1 Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas Cruise Reviews for Spring Break Cruises to Europe - Western Mediterranean

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
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

Find a Harmony of the Seas Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click