If you live in the UK and have never had the chance to cruise on one of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Oasis Class ships, then perhaps this summer is the prime time to get on board?
Harmony of the Seas will have itineraries in the Mediterranean and cruise from home ports of Barcelona and Rome.
What can you expect on board the largest ship in the world?
Of course, it is enormous. Measuring 227,700 gross registered tons it is 2,418 gross tonnes larger than Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, as well as 33 centimetres longer. It is 20 percent more fuel efficient than its sister ships due to a combination of new scrubber technologies, a redesigned hull and a new system that allows this ship to glide smoothly through the waves.
Harmony of the Seas holds 5,479 passengers but you will never notice crowds on this floating resort as they are spread over 18 decks.
The USP that is most remarkable is the ‘scooped out’ effect in the centre of the ship. From Deck 18 down to Deck 6, the interior of Harmony of the Seas is quite literally scooped out and ‘inside’ cabins along here have a view of the outdoors. It means there is light and air, live plants and open sky to be enjoyed from the middle of the ship. Remarkable. Central Park is quite literally a park and is a sheltered, sunny place for al fresco dining.
Which leads on to the next attraction which is quite specific to Harmony of the Seas. Dining. It is incredibly varied – but do remember that there is an additional charge for these venues**.
In Central Park (Deck 8) you will find Jamie’s Italian serving sea food, meat dishes and pasta plus a quite decent house wine. Chops Grille as well as 150 Central Park and the Park Café are also in Central Park. Deck 6 features Johnny Rockets, Boardwalk Dog House and Sabor Taqueria and Tequila Bar for those who need a Mexican food fix.
On Deck 5 is Sorrentos’ Pizzeria, Promenade Café and Boot and Bonnet Pub as well as the quirky Bionic Bar.
Deck 4 offers Izumi – serving both Sushi and Hibachi – Jazz on 4 and also the Main Dining Venue.
Deck 12 has the futuristic Wonderland which I recommend everyone try once during the cruise. Unusual but inspiring.
Windjammer Market Place, Solarium Bistro, Park Café, Vitality Café, Main Dining Room, Boardwalk Dog House and Sorrentos’ Pizzeria are included in the price of the cruise. Coastal Kitchen on Deck 17 is for suite guests only.
And there is certainly loads to do for the kiddies and those that are young at heart.
GREASE is the Broadway musical that will be featured in the Royal Theatre. It is the first time this musical will be on a cruise ship and advance pre-views say that it is amazing.
Up on Deck 16 is a fantastic fun-ride: The Ultimate Abyss Slide. Young and old can participate as you sit on a mat with your feet and legs tucked into the large pocket in the front. You then plummet ten stories down the 100ft. long tube to the Promenade Deck below. Quite thrilling, indeed.
Also on Deck 16 is Flow-rider, plus a mini-golf course and the zip-line.
Deck 18 has the Perfect Storm Waterslides while the Promenade Deck has an old-fashioned Carousel, and also the quite thrilling Aqua Theatre. Deck 7 has the ever popular climbing wall.
There is even a PADI Dive Centre on board for those interested in Scuba and in getting their certification.
There is even an entire neighbourhood dedicated to children. Kid’s Avenue (Deck 14) is a central boulevard connecting all the kid’s spaces. Areas include Royal Babies and Tots Nursery; a family crafts workshop; the arts studio Adventure Art; Adventure Science Lab; and Adventure Ocean Theatre where kids can learn about theatrical productions, take part in talent shows and sign up for hip hop dance classes.
If you have never sailed on a large ship, this might not be your cup of tea, but you will never know until you try it.
** Dining option prices
- Johnny Rockets: $4.95 per person
- Chops Grill: $30 per person
- Vintages: as per menu
- 150 Central Park: $40 per person
- Izumi: Upfront charge of $3 for Lunch and $5 for Dinner plus prices as per menu
- Wonderland: $45 per person
- Jamie’s Italian: $15 Lunch / $25 Dinner
Food and Drink packages
- The Unlimited beverage package: $56.35 per person per day and this covers anything to a value of $10
- The Unlimited soda package: $5.18 per day
- For unlimited sodas, mocktails, juices, shakes, floats and hot chocolate: $8.05 per day
- Classic package (including beers, house wines, spirits and cocktails): $49 per day
- Premium package (beers, house win, brand spirits and cocktails): $59 per day
For more information and to book: www.royalcaribbean.co.uk