INNOVATION, INGENUITY AND ADVENTURE ARE PART OF THE DNA OF ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL
Back in 1970, Song of Norway, Royal Caribbean International’s first ship, had a gym in an empty cabin that consisted of a rowing machine and a treadmill. Not many people used the gym, or made any effort to find it. Things have a come a long way since then. Today, Royal Caribbean’s newest ships feature the largest fitness centers and spas at sea, overlooking the vast expanses of the oceans, ports and global destinations the cruise line visits. Pools that were once inside the ship and on the lowest level have evolved into entire waterparks and poolscapes running the length of the uppermost decks, and on some Royal Caribbean ships, guests can actually fly!
Royal Caribbean has so significantly advanced what is possible on a cruise vacation thanks to a culture that expects nothing less than constant innovation and evolution, from maritime architecture to advanced technology, and modern, if not futuristic, guest amenities and onboard experiences.
In the early 1990’s, the cruise line unveiled one of its signature elements on Sovereign of the Seas, the Viking Crown Lounge, which wrapped around the funnel of the ship and served as the ultimate “observation deck” for cruisers. This design allowed for sweeping views of the sea providing an aesthetically pleasing look to the top decks of the Sovereign-class ships.
Up next, in 1999, was the anxiously awaited 137,276 GRT (gross registered tons) Voyager of the Seas. Hosting 3,114 guests, she was the largest cruise ship in the world and delivered experiences that were once thought impossible on a ship – the immensely popular and now iconic rock-climbing wall, an indoor ice-skating rink and in-line skating.
The cruise line topped its own benchmarks by building, yet again, the largest cruise ship in the world in 2006. Freedom of the Seas made her spectacular premiere with never-before-seen features including the FlowRider surf simulator, H2O interactive waterpark and cantilevered whirlpools living up to Royal Caribbean’s standard of envelope-pushing amenities.
Just a few years later, in 2009, Royal Caribbean redefined the industry with the debut of Oasis of the Seas, which was a game-changer in several ways. Not only did the ship capture the title of world’s largest – an honor the Oasis-class ships still maintain – but the brand once again introduced elements never before seen on a cruise ship.
From a split superstructure that allowed for the middle of the ship to be completely open to the sky above to a design centered around seven exhilarating themed neighborhoods – now a Royal Caribbean signature – Oasis introduced a variety of extraordinary elements, including the first living park at sea, the beautifully designed, multilevel urban-style loft suites and the outdoor AquaTheater that boasts jaw-dropping aquatic acrobatic and synchronized swimming performances. Oasis quickly became one of the most popular ships in the industry, and continues to deliver an exceptional experience for guests week after week.
The visionaries at Royal Caribbean set their sights on the future, and in 2014 took a dramatic leap forward by unveiling the next generation of the cruise vacation – Quantum cruising. The world’s first smartship, Quantum of the Seas, introduced unprecedented innovations in ship design, technology and entertainment, all created so that guests can enjoy vacations that are simpler, more efficient and significantly more connected. Incredible “first-at-sea” features ranged from the RipCord by iFly skydiving experience and North Star observation capsule to digital technology that is seamlessly fused into all spaces onboard – including robotic bartenders – and VOOM, the fastest internet at sea, touting unprecedented levels of wireless connectivity and bandwidth for guests to stream their favorite entertainment, keep up to date, and share their vacation with their friends and family back home.
Today, Royal Caribbean continues to redefine its expression of innovation and ingenuity with the debut of Harmony of the Seas. The third in the Oasis class of ships, Harmony of the Seas is the best of the revolutionary Oasis-class and the technologically advanced Quantum-class combined, putting the ship in a class of her own. The ship represents the best of Royal Caribbean’s onboard offerings, along with new, never-before-seen features, and a bold and unexpected lineup of thrilling experiences, imaginative dining, unparalleled entertainment and the latest technology. From the Ultimate Abyss, a dramatic 10-story tall slide, to spectacular shows such as Broadway’s hit musical Grease and distinct high-diving, acrobatic performances in the ship’s trademark AquaTheater and sophisticated dining in venues such as Jamie’s Italian by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and Royal Caribbean’s whimsical restaurant Wonderland, there is an adventure for everyone onboard Harmony of the Seas.
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