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Sail Date: August 2019
We had seen this ship while we were on another cruise, and were amazed by the size. We booked a stateroom, knowing we would pay a premium because it is so we. The nightly entertainment is incredible. The full production of Hairspray is ... Read More
We had seen this ship while we were on another cruise, and were amazed by the size. We booked a stateroom, knowing we would pay a premium because it is so we. The nightly entertainment is incredible. The full production of Hairspray is amazing, and the Hiro Show was spectacular. Pros: Gorgeous ship, like a Miami hotel. Very friendly staff. Lots of specialty restaurants. Very nice app that allows you to see your schedule. AmIng entertainment in the evening. They are VERY serious about hand washing, and everyone Moves through a handwashing station before they go in to the food area. During the day there are a lot of options for food that is included in the price of the cruise. Great adults on the area at the front of the ship. Cons: Room 14-723 is under the Flowrider attraction. At night the water that is stored for the attraction sloshes loudly, dampening an otherwise great stateroom experience. There is barely anything to eat after 11:00pm. If you are used to the open buffets and little food places on Carnival, you won’t find that here. Although there are a number of restaurants, most of them close after 10 or 11 PM, leaving one small place on the main deck. It has a very limited selection of sandwiches and some desserts. We always enjoyed the option of having ice cream and pizza or hotdogs on carnival, the ship does not have any of that available late night. We also enjoyed trivia, but the place where they have the trivia is called the honor bar, it has very limited seating, probably less than 50 people can fit in there. This does not work for a ship that contains over 7000 passengers. So we often find ourselves with nothing to do on the ship, and we head back to the room and just read. It seems like the smaller ships have a lot more options for food and activities during the day, I simply don’t wanna look at overpriced diamonds and watches all day, I want other things to do. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this 4 day Bahamas and Perfect Day at Coco Cay cruise for a few reasons. It was our last summer blast before school starts next week, we wanted to see the new Coco Cay and we wanted the Navigator with the new additions to it. In ... Read More
We chose this 4 day Bahamas and Perfect Day at Coco Cay cruise for a few reasons. It was our last summer blast before school starts next week, we wanted to see the new Coco Cay and we wanted the Navigator with the new additions to it. In summary this has been one of the best cruises we have been on period. The Ship: the Navigator was simply beautiful. We loved the additions to the promenade as well as the improved pool area. We spent a lot of time in both. Playmakers was a highlight for us. Great service (shout out to Ann) and I loved the fun family atmosphere. We played jenga, and enjoyed the house band set up nearby. The pools are amazing and the water slides are even better. We loved the cabanas on deck. Our 6 year old did the slides so much the staff knew her by name. Speaking of which the Adventure Camp was one of the best. The play area is huge and they have wonderful activities. Our daughter kept asking “is camp open yet”. I also received services at to dry for and Monique was great. Friendly to talk with and she did a great job. Dining: I was a little disappointed in dining but nothing was terrible. It was all just average. The Buffett was the same most days with slight twists. But so was the dining room. Food was good but not great. No wow factors for us there. Ports: we did not get off the ship in Nassau having been there numerous times before and enjoyed the pool and water slides with hardly any people. What we LOVED was the new Perfect Day in coco cay. Splash away bay was perfect. Our daughter could have spent all day there so much fun for the kids. We walked around and spent time in the beach. Again clean, fun and amazing time. The food there was the best. Great steak sandwich, amazing mango water, fresh fruit etc. Shows: we attended two of the main shows and the ice show. What can I say about the ice show except WOW. The drone opening was amazing and the performers were top notch. Overall the staff was amazing. So friendly, went out of their way to help and just loved their experience there which showed. Sometimes you find some staff who were burned out but not on this ship. Kudos to all! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We are in our early 50s with a 13 year old daughter and a 12 year old son. We just achieved Emerald with Royal. Full cruising history (Celebrity, HAL, Disney, Princess, Carnival) - is in the signature. We flew from Toronto to FLL on ... Read More
We are in our early 50s with a 13 year old daughter and a 12 year old son. We just achieved Emerald with Royal. Full cruising history (Celebrity, HAL, Disney, Princess, Carnival) - is in the signature. We flew from Toronto to FLL on Air Transat via Pearson airport. Pearson was a bit of a disaster. The new (to us) luggage scanning drop-off system kept malfunctioning and the lineup was huge. We arrive at the airport for 5:30 with two hours to spare for our 7:40 flight. We have NEXUS so we felt two hours was appropriate - and even with the delays - we were fine. Others got caught in the delays and they held our flight for 40 minutes to wait for 5 families. We decided we would try UBER for the first time. The arrival started with someone approaching me and asking if we were getting an UBER - I said yes. He asked us to follow him. It was all very shady and did not give me a good feeling. We followed him ot the parking garage and despite lots of uncertainty, we loaded our luggage. I got in the car and it reaked of smoke. We took our luggage back and left and then proceeded to order our UBER. As UBER newbies, we were a little unclear on where to stand and of course, we were in the wrong spot. Our ride arrived and he kept calling me and just kept repeating his name and the vehicle he was driving. His English was poor and there was so much background noise I could barely hear him. Finally found an airport worker who pointed out the correct area (to the far left when you get out of the terminal) and we found our driver . We got to Terminal A at the Miami Cruiseport and everything went smoothly. We arrived around 12:30 and there were no traditional lineups by cruise status. We went to a line for those who already had a set sail pass, and there was no one in line. We went straight to an agent who scanned our set sail pass - and we were sent on the ship straight to our stateroom where the keycards were waiting for us with immediate access to our stateroom. It was the smoothest embarkation ever. A few random thoughts about our sailing, scroll down to the subject headings that interest you. Wine - we had two staterooms and brought 4 bottles of wine onboard. I bought wine travellers off Amazon. I am happy to link the ones I bought, if requested. I have to admit I was a bit nervous. The wine all went in my son's suitcase. His clothes were all packed in packing cubes (bought those off Amazon too). The packing cubes all went in clear recycling bags. The wine was placed in the wine traveller and each wine traveller was placed in a large ziploc bags, and then the four bottles in ziploc bags were placed in a super-large ziplock storage bag. I admit that I went a little overboard but better safe than sorry. I was also smart enough to pack a wine-carrier from the LCBO. At the airport, we pulled the bottles out of the suitcase and into the LCBO wine carrier. It made it easy to carry the 4 bottles on board. Security did a full examination on the wine bottles. And also wanted to see our documentation to prove that we had 2 cabins and that there was an adult in each cabin. This has never been verified before, so I'm glad we had an adult in each cabin. Cabins – we had two cabins Deck 7 starboard AFT. I was pleasantly surprised at how spacious the cabins were and how much storage space there was. On the left of the bed, were some shelves and room to hang clothes. On the right of the bed was a full length close. There was also a dresser. We had more than enough room. First time ever, we took the over-the-door organizer and didn’t need it. The Key - we did not have the KEY - but I found the program quite annoying to someone who did not have it. For shows in the main theatre, almost the entire center balcony was taken up and reserved for Key and Suite guests. Same thing in Studio B. Drink package - I pre-ordered Refreshment Packages for DH and the kids. Cards were printed indicating that they had the refreshment package. I did not set the kids up with charging privileges on their seaspass and this seemed to be quite problematic. Their first purchase was coffees at cafe promenade. We were told we had to open the sea pass. We went to guest services and their seas passes were opened. Then