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Travel News and Reviews

Royal Caribbean Celebrate 50th Birthday In Style!

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Sea views, adventure and mouthwatering food – I wouldn’t have expected anything less when Royal Caribbean celebrated their 50th birthday. 

 

I am a big fan of Royal Caribbean Cruises. I have been on many of their cruise ships and am blown away with their innovation every time. When I was invited to join them for their 50th birthday celebrations, I knew it was going to be something special! 

royal caribbeans 50th birthday party at the cliff house hotel

The Cliff House Hotel, a boutique 5-star hotel in Co. Waterford was the chosen venue for the event. Jennifer Callister, Head of Ireland for Royal Caribbean, was quick to point out that the Cliff House was not only chosen because of its superb reputation, but also because aesthetically, it reminded her of a ship. As I looked around at the outdoor terrace and superb sea views, I immediately saw the resemblance.

royal caribbeans 50th birthday party at the cliff house hotel
 

 

 
After a quick lunch in the bar, it was time for our first activity. In true Royal Caribbean style, it was an outdoor adventure sport – sea-kayaking. This was a first for me, I have been in a kayak on a lake before, but the sea currents provided a more exhilarating experience. We teamed up in groups and had the task of finding various markers at sea. The team who collected the most markers were the winners. My competitive streak was out in full force, but unfortunately I had to settle for second place.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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After an active afternoon session, it was time to relax and enjoy some champagne tasting. This was another first for me. I learned so much about how champagne is made, corked and bottled, as well as the difference between a good champagne and the cheap brands you find in supermarkets. Did you know that the smaller the bubbles, the better the champagne? –  Neither did I until that moment.

royal caribbeans 50th birthday party at the cliff house hotel
 

 

 
After a quick shower and change it was time for the evening event. We were treated to delicious vodka-mango cocktails. They brought back memories of my cruise in the Caribbean – I’m assuming that was the objective… 

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas
 

 

 
Royal Caribbean then presented awards to their prestigious trade partners. The lucky winners were as follows:

  • Best Cruise Performance Europe 2018: Worldchoice Ireland
  • Best Cruise Performance Caribbean 2018: Tour America
  • Best Cruise Performance ROW 2018: Click&Go
  • Best Retail Outlet 2018: Cassidy Travel – The Pavillions
  • Outstanding Contribution Award 2018: Southern Ireland, Sunway
  • Outstanding Contribution Award 2018: Northern Ireland, Oasis Travel

royal caribbean award winners

The awards were followed by dinner in the Michelin Starred Restaurant at the Cliff House Hotel. This was, to quote one of Royal Caribbean’s slogans, ‘where extraordinary happened’. It was one of the best meals I have ever had. This was echoed throughout the room – all I could hear was exclamations of delight.

food at the cliff house hotel
 

 

 
The mouthwatering appetisers included Marshmallow with Smoked Popcorn, the trio of starters included Cured Bantry Bay Salmon and the trio of deserts, a Parfait Nougatine with Blackberry, Popcorn and Caramel. To say they were sublime is a massive understatement. I had the Black Angus Beef for main course, but felt like I was missing out by not having the Wild Atlantic Halibut too. It was a gastronomic feast, and one that I will cherish for many years to come.

food at the cliff house hotel waterford
 

 

 
Just when we thought the night couldn’t get any better, we were treated to a spectacular firework display to celebrate Royal Caribbeans’ 50th birthday, and a performance from Irish Dance music band, Scannal.  

 

 
 
 
 
 
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For anyone reading this who hasn’t cruised with Royal Caribbean before, this is indicative of what you can expect from a Royal Caribbean holiday – top class accommodation, plenty of adventure and mouth watering food. I love when an event is ‘on brand’ and this certainly was. 

royal caribban Allure of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International is the world’s largest global cruise line. It cruises to 260 destinations in 72 countries on six continents, including Royal Caribbean’s private island Perfect Day at CocoCay. Royal Caribbean was named the “Best Ocean Cruise Company” at the Irish Travel Trade Awards in 2018, “Ireland’s favourite cruise line” at the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards in 2018 and 2019 and Irish media voted Royal Caribbean as ‘Best Cruise Company’ in the 2019 Travel Media Awards. For more details on Royal Caribbean Cruises visit their website or your local travel agent.
 

