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Harmony of the Seas Caribbean Cruise #184259
02/15/2019 06:14 PM
02/15/2019 06:14 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 481
Florida
RobT Offline OP
Traveler
RobT  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 481
Florida
In February 2019 we took a 7-day cruise on the Harmony of the Seas. I have been on cruises with as low as 20 passengers, but this the first trip on such a large ship (6,600 passengers). It was more about enjoying the ship than the port calls. We started out of Fort Lauderdale on Sunday evening. it is a 30 minute Uber ride to the port so we have a lot of flexibility when to arrive. Check in started at 11:30. We got there at 1:30 and just walked quickly through the process. Royal Caribbean has streamline the check in process to the extent that our room card was not given to us at check in, but awaited us at the our stateroom.
No balcony, but the window looked out on to the helicopter deck at the bow of the ship. Because of the slant of the forward bulkhead, it made for a larger room. The bathroom was a little larger than previous ship. The shower had a clear, floor-to-ceiling curved wall. This really helped keep water off the bathroom floor. The only issue I had with the bathroom was the very small and very narrow sink that resulted in water landing on the floor or myself as I washed my face.

The boat is so large, that you really feel like you are walking on streets. The pool deck is so large that instead of the usual 2 pools, there were 4 pools, with enough room for two pools to be side by side. That does not include the various hot tubs around the boat. There seemed to be a lot of kids on the boat, but they had a lot of activities to keep them busy.

Because the ship is so large, they can afford to have large scale production numbers for the show. Each show averaged about 16 cast members. We saw Grease, a headline performer, and a special show in the main theater, an ice show in Theater B, and two different productions in the aqua theater at the rear of the boat. All shows were wonderful. The timing was a little difficult. Typically cruise ship have a early show for those on the late dinner seating and a later shop for those on early dinner seating. We saw Grease at 10:00. But other times were like 7:30 or 9:00. Also they take reservations for the shows. Their new App makes it easy to do once you figure it out. If you have a reservation, you can enter any time. They open the shows up to everyone else 15 minutes prior to the show. We went to half of the shows without reservations and did not have a major problem.

Royal Caribbean has a new App that works on a cell phone even without paying for internet access on the ship's internet system. We had to get help from the crew to get the system working, but once it was set up, it worked fine. We made all our reservations on the App.

The first two days were sea days. Lots to do on the ship, and plenty of sun time on the upper decks. It had a nice fitness center, with a running/walking track that circled the entire boat deck (2.4 laps per mile). The second sea day was a formal night. We got our pictures with the Captain.

Our first port call was St Martin. We rented a car at the port and drove to Marigot to visit friends. Traffic getting to the French sides was awful, and traffic leaving Marigot later in the day crawled almost all the way to Grand Case.

The next day was San Juan, Puerto Rico. We had to be back on the ship by 1;30, so we did not have a lot of time to see much of Old San Juan. With the early departure, they had a second formal night.

The final port call was at Labadee, Haiti. There is a lot of turmoil in Haiti right now, but we saw none of that at Labadee. I was with a group of about 20 Haitian from Montreal. I was taking a nap after lunch and noticed the music was really getting loud. When I looked up, a local Haitian band was playing about 20 feet from me and most of the people in the group were dance. Great time.

Next was the final sea day. It was a little more windy on deck as we headed North. But the boat was pretty stable, so they had a special show at the aqua theater. The weather was mostly clear for the duration of the cruise. Every once in a while, I could feel the rocking of the boat, but most of the time you would not even know you were on a ship at sea.

We were not in a hurry to get off, so we selected the 9:00 departure, to give us time for a good breakfast. That was about when we were told to leave the ship. Our bags were ready for us, but the line to get through immigration was pretty long and slow. I would have rather waited on the boat, but I am sure they wanted to get us off so they could get ready for the next cruise. It was after 10:00 by the time we cleared immigration. Getting an Uber at the port is pretty difficult, so we took a cab home for the extra cost. We still had to wait about 15 minutes for a taxi.


Beach Hunter
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Re: Harmony of the Seas Caribbean Cruise [Re: RobT] #184273
02/15/2019 08:37 PM
02/15/2019 08:37 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,369
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,369
Central Florida!
Thanks for the report. We've never taken a cruise on anything over about 3,500 pax. I know the entertainment would be good, but it seems like you kind of lose touch with the sea. Going on a cruise should be about the ocean to me...


Carol Hill
Re: Harmony of the Seas Caribbean Cruise [Re: RobT] #184287
02/15/2019 10:39 PM
02/15/2019 10:39 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,591
L
LBI2SXM Offline
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LBI2SXM  Offline
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L
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,591
How such a huge ship has a bathroom so small? Never ceases to amaze me.

Re: Harmony of the Seas Caribbean Cruise [Re: RobT] #184322
02/16/2019 11:06 AM
02/16/2019 11:06 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 481
Florida
RobT Offline OP
Traveler
RobT  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 481
Florida
The bathroom is not small, it is just the bathroom sink that is too small.


Beach Hunter
Re: Harmony of the Seas Caribbean Cruise [Re: Carol_Hill] #184333
02/16/2019 12:37 PM
02/16/2019 12:37 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,505
Woodstock, GA
RickinAtlanta Offline
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RickinAtlanta  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,505
Woodstock, GA
Originally Posted by Carol_Hill
Thanks for the report. We've never taken a cruise on anything over about 3,500 pax. I know the entertainment would be good, but it seems like you kind of lose touch with the sea. Going on a cruise should be about the ocean to me...


A friend of mine and his wife take at least two cruises each year. After one to the USVI/BVI's I asked him what they did at each stop. He replied "Nothing. We stayed on the ship because all the islands look the same"!!!

Re: Harmony of the Seas Caribbean Cruise [Re: RobT] #184360
02/16/2019 06:21 PM
02/16/2019 06:21 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 481
Florida
RobT Offline OP
Traveler
RobT  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 481
Florida
That is like saying I visit cities in the world but never leave the hotel. They all look alike. If all you do is get off the boat, go into town, visit Diamonds International, then all the islands look alike. If your friends went to the BVIs and did not go to the Baths then they really missed a unique beach experience.

Some islands have good beaches, others have good snorkeling, and others have historical things to see. Excursions from the boat are good. Trips from the locals just out of the pier are usually cheaper and fun. There is only one port (and maybe only one city) that I know of where you can get a private city tour in a 1959 convertible. And that does not cover river cruises that take you to exotic places that are nearly impossible to get to on land,


Beach Hunter

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