Harmony of the Seas

Photo tour of Category B1 Boardwalk View Stateroom with Balcony on Harmony of the Seas

In:
16Nov2016

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas has a lot to offer, including a number of staterooms.  Today, we will look at the category B1 Boardwalk 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 9723, which is located on Deck 9 aft, fairly close to the end of the hall. In fact, it is just four staterooms away from the end of the deck.  Entry to the room is by RFID scanner, which is above the door handle.

Walking into the room, you will immediately see the light from the balcony shining ahead of you.

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.

Across from the bed is a widescreen, high definition television.

Beyond the bed is a large sofa, with desk and chair opposite it. This is where the bulk of the indoor living space is located and the room offers a good amount of space to navigate between objects and other guests.

A B1 stateroom features a full bathroom as well with stand up shower.

Of course, the reason to book this stateroom is the balcony.

The balcony provides a full view of the Boardwalk neighborhood, and a partial view of the AquaTheater.

The balcony is 47 square feet in size, with the stateroom measuring 182 square feet.  There is certainly enough room for two adults to enjoy the space together.  In fact, there is a lot of storage space provided in this room, which is more than the storage space provided on Oasis of the Seas or Allure of the Seas.

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.

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!

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.

Ultimate Abyss review on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

In:
08Nov2016

Perhaps no other feature or activity on Harmony of the Seas has garnered as much attention, intrigue and excitement as the Ultimate Abyss slide.

Towering 150 feet above sea level, it is a dry slide that sends guest plummeting down a 100 foot drop.  To say it is a thrill ride would be an understatement.  We felt it was our intrepid duty to try this gargantuan slide out ourselves, and report back what it is all about.

Experience

The entrance to the Ultimate Abyss is located on deck 16, near the very back of the ship.  It is in between the two FlowRider surf simulators and can be found by simply walking all the way to the aft of the ship on deck 16.

There is no means of signing up in advance, simply enter the queue when the ride is open and wait your turn.  In addition, there is no waiver to sign to participate.

As you get closer to the entrance, you will be instructed on how to ride properly.  The important thing to know is to keep your elbows in and legs straight.  Not following these instructions can lead to a nasty (and painful) burn on your arms during the ride.

Right before climbing the stairs to the slide entrance, guests will take a mat that they will ride in.  At the top, the mat is placed at the very beginning of the slide, and the guest will enter the mat, placing their feet and most of their legs in the mat opening.  Then, grab the mat handle, lean back and head down when instructed.

During the ride, guests descend at a rate of up to nine miles per hour, through a variety of twists and turns.  While the slide is dark inside, there are spontaneous audio effects played at different parts of the ride, along with lighting effects.  All of this combines to provide a multi-sensory thrill.

At the conclusion of the ride, you will come to a stop along a long straightaway on the Boardwalk.  Step out, grab the mat and place it in the receptacle for used mats.

There is an on-ride photo option, where guests can get a photo of themselves that is taken just as they are about to end the slide ride.

Comments

The Ultimate Abyss lives up to its billing as a multi-sensory thrill ride.  Most guests that ride agree it is not as scary/intense an experience as one might think by looking at the slide.

The amount of turns, and the angles at which they occur, contribute to slowing guests down to a pace that is far more tolerable than a simple plunge.  It is quite common to be apprehensive at the top of the slide, but we found the ride down to be slower than we expected (which is not a bad thing).

Rides on the Ultimate Abyss are complimentary, and offered during most times of the day.  Lines certainly can develop for the Ultimate Abyss, especially on sea days and in the afternoons. To ensure a short wait, try to ride just as the ride opens or during dinner hours (after 5pm).

Ultimate Abyss is a lot of fun to ride, and definitely worth a few rides over the course of a cruise.  It is easy to get apprehensive about the experience, but the ride is big on fun and not as intense as one might imagine.

Spotted: Characters from DreamWorks Trolls film meet guests on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

In:
07Nov2016

Royal Caribbean's partnership with DreamWorks Entertainment has provided opportunities for guests to meet characters from the popular films on its cruise ships, and we spotted on Harmony of the Seas two new characters that guests can meet from the newest film, Trolls!.

Guests were able to meet Poppy and Branch from the new animated film, prior to the 3D movie premiere in the Royal Theater on the ship.

In addition to the characters, guests could pose for a photo in one of the cutout head displays to make themselves look like a troll.

Video: Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas Sets Sail From New Homeport for First Time

In:
07Nov2016

With a sail away celebration befitting the world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean International’s brand new ship, Harmony of the Seas, departed on her maiden voyage from her new permanent homeport of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The world’s most adventure-packed ship was fêted with an adventurous take on the traditional flotilla send-off, complete with a team of 16 jetboard and jetpack riders from the world-renowned Aquafly Hydroflight Sports Performance Team leading Harmony out to sea and performing a show of extraordinary stunts.

Photos and video of Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas epic encounter with her sister ships and first departure

In:
06Nov2016

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas arrival to her new homeport of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. was anything but ordinary.

The three Oasis-class ships, Oasis of the SeasAllure of the Seas and the new Harmony of the Seas, greeted each other at sea for the first and possibly only time. In a meeting of unprecedented proportions, the three record-breaking sisters came together to celebrate the U.S. arrival of Harmony of the Seas.

 

The event was a perfect start to a weekend of Harmony of the Seas festivities, including the first U.S.-based sailing for Harmony of the Seas.

Harmony of the Seas departed Port Everglades for a short 3-night sailing, and this was another exciting celebration for yet another milestone for this amazing ship.

The world’s most adventure-packed ship was fêted with an adventurous take on the traditional flotilla send-off, complete with a team of 16 jetboard and jetpack riders from the world-renowned Aquafly Hydroflight Sports Performance Team leading Harmony out to sea and performing a show of extraordinary stunts.

Royal Caribbean's three Oasis class ships meet for the first time at sea

In:
04Nov2016

Royal Caribbean's Oasis-class ships, Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and the new Harmony of the Seas, all met at sea earlier today.  This marked the first, and possibly only time an meeting like this might occur.

The three ships rendezvoused off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Florida in a celebration of the arrival of Harmony of the Seas to her new homeport of Port Everglades.

Harmony of the Seas is the largest cruise ship in the world, just edging out her sister ships Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.  The three ships represent the meeting of the largest cruise ships in the world, in one place.

Watch Royal Caribbean's three Oasis class ships meet LIVE

In:
04Nov2016

Royal Caribbean's three Oasis class ships are meeting just off the coast of Florida today, and Royal Caribbean is sharing a live stream of this historic event.

Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas are meeting together for the first time.

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