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


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forgot to add lunch which was conch stew.  We asked for local and this place was packed with locals.  

Sorry but now time for a rant.  At 3:30, there was only 1 gangplank open for huge line.  It’s hot, no shade, no water and takes 30 minutes to get onboard.  Seriously, on a ship with over 6000 people only 1 gangplank open? There are some amazing things on Harmony and some amazingly poor ways to do some seemingly simple things. 

 

*edited to take off lunch picture...didn't look so good at the top of the page.

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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

Spacious ocean balconyone thing I like is the connecting door is towards front of stateroom.  On Liberty they were in the middle of the room.   Someone asked about youth C&A coupons.  This is

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

Posted Images

Sleepy morning and wanted to post a cabin picture before we start our day.  09EE449A-C911-4275-9A73-5466E68CD483.thumb.jpeg.1c832f684f0010f1c082db041fa04e6c.jpeg09EE449A-C911-4275-9A73-5466E68CD483.thumb.jpeg.1c832f684f0010f1c082db041fa04e6c.jpegThis is the kids room. It sleeps 4 but I think 4 would be very tight. 3 people is comfortable.  S15 is 6’2” and fits on couch.  

One thing about the closets.  I wish both closets had shelves. Does anyone fill up both closets with hanging clothes? 

Time to wake up kids for San Juan

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San Juan

Kids slept in and I woke them at 8:15. Breakfast in Mini Bites again. Off the ship and we took a taxi to El Morro. The trolley was supposed to be running but never saw it.  Taxi cost $16 for 7 of us.  The taxi told us it was walkable but I had a feeling my MIL would struggle going uphill to the fort.  Here are a few pics of the fort and the stairs inside the fort. 

 

ACCFB7A1-194F-4255-AC86-A091A1E14A4A.thumb.jpeg.99aa069fac04b181fb1820890d7dbb15.jpegC0FFF399-65A2-4AD2-8145-3574B83335F4.thumb.jpeg.ab2e1dbf16923ccadbc0516b771b1df1.jpegF1B62F34-21AF-44E0-8169-FABF29131BF1.thumb.jpeg.bc33c05c02eb00a623948d5753e2f1af.jpegAC6B09A9-AE2F-40DA-981D-1836CE3A608A.thumb.jpeg.ec4ea7c21f74fb69c9817e2ab917175c.jpeg3DC7D887-F7A6-4162-ADFF-C06D2A3B61F2.thumb.jpeg.9297e297e896ce8d2554ecc495744e7a.jpeg Birthday boy wanted hamburgers (same birthday dinner request since he was 3 and only day of the year I’ll eat a burger) so we headed straight to Johnny Rockets.  I also had extra OBC to use since DH cancelled his zip line tomorrow.  Little brother made sure to tell the waiter it was his birthday so they brought him a sundae and sang Happy Birthday to him. 

 

Fine Line started while eating lunch.  My 2 younger ones wanted to see show and they have the best view in the theater plus it was shaded.  

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2nd formal night and lobster tonight. 

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8 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

What?  How can that room sleep 4??  That couch looks like a twin bed.  Maybe if you had two toddlers? lol

I think there is something to fold out...a trundle maybe if we had4 in the room.  It’s a twin size but would make a double if needed. Just no walking around the room if a double. 

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1 hour ago, melski94 said:

I think there is something to fold out...a trundle maybe if we had4 in the room.  It’s a twin size but would make a double if needed. Just no walking around the room if a double. 

Tight squeeze for sure!

 

1 hour ago, melski94 said:

One way for 7 people. 

One more El Morro question....when you got there, were you able to purchase guided tours or is that only available through shore excursions?

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3 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Tight squeeze for sure!

 

One more El Morro question....when you got there, were you able to purchase guided tours or is that only available through shore excursions?

I did not see any guided tours but to be honest I wasn’t really looking.  Prior to our cruise I contacted a private guide on TripAdvisor but they told me they couldn’t give any tours inside the forts.  

