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Symphony 4/13 Live-ish review

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El Fresh was so busy when we were on board that we never got there. Next time. 


Yes - there was one day we went and the line was 50 people deep! We were not that hungry!


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26 minutes ago, A&L_Ont said:

El Fresh was so busy when we were on board that we never got there. Next time. 

 

It was sometimes busy when we passed by, but the biggest hurdle for us was the authentic Mexican food we had at Maya Chan.  We were on the March 9 sailing and still haven’t eaten Mexican food because nothing will come close to what we had that day.

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5:55pm on Day 7...no line at Guest Services...that sorta surprised me?

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It was sometimes busy when we passed by, but the biggest hurdle for us was the authentic Mexican food we had at Maya Chan.  We were on the March 9 sailing and still haven’t eaten Mexican food because nothing will come close to what we had that day.


I admit - I don’t consider real Mexican and Tex-Mex to be the same thing...this helps me not compare them too close!


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Dinner tonight at the MDR was not my favorite menu...but the food My daughter and I had was very good!

I started with the French Onion Soup And she had the fruit plate - no photos of either but they were great. One observation - switched from red grapes to green grapes today!

For entree - I had the Garlic Tiger Prawns and she had the Roasted Chicken..

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For dessert - we shared the Banana Split from the kids menu and it was delish (really - the strawberry ice cream is soooooo good).

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They also brought me some of the beignets ...not a big fan (and I LOVE doughy things!)...get the banana split or the brownie sundae or the apple pie instead!!

Of course tonight is the night that we get instructions on the survey - no one said ‘10’ but they explained who would get the survey and exactly what it applies to (only dinner service and it’s really focused towards your waiter).

Our wait staff was really good and we would be thrilled to have them on another cruise sometime - Section head Lorena, Waiter Michael from Jamaica and Arismendy from Dominican Republic.


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There have been other posts asking about Easter activities and I wanted to share this before I forget (who am I kidding - I am just procrastinating on the packing!).

Today on the boardwalk there were Easter Activities from 3:30-5:00..we snapped this photo as we walked by en route to Aqua Nation

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They also had a catholic mass at 8am and Non-Denominational mass at 9am today.

As it’s Passover - there was also a Seder planned for one side of the wind jammer (multiple announcements were made to let folks know about this over the week).

Lastly - it was stated in announcements that Good Friday in Bahamas meant that there were many local stores closed. But - the preferred stores that are associated with /contracted with the cruise line would all be open today.


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All aboard was at 3:30...but it’s 3:53 and they just listed 15 names to report to guest services ...unfortunately I don’t have a pier runner view!


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At 4:15 they were still calling for 2 names...and we finally pulled away around 4:40 I think...wouldn’t be surprised if someone was left behind!

When we looked outside around 7:30 it felt like we were really hauling a$$..hard to say if that’s just how it ‘felt’ or if the captains as trying to make up for leaving late and coming to a near stop for 2 aqua shows!! Oh - and there was a shipwide Alpha Alpha Alpha call at 5:24 for the dining room / deck 5 .. so who knows if that’s another reason to be going fast (or maybe we aren’t going fast and it just feels that way?!) ...

On a side note - the Alpha call was during the aqua show and of course stopped the music completely. The performers did a great job of trying to keep the timing of their show going without sound and picked it back up again when the announcement stopped!


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11 hours ago, ZoeyVictoria said:

 

It was sometimes busy when we passed by, but the biggest hurdle for us was the authentic Mexican food we had at Maya Chan.  We were on the March 9 sailing and still haven’t eaten Mexican food because nothing will come close to what we had that day.

 

Headed there in early October for the first time. Other than the sea grass I think we will enjoy it. 

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1 hour ago, A&L_Ont said:

 

Headed there in early October for the first time. Other than the sea grass I think we will enjoy it. 

 

I normally spend the majority of my time in the water.  The sea grass was not bad the day we were there, but even on a good day, the water is never the typical Caribbean blue water.  I did not go into the water that day, but surprisingly did not miss it.  Somehow it is so peaceful there that I was perfectly content to do other things.

