51 Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Europe - Western Mediterranean

First time cruise for a family of four with teenage children to celebrate a landmark birthday and decided to go for the biggest and the best !? Having spent four fantastic days pre cruise in Barcelona we had high hopes for Harmony of the ... Read More
First time cruise for a family of four with teenage children to celebrate a landmark birthday and decided to go for the biggest and the best !? Having spent four fantastic days pre cruise in Barcelona we had high hopes for Harmony of the Seas but the experience was mixed. The Ship There is no doubt this ship is an amazing feat of engineering bordering on the absurd in terms of scale. Getting on and off was remarkably easy and quick if you check in on line. As expected everything about the ship is new and spotless. We had upgraded cabins with ocean balcony which were pleasantly larger than expected with a comfortable bed although still smaller than the average Premier Inn room (this is a ship after all). The ship is busy at peak times especially the last day at sea and the design means you spend a lot of time in one of the 24 lifts on board which always seemed to be busy. The pools are noisy with kids but the Solarium is a pleasant alternative quiet with plenty of sun loungers and hot tubs (not sure why they are so hot when the air tempreature is in the 30s) Food The food in the complimentary restaurants ranged from average to inedible. The main dining room food is typical of the type of mass catering you might expect at a wedding. The menu was uninspiring and too few dishes changed daily and the food was fairly tasteless. In one occasion the potatoes were served still frozen. I suspect the majority of the food is cooked from frozen. Despite having booked a table we had to queue on the occasions we ate in main dining, once for 25 minutes. The main alternative restaurant, the Windjammer was a sterile environment where all guests are ushered to sinks at the entrance to wash hands before entry is allowed (there are hand sanitisers everywhere on board), and the food is self service but again limited in variety and lacking in freshly cooked dishes. Fish was particularly sparse. This canteen style facility is massive but despite this the sheer numbers on board meant getting a seat was difficult at any time.Here the food id served on plastic plates similar to most restaurants other then main dining or speciality. By contrast the speciality restaurants were excellent although a little expensive. Pre booking was recommended but they never appeared busy. Drink We took a beer and wine drinks package which we had pre booked but which is also heavily sold on ship during the first few days. It seemed most people on board had a package although you should read the small print as our package did not entitle us to bottled water but we could have limitless soda !? Also we could not have a bottle of wine with meals just by the glass. Bear in mind also you will not be allowed to bring your own wine on board on shore days do if you want a drink on your balcony you will need to pop down 10 flights in the lift to the nearest open bar. Cocktails are generally made from pre mixed cartons. Too much of the wine list is Californian and too many of the beers on board are served in a tin .The ship had no draught beer except in the Olde English Pub where there is one draught tap serving.......Heineken (which i am sure is made in Amsterdam !) The coffee was very poor except if you paid extra and the fruit juice equally tasted of chemicals. of course you could also pay extra to have it freshly squeezed. Dont forget every extrat comes with a 18% service charge on top. Opening times Despite the amazing array of food outlets the opening times were staggered so only a handful were open at any time except for evening dining. There was effectively no 24 hour dining as only a coffee shop and a self serve take away pizza counter opened all day and night. Everything else closed around 10.00. Equally the late bars closed at one leaving the casino and night club trading later. The main dining room did an early breakfast sitting and an early lunch on the sea day otherwise lunch was self service canteen style or fast food burgers and pizza style. Entertainment Entertainment was fantastic and i often thought if the food and drink could match then the overall experience would have been 5 star. It is impossible to fault any of the entertainers. I would highlight the late night Aqua Theatre, Grease the musical and the Jazz club as some of the best on any measure. Ports If you choose to leave the ship at every port on a excursion then you will have a very busy holiday. there is enough on the ship to keep you busy the full week but a degree of cabin fever will develop. Despite the size you will from time to time remember you are on a ship (it moves) and the sheer scale of people does mean it gets busy from time to time. The size of the ship also means you will dock in some fairly industrial ports beside other super tankers so do not expect pretty harbours from your balcony. The port locations were good but shore trips felt expensive and having only a few hours in these locations sometimes felt limited. Overall The overall experience is unique. The ship is designed around three main public areas which feel like shopping malls. Above these are the multiple floors of bedrooms with the water slides and pools on the top floor. The resulting experience is like being in a shopping centre/theme park which is a novelty but becomes tiresome after the novelty wears off. The finishes are high class and the ship is spotless but the fake feeling dominates. There is nothing authentic. We were in the Med but none of the Med culture or cuisine nor wine made it onto the ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Choose this cruise to experience the new RCL ship as had sailed on the Anthem last year. The ship did not disappoint. Boarding was easy , cabin position good .Shows excellent , plenty of sun beds even on sea day.. Our one ... Read More
Choose this cruise to experience the new RCL ship as had sailed on the Anthem last year. The ship did not disappoint. Boarding was easy , cabin position good .Shows excellent , plenty of sun beds even on sea day.. Our one disappointment was the menu in the Grand eat there only 3 times. No shorts rule was not enforced in restaurants in the evening would recommend the Solarium bistro. Central Park was lovely a great place to relax with a drink in the evening, good bar staff in schooner bar as well. Enjoyed all shows , Grease, Columbus, 1887 and both Aqua shows. As the ship is huge it seems that the only place to park it is in container areas. To get to town on a shuttle in one port was a charge of 18 dollars . We went to Rome on the train at a cost of 13Euros and Herculaneum by bus and train for 9Euros each . We stayed on the ship in Marseille and La Spieza . All in all a good holiday would sail on Harmony again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was the first time we were taking the kids (12 & 15 to Europe), so we looked for a cruise with the right destinations. We chose Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas because it was sailing to the ports we were interested (Italy, ... Read More
This was the first time we were taking the kids (12 & 15 to Europe), so we looked for a cruise with the right destinations. We chose Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas because it was sailing to the ports we were interested (Italy, Spain and France) in visiting AND because the ship had amazing activities for the kids. It was the perfect way to see so many places yet return to the ship each day. We didn't have to move our luggage. We arranged for guides at most of the destinations so we would go, go go at the ports and then come back to the ship to relax. Last year, we took a family cruise to Alaska and I'm so thankful we did that cruise first because the ships in that area DO NOT have the amenities that this boat has. Our family is forever ruined after cruising on this ship. We were a party of 6 (70, 65, 41, 43 and 15 and 12). We had 3 balcony cabins and we opened up the balconies so that we could walk back and forth. The ship met all of our needs and the kids LOVED it! I had read a few reviews that scared me about My Time Dining and about the ship not being ready. First, the boat is 100% complete, we had 0 problems. The boat is fabulous and we felt no movement. I was nervous about the capacity of the boat and feeling crowded and that never happened. The layout of the ship is done very well. I've been other other cruises where it takes the whole week to learn the layout, not with this ship. Also, this was our first time to do My Time Dining. I was worried that we would have to wait a long time to eat, not the case at all. When you board the boat, on the main deck, go to the reservations station and book a reservation for the first few nights that work out with your itinerary. Schedule 2 hours for dinner (this will give you time if you've booked a show). Then as the week progresses you can book additional reservations at the hostess stand. The only downside if you don't get the same table each night is that you get a different team of waiters each night. I was also very unnecessarily worried about booking shows. This was our first Royal Caribbean cruise and i was not familiar with the booking of shows online, so I mistakenly never checked out my cart. If you do not book your shows before hand (which would be helpful), you can book them as soon as you board on the main deck. I was worried because Grease was showing as sold out, so i thought we wouldn't get to see it. NOT the case. They reserve seats for those that don't book ahead. Just make sure you have 2 hours to eat dinner, or you will miss a show. ALSO, I recommend signing all waivers online at home before you go. HOWEVER, if you do not, there is 1 place onboard that you can sign all the waivers in 1 place. The ice-skating rink desk (you will need each of your kid's cards), then you can sign all their waivers (for zip lining, rock-climbing, ice-skating, flow-rider). If you don't do it at home and you don't do it here, you will have to go to each of the activities! Another tip, I recommend the kids take a pair of tennis and socks with them in a small bag. Each activity has requirements (skating must have pants and socks, zip lining- must be dry and have socks and shoes, rock climbing, needs socks and shoes) and they need their card for each of them. Make sure you have long pants for skating or tall socks. My daughter had low socks and her exercise pants came to the shin, she rubbed a terrible blister! The Entertainment on the boat surpassed our expectations. The comedian was really great, Grease was fantastic, the musicians were very good. We did all of our own excursions and guides and booked through Drive-in-Rome (HIGHLY recommend) and Trip Advisor in Barcelona. I really do not recommend booking cruise excursions unless you like going places in large groups. Also, I found that people dressed up a bit more on Royal Caribbean than on other ships. Also, the embarkation and disembarkation was a piece of cake. 1/2 the people get on in Rome and 1/2 in Barcelona, so it's very nice. You must have a pre-arranged driver booked to take you or pick you up from Civetaveckia. We will definitely look for another Royal Caribbean cruise with a ship like the Harmony. It was amazing. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Have been on RCC before and my son wanted to sail on this big ship. Got an early deal including flights and transfers which meant we could budget for two inside cabins. Transfer from El Pratt to the Terminal Dock took two hours just ... Read More
