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melski94

Harmony of the Seas Live 3/24 - 3/31/18

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First, I’ll introduce myself, I’m Mel and traveling with my DH, DD18, DS14, DS11, DD6 and MIL (MIL first mass cruise ship).

Staterooms  This trip we have 3 Spacious Oceanview Balconies on Deck 12 (category D3 and D5). DD18 and MIL in one, next to ours with our room connecting to the 3 younger kids. All 3 in a row and hopefully we can open all the balcony dividers.

Why we booked:
This is our fourth family cruise all on RC. We’ve only cruised during Spring Break as that is a good week for vacations for us. DD18 just had a birthday and will graduate high school in May, MIL celebrated 70 last summer and we were not able to go on a trip with her then, and DS14 will celebrate a birthday on this cruise. DH loves the fact it is a Sat-Sat cruise. He hates going to work the day after we get back. I appreciate that we can get back on Saturday and still celebrate Easter as last year we were home very late on Easter.

Our schedule:
Day 1: Embark at Fort Lauderdale
Day 2: Sea Day
Day 3: Sea Day
Day 4: St. Maarten (private island tour)
Day 5: San Juan (walk around forts)
Day 6: Labadee (Beach bungalow and zip line)

Day 7: Sea Day
Day 8: Back to FLL

What we are looking forward to:
*Large ship – first time on an Oasis class ship  *Different entertainment (AquaTheater and Grease)

*New things to do (Ultimate Abyss)
*Zip lining
*Large outdoor track
*DD6 should be tall enough for the big water slides

Concerns:
*DD18 just turned 18 a few weeks ago and worried about meeting other young adults without teen club.
*Is the ship just too big?
*Will the staterooms be too small? They will be the smallest (square footage) we’ve stayed in.
*Is it worth the extra “surcharge” for this class ship? The price per person per night is significantly more than other cruises...even staying in a JS on Liberty last year the week before Easter. We’ll see if we feel it is worth the extra cost.

Even with those concerns, we are easy going and we always have a great time. I’m sure there will be things we love and things we don’t but usually the good outweighs any bad. After all we’ll be on a cruise and we can’t wait.

Right now, I do not have any specialty dining planned. I did buy the drink package during the Black Friday sale. This will be my first time with the drink package but I didn’t want to deal with buying wine in FL when we get in late Friday. I am hoping to take a break in the afternoon from the family to come back to this page so feel free to ask questions.

 

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Hi @melski94! Following and looking forward to your blog, the itinerary very closely parallels my upcoming trip on Freedom (just missing St. Kitts from your itinerary).

I definitely want to hear your after-trip thoughts on those concerns of yours, especially the first two. Our OD will be 17 for our cruise next week, but after that she'll be in the same situation as your OD for any future cruises we book.

We'll have to try and wave to each other from our different ships as you disembark Harmony and I'm boarding Freedom! :10_wink:

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@melski94 Looking forward to following!  Love Harmony so I'll take a Harmony fix anyway I can get it!!  So glad you decided to blog.

Would love to hear your thoughts on San Juan (walking around the forts) as hubby and I were just discussing this last night.  We're headed there in July so in the planning stages of what we should do.  Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

Have a great cruise!!

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Happy cruise day!  

We flew in on Jet Blue last night.  I was nervous as we’ve never flown on Jet Blue and we have no status but was pleasantly surprised. Nice leg room, TVs, friendly flight attendants, full size soda cans and chips. We were delayed about 40 minutes but the desk kept making announcements keeping us informed. It’s the little things. 

We are staying at the Springhill Suites in 2 rooms, both are 2 queens with a pull out couch. The hotel has a free shuttle from the airport. We arrived at the hotel around 8:40pm and quickly walked to Chipotle. There’s several fast food options and BJs is right across the street for wine...you can use your hotel key as a membership card. This hotel is packed with cruisers and offers a shuttle for a fee. 

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2 hours ago, melski94 said:

We flew in on Jet Blue last night.  I was nervous as we’ve never flown on Jet Blue and we have no status but was pleasantly surprised. Nice leg room, TVs, friendly flight attendants, full size soda cans and chips. We were delayed about 40 minutes but the desk kept making announcements keeping us informed. It’s the little things. 

