Harmony of the Seas is now in her home port of Fort Lauderdale, ready to sail to the Eastern and Western Caribbean throughout the year. Before she sailed her first seven night voyage, our Last Minute Traveling Mom had the honor of being part of the Inaugural Sailing Media Preview. This ship is a show stopper and introduces an all new way to cruise. Gone are the days of tacky shows and sub-par dining. Check out how Royal Caribbean and Harmony of the Seas will change the way you cruise.
Harmony of the Seas Offers 7 Unique Floating Neighborhoods
Where does one begin to describe the largest cruise ship at sea? I have experienced many cruise ships, and none are able to come close to the offerings that Harmony of the Seas has. I had a sneak peak and this ship is just amazing! From world class dining to activities galore and expansive shopping, you need more than a seven night cruise to do it all. I want to break down the best features that the Harmony of the Seas has to offer its guests, so if you sail on her for your next cruise vacation, you won’t miss anything.
Harmony of the Seas
Harmony of the Seas is the biggest ship at sea. Just check out these digits! She spans 16 guest decks, encompasses 226,963 gross registered tons, carries 5,497 guests at double occupancy, and features 2,747 staterooms.
Because of the Harmony’s massive size, Royal Caribbean divided the ship into areas and made each a neighborhood of its own for cruisers to experience. The Harmony of the Seas has been called the sister ship of the two other Oasis class ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet. However, I disagree and feel Harmony of the Seas is a class all its own. In my opinion, the Harmony brings together the best of the Oasis and Quantum class, so you have a ship like never before. Royal Caribbean knocked it out of the park.
Neighborhoods on Harmony of the Seas
The best way that I can share the “don’t miss” features is to break down each neighborhood on the ship. Featuring seven unique neighborhoods, the ship offers something for everyone – from families to retirees and everyone in-between.
I found myself drawn to the Royal Promenade area of the ship. This is probably because I didn’t have my kids with me for this trip. This area featured many lounges and entertainment venues, perfect for “grown up only” time.
This neighborhood can be found mid-ship on Deck 5. The Royal Promenade is the main hub of the ship. When I boarded, I was on the Royal Promenade. Here is where I found the ship’s shopping and duty free items on sea days, one of my favorite places to grab an awesome deal. Also on this deck is Sorrento’s offering quick grab and go pizza by the slice. I definitely grabbed a slice or three, as the smell of fresh garlic wafts through the promenade and pulls you in.
Looking for late night fun in the Royal Promenade, no problem! I was able to have a drink made in the Bionic Bar by a robotic bartender. With so much to see and do I never got around to singing karaoke in the On-Air lounge.
The Cafe Promenade is a great 24 hour stop for a snack. I enjoyed the chocolate banana bread and a cup of coffee before the evening show. Be sure to stay up for the nightly midnight parade and parties with the crew.
Traveling Mom Tip: Avoid the crowded elevators and take the stairs to areas on Decks 4 or 6 from the Royal Promenade. It will save time.
What I adore about this neighborhood is the fresh flowers and ivy, just like those of its namesake. In Central Park, I came upon fine dining venues such as Chops Grille and Jaime’s Italian Kitchen. I was able to grab a quick bite at the Park Cafe, as it is included in the cruise. I almost forgot I was in the middle of the ocean, as I strolled thru this green space.
Traveling Mom Tip: Looking for upscale shopping? Central Park is home to Bulgari and Cartier stores. Maybe if you hit it big in the casino you can treat yourself.
The Boardwalk neighborhood is fun for the whole family. Featuring a Johnny Rockets and Boardwalk Dog House, the Boardwalk offers cruisers casual fare anytime of day. Would you believe me if I told you there was a full sized carousel as well as two rock climbing walls? Are you grasping the size of this ship yet? If you need your caffeine, there is a Starbucks on the Boardwalk as well for an extra fee.
The Aqua Theater is the main attraction in this neighborhood and hosts nightly live shows featuring high divers, acrobatics and dancers. It is high energy entertainment for the whole family.
Pool and Sports Zone
The Pool and Sports Zone is bow to stern thrills. Deck 15 and 16 is where all the fun in the sun is. I can promise you won’t be bored. Activities feature two flow riders, water slides, basketball, mini-golf, Splashaway Bay and much more! Join the other on-board thrill seekers for a zip line across Central Park.
For the ultimate thrill seeker, take a ten story ride down The Ultimate Abyss, the longest slide at sea. You will get on the slide on Deck 16 and end up on Deck 6. I was scared to death to try this slide but once I went down it was a blast!
Traveling Mom Tip: If your little ones are scared of the dark, The Abyss may not be a great choice for them. It starts out dark but does light up as you go.
Vitality Spa and Fitness
After a day of water slides and mini-golf it’s time to relax and take a little “me” time. A day of pampering awaits you, including massages, acupuncture, facials and beauty treatments. Even if you are looking for a hair and makeup session before the evening’s events on board, you can schedule that as well. Having only two days on the ship I wasn’t able to enjoy the spa, but I will be back!
When the sun goes down, it’s time for a night full of fun, and you can find that in Entertainment Place. For family fun I suggest the ice show 1887. It is hard to believe the tricks they do on a rink half the size of a normal venue.
Columbus the Musical was also entertaining and full of songs that the family can sing along with. Feeling lucky? Hit the casino and try the slots or table games. I struck out here but you may get lucky. I ran out of time and wasn’t able to see Grease or try the Escape Room. Needless to say you definitely need a week to explore the entertainment on the ship.
Traveling Mom Tip: Grease did have a little bit of mature language so you may want to see it before your kids do to gauge if it is appropriate.
Home to all of the kids programming is the Youth Zone. Every age can enjoy his own space and meet new friends. Even the kids will enjoy a break from the outdoor activities on the ship. From babies to teens, there is a space for kids that is all their own. All youth activities are age appropriate for the children attending.
The Adventure Ocean is open to kids ages 3-11 and offers science, arts, movies and special entertainment. Your teens can head off to the Living Room and enjoy scavenger hunts, ping pong, karaoke and even their own dance club! I would probably never see my kids on this ship. Confession: even I wanted to hang out in the Living Room.
Traveling Mom Tip: Group sitting is available for ages 3 – 11 from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. in the Adventure Ocean center. The cost for this service is $7/hour per child. Children attending must be at least 3 years old and fully toilet trained – no diapers or pull-ups allowed.
With so much to see and do on the ship, I never ran out of new places to explore. Be sure to visit each neighborhood and enjoy the amazing offerings and differences in each one as they are all unique. I cannot wait to go back with my family and have a full week on-board, as two days wasn’t nearly enough time.
Which neighborhood are you looking forward to exploring on Harmony of the Seas?