Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: September 2, 2018

By: Matt Hochberg

Happy Labor Day weekend! We hope you are having a wonderful weekend and we cannot wait to share with you all the exciting Royal Caribbean news from this week!

Royal Caribbean updated its beverage policy to allow all guests to bring non-alcoholic beverages on a cruise.

The cruise line announced that guests will be able to bring small quantities of non-alcoholic beverages in a carry-on or hand luggage onboard only on boarding day. Checking in non-alcoholic beverages will no longer be permitted.

Specifically, non-alcoholic beverages brought onboard may not exceed 12 standard (17 oz) cans, bottles or cartons per stateroom. Distilled water or specialized beverages such as, milk for medical purposes, dietary or infant use, are permitted.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 265th episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, where we share first time cruise tips.

In this episode, Matt gives tips and advice for anyone going on their first Royal Caribbean cruise (or cruise in general).

Please feel free to subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and head over to rate and review the podcast on iTunes if you can! We’d appreciate it.

Royal Caribbean Around the Internet

Seatrade Cruise News reports of a new sales director appointment for RCL Cruises Australasia.

Cruise Critic looked at San Juan one year after Hurricane Maria.

Cruise Radio shared advice on how to convince an anti-cruiser to go on a cruise.

KVAL shared an update on the status of Royal Caribbean's call center in Oregon, following a Cruise Law News report.

Frommers does not like the plans for Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Royal Caribbean Drink Package Information and Planning Tips

By: Matt Hochberg

A Royal Caribbean drink package is available for guests to purchase for their cruise vacation on most sailings.  With a drink package, guests can take advantage of unlimited beverages included with the package for a flat cost.  Not having to worry about racking up a large bar tab, as well as making out-of-pocket costs fit better into a budget makes drink packages quite a popular option.

Royal Caribbean includes plenty of drinks with your cruise fare, but if you are interested in having plenty of beers, lattes, cocktails, wine by the glass, bottled water and more, then a drink package might be what you need. 

What are the beverage packages on Royal Caribbean?

Royal Caribbean offers three primary drink packages on its cruises.

The Deluxe Package includes unlimited:

  • Cocktails
  • Spirits
  • Liqueurs
  • Beer
  • Bottled still and sparking water
  • Wine by the glass
  • Fresh squeezed juice
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Coca-Cola souvenir cup
  • Milkshakes at Johnny Rockets (only available while dining at Johnny Rockets)

The Deluxe Package includes any single beverage item with a value up to $12. Plus, receive a 40% discount on bottled wines priced up to $100, and 20% discount on wines priced above $100.

The Refreshment Package includes:

  •  Premium coffees and teas
  • Bottled still and sparkling water
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Non-alcoholic cocktails
  • Fountain sodas / Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages
  • Coca-Cola souvenir cup included
  • Milkshakes at Johnny Rockets (only available while dining at Johnny Rockets)

The Classic Soda Package includes unlimited fountain soda and refills in any venue, Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages, and a Coca-Cola souvenir cup.

Royal Caribbean drink package prices

The Deluxe Package is Royal Caribbean's unlimited alcohol package and its prices begin at $57 per day, per person excluding gratuity. 

The Refreshment Package offers unlimited non-alcoholic drinks and begins at $26 per person, per day excluding gratuity.

    If you want just to have as much soda as you like, Royal Caribbean's Classic Soda Package is for you.  The price for the Classic Soda Package begins at $8.50 per day, per guest excluding gratuity. 

    You can pre-purchase your drink package online or via the phone.  Onboard, the drink packages are available for purchase throughout the voyage with at least 4 days remaining. A drink package must be purchased for the duration of the cruise; prorated price based on date of purchase.

    How to get a drink package discount

    The best way to get a drink package discount is to pre-purchase your Royal Caribbean drink package before the cruise begins, via the cruise line's Cruise Planner site.

    The Deluxe Package (unlimited alcohol package) is always cheaper online than it will be onboard your ship.  Moreover, the discount you see listed is the discount off the onboard price.  

    From time to time, Royal Caribbean will run a limited-time sale on select pre-cruise purchases, and the drink packages often have an additional discount too.  Discounts are available regularly during these sales on the Deluxe Package and the Refreshment Package (non-alcoholic beverage package), but the soda package is rarely discounted.

    Not all sailings have discounts available, but if they are available, guests can log into their My Cruises section of the Royal Caribbean web site, navigate to the Cruise Planner section for their sailing and check if there are any discounts available on the Royal Caribbean drink package prices. 

    What drinks are free on Royal Caribbean?

    Your Royal Caribbean cruise will come with certain beverages included in your cruise fare, which means you can enjoy as much of these beverages as you like throughout your cruise at no additional cost.

