Robotic bar staff and water slides on the biggest cruiser
A Dubai resident has had a sneak peak of the largest cruise ship ever built, the Harmony of the Seas, which set off on its maiden voyage yesterday. Ahmed Soliman, 36, described his disbelief at the sheer size and luxury of the vessel after disembarking the cruise ship following a two-day inaugural trip. “The size of the vessel is astonishing in itself because out at sea you don’t even feel it,” said Soliman, who works in communications in Dubai. “The experience is mind-blowing. It’s like a floating casino with Michelin-starred restaurant with chemical gastronomy. “It has a natural park with trees on the lower deck, and jacuzzis hang over the side of the ship with a panoramic view of the ocean. “It’s taking luxury to a completely different level, it’s unbelievable.” The $1 billion vessel set off from Barcelona yesterday on its maiden voyage with 6,000 passengers on board for a seven-night journey to Palma de Mallorca, Marseille, La Spezia, Rome (Civitavecchia) and Naples before heading back to Barcelona. It is also one of the first cruise ships to have the fastest wi-fi in the middle of the ocean, a zip line over the 16 decks and the tallest at-sea water slide, at 45m high. Spanning 361m, it is longer than the Eiffel Tower and is the world’s heaviest vessel at 227,000 tonnes. The Harmony even has an onboard ‘bionic bar’ equipped with robotic bartenders operated by an iPad. The user swipes their key card, confirms their age and orders their favourite mixer. The two robotic arms then grab cups and mixers from the ceiling then muddle, stir, shake, and strain your drink. Guests can also scale two 13m-tall rock climbing walls, watch aweinspiring aquatic aerial displays in the open-air AquaTheatre and ride waves on surf simulators. Tickets aboard the ship, operated by Royal Caribbean Cruises start from $3,000 per person (Dhs 11,000) and can reach up to $12,000 (Dhs 44,000).