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LittleMissMagic

LMM's Harmony of the Seas Christmas Cruise - PHOTO Review!!

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9 hours ago, andawayigo said:

I think those gingerbread houses may have been made by kid passengers.We took a cruise on Celebrity last New Years and our waiter told us about a gingerbread house decorating competition for kids. You had to pay to enter but it seemed like fun so we signed up my 8 yo granddaughter. Ended up being canceled because they didn't get enough kids to sign up, but we were told the gingerbread houses on display by the grand foyer (which were set up and looked pretty much like your photos), were made by kids from the previous Christmas cruise. I know you're on RCCL, but both lines probably share certain activities. 


This would totally explain their appearance.  If you think about it, they can make amazing food sculptures so gingerbread houses should not be that hard. 

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On 1/8/2020 at 6:46 PM, bobmacliberty said:

Not a fan of either the sexiest man or the belly flop contests in the Aqua Theater.  I think they're more fun on the pool deck.  

 

Oasis used to use the underwater camera for belly flop. Plus you can't beat the end when they turn on the fountains for the champion

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8 hours ago, John&LaLa said:

 

Oasis used to use the underwater camera for belly flop. Plus you can't beat the end when they turn on the fountains for the champion

Aqua Theater is, without a doubt, a better venue.  Better viewing, seating, a stage, etc.  Crowds just seem much smaller and you lose the feel of everyone packed around a small area, making noise.

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On 1/8/2020 at 10:03 AM, cruisegirl1976 said:

Love your review.. and your pictures are stunning.. 

 

Thanks so much!

 

On 1/8/2020 at 11:21 AM, RazorbackIslandGirl said:

Those Expresso Martinis from the Rising Tide Bar are soooooo YUMMY!

 

They really are - I highly recommend.

 

On 1/8/2020 at 3:46 PM, bobmacliberty said:

Not a fan of either the sexiest man or the belly flop contests in the Aqua Theater.  I think they're more fun on the pool deck.  

 

Agreed - participation is lacking in the Aqua Theater, and it also gives it a strange formality.

 

On 1/8/2020 at 3:50 PM, niksmom630 said:

Great start! Loving the photos and commentary emoji847.png thanks for taking the time to share your travels. Will be on Harmony in a few weeks.....this will really help pass the time!

Chris


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Awesome, have a great time on your cruise!

 

On 1/8/2020 at 5:20 PM, locchiato said:

Thank you so much for taking the time to create this trip report! We are sailing Harmony in May - same itinerary!  You always have the best detailed and useful trip reports and I can’t wait to read the rest! 

 

Thank you!!

 

On 1/8/2020 at 6:38 PM, GSRDPM said:

Hmmm...is that the Architect speaking?

 

A person who appreciates craft speaking.

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23 hours ago, andawayigo said:

I think those gingerbread houses may have been made by kid passengers.We took a cruise on Celebrity last New Years and our waiter told us about a gingerbread house decorating competition for kids. You had to pay to enter but it seemed like fun so we signed up my 8 yo granddaughter. Ended up being canceled because they didn't get enough kids to sign up, but we were told the gingerbread houses on display by the grand foyer (which were set up and looked pretty much like your photos), were made by kids from the previous Christmas cruise. I know you're on RCCL, but both lines probably share certain activities. 

 

I wish this were the case, but they made an announcement to check out the Gingerbread Village made by the crew.

 

13 hours ago, A&L_Ont said:


This would totally explain their appearance.  If you think about it, they can make amazing food sculptures so gingerbread houses should not be that hard. 

 

I don't think it's the pastry chefs making the gingerbread houses.... I think it's like the housekeeping crew or whoever wants to opt in.

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3 hours ago, LBumb said:

Ready for more

 

It's coming soon!! Busy week at work, but I'll be back with more photos and stories.

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Thoroughly enjoying the pictorial review, doing the Harmony over Christmas this year so this is fantastic preview and way to pass the time 🙂

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I love your review and especially the pictures. What camera were you using? The portrait mode is incredible and the low light pictures are great. If it was the Go Pro I may need to upgrade. Your trip reminds me of our great trip on Harmony in October. Cheers to you and happy cruising!

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Following... great review so far cant wait for it to continue.  

Thank you😁

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Fantastic review! I'm hanging on every word!

 

You mentioned on page two that all the cardio machines in the gym were.... reserved? Did you notice if that trend continued throughout the week? Or certain times of day?

 

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1 hour ago, Sea Dog said:

I love your review and especially the pictures. What camera were you using? The portrait mode is incredible and the low light pictures are great. If it was the Go Pro I may need to upgrade. Your trip reminds me of our great trip on Harmony in October. Cheers to you and happy cruising!

