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LuCruise

Symphony – Worth the 731 Day Wait!

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5 hours ago, perfect match said:

Thanks for your review, LuCruise! I followed the live reviews last week, and was disappointed when they ended. Now I feel like I’m back on the ship again -virtually - while waiting for our turn on Symphony. Each of the reviewers I have read have had their own unique perspective on Symphony, and I’m finding new things to add to my list of things to do or see on Symphony from each of you. 

 

Thanks for for taking the time to share with us. I plan to continue following along. 😎

Glad you are enjoying and we're helping.  I agree...although the same ship, different people can have totally different experiences.  Enjoy your cruise on Symphony.  Its an amazing ship!

 

image.gif.b367a6e0f91214f3a61877d042c68e13.gif

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Thank you for all the photos!

 

The animal in the raccoon family is a Coatimundi.

 

We're on Symphony in 60 days, and our son and his friend are in a Boardwalk balcony, we're in an ocean view balcony on deck 9.

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56 minutes ago, dreadpirate3 said:

Thank you for all the photos!

 

The animal in the raccoon family is a Coatimundi.

 

We're on Symphony in 60 days, and our son and his friend are in a Boardwalk balcony, we're in an ocean view balcony on deck 9.

Yes, they mentioned the raccoon family.  Thank you.  I couldn't remember the name.

 

Enjoy Symphony.  Not too far away for you.  Sounds like you got some great cabins as well.  😊

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Posted (edited)

Day 7 - Nassau (aka Sea Day)

 

Today the ship stopped in Nassau. We had been there before so we thought we'd take advantage of an emptier ship and make it a sea day. Luckily it was warmer today so we all put on our bathing suits so we could head to the pool area after breakfast.

 

The waterslides opened at 10am....or just the left hand waterslides.  The toilet bowl one opened at 12pm.  But that was ok as our kids just started with the regular Perfect Storm ones.  It was nice as they'd go up the stairs, come down, and then go right on up again.  Then repeat about 20 times.

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They took a break from the slides and we swam in the pool for a bit.  You could actually swim from one side to the other as there were only a few others in the pool (with same idea for us).

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It was nearing noon and the toilet bowl was opening up so our kids got in line and went down a few times.

 

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and down the toilet bowl 

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Edited by LuCruise

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Fantastic review and pics-thank you for the effort! We will be on the Allure next week stopping at all the same ports so seeing your review of a similar trip is definitely awesome! We are also planning on staying on ship in Nassau, West Bay Beach in Roatan and Parasise Beach in Cozumel so your review is particularly relevant.

 

Thanks again for the enjoyable read-looking forward to the remainder!

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47 minutes ago, Gatordad815 said:

Fantastic review and pics-thank you for the effort! We will be on the Allure next week stopping at all the same ports so seeing your review of a similar trip is definitely awesome! We are also planning on staying on ship in Nassau, West Bay Beach in Roatan and Parasise Beach in Cozumel so your review is particularly relevant.

 

Thanks again for the enjoyable read-looking forward to the remainder!

Hey Gatordad! I see you are taking another cruise, so your cruise last year must have been a success celiac-wise! (I didn’t go back on cruise critic after our sailing last year, so if you did a review I missed it.) We just did another cruise as well over February break on Adventure, and it was another 5 star gluten free success! Have fun on Allure! 

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10 hours ago, Gatordad815 said:

Fantastic review and pics-thank you for the effort! We will be on the Allure next week stopping at all the same ports so seeing your review of a similar trip is definitely awesome! We are also planning on staying on ship in Nassau, West Bay Beach in Roatan and Parasise Beach in Cozumel so your review is particularly relevant.

 

Thanks again for the enjoyable read-looking forward to the remainder!

Thanks so much, and my pleasure.  West Bay Beach is sooo beautiful, and we really enjoyed Paradise Beach too.  Pool is beautiful if you like to sit by the pool, and lots of beach chairs near the ocean which is peaceful too.  Enjoy your cruise!

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On 3/19/2019 at 8:10 PM, LuCruise said:

One of the pools

IMG_1961 (Small).jpeg

 

And the kid's area

1724090208_DSC01358(Small).jpeg.71edb3fc470904d28274bb10eea38509.jpeg

 

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HOLY COW!! When were these pics taken??? 6am?? Look at all those empty chairs .... and NO TOWELS RESERVING THEM!!!

