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8,590 Royal Caribbean Eastern Caribbean Cruise Reviews

We have done all the other Oasis class ships and since it was my husbands birthday choose Symphony because it was the exact week. This was our 33rd cruise, we sail on Royal and Celebrity. First off we loved the decor of the ships, our ... Read More
We have done all the other Oasis class ships and since it was my husbands birthday choose Symphony because it was the exact week. This was our 33rd cruise, we sail on Royal and Celebrity. First off we loved the decor of the ships, our room 12290 was great. Loved the location, it had 2 nice size closets and plenty of space for everything. Our room stewart Ferry was excellent. The show were very good, however 2 of them had technical difficulties and were delayed. The service in WJ and restaurants was good, however the waiters have to run to keep up. Bars at times were a little slow. The food was below par. We ate at Hooked, would not recommend it at all. Our lobster was over cooked, however my salmon was perfect. Not worth the money. Solarium Bistro again not that great. The dining room was hit and miss. Sometimes it was ok, other times not very tasty. It seems they have cut way back on putting any kind of spices in the food, very bland. The desserts all over the ship were terrible. No flavor at all. If you were blindfolded and given a dessert you wouldn't be able to tell what it was. The Windjammer was ok, enough choices but you ate a cold meal. Hamburgers on the ship were terrible. We tried them in the WJ, on CocoCay and at Johnny Rockets, nasty! We called them mystery meat....The selection of food on CocoCay was better than ever, plenty to choose from. We being in our 60's could care about going to CocoCay again. It's a family, kids kind of place now. With 6000 people on it not enjoyable. We miss the old, quiet CocoCay. So we will not do any ship this size again. The ship was also very cold everywhere you went. I was happy when day 7 came. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My wife and I have been cruising for over 20 years, mostly with Royal Carribean (Diamond plus member), but also have cruised with Norwegian, Disney and Carnival. We've been on the Allure of the Seas twice now and can say without any ... Read More
My wife and I have been cruising for over 20 years, mostly with Royal Carribean (Diamond plus member), but also have cruised with Norwegian, Disney and Carnival. We've been on the Allure of the Seas twice now and can say without any doubt we will not book another cruise on this ship. I will say before I get into the reason for our dissatisfaction with the ship that like with any place there were some excellent staff experiences, but unfortunately there were many negative experiences as well. Service at Royal Carribean has steadily declined the past few years and it's my personnel opinion that's due to the fact crew members get their tip regardless of their job performance. I do understand the need to mandate tips, but i'll never understand why as the customer you can't give the tips to those that earn it (Royal justifies their practice by telling you you can give extra to those you'd like to) to me that's not the point. Below is a list of complaints: Getting on the ship was a total cluster. We arrived at the port at 10:20 and didn't get on board until 11:35. We were supposed to get priority boarding, but were told that that group was already on board and could't stop the lines. There's a "sun" deck on floor 14, but there are no chairs? Weather was great all week for the most part. This was cruise number 21 for us and cabin porter service was by far the worst we've ever had. Normally the porter finds out what your habits/schedule are (when you leave your room and when you usually come back) not on this ship. Our room never got done on several occasions (each time we were out of the room better than 4 hours). We also received other passengers paperwork and never got ours several times. From day one and throughout the week of the cruise we never received our typical Diamond perks or paperwork We called the desk a couple of times, but that was futile so I'm guessing someone else enjoyed our perks. One night we pulled out the extra blanket that was stored under our bed folded in a plastic bag and it was disgusting. Large stains all over it. TV channel offerings are horrible. Slamming doors is a norm on a cruise ships , but hearing carts slamming so hard that walls shake at 1, 2, 3, am in the morning is not. We did't get much sleep on this cruise. Food quality has gone way down hill at Royal the last couple of years, and this Ship kept up with that trend and then some. One of the big reasons you go on a cruise is to eat, right? There was plenty of food at the Windjammer, but quality was pretty bad. The food was overcooked (by a lot) and in many cases items like spaghetti was clumped together dried out and hard. There's more, but I'll stop here and just say, my wife and I are retiring this year and won't let these experiences with Royal Carribean change the fact we plan on cruising a lot during retirement just not with Royal Carribean. We plan to give Norwegian cruises a try again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because we thought the eastern itinerrary would be amazing, sadly we were sent to costa mesa (basically ghetto mexican port) and cozumel who anyone who cruises sometimes do not even get off at... and of course the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we thought the eastern itinerrary would be amazing, sadly we were sent to costa mesa (basically ghetto mexican port) and cozumel who anyone who cruises sometimes do not even get off at... and of course the perfect day at coco cay, which isn't so perfect honestly. Let's start out with the good. The ship has so much to do and see, for all walks of life. We found the golf area at night fun, there is lots to do for anyone. Our cabin was spacious and always clean, so no issues there. Let's talk about dining. Windjammer .... Same food for breakfast every morning, i mean what can they do? You name it, they have it.. Except peanut butter? weird. Ever notice how hard it is to find blackberries on a cruise ship? No complaints about selections at the windjammer, they always have the basics, except for the last 2 days of the cruise.... they mixed their own yogurts, and only put plain yogurts out... then miraculously the last day when the new people were to board.... they found other flavors again in prepackaged. The freestyle soda fountain is HORRIBLE.... It either never has ice... or the soda is unavailable.... It took 3 days till deck 15's coke zero would work.... and then other times it was offline. In the windjammer on several occasions coke zero was unavailable. up on 15 the outdoor eating area,,, had trash left HOURS after they closed, fries on the ground etc... It was just gross. Only happened one night i saw. Service was overall mediocre with some of course usual very good service members. Overall friendliness was around a 6 out of 10. The elevators is ATROCIOUS, everyone was using stairs because of how bad the elevator situation is... Luckily we were on 14, so going up to 15 and 16 was quick and easy, but on several occasions it was difficult to get down to boardwalk or promenade or even central park because we waited 5-10 mins for an elevator. Just not ok. Towel animals for the kiddos, were 3 out of 7 days. Our room steward made sure we had ice as requested every night, which was great. Main dining service was great, they got some stuff wrong, but were overall friendly and attentive. However, i am not sure what changed.... but the menus are the same every night but maybe 1 app/main/desert changes... So much for nightly unique menus.... Seems to eat well on this ship , as in the best quality food, you have to pay...We used our vouchers for jamies.... which was very good, and by far the best meal we had, service by josh 1? i forget, was good, but it just took too long, with a 3 year old, eating for 90 mins is just too long. We were asked if we had a show, we should of said yes. This is my tip, say you do, whether you do or don't.... they worked fast, but seemed under staffed... By far the busiest of all restaurants.. Johhny rockets was decent, they bring you lots of sides before the burgers come, for the price it's worth it. Embarking was a breeze, and a 9-930 debark.... was A BREEZE.. literally we were in the garage 5-10 mins after we exited the ship. I've never seen anything like it. THANK GOD, no more picking up bags before customs... whoever made this change, deserves a raise, sadly 3 months ago at canaveral on disney... it was still the old way. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This cruise ship and itinerary were chosen because the dates coincided with a school break for my 12 and 8 year olds. We had 2 connecting ocean view balcony rooms. The cabins had plenty of storage space and enough room for us. Any more ... Read More
This cruise ship and itinerary were chosen because the dates coincided with a school break for my 12 and 8 year olds. We had 2 connecting ocean view balcony rooms. The cabins had plenty of storage space and enough room for us. Any more than 2 in a cabin would definately be too crowded. Embarkation was really quick, and we were on the ship in about 20 minutes from arriving in the first line. We were on the ship by about 11:45. Be advised you will have to wait until about 1 pm to get into your room. We all enjoyed the water slides and Ultimate Abyss slide. My kids loved the rock wall and flow rider, as well as the ice skating. The cruise was fully booked but never really felt like it. Our itinerary was changed due to the hurricanes in the Eastern Caribbean, and we headed to the Western Caribbean instead. Beautiful weather every one of the 7 days. Fine Line show was great. Heard the other shows were really good too but I didn't attend those. Cons: Food quality wasn't the best, and menu didn't change that much. Breakfast was pretty bad all over, except for Park Cafe and Main Dining Room No way to get around the casino except to go up or down a floor to get to the other side- could have maybe had one less row of slot machines to make some sort of path around. Kids had the time of their lives... Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our family of 3 generations loves to cruise together. This cruise on one of the biggest ships in the world looked like it would be great. First off, if you ever want to see the ocean, book an Oceanview balcony or cabin. The way the ... Read More
Our family of 3 generations loves to cruise together. This cruise on one of the biggest ships in the world looked like it would be great. First off, if you ever want to see the ocean, book an Oceanview balcony or cabin. The way the ship is designed, few of the bars and /or lounges overlook the ocean. We had two cabins; one an Oceanview veranda, and one a balcony overlooking the Promenade (shops). The way the ship is constructed, most of the inside cabins are sold as balcony, as they overlook "Central Park", the Prominade or the Boardwalk (think Coney Island). Our son and family said they only saw the ocean when they visited our cabin or went up to the Windjammer cafe or the pool. When you are in all the other areas there is no ocean to be seen. Mama Mia was presented in the theatre by a live cast and was fantastic. The water acrobat show was good. There was a Journey tribute band that was the talk of the ship, and not in a good way! Several months after we booked the cruise, about 6 months ago, we were told a propulsion pod was not operating, so the stop in St. Thomas would be cancelled, as the ship had to travel slower with one pod broken. Apparently repairs can't be done until the next scheduled dry dock! St. Thomas was the reason we booked the cruise, so we were disappointed to only have St Kitts, San Juan and Nassau for port stops. (no cancelations based on itinerary changes in the fine print). We were encouraged to use the app. It was never updated correctly. Twice we went to things that had been moved or cancelled with no notice. We bought the wifi package which was so slow our emails could only be accessed in the middle of the night. Once, when we were entering the Solarium cafe, the entrance was blocked by a female supervisor reaming out her staff about something. It made us very uncomfortablel! On other cruises, both Royal and others, the Windjammer buffet is usually open long hours. Not so with the Allure. There is a 24 hr pizza place, but that is about it if you want a snack late at night. The Windjammer closes at 9 pm! I always thought that Royal Caribbean was a little more refined than Carnival, but I guess I was wrong, since Royal now also has Belly Flop contests and Sexiest Man contest. EW... (Is that even Politically correct these days!?) The cruise director was like none other we have ever seen, very unprofessional. Now for the great... the food and service were excellent. Our waiter Marlon and assistant Allan quickly learned our likes and always remembered what we wanted and brought them before we even asked. Our cabin steward Mary Joy was a lovely woman who always checked to see if there was anything she could do for us. Our 5 year old had a blast in "his class", as he called the kids program. We were so happy with the fine people working there. I have tried to be as accurate and informative as possible about our experience on the Allure. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First time on mega ship, and came away very happy. A lot of people, but somehow we hardly encountered any long lines. Lots to do on a ship this size, so we kept busy. Our only issues would be that a few (very few) employees did not put on ... Read More
First time on mega ship, and came away very happy. A lot of people, but somehow we hardly encountered any long lines. Lots to do on a ship this size, so we kept busy. Our only issues would be that a few (very few) employees did not put on a happy face. It's as if they do not want to be there, but you can encounter that anywhere you go. My biggest complaint is the they have 12 elevators on each floor, and with that many people, why are not all of them operating at the same time? It appeared that only 6 were working at all times. But if that is my only beef, seems trivial. Foul weather made up most of our 7 days at sea, but you cannot fault Allure for that. Also, kudos to the Captain and Crew for their parking job in Nassau. Quite a feat with the wind and all. Cabin was a bit small, but comfortable. Specialty dining was pretty good, with 150 Central Park being by far our favorite, as we tried 4 of the restaurants. All in all, I would suggest this ship, just be careful of doing so in September. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My boyfriend and I cruised for a week in the Eastern Caribbean on Allure of the Seas. He was a first-time cruiser, while I've cruised with Royal Caribbean once, many years ago. I knew that RC would be perfect for us as we prefer ... Read More
My boyfriend and I cruised for a week in the Eastern Caribbean on Allure of the Seas. He was a first-time cruiser, while I've cruised with Royal Caribbean once, many years ago. I knew that RC would be perfect for us as we prefer luxury vacations with an array of activities that still provide the opportunity to relax. The ship is large and well-appointed. We were shocked to learn that it is nine years old! For the most part, it looked brand new! There was normal wear & tear in our stateroom but it was nothing to be upset about. The layout of the ship handles the number of passengers & crew EXTREMELY well. It never once felt like there were over six thousand people on board. The Windjammer did get crowded at peak times but that is to be expected. We spent the majority of our sea days in the Solarium, which is a beautiful adults-only pool area. I wished the pool was just a little bit bigger, but again, it was nothing to be upset about. It has two hot tubs and a bar as well, so you don't need to go far for drinks! For breakfast and lunch, we ate at the Windjammer which was very good. For dinner, we ate exclusively in the main dining room which was absolutely amazing! There are so many speciality dining options as well that I wish we could have explored. Customer service was truly next-level! Our stateroom attendant was so friendly and helpful. The waiters and bartenders were unparalleled. Every crew member always had a smile and was dedicated to making our vacation special. I've never experienced such excellent service! The excursions were great, although a little expensive. We still enjoyed them very much-- Our advice is to always consider the length of the excursions. Our beach excursion in St. Kitt's was 2.5 hours which seemed long enough when we booked it but ended up feeling a bit too short. There was a wide array of activities and entertainment onboard. We only made it to one adult comedy show which we enjoyed! TIP: download the RC app to help you plan your days & reserve shows! Our mistake was underestimating how quickly shows booked. In the morning, we would look at the nightly entertainment and choose what we wanted to do, but most of the time, they were already sold out. I would recommend planning the night before what you want to do the following night. I could write a book about our experience but here's the bottom line: we both agreed it was the best vacation we've ever been on & both want to cruise with RC again, no question! We HIGHLY recommend Allure of the Seas! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Royal Caribbean gave us a wonderful experience for pur firdt time crusing. Getting on the ship extremely fast. I highly recommend people download the app and do early check in because that allows you to skip the long lines and wait times. ... Read More