we went to the Vitality Spa - and again they had problems. I went back to guest services and a good lineup had started. I was playing broken telephone between the person triaging the line and the manager. She kept insisting the kids needed charging privileges. I finally had to insist the manager came out to see me, and then he set up their kids with a $1.00 charging privilege. The next morning I was back in line again because of problems and this time the charging privilege was raised to $10. The next morning, I had issues once more and had to go to guest services. This time they involved the head of beverage services who confirmed that a minimum $15.00 limit was need in order for the drink packages to work. This made absolutely no sense to me. We've had drink packages on Celebrity and the kids have never had a problem while not having charging privleges. This time, Guest Services took pity on me and we were given a generous future cruise gift certificate. The $15 limit appeared to be the magical solution and we had no problems after that. Chops - we received a complimentary dinner voucher from our travel agent, which we used at Chops on night 5. I had pre-trip questions about menus - we knew from the menus on the app that we wanted to miss the night 5 menu. At embarkation, we went to the MDR to check on menu order. We were told that the menus on the app were accurate, however the order would go 1,2,4,3,5,6,7. In the end, the menu order followed exactly as per the app and nights 3 and 4 were never switched. CHOPS was excellent and we all thoroughly enjoyed our meal. I was surprised at the number of kids, especially young kids, so this is far from an "adult" dining venue (yes, says the lady with two kids of her own!). My son were shorts on the understanding that if they turned him away he had to come back to the cabin and change. There was one man in a tux, but most men were fairly casual, with some men in t-shirts and casual shorts, and several men with baseball caps on. Casino: Blackjack is my game and $10 hands are my preference. There were usually two $10 tables playing multi-deck and one $10 table playing single deck. The $10 table did not allow you to take even money on a blackjack - you need to play at a $15 for that. Payouts on the $10 tables were also lower for blackjacks. Although there is a non-smoking side, the casino was generally pretty smoky - which gives Celebrity the edge for me. Dress Code - the dress code was far from enforced. On formal night, I saw plenty of cut-off jeans, shorty-shorts, hoodies and printed t-shirts. DH and DS did not wear suits on this cruise (which they were both happy about!) Both wore dress shirts and dress pants on formal night. DS (12) wore shorts and button-down short sleeve shirts most nights, although one night, he did a late arrival at the MDR wearing an ADIDAS t-shirt and although annoyed, I could hardly blame him given what most kids his age were wearing. Fitness - I can't recall if most ships are laid out the same way, but the jogging track is on DECK 5, and I happy to say I visited EVERY morning. I love the covered track as opposed to walking in the hot sun. Each day I logged between 19K and 20K steps. DS (12) had no problem accessing the fitness centre. He looks older than 12 and no one ever sought to verify his age. Perfect Day Waterpark- I had started a thread a few weeks ago regarding the waterpark – and the fine print stating that kids under 18 needed adult accompaniment. Well, that was much ado about nothing!!! I should clarify that my 12 year old is 5’9” and my 13 year old is 5’5”. My son looks at least 16 and my daughter could probably pass for 18. We stood at a distance and watched them try to gain access to the park with their VOUCHER ticket. They were told they needed the sea pass. They came back to me for their seapass. They scanned their seaspass and gained access to the park no problem. DH and I were both grateful not to have to purchase a ticket to the waterpark. For anyone little kids, there is a nice free waterpark area that would probably satisfy most kids up to maybe 8 – so don’t feel pressured to purchase tickets if your kids are young (or are not Thrillseekers). My kids both loved the waterpark. I had purchased full day tickets, but it was a hot one and they were both ready to call it by 12:30 - so in the future I would opt for a half-day pass. Quince Cruise- this was the much-debated (thread eventually closed) cruise. I did find the numerous large groups to be off-putting and will leave it at that. The most annoying part was 3 members of a group trying to hold down 20 seats in the theatre. We had one quince group on our floor and I have to say they were sometimes loud and inconsiderate, especially at 1AM in the morning – yelling and screaming in the hallway. I have no idea why, but formal night started for them at 7AM in the morning. I felt for the poor girls fully decked out in hair and make-up and full crinolin dresses. Entertainment. It was days into our cruise before I had any idea who the cruise director was - probably not until Hairspray. It was an installation of a new cast for Hairspray. The first show had two or three delays due to technical difficulties (one of which was a cast injury). My daughter (has seen hairspray in Toronto, on Oasis twice, watched hairspray the musical and hairspray live more times than she knows - watched it 3 times on this cruise. The second show went off without a hitch and the third show also had technical difficulties. We really liked 1977 and Flight and Hiro were also great. Comedy - Simeon Kirkilies is freaking HILARIOUS. Loved his Trump impressions. He should be the headliner - heck they should make him cruise director and give him his own ship. If he ever visits Toronto, I would gladly pay money to see him. WIFI - we purchased VOOM Surf and Stream for 4 devices. For some reason, our phones kept logging off everytime the phone shut-off - despite toggling auto-join. Must be an apple issue though. I found the WIFI slower than expected. I tried downloading a few shows off our home PVR and it took forever - although had no trouble watching shows from our PVR. Instagram and Facebook were slow to refresh, and often showed the refresh sign instead of updated content. To me, this should not happen with VOOM. Sometimes, logging on and off again seemed to fix the problem. It's still night and day better than Celebrity's WIFI. MY TIME DINING - we had reservations every night, and most nights we ended up in a lineup waiting almost 30 minutes to be seated. The front of the house seemed to be a bit flustered and not entirely in command of the seating process. There were two distinct lines for guests with reservations and guests without. However, one could bypass those lines and walk straight to the second or third podiums where they would get attended to. The set-up made no sense to me. MDR Food - overall we thought the food quality has improved, especially in the area of desserts. Debarkation – we had a flight home from MIA on Sunwing. Our flight was originally scheduled for 2:30 and eventually they cancelled it and connected us to a 4PM flight from Orlando to Toronto. I realize now that sunwing has a habit of cancelling/rescheduling and will not book with them again. We generally book early flights which has us taking off our own luggage at 7:30. This time, we had the luxury of time, so we stayed on the ship until 9:30. It was CHAOS at the terminal. Getting off the ship was easy enough, although we stood in line for a while. There was a special line for Canadian passport holders with almost no lineup. Then we got outside and it was chaos . We were unsure of where to stand for an UBER, and I was to cheap to incur roaming charges, so we decided to just get a taxi, and the line was CRAZY. Royal does nothing to manage the taxi line. There was a port worker at the front of the line. I’m not sure what his job was, but he kept saying it was not his job to fight with anyone, although he picked fights with at least two taxi drivers and kicked them out. Passengers were rudely bypassing the line, and taxis were being picked off at the back o the line while others were patiently waiting. We were not in rush, and other than the extreme heat being an issue, we were resigned to just wait our turn. The area should be roped off and the port authority needs more people managing the line. It took us an hour to get a taxi. Keep this in mind if you have a flight to catch. Overall it was a great cruise – probably our best yet on Royal. I would gladly sail Symphony again on a better itinerary. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Cruise Fare indicates and sales representatives state that complimentary ice tea, lemonade, and ice cream are available 24 hrs a day through out the ship. This is not true. This ship does not provide any complimentary drinks or ice cream ... Read More
