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Harmony ? Super Bowl ? Cruise [not] Live [at all] Blog - February 3-10, 2019


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Welcome to my [not] live [at all] blog from my Harmony of the Seas Super Bowl Cruise. I originally planned to do an actual live blog, but I knew that I would struggle to keep up with it while on the ship. So instead I decided to use the notes app on my phone to document what we did each day while taking lots photos and a few videos. I have always enjoyed following these live blogs and they've helped me get through several dry docks and countless boring days at work so I am excited to pay it forward. I have a lot of respect for the amount of work it takes, especially doing it live onboard. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to do one. Bare with me as this is my first time, and if you have any questions about the ship or ports feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer.

A little background on why we chose this cruise as well as on my wife and I…

We are age 29 and 30 and we live in Texas. We usually cruise out of Galveston, but we have been eyeing the Oasis class for years. We actually booked Harmony through Next Cruise on our last Liberty sailing, but decided to cancel because the flight made it just a little too expensive for us. After testing the waters with Carnival last year we now know that Royal Caribbean is the line for us and decided to take the leap and fly out to Florida to sail on Harmony. We went all out on this one and booked both the drink package as well as a 5 night dining package. The dining package was a first for us so we were very excited to get to try all of the restaurants an Oasis class ship has to offer. My wife is a vegetarian, so there should be some good information in here about the vegetarian options at the different restaurants. The Eastern Caribbean itinerary was also a first for us which we were very excited for. We booked Harmony about a year ago not even realizing this was during the Super Bowl cruise. It worked out great because we both love football and we are Texans fans so unfortunately our team is never there anyways! ?

 

Itinerary: St Maarten, San Juan, and Labadee

Stateroom: Central Park Balcony

 

I am going to try to post a day or two at a time to keep the same feel as a live blog. Here we go…

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Day 0 (Pre-Cruise Hotel)

We flew into Ft Lauderdale a day early and rented a car originally planning to drive down to Miami, but the weather wasn't great so we decided to just stay in town for the day. We booked the Sheraton Suites-Plantation using Priceline Express Deals for $127 all in. They were doing some construction all around the hotel building some sort of new shopping complex. We think this may have been why the deal was so good, but there was no noise issues and it didn't bother us at all. The hotel was great for the price and we would stay there again. It is located in West Ft Lauderdale about 20 minutes from the terminal but since we were renting a car anyways that was fine with us. Here of some photos of the hotel and our room.

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Day 0 (Pre-Cruise-Las Olas Boulevard)

We went down to Las Olas Boulevard to find something to eat and drink. We didn't want to go anywhere expensive and really just wanted something quick and easy. We took to Yelp and found a place called Empanada Top that served Argentinian style empanadas and had 4.5 stars on Yelp so we decided to give it a shot. We sat at the bar and got great service from the bartender who explained the difference between the different types of empanadas served in Central America. He said Argentinian empanadas are baked rather than fried. They had several different choices but I went with Beef and Shrimp while my wife ordered the Spinach and Spinach and Cheese. We both thought they were all really good, but if I had to pick a favorite it was the shrimp. It almost had an Italian type of flavor to it with mozzarella cheese which I wasn't expecting. They were very affordable as well at $3.90 per empanada.

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After that we headed right next door to El Camino to get some margaritas. They have an incredible selection of margaritas and it was hard to pick one because they all sounded so good. We chose the Smoked Pineapple and Watermelon Jalapeño. They have a really good happy hour, even on Saturday, that we just missed where you can get them for $5 or $6 which is a steal. 

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On the way back to the hotel we passed a Publix and decided to stop in to grab some last minute supplies. We also really wanted to check out Publix because we have heard a lot of good things about it. Here in Texas we have a similar store, H-E-B, that everyone loves and we were interested to compare them. I can see why people love it, and it is very similar to H-E-B. After that we headed back to the room to get some rest and get ready for the big day tomorrow. There is nothing quite like the anticipation felt the night before a cruise...

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Day 1 (Embarkation-Daytime) ?️

We woke up early with plenty of time to return the rental car to the location right outside of Port Everglades. We used Budget and they did offer a complimentary shuttle to the cruise port, but it was taking a while and we thought it seemed like we might not fit on the first shuttle so we decided to Uber for $7 instead. We arrived at the port around 10:30AM, had our bags checked in, and were through security without ever having to wait. We probably sat in the waiting area past check-in for about 5-10 minutes before we were called to board.

