RELAXATION - The Harmony of the Seas by Royal Caribbean offers much in the way of the ultimate vacation.

Setting sail on the new Harmony of the Seas cruise ship

Royal Caribbean has once again outdone itself with a trip that doesn’t disappoint

BY SUSAN WALKER

I was so excited to be invited to experience the biggest and boldest adventure at sea. The new Harmony of the Seas by Royal Caribbean with 5,473 guests and 2,100 crew made her maiden debut in Fort Lauderdale at the beginning of November.

I had already experienced both the Oasis, the Allure and the Quantum and I was excited to find out what exciting new features the Harmony had to offer.

Along with the usual such as zip lining, a skating rink, flow riders and a rock climbing wall. They have also added the Perfect Storm Water Slides. The Perfect Storm has three water slides, three decks high and they are designed for racing. Although I never personally tried the slides, from all of our friends that did, there was thumbs up all the way.

One of the newest and most exciting addition was The Abyss. This is a slide that starts on deck 16 and will take you to deck six at a speed of nine miles an hour with a 100 ft. drop. It was fast, fun and a must do for everyone that sails on her. She ends right at the Boardwalk where the Aqua Theater is and where you must book your show prior to getting onboard. I’ve seen a couple of their water shows but this is the best one yet. It will leave you on the edge of your seat as you try to capture all of the amazing performances that are going on above you and below you in the water. The fun carousel, rock climbing wall, Starbucks and my favourite Johnny Rockets is all located within this area.

One of my favorite areas is Central Park which has over 12,000 lush green trees and plants complete with the birds singing. This is a great area to grab your book and a cup of coffee and sit down and relax and let your time pass. You will also find some of the best specialty restaurants at sea and most notably Jamie’s Italian restaurant in Central Park.

The Youth Zone has everything from Royal Babies & Tots to a Fuel Teen Disco. This area will keep your kids entertained during the whole cruise.

The Entertainment Place has the Royal Theater and this is where the full Broadway production of Grease takes place. Royal Caribbean has purchased the rights to both the Broadway show and the movie and have combined the two. This production is one the best shows I’ve seen at sea and will have you singing and clapping to all of the familiar music. Along with the theatre there is also a jazz bar and the Attic which is where the comedy shows are held. We had tickets to see the we were able to see the hilarious AJ Jamal perform.

After experiencing all of this, it is nice to get away from it all and enjoy the Vitality Spa, and relax in the peaceful setting of the Solarium which is the adult only section of the ship.

Of course, one of the highlights of cruising is experiencing the food and the Harmony didn’t disappoint. There are so many complimentary dining options from the main dining rooms, the casual Windjammer Café to Mini Bites, and one thing is you won’t go home hungry. If you are looking for a different experience you do have the option of experiencing the magical Wonderland where six exciting themes comprise the menu and you also can book into the classic Chops Grille for the most delicious steak.

Along with the 20 dining options you do have 16 bars, lounges and hot spots to try before the end of your cruise. Here you can experience everything from a jazz lounge to the poolside bar.

Besides the usual choice of staterooms, the Harmony also offers you several different options from an inside stateroom with virtual balcony to family size ocean view staterooms as well as some single occupancy ocean view rooms. If you feel like spoiling yourself, then you must ask one of our travel experts about the Royal Suite Class where your wish is their command. The Amazing Loft Suite is the ultimate in luxury.

Royal Caribbean has once again outdone itself and not only with all of the new innovations but the staff and quality of the food and entertainment didn’t disappoint.

Susan Walker is the franchise owner of Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Red Deer.