Harmony of the Seas Live Blog - Matt's Day 1

10 Nov 2016
Matt Hochberg

I am back onboard Harmony of the Seas and it feels great!

Today, began our two-night Harmony of the Seas adventure.  After a quick, but busy two day respite, my wife and I hopped in the car bright and early to head to Port Everglades.

This is a two-night sailing, where Royal Caribbean invited members of the media, travel agents and other VIPs to preview this new ship.  As a guest of Royal Caribbean, I was looking forward to meeting and chatting with the people in the company that make everything work.  I have been on these sort of media sailings previously, including Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas.  They are great opportunities to not only see the ship, but meet the folks in charge.

We arrived in Port Everglades by about 9:45am, and were in line for security rather quickly.  One difference with this embarkation process was we were given boarding groups, although we were still seated according to our Crown and Anchor Society status.  We were in boarding group 1, so we were onboard a bit after 11am.

Once onboard Harmony of the Seas, it was time to explore. We started out with lunch in the Windjammer, a Hochberg family tradition.  Great spread, as always, and I got to enjoy another lovely lunch on Harmony.

Being back onboard, I did feel a great sense of relief that I was not trying to see the entire ship at once.  That being said, there would be plenty to do onboard today.

During these preview sailings, there are various staterooms open for guests to see. I saw some of the loft suite rooms, which are stunning.  I am not certain I will ever have the opportunity to stay in one of those kinds of rooms, but I can certainly dream about it!

Our stateroom was ready rather early, and on this sailing, we are staying in an ocean balcony stateroom.  

We are on deck 10, very close to the elevators.  My wife loves ocean facing balcony rooms, and I have to admit having the ocean breeze while you sit on the balcony is quite lovely.

Inside, the room is nearly identical to my Boardwalk balcony room in terms of layout and size. A great room, although I plan on being in it for very little time on this sailing!

I took my wife on an exploration of the ship.  Within an hour, she was asking when we can go on Harmony of the Seas again and how soon.  She and I both like Harmony a lot, and rank her even ahead of her Oasis class sister ships.

Following our muster drill, I spent a few hours doing a video shoot for a small project that will make its way to the blog later on, so stay tuned for it!

On this sailing, there was the official naming ceremony that coincided with the ship's Christening and a spectacular fireworks display!  The fireworks were quite impressive and no amateur display.

My wife saw 1887, the ice skating show onboard, and reported it is the best ice skating show she has seen on any ship.  She indicated that she liked there was a more coherent story to the performances, compared to other ice skating shows.  Plus, the bubble performer is quite amazing.

The projection technology incorporated into 1887 is also particularly good.  It is amazing how Royal Caribbean continues to push the bar with their shows, and innovation with their ice shows is a great example of that.

Dinner this evening was in the main dining room.  We were in American Icon Grill, and it was essentially My Time Dining.  Another fabulous night in the main dining room!

Tomorrow we will be in Nassau, but I will spending a great deal of it engaging in a number of immersion sessions, interviews and shows.  It will be a very busy, but exciting day ahead!

Be sure to follow the fun on Instagram, Periscope and Facebook! We do regular live broadcasts from the ship on Facebook and Periscope, so do not miss out!

Stray observations

  • The Voom internet is really fast this evening. It is open to everyone on this sailing.
  • I mentioned on this past weekend's Harmony of the Seas sailing there were lots of flowers onboard, and they are definitely in full bloom now because the ship smells amazing.
  • It was much warmer today than last weekend. There was profuse schvitzing occuring throughout the day.
  • I can really get used to cruising twice per week!

Marathon Royal Caribbean runner on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

09 Nov 2016
Matt Hochberg

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

Episode 171 is available for downloading, which shares an inspirational story of a man who has run a full marathon on 25 Royal Caribbean cruise ships.

In this episode, Joe Church talks about his amazing accomplishment of running a full marathon on almost every single Royal Caribbean ship. Not only does Joe have a great story to tell, but he shares running tips for anyone that wants to walk, jog or sprint while onboard.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 171. 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!

Harmony of the Seas Live Blog - Michael's Cruise Preview

09 Nov 2016
Michael Poole

Hi Blog readers, it’s time for another Live Blog from Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Harmony of the Seas. I know, you must be thinking we already read the live blog preview for Harmony? Well for the first time in Royal Caribbean Blog’s history, we will have two live blogs on the very same ship in action.

