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Harmony of the Seas

Four Royal Caribbean cruise ships will get dry dock work in Spain

In:
05Apr2021

Cadiz, Spain will be a hot spot for Royal Caribbean cruise ships very soon.

The Navantia shipyards announced four ships are scheduled to get dry dock work there, beginning with Harmony of the Seas.

Cruise ships must undergo routine work every few years (usually five) in order to keep the ship properly maintained, as well as up to date with being seaworthy.

Harmony of the Seas just arrived in Cadiz on Monday to undergo technical work on her propellers, stabilizers and bottom valves, as well as give the ship some paint work. In fact, the shipyard estimates they will need about 8,000 liters of paint for the work.

Captain Johnny Faevelen posted photos on Twitter of Harmony's arrival at the yard.

The work on Harmony of the Seas is expected to last about a month.

The Navantia shipyards said Jewel of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas will follow in May 2021, followed by Liberty of the Seas in July 2021.  

In addition, Jewel of the Seas will get some work done prior to her summer season sailing from Cyprus to the Greek Isles.

The work done across the four ships will take about 500,000 hours and create 1,230 jobs at the shipyard.

Will these cruise ships get any upgrades or new features?

When a cruise ship goes into dry dock, that is usually a good opportunity for Royal Caribbean to add new features and things to do onboard, but not this time around.

The work being done on all four ships is limited to a technical dry dock, which means just maintenance work.

Royal Caribbean postponed previously scheduled upgrades for Libeerty of the Seas (and many other ships) once the cruise industry shutdown in March 2020.  The inability to cruise has created a lot of financial hardship for the company, and they have cut back on spending where they can.

In addition, Jewel of the Seas was never going to be Amplified.

As a result, the work being done on these ships will be limited to just "under the hood" type work, in order to ensure the ships can sail for another five years without problems.

Top 25 free things you can do on Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class cruise ships

In:
25Nov2020

There is nothing like Royal Caribbean's biggest and most expansive cruise ships, the Oasis Class ships.

There are four Oasis Class ships currently (with Wonder of the Seas joining the fleet in 2022), and they each offer so much for guests to do on vacation.

If you have a cruise booked on one of these incredible cruise ships, here is a list of must-dos that will not cost you anything extra!

Watch a Broadway show

Ships available: Symphony, Harmony, Oasis, Allure.

Every Oasis Class ship has a full length Broadway show onboard that you can see over and over again.

Performances are found in the Royal Theater and unlike seeing a musical in Times Square or at home, there is no extra cost to them.

  • Oasis of the Seas: Cats
  • Allure of the Seas: Mamma Mia
  • Harmony of the Seas: Grease
  • Symphony of the Seas: Hairspray

Play Laser Tag

Ships available: Symphony, Oasis.

At special laser tag sessions, Royal Caribbean transforms Studio B into a glow-in-the-dark arena that invites everyone to see if they can conquer the, "Battle for Planet Z".

Guests can put on  special laser tag vests, grab a laser tag gun and head into the arena for a fast-paced team-game that rewards the group that works well together and coordinates their efforts.  Just like laser tag on land, Battle for Planet Z is a high-energy race with bragging rights for the rest of the cruise on the line!

Zip line

Ships available: Symphony, Harmony, Oasis, Allure.

Every Oasis Class ship has a zip line over the Boardwalk neighborhood where you can traverse the 82 foot long distance while looking down on passengers below.

The zip line is set up nine decks above the sea, and it is an exhilarating ride across.  It is also a very quick ride, so if you have never done a zip line before, this is a great primer.

Note that guests have to weigh more than 75 pounds, but less than 275 pounds, as well as be at least 52" tall.

Ultimate Abyss

Ships available: Symphony, Harmony, Oasis

If you are looking for a great family friendly thrill, check out the Ultimate Abyss slide.

The Ultimate Abyss is a dry slide (no water, you ride down on a mat) and will take you more than 150 feet above sea level as you twist and turn down 10 decks at about 9 miles per hour.

It looks scarier than it is, and worth giving a try.

Watch an AquaTheater show

Ships available: Symphony, Harmony, Oasis, Allure.

One of the classic experiences available only on an Oasis Class ship is the AquaTheater shows.

Known for a combination of theatrics, dance, and high dives, the shows in the AquaTheater are set in an open air amphitheater at the aft of the cruise ship and have become a very popular show to see.

Between the acrobatics, high dives, and music, there is a lot to enjoy during these half hour performances.

Be sure to get tickets (no cost) in advance via the Cruise Planner site because seating is very limited.

Ice skating

Ships available: Symphony, Harmony, Oasis, Allure.

It may sound odd that you can go ice skating on a cruise ship in the middle of the Caribbean, but you can do just that on an Oasis Class ship.

Throughout the cruise, open skate sessions are held in Studio B, where you can rent a pair of skates and safety equipment for no additional cost and take to the ice.

Passengers must wear long pants and must sign a waiver to participate.

Plunge down a water slide

Ships available: Symphony, Harmony, Oasis.

Water slides are bound to put a smile on just about anyone because it is such a fun cruise ship activity.

The Perfect Storm trio of water slides offer two racer slides and a champagne bowl slide that are included in your cruise fare.  As you slide down any of the slides, you will twist and turn three decks into a splashy finish.

Check out the art

Ships available: Symphony, Harmony, Oasis, Allure.

Every Royal Caribbean ship features a large and varied art collection onboard that you can see throughout your cruise.

Located in hallways, stair cases and everywhere inbetween, each Oasis Class ship has an extensive art collection that you can peruse on your own.  This is a great sea day activity for the whole family, and each ship has a different theme to the art onboard.

Splashaway Bay

Ships available: Symphony, Harmony, Oasis (Allure of the Seas has H2O Zone, which is somewhat similar)

While older kids and adults may enjoy going down the water slides, younger kids will absolutely love Splashaway Bay aqua park.

Kids will find fountains, buckets, sprays and even slides that will leave them as drenched as enamoured with all the fun.

It is a great spot for kids to cool off, and there is even a Splash Pad for toddlers use.

Ride the carousel

Ships available: Symphony, Harmony, Oasis, Allure.

Your Oasis Class cruise is not complete without enjoying a ride on the carousel in the Boardwalk neighborhood.

Inspired by turn-of-the-century carousels, Royal Caribbean commissioned hand crafted carousels to be made for all of its cruise ships.  These are beautiful rides that are equally as fun to ride as they are to enjoy their beauty.

There is also an ADA-accessible chariot, which means everyone can enjoy it.

Be sure to ride at night as well to enjoy how beautiful the carousel looks when lit up.

Mini-golf

Ships available: Symphony, Harmony, Oasis, Allure.

You must challenge the family to at least one round of putt-putt while on any Oasis Class ship.

You can play on the green as often as you like, while enjoying some beautiful views of the ocean that surrounds you.  No reservations are required, just show up and grab a putter and ball. 

Like the carousel, be sure to try out night time mini golf one evening to mix things up.

Drop the kids off at camp

Ships available: Symphony, Harmony, Oasis, Allure.

Adventure Ocean is Royal Caribbean's award winning supervised (and complimentary) children's programming at sea and it is the perfect escape for kids.

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

Flowrider

Ships available: Symphony, Harmony, Oasis, Allure.

Every Oasis Class ship features two Flowrider surf simulators, where you can challenge yourself to master the art of riding a surfboard.

This is a free activity, so all you have to do is show up and wait your turn in line. 

In addition, Royal Caribbean offers private and group lessons for a nominal fee, if you feel the need to learn quicker.

Even if you have no interest in surfing, there is seating available to watch others give it a try.

See an ice show

Ships available: Symphony, Harmony, Oasis, Allure.

Royal Caribbean puts on some must-see shows in Studio B on its ships every sailing.

Each ship offers a different ice show, and they tell a lovely story while showing off some incredible feats of ice skating.  Many of the skaters are former Olympic and national skating competitors.

Enjoy a snack at El Loco Fresh

Ships available: Symphony, Oasis.

If you consider yourself a lover of Mexican food, be sure to grab a few bites at El Loco Fresh.

The grab-and-go Mexican quick service restaurant is conveniently located on the pool deck, and you will have your choice of tacos, burritos and quesadillas. 

There is also a large salsa station where you can add all sorts of toppings to your chips!

Enjoy a walk through Central Park

Ships available: Symphony, Harmony, Oasis, Allure.

