54 Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas Entertainment Cruise Reviews

After having sailed on Princess, Carnival and the past several times on Disney, we decided to try Royal Caribbean. We decided to try out the Symphony because 1/ it has very high ratings among RC's fleet, 2/ we wanted to see what the ... Read More
After having sailed on Princess, Carnival and the past several times on Disney, we decided to try Royal Caribbean. We decided to try out the Symphony because 1/ it has very high ratings among RC's fleet, 2/ we wanted to see what the world's biggest ship had to offer, and 3/ they ship stopped at islands we hadn't been to before - including RC's own CoCo Cay. We booked an outside balcony cabin on the 10th deck. The price was quite reasonable - certainly quite a bit lower than Disney. Check in was a breeze. We did get on late - choosing to board after the early rush, and also figuring we could manage quite well without the obligatory Day 1 lunch. Entering the ship was kinda uneventful. We barely got a "Hello", with a greater emphasis being on sanitizing our hands - understandable given the outbreak of Corona Virus. We entered on the Promenade 5th deck and then headed to our cabin. initial impression was that the decor lacked any level of luxury or plushness. Yes, it was huge, and very interesting to have a promenade in the middle of a ship, but the decor was kinda tired - like being in a slightly dated hotel or office building. I think they expect your entrance in to a city-like promenade to do the trick. It doesn't!!! ENTERTAINMENT: This is where RC did well. Their main attraction shows were most excellent - certainly gave Disney a run for their money. And there was always something to do for all ages. There were parades on the Promenade and all kinds of music at various venues in the evenings. Solo guitarists, excellent jazz, and a band in the Dazzles bar that could really rock a crowd - and get them to dance. Before we went on this cruise, the reviews indicated that RC did an excellent job with the entertainment, and they certainly lived up to their billing here. CENTRAL PARK: Loved it. So relaxing. Vintage is a good place to get some good wines. However, the open area did tend to get windy and there were always some drops of water splashing down from above. Not sure from where - but it tended to happen even when the sky was clear. However, it's quite amazing to have this large atrium right in the middle of a ship. BOARDWALK: I think this was a bit of a let down, and didn't live up to its billing. The boardwalk leads to the aquatheatre, but apart from that, and a bar and hot dog restaurant, there's really no reason to be there. It was rather dead most of the time. FOOD: THIS was a massive let down. This ship has a ton of specialty restaurants. Having done these kinds of specialty restaurants on other cruise lines, we just figured these would not be worth the extra cost - since the main dining hall would always have something worth trying. I will add that we are big time foodies, who usually eat at anywhere from 125-175 restaurants a year - including some of the world's Top 50 restaurants. The food at the Main Dining room was completely substandard. We chose the Any Time Dining option - which was good for us. While it did mean a different serving crew every evening, in general they were pretty good - not great, but good. However, 1 evening it was so bad that for the first time in 10 cruises, I felt compelled to complain to the section manager. The waiter took 14 mins to even bring us a menu, and did not bother to introduce herself or even apologize for the significant delay. when it came time to take our order, she simply came to us and said, 'SO, what can I get you!". May be she was stressed, however, not only had we been patient all the while, but she was extremely cheerful with her other tables. Her manager noticed this behavior and tried to step in to make up for that. But the damage had been done. It took them 35 mins to get our appetizers, and an hour and 20 mins to bring our entree. To top it off, the food was inedible - and I ended up leaving most of my food. I thought I'd head over to the buffet and get some food, but by then even the buffet had closed. I ended up with a sandwich from one of the cafes. After 2 days of sub-par food at the main dining hall, we decided to try 3 of the specialty restaurants. Despite there being so many restaurants on board, there was only 1 that was really worth trying - the rest being rather generic - something that some of the other patrons who visited some of the restaurants told us. Simultanenously we dicovered that the buffet at dinner offered several ethnic options - and so we started going there for dinner - and canceled our 3 restaurant packae. Apart from the fact that the food in the main dining hall was low quality, the variety was even worse. They had the same, bland continental food every single day. Ridiculous! The only optional variety was the option to ask for some indian food. Upon further reflection, it's almost like the main dining option is designed to push you to their specialty restaurants. Not a good idea. When it comes to Indian food, there was always some indian food available at the buffet for all 3 meals of the day. The taste was not particularly great - which is surprising considering the executive chef for the whole ship was Indian - and would typically have had 5-star hotel training in India - where the food standards tend to be high. One evening in the buffet they served Caribbean food - which, while flavorful was a bit bland. And finally on the last day they had a chinese noodle station - where alls you could get is noodles. For such a large ship, the options for food without having to pay extra were not the greatest. RC certainly failed here. The late night food was decent - but got a little boring after a few days due to the lack of any variety. Desserts - easily the poorest and most unimaginative dessert selection of any cruise line we have done. The items were pretty much the same every day, and just loaded with cream - and extremely 'mild' flavors - what I mean by that is that if you didn't read the label of the dessert, you'd be left wondering if there was actually any flavor, let alone what it was. When we got home today, I made the family Molten Chocolate cake from the frozen Costco stuff. Even my kids said the frozen stuff at home tasted better than what they had on the ship. CoCo Cay - not bad. never felt crowded. But the island isn't too big. Disney's Castaway Cay is in a different league in terms of size and atmosphere than this island. Even NCL's island next door seemed to be significantly larger. CoCo is still being built out, and you can make out certainly sections have just been gotten ready - as everything seems to have a 'recently planted' look. Our kids used the water park, and really enjoyed it. I would suggest springing for that. I toyed with the idea of getting a cabana or bed....however, at $1000 for a bed for a day for 2 adults it simply wasn't worth it. If you have a large party, then it might be worth the cost. But the, a number of reviews said that lounge chairs were easily available. And frankly, that was plenty. Didn't see the cabanas or beds being worth the expense - even when we were on the island. So, I think we made a good call there. The food on the island was in line with the set expectations - bland and boring. They certainly had good choices and options - but the food was bland - even the Mexican food. When it comes to drinks, the options available were good. We bought the unlimited drinks package, and even though we didn't do justice to the cost, it was a headache-free option. The drinks were pretty good, and the bartenders accommodating and friendly. WiFi- we bought a package for multiple devices. The connections were good and strong - on the ship as well as on CoCo Cay. Worth the cost. Photo Package - we bought an unlimited photo package. This was a bit of a let down as the photographers were very few and rarely available. They were set up every evening in the Promenade - but rarely available at other locations - including at dinner and CoCo Cay. We didn't do any shore excursions thru the ship. We've done so many islands thru other cruises and vacations that at this point, they all are pretty