Harmony of the Seas

Video: Royal Caribbean Master Mixologists Serve Up Whimsical Cocktails at Wonderland

In:
10Jan2017

For the Royal Caribbean mixologists at Harmony of the Seas’ Wonderland, cocktails are more than just drinks – they are masterpieces. These artists use innovative flavors and artisanal ingredients to create cocktails that are almost too stunning to drink!

Harmony of the Seas versus Anthem of the Seas

In:
04Jan2017

Two of Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship that offers cruises from the United States, and have garnered a tremendous amount of interest from guests, is Harmony of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas.  Today, we compare both cruise ships in a head-to-head comparison.

In comparing both ships, we break down each ship's offerings and summarize what the strengths and weaknesses of both ships to see how each ship stacks up. As objective as we may try to be, the reality is we are talking about opinions, and as such, personal preferences will vary from person to person. We will certainly try to convey why we liked or disliked something, but understand some may disagree (and that is okay). This should be a fun contrast.

Shows: Anthem of the Seas

Both ships offer a variety of productions for guests to enjoy, comprising original productions and Broadway shows. Let us be very clear: the shows on both ships are wonderful, so we are about do the cruise ship equivalent of argue about which cut of steak tastes better.

The Broadway show on Anthem of the Seas is, "We Will Rock You", which is a West End musical that uses the music of rock band Queen in the performance to tell its story.  On Harmony of the Seas, guests can enjoy, "Grease", the Broadway musical all about summer love in the 1950s. Both shows are identical to the original productions and we will call it a tie between the two of them.

Both ships also offer a slew of original productions to enjoy.  Anthem of the Seas offers shows such as "The Gift" and "Spectra's Cabaret", which are a mix of music, dance and special effects.  They represent the latest in Las Vegas-style entertainment and are anything but ordinary. Harmony of the Seas has Royal Caribbean's first original musical, "Columbus: The Musical", as well as two different ice skating shows. In fact, 1887 might be the best ice skating show we have seen on any Royal Caribbean ship to date.

The real X-factor for both ships are their specialized entertainment venues.  Anthem of the Seas puts its best shows in Two70, a massive theater on the aft of the ship that can be transformed digitally in a number of ways. In fact, the Vistarama and Roboshows in Two70 are absolutely stunning to watch.  Harmony of the Seas follows up with two shows in the AquaTheater, both of which are centered around eye-popping stunts and acrobatics. 

While Harmony of the Seas has a greater array of entertainment offerings, we feel the quality of Anthem of the Seas' shows gives it the edge.  Two70 alone is filled with a great variety of entertainment that has to be seen to be appreciated. 

Onboard activities: Harmony of the Seas

When we talk about onboard activities, there is a lot of options across each ship. Simply put, you will not run out of things to do onboard.

Guests on Anthem of the Seas will have their choice of a number of Royal Caribbean innovations that make the Quantum class ships quite different from other ships in the fleet.  North Star, the observational pod that takes guests 300 feet above see level for a 360-degree view of the ocean and area around them is very popular and equally impressive.  Ripcord by iFly allows all anyone who's mother forbid them from ever contemplating sky diving to give it a shot in a much safer environment.  Then you have the SeaPlex, an immense area of the ship dedicated to being active at sea. In fact, it is the largest indoor active space at sea, where guests can play on a full-size basketball court, go roller skating and even ride bumper cars.

Harmony of the Seas answers back with a ton of firsts of its own.  Harmony of the Seas features the three water slides that are sure to get everyone in the family asking to ride it one more time.  Speaking of slides, the Ultimate Abyss is the kind of slide experience that words cannot do justice.  It is large, intense and a lot of fun while descending the 10 stories down.  Harmony of the Seas has double the amount of FlowRiders that Anthem of the Seas has and a brand new aqua park for kids, Splashaway Bay.  If you prefer your activities a bit more sedate, Harmony of the Seas also has a very fun escape room experience, rides and games in the Boardwalk and more.

