Hoopster on HARMONY, Jan 7-14 2017 REVIEW w/lots of photos

#1
Maple Ridge, BC
4,828 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Hello there everyone!



(Labadee)

With the many great picture reviews offered already for Harmony, I wish to not add more of the same shots and perspectives as those incredible professional photo tours before this one. I hope to add perhaps some different insights and rare/different pictures than normal. Bare with me as usual... I have a ton of photos to upload to Photobucket. I will also be reviewing with a what I believe is a very rare perspective that may be important to many of you:
  • My gf is a world savvy traveler and new to cruising, a major foodie & an incredible cook, likes the finer things in life, believes that you get what you pay for, is only a third time cruiser and is a senior hotel/interior designer/space planner so I truly valued her opinions on things (service, design, restaurant quallity, etc) and I will share many of them with you
  • I have also just come from two land vacations { *** GASP!! *** }, 1 week non-inclusive vacation in Zihuatenejo in November and also 1 week all-inclusive in an ultra 6-star Cancun resort through New Year's. The Cancun resort being ranked the number 1 resort in all of Mexico in tripadvisor and the #2 spa resort in the Caribbean (all suite butler service, an unreall spa, etc etc). I can relate loidgings, food and service to RCL with a very fresh and I hope experienced perspective.

I arrived home last night from a "challenging" 2 week vacation.... 1st week in Cancun as explained above and then Harmony for a week. "Challenging" you ask? I'll explain as I go, but several issues that occurred over the two weeks were, of course, the very tragic event at FLL airport, a new revised Western itinerary which was forwarded to me by an private excursion in St Marten and NOT RCL until I was standing at check in (and I had to ask), my trusty world traveled Sony camera that has provided incredible photos and video in previous reviews finally quit, poor weather and also feeling under the weather!, cancelled/postponed shows, etc.... a few more things

As always, I took the bucket of lemons and made lemonade! I had a really great time and there were some outstanding positives. #1 positive I can mention now is that if you truly value the entertainment on board, it was absolutely top-notch on this sailing. I will explain later, but the Production Show "Columbus the Musical" just cannot be missed.... absolutely brilliant lyrics, writing, the story and sets were extremely clever and very fresh.... now add Grease, the very best Headliner show ever provided by RCL (7th Heaven), Fine-Line, some great live music on board and you get the idea.

Here's a few more teaser photos for you, and I'll likely get started on this review tomorrow. Until then....



(view of Labadee from my cabin, B1 10329 very rear of ship)


(Capt Johnny also has a Segway he rides out in public)


(view of Headliner show from my balcony)


(Central Park & slides at night)


(Old San Juan Pier)
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NEXT UP:
Explorer - Best of British Columbia Sept 17/18


AFTER EX:
Land Vacation - Gorgeous Zihuatanejo ~~ HAPPY NEW YEAR!! ~~ Dec 29/18
Ovation of the Seas - Alaska May 13/19

GREAT MEMORIES:
OCEANIA - Marina review (18-03 French Polynesia)
RCCL - Explorer, Mariner*2, Voyager*2, Adventure, Independence, Freedom, Liberty, Majesty*2, Rhapsody*2, Enchantment, Radiance, Oasis, Vision*3 refurb review (13-11), Navigator review (14-05 Western Caribbean), Serenade review (14-09 Med/Adriatic), Quantum review (14-12 Southern Caribbean), Legend review (15-03 Southern Caribbean), Radiance review (15-09 Vancouver to Hawaii), Jewel (15-12 Southern Carib), Explorer review (16-05 4day Best of BC ), Adventure review (16-08 ABC's), Harmony review(17-01 Western), Explorer review(17-05 4day Best of BC), Jewel b2b review (17-08/09 Greece & Western Med), Brilliance review(18-06 British Isles)
Celebrity - Constellation, NCL - Pearl & Sky, Princess - Golden, HAL - Volendam
#2
michigan
1,982 Posts
Joined May 2012
Great start - looking forward to your review of Harmony! How was the noise level staying in 10329? Thanks
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#3
Philadelphia, PA
5,004 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Hey Hoopster!

