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Symphony Of The Seas 23-30 Sep ,maybe a semi live blog


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Well , it was long time ago since the last cruise . I guess its another Med cruise before Symphony is going to Miami.

Actually this cruise was the original cruise we planned for this ship but then we added one in April.

This time we are going to focus mainly on exploring the ship , we scheduled only 2 tours so I am not even sure we will go out of the ship in every port, but things can change. The main different for this cruise is the fact it will be our first time on a JS , The price was right and hey YOLO , I booked it.

As always we arrived 1.5 days before the cruise , after all there are allot of things to do in Barcelona , this time I found a flight with a connection in Istanbul with Turkish Air as they are part of star alliance and we get points and access to the lounges (due to the status in United). It prove itself as we enjoyed the very impressive lounge while waiting between the flights and they also upgraded us.

Tomorrow we will tour Barcelona , not decided yet where to go so it will be a free style and mainly for the day to pass so we can board the ship ?

Not everyone were happy we are cruising again :


The lounge :


They have food stations were they prepare some fresh dishes :



And how I can Ignore the Baklava cakes, mental note to myself - avoid checking you sugar level at least few weeks after the cruise 


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Day -1.

Barcelona , so many things to do here but I really want to board the ship already. We did not had exact plans for the day so we decide just to improvise. After quick breakfast at the hotel (four points near Diagonal) we decide to first be done with the ship shopping (AKA , two bottles of wines , water and things we forgot) so we went to the nearest supermarket. next we went to see the famous church - Sagrada Familia , it was about 30 minutes walk from our hotel but hey  we need to burn some calories before the endless visits to the WJ and the weather was just perfect for walking. the church looks amazing from the outside and I would not skip it. 


Next came my favorite part , the tapas bar visit , this time we went to a place call Tapas Tapas , the menu is the table cover so its very easy to choose from it. It for sure not the best tapas in town but everything was good and we enjoyed it with a jar of sangria. we took some mussels  (which were very very fresh) , olives, patatas bravas (a must for me in any Tapas bar), some fried papers and a small salad.


The sangria is not included in the ultimate drinking package, should I go on the other board and complain or since we did not order the package I should leave it ? 

We continued to walk a while until we decided its time to head back to the hotel. really nice day, we passed near several game tables which apparently were something like tennis tables but you play it with soccer ball (or football in the rest of the world) , we saw two that played it and it was fun to watch for a while.


And now , we are not in London , but still this building is near our hotel



Now I finally starting my favorite part in a a day before the cruise , making the luggage tags. I guess we will find some place to eat a light dinner and try to go to sleep early as I know I will not be able to sleep late at a cruise day.  We did the online check in using the application and it approved us to do the expedite  boarding (which I Guess its just to show our online sea passes and the passport). On the expedite sea pass its says board between 1:30 to 2 PM , yap , sure , that exactly what we are going to do ...  

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1 hour ago, accio7 said:

Get up my friend, it’s cruise day today! 

I knew I have missed something ? , actually we almost thought we missed it. All our past  cruises from Barcelona started on Saturday so I got that strange feeling that something is wrong at Saturday evening while walking and enjoying the weather. Had few minutes of fear until I had the chance to verify we are boarding on Sunday.

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Day 1 – Barcelona.

Embarkation day is here ! , woke up at 5 am  and had to be quite for a while as my spouse do not believe in getting up early on embarkation day. I surfed the internet, looked for our next cruise (always fun) and tried to pass the time. Some how I even felt a sleep again for 30 blessed minutes. Finlay my spouse waked and we went to eat breakfast.  Post breakfast we repacked, morning shower and out we go (or so we thought), the line to the checkout was very long as it already contained many people that came back from the port and tried to get a room at 10 am , all this line was for me to pay 2.6 Euro (city tax). We went out to the main street to catch a taxi and after five minutes and 30 seconds before I decided to  try Uber we got one. From the hotel to the port it took us around 20 minutes ,mainly due to heavy traffic on the port road, there were five more ships beside us (The biggest after Symphony was NCL Epic). Once in port we dropped our luggage and went to the expedite queue (we have done the check in via the application). There was not any lines, they checked us in using  tablets and took my picture again (with the same tablet), we passed security and continued directly to the ship, all in all from the time we arrived until we boarded was 5 minutes (contains one extra minute for stopping to take a picture of the ship) fastest boarding ever, I just hope it will stay like that once many more will use the expedite option but I am sure they will add more people to support it (well at least I hope it will not be like what happened to the Precheck US airport system were many time I saw the precheck lanes were bigger than the regular once).


