Harmony in the Western Caribbean

Caribbean, · About River or Ocean Cruises

The Harmony of the Seas is one of the world’s largest cruise ships. Measuring 1188 ft long by 215 wide and holding up to 6687 guests on 16 passenger decks, the Harmony dwarfs all other ships in the harbour. A ship this size comes with big expectations and I’m happy to say the food, entertainment and accommodations definitely lived up to the hype.

The ship is divided into 7 neighborhoods:

  1. Central park with a lush landscape including a living wall and the Rising Tide bar that will take you from Deck 5 to 8 and back again as it moves up and down from floor to floor.
  2. Boardwalk with everything you can expect on a seaside boardwalk including carousel, hot dog stand and outdoor water theatre.
  3. Royal Promenade where you can run into a variety of DreamWorks characters from Shrek to Poppy, grab some of the best pizza I’ve ever had at Sorrento’s or just hang out and watch the entertainment
  4. Pool and Sports Zone where you can get wet on one of the 3 water slides or play a game of basketball but of course you can always just pull up a lounge chair and have an icy beverage
  5. Vitality at Sea Spa where you can get a mani-pedi, massage or pick up a delicious smoothie in the smoothie bar
  6. Entertainment Place where you can listen to some live music, ice skate or catch an award-winning show.
  7. Youth Zone where you can drop off the kids from 6 months to 17 years in Adventure Ocean, Royal’s kids club featuring entertaining and education fun.

A unique feature of the ship that I loved was the Boardwalk and Central park balcony rooms. These rooms are unique spins on the otherwise traditional interior room. We stayed in a Boardwalk balcony room that had a great little balcony overlooking the boardwalk. It felt more open than an interior room and it was great to have the extra space. The back of the ship was open and when we were on the balcony you could see the sea behind the ship. Also unique to the Boardwalk balcony was the Eat-Drink-Play package included in booking that featured the soda package, a breakfast a Johnny Rockets and a Rock climbing lesson.

So, we’ve talked about the pizza but what else is there to eat? I tried a few of the specialty restaurants and they were amazing. Once you’ve pre-gamed dinner with at least 2 slices at Sorrento’s Pizza, check out Wonderland, an Alice in Wonderland themed restaurant. Everything about this restaurant is on theme and on point. You’ll start by revealing your menu with water and a paint brush on an invisible ink palette. The waitstaff is a true cast of characters and guaranteed to give you and experience you’ll never forget.

I also got to check out Jamie’s Italian, a wonderful Italian restaurant with a menu designed by Jamie Oliver. Then menu is authentic, multi coursed and delicious to the last bite, if you can fit it in. I also lunched at Chops grill, which is great of those craving a standard steakhouse meal while on board. The quality was great, and the food very well presented.

When you’re not eating some of the amazing food or lounging in the spa you might consider some other ways to pass the time. The Ultimate Abyss, a 10-story spiral dry slide, guaranteed to make you scream. The Perfect storm, a trio of waterslides for a slightly lower and wetter version of the Abyss. Also included is Splashaway Bay a kid’s water park that would rival anything I’ve seen at any Great Wolf Lodge. Add to this already impressive list, Zip lining, a Puzzle break room and of course all the standard Royal Caribbean entertainment like rock climbing and mini golf and you’re off to a good start!

There’s never a shortage of fun onboard activities as well. If you want to jam out with your friends you can check out the silent disco where everyone wears headphones and dances the night away to a live DJ, in quietest dance floor on the ship. If you want to be a bit louder, try your voice at karaoke nightly. We particularly enjoyed the puzzle room and we made it out! Which they told us not everyone does but maybe they were just stroking our egos. We also loved the murder mystery game where we had an hour to put together clues to figure out who killed the co-eds.

But maybe you want to get off the ship? Our Western Caribbean itinerary included Labadee, Haiti, Falmouth in Jamaica and Cozumel in Mexico. Labadee is a gorgeous private resort owned by Royal Caribbean with food, lounge chairs and plenty of clear water swimming for all. Falmouth was also beautiful. I did an excursion to the all-inclusive Blue Water resort where I lounged by the beach and drank icy beverages all day. Our final Port of Call, Cozumel was perhaps the most impressive looking port upon approach. It was interesting to compare the size of the Harmony with the other cruise ships in port that day.

The shows! The shows! The first night we saw Grease, a Broadway caliber show in the main theatre. It was a great nostalgic throwback and thankfully I left without a hicky from Kenickie. The ship also features a full ice rink where we saw 1878 an Ice Capades style show inspired by Jules Vern. If you can triple sow cow on a cruise ship it doesn’t take much more to keep me entertained, but this show was also visually stunning and well choregraphed. My favourite show was in the Aqua theatre titled Fine Line. I’m a huge fan of Cirque De Soleil and this show blew any Cirque show I’ve seen out of the water, both literally and figurately. I was riveted watching it and the hour-long show was over before I knew it. My only regret was not seeing it sooner, so I could have watched it every day I was on the ship. It was spectacular.

Of course, Harmony of the Seas also has all of things every cruise ship has like shopping, main dining rooms and towel animals. What I loved about it was all the unexpected extras like…a pianist in the elevator taking requests. By the way if you ever find yourself in an elevator with a pianist taking requests, Ed Sheeran is a big hit. Can’t wait to meet Ms. Harmony again!

Rose Pedersen | Cruise & Vacation Consultant

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