Visit our travel agent friends at MEI Travel

Harmony of the Seas vs. Anthem of the Seas

16 Feb 2022
Jenna DeLaurentis

Deciding between Harmony of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas means choosing between two cruise ships with lots of of fun things to do.

Whether you’re planning your first cruise or fiftieth, Royal Caribbean’s newest and biggest ships are likely to be of interest to you. The Quantum and Oasis Class ships are among the biggest in the world and come with seemingly endless dining venues, entertainment choices, and activities.

How do the two classes of ships compare, though? Let’s take a look at Anthem of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas to see how the ships compare and contrast in layout, itineraries, and offerings for guests.


{"preview_thumbnail":"/sites/default/files/styles/video_embed_wysiwyg_preview/public/video_thumbnails/QKChzQgDEyI.jpg?itok=lu4h9ygb","video_url":"","settings":{"responsive":1,"width":"854","height":"480","autoplay":0},"settings_summary":["Embedded Video (Responsive)."]}

Harmony of the Seas is the 3rd ship in Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class, the largest class of cruise ships. She has a capacity of 6,687 guests, length of 1,188 feet, and measures 226,963 in gross tonnage. Her maiden voyage was in May of 2016.

Anthem of the Seas is the 2nd ship in Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class. She has a capacity of 4,905 guests, length of 1,141 feet, and measures 168,666 in gross tonnage. Her maiden voyage was in November of 2014.

Ship Layouts

As an Oasis Class ship, Harmony of the Seas is split into seven main neighborhoods. These are designed to help break up crowds by spreading guests around the ship, and all are quite distinct from each other:

  • The Boardwalk neighborhood is located on Deck 6 in the aft of the ship. This neighborhood is designed like a nostalgic boardwalk near the sea, with an arcade, carousel, souvenir shops, and dining options. The Aquatheater entertainment venue is also located here, where guests can enjoy aqua shows involving diving, synchronized swimming, and slack lining.
  • Central Park is a neighborhood unlike any other on a Royal Caribbean ship. With over 10,000 plants and flowers, guests might feel as if they are walking through a park on land as opposed to being onboard a cruise ship. Dining and shopping venues are in Central Park as well.
  • The Pool and Sports Zone is where guests will find pools, jacuzzis, water slides, and several signature activities.
  • The Royal Esplanade is the main thoroughfare on Oasis Class ships, with dining, shopping, bars, guest service areas, and more.
  • Entertainment Place is where guests go to watch signature entertainment and live music onboard.
  • The Vitality Spa and Fitness neighborhood is where guests can work on wellness, whether at a massage, hair appointment, or fitness class.
  • The Youth Zone is the hub of Royal Caribbean’s Adventure Ocean programming, offering activities for guests aged 6 months to 17 years.

Anthem of the Seas does not have the same neighborhood concept as an Oasis Class ship. However, the ship can still be broken into a few distinct areas:

  • The Via is on Deck 5 as you walk toward the aft of the ship. Here guests will find artwork, dining, shopping, Next Cruise, and the Two70 entertainment venue.
  • The Royal Esplanade is similar to the Royal Promenade on Harmony of the Seas. This is a two-story hub of dining venues, bars and lounges, shopping, and guest services areas.
  • The Pool Deck area is where you will find all of the pools on Anthem of the Seas as well as the Solarium
  • The Sports/Seaplex area is where many of the main signature activities are offered on Anthem of the Seas

Food & Dining

Both Harmony of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas share many of the same dining venues:

  • Main Dining Room
  • Windjammer Cafe
  • Solarium Bistro
  • Coastal Kitchen
  • Cafe Promenade
  • Sorrento’s
  • Chef’s Table
  • Wonderland
  • Jamie’s Italian
  • Chops Grille
  • Izumi (sushi)
  • Johnny Rockets
  • Dog House

As an Oasis Class ship, Harmony of the Seas has several more dining options than Anthem of the Seas.

