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1,106 Royal Caribbean Port Canaveral (Orlando) Cruise Reviews

We just got off Mariner today after a wonderful 7 days.  It was my husband and I who are both in our 30s.  As background, we’ve been on a variety of cruises together, most recently on Brilliance last December.  We were really ... Read More
We just got off Mariner today after a wonderful 7 days.  It was my husband and I who are both in our 30s.  As background, we’ve been on a variety of cruises together, most recently on Brilliance last December.  We were really excited to try Mariner and to go to Perfect Day and it did not disappoint! We had the drink package and the unlimited dining package.  We did not get the internet package as we like to disconnect when we are on a cruise!  We were in a balcony room forward on deck 6.  The room is definitely dated and I wish it had been updated in the dry dock but it was just fine.  We were in a connecting stateroom—somewhat by mistake when trying to figure out a room to stay in for the B2B.  We were lucky with our neighbors on that side but the walls are definitely thin.  The bed was hard, but it didn’t bother me.  If you’re used to soft, pillowy mattresses you will not like this bed at all. There was more storage than I expected in the room.  We watched tons of packing videos this time and if anyone’s interested in tips I found to be useful and others that weren’t so necessary, let me know.  The location of our room was awesome.  We were so close to the promenade and an easy elevator ride up to the solarium.   I was somewhat surprised how easy elevators were to come by.  They seemed to be programmed well and aside for one or two times, we never had any issues getting a pretty much empty elevator.  The ship in general didn’t feel too crowded to me except for one of the breakfasts in the windjammer and the promenade when an event was going on.   We LOVED the bamboo room.  We spent most of our time there and the bartenders were amazing there.  We loved trying all the fun drinks there and it’s just a fun place.  We were super surprised that it was often completely empty.  Not sure why more people didn’t hang out in there—there are nice tables and the bar but even in the evenings, it was hardly ever busy.   Having the dining package was definitely a nice addition.  We paid $75 for the 3 night and $99 for the 4 night.  The whole process was much smoother on this cruise than it was last year on Brilliance.  I imagine they’ve worked out more of the details since then.  We ate at Chops (more on that below), Izumi (awesome), Playmakers (ehhh not bad but not great), Johnny Rockets (same as always), and Jamies.   We went to Izumi twice and enjoyed it both days—the second time was better but honestly we loved both times.  It was included in the package and they let us get the two meats option included—and we could mix and match.   Jamies was wonderful!  We had only been on ships with Giovannis before so Jamies was new for us.  We LOVED it.  Ask for Lenin, if you can.  He was amazing and our meals there with him were some of the best parts of our trip. We heard multiple other people comment on how great he was too.   Perfect Day at Coco Cay was everything I had hoped it would be.  The food at Snack Shack was just as delicious as everyone had said (mmm that chicken sandwich).  There were way more bars than the map showed so it was always easy to get a drink.  The floating bar was kind of hard to find and it was super busy on the first day we were there in the afternoon (when we finally found it).  The bamboo room bartenders man the floating bar so we went and had a good time with our favorite bartender.  I can’t wait to see everything once the construction walls are down.   It was really windy when we were there so they wouldn’t let us put umbrellas up where we were on chill island.  That was somewhat disappointing because I like sun but my husband likes shade—it was difficult to find a spot that worked for us both without umbrellas. We had some gift certificates and OBC for our second cruise so we decided to book a beach bed for that day.  We were able to pick which one we wanted (from the ones we had left).  The “south beach” ones were in a MUCH better location and only two rows deep. On board they were $199 when booking on board which is the same as they had been in the cruise planner for the last couple months.  Before that, they were $150 but I wasn’t sure we’d want one and I wanted to use the birthday gift certificates I got for it and couldn’t do that ahead of time.  I have a hard time saying whether or not to get a bed because if we had booked and been stuck in the other location, it would not have been the same experience.  BUT as it was, we LOVED it.  We were close to everything, it was nice space without other people, it was great shade and it was just nice and peaceful and wonderful.   Some slight negatives:  The room didn’t cool down enough—I’d read about this ahead of time so it wasn’t surprising and while occasionally we would feel cool, there were multiple times where we felt like it was uncomfortably warm.  Chops—we’ve been to Chops multiple times on other ships and have always loved it.  It was a big disappointment on this ship.  We had it for lunch on boarding day and just discounted it as being busy on embarkation day.  Then we went back for lunch on our second embarkation day and it was MUCH better.  Unfortunately we then went back for dinner and it was just bad.  The steak was not good, the bacon was not good, pretty sure the fries were the same ones from the windjammer, my baked potato was cold and the toppings came like 5 minutes after the food.  Both of us felt like had we paid full price for it, we would have been very upset.  If this had been my first time at Chops, I would have never gone back.  Generally just disappointing.   Smoke from the casino was incredibly annoying.  We normally like to hang out at the schooner bar on past cruises but we didn’t get more than 1 drink there this time because the smoke was overwhelming.  Same with Boleros.  The smoke also came up onto the promenade because they have the opening up to it.  It was much worse than I had read about and we were pretty disappointed that both bars that have a lot of live music were unusable for us because of the smoke.    Overall, we would definitely go back on Mariner. These short cruises on a nice ship out of Port Canaveral are great and we LOVED Perfect Day.  Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Traveled with a large group. Embarkation was smooth. On the ship immediately at the time scheduled. Cabin very nice. Balcony was a bit dirty, but overall fine. Never met our cabin steward which may be the first time ever. Pool ... Read More
Traveled with a large group. Embarkation was smooth. On the ship immediately at the time scheduled. Cabin very nice. Balcony was a bit dirty, but overall fine. Never met our cabin steward which may be the first time ever. Pool bar service excellent. Plenty of staff. Other bars were lacking in service. Bamboo room terrible. Pub terrible. Dining room food not very good. Service was ok. Windjammer food not very good. Service good. Hot dogs on deck were good. Room service was good. Coco Cay very nice with very good service. Plenty of food options. I liked the morning drink station in Windjammer where they had blood mary, mimosas, and other drinks available. Guest services counter was very helpful and well staffed. The amount of staff was a common theme throughout except for a few of the bars at night where staff was light. Nice ship overall with plenty of staff. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My wife and I were off on our 22nd cruise. We have achieved Diamond Status with Royal Caribbean(RCL) quickly working our way towards Diamond Plus (It will happen sometime in 2020). We were traveling with another couple who also are ... Read More
My wife and I were off on our 22nd cruise. We have achieved Diamond Status with Royal Caribbean(RCL) quickly working our way towards Diamond Plus (It will happen sometime in 2020). We were traveling with another couple who also are Diamond members and arrived separately. We arrived at the cruise Terminal at Cape Canaveral and was immediately impressed with RCL’s Harmony of the Seas. We have been on two other Oasis Class Chips (Oasis & Allure) so this was our first time on Harmony. Because of somethings we experienced I am going to grade the ship in three Categories (Good, Bad, Ugly). For this cruise we had prepaid gratuities and one specialty dining experience THE GOOD (Which can be considered EXCELLENT too!) Check-in at Cape Canaveral was the best we EVER experienced. It was painless and the staff at the terminal was amazing. They moved over 6,000 people through the terminal like a hot knife through butter. Everything was laid out and marked clearly. Staff moved people to keep everything flowing smoothly. The Ship. Simply amazing. RCL figured out how to improve upon placement of entertainment venue’s, improved the Boardwalk and Central Park areas, sports deck and food eateries to allow a freer flow of patrons around the ship better than Oasis and Allure. The rides (Abyss, and perfect storm waterslides) were exceptional and added to the experience. We had an ocean view balcony room (#8308) our Stateroom Attendant Archie was exceptional. The nicest happiest attendant we have had to date. Our room was spotless daily. He made the trip better and want to recognize him for the days he took care of us. Archie definitely earned the additional tip we gave him. We used Mytime Dining on the 3rd Floor. Our waiter Lamba and assistant waiter Shabham provided the best service we EVER have had on a Royal Caribbean Ship. Using the word impressive doesn’t come close to describe how these two men served us. Details and meals were explained. The way we were served was flawless. A huge thank you to both of these fine professionals. Additionally, our Head Waiter Mike was equally exceptional. This is the first time on any cruise the head waiter took an active interest daily in what was happening on the floor in the dining area that I have observed. All of these professionals made our experience in their dining facility a positive one. Finally, the food was also very good. Prepared perfectly every time. All three earned the extra Tips we gave them and we were happy to reward them for exceptional service. Entertainment. Grease was well done. The Ice professionals did a production show and then did their own show which they made up themselves. The talent on the ice rink was incredible. Simply amazing stuff to watch. They were the best shows we have seen on any RCL cruise ship with an ice rink. The diving show had both good and bad things associated with it. The good parts were the incredible diving and acrobatic skills which these professionals showed. At times, the show was sensational. But, there was a very strange twirling component to the show. it is a bit much to have the twirling going on for some 5 plus minutes before the rest of the show starts. The food on the promenade was excellent and available at all times. The service was excellent as well! The embarkation process of leaving the ship was equally amazing. We just walked off the ship with our luggage. With the exception of cruisers not having their cruise passes with them to get off the ship plugging up a line for a few minutes, it was a great process (more on this later). The weather stopped the Welcome back party from happening on day 3. Instead of putting on a lame show, they actually rescheduled it. THE BAD (Think of it as areas of opportunity to improve things on this ship) The endless barrage of selling drink, food, and vitality packages while you are trying to relax is more than a turn off. At every turn there is someone with a laminated card with a special amazing price to try and extract it from you. We went to Chops for dinner and WAITED FOR 30 plus minutes to get served. The waiter was clearly overburdened and we had to beg him to come and take an order from him. I guess all that overselling has a price when you understaff. The food while quite excellent put a dent into activities which we had booked in advance. We were lucky to see a few shows later in the week, but if you are going to sell a premium service, it should be flawless – like our dining room experience. The amount of wine poured in a glass is pretty pathetic for a single pour. For the prices charged, at least a 6 oz pour should happen. I have never seen such skimpy pouring on all of the cruises I have been on. Those MBA’s at RCL mush be really trying to find ways to squeeze everything out of their guests. I would suggest the cheapness is a bit over the top. The Diamond Lounge (4TH floor). The Diamond lounge was overflowing. There were over 800 diamond and diamond plus members on board – half of the ship was crown and anchor members. The room was packed so they opened up the jazz club next to it which could maybe hold a total of 100 guests. (See a problem here?) RCL made rules for their royal members and is failing miserably in taking care of its “loyal members”. There was a large singles group on board. They occupied Dazzles Lounge which is across from the Diamond Lounge. Of course, the singles group were potentially paying more for the cruise so the staff’s ability to serve was significantly compromised. The little laminated cards depicting Diamond lounge and drink hours said 4:30 to 8:00. The service on this ship was the worst we EVER had thus far on a ship. We experienced once on allure last year, but this was worse. Gavin our host tried his best, but if you don’t have available staff under your control because they are elsewhere serving people is a bit difficult. Once again, the CHEAPNESS IS A BIT OVER THE TOP on how diamond guests and above are treated on board. – With the exception of Pinnacle members, treating your top loyal guests as steerage could become an earnings nightmare for shareholders if your guests decide to go elsewhere. The design of the Windjammer (number of sinks before you enter to wash your hands) is a design flaw. It was disappointing to find out you had to pay if you wanted to have an escape room experience. More MBA cheapness on behalf of RCL. Room service. We never ever had a problem with it until we sailed on the Harmony. The story goes like this. We put our