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Harmony of the Seas Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
2000 reviews
26 Awards

First Oasis Class Experience

Review for Harmony of the Seas to Transatlantic
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Brucemcdou
10+ Cruises • Age 60s

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Additional details

Sail Date: Oct 2021
Cabin: Junior Suite

We booked this transatlantic cruise in the depths of the pandemic to have something to look forward to - we never imagined that we'd still be wondering right up until the last minute whether it would go or not. Along with being our very first time on an Oasis class ship, our experience was certainly different due to the very small number of pax on board: approximately 1300 on a ship designed to hold over 5500. The TA was 100% vaccinated, so there were no children onboard - we saw just a few teenagers with family but all old enough they could be vaccinated. All the venues were operating with some limits (no dinner in WJ, limited hours for some of the activities, etc.) and most of the shows and entertainment. It seemed as if they were using the Transatlantic crossing to train a large number of new crew and staff as every day we saw groups of crew being guided around on tours by officers pointing things out.

General: We've cruised on Royal before and think of it as comparable to Princess: pretty mainstream and not pretending to be high-end. Given that preconception, we were VERY pleasantly surprised by how good the service and the food generally were. The crew seemed genuinely happy to have us on board.

Thoughts on Oasis Class: Of course we'd watched lots of You**ube videos before we went and knew what we were getting into but it was still interesting to have two weeks on a relatively empty cruise to experience the Oasis class. None of the venues were full and it was easy to get into shows without reserving. We can totally see how these ships would be great for families with children and also multi-generational groups. That said, the "downsides" for us were the lack of views of the ocean from most of the public spaces. The only restaurants with windows and views are the MDR (if you're lucky enough to get a table by the window), the Windjammer, Solarium Cafe (both casual buffets) and Coastal Kitchen which is restricted to those with suites. All the rest could be inside some giant shopping mall. Most ships have their gyms up high and forward with walls of windows over the ocean - here the gym only has the big round windows on either side and the entire center area feels closed in. Similarly most ships have a bar/lounge space on the top far forward with windows and there's nothing remotely comparable here. Except for the various pool bars which are by definition outdoors and exposed to the sun and wind, you're always blocked from the ocean. Even the Boardwalk back by the AquaTheater, where they could allow an expansive view of the ocean across the back, they block it with the superstructure for the show, and the two giant Jumbotrons that were showing mindless You**ube videos all day long. Couldn't they design folding or retractable screens and just put them up for shows? But as I said, we knew all of this in advance and got a Junior Suite with a large balcony so we always had the sound and sight of the ocean.

Cabin Review

Junior Suite

We really enjoyed the extra space and the larger balcony of the Junior Suite on our two-week cruise. the decor is surprisingly contemporary and relaxing. We had a friend over several times for pre-dinner wine and it's comfortable to hang out with a group. We were surprised that such a large living space only had one small coffee table (a heavy hexagonal table about 20" across) so we brought the patio table inside when we had room service for dinner one night. TONS of storage space: the walk-in closet is a treat, and we were nowhere near using all the drawers and cabinets.

The bathroom was OK but didn't feel that much more spacious than a regular cabin. Of course having a tub feels like a luxury but we never used it to soak (does anyone really?) I did wash out gym clothes a few times and the tub is small enough I'd run a couple of inches in the bottom and slosh my clothes in it. Because the bottom is curved and not flat it's actually a little awkward to stand under the shower head. Both of us ended up stepping on the drain cover and closing it by accident almost every day. Speaking of laundry, there's no retractable clothes line which is something I've come to expect in cruise bathrooms. You have to use hangers on the various towel bars if you want to dry your clothes.

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