    The free drinks on your Royal Caribbean cruise include:

    • tap water
    • milk
    • tea
    • coffee (regular and decaf)
    • lemonade
    • iced tea
    • flavored waters
    • juices (at breakfast and not fresh squeezed)
    • Hot chocolate (via instant packets)

    These drinks are available throughout your cruise at a number of locations, so there will always be somewhere to get something to drink for free.

    Is there a limit on Royal Caribbean drink packages?

    There is no limit on a Royal Caribbean drink package in terms of how many drinks a guest may consume in a day or throughout the cruise.

    The only limit on a drink package is that you may only order one drink per order, per drink package.

    If multiple people are ordering a drink with a drink package, the bartender or waiter may take each guests' SeaPass card to place the order.

    There are a few other drink package rules that you should be aware of as well.

    Is a Royal Caribbean drink package worth it?

    In a nutshell, a Royal Caribbean drink package can be worth it, provided you drink enough every day of your cruise.  The beverage packages definitely offer a value-savings proposition, but it is up to you to drink enough to make it worthwhile.

    The basis of any drink package is that you will drink enough to "break even" each day to make the packages worth it.  If you are not a big drinker, or someone that wants to indulge in many drinks, you may be better off paying for each drink individually.

    If you are wondering what the break even point is, it is around 5-6 drinks per day, every day to recoup the cost of the unlimited alcohol drink package. The non-alcohol packages have a lower break-even point, that is closer to 3-4 drinks. 

    Royal Caribbean Drink Package Articles

    Friday Photos - August 31, 2018

    By: Matt Hochberg

    This week's batch of beautiful Royal Caribbean photos is here and it's always fun to share with all of you the great photos our readers take while on their cruise vacation.

    The photos we have to show this week are fun and of course anyone can send us their Royal Caribbean photos to use as well!

    We begin with this pholto of Harmony of the Seas docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico, taken by Maarten Goldstein.

    Jill Arslanian shared this photo of a lovely evening on Oasis of the Seas.

    Check out this photo of Harmony of the Seas in Labadee, taken by Rebecca Thibert.

    David J. sent in this photo of his Grand Suite from aboard Grandeur of the Seas.

    Here we have Explorer of the Seas "peeking" through the palm trees while moored at Mystery Island, Vanuatu. Photo by Lovina McKenzie.

    Jason took this photo of Symphony of the Seas all lit up at night.

    Our last photo this week is by Brian Robinson of the sunrise, as seen from on Oasis of the Seas.

    Do you have Royal Caribbean photos that you want to share?  We'd love to feature them so send them in by using our nifty submission form and maybe your photos will show up in next week's edition!

    Kids Sail Free with Royal Caribbean's Labor Day Weekend Sale

    By: Matt Hochberg

    Royal Caribbean announced its Labor Day Weekend Sale, which offers guests 50% off the second guest, kids sail free and up to $100 instant savings.

    The Labor Day Weekend Sale runs between August 30 - September 4, 2018 and is valid on all sailings departing on or after September 30, 2018.

    It includes:

    • 50% off cruise fare of second guest booked in the same stateroom as first full-fare paying guest.
    • 25% off cruise fare for third guests and higher booked in the same stateroom as the first two qualified guests.
    • Kids Sail for Free Offer
      • Free cruise fare for 3rd guests and higher who are 12 years old or younger on 4 nights or longer Alaska, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Caribbean, CaribNE, Coastal, Cuba, Europe and Hawaii sailings departing between September 30, 2018 – May 14, 2019 and September 1, 2019 – December 14, 2019.
      • The Kids Sail Free Bonus excludes sailings between November 17 – November 23, 2018, sailings between December 18, 2018 – January 1, 2019, sailings between February 15 – 18, 2019, sailings between March 16 – 30, 2019, sailings between April 13 – 22, 2019 and sailings between November 23 – 30, 2019. Kids Sail Free is not combinable with Deck the Holiday Deals.
    • Instant savings of up to $100 per stateroom determined by category booked and sailing length:
      • Sailings 5 nights or less, $25 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $50 for Balconies and $75 for Suites
      • Sailing 6 nights or longer, $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $75 for Balconies and $100 for Suites for all ships excluding Anthem of the Seas as it offers: on sailings 5 nights or less, $25 savings for Interior, $50 for Ocean View, $50 for Balconies and $75 for Suites; on sailing 6 nights or longer, $50 savings for Interior, $75 for Ocean View and Balconies and $100 for Suites for only Anthem of the Seas sailings.
    • Free Upgrades Promo:
      • Free upgrades from ocean view to balcony when sailing on Anthem of the seas for all sailings departing on or after September 1, 2018.
      • Free upgrades refer to purchasing a Balcony at the price of an ocean view at standard/full fare.
    • Fall/Winter Sailings Promo Code
      • Offers up to $50 instant savings for any Empress, Enchantment, Majesty, Mariner, Liberty and Freedom of the Seas sailings determined by category booked: $25 savings for Interior and Ocean View and $50 savings for Balcony and Suites for those guests’ sailing between September 1, 2018 and December 17, 2018. Must be added through promo code: SAVE.
    • Deck the Holiday Deals
      • Instant savings of up to $150 per stateroom determined by category booked and sailing length:
      • Sailings 5 nights or less, $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $75 for Balconies and $75 for Suites
      • Sailing 6 nights or longer, $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $100 for Balconies and $150 for Suites for those guests’ sailing between December 18, 2018 – January 1, 2019 and sailing between December 19, 2019 – December 31, 2019.
      • Deck the Holiday Deals is not combinable with Kids Sail Free.

