Video: One-Minute Tour of Harmony of the Seas

In:
15Nov2016

Watch a hyperlapse tour of the world's largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas, now sailing out of Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale.

Royal Caribbean offering Crown and Anchor members bonus 5% discount on all cruises

In:
15Nov2016

Royal Caribbean is rewarding its loyal customers with bonus savings just for members of Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program, the Crown and Anchor Society.

For a limited time, guests that are Gold tier or higher in Crown and Anchor Society can save an extra 5% on select sailings through June 2017 on bookings made between November 15 - 30, 2016.

With this bonus offer, guests will receive get 30% Savings off sailings departing between December 15, 2016 to March 31, 2017 and Europe Sailings departing between April 15, 2017 to June 30, 2017. Offer excludes China departures. 

Offer is not combinable with any other offer or promotion, including but not limited to Standard Group, Interline, Travel Agent, Travel Agent Friends and Family, Weekly Sales Events, Net Rates, and Shareholder benefits.

Restaurant Review: Wonderland on Harmony of the Seas

In:
15Nov2016

Ever since Royal Caribbean introduced the Wonderland restaurant on Quantum of the Seas, the concept has resonated with many guests who find the aura of this sort of not-so-typical restaurant truly attractive. With Harmony of the Seas, Royal Caribbean has seemingly "doubled down" on the idea with its largest Wonderland yet.

Of all the specialty restaurants on Harmony of the Seas, perhaps no other restaurant has attracted as much intrigue surrounding what it is like to dine there, so I made very certain on a recent sailing to try it out for myself.  I had dined at Wonderland on Quantum of the Seas, but I was curious how similar (or dissimilar) the version on Harmony of the Seas was and how this experience stacks up to my memory.

In full disclosure, Royal Caribbean invited me to try Wonderland on Harmony of the Seas as their guest for the purposes of this review. I promise I kept at least one eyebrow raised at any given time, in an effort to be as inquisitive as possible during the meal. 

Time to go through the looking glass (and eat)!

Atmosphere

If you are unfamiliar with Wonderland, it is a specialty restaurant developed by Royal Caribbean that is loosely based on the Alice's Adventures in Wonderland novel by Lewis Carroll.  Like all Royal Caribbean specialty restaurants, the food available is different than anywhere else on the ship, but it also is big on the experience.

Wonderland is located in the aft of Deck 12, in a rather quiet part of the ship. Unlike other specialty restaurants that are in busy neighborhoods, or areas of the ship with a lot of foot traffic, Wonderland is on what is otherwise a deck of staterooms, so one really has to go in search of Wonderland to come across it (unless your stateroom happens to be on Deck 12).

Unlike Wonderland on Quantum class ships, this restaurant does not feature a whole lot of ornate decorations outside the restaurant. Instead, it squeezes them on the interior of the space.  So while you might not get the same sense of curiosity simply by passing by on Harmony of the Seas, the restaurant's look more than makes up for it once inside.

Entering the restaurant is via a tunnel that leads to a golden door.  The door is symbolic, and can easily be side-stepped, but it represents the disconnect between the "real world" and the experiences you will encounter in Wonderland.

Wonderland on Harmony of the Seas is comprised of two decks, a first for any Wonderland restaurant.  The entrance area, along with a bar and a few tables are located on the top deck of Wonderland, while a majority of the seating and the kitchen are located down the stairs on the lower deck.

Like all Wonderland restaurants, the decorations are quite ornate. The motif of the decor is meant to intrigue.  Wonderland is purposefully different, both in look and experience, so stepping foot inside should instantly accompany a thought that this is somewhere unlike anywhere else.

The most prominent part of Wonderland on Harmony of the Seas is the view of the Boardwalk. On the Quantum class ships, Wonderland had no view to speak of, but we have here a floor-to-ceiling window that overlooks the Boardwalk.  It is a stunning view, which really looks amazing at night when the ship is lit up.

There are plenty of decorations on and around the tables.  Guests will find odds and ends that evoke the overarching story that you are dining somewhere very different than you are used to dining on land or at sea.

Like Wonderland on other Royal Caribbean ships, the serving staff also dress for the part.  You will see them wearing velvet jackets and playing their part in acting just a little bit silly.

Eats

Sitting down for your meal, the experience of Wonderland begins immediately with the menu.  Each guest is given a picture frame with a blank menu and paintbrush. 

