Royal Caribbean made a lot of noise about their new arrival, Harmony of the Seas, promising a ‘bigger, better and more extraordinary’ ship. On the 20 May 2016, I got the chance to see if this was indeed the case.
Armed with my handy pocket guide and a checklist of must-sees, I headed out to explore the ship.
With seven neighbourhoods, a concept forged back in 2009 for sister ship Oasis of the Seas, there is a part of ‘town’ to suit everyone’s mood. Fancy watching the world go by whilst you sip on the drink of your choice? Head to Central Park. Need to keep the kids entertained? Head to the boardwalk, where the seaside vibe makes it feel more like you’re on boardwalks of Coney Island than in the middle of the ocean. Alternatively, head to the Ultimate Abyss; the 11 deck tall slide we had all so eagerly anticipated was most definitely the main attraction.
Whilst the ship’s various outdoor areas were incredible, it’s safe to say that the interior spaces were pretty spectacular too. The hustle and bustle of the Royal Promenade could have you fooled that you were on the high street of any major city; boutique shops, eateries and of course, the good old fashioned pub. Come nightfall, the streets truly do come alive; bands, dancers and performers are on hand to get you dancing, singing and enjoying the best of the 90’s. Fear not if this all sounds a little too lively for your liking. The local jazz bar offering a laid back groove was the highlight of our evening. Why not try a little scatting for yourself? You’re on holiday after all!
Gym bunnies eat your heart out at Vitality Spa & Fitness Suite. Not only is this area a state-of-the-art gym bigger than any we have seen on any other cruise ship, it is also equipped with everything from a dental hygienist to get your pearly whites sparkling, to a podiatrist to tell you exactly what your foot print (yes you read it right) has to say about your aching joints. Ladies get your tresses tamed, gents don’t worry – there’s a barber on hand to groom you to perfection too. Pamper yourself, you deserve it!
Travelling with a younger crowd? Fear not, for that all too familiar phrase “I’m bored” will not be used on this holiday. The Kids Zone is a force to be reckoned with. Whilst on board, families can take part in a whole host of activities and there are so many to choose from; soar through the air on the zip line, ride the waves on FlowRider® or play games to your heart’s content in the Arcade. Without a shadow of doubt, the standout feature on Harmony of the Seas has got to be the slides, with more found on here than on any other cruise ship. Ride the Ultimate Abyss, 11-storey dry slide, or brave The Perfect Storm – a trio of water slides made up of Typhoon, Cyclone and Super Cell.
As this was an agent preview sailing, we had the opportunity to check out each category of stateroom. The contemporary design certainly utilised space to the fullest. As is to be expected, the Penthouse Suites were exemplary, but it was the Family Interior Stateroom that sleeps six guests which took us by surprise; a double bed, sofa bed, bunk beds, plus ample floor space…how was this even possible!?!
To sum things up, Royal Caribbean have got things very right on board this ship and they will certainly capture the hearts of the young and the young at heart on this super vessel!