Royal Caribbean International cruise ships Harmony of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas received a “royal” sendoff on Monday as the giant vessels sailed from their new homeport of Port Canaveral.
Tugboats provided a water salute as a the 1,188-foot long Harmony, the second-largest cruise ship in the world, glided past hundreds of cheering spectators who gathered at Jetty Park for a “wave-out” event for the Port’s newest arrivals. Onlookers waved bandanas and some held up signs with large letters that spelled out “Bon Voyage.”
Harmony, the largest cruise ship ever to homeport at Port Canaveral, departed on a three-night cruise to Nassau, Bahamas, after having arrived at the Port on May 5 from Port Everglades. The 1,020-foot-long Mariner, which arrived earlier Monday, left on a four-night voyage to Nassau, Bahamas, and Royal Caribbean’s newly opened private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay. Following a $250 million reimagination of the island, Perfect Day at CocoCay redefines thrill and chill with the tallest waterslide in North America, the Caribbean’s largest fresh water pool and the highest vantage point in the Bahamas.
The 226,963-gross-ton Harmony of the Seas began service in 2016 and has room for about 6,700 guests and 2,100 crew members. Only Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas, one of Royal Caribbean International’s four Oasis Class vessels, is larger. The 18-deck Harmony offers seven neighborhoods, a 10-story slide called Ultimate Abyss, a surf simulator called Flowrider, a trio of thrilling waterslides called The Perfect Storm and a water park for children called Splashaway Bay.
In service since 2003, the Voyager Class Mariner of the Seas weighs 139,863 gross tons. The 15-deck vessel, which underwent a more than $100 million upgrade in 2018, can carry up to 4,000 guests and 1,200 crew. Highlights include Sky Pad, Flowrider, glow-in-the-dark laser tag and an escape room.
After another three-night Bahamas cruise starting Thursday, May 9, the Harmony begins seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruises on Sunday, May 12, to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Maarten and Perfect Day at CocoCay. Starting May 26, the Harmony will alternate every other week with seven-night Western Caribbean cruises to Cozumel, Roatan and Costa Maya, Mexico, and Perfect day at CocoCay.
Following a three-night Bahamas cruise starting Friday, May 10, the Mariner begins four-night sailings to Nassau and Perfect day at CocoCay on Monday, May 13, and three-night cruises to Freeport or Nassau, Bahamas, and Perfect day at CocoCay starting Friday, May 17.