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We booked this cruise (for my mother and me) about three weeks prior to embarkation, leaving few cabin options. We ended up in an ocean view balcony cabin, which would not have been my first choice (I usually book a Junior Suite), but it was fine -- more on that later. Embarkation was surprisingly smooth. I use a wheelchair, which always complicates matters. But we went through security quickly, then, having checked in online, the rest of the process was quick. I made my way to the area where the scooters were, and was given the option of leaving my wheelchair at the port and just taking the scooter onto the ship. This made a lot of sense (space being at a premium on board), and my mother and I boarded within a few minutes. No one took our photograph at embarkation, setting up a pattern on voyage. We boarded hand luggage in tow, and headed for the Windjammer, where we proceeded to have lunch. As per usual on embarkation day, the Windjammer was packed. As per usual for the Windjammer, lunch was uninspired. Service was good. After lunch, we made our way to our cabin (7592), and proceeded to unpack. Now, let me explain something. I packed a (European) carry-on sized Samsonite and a personal item. My mother went old-school cruise, packing what she calls a "medium" suitcase (bigger than my large suitcase) and her carry-on suitcase (larger than my carry-on). Somehow, she still complains about my packing style, because I, "Carry too much." Anyhow . . . I placed my packing cubes into a drawer in the cabin, and my formal night dresses (knit) I placed into one of the closets. I was unpacked, basically. My mother's unpacking was much more complicated, and her suitcase took up quite a bit of room in the cabin, especially given how much room the scooter took up. There was no room under the bed. Sigh. The balcony had bits of food that had not been cleaned up from a prior occupant still lying about. As to dining: We went to Chops, Izumi, and 150 Central Park (we had the 3 night specialty dining package). Chops was very good, as usual. The food was very good, as was the service. It is a solid choice (if you are a steak lover). At Izumi, we went to the sushi side. The food is excellent (obviously, you have to like sushi). However, service is on the slow side. The emphasis here seems to be on the hibachi side, and the sushi restaurant gets shortchanged. This is a real shame. They simply don't have the staff for the number of guests coming in. We had to wait to make a reservation. We had to wait (a remarkably long time) to be seated. The wait time for our food was unacceptably long (we ended up missing a reservation for a show that night). In contrast, 150 Central Park was a delight. Excellent food. Excellent service. The highlight of our cruise. I am still salivating over the pumpkin bisque. The MDR (American Icon for us) was kind of a mess this time (this was our second time on HOTS, FWIW). Very long lines in spite of reservations for dining, every single night. Disorganized waitstaff that often seemed to take exceedingly long to fulfill simple orders for things like soda and sparkling water. We missed reservations to another show due to slow service in the MDR. The Windjammer was terrible. I just will never understand. So much food there, and so much of it cold when it is supposed to be hot, completely unappetizing, and just . . . blech! One day, in despair, I asked for a cheeseburger. One of the gentlemen behind the counter rather dismissively told me there were the burgers, then pointed to the squares of cheese product. Fine. I made myself a cheeseburger. Arrived at my table, and found. that the burger, which had been sitting under heating lamps, was somehow cold and greasy. I set it aside after one bite. End of meal. We were disappointed to find that little things had changed, too: If you were dining in a specialty restaurant, there were no photographers to take your picture. The Shrek and Madagascar characters who had roamed the ship are no longer around. Bingo (one of my mother's favorite activities) was sometimes in the afternoon (yay!) sometimes late at night (making it unlikely that my mother, a senior citizen and avid bingo enthusiast, would partake). Our cabin attendant was terrific -- he went above and beyond, every day. Both my mother and I had our hair done at the spa by different people, and both of us had good experiences. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves and had fun. However, it sometimes felt like the ship was understaffed.

Good value for money, but the devil is in the details

Harmony of the Seas Cruise Review by ysolde

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View with Large Balcony
We booked this cruise (for my mother and me) about three weeks prior to embarkation, leaving few cabin options. We ended up in an ocean view balcony cabin, which would not have been my first choice (I usually book a Junior Suite), but it was fine -- more on that later.

