24 Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Go to your nearest Mall. Double the price of coffee, triple the price of beverages, then add sociopathic security guards who enforce confiscatory policies by leveraging safety to take money from you. Examples include the policy that ... Read More
Go to your nearest Mall. Double the price of coffee, triple the price of beverages, then add sociopathic security guards who enforce confiscatory policies by leveraging safety to take money from you. Examples include the policy that you can't wash your bathing suit, because doing your laundry is unsafe (safety is $35 a bag for wash service), video games involving balance on a fake boogie board that are "unsafe" for my gymnast daughter but safe for her 53 year old dad (so they can sign him up for a wristwatch promo) or confusing embarkation beverage policy which results in having to buy their onboard beverage package ... nope I am not an alcoholic, don't need $500 + in booze sold to my suite mates. The irony of Royal Caribbean's use of "safety" to fleece customers is that Royal Caribbean operates under Bahamian law specifically so it can avoid US safety and labor regulations. As to the rest of the cruise. Like most high end malls and hotels, it has good architecture and design. Like most theme parks the good stuff is crowded and Royal Caribbean seems to attract aggressive customers who will run over your kids for their third helping of dessert, and save all the seats in the auditorium for whatever you want to see. The shows are actually good, even by Disney standards. Why they build tiny theaters on ships with a 6,000 capacity is simply because they want to say they have the feature offered, not that you will get to enjoy it. At it's core, Royal Caribbean is just a bad company. These policies, the cheap food, the repetitive onboard music, the broken coffee machines, the constant $50 and $100 per person because you are in their monopoly hell; it a senior management issue. They are focused on extracting revenue, not providing value for their customers. It is a miserable experience to be their victims for a week. So bad, I may book a flight home out of Cancun and simply get out of this mall. This is our tenth cruise. Can not wait for it to be over. Disney is just so much better (with a smaller capital expense, they simply treat their guests as guests instead of chumps to be targeted for corporate theft) Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Let me preface this by saying we took a RCCL cruise on Anthem of the Seas last fall (2019) to Canada and New England; and, our experience was terrific. The crew was friendly, the ship offered plenty of activities planned to keep us busy, ... Read More
Let me preface this by saying we took a RCCL cruise on Anthem of the Seas last fall (2019) to Canada and New England; and, our experience was terrific. The crew was friendly, the ship offered plenty of activities planned to keep us busy, many food choices (non-premium), excellent shows, and the music offered was varied/enjoyable. Now fast forward about 6 months to our cruise on the Symphony of the Seas. The crew was not outgoing or friendly, the were fewer activities planned for us (even though it is a larger ship), less food choices (non-premium choices), sub-par shows, and many services seemed less organized (one night in the main dining room, our server was so frustrated at the slow service that he pointedly asked us to say on the survey that it was management's fault, not the servers!). Just 1 small example of the difference: Athem cycled 2 comedians during the 7 night cruise, while Symphony only had 1 the entire time. It was as though the crew expected us to be entertained by the ship itself, rather than them needing to entertain us. Yes, it is an amazing ship in terms of size and engineering, but the crew and activities are what make or break a cruiser's experience. In short, we will not take another cruise on the largest of RCCL's ships. In contrast, we will absolutely look for another one on the Anthem (or another cruise line). It is a shame that there was no consistency. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our 14th cruise (all with RCL). It was definitely the easiest getting on and off a boat we have experienced. This is a big beautiful boat but with that being said, was probably the worse cruise we have experienced. No matter ... Read More
This was our 14th cruise (all with RCL). It was definitely the easiest getting on and off a boat we have experienced. This is a big beautiful boat but with that being said, was probably the worse cruise we have experienced. No matter where you went on the boat you could smell cigarette smoke (which was mainly from the casino on the 4th deck). The casino doors were right across from the dining room and the smoke smell was so strong while you were waiting to get into the dining room. It was a constant smell on the elevators no matter what floor. We probably experienced the worse food on all our cruises. We had dinner 2 nights in Chops and 1 night in the Seafood Restaurant. We did have a nice dinner at the Seafood Restaurant. We have eaten at the Chops restaurant on at least 5 or 6 other ships and this was by far the worse food. The quality of the food on this boat was definitely a topic of conversation throughout the week from the people on the boat. We also paid for the Wi FI but it didn't work the majority of the time. Come on RCL you can do better than this. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Although I love RC and have been on 5 cruises with them..... this one missed the mark in my opinion. Service was not as warm & friendly as other RC sailings, food lacked in quality, and the Entertainment Team & Activities team were ... Read More
Although I love RC and have been on 5 cruises with them..... this one missed the mark in my opinion. Service was not as warm & friendly as other RC sailings, food lacked in quality, and the Entertainment Team & Activities team were not visible most of the time. Parties & events/activities started late consistently. The Red Party started late, the morning Zumba in the Promenade, The White Party in Solarium area, Silent Dance Party etc. Pizza was burnt for the most part and floor always wet from drink machine. No one from the events ever apologized for late starts up to 30 mins!! Cruise Directors team never started off dance parties and were basically never present except the first hour while we left Miami. Food at Windjammer was of poor quality & tasteless unlike the Oasis , Liberty, Independence & Majesty. Do not have high expectations if you decide to sail on this ship anytime soon. Unsupervised children were also out of control & RC did nothing to enforce rules in adult areas. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
First, let me give praise where it is due. Our wait staff in the My Time Dining room were pleasant, kind, dedicated, hard-working, and determined to provide us with the kind of care that Royal Caribbean is famous for. Our room steward also ... Read More
First, let me give praise where it is due. Our wait staff in the My Time Dining room were pleasant, kind, dedicated, hard-working, and determined to provide us with the kind of care that Royal Caribbean is famous for. Our room steward also did an excellent job. Many kudos and sincerest thanks to them. A 5 star rating is not good enough for the service they provided. Sadly, the rest of the cruise only occasionally rose to mediocrity and often sunk to the pits of frustration and humiliation. The failure of the cruise to reach anything close to expectations lies firmly on uncaring upper level corporate incompetence and mis-management decisions. So what went wrong? Last year we took the Transatlantic re-positioning of Symphony from Europe to Ft Lauderdale. It was a lovely trip. When asking about Future Cruises, we were told that we should look at the The President’s Birthday cruise on Symphony. “It’s going to be a major party!” Lots of big name performers! We aren’t allowed to say who yet, but trust us, you are going to be shocked at the lineup! (Wink, Wink, Nod, Nod.) Giveaways! Activities! Hey, it’s the 50th Birthday, Royal Caribbean is going to pull out all the stops! 