Have been on RCC before and my son wanted to sail on this big ship. Got an early deal including flights and transfers which meant we could budget for two inside cabins. Transfer from El Pratt to the Terminal Dock took two hours just waiting for other flights from USA and Israel to arrive. At the Terminal things speeded up and we got on board rapidly, next time we will get the taxi as we have done previously. Rooms were clean and functional and we chose a location to the rear of the ship, deck 9, close to stairs and elevators which was a really clever move on a ship of this size. Silk restaurant was busy but the food and service was good. We noticed a distinct increase in quality in the Windjammer restaurant, really noticeable. We also used the Solarium Bistro for lunch which fitted in nicely with sunbathing and using the plunge pools in the relaxed surroundings. Access to the two flowriders was easy in the morning and queues for the Abyss ride and zip line were never excessive. Needed more emphasis on football tournaments on the court for the children/teenagers as the cruise line seemed to want to cater more for basketball for the Americans on board. All the bars were quick and efficient with the best cocktails served in the Trellis bar situated in the Central Park area. Beware of the additional tax charges on the drinks package, for example, a $55 premium package actually was plus 18%, plus 20%! We did achieve at least a break even on that. The entertainment on board was higher quality than we have previously experienced. The main show 'Grease' was very slick. The 'Thin Blue Line' in the Aqua theatre was just fantastic, a must see. Stand up Mark Dolan was great. 'Dazzles 'nightclub could do with more disco and less live music = more dancing. Lots of bars and restaurants, so much variety to cater for all tastes on board. Well done RCC. The transfer was smooth from the ship but again a 45 min wait on the coach at the dock I thought was a little excessive. Overall a really good experience for the whole family, ( and never THAT crowded ). Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I really don't understand the negative reviews for this ship. We set sail from Barcelona and the whole experience for 7 days was fantastic. I have sailed with Royal Caribbean twice before on The Independence and The Anthem of the Seas ... Read More
I really don't understand the negative reviews for this ship. We set sail from Barcelona and the whole experience for 7 days was fantastic. I have sailed with Royal Caribbean twice before on The Independence and The Anthem of the Seas and thought this Ship is my favourite so far. Many of the guests were Canadian or Spanish which was an advantage for us as the ship was empty everyday when in Ports. This was the first holiday I've ever been on in the school holidays were I haven't had to get up crack of dawn for a sun bed. Sun beds were available all day and my teens had no trouble waiting to go on slides, zip line or Flo rider. In fact they were the only ones at one point on the Flo rider where it was so quiet. Maybe we were lucky the week of our sailing but do feel that the Ship had a very good deck space due to its size. Shows were fantastic, stand out for me Grease and my favourite area of the Ship was Central Park. Food was good not great but there was always something for everyone to choose from. I did miss the dynamic dining that we had on the Anthem. Main dining rooms all had the same menu which was a shame as the Anthem had more choices with its themed restaurants. Overall though enjoyed all aspects of this cruise and would be glad to sail her again, shame its going to the USA. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose this cruise company as it was recommended by our local Travel Agent as being disabled friendly, we have 2 disabled children, one physically, one Autistic, so this seemed ideal solution. Never been on a cruise ship before so we ... Read More
We chose this cruise company as it was recommended by our local Travel Agent as being disabled friendly, we have 2 disabled children, one physically, one Autistic, so this seemed ideal solution. Never been on a cruise ship before so we thought it may be a little noisy and crowded but there were plenty of quiet spots for us and the children, loads to see and do on board as well as the trips ashore. We chose short trips ashore which were great tasters for parts of Italy, and this was ideal for us.We visited Pisa and Pompeii on 2 separate days, these were excellent and well organised although our daughter couldn't get round most of Pompeii as too steep and uneven ground but found a lovely outside cafe in the market square. All the staff on Harmony are so friendly and welcoming, nothing was too much trouble, from our Room Manager, Diana, to the waiting staff in the restaurants and the chefs in the Windjammer (especially Steve !) they do Royal Caribbean and the guests PROUD !! We were made to feel like VIP's during our week long stay. The facilities are fantastic, great for wheelchair users, although our cabin door was not wide enough to get the wheelchair through unless it was folded but it was not a huge problem. We got cabins with adjoining balconies and connecting door in case of any problems. Atmosphere is brilliant throughout the ship, we all felt safe enough to go and explore alone or together, plenty of shows/music at night. Service was top class throughout, only hiccup was our room service breakfast order for early morning trip was not picked up but when we phoned they rushed it through for us, BRILLIANT! Will definately go again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was a family cruise - 9 of us in total including 3 kids under 10 and 5 first time cruisers. The first time cruisers will definitely not be one time cruisers! EMABARKATION / DISEMBARKATION - flawless process - we boarded in ... Read More
This was a family cruise - 9 of us in total including 3 kids under 10 and 5 first time cruisers. The first time cruisers will definitely not be one time cruisers! EMABARKATION / DISEMBARKATION - flawless process - we boarded in Civitivecchia- had all the online checkin completed in advance so probably no more than 20 minutes from taxi to boarding the ship. Luggage was delivered a couple of hours after boarding - the cabin was ready about 12.30pm. I actually liked the interporting process - only about 1300 boarded in civitivecchia so it was really easy and because so many got off in Barcelona we basically had the ship to ourselves for a few hours! CABIN - we had a balcony cabin on deck 11 midship - cabin was spacious , bright , modern and very clean. Storage was good and the bathroom was well appointed. Toiletries are not provided as standard but if you ask they will get them for you without any problem. The bed was very firm but strangely comfortable! Our cabin steward was not the chattiest we have ever had but he was polite and did his job well. We had 3 towel animals across the 7 nights. We had the surf and stream wifi package and it worked flawlessly everywhere on the ship. Faster than my home connection. PUBLIC AREAS - The ship is simply stunning. Very impressive and definitely fully finished! It includes lots of "areas". Central Park was my favorite - very relaxing to sit in a park on a ship and listen to the birds singing (they actually pipe in the sound of birds singing to make for an authentic experience! There are many more - the boardwalk with the ultimate abyss slide ( my wife tried this - I was too chicken - she loved it!) , the promenade with shops and bars , casino , pool decks , solarium (I have to say I much prefer the solarium on quantum class ships - just has a much nicer feel to it ). We enjoyed Dazzles nightclub - some really good singers and bands and we also enjoyed the schooner bar - good for people watching on the promenade while listening to a good piano player! I have made this point on a previous review for anthem of the seas but I still feel that the shops are too skewed towards luxury high end goods. The ship never really felt crowded - quite often one looked around and wondered where 6000+ people were. FOOD - I am happy to be able to say that the food was of a very high standard - and this was the opinion of all in our group. We ate in the MDR (both formal nights ) , windjammer , wonderland , Jamie's , chops grille , park cafe etc etc! Food good , service excellent. Special mention to our waiters in the MDR and chops - they went out of their way to change dishes around for us and the kids to suit our tastes - nothing was too much trouble. ENTERTAINMENT - first class. Grease , fine line , iceskating shows , Columbus , puzzle break room, tenors of rock ( had seen them on ovation earlier this year) - the first time cruisers in our party said the entertainment was the highlight for them - a lot of effort has gone in to this programme - the result is superb. STAFF - with only one or two minor exceptions the staff we encountered were friendly , helpful , smiling and a credit to the ship and the company. We are firmly of the opinion that if we treat the staff with respect they will give us a good experience and I have yet to be proved wrong. I still cringe when I see how some fellow cruisers speak to some of the crew. We met some really interesting crew members and had some very interesting chats - especially with the bar man from the boot and bonnet who was on the anthem during the storm in the Atlantic earlier this year! PORTS - we had been to all the ports on this cruise before so we only got off the ship twice - this cruise was all about the ship! In conclusion we had an amazing time on harmony. The age range of our party was 6 - 76 and harmony provided an experience for everyone. Well done Royal Caribbean - roll on the next oasis class ship! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We'd been on a few RCL cruises in the past three years and decided it would be a good way to get a sampling of Europe. The ship is brand new and beautiful with plenty to do! We booked three cabins for our family in order to ... Read More
