Ro­botic bar staff and wa­ter slides on the big­gest cruiser

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - Shoshana@7days.ae

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).

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