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Found 511 results

  1. Hey everyone, I know I had a bunch of questions going in. I'll do my best to answer them. Go for it. Few randoms 1) Getting on the ship and through security was an absolute breeze. 15 minutes tops. Came at 11:00AM 2) Rooms are ready promptly at 1:00 pm 3) The ship is immaculate. 4) Don't wait to get off the ship at 9:00 AM like we did. Pure chaos. 5) Those who argue against the big ship concept are spot on when your trying to get in the pools when at sea. They need to have another pool or 2. Just too crowded. 6) Hiro the show is AMAZING. That might be an understatement. 7) The ship is just gorgeous. Artwork, stunning. 8) Cental Park is breathtaking. So is Boardwalk. 9) You can get a protein shake or other type of smoothies at the fitness center. 10) You can run around the track without having to side step passengers. Very well done. 11) Getting off the ship was easy. They say to bring a photo form of ID but never ask for it. 12) They do a really cool balloon drop at midnight on the first day. Ok thats it for now!
  2. Just got off Symphony this morning. Sitting in FLL so I figured I would get a start on my trip report. I always start with a three word summary, so here it goes... — The ship....Super Duper shape — The Cabin....deck 14 noisy — The Service....mostly top shelf —.The food....good to great — The shows....Super fantabulously awesome — St. Kitts....awesome excursion day — St. Thomas....lazy day walking — CoCo Cay....glorious day relaxing At little background to set the stage. Mama and I are becoming seasoned cruisers. Averaging two a year right now. Last time out was on Allure in February. We went on this cruise with my niece’s in laws and their extended family. Great people but this was not my trip to take the lead in planning, so we were ready for some variation to our norm. First and foremost, we have never sailed in the summer. We usually sail in the winter months so we can have a laugh at the folks that are still in the Pennsylvania snow. We do like the bigger ships, having been on Harmony and Allure our last two times out. Second, we did plan a full day relaxing in Ft. Lauderdale before the cruise. Tried a new hotel this time and didn’t have good luck there. Finally, we tend towards port intensive trips but this one had 4 sea days, including day one. So I’ll hit post here and follow up in the next post with a summary of our trip to Ft. Lauderdale and our day “relaxing”.
  3. Wondering if they have the regular lids that slide to open/shut or the domed ones with a straw? If they have a straw, will old lids fit on the new cups? Thanks!
  4. I recently watched a video on YouTube doing a review of Symphony. One thing that was mentioned in the video is that they do not allow any drinks in or around the pools. My wife and I always enjoy having a beer or dink while sitting in the shallow part of the pool with our feet in the deeper part. We have done this on every cruise for the past 20 years. We are really hoping that this was a rule that someone has misinterpreted.
  5. I know, I know, its been sixish months, how can I do a review of a cruise. I can’t, and don’t plan to. Instead, this is a review of what stood out to me, what I can remember six months later. It won’t be a day to day what I ate and drank, but more what was the ship like. The room, with a few tips and tricks of a first timer thrown in. First time on an Oasis class Ship. First Time in these ports, First time Leaving Miami, First Time in this type of Room, First time on Symphony. But Fifth Cruise overall. If you want a more day to day review, here is a one done by someone else on the same cruise. But here is the unashamed plug for my own previous reviews on Ovation around New Zealand And Celebrity Solstice around the pacific. I also split out the cruise compass, so if you want to see those for the cruise, follow this link.
  6. I know the Symphony of the Seas returns back to Miami at 6am. Does anyone know the earliest you can disembark? Thoughts on the earliest domestic flight I could catch from MIA? I do have Global Entry to help with TSA lines. Thx.