Cruise Fare indicates and sales representatives state that complimentary ice tea, lemonade, and ice cream are available 24 hrs a day through out the ship. This is not true. This ship does not provide any complimentary drinks or ice cream after 9:15 pm. There are only two complimentary eating places which both are located on deck 5. One cannot hang out on top decks, watch a movie at the aqua theater, relax in Central Park or the solarium with access to complimentary drinks. If you want food you have to traverse to deck 5 and obtain pizza or a sandwich and only water to drink. This is totally unacceptable and is a deciding factor in our family never booking with RCI again. NOTE: I made my complaint directly to the Captain on the day 2 meet and greet opportunity. By the afternoon of day 3 a dispenser of tea and lemonade was made available at the pizza place on deck 5. When asked if I was satisfied I responded with a question of whether or not that service would be provided to the next cruise. In other words was there a policy change or was I just being satisfied? I received a non-verbal response which indicated no. This was in fact the case as the tea and lemonade dispensers were removed on the night of day 7 and replaced with water dispensers. There are no tea or lemonade dispensers available at the Mexican eatery on deck 15, nor at the Hot Dog stand on deck 6. Really? This is not first class service but an attempt to force one to purchase an beverage card. It is deceitful as well as marketing resources indicate otherwise. We can take our business to other cruise lines and if the industry as a whole converts to this practice then we will discontinue cursing and expand our land vacations. The nickel and dime-ing of services must stop or the cruise industry is going to suffer financially. RCI's self damming practices are why we don't invest in cruise companies. But we do invest in Coca-Cola's tea and lemonade! :) Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The good—Ship was easy to navigate, clean, and nice crew in all areas. Variety of entertainment options. Quick on and off in Miami. No long lines anywhere on ship. Shows in theatre were pretty good, ranging from RCI singers and ... Read More
The good—Ship was easy to navigate, clean, and nice crew in all areas. Variety of entertainment options. Quick on and off in Miami. No long lines anywhere on ship. Shows in theatre were pretty good, ranging from RCI singers and dancers, comedians, hypnotist, and individual singers. No large crowds anywhere on the ship. The bad—food was not good in both windjammer and dining room. Limited selection, not proper temperature, dry baked goods. Sprinkles machine didnt work properly for the entire cruise and had limited hours. Jr suite was really just balcony cabin with limited storage, small bathroom with no tub, and tv that froze up every few minutes. Warning—dont book on 9th floor—right below pool so VERY noisy. We never smelled the odors that other reviewers mentioned. Pool was very small (max 24 people)—great on port days, but so crowded on sea days. Repeated same movies many times and most were more suitable for kids. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was an absolutely great Cruise June 14-17.I rented 2 Rooms,one a Junior Suite and down the hall a Oceanside Balcony Room.It was my Daughters Graduation Present and I had 2 Boys,my Nephews with us bot 10 and 11.CoCoCay was ... Read More
This was an absolutely great Cruise June 14-17.I rented 2 Rooms,one a Junior Suite and down the hall a Oceanside Balcony Room.It was my Daughters Graduation Present and I had 2 Boys,my Nephews with us bot 10 and 11.CoCoCay was fabulous,everyone was extremely friendly and accomodating,the several Restaurants were great as well as the Service Staff.I did not buy a Pass but was able to go in to the Park area at 12 PM Noon as the Attendent allowed me to (Im totally disabled so couldnt utilize the great facility)The Beach was fabulous,clean and new chairs,chaise Lounges etc and Lockers for the Family. The Food was plenty and great quality,no problems getting a second helping in the gorgeous Tri Level Dining Room,saw the Show "Showgirls" spectacular,reminded me of Vegas,didnt get to the Ice Rink.My Daughter and Boyfriend used the Specialty Dining Rooms and it was crazy amount of food they got from Sushi to Prime Rib.Just a few glitches and here they are. The Cabins (both on the 9th Deck) were warm and couldnt cool them as we would like. Ordered 2 gifts (Octypus and Blanket) to bein the Suite when we arrived,only one was there,after spending sometime in line at Customer Service I still didnt receive it until around 6 PM and spoke to someone and it finally was delivered. The Auto Tipping I had removed and tipped accordingly,the Staff did better this way with me. I wouldnt buy the Soft Drink Package as its a $$ Maker,theres Free Drinks and Water all aboard the Ship and carryng these 32oz Cups was a pain.other than these few quirks and a Royal Caribbean Gold Member it was a great time all around.The Dining Room gets 5 Stars,the Open Dining was great,same table each night and the food was 5 Stars. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this ship for a family cruise (10 people) because I had been on other Royal Caribbean ships. The door to the handicapped accessible cabin was automatic if you were able to put your key card over the reader an turn the handle. ... Read More
I chose this ship for a family cruise (10 people) because I had been on other Royal Caribbean ships. The door to the handicapped accessible cabin was automatic if you were able to put your key card over the reader an turn the handle. In order to exit the room I was told to push a mechanism over the door. This was an impossibility while seated on a scooter n On other Royal. Caribbean ships I had found stand alone handicapped restrooms that someone could enter to assist me. On this ship I found the accessible restrooms in the back of the regular restroom. The location made it difficult to enter and leave while riding a scooter. The main dining room was very crowded. The chairs on each side of the table were either touching a wall or the back of the chairs at the next table. My husband had to climb into his chair because it backed into a post and couldn’t be moved. Our waiter and his helper did a wonderful job despite the fact they had a difficult time serving us. We told them we were family and didn’t mind passing food. As far as Coco Cay was concerned I found it very handicapped unfriendly. There were few concrete paths and most things were located on the sand. I could not go to the little shops because they were in the sand. I got food at the barbecue place and then could not sit at a table because they were all on the sand. There were few places with shade that did not have be gotten to by walking in the sand. The photographers took many pictures and in them they wanted us to give the thumbs up sign. I really wanted to give a thumbs down sign but did not do so because I knew they were only doing what they had been told to do. We found the ship very noisy. The only way we could attend the shows was by wearing earplugs. It was impossible to have a conversation in most of the lounges because the noise level was very high. Many activities occurred on deck five and many times it was impossible to get through on a scooter. People would be texting or walking backwards. When I saw them heading toward me I would stop. When they ran into me they would be very rude and blame me. I am sorry to say that the asymphony of the Seas was a great disappointment. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was originally a cruise to Cuba which was the only reason we chose this ship. When the Cuba ports were cancelled we decided to take their offer of 50% off but didn't expect much from this "old" and "small" ... Read More
This was originally a cruise to Cuba which was the only reason we chose this ship. When the Cuba ports were cancelled we decided to take their offer of 50% off but didn't expect much from this "old" and "small" ship. We had a wonderful time. No way did the ship seem old. All of the public areas and our cabin were very clean and just lovely. We loved that the ship was smaller since it was so easy to get around and there were no crowds anywhere. You could walk into the buffet area, the showroom or the pool area and always get seats. We have been on many cruises where getting seats anywhere is always a hassle. The entertainment was top notch. We especially enjoyed the many beautiful costumes. The food was very good and our wait staff friendly and very efficient. In fact every service person we encountered was super friendly. Since we always take a balcony room and there are no regular balconies on this ship we opted for a junior suite which in actuality was the same as a regular balcony on any other ship. If you are thinking of going on the Empress, don't even hesitate. You will enjoy it! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
GORGEOUS SHIP! Definitely the prettiest, with all the bright colors. The entertainment was great (but VERY sexual) The showgirl show was about nothing but sex, but the comedians and ventriloquist were awesome! FOOD WAS DISGUSTING! The ... Read More
