Nothing is better than a tropical vacation in the middle of winter. Especially when it’s a cruise. I love cruises. (The trip was taken in early January pre-corona). This trip makes my 3rd time cruising and I’ve only been on Royal Caribbean. Granted I have nothing to compare it to, but I think I’m loyal to Royal. The experiences have all been so great I don’t really have a desire to try other cruise lines. (At least right now)
This sailing was on the Symphony of the Seas and went to St. Kitts, St.Thomas and Royal Caribbean’s private island Coco Cay. It was a 7-night cruise and had the perfect balance of cruising days and port days. I have to give a shout out to the staff – every single person we encountered was amazing especially our room attendant, dining room waiters, and bartenders. There is no shortage of things to do on the ship, there is something for everyone. This trip specifically our group agreed that we felt we really maximized our time and we’re able to fit so much into the week.
Some onboard favorites for us include the pool deck (obv!), solarium, promenade, and central park. All cruise days for us started with grabbing breakfast and then heading right up to the pool deck. There were 4 pools & multiple hot tubs. I highly recommend the 3 slides. There is one “toilet bowl” slide that has spectating areas and I must say it is quite entertaining to watch people on that slide…I for one almost got stuck and ended up falling through backwards at the end. 😂
The Solarium is an adults only area and we spent a lot of time here. During the day you can lay out, go in the pool or one of the hot tubs. At night, it’s a great location to sit at the bar for a drink – and is usually less crowded than other areas of the ship.
Central Park is a (not-so) hidden gem. I say hidden because it always seemed to be less crowded than everywhere else as if no one knows about it even though it’s a large part of the ship. But the atmosphere is very calming and the Park Cafe is a great place to grab a quick bite to eat.
The promenade, to me, is the hub of the ship. It’s central to everything and so many of the activities happen here. This was a great meeting spot for our large group everyday. I would grab a coffee every morning at Starbucks or Cafe Promenade. I highly recommend the iced Caribbean coconut latte. At night, you could find us at at the On Air Club and finishing the night with pizza from Sorrentos. Every night we’d also try to attend one of the entertainment offerings like the comedy shows, love & marriage show, the quest etc. – all are amazing and so funny. Separately you could find us at the casino a time or two, I’ve only ever gambled on a cruise ship but I put my roulette skills (or lack of) to the test.
Now let’s talk ports:
St. Kitts – One of my favorite days of the cruise because of our excursion! I would highly recommend booking an excursion for this port because there is honestly not that much to see or do in the immediate area right off the ship. If we hadn’t had the excursion we would have been satisfied walking around for 30 mins and calling it a day. Beware of the tourist trap as soon as you get off the ship – I looked away for 2 seconds and had a monkey on me and apparently it was $10 for a photo.
The excursion we went on was mini speed boats – so fun! The weather looked very questionable and it was actually so windy & rainy as soon as we took them out. It cleared pretty fast though. We actually had so much time on the speed boats and they took us out pretty far, which definitely made us feel like we got our money’s worth. We docked in a cove in the middle of trip and snorkeled for a little bit. I saw a few fish and a turtle so I was happy!
St. Thomas – A few of us in the group had been to St. Thomas before so we decided we didn’t want to get off the ship that day. Instead we just hung out on the pool deck all day. Best decision to stay back because it felt like we had the top deck to ourselves!!
Coco Cay – We have also been to Coco Cay before and I loved it, but we hadn’t been since all of the renovations they made. All I have to say is WOW. They really stepped it up and this private island is such a fun getaway. There is something for everyone to do. I was hoping to go snorkeling again here but it was too windy and they were not letting anyone out that day. But that’s okay, because we all found the infinity pool and spent quite literally the entire day there. I also must say the food on the island was actually way better than the windjammer in my opinion! Despite some rough weather throughout the day, it ended up being the perfect day at coco cay.