- Richard Fain and Michael Baylet host media
- Rooms reconfigured to keep families together
The ship is now effectively completed after a much-hyped series of pre-launch cruises. An overnight cruise attended by members of the travel trade and media, 200 of them from Ireland, showcased marquee attractions include the Ultimate Abyss 12 deck dry slide, a Broadway-quality performance of “Grease,” and a bar operated by robots. However, passengers and media on the first revenue sailing, a four-night cruise out of Southampton that took place after the travel agents departed, reported that Harmony was a floating construction zone.
At the press briefing Michael Bayley explained how the nature of cruising has changed and developed with the demographic moving from older couples to younger couples and up to three generations of families (grandparents, parents and children) travelling together. With the latter they have reconfigured cabins to accommodate linked rooms so families can stay together.
Harri Kulovaara, Executive Vice President Maritime and Newbuilding expanded further at an architectural immersion session. Royal Caribbean set up a committee of five women to look at the design of the stateroom. This coupled with input from customers resulted in a lot more storage space and a bathroom that you can swing a cat in.
When asked if there was a limit on the size of a cruise ship, Captain Gus Andersson said no, but they had to take into account the accessibility of ports.
Richard Fain (pictured) was in the audience for the press briefing. When a journalist asked Michael Bayley why Royal Caribbean had put a blue stripe on Harmony instead of leaving it all white like the rest of the fleet, Fain gave a succinct reply. “Because it’s cool“.
Travel Extra‘s Marie Carberry, always one for the scariest rides, risked her life on the carousel, another thing on harmony that is exceedingly cool. Watch here Michael Bayley’s comments on the relaunch of Royal’s controversial dynamic dining concept.
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