Fantastic Eastern Caribbean cruise with extra days

Harmony of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 23

Overall rating:

4.8 out of 5
Harmony of the Seas

9 Night Eastern Caribbean (Ft Lauderdale Roundtrip)

Sail date: March 29, 2019

Ship: Harmony of the Seas

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 3842

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

Harmony is great for an active family with lots of different interests! It's a huge ship with a LOT of people on it, but offers a ton of activities, entertainment and venues for everyone. We enjoyed the Eastern Caribbean ports and we got lucky - our cruise was 9 days instead of the usual 7! The extra time was awesome - we really felt like we did everything we wanted plus had time to relax too.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
excellent - sailed through embarkation thanks to most of online in advance and seapass card pickup on ship

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
MDR - Our family of 5 (including 3 teens) really enjoys the main dining room. Great service! We liked the food - if you don't care for something you can always order a different item - waiters were great about making sure we enjoyed our food. And bringing us an extra lobster tail on formal night! One of our servers, Mauro, did magic tricks for the kids - he was great! Miguel and Mauro brought us fruit and cheese plates along with bread after we were seated - excellent and appreciated. Windjammer - food was good. Tables were always crowded and it's hard to find a family member who's already there due to the long narrow "U" shaped design. My teenagers really appreciate popping in anytime for a snack. Breakfast - we ate in the main dining room a couple times at their breakfast buffet - it was very good. It was close to our cabins and convenient on this cruise. Also, Johnny Rockets has free breakfast - very good as well!

Main Dining Room

5 out of 5

Our family really enjoys the MDR. We are a family of 5 (with teenagers) and appreciate the great service from the waitstaff, and we have been very happy with the food selection and quality. We find something for everyone, and if there's anything we don't care for we can just get something else.

Boot and Bonnet Pub

5 out of 5

This pub was our "go-to" place at the end of the evening. The guitar player / singer Kieron was great - very entertaining and interactive with the crowd.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
Our active family enjoyed everything! Abyss slide was great, my teens climbed the rock wall, we did the zip line. The waterslides at the pool were fun. We relaxed at the 'beach' pool one afternoon - we tried to time our pool use when it wasn't mid-day on a sea day so we could get loungers and space at the pools, which worked well. Flow rider - my husband & son had a good time on this. Some waiting in line, but wait time varied. The Escape Room was enjoyable family fun - there is a minimum age (I think 14) but our 3 teenagers were all old enough and we had a great time. March Madness basketball - the final four games were shown on the big screens in Aqua Theater which was great for watching! Fitness center - my husband used it a lot & it's really a first class gym. Spa - I got a massage & really enjoyed it. I wish they didn't try so hard to sell you products at the end.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
We went to all of the shows and think they are excellent quality! Ice show and Aqua show were amazing - so acrobatic and so much athletic talent! Grease and the Columbus shows were also very good. Story line of Columbus was a bit wacky, but we just go with the flow and enjoy the performances - we're not looking for life-changing storylines on a cruise ship :-) The performers from Grease put on a Cabaret singing show in Jazz on 4 and sang their own favorites - that was fantastic!! They all are amazing singers - especially in a small showcase venue like that. It was crowded, very popular event. The "house" band was also great!! Headliner shows - a Vegas singer/ performer, and then a magician - also very enjoyable.

Studio B

5 out of 5

Amazing that ice skaters can put on such a high level performance in a really small ice arena on a moving ship! The skaters are incredibly talented and impressive. We really enjoy the skating shows.

Aquatheater

5 out of 5

The Aqua shows were amazing! The performers are so talented, brave and daring! These shows are very popular for a reason - definitely make advance reservations.

Jazz on 4

5 out of 5

Love this small intimate venue. We saw the broadway show performers do a cabaret show here and they were all fantastic singers! The jazz band performed afterwards and they were really great too.

Children's Programs

5 out of 5
My teenagers enjoyed the teen areas and special programming. My 14 year old boy especially enjoyed teen times on the flowrider and on the sports courts. He played in a teen basketball tournament & had fun.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
MDR waiters were great. We ate in MDR every night. We had My Time Dining, so we were not able to get our same waiters (who were awesome) on a couple nights since their section was already full, so 3 nights we had different waitstaff, who were also very good. Room steward was Oscar - he was great! On Labadee, a ship photographer waded out waist deep into the water to take pics of people! We loved the pics she got - she really went over & above!

