The world's largest cruise ship has arrived to Port Canaveral, but it's not staying long.
Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas made the Central Florida port its first North American stop in the early morning hours this morning, but will be leaving today to make its way to its new home in PortMiami.
"We drove out in a little boat about five miles out climbed on board and navigated the Symphony of the Seas in this morning," said port harbor pilot Douglas Brown. "Now that I'm on the dock and I can think about it a little bit it was pretty exciting but to be honest when you're up there and you're doing the job and you're concentrating on the task at hand you don't get too involved with all this other stuff. For me, it was just another job."
The the 228,081-ton, 1,188-foot-long ship is the fourth Oasis-class vessel for Royal Caribbean, and has a maximum capacity of 6,680 guests with 2,200 crew.
Port CEO John Murray said the ship's purpose in coming to Port Canaveral is that it need a full customs review since it's been sailing in Europe over the summer. More than 5,000 passengers will disembark the ship while the ship gets a full inspection including lifeboat tests.
"It's not here for a port of call," he said, "As soon as it's cleared, everyone's getting back on board."
The Oasis-class vessels have each held the title of World's Largest Cruise Ship, certified each in turn by Guinness World Records. Each one has been slightly larger than the last, with Oasis of the Seas first inheriting the title almost a decade ago when it debuted in 2009, followed by Allure of the Seas in 2010 and Harmony of the Seas in 2016. Symphony of the Seas is the 25th in the Royal Caribbean fleet.
Port Canaveral has been home to the original, Oasis of the Seas, and will be hosting Symphony of the Seas' closest sister, Harmony of the Seas in 2019.
Symphony of the Seas, though, will be making Miami its homeport in the cruise line's new terminal that opened earlier this month.
Symphony features the same design, with seven distinct neighborhoods and several of the same features that debuted on Harmony of the Seas or are mainstays across the fleet.
The ship is set to begin sailing on preview cruises Nov. 9. and begin eastern and western Caribbean itineraries with the first seven-night cruise on Nov. 17.