This weekend, I was invited to be one of the first to experience the largest cruise ship in the world, Harmony of the Seas, on an exclusive pre-inaugural sail, to experience onboard features including the spa and restaurants, firsthand.
The $1bn cruise ship, long as the Eiffel tower is tall, has 23 swimming pools, 20 dining options, and hosts a range of activities such as zip lining, surfing simulation and rock climbing.
Here’s the lowdown of what we squeezed in during a short Channel cruise on the Harmony of the Seas, and what you should consider when booking a cruise with Royal Caribbean:
Staterooms and suites
With a pair of cocktail-making robots and a thrill-inducing 10-storey tall slide, I expected the rooms to be jaw-dropping; and oh my, was I right. All stateroom attendants are on hand to take care of your every need 24 hours a day. They’ll turn your bed down at night, refresh your ice bucket and even fold special towel animals, which is pretty damn adorable!
Our superior ocean view stateroom with a balcony (182 square feet, with balconies ranging from 47 to 53 square feet), had a comfy king size bed, complete with private bathroom with shower, a sofa and a vanity area.
There was also a TV, telephone, and refrigerator in the room. On our private balcony overlooking the sea, we had a couple of loungers and a table – absolute bliss!
If you aren’t lucky enough to get a room with a view or a balcony, you can still enjoy stunning ocean and port vistas from the comfort of your interior stateroom, thanks to their virtual balconies – LCD screens that stream real-time footage of the view from deck directly to your room. Pretty cool, huh?
Personally, I was really chuffed we had a balcony because it opened up the room and felt more spacious. It was also so relaxing to hear the waves crashing against the ship in the evening – these are what dreams are made of.
If you’re looking for something really mind-blowing, check out the Star, Sky and Sea class royal suites with a mezzanine level bedroom – they’re absolutely INCREDIBLE!
We went up and had a nosey at a few that were currently unoccupied. Also, if you book into one of these suites you enjoy upgraded facilities and special privileges (like priority check-in and a complimentary valet service)!
Things to do
Royal Caribbean has seven distinct themed neighbourhoods on Harmony of the Seas, including the revitalising Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Centre, the Royal Promenade shopping district and the Kid’s Avenue.
This wasn’t relevant to us – but there is a kids club, for adults who want a couple of hours to explore the ship without the little ones. There is also a ton of activities and kids clubs that are great for kids, through to teens.
#relaxation #HarmonyoftheSeas I’m in heaven today 😘 A photo posted by Strawberry Squeeze (@samcharleseuk) on
We dropped our bags in our and went to explore the spa and fitness centre, located right next to our room on deck 6. From heated loungers to private hot tubs, the spa is perfect for unwinding after a long day exploring, or to hibernate on a rainy day.
They also offer treatments, such as hot stone massages – which I highly recommend you book.
There is a full-service salon, too! I didn’t take advantage of any of these services, but there was a hair salon, nail bar, teeth whitening, acupuncture and facial treatments all available.