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9 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise from Fort Lauderdale

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

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Harmony of the Seas
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Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
  • Day 2
    Nassau
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 4
    Cruising
  • Day 5
    St. Thomas
  • Day 6
    St. Maarten
  • Day 7
    San Juan
  • Day 8
    Labadee
  • Day 9
    Cruising
  • Day 10
    Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

Harmony of the Seas

Harmony of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International

Pros

One of the largest cruise ships in the world offers plenty of choice

Cons

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: February 2019
Arrived in Ft. Lauderdale the night before the cruise. Stayed at the Hampton Inn in Pompano Beach. I was too lazy to walk to get 2 bottles of wine, nearest supermarket was about a mile away. Small but cozy gym, nice free breakfast. ... Read More
Arrived in Ft. Lauderdale the night before the cruise. Stayed at the Hampton Inn in Pompano Beach. I was too lazy to walk to get 2 bottles of wine, nearest supermarket was about a mile away. Small but cozy gym, nice free breakfast. Embarkation was smooth, granted in wasn't 10 quick minutes like some say but it was efficient. The long line moved fast and we were on the ship maybe 20 minutes after dropping our bag off with a very helpful attendant. First stop was to get a wow band. Worth the $5. Stopped by guest services to update credit cards on file. There were about ten people in line and the line was quick. At 1pm rooms were ready. The room was what I expected from numerous videos on youtube. The bathroom was smaller to me than it appeared on video. The bathroom had bar soap only so if you are like me and use a loofa bring your own bodywash. The bed was comfortable, closet space was more than adequate. The view from the room was okay. RCC list the room as a partially obstructed view. We had a slightly obstructed view of the aqua theater, an ocean view (so much so that we will book a boardwalk room again instead of ocean view) and the perfect spot for my wife to record me on the zipline. Props to I Ketut our cabin steward. He did a great job. One of our first stops was Vitality Spa. I was looking forward to getting the couples relaxation package for $150. The price went up to $199 once on board. We still considered it but passed once we took a tour of the relaxation area. I really think the sauna area is one of the weakest areas on the ship. The fitness area itself is nice. It has life fitness and hammer strength machines. I really didn't pay attention to the treadmills etc. The gym was packed on day 2 but had less and less people on following days. Hated the bathroom at the gym, I could not get the automatic door to shut and the next nearest bathroom was on the 5th floor. (granted I may have missed a bathroom but needed to go). The Vitality bar was good. I think the juices are much better than the smoothies. The carrot lemonade was my go to drink. Props to Ferdinand my mix master. First meal was at the Solarium, it was ok. We just wanted a snack before going to the mdr. We ate dinner there on day four. The steak was a little rough but the dinner has menu options and a buffet. Best lamb meatballs I ever had. The desserts were better there then at Windjammer. Ate dinner Grande mdr on the 4th floor. I was really disappointed. The shrimp cocktail I ordered had 4 (41-60 count) shrimp and the wait staff poured cocktail sauce on your plate. The ceasar salad was plain the meal was ok but was not what I expected for the "luxury meal". We tried the mdr on day 2 and was also disappointed. Next time I won't do the my time dining because it was really a boring experience. Also the other nights menus seemed more to my liking but it just wasn't worth the effort. Dinner was a more joyous occasion on Carnival. Izumi's was our dinner choice for day 3. Wonderful experience. This is what dinner on a cruise should be like. Day 4 was the Solarium I talked about above. Days 5 - 7 was Windjammer. The Caribbean themed night was awesome. The other nights it was just a good dinner with plenty of options. On day 7 we had breakfast in the mdr. That was the best breakfast on the ship, it is worth the lines to go there for breakfast. Windjammer was ok, Johnny Rockets for breakfast was weak. Lunch at Johnny Rockets was pretty good. Our Enrichment Activities included cupcake decorating and wine tasting. The wine tasting was great. Our host was knowledgable. I've been to about 20 wine tasting venues in my life but never with someone who had so much info. Best $17.70 I spent on the trip. The cupcake decorating class sucked. We were given some almond paste balls, some food coloring, frosting and a cupcake. We were directed on how to make a penguin character to stick on top of the cupcake, boring. I was expecting to learn how to decorate using frosting like the picture that described the class has. Worst $30 spent on the trip. Entertainment was great. I went to the aqua theater 3 times. The show was amazing. Grease was ok, my wife fell asleep during the show. I thought it was good. The comedy show was nice. I thought the lead act was better than the headliner. 