Move over Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas. You're no longer the world's largest cruise ships. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line launched the Harmony of the Seas in May 2016, and this new ship is seven feet longer than its two older sister ships that were launched in 2009 and 2010, respectively. The Harmony of the Seas also has 2 more passenger decks, 43 more cabins, and can carry up to 5,479 guests (double occupancy) compared to the 5,408 on Oasis and Allure. The massive ship can pack up to 6,780 guests when all the berths are full.
Harmony of the Seas Itineraries
After two short preview cruises and her christening on May 29 in Southampton, Harmony of the Seas sails for Barcelona, where she spends her first summer in the western Mediterranean sailing 7-day cruises. Guests can board in either Barcelona or Rome (Civitavecchia) and disembark in the same port a week later. Having two embarkations a week cuts down on long check-in lines.
In late October, Harmony crosses the Atlantic from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale, her permanent home port. Starting in mid-November, the largest cruise ship in the world sails 7-day cruises to either the eastern or western Caribbean roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale.
This overview of the Harmony of the Seas includes some of the first photos of the cruise ship and a preview of the many venues and onboard activities.
Anytime a cruise ship (or anything else) is deemed the world's largest, people are curious--just how large is it? Royal Caribbean anticipated this curiosity and provided some fascinating statistics on the Harmony of the Seas cruise ship.
- Built At: STX France, St. Nazaire, France
- Maiden Voyage: May 29, 2016
- Size: 226,963 Gross Registered Tons (GRT)
- Length: 1,188 feet (almost 4 football fields long). Harmony is taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai
- Width: 215.5 feet
- Draft: 30 feet
- Number of individual parts: over 500,000
- Cruising Speed: 22 knots
- Guests (double occupancy): 5,479
- Guests (maximum): 6,780
- Staterooms: 2,747 (1,768 with a balcony)
- Dining Venues: 20
- Crew: 2,300. Along with all the nautical and hotel staff, the crew on the Harmony of the Seas includes one ice skate sharpener, a face painter, 7 high divers, and 2 tight rope walkers. (The Bionic Bar has two robot bartenders.)
- Decks: 16 guest decks and 18 total guests
- Guest Elevators: 24
- Harmony has seven neighborhoods and a new water adventure park for kids (of all ages).
- On a typical seven-night cruise Harmony goes through 350 tons of ice cubes (approximately 110,000 lbs. are made each day), 60,000 fresh whole eggs, 100 gallons of chocolate ice cream, 2,100 lbs. of lobster tail, and 2,500 lbs. of fresh salmon.
Past Royal Caribbean cruisers will be happy to know that the Harmony of the Seas includes many of the great features of both the Quantum class and the Oasis class of cruise ships.
Harmony of the Seas has the same seven neighborhoods as Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas. In addition, Harmony's neighborhoods have new features that families and adults can enjoy like the Perfect Storm water park slides in the Pool and Sports Zone, a two-story Wonderland restaurant similar to the Wonderland on Anthem of the Seas, and the musical Grease in the Royal Theater of Entertainment Place.
The following highlights the seven neighborhoods onboard the Harmony of the Seas.
Pool and Sports Zone
The Pool and Sports Zone runs the length of the ship and features four types of swimming pools, two FlowRider surf simulators, a zip line, terrific views of Boardwalk and Central Park below, and a trio of water slides and The Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea.
- The Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide on the high seas, scares the bravest of guests. Towering more than 150 feet above the sea, The Ultimate Abyss overlooks the AquaTheater at the aft of the ship. The pair of side-by-side slides releases travelers into a chilling 100-foot drop that twists and turns in a serpentine-like movement from the Pool and Sports Zone on Deck 16 to the Boardwalk on Deck 6 below. The Ultimate Abyss are the twisting purple slides. Looks terrifying in a photo; can't imagine what it looks like from deck 16.
- The Perfect Storm is a trio of water slides that thrill guests of all ages. They certainly look tamer than The Ultimate Abyss. These multi-story water slides all twist and turn over Central Park 10 decks below, with one slide featuring a champagne bowl that swirls guests around as they make their approach to the end of the ride.
- Splashaway Bay, a water feature with sea creature water cannons, winding slides, a gigantic drench bucket, and a multi-platform jungle-gym, delights younger kids and their families.
- Zip lines at sea take guests across an open-air atrium suspended nine decks high above Boardwalk – a distance of more than 82 feet (25 meters).
- The adults-only Solarium features a three-deck-high, glass-paneled enclave designed with comfortable seating. The open-air Solarium offers a tranquil swimming pool, two serene whirlpools, and four cantilevered whirlpools suspended 136 feet (41.5 meters) above the ocean. Nice to have a place for adults to escape to when the ship is filled with kids.
- The Sports Deck also boasts Royal Caribbean past favorites, including two FlowRider surf simulators, a nine-hole miniature golf course, and the Sports Court, which allows for friendly games of basketball, volleyball, and soccer.
The breathtaking Boardwalk neighborhood at the aft of the Harmony of the Seas is fun for the entire family. The colorful original carousel, casual eateries, retail outlets, and carnival games can keep everyone entertained. Elements of the Boardwalk include:
- AquaTheater is an outdoor venue at the stern of the ship with a backdrop of the ocean across the horizon, The amphitheater-style entertainment space celebrates water with water and light shows, professional aquatic acrobatic, and synchronized swimming performances.
- For kids of all ages, the Boardwalk features a custom-made carousel handcrafted from poplar wood just for Royal Caribbean. The full-sized, traditional carousel is similar to the one on the Allure of the Seas and features 18 figures suspended from stainless steel poles showcasing a menagerie of animals.t
- A selection of dining venues is available within Boardwalk, including Johnny Rockets, Sabor Modern Mexican, and Starbucks Coffee.
