Harmony of the Seas: Part 1 (18 Decks & A Team of Aquatic Ninjas)

Before waking up to a porthole view of the Caribbean every day for a week, we spent 3 days in Miami.

Even though we arrived from the height of a NYC summer, it was hot.

 Cruising a lá Chanel ( Miami Beach, Florida, USA )

 Cruising a lá Chanel (Miami Beach, Florida, USA)

Only the brave could withstand the heat long enough to shop the full length of Lincoln Road. Jade and I returned to the Airbnb hours later, sweating bullets, but swinging stockpiled bags of Victorias Secret undies in success. 

Teamed with the Chanel sunglasses we’d bought in NYC, and we were ready for the cruise life. 

We waved goodbye to Fort Lauderdale from the top deck of Harmony of the Seas the next day. 

With 18 decks in total and 7 neighbourhoods to explore, this floating city was like Vegas on the Sea. 

As well as a wide open view, Deck 18 was home to a trio of waterslides named The Perfect Storm. The Perfect Storm wound past the entrance to a 10 story high waterslide named The Ultimate Abyss on Deck 16, and ended on Deck 15, close to The Solarium Bar, where we spent a lot of quality family time sunbathing. 

Deck 15 was a an outdoor resort in the middle of the ocean. Pools in the middle of the deck were surrounded by hundreds of loungers with half the items of the 6,697 guests strewn all over them. The deck was surround by outdoor bars where one white flash of your room card got you everything from beer to bubbly. 

Harmony of the Seas ( Docked at   St Martin Island, Caribbean Sea )

Harmony of the Seas (Docked at St Martin Island, Caribbean Sea)

In Vegas, every hotel you go to is themed so well, you lose yourself as soon as you walk inside. The fact that there’s never any clocks around helps too. The neighbourhoods on the ship were like that.

The main promenade on Deck 5 had a robot making cocktails at the Bionic Bar. After inputting our orders into the computer system, we sat back on the round lounge chairs to watch an arm a little like the Terminator, mix our drinks in front of us. 

Ciao Florida ( Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA )

Ciao Florida (Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA)

Further down from there, past big brand shops like Kate Spade, was a bar named Boleros. We stopped there for a drink before watching the stage production of Grease at the Royal Theatre right at the end of Deck 5.

Of all the shows we saw on the ship, the best one was at the Aqua Theatre on Deck 6. I can’t remember the name of the show, but I can recall being mesmerised by the performers.

They looked like aquatic ninjas dressed head to toe in slick black suits. They balanced on tight ropes and diving boards suspended over a massive pool on the outside deck.

Adjusting to the Cruise Life  (Harmony of the Seas, Somewhere on the Caribbean Sea )

Adjusting to the Cruise Life (Harmony of the Seas, Somewhere on the Caribbean Sea)

They were surrounded by timed fountains that lit up with colour when the music started, and their entire routine was a succession of flipped theatrics, all synchronised, that ended when they landing with both feet back on the tight rope each time.

They were inspiring enough to send us to the gym at the opposite end of Deck 6 the next morning. We spent most mornings taking over the stretch corner there with our still fresh travel mats.

Our yoga improved a lot practicing there, because it was one of the only times you could feel the slight sway of the ship.

There were only two other times we felt that. Once was at night, when the rocking got so strong it rolled us across the bed in our sleep and woke us up.

The other was on the dance floor at Dazzles nightclub on Deck 9, although I suspect the time we spent in the elevator bar moving up and down between decks had something to do with that. 

The Rising Tide bar dropped us off at a few deck destinations onboard. There’s nothing quite like getting where you want to go with a cocktail in hand, before stepping out onto a tree lined avenue named Central Park.

Deck 8 was like going back to NYC, right down to the dinner we had there at Jamie Olivers’ Italian restaurant. 

From Cruise Ship to Catamaran ( St Martin Island, Caribbean Sea )

From Cruise Ship to Catamaran (St Martin Island, Caribbean Sea)

While we were onboard, America celebrated Independence Day.

You can say what you want about the States, but they do fun well.

Free bubbly was circulated down on the Promenade, underneath the balcony that ran around the front of The Schooner Bar on Deck 6.

We’d had a number of fancy drinks lounging around the same place where a woman now stood singing The Star-Spangled Banner.

She finished to a ceremonious red, white and blue balloon drop that floated down amongst the applause. 

While all this was happening, the ship was cruising the Caribbean. We stopped at 4 different islands during the week.

Under the advice of the familys’ two cruise connoisseurs, we'd  pre booked all the upcoming excursions back home.