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After three years of wonderful sailing on Celebrity Solstice-class ships, we decided to try the "world's largest cruise ship" for my 60th birthday. We made the most of it and enjoyed ourselves, but it was no thanks to Royal Caribbean. We will sail on Celebrity again but not the namesake cruise line. Ever. Although I know some people love the design of the Oasis-class ships, we were appalled that the primary interior public space, the cavernous Royal Promenade on Deck 5, looked just like any generic shopping mall. It has no windows to provide even a glimpse of the sea and it's very gloomy, especially during the day. Because one of our favorite things to do is sit inside, in comfortable chairs, and read or play cards and have coffee while looking out at the ocean, this was a huge disappointment. I'm an early riser, and the only place to get coffee and pastry that's open 24 hours a day is the Cafe Promenade off the Royal Promenade, so all we had was a view of the "mall." Adding to the gloom was the brownish gray wood-grain wall treatment used throughout the ship to poor effect. (Flashback to 1960s basement "rec rooms" with ersatz wood paneling.) Central Park, on Deck 8, is attractive but seating is limited and most of it quite hard and uncomfortable. The Windjammer Marketplace buffet was not open during off hours, regrettably. I don't know why it would hurt to leave it open, but it is what it is. The Windjammer was also terribly crowded at breakfast and they managed to keep running out of eggs. The food was better there at lunch and dinner. However, the coffee was often tepid, because the coffee urns aren't heated so if you don't catch it in the first 15 minutes of the urn being replaced, the coffee isn't hot. At least three times I went around to six different coffee urns and poured six cups of cold coffee! Unbelievable. We also had our worst service ever on a cruise ship in the main dining room for lunch. It took us 15 minutes after we were seated to flag someone down for our drinks, and once we got them no one ever came back to our table. Of the four specialty restaurants we visited, only 150 Central Park was truly good, and it was very good. At Jamie's Italian and Chops, we were served cold food, and at Wonderland we endured Royal Caribbean's embarrassing attempt at molecular gastronomy, but we did have one nice dish there, the Branzino. On the other hand, the Greek buffet served at dinner at the Solarium Bistro, on Deck 14, was quite good, and we also enjoyed a couple of breakfasts there and at Johnny Rockets (no surcharge at breakfast). We had lunch one day at the Mexican restaurant Sabor (everything is priced a la carte) and it was fairly good. We had dinner just once in the main dining room and it was, surprisingly, very good. (Too bad we bought a four-night specialty dining package.) The highlight of the ship was our veranda stateroom, 12-192, which was very nice, and our attendant, Margaret, was excellent. Embarkation and disembarkation was very efficient, as was getting on and off the ship at our ports of call. We also enjoyed the jogging path on Deck 5 that encircles the ship.

Not a Fan of the Ship or the Cruise Line

Harmony of the Seas Cruise Review by MarkWiltonM

17 people found this helpful
Trip Details
After three years of wonderful sailing on Celebrity Solstice-class ships, we decided to try the "world's largest cruise ship" for my 60th birthday. We made the most of it and enjoyed ourselves, but it was no thanks to Royal Caribbean. We will sail on Celebrity again but not the namesake cruise line. Ever.

Although I know some people love the design of the Oasis-class ships, we were appalled that the primary interior public space, the cavernous Royal Promenade on Deck 5, looked just like any generic shopping mall. It has no windows to provide even a glimpse of the sea and it's very gloomy, especially during the day. Because one of our favorite things to do is sit inside, in comfortable chairs, and read or play cards and have coffee while looking out at the ocean, this was a huge disappointment.

I'm an early riser, and the only place to get coffee and pastry that's open 24 hours a day is the Cafe Promenade off the Royal Promenade, so all we had was a view of the "mall." Adding to the gloom was the brownish gray wood-grain wall treatment used throughout the ship to poor effect. (Flashback to 1960s basement "rec rooms" with ersatz wood paneling.) Central Park, on Deck 8, is attractive but seating is limited and most of it quite hard and uncomfortable. The Windjammer Marketplace buffet was not open during off hours, regrettably. I don't know why it would hurt to leave it open, but it is what it is.

The Windjammer was also terribly crowded at breakfast and they managed to keep running out of eggs. The food was better there at lunch and dinner. However, the coffee was often tepid, because the coffee urns aren't heated so if you don't catch it in the first 15 minutes of the urn being replaced, the coffee isn't hot. At least three times I went around to six different coffee urns and poured six cups of cold coffee! Unbelievable.

We also had our worst service ever on a cruise ship in the main dining room for lunch. It took us 15 minutes after we were seated to flag someone down for our drinks, and once we got them no one ever came back to our table. Of the four specialty restaurants we visited, only 150 Central Park was truly good, and it was very good. At Jamie's Italian and Chops, we were served cold food, and at Wonderland we endured Royal Caribbean's embarrassing attempt at molecular gastronomy, but we did have one nice dish there, the Branzino. On the other hand, the Greek buffet served at dinner at the Solarium Bistro, on Deck 14, was quite good, and we also enjoyed a couple of breakfasts there and at Johnny Rockets (no surcharge at breakfast). We had lunch one day at the Mexican restaurant Sabor (everything is priced a la carte) and it was fairly good. We had dinner just once in the main dining room and it was, surprisingly, very good. (Too bad we bought a four-night specialty dining package.)

The highlight of the ship was our veranda stateroom, 12-192, which was very nice, and our attendant, Margaret, was excellent. Embarkation and disembarkation was very efficient, as was getting on and off the ship at our ports of call. We also enjoyed the jogging path on Deck 5 that encircles the ship.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 12-192
The stateroom was very clean and well-designed, with plenty of storage and good lighting by the bed for reading. The flat-screen TV was well positioned opposite the bed but I had to power-cycle it three times during the cruise because it kept getting disconnected from the server. The channel selection was quite poor, and they didn't have BBC News, which I have never been without on a cruise. We had an oversize veranda that was also very nice. Our attendant, Margaret, was wonderful.
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