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Symphony Of The Seas REVIEW-- 9/20 from Rome

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Hey guys! We just got back from our first Mediterranean cruise out of Civitavecchia on Symphony Of The Seas for our 10 year anniversary. We just started a vlogging channel on YouTube (Team Trom Travels. Link is in my signature) so we'll be posting lots of videos but those take a while to get together so I wanted to do a more traditional CC review as well.

 

 

About us and this trip:

This is our 6th cruise as a couple, 4th with Royal Caribbean and we've done Oasis in the past so the ship was familiar to us. For our 10 year anniversary we wanted to do something special. We love cruising but Wifey conned me into promising to take her to Italy once a LOOOOONG time ago, so we compromised on a Med. Cruise out of Rome. Good choice :)

 

Our anniversary was on September 20th, Rome was where Wifey always wanted to go so... We found a cruise on the BRAND NEW Oasis Class ship Symphony Of The Seas (Oasis was ridiculously nice so our expectations were definitely high) departing from Civitavecchia (an hour from Rome) on September 20th. It was pretty easy to choose our cruise!

 

We spent a ridiculous amount of time planning this vacation. We didn't book any excursions through the cruise (none of them quite fit what we wanted) but instead researched each port to know what we wanted out of it and some we planned out a few places we'd go to and others booked independent tours. We also reserved every show available on the ship, knowing we may not make it to all of them (anyone want to guess how many we actually went to?)

 

 

 

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Wifey even spent time making a list of foods she wanted to try in each country we visited (Italy, Spain and France)

 

 

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Also taking wagers on how many of the foods on the list we go to (for reference we had 4 total days in Italy, 2 in Spain, 1 in France)

 

 

We flew into Rome on September 17th, overnight 9 hour flight in which we didn't sleep a wink. Landed at 11am local time ready to take on Rome with no sleep!

 

 

 

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Following. Love the spreadsheet. That's something I would do.

 

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk

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I just went to your youtube page & I love your packing video! I want to cruise out of Rome in a couple years with 3 nights in Rome pre-cruise. Where did you stay in Rome? Love the idea of making a list of all the things you want to try since the minute you get there you probably forget everything

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We hurry off the plane and take advantage of our first moment to get a photo of Rome in all of its glory!!!

 

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Our Travel Agent booked us a Private Driver to get us from FCO Airport to our Hotel in Rome and on the way we were able to enjoy some of the great historical buildings and statues of Rome. After almost an hour of driving we finally got our first view of the Colosseum(sorry we didn't get the best of photos, there will be better ones to come!!!)

 

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Our Hotel, Capo D'Africa(To answer Jax129) is only two blocks away from there so we arrived just moments later and checked in. Just look at those completely natural palm trees ;)

 

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Welcome to our home for the following two nights, isn't it magnificent.

 

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Our Hotel had complimentary breakfast on the Terrace. Breakfast has juices(fresh OJ), milk and water along with plenty of pastries, cereals, oats, fruit and some hot foods like scrambled eggs, bacon and various meats.

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Interesting note: While in Europe we realized that they LOOVE Nutella. You find it everywhere and you sometimes find it in large pump containers like what you would find ketchup in, in the States :')

 

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Half of the Terrace was covered for dining while there was plenty of outdoor seating as well, this was just a small portion of the space provided here.

 

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With a view of the Colosseum from the rooftop how can you not give this Hotel a thumbs up!!!

 

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We had a first floor room in this small hotel (we didn't get very good pictures though. Sorry!) so it would've been easy to get to any room in the entire building. The rooftop Terrace was really a nice space to enjoy your breakfast and the view of Rome. The Room itself was average size and the bed was large. Bathroom was very nice as well. We truly liked the place our TA picked out for us, nice work Brian!!!

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We got to our hotel around noon and check in wasn't until 2pm but they suggested a nearby restaurant called Isidor and held our luggage while we waited for our room to be ready. It was less than a block up the street and looked fairly authentic.

