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Symphony Of The Seas 14-21 April semi live blog

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50 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Fantastic pictures of Napoli! Really liking this blog, you’re really making me think hard about doing Mediterranean before Norway / Iceland, instead of the other way around. 

 First of all thank you , 

Regarding the Mediterranean vs Norway/Island , one is all about history/culture and beautiful  landscapes the other is more nature , hard to choose.

The advantage of the med is by ability to serve the Oasis class (if you like this class) while Norway more tending to Vision/Voyager and from time to time freedom classes.We might try the fjords routs next year , always wanted to do it.

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On 4/20/2018 at 10:05 AM, WAAAYTOOO said:
On 4/20/2018 at 9:25 AM, Matt said:

 

WOW.  I haven't seen a display like that in years.  SOOOO nice to see. 

And I wonder if it will cease once Symphony comes back here to the States. Now THAT's what I remember about cruising in the "old days"  People would just take pictures of the ice sculptures and carved fruit etc. It really is/was an art!

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4 hours ago, Boston Babe said:

And I wonder if it will cease once Symphony comes back here to the States. Now THAT's what I remember about cruising in the "old days"  People would just take pictures of the ice sculptures and carved fruit etc. It really is/was an art!

I sure hope it will stay the same, 

For sure they will do something for the first few cruises from Miami, For this first  month they brought many veteran workers from different ships just to make sure everything goes smooth .

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4 hours ago, Boston Babe said:

And I wonder if it will cease once Symphony comes back here to the States. Now THAT's what I remember about cruising in the "old days"  People would just take pictures of the ice sculptures and carved fruit etc. It really is/was an art!

 

1 minute ago, Traveler said:

I sure hope it will stay the same, 

For sure they will do something for the first few cruises from Miami, For this first  month they brought many veteran workers from different ships just to make sure everything goes smooth .

Second the comments in hope the glitz remains for the US sailings. Looking forward to seeing it in person 30 weeks from today.

 

The prior to that, looking forward to some more pre cruise hype with @twangster's posting on the TA.

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Day 7 , 

As we went to sleep quite late the day before we waked only around 10:30 AM (which is achievement for us  now days) we went to the WJ to eat MP style breakfast , for some reason in the WJ they call it lunch.

The rest of the day was spent between deck 15, Laser Tag , Ice , puzzle solving (second round) and yes also casino (which was nice to us)

We decided to dedicate the last day to try and visit places we did not had time to check before on the ship and here some of it :

Dazzle 

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It seems they had some more space to Sorento's 

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The since lab in the adventure ocean :

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They add vending machines on deck 15 , the only problem is (beside the price) is the operation hours which are very limited and contradicts the logic behind the vending concept.

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On deck 15 they also added a charging station for cellphones , very useful I think.

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Central park at night : 

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Some arts : 

 

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MDR dinner : 

 

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And starting to prepare for the next cruise 

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Day 8 – departure

 

Lucky for us we went sleeping quite early for a last day (around 1 AM ) so we could catch few hours of  quality sleeping time.I found out the hard way that one of the departure day depression is lacking good sleep on the final day.

Our departure time was schedule to 9 am so we had time to organize things and catch some last breakfast in WJ , this was the first day I saw the WJ full but still we found some space to seat and eat a quick one.We left our room around 8:40 directly to the gangway, In Barcelona they have two terminal for Oasis class , terminal C and B , even tag numbers are sent to Terminal C and odds goes to terminal B , as I was not paying attention we found ourselves in the wrong terminal … so we had to do all the way back to the other terminal , the advantage was that we could take one last picture of the ship.

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As our flight was schedule only to be the next day (500 $ less) we waited for a taxi to take us to our hotel. Beware , taxies lines in Barcelona port can take up to 30 minutes (that’s the cases if you are not leaving the ship at 7 AM anyway).

We arrived the hotel (Crown Plaza 10 minutes ride from the port and 18 $) as no rooms were available yet we were given access to the launch were we had our second late breakfast  , rooms were available around 11 AM so we went up put our stuff and left to tour Barcelona for few hours.The hotel, although not in the main center, is located near Espania square (10-15 minutes walk) which has a metro , a very impressive fountain nearby and some museum/shops

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We took some picture and went to the Subway so we can catch a ride to boqueria food market and to La Rambla avenue.

 

Boueria became a very touristic place although still there many stores which sells fresh food for locals.

If you can avoid it during weekend it is best as the place is  very crowded. Still I would not miss it .

We took some small mixed Jamon plate and fresh exotic fruits cups.

Off we went to walk at  Rambla  until we decided to add back to the hotel.

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Later we went to a Supermarkets to buy some Jamon and Cava to bring back home (remember we promised some Jamon to the cat 😊 ).

Flight back was 6 am so we went to sleep early,  during the cruise I found out that I will come back home , do my laundry and fly day after to South America for some meetings. 

So some thoughts about the ship :

First , it is wonderful ship , I am so happy we will be on it again on September.

We discussed with some crew member which told us that RC brought many people from other ships for few weeks , I do hope they will continue with the excellent service.

The same crew member told us that the new bar, Playmaker was a big success, I could so that every day it was full of people.

Internet was excellent in the entire ship , when we wanted to work on another device we just had to login on this device without logout the other (which is good but can also create some internet wars, sure  I need to buy the travel router for next time as suggested by @twangster  , will do it next week when I will catch my connection flight in EWR)

We brought two bottles of wines and open them one in Hooked and one in the MDR , we were not charged for any fees.

