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Review - Harmony of the SEA. 7/7-7/14/19 Key program and other details.


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13 hours ago, Judyrem said:

I loved the cruise but at times was completely frustrated with the crowds.

 

What were the main crowd bottlenecks? We're on HOTS later this fall and curious. I'm not a great crowd lover. Thanks

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1 hour ago, Bem15963 said:

We went down 95 all the way and to be honest had very little traffic except around Fredericksburg VA where it always seems to back up.   I was pleasantly surprised as we have had horrific drives down to Florida and this one was very uneventful.

 

1 hour ago, Snit13 said:

From Western PA we would take 79 to 19 to 77.

 

1 hour ago, Snit13 said:

From Western PA we would take 79 to 19 to 77.

From where I am in Ohio I will probibly take 77 most of the way. Anybody driven that  lately?

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Perfect Day at Coco Kay:

 

Coco Kay -  Compared to Labadee - We have always gone to Labadee (twice). To be honest Labadee wasn't my favorite although others loved it.  We did the zip line there which my daughter then 14 loved.   We did the Kayaking the next year and enjoyed that a lot except when they stop at a village and you are then taken to look at the local crafts - however it you just said no thanks they left you alone.   The food was ok and the only thing we did was go to the beach.   We rented a cabana the first time but I didn't do it again.  lot of money for something we didn't need.  Second time we just got chairs on beach.

 

Now for Coco Kay -  I enjoyed this so much more....  yes it is more water park like but it gave you the option of the pool, slides, or going to the beach.  Labadee only has beach.   We started off with Zip lining.  First time for three of us - daughter did it with her father on labadee.  I was impressed with the harnesses they had and the time they took to make sure you felt comfortable.   You do watch a safety video before you go.  BEWARE there are A LOT of stairs to climb.  The staff was great and took every precaution they could before sending you on your way.  There were three sets of lines-  the first easy,  The second higher, and the third faster.   For my first time it was just right for me.  You sail over the water attractions so you get to see what is down there if you look.....

Next the daughter went to the beach on her own.... like I said she is the extrovert and always on the go.   The boys took off and I decided to tackle the slides.  The only complaint here is the lines to the slides.  You all go up on big stair case and then it branches off.  The wait times for the TALL one are LONG but my son said the hour plus wait was totally worth it.  Me I did the smaller ones.  They were enjoyable and refreshing.   Then I went to the Oasis pool... it is huge.   We did use the swim up bar several times (make sure you try the Coco Kay special drink). and met a wonderful couple that we continued to meet up with through the cruise.  Watch out for the large iguanas.   Daughter almost jumped out of skin when she turned the corner and it was on the pool ledge.  Someone said it was a baby but it was at least 24 inches long and a good five pound.

We went to get lunch -  we just went to the buffet that was set up-  I know there was other food venues but we didn't venture out to find them.  The food was ok.  They had hamburgers, hot dogs, soft tacos and all the salads.  They do have the soft ice cream machines.

After lunch found all three kids back in the wave pool.  They loved this.  Spent most of their day there until they tried the slides again.  We decided at 2pm to head back to the ship.

 

I thought it was a Perfect Day for us.  We all enjoyed the time we spent - the place is clean and well maintained.  There is still construction going on but you don't hear anything.   Plenty of chairs for you to find to sit on and lockers for all your stuff.  Just know that the water slides, wave pools and small children obstacle pool are all extra.....  as is the zip lining.   The Balloon didn't go up that day as the winds were too strong.   There is a small kid water activity outside the Thrill park that is not extra.  

 

I would like to go back again just to explore the other areas.

IMG_8791 2.HEIC IMG_8777 2.HEIC IMG_8795 2.HEIC IMG_8798 2.HEIC IMG_8796 2.HEIC IMG_8800 2.HEIC IMG_8799 2.HEIC

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16 hours ago, Swank Pad G said:

I've heard great things about chocolate night. What night was it? I think another reviewer said it was on night 5. Do they list anywhere in the cruise planner or on the menu board that the Windjammer will have it's Chocolate Night? I don't want to miss that.

