The Ramblings have been quiet because I just got back from a week aboard the MS Allure of the Seas, the world's largest cruise liner. Having seen her up close and personal, I rank her as one of the great achievements of human civilization, right up there with the Egyptian pyramids, the Coliseum, and vanilla soft-serve. She's a quarter million gross tons, carries over six thousand passengers, two thousand crew, and is the only ship in the world (except for her sister ship, the Oasis of the Seas) to have cabins with balconies that don't have a view of the water. It also has a basketball court, two FlowRiders, more restaurants, shops and pools than I can count, and an ice skating rink. She is a fully fledged floating city. In her one may even catch a glimpse of the future of human settlements.
By sheer happenstance, in one of our ports of call (St. Maartins) we docked right next to a little boat called Eclipse, which at 536 feet is at the moment the world's biggest private yacht:
(Click on the image for a hi-res version.)
They were in the middle of provisioning her for a trip and so I had a chance to chat briefly with one of the crew. I asked if she was available for charter. The answer: "I'm not allowed to tell you that." I took that as a "no" :-)
I find modern cruise ships kinda ugly, but they are no less a magnificent achievement for all that.
Nice photo! It would actually be a nice addition to the two Wikipedia articles you linked.
I hereby release that photograph into the public domain. So if you want to put it on wikipedia, be my guest.
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