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LittleMissMagic

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

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Loving your review!

 

Sail on her on March 1st and this is getting me syked!

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On 1/11/2020 at 6:42 PM, crusinot said:

following, great review so far

 

Thank you!

 

On 1/12/2020 at 11:37 AM, cruisequeen4ever said:

Oh my goodness; you’re back!  Woohoo; I’ve missed your blogs!

 

I'm back! I also update my blog, Victoria on Vacation, with other cruises and travels.

 

On 1/13/2020 at 7:32 AM, tutzig said:

Loving your review!

 

Sail on her on March 1st and this is getting me syked!

 

Awesome, have a great cruise!

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We headed back to the ship about two hours before sail away. It's very easy to grab a cab from Mr. Sanchos. I would guess that the cabs run pretty consistently between the pier and the resorts whenever there are ships in port.

 

49319939761_5ca12c7b63_k.jpgCozumel by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Maybe next year, Disney Fantasy!

 

49320148167_5f1094ce56_k.jpgCozumel by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Now back to our ship.

 

49319939406_a89ce83eb3_k.jpgCozumel by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

One reason we were in a hurry to get back on board is because there was Friends Trivia (why is Friends popular again?? I've seen so many teenagers wearing Friends shirts lately... they probably weren't even born when the show first aired) at the On Air Bar at 4:30. Rachel has watched Friends multiple times. It is her show of choice when she is at home sick or recovering from gum surgery. So she was very confident and wanted to play.

 

49319444408_d59482e012_k.jpgFriends Trivia by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

She did very well. Didn't bring home the grand prize keychain, but put up a good fight.

 

49319444268_7bf022880c_k.jpgFriends Trivia by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

We went back to our rooms to get ready for dinner, and I heard screams coming from outside... runners?! Nope. Not sure what it was.

 

49319939031_02a4e27710_k.jpgDisney Fantasy by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

49320147567_50d9844c07_k.jpgDisney Fantasy by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

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That evening, we had a reservation for Jamie's Italian, located in Central Park. Rachel had actually made us two reservations for Jamie's that week because based on her research, she thought it was going to be one of our favorites. Last Christmas Cruise on the Navigator of the Seas, we dined at Giovanni's Table, which is Royal's other Italian restaurant, before the collaboration with Jamie Oliver.

 

49319938791_dfd8341363_k.jpgJamie's Italian by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

49319443913_83dd0502ea_k.jpgJamie's Italian by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

To start out, we were brought the "Famous Meat Plank." It's a charcuterie board that runs the length of the table and is elevated on cans of sauce. The presentation is cool. And I'll go ahead and say that the meat plank is the best part of Jamie's Italian. Just look at the smiles on Judy and Stove -

 

49320147292_fa334053a9_k.jpgJamie's Italian by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Our server at Jamie's was the most encouraging that we encountered this cruise as far as, "Order everything! Try everything!" That used to be the attitude of all of the servers in the main dining room, but the "order as much as you want" vibe left Royal Caribbean and most other cruise lines maybe a decade ago? No other restaurant that we dined at had that attitude.

So we just ordered all of the appetizers that sounded interesting and shared via the plank in the center of the table.

This is the crispy squid. I appreciate that this is offered here. It's pretty unique to the restaurant, not something that is offered in the main dining room.
 

49319443753_91a91708c8_k.jpgJamie's Italian by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

The Tomato Bruschetta was disappointing. Italian restaurants should always have an exceptional bread. There was also the ultimate garlic bread on the menu, so maybe that was exceptional. Overall, not limited to Jamie's, there was no good bread on this ship. (Bread critique by Judy. Judy loves bread. With Cheese.)

 

49319443478_6ef6696adf_k.jpgJamie's Italian by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Here's the Creamy Burrata. So. Much. Cheese.

 

49320147097_99a0f7abf6_k.jpgJamie's Italian by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Garlicky Prawns -

 

49319443343_03c274d476_k.jpgJamie's Italian by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

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So again, for our pastas and main courses, our server encouraged us to order all of the things. As much as we wanted. We could share it all.

 

I got the short rib. Did. Not. Like. I didn't care for the sauce... which was necessary because the meat was so dry. Short rib is either really good or really bad, and in this case, it was really bad.

