6 Miami to Bahamas Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas Cruise Reviews

My wife and I chose this ship, because we love the Oasis class. Unfortunately they didn't raise the bar. The cabin was great. They made the balcony bigger, but at the expense of the tub. I am just under 6 feet tall, and they mad the ... Read More
My wife and I chose this ship, because we love the Oasis class. Unfortunately they didn't raise the bar. The cabin was great. They made the balcony bigger, but at the expense of the tub. I am just under 6 feet tall, and they mad the tub so narrow I couldn't stand in it without my feet being curved. It actually hurt to take a shower. The final day I had to stand with my feet together to take a shower. Also, the partial glass screen on the tub, is not attached. I almost did a header and fell out of the tub the fist time trying to get comfortable. Be careful . The public restroom was another miss, with a tall , small urinal. Again I am just under 6 feet tall, and I had to stand on my tiptoes to use the urinal. What were they thinking. Lets make a urinal that only 6 foot 6' people or taller can use. There were many puddles on the floor, and that's all I'll say. Then there was the food. Is it me, or is RCL buying cheaper and cheaper food? The food was terrible. I took a chance and tried a specialty restaurant, when the Coastal Kitchen had absolutely nothing on the Menu that night that my wife or I could stand. I paid extra to stay in the Junior Suite so I could eat there, and it was disappointing . I have had nothing but bad luck trying RCL's specialty restaurants. Trust me, there's nothing Special about them. My last cruise was on the Independence of the seas, and my wife and I tried the Specialty restaurant plan. What a waste of money. 2-3 hour waits. Rude service. The couple next to me complained, and was berated by the waiter. Awful food. We tried to cancel after the 3rd try, but was told we couldn't get a refund. We didn't care and lost the rest of our money. On the Symphony I tried Hooked. It was terrible. The service was fast and friendly, but I just couldn't stomach it. They started me off with this cheese biscuit. It was old, hard and had no taste. Then I was brought a crab and clam chowder. I was half way done, when I bit into something that sounded like either a shell or glass. I tried another bite with the same result, but found what I hoped was a shell. I stopped eating it. Then they brought me my shrimp cocktail, and it smelled funny almost like bleach. That was enough. I stopped and called over the waitress and told her I couldn't eat here and wanted a refund. I was then made to repeat everything 2 more times and grilled by the chef, but got the refund. The food is getting worse every year on RCL. So much so, That I am not going on another RCL cruise. Even the trusted pizza at Sorrento's was bad.I am now going on their sister company Celebrity , because the food is supposed to be a lot better , and they have a NON-SMOKING CASINO!!!. You can smell the smoke within 20 feet of the casino entrance. It's really bad, and they have a new drink policy that's horrible. If you earn 2400 points in a year you get free drinks in the casino. Now you can only get 1 drink every 10 minutes. Also the one staff complaint was that this was the only RCL cruise I've been on, where the bartenders were rude. The bar was open a few minutes before the casino and they were serving drinks. I went to the counter and asked for a drink, and they berated me, and told me I had to wait for the casino to open. When the casino opened, I went up to the counter again to ask for a drink, and the Bartender snapped at me that I had to wait until the casino was open. I pointed out to him that it was, He didn't believe me. I then pointed to people , right in front of us playing the slots, and all he said was "Oh'. then got my drink. Also I was ignored a lot by the Bartenders because I was Prime (Free Drinks), and I didn't have to pay for my drinks, and I guess there would rather wait on paying customers. I was ignored several times a day. It was really frustrating . It's like the new policy was invented to prevent you from wanting to get a drink. Well it worked. I usually lose a lot of money in the casino to get the points for the free drinks, and this is there new way of saying thanks? They really should have someone that is/was a guest to check out their designs,new policies and food before implementing them on new ships, that way they could avoid all these mistakes . RCL , Please upgrade the food. It's really bad when Kraft Mac & Cheese is 10X better than yours. On the good note, was the service. As usual the service was excellent. I have no complaints at all, except the Bartenders in the Casino. My room steward did a fantastic job, as so did the wait staff in the restaurants. I thought the Independence of the Seas was my least favorite ship, but Symphony comes very close. Hopefully they will see this, and improve everything, but i doubt it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have wanted to experience a cruise on the largest cruise ship in the world. Symphony of the Seas had planned a couple short voyages that fit the bill. I was able to book August 31, 2019 - September 3, 2019 and not miss a day of work ... Read More
