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Finally! A full Week Cruise - Harmony 1/5/20 - Review


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A little back ground before we start the review: My wife, daughter and I had some back luck on our 2019 cruises! in January of 2019, we were aboard the Oasis during the Noro-break out, our cruise was shortened and we only got off the boat once. Our next cruise was to be on the Harmony in September, but our sailing was shortened due to a hurricane.

 

SO, here we are, January of 2020... and we FINALLY had a full 7-day cruise!

 

We are somewhat local to Canaveral, living just about an hour away, so it was a quick trip over to the port. We got there at about 12:15am (parking offsite) and made our way through security pretty quickly. By the time we got on the ship, our room were already opened. We drop off our stuff and headed to Park Cafe.

 

Thoughts on the room: This was the first time that we have had balcony on the Starboard side. I am pretty sure we will always get one of these rooms from here on out. We liked having the port-side view and enjoyed the sunrise every morning. We like to stay on the 14th floor because that is where the kids area is, when our 2 year old daughter falls asleep in the nursery, it is an easy walk down the hallway.

 

The room was nothing special, but was the perfect size for us three. my daughter slept on the couch and my wife and I took the bed. Of course there is never enough drawers or closet space, but you learn to live with that!

 

I could sit here and complain about the muster station process, but we all know the craziness that is getting back to your room after that.

 

The only issue we had day #1 was dinning. We signed up for My-time dining and we were unaware that we could not be sat until at least 6:30. We were quickly told it would not be until 7:30 that we could have dinner. For a family, this was a no-go. I did what I could and I got us in a table at about 7pm, still not ideal. (I would alter our plans and get a reservation for the rest of the cruise, but more on that later.)

 

Sorry for no pictures... That will change for DAY 2!

 

 

 

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Hello, Harmony deck 14 friend!  Glad your luck finally changed this sailing.  Looking forward to the rest.... and your pictures!

 

So the dining issue, is this because you hadn't made a reservation?  We've always chosen early traditional dining, but my mom was just saying she'd like to try My-Time.  I'm not so sure it's a good idea.  Personally, we don't mind a late dinner but the rest of my family eats around 5pm.... 6 at the latest.  I haven't looked into this much, but on the surface it seems like My Time isn't exactly flexible.  And even with a reservation, you still wait?  Hubs and I have done the Anytime dining on Princess and it worked fine, no wait that I recall.  Maybe things have changed.  Wonder why this seems more complicated on RC.

 

Quick edit to add:  Also very glad we chose the starboard side!  And I agree, muster drill was cringe worthy.  Get rid of that absurd video and give us a professional safety presentation, please.  Elected not to fight the crowd afterward, stayed in Boleros for our first 🍹.

Edited by Ren1216
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5 hours ago, Ren1216 said:

So the dining issue, is this because you hadn't made a reservation?  We've always chosen early traditional dining, but my mom was just saying she'd like to try My-Time.  I'm not so sure it's a good idea.  Personally, we don't mind a late dinner but the rest of my family eats around 5pm.... 6 at the latest. 

MTD has changed on Harmony.  They now use all 3 dining rooms for early traditional dining.  MTD does not start until 6:30

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Looking forward to your review.  Now that I have a booking on Harmony, I want to read (and see) as much about her as possible. Never mind that my sailing is 432 days away .... 🙄

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Day 2 we stopped at the beautiful Perfect Day at Coco Cay! Because I have a 2-year old, our day starts at about 5:30am. So we were greeted with this beautiful sunrise

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Soon the Island would start to show itself and we got to see this view from our balcony

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After a quick breakfast in the windjammer, we headed down to claim our spot! Here are some pics of our day at Coco Cay!

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Harmony is simply beautiful!

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These iguanas were near the basketball courts and were HUGE!

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I love Hibiscus flowers, we have them all around our house, but this one... the colors were so vibrant!

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The slide tower. Sadly I did not go on any of the slides, it was honestly too cold for me! Speaking of too cold...

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my daughter would normally LOVE the kids pool area... but it was WAY too cold for her too (we are Floridians!)

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There are so many beautiful aspects of this picture! I think the background is nice too!

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The water was that perfect color you expect, but once again... TOO COLD FOR ME!

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Obligatory pic in front of the ship... my daughter was tired of taking pics at this point!

 

 

Thoughts on Coco Cay: It was AWESOME! If you want to relax on the beach, you can do that! If you want to go and play, YOU CAN! If you want to eat, have at it! They really did max out that island!

 

Food: We ate at the Snack Shack and had the burgers and chicken sandwich. The burger surprised me with how good it was! My wife and daughter both enjoyed a nice ice cream. I do wish I saved room for  the taco bar, that looked great! I will definitely eat there next time!