request out as we normally do indicating what we wanted and the time window we wanted it (830 to 9:00am). After waiting until 9:15am we called and couldn’t get through and we wound up leaving the room at 9:20am for breakfast. We then heard from the head of Room Service, he apologized and said they were busy and had some problems. He then put in an order for us the next day for the same time (830to900). Later that day we made other breakfast plans and I called to cancel the room order for the next day. The next day comes and we receive a call at 7:20 saying breakfast is on its way. Then the next morning we got a knock on the door at 8:20am with a breakfast order from 2 days ago. You just can’t make this stuff up! RCL has done a great job at describing their rides and certain situations on how to ride them so they will be safe. But like other cruise ships people’s behaviors on how they use the elevators or how they use other public areas should also be addressed. Make a video on how people need to behave when exiting or entering an elevator should be a top priority or a restroom for that matter. While most people are nice, a small percentage have no clue on how poor their behavior towards others is and could effectively be mitigated if educational videos on the subject are shown. Finally, the Cruise Compass needs another look. Yes, it is a big ship and yes there is a lot going on. But it should be done by time of day. Keep it simple, too many attempts to organize activities by type and time. The gym needs to have fans. It is a great facility, but the air movement is lacking. Smoking on the ship needs to be confined to deck 15 or 16. You smell smoke in the gym and other places - if you want your patrons to live, keep 2nd hand smoke out of their lungs. Perfect Day is quite something, but paying for some things that should be included in the base price of the trip should be the norm and not exception. THE UGLY: If people are admitted into the Coastal Kitchen and are told they have access to it by administrative staff in error, there should be a protocol or policy in place so that the patron(s) in question is/are not treated like feces. In this instance, the guests (in a junior suite) were told 3 times (by an administrative officer) they could have access to the Coastal Kitchen for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. While in the Coastal Kitchen things got ugly. Instead of the staff saying there appears to be a mistake, please stay for your meal, however you can only have access to this area for dinner as our policy was not stated to you correctly. To throw someone out of an area – particularly in an exclusive dining area is beyond tacky. It is more than low. It does not matter what level the Crown and Anchor member is – as every captain has said that our loyal patrons are what matters most, we don’t get paid if you are not happy. The congestion at the diamond lounge should NEVER happen. A promise is something which should never be reneged on. Corporate profit at RCL just allowed for an increase in dividend for Share Holders. It doesn’t happen if folks loyal to royal decide to go elsewhere. If Oasis and Allure could figure it out, why can’t Harmony? RCL has plenty of opportunity to fix things. But even with all the not so good, we are still looking forward to the next time. Hopefully things will be fixed then. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I traveled recently with my 2 adult sons, daughter in law, & 3 grand kids between the ages of 3-8. Coco Cay was so much better than when we visited there 2 years ago. Lots of free activities, variety of food and plenty of chairs and ... Read More
I traveled recently with my 2 adult sons, daughter in law, & 3 grand kids between the ages of 3-8. Coco Cay was so much better than when we visited there 2 years ago. Lots of free activities, variety of food and plenty of chairs and umbrellas throughout the property. It was hard to do all the onboard activities but at least one in our group did the flow rider, Escape Room (super hard but we got out with 17 mins to spare!), Sky Pad and rock climbing. No time for a family putt putt golf tournament. We did see the great ice skating show but did not get on the ice ourselves. Also enjoyed the singing and dancing production but not sure we understood the theme. Found the MDR food better than on past cruises but the breakfast we had there one morning left us all underwhelmed. Dinner was much better. Only ate in the Windjammer for breakfast which was fine. Liked the updated look - booths for large groups, community tables and bright colors throughout. The ship itself looked great and no complaints with decor or cleanliness. I had 2 complaints. The first had to do with a ring purchase I made the last night of the cruise. The ring needed to be sized and I was told I only had to call Le Vian and they would handle everything. That was totally not the case. After several calls (Le Vian, after cruise support and Starboard Cruise Services) once I got home I found that I have to send the ring back to a company that handles jewelry purchases for multiple cruise ships. No cost to me but takes 8-10 weeks for me to receive to receive the ring back. The sales clerk on the ship was totally in the dark on the process to get a ring sized. My other complaint was how long it took to get off the ship. They must have put some process in place since I sailed last year to check seapass cards as you get off to make sure you paid your onboard account. The line we got in only had one checker. Another line had 2. This added over 30 minutes to us getting off-just standing in line. Getting on was also slower than I am used to. Mostly going through security. Not sure why so slow this time. Would definitely sail on Mariner again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Embarkation and Disembarkation were very smooth and quick, no issues there. My wife and I have now done 4 RC cruises. There were 9 of us on the cruise and overall the ship was fine. We loved the RC app to find and book activities on the ... Read More
Embarkation and Disembarkation were very smooth and quick, no issues there. My wife and I have now done 4 RC cruises. There were 9 of us on the cruise and overall the ship was fine. We loved the RC app to find and book activities on the ship. You can also add activities to a calendar to keep track. The only issue with the app is the chat feature which i found not useful at all. Half of us were not connected, there were no pop ups on your phone when someone was trying to chat, etc. I would say that the ship was beautiful and had allot to offer as far as activities and excursions. There were a TON of kids on this boat I am guessing it was fall break so that was a little challenging at times. The elevators were packed out and the best option was to walk the stairs. The food was all great I thought. We did Coco Cay, St. Thomas and St. Marteen. Coco Cay was beautiful and the food was amazing. Our kids did the water park pass and loved it. We did a catamaran trip to St. Johns from St. Thomas. The snorkeling over there on the reef was great. At St. Marteen we just took a water taxi from the port to the beach across the way. We rented 2 chairs with 5 drinks for $25-not a bad deal. I still think the drinks are WAY overpriced. We did not do the drink package and I believe we came out ahead by not doing this. They should offer some different kind of drink packages rather than all you can drink. Maybe like a 4-5 drink a day package or something. The DR service was great along with the food. We did not go to the DR every night as we went to the hibachi, pizza and snack places the other nights. The hibachi is well worth the $45 pp charge! They give you more than enough food and the entertainment is well worth the price. There were a couple bars-one on the central park deck and the other on the pool deck where the service was very poor. Overall the service was good, but not as good as on previous RC cruises. Our room attendant was not very interactive with us and did not do the towel animals every night. Allot of the employees seemed overworked and cranky. We just didnt think it matched up to previous cruises. I would probably do another smaller ship next time. The Grease show was good, but NOT child appropriate. The Fine Line show was top of the list and MUST SEE. We skipped the Columbus show and some went to the ice show as said it was good. It was good to see the second largest ship in the world but probably not again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Generally: The entire family (us, our kids, and our grandkids) agreed a couple years ago to book this cruise. So with the 12 of us we boarded (quite quickly and without delay) the Harmony of the Seas finally this past week. It is still ... Read More
Generally: The entire family (us, our kids, and our grandkids) agreed a couple years ago to book this cruise. So with the 12 of us we boarded (quite quickly and without delay) the Harmony of the Seas finally this past week. It is still a new ship, and it is ENORMOUS. I prefer a smaller ship for cruising but this was the best thing for our large group of varying ages. The trip was overall fantastic. There are lots of activities for adults *and* for the kids. I was very skeptical of the child care on a cruise ship, but the grandkids LOVED it. There is a lot of food to suit most tastes. The windjammer buffet is super clean and well stocked. The Main Dining Room Staff adjusted quickly to our request for a large table that our travel agent hadn't passed through AND accommodated the couple of dietary issues my family has with ease. My cabin was clean, everything worked in there, and it was surprisingly large (interior balcony). Cabin steward was fantastic. Nice bonus was the USB charging outlets. By the way, getting OFF the ship was surprisingly fast and efficient as well at the end of the cruise. The REALLY Good: Now, for what really stood out to my daughter and I. The PADI dive shop staff on this ship is FANTASTIC. We had always wanted to learn to scuba dive (Open Water course). We decided to do it on this trip. Having done the 'book work' before boarding, we received *excellent* instruction on board. Francois is the dive instructor on this boat. He works alongside Kelly who is ALSO fantastic and helped us on occasion, but this was Francois' week to teach/dive so he was our lead instructor. Francois is the real deal, having been a commercial diver as well. He takes diving seriously (in a fun way), and makes sure everyone both feels safe and (more importantly) is safe - but he ALSO makes sure you're having fun and that you have enough freedom to LEARN. He will push you but also will slow down to work with you where needed. I highly recommend any and all excursions/activities with Francois and/or Kelly in the PADI dive shop. It's up on 15. Go there. You won't be sorry. Special mention also to 150 Central Park restaurant which is just fantastic chef-inspired food and drink. Well worth the upcharge for the service staff alone, but the food is also mindblowingly good. Entertainment not to miss: Grease. Comedy. Columbus was also pretty funny/good. Things to skip: The ice show is a mess, though the little kids loved it. Also, the elevators are overcrowded and slow. All in all, highly recommended. Did I mention I really think highly of the PADI DIVE SHOP yet? :-) Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This is a fun, affordable, fast cruise for a long weekend. this ship was a miniature version of the Independence of The Seas. I love the Promenade in this style of ship. The pools were a little less warm that I like. I was pretty clear ... Read More
This is a fun, affordable, fast cruise for a long weekend. this ship was a miniature version of the Independence of The Seas. I love the Promenade in this style of ship. The pools were a little less warm that I like. I was pretty clear they weren't heated but it didn't matter too much because there wasn't too much free time. I had "The Key" but would not say it was needed on this sailing at all. The initial lunch at Chops (which for some reason was in the main dinning hall) was not as good as a regular meal at chops but okay. The internet was good service. The shows did have reserved seats for "The Key" but they didn't fill up so there was no need. The whole ship, including the rooms, were clean and remodeled recently so it was a nice experience. The art auction, like on every ship, was fun but NEVER BUY ANYTHING! just google the reviews before you sail, but still fun to watch. Food was just average, and I only got the "refreshment" drink package this trip. My thinking was that I could bring 2 bottles of wine and this was only a 3 night trip... 2 adults had plenty of space in the balcony room but we did fight over plugs at times. All in all, its a great way to take a cheap cruise on a long weekend but it is not anywhere close to the caliber of the Quantum class or Oasis class ships. Facial recognition at the port is so much nicer than customs! I seldom get off the ship in Nassau but we did the Essential Nassau Bus Tour and had a nice time. This port is really not a great stop but you cant beat the price. As always, Perfect Day at CoCo Cay was amazing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was my 2nd time on Harmony (1st time was Nov 16'), and it was as good as I remembered the 1st time when it was a fairly new ship! Embarkation - smooth and quick, literally from curb to ship in less than 10 minutes. Keep in ... Read More