When we got on it was a pretty surreal experience for us. It had been years in the making, and in a weird way it almost felt like we had been there before because we had watched so many YouTube videos and seen so many pictures. It would be cool to experience a ship without having seen any footage of it before, but that just isn't possible for us! The first thing we did was walk the promenade and check out the Bionic Bar before heading to the MDR to set up our specialty dining reservations. There were a few groups ahead of us so it took about 15 minutes before it was our turn to set up all of our reservations for the week. I am glad we went when we did because it looked a little busier later on. Shout out to @Matt for that tip!

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Once all of our dining reservations were set we headed down to Central Park to get a drink at the Trellis Bar and get a sneak peak of our room that was located directly above the bar. Our first drinks were a Ginger Rye for me and a Mudslide for my wife. I was immediately impressed with the menu selection at the Trellis Bar. They had a whole page of drinks dedicated to each type of liquor and I saw several I was interested in trying. At this moment I knew that we were going to have no problem getting our money's worth out of the drink package. We sat and enjoyed our drinks in Central Park while staring at our room above the bar excited for the rooms to be ready. I will do a separate post for the room. After we finished our drinks we headed up to the Solarium to check out the Bridge Wing. Typical first time Oasis class cruiser stuff, I suppose. We also had lunch in the Solarium Bistro, but as a true live blog amateur I forgot to take a picture! ?‍♂️

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As all cruisers know, the cruise doesn't really begin until the muster drill is complete. Our muster station was in Guest Services so we headed down there to see this video I have heard so much about. It would have been nice to be in a station where we could sit for muster, but I do think the video is a nice change of pace from the regular old muster drill. Once that was completed we had one more super important thing to take care of: Avocado Margaritas! These were one of our favorite drinks we had on Liberty so we just had to go get one and check out Sabor on the Boardwalk. They were a little different then we remember, I think because they use a paste rather than mashing avocados but they were still delicious. 

After that it was off to sail away at the pool deck. We didn't know it at the time, but the man dancing in the referee uniform was our cruise director Daniel. He is filling in for Marc Walker while he is on vacation and we enjoyed him. The woman dancing in the photo was also the 2nd top cruiser at the Crown and Anchor ceremony. She was a lot of fun and you could always find her where the music was having a good time. Ft Lauderdale was a beautiful sail away, especially since we are accustomed to Galveston. It was cool seeing the tall buildings moving along the side and it almost looked like they were moving rather than the ship. I included a video down below to show what I am talking about.

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Room Tour (Central Park Balcony - 10229)

We booked a Central Park Balcony for this cruise because we liked the perks that came with it. You get a free bottle of red wine, which is nice, but we were really excited about the complimentary specialty lunch. I am a certified over-planner and this was a bit of a dream cruise for us, so I did quite a bit of research to find the perfect room. I wanted to get one of the larger balconies in Central Park that have been talked about on the blog in the past and I really liked that central area of the park near the Trellis Bar. When I originally booked on the RC website they didn't show any available so I just booked another room near the center, but then saw a comment on here from @Lovetocruise2002 about checking for all available rooms using Costco Travel's website. After doing this I was able to find one of the larger balconies available and called Royal to get it. Thank you so much for that tip!

The rooms were available right on schedule at 1:00PM. The size of the room worked great for us and there was more than enough storage for us. We didn't have any problems with the noise from the pool deck when the door was fully closed. You could faintly hear the music, but if you wanted to take a nap during the day the sound of the TV would drown it out. We were also directly below where they play from so if you wanted to hear it even less choose a room near the ends of Central Park. You'll also be closer to the elevator there as well. At night it was always very quiet and peaceful. Here are some pictures of the room, the bathroom, and balcony as well as a video of the view from the balcony. It was a great people watching spot and we also took a few naps out there as well. 

Note: I am not sure how often they do this, but they were replacing a lot of plants on the first day. The last picture is all of the plants in paper bags before they put them out. It was cool getting to see them getting them all being placed out there.

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2 hours ago, JLMoran said:

Loving the pictures and videos! That last one of central park was a really smooth pan, did you use a gimbal or is that just the built-in stabilization?