50th Birthday only comes once! Etc, etc. etc. So we booked. Our problems began a few days before the Birthday cruise was to board. We got a call from Royal, saying our reservations for 2 nights dinner at Solarium Bistro had been cancelled. “Why?” we asked. “A Private Function is now scheduled in that venue.” They answered. “But we were really looking forward to those reservations. We don’t want to give them up.” “Sorry.” “What else can you offer us? Can you discount one of the other extra cost dining venues?” “There are no plans to offer discounts due to reservation cancellations.” “So what else can you recommend?” “You could try the Windjammer Buffet.” The Private Function turned out to be closing the Solarium to anyone except Pinnacle members. Ok, so we’ve still got theater shows and those “secret” premier performers, Performers is plural. We thought there would be one each evening. Nope, wrong to think that. One band scheduled for two performances in the Cruise Compass and the marketing package we received. Then the two performances became only one show. And then magically that show transformed into another of the dreaded “Private Function” for Diamond Plus and Pinnacle members.” So what do you get if you are not Diamond Plus or Pinnacle? “You got a cover band three nights ago. What else do you expect? Have you considered the Windjammer?” And who were the premier performers? Hall and Oates. You may remember them slightly. No hits since 1984, over 35 years ago. Maybe you liked them way back when. But give me a break. They are not cutting edge, first-tier performers, at least in the 21st century. And was this the last problem with the cruise? No. You don’t want to read a novel here so I will recap a few issues. There were more. Security officers nearly non-existent. This means no crowd control. Is the Neon Night line turning into a stampede? It’s every man for himself. You can be run down by electric adult handicap scooters and Visa cardholders desperate to get a fifty-cent flashing necklace. This is true even if you just turned the wrong corner and are not trying to go to the event. Need a waiter for coffee in the morning or a drink by the pool? Forget it. My guess is crew staffing has been cut to the bone and then cut again for budget reasons. Electric adult scooters. They clog the halls and elevators, They will crash into you if you don’t jump out of the way. They pose a risk to other guests. Anyone can bring one. A genuine handicapped designation should be required to get one of these things on board. Children with no parents or no visible supervision. Your evening will not be enhanced by a five year old trying to strum the solo performer’s guitar while she is playing. This actually happened. Where is security? See previous comment. Speaking of children, why are they allowed in bars and dance venues after 9 pm? This is not Romper Room or a teen video game parlor. Nothing destroys the enchantment of an evening like being tripped by a band of marauding kids darting in and out of the dance floor. Are the Cruise and Entertainment Directors real or only holograms? You might see them projected on a stage but you won’t see them any other time. Presidents Cruise Prizes? Much ado about nothing. Four cruises of which two were in the lower level of Royal Caribbean ships. One was a two night inaugural cruise on the Odyssey and the Grand Prize was a 7 day Caribbean cruise. A few American Airlines fare vouchers which cannot be used on discounted flights making them virtually worthless. A handful of $50 on board credit vouchers. For a ship with over 5000 passengers this was paltry. Was this “The Biggest Boldest Birthday Party and Presidents Cruise Ever!” to borrow from Royal’s marketing blurb? After three back to back sea days with no activities different from any other cruise, cancelled reservations, and performances, I don’t think any passenger would agree. It was more Boredom than Bold. So, that’s my review of Royal’s 50 Years of Being Bold Cruise. It was a budget cruise at a premium price. I honestly believe the way this cruise was merchandised was a scam. I have been Loyal to Royal for a long time. I only wish Royal shared the same loyalty to its passengers. Shame on Royal. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I do not like RCL. I simply don't like how they do things. Nevertheless, my Mother who is Diamond on RCL said I should experience an Oasis Class Ship at least once in my life so off we went. While some things were good it was ... Read More
I do not like RCL. I simply don't like how they do things. Nevertheless, my Mother who is Diamond on RCL said I should experience an Oasis Class Ship at least once in my life so off we went. While some things were good it was generally a terrible experience. I will try to cover both in my review. Our cabin was one of those that had a balcony facing the inside of the ship. If we never left Miami I wouldn't have known it because it was like staying in a hotel. There is no Promenade Deck so you don't see water unless you are seated near a window in the restaurant or if you are on top of the ship. The pool deck is all windowed in so you must go higher to breathe the Ocean air. We got to our cabin and there was no remote for the TV. We made several attempts to contact guest services but nobody ever answered the telephone. Eventually our cabin steward came to the rescue. The cabin was adequate except for the tiny safe provided. Our cabin attendant was excellent and kept the cabin spotless. The main problem with this ship is that there are over 6000 passengers and not enough facilities for all of them. There were lines and more lines for everything. Sea days on the pool deck were monotonous. All of the complimentary dining options were always packed with lines. We chose anytime dining for the main dining room and there was always a line to get in. We tried making reservations but the tables we wanted were always booked and many times nobody showed up even though they were reserved. The serving staff in the main dining rooms for dinner are for the most part very good. Not so great for other meals. The dining room management is a confused mess. We reserved a table one evening only to arrive at the time we were told to arrive to find the table occupied. We found Symphony to be an unorganized jumble. If you go be prepared for a constant wait for elevators and if someone is in a wheelchair not many people can fit in.The food is awful. Both of us contracted some type of illness from the food on the second night. The food in the Windjammer is like pig slop. The bright spot on this ship is the shows. We did not much care for Hiro but Hairspray, Flight, and the Ice show were terrific although there were several cancellations due to technical problems. In one case we were informed our show had a new starting time and we went there 45 minutes early to get a decent seat. After sitting there all that time the cruise director announced the show could not go on. This happened with three different shows during the week. Make sure you reserve. Another thing I disliked is their towel procedure of having to sign out and in towels. I much prefer having them available in my stateroom like other cruise lines do. My biggest complaint was the unavailability of ocean air or views of the water. No wake view on this ship. I much prefer the older ships of other cruise lines that carry less passengers where things are manageable. Because of the amount of people and screaming kids everywhere it was not very enjoyable. Coco Cay is perhaps the worst of the private Islands I have visited. I couldn't care less about the new water park (additional charge) and there is a 12% value fee for anything purchased on the island. The swimming areas are like man made lagoons rather then open Ocean. This must be great if you have kids but for adults it wasn't too exciting. Everything on Symphony is an additional charge and all of the activities are geared toward purchases. You cannot even get a decent movie on TV without paying for it. As far as the zip line and slides that is all great if you have kids but for seniors it's not very important. I didn't like RCL before and I have cruised with them a few times but after this I would rather stay home then go on Symphony again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Let me start by saying that my mother decided she wanted to go on the largest cruise ship in the world. It did not live up to the hype. One of the biggest disappointments was the food available on the ship. Dining room food was pretty ... Read More
