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7 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise from Miami

7 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise from Miami

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Symphony of the Seas (Photo: Royal Caribbean International)
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Miami
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Labadee
  • Day 4
    San Juan
  • Day 5
    St. Thomas
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 7
    Perfect Day at CocoCay
  • Day 8
    Miami

Symphony of the Seas

Symphony of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International

Pros

The range of activities, restaurants and lounges make it a highly customizable ship

Cons

If you choose to indulge in specialty dining, you'll pay a premium

Bottom Line

Royal Caribbean has taken the best features of its most popular ship class and improved upon them


Cruise Reviews

1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2019
My wife and I traveled with a group of 12 with the average age being 30 years old. We typically do all inclusive resorts but were still interested in trying a cruise. After a 7 day on Symphony of the Seas we felt as if we were at a ... Read More
My wife and I traveled with a group of 12 with the average age being 30 years old. We typically do all inclusive resorts but were still interested in trying a cruise. After a 7 day on Symphony of the Seas we felt as if we were at a amusement park on a busy day. Always crowds of people, always waiting for extended periods of time for elevators as well as food and rarely a quiet time at night. The state rooms were small and tighter than I expected. It was hard to find open tables for breakfast and dinner in the windjammer. I always felt like I was going to bump into people wherever I went. Some positives include; the quality of food, the quality of cocktails and alcohol, and the service at dinner. The only place we had to wait to order drinks for a long period of time was Coo Coo Cay at the swim up bar. We enjoyed the variety of entertainment available nightly but again everyone was packed into events tightly. Lastly, I felt as if Royal Carribean is always trying to nickle and dime there customer. My wife and I and the group as a whole had already invested more money than I ever have on vacation before. The better amenities come at a upcharge to include; the specialty restaurants, basic internet, popcorn at nightly shows, wrist bands with your card attached, the entire water park at coo coo cay, the helium balloon rides and some mixed drinks. Overall, I am glad I checked it off of our bucket list. However, due to the overcrowding, the poor bang for a buck and the tight cabin space we will not be returning to RC. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2019
We stayed in Miami on Friday night at the Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon. Our group organizer chose this hotel...which was nice but offered no amenities. We had a free shuttle from the airport and that was it. The rate was $215 including ... Read More
We stayed in Miami on Friday night at the Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon. Our group organizer chose this hotel...which was nice but offered no amenities. We had a free shuttle from the airport and that was it. The rate was $215 including tax. Breakfast in the a.m. was $15 per person which was insane. There was a "market" and Starbucks in the lobby... to get some milk and a snack for the kids at breakfast was over $20. I wouldn't recommend this hotel based on cost and offerings but it was truly a nice property. We had a group of 23 cruising, so we hired a private shuttle to drive us from the hotel to the ship. This was a smooth process and we were inside the terminal within 30 minutes from leaving the hotel (including loading and unloading time). Embarkation was very smooth. We got there about 12:30 p.m. so it seemed as if most of the morning rush to get on the ship was through. Took about 10 minutes to complete check in, security and photos. We had connecting cabins (9310/9312) for our family of 4 which was SO nice! Our cabin stwerad came by and opened up the connecting interior rooms right away and also opened up the 4 balcony dividers that we had - giving our 4 family cabins a TON of outside space. The rooms were clean, cool, and very spacious! We had plenty of room between both cabuins - with 2 adults, 2 kids, 4 suitcases, all of our clothing, 2 strollers and a crib. Elvin was our cabin stweard and we LOVED him. He was so great with our 2 young boys. We ate most of our lunches in the Windjammer - it was crowded but we always manged to find tables for the 7 of us. The Mango juice and Strawberry Kiwi juice we DELICOUS! Food was always hot and had a great variety. Breakfast in the Windjammer on the first morning (day 2, sea day) was a JOKE! There was a line to get in that would have taken every bit of an hour to wait in. Luckily, we knew there were other breakfast