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7 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise from Fort Lauderdale

7 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise from Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

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Harmony of the Seas
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Itinerary

The "middle city" of Florida's Gold Coast, Fort Lauderdale sits between Miami to the south and Palm Beach to the north. The city blends nicely with its metropolitan neighbors, and elements of Miami's chic vibe and the affluent nature of Palm Beach are recognizable. But Fort Lauderdale is a destination itself. Operating one of the busiest cruise ports in North America -- more than three million people pass through each year -- helps define Fort Lauderdale as a robust tourism spot.

Fort Lauderdale started out as a swampy outpost with a fort, built to protect against the Seminole Indians. The swamps were transformed in the late 1800s into a series of canals by scooping out parallel waterways and creating long peninsulas between them. This created more than 300 miles of navigable waterways (twice that of Venice) -- hence the city's nickname "Venice of America." The abundance of waterways that wind up and down the coast make Fort Lauderdale a boating hot spot, with 42,000 registered yachts.

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  • Day 2
  • Day 3

If you cruise regularly to the Caribbean, chances are you'll end up in St. Thomas. Its popularity as one of the world's most heavily trafficked cruise ports is well-earned. The island offers something for just about everyone and has the infrastructure that can accommodate a huge daily population influx. In addition to a duty-free shopping scene that's virtually unparalleled, other on-the-beaten-track sites include the world-famous beach at Magens Bay and a scenic tram ride to a mountaintop.

Nearly every ship sailing an Eastern Caribbean itinerary includes St. Thomas as a port of call, as do many Southern Caribbean voyages. You'll even see St. Thomas on Panama Canal and South American itineraries (when a Florida port such as Fort Lauderdale or Miami serves as a port of embarkation or debarkation). It's not uncommon, particularly during the Caribbean's winter high season, to see six ships or more docked or anchored in a day -- and that can mean an extra 20,000 people mixing into a population hovering in the mid-50,000s.

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As an anchor on Eastern and Southern Caribbean itineraries -- not to mention a turnaround port for many ships -- San Juan is a place where just about all cruisers, at some point or another, are going to wind up. Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, and San Juan is its urban hub. The city, by and large, is divided into new and old. The new includes a business district and outlying neighborhoods, concentrated with hotel chains like Isla Verde. The old is, of course, the historic city within ancient walls. Both offer many Americanisms. (Senor Frog's has a prime outpost, and you'll never want for a McDonald's Big Mac.)

Get beyond that, though, because of all America's Caribbean islands, Puerto Rico offers the most exotic aura. The melange of indigenous Taino culture, combined with European and African influences in San Juan (and all of Puerto Rico, for that matter), is one major factor. Add to that its own unique influences in areas ranging from cuisine and music to history and art. And there's more: folks who have traveled to Cuba say that Old San Juan reminds them more of Cuba, at times, than Cuba itself! It's also very Spanish (think Seville) and even a bit Italian (reminiscent of Naples). Finally, the city evokes just a wee taste of South America (like Buenos Aires).

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Royal Caribbean's Labadee is a 260-acre private beach resort carved out of Haiti's rolling, densely forested north coast. It's located some six miles from Cape Haitian, a city of 190,000 that's played a prominent part in Spanish and French colonial history. According to RCI, Labadee was discovered in 1492 by Christopher Columbus -- but it wasn't until 1986 that the line leased the peninsula of property from the Haitian government. Today, as in the 15th century, the geography -- an undulating coastline creating a series of lagoon-like bays, all protected by a reef -- sets the scene for the visit. A typical day in port may include snorkeling, filling up a plate or two at the all-you-can eat BBQ, zipping across the water on the 2,600-foot-long Dragon's Breath Flight Line or snoozing soundly in a beach chair.

labadee-map

  • Day 7

The "middle city" of Florida's Gold Coast, Fort Lauderdale sits between Miami to the south and Palm Beach to the north. The city blends nicely with its metropolitan neighbors, and elements of Miami's chic vibe and the affluent nature of Palm Beach are recognizable. But Fort Lauderdale is a destination itself. Operating one of the busiest cruise ports in North America -- more than three million people pass through each year -- helps define Fort Lauderdale as a robust tourism spot.