Good to see a first-hand report on Jet Blue from someone here. Will definitely try them for whatever the next cruise or other vacation is that requires flying, just have to make sure I book with them as soon as the flights become available.

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We love Jet Blue, too.  ...but b/c we both fly American so much for work, we have defaulted to staying with American b/c of the perks.  If I had my choice, however, I would definitely stick with JB.  It was much better back when JB did not charge for luggage, though....

:(

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We got the luggage downstairs at 9:45 this morning as I was hoping to leave at 10. Called 2 cars, uber xl and lyft.  Uber showed up in 5 minutes but lyft canceled on me after waiting for 10 minutes.  Ugg.  Half the group was already there by the time another uber driver showed up.  No wait in security or any lines at 10:45.  I didn’t upload pics as I figured they could do it faster than me. Eating in Windjammer by 11:20. 

Checked out A0, Ultimate Abyss (btw, you need to wear a shirt with sleeves), carousel, zip line, muster drill and now waiting to register for the teen club.  

Initial thoughts are everyone loves it.  Beautiful and very excited about the food options.  

Trying to get pictures to upload but I’m getting upload failure. I’ll try later. Only image that uploaded was not via Voom. 

This is AO explorers club. 

453714D5-BA31-4635-B8C5-401BF124FBE1.jpeg

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3 minutes ago, melski94 said:

Trying to get pictures to upload but I’m getting upload failure. I’ll try later. Only image that uploaded was not via Voom. 

Great to hear that you are having a great time already!  I encountered "upload failure" a few times too last week.  I found it was sometimes easier to just do a few photos at a time.

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Last night, after muster we finished unpacking.  DH took S14 to teen club to register and get a wrist band.  This is different than Liberty and Brilliance where you didn’t have to register the teens.  Originally we were going to ask to get him in the 15-17 club as his birthday is on the cruise.  However, he found out that he knows a boy from school and he is also in the 14 club so he didn’t ask to move up. 

Dinner was in the MDR. I had visited earlier to see if I could request a table (answer was no) but he told me with our large party to go to another line when we came back at night.  That tip saved us as the line with and without reservations was long at 6.  Dinner was good.  Wait staff ok but the section head stepped in to help take orders as our wait staff had several large tables.  I think dinner only took 70 minutes which is quite good for the MDR.  

After dinner, S14 went to teen club and DH took the 2 younger ones to AO. Computers were down so check in slow.  DD18, MIL and I went to get seats for Grease. DH made it to Grease right before it started but checked out 30 minutes later to ‘check on kids in AO’ or as I later found out he checked on the kids and then went to the pub. He came back just as it ended. So MIL, DD18 and I enjoyed Grease, but DH thought it was horrendous. Vocals were ok, story different than movie but enjoyable if a Grease fan. 

Later, DH and I went to pub.  Music very good. We are music snobs living near Music City and thought Kieran Cox was quite good. Pub was packed and actors from Grease came in for a drink after the show. 

Sorry for a lack of pics.

 

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Today everyone slept in.  I was surprised it was 8 when I woke up.  I had to check that we weren’t under the pool as we heard a sound like chairs moving across the deck during the night.  Not sure what that sound was but I think I need a noise app.  

One thing about connecting door.  If you had young kids I’m not sure I’d like it. All the other ships we could leave the connecting door open.  Here it is always closed(if open can’t open room door).  My kids are old enough to be ok but younger I’d need a shoe or something to prop door open so I could hear them at night.  

So I woke up and went to deck 5 track.  Love it!  Gym was crazy crowded. Here is a pic at 9. My D18 went at 11 and DH went at noon.  All said it was very busy and they also ended up on the track.  DH thinks this is the gym is better on Liberty…he hates the layout but the full track saves the day.  

Breakfast at Mini Bites. DH took 4 kids there while I worked out but S14 and I came later.  We all liked it.  

Went down water slides this morning.  It’s cold (only 72) especially when wet!  D6 got stuck every time…even in the bowl slide which when she stopped in the bowl she didn’t know what to do so she tried to walk. She sat down and was fine. We all think the racing slides are faster and confirmed by the slide crew.  