Looking forward to another awesome review!
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Luke

Next Up:
Mariner of the Seas - Bahamas


92 Nights at Sea:

Adventure of the Seas - Fall Foliage Northbound
Rhapsody of the Seas - Greece & Croatia
Enchantment of the Seas - Bahamas & Key West
Allure of the Seas - Western Caribbean
Oasis of the Seas - Western Caribbean
Radiance of the Seas - Northbound Alaska & Hubbard Glacier
Norwegian Epic - Eastern Caribbean
Carnival Victory - Southern Caribbean
Caribbean Princess - Southern Caribbean
Vision of the Seas - Mexican Riviera
Explorer of the Seas - Western Caribbean
Jewel of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean
Explorer of the Seas - Western Caribbean
#4
Indiana/Florida
5,152 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
I'm following along too! We'll be on Harmony in October and booked cabin #12329, 2 decks above yours! Do you think that view is just as good? We'll be celebrating our 34th anniversary with our two adult kids and a few friends!! Also, wondering if you tried Wonderland and if it would be okay to wait until we board to make reservations there for our anniversary for 10 of us. Do you know if they offered any "deals" for booking on the first night? Thanks! Looking forward to your review!
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SilkySal












Completed RCCL cruises: June 16, 2002, VOS, 7-nt, WCarib (Gold); Feb 12, 2006, AOS, 7-nt, SCarib; Jan 12, 2008, JOS, 8-nt, ECarib; Mar 16, 2012, NOS, 9-nt, ECarib (Platinum); Feb 10&17, 2013, MOS, 7-nt, W/ECarib (first B2B); Oct 27, 2013, FOS, 7-nt, WCarib first Halloween; July 18, 2014, ROS, 7-nt Alaska +3day land (Emerald); Oct 26, 2014, FOS, 7-nt, WCarib 2nd Halloween; Mar 08, 2015, Allure of the Seas, 7-nt, WCarib; Oct 25, 2015, IOS, 7-nt, WCarib Halloween (turned Diamond!); Mar 05, 2016, AOS, 7-nt, SCarib B2B; March 12, 2016, AOS, 7-nt, SCarib B2B; Oct 23-30 and Oct 30-Nov 4, 2016, FOS, 7 and 5 nights, W Carib B2B Halloween; March 5, 2017, Oasis, 7-nt, ECarib; Oct 7, 2017, 7-nt Anniversary/Family!; March 2, 2018, Navigator, 9-nt to ABC's.
#5
Maple Ridge, BC
4,828 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Originally posted by racerxspeedy
Great start - looking forward to your review of Harmony! How was the noise level staying in 10329? Thanks
Hey Racer. Thx for following along. I have never stayed in a boardwalk balcony, and I have read mixed reviews prior to this sailing of Boardwalk noise so I didn't know what to expect... I say the following with the most respect and sincerity but I feel those previous cruisers that did not hear any noise at all possibly have a hearing impairment that they may not know they have. I wear ear plugs nightly (even at home) and easily heard the rumbling of a show and also "Star Trek" movie at 11:30pm one night. GF has quite a bit of hearing loss in one ear and was easily awake with some of the noise as well. After 11:30pm-12am you're safe.... but not without ear plugs in my humble opinion. I would have to say the farther forward you go towards Dazzles (away from the Aqua Theatre), the less noise you will likely get. I fully recommend with the bottom of my heart that anyone with sleeping issues should never ever book a boardwalk cabin close to the Aqua Theatre, would make for a disappointing and loooong cruise I think.


