Texas is finally home to one of the largest cruise lines in the world

Florida and New Jersey are no longer the only states in the Union to be home to one of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class ships – the largest cruise lines in the world.

As of this week, Texas also has one.

Royal Caribbean’s giant Allure of the Seas, one of five ships in the record-breaking series, will begin weekly Caribbean cruises Sunday from Galveston, Texas — the first-ever voyages by an Oasis-class ship from a Texas port.

The huge ship, which can accommodate up to 6,780 passengers, will call at ports such as Roatan in Honduras and Cozumel and Costa Maya in Mexico.

Allure of the Seas was originally scheduled to set sail from Galveston in 2021. However, their arrival in the Lone Star State was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ship is debuting in connection with the opening of a new $100 million cruise terminal in Galveston, which has also been put on hold during the pandemic.

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The terminal, which was inaugurated on Wednesday, is the only one in the Port of Galveston that can handle a ship as large as the Allure of the Seas.

At 225,282 tons, Allure of the Seas is the fifth largest cruise ship in the world. Unveiled in 2010, it is surpassed only by Royal Caribbean’s four other Oasis-class ships, which weigh between 226,838 tons and 235,600 tons.

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In turn, each of the five ships is at least 4% larger than any other cruise ship. The series includes the recently unveiled Wonder of the Seas, the current size leader in the cruise world.

See also: Royal Caribbean’s 6 Ship Types, Explained

The arrival of Allure of the Seas in Texas marks a major milestone in the history of the state’s cruises. The 18-deck, 1,187-foot ship is more than 40% larger than the largest cruise ship to previously depart a Texas port (Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas with 3,798 passengers).

So far, Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class ships have operated primarily from major Florida cruise hubs such as PortMiami and Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, as well as select ports in Europe.

One of the ships, the Oasis of the Seas, docks part of the year in Bayonne, New Jersey, one of the cruise ports in the New York metro area.

See also: The Ultimate Guide to Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley said the development of the new terminal at the Port of Galveston and the docking of Allure of the Seas in the port would allow Royal Caribbean to increase the number of passengers on ships sailing out of Galveston by 50% to increase.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down cruises in 2020, cruises departing from Galveston were booming. More than 1 million cruise passengers passed through the port in 2019, up from 641,650 just five years earlier. Cruise calls increased from 181 to almost 300 in the same period.

The Port of Galveston is now the fourth busiest cruise port in North America, after PortMiami, Port Everglades and Port Canaveral in Florida.

Related Topics: Everything you need to know about Royal Caribbean’s staterooms and suites

Designed for vacationers who love big, bustling mega-resorts, the Oasis class ships are packed with more deck attractions and indoor lounges, bars, restaurants and exhibition spaces than any other cruise ship.

Like her sisters, the Allure of the Seas has three main pool areas; a separate adult-only outdoor lounge area; an outdoor “aquatheater” with diving shows; an ice rink; two climbing walls; a basketball court; a huge spa; and a mall-like indoor boardwalk with shops, bars, and restaurants.

There’s also a tree-lined, open-air area called Central Park with additional restaurants, bars, and upscale shops. It also has one of the largest showrooms at sea.

See also: The Ultimate Guide to Royal Caribbean’s Loyalty Program

Allure of the Seas is scheduled to offer primarily seven-day itineraries in the Western Caribbean through October 2023. After that, she will switch to three- and four-day cruises.

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