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ARRIVAL 1)We arrived at 12.30pm and it was straight through and onto the ship. We were sent to The Windjammer Buffet. It was absolutely heaving with people and after a 45 minute wait for a table, our food (which we had to get first) was cold. It wasn’t pleasant. It was elbow to elbow at the tables to eat. COMFORT 1)The Mattress on our bed was rock hard so didn’t sleep well. 2)Not enough seating around the ship for the volume of passengers. 3)Lots of noisy drunk passengers at 2am on 3 nights and they were allowed to continue waking up passengers and the crew did nothing to stop them. 4)Lots of uncomfortable queueing for everything onboard - food, drinks, toilets and entertainment. Virtually everything. 5)Impossible to watch the shows as the staff kept letting other people continuously into each audience and constant walking in front of us. 6)The ship docked at 2.16am on Saturday 31st August and the noise from everyone involved in the docking woke us up and we couldn’t get back to sleep and this was before a several hour, long journey home. HEALTH AND SAFETY 1)Smoking was allowed in the Casino on the ship which bellowed cigarette smoke into the Main Dining area. 2)One of the other buffet areas had another smoking area near to the swimming pool so it was pretty much the same experience. This is especially not good for babies and children breathing this in whilst in the pool. Or pregnant women, the elderly or ill. We found this very unpleasant. 3)Staff constantly mopping and passengers having to be careful walking on wet floors. 4)The ship can clearly not cope with over 5,000 passengers as everywhere we went people accidentally bumped into each other - couldn’t be helped under the squashed elbow to elbow circumstances. An extremely serious health and safety issue. 5)Lifts were continually full and had elbow to elbow people in them. Another serious health and safety issue. We had to take the stairs on several occasions. SWIMMING POOLS 1)Too crowded and we were unable to use them. INFINITY POOL 1)Was able to use it once - too crowded otherwise. JACUZZI 1)Was able to use one of them on one occasion - too crowded otherwise. CRUISE FOOD 1)Poor. We are used to excellent food (and a good selection on cruises) but didn’t experience it on this cruise. 2)The ship clearly struggles coping with the volume of passengers and there were long 30-45 minute queues at all eating places. 3)We decided we would try Jamie’s and pay extra as it was quieter in Central Park. They told us that they could get lobster for us from the main dining area as they had run out in their restaurant. We declined and ate in the main dining area. Why pay for the same thing? What a cheek. 4)Several mistakes made throughout the week with our food orders in The Main Dining Room. Long waits to be served. More examples of them not coping with the volume of passengers. DRINKS 1)There should be more cold drinks available throughout the ship but there are not. Or at least people coming round with trays of cups of water. Instead everyone had to queue at the bars for an excessive time or walk a fair distance to the complimentary drinks areas in the heat. 2)There were mistakes made on our drinks orders in the main dining area and we were charged. Had to speak to guest services to get it refunded and that involved more sessions of queueing at guest services with other disgruntled passengers for long periods of time. STATEROOM 1)The mattress was hard and uncomfortable which provided poor sleep and stiffness. 2)The steward did not introduce himself to us at any time. We had to introduce ourselves to him, once we had worked out who he actually was. ENTERTAINMENT 1)We had booked to see all the shows on board. On the first evening of our cruise we queued for nearly an hour, to be seated. The audience had drinks orders taken and then the Cruise Director announced the show was cancelled. He seemed to think it funny - we were not impressed. He was dreadful at his job throughout. 2)The timings of all our shows booked were moved around constantly throughout the week (at the last minute) which encroached on our other plans. 3)Bad customer service. We were appalled. CHANGE OF ITINERARY 1)Constant last minute changes of Itinerary. 2)The communication with passengers about the changes was absolutely inadequate by the Captain and his staff. 3)We had to continually queue at Guest Services to find out what was happening. 4)Dreadful Customer Service and communication. MISSED PORTS/SHORTENED VISITS 1)Saint Maarten was cancelled. 2)We had half a day in Puerto Rico. 3)We had a day in Laberdee (a resort). Food was poor. Not enough to go round. Toilets were in a dreadful condition by mid afternoon with loo roll piled high and over flowing out of the bins by the loos. 4)We had half a day in Nassau with nothing to do as our excursion was changed without us being told. 5)Didn’t receive what we paid for throughout. Extremely disappointed. EXCURSIONS 1)Our excursions were constantly moved around. Communication with passengers about the changes was absolutely inadequate. 2)We had to constantly queue at Guest Services for refunds on excursions. 3)We had booked an Excursion to go to The Blue Lagoon in Nassau on the last day and it was changed to 8am without us being told. Yes we had a refund but we missed the opportunity of seeing somewhere really lovely on our last day due to bad customer service and had to queue yet again for a refund. VOOM/GUEST SERVICES 1)When we expressed our disappointment to Guest Services re lack of communication to us, we were told to check out information on the app. Yes we had the Royal Caribbean app but we needed VOOM (the internet) to be able to use it, which would have involved extra expense. 2)Why couldn’t the captain and his staff have just kept everyone updated on tv screens or via the tannoy system? 3)Appalled. Dreadful customer service and lack of communication with passengers. ROYAL CARIBBEAN WEBSITE 1)One day before our holiday was due to finish, many passengers read that Royal Caribbean announced on their website that we were going to be taken to Mexico and not returned to Miami until Wednesday 4th September. Many passengers changed their flights and other plans. I have a copy of this information. 2)The Captain and his crew went quiet over this website announcement and when we queued (yet again) and asked at Guest Services, they wouldn’t say what was happening. 3)This left us feeling anxious and with uncertainty. 4)It was only when we were woken up by noise at 2.16am (on the last day of our holiday) that we realised we were in Miami. 5)We had suffered dreadful worry and anxiety that we would not have had to experience if customer communication had been adequate. An announcement over the tannoy would have been enough to put everyones minds at rest but the Captain and his crew buried their heads in the sand. WOULD WE USE ROYAL CARIBBEAN AGAIN? No we wouldn’t. We are avid cruisers and did not get what we paid for.