This was my 2nd time on Harmony (1st time was Nov 16'), and it was as good as I remembered the 1st time when it was a fairly new ship! Embarkation - smooth and quick, literally from curb to ship in less than 10 minutes. Keep in mind we were prepared with "Set Sail Pass" after completing online chick in, and passports! Ship - as amazing as it was 3 yrs earlier! Great décor, very neat, and flow was as good as I recalled. I have been on 3 of 4 Oasis class, and outside of first day (which is normal on all ships), it never seems like a ship with a few thousand onboard! Cabin - beautiful, and very spacious, with plenty of space to get situated for 7 days. My lady and I put away 4 full large suitcases worth of clothes, shoes, and toiletries, then easily hid the empty cases under bed.....comfortable as always! Balcony is a descent size, not too big and not to small. Food - Very good, not excellent!! Overall meals were good. Options were good, in either MDR or buffet/walk thru eating options. The only 2 complaints I have are; 1 the fact on this ship they seem to have less amount of omelet stations (only in MDR and Mini Bites on 15th floor) 2 MDR does not have many options as far as a "starch" (non-meat/vegetables). It seemed all my dinners had mash potatoes, to be fair I don't eat sea food. Entertainment - Very good!!! Grease, "1887" ice skate show, & "Fine Line" aqua show are all a must. All the other entertainment really depends, "Columbus" is really good, but headliner event varies! Activies - Excellent. Between the slides, zip-line, Flow-Rider, Ice skating, Mini-Golf, rock climbing walls, etc....there is almost too much!! Then you add cruise staff activities at the pool, promenade, theaters, etc.....Plenty of fun!!! Service - Excellent as always!! MDR staff were exceptional. Tidar & Ljubo were amazing, my lady and I wish we knew which ship they were gonna be on next so we could request them!!! Ports/ Excursions - Labadee is a favorite!! Old San Juan was nice but hours @ port were bad (2pm-9pm). Very nice to be steps away literally, from OSJ area. St. Maarten beautiful as always. We had great weather, so that helps! Overall I'd definitely go again, even if same itinerary, although prefer more ports, than 3 on a 7 day. If you have this many "sea" days this is a good ship for it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Great ship that never really felt crowded and has plenty to do. We brought our two teenage boys. Staff was very friendly and the food was slightly above average. Not as good as an Celebrity Cruise but equal to Norwegian. Cabin - we ... Read More
Great ship that never really felt crowded and has plenty to do. We brought our two teenage boys. Staff was very friendly and the food was slightly above average. Not as good as an Celebrity Cruise but equal to Norwegian. Cabin - we had a 14th floor balcony. I felt the balcony was nice but not worth much since we rarely used it. Clean and well laid out. Entertainment - the entertainment was a large step up from prior cruises and we greatly enjoyed all shows. We felt it was a little better than Disney (of course we had no little kids) and way better than Norwegian. The Key - this is a waste of money. Two meals are nothing special. Special hours at activities are very limited and at odd times making them inconvenient. Never used the early off boarding since we were on excursions. VIP seating was very limited and we ended sitting in regular seats anyhow. I suggest just buying the internet separately and saving the money for some drinks. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this Cruise through Becky's Travel which is an awesome travel agency in Beverly Hills, Fl. We sailed out of Port Canaveral, Fl, There were 14 of us and had a great time, we celebrated a friends 70th Birthday which turned out ... Read More
We chose this Cruise through Becky's Travel which is an awesome travel agency in Beverly Hills, Fl. We sailed out of Port Canaveral, Fl, There were 14 of us and had a great time, we celebrated a friends 70th Birthday which turned out great. The ship was recently refurbished and nicely appointed. The dining room food on RCCL has diminished over the years and I believe its in order to entice people to buy a "Dining Package" The individual drink price is astronomical and I also believe its so people buy the Drink package, a normal Vodka and Tonic with lime is $14.99 which includes an automatic 18% gratuity, this gratuity is also applied at the Specialty Restaurants. We chose Chops and Izumi as Specialty meals, Chops left a lot to be desired compared to our Chops visit on the Radiance in February 2019 which was awesome. The Izumi Teppanyaki experience was exceptional, we would do it again. I am somewhat frustrated with RCCL's Crown and Anchor society, With this Cruise we reached 54 points only 1 away from Emerald status which increases perks and discounts, we signed up at Nextcruise for a 10 day European cruise in June 2020 and RCCL wouldn't give us that 1 extra point even after our first night of the new cruise, other cruise lines do. I met with the C&A director "Marcos" on the Mariner and he basically just shut me down and said, You only get the points after completing the entire cruise, he tried around and ignored me after that and left me hanging, Sad but true. 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
First, I was a single traveler on this trip. My wife had girls outing in the Lake of the Ozark so I decide to travel alone. I learned a lot about traveling alone. There are no perks for being a single traveler and what there is, is ... Read More
First, I was a single traveler on this trip. My wife had girls outing in the Lake of the Ozark so I decide to travel alone. I learned a lot about traveling alone. There are no perks for being a single traveler and what there is, is based on double occupancy. The only benefit is my drink package was based on one traveler and two. I would really think hard about booking a single cruise with Royal Caribbean again, This cruise turned out to be a humanity cruise and not a pleasure cruise. Due to the massive destruction in the Bahama, Mariner of the Sea changed it sailing itinerary and we lost our day at sea. The original itinerary was leave Port Canaveral, day at sea, Nassau, then Coco Cay. What we got was Port Canaveral, Freeport, Nassau where we spent overnight and two days then we went to Coco Cay. The reason why was, Mariner stopped at Freeport and dropped off several thousand of meals and supplies and then loaded several hundred refuges and then we went directly to Nassau to allow the refuges to disembark there. I like to commend Royal Caribbean on there efforts in helping the victims of the hurricane. My only complaint is no one knew about the changes until 30 minutes before departure. My travel agent got the memo after we left. I miss my day at sea, to me this is very peaceful but giving the big picture I understand. By the way, all of the refuges were restricted to the auditorium and was not allowed to mingle with the passengers. The refuges were taken care of. I enjoyed the Mariner of the Sea and this is the third trip on her. The staff were great and my room attended went above and beyond what he was required to do. He later received a nice reward. The food is still the same and there was not changes there. I had to laugh, when I went into the Windjammer and one of the staff I have seen before was not singing “Please wash your hands”. He recognized me and we had a good laugh when he pointed to his guitar and said that he needed a break. If you have ever traveled on the Mariner of the Seas you will know what I am talking about. The jingle is one of those songs that plague your mind and you keep repeating if over and over almost as bad as Disney “it’s a small world”. Despite the changes I am booking another cruise I just hope I get my day at sea. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Thanks to Hurricane Dorian, what was suppose to be a seven night trip to St Maarten, St Thomas, and Coco Cay turned into a three night journey to Nassau. We were very grateful to be able to board the Harmony at all, since the date of ... Read More
Thanks to Hurricane Dorian, what was suppose to be a seven night trip to St Maarten, St Thomas, and Coco Cay turned into a three night journey to Nassau. We were very grateful to be able to board the Harmony at all, since the date of embarkation had to be moved forward twice due to the storm and the closure of the port. The loss of life and destruction endured by the islands that were hit by Dorian weighed heavily on our minds throughout the trip. Day One Orlando The port reopened on Wednesday, the day we flew into Orlando (after rescheduling our flight twice). We stayed at the nearby Courtyard and took the shuttle back to the airport on Thursday. We were transferred to the port by Go Port, which had a wonderful staff updating their website with information regarding the port closure, reopening, and information on their shuttles. Unfortunately, I had booked the airport to port in advance, and gave updates to customer service regarding our new projected dates of embarkation. When we arrived to board the bus to the port, our reservation wasn’t showing up. The customer service reps at the airport counter told us to call customer service for help. Ok. We did, and that rep said that she had thought we had been taken to the port already the previous day. Really? The port was not even open in the morning, and no ships were coming in because the port staff needed time on Wednesday to inspect the port thoroughly before reopening. Finally we had the customer service person on the phone fix our reservation so that the customer service people at the counter who were waiting for her to do something for us, at last gave us tickets for the bus. My advice: just buy your ticket at the counter when you arrive- much simpler. We were checked in at the port by a gentleman using a handheld device who was helping out people before they made their way to the Royal customer service reps behind the counters. DH and I then went to the last check point before we were to move on to take the requisite boarding photo. I was stopped and taken aside when the lady checking her handheld device noticed that my name had been written as gibberish. She took me over to the area where they were helping passengers with problems. After ten to fifteen minutes of waiting, she handed me a card for my cabin door and told me to throw away the card that I would find on the cabin door since my name on the card she said would have that gibberish written on it. When we got to the cabin, the cards there had our names printed correctly. The guy with the handheld device had obviously written nonsense instead of my name- he should have been questioned instead of having the extra card printed. Oh, well. Other than that, embarkation was smooth. Day Two Nassau Nassau was spared from the hurricane. We walked around the shops and stopped at Señor Frog's. DH and I had visited Nassau on our honeymoon when instead of high end shops, I remember lots of tables and people hocking their wares in a flea market atmosphere. Much has changed since then- there was even a Diamonds International shop. Day Three At Sea This was our only sea day. A last chance to see the rest of the shows and try different venues for meals and snacks before time ran out. Sea days are usually the most relaxing, but with only three nights to enjoy the ship, there was no time to stop to rest. Our take on Harmony Harmony is a big, beautiful, overwhelming ship. We had a balcony cabin which had a double wide balcony due to not having a cabin immediately next door. Loved it! Very few of the cabins have this feature. We had dinner at Johnny Rockets the first night and tried breakfast there the next morning (underwhelming). The “sourdough” bread is probably Wonder bread. I don’t recommend the grilled cheese. On our sea day ,we failed to make a lunch reservation in advance, so we were turned away at Jaime’s and settled for Sabor which was very good. We went to the dining room one night on the only formal night. At the table next to us sat a guy in shorts, tank top, and flip flops. Oh, well. The Windjammer continues to improve in quality at the expense of the dining room. Loved the cakes and other wonderful delights served in Windjammer. All of the people in the Windjammer especially were friendly and bent over backwards to make sure that you enjoyed your meal. Sorrento’s Pizza was very good. Final Thoughts DH and I regret that we never got a chance to dine under the stars in the Solarium Bistro. All of our reservations were wiped clean at the start of our cruise due to the change in itinerary, sail date, and the addition of guests from a canceled cruise who joined us. We didn’t try to make a new reservation with such a limited amount of time onboard, but hope to dine there on another ship in the future. I bought a day pass to the thermal spa and enjoyed it. Only a few stations: steam, showers, sauna, and tiled chairs, with no ocean view. It was relaxing, nevertheless. All of this left us exhausted, made worse by the nightly noise we heard outside our cabin in Central Park. As opposed to the Broad Walk cabins, those in Central Park are suppose to be quieter, however, passengers walking through the park, or sitting around, literally yelled at each other instead of speaking in a normal tone, as late as one in the morning. Having security walk through the ship each night to make sure passengers are not disturbing the peace would no doubt be appreciated by those passengers who wanted a good night’s sleep. Due to the hurricane, many people canceled. The ship carried only 3077 passengers despite having some from a canceled cruise join us. The sign at Guest Services at the time of embarkation stated that the cruise was sold out and that no cabins were available. Obviously they were overwhelmed with various problems and didn’t have the time to try to upgrade people. There was always a line at Guest Services, not surprising since this was not a typical cruise. Our Cruise Critic get-together was under the required 25, and did not last long. Only a few people talked- mostly with complaints as to why we couldn’t go to Coco Cay, for example- (we could not go there because it was still closed pending an inspection in order to assess any damage). Many thanks to Royal for going through with the event despite the low turn-out. We managed to see six shows while we were onboard- both aqua shows, both ice shows, and both stage productions: Grease and Columbus. As I had noted on previous cruises, passengers were less than polite when it came to showing their appreciation to the performers in the theater. Many just got up and left at the end, without taking a moment to applaud. Come on people; yes, you are on vacation, but does that give you the right to be rude? Everyone works really hard to make this cruise a great experience for you, show some love. Another observation I made was that many of my fellow passengers were down right slobs. DH and I decided to enjoy one game of mini golf- only to find the bin containing the balls empty. Did someone steal all the golf balls? No, I found them strewn about the entire course, along with discarded golf clubs, and even drink glasses. Again, you are on vacation, but do you have to be so crass? Three nights is too short a time period to enjoy a ship this large. I never got a chance to just relax- a first for me on a cruise and hopefully something that won’t happen again. I also lost my connection to the sea on this ship. There were few places to stand and just enjoy being in the middle of the ocean. Too much emphasis is placed on entertainment and the “wow” factor. If you want lots of choices in everything, this is the ship for you; if however, you want to enjoy a nightly walk under the stars listening to the ocean as you sail along, you might not enjoy traveling on a ship this large. I’m glad I finally got to experience Harmony of the Seas. Next time around, I will be traveling on a slightly smaller ship, for a longer period of time. Hopefully I will be able to reconnect with the sea and finally have time to relax. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I went on this cruise because my brother was getting married on this ship. It was mostly enjoyable. Embarkation was very easy. Did the online pre check it. Did not have to wait in line much. Keys were in the room waiting. All rooms are ... Read More
