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Checking up on Harmony of the Seas

By BijalFriday 11th March 2016

Harmony of the Seas, our biggest ship yet! Harmony of the Seas, our biggest ship yet!

Harmony of the Seas is set to be the world’s biggest ship, with the world’s tallest slide at sea and a whole host of other fantastic features that we can’t wait to see in action. From the incredible sports offerings to the onboard VOOM technology, Harmony of the Seas is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

A few weeks ago, we paid a visit to the STX France shipyard to see how Harmony of the Seas is coming along. While we were there, some of the brains behind this magnificent ship gave us the inside scoop. Here’s what we found out.

It will be 20% more efficient that its sister ships

Jean Yves Pean, STX France Responsable d'affaire (France Business Manager): “When we started the project with Petteri Keso and his team we started with a target of 10%. We reached the first target so we moved the target to 15%. After that, we put it up to 20%. We worked on hydrodynamics, equipment, the new design and more.” Petteri Keso, Harmony of the Seas Project Director: “We turned over every rock and stone to see where we could find energy efficiencies. The biggest savings come from the hydrodynamic piece. We also have new kinds of propulsion units, which are more effective. The main engines are more fuel efficient than their predecessors. We’ve changed most of the ship’s lighting to LED lighting and we’re recovering most of the waste heat. We’ve also made the air conditioning more efficient. SMART systems have been implemented to control the consumption of electricity.” There’s still a lot of work to be done. There’s still a lot of work to be done.

The onboard tech is going to be unreal

Raimund: “There will be lots of guest-facing technology. One is VOOM, the fastest and most reliable internet on the high seas. VOOM allows you to stream video content and have online experiences that everyone is accustomed to today, while onboard. We are also using the Royal IQ App, which you can download on your smartphone, which allows you to do bookings, look at the daily schedule, cruise compass and a number of other things. We have few back-of-house innovations – a property management system, which is extremely important to us and how we operate the ship. We also use next generation embarkation, where our staff can check you in to the car park.”

Ultimate Abyss was Michael Bailey’s idea

Nick Weir, Vice President of Entertainment: “The idea for Ultimate Abyss came from Michael Bailey, Royal Caribbean's International President and CEO. We were in a meeting and I remember he turned to the room and said, “let’s build the craziest slide anyone has ever thought of”. Our team then went to work and figured it out. But it was Michael Bailey – he wanted the ultimate slide.” Raimund Gschaider, Associate Vice President – Hotel Operations: “Water slides are fairly common, so we’re taking them to a new extreme. This slide is very unique and only the design of an Oasis Class ship could allow for the Ultimate Abyss to happen. The idea for the slide was only born about six months ago, so for the shipyard to react and help us to realise a thrilling idea this late in the game really takes two partners to come together and work very closely.” Nick: “It’s a unique combination. When you want something thrilling like that you need the actual, physical drop; you need the vertical distance. You really want the whole world to talk about it, so you need them to see it. It really is the perfect answer to everything we needed from slides.” A few of the ship’s waterslides have already been installed. A few of the ship’s water slides have already been installed.

Harmony of the Seas is 33cm longer than other ships

Gus Andersson, Captain of Harmony of the Seas: “We usually build the ships a little bit bigger here and Harmony of the Seas will be the biggest. It is 33cm longer than the other ships, a little bit wider and has a bigger gross tonnage. We’ve ramped up on all sizes.”

The staterooms will be bigger than on other ships

Gus: “We went away from the big TVs and we introduced flat screens so you have more space. From deck six upwards we’ve made most of the staterooms longer, which is part of the reason why the ship is a bit wider than the others in its class.” Raimund: “We constantly try to make the staterooms more efficient, more economical and with more storage space. It’s amazing what our designers have come up with. Quantum and Anthem of the Seas already have some of the most efficiently-designed cabins, and with Harmony we were able to gain a few inches here and there. You’ll find there’s a great amount of floor space and they’re versatile in every conceivable way. They have great balcony spaces attached, so we’re maximising the available space for each of the staterooms. This is something our guests always tell us about, so it will be an ongoing focus of ours in the years to come.”

There will be a dedicated Puzzle Break area

Nick: “We have an activity which we started on Anthem of the Seas, it’s called ‘Puzzle Break: Escape from the Future’. It’s basically an analogue game. You go into a room with 14 strangers and 45 minutes later you’ve worked together to solve very clever puzzles using nothing but your grey matter. You become lifelong friends. The feedback from it has been fantastic. Being Royal Caribbean, when an idea comes along that we like, we’re very quick to jump on it. So we’re going to have the first dedicated Puzzle Break space on Harmony. We’ve got some set designers from LA and they are building a custom space for it. It’s really great fun and we’re really proud of it.” We can't wait to set sail. We can't wait to set sail.

Book your spot onboard Harmony of the Seas

Harmony of the Seas will set sail later this year, to some truly amazing destinations. Start planning your holiday today.

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NEW FEATURES ON INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS IN 2018 - 8 nights from only £699pp

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NEW FEATURES ON INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS IN 2018 - 8 nights from only £699pp

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