We Tried It! The Ultimate Abyss

by John Roberts

We Tried It! The Ultimate Abyss

by John Roberts
We Tried It!

In a twist — well, several of them as it turns out — Royal Caribbean's new mega ship Harmony of the Seas offers something totally different: the Ultimate Abyss. The "dry slide" is a perfect ride for adventure junkies, plunging those who dare down 10 stories from Deck 16 to the Boardwalk neighborhood on Deck 6. I held on tight and took a turn (it was so much fun that I went a few times, actually) to give you the inside scoop on what to expect.

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The Ultimate Abyss / Royal Caribbean
Entrance to the Ultimate Abyss
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What It's Really Like

Looking into the dark tunnel from the top can be intimidating. As I stood in line for my first run, a woman came back down the stairs. "I chickened out when I saw that black hole," she said, without the least bit of shame. That tipped me off to what I was about to encounter.

When I reached the front, the crew member loading the riders told me a good time is about 12 seconds, and can be even faster in the summer when the surface heats up. (There are two tubes, and you can race a friend down to the bottom.) Ready for the thrill ride, I got situated on the soft sliding pad with footholds and a handle, and was given the countdown to go. I pulled on a starting bar to generate momentum before leaning back to enjoy the ride, which takes you down a twisting tube filled with a series of psychedelic lights. It was over in a snap, and I think my screams thrilled the people awaiting my reception at the bottom.

Looking into the dark tunnel from the top can be intimidating. As I stood in line for my first run, a woman came back down the stairs. "I chickened out when I saw that black hole," she said, without the least bit of shame. That tipped me off to what I was about to encounter.

When I reached the front, the crew member loading the riders told me a good time is about 12 seconds, and can be even faster in the summer when the surface heats up. (There are two tubes, and you can race a friend down to the bottom.) Ready for the thrill ride, I got situated on the soft sliding pad with footholds and a handle, and was given the countdown to go. I pulled on a starting bar to generate momentum before leaning back to enjoy the ride, which takes you down a twisting tube filled with a series of psychedelic lights. It was over in a snap, and I think my screams thrilled the people awaiting my reception at the bottom.

The Ultimate Abyss as seen from the Boardwalk
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It's a Sneaky Shortcut

The slide is in the aft of the ship and in between two FlowRider surf simulators, and it's a cool way to make a quick descent to the Boardwalk. Perhaps you've just been riding the waves and have worked up a hunger for a hamburger or milkshake at Johnny Rockets or hot dog at the Boardwalk Dog House. No need to walk all the way down, just hop in the slide and swoosh — you pop out right where you want to be. That is, unless there's a line, which can happen when the weather is nice.

The slide is in the aft of the ship and in between two FlowRider surf simulators, and it's a cool way to make a quick descent to the Boardwalk. Perhaps you've just been riding the waves and have worked up a hunger for a hamburger or milkshake at Johnny Rockets or hot dog at the Boardwalk Dog House. No need to walk all the way down, just hop in the slide and swoosh — you pop out right where you want to be. That is, unless there's a line, which can happen when the weather is nice.

We try the Ultimate Abyss
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The Details

The ride is complimentary and the minimum height requirement is 44 inches. You can't take loose items, like bags, cell phones, glasses, necklaces, or cameras (unless they are GoPro-style devices with a secure chest harness). 

While you don't need to sign a waiver to ride, you will be warned to keep your elbows in tight. I met people who suffered a few bumps, bruises, and road rash during their adventures. Just follow the instructions, though, and you'll have a blast.

The ride is complimentary and the minimum height requirement is 44 inches. You can't take loose items, like bags, cell phones, glasses, necklaces, or cameras (unless they are GoPro-style devices with a secure chest harness). 

While you don't need to sign a waiver to ride, you will be warned to keep your elbows in tight. I met people who suffered a few bumps, bruises, and road rash during their adventures. Just follow the instructions, though, and you'll have a blast.

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