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We sailed from Civitavecchia on a short three nghts to get to Barcelona before a 13 night sailing across the Atlantic (TA) to Miami. Just off the Florida coast we met up with Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas for a photo op. We were on the Allure of the Seas last year and have sailed on 24 cruises with RCI and five with Celebrity. Last month we sailed on MSC for the first time. These other sailings influence my opinion because I know now better what I want from a cruise than when I first started. While the ports of call are important they are less so on a TA. More important are the ships features and facilities and most important (in my opinion) are service and entertainment. I rated this average and likely will not do another TA on Harmony OTS or one of her sisters as there are other ships that do this better. If the price and timing are right I will consider it but a significant negative will way against ever doing another TA on this large a ship. Both on the Allure OTS last year and on the Harmony OTS this year, the ship was very, very crowded at certain points. Both boarding and disembarking were wonderful, some of the smoothest of any cruises I've been on. But once on-board, the staff doesn't seem to have figures out how to manage the large number of crowds. Often this was experienced at shows where crowds more than could be handled showed up. The parades and other events on the Promenade are a mass of people beginning more than an hour before the event and unless you show up 30 minutes before there is no way you'll find a spot where you can see. It also happens in the dining areas. The other strong negative is the poor quality of the meals. There is a lot of food but the dishes are not special nor is there much variety. I found Allure had a much better variety of food last year so it appears RCI is continuing to downgrade in this area as time goes along. Most bothersome is the large amount of salt used in soups and several other dishes and the almost non-existent selection of low sugar desserts. Most people gain weight on cruises and the junk food is widely available. I gain three or four pounds because I don't eat highly processed or high sugar content foods. So I'm left with little other than fruit. Finally the entertainment, except for Columbus the Musical was poor. In Grease, some of the stars are not very good singers and being a musical this is had to overlook. It seems looks wins out over talent. There is no enrichment program to speak of as I don't call a person talking about movies he has been a part of producing an enrichment program. I wouldn't spend time watching such a thing on TV when at home so why would I come on a cruise and give my much less limited time to that. The Aqua show also was less impressive on the Harmony than on the Allure as it seems RCI choose to go after style and dance moves rather than demonstrate the talent and abilities of the cast. Allure did this very well and did a much better job utilizing the special elements of the theatre. Style over talent was also my feeling about the ice show on Harmony.

Transatlantic with a Meeting of the Three Sisters

Harmony of the Seas Cruise Review by tomwins

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Trip Details
We sailed from Civitavecchia on a short three nghts to get to Barcelona before a 13 night sailing across the Atlantic (TA) to Miami. Just off the Florida coast we met up with Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas for a photo op.

We were on the Allure of the Seas last year and have sailed on 24 cruises with RCI and five with Celebrity. Last month we sailed on MSC for the first time. These other sailings influence my opinion because I know now better what I want from a cruise than when I first started. While the ports of call are important they are less so on a TA. More important are the ships features and facilities and most important (in my opinion) are service and entertainment.

I rated this average and likely will not do another TA on Harmony OTS or one of her sisters as there are other ships that do this better. If the price and timing are right I will consider it but a significant negative will way against ever doing another TA on this large a ship. Both on the Allure OTS last year and on the Harmony OTS this year, the ship was very, very crowded at certain points. Both boarding and disembarking were wonderful, some of the smoothest of any cruises I've been on. But once on-board, the staff doesn't seem to have figures out how to manage the large number of crowds. Often this was experienced at shows where crowds more than could be handled showed up. The parades and other events on the Promenade are a mass of people beginning more than an hour before the event and unless you show up 30 minutes before there is no way you'll find a spot where you can see. It also happens in the dining areas.

The other strong negative is the poor quality of the meals. There is a lot of food but the dishes are not special nor is there much variety. I found Allure had a much better variety of food last year so it appears RCI is continuing to downgrade in this area as time goes along. Most bothersome is the large amount of salt used in soups and several other dishes and the almost non-existent selection of low sugar desserts. Most people gain weight on cruises and the junk food is widely available. I gain three or four pounds because I don't eat highly processed or high sugar content foods. So I'm left with little other than fruit.

Finally the entertainment, except for Columbus the Musical was poor. In Grease, some of the stars are not very good singers and being a musical this is had to overlook. It seems looks wins out over talent. There is no enrichment program to speak of as I don't call a person talking about movies he has been a part of producing an enrichment program. I wouldn't spend time watching such a thing on TV when at home so why would I come on a cruise and give my much less limited time to that. The Aqua show also was less impressive on the Harmony than on the Allure as it seems RCI choose to go after style and dance moves rather than demonstrate the talent and abilities of the cast. Allure did this very well and did a much better job utilizing the special elements of the theatre. Style over talent was also my feeling about the ice show on Harmony.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 11500
Two adults booked this Family Oceanview at the very front of the ship (below the Bridge) as there were very few children onboard this Transatlantic sailing. The room is spacious for the two of us. For those with children, there are two bunk beds in a small inset just as you walk in the door. Also the sofa is a trundle bed so it could sleep five. However, the bathroom is the same as a regular cabin. You'd need to go to the gym or make other arrangements. Closet space for five would barely fit but could work. We heard noise from our neighbors and so if children had been in the room I'm sure we would have heard them and our neighbors would hear children in this cabin. Companions with a virtual balcony room also said they heard their neighbors so this seems to be an issue on the ship and not just one portion.
  Harmony of the Seas Deck Plans