Inside the fort, there were no obvious tours except a group of school kids on a field trip and that wasn’t guided either. The only guided tour I saw was after we left the fort. The tour stopped out the outskirts of the fort, took pictures and started walking back to town. 

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Here is the $25 birthday cake...choice of chocolate or vanilla and we chose chocolate.  I purchased it 2 nights ago at guest services and there was a note in my reservation. C6FED42C-C51E-473E-B2C5-9C4996E2E001.thumb.jpeg.f2c78ae87be99754c6d4a4ceaa70450d.jpeg  The picture doesn’t do the cake justice.  It was quite good but of course tonight’s dessert was the chocolate molten cake.  The outside is a hard edible chocolate, the ‘beans’ are white chocolate chips.  The only frosting was the green stuff. Cake was very moist and much better than the Royal Chocolate Cake but not better than the molten cake.

The cake was brought out after dessert. That was fine as I wanted it to be a surprise so couldn’t tell people not to order dessert.  Half of the cake was left so our waiter saved it for tomorrow night. 

Really rocking tonight. Dramamine taken by 3 of us. Captain says storm in North Atlantic affecting our waves here. 

We were late leaving SanJuan due to miscommunication...Capt Johnny was not happy. We’ll be arriving late to Labadee tomorrow...Royal iq showed the change to our zip line time.

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39086A20-0D4E-4098-BB5F-283926A10403.thumb.jpeg.91170fb721d7b674f65dbddf4b02f524.jpegDay 6 Labadee

Arrived at 10 am, D18, S15 and I made our way to Dragons Flight Line.  We were supposed to be in the 2nd group of the day but I asked if we could go earlier if space was available which it was. Not nearly as scary as I thought.  A fun, smooth ride and we all agreed we’d do it again. 

DH, S11, D6 and MIL headed to our beach bungalow on Columbus Cove.  Cheapest bungalows in Labadee, it’s a private beach area, close to the food with nice sand.  The bungalow attendants would clear people who tried to put chairs on this part of the beach which made it for peaceful day for us.  The poor attendants had to deal with some really mad people. We checked out Nellie’s beach and the over the ocean water cabanas looked great but the beach seemed crowded. These seemed to be a better fit for my family and I’ll book these same bungalows for our next cruise when we get back. 

 

Here are the cabanas:C9897BC7-9000-4C57-AA8C-7B0C7B988926.thumb.jpeg.fe5c6d451b6a3c7ac858c2c07cded0f8.jpegI’ll send more pictures in a bit.  Taking forever to upload and I want to go for a run.  

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4 hours ago, mbk999 said:

are all the beaches (that you've seen) as crowded?

Columbus and Nellies beach seemed very crowded. 

 

4 hours ago, RamblingRandie said:

Are there no regular loungers at Columbus Cove? Or just in the area where the bungalows are?

There are lots of regular loungers but they couldn’t be set up in the bungalow area unless you had a wrist band. 

3 hours ago, Floski said:

 

Lunch at Labadee was a good bit better than I was expecting, so there's that.

Lunch was much better than we expected too.  Everyone really enjoyed the ribs. Fun fact: At the captain’s corner today the hotel director said they track how many people get off the ship in Labadee to decide how much food to make. 

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Ending with with our overall impressions, some random thoughts and going back to my original concerns. Overall, Harmony is a great ship and we’d be thrilled to go on it again.  

Food:  Very good. Breakfast we ate in Mini Bites all week for made to order omelets and eggs. Great selection in the buffet too. I thought it was a mini Windjammer…not quite the selection but had what we’d typically eat without the crowds.  Lunch was always at Park Cafe.  D6 didn’t like it but we’d ride the Ultimate Abyss to the Boardwalk for a hot dog and carry it up to the Park Cafe to eat with everyone else. I enjoyed the salad and sandwich selection.  For dinner, we ate in the MDR every night. Except for the first night, dinners took about an hour..this was quicker than MTD on Liberty. We had some great dishes..the prime rib & lamb were our favorites. I know food is subjective but it is quite good considering they are trying to feed about 2000 people at once. There were no or at least very few specialty dining reservations available after day 3. Grade: Very Good

