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Symphony OTS Live! - Transatlantic Oct. 28, 2018 "Coming to America"


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Day 11 - Dinner

Dinner tonight would be in the Solarium Bistro.  It's a pretty great location for dinner and with the Solarium changes on Symphony it is a pretty awesome venue for dinner.

For those that want a short summary - come eat here.  Must. do.

The Solarium at dinner is by reservation but at no charge unless you want to enhance your dining experience with a special entree.

The 'menu' is offered outside on flat panel displays for your consideration.

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Solarium Bistro is not a full sit down specialty dining venue.  You will be escorted to your table but you will not be presented a full menu to order from. 

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With the Solarium right outside the floor to ceiling windows of the Bistro make it a pretty great dining location.

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Instead of a dinner menu I was offered a wine list to start and informed that the Bistro is more of buffet of sorts.  A foodie buffet.

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My waiter did mention some specials one of which caught my ear.  A filet for $12.  Like a land restaurant the nightly specials don't appear on the menu.   I decided I better try the filet.  For $12 it's all in the name of research.

Having ordered the filet special I was invited to eat from the buffet as if I had not ordered an extra cost item.  

The Bistro is a collection of small items that you are free to pick as many of one, or a selection of many,  as you see fit.  


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There is also a pasta station where you can pick your ingredients and have them make a unique pasta entree.  

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A salad station offers different types of salads to pick from.

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My 'appetizer' tonight.  Mixed Salad, Chicken Kabob and Kofta.

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By this point the sun had set and the beautiful art of the Solarium was illuminated with ever changing colors.  Quite mesmerizing to watch.  

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Perhaps it was the wine, but it is a very unique and nice dining venue that really struck a chord with me.

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Very quickly my filet arrived.

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Cooked just as I requested and very good.  Yum.

Time for dessert.

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O. M. G.  

I would have taken pictures of dessert but I found myself diving into the wonderful flavors.  The Baklava really was good.  So were the two other dessert items I managed to eat.  Three desserts?  I don't normally do that but they were so good.

I wish I had found the Solarium Bistro earlier in the cruise.  While I'm not a foodie by nature the Kofta and Chicken Kabobs were really good as an appetizer.  I would gladly pay the $12 for the filet again.  Dessert - just wow.  

Between the ambiance of the venue itself and the food offered it was a highlight meal of the cruise for me.

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21 minutes ago, twangster said:

I wish I had found the Solarium Bistro earlier in the cruise.  While I'm not a foodie by nature the Kofta and Chicken Kabobs were really good as an appetizer.  I would gladly pay the $12 for the filet again.  Dessert - just wow. 

Thanks for the review, @twangster! That's interesting that they have off-menu specials, and that filet was priced quite aggressively! Now I'm going to have to try the Solarium Bistro on Anthem when I'm back on her next year. We had skipped it this past time because we had dinner in CK each night, but since we won't have that option this time around it might be a nice way to mix it up a night or two.

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1 minute ago, JLMoran said:

Thanks for the review, @twangster! That's interesting that they have off-menu specials, and that filet was priced quite aggressively! Now I'm going to have to try the Solarium Bistro on Anthem when I'm back on her next year. We had skipped it this past time because we had dinner in CK each night, but since we won't have that option this time around it might be a nice way to mix it up a night or two.

The Bistro on Anthem is good, make no mistake, but it wasn't the same experience.  Still enjoyable but Symphony's Bistro is in a different league.  

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With my artistic juices flowing (the wine in the Solarium Bistro at dinner was really good) I was inspired to take more night photos around the ship.

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The Perfect Storm slides were still open.

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Inspired by the color changes within the art in the Solarium that I saw during dinner in the Solarium Bistro I knew I had to try to capture it.

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It really is pretty spectacular and something anyone who sails Symphony needs to experience.

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2 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

@twangster, am I wrong thinking you're already on Serenade and posting from there now? Thanks for yet another amazing live blog and photo safari of this latest adventure, and I'm already looking forward to seeing Serenade and this next experience you're kicking off!

Not quite.  Running about 18 hours behind in my time line.  Right now I'm on Symphony's port bridge wing getting to sail away to Miami.   My last night on board before Serenade tomorrow.  

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Just now, Lovetocruise2002 said:

the pics this time have been amazing.  She may be my most favourite ship after I sail her in July

I know what you mean Loveto, Great photos, great ship and great write up. I've been looking at the 2020 itineraries for the Symphony and may just cancel our 2 week B2B on the Adventure. Hopefully the 2021 itineraries will be out in a couple of months. Symphony is now at the top of my cruise bucket list! :27_sunglasses:

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Just now, rjac said:

I know what you mean Loveto, Great photos, great ship and great write up. I've been looking at the 2020 itineraries for the Symphony and may just cancel our 2 week B2B on the Adventure. Hopefully the 2021 itineraries will be out in a couple of months. Symphony is now at the top of my cruise bucket list! :27_sunglasses:

I am going to assume that Symphony Summer 2020-Spring 2021 will be out mid-December (week of December 10th).  

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55 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

And a beautiful one at that!

@twangster the pics this time have been amazing.  She may be my most favourite ship after I sail her in July....

Royal hit a home run with Symphony.  I am still looking forward to my other Oasis class ships as well as a couple on some ships that aren't the largest cruise ship in the world, but Symphony is special. 

Is it too much to ask for a pop up storm that closes all U.S. ports and forces us back to Europe?  (yes, she has enough fuel to cross back across the Atlantic)

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Just now, twangster said:

Royal hit a home run with Symphony. 

I just wish she wasn't double the price.  Taking my girls on their first OA class in 4 months.  Then we have Oasis after that.  Would love to take them on Symphony but not at the prices right now.

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15 hours ago, Matt said:

Correct, it's an optional thing to get. If you are not in a suite, you can purchase a WOWband for $4.95 each.

It can replace most of what the SeaPass can do. The only real exception is you still need SeaPass card for getting on or off the ship in a port.

Can the same WOWband be "re-programmed" and used on a later cruise free of charge?

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Day 12 - Land Ho!

"Far,
We've been traveling far..."

Neil Diamond, "America"

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Sometime around 3am I ventured to the port bridge wing to capture our arrival in Port Canaveral and to North America.  

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Several people would join me, the bridge wings were very popular.

We did a quick turn in the mid-port turning basin and backed into the slip for Terminal 1 that Oasis of the Seas uses as her home.

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Captain Rob expertly brought us in and we gently made contact with the pier.

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With that we had arrived.  

Our progress...

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For the first time on this voyage we were pointing due East.

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With our arrival complete I went back to bed.  I wasn't expected to meet Customs and Border Patrol until late morning so sleep seemed like a good idea.

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Day 12 - continued...

Everyone on the ship was required to meet Customs and Border Patrol on this day.  They had to get the ship to 'zero count' meaning all guests had to be off before any guest was allowed back onboard.  

With over 2,200 crew they had to be cleared by CBP as well which for them began at 4am as soon as we arrived.  The crew were cleared early and first so that they could go in waves and get back to the ship to prepare our breakfast and do all the other things that the crew does.  

TV displays around the ship indicated when we were expected to debark.  Guests with excursions were to meet in the theater closer to the start of the process.  

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Since my muster was G4 I had a couple of hours so I headed to the Solarium Bistro for a buffet breakfast.

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The Bistro is much like the Windjammer for breakfast, self service with open seating.

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There is an egg station where cooked to order eggs are prepared as you wait.

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With the two story floor to ceiling windows the Solarium Bistro is a great alternative to the Windjammer for a buffet type meal.

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That second story seating area is part of the Hooked specialty dining venue.

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