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cruisinfromtampa

Live: Harmony of the Seas 6/23 Queens on the High Seas Summer Extravaganza!

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Hello Everyone! 

 

We’re off on another adventure! Thank you to those have followed along with us the last few reviews! This time, we’re trying out Harmony of the Seas, our first time on an Oasis Class ship! We’ve previously sailed on Vision/Radiance/Voyager/Freedom Class ships, plus Majesty, and are excited to try out the big one. 

 

A little bit about us: We’re both career educators, me a middle school band director, a saint, I know, and him a high school administrator, both in Hillsborough County. We love our jobs, but every chance we have to get away we take.  While I have the summer off, he works 12 months, so this is our only opportunity to sneak off this summer.  We’ve only been cruising regularly for a little over 2.5 years, but fell in love with it almost immediately. This is our first cruise with just the 2 of us since June 2017, and that may just be the most exciting part. Don’t get me wrong, we love our cruising friends, but it’s nice to get away just us too. 

 

Living in Florida has its perks...there are 4 ports between 20 minutes and 4.5 hours away. Cruising is very easy. Being an educator in Florida who likes to cruise, however, has its downfalls. Very rarely do I get to cruise without someone from my school on the ship. This cruise is no exception. The PTSA President and her family will be on board, and staying on the same deck. Joy!

 

The cruise:

 

We are doing a 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise. The itinerary is below. We will be staying in a Boardwalk View Balcony. I’m excited to try one out. As I said before, this is our first time on an Oasis Class ship, so the neighborhood concept is new to us. We’ll see if we like it. We have the second to last room aft, so maybe a sliver of ocean and the aqua theater viewable, depending on how much Perfect Abyss blocks. 

 

Itinerary:

 

Day 1 - Sailaway

Day 2 - Perfect Day at CocoCay

Day 3 - At Sea

Day 4 - St. Thomas 

Day 5 - St. Maarten 

Day 6 - At Sea

Day 7 - At Sea

Day 8 - Back to Reality 

 

I chose this sailing for 2 reason. First, the ship. We wanted to try it, and I wanted the food choices. Second, the itinerary. We’re visiting CocoCay for the first time since renovations, and St. Thomas and St. Maarten are two of our favorites. We’ll go anytime we can. Maho Beach especially. It was #1 on my checker list from the time I was 15 until I got to check it off. 

 

For this sailing, I booked us the Ultimate Dining Package. Over the course of the year since, RC eliminates the Ultimate and rolled out the Unlimited. I’m beyond excited to eat my way through this cruise, not that I don’t every cruise, but with so many dining options to try, the foodie in me is ready for new things. 

 

With UDP comes a lot of reservations to keep track of. Throw in the show reservations, plus excursions and it easily becomes overwhelming...at least for me it did. I teach middle school. Everything is planned out because it has to be. Chaos and 12 year olds holding thousands of dollars worth of equipment don’t mix well. So, while for some it’s overkill, for me, having an itinerary works well. It keeps us on track, and gives me a visual. Will we follow it 100%? Absolutely not. But at least I have an idea of what a day holds. We all work differently. 

 

Of course, I’m extra, so it’s color coded. 

 

Sidebar...I posted it to another website, and it’s amazing how many people there with so much free time that they stop by to let you know you’re planning your vacation wrong. 

 

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Well...that’s a start. Plenty more to come. If you want more content, feel free to follow us on FB and Instagram. Our page/profile on both is queensonthehighseas

 

Thanks for following along! 

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We are on the Harmony of the Seas - Western Caribbean in two weeks but I will look forward to hearing your review about the ship.  I also have a color coded schedule-  its the only way to keep two adult kids and a grandson and me all on the same schedule !  Enjoy....  Looking forward to hearing your comments.

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Starting off the drive with a bagel, as is tradition. If we’re cruising out of Tampa, we go to New York Bagel in Carrollwood. If we’re going out of PC/PE/Miami, it’s Bagels Plus on Fletcher. They’re the best bagels in Tampa we we’ve found, and our friends from NYC agree. 

 

My order is always the same: Garlic Bagel, toasted, with Garlic & Herb Cream Cheese, and Turkey. Gotta keep the vampires away! 

 

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If you like food pictures, this is the place to be. The bulk of my review will be about the things I’m eating, both on board and in port. 

 

We’re currently sitting in Disney traffic living life. I told him I wanted to leave no later than 8:00...this is what happens when we don’t do what I say. 😂

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Here for the ride.  It’s always nice to see a familiar ship through someone else’s eyes. We return to her late August. 

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Posted (edited)

Following also.  We'll be in on Harmony in 70 days (but who's counting).  I love that you color code.  I'm a planner too and color coding helps me so much.  Plus it looks nice 🙂 

Edited by SoccerMom#3

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Some simply don't understand.  I taught in Miami and Orlando for 30 years.  What do teachers do?  We PLAN and plan and plan.  Plans for the year, the semester the quarter, the week.  Keep planning and ignore those who do not understand our need to plan.  Will be on Harmony in November, thus will be reading your review daily.  Happy Sails to you two.

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Going on Harmony in October with the UDP.  Were you able to make all your dining reservations prior to the cruise or do you just have everything planned out so you are ready to make the reservations once you are onboard?  Have a great cruise.

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I'll be following on all 3 sites.  I love your organizational skills, will you do a chart for us?

Have a great time.  I'm very jealous.

 

Lori

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Following along as I wait the almost year until it is my turn on Harmony. Have a great cruise. 

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1 hour ago, orkaren1 said:

Going on Harmony in October with the UDP.  Were you able to make all your dining reservations prior to the cruise or do you just have everything planned out so you are ready to make the reservations once you are onboard?  Have a great cruise.

