By Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel
3:47 PM EDT, April 30, 2012
It used to be people were happy with one water slide, but cruise lines these days are stepping up the liquid fun quotient, and the latest salvo is the Aqua Park aboard the Norwegian Breakaway.
Norwegian Cruise Line released renderings of the planned water slide showing five full-size tubes including the Free Fall, twin slides in which riders get launched through a trap door on a multi-story drop that looks like a heart racer.
"Norwegian Breakaway's outdoor decks will offer spectacular fun and thrills for the entire family," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian's chief executive officer.
It will be the line's largest water park at sea, also featuring The Whip, side-by-side twisting slides as well as a more tame, family-friendly open-flume body slide.
There will also be a Kids' Aqua Park featuring Nickelodeon characters from SpongeBob SquarePants, a kid-sized pool and slide and multiple squirting and shower water features.
Water features can be the marquee item for a cruise ship such as the AquDuck Water Coaster aboard the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy or the recent refurbished Carnival Spirit and its Green Thunder water slide that sends riders nearly 100 feet in a steep plummet and hairpin turn that extends out over the ship's side before coming back into a splashdown.
The 4,000-passenger ship set to debut in April 2013 and will be based out of the port of New York where it will sail seven-day Bahamas and Florida cruises as well as 12-day southern Caribbean cruises.
Currently under construction at Meyer Werft shipyards in Papenburg, Germany, the Breakaway will be 144,017 gross tons and is scheduled for delivery in April 2013. It's the first of two ships on order by NCL with the second, the Norwegian Getaway slated for a spring 2014 delivery.
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