Miami

Symphony of the Seas officially named at ceremony in Miami

In:
16Nov2018

Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas was officially named by the first-ever Godfamily, actors Alexa & Carlos PenaVega, with Son Ocean, at a ceremony in PortMiami on Thursday.

Symphony of the Seas becomes the 25th ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet as the PenaVega family were on hand to christen the ship and bestow a blessing of safekeeping over her crew and guests.

The naming ceremony was the largest in Royal Caribbean's history, with nearly 1,000 guests in attendance, which occured at Terminal A in PortMiami.

The customary event was infused with modern day elements – ranging from an electronic violinist who serenaded the crowd throughout the ceremony, to a stunning sail away performance by nearly 400 choreographed drones – and also incorporated a number of local Miami touches. Florida International University’s Marching Band kicked off the celebration, while students from Miami Southridge Senior High headlined the occasion on stage with a rousing drumline performance. Through Royal Caribbean’s partnership with the GRAMMY® Museum, Miami Southridge Senior High was one of 20 high schools within the Miami-Dade County Public School District that received a Royal Caribbean-funded grant through the GRAMMY Museum® Signature Schools program, which supports music education programs in underserved high schools.

Symphony of the Seas and Allure of the Seas will offer 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings from Terminal A in PortMiami. It is anticipated that Royal Caribbean will welcome at least 1.8 million guests at PortMiami, representing no less than 30 percent of the port’s projected traveler traffic. 

Holiday Inn Port Of Miami-Downtown Hotel Review

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Category: 
07Nov2018

The Holiday Inn Port Of Miami-Downtown is located just a mile and a half from PortMiami, making it an extremely convenient place to stay before or after a Royal Caribbean cruise.  This review features photos of the room & hotel, thoughts on the amenities, and our experience in staying here during our recent visit to the Miami area.

The primary rationale for picking this hotel is simply its location.  Being right on Biscayne Boulevard means you can practically see the cruise ships from the hotel's higher floors.  In fact, step outside the hotel in the afternoon and you are likely to hear a ship's horn as it conducts muster drill.  The proximity to PortMiami makes this Holiday Inn an appealing choice.

The hotel offers 200 rooms, including eight "Bayview" suites, and is located in the heart of Downtown Miami.  You can easily walk outside the hotel and check out various shops, hop on the Metro Mover (the city's monorail), or walk across the street to the Bayside Market.

In my opinion, being downtown is a double edged sword.  You are incredibly close to the cruise port, and there is lots around you to explore.  However, downtown Miami like so many major cities has its share of issues.  In the grand scheme of neighborhoods in and around Miami, downtown is not necessarily the most tourist-laden spots you will find.

Being a Holiday Inn hotel, walking into the lobby reminded me of so many other Holiday Inn hotels.  It features a lot of characteristic greens and other Holiday Inn decor. 

Anytime I walked past the Front Desk or had a need to stop by, there seemed to be little to no lines.

This location offers an outdoor pool, business center, complimentary health & fitness center, WiFi (free for IHG members, which is free to sign up for) and daily housekeeping.

I booked a King Suite Nonsmoking room for my stay.  It was located on the third floor at the end of the hallway. The rate for the first night was $179.55 and the second night was $231.83.  If you had booked a regular room, you can easily find rates closer to $110-$150 per night.

Upon walking into the room, it is indeed quite massive.

There is a very large living room, small kitchenette, sprawling bedroom, bathroom and closet.

The living room has plenty of space, and would be great for kids to sleep on the pull out couch.  I like the fact the living room and bedroom are separated by a set of doors.

The kitchenette is quite small, but functional.  There is a fridge, freezer, sink and microwave.  Perfect for storing and reheating food that you will likely get if you are staying a few nights.

The bedroom has a king size bed, along with a large desk area that was perfect for doing work.  

The bathroom seemed to have been more recently updated than the rest of the room.  Its lights were brighter, and the floor and tub appeared to have been replaced.

