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BrianB
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Just finished B2B the two weeks of Spring Break. Both trips were definitely fuller than earlier cruises. The nice thing to see was the start up of some cruise favorites such as the sexiest man and International belly flop competitions as well as the love and marriage shows. More pre-pandemic feel than in a long time. The shows were better attended and the vibe feel was great. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed having the ships to myself over the last 7 months but I love seeing the enjoyment of others on their cruising adventures. Plus it gave me new folks to talk to. There were lots of kids around but not an issue, just made the chair hogs reappear but was not overly crowded where we could not find a seat. With the masking policy relaxing it seemed almost back to normal.

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1 hour ago, KLA said:

Hi there! Scheduled to be on Symphony in about a month - any stray observations from on board? 

I’ll say it seems normal aboard. Very few masks being worn other than the crew. Service has been fine. My kids are with me and I’ve spent more time on the pool deck than I normally would and it has been jumping. As far as the shows, they seem to be up and running but maybe with fewer show times than before. We are going to try and see hiro though I believe it’s sold out. So far it’s been fantastic being back in symphony. I love this ship so much. 

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Royal is increasing capacity from what I can see. Transatlantic for the Wonder Of The Seas was sold out according to my travel agent and now a lot of cabins are bookable since the CDC lowered to level 2. Feel a bit mixed about it, but for the industry that's good news.

 

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14 hours ago, SpicyCherry said:

We're on B2B April 30/May 7 sailings...wonder what the capacity will be. I'm with you....the thought of Hairspray not running isn't exactly breaking my heart!!

I anticipate we'll miss the spring break crowd, but it'll probably still be higher capacity. Either way, just happy to be back on board! 

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Symphony at 4000 this week as @GatorCruiser mentioned, and like previous cruises felt most full on day one and certain times of the day.  would like to find a staff count, but seems to me they have all they can handle. Being on her a few days now I’m convinced staff levels are what’s holding them to lower capacity more than anything else.  

Late seating dinner starts late because previous seating still pouring out, took two hours for the main course plates to come out, food is far and away the most mediocre and inconsistent we’ve ever had in many cruises with royal, waiters are being asked to serve too many tables which isn’t their fault but never remember who ordered what or what goes where, drinks are often painfully slow, there are zero wait staff walking pool deck during the day, pool bars are always slammed (when open, many bars don’t have the beer or bottle you’re looking for), deck chairs are all full or reserved, specialty dining (150 Central Park) was obviously much better but running a race booking everything day one instead of ahead of time was a pain, chops grille and hooked seafood booked for the whole week by 3pm on day one (suite guests obviously had a go in advance).  tots and babies under two years old families are limited to 10 hours of reserved time.  Wind jammer very busy and both sides closed odd hours, solarium bistro not open at all, certain hours of the day nowhere to eat except promenade pizza and wraps and long lines form, gets tough with kiddos and babies to keep them snacking and happy - it’s spring break so there’s teens everywhere, including all over the solarium day and night.  Not as much trivia or events during the day going on, what events there are get packed, dazzles was overwhelmed the other day with the few events they had in there all back to back. Speed test for surf and stream under 1mb in stateroom.

First world problems i know i know i know, happy to be back on a ship but hard for me to recommend the experience as being worth the money for anyone who is not an avid die hard cruise fan.  I’m sure it will get better but right now they are very short handed and not providing the full royal experience many are looking for.

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I would agree with @dr martini , pool bars are slammed, though flashing a little grease to the pool waiters helped the drink issue. We’ve eaten at hooked, 150 central and Jamie’s and have had good to great service across all three. Windjammer I will try to avoid at all costs. We’ve been getting light bites for breakfast at park cafe each morning. I can’t comment on MDR as we haven’t been yet. Trellis bar has been busy at times depending when you went. My kiddos are my governor for visiting other bars so far. Saw flight and it was awesome. Haven’t tried to get them into adventure ocean yet so I can’t comment on availability there. Seems like staff could be the rate limiting step in terms of overall service. But I’m just happy to be back in symphony nonetheless 

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14 minutes ago, GatorCruiser said:

I would agree with @dr martini , pool bars are slammed, though flashing a little grease to the pool waiters helped the drink issue. We’ve eaten at hooked, 150 central and Jamie’s and have had good to great service across all three. Windjammer I will try to avoid at all costs. We’ve been getting light bites for breakfast at park cafe each morning. I can’t comment on MDR as we haven’t been yet. Trellis bar has been busy at times depending when you went. My kiddos are my governor for visiting other bars so far. Saw flight and it was awesome. Haven’t tried to get them into adventure ocean yet so I can’t comment on availability there. Seems like staff could be the rate limiting step in terms of overall service. But I’m just happy to be back in symphony nonetheless 

If the biggest issue is bar service - I'm suddenly seeing giving up drinking as a big perk 🤪🤣

Thanks for the tips! We also tend to avoid the Windjammer (other than for dinner on occasion when we don't feel like getting cleaned up for the MDR) so it sounds like this will work out well for us even if capacity is high. 

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We just got off Symphony. Everything from our experience lines up with the other two people that already posted about it. Things fill up quick day 1! We were in a frenzy booking everything on the app as soon as we got on the ship Wi-Fi. We went straight to Adventure ocean to book for our baby and tits program just before 1pm and we were the first ones there. They limit your initial booking to 10 hours so everyone has a fair shot and they open up more hours later but if you try to wait until day of you probably won’t find any availability.

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47 minutes ago, Maiku said:

We just got off Symphony. Everything from our experience lines up with the other two people that already posted about it. Things fill up quick day 1! We were in a frenzy booking everything on the app as soon as we got on the ship Wi-Fi. We went straight to Adventure ocean to book for our baby and tits program just before 1pm and we were the first ones there. They limit your initial booking to 10 hours so everyone has a fair shot and they open up more hours later but if you try to wait until day of you probably won’t find any availability.

Wow, AO on Symphony was wide open the week before. They wouldn’t even take bookings.

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