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colesc15

Just off Symphony - the good and meh

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Hi all! Just waiting to get off the ship after a wonderful week doing the eastern Caribbean route. I thought I would post the good and bad and see if anyone has questions. The last sea day and today I've felt pretty crappy so I'm ready to be home. 

 

We went to Blue Lagoon in Nassau, a local excursion to a local beach and snorkel in st Thomas at Hull Bay, and we did a dune buggy excursion in st Kitts. 

 

The good: the ship is gorgeous! Everything from the colors to layout is wonderful. We loved Hooked. I loved the fact that all the public bathrooms have a motion sensor to open the doors. The art about all the urinals made me laugh. 

 

We had the deluxe drink package and definitely got our monies worth. It covered everything up to $13 and also included cans of soda whenever we wanted. We never got our freestyle cups in our room but we never bothered to attempt to get one either. 

 

We only did the comedy show, ice show and aqua show and skipped the Broadway shows. The comedians were hilarious. 

 

The ship never once felt crowded and the stowaway piano guy was fun too.

 

The bad. The main dining room experience was by far the worst we've ever experienced in our roughly 9 Royal Caribbean cruises. We had a group of 5 and I made reservations before the cruise for 6:30 every night. First night was fine, 2nd night we tried to get the same waitor and they said there was no tables to they moved us; fine. Next night we loved our waitress and so next night we requested her and nope, can't do it so we got put with a new waitress and they were terrible. We ended up getting a different waitor every night of the cruise even though our reservation was the same time every night. Just felt odd and never had that before. The restaurant manager who checks us in every night was always rude and seemed like they had to search for a table for us every night. We ended up just doing the Windjammer the final night to avoid it all. 

 

The food in the dining room was average at best as well. The options were slim and I felt some of them were cheesy. 

 

Royal charging $2 for popcorn I thought was tacky as well. 

 

Overall, it was a good cruise but wouldn't consider it great. Now I'm ready to get home and sleep in my own bed and not the mattress that felt like a board in our cabin! 

 

Questions? Just ask! 

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2 minutes ago, colesc15 said:

 We ended up getting a different waiter every night of the cruise even though our reservation was the same time every night. 

You might want to opt for traditional next time.

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That ship looks like a baby next to the Symphony☺ Did you find any quiet spots away away from the masses to just sit for awhile and enjoy the view? We do not have a balcony so that won't be an option.. This is our first mega ship experience. We are looking forward to all the bells and whistles but would still like to find a spot where we feel like we are on a ship and not in the big city.

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25 minutes ago, colesc15 said:

We ended up getting a different waitor every night of the cruise even though our reservation was the same time every night. Just felt odd and never had that before.

 

 

Was this the first time you opted for My time dining?  That's part of the trade off of getting to dine in the MDR whenever you feel.  It's unlikely you'll get the same table/waiting staff more than once.

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1 minute ago, jerseyjjs said:

 

 

Was this the first time you opted for My time dining?  That's part of the trade off of getting to dine in the MDR whenever you feel.  It's unlikely you'll get the same table/waiting staff more than once.

 

that's interesting because I've read in other threads that people were able to request the same table and wait staff when they had MTD reservations at the same time every night. Maybe it just depends on the ship?

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3 minutes ago, blueridgemama said:

 

that's interesting because I've read in other threads that people were able to request the same table and wait staff when they had MTD reservations at the same time every night. Maybe it just depends on the ship?

 

 

Yes, you can request the same wait staff.  Just don't get your hopes up on it being a guaranteed success.

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34 minutes ago, blueridgemama said:

That ship looks like a baby next to the Symphony☺ Did you find any quiet spots away away from the masses to just sit for awhile and enjoy the view? We do not have a balcony so that won't be an option.. This is our first mega ship experience. We are looking forward to all the bells and whistles but would still like to find a spot where we feel like we are on a ship and not in the big city.

 

Tons of places you can sit quietly away from others. Many times you’d think are there really over 6k people on this ship? 

 

13 minutes ago, blueridgemama said:

 

that's interesting because I've read in other threads that people were able to request the same table and wait staff when they had MTD reservations at the same time every night. Maybe it just depends on the ship?

