Thousands turn out for Oasis of the Seas
Richard Morais, Gleaner Writer
"Wow" was the first word that came out when chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruise Limited (RCCL) Richard Fain was asked to describe the euphoria which greeted the maiden arrival of Oasis of the Seas in Jamaica and the opening of the Historic Falmouth cruise ship pier on Tuesday.
A record may have been set in the number of persons gathered at one place at the same time in Falmouth, eclipsing the approximately 30,000 who came out to the Brand Jamaica Concert in 2007 as a precursor to the Cricket World Cup.
Seaboard Street (the street adjacent to the wharf) and Market Street were jam-packed. From a 90-odd year-old great grandmother to a young baby, Falmouth residents were out in large numbers to witness the event.
Tears were shed by some and Shaggy, Richie Stephens, Etana, and Elephant Man gave superb performances.
Many just stood on Seaboard Street or on any available spot to get a glimpse of the ship while some walked about.
There was no rush to buy the Jamaican branded items that are normally sold in that area, but food vendors did brisk business. Even visitors joined long lines to get their hands on some Jamaican food.
The ship's departure was also eventful, as when the first blast of the horn sounded approximately half an hour before departure, many scurried to any available vantage point to see it leave. The ship is expected back to Falmouth in two weeks, giving hope to residents for an economic turn around for the area.