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MarvinS

Just off Harmony & CocoCay - stray observations

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Just got off Harmony on a brand new itinerary:  Port Canaveral, CocoCay (2nd time this ship visits here), Cozumel, Roatan (first time for Harmony), & Costa Maya

Here are a few stray observations I had:

1)  I did NOT purchase Voom, but discovered that if I simply connected to the Harmony-Guest wifi (for the app updates and schedules), I was easily able to send/receive iMessages to anyone, including those back at home!

2)  The Stowaway Piano Man was on this sailing.  I had the privilege of riding the elevator with him!

3)  First time Harmony visited Roatan.  The captain changed our arrival / departure times.  Roatan local time was 2 hours earlier that ship time (that remained on Eastern time).  Original ship scheduled time was 8AM - 5PM (ship time).  New schedule was 9:30AM - 6:30PM (ship time).  Evidently, the local vendors didn't want to be there at 6AM (their local time / 8AM ship time) to open up shops, so the captain delayed the arrival / departure time.

4)  Got WOW bands for everyone in our group.  They worked extremely well, and could be used anywhere on the ship in lieu of a seapass card.  They also worked for entry into Thrill Waterpark on CocoCay.  Every station on the ship had portable readers that read either your WOW band or your seapass card.  This worked for everything from towel checkout to shops to entry into reserved shows & events.  You still needed your seapass card for getting off the ship, and for entry in the ports back onto the ship.

5)  The Soda cups for the freestyle machines were the same old-style ones I've seen before.   I did see a few of the new ones (with straw and looped carry handle), but didn't know where they came from.  I had a boardwalk balcony cabin, so got complementary soda cups.  Even those that were for sale on board (with various drink packages) were only the original style ones...

6)  There seemed to be professional photographers on the ship most every night, and not just formal dining nights.  I didn't recall seeing this many days with photographers and various backgrounds on prior cruises.

7)  Did the escape room (and made it out with 5 1/2 minutes to spare!).  This event was extremely popular.  Spoke with someone in guest services, and they said the escape room was completely booked within two days (all days and all sessions) of it becoming available to book on the cruise planner.  Glad I booked it as soon as I saw it available!

8 ) CocoCay - Two things: 

     A)  Plan on doing the "highest" waterslide and the slingshot ride as soon as you can.  With the volume of people on Harmony, the lines were extremely long (2+ hour wait for these two rides) past about 10AM.  The lines finally shortened closer to about 3:30PM to 4PM.  

     B)  The lockers in Thrill Waterpark were complementary to use.  Cost was included in the Thrill Waterpark ticket purchase.  You just found a open / available locker, put our stuff in, and locked it.  We could then open it and access our stuff, and simply re-lock it as needed.  I have no idea if lockers outside of Thrill Waterpark were complementary or not...

9)  Cruise Director, Marc, was excellent!!!

Overall, we had an awesome cruise!!!

 

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I don't drink at all, so never purchased any drinks, but I did go to one of the local bars a couple of times and get a soda.  It was no problem at the bar with their portable reader, and I did NOT have to remove the WOW band.  I assume this would work likewise for alcohol too...

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Will be boarding Harmony in 10 days so doing the same itinerary.  Just wondering what you did in Costa Maya.  We have Maya Chan booked but have been hearing a lot about the seaweed issue and smell.  I know it a typical issue there but wondering if it’s worse than normal.  Also, any concerns  in Roatan with mosquitoes?  Again, I think this concern is typical but I’m thinking I’m hearing more and more from groups about these issues since it so close to sail date?  

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For Costa Maya, we did not do an excursion.  We just walked off the ship to the port shopping area and walked around and shopped for awhile, and went back to the ship.  The seaweed was very bad there, and you could definitely smell it.  From the ship, the entire shoreline you could see from north to south had a huge mass of seaweed on it.  I'm glad I didn't plan a beach excursion because of the seaweed.

In Roatan, we didn't have any issue with mosquitoes at all.  We did the Tabyana beach excursion.  We very much enjoyed this!  We brought our own snorkel gear with us, and was able to see lots of very colorful fish right off the beach without going out in a boat.  This is probably the best snorkeling off of the shore I've ever done (I haven't been to the ABC islands yet...that's next summer!).  There are reefs just off shore that you can easily swim/snorkel to.  Even just standing a few yards off shore (it's a very shallow beach out quite a ways), we had all sorts of fish swimming around us and visible without any snorkel gear.  Lunch was included, and it was a lot of fun.  I would certainly recommend it!

 

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Thanks for the reply.  Doing a private snorkel charter  with jc Adventure tours in Roatan.  Glad to hear the disease carrying mosquitoes were a non issue and the snorkeling was awesome. Lol I figured it was more hype than anything.  

Maya Chan gives a full refund if conditions are bad.  I guess we will have to determine that at the port after speaking with their rep.  

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Thank you for this! Do you remember roughly when the escape room showed up on your cruise planner? That’s one thing I’m super excited to do so I’d like to know when I should go from weekly stalking to daily. 

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11 hours ago, MarvinS said:

 

2)  The Stowaway Piano Man was on this sailing.  I had the privilege of riding the elevator with him!

 

 

Can somebody please elaborate on this mystery fellow?

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27 minutes ago, spiralqueen said:

Thank you for this! Do you remember roughly when the escape room showed up on your cruise planner? That’s one thing I’m super excited to do so I’d like to know when I should go from weekly stalking to daily. 

I just checked when I purchased my reservations in my cruise planner and it was exactly 30 days out from sailing.  All of my other entertainment options (shows, etc) all became available at 109 days out...  The Escape Room was the only one that was much later at 30 days out.  I started monitoring this daily starting about 60 days out.