 

 

Want to know more about cruising with Royal Caribbean? Check out my reviews: 

My review of Independence of the Seas

My review of Harmony of the Seas

My review of Ovation of the Seas

10 reasons to choose Royal Caribbean for family cruises

Allure of the Seas will cruise from Barcelona in 2020

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

CruisesFamily Holidays

10 Reasons to Choose Royal Caribbean For Family Cruises

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Kids clubs up to age 17, non-stop entertainment and large family suites are just some of the reasons to choose Royal Caribbean for family cruises – here are my top 10.

 

Ahoy there, did you know the cruise industry is booming? Every week I hear about ground breaking technology and amazing activities on yet another new cruise ship! Who needs formal dining and bridge when you can have sushi bars and dance classes? Waterparks are now the the norm on Royal Caribbean family cruises and they have even replaced bar men with robots in their bionic bars!

The average age has changed dramatically over the past ten years and cruise ships have adapted so well to their new younger clientele, particularly Royal Caribbean cruises. I was fortunate to be able to bring my kids on Independence of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas, so when Royal Caribbean asked me to tell you ten reasons why you should choose Royal Caribbean for family cruises, it was an easy decision to make! 

Royal Caribbean For Family Cruises

1. You will NEVER hear the words ‘I’m bored’!

Royal Caribbean know that with family cruises, active kids are happy kids! For anyone who hasn’t cruised before it is difficult to comprehend how much there is to do on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. The fact that some of the newest ships are taller than the Eiffel Tower and have seven different neighbourhoods on board, might make it a little easier to visualise.  

A program is placed in your cabin each day which lists all the different activities available. There are games, shows and different activities daily, designed especially for each age group, as well as a host of different kids clubs for all ages (more on that later). You can expect to find multi-sports courts and waterparks on most of their new cruise ships, catering for kids of all ages. Kids will think it is like Christmas morning, all day, every day! 

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas is great for family cruises

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2. Royal Caribbean’s family cruises are a great way to re-connect with your teenager! 

Watch your teenager’s mood swings sail away on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. Although there are teen clubs (more on that below), games consoles and the all important WiFi on board, don’t be surprised if you see them ditch ‘Fortnite’ for the FlowRider® – Royal Caribbean’s surf simulator.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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They can put their muscles to the test on the Rock Climbing Wall, slide down the Ultimate AbyssSM, the tallest slide at sea, don a virtual reality mask on the bungee trampoline SkyPadSM, or zipline across an open atrium, nine decks above the boardwalk. I braved the zipline on Harmony of the Seas and it was terrifying, but I have no doubt teenagers will love it! I also tried the SKYPadSM on Independence of the Seas and was blown away – it is the only one of it’s kind at sea.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Royal Caribbean have some mind blowing waterslides too, the Perfect Storm racer slides on Harmony of the Seas are perfect for teens and ‘The Blaster’ is coming to Navigator of the Seas soon, it will feature 800 feet of twists, turns, drops and the longest stretch of slide ever suspended over water.

Blaster slide - family cruises

They can enjoy activities at night time too with teen dinners, pool parties and movie nights. There are teen-only hang outs, a teen-only nightclub and open mic nights for budding performers.
 
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3. They have so many exciting dining options and you don’t have to dress up for dinner!

Royal Caribbean cruise ships have restaurants to suit all tastes and ages. As well as their popular buffet and main dining rooms, there are a host of speciality dining options . Enjoy mouth-watering steaks in Chops Grille, tasty burgers in Johnny Rockets or delicious pasta and pizza at Jamie’s Italian. We loved the Teppanyaki restaurant on Independence of the Seas. The kids enjoyed the interactive experience and now every time we go on holidays they always look to see if there is a Teppanyaki restaurant there.