1887 had great skaters and was entertaining. Columbus was just stupid. The jazz band was fantastic and I enjoyed one of the bands that played in Bolaros and in Dazzles for the last night of the cruise. The night clubs were ok. Guess at 57 yrs old the club scene is not for me but I danced my butt off anyway. The Hush party was better than the white party. I needed to make better entertainment choices on port days. We took a van around St Maarten. We stopped in a restaurant on the French side of the island for lunch. It was just ok. We walked around Puerto Rico and ate mufungo. It was ok. In Haiti we signed up for parasailing. It was cancelled due to weather but we were upgraded to zipline. That was fantastic. I really wanted to spend money in Haiti but the sales people were overbearing. Overall great trip, next up is Symphony Sept 2020. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Let me preface my review, by saying my trip was great. There truly wasn't anything wrong, it just did not meet my expectation. I would not discourage anyone from sailing Royal Caribbean or the Harmony as long as you know what to ... Read More
Let me preface my review, by saying my trip was great. There truly wasn't anything wrong, it just did not meet my expectation. I would not discourage anyone from sailing Royal Caribbean or the Harmony as long as you know what to expect. Just so you understand my review and can be assured the Harmony is a good vacation and just not MY cup of tea... We sailed the Allure in 2017 and have since been ruined. The Allure is classy and beautiful, the staff makes you feel like you are the only and most important people on the ship, every staff member/entertainer/housekeeper/dining room staff went above and beyond, the only lines we encountered were on the first day while signing up for beverages, exploring the ship, etc. Basically 5,000 people corralled on to 3 floors? because the cabins weren't open yet, we received our SeaPass at check-in, entertainment was professional and top notch, Central Park beautiful and quiet with soft music and the sound of crickets, made reservations but got into every show at any time we tried without issue, food was amazing, service was out of this world everywhere on the ship, I never felt like there were 5,000+ people on the ship. HARMONY OF THE SEAS Embarkation: Easy, acceptable, quick, no issues Disembarkation: Easy off, long wait for luggage in terminal, customs quick and easy, no real issues -suggest carry luggage off if you are in a hurry Ship = OK - same general layout as Allure - paintings/decor appeared cheap, garish, odd, almost juvenile - lines for everything, long wait for elevator and then it would be full - very few ship announcements overhead and difficult to hear (we missed the announcement about the gangway being open in our first port and were late getting off) - Central Park beautiful, but noise level high with loud music and small children screaming - The Abyss, 2 dry slides, needs shirt with sleeves, fun - 3 water slides (2 reg, 1 funnel), fun Cabin = Great - Central Park Balcony -no issues, as expected - 1 half closet with shelving and 2 drawers, 1 full closet, 5 drawers, lighted mirror, couch Dining = Food & Service Great - wanted Main Dining Room, ended up with Anytime Dining, but requested and received same table and waiters at same time every night Entertainment = OK, disappointing - reservations difficult, shows full, very long lines for stand-by - Grease -best show on boat, very cute - Columbus satirical comedy, most bizarre show I've ever seen, but the performers were good - 1887 Ice Show, special effects were good Service - The Fine Line did not "wow" me, left early - Stand-up Comedy was very funny, glad I saw it Ports and Shore Excursion St. Maarten/St. Martin - ship remains on EST but the island is 1 hour ahead (8am on ship is 9am on island) - reserved non-ship excursion tour of island for $50/pp - it was good - reserved ship sponsored "Sea Trek" that was fabulous, had low expectations because I am a certified diver but husband is not, was still very enjoyable for me, too San Juan, PR - not enough time in port - grabbed a taxi tour when got off ship for $15/pp, good but had to wait on bus 20 minutes while driver filled bus before he could leave Labadee, Haiti - peninsula leased by Royal Caribbean - only food on island is served from 11:00-2:00 - average, limited choices - all beaches were over crowded with 6,700 passengers on the ship - Adrenaline Beach has more water movement that resembles waves but must have water shoes because of the rocks when you wade into water, lots of seaweed and trash in water - Columbus Cove is nice, but lots of kids and families since the water play area is there - Nellie's beach was my favorite, will rent a cabana there if we ever go back Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
