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Skid

Symphony Live(ish) coming up 5/18 to 5/25

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I was going to wait until single digit time to post this, but woke up today in the "can't stop thinking about the cruise" mode. Sailing on Symphony in 16 days with my wife, her sister and sister's best friend from childhood. First time on Oasis class for all of us. We have all been on Voyager and Quantum classes before.  Wife and I bought The Key when it was $19.99 and the refreshment plan when it was $17.00  They did not get either BUT, they are Diamond (we are only Platinum) so they'll get their happy hours, boarding privileges and whatever other perks . They have MTD and we have traditional early seating. However, we bought the BOGO dining and we'll have on board credit that we will most likely use for other specialty restaurants. It should be interesting to see how much time we actually get to spend together but am sure it will all work out well. I am dying to try out Wonderland that we did not do when we were on Anthem. Told DW that I don't care if one or both of us even like the food. I want the experience and if need be, we can go to Windjammer afterwards.

We used miles for our flights and the way it worked out we will be flying into Miami (the day before) and flying back from Fort Lauderdale. SIL and friend are flying in same day (I begged them not to but to no avail) so I obviously hope it all goes smoothly.

Itinerary - The ship was our destination for this cruise!

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We have been to St Kitts twice---We enjoy it there but will probably stay on board that day to get more "explore the ship" time. Travel companions will be doing the Thenford Grey Grand Tour of St Kitts that we HIGHLY recommended to them. He owns the family business and is the best tour guide we ever had. Even if one of his relatives happens to conduct the tour instead of him personally, it will still be great.

We have been to St. Thomas also BUT one of my bucket list items is to see St John so we booked the Trunk Bay excursion through Royal. More expensive than going ourselves, but between transportation and ferries, we are much more comfortable knowing that the ship will (hopefully) wait for us in case of any delay getting back.

We got a beach bungalow in CocoCay. Not sure if it's still in South Beach area since they may still be working there, but we are sure it will be great wherever it is. Actually, I am not even sure if Symphony is docking there or still tendering. Other ships are definitely docking there, but last I heard, the dock was still too short for Symphony but may be working anyway. We'll know soon enough!

I was hoping to have Abe Hughes as CD (best we ever had), but, as I am sure you know, he is now at the home office instead of CDing (is that a word?) to not be away from his new child so much. Great move for him, a loss for us. I know @Lovetocruise2002 is interested in hearing about CD Mike Szwajkowski prior to her July cruise, so I will post my thoughts. Generally speaking, I feel that a really good CD can enhance a cruising experience, but I'd never let a not so good one ruin it---hey, we're on a cruise---fun time either way! 

The only devices with us will be cell phones and I hate typing on that.  I will NOT blog with any of the frequency or flair of @Lovetocruise2002, @twangster , @JLMoran , @hayley_bopp  @SweetPea etc. nor do I take a lot of pictures, but please do feel free to let me know if there is anything you'd like for me to find out and get back to you. Ultimately I will post my thoughts of the ship, the CD, the Key, the food, the entertainment etc., although maybe after we return.

Thanks!

 

 

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Very Exciting.  You're starting off Oasis class with the best (but you can't go wrong with any of them)!  Will be interested in hearing your thoughts compared with Voyager and Quantum class.  We were on Symphony in March and it's my favorite ship.  The amenities are great, shows fantastic, large variety of food, and ship itself is beautiful . Enjoy.

PS - Good plan to fly in a day early.  And we're the same...doesn't matter where we're going as the ship is the destination.

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13 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Ah @Skid, I feel like this cruise has been a long time coming!  Have a great time.  You will love OA class!  And yes, I would love to hear your feedback about Mike.  3 more months for me...

Yes, my friend. Although it was about 16 months ago, it seems like yesterday that you were helping me pick out a cabin (oceanview balcony, deck 10, midship). Alas, no suites or star class for us, but we could not be more excited. As you know, your help and advice has always been appreciated.

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1 minute ago, Skid said:

Yes, my friend. Although it was about 16 months ago, it seems like yesterday that you were helping me pick out a cabin (oceanview balcony, deck 10, midship). Alas, no suites or star class for us, but we could not be more excited. As you know, your help and advice has always been appreciated.

I am really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on OA class and SY.  Safe travels.  🙂

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Following!   We just took our first oasis class on allure in March.  We loved Central Park, the solarium and the solatrium bistro.  The shows were amazing.  While I still think we may not need to spend as much for an oasis class ship ( we can definitely survive on others lol) we had an amazing time.  We missed entire hunks of the ship but that is totally ok!  Have a great trip...can’t wait to hear all about it.  Jane

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Very interested to hear about your beach bungalow at Cococay.  We have one booked for July and are wondering where it will be as well.  Please update when you return and have a fabulous trip! 

