Posted May 23rd, 2016
A Weekend Aboard Harmony of the Seas
With great excitement and following months of anticipation, we finally headed for Southampton to step foot on board the world’s newest, and more importantly, largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas. Upon arrival, embarkation was the usual smooth process we have come to know and love from Royal Caribbean. A swipe of my Set Sail pass, a swipe of my passport, the obligatory health questions and luggage checks and we were on board in just a few minutes.
Our first stop was our stateroom to drop off our luggage. This was a superior ocean view stateroom with a balcony and was located on deck six. The double had been converted into two very comfortable twin beds, each offering ample sleeping space, and there was also a sofa which could have been converted into another bed if we had needed it. The room was well laid out with plenty of storage, a spacious balcony, a well-equipped bathroom with shower and great finishing touches.
Discovering The Enormity
However, we were there to explore the ship so we set off to The Boardwalk for a Johnny Rockets. This 50’s diner was buzzing with excited guests but we were able to find a table and tuck into our milkshakes and burgers with glee. The Boardwalk is also home to many other dining venues and shop , as well as entertainment features like as the carousel, the AquaTheater and the ‘Ultimate Abyss’. The latter is a 100ft slide that plummets you down 10 decks whilst seated on a mat (no need to get wet!) making it the world’s highest slide at sea.
We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the ship: the spectacular Royal Promenade with its range of shops, bars and dining venues and the tranquil Central Park, a real park at sea with trees, benches and speciality dining venues including Chops Grille and Jamie’s Italian.
By then, it was time for a quick muster drill which went ahead surprisingly swiftly considering the scale of this vessel and then it was time to get ready for dinner. Dinner on both nights was in the main dining room for us as we did not choose to eat in any of the speciality restaurants. We dined on a wide menu that included delicious French onion soup, escargot, fillet mignon and crème brûlée.
The evening entertainment included a party on the Royal Promenade with music from the ever popular ‘Wild Boys’, followed by a band and dancing in ‘Dazzles’ nightclub and then dancing into the small hours in ‘The Attic’.
A Secondary Scan
We arose from our comfortable beds the next morning and headed to the gym for an early morning workout. The space was very well equipped with all of the latest machines and weights. Running on a treadmill on a moving ship is quite an experience I can tell you, however due to the sheer size of this ship, movement was very minimal and really not a problem at all.
A quick shower later and we were ready to get back out and explore. We headed for the top deck and got a good look at the pools (there are 23 including whirlpools!), the ‘Perfect Storm’ waterslides and the waterpark area. This deck is also home to the sports court, table tennis areas, arcade, ‘Flowriders’ (yes, there are two!) and, of course, the entrance to the amazing ‘Ultimate Abyss’. We enjoyed a self-service frozen yoghurt and took a look at the solarium. This is adults-only and so provides the perfect escape for a bit of rest and relaxation.
But what to do with the kids whilst you relax? We took a trip to the ‘Adventure Ocean’ kids club to find out. With separate areas for various age groups and age appropriate equipment, we were very impressed by these facilities. The added bonus of the arts workshop area, science lab and Adventure Ocean Theatre mean your kids are set to have more fun than you!
After this, we wandered round the various speciality restaurants where we were treated to tasters from each menu. The spectacular two-storey ‘Wonderland’, a feature of the Quantum-class ships, was a particular highlight, along with Mexican-inspired ‘Sabor’ on the Boardwalk. With 20 dining venues on board, you are always guaranteed to find something delicious to eat.
Before dinner, we watched the first-ever showing of ‘Grease’ at sea in the spectacular Royal Theatre. The West End quality show had all the best bits of the movie and original play and received a well-deserved standing ovation from the entire audience at the end.
After a second night of delicious dining, we headed to the ‘Boot and Bonnet’ pub for an after-dinner drink before dancing the night away in Dazzles.
We managed to fit an amazing amount into just two nights on board Harmony of the Seas but there was still so much that we couldn’t fit in. We managed to catch some rehearsals of the ice show and the performances in the AquaTheater, which were both breath-taking, and I would have loved to have caught the full shows.
Despite the awesome size of this ship, I found it easy to navigate my way round; with clear signage, plenty of lifts and a superb layout, we never got lost. Plus, with so much to see along the way we never felt that we were walking for too long.
Overall, Harmony of the Seas offered a fantastic experience and would appeal to families, couples and groups alike. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of my time on board and only wish I could have stayed for longer to experience it all again.
If you would like to see what the largest cruise ship in the world is like for yourself, we have a variety of exciting itineraries available. Call us today to book or for more information on where this mammoth vessel can take you.