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.
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.
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.