53 Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas Cruise Reviews

After having sailed on Princess, Carnival and the past several times on Disney, we decided to try Royal Caribbean. We decided to try out the Symphony because 1/ it has very high ratings among RC's fleet, 2/ we wanted to see what the ... Read More
After having sailed on Princess, Carnival and the past several times on Disney, we decided to try Royal Caribbean. We decided to try out the Symphony because 1/ it has very high ratings among RC's fleet, 2/ we wanted to see what the world's biggest ship had to offer, and 3/ they ship stopped at islands we hadn't been to before - including RC's own CoCo Cay. We booked an outside balcony cabin on the 10th deck. The price was quite reasonable - certainly quite a bit lower than Disney. Check in was a breeze. We did get on late - choosing to board after the early rush, and also figuring we could manage quite well without the obligatory Day 1 lunch. Entering the ship was kinda uneventful. We barely got a "Hello", with a greater emphasis being on sanitizing our hands - understandable given the outbreak of Corona Virus. We entered on the Promenade 5th deck and then headed to our cabin. initial impression was that the decor lacked any level of luxury or plushness. Yes, it was huge, and very interesting to have a promenade in the middle of a ship, but the decor was kinda tired - like being in a slightly dated hotel or office building. I think they expect your entrance in to a city-like promenade to do the trick. It doesn't!!! ENTERTAINMENT: This is where RC did well. Their main attraction shows were most excellent - certainly gave Disney a run for their money. And there was always something to do for all ages. There were parades on the Promenade and all kinds of music at various venues in the evenings. Solo guitarists, excellent jazz, and a band in the Dazzles bar that could really rock a crowd - and get them to dance. Before we went on this cruise, the reviews indicated that RC did an excellent job with the entertainment, and they certainly lived up to their billing here. CENTRAL PARK: Loved it. So relaxing. Vintage is a good place to get some good wines. However, the open area did tend to get windy and there were always some drops of water splashing down from above. Not sure from where - but it tended to happen even when the sky was clear. However, it's quite amazing to have this large atrium right in the middle of a ship. BOARDWALK: I think this was a bit of a let down, and didn't live up to its billing. The boardwalk leads to the aquatheatre, but apart from that, and a bar and hot dog restaurant, there's really no reason to be there. It was rather dead most of the time. FOOD: THIS was a massive let down. This ship has a ton of specialty restaurants. Having done these kinds of specialty restaurants on other cruise lines, we just figured these would not be worth the extra cost - since the main dining hall would always have something worth trying. I will add that we are big time foodies, who usually eat at anywhere from 125-175 restaurants a year - including some of the world's Top 50 restaurants. The food at the Main Dining room was completely substandard. We chose the Any Time Dining option - which was good for us. While it did mean a different serving crew every evening, in general they were pretty good - not great, but good. However, 1 evening it was so bad that for the first time in 10 cruises, I felt compelled to complain to the section manager. The waiter took 14 mins to even bring us a menu, and did not bother to introduce herself or even apologize for the significant delay. when it came time to take our order, she simply came to us and said, 'SO, what can I get you!". May be she was stressed, however, not only had we been patient all the while, but she was extremely cheerful with her other tables. Her manager noticed this behavior and tried to step in to make up for that. But the damage had been done. It took them 35 mins to get our appetizers, and an hour and 20 mins to bring our entree. To top it off, the food was inedible - and I ended up leaving most of my food. I thought I'd head over to the buffet and get some food, but by then even the buffet had closed. I ended up with a sandwich from one of the cafes. After 2 days of sub-par food at the main dining hall, we decided to try 3 of the specialty restaurants. Despite there being so many restaurants on board, there was only 1 that was really worth trying - the rest being rather generic - something that some of the other patrons who visited some of the restaurants told us. Simultanenously we dicovered that the buffet at dinner offered several ethnic options - and so we started going there for dinner - and canceled our 3 restaurant packae. Apart from the fact that the food in the main dining hall was low quality, the variety was even worse. They had the same, bland continental food every single day. Ridiculous! The only optional variety was the option to ask for some indian food. Upon further reflection, it's almost like the main dining option is designed to push you to their specialty restaurants. Not a good idea. When it comes to Indian food, there was always some indian food available at the buffet for all 3 meals of the day. The taste was not particularly great - which is surprising considering the executive chef for the whole ship was Indian - and would typically have had 5-star hotel training in India - where the food standards tend to be high. One evening in the buffet they served Caribbean food - which, while flavorful was a bit bland. And finally on the last day they had a chinese noodle station - where alls you could get is noodles. For such a large ship, the options for food without having to pay extra were not the greatest. RC certainly failed here. The late night food was decent - but got a little boring after a few days due to the lack of any variety. Desserts - easily the poorest and most unimaginative dessert selection of any cruise line we have done. The items were pretty much the same every day, and just loaded with cream - and extremely 'mild' flavors - what I mean by that is that if you didn't read the label of the dessert, you'd be left wondering if there was actually any flavor, let alone what it was. When we got home today, I made the family Molten Chocolate cake from the frozen Costco stuff. Even my kids said the frozen stuff at home tasted better than what they had on the ship. CoCo Cay - not bad. never felt crowded. But the island isn't too big. Disney's Castaway Cay is in a different league in terms of size and atmosphere than this island. Even NCL's island next door seemed to be significantly larger. CoCo is still being built out, and you can make out certainly sections have just been gotten ready - as everything seems to have a 'recently planted' look. Our kids used the water park, and really enjoyed it. I would suggest springing for that. I toyed with the idea of getting a cabana or bed....however, at $1000 for a bed for a day for 2 adults it simply wasn't worth it. If you have a large party, then it might be worth the cost. But the, a number of reviews said that lounge chairs were easily available. And frankly, that was plenty. Didn't see the cabanas or beds being worth the expense - even when we were on the island. So, I think we made a good call there. The food on the island was in line with the set expectations - bland and boring. They certainly had good choices and options - but the food was bland - even the Mexican food. When it comes to drinks, the options available were good. We bought the unlimited drinks package, and even though we didn't do justice to the cost, it was a headache-free option. The drinks were pretty good, and the bartenders accommodating and friendly. WiFi- we bought a package for multiple devices. The connections were good and strong - on the ship as well as on CoCo Cay. Worth the cost. Photo Package - we bought an unlimited photo package. This was a bit of a let down as the photographers were very few and rarely available. They were set up every evening in the Promenade - but rarely available at other locations - including at dinner and CoCo Cay. We didn't do any shore excursions thru the ship. We've done so many islands thru other cruises and vacations that at this point, they all are pretty much the same - and so we prefer to go to the beach and just relax. In St. Kitts we went to the Marriott - as we were told the beach is safe. The beach was OK - uncrowded, but the resort isn't up to usual Marriott standards. At St. Thomas, we decided to take a private tour of the island. We took a taxi tour of the island, and for a coupla hours it was just right. We should have done the beaches on this island - but didn't have time. Maegen's breach is certainly worth the trip and cost. Spa/health club - didn't use the spa, but it looked pretty standard. The work out center was also pretty standard. Casino - a LOT of slots, but not enough of Blackjack tables. Dealers were not too friendly. Maybe they were stressed out about Corona. The one thing we should have done was get The Key. Not knowing what it provided, we ignored it prior to the cruise. Then when we tried to get it onboard, they told us that it wasn't available as it had to be bought prior to the cruise. While I'm not entirely sure what all this "Key" offers, from the little I learnt, it certainly seemed to be worth the expense - at least to us - at $32/person/day. Not cheap, but the privileges would have been worth it. HIGHLIGHTS: 1. The big ticket shows - most excellent! I would put them in the league of good Broadway productions 2. Music - excellent options, and went on late in to the night 3. Promenade and Central Park LOWS: 1. Food 2. Food 3. Friendly, but not warm service Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This is my family’s 3rd cruise with RC. We have done Oasis, Anthem and now Symphony. First THE GOOD. as usual, the dining room staff are terrific in the MDR as well as the Wydjammer. My wife has Celiac and they have treated her with so ... Read More
