Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cruise ships The Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas

Two cruise ships, the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas, are operated and owned by the Royal Caribbean International. Both of them are now holding world record as the largest cuise ships in the world.  However, according to shipgaz magazine on No. 6 December 10, 2010 edition, the Allure of the Seas is 5 centimeters longer than her sister. The LOA (Length Overall) of the ships is 361 meters. If we compare these modern cruise ships to Titanic - the most famous Trans-Atlantic passenger ship, her LOA was only 269 meters. Cruise ship Allure of the Seas is served by 2,384 crews whereas the Oasis of the Seas by 2,394 crews.
For February 2012, Allure of the Seas offers a 3 night trip to the Bahamas with rates starting from 499 US dollars for interior staterooms to 999 USD for suite/deluxe rooms. She will bring her guests to CocoCay, a private island in the Bahamas that belongs to Royal Caribbean International where they can enjoy swimming, sunbathing and snorkeling. Another interesting attraction of the Bahamas itinerary is feeding the stingray at Blackbeard Cay. Both the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas sail the Caribbean seas.
Lovers of coffee based bavarages can now enjoy coffee latte served by trained baristas from the first floating Starbucks cafe on boad cruise ship M.S. the Allure of the Seas on her Royal Promenade deck. The pricing for the coffees will be similar to the ones which customers usually pay at on land Starbucks.
Evironmentalists have expressed their concerns on the impacts which giant cruise ships cause to marine environments particulary on the coral reefs that thrive at or near the ports in the Caribbean islands where the ships regularly visit.
Costa Concordia accident and possible cause of her rapid capsize in shallow water
In addition, the recent Costa Concordia accident in Italy has raised concerns about the need to limit the number of passengers a cruise ship can carry. Costa Concordia ran aground a reef in well charted waters of Giglio island and capsized quickly. Shallow water around the reef might be the main cause for her rapid capsize. A ship that runs a ground a reef or sand will sit on it with shallow water around. This will make her loose significant hydrostatic pressure on much of the surface of her hull.  When the weight of the ship that is concentrated on her center of gravity cannot be balanced by the hydrostatic pressure that is concentrated in her Center of Buoyancy, she will capsize easily. The center of buoyancy of the ship will move lower to the keel area where the hull was now supported by the reef creating a couple force with the weight of the ship that turn her into the sea. This accident reminds people about a tragic accident of the sinking of ocean liner RMS (Royal Mail Steamer) Titanic in the Atlantic ocean in April 1912. The accident claimed more than 1,500 lives.
Such accident where ships run a ground or run over a reef is not a new thing in maritime history. Naval architects who design ships have calculated the hydrostatic and stability properties of the marine vessels to make sure that they are safe and stable before they are constructed. Ships are designed to float in upright position on the water and not on a very shallow water on a reef. So, the possible causes of the accident might be some failure in navigational instruments or devices or human error. by Charles Roring

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