 

Downside: This was no fault of Royal on this, but my wife forgot to bring the water diapers and a change of clothes... so being the dutiful husband that I am... I walked back to the ship, it was a hike, but I got a TON of steps that day, so it ended up being okay!

 

We got back on the ship around 2 for nap time, but I would have loved to stay out longer.

 

That night we went to our reserved Early dinning time... and for the first time on any of my cruises, I was not impressed with the service. I did not know this beforehand, but apparently there is a kids area of the dinning room. all of the families with kids/babies were in the back corner of the dining room. It was much louder and the servers seemed more stressed. Our water was not the most attentive and we had to repeatedly ask for simple things. They were very nice, but the service just lacked.

 

We would drop off our daughter at the tots area and we walked around the ship to explore. Tomorrow, we have a sea day!

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We will get a little light on the pictures for the next few posts, I was enjoying the views with my own eyes instead of those through a screen!

 

Day 3 was a sea day, and honestly I LOVE SEA DAYS!

 

Because we had time, we went to the breakfast in the MDR. We love having breakfast there, because it is yummy, less crowded, and above all, less stress. We decided to do the Galley Tour/ Brunch because we have always wondered what it took to produce so much for the ship. Here are a few pics:

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Hard to see, but these are a whole bunch of Beef Tenderloins....mmmmm....

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A beautiful Chocolate sculpture. Not sure what it was for... but WOW!

 

 

We did a few things around the ship that day, hot tub, solarium, and such. We had dinner in the MDR.

 

We had reservations for Fine Line that night, which I am glad we watched, because a bunch of the other shows that week were pushed or canceled. I only took one picture:

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My wife and daughter decided to call it quits early (like 9pm) so I was left to my own devices! For me... that means only one thing... KARAOKE COMPETITION!

 

I sang my usual "Bohemian Rhapsody" and I was selected to move onto the Karaoke Superstar Finals on Saturday in Dazzles with the ship's live band.

 

Here are a few pics from the day.

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My daughter in front of the rotating head sculpture... thing

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After 3 cruises on an Oasis class ship, we FINALLY took a ride on the Rising Tide Bar

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8 hours ago, Drock20J said:

There are so many beautiful aspects of this picture! I think the background is nice too!

Ha!  I'm the only one who caught it?

 

1 hour ago, Drock20J said:

A beautiful Chocolate sculpture. Not sure what it was for... but WOW!

It was in the buffet that evening on the chocolate lovers table (it had a different name that I can't recall now).

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Did you make it to the pool area while at Coco Cay?  The music was very loud when we were there.  Felt like a college bar with a live band where you couldn't take to anyone near you.  Wondering if that's normal or was a one off experience for us.

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12 hours ago, bobmacliberty said:

Did you make it to the pool area while at Coco Cay?  The music was very loud when we were there.  Felt like a college bar with a live band where you couldn't take to anyone near you.  Wondering if that's normal or was a one off experience for us.

I didn't think it was too loud, but then again, There was no way I was going into the pool...

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On 1/28/2020 at 12:43 AM, Ren1216 said:

Hello, Harmony deck 14 friend!  Glad your luck finally changed this sailing.  Looking forward to the rest.... and your pictures!

 

So the dining issue, is this because you hadn't made a reservation?  We've always chosen early traditional dining, but my mom was just saying she'd like to try My-Time.  I'm not so sure it's a good idea.  Personally, we don't mind a late dinner but the rest of my family eats around 5pm.... 6 at the latest.  I haven't looked into this much, but on the surface it seems like My Time isn't exactly flexible.  And even with a reservation, you still wait?  Hubs and I have done the Anytime dining on Princess and it worked fine, no wait that I recall.  Maybe things have changed.  Wonder why this seems more complicated on RC.

 

Quick edit to add:  Also very glad we chose the starboard side!  And I agree, muster drill was cringe worthy.  Get rid of that absurd video and give us a professional safety presentation, please.  Elected not to fight the crowd afterward, stayed in Boleros for our first 🍹.

I can chime in here with our Harmony MTD experience. We actually loved it. I pre-reserved all our dining times long before we ever cruised through the cruise planner. We reserved for 6:30 every single night...no problem. Yes, MTD doesn't start until 6:30, but if you reserve it ahead of time instead of just showing up, you will have no problem getting in at 6:30 when your reservation calls. The reason for this is that they are busy with caring for the thousands of passengers who have early dining as well. NOW, I will say that sometimes if you go a little early...about 6, they can go ahead and seat you because there is always those who have early dining that either go to buffet or a specialty restaurant, so tables can be available, but they won't know for sure until closer to 6 in case there are any late stragglers. We were also able to request the same table and wait staff the first night, as we thoroughly enjoyed them! Even though I had specialty dining reserved for 3 of our 7 nights, I left our my time dining reservations in tact in case plans changed...no problems at all. I don't consider there to be any complications at all for MTD.

