The World's Largest Cruise Ship Is About to Set Sail

FRED TANNEAU / AFP / Getty Images
FRED TANNEAU / AFP / Getty Images

There's a new world's largest cruise ship, and we're officially one big boat closer to making Waterworld a reality. That massive vessel is Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas, which was just delivered on Friday after three years of construction. It's 18-decks-high and weighs 228,081 tons.

In other words, it's quite large.

“It is a proud and exhilarating moment to welcome a new member to the family,” Royal Caribbean president and CEO Michael Bayley said at the ship’s delivery ceremony in France. “Symphony will take family vacationing to an all new level with energy and options never before found in one place."

In setting this record, Royal Caribbean is actually surpassing itself. Symphony is only slightly bigger than the current largest ship in the world, Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas. Both ships are in Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class of vessels, which are more than 30% larger than the next largest cruise ships. Symphony and Harmony are both around 1,188 feet long, but Symphony is 1,000 tons heavier and has 2,774 cabins and space for 6,680 passengers. 

If you're one of those several thousand, you'll be treated to laser tag, a new seafood concept, and a live performance of the Broadway show Hairspray, plus a heck of a lot of pools and slides, and dozens of lounges, bars, and restaurants. Most wild of all, however, are the two-story family suites that feature a slide connecting the upper and lower floors. Is this practical at all? No, but if you're looking for a practical slide, you might misunderstand slides.

The Symphony of the Seas leaves France on Saturday to head to Barcelona. It will start its first real voyage with passengers on March 31 to sail the Mediterranean before heading to Miami where you'll be able to book it for Caribbean cruises.

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James Chrisman is a News Writer at Thrillist. Send news tips to and follow him on Twitter @james_chrisman2.