The prestigious title of “World’s Largest Cruise Ship” has been taken from Allure of the Seas after Royal Caribbean officially took delivery overnight of Harmony of the Seas in a glittering handover ceremony at the giant vessel’s construction yard in France.
In attendance along with executives of Royal Caribbean and the STX France shipyard were 2,100 Harmony of the Seas crew members representing 77 nations, who will be on hand to cater to thousands more passengers with all their requirements throughout their cruise.
Harmony of the Seas has been under construction for 32 months from concept to fruition, costing an equally sobering US$1 billion plus. The ship features 18 decks in total, 16 of which are open to passengers, and will be served by 24 elevators. Seven different “neighbourhoods” will offer a different experience to guests and feature their own restaurants and entertainment, including:
- Central Park – A living park in the middle of the ship featuring 10,587 plants and 52 trees.
- Boardwalk – A classic arcade featuring a range of games and activities.
- Royal Promenade – The interior mall offering shopping outlets and hosting parades.
- Pool & Sports Zone – Top deck area featuring a basketball court and zipline over the ship.
- Vitality at Sea Spa – Also offering a Fitness Centre with yoga classes and a thermal suite.
- Entertainment Palace – A zone comprising the Aqua Theatre, ice skating rink and theatre.
- Youth Zone – Offering a teen lounge and disco, Royal Babies nursery and Kids Water Park.
At double occupancy, the new vessel will carry 5,479 passengers across 2,747 staterooms and suites, while its absolute maximum capacity is an eye-watering 6,780 guests. Of these accommodations, there are 1,768 balcony staterooms, 266 Ocean View rooms and 524 Interior rooms, complete with Virtual Balconies.
Among these, 717 cabins will feature space for a third and fourth passenger in quad-share, while 46 staterooms will cater to those with accessibility requirements. The remaining 189 will be classified as suites, available in a number of different styles and configurations.
More than 20 dining options will feature across the ship, with guests utilising the Main Dining Room able to choose from a fixed seating time, while the Dynamic Dining flexible concept will open up access to all of the ship’s fare-inclusive dining outlets on either an early or late seating option. Other options include unique cuisine at ‘Wonderland’, Mexican fare at ‘Sabor’ and well-known concepts Chops Grille, Giovanni’s Table and Izumi Japanese, all of which are already in place on Royal Caribbean’s Australia-based ships.
As far as recreation and entertainment goes, Harmony of the Seas will feature a quite astonishing 23 swimming pools and whirlpools, two Flowrider Surfing Simulators and a trio of waterslides known as ‘The Perfect Storm’. Another slide known as ‘The Ultimate Abyss’ will transport guests at a fairly casual pace from Deck 16 down to the Boardwalk on Deck 6 in what will be the tallest slide at sea.
In the main Royal Theatre, guests will be able to enjoy Grease as well as high-diving shows in the AquaTheatre at the rear of the ship. Guests can also stay connected back on land with the high-speed VOOM internet system.
Harmony of the Seas will set sail from Barcelona on its maiden voyage on 29 May, offering a series of seven-night journeys around the Western Mediterranean. In November, the ship will reposition across the Atlantic to its new year-round home in Port Everglades, Florida.