Middle East Cruise News

Spectrum of the Seas becomes largest cruise ship ever to sail from Dubai

A major milestone for the regional cruise industry in the Arabian Gulf went largely unnoticed Sunday as Spectrum of the Seas cruised from Dubai, becoming the largest cruise ship in the world ever to do so.

While Dubai is no stranger to mega-cruise ships (she has hosted Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas, as well as Majestic Princess and even homeported the mammoth MSC Splendida), Spectrum of the Seas is the largest of them all.

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At 168,800-gross tons, she is a full thousand gross tons larger than Quantum of the Seas, the eponymous class leader, and is several hundred tons larger than Ovation of the Seas, which also cruised from Dubai on her way to a cruise season in China.

Spectrum of the Seas towers over the Dubai Cruise Terminal

Spectrum of the Seas was mid-way through a grand repositioning voyage from the Mediterranean to China when she called in Dubai, but the city was also used as a turnaround port, meaning that passengers disembarked and new guests boarded the ship in the city.

β€œDubai is growing in popularity as a fly-cruise destination, especially for our fast-growing Asian market,” a marketing official for Royal Caribbean told Cruise Arabia & Africa during the tour of the ship on Saturday. β€œIn fact, this cruise from Dubai is fully booked.”

Accommodating 4,246 passengers, Spectrum of the Seas features 13 restaurants, 14 cafes and bars, three pools, and a whole host of new at-sea attractions, including a bumper cars area on the massive SeaPlex sports deck, a North Star viewing gondola that rises 60-feet above and over the side of the ship, a virtual reality bungee experience called SkyPad and countless other entertainment options.

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She is the first ship in the Quantum-Ultra class from Royal Caribbean, which combines the best features of the Quantum-class (such as the Bionic Bar and Two70 entertainment lounge) with the latest additions to the Oasis class with Symphony of the Seas.

Spectrum of the Seas is the largest cruise ship ever to sail from Dubai

The ship includes the line’s first-ever all-suite complex — accessed via a keycard using a private elevator — plus the two-story, 1,134-square-foot Ultimate Family Suite, which debuted on Symphony of the Seas in 2018.

β€œWe have once again combined revolutionary ship design with the latest technologies to deliver a ship that will redefine the China cruise market. We are excited for our guests to make amazing family memories,” says Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International.

Spectrum of the Seas will arrive in Singapore on May 17th and cruise roundtrip from the city-state twice before relocating to Shanghai, where she will homeport for the coming year before moving to Hong Kong for 2020.

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