This is my family’s 3rd cruise with RC. We have done Oasis, Anthem and now Symphony. First THE GOOD. as usual, the dining room staff are terrific in the MDR as well as the Wydjammer. My wife has Celiac and they have treated her with so much kindness and consideration to make sure she has adequate food choices. Our waiter Marlon at table 301, allows her to pick her meals the night before so they can be specially made. The head waiter also helps out a lot during dinner and breakfast. In general the food Has been good , but maybe not “as good” as in the past. I didn’t get the Alcohol Package so I don’t drink As much so bartenders don’t seem as friendly this time around . But maybe it’s just because l’m not as drunk ? IDK But my BIGGEST COMPLAINT is there is wayyyy to Much dead time doing nothing. On other cruises there was ALWAYS ALWAYS something fun going on. On this cruise , with the exception of the big shows (Hairspray , hiro , 1977 Etc the choice are few , repetitive and boring. It’s pretty much trivia, karaoke, Latin fiesta 500 times a day, the same band playing in different spots, dance lessons and bingo. And mostly everything seems to be right around dinner time or start super late. So you have this lull of time from like 2-530 and then from Like 630-10. Other cruises there was ALWAYS somethings. They had a Journey cover band. They had a magician. They had this awesome singer who could imitate any genre of music. And this was in addition to Spectras cabaret, and the main show and just multiple games shows And a VARIETY of bands. Not the same band every night in a different spot and or “Latin fiesta” we’ve been bored every day Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have been on about 20 cruises. 3rd with Royal Caribbean. We been everywhere a cruise can take you in the Caribbean and Bahamas. So we choose our cruises by the ship not destination. This ship looked spectacular. We called and booked ... Read More
We have been on about 20 cruises. 3rd with Royal Caribbean. We been everywhere a cruise can take you in the Caribbean and Bahamas. So we choose our cruises by the ship not destination. This ship looked spectacular. We called and booked directly with Royal Caribbean. We chose the very back inside balcony room right behind the VIP suite. They said we would be able to see the aqua show. We asked about the night noise. He said it was double pane glass noise reduction. NO it is NOT. We heard the show every night, twice a night. Very loud. Also if your looking for a good night sleep away from the show. Forget that unless you like sleeping on Concrete. These beds are so hard me and my wife couldn't sleep all the way through one night. Very uncomfortable. Only a handful of staff treats you like they want you there. The rest treat you like your going through a drive thru window at McDonalds. Can't wait for you to go away. They try to get everyone out of their room at 6:30 am on arrival day. That's like we don't care where you go but you can't stay here. The food is very poor except in the main dining room and specialty restaurants. Even then they are so afraid of salt that a lot of it is bland. The burgers and hot dogs that are included are worse than the ones you had in school. They want you to buy Johnny Rockets. Carnival gives free Guy Burgers and Bar B Q.. Royal Caribbean has the Dog House. Very poor. This is their toppings bar, onions, tomato, sauerkraut and wait no that's it. With condiments of course. 3 wieners, pathetic beef, chicken, or pork sausage. No Cheese, No Chili and buns that are so thin a discount grocery store wouldn't sell them. The Buffet is small and the exact same thing every day. Example: They had beef stew, next day beef casserole (look in the pot its just beef stew) Next day its beef pie (look at it and its beef stew with rolls on top of it). To sum it up. Hard beds, 80% of staff not nice, Food poor. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have done all the other Oasis class ships and since it was my husbands birthday choose Symphony because it was the exact week. This was our 33rd cruise, we sail on Royal and Celebrity. First off we loved the decor of the ships, our ... Read More
We have done all the other Oasis class ships and since it was my husbands birthday choose Symphony because it was the exact week. This was our 33rd cruise, we sail on Royal and Celebrity. First off we loved the decor of the ships, our room 12290 was great. Loved the location, it had 2 nice size closets and plenty of space for everything. Our room stewart Ferry was excellent. The show were very good, however 2 of them had technical difficulties and were delayed. The service in WJ and restaurants was good, however the waiters have to run to keep up. Bars at times were a little slow. The food was below par. We ate at Hooked, would not recommend it at all. Our lobster was over cooked, however my salmon was perfect. Not worth the money. Solarium Bistro again not that great. The dining room was hit and miss. Sometimes it was ok, other times not very tasty. It seems they have cut way back on putting any kind of spices in the food, very bland. The desserts all over the ship were terrible. No flavor at all. If you were blindfolded and given a dessert you wouldn't be able to tell what it was. The Windjammer was ok, enough choices but you ate a cold meal. Hamburgers on the ship were terrible. We tried them in the WJ, on CocoCay and at Johnny Rockets, nasty! We called them mystery meat....The selection of food on CocoCay was better than ever, plenty to choose from. We being in our 60's could care about going to CocoCay again. It's a family, kids kind of place now. With 6000 people on it not enjoyable. We miss the old, quiet CocoCay. So we will not do any ship this size again. The ship was also very cold everywhere you went. I was happy when day 7 came. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
First can't fault much about the ship it's self only the staff seem to look after the american Porto rican and costa rican guest well and ignore the European guest. Did not like how the suite guest were treated like royalty and ... Read More
First can't fault much about the ship it's self only the staff seem to look after the american Porto rican and costa rican guest well and ignore the European guest. Did not like how the suite guest were treated like royalty and us common guest look down on. The food had a great choice every service but the quality i have had better on smaller ships. The service was not as good and what put me off the most when sitting down to dinner in the evening all very posh until you asked for a coffee after your meal and it got served in a mug not a cup as on most ships very strange. The cabins were very nice and clean and comfortable only saw our cabin steward once the whole week. The entertainment very good and lots of choices. The main thing i dislike with the company at Miami was embarkation and the worse one was disembarkation was like a mass of people all fight and pushing to get off and we ordered an lyft taxi from the port waited over 2 hours for it to arrive they had sent 6 different cars to us all were stuck in a mess traffic jam into the port nightmare. A very expensive ship and the service i have had better of other cruise lines . I have done royal Caribbean now and would not do again ship to big and not for us Europeans. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were asked by a group of friends, 8 in total, to join them on this cruise. We had cruised before with 6 others before on 3 other cruises and had a great time. This was our first time on a Oasis type ship and The Symphony is a thing of ... Read More
We were asked by a group of friends, 8 in total, to join them on this cruise. We had cruised before with 6 others before on 3 other cruises and had a great time. This was our first time on a Oasis type ship and The Symphony is a thing of beauty . We are Diamond Plus so we have seen a few ships and love that feeling you get when you first get on if you get that WOW feeling. The Symphony "almost" gave us that feeling, I guess the similarity to some of the other ships, only bigger came to mind. Let me start with the POSITIVES: Embarkation: What a breeze! We got to the curbside around 11:00 am, bags to the porter in about 2 minutes and off to the races getting on. We went up some escalators and saw people directing us to people with iPads, we handed Sea Pass information, took some pictures, and BOOM, we are on the ship at 11:20. So it's time to go meet this new lady. Entertainment: I would say that this was the highlight of the week. We went to all of the shows. Hiro was excellent, Flight was also excellent, 1977 (Ice Show) was also fabulous, and Hairspray was good (my least favorite but the actors really tried). I believe that Royal has upgraded their entertainment considerably in musical, dance, and talent in general over the years. On the same note, the singer in the Schooner Bar was fantastic, there was a strolling piano player that was great, also a classical guitar player from Cuba that also was wonderful....she also played in the English Pub. Specialty Dining: We bought a 3 night package so had the opportunity to eat at Hooked which was delightful, 150 Central Park which was our highlight of the trip, and Jamie's which was our least favorite. We also had My Time Dining - This began as a real problem since 2 couples were on reservations from a TA and 2 couples were on reservations from Royal. We were unable to reserve a table for 8 online because of Royal's "rules" so we could only link the reservations and get 2 reservations at the same time and wait until we got onboard to fix the problem. Thanks to the Head Waiter and the Maître D', we got this fixed and had a great time at the same table each evening....average food but a good time. Solarium Bistro: We found this restaurant to be our absolute go-to place for breakfast, lunch and even evening dinner once. Most times it was quiet, great views off the bow of the ship and even though is was a buffet, the food seemed to be a step up from the Windjammer. AVERAGE THINGS: Windjammer: I may be unfair here since we were only in the Windjammer twice but both times it was very crowded, the food was picked over and seemed only warm at best and not really appealing. Several food stations but several seemed to overlap with the same things. The only really good thing were the French Fries. Cabin: We were in a Jr. Suite on Deck 12. We normally book at least a Jr. Suite or better but since our sailing mates were in a balcony on Deck 12 we tried to stay close. The size was OK, closet OK, but where there used to be drawers - only shelves (like next to the bed). Safe was small, so we had to cram our valuables inside. We were on the bump so the balcony was nice but our bathroom was a challenge. We had a tub with a shower that only had a glass enclosure that partially enclosed the tub so you had to crowd up to the showerhead to shower so water did not get all over the