Royal Caribbean already holds the title for world’s largest cruise ship, but it’s looking to break its own record. At the moment, the sister ships, “Allure of the Sea” and “Oasis of the Sea,” are the biggest of the bunch, but come April 2016, they will be usurped by the impressively enormous “Harmony of the Sea.”
The size and scope of this cruise ship is almost difficult to comprehend: It’s broken into 16 decks, and weighs in at 227,000 tons. There are more than 2,700 rooms on board, which can hold 5,479 guests. “Huge” doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Construction has been underway since the ship was announced in February of 2015. In June, the ship’s exterior was fully completed, and the next phase of construction began. Photos released in September showed the ship’s progress since summer: According to the images featured in a recent USA Today article the ship is well on its way to launching next year. It will spend the first few months of its debut season sailing through the Mediterranean from Barcelona, Spain, until it travels to its home port in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
It’s not only the ship itself that’s grown – it also has some of the largest staterooms in Royal Caribbean’s fleet. Another size record the “Harmony of the Seas” will check off is tallest at-sea waterslide. The “Ultimate Abyss” is one of the many slides that will be featured in Splashaway Bay, the ship’s water park. This aquatic amusement park will also feature a slide with a funnel section, where riders swirl down before continuing on the rest of the ride.
Like its sister ships, “Harmony” will be broken into seven distinct neighborhoods. Each of the neighborhoods will offer a different feel and experience. For example, the water park will be located in the Pool and Sports Zone. Other neighborhoods include Central Park, which is full of trees and other plants, the Boardwalk, which includes a carousel and arcade, and Youth Zone, an area where the under-18 crowd can hang out and find age-appropriate activities.
One of the coolest features this ship will offer lives in the Royal Promenade neighborhood: the bionic bar. The bionic bar concept first debuted on Royal Caribbean’s “Quantum of the Seas.” The idea is as simple as it is delightfully futuristic: Robotic arms pour, muddle, shake, stir and serve drinks requested by guests via app.