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I read many reviews prior to booking/sailing on Harmony so I wanted to give back and try to focus this review with some tips that I was not aware of prior to sailing and hoping others will find useful. Dining: We did my time dining and made reservations in advance online - I highly recommend making reservations ahead of time as (especially the first 2-3 nights of cruising) the lines can be long - we never had to wait more than 5 minutes but several nights (night 1 & 2) when we left the MDR the line was out to the hallway for non-reservations and fairly long for reservations (our reservation was at 6:15pm). Windjammer - crowded at breakfast & lunch but we always managed to find a table- we enjoyed the dinners we had here, food was good (later in week less crowded). The Solarium Bistro was great for lunch very quiet never very crowded & you can bring kids (I have teens but others with younger kids were there). The selections is smaller than Windjammer but still good & so much quieter & relaxing. Drinks: We did not do the drink package as I didn't feel we would drink enough to justify the cost; we were a party of 5 with 2 cabins & were able to bring on 4 bottles of wine which was really nice as we had a glass of wine on balcony each night before dinner. Also, we bought a bottle of wine at Port and they delivered it to our room by 6:00 pm the last day of cruising so we were able to enjoy it that evening. Entertainment: Loved all the shows, especially Grease & Comedy Show - make reservations ahead of time. Book the Fine Line water show as early in the cruise week as you can as this show can get cancelled if winds are high & they will reschedule for later in week. Note on Reservations: a reservation lets you in prior to those without a reservation but does not give you a specific seat, more importantly- those without reservations are allowed in to all the shows at 10 minutes prior to show time - so if you want to sit close etc. arrive at least 15-20 minutes before show time. Music: We enjoyed the Caribbean band that played at Dazzles - they played a variety of music. Also, Jazz on 4 was nice. Cabin - you are allowed access to your cabin at 1:00 pm on the first day; no conditioner so bring your own (they have 2 in 1 in shower in a dispenser). The rooms do have blow dryers. Plenty of hangars & closet space (no need to bring your own hangars) Activities: you need to complete a waiver for zipline, wave rider, and dry slide - you can do these in the room on the tv or in person at the activity. Teen Club - they have late night events for teens each night - my 16 year old made many friends although basically they met up at the event & then did their own thing as they weren't crazy about the group led activities but at least it allows teens to meet. Ports: St. Martin: this was our favorite port, we were the only ship here & it was not crowded. We took the water taxi $7 round trip per person ($1 off coupon available at the Port Shopping Desk). We walked to the Holland House Hotel which is a very nice hotel in front of a pretty section of beach - $25 gets you an umbrella, 2 chairs, 4 drinks, free wifi, use of restrooms (which were very nice/clean). The water was beautiful and the beach not crowded, had a relaxing day. Did a little shopping also. Yes, you will be approached on the beach and boardwalk by locals selling their goods but they were harmless - I did get my daughter some braids in her hair. San Juan - we just got off ship & walked around, shops are within walking distance of pier- but after a while all the stores seem the same and streets are narrow and crowded at times. I do wish we had walked or taxied to one of the Forts but I was a little worried we would not have enough time as boat left at 1:30 pm. I also wish we had a decent map of town to make our short time there more efficient. Labadee: Very crowded, too many people for such a small area. Line for buffet is long get there when it opens as they run out of some food. The water was beautiful though - we went to Nellies Beach and we were able to get chairs in shade towards back of beach, there seem to be plenty of chairs and shade so no need to worry about not getting either. We did not get there super early maybe 10:30/11 and there were still spots/chairs. Also, all the beaches are walkable no need to worry about shuttles unless you have young children or elderly (my mom is 80 and was able to walk everywhere just fine). My husband checked out Columbus Cove & said it was even more crowded than Nellies & he thought Nellies was nicer. Embarkation: Took a long time 1 1/2 hours maybe a bit longer. If you are an early riser I suggest requesting the earliest departure time to avoid the lines. Two days before departure day you will get info delivered to your room about this. Overall - I was a little worried given the size of the ship and number of passengers about how the cruise would go but Harmony is a great ship with tons to do for all ages, the size was not overwhelming - after 1-2 days you get used to the layout; only seemed crowded by the pools and Windjammer early in the cruise. My elderly mom, teenagers, and my husband & I all loved it.