much the same - and so we prefer to go to the beach and just relax. In St. Kitts we went to the Marriott - as we were told the beach is safe. The beach was OK - uncrowded, but the resort isn't up to usual Marriott standards. At St. Thomas, we decided to take a private tour of the island. We took a taxi tour of the island, and for a coupla hours it was just right. We should have done the beaches on this island - but didn't have time. Maegen's breach is certainly worth the trip and cost. Spa/health club - didn't use the spa, but it looked pretty standard. The work out center was also pretty standard. Casino - a LOT of slots, but not enough of Blackjack tables. Dealers were not too friendly. Maybe they were stressed out about Corona. The one thing we should have done was get The Key. Not knowing what it provided, we ignored it prior to the cruise. Then when we tried to get it onboard, they told us that it wasn't available as it had to be bought prior to the cruise. While I'm not entirely sure what all this "Key" offers, from the little I learnt, it certainly seemed to be worth the expense - at least to us - at $32/person/day. Not cheap, but the privileges would have been worth it. HIGHLIGHTS: 1. The big ticket shows - most excellent! I would put them in the league of good Broadway productions 2. Music - excellent options, and went on late in to the night 3. Promenade and Central Park LOWS: 1. Food 2. Food 3. Friendly, but not warm service Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I booked this cruise last year in Feb 2019 while on the Harmony of the Seas. I also got to have 32 Family & Friends join us. I booked this cruise specifically as it was a newer ship and sister of the HOS (which my husband and I enjoyed ... Read More
I booked this cruise last year in Feb 2019 while on the Harmony of the Seas. I also got to have 32 Family & Friends join us. I booked this cruise specifically as it was a newer ship and sister of the HOS (which my husband and I enjoyed tremendously). I booked 13 Boardwalk Balconies primarily for the extra perks that were being offered at the time for this cabin. Embarkation: traffic was a mess getting in however once checked-in we were on the ship by 11am. Disembarkation: went smoothly as well... ate breakfast in the MDR, picked up our bags, went through customs... probably only took 30 minutes... mom forgot her walker in cabin so waited a little longer outside... Ship: most of our group were first time cruisers and I wish I would have recorded the awestruck look on all of their faces. The ship is beautiful. Cabin: we all booked Boardwalk Balconies and they were spacious. We all enjoyed the views and people watching. As long as balcony door was closed shut you couldn’t hear any noise from the outside. Dining: SOS sat us each night in the same 4 tables. The group was suppose to alternate tables within the 4 but everyone loved their waiters so much that they never wanted to switch tables. Lol Entertainment; Hiro was amazing. The whole group was very entertained including the children. Hairspray was great however one of the cast members got ill so they ended it early. 1977 was really cool to watch. Never got to see Flight but will see it on the next cruise that’s planned for Aug 2021. The late night DJ played everything and the whole group of all ages enjoyed the music. The Latin group at Boleros has everyone dancing. The Caribbean Band has all of us singing and dancing as well. The group of 34 consisted of couples, families with teenagers and young adults. One of my biggest concerns was if there was going to be activities to entertain the Young adults and children and let me just say they were the ones who convinced their parents to rebook for next year. Some of us did get a little seasick the last day and even than we ALL had a great time and now 52+ ChiTown Cruisers are booked for next year. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Family cruise, 1st cruise for 5yrs old granddaughter. Connecting central park balcony cabins made cruising together extra easy and fun EXCEPT bad design for pool overflow drainage pipe runs just outside cabin and can be heard during ... Read More
Family cruise, 1st cruise for 5yrs old granddaughter. Connecting central park balcony cabins made cruising together extra easy and fun EXCEPT bad design for pool overflow drainage pipe runs just outside cabin and can be heard during slightly rougher weather when it's not rough enough to drain pool, even several decks down from the pool. Crew is phenomenal except for overworked mdr staff, in what now seems to be a common theme across both Royal and Celebrity ships. More and more items are prepared to reduce any additional service that was such a nice touch and went a long way to making the experience special. For example, souffles served in plastic ramekins with the sauce on the side, same little plastic sauce cups with mint jelly on the plate with rack of lamb. Probably a good thing though since your Walter and assistant waiter aren't available since they're assigned too many tables. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are seasoned cruisers and love Royal Caribbean. This was our first trip on Symphony and I must say, this ship is top of the heap! The Oasis class ships are large and activity laden, but Symphony is the best of the best. Beautiful decor, ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers and love Royal Caribbean. This was our first trip on Symphony and I must say, this ship is top of the heap! The Oasis class ships are large and activity laden, but Symphony is the best of the best. Beautiful decor, amazing shows and music selections, great food and comfortable, roomy cabins. We are Diamond level and the lounge was located near everything, so you could pop in for a drink before dinner or a show with no problem. I must comment that the service on this ship was a level above any others we have been on. Our waiter Antonio and his assistant Ari were the best we've ever had, and that's saying a lot considering all the cruises we have been on. There were 6400 passengers from 60 countries onboard and at no time did we feel crowded. Lots of kids, but that's ok with us. I can't wait to book the Symphony again and bring the grandkids. They will love it!! Main Dining room food is delicious. We wanted to try a Speciality restaurant, but never got around to it. Maybe next time! The shows are spectacular. Hairspray and Flight were our favorites. 1977 is the ice show and it was very good--a little out there, but talented skaters. Hiro was cancelled due to bad wind conditions. So was Perfect Day at Cocoa Cay. I felt sorry for families with kids wanting to do the water park and ocean, but we've been there and will go back. Another day at sea for us is another day in the Casino Royale--so it's all good! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
BACKGROUND Couple in upper 50s went on 7 night Western Caribbean cruise out of Miami on 30 Nov 2019. Stops were San Juan, St. Maarten, and Coco Cay. Seventh cruise with RCI and tenth cruise overall. I'll cover the general topics ... Read More