Entertainment: We made it to all the main shows: Grease, Fine Line (only done during the day due to weather), Headliner (ventriloquist Ronn Lucas), Columbus and comedy show. MIL found comedian too edgy but we enjoyed them. We all enjoyed the family comedy show the last evening. A mixed review of Columbus..didn’t love it but I liked how they made fun of themselves. Grade: Good 

Daytime activities: D6 is finally tall enough for slides. Most of our sea days were spent in the pools and slides. Loved Ultimate Abyss and the water slides. Older 2 kids tried zip lining the first day and thought it was ok...wouldn’t wait for it. Didn’t try the rock wall or ice skating. MIL had several massages which she loved. I had one too but MIL made a reservation for 50 minute massage but I ended up with 75 minutes. I loved it but was surprised and I was not happy with extra cost. Biggest problem was there was too much to do and not enough time.

Adventure Ocean: S15 had a friend from school on the ship so he didn’t attend the teen club as much as he has in the past. D6 only went in the evening...slides were her daytime activity. S11 loved the Voyagers club, made a few friends and he routinely checked himself in and out during the day. He always went in the evening. This is different than the past on Liberty where I had to make him go in the evenings.

 

Random things:

MDR Dress:  The most casual cruise we’ve ever taken. No more smart casual. The cruise compass lists dress as casual and people took advantage. I’d say a good portion of men where in nice shorts and polos on casual nights. Even on formal night, saw several t-shirts and shorts. 

Mass and Passover services: It is the week before Easter, there was a Catholic priest on board and he held a Catholic Mass every day. On Good Friday, he held a Good Friday service. There was a Passover Service that you had to register for at Guest Services.

The full price of drink package:  Deluxe $63, Refreshment $26 and Soda $9.50.

Bar Service:  On Air was a great place to grab a quick drink to go.  Also the Pub had a good selection of wine (On Liberty, I remember having to run to Vintages to get a glass of wine).

Account Statements: I always check my statement on TV so was surprised to see the written one at the end of the cruise. A $100 pool towel charge on the last night. :2_grimacing: A quick trip to guest services and it was removed but I would have been stressed out if we had an early flight. Prepaying everything made for a light bill for us.

Bookings and Sales:  I booked MTD and the Beach Bungalows in September. The beach bungalows were never on sale. Drink package was booked in October during a sale for $47...cheapest I saw. Dragons Breath Flight Line was also on sale in October for $83. I did see it cheaper at $78 in February but the times were late and I didn’t want to lose my time slot to save $5.

 

Going back to my original 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.

1.  There were some meet and greets for 18-20 yo starting on Day 3 but they weren’t organized events and were not attended. D18 ended up hanging out with us which was very nice as in the past I didn’t feel like I’d see much of her during the cruise.

2.  Yes it is big. Having been on other cruises, we could figure it out fairly quickly. My MIL had a tougher time and routinely was lost.  There is no way to do everything in a week.

3.  The staterooms are too small for us, especially if we had to sleep 4 in one. I’d probably book 2 connecting Junior Suites next time.

4.  This is a tough one to answer. The price of one Spring Break cruise on Harmony is the same as a 5 night cruise over Thanksgiving in a JS AND a week cruise in 3 staterooms on Adventure for Spring Break 2019. So would I rather have 2 cruises or one? In 2020 and 2021, we’ll be back to one cruise a year and I would try for another Oasis class. I feel like this is a splurge, as we also like to do other vacations, but I may only have a few more years of cruising with all 6 of us.   

That's all from Harmony!  Time to start planning our Independence cruise for Thanksgiving!

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Thanks for sharing Mel! 

You summed it up great when you said there's not enough time to do it all. I felt the same.  Another reason to go again 😉Sounds like you all had a great time though. For future bookings, I could be wrong but I don't believe the Oasis class has connecting JS. 

Edit- I was wrong, there are a few...not many though 

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