floor. Door to the cabin was the hardest thing to open I have ever seen. I had to give it the old shoulder bump every time. Bars: While there are bars everywhere, it just seemed that they were understaffed most times of the day. At some times, there may be 15-20 people being served by 1 bar staffer and yes they tried to do their best but times were slow. We had a drink package so maybe this is an effort to control the use of the package.....just saying. Just so you know we always tip a little extra each time. HO HUM THINGS: Itinerary: St. Kitts & St. Thomas we have been to several times so do you stay on the ship and get to know her a little better or find something different to do on the island. Well we opted to go to a Resort on St. Kitts and it was a pretty good day with the exception that the water was murky from Dorian so we spent the day in their pool. It was nice but so was their bar bill. In St. Thomas we went on a walking tour, little did we know that the temperature would be a blazing 98 degrees, almost lost it with little shade. However none of this was the fault of the ship except taking us there. CocoCay was a nice surprise. Disembarkation: We had a fairly early flight so we grabbed a quick bite from the Windjammer and headed down. Elevators were a nightmare, people were going up to go down (typical), but we finally got to where we needed to be, got a porter, found our bags, thru security and headed to Uber. Oops, maybe should have gotten a taxi....after a 45 minute wait our Uber showed, then off to MIA. NOT SO GOOD THINGS: Reservations: First time making reservations for everything online. Didn't know what to expect but soon found out. Reservations for the show at 8:00pm meant you really needed to be at your reservation by no later than 7:45pm....but wait, there is a line of people that also have reservations for the same show that have already been in line since 7:15pm so at 7:45pm you might not make your reservation at 8. So when you made your reservation for dinner at 6pm, thinking you would have 2 hours to eat (like on other ships and then go to the show), WRONG. So it's a hurry, hurry, hurry, eat real early, go get in line, wait, wait, sit and wait, sit and wait, watch the show, go to bed exhausted. This went on for a week. Being unfamiliar with the reservations thing and how it worked, my wife and I walked off the ship just exhausted, not just the normal "tired", after a great week onboard. Cabin Attendant: We finally met our attendant on day 4. Nice enough guy, he kept our cabin clean, clean towels but we never had any ice, however we did get a WOW envelope the night before departure asking for an additional tip. Nice of him, as we never had anything to write with to leave him a note. First time ever. Photo Department: We had several pictures taken. Went to look at them on the last day and selected 2 from our Diamond Plus package. We were told to come back at 6 pm to pick them up....came back at 6 pm on the way to dinner...not ready, come back at 10pm. Went back at 10pm, waited in a line for 45 minutes where 1 person was trying to check out everyone (must have been 200 people in there). Nope, not ready. Talked to a manager, most apologetic, said they would be ready at 6am or he would have them delivered to my cabin, I opted to have them delivered. Never got the pictures!!! Spa: Went in for the $99 special message on the Diamond Plus Package, reserved a time. Went in at the appointed time and the therapist finally came out 30 minutes late to get me. I told her that I had some areas that needed some special attention and to be more gentle in those areas, reminded again, reminded again. Thank God the session was over. Bill came, $139 less 20% Diamond Plus...lets go talk to Management....refused to pay more than $99 special because it came with a 20% discount as well. Finally gave up...I will take it up with Royal directly. Diamond Lounge: The Lounge was always slammed with no overflow options. Many evenings I went down before 5pm and there were no seats available, waited a while and left. Other times I went down and maybe one seat was available or there was a table for 4 available then I sat there and almost immediately someone came in and took the chairs. Not one evening did I get to sit with my wife for a drink before dinner. GENERAL THOUGHTS: This ship is lovely but big. It is not the size ship for my wife and I so we will not be going on an Oasis Class Ship again. The people on her are just like the people everywhere, there are chair hogs but this ship seems to patrol a little better. I call them "elevator rushers", but this ship seemed to have more of them trying to rush on the elevators before people got off than I have seen before, however I did like the color bar above the active ones (green for up, red for down). I liked the washing stations, better ways to keep your hands clean however saw a lot of people not using them. I liked the Solarium but there was no air moving in there. One thing that I noticed on the Symphony vs. other ships we have been on is everything seems to be "inside" on this ship (very few outside decks except on top), where on other ships there are more outside decks like on deck 4 & 5 then the top decks as well. My wife mentioned (she is a smoker), that the smoking areas are so cramped and crowded it was uncomfortable for her to enjoy her time there and meet people....she just grabbed a quick smoke and left. Let me also say that I have never seen so many tank tops, ball caps, bathing suits with cover-ups, shorts and flip-flops in the Main Dining Room for dinner in all of my life, formal nights included. There were a few tuxes, suits, some sports coats but those were in the 5% range. Call me old fashioned, but I would not eat in the Main Dining Room unless I were wearing long pants and I always wear at least a sports coat on formal night. I blame Royal for not enforcing the suggested dress code better. When I sit there in a jacket looking at someone in shorts and a ballcap turned backward with his wife/girlfriend in a cover-up, both have flip flops on....I'm sorry, IMO, Royal should do something. Read Less
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
Sail Date September 2019
I was really excited to be on the biggest and newest cruise ship on Royal Caribbean. This was also my first time on Royal Caribbean even though I've been on many other vessels such as Carnival and Norwegian. Pros: it is beautiful ... Read More
I was really excited to be on the biggest and newest cruise ship on Royal Caribbean. This was also my first time on Royal Caribbean even though I've been on many other vessels such as Carnival and Norwegian. Pros: it is beautiful and enormous with many extravagant shows that are worth watching and very entertaining. The room is really nice and spacious as well as the bathrooms. Bar Service: bought the unlimited drinking package and definitely got my moneys worth but service was probably the worst. Quite a few times I've had to wait 30 minutes for a drink. Many bartenders would not even make eye contact with me to ask for a drink. I at times had to try and get their attention (not ideal and quite embarrassing). It wasn't at all bars though. The specific one that had the worst service was at Playmakers sports bar. Justin was the one that served me and many of my family members with mediocre service. Quite rude and intentionally ignored all of us. Pro: There was one server, named Greedep at Playmakers who was amazing! Service exceeded my expectations and food came on time. Very kind and welcoming. Pro tip: Go to Schooners bar and you will def get a good drink with good service as well. Best cosmos there! Main Dining Room: did not exceed my expectations. Felt very crowded and food was just okay. Everything was subpar except for service which was excellent. Overall the cruise was fun, lots of activities to do. For the adults, definitely recommend lounging at the solarium where it is relaxing with huge bath pools/jacuzzis. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our 36th cruise and was the first time chased by a hurricane. The Captain of the ship was very informative as to how he was going to avoid the storm that was in the area. First we were told that we were not stopping at San ... Read More
This was our 36th cruise and was the first time chased by a hurricane. The Captain of the ship was very informative as to how he was going to avoid the storm that was in the area. First we were told that we were not stopping at San Maartin, and that were we going to CoCoCay as an alternate stop, then when that island was threatened, we were going to stop at Nassau, Bahamas. We made it back to Miami at 1:30am Saturday morning. For the inconvenience they did refund one day costs for each passenger. Embarkation: The terminal in Miami is a brand new terminal and there are videos out on the web showing how easy it was to get in. I don't know what time they arrived at the port but we arrived at 10:30am and not only was the traffic horrendous but the first 5 levels of the parking garage were filled to capacity. Speaking of the garage, you had to go up to level 4 to drop off your luggage and then park your car, take an elevator down to the main level then once inside the terminal take an escalator back up to the ship's gangway. For those who need handicapped parking spots, they have them in the vicinity of the elevators on each level. Most ports we sailed out of, we dropped of the luggage on the ground floor and take an escalator up once. This up and down flow didn't make any sense. Once inside the terminal there seem to be confusion as to where to check in. One person told us to go to one area, another told us to go to another area. They now take your picture with hand held devices like an iPad. There was no order as to waiting on a line, people were just jumping to the next available agent. There are some things that still need to be worked out with the check in process. By the way, NCL is building a new terminal right next to Royal's. With just one single lane going by both terminals, it is going to be a nightmare getting to them. This was the opinion of the people who work there. SHIP: There are some changes to this ship that are different from the other Oasis ships. First, the Park Cafe on Deck 8 was expanded to accommodate more people. The biggest change we saw was to the Solarium. They made the area on Deck 14 smaller and there are no longer pools there, only seating. On deck 15 there are two hot tubs and one small pool. The pool was much smaller than