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My husband and I have been on two previous cruises but this is the first time we have taken our daughters (ages 9 and 5). This was by far our best cruise yet and the girls have decided that cruising is the way we should vacation in the future. This was our first time sailing out of Ft. Lauderdale and embarkation was a breeze. We stayed at a hotel the night before and used Uber to get to the port. We were able to get on the boat with virtually no waiting, including getting the wristbands for the girls. Then it was off to explore the Harmony! We walked around taking everything in - checking out the pool area, signing the girls up for the kids' clubs, taking photos, getting our bearings, and of course, grabbing that first drink. The ship has so much to explore that I think it took us two or three days before we even managed to get to Central Park which was one area I definitely wanted to check out. Our cabin was on desk 10 Aft which made getting to dining options and the pool deck (15) very easy. Although the ship is very large, it didn't take long to walk from one end to the other which we did frequently as many entertainment venues and the kids' clubs were in the Forward section of the ship. We only ate in our assigned dining room (Silk, Deck 5, My Time Dining) on two nights as the girls preferred eating in Windjammer or grabbing pizza. The waitstaff on our first night in Silk was fantastic, however the second night was just okay. They did sing Happy Birthday to my oldest though and gave her an extra slice of cake with a candle. The food in Silk was good and dinner there did take a considerable amount of time. The overall food selection in Windjammer was very good and we actually enjoyed services there like the create your own pasta station and dessert buffets more than the selections in the main dining room. Windjammer had excellent themed nights including a chocolate buffet and foods that matched the port of call for that day. The only issues here were that it was difficult to find an open table and it was hit or miss on whether or not a waiter stopped by to take your drink order. The entire family loved the ice skating show 1887. The girls caught just a little bit of the aqua show The Fine Line and found it to be loud and overwhelming so we dropped the off at the kids' clubs when we went to see it. They did enjoy the aqua show Hideaway Heist during the day though as that one was more funny and less artistic. We also dropped the girls off at kids' club to see Grease which was a great show. Service on the ship was fantastic from everyone! I went down to Cafe Promenade each morning to get my coffee and sometimes everyone else was still sleeping. Other times the five year old went with me. There was a young lady there who talked to her each time she came with me and asked about her when I came alone. All the staff were fabulous to the girls and we didn't encounter anyone who couldn't answer a question or at least get us to the correct person. In Labadee, we chose to simply swim in Columbus Cove as that was the girls' first experience in the ocean. The weather was beautiful and the water was nice and calm. Lunch on the island was simple and tasty. Definitely take a tram if you want to avoid walking through the market to get back to the main area. In Falmourth, Jamaica we chose to ride bamboo rafts down the Martha Brae River as it was an excursion that didn't require a long drive and wouldn't be overwhelming for the girls. This was a good choice for a calm, relaxing family activity although how much you learn about your surroundings really depends on how talkative your raft captain is. In Cozumel, we arranged a private jeep tour and snorkeling which was wonderful even though the day did start off with some rain. It cleared out and we were able to go to the beach, Punta Sur ecological park, taste specialty tequila, have lunch, and snorkel all with just our guide. Another wonderful family day! Getting off the ship was very simple, although finding our luggage was a little tricky. Going through customs was quick and then we just had to find a spot and wait for an Uber to take us back to the hotel so we could get our van and start the journey home. The girls really wanted to stay on the ship and they are already trying to decide which ship they want to go on next! So far the front runners are Symphony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, or Allure of the Seas. I think they are hooked on Oasis class :-)

First Family Cruise

Harmony of the Seas Cruise Review by akiko03

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
My husband and I have been on two previous cruises but this is the first time we have taken our daughters (ages 9 and 5). This was by far our best cruise yet and the girls have decided that cruising is the way we should vacation in the future.

This was our first time sailing out of Ft. Lauderdale and embarkation was a breeze. We stayed at a hotel the night before and used Uber to get to the port. We were able to get on the boat with virtually no waiting, including getting the wristbands for the girls.

Then it was off to explore the Harmony! We walked around taking everything in - checking out the pool area, signing the girls up for the kids' clubs, taking photos, getting our bearings, and of course, grabbing that first drink. The ship has so much to explore that I think it took us two or three days before we even managed to get to Central Park which was one area I definitely wanted to check out.

Our cabin was on desk 10 Aft which made getting to dining options and the pool deck (15) very easy. Although the ship is very large, it didn't take long to walk from one end to the other which we did frequently as many entertainment venues and the kids' clubs were in the Forward section of the ship.

We only ate in our assigned dining room (Silk, Deck 5, My Time Dining) on two nights as the girls preferred eating in Windjammer or grabbing pizza. The waitstaff on our first night in Silk was fantastic, however the second night was just okay. They did sing Happy Birthday to my oldest though and gave her an extra slice of cake with a candle. The food in Silk was good and dinner there did take a considerable amount of time. The overall food selection in Windjammer was very good and we actually enjoyed services there like the create your own pasta station and dessert buffets more than the selections in the main dining room. Windjammer had excellent themed nights including a chocolate buffet and foods that matched the port of call for that day. The only issues here were that it was difficult to find an open table and it was hit or miss on whether or not a waiter stopped by to take your drink order.

