Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class Harmony of the Seas is renowned for being one of the largest passenger cruise ships in the entire world. In fact, she’s second-largest as of publication date (October 2019).
Royal Caribbean didn’t fall prey to one of its competing cruise lines, though, for Harmony of the Seas to be surpassed in size. Instead, Harmony of the Seas was built larger than her preceding sister ships, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, before she, in similar fashion, was surpassed in size by her newest sister ship, Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas.
After 36 months of construction and a price tag of $1.35 billion, Harmony of the Seas began sailing European waters in 2016, sporting a length of 1,188 feet, 18 decks (including 16 passenger decks) and a capacity of 6,780 passengers maximum and 2,300 crew. On average, though, the ship hosts somewhere around 5,400 passengers at double occupancy.
You can check all the Royal Caribbean cruise ships by age right here.
Harmony of the Seas did not make a good impression during her inaugural season. Passengers on her maiden voyage complained of issues such as long waits at restaurants and no hot water.
However, since Harmony of the Seas has been in service for several years, the crew and brand have been able to work out the kinks and now many travelers love this ship’s huge array of staterooms and nearly endless amount of things to do, see and experience.
So, do you want to check out Harmony of the Seas for yourself? Come explore the ship’s seven neighborhoods, its water-based attractions, 23 swimming pools (including the first waterslides on a Royal Caribbean ship!), 20 dining venues, huge theater and extensive on-board art collection.
1. Kick back and enjoy a state-of-the-art stateroom
Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas truly offers some of the best staterooms in the biz. Even the most budget-friendly interior staterooms are designed like a hip, high-end, boutique hotel. Whatever style of stateroom you choose, you’ll get plenty of floor space, a big bathroom, nice furnishings and a seating area in addition to your bed, along with plenty of storage for your luggage.
Beyond the interior staterooms, there’s also the ocean view staterooms, with big, circular windows near the beds for views of the water and land. Balcony staterooms up the ante, with big, floor-to-ceiling glass doors and your own private seating area in the open air.
And, then, lastly, there are the virtual balcony staterooms, which are truly one of a kind; they use amazing technology to project a real-time balcony view onto your wall, so you never have to feel like you’re missing a thing.
2. Upgrade to a more “royal” experience
If you really want to travel in VIP style, you can upgrade your cruise to the Royal Suite Class. The accommodations within Royal Suite Class are truly unparalleled. Luxury suites are big, beautiful and totally yacht-worthy. You’ll be asking if you can move in permanently.
In addition to just the accommodations, though, Royal Suite Class cruisers also enjoy extra amenities and personalized service that elevate your cruise even further. Exclusive experiences are also available, that not all cruisers can get their hands on, both on and off the ship.
Royal Suite Class is further broken down into three class tiers. Sea Class is all about giving you the tools to rest and recharge before another day of adventures. Sky Class is all about formatting your cruising experience to fit your personal needs, and putting your needs ahead of all the others. Star Class is the top tier that gives you everything you could ever want in a cruise.
Amenities and services you can expect include luxury bath products, priority boarding and departure, concierge service, complimentary specialty dining and complimentary gratuities.
3. Experience an on-board waterslide done right
Many cruise ships have waterslides now, but Harmony of the Seas was the first Royal Caribbean ship to boast one. But Royal Caribbean didn’t just settle for one great waterslide. No, they’ve given you multiple, amazing waterslides to choose from. When they decided to do waterslides, they decided to do them better than anyone else.
Choose between three different Perfect Storm slides — the Typhoon, Cyclone and Supercell slides, filled with death-defying, stomach-dropping twists, turns and thrills. Or, take the Ultimate Abyss slide, which drops you 10 stories for an adventure you won’t soon forget. Yep, the Ultimate Abyss is the tallest waterslide on a cruise ship in the world.
4. See Harmony of the Seas from a different angle
Of course, you don’t have to just admire this ship from the ground or dockside. You can see Harmony of the Seas from a completely new angle — say, a bird’s eye view? Take the zip line that soars over the ship’s boardwalk. The line hangs nine decks above the action, so you can see it all with ease.
5. Take a trip to the spa
Maybe adrenaline isn’t really your thing. Perhaps you’d rather spend your cruise relaxing to the utmost. If that’s the case, you’ll definitely want to take a trip to the Harmony of the Seas spa. The Vitality Spa provides spa treatments that include all your favorites, like massages, wraps and facials.
You can also choose medi-spa treatments to address more specific beauty needs. You can additionally get a quick treatment at the salon, such as a manicure, pedicure, hair style or cut. There’s even an option to get your teeth whitened, for a more dazzling smile in all your vacation photos.
6. Shop ’til you drop
The on-board shopping assures that you never have to leave your retail habit at home. Aboard Harmony of the Seas, cruisers enjoy browsing through a variety of luxury products and well known brands, whether you’re looking for a new jewelry piece or a bottle of world-class liquor, a stylish purse or a bottle of your favorite cologne. Best of all — everything is tax- and duty-free.