I have wanted to experience a cruise on the largest cruise ship in the world. Symphony of the Seas had planned a couple short voyages that fit the bill. I was able to book August 31, 2019 - September 3, 2019 and not miss a day of work (off on Tuesdays and Fridays and this Monday was a holiday). Perfect! Then in the few days preceding this cruise, tropical storm Dorian became Hurricane Dorian. We were to depart Miami Saturday August 31st, spend Sunday September 1st in Nassau, a day at sea, then home. Many ships were having changes made to their schedule as the storm grew stronger. At 10pm Thursday I packed late, checked the RCCL website at 1am and saw my cruise was eliminated since the extended the August 24th cruise until Sept 4th. I cancelled my airline reservations just after that post. With an overwhelming feeling of disappointment, I went to sleep. By morning, to confirm this really happened, I looked at the website and to my surprise, no listing for my cruise. I called the helplines at RCCL. They found nothing. Luckily I screenshot the website and had it to email the representative. For 90 minutes he searched while I was on hold. Finally I got a text message with word the ship we depart early and be extended a day. I knew before the rep did! RCCL did an amazing job. I rebooked a new trip at the last minute (paying way too much) but I made it there. Embarkation: WOW. I handed a staff member my preprinted boarding passes, she scanned the barcode with her iPad and we walked to the ship. The keys are waiting for you at 1pm in your cabin door mail slot. We didn't much more than pause our walk to get scanned and we were on the ship in 10 minutes. NO WAY could this be easier or better. We went to Boleros to buy the WOW band. It was $5 and cool to have. It worked great as cabin door key, it was OK as a way to pay for drinks. Sometimes I just chose to use the card as it was easier to hand over. The readers in the bars worked ok most of the time but of course walking servers do not carry readers. Grabbed a Mojito to kick off the cruise by 11am. We dined for lunch at the Park Cafe - the Kummelweck roast beef sandwiches. Yes, they are as good as everyone says plus a nice custom bowl of salad. Delicious. Our room had good and bad. I am never one to complain. Room 14-577 was top of Central Park in the very front. Glad i tried it but I won't do it again. If you happen to book these neighborhood balconies, be aware that it is not like an ocean view. There is no privacy so your curtains will likely be closed all the time. Be aware that the 15th floor is the pool deck. You will hear foot stomps when kids run across that deck. While not bad at all, we did notice that. Be aware that in this cabin the ship's framing is a roofline just over your balcony so the great part is - always shady. I didn't care for keeping the key card inserted in a slot to keep lights and air on but I understand it's a good idea. Not a lot of normal TV to watch but who really cares to watch TV? The bed was extremely firm and our steward says they no longer offer the egg-crate pads, I also understand. We managed just fine. Plenty of room, plenty of storage, bigger shower than most ships too. But I will never choose 14th floor neighborhood balcony again. Oh it did include a bottle of red wine and two coke packages (refill cups). The shows? WOW. I have often thought NCL Epic had the natural win in this category but when I saw HAIRSPRAY, I loved everything about it. Then we saw FLIGHT and that was entertaining in a usual cruise ship show kind of way but well done with a mix of technology and live action. The ice show was 1977 and though I wonder what that year had to do with anything, there was excellent skating, beautiful costumes, and it all started amazing drones flying over the performance area giving us a light show. Loved it. Finally HIRO - what an amazing show. I would say that the price of the cruise was worth it just to see this show! Swimming, diving, dancing, arial performances, a lot like Cirque on overdrive. I am still blown away. Food. I would say it was good. Some of it was excellent, some just OK. I was shocked that the prime rib was just OK. I love prime rib. But the tenderloin and short ribs were outstanding. Salmon was better than OK but not the best. Lasagna was OK but not too good. I did order a beef stroganoff dish but sent it back because it was unlike any I had ever had...more like a pasta dish with a light brown garlic based gravy. Not a complainer - everything was edible and decent. But for the quantity served, it is still impressive. Early traditional seating is my choice. Always kind, if we wanted to rush to a show, they put us on fast pace. Wine was plentiful and they kept me with a drink at all times. Activity: WOW. Zip line - long wait for a short thrill but very cool to do. Abyss....long line and awesome anticipation for the thrill. Loved it - especially the que to actually get on the slide being all glass way up there. I ran out of time but would have body surfed the flowrider. Lines were not bad at all. PuttPutt was always in use and looks like fun. the court was half basketball half soccer. They all seemed to love it. I rode the carousel. It's been years since I had done that and well, it just makes me smile. Artwork. another WOW. Some cool stuff. A lot of weird things too. Loved the piano stairs. Didn't quite get the sound art and light art but OK. Plenty to see. Interactive art is always cool. The cruise director Ricky was fun. Led many street parties and works his tail off. They had a balloon drop at midnight day one, they had a Caribbean street party, an 80s party and a pirate parade. We sat in a sing along with a guitar player that was fun (crowd was a blast - singer was excellent). Saw a little piano playing in Schooner but I do tire of the same old 70s and 80s pop songs. Oh another cool thing on this ship is the stowaway piano player - he may be in an elevator (that's where we saw him) or anywhere on the ship at any time. Very cool!! Did I mention we were to be in Nassau on September 1st but Hurricane Dorian decided category 5 would just sit over the Bahamas and destroy...so RCCL sent us to Costa Maya Mexico instead. We were out of harms way, mostly in the hot sun. RCCL added a 4th day to our cruise so we had to get new airfare home but they didn't add any extra cost to our beverage package or Voom package. I think they actually gave us $50 On Board Credit too. I didn't care for Costa Maya but that's just me. I was glad to be there! We did not excursion there either. Just to add to controversy, I will tell you that in my opinion, all cruises should be non-smoking. I won't go in to a casino so long as there is smoking - so I didn't even visit it on this trip. Celebrity has no-smoking in their casinos. A different vibe for those of us that don't like the smell. But to each their own and I was just fine without it. I didn't plan to buy a NextCruise certificate but I did because this was my new favorite cruise. Finally getting off the ship - WOW. We chose late as possible because our flight was 12:30pm. We got tags #69 9:00am. Teh drink package still got us premium coffee drinks for free the day of departure. We waited it our in the Cafe Promenade. When we left the ship we walked into the terminal, chose our bag from the 100 or so still left there and walked to customs. No need to even bring out a passport of fill out the declaration papers...we walked up to an iPad that took our picture, waited a few seconds, got a green check mark and we were out to the taxi line. No more than a couple minutes to get in and no more than a couple minutes to get out. Way to go RCCL and US Customs! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were the cruise that no one was really sure we would be able to even take because of Hurricane Dorian! Royal Caribbean was AMAZING at communicating with us and letting us know the advantages of hanging in there with them and assured ... Read More
We were the cruise that no one was really sure we would be able to even take because of Hurricane Dorian! Royal Caribbean was AMAZING at communicating with us and letting us know the advantages of hanging in there with them and assured our safety so we decided to go ahead keep our reservation and take the cruise. This ship is the nicest ship we have ever had the pleasure of taking, We have taken many cruises on many different lines. We are now have Platinum Status on RC so we are trying to continue growing our reward level on this RCI ships and family. We absolutely LOVED every single part of this ship! The Rooms were the largest and spacious and beautiful. The ship is immaculate, the food was excellent, and the service was awesome! I cannot tell you how pleased I was with my experience! Royal Caribbean knocked it out of the park with this Ship and this Cruise. There really were so many differences to this cruise and this ship than so many others. It was just a way different class of ship than so many others! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I was really excited to be on the biggest and newest cruise ship on Royal Caribbean. This was also my first time on Royal Caribbean even though I've been on many other vessels such as Carnival and Norwegian. Pros: it is beautiful ... Read More
I was really excited to be on the biggest and newest cruise ship on Royal Caribbean. This was also my first time on Royal Caribbean even though I've been on many other vessels such as Carnival and Norwegian. Pros: it is beautiful and enormous with many extravagant shows that are worth watching and very entertaining. The room is really nice and spacious as well as the bathrooms. Bar Service: bought the unlimited drinking package and definitely got my moneys worth but service was probably the worst. Quite a few times I've had to wait 30 minutes for a drink. Many bartenders would not even make eye contact with me to ask for a drink. I at times had to try and get their attention (not ideal and quite embarrassing). It wasn't at all bars though. The specific one that had the worst service was at Playmakers sports bar. Justin was the one that served me and many of my family members with mediocre service. Quite rude and intentionally ignored all of us. Pro: There was one server, named Greedep at Playmakers who was amazing! Service exceeded my expectations and food came on time. Very kind and welcoming. Pro tip: Go to Schooners bar and you will def get a good drink with good service as well. Best cosmos there! Main Dining Room: did not exceed my expectations. Felt very crowded and food was just okay. Everything was subpar except for service which was excellent. Overall the cruise was fun, lots of activities to do. For the adults, definitely recommend lounging at the solarium where it is relaxing with huge bath pools/jacuzzis. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Positives - Entering and exiting the ship was an efficient and easy process. Entertainment, Water Show, Comedians, Dancers - ALL FABULOUS ! Gorgeous impressive looking ship. ... Read More
