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I will start by saying, as the title of my review reads, this cruise FAR exceeded my expectations. To give you some background I have only ever been on two cruises before and they were both quite a while ago, so I already suspected this ship would impress me. I traveled with my girlfriend who has been on about 10 cruises now and she shares the feeling with me that this cruise was such an amazing time. We sailed on 8/19/18 and did the 7 day Mediterranean route. Embarkation was a breeze. We had selected our board time as 11:30-12:00 and encountered no lines. From the time of dropping out bags with the porters to boarding the ship was all about 15 minutes. No issues and we went right through, I had excepted the process to take much longer. Once on board we took the opportunity to explore the ship a bit and eat at the Windjammer before getting access to our rooms at 1:00 PM. Rooms were ready right on time and we went down after eating lunch to change and head up to the pool. We stayed in a Central Park view balcony and I can not recommend this room type enough. I understand wanting to be able to stare at the ocean each night, but there are plenty of places on the ship to do this. The view of Central Park was lovely and allowed us the experience to still feel immersed in everything that was going on from the comfort of our room. Hearing the live music being played and people moving about was very nice. The room itself was great and plenty spacious for the two of us with the access to two large closets and luggage storage underneath the bed. Bathroom was large and had plenty of space to store toiletries and did not feel cramped. If I were to go on this ship again I would choose the same room type. Activities on board were far more than we could fit into our seven say adventure. We tend to find ourselves hanging out around bars (get the unlimited package it is more than worth it) so we could have done a better job with shows, but had a great time with how we spent it. Jazz on 4 was a great late night spot to sit back and relax ahead of an early day with shore excursions. We found the most relaxing place to be the Trellis bar in Central Park. The staff there were amazing (shout out to Michael) and it offered the opportunity to sit and enjoy the bar or take your drink and site elsewhere in Central Park. There was often someone playing classical guitar in the evenings, somewhere around 8:30-9:30 which made it very enjoyable to sit out and take in. Our favorite bar by far was the Copper and Kettle Pub. Acoustic guitar nightly by Stephen Burke was a nice treat. It was a great bar to sit at that was very lively and allowed you to watch everyone walking around the promenade. The attentiveness of Amer and Komang was top notch, they remembered our drinks after our first visit and knew our room info shortly their after. Pool areas were very nice and there was ample seating even given there are 6,000 passengers. The only day we had an issues, which others have mentioned, was our day at sea. This was also exacerbated by the fact that we ran into high winds and they had to close the top deck of the ship which further limited seating. We did however find chairs in the solarium which is a space for passengers 16 years or older. It did tend to get hot in their during the day, but a quick dip in the pool solved that problem. Bar service was constantly walking around seeing if you need anything to drink, so you didn't even need to leave your chair to get a beverage. I would suggest you check out the Sand Bar and especially Treasure, he was a great bartender and had a great personality. As for dining options we ate in the main dining room three times, specialty dining twice and the Windjammer twice. The main dining room was fine and the staff was great. I do wish they varied the options more each night, but the food was totally fine. The Windjammer is what you would expect it to be, plenty of options that can serve any palette. Was this world class food? Of course not, but was it tasty and a large variety? It sure was. We had a few dishes there that really surprised us with how flavorful they were. This is a ship full of 6,000 passengers and what they pull off there day in and day out is spectacular. For specialty dining we ate at Chops Grille and Jaime's Italian. Chops was a little underwhelming. The sides were pretty lackluster and the New York strip I received was not that tasty and the temperature throughout the steak varied. My girlfriend order the petite 6 ounce fillet and that was delicious. We preferred the overall experience at Jamie's to Chops. The food was all so flavorful and fresh. Everything we ordered, with the exception of the "garlic bread" tasted fantastic and really surprised us. Coming from an area where Italian food is taken pretty seriously we were impressed. I will spare you the details of each of the ports as they should be fairly obvious to discern what you would be into. Overall this was a fantastic vacation on a thoughtfully designed ship where they wasted no time in covering every detail. The staff across the ship was top notch and went above and beyond in making your experience feel so individual and tailored to you on a ship containing so many people. I can not recommend this ship enough. 10/10, would sail again.