 

49319443258_16f0b268c4_k.jpgJamie's Italian by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Mom got the lasagna which she enjoyed, but later she would eat lasagna in the main dining room and call it just as good as the lasagna at Jamie's.

 

49319443118_ff51a956d9_k.jpgJamie's Italian by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Rachel got the Lamp Chops Scottadito. She said it was "just aight." She was annoyed because right after dropping off our food, our server went M.I.A., and she was out of red wine, and "lamb and red wine go together like peanut butter and jelly."
 

49320146417_e3a21531bd_k.jpgJamie's Italian by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

I'll go ahead and say it - we didn't think any of the pastas were very good.

Famous Prawn Linguine -

 

49319937841_368282f2d4_k.jpgJamie's Italian by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Penne Pomodoro -

 

49320146557_4173712861_k.jpgJamie's Italian by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Truffle Tagliatelle (Rachel said that this was her favorite of the pastas) -

 

49319442738_e789008899_k.jpgJamie's Italian by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

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Okay, now the presentation of the desserts was beautiful, but as far as taste, very disappointing.

 

49319442488_b2a3874289_k.jpgJamie's Italian by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

49320146132_c69b30c24c_k.jpgJamie's Italian by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

49320146032_1550b6edd8_k.jpgJamie's Italian by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Our overall opinion of Jamie's Italian was that it was pretty good, but we weren't blown away. Also, we really appreciated our server bringing us everything, but ultimately that's why we canceled our second Jamie's reservation and didn't return... we had already tried everything. I also got a little restless at the end... I don't enjoy sitting for super lengthy amounts of time for dinner, and this was starting to drag out.

When comparing Jamie's Italian to Giovanni's Table, it is our opinion that Giovanni's Table wins hands-down. Mainly because Giovanni's Table serves filet mignon and octopus. We prefer Giovanni's menu options and food quality.

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When in Cozumel it’s hard to choose between mr sanchos and Cozumel bar hop

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I don't understand how Royal can consistently, across many restaurants, make so many desserts that look fantastic but just taste meh.

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10 hours ago, bobmacliberty said:


I don't understand how Royal can consistently, across many restaurants, make so many desserts that look fantastic but just taste meh.

We have a theory about coffee on the ship. It is never good, and we think it is because most of the folks that make it have no idea how Americans like coffee to taste. LOL Americans also have unique tastes in deserts it seems.

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13 hours ago, bobmacliberty said:


I don't understand how Royal can consistently, across many restaurants, make so many desserts that look fantastic but just taste meh.

But that's a good thing. 😉

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can you tell me if there was an upcharge for the hibachi 

and was the ala carte pricing for the day or per restaurant.

 

we just bought it for the first time because my husband was hoping like after shows when everything is closed for food that we could still get something at sabors or whatever else they have on Harmony like that johnnie rockets

 

not sure any feed back would be great

thank you

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On 1/17/2020 at 2:49 AM, ourfamilylovescruising said:

can you tell me if there was an upcharge for the hibachi 

and was the ala carte pricing for the day or per restaurant.

 

we just bought it for the first time because my husband was hoping like after shows when everything is closed for food that we could still get something at sabors or whatever else they have on Harmony like that johnnie rockets

 

not sure any feed back would be great

thank you

 

If you have the Unlimited Dining Package, then you can either do Hibachi or Sushi, but not at the same time. UDP covers your cover for Izumi hibachi. For Izumi sushi, since that is a la carte pricing, you can get whatever you want up to $35.  But if you're sitting at the Hibachi grill and you order sushi, there will be an upcharge (a la carte pricing) for that.

 

The other thing to note is that Unlimited Dining Package does not work for lunch on days you are in port. For sea days, you can eat specialty for lunch with no additional charge.

 

If you want to go for bites at Sabor in the evening, the package will cover that. I would suggest making a 9PM reservation because if they don't have reservations and are pretty slow, they might not want to seat you because they want to go ahead and close up for the evening.

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On Day 4, Harmony of the Seas was headed Costa Maya, and the Shinglebells had no plans to get off the ship!

Our port arrival time was 11 AM, which is pretty late. Originally, had we stuck to the planned itinerary of Day 2 Coco Cay, Day 3 At Sea, we would have still been sailing down from the Bahamas to Mexico. However, since we swapped Day 3 with Cozumel, we were already in Mexico! So we were just putt-putting along, waiting until time to dock.

Rachel and I ran three miles around the track on Deck 5. She's training for the NYC Half Marathon in March. After, we went to the gym - which was nearly empty! - and did some squats, lunges and abs. There were hardly any people in the gym that morning, so we had our choice of weights and no wait for machines.

We were about to leave the gym when we noticed that we were pulling into port! And what do you know - the Carnival Glory!!!

Just a week prior, the Carnival Glory had gotten into an accident in Cozumel, colliding with the Carnival Legend and barely escaping collision with the Oasis of the Seas. The Carnival Glory had the most damage to the dining room area of the ship. Check out this makeshift patch job. Looks like the welded on some sheet metal, but there's also still plastic on the angular parts, so I'm curious about what's going on in there.

 

49320518436_0a4b4ab113_k.jpgCarnival Glory by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

49320518331_016514c509_k.jpgCarnival Glory by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Yikes! I wonder when they'll really be able to repair the damage.

 

49320021813_eb5b9968a9_k.jpgCarnival Glory by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Also in port were Celebrity Edge (another runner-up) and Norwegian Escape (sailed in 2017).
 

49320518091_fc374f78eb_k.jpgCosta Maya by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

49320517956_c76cb5dbef_k.jpgCosta Maya by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Up until this point, we were entertaining the idea of getting off the ship and walking around. Then we saw all the people and decided not to do that.

They blocked off pedestrian traffic while Harmony of the Seas was docking.

 

49320517881_ad568dbac7_k.jpgCosta Maya by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

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49320517776_9f2199608f_k.jpgCosta Maya by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Quite the crowd accumulation.

 

49320021198_fac6a0c45a_k.jpgCosta Maya by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Oh, yeah - today was Christmas Day! Apparently Santa came in on a zipline, but I missed it! Here's a card from our stateroom attendant -

 

49320729132_2e1f52eb6e_k.jpgHoliday Card by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Mom and I went to Park Café to get breakfast burritos - what a classic Christmas morning breakfast!

 

49320510386_bac81c2ec1_k.jpgCentral Park Cafe by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

On the side of the Celebrity Edge, you can kind of see the "infinite veranda" staterooms. It's a pretty interesting concept - they claim it "turns the entire stateroom into a balcony with the push of a button." It was a difficult concept for Rachel to explain to me with no visuals, and I'll try my best to do it as well.... there's a glass wall/window, and you push a button, and it rolls down so it's like a guardrail. Make sense? No? Here's a video.

 

49320729007_b33a8ce6b7_k.jpgCelebrity Edge by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

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We headed up to the pool deck to take advantage of less people on the ship.

 

49320020683_09c083c0df_k.jpgPoolside by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Here's the top deck of the neighboring Carnival Glory. Looking kind of bare. It had a dry dock in 2017. I wonder when they're going to get the rear corner fixed... they aren't scheduled for a dry dock in 2020.

 

49320728752_b586a7dd04_k.jpgCarnival Glory by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

49320020443_7cc4689fbc_k.jpgCelebrity Edge and Norwegian Escape by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Creepin' on the pool deck of the Glory... I believe this is the adults-only pool.

 

49320516771_73bd69b445_k.jpgCarnival Glory by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

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Meanwhile back on Harmony of the Seas...

 

49320728192_b764c84bc3_k.jpgPool Deck by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

49320019918_685002d80d_k.jpgPool Deck by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

49320727927_fcfa918d02_k.jpgPool Deck by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

49320019698_f3a35f8acb_k.jpgPool Deck by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

We decided to take advantage of the low crowds to do the water slides today. There are three water slides - the "champagne bowl" (often called a "toilet bowl") and two body slides. Really, they're all body slides because there are no rafts for any of them. The champagne bowl is the most popular, so if you go up the stairs and the line for it isn't too bad, go ahead and take advantage. Otherwise, keep to the right and get in line for the blue or yellow body slide. I believe the yellow is the faster of the two. It is completely enclosed. The blue has one tube portion that is transparent.