Let me start by saying that my mother decided she wanted to go on the largest cruise ship in the world. It did not live up to the hype. One of the biggest disappointments was the food available on the ship. Dining room food was pretty awful. On the past 3 cruises with Royal Caribbean the food was very good. They really missed the mark this time. We did the “my time dining” which was a nice option because every night we ate at a different time. But every time we were in the dining room service was either rushed, or non existent. And most of the wait staff seemed terribly overwhelmed. Had dinner at wonderland which was the best meal of all that we had, chops grill meat quality was not up to par and we sent steaks back multiple times. They had a hard time getting it right. I was very annoyed at the pool set up, the pool in the solarium was tiny and always felt disgustingly dirty. Every time I looked for a bed to lay in they were always held by someone’s towels for the whole day, but rarely were those people actually using the bed. Signs everywhere that said chairs cannot be held, on cruising days all chairs near the pool and beds were claimed with a towel by 9am. Excursions were ridiculously overpriced. Room was always kept tidy and normal size for a stateroom. We had a balcony over looking Central Park which is an excellent room choice. However the beds were absolutely rock hard and had my back hurting after a couple nights. 1977 ice show was the best show we saw on the ship. They were phenomenal. After all the shows let out it was very hard to get an elevator, my father is disabled and had a scooter to use onboard. People literally pushed us out of the way to get on the elevators 90% of the time. Overall we still enjoyed the cruise but had better cruises in the past. For the money spent it just did not come close to meeting our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this ship for a family cruise (10 people) because I had been on other Royal Caribbean ships. The door to the handicapped accessible cabin was automatic if you were able to put your key card over the reader an turn the handle. ... Read More
I chose this ship for a family cruise (10 people) because I had been on other Royal Caribbean ships. The door to the handicapped accessible cabin was automatic if you were able to put your key card over the reader an turn the handle. In order to exit the room I was told to push a mechanism over the door. This was an impossibility while seated on a scooter n On other Royal. Caribbean ships I had found stand alone handicapped restrooms that someone could enter to assist me. On this ship I found the accessible restrooms in the back of the regular restroom. The location made it difficult to enter and leave while riding a scooter. The main dining room was very crowded. The chairs on each side of the table were either touching a wall or the back of the chairs at the next table. My husband had to climb into his chair because it backed into a post and couldn’t be moved. Our waiter and his helper did a wonderful job despite the fact they had a difficult time serving us. We told them we were family and didn’t mind passing food. As far as Coco Cay was concerned I found it very handicapped unfriendly. There were few concrete paths and most things were located on the sand. I could not go to the little shops because they were in the sand. I got food at the barbecue place and then could not sit at a table because they were all on the sand. There were few places with shade that did not have be gotten to by walking in the sand. The photographers took many pictures and in them they wanted us to give the thumbs up sign. I really wanted to give a thumbs down sign but did not do so because I knew they were only doing what they had been told to do. We found the ship very noisy. The only way we could attend the shows was by wearing earplugs. It was impossible to have a conversation in most of the lounges because the noise level was very high. Many activities occurred on deck five and many times it was impossible to get through on a scooter. People would be texting or walking backwards. When I saw them heading toward me I would stop. When they ran into me they would be very rude and blame me. I am sorry to say that the asymphony of the Seas was a great disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My company purchased this cruise for the office staff (Memorial Day 3 day 4 night cruise), I had never cruised with RC only NCL. I think I got spoiled on NCL because this was a huge disappointment. I was pretty excited to cruise another ... Read More
My company purchased this cruise for the office staff (Memorial Day 3 day 4 night cruise), I had never cruised with RC only NCL. I think I got spoiled on NCL because this was a huge disappointment. I was pretty excited to cruise another Cruise Line and the largest ship sailing right now, but it was lacking. The name "Royal" should actually be called "Not Impressive Cruise Line" Embarkation was quick, getting our luggage was quick, other then that, nothing special. We had the drink package, and I'm not a drinker so figured I'd be tipsy but it seemed like all the drinks were watered down because I just never got drunk. LOL The Windjammer Buffet, I tried breakfast there and it was really disgusting, the scrambled eggs felt like it had some type of fiber in it, the texture was just off, I'm assuming it was fake eggs, eggs Benedict was warm/to cold, and just wrong, the over easy eggs were sitting on plates under a warmer light, I just couldn't get myself to eat something like over easy eggs sitting under a warmer. The sausage links crumbled if you cut them, I have no idea what they were, the bacon was rubbery and under cooked. Breakfast was a washout and I didn't eat breakfast again on the ship. We also tried dinner one day, food again was warm, not hot, and stale like it sat being warmed for way too long, so we left and went and had Pizza at Sorrentos, which was good. Wonderland, this is an experience, the food was strange, some of it was really good, while others were a little to weird to eat or the texture was just wrong lol but that's Wonderland, I suggest if you want to try something new, adventure food, try it, it's definitely memorable. Chops Grill: Very bland, I had the Filet Mignon, I ordered it medium, I got well done, it was very bland and the sauce they offered for dipping was also very bland. The extra price you pay for this, just wasn't worth it. 150 Central Park: Limited menu and this time the food was so salty, my hands and feet swelled up. I must have drank a gallon of water so I could get my rings off. The pumpkin soup was very good, the salad also very good, but the lobster was not impressive. My favorite place to eat was Sorrento's and El Loco Fresh. Entertainment was average, but with such a short cruise and it being a company trip, we didn't get to book much with 6000 people on this ship it was impossible to get reservations for a party of 28. The casino was always packed. When the ship was at Coco Cay and Nassau they closed everything down, no shopping on the ship, no bands playing on the pool deck, no activities scheduled for those who chose to stay on board, it was really boring, the first day we laid around our room after walking on the decks to see what was what, they don't have any movies playing on our TV's or anywhere on the ship. We ended up napping until the 6000 were back on the ship and then it was so busy you couldn't go to anything because of the crowds. Employees: They all seemed a bit quiet, on NCL they're friendly, joke around, the employees just seem happier. If I made friendly comments to the employees on Symphony they actually seemed shocked that I would joke or acknowledge them. Maybe it's the clientele I don't know, are people more friendly on NCL? I also noticed a lot less class on this cruise. Shore excursion, Nassau hmmm what can you say, Dirty, overpriced, aggressive sales, will not accept "no thank you" the first dozen times you say it. Our driver from Atlantis back to the ship was drinking rum with the drunk riders in the front and driving reckless back to the ship. I don't care what cruise line I am on I'm never getting off the ship in Nassau again. Cabins are much larger on Symphony then on the NCL ships I've been on, the storage better, 2 closets and a dresser, I appreciated that part of the ship. Nothing on TV but several ESPN channels, FOX, MSNBC and BBC. If you choose to watch a movie on demand be prepared to pay $12.00 Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Had to go or risk divorce. I think cruising is just a bad idea all around and would have (never would cruise if given a choice) chosen a much smaller and cheaper cruise but I was out voted 3-1. RC does many things very well and they are ... Read More