Exceeded My Expectations

Harmony of the Seas Cruise Review by Rocky Mountain Cruisers

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2018
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View with Large Balcony
I read many reviews prior to booking/sailing on Harmony so I wanted to give back and try to focus this review with some tips that I was not aware of prior to sailing and hoping others will find useful.

Dining: We did my time dining and made reservations in advance online - I highly recommend making reservations ahead of time as (especially the first 2-3 nights of cruising) the lines can be long - we never had to wait more than 5 minutes but several nights (night 1 & 2) when we left the MDR the line was out to the hallway for non-reservations and fairly long for reservations (our reservation was at 6:15pm).

Windjammer - crowded at breakfast & lunch but we always managed to find a table- we enjoyed the dinners we had here, food was good (later in week less crowded). The Solarium Bistro was great for lunch very quiet never very crowded & you can bring kids (I have teens but others with younger kids were there). The selections is smaller than Windjammer but still good & so much quieter & relaxing.

Drinks: We did not do the drink package as I didn't feel we would drink enough to justify the cost; we were a party of 5 with 2 cabins & were able to bring on 4 bottles of wine which was really nice as we had a glass of wine on balcony each night before dinner. Also, we bought a bottle of wine at Port and they delivered it to our room by 6:00 pm the last day of cruising so we were able to enjoy it that evening.

Entertainment: Loved all the shows, especially Grease & Comedy Show - make reservations ahead of time. Book the Fine Line water show as early in the cruise week as you can as this show can get cancelled if winds are high & they will reschedule for later in week.

Note on Reservations: a reservation lets you in prior to those without a reservation but does not give you a specific seat, more importantly- those without reservations are allowed in to all the shows at 10 minutes prior to show time - so if you want to sit close etc. arrive at least 15-20 minutes before show time.

Music: We enjoyed the Caribbean band that played at Dazzles - they played a variety of music. Also, Jazz on 4 was nice.

Cabin - you are allowed access to your cabin at 1:00 pm on the first day; no conditioner so bring your own (they have 2 in 1 in shower in a dispenser). The rooms do have blow dryers. Plenty of hangars & closet space (no need to bring your own hangars)

Activities: you need to complete a waiver for zipline, wave rider, and dry slide - you can do these in the room on the tv or in person at the activity.

Teen Club - they have late night events for teens each night - my 16 year old made many friends although basically they met up at the event & then did their own thing as they weren't crazy about the group led activities but at least it allows teens to meet.

Ports:

St. Martin: this was our favorite port, we were the only ship here & it was not crowded. We took the water taxi $7 round trip per person ($1 off coupon available at the Port Shopping Desk). We walked to the Holland House Hotel which is a very nice hotel in front of a pretty section of beach - $25 gets you an umbrella, 2 chairs, 4 drinks, free wifi, use of restrooms (which were very nice/clean). The water was beautiful and the beach not crowded, had a relaxing day. Did a little shopping also. Yes, you will be approached on the beach and boardwalk by locals selling their goods but they were harmless - I did get my daughter some braids in her hair.

San Juan - we just got off ship & walked around, shops are within walking distance of pier- but after a while all the stores seem the same and streets are narrow and crowded at times. I do wish we had walked or taxied to one of the Forts but I was a little worried we would not have enough time as boat left at 1:30 pm. I also wish we had a decent map of town to make our short time there more efficient.

Labadee: Very crowded, too many people for such a small area. Line for buffet is long get there when it opens as they run out of some food. The water was beautiful though - we went to Nellies Beach and we were able to get chairs in shade towards back of beach, there seem to be plenty of chairs and shade so no need to worry about not getting either. We did not get there super early maybe 10:30/11 and there were still spots/chairs. Also, all the beaches are walkable no need to worry about shuttles unless you have young children or elderly (my mom is 80 and was able to walk everywhere just fine). My husband checked out Columbus Cove & said it was even more crowded than Nellies & he thought Nellies was nicer.

Embarkation: Took a long time 1 1/2 hours maybe a bit longer. If you are an early riser I suggest requesting the earliest departure time to avoid the lines. Two days before departure day you will get info delivered to your room about this.

Overall - I was a little worried given the size of the ship and number of passengers about how the cruise would go but Harmony is a great ship with tons to do for all ages, the size was not overwhelming - after 1-2 days you get used to the layout; only seemed crowded by the pools and Windjammer early in the cruise. My elderly mom, teenagers, and my husband & I all loved it.
Rocky Mountain Cruisers’s Full Rating Summary
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Ages 13 to 15
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