An iconic part of any Oasis Class ship is Central Park.

Located in the heart of the ship on deck 8, this is an open air park that features living plants, shrubs and trees, and is a quieter district of an otherwise busy cruise ship.

At night, the park features live music performances, as well as beautiful lighting.  

Central Park is also where you will find specialty restaurants you can dine at for lunch or dinner (extra cost) or Park Cafe (complimentary) for meals and snacks throughout the day.

Free breakfast at Johnny Rockets

Ships available: Symphony, Harmony, Oasis, Allure.

One of my favorite Oasis Class secrets is you can enjoy a complimentary breakfast at Johnny Rockets.

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 is a traditional American breakfast, with pancakes, omelettes, French toast and the like.  

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).

Sing karaoke

Ships available: Symphony, Harmony, Oasis, Allure.

Whether at the Open Air Club or Spotlight Karaoke (Oasis), you will find a fan-favorite activity on any cruise ship: karaoke.

Guests can pick a song from a library of choices and then take the stage to show off their vocal range (or maybe lack thereof).

Enjoy a parade

Ships available: Symphony, Harmony, Oasis, Allure.

On the Royal Promenade, you can take in a parade during your cruise.  

Royal Caribbean's entertainment staff perform a parade during the cruise that feature colorful and larger-than-life costumes that are a fun diversion from the usual activities.

Be sure to arrive early, as seating is limited along the Royal Promenade path.

Find the Small Wonders

Ships available: Oasis, Allure.

Hidden all over Oasis and Allure of the Seas is a series of art displays known as "Small Wonders", where you will find 42 natural wonders positioned all over the ship.

When you find one, there will be something that looks like a periscope or telescope that if you peer into, you will find these tiny three dimensional pieces of art.

This is a fun activity for kids or adults to try to find them all and it is one of those hidden gems many guests simply overlook.

Hint: if you give up and cannot find them all, Guest Services can provide you with a list of them all to help!

Virtual reality games

Ships available: Oasis, Symphony.

Royal Caribbean's smart phone app is free to use onboard the ship, and features a few virtual reality games that you can play in the Boardwalk neighborhood.

Once in the Boardwalk, look for the various game posters near Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade.  Launch the app, select the icon that looks like a circus tent and then point your camera towards the poster.

Watch the ship's wake

Ships available: Symphony, Harmony, Oasis, Allure.

Looking for somewhere that is shaded and is quiet and a great spot to sit and relax?  

Head to deck 5 and go all the way to the aft of the ship.  You will find chairs that have a great view of the ocean and are usually devoid of other passengers. You can also access this area by going behind the AquaTheater and going down the stairs.

Enjoy a drink on the Rising Tide Bar

Ships available: Symphony, Harmony, Oasis, Allure.

There is something undeniably cool about a bar that moves between decks, and on Oasis class ships, the Rising Tide bar does just that.

The Rising Tide Bar continuously moves between the Royal Promenade and Central Park, offering some great views while you enjoy your favorite cocktail.

Order a drink and enjoy the view as the bar moves between decks. Be sure to wave to the people around you as you depart.

See a robot make a drink

Ships available: Symphony, Harmony, Oasis.

The Bionic Bar is as appealing to watch as it is to enjoy a cocktail crafted here. You will find quite often many guests simply watching the robots in action, although there is usually plenty of folks ordering drinks as well.

The idea is simple: guests place orders via tablets and then can watch the robot bartenders start mixing the cocktails. Bionic Bar combines two big trends, robotics and mixology.

The single armed robot will get the ice, mints and lemon and then squeeze and shake them to make your drink. Eventually, there wont be a limit on what the drinks the robots can make. The customization is what Royal Caribbean is aiming for.

Tackle the rock climbing wall

Ships available: Symphony, Harmony, Oasis, Allure.

One of the signature onboard activities that Royal Caribbean has become well-known for is the rock climbing wall. 

Just like the Flowrider, Oasis Class ships have two rock walls that you can try, including different tracks for different experience levels.

 It is usually open most of the day for kids and adults to enjoy.  Royal Caribbean provides all the safety equipment that you will need, including helmets, harnesses and shoes.  You just need to bring a pair of socks.

Climbers need to be at least 6 years old and sign a waiver.  Climbing the rock wall is free and no reservations are required.