 

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...until they started playing music. Hint, it wasn't exactly traditional Italian music. Mostly Jackson 5 and Outcast. We specifically remember the moment we recognized a song they were playing with sheer shock. If you're familiar with the song Roses by Outcast, you'll understand why (look up the lyrics, or listen to it, if you're curious). Good thing we have a sense of humor ;)

 

The food however, was a PERFECT way to begin our trip to Italy. They had an option where you can try multiple types of pastas, you choose how many and the chef will choose which ones then you pay a set price per person (which goes up with how many "tastes" you choose) We decided to try 5. Which was just about right. Any more and we'd have been wasting food. Here are four of our five "tastes" (we pretty much finished the first dish before we remembered pictures. It was gnocchi, and was pretty tasty ;) )

 

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Two of the five we weren't big fans of, just because the taste wasn't for us. Which was okay, we're trying to experience all new flavors after all! They can't all be "winners". What was important was the authenticity of it all and after this meal it felt like we were in Italy! We shared our first bottle of Italian wine to wash it all down:wine-glass:!

 

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We headed back to the Hotel and on the way we ran across our first Gelato restaurant so we had to take advantage of the opportunity. Oh which flavor do we choose...

 

 

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Limone Gelato along with my favorite kind of pastry, a Canoli(classic chocolate chip). This photo was before we took our first taste, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

 

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Gelato is indescribable, really that's how good it is. No words do it justice but I will try. Its creamy, but icy and the explosion of fresh, keyword fresh, flavor hits you right in the taste buds and you have to think this is a mistake. It cannot be this good... well spoiler alert, it is! We had Gelato a half dozen or more times, each from a different stand and each a different flavor and each time we moaned in delight! Just so that we are clear, we are not ice cream people and neither are we shaved ice people. We will go out for ice cream a couple times per year, but if this stuff was on every corner in America we would be Gelato people... and fat, yes definitely fat. lol.

 

And just like that, a couple hours removed from the plane, we have 3 of our Italian foods checked off our list. With at least one more in particular in mind before the night is through, which do you think it is?!?!

 

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After a quick stop at the Hotel to get our bags into our rooms, we head back out to hit the town and see the sights. Just a block from where we stay we find this cool place called Crab Ristorante and these are on display as you walk by.

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Just look at how big that crab is

 

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I didn't realize how romantic it was to have roadside tables set for dinner until I came to Europe. Most of the time they are actually set up in the street and cars whiz by just inches from where you sit!

 

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We are doing a similar cruise next summer but departing from Barcelona. I'm curious about who you used for the excursions in the different ports.

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We are doing a similar cruise next summer but departing from Barcelona. I'm curious about who you used for the excursions in the different ports.

 

We used all independent companies.

 

-Rome we did a Bar Hop and an Underground Tour of the Colesseum we found on Trip Advisor along with a Frascati Wine Tour we found just by googling their website.

 

-Naples we used Taxi Mister Cab Driver(Seriously that's his name) from Facebook. He had fantastic reviews and we couldn't help but find out for ourselves(yes he is good).

 

-Barcelona we traveled the city on our own, had a plan in mind and pretty much followed it.

 

-Palma De Mallorca we planned to just visit a beach but we were exhausted and used this day as a Sea Day since our cruise only had one for a 7 night cruise

 

-Marseilles we traveled the city on our own again, had a plan in mind and followed it as well.

 

-La Spezia we purchased train tickets for Cinque Terre and explored one of the towns on our own but also booked a Boat Tour of the entire 5 towns by water and that we also found on Trip Advisor.

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We took a short nap since we had very little sleep during the flight and woke up a couple hours later ready to go. It is our first night in Rome and we had plans set for the evening, but first we needed to grab some dinner. We found this restaurant just around the block from our Hotel and the lady you see in the doorway sold us on a meal. An drink, appetizer, pizza and desert for just 13 Euros!!! Are you kidding me?

 

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Oh did I mention the table had a spectacular view...

 

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Stacey got her drink and bruschetta!!!

 

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And I got my Margherita Pizza, Mhmmm!!!

 

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The sun had finished setting by the time we were finished and what was left was amazing!!!

