Monday, November 7, 2016

World’s three largest cruise ships rendezvous at sea

The three largest cruise ships in the world met at sea on Friday, Nov. 4, for the first and possibly the only time.

The ships are Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis-class ships Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and the new Harmony of the Seas. In a meeting of what the cruise line characterized as “unprecedented proportions,” the three sister megaships came together to celebrate the U.S. arrival of Harmony of the Seas on the eve of the ship’s debut in her new permanent homeport of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Three Royal Caribbean Oasis-class sister ships at sea
Three sister ships at sea
The following day, Harmony of the Seas departed on her maiden voyage from her new permanent homeport, fêted with an updated take on the traditional flotilla send-off.

A team of 16 jetboard and jetpack riders from the Aquafly Hydroflight Sports Performance Team performed a stunt show that accompanied Harmony as she made her way out to sea.

Each of the Oasis-class vessels features seven themed neighborhoods, a characteristic unique to the Oasis-class ships. One such neighborhood is the lush and tranquil Central Park, adorned with nearly 12,000 plants and trees.

Each ship also includes a number of new features, adventures and thrill rides, including FlowRider surf simulators and an 82-foot zip long that races guests nine decks in the air. Ships feature multi-level loft suites with expansive floor-to-ceiling windows, the outdoor AquaTheater that hosts high-diving, aquatic and acrobatic performances, a Boardwalk with a hand-carved carousel, and The Rising Tide Bar, the first moving bar at sea.

The newest and youngest of the three ships, Harmony of the Seas officially holds the title of world’s largest cruise ship, though she bests her sister ships by a mere foot in length and nearly 1,700 gross registered tons, according to the cruise line.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas departs Ft.Lauderdale, Florida
Harmony of the Seas departs Ft. Lauderdale
Delivered in May, the largest ship in the Oasis class has 2,744 passenger staterooms with a capacity of 6,360 passengers, an increase of 64 passengers over the previous ships in the class. It also has 1,197 crew cabins capable of berthing 2,100 crewmembers.

The ship features a lineup of new experiences, imaginative dining, unparalleled entertainment and the latest technology, including VOOM, the fastest internet at sea, according to Royal Caribbean.

Harmony combines the seven neighborhood concept with some modern and groundbreaking amenities and offerings intended to appeal to guests of all ages.

Activities range from The Ultimate Abyss - a 10-story tall slide - to entertainment including Broadway’s hit musical Grease. Dining venues include Jamie’s Italian Cuisine, created in conjunction with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to Royal Caribbean’s restaurant Wonderland with its unique culinary adventure for the senses beyond just taste and smell.

As reported previously by TheTravelPro, specialty dining venues created in collaboration with celebrity chefs is one of the current trends in the industry. Princess Cruises has introduced SHARE, created in collaboration with celebrity chef Curtis Stone, and The Salty Dog Gastropub in partnership with Ernesto Uchimura. TV host Guy Fieri created Guy’s Burger Joint for Carnival Cruise Lines and earlier this year expanded his ocean-going venues with a new barbecue restaurant, the Pig & Anchor, on the Carnival Magic.

Finally, like the Quantum of the Seas, Harmony has a Bionic Bar staffed by robot bartenders capable of mixing drinks and selecting the correct potions to mix 127 specialty cocktails, plus the classics.

More information is available and reservations can be made at royalcaribbean.com.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.



Photos provided by Royal Caribbean International
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