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OTownNick

Live Review- Symphony of the Seas 1/12/19; First Oasis Class in 7 Years!

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I decided to write a live review during my 1/12/19 cruise on the Symphony. I hope to make this review as unique as possible as I am unique as well :). As the title says, this is my first Oasis class cruise since the Allure in 2011. I am not a big ship guy. I much prefer itinerary over the ships, so why go back on an Oasis class cruise you may ask? Here is my background to set the stage for this live review.

 

My name is Nick and I'll be travelling with my wife, Barb. We live in the Orlando, Florida area and we have been on over 100 cruises (mostly RCI, but also Celebrity). I am almost embarrassed to say that this was a complimentary cruise based on my tier level of Club Royale, the casino player program. We get one automatic "annual" cruise based on our tier level and this can be any sailing up to 8 nights. At my level we got a balcony. SO, we decided since its "free", why not try the newest ship out there.  I tried to at LEAST find an itinerary that is slightly different enough from the usual Eastern/Western Caribbean routes. This cruise includes calls at Roatan, Honduras, which is a new port for both if us. It also includes Costa Maya (a new port for Barb), and then the "blah" ports of Cozumel and Nassau (those may be stay on the ship days).  ANOTHER reason we decided on an Oasis Class ship for this one is fortunately we also get full access to the Suites Lounge and Coastal Kitchen due to our Crown and Anchor level.

 

We chose a Boardwalk Balcony Deck 12 aft for our stateroom. We could have had an Oceanview Balcony, but you can have an oceanview balcony on ANY other ship. Plus, I kinda like the added perks you get with the interior balconies. In this case we get free soda packages and free lunch for 2 at Johnny Rockets (which we may not use anyway).

 

Dining Options

We usually do some specialty dining options but not a lot. Its a lot of food, its getting pricey, and there are just so many great free options, we are not crazy about too much specialty dining. We first considered only eating at specialty dining the first 2 nights using our (Diamond Plus) BOGOF coupons. We considered Wonderland because when we ate here on Anthem a few years ago, it was absolutely amazing. Then we thought about trying the new Hooked Seafood.  With or without the BOGOF coupons, we looked at the "free" options, including Coastal Kitchen and Solarium Bistro and decided we can get "almost" the same food at the other places and not get overwhelmed with food. It was a pleasant surprise to me to see that the menu at Coastal Kitchen changes daily. Plus the Greek inspired menu at Solarium Bistro looks really good to us. Therefore, we decided to skip specialty dining. The decision was a LITTLE easier to make because I'm actually trying to "diet" and I need to cut back on the wrong foods (for health reasons).

 

Shows and Activities

We reserved all the shows and will plan our meal times accordingly. Looking forward to all the shows.  I love surfing on the Flow Rider, so I'll try to get some runs in when its not crowded.

 

I'll post a few photos but I wont go crazy.

 

I hope you all enjoy my live review as we go along.

Edited by OTownNick

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How nice you got a free cruise!  Excited to follow along.  We'll be on Symphony in March with same itinerary (and same room type).

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I can't wait to follow along with this.  We are doing these stops in October as well but have Cococay instead of Nassau.  We've never been on an Oasis class ship so I need all the tips and help we can get!  This will be our 13th cruise with 10 being on RC.  We've been on Anthem and loved it so we had to do some of the prebooking of reserved shows but other than that, Oasis class is all new to us!  Bon Voyage!

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Plans for Ports of Calls

Here’s the itinerary:

Day 1- Embarkation

Day 2- Sea

Day 3- Roatan, Honduras

Day 4- Costa Maya

Day 5- Cozumel

Day 6-Sea

Day 7- Nassau

So here is what we have planned-

 Roatan - we booked an independant tour called Bodden’s Tour. It’s the Fun and Sun Tour. For only $30/pp, it’s a highlights tour with a stop at a sloth and monkey sanctuary where you get to hug a sloth!! Then we go to West Bay Beach for a couple hours. For $30, how can I go wrong?

 

Costa Maya- we will take the shuttle/taxi over to the Krazy Lobster at Mahahual Beach area. I’ve been here twice and loved it. The taxi is like $4/pp round trip. Krazy Lobster gives you a free welcome Margarita and to use their space all you have to do is buy something off their menu. Drink or food. It’s an economical and fun day. The thing my wife is looking forward to the most here is they have ladies giving massages for $20 for a one hour massage!!! “I’d like a 3-hour massage, por favor” hahahhaa.

 

Cozumel- we have been so many times, we plan to stay on the ship here but there are a lot of things to do here. Nachi Coccum is high on my list in case you wanted any ideas.

 

Nassau- same as above. We plan to stay on the ship but it’s remotely possible we may wander over to the Conch N Kalik restaurant right near Senior Frogs for the best conch salad in Nassau. But by this time we may have food fatigue so who knows!?

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17 minutes ago, Cruisin Around said:

I can't wait to follow along with this.  We are doing these stops in October as well but have Cococay instead of Nassau.  We've never been on an Oasis class ship so I need all the tips and help we can get!  This will be our 13th cruise with 10 being on RC.  We've been on Anthem and loved it so we had to do some of the prebooking of reserved shows but other than that, Oasis class is all new to us!  Bon Voyage!