7. Catch a new kind of show…
Most cruise lines have some sort of Broadway-style show, or a musical or theatrical act, but Royal Caribbean may be one of the only we’ve ever heard of that has its own high dive show. Or, in fact, it may be the only cruise line to have its own aquatheater.
Gather around to watch Olympic-level high divers take to the skies, performing daring stunts and aerial acrobatics, before they dive straight into what’s the deepest pool at sea. From the aquatheater, you’ll not only enjoy a great show, but also views of the ocean beyond the 30-foot diving platforms.
8. …Or catch a more classic show (or both, really!)
Of course, just because Harmony of the Seas has unique shows such as the high-diving performances at the aquatheater, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t also have amazing, more traditional theatrical shows and musical performances, too.
The ship’s rendition of Grease has quickly become a hit among cruisers. The musical acts really range, but can you tell us — when was the last time you attended an orchestra performance at sea? That’s right, Harmony of the Seas gives cruisers the delight of riveting orchestra performances thanks to its full ensemble.
9. Watch a different kind of water show
Okay, so you’ve seen the high-dive act…what could possibly top that? What about an onboard ice skating show? The Glitter and Glam on Ice production is a dramatic, thrilling experience for the entire family, with its beautiful costumes, impressive choreography and team of professional ice skaters and dancers from all over the world.
10. Get your gamble on
Like most cruise ships, Harmony of the Seas has its own casino, but even if you’ve never played a game of poker in your life, or stood at a single slot machine, you can feel prepared when you step into the gambling ring, thanks to the casino’s gambling classes.
Before the casino opens, attend a class with the professional dealers and learn, step by step, how to play some of the casino’s most popular games, including blackjack, roulette, three card poker, Texas Hold ‘Em and dice.
11. Hang among your peers and away from the fam (if you’re a teenager)
Harmony of the Seas’ teen club really has it all. The fun, vibrant space offers teenagers both pre-planned events and a range of activities that will appeal to their age group, that they can enjoy any time at all. The club also hosts a teens-only dance party every evening.
12. Channel your inner mad scientist…
Younger kids (or just kids at heart) will love the Adventure Science Lab. Kids can try their hand at a range of science-based activities, from chemistry experiments to space exploration, fossil digs to exploding volcanoes. The Adventure Science Lab is located within Adventure Ocean.
13. …Or your inner artist….
For kids who enjoy channeling their artistic side versus their science side, they can head to the Imagination Studio, where kids ages 6 to 11 can let their imaginations run wild. Whatever they want to get their hands on — any kind of craft material, paint, sculpting clay — they can make their visions come to life with ease.
14. …Or your inner superstar!
The opportunities for kids to channel their dreams really doesn’t end aboard Harmony of the Seas, which is another reason why this is such a great ship choice for families with elementary-age kids. At Adventure Ocean Theater, children can put on their acting shoes and perform along with their friends in themed shows. Or, if they have another talent, they can show it off in the talent show.
15. Pick up a new skill at sea
But what about mom and dad? Let’s get back to them. While the kids are channeling their inner creativity and tapping into talents you didn’t know they had, you can learn a new skill to show off.
Classes available to adults range from dance classes (including a wide array of dance styles, from hip hop to salsa, swing to ballroom) to cooking classes (with options like sushi rolling and cupcake decorating!).
16. Attend a wine tasting
Whether you’re a full-fledged vino, or you’ve never been much of a wine person, attending a wine tasting can help you learn about how different varieties are produced, while tasting some excellent labels under the guidance of trained connoisseurs.
Explore wines that can be found all across the globe, but also taste a few varieties that are so exclusive, you can only find them while you’re on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Who knows? You might just like these wines so much that you end up buying a bottle at your next cruise dinner.
17. Stick to your fitness goals
There’s nothing keeping you from sticking to all your fitness goals while you’re on a Harmony of the Seas cruise. This ship has a fully outfitted fitness center that’s stacked with all the latest fitness tech.
Plus, better yet, all of the equipment faces out to the ocean views, for floor-to-ceiling looks at the gorgeous sky and sea while you sweat. The fitness center also offers a large variety of fitness classes, including pilates, spinning and yoga classes.
18. Pick up an impressive certification
One often favorite Caribbean travel activity is scuba diving, but did you know that you can actually get your scuba certification while you’re on a Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas cruise? Yes, PADI scuba diving expeditions led by PADI dive instructors will not only give you the chance to explore the underwater worlds right off ship, but also to earn your PADI scuba certification.
19. Appreciate some art
Harmony of the Seas boasts a very impressive art collection and guests on the cruise ship have the opportunity to learn more about it and possibly even take a piece of art home, thanks to a relationship with Park West Gallery. Attend one of the regular art events onboard, for drinks and art appreciation. The art auctions are particularly popular and just as fun to watch as they are to participate in.
20. Dine at one of the Harmony of the Seas’ 20 noteworthy dining options
Whatever type of food you like most, you’ll find it somewhere on this huge ship. They’ve thought of it all.