One advantage Oasis class ships have always enjoyed is that they offer much more than any other ship, and in this case, the staggering amount of activities on Harmony of the Seas gives it the win for things to do.

Specialty Dining: Harmony of the Seas

Perhaps no other area of the cruise ship experience has changed in the last few years as dramatically as specialty dining on Royal Caribbean ships. These additional cost options offer guests additional dining choices to consider, and the array of choices between both ships is impressive.

Anthem of the Seas boasts quite a number of specialty restaurants that stand out.  Jamie's Italian, Izumi, Chops Grille and Wonderland top the list of popular places guests enjoy on Anthem.  We also like the easy grab-and-go nature of Johnny Rockets, which is a la carte instead of a more formal sit down experience on Harmony. 

Harmony of the Seas is equal to the task when it comes to specialty dining.  One big difference on Harmony of the Seas, compared to her Oasis class sisters, is the inclusion of Jamie's Italian.  Harmony also boasts its own version of Wonderland, which is significantly larger and encompasses two decks.  Even Izumi on Harmony of the Seas is larger, with an exclusive hibachi dining area. You will also find the ever-popular Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar on Harmony of the Seas, which heavily sways our vote.

Given the fact Harmony matches and exceeds Anthem's specialty dining offerings (and Anthem lacks a Sabor), we have to give Harmony of the Seas the edge once again.

Complimentary Dining: Harmony of the Seas

Of course, complimentary dining is at the heart of any cruise experience and both ships have a lot of great choices. In comparing the complimentary options, this is a war of attrition, where each ship offers very similar options. Both ships have a Cafe Promenade, Sorrentos, Solarium Bistro, Windjammer, Park Cafe/Cafe @ Two70, Dog House and room service.

The key differences here are in the details. First and foremost, Anthem of the Seas is handicapped by the fact it has recently undergone a change from Dynamic Dining back to traditional dining, although it still retains smaller dining rooms in lieu of a larger main dining room.  The hours of operations and size of the Windjammer are superior on Anthem of the Seas, but once again, size proves to be the benefit for Harmony.  There is a wider selection of choices at Cafe Promenade on Harmony, and the entire main dining room experience is far superior.  For that alone, Harmony of the Seas wins this battle.

Itineraries: Anthem of the Seas

This could be among the least subjective points to consider between the two ships: where they sail to.  

Harmony of the Seas only offers cruises to the eastern and western Caribbean throughout the year.  Essentially the same six to seven ports, no matter when you choose to sail on her.  

On the other hand, Anthem of the Seas varies her offerings on the time of year.  Depending on the season, she offers cruises to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Bermuda, New England and Canada.  In addition, Anthem of the Seas is capable of visiting CocoCay, whereas Harmony of the Seas is not. Given the options between the two ships, this is a slam-dunk for Anthem of the Seas.

Pools: Anthem of the Seas

The pool deck experience is arguably one of the most important because it seems this is where guests will spend the most time aggregately during their cruise.  After all, when booking a cruise, isn't everyone envisioning sitting by the pool on a deck chair with a drink in hand?

Harmony of the Seas has a number of smaller pools, which helps with crowds, and its Splashaway Bay option for kids is the best kids pool area we have seen yet. However, Harmony of the Seas lacks a pool in the Solarium (it has hot tubs and a mister instead), which has bothered many adults who enjoyed having a pool of their own.

Meanwhile, Anthem of the Seas not only has a pool in the Solarium, but an additional indoor pool that is perfect for any kind of weather.  Combined with the main outdoor pool, pool days on Anthem are quite lovely. Admittedly, the "wave pool" on Anthem of the Seas for kids is less than stellar, so the kids might be better off in the regular pool.  Nonetheless, Anthem of the Seas wins the contest of aquatic adventure.