The entire family loved the ice skating show 1887. The girls caught just a little bit of the aqua show The Fine Line and found it to be loud and overwhelming so we dropped the off at the kids' clubs when we went to see it. They did enjoy the aqua show Hideaway Heist during the day though as that one was more funny and less artistic. We also dropped the girls off at kids' club to see Grease which was a great show.

Service on the ship was fantastic from everyone! I went down to Cafe Promenade each morning to get my coffee and sometimes everyone else was still sleeping. Other times the five year old went with me. There was a young lady there who talked to her each time she came with me and asked about her when I came alone. All the staff were fabulous to the girls and we didn't encounter anyone who couldn't answer a question or at least get us to the correct person.

In Labadee, we chose to simply swim in Columbus Cove as that was the girls' first experience in the ocean. The weather was beautiful and the water was nice and calm. Lunch on the island was simple and tasty. Definitely take a tram if you want to avoid walking through the market to get back to the main area.

In Falmourth, Jamaica we chose to ride bamboo rafts down the Martha Brae River as it was an excursion that didn't require a long drive and wouldn't be overwhelming for the girls. This was a good choice for a calm, relaxing family activity although how much you learn about your surroundings really depends on how talkative your raft captain is.

In Cozumel, we arranged a private jeep tour and snorkeling which was wonderful even though the day did start off with some rain. It cleared out and we were able to go to the beach, Punta Sur ecological park, taste specialty tequila, have lunch, and snorkel all with just our guide. Another wonderful family day!

Getting off the ship was very simple, although finding our luggage was a little tricky. Going through customs was quick and then we just had to find a spot and wait for an Uber to take us back to the hotel so we could get our van and start the journey home.

The girls really wanted to stay on the ship and they are already trying to decide which ship they want to go on next! So far the front runners are Symphony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, or Allure of the Seas. I think they are hooked on Oasis class :-)
akiko03’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Ages 3 to 6
Ages 7 to 9
Service
Onboard Experience
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Jeep Tour
    We arranged a private jeep tour with Cozumel Cruise Excursions before leaving home. This assured that our family of four would have a jeep and tour guide all to ourselves. I had requested a guide good with children and Alice was fabulous. It was raining when we met so she went and got a covered jeep to pick us up. We started with a short tequila tasting (wow, the flavored tequila!), then continued on to have time on the beach on the "wild side" of the island. After playing in the waves, we continued on to Punta Sur ecological park (admission was included in the cost of the tour) where we saw a large crocodile, a tiny Mayan ruin, and climbed the lighthouse. Alice gave us information about the history of the island and what we were seeing the whole way in a fun and informal fashion. She also helped us practice our Spanish. After taking us to lunch (included except for drinks), we went snorkeling in shallow water. This was because of the weather conditions and the ages (and sizes) of the girls. We had an awesome time seeing the fish and the girls loved their first snorkeling experience. We did buy a CD with the pictures taken by the photographer there as we didn't have a camera for underwater photos. We had a fantastic day exploring the island of Cozumel with Alice and we all made a new friend. I'm so glad that we did a private tour instead of one with a large group.
    View All 133 Jeep Tour Reviews
  • Bamboo Rafting
    Bamboo Rafting down the Martha Brae River was a very relaxing experience. It was a short bus ride to get to the rafting site (one of the reasons that I chose this excursion over others that had much longer travel times) and then we had time to use the restrooms, have a beverage, and look at a couple of shops before our rafting group was called. Each raft holds two passengers plus the raft captain so our family of four went on two rafts - one parent and one child per raft. This worked out perfectly. The ride is very gentle and peaceful. The captain for our raft, Blake, gave me a lot of information about the plants that we were passing and the history of Jamaica. He was fun and interesting. The captain of my husband's raft was not very talkative and mainly answered questions as my husband asked them. The scenery and ride will be beautiful no matter what however some of your experience will definitely depend on the raft captain that you get.
    View All 26 Bamboo Rafting Reviews
  • Labadee
    Labadee was our beach day and the day to introduce the girls to the ocean. We didn't see the ferry to Columbus Cove when we got off the ship (we weren't sure exactly where to be) and made our way inside the main area where we got directions to the tram. The tram driver was very helpful - pointing out each different area as we drove by and letting us know where and when we could have lunch. A nice gentleman helped us set up a couple of beach chairs (we tipped) and then we were in the water. The swimming area never felt crowded and the water was beautiful and calm. After some sun and sand, we went up to the buffet for lunch. The food included hot dogs, hamburgers, bbq meats, salads, corn on the cob, fruit, and a variety of desserts. Simple and tasty. While we ate, three local fellows put on a tumbling show which was fun to watch. To avoid getting too much sun, we headed back to the Harmony after lunch to clean up and take a rest before dinner.

    (My husband and I have been to Labadee on a previous cruise and went on a jet ski tour and parasailing which were both fun as well.)
    View All 1,798 Labadee Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Labadee Cruise Port Review