We'd been on a few RCL cruises in the past three years and decided it would be a good way to get a sampling of Europe. The ship is brand new and beautiful with plenty to do! We booked three cabins for our family in order to accommodate everyone. Before I go into the cons of our trip, I do want to mention that we had the best room attendant ever. Her name was Bernadette and she was from Jamaica. She was truly a joy to be around. Always happy and accommodating. We also had a table attendant on a few nites, Fabian who was from India. He too, was a great person to have around. He was personable and very helpful with his suggestions. If we had not had dinner at different times each nite, we would have requested to have him the entire week. It's people like Bernadette and Fabian that give service and the cruise line a good name and they should be commended. This being our fourth trip in three years, we have noticed a slight decline in the service area. For one, we had asked for all of our rooms to be connected to the same expense account. We had everyone added upon embarkation and were told we were all set. The first day, they wouldn't accept my charges because I was not on the account. After a long wait in line at the Service desk, we were assured it was taken care of. On the day of our departure, we were stopped and told my son had to pay his bill before disembarking. They had removed him from the expense account and we still don't know why, so we had to get into another extremely long line to resolve this while our tour driver waited for us at the gate. There seemed to be a shortage of waiters in the pool area. It was difficult to put in orders and had to go to the bar and wait in line most of the time. My husband went to put an order in with one of the waiters and he said he'd be right back and never showed up. On another day my husband gave the same waiter another order and he called another waiter over to take the order. It seems that since we don't have to sign anymore and there is no place to add additional tips the service is definitely not the way it used to be. The other thing that was upsetting was the fact that the only reason we purchased the drink plan, was to cover the frozen alcoholic drinks such as Pina Coladas and Strawberry Daiquiris since they are probably the most costly. We got on the ship on Sunday and by Monday evening the ship was out of Pina Colada, Strawberry and Mango daiquiri mix everywhere on the ship except for the Schooner bar which had some left and we found out about on Wednesday. We were told that they would get more on Thursday in Rome. Well that was two thirds of the way thru the cruise and we couldn't get a refund for the drink packages. We were told that due to the unprecedented amount of children with drink packages on the cruise, they'd run out by fulfilling the kids' virgin drinks. I would think that the ship had a count of kids on the ship, as that info is on all reservations, and I would also think that the beverage manager should have had an idea of the situation from experience and should have had a better handle on the supply. We had a wonderful room attendant, as I mentioned previously, and so did my son and his fiance. As for my other two sons, they never met or saw their room attendant the entire week they were on the ship. They had no idea what the person looked like. That was so different from the past. The cruise director wasn't as involved with the shows as our other cruise directors have been in the past and we miss the scavenger game and married couple games, etc that they've had on all the other ships. I guess after having wonderful, energetic cruise directors on previous sailings, we were just a little disappointed. The other disappointment was the cost of the ships photographs. We always buy the highest package that includes all the photos and a disc with the photos. We paid $349 for the package in January on the Oasis. This time it cost us $299 + tax totaling $360 and all we got was the download and a flash drive with the images. We were told that if we wanted the actual photos, they were an additional $5 a piece. We thought this was outrageous! For these reasons, I am only giving the cruise 4 stars instead of 5. As for the food in the dining room, the entertainment, and the activities, they were all great. I would highly recommend seeing Grease, the Ice Show and the water show. They were all spectacular. The comedian on the ship was also great. We had a wonderful trip and saw lots of different places and things. We would definitely go on RCL again, but hope that they work on some of the issues I mentioned. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was a first time cruise that I was persuaded to go on by my nephew. I went with my sister and her family and my 82 year old Mum who needed to use a wheelchair. Boarding process was easy having filled in all paperwork online pre ... Read More
This was a first time cruise that I was persuaded to go on by my nephew. I went with my sister and her family and my 82 year old Mum who needed to use a wheelchair. Boarding process was easy having filled in all paperwork online pre cruise including photo for Sea Pass. Once on board went straight to our Stateroom and our luggage was already there. The only downside was the compulsory attendance at the safety at sea talk shortly after arrival when we had to make our way unassisted to the designated area when we knew absolutely nothing of how to get there and the lifts were busy opening and closing in bank of 8 lifts which set off before I could get to them with the wheelchair - that bit was stressful. After overcoming that and getting used to finding my way round with the wheelchair by day 1 I liked it, by day 2 was really enjoying it and from day 3 loved it to days 5 6 and 7 when I felt that I needed to stay for longer it was so fabulous. Getting off ship was easy via the ramp each time and assistance was provided by crew with the wheelchair. Mum came off ship with me in Marseilles and Naples and I went on my own at La Spezia for a couple of hours but we really loved the ship so much we wanted to stay on board lots..... It was not crowded apart from the one day when we were cruising all day, then the pool area was busy but that was to be expected. The entertainment was awesome especially the Fineline diving and aquatic show (went twice) and the ships own musical comedy Columbus superb. Grease show was just like West End performance. Mum preferred casual dining so we only went to the main Dining Room once and that was on a casual day. (There were 2 formal nights if you wanted to dress up). We found the Windjammer Restaurant to be superb. The staff were so kind and courteous, the views amazing and the food choice brilliant and cleanliness was top notch. I also loved the fact that Room Service was complimentary for most of the day as I had been surprised not to have tea and coffee making facilities in the room but for a short wait you just rang your order through and hey presto it was delivered. I cannot rate it too highly I am now a firmly committed member of the I love to Cruise Club and will be saving to go again with Royal Caribbean. Also loved the fact that our room was serviced twice a day and we had clean towels each time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
A few weeks ago I finished my 7-night cruise of the Mediterranean with Harmony of the Seas. This was my 15th cruise with Royal Caribbean and first cruise on an Oasis class ship, so I was very glad to see the usual Royal Caribbean touches ... Read More
A few weeks ago I finished my 7-night cruise of the Mediterranean with Harmony of the Seas. This was my 15th cruise with Royal Caribbean and first cruise on an Oasis class ship, so I was very glad to see the usual Royal Caribbean touches onboard. There were many things that surprised me about this amazing ship and fantastic cruise. Embarkation Our sailing was the first sailing in which new passengers boarded in Rome so I was expecting it to be a very slow process, but it was the contrary. We made it from the pier to the ship in less than thirty minutes. Though this is a longer number compared to those who board in Barcelona, we arrived before they began the check in process so we had to wait for about twenty minutes. We were in and out of the check-in line in less than five minutes. A tip for inexperienced cruisers, with Royal Caribbean, you don't have to show up to the port at the time they tell you. You can actually show up much earlier around 10:30-11:00 depending on the sailing. By doing this you can maximize your time onboard and get the most for your money. You can also enjoy a tour of the ship while it still has very few people on board. Ship Being a new ship, all of the public areas were spotless. When we first arrived in port, our jaws dropped to the floor. The size of the ship compared to any we had ever seen was truly remarkable. It does take a while to get used to the differences between this ship and other ships in the fleet. The sheer size and different layout make it an activity in itself just to try to explore every part of the ship. Good luck trying to see everything because even after a week onboard we still hadn't seen everything! I like how the company has changed their interior design to create a more sleek and modern design. It is a very refreshing change after being on so many other ships. Entertainment Harmony of the Seas has some amazing entertainment. Both of the theatre shows, Grease and Columbus the Musical, were outstanding, but I would go as far to say Columbus was better! Grease had a lot of crude gestures that are definitely not child-friendly. The singing was good, but this was something I had trouble getting past. Columbus was incredible! Before we got on board we didn't know about this and we hadn't heard about it until we were on the theatre tour and everyone was raving about it. We decided to check it out on the Rome passenger only showing and it was my favorite Royal Caribbean show I've ever seen and I have seen many. The show is fun and modern and has a lot of music that everyone can sing along to, which really is something special. The ending was also very creative. Columbus is a must! The Aqua Show was another story. The cast was very talented, but they chose to spotlight someone spinning in a circle for ten minutes (we counted), running on a treadmill, and cracking a whip randomly. Don't skip this show as it was still good, but leaps and bounds behind the normal theatre performances. Cabin We had a superior ocean view stateroom with balcony. This was probably the largest regular balcony stateroom on any RCI ship. This is due to the fact that Harmony is a meter or two wider than Oasis and Allure and the line smartly put this space into rooms instead of public areas. The room was very tidy, due in part by being only the ninth or tenth group of people to use the room, but also the fantastic stateroom cleaning staff. There was plenty of storage space, a large bathroom, and a great balcony. I would stay in this cabin again and again. Dining This is the category that Harmony slacked a little bit in, but it was still much better than other RCI ships. On our first day, they were serving filet mignon in the windjammer from Chops! They probably did this to get more people coming to Chops, but they did go out of their way to give us a great first windjammer experience. The rest of the food for the week there was good, but nothing special. The dining room also seemed to be a step above compared to our last cruises. Our staff, Carlington and Hank, were both engaging, fun, and made for a great dining room experience. A lot of the food was much better than in memory, probably because of a consolidated menu. Though there was a smaller menu, they increased the number of "Classic" menu items, which are on the menu every day. We also ate at Chops, which was fantastic as usual. Activities Harmony is jam packed with activities to do, but even all of the new things such as the Ultimate Abyss or the Perfect Storm waterslides had very short lines. The longest I waited for the Abyss was five minutes and the longest for the slides was probably around ten minutes and these were both on sea days. The Ultimate Abyss; What a thrill! First, you stand on a glass platform and you can look down ten stories to the Aqua theatre, then you are sent through multiple fast turns to the bottom. Incredibly fun for all ages. Just keep your knees down or you risk a burn. The waterslides were also all very fun and it was good to see them added. Many say that this is copying other lines, but RCI is just trying to improve their customer experience which I fully endorse. Other Royal activities on many other ships like Flowrider and mini golf were also quite fun. Harmony is very good at reducing crowds and a lot of the time, I felt that there were fewer people than there actually were. Even though the teen areas were expansive, I decided not to use them because I had boarded in Rome, so most of the kids already onboard knew each other and would be leaving in only three days. My family also did the escape room, Escape the Rubicon. This gem is kept under wraps and not publically advertised too much, as there is very limited space during the cruise, probably only about 600 out of the 5,000+ people per sailing. Debs was very fun and the puzzles were quite challenging. This would probably land in the top three things I have done on a cruise ship. The other two would probably be both varieties of slides on Harmony. Service Most service onboard was great. Carlington and Hank were some of the best dining room staff we have had in a while. The coffee guy at Cafe Promenade was also very attentive and learned our names and orders very quickly. We didn't even need to ask, he just knew! Almost all of the staff went above and beyond on our cruise and there are too many to write about, but I do have one warning. There is one woman on the bar staff who could be the worst employee have ever seen. On the first day, she passes out the Coca-Cola freestyle cups in the Royal Promenade. She is beyond rude and hates her job. If you see her, do not engage. Repeat. Do not engage. You will be flooded with sass, rude behavior, and slow service. At the ice show, we gave her our SeaPass card for one of our free diamond drinks at 8:20, and the promotion ends at 8:30 every day. She took the entire ten minutes, then proceeded to charge us because she took too much time. All of this without any kind of remorse and a grimace on her face. She worked at every show we went to. If possible, order from another bar staff member. Becuase of our experiences with this 'delightful' woman, we gave her the nickname Sunshine. We did get a good laugh when another passenger tried to order from her and they received the same 'warm rays of sunshine' that we did. But this was just one isolated case. She was actually the only bad employee we encountered on our cruise. I guess there is always a sour apple, but we didn't let this one spoil the bunch. Overall, we had another fantastic cruise with Royal and we will be back next year as well, but sadly not Harmony. I would probably choose to sail on Harmony again before sailing on her sister ships. My cruise with Harmony exceeded expectations. Every part of the cruise was amazing. P.S. Many of the poor reviews on this website for this ship are from back in May, when the ship was still being finished. I can promise, the ship is complete and their reviews that say it isn't so are now obsolete. Look through the more recent reviews as they are the ones that got to experience the true Harmony of the Seas. Do not let these reviews stop you from booking on this fantastic ship! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We are loyal Royal Caribbean cruisers and selected this itinerary as we have enjoyed the European cruises and the beautiful ports the past few summers. The bonus here was the new ship- we just had to see what Harmony had to offer from the ... Read More
We are loyal Royal Caribbean cruisers and selected this itinerary as we have enjoyed the European cruises and the beautiful ports the past few summers. The bonus here was the new ship- we just had to see what Harmony had to offer from the start. Overall- we had little disappointment. In summary, we are booked on her again for Spring Break 2017 as she moves to the Caribbean. Embarkation: This was fantastic. We arrived in Civitavecchia the evening before, staying at a hotel close by. We had door to door shuttle service from the hotel (Hotel San Giorgio) to the port on a full size bus- we were the only ones. We dropped off our bags, waited only a few minutes in the "holding area", and checked right in. We joined the cruise as the inter-port stop, so this may have been a factor to the speedy process (I'd guess only about 25% of the boat checked in at the Rome port as most join in Barcelona). Overall probably the smoothest check in we have seen in 15+ cruises. Cabin: Fantastic. Royal has done a nice job reorganizing the Harmony cabins to be efficient and at least leave you with the feel of more space. Our family usually stays in Jr. Suites or Grand Suites, but due to cost, we decided to book two balcony staterooms on deck 11. These were perfect. TVs are now wall mount, storage cabinets on each side of the bed, and the bathroom was very well designed. The shower is clearly more spacious, and for a tall family, we appreciated it! The dark earth tones were very modern/classy for a cruise ship cabin. A nice change from the earlier Oasis ships, Voyager and Freedom classes. Dining: Must admit the Harmony appears to be a step up from standard RC. We were a bit concerned at first as we were reassigned to "my time" dining at the last minute. Royal sent us an email explaining the change. We are "old school" and enjoy the "stability" of knowing we have a set dining time, a wait staff we get to know (and for the most part love) during the cruise, and have had the fortune of meeting wonderful table mates that we have connected with over the years (and even cruised with again). Overall, "my time" works. We were fortunate to be assigned to "Silk" and Carlington and Hank were our waiters after day 1. We never had a problem with a seating time or being seated in their section by request. The head waiter was always at our table, probably more than in any prior cruise making sure all of our needs were met. He left us his business card/number, so we just called ahead and in we went. Quite nice. The menu is more limited compared to other ships, but that is understandable with the increased volume of food they are putting out each meal. The Windjammer is the Windjammer, if you know what I mean. I like to stay away as I'm not a fan of fighting for a table and dodging hundreds of people in a hurry the hands full of plates and cups. There were plenty of other locations for a quick (and more peaceful) bite and those never appeared crowded. The ship lay-out was exceptional for the variety of restaurants. Part of our group ate at Chops one evening and we all did the Hibachi Experience at Izumi. Both were very good, and of course, the speciality restaurant food is a step above the complementary dining. Oh, I cannot forget one shout out to the Jammer..... when have you ever seen filet mignon for lunch? You get it on the Harmony... and it was quite good. Enrichment: Never the strong card for Royal. My son always enjoys the trivia, so we did play once. Of course, he won. Beat several teams of 5-6 adults. We did not miss the "enrichment" activities as this cruise was such a port heavy experience, and the ship was enrichment in and of itself. Entertainment: Harmony excelled here again in my opinion. When the bugs get all worked out with the new shows (we recognized we were one of the first sailings with all new casts still trying to get it all down), this will be amazing for guests. Don't miss the Puzzle Room. It is tucked away on floor 11 I think by the toddler/baby area- it seems to not be well publicized. What fun trying to solve the break out room with 10 other strangers. The water show was pretty good (could have done without the spinning guy with the whip). The ice show cast is very talented, with great costumes and effects.... the show is just a bit odd and hard to follow. We were on the ship for the Euro Cup, and we enjoyed how RC had the games playing in the aqua and main theaters for fans throughout the cruise. "Grease" was a "WOW". Can't say enough for the singers/dancers. The original Royal production show "Marvin Columbus" is fantastic. My yard stick is whether my husband uses the show for his pre-evening "nap". Here, his eyes were open the entire time. By far the best show we have seen out of Royal in 15+ cruises (husband agreed- that is BIG). Again, some bugs to work out with the stage, etc.... but do not miss this one. The headliner show was the Tenors of Rock. They were fantastic as well.... talked with them after the show. If you are in Vegas, look them up! The comedy was just so-so, so I'd advise skip and enjoy the other parts of the ship in the evening as there are so many nooks and crannies with live entertainment. Fitness and Recreation: The gym was well equipped, but must say this area was one area of disappointment. In other Royal ships, you have nice views in the gym and the track is outside around the pool area so you can enjoy views and activities as you walk / run. Here, the gym is tucked away and the track is semi enclosed in a lower deck (protected by the elements, but I felt claustrophobic). You have little time to exercise on the Harmony anyway... and just walking the ship is a work out given its size! Take the steps as they are well positioned to avoid crowds near the elevators. The recreation was a "10". The flow rider, zip line, rock wall, three water slides (wow) and the large slide by the aqua area were great fun. The pool area was nice, and there are plenty of deck chairs. Again, maybe due to the port-heavy itinerary, I never found the pool area overly crowded even on the one sea day. Always had a deck chair (although they are very closely spaced). Public Rooms: Harmony and its design excels. There are so many lounges and relaxing spaces. The solarium has plenty of chairs, water sprays, and hot tubs (no pool). The bionic bar and rising tide bar were always in use, along with the good old standard the Schooner lounge. The theater looked pretty much like all other RC ships as did the ice rink. Central Park and Board Walk were great public areas to pull up a lounge chair and people watch. Shops were a step up compared to other ships... but noticed nobody was really shopping/buying. So many other things to do in the evening after you sail from port, so I'm sure this does little for the shop business. Service: Overall, solid, but with greater variability than we are used to. I'll cut RC a break here, as building a great team takes time. The staff is just themselves getting to know the ship, and clearly much is new to even veteran employees. The technology is slick, when it works, and customer services, bar tenders, and concierge staff tried to be helpful but at times were lost themselves. Let's hope this gets worked out, as "so-so" service will hurt in the long run regardless of how magnificent the ship is itself. Training appears to be a work in progress in many areas. Captain Johnny runs a tight ship, however, and when we cruised the Mariner years back under his helm, that still remains the best staff we have experienced to date on any RC ship. We are not a fan of the cruise director we had for the front end of trip, but he left in Barcelona. I assume the new guy is the one staying (Bobby Brown). Ports/Shore Excursions: We did take any RC excursions, favoring to schedule private tours on our own. These work out best for us (you choose the time, where you want to go, and when you want to do things). Each was fantastic. We arranged a private tour of two wineries while ported in Marseilles (and lunch in Cassis). Great! We visited the Cinque Terre at the La Spazia port. Wonderful little towns with winding roads, lovely restaurants and breathtaking views. If you have been to Pisa and Florence, consider Cinque Terre at this stop. We are not a fan of Naples, so we jumped at a chance for a private tour of the island of Capris. Capris is gorgeous-- highly recommend. Palma was a great little stop where we just walked around and enjoyed time grabbing a brunch at an outdoor cafe- looks like a mini Barcelona of sorts. We are familiar with Barcelona, so we took the subway to Gaudi's Park Guell and then enjoyed the day at La Rambla taking in the cafes, people, shops and some sangria before returning to the ship. Overall, the itinerary was excellent. In all, another wonderful vacation for a family that has grown to absolutely love cruising. Sure, there were some inconveniences and obvious growing pains with a ship newly launched. Look past those. You are on vacation. Smile and thank the crew, and they will smile and deliver back to you a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
The lack of good customer service and their inability to resolve the one complaint we made while on board casts a shadow over my entire experience on this trip and with the cruise line in general. When we first entered our stateroom, we ... Read More
The lack of good customer service and their inability to resolve the one complaint we made while on board casts a shadow over my entire experience on this trip and with the cruise line in general. When we first entered our stateroom, we had an interior room that had a connecting door to the room next to it. The door was unlocked and we had to call someone to come and lock it. The entire trip we could hear the people in that room as if they were standing in our room with us. They were not being rowdy or doing anything other than just living in their room, having conversations, and watching TV. The only assumption that we could make was that there was something worn with the seal on the door. When we called after the third night because we could not sleep, the solution was to send maintenance up and put tape over the door cracks, which resolved nothing. We complained at the desk again and we were then lectured by the guest services attendant that all rooms are exactly the same, speaking to us like we were idiots, explaining how a boat is built, and said he has never had this complaint before and there was nothing they could do about it. We told him we were traveling with a group of 13 people and not one other person had this issue that we were having. He told us that when we hear the noise that we should call so they could come hear it themselves. That same night we called and security was sent and they heard what we had been hearing, yet nothing was done. It is very frustrating to have had to have this experience, especially when you need to be up to get up at 5am to get off the ship and you cannot sleep because of sound from another room. The issue was never resolved and no accommodations were ever made to better my experience. Additionally, the food was extremely underwhelming. After 3 nights of eating in the dining room and having food not being cooked to the temperature requested, and having a meal last almost 2 and a half hours, we decided to dine at the Windjammer instead for the remaining meals. The food at the Windjammer was mediocre at best. The selections and presentation seemed outstanding but once you sat down to actually consume what was on your plate, most of it got pushed to the side and into the garbage. The only restaurant we paid to go to was the Mexican place and it was pretty good, the guacamole was delicious. On the ship you need to use provided iPad kiosks to sign up for shows. When the kiosks weren't down, the process to sign up for a show was tedious, especially when traveling with 13 people. On top of it, shows kept getting cancelled/postponed on what seemed like a regular basis. The one show that was actually enjoyable was the comedy show. We also saw the ice skating show 1887. The skill of the skaters was amazing, but the plot of the story required some sort of acid trip in order to enjoy/follow. Also, forget about trying to indulge in any of the activities such as zip lining, rock climbing, or using the slides. They all seemed to only be open during time slots in which the boat was docked and everyone was on shore. I would love to have something positive to say but the entire experience was frustrating and underwhelming, especially for the amount of money paid to be there. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Harmony of the Seas is a new ship. As a new ship. It has many options. It also has many people - about 6,000. It has approximately 2,500 crew. Sometimes it seems like it is not crowded. Other times not so. When I talk to friends and ... Read More
Harmony of the Seas is a new ship. As a new ship. It has many options. It also has many people - about 6,000. It has approximately 2,500 crew. Sometimes it seems like it is not crowded. Other times not so. When I talk to friends and family, some like cruising, some do not. We were interested in trying out a new ship (One of the largest in the world) but the destinations were what caught our attention. Barcelona, Mallorca, Marseilles, Naples, Rome. The cruise started from Barcelona on July 3rd and ended on July 10th. If you enjoy pools, slides, lounge chairs and continuous access to drinks and food, cruising is for you. A ship has to be designed to manage the large numbers of people, keeping them entertained and satisfied. Elevators and equipment must be working at all times and information should be constantly available. There are many choices for entertainment and dining. We found that a large new ship is the same as any other cruise ship in many respects. Here are some of our experiences on this very large, very shiny ship. We booked a cabin for two a year in advance and had our choice of cabin. Later in the year we decided to offer our grandchildren the option of coming with us and called the RC agents to make the change to include two of our grandchildren. Royal Caribbean did not confirm the new cabin for us until it was time to fly to Barcelona. There is some anxiety involved in waiting the rest of the year for a cabin confirmation. The Cabin - The cabin was called a state room. It was in quite a state throughout the voyage so perhaps it was well named. For sure it was not stately. We were essentially four adults. Our granddaughters had as much luggage (1 bag each) as my wife and I and were 12 and 13 years old. The clothing storage was inadequate and we kept our luggage on the floor as extra storage. There was no privacy curtain for the adults and no night light in the room to find our way to the bathroom as we tried to navigate the trundle bed which had about a 10" clearance to the cabinets. This is where cell phones or iPads come in useful, you can use them as flashlights. The cabin was a mess from day 1 with bathing suits hanging from every protuberance that was available. There was a long wall next to the main bed but alas, there were no hooks available. We lived in squalor for 7 days while we "enjoyed" our cruise. Comfort has become important in our retired lives and our "camping" days were over quite some time ago. The lights came on if you put your "sea pass" into the reader slot near the door. If you take your card out all the lights will go out and you will be in a dark cavern with obstacles in your path. The shower was OK and there was plenty of hot water. The toilet had a quick flush to conserve water. If you put a card in the reader by the door and switch off all the cabin lights there is a night light in the bathroom but a phone will do a better job. The couch beds were not very good. I’m glad my wife and I did not have to sleep on them. Throughout the cruise, the cabin was my least favorite place to be. A huge ship with nasty little cabins that are not very well thought out. I should add that the person looking after our cabin was very nice and concerned about us. We gave him an extra tip. Ship features - Our two grandchildren are 12 and 13 and were looking forward to trying out the various offerings on deck. We obtained the notarized waivers that were required from their parents. When one of the girls went to go rock climbing she was turned away because she needed an adult with her. No problem, I went with her. We were then told we needed the waiver document. The cabin was not close by so it would have been useful if she had been informed about that initially. I went and got the waiver. One of the staff was gesticulating at the other when shown the waiver and accused me of presenting a copy and not the original. I pointed out the different color inks and he said that I must have used a color copier (It was the original). A second staff member said that I should go to Customer Service and get a copy made so that they could keep a copy. Again, this could have been handled quite differently. I went to Customer Service and obtained the requested copy but my granddaughter was now so upset that she gave up. She had been looking forward to the rock climb since the girls had read about the ship online and she said that they would just find something else that was wrong. I was very angry at having been called a liar and heartbroken on behalf of my granddaughter. We were not treated well at all and she did not get to climb. She also hurt herself on one of the water slides, slipping and bruising her ribs (We hope they are not cracked) when she stepped out of the tube. Main Dining - The Main dining areas were on three decks. We had made arrangements to go to what is known as "My time" dining which is reserved for a time of your choosing. There are other dining areas, some included in the fee and others that are charged on top of the fee you have already paid. We had a large group of 17 people so we looked forward to the reservations that we had made. You can bring two bottles of wine on board when you board the ship and the waiters will store the wine for you until you need it. This is the ONLY time you are allowed to bring wine aboard. Any drinks that you buy will be expensive and will have tax and a service charge added so be warned. If you buy the drink package and want to receive your full value you will likely be tipsy most of the time. If you are careful and pay as you go (keep your receipts) you will enjoy a nice drink when you would like one and pay less. Food - As with all cruises the food is abundant and there is a cafeteria-style restaurant called the Windjammer that is available much of the time. We found the food quality to be mediocre, especially in the main dining room. Salmon cooked to a brick and steak still frozen in the center with no taste. We not impressed at all. Of course you can forget the payment you made that included the “meal” and go to the restaurants spread around the ship where you pay extra for a meal that may be better