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Harmony of the Seas – U.S. Inaugural Cruise

Invited Guests Only

After our flight to South Florida, we proceeded to the Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale to board the ship.  The cruise was for invited guests from the media and the travel industry and I am sure many other VIP guests. 

It was a two-night voyage which meant we only had one and a half days to cover this enormous ship.  Certainly not enough time to dine in the many eateries on the ship, nor experience all the activities or shows.

Activities

Although I couldn’t take advantage of any of the activities on the Harmony myself, I was able to photograph and take videos of some of the more popular ones.  A shortlist of those activities included the Rock Wall, Zip Line, The Abyss and Flowrider.

But that wasn’t all, it also had Mini Golf, Ice Skating, the Fitness Center and a fantastic water park for the kids called “Splash Away Bay”. Of course, they also have five pools and many other exciting activities on the ship. 

Harmony of the Seas
5 Pools
Harmony of the Seas
Flow Rider

Dining

Harmony of the SeasA day and a half on the ship meant only five meals so I had to select a couple of dinner restaurants. We went to the Windjammer for breakfast and a lunch and Johnny Rockets on our first day.   Our first night we dined at the Main  Dining Room and the second at 150 Central Park.  At 150 the food was exceptional, we would suggest adding this to your must dine list.  In our video, you will learn a bit more about Dining and Entertainment options on the ship from executive chef David Reihana

Harmony of the Seas

Harmony of he Seas
The Windjammer
Harmony of the Seas
Dining Chart

My Time Dining

One of the great features on most if now all RCL ships are their  “My Time Dining”.  This enables each guest to select which restaurant and time they want to dine.  From their Windjammer which is the breakfast, lunch and dinner option to the many other restaurants or dining locations on the ship.

So many dining options.   Complimentary, Specialty Dining both A la carte and cover where you pay a fee for items you order.  You can see a full list of restaurants on their website.   Reservations are required at some of the restaurants.

Lunch At Johnny Rockets

We had our first lunch at Johnny Rockets.  It was located on the ships Boardwalk, right next to the arcade and carousel and Aqua Theater.  Yes, they have a real carousel on board the ship. 

The only thing the carousel didn’t have was a chance to catch a Brass Ring.  As a child riding on Merry-Go-Round’s in Coney Island, we had so much fun leaning over to try to catch a brass ring. The rings came out of an arm feeding steel rings and one made of brass.  If you caught the brass ring you earned a free ride.

Entertainment

Harmony of the Seas
Royal Theater

Where do we start?  There is so much to do and see on this ship, you need to book your cruise on a back to back.  That means you book two seven-day cruises back to back.  Remember, cruising on a ship like this is not about the destinations. 

Frankly, I never get off the ship at the islands other than their own private beach on my cruises.  We have been to the Caribbean so many times, I would rather spend the time on the ship.

Their entertainment on the ship is better than any Broadway production I have seen.  The size of the theater is enormous.

The Royal Theater

This is a spectacular, state-of-the-art space that enlists 21st-century technology to create a performance environment that supersedes traditional theaters. Seating 1,380 guests, the Royal Theater is home to two headline shows presented by Royal Caribbean Productions:

Harmony of the Seas
Columbus The Musical

Columbus, The Musical! an original Royal Caribbean production created in the spirit of “Spamalot” and “Something Rotten

Harmony of the Seas
Grease

Grease 

The all-new, never-before-seen stage production, specially adapted by Royal Caribbean Productions.  Original choreography, costumes and aerial elements set to amaze the most seasoned theatergoers.  Featuring a soundtrack of crowd favorites such as “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin’,” “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee,” “Born to Hand-Jive,” “Beauty School Dropout” and more.

Now if that isn’t enough, we also have the  AquaTheater, the distinct high diving, acrobatic performance space introduced by Royal Caribbean with the Oasis class of ships. Two shows in the Aqua Theater.

The Fine Line

Is a journey from extreme to extraordinary- is the AquaTheater redefined with high-flying feats, mind-blowing stunts and physically demanding acrobatics brought to life by the world’s best extreme-sport athletes?

Hideaway Heist

Dive into hilarious escapades, guests will steal some laughs and experience amazing wows with Royal Caribbean’s new comedy dive show. This action-packed comedy aqua show jumps into the world of a swanky 1950’s holiday resort where guys ‘n’ dolls take the audience on a frolicking escapade

 Ice Shows in Studio B

Stunning multimedia visuals, audio, and state-of-the-art technology provide a sight and sound theatrical extravaganza.  Guests will watch as the surface of the ice rink in Studio B transforms before their very eyes.  Two wonderful shows that you won’t want to miss.