I chose this cruise mainly for the ship. We flew in the day before and stayed at Fairfield Inn and Suites. Hotel was fine. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Found the ship to be gorgeous. It rarely felt crowded. ... Read More
I chose this cruise mainly for the ship. We flew in the day before and stayed at Fairfield Inn and Suites. Hotel was fine. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Found the ship to be gorgeous. It rarely felt crowded. There is so much to do. Our room was very nice. We had a balcony on deck 10 near the fore elevators. I found the beds to be very comfortable. Muster was on of my least favorite things. It was in the jazz club and way too small for all the people. Only the people who got there very early got seats. Packed in like sardines. Being on the short side I couldn't see the screens and I found the video dumb and too long. Would rather just receive the important information and be dismissed. On to more positive things! Loved all the food. We had the three night dining package. Loved Wonderland! Food was interesting and tasty. My favorite was probably the cones with Wasabi on the bottom followed by crab then avocado and the desserts. Found Jamie's to be meh, nothing special except the desserts which were delicious, tiramisu and warm brownie with ice cream. Really liked 150 Central Park. Especially the bread, brown and crunchy on top with melted butter, truffle oil, and garlic drizzled over. I had booked Izumi ala carte in the cruise planner but they convinced me to purchase the hibachi and I am glad I did. It was the best hibachi I have ever had. The rice was delicious. I got the steak and lobster and they were perfect. The chef was very entertaining as well. We ate dinner in the MDR once and it was very good. One thing that I did notice is that several of the restaurants didn't seem to have enough help. Waiters literally running and service slow at times. Also 2 tops seemed not to be as much of a priority compared to large parties. I ate breakfast at the MDR once and was ignored until the head waiter noticed. Enjoyed breakfast at Mini Bites. Never crowded. Omelets made to order. Nice being able to see the ocean while eating. They have a nice lunch there also. Burgers, chili cheese fries, nachos. Got a breakfast sandwich from Park café and did not like it. Cold with American cheese that wasn't melted. However, loved the roast beef sandwiches later in the day. Enjoyed Mongolian wok at the Windjammer one evening. We did the sushi making class and it was a lot of fun. You make a lot of sushi but you can't take any with you so you have to eat it all there. I traveled with my 23 year old son and his favorite place at night was Dazzles. He loved the band there. He also enjoyed the jazz club. Mini golf was fun. My son did the ultimate abyss. I chickened out. He also enjoyed adult dodge ball. I went to see Grease and enjoyed it. I think my favorite port was St. Martin. I did a tour with Bernard's and had "Mailman" as tour guide. He was very entertaining and knowledgeable. He took us to a gorgeous uncrowded beach. Tour with ship at San Juan was fine. Labadee was nice but the vendors are still very pushy. I really enjoyed the speciality coffees at Cafe Prominade every morning and wish that they had them at more venues as it got pretty crowded. I had purchased the ultimate drink package and found it worked out well with all the coffee drinks and adult beverages. The fresh squeezed OJ was delicious and was $8 without the package. Also was able to try weird drinks and didn't feel that I had to finish them if I didn't like them. Bar service was rather uneven with like half the bartenders knowing how to make a certain cocktail and the other half not knowing what it was. Planters punch and Goombay smash are examples. Also the same drink being different depending on which bar you went to. Bar service slow sometimes. Really liked Central Park. Relaxing in the evening listening to guitar music. I met a lot of great people on board. People were very friendly and interesting to talk to. Most of the crew were very friendly as were all the waiters. I have had better room stewards. She was rather abrupt and didn't seem genuine when trying to be friendly. Room was kept up fine though. I had a great time and would not hesitate to book this cruise again. Read Less
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