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World’s largest cruise ship floats in water for first time

By Allen Cone

June 10 (UPI) — Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Season floated out of dry dock for the first time, one year it will become put in service as the world’s largest cruise ships,

The 230,000-ton, 1,188-foot-long ship departed from STX France shipyard in St. Nazaire on Friday after completion of its exterior, the company said in a release. The 15-deck ship next will undergo interior construction and is scheduled to go into service in April 28,

The is the fourth Oasis-class vessel, and its 2,775 staterooms will be 28 more than her sister ship, Harmony of the Seas, which had its maiden voyage in May 2016. The other ships in the class are Oasis of the Seas, which debuted in 2009, and Allure of the Seas in 2010.

These ships are more than 30 percent larger than the next largest cruise ships in the world.

The Symphony of the Seas first will sail the Mediterranean in the summer 2018 and travel to the United States and wind up at Royal Caribbean’s new terminal at PortMiami. It is scheduled to begin a four-night cruise on Nov. 9, 2018, with one stop in Cozumel, Mexico. Then it will alternate seven-night eastern and western Caribbean cruises.

The rooms include neighborhood balconies overlooking Central Park and virtual balconies for inside staterooms. It can hold 5,494 passengers at double capacity and 6,780 at full capacity plus a 2,175-person crew.

It will include Bionic Bar robot bartenders, a waterfront AquaTheater, waterslides and Broadway-style entertainment.

Three Florida ports will be able to handle the ships: Symphony in Miami, Harmony of the Seas in Fort Lauderdale and Oasis of the Seas in Port Canaveral.

The Symphny of the Seas will replace the Legend of the Seas as the line’s 25th ship. Legend will be taken out of service next month.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line was founded in 1968.It is the world’s second-largest cruise line behind Carnival Corp.

IMAGES: The Symphony of the Seas was in dry dock at the French shipyard in St. Nazaire until Friday when it touched water for the first time. Symphony will be the world’s largest cruise ship when it debuts in April 2018. Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean

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