  7. Is Izumi Hibachi offer for lunch on Symphony of the Seas? I was reading a review from March 2019 and it was listed in the Cruise compass, but it didn't come up as an option in my cruise planner for my cruise leaving in 27 days. Is that currently still a lunch option on Symphony? If so, how much is it? Thanks
  8. I recently returned from a 7-night Symphony Eastern sailing out of Miami with stops in St. Maarten, San Juan and Labadee. There were 9 of us: me, my husband, 2 sons (16 & 19), my sister and her husband, my niece (13), nephew (16) and my mom (81). I do a lot of research pre-cruise to get the most out of my vacation and I get most of my info from the cruise critic community. Pre-Cruise: We flew United into Ft. Lauderdale as the airfare was substantially cheaper than flying into Miami from Cleveland. We booked private transportation for all our transfers through FG Car Service. Found the price to be very reasonable for the 9 of us and our luggage. Always on time and great communication with the drivers ahead of pick up. We stayed at the Homewood Suites by Hilton, Miami Downtown/Brickell. It was just an average hotel. Rooms were large but had a musty smell; was fine for a 1-night pre-cruise stay; free breakfast. Cruise Planner: We booked all our shows, specialty dining, My Time Dining, drink packages, wifi and Beach Bungalows on Labadee pre-cruise on the cruise planner website. We didn’t buy any of the specialty dining packages as we were afraid if we waited to book our dining reservations on the ship (as required with the dining packages) we would not get a table of 9 at our preferred dining time (6:30). We pre-booked Izumi, Hooked, 150 CP and Jamie’s Italian. We booked our cruise through United Cruises. There was a promotion at the time of our booking for one complimentary specialty dining for 2 guests per stateroom. The dinner had to be booked on board and had to be used on a port day. United emailed us the vouchers, we printed them and took them with us to make the dinner reservation. We did successfully get a table of 9 at Chops on Day 5 (San Juan) at 6:30. My husband and I immediately went to Chops after boarding, saw the huge line and remembered that people who purchased “The Key” were eating lunch there on boarding day. We went to 150 and made our reservation for Chops with no issue at all. Royal App: Download the Royal App on your phone pre-cruise. You will be able to see your “Set Sail Pass” on this mobile app after you check in for your cruise. You can complete your check in 90 days prior to your cruise. This window closes 3 days prior your cruise and will save you a lot of time. This app will let you look at all the menus for your sailing. It never showed all the cruise planner reservations I made online pre-cruise (show times, dinners…) under the “my calendar” tab. I called Royal and they said it doesn’t always transfer over to the app. It does show you your folio of charges made while on the cruise. You can also check this on your TV in your stateroom. I suggest you keep an eye on it during the week as there were 2 times I was charged for drinks in restaurants even though we all had the deluxe alcohol drink package and the kids had the soda package. I went to Guest Services (best time to go is very early a.m. or after 10 pm to avoid the long lines) and they removed the charges. Drink packages: All 5 adults purchased the Deluxe Beverage pkg (alcohol package) and the 4 kids purchased the Soda pkg. We kept an eye on the price on the cruise planner and kept cancelling it and re-purchasing it if the price went down. We eventually got it for $49/day during a ”30% Off Sale” in March. It came to $57.82/day with tax and tip or $404.74 for the week per person. We go around and around on if we will actually drink $404 worth of alcohol each during the cruise, but in the end, we wanted the freedom to have one more glass of wine at dinner and not have a giant bill at the end of the cruise. We just found it easier to pre-pay it and forget about it. The alcohol package includes fresh squeezed OJ, bottled water, coffee drinks (not Starbucks), the juice bar in the spa and Johnny Rockets milkshakes. It covers drinks up to $13. If you order a glass of wine that is $15, you will pay the $2 difference + 18% tip on the $2. It does not cover drinks in souvenir glasses or drinks served in pineapples. It also covers drinks on Labadee. The soda package for the kids only includes fountain soda from Coke Freestyle machines, bars and dining venues but does not include cans of soda, bottled water, “virgin drinks” or Johnny Rocket’s milkshakes. The prices on board for the drink pkgs are as follows: Deluxe $70/day, Refreshment $29/day, and Soda $12.99/day. 18% tip will be added to the price of all pkgs just like on cruise planner. I strongly suggest purchasing your pkg on the cruise planner, not on the cruise. About day 4, I did see advertisements for a 10-drink sharable drink card. I don’t remember the price.
  9. Symphony of the Seas will be featured on the new season of Mighty Cruise Ships airing this Sunday on the Discovery channel in Canada. Not sure if it’s being aired or has been in the US.
  10. (Oh wow that photo is HUGE! I might have to replace it, oops!!) We just returned from the Symphony of the Seas Eastern Caribbean sailing from 3/16/19 to 3/23/19 and I miss the ship already!! When I plan our vacations I obsessively read trip reports and LOVE reports that have LOTS of photos. I hope this will be helpful in some way to others as they plan their vacations. Or maybe you'll just admire my photos. That's OK too. I'm still getting all of my photos sorted and Cruise Compasses scanned, but hopefully I can get this review completed before I forget everything! Me: I'm from Chicago, lived here in the city all my life, and while the winters can be brutal I can't imagine living elsewhere. My main job is in education, but my side gig is related to travel . I am also taking graduate school classes online right now. Since I call the city my home, I try to plan vacations that take us away from city life. We are relatively new to cruising, with our first cruise (on DCL) about 5 years ago. What stopped me from sailing earlier? Fear of claustrophobia, fear of motion sickness, fear of boredom, fear of the ship sinking... you name it. We did a short 4 night sailing on DCL and we were hooked (get it? See what I did there? Nice nautical pun, right?). We have since done another DCL sailing (Western Caribbean), a 7 night Alaska cruise on Holland America, and now this 7 night Eastern Caribbean on Royal Caribbean. DD: DD is 15 and a freshman in high school. She LOVES Disney, especially the villains. She has had mixed feelings about the kids clubs on cruises and other resorts. DS: DS is 13, and very much 13, if you know what I mean. He likes Fortnite, Fortnite, oh and Fortnite. Ok just exaggerating a bit. Ok no I am not exaggerating at all. He does enjoy Fortnite, but he also likes music, Garage Band, and antagonizing his sister. Not very interested in sports. I was kind of apprehensive about how the kids would feel about the teen club. They weren't too fond of the tween club on DCL, but both LOVED the clubs on Holland America. Did you even know they have kids clubs on Holland America aka the Floating Nursing Home? Well they do, and my kids really enjoyed the smaller groups, which meant more interaction from the counselors. Teen clubs can be hit or miss, depending on the kids and the counselors. My kids tend to prefer fewer kids in the clubs, and, well, this was spring break so that just wasn't an option, at least not on Royal Caribbean. How this vacation came to be: It is SUCH a long and boring story. Needless to say, I had wanted to sail on Royal for a long time, I wanted to try an Oasis class ship because of all of the activities, and this one worked best with our schedule, for the most part. Our itinerary was: Day 1: Miami Day 2: At Sea Day 3: At Sea Day 4: St. Kitts Day 5: St. Thomas Day 6: At Sea Day 7: Nassau Day 8: Miami I don't really like having a port on the last full day, because it makes the day go by way too fast, but this was the best option in all other ways. Ok, that's too much backstory and not enough pictures. I promise once we get going there will be a lot more photos. I'll be adding them after I write each section for the most part, because the photos are on my phone, my regular camera, and my under water camera, and I have to pull them all in to this report. But that's a sacrifice I am willing to make, for you, because you're worth it.
  11. Need to decide by tomorrow. Cruising next June. Which one: Harmony to St. Kitts, San Juan, and CocoCay OR Symphony to St Maarten, St Thomas, and CocoCay? Cruising with son and his girlfriend (they will be 23 and 22/almost 23. There would be 2 or 3 days post cruise in Florida to spend time with daughter and her boyfriend (he won’t cruise because he gets seasick). Husband and I will be on Harmony in December so we are thinking maybe Symphony for next June but son hasn’t cruised since he was 3 and his girlfriend never cruised.
  12. Just received an email from Royal offering a Royal Up for a spacious ocean view with large balcony. I am curious as to where this type of stateroom is located on the ship. This category sleeps 6; not having any luck locating on deck plans. Thanks so very much!
  13. Hi, I'm booking a fairly last minute cruise for the end of September. 1) I found a JS on Symphony (7-day Western Caribbean & Perfect Day) for $3,336.94. Is this a fairly ok price? Or would this be a premium for a JS on Symphony? 2) What deck is best for a JS on Symphony? (Decks 6-9 are available). 3) Is one side of the ship better for cabin placement? Thank you for your help!
  14. We are sailing on the Symphony of the Seas and are looking at cabin 14250 our only concern is the noise from deck 15 because it looks like this cabin is directly under the Sports Pool can anyone provide any feedback on this room thanks PS I hate the new CC website
  15. Does anyone know what brand of tonic water is on the Symphony? DH is very picky about the tonic in his G&T. He hates the stuff out of the gun. Sometimes they even push the wrong button and he ends up with club soda. I am bringing on 12 cans of Q tonic water in our carry on. Am I correct that I can only bring 12 cans. They are very small 7.5 oz each. Would bring Fevertree, but it doesn’t come in cans in the US. Just wondering what they will have on the ship when the Q runs out. Btw we have the drink pkg so cans of tonic will be covered for us. Thanks for any info. Mary Ann
  16. Can you pay for internet by the minute on Symphony? I would only need it to check my email a could times and get my airline boarding passes.