 

I'll jump in and add on our Greek cruise on the Jewel, there was no warning or notice anywhere that the Chocolate Night was happening.  It was tradition for us to always hit Windjammer in the evening for our nightly sweets.  We just happened upon it and WOW!!!  You have to try and find it.  On our 7 night cruise it was on the 5th night.  Good luck!!

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1 minute ago, tcmagnum said:

 

I It was tradition for us to always hit Windjammer in the evening for our nightly sweets

That is an excellent idea! We always get a nightcap from the bar why not chocolate?

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So I just looked in the compasses and there is no mention of Chocolate night.  the only thing they do tell you is the food options ie.  Mexican , Indian,  Mixed Grill.   Our formal nights were day 3 and day 6 so I believe this Chocolate night was day 5.  I hope these pictures come through....; new to using a Mac and still figuring it out.

IMG_9065.HEIC IMG_9066.HEIC IMG_9067.HEIC IMG_9068.HEIC IMG_9069.HEIC

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Loving this review!  Thank you for taking the time to do it (and I'm not seeing the pics, but i'm at work, so there may be a firewall or something).

 

We're leaving for the Harmony on Aug. 4.  Only our second one, and the first was 9 years ago!!  I'm hoping my kids and husband love it and don't complain the whole time (they're a cranky bunch).  🤣  If they do, I guess I'll definitely buy the drink package!

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2 hours ago, Mason9 said:

Glad you enjoyed your cruise. I live in Eastern Ohio and am planing to drive to Port Canaveral for the Sept. 29 sailing. How was the drive going down there?  Was there much construction along the way?

 

I am on 9/29 sailing too! 🙂 

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16 minutes ago, Bem15963 said:

I will try to see if I can fix the pictures....  again a Mac newbie ...

 

I'm on a Mac...

 

When you are in the reply to this post box where you enter the text for your post...there is a button in the lower right that says "Insert other media" with a downarrow triangle. Click on that...a pop up with two options appears. Select "Insert Image from URL". Now a pop up box happens...paste the http url address into the text box...the cursor will already be blinking in that box. Then click on the button that says "Insert into post". Voila! Now the image will appear in the post.

 

Going back to read now...

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2 hours ago, RickAinley said:

 

What were the main crowd bottlenecks? We're on HOTS later this fall and curious. I'm not a great crowd lover. Thanks

The muster drill in the Royal theater B1 was like a scrum and it seemed quite dangerous to me.  They should have allowed "sections" to leave in an orderly fashion.

Lines to American Icon MDR.

The top pool deck was awful on sea days.  One can just go into a pool to get "wet", not swim. Solarium was good but became rather hot, no pool, just hot tubs.

 

IMO, I think the majority of the people on board were families.  There were many "extended" families too!

I don't imagine in the fall there would be as many as there were in the summer. 

 

It is what it is, and we were ok with it.

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1 hour ago, Bem15963 said:

So I believe this Chocolate night was day 5.  

Another thread poster where I first heard of Chocolate Night said it was on night five "Mexican" also. So I am going to assume they keep it the same night for the same itineraries. Thank you for looking.

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13 minutes ago, Judyrem said:

The muster drill in the Royal theater B1 was like a scrum and it seemed quite dangerous to me.  They should have allowed "sections" to leave in an orderly fashion.

Lines to American Icon MDR.

The top pool deck was awful on sea days.  One can just go into a pool to get "wet", not swim. Solarium was good but became rather hot, no pool, just hot tubs.

 

IMO, I think the majority of the people on board were families.  There were many "extended" families too!

I don't imagine in the fall there would be as many as there were in the summer. 

 

It is what it is, and we were ok with it.

 

I agree that the muster drill was bad... We were in Studio B and it was really crowded when we left...But I guess I felt differently,  I was surprised I didn't feel more crowded with a sold out ship.   I have never been on a cruise where the pool was not crowded but I thought that HOS had a lot more chairs in different places for everyone.  The solarium was hot but on windy days I spent a lot of time there.  I did not miss the pool as the hot tubs were nice and usually not crowded.  

 

It all depended where you were and when   - the promenade was crowded whenever there was an event going on.  I actually found that the elevators weren't as crowded as they were on the Freedom when we were on it.  Sometimes we waited for the next one but many times I got on an empty one.

