First Starbucks at sea steams into Florida port

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:49pm EST

1 of 3. Royal Caribbean International's cruise ship 'Allure of the Seas' enters its new home port in Fort Lauderdale as seen from nearby Hollywood, Florida, November 11, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Joe Skipper

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (Reuters) - Coffee lovers looking for a bit of sea air flavor in their espresso or Frappuccino might want to sample the first Starbucks at sea, which steamed into a Florida port on Thursday on board the world's largest cruise liner.

Seattle-based Starbucks Corp, the world famous coffee chain, already has a nautical link -- its founders took the name from Starbuck, the first mate on the Pequod whaler from Nantucket that hunted the white whale, Moby Dick, in Herman Melville's famous novel.

The floating Starbucks Cafe is among a panoply of dining and entertainment options offered aboard Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas, sister of the Oasis of the Seas, hitherto the world's biggest cruise ship which the company brought into operation last year.

Royal Caribbean executives say the Allure is almost 2 inches (50 millimeters) longer than the Oasis.

The Starbucks at sea is being operated under a license between the world's largest coffee maker and Royal Caribbean, which will run the Allure and the Oasis from its Port Everglades base on Florida's southeast coast.

"Starbucks is an example of something that people, when they move from their daily world to the world of vacation, they don't necessarily want to leave that behind," Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Adam Goldstein told CNN this week.

Like its sister ship Oasis, the 225,285-gross ton Allure has 16 decks. It carries 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and features 2,700 staterooms.

The ship offers seven distinct themed "neighborhoods", which include a tree-lined Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone.

Allure will operate in the Caribbean and a special four-night sailing of the luxury liner on December 1 will call at the cruise line's private beach destination of Labadee, on the north coast of Haiti, the Western Hemisphere's poorest country.

(Reporting by Joe Skipper, Pascal Fletcher and Tom Brown; Editing by Anthony Boadle)

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