GORGEOUS SHIP! Definitely the prettiest, with all the bright colors. The entertainment was great (but VERY sexual) The showgirl show was about nothing but sex, but the comedians and ventriloquist were awesome! FOOD WAS DISGUSTING! The only good food is at the main dining room but that takes 2 hours + Such slow service Never any open chairs! They should definitely enforce no seat saving more. People were saving the ones in the pool at coco cay and not even using them! Have cubbies for items so people don’t waste chairs. All the good events were at night. We had absolutely nothing to do during the at sea day until like 7. Nassau is TRASH! Definitely have to book an expensive trip to another island if you want to enjoy that day. There was a lot of useless employees like people telling you hi in the bathroom and to wash your hands in the dining room. I’d rather not have to pay $60 in gratiuties and not have that If you don’t use the main dining room you shouldn’t even be charged gratituties No outlets by the bed, bring an extension chord! Internet SHOULD NOT BE $22 a day. It should be included in the price of the cruise! Everyone wants internet Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We choose this cruise because of Cuba, and stayed with new itinerary (Costa Maya/Cozumel) after Cuba closure on June 5th. Each person received 50% of their cruise fare credited to their seapass card. Which wasn’t right, it should’ve ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of Cuba, and stayed with new itinerary (Costa Maya/Cozumel) after Cuba closure on June 5th. Each person received 50% of their cruise fare credited to their seapass card. Which wasn’t right, it should’ve been credited back to main account holder. The ship is small and it smelled like sewer by main elevators for the duration of the cruise. It has 1main dining room. Lido deck buffet was very limited in selection.The pool was drained every evening for maintenance. If you are sitting anywhere else besides poolside, be prepared to never see waitstaff. We had an interior cabin, super compact, beds were comfortable. Tv had only 4 channels and 3 of them were of RC ads. The bathroom was very small, had a couple of corner shelves for our personal items. The toilet flooded every night. We were told to flush throughout the night to keep it from overflowing. The same activities every night at the 2 bars on board, Boleros had karaoke for 1hr every night, Played live music for about 3hrs every afternoon. Schooner had piano player couple of hrs every night. The theater nightly act was either a comedian, a dance show or a movie, fairly entertaining. One thing for sure is that we won’t be booking this ship again, and maybe not even RC. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go to Cuba. We were disappointed when we learned we would not be able to go to Cuba, but Royal Caribbean really went above and beyond for us. The 50% refund was extremely generous. While I was on ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go to Cuba. We were disappointed when we learned we would not be able to go to Cuba, but Royal Caribbean really went above and beyond for us. The 50% refund was extremely generous. While I was on this new itinerary, I never once felt that I was missing out on anything. In fact, it was the best vacation I've ever had. Since I'm a planner, I had done a lot of research on the Empress of the Seas, and I was a little nervous about the ship. That was all for nothing! The ship is amazing! Yes, it is a smaller ship - the smallest in the fleet - but guess how many lines we waited in during this vacation? None. That includes our embarkation. We walked in, went right up to the counter and were on the ship in a matter of minutes. When we got to our cabin, we noticed that it was small, but we knew it would be. We had plenty of room in our cabin. I did bring magnetic hooks with us and that helped to provide some additional space by hanging things on the walls. Bringing these hooks was probably the best tip that I got from my research. I've read in a few places that there was a weird odor on deck 5. I smelled it, but it wasn't a big deal. The dining room was great and I was happy with the food quality and selection. The best part is if you don't like what you ordered, you send it back and get something else. Or, if you like it a lot, you order another! We went to Chops on my birthday and that was fantastic too. It was a step up from the dining room and my 9oz filet was so tender that I could cut it with a butter knife. First class entertainers on this ship! Loved the shows I went to! The music around the ship was always fun and lively. I booked some of my shore excursions through the ship and thought those were fantastic. We did the behind the scenes tour of the ship and loved everything we learned. It was great to learn about what goes on behind the scene on this ship! My daughter found a great group of friends with the teen group. This really provided an opportunity for her to get to know the other teens and she really had a great time. The pool was usually crowded, but it was still really great. I loved it! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
So this won't be long winded however the Symphony of the Seas is breathtaking. They do a great job of keeping it clean. Central Park is amazing as is Boardwalk. We ate in all the specialty restaurants, and the food and service was ... Read More
So this won't be long winded however the Symphony of the Seas is breathtaking. They do a great job of keeping it clean. Central Park is amazing as is Boardwalk. We ate in all the specialty restaurants, and the food and service was lovely. The "too many people" objection to such a large ship is an issue when your at sea when it comes to the pools. They simply don't have enough space to fit all the passengers. That is a valid knock on this ship They need to create another pool and do away with something else. FACT. The pools are overcrowded on sea days. The food in the public areas is kind of unchanged and basically decent. The Taco station place is a nice addition and pretty good. Getting on the ship was SUPER EASY. 15 minutes if that ( 11:30 AM) . Getting off the ship at 9:00 AM was a mistake and next time we will learn not to wait so long. The Hiro show was AMAZING. Flight was meh. As a pilot I was hoping more aviation and less Broadway but maybe I was expecting too much. Overall very happy and the holiday brought so much joy to me and my 2 boys.. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We love cruising. We stay loyal to Royal. We have been on Oasis class, freedom class and now voyager class ships. This trip was a four night trip from Miami to the Bahamas. It included a stop at CocoCay, Nassau, and one sea day. ... Read More
We love cruising. We stay loyal to Royal. We have been on Oasis class, freedom class and now voyager class ships. This trip was a four night trip from Miami to the Bahamas. It included a stop at CocoCay, Nassau, and one sea day. Embarkation - The ship left from Port of Miami Terminal A. The process was incredibly smooth. When you walk in there is two options. 1) If you have your set sail pass you go to a tablet and scan it. Then you have your picture taken and are on your way. The process takes a couple minutes 2) If you do not have your set sail pass then you go to the counter. We did not in this case because we booked the cruise after the three day check in window. Therefore we had to go to a clerk to complete the check in process. This process took about 6 minutes. Either option you get your room keys once you get on the ship. That was strange to us but apparently it’s becoming a more common practice. Once you finish the check in you go through security and then into a holding room. We didn’t have to wait long and were on the ship by 10:30 Ship - Wow! It is a beautiful ship. We were a little nervous since this is the oldest/smallest ship we had been on yet but we thought it was wonderful. The ship recently went through the AMPED upgrades and it looked great! Food - Overall the food was amazing. We ate all of our dinners in the MDR. We didn’t have a bad meal. It was delicious. We split our breakfasts between cafe promenade and the windjammer. The windjammer was good but it is still buffet food. Cafe Promenade has delicious sandwiches and is a good option if you just need something small. El Loco Fresh is where we had lunch on sea days- all I can say is YUM!! We loved it. Stateroom - We stayed in an interior room. It was fine for what we needed. The room was not the cleanest we’ve had but it was fine. Entertainment- It isn’t the best on this trip. The ice show is AMAZING. It’s the best I have ever seen. However the productions shows were awful! We also felt like there was less options of activities on this trip compared to normal. disembarkment - Smooth! We were able to walk off and go right through customs. The port at Miami has been upgraded and makes it easy to get on and off. Overall we had a great trip and would jump at the chance to cruise on Navigator again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
The ships staff and crew were not very friendly. The main dining room has very slow service! Every area on the ship seems very overly crowded! The Air Conditioning in the rooms was not very cold, it didnt blow strong and was very ... Read More
