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

    Oct 9, 2008
    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

    Apr 28, 2012
    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?
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  4. starvenger

    starvenger DIS Veteran

    Apr 8, 2015
    - 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
  5. Denise W

    Denise W Disney Veteran

    Aug 19, 1999
    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.
  6. nickymaria

    nickymaria Mouseketeer

    Oct 9, 2008
    Thanks everyone!

    @KashasMom - Thanks for all of the advice! I'll keep an eye on the RC site - we definitely want some sort of dining package and we'll take some excursions as well.
    @starvenger - I loved your Allure report and I so appreciate all of the links and info you have to share. You're a wealth of information! I'll definitely avoid Coral world and figure other things out.
    @Denise W - I can't wait to hear all about your January cruises!
    KashasMom and starvenger like this.
  7. 3monkeys4me

    3monkeys4me Mouseketeer

    Apr 2, 2010
    I haven't been on an Oasis class ship and don't really have anything to add that the previous posters didn't already mention but Symphony looks so beautiful! I am sure you will have a wonderful cruise!
  8. czmom

    czmom DIS Veteran

    Oct 26, 2011
    We are sailing on the Symphony January 5! So much to learn as we’ve only done DCL for awhile.
  9. nickymaria

    nickymaria Mouseketeer

    Oct 9, 2008
    @czmom - Can't wait to hear all about it! I've also only done DCL so let me know your thoughts!
  10. chicagodisneyfan

    chicagodisneyfan Peace

    Sep 25, 2000
    I just got off Symphony yesterday (9/30) in Barcelona - which is why I cannot sleep at 5am Chicago time!
    We had a great time on and off the boat.
    Really liked the specialty restaurants - Hooked, Jamie Olivers, Chopped, etc. The only one I thought was just ok was the sushi one.
    Entertainment great
    I spent hours at the Solarium relaxing.
    Did 4 spa treatments and all were excellent.
    Fitness center was epic.
    Let me know if you have specific questions and I will answer!
    plguzman likes this.
  11. plguzman

    plguzman Earning My Ears

    Aug 30, 2013
    I'm thinking of going to SOTS next september. Do you know if your sofa bed had a trundle bed? I don't want my 2 kids (10/8) to share the same bed. Thanks!
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018

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