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Posted (edited)

Day 7 (continued) - Nassau/Sea Day

 

Our tummies were starting to growl as we hadn't eaten for 2.5 hrs (lol) so we went for our last lunch.  We hadn't used our free Johnny Rockets meal, but it would be such a heavy meal that we decided to skip it.  Plus we had yet to try El Loco Fresh so we stuck with a simpler lunch.  DS didn't like anything at El Loco Fresh, but luckily the Windjammer was next door.  It was our first time there for lunch all week so was nice to see what they offered.  I was never thrilled with the lunch offerings on other ships (more because I'm a sandwich or salad person for lunch and most items were hot and meat items).  But there was quite a good selection on Symphony.  DS grabbed a bunch of items (aka pizza and more pizza) and was good...and I took a few sides.

 

DH, DD and I got our meal from El Loco Fresh.  I had the simple cheese quesadilla, but it was one of the best quesadilla that I've had.  They had a few burritos options but they were meat only so I skipped those. They also offered nachos and make your own tacos.  And they had some mini desserts which included a really yummy chocolate dulce de leche. (Our kids weren't a fan so they ended up getting frozen yogurt which was right in the area as well).  We were lucky as we were able to grab a perfect seat with a beautiful view of Nassau.

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After lunch, we decided it was enough wet stuff, and so we returned to the stateroom and changed into our Abyss/Zipline/Rock Wall/Laser Tag wardrobe (i.e. closed shoes, tshirts, socks, etc).  Then we headed out and went on those for awhile once they opened (again, no issue getting on Laser Tag via standby). 

 

I think our kids as well had their 'I'm a big kid now" time and explored for a bit without us...and then met us back in the stateroom to get ready for dinner.  

 

For our last dinner in the MDR (such a sad feeling knowing we wouldn't be there the next night), I had the garlic shrimp which was quite good.

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DH has the pasta

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DS had the chicken fingers

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And DD must have had a repeated item as no picture.

 

Dessert time!  Royal Chocolate cake

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And warm donuts DS was waiting for all week

636474559_IMG_1988(Small).jpeg.0106ef26eff22e0744c9e63a51e689bd.jpeg

 

Edited by LuCruise

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On 3/23/2019 at 6:15 AM, bobmacliberty said:

Great review so far.  Our kids are now 23 and 21, so I'm about 10-12 years ahead of you.  I had forgotten about picky eaters and 9 year old logic. Made for interesting challenges when on vacation.  My daughters now eat (and drink) almost anything, which makes for a very different vacation experience.  They grow up fast.  Looking forward to the rest of your review.

Funny, my boys started cruising when they were 3 and 9. When we went on cruises, we had them try foods that they would never, ever order nor try. Fish, escargot, frog legs, alligator, etc. Because of this, my kids have always tasted and loved ALL kinds of foods. They are now 20 and 26 and still enjoy cruising and eating, lol! I also tell my newbie cruise friends to widen out and try new stuff that they would never order in a restaurant while they are cruising, you never know what you might like!

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1 hour ago, ramja96 said:

 

HOLY COW!! When were these pics taken??? 6am?? Look at all those empty chairs .... and NO TOWELS RESERVING THEM!!!

The pool was our Nassau day (i.e. sea day).  Swimming that day was excellent.

 

For the kids splash area, I cheated a bit and those were actually taken on day..so not many had arrived yet. 😊 

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21 minutes ago, klfhngr said:

Funny, my boys started cruising when they were 3 and 9. When we went on cruises, we had them try foods that they would never, ever order nor try. Fish, escargot, frog legs, alligator, etc. Because of this, my kids have always tasted and loved ALL kinds of foods. They are now 20 and 26 and still enjoy cruising and eating, lol! I also tell my newbie cruise friends to widen out and try new stuff that they would never order in a restaurant while they are cruising, you never know what you might like!

It's a great opportunity to new things...wow, and the things they tried. 😁  Great that they now have such diverse tastes now.  Our kids are quite picky but they did try a few new things they wouldn't have otherwise tried.

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Day 7 (continued) - Nassua/Sea Day

 

After dinner included one of the best times on the ship for our kids followed by one of the worst times on the ship.  First the best....we had promised them that they we'd take them to Sugar Beach to select come candy for home.  This place is quite colorful and impressive and much larger than the same store on Independence.  

 

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They each selected their loot.  So hard to narrow it down. 

 

Then it as the worst time....time to return to our stateroom to pack up.  Boo!  Unless you are doing self disembark, the packing job is always tough.  You need to leave stuff out for bedtime and morning, but need to pack as much as you can (as you are carrying it in your carry on otherwise). But we managed and it didn't take us as I thought it would.  DH places our luggage outside out stateroom for pick up.

 

That night was the family friendly comedy show in the main theatre.  Our son was really look forward to this as he loves comedy. It was the same two comedians as the adult comedy but obviously their act was tailed to the appropriate audience. A couple of their jokes repeated from the adult comedy (not the swearing part), but also had new stuff too. They were both quite enjoyable as my son laughed outloud quite a bit.  Most of the jokes went over my daughter's head.

