First Look: Harmony of the Seas

by Sherri Eisenberg

First Look: Harmony of the Seas

by Sherri Eisenberg

When Royal Caribbean launches Harmony of the Seas in May, it will be the largest cruise ship in the world, besting their own current record holder, Allure of the Seas, by 33 centimeters. A blend of the best of the Oasis- and Quantum-class ships, this behemoth will spend the summer in the Mediterranean before moving to a permanent home in the Caribbean. So what's the ship really like? We took a tour at the STX Shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France — 100 days before the launch — to find out.

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Harmony of the Seas under construction in France / Royal Caribbean International
On the deck of the Harmony of the Seas
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Future Home of the Ultimate Abyss

The aft view of the ship is open and dramatic right now, but it will soon get a splash of color when the Ultimate Abyss, the world's largest "dry" slide, is installed. The slide will spiral down from Deck 17 to Deck six, thrilling kids and grown-ups alike. Stepping onto the glass platform, you'll feel like you're about to go over the side of the ship before you launch yourself down the slide. And inside the enclosed tube, you'll hear music as you descend.

The aft view of the ship is open and dramatic right now, but it will soon get a splash of color when the Ultimate Abyss, the world's largest "dry" slide, is installed. The slide will spiral down from Deck 17 to Deck six, thrilling kids and grown-ups alike. Stepping onto the glass platform, you'll feel like you're about to go over the side of the ship before you launch yourself down the slide. And inside the enclosed tube, you'll hear music as you descend.

The future Central Park
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Central Park

The Central Park space doesn't look like much now because the plants — which will be installed fully grown — do not arrive until three weeks before the first sailing. In order to care for this interior garden, the line employs four full-time horticulturalists. Also in the space: Michael Schwartz's farm-to-ship restaurant, 150 Central Park, and Jamie Oliver's Italian trattoria Jamie's Italian, which comes complete with outdoor seating and a revamped seafood-laden menu.

The Central Park space doesn't look like much now because the plants — which will be installed fully grown — do not arrive until three weeks before the first sailing. In order to care for this interior garden, the line employs four full-time horticulturalists. Also in the space: Michael Schwartz's farm-to-ship restaurant, 150 Central Park, and Jamie Oliver's Italian trattoria Jamie's Italian, which comes complete with outdoor seating and a revamped seafood-laden menu.

The water park under construction
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The Perfect Storm

A trio of water slides, collectively called The Perfect Storm, are being installed in bright primary colors. Named Typhoon, Cyclone, and Supercell, they offer guests a five-story ride down to the pool deck from Deck 15 — and they're designed for racing. 

A trio of water slides, collectively called The Perfect Storm, are being installed in bright primary colors. Named Typhoon, Cyclone, and Supercell, they offer guests a five-story ride down to the pool deck from Deck 15 — and they're designed for racing. 

Studio B
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Studio B Ice Rink

The onboard ice skating rink offers both open skating sessions as well as performances. (After all, Royal Caribbean is the world's leading employer of professional ice skaters.) You can see “1887,” a historic romance, or “iSkate Showcase,” a more playful show. At night, Studio B will host Quest, an interactive team game.

The onboard ice skating rink offers both open skating sessions as well as performances. (After all, Royal Caribbean is the world's leading employer of professional ice skaters.) You can see “1887,” a historic romance, or “iSkate Showcase,” a more playful show. At night, Studio B will host Quest, an interactive team game.

On Air
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On Air

On Air will be the largest sports bar on the fleet. It will also be the place for family karaoke, which is held in the early evenings so that even the littlest cruisers can participate. 

On Air will be the largest sports bar on the fleet. It will also be the place for family karaoke, which is held in the early evenings so that even the littlest cruisers can participate. 

Inside a stateroom on Harmony of the Seas
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Spacious-Feeling Cabins

Cabins have been redesigned with a new closet style: split on either side of the bed, with doors that pull out rather than slide. It's a small detail, but one that makes the rooms feel more open and spacious.

Cabins have been redesigned with a new closet style: split on either side of the bed, with doors that pull out rather than slide. It's a small detail, but one that makes the rooms feel more open and spacious.

Rendering of Harmony of the Seas
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Coming in May

There are a lot of other little tweaks on Harmony of the Seas. Many are in the food and beverage offerings; Wonderland, the playful molecular gastronomy restaurant, will now span two stories, with a bar on the top floor serving creative cocktails and small bites. In addition, the main dining room will have two floors of My Time dining rather than just one, since the eat-when-you-like program has been especially popular with new cruisers and younger travelers.

But those aren't the only changes from the previous ships built in these classes. For example, the popular adults-only lounge, Solarium, is getting an additional 140 seats to meet demand. And the ship's theater will be home to the company's latest Broadway-style show, “Grease,” as well as a new production, "Columbus: The Musical."

But fans of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis and Quantum classes will find their favorite features are all here, too — we can already tell that the atmosphere will be both festive and familiar.

There are a lot of other little tweaks on Harmony of the Seas. Many are in the food and beverage offerings; Wonderland, the playful molecular gastronomy restaurant, will now span two stories, with a bar on the top floor serving creative cocktails and small bites. In addition, the main dining room will have two floors of My Time dining rather than just one, since the eat-when-you-like program has been especially popular with new cruisers and younger travelers.

But those aren't the only changes from the previous ships built in these classes. For example, the popular adults-only lounge, Solarium, is getting an additional 140 seats to meet demand. And the ship's theater will be home to the company's latest Broadway-style show, “Grease,” as well as a new production, "Columbus: The Musical."

But fans of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis and Quantum classes will find their favorite features are all here, too — we can already tell that the atmosphere will be both festive and familiar.

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