the other Oasis ships have. The only way to get into the Solarium Bistro is via the inside lobby. There are doors to get out but you are told to enter thru the lobby area. Speaking of the Solarium, they needed to do a better job keeping children out of the area. There were several times people were asked to leave the area. Overall, the ship was the same as the other Oasis ships so there wasn't any new WOW factor. In fact this ship was the same as the Harmony except for the Park Cafe and Solarium areas. They added a new seafood restaurant on deck 16. As for the pools on deck 15, they are really small. if 25-30 people are in them it will seem crowded. There are three such pools on this deck. Definitely not enough pool capacity for over 5,000 passengers. They could have made larger pools by eliminating some of the hot tubs. Another feature which was eliminated was the information you can obtain in your cabin like the dinner menus, your itinerary from the cabin TV. You could only obtain this info from your phone. The dinner menus usually are displayed outside the dining rooms but this ship did not have any displays to show them. Entertainment : They had two excellent comedians that were very funny. Shows that are a must see are 1977 (ice show) and Flight Dare to Dream. This was a musical of the history of aviation throughout time. The ending will WOW you but I will not spoil it by saying what is was. As for the diving show in the Aqua Theatre, it was boring and repetitive to what we saw on the other Oasis ships. If it is the first time you will see it, then then go but if you've seen it before don't bother. As usual they had entertainment in the Promenade that is worth seeing. If you have children, they Adventure Ocean for different age groups was a wonderful area for your children to enjoy. Unfortunately, this area wasn't utilized as it should have been. There were a lot of foreign guests who seem not to use this venue. They had Laser Tag in Studio B, but you must have reservations. Dining: The food in the Windjammer was average at best. It seems the variety of the food did not change from day to day. Only the meat they served changed. They was one day they closed the second serving stations when we were at sea. We couldn't understand that logic since the place was very crowded. Except when we were in port, it was always a challenge to find seating. The Park Cafe was a very popular spot to get away from the crowds. If you will be looking for omelets, you find not find them in the Windjammer. You will have to go to either the Main Dining room, Johnny Rockets or El Loco Fresh on deck 15 by the sports complex. On other ships this was called "Wipeout". We had My Time dining and at 8:00pm seemed to be the busiest hour. Lines were almost out the door trying to get seating. You may want to book your time earlier than 7:30 to be on the safe side. We actually had the same waiter we had on the Harmony. He played his guitar and sang for the guest near the area where he serviced people. That's the first time in all our cruises that has happened. In speaking to some people who were long time Royal cruiser, we all felt the quality of the food and service have diminished in the dining rooms. It seems we are being forced to go to the restaurants that you have to pay for. Ports of Call: We were supposed to visit St. Maarten, San Juan and Labadee. However, due to the storm we visited San Juan, Labadee and Nassau, Bahamas. Been to all three several times so we didn't get off the ship. Royal Caribbean should do something with Labadee. It's boring and you have to listen for HOURS to these so called "musicians" banging away on their "drums". At one point one of the local restaurants turned up the music to drown out the drums. We were really looking forward to visiting CoCoCay but the storm prevented us from doing so. Debarkation: We took our own luggage and walked off the ship which occurred at 6:15 am. People were actually on line at 5:00am. They do not require to fill out the Declaration of items you may have bought and they now have many stations with cameras to confirm your identity. The process was well organized and the staff was informative, unlike the ones during the Embarkation process. However, you needed to take an elevator up the the level you were parked at. When there are hundreds or thousands of passengers in the need of an elevator, that could cause quite a wait for one. Luckily we were one of the first ones off the ship so it wasn't bad. Overall impression: It seems Royal Caribbean is attracting a lot for foreigners. At times it was a little difficult finding guests who spoke English. The ship is very similar to the Harmony of the Seas and there were some differences but not enough to impress you if you sailed on the other Oasis class ships. If you choose My Time dining, it would be best to reserve a time before 7:30pm. The crew on board was very friendly. The ship was very clean except for some of the bathrooms. One observation over the past couple of cruises is that Royal’s clientele seems to be changing and it shows. We originally cruised with Carnival and switched to Royal to get away from the clientele they had. It used to be that Royal attracted middle aged people now it seems to be the same crowd Carnival attracts. People were hanging their belongings on the interior balconies of the ship and it looked like a ghetto. These same people were rude and didn’t control their children from running around the ship. We have one more cruise planned on Royal later this year, if we run into the same type of crowd, we will be seeking other cruise lines in the future. This will be unfortunate since we are close to being Diamond Plus members. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
As Diamond Members needless to say we've been on a few cruises with Royal Caribbean. The Symphony of the Seas while an incredible piece of engineering and shipbuilding cannot be recommended for 50+ couples. There's simply no ... Read More
As Diamond Members needless to say we've been on a few cruises with Royal Caribbean. The Symphony of the Seas while an incredible piece of engineering and shipbuilding cannot be recommended for 50+ couples. There's simply no place to have a quiet romantic drink or relaxed meal with perhaps the exception of 150 Park. Everything else is loud, energetic and of mediocre quality. All full disclosure however is in order. We more recently have sailed 14+ on Celebrity and Cunard with 8 crossings in past 10 years including Seabourn; these have all been suites. so we are a bit jaded. Ship - new huge and amazing...and overwhelming Cabin - a Junior Suite was excellent size but bathroom showerless except in the tub; not worth the money. Dining - very mediocre to poos in Main Dinning Room; food served tepid or cold. Some dishes were misrepresented. E.g. Steak Dianne. Wonderland more hype than quality. Izumi average at best and over priced. 150 Park nice prepared and real value; don't offer non-ordered items-makes it seem you are begging for compliments. Good wine lists. p Entertainment - this is where the Symphony excels be it musicals, ice shows, or aquatics. Lounge acts were fair with the roving pianist the best. Service - Excellent except in the bars....slow and slower. Ports - St. Maarten, San Juan, and Labadee---dont leave the beaches. Labadee was a disappointment. Poor signage and food options. The "local" market was an aggressive Valley of the Vendors. Cabanas at Nellie's Beach were great with awesome service. Read Less
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 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
Sail Date June 2019
Positives - Entering and exiting the ship was an efficient and easy process. Entertainment, Water Show, Comedians, Dancers - ALL FABULOUS ! Gorgeous impressive looking ship. ... Read More
Positives - Entering and exiting the ship was an efficient and easy process. Entertainment, Water Show, Comedians, Dancers - ALL FABULOUS ! Gorgeous impressive looking ship. Staff - some friendly, some not. Windjammer Buffet - food was good. Nice Cabin. Failures - Main dining room - Food was a C+ (fair). Steaks under-cooked,Other steaks overcooked, Food Took too too long. Please teach the chefs how to cook meat. And it was a Frustrating overly long dinner due to the poorly managed kitchen. Waiters were all apologetic. Hook Restaurant - Food took FOREVER Fish dishes were so Dry they were not edible. Timing of all the dishes was off. Operations, Procedures, and quality control all failed. Burn the Hook Restaurant down and start over from scratch. Cabin Telephones - We returned to South Florida 3 days ago and I am still on hold with the Ship's Guest Services. Take the cabin phones and throw them overboard. They are useless. You will NEVER reach anyone from any department. Room Service, Guest Services, Housekeeping - they are all on a smoke break. My (adult) daughters were in Room 10-445. Her entire area was a ghost town. No Staff Anywhere for hours. Need ICE for the room? - Good Luck. The ship is Gorgeous - But completely inefficient and understaffed. At times we were delighted. But there were times we wanted to jump into the ocean. Thank you for your time to read this. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I took my 1st Cruise last year (2018) with wife on Liberty Of The Seas, out of Galveston TX. Loved it and had an amazing time. After hearing the hype about Symphony Of The Seas, we decided to book it for our second cruise (2019). The ... Read More
I took my 1st Cruise last year (2018) with wife on Liberty Of The Seas, out of Galveston TX. Loved it and had an amazing time. After hearing the hype about Symphony Of The Seas, we decided to book it for our second cruise (2019). The initial experience getting through the new Miami terminal and to our balcony room was quick and actually easier than the process at Galveston. We walked around the ship and it is indeed a huge beautiful ship. Everything looks new and modern, and our room was spacious and clean. But once more and more people started to board until sail, it became apparent this would be a different vibe and amount of passengers than our previous cruise. To put in context, me and wife are early 30s, with 2 teenagers who we did not bring (school). But on SOS, Much more families with little kids were on this ship; go to pool/buffet/shows/shore excursions, and it never failed, little kids would be running around wild. I’m a parent so I get wanting to show kids new/cool things, but Control your children ! And an abundance of other stereotypical unique cruisers (elderly, overweight on scooters, loud pushy types, negative Nancy’s ) seemed to be magnified compared to the smaller ship. 7 days of being surrounded by this, not just on ship, but shore excursions and activities, kind of bummed me out. And good luck getting to any of the shows and specialty restaurants unless you reserved weeks in advance, because they were constantly full/not available. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My extended family decided to take a cruise this spring. We wanted a big ship to keep multiple generations (6y/o to 78y/o) occupied so we chose the Symphony. I had high expectations and although some were met, the majority fell short. ... Read More
