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Wansbrough's Digital Postcards from Harmony of the Seas - To Rotterdam and back in 4 nights!

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Wansbrough's Digital Postcards from Harmony of the Seas - To Rotterdam and back in 4 nights!

Postby Trace » 29 May 2016 06:42

Just read on various news websites (such as Daily Mail online...) that the ship is like a huge construction site, what are your views on this W? Said people were refusing to leave the ship and were queuing up for refunds? Did you see any of this?

Edit....sorry, Just noticed Dave has a thread on this .... :oops:
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Wansbrough's Digital Postcards from Harmony of the Seas - To Rotterdam and back in 4 nights!

Postby Wansbrough » 29 May 2016 07:55

Trace wrote:Just read on various news websites (such as Daily Mail online...) that the ship is like a huge construction site, what are your views on this W? Said people were refusing to leave the ship and were queuing up for refunds? Did you see any of this?


Yes there was still work going on and there were things were not open, there were workers wandering around but did it spoil our experience? Not in the slightest.

Go look at my photos and tell me it looked like a building site. I know exactly where that piece of scaffolding was and I challenge anyone to find it in my batch of photos. Its there but you will need to really look for it.

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Its in this photo of a building site 8-)


We have been on many cruises where maintenance has been going on but its never hit the headlines. Its just something that has become newsworthy and everyone seems to be getting on the bandwagon with it. Perhaps RCI should have announced that it wasn't completely ready before it sailed then there wouldn't have been all this kerfuffle. (I don't think I've ever typed that word before.... :lol: )

I was a little disappointed not have had a go on the water slides but being as the cruise was in May then there was a high chance the weather would put pay to that anyway.

We didn't spot anyone refusing to leave as we were off very early, again is that the press latching onto something small and making it Oasis Class? :lol:

What we didn't like was the size and layout of the ship. I have now experienced an Oasis Class and no longer need to wonder. We have also tried Voyager class and conclude that if we ever return to RCI then it will need to be Radiance class.

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Re: Wansbrough's Digital Postcards from Harmony of the Seas - To Rotterdam and back in 4 nights!

Postby dst87 » 29 May 2016 08:02

I'm late to the party but have just caught up with this series which I have very much enjoyed.

It does seem like a lot of the venues are quite insular and lack any sort of sea view. A bit of a shame.

WOWBands: I thought these were a bit naff when we were on Anthem of the Seas (where they were free for everyone). Great idea, but bar staff didn't have portable till machines so taking an order by the pool meant taking your WOWBand off and having them take it away! Bit of a waste IMO. Great for getting into your room, but that's about it. I also thought they felt very cheap, comparing them to the MagicBands offered to guests at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL. which were more comfortable, more attractive, and more functional.

It's interesting to hear your perspective on the building site too. I wondered how much of it was a media over-reaction (including perhaps a vocal minority of passengers).

I'd love to try Harmony, but it would have to be on a B2B Caribbean itinerary I think; no immediate plans!

We had Silk on Anthem, but that was during their (IMO fantastic) Dynamic Dining experiment, so we had booked silk along with the other included restaurants. Silk had a fixed asian fusion menu and was truly fantastic. I assume they've changed that now so that the menu changes like a standard MDR menu? Such a shame if so, as it was nice to be able to pick what sort of food you wanted and be in a beautiful restaurant that matched!
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Wansbrough's Digital Postcards from Harmony of the Seas - To Rotterdam and back in 4 nights!

Postby JollyJill » 29 May 2016 08:14

We have been on many cruises where maintenance has been going on but its never hit the headlines. Its just something that has become newsworthy and everyone seems to be getting on the bandwagon with it. Perhaps RCI should have announced that it wasn't completely ready before it sailed then there wouldn't have been all this kerfuffle. (I don't think I've ever typed that word before.... :lol: )


Thanks for some clarifacation W.

From your daily blog, I didn't get the impression that Harmony was a building site, only that there were a few things not open just yet.

As the saying goes though 'Why spoil a good story for the sake of the truth'. :roll:

As we tend to sail on older ships, there is often maintenance work in progress during the course of our cruise.

On Fred ships for instance, the deck crew are always painting and renewing bits and pieces.

Recently on P & O's Oceana, there was notification in our cabin paper work that sections of the promenade deck would be closed off during the course of the week for maintenance work. It was a pain because it made it less easy to find a quiet nook on deck in order to get away from the sardine deck by the pool. In fact, there was a lot wrong with Oceana when we were on her recently but it didn't hit the news.

The bottom line is that you enjoyed the experience of Harmony but have decided that she is just too big for you.
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Wansbrough's Digital Postcards from Harmony of the Seas - To Rotterdam and back in 4 nights!

Postby Trace » 29 May 2016 08:29

That was my thoughts too W, people do tend to look for the negatives, I sometimes think I walk around with my eyes shut.

I thought your photos were amazing, but I do think some people must go out looking for bad bits to take photos of, in the hope of getting a refund once they are home.
In May 2014 we did a P&O cruise from Genoa to Venice, 6 of us, 3 cabins, can honestly say it's my favourite cruise to date, everything about it, plus we had excellent company and laughed all week.... I read some terrible reviews later on, re the food, staff, cabins....all of the same week... Think I was on a different ship.... :lol:
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Wansbrough's Digital Postcards from Harmony of the Seas - To Rotterdam and back in 4 nights!

Postby Dave » 29 May 2016 09:17

Trace wrote:Just read on various news websites (such as Daily Mail online...) that the ship is like a huge construction site, what are your views on this W? Said people were refusing to leave the ship and were queuing up for refunds? Did you see any of this?