 

On our cruise on Symphony a month ago we ate the main dining room 4 of the 7 nights and managed to get the same wait staff twice but other two we had different staff. Those other 2 times we were not we ate at later times. 

 

Thoought our food was alright but food is so subjective.  I did miss not eating in the specialty restaurants the other nights though. 

 

Glad other than those few things op had an outstanding cruise. There is no doubt Symphony of the Seas is an amazing ship! 

Edited by MrFunInTheSun

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40 minutes ago, colesc15 said:

The bad. The main dining room experience was by far the worst we've ever experienced in our roughly 9 Royal Caribbean cruises. We had a group of 5 and I made reservations before the cruise for 6:30 every night. First night was fine, 2nd night we tried to get the same waitor and they said there was no tables to they moved us; fine. Next night we loved our waitress and so next night we requested her and nope, can't do it so we got put with a new waitress and they were terrible. We ended up getting a different waitor every night of the cruise even though our reservation was the same time every night. Just felt odd and never had that before. The restaurant manager who checks us in every night was always rude and seemed like they had to search for a table for us every night. We ended up just doing the Windjammer the final night to avoid it all. 

 

The food in the dining room was average at best as well. The options were slim and I felt some of them were cheesy. 

 

 

 

I was on Symphony as a group of 4 the beginning of February and our dining experience was fine.  But I think some of your expectations were off.

 

We made MTD reservations for 7:30 every night and we had no trouble being seated.  I didn't have the same table nor waiter twice, but never in a million years did I expect to in MTD.


Honestly, not sure what the need for the same wait staff really is anyway.  We found them all to be very good and attentive.

 

I am big time food lover who use to always seek out the best no matter what. So for a long time, I was a specialty restaurant guy every night.  The last three cruises, I've don MDR and it has exceeded my expectiations. But again, you need to understand what it is and what to expect.

 

Order things that lend themselves to large scale production and you'll be happy: prime rib, lasagna, soups, etc...   Stay away from things that are better made a-la-minute (seafood pasta, etc...).

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13 minutes ago, blueridgemama said:

 

that's interesting because I've read in other threads that people were able to request the same table and wait staff when they had MTD reservations at the same time every night. Maybe it just depends on the ship?

 

It may also depend on the time.  If you're on the early or late side, when the volume is less, it's probably easier to do that.

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If the service is poor, it's because you didn't understand that what everyone says here can't really be done onboard the ship and reservations mean nothing in my time dining.  

 

If the food is not up to standard, you just ordered the wrong food, probably chewed somewhat incorrectly too.  

 

😉 

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44 minutes ago, jerseyjjs said:

 

 

Was this the first time you opted for My time dining?  That's part of the trade off of getting to dine in the MDR whenever you feel.  It's unlikely you'll get the same table/waiting staff more than once.

 

That's the odd part. We've done my time dining every year and this was the first we weren't able to get the same waitor 

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I’ll trade my bed for a cruise bed every time 

thanks for the review and pictures

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This is where cruise critic gets annoying.

 

"I wanted traditional dining, but I heard that you could makeshift your own. It didn't work out the way it would have if I just selected the option built for what I wanted. Therefore I'm disappointed".

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Thanks for the review! We are onboard in 35 days!

I have been on 2 other cruises with MTD and my experience is what you were expecting - same wait staff every night. Some nights we did opt to wait a few minutes though to achieve that and one night they asked us to come a little earlier so that we could stay in their section. I wonder if on a ship the size of symphony if it’s harder to do that? Or maybe they prioritized meeting your reservation time to ensure it was met (6:30 is sort of a tricky time - early diners are not out of the area yet so they need to find a table that stayed open for the first hour for you).

We have a group of 8 and switched to Traditional Early Seating for this cruise - which isn’t my favorite because the meals take forever - but we will have the same waitstaff!

One question - did you do the escape room? If so - when did you reserve it?

Also - what time did you board? How long did it take?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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21 minutes ago, Cel_cruise said:

Thanks for the review! We are onboard in 35 days!

