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cruisinfromtampa

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

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Following along! We have this same itinerary on Harmony October 13. I will be anxious to hear your reviews of all the restaurants and your experiences on Harmony and in Ports. Cheers and have a great trip!

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1 hour ago, SilkySal said:

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!

I want to sail with you two.  Love specialty restaurants.

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Following along. We leave in 105 days on the October 6th saling. We have booked the dining package for 3 nights. I know you will not be dining in the MDR at all, but if you can tell me which night is the Italian night in the menu rotation I’d appreciate it. Thanks and enjoy!!!

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I see you will be at the Rising Tide bar this afternoon on your schedule. I hear they have Louis The VIII Cognac there for about $125 a glass. Could you confirm this for me? At over $3300 a bottle, I would spend $125 to taste this cognac to see if it is everything they say about it.

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Hope you have a fantastic cruise! We also have the UDP for our Oct 13th Harmony Cruise. Interested to see if you tried to get lunch today using it? Or if Johnny Rockets is included - a lot of conflicting reports. And I SO understand about meeting students - I teach in Scotland but meet students everywhere, including the Japanese Tea Gardens in San Francisco! 

Wendy

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Following! I'm also an educator and I love your spreadsheet!

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Looking forward to following along. We've been on Allure and Symphony and have Harmony booked in the future.  Love your schedule.  Something I do too.  Interested in how you find the Ultimate dining.  Looks like some great choices.

P.S.  We loved the Boardwalk Balcony room despite the Abyss.  Enjoy!

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Excited to follow along with your review. I am sailing on the harmony on 10/13, same itinerary and also have the unlimited dining plan. Can’t wait to read everything! Have a fabulous trip!!!

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Following your travelogue -- we sail on HM on 9-1-2019.  Loved your Central Park pictures.

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Following...my daughters are graduates of Hills County...so I know your vacations are well deserved! We are on Harmony in about a year and a half but I love the planning!

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can't wait to board harmony in 20 days, definitely following along.  🙂

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14 hours ago, Swank Pad G said:

I see you will be at the Rising Tide bar this afternoon on your schedule. I hear they have Louis The VIII Cognac there for about $125 a glass. Could you confirm this for me? At over $3300 a bottle, I would spend $125 to taste this cognac to see if it is everything they say about it.

Don't waste your money.  A friend bought a bottle when it was $1,000 for Christmas years ago.  We were not really impressed.  Nice to be able to say I tried it.

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Good Morning from somewhere in the Bahamas! 

 

We had a wonderful meal at 150 Central Park last night, and then made a fateful error. We came back to the room to let the food settle, and I discovered that the couch is more comfortable than I thought at first glance. Before I knew it, it was 3am and I was fully dressed. Oops! 

 

When we get back today, I’ll catch up from last night. 

 

We’re stopping in CocoCay today. It’s our first time back since they finished renovations. We have tickets for the helium balloon Up Up and Away, and a full day pass to the water park. Hopefully lots of pictures to come!

 

Have a great day!

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We bring a multi pack of colored highlighters and each pick a color.  We then individually  highlight what we want to do that day after reviewing the Compass.  Works for us.

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2 hours ago, Snit13 said:

Don't waste your money.  A friend bought a bottle when it was $1,000 for Christmas years ago.  We were not really impressed.  Nice to be able to say I tried it.

I have heard people say it's incredible and others who have said it's horrible. I do like fine french cognac. I figure it's worth a glass that's cheaper than buying a full bottle to see what the hype is all about. I do wonder if I will talk myself in liking it if I spend that much on a glass of it. kind of a placebo effect.

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20 hours ago, SilkySal said:

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!

 

On 6/23/2019 at 9:37 AM, cruisinfromtampa said:

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! 

Can I ask what you used to make that schedule? I like it! Thanks.

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2 hours ago, kyrie said:

 

Can I ask what you used to make that schedule? I like it! Thanks.

