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5 First Impressions: Harmony of the Seas

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Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas has arrived at her home base in Fort Lauderdale. After boarding the ship for a two-night sailing, here are my first impressions of the ship.

What I thought of Harmony of the Seas

1. Massive size but great passenger flow

Harmony of the Seas.

You board in the Promenade, which resembles a shopping mall. It is a little overwhelming if you have never been on the Oasis-class ships before. The vessel is open in the middle with balcony rooms and venues all overlooking the boardwalk, which holds a large amount of the ship’s entertainment. There are 7 neighborhoods full of attractions, restaurants, and shops. It is likely that you will initially feel a little lost, but once you get the hang of the different neighborhoods and just follow the symbols on the elevators for the deck, you will have the ship down in no time.

2. Friendliness all around

The staff throughout the ship are all friendly, happy, and very welcoming. You get the sense that they all enjoy what they do. Everyone is extremely helpful and also very proud of their ship.

3. Beautiful ship 

The ship is absolutely beautiful. Hats off to the architects and interior designers; they did an amazing job with the design and flow. There are so many unique sculptures and artwork around every corner. It’s the little touches such as the lighting out on the boardwalk and the AquaTheater that make the ship so mesmerizing.

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4. Awesome venues & entertainment

The ship is designed with 7 neighborhoods full of entertainment and restaurants. There are 20 unique dining options, a bar around every corner, and activities such as zip lining, rock climbing, and wave riding that will keep you entertained for days. Royal Caribbean has kicked it up a notch with what looks to be an unforgettable lineup of shows. There are three different theaters to visit: Royal Theater which features the hit Broadway musical Grease, an indoor ice skating rink with nightly ice shows, and the AquaTheater featuring jaw dropping acrobatic stunts.

5. Lots of Technology

Robotic bartenders to keep your drinks full, wearable technology WOW bands for easy access to rooms and purchases, and an onboard app to keep your time organized are just a few additions to this ship to make your experience that much better. Not to mention, you can stay in touch with family and friends, catch up on social media, and take care of any business needed with the fastest internet anywhere at sea.

By Jenn Martin

Have you sailed or would you consider sailing on Harmony of the Seas? Let us know. 

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Royal Caribbean Wants You to Find Your Adventure Personality

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With the winter blues in full swing – and half of the northeast region covered in snow (not an actual calculation) – many travelers are dreaming of where they want to vacation next. Royal Caribbean has teamed up with the international authority on personality research, Myers-Briggs, to create a convenient way for travelers to navigate the possibilities for their next adventure from beginning to end.

The easy, 13-question quiz draws on The Myers-Briggs Company’s knowledge of personality types, and assess a person’s motivations and interpersonal needs that most affect their travel preferences. Once complete, quiz-takers receive a unique description of who they are as a traveler and suggested destinations and activities that might suit them.

The Adventure Personality quiz will be available all throughout what is known as “Wave Season” in the cruise industry, where potential guests are busy planning warm vacations and the best offers are available for the year ahead. To find your adventure personality, visit myadventurepersonality.com.

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Magens Bay Officially Reopens

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As the Caribbean continues to bounce back from the hurricanes which did heavy damage earlier this year, another major milestone was achieved this week. On Thursday, Magens Bay — long considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the Virgin Islands — officially reopened with help from the folks at Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.

Royal Caribbean Teams With Magens Bay

According to the St. Thomas Source, a ceremony was held Thursday to officially reopen the beach. Governor Kenneth Mapp said that the hurricanes had ultimately resulted in a betterment of the area. . “Hurricanes are about devastation,” he said, “but when you turn that quarter over, hurricanes are [also] opportunities. Here is our opportunity to turn a page and create a more vibrant product, a more vibrant experience for our guests.” The ultimate goal? Making the area the “No. 1 visitor destination in the entire Caribbean.”

Magens Bay is one of the most popular destinations in the Virgin Islands. Photo by Flickr user DBKing 

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line had partnered with the Magens Bay authority to help repair damage done to the area, with CEO Richard Fain saying that their partnership had been “a long and important relationship.” He noted that it was just over 47 years ago that a Royal Caribbean ship had first called upon the island of St Thomas.

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Returning To Grand Turk Cruise Port After The Hurricanes

Mapp commended the people of the Virgin islands “for your relilence and your strength” before thanking the cruise line “for betting on us, for investing with us, for helping us when we needed help and for being a very strong partner.”

Repairing The Damage To Magens Bay

Hurricanes Maria and Irma did a fair amount of damage to the popular tourist spot, including causing massive erosion to the shelf just off the shore. This meant that the normally gentle slope which allowed for people to wade into the waters instead gave way to a much more severe drop. The concession stands and restrooms were also badly damaged by the Category 5 storms. As well as repairing this damage, crews worked to plant nearly 500 new trees to help return the beach, visited by approximately 250,000 tourists a year, to its former glory.

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Royal Caribbean Expands Cruises to Cuba

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Royal Caribbean will double their cruises to Cuba next summer, with two ships sailing to the country – Majesty of the Seas and Empress of the Seas. The voyages will also offer two new destinations; Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos on the southeast coast.

Empress of the Seas

Departing from Miami year-round, Empress voyages will include 7-night Best of Cuba itineraries to Cienfuegos, Havana, and Nassau, Bahamas and 5-night voyages with visits to Key West and an overnight in Havana. An immersive 8-night journey will include stops in Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba, Grand Cayman, and Labadee, Haiti – Royal Caribbean’s private destination.

Empress of the Seas sails into Havana, Cuba – photo: RCI

Majesty of the Seas

Majesty of the Seas will continue her 4 and 5-night offerings to Havana that include day and overnight stays, departing from Tampa from April to October 2018, and Fort Lauderdale from November 2018 to March 2019. All voyages to Cuba will offer shore excursions designed for guests to experience the island nation and comply with the people-to-people educational exchange activities that the US government requires.

Cienfuegos

Cienfuegos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site established in 1819 with a wide array of sites, including the acclaimed Botanical Gardens with over 2,000 plant species on display, impressive neoclassical architecture, a 950-seat opera house, and the bustling Santa Isabel Boulevard.

Santiago de Cuba

Santiago de Cuba is a gateway to Cuba’s revolutionary and religious history, with adventures such as the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Castillo del Morroto, the Sierra Maestra foothills, El Cobre – one of the most significant religious destinations in Cuba – and historic sites such as Revolution Square.

Cuban culture will also be reflected aboard Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas with cortaditos and café con leche in Café Royal, salsa music and dancing in Boleros, and a range of Cuban-inspired onboard activities.

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