BACKGROUND Couple in upper 50s went on 7 night Western Caribbean cruise out of Miami on 30 Nov 2019. Stops were San Juan, St. Maarten, and Coco Cay. Seventh cruise with RCI and tenth cruise overall. I'll cover the general topics below and then at the end talk to a couple of issues we encountered. EMBARKATION Arrived at 11:30, was checked in within 15 minutes and ran to Playmakers to watch the Michigan/Ohio State game. The new terminal was fantastic and boarding was the easiest it has ever been. Unfortunately, RCI did not have licensing for the FOX Sports channel and the football game was not available to watch. They had every other game (and all the NFL games on Sunday) but not the most important game of the year! ;-) Ended up watching the game on a phone with a group of Wolverines at a bar table. CABIN Interior at front of ship. Smallest room we have ever had but we let RCI choose the room for a $300 savings. Was totally worth it. We were able to store the bags under the bed as usual and there was more than enough room for all our clothes. THE SHIP Wow. Symphony was great! Shiny and new -- everything seemed fresh. Nicest ship we have ever been on. We have sailed the Allure and Harmony as well but Symphony was just a little nicer. There were some interesting touches along the way such as the piano stair case from deck 15 to 16 and the interactive posters throughout the ship. We also took the "All Access" ship tour and saw the behind-the-scenes workings -- very impressive. SERVICE Best service we ever had on any cruise. Our MDR staff was great (as always) and our cabin steward was the absolute best we have had. Aside from always having our cabin ready, he made the best towel animals we have seen (a turkey, a frog, and a lotus flower). Throughout the ship, the service was outstanding. We had two minor issues on the first day and both were resolved almost immediately. FOOD This was a surprise -- typically we are not thrilled with the food on the ships (although we are not foodies). But this time, the food across the board was the best we have had to date on a cruise (we sail RCI and Princess). In particular, the Horseradish Encrusted Salmon in the MDR was so good that my wife ordered it multiple nights. There was lox (smoked salmon) available every morning with breakfast (without having to ask for it). This was a big change from prior cruises where it was stored in a vault unless asked for. Park Cafe was always good and even the Windjammer seemed better than normal. Only negative I would mention is that there were fewer Indian/vegetarian offerings than in past cruises. ENTERTAINMENT Always good on RCI and was this time as well. Muzik Express was the party band and we have seen them on other sailings and enjoyed their performances in Dazzles. The Hairspray performance was extremely good (great sets and great performers) and we also enjoyed the show Flight. We like live music performance and all the ad-hoc piano players and orchestra performances on board were great. EXCURSIONS We only walked around at San Juan and St. Maarten and both were nothing special. The temps were unusually high and so we were limited in terms of how long we could tolerate the heat. However, once we came north to Coco Cay, all that changed. The temps were in the mid 70s and Coco Cay was fantastic! We were very pleasantly surprised by Coco Cay -- there were plenty of things to do and more importantly, plenty of chairs and umbrellas for the taking. The area is large enough that there was no crowding and everything was clean and beautiful. The food was excellent and the food areas were so large with so many stations, that there were no lines. We would be happy to spend a couple days at Coco Cay if they offered it. The GOTCHAS OK - there were three minor issues that are worth mentioning. None of these took away from the greatness of the trip but are worth noting for future cruisers... (1) First, the Compass (the daily newsletter of activities and times) was not in synch with the Royal App. We showed up for a 9:30 show (per the App) only to learn it was moved an hour later in the Compass. Updating the app should be trivial but no one did it. (2) Second, every time we leave the ship we are told that we need our Sea Pass and another ID. Returning to the ship, we have never been asked for the other ID on prior cruises and we have been conditioned to ignore that. Unfortunately, coming back from San Juan, they wanted to see our Sea Pass and ID and we did not have our IDs with us (but we did have the Sea Pass). After about 2 minutes of "spirited discussion", they let us through to get on the ship. They were only doing their job -- my point here is that if the government ID is REALLY needed (like it was here), there should be an emphasis placed on it so everyone takes it with them. For example, check folks on the way off the ship to make sure they have it or have a sign at the exit emphasizing the need. This is the first time an ID was actually needed in 10 cruises which includes European cruises. (3) Bar staff knowing the menu -- In Dazzles, they offer a drink called the Hennessy Black Bull (Hennessey Black Cognac with a shot of Kahlua and coke filler). It is $13. I ordered the same drink in Schooner Bar (had to explain to the waiter what I wanted) and they charged me twice (once for the Hennessey and once for the Kahlua for a total bill of $26 for one drink. I did not complain since it wasn't worth the effort, but I think it might be useful to offer the same menu across all bars to avoid this kind of confusion. GETTING OFF THE SHIP Zero time getting off the ship. Grabbed our bags, stopped for a picture (they face- recognize you and there are no customs stops) and you are off to your bus to the airport. Easiest in and out on a ship we have ever had. FINAL VERDICT 11/10 -- Best. Cruise. Ever. Can't say enough good things about this ship and cruise! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We went on the Symphony of the Seas with my husband and two friends and we had a wonderful week. We have sailed with Royal about 15 times and have most of the larger ships but first time on the Symphony.We choose an inside cabin because we ... Read More
We went on the Symphony of the Seas with my husband and two friends and we had a wonderful week. We have sailed with Royal about 15 times and have most of the larger ships but first time on the Symphony.We choose an inside cabin because we knew that we were never going to be in the room. Embarkation was very easy with the We enjoyed two of the specialty restaurants, Chops and Jaime's Italian. We had anytime dining but had reservations and were able to get our same table every night that we are in the main dining room. Lourdes and Sonny were incredible. We did not have enough time to do everything and could have stayed on the ship for another week. Even though there were over 5000 people on board the only time it ever felt crowded was the first day at the windjammer buffet and a few times at dinner when you are waiting in line. Make sure you reserve your shows and dinner times on line and you will not have a problem. My favorite show was the comedy and the ice show but all the entertainment was great. The port were not great but you do not even need to get off the ship.I can't wait to go on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
First, let me give praise where it is due. Our wait staff in the My Time Dining room were pleasant, kind, dedicated, hard-working, and determined to provide us with the kind of care that Royal Caribbean is famous for. Our room steward also ... Read More
First, let me give praise where it is due. Our wait staff in the My Time Dining room were pleasant, kind, dedicated, hard-working, and determined to provide us with the kind of care that Royal Caribbean is famous for. Our room steward also did an excellent job. Many kudos and sincerest thanks to them. A 5 star rating is not good enough for the service they provided. Sadly, the rest of the cruise only occasionally rose to mediocrity and often sunk to the pits of frustration and humiliation. The failure of the cruise to reach anything close to expectations lies firmly on uncaring upper level corporate incompetence and mis-management decisions. So what went wrong? Last year we took the Transatlantic re-positioning of Symphony from Europe to Ft Lauderdale. It was a lovely trip. When asking about Future Cruises, we were told that we should look at the The President’s Birthday cruise on Symphony. “It’s going to be a major party!” Lots of big name performers! We aren’t allowed to say who yet, but trust us, you are going to be shocked at the lineup! (Wink, Wink, Nod, Nod.) Giveaways! Activities! Hey, it’s the 50th Birthday, Royal Caribbean is going to pull out all the stops! 