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I have been on many cruises on many different ships (mostly with Royal Caribbean) and Symphony is up there as my joint-favourite along with the Oasis. Despite having had a truly fantastic cruise which I enjoyed immensely, I cannot give a 5* rating because of the issues in the main dining room on this ship. The ship is beautiful, the shows are fantastic, the entertainers are wonderful, the cabin was spacious and comfortable, the food and drink (save for the main dining room) was delicious and there was so much to do, it was difficult to fit it all in. Embarkation and disembarkation were seamless. The beds (and sunbeds) were comfortable. The cabin was well thought out with ample storage space, several mirrors and plug sockets (Central Park Interior). The emphasis on hygiene and hand washing is admirable. Take care about relying on signs around the ship - some are back to front/the wrong way around and you may well find yourself at the wrong end of the ship having followed the signs! The Diamond club is great but has no windows and is nowhere near as special as on the Oasis or Voyager class ships. The Solarium Bistro and El Loco Fresh were fantastic and the lunch buffet in the main dining room on the sea day was spectacular. The drinks were plentiful (owing to a well-utilized drinks package) and I barely had to move from my sunbed. For the first time ever (25+ cruises), I found myself without an allocated table in the main dining room. I was cruising with a friend and we requested a big table for second seating. We were placed on a table for two. After the first night, I requested to move to a bigger table if one was available. I was told someone would look into it and come back to me the following day. Nobody did. Before dinner on day 2, I enquired if a bigger table had been found for us. There was no record of me having previously requested this but in any event, we were transferred to a bigger table that night. Upon walking to our new table, we were stopped and told we could not sit at our new table because a large family group was sitting there who were not ordering from the main menu. A new table for 2 was found and we were told to sit there from them on, so we did. After 3 nights, the waitress very rudely told us we could not sit there anymore, other guests had been forced to move because of us and if we had a problem, we should speak to the head waiter, so we did. He forcefully explained that they had accommodated us all cruise but now we had to sit at our assigned table (our original table having been re-allocated to other guests). He then tried to escort us to our assigned table when the penny dropped and he realized that it did not exist, as our table had been pushed together with other tables for the large family group. Then the multiple apologies/offers of complimentary steaks etc commenced and to be fair, all of the head waiters were very gracious from then on and made sure we were well looked after, which we were, even if it meant we turned up for dinner each night and a different table was found for us, which meant waiting around while a table was located and impacted upon our dining experience somewhat. In general, the main dining room was mostly empty, a number of guests were clearly unhappy and complaining (the head waiters were busy and harassed) and overall, dinner service was chaotic. The food was good but on the bland and boring side - if you're not keen on mashed potatoes, carrots and broccoli, you are likely to struggle as these foods feature heavily on the menu. I suspect the procedure/service issues in the main dining room will be resolved with time - please do not let this put you off cruising on a fantastic ship. I fully intend to cruise on the Symphony again and look forward to doing so in the Caribbean, when I expect the teething issues in the main dining room and around the ship will have been resolved.

A marvellous ship - roll on the Caribbean...

Symphony of the Seas Cruise Review by Prettyprincess25

16 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I have been on many cruises on many different ships (mostly with Royal Caribbean) and Symphony is up there as my joint-favourite along with the Oasis. Despite having had a truly fantastic cruise which I enjoyed immensely, I cannot give a 5* rating because of the issues in the main dining room on this ship.

The ship is beautiful, the shows are fantastic, the entertainers are wonderful, the cabin was spacious and comfortable, the food and drink (save for the main dining room) was delicious and there was so much to do, it was difficult to fit it all in.

Embarkation and disembarkation were seamless. The beds (and sunbeds) were comfortable. The cabin was well thought out with ample storage space, several mirrors and plug sockets (Central Park Interior). The emphasis on hygiene and hand washing is admirable. Take care about relying on signs around the ship - some are back to front/the wrong way around and you may well find yourself at the wrong end of the ship having followed the signs!

The Diamond club is great but has no windows and is nowhere near as special as on the Oasis or Voyager class ships.

The Solarium Bistro and El Loco Fresh were fantastic and the lunch buffet in the main dining room on the sea day was spectacular. The drinks were plentiful (owing to a well-utilized drinks package) and I barely had to move from my sunbed.

For the first time ever (25+ cruises), I found myself without an allocated table in the main dining room. I was cruising with a friend and we requested a big table for second seating. We were placed on a table for two. After the first night, I requested to move to a bigger table if one was available. I was told someone would look into it and come back to me the following day. Nobody did. Before dinner on day 2, I enquired if a bigger table had been found for us. There was no record of me having previously requested this but in any event, we were transferred to a bigger table that night. Upon walking to our new table, we were stopped and told we could not sit at our new table because a large family group was sitting there who were not ordering from the main menu. A new table for 2 was found and we were told to sit there from them on, so we did. After 3 nights, the waitress very rudely told us we could not sit there anymore, other guests had been forced to move because of us and if we had a problem, we should speak to the head waiter, so we did. He forcefully explained that they had accommodated us all cruise but now we had to sit at our assigned table (our original table having been re-allocated to other guests). He then tried to escort us to our assigned table when the penny dropped and he realized that it did not exist, as our table had been pushed together with other tables for the large family group. Then the multiple apologies/offers of complimentary steaks etc commenced and to be fair, all of the head waiters were very gracious from then on and made sure we were well looked after, which we were, even if it meant we turned up for dinner each night and a different table was found for us, which meant waiting around while a table was located and impacted upon our dining experience somewhat.

In general, the main dining room was mostly empty, a number of guests were clearly unhappy and complaining (the head waiters were busy and harassed) and overall, dinner service was chaotic. The food was good but on the bland and boring side - if you're not keen on mashed potatoes, carrots and broccoli, you are likely to struggle as these foods feature heavily on the menu. I suspect the procedure/service issues in the main dining room will be resolved with time - please do not let this put you off cruising on a fantastic ship.

I fully intend to cruise on the Symphony again and look forward to doing so in the Caribbean, when I expect the teething issues in the main dining room and around the ship will have been resolved.
Prettyprincess25’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Central Park View Interior
Cabin 1S 9207
A spacious, comfortable and well thought out cabin. We enjoyed looking out over Central Park.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews