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

in favor: - great ship, - buffet with good food, a la carte restaurants recommended (main dining room) - plenty of entertainment, - shows with superior quality, - cabin quality, - ship stability, - in the ports, easy ... Read More
in favor: - great ship, - buffet with good food, a la carte restaurants recommended (main dining room) - plenty of entertainment, - shows with superior quality, - cabin quality, - ship stability, - in the ports, easy to enter and go outside the ship (good organization). in disfavor: - too many passengers for the amount of distractions, - lines for the activities, - water slides hurt our back, - in buffet hard to get free table on breakfast and diner, - booking application does not function. Almost every days in guest services. - charge of mini bar without consuming anything. I presented complaint, they canceled and agreed with me, and than charge again, without saying anything. Not fare!!! - not all of the crew were friendly, unfortunately not always with smile on face, - only in the day before we know the details and local sof the arrival ports., - too much things have to be paid, - shore excursions very expensive. Better to go for our own, - dirty tissue under the bed. Many things to improve but at the end a very good experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The chose this particular cruise because of the quality of the ship and the itinerary. We were not disappointed with that. I cruised on Oasis two years and thought I knew exactly what to expect from the ship. However, Harmony is even ... Read More
The chose this particular cruise because of the quality of the ship and the itinerary. We were not disappointed with that. I cruised on Oasis two years and thought I knew exactly what to expect from the ship. However, Harmony is even better than Oasis, especially for teens. The water slides and Abyss were big hits with my children. Other than the ship itself, everything was worse as compared to my experience on Oasis. The service is not nearly as good. Staff did not go out of their way to make sure customers are happy. My cabin steward was not friendly. The service at bars was also pretty bad. The entertainment was also pretty mediocre. The only show that I was really impressed with was Fine Line -- aqua show. The rest were nothing to speak of. The biggest disappointed was the wine package. Royal Caribbean used to offer customers to buy bottles of wine. Now you get wine by glass and for nearly $40 per day the quality of the wine is atrocious. It is such rip off. Please avoid buying wine and beer package. I did not buy shore excursions form the ship. I booked private tours which ended up being more cost effective and customized for me and my travel companions. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We were a family group of 12 with ages from 5 - 74. This is the 12th ocean cruise for me and my husband and the 5th with RCL. We had sailed before with Princess, RCL, NCL and Oceania. The ship is beautiful and the atmosphere is ... Read More
We were a family group of 12 with ages from 5 - 74. This is the 12th ocean cruise for me and my husband and the 5th with RCL. We had sailed before with Princess, RCL, NCL and Oceania. The ship is beautiful and the atmosphere is very vibrant. Because of the amount of activities onboard, it is very suitable for family reunion. However, the service level was very mediocre. Main Dining Room We had the 6:30 pm fixed seating in the American Icon Grille on Deck 3. The waiter and assistant waiter serving us were excellent. They were both very friendly and service oriented. Unfortunately, I can't say the same about my experiences at other times. In my past experiences and on all the ships I had been on, the buffet restaurant upstairs serve buffet and the main dining room serve a la carte with table service. My husband and I like to enjoy table service so usually we go to the dining room for breakfast and lunch when we are not on a rush to excursion. This time around, it was different. For breakfast, half of the dining room was buffet and half of it was a la carte. That is fine as long as there is still the choice for a la carte. The first morning we were there, we were led around the dining room as if they did not know where to seat us even though there were a lot of tables around. In my past experiences, a waiter would come around with coffee and then a tray of baked goods while we were going over the menu. This time, no rolls were offered until we asked after our ordered breakfast had arrived. The 2 times that the dining room was opened for lunch, only buffet was served. The one time I was there, I stood in line for 10 minutes only to find that people were standing with plates in hand in front of empty food trays. They ran out of food and could not refill in time. I ended up just scraping up whatever is left and I find this quite unacceptable. During that same lunch, we ordered coffee. Shortly after the coffee was served a waitress came over to our table and asked if we had finished with the cream and took it and gave it to another table before we could answer her question. Could RCL not afford to buy a pitcher for each table or was the waitress too lazy to go get a new pitcher? When this was mentioned to the Head Waiter, he defended with the explanation that they did not want to waste the cream. To me, this is a limp excuse and is an example of sub par service. The food was quite good and tasty. The one thing I find this cruise quite different from our past cruises was that the head waiters were not very visible. In my other cruises, the head waiters usually came around introducing themselves and checking out with the passengers to see if everything was in order. This seems to be missing on this cruise. Windjammer Cafe I only had 1 lunch and 1 breakfast there and I find both the food and service were satisfactory. Solarium Bistro I had lunch there once and I quite like the atmosphere. It was very peaceful. It was buffet as well. The choices were not very extensive but the food was quite tasty. Park Cafe We had a couple of breakfasts here. I like sitting in Central Park in the morning. It was quite tranquil with birds singing. The service here was very bad. It took the servers ages to clear the tables. We would walk in with a lot of tables available but were all stacked with dirty dishes waiting to be cleared. They were constantly out of cutlery, plates, cups and even hot water. They put out a big spread of sweet rolls and with no plates, How do you expect your customers to serve themselves? When I asked, they brought out 10 plates which disappeared in no time during the morning rush. Wonderland That was a fun experience. Both service and food were good. Entertainment We saw Grease, The fine Line, 1887, Comedy, Headliner, Hideaway Heist. They were all very good. The Grease production was very professional. They need to improve on their scheduling a bit. For example, we missed one of the Headliner shows because it clashed with our dining time. In the past, there was usually 1 showtime to fit in the 1st seating guests and another showtime to fit in the 2nd seating guests. It doesn't seem to be the case this time. The Dreamworks Parade, the Crown & Anchor Welcome Back Reception and Captain's Welcome Party were all scheduled during dinner for the 1st seating guests. We always had 1st seating in our past cruises and I don't remember missing these events. On our past RCL cruises, we really enjoyed the Schooner Bar. It was usually packed and the atmosphere festive. This time, most of the time you wouldn't even know it existed as the bar was so quiet. Most of the time we walked by, it was only 75% full and majority of the time no music was playing. We stayed one night and waited for the singer to come on and didn't enjoy it at all. With the amount of passengers RCL should be able to afford to hire a stronger entertainer who can draw in the crowd. Shore Excursions We had shore excursions to Aix-en-Provence and Cinque Terre. My kids did the kayaking excursion in Palma de Mallorca. Nothing particulary bad or good to say about the 1st 2 excursions. However, my kids felt that the kayajing excursion was not worth the $189. They said that it was quite strenuous and with that kind of money, no water was even provided to keep the customers hydrated under the intense sun. Photos I have to commend the change in the way the photos were delivered. We now viewed the photos on a computer and then ordered a printed or electronic copy. This avoided the huge amount of printed photos being thrown away at the end of each sailing. One suggestion for them is to avoid stamping the centre of the picture which makes it hard to see if one's eyes were closed or not Service Our waiter and assistant waiter were excellent. They were very friendly and helpful. However, I cannot use that to describe the majority of the staff onboard. I don't know if the ship was understaffed or the staff was overworked. The majority seem to be disinterested. I had asked for information from a few people and they all answered matter of factly and I couldn't feel any warmth emitting from them. In the past, when we bumped into someone cleaning the floor or wiping the glass, they would greet you with a smile and friendly hello. This time, most of them would just continue their work with no acknowledgement. When embarking and disembarking at the ports, again the security staff and the shore staff were all very cold - no smiles, no welcome back. A lot of people might blame this sub par service level on the size of the ship. However, we had been on the Oasis of the Seas during its inaugural season and the service level was top notch. Our same family group was on that cruise and we all felt that the our experience on the Oasis was much better. I think comparing Oasis and Harmony is fair because they are of the same size and class. With Oasis as our benchmark, I think better service on the Harmony is achievable. All in all I would still say that this had been an enjoyable cruise but could be so much better had they been complemented by more attentive service, a more motivated staff and a more tune-in management as the facilities were wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We have cruised twice before with Carnival and P & O. Each time we had heard how much better Royal Caribbean were, so we were super excited to get aboard the ship. My wife and I travelled with our 18 year old daughter and 17 year old ... Read More
We have cruised twice before with Carnival and P & O. Each time we had heard how much better Royal Caribbean were, so we were super excited to get aboard the ship. My wife and I travelled with our 18 year old daughter and 17 year old son. We picked this ship mainly for the variety of things to do on it to interest them. The good points: Embarkation was a breeze. Probably about 30 mins max from arriving at the port to boarding the ship. Once on board the ship was stunning, no other word for it. We had already looked up previous reviews, so knew it was good idea to book shows, etc. So we booked up Grease and others straight away, All the shows were excellent and better than we had seen before. Grease was great, the comedian was funny, the magician brilliant and the aqua shows were a little weird, but seeing the guys dive off the high board was worth it. Escape from the Rubicon was amazing. I would urge everyone to give it a go. We didn't make it out, but had a lot of fun. The activities were awesome. My son spent most of the day on the Flow Rider. There were queues on some days, but he never waited more than 20 minutes. The water slides were terrific and again, the queues were never too bad. The zip wire, Abyss, etc were good and had little waiting time. Karaoke bar was lots of fun. Cabin was amazing. We had a balcony and it was spacious. The children had an inside opposite us which worked great. The shower was fantastic, so couldn't fault the room or Edgardo our steward who was brilliant. Overall a lot of good things on the ship. The bad points: The dining experience was no-where near as good as previous cruises. The food was ok, but not a great variety of choice. For example, the starters had 'classics' every night of snails or shrimps. So then you have two alternatives per night, but you would find they would be prawns, scampi, etc. So if you don't care for seafood.... As previous reviewers have said, it also feels as though you are in and then they want you out again to make sure everyone is fed. We had my time dining. I tried to make reservations when I got on board and the earliest time was 9.15 two nights away! So we went to dinner between 6.45 and 7.15 most nights and waited around 5-10 minutes for a table. If you were going in at 7.45 -8.45 I dread to think as the queue was almost back into the Casino. The Casino smoke was also grim on the way to the dining room. My main gripe on the dining though was that the formal night dress code was not adhered to. On my itinerary it said Tuxedo or smart suit and tie. So we dressed up (which we like) only to get to the dining room to see around 60-70% of diners dressed up. To me it took the gloss off the night. One group of five lads turned up in T-shirts, shorts and deck shoes. What is the point of a dress code. Suddenly I felt way over dressed. The waiters did their best, but were not as attentive as other ships, I would suggest too many people to deal with. The Windjammer was packed for breakfast, so we went to the Solarium everyday (free) and it was fine. Lunches in the Windjammer were good, with plenty of choice. The service charge on drinks is 18%, plus you have to add on VAT in European countries, so a $6 beer is something like $8.5 in reality. I have never minded paying the 18% if I get good service. I sat in at least two bars and waited and waited and eventually had to go to the bar myself to get served. I'm not sure why I'm paying 18% for that! Overall it was a very good cruise on an amazing boat. I just think whilst the boat had he x-factor, the dining and serving staff didn't. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I will preface this review by stating that the ship is beautiful, the service was excellent, and the food onboard was probably the best I have ever seen on Royal Caribbean (We have cruised with RCL 10+ times). There were a lot of ... Read More
I will preface this review by stating that the ship is beautiful, the service was excellent, and the food onboard was probably the best I have ever seen on Royal Caribbean (We have cruised with RCL 10+ times). There were a lot of "wow" factors about the ship but there was one aspect of the ship that was a source of major disappointment for me - I'll start with that first and save the good stuff for last. Unfortunately, unless you are staying in a suite, there are absolutely zero lounges with views of the water. The lounges are spacious, but you will only have views of the Promenade, Central Park, or the Boardwalk. You can only get sea views if you go up to the sport / pool decks as well as the Windjammer and Main Dinning Room. If you are a Diamond member they do have a lounge which we nicknamed the Diamond Closet. Don't get me wrong, it is spacious but again, no windows and it is tucked away on Deck 4. If you are like me and like to grab a cup of coffee, cocktail, or just relax in a lounge and watch the sea go by, avoid this class of ship. Also as there are embarkations in Rome and Barcelona, there really is no Day 1 of the voyage so it just does not feel as special. It is almost as if you are checking into a hotel and does not have the exciting Day 1 feeling that you see on other RCL ships. Now for the good. Boarding the ship was a breeze. I was extremely pleased at how quick it was to board the ship. One word of advise, please utilize the pre-cruise planner to prebook shows, dinning venues, and shore excursions. I personally dislike have to preplan everything but it does make a big difference for this particular ship. Due to the size of the ship, you can save yourself a lot of time waiting in lines to book shows, excursions, and dinning options by doing this before you get onboard (the only downside is they do offer dinning specials when booking onboard). Dinning options were plentiful onboard. We tended to use the Solarium Bistro because the Windjammer was a bit undersized for the amount of people onboard. The food itself was top notch for RCL and the service definitely matched. I saw nothing but smiling helpful crew members who tried to make everyone happy. If you get a chance, try Jamie Olivers. I enjoyed it more than Central Park 150. The margaritas at Sabor are also worth a stop. The onboard entertainment was amazing. I read an earlier review of lip syncing but I will respectfully disagree after sitting in the front row (off to the side because center seats are reserved for suite guests) and hearing the singers. We opted to use private