The ships staff and crew were not very friendly. The main dining room has very slow service! Every area on the ship seems very overly crowded! The Air Conditioning in the rooms was not very cold, it didnt blow strong and was very unpleasant especially in a balcony stateroom. The shows were incredible! Ice Skating, Main Lounge and Aquatheater! The elevators are very fast and easy to use! The royal carribean app is very slow, outdated and unresponsive! The water slides are incredible but have lines that can take 30-60 minutes on HOT sea days! same with the Flow-Rider, Ultimate Abyss, Zip Line and more! Windjammer Marketplace was very clean and the food was always great and i was never let down or disapointed! The Windjammer Staff was very friendly, helpful and inviting! The wifi is very fast and well worth the money! Miami Embarkation took around 15 minutes! Incredible :) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We cruised with a very large group of people from our dance studio. (49 dancers aged 7-17 and their families totaling 189 people). The kids performed a 35 minute show in the Royal Theatre on the sea day. Our cruise departed from ... Read More
We cruised with a very large group of people from our dance studio. (49 dancers aged 7-17 and their families totaling 189 people). The kids performed a 35 minute show in the Royal Theatre on the sea day. Our cruise departed from Terminal A in Miami and the embarkation process went smoothly and quickly. It was less than 30 minutes from driving onto the ramp of the parking garage to getting our first drink at the Lime and Coconut. Overall Impression: The ship, having just been through its major “amped” renovation, was gorgeous and in great condition. Over the course of the cruise, we spent time in Copper&Kettle, Playmakers (Michigan was playing for the College World Series Championship so several of us watched), Schooner Bar, R Bar, Boleros, Cosmopolitan Club, Star Lounge, and had occasion to utilize the bar in the Casino. All of them were immaculate and crew kept them clean with readily available service. We did not have to wait an unreasonable time at any bar while on the cruise. Note: the swim up bar on CoCoCay and the Lime and the Coconut had the longest waits, but they were not horrible. Dining: Because we were with the large group, we ate dinner in the Main Dining Room every night at the early seating. Our family did not have any specialty dining. The food in the main dining room was good, what I would consider decent for a good restaurant. It wasn’t stellar, but what I would expect as better-than-average quality for a nice restaurant serving thousands of people per night. My 13-year-old daughter is an adventurous eater, and it was a great opportunity for her to try escargot (which she had every night) and other items like salmon tartare and beef carpaccio, Duck á l’orange, etc, that she wouldn’t try otherwise. The Dining Room itself is absolutely gorgeous. Our particular waiters were wonderful (Angel and Muhamad), with fabulous personalities and really made our experience. Reports from others in our group varied widely on this issue. Some had inattentive servers that didn’t refill drinks or offer coffee. We had no complaints at our table of 10. The Windjammer was fine for breakfasts and lunch. Again, it wasn’t anything special, but did have a very large variety of good food. We ate lunch at El Loco Fresh on the pool deck a couple of times and found it to be fresh, flavorful, and delicious. For late night snacks, the Cafe Promenade was adequate. Our group spent quite a bit of late night time at the tables on the promenade, so I had the occasion to see the ebb and flow of large crowds hankering for pizza after events, as well as the trickle of people at other times seeking out sandwiches. The sandwiches from there were very yummy, and there was a selection of salads, charcuterie, and desserts as well. Overall, it was a good late night option, although there were times when a single server was overwhelmed with the lines. Shows: we made a point of seeing all of the main shows on the ship. ISkate, the skating show, was outstanding. If I could have made another showing, I would have watched it again. The first production of the Royal Singers and Dancers was a ballroom dance themed show, and it was excellent. I highly recommend. The comedian, Kivi, gave two shows; an all-ages set, and an adult set another night. They were both hysterical. The magician headliner, JZ, was terrible and a waste of time. I am so, so sorry I chose to se him rather than choose some of the game shows or other options in bars around the ship at that time. His “big trick” was nothing more than magnetic tangrams on a white board that any kindergarten teacher could manipulate. His show was a 30-minute infomercial to purchase his magic kits. Royal should be embarrassed. The second Royal Singer and Dancer Production was called “Showgirl” and although very good, I felt the first one was better. Entertainment: There was no shortage of varied entertainment across the ship. The bands were great, both in the bars and along the Promenade. There was an acoustic guitar player and singer in the Cooper & Kettle that did singer/songwriter stuff that was particularly good. We spent a lot of time in the Schooner Bar in late evening with a piano/comedy improve performer that was a lot of fun. There was a cover band in Boleros the final night that played a varied set (“Heaven” followed by “Highway to Hell” that was spectacular! We participated in the two dance parties along the Promenade hosted by the entertainment crew; the 70’s Disco Party and the 80’s Party, and they were both a blast. The adult karaoke in the Cosmopolitan Club was disappointing. Although we sang “Bohemian a Rhapsody” and had a great time, the host was weak-not singing or encouraging at all, and the song selection was poor. As a result, we left after only spending about 40 minutes there. The X vs. Y Game and Crazy Quest in Studio B were quite possibly the most hilarious things I’ve ever done in my life! Do yourself a favor; have a cocktail or two, loosen up, and go participate! Hugo was our Cruise Director and while I loved his energy and personality when we saw him, we didn’t see him very often. He introduced the main shows and hosted Crazy Quest, but that was his entire presence on the ship. I was disappointed and wanted more. Was it a bummer? Yes or yes? CoCoCay: in short, The island is beautiful! We rented a cabana in the Oasis Lagoon area and I would do that again if prices are reasonable. The fan, the ice cooler with water, the towels, and the attendant made it worth the cost split 8 ways. The Oasis Lagoon is clean and the pool itself is a heavy-duty liner over sand, so it is comfy on the feet. There are plenty of benches and shade can be found, but the pool itself is very warm and not refreshing. We found the large splash pad to be the best spot to get some refreshing dousing of cool water. South Beach is very shallow out to the floating bar, and it is typical clear water and Sandy bottom. There are fish, sea ur hind, and more along the beaches; just be aware. Chickens, peacocks, and iguanas roam the island freely. There are also gulls which can be annoying near the buffet, but we didn’t really have any issues at all eating in our cabana. There is love entertainment in Captain Jacks. We did not pay extra to go to Thrill Waterpark, although others in our party did. I would intentionally choose a cruise itinerary with CoCoCay as a stop; it was a great day. (We did have a late afternoon storm roll in that cleared the water for 30 minutes, but rather than get caught in the crowd heading back to the ship, we chose to ride it out in the bar, listening to live acoustic guitar karaoke, and that was a great choice) Overall, it was a fantastic cruise! The pool was fantastic, the kids enjoyed the slides. The gathering places on the deck above Lime and Coconut was a great place to congregate. I would highly recommend this ship and itinerary! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Incredible experience overall.... This was our 40th (or so) cruise. Just when I think cruises can’t get any better, along comes Symphony. Initial caveat: My wife and I have a deal - as soon as we complain about cruising, we’re ... Read More
