RCI Brings Two New Ships to Port Canaveral
Royal Caribbean International (RCI)'s Harmony of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas received a “royal” sendoff Monday as they sailed from their new homeport, Port Canaveral.
Tugboats provided a water salute as a the 1,188-foot long Harmony, the second-largest cruise ship in the world, glided past hundreds of cheering spectators who gathered at Jetty Park for a “wave-out” event for the Port’s newest arrivals. Onlookers waved bandanas and some held up signs with large letters that spelled out “Bon Voyage.”
“We are excited to welcome these two magnificent cruise ships to Port Canaveral and proud of our partnership with Royal Caribbean International.” Port CEO Captain John Murray said. “With record numbers of cruise guests visiting our Port year after year, the arrival of Harmony and Mariner shows that Port Canaveral has ensured the confidence of RCI to accommodate two of the largest and most sophisticated cruise ships in the industry.”
In keeping with tradition, Port executives presented Harmony Capt. Johnny Faevelen with a plaque marking the cruise ship’s first visit to Port Canaveral.
When asked about the Port’s ability to handle the second-largest cruise ship in the world, Capt. Faevelen, who helmed the Mariner when it first sailed from the Port in 2003, told reporters gathered on the Harmony, “It’s actually easier now during this operation than it was with the Mariner years ago. The Port has really done a great, great job preparing for the biggest cruise ships in the world like we have with Royal Caribbean.”
Harmony, the largest cruise ship ever to homeport at Port Canaveral, departed on a three-night cruise to Nassau, Bahamas, after having arrived at the Port on May 5 from Port Everglades. The 226,963-gross-ton Harmony of the Seas began service in 2016 and has room for about 6,700 guests and 2,100 crew members. Only Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas,
In service since 2003, the Voyager Class Mariner of the Seas weighs 139,863 gross tons. The 15-deck vessel, which underwent a more than $100 million upgrade in 2018, can carry up to 4,000 guests and 1,200 crew.