Royal Caribbean gave us a wonderful experience for pur firdt time crusing. Getting on the ship extremely fast. I highly recommend people download the app and do early check in because that allows you to skip the long lines and wait times. We arrived and explodered and checked out almost everything. We met amazing people and the crew went beyond expectations for customer service. I feel as though those who complain are a bit high maintenance. Royal Caribbean goes beyond expectations to meet everyones needs. We had ocean view witg balcony. And i highly recommend it. We did the specialty dining everything was good but Giovanni's table. Not the best for a 5 star cruise. Windjammer has awesome lunch and dinner. Skip breakfast not very good there. Overall experience is a 5 star. Shore excursion were fun. Had to cancel last one due to poor weather. They did give a refund which they had automatically applied to our balance. One this i would recommend to save money is to purchase the beverage package. Going to the bar without it can add up quickly. Beer is about 10 dollars. Plus any girly blended drinks are 12 to 14 dollars. Its made a lot more sense to us to get it. Cause it also covers soft drinks, tea, smoothies and etc. Starbucks not included. We did comedy night the 1st night and the guys were funny. And has us laughing the whole time. Only 2 real downsides 1. They allow smoking near skybar. And also in the casino. Even for a large space it got to be a bit much and we had to aviod going to the casino after the 4th night. And 2. I wish they allowed more hot tubs and pools to be open 24 hrs. Most people on this cruise are older and i feel like we wouldnt need supervision. I feel like it would add a lot more romance and fun to those who want to each star gazing in the pools and hot tubs. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I were on the Cruise from September 15-22, sailing out of Port Canaveral. We are both Gold members (I gained mine by marrying her!), and we had a lot of expectations that this ship...and cruise line... would do a lot to ... Read More
My wife and I were on the Cruise from September 15-22, sailing out of Port Canaveral. We are both Gold members (I gained mine by marrying her!), and we had a lot of expectations that this ship...and cruise line... would do a lot to overtake Norwegian as the top line. Sad to say, that never happened. Before we even set sail, we had arranged for Valet Service for our baggage on Departure Day. We planned to place our bags outside our Cabin by 10PM on Saturday night, September 21, 2019. However, at about 8PM a young lady knocked on our cabin door and handed us a note. That note...which I have saved... may well make it into a Court of Law before this is all over! It advised us that we would NOT be having the Valet service as advertised, and that we would have to see to our own bags in the terminal! Mind you, we had flown into MCO...and were flying OUT of MCO... on both ends of this trip. We used Jet Blue, which is listed as being one of the airlines that is involved with the program. SUPPOSEDLY... (and here is where it gets dicey!)… Jet Blue had turned down our request for the service. We called them, and they did advise us over the phone that they had no idea what I was talking about. The letter from RCCL was not addressed to us by name, but to "Dear Guests"...something that I found to be offensive. They seemed quite unwilling to even talk with Jet Blue about this problem. Mind you, it was THEIR EMPLOYEE who delivered this letter to us, and the letter made numerous mistakes. It even said that we had to leave our bags outside our cabin on FRIDAY evening by 10PM for a SATURDAY departure. The problem with that? Our ship was returning to Port on SUNDAY MORNING, so we had to leave our bags outside our cabin on Saturday evening by 10PM. They gave us exactly TWO HOURS of notification, which was NOT enough time to resolve this mess. This is not the whole story of this disastrous cruise! I'd heard that RCCL likes to nickel and dime everyone, but found it hard to fathom how badly they did it! They brag about their buffet being...supposedly... the finest on the seas. Well, on the Norwegian Bliss we could easily get an omelet...to order... for breakfast. Was that possible in the RCCL buffet? NOPE! We had to go to "Johnny Rocket's" in order to find a decent omelet. But the crowning touch? Mind you, we are talking about a $1 Billion ship, and we were paying a lot of money for the cruise. Yet, when my wife went to an event at the theater, she was told that she'd have to pay an extra $2.50 for a little box of popcorn! I was surprised when she told me about it, so I checked it out. She was telling the truth! I stopped there and asked the man who was making the popcorn about it, and he offered to give me a box..."for free". I declined because I believed it was wrong for any one person to get a free box... while everyone else has to pay. It is not my norm to look for things to complain about. However, there were so many things that were just plain "wrong" about this cruise and this cruise line that it would take a really LONG message to go into all of them! We will be sticking with Norwegian Cruise Lines from now on, and have no plans to go on RCCL again...period! One other real problem: The casino allows smoking in one half, but there are no signs warning people that they are about to enter a smoking zone. For those of us who are highly allergic to cigarette smoke, it can be a real issue. My wife almost did not make it out of the smoking section before getting ill from the smoke. IF there had been NOTICEABLE SIGNS that were placed to warn the passengers, this would not have been a problem. But did RCCL take the time to place such signs where they could be seen? NO....and I did look all over the place. All I was able to see were the "international stickers" indicating "no smoking zones"... placed on the slot machines... down low so as to be almost out of sight. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It was very obvious that Royal Caribbean has cut costs on a lot of stuff. I am not sure if it was just this ship (should be the best since it was the most expensive) Or if Royal Caribbean just cut costs everywhere. Food quality was not ... Read More
It was very obvious that Royal Caribbean has cut costs on a lot of stuff. I am not sure if it was just this ship (should be the best since it was the most expensive) Or if Royal Caribbean just cut costs everywhere. Food quality was not good and was the same almost every night, Cleanliness of staterooms and ship where bad, Not kept up with maintenance, Hallways smelt like mold, Feces on my toilet after asking them three times to clean it from previous people, All the way down to not having towel animals made every day only 3 days of it (this does not cost money should do every day my kids enjoyed it). Staff did not have to work for tips since it is added on to EVERYTHING (even the electronic bar that made our drink) so they did not have to work for the money which definitely showed. There used to be different shows everything with NO reservations. Now there are reservations with the same 3 shows 2 of them being musicals which we do not enjoy we like more circus olay stuff. No seating the first day at breakfast so had to wait with food until someone stood up and we could get their seat. If I hadn't cruised with royal Caribbean before it would have been an okay trip. But VERY disappointed because I knew how good they used to be and it was not that great. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Harmony of the Seas 9/15-22 Review Overview: I will start off by saying that this is going to be a very, very long review (better go get a cup of tea if you actually read through all of this). The poor weather gave me a lot of time to ... Read More
Harmony of the Seas 9/15-22 Review Overview: I will start off by saying that this is going to be a very, very long review (better go get a cup of tea if you actually read through all of this). The poor weather gave me a lot of time to sit around and type. This is my 7th cruise in total and 4th cruise with Royal Caribbean. This is my third Oasis-class ship. Our group is a party of three adults. While we enjoyed this cruise a lot, I personally feel that the service on the Allure was better than on the Harmony. Despite being a newer ship than the Allure, we also felt that it was not maintained as well as the Allure too. One morning in the Windjammer, there was a large amount of ants accumulating by the window, which we promptly told a worker about to hopefully clean up. We noticed the dining area is a lot more creakier. They must have made some budget cuts to both the complimentary and pay for dining options, as the buffet menus were quite repetitive and menus posted on the RCCL website for pay-for dining places were not the same as in the restaurants. I think it is tough being one of the most popular--if not the most popular, cruise ship on the seas, which is shown by how much wear and tear is showing. Still the stars of the cruise as usual is the support staff on the boats, who do everything they can to make sure you are having a good experience. I noticed that they had a separate line for Key purchasers for getting on board and getting off the ship, but it did not seem to make much difference to me, as people were still getting on/off at the same time they were. We were on the boat by 11AM and had no issue with reserving restaurants and setting things up. I guess it would matter if you come really early, or want an escort to help you carry things? Weather: Now by no fault of the cruiseline, we experienced quite a turbulent ride for a large part of the cruise. When we left Port Canaveral, it was definitely rocky, but the ride back home was even worse. Whatever storm system (I know TS Jerry is not too far behind us) was present, it seemed to have taken a liking to Harmony and it followed us home. The boats constant rocking back and forth was so intense, people were flung around all over the place. Some people mentioned that this movement was worse than experiences in Alaska. You can hear to howling of the wind, and the rain was heavy and constant throughout the two sea days. They closed the pools for a large part of Sea Day number 2 because the pool ended up being some crazy wave pool, but the hot tubs were open if you did not mind sitting in the tub with rain pouring down on you. The weather also caused the internet to drop throughout the day as well. I was hoping by the last day on the ship the weather would be better, but unfortunately, it continued to be rocky until we reached the shallower waters closer to Florida. I think this impacted people's ability to come out of their rooms because for the most part, the public spaces appeared to be fairly empty. The pool deck was a ghost town with the exception of the smoking area. The CD mentioned that there were swells up to 15 feet. Bad weather also makes a mega ship lose its magic, as shows, activities, and public areas were cancelled or closed. I'm sure the cruiseline was thrilled for cancelling shows and activities, as more people seemed to spend money gambling, shopping, and drinking on board. While bad weather can come at any time of year, I would say take this into consideration if you do choose to travel during hurricane season. Also, if you have a chance to catch a show, go on a water slide, down the Abyss, or ride on the FlowRider earlier in the week, do it then because you may not have a chance on the latter half! Pre-Cruise: This cruise was booked at the last minute (less than 2 months prior to the cruise), so I had to do a lot of last minute planning without doing the thorough review check prior to the cruise. I had been watching the spaghetti models during the week prior to the cruise, as Humberto was lingering close by Florida, but thankfully he choose to boomerang back into the ocean, and we were able to land in Orlando on time. For flying, we took JetBlue to Orlando Airport. The JetBlue terminal was not connected to the main terminal area, so for those who are coming through JetBlue, prepare to take a short tram ride to the main terminal in order to get to baggage claim--as non-primary English speakers, my parents told me that they would feel nervous if they were travelling alone, as they would not feel confident going around the airport in this manner, but I felt the tram system was very straight forward. I had compared pricing between paying for a LYFT/Uber for 3 people to get to Port Canaveral vs transport services, and in the end we decided to go with GoPort. They have various packages posted on their website to choose from with a whole range of pricing. We are not picky people and are always looking for a good deal, thus we looked for more of a budget hotel. We at first were thinking of choosing a hotel by Port Canaveral, but I noticed the GoPort site had hotels by the airport instead. Each hotel has different designated pick up times when they leave for the cruise port. We wanted a hotel that would allow for us to get to the cruiseport fairly early, thus we chose the Holiday Inn Orlando Airport. The customer service for GoPort were super friendly and helpful, and they allowed up to 3 days to cancel/change without incurring a penalty. The Fly Snooze Cruise package for three adults ended up being about 230 bucks which includes pick up from the airport to the hotel (this is scheduled by you calling your hotel after you get your luggage and going to the designated pick up locations), two queen beds at the hotel, and round-trip transportation to and from the Port Canaveral cruiseport. The hotel itself looked recently refurbished, but some parts of it seemed to be a bit dated. The air conditioner was a bit loud and not as cool as we would want it to be, and the television's screen was all messed up. They had a mini fridge in the room. Unfortunately, there is no included continental breakfast at the hotel, but they do have a restaurant plus a cafe there (and a small snack shop). I ordered the breakfast sliders from the cafe (where it was about 10 bucks and tax), and it was easily sharable for 2 (we shared it amongst all 3 of us because we only wanted a light breakfast) people. Although the pick up time is set for 9:45AM at this hotel by GoPort, it is recommended that you show up at 9:30AM per the hotel staff. However, even showing up at 9:30AM, we were the last ones getting onto the bus. The commute time was about 45 minutes to Port Canaveral from the hotel, and it was an easy ride given it was a straight shot to the terminal without traffic. Once you get to the cruise port, the GoPort workers leave out everyone's luggage to grab any last minute things, and then a porter is already standing there and tells you to leave your luggage. Now when we were heading to the Allure last year at Port Everglades, we had encountered a pushy porter who was demanding tips from people (trying to say that if you didn't tip him, you shouldn't expect your luggage to show up to your room), but Port Canaveral has signs all over that tipping is not mandatory and should be based on service. I am always happy to tip people who are kind and hardworking. This was the fastest check in/embarkation line we had ever experienced. I guess the initial groups had already gone in, thus it was a direct walk straight onto the boat after a brief check in and security point check. The security lady we had spoken to was claiming that anyone who had beverages were supposed to dump it, but we had a couple bottles of soda/water, and it went through without issue (other people had entire cases of soda and got through fine as well, but some poor guy behind us was trying to chug his overpriced water and chucked the rest). As a side note, we had some time to kill once we had landed in Orlando, and after checking in, we decided to take a LYFT to Boston Lobster Feast over on International Drive. The ride from the hotel to the restaurant was 17.50. BLF is an AYCE seafood restaurant, and they have two locations. Early bird pricing if you come in before 6PM is 50 dollary doos while after 6PM is 5 dollars more. Early bird time was a good time to go, as while the restaurant had a lot of people, lines were quick. What is included in things like lobster (one at a time, but they always had a huge pile and it was easy to get as many as you wanted), snow crab legs, Cajun seasoned blue crab (the best thingy they had IMO), steamers, assortment of fried seafood, selection of cold seafood like raw oysters, etc. My parents were skeptical at first, but they were very happy we ended up going there. After we finished eating at the restaurant, we took a LYFT to Disney Springs, which costed 12.59. I have to say, for people who are not familiar with the area, the entrance way for ride-sharing companies like LYFT/Uber was confusing as heck! Our poor driver (who did not speak much English) was having a hard time finding the entrance, thus I just told him to drop us off at a nearby parking lot and that we would walk the rest of the way. The ride back was also a nightmare, as it let us choose a spot we were standing at, but then later without warning mentioned that we had to go elsewhere to a designated pick up spot for LYFT/Uber riders. Thankfully our rider was super sweet and would have waited even if we didn't make it in the 5 minute waiting time limit, but we put our cardio skills to the test and made it with seconds to spare. I do not think someone who was not physically well could have made it across Disney Springs in time, especially because of the lack of signage and crowds). Disney Springs was a nice place to just do a casual shop and stroll, but all of the Disney folks and kiddies were also thinking the same thing. Thankfully I purchased a bottle of water and soda at the mart by Boston Lobster Feast, as one bottle of soda/water at Disney Springs costed over 4 dollary doos--yikes. Our LYFT ride back to the hotel was 23.23 plus a very generous tip for our kind driver. Cabin: Normally, we try to book a Boardwalk balcony cabin because we enjoy the perks that come with the room, but there were none left by the time we tried to book the areas we would like, thus we went with a Central Park balcony for the first time. I was a bit hesitant in choosing a CP balcony, as my