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Harmony of The Seas - Royal Caribbean Cruise & Florida Road Trip

Our Royal Caribbean Cruise & Florida Road Trip - October 2023

So we flew to Miami on 15th October with Virgin, I am a HUGE Virgin fan and would happily admit they are my favourite airline!

We flew LHR - MIA with no major delays, okay food and an abundance of movies & TV shows to take in! 

We stayed the first night in a hotel close to the airport, anyone who has flown west knows that after a long flight, and what is a late evening to your UK body it is good to just be able to get where you are going quickly, grab some dinner and head to bed ready to wake up ridiculously early thanks to jetlag! 

The next morning we were (as predicted) awake by 5/6am, we went down for breakfast and then headed out to find the nearest Publix/Target or Walmart, Publix it was! 

My 10yr old was delighted to find "glowberry" Prime for $3, apparently, this will set you back £13 in the UK, for those that don't have tween boys, Prime is a drink made by a YouTube influencer, which basically means it is overpriced rubbish!

We stocked up on our allowable goodies for the cruise, headed back to the hotel and hung around for a couple of hours before grabbing an Uber to the Cruise port for our allotted check-in slot! 

So, we have cruised once before as a family, in 2019, we cruised from Miami on Carnival MS Sensation, not going to lie it wasn't the most successful holiday we have had. None of us really enjoyed it, the ship was small and pretty dated, we stayed in two rooms (between 5 of us), an interior room and a window room.

So, booking this Royal Caribbean Cruise was a slight leap of faith. We chose Harmony of the Seas - Western Caribbean Cruise (8 Days) from Miami.

The ports of call included:

  • Roatan (Honduras)
  • Costa Maya
  • Cozumel
  • Perfect Day CocoCay

Check out my Video review/Ship Tour

Royal Caribbean Check In

This was REALLY well organised, everything was arranged via the Royal Caribbean App, we checked in via the app and were given a time slot. We grabbed an Uber from our hotel and headed to the port. It was chaos at the port, people and suitcases EVERYWHERE! But, amongst that chaos, it was actually very well organised. We left our suitcases as instructed & were guided through security and then onto the ship, and OMG it is HUGE!

The rooms weren't due to be ready until around 3pm, so when we got on, we had our hand luggage and just used the time to explore.

Food & Drink Royal Caribbean

You can literally eat on Royal Caribbean all day! Food is included in the price and includes:

Buffet restaurant (The Windjammer) - This is open for breakfast, lunch & dinner. I have heard a few complaints about food on Harmony, but we had no issues. I am no food snob but I do enjoy food and we were impressed.


Park Cafe was open for Breakfast and lunch, you could get snacks including sandwiches & salad boxes

Hot Dogs & Pizzas - there was a pizza place & hot dog place that you could grab a snack from most of the day. I didn't try the hot dog (not a fan) but the Pizzas were great.

Main Dining Room - The main dining room is split over 3 levels, you are assigned a room depending on whether you have chosen the early or late sitting, or "My Time Dining". We chose "My Time Dining" which basically means you can eat at a time to suit (between the evening meal hours), you did however, have to queue for a table. We had a couple of nights where the queue was pretty long, and the longest we queued was 40mins (one night), but the average queue was around 10-15mins.

The Main Dining room was a 3 course a la carte. The menu was themed & changed nightly.

Speciality Dining - There are a number of "speciality" restaurants you can eat in at an extra cost.

Drinks - Royal Caribbean

Most drinks aren’t included In the cost of your cruise. You can get complimentary tea, coffee (filter not speciality) and juices (apple, real lemonade, iced tea) in the buffet & park café throughout the day. But sodas/fizzy drinks, speciality coffees lattes/cappuccino needed to be purchased. You can pre buy the following packages:
Soda Package – fizzy drinks (refillable in a free cup) - $12.99 per person per day
Refreshment Package – fizzy drinks (refillable in a free cup), bottled & sparkling water, mocktails, premium tea/coffee & freshly squeezed juices - $29 per person per day
Deluxe Beverage Package – All of the above plus alcoholic drinks - $56-105 per person per day (depending on when you buy!!)

My kids aren't big fizzy drinks fans so we didn't bother with any of the drinks packages. 


We chose a Balcony Cabin, we left our eldest daughter at home (she has had two "mates" holidays this year and is off travelling soon), so it was just hubby, myself and our 15 & 10yr old.

We had a double bed and a pull-out sofa bed (two singles), with an ocean-view balcony.

The room was big enough for us (to be fair we weren't in it much) but it was lovely sitting out on the balcony in the mornings and evenings sipping a drink and spotting dolphins!

Royal Caribbean Excursions & Tours

We booked an excursion in Honduras independently and used the ship tours in Cozumel, in Costa Maya & Perfect Day just hopped off the ship and explored ourselves.

Most places the ship docks are totally geared up for the cruise ships, this can feel a little like you are being herded like cattle. We actually preferred the independent excursion as we met the loveliest local tour guide and felt we were getting a slightly more authentic experience. Obviously, you do need to be careful when booking independently, if you are late back to the ship on an independent tour the ship has no obligation to wait for you, if you are on a ship-organised tour they guarantee to get you back in time or wait for you if necessary!

Swimming Pools & Water Slides

There were 3 pools (2 normal, 1 “sports”), there were LOADS of sun beds, on sea days the ones close to the pool went early, however, we didn’t get down until 9 am and still had plenty of choice, so it isn’t like med resorts where you need to partake in an Olympic sport at 6am! Royal Caribbean have a “no reserving of beds” policy, but I didn’t see this enacted.

There were 3 water slides, they weren’t huge but good fun nonetheless. They also had a “dry slide” which was fun, went pretty much from top to bottom of the ship, you grabbed a mat and off you went.

They also had 2 Flo Riders, a Zipline & Climbing wall. None of them needed pre-booking and were complimentary, you just rocked up and queued, queue wasn’t too bad.

The ship had a kids splash park that was fab. Children in swim nappies CAN’T use the main pools, but there is plenty of room in their very own splash area with small slides.

Adult only Area

This was BLISS! Sadly (and correctly) it was 18+ so we didn’t use much, but it was a beautiful peaceful haven away from the noise of the pools. Sadly, there was no pool here, but there was a bar, restaurant and Jacuzzis, plus lovely cabanas/seats to sit and watch the sea & read a book!

Harmony of the Seas Kids, Babies & Teen Clubs

Kids are really well catered for on Royal Caribbean, the Adventure Ocean Youth Program provides supervised fun for kids aged 3-11yrs, and a babies/toddler’s program that offers nursery drop-off sessions for 6-36 months. There was also a “teen” club for 12-17yr olds.


The entertainment was fantastic, on top of the water slides, dry slide, flo rider, climbing wall and zip line, there was day & nightly entertainment. Grease was the on-board musical, this was on for one night of the cruise, we did pre-book, but missed out on the early showing so pre booked the 10pm slot, it was our second night on board and I just couldn’t stay awake for it! Hubby & 15yr old told me it was great! There was also an Aqua Theatre that put on a few shows throughout the cruise, comedy nights and various musical & DJ events.

Final Thoughts

We thoroughly enjoyed this and found It was great value for money. There is literally endless entertainment, but of course, if chilling by the pool or sitting on your balcony (dolphin spotting) is your thing you can find peace and quiet.

I loved the fact that most days you wake up in a new country/resort, it is such a great way to see parts of the world. You are only in the dock for 6-8hrs so of course it isn’t possible to see much of the country but it gives you taster for sure.

The food was great, the entertainment perfect and the staff utterly amazing! I would highly recommend it!

If you would like me to price up your very own Royal Caribbean Itinerary, either as a stand alone holiday or one packaged up with other elements as we did, click the button below to contact me. 

Miami to Florida Keys - Family Road Trip 

After we docked on 22nd October, we grabbed an Uber back to Miami Airport, collected our hire car (7 seater Dodge) and started the 3hr road trip down to the Keys. 

We stopped on route for the obligatory Starbucks and a bit of lunch and arrived at Tranquillity Bay in Marathon around 2pm. 

We stayed in a 2 Bedroom Waterfront Villa, which was lovely. Offering a kitchen area & decking backing onto the pool. There were water sports, 2 pools, a tiki bar with a Turtle Hospital next door and a dolphin research centre just up the road! 

We visited both the Turtle Hospital & Dolphin Research Centre and both were fantastic, a really good opportunity for the kids to get up close to these great creatures and understand a little more about their conservation.

There were plenty of restaurants within a short drive and of course, the obligatory Publix where we could stock up on supplies!

This road trip was so much fun, a perfect mix of organised fun on the cruise, then the ability to really explore ourselves after on our Keys road trip. 

If you like the sound if it and want me to arrange something similar for you, either CONTACT ME or click the button below and we can arrange an appointment to get planning! 

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