Incredible experience overall.... This was our 40th (or so) cruise. Just when I think cruises can’t get any better, along comes Symphony. Initial caveat: My wife and I have a deal - as soon as we complain about cruising, we’re done (I’ve put this caveat on previous reviews as well). If you’re looking for an unappreciative/whining/etc. review, move on to another one. It continues to baffle me how some cruisers need to be pampered/bottle-fed...we’re not in that category. Embarkation was a breeze. Arrived terminal 1015, on ship at 11. Entertainment was top notch. Both ice shows, water show, and both Hair Spray and Flight were all very well done....good enough that we saw all of them twice (except Hair Spray). Dining: We prefer dining room over the trough. Food was above average for RCCL, which made it great IMO. Subjective I know, but we were very pleased. Only negative for us: We were supposed to be late dining and ended up My Time. Got the same waiters most nights, but did have to wait for 10-15 minutes each night even though we had scheduled the same time for the week. System appeared a bit inefficient, but it wasn’t horrible. Costa Maya: Rented golf cart just outside the port. $60 for the day. Mayahaul is the name of the company....great service, efficient, and a good time and deal. Ship was awesome. Never felt crowded w/ exception of end of the shows (as expected). We choose to use stairs, particularly when only going up/down a couple floors, so no opinion on elevator waits. We have been on Oasis, Allure and Harmony, so very familiar. Entertainment was the big ‘separator’...top notch on Symphony. Casino was a blast. Donated to the cause, but played w/in my budget every day. Staff was very friendly. Disembarkation: completely painless. Left dining room at 0730, went to room to get bags, and we were in our vehicle leaving the port by 8am. Hope this provides hope for those reading negative reviews and panicking....it’s all in what you make of it. I didn’t cook a single meal, make my bed, change linens, do dishes, etc. the entire week, and it was awesome. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise for a quick weekend getaway without taking much time off work. We chose the Navigator because we sailed on Mariner after the refurbishment about 6 months ago and loved the Mariner renovation. Embarkation- ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a quick weekend getaway without taking much time off work. We chose the Navigator because we sailed on Mariner after the refurbishment about 6 months ago and loved the Mariner renovation. Embarkation- Incredible. From the Uber to onboard in less than 10 minutes. Terminal A is fantastic. Cabin- cabins were beautifully upgraded with new carpet and upholstery (dark blue and gray color scheme). No complaints here. All cabins were available at 1PM. Ship overall- -The good: They did a great job modernizing this older ship. It truly has a similar feel, color scheme, venues, etc. to the brand new Royal ships. The solarium and main pool are beautiful. -The bad: They WAY overdid it with the "upgrades". The outer decks are now cluttered with cabanas and massive hot tubs filled with screaming kids and drunks, so there are few chairs available in the sun. It is pretty from a brochure standpoint, but totally impractical and chaotic in real life. They removed the once beautiful fitness area at the front of the ship (along with the FREE locker room, steam and sauna areas) and moved the gym to a small, terrible location at the back of the ship. The ceilings are too low, so the treadmills do not incline, there are limited free weights, limited space, etc. They relocated it to add a whole deck of new cabins to deck 11. With the addition of hundreds of new staterooms, the elevators are always packed. Crowds and waits everywhere. This was never an issue on this ship before the added staterooms and removal of public areas. Food- I attributed this to it being a wekeend cruise, but the food was terrible aside from El Loco Fresh and specialty restaurants. Buffet options for lunch and dinner were along the lines of hamburgers, hotdogs, frozen quality pizza, rice, pasta and marinara, breads, and jello-type deserts. That is completely unacceptable for a $500 per night cruise in my opinion. Ports- CocoCay was beautiful. We had visited in December before the opening of "Perfect Day" and did not spend much time on the island because it was "blah", but they have really transformed this little island into paradise. We spent all day here. The dining options were better than on the ship, the pools and beach were wonderful, and the views were fantastic. We were very lucky with beautiful weather on this sailing. We had a great weekend, but would we chose Navigator of the Seas again? No, we would not, for the following reasons: 1) Sometimes less is more. Mariner of the Seas (sistership sailing out of Pt. Canaveral) had a slightly less extensive refurbishment that added most of the same amenities, but with less added cabins, it left the beautiful pool deck alone, and left the beautiful gym area intact. If you are a avid gym-goer or physically active, choose Mariner or Independence of the Seas for your short cruise needs. 2) There will be music or action/kids movies loudly blaring on the pool deck movie screen at all times... to the point that you will be able to hear it even in the "quiet" solarium. I assume this is Royal Caribbean's attempt to get the party going, but it kills the mood, not enhances it. 3) The free food venues were appalling. We have sailed with Royal Caribbean on approximately 25 sailings over the past 20 years, and the food was shocking on this sailing. Take advantage of El Loco Fresh and venues on CocoCay for more appealing complimentary food options. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We took this cruise with our best friends. The whole reason we booked this cruise was to go to Havana, and the week before we were scheduled to leave, the government shut it down. RC offered us a full refund or a 50% refund if we chose ... Read More
We took this cruise with our best friends. The whole reason we booked this cruise was to go to Havana, and the week before we were scheduled to leave, the government shut it down. RC offered us a full refund or a 50% refund if we chose to cruise. We were all so desperate for a vacation that we went for it. We opted for The Key program, which I can't recommend enough. Because of this, we got on the ship early and had a complimentary lunch at Chops. It was ok, and service there was soooo slow. We were in there two hours. Food was only ok, but our service team in the main dining room was great, Rommel and Stanmore. We really enjoyed the games and dance lessons, and the entertainment staff was great. They were all engaging and so much fun. Our cruise was not crowded at all, and I felt like I got to know some of them. We did a Fury snorkeling excursion in Key West and spent the day at Mr. Sanchos in Cozumel, which we did by ourselves. Other reviewers aren't kidding about the smell. It was really bad in certain places. We had a great time because we got away and spent time with each other. I wouldn't go on this ship again because I feel like there are better options out there. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We cruised, not impressed. 17 family members total. Two parents, four (42-36yr old siblings), eleven (1-17r) of those offspring. I’m not and will never be impressed with the noise levels at night in the rooms. Disco night was the first ... Read More
We cruised, not impressed. 17 family members total. Two parents, four (42-36yr old siblings), eleven (1-17r) of those offspring. I’m not and will never be impressed with the noise levels at night in the rooms. Disco night was the first night and we could clearly hear all words to the music played, it played well past 11:30 pm. We asked to please lower the volume multiple times, with no success. At the pools we could not all swim together.That was big time dissipointing. We wanted to take pictures of the whole family after early dinner was told our family was too large. On day three it was super hot and the only place my daughter could cool off was under the pool shower. The only for her to play was under with water was “closed due to maintenance”. I would not suggest this ship to any family or large group that like to sleep at night or swim together. I would like to give the best postive of the the experience and that was the early dinner. It was best part of the whole thing, although the family had to sit at seperate tables. The food was great and waiters entertained the our younger guest with magic tricks. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Family Went for my son's graduation trip and had a good time. Plenty to do on board. Many friendly staff. Good food. This was our 2nd cruise with RC and won't be our last. Kids (9,13,17) had a great time at the pool, arcade, ... Read More
Family Went for my son's graduation trip and had a good time. Plenty to do on board. Many friendly staff. Good food. This was our 2nd cruise with RC and won't be our last. Kids (9,13,17) had a great time at the pool, arcade, loved Sorento's and laser tag. We didn't catch the shows as they were bad timing for us and my boys really didn't care for them. Slides were awesome at the pool. Lifeguards at every area. Walk slow on deck around pool, many people slipped and fell. Rooms were clean and roomy. We had an interior promenade with window very nice. Bring earplugs if you're a lighter sleeper. The beds were horrible! So hard. The oasis had awesome beds. The symphony does not. Heard that complaint quite a bit around the ship. We enjoyed the food thought it was great. My boys aren't picky eaters. We really didn't care for Coco cay. Thrill park is overrated and small for the amount of people on island. Young and elderly had issues getting around. Tram is only for the pier. Should also provide it for the island. Overall great trip for us. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise, and the small ship, because of the Cuba itinerary. 11 days before we were scheduled to sail, the new US restrictions were put in place. Royal Caribbean did a great job coming up with an alternate itinerary with three ... Read More
