World’s Biggest Cruise Ship Sets Sail

 

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MS Harmony of the Seas is an Oasis-class cruise ship built by STX France at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France for Royal Caribbean International. With a gross tonnage of 226,963 GT, she is the largest passenger ship in the world, surpassing her older sisters Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

The success of the first two Oasis-class ships led Royal Caribbean Cruises to order a third ship of the type in December 2012.Harmony of the Seas was floated out on 19 June 2015, began her first sea trials on 10 March 2016, and was delivered to Royal Caribbean on 12 May 2016. After a build time of 32 months, the ship first set sail on 15 May 2016 from the STX France docks in Saint-Nazaire, viewed by some 70,000 people. Her first destination was Southampton, England, although the home port is Barcelona until 23 October when she crosses the Atlantic.

 

Harmony of the Seas took two short “preview cruises”, three nights to Cherbourg and four nights to Rotterdam, after reaching port in Southampton on 17 May. During these voyages, passengers complained of ongoing construction, a lack of hot water, unopened attractions, excessive waits at restaurants, and other issues. The ship’s maiden voyage departed from Southampton on 29 May and arrived at its summer home port of Barcelona on 5 June. According to passengers on this cruise, construction had finished and the ship was ready to sail.

 

For the inaugural season, Harmony of the Seas offered seven-night western Mediterranean cruises originating from Barcelona and Civitavecchia. In late October 2016, the ship crossed the Atlantic to the United States, where she offers seven-night eastern and western Caribbean cruises departing from Port Everglades, Florida.

 

 

Harmony of the Seas has 2,747 staterooms, with a wide variety of types, to accommodate (at double occupancy) 5,479 guests ranging from small interior rooms through larger rooms to suites, some of which are fitted with wall-mounted 80-inch (200 cm) screens, covering nearly the floor to ceiling, that show the ship’s environment as if through a window, named ‘virtual balconies’. These screens were first fitted on the Quantum class of cruise ships. A full 43 categories of stateroom types are offered, starting at a size of 180 square feet (17 m2); several types of suites are available, including the new “Royal Class” suites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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