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24 minutes ago, FManke said:

Can somebody please elaborate on this mystery fellow?

As far as I know (which is very limited), he randomly appears on sailings on various RCCL cruises.  I don't think anyone has any schedule or knows which cruise he will appear on.  He is a lot of fun, and thoroughly enjoys what he does.  If found him twice in the elevators on my cruise...

 

IMG_2618.JPG

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1 hour ago, spiralqueen said:

Thank you for this! Do you remember roughly when the escape room showed up on your cruise planner? That’s one thing I’m super excited to do so I’d like to know when I should go from weekly stalking to daily. 

On my 4/28 sailing the Escape Room never did appear in the cruise planner. We went to the Box Office ( a table set up outside of the Theater- Deck 4) on first day to reserve our spaces. It was great. highly recommend.

1 hour ago, spiralqueen said:

Thank you for this! Do you remember roughly when the escape room showed up on your cruise planner? That’s one thing I’m super excited to do so I’d like to know when I should go from weekly stalking to daily. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Chonseylee said:

On my 4/28 sailing the Escape Room never did appear in the cruise planner. We went to the Box Office ( a table set up outside of the Theater- Deck 4) on first day to reserve our spaces. It was great. highly recommend.

 

Thanks! Was this on Harmony? I have heard about the smaller, revamped ships not having the escape room on the CP, but this is the first I heard about Harmony. Helps with a mental note of making sure to check on board if I'm not able to book ahead of time. 

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39 minutes ago, spiralqueen said:

Thanks! Was this on Harmony? I have heard about the smaller, revamped ships not having the escape room on the CP, but this is the first I heard about Harmony. Helps with a mental note of making sure to check on board if I'm not able to book ahead of time. 

I will be on Harmony and the escape room showed up on the CP for me within a few days (maybe 2 or 3) of the rest of the shows becoming available for booking.  The escape room is listed under Activities, while the show reservations are under Entertainment, so make sure you're looking in the right place :)

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My family and I were on this same cruise! I can't believe we didn't run into you - lol! (wink, wink)

Roatan - We did the Jolly Rogers snorkeling here. It was fantastic! Everything was top notch and the crew were super. The views under the water were spectacular! (and no mosquitoes!)

Costa Maya - The smell was horrible!!! We did the same here - got off ship, looked around and made it back before the rain. 

The Key - I purchased this for my family. The first day lunch was held in the MDR, but was Chops food. The menu was more limited than a regular lunch at Chops though. However, the cheesecake was the best I have ever had - anywhere! So good! Dropping off carry on luggage was right outside of the MDR. Easy and fast - and in our room before we were. 

Bing Bong Marc - Agree again - excellent! However, he was not the host of Quest. Some other person was, who never introduced himself. In my opinion, he wasn't as good as Marc. He seemed very hurried and almost acted as if he didn't want to be there. That said my team won, so happy about that! 

Wow bands - I agree - they worked great at all bars! 

CoCoCay - We didn't get off the ship. I know, I know, but we live in the Orlando area and have water parks and beaches at our disposal. However, the luxury of having a humongous cruise ship to yourself, not so much. So we enjoyed the pools, slides and bar service on the ship with about 20 other new friends. It was a perfect day! As we were leaving breakfast around 9:45 a.m., Marc announced that over 2000 passengers were already off they ship!!

Overall, it was a great cruise for my family! Can't wait to go back!! 

 

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23 minutes ago, Chonseylee said:

Yes, Harmony of the Seas. It's the first one I've ever seen on a ship. Oasis is getting one in it's Amp this fall. I'll be on her in Dec. and definitely want to give it a try. It's $20 but, to me, it was worth it.

There is also one on Navigator.

 

@MarvinS The Wow Bands...were you able to get into your room with it?  AND did you wear them in the pools?

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5 minutes ago, JennyB said:

There is also one on Navigator.

 

@MarvinS The Wow Bands...were you able to get into your room with it?  AND did you wear them in the pools?

Yes, that was the primary use of the WOW bands for us.  I left it on all the time, through pools, hottubs, etc.  Made getting into the rooms extremely quick and convenient.

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Marvin, thanks for your comments.. So helpful!

Do you recall there being  plenty of empty loungers along the beach or pool outside of the water park that you noticed? Trying to decide if I need to reserve the beach loungers for 2 🤔

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There was certainly a crowd around the pools with most loungers occupied, but with just a little walking around, and I was always able to find a chair or two to use.  I don't recall NOT being able to find one.  I did not go to the beach, but just around the pools (and primarily in Thrill waterpark), so can't answer that question with regards to the beach.

 

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15 minutes ago, TFinNC said:

Do you recall there being  plenty of empty loungers along the beach or pool outside of the water park that you noticed? Trying to decide if I need to reserve the beach loungers for 2

You will have no problem finding a seat by the beach or pool. There is a ton of seating.

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Yes, Harmony was the only ship there. 

The insane wait time was really for only two rides:  The "highest waterslide" and the "slingslot" tube ride.  These are in different areas of Thrill Waterpark.  The wait time for most all of the other rides was actually very acceptable (5-15 minutes at most) with usually 5 minutes or so average.  Several were with nearly zero waiting.

What makes the wait time so long on the "Highest waterslide" is that they only allow one person at a time on the slide.  Only after the rider is done and completely off the ride will they allow the next person on.  This makes for quite a wait if there are lots of people in line.  The wait on the "Slingshot" goes a little faster, as there are anywhere from 1 to 4 people on a tube at a time.

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