Harmony of the Seas arrived in Southampton recently and I was lucky enough to spend 2-nights onboard and experience the world’s biggest cruise ship.
Check-in was as swift as it always is with Royal Caribbean, I would actually say that they have the best check-in system of all cruise lines.
It’s called Smart Check-in and it’s all done online, which means when you get to the terminal, it’s a simple case of someone checking your image and passport details, stamping your Sea Pass, and then off you go through security. In all, I was checked-in, through security and in my cabin within 20 minutes – how’s that for quick!
Harmony of the Seas was made to be explored
I didn’t stay in my cabin long (a balcony cabin on Deck 9), I just had a quick look around, dropped my bags and then made my way out again – I just wanted to explore. My first stop was the Boardwalk on Deck 7 and that was my favourite of all the neighbourhoods that Harmony of the Seas offers. As soon as you stepped through the door, you were greeted by the sight of a traditional carousel – it definitely brought out my inner child. Beyond this was The Dog House, Johnny Rockets, Aqua Theater, the exit for Ultimate Abyss, Sundials, The Crown and Anchor Shop, and a tequila bar. As my arrival here fell perfectly at lunchtime, a visit to Johnny Rockets had to be observed and I ordered my three favourites: cherry sprite, onion rings and a hot dog with onions.
From The Boardwalk, I made my way to the Royal Promenade and then onto Central Park. On The Royal Promenade you will find the Bionic Bar, Guest Services, Boot and Bonnet Pub, Rising Tide Bar, Sorrento’s and much more. Central Park was an entirely new experience for me and I absolutely loved it. A park full of plants and trees growing right in the middle of a cruise ship. It had a posh neighbourhood feel to it and I’d imagine that on a warm, sunny day it would be a wonderful place to sit and relax, and just watch the world go by.
Endless dining options
Dinner that evening was in Jamie’s Italian and the menu choice, restaurant décor, service and its location in Central Park made for the most interesting cruise ship dining experience that I think I have ever had. I ordered the crispy squid to start and followed it with an 8oz rib-eye steak. Both dishes were absolutely delicious. Chops Grille, 150 Central Park and Vintages Wine Bar can also be found in Central Park, along with the Rising Tide Bar (which actually moves between here and the Royal Promenade on Deck 5 every 15 minutes) and a few high-end stores such as Bvlgari.
My second day onboard was filled with different immersion sessions, the first one being a stop in the Engine Control Room and then a look at the waste management system. I also had a brief galley tour during my immersion sessions, which was interesting.
Here’s a few facts for you:
- Harmony of the Seas has kitchens on decks 3, 4 and 5, with the one on deck 4 being the biggest to accommodate the pastry section.
- In all, she has 24 separate kitchens across 18 food outlets.
In total, there are 1,056 food and beverage crew members that together deliver 80,000 meals a day:
- 249 culinary staff
- 532 restaurant staff
- 184 beverage staff
- 91 galley stewards
I was completely blown away by Harmony of the Seas. I’d been waiting a long time to experience Oasis-class and Harmony certainly delivered. If a cruise with fun and family in mind is what you are looking for, then she is without a doubt an ideal choice, you could never be bored during your time on her! I didn’t get the chance to try out her water slides, or the Ultimate Abyss dry-slide, so if you cruise on her in the future be sure to let me know what you think of those experiences! The zip-line is also available from Deck 15, for those of you brave enough and not afraid of heights.
Don’t forget to also check-out voyages aboard her sister ships Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas – they may not feature the Ultimate Abyss, but they are certainly just as big and bold as Harmony is!
Would you like to explore Harmony of the Seas before she sails to Asia? Look no further! Check our dedicated page and find the best deals.