On Friday 20th May 2016, I was one of the many lucky agents to be first on board Royal Caribbean’s brand new ship Harmony of the Seas and I was totally blown away! She is now the world’s largest cruise ship and is literally like a floating city.
Our day started off on deck 16 where those brave enough could try out the world’s tallest slide at sea, The Ultimate Abyss. This dry slide will take you 10 storeys down finishing on the Boardwalk, where you might want to get yourself a drink to calm those nerves.
The Boardwalk on deck 6 has a spectacular full size carousel for the young and the young-at-heart. It’s like an old fashioned floating seaside town. There are also some great places to grab something to eat here, such as the Boardwalk Dog House, the Mexican restaurant Sabor and Johnny Rockets.
We then went inside and down onto deck 5 to experience the Royal Promenade. We had a quick pit stop at the Boot & Bonnet, an authentic English pub, before heading past the Rising Tide Bar, the only bar at sea that levitates and descends across 3 decks – great for people watching! Our next stop was at the state-of-the-art Bionic Bar. Here you order your drink on an ipad and the robot does the rest. This is a really great experience and I can highly recommend the vanilla vodka cocktail.
Cocktail in hand we then moved back outside onto deck 8 to what was one of my favourite spots on the ship, Central Park. I love eating out and here there are plenty of places to choose from such as Chops Grille, Park Café, Jamie’s Italian, 150 Central Park and Vintages wine bar. For people like me who love to “people watch”, it’s definitely worth considering booking a balcony cabin overlooking central park!
Turning our attention back to food, we then moved right back up to deck 16 to check out the Windjammer Marketplace, a buffet-style restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food looked exceptional and as tempting as it was to try it out we had to wait as our 3 course meal was to come later.
Taking the lift down to deck 12 we could experience the magical restaurant Wonderland. This Alice in Wonderland themed restaurant is filled with imaginative cuisine and décor. Each place at the table comes with its own paintbrush which you can use to paint water over the menu to reveal the food choices. It really is a dining experience like no other and is definitely one you should book in advance.
Just in time as we were all ready for a sit down, we reached the adults only solarium. A place for a bit of relaxation and quiet time. But unfortunately our time here was short lived as we still needed to see so many other areas of the ship.
Our next stop was all about the kids on deck 14. Here you can find the Puzzle Break: Escape the Rubicon. Locked in a room you have 60 minutes to navigate your way through hidden clues and puzzles that will unravel the mystery of the Rubicon! It’s a real race against time to escape. The opportunities for the kids are endless with the Adventure Ocean Theatre, the Adventure Science Lab, the Adventure Art Studio and the Craft Workshop. There are also 6 different kids clubs catering for 6 months right up to 17 years as well as the many other activities on board such as the rock climbing wall, the flow rider, ice skating, the zip line and the perfect storm water slides….. Trust me, no-one is getting bored on this ship!
With the kids taken care of, we then got to experience the beautiful relaxation area of the Vitality at Sea Spa. They use luxury Elemis products on board and there are so many treatments on offer, you could literally have a different one each day and still not get through them all.
Our final stop before heading off to the dining room was to take a look at the cabins and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of room inside and the excellent use of the space. There was ample room for all of your clothes even if you’re like me and don’t know the meaning of the words “pack lightly”! The balconies come with furniture so you can sit out and enjoy the view and even those inside cabins come with a view thanks to the incredible virtual balconies which livestream the view from outside onto the inside wall of the cabin.
We had literally walked miles but it was finally time to take a seat in one of the three main dining rooms. After drooling over the menu for a good 15 minutes, I decided on the tomato soup with goat’s cheese bon-bon, followed by roast sirloin of Hereford beef with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and gravy and then sticky toffee pudding for dessert. I cannot put into words how good that food was.
After lunch we made a quick dash through the Royal Casino to make our way to the Royal Theatre where we were the first people to be treated to the opening scenes of the first-time at sea production of Grease the musical and after 5 minutes, I was left wanting to see more but it wasn’t to be as our time on board had come to an end! As we made our way off the ship I couldn’t wait to tell my husband that I had found our holiday for next year – 7 nights in the Caribbean on board Harmony of the Seas of course!
Royal Caribbean most definitely got it right when they said:-
“This isn’t a ship This is a journey like no other Where nothings ordinary The everyday is spectacular This is where extraordinary happens The ultimate adventure This is Harmony of the Seas”