Christian Stan, at 14 Jun. 16, in Cruise, News, Our experiences

The biggest slide on a cruise ship, the conceptual dynamic dining borrowed from the Quantum class, the spacious staterooms, the new-age design, the technological innovation and the impressive art-collection, all these thing make the Harmony of the Seas an incredible ship, guaranteed to make you fall in love with it at first sight.


Aerial view of Harmony of the Seas

I’m now at my twelfth cruise; however, the innovations introduced by the Royal Caribbean never cease to amaze me. The latest ship recently launched, the Harmony of the Seas, was ceremoniously announced several years ago, when the company noticed that tourism on the seas is on the rise, and gave the green light to another Oasis class ship. The Royal Caribbean International has made history in 2009, with the launch of the Oasis of the Seas, which at that time, was the only ship with a capacity of over 5,000 passengers. It was followed in 2010 by her twin ship, the Allure of the Seas, and the year 2016 brings the Harmony in the foreground, which is like a floating Ritz-Carlton when it comes to its interior design, its stunning floral arrangements and its sophisticated collection of contemporary art.

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Aerial View of Harmony of the Seas

Where the Oasis and the Allure have a capacity of 5,400 passengers, Harmony can accommodate a record number of 5479 people in 2747 staterooms. It provides 16 decks and its construction cost no less than 1.36 billion dollars. The ship maintains the division of seven neighborhoods (specific to the Oasis class), but it also borrows from the Quantum class the cool design elements, the technological innovations such as the Bionic Bar and the Dynamic Dining concept. Last but not least, the VOOM technology is available aboard the Harmony of the Seas, which allows you to use high-speed Internet access no matter where you are.

The Ultimate Abyss

Especially dedicated to families with children, the ship excels when it comes to entertainment. From surf simulators, to basketball courts, climbing walls, zip linings, ice rink or a performance hall of over 2,000 seats … this ship has it all. The Ultimate Abyss is, however the main highlight, as it is the highest slide ever installed on a cruise ship, with a height of 50 meters. A technological wonder dedicated to the adrenaline addicts, the Ultimate Abyss takes you from deck 16 to deck 6 in less than 12 seconds.


The Ultimate Abyss


The Ultimate Abyss as seen from The Boardwalk

Ultimate Abyss

If you are not strong-hearted, then you will definitely enjoy the wooden hand-carved carousel on the BoardWalk. The Aqua Theatre is also located here, and each evening a team of former diving world champions offer a unique and thrilling aerobatics show.


The Aqua Theatre


The Central Park

To those who need to escape the from the daily stress, I strongly recommend a stroll through the Central Park, a park even more diverse than many Botanical Gardens, with over 10,000 species of plants, many cafés and specialty restaurants. For the shopping experience, you are invited to deck 5, on the Royal Promenade, which closely resembles the main ally of a shopping centre, and as for musicals, I’ll meet you at the Royal Theatre, where “Grease” is staged by a team of Broadway professionals.

 Dynamic Dining

As for the dining options available, the news is good, even for those of you who are on a diet. Harmony of the Seas borrows the “Dynamic Dining” concept, introduced for the first time on the Quantum, which means that there are no less than 20 restaurants, of which 11 are included in the cruise price. The other restaurants offer specialty dining, for a reservation fee of 35 or 40 dollars a person.

Jamie's Italian

Jamie’s Italian Restaurant

I strongly recommend you to try a dinner at Jamie’s (the famous restaurant owned by Chef Jamie Oliver), which guarantees only organic dishes. The hors d’oeuvres are served on a “wooden board” (just like at Grandma’, in the erstwhile), the chicken is organic (a rarity in our times), the wine is from Tuscany, and the desserts are mouthwatering (unless you’re on a “no carbs diet”, in which case you’ll bitterly grit your teeth). For the sushi and sashimi fans there is the Izumi, where you can find one of the best and most refreshing desserts I have ever tasted, the Machi ice cream (mango, pistachio or chocolate flavored, each bowl being wrapped in a layer of rice).


Silk, the Chinese restaurant


Wonderland, the imaginative cuisine restaurant

The best beef steaks can be found at the Chops Grille, and the Wonderland introduces you into the secrets of molecular cuisine. The olive flavored gelatin, the smoky boiled eggs or the chocolate globe that melts and reveals the most delicious caramel ice cream, are just a few of the restaurant’s culinary highlights. Aboard the ship you will surely meet many Romanians, many of them in key positions, always willing to help and happy to exchange a few words in their native language. Catalin Buta proudly represents our country in one of the highest positions in the company. He is the manager of Food and Beverage department on the Harmony of the Seas, and he is in charge of not less than 1,000 people.

$ 6.5 million worth of art

The Harmony of the Seas borrows some features which can only be found in the world’s most luxurious hotels. Besides the new design of the staterooms, which are more elegant and spacious than the rooms of many fancy hotels on land, the ship also takes pride in an impressive private art collection, exceeding in value the collection of the Ritz Carlton in Singapore (including works by Frank Stella, Andy Warhol or David Hockney, estimated at $ 6 million).


The Head by David Cerny


“Ivy,” by French artist Mark Fornes

Aboard the Harmony, one can admire 3200 artworks which are worth no less than $ 6.5 million. The most remarkable one is the metal sculpture “The Head”, by David Cerny, located on the Royal Promenade; it weighs 6.5 tons and it is estimated at $ 1 million. “Ivy,” by French artist Mark Fornes is comprised of 10,813 aluminum parts painted in vibrant yellow and pink and “Light Pillar” is a breathtaking matrix of rainbow-colored hanging stainless steel cables, created by Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues.


The Upper Decks


The Perfect Storm water slide



The Bionic Bar

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Royal Loft Suite on Harmony of the Seas

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Stateroom on Harmony of the Seas

The Harmony of the Seas will remain in Europe until November and will operate 7-night cruises on the Western Mediterranean departing from Barcelona and stopping at Palma de Mallorca, Civitavecchia, Napoli and the French Riviera.

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