Big, Bigger, Biggest – Harmony of the Seas

Harmony of the Seas

Last minute choices for a cruise were limited.  We reluctantly chose the largest cruise ship in the world, the Harmony of the Seas.  We don’t like noise, crowds and waiting in long lines.  But we wanted a minimal effort vacation.  They did a marvelous job, and we would go again.

Harmony is 1,188.1 feet long, just over a foot longer than its sister ships the Allure and the Oasis.  It displaces 227,000 gross tons.    Officially, It can hold 6780 guests [with more than two people in a room] and 2100 crew.  We were told there were 6441 passengers on our cruise, about 3800 of

Looking forward. Central Park has live trees and plants.

whom were on their first cruise, and 2185 crew.  In comparison, the Pacific Princess which we took to Longyearbyen last year was 30,277 tons and carries a total of 1045 passengers and crew.

They divided the ship into seven “neighborhoods.”  The most impressive to us was “Central Park” which soars from the 8th deck to the sky and boasts live plants and trees.  It is surrounded by restaurants and bars.  We also enjoyed the AquaTheater shows in “Boardwalk.”  The pool depth can be adjusted to accommodate divers plunging from 55 feet above.  At its deepest, it is 17.7 feet deep.   The Boardwalk also has a carousel and arcade.

Lots of fun for kids

The ship has two FlowRider® surf simulators, two 43-foot high rock-climbing walls, three water slides, an ice skating rink, a mini-golf course and a zip line as well as the Abyss, two helix-shaped ten-story sliding boards. [Yes, I went down the water slides and Abyss.]

We once were on a ship where the average age was 82 [that’s what the crew told us].  On this June cruise, we were the old folks; at one show, the entertainer had to explain to younger members in the audience who the Beatles were.

There is the usual casino, dancing,  youth programs, fitness and spa area and jogging track.  A “Bionic Bar” has robot bartenders which create beverages from a broad menu.

Riding the carousel in Boardwalk

They claim to have the “fastest Internet on the sea.”  I wonder if Navy ships might be faster, but it was certainly fast enough.

Alie likes a balcony if we can get it.  The room was very well designed but not the biggest we have had.  On the other hand, there are two-story “loft suites” available.  There are also rooms with balconies looking over Central Park and Boardwalk.  I didn’t see one, but perhaps the most interesting offer to me was for inside rooms with “virtual balconies” which give the illusion one is looking outside.

The largest cruise ship in the world requires more than I care to write or you care to read in one post.  Future posts will discuss the engineering systems and how they feed and entertain all those people.

In the meantime, as always, click on the photos to enlarge.

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About ralietravels

Ray and Alie (Ralie) are a retired couple who love to travel. Even during our working years, we squeezed a trip in whenever we could, often when we had to stretch the budget to do so. We have been fortunate to vacation in all 50 states, all the provinces of Canada and one territory and a little more than 50 countries. We like to drive, but we particularly love to travel back roads to find unusual sights, people, and experiences.
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18 Responses to Big, Bigger, Biggest – Harmony of the Seas

  1. Fascinating, but sadly not for us. I prefer my cities on solid ground!

    Liked by 2 people

    • ralietravels says:

      It is indeed a floating city as my next blog which should deal with utilities will attest. Cruising is not for everyone. Large ships are not for everyone. Alie was coming off a many month’s long recovery from surgery and a major arthritis flare, and we just wanted to get away. However, we were surprised at how much we enjoyed ourselves even in that huge crowd. They have done an extraordinary job and managing the flow.

      Like

  2. Pressed the wrong like!!

    Like

  3. JohnRH says:

    Unbelievable.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Keith & Loraine says:

    Absolutely awesome. That would be quite a cruise. Thanks for the update.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s one big ship. How does the bionic bar work ? The virtual balconies sound intriguing, do they have a water spray that gets you when you look out !

    Liked by 1 person

    • ralietravels says:

      The Bionic Bar has two robotic arms that look like those in a factory that select and pour from standard bottles. It can produce alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages of a wide variety from a menu, but nothing that requires fruit, bitters, etc.

      Like

      • I was really hoping the barman would have a face something like Max Headroom. I bet the real challenge is to try and find something it doesn’t know. Looking forward to your next posts about your cruise.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ross Hollander says:

    Thanks, Always interesting

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have yet to take a cruise. Partly because I can’t shake the sense that I’d be “trapped” on a ship for several days (weeks?) at a time. But this big ol’ boat is a floating city!
    maybe I should reconsider…

    Liked by 1 person

    • ralietravels says:

      As with everything, there are positives and negatives and reactions are very subjective. My wife loves transatlantic trips with many days at sea to do nothing; I try to take a big project to work on during those days. The large ship certainly has many more things to do. You are more likely to get to know the crew and other passengers on a small ship.
      Generally, unless we are taking a 3 day trip just to take a break [easy because of where we live], we choose our trips by itinerary. But often even then, while they take us to many new and interesting places, you never get much time in any one of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sounds huge, Ray! Peggy and I did a repositioning cruise that took us through the Mediterranean and then back to the US a few years ago. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have never been on a cruise ship and I don’t think it’s for me, but it sure is fascinating to read your post about it! I had no idea that they were so all encompassing in terms of offerings. It looks a bit overwhelming to say the least, but I enjoyed reading about it and seeing the visuals.

    Peta

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  10. That is incredible, a ship that large with everything they have and offer, and just that much to do 😮 Having with having been on my fair share of cruises, I have yet to go on one as spectacular as this one. I bet you had the time of your life! Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Controlling “Harmony” | RalieTravels

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