It really takes a first-person look to adequately appreciate the scale on which Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas operates on a day-to-day basis.
The world’s largest cruise ship is still sparkling and brand new, having floated out of the shipyard and transferred from its French builders to its owners three months ago. In doing so it claimed this mantle from sister ship Allure of the Seas, which it will be joining in its new Florida home of Fort Lauderdale later this year as the two behemoths begin sailing itineraries to the Caribbean and other ports nearby.
If you’ve cruised with Royal Caribbean in Australia on Explorer of the Seas or any of her other fleet mates, the difference between our local ships and Harmony are deep, widespread and are instantly noticeable the second you walk onboard. Being so new, the designers of this ship have not just added new entertainment options but have redesigned and relaunched existing favourites, such as Chops Grille, Schooner Bar and Windjammer Cafe.
But before we get to the first gallery, the basic facts. Harmony of the Seas caters to more than 5,400 passengers at double occupancy, looked after by nearly 2,400 crew. The ship features seven different “neighbourhoods” or zones ranging from a classic funfair featuring a traditional carousel to a water park boasting three multi-storey waterslides – including one which sends you sliding around a giant bowl.
Keeping guests fed are more than 20 different restaurants, bars and lounges, a Starbucks coffee shop and many more features which will make your jaw drop. But perhaps most notable about a ship of this size is that even when sailing with a full passenger load, it doesn’t feel too crowded. With so much space available in which people can spread out and spend their time, without becoming acutely aware of the sheer number of fellow cruisers.
We went onboard Harmony of the Seas during a recent visit to Barcelona. Check it out.