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SpeedNoodles

Symphony of the Seas - an island is an island is an island? (Feb 22 - 29, 2020)

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Ohhhh!  I am happy that I checked out the Live Blog forum tonight!  So glad I found your blog! We will be at our Symphony 90 day mark the day after you return to Miami. Thanks for helping me with the "pre-cruise excitement - everything is planned - what do I do NOW waiting game."

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Day 1 - Embarkation Day!!!!!!

Yay! The best day of all!

We woke up at 8:30 and took our time showering and packing up.  My goal was to get to the port by 10:30. We rolled our bags out of the Kimpton around 10:20 - I was so annoyed that I was getting out of the hotel so late!  I ordered a Lyft, and within about 50 seconds he rounded the corner to pick us up.  Fastest. Ride Share. Ever.

We got to the port within 20 minutes (7 minutes to get there, the rest just trying to maneuver through traffic to be dropped off. Our driver was exceedingly patient). A porter descended upon us before we were even out of the car and whisked our bags away.  We checked in in the Expedited Check line (in in?).  We could have checked in with The Key line.  Neither one had more than one person in line, so it was simply a matter of where my eyes wandered first.  A quick run through security with our carry ons, up the elevator, and we waited to be let onto the ship.  We waited all of about 8 minutes.  Shortly after we claimed our spot, they called the Diamond/Diamond Plus members (Pinnacles were screwed?), and then The Key. Boarding was seamless.  Having cruised twice already out of Terminal A, this came as no surprise to me, but Mr SpeedNoodles had never experienced anything like it, and he was newly impressed.  We boarded the ship right next to the MDR, where they happened to have someone waiting to make our specialty reservations. CHECK! Done. We went down one floor to drop our carry on bags off on Deck 3 of the MDR (another Key benefit).  It was still only 10:50 am.

We swang by Boleros to exchange (or purchase new) Wow bands, but there were at least 30 people in line, so we bailed on that idea.  We instead decided to make a quick stop at the Bionic Bar. On Ovation the robots "names" are Mix and Mingle.  On Symphony they are Rock em and Sock em.  Sock em made a reasonable Long Island Iced Tea for Mr SpeedNoodles, and we then decided that an early lunch would not be a bad idea (we skipped attempting any breakfast in the morning before departing the hotel).  Lunch was on deck 3 in the MDR for The Key - Chops menu.  I took no photos of lunch as, really, most people have seen plenty of photos of shrimp, soup, a burger, etc.  We enjoyed lunch, or server was quite nice, and we were ready for our day.

We went up to Deck 15 (pool deck), grabbed a drink (they had no Kracken yet, I had to "settle" for a Tequila Sunrise with Patron Reposado (cuz Momma doesn't do Cap'n Morgan - it isn't a substitute for Kraken).  We wandered until the rooms opened up at 1pm.

We're quite pleased with our room. We have an oceanview balcony on deck 12 midship. It's a very similar layout to Ovation, except the balcony is much deeper!  We unpacked, threw our swimsuits on, and headed to the extremely uncrowded Solarium to hang out in the hot tub (margarita in hand to celebrate National Margarita Day) before the assembly drill.

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It's very windy (the itinerary channel refers to 45 kts Apparent wind) tonight.  The AquaTheature show was canceled, but we had reservations for Hairspray at 8:30pm, so that didn't bother us. At the assembly drill the captain informed us that he was adding about 60 extra miles onto our route to Saint Maarten to hopefully avoid some rougher seas.

After watching all of the other ships depart from the port, we took off toward downtown Miami to turn around in the basin. We took in sailaway from our balcony since we had to get ready for dinner at 6:15.  While sailaway was supposed to take place at 4:30, we didn't start moving until about 5:35.

We enjoyed dinner at Wonderland.  The staff was incredible, and the food was inventive and, we thought, pretty darned tasty.  We booked it twice this week and I'm glad that we did - there were other things we wanted to try!  I was useless with food photos.

I suspect that most of my photos will be from port days.  The ship itself has been covered well by people much better at it than I am. (Apologies to friends back home - I promise to spam Facebook later with ship photos for you later).

The internet is, as the internet speed test showed, "very slow".  Still, I am managing ok 🙂

 

 

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We attended the Top Tier event. Here's what I caught on the numbers at various levels:

Gold -  never heard them say
Platinum 424
Emerald 185
Diamond 325
Diamond Plus 100
Pinnacle 14

They then had one of the performers from. Hiro show off a bit of show technology :

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16 hours ago, SpeedNoodles said:

 The AquaTheature show was canceled

This is a concern of mine.  We leave on May 30th. I am not sure about the typical ocean conditions during that time of year. But I read to book the reservation for Hiro on the first night so you would have another chance to see it if it is cancelled.  That is what I did and now I am wondering if that is a mistake.  If it is cancelled, then that many more people will be in the standy by for Hairspray. Not to mention, if you don't have a reservation for the future Hiro show, you would have to be in standby for that show as well. I wonder if I should change my reservations????