What it's like to be a on cruise ship with no guests

In:
30Sep2020

Royal Caribbean may not be offering cruises, but its ships are still operational albeit without any guests.

While Royal Caribbean cruises are currently shutdown due to the current health crisis, its ships remain ready for when cruises resume. So what is happening onboard while there are no cruises?

Captain Johnny Faevelen is on Harmony of the Seas, and recently told travel advisors what life is like onboard these days.

How many crew members are onboard?

Captain Johnny said Harmony of the Seas is currently at minimum manning, which is about 100 crew members.

The majority of crew members onboard are working in the marine division, which means crew assigned to navigation, deck engineers, engine engineers, electricians, etc.

There are a few hotel division, including a few in housekeeping and food and beverage.

Where is Harmony of the Seas right now?

Harmony of the Seas is currently located near Barbados, which is one of five or six Royal Caribbean ships that are stationed near the island.

Royal Caribbean uses Bridgetown, Barbados for periodic supply stops, crew changeouts and mail service.

What do the crew do onboard with no guests onboard?

Captain Johnny said the crew's primary responsibility is to maintain the vessel.

"What we do onboard a ship is actually maintaining make sure it's safe, maintenance where we can with this limited amount of crew members, taking the integrity of the ship into place and security, of course, and painting a bit of washing a little bit there."

To really get the ship operational for guests, they would need a lot more crew members.

Captain Johnny mentioned that roughly half the crew on Harmony of the Seas right now are originally from the Philippines.

For dining, Captain Johnny said every day the staff tries to arrange social gatherings, "We try to arrange social gatherings, always keeping in mind the social distance that two meters or six feet."

"And occasionally we show a movie back in the AquaTheater and have a variety of food and places to eat. So we might have a barbecue or the chefs arrange for a nice dinner out there in the fresh air in the evenings.

"We do what we can in order to to maintain the morale of the crew, which is extremely important during these times."

How does the crew stay healthy while onboard?

Without a doubt, there is a lot of concern for the welfare of the crew members onboard to remain healthy and safe.

Captain Johnny indicated the crew is stringently following social distancing guidelines onboard, with maintaining a certain distance apart and wearing face masks.

When a crew member signs onto the ship, they are quarantined for 15 days in a cabin.

In fact, all the crew members are staying in balcony staterooms across decks 11 and 12, which means the crew have access to fresh air and private space on their balcony.

"It's a lot of work, but it's still not stressful... the crew are are in good spirits."

Follow Captain Johnny on Twitter at @HarleyCaptain!

Harmony of the Seas Captain's message to guests: ready to welcome guests back

In:
24Aug2020

The global shutdown of Royal Caribbean's cruise ships means all of its vessels have been idle since March, and the crew is just as anxious as the public to get back to cruising.

Harmony of the Seas Captain Johnny Faevelen took to Twitter to share a quick message while scooting around Central Park to tell folks he and the crew are ready to welcome guests back, once the current global health crisis subsides.

Captain Johnny shared a video of him driving around the signature Oasis Class neighborhood on his scooter.

While Captain Johnny's message contains no new information on when or how Royal Caribbean might start cruising again, the sentiment has resonated with cruise fans who are equally eager to get back onboard.

Harmony of the Seas is currently in the Southern Caribbean near Barbados, where she has been primarily since the shutdown began. Barbados has left its borders open to cruise ships for resupply, as well as crew repatriation efforts.

Video: What I wish I'd known before I went on Harmony of the Seas!

In:
23Jan2020

Do you have a cruise booked on Harmony of the Seas and want to know all the nuances and tricks to the ship before you get onboard? If so, we have the perfect video for you.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas is not only one of the cruise line's newest and most impressive ships, she is packed with tons to do.  To ensure you have the best cruise ever on her, I have shared the important things to know about Harmony before you get onboard.

And if you love this video, there’s plenty more for you to enjoy over on our Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel!

By the way, have you subscribed yet? Be sure to subscribe to our channel and never miss a single video!

So check out the video and then let us know: What important tips or suggestions would you share with someone going on Harmony of the Seas for the first time?

Royal Caribbean changes Harmony of the Seas itinerary to avoid Tropical Storm Karen

In:
23Sep2019

Royal Caribbean has rerouted Harmony of the Seas to avoid the path of Tropical Storm Karen.

