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Royal Caribbean Brings the City to the Sea with Project Genesis
by Roy Witman © 2008

We all know what cruising is about, don't we? Balcony staterooms overlooking the open sea, casinos and Las Vegas-style shows for entertainment and plenty of restaurant options: Enough to please the whole family. A few years ago, however, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line decided to shake things up by incorporating truly innovative features into their fleet including surfing machines, rock-climbing walls and even ice-skating. Royal Caribbean is doing it again with Project Genesis.

It seem as though every few months someone in the cruise industry announces the launch of “the largest ship ever built.” And, for the moment, it's true. Royal Caribbean isn't satisfied with mere size, however. Known for industry firsts, Royal always launches bigger ships, but those vessels also have surprisingly fun and interesting features. Project Genesis is no exception.

Open-Air Neighborhood

Genesis' most astonishing feature is Central Park. Following the example of its namesake, Central Park is literally an open-air park in the middle of a neighborhood in the middle of a cruise ship. In fact, it's the first of seven neighborhoods to be built on Genesis.

Just imagine, while onboard a cruise ship, walking down the paved pathways through lush foliage while surrounded by gorgeous flowers and other flora. Grab a cup of coffee or tea from one of the nearby cafes and sit for a spell on a comfortable park bench. As if you were in New York City itself, you can look around and fine delightfully unique restaurants and charming boutiques lining the way. Stop for a moment and watch the street performers or enjoy alfresco dining before taking in an outdoor concert in the park. Central Park is the size of a football field so you'll have plenty of room to roam.

Above you are balcony staterooms rising six decks high. With the sky above and the park below, there's scenery in every direction.

What other wonders does the park hold? Quiet reading corners, a chess garden with large-scale pieces, a sculpture garden, an onboard horticulturist who will provide classes for guests and two crystal canopies.

These glass domes will be a focal points of the park providing both a beautiful distraction as well as a means to allow sunlight into the public areas.

In addition, you'll find an architectural marvel in the park: Rising Tide bar. Leave it to Royal to create yet another first at sea: The first moving bar. Enjoy a cocktail while you ascend at a leisurely pace into Central Park then descend back to the public spaces. This is a feat that must be experienced to be fully appreciated.

Favorites Still Remain

Don't worry. If you're a Royal fan, you can still look forward to your favorite activities including solariums, miniature golf course, ice-skating rink, rock wall, boxing ring and the ever-popular FlowRider™ surfing machine. Many of your favorite restaurants can be found onboard Project Genesis as well including Chops Steakhouse.

About Genesis

Genesis is scheduled for launch in late 2008 and will be the largest ship in the world at that time. With 16 decks, Project Genesis can carry 5,400 guests in her 2,700 staterooms. She will hail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida starting in 2010.

Contact your favorite cruise travel agent today if you'd like to be notified of when Genesis begins to book reservations. For avid cruisers or those who have recently decided to try cruising, this ship promises to deliver the sun, the moon and the open sky!

Read more about the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.