experience in the past has been always that the CP area does not have good air circulation and is fairly hot because of it. It was not as bad (we are on the 12th floor). It was also quieter than the BBs as well, as we do not have to listen to the late night water shows. You can hear people on the pool deck (the people who tend to be the loudest are those who are going on the water slides and screaming their heads off), and at night you can hear musicians playing things like Jazz, but the locks on the balcony blocked out most of the noise and never interfered with our sleep. As for the cabin itself, I very much like how they redesigned the cabin spaces compared to the Oasis/Allure. It just seemed like there was more space, and less bumping into things. Instead of the fold out couch taking for a huge space, they redesigned the couch bed to be more of an extra long twin style. It was comfy for me, but the blanket for the couch was a bit small (only the width of the bed) and the sheet cover kept falling off the blanket, so at times I would wake up at night exposed to the cold. It was nice having two closets and two sets of drawers. The mini fridge also seemed slightly bigger. As for plugs and ports, there is two USB ports directly into the wall (which I found to be a slow charger for my cellphone), and three regular ports by the desk, and then more plugs by the bed. It used to be a big deal having multiport plugs in your room, but all we really needed was one of those multi USB ports on this ship. Rug had stains and looked worn. I think RCCL has stopped changing bedsheets daily for quite some time now. Towel animals were presented in our cabin about three times during the week. Since this is a CP balcony, we had the Eat Drink Discover perks attached to the room, but since we already ordered the unlimited dining package, we did not use the free lunch for two (which you can choose between Jamie’s, Sabor, or Johnny Rockets). The room came with a bottle of wine, in which we do not drink. I called CS to see if this could be exchanged to anything else, but unfortunately it cannot, so we decided to just bring this home for my sister. Our booking agent also threw in a bottle of wine, thus we had two bottles of wine waiting for us (I was curious and looked up the wines online, and they are priced at $8.50 per bottle). I would like to note that RCCL did put out a notice that they are going to be ending the Eat Drink Discover perks in the future. The bathroom layout is similar to the Allure/Oasis, but the sink is slightly bigger, so it is less messy splashing when washing your face. They continue to be lacking in the cold water department. The soap/shampoo continues to be a bar of soap and the "2 in 1" shampoo/body wash in the wall dispenser. The shower was a bit inconvenient when you are getting out, as it is not the slide door they had on Allure but a door that automatically tries to shut itself when you open it (I would push the floor towel to block it from closing when drying). Hair dryer is in the drawers by the mini fridge and tissues. In order to conserve energy, the Harmony requires you to put your card key into the slot by the door in order to keep electricity going through the room or else it times off. While our room was nice, the halls of the cabins was another story. After we finished lunch at Jamie's, we walked back to the room...and oh goodness. It was the strongest smell of sewage ever that reeked up and down the halls around our stateroom. Everyone who was walking around the halls were all complaining, disgusted, and gagging from the rotten smell which seemingly no one was handling. Finally, it seemed that enough people called and complained about the sewage smell, and someone from maintenance came by. It seems that they tried to wash the carpets or something, but this only made it worse. Going forward, it just smelled of moldy mildew and sewage. I am very sensitive to smell, so it was unbearable to even try to walk to the room (thankfully our room did not smell). Once again, it seems that no one was doing anything about the smell that was leaving an entire hall of guests feeling grossed out. I jumped into the long line at customer service, and I brought it up again, frustrated that it is 8 hours later and it still smelled of sewage and mildew. The CS rep looked more annoyed than helpful, but she called the maintenance person, where they said an "accident" happened and that they will not be able to do anything until the next day, where they would again try to wash the carpets and dry them. I asked if they could spray something at least to make the smell less, which again the girl looked annoyed as heck and buzzed back to the guy to do something. Unfortunately, nothing was done, and the hall from like rooms 12250 through 12175 had to endure the horrible smell. Frustrated by the lack of interventions, I tweeted a word of complaint directly at RCCL, and they responded back to me in less than 5 minutes, asking me for the deets (social media speaks louder I guess). They told me based on the info, there was nothing they could do. However, the next day, they did shampoo the carpets again, which took away a lot of the smell (it still smells like mold by rooms 12250), and they also sprayed some pleasant fruit smell to try to mask what they could. I also received a follow up call from maintenance asking if I felt that the issue was resolved, which was nice. Our room attendant was very kind and always happy to open the door for us if our hands were full of stuff. If you bring mugs/drinks back into the room, remember to leave it outside of the room, as the stewards will not take it away otherwise. On Night 5, we had an issue with our toilet in that it would not stop flushing and filling with water. I was standing in the bathroom and brushing my teeth, and I noticed the toilet water was getting really high, in which it promptly continued to fill until it overflowed. Thankfully, flushing the water down the drain prevented it from overflow, thus I left my father on flush duty while I called maintenance (though I felt bad the neighbors were stuck hearing the toilet vortex flush every 15 seconds), which took about 10 minutes for someone to actually show up. It was fixed in about 10 minutes, where a cleaner came promptly after to wipe up any mess. On Night 6 and 7 because it was windy and stormy, we noticed that the balcony door was letting air in from outside, causing a high pitched sound throughout the day/night, but thankfully we are deep sleepers and it did not keep us up (I also sleep with earplugs, which helped). A few days into the cruise, they do add a Laundry offer into the Compass, where it is Wash and Fold Laundry Service—1 bag for 34.99, in which they state they will wash things like pajamas, socks, underwear, shorts, swimwear, and t-shirts. The notice also came with the Luggage Valet offer to pay the cruiseline to send your luggage directly to the airport for a fee ($25 plus the airline fee for baggage check-in). Internet: We ordered the 2 Surf + Stream package, where the pricing did drop to about 21 dollars for 2 lines, which was not as low as the internet package deal I saw on Allure last year, but still not bad. I noticed that the login method has changed since I had been on the Allure last year, where they have you log into the Harmony Guest WiFi and create an account. You need to put in information like your name and year of birth, and then you make a username and pin number for your password. I had issues with creating an account, but thankfully on the first day on the ship, they had a bunch of people standing in the promenade area in green shirts helping people with set up. Lo and behold, they put in my first name wrong, so that was the reason why I couldn't get in on the first time, but it only took about 5 minutes to resolve my issue. I have done some speed tests, and the download speed usually ran around 6 mbps during the days, and around 1.5 mbps at night time. I was able to stream videos and music on my phone without much issues. I was able to FaceTime with my sister while we were at CocoCay with only a couple brief hiccups (if you have an internet package, you can use it on CocoCay). As a note, there is no cellphone tower on CocoCay, so there will be reception (I tried to use Verizon roaming and saw it said: No Service even when roaming was turned on). The upload speed is a different story. No matter what time of day it is, the upload speed was slow. Whenever I tried to send a picture to my family, it would take about 5 minutes per image (each picture was ballpark 1.8 mb). FYI on Day 5, the Cruise Compass had a deal where you can purchase 1 SURF + STREAM package for 1 device for 50 bucks...not quite sure how much of a deal that really is, but is an option for those who did not want to pre-purchase. Dining: This section will be quite extensive, as we had the unlimited dining package. I would like to start off by saying that to us, the package was an amazing deal (we purchased it at a discount price of 175, which is not the lowest it goes, but still reasonable). At the same time, I feel that the package made eating sometimes almost an obligation more than an enjoyment, and at times I felt we would over eat more than what we would do if we didn't have it. I think we would have been much happier with the 3-night dining package instead of the unlimited, but it gave us the chance to try every specialty restaurant at least once to be able to plan for our future cruises. The UDP allows for you to eat at as many restaurants you want for dinner and also lets you eat lunch on embarkation day and sea days. On the Allure, we had to run up to a specialty restaurant to make reservations, but on Harmony, there were two stations in the promenade right upon entering that allows for you to set up your dining schedule there. As I am a planner, I already came with a list of restaurants and times that we would want to eat at. We were unable to get a reservation to 150 CP for Day 1 (unless we wanted to eat at 8:30PM), thus we had to switch up the schedule a bit. Since we are early eaters, getting a 5:30PM reservation was not a problem at all on any other day. As a note, Chops is a very popular restaurant--we tried to change the date around, but we were told that Chops was booked for all early dining times for the rest of the cruise unless we wanted to eat at 8:30PM or later. Now I know there has been some debate and talk about the UDP and whether or not people can order multiple entrees during a single dining session, but honestly, the amount of food you get is already so much, I could not imagine eating more than one entree. To summarize, here is the dining specialty dining venues I personally would rank (excluding Johnny Rockets) from best to worst:1) Jamie's (great for both lunch and dinner) 2) Chops (Lunch options too few imo) 3) Sabor (food great, but it is too hot at lunch) 4) Wonderland (weirdness aside) 5) 150 Central Park (too monotone for flavors between apps and entrees 6) Izumi (Asian food that didn't taste like Asian food). Make sure you plan out your specialty dining ahead of time and how long it takes to go through a meal. Lunch was 60-90 minutes long. Dinner was typically 2 hours, though Wonderland was over 2 hours. If you are tight on time, the waiters were happy to accommodate, which shrunk our dinner time to like 75 minutes. Okay, now the verbose section about what we ordered and what I thought! After setting up our dining schedule, we went up to Jamie's Italian to make a lunch reservation right for 12PM when they opened. The lunch menu was a limited menu in comparison to the dinner menu, but still had a good amount of choices. We went all in and ordered a heck of a lot of apps including the famous meat plank, crispy squid, black truffle arancini, garlicky prawns, and ultimate garlic bread. The meat plank came out first, and this of course if the post-it-up-on-social-media-for-the-oohs-and-ahhs choice. The meat plank wow'd us so much that I forgot to take pictures of the rest of the appetizers like I normally would. Our favorite apps were the crispy squid and the garlic bread. The black truffle arancini was also very delicious, but a bit too heavy, and the garlicky prawns were overcooked and hard to pull off the shell. For the entrees, my dad and I both ordered the JI burger and my mother just ordered an entree sized portion of the famous prawn linguine. My dad also had ordered a side of seasonal greens and I the arugula and parmesan salad, but both items were both forgotten about and not brought (which ended up being okay because we were stuffed). The burger was delicious, as the hamburger meat was actually ground up tenderloin with the right amount of fat to meat ratio. I didn't care for the caramelized onions though. My mother enjoyed the pasta, but I would like to note that the sauce is quite spicy, so people who cannot handle spicy may want to consider another option. Even though we were full, the waiter encouraged us to try dessert, thus my father ordered all three flavors of sorbet (raspberry, mango, and I think lemon), while my mother had the lemon cheesecake, and I the tiramisu. All three desserts were shared and were excellent, though the tiramisu was not as coffee and bold as the tiramisu we had at Giovanni’s on the Allure last year, thus I feel the cheesecake was the winner (some of the sorbet was pretty sour, but refreshing). For dinner on the first night, we went to Wonderland. Now, my parents are pretty conservative when it comes to eating, and I was worried about how much they would be receptive towards modern gastronomy cooking. We also were still not hungry because of our big lunch at Jamie's. Since the dinner is more of a culinary experience than a big sit down food shovel, it worked out in the end. I would like to note that our dinner actually took about 2.5 hours to complete! Elton was an excellent culinary guide though, and he was patient in handling my folks and their skepticism. He took over the ordered for the small plates by asking us what types of foods are our preferences vs strong dislikes. I definitely would have to say that if you are not a bit adventurous and open-minded about eating, this restaurant may not be the best choice for you. As one of the first people in the restaurant, many on-lookers would stare at what was being brought to us and watched for our reactions when eating/drinking the dishes. Thankfully, if it was something we liked, in the end it was only about one bite, so not much was wasted. The weirdest thing that we had was the Liquid Truffle Mushroom Risotto--it literally looked like an eyeball on a spoon, and the moment it touches your tongue, it pops and delivers a bath of mushroominess down your throat. The plate that most surprised us was the Tomato Water, as I thought it would be gross, but in the end it tasted like cool tomato soup with bread dipped into it. The Birds Nest is the best--take out your video recording app choice. My parents had fun eating the smoky bird nest because that is the first time they had something of that nature. For the entrees, you choose from Earth--Chicken, Pork, and Short Rib or the Sea--Halibut and Branzino. It is intended for people to share the entrees, thus we ordered the short rib, halibut and the branzino. The short-rib was a beautiful plate and was very tender. The halibut was cooked in a bag and the mushroom sauce made it physically look unattractive, but the fish was cooked well. The branzino was aesthetically pleasing, but there was actually not that much fish and the sauce was not my favorite. The desserts were the most memorable part of the meal. We ordered the The World, Forbidden Apple, and the mushroom dessert that I cannot remember the name for. The World in the end was too sweet/rich our liking, but the effects of the melting dessert was fun. The mushroom dessert was adorable, and we enjoyed the meringue. My dad said that his favorite restaurant on the whole ship was Wonderland for the experience. On Day 2, we stopped at our perfect day at Coco Cay, thus for lunch we ate on the island. I feel that the selection choices were a better than on Labadee. My favorite part was the taco station, where the carnitas was well cooked and seasoned, with the addition of the salsa bar. There also was the standard burger/hot dogs, but they also had a salad bar, panini sandwiches, and fruit/desserts like cookies. For dinner, we ended up going to 150 CP. Overall, the food at this restaurant was a bit...heavy down to the delicious bread they served at the start, to the appetizers and entrees. I did not think my ordering choices out well, and thus I ordered the Sunchoke Velouté and Braised Short Rib for the app and Roasted Tenderloin for one (it says two but they can make it for one). My father also ordered the velouté, and Roasted Organic Beet Salad for apps and the Pan Seared Veal Medallions for the entree. My mother the Seared Honey Glazed Scallops and the Caesar Salad for apps and Lobster Thermidor for the entree. Just like at Jamie's, another item was forgotten and they never brought out the Caesar Salad, but it worked out in the end because I was not a fan of the velouté, but my mother liked it and ate it in my stead (she felt that it tasted like a broccoli soup, but the seasoning was unusual for me). The apps in itself were almost like mini entrees. The tenderloin was a perfectly cooked medium rare along with the veal, but eating two beef dishes in a row was a bit too much for me. I did enjoy the vegetables that garnished the plate more. The lobster thermidor was a bit on the small side. We ordered the Fried Cheesecake, Peanut Butter Chocolate Tart, and Hazelnut Passion Fruit Bar to share, in which we all agreed that the Fried Cheesecake was the best out of the three. Again the chocolate tart was delicious and not overly sweet, but was too rich after a heavy meal. On Day 3 (Sea Day), we decided to try Sabor for lunch. Now my mom is not a fan of Mexican food, but she was willing to give it a try, and actually enjoyed a few things I was unable to get her to try before. The biggest issue with Sabor