Independence of the seas - teppanyaki

Why not take advantage of the late night kids club, (7$ per hour) and enjoy some fine dining on your own one night? You don’t need to select a specific dining time, just opt for ‘My Time Dining’ and dine whenever you like. You can reserve a table in advance for your preferred time, or simply show up and wait for an available table. Of course if you want to opt for traditional dining and select the same table and dining time each day, you can do that too. You can dress up or go casual, it is completely up to you. Royal Caribbean make it very simple – dine your own way!

wonderland on royal caribbean cruises

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4. There are family shows every night on Royal Caribbean’s family cruises.

While you may love to see your kids off enjoying themselves during the day, it is nice to do some family activities too. Royal Caribbean Broadway style shows are superb. We saw Grease and it was fantastic. The kids loved it, in fact I had to download the soundtrack when we got home! Shows vary depending on which ship you choose but Hairspray, Mamma Mia and the Queen tribute, We Will Rock You, are currently showing on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship near you…..

Royal Caribbean for family cruises

The Aqua shows on Oasis Class Ships are in an open air theatre, with a backdrop of the ocean across the horizon. The setting is remarkable. There are two 30-foot diving platforms on each side of a the deepest pool at sea, with professional acrobats walking tightropes, divers and synchronised swimmers. I recall thinking that the Royal Caribbean slogan ‘ Where Extraordinary Happens’ was so apt when we watched this show, it really was extraordinary.

Royal Caribbean's Aquatheatre is great for family cruises

Royal Caribbean also have their own original productions and ice skating shows so it is possible to have a completely different family evening each night – and all included in the cost of your cruise.

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5. No matter what time of year you want to travel, Royal Caribbean have family cruises to suit you.

Royal Caribbean International is the world’s largest global cruise line. They have 26 cruise ships, cruising to over 260 destinations in 72 countries across six continents! I think it is fair to say that no matter which destination you want to cruise to, they will always have family cruises to suit you.

Show the kids the wonders of Rome or ancient Greece on Royal Caribbean Mediterranean cruises, visit Alcatraz and DisneyLand on their West Coast of America cruise, give them a taste of the Orient with their wide selection of destinations in Asia ,or enjoy family days on the Caribbean’s best beaches.

royal caribbean cruise itineraries

 

6. Royal Caribbean have their own paradise island in the Bahamas called Perfect Day at Cococay!

I can’t wait to visit Perfect Day – it looks absolutely amazing! Royal Caribbean just spent $250 million dollars transforming this paradise island in the Bahamas, with incredible facilities to suit all ages and tastes. Thrillseekers will love the massive waterpark which has the tallest waterslide in North America, and a 1,600-foot-long zip-line course. They even have a massive helium balloon that goes 450 feet up in air, to capture the ultimate selfie!

best family cruises

Little ones are well catered for too with their own waterpark, Splashaway Bay and for those who just want to chill out, the Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool is here, or simply relax on a cabana on Chill Island, Perfect Day’s very own chill zone. When you think of family cruises, this destination should be at the top of your wish list.

perfect day at cococay

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7. There are Kids Clubs for anyone between 6 months and 17 years!

Royal Caribbean award-winning Adventure Ocean® Kids Club has kids clubs to suit everyone from 6 months to 17 years. There are 45 minute interactive playgroups for babies, or if you fancy chilling out at the spa, you can use the Tots Nursery. The kids clubs are split into three groups, Aquanauts (3-5 years), Explorers (6-8 years) and Voyagers (9-11 years), while the teens club has two groups, Younger teens (aged 12-14) and Older Teens (aged 15-17) – because Royal Caribbean know all too well that 17 year olds don’t want to mix with 12 year olds!

