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Also on the plus side, though the Herald article fails to mention it. The new Worlds largest cruise ship "The Freedom of the Seas" will be making Miami its permanent home. It will carry over 4000 passengers:

http://www.topix.net/content/cbs/3694523127359516470117461376792840128907



World's Largest Cruise Ship To Be Based In Miami

cbs4.com
April 24, 2006

Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises International is now the owner of the largest cruise ship in the world, with the delivery Monday of the "Freedom of the Seas" from a German shipyard. The new ship will be based at the Port of Miami, and will sail mostly to the Caribbean.

The ship takes the title from the Queen Mary 2, which is operated by Cunard, part of Royal Caribbean's hometown rival Carnival Cruise Lines. It weighs in at 160 thousand gross tons, and can carry nearly 4000 passengers. The Queen Mary 2 can carry about three thousand vacationers.

Royal Caribbean has announced a few firsts for this ship, including a boxing ring and a surf park. Ice cream fanatics will be able to indulge with the first full-fledged Ben & Jerry's ice cream parlor at sea, which will cost a few bucks extra. A Sorrento's pizzeria will offer pies on demand at no charge, and the ship will even have a bookstore..

Freedom of the Seas will have three separate pool 'regions', including the H2O Zone, an interactive water park. The surf park, a 32-foot-wide by 40-foot-long FlowRider, sits at a 45% angle, and water actually flows uphill. This allows riders to surf or bodyboard in the pool, which has a flow of 30,000 gallons per minute.

In the solarium pool area, RCCL has created two cantilevered whirlpools placed into a window 112 ft. above the water, each holding 16 people. The signature rock climbing wall will be the biggest at sea.

The ship will also offer the lagtest Presidential Suite in the RCCL fleet, at 1,215 square ft. and an 800 square foot balcony, it's larger than many South Beach condos, and has four bedrooms, and four baths. On the balcony, a whirlpool, bar, dining area and more make it a destination itself.

The ship was handed over to RCCI at a ceremony in Hamburg that drew crowds of onlookers.

After completing sea trials and receiving finishing touches at Hamburg's Blohm + Voss shipyard, the new ship left dry dock on Sunday and is to sail on Tuesday for Oslo, Norway, before setting out across the Atlantic to Miami.





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Remember the once proposed Baylink that I believe Miami Beach shot down because they were affraid it would be easier for the "trash" on the streets to arrive in their city. What a wonder Baylink would do for these tourists and our residents to get around Miami. The new downtown Miami is well on its way to being a place tourists would actually spend time shopping, dining, and even touring. The tourists would take pictures of all the new beautiful buildings, visit the museum of science at museum park, Parrot Jungle Island, Miami Childrens Museum, Bayside, Vizcaya and Mary Brickell Village. They could take the Metromover to the financial district, the new Central Buisness district, the 24hour nightlife district and the arts/uppereastside/midtown district. Then you have world famous South Beach to top off your stay. Baylink connecting Miami and South Beach in connection with the new Downtown Miami would definitely entice cruise ships to use Miami as a port of call and do wonders for all the new businesses and existing ones in and around Miami and South Beach. Its not rocket science. Its our cities future. And we need these tourists.
 

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my mom used to work for royal carribean... most cruise passengers arrive a day or two early or leave a day or two late before the cruise and spend a few days in miami anyways... they have alot more impact than a few port of call passengers... but having them both woulda been nice... the article says another ship is going to start using miami as a port of call in june or something though...
 
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