Home sweet home , Symphony , what is no to love here , after walking around the different decks we continued to the WJ, I was not that impressed this time as no decorations , no carved fruits or welcome cakes, nothing  comparing to last time we have been on this ship , I guess there is a big advantage to be on one of the first cruises. The rooms were ready at 1 PM so we went to drop our bags. It is our first time in a Junior suite and we love it , for us it’s a huge room and the walking closet is perfect , no  need to try and push the luggage under the bad.


In the room we found our Emerald new pins ?.


Next was the laser Tag for us , we loved it last time and enjoyed it again. Please note, on this cruise they have only two sessions of the lase tag , so its better to do it on embarkation day. The regular spa tour was next and we booked one treatment for my spouse. The muster drill followed, the announcements were done using  three language , English , Spanish and lets see if you can guess what was the third one , hint , it’s the first time I heard it being used during announcements.

We had early dinner at the Costal kitchen , it was quite easy to book , once we got access to the room I just called them and booked it no issue at all (and no need to go up and wait that someone will open the door for us as the JS key dose not gain access to the CK during the day time). The food was very good , I took the smoked tomato soup and my spouse took the Salmon appetizer. We both  took the filet which was perfect. Before leaving we booked the CK again for Tuesday, again no issues.


The Ice show was next , we did not know if to go to see it or not as we already watched it last time but we said we will give it a try. We were so happy doing it, the show is the same show but the level of performance and the level of complexity of the sequences was much higher than we remember, the group got allot of practice during the last five month ? , I hope it will be the same exact group for the GC, you enjoy it. Visit to the Casino, central park, the balloons drop party and   the attic dance club conclude this very long day.


Palma tomorrow    



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3 hours ago, Traveler said:

We had early dinner at the Costal kitchen , it was quite easy to book , once we got access to the room I just called them and booked it no issue at all (and no need to go up and wait that someone will open the door for us as the JS key dose not gain access to the CK during the day time). The food was very good , I took the smoked tomato soup and my spouse took the Salmon appetizer. We both  took the filet which was perfect. Before leaving we booked the CK again for Tuesday, again no issues.

Were they only allowing booking for one day in advance?  Or are you able to book the whole week if you wanted to?

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Day 2 - Palma.



Breakfast at Park cafe yo avoid the morning WJ find a table game, enjoyed a bagel to start the day. Since my spouse had a sps treatment scheduled for 10 AM (was very good) we left quite late to  the city (10 Euro round trip), we took our passports just in case as the all on board was scheduled for 3:30 PM. We spent around two hours and went back to the ship.


We eat pizza for our late lunch, the pizza was better than I remembered or I was just  very hungry ? .

The pool deck before people returned


We went to the top tier event which was in the aqua theater , around 1700 gold and above but not many top tier , the higer number of points was around 450.


As it was Official night we went back to the room to get  preapered , dinner was at  the MDR My Time. The service was supper fast , the all dinner took us around one hour.


The sea was white rough we could really felt we are at sea. At the room it was very noisy , it felt like we are on airplane that got to some air pockets , I liked it (I am the crazy one during flights that has big smile on is face when the airplane gets to one). All in all another excellent day on the Symphony. (I am writing this post from the cell phone so please forgive the auto correct errors, yes I blame the auto correct for my spelling mistakes ? )


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Day 3 Marseille.

We got up late and went to the WJ (no one pice of vegetabl, and no , cheese is not a vegetable) post breakfast we do d our way to the gangway to catch the   city shuttle (18 $ both way and 20 minutes ride). We walked around the old port and several street near the center of town, conclude with some supermarket run to buy water and some spices.


Lunch was at Park cafe , not really impressed from WJ this cruise. Dinner  was at CK again , it was good (not same level as last time) and the dessert was amazing (walnuts paste or something like that.


It wss time to our first sunset picture


80s party at 11 pm was fun .


And yes it's Mr BB.

The roaming piano 


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Day 4 Florence.

We went to sleep around 2 am as we had shore excursion to visit Florence schedule for 9 am. I didn't set the alarm clock as every day during this week I am up at 7 am (which I don't like). Around 6:30 I woke up, looked on the watch and told myself "excellent at least one more hour to sleep" so I did attempt to go back and catch some more sleep. That was working perfectly as next thing I remember was my spouse asking me if we aren't late for the excursion ? I wanted to tell here that we enough time but when I looked at the watch it was 8:45. We jumped and start to get organized, shorter shower ever. At 9:02 we were at the meeting point , just on time but cost us our breakfast and I forgot to remove the do not disturb sign which was problematic as we left the laundry (wash and fold 25$) to be collected.

The ride to Florence took us around 2 hours , on the way in we stopped at a leather factory for bio break, free water and the factory store , I wish they skip this stop so we can be extra time  Florence but I understand the need to stop before the tour starts and I have now a new belt. The tour is basically walking tour in the old city. Florence is  very impressive and I would recommend to get there even if it is two hours ride each direction.



At the end of the tour we got some free time so we went to eat lunch and a very late breakfast (2:30 PM) we shared pizza and lasagna. Post dinner we decided we saw  enough churches for one day so we went to see the big synagogue of Florence. It's a very impressive synagogue which contains also a small museum. The place is heavily secured and there is a small fee to enter. 


After the free time we all met and started our way back to the port. We arrived around 7:15 pm and we went yo the  WJ (first time dinner there forthis cruise) . Later we went to see the aqoa theater show (Hiro) it was very energetic and I liked the music they used.


Tommorow Rome , we will stay on the ship.

For now another central Park view :




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52 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Holy cow! Two big wins on two consecutive cruises of the same ship! Congratulations!

I'm assuming you repeated your example from the last time this happened, and left the casino as soon as you hit that jackpot. ?

I am , going to sleep , lucky for me I have early shore excursion tommorow so no temptations ?

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Last day on Symphony , did not update few days due to internet hogging by someone, long shore excursion and many other excuses but I promise to update later, for sure I will publish pictures from amazing Capri.

Now we are waiting to see flight , the new RC production which we missed yesterday but successfully reserved it for today .


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Day 5

I did not forgot , I still need to report the extra missing days  ? , at Day 5 we came to the port which suppose to be near Rome , actually its about 1 hour from Rome (pending the traffic which can be problematic in Italy). As we visit Rome five month ago we decided to stay most of the time on the ship with some quick tour at the port city (for water and coffee). So we took the time to wake up and  breakfast at the WJ (we planned to go to Johnny Rocket but missed it by 2 minutes). Getting to the city was quite easy , they have a shuttle bus that drops you at the port entrance and from there it’s a five minutes’ walk. Noting really to say about the city , its not the biggest or the prettiest  but it has some restaurants, coffee places and supermarkets  to re stock with some products and gifts options . So we walked around the city for couple of hours and took the shuttle back to the ship to take the advantage on the fact that most of the  people went to visit Rome (or so we thought). I guess we were not the only people that decide to stay that day , there were some lines to the water slides and the flow rider. The worse lines were to the Laser Tag , it was the second day which they offered it (for 3 hours) and the lines started near the Casino entrance, we saw the line , gave up and were very happy we done it on the day one , as always try to take advantage on the first day for the most popular activities . Dinner was the MDR today (sorry no pictures) , service was fast and the food was good as usual bunt not special.  We went to sleep early as we had 7:30 AM tour to Capri.

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Day 6  - Naples.

This is our 4th cruise with port stop in Naples , each time we find new things to do (first tour was Pompeii, second was  to Sorrento and the third was Naples itself) So it was our first time to go to Capri. It was a full day tour we booked from RC. at 7:00 pre morning I waked up to the  sound of the alarm (it was still dark outside I have checked) I did a quick shower and ran to the park cafe to bring us some bagels. We arrived at time to the meeting point and after 10 minutes we done our way to the pier , collecting our devices which were offered on all the Italian tours (receivers to hear the guide from a distance) and met our guide that took us to the fast ferry. The ferry ride takes around 45 minutes and it was quite smooth (well whatever I remembered since I was sleeping most of the ride , after all it was still pre morning for me). The guide asked us to get up few minutes before so we will be the first group that disembark, we done it and off we went to catch the minibus which took us to AnaCapri on top of the hill. In AnaCapri we could have choose what we want to do, chairlift to the top of the mountain , Museum or a church. We choose to do the chairlift and got tickets  the from the guide. The chairlift was wonderful, it’s a single chairs so you are riding the lift for 15 minutes passing breathtaking view , a very serenity experience.