venue's on board so we ate elsewhere. After the first full day, it seemed like everyone had figured out the different places to eat onboard, because we did manage to eat breakfast in the Windjammer most of the week with no issues. We had breakfast at Johnny Rockets one day and it was hot and fast and very good! Dinner every night was in the Main Dining Room - we had my time dining at 6:00 p.m. every night and due to the large size of our group (23) we had the same table reserved for us. Geia and Andy were our waiters and they were FANTASTIC! They made sure the kids had their milk and a fruit plate soon after we sat down every night. They also put the kisd order in right away and had their food out early so they were occupied during the long meal time. The food was hot, great and had tons of variety and options. The shows themselves were GREAT, PHENOMENAL! but the reservation and seating process were a joke! We had reservations for every show. Per the direction of the cruise line we arrived at the shows 15 minutes prior to show time...only to find each venue FULL! Not even 1 seat open. It seems as if they let the guests without reservations in at the 15 minute mark and then it became a free for all. Not very happy with the way RCL handles this. Every show we were left scrambling for seats. Even on the night we got there 30 minutes early. Seating for the shows was a complete disaster and disappointment. The photo department was a REAL negative part of the trip and it an area majorly lacking in service and convenience. The photographers were rushed while taking pictures. They didn’t take the time to pose us or even suggest how to stand. We had a 2 year old and a 4 year old with us and ended up just awkwardly holding them or standing grouped together for photos. My parents were watching us take a photo and yelled out to us to pull down our sons shirt because his belly was sticking out under his shirt - something you would think the photographer would have noticed before they started taking pictures. The real BAD issue with the photos was when it came time to order them... we had photos from the last formal night (night 6) that we wanted to see - but the photo shop didn’t open until 7 p.m. on the last night due to being in port at Coco Cay and that was the first and ONLY opportunity to see the photos from day 6. It was also the last time ANYBODY on board could buy photos (from 7-11 p.m.) so the photo area was a MAD HOUSE. Additionally, since we were traveling as a group, we had photos all over the place. They were on my cabin account, on my husbands cabin account, my parents account, aunts account - ect... the problem is you are only allowed to access the photos that are in your account. Therefore, I wasn’t able to buy or even SEE the group photos on the accounts of anybody else in the group we traveled with. I had photos of my grandparents with my kids that I couldn’t buy because they weren’t in my account. The photo manager could transfer photos from someone else’s account into mine, but all people in the photo needed to give their consent to do so... which was a joke. Photos were to be ready by 10:30 p.m. for pick up... went to get them and they weren’t ready. Photo center said they would deliver to cabin before the morning, we woke up - no pictures. I had to go back to the photo center and wait in line to pick up the photos I bought at 6 a.m. on disembarkation day. Not happy... My BIGGEST complaint is that there is no swimming pool on board where families with young kids are allowed to swim. We had a 2 year old with us who wears diapers, we had him in very nice swim diapers that our aquatic center at home requires us to wear into their pools. We were bombarded every 20 minutes by the lifeguards because we were in the main pool with him - not in the water but standing on the outside of the pool. The designated "kids pool" is a playground with splashing water. My kids hate being splashed and in the kids area there was no way around that. Additionally, my parents (60 years) cant just stand in the kids pool all day and watch the kids play. We all wanted to sit in the water and even float around in the pool to stay cool. For a cruise line that caters to families and offers on a regular basis "kids cruise free" they really do a poor job accommodating guests with young kids. Coco Cay was an absolutely AMAZING, truly perfect day. Beach chairs were a little hard to find... but eventually we all settled in and found some so it worked out. Everything about Coco Cay was wonderful. It's beautiful, clean, organized. The prices for the water park, cabanas and misc. excursions are too high, but we just didn't participate and stuck with the included things and had a great day. The shopping was OK, the stores sold the same stuff from hut to hut were pretty pricey ($25+ for a t-shirt) and the employees inside (locals) were all pretty rude... but it was nice to be able to get a few souvenirs to bring home. Overall a great cruise. A few things worth mentioning that we were unhappy with but mostly a good trip! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2019