    BOGO and Deck the Holiday Deals are combinable with each other as well as with Labor Day Weekend Sale, Free upgrades, Fall/Winter Sailings Promo Code Driven Promotion, NRBD OBC, promotional OBCs, NextCruise offers, Instant Savings, restricted discounts (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military), Crown and Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. BOGO and Kids Sail Free are combinable with each other as well as with Labor Day Weekend Sale, Free upgrades, Fall/Winter Sailings Promo Code Driven Promotion, NRBD OBC, promotional OBCs, NextCruise offers, Instant Savings, restricted discounts (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military), Crown and Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. Kids Sail Free and Deck the Holiday Deals are not combinable with each other. Labor Day Weekend Sale is combinable with Free upgrades, Fall/Winter Sailings Promo Code Driven Promotion, NRDB OBC, OBC, instant savings, NextCruise offers, restricted discounts (for example, Senior, Resident, Military) but not combinable with Shareholder benefits and Crown and Anchor discounts. All offers are 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.

    Royal Caribbean Kids Sail Free 2018-2019 Dates & Tips

    By: Matt Hochberg

    Kids Sail Free is a promotion Royal Caribbean offers from time to time on select sailings that are usually a great vacation discount.  Throughout the year, Royal Caribbean will offer Kids Sail Free deals as a way to encourage new bookings.  In this post, we will cover information about the promotion, tips for booking it, and offer answers to frequently asked questions.

    For starters, Kids Sail Free is an offer Royal Caribbean offers selectively throughout the year.  It is not available all the time and there is no way to know exactly when it will be offered again.  We always post new cruise promotions on this site, so be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for notifications when a new Kids Sail Free promotion begins.

    Kids Sail Free offer details

    The exact offer details may vary, but Royal Caribbean's Kids Sail Free offers are usually consistent in their basics. Third guests and higher who are 12 years old or younger on select 4 nights or longer sailings are eligible for free cruise fare.

    There are usually many blackout dates associated with any Kids Sail Free offer, which means if your cruise begins on or in any of the blackout dates, the Kids Sail Free offer does not qualify. Not surprisingly, most of the black out dates are over major school holidays in the United States calendar year. 

    Here are some sample blackout dates from past Kids Sail Free offers:

    • November 17 - November 23 (Thanksgiving)
    • December 17 - January 1 (Christmas and New Years)
    • February 15 - 18 (Presidents Day)
    • March 16 – 30, 2019 (Spring Break)
    • April 13 - 22 (Holy Week/Easter)
    • June 1 - August 31 (Summer)

    How often does Royal Caribbean offer Kids Sail Free?

    There is no pattern to how many times a year or when the offer will become available.

    Kids Sail Free is usually available a few times throughout the year.

    Is it really free?

    Assuming your kids qualify for the deal, their cruise fare cost will be zero.You are still responsible for paying for the taxes and port fees associated with the children, along with any other charges onboard.  But if you look at the cruise invoice, their cruise fare will be zero. 

    Like all guests, a daily gratuity will be charged per passenger, including the kids.

    Be sure to check the fine print before booking to understand exactly the full price of the cruise.

    Kids Sail Free dates

    (Last updated September 23, 2018)

    Royal Caribbean is running a Kids Sail Free offer on cruised booked between August 30 – September 30, 2018 on sailings between September 30, 2018 – May 14, 2019 and September 1, 2019 – December 14, 2019.

    Kids Sail Free Offer: Guests 12 & Under Sail Free. Offer excludes 2018 Thanksgiving sailings (Sailings between November 17 – November 23, 2018), Holiday sailings (Sailings between December 18, 2018 – January 1, 2019), President’s day sailings (Sailings between February 15 – 18, 2019), Spring Break sailings (Sailings between March 16 – 30, 2019), Holy Week/Easter sailings (Sailings between April 13 – 22, 2019) and 2019 Thanksgiving sailings (Sailings between November 23 – 30, 2019).

    Kids Sail For Less

    In addition to the Kids Sail Free offer, Royal Caribbean may also offer the Kids Sail For Less offer, which is typically 25% off cruise fare for third guests and higher booked in the same stateroom as the first two qualified guests.