Guests are then instructed to dip their paintbrush into water and "paint" the picture that reveals the menu.  A bit of a spoiler if you have never dined there before, but it is always a fun experience.

Like the restaurant, nothing is conventional with the menu.  For our meal, the waiter brought us out a number of choices he picked from the menu to sample, followed up with an entree of our choice. In all of my meals at Wonderland, this has been the typical experience with the waiter bringing out a variety of bite-size appetizers to sample before the main course.

Each appetizer was shared at the table, and they all tend to look a little different, but ended up tasting better than they look.  The idea is to intrigue guests with the the presentation of the food, and then follow that up with food that is quite tasty.

In terms of the entrees, the terroir beef is still my top pick for what to order.  I had it on Quantum of the Seas, and my wife tried it again on this sailing and it is simply very, very good.  The meat is fall-off-the-bone quality, and the flavor is just perfect.

I also tried the branzino in crispy bread, because the waiter recommended it.  It was a small portion, but tasted great.  Still, hard to beat that terroir beef.

The desserts were a bit different than I had on Quantum of the Seas.  We had three dessert options for us to share at the table.

By far, the chocolate globe was the best.  It tasted like a Snickers candy bar and was something I wanted to have just to myself.

Overall

Wonderland on Harmony of the Seas attracts a lot of attention from guests who are intrigued by the concept, and it is safe to say that it is well-deserved.  On a cruise ship filled with plenty of dining options, Wonderland stands apart as an unique option.

The reason to dine at Wonderland is the blend of an eclectic motif and some very good food. Unlike any other specialty restaurant, the experience and "schtick" of Wonderland are what endears the restaurant to many guests and makes it as compelling an option as it is.

It is important to note that Wonderland does come with a rather high price tag for a specialty restaurant. Wonderland on Harmony of the Seas costs $45 per person, which is not a cheap specialty restaurant, but then again, there is no other specialty restaurant  that compares to the overall experience.

Wonderland certainly has a wide-ranging appeal.  Guests that are new to cruising will love the prospect of trying something new like this, and veteran cruisers will find Wonderland a welcome change from the typical specialty restaurant scene.

In short, Wonderland on Harmony of the Seas is a very different experience and perhaps the most intriguing Royal Caribbean dining experience that needs to be tried at least once to fully appreciate.

Wonderland is open for dinner and we reviewed Wonderland aboard Harmony of the Seas.

Top 10 Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas hidden secrets

In:
14Nov2016

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas is a massive cruise ship, packed to the brim with lots of things to see and do.  With a ship that large, it can be easy to miss a few diamonds in the rough.  

Having sailed on Harmony of the Seas, here is our list of best hidden secrets that can be missed on Harmony of the Seas.

1. Bridge wings and see-through floor

Oasis class ships are known for their bridge wings, which offer small observational platforms on either side of the ship that extend away from the ship's main structure, to provide one-of-a-kind perspectives.

The bridge wings are located on deck 14 of the Solarium, at the very front of the ship and are accessible at any time by simply walking to them.

Keep in mind that each bridge wing is different from the other.  The port bridge wing has a see-through floor panel in one point, which allows a guest to see directly down to the ocean below them.

The starboard bridge wing does not have the see-through panel, but does have a telescope.

2. Secret entrance to bridge wings

The bridge wings are accessible from the Solarium, but there is a lesser-known means of getting directly to the port bridge wing without going to the pool deck first.

Go to the port side of deck 14 and walk all the way forward.  At the very end of the hallway is a door that leads to the Solarium, and the port bridge wing.

3. Stairwells are color coded

A ship the size of Harmony of the Seas might have some guests concerned about getting around, but Royal Caribbean color coded the stairwells to make it easier to quickly know if you are where you should be.

There are 4 color codes to help guests quickly understand where they are.

  • Forward port: orange
  • Forward starboard: green
  • Aft port: blue
  • Aft starboard: yellow

A wall in each stairwell will have these colors, which makes it easier to know if you are in the right stairwell for you.

4. Chairs at aft of ship

If you want to enjoy the aft view of the ship, Royal Caribbean has set up a space for you.

On the jogging deck (deck 5), there are a number of chairs set up at the rear of the ship that provide a great view of the ocean.  This area doubles as an usually quiet spot to relax too.

