I’ve just gotten off a week on Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, which is (for now) the world’s largest cruise ship. I’ll be posted a much longer review soon at my friend Emma’s blog Cruising Isn’t Just for Old People, but for now, here are a few quick thoughts. (UPDATE: My review is now live! You can read it here.)
- The ship really is big, and that’s a good and a bad thing. I’d been on an earlier Oasis-class ship, Allure of the Seas, a little over two years ago. But since then, it’s been mostly small ships for us, and to be honest I think I prefer the smaller ones. A big ship means more things to do, but it also means more planning and a little too much thinking for my taste, especially since I mostly cruise to relax and not to do things.
- Having said that, I never felt that the ship was particularly crowded, except for the morning of disembarkation in the Windjammer. There are so many options and things to do that I think it just naturally spreads people out. Even though there were over 6300 passengers on our sailing, there were definitely times when we were alone on the deck – which is kind of amazing.
- Would I cruise on Harmony or her Oasis-class sisters again? Yes, for some specific reasons that I’ll detail in the blog post. (Spoiler alert: dinner in the 150 Central Park specialty restaurant was practically life-changing.) I certainly wouldn’t turn down an Oasis-class cruise, and I think there are some conditions where these ships are a good option: If you have kids, or someone in your group does; if you have a big group or one with diverse interests; or if you’re into the thrill-ride aspect of things like slides and wave pools.
In the end, I’m pretty happy to learn that I like cruising on the older, smaller ships just as much – maybe more? – as the big, shiny new ships. After all, there’s something for everyone in today’s cruising industry!