 

After the show, our kids returned to the stateroom (they had all you can watch tv from the 80s and 90s so they were happy) and DH and I went to the casino for the free slot pull (which turned into a raffle as the machines were apparently broken).  But before heading there, I wanted to see the Solaruim at night.  SO beautiful!

 

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After coming out of the raffle empty handed, we returned to our staterooms to call it a night.

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5 hours ago, klfhngr said:

Funny, my boys started cruising when they were 3 and 9. When we went on cruises, we had them try foods that they would never, ever order nor try. Fish, escargot, frog legs, alligator, etc. Because of this, my kids have always tasted and loved ALL kinds of foods. They are now 20 and 26 and still enjoy cruising and eating, lol! I also tell my newbie cruise friends to widen out and try new stuff that they would never order in a restaurant while they are cruising, you never know what you might like!

 

My older daughter was never a picky eater.  She ordered escargot on our very first cruise (Disney).  She would get the strangest sounding sushi at a sushi restaurant...so much so that the waiter would usually ask us if he should really bring it.  I could never tell if she really liked it or was just trying to be "grown up".  And she would never admit if she didn't like it. 🙂  She will still try anything.  My younger daughter however was always chicken fingers and buttered pasta.

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2 hours ago, bobmacliberty said:

 

My older daughter was never a picky eater.  She ordered escargot on our very first cruise (Disney).  She would get the strangest sounding sushi at a sushi restaurant...so much so that the waiter would usually ask us if he should really bring it.  I could never tell if she really liked it or was just trying to be "grown up".  And she would never admit if she didn't like it. 🙂  She will still try anything.  My younger daughter however was always chicken fingers and buttered pasta.

That's very cute...and great she's so open to trying things!

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Day 8 - And then it was Over

 

It seemed like we just got on the ship, but this was the day we were sadly kicked off.  We set our alarms early, got dressed, packed up our last belongings in our carry ons, and went down to the Windjammer for our final breakfast.  And yep…it was packed….but we still managed to grab a table.  We filled our plates like it was really our last meals (and grabbed a couple extra froot loops for the road).  It’s funny as our kids just took extra boxes as they know the drill.

 

After breakfast we returned to our stateroom.  We had a “late” luggage tag of 9pm.  This was actually the first time I’ve seen it where you get to pick your time.  (DH had selected it on the TV on day 1).  DH and DS went back to the stateroom and DD and I walked the halls.  A lot of people had already left and so the rooms were wide open.  It was fun seeing all the other rooms and of course, compare them to yours (even though a lots were identical or the mirror image). 

 

We went down to the MDR for our spot to wait at 8:45am, but they told us to just head off.  The rest of diembarkment was smooth and quite quick and before we knew it, we were lining up for a taxi.  Boo!

 

At least it wasn’t a full kick in the stomach as we were staying in Miami for another day.  So we asked the taxi to take us to our hotel Hampton Inn Brickell.  Our kids wanted to swim right away (even though we didn’t even have our room yet) so we found their bathing suits in our luggage, they changed and spent some time in the pool.  For the afternoon, we took the Metromover (what a wonderful thing the city has) to Bayside market.  It was a nice way to end our cruise.

 

Flight home was bright and early at 8:15am.  We were back home around 11:30am.  Then the fun…unpacking, multiple loads of laundry (I think I did 4 loads over the next two days), huge mess….and then, so it’s not so depressing, time to think about our next cruise.

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Posted (edited)

Final Thoughts

 

What can I say?  Symphony is one impressive ship!  The activities are incredible from waterslides to dry slides to zipline to laser tag to rock wall to flowrider to mini golf (latter two we didn't even get to) to the first class shows to the food selection to the service to the decor and art work, etc etc etc.

 

Even back from my very first cruise in 1997 on the Grandeur, the one thing that stood out with Royal is the decor.  Everything is so classy and pretty and they really pay attention to detail.  Symphony is just beautiful (think I used the word quite a few times in my report) and has that wow!  The art work is so original...every staircase has something different, the large statue in Promenade, the lobby elevator crystals, etc.  I love too how you can just explore, or look for things.  Some of the fun stuff to look out for:

  • sound art on the Boardwalk (big pink wig) and outside Schooner Bar
  • the drawing chefs at the top of the Windjammer
  • the painting at the entrance to MDR level 5.  Stand infront of it and you end up in the painting
  • art that changes to another picture with the use of the xray vision on your phone
  • stowaway piano man

Comparing to past cruises, DS, DD and I have a new favorite ship.  All of our cruises have been special and amazing, but Symphony rates #1.  But DH's favorite is Mariner as it's not too big, not too small but just right (feel like I'm reciting Goldilocks and the Three Bears).  To date, I rate them:

  1. Symphony
  2. Allure
  3. Independence
  4. Mariner
  5. Voyager
  6. Grandeur

If it works out, we try and book different ships to try them out.  Next up is the amped up Navigator, which looks amazing.  Also looking forward to trying Anthem, which I'm guessing has the Royal feel but is completely different.  And we have a few others on the go that are booked. Think we're officially addicted to cruising...lol. 