 

Any time you left a show or main setting for dinner you ran into crowds but I guess I didn't notice it as much.  I agree that there were lots of families.  I don't swim in the pools in fact never got in one this time as we did a lot of water excursions and never stepped foot in the gym even though I had planned too. Nor did I do the spa.    I did walk the track several times though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Anita Latte said:

 

I'm on a Mac...

 

When you are in the reply to this post box where you enter the text for your post...there is a button in the lower right that says "Insert other media" with a downarrow triangle. Click on that...a pop up with two options appears. Select "Insert Image from URL". Now a pop up box happens...paste the http url address into the text box...the cursor will already be blinking in that box. Then click on the button that says "Insert into post". Voila! Now the image will appear in the post.

 

Going back to read now...

So how do I know the URL address?  thanks for the advice.

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31 minutes ago, Bem15963 said:

So how do I know the URL address?  thanks for the advice.

 

OK...I'm not sure how you added the images you did. I thought you had just pasted the url address of the photos, but I see just the title for the name of the image file. You would have a URL address if you uploaded the photos to a third party site. Basically a whole different website that you would upload your photos to and then you would acquire the URL from that site. It sounds complicated but it isn't really...it just requires steps.

 

The advantage to loading your photos to a third party website instead of uploading directly to cc is that you control your photos. They are stored at the other site and the link makes the photo appear in your post. If you ever decide that you want to take down the photo, you can simply delete it from the third party site and then the link is broken. To my knowledge, if you upload directly to cc, then it becomes a part of the history of cc and I'm not sure how you ever take it down in the future should you decide you want to.

 

Personally, I use imgbb.com. It's a free account. You can use the site without making an account, but then you lose control of your photos. When you make an account, you have the choice to upload photos to a public album or a private album. I do a private album. Once the photo is uploaded, you can select the "embed" codes and select the "direct link". There is a little copy button there and you just hit it to copy the http address. Again, sounds complicated but it's just dominoes in a row to get it done.

 

I've also found that you can click on the "choose files" hyperlink on the lower left and select the photos from your Mac's photo album to upload what ever you select. When I used that method, the photo appeared in my post.

 

So...not sure what you did to get the photos to be the way they are? 

 

Edited to add...right now to view your photos...when I click on them, they literally download to my hard drive and then I can open them to see them. 

Edited by Anita Latte
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On 7/15/2019 at 11:50 AM, Bem15963 said:

First off a little bit of background of who we are:   I am recently widowed 55 year old school teacher who took with her a 20 year old introvert son,  and extremely extroverted 18 year  old daughter, and a quiet but willing to try anything 12 year old grandson.    We planned this trip as a way to try to start a new chapter in our lives.  Our last cruise was canceled (thankfully we had trip insurance) due to health diagnosis for husband last summer.

 

We live in Pennsylvania and decided to drive rather than fly four of us down to cut expenses.  Luckily I was able to reserve Courtyard Marriots (to earn points) using cerfificates and a corporate code for our travel day and for our stop at Cocoa Beach the night before.  I highly recommend the Courtyard at Cocoa Beach.  We were early and got to see one of the DISNEY cruises sailing away.  Close to the beach for you to walk to and lots of amenities.    We did some shopping at the Walmart which was a ten minute drive and then settled in for the night.  Kids ordered Dominoes to have delivered while I enjoyed happy hour specials.

 

Next morning we packed up and took the short drive to the port - our check in time said 12:30 but I never follow that.  We arrived at 9:35 and Harmony was waiting there -  My husband would have looked at her and said " we're going on that?"   so my kids did it this time instead.  We drove in the parking garage and found a spot on the first floor.  We watched people coming out with their luggage looking sad and tired as they packed up their cars.  We waited until 9:50 and unloaded and walked out luggage to the elevator.  We were met by an attendant who took our luggage -  always the scary part wondering if you will ever see it again.

