The biggest cruise ship in the world has run into problems on its very first cruise.
The Harmony of the Seas left Southampton in the United Kingdom on Sunday May 22 on a four day cruise to Rotterdam in Holland with many of its 6,000 passengers complaining it was not only a construction site on board but there were serious safety risks to the passengers.
The ship weighs 227,000 tons and is 216 feet wide and 1,187ft in length. It cost almost $1 billion to build, has 16 decks and will be able to carry 6,360 passengers and 2,100 crew members.
The passengers on board, all paid for the cruise, and said that not only some of the attractions were closed but in addition there was ongoing work. There was sharp debris floating in the swimming pools, even the children’s pool and across the ship there were lines of distressed families waiting for attractions which were not operating. Urinals were blocked and overflowing and there was wet paint everywhere including in the staterooms. In addition safety glass was missing on some of the decks.
Royal Caribbean Cruises agreed that the final finishing touches were being made, but added that this was a "pre-inaugural" sailing and also called it a “shakedown cruise” where the systems and the facilities were being tested.
Among the on board attractions are "The Ultimate Abyss", which is a 10 storey slide from the top deck to the boardwalk along with a giant climbing wall, a rope slide, mini golf, surf simulator, floating Jacuzzis, a casino and a 1,400 seat theater playing Broadway musicals.
The ship even has its own high street, and what is called "Central Park" deck featuring 11,000 plants.