For those of who don’t get sea sick, crossing the ocean on cruise ship can be considered one of the most unique and adventurous travelling experiences out there. Over the years, cruise ships have gone through a series of incredible developments, with cruise ship manufacturing companies trying to outbuild and outclass each other every step of the way.
Today, the largest and most exuberant cruise ship out there is the Harmony of the Seas. And for any cruise lovers out there, or people just seeking adventure, it’s a must!
The Harmony of the Seas is an Oasis-class cruise ship built by STX France for Royal Caribbean International. With a gross tonnage of 226,963, it is the largest passenger ship in the world, surpassing her older sisters Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.
The Harmony of the Seas makes every use of its truly enormous size by squeezing in some of the most incredible facilities and amenities imaginable, things you would have a hard time believing exist on a single ship. The ship is so big it is divided into seven neighbourhoods, including a Central Park and a Boardwalk.
Some of the highlights and activities one can expect to find dispersed throughout these neighbourhoods include:
- “Vitality” Spa and fitness centre
- “Perfect Storm” water slide complex, featuring three slides
- “Ultimate Abyss” dry slide complex, with two ten-story tall enclosed slides
- 4 swimming pools and 10 hot tubs, including two hot tubs cantilevered over the edge of the ship
- 2 Flowrider surf simulators
- “Casino Royale” casino with a full selection of slot machines and table games
- Escape Room: “Escape the Rubicon” escape room game designed by Seattle-based Puzzle Break and ShowFX
- 20 dining venues, including “Wonderland” molecular gastronomy restaurant
- 11,252 works of art
- The Aqua Theatre, an open air stage which hosts diving, aerial and acrobatics shows
- The Bionic Bar, where drinks are made solely by two robotic arms
- The Royal Theatre, a 1,400 seat venue for Broadway-style shows such as Grease, Royal Caribbean’s original show “Columbus”, and 3D movies
- DreamWorks Experience, with characters from Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, etc.
- Two rock climbing walls
- Full-size basketball(sports) court, miniature golf course and ping pong tables
- Zip line
- Adventure Ocean programs for children and youth; also Royal Babies and Royal Tots programs
- Promenade shopping mall including jewelry, fashion and accessories
- Carousel, Johnny Rockets, Starbucks, snacks and entertainment on the Boardwalk area
- Central Park, an open air garden path with food and shops
The first voyage
Harmony of the Seas was floated out on 19 June 2015, began her first sea trials on 10 March 2016, and was delivered to Royal Caribbean on 12 May 2016. After a build time of 32 months, the ship first set sail on 15 May 2016 from the STX France docks in Saint-Nazaire, viewed by some 70,000 people. Her first destination is Southampton, England, although the home port will be Barcelona until 23 October when she crosses the Atlantic.