I donâ€™t think Iâ€™m alone in my fascination of the Titanic. As a kid, I wrote book reports about it, had a neat-o fold out Titanic cross section poster on my wall, and of course flipped out when the movie was released. As the centennial of the sinking approaches, I thought it might be interesting to see how the grand ships of the world have changed. In its brief heyday, the Titanic was the biggest, fastest and most luxe ship in the world. Letâ€™s see how it would measure up to the modern Allure of the Seas, the current largest passenger liner afloat.
Titanic took 7.5 million dollars and three years to build in the Harland and Wolff Shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Allure of the Seas is a Finnish ship that took over 1.4 billion dollars to build in 2008.
The largest ship of its time, Titanic was 882 feet long and weighed 46,328 tons. Allure of the Seas is about five times larger, weighing in at 225,282 tons and is 1,181 feet long from bow to stern.
Titanic had room for 3,547 people on board, including crew. The Allure has almost 2,400 crew members alone! Including passengers and crew, it can house, feed and entertain 6,300 people!
Titanic boasted the first heated swimming pool at sea; it was 30 feet long by 14 feet wide. Allure has 21 swimming pools total, including spas. The size hasnâ€™t increased much though; Allureâ€™s biggest pool is only slightly longer than Titanicâ€™s.
Titanic had all the latest amenities aboard, like a barbershop, gym, heat and electricity in every stateroom, and only the finest crafted furnishings and art. Aside from chatting over tea and strolling the Promenade deck though, there wasnâ€™t a lot else to do. The Allure of the Seas, meanwhile, has more activities aboard than most theme parks. A carousel, zipline, ice skating rink, rock climbing wall, arcade, surf simulator, casino, theatre and shops line the decks. Lots to do, but if the Allure was a Florida strip mall, Titanic would have been London’s Chanel boutique.
I donâ€™t know all the rules of inflation, but itâ€™s easy to tell that a stateroom on a cruise liner these days is quite the bargain compared with Titanicâ€™s maiden voyage. On Titanic, if you wanted a first class ticket, it was $4,350. Second class set you back $1,750 and a bed in steerage was $30 (there were only two bathrooms in 3rd class that over 700 passengers had to share!). Nowadays, a week on the Allure of the Seas will cost just over $6,000 per person for a suite, around $1,200 for a room with a private balcony and $749 for a â€ś3rd classâ€ť interior room. On Titanic, you were paying for lavish, world class meals, smoking pricey cigars and your suite came with a staff of maids and butlers, at your service. On Allure, you’ll be comfortable, but more likely to hit the buffet.
Overall, I think itâ€™s plain to see that while Allure is packed with bells and whistles, Titanic was singular in its attention to quality, detail and luxury, as the times demanded. I only wish it was still afloat to admire! Well, thereâ€™s nothing left to do now except toast to 100 years of leaps and bounds in nautical safety and technology and go see Titanic in 3D, re-released this weekend!
Check out our selection of 3, 4 and 5 star hotels in Belfast for your trip to the newly opened Titanic museum, housed right on the slip where the ship was built!
Allure of the Seas photos courtesy of Loimere, Creative Commons, and Titanic photos courtesy of cliff1066, Creative Commons