Thank you! I used a Go Pro 5 for that one. I used the Go Pro for most of the videos and my cell phone for most of the pictures. The Go Pro 5 was the first model they put out that had built in electronic stabilization so it does have some minor issues. It works really well for pans but tends to move a little on walking shots, especially in low light. It works best in sunlight shots in general and in my opinion on the 1080P and lower frames per second settings. I have heard the newer Go Pros have even better built in stabilization now.

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Day 1 (Embarkation-Chops and Super Bowl Party)

For our first night we decided to go to Chops for dinner. We went as soon as they opened so that we could make sure to catch the majority of the game that night. I had the lobster bisque and 9 ounce filet and my wife got the wild mushroom soup and a caesar salad. We had sides of mashed potatoes and truffled fries. The waiter did offer my wife something different since she is a vegetarian but she wasn't all that hungry and was just in the mood for a ceasar salad. The highlights of the meal were definitely the wild mushroom soup and the filet. The filet was a perfect medium rare and my wife liked the soup so much she ordered another serving. The fries were incredibly good too. Although it wasn't our favorite restaurant I thought the steak was exceptional and that is what a steakhouse is all about, after all. For any vegetarians out there Chops probably isn't the best choice, not that it should come as a shock. We knew that going in but I really wanted to try the filet, so there was no disappointment there.

The service was a little bit poor to be honest. It took about 15 minutes to get greeted and there were only bout 5 or 6 tables in the whole restaurant. Once we ordered it got a little better but we still thought it took a little longer than it should have overall. It didn't bother us much though, nothing does on a cruise. No big deal.

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We skipped dessert so that we could get over to the Super Bowl party. It was also a part of our strategy to avoid feeling stuffed and miserable throughout the cruise. We were only going to order dessert if we still had room or something was just too good to pass up. We failed at that the majority of time but stuck to it on night 1.

There were multiple places to watch the Super Bowl on the ship. It was on in the On Air Club, the Pub, and the Aquatheatre and all of them were decorated for the big game. The real action was on the Boardwalk at the Aquatheatre which is where they had a nice little Super Bowl party setup. Since we were late to the party we didn't get pictures of the food they had set up but they had the typical football food you would expect like nachos, wings, hot dogs, burgers, fries, and various other finger foods. The only catch was that you had to pay $6 in order to have access to it, which had a lot of people talking. I did think it was a little odd since, for the most part, it was the same food available in the Windjammer. It didn't bother us much since we were so stuffed from Chops! A lot of people were grabbing food from the Dog House or the Windjammer and bringing it down which is probably what we would have done.

They also had a few ice sculptures and cakes set up that represented each team. The atmosphere was great in the Aquatheatre and even though it was a relatively uneventful game overall there was a lot of energy with the majority of people rooting for the Rams. We couldn't get a seat at first and watched the majority of the first half in the pub but we were eventually able to find seats in the Aquatheatre after halftime. I thought it would be a good idea in the future to maybe charge the $6 for access to the food and also reserved seating. Since we got there late I guess it is possible they did and we just didn't know, but I don't think that was the case. I probably would have paid $6 just for reserved seating because it was an awesome place to watch the Super Bowl. I know @Matt already spoiled the ending, but the Patriots won! Overall I think Royal Caribbean did a good job with it and it was a lot of fun to watch with such a large group.

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Following the Super Bowl we headed down to Entertainment Place to check out the night club in the Attic. It was really dead in there but they also had some music playing in Studio B and there were a few people in there but it was still a little slow. We decided to check out the Boot and Bonnet Pub and listen to some music to end the night. The guitarist for the week was named Kieron and he was from London. He was really good and became our favorite source of nighttime entertainment. We listened and sang along until he was done playing before grabbing some pizza from Sorrento's and heading to bed. Tomorrow is the first of two consecutive sea days.

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Day 2 (Sea Day)

We woke up around 8:30 and decided on Johnny Rockets for breakfast. How cool is it waking up in the morning and deciding between several different breakfast spots and none of them cost anything? I managed to remember to snap a picture of the menu but once again forgot to get a picture of the food. It was a really good breakfast option and it was nice to have a sit down type breakfast that didn't take a long time. I had an omelette and my wife had the two eggs "her way" which was scrambled.

