My unforgettable moment inside Harmony of the Sea-world’s largest cruise ship

Adachi Uchendu relives her experience onboard world’s largest cruise ship which sailed from Fort Lauderdale to Bahamas. To her, it was experience that went above and beyond her expectations.
 
 She is the biggest, the boldest, and the most beautiful of them all. Longer, wider and heavier than any other ships ever built. It weighs 1000 tons and costs $1billion.
 
Introducing to you, Royal Caribbean’s magnificent cruise ship fondly referred to as Harmony of the Seas reputed to be world’s largest cruise ship ever built.
With some of the most modern and ground-breaking vacation amenities, cruising at top speed of 22 Knots (25mph), 215.5 ft wide, 1,188 foot long, four bow thrusters and more horsepower than 28 Ferraris.
Harmony of the seas took just 32 months and cost $1billion to build at St Nazaire, France. This beauty certainly defies all superlatives! The technology and the engineering exceeded what you’ll find on any ship in the world.
I was invited on board her inaugural sailing on November 8 2016 by Tour Brokers International, the official Royal Caribbean cruise agent in Nigeria, and I was incredibly thrilled by it.
Although, I am not a Newbie to cruising neither am I a frequent cruiser. I’ve gone on a cruise before; but I’d say technically, this was my second cruise experience.
Nothing could have prepared me for my first sight of this wonder! “The Real Big Experience on board her. I had an incredible two-day experience, sailing from Port Everglade to the Bahamas. And I must say that the excitement at sea could not be more adventurous.
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Check-in was quick and efficient; I found my way to the elevators and my stateroom on deck 9. It wasn’t the claustrophobic small cabin I’d imagined. It was considerably very spacious, (all were spacious) Though I didn’t get a balcony room and loungers, but my room was strategically positioned overlooking the beautifully lush avenue of central park and boasted wall-to-ceiling French doors, the king-size bed was very comfortable (double occupancy) and the compact bathroom had an excellent power shower.
The cabin had a great amount of clothes space, double wardrobe and other storage areas to store all of your items. Plugs in the cabin are European and they also have USB ports to power all of your electronic devices –which are very convenient plus, a widescreen television set, with great channels which also has an added function that lets you order your free room service via the television.
SEND-OFF
Before we set sail, teams of fly boarders from aqua fly hydro flight sports escorted her off to start her first sailing from her new homeport Everglade in Fort Lauderdale Florida, all the while performing extraordinary stunts. There, on the East Coast of Florida, Harmony of the Seas was introduced to younger sisters, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, for the first time. (Oasis and Allure were heralded for being the largest and the most technologically advanced ships in the world when they filed out)
 These three ships are mega-floating cities; Harmony of the seas is the Royal Caribbean’s third cruise ship in the Oasis class and now, the largest cruise ship in the world. Taking the title from her sibling, Allure of the seas, which dethroned her other sibling; Oasis of the seas in 2010.The new Oasis class ship is simply amazing! This Ship will astound and delight both new and experienced cruisers. You have to see it to believe it! From all indications, its apparent Royal Caribbean is determined to keep The “world’s biggest” crown in the family.
Harmony of the seas went above and beyond my expectations. Like drunken teenagers in a mall, we ran around excitedly. Our two days, ticking away. The ship is so big and packed with vast array of activities and things to do. With more than 2,747staterooms, 20 dining options, 23 swimming pools and a park with more than 10,587 plants and trees and the freedom to do whatever you desire, whenever it suits you.
From sky diving to surfing, relaxing by the pool, sliding on the first ever multi-story waterslides at sea that twist and turn over the exquisite Central Park to testing your bravery on the 10 story dual slide known as the “ultimate abyss”, (The tallest slide at sea, spanning 10 decks). The ultimate abyss stands at 150 feet above sea level and is located at the pool zone on deck 16 all the way down to the boardwalk on deck 6.
This one is for the adventurous and brave at heart. I mustered courage to slide on it, and before I knew it, I was sliding the on the high seas.
Royal Caribbean cruise lines have taken their entertainment expertise to a whole new ground. Their innovation and imagination are wild. There is broadway show, Mama Mia and the list goes on and on. The Ice show was something that literally took my breath away.
Grease the musical show was fantastic and particularly featured a full size grease lightening car.
Food on board was, plentiful and tasty with an amazing service.
 These two are top priority for cruisers. Sampling over 20 different restaurants wasn’t something I dared to try, keeping in mind, I had only 48hours to spend on board, so, I just stuck to my good old reliable windjammer on deck 16.There’s always a wide variety to choose from and the best part is that it’s (food) included in your cruise package. 
Harmony has about 3,415 sports equipment so you need not worry about those calories. Just go ahead and fest. Remember, you are on a vacation of a lifetime!
This cruise ship wowed me. She’s multi-generational. On-board enrichment is set to appeal to a wider array of interest. I can’t wait to go on board this ship again.
You should try it – there’re different activities for all ages. It’s up to you. ! The ship has 24 lifts, so, getting from point A to B is pretty easy. Thanks to the large visual decks plan on every nooks and crannies and also inside the elevator to help your bearing therefore making it easier to find your way around and if you choose to take the stair ways, you are welcome to do that.
Beautiful art works adorned each level. And for art lovers, head over to deck 4. Harmony of the Seas is an art haven. Featuring over $6.5million art collections, with 11,253 SPECTACULAR art pieces from over 3000 works curated by international co-operate arts.
From paintings, sculptures, installations, photography, to abstract paintings, there is a metallic head installation in the middle of Café/Royal Promenade, a meeting point on the ship where you have some of the ship’s high-end boutiques, cafés and bars. The ‘Head’ consists five tonnes of steels and the multiple plates’ that move to form 3D Head.
Harmony has more works of art than the Louvre has paintings. More than 60 countries, from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Greece, and Morocco – took part in bringing Harmony’s collection to life. Many of the unique pieces were specifically created for Harmony of the Seas, and designed to intrigue and bring joy and harmony to all, guests and crew alike.
 The rising tide bar is the world’s first moving bar at sea that spans three decks and allows cruisers to enjoy a cocktail as they slowly levitate between central park on deck eight and the royal promenade on deck five.
 Worried about getting lost on the high seas? Never mind! There is a high-speed Internet on board “VOOM” (fastest internet at sea) so you can keep in touch, share beautiful memories with friends and families. It’s very affordable and reliable.
 