Edit....sorry, Just noticed Dave has a thread on this .... :oops:


True, but don't worry. Here is fine.... ;)

I'm not surprised that the media latched on to the small matter of the ship being unfinished. No one seemed to mind the fanfare and endless reporting about the biggest cruise ship in the world, and I'm sure that RCI were quite happy with the publicity.

However, they seem to want to have their cake and eat it. I apologise if I'm wrong, but didn't RCI sell this as a cruise - and not as a pre-inaugural beta test? Did they tell people that work would be in progress - and reduce the fares accordingly? I get the feeling that they loved all initial the attention and then when some people complained they told them they shouldn't actually have expected the ship to be finished!

I don't look for negatives but neither do I like being taken for a mug! If I pay for something and the seller sells me short then I'm prepared to make a fuss. It's not about the money - it's the principle.
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Wansbrough's Digital Postcards from Harmony of the Seas - To Rotterdam and back in 4 nights!

Postby grannyM » 29 May 2016 09:59

I must admit having seen W's postcards and photos I took the media hype with a pinch of salt but it just goes to show how things can be exaggerated to the point of downright lies. :crazy:
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Wansbrough's Digital Postcards from Harmony of the Seas - To Rotterdam and back in 4 nights!

Postby Peka » 29 May 2016 13:48

Read all with great interest.... I mean the ship doesn't appeal to me - but that is because it offers so much I don't want / need from a cruise ship. It would be good to have a little nose around, ahem, see on a day tour, but it is interesting how you said you were bored as little to do..when there is so much, that I very much how I feel, these monsters leave me pretty indifferent to thoughts of cruising... in fact for years I thought that was cruising and never wanted to try. As you said they are pretty soulless. Very much the apartment block / shopping malls they get compared to (sorry, I know this annoys people, who say don't knock it till you try it, and if that is what appeals to people, fair enough, you don't want me taking up your space on the ship - so we can all live together in Harmony - just not on it!)

To me the beauty of actually being at sea is completely lost when you have rooms filled with gaming chairs and computers etc. Might as well be somewhere else entirely.... each to their own. It is clear to see that this class of ship is more suited to warmer climates and that places inside the ship could have felt crowded at times when the weather is not good. I guess this is another reason why people like having balconies on these kinds of ship as it is a place to get away, something I personally don't feel affects so much on a smaller ship. The ship is clearly the destination for family groups the ports are just an extra!

I just wonder what the cabins /staterooms whatever one wants to call them are like (those facing inwards with the balconies ) to me it seems like it could be quite noisy at times if people are gathered below in the Central Park?

As with everything there are two sides to every story. I would like to think that Royal Caribbean at least had good trained crew on board as obviously with a new ship they require crew who know how to deal with these situations. Of course there were going to be some niggles and things not completely finished, the types who go to the papers are just trying it on :roll: always want something for nothing and it quite easy as you've shown in your photos, from a different angle you can paint a whole other story. :(

re bahaviour of some passengers, hmm never had a problem personally as all our cruises have been ex UK, obviously different styles of ship, but I think it was a novelty for quite a few on board and attracted a few lively people this time around!

It was good to read an unbiased account with your usual fantastic standard of presentation ;) keep up the good work W.... that is what I really came to say :oops:
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Wansbrough's Digital Postcards from Harmony of the Seas - To Rotterdam and back in 4 nights!

Postby Jimmy the One » 29 May 2016 13:54

Thanks for taking the amount of time to post those fab photos.I enjoyed reading the blog and also wondered about the building site references on the news.
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Wansbrough's Digital Postcards from Harmony of the Seas - To Rotterdam and back in 4 nights!

Postby Wansbrough » 30 May 2016 19:11

Dave wrote:True, but don't worry. Here is fine.... ;)

I'm not surprised that the media latched on to the small matter of the ship being unfinished. No one seemed to mind the fanfare and endless reporting about the biggest cruise ship in the world, and I'm sure that RCI were quite happy with the publicity.

However, they seem to want to have their cake and eat it. I apologise if I'm wrong, but didn't RCI sell this as a cruise - and not as a pre-inaugural beta test? Did they tell people that work would be in progress - and reduce the fares accordingly? I get the feeling that they loved all initial the attention and then when some people complained they told them they shouldn't actually have expected the ship to be finished!

I don't look for negatives but neither do I like being taken for a mug! If I pay for something and the seller sells me short then I'm prepared to make a fuss. It's not about the money - it's the principle.


I have been giving the last part of your post some thought and considering if I think we were mis-sold. I have discussed it with Nicole and we are both in agreement that in our opinion we were not. We have been on two previous cruises with new ships where we have been the first paying passengers and neither of those were labelled as inaugural much like this one. In fact this cruise was first labelled as 4 night Europe Cruise then it changed to 4 night short Getaway Cruise and we knew when we made the booking there would be things not working or right when we booked it. Previous experience told us that.
So, I ask myself the question..... what exactly was I sold? The answer is a cruise and that is exactly what we got. We had a great cabin, we ate really well and most of all had a fantastic time.

Granted RCI didn't tell people that parts of the ship would not be finished but I suppose its very difficult to stop the media wheels turning when a project this vast over runs a little. I certainly don't feel like I was taken for a mug but can sort of understand some why others have felt so let down, probably a little communication pre cruise would have gone a long way but as we all know this is not any of the cruise lines strongest qualities.
Perhaps they would be better off going back to having these big ships made in Finland being as the French yard let them down?
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