While eating breakfast the Ultimate Abyss caught my eye so I went to give it a try. It was a lot of fun. It isn't as fast as it looks but still fast enough to be a thrill. After that we took a walk around the jogging track. A lot of people talk about trying to find that connection with the sea on Oasis class ships and this is definitely the place to find it. The chairs on the track along the back and sides of the ship are great spots to read or just relax. I love that peaceful sound of waves crashing against the ship.

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I was still feeling a little bit groggy from exercising my drink package rights the night before so I decided to exercise them again, only this time on a juice from Vitality Cafe in the spa. I suck at eating vegetables so I decided to just have them put all of the vegetables they had in there with some ginger and lemon. The orange color comes from the carrots, and while it doesn't look all that appealing I really enjoyed it. They also have smoothies as well there and I think these options are an underrated aspect of the drink package. I swear they cure hangovers, but it may just be that fresh salty air.

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Then it was time for the World's Sexiest Man competition. If you have seen one of these then you have pretty much seen them all, but it is one of those fun things that remind you that you are on a cruise and we enjoy watching it. After the competition we stayed on the pool deck and enjoyed some music from the pool band for a while. We thought they were a really good pool band.

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After that we walked around in the Solarium and talked to a nice couple we met out on the bridge wing for a little while. Here are a few short videos of the Solarium and the bridge wing on Harmony for anyone who has never seen it before. Now it was time to head back to the room and get ready for dinner. We are going to 150 Central Park tonight.

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Day 3 (Sea Night)

Before dinner we stopped by Dazzles because we heard the house band music and it drew us in. I definitely agree that Dazzles is an underrated venue on Oasis class ships. I loved the energy of the live band and the venue itself is incredibly nice. We listened for a while and when they stopped playing they were setting up for the Finish That Lyric Gameshow so we stuck around and watched that for a while as well. It was really fun to watch and I'm glad we happened upon it but we had to leave early for our dinner reservation at 150 Central Park.

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150 Central Park was probably the venue that my wife and I were the most excited about and it didn't disappoint. Not only were there a ton of options for my wife, but I also had trouble narrowing it down to just one item, so I didn't. For appetizers I had the Seared Honey Glazed Scallops and my wife had the Roasted Spiced Pumpkin Bisque and we both really enjoyed them. For entrees my wife had the Cauliflower Steak and I had the Roasted Beef Tenderloin and also the Lobster Thermidor. They were both incredibly good and I honestly couldn't pick a favorite. If I went back I would order both again. We finished off the meal with the fried cheesecake which was also great. Our waiter, Andre, was probably the best waiter we have ever had anywhere.

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Once we finished an amazing meal we were incredibly excited to go see Grease! We had reservations but we were running a little bit late and only managed to get there about 15 minutes early. Even though they hadn't started letting the standby group in it was already packed and we could not find a seat together anywhere. We spoke with a crew member and we were able to book Grease for the last night of the cruise. We learned our lesson on getting there only 15 minutes early. If you want to make sure that you get a good seat or if you have a larger group I would recommend getting there at least 20-30 minutes early.

It actually worked out because we were able to get into the comedy show that we probably wouldn't have been able to see otherwise. I didn't get any photos but the comedians were both funny. We went and had a few drinks after the show and then wound up back in The Attic for the silent disco. For anyone who has never been this is a night club event where everyone is given headphones and two choices of music to play. The color on the headphones indicates what music someone is listening to. It was a lot of fun to see everyone dancing and then take off the headphones and basically hear nothing but people singing. It was a blast and everybody seemed to really enjoy it. Here is a picture and a video of it. After that we headed to bed. Another sea day was coming tomorrow.

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1 minute ago, ellcee said:

Dumb question...do they air the commercials from the Superbowl or are you just getting the Superbowl feed?

That's actually a really good question! They did play commercials but not the same ones you would see at home. They were ESPN Caribbean commercials and they were basically the same 3 or 4 commercials every break.

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1 minute ago, cruiselife said:

That's actually a really good question! They did play commercials but not the same ones you would see at home. They were ESPN Caribbean commercials and they were basically the same 3 or 4 commercials every break.

You didn't miss anything good this year, not only did the game suck, the commercials were not as creative as usual.

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21 hours ago, cruiselife said:

Day 1 (Embarkation-Chops and Super Bowl Party)

The service was a little bit poor to be honest. It took about 15 minutes to get greeted and there were only bout 5 or 6 tables in the whole restaurant. Once we ordered it got a little better but we still thought it took a little longer than it should have overall. It didn't bother us much though, nothing does on a cruise. No big deal.