 

It’s just an excel spreadsheet. If you give me an email address, I’d be more than happy to send it to you. I have it saved blank as well, so you wouldn’t have to recreate it. 

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Day 1 Continued:

 

Just before 1:00 they announced that rooms were ready. We’re trying out a Boardwalk View this cruise.  We are on Deck 12, second from the last aft. The view is great. Abyss blocks a little, but we still have a great view of the Aquatheater and ocean beyond. 

 

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First Impressions:

 

The View: We absolutely LOVE the view. Having the ocean view without having to pay for an ocean view balcony is a definite plus. If you’re looking to save some money, it’s definitely one way to get the best of both worlds. 

 

The Room: The room itself feels small. I can’t decide if it’s because the room is smaller than other balconies we’ve sailed in, or if it’s because we’re used to Junior Suites. Other than Majesty, we haven’t sailed in anything less than a JS in 2 years. It’s definitely fine for the week, but not sure I’m interested going forward. Maybe we’re just spoiled...it’s like having to fly in coach after flying first for so long. It’s miserable for me. Lord help us after the GS we have booked next summer. 

 

Bathroom: Adequate. It feels like there is more shelf storage than I remember, because all of our things fit easily, and I definitely have more than I used to. My anti aging regimen takes up a lot of square footage! The shower feels bigger than the ones on older ships. Not having the curtain stick to you is also a plus. 

 

Storage: There is tons of storage when compared to other ships. Having the closet split probably works great for other couples. We wear matching clothes the entire cruise, so for us it’s neither a benefit nor an issue. There is ample drawer space, and shelf space for our needs. We use packing cubes, and everything has its own drawer or cubby which is nice. All that said, I so wish there was more space for shoes. Not having the long closet, we’re struggling for a way to organize them that functions for us. 

 

Outlets: Praise! When you’re used to 2, having 4 is like winning the lottery. There are 3 - 110 outlets above the desk, 1 - 220 outlet above the desk, and 1 - 110 outlet next the right side of the bed. There are also several USB ports around. We have lots of things to charge, so they are definitely being put to work. My only complaint, because I’m picky, is that there’s not one on my side of the bed. My phone is my alarm, and sometimes I want to hit snooze without having to get up. It can be easily solved with a longer charging cord to run along the back of the bed. 

 

The room has a slot for your room key to keep the power on. It’s one more thing to keep track of. We first experienced this in China. At least with the ones here the A/C stays on...in Chinese hotels everything shuts off, which makes the end of the day brutally hot. We found that if we left just a card in, the maid would take it out. But! If we left a card with a 5 or 10 yuan (6.5 yuan to $1 at the time)  note in it, the money left and the card stayed. 

 

I think that covers everything about the room. If you have any specific questions, I’m happy to answer them. 

 

Up next: Dinner at 150 Central Park!

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, cruisinfromtampa said:

 

It’s just an excel spreadsheet. If you give me an email address, I’d be more than happy to send it to you. I have it saved blank as well, so you wouldn’t have to recreate it. 

hmm, it tellsme I can only send 0 messages per day.Any idea why? Was going to PM you and ask for it! 

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Could you please sen me a copy of the spreadsheet.  bell.patty2@verizon.net  thanks in advance

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Let’s talk food!

 

First let me say this...We all have different palates, and different tastes. I’ve eaten anything from meat on a stick on a street corner in Beijing to at a 3 star Michelin restaurant, and everything in between. I’ve had my recipes published multiple times in the paper in Tampa, and my chocolate cake was listed as the best chocolate layer cake in Tampa Bay. I’d like to think I know what I’m talking about when it comes to food. But really, it doesn’t matter. It’s all just my opinion. Food is food...what constitutes good food is different to everyone...but I just plain like food. My figure is proof of that. 

 

So take what I say with a grain of salt. Nothing I’m eating this week is at the level of Alinea (which if you want to spoil yourself while in Chicago, look it up. Absolutely incredible meal!), but I’m not expecting it to be...I am hoping it’s a step up from an on shore chain, however. If it tastes good, it tastes good...and I’m going to tell you! And if I don’t like it, you’ll know that as well. 