Matt and Michael on board together sharing our experiences from completely different views, and doing different things. 

The Cruise

This cruise is a special 2 night sailings that Royal Caribbean invites travel agents, media, contest winners (Ticket to Adventure), and top tier members from their Crown & Anchor society.

On this sailing they will have some special events taking place to help promote the ship. The main event-taking place Thursday afternoon is the naming ceremony. If you recall a few weeks ago Royal Caribbean hosted a contest to name the new Godmother of Harmony of the Seas. I have watched these events take place over the years, but it will be my first time to experience it live. 

A week ago, Royal Caribbean announced another contest “Friendsgiving Celebration” with a live performance by DNCE. The band will be hosting a concert on board, so you never know what you might see when I go live on Periscope. I am hopeful they preform in the Aqua Theater, and I’ll enjoy it from Sabor. 


For only my second time ever, I’ll be sailing in a deck 14 Central Park balcony cabin. My last time was in 2011 on Allure of the Seas.

Personally, I enjoy the boardwalk balcony cabins better. The only reason I prefer one to the other, is because you have a view of the ocean and the boardwalk. With that being said, I’m sailing with my girlfriend, so I’m really excited for her to experience the central park balcony cabins. 


This cruise is only 2 days, so you might be surprised to see we do have a stop planned. On Friday, we will dock in Nassau, Bahamas from 12-6. I was here a month ago, so I likely won’t get off the ship and continue to enjoy the ship. I might get off to just take pictures from the pier and jump right back on board. 

Top 3 things I’m looking forward to 

 3. Bionic Bar 

 When Quantum of the Seas came out she was the first ship at sea with robot bartenders. Ever since then I’ve been very curious about the experience and taste of those cocktails. I’ve heard mixed feelings about removing the Champagne bar from the Harmony of the Seas to make room for Bionic Bar. However, I welcome the change and really excited to finally be able to see it in person. 

 2. The Fine Line 

 Generally when I cruise I don’t see any shows unless I’m on an Oasis Class ship, because you just can’t miss those. My all-time favorite show I’ve seen is on Oasis of the Seas – Oasis of Dream’s Aqua show. I really enjoy the story line and the divers in the Aqua Theater. So I’ve made reservations to see The Fine Line Aqua show night 1, and I can’t wait! 

 1. The Ultimate Abyss 

 The biggest change and most noticeable when you look at Harmony of the Seas is the new Ultimate Abyss 10 story slide. Sure other cruise lines have slides on their ships, but none of them have one that’s 10 stories down. I can actually picture myself now on deck 16, taking it down to deck 6 for Sabor. Do you plan on trying this slide? 

Well friends next time I join you, I’ll be on board Harmony of the Seas sharing my short journey with you. If you have any questions please feel free to comment below and I’ll jump in and respond. Do you have any cruises booked on Harmony of the Seas?

Harmony of the Seas Live Blog - Day 3 - Sea Day

07 Nov 2016
Matt Hochberg

Our last full day on Harmony of the Seas mostly consisted of something I have never done on any Royal Caribbean cruise - I worked from sea.

Rather than taking a vacation day, I decided to work today like any other day. Since my day job affords me the ability to work remotely, I woke up like any other day of the week and logged onto my computer to do my day job.  I have gotten many questions about how reliable Royal Caribbean's Voom is to handle things like a VPN connection, but I can tell you it was flawless.

My VPN connection held up throughout the day, without any disconnects, and I was able to get my work done with no issues.  Sure, the internet slowed down during the afternoon, but it was still quite useable.

I have to say, having a coffee break at Cafe Promenade and my lunch at Windjammer made for the best day of work ever!

I do not have much to report from my day, but once I "clocked out" for the day, I headed immediately down to the Schooner Bar for the final trivia event of the cruise. Sadly, I did not win, but I had a great time.

Following trivia, I headed up to the bridge wings to see the sunset. It might not have been the best sunset I have ever seen, but it was really beautiful and the ship slowed down considerably, making for an even better view.

Some readers asked me about the Concierge Lounge and Coastal Kitchen, so Royal Caribbean Blog reader Dan helped me out with some photos of this great area.  Dan noted the layout is different than on other Oasis class ships, but it worked out quite well. Essentially, the Concierge Lounge is on the starboard side, with Coastal Kitchen on the port side.

For dinner, I headed back to the Windjammer and it did not disappoint. In fact, it was the best spread of this sailing and I really enjoyed the offerings.

