Posted by: Tony Carson | 31 October, 2009

Oasis of the Seas — Schadenfreude watch

Good news for those who get a kick out of watching two porches collide: the world’s largest cruise ship, the $1.5 billion, 20 story behemoth Oasis of the Seas (OOTS) — five times larger than the Titanic, is heading for a beach in Florida and there are lots of tantalizingly troublesome obstacles along the way.

Man, it’s going to be great.

Worlds Largest Cruise Ship

First, to get out of the Baltic OOTS has to pass under the Great Belt Bridge which is just 1 foot taller than the ship, with its stacks down. Good TV, can’t wait.

Then the top heavy leviathan has to cross the angry Atlantic. There have to be unaccountable challenges in that, worthy of Anderson Cooper with his microphone; worth a few ticker crawls; a bunch of tweets, at least. God, what CAN go wrong?

Then it has to enter Port Everglades in Florida, that’s got to be an unbelievable navigational challenge … maybe the greatest ever … for a ship that’s 40% bigger than anything afloat in the industry to nestle up to the shoreline. I mean, one unmovable object meeting another? Be glad you’ve got surround sound.

And there’s always the unpredictable: a storm, pirates, a berg, the Taliban?

Tensions; story lines; riveting reality TV — the stuff of J. Arthur Rank.

The thrilling prospects of the floating extravaganza slipping through an unending gauntlet of seething hatred: the poor, the deprived, the greens, the envious, the opportunistic limpets, lawyers, me — who will have the depth charge, the stinger, the bot, the drone, the drag net, the koran, the yarmulke, the environmental crime against humanity summons?

It’s been called ‘floating resorts.’ Note the plural. As this AP article World’s largest cruise ship sails for US port reports:

“The Oasis of the Seas has 2,700 cabins and can accommodate 6,300 passengers and 2,100 crew members. Company officials are banking that its novelty will help guarantee its success.

“The enormous ship features various “neighborhoods” — parks, squares and arenas with special themes. One of them will be a tropical environment, including palm trees and vines among the total 12,000 plants on board. They will be planted after the ship arrives in Fort Lauderdale.

“In the stern, a 750-seat outdoor theater — modeled on an ancient Greek amphitheater — doubles as a swimming pool by day and an ocean front theater by night. The pool has a diving tower with spring boards and two 33-foot high-dive platforms. An indoor theater seats 1,300 guests.

“Accommodations include loft cabins, with floor-to-ceiling windows, and 1,600-square-foot luxury suites with balconies overlooking the sea or promenades.

“The liner also has four swimming pools, volleyball and basketball courts, and a youth zone with theme parks and nurseries for children.”

To add to this overwhelming feeling of schadenfreude, a German word meaning taking pleasure out of someone else’s discomfort, never mind what happens to this floating paradise in transit, even the people onboard must be somewhat miserable. After all, as the travel guide Fromme points out, OOTS is so big, so lavish, so multi-dimensionable that if it never left port “Who would know the difference?”

So tune-in and turn-on: there just could be a comeuppance coming. Nothing lethal, we hope, but maybe something like a slightly disrupting collision with Mother Earth might be nice — if our Mother remains unscarred.


  1. You forgot the most formidable adversaries that a motley assemblage of seafarers can encounter – all of mother nature’s various bacteria and germs.

    Oh to sail across the Atlantic ocean when the virulent version of the 21st century bubonic plague strikes OOTS and to survive to tell the tale!

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