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 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.