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Gold wedding anniversary cruise, April 2022 - advice needed.


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Hello everyone,

My name is Kim and I have been lurking around RoyalCaribbeanBlog for a while and thought it was finally time to introduce myself and see what (if any) I can give back to this wonderful community.

I am from Norway, a male barely clinging on to my forties, and sadly never been on a cruise before. (Overnight ferry to Denmark, Germany or up the coast of Norway, sure, but not a proper cruise).

December 2021 our parents are celebrating their 50-year (gold) wedding anniversary and as a gift my brother and I are giving them and ourselves a cruise in the Caribbean on the Symphony of the Seas in April 2022. It is a life long dream of both parents, and finally they get to go.

We booked in January last year, so it has been a long wait, but we’re finally at under a year remaining. (Then of course the couff hit making everything weird, but surely things will improve this summer / fall, yes?).

We have spent quite a bit of time checking out videos on YouTube and reading reviews and travel tips and of course this blog, but I am sure there is probably a lot we still have to learn.

So, I am writing this to check in with all of you and see if you have any advice for us on how we can make this trip the best possible for our parents (and ourselves). Is there anything on the menu we simple *have* to try out? A show or event that is simply a must to attend?

We are five in our group, so we have booked a regular (interior) cabin and one of the 2 bed grand suites. (Found out with the double price for a single occupancy, it was only slightly more expensive to go for a suite instead of two balcony cabins). Thus, we have a challenge in that the perks are quite different for us and we are looking into what we can do to even things more out. (We do not have to do everything together of course). One thing we are looking into is for the two in the smaller cabin to purchase the Key, so that we can embark and disembark close together, and sync shows (and first day lunch) more together.

But are there anything else we can do, that you know about?

Which leads me to one question I could not find a clear answer to. Is one of the perks of the GS that we get access to the Coco Beach Club area? (The older lists of other pages refer to a similar area on the Labadee location but does not mention the new CocoCay area). My brother and his fiancé are considering whether to buy the day pass to Coco Beach Club, but it is rather expensive, so the question is if it is part of the perk for three of us, and for that matter if it is worth it at all. (The rest of CocoCay looks so amazing as well, after all).

Anyway, thank you for reading through all my rambling and I hope to hear from you.

Murky

 

 

 

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Welcome to the boards!  You picked a great ship for them.  

One of the suite snobs will give you advice on the suite.  Paging @Lovetocruise2002!  One thing I can tell you is that the passengers in the inside cabin will not be able to access the suite areas.  

I think a special anniversary dinner at 150 Central Park would be a perfect gift for them.  Either as a romantic dinner or the full 5 person celebration.  Lots of items made tableside and makes the experience all the more special. Must try the martini. 

How outgoing are the happy couple?  There is a Love & Marriage game show they can try to be chosen to participate in.  They pick 3-4 couples, all at varying stage of marriage and a couple celebrating their 50th has a good chance of being chosen.  They have to be willing to be celebrities for the rest of the sailing as the show is recorded and shown over and over on the stateroom tvs for everyone who didn't attend.

Other than that, I will leave space for others to chime in.  But I will say she's a big ship with lots to offer - don't try to do it or see it all! 

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Welcome to the message boards!

Coco Beach Club is included for no one, not even suite guests.  There are no designated suite areas at CocoCay.

The only way to gain access is for everyone to purchase a pass.  With the numbers in your group you should look into a cabana within Coco Beach Club since that includes passes to Coco Beach Club.

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3 hours ago, Murky said:

A show or event that is simply a must to attend?

All the shows on Symphony are fantastic!  I would try to catch all of them if you can.

3 hours ago, Murky said:

Which leads me to one question I could not find a clear answer to. Is one of the perks of the GS that we get access to the Coco Beach Club area?

As @twangsteralready stated.  Zero suite perks on Coco Cay that we know of to date.  Even those in Star Class don't really get perks there.  It's not like Labadee.

In addition, as @KathyCalready mentioned, whoever stays in the GS will have full access to the suite areas (suite lounge, Coastal Kitchen, suite sundeck), but unfortunately, the ones staying in the inside cabin will not. That is always a tricky situation to work around.  Perhaps others here can give some advice on that because I have never been in a situation where I had suite access and others in my party did not.

 

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Thank you everyone for your responses.

I suspect we will spend most of our time in or around the Solarium area, as you mentioned, we do not all have access to the suite areas. And, while I am sure that the food in the Coastal Kitchen is amazing, I have an allergy to among other things shellfish and other aquatic life, so skipping CK should not be that big of a deal.

The Love & Marriage game show sounds fun, and the parents are quite outgoing, but with English being their second language, they might hesitate to participate.

Excellent suggestion on the cabana option, we are looking into that for sure.

And as you already mentioned, we will definitely avoid the temptation to try and do everything, as that will just exhaust us and take the fun out of it.

Our ports are Charlotte Amelie and St. Johns. Are there anything there we should check out? ?

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5 hours ago, Murky said:

Our ports are Charlotte Amelie and St. Johns. Are there anything there we should check out? ?

How active is everyone?  Is beach a big draw or are you looking for something away from the beach since CocoCay will be a beach day?

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The parents will be 77 and 70, and while they are still at fairly good health, there are some natural limitations of course. We all love hiking, but the allure of the beach, the turquoise water is just as strong. (We're not exactly spoiled with warm weather in Norway)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I didn't check your sailing date, may be all important?  A bit early to predict, I guess. As for excursions, if at all within your budget book them. Chances are you'll want the fresh air & time on land. I lean heavy on the exercise, gym mornings. Sauna, pool time, hot tub, still my all-time favorite is 5am coffee and quiet sun rises! On the ocean, unbeatable. And, I miss those so much between outings. Bring some Good Reads, relax, don't worry about services, the best company you'll ever find will be family.  If lucky your dinner party also!  Be chill ?

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St. Thomas has Magens Bay beach which is pretty stunning and well known but can get crowded if many ships are in port.  An island tour can yield some great views.

St. Johns I presume is Antigua.  The saying goes that Antigua has a beach for every day of the year although that's not entirely true.  If yet more beach isn't desired there is the Royal dockyard in Antigua (Nelson's Dockyard).  It's a bit of a drive but a tour that stops there and also some of the other scenic areas could be a nice change if other ports are beach days.  Antigua had a historic role as a British colony so there is some history there that goes back a long time, at least by our standards over here.

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On 4/25/2021 at 3:48 AM, Murky said:

The parents will be 77 and 70, and while they are still at fairly good health, there are some natural limitations of course. We all love hiking, but the allure of the beach, the turquoise water is just as strong. (We're not exactly spoiled with warm weather in Norway)

Be careful at the beach!  The Caribbean sun is a different sun than the one in Norway even in April.  If anyone is fair skinned make sure to bring sun screen or they have it on board (it will be more expensive in the ships store)   We went on a Baltic sea cruise in 2016 and spent a day in Oslo.  What a beautiful country and people.  Wish we could have stayed longer.

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Enjoy the precious family time. Plan to see the ship as it is a destination in its self. Also if you like Broadway style shows, checkout them out. If you don't love them at home then I'd just go to one, to have the experience. The solarium is a great retreat from the hustle and bustle of ship life. I'm not a suite person so enjoy that too! I'm hoping my kids will take the bride and I on our 50th. We just hit the 30 year mark! 

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