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Symphony of the Seas Review

4.5 / 5.0
373 reviews

AVOID if you have dietary issues or want a relaxing cruise

Review for Transatlantic Cruise on Symphony of the Seas
2-5 Cruises • Age 50s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Mar 2023

OMG. Where do I even start. I'm cured of ever wanting to go on a cruise again and I've only been on 2. The chaos an amateurishness of the embarkation process was my first clue. Total nightmare. Before the cruise, I spent weeks emailing back and forth with the special needs department and filling out the required forms and found out on the first night that NONE of the information about my dietary requirements was communicated to the boat. Besides the initial chaos and disorganization and being assigned to the wrong table configuration and missing dinner because of the chaos the first night, I found out quickly that the head waiter, the chef and certainly the pastry chef had no experience or understanding of how to manage a paleo diet, even though I gave them multiple suggestions, wrote down easy substitutions, offered to literally give them recipes I had with me. My head waiter literally didn't know the difference between a nut and a grain and the chef made me a 'special dinner' that I didn't ask for that had tofu in it. When I pointed out that tofu is soy, he just said 'oh yeah..' They all blamed each other and it was literally like a 'who's on first' Abbott and Costello performance every meal. I felt like I was harassed every night trying to sort out the menu for the next day and was basically told most things couldn't be adapted or for example, they extent of their caring and creativity meant that an adapted ceasar salad was a bowl of lettuce with no dressing of any kind offered. What kind of idiot plunks down a bowl of lettuce in front of customer (who had to pay DOUBLE by the way for the honor of traveling solo) and walks away without thinking that through or discussing it? Some people had such trouble with the service they never got coffee or the small things they ordered or missed a breakfast entirely because they had plans. I certainly walked away from breakfasts also not having been brought what I ordered. I had to twist their arm after multiple nights of inedible desserts to get ONE dessert that met my requirements by night # NINE then only to get that exact same dessert but with less and less fruit, until there was no fruit on top of the unsweetened 'pudding' by the last night b/c 'we ran out of berries'. Apparently they couldn't think of ONE other thing to put on top or discuss it with me or forgot all the ideas I had given them every time. And I was expected to just eat the same thing every night although no one else had to do this. I felt like I was talking to a wall every time as they nodded their heads and then brought out some crap anyway. I never had a problem on a Princess cruise. They got it and I got something new and interesting every night without lifting a finger. None of all this drama at the table in front of other people I didn't even know.

The public bathrooms ALL had a terrible mold smell as did my own shower and the room 'cooler' unit which I had to have removed since it was so bad. Shore excursion cancelled for no good reason and they did not follow thru on telling me when openings occurred on other excursions that were all full. I only found out by accident and even then the description did not fully match the overpriced tour. The staff everywhere just seemed overwhelmed or else very new, which was confirmed by some of the dining room staff. Even though some were really trying, they just overall seemed like a bunch of amateurs. In one cafe, a dessert was listed as gluten and sugar free so I had it but then in another the same one wasn't marked that way. When I asked, they said 'oh yes it has gluten' which of course freaked me out being celiac and it took a good 10 minutes of having to pull in a manager who had to call someone else to determine their labeling was deficient. This shouldn't happen. I didn't trust anything I put in my mouth then b/c their labeling couldn't be trusted.

This alone made the cruise stressful but SOS/RCCL seems to believe that everyone that cruises wants blasting music on every square inch of the ship at literally every hour so there is nowhere to get any peace and quiet. It was like being at a rock concert the minute I stepped on the boat. Why can't you even sit and wait in a theater for a show to start without having piped in loud music? No wonder we are a world of distracted idiots if they think we can't be left for a minute in peace and quiet or to have an actual conversation with those around us in a normal tone of voice.

Cabin Review

Bed was so hard I had back pain for several nights which made it hard to walk in the day until another passenger told me they had to ask for extra quilts. I called early in the day to housekeeping and asked for that and yet it wasn't done until I came back at 11pm and had to call them again and then wait while the guy changed the whole bed around.

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