Kids & Teens: Push

Both ships offer the most activities and programming for kids that we have seen across any Royal Caribbean ship.  In general, Royal Caribbean has been consistently increasing the amount of space and variety of programming for kids on its ships, and your children will have a blast on either.

Adventure Ocean is Royal Caribbean's supervised child program, and both ships have a large dedicated space onboard for kids ranging in ages from 6 months through 17 years old. Harmony of the Seas does have a larger footprint for its Adventure Ocean program, but the quality of offerings on both ships is nearly identical. Harmony of the Seas does have a few dedicated spaces that Anthem does not, such as the art and science labs.

There is a definite advantage for older kids (tweens and teens) on Anthem of the Seas because of SeaPlex.  SeaPlex offers so much for this age group, that it is undeniably fun for them and because it is indoors, there is rarely any excuse to miss out on it. Bumper cars, Xbox gaming, ping pong, roller skating, dancing, circus school and more are part of the SeaPlex offerings. I am not certain how much Royal Caribbean was targeting teens when they developed the SeaPlex, but it is a homerun with these adolescents.

Of course, Harmony of the Seas has water slides and the Ultimate Abyss slide, which provides plenty of thrills for teens.  There is also the zip line, mini golf course and the rest of the sports deck.  You are just as likely to find plenty of teens hanging out here, as anywhere else. As we mentioned earlier, Splashway Bay is far superior a kids pool area than Anthem's H2O water zone.

The nursery facility on both ships is excellent and quite large. Parents of children under three years old will do well with either option.

In the end, we might give a slight edge to Anthem of the Seas for older children and Harmony of the Seas for younger children, but the differences are too minute to pick a clear winner.

Value: Push

When comparing these ships, they represent the two newest cruise ships in the United States cruise market and also come with a premium price tag because of that distinction. While rates will vary from sailing to sailing and month to month, you can expect to pay more for either ship compared to other ships in the fleet. These ships offer the best that Royal Caribbean has to offer, and it comes with the price tag to match.

Even with their premium price tags, both ships offer guests a lot to see, do and eat onboard. Royal Caribbean designed these ships to be destinations in and of themselves, and that means a lot of return on the money paid to cruise on them. Until further notice, we declare the value proposition for either ship a tie.

Verdict: Harmony of the Seas

Picking a winner was a lot like picking a favorite child: it depends on the day, but we are giving a slight edge to Harmony of the Seas.  It is the newest, shiniest and down right most enjoyable ship we have cruised on to date.  In most cases, Harmony of the Seas matches what Anthem of the Seas offers and gives back even more.

Harmony of the Seas also benefited greatly from the fact Royal Caribbean added a number of Quantum class features to the ship, such as a Bionic Bar, stateroom design and upgraded technology. If this were a comparison between Oasis or Allure of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas might have done considerably better.

Once again, it is worth noting that we really like Anthem of the Seas. Her entertainment is quite impressive and there is nothing like Two70.  Moreover, North Star, Ripcord and the entire SeaPlex is tons of fun, especially if you have older kids with you.

However, we are here to declare a winner and the "face that runs the place", the stylin', profilin', limousine riding to the port and wheelin' n' dealin' cruise ship is Harmony of the Seas!

In the spirit of fairness, we also posed this question to the public, with a twitter poll and Harmony of the Seas also seems to win the popular vote.

Experiences: Escape the Rubicon on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

In:
24Dec2016

On Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas, you will find  unique ways to spend time onboard, but one experience that really stands out is the Escape the Rubicon. 

Escape the Rubicon is an escape room experience, which Royal Caribbean first introduced on Anthem of the Seas (it is also available on Ovation of the Seas). On Harmony of the Seas, the escape room has its own dedicated venue, so it is fully built out for a complete experience.

If you are knew to an escape room game, you might be a little hesitant at the idea of going into a "locked" room for an our and not really knowing what to expect. Take solace in the fact that Escape the Rubicon might have been the most fun we had onboard the ship.  This is truly unlike anything else you have ever done on a cruise ship, and it is incredible appealing.

