NEW YORK—Travel agents and media got their first taste of Royal Caribbean’s greatly anticipated Project Genesis, a new class of ships boasting a capacity of 5,400 guests with the first ship slated to debut in 2009 and another to follow in 2010. Shrouded in secrecy up until now, the cruise line unveiled, Central Park, an area sure to gather a high volume of foot traffic. The football-field long park will include actual foliage, trees, gardens, an assortment of stores, seven restaurants, cafes and bars, featuring alfresco dining and the Rising Tide Bar, which actually moves up and down, and 254 park-view staterooms. The entire park is also open to the sky.
An area such as this is possible, said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, because of the ship’s vastness. “Innovation defines us and is reflected in what we do,” Fain said. “We wanted to build our ships with a focus on spaces and activities.
The idea behind Project Genesis began some four years ago with a focus to develop a large menu of choices for guests. Royal Caribbean has long been a trailblazer in equipping its ships with features such as rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, full-length basketball courts and FlowRider surf simulators. “The technology of design has changed,” Fain said, “giving us the ability to add more choice and options.” Royal Caribbean says its next “reveal,” which should divulge the rest of Genesis’ lay of the land, will be June 18 in Manhattan’s Nokia Theatre in Times Square.