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The World’s Largest Cruise Ships: A Look Inside

The devastating images of the Costa Concordia cruise ship sinking off the west coast of Italy are more than just a disaster for the ship’s owner. The terrible accident threatens to inflict damage on the industry as a whole. The world’s top five largest cruise ships were all built within the last six years. The largest, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, debuted in 2010, snatching the title from another near-identical Royal Caribbean vessel, Oasis of the Seas.

Several industry officials worry that the disaster on the Costa Concordia, the biggest of the Costa Crociere fleet, will slow the growth of super cruisers in favor of smaller vessels where managing passengers on board is simpler.


Royal Caribbean International’s cruise ship ‘Allure of the Seas’ enters its new home port in Fort Lauderdale as seen from nearby Hollywood, Florida, November 11, 2010. The world’s largest cruise ship joins its sister ship ‘Oasis of the Seas’, operating out of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. The ship, which is capable of carrying 6,318 guests, was built in Turku, Finland. (REUTERS / Joe Skipper)


The cruise ship MS Allure of the Seas passes under the Store Belt Bridge, with only 1.5 m (five feet) of space to spare, at low tide October 30, 2010. The bridge connects the islands of Fuenen and Zealand. (Reuters)


The world’s largest cruise liner, the MS Allure of the Seas, sets sail from Turku ship yard, early morning October 29, 2010. The vessel, delivered from South Korean shipbuilder STX to Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines yesterday, is 360 meters long, towers 72 meters above the waterline, has 16 passenger decks, with 2,700 cabins, and can accommodate 6300 passengers and 3,000 crew. (Reuters)


The multi-functional basketball, volleyball and badminton court of cruise ship MS Allure of the Seas, the world’s largest passenger vessel is pictured after the ship was delivered by South Korean shipbuilder STX to Royal Caribbean at a shipyard in Turku October 28, 2010. (REUTERS / Lehtikuva Lehtikuva)


The ice rink of cruise ship MS Allure of the Seas, the world’s largest passenger vessel is pictured after the ship was delivered by South Korean shipbuilder STX to Royal Caribbean at a shipyard in Turku October 28, 2010. (REUTERS / Lehtikuva Lehtikuva)


The interior of cruise ship MS Allure of the Seas, the world’s largest passenger vessel, is pictured after being delivered by South Korean shipbuilder STX to Royal Caribbean at a shipyard in Turku October 28, 2010. (REUTERS / Lehtikuva Lehtikuva)


Oasis of the Seas, the world’s second largest cruise ship, arrives off the Florida coast, headed for its home port in Port Everglades. (REUTERS / Joe Skipper)


Oasis of the Seas, the world’s second largest cruise ship, navigates through a ship channel headed for its home port nearby in Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (REUTERS / Joe Skipper)


Until 2010, Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas was the largest, widest, tallest, most expensive cruise ship afloat – a cornucopia of amusements aimed at quashing the notion that cruising is a sedentary vacation, according to chief executive Richard Fain. (REUTERS / Joe Skipper)


Staterooms overlook the boardwalk deck on the Oasis of the Seas. (REUTERS / Joe Skipper)


One of the large pools aboard the Oasis of the Seas. (REUTERS / Joe Skipper)


People walk along the Royal Promenade deck area in the Oasis of the Seas. (REUTERS / Joe Skipper)


The Oasis of the Seas’ 1,380 seat Opal Theater. (REUTERS / Joe Skipper)


The “Central Park” area on the Oasis of the Seas. (REUTERS / Joe Skipper)

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