Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International
Whenever multiple cruise ships come together at sea, it’s a special event to witness. I’ll never forget the time when I was sailing back to Miami, Florida onboard Azamara Club Cruises’ Azamara Quest with a Royal Caribbean International Freedom-class ship and a Celebrity Cruises Solstice-class ship, both corporate cousins, impressively in tow.
And now to commemorate the arrival of the largest ship in the world – Royal Caribbean International's new Harmony of the Seas – to the the shores of the United States, the vessel recently met up with its slightly smaller sister-ships, the Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas, the second and third biggest respectively sailing the seven seas.
The Harmony has since made it to its homeport of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and christened by godmother Brittany Affolter from Teach For America Miami-Dade, but just prior, the trio of Oasis-class ships met for the grandest cruise maritime photo-op ever, as can be seen in the video released by the cruise line, hosted at my Popular Cruising YouTube channel and embedded below.
The Harmony of the Seas measures in greater than her sisters by only one foot in length and almost 1,700 gross registered tons in volume. Architecturally, the three are nearly identical from the outside, with the biggest apparent difference being the distribution of her lifeboats behind the bow, with the newest iteration placing them behind a new cantilevered fitness area at the promenade deck. Also, the solar panels surrounding the smokestacks of the Oasis and Allure have been abandoned on the new ship in favor of other environmentally friendly technologies.
The biggest exterior addition since the first two, however, is clearly the Ultimate Abyss dry-slide descending from the new ship’s sports deck all the way down to its Boardwalk district below. Whether or not this feature will be retroactively added to the Oasis and Allure eventually is still to be seen. In the meantime, it along with a number of other features such as the Bionic Bar are exclusive to the Harmony within the Oasis class of ships.