Had to go or risk divorce. I think cruising is just a bad idea all around and would have (never would cruise if given a choice) chosen a much smaller and cheaper cruise but I was out voted 3-1. RC does many things very well and they are good at keeping you happy. Due to a TA mistake we ended up with an interior balcony and hated it. Why spend 5K on a trip to have a balcony that overlooks a mall or park? We are water people and love to sit and watch the water. First morning I went to the service desk to try to upgrade but they were full and could not help. Typical on a cruise everyone has their hand out to try to make more money. Drinks were 8-14$ and I still can't get a medium ale onboard. (dark Irish beer or bud/miller) St Kitts was nice. We got on a private taxi and had a nice tour with good history and some beach time. You must find Hawks Taxis and Tours if you go. They are on FB. He is a great host and was very nice to talk with. He gave us far more than he had to after the tour by dropping us at the beach and then picking us up later. Very good history lessons and I liked supporting an independent who was (hopefully not ) shaken down by RCL. USVI stop was typical and quite unbearable and I almost lost it with the same old shops ands loud music everywhere. Coco Cay was very well done and we loved just sitting on the beach. Tried the big pool with swim up bar but the music was very loud. Kind of sad that RC would completely upend a complete island and turn it into a water park beach area in the middle of a nice set of islands but that is the cruise industry... Food onboard was generally decent but as a lactose intolerant vegetarian I found the labeling could have been better. They had GF options but were lacking on vegetarian choices. Is it really that hard to have a few more options even if they had to be cooked to order? Main dinning room was very nice and staff and service were great. Many people in the buffet did not understand the etiquette of waiting in line and would just cut in a reach for what they wanted. The Bistro was very good and love the presentation of food. Many great desserts. The pasta dishes made to order were excellent. Getting only what you want pan cooked and mixed in front of you is very nice. I hate the way cruise lines overwhelm and shakedown the local economies. Hate the herd mentality. On this ship there were many kids and I prefer to have peace and quiet. The pool music was turned up after 12-2pm and we often had good pool seats but were driven out by 2 ish due to noise from live reggae or speakers blasting music. I hope I am never captive to a steel drum/reggae band again. Smoke from the smoking area will carry a long ways in the wind and was gross. Three in our party loved the trip and I survived. Just not for me...This was my 4th cruise and next time I will gladly send my wife without me as she done before. And remember all those workers who often work 10-12 hour days for$ 6-900 per month and hardly see any daylight or fresh air. Items listed below are just my thoughts and do not reflect all. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We have sailed on all the RCI big ships and have always enjoyed those cruises. This ship had some interesting new features like the musical stairway to the buffet and the Mexican cafe. It also had some downgrades like the public restrooms ... Read More
We have sailed on all the RCI big ships and have always enjoyed those cruises. This ship had some interesting new features like the musical stairway to the buffet and the Mexican cafe. It also had some downgrades like the public restrooms with paper towels that disintegrated in your hands. The food was okay but their steak and prime rib, even in Cagney's Steakhouse, was chewy and fatty. The shows were excellent as they always are on RCI. But there were over 900 children on this ship and we saw and heard every one of them. The noise level was incredible. The was no place to enjoy a quiet meal. Even the Solarium which is for adults only had kids in the bistro. Getting a chair around the pool in the Solarium was a challenge and even though the hot tubs hold over 20 people, late afternoon was the only time we could get in. This was truly a ship for young families. Parents take their children out of school anytime of the year so even our strategy of never cruising when kids are on school vacation doesn't apply anymore. If you are over 60 years old, this is not the ship for you. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I have cruised with Royal 10 times over the past 10 years and have been on a number of their ships including the sister ship Allure of the Seas. This cruise on Symphony was plagued with issues from poorly trained guest services employees ... Read More
I have cruised with Royal 10 times over the past 10 years and have been on a number of their ships including the sister ship Allure of the Seas. This cruise on Symphony was plagued with issues from poorly trained guest services employees to the bar staff and availability of little things like soda and straws. This ship is clearly trying to be eco conscious however is missing the mark BIG time... The rooms aren’t as clean and as fresh smelling then they were in the past. The shower water pressure is much lower vs. older ships. They have also resorted to providing paper straws (I have no issue with this) in a plastic disposable cup!!! What’s the point!? There were dozens of plastic cups in the water from the ones on the pier when you get back on the ship at a stop to all throughout Haiti... The general areas of this ship are often dirty and in some cases even smell... Finally I purchased the KEY for many of its benefits and unfortunately few of them actually worked. Most of the employees didn’t know much about it and resulted in few actual benefits received. Although a promising feature I would NOT RECOMMEND the Key on Symphony. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Talk about going back in time and squeezing every inch out of stateroom layout -- Symphony of the seas excelled in this. From the 6 1/2" wide nightstands, to the 12" clearance from side of bed to balcony sliding glass door, to ... Read More
Talk about going back in time and squeezing every inch out of stateroom layout -- Symphony of the seas excelled in this. From the 6 1/2" wide nightstands, to the 12" clearance from side of bed to balcony sliding glass door, to having to close the TV to the wall to walk past, to no place to sit anything down because they removed the coffee table - They did it all in an Oceanview balcony stateroom, Category 4D. Uncomfortable for two people, let alone more. Shows were poor - we were not the only ones who left early at their latest rendition of Hairspray, and the Hiro water show (no swimming or diving - just kicking water and yelling), and Flight. An unexpected delight was Skate 2.0, an non-reservation ice skating show that was fantastic. Main dining room was total disorganization. Our reserved table was given away two nights in a row even though the Maître De was fully aware of the problem Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise as because we had never previously experienced RCI and wanted to see what they offered. Embarkation was a breeze, very nice. The ship is impressive, but a little too overwhelming. To me, the most significant part of a ... Read More
We chose this cruise as because we had never previously experienced RCI and wanted to see what they offered. Embarkation was a breeze, very nice. The ship is impressive, but a little too overwhelming. To me, the most significant part of a cruise is being able to see the water. For me, water helps me de-stress. On the SotS there are way too many places where you have absolutely no idea that you are anywhere near the ocean. A real downside for me. The Ocean-view, balcony cabin was the industry standard, cookie-cutter room. Nothing unpleasant (other than the loudest toilet flush I've ever heard), but nothing too remarkable either. We were rather disappointed that, despite having any-time dining, we had to make reservations every night.On our first night, we were unaware of this and were made to feel like second-class citizens for our oversight. It took close to 20 minutes for us to get a table. The food was adequate, not poor, but certainly not memorable. On 2 nights we ate in the Windjammer. One of those nights was amazing, truly spectacular. The other rather bland. Entertainment, when you could get a booking was incredible (other than one of the two comedians that, to be honest, just mailed it in). Unfortunately, it was also the one thing that soured the cruise for us. My wife and I booked the "1977" show for our second night on the cruise. We arrived