 

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Wish I knew what the couple was running from... lol

 

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Our bellies are full and now it is off to our Bar Hop!!! We found this on Trip Advisor without actually looking for anything of the sort but it had great reviews and we decided we're still young, lets have some fun. Little did we realize we booked a Wine Tour for first thing the following morning... But for the night we were going to live it up. We started at our first bar where we had an unlimited hour of drinking included plus some pizza to munch on, as if we needed more food. The group who ran the tour set up Beer Pong which made us feel at home lol

 

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Followed by flip cup, I had no idea how bad I was at this game. I may have singlehandedly lost this for our team...

 

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We met a couple that was from Canada and had been backpacking for a couple months already with plenty of time to go still. MUCH younger than us and that's saying something. Also a group in Rome for a wedding who was also from Cleveland, small world. We finished the bar off with a toast to the rest of the night...

 

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We made it to the next bar which welcomed us with a free shot once we walked in the door and lots of flashing lights but not much else. The bar was empty but the bartended was a specialist and we enjoyed his choice of drinks.

 

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We made it to our final bar and we were already feeling pretty tipsy. And this place was crazy, Wifey and I both were a little our of our comfort zone but I promise you we made the best of the opportunity. Each photo was taken from some video recorded on our Go Pro so they are all a little blurry due to it not being an actual photo but blurry might be a good way to describe the night... We made ourselves an incredible friend in Saad

 

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And it looks like Wifey might not make it up in the morning lol ;p

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We have much more of our review coming soon but our first video of this amazing trip has been posted to YouTube!!! Subscribe to our channel to follow along as we relive our "Trip of a Lifetime" :)

 

 

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With quite a bit of effort both Wifey and I made it up and out of bed first thing in the morning. We made a quick stop at the hotels breakfast to try and settle our stomachs. At this point we still might be tipsy from the late night activities, since it was only a few hours ago lol. We then took the 30 minute walk to Roma Termini and caught the train to Frascati. To our surprise we were not going straight to the Frascati Vineyard as expected but instead taking a walking tour of town beforehand.

 

 

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We made a stop at the local bakery where we saw all the goodies for sale.

 

 

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and across the street we were able to see the 100 year old brick oven that they use to bake them all.

 

 

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While some of us took it all in the rest of us started drinking some wine, which is what we came her for after all, am I right?

 

 

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While we drank we were told an old story that is the purpose behind a very popular cookie in Frascati. It is about women leaving their babies with wet nurses, and there happened to be one that was very good with the babies, even the most difficult of babies. This created a large amount competition to obtain her services. It was later discovered that this woman had 3 breasts, two real with milk and the third was a fake and contained Frascati wine which was the secret of her success. While this practice is no longer used they made a cookie that has lived through the ages in her honor. Can you see why?!?! lol

 

 

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Loving the review as we cruise soon on the symphony. Did you have more luggage than two carryon suitcases?

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I just went to your youtube page & I love your packing video! I want to cruise out of Rome in a couple years with 3 nights in Rome pre-cruise. Where did you stay in Rome? Love the idea of making a list of all the things you want to try since the minute you get there you probably forget everything

 

Just started to read this thread. Don't mean to hack it, but I can highly recommend the Boutique Hotel Campo de Fiori. It is a small hotel with lovely rooms and includes breakfast. Do book in advance as they sell out quickly. Their apartments aren't quite the same. If in need of transfers and tours in Rome or Florence, I highly recommend RomeInLimo.

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Loving the review as we cruise soon on the symphony. Did you have more luggage than two carryon suitcases?
We had 2 large checked luggages, 2 smaller carry ons and 2 personal items(backpacks) we had too much lol

 

Sent from my SM-G935P using Forums mobile app

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Loving the review as we cruise soon on the symphony. Did you have more luggage than two carryon suitcases?

 

Here is a link to our YouTube video on packing if you want a little laugh!!!

 

Sent from my SM-G935P using Forums mobile app

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We had 2 large checked luggages, 2 smaller carry ons and 2 personal items(backpacks) we had too much lol

 

Sent from my SM-G935P using Forums mobile app

LoL I think your picture with your carryons threw me off. I also wanted to know if you did do the cruise with this amount of luggage how? We are currently at 3 large suite cases and two large carryon suite cases

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