I spent some time in Central Park while enjoying my Diamond drinks for the evening, and the earlier sunset (thanks daylight savings time) made for a very lovely evening.  It is still my favorite spot onboard.

After a while, I headed down to the Boardwalk and was able to use my Boardwalk neighborhood balcony perk of complimentary Johnny Rockets for a quick bite to eat.  Royal Caribbean offers certain neighborhood balcony benefits, and the Johnny Rockets option is for lunch, but they were happy to let me dine there for dinner.

My evening entertainment was 1887, which is the ice skating show in Studio B. I love the ice skating shows in general, and this show did not disappoint. Fabulous choreography and very impressive performances all around.

I spent the rest of my evening walking around the ship and enjoying the entertainment.

Tomorrow, my sailing comes to an end and I disembark, but, I return to Harmony of the Seas on Thursday for another quick 2-night cruise. In fact, we will have our very first ever dueling live blog, where myself and Michael Poole will be LIVE blogging every day from Harmony of the Seas.  So instead of wrapping up my live blog, I will simply remind everyone to tune back in for the thrilling conclusion to our Harmony of the Seas live blog!

Stray observations

  • Last night, there was some serious motion in the ocean.  There was a lot of rolling and even vibrating from the waves.  Nothing remotely scary, but certainly not what I expected.  As the day progressed, it got smoother and smoother.
  • They actually ran out of ripe avocados and margaritas at Sabor. To say that is odd and surprising, would be an understatement.
  • I will be doing self-disembarkation tomorrow, but some of the luggage tags are for times well beyond 10am.  That is super late!
  • I saw new characters from the Dreamworks film, Trolls!, for meet and greet today.
  • Remember that coffee thermos I won at trivia? Well, everyone got one in their rooms! I do not feel that special anymore.
  • To whomever sent me vanilla bean cupcakes, thank you! This was a great mid-day snack during my work day!
  • For those keeping score at home, I was actually denied entry to the Diamond Lounge today because I was wearing flip flops.  The rule is clearly written, and the attendant was very kind in informing me that I was not properly dressed. I was totally good with the situation, and in fact happy they were enforcing the rules.  I was told someone else wore flip flops and a guest complained, so when I came in, I was told I could not enter.  They did offer to grab me a drink for me.

  • I enjoyed my Boardwalk balcony stateroom. While I may prefer the ambiance of the Central Park rooms, the Boardwalk rooms offer so many opportunities to see what is happening onboard and the fact I was 4 rooms from the end, provided a great view of the AquaTheater.
  • I may have had the best stateroom attendant in recent memory. Big shout out to Barry on deck 9!
  • 3-night cruises go by very quickly. I am glad for the experiences, but the 7+ night cruises are still the best bang-for-the-buck.
  • I cannot wait to return again on Thursday!

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

07 Nov 2016
Matt Hochberg

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

07 Nov 2016
Matt Hochberg

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.

Harmony of the Seas Live Blog - Day 2 - Nassau

06 Nov 2016
Matt Hochberg

My first full day on Harmony of the Seas coincided with waking up earlier than I expected to full take advantage of this fabulous day.  

Today we are docked in Nassau, Bahamas, although I had no intention of leaving the ship.  It was going to be a great day, with plenty to see and do onboard.

I decided to have breakfast in American Icon Grill (AKA the main dining room).  I wanted a custom made omelet, and I really enjoy the main dining room experience.  The breakfast features a fixed menu, plus a buffet option in the center of the dining room.  You can opt for either or both.

Following my meal, I went up to Cafe Promenade to take advantage of my Diamond-level Crown and Anchor Society benefit, which on this sailings gives us complimentary premium coffee (not Starbucks).  This is Seattle's Best coffee, and I went for a latte.

With my coffee in hand, I spent some time working on a few blog posts from the comfort of Central Park, and then headed over to the Schooner Bar for morning trivia.

I met a nice family from South Florida to play general knowledge trivia. We did not win, although I was quite intrigued to see the prize for the winning team were travel coffee mugs.

Next, it was time to try my hand at the water slides.  I was very excited to try them out ever since they were announced. I tried to bring my phone in a water proof case, but the crew informed me you cannot bring anything with you.  Just you and a bathing suit.

