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retdon

The Monster Harmony of the Seas

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Well we tried the Monster and we did not like it. You had better like crowds, a lot of children, loud music & noise, full elevators, rain inside the ship, cancellation of entertainment, pushing and cutting in front at the Windjammer, pitiful paper napkins, smoking in the Casino, overpriced cocktails that are only half full, and so on and so on. We are seasoned cruisers and have been loyal Holland American for several years. We chose this cruise because it was a group cruise with my high school class and Port Canaveral is close to our home. 

 

It all starts with having to drag your carry on luggage to a lunch spot along with the thousands of other passengers. We ended up eating hot dogs, only open seats we could find. Breakfast was at Johnny Rocket's and it was tasty with excellent service. The biggest problem, it was pouring rain and with the open ship you need you umbrella or you will get soaking wet. Lunch was usually at the Park Café for the great roast beef sandwich and crisp salad make to your choice of ingredients. It was quieter here and had open tables. For dinner we ate 4 evenings in the Silk Dinning Room with our group and the food was good, not excellent except for the escargot, onion soup, lamb chops, and prime ribs. We had group reservations and were seated in an area they called the Island, the was fine until they seated the screaming kids there. I asked them not to do this again, it is noisy enough without the kids screaming.

 

The other evenings were at Isuma hibachi,  a real showman with some moves we had never seen, lobster and scallops were OK. The problem, a family with very small children who screamed through dinner. I don't like paying $100 + tip + cocktails to listen to screaming children. We could not be moved as the other two tables were full. We have children of our own and 11 great-grand children who we dearly love but WHY would someone bring a small child (less than 2 years old) on a cruise is beyond me. One evening was at Sabor with fantastic guacamole,  a delicious margarita and good service. The bad was the very loud noise from the Aqua Theater. Another night we ate at the Solarium Bistro, finally a quite place with good service, it is a buffet for all items except your entrée. The Captain and other officers were eating there and we know why, you can finally carry on a conversation at dinner. 

 

If you go to Mini Bites expect a lot of children, a wet floor from the dripping bathing suits and heat (it is open). They only serve burgers or hot dogs, once was enough. Breakfast room service was Continental because anything hot was a charge of $7.99 plus tip, ridiculous.. Cocktails run from $10 and up and are usually 1/2 full, I sent my back and asked them to give me a full drink. 

 

The smoking in the Casino is choking awful and should not be allowed, a real fire hazard. I can't believe Royal would allow this.

 

The life boat drill is a joke, get ready to sail the Titanic as they could never get all these bodies off that ship. The life jackets are stored on the boat and not in your cabin, they give them out when needed. The video that was shown to demonstrate the life boat drill was based on James Bond, music and characters,  and if you could see it or hear it you were lucky. Hundreds of people packed into the Promenade trying to find seats and talking through out the entire presentation. No roll call was taken so we could have stayed in our cabin and no one would have known we were not there. 

 

Our cabin steward was excellent and kept our mini-suite clean. He replied to any request we had, was professional and friendly. The cabin was nice except for the mini-tub, it has a half glass partition not a full shower curtain and our floor would be all wet after showering. We did enjoy the veranda a few days when we were not in the sun. We usually end up in our cabin in the afternoon and enjoy watching a movie, get ready to pay $11.99 for any movie, this is really going to far Royal, WHY??? We are not pool people, have had too many skin cancers for any more sun exposure. 

 

A lot of our group agreed they did not like the ship and some even said the other large Royal ships were better, more organized with larger elevators. We will not be sailing on anything this large again. we tried it and it failed to please so will just leave it at that. In cruising there is something for everyone and this huge monster is not for us, we are returning to Holland. Maybe someday we will cruise Royal again on a smaller ship as we had good memories of other Royal ships. 

 

 

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Thank you for your review.

 

You did share the good with the bad.

 

What type of mini suite were you in   Junior?

 

Thanks.

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After cancelling three Oasis class cruises we finally went on one early this year.  They are not for me either.  We will stick with the mid-size ships, Voyager or Freedom class. 

 

It was crowded and had a higher ratio of kids on board.  On rainy days Central Park and Boardwalk were useless.  Plus who wants to plan their vacation to the detail of reserving entertainment in advance.  We also really missed the covered Promenade deck with great ocean views.  Unless we were sitting on our balcony we did not have much of a sense of being at sea.  I can't imagine staying in an inside room on this class of ship!

