Nobody ever thought that a huge cruise ship would ever be built again after what happened to the Titanic. Now realizing that the iceberg was just a freak accident, the new and improved Titanic has set sail!
The world’s largest ship which is 330ft longer than the infamous Titanic today set sail from Southampton on its maiden voyage to Rotterdam.
Harmony of the Seas, which cost almost £800million to build and weighs 227,000 tonnes. sailed past the Isle of Wight last night on its way to the Netherlands on the four-night cruise.
The huge ship, which it is claimed burns 1,147 gallons of fuel an hour – equivalent to 376million cars – will return later this week before heading off to Cherbourg for a three-night cruise, then to Barcelona later this month.
The Royal Caribbean ship has capacity for 6,000 people and has facilities including waterslides, an ampitheatre, and high-street restaurants.
Even when it was miles away from western France the 210 feet tall ship, with capacity for 6,000 passengers, could still be seen from the shore line as thousands of people gathered to see it on the water for the first time.
For months, tourists have been allowed aboard to wonder at the luxury interiors of the ship that has 18 decks and stretches to 1,187 feet.
Three pilots who have trained on a simulator in nearby Nantes for the past year, helped the captain in the tricky manoeuvres needed to guide the hulking ship out of the Saint-Nazaire estuary for tests in March.
The tugs first helped the ship back out of its berth before turning it around and then guiding it out to the open sea.
The pilots will leave the vessel once it is 12 miles out at sea.
When it is fully operational with passengers it will have 2,000 crew. It is more than three feet wider than the previous two largest ships in the world, Allure of the Seas and the Oasis of the Seas.
Those ships are also owned by Royal Caribbean International which started work on Harmony in September 2013.
The next trial of Harmony will take place before the end of April, with delivery set for May 12. The purpose of trial this weekend is to test the ship’s engine and how well it manoeuvres.
If the trials are a success it will head to the port of Southampton in May before it sets sail for Barcelona for its first cruise around the Mediterranean.
The ship features The Ultimate Abyss which flings thrill-seekers down 10 decks, at more than 150 feet above the waves, in one of a pair of tunnel slides which include scary noises and glimpses of the synchronised swimming and acrobatic diving in the AquaTheater.
More fun can be had flying through the air on a zip wire for a seagull’s eye view of the ship’s merry-go-round, deck games, hot dog stand, Johnny Rockets Fifties-style diner and new Sabor Mexican restaurant on the Boardwalk nine decks below.
The Boardwalk is also overlooked by the floor-to-ceiling windows of three-deck-high Dazzles dance lounge.
Head to deck 18 to race down the Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, snaking down above the 40 tall trees and 12,000 other plants of Central Park. One of the slides will swirl you around in a giant bowl before flushing you out.
There are also two FlowRiders with simulated waves for surfing and two rock-climbing walls. There is ice-skating in the indoor rink, where you can hurtle round or cut a figure of eight.
There are 18 decks inside the 227,000 tonne vessel with room for theatres, water parks and fitness facilities
And if you feel like a ten-mile run, just do 25 circuits of the track on deck five, waving to the yoga and spinning classes in the new studios bolted on to the side of the ship.
While the child-free can retreat to the four whirlpools suspended over the ocean in the adults-only, three-deck-high Solarium, small children can play in Splashaway Bay, a big water park with little slides.
The Royal Theatre, which seats 1,380, is the place to see a production of Grease and Royal Caribbean’s original show Columbus, The Musical!
Adding this one to my bucket list!