I have been on 2 other cruises with MTD and my experience is what you were expecting - same wait staff every night. Some nights we did opt to wait a few minutes though to achieve that and one night they asked us to come a little earlier so that we could stay in their section. I wonder if on a ship the size of symphony if it’s harder to do that? Or maybe they prioritized meeting your reservation time to ensure it was met (6:30 is sort of a tricky time - early diners are not out of the area yet so they need to find a table that stayed open for the first hour for you).

We have a group of 8 and switched to Traditional Early Seating for this cruise - which isn’t my favorite because the meals take forever - but we will have the same waitstaff!

One question - did you do the escape room? If so - when did you reserve it?

Also - what time did you board? How long did it take?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

We didn't do the escape room. We got out of our Uber at around 10:45 and were in the Windjammer around 11:10. Super fast! 

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1 hour ago, blueridgemama said:

that's interesting because I've read in other threads that people were able to request the same table and wait staff when they had MTD reservations at the same time every night. Maybe it just depends on the ship?


I think it makes a big difference too if you ask the night before to get the same staff the following day, so they know to hold a table open for your party when they start seating people the next day.  

If you don't let them know until you arrive that you want to be in a certain server's section, you run the risk of all the tables being filled already when you show up.  

It's called My Time Dining, not My Time at My Table with My Servers Dining.

 

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36 minutes ago, Cel_cruise said:

We have a group of 8 and switched to Traditional Early Seating for this cruise - which isn’t my favorite because the meals take forever - but we will have the same waitstaff!


If you let your staff know that you prefer a faster meal, they can speed the process up for you, even in traditional dining.  

If you don't specify, they just assume that you want the long drawn out meal experience.

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Did you do the Mad Max dune buggy tour in St. Kitts? If so, did you really go around the whole island on them, was it worth it, etc.?

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1 hour ago, colesc15 said:

 

That's the odd part. We've done my time dining every year and this was the first we weren't able to get the same waitor 

 

I'm thinking it might be ship-specific. On Liberty, we always got the same table/waiter even though we did not make a specific request and out dining times varied widely from 7:00 - 8:15. I guess that's past peak time? Same when we sailed on Anthem.

 

On Oasis-class ships (3 cruises) , always got a different table.  Chalk it up to volume.

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27 minutes ago, flcruising89 said:

Did you do the Mad Max dune buggy tour in St. Kitts? If so, did you really go around the whole island on them, was it worth it, etc.?

 

We did! It was a lot of fun. The thing I didn't care for was we didn't do a ton of off roading. Would I do it again? Probably not. 

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8 minutes ago, colesc15 said:

 

We did! It was a lot of fun. The thing I didn't care for was we didn't do a ton of off roading. Would I do it again? Probably not. 

Oh, good to know! The beach they took you to at the end, did you happen to snorkel and if you did was there much to see? I've heard St. Kitts isn't the best for snorkeling.

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2 hours ago, LMaxwell said:

If the service is poor, it's because you didn't understand that what everyone says here can't really be done onboard the ship and reservations mean nothing in my time dining.  

 

If the food is not up to standard, you just ordered the wrong food, probably chewed somewhat incorrectly too.  

 

😉

That's a new one. Food wasn't good because it wasn't chewed properly. 

I need educated in how to chew

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54 minutes ago, flcruising89 said:

Oh, good to know! The beach they took you to at the end, did you happen to snorkel and if you did was there much to see? I've heard St. Kitts isn't the best for snorkeling.

We didn't go in the water. You only get about an hour and the beach looked pretty crappy

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59 minutes ago, bigeck said:

That's a new one. Food wasn't good because it wasn't chewed properly. 

I need educated in how to chew

 

I would suggest you do get educated.  This cobra succumbed to improper chewing

 

 

cobras-comeram-demais05.jpg

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1 hour ago, bigeck said:

That's a new one. Food wasn't good because it wasn't chewed properly. 

I need educated in how to chew

I think you should start a thread asking that question which will no doubt morph into,"Do I have to wear my dentures in the MDR on formal night"?

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