There is one line for all three slides.  Near the top, the attendant asks guests which slide they want to ride.  At worst, I waited perhaps 10 minutes I think.  First up was the champagne bowl slide.  It is a regular water slide that empties into a large, circular bowl area that you swirl around in until exiting in the middle.  Myself and a few of the other older guys seemed to get stuck right at the end, although a quick push and I was on my way.

Next were the two racer slides.  When it was my turn, they grabbed a kid who was also riding alone, and the 12-year old wanted to race.  Fine, bring it kid!

I was so dead set on showing this kid who was boss, but I ended up getting stuck a few times in the slide.  I would essentially slow down until I came to a stop, which in the racer slides is a bit nerve wracking because most of the slide is in the pitch dark! I managed to scoot a few times to get going.  At the bottom, I spoke to a crew member that told me the more clothing you have, the slower you will go. I was wearing board shorts and a rash guard shirt, so clearly that did not work well.  Oh well, it was still a fun experience!

I got back to the room and showered and changed and was ready for lunch.  I had hoped to eat lunch in either Sabor or Johnny Rockets, but neither opened until 2.  I decided to try lunch in the Solarium Bistro instead.

I am not certain if I have ever eaten in the Solarium Bistro before, but I really enjoyed it.  It is complimentary and offers a nice selection of salads, main courses, side dishes and desserts.  Plus, the ambiance of dining in the restaurant or just outside is quite lovely.

After lunch, it was down to Starbucks for an afternoon pick me up. Man cannot subside on regular coffee alone (or at least, not this man).

I did some more exploring of the ship and eventually stumbled upon the main dining room, which was still open at about 2pm.  I glanced at the menu and saw the lasagna from the dinner menu was available so I figured eating two lunches in one day is totally acceptable, right?

Like breakfast, there was a fixed menu and a buffet area in the center of the restaurant.  The buffet also had a chopped salad area, where you can specify the ingredients to put in your salad and the crew member will prepare it for you.

I also tried something brand new for me in the afternoon, by doing a "Total Request Live" Periscope broadcast.  Basically, I went on Periscope and offered to go anywhere onboard (within reason) that the people watching wanted me to go.  It was a lot of fun, and I even got to see much more of the ship than I had before.  Might have to do this again sometime!

Afternoon trivia came around and it was another general trivia session.  This time, our team did extremely well and won!  Not only that, they had inaugural season coffee cups as a prize! 

It is formal night tonight, so I went back to the room to relax a bit and then get dressed. Originally I was not planning on dressing up, but I had brought a pair of khakis and a polo shirt. I promise to dress up significantly more for the next sailing!

As the day turned to night, I wandered to the Boardwalk and finally lamented for a quick jaunt to my favorite restaurant, Sabor.

I went in with the idea of just getting guacamole, but ended up also getting tuna tacos.  I would love to rationalize it for all of you, but the truth is I just decided to indulge a bit.

Needless to say, Sabor was wonderful and remains a must-eat specialty restaurant on any Royal Caribbean ship that offers it.

This evening it was rather pleasant outside, so I decided to take a few photos from up on deck to see the ship lit up.  

Next up was The Fine Line show in the AquaTheater.  It is hard to describe what the show is, but it is a combination aerial acrobatic show that happens to be set in a rather unique pool.  

What makes The Fine Line different from other AquaTheater shows, such as OceanAria, is the added element of aerial stunts with the aid of high-tension wires.  There is quite a bit of "flying" and tight rope walking involved, and it is another really incredible show to watch from a pure performance standpoint.  The coordination and skill involved is quite extraordinary.

During the show, it began lightly raining and I ended up retreating to a Boardwalk balcony room that some fellow Royal Caribbean Blog readers (hi Tim and Kim!)offered to watch the rest of the show.  My room is 4 rooms away from the AquaTheater, but their room is the first room away, and had a nearly unobstructed view (and no rain).

I returned to my stateroom to discover all guests were given complimentary Harmony of the Seas inaugural hats! Thank you Abe!

I also received this nice gift from my travel agent to enjoy.  Red velvet anything is right up my alley!

Tomorrow is a sea day, but I will actually be spending the day doing my day job from sea.  I know it may seem odd to be doing work from a cruise ship, but doing my work on a ship is far better than doing the same work from anywhere else. Thanks Voom!

Stray Observations

  • There are a lot of amazing fresh flowers all over the ship.
  • I spoke to the water slide attendants for a bit about crowd pattern.  They recommend the least lines are when they first open, as well as during the evening when it is meal time.
  • Multiple water slide attendants told me that if you want to go the fastest down the slide, a Speedo is the way to go.  

