Harmony of The Seas Sets Its Sights on Family Cruisers
Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International’s new Harmony of the Seas will already boast an impressive lineup of previously announced family-friendly features such as The Ultimate Abyss tallest slide at sea, The Perfect Storm trio of water slides and the Splashaway Bay kids water park. Now, the line is set to add the popular DreamWorks Experience, new Adventure Ocean children’s programs and special stateroom accommodations to the forthcoming largest cruise ship in the world when it launches in May 2016.
Boarding the new ship along with guests will be favorite DreamWorks Animation characters like Po from “Kung Fu Panda;” Shrek, Fiona and Puss in Boots from “Shrek;” and Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, King Julien and the Penguins (pictured above) from “Madagascar.” They will be on hand for meet-and-greet photo ops and a character breakfast in the main dining room. Other animated fun will include story time, dance parties, games and adventures at the complimentary Adventure Ocean kids program.
Plus, first-run DreamWorks Animation films will be screened exclusively onboard during their opening weekends such as the upcoming "Kung Fu Panda 3,” as well as previously released favorite features year-round in the 3D-equipped theater and on the dedicated stateroom television channel.
These experiences are similar to what Carnival Cruise Line offers with “Seuss at Sea” and Disney Cruise Line touts with a plethora of in-house properties like Pixar and “Star Wars.” Norwegian Cruise Line, on the other hand, has recently abandoned its partnership with Nickelodeon.
Also in the Adventure Ocean kids program, for ages three to eleven, will be the debut of “Away We Go!” – a black-light puppet show created by Tony award-nominated actors and Gable Grove Productions producers John Tartaglia and Michael Shawn Lewis – in the Adventure Ocean Theater. Additionally, rolling over from the new Anthem of the Seas, “Muffalo Potato” YouTube show programming will teach children how to quickly draw anything utilizing only letters and numbers on the Harmony of the Seas and fleet-wide by summer 2016.
Carnival Cruise Line also hosts a family puppet show in its main theater featuring the “towel animals,” crafted by room stewards and found in guest staterooms, playfully brought to life on stage.
Central Park and Boardwalk Staterooms
Starting in November 2016, inward-facing balcony staterooms overlooking the Central Park and Boardwalk neighborhoods of the ship will come complete with an extra set of amenities corresponding to their position on the Harmony of the Seas as well as on its Oasis and Allure of the Seas sister ships.
Guests booked in such Central Park cabins will receive lunch for two at Jamie’s Italian, the specialty restaurant from Jamie Oliver on the Harmony, or at Giovanni’s Table on Oasis and Allure; as well as a free bottle of red wine upon arrival and as-yet-undisclosed special perks in the Casino Royale. More family-focused will be the extras associated with Boardwalk-view cabins including a free lunch or dinner for four at the Johnny Rockets retro diner, a soda package for two and private time at the 38-foot-tall rock climbing wall.
Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines offer comparable dining perks wherein certain cabin categories afford exclusive access to certain restaurants onboard such as ship-within-a-ship experiences, but these are generally more upscale and less family-friendly.
Altogether, Royal Caribbean International is definitely upping their game by strategically considering what other companies have up their sleeves in order to supply its own offerings. Certainly, the Harmony of the Seas itself, as the largest cruise ship in the world, will inherently offer more than on any of the other lines’ ships.
More by Jason Leppert
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