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas best family cruises

From pirate parties to science experiments, Royal Caribbean family cruises offer a host of interactive programs and activities for each age group. They also have a Late Night Party Zone between 10pm and 2am – perfect if you have a date night. All kids clubs are included in the cost of your cruise, but additional fees apply for the nursery and the late night party zone.

kids clubs on royal caribbean cruise ships - family cruises

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8. Royal Caribbean’s family cruises offer shore excursions specifically for families.

Exploring new cities and destinations is all part of cruising, but let’s face it, there are only so many city tours kids can take! Luckily Royal Caribbean have curated shore excursions specifically with families in mind. You can enjoy fun-filled family days in exciting locations all over the world.

family cruise destinations

Make visiting Rome’s monuments exciting for kids. Let them learn the art of Roman gladiator combat followed by a tour of the Colosseum. Want to see Italy’s stunning Amalfi Coast? Combine this scenic drive with a pizza making class in Sorrento. There are visits to a dog-sled camp in Alaska, you can save sea turtles in Mexico or swim with sharks and sting-rays in Belize.

family cruises

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9. Royal Caribbean cruise ships have family suites 

Royal Caribbean have a wide choice of accommodation options. Interior and Oceanview family staterooms can sleep up to six, or you can opt for two interconnecting staterooms if you want more privacy. If you have two families travelling together, or want to bring the grandparents along, opt for the Royal Family Suite which sleeps up to eight.

If you really want to push the boat out (excuse the pun), go for the Ultimate Family Suite! This two bedroom suite also sleeps up to eight, but has a floor-to-ceiling LEGO wall, a slide from the kids bedroom to the lounge, a movie room with a popcorn machine and a 3D TV. And that’s just the inside! The 212 square foot wrap-around balcony touts a bumper pool table, a climbing experience and a full-size whirlpool that will provide unmatched ocean views.  

Symphony of the Seas ultimate family suite - family cruises

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10. Royal Caribbean’s family cruises are great value

How much do you spend dining out with the family or going to a show together in your hometown? When you think that all meals, world-class shows, kids clubs and jaw dropping activities are included in the cost of your cruise, as well the the opportunity of visiting six different destinations on a seven-night holiday, Royal Caribbean family cruises are great value.

At the time of issue, Royal Caribbean is offering a seven-night Oman and Emirates cruise from €499 per person, a seven-night Mediterranean cruise from €619 per person and a fourteen-night Caribbean Transatlantic cruise from €839 per person! 

View latest cruise offers here

 

 

Want to know more about family cruises? Check out my reviews: 

My review of Independence of the Seas

My review of Harmony of the Seas

 

This post was sponsored by Royal Caribbean International, but all views, as always are my own.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert
 

Travel News and Reviews

Get Paid €118k To Travel The World With Royal Caribbean!

spectrum of the seas

Are you adventurous? Are you able to tell a story in a an Instagram post? Do you want to get paid to travel the world this year? Then I might have found your dream job! Applications are open for Royal Caribbean’s first ever Shore Explorer….

 

Get paid to travel the world – this is an extraordinary ‘Apprentice-Ship’ for sure!  Royal Caribbean want you to travel on their luxurious cruise ships and document life on board on via Instagram. You will travel to Japan, Alaska and Europe on Royal Caribbean’s luxurious cruise ships and be one of the first to visit Perfect Day℠ at CocoCay® – their new and exclusive private island in the Caribbean.

get paid to travel the world

 

You will also be tasked with the job of trying out new land-based experiences to influence Royal Caribbean’s shore excursion programme. So if you fancy walking on glaciers and travelling in hot air balloons, white water rafting in the Norwegian Fjords, or riding the world’s longest urban zip wire in Dubai – then this job is for you! And all you need to do is document your experiences on Instagram, Insta-Stories and IGTV. And just in case you still need convincing.. you also get a salary of £2000 per week!

How do I apply?

You need to apply via Instagram. Simply share your favourite travel experience in a picture or video on Instagram, Insta-Stories or IGTV tagging #ShoreExplorer and @RoyalCaribbeanUK. The successful candidate will be selected by an independent panel of judges which includes the ‘I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!’ star, James McVey and fellow Irish travel blogger Nadia El Ferdaoussi.