What to expect

If you are unfamiliar with an escape room game, essentially it is a timed challenge, where you and those in your group have a set time limit to figure out various puzzles and clues to solve an overall solution that provides the means of "escaping" the room. Royal Caribbean teamed up with Puzzle Break to create a special version just for Harmony of the Seas.

When you arrive for your session, a short video will explain some ground rules of the puzzle. A crew member will supervise your group and will go over a few items in the room that are not part of the game, such as fire sprinklers and emergency exits.

The host will then have one member of the team hit the start button and you are off, leaving you with 60 minutes to figure out the puzzles to escape. 

The Puzzle 

The game requires a minimum of six players, believe me when I say this, you need at least six to play. During my experience we only had five and the host would play as the sixth person, but only doing what he told her to do specifically.

At a few points in the game we were moving slower than we should to complete the puzzle. The host would give us basic hints like, "what are we looking for" or "what are we trying to complete" in a way to bring the team on task and focus.

Without giving the puzzle away, the key is to work together as a team and think outside the box.  It is very easy to assume certain elements of the room and ideas are "obvious", but often paying attention to the small details really helps.  In addition, split tasks among members of the group to get things done quicker.  Often there are multiple puzzles to decipher at the same time, so make use of the brain power in the room.

What we liked: A completely different experience from the usual cruise ship activities, and quite challenging too. 

What we did not like: It is not a complimentary activity.

Cost: When we experienced Escape the Rubicon, the game was complimentary but we have heard Royal Caribbean is now charging $8.99 per guest to compete.

Video: The Fine Line on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas Soars to New Heights

In:
20Dec2016

From high-flying aerial stunts to sensational swimming and diving, “The Fine Line” offers all the elements of astonishing entertainment. Performers leap from high diver platforms, glide across slacklines and fly suspended above the crowd, using every inch of Harmony of the Seas’ unique AquaTheater. From beginning to end, extreme stunts and skill, keep audiences engaged in this immersive entertainment venue.

5 best Harmony of the Seas tips

In:
05Dec2016

In short, there is a lot happening onboard Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas, and that means plenty to see and do during your cruise vacation.

For someone going on Harmony of the Seas for the first time, here are five top tips for enjoying what is sure to be a fantastic time aboard.

1. Do not miss Columbus, the Musical!

Royal Caribbean packed Harmony of the Seas with lots of terrific entertainment, but the one show we cannot get enough of is Columbus, The Musical!. This original Royal Caribbean production is a fun musical that takes inspirations from hit Broadway shows, such as “Spamalot” and “Something Rotten."

Marvin Columbus is the very, very, very, very, very distant relative of Christopher and spent his entire life ‘neath Chris’ shadow. Marvin’s disappointed nobleman father, sends him on a voyage to find his destiny.

The story is fun, the cast energetic and the music perfect to sing along with. Columbus is at the very top of our list of favorite shows we have seen onboard any Royal Caribbean ship.

2. Ride Ultimate Abyss on embarkation day

Without a doubt, many guests going on Harmony of the Seas have their eyes set on trying the world's tallest slide at sea, the Ultimate Abyss.  With that kind of anticipation, one should also expect lines to form regularly for this epic slide.

The key to avoiding those lines, is to to get a ride in as soon as you can.  Ultimate Abyss is usually open on embarkation day, and since many guests getting onboard are trying to figure out where everything is, those first few hours onboard are the perfect time.

Looking at a recent Cruise Compass from Harmony of the Seas' first 7-night cruise out of Port Everglades, Ultimate Abyss is open from 11:30am to 3:30pm on embarkation day.

3. Try the escape room

If you want to try something different, challenging and extremely fun, the Escape the Rubicon puzzle break experience is perfect for you.