5. WOWbands can be purchased at Guest Services only

Have you heard about Royal Caribbean's RFID bracelets that work just like a SeaPass card, but with far greater convenience? You might see some guests wearing them on Harmony of the Seas and wonder how to get one for yourself.

There is just one place onboard to get a WOWband, and that would be Guest Services on the Royal Promenade.  At any point in your cruise, go there and ask to purchase one (or more).  There are 4 colors, although the colors are tied to your muster station, so you will be limited by that requirement as to which colors you can use.

The cost for a WOWband is $4.95, although you can bring them back on future cruises that have WOWbands enabled and exchange them for a new one without any additional cost.

6. The secret to going faster on the water slides

Harmony of the Seas features 3 very fun water slides that guests can enjoy time and time again, but if you want to get down these slides as quickly as possible, here are two important tips.

First, cross your arms and legs while going down the slide.  In all cases, the least resistance in the water (and slide) that you have, the faster you will go.

Second, the least amount of clothing you wear will result in faster speeds. Rash guards, t-shirts and more elaborate swim suits will result in you slowing down.  In fact, the crew members say for optimal speed, men wearing a Speedo swimsuit would be ideal.

7. You can use Royal iQ app without paying for Voom

Harmony of the Seas is one of the few Royal Caribbean ships to make use of the smartphone application, Royal iQ.  The app has a number of useful features, including being able to check the Cruise Compass, manage dining reservations and book shore excursions.

Even if you are not paying for an internet package, you can still use the Royal iQ app.  Simply download the app before you get onboard the ship and then start using it once connected to the Royal Caribbean WiFi network.

All the app's features, minus the chat and call feature, will be available for use throughout your cruise.

8. Least crowded places for embarkation day lunch

Embarkation day can lead to lots of guests wanting to get something to eat as they get onboard their cruise. As a result, popular spots like Cafe Promenade and the Windjammer are frequently crowded.

There are two great spots to avoid those crowds on embarkation day and still get a great selection of choices for lunch.

  • Solarium Bistro - Deck 14 forward
  • Park Cafe - Deck 8 mid-ship in Central Park

Both venues have some really good choices and are complimentary.

9. Best spot for any parade on the Royal Promenade

Whether you are watching a DreamWorks parade or the Let's Celebrate parade, the best spot for seeing as much of the fun as possible is going to be right in front of Sorrento's.

The complimentary pizza restaurant has lots of space to enjoy the show, and is situated at the center of the entertainment. While these events have the word "parade" in the titles, they tend to be events where the entertainment deploys to a certain area, performs and then marches around before exiting.  The bulk of the entertainment occurs while they are deployed to a certain area, and being in front of Sorrento's will be the perfect spot to see it all.

10. Keep your elbows in when riding the Ultimate Abyss

Many guests likely have the Ultimate Abyss slide near the top of their must-do lists, but if you do go for a ride (or four), make very certain you keep your elbows in to avoid a nasty scrape.

Due to the high rate of speed experienced on Ultimate Abyss rides, you will want to make very certain to keep your elbows in and legs straight.  If part of your arm comes in contact with the slide during the ride down, it can result in a rather painful bruise.  

Did we miss any Harmony of the Seas secrets? Share them in our comments!

Photos from Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas inaugural sailaway from Port Canaveral

In:
14Nov2016

Royal Caribbean and Port Canaveral celebrated the official inaugural sailing of Oasis of the Seas from her new homeport in Port Canaveral, Florida.

A ceremony was held onboard the ship with the ship's staff, and culminated with a fantastic send-off during the ship's scheduled departure.

Port Canaveral held a Sail-a-bration event at Jetty Park, which is located along the Port Canaveral channel.  Port Canaveral provided games and entertainment for onlookers during the day to enjoy, leading up to Oasis of the Seas' departure.

Oasis of the Seas will offer year-round 7-night sailings from Port Canaveral to destinations in the eastern and western Caribbean.

Harmony of the Seas officially named by her Godmother

In:
13Nov2016

At long last, Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas had her official naming ceremony over the weekend, with a spectacular naming ceremony that starred the ship's Godmother, a "hometown hero" in Education, Brittany Affolter.

The event took place onboard Harmony of the Seas, and included Affolter, as well as singer-songwriter Jon Secada.  The two took turns during the event to celebrate the ship's official arrival in her new home.  