Anthem was our favorite ship!! But that was in 2015 to the Canaries. It had the Dynamic Dining then which we loved. The shows were the best we’ve seen! And Wonderland was the best meal ever. That’s kinda why we decided against Wonderland this time. It could only disappoint we’re afraid. We decided to leave it at that .

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Wow!  One man's trash is another man's treasure....Cozumel is one of our favorite ports, we never get tired of Coz.  Been to Nachi 15 times.  BUT...whatever floats your boat...agree on Nassau though.

following along anxiously...we do Symphony in September.  Have a nice trip!

Edited by BecciBoo

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11 minutes ago, BecciBoo said:

Wow!  One man's trash is another man's treasure....Cozumel is one of our favorite ports, we never get tired of Coz.  Been to Nachi 15 times.  BUT...whatever floats your boat...agree on Nassau though.

following along anxiously...we do Symphony in September.  Have a nice trip!

Thank you. I DO like Cozumel a LOT. It’s just that THIS time, we think our time would be better spent taking advantage of experiencing as much of this ship as possible since we know after 7 nights there will most likely be many parts of the ship we never got to experience. 

 

The snorkeling here is amazing. The food, the wandering, Nachi Coccum, and Tulum! Tulum we’ve been a few times and it’s one of the most amazing beaches ever! I admit it’s really hard to run out of new things to do in Cozumel. But we are here a lot and on smaller ships we do go out. 

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1 hour ago, OTownNick said:

Anthem was our favorite ship!! But that was in 2015 to the Canaries. It had the Dynamic Dining then which we loved. The shows were the best we’ve seen! And Wonderland was the best meal ever. That’s kinda why we decided against Wonderland this time. It could only disappoint we’re afraid. We decided to leave it at that .

DH and and I ate at Wonderland several years ago on Quantum. I enjoyed it. He declared it a “chik” restaurant.  I went alone a few months ago on Anthem and told him the menu was different. He agreed to try it - again - on our Symphony 1/12/19 second night of our BOGO. 

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2 hours ago, OTownNick said:

I decided to write a live review during my 1/12/19 cruise on the Symphony.

 

I hope you all enjoy my live review as we go along.

 

 

Ok, you lured me in, I'm nearing 100 days to my Symphony cruise and I've checking her position every day and looking to see if entertainment reservations daily, so I might as well add this to my list as an obsessive cruiser.      I hope you enjoy your cruise.

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Hahahaha.  That’s an inside joke- I’ve been known to appear as the Pope at parties onboard. Just for fun.  Sometimes they let me drive the ship!

9914330D-9694-4451-8879-2153B8B30210.jpeg

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YAY...I'm so glad to see Nick...a.k.a. The Pope live blogging on the Symphony!!! We LOVED the Symphony and I cannot wait to follow along!!! Bon Voyage Nick and Barb!!! 😻

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24 minutes ago, BEENSAILING said:

DH and and I ate at Wonderland several years ago on Quantum. I enjoyed it. He declared it a “chik” restaurant.  I went alone a few months ago on Anthem and told him the menu was different. He agreed to try it - again - on our Symphony 1/12/19 second night of our BOGO. 

I will be curious to see how it compares to your previous experience 

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8 minutes ago, Luv2Kruize said:

YAY...I'm so glad to see Nick...a.k.a. The Pope live blogging on the Symphony!!! We LOVED the Symphony and I cannot wait to follow along!!! Bon Voyage Nick and Barb!!! 😻

The Pope does great Scopes onboard and of his excursions. Very informational. 

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2 hours ago, Cruisin Around said:

I can't wait to follow along with this.  We are doing these stops in October as well but have Cococay instead of Nassau.  We've never been on an Oasis class ship so I need all the tips and help we can get!  This will be our 13th cruise with 10 being on RC.  We've been on Anthem and loved it so we had to do some of the prebooking of reserved shows but other than that, Oasis class is all new to us!  Bon Voyage!

 

Have you joined your roll yet?    I've lost track of the last predicted availability for the pier at Coco Cay, I assume it will be available for an Oasis class ship by then.

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12 minutes ago, OTownNick said:

I will be curious to see how it compares to your previous experience 

This will be my third. I was just as happy second time as first. I am a more adventurous eater than Paul. When I told him they added a beef dish to the options is when he said yes. I will post my comments and Paul’s. First night he wanted to go to 150 Central Park.  I understand they no longer have the salts on the table - (Royal no longer has contract with the providor.) In all of our cruises we have never gone to 150. We have always enjoyed Jamie Oliver’s, Chops (from US, Europe and South America - did not like the steak in Chops on our Australia cruise.) After our BOGO we are planning dinners in Coastal Kitchen. Thought about Hooked but as Paul spends lots of time in the NE with his work, we have a favorite place for Lobstah Rolls.

Edited by BEENSAILING

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1 minute ago, Milwaukee Eight said:

The Pope does great Scopes onboard and of his excursions. Very informational. 