Escape the Rubicon is a timed game, where guests try to solve a series of clues and puzzles hidden in a room that unlock the secret to "escaping" that room.  

Not only is this experience unlike anything on other cruise ships, it is super fun.  In fact, Escape the Rubicon was the most fun we had while onboard Harmony of the Seas, and that is why it is a must-do.

4. Get the guacamole at Sabor

There is lots of great food on the Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar menu, but if you eat just one thing at Sabor, make sure it is the guacamole.

Ever since the first Sabor debuted on a Royal Caribbean ship, we have become disciples of the Guacamole faith, preaching to others the virtues of this fantastic dish.  Since Sabor restaurants on Oasis class ships are priced a la carte, one might not order the table-side crafted green treat, but that would be a mistake.

Whether you stop in for just the guac and chips or a full meal, you must try the guacamole while onboard Harmony of the Seas. Your taste buds will thank you.

5. Take a selfie on the bridge wings

Regardless of if you want to take a selfie or just an epic photo of the ocean around you, make plans to go up to the bridge wings during your cruise.

The bridge wings are observational platforms that jet out from the side of the ship, and offer terrific views of the area around you.  The port bridge wing even features a see-through glass floor that you can stand on to add some panache to your photo.

Sunset, sunrise, sailaways and any other time are great for taking photos, and your album will not be complete without a few shots from the bridge wing.

Bonus: Book the cruise as early as you can

We just could not resist including this tip, because after reading all about these fun opportunities on Harmony of the Seas, you might want to book a cruise on her, and that is why you must do as soon as possible.

With cruise ship pricing in general, the best prices are found the earlier one books.  Sure, there are sales and promotions throughout the year that can change the price, but generally speaking, the lowest fares are attained when guests book their cruise months and years in advance.

As soon as you know which sailing you want to reserve, be sure to book it and lock in your price.  It is still the best tip for getting the lowest fare on Harmony of the Seas, or any Royal Caribbean cruise.

Photo tour of Category D6 Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony on Harmony of the Seas

In:
03Dec2016

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas has a lot to offer, including a number of staterooms.  Today, we will look at the category D6  Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony, which will take you through the cabin to provide an idea of what to expect if you book this category stateroom.

On Harmony of the Seas, we reviewed stateroom 10662, which is located on Deck 10 aft, although it is very close to the aft elevators.  The room was very convenient to be so close to the elevator bank. Entry to the room is by RFID scanner, which is above the door handle.

Like all staterooms on Harmony of the Seas, the light controls require a SeaPass card to be inserted into a slot near the entrance.

Staterooms on Harmony of the Seas look more like staterooms on Quantum class ships than other previous Oasis class ships. Plenty of storage space and a great aesthetic.

The bed is joined together but can be split apart if need be. There's a large, flat screen television across from it and two night stands on opposite sides of the bed. Access to the balcony is also on the other side of the bed.

A D6 stateroom features a full bathroom, including a stand up shower.

The room also has a rather large sofa to sit on during the day.

Arguably the best feature of this stateroom is the balcony, which provides a private space to enjoy the view of port or the ocean.

The balcony is 53 square feet in size, with the stateroom measuring 182 square feet. 

Where to eat breakfast on Harmony of the Seas

In:
28Nov2016

When you wake up onboard Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas, you will probably be wondering where you can get something to eat to start your day. 

There are some obvious choices, but there is also some other options less passengers visit too. Depending on what you're in the mood for, there is something for everyone.

Windjammer

The all-encompassing Windjammer Marketplace is the most popular choice for breakfast, primarily because it offers the greatest variety of food.

For families or just groups that can't all agree on one thing, this is the best option. There is so much to choose from and also has a rather large seating area.  

The Windjammer is also a very popular choice, so it tends to get the most crowded of any breakfast location available on Harmony of the Seas.  During prime breakfast hours on sea days, it can get quite busy and lines to find a table are not uncommon.

