5 Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Europe - All

This was the innagural cruise for the Harmony of the Seas from Southampton England to Barcelona Spain. We have been on the Oasis of the Seas so there was a familiarity with the ship. The Harmony was nothing less than amazing all around. ... Read More
This was the innagural cruise for the Harmony of the Seas from Southampton England to Barcelona Spain. We have been on the Oasis of the Seas so there was a familiarity with the ship. The Harmony was nothing less than amazing all around. We had no issues whatsoever. Service was top notch all around. Our cabin steward was awesome as was our MDR waiter and beverage waitress. We really loved the new cabins, especially the layout and built in USB ports. The cabin layout was substantially more functional than the Oasis and a bit larger too. The Royal IQ app was good, but has potential to be great. I do miss the printed coupon books at our level vs the promotions being on the Sea card. We did buy the RFID bracelets only to find that in too many places on the ship you take to take it off to be scanned. We are from the US and the ship was tailored to customers from the UK. What that means is that cream or 1/2 n 1/2 for the coffee was only available in the dining room. Sorry, cant drink coffee with milk. The food in the MDR was quite good and we did dine at Chops and Jaime Oliver's. Chops was disappointing. Jaime Olivers was excellent, but still not has good as Portofino's on the Oasis. We also did a French wine tasting that was very good. Entertainment was good, especially loved the 80's night and the band was amazing. I believe that we had 5200-5400 people onboard but never really felt crowded, Ports of call included Vigo and Malaga Spain and we enjoyed both. I still give the ship, cruise, entertainment and crew 5 stars because they truly went out of the way for the guests. This was a winner. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
The cruise was sold to me on the basis of being a 'Maiden Voyage', but once on board it was indicated as 'Pre-Inaugural' or 'Preview' cruise. There was no indication the ship would still be in the process of ... Read More
The cruise was sold to me on the basis of being a 'Maiden Voyage', but once on board it was indicated as 'Pre-Inaugural' or 'Preview' cruise. There was no indication the ship would still be in the process of being completed, with work men being everywhere. The Aqua Theatre not being ready was a big disappointment. The main dining room was a major let down due to the calibre of the food and the service. We ended up having to use the supplementary restaurants in order to get a decent level of food, spending another £200 in the process. On the first morning we had a sit-down a la carte breakfast in the main dining room. After waiting an hour for our order, random dishes arrived for our table in place of what was ordered and they were lukewarm. We left shortly after, hungry. The quality of food at dinner was mediocre at best, with service being very patchy. There were very few places to sit when it rained, due to the amount of outside public space. This drove people in to the limited seating in the Royal Promenade, even into areas that they had no intent of using, such as Sorrento's. This then made use of those places harder. I appreciate the ship is intended for more warmer climes, but rain is still likely in the Caribbean. An enclosed lounge area looking out to see was sorely missed - even the Solarium is unusual in that it is open to the elements. It seems you can sit inside or outside, but not inside looking out. You end up being forced to your balcony in order to get adequate seating and have some peace and quiet. The food in Windjammer was poor in areas of choice and quality. I don't see why the buffet cannot be the same calibre as that on Celebrity. The Coke lifestyle machine in the Windjammer had no ice leading to the drinks it dispensed being warm and unpalatable. There were very few hand-gel dispensers and people enforcing their use. The supplementary restaurants didn't seem to have them, and the main dining room was certainly not enforcing their use. They were notably absent from the frozen yoghurt area on the Lido deck. Given the high profile of Noro virus on cruise ships and how it can spread, this is a problem waiting to happen. We were woken at 1 am on the last evening by the people collecting the suitcases laughing, joking and being very loud. Given the time of the morning, this should be done as quietly as possible. The emergency drill was quite chaotic with people not quite knowing what they should be doing and people just standing around. There could be more structure to this. Johnny Rockets had a number of issues. There were 8 tables in the building, but the lack of covered outside seating meant there was a large queue. It was not easily apparent how people should queue for take away food over sitting in. The staff would suddenly break into a dance whilst food sat gradually going cold on the counter, which just exacerbated the length of queue growing outside. For some reason on a port day Johnny Rockets doesn't open for lunch, choosing instead to open at 2pm. There were also bolts emanating from the floor where the stools were clearly meant to be. The aircon in the stateroom started at a reasonable temperature, but after some maintenance one day the aircon only provided cool temperatures even after being turned up to maximum. The ladies toilets had large round bins in the cubicle instead of proper sanitary bins. My Crown and Anchor status did not appear on my card for some reason. Getting off the ship was an unusual experience with having to get off a deck that was below the pier line. This necessitated a steep metal ramp up and then down, with lots of people assisting with