Disorganised Overcrowded Chaos

Symphony of the Seas Cruise Review by Boater13

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2019
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony
ARRIVAL

1)We arrived at 12.30pm and it was straight through and onto the ship. We were sent to The Windjammer Buffet. It was absolutely heaving with people and after a 45 minute wait for a table, our food (which we had to get first) was cold. It wasn’t pleasant. It was elbow to elbow at the tables to eat.

COMFORT

1)The Mattress on our bed was rock hard so didn’t sleep well.

2)Not enough seating around the ship for the volume of passengers.

3)Lots of noisy drunk passengers at 2am on 3 nights and they were allowed to continue waking up passengers and the crew did nothing to stop them.

4)Lots of uncomfortable queueing for everything onboard - food, drinks, toilets and entertainment. Virtually everything.

5)Impossible to watch the shows as the staff kept letting other people continuously into each audience and constant walking in front of us.

6)The ship docked at 2.16am on Saturday 31st August and the noise from everyone involved in the docking woke us up and we couldn’t get back to sleep and this was before a several hour, long journey home.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

1)Smoking was allowed in the Casino on the ship which bellowed cigarette smoke into the Main Dining area.

2)One of the other buffet areas had another smoking area near to the swimming pool so it was pretty much the same experience. This is especially not good for babies and children breathing this in whilst in the pool. Or pregnant women, the elderly or ill. We found this very unpleasant.

3)Staff constantly mopping and passengers having to be careful walking on wet floors.

4)The ship can clearly not cope with over 5,000 passengers as everywhere we went people accidentally bumped into each other - couldn’t be helped under the squashed elbow to elbow circumstances. An extremely serious health and safety issue.

5)Lifts were continually full and had elbow to elbow people in them. Another serious health and safety issue. We had to take the stairs on several occasions.

SWIMMING POOLS

1)Too crowded and we were unable to use them.

INFINITY POOL

1)Was able to use it once - too crowded otherwise.

JACUZZI

1)Was able to use one of them on one occasion - too crowded otherwise.

CRUISE FOOD

1)Poor. We are used to excellent food (and a good selection on cruises) but didn’t experience it on this cruise.