I went on this cruise because my brother was getting married on this ship. It was mostly enjoyable. Embarkation was very easy. Did the online pre check it. Did not have to wait in line much. Keys were in the room waiting. All rooms are ready at 1pm. We boarded the ship earlier, we just walked around the vessel and had quick lunch and Johnny rocket (12$ fee) The muster drill was very painful and useless. I understand no one enjoy those, but I appreciate to know what to do in emergency. My drill station was in the aqua theatre in the middle of summer outside under the sun. No one was listening the demonstration. And they had a problem with the sound, so we cannot hear anything. I don't even know where was my life jacket if something bad were to happen. I hope the ship will change that cause it is very dangerous. I have a balcony room with my husband near the middle back of the ship. The room was clean and very spacious. Very convenient for most of the places. We were on the 8th floor cannot near noises from outside public area except when passenger walked by, which is normal. BUT the room we had was a connecting room ... and the kids next door would have a crying episode everyday! And you can hear everything by the connecting door. It was awful! They should consider giving these room to people who want to have connecting rooms only!!! The ship is very big, but I find that we didn't have much public area where friends can hangout quietly. The only place that is open at all time is the cafe promenade, very small area. The windjammer (buffet) close at 8:45. It is waaaayyyyy too early. They didn't even leave a small section open for snack or getting drink. Side note the whole buffet is badly organize: One time we had to Line up to get in the windjammer.... I don't ever remember needing to line up for any buffet on cruises. Not line up to get food, line up to get in!!! Service of the crew member were mediocre. Many crew I pass by don't look happy. They are there because they have to kind of attitude in most of the crew in this ship. Even met a very grummy waiter, his name is Vincent serving in grande main dining room. No smile, didn't ask if we need anything more, always disappear, cannot find him except when he takes the order and bring the food. Very abrupt and impatient. We didn't even get to order drink. Lucky we didn't have to stay at his table. We move to Erik and Jonabell table, they were very pleasant and smiley. Patient with our order and request. They are sailing 2nd week with the ship so they are not fully familiar with everything but I appreciate them trying. Most of other crew member are not very happy "looking", one time even heard two member having a small argument in front of guest, quite unprofessional. Our room steward was very hard working kept my room very clean the whole week. Have some folding towel that makes me happy! The shows are very impressive and good. Like the aqua show and skating show. But the singing performance I didn't really like. They were very loud. Some singer sing almost every night at the promenade super loud and sometimes off key... or just sound like yelling or screaming. Maybe I just don't like loud. The guys who plays piano at the schooner bar was much more enjoyable. I had fun with the water slides and the ultimate abyss. Didn't get to the zip line and surf. Food quality is good. But they have no dessert that I enjoy. Every night is the same menu for dessert, with 2-3 new item per day. Disembarkation was very easy and fast. No line again just walk off the boat. I would for sure not choose this ship ever again, is a big ship that can hold lots of passenger with a few extra spot for activities, but badly organize and trying cut cost with things like buffet hours is awful. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We came all the way from New Zealand to come on harmony of the seas. We were not disappointed. Ship is just amazing. We personally did not find it crowded. Staff were fantastic except 1 man at guest services. Besides that really could ... Read More
We came all the way from New Zealand to come on harmony of the seas. We were not disappointed. Ship is just amazing. We personally did not find it crowded. Staff were fantastic except 1 man at guest services. Besides that really could not fault anything. We had inside cabin as doing Alaskan cruise 2 weeks later. Saved balcony for that one. Inside we were actually impressed. Size was not to bad as had smaller. We enjoyed a cafe on deck 8 it was called park cafe located in central park. We are there for breakfast and some lunches. We went to chops and grill. That was our favorite. Wonderland was good and different. Worth a try. Central 150 good to. We were not totally impressed with Izimu hibachi as had better .also we would not rave about Jamie Oliver's. Shore Excursion were good. We just think it was a great experience. Shows and the entertainment were world class. Best we seen on a cruise ship and I've done 21 cruises. Best cruise Director ever I have seen on a cruise. Dennis I'm pretty sure his name was.we would go again if lived closer.we just loved it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Port Canaveral Arrival: We live on the east side of Orlando so I time it as follows: Leave house at 12 noon, park at the new garage at the Port (85 dollars for the Monday through Friday cruise; pay as you enter via automated gate, very ... Read More
Port Canaveral Arrival: We live on the east side of Orlando so I time it as follows: Leave house at 12 noon, park at the new garage at the Port (85 dollars for the Monday through Friday cruise; pay as you enter via automated gate, very easy), get through security and walk in room at 100 pm (we roll are own luggage on). There were four of us travelling; us mid fifties and our two adult (21/24) sons. Security/Embarkation: As stated above, was parked by 1230, through security by 1245, checked in with a rep by 1255 and walked in room just as they were opening. Since Royal has numerous check in reps roaming with hand-held devices we barely stopped walking from the time we got through security and got to our rooms. Why any one would pay for the"Key" or worry about status is beyond me at check in. As long as you had your set sail pass and docs/passports in hand you get checked in at lightning speed. Seapass cards waiting at room. Rooms/Ship/First Impression: We had two balcony rooms on the "hump" port side, floor 6. Excellent location, easy access to promenade and lower decks. Ships looks great, clean; rooms are average, could use updating. Put your water, soda in cooler/fridge right away. It does not get very cold. Cabin attendant was fine; quiet fellow but was around as needed and kept ice for us in our rooms as asked (extra cash tip likely helped). Lots of pushy up-sell for dining packages, specialty restaurants at boarding. We just said a polite no and kept walking. Plus the promenade looks more like a flea market with all the t-shirts, watches and junk littering the entire area. Not appealing at all. Drinks/packages: We bought the ultimate drink packages prior to sailing; I think we paid about 48 dollars a person (was watching on-line) per day. Good thing; the price was 81 a day for the first person and then "half price" for second person if you bought day of sailing. RCCL has got to be kidding with this "half price" gimmick. Whatever. Drink package well worth it. A domestic 16 ounce beer is now 9 dollars plus 18 percent gratuity, wine 13, and it only goes up from there. You also get the soda, bottled water, etc. with package and can use it on CoCo Cay. So we were happy with the drink package. Still carried on two bottles of wine for room and soda allowance (12 pack) for room cooler. No drinks cards ever sold (4 night cruise). Muster/Sail Away: Same old same old; stand outside and sweat for 20 minutes. We got there as late as possible. Plenty of time to get topside for sail away. Lots of servers on deck. Food/Bars: Food was average at best. The MDR (used two of four nights) was half full. Service was very good. Wear whatever you want because no one cares anymore. Main courses tasted bland and "banquet" quality, mass produced. I know it's mass produced but was not as good as previous cruises. MDR breakfast was better than dinner. My favorite omelet of the week (ham/cheese) was the one that came with room service. The Wingoldjamcorraler was a buffet; feeding trough. Borderline disgusting. Not sure what was worse the people there or the food. Just a mess. Horrible coffee, and something that sort of resembled orange juice. Best part about it was the guys singing as you walked in. Pizza on promenade best we have ever had on RCCL. Sandwiches actually pretty good also. Donuts in morning stale. Decent hot dogs/brats, slaw, potato salad on pool deck. Two ice cream machines on pool deck worked great, hardly any lines. Not sure why but never, ever, once waited for a drink at any bar, including pool. Sat in solarium one day, multiple roving servers. Even at Schooner Bar, casino bar, pub, etc., all had multiple bar tenders who were beyond helpful. Even the pools never seemed crowded and we got two chairs in solarium on sea day. Playmakers is nice but never saw anyone once order any food; it was never crowded. Bamboo lounge nice also as well as Pub. Great singer in there multiple nights and no one was ever in there, had the whole place to ourselves; we love live music but all the venues seemed to be under attended for some reason. Smoking: It is an absolute joke that it is almost 2020 and there is still smoking on half the pool deck and the casino. The casino smoke escapes into most of the areas surrounding the space; it is awful. On the pool deck parents were sucking down cigarettes, sitting with there small children; horrible. Hey Royal, just stop it, now. Designate some smoking areas away from the ones that are infecting the rest of the ship. CoCo Cay: We have been CoCo Cay several times. This is such a vast improvement it is hard to describe. Great food (two big venues with incredible array of fresh Tex Mex, salads and more, snack shacks with take away burgers, chicken sandwiches, mozzarella sticks). I liked the food better here than on the ship. Go to Youtube, there are numerous great videos showcasing the Island. Remember, you do not have to pay for a thing; all the zip lines, hot air balloons, water park are optional; there are more than enough beach chairs, umbrellas for all; and we got there late morning. Lunch in the big venues goes to 330 in the afternoon; zero lines ample tables. No other cruise lines private island comes close to this. Plus your drink package follows you on island and with the permanent dock the ship will never miss the stop (which happened allot before). Dogs: No (fake) service/emotional support animals!! Yes....! Crew: Very friendly, seems like a happy crew. Much happier than our last cruise on Independence. Entertainment: Pretty good; Guy from Jersey Boys show in Vegas was great; magician was entertaining. Comic probably not right for this ship (older female; more appropriate for a Holland America crowd). Cruise director was funny; do not recall his name, is from Chile and seemed like a nice enough guy. Nassau: We booked our own private excursion (less than 8 people) on a small boat; 4 hours (two snorkeling stops, remote beach, drinks, snacks included, very reasonable price); 5 dollar a person cab ride to a small marina. Allot of you are "stay on the boat" in Nassau people; do yourself a favor and get on Tripadvisor and find some out of the way things to do. New Providence is a beautiful island and there is lots to see and do beyond the Port; friendly people and great out of the way stops if you look. We did not go this trip but Atlantis is free (hotel/lobby/aquarium) after 5 pm. All aboard was 830 pm so many times you will have the chance. Debarkation: We did self assist off. Left room at 705 am (had to be out of rooms by 8 am anyway - did not really want to do the buffet madhouse on last morning); took elevator down to four and never stopped walking. One last seapass card scan (funny, one lady got stopped by security at last scan, was told to go to guest services/not allowed to leave ship - never seen that before), walked down to Customs; exited via facial recognition/never showed passport or anything. Was in car by 725. Some of you people remember what a zoo debarks were; this is such a vast improvement it is hard to describe how easy it is now. Overall: Great four night cruise; I think the 3 night would feel rushed. Mariner is such an improvement over the last ships that did this cruise (Majesty/Enchantment/Monarch); and having been on the bigger ships than Mariner, do not think could ever go on this cruise on anything smaller than Mariner. Would give it an 8/10 rating. CoCo Cay was definite high point. Only advice I would give is shop prices early (drink packages/even cruise fare); because prices were dramatically higher closer to sailing (for cruise fare also; book as early as you can). Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Although I rated this cruise a 4, I would really give it a 4.5 as it was a great week aboard the Harmony of the Seas, but not perfect. This was also my first time booking a suite and I will never book anything other than a suite for any ... Read More
