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Harmony of the Seas is HUGE - and has something for everyone! We are an active family of 5 (with 3 teenagers) and all really enjoyed our cruise. We scored a 9-day itinerary instead of the usual 7 days, and loved the extra ports plus felt like we had time to relax and enjoy the ship. Embarkation - we flew into Ft. Lauderdale the night before, the airport / hotels / cruise port are very close and easy to get to. Boarding the ship was quick and easy thanks to completing info online in advance, and then picking up SeaPass cards at our staterooms after boarding. Disembarking was also smooth and easy. Ship Activities - So much to do! We enjoyed the zip line, flow rider, rock climbing wall, water slides, Abyss slide and did the Escape Room just to name a few. Fitness center is excellent. Teen Activities - they have a separate Cruise Compass with teen activities, broken down by 12-14 and 15-17 age brackets. My son especially enjoyed the sports court with teen basketball, etc and the flow rider. The kids have a nice "living room" area to hang out with ping pong, the Mini Bites restaurant, and stuff for them to do. Entertainment - We enjoyed all the shows. Grease was great, Columbus was a little wacky (had tap dancing sharks!) but fun; we loved the ice skating show and the Aqua Theater Fine Line show. All of the entertainers were extremely talented and did a great job. Reserve shows online as early as you can - the reservations fill up and some (Aqua shows) have long lines of people without reservations waiting. If the seas are rough the Aqua show will cancel and reschedule. Main Dining Room - we really enjoy the MDR, we ate there every night. It had something for all of our different tastes (including our kids), and if we didn't care for something we just got a different item instead. Waitstaff was great about making sure we enjoyed the food, and gave excellent service. Breakfast buffet in MDR was also great. Windjammer - crowded and hard to find an open table, but lots of food choices and we liked the food. It's shaped like a long narrow "U" shape, and it's really hard to find a family member if they are already sitting somewhere. VOOM internet - the ship is so big we paid the $ to get internet for all of us & texted A LOT to touch base when we wanted to find each other. Even when searching for each other in the Windjammer. Internet was very good. Watch for pre-cruise discounts on VOOM internet in Cruise Planner in advance, you can get a 4-device package (4 people can use) for a good discount. Since we had 5 of us, I booked a Deluxe Beverage with VOOM package for myself to get the 5th internet connection. Deluxe Beverage Pkg - I thought it was worthwhile for me. I got a couple hazelnut latte's each morning in Cafe Promenade, and soda in the afternoons. Every time I went to the bar I got a water bottle and stockpiled in my room fridge so I always had a cold bottle - very convenient. Afternoon frozen drinks by the pool, wine with dinner, a drink at a show or bar in the evening - it's pretty easy for them to add up. Every time I got a drink I also got a water or soda so I didn't load up on too much alcohol and I never had a problem with drinking too much but I felt like I got my money's worth. Pkg works on Labadee too. Consider what other "paid" drinks you would get (vitamin water in the spa, fresh squeezed OJ at breakfast, soda, coffee, bottled water) and add that to alcoholic drinks when deciding if it's worthwhile. Plus once or twice I got drinks I didn't like so I left them behind and got something else. Shore Excursions - We booked through Royal Caribbean for 3 of the ports. Nassau - Balmoral Island beach break - rode ferry to the island which had a really nice beach and 2 pools. It rained on us, but would have been great and relaxing if the weather had cooperated. St Thomas - fantastic! Did the Fast Cat catamaran snorkel and beach break excursion - loved it. Great crew. Clean safe friendly port area. St. Maarten - awesome! My guys did Loterie Farm Zipline Excursion - very active & included ropes course / climbing. They had a great time. My daughter & I did the horseback riding excursion at Lucky Stables, trail riding and rode horses into the ocean. It was great - horses were well cared for, our guide was great, we really enjoyed it. We walked from the cruise port to the town area with shops and restaurants along a beach. Nice and easy to get around. Still some hurricane damage. San Juan - we explored on our own; toured San Cristobal fort ($7 each) - lots to see, we really enjoyed it. Could have gone to El Morro fort with our tickets as well, but we skipped that one and did some sight seeing in Old San Juan. "Umbrella" street was neat to see. We bought some souvenirs and stopped in a cafe for a snack. Everything was easy walking distance from ship. Labadee - great beach day!! Went to Columbus Cove beach (the farthest) it had nice sand and calm water for floating around and relaxing. We took our own inflatable floaties. BBQ lunch was good. Lunch, a bar, and bathrooms were all close and nice. Loved Labadee. Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle - it was fun! There were prizes and giveaways. We had a large group. They had coffee & breakfast there - if I had realized that I would have gotten there earlier and skipped the long coffee line at Cafe Promenade. I wish there had been a little more "mingling" afterwards, but a big group had pre-planned a casino outing right after the Meet & Mingle, so most headed out. It was really nice connecting online in the Roll Call forum before the cruise; the ship is so big I wish I had run into the people we met more often but that's the downfall of a huge ship. We didn't see some of our "new friends" again for the last half of the week. I hope my review is helpful! I read tons of reviews, articles and blogs before our cruise and really appreciated the info when I was planning.

