I have never been a big cruise enthusiast. Big cruise ships intimidate me by their size and the sheer number of people that they can carry. This is why I have never been on a cruise. Or rather I had never been on one up until two weeks ago. The Harmony of the Seas changed all that.
Above everything else it is the classiness of the ship that won me over. The decor, the signature dishes, the service, the subtle embellishments, the quality of the cutlery and crockery, the perfect cocktails, the superb acoustics of the royal cinema, the just right temperature in all areas of the boat and the general ambiance of happiness that seemed to hang in the air made me feel at home on the Harmony of the Seas, and put aside all my aversions to cruising.
The Harmony of the Seas which can be described as a floating city uses a concept called neighbourhoods. The most popular ones are Central Park, the Board Walk and the Promenade. It is on these that the most people will hang out because it features retail outlets, superb restaurants like Jamie’s Italian, Chops Grille, 150 Central Park, Johnny Rockets and Sorrento’s amongst others. Then of course there are the bars peppered all over the ship where expert bartenders shake up up to 127 signature cocktails with exotic names like Bahama Mama.
There is also a Bionic Bar where two robotic arms that would fit right into an automobile paintshop mix and shake up cocktails from a fixed menu that you can choose wirelessly from an ipad, or any drink you decide to concoct using the vast variety of spirits and mixers.
Other neighbourhoods are Kid’s Avenue, the H2O Zone and Vitality at Sea Spa and the Fitness Center.
The Harmony of the Seas features world class entertainment from the superb Latin crooning and dancing in Boleros to the rich Jazz and blues at Jazz on 4. And every once in a while the crew dons costumes and put on an impromptu performance on the Promenade or elsewhere. Then there are broadway musicals – the one that I saw a preview of was Grease that was part the Hollywood movie and part original play. The ice skating musical 1887 is a period play set in the 19th century. Another broadway show that will run onboard is Columbus, the Musical. The acoustics of the Royal Theatre and Studio B where all these shows are held is rich crisp and solid. The Attic will feature comedy shows. These are what I had a glimpse of, the ship features many more entertainment venues and acts.
Author Bio: Rishad Saam Mehta
An engineer by qualification and a traveller by choice, Rishad is truly one on wanderlust. To earn a living, he loves nothing better than to pack his bags and head out and his work has earned him the reputation of one of India’s finest travel writers and photographers. Known as an offbeat traveler, Rishaad has tried everything from scuba diving, snorkeling, river rafting, and sky diving to flying a plane! An internationally celebrated road-tripper, he loves self driving holidays and trekking. His work frequently appears in National Geographic, The Hindu, The Times of India, Mint. Hindustan Times, Travel + leisure + The Man and JetWings magazine to name a few.