50th Birthday only comes once! Etc, etc. etc. So we booked. Our problems began a few days before the Birthday cruise was to board. We got a call from Royal, saying our reservations for 2 nights dinner at Solarium Bistro had been cancelled. “Why?” we asked. “A Private Function is now scheduled in that venue.” They answered. “But we were really looking forward to those reservations. We don’t want to give them up.” “Sorry.” “What else can you offer us? Can you discount one of the other extra cost dining venues?” “There are no plans to offer discounts due to reservation cancellations.” “So what else can you recommend?” “You could try the Windjammer Buffet.” The Private Function turned out to be closing the Solarium to anyone except Pinnacle members. Ok, so we’ve still got theater shows and those “secret” premier performers, Performers is plural. We thought there would be one each evening. Nope, wrong to think that. One band scheduled for two performances in the Cruise Compass and the marketing package we received. Then the two performances became only one show. And then magically that show transformed into another of the dreaded “Private Function” for Diamond Plus and Pinnacle members.” So what do you get if you are not Diamond Plus or Pinnacle? “You got a cover band three nights ago. What else do you expect? Have you considered the Windjammer?” And who were the premier performers? Hall and Oates. You may remember them slightly. No hits since 1984, over 35 years ago. Maybe you liked them way back when. But give me a break. They are not cutting edge, first-tier performers, at least in the 21st century. And was this the last problem with the cruise? No. You don’t want to read a novel here so I will recap a few issues. There were more. Security officers nearly non-existent. This means no crowd control. Is the Neon Night line turning into a stampede? It’s every man for himself. You can be run down by electric adult handicap scooters and Visa cardholders desperate to get a fifty-cent flashing necklace. This is true even if you just turned the wrong corner and are not trying to go to the event. Need a waiter for coffee in the morning or a drink by the pool? Forget it. My guess is crew staffing has been cut to the bone and then cut again for budget reasons. Electric adult scooters. They clog the halls and elevators, They will crash into you if you don’t jump out of the way. They pose a risk to other guests. Anyone can bring one. A genuine handicapped designation should be required to get one of these things on board. Children with no parents or no visible supervision. Your evening will not be enhanced by a five year old trying to strum the solo performer’s guitar while she is playing. This actually happened. Where is security? See previous comment. Speaking of children, why are they allowed in bars and dance venues after 9 pm? This is not Romper Room or a teen video game parlor. Nothing destroys the enchantment of an evening like being tripped by a band of marauding kids darting in and out of the dance floor. Are the Cruise and Entertainment Directors real or only holograms? You might see them projected on a stage but you won’t see them any other time. Presidents Cruise Prizes? Much ado about nothing. Four cruises of which two were in the lower level of Royal Caribbean ships. One was a two night inaugural cruise on the Odyssey and the Grand Prize was a 7 day Caribbean cruise. A few American Airlines fare vouchers which cannot be used on discounted flights making them virtually worthless. A handful of $50 on board credit vouchers. For a ship with over 5000 passengers this was paltry. Was this “The Biggest Boldest Birthday Party and Presidents Cruise Ever!” to borrow from Royal’s marketing blurb? After three back to back sea days with no activities different from any other cruise, cancelled reservations, and performances, I don’t think any passenger would agree. It was more Boredom than Bold. So, that’s my review of Royal’s 50 Years of Being Bold Cruise. It was a budget cruise at a premium price. I honestly believe the way this cruise was merchandised was a scam. I have been Loyal to Royal for a long time. I only wish Royal shared the same loyalty to its passengers. Shame on Royal. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Originally chose this cruise because it was RCI's 50th Anniversary Cruise and it did not disappoint. The CEO, President and many of his staff were on board and we all had a great time. The theme was 50 Bold and there were freebees ... Read More
Originally chose this cruise because it was RCI's 50th Anniversary Cruise and it did not disappoint. The CEO, President and many of his staff were on board and we all had a great time. The theme was 50 Bold and there were freebees in the room most nights including logo towels, logo blankets, logo picture frames, logo expandable travel bags, history of onboard entertainment book, hardback book about the history of food onboard, 50th Anniversary pins, and we were treated to a President's reception in the theater, C&A reception in the Aquatheater, Cruise Critic reception, Visa cardholder reception (easily a $1M event), Gold night with a massive cake and balloon drop, a Phoenix concert, a Hall & Oats Concert, free beverage service w/free 50th Anniversary drink mugs, a fruit plate, chocolate strawberries and chocolate-chip cookies in the room, and a coupon book that was amazing too. Yes, we are Diamond-Plus, Cruise Critic, and once were Visa cardholder's so were not sure which benefit went with each of those, but all I can say is AMAZING. We were very spoiled and will always be 'Loyal to Royal.' The Aqua-theater was by far the blow-away experience of the trip. It's a Cirque-du-Soleil level quality of show with synchronized swimmers, high-divers, high-wire walkers, wire lifted sky-walkers, dancers, and synchronized water jets, music and lights. Just an awesome experience. Our cabin, 12-329, actually faced into the Boardwalk heading to the back of the boat and was a great vantage point overlooking the Aquatheater. It was a very comfortable room and a really nice sized balcony. We enjoyed watching the Aquatheater Phoenix concert while watching a Football game on our own TV. We had breakfast delivered each morning and enjoyed coffee and pastries out on the deck. The cabin is located under a 15th floor cross-over structure that blocks almost all direct sunlight but we really enjoyed the shade it provided while enjoying the sunlight. There are two columns that support slides that go down there, but the view off the back of the ship was still spectacular. We had a specialty coffee card that we enjoyed at Cafe Promenade and in the dining room. It included small or large cappuccino's or latte's that tasted great. Everything was happening on the ship so we didn't actually worry about Shore excursions too much. The Perfect Day on CocoCay was really nice, but I don't know if it was 'perfect.' That's a pretty high standard. We snorkeled but its a restricted area that doesn't have much to see and the water was not very clear. Lunch was similar to onboard but more limited. We hung out at the pool and that was the highlight of the time as it was great for sunbathing and dipping in the pool to cool off. Plenty of comfortable water chairs to choose from. There was a great number (7?) of speciality restaurants on-board. We went to Izumi and the sushi was great. Didn't go to any of the others - why pay more when the main restaurant for dinner was so fabulous? Had an Octopus appetizer at Izumi that was creamy and fabulous tasting. We had pre-purchased the dinner there online for $35 each and it was "All-you-can-eat." I was hurting because I ate so much sushi. One concern was that we had signed up for a large dinner table (assigned a table for 10) at the late seating, but it was only 2 of us the first night and 4 for the rest of the week that we were there. We like talking to people about their days, so that was disappointing. The staff really ought to offer to move people to one table if others don't show up. Probably will instead go to the timed reservation dinner so we can request a table with more people. Food was great and specialities from the restaurants were also available there (at a cost). Really enjoyed the buffet WindJammer lunches. Great selection and much more food than we could, or should, eat. The last day at sea they had crab claws, oysters, clams, and a seafood salad that were all amazing. We also ate lunch quite often in El Loco Fresh, a Tex-Mex place that we'd grab a plate of food and take it back to our poolside seats. Always flavorful and spicy if you make it that way. Enough guacamole there to stuff yourself on. And it's right past the "All-you-can-eat" soft-serve ice-cream machines (2) that are a great way to cool off. Finally, embarkation and disembarkation went really smooth despite 5000+ passengers and 200+ staff onboard. We had used the RCI App and they very rapidly checked us in and processed our carry-on bags through screening. They had face recognition for the departure and that replaced all the Federal TSA, Immigration and baggage staff with one RCI staffer that was there to help. What a great use of technology! We had caught an Uber ride from Ft. Lauderdale Airport to Miami terminal A and back, and the $40 cost each way was less than RCI charged for a bus ride for us two. It took awhile for Uber to get to us, but I'd much rather ride in a private car than fight for seats with 40 passengers on a bus. Overall an amazing trip. I just wonder who's going to deliver my croissants in the morning now? Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I like new ships - had to try. Glad I got to try before this virus shutdown. Gorgeous ship with lots to do. We took a 7 day western Caribbean and never were bored. Loved the junior suite - big enough for our 16 year old to come ... Read More
I like new ships - had to try. Glad I got to try before this virus shutdown. Gorgeous ship with lots to do. We took a 7 day western Caribbean and never were bored. Loved the junior suite - big enough for our 16 year old to come with us. It had a walk in closet that was perfect for changing. Had our cabin on deck 6 - most convenient to the bar. We loved the entertainment. We are not theater people, but we enjoyed Hairspray and first in flight. We caught the comedian and he was hilarious. We also saw 1977-the skating show - excellent. Also, the piano guy was a neat surprise - we ran into to him at the elevators. We also had the restaurant package but if you want a yummy, included lunch - Central Park has a sandwich shop that has the BEST roast beef sandwhiches.- Even my teen loved Wonderland. Our waitress was so friendly and helpful.(the food needs to be explained) We were not aware of the $14 p/p upcharge on the Japanese steakhouse, but it was well worth it. If you get a restaurant package - make the reservations right after you embark as soon as you can - they fill up fast. Oh, and the seafood restaurant was very good. I still taste the homemade cornbread/hushpuppies. We previously sailed Allure and didn't think it could be outdone - but I was wrong! I hope these ships can sail again without too many changes. Best memories and the best crew members. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have done all the other Oasis class ships and since it was my husbands birthday choose Symphony because it was the exact week. This was our 33rd cruise, we sail on Royal and Celebrity. First off we loved the decor of the ships, our ... Read More
We have done all the other Oasis class ships and since it was my husbands birthday choose Symphony because it was the exact week. This was our 33rd cruise, we sail on Royal and Celebrity. First off we loved the decor of the ships, our room 12290 was great. Loved the location, it had 2 nice size closets and plenty of space for everything. Our room stewart Ferry was excellent. The show were very good, however 2 of them had technical difficulties and were delayed. The service in WJ and restaurants was good, however the waiters have to run to keep up. Bars at times were a little slow. The food was below par. We ate at Hooked, would not recommend it at all. Our lobster was over cooked, however my salmon was perfect. Not worth the money. Solarium Bistro again not that great. The dining room was hit and miss. Sometimes it was ok, other times not very tasty. It seems they have cut way back on putting any kind of spices in the food, very bland. The desserts all over the ship were terrible. No flavor at all. If you were blindfolded and given a dessert you wouldn't be able to tell what it was. The Windjammer was ok, enough choices but you ate a cold meal. Hamburgers on the ship were terrible. We tried them in the WJ, on CocoCay and at Johnny Rockets, nasty! We called them mystery meat....The selection of food on CocoCay was better than ever, plenty to choose from. We being in our 60's could care about going to CocoCay again. It's a family, kids kind of place now. With 6000 people on it not enjoyable. We miss the old, quiet CocoCay. So we will not do any ship this size again. The ship was also very cold everywhere you went. I was happy when day 7 came. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This ship Symphony of the Seas does not offer luggage valet. This is the only ship that I had experienced no valet. The ship was beautiful. I have been on Oasis, Allure, Harmony and now Symphony and they are basically all the same. ... Read More
This ship Symphony of the Seas does not offer luggage valet. This is the only ship that I had experienced no valet. The ship was beautiful. I have been on Oasis, Allure, Harmony and now Symphony and they are basically all the same. The best part was the behind the scenes tour. I paid for it but it was well worth it. I felt the windjammer did not have a great selection of food. I have been on 19 Royal Caribbean Cruises and I felt this one was lacking If you play in the casino the machines were average. A lot of jackpots, not me of course. The casino was clean and spacious. Embarkment was a little hectic, lots of lines.It was not organized but when you found the correct line it went fast. Central Park was open for lunch so I didn’t have to fight the windjammer Disembarkment was smooth. No security, they took your picture and we were off. We left to get off ship at 8:30. By 9 am we were at the airport and by our gate. Enjoy but remember no luggage valet Coco Cay was amazing Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First can't fault much about the ship it's self only the staff seem to look after the american Porto rican and costa rican guest well and ignore the European guest. Did not like how the suite guest were treated like royalty and ... Read More
First can't fault much about the ship it's self only the staff seem to look after the american Porto rican and costa rican guest well and ignore the European guest. Did not like how the suite guest were treated like royalty and us common guest look down on. The food had a great choice every service but the quality i have had better on smaller ships. The service was not as good and what put me off the most when sitting down to dinner in the evening all very posh until you asked for a coffee after your meal and it got served in a mug not a cup as on most ships very strange. The cabins were very nice and clean and comfortable only saw our cabin steward once the whole week. The entertainment very good and lots of choices. The main thing i dislike with the company at Miami was embarkation and the worse one was disembarkation was like a mass of people all fight and pushing to get off and we ordered an lyft taxi from the port waited over 2 hours for it to arrive they had sent 6 different cars to us all were stuck in a mess traffic jam into the port nightmare. A very expensive ship and the service i have had better of other cruise lines . I have done royal Caribbean now and would not do again ship to big and not for us Europeans. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
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
My trip with Royal Caribbean was a nightmare. The food was nasty and mediocre. Breakfast and dinner were terrible. Service at the cavin was terrible too. There's no shampoo and conditioner in the bathroom. This will be the last ... Read More
My trip with Royal Caribbean was a nightmare. The food was nasty and mediocre. Breakfast and dinner were terrible. Service at the cavin was terrible too. There's no shampoo and conditioner in the bathroom. This will be the last time I waste my money on Royal Caribbean. In the whole week I never see the captain he never show up this is very discourteous. Prices at the ice-cream parlor were very high. They charged me for the taxi that others cruice companies don't charge. YOU should pick better chefs otherwise you'll lose passengers. This ship needs a remodelation prices are very high for what we get. At the breakfast restaurant the floor was derty needs more cleaning. I won't recommend this cruise company to any of my friends. Stay away from Royal Caribbean. Tours at the island were expensive and the owners of the stores at the ship try to take advantage of the travelers. You should control that. If someone give me a free ticket I don't accept it. Ofelia Debruzos Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
