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Ned11

Symphony 13th May 2018 review and compass

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This my review of my fantastic experience on the Symphony of the Seas. I just want to express that these are my views and others my have other views of what they experienced. This is not going to be in-depth (as not to bore anyone).

 

Back ground - I'm 38, generally travel solo but took my elderly parents on this cruise. I have cruised 4 times with RCCL and once with NCL.

 

The first few hours of arriving:

We arrived at the terminal at 11.15am. Our appointment time was between 11-11.30 am. When we arrived, I mentioned that I had ordered wheelchair assistance. I was told to go to the end of the checkin area to checkin. Three times I had to explain that we needed a wheelchair for my Dad as he can't walk so far. It eventually turned up.

Straight to check in, photos that I originally set up on online check in were used and a piece of paper is then issued. This is your sea pass until you get to your cabins (opened at 1pm) where your card will be for you to enter your room and use for the rest of the cruise.

We were on the ship within 10 minutes and straight to the Windjammer. They have wash areas to wash your hands on your way in to the Windjammer. Great idea if everyone used them. It was so quite at that time of the day but sure enough, it was getting busier the longer we were there.

At 1pm, we dumped our stuff in the rooms and went for a exploration. I was in 10321 which was a Boardwalk balcony cabin (bed by the balcony) and had a fantastic view. Mum and Dad was in 10190, an oceanview balcony at the start of the hump. Again, a fantastic view, especially with extra bit of the balcony as you could see straight along the ship looking forward.

Bags arrived at the cabins around 3pm so got unpacking and ready for the evening.

 

Food and drink:

We only ate in the MDR, Windjammer, Johny Rockets (got the cover charge waivered as part of the Boardwalk deal) and Sorrentos. So I'm sorry, I can't answer any questions on any of the restaurants. MDR food was lovely but disappointed regarding the seating arrangements. Even though I made reservations for MTD, we were placed in different areas and never built a relationship with a Waiter or Assistant Waiter. I enjoy having a laugh and a giggle with them and getting to know them better.

The food in the Windjammer was good, though the last evening (Saturday) you could tell that they were either running out of stuff or couldn't be bothered. Not a lot of choice was offered.

We didn't have the drink package though we all had the soda package (again, I had it part of the Boardwalk offer). I did buy the gin and tonic and whiskey and coke offer through gifts on the cruise planner before the sailing. I got one large gin every night with the bottle so I was happy with that. Definitely worked out cheaper than me buying one every night. I did buy a 'drink of the day - Tia Mia' on the last day which was advertised at $9.50 but came out at over $12 after gratuity and tax.

Again, sorry I can't answer any questions regarding drink prices.

 

Entertainment:

We saw 1977 - ice skating, i20 (I think) which was another ice skating show shown on the sea day, Hiro - aqua show, headliner show - Hector the Magician and the comedy show.

Every single one was fantastic and well worth going to see. Even the comedy show, which I'm sure they might be some UK guys (like me) who may think that they won't get the USA humour, you definitely will. I was howling!

Two things that was really disappointing, firstly, is the regular RCCL shows (which is one of the major reasons I sail with them). No bellyflop, sexiest man, quest, love and marriage. They say that due to the language barriers in the Med, they have struggled to do the shows. Though I don't know how no one would not understand the belly flop competition.

Secondly, the amount of people who turn up late (I'm talking more than 10 minutes late), who are then looking around for a seat and you have to get up and down to let them past, especially during the magic show. Shouldn't be allowed in after a certain period.

Well worth booking in advance through the cruise planners before the cruise to book your seats.

 

Activities:

There is just so much to do on this ship. I did the Abyss and, OMG, is so much fun. I did the zipline and crazy golf too. My mum and dad went to the Copper and Kettle for the evening quiz, they didn't win. Always something happening on the Promenade in the evenings. I went to the 80's night which was brilliant. But general people watching can pass a lot of time.

Went on the running track a few times to kill some calories for my chocolate puddings. Ha ha.

If you can get to the Captains corner in the Attic on the last day, go. He was very informative and happy to answer any questions. it was quite a laugh actually. I've moved to the Isle of Man and he mentioned that he'd be in Douglas in June. It would be great to pass him on the promenade.

Pools were never too busy and could always get a chair. Only snag is if you're on deck 16, the chairs are roped to the deck and can't move them and they're so tightly put together, you can't move them a little to get down the side of them. I understand that they need to be secured while sailing but in port, they should be let off.