 

All of the photos I've shared so far were taken on my Nikon D7100 with (most likely) 17-55 mm Tamron or (ultra wide) 11-16 mm Tokina. No portrait mode, just a close subject and wide aperture. I took mostly video with the GoPro, but I think I have a few photos too... I'll let you know if I post GoPro photos!

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22 hours ago, Blitzburggirl said:

Fantastic review! I'm hanging on every word!

 

You mentioned on page two that all the cardio machines in the gym were.... reserved? Did you notice if that trend continued throughout the week? Or certain times of day?

 

 

That was the only day, and I had kind of expected it since it was the first sea day. Every other day I went to the gym, there were plenty of open machines, even the last sea day.

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On Day 3, we arrived in port, and I stepped out on the balcony to see an old friend of mine...

 

49319442118_47de5ec8ea_k.jpgDisney Fantasy by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

It's the Disney Fantasy!!

 

49319441613_56e62eb4a9_k.jpgDisney Fantasy by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

49320145852_d02d2c28ee_k.jpgDisney Fantasy by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Balcony cleaning...

 

49319450773_0569fc92f1_k.jpgDisney Fantasy by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

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Now on our original itinerary, the Harmony of the Seas was scheduled to be at sea today. However, due to stormy weather in the Bahamas, we skipped Perfect Day CocoCay and sailed south to Cozumel. This was unplanned Cozumel day for which Rachel made last-minute reservations for Mr. Sancho's.

Rachel is the planner of cruises. She reads people's reviews. Gets the info. So she told us that we needed to get off the ship early and head to Mr. Sancho's before everyone else. So we listened.

 

49320154717_6cbc5b663c_k.jpgFantasy and Harmony by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Editing games. Do you prefer the turquoise sky...

 

49319945636_8feb1616f7_k.jpgFantasy and Harmony by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Or the purpley-blue sky? I can't decide.

 

49319450178_6202c7e0f5_k.jpgFantasy and Harmony by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Harmony of the Seas is such a big ship, that she's difficult to photograph on the pier...

 

49319945311_4e65e56e5d_k.jpgCozumel by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

The Disney Fantasy is not a small ship. The Harmony of the Seas is just massive!

 

49319945211_85180d710d_k.jpgCozumel by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

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Remember, the Disney Fantasy was a runner-up to Harmony. At one point, we were kicking ourselves for not booking. ONE DAY we will do a Merrytime Cruise.

 

49319945071_7259c9b801_k.jpgCozumel by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

If Bubba Gump's is a novelty for you (there's one in Santa Monica, so not special for me), it's at the International Pier in Cozumel. If you're sailing to Cozumel, be aware that there are multiple piers. Royal Caribbean docks at the International Pier. It's actually unusual for Disney to be docked at the International Pier - usually they are over at Punta Langosta with Norwegian and MSC... interesting. And then Carnival has their own pier in Cozumel, Puerta Maya.

 

49319944926_863710e0e1_k.jpgCozumel by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

There's a Margaritaville here, now, too. My parents are huge Parrot Heads. Once, we were docked in Cozumel at Puerta Maya, and we took a cab to Punta Langosta just to go to Margaritaville. If you do arrive to Cozumel via Puerta Maya, now you can just take a short walk over to the International Pier.

 

49320153722_1763ef643a_k.jpgCozumel by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

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At this point, the family was getting annoyed with Victoria on Vacation slowing down to document everything, so I had to speed it up. We took a cab (quoted $18 at the port, but the driver only asked for $17 when he dropped us off. Stove gave him $20.) to Mr. Sancho's where we were among the first to arrive. We paid the remaining balance and were ushered to a table under an umbrella by the beach where we were introduced to our waiter, Jose.

Mr. Sancho's is all-inclusive, which means food and drinks are included (no alcohol for kids under 18, though).

 

49319449573_5cf0baea2f_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

It was windyyyyyy! Red flags all around.

 

49319944581_5d269ec854_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

49320153377_f6cc3256f9_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Yes, we could have our pick of loungers... but also, it was so windy (and chilly because of the wind), that it was just uncomfortable to be by the water.

 

49319944326_4a10e23584_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

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49320153092_643aa6b536_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Perfect time for empty-beach photos - great call on the early arrival, Rachel!

 

49319944086_38d61ea01a_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

49320152747_137136cf57_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

The wind was just downright not enjoyable. It was at this time that Stove and Judy just DISAPPEARED! I think Stove went looking for the bathroom? And Judy, I don't know, where were you?? So Rachel and I were stuck with all of the stuff, being pelted in the face by wind, and Rachel wanted to run up to the pool and claim some loungers. Seemed like a viable plan, so I sent her on that mission and held down the fort. Then our drinks arrived and Stove shortly reappeared.