 

We walked across to the terminal and they were already letting people in.  We walked in and went through security which took a mere two minutes and headed up the escalator.  Since we had purchased the KEY program we were met by a man who had an IPAD.  He looked at our sea passes and took out pictures one by one and then directed us to the roped off section for KEY people to wait.  We were sitting and waiting at 10:12 am.    The area were were in was small but by 10:30 all the chairs were full.  The rest of the terminal was pretty empty.  At 10:30 they announced they were ready to board.   We were one of the first 50 people on board after the Diamond and Pinnacle guests.   Over all this part of the trip was super easy -  not sure if not having the KEY would have been as easy but it was nice to feel a little special and board before others.

 

As this was my grandson's first cruise I was excited to see his reaction and it did not disappoint.  We entered on Deck 5 the Promenade.  I went immediately to Boleros to see about WOW bands but no one knew anything about them.  So we decided to venture up to the pool deck.  Again there was no one on the boat so we pretty much had it to ourselves.  After a few minutes the daughter and I took out bags we walked on with and went down to the GRANDE dining room.  Here the KEY program allowed us to drop off our walk on bags and they would be delivered to our rooms.  We were also given our internet codes and information for special times for the various activities.  Lunch for us was from Chops Grill and it would be served in the GRANDE dinning room.   after we all got back together we went in.  Kids all had hamburgers and fries which they all ate and said were very good.  I had the Shrimp Cocktail which were huge and the filet mignon.  It was delicious - tender and full of flavor.  While we were eating it was announced that rooms were ready.  We ventured up to find ours on deck 14.  

More on the room and the luggage later......

 

 

 

 

 

 

We sail on August 11.  Can't wait to read the rest of your review!

 

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1 hour ago, Judyrem said:

IMO, I think the majority of the people on board were families.  There were many "extended" families too!

I don't imagine in the fall there would be as many as there were in the summer. 

 

It is what it is, and we were ok with it.

 

Yes, it will be what it will be. Thanks for the details. We sail late Sep and it's fall break for our county but most of the country will be at school but hopefully enough for our kids to have fun with other kids. Thanks

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We are going to try Coco Kay pictures again..,   don't be critical of the photographer....  I was lucky yo stop my kids long enough to get these : ).    ThanksAnita for the advice !lxe4-YQVWSluo-Ed-ZPobqxdg.jpgD1-ZZWBx-QS5a-IB1-Hj7i-JCA.jpgS7-OROG-LQvqmnfo-RNs-Xkkw.jpgW9-O1y-JU6-TQm-Anhd4kv53fg.jpgr-Vq-R1xm3-QNu-SQD6p-Mdn-VHg.jpgh-NT8yeu-PSyq-Qi-MFg98pd-Cg.jpgo-RBjm-ELVQBqd-X3-XU8-3-Adg.jpgBi-Wcz5e-EQQa-Yzthre-VSS8-Q.jpg

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Pictures from chocolate night.....  yummy.  More review tomorrow.....  a bit under the weather being home from vacation....1a-RQ2-F-AQFy0e-Zq53xgi-Bg.jpgEF8t-F50-NQe2-Z2p-E6g-Mnw-NQ.jpg3-PGLQacp-T7-SZHILm-Rn-Rb-Tg.jpgUil-S45-M3-Ry-Wz-Qp-VQr-S6cvw.jpg

Edited by Bem15963
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8 hours ago, RickAinley said:

 

What were the main crowd bottlenecks? We're on HOTS later this fall and curious. I'm not a great crowd lover. Thanks

 

We just got off the Harmony last month and to me the crowding issue was similar to other cruises.  The first day always seems that way until people start spreading out.  When the shows let out make for crowding and of course some of the sales or events on the promenade.

 

Other than the above times, which we are used to the Harmony did not feel any more crowded to me than other ships we have sailed.

 

she is a beautiful ship and I am sure you will have a wonderful time!!

Edited by GTO-Girl
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1 minute ago, GTO-Girl said:

Other than the above times, which we are used to the Harmony did not feel any more crowded to me than other ships we have sailed.

 

she is a beautiful ship and I am sure you will have a wonderful time!!

 

Thanks. My last trip was over 15 years ago on Sovereign of the Seas and I remember being amazed how many people were on board then but once we set sail it was not a problem at all. Now, it's a ship with 2.5x times the passengers. As long as they kids are happy and I can at least keep the wallet closed a fair bit, we will be happy. 

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