Park Cafe

Located in Central Park, Park Cafe is a great alternative to Windjammer because it has a mix of pre-prepared and freshly made breakfast choices. While Park Cafe may not have the variety of choices that the Windjammer does, it does also include some breakfast stations not found anywhere else on Harmony of the Seas.

The menu here offers a little of everything, including a full bagel bar. There's also cereal, pastries, and some hot breakfast items. 

Johnny Rockets

Did you know that Johnny Rockets on Harmony of the Seas is complimentary for breakfast?  All Oasis-class ships offer this option, but many guests are unaware that breakfast is served here, nor that it is included with your cruise fare (Johnny Rockets has a cover charge for lunch and dinner).

The Johnny Rockets breakfast menu on Harmony of the Seas is a traditional American breakfast, with pancakes, omelettes, French toast and the like.  In fact, Johnny Rockets is one spot onboard Harmony of the Seas to get omelet made-to-order.

Johnny Rockets tends to be not very crowded for breakfast, because many guests are unaware of this option, and it also has a large seating capacity (indoor and outdoor seating options).

Mini Bites

Perhaps the fastest breakfast option that is not named "Windjammer" would be the Mini Bites station on Deck 15.

Mini Bites is kind of like a hotel hot breakfast buffet that merged with the Windjammer.  One particular distinction of Mini Bites is that it offers a custom omelet station.

Whether you choose to enjoy your breakfast at one of the many tables nearby, or take it elsewhere on the ship, Mini Bites is a great choice for someone that wants to get something hot and quick.

American Icon Grill

For fans of the main dining room breakfast experience, American Icon Grill is the next best thing.

Having breakfast at the American Icon Grill means you will be seated at a table (sometimes with other guests) and order off a set breakfast menu.  

What attracts most people to breakfast at the American Icon Grill is the table-service experience that is more formal than a buffet. As such, keep in mind that a breakfast in American Icon Grill is designed to be a bit more leisurely, so those looking for a grab-and-go option may want to dine elsewhere.

Just like the Windjammer, it can get busy here too during peak dining times.

Coastal Kitchen

If you happen to be staying in a suite while on Harmony of the Seas, there is a dedicated spot to enjoy breakfast just for you.  

Coastal Kitchen is a complimentary restaurant that is open to suite guests exclusively.  For breakfast, it is only available for guests staying in Sky or Star Class suites and is similar to the main dining room experience in terms of it being a relaxed, sit down environment.

As a suite guest, the appeal of Coastal Kitchen is that it is your exclusive spot onboard Harmony of the Seas to enjoy breakfast without the crowds.

Solarium Bistro

For something "off the beaten path", try the Solarium Bistro on Deck 15. The Solarium Bistro offers a buffet, but the options vary from what you might find at the Windjammer and it tends to be less crowded than some of the other spots mentioned earlier.

What we like about Solarium Bistro is the fact it is less crowded than the Windjammer or Park Cafe, yet offers a good variety of breakfast choices that should satisfy most palettes.

Cafe Promenade

If your idea of breakfast is coffee and a croissant or donut, then head down to the Royal Promenade and grab something quickly at Cafe Promenade.

Danishes, croissants and muffins are the kind of quick grab-and-go breakfast options available (along with a cup of coffee).

Cafe Promenade is great if you are running off the ship for a shore excursion or just want something simple.

What's your favorite spot for breakfast on Harmony of the Seas? Share it with us in the comments below!

10 free activities on Harmony of the Seas

In:
21Nov2016

Royal Caribbean has packed Harmony of the Seas with a vast array of activities and things to do, including plenty of entertainment that is included with your cruise fare. Certainly there are lots of optional dining, gaming and indulgent add-ons that come with an additional cost, but if you want to keep your onboard spending account low(er), then we have a list of our favorite complimentary things to do onboard.

We picked the ten complimentary activities that we really enjoyed, but there is plenty more provided on Royal Caribbean's head-turning ship. Without further adieu, here is our top ten favorite free activities on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas.