The ship's Godmother, Brittany Affolter from Teach For America Miami-Dade, was selected as Godmother of Harmony of the Seas for her work in inspiring South Florida’s next generation to dream big, think differently and challenge the status quo. Royal Caribbean conducted a six-week search and received nearly one thousand nominees for the honor usually reserved for celebrities and royalty.

As with all traditional maritime namings, Royal Caribbean smashed a bottle of champagne on the ship, as part of the inauguration process.

To cap off the evening, an array of fireworks filled the sky over Port Everglades in commemoration of this special day.  

With Harmony of the Seas now in her new homeport, she will offer seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries throughout the year.

Harmony of the Seas Live Blog - Michael's Day 2

In:
12Nov2016

Today is our second day onboard the Harmony of the Seas and we are docked in Nassau from 12pm-6pm. We started our day with some breakfast at Johnny Rockets. I know you must be thinking, did you not have dinner there last night? But on Oasis Class ships they offer free breakfast at Johnny Rockets, so off we went.

I ordered an omelet with a side of bacon. There are a few reasons I recommend having breakfast here. One, they are very fast so if you are looking to get in and out this place is perfect. Two, the food is really good, much better than the windjammer if you are looking for eggs. 

After breakfast we changed for some slides action, well on Harmony they have a total of 5 slides. There are 3 poolside, and the 2 large 10 story dry slides called Ultimate Abyss.

We did the dry slide first, Abyss and it was fast few seconds down to the boardwalk deck. The views from the boarding platform are unbelievable; the floor is all glass so you can see straight down. I wish I had taken my camera with me, but you cannot slide down with it, so I left it in the cabin.

After we went down we headed to the pool deck where I rode the water slides 4 more times. I know I shared my thoughts on them yesterday, but I just could not get enough of them.

If you are taking kids on this ship, they are going to love them! 

Cabin Crawl 

Since this is a special media sailing, they had one of every cabin type open for viewing. I have never seen the loft suites in person, so those are the only type I went to see.

The Royal Loft Suite was the most amazing cabin I have ever seen. The balcony alone was amazing, from the full bar set-up to the hot tub. I also went into the standard loft suite cabin, which felt a little smaller than I was expecting but there were 20-30 people in there viewing it also. 

Escape the Rubicon 

 On Anthem of the Seas they introduced their first escape room, and that transferred to Harmony. However, on Harmony they have a full room for the game and our host talked about on Anthem they just kind of added it in.

Needless to say, I did not want to go at all, but I had so much fun. You work together as a team to find clues in the room to ensure you escape within 1 hour. I am happy to report my team finished with 1:07 still on the clock! If you get the chance to play the game you will love it, I am sure just think out side the box is the only hint I will give you. 

Nassau, Bahamas 

 I had originally planned to stay onboard in Nassau since I was recently just here, and we only had 2 days onboard Harmony.

I just couldn’t resist not going to my favorite pub in Nassau Pirate Republic. It is the only craft brewery in Nassau and it is the very first bar you see once you get off the ship.

We only stayed for an hour since it was 3pm when we arrived. The beer was just as enjoyable as always, they have 3 – 3oz flights for $8. We headed back to the ship a little after 4:30pm. 

 Afternoon onboard 

 Once we got back onboard I noticed they had the ship decorated for Frindsgiving with balloons all blown for a party tonight. Really nice set-up, and I am sure they will use some of the footage for social media on Thanksgiving.

I ended up at the Pub back onboard and my girlfriend took a nap. They only offered a select type of beers, but I was happy Stella was one of them. I made good conversation with the bartender about their last few months in Europe. 

 Evening Onboard 

 Tonight we decided to spend most of our evening in Central Park. Usually when I sail on Oasis class ships it is late spring or summer and the park is extremely hot. But on our sailing Central Park felt so nice in the evening and I wanted to be outside enjoying the evening.

We had a few classes of wine in Vintages and again it was packed. I have never seen Vintages standing room only like this before, but it was tonight. They have self serve wine stations that you just tap your sea pass card up to and it pours wine.

I have seen this on other ships across the fleet, but never this many. 

 Dinner 

 Well I am sad to report our dinner tonight was at Sorrento’s Pizza. I was started to feel very tired at this point and did not want to eat in the main dining room. We went up toe the made to order pizza station and both got a personal pan pizza. They only take 10 minutes to bake and it was really good. If you ever want to wait for a snack get the made to order pizza, and it is complimentary too! 