early to get good seats and saw a "Reserved" sign, placed alongside row 3 of the seating. We assumed that this meant that the first 3 rows had been set aside for others more highly-valued than ourselves. Accordingly, we sat in the 4th row. A few minutes later a young lady starting frantically gesticulating to a gentleman to our end of the row. It was very apparent, to all in the vicinity, that she wanted him to talk to my wife & I. He approached us and asked for our room cards. After examining them, he shook his head to the young lady at the other end of the row. By now they had succeeded in attracting everyone’s attention. With a not-so-subtle jerk of her thumb, she we should be ejected from our seats. My wife & I were promptly excused and told to find somewhere else to sit. I asked the gentleman that moved us on, how were we to know which seats were reserved, when the sign was only adjacent to the 3rd row. He said that management had told them to save the first 4 rows. I asked to speak with management but was denied. My wife & I then watched this gentleman remove several others form those specific rows until a large family came in and sat in the 3rd row. He checked their cards, didn't like what he saw and attempted to move them on. They argued back & forth for a short while, until with a not-so-discrete handshake, cash was passed to this gentleman. Not surprisingly, the family were allowed to sit where they wanted. I have subsequently written to RCI to see if this is an acceptable part of the show seating procedure, but despite being promised a response within 48 to 72 hours, after a week, nobody seems to have deemed my complaint important enough to reply. The ports were lovely, except Nassau, of course. As relatively seasoned cruisers we did our own thing and took no RCI excursions. Other than some delightful Filipino ladies that worked in the Copper & Kettle and our very friendly room steward, all the staff seemed to be just doing a job and had an incredibly surly manner. maybe the ship is just too much for them too??? All-in-all, it's very doubtful that we will try RCI again. Once you've had a bad experience, you never really want to subject yourself to it again. There are plenty of other criuse companies out there that have yet to p1ss us off! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this ship for the amazing features of the new ship. It seemed to be a perfect fit for our family of 13 (7 kids rangng from 4-14) The entertainment was outstanding, the ship was beautiful, the food was standard cruise fare, ... Read More
We chose this ship for the amazing features of the new ship. It seemed to be a perfect fit for our family of 13 (7 kids rangng from 4-14) The entertainment was outstanding, the ship was beautiful, the food was standard cruise fare, nothing outstanding, but decent enough for us to have a nice time. The alcohol was not as good as NCL that we have been on in the past, but better than an all inclusive. We had 2 rooms with exterior balconies and 2 with interior balconies overlooking the Boardwalk. I would be very cautious about booking a room overlooking the Boardwalk, unless you plan to be up late and wake early. It was very loud and those of us staying in those rooms were not able to enjoy the balcony at all due to the noise constantly buzzing from the carousel or show rehearsals. Most of the time we even had to keep the drapes pulled because it was far less than private! The drink packages were less than stellar. It was a complete pain in the butt to have to carry around a cup in order to get pop when you wanted it. However, the most disappointing part of the whole cruise was what we felt was swindling of money. I believe this cruise line is deceitful with charges and explanation of charges to its patrons. And it isn't like we were trying to be stingy. We left tips constantly, paid for excursions through the ship, paid for drink packages, etc. However, we all received small charges on our bills at the end of our trip (in the amounts of $15, $6, etc) that I am sure the cruise line slipped onto our bills knowing that most travelers are not going to argue over. With a ship of over 6000 passengers thats an EASY $60,000 additional though! But even that I can live with, clearly Royal must need my $15 more than I do! However, when we went to upgrade our childrens drink packages we were told we would have to pay $600 now to pay for the upgrade, but that the $300 we initially spent when we booked the trip would be refunded. That was January 21. It's March 26 and the only response we have gotten from the multiple emails and phone calls was that "they have been unable to contact the ship" Royal must really take it's patrons to be fools to think that 1) they have to contact the ship to resolve this blatant stealing 2) they truly can't get a hold of the technological marvel of a floating city in the year 2019. We have so many more examples but the general consensus is we were and still are disappointed in the customer service of this line. No amount of Broadway shows or water slides can make up for the lack of good business practices and the general integrity of the corporation. We will not recommend this line to friends or family, and certainly will not be booking a sailing with them in the future! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Family Reunion I was traveling in a group of about 27 friends & family. Upon embarkation we were excited and the ship is really beautiful but there's a lot of wasted space with the gigantic pieces of Art work that span from ... Read More
Family Reunion I was traveling in a group of about 27 friends & family. Upon embarkation we were excited and the ship is really beautiful but there's a lot of wasted space with the gigantic pieces of Art work that span from decks 4-15 in the middle of ship. There were more activities for children than for adults. The DJ barely played any music. Thank god I had my bluetooth speaker and Pandora. We were 4 days on water and he barely played to keep folks entertained. I didn't bring my husband on this trip w/me and was thinking ooo wee, I'm gonna let my hair all the way down!! Well let me tell you by day 3 I wanted to swim home to my husband I was so bored. If it wasn't for the group we were travleing with; we made our own fun; the cruise would've been totally unbearable. The food was sub-par and the offerings in the Main dining room were very similar every night. The food in the Windjammer was better than the Main dining room. I ate pizza every night because I was never full or satisfied from dinner.This is only my 2nd cruise and I can tell you that Carnival is 10x better. The food on Carnival is superb. My husband loves seafood and is a big eater. We had Seafood or Steak and Lobster every night if we wanted on Carnival and my husband was oh so happy. The New York Strip steak on Royal tasted like a piece of fried calf liver. The Sous Chef tried to appease us because we really raised a lot of concerns regarding food but he couldn't even do that right. He supposedly catered to us and we could order anything we wanted, so keeping w/the Surf & Turf theme; I asked for a filet topped w/crab meat and bernaise sauce. He look at me dumbfounded and said oh we don't have crab meat. What?? This big ship and no crab meat. Oh that's right because the Maryland Crabcakes we had the 1st night were not made with real lump crab meat but w/ fake imitation crab meat. That pink & white stuff!!! I was also very offended because every show or comedian made mention to how crappy they thought Carnival was. I don't know who they were trying to impress because Carnival beat this brand new Royal Carribean HANDS DOWN!! I will never waste my hard-earned money on another Royal Carribean cruise. The only way I'd go again, is if it was free. The ship has a lot of expensive shops but only 1-dutyfree & 1 souvenir type shop. My room had a balcony but not a balcony facing water but an inside balcony facing other balconies, so there was really no privacy if I wanted to sit out w/my night clothes on. The cabin was nice and very modern but the bed was hard. The staff is awesome and they work sooo hard for the salary that they are paid; my hat is off to them!!! Royal Caribbean can take a cruise to where the sun don't shine! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I recently returned from a 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Symphony of the Seas with my family of 7, and wanted to share the experience so others can know what to expect when sailing the largest ship afloat. I’ve always been ... Read More
