Been on the Allure twice and loved it so thought the Harmony would be better. However it was a little underwhelming. It was not bad by any means, just not as good as I expected it to be. It was very similar to the Allure in layout so ... Read More
Been on the Allure twice and loved it so thought the Harmony would be better. However it was a little underwhelming. It was not bad by any means, just not as good as I expected it to be. It was very similar to the Allure in layout so getting around wasn't too difficult and it didn't seem to be as huge as I first thought the Allure was. As usual, they nailed check in and disembarkation. You would never know the number of guests on the ship because of how organized RCL is.
Lots of little things added up to its average vs outstanding rating. RCL has cut back on small things that they used to give you. Individually they probably aren't much, but if you add them up as its been 4 years since we sailed on the Allure then it becomes quite noticeable and made them seem a little 'cheap'. For example, no robe in the cabin (available upon request but we didn't know that initially). No more amenity kits (shampoo, lotion etc). Just one generic container of lotion on the shower wall. No chocolate on the pillow (I understand that daily might be a waste, but how about on embarkation day only). No nuts/snacks in bars. If you wanted something to snack on, you had to go to a shop to buy them. Different drinks menus at different bars so if you had a drink you liked, you couldn't always necessarily get it at the bar you were at, for example sangria. Only available at Sabor. No coupon book in the cabin to let you know what discount you could get for your particular status of Crown & Anchor. No drinks party for Gold level of Crown & Anchor. In fact, I saw no advantage whatsoever to being a C&A member. (I'm sure when you get to platinum plus, you're treated accordingly).
We heard several staff tell us the same thing about how they weren't so happy on this larger ship due to the fact there were so many of them, they didn't have the same camaraderie as other ships. They seemed more stressed and not so happy to be there. They stuffed you in the main dining room so not only was moving around difficult, the acoustics were not good so it was super loud and hard to have a conversation. Seems like any time dining is what more people are doing now - our group preferred to get to know our wait staff so chose the 830 dining in the American Icon but they could do with removing several of the larger tables and making it easier for guests and staff to move around. Dinner staff were great - I have to say. No more offering after dinner shots (Shot Doctor from the Allure is legendary) - they used to let you order the drink and keep the glass.
Only went to the Windjammer once. I liked the look of it, bright and airy and there seemed to be ample seating but it was really warm in there. They ran out of coffee cups at 2 stations. They had no actual cups or paper. People were using the plastic glasses designed for water for coffee and they ran out in no time so then they had nothing for cold or hot drinks. They came up with one small tray which people swooped on immediately so I ended up having to go to Park Cafe for coffee as I couldn't be bothered to wait any more. I remembered the food in Park Cafe to be better on the Allure. Cant put my finger on what was wrong or different. I think they changed their salad choices or even the dressings. Instead of dressings you pour, they give you packets now and only a couple of choices which I thought was boring and cheap. I also noticed that they really didn't cater much to non meat eaters (me). In the main dining room they would have one item on the menu which was vegetarian but if you didn't like that, tough. They would tweak a dish, so one night they had a pasta dish with scallops so I asked for it to be made without scallops. If you asked though for something additional like red pepper flakes, extra vegetables, Parmesan cheese for the pasta, be prepared for a long wait. They don't have it on that floor and our poor waiter would have to go upstairs for it and when they're in the middle of service, the poor guy was run ragged. Admittedly, they did show me the following evening's menu so I could see in advance what was available and if nothing appealed, they offered to make something. In the Promenade cafe, they would have one item which would be meat free but it was the same thing every day. In Park Cafe for breakfast, all their items included meat. Yes you could ask them to make it specially without meat but it meant waiting. I'm not used to seeing so much indifference to folks who dont like to eat meat.
The Casino on Deck 4 was so smoky. I'm not sure if the ventilation/extraction wasn't working correctly but it was over powering just walking through to get to where you needed to go. I found out on day 6 that the left side if you were going to the ice rink/Attic was non smoking and the right side smoking. Perhaps a sign on the exterior of the casino to warn you of this prior to using it as a walk through might be a good idea to help people prolong their lives by not inhaling second hand smoke. Those poor employees. I do hope they only allow smokers to work there. If you like to run or walk on deck 5 running track, be prepared to smell the smoke from the casino as you round the corner approaching the entrance to the gym. The ventilation for the casino must be around there somewhere as you could always smell cigarette smoke there.
On the positive side, they allow one person to have the drinks package per cabin, and not both if you dont want it. And I must say, they were not counting how many drinks you had or how often in case you were getting your partner one (or two)! The cabin was noticeably quiet as in no noise really kept us awake or woke us up which seems to be the case on most cruises. There never seemed to be a line for the Abyss, Flow Rider, Zip Line, or even the elevators. The Solarium was always a good escape from the main pool area and always had chairs/beds available plus the bar was never so busy (they just could not make a sangria for me though). The food in the Solarium was really good, fresh and healthy. Central Park is wonderful and they even have a plethora of golf umbrellas for use when it rains (as it did). We loved Vintages, though we preferred it as the Tapas bar on the Allure. You could order small bites from Jamie's Italian which were very good and similar to what they served as the Tapas bar. However one of our group wanted a beer and was told they only served wine so he had to go elsewhere to get a beer and come back. On another occasion we went there, we asked a different server about a beer and he said they did have 2 types of bottled beer which was not offered on our previous visit. Why we dont know as they always have them. I wanted Sangria, and was told they couldn't make that as was the same message in all bars, except Trellis on the last day. The bar tender there said he could make me one for me and it was really good. I understand maybe Vintages not being able to as they may not have any bottled liquor but all the other bars did. The Voom service was pretty good I have to say and I was able to get online pretty much anywhere except when sitting on my balcony and the speed was surprisingly good even on a sea day. They have an app, Royal IQ which I downloaded prior to sailing. I thought it would be the same as Princess whereby you can access the daily compass on your phone without taking the sheet from your cabin (yes you could do that) but that you could also communicate via free texting with other guests. This was not the case. You had to pay $7.95/day for that. Rip off.
The Fine Line water show was really good. We were unable to get reservations but if you go to the end of deck 7 there's a door that leads out to a small public area right next to the climbing wall. We watched it and the other water show whose name escapes me, but we had a great view with hardly any company. I didn't see any other shows, except the comedian in the Attic which was quite entertaining.
So all in all not bad, just not great. If this is your first time cruising and have nothing to compare to, you'll have a blast. If you're choosing the Harmony because you thought the Allure/Oasis was great and you've sailed on them within past 12 months, then I'm sure the Harmony would be similar and you'll probably love it. But otherwise, I would save my money and book on another cruise line who still offer the small touches like glass of champagne upon embarkation on Celebrity. I cant say I'm in a rush to go on RCL again. Read Less