Royal Caribbean International has reached out to higher levels of loyal guests booked on Harmony of the Seas to inform them that the exclusive Diamond Lounge will not be used for events for several sailings, due to ongoing enhancements in adjacent areas.
The work being done is creating noise, dust, and other debris, making the Diamond Lounge temporarily less desirable for use.
Diamond Lounge Impacted by Construction
In an email sent to booked guests, Royal Caribbean has informed Crown and Anchor Society members that the Diamond Lounge will not be used for member events onboard Harmony of the Seas from February 26 through March 12, 2023.
“Starting February 26th, 2023 through March 12th, 2023, we will be making some enhancements on Deck 4. During this time, we kindly ask for you to please pardon our dust,” the email reads. “Due to the Diamond Lounge’s proximity to these efforts, we’ll be hosting our Diamond Lounge morning and evening hours in alternate locations.”
The Oasis-class ship is currently homeported from Fort Lauderdale, but will be repositioning to Miami during the affected time period.
A total of three cruises are impacted by the closure – The February 26 and March 4 departures from Fort Lauderdale, both of which are 6-night Western Caribbean sailings visiting Nassau, The Bahamas; Falmouth, Jamaica; and Labadee, Haiti.
The first sailing from Miami is also impacted, as it departs on March 11 and the lounge is scheduled to be unavailable through March 12.
That cruise is a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise visiting St. Maarten and St. Thomas, as well as stopping at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island in The Bahamas. The lounge may reopen during that sailing, however, but if the work does not finish as early as expected, it may remain closed for the planned events.
The email notes, “Diamond Lounge operations will continue as usual, but please know, we expect noise and dust in the surrounding area as our teams work.”
This seems to indicate that guests can still access the space, but to be aware that it may not be up to the peaceful standards normally found in the exclusive retreat. “We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused by this and thank you for your understanding,” the email concludes.
Exclusive Events to Continue
The Diamond Lounge is used for a daily breakfast as well as evening cocktail hour exclusively for guests who have reached Diamond, Diamond Plus, or Pinnacle Club level in the cruise line’s loyalty program, with 80, 175, or 700 cruise points, respectively.
Instead of using the dedicated lounge space on Deck 4, the breakfast will take place in Jamie’s Italian restaurant on Deck 8 midship along Central Park and across from the Park Cafe. The cocktail hour will be in the ship’s Card Room on Deck 14, in the center of the ship just aft of the last elevator bank.
The times for each event will vary based on availability, and will be posted to the cruise line’s app for each sailing once the events are confirmed.
Why the Disruption?
The email does not outline the exact reason for the lounge’s closure, only that it is due to “enhancements” on Deck 4. Speculation is high that the cruise line may be expanding Casino Royale space in the “Jazz on 4” club, perhaps to add more non-smoking options for casino patrons.
It is also possible the entertainment venue is being completely reworked, perhaps adding new technological elements or other changes to create a brand new venue for guests to enjoy.
On different Oasis-class ships, the same space serves different functions. On the newest vessel in the class, Wonder of the Seas, the space is the “Golden Room” – a non-smoking casino space, which supports the speculation that the space may be transformed on Harmony of the Seas. For the upcoming Utopia of the Seas, due to debut as the last Oasis-class ship in spring 2024, the space is not yet confirmed.
On the rest of the ships, the space remains as “Jazz on 4” – for now.