Originally posted by OfTheSeasCruiser
Hey Hoopster!
Looking forward to another awesome review!
The reliable OTSC is along for the ride!
Thx for following along again... I always enjoy your posts
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NEXT UP:
Explorer - Best of British Columbia Sept 17/18


AFTER EX:
Land Vacation - Gorgeous Zihuatanejo ~~ HAPPY NEW YEAR!! ~~ Dec 29/18
Ovation of the Seas - Alaska May 13/19

GREAT MEMORIES:
OCEANIA - Marina review (18-03 French Polynesia)
RCCL - Explorer, Mariner*2, Voyager*2, Adventure, Independence, Freedom, Liberty, Majesty*2, Rhapsody*2, Enchantment, Radiance, Oasis, Vision*3 refurb review (13-11), Navigator review (14-05 Western Caribbean), Serenade review (14-09 Med/Adriatic), Quantum review (14-12 Southern Caribbean), Legend review (15-03 Southern Caribbean), Radiance review (15-09 Vancouver to Hawaii), Jewel (15-12 Southern Carib), Explorer review (16-05 4day Best of BC ), Adventure review (16-08 ABC's), Harmony review(17-01 Western), Explorer review(17-05 4day Best of BC), Jewel b2b review (17-08/09 Greece & Western Med), Brilliance review(18-06 British Isles)
Celebrity - Constellation, NCL - Pearl & Sky, Princess - Golden, HAL - Volendam
#7
Maple Ridge, BC
4,828 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Originally posted by SilkySal
I'm following along too! We'll be on Harmony in October and booked cabin #12329, 2 decks above yours! Do you think that view is just as good? We'll be celebrating our 34th anniversary with our two adult kids and a few friends!!

Hey Silky. This is as good a time as any to mention a little bit about the Abyss slide view affecting the Boardwalk balcony....I hate to say this, but I think your view may be more compromised than mine. Note this first photo below. My cabin is the 3rd from the bottom against the Climbing Wall, and it also the cabin where the slide is at the most center of the Boardwalk, thus the farthest away from my balcony giving me a lot of open space... does that make sense? I think I got lucky when booking as I believe deck 10 (and 11) is the very best view with the slides farthest away from you.




Deck 12 is immediately under the bridge. The slide will wrap up closer to your balcony thus covering a little more of your view than me. Also, immediately aft and to your right you have the control booth right there beside you.




Here's my view looking directly out at the slide as it wraps away from my balcony and upwards, thus giving me a lot of open space to look aft.... note in my other pics in the first post when I stand to the very aft of my balcony I get an almost unobstructed view aft of the Aqua Theatre and beyond. I think the slide opens up at the top and might affect your view a bit more as it reaches the top. Seriously though, you get used to it no problem and added to the charm in my opinion. I loved it.




Originally posted by SilkySal
Also, wondering if you tried Wonderland and if it would be okay to wait until we board to make reservations there for our anniversary for 10 of us. Do you know if they offered any "deals" for booking on the first night? Thanks! Looking forward to your review!
Yep! I had the 4 night dining package as well as my D+ BOGO... in fact I did only one evening in MTD and an interesting major fail happened on that night! I'll explain when I get there on night #6.

Anyhow, yep I did Wonderland on night #3. I'll have pics and a review of Wonderland later on. It was very cool experience and one of our faves on the ship. Ask for a waiter named Vinko if you can... totally entertaining and a great server. He has a deep voice like Vincent Price and a great demeaner so he added to the whimsical atmosphere of the place and the food as he described everything. Also, we started to ask him about the menu and what to order, and he said "let me take care of you. I'll bring out the courses for you and make your dinner special"... we did not order anything.... he just brought out all the courses of the most interesting and popular choices as we went. It was fabulous.
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NEXT UP:
Explorer - Best of British Columbia Sept 17/18


AFTER EX:
Land Vacation - Gorgeous Zihuatanejo ~~ HAPPY NEW YEAR!! ~~ Dec 29/18
Ovation of the Seas - Alaska May 13/19