  • Park Cafe is a complimentary dining option in the Central Park neighborhood on Harmony of the Seas. Open for breakfast and lunch, Park Cafe offers an assortment of breakfast sandwiches, pastries, a bagel station, sandwiches, a salad bar, soups, and more.
  • 150 Central Park is a specialty venue located in the Central Park neighborhood focused on sourcing local ingredients. Menu highlights include lamb wellington, roasted tenderloin, and fried cheesecake.
  • Mini Bites is located near the Sports area onboard and offers quick, complimentary grab-and-go options such as quesadillas and hamburgers. Breakfast is also available with made-to-order omelets, bacon, and more.
  • Sabor is a Mexican specialty restaurant offering small plates, build-your-own tacos, quesadillas, and more. Menu highlights include spicy beef empanadas, red snapper ceviche, grilled cobia tacos, steak quesadillas, and cinnamon churros. Sabor also features a tequila bar and margarita menu.
  • Izumi on Harmony of the Seas also has a hibachi option, whereas the venue is only for sushi on Anthem of the Seas.
  • Vitality Cafe is a casual venue featuring grab-and-go sandwiches and pastries. Freshly made smoothies are also available here as well as protein shakes. The food options are complimentary at Vitality Cafe while drinks come at an extra cost.
  • Harmony of the Seas also has a Starbucks location on the Boardwalk.

One venue that is offered on Anthem of the Seas but not on Harmony is Cafe @ Two70. Located inside the Two70 entertainment venue found only on Quantum Class ships, Cafe @ Two70 has a similar selection of food to Park Cafe on Oasis Class ships.

There is also a coffee bar located in Cafe @ Two70 where guests can order specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic coffee drinks. Cafe @ Two70 is a complimentary venue aside from specialty beverages.

The second venue found on Anthem of the Seas but not Harmony is La Patisserie. Guests can order specialty coffee and tea beverages here as well as French delicacies including macarons, cheesecake, and eclairs. La Patisserie is an extra-cost venue.

Outdoor dining on Anthem of the Seas includes a section of the Windjammer which offers views of the aft and an outdoor area of Jamie’s Italian on the Promenade Deck.

Outdoor dining on Harmony of the Seas can be found at dining venues located at the Boardwalk and Central Park neighborhoods, including Jamie’s Italian, Chops Grille, 150 Central Park, Park Cafe, Sabor, and Johnny Rockets.

Bars & Lounges

Both Harmony of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas share many of the same bars and lounges:

  • Vintages 
  • Pool Bars
  • English-style pub
  • Schooner Bar
  • Bionic Bar
  • Boleros
  • Solarium Bar

Several bars and lounges feature excellent views of the pool deck and ocean, such as the North Star Bar on Anthem of the Seas and Mast Bar on Harmony of the Seas.

Harmony of the Seas has several smaller bar areas located throughout the ship as well, including Wipe Out Bar on the Sports Deck and Trellis Bar in the heart of Central Park.

Perhaps the most unique bar on Harmony of the Seas is the Rising Tide Bar. This is a bar that moves up and down three stories between the Royal Promenade and Central Park neighborhoods. The bar is adults-only and free to ride.

There are a few more lounges to note on Harmony of the Seas:

  • On Air, a karaoke bar where guests can put their vocal skills to the test as they sing their favorite songs.
  • Jazz on 4, an intimate jazz club which offers live music each evening
  • The Attic, a comedy club where guests can listen to a selection of comedians each cruise

Guests looking for a nightclub lounge experience onboard have options on both Anthem and Harmony of the Seas. On Anthem of the Seas guests can go to the Music Hall, a two-story venue with a stage, dance floor, two bars, comfy seating, and pool tables.

On Harmony of the Seas, guests will enjoy Dazzles. This is another two-story music and dance venue which overlooks the Boardwalk neighborhood.


Both Anthem and Harmony of the Seas offer top-notch entertainment options. Both ships have a Royal Theater with a full-length Broadway musical performance, but each ship has a selection of other shows in the diverse entertainment venues found onboard.

Anthem of the Seas is home to Two70, a signature venue found only on Quantum Class ships. This is a venue in the very aft of the ship with floor-to-ceiling windows offering 270 degree views of the ship’s aft. The venue incorporates technology through moveable television screens and light effects into its performances. Both live and “virtual” concerts are available here.

Anthem of the Seas offers the following signature shows:

  • Broadway musical: We Will Rock You
  • Two70 show: Spectra’s Cabaret
  • Other: The Gift (Royal Theater)

In addition to the Royal Theater, Harmony of the Seas has an Aquatheater and Studio B ice skating rink. The Aquatheater is unique to Oasis Class ships and is where Royal Caribbean’s signature aquatic shows are performed.