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20 hours ago, SpeedNoodles said:

Shortly after we claimed our spot, they called the Diamond/Diamond Plus members (Pinnacles were screwed?)

I believe the Pinnacles board via the Suite Lounge, so they wouldn't be called for general boarding.

3 hours ago, luv2sail said:

if you don't have a reservation for the future Hiro show, you would have to be in standby for that show as well.

Usually they will have a make-up show and move all the reservations to that show automatically.  Now it may conflict with other things that you have planned, but most of the time they try to make an extra show happen.

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4 hours ago, luv2sail said:

This is a concern of mine.  We leave on May 30th. I am not sure about the typical ocean conditions during that time of year. But I read to book the reservation for Hiro on the first night so you would have another chance to see it if it is cancelled.  That is what I did and now I am wondering if that is a mistake.  If it is cancelled, then that many more people will be in the standy by for Hairspray. Not to mention, if you don't have a reservation for the future Hiro show, you would have to be in standby for that show as well. I wonder if I should change my reservations????

You are able to make reservations for shows for a May 30 cruise? Nothing is showing up on my May 24 Oasis cruise yet.

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9 hours ago, lisa6191 said:

You are able to make reservations for shows for a May 30 cruise? Nothing is showing up on my May 24 Oasis cruise yet.

Yes, I have all my shows booked. It opened maybe two/three weeks ago.  I was surprised - but happy.  The app is also already showing all of my reservations and everything that I have booked. We are sailing on Symphony. All of this is sooner (as far as I can recall) than my Harmony cruise last summer.

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10 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

 

Usually they will have a make-up show and move all the reservations to that show automatically.  Now it may conflict with other things that you have planned, but most of the time they try to make an extra show happen.

Ok, thanks!  This makes sense. 

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41 minutes ago, SpeedNoodles said:

Heard at lunch: "This ship, including the Eatin' Package is ruining me for other cruises." - Mr SpeedNoodles 

It sounds like you guys are having the time of your lives!  I'm so happy for you both!  

P.S.  Now is the time to book that next cruise onboard.  Hint!  Hint!

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17 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

Usually they will have a make-up show and move all the reservations to that show automatically.  Now it may conflict with other things that you have planned, but most of the time they try to make an extra show happen.

Agreed. Has happened to us before. We got a letter in our cabin showing the new date/time and that our reservation was still good. 

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@SpeedNoodles - Very jealous right now that we handed off the ship to you and I drove to work today in a sudden snow storm 😂 How was the ride out on Saturday from Miami? We came into port early for a medical emergency and arrived around 1am instead of ~6, but still had wind at 40 knots and 15ft swells from Coco all the way in!

Are those Salukis, or Borzois? We've got Greyhounds.. given the amount they still manage to shed I can't imagine luxuriously long needle nose hair everywhere haha

Enjoy the trip! If you end up having drinks in Central Park, the bartenders there were outstanding. Sadly I can't remember their names, but we spent a few hours there at a table drinking away and never waited for our drinks. The managing bartender even went so far as to track down a 12-pack of Coke Zero during some down time even though I was perfectly fine without one at all. Some of the most considerate our entire trip, really.

Watch out for Rock Em by the way. He loved spilling my drinks. Must have been sneaking some of his own every so often..

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4 hours ago, saytheb said:

@SpeedNoodles - Very jealous right now that we handed off the ship to you and I drove to work today in a sudden snow storm 😂 How was the ride out on Saturday from Miami? We came into port early for a medical emergency and arrived around 1am instead of ~6, but still had wind at 40 knots and 15ft swells from Coco all the way in!

Are those Salukis, or Borzois? We've got Greyhounds.. given the amount they still manage to shed I can't imagine luxuriously long needle nose hair everywhere haha

Enjoy the trip! If you end up having drinks in Central Park, the bartenders there were outstanding. Sadly I can't remember their names, but we spent a few hours there at a table drinking away and never waited for our drinks. The managing bartender even went so far as to track down a 12-pack of Coke Zero during some down time even though I was perfectly fine without one at all. Some of the most considerate our entire trip, really.

Watch out for Rock Em by the way. He loved spilling my drinks. Must have been sneaking some of his own every so often..

The upper deck, above the pool, didn't open at all until today - it's just been too windy.  Even today the ship has been rocking - I've read lots of people that are bothered by it or have said they've never had such a rough sailing on an Oasis Class ship.  We survived 35 foot swells on Jewel in 2003, so this is just nothing to us - we like it. But the ship is definitely rocking.

My kids are definitely Borzoi! We've been living with the breed since 1999 - and we could basically make our own clothing from the amount of hair that they donate to the household! They're worth it, though.

I'm trying to catch up on my blog - I'm just having trouble downloading my photos, so I'll hopefully get Day 2 and 3 taken care of before I hit the hay tonight, but it's not looking good. Voom is being ridonkulously slow right now.

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