  17. Where was the Key Lunch provided on Embarkation Day? Did you have a choice of venues? The Key is not available in my Cruise Planner yet for next year (no details provided yet), so I was curious about the options for the Lunch. At least, the Current options. I know things can change...
  18. If it's Spring everywhere but Canada, that must mean that we just had March Break - and you know what THAT means. It means that it was cruise time again for me and the Jellybean! You may remember us from such critically acclaimed reviews as 'Freedom of the Seas 2016', and 'Oasis 2018'. Well, after two long years of waiting, we finally cruised a ship that wasn't even BUILT yet when we booked her, the mighty Symphony. This is not a live review, obviously, but I promise to take you from start to finish, with all the highs and lows and in-betweens. You'll laugh, you'll sigh heavily, you may even shed a tear or two - but you will hopefully be entertained, and even learn something about Symphony... and yourself. So pull up a chair, grab a snack, tell the kids to leave you alone, and prepare for - the Bittersweet Symphony, 3/9/19 sailing cruise review. Feel free to ask questions, share feedback, add your own stories if you were there; just don't ask for Compasses. I don't have them. Not a single one. Don't ask me what night was Formal Night. I didn't care. I do know there were a TON of hangers, like, more than are in my current bedroom closet, more than on both Freedom and Oasis combined, so hopefully that makes someone happy. Just make sure you either fill 'em up, or push them to one side of the closet, because otherwise the first night they'll rattle a teensy bit, just enough to drive you stir crazy, but not enough to make you get up out of bed.
  19. Hi everyone! Before I cruised, I scoured these boards for any and all info I could find on the Symphony so I decided to contribute and write my own for future cruisers. I took a million and one pics, but I haven't uploaded them yet. I'll add them as soon as I do. But for now, I just want to write my review as it's fresh in my head. We were a group of 10 - My husband and I with our three daughters - ages 9, 7, and 5. My mother, father, aunt, uncle AND mother-in-law also joined us. So we had a multigenerational group. Embarkation - The husband and I have done 7 cruises together and several were out of Miami. I have to say that this was THE FASTEST I have ever arrived at the port and walked onto the ship. At 11 AM, we were dropped off at the front, walked into the doors, went up the escalator, showed our passports and flashed our set sail passes on the RCCL app and boom. Done. After putting our carry-on luggage through the machine to get scanned we were already walking into the Promenade. It was so fast that I remember saying "That's it? We're on already?" TIME FOR OUR FIRST DRINK! Yes people, I bought the drink package. Highly recommend it if you're going to have more than a few drinks a day. Think about it - mimosa in the morning, drinks of the day by the pool, wine at dinner, and chocolate martinis after dinner. Totally worth it in my opinion. Specialty coffee is also included which I took advantage of as well. The room service coffee is "meh" at best. We all got a glass of champagne at the Rising Tide Bar, raised our glasses and cheered to the amazing week we had ahead of us. The next to-do was to get the girls registered for the kids club. We went on a Disney cruise last Spring Break and were super excited to see what this kids club was all about. (More about Disney vs RCL kids club comparison later in this post) I was nervous though because RCL splits up the age groups and Disney does not. I think the ages are 3-5 year olds, 6-8 and 9-11. Just great. I was worried all three girls would be split up and wouldn't want to go in on their own. My girls are a gang and like to stick together! As I signed them up I very politely asked if all of them could be placed into the 6-8 group and they said "no problem at all." Victory is mine! I read reviews on here regarding this very issue and have heard that it can go either way. Some of the kids club counselors say yes and some say no. This one obviously said yes and that was that. The girls were super psyched. After celebrating our victory with another glass of champagne, we met up with the rest of our family and had to make the very tough choice of where to have our first meal. Suvery says...The Solarium Bistro! I knew I didn't want to go to the Windjammer buffet because it was a mad house and I personally don't like being treated like herding cattle while I pick out my food. The Solarium was a perfect choice because it was so quiet and also had a great variety of food. We all got two tables together, ate some lunch and yes- had another drink. Before we knew it, it was already 1PM and the captain came on the loud speaker to tell us that our staterooms were ready. So there we went. We had two adjoining balconies on Deck 10 - staterooms 10-550 and 10-552. Nice and spacious as far as cabins go. Also- super clean! No stains on the carpets, the bed linens were white and bright it just overall felt clean to me. Bonus- our bags were already waiting for us outside of our rooms. I've been on cruises where we didn't