My extended family decided to take a cruise this spring. We wanted a big ship to keep multiple generations (6y/o to 78y/o) occupied so we chose the Symphony. I had high expectations and although some were met, the majority fell short. Embarkation was a mess. 1 hour before our scheduled arrive, we received a text stating that additional deep cleaning activities would delay the start of boarding and to not to show up until 10 minutes after your scheduled arrival.....note to RCL, 1 hr before your schedule arrival is a bit too late to change your plans. It took us a good 1 hour to get through the crowds. The ship itself if a marvel of engineering. When I first walked on I thought I walked into a local mall not a cruise ship. The public spaces are well designed and very well done with high quality materials like granite and marble. Even though there were ~6000 fellow cruisers, somehow it never felt overwhelmingly crowded (except on embarkation day). There are broad range of eateries and food quality at the no extra charge places were generally good. The Gym is also amazing. It is huge and has every piece of fitness equipment you need. Only recommendation is to go on off hours as it can get crowded Service was ok, The crew was friendly but did not seem to be overly happy, which was in contrast to other cruises that I've taken on NCL. Honestly the only memorable service we received was in the main dining room with our waiter and assistant waiter (John and Jibby). They were both great, quickly learning our preferences so we did not have to ask for things beginning with the second night. Otherwise the rest of the crew did their job but nothing special. Entertainment was great. Broadway caliber shows, ice skating, water shows, and high diving, all amazing for being in the middle of Caribbean. My biggest complaint is RCL's "The Key". At $20 per day per passenger, the total adds up quickly for a family. Other than the special lunch on embarkation and special breakfast on disembarkation, I saw very little value to "The Key". We are supposed to get priority embarkation but the crowds were so thick that the RCL staff told us to go to regular line as it was probably faster. We were supposed to also get prior disembarkation, which was party good until we got to the lady at the luggage area who apparently did not understand "the key" program and told us to go to regular check out. Lastly, "the key" was supposed to give you reserved seating at shows provide you reserved seats. This seating was the same area as suite guests. In theory this would be great, except that fact that if you don't show up at least 20 minutes before start (depending on show) all the reserved seats are gone. Overall the cruise was OK, nothing special but I may have set my expectations too high. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Family of 4 (2-14 yr. old teen twin girls, couple early 50's ) living in the Midwest (where it's cold) attempting to recreate the beauty of our previous Spring Break sailing on the Allure. Our overall cruise line history ... Read More
Family of 4 (2-14 yr. old teen twin girls, couple early 50's ) living in the Midwest (where it's cold) attempting to recreate the beauty of our previous Spring Break sailing on the Allure. Our overall cruise line history includes Celebrity, NCL and other RC ships. I have also cruised on Princess and enjoyed it. Trying to figure out if I can be a RC loyalist, but I'm not there yet. The one thing we look forward to is an active cruise. I will start by saying that we had a great vacation experience. Overall the ship offers something for everyone. To have the best experience it is recommended to know what you want to enjoy because there is a lot to pick from and you can easily end up bored, because you didn't make decisions. It has unique art throughout and the ship is very nice and well maintained. Although it's a large ship it didn't feel overly crowded, but there are a lot of folks contained on the ship. The highlights of the trip include; Embarkation, entertainment, MDR for dinner (scheduled My Time Dining), cabin and shore excursions. All of those items get a 10+. Highlights include: Embarkation\Disembarkation: 10 minute embarkation process, no counters. I would absolutely encourage pre-check in online. If a picture is needed they take it with an I-Pad before you proceed to the ship. Disembarking was typical and the port area gets rather congested. I would recommended early or late disembarkation. The exit through customs is done by facial recognition which seemed to make this faster. Cabin: We had 2 adjacent Balcony cabins (4D) the room offers 2 closets and ample storage space. If you are particular about bed location, be sure to ask as some beds are against the sliding glass doors and some are closer to entry way. Also the lights are controlled by having your key card in the reader. The décor is modern and the room is fairly typical. TV is not great. Movies cost over 10.00...for those times you just want to lounge... Entertainment: All shows were exceptional. My kid had to explain HIRO to me...My favorites were Hairspray, Ice Skate 2.0 and Flight. I was only able to join one comedy show in the large theater and one of the comedians was excellent. The one thing I found annoying was the saving of large numbers of seats. Although they have a rule against it, it was often done and annoying. I recommend scheduling in advance, and if not being in line early for those things you didn't schedule. Pay attention to the Cruise COMPASS on your TV or in the hallways as things are added that you may miss if you just look at the printed Cruise Compass delivered to your room. All of the musical acts performing in different venues were great. The one thing I wish was better is that the pool band was hidden in an alcove between the pools so you could hear the music but not really experience vibing with the band. Ship: With this being a fairly new ship, it is in great condition and is maintained well. The bathrooms offer the no touch entry and exit and the restaurants offer sinks to wash your hands vs. just using hand sanitizer. The art throughout is unique and nice. The main promenade is well thought out and identical to other Oasis ships. I tried to understand what was exactly different. The casino has a smoker and non smoker side, but no real separator if that is your concern. I did witness staff removing items from those pool chair savers after prolonged time periods. As with every ship, on sea days with good weather get to the pool before 9 for a good spot. I would want other outside venues other than on the running track floor, the Promenade and the pool deck. The ship celebrated their 1 year anniversary during the sailing. Anniversary lanyards and magnets were provided along with a picture of the crew and had special events along with cake and different foods offered. Now to the opportunities. First off the ship didn't have that fun\happy vibe... lots of people were moving here and there but it more or less seemed like a dead hotel on the water. It was eerily quiet...no laughter buzz... The staff seemed tired, and although responded to requests were not friendly. Everyone seemed as if they were following the script to get the 10 for the post survey review. You rarely saw staff members smiling, or if you passed a staff member in the hallway they didn't greet you or even look you in the eye. This was common. We had a situation where the Bionic Bar didn't quite work as anticipated and the attendant spoke to us as if we were stupid. Annoying..... The food in the buffet was terrible, cold in some instances and very rarely different. While I may not prefer buffets I have not had an issue finding something I could enjoy. I stayed away. The Mexican spot, El Loco Fresh was a nice change and we ate there frequently. Typically we enjoy dining in the MDR for breakfast and lunch as well as dinner, but the breakfast offered buffet and a la carte and the a la carte was the buffet food for the most part. I am accustomed to having a special offering for a la carte and that was not present. One nice thing about the MDR is that they make omelets made to order. Dinner, however was a highlight and we thoroughly enjoyed the service and food. We had 2 Specialty dinners, Hibachi and Wonderland. Hibachi was great due to the chef and Wonderland was different. We enjoyed the food and the experience, but I can cross it off the list and not go back again. Room service and continental breakfast were lacking. The coffee tasted like mud, and I would ask for extra cream and always get 5 creamers...so I stopped ordering. There is an additional charge for room service and I would say only pay it if you absolutely need to something delivered to you personally and cannot or choose not to get up and go to various eateries... Service: Our room cabin Jeremiah was great and attentive and proactive without being in the way. In some of the specialty shops we were not acknowledged so we walked out...the guest services area on the last night of the cruise had their lights off. This was annoying because of course many people were attempting to settle a bill and could not see..also a non-welcoming thing to do, understanding they are 24/7. We had drink packages and bar service was good. Excursions: We had 2, one on St. Marten and one in Nassau. I swore I would never get off the ship in Nassau again, but we were whisked off to a private island and the experience was magnificent. The only downside was that the ports were busy due to Spring Break and you spent a lot of time waiting around, congregating. Spa and Fitness: My husband booked a massage and was hoping that he could use the amenities. He thoroughly enjoyed the service, but they whisked him off so quickly he didn't get to see the amenities. Typically, I would book access or get a Spa room, but this one is not open to the sun so what's the point. The running track is on a lower deck where the gym can be accessed. The teens took advantage of the rock climbing wall, mini golf, shuffle board, ping pong, flow-riders etc. video arcade, water and dry slides. They tried ice skating and said the rink was not groomed making it difficult to skate. Couldn't get into Laser Tag because it conflicted with other planned events. We did the Sushi making class and enjoyed it. Overall, it was another RC experience under our belts. Unless some really great deal comes along I would not sail on this particular ship again. But I'm still partial to RC for the family with NCL running a close tie...Food and service are the tie-breakers on the next ship choice. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Our 10th cruise, 4th with RCI. 2 adults (age 50-58), ocean view balcony cabin. Embarkation: super quick, but we got to the port at 10am. They started boarding the ship at 10:30 and we were on the ship at 10:50am getting drinks at the ... Read More
Our 10th cruise, 4th with RCI. 2 adults (age 50-58), ocean view balcony cabin. Embarkation: super quick, but we got to the port at 10am. They started boarding the ship at 10:30 and we were on the ship at 10:50am getting drinks at the tides bar. Disembarkation: We always walk off with our bags. Went down to the Promenade at 6:15am, waited in line for 45 minutes (behind about 100 people already on line). Once they started the line, we went from line to taxi stand outside the terminal in about 10 minutes. We were at the car rental place by 7:25, too bad they didn't open until 8. I have say something about the cleanliness of this ship. All areas of the ship were clean and polished as usual, but the floors in the pool area and solarium area were just plain disgusting. I kept my crocs on the entire time I was in there - I even wore them in the pool and hot tubs - because the floor was just plain gross with drink/food spills, hair, dirt, etc. especially the steps. At first I thought it was from all the people, but it was like that first thing in the morning and I noticed the same "hair wad" on the steps to the hot tub that didn't move the entire 7 days we were on the ship. Ewe! We've been on the big ships including Oasis (May '15) and Allure (Dec. '15). We chose this cruise just for the ship because we love how well RCI handles large crowds, especially on these large ships. On Oasis and Allure, we never felt crowded, it just never felt like there were over 6,000 passengers on the ship. Unfortunately, Symphony's "improvements" simply crowded the open areas that are on Oasis and Allure. These improvements created crowds almost everywhere on the ship, especially in the solarium. On Oasis and Allure, the solarium is so large that at 11am on a sea day, there were still dozens of lounge chairs and by 3pm there were still empty chairs (we like to spend the whole day in there). On Symphony, all the loungers and chairs were taken with personal items by 9am - and the saddest thing is that many of them would not have people in them for hours (some didn't have people until after lunch!). One morning I woke up at 6am. Not wanting to bother the husband, I went to the solarium to read my kindle and ALL the round loungers (with egg-shaped surrounds) already had personal items on them (no people), ALL the round loungers without shades were taken, and more than HALF the regular lounge chairs had personal items on them. I watched those loungers ALL DAY and most of them didn't have people in them until well after lunch. The tiny 3ft pool (16 people max) and the 2 hot tubs were always full of people (except in the early morning and at dinner time). Frequently the little pool had double the max occupancy so it was "standing pool only". Another MAJOR disappointment was the diving show at the back of the ship. We've seen the dive shows on the other ships and it was highlight of our cruises so we couldn't wait to see the new Hiro show. Well, it just plain sucked. It sucked so bad, we wanted to leave. The show had no story at all, just samurai-dressed dancers. Sure the dancers were excellent, but they did the same dance moves to all the songs. The girl flying across the sky above the crowd was really cool - the first time. By the 10th time, it was just "her again?". And divers? Yeah, they dove from the lowest platform about 6 times, and one time from the high dive. That was it! It was a 45 minute dance show, not a dive show. The whole thing could have taken place on the main theater stage. We loved the iSkate show; didn't see any of the other stage shows. The comedians were terrible. We had reservations on the first night and after the show we were glad they both said they did the same routine in every set. Food was ok not great, but make reservations - even if you have "my time dining". The buffet food was mediocre and all the best food for all meals is in the back of the buffet. The new Mexican grill was excellent, very fresh, just get there early because it seems they are only open for a couple of hours for lunch. They do offer breakfast burritos sometimes, and they were good too. We didn't do any of the paid dining restaurants, but we did eat at the sports bar on the Boardwalk and that was good. To be honest: the best food on the ship is from room service. Totally worth the cost for $10 for all you can order. Sorrento's Pizza was much better on Symphony than on the Oasis and Allure a few years ago so I guess they improved the quality because usually the pizza is pretty bad, but this time was very tasty. All the crew members we interacted with were polite and nice. Occasionally there was a grumpy bar tender in the solarium but they were way under staffed. The exercise gym was so crowded at 8am that there wasn't one piece of equipment that didn't have a person on it, including all the free weights - it was wall to wall bodies. It was the smallest gym on any cruise ship we've ever seen. Overall, I would not go again and if I hadn't already booked a cruise on the Harmony for next year before I set sail on this cruise, I would not have chosen another big ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We went on SOTS with high expectations considering the price we paid. After we booked, we were disappointed to review the beverage package price. It was 1100$ for 2 adults to get the deluxe package. Then the number of restaurants you ... Read More
We went on SOTS with high expectations considering the price we paid. After we booked, we were disappointed to review the beverage package price. It was 1100$ for 2 adults to get the deluxe package. Then the number of restaurants you can eat at are limited. Windjammer and main dining room are included. You may also have a slice of OK pizza at Sorento, or grab a quick snack at cafe promenade. As for the rest, you have to pay extra and they were fully booked when we tried to go. Food at the main dining room was average at best. My pastas on a busy Tuesday night are better that what we were served, for instance. It is very annoying to pay a huge price and get that kind of food. Basically, good food is not included in the package and even if you want to pay, you have to schedule in advance. There are a lot of extras on the ship. Kids wanted to watch a movie at night in our stateroom while we went to an adult show. We paid 12$ for a movie that was on Netflix, plus 6$ for popcorn. This is abusive. The configuration of the dining rooms are confusing. Spoons are not with the soup, dressing for salad is not with the salad, etc. Except for deck 15, water is hard to find on the ship. You are not allowed to refill your bottle of water, for public health and safety issues! They give you plastic bottles instead, which is a huge environmental fail according to me. Toilets are difficult to find. On the Promenade, you have quite a few restaurants and you have to go all the way to the staterooms to find one single toilet. You have to adjust to the ship schedule. When on holiday, you don't want to follow schedules. Yet, zipline is closed between 12h to 2h, and so is the kids club. I never managed to do the wall climbing, as we were never on schedule. You'd better carry your running shoes, shorts and t-shirt with you when you go to the Abys and zipline, otherwise, you will be sent back. We never managed to do the laser tag. It was already fully booked on Wednesday for the whole week. Essentially, all we could do during the day was the pool and slides. It get boring after a couple of hours. SHOWS are excellent. We loved the aqua theater show, as well as the comedy show. The pianist was excellent, and so was the bands. We were very impressed with the quality and the talent. Karaoke was fun too! The beverage package was expensive and red wine was warm. There is very little selection. If you like French or Italian wine, you will find it hard to find. Otherwise, you have to go to Vintage and pay extra. Service is top. Kids club is very basic. Just a playroom with computers. No multilingual personnel when we tried to go. We couldn't enjoy it. Solarium was the best, but we only managed to go for 15 minutes because it is for 16 YO and more. Food was good too. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
After sailing on the Allure 7 years ago we thought we would try the Symphony. The new cruise terminal was great as was embarkation and debarkation. Got to terminal at 10:45 and was on the ship at 11:05 and went down to Park Café for lunch ... Read More
