Just booked Symphony of the Seas! Tell me all about it

Discussion in 'Royal Caribbean' started by nickymaria, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. nickymaria

    nickymaria Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
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    Hi everyone! I am a LONG time Disney fan (and DVC member) and I just booked the March 30th itinerary for Symphony of the Seas for spring break for my two girls and I. We cruised the Disney Wonder several years ago and loved it, and now this our first Royal Caribbean trip. We have booked a boardwalk view balcony and we are SO excited! Tell me everything a seasoned Disney fan and traveller should know about cruising RCCL. Should we buy a dining package? Drink package? (I don't drink a lot and the girls don't drink soda so I am thinking no...) Our itinerary includes stops in St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Nassau. Any favorite excursions we should book? I'm cruising with my two girls, ages 12 and 15. Any and all advice is welcome!
     
  2. KashasMom

    KashasMom DIS Veteran

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    Apr 28, 2012
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    Keep watching the Royal Website - they have very frequent sales on dining/drinking packages, internet, excursions, etc. Book your shows when reservations open up - I believe it's 90 days out. Check the Daily Compass for the Eastern itinerary when they become available (believe that should be very soon since she's back from Europe). That will give you an idea of what there is to do and may help you plan your shows/dining. We never buy the drink package because we don't really drink soda. I cruised with my daughter when she was 8 (on the Allure) and we loved having the specialty dining. Check the menus to see if your girls would enjoy the meals, otherwise there are many places to eat without an extra charge. You can also eat at a specialty restaurant for 1 night (without having to buy a package) if that works better for you. My tip for breakfast - if you're going to the Windjammer (buffet) get there before 9 or you will likely encounter lines! There is plenty of space by the pools (and love that there are so many pools)! Do you prefer cruise line excursions or going on your own?
     
  3. starvenger

    starvenger DIS Veteran

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    Apr 8, 2015
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    - Download the Royal Caribbean app. It won't come into play until about a month or two out, but it will keep track of all your ship-booked activities and give you all the scheduled activities.
    - Photos are expensive. If you've done Memory Maker at WDW or an unlimited photo package on the Wonder I'd get the unlimited USB package here.
    - Your kids will be in the teen club on deck 15. I've heard it's hit or miss. My kids aren't that old yet, so I don't have any firsthand anecdotes for you.

    - If you only want one or two specialty restaurants, look into getting a "First Night Done Right" or "BOGO" deal if offered in Cruise Planner. But only during one of those Cruise Planner sales that discount them further.
    - The most frustrating thing about the Cruise Planner is that you may or may not see the actual retail price of an item (such as the drink package). If you have your eye on something, make a note of the prices now and then compare when there is a sale.
    - Did Symphony have a "Dine Drink Discover" deal for the Boardwalk Balcony? If so, you'll get a couple of soda packages plus a meal for 4 at Johnny Rockets.
    - Speaking of which, breakfast at Johnny Rockets is included. I always recommend trying it once.

    - Nassau I'd probably walk around the touristy area. If the weather is nice, maybe head over to Junkanoo Beach and eat some of the Fish Fry.
    - Coral World in St. Thomas kind of sucks. Avoid anything that includes that.
    - If you're just looking to go to the beach, the main strip in St. Maarten is perfect for that. You will need to pay to rent some loungers and an umbrella, but it's not a requirement to get them.

    Including some links for you from Matt's RC Blog

    First Timer's Guide to Royal Caribbean
    First Timer's Guide to Harmony (should be similar to Symphony with a few changes)
    My Time Dining vs Traditional Dining
    Drink Package
    More Drink Package stuff
     
  4. Denise W

    Denise W Disney Veteran

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    Aug 19, 1999
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    Symphony is brand new and won't even get to the US until November, to do cruises out of Miami. Right now it is in the Med. I will be doing back to back cruises on it in January. All the trip reports so far involve the European cruises.
    Denise
     

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