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Harmony of the Seas review: What this cruise ship is like in 2024

01 Apr 2024
Angie Vognild

Spring break is a popular time to take a cruise, so I decided to book a seven-night spring break cruise on Harmony of the Seas out of Galveston, Texas.

Harmony of the Seas review

I invited my friend to join me on this Western Caribbean sailing, and we had an absolute blast on this fun-filled ship. While we were excited to visit Mexico and Honduras, Harmony of the Seas is a destination in and of itself that we were excited to explore.

This is what sailing on Harmony of the Seas is like in 2024.

Harmony of the Seas overview

Harmony of the Seas in Cozumel, Mexico

Debuting in 2016, Harmony of the Seas is the third Oasis Class cruise ship. In fact, she is currently the fourth biggest cruise ship in the world behind Icon of the Seas, Wonder of the Seas, and Symphony of the Seas.

Harmony of the Seas is so big that it’s split into seven neighborhoods, including:

  • Central Park
  • Boardwalk
  • Royal Promenade
  • Pool and Sports Zone
  • Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center
  • Entertainment Place
  • Youth Zone
Harmony of the Seas pool deck and Central Park

6,687 guests can sail on Harmony of the Seas, and for my particular sailing, there were 6,565 guests onboard - meaning the ship was practically fully occupied! Of the 6,565 guests on my sailing, there were 2,200 children (34%).

There were lots of new cruisers and multi-generational families on this spring break sailing. Also, the overwhelming majority of passengers on our cruise were from Texas. My friend and I were one of the very few people from the Midwest on this sailing. Our accent was a dead giveaway!

Embarking and disembarking from Galveston

Galveston, Texas terminal

This was my second time cruising out of Galveston, Texas, so I had an idea of what to expect this time around. 

Because I don't live near Texas, I had to fly in the day before the cruise. When cruising out of Galveston, many cruisers will fly into Houston since that is the closest major city. There are two airports you can fly into: George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). I recommend flying into HOU because this airport is closer to Galveston, but IAH is also an option if you are set on flying on a certain airline or the airfare is a better price.

Houston view from an airplane

After flying into HOU, I decided to stay at a hotel in League City. Hotels in Galveston are quite expensive so I chose not to stay there, although it would’ve been convenient for embarkation day. 

I stayed in Houston near the airport for my last cruise out of Galveston. I think this is a good option for those who fly in late because it’s nice to have a short ride to your hotel after flying all day.

Driving to Galveston terminal

On embarkation day, my friend and I requested a Lyft to the Galveston port. The ride was 40 minutes and cost $36.19, including a tip.

The entire embarkation and disembarkation process was seamless. Embarking the ship took only 10-15 minutes and we were on the ship in no time! This was quite different from my last experience in Galveston, but that’s because there was a Coast Guard inspection.

Galveston, Texas terminal security

On the last day of the cruise, I scheduled a Lyft ride for the next morning from the Galveston port to the HOU airport. My ride was right on time and picked me up at the front of the terminal building. This ride was an hour long and cost $88.74, including a tip. 

Read more: I cruised Royal Caribbean from Galveston for the first time. Here's what a cruise from Texas is like.

Interior guarantee cabin

Harmony of the Seas interior cabin

Because sailing during spring break is more expensive than other sailings, my friend and I decided to stay in the cheapest cabin available: an interior guarantee.

Soon after booking the cruise, we were assigned cabin 10673 on deck 10. At first glance, this cabin appeared to be satisfactory, but I saw our cabin was located above the music venue Dazzles. I was initially worried because I imagined we would hear thumping music all night long.

Harmony of the Seas vanity and closet

Luckily, however, we never heard any music in our cabin! Cabin 10673 was located on the starboard and aft of the ship, meaning it was slightly towards the back of the ship. I hardly ever felt ship movement so I was happy about that.

The cabin was 172 square feet in size and included a large closet, a vanity with drawers, a chair, a king bed split into two beds, and a bathroom. 

Harmony of the Seas interior cabin

We encountered a few things that could’ve been improved upon (like the slow shower drain and the inoperable USB ports on the vanity), but overall, the cabin was in great condition and it was a cozy place to call home for the week.

You can read more about my cabin on Harmony of the Seas here.

Read more: I stayed in the cheapest cabin on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas for $463 a night. Take a look inside my 172-square-foot cabin

Dining on Harmony of the Seas

Main dining room on Harmony of the Seas

Harmony of the Seas offers 20 places to eat! I found that there were plenty of options to grab a snack or enjoy a three-course meal. I also thought the quality of the food was excellent, especially at the specialty dining venues.