the needlessly difficult traversal. My wife and I are quite able bodied and could manage it, but I feel sorry for more elderly passengers. Given both the dimensions of the ship and tidal patterns in Southampton are known, I'm not sure how this came to be. It was clearly not the correct deck to have to disembark from. When we sailed on Anthem of the Seas last year on its second public sailing, we were impressed at both the finished state of the ship and quality of service offered. It does seem that it was pushed out to paying customers too soon. My overall feeling is a lack of consideration to paying passengers. We had been looking forward to the cruise due to it being advertised as a Maiden voyage as well as it being rare quality time for us to have as a couple. To not meet our reasonable expectations after the expenditure of time and money was a huge disappointment. The ship has been massively promoted in the media, but who cares about big slides and a robotic bar if the the basics such as food and seating are just not adequate? The promise of a new revolutionary ship was not delivered. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Here is my feedback to RCI. I think that it is a balanced review. I thought that other Cruisers may be interested. The good bits: Check-in – arriving at our chosen time, we were directed to a check-in agent, who scanned the Sea ... Read More
Here is my feedback to RCI. I think that it is a balanced review. I thought that other Cruisers may be interested. The good bits: Check-in – arriving at our chosen time, we were directed to a check-in agent, who scanned the Sea Passes, we answered the three questions, and we were on our way. Less than two minutes. Now that is a WOW! Stateroom cards awaiting us, loaded up with what we had ordered and our benefits as Gold members. Big improvement. USB charging points in the stateroom – extremely useful. RoyaliQ. A very useful app which we used a lot. Staff. They were almost of the usual RCI standard but were obviously fighting the incomplete services. They were most apologetic when something didn’t work or they had run out of things. Despite it all they gave a very good impression. Grease. We have seen this show numerous times from the West End to amateur productions as well as the film. This beats the lot by a mile! The set, the lighting and the sound were superb. The choreography was divine. The acting was excellent. The singing was great. Only one small gripe. The song which Sandy sings at the end of the records scene with Rizzo, was sung far too powerfully. It was not in keeping with either the song, which is sad, or the character. It did show off the power in the singer’s voice but it did spoil the song completely. 1887. Forget the so called story line (it was invisible to all except the creator!!!!) this was a superb show. We have seen several ice shows on RCI and this was the best by far. The costumes were amazing, the skaters were so very professional and the lighting effects were unbelievable. We attended all of the headliner shows except Tenors of Rock (not our taste in music) and all were excellent entertainment by very professional acts. We especially like Bobby Davro. The Orchestra. I know it was only one set up on deck 5 but they were superb. I could have sat through a whole show of just them. Jazz on 4. We don’t normally stay up late but on all four evenings we stayed up way past our bedtime to listen to these musicians par excellence. I cannot find words to describe the pleasure that they gave us. I have kept their names and will be ordering CDs of their music. I must also add that the young lady barman was outstandingly good. I think that her name was Kristina. Wonderland. A restaurant which kept us guessing from start to finish. The tastes and textures were an amazing mix which gave pleasure to the senses. It was good to see that Chops Grill has not diminished in quality at all. The menu in the American Grill was extensive and the quality of the food was very good. The bad bits: Our table in the American Grill (306) was difficult to get to and very squashed with other tables. The impression was of tables being crammed in together to make up the numbers. The wine waiter never came to ask if we wanted anything (which we did) and we had to ask our waiter who obviously didn’t have a clue about wines. As a result, we had half-finished our main course before we ordered. We only had a glass each instead of our normal bottle as there wasn’t time to finish it. All the restaurant staff appeared to be rushed and not working as the relaxed efficient team that we are used to. I suspect that the processes need to be sorted out. There were far too many technicians working in all parts and on all decks of the ship. To see cables being run in to booths on Deck 8 (or was it 5?) showed just how much work there was to do on the ship. Also equipment being installed above roof panels with wiring hanging down waiting to be connected. We had anticipated small glitches (e.g. no channel descriptors on the TV Guide page, water handle on the basin out of alignment) but not the major failings and incomplete work. There were boxes and cabinets waiting to be used in the public areas. One balcony area was full of boxes and equipment roughly covered with a tarpaulin. There was equipment waiting to be installed in the bar area of Wonderland. I have experience of work being contracted to French maintenance organisations so I should not have been surprised when the ship was in the state it was. Never did the French deliver something to schedule! The difference with my organisation is that we refused to accept the work until it was completed and we invoked the late delivery clause in the contract. The PA system on decks 5 and 8 was useless. We couldn’t make out a word that was said because of the