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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.

Amazing Ship! This boat makes our last cruise look like a row boat!

Harmony of the Seas Cruise Review by picketfences101

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
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.
picketfences101’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Ages 13 to 15
Service
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Cabin Review

Cabin 12- 288
The cabin was very nice and our steward (Raj) was excellent. There was adequate storage and outlets. I have read many reviews about bringing organizers and surge protectors. This is not necessary as there is plenty. The beds are quite comfortable. More comfortable than a hotel.
  Harmony of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Barcelona
    We booked a segway tour for Barcelona! We wanted to see La Sagrada Familia and our guide took us via segway on a scenic route. Highly recommend. We had a party of 6 (ranging in age from 70 to 12) and it was a huge hit. It was a great way to see a lot of the city quickly.
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  • La Sagrada Familia
    We booked a segway tour for Barcelona! We wanted to see La Sagrada Familia and our guide took us via segway on a scenic route. Highly recommend. We had a party of 6 (ranging in age from 70 to 12) and it was a huge hit. It was a great way to see a lot of the city quickly.
    View All 114 La Sagrada Familia Reviews
  • Florence & Pisa Tour
    We booked a driver to pick us up at Livorno, then to Florence (a 2 hour drive). In Florence we had a guide take us to Academia Museum to see the David, and other highlights Ponte Vecchio, Santa Croce. Then we drove an hour to Pisa and saw the Leaning Tower. Then an hour back to the ship. It was an excellent day.
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  • Marseille
    There really was not much to do at this port. we thought we would get off and do some shopping. There really isn't that much. It's a beautiful place, so we just walked around and then had a nice lunch at the marina.
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  • City Tour
    We took a group tour that was booked through Viator. There were 6 in our party and only 2 others in the tour. It was an excellent tour for the value. We took a 2 hour tour of Naples and then a walking tour through the ruins of Pompeii. Our guide was Elisa and she was the best guide of our entire trip.
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  • Pompeii Walking Tour
    We took a group tour that was booked through Viator. There were 6 in our party and only 2 others in the tour. It was an excellent tour for the value. We took a 2 hour tour of Naples and then a walking tour through the ruins of Pompeii. Our guide was Elisa and she was the best guide of our entire trip.
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  • Palma de Mallorca (Majorca)
    We needed a down day, so we just got off the ship and went to beach. We went to a beach, we rented chairs and umbrellas. After a couple of hours on the beach, we grabbed lunch at a sidewalk cafe and took a cab back. It was a great day. Do plan on waiting at least 30 minutes for a taxi once you get off the ship. In town there are plenty of taxis.
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  • Colosseum
    We booked front of the line passes through DriverinRome. I wish we had booked a guide also, We ended up winding through the Roman Forum and getting probably walking way too much because it was like a maze. This left us with little time to go through the Colosseum.
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  • Pantheon
    We booked DriverinRome on 2 days (both Rome port days) to take us from the ship to Pantheon, Colosseum, Circus Maximus, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Roman Forum. The second port day, we toured the Vatican, St. Peter's Basilica and Sistine Chapel.
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  • Private Tour
    We booked DriverinRome to take us touring in Rome (both days) and to drive us to/from the ship. Daniel (our driver) was so fantastic he even arranged for pick-up from a Water-taxi in Venice (after we finished our cruise).
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  • Sistine Chapel
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  • Spanish Steps
    Currently closed for repair. We just drove by.
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  • St. Peter's Basilica
    Through Driver-in-Rome (we asked them to book) front of the line passes and a guide to the Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's.
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  • St. Peter's Square
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  • Trevi Fountain
    We booked DriverinRome on 2 days (both Rome port days) to take us from the ship to Pantheon, Colosseum, Circus Maximus, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Roman Forum. The second port day, we toured the Vatican, St. Peter's Basilica and Sistine Chapel.
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  • Vatican Museums
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