My wife and I chose this ship, because we love the Oasis class. Unfortunately they didn't raise the bar. The cabin was great. They made the balcony bigger, but at the expense of the tub. I am just under 6 feet tall, and they mad the ... Read More
My wife and I chose this ship, because we love the Oasis class. Unfortunately they didn't raise the bar. The cabin was great. They made the balcony bigger, but at the expense of the tub. I am just under 6 feet tall, and they mad the tub so narrow I couldn't stand in it without my feet being curved. It actually hurt to take a shower. The final day I had to stand with my feet together to take a shower. Also, the partial glass screen on the tub, is not attached. I almost did a header and fell out of the tub the fist time trying to get comfortable. Be careful . The public restroom was another miss, with a tall , small urinal. Again I am just under 6 feet tall, and I had to stand on my tiptoes to use the urinal. What were they thinking. Lets make a urinal that only 6 foot 6' people or taller can use. There were many puddles on the floor, and that's all I'll say. Then there was the food. Is it me, or is RCL buying cheaper and cheaper food? The food was terrible. I took a chance and tried a specialty restaurant, when the Coastal Kitchen had absolutely nothing on the Menu that night that my wife or I could stand. I paid extra to stay in the Junior Suite so I could eat there, and it was disappointing . I have had nothing but bad luck trying RCL's specialty restaurants. Trust me, there's nothing Special about them. My last cruise was on the Independence of the seas, and my wife and I tried the Specialty restaurant plan. What a waste of money. 2-3 hour waits. Rude service. The couple next to me complained, and was berated by the waiter. Awful food. We tried to cancel after the 3rd try, but was told we couldn't get a refund. We didn't care and lost the rest of our money. On the Symphony I tried Hooked. It was terrible. The service was fast and friendly, but I just couldn't stomach it. They started me off with this cheese biscuit. It was old, hard and had no taste. Then I was brought a crab and clam chowder. I was half way done, when I bit into something that sounded like either a shell or glass. I tried another bite with the same result, but found what I hoped was a shell. I stopped eating it. Then they brought me my shrimp cocktail, and it smelled funny almost like bleach. That was enough. I stopped and called over the waitress and told her I couldn't eat here and wanted a refund. I was then made to repeat everything 2 more times and grilled by the chef, but got the refund. The food is getting worse every year on RCL. So much so, That I am not going on another RCL cruise. Even the trusted pizza at Sorrento's was bad.I am now going on their sister company Celebrity , because the food is supposed to be a lot better , and they have a NON-SMOKING CASINO!!!. You can smell the smoke within 20 feet of the casino entrance. It's really bad, and they have a new drink policy that's horrible. If you earn 2400 points in a year you get free drinks in the casino. Now you can only get 1 drink every 10 minutes. Also the one staff complaint was that this was the only RCL cruise I've been on, where the bartenders were rude. The bar was open a few minutes before the casino and they were serving drinks. I went to the counter and asked for a drink, and they berated me, and told me I had to wait for the casino to open. When the casino opened, I went up to the counter again to ask for a drink, and the Bartender snapped at me that I had to wait until the casino was open. I pointed out to him that it was, He didn't believe me. I then pointed to people , right in front of us playing the slots, and all he said was "Oh'. then got my drink. Also I was ignored a lot by the Bartenders because I was Prime (Free Drinks), and I didn't have to pay for my drinks, and I guess there would rather wait on paying customers. I was ignored several times a day. It was really frustrating . It's like the new policy was invented to prevent you from wanting to get a drink. Well it worked. I usually lose a lot of money in the casino to get the points for the free drinks, and this is there new way of saying thanks? They really should have someone that is/was a guest to check out their designs,new policies and food before implementing them on new ships, that way they could avoid all these mistakes . RCL , Please upgrade the food. It's really bad when Kraft Mac & Cheese is 10X better than yours. On the good note, was the service. As usual the service was excellent. I have no complaints at all, except the Bartenders in the Casino. My room steward did a fantastic job, as so did the wait staff in the restaurants. I thought the Independence of the Seas was my least favorite ship, but Symphony comes very close. Hopefully they will see this, and improve everything, but i doubt it. Read Less
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