Cruise fans get buzzy as giant ship arrives

The arrival of the new world’s largest cruise ship in Miami on Friday had cruise fans getting buzzy on Twitter. 

“You just make me happy,” one fan posted shortly after Royal Caribbean’s much-awaited, 228,081-ton Symphony of the Seas docked at PortMiami’s new Terminal A for the first time. The tweet included a shot of the sun rising over the vessel, which will be christened in Miami on Thursday and then sail out of the city year-round.

Unveiled earlier this year in Europe, Symphony arrived in Miami on Friday before dawn after a 12-night voyage from Barcelona. The arrival came a day after the 18-deck-high vessel made a brief stop at Port Canaveral, Florida — its first call in North America. 

Symphony’s arrival drew a celebratory tweet from the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department, which sent one of its fire boats to greet the vessel as it approached Miami’s cruise port before 3 a.m. on Friday. The fire boat sprayed water in the air in celebration.

Representatives from the Port of Miami also were up early and shouting out congratulations. 

One fan who went to PortMiami early to catch a glimpse of the new behemoth of the seas noted it was so big she couldn’t get it all in the frame for a picture.  

Nearly 1,200 feet long and 215.5 feet wide at its widest point, Symphony is built on the same platform as Royal Caribbean’s 2-year-old Harmony of the Seas, the previous size leader in cruising. But it eclipses its sibling by more than 1,000 tons.

Passengers who have been on the vessel since it left Barcelona nearly two weeks ago also were up early tweeting as the ship made a turn in the basin in front of Miami’s Museum Park before docking. Symphony was alongside at PortMiami’s Terminal A by 4 a.m.

“Thank you Royal for a fantastic 12 days on board,” one wrote. 

Others on board and tweeting early expressed sadness at having their voyage from Europe come to a close. 

“I guess all good things must come to an end,” one tweeted. 

Symphony will be feted with fireworks late Friday as it departs Miami on a four-night voyage to Mexico — its first sailing out of the city. Symphony’s first regular, seven-night sailing out of Miami will kick off on Nov. 17. 

Symphony can hold up to 6,680 passengers and sails with a crew of 2,200, meaning that on busy weeks it can be home to nearly 9,000 people.

Among new features on Symphony are a first-of-its-kind, two-deck-high family suite with a slide between floors, a revamped Boardwalk amusement area, a new laser tag attraction and a new-for-Royal Caribbean seafood restaurant. Symphony also has more cabins than previous size leader Harmony. 

 

 

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