    The primary advantage of Kids Sail For Less is there are no blackout dates associated with Kids Sail For Less.  This means if you have a couple of kids in your stateroom, you receive a discount on them.  Moreover, Kids Sail For Less often does not have age restrictions in place, so really any guest of any age who is a third guest, fourth guest, fifth guest, et al in the same stateroom as the first two guests can get a discount.

    Other cruising with kids posts & resources

    If you are interested in the Kids Sail Free offer, then you probably will find these blog posts equally helpful:

    Your thoughts

    Now, we want to hear from you.  Are you a fan of the Kids Sail Free promotion?  Have any tips for someone looking to cruise with kids?  Is there a better deal for families in your opinion? Let us know what you think of the promotion and whether you are planning on taking advantage of it in the comments!

    First time cruise tips on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

    By: Matt Hochberg

    Our newest podcast episode is out to help give you a quick "audio escape" to a Royal Caribbean cruise!

    Episode 265 is available for downloading, where we share helpful advice for first time cruisers.

    If you are going on your first Royal Caribbean cruise (or first cruise in general), Matt has some tips and tricks to make sure your sailing is a huge success.

    Here’s the podcast page for Episode 265. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSSStitcher or on iTunes!

    Take a listen and as always, let us know what you think! Please rate and review the podcast on iTunes and leave your comments below!

    Video: Inside The Bamboo Room: Royal Caribbean Serves Up The Royal Zombie

    By: Matt Hochberg

    Watch how The Royal Zombie, a signature cocktail at The Bamboo Room, is created in the new Polynesian-themed bar on the amped-up Mariner of the Seas.

    Want to make this drink at home? Here is the The Royal Zombie drink recipe.

    1oz lime juice 
    3/4oz cinnamon syrup 
    1/2oz passion fruit juice
    1/2oz velvet falernum liqueur 
    1oz white rum 
    1/2oz dark rum 
    1/2oz orange liqueur 
    2 shakes of angostura bitters and anise liqueur 

    Serve in a tall tiki glass, topped with crushed ice, fresh mint and a cherry.

    Royal Caribbean now allowing guests to bring non-alcoholic beverages onboard

    By: Matt Hochberg

    Royal Caribbean has updated its non-alcoholic beverage policy for guests, beginning on September 1st, 2018.

    Guests bringing small quantities of non-alcoholic beverages onboard are now required to do so in a carry-on or hand luggage, rather than in a checked bag.

    The cruise line announced that guests will be able to bring small quantities of non-alcoholic beverages in a carry-on or hand luggage onboard only on boarding day. Checking in non-alcoholic beverages will no longer be permitted.

    Specifically, non-alcoholic beverages brought onboard may not exceed 12 standard (17 oz) cans, bottles or cartons per stateroom. Distilled water or specialized beverages such as, milk for medical purposes, dietary or infant use, are permitted.

    Guests are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages onboard any cruise ship, with the exception of being able to bring two bottles of wine per stateroom.

    Harmony of the Seas Guide & Review

    By: Matt Hochberg

    Among the largest and most celebrated cruise ships in the world, Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas is one of the best known cruise ship in the world. Harmony debuted in 2016 and has quickly become one of the premier ships in Royal Caribbean's fleet. Frankly, it is a floating destination that offers so much and for someone new to Royal Caribbean, or just new to Harmony of the Seas, there can be a lot to consider.

    If you are considering a cruise on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas, you will want to consider this planning guide for an optimal first time experience.  Let us jump in and get started!

    Harmony of the Seas overview

    Harmony of the Seas is the third Oasis Class ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet, but her debut ushered in a set of new features and amenities to the Oasis Class that enhanced an already impressive cruise experience.  When Harmony of the Seas debuted in 2016, she was the largest cruise ship in the world. In the years since, she has been eclipsed barely by sister ship Symphony of the Seas.  Despite losing the title of largest in the world, seeing Harmony of the Seas in person will reinforce the notion of how large the ship is.

    Royal Caribbean designed all of its Oasis Class shops to be easy to navigate.  The cruise line did not want guests getting lost onboard, so they put a lot of effort in making these behemoths surprisingly easy to get around.  Their goal was to avoid Harmony of the Seas earning a reputation of being super big and super crowded.

    To help guests get their bearings quickly, Royal Caribbean separated the ship into several themed areas, known as "neighborhoods."  These distinct areas of the ship serve as visual cues to where you are and it's important to know about them so you can more easily get to wherever you are going.