 

This amazing competition is open to applicants from the UK and Ireland who are over 21, hold a valid passport and are able to travel this year. Competition closes on the 1st of March so visit Royal Caribbean UK’s instagram page  or click here for more details on how to enter.

 

 

 

Wonder what it’s like to cruise with Royal Caribbean? Check out my review of Harmony of the Seas here.

 
Good luck!
 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

Travel

Introducing Royal Caribbean’s Newest Ship, Symphony of the Seas

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Records are meant to be broken I guess! Harmony of the Seas will no longer be the world’s largest cruise ship – that accolade will soon belong to Royal Caribbean’s newest ship Symphony of the Seas.

 

Royal Caribbean’s 26th ship in their fleet, Symphony of the Seas will launch in April 2018, with summer sailings around the Mediterranean from Barcelona. Typical itineraries will include stops in Palma, Rome, Naples and Provence. Winter 2018 will see her move to the Caribbean featuring exotic ports of call such as St Kitts & Nevis and the Cayman Islands.

Royal Caribbean's newest ship Symphony of the Seas

Facilities will be similar to her sister ship, Harmony of the Seas and will include seven neighbourhoods, robotic bartenders, an aquatheatre, top class shows, water slides and the Ultimate Abyss – the tallest slide at sea. It will carry a staggering 6,780 guests and over 2,000 crew. For more information on what to expect on Symphony of the Seas, read about my review of Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas.

Introducing Royal Caribbean's Newest Ship, Symphony of the Seas

Royal Caribbean continues to provide extraordinary cruise ships and holiday experiences. They visit 250 destinations in 77 countries across 6 continents, and have a cruise to suit everyone.  Royal Caribbean’s newest ship Symphony of the Seas is now available to book. For more details visit their website or your local travel agent.

 

Interested in cruising, for cruise news, reviews and the best cruise deals, click here.

 

Sarah

 The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 

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My Review of Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas

Harmony of the Seas

Taller than the Eiffel Tower, can carry 5,780 passengers, has 7 different neighbourhoods and 20 restaurants. Is it possible that Royal Caribbean’s massive cruise ship can live up to the hype? Find out in my review of Harmony of the Seas.

 


When I was asked to visit and a review of Harmony of the Seas, I was a little nervous. I thought it would find it too big. My sense of direction is SO bad, I was sure I wouldn’t be able to navigate my way around it. I even worried that my kids might get lost at some stage!

However, once I stepped onto the Royal Promenade my fears dissipated. My kids ran to the nearest Shrek character, while I stood there ogling at the promenade deck that was packed with shops, bars and restaurants. My jaw was hanging open and on numerous occasions, friendly staff approached me asking if I needed any assistance. There seemed to be so many of them (2,100 in fact ) and this was evident throughout my cruise. I was given a map with all the highlights but by the time I took it out of my handbag, someone was beside me giving me directions.

They also have smart screens throughout the ship showing where everything is located. I would contend that it is impossible to get lost on this ship. We managed, under duress, to make our way to our stateroom. Passing the bionic bar (where actual robots make and serve you drinks) and the designer shops, I had an awful pang in my stomach. What if I don’t have time to come back?

review of Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

Our stateroom was adequate for four, although I did manage to get a glimpse of some of the family rooms and was very impressed. They were so spacious, the largest I have seen in any ship. They comfortably sleep six with a large double bed, double sofa, bunkbeds and lots of space over all. I thought they were more spacious for six than many staterooms I have seen for four. All rooms are furnished with all mod cons including usb ports, flat screen tv’s and plenty of storage space.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

Once we unpacked, it was a case of, where to begin…! There are seven different neighbourhoods on board, each with their own activities and distinctive vibe. The kids went straight for the splash park and water slides and it was hard to get them to leave! The pool deck caters for kids of all ages. They have a tots area, a splash park for kids from about five to eight years, and three large slides for older kids. We tried them all! I had great fun racing my 8 year old down the Perfect Storm trio of slides. There are also plenty of different swimming pools, so if slides are not your thing, no worries.