 

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Edited by LuCruise

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Assuming you meant 9am late luggage. So if you have a late flight you don't have to leave your room till 9? That would be fantastic.

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3 minutes ago, tradercj said:

Assuming you meant 9am late luggage. So if you have a late flight you don't have to leave your room till 9? That would be fantastic.

Lol...oops....yes meant 9am, although 9pm would have been nice and late.  😁 (Too late to edit post but thanks for pointing out)

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Great review.   Thanks.   Going to make our July cruise on Symphony even better.

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11 hours ago, zdad59 said:

Great review.   Thanks.   Going to make our July cruise on Symphony even better.

Thanks so much.  Happy to hear it helped.  The ship is amazing!

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On 3/21/2019 at 7:44 PM, LuCruise said:

Day 4 - Costa Maya

 

The Aqua Adventure Park in Costa Maya looked like a fun day for our kids so we booked the "excursion" through Royal (back when they had Black Friday deals).  You can sign up for just the waterpark, just the zipline, or both, or park and beach.  The waterpark looked quite extensive and large so we signed up for the waterpark only.

 

They have a bus that takes you to the park, which is about a 2 minute drive.  Nice and close.  Once there, you can rent a locker to store your belongings and then start the fun.  There are some slides that are huge (and crazy) and then normal slides.  The place also has a great lazy river.  I'd say it's quite relaxing as they have animal noises and it's peaceful...except that there are areas where you will go under a waterfall...so guess that part isn't relaxing.  But it's fun.  The park also has a few different pools.  They are a bit sandy, but quite pretty otherwise.  It's nice as well as some of the ziplines are around the waterpark so you will see people zipping by. 

 

For food, I was warned that it was expensive and not even that good, so we had a big breakfast before we left and just brought a few snacks (aka cereal from the Solarium buffet).

 

Picture of the big slides.  DS enjoyed them (although he said that he didn't realize that the green one on the right had a huge drop....until he did was on it and did the free fall).  DH said some were rough though and he got banged up.  He wasn't a fan.

 

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The tube waterslides

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"Normal" sized slides with a big bucket that drops lots of water on you if you time it incorrectly

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One of the pools

 

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The excursion is listed as 3 hours, but you can return on the shuttle at any time (but before the ship leaves of course).  It was a fun day.  I think in the end we spent around 3.5-4 hours before returning.

 

And a nice photo of the ship upon our return

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Do you have an option of 'adding' the zipline once there?  Once in the park, how do they know you only purchased the water park vs the combined option?

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On 3/17/2019 at 9:08 PM, LuCruise said:

Our Room

 

We booked a Boardwalk Balcony room on the 10th floor.  This seemed like a perfect deck as it's not too high, and not too low.  I had always wanted to try this type of stateroom and this was a great opportunity.  I had debated on booking a room far aft (since booking on opening day, I had selection), but was a bit concerned about noise so went mid way at 10307.

 

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The room had the full bed as usual and then a "double sofa" bed.  It looks like the picture above when you first enter the stateroom.  For anyone interested, the sofa bed is not actually a double sofa bed, but it turns into a flat sofa with another mattress that pulls out from underneath.  

 

This configuration actually worked great for our two kids as they each got their own mattress and sheets.  Much better than sharing a sofa bed.

IMG_1670 (Small).jpeg

 

In the day, our cabin steward put the beds back to the configuration below.  This gave us some floor space back, but yet probably made it easier for her to put the two beds back each evening (plus gave us cupboard space as the sheets and comforter took up important and limited space for shoes!).

 

IMG_1706 (Small).jpeg

Did you have any issues with noise at all having this boardwalk balcony?

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On 8/26/2019 at 1:39 PM, spangnash said:

Do you have an option of 'adding' the zipline once there?  Once in the park, how do they know you only purchased the water park vs the combined option?

Hello.  I'm pretty sure the wristbands were a different color.  Not sure how it works but imagine you can add on zipline, for example, once there if you change your mind and want to try it too. They did look like a lot if fun (the couple that we saw that neared the waterpark).

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