Harmony of the Seas offers the following signature shows:

  • Broadway musical: Grease: The Musical
  • Studio B: iSkate and 1887: A Journey in Time
  • Aquatheater: The Fine Line and Hideaway Heist
  • Other: Columbus: The Musical (Royal Theater)

Pool Deck

Harmony of the Seas features three main pools: the Main Pool, the Beach Pool, and the Sports Pool. The pools are all very similar to each other, with pool games being offered in the Sports Pool and a beach-style design at the Beach Pool.

Anthem of the Seas has two main pools: one indoor pool and one outdoor pool. As Quantum Class ships were designed to function in both cold and warm weather, Anthem of the Seas has plenty of indoor pool deck space, with indoor jacuzzis and an indoor pool bar as well.

The Solarium on Harmony of the Seas does not have a pool, but instead has four jacuzzis throughout the space. The Solarium is not an enclosed space, but offers plenty of shade. The Solarium on Anthem of the Seas is fully enclosed, and features a series of cascading pools as well as jacuzzis.

Both ships offer plenty of activities for kids on the pool deck, too. Harmony of the Seas has a large Splashaway Bay area with kid-sized water slides, splash pad areas, water dump buckets, and water sprayers.

Anthem of the Seas has the H20 Zone, which features shallow pool areas for young children. There is also a small kids pool here as well that is not as shallow as the splash pad areas.

Harmony of the Seas has three water slides: the Cyclone and Typhoon slides, where guests can race each other, and the Supercell slide, where guests spin around a “champagne bowl” to make their way to the bottom.

Being a Quantum Class ship, Anthem of the Seas does not have water slides.

Onboard Activities

With Anthem of the Seas being a Quantum Class ship and Harmony of the Seas being an Oasis Class ship, many of their signature activities onboard differ from each other.

Harmony of the Seas offers several signature activities that are included in your cruise fare. The majority of these activities take place on the sports deck or Boardwalk:

  • The zipline, where guests can fly nine decks over the Boardwalk neighborhood
  • A carousel
  • The Ultimate Abyss, a dry slide where guests slide 9 stories down from the Sports Deck to the Boardwalk neighborhood
  • Ice skating in Studio B
  • Mini golf
  • Sports court (outdoors)
  • Water slides
  • Escape room

Likewise, Anthem of the Seas offers several activities only found on Quantum Class ships:

  • The North Star, an observation pod that rises from the pool deck to offer 360 degree views from 300 feet above sea level
  • RipCord by iFLY, an indoor skydiving simulator
  • Bumper Cars
  • Roller skating
  • Circus school
  • Xbox gaming area

The hub of activity on Anthem of the Seas is in the SeaPlex. The SeaPlex is the only indoor sports center in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, where guests can enjoy indoor soccer, volleyball, pickleball, dance classes, and more. This is where signature activities such as bumper cars, roller skating, and circus school are located.

Most signature activities on both ships are complementary. On Anthem of the Seas, though, there may be both a complementary and extra fee option for the North Star and RipCord by iFLY. Guests should make reservations for these activities via the Royal Caribbean app as soon as they get onboard, as complementary reservations can fill up quickly.

Both ships offer the Flowrider and rock climbing wall. Because Harmony of the Seas has a higher capacity, there are two Floriders and two rock climbing walls available. There are also two arcades on Harmony, whereas Anthem of the Seas has one arcade.


Harmony of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas offer itineraries that differ from each other in length, departure port, and region of the world.

