My husband and I really enjoy cruises and have been on a few, including Royal Caribbean ones.
Last time we went for New Year's 2015 on Quantum of the Seas, back when it was the largest ship in the world (did the same back then with Freedom) and Quantum was an amazing experience and the best cruise we've been so far (still is).
So we expected that Harmony, being the current largest and newest ship in Royal Caribbean, would be even better than that, so we went on Jan 6, 2018.
Please, Royal Caribbean, understand this: there is one thing as TOO MANY PEOPLE.
The ship was packed, windjammer was a safari and the elevators were a mess, not to mention that the ratio between guests and crew was wrong (you were understaffed).
- way too many people
- since the ship has so many open areas, if it rains it seems like all 6,000 people are jammed up inside the Promenade. The Central Park is an amazing and beautiful area, but in my opinion it should have a roof. From what I observed, on sunny days it was almost empty, as almost everyone was at the pool. On rainy days it is completely empty, because - of course - it's wet! So it becomes sort of an useless space (at least in my cruise).
Even the solarium was partially open, so we didn't even have that if it rained or if the weather was really windy.
- SPA: I had an amazing hot stone massage, but right after that peaceful and amazing moment, the masseuse was trying REALLY hard to sell me a bunch of products. Seriously insisting that I buy them. I even planned on returning to the spa, but gave up after that just to avoid another "discussion". It was very annoying.
- guys that helped with luggage before we checked in bluntly asked us for money (they stapled the tags we had with us to the bags and put them in the cart right in front of us so it would go into the ship).
- gorgeous ship
- beautiful cabin
- everything is well maintained
- amazing shows! Grease, stand-up, headline, the Fine Line, etc.
- good restaurants, such as Izumi
- check-in was very fast!
- great housekeeping service in cabin
- Labadee is a lot of fun (better than Coco Kay, in my opinion). Unfortunately, due to the weather, we had our jet-ski tour canceled so we just hung out at the beach.
- Cozumel: mexico is always fun and a great place.
- Falmouth: I can't say much, since I only hung out at the port village. But it felt like it was a port of call combined from royal caribbean and diamonds international and the tanzanite guy to have people buy that.
I've been on Splendour (2001), Freedom (2006), and Quantum (2014-2015).
Why I think the Quantum Class is way better than the Oasis Class:
- ship is not much smaller than Harmony and has about 2,000 LESS people in it!!!!
- amazing bars, many different areas, clubs, etc.
- more indoor spaces (solarium is roofed, for instance), so if it rains you have more things to do other than stay at the Promenade
- I don't know if RC changed their policies, but when we went to Quantum, we already had our watches in the cabin (they replace the card and are way easier/handy). On Harmony, you have to stay in line at guest services and pay $5 each.
- Royal IQ app: same thing, it was free to text and call people inside the ship within the app, and also call the lines in the ship (e.g. call guest services from the app). On Harmony, you had to pay $7.5 for that!
- Stores: since cruise ships are duty free, you might want to buy some jewelry or watches. The selection on Quantum was way superior, at least in Bvlgari and for watches in general than that on Harmony.
The overall image that we had comparing one to the other is that Harmony being cheaper is RC's ship that they want to pack up and that's it. The experiences there were more "massified" and less unique than those on Quantum, by far.
That being said, both ships have practically the same decor, cabins and restaurants.
We got a really great cabin with a balcony towards the sea and it was well positioned (right in the middle of the ship).
It was beautifully decorated and spacious. We had an excellent housekeeping attendant.