You’ve seen Harmony through the eyes of cruise lovers over and over by now and maybe even through your own eyes, but what about a teenager’s?
13 year old Alex spent a week on board Harmony and he has given the Cruise.co.uk team the ins and outs of the world’s largest cruise ship. Alex is sports mad and even has a black belt in kickboxing, so did Harmony offer our very active teenager the chance to try something new? Was the Abyss scary enough and just how weird and wonderful is Wonderland?
Alex gives us all the answers so put your teenage-tinted glasses on and get ready to experience Harmony in a new light!
So Alex, what surprised you the most about Harmony from a teenager’s point of view?
I actually got to use the gym and it was amazing! I really didn’t expect to even be allowed in because normally gyms don’t let kids under the age of 18 in, but as long as I had a parent with me I was allowed to go in and use all the equipment. It was nice being able to use a part of the ship that’s usually off limits, it almost made me feel VIP but I think that’s just the norm for Harmony.
As you’re such a sporty person, what activity impressed you the most?
The rock climbing was the best active thing I got to do I think, even though it’s for kids the walls were still really big and was a good challenge for me and I did get right to the top. The staff were really helpful and encouraging of anyone who was a bit scared trying it so I felt completely safe and they gave you a high five once you were done! I do rock climbing a lot at home so didn’t know what to expect of Harmony’s version but enjoyed it that much I went back and did it again!
We have to ask your thoughts on the Ultimate Abyss…was it too scary?
Not at all! I must have been on it what felt like 100 times, I loved it. The best thing about it is that two people can go down the slides at the same time so me and my Dad raced most times which made it even more fun! Plus it’s a much better and quicker way to get down all those decks, rather than always taking the lifts. I’d take the abyss every time!
What was your favourite thing about Harmony?
Well I’m really competitive and do loads of sport at home because I hate sitting round doing nothing so I was worried at some points that being on the ship for so long, I might run out of things to do eventually. I wasn’t even bored once! I got to challenge my Mum and Dad at air hockey in the arcade and mini golf- these activities didn’t take as long as others either so we could have a quick go on the way to lunch or something like that.
The water slides are a big attraction for kids on Harmony, what did you make of them when you tried them?
These were really fun and one of the things I was most looking forward to because I love water parks on holiday usually. I loved the flumes and me and my Dad raced each other again on the perfect storm. I did get stuck on the blue one halfway down because I don’t think I was heavy enough for it, but it gave us something to laugh about after- it didn’t ruin any of the fun, my Mum wished she had caught it on camera!
Which was your favourite restaurant you dined in?
Without a doubt, it was Chops Grille! It was amazing, best food I’ve ever had. I’ve never tried filet mignon before but I had it as my main course and have never tasted anything better, I had the shrimp for starter too and I was so impressed. That would be my first stop if I ever got to go on Harmony again! We went to the solarium bistro at lunch time as well because the food was fresh and really nice, and it wasn’t as busy as the windjammer so no queues! Also I LOVED the Bionic bar! I spent quite a bit of my evening standing watching it- I just couldn’t believe it’s two robots that make your drink. It’s entertaining even if you haven’t ordered one!
Opinions on Wonderland often are very varied, what were your thoughts when you dined there?
The words ‘weird’ and ‘crazy’ are definitely ones I would use to describe Wonderland, everything’s really strange but lots of fun. The waiter was really nice and showed me how to reveal the menu with a paintbrush and water, and he made me try caviar! If I couldn’t see out the window to the sea I would never have known I was on a ship, you feel like you’ve been transported to another world. It was amazing in different ways, I’d definitely recommend others to try it and definitely ask for the chocolate bomb pudding to finish!
Was there anything that disappointed you on Harmony or that you didn’t like?
Johnny Rockets! This was one I was really looking forward to but there wasn’t much atmosphere when we were there. It might have been a one off because we’ve tried it before on Independence of the Seas and loved it then, this one just didn’t match up to our first time there. Also the Living Room was meant to be for teenagers but I personally wasn’t a fan on Harmony. It was full of 15-17 year olds so I felt as a bit young as I’m only 13. It looked good from outside, I’d like to try it properly another time with a group of friends.
So once it got to the evening time, what was your favourite show that you watched?
Definitely Tenors of Rock! They were so so cool, I’ve never really got to see a proper band performing on stage before and I even got to meet them after! We had a chat and some photos and that was a brilliant highlight for me, everyone was so friendly and I was surprised at how much I could enjoy watching a band I’ve never heard of before. One that blew me away was The Fine Line which was the aqua show. I didn’t think I’d enjoy things like that but the acrobatics and diving was an amazing view, definitely one I’d recommend!
Did any of the other shows surprise you or were you surprised you enjoyed any of them as much as you did?
I’ve never watched Grease before but the live performance of it at the theatre was fantastic. Although my Mum was embarrassing me with her singing and I didn’t know any of the words! I didn’t really like the 90’s block party but my Mum and Dad knew all the songs and were up dancing all night so I think it’s more for the adults to enjoy, that was their favourite part. There was a lot more entertainment for adults I think and more for teenagers during the day but I was still glad there were different shows to see after dinner so I didn’t have to go off bored to bed!
What is the one thing you’d tell your friends about Harmony to convince them to try it?
It’s simple… you can go on a ten storey slide! The ultimate abyss is like nothing else and something you can’t miss the chance of going on.
Was there enough to keep you entertained when your parents were off doing other things? Where did you spend most of your time?
Yes there was loads to do! I spent most of my time doing activities and I loved the zip wire. You do it over the Boardwalk neighbourhood so it’s 9 stories high! You can look down and see the carousel and people coming out at the bottom of the Abyss. I spent most of my time with my parents, there was loads to compete against each other on or race each other, like on the slides. Luckily my parents love activities too so we could all try things. It makes it more fun doing it with other people.
If you could describe Harmony in three words, what would they be?
Amazing. Sick. Massive!!
So we’ve heard Alex’s verdict. But what did Alex’s Mum Denise think of Harmony?
What was your opinion on what Harmony is like for kids and teenagers? Was there a good balance of things to do?
There was a great balance on-board and plenty of adult-only areas too! So we had access to the hot tubs and the solarium quiet area, plus there was lots of variety of shows and bars for the adults too. It’s a ship not just for the kids, there’s something for everyone! The shows really were fantastic and I think Alex enjoyed a lot of them more than he was expecting to.
What were you most impressed with or surprised at on Harmony?
The Royal IQ was fab! We only paid $7.95 per phone so that we could make unlimited calls and texts to each other if we went off doing our own thing and to keep track of where Alex was. It was great because he could go off and do what he wanted and have fun and could still find us at any time with a quick call or text. It seems like Royal have thought of everything, even down to guests keeping in touch with each other easily whilst on-board.
As a parent, how did you feel a cruise holiday compared to a land holiday? What were the main benefits for you?
The entertainment and choice of restaurants is what I thought made it so special, you don’t quite get that quality or variety in a hotel, a cruise has so much choice and Harmony is spectacular. It was a perfect family holiday for us, there was more than enough to keep everyone happy!
So, there we have Harmony of the Seas through the eyes of a teenager! What are your thoughts? Would you take your kids on this ship? What do you think is the best part for families? Who do you think the ship suits best? Let us know in your comments below…// END - About the Author ?>