I experienced something similar a few months ago. Waited almost 20 minutes to get greeted. Then other 15 minutes to the waiter to arrive. Other 30 minutes to the starters to arrive. Then other 20 minutes waiting for the main course until we gave up and just left. No one there seemed to care, and there were only about 5 or 6 tables in the restaurant. 

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2 hours ago, carlosalonsor said:

I experienced something similar a few months ago. Waited almost 20 minutes to get greeted. Then other 15 minutes to the waiter to arrive. Other 30 minutes to the starters to arrive. Then other 20 minutes waiting for the main course until we gave up and just left. No one there seemed to care, and there were only about 5 or 6 tables in the restaurant. 

It was definitely a bad way to start but luckily we never had an issue with service for the rest of the trip. We actually had great service every meal after that so I think it was just a one off for us.

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Day 3 (Sea Day)

We woke up around 9:30 after a late night and decided on Park Cafe for breakfast. This became our go to spot most days because it was just so easy to run in and grab something. The selection isn't nearly as good as in the Windjammer or Johnny Rockets, but the convenience factor was there and the food was still good. I always got the fried egg, ham, and cheese muffin while my wife had the vegetarian options that changed each day. She would also get the fried egg one as well and switch out the ham with the vegetables occasionally. 

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After that we took a few laps around the jogging track and heard some commotion coming from the Aquatheatre so we went to check it out. It was the Crown and Anchor ceremony. For those curious the top cruiser had 2,340 days and he gave a really awesome speech about his love for the crew, but also the Flowrider. Once the ceremony was over we headed over to get in a round of putt putt. One thing I noticed was that they are using some kind of foam balls, I am not sure if this has always been the case. Being a golfer I didn't love the way they felt putting but I guess I could always use an extra excuse anyways!

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Next we went back to the room to get dressed to hang out on the pool deck. We said we were going to take it easy on the drinks for the day, but then the pineapple guy showed up. We are suckers for a Pina Colada in a pineapple just once on a cruise, so we paid the extra $9 to get one. It was an absolutely perfect day at sea and this is the calmest I have ever seen the ocean on all of my cruises. 

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This one is for you @FlowBro Ty. We hung out on the pool deck for the majority of the afternoon before heading back to the Flowrider. I gave it a shot and it was a lot of fun, but I am not very good at it. It is hard to get practice because there is usually a 30 minute or longer wait and I don't like to spend my whole day waiting for my turn only to fall after a short time. There was a guy that was ridiculously good at it and you could always find him back there killing it. Here is a 20 second video of him doing his thing on another day. He was definitely the best of the cruisers that we saw all week. I added a picture of someone else riding just in case the video won't load for anyone.

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After that it was time to head back to the room and get ready for dinner. We are going to Wonderland tonight...

 

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Day 3 (Sea Night)

We had reservations at Wonderland tonight and we weren't really sure what to expect. We knew the experience was going to be really cool, but we had also heard a lot of mixed reviews about the food. We were pleasantly surprised. At first we were a little concerned that we weren't going to be able to find much for my wife to eat since she is a vegetarian but it actually turned out to be her favorite restaurant on the cruise. They modified a lot of the dishes to make them vegetarian and there were a few that already were anyways. Personally I didn't like the entrees nearly as much as the appetizers. They weren't bad, but the appetizers were just incredible in my opinion. We enjoyed the cocktails as well but forgot to get a picture.

There will be a lot of pictures here because the courses just keep on coming. In the spirit of Wonderland I won't explain any of the pictures and let your imagination do it's thing (I wouldn't be able to explain them anyways). We loved the whole experience and we had a joke that if you didn't go through the door then you didn't really eat at Wonderland. 

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Following a great dinner we had reservations to see impressionist Jeff Tracta. He did impressions of people and music and he did them very well. He had a great Donald Trump impression that either side of the spectrum could get a laugh out of. He covered every genre of music and I think cruisers of all ages really enjoyed it. We are always so impressed with the types of acts that Royal Caribbean brings onboard. We really missed that when we tried out Carnival on our last cruise and they rolled out the same cast every night to just sing and dance to a different genre of music. 

