Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas -- a twin of the world's largest passenger liner -- sailed into Port Everglades Thursday, underscoring a crucial challenge facing the South Florida cruise industry: Can South Florida have too many cruise ships?
From the view of travelers, probably not: The abundance of berths will mean more choices aboard top-rated ships -- and often, at surprisingly low prices.
Like its twin, Oasis of the Seas, Allure is a floating city, carrying 5,400 passengers on weekly cruises to the Caribbean.
Three more new ships -- from Holland America, Celebrity and Seabourn -- also arrive in South Florida this month. This winter, that could add up to three dozen ships carrying as many as 90,000 passengers at a given time on voyages from South Florida. Industrywide, that means an increase in the Caribbean of 15 percent over last year. ``There are a lot of beds to fill,'' said Stewart Chiron, a Miami cruise expert and CEO of Cruiseguy.com.
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