I recently returned from a 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Symphony of the Seas with my family of 7, and wanted to share the experience so others can know what to expect when sailing the largest ship afloat. I’ve always been an avid cruiser and big fan of Royal Caribbean, but this time they missed the mark… BY A LOT. Starting with the check-in at the terminal, there’s no help desk. I needed to make a change to my drink package and switch people’s room assignments and was told I had to do it once on board the ship at Guest Services (GS). This didn’t seem like a big deal at the time until I realized they direct 6,800 people to one line at Guest Services for questions and changes. I just boarded the “coolest” ship afloat and get to wait in line for over an hour to speak with a GS agent. Great start. Additionally, no one explains where to get your room key, make reservations, or collect your bags during the check-in process. For frequent sailors, you may know this, but for some of my family who was cruising for the first time, they did not. It should be standard etiquette to explain to customers that your room key will be outside your room, you’ll want to make show and dinner reservations once on board, and your bags will arrive at your stateroom. This just shows the level of disconnect they have from their passengers. The ultimate goal is to board and deboard as many passengers as quick as possible, with little regard for providing useful information. After speaking with Guest Services, we went to our rooms to get our SeaPass cards and acquaint ourselves with the ship. We attended the muster drill and then headed downstairs to make reservations for the shows, as listed on the daily calendar. The Adult Comedy show was completely sold out, Hairspray had one show time available, but it overlapped with our specialty dinner, which they couldn’t reschedule, the Ice Skating show had one available time at 10:30pm, and the Rubicon Escape room was also sold out. We had been on board the ship for less than 2 hours and most everything was fully booked. I asked if there was a supervisor who may be able to assist me and they directed me back to Guest Services. Terrific, I get to wait in line… AGAIN. Lines turned out to be a common theme on the trip. The majority of bars, shows, and restaurants had lines, and the ship constantly felt crowded. We tried to make dinner reservations at the main dining hall under “my time dining” at 4:30pm the first day and were told reservations stopped at 3pm. We were barely onboard the ship at that time and they offered no flexibility. Upon showing up to eat at 8pm, we were told it would be close to 30 minutes before we could be seated. We also tried making reservations at the specialty restaurants Wonderland and the Habachi Grill, without any luck the entire trip. *They allowed a company sales trip on board to book out several areas and restaurants during portions of the trip that prevented other passengers from eating or lounging there. I understand the concept and I’m sure it was good business for RC, but it just added to the feeling that our options were limited and many advertised amenities were not actually available. These events just kept piling on and created a very stressful situation. Unlike other cruises I’ve been on, where lots of the enjoyment comes from the freedom to plan last minute or, perhaps, not at all, this experience was very different. It appeared the expectation was to have all our shows and dinners pre-booked before boarding. If this was the expectation, than it should have been shared with us during the booking process. Due to all the inconveniences, the Asst Guest Services Mgr offered me a 25% credit of what I spent on the booking towards a future cruise. I thought this was a very kind gesture and most likely would have taken advantage of it… but the offer was more selfishly driven than advertised. What she provided was all 7 passenegers 25% towards a future cruise that had to be completed in less than 1 year. So, despite that fact I paid for everyone’s booking, everyone received a portion of the credit that only they could use. To top it off, I received the least amount of anyone and my 14yr old nephew received one of the most. The irony is incredible. The manager said she would try and have the credit added to just my name and that she would follow up with me, but I never heard back after the trip and my calls to their office in the Philippines offered no support or means of escalation. Their exact verbage was “we cannot transfer you to a supervisor, but we can forward your request to the email department, but I cannot guarantee IF, or WHEN, they will get back to you, because we are very busy.” I’m sorry to have bothered you RC, but I will not be enticed by your feeble attempt to make up for the poor experience we had while on board your newest and “greatest” ship by spending another large sum on a subsequent journey. The goal should have been to get me back on board so I could have a better experience that would lead me to booking more cruises with RC. Asking me to rebook my entire family who lives across the country and complete the trip in less than a year is just insulting. Out of fairness, the ship is large and beautiful and the staff very polite and friendly, but sailing the largest ship in the world feels more like going to a crowded amusement park than a luxury getaway. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This is a one and done for us. I'm only just finished day 3 and cannot wait to get off this boat with wayyyy too many people jammed in. Everything is chaos and a hassle. Crew shrugs and says "well it's over 6k ... Read More
This is a one and done for us. I'm only just finished day 3 and cannot wait to get off this boat with wayyyy too many people jammed in. Everything is chaos and a hassle. Crew shrugs and says "well it's over 6k passengers". Nothing relaxing about having to plan every second of your day. Tables are so closely packed you can hardly navigate. Long lines for everything. If you like to take your time and just go with the flow, this boat is not for you. If you can book and plan things MONTHS in advance, down to your every move, then sure. Not sure why they bother with the compass newspaper. Nothing is available, sold out months ago. Stupid to even advertise it. Oh and dont get me started, they price gouge you at every turn. Want a decent meal? Yiu can buy one for $70/pp. Yes, the food is as awful and everyone is saying. Nothing very fresh. Fresh vegetables are scarce. Oh and the gym? Packed like a nightclub. Huge lines to use the equipment. Forget about it. Do your push ups, sit ups, and squats in your room. I really could go on and on as to why I'll never step foot in this packed cattle car ever again. The reason for 2 stars and not 1? - the shows are excellent -beds comfortable -place is constantly being cleaned -room attendant is great -everything new and in working order. -good sound proofing between the rooms. -staff tries their best working in this crowded chaos of mass humanity. It has to be a complete nightmare. -great activities for kids when not horribly crowded. ***update, finished the cruise and my opinion has not improved. When being unleashed on these towns when you go to port the towns are completely over run, so more chaos. More problems the entire trip with compass not matching what was happening in the cruise and the app is useless. Great staff working on the ship doing the best in the midst of herding cattle. I was so grateful when we docked back in Miami when me and my 6,000 friends could part ways and get some breathing room. And once again the shows were incredible. That was the highlight. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I spent most of my time in guest services because their app was not working properly and did not show reservations that were made. There were long lines for attractions on days that we were sailing. There were adequate lounge chairs. ... Read More