independent shore excursions as the ones RCL offered were pricey and usually involved large groups of people. Take a peak at the Cruise Critic forum or Trip Advisor for reputable companies. We had an inside stateroom and were upgraded to one with a virtual balcony. Cool idea, but I can live without it. The stateroom was spacious and well laid out for RCL standards (Plenty of storage space). Overall Harmony OTS truly is a beautiful ship and would probably good for a person who is nervous about being on water. You feel like you are at a high end resort rather than a cruise ship. It is spacious and the only time I noticed crowds was on the pool deck and when leaving a show. However if you are looking for a more traditional ship were you can walk the exterior or have lounges and look outside and know you are on a cruise ship than steer clear of Oasis Class. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We wanted to try out the new ship which definitely didn't disappoint. it's modern feel and spacious layout were great. The cabins had so much storage space the layout was great. A couple of times we turned on the TV to watch ... Read More
We wanted to try out the new ship which definitely didn't disappoint. it's modern feel and spacious layout were great. The cabins had so much storage space the layout was great. A couple of times we turned on the TV to watch the olympics, the TV was so big and bright. Our stateroom person, Jingjing was awesome, great service and she had a wonderful personality. Unfortunately this is where the service stopped. Our experience in the MDR was atrocious! The food was OK but the untrained staff was shocking. Really not their fault just no idea how a meal service should work. One night my husband got an entire drink spilled on him, he was absolutely drenched. It was the assistant servers first time using a tray! An innocent mistake but it was the tipping point. After that we just ate in the restaurants, some service was really good and others like Izumi it was also awful. Also for Izumi if you book ahead of time it says it is complimentary, when we got to the restaurant we were met with a lecture on how it was not complimentary but a al carte. No big deal but why confuse the customer by using the word complimentary. As we watched others come in several left after finding out there was a charge. We were happy that we weren't the only ones to misunderstand. We loved the port stops, it was very busy days but we loved all of the sightseeing we did. We organized all of our own tours and they were all amazing. It was also great how fast we could get off the ship in the morning. Overall I would rate this as an OK cruise just such a let down by the service and attitude of some of the crew. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was our first cruise. We have two young teens and are an athletic family. My spouse and I were dying to go back to Italy and Spain but only had 10 days maximum and have one kid that does not like to travel. We did not use 70% of ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We have two young teens and are an athletic family. My spouse and I were dying to go back to Italy and Spain but only had 10 days maximum and have one kid that does not like to travel. We did not use 70% of the amenities; for some reason my usual "fishes" were not interested in the pools or slides. Tthe entertainment did not appeal to us with the exception of the Spanish group and single guitar player that played most nights. The food at several specialty restaurants was great; best was Jamie's Italian. Our rooms were quite clean and decor was as expected. There was a wide range of people on board: lots of people with young kids and interesting array of faiths and lifestyles. The gym and fitness classes were sub-par and not enough were available for all on board. One young Brit, Brandon, was quite full of himself and made some rude comments to older women. Overall the cruise was too much money for what we used and paid, approximately $8,000 for two ocean, balcony staterooms, particularly with the $100 additional for specialty restaurants most nights. The buffets were a bit blah, especially baked goods and salad selections. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
That was our 4th time on Royal Caribbean ( all Mediterranean). This time service was bad, restaurants were packed jam not like other big cruises we took, staff somehow unfriendly & on board spending was way too high, much higher than ... Read More
That was our 4th time on Royal Caribbean ( all Mediterranean). This time service was bad, restaurants were packed jam not like other big cruises we took, staff somehow unfriendly & on board spending was way too high, much higher than other trips we took. They try to make money in each step you take on board. Room were better than expected but tooooo noisy. Entertainment on board was bad. Did not like & will never repeat. We had a dispute with our bill, it took us almost 2 hours the last 3 days of our trip standing in line in order to resolve. Food at one point is tasteless & repetitive. I believe because the number of customers were high, staff were edgy. Not all staff though,m we encountered some extremely friendly staff. We used to cruise thinking its good value for money. Not anymore. I'de rather see Europe some other way Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
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
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
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
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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