 After dinner I decided to take a little nap before our evening, I should have known better but I never woke up. I guess all the non-stop action finally caught up to me and I enjoyed a full 11 hours of sleep. 

 Wrap Up 

 Thanks for follow along during my 2 day adventure on Harmony of the Seas. She is a great ship and I really cannot wait to get back on this ship in March. The décor onboard is very modern and really makes her stand out in my mind as the best ship in the fleet. But that does not mean I will abandon my small favorite ships.

Harmony of the Seas Live Blog - Matt's Day 2

In:
11Nov2016

If you had one day on any cruise ship, it stands to reason many would subscribe to the theory of making the most of their time, and I certainly endeavored to do just that.

Today is our only full day aboard this quick Harmony of the Seas sailing, and I had plenty planned.  I woke up nice and early and headed up to the pool deck to see the morning sun reflecting on the ship.  A beautiful start to our day!

For breakfast, I grabbed a breakfast Panini from Park Cafe in Central Park, which was a great choice. Quick, simple and very tasty.  Definitely a winner.

We had the opportunity to have a question and answer session with Royal Caribbean Chairman Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley and Harmony of the Seas' Captain.

It was an unique opportunity to pick these gentleman's collective minds about many facets of the cruise industry and Harmony of the Seas.

Today I was actually making my own lunch, by attending a pasta making class in Jamie's Italian (note, I cheated and ate a quick lunch at Mini Bites because I get hangry when I do not eat on time).

This was a really fun experience, where the chef took the group through the steps of creating pasta from just flour and eggs. It was educational and a lot of fun.

Speaking of fun, the highlight of my cruise came next when I tried to the Escape the Rubicon escape room experience.  

It is located up on deck 14 near Adventure Ocean.  I had done an escape room game on Anthem of the Seas, but this was very different.  Unlike on Anthem of the Seas, Royal Caribbean designed this space with this experience in mind and it was extremely fun.

If you are unfamiliar with escape room games, essentially you are "locked" in a room for an hour and have to solve a number of puzzles and riddles to come up with the secret equation/phrase that allows "escape" from the room.

It was really, really fun and I relished the experience.  The most fun I had that afternoon!

Next up was a mixology course in Wonderland.  The mixologist took us through how the hand crafted beverages in Wonderland.  It provided an interesting look at how drinks were made, as well as an opportunity to try very unique drinks.

For those keeping score at home, we were actually docked in Nassau, Bahamas today.  We docked at around noon, but I decided to stay onboard the ship.  I will be back in March on Anthem of the Seas, so I felt my time was better spent onboard.  Every hour counts!

By far the big event of today was the special concert by pop band, DNCE.  If you do not know who DNCE is, it is that band that played that song you likely hummed along to all summer, "Cake by the Ocean".  

It was a pretty spectacular show, and the band brought a lot of energy.  Royal Caribbean branded the event a "Friendsgiving" celebration, with Friendsgiving referring to a fun, informal get together alternative to Thanksgiving.

I cannot say I am the world's biggest DNCE fan, but I do enjoy hearing a hit song played live.

After the show, we got changed and headed down to the Royal Theater to see Columbus, The Musical again. I think it was better the second time around, and it is my favorite stage production on any Royal Caribbean ship.

For dinner, we had the opportunity to try out Wonderland.  I had dined at Wonderland on the Quantum class before, but Royal Caribbean reimagined the venue for this iconic restaurant on Harmony of the Seas.

Other than the location, there were some small differences between the two, but Wonderland continues to live up to its billing as an eclectic and unique restaurant, where the experience is just as important as the food.  My picks for the two best things I ate there are the terroir beef and whatever that chocolate globe thing is.

I rounded out my evening with some music, drinking and (awful on my part) dancing.  A fun end to a really great experience.

I will definitely miss Harmony of the Seas, because it completely exceeded my expectations.  Harmony of the Seas is not just another Oasis class ship, and incorporates so many new features that it is almost a sub-class in of itself.  I will be returning to Harmony of the Seas in September 2017 on the Royal Caribbean Blog Group Cruise, but I admit I wish my return was much, much sooner.

