Symphony rules the seas

With the launch next year of a new contender¬†for the title of world’s biggest cruise ship, the question arises: just how big can a passenger vessel be?

Symphony of the Seas (royalcaribbean.com)

Royal Caribbean, which already has more megaships than any other company, is gearing up to launch Symphony of the Seas, and its vital statistics are incredible.

The Symphony is a sister ship to Harmony of the Seas, and said to be almost identical, so it is very likely to have similar features. It now seems likely that it will have greater tonnage to make it bigger than Harmony.

It’s likely to have a passenger capacity of around 6,314 people, and a crew of 2,390. It will have 17 decks and 2,745 staterooms over 12 of them.

Update: USA Today says Symphony will be larger than Harmony

It will feature distinct “neighbourhoods”, including a New York-inspired Central Park (with 12,000 trees or other plants), a Boardwalk with carousel and other seaside attractions, and the Royal Promenade where, among other things you’ll find Royal Caribbean’s signature robotic bar.

(royalcaribbean.com)

Of course, it will also feature water slides, Flow-rider surfing simulators, rock-climbing walls, an ice-skating rink, specialty restaurants including Royal Caribbean’s new Mexican offering, Sabor, and a state-of-the-art theatre.

Getting back to my original question: how big can a cruise ship be? Well, I’m not an expert, but I imagine there is still a way to go, in theory. But these megaships are already too big to dock at some popular ports, so the limits are probably more likely to be imposed by restraints other than engineering.

Bookings for it first sailings are available via travel agents, cruise specialists and the Royal Caribbean website.

Some questions for you: is nearly 9,000 people too many aboard a single ship? Do you like the onboard offerings of big ships or do you prefer a more intimate cruising experience?

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