Lunch at park cafe.  The 11 and 6 yo didn’t like it…had to get a hot dog from the boardwalk.  Had my first Royal Kemmelwreck and a salad.  However the favorite was this chocolate eclair...probably my favorite dessert on a ship. 

51831DCD-A3E9-493A-AA54-5BF90F99A079.thumb.jpeg.f2d5e718f6f2a02787d0962a6744c7dd.jpeg 

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Just posted more but lost signal And it didn’t save the text of the message.  This will be quick. 

I forgot pictures.  First view from track that never gets old. 40B230BB-3D1B-4FFB-8C22-9B4EBE80DFC5.thumb.jpeg.a6e257e789b810ba5fb727227804929c.jpeg

next gym 635CD376-87F8-45AB-BB15-EC85B693FEF1.thumb.jpeg.2040fb343004aa27ebb8ba6ebab41bc1.jpegC6F369C6-BE9C-433A-9511-E51640852257.thumb.jpeg.1f6b74d29fa34b5139c98e8dec045b6e.jpeg Tonight I have reservations at 5 for ice show but we may skip.  I forgot about formal night when making them.  

Also have 8:30 aqua show reservations. Last nights show was cancelled for technical reasons.  Hoping it goes on tonight but wondering if it will be cancelled due to wind.  

After show going to head to pub and if I can stay awake the Silent Dance party. 

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One crazy thing that I’m trying to figure out…arcade credit.  I did not prepay for the arcade thinking I could do it onboard but you can’t buy arcade credit on Harmony…you could on Liberty and Brilliance.  However there is a C&A coupon for arcade credit (which is better than the prepay option).  I was told by guest services who called the casino (who is in charge of the arcade) that you must buy the games individually since I didn’t prepay a package.  After, I track arcade spending and then I’m supposed to go to the loyalty desk to get my credit.  Seems like a messed up system to me. I may have to visit the loyalty desk to verify.

 

 

 

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Dinner formal night.  Another first for my MTD experience...Checked in 5 minutes before reservation only to be walked down to deck 3 traditional dining. They are filling up the larger no show tables at the 5:30 seating with MTD.  We arrived to check in at 6:10 and walked out at 7:20.  The biggest wait is to get the waiter to take our order (he was bringing dessert to another table). We decided that tomorrow night we are getting dessert off the kids menu. Chocolate chip cookie, ice cream & brownie sandwich.  56342DF8-7511-4BE2-A4CC-5BDCD4617A41.thumb.jpeg.a7ef848bea9b6c1948455885248a8d19.jpeg

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Hard to believe we are just finishing day 4 and half way done.

Today we were in St Marteen.  

Took a private tour of St. Marten with Joyce Personal Services.  We had a driver named Mack and he was quite good. We normally wouldn’t do an island tour but I chose it for my MIL.  I do prefer a private tour with kids. It’s rebuilding slowly but they are quite happy to see tourists.  Maho Beach was packed with tourist but Orient beach was very quiet.  Here are some pics: 

541F157B-E5A2-4A51-92A3-43741F2AF4BC.thumb.jpeg.db86577bbcb216f72d66fb7edd846096.jpeg

My husband was fascinated by the Little League field 

0E72E1CF-F9A6-4D9B-8756-E858BA119520.thumb.jpeg.55045fb5022dcbcfc9309e13b570b2ce.jpeg

 

We were amazed by the destruction of the lagoons and the mess still there.  130208B9-B534-4DFC-B0DD-7E26A433F518.thumb.jpeg.2cd7ba6eebac157abfc692ab5a07fd9b.jpegE8E19D4F-CB0B-4EEE-8714-60E8C8C5804C.thumb.jpeg.8a23f231975a4a63d52677654c9d6fbe.jpegA4B7559A-4A52-40BF-8C61-78DF47482E8A.thumb.jpeg.932a1d0e8e85036dbdcfd39841f74d6b.jpeg

Orient bay.  CD16788A-404E-45E8-9AA8-7BAE5687EB43.thumb.jpeg.81f25fb44c6f46022d6b118be8f57623.jpegB2AB7868-E702-469D-9E8E-CC624BA83EBF.thumb.jpeg.fe6e98a1ce5125edc5203724a0bffa36.jpeg

Ocerlooking Great Bay Beach and ship: 

34FD556E-D543-4E9A-AD90-5B22A455E937.thumb.jpeg.1870a5c11ca449854be775c7f0280700.jpeg30C1232A-5F74-4A91-B504-9514ACD74AA1.thumb.jpeg.71485f993b32267c0f1c382ed882fb0b.jpeg

 

Other random notes: 

Fine Line has been cancelled every evening due to swells. They rescheduled it during port times on every port (no swells in port). They claim this first time done during the day.  We saw tonight’s 5:45 show. We all agreed it was very good and we would have loved to see it at night.