We chose this cruise, and the small ship, because of the Cuba itinerary. 11 days before we were scheduled to sail, the new US restrictions were put in place. Royal Caribbean did a great job coming up with an alternate itinerary with three stops in the Eastern Caribbean on short notice, although the time for arrival in San Juan changed only a few days prior. This left us unable to do the activity that we had planned, and when we got on board (since we were within the window where we could no longer book online), most of the shore excursions in San Juan were already sold out. We were able to take the "St. Johns on your own" tour from St. Thomas where you were able to climb aboard a chartered ferry "Island Girl" over to St. John. The guide on board was terrific and the convenience of leaving right from where the ship docked, rather than having to go over to red hook to catch the ferry, was terrific! Embarkation at the Port was a breeze, but the common areas felt overcrowded and chaotic until rooms were opened. The ship definitely had a smaller feel, with smaller cabins and less amenities, but the smaller ship also seemed to lead to more of an intimate feel, both with getting to know other passengers and interactions with the ship staff. In terms of activities, the ship entertainment staff had a full schedule offered (trivia, dance classes, games, etc.) that would rival other ships we have been on. There were several headliner shows, but mostly comedians, with some being better than others. There were only a couple of nights put on by the ships entertainment crew themselves. (Perhaps it was a longer itinerary than most for this ship, or due to the itinerary change.) In general, the food was excellent! The head chef was the most present that we have seen on any ship. In addition to seeing him on the Galley tour, we saw him walking through Windjammer and Starlight Dining room at different times of the day throughout the cruise. Our biggest disappointment with the food was our dining experience at Chops. Although we have enjoyed Chops on other ships, our steaks were overcooked and our waiter was absent during this dining experience. The Bottomless Brunch and Galley tour was a fun sea day activity and it was interesting to see the full operation. We had the filets from Chops (much better cooked this time), but to our dismay, the same absent waiter. The head waiter in starlight noticed and quickly made sure that our table, and the others he was serving, were accommodated. We have come to have very high expectations of dining service on Royal Caribbean ships and our first few nights on board we had servers that were pleasant, but nothing exceptional. When we were sat with Eri and Charles on night five, they were so exemplary that we asked the hostess to seat us with them the rest of the cruise. Eri described food with such a passion that you were he got everyone excited about the food before your first taste. Charles remembered personal details about your dining preferences that made you feel like a regular in your favorite restaurant. Staff members like these made the experience! Our last hours on board were a little hectic as a medical emergency caused an unplanned stop in Nassau on our final evening. While this stop seemed to be executed very well (we were in and out of Nassau in 20 minutes), the delayed arrival back into Miami seemed to cause disembarkation chaos. The staff assisting seemed overwhelmed and several of them left the theater while one person tried alternating trying to sing songs in the microphone, and ask trivia questions, while guests were seeking out information due to the change. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My best friend from college turned 50 this year, so when she told me that her and three of her high school girlfriends were going on a cruise, I tagged along (even though I am past that 50 now!). Spouses were included as well, and one ... Read More
My best friend from college turned 50 this year, so when she told me that her and three of her high school girlfriends were going on a cruise, I tagged along (even though I am past that 50 now!). Spouses were included as well, and one college grad son, so the men had someone to talk to! So here are the highlights of our time on the Navigator of the Seas! *Perfect Day on Coco Cay--my DH and I live on an island, so hanging at a beach is not what we do on vacation. We did enjoy the Up Up and Away Balloon ride. The balloon is tethered and goes up a couple hundred feet. Gave us a great view of the island, the neighboring islands and what was available on Coco Cay. I noticed a floating bar, so that is where I ended up! People did appear to be enjoying themselves, but we went early and were back on the ship early so.... *I could ride the water slides!!! I enjoyed the Blaster--that is the one with the 2 person inflatable. It was fun and I rode that a few times. It was still a great time to be on the ship, as majority of folks were at Coco Cay. When you are on the ship during a busy day, like the day at sea, I recommend you head up to the Navigator Dunes/ Putt Putt course. Around there, they have these amazing clam shell beds--we snagged one and watched the sea past us. There was even an attentive server to bring us a drink from the bar (Lime and Coconut) downstairs. I noticed a few of those clam shells were open, suspect people do not know about them. *We did the My Time Dining with our party of 10. Our first night was a late seating, but we were able to arrange for earlier seatings on the other nights. Our first 2 nights were at the same table with Josef. I always enjoy a waiter who will tell you his recommendations. It just feels like a personal touch. Our last night, DH and I splurged on the Chef's Table. This is our second time doing this on a Royal Caribbean ship and yes, it is the same menu. But the Chefs are different and they do put their own touch on the food. This meal was the best meal we had on board the ship! My only complaint---we had scheduled it for our 2nd night on the ship, but they moved it to the last night. It was a small group of us, 6 in total. We all enjoyed it! *The iSkate--Reach for the Stars show was amazing! The ice skaters are like Olympic quality! It opens with a drone show that was amazing---how do they prevent them from running into each other! We saw the show that first evening on board, and there was a good crowd but not packed. They offered it again the last day, and that one was packed! The other show that we really enjoyed was a regular entertainer in the Schooner Bar, David Curtis Mutter. He performs improv musical comedy and he was hilarious! I have never laughed so hard! Another treat was the Travelling Pianist! He parked his piano in one of the glass elevators and would play a tune --much better than Muzak! I enjoyed his music so much, when I found him (twice!) I simply rode in the elevator, not going anywhere in particular!! *We booked an interior cabin and it suited our needs just fine. I did receive the Royal Up email, and that is when I noticed that our cabin had a virtual balcony! So we kept the interior and were entertained with our "balcony". It was cool and really nice during the day. It is live action, I watched folks on jet skis going around the front of the ship! Cannot see much at night, but pull the curtains over it and you can continue to enjoy your dark cabin!! Not quite the highlight, but you got to do it on a cruise ship: Embarkation--kind of confusing, not set up as I remember (and I went on 3 cruises last year!). There were several different entry areas, but the person checking the set sail pass had to look at your passport and take a picture of you. It appeared to take more time than the usual way. In hindsight, this might have been when they also set up the facial recognition for passports. This was noted on disembarkation and did speed up that process. For those that travel with paper birth certificate, the line after the cruise was the longest that I have seen, and only like 2-4 custom agents. Those folks were not getting out anytime soon! All in all, it was an enjoyable cruise. It was great to see my college friend and catch up. Enjoyed all the moments that put a smile on our face, as this is why we cruise!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
The service was impeccable. When my husband stopped by Guest Services to pick up the Assistive Listening device they got overzealous and installed blinking lights and bed vibrator in the room. That was very kind but I didn't need all ... Read More