echoes. Because there was no PA in the rooms we didn’t hear a single announcement in the 4 days that we were on the ship. It was OK for hearing the emergency alarm. Booking a restaurant was not possible from either the app or the TV. You had to go to the restaurant itself to book it. By the time we realised this many of the slots we wanted were full. Fortunately, the staff did their best to accommodate us. Having to wash your hands before going into the Windjammer restaurant is an aim to be applauded. However, only having 4 wash basins meant extremely long queues at peak times. This was totally unacceptable. At least 4 or 5 times that number of washbasins are required in order to give an acceptable wait time. We spurned Windjammer as a result. The normal sanitizers should be available until this is sorted out. Not enough thought has gone into this. What is especially annoying is that all other restaurants either have sanitizers or nothing at all!!! Where is the consistency? Finally, the biggest failure of all. After I booked this cruise back in October it struck me that I had never heard of the Harmony of the Seas. I went to your web site and looked it up. The background image was of the Aqua show with descriptions of how it is amazing and proving to be a great success on your other Oasis class of ships. Other friends had also told us how good it was. To find out after we were well underway that it would not be on was a major disappointment. Watching the rehearsals showed just how far behind it was. I fail to see how an organization like RCI could not have had the rehearsals carried out on the other two ships when the pool and trampoline were not being used. This is a major failing of RCI. Some of the shops were not open. Either they were not ready or the concessions had decided that it wasn’t good for their brand image to be on a ship with so many issues. I received three e-mails about the need to have the check in completed and the sea pass ready at the appropriate time. I did not receive an e-mail saying that there was still lots of work to complete on the ship and that the Aqua show would not be available. At no time before the cruise was I told that this was a “pre-inaugural” cruise. That phrase only was used on the 3rd or 4th night by the Cruise Director. In summary, the ship should eventually be up to your usual standard and meet the expectations which RCI dedicated cruisers have come to expect. But on our cruise (and I suspect the current one also) the ship simply wasn’t ready for fare paying passengers. It was OK to have some Elite Class and above passengers on board on a complimentary cruise to receive their feedback but not for passengers to pay money. This ship is not yet ready. I am sure that you are considering compensation to the passengers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We thought we would try this taster cruise, have not travelled on Royal Caribbean before, but have on P&O, Cunard, Fred Olsen and Saga. Very quick to board using on - line sea pass. A beautiful ship, a work of art. Some work was still ... Read More
We thought we would try this taster cruise, have not travelled on Royal Caribbean before, but have on P&O, Cunard, Fred Olsen and Saga. Very quick to board using on - line sea pass. A beautiful ship, a work of art. Some work was still going on around the ship, but most places were operational. But ....... we were glad it was only 4 days as we would not go back on this ship. We found that compared to the P&O Azura there were not enough shows for us. It caters mainly for families I would say .For which the facilities looked excellent. The theatre was lovely, and Grease excellent, but Azura has 3 main venues. The drinks prices were very dear, plus 18% added. If you liked walking around and drinking it was great. In our opinion it was not a proper cruise ship, such as Cunard. It was brash and noisy, Butlins afloat !! The food was good in the main restaurants, breakfast was a nightmare in Windjammers, worst we've seen. Also no midnight buffet on this ship !! Just a small pizza bar with a long queue ! All in all there was a wide age range, but if you want refinement and a stylish cruise I don.t think this is it. Its a seaside resort on sea. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Yes the ship had problems and not complete in places, we had a crown loft suite no phone no TV for two days and lost hot water for a day or so, I washed in the sink using boiled water it took me back many year when grandparent wash in ... Read More
Yes the ship had problems and not complete in places, we had a crown loft suite no phone no TV for two days and lost hot water for a day or so, I washed in the sink using boiled water it took me back many year when grandparent wash in the kitchen unless we got the tin bath in. but on board there was over 2000 royal Caribbean staff being battered with complaints and if they were my staff I would be so proud, all kept smiling all kept helping they made our cruise yes the issues were there but the food was great show fantastic and thing to do well where endless in seven days we could not do it all the ship have to offer, for sure one of the wonders of the seas it like all the best bits of all the ships are there. some passengers only task was to look for the faults I know we had issues but amazing staff made it very bearable I think I would be very sad if I let the negative rule the positives if you want to enjoy this amazing ship you will. construction or constructive you decide trust me you can have a great time thank you to all the staff on board you went beyond under duty and extreme pressures well you kept smiling and kept us have fantastic holidays see you all in September. 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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