You would be hard pressed to take part in everything on offer on the 5,479-passenger Harmony of the Seas in a week. The sheer number of entertainment offerings, both day and night, is bewildering; it's a bit like being at a massive floating theme park, with everything from simulated surfing to ziplines, an ice rink, rock climbing walls and a 10-story dry slide.
Harmony of the Seas is part of Royal Caribbean's hugely popular Oasis class of ships, the largest cruise ships afloat. The ship is almost a carbon copy of its fleetmate, which pioneered a "neighborhood" concept, with activities grouped into different areas on the ship. So, you have the buzzy, amusement park-style Boardwalk; the serenity of Central Park, with its real trees and plants; the Pool and Sports Zone for outdoor activities, including a large kids splash park; and the Royal Promenade for indoor shopping and entertainment.
The sheer size of Harmony of the Seas is astounding; it's easy to forget you're on a ship, especially when you're hanging out on the Royal Promenade, which feels more like a Vegas hotel than a cruise ship. It also means you're less likely to feel the waves, a big plus for those prone to seasickness.
What Harmony of the Seas excels in is variety, whether you're talking cabins, entertainment or dining. Even cabins in the ship's lowest category are thoughtfully designed and comfortable, with space for relaxing and plenty of storage. Likewise, the entertainment onboard, whether small scale, like an acoustic guitarist, or larger than life, like the production of "Grease," is simply outstanding. The ship's restaurants offer everything from low-key grab-and-go meals to multicourse, hourslong culinary extravaganzas, though be prepared for a variety of quality with the extra-cost venues generally being much better.
You'll find lots of space for kids of all ages, fun and entertaining programming and the facilities -- for our money -- are the best at sea. Parents can spend time playing with their kids all day and then feel comfortable heading off on date night knowing their children are in good hands.
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If you're happy sharing your cruise vacation with 6,779 other passengers (at full capacity), of all ages and with a lot of families, then Harmony of the Seas is about as good as it gets in terms of activities, entertainment and fun at sea -- throw yourself in, and you'll be kept busy all week.
Daytime: Anything goes, though cover-ups or shirts and shoes are required for indoor dining -- and indoor spaces, in general.
Evening: "Resort casual," which for women means dresses or skirts, capris or slacks and blouses. For men, khakis or dress pants paired with button-down or collared shirts work. Formalwear options for women include evening gowns, cocktail dresses or fancy blouses with slacks. Men generally go with dress shirts, ties, jackets and slacks, full suits or even tuxedos.
Not permitted: Cutoff jeans, shorts and swimwear are not permitted in the main dining room.
For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Royal Caribbean.
BirdTravels on the Harmony of the Seas to the Bahamas