1. Grease

Broadway shows have a reputation of being expensive, but Royal Caribbean has included this all-time favorite Broadway show in the cost of your Harmony of the Seas cruise fare.

Grease is the full Broadway production, and features a soundtrack of crowd favorites such as “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin’,” “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee,” “Born to Hand-Jive,” “Beauty School Dropout” and more.

2. Children's programming

Royal Caribbean's Adventure Ocean program has won many awards over the years for providing the very best supervised kids programming at sea. On Harmony of the Seas, there is one of the largest Adventure Ocean spaces to date on any Royal Caribbean ship.

Kids are a big part of the cruise experience on Harmony of the Seas, and parents can rest assured that their children are having a fun time in a supervised environment, with plenty going on.

Kids will love the array of fun activities onboard and parents will enjoy some time apart from the kiddos!

3. FlowRider

Onboard Harmony of the Seas, you will find two FlowRider surf simulators on the aft of the ship, where you can try your hand at stand-up surfing or boogie boarding.

The FlowRider has become an incredibly popular activity on Royal Caribbean ships, both to experience as a participant or as a spectator. The FlowRider is a complimentary activity, where you simply need to line up and wait your turn to ride. In addition, Royal Caribbean offers private and group lessons for a nominal fee, if you feel the need to learn quicker.

4. Zip lining

Royal Caribbean offers passengers the opportunity to zip line 9 decks above the ground, stretching 82 feet from end to end.

Passengers must be at least 52" tall to participate and weigh a maximum of 275 pound, also must at least weigh 75 pounds.

The zip line is free and guests must sign a waiver.

5. AquaTheater shows

The AquaTheater on Harmony of the Seas is the distinct high diving, acrobatic performance space introduced by Royal Caribbean with the Oasis class of ships.  It features two 10-meter high platforms and the hydraulic-floored pool, the largest and deepest freshwater pool at sea, below serves as podiums for high-diving, hair-raising aerobatics that AquaTheater audiences have come to love.

There are two signature complimentary shows performed in the AquaTheater, The Fine Line and Hideaway Heist.  

The Fine Line is all about high-flying feats, mind blowing stunts and physically demanding acrobatics brought to life by the world’s best extreme-sport athletes.

Hideaway Heist is an action packed aqua show that combines amazing wows and some laughs.

6. Water slides

If you had to list the most exciting new features coming to Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas, the new water slides have to be near the top of that list. Harmony of the Seas is the first Oasis class ship to have water slides and are included in your cruise fare.

There are three slides, two racer slides and a 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.

7. Ultimate Abyss

Speaking of slides, the thrill experience on Harmony of the Seas is the Ultimate Abyss, which is the tallest slide at sea.

The Ultimate Abyss is more than 150 feet above sea level and offers side-by-side slides that send guests down 10 decks at a rate of 9 miles per hour. Launching onto the ride from a glass platform, guests can take one last look at the Boardwalk 10 decks below before climbing onto a customized mat and taking the plunge into the depths of the daunting slides.

There is no cost to ride the Ultimate Abyss, which means plenty of time to scream down the slide, over and over again.

8. 1887

Royal Caribbean has built a reputation for producing some truly wonderful ice skating shows on its ships, and Harmony of the Seas has the best ice skating show we have seen on any Royal Caribbean ship, 1887: A Journey in Time.

1887 is a brand new show by Royal Caribbean Productions that is about love and adventure and is best described as a, "steampunk styled ice show."

There is no cost to see 1887, although we do recommend reserving a spot for the show via the complimentary reservation system in Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner.

9. Aqua park

For kids, Royal Caribbean has completely reimagined its pool deck offerings that are intended for the younger crowd.  On Harmony of the Seas, there is a brand new "aquatic adventure park" known as Splashaway Bay.

