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Harmony of the Seas Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1969 reviews
30 Awards
Harmony of the Seas
Harmony of the Seas Dining
Harmony of the Seas Cabins
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Editor Rating
4.5
Very Good
Colleen McDaniel
Cruise Critic Editor-In-Chief

You would be hard pressed to take part in everything on offer on the 5,479-passenger Harmony of the Seas in a week. The sheer number of entertainment offerings, both day and night, is bewildering; it's a bit like being at a massive floating theme park, with everything from simulated surfing to ziplines, an ice rink, rock climbing walls and a 10-story dry slide.

Harmony of the Seas is part of Royal Caribbean's hugely popular Oasis class of ships, the largest cruise ships afloat. The ship is almost a carbon copy of its fleetmate, which pioneered a "neighborhood" concept, with activities grouped into different areas on the ship. So, you have the buzzy, amusement park-style Boardwalk; the serenity of Central Park, with its real trees and plants; the Pool and Sports Zone for outdoor activities, including a large kids splash park; and the Royal Promenade for indoor shopping and entertainment.

The sheer size of Harmony of the Seas is astounding; it's easy to forget you're on a ship, especially when you're hanging out on the Royal Promenade, which feels more like a Vegas hotel than a cruise ship. It also means you're less likely to feel the waves, a big plus for those prone to seasickness.

What Harmony of the Seas excels in is variety, whether you're talking cabins, entertainment or dining. Even cabins in the ship's lowest category are thoughtfully designed and comfortable, with space for relaxing and plenty of storage. Likewise, the entertainment onboard, whether small scale, like an acoustic guitarist, or larger than life, like the production of "Grease," is simply outstanding. The ship's restaurants offer everything from low-key grab-and-go meals to multicourse, hourslong culinary extravaganzas, though be prepared for a variety of quality with the extra-cost venues generally being much better.

You'll find lots of space for kids of all ages, fun and entertaining programming and the facilities -- for our money -- are the best at sea. Parents can spend time playing with their kids all day and then feel comfortable heading off on date night knowing their children are in good hands.

If you're happy sharing your cruise vacation with 6,779 other passengers (at full capacity), of all ages and with a lot of families, then Harmony of the Seas is about as good as it gets in terms of activities, entertainment and fun at sea -- throw yourself in, and you'll be kept busy all week.

Health & Safety

Royal Caribbean is mandating vaccination for those 18 and older on Harmony of the Seas sailings from Barcelona and Rome From August to October, and guests of all ages on the October transatlantic sailing from Barcelona.

Beginning in November, Harmony will sail Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral. Vaccination is strongly recommended for guests over age 12. November to December 31, unvaccinated passengers age 12 and over must have travel insurance in place that meets the line's requirements ($25,000 medical/$50,000 emergency evacuation with no COVID-19 exception.)

Royal Caribbean ships are sailing with reduced overall capacity.

Before Boarding

in European ports

  • Proof of completed vaccination at least 14 days prior to sailing
  • All guests take a rapid antigen test at the terminal, pre-registration required
  • Unvaccinated guests ages 12 to 17 also need a negative COVID test 48 hours prior to arriving in the debarkation country
  • Pre-embarkation in-app health questionnaire
  • In-app check-in and arrival time slot required
  • Masks required for all guests over age 2 during the entire embarkation and debarkation process, and while on any form of transportation

Additional requirements before boarding in Florida

  • Negative PCR test within 72 hours of embarkation for unvaccinated guests over age 2
  • Rapid PCR testing is done at embarkation for unvaccinated guests over age 2; no charge for children 2-11; charge added to onboard spending account for ages 12 and up
  • COVID-19 insurance required for unvaccinated guests age 12 and over

Onboard

in Europe

  • Guests age 6 and older must wear masks in public spaces indoors and out, unless seated and actively eating or drinking, seated by the pool, or in the pool
  • Additional screenings are done as needed
  • Unvaccinated guests ages 12 to 17 will be tested mid-cruise
  • All guests take a final test before the end of the cruise
  • Capacity limits in bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues
  • Buffet food is served by staff
  • Physical distancing is suggested
  • Dining reservations are strongly recommended; parties are limited to eight and must be with your travel party or those of a linked reservation
  • Muster drill done individually using the Royal Caribbean App and/or the stateroom TV, followed by a check-in with your muster station
  • Sanitizing and hand-washing stations all over the ship
  • Unvaccinated guests are provided specific hours to utilize some facilities like the fitness center; others, like the Casino Royal and Casino Bar, will be unavailable to unvaccinated guests throughout the cruise
  • Vaccinated guests and children too young to be vaccinated receive COVID-19 Assistance in the form of no-charge onboard medical treatment for COVID-19 and more lenient refund policies for cancellations or changes due to COVID-19

Additionally, on sailings from Florida:

  • Vaccinated guests have exclusive access to certain venues and activities in which they may forgo mask wearing
  • Children under age 2 do not need to wear a mask
  • Unvaccinated guests are provided specific hours to utilize some facilities like the fitness center; others, like the Casino Royale and Casino Bar, will be unavailable to unvaccinated guests throughout the cruise

Off the ship

  • For stops in Italy, a passenger locator form is required for each passenger. In France, a sworn statement is needed to leave the ship
  • In the Caribbean, unvaccinated guests are limited to controlled tours in ports other than Perfect Day at CocoCay
  • Masks may be required on tours, in some ports, and in some businesses

Pros

One of the largest cruise ships in the world offers plenty of choice

Cons

Can feel crowded and busy, despite clever design to combat congestion

Bottom Line

Fantastic ship for families and those looking for great entertainment and activities

About

Passengers : 5,479
Crew : 2,100
Passenger to Crew : 2.61:1
Launched : 2016
Shore Excursions : 252

Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

  • Main dining room, the buffet and select other eateries
  • All theater shows (including the AquaTheater and Ice Shows); the comedy club and Jazz on 4
  • Use of the FlowRiders, Ultimate Abyss, Perfect Storm, zipline, water park, climbing walls, mini-golf and other outside activities including riding on the Boardwalk Carousel
  • Most daily activities unless noted below
  • Use of the gym, but not most classes
  • Gratuities, only if you booked your cruise in Australia and New Zealand in AU and NZ dollars

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Gratuities ($14.50 per person, per day or $17.50 per person, per day for those staying in suites
  • Automatic beverage and spa tips (18 percent for both)
  • All drinks beyond water, tea (including iced tea), coffee and select juices in the buffet
  • Spa treatments
  • Shore excursions
  • Wi-Fi
  • Activities including, but not limited to, Skee-Ball, Whack-A-Mole and arcade games
  • Photos and artwork

Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas Dress Code

Daytime: Anything goes, though cover-ups or shirts and shoes are required for indoor dining -- and indoor spaces, in general.

Evening: "Resort casual," which for women means dresses or skirts, capris or slacks and blouses. For men, khakis or dress pants paired with button-down or collared shirts work. Formalwear options for women include evening gowns, cocktail dresses or fancy blouses with slacks. Men generally go with dress shirts, ties, jackets and slacks, full suits or even tuxedos.

Not permitted: Cutoff jeans, shorts and swimwear are not permitted in the main dining room.

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Royal Caribbean.

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More about Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas

Where does Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas sail from?

Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas departs from Port Canaveral

Where does Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas sail to?

How much does it cost to go on Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas?

Cruises on Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas start from $295 per person.

Is Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas a good ship to cruise on?

Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas won 30 awards over the years, including Best Overall, Best for Cabins, and Best for Dining in 2019.
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