So we just finished up on Symphony and she’s a great boat. Pool is back in the Solarium adult area! Smart move! Solarium Bistro is much larger now! Bar is on main level in Solarium! New restaurants...missing Brazilian ... Read More
So we just finished up on Symphony and she’s a great boat. Pool is back in the Solarium adult area! Smart move! Solarium Bistro is much larger now! Bar is on main level in Solarium! New restaurants...missing Brazilian steaks though! Sports bar is new! Taco bar is new! Heads up for Cocoa Cay Long lines at rides and slides.. expect 1+ hour wait times! Very clean and friendly! Book all shows and events in advance!!!! They have a new escape room so make sure to get on that quickly! The casino is new with lots of current games and such but bet Smokey! Great boat you will like it. We did have an issue with the photos as the server crashed on last night but it all got worked out in the end. We booked our next cruise for Southern Caribbean and I think we have had our fill of the oasis class ships for now! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This ship is big but not wholesome. They have no clear directions for what is happening when. It takes multiple attempts to reserve a special dining room because you have to walk to the dining room to reserve it and those dining room ... Read More
This ship is big but not wholesome. They have no clear directions for what is happening when. It takes multiple attempts to reserve a special dining room because you have to walk to the dining room to reserve it and those dining room staff are not available 24x7. Why can you just reserve online or at guess services? Everything that is an event show or plain dinner on the ship has a waiting line. The entertainment is good IF you can get in! They don’t let you change your reservation BUT make changes to the reservations themselves without your awareness or approval! Worst ship I been on out of 7 ships. The first show had technical difficulties, the second show on the next day got post-form. The third day show we were late due to a specialty dinner and then we were not let into the late show because we couldn’t change our reservation online. This ship just sucks!! No fun, just constant issue and waiting lines. Just think of something you want to do and add 15-30 minutes for the waiting line!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise to get a chance to sail on the newest addition to the Oasis Class ships, having previously sailed on the Oasis and Allure. We did this cruise not for the dull Western Caribbean itinerary, but for the ship and dining ... Read More
We chose this cruise to get a chance to sail on the newest addition to the Oasis Class ships, having previously sailed on the Oasis and Allure. We did this cruise not for the dull Western Caribbean itinerary, but for the ship and dining experiences. You can just go to Roatan/Costa May/Cozumel/Nassau so many time before you don't even want to leave the ship. Fortunately, the Symphony offers a lot of onboard experiences during port days. We also wanted to try some of the newer restaurants onboard, since we are kind of "worn out" with Chops. We did Izumi Hibachi, Hooked, 150 Central Park, Wonderland and Jamies. They were all very, very good and certainly deserve a try. Wonderland provides an evening of fascination where nothing is as it seems. It is a fun experience. As usual, the entertainment on the bigger ships is beyond spectacular. Hairspray was wonderful, even though we had seen it a couple of other times on RCCL. The Diamond Club is very nice and provide a lot of nice amenities. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Our 10th cruise, 4th with RCI. 2 adults (age 50-58), ocean view balcony cabin. Embarkation: super quick, but we got to the port at 10am. They started boarding the ship at 10:30 and we were on the ship at 10:50am getting drinks at the ... Read More
Our 10th cruise, 4th with RCI. 2 adults (age 50-58), ocean view balcony cabin. Embarkation: super quick, but we got to the port at 10am. They started boarding the ship at 10:30 and we were on the ship at 10:50am getting drinks at the tides bar. Disembarkation: We always walk off with our bags. Went down to the Promenade at 6:15am, waited in line for 45 minutes (behind about 100 people already on line). Once they started the line, we went from line to taxi stand outside the terminal in about 10 minutes. We were at the car rental place by 7:25, too bad they didn't open until 8. I have say something about the cleanliness of this ship. All areas of the ship were clean and polished as usual, but the floors in the pool area and solarium area were just plain disgusting. I kept my crocs on the entire time I was in there - I even wore them in the pool and hot tubs - because the floor was just plain gross with drink/food spills, hair, dirt, etc. especially the steps. At first I thought it was from all the people, but it was like that first thing in the morning and I noticed the same "hair wad" on the steps to the hot tub that didn't move the entire 7 days we were on the ship. Ewe! We've been on the big ships including Oasis (May '15) and Allure (Dec. '15). We chose this cruise just for the ship because we love how well RCI handles large crowds, especially on these large ships. On Oasis and Allure, we never felt crowded, it just never felt like there were over 6,000 passengers on the ship. Unfortunately, Symphony's "improvements" simply crowded the open areas that are on Oasis and Allure. These improvements created crowds almost everywhere on the ship, especially in the solarium. On Oasis and Allure, the solarium is so large that at 11am on a sea day, there were still dozens of lounge chairs and by 3pm there were still empty chairs (we like to spend the whole day in there). On Symphony, all the loungers and chairs were taken with personal items by 9am - and the saddest thing is that many of them would not have people in them for hours (some didn't have people until after lunch!). One morning I woke up at 6am. Not wanting to bother the husband, I went to the solarium to read my kindle and ALL the round loungers (with egg-shaped surrounds) already had personal items on them (no people), ALL the round loungers without shades were taken, and more than HALF the regular lounge chairs had personal items on them. I watched those loungers ALL DAY and most of them didn't have people in them until well after lunch. The tiny 3ft pool (16 people max) and the 2 hot tubs were always full of people (except in the early morning and at dinner time). Frequently the little pool had double the max occupancy so it was "standing pool only". Another MAJOR disappointment was the diving show at the back of the ship. We've seen the dive shows on the other ships and it was highlight of our cruises so we couldn't wait to see the new Hiro show. Well, it just plain sucked. It sucked so bad, we wanted to leave. The show had no story at all, just samurai-dressed dancers. Sure the dancers were excellent, but they did the same dance moves to all the songs. The girl flying across the sky above the crowd was really cool - the first time. By the 10th time, it was just "her again?". And divers? Yeah, they dove from the lowest platform about 6 times, and one time from the high dive. That was it! It was a 45 minute dance show, not a dive show. The whole thing could have taken place on the main theater stage. We loved the iSkate show; didn't see any of the other stage shows. The comedians were terrible. We had reservations on the first night and after the show we were glad they both said they did the same routine in every set. Food was ok not great, but make reservations - even if you have "my time dining". The buffet food was mediocre and all the best food for all meals is in the back of the buffet. The new Mexican grill was excellent, very fresh, just get there early because it seems they are only open for a couple of hours for lunch. They do offer breakfast burritos sometimes, and they were good too. We didn't do any of the paid dining restaurants, but we did eat at the sports bar on the Boardwalk and that was good. To be honest: the best food on the ship is from room service. Totally worth the cost for $10 for all you can order. Sorrento's Pizza was much better on Symphony than on the Oasis and Allure a few years ago so I guess they improved the quality because usually the pizza is pretty bad, but this time was very tasty. All the crew members we interacted with were polite and nice. Occasionally there was a grumpy bar tender in the solarium but they were way under staffed. The exercise gym was so crowded at 8am that there wasn't one piece of equipment that didn't have a person on it, including all the free weights - it was wall to wall bodies. It was the smallest gym on any cruise ship we've ever seen. Overall, I would not go again and if I hadn't already booked a cruise on the Harmony for next year before I set sail on this cruise, I would not have chosen another big ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I choose this ship for my family vacation because of the size as well as the variety of activities, entertainment and open air spaciousness of Central Park and the Boardwalk. Members of my family vary in age and interests and there was ... Read More
