Welcome to Insider Out Travel, a blog about LGBT travel written by LGBT tourism professionals. Travel the globe and gain insight into the tourism industry (with a gay twist), brought to you by the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

The Biggest Fish in the Seas



by LoAnn Halden

Some cruise ships are referred to as floating hotels or cities at sea, but Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas is more like a sprawling metropolis skimming the ocean's surface. The Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB hosted a group of 145 VIP guests and media on Charter One's Grand Floridian yacht Nov. 13 to watch as this behemoth of cruising made its debut entrance into its home berth in Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades. Let's just say that the Oasis made its accompanying tugboats look like kayaks.

The 5,400-passenger ship, which stands 20 stories high and is as long as the Empire State Building is tall, is now the tallest, widest, heaviest -- and with its $1.4 billion price tag, priciest -- cruise liner in the world. It boasts 24 restaurants, 37 bars, a living park (an oceanic first) with 12,000 plants and trees, a 139,000-gallon swimming pool and a zip line ride that makes a nine-deck journey over an open atrium.

Looks like season has arrived in a big way in Lauderdale. (There was even a spontaneous rainbow created by a tugboat's watery salute, which added a gay flourish to the ship's arrival. See below.)


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