at lunch is that the sun is beaming down, and even if you sit by a fan and in the shade, the air circulation is not that great and we actually had to rush the end of the meal because we could not breathe. It is better during dinner time because of this. We started off with the guacamole--being from Massachusetts, most avocados you buy are unripened and super green in color. These avocadoes were most definitely ripe and softer guac than we are used to. It was pretty good, but nothing to write home about. We ordered several small plates, which included the Spicy Beef Empanadas (not impressive), Red Snapper Ceviche (the sauce was delicious and made this the best starter), Fried Chile Calamari (seasoned differently than Jamie's, but it was like crispy than Jamie's as well), and Chicken-Stuffed Jalapenos Wrapped in Bacon (too salty for our liking, but still good nonetheless). We also ordered tacos, where I ordered the Pulled Pork, my father the Grilled Cobia (fish), and mother the Shrimp Taco. Each taco order comes with more than enough meat to fill three taco tortillas and they bring the salsas/toppings as well. The carnitas was very good. For dessert, we ordered only the churros because we were about to pass out from the heat--it came with both a chocolate and cream cheese-like dipping sauces. For dinner, we went back to Jamie's. The dinner menu is very similar to the lunch menu, with the addition of some of their more pricier options like lamb chops and short-rib. As a note, the menus on the Royal cruise planner is NOT the same menu you get on board. This time we had a wonderful waiter Antonio. Having eaten too many heavy meals already this cruise, I wanted to opt for something lighter. We started off with the crispy squid and garlic bread again, but we also tried the Creamy Burrata (super soft mozzarella cheese with the most delicious slow-roasted tomato topping over it). For dinner, my father had the Eggplant Parmigiana (I do not like eggplant so I did not try this), my mother the Prawn linguine again, and I ordered the Jamie's Caesar Salad, which is as basic as you can get. Our waiter felt that we should try something else on top of this though and insisted that we try the Lamb Chops, thus he ordered us an additional entree. I for one do not like meat like lamb, goat, or veal, but I did try a bite, and it was definitely well cooked and good quality. My father ended up liking it so much he ate the whole thing (and was stuffed from eating two entrees). We also ordered seasonal greens on the side, and lo and behold for the second time at Jamie's we were not given our sides, but again we were full and felt we were better off. For dessert I tried the Pavlova, and my goodness was this too sweet. The meringue was not too bad, but the raspberry sauce on top was so sour and sweet I could not eat more than a couple bites. Our overall experience was so good at the restaurant though! On Day 4, we went to the Windjammer for lunch and my goodness. Because of the boat getting to St. Thomas at 12:30PM, everyone else had the same idea to eat lunch right before the boat was letting people off. I had never experienced such a crowded buffet before. The serving stations are circular, and it was tough to figure out where the start/end of the lines were. If you do not have an excursion to get to right away, I suggest you wait 30 minutes more for an easier lunch experience. For dinner, we went to Chops--a place we had already eaten at on the Allure. Unfortunately, the host of the restaurant must have been having a bad day or something, as he was not the nicest person I had ever met (raising his finger/hand in front of our faces because he wanted to talk with the restaurant reservation person before us). Also, when we sat down, we told our waiter (while this guy was still around) that we had a show to get to and that we would not have that much time, in which the host in a "joking" manner told us that we should then go and get burgers instead. Yikes. Whatever, our waiter was kind and did whatever he could to make our dining experience as quick as possible, but still presented us with a good quality meal. I ordered the Lobster Bisque (rich with a deep taste of lobster) and Jumbo Lump Crab Cake (full of crabby goodness), which I had both on the Allure, and they are still as great as I had remembered them to be. My parents also both got the crab cake, but my dad also got the Wild Mushroom Soup and my mother the Caesar salad. My Angus Filet Minion was cooked more medium than medium rare, but still perfectly seasoned that I did not even need sauce. My father had the Prime NY Strip Steak and my mother the Spicy Jumbo Shrimp (the 5 pieces of shrimp were so large my mother had a hard time finishing). The sides again were good, but nothing to write home about. For dessert, I ordered the Warm Apple Pie a la Mode (the pie crust was not crispy but the apple was well cooked), my father the Key Lime Meringue Pie (the best dessert we ordered even if the meringue was a bit too sweet), and my mother the New York Cheesecake (pretty standard). Normally, the dinners take the full 2 hours, but we were able to finish in about an hours-time thanks to our waiter. On Day 5, we planned for a dinner at Izumi--the sushi side. Our family have been to hibachis in the past, and none of us care for the show and the meal. With the UDP, you are allowed to get 35 dollars per person, which can be pooled for the entire table. In all honesty, this is the first restaurant that we ate at that we felt was overall "mehhhh." It started off with complimentary edamame. We received the Shrimp & Vegetable Tempura next, which was much heavier and oilier than tempura we had elsewhere. What was worse, as the onion piece I bit into felt weird, and I saw that I had bit into a huge mound of flour. I pointed it out to the waiter, stating that everything else was fine, but she insisted that we get another order of tempura free of charge, so incoming another round of greasy tempura no one really wanted to eat but ate because we did not want to waste food. We shared a Rainbow Roll (standard), Izumi Spider Roll (pretty good, but heavy on the unagi sauce and fell apart with each bite), and the Baked Snow Crab & Salmon Dynamite (warm roll that was good). The rice did not seem like sushi rice. For entrees, my parents both got the Yaki Udon (my father the tofu and mother the shrimp). The portions were ginormous and neither could finish off the entree. The tofu did not go well with the yaki udon at all, as it was just huge thick blocks of fried tofu plopped on top. The noodles were pretty sweet as well. I ordered the Spicy Miso Ramen, which tasted less like miso and more like oil. Unlike the thin sliced pork I am used to at restaurants, they gave you three huge slabs of pork as well. Definitely not our favorite place, but we would consider giving it another try...maybe on a different cruise. On Day 6, we decided that for lunch we would eat at Johnny Rockets, but we all agreed that we needed a break from the specialty restaurants tonight, thus cancelled our second reservation to Izumi and planned to eat at the Windjammer instead. Johnny Rockets was crowded as usual, and you have to wait a bit if you want a table inside the restaurant. We are glad that we did wait, as it began to pour rain fiercly and people were huddling onto the counters inside with their food. As an FYI, Johnny Rockets meals comes with free sodas which they can give you a to-go cup as well (with paper straws). If you have the UDP like us, you can easily go back to Johnny Rockets and get sodas or snack on things like onion rings with somewhat ease (if it is busy, people may notice you at the counter until the head host guy tells a waiter to attend to you). The poor workers there are stretched too thin between making milkshakes, taking orders, cleaning up, and having to stop to sing and dance. I think the chefs as well were overwhelmed, as I had ordered a Smoke House burger, but found all of my toppings were added to my mother's chicken melt instead. Tonight is second formal night (lobster night), but we did not feel up to going to the MDR. The Windjammer was having "Mixed Grill" night, and thus we were excited when looking at the food options, but unfortunately everything was very dried out and inedible. We were also excited at first because they had "kimchi salad," as we are Korean and were missing Korean food. Unfortunately, it was nothing close to real kimchi minus the fact they used napa cabbage (tasted like they were trying to make kimchi candy or something). Our sweet restaurant worker Yuni told us that the cruises that go specifically to Asian countries have the authentic Asian foods. Given the quality of the food at the Windjammer, we decided to go back to the specialty dining for the last day. On Day 7, we went to Chops for lunch. The lunch offerings seemed much smaller than I expected (less than what even the RCCL app showed). I started off with the Charred Beef Carpaccio, while my father started with The Wedge, and mother the Wild Mushroom Soup. For entrees, I tried the NY Steak Salad, while my mother chose the Caesar Salad, and my father the 8 Oz. Angus Filet Mignon. The Caesar salad gave you the option of picking your protein. The salad was delicious, but if you came hungry, it may not be enough for a big appetite. I ordered vanilla ice cream for dessert and my father the Warm Chocolate Cake. For dinner, we returned back to Jamie's for one last time, where thankfully Antonio was working again. We ordered the Ultimate Garlic Bread again, but this time it was different than how it was made before, in which the waiter informed us that the chef wanted to try serving it to us in this style to see what we thought. We tried the Tomato Bruschetta as well, where the toppings were good, but the bread itself was so crunchy that we had difficulty biting into it. For dinner, I tried the Baked Lasagne, which was good. Thanks to Antonio, the Arugula and Parmesan Salad came this time around. Entertainment: I will start off by saying that I oftentimes use cruising to try to reset my sleep schedule all messed up from stress and work, thus I did not do much late night things to review on. Most of the shows had a stand where you can buy popcorn and movie candy boxes. Prepare to come at least 20 minutes before a popular show if you want a decent seat that isn’t behind a pole. They block off sections for Pinnacle, Grand Suite, Diamond Plus, Key people, but the rest of the seats get released about 10 minutes prior to the show which anyone can take after. We went to see 1887: A Journey in Time (the ice skating show) on the first night, and surprisingly enough, the seating was empty up until the last few minutes of the start. My folks are always a big fan of the ice shows because of the costumes. If you sit close to the rink, remember to bring a light sweater, as it can get chilly in there! The Las Vegas Tenors were here to perform the Headliner Show. They were definitely talented, but it was not what I was expecting. They would talk about how people would expect them to be opera (which I wish it were), but it was much more pop, country, rock mixes. 1/3 of the time was them trying to advertise themselves to get more social media clicks. 1/3 of the time was these low-brow jokes making fun of the overweight singer of the trio. The audience overall seemed to be having a good time though. The Fine Line Aqua show, as with all aqua shows was entertaining, but I noticed that this show was more focused on dancing (almost like I was watching Stomp and not a water show). Less diving into the water. Prepare to be splashed like heck if you're sitting in the front, and the person who is suspended in the air would make her rounds above the audience in the center, dripping water along the way. The highlight feature of the show is a man walking 55 feet up in the air on a tightrope--if you actually want a good look at this (I was stuck watching it for the most part on the video screen), sit either in the center or the right-hand side (when you walk in) as if you are too far left, it is blocked from your view. Get there at least 30 minutes before a popular show time if you want to try to get one of those lawn chair seats that have a drink holder instead of the hard benches. We tried to sit through Columbus, but the storyline itself was not really our thing, and just like on the Allure with that planet show, they just took modern songs and remade it to fit the show. My mother was looking forward to watching Grease, but because the boat was rocking so much, the last show on the boat was first delayed (in which people must have realized there was little else to do when so many areas of the ship/activities were being cancelled because of the rough seas, thus they just stayed in the queue for an extra hour), and then we were told that they were planning to cancel it. The cast felt bad that so many people were going to miss the show, that they decided to do a "concert" version of the show, where they talked through the show and just took turns singing their songs in front of mics with the band playing. They dedicated to sing for an hour straight, thus the crowd was appreciative of their efforts. They were definitely a talented group, but of course people were a bit disappointed they didn't get to see the whole show. Public Spaces: As I had already been on the Oasis and the Allure recently, the layout of the ship is similar with a few exceptions. For those who are looking for a quiet place to read, on the fifth floor in various spots around the jogging track area, there are lounger chairs under covered areas. While there is still sea air circulating the spots, it may be too warm and humid for some to be comfortable, but it fairly quiet. There are lounger chairs in the back of the boat on the 5th floor, but they are moreso sitting upright. For the casino, I noticed that there is one less stairwell heading up and down from the promenade area (the spiral stairs) in comparison to the Allure/Oasis. The casino has also been split to a smoking side and non-smoking side. Quarter dropping machines are on both sides. The Windjammer entrance and layout is slightly different than on the Allure/Oasis. Harmony funnels people to the side entrance, where there is a handwashing station there. The happy-happy washy-washy people at the entrance did not have the hand sanitizer that often, thus I question if people washed their hands less because of it. RCCL must have made some cut backs or changes to their buffet options, as we had noticed the variety and selection differed from our stay on the Allure. My dad was used to having cold unsweetened tea available for every meal, but they limited the mornings to orange juice, apple juice, water, milk, and hot beverages. Lunch/dinner had the inclusion of the unsweetened tea and the strawberry kiwi drink and some other fruit beverage. If you want milk at night, you can ask one of the restaurant workers, and they will get it for you from the back. The service as always was spectacular, and staff always was happy (at least on the outside) to get you a drink or silverware. I laughed on the day they had the server ringing a bell and going around to advertise ice cream. On Day 6 for breakfast, one of the head waiters came up to us and invited us to do the Bottomless Galley Brunch (I am unsure if they meant this as complimentary vs if we were to pay), where he told us that they would have offerings like sushi from Izumi, but given our bad experience with Izumi, we passed on this offer. I wish the Windjammer could stay open an extra hour later, even if it just to allow drink service and maybe some desserts, as for my family, it is more comfortable, quieter, and easier to find seating in the evenings after a show over sitting in the promenade. Windjammer did have their themed nights, whether it was Mongolian night (where you can get stir fries), Crepe Day/Night, Mixed Grill Night, Mexican Night, and of course the chocolate buffet (was the same night as Mexican night). Windjammer has an electronic sign every day that announces the dinner theme for you to plan accordingly. Oh, and Windjammer does offer a "gluten free" section. I noticed they started putting up barriers at certain stations at times to prevent people from self-serving things such as during Chocolate Buffet night where they blocked off the area and had someone serving the cakes for you, and the ice cream machines would have someone stationed there at times handing them out. We did not eat at any of the MDRs during the entire cruise, thus I cannot comment on them. Central Park still has poor air circulation and is warmer than the Boardwalk area typically. We went to NEXTCRUISE to talk about booking our possible next RCCL cruise onboard (you can either write your name for a block period of time vs walk-in queue), but the onboard credit offering for a 3 adult Balcony cabin was only 50 dollars, which is actually less than what we get from our travel agent, thus we did not feel the need to buy it on the boat. The main theater’s layout looks identical to the Allure’s. The chairs have these nearly useless drink holders. If you sit in the aisles, prepare yourself to have to get up several times during the show to let people in and out. Activities On Board/Fitness: Okay, I will be honest with you in saying ahead of time, I was quite a party pooper and did not do much activities on the ship because I spent a lot more time catching up on sleep than I had expected. They did have shows like the Love and Marriage show, The Quest, The Family Quest that normally I would like to attend, but I didn't make it to any of them. I was planning on doing a lot more things onboard the ship during the last two sea days heading back from St. Martin, but lo and behold the weather would make me give up on such plans. People seemed to have gone hog wild for the flash sales in the promenade—especially for $10 everything (swimsuit cover ups, clutches, accessories) and the 2 for $20 Port t-shirt sales. For fitness, I was looking on the itinerary for a Zumba class, but did not see any listed, thus I spent most of time walking the track instead. Cannot comment on the gym much since I didn't exercise in there, but it seemed pretty similar to the Allure. The television in the room was bad and I did not see any movies on there, but some of the public spaces had movies playing (Avengers, Aquaman, etc.). Ports and Excursions: The three ports that we went to was: 1) Coco Cay, 2) St Thomas, and 3) St Martin. If you want to get a good view of the ship pulling into port, we actually had more fun going onto deck 5 around the jogging deck, as you could see the pilot boat come close by the ship to ensure it was steadily coming in to dock. This is our first time going to Coco Cay, thus I specifically picked this itinerary for the sake of going there. The island ended up being much smaller than I had expected, but I did not notice any damage from the recent hurricane that unfortunately ravaged part of the Bahamas. You can pick up beach towels either up on the 15th deck (which was recommended to not be held up by a crowd) or before you leave the ship. We were the only ship there for the day, thus we got the whole island to ourselves, thus there were plenty of beach chairs to go around. We made it to Chill beach area and we quickly got into the water. Beach is a little bit bumpy, so those with sensitive feet may want to get water shoes. I saw several people with snorkel equipment, but did not really see fish around. We did see a jellyfish floating in the area on its own. Unfortunately, the perfect weather turned quickly, where for about an hour or so, it began downpouring on the island. Thankfully there was no lightning/thunder, so people were able to stay in the water, but the beach umbrella did not do a great job keeping the water away. I felt bad for those who had paid for those beds (very few people were actually there) given the downpour. Thankfully, the rain went away around noonish. Chill beach is close by the free eatery, which included more options that Labadee did (see the Dining section). We did not go over to the free pool area, nor did we pay to go into the water slide section, thus I cannot comment on that. I would definitely want to go back to Coco Cay in the future! The next port was St. Thomas. For those who lingered on the ship, you got to hear them test the fire drill and evacuation, where they tested a bunch of the evacuation boats (which was amusing to see float around). We had already been to St Thomas in the past, but many people feel it is one of the better places in the Caribbean to shop! St Thomas has flat rate taxi costs which is listed right by the exit of the port area. Always check and confirm with the driver before getting onto the taxi though. 2+ people reduces the cost of transport. To give an example of pricing, it was 4 dollars each way for 3 of us to go to downtown shopping area from the cruiseport. It would have only been 4 dollars for us to go to Emerald Beach, 10 dollars for Magens Bay (they do charge admission here), and 10 to get to Coki Beach. We did not feel the need to go to the beach, thus we went to the downtown shopping area. Unfortunately, they are doing full on construction of the road in the shopping area, thus people were squashed in walking on the sides--it would likely not be easy to push a wheelchair down such narrow ways. People seemed to jump upon the jewelry for sale. We went into the Tiffanys store just to see what they offered (mainly older products), and the pricing was the same as the Tiffanys back at home, but you do not have to pay for taxes of course. For US Customs, they do note that a person can purchase up to 800 dollars in merchandise in port/onboard, but that you can spend an addition 800 if purchased in the US VI (if you are American). This also pertains to cigarettes if they are a product of the US VI (+800 cigarettes) and booze (+4 Liters) if it is product of US VI. One of the stores offered free samples of rum made in St Thomas, which was delicious thus we bought the last two they had out for the day (Perserverance Bay Cream Liqueur, which tastes kind of like Sheridan's if you ever tried that before, but better!). There is also the small stalls market by the shopping area if you are looking for cheap souvenirs that is cheaper than the port shopping area. Remember, the port time is not until 12PM, thus it was already hot and humid when we ventured out. As a side note, Verizon claims that St Thomas was included in my cellphone package, thus I did not have to pay extra to use my phone on the island, and the reception was overall pretty good. Most of the jewelry stores offer free bottles of water to those browsing, and some offered some form of a free gift for browsing as well. For those who like Alex and Ani, there is a store there with a pretty large selection including those that are exclusive to the island. For St Martin, this is our third time back there, and again we were just here last year, thus we decided to spend more time on the boat. I think there was a lot of others who decided the same despite the weather being great. We spent time just in the cruiseport shopping area. If you are looking for the cheapest cigarettes (I do not smoke but I bring them back as gifts), we found that Admirals had the cheapest prices (cheaper than on the ship) and more of a selection (most cartons of 200 appeared to be about 30 bucks a pop duty free). Admirals also had deals on other souvenirs (B2G1F and such). FYI if you are looking for international snacks, they have a decent selection as well (Korean cup ramen bowls, Indian snacks, European chocolates like Kinder and Toblerone). The port area has cheap 5 dollar t-shirts if you want something bare minimum. Very easy for functionally limited people to ambulate around with a scooter with the exception of some of the stores. The last call ship boarding was supposed to be at 3:30PM, but they gave everyone an extra hour. Fellow Passengers: For the most part, fellow passengers continue to be well mannered and not a problem traveling with. I love how diverse the passengers are becoming. Despite being at full capacity, the ship rarely felt crowded. One thing I had noticed is that the number of motorized scooters has drastically been increasing since being on the Oasis and Allure. There were quite a few passengers renting scooters, but did not know how to drive them well, thus they would end up blocking traffic, running into the backs of people's legs, or needed the staff to park them in places that wouldn't block people from getting by. Scooters are no longer limited to one group of people, as it is young and old and of all shapes and sizes. I'm glad that the cruise line can accommodate for people with disabilities, but they need to do a better job with doing education/management. I heard one guy in the casino state that he felt he was a walking target by the number of people in scooters ramming into his legs and nearly knocking him over. Despite being school time, there were still plenty of kids on board, but they were typically well controlled by their parents. Kids seemed to enjoy the waterslides a lot. Only once we saw a group of unsupervised, rowdy kids in the Windjammer (the kids were shouting and playing catch with a football in the Windjammer, making a mess while a poor waitress was trying to clean up after them and make sure they didn't hit other passengers). Unfortunately, on the day of disembarkation, we had encountered an awfully rude couple. The cruise workers told us to await in Boleros instead of lining up for the self-departure. Once we were cleared and the line was moving, we were trying to move with all of the other people out of the area, but this couple decided to single out my parents, jabbing their fingers in their faces and telling them to get to the back of the line and saying rude things. Their manner obviously showed that they assumed my parents were line-cutting, non-English-speaking individuals that targeted my folks out of all of the others they just let pass by, thus my mother said that we--just like all the other people were moving to the back of the line. Gross. Maybe they were upset they didn't get their 5th helping of donuts and bacon at the buffet this morning and were ravenously hangry. This self-assist departure line moved very quickly too, thus we were off the boat no more than a few minutes after those racist clowns. I think the number one rule people broke during this cruise was filling personal water bottles at the water/ice dispensers despite signs asking people not to. Oh, and a very important shout-out to all the mommas and poppas out there in the audiences, who scooped up their crying child and went out of the show areas until they were soothed! You da real MVPs. Disembarkation: We never received a printed copy of our stateroom invoice on the last day, but I was able to double check through the emailed statement (the RCCL app was not always accurate). FYI, in a clear, enclosed bowl close by the Bionic Bar area on the promenade, there is a place you can write down your purchases at any of the RCCL onboard/RCCL trusted partner stores, which states that it covers up to 30 days if any issues with the merchandise were to come up. I know that people are scared of facial recognition and the government being able to track/stalk people and all, but oh boy did it help make this process wayyyyy easier. I was a bit nervous on how Self-Assist Departures would go, but GoPort recommended us doing so to get off the ship quickly. Our flight was at 12:30PM, thus we finished our breakfast and got down to the promenade at about 6:45AM. US Customs did not clear us until about 6:55AM, but as I had said in the previous section, the line looked long, but moved very quickly. Getting off the ship was easy even carrying luggage, as most of the time the ramps were all going downhill and easy to wheel them down. The line pretty much was constantly moving with very little stops along the way. We did not need to fill out a declaration getting off the ship of the things we purchased. We would just look at a camera, where they would take a picture and if you are not a suspicious person, I guess they just move you along, as we off the ship by 7AM and on the GoPort bus by 7:20AM. They had all the signs for where to go if you are doing rideshare apps vs shuttles, and GoPort had a sign leading you to one of the furthest spots away, but very easy to find. All we had to do is give our name and number of people, and the driver took our luggage and our bus left by 7:30AM. 45 minutes later, we arrived at MCO, where everyone got off. They stated that all people checking in were to head to the third floor, while those catching Ubers go to the second floor. Check in at Jetblue was fast, and after we dumped off our luggage, we went to the security line, which has an electric sign to tell people of estimated wait times. TSA Pre-Check has their own separate line on the side. At 8:30AM, the estimated wait in the line was around 13-18 minutes. Please bear in the mind that MCO has a lot of children coming through, who usually needs extra time with security line process. We took the tram over to our Gate area, where it had a few eating options and gift shop area. They had a water bottle filling station around Gates 20-29. My parents and I realize now we can easily make it with plenty of time to spare to get to the terminal, but this only happened because everything went smoothly. Final Thoughts: Maybe because this was our third Oasis-class ship in a row, we have hit the point where there is less excitement for all the extra bells and whistles on the ship. Service for the most part was fantastic, and we had a great time despite all of the issues along the way overall. While the weather was crazy, it did not hold us back from having a great time. I think we may try to find a smaller ship that is more port-intensive for our next cruise to see how quality stands. My folks still would be happy trying Symphony as our next ship as well though. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I sailed on the Harmony of the Seas for the third time, embarking in Port Canaveral and sailing to the Eastern Caribbean on September 15, 2019. My wife has to use a wheelchair for going more than short distances; therefore, ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the Harmony of the Seas for the third time, embarking in Port Canaveral and sailing to the Eastern Caribbean on September 15, 2019. My wife has to use a wheelchair for going more than short distances; therefore, this review will highlight our wheelchair experience (perhaps providing an assist to someone looking into travelling with a wheelchair), followed by highlights of the ship staff and the food. Wheelchair experience: A critical key to a very good wheelchair experience is letting Royal Caribbean know your need and plans. They will provide a “pusher” and a wheelchair if requested. We have our own wheelchair, needed to get into the terminal when boarding and back to our vehicle when leaving. Pushers are available just inside the terminal entry for people who use their wheelchairs. They did guide us through a wheelchair dedicated security line and up to the boarding area on the second floor. A ship crew member becomes the “pusher” in that area and got us up the ramp and onto the ship. The pusher continued until we arrived on deck 17 at the Coastal Kitchen and Concierge Lounge, a terrific assistance because we had small carry-on luggage pieces. (Don’t forget to tip). There is no on-board wheelchair assistance. We found most passengers to be very considerate of our wheelchair situation when entering and exiting elevators and venues. It does require an occasional wait when elevators are full. Major venues like the theater, ice rink and aqua theater have places for guests in wheelchairs. The Windjammer also has reserved tables for wheelchair users. Disembarkation also requires a little planning. “Pushers” are made available and there is a meeting area for them. We met ours in the concierge lounge and were guided very quickly off the ship to the transportation area. Elapsed time for the process was about fifteen minutes. The key, again, was planning and coordination with the RCCL and ship’s staff. Wheelchairs can make for awkward and difficult inconveniences. RCCL and the Harmony of the Seas staff eliminated those for us. Harmony staff: The ship’s staff were excellent! They were knowledgeable, friendly, helpful and cheerful. Their service started with the Greeting staff in the terminal, the pushers, and security. It continued to the Coastal Kitchen assistant maître d and concierges to our room steward. It continued with the casino staff and venue hosts. It is nice to introduce ourselves and learn a little about several of the staff members, many worth noting here. Our room steward, Janelly, was cheerful and met our expectations for every action we needed. The Asst. Maitre D, Ace Angeles and his assistant Nino efficiently seated us at every meal we had in the Coastal Kitchen. The wait staff included, John, Steve, Laurance, Dana, Rico and Lotoyo as well as a few others. The Coastal Kitchen process allowed us to meet several of them. The Chef, Henry, was also out and about at nearly every meal. Express any concern and Ace was on it. The concierges Jeremias and Mohammed were available and happily assisted with reservations and wheelchair arrangements. The “Next Cruise” bookers, Ines and Emma, were expert and efficient. Notably, Melbourne, a ship bartender was our pusher getting off the ship followed by Brian who got us to the transportation area. Want to learn about the home countries of the staff members? Just start the conversation. We met staff from the Philippines, Ireland, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Florida, Bosnia, Jamaica, China, and Ukraine. Many had several years of experience with Royal Caribbean and had travelled on many ships to several countries. They frequently have great hints for places to see and visit. Food: Dining is a primary reason we enjoy cruising. Royal Caribbean and the Harmony of the Seas do a good job at presenting good food efficiently. It is a great opportunity to try foods that would normally be unavailable or unknown. Most of the foods we tried were very good. There were a couple we tried that we didn’t care for. We ate most breakfasts and dinners in the Coastal Kitchen, a few lunches in the Windjammer and one lunch each in Sabor and Izumi’s teppanyaki (prepared at the table). Breakfast choices included more than we would ever select from a la carte to a full breakfast. Eggs any way we wanted, Belgium waffles, bacon and sausage, pancakes, juices, toast including a bun like sourdough, fruits, and very good coffee. The waffles with syrup, whipped cream and fruit were especially good. The Windjammer buffet lunches were excellent opportunities to try new or unusual (to us) dishes. Salads, burgers (good meat), roasts, chicken, and pasta were always there. Ethnic choices included American, Oriental/Asian, Indian, and Mexican. There were numerus dessert choices including three flavors of ice cream every day. We had a Mexican food lunch at Sabor on the Boardwalk. Nice choices and flavors. We also had lunch in Izumi with meat and seafood choices. Both gave us more than we could eat. There was a charge for these lunches in the specialty restaurants. Dinners in the Coastal Kitchen included choices of appetizers, soups and salads, and entrees. We had filet mignon, prime rib, branzino, cod, lamb loin, shrimp cocktail, crab crusted flounder, roast duck, lobster, baked Alaska, ice cream, creme brulee, and nice selections of breads. The fish are usually nice choices on cruises with the branzino and cod being especially good. The meals in the Coastal Kitchen were served by a very experienced group of waiters, and prepared by Chef Henry and his staff. There are several other dining venues on the ship including the cafes, Sorrento pizza, the solarium bistro, Johnny Rockets, and the other specialty restaurants. Too many for us to try this cruise. Conclusion: The RCCL Harmony of the Seas cruise experience was very nice. We got along well with the wheelchair. We enjoyed the services of a very professional and experienced staff. The food was very good. We’ll be back. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We booked this cruise last year whilst on Voyager of the Seas in Asia. At that time we were asked if we were celebrating anything special and advised that it would be our 25th wedding anniversary during the cruise. It was our intention to ... Read More