After sailing on the Allure 7 years ago we thought we would try the Symphony. The new cruise terminal was great as was embarkation and debarkation. Got to terminal at 10:45 and was on the ship at 11:05 and went down to Park Café for lunch which turned out to be our favorite for breakfast and lunch. We loved the room with the larger balcony which seemed longer and had the bed by the window a first for us. It made the room bigger and easier to get to the closets etc. Loved that they loaded our cards with the free3 drinks that would could use in all the restaurants great for wine at dinner. At 1pm cabins were ready and noticed that there were suitcases down the hall lined up where they bring them from below. Well they never delivered any of the bags to the cabins people had to go and get their own bags. Which is not good, one guy grabbed his bag and put it under their bed and found it the last day of the cruise and it wasn’t even his bag. Ours were still not on the deck at 4:30 and when we met our cabin steward, he went looking for ours and a few other people’s bags. Our bags were found about 5:20 and he brought them to us. Brian was one of the best cabin stewards we have had on 26 cruises. I just wish Royal would send us the survey so I can give him a great review. First morning early went to the Windjammer and it was the last time there. The place was way too small and they had no cooked to order station no omelets’ or eggs Benedict. The sunny side up eggs were already on plates not freshly cooked out of a pan. We had booked the Solarium Bistro for a few dinners since we really like the one on the Anthem. First night dinner all the appetizers were set up like the buffet but were mostly cold, dry and tasteless. The bigger problem they did not serve cooked to order main courses like the Anthem. They had the same buffet set up and served cold, dry and tasteless dinners, never went back. Went to the main dining room once had a double order of escargot and it was served cold. The strip steak was cooked perfect but was dry and tasteless never went back for dinner but did go for a breakfast so I could get my eggs Benedict. I already had booked 150 Central Park for my wife’s birthday, not great. My wife’s appetizer and dinner of Venison were great. My appetizers not good and Lamb wellington was ok. Our waiter was the worst we ever had in a specially restaurant and made the whole experience bad. Dinner at Chops was better great waiter, Jason, and we sat on the outside in central park. My wife’s appetizer was good and the filet Mignon was cooked a perfect medium rare but tasteless and tough. My appetizer was good and the prime Ribeye with bone was cooked a perfect medium rare but dry and tough. Then there was Hooked Seafood WOW fresh seafood; raw oysters on the half shell, baked oysters, mussels, lobsters and more. The food and service were outstanding. And the dining space over the solarium was beautiful with windows all around to see a sunset. By far the best restaurant on the ship. And we had dinner there again and was able to book a lunch for the last sea day. The solarium was always too crowded to get a chair, most of the time we got a couple of chairs next deck up in the corner, or went to our large balcony. We had booked all the shows and I liked them all except Hairspray which my wife loved. Had no problem booking them all from home. All in all, the cruise was good but the ship is just too big for us now that we are getting older. Will stick with the Anthem or Liberty of the seas class and of course Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We choose this cruise as our friends and neighbors had booked it and we wanted to go on the Symphony as the largest and newest cruise ship in the fleet. Overall it was a very pleasant experience and we enjoyed ourselves and had a lot of ... Read More
We choose this cruise as our friends and neighbors had booked it and we wanted to go on the Symphony as the largest and newest cruise ship in the fleet. Overall it was a very pleasant experience and we enjoyed ourselves and had a lot of fun. We had booked the ultimate dining package and visited all the restaurants on board: Wonderland, 150 Central Park, Chops Grille, Izumi and Jamie's where great. The Hooked was good too, but not as good as the others. The food was excellent, service outstanding and overall experience what we hoped for. To the negatives: - You have to reserve your shows and dining experience early on. If you don't you probably won't get a seat and beware if you have to change something. We had booked our specialty restaurants on the first day and had to re-book one restaurant as our friends and us wanted to meet for lunch. With the app and the assistance service personal it took us roughly 45 minutes to get all lined up again. A show was canceled and you couldn't go anywhere else as everything was booked and reserved. - Service personnel: I know I get it is an international ship with an international crew. But please, make at least sure the customer service at the front desk speaks proper English. Half the time they couldn't understand what I was saying or I didn't understand what they were saying. On the same token, they weren't able to answer some of the questions we where asking, had to call, didn't know, let us go with printouts. I have seen better on RC Ships. - The "key" program, our favorite topic. Don't book it, it is a rip-off for almost no benefits. It reads nice on the paper, but it does not deliver. What bothered us most was how less the personal on board knew about it and how rude the reacted on my questions. Here the list of "benefits". o Priority check-in and boarding - Well, we didn't seen any extra check-in or benefits during boarding. Generally the boarding in Miami's new terminal was easy, o Carry-on bag drop off and delivery to stateroom. - Yes, that worked, but be aware your luggage will be delivered to you room, but the room keys are at the door. So technically anybody could enter your stateroom prior to your arrival. o Exclusive welcome lunch at Chops Grille. - That was good, as expected. I believe the regular price for a lunch is $ 19. But the place was only available for the "Keys". o Private hours at onboard activities: including Rock Climbing, FlowRider® and more. The private hours schedule will be provided at check-in. There was no schedule at check-in, I asked on day 3 the Guest Services, they gave me one option for the zip line for an hour on a sea day. I didn't ask for the others. It has to be noted, the Guest service attended didn't know about the program and had to call. o Priority port of call debarkation: None of the ports we used had priority options. Although debarkation and embarkation where a breeze. o Reserved seating at shows in the Main Theater, Aqua Theater and Studio B.: You had to reserve every show, no reservation, no seating! When you arrived there was no extra line for the "keys". The Main Theater had reserved seating for Diamond which we could use, but the all seats where an the balcony and you had obstructed view due to the rail. The Studio B had extra seating, but at the side, not a perfect view either. Neither Aqua nor the Attic (Comedy Club) had extra seating. We had hoped with the Key to cut the time waiting in line to get in. o VOOM ® Surf & Stream 1 Device high speed internet. You can by this separately or get even better offers with your drink package. o Choice debarkation with an exclusive a la carte breakfast. That breakfast was excellent and you where guided out of the ship and could use the "Diamond" exit. Unfortunately the personal didn't know where to send us for breakfast and directed us to the wrong direction. Long story short - don't waste you money! As said overall it was a good cruise, good experience, mostly friendly staff, extremely friendly waiters and friendly officers. Have fun on your next sailing! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We booked this trip because my sister and her husband have sailed with Royal Caribbean many times.I was sailing with my husband and 3 children (ages 13, 10 and 9), my parents and my sister and her husband. I heard such great things about ... Read More
We booked this trip because my sister and her husband have sailed with Royal Caribbean many times.I was sailing with my husband and 3 children (ages 13, 10 and 9), my parents and my sister and her husband. I heard such great things about the Oasis and the Harmony that I was so excited to try this ship. I was thinking this is going to be my new favorite ship, but it just wasn't. The ship sailed out of Miami. The new terminal is beautiful. You park your car and drop you luggage off with the porters and into the building you go. They have a new setup, that I was not used to. Its super easy. There are plenty of employees standing around with I-pads waiting to assist you. Check-in was a breeze. We went up stairs and sat down waiting to be called for embarkation. Once we got on board, we went up to the buffet. Embarkation on this ship was so simple! We had a interior room with a promenade view. The room was plenty big for 4 of us. My parents had this kind of room as well 2 doors down and one of my kids stayed in their room. My sister opted for an ocean view balcony which was 1 floor below ours. There was lots of storage for all of our things. The only thing I disliked was that there is a trundle bed for one of the kids to sleep on. On other cruises, there is usually a bed that comes out of the ceiling to make a bunk bed. The trundle was narrow, but big enough for my 9 year old. When the trundle was pulled out, there was no room to walk past or stand in front of the mirror. Just an awkward setup. The bathroom was nice and I loved the corner ledge in the shower for shaving my legs. We had your time dining and had no problems getting a reservation for 5:30pm. We had the same table each night and the same waiters. I must say that in all 19 cruises I have taken, this wait staff was by far the best we ever had. Food to me was typical for cruise ships. Some things I liked and others not so much. My husband and I ate at Jamie's Italian one night. Food was good but I'm not sure that it was worth the price we paid ($120 for the 2 of us). We had the drink package for ourselves and instead of buying the kids soda packages, they just used our soda cups that came with our drink package, so it worked out perfectly! The buffet never really felt crowded. We ate breakfast, lunch and one dinner there. Food was good. I really liked the Mongolian Wok they had at the back of the buffet. Its usually open for lunch and dinner. The entertainment on the ship was decent. We really liked Hiro, which is in the Aqua Theater. We also saw Flight, Hairspray and the ice show (does it say anything that I can't even remember the name of the ice show?) Since my sister has sailed with RC in the past, we knew to make reservations for these shows well in advanced prior to our cruise. Besides the shows we saw, the kids did use the flow rider and the waterslides one day. The flow rider had such long lines. They did like The Ultimate Abyss (the dry slide in the back of the ship). It only sucked that we had to be present (either at the top or the bottom) for them to use it. We did not use the rock climbing wall at all. My oldest son always wanted top play basketball. There were only 2 basketballs! 2...on a ship with 6000 people. So weird! We never really shopped at the stores on the ship. It just isn't what we do. We did go to the candy store though. My kids (well my younger 2, ages 9 & 10) loved the kids area. they wanted to go all the time. I would let them stay late most nights. The staff there seemed really friendly and my kids liked them. My older son would go to the kids club once in a while but mostly wanted to play basketball. We did try to get ice cream one night but they close that down around 10 and the basketball and mini golf are also closed down at night. We went to 3 ports on this itinerary. We went to Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Kitts. Nassau We did the Blue Lagoon, Stingray and beach excursion. The island is nice. You take about a 30 min ferry to Blue Lagoon. We did the stingray excursion which was kind of cool. I'm glad we did not pay a lot for this excursion as we didn't really get but 2 mins with them, just for pictures that they take. Then you get to snorkel with them. The area they have is huge and kind of deep. There were only a handful of stingray in there as well. Water was freezing, as it was February. They only had one shuttle back to the ship so you had to wait about 2 hours. There was a buffet there but it cost $45 A PERSON!! um. no thanks. We just went into the store and bought $30 of snacks, lol. They have a beach with blow up rafts but we didn't get into the water again. Nice island though. St. Thomas We did a catamaran and snorkel tour here. (Buck Island, I think) Our original time for this excursion was 11:30 but about a week prior, we got an email saying it was switched to 2:30. All aboard was 5:30, so I knew we were going to be rushed. We did not get off and walk around prior to the excursion. At 2:30, we boarded the catamaran and headed out to our first snorkel site, turtle bay. We have our own snorkel equipment but they provided it all it you need it. We just used their vest and flippers. I didn't get to see a lot here since my one son was having a hard time snorkeling. My husband and other 2 kids went off and were fine. We then went to a shipwreck site, 2 mins away by boat. Shipwreck was cool but it was about 30 feet down and hard to see. You only get about 20-25 mins in the water at each location. Once back on board, they hand out rum punch or juice. By the time we got back to shore, it was 5:35 and time to get back onboard. We di get some pretty awesome sunset pictures though. St. Kitts We did the 4x4 Island Safari and Beach excursion. This was a lot of fun. You get to go in to the rainforest on modified jeeps. you get out at one place to get some pretty awesome views. Here they provide rum punch and juice. then its back into the jeep and off to the beach. At the beech, we rented a beach chair for $10 and went snorkeling. You are only at the beach for 1 hour and then its back to the ship. All in all, this cruise was nice. The ship is HUGE. I was hoping it would be my new favorite, but its just not. I was disappointed with the 80's party they have. They do it in the promenade and its just too cramped. Just the dancers dancing to partial 80's songs and then its done! I wanted it to last longer. We never saw the cruise director, only on the TV. I'm glad we did it. For the price we paid though, I probably won't be doing it again though. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I haven't cruised in 10 years and oh how it's changed!! I would say we had some definite high points and some lows as well. We were sailing Sky level in a crown loft suite. This allowed us access to a private sun deck which ... Read More
I haven't cruised in 10 years and oh how it's changed!! I would say we had some definite high points and some lows as well. We were sailing Sky level in a crown loft suite. This allowed us access to a private sun deck which was awesome! Some days we were the only people up there! There was a hot tub and a bar up there and it was at the front of the ship which was also very nice. We also had a concierge, Jackie, she was amazing! Anything we needed, she was on top of it and made it happen! I truly can't say enough good things about her! Our suite was very nice. It had 2 bathrooms and a beautiful balcony. The entire back wall of our suite was floor to ceiling windows, so our views were stunning! The bed was extremely comfortable, and we slept great all week! The entertainment on this ship was truly the very best part! The comedians were hilarious! Hairspray was awesome! Hiro and Aquanation were out of this world!! I highly recommend seeing all of the shows! I agree with most everyone else that the food was eh. Due to the fact that we were Sky class, we had all day access to the costal kitchen. It was a huge disappointment to us and we only ate there once for lunch and once for dinner. The new york strip steak was awful and not edible. The main dining room had great service and decent food. Honestly, we really enjoyed the windjammer for lunch and dinner a number of days. The food was good with a huge variety. El Loco Fresh was excellent for lunch! Everyone loved it, so it was always busy for lunch, but definitly worth it if you like mexican! We did eat at Chops 2 nights. Probably the best food we had on the ship, and of course an extra charge! Every night we went to Schooners bar and LOVED it!! Live music every night, great people watching, and Aladin, the bartender was FABULOUS!!! By night 2 he knew us by name and was always happy to see us. He does magic tricks, sings, and is very entertaining. You have to stop and see him on your trip!! The spa on this ship is a joke! You check in and they put you in this holding room that is so packed, we didn't even have a chair to sit in. We chose to have a couples massage, and if i'm being honest, a 5 year old with a rolling pin could have given me a better massage. It was very disappointing. There was also a lot of beating and banging going on for about 30 minutes which made it very loud. At the end of our massage, the masseuse started this high pressure sales pitch on these products that we didn't want or need. We kept telling them no we didn't want them, and they wouldn't take no for an answer. we ended up being charged for $179 worth of product that we didn't even take and our concierge had to get it taken off our bill. So it's not an experience i would recommend. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
A group of us go every year. We were on the Harmony last year, hype was that Symphony was even better. Nothing different, I have since decided I’m just not a fan of the huge ships. On a positive note embarkation was unbelievably ... Read More
A group of us go every year. We were on the Harmony last year, hype was that Symphony was even better. Nothing different, I have since decided I’m just not a fan of the huge ships. On a positive note embarkation was unbelievably smooth. Love the new port and parking garage. Disembarkation was just as smooth. Just way too many people, everything is always packed. Getting time slots for shows is difficult, especially if you haven’t done it ahead of time. They always offer plenty of choices for shore excursions. I am now 100% a fan of booking on board... our excursion in Costa Maya got back 20 minutes after the all aboard, and the ship waited. (Our bus stalled 5 times) the tour guide said don’t worry, we are in contact with the ship, they know and will wait. Entertainment was only so so, for a ship of this caliber they should be booking international well known acts. Food was good, as always on Royal Caribbean. Our server Dymtro knocked it out of the park. We never saw our cabin attendant, but, room was clean and turn down service was prompt. It did however run quite late into very late morning or early afternoon for cabin to be tented to. We came and went several times and nothing had been done yet. All in all I would rather sail on the ships a class lower. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My wife and I chose this cruise because we were loyal to RC. We have been on 4 RC cruises and 3 on other cruise lines. We wanted to try Symphony of the seas because it was a new ship. We had been on Oasis 2 times and Freedom of the seas ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise because we were loyal to RC. We have been on 4 RC cruises and 3 on other cruise lines. We wanted to try Symphony of the seas because it was a new ship. We had been on Oasis 2 times and Freedom of the seas one time. Oasis is almost exactly the same as Symphony and lower in price. Oasis and Freedom do not cater to children as much as the Symphony does. We don't like all the slides and children activities. They said there were only 400 or so children on the ship but it seemed like 2000 out of the 5000 or so that were on board. The problem is parents don't control their kids at all, they let them run free. They came into the Solarium which is adults only, they came out on the dance floor at nightclub Dazzles at 1130 at night when adults were trying to dance and have a good time. That is no place for children. They run up and down the halls at night at breakneck speed making all kinds of noise, these are not teenagers they are kids! Our complaining did no good at all. If i sink 4 grand into a cruise I expect to get 4 grand back in a good vacation. That was not the case. I would have gladly got off the ship after the second day if they would have given me just half of my money back. The ports we visited had at least 2 to 4 other ships in them at same time, needless to say, very crowded. Is there not a better way to control this? The ship is beautiful and the service and rooms were fine. But there were not enough bartenders during peak hours when needed the most. Elevators were a nightmare to say the least. We had a good time, we always do, but good grief when you go at the end of January you expect it to be an adult crowd with manners. But that's another thing, on this ship people bumped into you non stop or cut in front of you, oh but how cute their kids were screaming and slapping their feet up and down slap slap slap of sandals non stop. I'm sorry RC but we will go with another cruise line next time, besides that, your prices are among the highest out there and frankly you just are not worth it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Symphony of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 5.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 4.4
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness & Recreation 5.0 N/A
Family 5.0 4.2
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 4.5 4.3
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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