The service was impeccable. When my husband stopped by Guest Services to pick up the Assistive Listening device they got overzealous and installed blinking lights and bed vibrator in the room. That was very kind but I didn't need all that ( and it changed the set up of the room) so they took it right back out. We loved having the assigned seating at 6pm. We loved having the same wait staff each night. I emailed special requests ahead of time---They were able to give us a private table away from the piano so I was able to enjoy without trying to explain my deafness to people They handled my food allergies easily. The main dining room was my something I looked forward to everyday. We loved every single thing about the size of this ship. We never felt crowded, never waited in line, never felt rushed. We asked Guest Services and they said it was fully booked and had 1600 people on board when we sailed.There are rumors about Royal taking it out of commission with Cuba off the table. I hope not-- I would sail this ship again in a heartbeat. The biggest surprise--- the teen club. As you know, they have little to nothing on the website about having a teen club. I was very, very worried that my 13 year old would be bored. We made him go to the teen meet and greet the first night promising to pick him up in 2 hours. We were thrilled to find out that instead of a dedicated room---they have a "roaming" teen club. Fabian had the kids all over the ship from morning until midnight. They played hide and seek, uno, scrabble, a scavenger hunt, went to the shows as a group and played a days long spy game called paranoia. My son was gone from sunup to curfew and had the best time. Added bonus--- no electronics were involved so it really was a throw back to the childhood of disconnect. I think Royal is missing a huge marketing opportunity and parents would sign up for this ship just to get their kids off the devices. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
So we just finished up on Symphony and she’s a great boat. Pool is back in the Solarium adult area! Smart move! Solarium Bistro is much larger now! Bar is on main level in Solarium! New restaurants...missing Brazilian ... Read More
So we just finished up on Symphony and she’s a great boat. Pool is back in the Solarium adult area! Smart move! Solarium Bistro is much larger now! Bar is on main level in Solarium! New restaurants...missing Brazilian steaks though! Sports bar is new! Taco bar is new! Heads up for Cocoa Cay Long lines at rides and slides.. expect 1+ hour wait times! Very clean and friendly! Book all shows and events in advance!!!! They have a new escape room so make sure to get on that quickly! The casino is new with lots of current games and such but bet Smokey! Great boat you will like it. We did have an issue with the photos as the server crashed on last night but it all got worked out in the end. We booked our next cruise for Southern Caribbean and I think we have had our fill of the oasis class ships for now! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
The ship was very pretty, had most of what we like in elegant decor to delight our senses and keep us dazzled. The food, too, was very good, possibly the best we have experienced in a wealth of cruises we have taken with a variety of ... Read More
The ship was very pretty, had most of what we like in elegant decor to delight our senses and keep us dazzled. The food, too, was very good, possibly the best we have experienced in a wealth of cruises we have taken with a variety of cruise lines. We had an inside cabin off the Royal Promenade, which meant we had a window that looked down at the shoppers. The room, itself, was very nice, with a window seat as well as a little couch, besides the desk chair. It was roomy, with enough nooks for storage for our short 4-day cruise, that I would consider to book such a cabin again. However, the bed was hard - I mean board hard! Our quality of sleep was not good for the 4 nights. We tossed and turned most of the night, only to fall asleep and wake much later in the morning because we had no sense of day or night because of being in an inside. This sleep pattern disrupted our usual cruising routine. Anxious to start using the Workout room, we went straight there the first morning. The weight-powered machines were adequate, but when we attempted to use the bikes, treadmill, etc. they all were password accessible. The place hummed with activity, and I saw no staff member there that would assist us in how to activate any of these equipment. So... we left, and never returned to the workout room for the duration of the cruise. We dined twice in the dining room with our open dining option, and the service was good both times. We actually made a reservation for those dining nights when we first boarded the ship. I asked the staff taking our reservation which night was formal nigh, and he informed me that they do not do formal nights anymore. Having packed my husband’s suit, I was disappointed this wasn’t made clear on their webpage. We cruised with my daughter and her family, and I hoped to get a nice picture of us all decked out in our best attire. Originally the formal night is the second night of shorter cruises, but we chose a different night to go to the dining room, to better fit with our daytime plans. But what I wasn’t told is that RCI or maybe just this ship does a Dress Up anyway you Like evening which is the same as formal night, and all the photographers were on hand... and we missed it as we sat upstairs in the Windjammer enjoying the casualness of the night, unknowing... The focus on hand-washing as people entered the Windjammer was humorous, with staffers playing guitars, singing and prancing around “washy-wash your hands, scrubby, scrub your hands” to popular tunes, and with the exception of one very tuneful fellow, sung painfully off key. The service there was good to excellent, but I found the tables so close together, and the chairs difficult to move on the carpet, that it was a struggle to get up and return to your table, weaving through tables and chairs heavy with other diners. No more pretty glassware is given in the specialty drink. I was told that stopped, even though their website still shows pictures of those lovely glasses. Huge disappointment, hoping to add to my collection. But about the drinks, it costs around $15 per glass. Plan to drop $30+ for two drinks... making those high priced “drink plans” a better choice for some. Bingo was rather a disappointment, too. Less games, higher prices. No fun Bingo Lingo. Rush, rush, rush. And the same for all the Trivia gatherings we experienced. Boring. Regarding the dance and singing talent of the theatre shows, It was an experience we could have better spent watching TV in our cabin room. But, ah, there were no movies to be seen on that TV without paying $12 to rent. This included movies the ship was showing poolside each day. It didn’t seem fair. So, hanging in the room was not an option on this ship. But lounging in the Solarium was a real relaxing. Bring a good book or two, and find a pool bed. Or maybe a hammock on the upper open decks. But if you grab a towel or two, be warned that if you will need to show your sea pass, and then must return them, Showing your sea pass again. Maybe bring your own beach towels might be the better choice? If you are real savvy with technology, then maneuvering the RCI Ap to find out what’s going on day-to-day, hour-to-hour will be all you need on your phone, providing it is no more than a couple years old model. Otherwise, you can still tote around the paper version, as we did. The Ap was difficult to navigate, and caused more frustration than convenience. We stopped at CocoCay, and it is huge. Daughter had booked a beach bed for her family, and when she stepped off the pier entrance, there were no signs to direct her to where they were. They went to the nearest beach, and walked the sand till they found them an hour later. Later it was discovered that there was an exclusive transport cart to take people to the private beach where rage beach beds were. It took us longer to find them, as we dragged our rented water mats along with our beach bag. We stopped to ask where the beach beds were, and staffers there were clueless till one took the measures to investigate, and put us “elderly” people on a cart transport to the exact beach. It was a nice, quiet beach, I mean very nice. The kids spent the day finding all sorts of sea creatures in the shallows and along their walk through the sandbars. But the beach was far removed from the fun children’s activities, so put on your walking shoes when visiting CocoCay. The second port stop was at Nassau. We stayed on the ship, We noticed that the pier was different. They have added more piers changing the look of the cruise port entrance. It had been a few years since we last were docked in Nassau. And lastly, our final bill. We compared the cost to what they changed our credit card, and it did not jive. I have inquired with RCI and have not received a response from them. And, no, we did not a make any additional purchases on our last day. So...? Be mindful that their bookkeeping might have some chinks in their otherwise Royal Caribbean armor. Read Less
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