Exceeded all Expectations

Symphony of the Seas Cruise Review by RiotOnBroadway

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I will start by saying, as the title of my review reads, this cruise FAR exceeded my expectations. To give you some background I have only ever been on two cruises before and they were both quite a while ago, so I already suspected this ship would impress me. I traveled with my girlfriend who has been on about 10 cruises now and she shares the feeling with me that this cruise was such an amazing time. We sailed on 8/19/18 and did the 7 day Mediterranean route.

Embarkation was a breeze. We had selected our board time as 11:30-12:00 and encountered no lines. From the time of dropping out bags with the porters to boarding the ship was all about 15 minutes. No issues and we went right through, I had excepted the process to take much longer. Once on board we took the opportunity to explore the ship a bit and eat at the Windjammer before getting access to our rooms at 1:00 PM.

Rooms were ready right on time and we went down after eating lunch to change and head up to the pool. We stayed in a Central Park view balcony and I can not recommend this room type enough. I understand wanting to be able to stare at the ocean each night, but there are plenty of places on the ship to do this. The view of Central Park was lovely and allowed us the experience to still feel immersed in everything that was going on from the comfort of our room. Hearing the live music being played and people moving about was very nice. The room itself was great and plenty spacious for the two of us with the access to two large closets and luggage storage underneath the bed. Bathroom was large and had plenty of space to store toiletries and did not feel cramped. If I were to go on this ship again I would choose the same room type.

Activities on board were far more than we could fit into our seven say adventure. We tend to find ourselves hanging out around bars (get the unlimited package it is more than worth it) so we could have done a better job with shows, but had a great time with how we spent it. Jazz on 4 was a great late night spot to sit back and relax ahead of an early day with shore excursions. We found the most relaxing place to be the Trellis bar in Central Park. The staff there were amazing (shout out to Michael) and it offered the opportunity to sit and enjoy the bar or take your drink and site elsewhere in Central Park. There was often someone playing classical guitar in the evenings, somewhere around 8:30-9:30 which made it very enjoyable to sit out and take in. Our favorite bar by far was the Copper and Kettle Pub. Acoustic guitar nightly by Stephen Burke was a nice treat. It was a great bar to sit at that was very lively and allowed you to watch everyone walking around the promenade. The attentiveness of Amer and Komang was top notch, they remembered our drinks after our first visit and knew our room info shortly their after.

Pool areas were very nice and there was ample seating even given there are 6,000 passengers. The only day we had an issues, which others have mentioned, was our day at sea. This was also exacerbated by the fact that we ran into high winds and they had to close the top deck of the ship which further limited seating. We did however find chairs in the solarium which is a space for passengers 16 years or older. It did tend to get hot in their during the day, but a quick dip in the pool solved that problem. Bar service was constantly walking around seeing if you need anything to drink, so you didn't even need to leave your chair to get a beverage. I would suggest you check out the Sand Bar and especially Treasure, he was a great bartender and had a great personality.

As for dining options we ate in the main dining room three times, specialty dining twice and the Windjammer twice. The main dining room was fine and the staff was great. I do wish they varied the options more each night, but the food was totally fine. The Windjammer is what you would expect it to be, plenty of options that can serve any palette. Was this world class food? Of course not, but was it tasty and a large variety? It sure was. We had a few dishes there that really surprised us with how flavorful they were. This is a ship full of 6,000 passengers and what they pull off there day in and day out is spectacular. For specialty dining we ate at Chops Grille and Jaime's Italian. Chops was a little underwhelming. The sides were pretty lackluster and the New York strip I received was not that tasty and the temperature throughout the steak varied. My girlfriend order the petite 6 ounce fillet and that was delicious. We preferred the overall experience at Jamie's to Chops. The food was all so flavorful and fresh. Everything we ordered, with the exception of the "garlic bread" tasted fantastic and really surprised us. Coming from an area where Italian food is taken pretty seriously we were impressed.

I will spare you the details of each of the ports as they should be fairly obvious to discern what you would be into. Overall this was a fantastic vacation on a thoughtfully designed ship where they wasted no time in covering every detail. The staff across the ship was top notch and went above and beyond in making your experience feel so individual and tailored to you on a ship containing so many people. I can not recommend this ship enough. 10/10, would sail again.
RiotOnBroadway’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Central Park View Balcony
Cabin 2J 14585
Get a Central Park balcony view and you will not regret it.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins