my wife and another couple ventured out on a back to back 14 day cruise on Harmony of the seas. It was our first time on this class ship. After hurricane Marie closed ports in St.Thomas and San Juan one of the itineraries was changed but ... Read More
my wife and another couple ventured out on a back to back 14 day cruise on Harmony of the seas. It was our first time on this class ship. After hurricane Marie closed ports in St.Thomas and San Juan one of the itineraries was changed but the weather was great during our 2 week trip.
Embarkation was a breeze, we were on the ship 10 minutes after port arrival and in our rooms at 1:00. Our bags were also in the hall by then so we could get settled early. As you can imagine this is a BIG ship, over 6000 passengers so RCI did a good job of getting us on-board and ready to go. I am Diamond member but the line for everyone was short and folks moved on-board easily.
We ventured up to the Windjammer mid afternoon, usual fare however no seats at all. After 10 minutes of fighting for a place we sat down and enjoyed our cold food. I wrote it off as embarkation problem however I soon discovered seats at the Windjammer were hard to come by at all times, breakfast, lunch, 3:00 in the afternoon, Its clearly one of the problems RCI has with this many passengers and so few seats... needs fixed.
The ship is nice, clean but new so its to be expected. I have no problems generally with service, condition, ports, etc. so let me point out the problems (or at least differences) I have with this large ship as compared to other RCI cruises.
Ive mentioned the Windjammer, the pools are even worse. by 9:45 all pool chairs were "saved" even though its forbidden, the pool staff does nothing to stop it. A flpflop here, a paperback there and no chairs to be found near any pool. Its another problem that is worse here.
Shows, we had reservations for all the shows we wanted to see however if you don't your out of luck... one of the nice things about cruising is not having to be too ridged in planning, not so on this class of ship. no reservations stand in the "hope to get in line" and watch the "Suite class" folks walk right by you without a reservation whatsoever. Clearly the "class" system is alive and well on Royal Caribbean. Even as a Diamond member, first time cruisers walk in while I wait...
Diamond Lounge.. the staff there were excellent, however nearly every-night it was full with no seating, they did provide overflow room in a lounge next door, but not the same.. another case where the size of the ship caused a mess. I was told not to worry as a diamond member I had happy hour in any bar "great" however when I ordered a martini I was told that wasn't included, OK so how about a "Crown and Coke" , sorry again. The penny pincers would give you a martini in the Diamond lounge (that was full and no seats) but not in the bar?
Elevators... I don't know what kind of system they have but it seemed of the 24 elevators they have, there were always a couple not working or just passing you by. I think here again if you were in a suite you could bypass with a card, but not sure.
Sabor is the Mexican restaurant on-board, we decided to pay the price one night and the service sucked. I literally had to get my own drinks, waiter knew he messed up so he brought us extra appetizers (which we didn't eat) and said the drinks were on him. Sure enough when I signed for the meal no drinks were included. However that night I noticed on my bill another charge for Drinks... !!
Spa... they have a wonderful spa however unlike smaller ships no steam or sauna without paying a fee. I did for the first week ($109.00) per person, and I must have been the only one, never crowded generally women using the steam and sauna more than men, but I like smaller spas on smaller ships.
The day we booked these cruises we tried to reserve My Time Dining but were told we couldn't, the first week we sat at 5 different tables, only after making a "big deal" out of it did we finally get the same spots all second week. The Dining room staff was good as was housekeeping. Bar staff not so great except the folks in the "on Air" bar. Its a great location but not much "Luxury" there. the great Bartenders and staff made up for it, unfortunate it was the only bar where they made me feel wanted.
Getting off the ship at the end of our 14 days was as easy as getting on. Overall the ship is nice, rooms fine, plenty of storage, good service, typical RCI food. But since I didn't, ice skate, ride the Carousel, zip line, flow ride, rock climb etc. I'm not sure why I would ever want to hassle with over 6000 passengers, stand in line for shows, hold my plate for lunch, pay for steam, hassle for a pool chair, and watch first time suite folks run the ship while I feel second class...I'm headed back to Oceania for my next cruise, peace and quite!! Read Less