Sheri from Cruise Tips TV shared an update from Harmony of the Seas to indicate an announcement was made onboard that the ship will change from an Eastern to a Western Caribbean itinerary.

Instead of visiting St. Thomas San Juan, the ship will head to Cozumel and Costa Maya in Mexico.

Spotted: Formal night name change on Harmony of the Seas

In:
11Sep2019

September 13 Update: 

We have received further clarification on this change.  

  • All short itineraries (5-nights or less) offer a “Wear Your Best” evening onboard (in lieu of a formal night).  Royal Caribbean describes it as: Nighttime’s the right time to wear your best look.  That means a step up from your tropical dinner wear, and includes collared shirts, dresses, skirts, blouses and pantsuits.  Jackets, tuxedos/formal wear sports coats and blazers are also appropriate. 
  • Sailings that are 6-nights or longer still have formal nights.  This includes Harmony of the Seas and all sister ships sailing 6+ night itineraries.    

Guests sailing on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas will no longer see "formal night" listed as a dress code, as it is now referred to as "Wear Your Best".

Mike Chase shared a copy of the Cruise Compass from Harmony of the Seas on Facebook, where the new dinner dress suggestion is listed in lieu of what was formerly known as formal night.

The Cruise Compass on Harmony of the Seas lists a dinner dress suggestion of "Wear Your Best", which is described as "Say goodbye to Formal Night, and hello to Wear Your Best.  Get glamorous. Be Chic. It's time to shine - your way."

The transition from "formal night" to "wear your best" is not new to Royal Caribbean, as we first spotted the change on Mariner of the Seas last year.  That change did coincide with the ship's recent amplification. Similarly, Navigator of the Seas also switched to "Wear Your Best" as part of her amplification. We also spotted the switch on Anthem of the Seas & Enchantment of the Seas.

    Tropical Storm Dorian changes itineraries of Allure, Harmony and Symphony of the Seas

    In:
    25Aug2019

    Tropical Storm Dorian formed in the Caribbean in the last few days and has caused two Royal Caribbean ships to change itineraries to avoid the projected path of the storm.

    Harmony of the Seas has changed from an Eastern Caribbean itinerary to a Western Caribbean itinerary.

    Symphony of the Seas has changed her itinerary and is skipping a scheduled stop at St. Maarten, while adding a visit to Perfect Day at CocoCay at the end of the sailing.

    Allure of the Seas has changed from an Eastern Caribbean itinerary to a Western Caribbean itinerary.

    Photo by Joe Kuehner Jr

    We will share any further itinerary updates if/when they occur.

    As of Sunday afternoon, Dorian’s tropical-storm-force winds extended outward up to 35 miles from its center. Forecasters said that Dorian is expected to move generally west-northwestward for the next several days and start impacting some Caribbean islands.

    We recommend following Royal Caribbean's Chief Meteorologist James Van Fleet for weather updates.

    Harmony of the Seas skips scheduled stop in Puerto Rico due to protests

    In:
    17Jul2019

    A second Royal Caribbean ship has skipped a scheduled visit to San Juan, Puerto Rico earlier today due to political demonstrations in the capital.

    Yesterday, Empress of the Seas also skipped a visit to San Juan because of the ongoing protests. 

    Protests began over the weekend after the Center for Investigative Journalism published nearly 900 pages from Rosselló's private group chat via Telegram. The messages uncovered a vengeful approach to government, attacks on journalists, threats to turn over political opponents to the police as well as homophobic and misogynistic remarks.

    The next scheduled visit to San Juan is Allure of the Seas on Thursday.

    Video: Harmony of the Seas secrets

    In:
    21Jun2019

    We are sharing our favorite hidden secrets about Harmony of the Seas in this RoyalCaribbeanBlog video!

    Harmony of the Seas is incredible, and we scoured the ship to find (and now share) little known secrets… from spots to underwater speakers to unique entertainment, and SO much more. 

    And if you love this video, we have lots of other great cruise videos to watch on our Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel!

    By the way, have you subscribed yet? Be sure to subscribe to our channel and never miss a single episode!

    If you have cruised on Harmony of the Seas, what is your favorite secret about the ship? Share your ideas in our comments!

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