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After the show we headed into the Promenade and caught the 50s and 60s party. One thing we really love doing on a cruise is just standing by and watching people have a good time. There is something about being on a cruise that lets people really let loose unlike anywhere else in my opinion. 

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When the party ended we decided to close out the night at the pub with our favorite entertainer Kieron. We were joined in the pub by several cast members of The Fine Line that you can see in the picture. Kieron was really popular among the crew and you could always find members of the Grease and The Fine Line in the pub when he was performing. He was really good about playing requests which is always nice. I requested Let It Be and was able to get a video of him playing it. 

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No late night on a cruise is complete without a slice of Sorrento's. I also found that the quality of pizza has improved since our last cruise. I actually found it quite good but the drink package helps. It was a great sea day today and the port stops begin tomorrow morning with St. Maarten. We were very excited to check out 3 brand new ports for us.
 
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Day 4 (St. Maarten)

Today was our first port day and we grabbed a quick breakfast at Park Cafe before heading out to meet the famous Leo Brown who we had hired as our driver for the day. We were joined for the day by Independence of the Seas. Leo has new van now that is much larger than his old vehicle and we had been trying to find someone to join us but were unsuccessful. Arriving in St Maarten was beautiful and unlike any ports that we have been to before. It was cool seeing all of the massive yachts. The black one had a helicopter on it!

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When we met up with Leo we found out that he had found another family that were also Royal Caribbean Blog followers from Canada. Neither of our groups knew we had anyone else joining us but it was a good surprise. They were really great people and it was a lot of fun meeting them and having some company for the day. One thing we didn't know would be included was that Leo had a big cooler in his trunk with plenty of drinks of some of his own homemade rum punch. I thought it was a nice touch!

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Our first stop was Maho Beach to watch a few planes land. I have seen tons of photos of this place, but I had no idea how crowded it actually was. I agree with @Matt on his opinion that it is definitely something to see, but I wouldn't want to stay for very long. We stayed for about 20 minutes and then headed out.

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Next we drove around and saw different parts of the island. Being a native of the island Leo had a lot of information that you wouldn't be able to get from just anywhere. It was cool learning about the history of the island, the impact of the hurricane, as well as Leo's experiences growing up there.

We headed to the French side of the island to get some food and stopped somewhere in Grand Case that Leo said was one of the best areas to get some local food. I didn't get the name of the place, but it was really good food. I had the Mahi Mahi and rice and it was delicious. My wife had some rice, cole slaw, and fries. The restaurant was located right on the end of Grand Case Beach so we were able to go back and get a look at it. There were a few locals there enjoying the beach but it was pretty much empty other than that. 

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Following lunch we drove around a little more including brief stop at Orient Beach. It looked incredible there and I think when we return to St Maarten that is where we will probably spend the majority of the day. It was just massive and seemed so natural compared to a lot of the beaches we have seen in the Caribbean. In order to make sure we got back with plenty of time we headed back to the port stopping at one more overlook.

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We really enjoyed the tour of the island but would have liked to have spent a little more time out of the car. It was a great way to see the whole island and learn where we would want to spend our time when we return though. We still had about an hour and a half and we kind of regretted not spending a little more time on the beach so we decided to take the water taxi over to downtown Philipsburg and get our toes in the sand.

This area was a lot cooler than I was expecting and I really liked the Dutch architecture. There were lots of stray dogs running around that seemed to just be a part of the community there. 

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We didn't want to stay too long and risk missing the ship so we headed back on the water taxi. The sail away in St Maarten is absolutely beautiful and at that point was by far the most beautiful island we had ever visited. This is definitely a place we will be returning to because there was still so much more to experience. The sun was beginning to set as we sailed away and it made for an amazing view.

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Tonight we have dinner booked at Jamie's Italian and are seeing The Fine Line!

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Day 4 (Jamies Italian and The Fine Line)

Tonight was dinner at Jamie's Italian.  I really liked the menu selection at Jamie's Italian so it was hard to decide what to order. I ended up having the calamari for an appetizer while my wife had the vegetable plank. For our entrees I had the Dry Aged Tenderloin and my wife had the Risotto Caprese. We both wanted to try some kind of pasta so we each ordered the Truffle Tagliatelle and the waiter was able to give us each a half serving of that. The tenderloin may have been the best cut of meat I had on the ship and we both agreed that the pasta was incredible. This was probably the best restaurant for vegetarians in terms of menu selection. For dessert we had the Tiramisu and the Lemon Meringue Cheesecake. Both were great.

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Now it was time to see The Fine Line. I knew the Aquatheatre shows were going to be great, but I didn't realize how great. To be honest I thought it seemed a little gimmicky. All of the videos and pictures I had seen of them were basically the parts where they were just splashing around in the water. I knew there would be some diving, but I had no idea the level of acrobatic stunts and artistic quality that went into the show.

This show was absolutely incredible and was by far the best show we have ever seen on a cruise ship and is right up there with some of the Cirque Du Soleil shows we have seen in Vegas. I got a lot of great footage from the show but I am going to leave it out so that people can experience it first hand. I have one question about the guy who we fondly referred to as "Spinny Man" for anyone who knows. When he goes on vacation do they bring on a new person to do the same thing? I feel like I have seen a lot of pictures of him on the blog and it always looks like the same person. It seems like it would be hard to find other people who can spin in circles for almost 10 minutes straight.

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After the show we did another one of our favorite things to do on a cruise and that is the Love and Marriage Game Show. This was probably the funniest group of couples we have ever seen on the show but I will leave out the details to keep it PG. Our cruise director Daniel was a great host for the show.

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We just relaxed for the rest of the night because we wanted to catch the sunrise in San Juan the next morning so I didn't take any more photos. I figured this would be a good time to highlight some of my favorite wall art from around the ship.

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Tomorrow we arrive in San Juan bright and early! 

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16 hours ago, KLA said:

Kieron is my FAVORITE pub performer on any ship - we were in the pub every night of our Allure B2B to listen to him play. 

Same here. We generally don't spend a lot of time in the pubs but it was our go to spot on Harmony. Just curious, did he play "Alice" often on Allure? 

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4 hours ago, cruiselife said:

I have one question about the guy who we fondly referred to as "Spinny Man" for anyone who knows. When he goes on vacation do they bring on a new person to do the same thing? I feel like I have seen a lot of pictures of him on the blog and it always looks like the same person. It seems like it would be hard to find other people who can spin in circles for almost 10 minutes straight.

I am so excited that the spinning guy is still there!  I really want my girls to see him!  Fingers crossed that he will still be there for the March 10th sailing.

When we sailed Harmony last time, we had the opportunity to meet the spinning guy.  Your question was the first question I asked him.  He explained that he is difficult to replace and when he is sick or on vacation, they just sub in with another act.  Not sure if that has changed since August 2017, but that was his answer then.

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14 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

I am so excited that the spinning guy is still there!  I really want my girls to see him!  Fingers crossed that he will still be there for the March 10th sailing.

When we sailed Harmony last time, we had the opportunity to meet the spinning guy.  Your question was the first question I asked him.  He explained that he is difficult to replace and when he is sick or on vacation, they just sub in with another act.  Not sure if that has changed since August 2017, but that was his answer then.

That's awesome. Thanks for the answer! They did have a new cast of The Fine Line onboard learning the show on our sailing. Not sure if that means that the spinning guy will be replaced on this cast change or not. I hope not!

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Day 5 (Old San Juan)

Today we arrived in San Juan bright and early at 7AM. We are not morning people, but really wanted to make sure that we were up to see us sail in to San Juan at sunrise. We were able to get up just in time and afterwards had a quick breakfast in the Windjammer before heading out. We didn't have any plans for the day other than that we wanted to explore the city on foot.

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When we first got off the ship we just walked around the streets of Old San Juan and were just blown away by the beauty of all the buildings. It had so much charm and it quickly became our favorite cruise port we had ever been to. We do like beach days, but our favorite thing to do in port is to explore on our own and San Juan is perfect for that. It's even better that you can do it all on foot or just hop in an Uber if you don't feel like walking.

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After walking around for a while we had worked up a little bit of an appetite. It was still really early so lunch didn't feel quite right and we happened to stumble upon a restaurant that one of our favorite YouTubers (The Endless Adventure) had been to on their trip to San Juan.

It was called Waffle-Era and they are known for their coffee and tea as well as their waffles. It was incredibly good and I definitely recommend it as a place to stop in and grab some coffee and a waffle. We just shared a half waffle to hold us over, but we saw a ton of really unique waffles that looked incredible and they have breakfast and lunch options that incorporate waffles into the dish. They make their coffee in a very unique way that I wouldn't be able to explain but the menu pictured below does.