You can visit the Futuristic Bionic Bar and have robots mix a drink of your choice; first ever at sea.
Harmony of the seas combines the distinct seven-neighbourhood concept that Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class of ships is known for. :
BREAKING OF THE BOTTLE
 To mark this special occasion, Royal Caribbean requested a bottle of champagne bigger than those commercially available from VEUVE-CLICQUOT, a size they called the “Sovereign,” for a not-so-subtle bottle-breaking ceremony. Since the ship is too big for a normal seize bottle, AFTER ALL this is THE BIGGEST SHIP IN THE WORLD!
 HARMONY, is a technological marvel,a normal bottle breaking just simply wouldn’t do,” Fain said, so they decided to use a technology INSPIRED BOTTLE BREAKING CARRIED OUT BY ONE OF THE BIONIC BAR ROBOTS as an important part of this process.
With more than 800 special guests in attendance, Brittany AFFOLTER, The ship’s godmother, christened the ship by proclaiming:
 
I NAME THIS SHIP, HARMONY OF THE SEAS, MAY GOD BLESS HER, AND ALL WHO SAIL ON HER “.
 
The champagne bottle was then suspended on a zip line over the central park on the ship.
 She then pressed a button that activated the Bionic Bar robot that sent the three-foot-tall bottle of champagne hurtling down a zip line and bursting against a steel plate above the pool. What a moment! There were fireworks, joyous screaming, and music at the same time.
A performance by singer-songwriter and Miami native Jon Secada closed out the celebration.
 
The Naming Ceremony was fantastic and well put together. The godmother’s blessing marked the official start of this vessel’s life .It was indeed a very special and memorable MOMENT. “One I will never forget.”
FINAL TAKE
Unquestionably, there’s something special about being on board a cruise ship during AN inaugural sail. I can’t help but feel ELITE and part of this ship’s history. How great is it to be able to say, oh yeah! – I was on Her inaugural sail and also witnessed Her naming ceremony. IT’S AN EXPERIENCE I WILL ALWAYS HOLD DEAR TO MY HEART.
Harmony of the seas is a must see and a must cruise for any frequent cruiser. It’s not JUST because, she’s the largest AND THE NEWEST OF THEM ALL but because of what she brings to THE world of cruising and holidaying; ALTHOUGH we all love the feeling of enjoying SOMETHING that is absolutely NEW. I was in TOTAL awe when I beheld her.
SHE is so large, A SIGHT THAT COMPLETELY TOOK MY BREATH AWAY, that STANDING upright; Harmony Of The Seas is twice as high as the Washington Monument At 1,188 Feet TALL.
 2,100 Crew, From 75 Nationalities, take care of 6,780 guests, totaling the number of people on board the HARMONY to 8,880 people.
Cruising is not JUST all about the ships; IT’S also ABOUT cruising some OF THE MOST amazing AND SPECTACULAR Destinations. Harmony has some SPECTACULARY INTERESTING ittinery this year.  So start-booking .You could be off, exploring some of the world’s most amazing destinations. THE easiest part of holidaying on this ship is, finding something exciting to do. BUT THE hardest part IS choosing what to do first! Enjoy your vacation..adachi.
Wole Shadare