First Look at Harmony of the Seas

| Monday, 06 Jun. 2016

The newest "largest cruise ship in the world" bring the best of Royal Caribbean Oasis and Quantum-class


Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas is the world’s largest cruise ship, just barely wider than her two nearly identical sister ships; Oasis of the Seas (2009) and Allure of the Seas (2010). Harmony largely retains the best elements of her older sister ships, but she also offers several new aspects first introduced on the Quantum class.

Harmony is the world's largest cruise ship by a mere 418 gross tons. Most of that is in her beam (width) which endows her with deeper staterooms, made even roomier with balcony railings that curve outwards. The ship features entirely new suite options, new floor plans, "Suite Genies" (butlers) and the first suite-exclusive dining room just for suite guests; Coastal Kitchens.

From the Ovation-class; Harmony borrows super fast check-in, the onboard-only "Royal IQ  App" for all guests to maintain a schedule and keep in touch, and two of the best new restaurants: Jamie's Italian and Wonderland.

But the biggest difference between Harmony and the Quantum-class  is far more entertainment options and space per passenger. In the long run, I consider Harmony to be the most impressive and best in amenities cruise ship ever built.


 Let’s look at some things that make Harmony unique:

1.Best Restaurant Selection

Harmony has 25 places to eat on the ship, from fast and casual to gourmet cuisine. There are also several themed restaurants. All offer surprisingly delicious food.

Examples include the Central Park Café where you can get a Royal Kummelweck  Sandwich; rare roast beef on a freshly baked salt bun. With a dollop of horseradish it melts in your mouth.  Fresh Caesar salads and yogurt breakfasts are also available. No charge.

Borrowed from the Quantum-class you have:

·         Jamie’s Italian. One of the best cruise restaurants yet, it first appeared on the Royal Caribbean Quantum. Cover charge is $45 per person. Dishes are a la carte (all you want)and include delicacies like lamb chops over foes gras and the most tender pork loin on the planet, with crackling skin still attached.

·         Wonderland – a themed restaurant featuring organic and earthy tastes like truffled eggs served in a dome of sage-infused steam. The quality and quantities of food served here will amaze.


2.Biggest Slides at Sea

The new "tallest slide at sea" is not a waterslide, so you can go any time without getting wet. You ride the ten story-tall “Ultimate Abyss,” inside a cloth "sled" where your feet fit into plastic pockets.  While the first drop and turn in total darkness challenged my sense of equilibrium, the LEDs that light the rest of the ride make it truly fun. You will love screaming your way through every twist and turn.   There are also two additional water slides (firsts for the Oasis-class ships) – together referred to as “The Perfect Storm.”


3.Most Entertainment Diversity

 Harmony offers the full- Broadway version of Grease, the Musical and another musical spoof called "Columbus," a comedy based on the misadventures of Christopher Columbus' goofy brother.

Harmony also offers live world-class ice-skating shows, and the full aqua-theater with high dive platforms 120 feet in the air. Dives, water ballet and trapeze artistry are all performed here. There are also full 3D movies from DreamWorks animation shown on the ship, with character experiences from stars like Shrek and Kung Fu Panda.


4.A Fantastic Children’s Program

Whether  you are 5 or 65 you can enjoy mini-golf, the slides, the zip line, the carousal, a full basketball court, FlowRider surf simulators (flowing water you can ride like a moving wave). There is also an entire center dedicated to watching minors in supervised play areas. Segregated by age, there are arts & crafts, movie theaters, dress-up, climbing, painting, etc. You can leave your children, starting at age 6 months up 17 years old, confident they will be safe and happily amused the whole time they are away.


5.Biggest Staterooms for Royal Caribbean

By rounding out the balconies and adding width to the ship, the staterooms are now even more spacious. American-style plugs are everywhere, and the entire fleet has the fastest Internet at sea, available in your stateroom – fast enough for YouTube and even Skype.


6.Fastest Internet access at Sea

Royal Caribbean now boasts the fastest Internet at sea, available fleet-wide. Fast enough for even YouTube or Skype. Harmony is the first cruise ship with a dedicated satellite connection that follows the ship worldwide.

Every guest can also download the Royal IQ App (iPhone and Android) to manage daily schedules, track luggage, make reservations and even send text messages to fellow guests. This is free to use, connecting to the ship's Wi-Fi (but not the Internet).


7.       Most Unique Ship Design Ever.

The layout of these Oasis family ships is so unique they do not even have a name for it. There is a single hull, but above the hull it is almost like two separate ships sailing side by side. Between the two towers of staterooms are open areas; Central Park in the middle, and the Boardwalk at the end. Overlooking these areas are open-air balcony staterooms that face inward. This lends an abundance of balcony staterooms.


8.Suite Life - Coastal Kitchen

New suite options include  a "Royal Genies" where "your wish is my command."  Your genie can cook and serve meals, run a bubble bath or shine your shoes. You can dine in your suite or in the exclusive Coastal Kitchen restaurant, only for suite guests.  Also enjoy unlimited drinks and top-speed Internet, a private sunning deck on board and a private beach on the Royal Caribbean islands.


9.Most Technologically Advanced Ship Ever

Check-in is a breeze. You spend 10 minutes filling out requisite forms and then receive a boarding pass. Go to your stateroom and find you keys (or a wristband) waiting on the bed. There is an onboard app to help you find and even reserve different shows and restaurants. You can even chat online with your friends.


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