Harmony of the Seas trip report! Dec 23-30

Discussion in 'Royal Caribbean' started by KellyHonos, Jan 10, 2019 at 10:30 AM.

  1. KellyHonos

    KellyHonos DisneyDivaxo

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    Hello, all! I'm a bit late on reporting back from my trip, but better late than never :crazy2:

    My family and I sailed from Dec 23-30, and we had a lovely time. The boat, of course, is gorgeous, and there was plenty to do to keep us busy and occupied.

    My pro's of the trip would be the beautiful weather (which is just pure luck, but none-the-less, appreciated!), the hand-washing stations in the Wind Jammer, the food, our lovely balcony room (highly recommend), the shows, the robot bartender, rock climbing wall, zip line, the ultimate abyss, and the flow rider! All of these things combined made the ship and the experience in general very pleasurable :lovestruc

    However, I will mention a couple cons. I feel Royal Caribbean (and other cruising companies) need to start cracking down on chair hogs. And by that, I mean the people who grab 10-15 towels at 8am and lay them on a row of chairs, but you never see anyone utilizing the chair...it's total BS that me and my family come down, in our suits and towels, ready to use a chair, only to find rows upon rows of them being hogged by non-existent people. I also find it to be a little silly that RC plans all their "parties" in the Royal Promenade, which is the main area on the ship. You'll be trying to get from point A to point B and have to fight a sea of dancing people. I'm not opposed to them holding events and parties, I just think holding them in the theater would make more sense. Lastly, I had a situation at the Photography place (the name escapes me) in regards to a product i had purchased and needed to return. I won't go into it, however, let's just say we were met with a very rude employee. Once we got the manager, things got sorted out. What the issue came down to was transparency in their policies. The issue got resolved, but I figured I'd mention it.

    Besides those few things, we had a lovely lovely time. An honorable mention would be Jaimies italian restaurant, in Central Park. We dined there on Christmas, and it was DELICIOUS! It was quite expensive, however, it was worth it.

    If you're considering booking an Oasis class ship with RC, I highly recommend it. The ships are gorgeous, there is plenty to do, the RC staff (for the most part) is always polite and helpful, and the rooms are really nice. I personally recommend a balcony room. It was super nice to go out there in the evening and drink a glass of wine and just wind down from the day. It's also gorgeous for when you're pulling into the ports and get to see the islands before getting off. All in all, 10/10!

    Hope this helps anyone on the fence about booking! :flower:

    EDIT 1-11-19

    One more thing I meant to mention, was the mandatory safety meeting/presentation they require everyone to attend on the first day on the ship. I disliked how they handled this. They assign you to certain areas in the dining room, but the areas they assign you to never feel as if they're big enough to seat everyone. A lot of people ended up having to stand. And instead of just getting to the point about life jackets and safety boats and hand washing, they showed a "movie" that was supposed to be interesting, but literally no one was paying attention. All around, people were just on their phones. It was a 10 +/- video all about germs, but it was like formatted as James Bond-esque mystery thriller lol. It was really stupid. Also the video played in your room on the tv, so the information they were sharing was nothing new. I understand the importance of sharing this information and stressing the importance of hand washing, but their approach was missed on most everyone in my area.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019 at 7:51 AM
  2. eeyorefanuk

    eeyorefanuk DIS Veteran

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    I really enjoyed HOTS too
    Loved Central Park
     
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  4. KellyHonos

    KellyHonos DisneyDivaxo

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    It was truly a beautiful ship!
     
  5. Frozen2014

    Frozen2014 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the review. I like your long list of pros. :tongue: We've been on Allure and have Symphony booked (Mar) and Harmony for 2021. Both look like amazing ships. How did you enjoy the entertainment? Did you have My Time or traditional dining?

    That's really annoying and rude though about the chair hogs.
     
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  6. KellyHonos

    KellyHonos DisneyDivaxo

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    I'm so excited for your upcoming trip on the Allure! You'll have a blast. Wow, they have their itineraries for 21 already? Wild! Lots of fun stuff on the horizon for ya! We booked our entertainment ahead of time, so we always found decent spots for the shows. Grease was the show on our ship, and it was very nice. We enjoyed the show at the aqua theater and the ice show as well. I'm always astonished to see what people can do on a rocky ship, lol. We did my time dining, which only was an issue on Christmas eve...other than that, we basically walked right in and had the same server each night.
     
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  7. starvenger

    starvenger DIS Veteran

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    I get what you mean about the promenade. But the situation is not dissimilar on other ships. I remember not being able to get from A to B on Disney Fantasy because they were doing something or other in the centrum. It is, as they say, what it is, and you learn to work around it.