On the first night of the cruise, I utilized my Diamond Plus BOGO offer which allowed me to purchase one specialty restaurant dinner and receive complimentary dining for a second guest. This offer can only be used on the first or second night of the cruise, so my friend and I decided to start the cruise off right with dinner at Jamie’s Italian. 

Jamies Italian on Harmony of the Seas

My favorite dishes were the truffle arancini, ultimate garlic buns, truffle tagliatelle, and the chocolate brownie with salted caramel gelato.

For the rest of our dinners, we ate in the Main Dining Room. The Main Dining Room on Harmony of the Seas is spread out between three decks with different names - we were on deck three in the American Icon Grill. 

Brownie in the main dining room

Here are the themed menus we enjoyed for dinner each night:

  • A Taste of France
  • A Taste of Italy
  • A Taste of the Caribbean
  • A Taste of Asia
  • Royal Night
  • Bon Voyage

Because I have cruised with Royal Caribbean many times, I knew what menus to expect. However, there was a surprise menu that I had not seen before: The Asian menu! Our waiter told us that instead of the Taste of Mexico menu, Harmony of the Seas was testing the Taste of Asia menu. They’ve only been using this menu for about a month or so, but they are testing it because they received many comments from Texan passengers on previous sailings that they’d rather have different food than Mexican since that is what they normally have at home.

A Taste of Asia dining room menu

I was very happy and excited to try some new food in the Main Dining Room. I really enjoyed the appetizer and main dish I had (spring rolls and kung pao chicken) although the desserts weren’t my cup of tea. I hope to have this menu again soon!

Spring rolls in the main dining room

Every night, dinner was incredibly fast - faster than other ships I have recently been on. For the two of us, dinner was normally only an hour long. And our food was always hot which I was pleased about. This hasn’t always been the case on other Royal Caribbean cruises.

On one of our sea days, we wanted to try Johnny Rockets for lunch. This is a specialty restaurant that costs $15 per person. We felt the cost was reasonable for what we got, which was an appetizer, entree, and dessert.

Johnny Rockets menu

I haven’t had Johnny Rockets food in a very long time, so I loved coming here to see what they had to offer. I really liked my BBQ chicken bacon melt and the super sundae was super yummy!

Johnny Rockets food

Speaking of Johnny Rockets, my friend and I often indulged ourselves with a nightly milkshake from here. I was able to use my Diamond Plus drink vouchers for these milkshakes. This was a popular late-night dessert option among many cruisers because it was normally busy with people until it closed at 10 p.m. 

Milkshakes from Johnny Rockets

Read more: Top 10 Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas hidden secrets

Entertainment and activities

Royal Theatre on Harmony of the Seas

I don’t think anyone can be bored on an Oasis Class ship when there is so much to do every day of your cruise. During the day, you can participate in several activities and events, and then in the evening, you can watch top-notch entertainment. 

Almost every night of the cruise, there was a themed party of some sort in the Royal Promenade. Some of these I have seen on other Royal Caribbean cruises, but some were new to me, like the Totally Awesome 90’s Party, the Caribbean Dance Party, and the 50s and 60s Rock n Roll Dance Party. I attended all of these parties and I thought they were all extremely similar, just different styles of music. I liked people-watching and seeing everyone have a fun time dancing!

Dance parties on the Royal Promenade

There was also a Royal Roundup Country Party in Studio B, which was essentially a line dance party, that I had never seen on a Royal Caribbean cruise. It makes sense they had this because so many people on this cruise were from Texas. Yeehaw!

Country party in Studio B

On Harmony of the Seas, there are two shows in the Royal Theatre, two shows in the AquaTheatre, and two shows in Studio B. These include:

  • Grease: The Hit Broadway Musical
  • Columbus…The Musical! Return to the Caribbean
  • The Fine Line
  • Big Daddy’s Hideaway Heist
  • 1887: A Journey in Time
  • iSkate

Both shows in the Royal Theatre, Grease and Columbus, were fabulous! The last time I was on Harmony of the Seas back in 2022, I remember being wowed by Grease so I was eager to see it again. I admired the singers, dancers, costumes, and music the entire 90-minute show. 

Grease on Harmony of the Seas

I have never seen Columbus…The Musical! before, so I truly did not know what to expect. The musical is described as the following: “Royal Caribbean’s Original Production tells the tale of Christopher’s luckless distant cousin, Marvin. Banished from his father’s kingdom, Marvin sets sail on a madcap voyage of discovery in the hopes of claiming his own place in history. Unforeseen romance and a happily ever after story are on the map as Marvin Columbus crashes into his Caribbean destiny.”

