5 Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Mediterranean from Barcelona

We've cruised with different cruise lines and on this occasion we were taking the in laws for their first cruise. They specifically wanted to go to the Vatican so a trip round the Med ended up being the obvious solution. As they ... Read More
We've cruised with different cruise lines and on this occasion we were taking the in laws for their first cruise. They specifically wanted to go to the Vatican so a trip round the Med ended up being the obvious solution. As they weren't sure that cruising would be their thing, we booked the Harmony of the Seas on the basis that if you might only be going once, might as well go big! The ship is magnificent. Its size and scale is truly is something to see. Very stable, quiet and admittedly, we had good weather/sea conditions but you could hardly tell we were moving. Cabins were large and the showers huge by cruise ship standards. We were very comfortable. The boulevard and Central Park are great spaces to wander through and the Aqua theatre unique. It's a fairly new ship but kept pretty immaculate. We found the food overall to be very good and the staff that attended to us (waiting staff Martin and Maricar and stateroom attendant Shri) were excellent.....couldn't fault them. But there are some downsides....capacity in the general spaces aren't enough for the amount of people this ship carries. Places like the Windjammer self service restaurant just didn't have enough seats/tables to accommodate people and it was constantly packed with finding a spare table a chore....and we tried seating at different times and it seemed to make little difference. The tables are crammed in with big chairs around them so squeezing through to tables on the outsides a bit of a pain and people were constantly knocking other diners when trying to get through. Same with the main dining restaurant. Back to the Windjammer....due to the amount of people, the service stations were always busy and in such conditions, people seem to lose manners and courtesy. And for some reason, the coffee and juice/squash mixes were so strong, I couldn't drink them. It's like the dilution of the drinks wasn't right..... Sunbeds on the main decks were tightly crammed in with no space between them. Luckily, the solarium wasn't as bad so we went there most days. Bars around the ship were also busy and you were lucky to find spare seating/tables. There were circa 5200 on our cruise but I can imagine that on school holidays when families are also adding even more to the numbers with kids on rollaway beds, it'd be a nightmare. Shows were packed out and even though we booked seats at the Aqua theatre, it seemed to make little difference as it ended up in a free for all. Don't get me wrong, we had a great time so it wasn't all bad by any means.....not by a long chalk. It's a great experience and I would advise anyone to give it a try. But it'd have to be a great value deal to get us back on an Oasis class again. We feel the drive to build bigger and bigger capacity ships for the accolade of being the largest at sea is being achieved by compromising the overall cruise experience. And there is the space to do it but it seems this space is being taken up with pay for restaurants. We do like the bigger ships but feel we've had better experiences in the past on ships around the 3800-4200 mark. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I have been on the Independence of the Seas and the Voyager of the Seas and was keen to try the new biggest cruise ship in the world. The boat is awesome, you can't help but be wowed by it. Everywhere so clean and new. Very ... Read More
I have been on the Independence of the Seas and the Voyager of the Seas and was keen to try the new biggest cruise ship in the world. The boat is awesome, you can't help but be wowed by it. Everywhere so clean and new. Very impressed with our cabin and all the public areas on the boat. We chose to get off at 3 of the 5 ports because we wanted to experience the boat when it was quieter. The shows are great as well. Overall it was a fab holiday with a few niggles which have stopped me rating it 5 out of 5. The cabin attendant and all the waiting staff are very helpful and friendly, especially Dennis a head waiter in the Windjammer from Grenada. However, my daughter and her fiancee were overcharged for their drinks packages and had to go to guest services 5 times to sort. On one occasion they were actually laughed at! All 6 of us were accused of stealing the plastic refillable mugs which were free on our deluxe package. I was so impressed with mine that I left it behind. There is a very hard sell on photo packages too. I bought a guess handbag in the shop for $122 and was then upset to learn there was a handbag sale the next night. I needn't have worried, because despite it being a 50% off sale, the same handbag was $189...work that one out ladies! The food was good. I avoided the Windjammer though as always crowded and felt more like a canteen. We used the Solarium Bistro which was a better dining experience and ambience. Only ate in one payable restaurant, The Sabor which was well worth it. I would go back on the boat when it heads for the Caribbean if some of the teething problems are sorted because overall we had a fab holiday Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Let's do the good to bad game. EXCELLENT: the ship is an engineering marvel, and your jaws will drop the moment you set foot at the ship. It's like stepping into a DreamWorks movie. Choice of food in the main dining rooms is ... Read More
Let's do the good to bad game. EXCELLENT: the ship is an engineering marvel, and your jaws will drop the moment you set foot at the ship. It's like stepping into a DreamWorks movie. Choice of food in the main dining rooms is extensive.The evening shows are the best we have ever seen. The rooms were clean. GOOD: most staff is friendly, the guest service is doing everything to help you, the food in the main dining areas is ok. The Royal IQ app is handy to have the only overview of all activities and excursions. BAD: 1) Queues, queues, queues. On average we spent one to two hours (!) a day queuing. 30 minutes for the water slides. 30 minutes for the wave rider, 5 minutes for every elevator you take, 10 minutes for the breakfast, 30 minutes for diner (although we have MyTime, which is free dining moments), 1 hour (!) twice for guest services... and the list goes on. Sorry, we don't book holidays to queue. 