GREAT MEMORIES:
OCEANIA - Marina review (18-03 French Polynesia)
RCCL - Explorer, Mariner*2, Voyager*2, Adventure, Independence, Freedom, Liberty, Majesty*2, Rhapsody*2, Enchantment, Radiance, Oasis, Vision*3 refurb review (13-11), Navigator review (14-05 Western Caribbean), Serenade review (14-09 Med/Adriatic), Quantum review (14-12 Southern Caribbean), Legend review (15-03 Southern Caribbean), Radiance review (15-09 Vancouver to Hawaii), Jewel (15-12 Southern Carib), Explorer review (16-05 4day Best of BC ), Adventure review (16-08 ABC's), Harmony review(17-01 Western), Explorer review(17-05 4day Best of BC), Jewel b2b review (17-08/09 Greece & Western Med), Brilliance review(18-06 British Isles)
Celebrity - Constellation, NCL - Pearl & Sky, Princess - Golden, HAL - Volendam
#8
New york
809 Posts
Joined Sep 2015
Following
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Disney- 1994
Carnival- 2001
RC Voyager of the Seas - 2004
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#9
Florida
1,457 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
but the Production Show "Columbus the Musical" just cannot be missed.... absolutely brilliant lyrics, writing, the story and sets were extremely clever and very fresh...
Looking forward to the rest of your review Hoopster but I'm glad to see you were as impressed as I was with "Columbus: the Musical". With all there is to do on Harmony, and the relative lack of publicity for this show, it seems a lot of cruisers pass on it and miss out on (IMHO) a very entertaining original production.

~ Judy
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Happy sailing to all ~ Judy

UPCOMING:
Allure of the Seas 10/28/18 Halloween on a BW balcony - Roll Call

SAILED:
Brilliance of the Seas 1/29/18 (First time in a Studio) BRILLIANCE solo REVIEW with pictures
Independence of the Seas 11/18/17 (Deck 6 balcony)
Allure of the Seas 5/28/17 (OV, with 2 teenage grandsons!)
Independence of the Seas 11/19/16 (Accessible JS)
Harmony of the Seas 11/5/16 (CP balcony, solo) - HARMONY 1st USA sailing, REVIEW with pictures & tips
Navigator of the Seas 11/22/2015 (Deck 12 balcony - loved location!)
Freedom of the Seas 1/04/2015 (JS) Mother/daughter cruise with a Royal newbie
Liberty of the Seas 11/27/2014 (Accessible JS)
Liberty of the Seas 11/19/2012 (Accessible JS)
Navigator of the Seas 11/20/2011 (Our first hump balcony)
Oasis of the Seas 05/28/2011 (Deck 6 OV balcony) - OASIS Day by Day REVIEW with pictures
Navigator of the Seas 11/25/2010 (Deck 7 corner Aft - our 2nd home!)

Navigator of the Seas 04/11/2009 (Deck 7 corner Aft - WOW again!)
Independence of the Seas 11/23/2008 (Deck 7 corner Aft - WOW!)
Navigator of the Seas 04/03/2008 (our first Aft cabin - a corner Aft that spoiled us forever)
Disney Wonder 03/18/2007
and others going way, way, way back to when we were young, our first cruise
The Oceanic 04/17/1971


#11
Toronto, Canada
656 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Is there any chance that you can please post the compasses? Thank you.


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BRILLIANCE OF THE SEAS - Feb 12/07
11 Day Ultimate Panama canal
CARNIVAL VICTORY - Dec 20/09
7 Day Eastern Caribbean
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7 Day Western Caribbean
CARNIVAL Miracle - Aug 6/13
7 Day Alaska
CARNIVAL Splendor - Jan 17/16
7 Day Eastern Caribbean

Harmony Of the Seas - March 11/17
7 Day Western Caribbean

Norwegian Breakaway - Aug 6/17
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#12
Minnesota
1,848 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Looking forward to your Wonderland review!