Enjoy Asian-inspired cuisine at the Izumi Hibachi & Sushi restaurant; try Italian cuisine designed by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver at Jamie’s Italian; try classic, all-American fare at Johnny Rockets, a chain favorite throughout beach destinations across the United States; grab a light bite at the Solarium Bistro; sit down for multiple courses in the main dining room; try international flavors at Windjammer; snack on a hot dog at the Dog House; savor steakhouse favorites at Chops Grille; explore the latest culinary trends at Wonderland; munch on deli favorites at Park Cafe; enjoy healthy favs at Vitality Cafe; indulge in all your favorite Mexican flavors at Sabor; grab a quick slice at Sorrento’s Pizza…
The list goes on and on! This is just a sampling of the many, many dining options you’ll find aboard Harmony of the Seas.
21. Grab a drink at one of the 13 bars and lounges
There are 13 different bars and lounges aboard Harmony of the Seas. Whether you like a louder, club atmosphere; a relaxed pub feel; or a sophisticated, high-end bar vibe, you can find a watering hole that’s right for your style.
At Wig & Gavel, enjoy an authentic English pub atmosphere. Hit the dance floor at the vibrantly decorated Dazzles. Try a futuristic, robot-created cocktail at Bionic Bar. Explore the wines of the world at Vintages. Mix drinks with music at either Schooner Bar or Boleros.
22. Listen in on some adults-only entertainment
Some entertainment is more suited to the adults-only crowd. At the silent disco, grab a headset and dance along to the music without ever bothering any of your fellow cruisers. Or, you can turn the music up at the Jazz Club, and even grab the mic yourself at Karaoke Club On Air. And, of course, don’t forget to laugh yourself silly at the Attic Comedy Club.
23. Get away from the kids for a bit
While the kids enjoy their kids-only spaces, you’ll find that there are a few adults-only spaces as well. In this case, it’s the Solarium. You can eat, drink and soak up some sun in a low-key, kids-free venue that offers both outdoor and indoor areas. The Solarium is hardly ever too crowded that you won’t be able to find your own lounger.
24. Get a little competitive
There are lots of opportunities aboard Harmony of the Seas to challenge your fellow cruisers to a little healthy competition. See who can ride longer on one of the ship’s FlowRiders, a simulated surf that you take to with a small wake board. Nearby, you can stay dry with a friendly game of miniature golf or pick up basketball.
25. Wander around Central Park
No, not that Central Park…but the Central Park aboard Harmony of the Seas might be just as good. Central Park is one of the ship’s seven different neighborhoods and it’s filled with lovely greenery.
Technically, Central Park is in the center of the ship, so you’re bound to come across it at some point, so take a few moments to enjoy this floating Garden of Eden. In addition to all the plant life, the park also features several shopping options (including Tiffany’s and Cartier), and some eateries.
26. Post about it all on your favorite social media channels
Harmony of the Seas boasts its own dedicated satellite beam delivering WiFi straight to passengers’ devices. The WiFi even has its own name — Voom. The big picture here is that you get the fastest internet that you’ll find on any cruise ship out there.
It’s so fast, that you can easily post all your favorite photos and videos from your trip straight to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can even Skype or FaceTime with all your friends and family back home, to show them what a great time you’re having. Then, you can relax at night as you stream your favorite video content from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc.
27. Take a turn about the Promenade
Much like Central Park, the Promenade is a happenin’ place aboard Harmony of the Seas. In addition to finding many bars and restaurants, you can also enjoy entertainment just about any time of day, regular parades for your viewing pleasure and sidewalk sales in case you want to catch a good deal on a souvenir.
Harmony of the Seas FAQ:
As the second-biggest cruise ship in the world (as of October 2019), Harmony of the Seas is massive. It boasts measurements of 226,963 gross tonnage; 1,188 feet in length; 18 total decks; 16 passenger decks; a crew capacity of 2,300 members; and a 6,780 maximum passenger capacity (though normal capacity is around 5,479 passengers). You can check all the ships in the fleet by size right here.
Having just been launched in 2016, Harmony of the Seas has yet to be refurbished (as of 2019). It includes many state-of-the-art tech features, luxury staterooms and high-end dining and drinking outlets. In addition, in keeping with the times, Harmony of the Seas is significantly more sustainable than similar ships. It is 20 percent more energy efficient than Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.
Harmony of the Seas’ measurements stand at 226,963 gross tonnage; 1,188 feet in length; 18 total decks; 16 passenger decks; a crew capacity of 2,300 members; and a 6,780 maximum passenger capacity (though normal capacity is around 5,479 passengers).
In comparison, the RMS Titanic’s measurements stand at 46,328 gross registered tonnage; 882 feet in length; 175 feet in height; nine decks; a crew capacity of 892 members; and a 2,435 passenger capacity. As such, yes, Harmony of the Seas is bigger than the RMS Titanic.
Photo: Royal Caribbean