receive our luggage until 4 even 5:00, so this was a treat. We quickly unpacked, let the girls play in the cabin for a bit and then it was time for the muster drill. Ughhh I dislike muster drills. Yes they are necessary and important and blah blah blah, but they are always boring. This one though wasn't bad at all. Our muster station was in the Royal Theater and we just sat and watched a cutesy movie and DONE! Easy peasy! AND air conditioned. Ever bent a muster drill outside? Yeah, that sucks. TIP- If you are interested in doing activities such as laser tag, ice-skating, or even signing up for a show - HEAD TO THE ATTIC ON DECK 4 AFTER THE MUSTER DRILL. We were one of the first people in line and were able to sign up for two sessions of laser tag, add Flight, and also find the information for ice-skating. If we hadn't done this, we would've had to wait in stand-by lines to do these activities which is never fun on a cruise when you could be doing other things! We then went up to Deck 15 for the Set-Sail party and got the drink of the day and said Bon Voyage to Miami! Since we had the first dining time at 5:30 since we have little kids, so after we got all signed up for our activities, we decided to head back to the stateroom to get ready for dinner. We had a beautiful table right next to a window in the Main Dining Room on Deck 3. Our waiter and assistant waiter were cheery and fun and did well with our girlies. The food was pretty good. I had the escargot, caesar salad, chicken marsala and creme brûlée. My husband got the prime rib and that was WAY BETTER in my opinion, so I ended up eating his. Yum! After dinner, we did some more exploring and the girls wanted to go to the kids club to check it out. After looking up their names, they were all welcomed in, asked to take off their shoes and off they went. I was totally a creeper mom and hid behind the door for a bit just to make sure they were settled before I left. Yep, they seemed fine. Now for the kids club comparison. HANDS DOWN- Disney does this the best. They practically have an entire deck dedicated to their club and there are many, many counselors walking around, playing with kids, and facilitating fun activities. I'm talking about arts and crafts, decorating cupcakes, blowing up volcanoes, dance parties, video games, EVERYTHING. Nope, RCCL doesn't hold a candle to this. They were all in one big room and it seemed like a free for all in there. Bunches and bunches of crazy kids and TWO counselors. I was pretty sure they were violating some kind of kid-to-adult ratio here. The girls still had fun though. Some days more than others. The hubby and I got a drink at On-Air, laughed at some karaoke, and headed to see our first show of the week - 1977. Tip for the shows- GET THERE AT LEAST 15 MINUTES EARLY. Since there were only two of us, it wasn't too difficult to find seats together but if we had gotten there earlier, they wouldn't have been in the back! Oh well though, I was still super impressed with it. Better than any other ice-skating show I've seen on a boat. My advice? Don't miss it. We watched it until the end, scooped up our exhausted children from the kids club, and took them back to our state room to get to bed. The perk of having an adjoining room with your mother-in-law is that she babysits! MIL goes to bed early so she stayed with the girls while we went back out for the balloon drop. Let me tell you this- having three girls this age is exhausting. Most nights I'm in bed at 9:30 and up at 6. I wasn't sure I was going to make it to the Balloon Drop at midnight. But the excitement got to me and we partied until those balloons came down and were all popped. I also have to note that the band was great! They sang lots of fun songs and I danced like nobody was watching. Although apparently my aunt was and recorded me. *Places hands over my red face in embarrassment.* That's what the drink package will do to you. Definitely worth staying up late for. What a great way to kick off our vacay! And that's it folks for Day 1! I'll be back for Day 2!
  20. Where is the bed in 10308 And 10309? Thanks!!
  21. So I keep checking on the prices for the Nov 2 2019 Symphony Anniversary Cruise, and the prices keep dropping dramatically, at least for the suites. So far have saved 21% from original booking to June 21, now today another 6% from the June 21 price. Total of 25.7% off original price. Seems odd to me, since it should be a popular cruise. Has anyone else noted these price drops?
  22. Sailing next week. Not a big deal but curious who the entertainment my be. Always wishing we cross paths with Matt Yee, but sadly his site says not this time.
  23. We'll be in a Jr suite on Symphony of the Seas how does eating at Coastal Kitchen work unlimited, reservations on line?
  24. Anyone that has been on her lately. I have seen 5:30 and I have seen 6:00. TIA
  25. I went on the Oasis back in 2015 to the Eastern Caribbean with my wife. Want to go next February to the Western Caribbean. The price for the Oasis is much cheaper than the Harmony or Symphony. Symphony being the most expensive. Is the price difference worth it? Ships are similar but the others are newer. Thoughts? Thanks!
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