    The Harmony of the Seas neighborhoods are

    1. Central Park - Sprawling park with natural ambiance and dining
    2. Pool and Sports Zone - Splashing, swimming, sunning and enjoying being outdoors
    3. Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center - Get pampered with various treatments or burn off some calories
    4. Boardwalk - Throwback to seaside resorts with plenty of entertainment, dinine and amusements
    5. Royal Promenade - Grand concourse full of shopping, dining and lots of events
    6. Youth Zone - Central hub for children's programming and home to Adventure Ocean
    7. Entertainment Place - The place for shows and performances offered onboard

    A common concern of new cruisers is the fear of a ship of this size feeling and/or getting crowded.  While it might seem like a ship that has over five thousand passengers is bound to be consistently crowded, the reality is it rarely gets to a point like that. Royal Caribbean spent a lot of time working on strategies to make the ship feel quiet. The neighborhoods help with the flow of crowds, and the ship's reservation system integrates tightly with the dining and show management to control crowds.  Lines can occur on any cruise ship, but they are rarely as awful as you might imagine on Harmony of the Seas.

    Our recommendation for quickly knowing the layout of the ship is to walk around and explore Harmony of the Seas as early in the cruise as you can.  There is a lot to see and do on Harmony of the Seas, and walking around the ship will quickly provide a good understanding of where things are relative to each other, plus there is a lot of great things to discover. Art, activities, live music, decor and more are found in all the neighborhoods.

    Harmony of the Seas Dining and Restaurants

    Being an Oasis Class ship, Harmony of the Seas offers a lot of dining choices for guests.  The array of dining venues is the result of Royal Caribbean wanting to ensure there are enough options to choose from, as well as a statement of the popularity of specialty dining.  When sailing on Harmony of the Seas, you will find a lot of variety, with each restaurant falling into one of two categories: complimentary or specialty.

    A complimentary restaurant is included with your cruise fare and you pay nothing extra to eat there.  You may enjoy as much food as you like from these locations, and no limit on how many times you can visit. There is at least one complimentary option open at anytime during the day or night, with often quite a number of great choices. 

    The other option you have is specialty dining, where there is an additional cost to dine. Specialty dining costs can come in the form of cover charges (pay one fee and get all the food included) or a la carte charges (pay for only what you order). In general, specialty dining offers food and cooking styles not available elsewhere on the ship for guests that choose to indulge in them.

    We often hear from first time cruisers that are concerned about how important it is to dine at specialty dining and/or how good or bad the complimentary food is elsewhere. Moreover, some blog readers are worried they will be "forced" to pay for food while on their cruise.  The truth is there is plenty of good complimentary food available on Harmony of the Seas, and it is practical for a guest to go their entire sailing and never spend a dime on specialty dining and still have a satisfying dining experience on Harmony of the Seas.

    Specialty dining is an choice for guests who want something more than what is offered in the complimentary dining, with an emphasis on certain foods that are otherwise unavailable all the time. Think of specialty dining like you would going out for dinner versus staying home and cooking something.  You would be perfectly content with a home-cooked meal, but going out for dinner is a nice treat that comes with a higher cost. 

    While you do not need to go any specialty restaurant while on Harmony of the Seas, we think it is not a bad idea to give one or two a try while onboard.  Royal Caribbean put a great deal of emphasis on its specialty dining options and enjoying a specialty restaurant or two will likely not "break the bank," and can really enhance your cruise experience.

    Here is a good overview of the complimentary and specialty dining options you will have to enjoy

    Complimentary dining

    1. Park Cafe
    2. Windjammer Marketplace
    3. Solarium Bistro
    4. Coastal Kitchen (suite guests only)
    5. Main Dining Room
    6. Cafe Promenade
    7. Sorrento's Pizza
    8. Boardwalk Dog House
    9. Mini Bites

    Specialty dining

    1. Johnny Rockets
    2. Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar
    3. Vintages
    4. Jamie's Italian
    5. Chops Grille
    6. 150 Central Park
    7. Izumi Hibachi & Sushi
    8. Wonderland
    9. Vitality Cafe

    In our experience, guests eat most of their meals at the Windjammer Marketplace, main dining room, Park Cafe or Mini Bites.  These four complimentary restaurants provide meals throughout the day and offer a good variety of food.

    If you are looking for recommendations for specialty dining, be sure to check out Izumi Hibachi, 150 Central Park or Sabor.

    Things to do on Harmony of the Seas

    There is no shortage of activities, shows and events happening on Harmony of the Seas.  In fact, there is so much going on that you will need to cruise on Harmony multiple times if you ever wanted to "do it all".

    Harmony of the Seas can feel like a floating city with all the activities onboard.  The ship bustles with planned events, swimming pools, sports, shows and plenty more.  Your guide to knowing what is going on and when is the Cruise Compass.  Every Royal Caribbean ship offers a daily Cruise Compass, which is part newspaper and part TV Guide.  It documents everything happening during that day, and it is a must-read for any guest onboard.  A copy of the Cruise Compass will be delivered to your stateroom each evening by your stateroom attendant.