Splashway Bay has plenty of splashing, with fountains, buckets, sprays and even slides for kids to enjoy to their heart's content.  Splashaway Bay was built to be a focal point of the pool area, and offer yet another improvement on what the cruise line has been known for in the past.

Like all the pool deck fun, Splashaway Bay has no cost to use, and is certain to be a very popular spot with your kids.

10. A ride on the carousel

In the Boardwalk neighborhood, guests young and old can enjoy a ride on a classic carousel that is sure to bring a smile to anyone's face. The carousel on Harmony of the Seas is hand-crafted and especially designed by Carousel Works for Royal Caribbean and is one-of-a-kind.

Inspired by turn-of-the-century carousels that were found in the northeastern United States, Harmony of the Seas' carousel is a classic attraction that is as beautiful in design as it is enjoyable to ride.

Royal Caribbean introduces new multi-course menu at 150 Central Park restaurant

In:
17Nov2016

Royal Caribbean has introduced a new menu highlighting artisanal ingredients at 150 Central Park onboard Harmony of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas.

Highlights include:

  • A straightforward multi-course which allows the guest to explore the restaurant on multiple visits and try something new each time.  Selections include lobster gnocchi with carrot butter sauce, herb salad or Bittersweet Chocolate Bourbon Tart with salted caramel, spiced pecans, cranberry chutney and chantilly cream.
  • A world-class cheese cart, tuna tartare or an 18-ounce tenderloin prepared tableside.
  • Chef Schwartz along with Michael’s Genuine sommelier Eric Larkee has crafted a dynamic wine program that makes for an upscale and intimate gastronomic experience

Set in the Central Park neighborhood, 150 Central Park has a $45 cover charge, and includes from a variety of appetizers, entrées and dessert including a tableside cheese cart. 150 Central Park is the creation of James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz.

Top water slide insider tips on Harmony of the Seas

In:
17Nov2016

Families going on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas are certain to spend a lot of time at the pool deck and very likely taking multiple rides down the water slides.

Dubbed, "The Perfect Storm", these three water slides provide plenty of fun and thrills during any Harmony of the Seas cruise. If you want to ensure you get as many rides in and go as fast as possible, follow these tips for getting the most out of the Harmony of the Seas water slides.

1. Ride when the lines are the shortest

Waiting in line is never fun, but the popularity of the Harmony of the Seas water slides may leave much choice.  It is important to note that the shortest lines for the water slides will occur at two times of the day.

Check the Cruise Compass for exact times of operation, but try to ride the water slides in the morning when they first open and/or in the evening when many guests are having dinner.

Both of these times will result in much shorter lines.  The late-morning and afternoon are the peak times for the water slides, so expect a longer wait if you want to ride during those times.

2. The secret to going fast(er)

If you have a need for speed, the key is to wear as little clothing as possible.

The more clothing you wear, the more friction between you and the slide.  Rash guards, t-shirts and "ornate" bathing suits are all the kind of swim wear that will slow you down.

Fashion opinions aside, Speedo swimsuits for men are the ideal bathing suit for attaining top speed on Harmony's slides.

3. Cross your legs and arms

Speaking of going fast, regardless of what you wear on the slide, be sure to cross your arms and and legs to get maximum velocity.

The physics of the slide favor those that reduce their body's drag against the slide, and the crossing one's legs and arms will ensure the best overall experience from start to finish.

4. Try all 3 water slides

There are three water slides on Harmony of the Seas, and it is absolutely worth your time to try all three.

There are two racer slides and a champagne bowl slide.  Each slide differs from the others, so be sure to try them all.  

5. Blue racer slide seems faster

Speaking of trying them all, between the two racer slides, many guests we spoke to reported the blue slide is a bit faster ride down than the yellow slide.  

It is hard to quantify in written form, but see if you agree about the blue versus yellow slide's intensity.

Do you have a tip for anyone riding the Harmony of the Seas water slides? Share them in the comments below!

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