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Symphony Review - WOW!

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7 hours ago, pepperandchips said:

Great recap posts! Your MDR food looks amazing - much more elevated in presentation than I remember. You’re getting me excited and I’m not even going on this class of ship 😂

Thanks.  We were very happy with the MDR on Symphony.  I think Royal has same/similar menu across all ships?

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Shows

The shows are one of the best things about the ship (well, that and the activities, and the food, and the service, and the decor and the....  lol).  They really are first class.  

Hairspray

This was our first scheduled show and was really looking forward to it.  My daughter and I are big theatre lovers.  We made sure to line up 1hr early to get a good seat.  Unfortunately they've recently added reserved seating so us little people in the standard rooms have no chance to get front row (whereas we could before), but we still were able to grab seats in 2 second row off to the side.  So still had an excellent view.

The show was done really well.  The cast was excellent and everyone played their roll well.  The set, music, production as a whole was excellent.  It really was first class run.

DD and I almost went a second time, but it didn't start until 9:30pm and we had an early morning excursion the next day so didn't end up going.

1977

It's one of the best ice shows I've seen on Royal.  Not just the skating and the 'story', but what they do with lighting and effects to make the ice come alive.  It's really impressive.  As they say, don't miss the beginning as they have neat affects. 

Hiro

Another impressive show.  I'd say compared with Allure, there is less diving, but overall the show was better.  The whole production was amazing and kept us engaged.  The dancing, costumes, little tricks, high wire walking, etc etc.  I love too how when you are watching, one minute they are "walking on water" and then next doing a high dive. You don't notice the water levels change at all.  Spectacular show.  This was DH's favorite.

Flight

This is their own production show and again, wow...done really well.  It's basically the history of flight from airplanes to the moon....but in reverse.  Some songs are recognized but not all.  We really loved this one.  For this one, don't miss the end.

My daughter loved the one so much we even went a second time later in the week on standby (which was no issue getting in as it's in the huge theatre, across 2 floors).  First time we sat about 8 rows back in centre.  Second time we sat front row on balcony so got a different perspective (a bit on side as centre is reserved for Crown and Anchor, I think).

Comedy Show

They have 2 comedians that offer an adult comedy show (reserved) and then a family friendly one (not reserved) on the last night

Adult - The comedians were quite funny.  I could relate to the first one as a married woman.  I liked the fact that the swearing wasn't over the top , and likewise with dirty jokes.  It's not that I mind it, but often not necessary and excessive amounts is just not my thing.

Family - Toned down comedy for kids.  Some jokes repeated but still quite enjoyed (and obviously first time our kids heard them).  My 13 year old was laughing outloud quite a bit.  My 9 year old was mostly quiet and you could tell she didn't get a lot of the jokes.  It was a great way to end the cruise and glad they included this show.

iSkate 2.0

This show isn't reserved but they have a second ice show.  It was well done, but more of a typical ice skating show.

I'm sneaking in a post at work again...so later tonight at home, I'll post some pictures.

Love & Marriage

This is the first cruise where we let our kids stay in the stateroom at night and then DH could enjoy some of the shows.  So DH and I went to the Love & Marriage show.  This is always a blast, especially depending on the couples selected and the cruise director (We had Simeon, who was upbeat and very funny).  Quite enjoyed.  I love too how the funniest couple is usually the oldest couple married.

Quest

Another show where we didn't bring our kids.  We just join a team and observe but very funny to watch.  DH noted that when he went on Mariner (a time when I stayed in the stateroom with our kids while DH went out), that it was much riskier on Mariner.  They seemed to tone it down on Symphony.  It was quite funny though and amusing to watch.

Schooner Bar

Not a show, but I'm mentioning this one since I love the music there.  We didn't stay long but would sometimes pick up a drink there on the way to the theatre/show, or would sit for a few minutes.  My favorite music place (I guess since I usually recognize the songs).

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Interesting about the trundle beds, we had a pullout couch on Anthem actually "fell" into a trundle; the carpenters came by within an hour and fixed whatever was wrong with the spring mechanism. We are much more likely to put 4 in a room with 2 teens that do NOT want to sleep together (only for a SHORT trip though) - some rooms have pullmans but not many. 