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2/2/19 - RCI Symphony OS - Eastern Carib (11th cruise, yay!)
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#13
4,727 Posts
Joined Dec 2014
Following along

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2018 - Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas - Report:
https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2674486
2016 - Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas - Report: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2345424
2012 - Disney Cruise Line Magic
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1997 - Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas
#14
Phoenix
3,591 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Can't wait to read the rest!
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#15
Philadelphia, PA
5,004 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by Hoopster95
The reliable OTSC is along for the ride!
Thx for following along again... I always enjoy your posts
Thanks! Appreciate that!
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Luke

Next Up:
Mariner of the Seas - Bahamas


92 Nights at Sea:

Adventure of the Seas - Fall Foliage Northbound
Rhapsody of the Seas - Greece & Croatia
Enchantment of the Seas - Bahamas & Key West
Allure of the Seas - Western Caribbean
Oasis of the Seas - Western Caribbean
Radiance of the Seas - Northbound Alaska & Hubbard Glacier
Norwegian Epic - Eastern Caribbean
Carnival Victory - Southern Caribbean
Caribbean Princess - Southern Caribbean
Vision of the Seas - Mexican Riviera
Explorer of the Seas - Western Caribbean
Jewel of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean
Explorer of the Seas - Western Caribbean
#16
102 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Originally posted by Hoopster95
Hey Silky. This is as good a time as any to mention a little bit about the Abyss slide view affecting the Boardwalk balcony....I hate to say this, but I think your view may be more compromised than mine. Note this first photo below. My cabin is the 3rd from the bottom against the Climbing Wall, and it also the cabin where the slide is at the most center of the Boardwalk, thus the farthest away from my balcony giving me a lot of open space... does that make sense? I think I got lucky when booking as I believe deck 10 (and 11) is the very best view with the slides farthest away from you.









Deck 12 is immediately under the bridge. The slide will wrap up closer to your balcony thus covering a little more of your view than me. Also, immediately aft and to your right you have the control booth right there beside you.









Here's my view looking directly out at the slide as it wraps away from my balcony and upwards, thus giving me a lot of open space to look aft.... note in my other pics in the first post when I stand to the very aft of my balcony I get an almost unobstructed view aft of the Aqua Theatre and beyond. I think the slide opens up at the top and might affect your view a bit more as it reaches the top. Seriously though, you get used to it no problem and added to the charm in my opinion. I loved it.













Yep! I had the 4 night dining package as well as my D+ BOGO... in fact I did only one evening in MTD and an interesting major fail happened on that night! I'll explain when I get there on night #6.



Anyhow, yep I did Wonderland on night #3. I'll have pics and a review of Wonderland later on. It was very cool experience and one of our faves on the ship. Ask for a waiter named Vinko if you can... totally entertaining and a great server. He has a deep voice like Vincent Price and a great demeaner so he added to the whimsical atmosphere of the place and the food as he described everything. Also, we started to ask him about the menu and what to order, and he said "let me take care of you. I'll bring out the courses for you and make your dinner special"... we did not order anything.... he just brought out all the courses of the most interesting and popular choices as we went. It was fabulous.

We also were on this cruise and also had Vinko as our waiter. He was fantastic. We thought our meal and presentation were the best we've had in years. Thoroughly enjoyed it!


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BadgerFBFan
Go Bucky!

Monarch of the Seas - 1992
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#17
suburban Chicago
1,222 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Hello Claudio! Sounds so far like another great trip report from you. I'd LOVE to sail on Harmony someday soon, but in the meantime I'll settle for your ALWAYS entertaining review.

Cheers

Ellen
#20
michigan
1,982 Posts
Joined May 2012
Originally posted by SilkySal
I'm following along too! We'll be on Harmony in October and booked cabin #12329, 2 decks above yours! Do you think that view is just as good? We'll be celebrating our 34th anniversary with our two adult kids and a few friends!! Also, wondering if you tried Wonderland and if it would be okay to wait until we board to make reservations there for our anniversary for 10 of us. Do you know if they offered any "deals" for booking on the first night? Thanks! Looking forward to your review!
This is the view from 12327 - one room forward from 12329. I will post 11329 when we return from Harmony. Hoopster - Thanks for the great pics


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SYMPHONY UP NEXT!
Fortunate To Have Sailed:
Grand Princess, Carnival Valor x 2, Carnival Breeze
Voyager x 2, Explorer x 6, Navigator x 2, Adventure x 5
Independence x 3, Liberty
Jewel x 2, Brilliance
Oasis x 2, Allure x 2 , Harmony x 2