The room offered a lot of living space and was clean.  It is worth noting that there was an odd smell to the room, which I never complained about because within a few minutes I stopped noticing it.  But anytime I left the room and came back, I would note the smell.  If I had to describe the smell, I would probably peg it as a putrid, but I seemed to adjust quite quickly.  I also have no idea if any other rooms had this experience, but I figured I would note it.

I would also note that the room felt a bit old.  It was well maintained and certainly clean, but you can tell this is not a new construction hotel.  Some of the room walls had that look and feel of being repainted a few times. This is by far not a problem, but I know some people prefer newer hotels.

Overall, the Holiday Inn Port Of Miami-Downtown hotel fit the bill of what many look for in any pre- or post-cruise hotel, which is somewhere clean, safe and moderately priced. It is a very utilitarian spot to stay that will get you about as close as you can get to PortMiami.  

If you are just staying one night, I think this hotel is just fine for a place to rest and relax until you depart on your cruise. 

Your thoughts

Have you stayed at Holiday Inn Port Of Miami-Downtown? Are you a fan of it? What did you think of the suites? Is this a hotel you’d consider? Please share your thoughts or questions in the comments section below!

Royal Caribbean officially opens new Terminal A cruise terminal in Miami

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Category: 
02Nov2018

Royal Caribbean formally opened its new cruise terminal in PortMiami with a celebration event held inside Terminal A.

The event was headlined with speeches by Royal Caribbean's leadership, as well as Miami city and PortMiami officials.

Richard Fain, Chairman & CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. started off the day talking about what this new terminal means to the cruise line.

Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Commissioner Rebecca Sosa, Chairwoman for the Economic & Tourism Committee, both congratulated Royal Caribbean on the opening of this terminal, and declared today to be Royal Caribbean day in Miami.

Michael Bayley, President & CEO of Royal Caribbean International, also said a few words at the event.

The official opening saw Royal Caribbean's leadership, along with the Mayor of Miami and other city officials, activate the 56 foot tall gold propellors to welcome everyone into the terminal.

Terminal A is a brand new, state-of-the-art cruise terminal that was built to be the home of Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas and her sister, Allure of the Seas.  The building was designed by England-based global architecture firm Broadway Malyan. 

The names of Royal Caribbean ships appear on the staircase.

A fire department celebration of the special day.

Check-in and security screening area

Security screening area

The 170,000-square-foot terminal is nicknamed the ‘Crown of Miami’ because of its distinct shape.

Symphony of the Seas arrives to Terminal A on November 9, 2018.

First look inside Royal Caribbean's new cruise terminal in PortMiami

In:
Category: 
26Oct2018

The largest and most modern cruise facility in the world welcomed its first guests this morning as Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas docked at Terminal A in PortMiami earlier today.

Photo by James Van Fleet

Terminal A is a brand new, state-of-the-art cruise terminal that was built to be the home of Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas and her sister, Allure of the Seas.  The building was designed by England-based global architecture firm Broadway Malyan. 

As you come into the terminal, there are multiple escalators and stair cases in front of you with the large, golden propellor blades.

Photos by Frank Tift

The gold propellors weigh in at 15,000 lbs. and are 56 ft. tall.

Once at the top of the stairs, the general boarding area is to your right.

Photo by Frank Tift

Back at the bottom of the stairs, to the right is the entry to the suite/Pinnacle area.  An elevator takes you to the third floor, then you go through security before entering the Suite Lounge.

Photos by Frank Tift

As Mariner of the Seas arrived into port early this morning, Nancy Ritter shared these photos with us of the terminal beautifully lit up.

Photos by Nancy Ritter

In addition to housing two of the world’s largest ships, the new LEED certified facility, it has implemented new technologies and waiting areas to enhance the boarding experience of guests.

The 170,000-square-foot terminal is nicknamed the ‘Crown of Miami’ because of its distinct shape. The design evokes the points of the symbolic headgear when viewed from the water; the ‘M’ of Miami when viewed from the east or western approaches; and a sense of waves rising or ships passing when viewed from the terminal side. 