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2 minutes ago, Mrs. RoyalMoyal said:

Interesting about the trundle beds, we had a pullout couch on Anthem actually "fell" into a trundle; the carpenters came by within an hour and fixed whatever was wrong with the spring mechanism. We are much more likely to put 4 in a room with 2 teens that do NOT want to sleep together (only for a SHORT trip though) - some rooms have pullmans but not many. 

There seem to be very few pullmans on Symphony (and from what I remember, I think Anthem too...we have that booked next year).  Really loved that configuration on Allure with sofa bed + pullman.  But the sofa trundle works really well for putting 4 in a room, especially with with kids who are older or don't want to share.

You mean on Anthem it was a standard sofa bed?  I hope you weren't hurt.  Sounds like they fixed it quite quickly.

 

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Ports

We had 4 ports, 3 of which we got off and enjoyed.

Roatan

This was our first time visiting Roatan so we were excited.  We had pre-arranged a tour with another family who had kids same ages as our kids kids.  What was nice about this tour is that we could customize it for what we'd like to do.  It's run by husband and wife and we had the wife as our guide for the day.  She met us at the port and was lovely...so kind and warm.

As we drove to our first stop, a beautiful view from above, she told us all about the culture; the schooling, the different groups, the history, etc.  

Pictures of the ship and view from higher land

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Then we got to our first main destination; the monkey and sloth sanctuary.  Slots are the most calming peaceful animal I've seen and it was quite a treat to be able to hold (aka hug) them.  Look how cute!

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There was also an area where you could go in the cage with the monkeys.  They would climb around inspecting us and jumping from one person to the next (they particularly liked tall people).  After they inspected us, they'd clean themselves  It was quite funny.  Here's one grabbing a snack.

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There are other areas where you can go in with the parrots and macaw birds.  They'd either wrap their claws around our arms or stand on our heads as in my daugher's case.  

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Once done, we went to the chocolate factory.  They explained the process for making chocolate, gave us samples to try, and of course let us purchase their chocolate.  It's definitely not your ordinary cadbury chocolate.  And of course, the place smelled so lovely.

Last we went to West Bay Beach and wow, so beautiful.  The sand was soft, the water clear blue and there were soft but not rough waves.  Perfect beach.

It was nice as well as the tour guide watched our stuff and we were free to sit with her (where DH tended to stay as it was shaded) or head out to the beach with our belongings safe. Our kids played in the water, and snorkeled with face masks we brought.  They also had boats that would take you out if you wanted to do more serious snorkeling.

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It was a full day but excellent tour.

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Costa Maya

For Costa Maya, we had pre-booked the Aqua Adventure Park "excursion" from Royal.  Excursion is in quotes since it's really just a bus that drops you off and the rest is just your ticket.  What's nice though is that they have shuttles that run often to take you back to the ship when you are ready.

They offer different types of tickets; just the waterpark, just the zipline, waterpark + zipline, and waterpark + beach (don't remember if that includes zipline as well).  We figured that the waterpark would be enough so that's the ticket we purchased (great deal on Black Friday).

When you arrive, you check in and get a locker to store your belongings.  Then you're off.  DS and DH went to the grown up slides, which are quite crazy.  Apparently the green one on the right does a free fall; which my son didn't realize until he was on it.  Don't think he rode that one a second time.

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DS enjoyed but DH said they were rough and he banged up his arm a bit.  Not his thing.

DD and I went on the lazy river, which is quite peaceful and nice ... well, calm until you are forced to go under the waterfalls that they have at various spots...lol.  But it's fun.  I like too how they have animal sounds around like you are in the rainforest or jungle.

There is a more "normal" set of slides as well that both of our kids enjoyed.  The first time, my daughter didn't notice the huge bucket that fills up and drops water on you as you go up the stairs and oops...she got soaked.

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The place also has really nice pools (although they do have a bit of sand in them)1320872778_IMG_1851(Small).jpeg.da7184b63a44360039364f4bd13067dd.jpeg

As mentioned, we didn't sign up for the ziplines but they looked like fun.  You could see/hear some of them around the pool, lazy river and slides.  They have some that end up in water, and some that are normal and end on land.  It's nice that the park has all these different options.

There is no beach at the park, but they have shuttles that take you to one (not sure which one or where it is as we didn't purchase this).

We were warned that the food was pricey and not very good, so that morning at breakfast we took a few extra boxes of cereal and a couple bagels with us.  Thus, that was sufficient as "lunch" until we were done and returned to the ship.  

