March 2017 - Harmony of the Seas to Caribbean - Western
This was my sixth Royal Cruise and first time on a new ship. PROS: The ship was beautiful, spacious. Plenty of chairs all over. The Aqua Show was amazing, must see, multiple times.
CONS: Very dissapointed in the front design of the ship. I enjoy watching the ship leave every port, catching sunsets. For some reason Royal designed this ship with a very limited viewing area at the front on deck 15. On other ships you have great views from multiple areas.
Food quality was disspointing, limited choices, and lots of the food offered wasn't good. I was expecting the opposite for a new ship, having sailed on Jewel of the seas and Adventure of the seas, I found the food to be better on those ships.
Very dissapointed with Royals dishonest pricing practices. On previous ships whether you booked excursions or drink packages before boarding or after it was the same price. On this ship you get a discounted price for excursions and packages by booking online before boarding. Royal also ran a random unadvertised 48 sale were all excursions and packages were discounted. I took advantage of booking internet and excursions, but I didn't book the drink package. My wife and I are not big drinkers, so it's always been cheaper to just pay for any drinks we get, soda, alcohol, coffee as we go. For example on our last cruise we only spent $230 on beer, colodas, soda, and coffee. When I went on board Harmony, Royal raised all of it's drink prices by more than half. a beer went from $4.35 to $8.72!!! I quickly did the math and we were forced to shell out $500 for a drink package. If Royal had advertised there prices I could have saved $150 by booking the package online. Very unhappy.
I always book royal Excursions. DO NOT BOOK any of the Dolphin Excursions in Cozumel Mexico, unless you want to get ripped off for a $180 picture package. Royal doesn't tell you that when you get to the location, the staff doesn't allow any cameras near the dolphins. I have a waterproof Nikon so I was very annoyed. They have a photographer taking pictures which I am willing to pay for within reason. They take 12 digital pictures of every person. I was shocked when the agent said $180 for the package. In Jamaica I paid $40 for a DVD video with pictures of us walking up the falls. I tried negotiating and they offered 12 pictures for $140, I asked how much one pic was and they said $35. Finally I was offered $55 for three pictures but all the pictures had to be of one person. My wife and I were so annoyed we didn't buy anything. Had we known we would have done one of the many other excursions available. The excursion included a Sea lion show which was fun, but another picture for sale. It included a lunch buffet that was horrible, we didn't even eat it. At the end of all of this was very limited beach time. There were three different dolphin exursions,,,they are all at the same location. Avoid them.
Labadee was awesome, but don't waste money on anything but the zipline. Zipline was awesome. Aside from that, there is a beautiful free beach with plenty of free chairs, no need to pay for Royal ripoff chairs or private beach. Also plan to walk back to ship for lunch, free barbecue that royal runs is terrible. Royal sells sovenier cup for $3.50 with free refills. Get your refills before 3:00Pm, after that they start packing up for the day and dumping the colada mix.
In Jamaica we did Dunns river falls hike with VIP lunch beach break.. All of it was great including lunch, falls hike,,,VIP. HOWEVER, be advised the drive is really long, 40 minutes each way which cuts into your time. The falls were very busy, we had to wait for 20 minutes while our guide got our admission bands. All of this resulted in limited beach time, only an hour. BRING WATER,,,no drinks on the bus, or in the plaza while waiting for admission. The falls experience was great, but I wouldn't do this excursion again.