Embarkation was surprisingly smooth. I use a wheelchair, which always complicates matters. But we went through security quickly, then, having checked in online, the rest of the process was quick. I made my way to the area where the scooters were, and was given the option of leaving my wheelchair at the port and just taking the scooter onto the ship. This made a lot of sense (space being at a premium on board), and my mother and I boarded within a few minutes. No one took our photograph at embarkation, setting up a pattern on voyage.

We boarded hand luggage in tow, and headed for the Windjammer, where we proceeded to have lunch. As per usual on embarkation day, the Windjammer was packed. As per usual for the Windjammer, lunch was uninspired. Service was good. After lunch, we made our way to our cabin (7592), and proceeded to unpack.

Now, let me explain something. I packed a (European) carry-on sized Samsonite and a personal item. My mother went old-school cruise, packing what she calls a "medium" suitcase (bigger than my large suitcase) and her carry-on suitcase (larger than my carry-on). Somehow, she still complains about my packing style, because I, "Carry too much." Anyhow . . . I placed my packing cubes into a drawer in the cabin, and my formal night dresses (knit) I placed into one of the closets. I was unpacked, basically. My mother's unpacking was much more complicated, and her suitcase took up quite a bit of room in the cabin, especially given how much room the scooter took up. There was no room under the bed. Sigh. The balcony had bits of food that had not been cleaned up from a prior occupant still lying about.

As to dining: We went to Chops, Izumi, and 150 Central Park (we had the 3 night specialty dining package). Chops was very good, as usual. The food was very good, as was the service. It is a solid choice (if you are a steak lover). At Izumi, we went to the sushi side. The food is excellent (obviously, you have to like sushi). However, service is on the slow side. The emphasis here seems to be on the hibachi side, and the sushi restaurant gets shortchanged. This is a real shame. They simply don't have the staff for the number of guests coming in. We had to wait to make a reservation. We had to wait (a remarkably long time) to be seated. The wait time for our food was unacceptably long (we ended up missing a reservation for a show that night). In contrast, 150 Central Park was a delight. Excellent food. Excellent service. The highlight of our cruise. I am still salivating over the pumpkin bisque.

The MDR (American Icon for us) was kind of a mess this time (this was our second time on HOTS, FWIW). Very long lines in spite of reservations for dining, every single night. Disorganized waitstaff that often seemed to take exceedingly long to fulfill simple orders for things like soda and sparkling water. We missed reservations to another show due to slow service in the MDR.

The Windjammer was terrible. I just will never understand. So much food there, and so much of it cold when it is supposed to be hot, completely unappetizing, and just . . . blech! One day, in despair, I asked for a cheeseburger. One of the gentlemen behind the counter rather dismissively told me there were the burgers, then pointed to the squares of cheese product. Fine. I made myself a cheeseburger. Arrived at my table, and found. that the burger, which had been sitting under heating lamps, was somehow cold and greasy. I set it aside after one bite. End of meal.

We were disappointed to find that little things had changed, too: If you were dining in a specialty restaurant, there were no photographers to take your picture. The Shrek and Madagascar characters who had roamed the ship are no longer around. Bingo (one of my mother's favorite activities) was sometimes in the afternoon (yay!) sometimes late at night (making it unlikely that my mother, a senior citizen and avid bingo enthusiast, would partake).

Our cabin attendant was terrific -- he went above and beyond, every day.

Both my mother and I had our hair done at the spa by different people, and both of us had good experiences.

Overall, we enjoyed ourselves and had fun. However, it sometimes felt like the ship was understaffed.
ysolde’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Ocean View with Large Balcony
Cabin 1C 7592
Ocean view balcony. Not bad, not great. Odd layout. Two people fit fairly comfortably. The views of the ocean from the balcony are wonderful, and the sounds of the ocean are soothing. Not a whole lot of counter space in the bathroom. Nice desk/vanity in the cabin. Close to the elevators and stairs. Motorized scooter fit in the cabin, but took up a lot of room. You can turn the motorized scooter inside the cabin. There is a bar to help you stand in the shower, but no seat in the shower (and it is not a roll-in shower -- this is not an accessible cabin).
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins