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allylily

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About allylily

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Boynton Beach, FL
  • Interests
    Traveling with family
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Alaska, Caribbean, Eurpoe

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  1. We went on Symphony last summer and docked in La Spezia. Its very far to Florence, just so you know. We did the ship excursion Pisa and Florence with headset on your own tour. Briefly, Pisa is iconic - we loved seeing it. Florence is amazing. A short afternoon cannot do it justice. I am happy I went, but with a caveat. We were supposed to get 5 1/2 hours of our own time in Florence. We independently ordered tix online for entry into the Uffizi to fit within that time frame. However, upon reaching Florence our guide advised that we had to be back much earlier, only giving us a total of 4 hours in Florence. The traffic in that region was heavy, accounting for the much earlier departure time. We barely made it back to the ship on time, too. Glad we went. Bus ride long. Less time than you think in Florence. If you can do Florence on your own pre or post cruise if you depart from Rome, all the better. We would indeed try Cinque Terre next time. We are going to do Greek/Europe next summer and may do the fast train from Rome to Florence (a few hours train time at most) to spend a few days in Florence to really enjoy it.
  2. Absolutely no glasses on any slides on Symphony last Summer. I’m blind without glasses, too. So for my next cruise in a few weeks I specifically went to eye dr and got daily disposable contacts. I want to have fun like everyone else! Plus, they are super useful on the snorkeling excursions. I wear them for the activity and don’t have a problem if I want to take them out immediately afterward - no contact cases or solutions needed.
  3. Merion Mom - the kids all ask each other. My daughter told me. The kids are everywhere on the ship. They don't just sit in the inside registered teen club area. In fact, they may initially meet in the RCI teen club, but they are all over the ship after initial introductions. Plus, most of the kids had siblings who ranged in ages, yet the siblings regardless of age all hung out together so it's inevitable your teen will hang out with the older and younger siblings. The kids don't care whether their new friends are older or younger than them, as long as they're having fun. Nothing nefarious. But you have to trust your kid. They can check in or out of the teen club themselves. They can meet up anywhere on the ship with their new cruise friends - their meetups are not isolated to the club location. Which is why I mentioned the cruise staff is cognizant of teen activity in and out of the teen club itself. Security, curfews, group activities ( safety in numbers) are in place to ensure the teens are having fun appropriately and safely. Also, we were in Europe over summer. Not US spring break. But realistically, the RCI teen club wrist band means nothing to kids - it's a false sense of security for you if you think your teen won't come into contact with an 18 yo.
  4. It may be ship dependent. Our daughter was 15 yo this last summer on Symphony and they had the new teen club set up where you can be inside the club area, but there is also an outdoor hang out spot which virtually anyone can walk through. The teens were all meeting up regardless of age and location - in the pools, hot tubs, promenade areas, Windjammer, sports deck. It didn't really matter if you were 14 yo or even 18 yo high schoolers. They had the scheduled events, but the casual hang out time was way more important to the kids (especially sitting silently in a group on their phones!). I almost never saw my daughter because she got along great with other teens and was happy to be with them instead of us, but when I did come across her randomly around the ship she was with a big group, of various aged kids, all well behaved. There is security, and curfews, and counselors who watch the teens, too.
  5. We did this last summer and utilized RomeCabs. They were awesome both to the port from our Rome hotel, and from the port back to Rome, where we stayed additional time after the cruise. Private luxury vehicle, we had three people. Did everything via email, very professional. The expense is totally worth it. Be even embarked earlier than our scheduled time, by at least 45 minutes, and they were waiting right there at the exit ready for us. There are lots of options for private cars, too, including your hotel may have a relationship with a car company.
  6. We purchase earlier rather than later, as we have lost out on an excursion if we waited too long. Also, there are usually times for the RCI WOW sales or the like where the packages or excursions go on sale. President's Weekend could result in a good sale weekend. We have many times booked, then canceled and rebooked at lower price. RCI immediately shows your cancelation and reimbursement to the credit card. However, the earlier you book your cruise next time, the better the prices usually - I have found that the dining packages are usually much lower the farther out from the cruise date. On short notice, though, you don't have that advantage. But a last minute cruise is always fun!
  7. My daughter was 15 yo last summer on our Western Med cruise. We got on the ship, she went to the teen club, and essentially we didn't see her the rest of the cruise, except for excursions. The teens don't need scheduled events, as they sit around socializing the entire time. They travel in groups, they eat together, they go to the pools, etc. together. We only ate with our daughter in Wonderland (our only specialty restaurant reservation). Your teen will meet plenty of other teens - although I don't know your dates or itineraries, I don't think it would matter. Many teens on our cruise didn't even speak the same languages and it didn't matter. There is a teen club where they meet, but I saw my teen all over the ship with her group. In fact, I was in bed before my daughter. There is also a curfew usually so they do have to come back to the cabin eventually! I have an only child who has to meet other teens otherwise its mom and dad only - I think the teens have a great time.
  8. We did Symphony on Western Med this past summer. Definitely agree with Host Clarea that the days are so long on excursions that the day time activities could have been the same or curtailed and you would never know, because you're lucky if you get back by dinnertime. Nighttime activities were similar with the shows, comedians, music, RCCL parties. On my cruise, there were a lot of European, Middle Eastern, and Russian cruisers who were all participating in the activities. The dress mode was very fancy for everyone in the evening - if you have room to pack all of that! Our MDR menus tended toward Italian and Mediterranean menus with the regular standard options, too.
  9. We cruised Symphony this past summer on the Western Med cruise. We had the Central Park balcony, which was great by the way. Our cabin included the complimentary lunch at Jamie's for sea days only. We didn't realize soon enough to actually go over to book your lunch in advance because the later lunch times were all booked up and we ended up with a 12:00 pm lunch time. Nonetheless, lunch was fantastic. Our sailing had the same menu for lunch and dinner. In fact, the easiest thing for us was to allow the wait staff to bring a selection of their choices, like a tasting menu, which included the boards, appetizers, main pastas and desserts. Best meal we had on that cruise, and the food on the whole ship was great overall.
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