- Two rock-climbing walls flank the AquaTheater, providing a unique climbing experience with multiple routes. Each rock wall measures 43 feet tall (13.1 meters).
Like the Central Park neighborhood on Oasis and Allure, this neighborhood is like a city park--open to the sky but surrounded by cabins and retail and entertainment venues. Since Central Park is primarily a living park, it has a total of 10,587 plants, 48 vine plants, and 52 trees, some of which are over 20 feet high.
- The park’s central piazza evolves into a nighttime gathering space for alfresco dining and entertainment.
- Central Park is home to some of the ship’s most popular specialty dining restaurants. Venues including 150 Central Park, Chops Grille, and Vintages can be found there, as well as the addition of Jamie’s Italian, a Quantum-class favorite by world-renowned chef Jamie Oliver.
- Dazzles is a spectacular dance lounge that spans three decks and has a huge floor-to-ceiling window with breathtaking views of the Boardwalk below. Dazzles offers a variety of musical experiences ranging from 1940’s big band to disco to ballroom evenings.
Unlike Royal Promenades on other Royal Caribbean ships, the Royal Promenade on Harmony allows light to filter down from Central Park, a nice new feature of this indoor neighborhood.
- Harmony of the Seas is the first Oasis-class ship to feature a Bionic Bar, which has two robotic bartenders that shake, muddle and stir a wide variety of drinks made just to order.
- The Rising Tide Bar – the world’s first moving bar at sea – is an engineering feat that spans three decks and allows cruisers to enjoy a cocktail as they slowly move between Central Park on deck eight and the Royal Promenade on deck five.
Entertainment Place is the life of the ship after dark. This contemporary nightclub district features after-dark spaces in more intimate venues.
- Seating 1,380 guests, the Royal Theater is home to two headline shows: an all-new, never-before-seen stage production of Grease specially adapted by Royal Caribbean Productions, as well as Columbus, The Musical!, a comedic, original Royal Caribbean production that recounts the imagined history of Marvin Columbus, Christopher’s fictional, down-on-his-luck, distant cousin.
- Studio B is home to two new ice skating extravaganzas. 1887 is an original Royal Caribbean ice skating production about love and adventure that begins in Paris on Valentine's Day 1887 at the height of the career of Jules Verne. The iSkate Showcase is an ice show where Royal Caribbean’s skaters showcase their very best moves in performances set to their own favorite tunes.
- Jazz on 4 provides an intimate jazz and blues experience.
- Comedy Live is a comedy club where headline acts interact with the audience to provide customized performances each evening.
The Youth Zone is home to kids and teens and offers many of the same activities seen on other Royal Caribbean cruise ships. Set things straight before traveling on a cruise with teens.
- Adventure Ocean program age groups each have its own dedicated space: Royal Babies and Tots, ages six months to two years; Aquanauts, ages 3 to 5; Explorers, ages 6 to 8; and Voyagers, ages 9 to 11.
- Harmony of the Seas features common play areas, including Imagination Studio, an arts and crafts space; a fully-equipped lab for Adventure Science Lab; Play, a circular area where children can rollick and participate in a variety of sports and games; and Adventure Ocean Theater, the first-ever children’s theater at sea.
- Longtime Royal Caribbean teen-only spaces, Fuel Disco and The Living Room, return aboard Harmony of the Seas. An outdoor deck adjacent to these venues gives teens the freedom and opportunity to make new friends while on their cruise vacation.
Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center
The Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness neighborhood encompasses various amenities that support healthy lifestyles and support complete body wellness.
- The Vitality at Sea Spa includes a Thermal Suite, featuring heated ceramic loungers, saunas, and steam rooms; 29 treatment rooms including three couples massage suites and seven individual treatment rooms – the largest collection at sea.
- As a precursor to any treatment, guests are encouraged to begin the spa experience by unwinding in the calming relaxation rooms.
- Kids and teens have a dedicated spa of their own, YSPA, where they can enjoy specially catered services.
- The Fitness Center offers vacationers a varied selection of exercise machines including the latest cardio and resistance equipment for working out alone or for joining one of the several classes, such as spinning, kickboxing, Pilates and yoga.
In addition to the family fun and amenities in the seven neighborhoods like the Pool and Sports Zone's Perfect Storm seen in the photo above, the Harmony of the Seas has other features that families love.
DreamWorks Animation Characters
Harmony of the Seas features a familiar cast of DreamWorks Animation characters including Po of Kung Fu Panda; Shrek, Fiona and Puss in Boots of Shrek; and from Madagascar, Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, King Julien and the Penguins.
Guests can enjoy events and activities based on DreamWorks Animation's popular feature-film characters, including a DreamWorks Character breakfast in the main dining room, "meet and greet" experiences throughout the day, and photo opportunities that can be immediately shared with family and friends back home using VOOM, the fastest internet at sea.
Younger guests can choose from a diverse line-up of activities, from story time to dance parties, games, and adventures rooted in the popular DreamWorks Animation films at the complimentary Adventure Ocean youth program.
Parents and kids have guaranteed seats on “opening weekend” of highly anticipated feature films such as Kung Fu Panda 3, which premieres onboard the same day it does in theaters on land. Year-round, guests can watch the latest and long-term favorite DreamWorks Animation films in the ship’s 3D movie theater and on a dedicated DreamWorks TV channel in their cabin.
Enhanced Adventure Ocean Programming
Royal Caribbean’s Adventure Ocean youth program offers young guests, ages three to eleven, an entertaining line-up of activities and games rooted in fun and excitement. New to be offered in Harmony’s Adventure Ocean Theater is Away We Go!, a black light puppet show.
Additionally, programming by “Muffalo Potato” – the popular YouTube show, which teaches kids to draw anything in minutes using only letters and numbers – is included in Harmony’s lineup.