I spent most of my time in guest services because their app was not working properly and did not show reservations that were made. There were long lines for attractions on days that we were sailing. There were adequate lounge chairs. The view from the coastal kitchen is amazing, and they had the best food on the ship by far. Very disappointed in the customer service aspect. I feel that they make it very hard for Jr Suite members to utilize the Coastal Kitchen. We stood at the door for minutes before someone let us in, then when we ordered drinks it was pointed out on multiple occasions that we were Jr Suite members. We had dined on previous nights and had no problem paying for drinks, i am not sure why the Maitre D was making such a fuss. Both my husband and myself were extremely uncomfortable but stayed because it was our last night. And to top it of we ordered two different drinks which they claimed they didn't have but we had ordered an paid for on previous nights (something not adding up). Our steward Song was incredible, and Fei in Guest Services was extremely helpful, but on a whole not worth the money or headache, spent a great deal of time on lines and was very frustrated. Also very hard to get a seat in the WindJammer, but the food was good. Bring a refillable water bottle if you are not purchasing a beverage package, we saw people walking in with cases of water and soda. You can keep your baggage on the last night and still walk off the ship at the later time and be a little quicker to grab a taxi. Don't use your cruise card for the arcade, if you go over the prepaid amount they just keep letting you play while charging you room! Watch the odds on the casino slot machines and tables, they are not good, although i did happen to walk away with a few dollars. The ice skating show is amazing. Liked Flight. Hero was worth the watch. Left in the middle of Hairspray because we were exhausted. Could not try laser tag (long lines), finally able to try the abyss on the last day of sailing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise because it was the newest and largest ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet, and the hype surrounding the ship was exciting. Our expectations were high and things started off well with the new Royal Caribbean terminal in ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was the newest and largest ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet, and the hype surrounding the ship was exciting. Our expectations were high and things started off well with the new Royal Caribbean terminal in Miami. Embarkation was quick and very easy. The cabin appeared nice at first, until I realized that the view of the balcony, from the bed, is blocked by the side wall of the closet. The other couple we were traveling with had the cabin next door and their's was the opposite configuration. The view of the balcony from their bed was unobstructed. In the dining room, our waiter and assistant waiter were a great team. They were very personable and most accommodating. Unfortunately, the food was not good at all; probably the worst quality we've had on any cruise line we've been on, including Carnival. Also, the menu selections we extremely weak. There were nights when it was actually difficult to choose what to eat. On one night, the head waiter decided to show up due and when she noted our dissatisfaction, she offed us premium meals the next night from one of the specialty restaurants. Two of us took advantage of that and the food was undoubtedly cooked, then re-cooked, because it was horrible. On one night we decided to try one of the specialty restaurants, figuring it had to be better than the dining room. This time, not only were we disappointed after one of us had to send food back twice, but we were also out $64 per person. The buffet was just ok, again, very weak. The entertainment was lacking. There were very few venues for our age group (60's). There was a great Latin bar but it was small and always crowded. There was a piano bar but the piano player played the same songs night after night and while he asked for requests, he never seemed to know those particular songs. There was also a jazz bar that was pleasant. Unfortunately, there was no main area for dancing and general entertainment. Everything seemed to revolve around the Promenade but after walking though it and past the stores once or twice, it got tiresome and boring. There is a Central Park area that is very nice and if they had more frequent entertainment, and comfortable seating which they didn't, then it would have been nice. The ice show was excellent, as always on Royal Caribbean. Hairspray was good, but dated, and Hiro, the water show, had lots of talent, but was very boring. For our taste, the ship was way too big and very hard to navigate. We also found that there was a distinct smell of sewage in the hallways. Also, prior to the cruise, we read somewhere that due to the high cost of this ship, Royal Caribbean had to cut some corners. Whether that's accurate or not, we certainly felt that vibe. Small thing, like no pens in the staterooms. I asked our steward for a pen and he said the company doesn't provide them anymore. Same with standard toiletry items. All in all, it wasn't a welcoming atmosphere. I have never been on a cruise before where halfway through, I couldn't wait to get home. We will not go on this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My daughter booked this cruise to suit dates and needs of myself and her two daughters (16 & 12). Daughter & I shared a balcony cabin, the girls an inner cabin (see below). The ship looked shabby, & to be honest, quite ... Read More
My daughter booked this cruise to suit dates and needs of myself and her two daughters (16 & 12). Daughter & I shared a balcony cabin, the girls an inner cabin (see below). The ship looked shabby, & to be honest, quite 'tacky' in terms of decor. Very overcrowded - almost impossible to find a vacant sunbed at times. As a vegetarian, having recently had gallbladder surgery, food an important issue for me. Disappointed to find only one veggie option on the main menu & one evening I had to ask for an omelette in lieu of any suitable alternative. The buffet-style restaurant was 'a bun-fight' - finding a table a nightmare. My daughter & I found the Park Cafe a small, little-used venue near the health spa, suited us better & though a limited choice, much better quality. Entertainment variable. Health Spa prices extortionate. Embarkation difficult & disorganised, with long queues. Positives? Friendly, efficient staff - when you could find them! Warning: beware service charges and overpriced excursions - we arranged our own via buses/taxis (much cheaper). My daughter and I have cruised before, once with Celebrity (the best!) and last year P&O (not great but better than Royal Caribbean) but would not recommend this ship/cruise company to anyone, though I understand some of the RC ships are better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Set off from Barcelona for med cruise on the Symohony of the Seas August 2018 We took this cruise as a family of four to try a new experience, we initially started by having a great three days firstly in Barcelona which was fantastic. ... Read More
Set off from Barcelona for med cruise on the Symohony of the Seas August 2018 We took this cruise as a family of four to try a new experience, we initially started by having a great three days firstly in Barcelona which was fantastic. So, we later join the cruise and the impact of the cruise liner is a sight to behold, really fantastic. We were excited to explore the boat and enjoy our holiday. So why do I rate it as a poor holiday? By the middle of the week’s cruise we are bored, bored of the food, the facilities and the repetitive nature of doing what we are doing. Dinner is nice sometimes, service is good, but overpowering at times. Lukewarm food and insects jumping around in my starter always made me cautious of what to order so I tend to stick with the steak and ditch the poor starters. Breakfasts are fairly disgusting, fresh fruit is good but all other is substandard food that you wouldn’t choose to eat unless you enjoy that poor quality, cheapest money can buy type of food which after four days I cant stand anymore of. Head to the Vitality Cafe to enjoy a nice fresh smoothie instead as that is good. So food aside, the trips are hugely overpriced so we planned our own things and Segway tours (booked direct) are a favourite of ours now after doing a few tours on them. If your into lounging around in bars, the drinks package is good and you will be a great alcoholic for the week. We watched a few shows, some good parts to them but again an area to improve on. Quite boring on the whole. The accommodation is cramped despite having sea view balcony etc, the bed is very comfortable though. Kids sleep on a sofa bed. Shopping on board is a few designer type of stores and one evening we had some stalls set up selling cheap tat. Formal evening was enjoyable, though not all guests dress up and some wear trainers etc We are pleased to have done the cruise to experience it but this isn’t something we would choose to do again as we enjoy a quality hotel/beach holiday much more. Don’t let our opinion put you off trying this particular cruise, but I just say how it really is and there is better to do for our holiday time as a family. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Where do I start? I’ve been on many different ships with many different cruise lines and this ship is mediocre. A big ship, yes! But not done elegantly. It felt very hokey. Let’s start with the good. The night shows were very ... Read More