Anthem of the Seas itineraries

Anthem of the Seas splits her time sailing from Southampton, England, and Cape Liberty, New Jersey. She sails from Southampton from May to October, offering a variety of European cruises. Highlights include:

  • 7-night Norwegian Fjords Cruises visiting destinations such as Bergen, Alesund Olden, Haugesund, Kristiansand, and Geiranger
  • 7-night Spain & France cruise visiting La Rochelle, La Coruna, Bilbao, and Paris (Le Havre)
  • 12-night Discovery The Canaries Cruise visiting ports including Madeira, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Tenerife, Lisbon, La Coruna, and Vigo
  • 9-night Spain & Portugal Cruise visiting Bilbao, La Coruna, Vigo, Lisbon, and Seville
  • 14-night Mediterranean Cruises with cruise options including destinations such as Lisbon, Barcelona, Nice, Rome, Naples, Gibraltar, Malaga, Valencia, Palma de Mallorca, and Ibiza

For the rest of the year, Anthem of the Seas sails from Cape Liberty, New Jersey offering cruises to the Caribbean. Cruise selections include:

  • 7-night Bahamas & Perfect Day Cruise visiting Port Canaveral, Nassau, and Perfect Day at CocoCay
  • 8-night Bahamas & Perfect Day Cruise visiting Port Canaveral, Miami, Nassau, and Perfect Day at CocoCay
  • 11-night Southern Caribbean Cruise visiting San Juan, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts

Transatlantic cruises are also offered on Anthem of the Seas when she sails to and from Europe.

Harmony of the Seas itineraries

Harmony of the Seas sails from Cape Canaveral until October 2022, when she will begin offering cruises from both Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, Florida. Regardless of the embarkation port, Harmony of the Seas offers Eastern, Western, and Southern Caribbean cruises. Highlights include:

  • 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruises visiting destinations such as St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Nassau, St. Kitts, Labadee, Puerto Plata, and Perfect Day at CocoCay
  • 7-night Western Caribbean cruises visiting destinations including Roatan, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Falmouth, Nassau, and Perfect Day at CocoCay
  • 8-night Southern Caribbean cruises visiting Perfect Day at CocoCay, Aruba, and Curacao


As Quantum and Oasis Class ships, both Anthem of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas offer everything from the most basic interior rooms to exquisite loft suites. Both ships offer the Virtual Balcony for interior rooms as well.

In addition, Anthem and Harmony of the Seas offer the Royal Suite Class. Depending on the suite, guests will be in either Sea Class, Sky Class, or Star Class, all of which bring exclusive benefits, including access to the Coastal Kitchen restaurant.

Star Class is the most exclusive suite class and includes a Royal Genie, who is a personalized concierge during your time onboard.

A difference between the two ships are the neighborhood rooms available on Harmony of the Seas. Oasis Class ships offer both Central Park and Boardwalk balcony rooms, which look down into their respective neighborhoods.

Central Park rooms do not have an ocean view, but Boardwalk balcony rooms will have a partial ocean view to the side. There are a few interior “Central Park view” staterooms available as well, which have a porthole looking into Central Park.

Harmony of the Seas also has Aquatheater suites which overlook the ship’s aft and Aquatheater area. 

Which ship should I choose?

Harmony of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas will both provide an excellent, modern cruising experience. There is no shortage of things to do and places to eat on either ship, but there are a few key things to consider before choosing one over the other.

First, the itineraries on the ships are totally different. For those living in the northeast, Anthem of the Seas can be a nice option for a Caribbean cruise that does not require flying to Florida. Anthem of the Seas is also a good option for those based in Europe, due to her wide range of European itineraries.

Harmony of the Seas offers more traditional Caribbean cruises. Because she departs from Florida, there are fewer sea days required to reach Caribbean destinations. Therefore, guests can see a wider range of Caribbean islands on Harmony of the Seas than they can on Anthem of the Seas.

Second, Anthem of the Seas has more of a traditionally-built cruise ship layout whereas Harmony of the Seas, being an Oasis Class ship, has a completely different layout to other Royal Caribbean ships.

Both ships offer plenty to do for families. Harmony of the Seas may have a slight edge toward toddlers and young children with a full sized Splashaway Bay on the pool deck, whereas Anthem of the Seas has many activities for older children like bumper cars and RipCord by iFLY.

Ultimately, whichever ship you choose will lead to a fantastic Royal Caribbean cruise, and you will definitely not run out of things to do and see on either ship.

Jenna DeLaurentis enjoys exploring new ports of call around the world on a cruise ship, learning about new cultures, discovering beautiful landscapes, and trying diverse cuisine. She loves to get active while at port, whether cycling through mountains in the Caribbean or scuba diving under the sea.

Get our newsletter

Stay up-to-date with cruise news & advice

    We never share your information with third parties and will protect it in accordance with our Privacy Policy