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CraftyCat05

Med. Symphony B2B - July 24th to August 12th

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My SemiLive Blog
Wowzah! Only 3 more days until we are on a plane to Barcelona! Hard to believe, this past year has flown by so fast. So, let's get down to the nitty gritty and get this show on the road! (props to people who get that reference)

Our Cruising History

I am sailing with my mother and father who have both cruised 2 and 3 times, respectively. This will be our third family cruise together (which have all been on Royal), and our second time on an Oasis Class ship. We are all from Texas and excited to get away from the 100+°F summer heat as well! The last time we were on a cruise was in summer of 2016, so we are all excited to get back on the magnificent Royal ships. My mother enjoys the sun and pool, so we may be spending our down-time at the beaches in Barcelona, or the sports deck pool. This is also a partial celebration for my mother's birthday as well! 

Why Symphony?

While being on Symphony for the inaugural season made this cruise very appealing, the itinerary in the Mediterranean (more on that later) for this cruise sealed the deal for all of us. None of us have ever been in the med for pleasure or sight seeing, and we have previously always cruised in the Caribbean, which after awhile gets to look like the same places and beaches. Hence, the idea to sail in Europe was born. All of us are excited to see the tourist traps sights, including the Vatican and Colosseum, which we will see on the excursions while in port.

The Itinerary

We are lucky enough to be doing a B2B Cruise and spend 4 days before the cruise in Barcelona! I plan to do a lighter blog on the first few days while in Barcelona, and do a mini-review on the flight and hotel. For this trip, we didn't book any non-Royal Caribbean shore excursions, due to the convenience and close time windows with the all-aboard call. Feel free to skip ahead to the next section (The Cabin), this is a lengthy one. This is the full itinerary of the trip, including the days before and hours after.

July 24th

  • Flight to Miami on American - Includes a wonderful 1h and 20min layover in MIA
  • Flight to Barcelona -  Arrive in Barcelona the next day

July 25th

  • Hotel check-in at the Hotel Arts Barcelona

July 29th - Cruise Day!

  • 6:00pm Departure from port!
  • 6:30pm Chops Grille
  • 8:30pm Hairspray - Broadway Show. Will be my first time seeing it live, and not on NBC's live show!

July 30th Palma de Mallorca, Spain

  • 8:00am Arrival
  • 9:20am Palma City Sights - RCL Shore Excursion
  • 4:00pm Departure
  • 8:00pm 1977 - Ice Show
  • We also plan to eat at the Coastal Kitchen (more about that later)

July 31st Marseilles (Provence), France 

  • 9:00am Arrival
  • 9:15am Panoramic Marseilles & Aix - RCL
  • 6:00pm Departure
  • 8:00pm Jamie's Italian - We have only tried Giovani's Italian on Allure, so it will be interesting to see the differences between the two Italian restaurants.

August 1st La Spezia (Florence/Piza), Italy

  • 8:30am Arrival
  • 8:35am Florence & Pisa - Cities Tour RCL
  • 8:30pm Departure
  • 9:00pm HiRO - AquaTheater Show 
  • We didn't plan any dinner reservations, as we may decide to eat in the MDR, Costal Kitchen or eat out in the city!

August 2nd - Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

  • 7:00am Arrival
  • 8:00am Exclusive: Best of Rome - City Tour RCL
  • 8:00pm Departure
  • We didn't plan any dinner reservations, as we may decide to eat in the MDR, Costal Kitchen or eat out in the city!

August 3rd - Naples (Capi), Italy

  • 7:00am Arrival
  • 8:00am Amalfi Coast & Pompeii by Land and Sea - RCL
  • 8:00pm Departure

August 4th - Cruising

  • 5:00pm Flight - RCL Theater Show
  • 6:30pm Wonderland - The rabbit hole calls us from home....

August 5th Deja Vu!

  • 6:15pm Izumi: Hibachi - On our last cruise while on Allure, we really enjoyed the food and show that the hibachi offers, and hope that we see some new tricks from the chefs.

August 6th

  • 8:40pm Drach Caves - RCL Excursion

August 7th

  • 9:30am Biking in Provence - RCL. Have to burn the calories somewhere! 

August 8th 

  • We have no excursion booked and plan to explore on our own and enjoy the ship!

August 9th

  • We have no excursion booked and plan to explore on our own and enjoy the ship!

August 10th

  • 8:30am Capri on your Own - RCL. This should hopefully give us some freedom while touring Capri!

August 12th - Where the PCD sets in...

  • 5:00am Departure
  • Flight to Charlotte for a layover to catch the plane home

The Cabin

Since there are three of us and we need all the space we can get, we decided to splurge and get a Grand Suite cabin on the seventh floor. This also gives us access to the Costal Kitchen, reserved show seats, and other Sky Class amenities. We even get our own bathtub, which is going to come in handy to soak the muscles after that bike ride! We also get some free Voom Internet @ Sea codes, which is how I will be updating you on all of the social medias! We also won't have to move cabins in-between the cruises; we got lucky on that. Expect cabin tour Periscopes and pictures.

Social Media

I plan on doing some Periscopes and posting things to my newly founded Flickr page.

PeriscopeCraftyCat05 - Plan on seeing the Cabin Tour, Embarkation, Docking and Undocking, and other things here.

