Oasis of the Sea, the world’s largest cruise ship, has created some much needed and unexpected business for Florida’s hard-hit landscaping market.
More than 12,000 plants will be used in the ship’s Central Park, which is an open-air green space that spans more than a football field at the center of the 5,400-passenger ship. Florida’s Michaels Nursery and Southeast Growers are growing the bulk of the plants.
“This is a real big thing for us, a real shot in the arm,” says Bill Churchill, general manager of Michaels. Churchill declined to disclose estimated profits but said the cost of the plants alone is about $15,000.
One garden will have plants native to Caribbean destinations, so guests will see shade-grown coffee plants, budding pineapple plants and learn about the origin of spices, such as cinnamon and nutmeg. The park’s horticulturalist will give tours and offer passengers gardening tips, reports The Sun Sentinel.
As the nurseries prepare for the ship’s arrival (November 11), nurseries and project managers are already hoping to secure future business with Royal Caribbean, including Oasis’ sister vessel, Allure of the Seas.
“If you think you’re going to survive doing what you were doing five years ago, you’re going to be out of business,” Churchill says.
Read more about this floating Central Park.