Is This Cruise Ship Slide the Coolest Ever Built?
When Royal Caribbean’s 5,397-passenger Harmony of the Seas launches in May of 2016, it will be the largest cruise ship in the world. But families and adrenaline junkies may be more interested in another bragging right—descending 100 feet via the tallest dry slide at sea.
Called the Ultimate Abyss, it’s located at the aft of the Oasis-class ship and is actually two dry slides, both stainless-steel tubes that spiral down from a platform hovering 150 feet above sea level. Adding to the drama, that platform is constructed from see-through glass, giving guests a sneak peek at the 10-deck drop as they enter the ride. Next comes 216 feet of curves, turns, and sound effects as passengers zip down on a custom mat, reaching speeds of about nine miles per hour before popping out at the other end.
Harmony of the Seas has tons of other family-centric features onboard, including a zipline, two FlowRider surf simulators, and Perfect Storm, a trio of water slides at the center of the ship overlooking the tree-covered grounds of Central Park. Perfect Storm’s two water racing slides, Typhoon and Cyclone, also appear on the revamped Liberty of the Seas, which relaunched in February, in Galveston, Texas, but Harmony of the Seas is the first Royal Caribbean ship with a Supercell slide that swirls riders around in a “champagne bowl” before they land. And for toddlers and little ones not quite ready for multi-story descents, there’s Splashaway Bay, a children’s water park filled with slides, water cannons, and waterfalls.
Passengers can try the family-friendly amenities on May 29, 2016, when the ship makes its first full seven-night Mediterranean sailing from Southampton to Barcelona. The ship will spend the summer in the Western Mediterranean, before moving to its home port of Port Everglades in Ft Laurderdale, where it will begin seven-night voyages in the eastern and western Caribbean on November 12, 2016.