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All right...single digit day... 9 days to our first Oasis class ship! Just want to let you know that even this close to sailing, the cruise planner has some good deals going on. Some of the pricing is the lowest I've seen other than on Black Friday. So check your cruise planner.

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10 hours ago, Skid said:

All right...single digit day... 9 days to our first Oasis class ship! Just want to let you know that even this close to sailing, the cruise planner has some good deals going on. Some of the pricing is the lowest I've seen other than on Black Friday. So check your cruise planner.

Hello!  My husband and I just got off Symphony on Saturday and did your exact same itinerary!  You will be so amazed at this ship!  There was so many firsts for us!  All the new venues and shows were over the top!  P.S.  the Happy hours in Hooked with gorgeous bar in center of the restaurant with awesome views.  We experienced 2 happy hours in hooked with one 8 oysters on ice shucked right in front of us with glass of Kim Crawford Chardonnay for $10 was a steal and so yummy especially since my husband doesn't like oysters!!!  He brought a beer and I got the Chardonnay.  Then we came back for another night with the dinner size lobster roll with a pint of beer for $10.  Had to split the roll with hubby he drank the pint I brought and I brought in a glass of Chardonnay!  That night we ate dinner afterwards!  Also the Wonderland Happy hour drinks only were 4 menu choices with them being 2 for $15 instead of $13 each!  The bar area was nice too.  Wonderland is using the old diamond 2 story lounger overlooking boardwalk with restaurant on first floor and bar area on the second floor!  Great views!  We loved our drinks!  Lots of exciting things to enjoy!  Ps.  It was our first time to Magen's Bay in 4 years and it was even more gorgeous than pre hurricane!  Royal did an awesome job fixing Magen's highly recommend!  Just stunning really!

Michelle

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I got an e-mail today from Royal that I have never seen before---a PRE-cruise survey. Multiple choice questions about previous cruises, C&A level, if close friends or family work for certain industries (marketing, finance, etc), age, who sailing with, motivation for booking this particular cruise and  then "an essay question" about what we are looking forward to at Perfect Day at CocoCay. Seems like THAT is what the were most interested in because....tada...they offered a $75 Amazon gift card for agreeing to participate in additional research when we get back. I'll take it! 

Wondering if others here ever got a pre-cruise survey or if this is new because they seriously want Perfect Day feedback. After spending $250 million, I'd think they want to make sure they got it right.

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7 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

So nice that they offered a gift card!  On the other hand, I am not holding my breath for mine. I can’t even get the Royal Up emails, pretty sure I won’t find this in my inbox.

Not sure you are missing much--I got 3 upgrade emails for this sailing. We're in an ocean view balcony mid-ship.  They wanted, per person (not stateroom) $150 for a spacious ocean view, $200 for an Ultra Spacious, $300 for a Junior Suite (even for double points and Coastal Kitchen, I couldn't justify $600 and not knowing where on the ship we'd be), $700 for Grand Suite, $1100 for Owners Suite, no options for Star Class.

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58 minutes ago, Skid said:

$300 for a Junior Suite (even for double points and Coastal Kitchen, I couldn't justify $600 and not knowing where on the ship we'd be), $700 for Grand Suite, $1100 for Owners Suite, no options for Star Class.

And don't forget that if you win an upgrade bids from non-suite to suite, you don't get double points for the suite. One of the crummier aspects of that program.

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8 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

And don't forget that if you win an upgrade bids from non-suite to suite, you don't get double points for the suite. One of the crummier aspects of that program.

Although I didn't bid, thank you for that info. I was not aware of that.

 

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  I love spontaneity and this afternoon decided to start our vacation a day earlier. Not being a fan of driving in airports or paying $20+ a day for parking, I went on line to my old standby www.buyreservations.com (love this company) and booked a room at Wyndham Garden Inn. For a total of $149.60 including all taxes and fees we got a nice room for the night, up to 2 weeks parking and free shuttle to and from the airport. When we checked in and said we had a 3:30 flight tomorrow (late, but the best we were able to get using miles as payment) the lady at the front desk offered us late checkout at no extra charge. Very nice!

   So tomorrow (I guess technically today) is Miami...Hilton Blue Lagoon...and then sailing on Saturday.

As is becoming very obvious, my blog will not compare to any of the recent or current ones, but I just wanted to be available to find out anything you may want to know about Symphony on this sailing and report back. Hope to talk to you from Miami this evening.  

May not be on the high seas yet but we're officially on vacation, Woohoo!

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