Flickr - CraftyCat05https://www.flickr.com/photos/155580610@N05/albums/72157693503806790/with/41744815340/ - Plan on seeing a full album of some of the photos I take here.
(I don't change usernames 😆)

Miscellaneous

  • We haven't gotten any drink, spa, or specialty dining packages, as we find that we never will get our money's worth out of these. 
  • I'm still debating on bringing my Nikon D7000 with me; seems like it won't be a great idea to bring it in port, and my iPhone camera is great for cruising candids.
  • This will be my first time: Live blogging, scoping, and posting images to my gallery. Expect errors, hiccups, and newbie mistakes. (read: be patient, please:))
  • We loved the Costal Kitchen and it's staff on Allure, and hope the same experience is translated to Symphony.
  • I am a tech nerd, and will also give updates on the new Royal app and the WOW bands (which we will get with our suite).
  • I will be leaving my 26 pound Schnoodle at the Pet Resort in town. He will also be staying in 5 paw accommodations, which include a webcam for us to view him while traveling. 
  • Expect me to post pictures of Cruise Compasses and other documents.
  • My laptop "N" key is starting to get sticky, lets hope it doesn't fail while on the cruise.
  • Biggie One: I really hope that I can get some interaction from YOU! Ask any questions you have may have, give me some tips, or just comment on what you see here.

wooh! Time to get my fingers soaked... Too much typing!

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45 minutes ago, Joe01 said:

What are you most looking forward to on Symphony? Definitely do the slides. Go to 80's night as well. Those are my two recommendations.

Definitely looking forward most to the Abyss and Perfect Storm slides, and the shows. They were fantastic last time on Allure, and can't wait to see what the Symphony cast brings to the stage, ice, and water. Food as well!

My mother and father are excited most for the ports and places we will see, but I bet they will also enjoy the food and activities on SY, just like last time on Allure.

Thanks for the question!

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8 minutes ago, CraftyCat05 said:

Definitely looking forward most to the Abyss and Perfect Storm slides, and the shows. They were fantastic last time on Allure, and can't wait to see what the Symphony cast brings to the stage, ice, and water. Food as well!

My mother and father are excited most for the ports and places we will see, but I bet they will also enjoy the food and activities on SY, just like last time on Allure.

Thanks for the question!

The ice shows are great. Very talented cast. 

Saw most of one of the Aqua shows and it is certainly very impressive. Definitely takes a lot of skill to do what they do. I need to go back to see the other one.

Didn't get to see Hairspray or Flight, so need to cruise on Symphony again to see them. The cast are great though (I saw them in a different number).

BTW - The blue slide is very fast. Also love the champagne bowl (green/yellow) but the queue is long for that one. The yellow racer is slower though. I didn't do the Abyss.

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2 minutes ago, Joe01 said:

The ice shows are great. Very talented cast. 

Saw most of one of the Aqua shows and it is certainly very impressive. I need to go back to see the other one.

Didn't get to see Hairspray or Flight, so need to cruise on Symphony again to see them. The cast are talented though (I saw them in a different number).

BTW - The blue slide is very fast. Also love the champagne bowl (green/yellow) but the queue is long for that one. The yellow racer is slower though.

I hear that the cast is very talented, but the story line for the ice shows are very disorganized and not together. Luckily, the twists and turns will distract me from it!

I'm really excited about flight (aviation enthusiast here), and will be interesting how they can make the history of flight into an entertaining masterpiece.

Thanks for the tips about the slides! Will help me beat all the others 😈

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Just now, CraftyCat05 said:

I hear that the cast is very talented, but the story line for the ice shows are very disorganized and not together. Luckily, the twists and turns will distract me from it!

 I'm really excited about flight (aviation enthusiast here), and will be interesting how they can make the history of flight into an entertaining masterpiece.

Thanks for the tips about the slides! Will help me beat all the others 😈

Yes, what you said about the Ice Shows is true, but that's not the fault of the cast. It's probably the way ice shows work though. 1977 was better than Flight in that regard.

Careful on the blue side. I nearly blacked out at the end of it. Was a fair splash of water at the exit. Do take care.

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Just now, twangster said:

Must try blue slide 😎

It's like people blacking out on rollercoasters. Very fun, but it is fast and what I would consider intense (although that definition changes depending on what you like).

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4 minutes ago, Joe01 said:

@CraftyCat05 They play this on RCTV. Watch it a look at the entire thing in 1m30.

 

Thanks for the video! Makes me want to get on there faster! 😭

Time to see if the RCL website will let me print my documents! (Should have done this earlier, ugh) (Update: It did!)

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Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Going to be calling a Uber to the airport in less than 2 hours! 

 

but... just got a text from American, saying that our flight to Miami has been delayed by 14 minutes, making our connection time a mere 59 minutes. Anything to do in Miami? Is the airport hotel good? I just don't think that we are going to make that flight to Barcelona...

@accio7, it may commence, but not where it's going to be! lol, thanks for the well wishes.

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3 hours ago, CraftyCat05 said:

but... just got a text from American, saying that our flight to Miami has been delayed by 14 minutes, making our connection time a mere 59 minutes. Anything to do in Miami? Is the airport hotel good? I just don't think that we are going to make that flight to Barcelona...

@accio7, it may commence, but not where it's going to be! lol, thanks for the well wishes.

Oh no! All the best to you, my cruising friend, I hope you do make the flight as well!

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Updates, updates, updates!

Calling American at the last minute while enroute to the airport to make a flight to Miami, an absolute miracle worker was able to get my whole trip rerouted so I could actually make to Barcelona on time! I will now go though Heathrow instead of Miami, for no extra charge! Everything seems to be going well....

Except my Macbook Pro has decided to make my "B" key to be very temperamental and only work when it wants to. If you see a lot of missing B's, then you know why. Will try to get this fixed, lol.

Well, Yay for making flights!

 

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