Harmony of the Seas Cruise Review by remembermelanie
- Sail Date: June 2018
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Boardwalk View Balcony
I sailed this cruise with quite a large group, but I had my own cabin. It's good to know that paying for double occupancy as a single traveler will earn you twice as many crown & anchor points!
It wasn't until the fourth day that I had canvased the entire ship. With it's size and 7 days to explore, I felt there was no rush. Deck 5 is the embarkation deck. It houses the shops and a few bars and eateries. I highly recommend the Rising Tide Bar. It's a 10-15 minute ride from deck 5 to deck 8 in Central Park where it stops under a covered roof. You can hop on or off on either level, depending on available seating. Tip: say 'hi' to Luis and get the "Let's Get Fizzical" drink. If you like bubblies, it's a good one.
Deck 15 is the pool deck and adult-only Solarium. Unfortunately, the Solarium was never occupied by only adults. There were kids sprinkled here and there each day. *sigh* I did enjoy the Solarium Bistro, but wish there was a bit more variety at the buffet. I sailed the Anthem of the Seas in the past, and the buffet selections at the Solarium Bistro varied a bit each day, so I was hoping for the same on this ship.
Deck 6 houses the Boardwalk. Due to a late booking, I ended up with a boardwalk balcony cabin. Be forewarned: THESE ROOMS ARE NOT SOUND PROOF! I was directly above the carousel, the exit to the Abyss slide is also on that level, and the aqua theater is there too. The noise, including screaming kids, teenagers yelling from their balcony to another balcony several decks below, and just the overall loud atmosphere started as early at 7am on some days and lasted close to midnight on other days. The older couple in the cabin next to me relocated after the first night. I wish I could have also, but there was a sign placed at guest services advising there were no more available upgrades. :-(
Dining in the main dining room was a bit underwhelming. Our service the first two nights was well below the expected standard. After a couple of complaints in the drop box, our service the rest of the trip was much better. The food was good, but not great. I usually take pictures of dishes that are impressive and delicious. I didn't take a single food picture in the main dining room the entire 7 days.
The specialty restaurants are worth the price. Aside from Izumi and Johnny Rockets, they all have a flat rate and are essentially all you can eat. I ate at Sabor, Chops Grille, Izumi, and Johnny Rockets. All were very good and much better than the main dining room. Izumi was impressive. Get the futomaki roll!
Entertainment & Activities:
The entertainment was pretty spectacular. I attended iSkate and The Fine Line. I skipped my reservations for Grease and Columbus the musical, and I never reserved a spot for 1887. All of the entertainers are extremely talented. There were high dives, even higher dives, tight rope walking, and Olympic grade stunts being performed. If you are over 18 and not a prude, go to the adult comedy show. I hadn't laughed that hard in a while! And as always, the cruise director staff was great! Dru (from Anthem of the Seas) jumped ship *pun intended* and is now the cruise director for the Harmony. He kept us laughing whenever he made an appearance. If you do nothing else from the entertainment and activities list, go to The Quest. I won't give it away, but... WOW.
Overall, the service was above average. My friends and I got quite familiar with a bartender at each bar. By the third day, they started to call us by name and predict our drink orders! My stateroom attendant was amazing! She called me by name every time she saw me and often stopped to chat with me too. She really went above and beyond for all of my requests, and made my stay more comfortable.
Ports and shore excursions:
Nassau, Bahamas - We docked at 7am and were scheduled to leave at 2pm. Considering I didn't wake up until about 9am, I didn't schedule an excursion. I didn't want to risk being a pier runner, plus I had been there before. I did get off the ship, but didn't go any further than Del Sol for a souvenir. It was miserably hot and just the hour and half I spent there was exhausting. I do recommend stopping at Linda's Place for conch fritters. Just eat them before returning to the ship because you can't bring back any prepared foods.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas - Beautiful at first, but around noon, it was overcast with a storm rolling in. I booked a botanical gardens excursion that included a ride to Blackbeard's Castle. The tour happened, but was delayed by the storm. And all of the glorious views that I was supposed to see were dimmed by the cloudy skies. I was so disappointed. But thankfully, our tour guide did take us to a couple of the scheduled shops for souvenirs, and I was able to get a few great pictures at the botanical gardens before the rain.
St. Kitts - I recommend booking an excursion. Otherwise, you'll end up like me, wandering the few shops that were close to the pier. I did get to try some local chocolates and other food, so that was a plus. But once I had my shopping bags full of souvenirs, I was ready to return to the ship. I was back on board by noon and able to enjoy the pool and slide without the crowd of people. Those pools on sea days were jam packed!
Overall, Royal Caribbean has a great ship and staff. There are definitely some needed tweaks. This ship is of the Oasis class, and though it's still one of the higher classes, there is clear difference between it and the upgrades of the Quantum class. I'm not sure if I would sail this ship again, but it was a great vacation.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Botanical GardenThe gardens were beautiful, but the tour was overshadowed by a storm. The views of Magen's Bay, the ship, and the ocean were much views at all. Nothing could be seen through the haze.View All 13 Botanical Garden Reviews