 

49319448733_4cd005eb66_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

This drink is the Mr. Sancho's special. I honestly didn't really drink much of it because it was still very early in the morning. But the bartenders kept asking me if I wanted a drink, so kept getting drinks, taking a few sips, then abandoning. You've probably picked up on this by now, but okay, I'll admit it.... I, Victoria, am a Drink Ditcher. Don't worry, we tipped our bartenders well at the end of the day (also by the end of the day I was no longer ditching).

 

49320152447_eae3db4caa_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

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49319943511_f817b42ccb_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Rachel successfully secured the loungers, and we relocated to the pool. It turned out that we could not bring Jose with us.... he was assigned to the beach area. Our apologies, Jose. It wasn't you, it was the wind.

The pool is nice and large. It has fixed tables in the pool for beverages (and food??), and a swim-up bar. The pool water was veryyy cold. It got a lot hotter and sunnier later in the day, and Rachel and I tried to get in, but it was just so cold that we opted to wade in at the beach instead.

 

49320151992_772ff72b6d_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

49320151812_33ddbb27c9_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

And on the two sides of the bar that were not swim-up, there were swings!

 

49319942711_09a796e824_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

When Judy was M.I.A., she was investigating these lounge beds. They were up for grabs, but you were asked to pay an additional gratuity, and I'm not sure what that was.

 

49320151202_680787153e_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

49320145727_295ec9ffb0_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

When I'm shooting into the sun, I try to hide the sun behind an object and let jussssssst enough peek through to create a lens flare. Oooph! What a dirty lens -

 

49319447388_346321be25_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

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This is ANOTHER pool with a swim-up bar. It is the mirror image of the pool we were at.

 

49319942111_431d6ca371_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

I very much appreciate that there is a person under water for this shot.

 

49320150637_87b8a3f950_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

The resort is very large. There are actually two different sides - two beach areas and two pools with swim-up bars. There's also an entire spa area that I did not explore. They kind of direct you to a side of the beach when they walk you in and introduce you to your waiter, but you're free to wander.

 

49319446853_48789f9824_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

The southern side of the beach has dining tables, but no thatch umbrellas.

 

Notice that on both sides of the beach, the loungers are pushed up all the way to the water. There really isn't a beach to play on - most of the beach is taken up by tables and chairs. So if you're bringing the kids with the sand toys and want to build sand castles by the ocean, this isn't the place to go (for that I would recommend Playa Mia).

 

49320150187_a04d0c5754_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

And they also have a few little merchandise stands, but they were not aggressive at all about selling the merchandise.

 

49319941136_e62244d370_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

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I was super pumped about now not crowded it was, so I was spending this time to get a lot of footage. I had ideas for some fun shots that I needed a subject for, and I kept asking Rachel, but she told me she needed a beer first. So I was just wandering and shooting until finally she said, "Okay, I'm ready. Where did you say we were going? The swings?"

 

49319446288_059508f64e_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

49320149437_478b280005_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Time for food! They had a serve-yourself buffet area, so we went over to get plates. They had tacos, beans, rice, and chicken wings. Back in our early years of cruising, we had the mindset that we paid for food on the ship, so we should eat on the ship and not in port (also Rachel and I were kids, so we weren't very experimental yet). Now, I actually really look forward to a meal off the ship... often the best food of the cruise.

 

49320148822_33a78e6d1a_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

In addition to the buffet offerings, you can also order food from the menu. The Shinglebells all love chips, salsa, and guac! I'll give the win to the fancy guacamole from Sabor, but the Mr. Sanchos guac certainly didn't disappoint.

 

49319939986_14c559c948_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Also from the menu, I ordered carne asada tacos. My go-to taco. Very good "authentic Mexican" taco.

 

49319939856_0b274e1072_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

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We spent the afternoon lounging by the pool and swinging at the bar. The crowd did pick up later in the day, but it wasn't crazy - I think we lucked out with this unscheduled Cozumel day because there was only one other large ship in port, the Disney Fantasy. I would recommend this anyway, but if you're in port with several other large ships, you definitely want to reserve Mr. Sanchos in advance and arrive early.
 

We had a really great time at Mr. Sanchos. It's a great option for a resort day in Cozumel, and I would recommend this for people who want to relax by the pool, dine, and drink. If you're looking for big thrills or kid-friendly resorts, there are better options. It's a good spot for adults, teens, and chill kids that are content with a pool. I will definitely return here, and I'm really glad we made the last-minute decision to book.

 

49320149067_3a0d69ede7_k.jpgMr. Sanchos by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

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Wow, talk about timing.  I was remembering your previous Christmas reviews and wondered if you would be doing reviews in the future and here you are!  Great photos as usual and enjoying your thoughts.

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