A grand opening ceremony is scheduled for November 2nd, 2018 that will formally open the the new terminal to the public. Symphony of the Seas arrives to Terminal A on November 9, 2018.

Mariner of the Seas to return to new PortMiami cruise terminal

In:
20Oct2018

Royal Caribbean has begun notifying guests sailing on upcoming Mariner of the Seas sailings that their cruise will make use of the brand new cruise terminal the cruise has built in PortMiami.

Terminal A is a brand new, state-of-the-art cruise terminal and the October 26, 2018 Mariner of the Seas sailing will make use of the port when she returns to Miami. The cruise will begin from Terminal G, but return to Terminal A.

Thanks to Nancy Ritter for sharing this screenshot.

The terminal will feature stunning architecture, a new boarding experience, and an impressive gold propellor that is 15,000 lbs. and 56 ft. tall. Terminal A was designed to accommodate the passengers of two of the world’s largest ships, the new Symphony of the Seas and her sister, Allure of the Seas. 

Guests sailing on other Mariner of the Seas sailings received emails informing them that they too will be cruising to and from the new terminal.

Thanks to Frank for providing this email

A grand opening ceremony is scheduled for November 2nd, 2018 that will formally open the the new terminal to the public.

Royal Caribbean cruise terminal in PortMiami photo report - October 14, 2018

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Category: 
15Oct2018

With just a few until Royal Caribbean opens its brand new cruise terminal in PortMiami, we have a look at the progress being made on Terminal A.

Royal Caribbean Blog readers Trina and Danny Martinez shared with us these photos of the new cruise terminal, which were taken as the cruise departed PortMiami yesterday.

A grand opening ceremony for Terminal A in PortMiami is scheduled for November 2, 2018.

Terminal A was designed to accommodate the passengers of two of the world’s largest ships, the new Symphony of the Seas and her sister, Allure of the Seas. In addition to housing two of the world’s largest ships, the new LEED certified facility, which will soon be the largest and most modern cruise facility in the world, has implemented new technologies and waiting areas to enhance the boarding experience of guests.

As a result of the new terminal, Royal Caribbean is expected to increase its passenger intake by 1.8 million annually. This will make PortMiami Royal Caribbean’s largest cruise port in the United States.

Gangways added to new Royal Caribbean cruise terminal in PortMiami

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Category: 
20Sep2018

Royal Caribbean's new cruise terminal in PortMiami is coming along in its progress, and it appears that the gangways have been installed and dredging has moved further east along the pier.

Thanks to Royal Caribbean Blog reader Twangster, we have these new photos to share of the progress being made, as seen earlier this week from Mariner of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean cruise terminal in PortMiami photo report - September 14, 2018

In:
Category: 
17Sep2018

We are just weeks away from the opening of Royal Caribbean's new cruise terminal in PortMiami, and here is another look at the exterior progress being made.

Cruise Life Rick snapped some photos of the work being done on what will be Terminal A at PortMiami, while sailing past it on Mariner of the Seas.

The new state-of-the-art terminal at PortMiami will be home to Allure of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas. Once completed in October 2018, Royal Caribbean will implement the best technologies to deliver a state-of-the-art guest experience.

Royal Caribbean cruise terminal in PortMiami photo report - Labor Day 2018

In:
Category: 
05Sep2018

Royal Caribbean is actively working to complete its brand new cruise terminal at PortMiami, which will be the new home for Symphony of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

Michael Poole took these photos from Mariner of the Seas, as the ship passed by for a Labor Day Weekend cruise.

The new cruise terminal will be Terminal A at PortMiami that is nicknamed the ‘Crown of Miami’ because of its distinct shape. The design evokes the points of the symbolic headgear when viewed from the water; the ‘M’ of Miami when viewed from the east or western approaches; and a sense of waves rising or ships passing when viewed from the terminal side. At night, the terminal’s facade will be lit ensuring that the building makes a striking impression and providing a dynamic addition to the PortMiami landscape.

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