Let me start by saying the Harmony of the Seas isn’t a ship. It’s a city floating on water. The enormity and grandeur of this ship is un like anything I’ve ever seen before.
My husband and I are big cruisers, so we’ve seen and experienced many different types of cruises before. In December, we had the pleasure of boarding Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of The Seas for a week long vacation. I have to admit that before walking on board, I was super nervous how this was all going to play out with my 1 year old. Cruising alone is one thing. But cruising with an infant is a whole other endeavor.
For today’s blog, I want to not only tell you about all the amazing things this ship has to offer, but also give you some general Harmony of the Seas tips that I learned during my experience.
Harmony of the Seas Tips and Tricks
Top 5 Things To Do with Kids Under 3
- Splash Pads. They have a separate water area just for little kids. The slides were small and the play area was perfect for his size. Dustin and I could sit on the lounge chairs while he played in the water. Side Note: If your child is in diapers they are not allowed in the main pools or the larger splash pad.
- Take advantage of the cruise compass and see what activities they have for kids throughout the day. They put on the most adorable events for kids. From puppet shows to indoor movie showings. Fun character parades through the promenade to water shows in the aqua theatre. They have perfect activities for the little ones! Jax was at first a bit nervous to watch the outdoor shows but once he got use to the loud noises he loved them.
- Babysitting. I didn’t take advantage of this but if I hadn’t had so many extra hands with me, I would have. It was $6 an hour and they will watch your kiddos in their day care center for as long as you need. This would definitely be something I would have tried if just traveling with Dustin. I felt completely comfortable leaving him in there if needed.
- Indoor Playroom. Right beside the day care center is an open play area. We basically lived in there haha. Whenever we had an hour or so to spare, we would wake Jax there to let out some of his energy. This was a great spot to take him right before putting him down for his nap.
- The Boardwalk. The reason I love these big ships so much is how much they have to offer. On one side of the ship they have an entire area called the Boardwalk. Filled with carousel rides, arcade games, food and STARBUCKS! You heard me. Starbucks! I can’t tell you how many times we went on the carousel. They also have the most adorable surfboard wall where kids could climb through it like a maze. He loved that.
Helpful Cruising Tips
- If you are going to try out the speciality restaurants, book all your meals before you board. Unfortunately we had a lot of issues trying to book dinners once on the ship. With so many people on board, almost all the reservations were booked up. We weren’t able to book the hibachi restaurant and we tried almost every day! Make sure you have everything set up before your vacation and make note of all your times and where you are eating. My favorites were Wonderland and Jamie’s Italian. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND TRYING THE SPECIALTY RESTAURANTS. They were incredible and the service was great.
- Bring your kids Ipad. This was our savior at dinner. After a long day of sun and playing everyone could use a nice quiet dinner.
- Don’t overlook the size of your room or the location. Even with a basic balcony room…the rooms are small. Once we opened the pack and play we had barely any room to move. If you can spring for a wider room just do it. Our room was originally overlooking the aqua theater by the boardwalk. On the first night, after the 11pm diving show began, my son was still screaming on the top of his lungs from the noise. Needless to say we made them change the location of our room. Make sure you know where your room is located on the ship. There are quiet areas on the ship and there are not so quiet areas. After a lot of back and forth, luckily we were moved to a nicer and larger room.
- Bring these disposable place mats. I think I went through an entire pack. With cruises, there are many people using the same stuff. This just made me feel better knowing he was always eating on a safe and clean area.
- If you are planning on using the cribs on the cruise ship, I want to note that they don’t offer an actual crib. It’s a pack and play. They also don’t provide you with sheets for legal reasons. So just be prepared if you don’t want to travel with your own bring a sheet.
- For $8 a person, you can pay for an app that will allow you and your family members to text while on board. DO IT! On such a huge ship you want to be able to get in touch with each other. It was so nice to let our family know where and when we were meeting. The app is called Royal IQ.
- If you are traveling with family members, see if you can get connecting rooms. If you are your hubby want to go out for a dinner alone or hit up the casino…at least your parents can babysit right?
Overall, what I will say is this was one of the best vacations we’ve ever had. It never once felt too crowded. With that many people on board I was concerned I would feel like everyone was on top of one another. Not on the Harmony. This was such a beautiful ship and there was always something for us to do or see. I know I focused mostly on what to do with kids under 3 but there is even more to do with your older kids. Hopefully in a few years I can blog about that too 🙂
Hope this helped if you are planning on booking a vacation on Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of The Seas. If you haven’t planned one already…get on it!
For some tips on what to bring on your Harmony of the Seas cruise be sure to read my Island Getaway Essentials!