Thank you to Royal Caribbean for hosting me on this sailing, and to the amazing crew and staff onboard that helped show off how impressiveness of this ship.  Can I go back again?

Stray Observations

  • The Stowaway piano player has been spotted! I actually saw him twice, but today was the first time I saw him across the 5-nights I had been onboard.
  • Those Greek salad rolls from Cafe Promenade are super addictive. 
  • Time for my favorite anything on the ship...
    • Favorite thing I ate: Aloo Ghobi curry in Windjammer and roast beef sandwich from Park Cafe
    • Favorite spot onboard: bridge wings
    • Preferred stateroom I stayed in: Oceanview Balcony
    • Preferred stateroom I toured, but will likely never stay in: Crown Loft Balcony
    • Number of slices of pizza from Sorrentos I ate: 4ish
    • Number of Izumi sushi samples I ate: I ran out of fingers
    • Favorite entertainment: Columbus, The Musical
    • Favorite water slide: Supercell (the champagne bowl slide)

Thank you for following along all the fun.  My next live blog will be on Navigator of the Seas in February 2017!

Harmony of the Seas Live Blog - Michael's Day 1

In:
11Nov2016

My cruise on board Harmony of the Seas is finally here, my excitement level kept building watching Matt for three days. Since I live in Florida, I decided to fly into Ft. Lauderdale this morning for a short 35 minute flight. I landed around 9:45am and took a short $22 taxi ride over to the port. I know I could find better options getting to the port, but I was just looking for the fastest way over. 

We had to wait around an hour before we could board at 11am and maybe it was just me but that was a long hour! 

 Boarding Harmony of the Seas 

 At 11:00am we were able to board the ship, and when I first walked on board it kind of felt the same as her sister ships. That is until I noticed robot bartenders in place of the Champagne bar. This new bar is called Bionic Bar, and they have two robot bartenders, which you order a drink on an iPad. If you have never seen this in person this is a must try. 

I have been craving Sabor recently seeing everyone eating there on their cruise, so I went straight to the boardwalk and they were closed for lunch. But not to worry, they are usually open for lunch at 11:30, but because we are on a special media sailing they were just doing samples. So I was a little sad, but let’s just say I tried my samples. 

I decided to head up to the Windjammer for lunch and it was hands down the nicest windjammer I’ve ever seen. When you first arrived you walk into a side room where you wash your hands, similar to Quantum Class or Empress of the Seas. Lunch was uneventful and fast due to excitement to go explore the ship. 

 Afternoon on board 

 Our rooms were ready really fast at 11:45AM and since had some bags we headed to our cabin. I had a Central Park cabin on deck 14. If heard about these water slides for well over a year now, so I was excited to go try them out. 

Well my friends, a little over an hour later I went down them 11 times! I just couldn’t stop, and since most of this sailing is media there were zero lines. 

 

If you have kids coming on this ship, plan on likely not seeing them all day, because they will ride them over and over. It was getting close to muster time, so we decided to get out and just go explore the flowriders. Royal Caribbean’s social media team had some unique cameras that take 10 pictures of you all at once to form one shot. 

 Naming Ceremony 

 Today was a special day because it was the official naming ceremony for Harmony of the Seas. All the top excutives and CEO’s were on board talking about the history of the cruise line, history of Oasis class, and how Harmony came out. They made a comment that they thought about calling Harmony her on class of ships, but stuck with Oasis Class – which I’m happy they did. 

The new Godmother of the ship, Brittany Affolter was on board and got the honor to push the “button” to cause the champagne bottle break. She is a local School teacher in Miami, FL and was voted by many to become the Ship Godmother, what an honor. This event was extremely special to be apart of, and I couldn’t be more honored to see it in person. 

 Dinner 

 Since this is a unique sailing all the specialty resturants are closed to invite only. We didn’t really feel like spending 2 hours in the main dining room, so our options were Windjammer, Park Café, or Johnny Rockets. 

I decided to head for some burger and fries, why not! The meal was very fast as the venue was not that full, but they were still dancing for us. The food was great as always here, and if you have read my live blogs before you know I love their Apple Pie here. 

Evening on board 

We had about an hour to kill before we saw the Aqua Show, and that took us to the Rising Tide bar. This is very similar to the one on her sister ships, but this one looks a little more modern with her décor. 

We took it down and then back up, each way takes 15 minutes from waiting period to actual rising/lowering. 