 

20 hours ago, Drock20J said:

 

 

After 3 cruises on an Oasis class ship, we FINALLY took a ride on the Rising Tide Bar

We also rode the Rising Tide Bar for the first time in November after 3 Oasis class cruises. Quite honestly, it just moves to slow for us. We are always on the go and felt "trapped".

 

Your daughter is precious by the way.

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Day four was spent in the beautiful port of Costa Maya, Mexico.

 

My wife and I decided to go to an all-inclusive resort on a day pass. After being rejected by Maya Chan, i looked on a really cool website called "Cruise Critic" to find another option. We soon landed on the HIGHLY RATED Almaplena resort.  How about we start with some pictures!

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Pulling into the port, I love this water, we could see some Sea Turtles and what we think was a small shark.

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Along the pier. My daughter cheesing pretty hard.

 

Getting to the resort was a little more difficult. We had to get a taxi outside of the port and not many of the cabs wanted to take us to the Resort. Once we got a taxi, the ride took about 30 minutes and the roads were not the best, but we arrived safely!

 

When we arrived, We set our stuff down in time for lunch! The resort is small, but BEAUTIFUL! Our lunch consisted of Chips and Guac (the freshest most tasty ever!) Cheese Quesadillas (for my daughter,)  and Shrimp and Steak tacos. All the food was AWESOME!

 

We were then free to roam. The beach had that beautiful white sand and the resort had plenty of relaxing spaces/ cabanas. The best part about the resort? We were one of only 3 groups there! So in total there were only about 10 people there. We also both got massages on the beach. Here are the pics of the resort.

 

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Looking out from the beach20200108_131134.thumb.jpg.00cefbc01a815d870476d21fb12f67f8.jpg

Looking down the beach, the weather was a little up and down, with some crazy rain showers throughout the day.

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My daughter loved just playing in the sand in front of our cabana.

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I love her smile!

 and now for my favorite picture of my daughter EVER...

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When we headed back to the port, my wife decided she would like to have some fish eat her feet...

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We tsayed out in the port pretty late (We left at 7pm) so we went to my-time dining. We had such a great experience, we decided that we were not going to go back to our normal reservation.

 

That night we did the comedy show and was entertained by both comics. I like the Attic venue very comfy!

 

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@Drock20J Did you have to reserve the massages in advance? We are going to Almaplena next week and were told we had to pay for the resort and massages in advance. Then pay for the massage in person and the advance funds would be credited back to us.

 

Thanks.

Edited by cfitch
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30 minutes ago, cfitch said:

Did you have to reserve the massages in advance? We are going to Almaplena next week and were told we had to pay for the resort and massages in advance. Then pay for the massage in person and the advance funds would be credited back to us.

 

Thanks.

THANK YOU FOR ASKING! This was a pain point for me! Yes you need to reserve and "pre-pay" for the massage, I put that is quotes because when you arrive, the owner will refund your paypal account the amount for the massages. Notice: The account, not you. You will need to bring the appropriate cash to pay for the massage, we made this mistake, luckily I brought enough cash to cover the massage but I could not tip! I felt HORRIBLE!

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That is a deal breaker for me. I refuse to pay for something in advance, pay for it again in person and wait for a refund. I will gamble on the person being there when we arrive. If not, I will have a massage elsewhere.

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33 minutes ago, cfitch said:

That is a deal breaker for me. I refuse to pay for something in advance, pay for it again in person and wait for a refund. I will gamble on the person being there when we arrive. If not, I will have a massage elsewhere.

 The refund hit my account very quickly (within 5 minutes)

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20 hours ago, Ren1216 said:

Ha!  I'm the only one who caught it?

I can see where this might have not gone the way I intended... I was trying to say my wife and daughter a amazingly beautiful and the scenery behind them was also ok! I neglected to see the person in a swimsuit... SORRY!

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47 minutes ago, Drock20J said:

I can see where this might have not gone the way I intended...

 

My apologies, was just being silly and meant no disrespect.  All of your photos, especially the ones of your family, are truly beautiful.  That "favorite" one of your daughter is perfection!  When you say you were rejected by Maya Chan, do you mean they were full?  Interesting about the taxis not wanting to take you to the resort, my group also had trouble getting a taxi to a private tour office in town.  They were actually refused by all they asked.  I understand that the taxis wish for a bigger fare (pref all-day), but this is still disappointing and will affect my future plans in this port.  How did you get back to the port?  <<That's my moms biggest fear, that no one will bring her back.

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