Harmony Eastern Caribbean - Great ship, Great ports! Something for everyone

Harmony of the Seas Cruise Review by amy in va

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Harmony of the Seas is HUGE - and has something for everyone! We are an active family of 5 (with 3 teenagers) and all really enjoyed our cruise. We scored a 9-day itinerary instead of the usual 7 days, and loved the extra ports plus felt like we had time to relax and enjoy the ship.

Embarkation - we flew into Ft. Lauderdale the night before, the airport / hotels / cruise port are very close and easy to get to. Boarding the ship was quick and easy thanks to completing info online in advance, and then picking up SeaPass cards at our staterooms after boarding. Disembarking was also smooth and easy.

Ship Activities - So much to do! We enjoyed the zip line, flow rider, rock climbing wall, water slides, Abyss slide and did the Escape Room just to name a few. Fitness center is excellent.

Teen Activities - they have a separate Cruise Compass with teen activities, broken down by 12-14 and 15-17 age brackets. My son especially enjoyed the sports court with teen basketball, etc and the flow rider. The kids have a nice "living room" area to hang out with ping pong, the Mini Bites restaurant, and stuff for them to do.

Entertainment - We enjoyed all the shows. Grease was great, Columbus was a little wacky (had tap dancing sharks!) but fun; we loved the ice skating show and the Aqua Theater Fine Line show. All of the entertainers were extremely talented and did a great job. Reserve shows online as early as you can - the reservations fill up and some (Aqua shows) have long lines of people without reservations waiting. If the seas are rough the Aqua show will cancel and reschedule.

Main Dining Room - we really enjoy the MDR, we ate there every night. It had something for all of our different tastes (including our kids), and if we didn't care for something we just got a different item instead. Waitstaff was great about making sure we enjoyed the food, and gave excellent service. Breakfast buffet in MDR was also great.

Windjammer - crowded and hard to find an open table, but lots of food choices and we liked the food. It's shaped like a long narrow "U" shape, and it's really hard to find a family member if they are already sitting somewhere.

VOOM internet - the ship is so big we paid the $ to get internet for all of us & texted A LOT to touch base when we wanted to find each other. Even when searching for each other in the Windjammer. Internet was very good. Watch for pre-cruise discounts on VOOM internet in Cruise Planner in advance, you can get a 4-device package (4 people can use) for a good discount. Since we had 5 of us, I booked a Deluxe Beverage with VOOM package for myself to get the 5th internet connection.

Deluxe Beverage Pkg - I thought it was worthwhile for me. I got a couple hazelnut latte's each morning in Cafe Promenade, and soda in the afternoons. Every time I went to the bar I got a water bottle and stockpiled in my room fridge so I always had a cold bottle - very convenient. Afternoon frozen drinks by the pool, wine with dinner, a drink at a show or bar in the evening - it's pretty easy for them to add up. Every time I got a drink I also got a water or soda so I didn't load up on too much alcohol and I never had a problem with drinking too much but I felt like I got my money's worth. Pkg works on Labadee too. Consider what other "paid" drinks you would get (vitamin water in the spa, fresh squeezed OJ at breakfast, soda, coffee, bottled water) and add that to alcoholic drinks when deciding if it's worthwhile. Plus once or twice I got drinks I didn't like so I left them behind and got something else.

Shore Excursions - We booked through Royal Caribbean for 3 of the ports.

Nassau - Balmoral Island beach break - rode ferry to the island which had a really nice beach and 2 pools. It rained on us, but would have been great and relaxing if the weather had cooperated.

St Thomas - fantastic! Did the Fast Cat catamaran snorkel and beach break excursion - loved it. Great crew. Clean safe friendly port area.

St. Maarten - awesome! My guys did Loterie Farm Zipline Excursion - very active & included ropes course / climbing. They had a great time. My daughter & I did the horseback riding excursion at Lucky Stables, trail riding and rode horses into the ocean. It was great - horses were well cared for, our guide was great, we really enjoyed it. We walked from the cruise port to the town area with shops and restaurants along a beach. Nice and easy to get around. Still some hurricane damage.

San Juan - we explored on our own; toured San Cristobal fort ($7 each) - lots to see, we really enjoyed it. Could have gone to El Morro fort with our tickets as well, but we skipped that one and did some sight seeing in Old San Juan. "Umbrella" street was neat to see. We bought some souvenirs and stopped in a cafe for a snack. Everything was easy walking distance from ship.

Labadee - great beach day!! Went to Columbus Cove beach (the farthest) it had nice sand and calm water for floating around and relaxing. We took our own inflatable floaties. BBQ lunch was good. Lunch, a bar, and bathrooms were all close and nice. Loved Labadee.

Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle - it was fun! There were prizes and giveaways. We had a large group. They had coffee & breakfast there - if I had realized that I would have gotten there earlier and skipped the long coffee line at Cafe Promenade. I wish there had been a little more "mingling" afterwards, but a big group had pre-planned a casino outing right after the Meet & Mingle, so most headed out. It was really nice connecting online in the Roll Call forum before the cruise; the ship is so big I wish I had run into the people we met more often but that's the downfall of a huge ship. We didn't see some of our "new friends" again for the last half of the week.

I hope my review is helpful! I read tons of reviews, articles and blogs before our cruise and really appreciated the info when I was planning.
amy in va’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 13 to 15
Ages 16+
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin 1V 3842
Deck 3 inside cabins 3838 and 3842 - our family of 5 had 2 rooms. They were not next to each other, we booked late. (Would have been nice to get adjoining cabins.) These cabins were in a middle hall - not the long hallways along the sides. They were pretty quiet, we didn't hear any noise from the casino above. They had plenty of space for small, inside cabins. We took shoe organizers for the door & hooks and magnets for the walls - that helped. The beds were in the back and sofa / desk were towards the front of the room (good layout). Convenient to the main dining rooms, the gangway to get off at ports, and deck 5 Promenade & deck 6 Boardwalk.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Labadee
    Cruise ship private island; we love Labadee. We relaxed in loungers on Columbus Cove beach - beautiful sand and calm water. BBQ lunch is included, we thought it was good, and Sea Pass cards work to buy anything at the bar. Love the Labadoozie frozen drinks :-) The food, bar, and bathrooms were close and all were nice. A ships photographer waded into the water waist deep to get pics of guests, which turned out great! She really went "over and above"!

    The only thing I don't care for is the way vendors in the artisan market are so aggressive about selling and hounding people. I really would like to help them out and buy something if they weren't so aggressive about it, that makes me uncomfortable.
    View All 1,775 Labadee Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Labadee Cruise Port Review
  • San Juan
    The ship docks in Old San Juan. We ventured out on our own and visited a fort (San Cristobal) for $7 each - it was really big with lots to see, we spent a lot of time there and really enjoyed exploring it. Could have visited El Morro fort also with our tickets.
    We walked around Old San Juan and did some shopping for souvenirs. Found the "umbrella" street, and stopped in a cafe for drinks and chips/queso. Really enjoyable; easy walking and easy to get around.
    View All 3,707 San Juan Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's San Juan Cruise Port Review
  • St. Maarten
    Adventure ropes course with ziplining - great!
    View All 12,051 St. Maarten Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Maarten Cruise Port Review
  • Horseback Riding
    Horseback riding excursion was excellent! The horses were well cared for, our guide was great. Our group was broken down into smaller groups, and we enjoyed hearing our guide discuss the island while trail riding. We got to ride the horses into the ocean - they loved it and we had a great time! I highly recommend!
    View All 22 Horseback Riding Reviews
  • Snorkeling
    Fast Cat catamaran snorkel and beach break - Loved it! Crew was great. Saw turtles and fish while snorkeling, then boated to a great beach to hang out for an hour with rum punch :-) Weather was perfect and had a wonderful time.
    View All 311 Snorkeling Reviews