Fort Lauderdale started out as a swampy outpost with a fort, built to protect against the Seminole Indians. The swamps were transformed in the late 1800s into a series of canals by scooping out parallel waterways and creating long peninsulas between them. This created more than 300 miles of navigable waterways (twice that of Venice) -- hence the city's nickname "Venice of America." The abundance of waterways that wind up and down the coast make Fort Lauderdale a boating hot spot, with 42,000 registered yachts.

Read More

Harmony of the Seas

Cruise Critic Editor Rating:
4.5
1,238 reviews
Why Choose Harmony of the Seas?

Pro

Largest cruise ship in the world offers plenty of choice

Con

Can feel crowded and busy, despite clever design to combat congestion

Bottom Line

Fantastic ship for families and those looking for great entertainment and activities


Cruise Reviews

Sail Date: January 2018
Reason for taking this cruise was to try the largest cruise ship. Never again. Small State Room; refrigerator, sink, ice bucket. Too many passengers. Long lines everywhere. Not able to get anyone to answer phone when calling ... Read More
Reason for taking this cruise was to try the largest cruise ship. Never again. Small State Room; refrigerator, sink, ice bucket. Too many passengers. Long lines everywhere. Not able to get anyone to answer phone when calling different departments. Too noisy, "Constant" Public Addresses about "nothing". The Windjammer too crowded with too small tables and lousy access. Plenty food, but not very good quality. No food after 9 pm. Even the New Your Strip Steak in the main dining room was miserable; and you would have to pay an additional $20+ for a Filet Mignon that has been free on the last 13 cruises we took. The Good news: Our Stateroom Attendant Mr. Tedi xxxxxxxx was outstanding. The Bad news: The Harmony of the Seas is apparently designed for maximum amount of passengers, in as little space as possible, spending as much money as possible. I don't know what else to say. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose Harmony of the Seas because it was one of the biggest cruises in the world and we wanted to have the experience of traveling on it. The social areas of the ship are breath taking, suppose it was due to the amount of details in ... Read More
We chose Harmony of the Seas because it was one of the biggest cruises in the world and we wanted to have the experience of traveling on it. The social areas of the ship are breath taking, suppose it was due to the amount of details in the decoration. Amazing generosity of food both in quality and amount, the variety of restaurants, the kindness of the waitresses, the quality of the shows was amazing and the amenities like the mini golf, the rides, the zip line the surf pool, absolutely fantastic, never thought of been in a cruise with all that. The space in the room was generous enough considering that we were on a cruise. All the family and specially my 6 and 10-year-old boys had so much fun that they say that this was an unforgettable experience, and I believe so. Didn’t like much the Labadie and Jamaica port, I wish there were some other places to visit. Also found the excursions a little bit pricy, but overall I highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
I wanted to go on Harmony Of the Seas for my 70th Birthday. The ship is beautiful. The cabin was decorated for my birthday and a beautiful birthday cake and robes were sent by our children. I have been on Oasis, Allure and now The ... Read More
I wanted to go on Harmony Of the Seas for my 70th Birthday. The ship is beautiful. The cabin was decorated for my birthday and a beautiful birthday cake and robes were sent by our children. I have been on Oasis, Allure and now The Harmony of the Seas. The addition of the “Costal Kitchen “ and the Concierges made our trip perfect. Raj and Mohaman were wonderful. Royal gave me $50 toward a Spa treatment. The main dining room was very noisy and the service was very good. Food was good but was not happy with the Swordfish which was over cooked. The salmon was very.good. They were very nice and I ordered another main course. We met quite a few lovely people at thr “Costal Kitchen”. A great vacation with wonderful memories and especially having a tour of the bridge: We did plenty of walking around the ship as there is always something going on. The Water show was fabulous. We saw the one at night. This was the best that I have seen. Entertainment very professional as always on Royal: Read Less
View All Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas Reviews
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