2)The ship clearly struggles coping with the volume of passengers and there were long 30-45 minute queues at all eating places.

3)We decided we would try Jamie’s and pay extra as it was quieter in Central Park. They told us that they could get lobster for us from the main dining area as they had run out in their restaurant. We declined and ate in the main dining area. Why pay for the same thing? What a cheek.

4)Several mistakes made throughout the week with our food orders in The Main Dining Room. Long waits to be served. More examples of them not coping with the volume of passengers.

DRINKS

1)There should be more cold drinks available throughout the ship but there are not. Or at least people coming round with trays of cups of water. Instead everyone had to queue at the bars for an excessive time or walk a fair distance to the complimentary drinks areas in the heat.

2)There were mistakes made on our drinks orders in the main dining area and we were charged. Had to speak to guest services to get it refunded and that involved more sessions of queueing at guest services with other disgruntled passengers for long periods of time.

STATEROOM

1)The mattress was hard and uncomfortable which provided poor sleep and stiffness.

2)The steward did not introduce himself to us at any time. We had to introduce ourselves to him, once we had worked out who he actually was.

ENTERTAINMENT

1)We had booked to see all the shows on board. On the first evening of our cruise we queued for nearly an hour, to be seated. The audience had drinks orders taken and then the Cruise Director announced the show was cancelled. He seemed to think it funny - we were not impressed. He was dreadful at his job throughout.

2)The timings of all our shows booked were moved around constantly throughout the week (at the last minute) which encroached on our other plans.

3)Bad customer service. We were appalled.

CHANGE OF ITINERARY

1)Constant last minute changes of Itinerary.

2)The communication with passengers about the changes was absolutely inadequate by the Captain and his staff.

3)We had to continually queue at Guest Services to find out what was happening.

4)Dreadful Customer Service and communication.

MISSED PORTS/SHORTENED VISITS

1)Saint Maarten was cancelled.

2)We had half a day in Puerto Rico.

3)We had a day in Laberdee (a resort). Food was poor. Not enough to go round. Toilets were in a dreadful condition by mid afternoon with loo roll piled high and over flowing out of the bins by the loos.

4)We had half a day in Nassau with nothing to do as our excursion was changed without us being told.

5)Didn’t receive what we paid for throughout. Extremely disappointed.

EXCURSIONS

1)Our excursions were constantly moved around. Communication with passengers about the changes was absolutely inadequate.

2)We had to constantly queue at Guest Services for refunds on excursions.

3)We had booked an Excursion to go to The Blue Lagoon in Nassau on the last day and it was changed to 8am without us being told. Yes we had a refund but we missed the opportunity of seeing somewhere really lovely on our last day due to bad customer service and had to queue yet again for a refund.

VOOM/GUEST SERVICES

1)When we expressed our disappointment to Guest Services re lack of communication to us, we were told to check out information on the app. Yes we had the Royal Caribbean app but we needed VOOM (the internet) to be able to use it, which would have involved extra expense.

2)Why couldn’t the captain and his staff have just kept everyone updated on tv screens or via the tannoy system?

3)Appalled. Dreadful customer service and lack of communication with passengers.

ROYAL CARIBBEAN WEBSITE

1)One day before our holiday was due to finish, many passengers read that Royal Caribbean announced on their website that we were going to be taken to Mexico and not returned to Miami until Wednesday 4th September. Many passengers changed their flights and other plans. I have a copy of this information.

2)The Captain and his crew went quiet over this website announcement and when we queued (yet again) and asked at Guest Services, they wouldn’t say what was happening.

3)This left us feeling anxious and with uncertainty.

4)It was only when we were woken up by noise at 2.16am (on the last day of our holiday) that we realised we were in Miami.

5)We had suffered dreadful worry and anxiety that we would not have had to experience if customer communication had been adequate. An announcement over the tannoy would have been enough to put everyones minds at rest but the Captain and his crew buried their heads in the sand.

WOULD WE USE ROYAL CARIBBEAN AGAIN?

No we wouldn’t. We are avid cruisers and did not get what we paid for.
Boater13’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 2D 11618
Mattress was rock hard.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins