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Harmony of the Seas Live Blog - Day 1 - Embarkation Day

10 May 2019
Matt Hochberg

I think my entire family woke up bright and early thinking the exact same thing, "Cruise day!".

We live about an hour or so from Port Canaveral, so we got up and loaded up the car to make the drive over to the port.

The drive to the port was uneventful and we arrived a few minutes before 10am. I dropped my kids, wife and luggage off and then parked the car at the port parking garage.  The terminal was note quite open yet, but it opened up a little after 10am.

Check-in was super simple and Port Canaveral now uses tablet-based check-in. Instead of lining up to go to the desk and check-in, there are agents standing around with tablets. It is similar to the setup at PortMiami check-in.

Boarding began a little after 11am and once we set foot on the Royal Promenade, it felt like a homecoming for me.

The ship looks beautiful, and we took the opportunity to make a few specialty dining reservations before heading up to the Windjammer for lunch.

Embarkation day lunch in the Windjammer is a favorite cruise tradition of mine, and I found the selection of food varied enough to satisfy all my family's preferences. A great start to a full day ahead.

We headed down to the Boardwalk and my daughters took a ride on the carousel.

 After that, it was back up to the pool deck for some fun at Splashaway Bay.

Unfortunately my youngest daughter was an inch or two too short for the Splashaway Bay slides, but she still had a great time running around, splashing and playing with all the water features.

Staterooms opened promptly at 1pm and we have a pair of connecting inside staterooms on deck 8.

I love that our rooms are the first set from the elevator bank because that means no crazy long walks back to my room.

Another interesting difference is our room has the bed along the side, while the girls have a bed against the back wall. It also looks like their couch is larger. I was surprised to see a different layout for what are two of the same category rooms.

Our luggage was already waiting near our room, so we grabbed those and quickly unpacked.  We then headed up to Adventure Ocean to register the kids. Another surprise was Adventure Ocean did not open until 8pm on day one, which is what used to be the policy across the fleet, but in the last year or so on all ships we have sailed on Adventure Ocean opened at 7pm on the first night.

Muster drill came and went quickly. I was just happy to be sitting down in air conditioning for the event, which took place for us in the Royal Theater.

After muster drill we headed up to the pool. The kids mostly played around while we enjoyed the sailaway views.

We changed for dinner and then fed the kids in the Windjammer before dropping them off at Adventure Ocean.

Dinner tonight was at 150 Central Park, as my wife wanted to dine here after she missed it on Symphony of the Seas.

We had a great meal, and I tried the beet salad as an appetizer and the venison for my entree.  I also split with my wife the beef tenderloin for two.  

Beets are not my favorite vegetable by any means, but I wanted something different to try.  The venison was better than I expected, and switching off between that and the beef tenderloin was a terrific combination.

Once we finished the meal, we grabbed a drink at the Pub before heading to the Royal Theater to take in our favorite show on Harmony of the Seas, Columbus: The Musical.

This show is a really fun experience, and I love the songs and humor that are fused into this Royal Caribbean original production. 

After the show, I enjoyed a few more drinks at the Pub before calling it a night.

Tomorrow we will be docked in Nassau, Bahamas.

Stray Observations

  • You may have seen photos from the previous 3-night sailing of Harmony of the Seas where quite a few love bugs descended upon the area (and ship). Luckily, few love bugs were an issue for us.
  • There were no dining packages offered before the cruise, but once onboard the 3-night dining package was offered at $99 per person.
  • The new souvenir Coca-Cola Freestyle cups are on the ship, but the old cup design is still around. In fact, waiting in our room as part of our drink package was the old cup. 
  • Speaking of the old cup, I have never seen the souvenir cups wrapped in a tamper evident wrap.  They have always been wrapped, but never with print on them.