quality. We tried another complimentary restaurant called the Bistro. This was less crowded and had some different menu items. All waiters were pleasant and helpful. Casino - There is a casino on board also but if you don't like second-hand smoke you may need an oxygen mask to pass through the casino or take an elevator to another floor and walk down on the other side of the casino. We like to put aside some money to have some fun in the casinos but we could not bring ourselves to spend time in a place where the smoke stung our eyes and made us cough. Onboard Entertainment - Shows are scheduled for different nights but we found that by the time we finished dinner we missed all the shows we reserved with the exception of the comedy act which was quite entertaining. Photographers - You may remember film, negatives, processing and prints. These are no longer. Like many of us who converted years ago, the ship photographers use digital SLR cameras with flash. We suggest you do the same. These days a 16GB flash drive costs about $5 on Amazon. I usually buy 64GB drives. You will be bombarded by photographers on the two formal dinner nights and every time you go ashore. The resulting pictures are displayed on one of the decks and typically at least one member of the family will want to buy a package (Not me). The pictures are often poorly constructed, not centered and cost $20 each. You will be very lucky to escape with $100 of your well-earned savings for this very amateurish service. Find a good spot and take your own photographs, you will have them on your own flash drive. The ship will not put their photographs on your flash drive but they will sell you a small flash drive for $10 to put them on in addition to the $20 fee if you wish. Internet service - If you think that you pay too much for internet service at home then get ready for a shock. Typically home internet service costs about $30/month. On board ship it is $77 per person per device for the duration of the cruise. We had two granddaughters who spend most of their day sending messages and email etc. We purchased the internet service for them and one for my wife and I so that we could communicate with their parents and the girls on board ship. It turns out that there is also a messaging service on board that costs $7/day (In addition to the Internet service). So $49 plus tax for messaging each while you are on board. It’s not included in your $77 plus tax internet charge. Go figure. You will need to “forget” the service on your device if you want to move it to another device. Go figure. Yet another expensive overhead on top of insurance and tours and photographs and restaurants and drinks. Off-ship tours/trips - The dock areas where the ship arrives are not pretty and it will take time to get from here to the town close by. You need your ship pass and your passport and it was very hot wherever we went so take some shade and plenty of water. Do not take the water from your cabin fridge. I was thirsty in the middle of the night and after fumbling around in our dark cabin I found a water bottle for which I was billed over $12.00 in my final bill. The last day - Remember that you are now onboard with 6,000 other guests and they are all competing for food and loungers, pools and hot tubs. Plan the last day ahead of time if you want to read a book in a comfortable lounger near to some reasonable food. I suggest the Bistro in the Solarium. In theory there are no kids allowed in the Solarium but I’m not sure at what age the kids become adults on board. We did find a good spot and managed to stay put for most of the day. Also, be sure that you get off early enough to get transport back to the airport because you will be competing with thousands of people at every stage of your trip home including taxis, boarding passes, security checks, meals - what a treat! Final Bill - Check your final bill carefully. I found that it was not accurate and had to call after I got home to get an explanation. Items are added and removed and you may have more than one version of a final bill like we did. We did resolve the issue in the end with the help of the web site number. Summary - For the four of us including airfares from the USA the trip was expensive. I know we could have done much better. If you enjoy being held to a schedule from the time you leave home to when you get back, being herded around like cattle, bumping into people constantly while you get your own food, waiting for elevators, pushed around on tours, bruising your shins and other parts as you try to get around a cabin for four that would be hard-pressed to serve two and fast marched around historical places this is for you. If you want a relaxing, memorable vacation with your wife where you can buy your own wine anytime you want, choose reasonable restaurants with amazing menus and take a trip when you feel like it, think about renting a place where you will be left alone until you are ready to explore and come back happy, refreshed, with a big smile and money left in your wallet. We are now quite sure that cruising is not for us. Instead, we will make enquiries with friends who have taken a different approach and do things in peaceful surroundings at our own pace and with no Captain announcing at the top of his/her voice hot hot we are going to be in an annoyingly cheerful way that reminds me of the cheap self-contained holidays of my youth. The ship is not cheap but it is definitely not for us. In general, the staff on the ship were pleasant and eager to help. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
My wife wanted to travel on the "Big" ship so we booked Harmony of the Seas. We have sailed with Royal C I before and always had a great time. The ship had a lot of nice activities for the kids, at times with so many people on ... Read More
My wife wanted to travel on the "Big" ship so we booked Harmony of the Seas. We have sailed with Royal C I before and always had a great time. The ship had a lot of nice activities for the kids, at times with so many people on board it was hard to find a deck chairs together, even on the suite deck. Over all the cruise was nice cruise and I would give it a 4 star rating but the dinning room food was horrible. The first night all but my youngest daughter was disappointed with their dinner. We have been on a number of RCI cruises before so we though it was a fluke but the next night it was even worse, We arrived to our table only to find out that another family wanted our table so the head waiter gave them our table an put us into a corner. Our waiter was very nice apologized and took our order. I ordered the halibut, it had no flavor and was as firm as a hockey puck. The waiter noticed I had not eaten the fish and asked if I wanted something else, but the others in our party shook their heads no. From then on we eat our dinners in the Windjammer Cafe. It was decent but my kids always looked forward to the dinning service. So, over all the cruise was average. Cost was good, kids loved the activities. I would rate higher if it were not for the food, but that is a big part of cruising. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
After sailing on the Allure of the Seas last year we could not wait to try Harmony. We sailed the Med cruise from Barcelona early July. Embarkation was a breeze in Barcelona mainly due to the fact we had a Junior Suite which give priority ... Read More
After sailing on the Allure of the Seas last year we could not wait to try Harmony. We sailed the Med cruise from Barcelona early July. Embarkation was a breeze in Barcelona mainly due to the fact we had a Junior Suite which give priority boarding. Once on board the Harmony is almost identical to the Allure apart from some new unique additions like the Robotic bar. Our JS suite was 8632, spacious, decent size balcony with a very décor and furnishings, you could easily tell the ship is brand new. We did not do any excursions so can not comment although we did get off the ship in Civitavecchia and wander in to town for lunch on foot which was ok. Our friends took a private excursion in Naples for Euro 280 in a private minicab and did Pompeii and Sorrento for a full day which they said was good value for money split 3 ways. I always take a drinks package, which I think is very good value, there is however not much difference between Premium and Ultimate so check that out, alcohol is the same although Ultimate allows you to have some speciality Coffees etc. Premium does the trick for me. We ate every night in the Grand My Time dining, we had the same staff and table each night. Milan was in charge of our area and he and his team were fantastic, I have no complaints at all, they looked after our table of 6 exceptionally well every night. Shows were very good, we all enjoyed Grease and the 'ISkate' show was also excellent. Aqua show was a strange story line but we enjoyed it on the whole. Occasionally used Windjammer and Park Café, all good. We did not use any for fee restaurants, I don't see the point of that. Casino is a good place to visit at sea, the atmosphere is buzzing and hats off to Joanna, Michael and Roland behind the bar, they do a great job and provide exceptional service, Roland even remembered me from Allure of the Seas 12 months before, not bad going considering he meets thousands of guests every week. Nightclub is ok, international sounds, Jazz bar was ok for a chill, comedian was ok. Boot and Bonnet is a nice place to relax and watch the world go by, the choice of beer is amazing, Archie and Clinton are great chaps behind the bar. Did not have any young children so can't comment on the waterpark, flow-rider or Abyis but it was always busy and popular. We did not have any issues at all worth whingeing about, a couple of things could have been a little better for example I never received my drinks sticker (UP) for my sea pass card and it took an age to fix and similar small jibes happened on day one in addition to this but opposed to some of the reviews I have read previously, I don't get hung up about trivial issues ! I just enjoy the holiday. In a nutshell to bring this review to a close, we had a great time, the ship is great, 99.9% of the crew are fantastic, the guest services queue is crazy like every cruise I have been on, (this need sorting RC !), I would not hesitate to recommend RC and the Harmony, I would love to sail on her again before she leaves Europe in October. I am already looking forward to my next RC cruise in August which makes me a Diamond apparently although I am yet to actually see any benefit of the RC loyalty club, I am not sure there is much to be had or get excited about to be honest. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
It was intended to be a complete family cruise and our daughter made all arrangements. Instead of a party of 13, we were a party of eight. When we were gathering information on the ship, I was very concerned about the size of the ship ... Read More