Thanks! I’m glad you enjoy them. 

 

One added note on my pre cruise background involves getting to the port of Miami. A lot of people ask where to park. For short cruises I always park right at the Port. The new Terminal A is amazing. They have facial recognition when exiting the ship. You don’t even need your passport! But have them handy in case you get a random “see Agent”. 

Since this is a longer cruise, parking at the port can get expensive at $20-$22/day. I’ve heard Park Jockey is a good alternative if anyone is looking for off site parking. 

 

One of the unique things about us is, we recently started FLYING to our cruises in Miami or FLL!! As crazy as that sounds -living in Florida and FLYING to a cruise in Florida- it makes sense. 

 

We take Uber to/ from the airports and we don’t have parking fees, gas, tolls, mileage, risk of accident, etc. The cost of flying compared to the 3+ hour drive, parking, tolls, etc is almost a wash! So why not? We end up taking Southwest a lot. No checked baggage fees are a plus. 

 

I have to give a shout out to my friend, Michael Poole, who turned me on to this idea. Now we LOVE the ease of getting to our South Florida ports!

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20 minutes ago, BEENSAILING said:

This will be my third. I was just as happy second time as first. I am a more adventurous eater than Paul. When I told him they added a beef dish to the options is when he said yes. I will post my comments and Paul’s. First night he wanted to go to 150 Central Park.  I understand they no longer have the salts on the table - (Royal no longer has contract with the providor.) In all of our cruises we have never gone to 150. We have always enjoyed Jamie Oliver’s, Chops (from US, Europe and South America - did not like the steak in Chops on our Australia cruise.) After our BOGO we are planning dinners in Coastal Kitchen. Thought about Hooked but as Paul spends lots of time in the NE with his work, we have a favorite place for Lobstah Rolls.

 

I have never done CP150 nor Wonderland. Really wish we could do either, especially Wonderland, but neither of these places are vegetarian friendly at this time which is a big letdown as I travel with a vegetarian. So we can only do Jaimes as that’s the only vegetarian friendly specialty restaurant available. But we might pop over tin wonderland for a drink to get a taste of it. Hoping in the future they add more options to the menus so that more people can enjoy it. 

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3 hours ago, OTownNick said:

Thank you. I DO like Cozumel a LOT. It’s just that THIS time, we think our time would be better spent taking advantage of experiencing as much of this ship as possible since we know after 7 nights there will most likely be many parts of the ship we never got to experience. 

 

The snorkeling here is amazing. The food, the wandering, Nachi Coccum, and Tulum! Tulum we’ve been a few times and it’s one of the most amazing beaches ever! I admit it’s really hard to run out of new things to do in Cozumel. But we are here a lot and on smaller ships we do go out. 

Yes you are right there...Allure was amazing and we didn't do near enough.  Actually, we'll be on a 4 night in April to Coz and back and we are planning on the same thing...won't even leave the ship.

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2 hours ago, 37645 said:

 

I have never done CP150 nor Wonderland. Really wish we could do either, especially Wonderland, but neither of these places are vegetarian friendly at this time which is a big letdown as I travel with a vegetarian. So we can only do Jaimes as that’s the only vegetarian friendly specialty restaurant available. But we might pop over tin wonderland for a drink to get a taste of it. Hoping in the future they add more options to the menus so that more people can enjoy it. 

I think you'd be surprised at Park 150....they had great veggi selections...and it was my favorite restaurant on Allure.  You really shouldn't miss it, just reject the meat selections, they'll be more than happy to accommodate...

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2 minutes ago, BecciBoo said:

I think you'd be surprised at Park 150....they had great veggi selections...and it was my favorite restaurant on Allure.  You really shouldn't miss it, just reject the meat selections, they'll be more than happy to accommodate...

 

So I have looked at recent menus at CP 150, there was only one option on the entrees for a vegetarian to eat and it was just some grilled vegetables and another version was just a piece of cauliflower. So in my opinion that’s not really vegetarian friendly due to the cover charge for the restaurant, not worth the price for a couple of pieces of vegetables for what the cover charge costs. But perhaps when you experienced it they had many more options. And Wonderland I think she could only do the first vegetable course and dessert which in my viewpoint is not enough to justify the cover charge unfortunately. But maybe they will change the options by the time that we cruise next to be more inclusive. Thanks 

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13 minutes ago, 37645 said:

 

So I have looked at recent menus at CP 150, there was only one option on the entrees for a vegetarian to eat and it was just some grilled vegetables and another version was just a piece of cauliflower. So in my opinion that’s not really vegetarian friendly due to the cover charge for the restaurant, not worth the price for a couple of pieces of vegetables for what the cover charge costs. But perhaps when you experienced it they had many more options. And Wonderland I think she could only do the first vegetable course and dessert which in my viewpoint is not enough to justify the cover charge unfortunately. But maybe they will change the options by the time that we cruise next to be more inclusive. Thanks 

If you like Curry dishes, the Main Dining Room always has a veg (and non veg) curry dishes every night. If you go to the MDR, arrange with the waiter your special request and they will certainly accommodate you!

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