The park was a fun few hours.

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Cozumel

Our third stop was Cozumel.  We decided to go to Paradise Beach as it was 'pay as you go' and we weren't sure how long we'd be there.  There is a $3/person entry fee with the requirement of purchasing at least $10/person for food  .  They also have the aqua park if you'd like for $18/person and use of paddle boats, etc.  But we didn't bother as we knew we wouldn't be there all day.  

Also, I should mention that they recently added an All Inclusive option.  I forget the price but it includes food, and then the waterpark was $9 each (so not included but half price)

The park is nice though if anyone is interested.

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The only thing is that the water was so pure with soft sand at Roatan that our kids weren't as thrilled with this beach.  For myself, I could have stated as I love the waves coming at you and the feeling of sand in your feet.  But our kids preferred the pool, so we switched over to the pool area.  The pool is really nice though and large.  It's the same level throughout and not too deep, not too shallow.

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We had lunch by the pool which was ok (again, better at the Roatan beach), and then headed back to the ship.  

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Nassau

Nassau was our last stop (last day of the cruise).  Symphony is such a great ship that we didn't even get off.  (We had been there before).  We enjoyed an emptier ship that day.  It was great as our kids went on the slides with no line ups.  We also went on the zipline, Aybss and played Laser Tag.  

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Decor and Art Work

One thing that I love about Symphony is the art work and decor.  It's so fun exploring, and makes taking the stairs vs elevator that much more fun (except when you run into the stowaway piano player in the elevator).  Every staircase has a different piece of art.  We participated in an art scavenger hunt that was fun. 🙂

I've already posted the candy apple that is near Studio B and the big statue in the promenade.

Some stair photos

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our kids joining in with this one

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The space between the two elevators (going from ground to the top)

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And of course the Solarium at night

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There is also interactive art work that is really neat

  • sound art on the Boardwalk (big pink wig) and outside Schooner Bar
  • top of Windjammer has chef's drawing pictures (both within the art)
  • entrance to MDR level 5 capture you and puts you in the art
  • art that changes to another picture with the use of the xray vision on your phone

And not art, but need to mention as well about the musical stairs going up to the WIndjammer.  All very cool fun touches!

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22 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Loving the pics of the stair art from all the various Symphony blogs!  I will be taking the stairs for sure come July.

It's beautiful.  And there are 2 sets of stairs, 2 sides with everyone different (wall posted and far wall too).  Best ship for exploring!

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On 3/22/2019 at 7:39 PM, WannaCruise said:

Costa Maya

DD and I went on the lazy river, which is quite peaceful and nice ... well, calm until you are forced to go under the waterfalls that they have at various spots...lol.  But it's fun.  I like too how they have animal sounds around like you are in the rainforest or jungle.

 

 

I'm curious - how long is that lazy river? We're NUTS for lazy rivers, and have Costa Maya as one of our stops on an upcoming cruise.

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7 hours ago, SpeedNoodles said:

I'm curious - how long is that lazy river? We're NUTS for lazy rivers, and have Costa Maya as one of our stops on an upcoming cruise.

The lazy river is about 20 minutes long (they warn you beforehand).  It's really nice, and they try to make it as real as possible with the sounds and atmosphere.  You also can see the people going along the ziplines at times.  Again, you have to not mind getting wet as the mini falls are hard to avoid, but guess if youi're doing water activities, that shouldn't be a big deal.

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Yes! (BTW, I know you weren't on Oasis. I meant Oasis class! Oops!). 

A nice 10 night itinerary would be my sweet spot, but I'd do a B2B...where we probably still would not get to do everything! 

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16 minutes ago, SweetPea said:

Yes! (BTW, I know you weren't on Oasis. I meant Oasis class! Oops!). 

A nice 10 night itinerary would be my sweet spot, but I'd do a B2B...where we probably still would not get to do everything! 

Lol...knew what you meant.  The Oasis class are all similar with so much to do!  We've been on Allure and now Symphony and have Harmony booked for future.  

I agree...a 9 or 10 night would be perfect.  In reality I don't think I'd ever get DH to do a B2B on a full week cruise....He finds a 7 night enough for him...For our kids and myself...we definitely could have stayed longer (and my 9 year old was crying for days later saying that she wanted to go back on the ship).

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