With the Champagne Bowl, you go in through one tube slide, then deposited in a large "bowl" which you will spin around (typically 1-2 laps in the bowl) before going down a second tube slide, out the bottom. If you don't make a full rotation and only do 1.5 spins, you'll need to scoot yourself over to the second tube slide in order to get out.

Guys, I performed really well here.... your girl did 3 full laps in the champagne bowl!

If you want to go as fast as possible down water slides, I have some tips for you. The goal is to reduce the friction between you and the slide by minimizing surface area in contact with the slide surface. To do this, position yourself in a "flat-as-a-board" plank and cross your arms over your chest. Lean your head forward, tucking into your chest. Tighten and lift your core so that only your heels and your shoulder blades are touching the slide. Now, when you start down the slide, you need to get good momentum. Start in a standing position and use the bar at the top of the slide to swing into the tube (don't just sit down and push off... unless the lifeguards make you, in which case, follow safety protocols), then assume your slide position as quickly as possible. You'll be flying down the slide as fast as possible!

 

49320727537_f67f190210_k.jpgPool Deck by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

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49320019193_a212bd2e25_k.jpgCarnival by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

49320727252_9c42da2b51_k.jpgPool Deck by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

This is the Solarium, which is the 16 and older pool deck area. Three hot tubs and a little splash area, but no swimming pool.

 

49320515411_4e69b51e1b_k.jpgSolarium by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

We learned that sunscreen can rub your name off of your SeaPass. The missing print was temporarily tattooed on Rachel's arm like a newspaper transfer. She had to go down to Guest Services and get a new card, and I had to later that week.

 

49320726987_a2351bef15_k.jpgSeaPass mixed with sunscreen by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

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So for lunch, we headed to Sabor. We forgot that there is a an exception to Unlimited Dining which doesn't allow you to dine at specialty restaurants at port days. You would think that actually, it would be the opposite.... because less people are on the ship on port days. The manager was willing to give us a discount of $14/person (vs. the typical $28/person). We decided to head across the way to Johnny Rockets and see what kind of deal they would cut us there.

 

49320510296_4cc0a4bd62_k.jpgSabor by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

49320018658_18519f1ba5_k.jpgSabor by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

49320018783_26e75b815b_k.jpgHarmony of the Seas by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

The manager at Johnny Rockets agreed to waive the $6.95/person surcharge. It was our experience that managers have some ability to make deals, so it's not a guarantee that they'll waive the surcharge, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

 

49320514981_6dcc8c8e9f_k.jpgJohnny Rockets by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

49320514886_161bbddc6c_k.jpgJohnny Rockets by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

Some classic Johnny Rockets dancing.

 

49320726537_38edeb0662_k.jpgJohnny Rockets by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

 

49320514736_97a7856674_k.jpgJohnny Rockets by Victoria Shingleton, on Flickr

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On 1/15/2020 at 8:21 PM, LBumb said:

When in Cozumel it’s hard to choose between mr sanchos and Cozumel bar hop

 

Oooh... we haven't done Cozumel Bar Hop yet. Might have to try that next!

 

On 1/16/2020 at 4:25 AM, bobmacliberty said:


I don't understand how Royal can consistently, across many restaurants, make so many desserts that look fantastic but just taste meh.

 

I guess I'm oddly appreciative because I can get photos of the beautiful desserts, but have no desire to eat them!

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On 1/14/2020 at 9:45 AM, LittleMissMagic said:

The Tomato Bruschetta was disappointing. Italian restaurants should always have an exceptional bread. There was also the ultimate garlic bread on the menu, so maybe that was exceptional.

We had the garlic bread rolls at Jamie's on Harmony and loved them. Nice and soft with lot's of buttery garlic taste.

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On 1/14/2020 at 10:49 AM, LittleMissMagic said:

Okay, now the presentation of the desserts was beautiful, but as far as taste, very disappointing.

 

Thank you for a fantastic review!


Oh no, the desserts really "looked" good.  We were thinking of going to Jamie's vs. Chops for our one night specialty dining. What was wrong with the desserts?

 

I have a Nikon camera too, but looking for a superior lens rather than the standard one that came in the box.  Can you tell me if you used the Tamron 17-50 mm for most of your pictures?  Budget wise, I only want to purchase one, with a zoom lens for our ports of call.

 

Thanks!

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