Although I rated this cruise a 4, I would really give it a 4.5 as it was a great week aboard the Harmony of the Seas, but not perfect. This was also my first time booking a suite and I will never book anything other than a suite for any future cruises. If you have the money for a suite, it is 100% worth it. EMBARKATION- Being a suite guest, you have your own entrance and get escorted to your own personal attendant. My family and I were checked in via a tablet, had our pictures taken, and were on the boat in under 10 minutes. Fantastic. I was also carrying a bit of an injury and was limping about, but was very delighted that I was offered assistance by at least 6 people making my way to the ship. MUSTER DRILL- A note on everyone's favorite muster drill. I have been on 6 cruises all on different ships and the muster drill on the Harmony of the Seas was by far the worst of all. Most of the muster stations are located on the promenade level and not even in actual locations (i.e. the Casino or MDR). They are just located in "areas" of the promenade (mine was near the bionic bar), and they cram so many people in these "areas" and they want you to watch an instructional video on 40" TVs. The video also was made to "entertain" as you are following a spy across the ship and on the mission, the spy comes across "tips" to follow in the event of an emergency. I would assume it was not very easy to follow for most and due to the noise level of all the guests around you crammed into these stations, it is not easy to hear. Knock on wood that there is never an emergency on the Harmony, because I have the feeling it would be a disorganized mess. DEBARKATION- Another suite guest perk is that you meet in the fabulous coastal kitchen at 3 pre-determined meeting times. There was breakfast or hors d'oeuvre being served by 7am and then groups are personally escorted by the concierge all the way down in a priority elevator which makes no stops to the luggage pick-up location. Probably took us 10 minutes to get off the ship. SHIP - I have also sailed on the Oasis of the Seas and if you have been on that ship, you have been on the Harmony. Sure the Harmony has a few more amenities and entertainment, but it honestly didn't feel like I was on a completely different ship. Elevators can be a problem on Embarkation and Debarkation (if not a suite guest) and immediately after shows or events as all guests filter out of them. I didn't ever feel like the ship was crowded at all, even in the pool areas on sea days (the pools are another story). I also mentioned to my wife that I didn't think the boat was anywhere near capacity either, so that could have been why. There need to be more pools or the pools need to be bigger. On sea days the pools are packed, so basically you are just standing in the water. My son likes to move around in the pool, so he didn't enjoy them as much and spent most of his time in the kids water area. I stayed away from the pools because I don't need to be in a pool with 50 people all with drinks in their hand which they are probably spilling. I'll pass. Another perk of being a suite member is that you can get towels without scanning your seapass card. Other guests must scan their seapass to get a towel and if not returned, you get charged $25. Suite gets get as many towels as needed and don't need to worry about returns (although we always returned ours). ENTERTAINMENT - Only caught two shows as we chose to relax on sea days. Did see the ice skating show 1887 which I liked, but wasn't very interesting according to the wife and son. The Line water show was great and we even ran into some of the performers on the non-performance days. KIDS CLUB - Hours are 9-12, 2-5, 7-10, and after hours which you pay $7 an hour for. My son who is 6 enjoyed the activities and was even asking us to take him on sea days! Must be good! FOOD - Suite guests get access to the coastal kitchen and to my family the Coastal Kitchen was the star of the cruise. They serve Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and hors d'oeuvre and there is a happy hour between 4:30 and 8 where select alcohol is free. Let me repeat this for all my alcohol consumers, there is FREE alcohol on a cruise ship. To me, that alone was worth having access to the Coastal Kitchen and my family had dinner there every night. It is also a more relaxing environment as there are 100x less people dining there as in the MDR. Breakfast and Lunch are your standard fare and the selection is the same everyday. But the dinner menu changes nightly and the food was very good. There was lamb, filet mignon, lobster, duck, salmon, you name it. There really was no need for us to eat in the MDR. The Coastal Kitchen was also were we met the service star of the cruise Rico. Wow, Rico was one of the best servers I have had the pleasure to meet anywhere. Knew everyone's name and beverage of choice on Day 2. Never let your glass hit empty before the next drink was on your table, gave excellent recommendations to eat. Rico is a treasure on this ship. Sorrento's - Decent "fast food" pizza. Johnny Rockets - Breakfast is free and the food is good. Serve omelettes, breakfast sandwiches, and pancakes. Windjammer - Horrible. Cold, Bland, Tough, all adjectives you don't want associated with your food. STAY AWAY! Park Cafe - Decent selection of "healthier" options like panini's, salads, pre-made sandwiches and salads. Nice eating area in Central Park Boardwalk Dog House - Pretty good dogs, that tasted fresh. I went with the Coney Island Dog with onions and sauerkraut. EXCURSIONS- Perfect Day at CocoCay was great. We were the only ship in port and as I stated earlier, I don't even think our ship was at capacity, so the island did not feel crowded at all. My family rented a cabana in the Water Park, which was very nice and convenient with a personal waiter, locker, and plenty of water as it was HOT. I was able to get on all the water slides (note that two of them get long lines the slingshot and the daredevil's peak (the tallest slide). My advice is to hit these slides right when you get off the ship or right at the end of the day or else you will be waiting in a long line. There was a storm off the island that caused the park to shutdown for about an hour, so many guests left back to the ship as Royal was refunding half day passes. My family also went up in the Hot Air Balloon which was cool, but not worth the money for the 10-15 minutes you are up there. Note for those with kids that 48" is the magic number to get on most of the slides. My son is 44" so he was limited on the slides he could get on, but he LOVED the wave pool. It was HOT, but being in the water felt great. San Juan - We did the El Yunque Natural Rainforest walking tour from El Yunque Tours which is a bit a ways from the ship. There is a 45 minute narrated bus ride to the site, where the guide gives you background on the history of Puerto Rico, the impact of the hurricane, and the El Yunque site. When you get to El Yunque, you have four stops. A brief 15 minute stop at an observation tower, which gives you great views and picture taking opportunities, a 5 minute stop at a waterfall on the side of the road to take a group photo, a stop to gear up where you are provided with backpacks, bug spray, water, snacks, umbrellas, and towels. Very high marks for the tour company for providing all these items. They say they are the "one stop shop" operation. Last stop is a good walk to a natural river pool to swim swim for about 20 minutes before heading back to the ship. High marks for Angel, Jorge, Michelle, and the owner Mike who are very knowledgeable and informed about the island. Returned to do a bit of shopping around the port. Shopping is better in Saint Maarten. St. Maarten- I did the Snuba Adventure through Snuba SXM. Great team of 3 (Sheldon, Mitch, Jonas (captain), are very laid back, but very knowledgeable. They stated that the hurricane had damaged 90% of the coral on the island and you could tell. I have done Snuba on 3 other occasions in different locations and I saw the least amount of fish in Saint Maarten. The water is nice and clear though and they have the staged helicopter and shipwreck underwater you can see. Still fun. My wife and son did the Pinel Island excursion and said they had a great time on the white sand beach. Iguanas everywhere that you can feed, my son loved that!. Did some shopping at the shops in the port area and found great deals on souvenirs, alcohol, and jewelry. Better deals than seen in San Juan for sure. Overall, the family had a great time and my son was asking if we could stay on the ship for a few more days. I have always been a fan of Royal Caribbean and we are looking to do a Mediterranean cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This ship is new and beautiful. There are a few things that I would recommend them adding and changing such as, the soda package comes with a refillable plastic cup which is nice and eco friendly but the problem I am having is there is ... Read More
This ship is new and beautiful. There are a few things that I would recommend them adding and changing such as, the soda package comes with a refillable plastic cup which is nice and eco friendly but the problem I am having is there is only about two soda machines accessible and most of the time one is closed your forced to go to the one at the pizza restaurant. Also, I would recommend longer hours for things such as food places etc. if you don't make it to dinner your stuck eating the same thing late night m, your two options are pizza or this small sandwich spot across from the pizza place thats all... on a cruise you expect there to be things like food places open for a much later time with much more options. Also, ice cream spots are very limited as well at close at 7pm so if you want some later on in the evening its not open. Now on to other things the ship itself is very nice and new we loved the ship. I do recommend more pools as it gets very packed on sea days. Staff all around has been amazing. Our house keeping lady Nancy is truly the kindest person ever!!! She always checks in with us and greets us at all times & helps us with anything we need she is amazing!!! Thank you Nancy! Your hard work is truly appreciated. For entertainment we saw the Greece show which was awesome! We also saw the Aqua show that was one awesome show as well very talented actors. Over all it was an amazing cruise with a few changes it would be the best cruise. I do recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Disney and Celebrity cruiser goes on R/C, why? I wanted to see Coco Cay. They hit a grand slam home run. We wished the ship would just sail there and dock overnight. Already looking to book our next cruise to go back. That being said, ... Read More
Disney and Celebrity cruiser goes on R/C, why? I wanted to see Coco Cay. They hit a grand slam home run. We wished the ship would just sail there and dock overnight. Already looking to book our next cruise to go back. That being said, lets talk about the cruise. Cons: The 3 nt is a party run. No one was overly rowdy but into the drink. Food service was good but a little dis-jointed and forgetful Cabins did not benefit from the recent refit but were ok, fairly much on par. Music was way too loud as were the announcements and pool deck big screen. Main production show was awful. Pros: Main dining food was above average to the point where I wouldn't feel the need to pay for specialty dining. Public spaces were tasteful and well thought out. Drink package is worth it and I wouldn't go again without buying the key. Ice show was awesome, we went twice. Did I mention Coco Cay? Way above expectations esp. the food on the island. Better than Disney's. Best embarkation I've ever had. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We booked this cruise (for my mother and me) about three weeks prior to embarkation, leaving few cabin options. We ended up in an ocean view balcony cabin, which would not have been my first choice (I usually book a Junior Suite), but it ... Read More
We booked this cruise (for my mother and me) about three weeks prior to embarkation, leaving few cabin options. We ended up in an ocean view balcony cabin, which would not have been my first choice (I usually book a Junior Suite), but it was fine -- more on that later. Embarkation was surprisingly smooth. I use a wheelchair, which always complicates matters. But we went through security quickly, then, having checked in online, the rest of the process was quick. I made my way to the area where the scooters were, and was given the option of leaving my wheelchair at the port and just taking the scooter onto the ship. This made a lot of sense (space being at a premium on board), and my mother and I boarded within a few minutes. No one took our photograph at embarkation, setting up a pattern on voyage. We boarded hand luggage in tow, and headed for the Windjammer, where we proceeded to have lunch. As per usual on embarkation day, the Windjammer was packed. As per usual for the Windjammer, lunch was uninspired. Service was good. After lunch, we made our way to our cabin (7592), and proceeded to unpack. Now, let me explain something. I packed a (European) carry-on sized Samsonite and a personal item. My mother went old-school cruise, packing what she calls a "medium" suitcase (bigger than my large suitcase) and her carry-on suitcase (larger than my carry-on). Somehow, she still complains about my packing style, because I, "Carry too much." Anyhow . . . I placed my packing cubes into a drawer in the cabin, and my formal night dresses (knit) I placed into one of the closets. I was unpacked, basically. My mother's unpacking was much more complicated, and her suitcase took up quite a bit of room in the cabin, especially given how much room the scooter took up. There was no room under the bed. Sigh. The balcony had bits of food that had not been cleaned up from a prior occupant still lying about. As to dining: We went to Chops, Izumi, and 150 Central Park (we had the 3 night specialty dining package). Chops was very good, as usual. The food was very good, as was the service. It is a solid choice (if you are a steak lover). At Izumi, we went to the sushi side. The food is excellent (obviously, you have to like sushi). However, service is on the slow side. The emphasis here seems to be on the hibachi side, and the sushi restaurant gets shortchanged. This is a real shame. They simply don't have the staff for the number of guests coming in. We had to wait to make a reservation. We had to wait (a remarkably long time) to be seated. The wait time for our food was unacceptably long (we ended up missing a reservation for a show that night). In contrast, 150 Central Park was a delight. Excellent food. Excellent service. The highlight of our cruise. I am still salivating over the pumpkin bisque. The MDR (American Icon for us) was kind of a mess this time (this was our second time on HOTS, FWIW). Very long lines in spite of reservations for dining, every single night. Disorganized waitstaff that often seemed to take exceedingly long to fulfill simple orders for things like soda and sparkling water. We missed reservations to another show due to slow service in the MDR. The Windjammer was terrible. I just will never understand. So much food there, and so much of it cold when it is supposed to be hot, completely unappetizing, and just . . . blech! One day, in despair, I asked for a cheeseburger. One of the gentlemen behind the counter rather dismissively told me there were the burgers, then pointed to the squares of cheese product. Fine. I made myself a cheeseburger. Arrived at my table, and found. that the burger, which had been sitting under heating lamps, was somehow cold and greasy. I set it aside after one bite. End of meal. We were disappointed to find that little things had changed, too: If you were dining in a specialty restaurant, there were no photographers to take your picture. The Shrek and Madagascar characters who had roamed the ship are no longer around. Bingo (one of my mother's favorite activities) was sometimes in the afternoon (yay!) sometimes late at night (making it unlikely that my mother, a senior citizen and avid bingo enthusiast, would partake). Our cabin attendant was terrific -- he went above and beyond, every day. Both my mother and I had our hair done at the spa by different people, and both of us had good experiences. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves and had fun. However, it sometimes felt like the ship was understaffed. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
A lengthy review of 4 night cruise to Nassau and Coco Cay aboard the Mariner of the Seas We live in Florida – so in less than 3 hours we were driving into the parking garage around 10:25 – and we walked onto ship at 10:55! Easiest ... Read More
A lengthy review of 4 night cruise to Nassau and Coco Cay aboard the Mariner of the Seas We live in Florida – so in less than 3 hours we were driving into the parking garage around 10:25 – and we walked onto ship at 10:55! Easiest embarkation EVER (8 cruises over the last 22 years). Our tablemates said they arrived around 1:30pm and that they did not have long lines either. TIP: If you are arriving by car – 1st drop off your luggage in the bottom of the parking garage (this was Port Canaveral Area B - Terminal #1) – then they will tell you to proceed up the ramp to park your car. You will have to prepay for your parking – an attendant was at the machine to help us run our credit card through. Then take an elevator back down and enter the building attached to the parking garage. It was so fast partly because not many passengers were there when we arrived and also because we had filled in everything ahead of time online (including providing our credit card) so check in only involved scanning our SetSail Pass and a quick look at our passports and a trip through x-ray. TIP: Be sure to print your “SetSail Pass” at home before you leave – it has a bar code on it. It serves as your SeaPass Card until you get the permanent card (which will be in an envelope on the cabin # sign outside of your cabin). TIP: get used to carrying your SeaPass EVERYWHERE – basically everything you do on board requires your SeaPass (even activities that are free). Lots of passengers had their passes on lanyards around their necks. And while we’re on the topic: be sure to bring a photo ID with you when you go into Nassau – you’ll need it to get back into the Cruise Ship area. You will not need a Photo ID on Coco Cay – you’ll just need your SeaPass Card. Since we got on the ship earlier than expected we just hung out on the Starboard side of the pool (Deck 11) – they were playing videos of funny animals and people doing funny or amazing things . . . almost like a montage of Funniest Home Videos without the commentary. TIP: if you dislike smoking you want to be on the Starboard (Right) side of the ship if you are on Decks 4 or 11 – if you are a smoker the smoking areas are on the Port (Left) side of the ship on Decks 4 and 11 (and one section of the Casino). We were VERY HAPPY that we had booked lunch in Jamie’s Italian Specialty Restaurant (12pm reservation but we went at 11:45 and they seated us right away). We booked lunch to avoid all of the passengers learning their way around the Windjammer on the 1st day. BIG TIP: request to be seated as far back into Jamie’s as possible . . . unfortunately we were seated near the door and heard the clanging silverware of a cleaning station in the Windjammer that must have been right outside the door of Jamie’s. This applies to Chops Grille as well – so when you walk in tell them you would like to be seated in the back of the restaurant. To enter either Jamie’s or Chops you do still need to enter into the Windjammer which means you will pass through the hand washing area – TIP: the paper towels are above the sinks – we saw people struggling to find the towels. There were two fantastic guys playing a guitar and singing “wash – wash your hands” to the tune of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline – this ship had entertaining little touches like that all over – we loved it. The menu at Jamie’s had appetizers that the waiter (Carlos – he was great) explained were small portions so that we were encouraged to order multiple appetizers . . . and so we did! We ordered the “plank” which had sliced meats, fresh mozzarella balls, some dry cheese, and a different kind of cole slaw – it also had some olives and peppers. We also ordered the garlic bread which were two big rolls with garlic and cheese on them – I’m a fan of soft bread so I liked those the best. 3rd item was the crab and avocado bruschetta – sounds weird but it was delicious. I also ordered the Caprese salad which was the same (yummy) mozzarella balls from the plank + two kinds of tomatoes as well as some baby basil leaves and a very nice balsamic drizzle. For the entrée they say you can order a small portion or the regular portion so I had a small portion of the mushroom “taglie something” pasta and it was plenty and fantastic flavor. Husband ordered the chicken which he said was flavored well and was sitting on a nice sauce. He also got a small portion of penne carbonara as his pasta. Dessert was a chocolate torte for me and a lemon meringue for husband – both delicious. Even though we prepaid both of the specialty restaurants – they still brought us a “zero” bill – I believe the sole purpose of this is in case you want to add an additional tip (a tip is already included in the price we paid for the specialty restaurant). We were pleased with both of the servers so we did write in an additional tip. I suppose if we had not wanted to tip extra we would have just left the slip at the table with nothing written on it. They made an announcement when the staterooms were ready – it was before 1:30 - we dropped off our luggage and met our wonderful room steward – Keisha from Jamaica. Then we ventured out again. TIP: If you want to do the Escape Room or Laser Tag during your cruise – be sure to book them as soon as possible on arrival day. We weren’t sure where to go so we asked at Guest Services and we were told to go up to the Rock Climbing Wall desk. There were two friendly guys up there with tablets. We almost signed up for the Escape Room but then found out there would be 13 people in the room (he was going to over-ride the max of 12 to add our party of 2 to the 11 people already signed up). Maybe I’m a Nervous Nellie but being closed up in a room with 11 people we don’t know didn’t really sound like fun for me personally. For some reason I thought it was limited to just 6-8 people. I have heard though that it is a lot of fun . . . maybe we’ll try it next time. Either way – we got up there around 2:30 pm and there were sessions already filled up. We did not sign up for Laser Tag but I heard those all filled up fast as well (before Day 3 and Day 4 when Laser Tag started). So be sure to get signed up early for those two activities. I can’t comment on the Flowrider – we didn’t do that – although I saw private lessons advertised so that may be an advance sign up as well? While we were on the back of the ship at the Rock Wall we decided to check out the “archery” – it is rather hidden – the Rock Wall guy had to point it out – it is next to the basketball court. Kind of cool – the targets are four plastic balls that float in the air because of compressed air blowing them up. The arrows just have soft rubber on the end of them – however they did fly pretty fast. There were only about 6 people there so we waited our turn and it was fun for a few minutes. I was surprised there was not anyone from the ship providing instruction – so passengers who knew how to use a bow and arrow were helping those who needed help. We weren’t there for long but I could see if someone really enjoyed it they could spend longer. They did have a tournament later in the week however we did not attend. We wandered around a bit checking out the upper back of the ship – there is a little area of hammocks and some circle rope swings over by the kids climbing thing (Lucky Climber) and a putt putt course (Mariner Dunes) – accessible by stairs – look for the green painted golf course sign on the wall near the stairs. The putt putt was something we meant to get back to but ahhhh . . . relaxing got in the way and we never made it back up there . . . next time! The Assembly Drill at 3:30 was painless . . . no need to drag the life jackets there as we had done years ago. A note to future passengers – be sure to be there on time – don’t dilly-dally – the faster everyone is there and accounted for (they will scan your SeaPass card) the faster it is over. TIP: if you do not buy the drink package that comes with a cup: bring your own water bottle – you can fill it up at the same Coke machines that the drink package folks use – the ice and the water choice do not require the chipped cup. We found two Coke machines across from the Pub on the Promenade Deck 5 and then of course in the Windjammer. Husband realized he forgot a hat . . . went to the shops on Deck 5 . . . TIP: the shops do not open until 5:30pm on the 1st day. We had early seating (5:30pm) for dinner . . . we ate there the 1st 3 nights and spent the 4th night at Chops Grille. TIP: check online for your dinner seating – I had talked to a Royal Caribbean agent on the phone who said we would be at a large table at the early seating however when we went by the dining room around 2:30 or so a dining room helper looked us up and told us we were assigned to “my time” dining which we did not want. No problem at all – he typed on his computer and moved us to an assigned table at 5:30. I’m really glad we had checked in with them before dinner time. We were at a small table of 6 and enjoyed our tablemates. Dining Room Dinners: the highlights for us were the French Onion Soup (available every night) and the desserts (berry cobbler on the 1st night – ask for the ice cream WITH sugar unless you like (or need) sugar-free ice cream). Dinners were good . . . just nothing amazing for our taste buds. That said – it was very nice being served each meal and we enjoyed each evening and the flavors were good – the only item that was not cooked thoroughly enough was the mushroom risotto on Night 3 which was a bit hard – it needed a few more minutes on simmer I think. We did breakfasts on Days 2, 3 and 5 in the dining room and lunch in the dining room on Day 2. Lunch on Day 4 was on Coco Cay. That means we only ate in the Windjammer once – for breakfast on Day 4 when we had an early excursion on Coco Cay. They had a buffet at both breakfast and lunch in the dining room – along with a menu to order from. The Dining Room breakfast buffet had scrambled eggs, little pre-made omelets, French toast, pancakes, waffles with multiple toppings, lots of fruit, pastries, and cereals. You can get all of that (and more) in the Windjammer – we just prefer the quieter, less hectic, atmosphere of the dining room. The lunch buffet (at Sea Day 2) was a salad prepared as we walked down the line and pointed to what we wanted added (lots of choices) + a pasta bar where again we could choose what we wanted and then they heated it all up in pan. The lunch menu had choices as well – I really enjoyed the heirloom tomato and goat cheese salad – it didn’t have any lettuce so I just added it to a small salad from the salad bar. I also had potato soup . . . if you like creamy potato soup then this is your jam . . . however I like chunky potato soup so I was mildly disappointed to not find chunks of potato. But oh how my disappointment turned to joy when I went to the dessert buffet . . . fantastic – tons of choices and everything we tried was great. TIP: if you are going to either breakfast or lunch in the dining room you will need to enter the dining room on Deck 3 Husband likes to drink an Old Fashioned sometimes – he was not impressed with the drink he ordered in the Dining Room on Night 1 – tasted like it had carbonated water in it. However he was very happy with the Old Fashioned that Eugenio in the Pub prepared on Night 2. So if you are serious about your mixed drinks it may be safer to visit one of the bars on the promenade (Deck 5) rather than using the Dining Room bar service – they do not mind if you carry your drink from the promenade bars into the dining room (or even into Chops which we also did). And now a note on dress code . . . as far as we could tell there is no enforced dress code. I think this is wonderful as it allows everyone to enjoy their dining without worrying if they have the correct attire. On