Some of the best of what Royal Caribbean has to offer is set to call Port Canaveral home as both Harmony of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas take over sailing duties.

Both ships begin service from the port offering a variety of sailings starting Monday, with a sail away ceremony from Jetty Park planned for 4 p.m.


Harmony of the Seas is the second largest ship in the world is making its debut at the port. It’s the second Oasis-class ship to take on year-round sailing from Port Canaveral, taking over for Oasis of the Seas. Having debuted in 2016, it’s also the youngest ship sailing out of the port.


Harmony of the Seas held the title of world’s largest cruise ship at 226,963 gross registered tons and 1,188 feet, slightly larger than both Oasis of the Seas and sister ship Allure of the Seas, until Symphony of the Seas debuted in 2018. As one of the newest ships at seas, though, Harmony has many innovative touches that Oasis of the Seas does not.


That includes the iconic 10-story Ultimate Abyss dry slide as well as a water park with three intense water slides called The Perfect Storm.


The ship features seven distinct neighborhoods including Central Park and the Boardwalk, 17 restaurants including Wonderland and Jamie’s Italian, . The ship has 2,747 staterooms, and can hold 5,479 passengers at double capacity, and as many as 6,780 passengers at full capacity.


The ship, like all of the Oasis-class ships based in Florida, will continue to offer seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages.


Mariner of the Seas is one of the first of Royal’s older vessels to receive what the line calls the Royal Advantage, getting a $100 million overhaul in 2018 with its own iconic top-deck enhancements including the virtual reality, bungee jump and trampoline attraction called the Sky Pad.


Sky Pad, though, is currently getting some safety enhancements, so won’t be available when Mariner begins sailing Monday, but cruise line officials expect it to be up and running later this month.

The 3,114-passenger ship also offers up its own two-slide Perfect Storm water park, sporting the names Cyclone and Typhoon on top of its own FlowRider surf simulator and rock wall.


Inside, Mariner of the Seas, the line has added a glow-in-the-dark laser tag experience, a 60-minute escape room, retro Tiki bar called The Bamboo Room and new venue Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade.

For food, Mariner of the Seas was outfitted with another spot for celebrity Chef Jaime Oliver’s rustic Italian dining concept Jamie’s Italian as well as Izumi Hibachi & Sushi and a full service Starbucks.

Mariner of the Seas will offer three- and four-night sailings to the Bahamas.


The 138,279-ton, 15-deck ship that debuted in 2003, and actually had its inaugural sailing season from Port Canaveral, is a mid-size ship in the cruise line’s Voyager class, but much larger than the ship for which it’s taking over, Majesty of the Seas


Bringing this newer ship with recent enhancements is part of the cruise line’s strategy of revamped ships offering short cruises alongside the Oasis-class vessels at all three major Florida ports.


Harmony and Mariner are in Port Canaveral while Symphony of the Seas is coupled with Navigator of the Seas out of PortMiami along with a few sailings from the diminutive Empress of the Seas. Both sets of ships are making stops all summer at the newly revamped private Bahamas island CocoCay, now dubbed Perfect Day at CocoCay, with much of a $250 million overhaul in place including a 13-slide water park, zip line, helium balloon ride and more.


Port Everglades also has a revamped older ship in the form of Independence of the Seas alongside its Oasis-class ship Allure of the Seas, but those ships won’t begin visiting CocoCay until after the summer with Allure starting in November and Independence in 2020.


“It’s obviously important that it’s close to Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Canaveral, and it’s connected to the Royal Amplified strategy where we’ve taken these big ships like Navigator, Mariner, Independence etc. and we’ve put $100-$120 million into them to add lots of features and fun stuff which is very complementary to the experience of Perfect Day,” said Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley. “We thought well let’s put some amazing ships in this market going to Perfect Day, and if you’re thinking about cruising and you’re new to cruise, you come with Royal on Navigator or Mariner to Perfect Day, you’re going to come back, maybe on a seven-day with Oasis class — Symphony, Harmony, Oasis, Allure.”


Source: Richard Tribou – Orlando Sentinel