We booked this cruise last year whilst on Voyager of the Seas in Asia. At that time we were asked if we were celebrating anything special and advised that it would be our 25th wedding anniversary during the cruise. It was our intention to renew our wedding vows onboard and we mentioned this when booking our flights with our Travel Agent. RCI acknowledged this during this second booking contact. However it transpires that this is no longer offered by RCI and to renew your vows, you have to purchase from the Wedding Package range (minimum $5,000) Our main disappointment from this cruise was the complete lack of empathy or customer service when we challenged why RCI ask if you are celebrating something during the cruise and then choose to completely disregard the information provided. The colleague at Guest Services promised a bottle of wine and chocolate dipped strawberries when we advised that Princess Cruises gave us this when celebrating our anniversary with them. We got a bottle of red wine delivered to our cabin (which we gave to our waiters as we don't drink red wine). We are still waiting for our strawberries. We also had an issue with Photo Services due to an error with my wife's Seapass card not showing her Platinum status which affected the discount on our phot package. Even although it was obviously an RCI error, the Photo Services manager would not over-ride the decision on the till to only give one set of discount. No proactive initiative shown by the manager. Anyway on to the rest of the cruise, which was a very pleasant experience. Embarkation was very swift and without incident. We had special assistance booked and my wife had her mobility scooter with her which was a god-send, based on the size of the ship. Only issue with this, was the frequent rudeness of fellow passengers who barged into the lifts despite us being waiting longer. Ship is amazing and didn't feel crowded except first day during embarkation. Cabin was fine and our cabin Steward, Karen, arranged for our scooter to be stored in the hold overnight. No issues and we are pretty low maintenance guests. Food in Windjammer was OK for breakfast (our only meal taken there), but as usual bacon is atrocious and it's disappointing that there is no omelette station. We tended to use Sorrentos for pizzas at lunchtime and Café Promenade which were excellent. MDR was excellent with our Waiting team of Noel, Clifton and Head waiter Tony an absolute credit to RCI. Food was always good and I frequently had two starters with no questions asked. We did not use Specialty restaurants. Bar service was always very good with no issues. Surprised to see Newcastle Brown Ale on draught but good selection of beers and spirits. Entertainment was excellent although didn't see Mama Mia. Aquatheatre show and Ice show were amazing. Band in Dazzles, Great Ideas, were brilliant and could turn their hands to any musical genre. Enjoyed singing with them at the Live Karaoke night. As we had been to all the ports, we did not do port excursions, however I booked a Disembarkation excursion which included a transfer to Miami Airport with some sightseeing and shopping. This was cancelled with the most feeble of excuses (operational reasons), which the Excursions Desk felt was due to hurricane damage to the providers' tour buses!?! As a result, we booked an airport transfer onboard. This was nearly a disaster as all the buses were designated to go to Fort Lauderdale, not Miami. Eventually a gracious (not!) driver advised that he would do us paying passengers a favour by taking us to our airport which we had entered into a contract for anyway. He then refused to take my wife's mobility scooter, due to it's weight. Luckily me and a fellow passenger persuaded him to let us load it! Crazy customer service which cost him any chance of a tip. All in all a great experience, however I do feel RCI need to get a grip on their customer service to give customers a better service when things don't go quite right Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Let me start by saying that my mother decided she wanted to go on the largest cruise ship in the world. It did not live up to the hype. One of the biggest disappointments was the food available on the ship. Dining room food was pretty ... Read More
Let me start by saying that my mother decided she wanted to go on the largest cruise ship in the world. It did not live up to the hype. One of the biggest disappointments was the food available on the ship. Dining room food was pretty awful. On the past 3 cruises with Royal Caribbean the food was very good. They really missed the mark this time. We did the “my time dining” which was a nice option because every night we ate at a different time. But every time we were in the dining room service was either rushed, or non existent. And most of the wait staff seemed terribly overwhelmed. Had dinner at wonderland which was the best meal of all that we had, chops grill meat quality was not up to par and we sent steaks back multiple times. They had a hard time getting it right. I was very annoyed at the pool set up, the pool in the solarium was tiny and always felt disgustingly dirty. Every time I looked for a bed to lay in they were always held by someone’s towels for the whole day, but rarely were those people actually using the bed. Signs everywhere that said chairs cannot be held, on cruising days all chairs near the pool and beds were claimed with a towel by 9am. Excursions were ridiculously overpriced. Room was always kept tidy and normal size for a stateroom. We had a balcony over looking Central Park which is an excellent room choice. However the beds were absolutely rock hard and had my back hurting after a couple nights. 1977 ice show was the best show we saw on the ship. They were phenomenal. After all the shows let out it was very hard to get an elevator, my father is disabled and had a scooter to use onboard. People literally pushed us out of the way to get on the elevators 90% of the time. Overall we still enjoyed the cruise but had better cruises in the past. For the money spent it just did not come close to meeting our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I traveled with a group of 12 with the average age being 30 years old. We typically do all inclusive resorts but were still interested in trying a cruise. After a 7 day on Symphony of the Seas we felt as if we were at a ... Read More
My wife and I traveled with a group of 12 with the average age being 30 years old. We typically do all inclusive resorts but were still interested in trying a cruise. After a 7 day on Symphony of the Seas we felt as if we were at a amusement park on a busy day. Always crowds of people, always waiting for extended periods of time for elevators as well as food and rarely a quiet time at night. The state rooms were small and tighter than I expected. It was hard to find open tables for breakfast and dinner in the windjammer. I always felt like I was going to bump into people wherever I went. Some positives include; the quality of food, the quality of cocktails and alcohol, and the service at dinner. The only place we had to wait to order drinks for a long period of time was Coo Coo Cay at the swim up bar. We enjoyed the variety of entertainment available nightly but again everyone was packed into events tightly. Lastly, I felt as if Royal Carribean is always trying to nickle and dime there customer. My wife and I and the group as a whole had already invested more money than I ever have on vacation before. The better amenities come at a upcharge to include; the specialty restaurants, basic internet, popcorn at nightly shows, wrist bands with your card attached, the entire water park at coo coo cay, the helium balloon rides and some mixed drinks. Overall, I am glad I checked it off of our bucket list. However, due to the overcrowding, the poor bang for a buck and the tight cabin space we will not be returning to RC. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We stayed in Miami on Friday night at the Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon. Our group organizer chose this hotel...which was nice but offered no amenities. We had a free shuttle from the airport and that was it. The rate was $215 including ... Read More
We stayed in Miami on Friday night at the Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon. Our group organizer chose this hotel...which was nice but offered no amenities. We had a free shuttle from the airport and that was it. The rate was $215 including tax. Breakfast in the a.m. was $15 per person which was insane. There was a "market" and Starbucks in the lobby... to get some milk and a snack for the kids at breakfast was over $20. I wouldn't recommend this hotel based on cost and offerings but it was truly a nice property. We had a group of 23 cruising, so we hired a private shuttle to drive us from the hotel to the ship. This was a smooth process and we were inside the terminal within 30 minutes from leaving the hotel (including loading and unloading time). Embarkation was very smooth. We got there about 12:30 p.m. so it seemed as if most of the morning rush to get on the ship was through. Took about 10 minutes to complete check in, security and photos. We had connecting cabins (9310/9312) for our family of 4 which was SO nice! Our cabin stwerad came by and opened up the connecting interior rooms right away and also opened up the 4 balcony dividers that we had - giving our 4 family cabins a TON of outside space. The rooms were clean, cool, and very spacious! We had plenty of room between both cabuins - with 2 adults, 2 kids, 4 suitcases, all of our clothing, 2 strollers and a crib. Elvin was our cabin stweard and we LOVED him. He was so great with our 2 young boys. We ate most of our lunches in the Windjammer - it was crowded but we always manged to find tables for the 7 of us. The Mango juice and Strawberry Kiwi juice we DELICOUS! Food was always hot and had a great variety. Breakfast in the Windjammer on the first morning (day 2, sea day) was a JOKE! There was a line to get in that would have taken every bit of an hour to wait in. Luckily, we knew there were other breakfast venue's on board so we ate elsewhere. After the first full day, it seemed like everyone had figured out the different places to eat onboard, because we did manage to eat breakfast in the Windjammer most of the week with no issues. We had breakfast at Johnny Rockets one day and it was hot and fast and very good! Dinner every night was in the Main Dining Room - we had my time dining at 6:00 p.m. every night and due to the large size of our group (23) we had the same table reserved for us. Geia and Andy were our waiters and they were FANTASTIC! They made sure the kids had their milk and a fruit plate soon after we sat down every night. They also put the kisd order in right away and had their food out early so they were occupied during the long meal time. The food was hot, great and had tons of variety and options. The shows themselves were GREAT, PHENOMENAL! but the reservation and seating process were a joke! We had reservations for every show. Per the direction of the cruise line we arrived at the shows 15 minutes prior to show time...only to find each venue FULL! Not even 1 seat open. It seems as if they let the guests without reservations in at the 15 minute mark and then it became a free for all. Not very happy with the way RCL handles this. Every show we were left scrambling for seats. Even on the night we got there 30 minutes early. Seating for the shows was a complete disaster and disappointment. The photo department was a REAL negative part of the trip and it an area majorly lacking in service and convenience. The photographers were rushed while taking pictures. They didn’t take the time to pose us or even suggest how to stand. We had a 2 year old and a 4 year old with us and ended up just awkwardly holding them or standing grouped together for photos. My parents were watching us take a photo and yelled out to us to pull down our sons shirt because his belly was sticking out under his shirt - something you would think the photographer would have noticed before they started taking pictures. The real BAD issue with the photos was when it came time to order them... we had photos from the last formal night (night 6) that we wanted to see - but the photo shop didn’t open until 7 p.m. on the last night due to being in port at Coco Cay and that was the first and ONLY opportunity to see the photos from day 6. It was also the last time ANYBODY on board could buy photos (from 7-11 p.m.) so the photo area was a MAD HOUSE. Additionally, since we were traveling as a group, we had photos all over the place. They were on my cabin account, on my husbands cabin account, my parents account, aunts account - ect... the problem is you are only allowed to access the photos that are in your account. Therefore, I wasn’t able to buy or even SEE the group photos on the accounts of anybody else in the group we traveled with. I had photos of my grandparents with my kids that I couldn’t buy because they weren’t in my account. The photo manager could transfer photos from someone else’s account into mine, but all people in the photo needed to give their consent to do so... which was a joke. Photos were to be ready by 10:30 p.m. for pick up... went to get them and they weren’t ready. Photo center said they would deliver to cabin before the morning, we woke up - no pictures. I had to go back to the photo center and wait in line to pick up the photos I bought at 6 a.m. on disembarkation day. Not happy... My BIGGEST complaint is that there is no swimming pool on board where families with young kids are allowed to swim. We had a 2 year old with us who wears diapers, we had him in very nice swim diapers that our aquatic center at home requires us to wear into their pools. We were bombarded every 20 minutes by the lifeguards because we were in the main pool with him - not in the water but standing on the outside of the pool. The designated "kids pool" is a playground with splashing water. My kids hate being splashed and in the kids area there was no way around that. Additionally, my parents (60 years) cant just stand in the kids pool all day and watch the kids play. We all wanted to sit in the water and even float around in the pool to stay cool. For a cruise line that caters to families and offers on a regular basis "kids cruise free" they really do a poor job accommodating guests with young kids. Coco Cay was an absolutely AMAZING, truly perfect day. Beach chairs were a little hard to find... but eventually we all settled in and found some so it worked out. Everything about Coco Cay was wonderful. It's beautiful, clean, organized. The prices for the water park, cabanas and misc. excursions are too high, but we just didn't participate and stuck with the included things and had a great day. The shopping was OK, the stores sold the same stuff from hut to hut were pretty pricey ($25+ for a t-shirt) and the employees inside (locals) were all pretty rude... but it was nice to be able to get a few souvenirs to bring home. Overall a great cruise. A few things worth mentioning that we were unhappy with but mostly a good trip! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were asked by a group of friends, 8 in total, to join them on this cruise. We had cruised before with 6 others before on 3 other cruises and had a great time. This was our first time on a Oasis type ship and The Symphony is a thing of ... Read More
We were asked by a group of friends, 8 in total, to join them on this cruise. We had cruised before with 6 others before on 3 other cruises and had a great time. This was our first time on a Oasis type ship and The Symphony is a thing of beauty . We are Diamond Plus so we have seen a few ships and love that feeling you get when you first get on if you get that WOW feeling. The Symphony "almost" gave us that feeling, I guess the similarity to some of the other ships, only bigger came to mind. Let me start with the POSITIVES: Embarkation: What a breeze! We got to the curbside around 11:00 am, bags to the porter in about 2 minutes and off to the races getting on. We went up some escalators and saw people directing us to people with iPads, we handed Sea Pass information, took some pictures, and BOOM, we are on the ship at 11:20. So it's time to go meet this new lady. Entertainment: I would say that this was the highlight of the week. We went to all of the shows. Hiro was excellent, Flight was also excellent, 1977 (Ice Show) was also fabulous, and Hairspray was good (my least favorite but the actors really tried). I believe that Royal has upgraded their entertainment considerably in musical, dance, and talent in general over the years. On the same note, the singer in the Schooner Bar was fantastic, there was a strolling piano player that was great, also a classical guitar player from Cuba that also was wonderful....she also played in the English Pub. Specialty Dining: We bought a 3 night package so had the opportunity to eat at Hooked which was delightful, 150 Central Park which was our highlight of the trip, and Jamie's which was our least favorite. We also had My Time Dining - This began as a real problem since 2 couples were on reservations from a TA and 2 couples were on reservations from Royal. We were unable to reserve a table for 8 online because of Royal's "rules" so we could only link the reservations and get 2 reservations at the same time and wait until we got onboard to fix the problem. Thanks to the Head Waiter and the Maître D', we got this fixed and had a great time at the same table each evening....average food but a good time. Solarium Bistro: We found this restaurant to be our absolute go-to place for breakfast, lunch and even evening dinner once. Most times it was quiet, great views off the bow of the ship and even though is was a buffet, the food seemed to be a step up from the Windjammer. AVERAGE THINGS: Windjammer: I may be unfair here since we were only in the Windjammer twice but both times it was very crowded, the food was picked over and seemed only warm at best and not really appealing. Several food stations but several seemed to overlap with the same things. The only really good thing were the French Fries. Cabin: We were in a Jr. Suite on Deck 12. We normally book at least a Jr. Suite or better but since our sailing mates were in a balcony on Deck 12 we tried to stay close. The size was OK, closet OK, but where there used to be drawers - only shelves (like next to the bed). Safe was small, so we had to cram our valuables inside. We were on the bump so the balcony was nice but our bathroom was a challenge. We had a tub with a shower that only had a glass enclosure that partially enclosed the tub so you had to crowd up to the showerhead to shower so water did not get all over the floor. Door to the cabin was the hardest thing to open I have ever seen. I had to give it the old shoulder bump every time. Bars: While there are bars everywhere, it just seemed that they were understaffed most times of the day. At some times, there may be 15-20 people being served by 1 bar staffer and yes they tried to do their best but times were slow. We had a drink package so maybe this is an effort to control the use of the package.....just saying. Just so you know we always tip a little extra each time. HO HUM THINGS: Itinerary: St. Kitts & St. Thomas we have been to several times so do you stay on the ship and get to know her a little better or find something different to do on the island. Well we opted to go to a Resort on St. Kitts and it was a pretty good day with the exception that the water was murky from Dorian so we spent the day in their pool. It was nice but so was their bar bill. In St. Thomas we went on a walking tour, little did we know that the temperature would be a blazing 98 degrees, almost lost it with little shade. However none of this was the fault of the ship except taking us there. CocoCay was a nice surprise. Disembarkation: We had a fairly early flight so we grabbed a quick bite from the Windjammer and headed down. Elevators were a nightmare, people were going up to go down (typical), but we finally got to where we needed to be, got a porter, found our bags, thru security and headed to Uber. Oops, maybe should have gotten a taxi....after a 45 minute wait our Uber showed, then off to MIA. NOT SO GOOD THINGS: Reservations: First time making reservations for everything online. Didn't know what to expect but soon found out. Reservations for the show at 8:00pm meant you really needed to be at your reservation by no later than 7:45pm....but wait, there is a line of people that also have reservations for the same show that have already been in line since 7:15pm so at 7:45pm you might not make your reservation at 8. So when you made your reservation for dinner at 6pm, thinking you would have 2 hours to eat (like on other ships and then go to the show), WRONG. So it's a hurry, hurry, hurry, eat real early, go get in line, wait, wait, sit and wait, sit and wait, watch the show, go to bed exhausted. This went on for a week. Being unfamiliar with the reservations thing and how it worked, my wife and I walked off the ship just exhausted, not just the normal "tired", after a great week onboard. Cabin Attendant: We finally met our attendant on day 4. Nice enough guy, he kept our cabin clean, clean towels but we never had any ice, however we did get a WOW envelope the night before departure asking for an additional tip. Nice of him, as we never had anything to write with to leave him a note. First time ever. Photo Department: We had several pictures taken. Went to look at them on the last day and selected 2 from our Diamond Plus package. We were told to come back at 6 pm to pick them up....came back at 6 pm on the way to dinner...not ready, come back at 10pm. Went back at 10pm, waited in a line for 45 minutes where 1 person was trying to check out everyone (must have been 200 people in there). Nope, not ready. Talked to a manager, most apologetic, said they would be ready at 6am or he would have them delivered to my cabin, I opted to have them delivered. Never got the pictures!!! Spa: Went in for the $99 special message on the Diamond Plus Package, reserved a time. Went in at the appointed time and the therapist finally came out 30 minutes late to get me. I told her that I had some areas that needed some special attention and to be more gentle in those areas, reminded again, reminded again. Thank God the session was over. Bill came, $139 less 20% Diamond Plus...lets go talk to Management....refused to pay more than $99 special because it came with a 20% discount as well. Finally gave up...I will take it up with Royal directly. Diamond Lounge: The Lounge was always slammed with no overflow options. Many evenings I went down before 5pm and there were no seats available, waited a while and left. Other times I went down and maybe one seat was available or there was a table for 4 available then I sat there and almost immediately someone came in and took the chairs. Not one evening did I get to sit with my wife for a drink before dinner. GENERAL THOUGHTS: This ship is lovely but big. It is not the size ship for my wife and I so we will not be going on an Oasis Class Ship again. The people on her are just like the people everywhere, there are chair hogs but this ship seems to patrol a little better. I call them "elevator rushers", but this ship seemed to have more of them trying to rush on the elevators before people got off than I have seen before, however I did like the color bar above the active ones (green for up, red for down). I liked the washing stations, better ways to keep your hands clean however saw a lot of people not using them. I liked the Solarium but there was no air moving in there. One thing that I noticed on the Symphony vs. other ships we have been on is everything seems to be "inside" on this ship (very few outside decks except on top), where on other ships there are more outside decks like on deck 4 & 5 then the top decks as well. My wife mentioned (she is a smoker), that the smoking areas are so cramped and crowded it was uncomfortable for her to enjoy her time there and meet people....she just grabbed a quick smoke and left. Let me also say that I have never seen so many tank tops, ball caps, bathing suits with cover-ups, shorts and flip-flops in the Main Dining Room for dinner in all of my life, formal nights included. There were a few tuxes, suits, some sports coats but those were in the 5% range. Call me old fashioned, but I would not eat in the Main Dining Room unless I were wearing long pants and I always wear at least a sports coat on formal night. I blame Royal for not enforcing the suggested dress code better. When I sit there in a jacket looking at someone in shorts and a ballcap turned backward with his wife/girlfriend in a cover-up, both have flip flops on....I'm sorry, IMO, Royal should do something. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our 4th cruise on Allure of the Sea's... Arrived at the port at 10:30 and on board the ship by 11 very easy no issue. We went to the Park Cafe in central park and that is where we realized our itinerary was changed to ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise on Allure of the Sea's... Arrived at the port at 10:30 and on board the ship by 11 very easy no issue. We went to the Park Cafe in central park and that is where we realized our itinerary was changed to different ports. We were never told about the change until much later in the day. After 27 cruises we were fine with the changes and RCI refunded our shore excursion money right to our sea pass accounts no problem with that. Hurricane Dorian had a different agenda in mind for us!! Our 7 day cruise turned into a 10 day cruise. We visited 5 ports of call and RCI gave us the extra 3 days for free. New entertainment was brought on board, I have to say they really kept us safe and well fed!! Our captain kept the guests up-dated , we sailed in calm and beautiful waters. !. Food.. very good in dining room (had my time dining) If you go around 6 or 6:15 no wait after that we came out to see very long lines. Windhjammer ok, we prefer main dining room for breakfast nicer atmosphere a lot less congested, no wait ever. 2. Balcony room deck 9 , Phillip our cabin steward kept the room perfect! He was our favorite and we gave him a nice tip at the end. 3. Entertainment... Great, ice show, diving show, blue planet , headliner, comedian's (hilarious).. Tony Tillman was our headliner, very good!! 4. Costa Maya beautiful port , we took the tram to the beach (4.00 each) and it was terrible!!! Smelled of rotting sea weed or dead fish... gross. We left after an hour . There is NO beach just rocks and piles of seaweed do not go... Lots of little huts selling junk. Save your money stay around the port.Nice pool, shopping.... Nice cruise a little longer than we planned, but Royal Caribbean stepped up and kept us all safe.. You can't control mother nature( even though some guests were complaining ) We looked at it as a little extra vacay time and enjoyed it. can't wait until next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Booking a cruise during hurricane season, one would have to understand that there may be changes to itineraries. Our Itinerary was changed the day before sailing from Fort Lauderdale from Eastern Caribbean to the Western Caribbean due to ... Read More
Booking a cruise during hurricane season, one would have to understand that there may be changes to itineraries. Our Itinerary was changed the day before sailing from Fort Lauderdale from Eastern Caribbean to the Western Caribbean due to the impending tropical storm in the Eastern Caribbean. On the fourth night of our seven day cruise, we were told that our cruise would be extended 3 days due to the Tropical Storm being upgraded to a Hurricane. Royal Caribbean was right on top of the situation. Never once, did we feel uninformed or in any way in danger. We were confident that they had our safety and comfort at the forefront. Staff was eager to help - questions were answered politely and completely, and assistance was offered so that guests could contact family and airlines to change travel arrangements. Our bed was very comfortable. Television stations were very limited. Luckily we had access to the weather channel, but no movies were available without a fee. Didn't miss it, as there was so much entertainment around the ship. More about that later. There are no outlets for our phone chargers near our bed, so charging our phone at the desk was a little inconvenient. My husband and I used the gym quite a bit. Plenty of equipment of all kinds available with no wait. Walking and jogging track was nice - chairs around the track overlooking the ocean gave us a nice rest. We ate in the dining room most nights, food was good, but not exceptional. Our waiter and his assistant were very, very attentive. I left a lot on my plate one evening and our waiter insisted that he bring me something else. I realize that this is normally done, but his attitude made me feel as though he really wanted me to be satisfied, and I was. The dining room service is exceptional. We have been on seven cruises, and we rate Royal Caribbean the best in this category. Buffet layout was awesome. No lines or crowds as there were stations with different foods. Again, service was exceptional in the buffet. Cheerful, warm staff were eager to help us find a table and bring us beverages without a long wait. The entertainment on this ship was absolutely wonderful. Mama Mia was presented, a show no one should miss! The talent among these singers and dancers is extraordinary. We had two comedy shows, one adult and one family oriented. We enjoyed each one immensely. Diving show was great. A word about the cruise director - he was professional, informative and entertaining without drawing attention to himself. Some of the cruise directors we have come in contact with in the past, seem to make it "all about themselves".. he was a gem. Royal Caribbean is lucky to have him! We could find music and dancing every evening to fit our tastes. Part of the exemplary entertainment aboard the Allure. A huge ship, never felt crowed, could find peace and quiet if we wanted. Pool area had plenty of lounge chairs, and a the "adults only" area was a nice change. No children running around or in the hot tubs there! We noticed, however, a great children's pool area. The atmosphere was one of pure enjoyment at every turn. A great ship, and an even greater cruise. My husband and I look forward to sailing on the Allure again. We highly recommend it!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
2nd time on Allure. Amazing ship with lots to do for kids. Chops was great, the food in the main dining room was great too and service was superb. Don’t miss the hotdogs on boardwalk, worth the calories. Rarely felt crowded even though ... Read More
2nd time on Allure. Amazing ship with lots to do for kids. Chops was great, the food in the main dining room was great too and service was superb. Don’t miss the hotdogs on boardwalk, worth the calories. Rarely felt crowded even though over 6000 passengers were sailing. Don’t forget to try ice skating and zip line. Flow rider is great but gets crowded on sea days. All the shows were fun. Because of Dorian, our cruise was extended by 3 days. Captain kept us updated at all times and the fun never stopped. Our beverage package and internet was extended free of charge. My only complaint is that I felt our room was not getting cold enough, we spoke to our steward and his supervisor came down to talk to us and reassured us that it was on maximum cool. It’s moving to Europe after the upcoming refurbishment. We may try it again then. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were there under bad circumstances! Hurricane Dorian was hitting the ports we were to go to. We were going to the Bahamas. Of course Dorian was to hit there. Our Captain informed us immediately our ports had been changed! I was so ... Read More
We were there under bad circumstances! Hurricane Dorian was hitting the ports we were to go to. We were going to the Bahamas. Of course Dorian was to hit there. Our Captain informed us immediately our ports had been changed! I was so thankful that he did! As a matter of fact we had wonderful weather the whole time. There were people upset! I couldn't understand why they would be upset. Did they want to go through a hurricane? Then when the Captain told us we were going from a 7 day cruise to a 10 day cruise. We were so pleased, but lots of people were upset. I want to thank the Captain for saving us from a hurricane. He gave us a great cruise without bad weather! We didn't have to pay anything extra for the 3 days of the beverage package or for the tips. But the crew was absolutely fantastic, so we did the tips. Mimi and Ibrahim were our Waiter and assistant in the dining room. They went above and beyond in taking care of us. They became our friends! Arlene in the English pub was great! Our cabin Stewart, Abu was fantastic! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
ARRIVAL 1)We arrived at 12.30pm and it was straight through and onto the ship. We were sent to The Windjammer Buffet. It was absolutely heaving with people and after a 45 minute wait for a table, our food (which we had to get first) was ... Read More
ARRIVAL 1)We arrived at 12.30pm and it was straight through and onto the ship. We were sent to The Windjammer Buffet. It was absolutely heaving with people and after a 45 minute wait for a table, our food (which we had to get first) was cold. It wasn’t pleasant. It was elbow to elbow at the tables to eat. COMFORT 1)The Mattress on our bed was rock hard so didn’t sleep well. 2)Not enough seating around the ship for the volume of passengers. 3)Lots of noisy drunk passengers at 2am on 3 nights and they were allowed to continue waking up passengers and the crew did nothing to stop them. 4)Lots of uncomfortable queueing for everything onboard - food, drinks, toilets and entertainment. Virtually everything. 5)Impossible to watch the shows as the staff kept letting other people continuously into each audience and constant walking in front of us. 6)The ship docked at 2.16am on Saturday 31st August and the noise from everyone involved in the docking woke us up and we couldn’t get back to sleep and this was before a several hour, long journey home. HEALTH AND SAFETY 1)Smoking was allowed in the Casino on the ship which bellowed cigarette smoke into the Main Dining area. 2)One of the other buffet areas had another smoking area near to the swimming pool so it was pretty much the same experience. This is especially not good for babies and children breathing this in whilst in the pool. Or pregnant women, the elderly or ill. We found this very unpleasant. 3)Staff constantly mopping and passengers having to be careful walking on wet floors. 4)The ship can clearly not cope with over 5,000 passengers as everywhere we went people accidentally bumped into each other - couldn’t be helped under the squashed elbow to elbow circumstances. An extremely serious health and safety issue. 5)Lifts were continually full and had elbow to elbow people in them. Another serious health and safety issue. We had to take the stairs on several occasions. SWIMMING POOLS 1)Too crowded and we were unable to use them. INFINITY POOL 1)Was able to use it once - too crowded otherwise. JACUZZI 1)Was able to use one of them on one occasion - too crowded otherwise. CRUISE FOOD 1)Poor. We are used to excellent food (and a good selection on cruises) but didn’t experience it on this cruise. 2)The ship clearly struggles coping with the volume of passengers and there were long 30-45 minute queues at all eating places. 3)We decided we would try Jamie’s and pay extra as it was quieter in Central Park. They told us that they could get lobster for us from the main dining area as they had run out in their restaurant. We declined and ate in the main dining area. Why pay for the same thing? What a cheek. 4)Several mistakes made throughout the week with our food orders in The Main Dining Room. Long waits to be served. More examples of them not coping with the volume of passengers. DRINKS 1)There should be more cold drinks available throughout the ship but there are not. Or at least people coming round with trays of cups of water. Instead everyone had to queue at the bars for an excessive time or walk a fair distance to the complimentary drinks areas in the heat. 2)There were mistakes made on our drinks orders in the main dining area and we were charged. Had to speak to guest services to get it refunded and that involved more sessions of queueing at guest services with other disgruntled passengers for long periods of time. STATEROOM 1)The mattress was hard and uncomfortable which provided poor sleep and stiffness. 2)The steward did not introduce himself to us at any time. We had to introduce ourselves to him, once we had worked out who he actually was. ENTERTAINMENT 1)We had booked to see all the shows on board. On the first evening of our cruise we queued for nearly an hour, to be seated. The audience had drinks orders taken and then the Cruise Director announced the show was cancelled. He seemed to think it funny - we were not impressed. He was dreadful at his job throughout. 2)The timings of all our shows booked were moved around constantly throughout the week (at the last minute) which encroached on our other plans. 3)Bad customer service. We were appalled. CHANGE OF ITINERARY 1)Constant last minute changes of Itinerary. 2)The communication with passengers about the changes was absolutely inadequate by the Captain and his staff. 3)We had to continually queue at Guest Services to find out what was happening. 4)Dreadful Customer Service and communication. MISSED PORTS/SHORTENED VISITS 1)Saint Maarten was cancelled. 2)We had half a day in Puerto Rico. 3)We had a day in Laberdee (a resort). Food was poor. Not enough to go round. Toilets were in a dreadful condition by mid afternoon with loo roll piled high and over flowing out of the bins by the loos. 4)We had half a day in Nassau with nothing to do as our excursion was changed without us being told. 5)Didn’t receive what we paid for throughout. Extremely disappointed. EXCURSIONS 1)Our excursions were constantly moved around. Communication with passengers about the changes was absolutely inadequate. 2)We had to constantly queue at Guest Services for refunds on excursions. 3)We had booked an Excursion to go to The Blue Lagoon in Nassau on the last day and it was changed to 8am without us being told. Yes we had a refund but we missed the opportunity of seeing somewhere really lovely on our last day due to bad customer service and had to queue yet again for a refund. VOOM/GUEST SERVICES 1)When we expressed our disappointment to Guest Services re lack of communication to us, we were told to check out information on the app. Yes we had the Royal Caribbean app but we needed VOOM (the internet) to be able to use it, which would have involved extra expense. 2)Why couldn’t the captain and his staff have just kept everyone updated on tv screens or via the tannoy system? 3)Appalled. Dreadful customer service and lack of communication with passengers. ROYAL CARIBBEAN WEBSITE 1)One day before our holiday was due to finish, many passengers read that Royal Caribbean announced on their website that we were going to be taken to Mexico and not returned to Miami until Wednesday 4th September. Many passengers changed their flights and other plans. I have a copy of this information. 2)The Captain and his crew went quiet over this website announcement and when we queued (yet again) and asked at Guest Services, they wouldn’t say what was happening. 3)This left us feeling anxious and with uncertainty. 4)It was only when we were woken up by noise at 2.16am (on the last day of our holiday) that we realised we were in Miami. 5)We had suffered dreadful worry and anxiety that we would not have had to experience if customer communication had been adequate. An announcement over the tannoy would have been enough to put everyones minds at rest but the Captain and his crew buried their heads in the sand. WOULD WE USE ROYAL CARIBBEAN AGAIN? No we wouldn’t. We are avid cruisers and did not get what we paid for. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our 36th cruise and was the first time chased by a hurricane. The Captain of the ship was very informative as to how he was going to avoid the storm that was in the area. First we were told that we were not stopping at San ... Read More
This was our 36th cruise and was the first time chased by a hurricane. The Captain of the ship was very informative as to how he was going to avoid the storm that was in the area. First we were told that we were not stopping at San Maartin, and that were we going to CoCoCay as an alternate stop, then when that island was threatened, we were going to stop at Nassau, Bahamas. We made it back to Miami at 1:30am Saturday morning. For the inconvenience they did refund one day costs for each passenger. Embarkation: The terminal in Miami is a brand new terminal and there are videos out on the web showing how easy it was to get in. I don't know what time they arrived at the port but we arrived at 10:30am and not only was the traffic horrendous but the first 5 levels of the parking garage were filled to capacity. Speaking of the garage, you had to go up to level 4 to drop off your luggage and then park your car, take an elevator down to the main level then once inside the terminal take an escalator back up to the ship's gangway. For those who need handicapped parking spots, they have them in the vicinity of the elevators on each level. Most ports we sailed out of, we dropped of the luggage on the ground floor and take an escalator up once. This up and down flow didn't make any sense. Once inside the terminal there seem to be confusion as to where to check in. One person told us to go to one area, another told us to go to another area. They now take your picture with hand held devices like an iPad. There was no order as to waiting on a line, people were just jumping to the next available agent. There are some things that still need to be worked out with the check in process. By the way, NCL is building a new terminal right next to Royal's. With just one single lane going by both terminals, it is going to be a nightmare getting to them. This was the opinion of the people who work there. SHIP: There are some changes to this ship that are different from the other Oasis ships. First, the Park Cafe on Deck 8 was expanded to accommodate more people. The biggest change we saw was to the Solarium. They made the area on Deck 14 smaller and there are no longer pools there, only seating. On deck 15 there are two hot tubs and one small pool. The pool was much smaller than the other Oasis ships have. The only way to get into the Solarium Bistro is via the inside lobby. There are doors to get out but you are told to enter thru the lobby area. Speaking of the Solarium, they needed to do a better job keeping children out of the area. There were several times people were asked to leave the area. Overall, the ship was the same as the other Oasis ships so there wasn't any new WOW factor. In fact this ship was the same as the Harmony except for the Park Cafe and Solarium areas. They added a new seafood restaurant on deck 16. As for the pools on deck 15, they are really small. if 25-30 people are in them it will seem crowded. There are three such pools on this deck. Definitely not enough pool capacity for over 5,000 passengers. They could have made larger pools by eliminating some of the hot tubs. Another feature which was eliminated was the information you can obtain in your cabin like the dinner menus, your itinerary from the cabin TV. You could only obtain this info from your phone. The dinner menus usually are displayed outside the dining rooms but this ship did not have any displays to show them. Entertainment : They had two excellent comedians that were very funny. Shows that are a must see are 1977 (ice show) and Flight Dare to Dream. This was a musical of the history of aviation throughout time. The ending will WOW you but I will not spoil it by saying what is was. As for the diving show in the Aqua Theatre, it was boring and repetitive to what we saw on the other Oasis ships. If it is the first time you will see it, then then go but if you've seen it before don't bother. As usual they had entertainment in the Promenade that is worth seeing. If you have children, they Adventure Ocean for different age groups was a wonderful area for your children to enjoy. Unfortunately, this area wasn't utilized as it should have been. There were a lot of foreign guests who seem not to use this venue. They had Laser Tag in Studio B, but you must have reservations. Dining: The food in the Windjammer was average at best. It seems the variety of the food did not change from day to day. Only the meat they served changed. They was one day they closed the second serving stations when we were at sea. We couldn't understand that logic since the place was very crowded. Except when we were in port, it was always a challenge to find seating. The Park Cafe was a very popular spot to get away from the crowds. If you will be looking for omelets, you find not find them in the Windjammer. You will have to go to either the Main Dining room, Johnny Rockets or El Loco Fresh on deck 15 by the sports complex. On other ships this was called "Wipeout". We had My Time dining and at 8:00pm seemed to be the busiest hour. Lines were almost out the door trying to get seating. You may want to book your time earlier than 7:30 to be on the safe side. We actually had the same waiter we had on the Harmony. He played his guitar and sang for the guest near the area where he serviced people. That's the first time in all our cruises that has happened. In speaking to some people who were long time Royal cruiser, we all felt the quality of the food and service have diminished in the dining rooms. It seems we are being forced to go to the restaurants that you have to pay for. Ports of Call: We were supposed to visit St. Maarten, San Juan and Labadee. However, due to the storm we visited San Juan, Labadee and Nassau, Bahamas. Been to all three several times so we didn't get off the ship. Royal Caribbean should do something with Labadee. It's boring and you have to listen for HOURS to these so called "musicians" banging away on their "drums". At one point one of the local restaurants turned up the music to drown out the drums. We were really looking forward to visiting CoCoCay but the storm prevented us from doing so. Debarkation: We took our own luggage and walked off the ship which occurred at 6:15 am. People were actually on line at 5:00am. They do not require to fill out the Declaration of items you may have bought and they now have many stations with cameras to confirm your identity. The process was well organized and the staff was informative, unlike the ones during the Embarkation process. However, you needed to take an elevator up the the level you were parked at. When there are hundreds or thousands of passengers in the need of an elevator, that could cause quite a wait for one. Luckily we were one of the first ones off the ship so it wasn't bad. Overall impression: It seems Royal Caribbean is attracting a lot for foreigners. At times it was a little difficult finding guests who spoke English. The ship is very similar to the Harmony of the Seas and there were some differences but not enough to impress you if you sailed on the other Oasis class ships. If you choose My Time dining, it would be best to reserve a time before 7:30pm. The crew on board was very friendly. The ship was very clean except for some of the bathrooms. One observation over the past couple of cruises is that Royal’s clientele seems to be changing and it shows. We originally cruised with Carnival and switched to Royal to get away from the clientele they had. It used to be that Royal attracted middle aged people now it seems to be the same crowd Carnival attracts. People were hanging their belongings on the interior balconies of the ship and it looked like a ghetto. These same people were rude and didn’t control their children from running around the ship. We have one more cruise planned on Royal later this year, if we run into the same type of crowd, we will be seeking other cruise lines in the future. This will be unfortunate since we are close to being Diamond Plus members. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I had high expectations as I heard and read lots of raving reviews on this boat. Here’s a summary of our experience. Service was awful. Too many people on board. Lines were long. Dining staff completely disorganized. We had anytime ... Read More
I had high expectations as I heard and read lots of raving reviews on this boat. Here’s a summary of our experience. Service was awful. Too many people on board. Lines were long. Dining staff completely disorganized. We had anytime dining and on one night it was a 1-2 hour wait to eat. In the buffet for dinner one night, a kid took a topping spoon at the sundae station, put the spoon in his mouth to taste the topping and put it back in the serving dish. Employee thought it was hilarious...I literally walked behind the buffet counter to remove the spoon and tray and expressed how disgusting it was that he wasn’t even going to remove the item from the topping station even though a kid just slobbered in it. Needed some credit adjustments on my folio for some refunds I was owed...spent 4 days trying to get that done and still not resolved and I’m already back home. Food wasn’t great. We grew tired of the staff continuously trying to force specialty restaurants and other up charge items to us. All they cared about was selling and selling. In addition, we also grew Tired of the staff trying to make us give them perfect 10s on the guest satisfaction survey so their respective departments won’t get in trouble. In April, I received an email that one of the ship’s engines wasn’t working so the itinerary was adjusted. Sailing was just this past week in August. We spent more time at sea than we did in ports. The ship was moving at a snail’s pace but when it needed to pick up speed to get to the next port all of a sudden the boat picked up speed with enough time to get to destination. At 10:30 pm Saturday night, we were almost back in fort lauderale so all this of “an engine not working and needing to adjust the itinerary for more time to get to ports” is a lie. Overall, very disappointed in Royal. I’ve been on 15+ cruises on many different cruise lines and Royal ranks near the bottom of my experiences. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I have been on 85 cruises and I wanted to try a mega ship. What a mistake. From the moment I booked this cruise I felt like I was being hustled. I received emails informing me that I had to book my dinner reservations I had to book all ... Read More
I have been on 85 cruises and I wanted to try a mega ship. What a mistake. From the moment I booked this cruise I felt like I was being hustled. I received emails informing me that I had to book my dinner reservations I had to book all my shows and I was given very unpleasant times with no choice in the matter . I also received several emails asking me to upgrade buying dining packages eating at restaurants and buying beverage packages and they just kept coming. Even at this early stage if I wouldn’t of paid in full I would’ve canceled the ship as I did read reviews and they weren’t very good. First of all the food is cold and second rate food they do not have good quality meat, fish chicken or pork. Everything is overcooked dry and tough. Most of them hidden with batter. When eating your dinner they come along and try and sell you a package to eat in their 12 private restaurants with no regard whether you’re eating or not. They hustle drink packages all along the boardwalk and every entrance throughout the ship. This ship should be renamed hustler of the seas. We joined the spa to use the steam room and they even added an 18% tip on top of that just to use the steam room and only 4 lounge chairs for 6500 people ruin the spa. We have never witnessed so many unhappy and dissatisfied passengers on any ship as this one. This ship has zero security they all hide. This ship is geared for mainly miss behaved children. We were in room 10 612 and it was very small for a balcony room but we had a great room steward. The drinks on the ship cost more than any other ship we’ve been on. We purchased a martini and a Cosmo and that bill was $31 for those two drinks. We were not interested in the drink package as people were complaining there was no liquor in their drinks. The shows were OK. The wipeout café is the only restaurant where you can get a omelette made. The wind jammer has repetitive food every day and some of it’s left over from last nights dinner. The solarium restaurant was nice but repetitive food again also cold. There is hardly enough entertainment and when there is they have five things going on at the same time. We were told that between passengers and crew there over 9000 people on board. It did not feel like a cruise it felt like a floating mall full of used car salesman. The staff is friendly but they’re trying to sell on a nonstop basis. On formal night I was in my tuxedo and next to me was a man with his T-shirt shorts and flip-flops eating dinner and that was acceptable on that ship. If you like to cruise for the art of cruising stay away from this ship you will definitely regret it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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