The 5:45 show messed up dinner plans so I changed the reservation to 7:30.  The show was over at 6:30 and no one wanted to wait an hour so the thinking was go to Windjammer however I think the entire audience was thinking the same thing. We made a detour to MTD and they had our table available. We were not the only ones in nice shorts (please don’t judge) and MTD was half empty.  Super quick dinner of short rib which is one of my favorites. Now I never would go to dinner in shorts but it was a quick change of heart to avoid crowds and no one said a thing.  

Tomorrow we’ll be in San Juan and celebrating son’s 15th birthday. 

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11 minutes ago, melski94 said:

Hard to believe we are just finishing day 4 and half way done.

Today we were in St Marteen.  

Took a private tour of St. Marten with Joyce Personal Services.  We had a driver named Mack and he was quite good. We normally wouldn’t do an island tour but I chose it for my MIL.  I do prefer a private tour with kids. It’s rebuilding slowly but they are quite happy to see tourists.  Maho Beach was packed with tourist but Orient beach was very quiet.  Here are some pics: 

541F157B-E5A2-4A51-92A3-43741F2AF4BC.thumb.jpeg.db86577bbcb216f72d66fb7edd846096.jpeg

My husband was fascinated by the Little League field 

0E72E1CF-F9A6-4D9B-8756-E858BA119520.thumb.jpeg.55045fb5022dcbcfc9309e13b570b2ce.jpeg

 

We were amazed by the destruction of the lagoons and the mess still there.  130208B9-B534-4DFC-B0DD-7E26A433F518.thumb.jpeg.2cd7ba6eebac157abfc692ab5a07fd9b.jpegE8E19D4F-CB0B-4EEE-8714-60E8C8C5804C.thumb.jpeg.8a23f231975a4a63d52677654c9d6fbe.jpegA4B7559A-4A52-40BF-8C61-78DF47482E8A.thumb.jpeg.932a1d0e8e85036dbdcfd39841f74d6b.jpeg

Orient bay.  CD16788A-404E-45E8-9AA8-7BAE5687EB43.thumb.jpeg.81f25fb44c6f46022d6b118be8f57623.jpegB2AB7868-E702-469D-9E8E-CC624BA83EBF.thumb.jpeg.fe6e98a1ce5125edc5203724a0bffa36.jpeg

Ocerlooking Great Bay Beach and ship: 

34FD556E-D543-4E9A-AD90-5B22A455E937.thumb.jpeg.1870a5c11ca449854be775c7f0280700.jpeg30C1232A-5F74-4A91-B504-9514ACD74AA1.thumb.jpeg.71485f993b32267c0f1c382ed882fb0b.jpeg

 

Other random notes: 

Fine Line has been cancelled every evening due to swells. They rescheduled it during port times on every port (no swells in port). They claim this first time done during the day.  We saw tonight’s 5:45 show. We all agreed it was very good and we would have loved to see it at night.

The 5:45 show messed up dinner plans so I changed the reservation to 7:30.  The show was over at 6:30 and no one wanted to wait an hour so the thinking was go to Windjammer however I think the entire audience was thinking the same thing. We made a detour to MTD and they had our table available. We were not the only ones in nice shorts (please don’t judge) and MTD was half empty.  Super quick dinner of short rib which is one of my favorites. Now I never would go to dinner in shorts but it was a quick change of heart to avoid crowds and no one said a thing.  

Tomorrow we’ll be in San Juan and celebrating son’s 15th birthday. 

Don’t beat yourself up, a nice pair of shorts are acceptable in my book. After all you are on vacation 

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