    The shows headline the great entertainment on Harmony of the Seas, which have a Las Vegas feel to them.  The shows are included in your cruise fare and there different shows to cater to many tastes. You will find Broadway shows, ice skating, water shows and a whole lot more offered onboard.

    Guests can enjoy one of the greatest Broadway musicals of all time, Grease, in the Royal Theater. This is the full Broadway production, complete with intermission. In addition, the original Royal Caribbean production show, "Columbus, The Musical" is also shown in the Royal Theater, along with other headliner acts.

    In the Studio B ice rink, guests will find the ice skating performance of, "1887", which is loosely based on the works of Jules Verne.  In addition, "iSkate" is also shown, which is  a dazzling showcase of their very best moves set to their own favorite tunes.

    There are two shows in the outdoor Aqua Theater.  The evening show is, "The Fine Line", and it is a mix of high-flying feats, mind blowing stunts and physically demanding acrobatics brought to life by the world’s best extreme-sport athletes.  "Hideaway Heist" is shown in the afternoons, and it is a family-friendly action packed comedy aqua show that jumps into the world of a swanky 1950’s holiday resort where guys ‘n’ dolls take the audience on a frolicking escapade in, on and around the pool as an undercover detective, playing the part of a high-rolling vacationer, pursues a crafty burglar. 

    When planning your cruise, be sure to carve out time for these shows.  The performances in the Royal Theater and AquaTheater are must-see events, and the ice skating show is very good as well.  Considering there is no additional cost to see these shows, you will want to check them out because Royal Caribbean has put a lot of energy and talent into the performances.

    It is important to know that if you sail on an Oasis Class ship, you can pre-book entertainment via the Cruise Planner site. Some of the shows have the option to book reservations in advance via Royal Caribbean's site. There is no cost to do this, and we recommend booking any entertainment you can in advance to avoid lines at show time.

    All you have to do is go to My Cruises and then log in (register an account if you have not done so already).  Then find your cruise reservation and go to the Cruise Planner.  A few clicks later and you should be able to reserve your entertainment.

    Keep in mind that reservations for entertainment is usually available for booking 64-60 days in advance of your cruise.  Check our planning timeline for more information on when things like entertainment can be reserved.


    The Pool and Sports Zone is the area of the ship with plenty of outdoor space and a good variety of pools and swimming options. Harmony of the Seas has 4 separate pool areas. All pools are located on Deck 15 and are salt water.

    • Solarium: Adults only (age 16 and over) area with two cantilevered whirlpool hot tubs, which extend 12 feet from either side of the ship.
      • On Harmony of the Seas, there is no pool in the Solarium. Instead, there is a walk-through mister station.
    • Sports pool: area for playing pool games such as synchronized swimming and volleyball. The sports pools area may have designated times for swimming laps.
    • Beach pool: Themed area that is supposed to look like a beach
    • Splashaway Bay: interactive kids aqua park, where kids of all ages can enjoy colorful water slides, water cannons, fountains, pools and whirlpools.

    For parents with young children that are still wearing diapers, there is a designated baby and infant splash pool, designed specially for them.  Children wearing diapers are not allowed in any other pools.

    Unless otherwise posted, there will always be pool and whirlpool hot tubs open 24 hours a day. Pools will be closed occasionally when they need to be cleaned as well if weather or sea conditions make the pools unsafe for swimming.

    Generally speaking, there is usually a lot of events happening in or around the pools during the day.  You can expect to find live music played by the pool quite often, which the bands playing reggae, classic rock and even contemporary hits.  For fans of live music, sitting by the pool and enjoying music is perfect.

    Poolside activities will be listed in your Cruise Compass. The exact activities vary from sailing to sailing, but here are some common offerings

    • Belly flop competition
    • World's sexiest man competition
    • Scuba classes
    • Fitness classes
    • Poolside bingo
    • Dance classes
    • Poolside movies

    When going up to the pools, be sure to stop by the towel station to pick up as many towels you may need during your time there.  Complimentary pool towels are provided for guests near the main pool and can be returned when convenient.

    Water slides

    Harmony of the Seas offers guest three multi-story water slides to enjoy.  Known as The Perfect Storm, these slides are comprised of two racer slides and one champagne bowl slide. The slides descend three decks through a series of twists and turns over the ship’s tree-lined Central Park neighborhood 10 decks below.

    There is no additional cost to use the water slides.

    The two racer water slides intertwine and offer a fast-paced plunge down.  Since these are racer slides, you can see if you can beat the person in the other slide to the bottom.

    The champagne bowl slide swirls riders round prior to the end of the slide.  This slide starts off as a typical water slide, but guests enter a large bowl area, where they can loop around a few times before exiting the slide.

    Signature Activities

    Royal Caribbean wanted to wow its guest with the breadth of activities on Harmony of the Seas, which include some options that are exclusive to Royal Caribbean.  Guests will find plenty of traditional cruise activities on Harmony of the Seas, such as trivia, bingo, enrichment classes and more.  Most activities are complimentary to enjoy, but a few do carry an extra cost to them.