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44 minutes ago, retdon said:

Maybe someday we will cruise Royal again on a smaller ship as we had good memories of other Royal ships. 

 

It seems that from the things that you outlined you enjoyed from this sailing, you probably would enjoy the older, smaller Royal ships.  Although I have yet to find a cruise ship casino that wasn't stinky and smoky, but I'm highly sensitive to it.  

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They scan your seapass at the  Muster Drill so they do know if you are there or not.

We love the Oasis class but they can get crowded certain times of the year.  We never found it that bad though and we are older.  Unfortunately, screaming kids seems to be the norm lately.  Don’t know why parents don’t leave with them that’s what we did if the kiddies acted out.  It is not fun for anyone listening to the screaming but that’s life.

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My personal experience has been that we don't notice the crowds as much on the bigger ships like Harmony and Symphony as we do on the smaller and mid-size ships (we've only done Royal Caribbean, though, no other lines) Harmony also seemed to do better with the smoking filtration in the casino compared to smaller ships (many of Royal's smaller ships don't even have a non-smoking section, the entire casino is smoking)

 

Harmony and Symphony are my two personal favorite ships, but it is definitely a "depends on the traveler" type of thing. 

 

I am really surprised they didn't take roll for the muster drill. We have always had to sign in with our seapass cards when we arrived. 

 

I do agree with wishing they would ban smoking in the casino, and bring back the free movie channels on the stateroom TVs. That was a huge disappointment when it changed.

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Yet another complaint about the elevators. 😞  This is a real deal breaker for me and Im glad I cancelled my Harmony cruise and took the FCC.  Hopefully Ovation is a little better in this regard.    Thank you for your review  🙂    

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22 minutes ago, AshleyDillo said:

 

It seems that from the things that you outlined you enjoyed from this sailing, you probably would enjoy the older, smaller Royal ships.  Although I have yet to find a cruise ship casino that wasn't stinky and smoky, but I'm highly sensitive to it.  

 

Empress, from what I understand, has a no-smoking casino.

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Coming up to our 5th Oasis Class cruise . Four have been transatlantics that sail with 1500 fewer kids and lots of solos. We are in our late 60's and Oasis class is now our favorite sailing.  Have to Agree that Oasis Class in the Caribbean is for families and overloaded with kids. happy future sailing. 

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Any reason for those partial glass partitions on the (mini)tubs?  I've always felt a cold draft, and like the op, always gotten the floor all wet.

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39 minutes ago, AshleyDillo said:

 

It seems that from the things that you outlined you enjoyed from this sailing, you probably would enjoy the older, smaller Royal ships.  Although I have yet to find a cruise ship casino that wasn't stinky and smoky, but I'm highly sensitive to it.  

I don’t know if they would enjoy a smaller RC ships as I have normally found them to be more crowded than Oasis class ships.

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42 minutes ago, AshleyDillo said:

 

It seems that from the things that you outlined you enjoyed from this sailing, you probably would enjoy the older, smaller Royal ships.  Although I have yet to find a cruise ship casino that wasn't stinky and smoky, but I'm highly sensitive to it.  

Try Celebrity as the casinos are no smoking, that is what we have one.

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We sailed Oasis last January and was not impressed.   One day had to wait to enter WJ. Told there weren't any tables.  Also slow in refilling empty food.  Took 2 days to find made to order omelets (wipeout cafe has them), which we are used to seeing in WJ.  We have now sailed all classes and prefer Radiance class or Quantum class.  Will be sailing Anthem Saturday for 2 weeks.  That being said we will probably sail the class again as we love cruising. 

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I truly believe they need to stay with Holland America.  Absolutely not for me, and I am a  very senior citizen, but sure is for hundreds or thousands of folks. Two worst cruises in my over 50 cruises were on Holland, just not my cup of tea.  Not bad ships, just not enough going on and way too "calm".  I'm going to go sliding into my grave, WOOOOOOOOOOO   HOOOOOOOOOO!  Look out here I come

 

5 times on Oasis, 3 times on Allure and anxious to get on Harmony.  I've been on multiple lines and Royal is one of my favorites and the Oasis class is top of the line, never bored.

 

This is why there are so many lines to choose from, something for everyone!

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^Agree.  I’ve done all the Oasis class.  Love them all. Royal is a family cruise line so kids are expected.  
 

I've tried Celebrity but Royal keeps me young.  When I’m ready to mature I’ll try Holland.  Maybe in a few decades.  
 

To each their own.  