waterpark on Harmony of the Seas

We rounded off our first afternoon with a trip to The Boardwalk. We had a spin on the hand crafted carousel (crazy I know!) while the kids climbed up their own rock climbing wall (there are two other rock climbing walls for adults on-board!). The boardwalk is a cool place to hang out, complete with a Mexican restaurant, a Starbucks café and even a Johnny Rockets diner – straight out of Grease.

review of Harmony of the Seas

Speaking of Grease, that night we managed to catch the broadway version in the Royal Theatre. It was spectacular. I’m not one for musicals per se, but it was as good if not better, than I have seen in London’s West End. The kids loved it too, in fact I had to download the soundtrack when I got home and it’s still requested every time they get in the car! The night entertainment continued until the small hours. There was a street party taking place in the Royal Promenade, an ice show in the ice skating rink (did I mention there was one on board?) and an open air aqua show, at the aft of the ship. We debated about using the kids club which is $7 per hour after 10pm, but decided against it as the kids were exhausted.

grease on Harmony of the Seas

The kids clubs are terrific, they are suitable for kids aged 3 to 11. Facilities include an adventure science lab, an imagination studio, a dedicated children’s theatre, all free until 10pm! You can even leave the kids on board while in port so you are free to explore on land. They have creche facilities from 6 months to 3 years, a charge of $10 per hour applies. Royal Caribbean have teamed up with Dreamworks so from time you time you will see Shrek, Puss in Boots, Kung Fu Panda and other characters out and about. They will pose happily for photos with kids – a nice touch I thought. Kids can also watch the latest Dreamworks movies in their own theatre or in your stateroom. Teenagers are not left out, they have dedicated teen only zones, as well their own nite club and the numerous sports facilities on board.

On Harmony of the Seas, if you fancy some quiet time, there are plenty of places to hide. I thought how nice it would be to skip off to the adults only solarium, chill by the pool or enjoy a spa treatment, while the kids were happily playing in the kids clubs. They also have a medi spa where you can get acupuncture and even teeth whitening! And if you fancied a night cap or a trip to the casino after 10pm, just pay $7 an hour  – that’s a pretty good deal.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

After our relatively early first night, we were up early to see as much as we could on our last day! First up was the largest slide at sea, the Ultimate Abyss. This is a pair of slides that offer a 100 foot drop over 10 decks. It is the iconic picture of two purple slides you see cantilevered at the aft of the ship. Personally I didn’t find it as scary as I was led to believe, however you are in complete darkness. The zipline on the other hand, OMG! I faced my fears that day and ziplined across the open air atrium. I was suspended nine decks above the boardwalk, and all in the name of research!! I guess everyone has fears. Stepping off that ledge, was one of mine. It was terrifying!

review of Harmony of the Seas

I headed straight for the bar, still shaking, and downed one of their signature cocktails! The kids were proud of me though, does that count? Mind you they were more interested in showing me how well they were doing at mini golf than listening to me recount my experience. We decided to leave the surf simulator and rock climbing wall for another time and instead watched the kids finish off their mini golf game at a leisurely pace.

mini golf on Harmony of the Seas

After all that exercise, it was time for lunch.  Out came the map again, how do you decide where to eat when there are twenty different restaurants on board? We decided to pop down to Central Park. There seemed to be plenty of dining options there. This turned out to be my favourite part (or neighbourhood) of the ship. The centre of the ship is completely open to the sky which creates a fabulous atmosphere. You don’t think you are on a ship at all. We enjoyed a few drinks at the Trellis bar before taking a stroll through the park. There is a staggering 12,000 trees and plants here! Luke spotted someone eating a tasty panini outside the Park Café, so in we went. This is a great choice for a family lunch if you don’t fancy the main restaurant and there is no additional charge.