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14 hours ago, Cel_cruise said:

 


At 4:15 they were still calling for 2 names...and we finally pulled away around 4:40 I think...wouldn’t be surprised if someone was left behind!

When we looked outside around 7:30 it felt like we were really hauling a$$..hard to say if that’s just how it ‘felt’ or if the captains as trying to make up for leaving late and coming to a near stop for 2 aqua shows!! Oh - and there was a shipwide Alpha Alpha Alpha call at 5:24 for the dining room / deck 5 .. so who knows if that’s another reason to be going fast (or maybe we aren’t going fast and it just feels that way?!) ...

On a side note - the Alpha call was during the aqua show and of course stopped the music completely. The performers did a great job of trying to keep the timing of their show going without sound and picked it back up again when the announcement stopped!


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The alpha call was for a woman that passed out completely right at the dining room entrance.  The medical staff was trying to get a pulse and revive her when they closed off the dining room as we were trying to go in.  Dinner in level 5 was delayed because of it.  I don’t know what happened but I hope she was ok.

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19 hours ago, Cel_cruise said:

All aboard was at 3:30...but it’s 3:53 and they just listed 15 names to report to guest services ...unfortunately I don’t have a pier runner view!


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We had a pier runner view and there was nothing to see.  All the late people just walked on and didn’t see anyone left behind.   I think they may have been though because no one got on after names were called.  You really don’t hear announcements in the room though so maybe they were already on.  This was the most running I saw from a late person.

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We had a pier runner view and there was nothing to see.  All the late people just walked on and didn’t see anyone left behind.   I think they may have been though because no one got on after names were called.  You really don’t hear announcements in the room though so maybe they were already on.  This was the most running I saw from a late person.


Thanks for sharing!! I heard 3 sets of announcements on board - for their sake - I hope they did make it back! It seemed like a large group of them to start - maybe an entire tour that didn’t know the ship time changed or something...

Can we talk about the lack of ability to hear announcements in the room?? Why-oh-why was there not a speaker that we could have option to turn on?

It was a pain to run to the door and open it to hear them from the hallway - and who knows which ones we missed all together!



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5 hours ago, Cel_cruise said:

 


Thanks for sharing!! I heard 3 sets of announcements on board - for their sake - I hope they did make it back! It seemed like a large group of them to start - maybe an entire tour that didn’t know the ship time changed or something...

Can we talk about the lack of ability to hear announcements in the room?? Why-oh-why was there not a speaker that we could have option to turn on?

It was a pain to run to the door and open it to hear them from the hallway - and who knows which ones we missed all together!



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I agree to a certain extant.  I can't remember which cruise line perhaps Holland America they had this available.

 

Ideally the only announcements going inside the cabin would be bridge type announcements.  While the "sales" announcements would just go to the public areas and hallways.

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I agree to a certain extant.  I can't remember which cruise line perhaps Holland America they had this available.
 
Ideally the only announcements going inside the cabin would be bridge type announcements.  While the "sales" announcements would just go to the public areas and hallways.


On Liberty we had the option to have volume in our rooms or not.

We didn’t have many announcements on Symphony this week that I noticed. I think CD Mike made two or so each day plus the cancelation Of Aquanation and would list off the activities coming up. We didn’t have the annoying ‘Bingo Bingo Bingo’ announcements at all!


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3 hours ago, Cel_cruise said:

 


On Liberty we had the option to have volume in our rooms or not. 

 

Yes, were in a suite on our next to last Liberty cruise and we did not get announcements in our room.  We did,  however, get them in the (large) bathroom, and they kind of echoed.  It was somewhat startling at particularly personal moments!

 

Pat


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21 hours ago, Cel_cruise said:

Can we talk about the lack of ability to hear announcements in the room?? Why-oh-why was there not a speaker that we could have option to turn on?

 

This (the lack of in-cabin speaker) has been the case on every Royal Caribbean ship I've been on, as I recall. it's very frustrating. By the time you realize there's an announcement and get the door open so you can hear it, you've missed half of it.

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7 minutes ago, alevyinroc said:

 

This (the lack of in-cabin speaker) has been the case on every Royal Caribbean ship I've been on, as I recall. 

Every cabin has a speaker and if the staff wants you to hear an announcement they can do it - they are being considerate by only making the announcement in the public spaces. 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

Every cabin has a speaker and if the staff wants you to hear an announcement they can do it - they are being considerate by only making the announcement in the public spaces. 

 

On Oasis Class, over 25 sailings, we have only ever heard one announcement in our cabin.  The ship was looking for a female guest at 2:30 in the morning. It was one announcement and done. 

Edited by A&L_Ont

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We are finally back ‘home’...in quotes because we are already in route from MA to CT for Easter and to get my son!

Hopefully I can get a few more thoughts in here before we arrive! But these will probably be somewhat scattered!!




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On Day 6, we got our Key debarkation paperwork. I don’t have a photo handy but will try to add it later when I copy this to The Key thread.

The letter said breakfast was on deck 4 until 9am (this is later than main dining) and we had our Key Luggage tags. The letter states that they will take groups from the dining room off the ship in groups at half hour increments.

On Saturday we were all ready and headed down to breakfast around 8:25am.
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The staff couldn’t get us a table for 8, so they split us as 6 and 2. Immediately behind us another group of 8 showed up! The poor guy! But they found them seating that worked as well!

Breakfast was excellent - but it did take almost a full hour and our orders weren’t exactly correct but it all got sorted out.

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What’s not shown in this photo is that it came up with a cup of REAL Whipped Cream!! Sooo good! They also brought a full plate of excellent crispy bacon for the table to share! A+ on perfectly crispy bacon this entire week!

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They forgot the fruit for my daughters pancakes but she got a cup of the REAL whipped cream from someone else at the table and was happy enough!

I was able to get decaf coffee with soy milk although it did take a little while.

At 9:30 we met the group to disembark. Important note: the bathrooms at Deck 4 were closed for cleaning at this time!!
Plan accordingly!! (They were open around 9am when one of us used them)

The escort brought the group up down the elevator from 4 to 5 (well - some of us walked up since we didn’t all fit in a single elevator!), and then they kept the group together as we signed out on the promenade. There were still a fair amount of people lingering on board even though all groups had been called. From there we traversed the walkways and down the elevator to get to our luggage which was conveniently right there!

From there they took us to the right hand side of the line to sign out. My daughter and I have US Passports so it was a super easy process to just do the facial recognition and out we went!

FYI - The bathrooms are outside the terminal street side - and they were GROSS. There was someone trying to clean them and she even went to get help! Of the 6 bathroom stalls-
Only 1 was truly clean! A second one my friend cleaned with paper towels enough that folks were willing to use it. The others were NOT okay.


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Now - after we were outside, used the rest rooms, and said farewell to our friends- it was time to call for Uber...

Multiple attempts kept failing...with alerts like this...(and no - my phone was not in airplane mode!)

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I think that this is some combination of the volume of people, the huge building we were in, and uber being a little overloaded!

We eventually got connected with Uber and got a price confirmed for Uber XL -4 person but it fell thru a minute later. Then requested again - took a few minutes to connect us with a driver. Then our driver was stuck in traffic for a while. The sea of people and luggage trying to get a ride share could be daunting if you are not prepared for it! We called our driver just to make sure we had a good meet up spot. We got ourselves to a curb side location at station 9 and around 10:15 he made it around to get us! Once in the car it was a quick 35 min ride to FLL.

I was NOT prepared for FLL. We got inside to get boarding passes and drop off luggage. Our flight was at 1pm.

No trouble getting our boarding passes printed - then we went to the bag drop off line. Delta was a MESS! The regular snaking Lane was overflowing and they had someone at the end of it checking your boarding times. If you had a flight more than 1 hour away - you had to go to the holding line across the way! What?!?! Yup - not going to be allowed into the line until our flight was closer!