the other hand we were stopped on formal night and asked how we knew it was formal night because the woman asking did not see anything announcing it. And she was correct – typically on prior cruises the dining room servers have told the table that the next night is “formal night” and they make a big deal about it. However instead of that announcement on Night 1 they were advertising the champagne brunch with galley tour going on the next day. Also on the Day 2 Cruise Compass (which was in our cabin when we returned from dinner + show on Night 1) the “Dinner Dress Code” for Day 2 was labeled “Wear Your Best” rather than “Formal”. So it definitely seems like they are moving away from “Formal Night”. However there were extra photo areas and an opportunity for a photo with the Captain and some of the passengers dressed up – so it seems like it is Formal Night for those that want to participate. We hardly ever get the chance to dress up and husband had recently bought a new suit so we gussied ourselves up and enjoyed ourselves. We dressed up again for Chops on Night 4 and found two gentlemen at the table to our right in suits and ties while the gentleman to our left was in shorts. So again . . . don’t worry about a dress code. If you want to know ahead of time which night is “Formal Night” just call Royal Caribbean – which is what I did – I just had to tell them the ship and sailing date and they told me it would be Day 2 – our Day at Sea. We attended the 7pm Ice Skating show (we did have to depart dinner quickly and were lucky to find two empty seats as the show was starting). The show was great – it is amazing how they can fit 10 skaters on a small rink. The skaters were from many different countries and included two pairs – one from Canada and one from the U.S. We enjoyed their skating and costumes. The theme is “Under the Big Top”. We are not Night Owls so we did not attend the 10pm Welcome Aboard Show. Our tablemates said it started with Marcelo the Cruise Director and then the comedian – so it lasted over an hour. They said the comedian (Steve Smith) was really funny. Have to admit here that our Day at Sea was mainly about eating and relaxing on our balcony reading our books . . . I did venture up to the gym for a run around 9:45 – found an open treadmill – it did get busy and almost every treadmill had an occupant. The treadmills face a window at the front of the ship so it is a wonderful view while exercising (a little warm – wish I had brought my battery operated fan to clip onto the treadmill but I survived). That is all I did in the gym so I can not comment on the classes or other equipment. I did check out the locker room – lockers, showers and a sauna were available. Oh and they do provide sweat towels so no need to bring one from your cabin. After lunch we watched a little bit of the Art Auction – they did a “mystery” auction where they had 8 prints – the buyers didn’t really blindly bid on them – seemed more like a ploy to keep the excitement up – when they turned them all around they were by Thomas Kinkade (“the painter of light”) and they were offered up for $400 a piece – two people took advantage of the offer – I have no idea if that is a good price but I will say that later that night I was walking through and heard the auctioneer guy talking to a couple and he offered the same $400 price – so it seems it was not just an “auction special”. The evening of Day 2 was the last chance for open ice skating (7-11 pm) so I went down around 8:15 and got into the 8:30 session. It was a popular activity so they limited it to 20 minute sessions. The only time I go ice skating is on Royal Caribbean cruises so I enjoyed just going around in circles – there were tons of beginners so a bit of weaving and dodging was required but I liked it. At 10pm they were doing a “disco” session however I did not stay for that – if it had been at 9pm I’d have been all over it! The only other open ice skating session was on Day 1 (1-2:30) so if you know you want to go ice skating be sure to note the times as they are limited – there is no advance reservations – just show up during the open time and fill out the waiver and they punch your SeaPass Card and they give you a ticket for the next available session. TIP: Long pants and socks are required – a lot of the kids were in their PJ bottoms so those pass as “long pants” as do leggings which is what I had on. On Days 3 and 4 the ice gets covered and the area turns into the Laser Tag area – so that is why Ice Skating is only on a few days and Laser Tag is only on the other few days. Day 3 was Nassau – we are SCUBA divers so we booked a trip with Stuart Cove’s – it is the same operation that the ship uses but since we were in port until 9pm I booked separately to save a little money. If they ship were leaving at 6 I would have booked through the ship to guarantee that we would not miss the departure time. It is a bit of a walk to the meeting point – but not too bad. We walked down the pier, passed through the building and then past the shopping kiosks and the people offering their private tours (“take your pretty lady on a 4 wheel ride” we politely declined and kept walking). We then had to cross the street and then go left on the sidewalk to a concrete/tile pink fountain that serves as Stuart Cove’s (and some other companies) meeting point. There were some locals passing by selling bottles of cold water ($1 each) and a bag of fruit (not sure on price). We had filled our water bottles on the ship so we didn't buy anything. It is about a 40 minute ride to the dive boat – through downtown and by the airport and then by resorts. Our dives were great – “Twin Sisters” is a fantastic wreck dive – two wrecks right next to each other – and then we went to Mike’s Reef which was a nice reef with another wreck. Quick trip in their gift shop and then we were back on their bus at 4:30. The bus dropped us off where it picked us up – to get back into the cruise ship area we had to show our Photo ID’s and SeaPass cards - then to get back onto the ship they only needed our SeaPass cards. It was a race to get to dinner but we got there at 5:40 so all was good! The Day 3 Headliner Show was a rock concert by a band called “Private Stock” and I thoroughly enjoyed them – they did songs by Elton John, Billy Joel, Journey, AC/DC, Guns & Roses, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Bon Jovi and Van Halen. Really good performers – the female singer even changed outfits and could really sing like Stevie Nicks and Heart and Janis Joplin. We went to the 8pm show – they did a repeat at 10pm. We saw some families with kids leaving after about 10 minutes . . . so unless your kids love rock hits from the 70’s & 80’s it might be better to go watch the outdoor movie instead (Wonder Park and Dumbo were playing that night). Day 4 was Perfect Day at Coco Cay and wow they have done a lot with this little island! We were there in 2008 and 2012 before they added so much to the island. It is great that they have a pier now so there is no need to tender over anymore. We did the one tank SCUBA dive excursion and we were the only two that signed up so we had our own private excursion. We got off the ship a few minutes after 8 and walked down the pier – then a left over the bridge to “Chill Island” – to the pink first aid building – the back side of the building is the little “Diver’s Den”. They had our tanks out and ready for us and let us stow our bags in their little office. We then put on our gear (except for mask and fins) and took the short walk to the beach. The reef is a bit far off shore so to save us from swimming out there they had us ride on the rescue sled of a jet ski – it was so fun! William took the dive guide (Brandon) out first and then came back for my husband and then for me. We went down and spent 45 minutes cruising around the reef and slowly making our way back to shore. The reef is a bit sandy and the visibility was not great but they have LOTS of great little tropical fish – we saw a couple of small rays and angel fish, file fish, trigger fish, parrot fish etc. I like the small stuff: flamingo tongues, jaw fish, juvenile tangs, juvenile angels, anemones with shrimp and tiny crabs – there was plenty of small stuff to be found. I saw one larger creature – a small shark cruised through real fast – he was cute. After the dive they had rinse tanks and a hose and hangers and a rod to stow our gear – they said we could keep our stuff there all day which was great – it gave the gear a chance to dry a bit. We had so much fun in the water that we hopped back in just to snorkel and spent about an hour in the water – they have a “shipwreck” which is really just a concrete wall with some cannons on it – but it is a nice little artificial reef and there were some nice critters hanging out on it (including two anemones and a beautiful bright blue/yellow juvenile queen angel fish). TIP: if you are planning on snorkeling bring a long sleeve “rash guard”/”swim shirt” whatever you call it you NEED it – there were so many sunburned backs on the snorkelers. Board shorts for girls are not a bad idea either – protect those cheeks! Be sure to apply lots of sunscreen to the backs of legs and neck and tops of hands – all of those body parts are exposed to the sun while we’re happily looking down into the water. We had lunch at the Chill Grill – buffet of tacos, Cuban sandwiches, burgers, etc – I had a nice fried Portobello and cheese sandwich – yum. Dessert options were chocolate chip cookies, brownies (yum) and soft serve ice cream. Forgot to mention there was also salads and fruit but apparently we weren’t into healthy eating after all the swimming we did! After a bit of lounging under an umbrella on the plentiful lounge chairs on Chill Island we hopped back in the water for some more snorkeling – a nice big Southern Stingray swam by – so beautiful. Have to note that there were some jellyfish in the water – more in the afternoon than in the morning. They did not have long tentacles so they were avoidable – have to look where you are going. One did brush my leg and I have a few spots – they kind of look like little red mosquito bites. They itch on and off so I’ve been putting anti-itch cream on them. After snorkeling Husband sat back on a lounge chair and I walked over to just dip into the Oasis Lagoon Pool (it is fresh water) – I discovered that the reason why Chill Island is so quiet is because the party was at the Pool! The Swim Up Bar was hopping, fun music playing and everyone was having a great time. A bit of shade can be found in the pool where there are some trees and then under a bridge. Most of the pool area is in full sun and I knew I had already gotten more sun than my pale skin should get so I headed back under the umbrella on Chill Island. We decided to take the tram back to the ship to avoid walking with our gear – the tram is on the other side of the Chill Grill so it was a little bit of a walk but not bad. A perk was that the tram goes all the way around the Thrill Waterpark so it gave us a chance to see a bit of it. One unfortunate detail of the tram is that the one that can take you around the island is NOT the same one that can take you to the ship. So the island tram took us sort of near the beginning of the pier and then we had to get off and get into a line (wasn’t too long) to wait for the smaller trams that can go up to the ship. Still well worth it to not have to walk all the way up the pier. TIP: To get onto the 2nd tram you have to show your SeaPass card so have it ready – you then have to show it two more times – and then a final time getting onto the ship. The tram took us to the farthest entry point (front of the ship) to get back onto the ship which avoided a line of people getting back onto the ship at middle of the ship. TIP: when getting back onto the ship they do require bags to be x-rayed – if you do not have a bag with you they’ll let you go to the left to avoid the bag x-ray line. After some relaxing on our balcony it was time to shower up and head to our final dinner – we prepaid for Chops and we were not disappointed! I had the mushroom soup with a drizzle of truffle oil (so good!) and husband had some sort of giant piece of bacon which he raved about. We tried the Wedge Salad as well as a mixed green salad with “crispy goat cheese” (yum). Husband is a steak eater and he enjoyed the ribeye – I had a white fish called “branzino” which was served with sautéed spinach. We each also had baked potatoes and shared some sautéed mushrooms. Dessert was cheesecake and a chocolate lava cake with berries. The entire meal was fantastic – we asked to sit in the back of the restaurant (away from the Windjammer) and we enjoyed a peaceful slow-paced meal looking out at the sea as we headed back to Port Canaveral. No one likes packing up . . . so we got it over with as quickly as possible – bags had to be out in the hallway by 11pm – we saved just our clothes for the next day plus a carry on with our toiletries and items we didn’t want to put in the checked luggage. Morning came too fast – we were out of our cabin by 7:45 (required to be out by 8am) and we went to our final breakfast in the dining room. On the last day they only do menu service in the dining room (we could have also gone up to the Windjammer) – so we ordered eggs and French toast and lingered there until our # was called. To depart the ship they had us go to Deck 4 and then strangely through the dining room to go outside onto the deck – not sure why the regular exterior doors were closed – maybe to be able to have enough room to snake the line around? Since we were #30 we were toward the end of the numbers called and there was not a long line. Off the ship at 8:55am – booooo – I wanted to get right back on – oh to be one of those “back to back” cruisers that get to stay on board . . . maybe in retirement we’ll get to do that! After getting back into the cruise terminal we went down a ramp and then to an area where they were telling Canadians and people with U.S. birth certificates to go the right and U.S. Passport holders to go straight. Not sure where someone from a country other than Canada or the U.S. were supposed to go? The passport line was easy – they had us walk up to a screen that did facial recognition – pause for a few seconds and then the agent told us we were good to go – he never actually looked at our passports – the facial