 

I had everything planned out. The first thing we did once we were on board was take care of food. We went straight up to Jamie’s on Deck 8, and had zero wait to make them. We were able to get everything we wanted, within 15 minutes of our desired times. It worked out beautifully!

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1 hour ago, Snit13 said:

Some simply don't understand.  I taught in Miami and Orlando for 30 years.  What do teachers do?  We PLAN and plan and plan.  Plans for the year, the semester the quarter, the week.  Keep planning and ignore those who do not understand our need to plan.  Will be on Harmony in November, thus will be reading your review daily.  Happy Sails to you two.

It’s all I know!! I have my class periods planned out by the minute...warm ups, scales, rhythm, concert music...I can’t function otherwise. 

 

Thank you!

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Following and looking forward to this.  I've enjoyed your other reviews.

 

If you want to take your planning to the next level, check out OneNote.  In addition to my (also color coded) embedded spreadsheet, I've got all kinds of other info...links to all excursions, attached and printed out confirmations, screen shots, etc.  Everything organized and separated into different tabs, and all available on my phone/tablet/laptop.  A planner's dream.

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We'll be in boardwalk balcony room #8727 (2nd from the aft) starboard side in October. What deck are you on and how is the view of the aqua theater? I've seen pics where it looks pretty good, so looking forward to our cruise! Thanks for your review!

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After hitting traffic in several spots, we finally arrived after 2.5 hours. From car to ship, it was roughly 10 minutes. I can’t think of a faster process during a prior cruise. It was seamless. 

 

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Once on board, we went up to Jamie’s to make our Lunch & Dinner reservations for the week. We were able to get every restaurant we wanted, within 15 minutes of our desired times. I call that a win. Schedule is below. 

 

Dinner Day 1: 150 Central Park

Dinner Day 2: Izumi Hibachi

Lunch Day 3: Jamie’s Italian 

Dinner Day 3: Wonderland 

Dinner Day 4: Sabor

Dinner Day 5: Jamie’s Italian 

Lunch Day 6: Izumi Sushi

Dinner Day 6: 150 Central Park

Lunch Day 7: Chops

Dinner Day 7: Jamie’s Italian 

 

I'm looking forward to trying all of the new places, and some new dishes. I do very detailed reviews of my meals, so be prepared. I’m a course by course, dish by dish guy. Lots of detail. 

 

Following reservation hour, we strolled around Central Park for a bit. What a great space. Looking forward to strolling around tonight after dinner. 

 

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I found our room! Second from top, second in on the left. 

 

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Bathroom art...

 

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We trudged back downstairs and set up shop on Rising Tide for our traditional first cocktails. Lemon Drop Martini for me, Amaretto Sour with a splash of Diet Coke for him. 

 

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Rooms are ready! Off to check it out, and then back for more. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, orkaren1 said:

Going on Harmony in October with the UDP.  Were you able to make all your dining reservations prior to the cruise or do you just have everything planned out so you are ready to make the reservations once you are onboard?  Have a great cruise.

If you'd like to join our informal roll call for your October 20 cruise on Harmony, just click on the thread below and join the conversation! Don't forget to register for the free on-board Meet & Mingle by clicking on the site on our roll call! Hope to see you on-board!

I made all of our dining reservations on-line. We have MTD. You can make your specialty restaurant reservations on-line or after you get on board. If you wait until you board, you may not get the time you prefer.

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2476700-october-20-2019-harmony-of-the-seas-really-early-roll-call/page/24/?tab=comments#comment-57733678

 

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Thanks for the review! I’ll be following alongs as I’m A. also a teacher and B. Also have the unlimited plan on our cruise this summer. I also love the organization also!!

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1 hour ago, cruisinfromtampa said:

 

I had everything planned out. The first thing we did once we were on board was take care of food. We went straight up to Jamie’s on Deck 8, and had zero wait to make them. We were able to get everything we wanted, within 15 minutes of our desired times. It worked out beautifully!

Thanks so much. I think we will try to do the same.  I was thinking about maybe going to Sabor for embarkation day lunch if it is included in the UDP and then doing our dinner reservations there at the same time.

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1 hour ago, SilkySal said:

If you'd like to join our informal roll call for your October 20 cruise on Harmony, just click on the thread below and join the conversation! Don't forget to register for the free on-board Meet & Mingle by clicking on the site on our roll call! Hope to see you on-board!

I made all of our dining reservations on-line. We have MTD. You can make your specialty restaurant reservations on-line or after you get on board. If you wait until you board, you may not get the time you prefer.

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2476700-october-20-2019-harmony-of-the-seas-really-early-roll-call/page/24/?tab=comments#comment-57733678

 

Thanks for the link to the roll call.  .  We probably won't join in the meet and mingle because we will be with family and grandchildren but  I always love to read the roll call comments.

As far as the dining reservations, from everything I have read it doesn't look like we can make reservations with the UDP until after we are on board.  Hopefully we will be able to get most everything we want.  We are really looking forward to this cruise.

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7 minutes ago, orkaren1 said:

Thanks for the link to the roll call.  .  We probably won't join in the meet and mingle because we will be with family and grandchildren but  I always love to read the roll call comments.

As far as the dining reservations, from everything I have read it doesn't look like we can make reservations with the UDP until after we are on board.  Hopefully we will be able to get most everything we want.  We are really looking forward to this cruise.

You're welcome! Yep, you're right! We had the UDP last cruise and made our reservations after we boarded. Loved eating every night at a specialty restaurant but it is a LOT of food! Enjoy!

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