Yesterday Royal Caribbean announced that they will be sending the Allure of the Seas to the Grand Bahama Shipyard to repair her propulsion system. The original plan was to swap her with Oasis, whose dry dock was scheduled in 2015 in Europe. That way they’d be able to use a drydock that is big enough to accommodate her. I did some research, and it turns out that the XO Azipod system by ABB that’s onboard the Allure, can have the bearings replaced from the inside. Thusly, the decision to send her to Freeport, where there isn’t a Drydock big enough for her, finally makes sense. Its a more intense process and can’t be completed while the ship, say, overnights in a port. That’s why they cancelled a whole cruise. The port fees to do it in Port Everglades would be much more than a shot hop over to the Grand Bahama Shipyard. Royal Caribbean and Carnival have been investing heavily in that yard for some time now,
These CGI renderings are taken from an ABB presentation (PDF) about this class of pods. They illustrate how engine room personnel can enter inside the pod and reach the bearings.