I choose this ship for my family vacation because of the size as well as the variety of activities, entertainment and open air spaciousness of Central Park and the Boardwalk. Members of my family vary in age and interests and there was something on the Symphony for everyone. I first considered the Harmony until I discovered that the Solarium didn't have a pool. The Solarium is my favorite Sea day spot so this was an important feature for me. Dining: I read reviews about the food being average so we went to four speciality restaurants. Two for lunch and two for dinner. The service in the Main Dining room was amazing but the food was hit or miss. The food in the speciality restaurants was an all around amazing experience. Chops, Wonderland, 501 Central Ave and Hooked. We also had a Mediterranean buffet dinner in the Solarium which was also quite tasty. The only place that we would never eat at again was El Loco Fresh which was crowded, messy and did not have good food. Service: March Spring Break was a sold out sailing and a very full ship. The staff was on point and had everything under control. The waiters and bartenders kept orders moving quickly, the room attendant was pleasant and did a great job. Customer service was efficient and the ship was immaculate with the crew detailing the ship daily. World class shows and entertainment! This alone was worth the cost of the cruise. Casino: I wanted to try my luck at the slots or even play the lottery but I couldn't get near the casino because the cigarette smoke was so terrible. It also permeated the hallways, Dining room entrance and the entertainment areas on the fourth floor. Second hand smoke is a serious health hazard especially for people with asthma and those who work there. Royal Caribbean should do a better job on the air filtration or ventilation system. The Key: This is supposed to come with priority Embarkation & Debarkation, private time on activities, Internet, reserved seating at shows etc. The crew is still working out the kinks but things went smoothly in most cases so it was worth the added expense for this sailing. If I weren't on a crowded ship I would pass on the Key. Teen Center: My son only went on the first day, he had fun but preferred to hang with his older brother on the sports deck where there are tons of activities. Art: There is no shortage of spectacular artwork to discover around the ship. I sent my kids on a daily scavenger hunt and we still haven't found it all. On the last day we looked down the elevator shaft and noticed art in the elevator well below the third floor. Our family loves the Oasis class ships and Symphony of the Seas has all of the best features combined in one perfect ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We went with several friends on Spring Break and were dreading it mainly because of the size of the ship and having so many children aboard and our last experience on a mega ship that was a disaster. This turned out to be one of our ... Read More
We went with several friends on Spring Break and were dreading it mainly because of the size of the ship and having so many children aboard and our last experience on a mega ship that was a disaster. This turned out to be one of our best trips ever...our 20th cruise. We LOVED them ship! I can hardly believe we never once felt crowded anywhere. It was incredibly laid out well and had an insane amount of entertainment for everyone. Did not even make it to half of the entertainment. RC is known for their world-class shows and this was not a disappointment. Ice Skating was world-class and wonderful costumes and staff had tons of energy. The Hiro Dive Show was spectacular. Even the marriage show in the theatre was a blast and funny. The pools were never super crowded and reasonably easy to find a chair. The only big complaint is they closed the second floor in the solarium one day for wind because they were worried about some decorative metal pieces. It was a huge huge disruption and made several people mad and frustrated. Take down the sculptures if you are so worried, because the wind was not that bad at all. The Solarium is beautiful and adults only and we had plenty of sun. Well laid out. ALL of the staff was very very helpful and kind everywhere. In particular, Roween in the cosmetics/perfume area had the most delightful personality and although I bought several perfumes, I never ever felt pushed. She was fun and helpful. Loved seeing her several times just because she was such a bright light. They however, did not offer any boutique shopping on the ship for clothing and that was a huge surprise and disappointment. All of us gals, were so taken back and they need to re-think this. You have a captive audience and also women love to be resort wear on vacation...what gives? Biggest dissappointment was the food in the evenings. Very sub-par from other ships like Celebrity and Holland and some other ships. Our entire group was very dissatisfied with the meals. Over cooked, undercooked, no flavor, too much fat, etc. Also our particular server was poorly trained and we did complain on the second night and Tatyana stepped in to remedy many of our concerns which we appreciated greatly. They need to be trained better as service was fast, not personal and for example, it took him three nights to offer fresh-ground pepper before we even knew he had any. One night one of the pepper shakers had no pepper and the butter dishes were empty. Cruise Director was hysterical and super entertaining which made it fun. Everything was extremely cleaned and the cabin had amazing storage. It was such a great cruise! It went by way too fast. GREAT employees serving the guests! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Back from a family cruise with teens. Embarkation and desembarkation: fast and easy. Despite the 6500+ passengers, you never feel crowded (except in Windjammer). Stateroom: We had 2 balcony rooms, ocean view. The room attendant ... Read More
Back from a family cruise with teens. Embarkation and desembarkation: fast and easy. Despite the 6500+ passengers, you never feel crowded (except in Windjammer). Stateroom: We had 2 balcony rooms, ocean view. The room attendant came twice a day to clean. Dining: Disappointed by Windjammer. Everything was fresh but the choices were greatly reduced. Breakfast was particulary below expectations. No omelette station, no more little croissant, the apples and oranges are behind a window so you have to wait in line to ask for some, the bread is already toasted and put in a basket but only in a couple of place, so quite cold by the time you get some. Main dining room: We found out that the good breakfast is at the main dining room (a la carte or buffet). One morning the even had a chocolate fountain that was spectacular. Dinner was good. Lobster night is back at no charge, serving only the lobster tail. Specialty dining: Chops and Izumi were delicious. Jamie's Italian was very good but lacked the Wow you expected from a specialty restaurant. We wanted to tried it but I would not return. Climatisation: That was a problem throughout the cruise, in our room and on the ship. The main area were either cold or hot, depending ot the days. At one point on the Royal Pormenade, the air conditionning was working mainly in the area at guest services but it was really hot around the shops and Boleros. Staff told us that this is usual and that climatisation needs improvment. Shops: For alcohol and make-up, you better check the price