Sandra Corkin and Alison Hamilton preview life and luxury on board the world’s largest – and most talked about - cruise ship, the fabulous Harmony of the Seas.
Even before its maiden voyage, Harmony of the Seas has been the subject of global media attention. Costing more than a $1billion, Harmony of the Seas is the 25th ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet and the world’s largest cruise liner. It has captured the imagination as well as the headlines and this floating city is already the new ‘must do’ for fans of luxe holidays.
The biggest cruise ship the world has ever seen comes with a plethora of superlatives. It’s taller, wider, heavier and packed with even more attractions than any reasonable person would ever have thought possible. Every element of its construction and presentation has the touch of quality which is the hallmark of the prestigious Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.
The sheer scale of the vessel is hard to visualise. It is 1,188 feet in length and weighs 227,000 tonnes. It is the height of seven double-decker buses stacked on top of each other and it has a guest capacity of 5,479 at double occupancy…with a ship’s company of 2,100 to look after them. Sixteen restaurants – including Jamie Oliver’s latest venture – provide amazing dining experiences and, amongst its choice of pubs, bars, wine bars, coffee shops and lounges, the ship also features the Bionic Bar: the world’s first fully robotic cocktail bar. The ship even has 23 swimming pools!
“You don’t know what to marvel at first, for there’s something new and amazing at every turn,” laughs Sandra. “I’ve been on board a lot of cruise ships in my time as MD of Oasis Travel but, on board Harmony of the Seas, I felt like a child in a sweetshop!
“It’s almost impossible to choose a favourite feature, but I have to admit to being totally wowed by the staterooms which are the largest in the Royal Caribbean fleet and fabulously well appointed, with elegant décor and every possible comfort. The spas, gyms and salons were cool beyond belief and I totally fell in love with Central Park too; amazingly created in true New York style with more than 10,000 plants (with trees growing up to ten feet tall) and lined with chic iconic brand stores including Bulgari, Cartier, Hublot and Kate Spade.”
Alison loved the luxury too, but was delighted to discover a family-friendly environment. She says, “Harmony of the Seas gets the balance just right with stunning grown-up attractions, but also showcasing brilliant family opportunities.
“More families than ever before are choosing cruising so it was great to see that the whole family would find the perfect vacation on Harmony Of The Seas, whatever their age or interest. For the tinies, highlights include Royal Babies & Tots Nursery, Splashaway Bay kids’ water park, the ImagineOcean! Puppet show and DreamWorks character experiences. While older kids will love the dedicated Teen Space, the fastest Internet at sea, a state of the art video arcade, zip line and incredible sports and action activities, including The Ultimate Abyss, a 12 second, adrenaline-charged 100 feet hurtle down the longest slide at sea…although I imagine plenty of adults will be up for that challenge too!
“Older holidaymakers are brilliantly catered for too, with lots of kick-back and chill areas and a great ship layout for those who just like to go walkabout. I wouldn’t like to make too many assumptions these days about older holidaymakers choosing a gentler pace, for I know plenty who can still party till dawn – but the thing is that, on board the Harmony of the Seas, you have so much variety on offer you can happily choose your own pace and preference.
“Live entertainment in the air, in water and on ice will keep guests dazzled with exciting high-diving, acrobatic and aquatic performances in the deepest pool at sea in the fantasy setting of the AquaTheatre. There’s even an ice show extravaganza and, my personal favourite, Broadway's hit musical Grease.”
Sandra adds, “Harmony of the Seas is another game-changer from Royal Caribbean, setting totally new standards and transforming expectations. It truly is a destination in itself…the perfect holiday resort, but one which glides tranquilly over azure oceans. This is the holiday that dreams are made of!”
Harmony of the Seas will homeport in Barcelona, Spain and embark on the first of 34 seven-night sailings in the western Mediterranean on June 7, exploring some of Europe's most beautiful locations. In November 2016, Harmony will arrive at her homeport of Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale (Florida), from where she will offer seven-night eastern and western Caribbean sailings. The newest member of the Royal Caribbean fleet will join sister-ships Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, sailing from Port Canaveral and Port Everglades respectively, on the east coast of Florida.
If you would like to avail of the opportunity to sail on the magnificent Harmony of the Seas this season - while it is in Europe - you should contact your local Oasis Branch at your earliest convenience.