Lonely Planet Writer

Time to celebrate “friendsgiving” with your pals on the world’s largest cruise ship

If hanging out with the family on Thanksgiving is not your cup of tea, it may be time to consider a “friendsgiving” vacation aboard the world’s biggest cruise ship.

The Harmony of the Sea.
The Harmony of the Sea. Image by Harmony of the Seas

As more travellers use the American holiday in November to squeeze in a trip with friends, Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas is hosting a VIP sailing from 10 to 12 November, dubbed the “Ultimate Friendsgiving celebration”.

Aerial image of the Harmony of the Seas.
Aerial image of the Harmony of the Seas. Image by Harmony of the Seas

The cruise will include custom “friendsgiving” menus and cocktails, as well as a live performance by the band DNCE. The ship might be best described as a floating tropical island, but with a record-breaking water slide and way more ice cream. Clocking in at 1188 feet long and 215.5 feet wide, the ship can hold 6780 guests, and with seven distinct “neighbourhoods” on board, still not feel overly crowded. There are the traditional sections like the Spa and Fitness Center, and Entertainment Place with its nightly musicals, ice skating and comedy shows. More innovative offerings include Central Park, with an open-air green space, the Royal Promenade, featuring the Bionic Bar manned by robot bartenders and the first ever moving bar at sea. At the Rising Tide Bar, guests can sip cocktails while the bar slowly journeys from deck 5 to deck 8 and back again.

Aerial image of the Harmony of the Seas.
Aerial image of the Harmony of the Seas. Image by Harmony of the Seas

Over 300 menu items are available at the ship’s myriad restaurants. There are 40 different brands of beer, 340 brands of wine, and 127 specialty cocktails offered on board, and each seven-day cruise is stocked with 2100 pounds of lobster tail, 5000 dozen eggs, and 700 pounds of ice cream.

The world's largest cruise ship.
The world’s largest cruise ship. Image by Harmony of the Seas

The Pool and Sports Zone traverses the length of the ship and features two FlowRider surf simulators, the first zip line on a cruise ship, and the ten-story Ultimate Abyss, the tallest water slide at sea. This marvel of structural engineering sits 150 feet above sea level and zips riders from deck 16 to deck 6 in a matter of seconds.

The Sky Loft Suite.
The Sky Loft Suite. Image by Harmony of the Seas

Passengers looking for a more tranquil way to pass the time can take in the ship’s $6.5 million collection of artwork. Over 3000 works include paintings, sculptures, photography, and installations created by artists from 60 different countries.