While this answer will likely change as newer, bigger, fancier cruise ships set sail; the Biggest Cruise Ship in the world as of April 2011 is the Allure of the Seas operated by Royal Caribbean. It is approximately 50 millimeters longer than its sister ship, the Oasis of the Seas; also operated by Royal Caribbean. This size difference is totally accidental; as both ships have the same design. The builders attribute the size difference to the temperature of the metal in the hull; but really, for all intents and purposes, they are the same size. I mean, how often have we collectively heard the excuse, “the cold makes them shrink?” I had the privilege of seeing this ship up close and personal while docked at Costa Maya on the Mexican Riviera. We were on the top deck of our ship, looking up at this great monolith of ocean going splendor; but I have to admit, being the predictable person I am, that the draw of the Allure and the Oasis of the Seas is that they are the first cruise ships to be outfitted with Starbucks.
How big is the Allure of the Seas? It is 360 metres long; over double the length of the well known Love Boat (a.k.a. the Pacific Princess) which is 167.74 metres and the Allure is more than twice as long as the Statue of Liberty is high. The Allure can carry up to 6200 passengers; almost 10 times the passenger capacity of the Pacific Princess’s 626 passengers. You could fit 7 times the entire permanent population of the Vatican City onto the Allure. Despite its huge passenger capacity, the public areas aren’t overly crowded according to one passenger we met at the docks in Costa Maya. An important distinction given the need for quiet solitude and a good book that arises on vacation.