Luxury Travel

The Surreal Life Aboard the World's Biggest Cruise Ship

Photographs by Alberto Bernasconi

With the Harmony of the Seas's maiden voyage in May, Royal Caribbean eclipsed itself—besting its sister ship Oasis in size by a foot. Stretching 1,188 feet long and 215.5 feet wide, the gleaming hulk is a veritable floating suburb devoted to sun, fun, and waterslides. Population: 8,880.

The ship is gargantuan. The AquaTheater on the stern of the ship, an amphitheater-style entertainment space, showcases professional aquatic acrobatic and synchronized swimming performances and goes off at night with water and light shows. That climbing wall is 43-feet high (and there are two).
The ship is gargantuan. The AquaTheater on the stern of the ship, an amphitheater-style entertainment space, showcases professional aquatic acrobatic and synchronized swimming performances and goes off at night with water and light shows. That climbing wall is 43-feet high (and there are two).
Photograph by Alberto Bernasconi
Spread over 18 decks and seven "neighborhoods"—connected by 24 elevators—the Oasis-Class Harmony of the Seas is capable of accommodating close to 9,000 passengers and crew. Here, guests have souvenir photos taken in the Royal Promenade neighborhood.
Spread over 18 decks and seven "neighborhoods"—connected by 24 elevators—the Oasis-Class Harmony of the Seas is capable of accommodating close to 9,000 passengers and crew. Here, guests have souvenir photos taken in the Royal Promenade neighborhood.
Photograph by Alberto Bernasconi
The ship's Central Park neighborhood—an open-air section in the center of the ship—is a key design feature, with some 12,000 live plants in a meandering garden than spans more than the length of a football field.
The ship's Central Park neighborhood—an open-air section in the center of the ship—is a key design feature, with some 12,000 live plants in a meandering garden than spans more than the length of a football field.
Photograph by Alberto Bernasconi
Guests enjoy the carousel in the amusement park-style Boardwalk neighborhood.
Guests enjoy the carousel in the amusement park-style Boardwalk neighborhood.
Photograph by Alberto Bernasconi
Suspended nine decks up, a zip line takes guests on a ride across an open-air atrium past some of the ships 2,747 staterooms. Tucked completely inside, 524 staterooms have "virtual balconies" that stream real-time video of what you'd see if you had an actual window.
Suspended nine decks up, a zip line takes guests on a ride across an open-air atrium past some of the ships 2,747 staterooms. Tucked completely inside, 524 staterooms have "virtual balconies" that stream real-time video of what you'd see if you had an actual window.
Photograph by Alberto Bernasconi
A trio of waterslides collectively called the Perfect Storm look out over the ship's Central Park and pool decks.
A trio of waterslides collectively called the Perfect Storm look out over the ship's Central Park and pool decks.
Photograph by Alberto Bernasconi
Guests in the Boardwalk neighborhood.
Guests in the Boardwalk neighborhood.
Photograph by Alberto Bernasconi
A diner in Harmony of the Seas' main dining room, which is spread over three floors. For drinks later, robot bartenders at the Bionic Bar can shake up custom cocktails.
A diner in Harmony of the Seas' main dining room, which is spread over three floors. For drinks later, robot bartenders at the Bionic Bar can shake up custom cocktails.
Photograph by Alberto Bernasconi
The Ultimate Abyss dry slide is the tallest slide at sea—10-stories high with a drop of 100 feet.
The Ultimate Abyss dry slide is the tallest slide at sea—10-stories high with a drop of 100 feet.
Photograph by Alberto Bernasconi
An afternoon art auction aboard the ship.
An afternoon art auction aboard the ship.
Photograph by Alberto Bernasconi
Sunbathing in the Pool and Sports Zone. This "neighborhood" stretches the length of the ship with four types of pools, two surf simulators, a zip line, and views of the Boardwalk and Central Park neighborhoods below.
Sunbathing in the Pool and Sports Zone. This "neighborhood" stretches the length of the ship with four types of pools, two surf simulators, a zip line, and views of the Boardwalk and Central Park neighborhoods below.
Photographer: Alberto Bernasconi
The Royal Theater is the main performance space and largest entertainment venue on the cruise liner. It can seat 1,380 guests. The current show: Grease, the Musical.
The Royal Theater is the main performance space and largest entertainment venue on the cruise liner. It can seat 1,380 guests. The current show: Grease, the Musical.
Photograph by Alberto Bernasconi
Harmony Dunes, the nine-hole mini golf course.
Harmony Dunes, the nine-hole mini golf course.
Photograph by Alberto Bernasconi
The three-story, adults-only Solarium enclave sits toward the bow of the ship, with four cantilevered whirlpools suspended 136 feet above the ocean.
The three-story, adults-only Solarium enclave sits toward the bow of the ship, with four cantilevered whirlpools suspended 136 feet above the ocean.
Photographer: Alberto Bernasconi
First Voyage for World's Biggest Cruise Ship