Columbus The Musical on Harmony of the Seas

Needless to say, I went to the show with an open mind. After watching the musical, my first thought was how cute the storyline was. I anticipated the songs in the musical were going to be originals based on the plot, but I liked that the music was a mix of old and new songs we hear on the radio. I also liked the plot twist at the end, but I won’t spoil it for those who are going to see it soon!

My favorite shows to see on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class ships are the ones in the AquaTheatre. The Fine Line was the first show we saw, and this was described as having “high-flying feats, mind-blowing stunts, and physically demanding acrobatics that are brought to life by the world’s best extreme sports athletes.” I didn’t follow a storyline for this show, but I was just amazed by the talented divers, synchronized swimmers, and dancers.

The Fine Line on Harmony of the Seas

On the last day of our cruise around 1 p.m., my friend and I were hanging out when an unexpected announcement was made that a second aqua show was going to be offered at the AquaTheatre: Big Daddy’s Hideaway Heist. We were both pleasantly surprised that there was another show we got to see, so we planned on getting to the theatre extra early to secure a spot. 

AquaTheatre on Harmony of the Seas

This show wasn't advertised in the Cruise Compass or on the app, so I thought that was strange. Maybe this was because they didn't know if the weather would cooperate to put on the show? Either way, you would only know about the show happening if you were listening to the ship announcements.

We decided to go to the first show at 3:30 p.m., and it was super busy. We were thankful we got there early and got a good spot. The show was entertaining to watch and it was a plot that I could actually follow!

Big Daddy's Hideaway Heist on Harmony of the Seas

During this sailing, we were not able to see 1887: A Journey in Time due to a cast member injury. This was a bummer, as my friend and I were looking forward to seeing this show. 

We were able to see iSkate, which centers around the cast performing alongside their favorite tunes.

iSkate on Harmony of the Seas

There was also a pair of comedians performing in The Attic Comedy Club. It was hard to get a reservation for these shows since it was such a small venue, but we were able to snag two seats on the second night of the cruise.

In addition to seeing the shows, we took advantage of the many fun activities offered on Harmony of the Seas. These include:

  • The Ultimate Abyss
  • Three waterslides
  • FlowRider
  • Zipline
  • Carousel
  • Rock climbing
  • Ice skating
Zipline on Harmony of the Seas

Another thing to note was that apparently there was an escape room onboard in The Puzzle Break near Adventure Ocean. However, I never saw it advertised, so I believe it is closed for the time being.

Read more: Trying out the free activities on Harmony of the Seas

Ports of call

Mayan ruins in Cozumel, Mexico

Our seven-day cruise had planned stops in Roatan, Honduras; Costa Maya, Mexico; and Cozumel, Mexico. However, something completely unexpected happened during our cruise - our stop in Costa Maya was canceled last minute.

My friend had woken up early to get ready for her excursion in Costa Maya when she heard the ship announcement. The captain informed everyone that we were not able to dock in Costa Maya due to high swells. This was definitely a bummer because my friend was excited about her excursion to swim with the dolphins. We did not dock somewhere else and we had another sea day instead.

Royal Promenade on Harmony of the Seas

My friend was refunded for her excursion and everyone received a port and air tax credit of $17.12 on our onboard accounts.

Our first port stop was Roatan, Honduras. I noticed that there is now a new pool and bar area right as you get off the ship. 

New pool and bar in Roatan

There was a sign that read, “Free beach chair and pool with a purchase at the pool bar.” It didn't appear super busy, so this could be a new option for people who don't want to venture far from the ship but still say they did something in Roatan.

Pool and bar in Roatan, Honduras

In Cozumel, my friend and I did an excursion together called, “Legacy of the Maya: Ruins and Chocolate Tasting.” I have not done an excursion in Cozumel in a long time so it was fun to explore new parts of the island I have never been to before. My favorite part of the excursion was the chocolate samples we got to try. It was also cool to learn more about the Mayan history of the area.

Overall thoughts

Harmony of the Seas in Roatan, Honduras

My friend and I had lots of fun together during our spring break cruise on Harmony of the Seas. 

While there were a few unexpected instances that occurred, like Costa Maya being canceled, our ship departing Galveston an hour and a half late, and the musical being stopped in the middle due to a technical issue, we still enjoyed our time onboard.

Central Park on Harmony of the Seas

Harmony of the Seas is one of my favorite Royal Caribbean ships because of the many things you can do onboard. The staff onboard was excellent, the ship was in great condition, and the entertainment was superb.

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