 

And now, without further ado:

 

Dinner Night 1 - 150 Central Park 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

150 Central Park:

 

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The location of the restaurant in Central Park is great. It’s quite tranquil. 

 

Menu:

 

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My husband is an extremely picky eater, so the somewhat limited menu did not lend itself well to his needs. 

 

The Bread: It’s a brioche with lemon and black pepper, spread with a truffle herb butter. I’ll say this...I’d bathe in that butter. The entire bite was magical. But what’s not to love...brioche, butter, truffle. 

 

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Crispy Pork Belly: Meh. The crispy part was rock hard. The meaty portion had no flavor. The fatty portion was an unpleasant texture. I can’t think of a time that I haven’t like pork belly. Until now. Would not order again. 

 

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Braised Short Rib: Had the short rib been more tender, it would have been pretty delicious. Flavor was good, seasoning was good, crispy onions gave a nice texture, mascarpone polenta could have been served in a bowl but itself with a spoon and I would have been happy. Overall, decent dish. Again, more tender more better. Would order again. 

 

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Honey Glazed Scallops: My favorite of the 3 appetizers. My scallops were cooked beautifully. The chorizo “stew” gave a great contrast with the salty bite of the sausage, and the sweetness of the corn. Sauce was ok. The other flavors stuck out over it. One “complaint”...I got no honey. It didn’t need it, but if you say honey glazed, I should taste it. Would absolutely order again. 

 

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DH got the Pumpkin Soup. I’m not really a pumpkin fan...I much prefer sweet potato pie to pumpkin pie, and butternut squash anything to pumpkin anything. He liked it. I tried it. It wasn’t terrible. But it tasted like pumpkin. He’d order it again. 

 

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Duck Duo: It was ok. The duck was under seasoned for my taste. Also, duck fat that’s not rendered properly is unpleasant. A little salt, and a nice crispy skin, and this would have been pretty good. The best bite on the plate was the poached pear. I could have a whole one with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and be content. Would order again just to give it a second chance in the hopes that I had the bland one of the night. 

 

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Lobster Thermidor: The potato was tasty. That’s all I got. The lobster was over cooked and chewy, and had a fishy taste to it. If this was the only thing I ordered, I would have sent it back. 

 

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DH got the tenderloin. I didn’t try it. He orders it, gags, well done. Not interested. He was very pleased with it. Please feel free to judge him. 😂

 

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Tart: The tart itself was tasty. Very rich. But if chocolate and peanut butter are your thing, it’s a win. The sorbet was over frozen, and it went straight from rock hard to melted. Flavor was ok. 

 

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Fried Cheesecake: I would order this again in a heartbeat. All around, probably the best dish I had all night, because it gave me everything I was promised, and the textures were spot on. It was the perfect fry...long enough for everything to be crispy, but not too long so it’s and oil slick. The cheesecake itself was creamy in texture, tangy in taste, and perfect mouth feel. The cream was not over-whipped, the popcorn was not over cooked, and the sauce was a great addition to a dish where the cheesecake shined. Would order again, and probably order 2. 

 

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Overall, a nice meal. Some wins, some losses. We’re scheduled to go again later in the week. We haven’t decided if we’re going to keep it or not. There are a few thing left on the menu I’d like to try, but I may decide I want to go back to Wonderland instead, depending on how that goes Night 3. 

 

Up next on the menu is Izumi Hibachi. It’s our first time on a ship with hibachi as an option, and I’m excited for it. 

 

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Edited by cruisinfromtampa
Deleting double posting of pictures.

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1 hour ago, kyrie said:

hmm, it tellsme I can only send 0 messages per day.Any idea why? Was going to PM you and ask for it! 

 

I don’t think we have the ability to message anymore, now that I think about it. If you can, email me at queensonthehighseas@gmail.com asking for it, and when I check it next week, I’ll send it. The file is only on my desktop at the moment. 

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