Ok, we were in Port Everglades for a Christmas cruise, there were 8 ships in port. The traffic jams were horrendous, the port was totally overwhelmed. So, if they're going to run both of those ships out of there, plus the normal traffic, there has to be some major improvements. I know they built new terminal facilities, but have they 8 laned the roads going in and out of Port Everglades? I think logistically, the airports and hotels can handle the load, but the roads cannot. Are they planning some type of mass transit besides buses? An additional 5400 people I can see, but 11,000, no. Unless they're planning on sailing off days from the normal Saturday/Sunday departures. Princess does run a couple of 10 day itineraries out of there, but most of the ships that leave Port Everglades are doing 7 day, departing on Saturday or Sunday.
I also believe trying to pack a 5400 passenger ship is not going to be as easy as RCL thought it would be. Especially with the economy the way it is. The Oasis and Allure are specialty ships. People will definitely want to experience them at least once, but then I'm not so sure about 5400 return passengers on a regular basis. Maybe I'm wrong, but until the economy world-wide straightens out, I think there will be quite a few empty cabins on those ships.
The new Terminal 18 is right on the main access road of the port, and they say the traffic flow to it will be isolated so as to not blend in with traffic to the other terminals. The Oasis will be doing Saturday departures, so I assume Allure will be doing Sundays given their itineraries. Since the ships are catering to families having embarkation days on anything other than weekends wouldn't work too well.
I'll see. Right now I am planning on taking a cab but they will be new to the place too. The Enchantment will be doing four cruises from the new terminal to "try the place out" and give the ground crews some practice, but that is a regular sized guest loading.
Well, I think RCI does need to be concerned, given the state of the US economy. My personal opinion is that they are going to have a hard time filling this ship. I know when I went on my cruise on the Enchantment back in September there were plenty of empty staterooms, which may have turned out to be a good thing, as there was a broken pipe which may have flooded staterooms. I say it's a good thing because then RCI could move passengers to another stateroom if they were affected by the broken pipe.
As far as the crowds at Port Everglades. RCI is supposed to have a new terminal, and have embarking and debarking passengers in completely separate areas of the building. Traffic in and out of the port could be an issue though. I guess we'll see what happens once next summer comes, when most people take their vacations.
2007 - Majesty of the Seas (Bahamas)
2009 - Enchantment of the Seas (Western Caribbean)
2010 - Freedom of the Seas (Western Caribbean)
2013 - Golden Princess (Alaska, roundtrip from Seattle)
The RCCL CEO said on his blog that he'd been waiting 6 years to take delivery of Oasis, so the initial planning started in 2003 which was before the Freedom class even hit the seas. With that much lead time it really is a crystal ball decision as far as predicting how the ship will sell. I have to think when the economy crashed and burned and the stock market lost a third of it's value, well, more than one executive at RCI said "we're " even though the public face on it was and still is "we're not concerned".
My TA is offering a week on the Oasis in December for a inside Balcony, Air, all taxes for around $1,400....but it goes up to around $2,100 in Jan. for a plain inside room, air and taxes.
But that might change too:-)....I will be sailing on her before winter is over....