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When we finished breakfast we really wanted to go see the famous Restaurant Barrachina where the original Pina Colada was invented and try one for ourselves. We sat at the bar and had a really good chat with the bartender who taught us a lot about Puerto Rican rum. It was really great talking to him and I wish we had gotten his name. The Pina Colada was delicious and you could get them to-go as well if you wanted to take it with you on the street. 

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When we left there we came upon the pigeon park that we have seen in a lot of pictures. My wife is not of fan of birds so she was squirming at the park. If you visit there you will probably find a local holding a bad of bird seed offering to let you feed the birds. I declined, but he threw a bit around my feet while I walked by and the pigeons swarmed me. It didn't bother me and I thought it was funny because I am not afraid of birds, but if you are not comfortable with them maybe avoid this area. It was pretty cool though! Here is a video of all of the pigeons.

My wife was drawn to a sign featuring affogatos at a gelato place called Chocolato so we stopped in to get one. For those who don't know an affogato is a shot of espresso served with a scoop of ice cream. She really liked it and you get to pick from lots of flavors of gelato. They also had a great courtyard patio in the back where you could enjoy it. 

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We decided to head up the hill and check out the fort. We didn't pay to go inside but just walked around on all of the grass and enjoyed all of the kites flying. It was a really cool place and felt like a massive park. We also got a great look at a several iguanas. I would really like to do a tour inside at some point and learn more about the history of the fort.

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It was getting pretty close to time to get back to the port so we started making our way over there. On the way back I was having some regrets about not trying some local food, particularly mofongo, so we stopped in to a place called Triana Tapas Flamenco near the cruise port. We only had about an hour until all aboard and we were pretty uneasy about it, but the bartender assured me that he could get me some mofongo and fried grouper with plenty of time to enjoy it and make it back. Sure enough he came through and it was really good. The mofongo was good, but the grouper was incredible. 

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We made it back to the ship with plenty of time and got onboard to enjoy an incredible sail away. There are no words to describe the beauty of seeing the fort from the ship as you leave Old San Juan. This was by far our favorite cruise port we have ever visited and I could easily see myself spending more time there. The ABC island itinerary is on our bucket list and when we do it we decided we would sail out of San Juan and stay a few days before or after. I got a video of the fort as we sailed away. 

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Day 5 (Night)

After a long day of walking around and exploring San Juan we were really tired so we took a good nap. Cruise naps are the best naps. When we woke up we decided to go to the ice show that we had booked for later on in the cruise. We were able to get great seats basically in the front row so we cancelled our later reservation. Ice skating shows aren't something we would do on land but we are always so impressed with them on Royal Caribbean ships. The added effects on the ice on Harmony was a great added touch. 

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After the show it was time for dinner and we were saving our final specialty dinner for day 7 so we decided to try out the Solarium Bistro. I thought this was a really great option and I really like the format of it. It makes it so quick and easy and you can start eating appetizers as soon as you sit down. I had a massive filet of salmon for dinner and my wife wasn't all that hungry so she just had appetizers for her meal. There are no vegetarian options the menu but the waiter did offer for the chef to prepare something for her. The service was great and right on par with what you would expect at the other sit down venues on the ship. For dessert I had the creme brûlée that they prepare in the kitchen.

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Tonight we had reservations for Columbus. We were excited to see this show and weren't disappointed. I was starting to question it when the singing and dancing cheeseburgers came out but I thought it recovered well with a creative ending. I liked how they used popular music to work into their storyline. I won't ruin the ending but I thought it was a really fun and unexpected way to wrap up the story. The ship on the stage was very impressive and the cast was great as usual.

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After the show we grabbed a drink at the Bionic Bar. I really liked how you could customize your drinks there and give them a creative name. We had a lot of fun with the names. It was cool to be able to see what everyone else came up with since it shows you the recipes people concocted. The bartenders there were very quiet, but they made some great drinks. Here is a video of them doing their thing.

We closed out the night at Red which is the nightclub experience in Studio B. Afterwards we grabbed some pizza at Sorrento's before heading to bed. Tomorrow we will be in Labadee which will be our first visit there.

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