(7:30 a.m. EST) — Royal Caribbean has revealed a number of new features onboard its biggest ship Harmony of the Seas, including video projection mapping in the Aqua Theater, dedicated spaces for the Escape Room and Bionic Bar and further details on Wonderland restaurant and Jamie’s Italian.
The line will use the technology pioneered on its Quantum-class ships to project 3D images, optical illusions and extra dimensions onto the Aqua Theater performers, as part of a raft of technological firsts on what will be the biggest cruise ship in the world, when it debuts in May.
At a press briefing for journalists at the shipyard in France where the new ship is being built yesterday (Feb 17), Nick Weir, vice president of entertainment at Royal Caribbean, said:
«Our entertainment package is already great, but we wanted to take some of the technologies we pioneered on Quantum and Anthem and apply them to Harmony.
«In the Aqua Theater we want to develop the flying area by using video projection mapping and 3D flying.»
All the new technology which debuted on the Quantum class ships, including RFID wrist bands, iPad check in and high-speed internet, will all be on Harmony.
Work in progress: The Royal Promenade with Boleros Lounge on the left
Other reveals include:
• The Escape Room – in which players must work with others to find clues needed to solve a collection of puzzles and ‘escape’ — shared space with the teen club onboard Anthem of the Seas. It has proved so popular that it gets its own room.
• The Bionic Bar, which is in a corridor on Anthem and Quantum, gets its own room in what was the Champagne Bar onboard sister ships Oasis and Allure of the Seas.
• Alice in Wonderland-inspired Wonderland restaurant, which showcases ‘molecular gastronomy’ cuisine and which debuted on Quantum of the Seas, will be situated where the Crown & Anchor lounge currently is on Oasis and Allure, in a double-deck space overlooking the aft of the ship. There will be a bar on the upper level.
• Meanwhile the Crown & Anchor room moves down to a space on Deck 4, adjacent to the Comedy Club.
• Jamie’s Italian debuts on Harmony, in the Central Park neighborhood, where Giovanni’s restaurant is on Oasis and Allure.
Central Park: Future home of Jamie’s Italian
Weir also revealed that the inspiration behind the «Ultimate Abyss» – Harmony’s 10-story vertical drop waterslide – came from President & CEO of the line Michael Bayley.
«We were at a brainstorming meeting when Michael said: ‘Let’s build the craziest slide anyone’s ever thought of,’ Weir explained.
The slide begins in the Pool and Sports Zone at the back of the ship with a walk across a plank into the gaping jaws of an angler fish, before dropping riders some 100 feet to the Boardwalk.
Harmony will also feature a wide collection of visual art installations throughout the ship.
Weighing in at 227,700 gross registered tons, Harmony of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship in the world, some 2,418 GRTs larger than Oasis and Allure, and 33 centimeters longer. It will also be slightly wider, allowing for slightly larger cabins and wider balconies. It also will be 20 percent more fuel efficient than its sister ships through a combination of new scrubber technologies, a redesigned hull and a unique ‘bubble system’ allowing it to glide more smoothly through the waves.
Harmony of the Seas will make its debut in Southampton, U.K. on May 20, with a pre-inaugural sailing, followed by two short ex-Southampton cruises. It will then spend the rest of the cruise season in Barcelona and the Mediterranean, before sailing to Port Everglades, its permanent home.
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