central park on Harmony of the Seas

I’m not sure if it was the action packed morning, the food, the wine, or perhaps the combination of all three but suddenly I had the urge to chill out on a sun lounger…  How cool is it that one minute I’m on a zipline, the next I’m dining in central park and then I’m flaked out by the pool. Welcome to the world of cruising…

The kids played happily in the splash park and the pool whilst my husband and I enjoyed some much deserved R’N’R. The kids loved the self serve ice cream parlour by the pool where they could pull their own cones. This was their first experience of an all-inclusive arrangement, so they were ecstatic that they didn’t have to pay for them and that I didn’t need to know how many they were having!  There are even miniature sun loungers for kids when it all gets too much for them too. Harmony of the Seas caters so well for families. You have to hand it to Royal Caribbean, they really have thought of everything.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

That evening we had the pleasure of visiting one the speciality dining restaurants, Coastal Kitchen. Situated on deck seventeen, with stunning ocean views and a strong Californian vibe – I loved it. The food, the service, and the ambiance was superb. The kids loved it too. Although they didn’t have a separate kids menu, they offered to make anything to suit their tastes. There are plenty of pizza, pasta or burger restaurants on board as well as a massive buffet restaurant so trust me when I say there are huge choices for kids. I thought Coastal Kitchen was special though. I wondered whether all the speciality dining restaurants were as good? I did eat in Jamie’s Italian restaurant on Ovation of the Seas and it was great too. I’m thinking, I tried two and both were great, I can only assume they all are.

review of Harmony of the Seas

Of course you have to pay for these top class restaurants…Prices vary from $25 for dinner at Jamie’s and $49 in Wonderland. However, if you really want to push the boat out (excuse the pun!), try the four-course menu in 150 Central Park for $89, where each course is paired with wine. With over 5700 passengers on-board you will need to make a reservation for the most popular restaurants. You can do this on line before you cruise or by using the Royal IQ app on board. The app is very easy to use, the fact that the wifi is excellent (the fastest at sea) probably helps! There is a charge for wifi, a bit steep at $13.95 per day. There are packages available if using numerous devices in the one stateroom, and discounts for pre-booking are available online. I would advise to check these out before you board.

review of Harmony of the Seas

After our meal, we went to the open air aqua show. The setting is remarkable, an open air theatre with the backdrop of the ocean across the horizon. The sun started to set just as the show began – perfection! The modern show featured professional acrobats, divers and synchronised swimmers. There were acrobats walking tightropes above us along with trapeze acts dipping in and out of the water. It was quite exhilarating. We didn’t know what was going to happen next, it really had a WOW factor. That said, when it was all over, I wasn’t sure what to make of it all. It was seriously impressive, but I thought a little disjointed in parts.

review of Harmony of the Seas
Time for a quick night cap in the Royal Promenade before bed. I liked the Rising Tide where the entire bar and all those in it, elevate between the Royal Promenade deck and Central Park. It moves very slowly so it is a lovely experience and you can see what’s happening in both decks. You don’t miss any of the action! We also ordered a drink from the bionic bar were the ‘staff’ are efficient but somewhat lacking in personality!! The kids found it fascinating and although it is a bit gimmicky, you can’t deny the innovation is incredible.

review of Harmony of the Seas

You can’t deny the overall innovation is incredible. It seems that the development of Harmony of the Seas was led by imagination and thankfully not the budget! It’s not only the size of the cruise ship that is mind blowing, it is whats on board. It is colossal and of course not for everyone. If you want non stop action with an excellent choice of dining and entertainment, then I think you will not find better at sea, or even on land for that matter. The attention to detail, like the miniature sun loungers, show how much they care about keeping the younger clientele happy too. So I think the answer to the question: Does one of the largest and most innovative cruise ships at sea live up to the hype? In a word. Absolutely!

 

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Like Royal Caribbean cruises? You might like:

My review of Ovation of the Seas

My review of Independence of the Seas 

10 reasons to choose Royal Caribbean for family cruises.

 

Sarah

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