    Here are the best known and most popular activities on Harmony of the Seas

    These activities are available for guests to enjoy for most of the day and posted hours are available each day in the Cruise Compass. There is usually ample opportunity to experience these signature activities once or many times.

    Harmony of the Seas staterooms

    Royal Caribbean offers many choices of staterooms on Harmony of the Seas, with a blend of traditional cabin categories, as well as a few alternatives.  Each cabin category offers a little something different, and there is sure to be a good fit for all guests.  The choice of which stateroom to book may ultimately come down to each family's budget, family size and personal preferences.

    All Royal Caribbean ships staterooms fit into one of four categories:

    • Studio rooms
      • Studio rooms were designed for solo cruisers and come in a few different options.  There are Studio interior rooms or Studio oceanview rooms, and each room is priced without the single supplement fee that ordinarily is assessed to solo travelers.
    • Interior rooms
      •  Interior staterooms feature a virtual balcony using real-time high definition views outside your ship that are streamed directly to the 80-inch LED television. This is a fun way to enhance a room with no natural views, and there is always the option turn off the sound and/or television itself.
    • Oceanview rooms
      • Oceanview cabins come in a few options.  Some oceanview rooms offer a view of the ocean, whereas other rooms have a porthole or large window that face inwards and overlook the Boardwalk, Promenade or Central Park. Larger Oceanview cabins can accommodate six people in comfort.
    • Balcony rooms
      • Harmony of the Seas features balcony rooms that overlook the ocean with a private verandah to enjoy, as well as balcony rooms that overlook either the Boardwalk or Central Park neighborhoods.
    • Suites
      • Royal Caribbean offers the Royal Suite Class on Harmony of the Seas, which is divided up into three categories: Star Class, Sky Class and Sea Class.
      • All suite guests may dine at an exclusive complimentary restaurant just for them, known as Coastal Kitchen. It is available for all meals for Star and Sky Class, and dinner only for Sea Class.
      • Suite guests may enjoy other extras that vary depending on their Royal Suite Class. Additional extras include in-suite dining, special concierge services and a welcome gift. Star Suite upgrades include the Ultimate Beverage Package, specialty dining, coffee-maker, high-end furnishings and more.

    The price for any of these rooms will depend on factors, such as time of year, demand for rooms on the particular sailing, and how many guests in each room. You can refer to our guide to choosing a stateroom for more information on the basics, although there are some special room types worth discussing.

    There is no "wrong" choice when it comes to picking a cabin for your Harmony of the Seas cruise.  Any room you book offers a place to sleep, rest and refresh yourself with plenty of privacy.  Choosing a stateroom for your Royal Caribbean cruise is a personal decision that will depend on a variety of factors, but you should know that each category of room has its advantages.

    Cabins on Harmony of the Seas have all the modern conveniences, including mini-bars, safes, phones and large flat-screen TVs. Bathrooms are generally compact yet very functional. The cabins are energy-efficient and equipped with power and USB outlets appreciated by cruisers who want to stay mobile connected. Speaking of being connected, Harmony of the Seas offers Royal Caribbean's Voom high speed internet, which means you can purchase an internet plan that allows full internet access throughout the ship.

    Guests with mobility issues will find that Harmony of the Seas has wheelchair-accessible cabins in many categories that include wider doors, turning space, and furniture built for convenience.

    More Harmony of the Seas resources

    Looking to learn more about Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas? Here are some helpful articles all about this ship

    Top 10 Family Friendly Royal Caribbean shore excursions

    By: Matt Hochberg

    A cruise vacation is about enjoying a family experience together, and Royal Caribbean shared its top picks for family friendly excurions in the Caribbean.

    Here is the list of Royal Caribbean's favorite family friendly shore excursion options.

    All Inclusive St. John Beach & Snorkel (St. Thomas)

    Cruise from St. Thomas to nearby St. John and visit the stunning beach of Trunk Bay, featuring an underwater reef trail. Enjoy a narrated boat ride complete with photo stops en route to Trunk Bay — famous for its long stretches of white sand and sparkling water. Discover tropical fish and colorful coral on the snorkel trail or simply swim, sunbathe, and relax.

    Caribbean Sail to Christmas & Honeymoon Coves (St. Thomas)

    Climb aboard a schooner whose friendly crew delivers a fun day of sailing, snorkeling, swimming and beach time. Discover sea turtles, tropical fish and coral while anchored offshore in the waters of Christmas Cove. Sail on to Water Island, where you can relax on the sands of Honeymoon Beach, swim and do more snorkeling before sitting down to a freshly-prepared Caribbean BBQ served overlooking the sparkling blue sea.

