Royal Caribbean Cruises just announced a third Oasis-class cruise ship will be built at the South Korea-owned shipyard STX France after the financing fell through with the STX Finland shipyard.
The as-of-yet unnamed gigantic ship will follow fellow behemoths the Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas which are ported in Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.
CEO Richard Fain, who just sold $11,500,000 worth of RCL stock, proclaimed that "these ships have consistently generated outstanding guest satisfaction ratings and continue to produce superior financial results . . . "
The new billion-dollar-plus cruise ship is expected to come on line sometime in mid to late 2016. STX France provided Royal Caribbean with a one-year option to build a fourth Oasis-class ship with a 2018 delivery date.
There is speculation where the new ship will be ported, with the South Florida Business Journal proposing Miami where Royal Caribbean is based and U.K. travel blogger Captain Greybeard raising the possibility of deploying the ship to the Mediterranean or the Far East.
What's my take on another "Giant of the Seas" arriving on the scene? First, its a continuing disaster for the environment. The supposedly most technologically advanced cruise ships in the world still burn highly toxic high-sulfur-content bunker fuel. And small Caribbean islands are forced to destroy ancient coral reefs as a price to pay from the privilege of hosting these enormous floating cities into their small ports.
The multi-billion dollar deal enormously benefits South Korea and France. The off-shore building project represents another drain of money and jobs from the U.S. to the South Korean conglomerate which owns the shipyard in France.
The arrival of one or two additional Oasis-class ships will carry 5,000 to 10,000 additional cruise passengers. They will be trying to stay safe on the ship's various attractions like the rock-climbing wall, the zip-line and the incredibly dangerous FlowRiders which have caused serious injury and even death over the years.
One would hope that the cruise line takes greater care in designing these amusement-park-like attractions to avoid the risk of serious injury. Because as matters now stand, Royal Caribbean's gigantic sized cruise ships are good news only for the cruise line's executives and the personal injury lawyers representing the injured passengers.