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
For a ship that size, it's well laid out and manages crowds well. Windjammer was always crowded and hard to find a table, and the pools were crowded on sea days (to be expected). Aqua Theater shows were also popular & crowded. But otherwise, it did not feel overly crowded (like there were 6k other guests!) because people were spread across different separate areas. You could find your own space if you wanted to escape the crowd & willing to look around. There was something for everyone. One small issue - soda machines in Cafe Promenade always had sticky puddles in front of them.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Very good! Our family of 5 had 3842 and 3838. For inside cabins, they had plenty of space. We did bring door hanger shoe organizers and magnet hooks to hang stuff on the walls, which helped. These cabins were in a hall that went across the middle (not down the long halls on each side of ship) and were pretty quiet, low traffic. We didn't hear noise from the casino above. Both cabins had the bed in the back and sofa / desk in front of room. Location on deck 3 was very convenient to main dining rooms & to gangway to disembark in ports. Also close to the back of ship & easy access to ice rink on 4, promenade on 5 and boardwalk on 6. Our only issue - a few times during the week the hallway smelled like sewage. Not inside our rooms - just the hall. It must be near an area of the ship where it's handled I guess. It was not that big of a deal, but kind of unpleasant those times so I gave it 4 stars instead of 5.

Ship tip

We had sailed on Allure a couple years ago, which helped tremendously on Harmony since the basic layout is the same and it was much easier to find our way around at first. If this is your first time on an Oasis class ship, I would recommend you get familiar with the deck layouts in advance, and also watch some of the You Tube videos people have done giving tours of the ship to get familiar in advance. Harmony is Huge!

Ports of call

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida

4 out of 5
We flew in the night before our cruise, but we just stayed in a hotel and didn't do anything. The Ft Lauderdale airport is good, location is close to the cruise port, and it's easy to get a shuttle to port.

Nassau, Bahamas

5 out of 5
Ship docks, easy to get off and on ship. We booked the RC Balmoral Island Beach Break. Walked to a ferry stop and took the ferry to Balmoral Island (where Sandal's is also located.) Weather was a little cool, and then it rained - so it wasn't a great beach day, but would have been great if the weather cooperated. Nice beach & two pools at Balmoral. We took ferry back in the rain and headed straight to the ship so we didn't see or do anything in Nassau, but it seemed like it would have been good to walk around near port if Mother Nature had cooperated.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

5 out of 5
Awesome!! Seemed very safe and easy to walk around. Our ship docked at the Crown Bay side of bay not Havensight, which I think has more shopping and some attractions I had researched. We did the RC FastCat catamaran snorkel and beach excursion. Had a GREAT time!!! Perfect weather, great crew, saw turtles & fish snorkeling, and the beach part was great too. Lots of rum punch for the beach part :-)

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

5 out of 5
Awesome! Great weather and nice port area - seemed very safe and easy walk to shops & restaurants outside the port area. My husband & boys did the RC Loterie Farm Zipline excursion. They really enjoyed it, it was very active & involved climbing / ropes course along with ziplines. Lots of fun! It was on the French side, so a little longer travel time to get to it. My daughter and I did the RC Horseback Riding excursion to Lucky Stables - also GREAT!! Horses were well kept and healthy, guides were great. Our group was broken down into smaller groups to ride, and our guide told us lots of interesting info while riding trails. She even stopped to take pics of us on horses with our own phones for us :-) Then we rode horses into the ocean, which we all really enjoyed! I highly recommend!

San Juan, Puerto Rico

5 out of 5
Ship docks in Old San Juan. We did our own thing, walked to San Cristobal fort and paid $7 each to tour the fort. It's huge, and has lots of different interesting areas and things to see. We spent a long time there and really enjoyed it. Our entrance fee would have gotten us into El Morro fort as well, but a short rain shower happened so we headed into town area and shopped. We saw the "umbrella" street - really neat! Did some souvenir shopping, and stopped at a cafe for some drinks and chips/queso. Had a great day and wished we had more time there. Easy to do on your own & easy walking.

Labadee (Cruise Line Private Island)

5 out of 5
Awesome! Perfect weather. Love Labadee. We headed to Columbus Beach, the farthest, it has really nice soft sand and is close to a food & bar station. The BBQ lunch was good - amazing the RC staff brings everything from the ship to feed everyone. Labadoozies were great - very tasty frozen drinks! Staff set up lounge chairs for us (remember to tip!) and we brought our own inflatable floaties and spent a lot of time floating around in the water & relaxing. A ship photographer was wading out waist deep to take pics - we got some great shots of us in the water with our ship in the background! Loved those & fantastic photographer! My husband rented a kayak $30 for an hour, and paddled around on his own. He was restricted to a certain area, but that was understandable. He enjoyed it. We did not stop at the local artisan vendors to shop - they are fairly aggressive about selling and hounding people. I wish they weren't so aggressive, I would like to buy some souvenirs and help them out but I don't like being hounded that way. We bought a few things at the RC shop at the end of the market area.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Very smooth process getting off the ship, picking up luggage, and getting through customs. We had pre-booked a shuttle to get from port to the airport and that took a long time to get there, but it was a separate company, not part of RC.
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