It was intended to be a complete family cruise and our daughter made all arrangements. Instead of a party of 13, we were a party of eight. When we were gathering information on the ship, I was very concerned about the size of the ship (wow!) and what type of service could be offered with so many passengers. Then, after reading the critical reviews for the maiden voyage, I was very concerned, and hoped we had not made a bad decision. And we didn't. We flew to Barcelona, arriving in the morning, and took in some wonderful sights. The next morning we headed to the ship. Check in was seamless (this was another concern) and service was excellent. Security on and off the ship was comforting. We had calls of port each day, except the last day, so we were off the ship every day. This limited some our daily activities, but the kids loved what was available. The ports of call were wonderful, with staff helping everyone with their daily arrangements as they left the ship. We had made our own arrangements for shore excursions We had two youngsters with severe peanut allergies, and special dinners were always available for them. Our cabin (with a balcony) was perfect, and the room always attended to in a timely manner. Dinner service was excellent and the food of good quality. Breakfast buffets were also very good. It takes some time, but you find all of your favorite places onboard, and then the cruise is over. Beautiful ship, so many things to see and do, very nice cruise. B Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We have sailed with Royal Caribbean many times as Platinum Crown & Anchor members and this is the first time I've been dissapointed in a cruise. The check in was a breeze, very efficient, specially since very few people was ... Read More
We have sailed with Royal Caribbean many times as Platinum Crown & Anchor members and this is the first time I've been dissapointed in a cruise. The check in was a breeze, very efficient, specially since very few people was boarding in Rome, most were boarding in Barcelona. This in itself should not be a problem but RC was not ready to deal with the logistics of 2 different boarding ports. Some information was still offered in terms of Day 1, Day2, etc. instead of date. This created confussion for us not boarding in Barcelona. Not sure why they decided to close most food venues at all aboard time! We were starving coming from the ports only to find the only place to get food was the Cafe Promenade! When we returned from Barcelona even that was closed since the new Barcelona guests had to attend the drill! We have already done so and were punished with no food or any activity for an hour! We sailed on the Oasis and this one feels so much crowded, specially the Windjammer and nice amenities such as make your own pizza in Sorrentos are missing from this ship. We expected upgrades but received the opposite. Numerous shows were cancelled or rescheduled multiple times. We were a group of 24 that planned our shows and dinner reservations online way ahead of time. The changes were difficult to handle without affecting dining. I found myself on the stand by line for the ice show after yet another reschedule and the guy at the entrance had the nerve to lecture us about making reservations ahead of time! Really, how could you say anything knowing all the changes made at the last minute! The Compass listed incorrect times for arrival into La Spezia affecting an independent excursion we had. There were also numerous errors in times and descriptions as well as grammar errors never noticed before by me in other cruises. The cabins new designs got mixed reviews from our group. There are more drawers and less closet space, I wanted more closet space but others loved it. The service is very inconsistent in this ship. You get amazing servers and others that seem annoyed to be there. On the other hand, we loved the decor, the ship is beautiful. The activities are fantastic from The Abyss to the waterslides. We had no problem doing everything we wanted to do such as slides, zip line, etc. The Harmony has a lot of potential but they still need to work on the logistics and fine tune a series of glitches that take away from the experience. This is not a cheap vacation and you expect everything to be as perfect as possible and the long lines in Guest Services is not a good sign. We will not be booking a cruise on a new ship in the future, lesson learned. Hopefully the Harmony crew will get it together soon. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Beautiful ship. I traveled with my family including 2 kids age 14 and 11. Pros-the cabins seem more roomy and are laid out much better thereby maximizing personal space. A little different from Oasis and Allure in that the Starbucks is ... Read More
Beautiful ship. I traveled with my family including 2 kids age 14 and 11. Pros-the cabins seem more roomy and are laid out much better thereby maximizing personal space. A little different from Oasis and Allure in that the Starbucks is outside and they don't have RC's "traditional" Italian restaurant-they have Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant, which is nice. Shops are "higher end" on the boardwalk -Bulgari and Tiffany. You can book excursions and check your account at kiosks they have on the Promenade so you don't have to wait in line at Guest Relations or check the TV. My kids loved the production of "Grease" as well as the Abyss slide and the water slides. The food and service in the dining room was the best on any of the RC's we have experienced. The kid's club activities were great and both my kids enjoyed their time there. Staff at kid's club was A+. American Icon Dining Room was very nice. Great art. Internet was good, but good. I would've rated it higher, but the first Aqua Show "Fine Line" wasn't great, there was soot everywhere when watching the Aqua Show (stained our clothes), difficult to get any issues resolved as guest relations/customer service rarely answered the phone and the line was always ridiculously long, the Abyss was closed way too much and the Diamond Lounge was like an after thought with no access to outside, like a balcony and no windows. It was on deck 4 forward. The "unlimited" self serve soda machines ran out of drinks 2 days before the cruise ended. The embarkation and disembarkation was easy. Our cabin was ready upon arrival and bags came really quickly as well. The keys to the room were taped on the door. I also liked that we were able to upload our own photo prior to boarding. There was an option to have a bracelet which functioned as a key instead of a room key. This really helps for kids and those not wanting to carry a key. We had 2 staterooms with a ocean view balcony and it was nice to join the balconies. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose this cruise because of the dates (school holidays) and the excitement of taking our 3 children on the biggest ship in the world. If you like a 'Disney - American' feel you will like this ship - except it doesn't ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the dates (school holidays) and the excitement of taking our 3 children on the biggest ship in the world. If you like a 'Disney - American' feel you will like this ship - except it doesn't come with the service or friendly staff. There didn't seem to be enough staff and they often appeared to be inconvenienced if asked for assistance. We have taken our teenage children on 2 celebrity cruises in the past and only encountered enthusiastic, friendly and helpful staff who contributed to the overall positive experience. (One morning my daughter and I were trying to find the rest of our family for breakfast in the main dining room - this particular morning breakfast finished at 9 am -I was unaware of this and discovered breakfast was served on the level below but was told by the lady at the dining desk l couldn't go down there and that l would be refused entry. I did go down to find my husband and sons and sat with them while they finished their breakfast. Ten minutes later the woman actually came to find us and gave me a lecture - she was rude and I was embarrassed.) The decor of the ship is lovely and our balcony cabins were spacious, and always serviced perfectly by our fantastic porter. The beds and pillows are very comfortable - always a great night's sleep. There were no toiletries provided (except soap) - which l found to be really poor - especially that this cruise was a lot more expensive than our previous cruises - and even basic accommodation offer shampoo and conditioner.The food was just OK and the speciality restaurants did not offer the special/ exclusive/fine dining experience offered by the restaurants on Celebrity. The entertainment on the ship was excellent - although the queues on the slides and flo riders were too long for my kids to wait. You also have to pay for the aerobics/pilates classes in the gym. So, I would not cruise with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
The ship was amazing. The staff members were terrific. The crown loft suite was fabulous. Grease and Columbus were wonderful. The food was good everywhere (we ate mostly in the Coastal Kitchen, but also tried the Hibachi, Sabors, Johnny ... Read More
The ship was amazing. The staff members were terrific. The crown loft suite was fabulous. Grease and Columbus were wonderful. The food was good everywhere (we ate mostly in the Coastal Kitchen, but also tried the Hibachi, Sabors, Johnny Rockets, and all were great). Water slides were really fun. Highly recommend iSkate show as well. 1887 was good but we had trouble following the plot. Also recommend the comedian. He was very funny. We did our own shore excursions so I can't rate those. We got the beer/wine package which was worth it. I am not sure I would recommend the photo package because there weren't that many photographers around and you can take photos with your phone anyway. Our teenagers loved it and made friends on the ship (two 18-year olds and a 14 year old). Only criticism was the Solarium restaurant. It was hot and the food was not as good as elsewhere in my opinion. We would highly recommend Harmony of the Seas to all! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
LOVED this ship! I cruised on Harmony on June 26 from Barcelona. We visited Italy, France and Spain. I absolutely loved the ship, although I have sailed on Harmony previously! The staff is amazing. The ship is beautiful ... Read More
LOVED this ship! I cruised on Harmony on June 26 from Barcelona. We visited Italy, France and Spain. I absolutely loved the ship, although I have sailed on Harmony previously! The staff is amazing. The ship is beautiful with lots to do. The WindJammer can get pretty crowded at lunch! But otherwise you don't feel the enormity of the cruise. Absolutely recommend for any age, especially teens. There were 13 in our group and they absolutely LOVED the cruise! I do have a few recommendations for this cruise. First, it's the Mediterranean, with stops pretty much every day. It's tiring if you plan on doing tours at the ports it is going to test your stamina. And you really won't have much time to explore the ship. I didn't make it to the pool. The ship docks early and leaves late, but if your day if packed you are completely exhausted at the end of each day. We had late dining, so our shows were after 10:30 nightly. Brutal! Secondly.... BE SURE TO BOOK your shows as soon as they open up, or you'll have a hard time getting into shows. They are pretty booked. Third... DO NOT WASTE Your time with the drink packages! They are a complete waste of money! First, you can only order drinks every 15 mins with the packages. So don't do it! Also, they will check the picture of you on your seapass every time you use your card to make a purchase. I bought the package to use it at Starbucks whenever I wanted coffee. However, Starbucks was closed while I was on the ship! The Royal Replenish package... WASTE of money. It doesn't even allow you to get water bottles. Don't do it! FOURTH... Do not steal from the workers and avoid tipping the crew. That's totally disgusting when people do that and unfair. These guys work hard for their money and they deserve more than what they get paid. I pay the mandatory tips AND I give my stateroom, drink guy, waitress and waiter an additional large tip. The cabins are new and a bit larger than Oasis. Also, note that if you have multiple cabins and they are next to each other, you can open up the balconies and move between rooms. Kinda nice! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We decided on this cruise as we wanted to experience the brand new Harmony of the Seas. Embarkation in Barcelona was quick and easy. Disembarkation was fairly quick, however, the queue to get a taxi was horrendous - we waited in ... Read More