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

06 Nov 2016
Matt Hochberg

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 Post Round-Up: November 6, 2016

06 Nov 2016
Matt Hochberg

Happy Sunday! November has arrived, and so has Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship to her homeport of Port Everglades.  Each week we summarize all of this week's Royal Caribbean news, just in case you missed any of it.

This week's news was dominated by Harmony of the Seas, with the meeting of the three Oasis class ships on Friday marking an historic event.

Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas converged off the coast of Florida for the first, and perhaps only, time ever.  To see all three ships in the class in one spot was quite exciting, and it also marked the arrival of Harmony of the Seas to the United States.

Here is a look at the rest of the Royal Caribbean news from this week.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

On this week's episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast, Matt is previewing his cruise on Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas.

Matt is sailing on two short Harmony of the Seas cruises this week, and in this episode, he shares a look at what he has planned onboard (and how he convinced his wife to let him cruise solo).

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

Royal Caribbean answers the question of how it hires the thousands of crew members that it needs.

Cruise Habit reviewed the first sailaway for Harmony of the Seas from Port Everglades.

Eat Sleep Cruise posted a full review of Sabor on Oasis of the Seas.

The Enterprisers Project has an interview with Royal Caribbean's CIO.

Cruise and Ferry wrote about the end of the 2016 cruise season for Royal Caribbean in Nova Scotia.

Forbes has a look at what it's like to work on the world's largest cruise ship.

Harmony of the Seas Live Blog - Day 1 - Embarkation Day

05 Nov 2016
Matt Hochberg

My Harmomy of the Seas adventure begins today and naturally, I was up bright and early to get a start on it.

Harmony of the Seas leaves from Port Everglades, Florida, and I live about 3 hours north of there in Orlando.  I was on the road a little after 6am and enjoyed a quiet and uneventful car ride down the Florida Turnpike to Harmony of the Seas' new home.

I arrived at the pier at about 9:30am and was among perhaps 30-40 other early birds to get in line for security.  It is absolutely not necessary to arrive that early for any cruise, but I was so excited that I could not help myself.

Check-in was quite easy and simple.  The check-in is a hybrid of the traditional Royal Caribbean check-in process, mixed with a little Quantum class touch.  You still go to the counter to check in, but I was able to provide a photo of myself during the online check-in.  Also, guests are not given SeaPass cards. Instead, your SeaPass cards are waiting for you just outside your stateroom.  

Once checked in, I was seated in the Diamond section of Terminal 18.  Because Harmony of the Seas was coming from a transatlantic voyage, US Customs was going to take longer to clear the ship.  Royal Caribbean did send passengers an email prior to the cruise warning guests of this delay.  That being said, boarding did not begin until a little after noon, and I was not onboard until 12:30.  Not a big deal, but the issue with a late embarkation like that is there was a big crowd in the terminal to get onboard.

Once onboard the ship, I followed my traditional embarkation day regiment and headed straight to the Windjammer for lunch.  I was blown away by the size of the Windjammer on Harmony of the Seas! It was massive, and much larger than the Windjammer on Allure of the Seas.  This was a welcome change.

After lunch I started exploring the ship and immediatley I noticed that Harmony of the Seas felt so much like a Quantum class ship.  I joked on Periscope that Harmony of the Seas feels more like a Quantum class ship that is pretending to be an Oasis class ship, than the other way around.  This is by no means a bad thing, just a surprise to me.  The look and feel of Harmony (especially in the staterooms, cooridors and certain venues) is so reminiscent of being on Anthem of the Seas that I would dare someone who has been on either to see certain photos onboard and be able to know the difference.

Our rooms were ready at 1:30pm and I really like my Boardwalk balcony stateroom.  The room is quite large and can easily accomodate two guests.  The amount of storage space is fantastic and the decor is once again nearly identical to the Quantum class rooms.

Of course, the balcony is what this sort of stateroom is all about and the Boardwalk view is terrific.  My room is towards the aft of the ship (perhaps 4 rooms from the end), and that provides a great view of the AquaTheater, rock climbing wall,  and more importantly, Sabor.

I have always been a fan of the neighborhood balconies because they are less expensive (typically) than ocean facing balconies, and offer a kind of experience that no other class of Royal Caribbean ships can offer.