 The Fine Line – Aqua Show 

Tonight was the Fine Line aqua show at 10:30pm, and if you recall from my preview post this was one of my top 3 things I wanted to try. I actually thought after the show how I was doing to describe it. 

It’s very different from the other two shows on her sister ships, but in a good way. There is more people flying around then diving but I really enjoyed the show. I’m actually really excited to see it again in March. 

 Late Night 

 At 11:30pm – 1am they hosted a 90’s street parade that quickly changed into 80’s party. But I’ll take it, 90’s music is slowing working it’s way to Royal Caribbean. 

After a few pints at the pub, I called it a day – and what it day it was! So action packed from the moment we stepped on board. Tomorrow we are in Nassau from 12-6pm, but I plan to stay on board and enjoy our last day.

Harmony of the Seas Live Blog - Matt's Day 1

In:
10Nov2016

I am back onboard Harmony of the Seas and it feels great!

Today, began our two-night Harmony of the Seas adventure.  After a quick, but busy two day respite, my wife and I hopped in the car bright and early to head to Port Everglades.

This is a two-night sailing, where Royal Caribbean invited members of the media, travel agents and other VIPs to preview this new ship.  As a guest of Royal Caribbean, I was looking forward to meeting and chatting with the people in the company that make everything work.  I have been on these sort of media sailings previously, including Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas.  They are great opportunities to not only see the ship, but meet the folks in charge.

We arrived in Port Everglades by about 9:45am, and were in line for security rather quickly.  One difference with this embarkation process was we were given boarding groups, although we were still seated according to our Crown and Anchor Society status.  We were in boarding group 1, so we were onboard a bit after 11am.

Once onboard Harmony of the Seas, it was time to explore. We started out with lunch in the Windjammer, a Hochberg family tradition.  Great spread, as always, and I got to enjoy another lovely lunch on Harmony.

Being back onboard, I did feel a great sense of relief that I was not trying to see the entire ship at once.  That being said, there would be plenty to do onboard today.

During these preview sailings, there are various staterooms open for guests to see. I saw some of the loft suite rooms, which are stunning.  I am not certain I will ever have the opportunity to stay in one of those kinds of rooms, but I can certainly dream about it!

Our stateroom was ready rather early, and on this sailing, we are staying in an ocean balcony stateroom.  

We are on deck 10, very close to the elevators.  My wife loves ocean facing balcony rooms, and I have to admit having the ocean breeze while you sit on the balcony is quite lovely.

Inside, the room is nearly identical to my Boardwalk balcony room in terms of layout and size. A great room, although I plan on being in it for very little time on this sailing!

I took my wife on an exploration of the ship.  Within an hour, she was asking when we can go on Harmony of the Seas again and how soon.  She and I both like Harmony a lot, and rank her even ahead of her Oasis class sister ships.

Following our muster drill, I spent a few hours doing a video shoot for a small project that will make its way to the blog later on, so stay tuned for it!

On this sailing, there was the official naming ceremony that coincided with the ship's Christening and a spectacular fireworks display!  The fireworks were quite impressive and no amateur display.

My wife saw 1887, the ice skating show onboard, and reported it is the best ice skating show she has seen on any ship.  She indicated that she liked there was a more coherent story to the performances, compared to other ice skating shows.  Plus, the bubble performer is quite amazing.

The projection technology incorporated into 1887 is also particularly good.  It is amazing how Royal Caribbean continues to push the bar with their shows, and innovation with their ice shows is a great example of that.

Dinner this evening was in the main dining room.  We were in American Icon Grill, and it was essentially My Time Dining.  Another fabulous night in the main dining room!

Tomorrow we will be in Nassau, but I will spending a great deal of it engaging in a number of immersion sessions, interviews and shows.  It will be a very busy, but exciting day ahead!

Be sure to follow the fun on Instagram, Periscope and Facebook! We do regular live broadcasts from the ship on Facebook and Periscope, so do not miss out!

Stray observations

  • The Voom internet is really fast this evening. It is open to everyone on this sailing.
  • I mentioned on this past weekend's Harmony of the Seas sailing there were lots of flowers onboard, and they are definitely in full bloom now because the ship smells amazing.
  • It was much warmer today than last weekend. There was profuse schvitzing occuring throughout the day.
  • I can really get used to cruising twice per week!

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