 

Ports of call:

Loved the ports.

Majorca - did a RCCL excursion to Valldemossa. It was very good and a reasonable price.

Marseille - got the RCCL coach to the town centre and got a bus to the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, what beautiful views of Marsille.

La Spezia - Stayed on the ship.

Civitavecchia - got a coach with Cruising Excursions (did a lot with them last year when I was on the Epic, would highly recommend) as an On My Own. Got dropped off at the Colosseum and then met for the return at the Vatican. We used Sightseeing Hop on Hop off bus to get to places.

Naples - did a RCCL excursion of Herculaneum. Again, well worth the money. A lot more intact than Pompeii.

I've done this root 3 times now and not really needing to do it again though I would need to back to Rome as still not seen everything.

 

Leaving the ship:

This was so easy. You need to fill in a form to request a time to leave on Sunday. This needs to be handed in by Thursday at 6pm. They then issue your tags on the Saturday. Ours were wrong and got them changed at guest services with no issues.

Sunday morning we left the cabins at 8.15. Went to the dining room on deck 5. As my Dad had wheelchair assistance we had to go to 'On Air' to get the wheelchair. Depending whether you have odd or even numbers on your tags, will then depend on which terminal you go to to collect your luggage. It was that smooth, we were at the airport for 9am. No issues, no queueing, just sailed through (no pun intended).

 

I'm currently on the boat (not quite Symphony) back to the Isle of Man so when I arrive this evening, I'll load the cruise compasses up.

 

If you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer though I didn't do a lot of stuff that many people ask.

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Do you recall what the first time allowed off was (on last day)?

 

 

 

Yes, I still have the sheet. I’ll be taking photos of everything this evening and that will included. Just need to find everything in my luggage.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Fantastic pictures!

 

 

 

Thank you.

 

 

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Great review and pictures. Thank for taking the time to share. Looking forward to sailing her next year.

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Great review and pictures. Thank for taking the time to share. Looking forward to sailing her next year.

 

 

 

You’re very welcome. You’ll love her.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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found this review very accurate, although i would add that i found the service in MDR could be quite inconsistent

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found this review very accurate, although i would add that i found the service in MDR could be quite inconsistent

 

 

 

I do agree. The first and second night was fine but third night, the waiter didn’t chat to us so I filled one of the service cards out. The last night we were there, he was over the top and the steak went back twice. We decided not to go back.

 

 

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Yes, I still have the sheet. I’ll be taking photos of everything this evening and that will included. Just need to find everything in my luggage.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

 

Great - thank you!

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Day 2

 

23e0da3c96a038b7a7ffa1b057584828.jpg539b677e970a5f3a4a4f0bf8eb725950.jpgf042fa2ed964bd538ad206bfed19faf7.jpg82ab38d0083837a27e99e183e345160a.jpg

 

 

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Edited by Ned11

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Day 3

 

8e7174857a4dc213c2067d51f2038219.jpg1cfe4f84a741bac4ef28a75483742948.jpgdb5c80eb3e53e325f42d6fd29c239670.jpg924863fd48bf254fd02db510d8f57bd6.jpg

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by Ned11

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Day 4

 

539aff7c8416e5414ea6b2af724864ae.jpg466d5af2a21d0338abcd07b4fe23b0d0.jpgf09e84b06eb588b57ab5bca1eae61844.jpg7079eac70e5c7e77d2aa03c3a8d3aa45.jpg

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by Ned11

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Day 5

 

8c9fe2873279e0238564ae124105750e.jpgafe7d319b8799692de41f3bbf0fd4859.jpg2c62bd0ecbdcef3c38f8d0d21cecc925.jpge708d401f9cc539a6eabd8697403ef37.jpg

 

 

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Day 6

 

fd57cea08c543d0a0e5037e3e229d171.jpgccd973eeda0aa601ab03040b21713e7b.jpg6069519ee31f6e4daaa57072141d565a.jpga2c028dd69eaf31cadfee4a90c352c62.jpg

 

 

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Day 7

 

967fb61db547235b6b9fdfeed1c8cb24.jpg42df15abf5c275afaadcc7b23ac8cdbc.jpga7d41625671172aab0f7a02f8088e00c.jpg81e216958ffbfac8640498043f543193.jpg

 

 

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Departure Scheduleec5106a48e2df0dfd4bc93feca864990.jpg30c9543ee3933ea17cc858d533011b91.jpg

 

 

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