Where do I start? I’ve been on many different ships with many different cruise lines and this ship is mediocre. A big ship, yes! But not done elegantly. It felt very hokey. Let’s start with the good. The night shows were very good. Hair Spray was excellent, so was Mo5aic and the comedy. Hiro sucked however. Staff are super friendly. We traveled with our 1 year old and the service in Royal Tots was exceptional. They take great care of the babies. The bad: The food was horrendous. I eat fish, seafood and vegetarian (no meat). The options available were gross. You could tell most of the food was premade by mass production food facilities and not cooked aboard the ship. For example, the guacamole in El Loco Fresh was definitely packaged... yuck. All fish was over cooked and dry. Every meal in the main dining room is served with mashed potatoes, no matter what you order. The best restaurant by-far was Solarium Bistro. I recommend you eat breakfast there daily and dinner as often as you can (but menu doesn’t change so you’ll get tired of it). There were no protein alternatives for vegetarians I.e. veggie burgers, tofu, etc... Another huge complaint I had was that I felt as if I was being nickle and dimmed. Everyone has to pay the mandatory gratuity fee. But in addition they charge 18% gratuity on drinks and any ‘premium’ food purchased. This isn’t right. You’re charged for anything and everything. Even popcorn in the theatre is extra.... really? How much does it cost to make popcorn? We did the European cruise and the ports were pretty boring. Especially Citiavecchia. I would have loved to do an excursion but the offerings were lacking. I love to travel and have no problem spending money on a beautiful vacation. I felt severely ripped off after this cruise and I would highly suggest you choose another ship! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I sailed on the April 14 sailing on Symphony of the Seas and it was one of my worst vacation experiences. I’ll start with the positives: The ship is beautiful. The artwork is beautiful, I love the whimsical feel and every room is ... Read More
I sailed on the April 14 sailing on Symphony of the Seas and it was one of my worst vacation experiences. I’ll start with the positives: The ship is beautiful. The artwork is beautiful, I love the whimsical feel and every room is classy. The staterooms are nice and the beds very comfortable. The shows are cool. Some of them are a bit high concept. I honestly think if the ice show was iSkate 2.0 expanded, audiences would be just as happy as trying to figure out that strange storyline in 1977 but overall, a talented team. I like the emphasis on cleanliness with hand sanitizer and sinks everywhere. Here are some of the problems we experienced on the ship: The food is not great. The breakfast at the Windjammer is cold in areas it shouldn’t be and the potatoes are dry. I assume its’ a given the scrambled eggs are a mix. In the Main Dining Room, I had to send back the tuna one day because it was rubbery. The Royal Chocolate Cake doesn’t taste like chocolate. In Park Central, we took some sandwiches with us on a temperate day. 2 hours later, we took them out to eat and parts of the sandwich changed color, stemmed from what we believe to be poor ingredients or improper temperature food storage. Beyond that, the dishes were inconsistent. Some were good but many were average to below average. The menus were not inspired by the local foods or ports. It was completely generic. The wine list contains generic wines you could get in any American restaurant or Costco (like Duckhorn and Francis Ford Coppola) and there’s no cocktail menu at the dining room. This is a Mediterranean cruise. Wines are made in every country we ported at. Why not celebrate the local flavors a little more? The service ranged from good to poor but really, it was inconsistent. Rooms are barely cleaned. When we moved the pillows off the bed to sleep, the staff would not pick them back up when making the bed. They would just make the bed AROUND strewn pillows. Cups were left around for days. I found a mug in my nightstand after THREE days! Eventually, this got better so I assume it’s a kink the team is working out. In the Solarium Bistro breakfast, tables would be covered in empty plates, giving the appearance of a trashed restaurant. Guests would have to shove plates around on the table to make room to eat and even when I asked they be cleared off, they were not always cleared off. When we called (from the hall) about our phone problems (more on that below), the operator tried to tell us it was late and could he just come tomorrow. We said no - what if we need something? They did fix it but then ANOTHER guy showed up later in the night to fix it again. Seems like poor miscommunication. We had a guest services officer tell us iSkate 2.0 was free skating time for passengers. It’s a show. Please educate your guest services team. The spa was small. The “lobby area” for the thermal suites connects to the aroma spa (which had no aroma), the tiny dry steam room and the rainforest shower so you can hear every door slamming and everyone struggling with the rainforest shower, which only lasts 10 seconds. The worst part is that the ceiling shook every time someone above in the gym lifted a weight, took a step on the stair master etc. Why would you not soundproof the spa?! Also, I really missed the floor to ceilings windows of the sea that Carnival had. The noise was too distracting and I had to get a refund. The nightly dance parties with the life-of-the-party cruise director are lacking. Oh and all the cool activities you advertised? The escape room was only open once at a port time. The skating rink is only open once for passengers. Things open and close at weird times and the hot tubs are not hot. The advertised activities, especially those in Studio B, were a gimmick. The technology on this ship is not good. First, a tech/service issue: The automatic door at Central Park malfunctioned and nearly slammed in my face and instead of noticing he should report it, the staff member laughed at me! A second time, it slammed me hard in the shoulder because the automatic doors in Central Park are slower than ALL the other automatic doors on the ship! Back to the phone: our room phone needed 3 work orders so we basically had to go to guest services or do it ourselves every time we need something. Why am I paying $14.50 a day for service? The app sucks. You can’t bookmark events, message other guests on the ship, it listed incorrect times for trivia, listed an ice skating event and then we got there and it was iSkate 2.0 and it generally lacks info like “don’t bring any loose items to laser tag.” We missed events because of the app. FINALLY, the billing issues! First, I got billed twice for a spa pass and had to have it refunded. Then, on the last day, I was told I didn’t return towels and charged $50! First of all, we last used towels on day 5. We brought them back and the employee barely paid attention when we returned them. Perhaps the technology malfunctioned again! We spent the last night at midnight at Guest Services (AGAIN) to clarify the towel billing. We were told you would take it off and it would reflect on our account in the morning. In the morning, on the tv, the towels were still there but on the paper invoice, it was gone (slow technology yet again!?). We figured that’s fine but then I got home and got billed for the towels AGAIN! I had to call and then had to explain yet again how I didn’t take the towels. I’ve been told the charge will be refunded in 7-10 days so only time will tell if it’ll finally happen. This cruise was an awful experience. A Guest Services Officer did offer 10% off our next cruise but we declined (got $50 on board credit instead) because we will never sail Royal Caribbean again and will never recommend it to our friends. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
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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