1887

Is an original Royal Caribbean production about love and adventure that begins in Paris on February 14, 1887 at the height of the career of Jules Verne, renowned author of timeless adventure novels such as “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (1864), “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” (1870), and “Around the World in Eighty Days” (1873).

iSkate Showcase

 Studio B ice show unlike any other where Royal Caribbean’s talented skaters put their best blade forward in a dazzling showcase of their very best moves set to their own favorite tunes.
The cast goes rogue and anything can happen! 

The Royal Promenade

Harmony of the Seas
Royal Promenade

Royal Caribbean’s signature theme nights and parades with: 

        • Totally Awesome 90s Harmony of the Seas debuts the evolution of Royal Caribbean’s much-loved Promenade 70s Party as the clock is pushed forward to the 90s. Guests can party it up in a new era when soundtracks are dominated by teen pop, dance-pop and the growing popularity of hip hop.  A live DJ spinning favorite 90s hits live pop-up performances and crazy neon tracksuits set the stage to transport partygoers back to this totally awesome decade.
        • Let’s Celebrate! –  the ultimate celebration of celebrations. Halloween, Birthdays, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve will all be celebrated at once, in a wild and crazy parade that’s truly unforgettable. 

Itineraries

Harmony of the Seas visits either the Western or Eastern Caribbean.  The Western Caribbean 7 night cruise sails out of Ft. Lauderdale, onto Labadee the RCL Private Beach in Haiti, onto Falmouth, Jamaica and onto Cozumel, Mexico.

It cruise’s to the Eastern Caribbean from Ft. Lauderdale, onto Nassau, Bahamas, then to Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas and finally to Phillipsburg, St. Maarten.

Depending on the date the itineraries will vary and on one Eastern Caribbean Cruise, it goes from Ft. Lauderdale to Phillipsburg, St. Maarten, to San Juan, Puerto Rico and finally to Labadee, Haiti.

Check the RCL website for the date and itineraries you are interested in.


Meet Captain Gus Andersson

Senior Staff Interviews

On the ship, we had the opportunity to interview three of the senior staff, something I like to do on each ship I cover.  The ship’s Captain, Gus Andersson explains a bit more about the engineering that went into building this ship.  We learned how it can maneuver into ports without the aid of tug boats, something older ships must use. 

The newest RCL ships don’t even anchor anymore.  They now use a computerized system call Dynamic Positioning. It is a computer-controlled system to automatically maintain a ship’s position and heading by using its own propellers and thrusters.


Corp Exec Chef David Reihana


In our second video, we had an opportunity to take a brief tour of the kitchen and chat with RCL’s Corporate Executive Chef,  David Reihana.  David gives us a glimpse into the many dining options on the ship. Because David gave us some insight into the enormous undertaking in operating 20 dining locations, plus managing their crew, we had a better understanding of their challenges in the kitchen. 

Cruise Director Abe Hughes

Finally, we had the pleasure of meeting the ships Cruise Director, Abe Hughs.  The cruise director is not only responsible for all the activities and entertainment on the ship.  His job is to make sure you enjoy yourself on the cruise.  He is also involved in all the entertainment and all the activities. 

The Cruise Director is the officer that most people see on the cruise. He is the emcee for events and shows and also makes the announcements on the ship’s public address system, yes the morning wake up call too. 

Abe is a professional he is an outgoing and fun-loving personality with great organizational skills.


439 Stunning Images On Flickr

I have uploaded all of my images to my Flickr profile and you can see and even download the ones you like (for personal use only) from the collection.

All images are © Len Rapoport 2016, for permission to use any on websites or for other applications please contact me. Click Image below to see the entire album.

The Harmony of the Seas

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Len Rapoport
Len Rapoport Administrator
IPA Editor-In-Chief, ID: 1000 • I am an internationally published photographer and the founder of International Press Association. As president and editor-in-chief, my duties at IPA are extensive. For over 50 years I have written articles, had my photos published in millions of publications, record album covers, books, and in the digital media. I was senior marketing and sales executive for major corporations, including my own and as a corporate communications consultant. I have taught photography and formed IPA 20 years ago. I currently work from my home office and continue to actively cover media events in addition to all of my other IPA and IMPress responsibilities.
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Len Rapoport
Len Rapoport Administrator
IPA Editor-In-Chief, ID: 1000 • I am an internationally published photographer and the founder of International Press Association. As president and editor-in-chief, my duties at IPA are extensive. For over 50 years I have written articles, had my photos published in millions of publications, record album covers, books, and in the digital media. I was senior marketing and sales executive for major corporations, including my own and as a corporate communications consultant. I have taught photography and formed IPA 20 years ago. I currently work from my home office and continue to actively cover media events in addition to all of my other IPA and IMPress responsibilities.
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