Journalists and travel agents toured Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas yesterday, three months prior to the launch of the world’s largest cruise ship.
At a press conference representatives from the cruise line and shipyard answered questions about the 227,000 gross ton vessel.
They explained that Harmony of the Seas will be 20 percent more efficient than her sister ships, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas. Savings achieved in many areas of the ship are, in part, due to the improvements in technology over the past decade.
The hull shape has been redesigned to improve efficiency while air lubrication technology has been installed to create microscopic bubbles on the hull, reducing friction to improve speed and efficiency.
The propulsion system has been redesigned and the latest fuel efficiency engines have been installed. Waste heat recovery systems have been used to minimise energy usage. LED lighting has also replaced traditional light bulbs.
Compared to the two Oasis-class ships there is more deck space on offer, with an extra 33 centimetres (13 inches) in length and nearly an extra metre (three feet) in width. The majority of cabins now benefit from a slightly longer shape, and are designed to maximise floor space without sacrificing storage space.
Public spaces are recognisable on the ship although most still have a lot of cosmetic decoration work to be completed. Some venues have been relocated based on passenger usage on sister ships. For example, the Starbucks kiosk, found in Royal Promenade on the sister ships, has been moved to the Boardwalk neighbourhood, with the old space now becoming the Shore Excursions desk.
The décor bears a strong resemblance to Quantum-class ships, with a modern, rich blue and grey-brown colour scheme used throughout. The colour scheme is not the only aspect of the Quantum-class ships that can be found on Harmony of the Seas. Some of the technology from Two70 will be added to Studio B to enhance the ice shows. The Bionic Bar will be installed across from the Rising Tide bar. Jamie’s Italian will be installed as will a two-storey Wonderland restaurant. The upper level will house the Wonderland Bar which will serve “magical cocktails” to restaurant diners and bar guests. Off the ship, Smart Check-in will be enabled allowing passengers to board the ship speedily.
The much anticipated Ultimate Abyss slide, an idea conceived by Royal Caribbean’s CEO Michael Bayley just six months ago, has yet to be installed. It is being constructed off-site and is due to be installed within weeks. The ride will not have an age limit but riders will need to be 1.2 metres (48 inches) or taller in height. Riders will step through an entrance shaped as a angler fish’s mouth and onto a glass floor platform to reach one of two slide entrances.
Latest construction photos
Harmony of the Seas is expected to arrive in Southampton on 19 May with the first public sailing taking place on 22 May.
(Photo credits to Royal Caribbean International)