We decided on this cruise as we wanted to experience the brand new Harmony of the Seas. Embarkation in Barcelona was quick and easy. Disembarkation was fairly quick, however, the queue to get a taxi was horrendous - we waited in queue for about 45 minutes. Note of caution - if you have a morning flight out, be sure to disembark at the earliest possible time. Cabin layout was good; lots of storage space. Bathroom sink could have been bigger, but it was manageable. Our cabin attendant was excellent. We did not have a lot of time to experience the ships' facilities as most shore excursions left fairly early in the morning and by the time we got back on the ship, we didn't have time to use the pool, etc. The one sea day we tried to get some lounge chairs in the solarium, but many had towels, etc on them. All the lounge bubble chairs (not sure what you would call them) had towels on them or people at 7 am. The food in the dining room was fine; although the reservation process was terrible. We had made online reservations prior to boarding but could not get any reasonable time; eg. we had 8:30 pm or later. However, you could go to the dining room and wait in the no reservation line for a table. This was often quicker than waiting in the reservation line. Also, we had reservations one night and when we showed up were told our table was given to another party and to come back. When we came back, we were again told that our table was given to another party. At this point, it was getting fairly late and we just wanted to eat so we opted to sit in another area. The service was hit and miss in the dining room. When we sat in our "regular assigned table" the servers were excellent. We dined at three of the specialty dining restaurants: Chops Grille, Jamie's Italian and 150 Central Park. Chops and 150 Central Park were excellent - would highly recommend. Jamie's Italian was the least favorite, but still very good. The reservation process for specialty dining needs improvement. We could not reserve times online prior to boarding and had to resort to going to Customer Service to get reservations. We had lunch at Johnny Rockets one day; it was ok, nothing to write home about. They should have made this space bigger; not many booths. Windjammer - we only at here a couple of times for breakfast; too busy and the food was ok. We had breakfast at the Solarium Bistro the other days; definitely a better option than Windjammer (fresh fried eggs, fruit, standard pancake/French toast/bacon fare). We saw two shows: Grease and The Fine Line (we saw this twice). Grease was fairly good, but The Fine Line was excellent, very entertaining show with lots of acrobatics; the guy spinning at the beginning and throughout was amazing. Mini Bites was nothing to write home about - the food tasted somewhat off/stale. Café Promenade was ok; they served the exact same sandwiches/pastries every day though so it became old quite fast. Shore Excursions - we did three shore excursions through the ship: 1) Palma di Mallorca beach transfer - they drop you off at the beach where you can spend a few hours. This was fine; you are essentially paying for the bus ride there and back. 2) Olive oil tasting in Civitavecchia - not worth the money. We spent most of the time on the bus getting there. They did took us to a small town; which would have been fine except almost all the shops and cafes were closed on Thursday afternoons. 3) Marseiles - we did Cassis extended time - this was the best of the ship shore excursions we did through the ship. We would have liked to have done a boat tour to see the Calanques(45 min - 1 hour) but did not get there in time and we would have cut it close for the meeting time back - if you do this excursion, try to get on the first boat tour when you go to Cassis. We had lunch at a restaurant and walked around the main square. We went to the casino one night - very smoky. This was enough to turn me off from going back. Same with the pool area - why would they put a smokers area in the middle of an area with pools where you have kids, etc is beyond me. Overall thoughts - a beautiful ship; if you plan on enjoying the activities or facilities on board, consider skipping some shore excursions. We paid a lot of money for this cruise and really did not get to fully enjoy the ship's amenities (no fault of RC). Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was our first time Cruising and was really looking forward to it but was a bit disappointed to read the first reviews of this ship when it launched back in May BUT we need not have worried because to say this ship is AMAZING is an ... Read More
This was our first time Cruising and was really looking forward to it but was a bit disappointed to read the first reviews of this ship when it launched back in May BUT we need not have worried because to say this ship is AMAZING is an understatement! It is truly exceptional beyond description because you just have to go on it to understand. I personally think the negative reviews must have been given because of the weather as we were on this ship only a mere 3 weeks later and it is 100% finished and operational. The staff on RC are exceptional and must get a big THANK YOU from us because you all made our trip memorable. All staff from stateroom attendant to dining room staff and everyone in between. Ship is spotless (know its new but can only imagine older ships have same standard of cleanliness and hygiene) well designed and to us newcomers would only know you are sailing along by looking out! The food is fabulous and the choice is vast. Spa was so relaxing and again the staff exceptional. The entertainment on board is as good as anywhere. The production of Grease was outstanding. I could go on and on about our week long (way too short) holiday but it would read the same so if you want a holiday of a lifetime go on Harmony of the Seas or any other Royal Caribbean cruise ship and you wont be disappointed. The only negative all week long is that you could easily come off the ship at least 1 stone heavier with all the delicious food....... Take a bow you are a fab company Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
As with the two previous cruises we took with Royal Caribbean, this cruise was terrific. We arrived several days early so we could explore Barcelona, especially Barre Gotic as well as taking a half-day tour with Barcelona Day Tours. ... Read More
As with the two previous cruises we took with Royal Caribbean, this cruise was terrific. We arrived several days early so we could explore Barcelona, especially Barre Gotic as well as taking a half-day tour with Barcelona Day Tours. Our embarkation and disembarkation experiences were very good and smooth. As other reviews and news stories will note, the Harmony of the Seas is currently the largest cruise ship. There were 7,016 guests on the cruise (our previous in the Western Mediterranean on Legend of the Seas has about 3,300 guests). Although the promenade deck (5) was occasionally a little crowded, we did not experience any problems or concerns. The layout of the ship in the seven neighborhoods was really nice. The ship offers a wonderful variety of on-board activities. The food was terrific. Our main dining room waiter (Celino) and assistant waiter (Irma) were outstanding -- very personable, friendly, efficient and, when asked, helpful. They provided excellent and attentive service. We enjoyed our oceanview balcony stateroom and our stateroom attendant (Diogo) was very good. We found the vast majority of the staff to be very friendly and helpful. We took shore excursions in each port and very very happy. We especially enjoyed the following excursions -- Pope’s Summer Residence, Vatican City and Its Gardens (Civitavecchia), Coast of Cinque Terre & Portovenere (La Spezia), and North Coast and Wine Tasting (Palma de Mallorca). We experienced two minor issues, but nothing that would cause us not to cruise with Royal Caribbean again. The first occurred when the staff member at the dock sent us to the wrong boarding area (gang plank) as he was confused about which end of the ship was forward and which was aft, even when I said I could see our stateroom right above him. Consequently we walked a longer to get to the aft and then, after boarding, walk all the way to the forward. The second was in Rome. We went to the Windjammer Marketplace for breakfast a few minutes after 6:00 a.m. as we were disembarking at 7:15 for our excursion (the Cruise Compass said the Windjammer would open at 6:00). When we arrived at the Windjammer, an employee told us to go to the other entrance which we did. The other entrance was locked and no employees were visible. We ended up going to the Cafe Promenade for coffee/tea and pastries -- not the breakfast we wanted for our long day (the excursion was 11 hours). Other than these minor items, we experienced no problems. If you like to jog or walk, be sure to use the track on deck 5 -- it was great. We will definite cruise with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
After reading the reviews the day we set sail I was a tad worried!please let me re ashore all of you guys thinking of booking BOOK.we are on day 3 and have travelled on 3 other Royal Caribbean ships and must say this is by the best Quality ... Read More
After reading the reviews the day we set sail I was a tad worried!please let me re ashore all of you guys thinking of booking BOOK.we are on day 3 and have travelled on 3 other Royal Caribbean ships and must say this is by the best Quality with a capital Q an amazing experience thanks royal Caribbean .dining plan excellent no waiting food excellent entertainment fantastic pool heated a big bonus when sailing from the uk,children's splash zone better than all other ships ,it seems that all of the work time and effort has paid off .we stayed in a Broadwalk view with balcony stateroom where all facilities great TVs and channels fantastic internet service very fast quality very good sports courts great and the zip line not for the faint hearted as you glide above the Broadwalk and if that is not enough thrill try the abyss a 100 ft slide that takes you from deck 16 to 6 in about 12 seconds WOW WOW WOW Read Less
Sail Date May 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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