2) Prices: The extras on the boat are just way overpriced. Half a glass of (not very good) red wine: 14 dollars. Really? Come on. That feels like a rip off, no matter if you can afford it or not. For that money we expect a very good wine. And the beverage packages don't make up for it. Internet: when you are three people, it comes to more than 300 dollars for 7 days. Excursions: you easily look at minimum 200 dollars per person, for sometimes not more than a (guided) city visit with a cheap lunch. 3) Quality of the food in the specialty restaurants. OK, we admit, we are foodies. We travel a lot and we love wining and dining. We don't expect three star menus on a ship, but if you ask ridiculous prices you should offer ridiculously great quality. And that's absolutely not the case. Far from it. Rather very average. OVERALL: We are a bit disappointed considering the criteria that we rate as important being on holiday: value for money, ease of mind, entertainment and wining & dining. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Just returned from week on the Harmony of the Seas. My husband, two teenagers (18 & 15) have cruised many times before and had realistic expectations. Generally speaking, our expectations were either met or were exceeded. Here ... Read More
Just returned from week on the Harmony of the Seas. My husband, two teenagers (18 & 15) have cruised many times before and had realistic expectations. Generally speaking, our expectations were either met or were exceeded. Here is recap of what we LOVED, LIKED, and DISLIKED: LOVED -Ship is brand new and couldn't be cleaner or nicer. -Our balcony room on 9th deck, AFT, was roomy and well appointed. Kids inside room across the hall was fine for them as well. -Use of technology to improve efficiency is a big plus. Passengers can do more for themselves. -Embarkation couldn't have been easier or quicker. -Grease and Aqua show are outstanding. -Overall, staff is quite friendly. They consistently said hello and offered assistance. Small issue with our air conditioning was addressed and resolved quickly. -Itinerary was AWESOME!!! LOVED leaving from Barcelona. Spent 3 days there beforehand. -WIFI was a plus, although did create some family arguing throughout the week as we were sharing two passwords. -RC has figured out how to manage 5500 passengers. Aside from pool day (see DISLIKE below), it NEVER felt crowded. They have really nailed getting folks on/off the ship all week. -Rubicon puzzle room was so much fun. We really enjoyed it. -Pianist/vocalist at Schooner's Bar was terrific. We spent a few hours there throughout the week playing cards with our kids. Overlooks promenade, which is nice. Disembarkation was a breeze. We walked off with our luggage at 6:45 am, jumped into a taxi (no wait - 39 Euro), and at the airport by 7:15 am. LIKED -Food in the main dining room and windjammer were just OK...both selection and taste. We did not do specialty dining...preferred to spend money on tours. Waitstaff was very nice though. -Lots of folks from varying countries, which is great. Just less opportunity to develop friendships. (ie not a lot of social interaction in an elevator or at the pool) -Lots to do on Sports Deck....liked that ping pong had glass walls around it...ball didn't blow. Didn't love mini golf balls...they're made of foam...not easy to putt. -Always easy to grab an elevator as needed. Seems like a few less activities. Many involve RC trying to see something (art, Bingo, RC clothing). Would like more games, trivia, etc... -Booking entertainment is helpful, although they changed many times which had me scrambling a bit to reschedule. -They did not require reserving of beach towels with sea pass card. While nice, did create an issue in that there were lots of seats being reserved with a towel, and no one coming back to claim. -SPA looks lovely and they were quite friendly, but still trying to push services and products. Couldn't help but wonder how many people overspend based on this "expert" advice. DISLIKED -Pool day on Saturday wasn't great. Would really benefit from adding a pool attendant. Waaay too much chair saving, and lots of folks wandering looking for a place to sit. Also, too many kids and adults in the pool at the same time. We ended up in Solarium, which was nice, but lots of folks brought crying kids in there too. Definitely need an adults only pool. Lines at all water activities were quite long when they were open. -Music soundtrack very odd at the pool and not enough live music. -Casino waaay too smoky. -VAT - 2 Pina Coladas at the pool cost $28. (not kidding!) -Guest services line was at least a 15-30 minute wait all week. -Would like to see RC offer more help re: ports. They tend to push their own excursions or shopping with their retail partners, and refrain from answering simple questions such as distance to train, cost of taxi. -Photos have gotten waaay too expensive $19.99 each. We didn't buy any. -Didn't think comedian was funny at all. 60's Beatles boy band Zoots didn't seem to fit this itinerary/ship - would have preferred something more family friendly. -Lack of bars of soap and shampoo in the shower Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
My daughter (14yrs old) and I took a Daddy/Daughter trip on the Harmony of the Seas out of Barcelona in July. We had only done Carnival cruises in the Caribbean prior to this, so this was a big jump for us. Loved it! The Harmony is ... Read More
My daughter (14yrs old) and I took a Daddy/Daughter trip on the Harmony of the Seas out of Barcelona in July. We had only done Carnival cruises in the Caribbean prior to this, so this was a big jump for us. Loved it! The Harmony is massive, but we never felt overwhelmed. Lots of activities for her, as well as me. Flow Rider was a blast! Great shows...we saw Grease and thought is was very well done. First class production! The Dining Rooms were great. Wait staff did a great job and took care of any needs that we may have had. We didn't visit any of the surcharge restaurants, but I heard they were very good, as well. We DID get shakes from Johnny Rocket's. Mighty tasty. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze. We arrived at port around 11:45am and were on the ship and to our room within 45 minutes. Luggage arrived just moments later. Overall...great cruise! Plan to take the entire family next time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Harmony of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.6
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 4.3
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.3
Family 5.0 4.3
Enrichment 2.5 3.9
Service 3.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.9

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