I had the pleasure of sailing on Royal Caribbean’s newest Oasis Class ship, the Harmony of the Seas, with my multigenerational family this past December to the Western Caribbean.
I already knew it was going to be spectacular. As sister ship to Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, on which I have cruised and fell in love with, Harmony of the Seas has all the features of the Oasis and Allure. Spanning 16 guest decks with seven neighborhoods guests enjoy the popular Central Park, featuring lush tropical landscaping, Boardwalk, with its whimsical carousel, Video Arcade, Johnny Rockets, and Starbucks. She is chockfull of onboard adventures that appeal to all the senses, thrilling clients of all ages.
Harmony of the Seas does have some new features. For adrenaline-seeking adults and teens, it’s all about the “Ultimate Abyss” – a 10-story-high slide – the tallest at sea. Riders climb stairs leading to the slide platform, walk over a clear platform suspended above a 90-foot-plus drop, to enjoy a thrilling multi-sensory experience during the slide itself.
For those seeking more sedate enriching experiences, there’s cutting-edge entertainment and celebrity chef dining at a great value. Guests will discover 42 restaurants and bars, four swimming pools including an adults-only pool in the Solarium (one of my favorite places to lounge, and have breakfast and lunch), multiple whirlpools, FlowRider surfing pools, a large ice rink, multiple theaters, casino, a full-service spa, shops, including a Kate Spade store, rock climbing walls and so much more.
Our favorite show was at the Aqua Theater, where there are two new water shows. “Fine Line” features extreme stunts and acrobatics, while “Hideway Heist” is a comedy dive show. The ship also offers the line’s first dedicated Puzzle Break escape game, and the Attic, a new comedy club.
New productions include the musical “Grease” – for the first time at sea – and “1887: A Journey in Time,” a fun new French-themed ice show. We were most impressed by the latter with its costumed ice performers in historic French garb; the production unfolded against a backdrop of ultra, high-definition video designed to resemble the Seine.
Our family was multigenerational, and that’s the best part about cruising: we all found things that we loved to do. Our older kids loved the late-night disco, water slides, comedy show, Bionoc Bar –where two robotic arms create cocktails from 160 suspended bottles and 16 mixers. We also liked the concept of the Rising Tide Bar, seemingly floating between three decks.
I booked all of our dining and entertainment online, so I didn’t have to worry about planning anything once onboard. I was concerned about our large group of 12, but all the customer service representatives onboard were extremely helpful in making sure that we were satisfied and taken care of properly. Even with almost 5,500 guests onboard, not only did we feel like VIPs, but also the ship never felt overcrowded, which one might think for such a large ship.
What else is new? Sure to appeal to anyone who wants to stay connected is a dedicated satellite that enables the high-speed VOOM Internet service and a Royal IQ app for quick check-in and booking dining and activities.
Harmony of the Seas has eight specialty restaurants including the first two-story, 122-seat Wonderland, loosely based on the Lewis Carroll novel and Johnny Depp movie. It’s a fantastical experience with a tunnel-like-entry, whimsical art and waiters in purple velvet jackets. The menu reveals itself only after you paint it with a special brush. All entrees are served-to-be-shared so guests dining together can share everything.
We loved our teppanyaki at Izumi, where we enjoyed our chef’s sizzling show on the grill. Our first night we dined at Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian in Central Park (my favorite neighborhood!), where we sampled delicious charcuterrie and homemade pasta dishes. Then there were the Latin dishes and craft margaritas at Sabor on the Boardwalk.
You won’t have to worry about gaining weight from all the delicious foods, because the Fitness Center impresses with its large selection of cardio and weight machines, yoga, Pilates, TRX, spin studio, and kick boxing classes, and personal trainers available to assist.
Royal Caribbean has a new three-tiered Royal Suite Class program for guests staying in Grand Suites and higher. Benefits range from access to dinner in the 100-seat Coastal Kitchen, to Suite Lounge access, concierge services, priority bookings and free VOOM for Sky Class. The highest-class boasts perks such as access to a Suite Sun Deck, a beverage package, free movies, spa classes, and exclusive activities such as bridge, galley, and back stage tours, not to mention the Royal Genie butler, who adds a level of pampering. Clients get luxury accommodations and dining, and the energy and excitement of the entertainment that the ship has to offer.
Harmony of the Seas is a great choice for first-time cruisers, luxury cruisers, and multigenerational families with teens or young children and perfect for couples and honeymooners. Call to book your Royal Caribbean vacation adventure with Debbie at Dream Vacations. 901.682.5600.