Adam Goldstein, president and chief operating officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. placed newly minted coins, for good luck, into the covered building dock at Papenburg before Ovation's keel block was lowered by an 800-ton crane.
This first of 74 blocks weighs 740 tons.
Also on hand for the Thursday event were Meyer Werft managing partners Bernard Meyer, Jan Meyer and Lambert Kruse, and project manager Carsten Pengel; Anthem of the Seas Capt. Claus Andersen; and Royal Caribbean's Jarmo Laakso, avp Quantum class, and Mika Heiskanen, project manager.
Ovation of the Seas is scheduled for delivery in spring 2016.
Meanwhile, final outfitting work on Anthem of the Seas continues in the Papenburg harbor and the ship is planned to begin its conveyance along the Ems River to the sea Wednesday at 6 a.m. local time, with arrival at Eemshaven projected at 9 p.m. The schedule is subject to change, based on weather conditions.
Anthem of the Seas' delivery is set for April.
Each of the 168,000gt sister ships has lower berth capacity for 4,180 passengers.