After dropping all my stuff off in the room, I was off to start exploring Harmony of the Seas.  It is a beautiful ship, with so much going on.  I am quite happy that I added this three night sailing on, so that I can get more time to "see it all."

I was really impressed by the design of the main dining room on Harmony of the Seas.  The art piece is particularly beautiful!

When muster drill time came around, I realized that my station was in the Boardwalk, near the AquaThear.  My first outdoor muster station experience on an Oasis class ship.  

Following the drill, I immediately made my way up to deck 15 to try my hand at the Ultimate Abyss.  

This is a 10-story slide and I was excited to finally try it.  I was one of the first few guests to get in line and after perhaps 10 minutes, the slide opened up and it was my turn to descend.

As I got closer and closer to the entrance to the slide I got a little nervous with apprehension, but once I pushed off and began sliding down I immediately loved the whole experience.  Not only is it a lot of fun, it is not nearly as intese or scary as one might imagine.  I as impressed by the special effects in the slide, which consist of lighting and sound effects.  Definitely a must-do and I think I have to try it again a few times.

After riding, I spent some more time exploring the ship.  I even got a chance to check out some fellow Royal Caribbean Blog readers' studio staterooms, which were quite nice and definitely something I could stay in if I was sailing alone (especially for the price).

My favorite spot on any Oasis class ship is Central Park, and I was excited it again on Harmony of the Seas.  It is a beautiful area, full of natural beauty and terrific ambiance.  It especially looks great once the sun goes down and the lights come on.

I grabbed a quick dinner in the Windjammer this evening, and enjoyed the great variety of options.  I even brought my own bottle of wine, that the crew were happy to store for me for dinner tomorrow night.

Being in the evening, I also took advantage of the Crown and Anchor Society Diamond level complimentary drinks from 5-8:30.  Because there are so many Diamond members onboard, Royal Caribbean converted the Attic on deck 4 into a temporary Diamond lounge.  I certainly got some value from this very nice perk.

I was so busy exploring the ship that I completely overlooked our sailaway from Port Everglades. Oh well, I will see it again later this week when I return to Harmony of the Seas!

I had planned to see Columbus the Musical at 8:30pm, but unfortunately there was so much motion this evening that the show (and The Fine Line) had to be cancelled. It was really quite odd how much motion we were experiencing so close to land.  As soon as we got out of the channel, the ship started swaying quite a bit.  The good news is by about 9pm or so, the motion subsided quite a bit, and as I am writing this, we are back to barely any movement. I took the extra time to enjoy the live music in Central Park.

I am happy to report that I was able to exchange my old WOWband from Anthem of the Seas to Guest Relations and I received a new WOWband with no issues.  Plus, I finally got a new color (white) to add to my collection.  Personally, I love the convenience of the WOWbands over the SeaPass card.  No digging in my pocket for the SeaPass card and it is so easy getting back into my stateroom.

Since I had my handy, dandy WOWband, I wanted to test it out, so in the name of research...I had a drink from the Bionic Bar.  I ordered one of the stock drinks, and there is no denying how cool it is for a machine to make a drink on demand.  

There was a second showing of Columbus the Musical at 10:30, so I tried for this showing and the motion subsided enough that the show could go on.

I had some high expections for this original Royal Caribbean production and I have to say, it did not disappoint at all. It is a fun show with a goofy, yet endearing plot that works in a lot of hit songs you can easily sing along to.  Easily another must-see show for Royal Caribbean!

Tomorrow we will be in Nassau, but I plan on staying onboard to explore more of Harmony of the Seas!

Random Observations

  • Starbucks did not have the Christmas/green cup drinks yet.  Those drinks came out during Harmony's transatlantic, so I did not expect them to have that quick of a turnarond. I asked, and no coffee card on this sailing either.
  • Due to the Customs delay, our muster drill (and sailaway) was pushed back 15 minutes.
  • Today was the first day of the neighborhood balcony perks.  My perks include free soda drink package, a free meal at Johnny Rockets and a private rock climbing session.  I need to investigate how one "cashes in" on those last two perks.
  • Our cruise director, Abe, made an announcement that due to the embarkation issues many guests experience, Royal Caribbean is giving everyone onboard Voom for free.  If you bought Voom, you will get a credit.  Not a bad start to the cruise!
  • I spotted a Walking Dead reference in the cooridor of deck 9!
  • It definitely pays to pre-book a Royal Caribbean drink package before your cruise. Here are the posted rates for the drink packages if purchased onboard.