We spent New Year's Eve on a cruise! After spending time with our families over Christmas (and surviving an insanely cold and icy drive from Florida to Ohio), we flew to Miami to spend 7 nights on the Symphony of the Seas. This cruise was so different than the other 2 we did earlier in 2022. For one thing, this ship was the largest in the world until 2022. It really was massive, but well designed because it wasn't overwhelming or difficult to find your way around. We'd never done a Royal Caribbean cruise or departed on a cruise from the United States, so that was different too. Miami is the busiest cruise port in the world and it was very obvious when we checked in on New Year's Eve.
On this cruise, we had an interior room. It looks like we have an ocean view, but that is a virtual window! It is a rotated tv screen that livestreams what is going on outside the ship. Our room was very comfortable and we didn't feel like we missed out on anything by having an interior room.
We brought a bottle of champagne on board with us and opened it as we watched the end of the Ohio State game to ring in the New Year. It was a heartbreaking loss, but at least we enjoyed the champagne.
I didn't take a ton of photos of the ship itself (there are plenty of YouTubers who do much better tours than I could!), but these were a few of the highlights. I spent a lot of time enjoying the area they call "Central Park"-it has live plants, is open air, and usually had live music in the evenings.
We were a little hesitant about going to the ice show, because other shows on our previous cruises were kind of cheesy. But the ice skating show was so impressive! For one, having an ice skating rink on a cruise ship is wild. Then, seeing people skate and do jumps while you feel the ship moving is even more impressive. We went back and saw the other show on another night because we enjoyed it so much.
By far, my favorite entertainment was the show in the aqua theater-Hiro. It's a mix of acrobatics, diving, drumming, and stage combat. I loved it. There was so much going on that I went back to watch the show a second time later on in the week and loved it just as much as I did the first time. These performers are amazing and the things they do on a moving ship in the middle of the ocean is incredible.
This huge slide was at the back of the ship near the aqua theater. I did it, but Brennan never did. It was fun, but also very loud with the sound effects. I think all my students from school would love this.
Our first port was Roatan, Honduras, a new country for both of us. We booked a shore excursion to go snorkeling at two different locations. There was so much coral as we snorkeled around from the shore. We also saw a lot of starfish. It was pretty windy while we were snorkeling, so we had to work to stay on course with our guide. Once we snorkeled around the two areas (one with a shipwreck!), we laid in the sun at the beach before heading to a lookout from the top of a hill on the island. We headed back to the ship and spent the rest of the day there.
Our second port was Cozumel, Mexico. We booked another snorkeling excursion, but the location had to change because of the weather. This was a very guided snorkeling excursion, with our guide constantly checking on us and gathering everyone up. We enjoyed the snorkeling, but would both prefer to have a bit more freedom to swim around. There were lots of fish in this area, so it was still fun to snorkel here. After we finished snorkeling, the captain of our boat took us around the shore of Cozumel and we went past all the cruise ships that were docked. We both enjoyed sitting on the top sun deck and soaking up the sun.
Our third port was Nassau, Bahamas, another new country! We didn't book a shore excursion here, but chose to explore the island on our own. What we didn't know was that there would be 6 cruise ships in port on this day. It was very chaotic getting out of the port and there wasn't much for us to do in town with so many people everywhere. We walked up to this old fort, took this photo, and headed back to the ship. I think we would really enjoy visiting the Bahamas and going out to the beaches, but a busy cruise port wasn't very fun. We enjoyed the ship being less busy with many people being on excursions and the sunset that evening as we pulled out of port.
While the ship was less busy in Nassau, Brennan tried out the FlowRider. I was so impressed-he figured out how to get up and kneeboard both times! It was too intimidating for me, but I did the zip line instead! Unfortunately, we don't have any pictures from that because Brennan was in line for the FlowRider (40+ minutes!) while I did the zip line.
Our most relaxing day of the cruise was spent during our stop at Perfect Day at CocoCay. This is Royal Caribbean's private island and they have tailored it to be an excellent beach club. We hung out on the beach for a couple hours and saw a few giant iguanas in between reading and listening to podcasts. I really enjoyed this day and would love to do another cruise that stops at CocoCay.
That night was our last evening on the ship. We decided to try out a few of the arcade games, as we were walking past. The sign by the Jurassic Escape really made me laugh. "Sorry this game is extinct, but the other games are dino-mite."
We really enjoyed our time on Symphony of the Seas! It was the perfect way to soak up sunshine and start out 2023 on a bright note!
We're Brennan & Megan
Since June 2022, we have been traveling to learn more about ourselves and the world around us.