th floor. The grandfather placed the child on a railing he believed was backed by glass so she could look out, similar to what she did at her brother’s hockey games.  The toddler reportedly leaned forward to touch the glass and toppled out of the open panel onto the concrete deck below. Local authorities are currently interviewing passengers who witnessed the fall. They will also be obtaining security footage from the ship to verify what exactly occurred.  The ship’s departure has been delayed due to the tragedy. Earlier this year, a teenage male passenger died following a fall from the eighth-floor balcony on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship as it was docked in Haiti. He was attempting to go into...
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