Once on the top of the mountain , there is a trail with many “pictures” points and a small coffee shop. We spent 20 minutes on the top of the mountain and took the chairlift down.



The next stop was Capri town , its in the middle of the hill and contains many shops, restaurants and a nice view from one of the gardens (the ticket was also included) , here is Capri typical taxi :


) we did the guided tour and got around 2 hours of free time which we used to eat a pizza, excellent ice cream and tour the town. Going back to Capri port we took the funicular (again tickets were included) were we embark  the ferry back to Naples. All in all it was around 8 hours tour , very recommended and it was one of the tours that we really felt you getting a good value for your money. Although you can save some money by doing it yourself , the lines we skipped and the great tour guide was really worth it. Since we had still some time before “all on board” we decide to go and visit Naples for an hour , so we went directly to the city to enjoy a good espresso before heading back to the ship. It was formal night , so we got organized and went to eat at the Coastal Kitchen . we both took the lobster for main although they also offered the rack of lamb. For dessert we took the tapioca which was good


. It was another  perfect day  




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6 minutes ago, Traveler said:

When I saw the view one of the first thing I thought was that you need to come a week before you TA cruise and take a pre cruise to this area  ? 

I'm flying in the day before due to work constraints but sounds like a great idea.  

I'm still getting over the envy from you having done Symphony twice while many us haven't yet been once.  ? 

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7 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Amazing photos, @Traveler! Whenever I make it to the Mediterranean, I will definitely have to visit here with the family.

Did the chairlift have any kind of safety bar or seat belts or anything? Hard to tell from your pics, but it almost looks like you're just sitting loosely in the chair.


Yes , the chairlift has a bar that you lower once you are in the seat and take it up before leaving the seat , the operator has a stop and a slow button which they can press if they see someone need extra time to catch the seat or to get out of it.



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Thanks for confirming that, @Traveler! I've got a pretty decent fear of heights that gets worse in something like a chairlift, but if there's a secure bar there to hold me in that will help stave it off. May not work up the nerve to take any photos, since that would mean letting go of the bar, but at least I could make it up to the top of the mountain and back down! ?

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Just now, JLMoran said:

Thanks for confirming that, @Traveler! I've got a pretty decent fear of heights that gets worse in something like a chairlift, but if there's a secure bar there to hold me in that will help stave it off. May not work up the nerve to take any photos, since that would mean letting go of the bar, but at least I could make it up to the top of the mountain and back down! ?

Well ,  its not that high , 

I can promise you in the way down you will already feel ok to take photos since you will know what to anticipate.

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44 minutes ago, twangster said:


I'm flying in the day before due to work constraints but sounds like a great idea.  

I'm still getting over the envy from you having done Symphony twice while many us haven't yet been once.  ? 

Well , I am envy with all the people that can get to the car any time at the year and catch a cruise or in the worse case scenario 4 hours flight ? (and not 12)  lucky for me Symphony and Harmony were around here first.

If you are planning to fly the day before here are few things you should take into consideration :

1. Change money to Euros in the US , the change in the airport and in the city will give you bad rate/commission. 

2. you will need around 40 Euros for the taxi from airport to the city , not sure that Ubber will work from the airport.

3. If you are landing on Sunday, take into consideration that   most of the big supermarkets are closed on Sunday only small one are open , if it is regular day , opening hours are 9am to 9- 10 PM , I will recommend to buy your wine there.

4. There is a shop post security before you board the ship , they sell boxes of water and wine , for sure no issue to take the water you buy there to the ship.

5. Symphony is boarding from two different terminals (B and C) make sure you know which terminal you should use.

6.Expedite embarkation works perfectly in Barcelona.

7. Boarding time is around 11 AM (10 minutes +/-)

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