I wish to provide my personal thoughts on a 8 day cruise. As for my background I am in my 70's with 20 cruises in the last 4 years 10 on 6 star lines Silver Sea, Seabourn and Oceana. First the pros for the Symphony The ship is 25 years old but in general well cared for but you would expect this from a 6star line charging premium prices. No wow factor, The food is very good, nicely presented and a fine selection. The crew are friendly and helpful. The small cabin was clean, the bedding was first class. The TV was fine and the internet free and in general worked well. Getting on and off the ship was fast and smooth.
Now the cons. My biggest complaint, and taken to the excursion director, was our trip to the Santa Barbara wine country $239 each for a trip to three wine tasting rooms which you can buy at tasting room for $15 each. No tour at any of these wineries only tasting a few wines and then back to the bus., This was a cruise excursion rip off. Now the most disturbing aspect of the excursion was the driver/ tour guide was driving down the freeway at 65mph in traffic talking to us on a hand held mic on one occasion using his cell phone. He was certainly distracted and one one occasion drifted off the lane and on to the shoulder very scary. The other 25 guests fortunately could not see what was going on. My wife insisted on telling the excursion director of this dangerous trip and of course the response was, she very sorry and will look into it.. This guy the driver was violating the law putting people at risk and she is sorry. Next the entertainment was ok but fell short of other six star ships. The public rooms in general featured worn out dated carpets and furniture and fixtures. This is ok but not ok on at 6 star prices. The liquors were top draw but the house wines were $10 to $12 and nothing special, Bottom line cruise was ok but would not sail again with her.