She debuted to rave reviews in Southampton last spring, and then summered in Barcelona and the Mediterranean. Now, Harmony of the Seas, the latest addition to Royal Caribbean’s fleet, has just crossed the Atlantic to join her sister-ships in South Florida (watch a video of their historic meeting here). Harmony arrived in Fort Lauderdale on November 5 and will begin sailing seven-night itineraries to the Eastern and Western Caribbean starting November 12.
Technically, Harmony is an Oasis-class ship like Oasis of the Seas (now based in Port Canaveral) and Allure of the Seas (based in Port Everglades), and as the largest cruise ship in the world, she boasts the greatest hits found on her sister-ships, plus entirely new features created with an eye for adventure and innovation.
This is the first time Royal Caribbean has built slides within the onboard activities the ship offers, and for this ambitious undertaking, they went big. The Ultimate Abyss is the tallest slide at sea, famous for its 10-story plunge that whisks riders from the ship’s top deck to the landing zone in the Boardwalk neighborhood. The thrilling adventure is designed like a giant fish and made up of two separate stainless steel cylinders, each with a diameter of approximately 2.6 feet. You climb through the fish’s mouth before tunneling through its snake-like twists, accompanied by a state-of-the-art light and sound display, throughout its 100-foot drop.
Return of Neighborhoods
The heart of the Harmony experience lies in exploring its seven signature neighborhoods. The Ultimate Abyss lives in the Pool and Sports Zone, which is also home to the Perfect Storm, Splashaway Bay, the FlowRider surf simulator and zip line. Activities in the Youth Zone target children of all ages from babies to teens, while the Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center give adults the ideal place to get moving—or relax. By strolling the Royal Promenade, you can make stops at hot spots like Boleros, Sorrento’s, the Bionic Bar, Entertainment Place, and Park Café, enough to merit your own custom food and pub crawl.
Celebrating Seaside Entertainment
The Boardwalk neighborhood pays homage to iconic seaside boardwalks both past and present, with its predominant feature a hand-carved wooden carousel. Here, you’ll find casual places to stop like the Boardwalk Dog House, Johnny Rocket’s, Sabor Taqueria and Tequila Bar and Starbucks. While you’re in the neighborhood, you can or catch thrilling high-diving and acrobatics performed at the AquaTheater, giving you the chance to see crew ambassador Sydney Brown in her element.
A Walk in the Park
One of the revolutionary features of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class ships is that the very center opens to the sky. Here you’ll find Central Park, an oasis of green in the middle of wide blue sea. With more than 2,000 flora species and 10,000 plants, it’s all maintained under the care of the ship’s landscape specialist, who also leads tours of the area for guests interested in learning more about this signature feat. The park also boasts popular dining venues, like the Park Café (try the signature kummelweck sandwich) as well as Jamie’s Italian and 150 Central Park, created by celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Michael Schwartz, for upscale dining. While you walk, you can stop in at stores like Cartier and Hublot along the way.
We tracked Harmony as she sailed to the United States for the first time to make Fort Lauderdale, Florida, her new home. You can see the journey here; and for more information about Royal Caribbean cruise vacations, head here.