The laser tag is fun, I would recommend to try it, if you come as family maybe even try to be on opposite teams.

The ice show is not to be missed.

Hairspray is very nice, well performed.

We did not took the drinking package  as there was only one sea day so with two bottles of wines , three paid drinks and some very drinks in the Casino we managed to handle it.

RC were very generous with the sparkling wine, almost every day they gave it free in the WJ.

Going on one of the first cruise prove itself to be very good, the ship for sure was ready with 98% of her features.

Another cruise came to its end, thanks whoever followed, as always it was enjoyable to write it , let me know if you have any question on the ship or the ports, would happy to answer.

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Bonus post :1_grinning:

So during the flight back yesterday I had few hours (its a short flight) to review some old pictures.

During this semi live blog I described many  other tour options  that can be done from the  ports , so here are pictures from tours we done while we were on the Harmony of the seas during October 16 sell at the same itinerary.

 

Marseille - The tour was to Cassis , a small city with wonderful view , the pictures are from the near by cliffs :

 

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In La Speza we rented a car a drove first to a viewpoint over the port and later to one of the old towns near by.

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Here some picture from the area :

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In Napoli we to ok a tour to Sorento (with making pizza) and in the way to the city we stop near Amalfi coast :

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12 minutes ago, Traveler said:

Wow , you are going to enjoy it , there is something about this city which make it very special .

Do not miss the coffee and the Pizza . 

Yes, I have been there many times.  I love the Amalfi coast.  It is so incredibly beautiful.  Believe it or not, I actually do NOT like Italian pizza (they do not know what American pepperoni is....)...but I love the cappuccino.  I can't wait to get some local mozzarella de bufalo.  It is so salty and delicious.  YUMMMM !

This will likely be my last biz trip to Italy.  All of the sites that I go to will be completed after this.  Only Bahrain and Australia left.  

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8 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Yes, I have been there many times.  I love the Amalfi coast.  It is so incredibly beautiful.  Believe it or not, I actually do NOT like Italian pizza (they do not know what American pepperoni is....)...but I love the cappuccino.  I can't wait to get some local mozzarella de bufalo.  It is so salty and delicious.  YUMMMM !

This will likely be my last biz trip to Italy.  All of the sites that I go to will be completed after this.  Only Bahrain and Australia left.  

Yes , they only have the hot Salumi , well at least you will enjoy the cappuccino.

I am actually back tot he airport (20 hours after I came to do my laundry) going on a business trip to Lima,

Meanwhile trying to organize the CC pictures , found out I am missing first day. 

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Hey!  I have thoroughly enjoyed all of your pictures and insights.  We are going on the Symphony in July for our 10 year anniversary.  We have been on 4-5 Royal Caribbean cruises in the past, but all to the Caribbean.  I have never done this much research or blog reading before going on a cruise before and it has been great.  I have a few questions if you don't mind answering:
1.  What is BOGO?  Do you book it online before you get to the cruise or once you have boarded?  If you book it online before the cruise where do you find it...I have not seen it on the Cruise Planner (unless I missed it)

2.  What is CA?  You said you didn't get a CA letter in the room.

3.  Which internet package did you get?  We will be using it mostly for posting pictures and calling our daughter on Face Time while in WIFI since she will be back in the states.

4.  Naples...if you had to choose one of the following to see which would you choose?  For someone that has never been to Naples and most likely won't be back.

               *Amalfi Coast and Pompeii

               *Capri, Sorrento, and Pompeii

               *Amalfi Coast, Postino, Sorrento, and Pompeii

               *Capri

               *Sorrento and Amalfi 

   5.  Marseilles (Provence), France...I'll be honest none of the excursions sound appealing to us (although we have never been).  Would you do it own your own?  Is there anything there that is a must see and don't want to miss?

I know that is a lot of questions...your post was awesome!!  Thanks for all your help!

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How in the world would you possibly be able to do an excursion of the Amalfi Coast AND Pompeii ??   Each of those is an entire day (at LEAST) on its own.  I guess an Amalfi Coast cruise might be possible but then how would you get back to land and get to Pompeii in order to have ANY time there ?  Wow.

I have never done a ship's excursion so I have no idea how long you have in port but based on how long I know that each of these places takes to see, I would recommend the last one...Sorrento and Amalfi.  I just cannot imagine combining Pompeii with anything unless they are just going to do a drive-by of Pompeii.

Personally, I think that Herculaneum (or Ercolano as the Italians call it) is a much better ruin site than Pompeii.  For one, Herculaneum is much smaller and easier to see in a compressed time frame.  Secondly, I think it is much better preserved than Pompeii.  Herculaneum was completely covered by pyroclastic flows almost instantaneously so the entire site was "sealed" for nearly 2000 years.  The walls, art, floors and artifacts are much more vivid and complete at Herculaneum.  Pompeii is very cool...no doubt.  But I always recommend that if you can only see 1 of the ruins, go to Herculaneum.  It doesn't look like Royal even offers a tour there, which is very unfortunate so you would have to go on your own and I don't know if I would recommend that.  I'm kind of a 'fraidy cat when it comes to going out on my own in foreign countries (from a cruise ship I mean).  If you ever go to visit though, don't miss Herculaneum.

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