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
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.
If you want to get a WOWband, head over to 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 $4.99, 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 the Royal Caribbean app without paying for Voom
If you are sailing on Harmony of the Seas, you can use Royal Caribbean's smart phone app, which 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 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 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
The best spot for seeing the Let's Celebrate parade 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Seas, Allure 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 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.
If you are new to cruising, or just new to Royal Caribbean, you might have heard about one particular ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet that is getting a lot of attention but were not sure why. This post is intended for people like you.
Alternatively, this might be a post you share with someone that you want to go on Harmony of the Seas, but need to explain the significance of this ship.
In short, this post is a primer for what Harmony of the Seas so darn intriguing and a compelling cruise ship to book.
It's big (like, really big)
Royal Caribbean has a well-deserved reputation for building large cruise ships in the industry, and Harmony of the Seas follows that tradition by being the largest passenger cruise ship in the world.
Harmony of the Seas first debuted in May 2016, and she is 226,963 gross tons in size. How big is that, exactly? If she were to be stood upright, she would be 361 meters tall. The Eiffel Tower is 324 meters tall and Big Ben is only 96 meters tall.
Harmony of the Seas can handle 5,497 guests at double occupancy, is 66.4 meters wide and has 2,747 staterooms.
While this size sounds impressive, what it means for guests is there is plenty of space onboard for Royal Caribbean to offer some truely unqiue and fun activities. Harmony of the Seas is the kind of ship that was designed to be a destination in of itself, with lots to see and do onboard.
Being onboard Harmony of the Seas, it feels less like a boat and more like a city, with different neighborhoods and things to do throughout the day.
First rate shows
Royal Caribbean prides itself on the entertainment it offers onboard its ships, and Harmony of the Seas offers guests brand new shows that are great performances.
First and foremost, guests can see the classic Broadway show, Grease, onboard Harmony of the Seas. Admission to Grease (and all shows) is included in your cruise fare. This fun love story features a soundtrack of crowd favorites such as “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin’,” “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee,” “Born to Hand-Jive,” “Beauty School Dropout” and more.
Royal Caribbean also developed its own musical, Columbus, The Musical!. This production created in the spirit of “Spamalot” and “Something Rotten,” recounts the imagined history of Marvin Columbus, Christopher’s fictional, down on his luck, distant cousin. Combining smart, nuanced humor and breathtaking set design, Columbus is the kind of family show you will really love to see.
Harmony of the Seas is an Oasis-class ship, which means it features at the aft of the ship an open-air ampitheater with a large pool in the center, known as the AquaTheater. The Aquatheater has two 10-meter high platforms and a hydraulic-floored pool, the largest and deepest freshwater pool at sea.
There are two different shows to see in the AquaTheater. The Fine Line is a 360° immersive entertainment show, revelers will be wishing for eyes in the back of their head to take in all the action happening around them. Hideaway Heist is a new comedy dive show, that jumps into the world of the 1950's holiday resort and tells the story of a detective pursuing a crafty burglar.
You might be thinking just these shows are enough to impress you, but there is much more enteratinment onboard. There are two ice skating shows, held in the ship's indoor ice skating rink; An escape room experience, where guests try to solve a riddle by deciphering the clues in the room before time runs out; Special dance parties throughout the cruise and much more.
If you prefer to spend time onboard getting your adrenaline going, try one of the many slides available. Royal Caribbean's addition of water and dry slides to Harmony of the Seas is a big deal, because Royal Caribbean never really did slides before this ship. With this ship, there are plenty to choose from and that means fun for the entire family.
Beginning with the water slides, Royal Caribbean added what it calls, "The Perfect Storm" water slides in the center of the ship. These are three slides that twist and turn down to the pool decks below. One slide features a champagne bowl that swirls riders around as they approach the end of the slide. The other two water slides are racing slides that are meant to see just how fast guests can rocket to the bottom.
Families with younger children will love the new aquatic adventure park, known as Splashaway Bay. This play area features slides, water cannons, waterfalls and more for kids to run around and enjoy to their heart's content. Royal Caribbean describes Splashaway Bay as, "a vibrant waterscape for kids and toddlers with sea creature water cannons, winding slides, a gigantic drench bucket and a multi-platform jungle-gym to keep everyone entertained for hours."
There is still one more thrill ride on Harmony of the Seas that anyone with the courage to do can try, the Ultimate Abyss.
The Ultimate Abyss is a 10-story dry slide that is the tallest slide at sea and a the biggest thrill ride to date for Royal Caribbean. The Ultimate Abyss is more than 150 feet above sea level and offers side-by-side slides that send guests down 10 decks at a rate of 9 miles per hour.
Launching onto the ride from a glass platform, guests climb onto a customized mat and then descend into a tunnel filled with spontaneous audio effects that create a multi-sensory thrill.
Lots and lots of dining
When Royal Caribbean built its first Oasis class ship, Oasis of the Seas, the cruise line re-defined how many dining options could be offered on a Royal Caribbean ship. Harmony of the Seas continues in that vein, with a wide assortment of dining options that are sure to please everyone.
Harmony of the Seas dining options are a mix of complimentary and specialty restaurants. Complimentary restaurants are included in your cruise fare, while specialty restaurants have an additional cost to them. It is at your discretion if you choose to dine at a specialty restaurant, but there are lots of choices across many different price points. All of the dining options offer very delicious food that you are certain to enjoy quite a bit.
At the heart of the complimentary dining is the beautiful main dining room. Guests on Harmony of the Seas can dine here each evening with the elegance and traditionalism that the cruise industry wass built on. Each evening there is a different menu, with creative, classic and contemporary choices to enjoy.
All around Harmony of the Seas are a number of complimentary eateries that offer grab-and-go options and sit down choices. Park Cafe is home to the famous Kummelweck sandwich, and the Windjammer buffet is where you can go to get pretty much everything.
If you want to try a specialty restaurant (or four), there are so many great choices. Harmony of the Seas features two specialty restaurants that are new to the Oasis-class. Jamie's Italian is the creation of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, which features rustic Italian dishes made from seasonal ingredients and tried and true recipes. Wonderland is an imaginative take on specialty dining, where the experience is just as important as the food offered. While Wonderland is on a few other Quantum-class ships, on Harmony of the Seas, this is the first two-story Wonderland restaurant in the fleet.
There is also Johnny Rockets, a 1950's inspired diner that serves up burgers, hot dogs and milk shakes; Chops Grille, the high-quality steakhouse that offers dry-aged steaks in addition to its menu of quality cuts of meat; Sabor Tacqueria & Tequila Bar offers some of the best Mexican food we have ever had, with favorites like tacos, quesadillas and margaritas, as well as contemporary Mexican dishes; Izumi Hibachi and Sushi offers fresh and flavorful Japanese cuisine, including teppan-style dining.
In short, there is a lot of dining choices on Harmony of the Seas, and that means you have a large variety of choices available for you to choose from.