Positives - Entering and exiting the ship was an efficient and easy process. Entertainment, Water Show, Comedians, Dancers - ALL FABULOUS ! Gorgeous impressive looking ship. Staff - some friendly, some not. Windjammer Buffet - food was good. Nice Cabin. Failures - Main dining room - Food was a C+ (fair). Steaks under-cooked,Other steaks overcooked, Food Took too too long. Please teach the chefs how to cook meat. And it was a Frustrating overly long dinner due to the poorly managed kitchen. Waiters were all apologetic. Hook Restaurant - Food took FOREVER Fish dishes were so Dry they were not edible. Timing of all the dishes was off. Operations, Procedures, and quality control all failed. Burn the Hook Restaurant down and start over from scratch. Cabin Telephones - We returned to South Florida 3 days ago and I am still on hold with the Ship's Guest Services. Take the cabin phones and throw them overboard. They are useless. You will NEVER reach anyone from any department. Room Service, Guest Services, Housekeeping - they are all on a smoke break. My (adult) daughters were in Room 10-445. Her entire area was a ghost town. No Staff Anywhere for hours. Need ICE for the room? - Good Luck. The ship is Gorgeous - But completely inefficient and understaffed. At times we were delighted. But there were times we wanted to jump into the ocean. Thank you for your time to read this. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My company purchased this cruise for the office staff (Memorial Day 3 day 4 night cruise), I had never cruised with RC only NCL. I think I got spoiled on NCL because this was a huge disappointment. I was pretty excited to cruise another ... Read More
My company purchased this cruise for the office staff (Memorial Day 3 day 4 night cruise), I had never cruised with RC only NCL. I think I got spoiled on NCL because this was a huge disappointment. I was pretty excited to cruise another Cruise Line and the largest ship sailing right now, but it was lacking. The name "Royal" should actually be called "Not Impressive Cruise Line" Embarkation was quick, getting our luggage was quick, other then that, nothing special. We had the drink package, and I'm not a drinker so figured I'd be tipsy but it seemed like all the drinks were watered down because I just never got drunk. LOL The Windjammer Buffet, I tried breakfast there and it was really disgusting, the scrambled eggs felt like it had some type of fiber in it, the texture was just off, I'm assuming it was fake eggs, eggs Benedict was warm/to cold, and just wrong, the over easy eggs were sitting on plates under a warmer light, I just couldn't get myself to eat something like over easy eggs sitting under a warmer. The sausage links crumbled if you cut them, I have no idea what they were, the bacon was rubbery and under cooked. Breakfast was a washout and I didn't eat breakfast again on the ship. We also tried dinner one day, food again was warm, not hot, and stale like it sat being warmed for way too long, so we left and went and had Pizza at Sorrentos, which was good. Wonderland, this is an experience, the food was strange, some of it was really good, while others were a little to weird to eat or the texture was just wrong lol but that's Wonderland, I suggest if you want to try something new, adventure food, try it, it's definitely memorable. Chops Grill: Very bland, I had the Filet Mignon, I ordered it medium, I got well done, it was very bland and the sauce they offered for dipping was also very bland. The extra price you pay for this, just wasn't worth it. 150 Central Park: Limited menu and this time the food was so salty, my hands and feet swelled up. I must have drank a gallon of water so I could get my rings off. The pumpkin soup was very good, the salad also very good, but the lobster was not impressive. My favorite place to eat was Sorrento's and El Loco Fresh. Entertainment was average, but with such a short cruise and it being a company trip, we didn't get to book much with 6000 people on this ship it was impossible to get reservations for a party of 28. The casino was always packed. When the ship was at Coco Cay and Nassau they closed everything down, no shopping on the ship, no bands playing on the pool deck, no activities scheduled for those who chose to stay on board, it was really boring, the first day we laid around our room after walking on the decks to see what was what, they don't have any movies playing on our TV's or anywhere on the ship. We ended up napping until the 6000 were back on the ship and then it was so busy you couldn't go to anything because of the crowds. Employees: They all seemed a bit quiet, on NCL they're friendly, joke around, the employees just seem happier. If I made friendly comments to the employees on Symphony they actually seemed shocked that I would joke or acknowledge them. Maybe it's the clientele I don't know, are people more friendly on NCL? I also noticed a lot less class on this cruise. Shore excursion, Nassau hmmm what can you say, Dirty, overpriced, aggressive sales, will not accept "no thank you" the first dozen times you say it. Our driver from Atlantis back to the ship was drinking rum with the drunk riders in the front and driving reckless back to the ship. I don't care what cruise line I am on I'm never getting off the ship in Nassau again. Cabins are much larger on Symphony then on the NCL ships I've been on, the storage better, 2 closets and a dresser, I appreciated that part of the ship. Nothing on TV but several ESPN channels, FOX, MSNBC and BBC. If you choose to watch a movie on demand be prepared to pay $12.00 Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Symphony of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 4.4
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.2
Family 5.0 4.2
Enrichment 3.0 3.9
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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