recognition must pull up our passport info? Kind of freaky but also very quick and we liked that! Next stop was the luggage area and we found our bags in the #30 area very easily – I think there were less than 15 bags in the area and 4 of them were ours because of all of our dive gear. We than walked through what seemed like a customs area – there were booths – but no customs agents in the booths – so we just kept walking and boom we were back at the elevator in the parking garage. Back to the real world . . . after a 3 hour drive it was also back to our beloved dogs so at least reuniting with them makes it ok that the vacation is over! Hope you enjoyed the rambling review . . . as I read it back it occurs to me that I ate A LOT of mushrooms on this cruise (pasta, soup, sandwich, etc) – just want to assure the reader that there were lots of other menu choices I just really like mushrooms! *forgot to mention our cabin - #6692 Aft Junior Suite. We LOVE Aft cabins – and we use our points from the Royal Caribbean card to pay for the upgrade from a standard room to a Junior Suite. The room size was great – the décor/carpet/tile is aged a bit – I do not believe the staterooms were part of the giant upgrade that was recently done on the Mariner. However the bed was very comfortable and the linens were soft. Junior Suites have a nice big closet as well as a bathtub – I took advantage of both. We did feel some vibration while falling asleep and waking up and we definitely could feel when we were docking – but nothing was so bad that our sleep was impacted. We did not experience any soot on our balcony. I did smell cigarette smoke one time – not sure if it was from a nearby balcony (smoking is not permitted on balconies but not all passengers are rule followers) or from the crew area below. Overall we love the Aft cabins for their quietness and we do not mind the long walk to the elevator at all . . . it helps us offset all of the extra calories we are taking in during the cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise specifically because it had childcare service for our two year old toddler. We are a family of four with 2 kids a nine year old and the toddler. The itinerary was ok as we have been to the Caribbean many times but ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically because it had childcare service for our two year old toddler. We are a family of four with 2 kids a nine year old and the toddler. The itinerary was ok as we have been to the Caribbean many times but not to Labadee and we’re eager to explore San Juan. The ship is beautiful and embarkation was a breeze. The ship is tastefully decorated and a welcome relief from the garish decor of the Carnival ships. There is lots to do and we took advantage of all of it - the pools, slides, carousel and the zip line. We chose a boardwalk view cabin to save on cost. The room was small but had good storage. The bathroom was small but adequate. The balcony is teensy. There was a partial ocean view. We did not partake in much of the entertainment but what we did see was top notch. The bars were all very good but beware of high drink prices - think $13 Mojitos. Basic beers are $8 plus the high tips just makes the drinks even more expensive. We did not buy the drink packages and our final tab confirms we did not drink enough to justify it. We like to stay in shape and the fitness center was well equipped but sometimes very crowded. There is access to a very nice jogging track. I like to use the sauna to detox and relax but there is none - except in the spa for a fee. :-( The food was hit or miss. I had high expectations with RCL but was frankly disappointed. The Windjammer was fine good choices and mostly tasty but the food in the main dining room consisted of over cooked seafood or grisly steaks. My wife, a vegetarian was lacking in choice as there we nearly none. Desserts were blah. Service was spotty as well. The cabin steward was ok but we received towel animals only two nights where on Carnival it’s every night. My kids get a kick out of it. In the main dining room we chose my time dining due to the lack of information on the babysitting service prior to sailing.. I didn’t realize My Time meant waiting 30-45 minutes for a table! All this while paying for child care. :-( Ports: LABADEE We loved Labadee so many activities and very nice. Wish we were provided a list of activities or a map beforehand we could have planned it better. The zip line looked real fun. SAN JUAN We didn’t go due to protesters in San Juan. i understand the reasons for safety sake, but no alternative ports offered as well as no credits. Not good customer care if you ask me. ST MARTIN We took an independent excursion to the beach it was just ok. The island is very dry right now and recovering from the hurricane. PROS: Our kids loved the ship my toddler especially loved the carousel. The camps and baby services were excellent. The pools and amenities were really good, lots to do. Entertainment was top notch. Good and varied bars. CONS: Average food especially in the MDR. High drink prices, and the TIPS. Oh my you are now paying $58 per cabin for a family of 4 PER DAY! Plus drink tips! Yikes. I also felt that RCL should have offered something for the loss of one port. We got nothing. Wait times in the MDR were ridiculous. Would I sail RCL again? Probably not, at least for a while. They charge a premium over the other lines such as Carnival and NCL, presumably for better food and service. But the gap is closed and I don’t see the need to spend the extra $$. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Great ship, wonderful staff, but MUCH too crowded! It was FULL capacity! The pools were so crowded most were unable to swim, standing room only! I was truly disappointed in the food. American Icon lines were worse than Disney! The ... Read More
Great ship, wonderful staff, but MUCH too crowded! It was FULL capacity! The pools were so crowded most were unable to swim, standing room only! I was truly disappointed in the food. American Icon lines were worse than Disney! The Key lunch was great and then it went downhill quickly. Three times I had to send food back and I am not a "foodie". Jamie's Italian was expensive for okay Italian food. I could not text my granddaughter because I had an I phone and she had a Samsung and were unable to communicate with each other except for email. Royal needs to specify that fact. They recommended using Whatsapp, she did not have it and mine was inactive. We could not use the Royal App because she had to be thirteen in order to download it! The Internet was a total waste of money. Please be careful when ordering it. Shows were excellent and nothing at sea can compare!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would do it again but approach the trip in a different way. Once again the staff was exceptional and are a HUGE factor in my four star review. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My husband and I are frequent cruisers with RCCL, but this was our first time on Harmony. We have always driven down in the past since we live in South Carolina, but decided to fly this time (so much better!!). We caught a direct flight ... Read More
My husband and I are frequent cruisers with RCCL, but this was our first time on Harmony. We have always driven down in the past since we live in South Carolina, but decided to fly this time (so much better!!). We caught a direct flight out of Charlotts for a good price, and booked hotel and transportation with Go Port Canaveral. Flew into Orlando, caught hotel shuttle to hotel for the night, then the shuttle to the port the next morning. Easy peasy. Embarkation was a breeze! RCCL now has employees with tablets posted at the front of some lines to check people in who already have their Set Sail pass printed and ready to scan, so take time before your cruise to do the online check-in and print your passes!! We were on the ship within 10 minutes, and our ship cards were waiting at our room. So easy! Our room was ready at 1pm sharp, and was beautiful! We had our usual Central Park balcony, as on the Oasis OTS, but the layout was different and the room seemed much more spacious! Very clean, cool, comfortable, included a bottle of wine and some extras. My only complaint is that the pillows were extremely flat. I recently had a disc replacement in my neck so by the end of the cruise I was really hurting. My fault for not bring my own pillow. We went to eat in the WIndjammer, which was busy but manageable. Food was yummy. They were REALLY pushing the deluxe beverage package, offering buy one, get one 50%. We never get the beverage package, but after cruising on Norwegian Sky with drinks included we decided to try it on RCCL. Almost $900 later, we had our drink package and began enjoying it immediately. Drinks were mostly good but bars got crowded and slow, and kids using the bar areas did not help! Parents and RCCL: PLEASE keep kids out of the bars, at least prohibited from sitting at the bar and ordering sodas. There are other places to get sodas. Leave the bars to adults drinking bar beverages. Especially where the seating is limited, like the Rising Tide Bar. I get it, it goes up and down and kids dig it, but a bar is for adults and we should be able to find a seat not occupied by kids eating pizza with their faces in their phones. Sea days were fantastically relaxing! Roaming the ship, watching the Flow Rider surfers, shopping, CASINO!!! (I love this casino has a non-smoking side! As a heart patient who can't be around smoke, it's lovely to enjoy a casino!) We ate in the dining room once, with My Time dining. Luckily I reserved our time online in advance because the non-reservation was ridiculously long! Windjammer was really good for dinner and lunch, as was Solarium Bistro and room service. I cannot say enough about the ports we visited (besides Coco Cay which we didn't participate in due to the upcharges). 1. In Costa Maya we booked the Port Pass excursion thru the ship and that was great! Included tequila tour and tasting, chocolate theatrical tour and tasting, and aviary which was very cool. And 3 free drinks per person. All without leaving the cruise port! 2. In Roatan we booked a private tour with Daniel Johnson's Monkey and Sloth Sanctuary. One of his tour guides, Felicia, picked us up at the pier and drove us around the island before stopping at a chocolate factory, the animal sanctuary (phenomenal to hold a sloth and play with monkeys), the iguana and marine sanctuary (loved this! huge iguanas, lobsters, huge tarpon fish and amberjack fish), and a beautiful local restaurant with the best seafood and view right on the water! ) FYI: the ship offered an excursion to the monkey and sloth sanctuary for about $149 per person; we got a 5-hour private tour of the island, including the sanctuary and more, and paid $40 per person by booking directly with them. Plus, this ensures the islanders get all the financial benefit from our visit, not the cruise line. 3. In Cozumel we booked an excursion via Vacations To Go, called Taste of Mexico. This was so much fun and educational! We learned about the chocolate-making process, ground our own beans and made our own chocolate bars, enjoying authentic Mexican mole dip and chocolate with tequila drinks. We learned all about tequila: difference between sipping and mixing tequilas, the process of growing and harvesting blue agave plants, the proper way to drink sipping tequilas, and even got our own graduation certificates at the end! We also enjoyed the all-you-can-eat taco bar with home made tortillas. Entertainment, as always, was top notch! I, personally, found Grease to be a huge disappointment, but the aqua show, ice skating, Columbus musical, and everything else more than made up for it! Again, I was glad I reserved our seats and times online before the cruise because a lot of people without reservations did not get seats for some shows. All around, a great cruise that we will always remember and look forward to going again!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We all had a great time on Mariner Of The Seas! This was a short 3-Night cruise that we took with my in-laws including two kids ages 2.5 and 7. The ship was excellent with many activities for all of us. Our 7 year old niece enjoyed ... Read More
We all had a great time on Mariner Of The Seas! This was a short 3-Night cruise that we took with my in-laws including two kids ages 2.5 and 7. The ship was excellent with many activities for all of us. Our 7 year old niece enjoyed the kids club- she asked to go back every night. We ate in the Main Dining Room all nights and had excellent service there... most of the food in the MDR was quite good- a few hits and misses- but the staff solved our few problems with grace, always offering another item. Lunch and Breakfast were surprisingly good in the Windjammer buffet... lots of variety... not fancy, but satisfying. Perfect Day CocoCay is great. We had a wonderful day there. The day before in Nassau was fine- not my favorite destination... but we took a 2.5 hour tour of Nassau from TripAdvisor that we all liked. After the tour we went back on the ship to enjoy everything Mariner has to offer. We loved the piano player in the elevator- he was outstanding. So our top things good about Mariner were the ship, the main dining room service, the atmosphere entertainment, and the surprisingly good buffet. Please note: Dress code for dinner was quite varied on the ship, but that was fine for the type of cruise it was... we, personally, always dressed nicely for dinner (as did several other cruisers) BUT it must be noted that some did not... and frankly, it’s not an enforced thing. Also Note: My 2.5 year old niece did not really have activities to participate in (we were not going to put her in the paid babysitting service- we just kept her with an adult family member at all times) Be aware there is no little kids splash pad on board- just know this if you are traveling with a little child... Now our 7 year old niece had a marvelous time- just perfect for her. She had so much fun- she did the SkyPad, the Rock Wall, the waterslides, and loved going to the Kids Club. So just know before you go what your kids will want in activities and plan accordingly. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
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