So - at 11am we got in the auxiliary Line. We started almost all the way back by the newsstand. We noticed that they were calling folks out of line once their flight was an hour away - so at least we weren’t worried about missing the plane as long as security was manageable.

At 11:35, I took these photos...we had not moved very far!!
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I didn’t do a good job on the photo behind me as this line actually turns towards the right and goes past the bathrooms there too..

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At one point I was ready to volunteer my services to Delta to help them take everyone’s bags! If they checked ID and printed the tags - I would have put the stickers on and tossed them to the conveyer belt. The guy in front of me split his family up and they were trying the porter line outside. They waited in the porter line for almost an hour but eventually joined us a few moments before they called us out of line at noon!

Eventually at exactly noon they started calling folks from our flight out of line so we ran up to the line and got rid of our bags. When we were finally able to meet an agent - Our time interacting with an agent was done in about 2 minutes! The person next to me was pretty irate about the situation and asked and the agent said that due to the delays plus it being ‘cruise day’...umm - it’s cruise day both weekend days at FLL - surely they could have an extra agent or two helping out these days??

It was 12:25 when we were done with luggage and security and bathrooms..as we were in line to grab some chips they told us that our flight was delayed to 1:15...eventually it kept getting delayed until 2:15...the plane was there but could not get to the gate as the departure before us was delayed.

It wasnt very bumpy but we did have some bonus circles around Albany before we were able to get into the Logan landing pattern! Eventually touching down at 5:28!

Bottom Line - be patient with Uber if you have a later departure that overlaps with folks arriving at the port as well and plan accordingly if you are flying out of FLL!



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Looks like you had another amazing day on board!!. 

 

Love the empty pool deck and those scrunchies are so cute.  I ended up buying 3 LOL You should get commission 😁

Im looking forward to trying El Fresh.

We've had Sabor on other ships and it was very good.  But that view with the rocking chairs looks like a nice place to sit and relax.  Perhaps with a taco 😋

 Sorry your debarkation was so rough. That line is craaazzzzyy!!

Glad you're home safe and sound

Thanks again for an awesome review

 

Liz💐

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Things we loved

We loved all the shows (Hair Spray was my fav), the pool contests (sexy man, belly flop), line dancing at boleros, and the adult games we went to.  I loved that they took pictures at night around dinner and that there were so many backgrounds and photographers.  I loved that some of them had little steps my daughter could stand on.  I loved all the frozen drinks had alcoholic and non alcoholic.  Even the bionic bar had non alcohol drinks my daughter could try.

 

We loved all the games at On Air every night.  We played Majority rules, Rock the Room, several music ones and we even sang family karaoke, although they need more Toby Keith songs to choose from.  We sang Courtesy of the Red White and Blue (probably not as appropriate on an international cruise as say How Do You Like Me Now or Red Solo Cup would have been).  We had a blast at the selfie scavenger hunt.  We loved all the parties on the promenade.

 

ADventure Ocean info

On Sea days the sessions are 9-12, 5-7, and 7-10.  There is also a 10-2 session but you pay $7 an hour for that.  Your kid can go in with a diff age group but once they switch they have to stay in the new group.  My daughter was in the 6-8 group but she made friends with a 9 year old and so she wanted to move groups.  They let her try the 9-11 group (with a trial pass) to be with her friend, but told her after that session she had to decide which group.  She was almost in tears when I picked her up and said she wanted to stay with 6-8.

 

I really wish they had a 12-2 session.  RC scheduled adult only things during the 12-2 session that my husband and I would have gone too if we could have left her at AO.  For example, Martini seminar, Next Cruise presentation, adult scrapbooking, and slot tournaments were all around 1pm.  Hello RC???? You would have gotten more money from me if I could have put my kid somewhere!!!  Another scheduling oversight was the Easter Festival stuff.  Why would they put that at 5:15?  Most parents with young kids probably have 5:30 dinner.  Put the Easter stuff from 12-2 on a sea day and put the adult stuff when AO is avail..  

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