    WRT chair hogs, they were sounding a message about (not) saving chairs every 30 minutes or so on Allure. So my thinking is this - if you see a towel and nothing else on or near a chair, and the people nearby haven’t seen anyone there recently, that chair is fair game.
     
  8. KellyHonos

    KellyHonos DisneyDivaxo

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    Yeah, I made do of course, I just found myself thinking, "why would they set this up here?" in regards to the events and parties in the promenade. But yes, it is what it is!

    To my dismay, I never once heard the alert be made anywhere on our ship. Nor did I see anything being enforced on RC's part. One day at sea, I went up to the pool at a very decent time, I think it was 9:30/10 am, and of course by that time there were plenty of people genuinely laying out or swimming, but a very alarming amount were just simply being "held" by a measley towel, and it would be rows, like 6-10 chairs, just draped in a little blue towel, but no person in sight...I'm like, ***??? That's not how this works!!!! Lol. I made do with what I could find, it just grinded my gears!
     
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  9. starvenger

    starvenger DIS Veteran

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    Yep. I really don’t like being That Guy to remove towels, but my distaste for blatant abuse of a non-enforced policy will sometimes supersede that.

    I will also say that I see less blatant chair abuse in the kids area. Or it’s at least made to look more like people are actually using the loungers.
     
  10. ZerasPride

    ZerasPride DVC Member Since 2001

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    Thanks for sharing your review! We will be on her this September. Just got off Oasis in November and it was wonderful! Did you happen to try Wonderland in addition to Jaimie’s? We are not super adventurous eaters but that restaurant seems so unique. Also how was using the robot bartender? That sounds like a hoot!

    Can I also ask how was disembarkation? We stayed in a suite last time and were escorted off but are only in a junior suite this time so just curious how that worked for you. Thanks!
     
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  11. KellyHonos

    KellyHonos DisneyDivaxo

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    We didn't get to try wonderland, but it looked really beautiful. I think thats American cuisine, right? I feel like I recall reading that somewhere. The robot bartender (aka the tipsty robot I think it was called) was a super fun experience! They have an iPad you order off of, and they have a screen where you see what number you are in line, when the robot is making your drink. Once your drink is made, you have to use your seapass to retrieve it from the bar. Disembarkation for us personally was a little irritating because we had a handicap family member with us and some people in general just have no regard for wheelchairs, lol, but that's not RC's fault. That's just a common sense thing. We had to wait a little while for our luggage, but that was partially our fault because we got off slightly sooner than our call time.
     
  12. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    I'm starting to think that the only way to settle the chair hogs problems will be... To make the guests pay for it, like some resorts do with chairs and umbrellas.

    Which is really sad...
     
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  13. starvenger

    starvenger DIS Veteran

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    Even then, I feel like people will find a way to hack the system. I know that for work (I do IT project management), I’m always looking at new ways to attack existing issues. I’m sure chair hogs do the same, in their own fashion.
     
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  14. KellyHonos

    KellyHonos DisneyDivaxo

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    Possibly... OR, they could simply start by putting up signage blatantly stating that chairs will only be held for a 15 minute period, and if by the time 15 mins come and go, your towels and/or belongings will be removed and placed into safe holding until your return. I'm just coming up with this off the top of my head so I'm sure that's probably a bad idea lol, but you get what I mean. The kinks would have to be worked out, but I think something of that caliber could work. Or, maybe the same way they have lifeguards, maybe they could have just overall pool staff around that are monitoring issues like this. I'm not sure of the answer but the fact that it just goes ignored for the most part and tolerated is just annoying.
     
  15. starvenger

    starvenger DIS Veteran

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    Your idea probably isn’t workable (too many variables like people honestly using the pool for long periods), but the basic premise (actually enforcing a policy) is the thing to focus in on. The onus shouldn’t be on cruisers to identify and deal with chair hogs.
     
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  16. KellyHonos

    KellyHonos DisneyDivaxo

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    Lol right. Like I said there are probably too many kinks to work out with that and I'm sure people would throw a fit if their belongings were being removed, but idk, just SOMETHING. At the bare minimum, signage would be helpful, that way when people do take it upon themselves to use chairs being held, they're being backed up by the cruise.
     
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  17. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    On Carnival, they keep a "beach towel register". You have to check-in and check-out your towels.

    They could put numbers on chairs and people could register for it for... Let's say...1 hour at the time? And you'd have to check-in every time if you want to "renew".

    Trust me, people won't bother coming back every hour if they are not using it. ;)
     
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