    5 Star Island Tour (St. Thomas)

    Drink in lovely St. Thomas vistas, enjoy spectacular shopping and explore the stunning Magen's Bay Beach on a driving tour of key island landmarks. Stop at the famous Mountain Top, a local institution atop St. Peter Mountain where you can shop or enjoy the views. Then head to heart-shaped Magen's Bay Beach for two hours of sun and fun. Conclude with two more hours shopping in Main Street, downtown Charlotte Amalie.

    4x4 St. Maarten and Beach Escape (St. Maarten)

    Escape the crowds to discover the island’s scenery and leading sights on an adventurous 4x4 drive, with time in the French capital and on a gorgeous beach. Travel via convoy across the island, through the charming seafront town of Grand Case on route to Marigot, while stopping at scenic lookouts along the way. Enjoy free time to stroll around the quaint and atmospheric city. End your St. Maarten exploration with a refreshing swim and relaxation.

    A Golden Eagle Sailaway (St. Maarten)

    Walk the red carpet before boarding a catamaran for a pampered sailing excursion to an unspoiled St. Maarten beach. Keep an eye out for flying fish and dolphins as you stretch out in the nets or in the shade of the sail as the boat reaches speeds of up to 20 knots. At the beach, swim, sun, and snorkel. Recharge on the return to Philipsburg with sandwiches and cold drinks served by the friendly crew.

    Maho Airplane Experience (St. Maarten)

    Experience the thrill of watching, hearing and feeling a commercial airplane as it lands merely feet above you while lounging along the white sands and turquoise waters of Maho Beach. Join a friendly and informative local guide for a 35-minute narrated motor coach ride across the Dutch side of St. Maarten. Upon arrival at Maho Beach, you’ll enjoy over three hours of free time at this popular seaside locale. But beyond all those exciting activities, the most unique aspect of this beach is its proximity to Princess Juliana International Airport, as one of its runways is situated right next to the beach.

    Old and New San Juan (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

    Fall in love with the beauty of Puerto Rico's capital as you go through a guided tour on the historical landmarks in Old and New San Juan. In New San Juan, you'll explore Condado, Isla Verde, and the picturesque residential areas. Step down the fabulous Window of the Seas where the famous Puerto Rican superstars have printed their signatures on the sidewalk resembling Hollywood Boulevard. In Old San Juan, you'll discover the Capitol Building, the 5th Centenary Plaza, and have the opportunity to choose between visiting San Cristobal Fort or the colonial shopping district.

    Pirate Treasure Hunt Family Tour (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

    Get ready for some swash-buckling fun as your family helps a local pirate find his way home while walking along a sweet treat-laden trail around Old San Juan that leads to El Morro fortress. Set out on foot in true buccaneer style on a guided hunt that leads you through blue cobblestone pathways amidst San Juan’s historic colonial district. Discover notable treasures along the way: stone buildings dating back to the 16th century; the marble statues of Plaza de Armas; and the Ballaja Barracks, which once housed a thousand soldiers. Along the way you’ll learn about Puerto Rico’s illustrious history and taste a variety of sugary delights in local shops — frozen yogurt, popcorn or, chocolates and churros. Outside stately El Morro, a 16th-century citadel with a storied wartime legacy, kids can fly a kite into the Puerto Rican air to celebrate the finding of the trail’s final treasure. Take in the view of San Juan Bay before making the trek back through town to your ship.

    Campo Rico ATV Adventure (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

    Hop on an ATV for a “Ride of a lifetime”. “ Experience the thrill of driving an all-terrain vehicle through the Puerto Rican countryside just minutes from San Juan on a 2,200- acre private ranch that leads you to a plantation home, horse stables and ends at the Mojito bar. Meet our experienced guides, receive a safety briefing and get operational instruction of how to drive your ATV. Then hit the gas and follow your guide as you maneuver your 4x4 machine around mountains, mangroves, lagoons, limestone formations and tropical fields. Watch for wildlife along the trails before driving up to Mi Casa, a traditional Spanish sugarcane plantation estate home. During a short break take photos and learn the history of this working ranch. Continue your ride through the ranch stopping at the horse stables and learn the history of the “ Paso Fino “ horse. End your ride at the Mojito Bar, relax and rejuvenate in this hilltop watering hole, where you can purchase beer, mojitos and other tropical drinks.

    San Juan Food and Culture Tour (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

    Satisfy your tastebuds as you experience the best of Old San Juan on a small group walking tour. You’ll venture off the beaten path to discover its delicious foods, fascinating architecture, intriguing cultural traditions and bustling shopping streets of the historical neighborhood of Old San Juan. Your culinary walking tour lets you taste specialties from a variety of favorite local food establishments. You will have the opportunity to get involved in the food preparation by having an active role in some of the food served. You will also receive a coupon savings booklet which allows for additional savings in restaurants and shops throughout Old San Juan.