Edited by twangster

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13 minutes ago, twangster said:

^Agree.  I’ve done all the Oasis class.  Love them all. Royal is a family cruise line so kids are expected.  
 

I've tried Celebrity but Royal keeps me young.  When I’m ready to mature I’ll try Holland.  Maybe in a few decades.  
 

To each their own.  


This 👆🏻
 

Why are people surprised to find children on a RC cruise when the company go out of their way to attract families with all ages of children. Even though there is a nursery on most RC ships it doesn’t have a lock and key and they are allowed into other areas of the ship.
Unless RC change their target market people will have to suck it up or move cruise line. 

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2 hours ago, Lionesss said:

Thank you for your review.

 

You did share the good with the bad.

 

What type of mini suite were you in   Junior?

 

Thanks.

How many types of mini suites are there

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We just went on Harmony, and I have mixed feelings about her. It was very crowded with older couples who needed wheelchairs and scooters, and young families with strollers. That made elevators pretty impossible as these groups obviously needed them. My biggest complaint there was strollers being left in the hallway outside of staterooms most days. Also, you get not get a seat at Schooner or Pub if there was entertainment, even going early. I had heard horror stories about My Time Dining on this ship, but ours actually went smoothly with 6:30 reservations. I think I still prefer Freedom class and smaller, but will probably give Oasis Class another try one day.

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Sounds like you got exactly the cruise you thought you would.  Your attitude says it all.  "It's raining outside on a cruise ship, hate it!!!!  But I'll call it the inside of the ship to embellish"

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

^Agree.  I’ve done all the Oasis class.  Love them all. Royal is a family cruise line so kids are expected.  
 

I've tried Celebrity but Royal keeps me young.  When I’m ready to mature I’ll try Holland.  Maybe in a few decades.  
 

To each their own.  

 

I loved Celebrity but found myself missing the family/fun aspect of the Royal Oasis class.  I find I can have a quiet, adult experience on Oasis/Harmony all the same with the option to let loose a bit.

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2 hours ago, ryano said:

Yet another complaint about the elevators. 😞  This is a real deal breaker for me and Im glad I cancelled my Harmony cruise and took the FCC.  Hopefully Ovation is a little better in this regard.    Thank you for your review  🙂    

 

I have elevator issues on literally every ship I've sailed on.  Oasis-class is no different. During intense/crowded times like a show getting out, it's hard to get an elevator.  During normal/day to day, it's not bad at all.

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20 minutes ago, BNBR said:

 

I have elevator issues on literally every ship I've sailed on.  Oasis-class is no different. During intense/crowded times like a show getting out, it's hard to get an elevator.  During normal/day to day, it's not bad at all.

 

People are reporting that Harmony is worse than the rest of the Oasis class ships though and that one elevator has actually been out of service for weeks.   I generally dont have issues and will catch any elevator going any way but if reports are true, 15-20 minute waits for ANY elevator is a deal breaker for me.   On Freedom of the Seas I was able to find the bank of elevators that evidently no one knew existed it seemed.  They were always empty or had very few people.   My last two cruises were on Carnival Magic and there was never any problem catching an elevator quickly. 

Edited by ryano

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15 minutes ago, ryano said:

 

People are reporting that Harmony is worse than the rest of the Oasis class ships though and that one elevator has actually been out of service for weeks.   I generally dont have issues and will catch any elevator going any way but if reports are true, 15-20 minute waits for ANY elevator is a deal breaker for me.   On Freedom of the Seas I was able to find the bank of elevators that evidently no one knew existed it seemed.  They were always empty or had very few people.   My last two cruises were on Carnival Magic and there was never any problem catching an elevator quickly. 

 

15 - 20 minute waits?  Lol.  Goodness.  Don't believe everything you read.  Harmony is about the same as any other cruise ship and pretty much identical to Oasis class sisters.  There was nothing memorably bad or different about Harmony compared to the other Oasis class ships.  Elevators were fine.  And if you are smart and stay on deck 6, then you are just a flight or two of stairs away from almost everything and a short elevator ride to the pool/upper deck.

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We're booked on Harmony in January.  I appreciate that your review included lots of good points along with the bad.  Most of us know what we like and don't like, so we can compare your opinions to what ours would likely be on each topic.  Safe to say some of the common complaints (ie:  long wait for elevators, crowding, etc) will likely be an issue for us also.  We're just hoping January won't be a packed ship -- wishful thinking maybe.

 

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.  Happy sailing!

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