at home. Some items were a deal, some others not so much. Medical clinic: Went there for a minor issue. Staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Consultation was 180$. Though the sanitation is a priority everywhere, the medical clinic restroom strangely had no motion sensor soap dispensor. If the clinic is closed, there is a vending machine on the 15th floor where you can get a variety of medication (ex: advil) and personnal hygiene products. You can get free medication for seasickness if need be, in a box at the entrance of the clinic. Entertainment: Amazing! There were so many shows to enjoy and the whole family loved it.We were really impress by Hiro at the Aquatheater. If the show you want to see is sold-out, go wait in line and 10 minutes before the beginning you will likely have a place. Slides: Water slides are much fun and the whole family will enjoy it.. The Ultimate Abyss is OK but after 1-2 times you will have enough. Ports of call: Nassau: Stayed on the ship to enjoy it. St-Thomas: Went to the beach by taxi and had a great day St-Kitts: We booked a private tour with Royston and that was the highlight of our trip! We visited Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park in the morning, saw many off the path places on the island and went to the beach after. Symphony is a great ship with many things to offer. However, the difference with the other Oasis class ships is not that significant to me, except for the slides. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We ended up on this cruise by accident - we were originally scheduled to cruise on the Navigator sailing that was meant to be the first sailing after the renovation. When we found out our original cruise was cancelled, we immediately ... Read More
We ended up on this cruise by accident - we were originally scheduled to cruise on the Navigator sailing that was meant to be the first sailing after the renovation. When we found out our original cruise was cancelled, we immediately called and got on one of the only ships available. After the horrible customer service by the land side crew (hung up on, laughed at, and told we didn't matter), we booked a cruise 3X the original price of our Navigator sailing. Symphony, after all of the tears and trouble of being cancelled and treated like garbage by customer service, gave us the cruise of a lifetime. The crew on board were absolutely incredible! From the moment we walked into the building at Port Miami, the customer service was stellar. We got stuck with My Time dining due to booking the cruise only 10 days before sailing and we were weary and worried about having to make reservations every day. The staff at the dining room were able to make us a standing reservation for the entire trip. After our first night with Andreea and Kunal, we knew we HAD to sit in their area every night. We made the request and they worked their magic - we had them for all 7 nights and they were honestly the highlight of the trip. We looked forward to dinner each night, returning from our day out and about excited to tell them about what we experienced and to find out how their day went. By the end of the trip, we had inside jokes and everything. I wish I could have them on every trip. The ship in general is absolutely beautiful - everything is so clean and there are helpful staff everywhere. We were hardly able to see it all during our 7 night stay. Central Park is beautiful and the promenade has so much going on. The rooms were so well designed - our party was in 2 different interior rooms. Having seen an interior on Enchantment (which was my first cruise and I had a balcony room), I was afraid it would feel cramped in an interior. That was not the case at all! The updated look makes it feel like you're in a modern hotel room. The housekeeping staff was also very accommodating - any time we passed him in the hall, he made sure we had everything we needed. The noise levels were also non-existent. Maybe we just had good neighbors, but once we were in the room, we couldn't hear anything else! The shows on board were incredible. Royal's production of Hairspray rivals any Broadway production. The cast were stellar - and so personable! We were able to do a backstage tour of the production and it was so much fun. Our ports were Roatan, Honduras; Cozumel, Mexico; Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico; and Nassau, Bahamas. Roatan was so beautiful, I want to continue to find ships that stop there! I have never seen water so blue. We did not do a shore excursion in Costa Maya but did explore the shops in Port and you could fill a day just shopping and exploring right there! Our shore excursion in Cozumel was a major disappointment and we thought a waste of money - we did the ship offered dune buggies with snorkeling and a beach trip. They took us to the windy side of the island for the beach and admitted that it's rare that you are able to swim there due to such high winds and under currents. The snorkeling was very bare - although the guides were a lot of fun, it was not worth it at all. And Nassau is my least favorite place - busy and all I feel is harassed as soon as I step off the boat. We only got off the ship because one person in our party had never been - we make it a point to find cruises that do not include Nassau. Overall, we had an absolutely wonderful time on Symphony, but it is not without its flaws. Being such a large ship, you hardly have time to see everything on board, but at the same time we found ourselves bored and waiting for something to do. Because the ship relies so heavily on its built in entertainment, things like trivia and shows are spaced out quite far. We found ourselves so many times, going from one activity to another and having to wait a long time for it to start simply because if we tried to do something in between, it would take too long to get back! You absolutely MUST preplan everything - and having booked little more than a week ahead of time, most shows and shore excursions were gone. We had to show up to shows way ahead of time to be able to get in and see them. The scheduling also makes it impossible to see shows more than once without sacrificing seeing another show. The casino is beautiful, but often very full! I did however appreciate that because of its size, I barely noticed the smoking session. Last but not least, we hardly ever saw our cruise Director! When I sailed on Enchantment, our cruise Director Cruisin' Susan was involved with everything and she made the short trip feel like a week long party! I certainly prefer the smaller ships, but a trip on Symphony is a must just to experience the service and grandeur such a beast provides. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We wanted to see what the biggest ship in the world would be like. We could not believe the speed at which we were able to get on and off the ship. I mean how do they do it. From the time we got out of our taxi, we were in our room in ... Read More
We wanted to see what the biggest ship in the world would be like. We could not believe the speed at which we were able to get on and off the ship. I mean how do they do it. From the time we got out of our taxi, we were in our room in less than 15 minutes. We chose early disembarkation and although the line was long, it moved very quickly. We stayed in an inside cabin which was the largest of rooms of which we have sailed (10 or so). The shower was larger and there was a small sofa. We never made it to the Main dining room due to the reservation situation. I suggest making your reservations for everything as soon as you possibly can. The Windjammer was fine, although we were very disappointed in the lack of tables outside to eat. There are a few off of the Solarium but that is it. We especially enjoyed the station where you were able to pick your own ingredients for a stirfry. The desserts on this ship were great. SO much better than other ships. We like the Solarium for eating, although be forewarned that there dinner selection is the same every night. For an up charge you can get a lamb chop dinner as well as lobster. We had the lobster for the upcharge of $15 it was good but not fantastic. We had lunch at chops, the highlight of our eating experience on this ship. Lunch is a great option as opposed to the very expensive dinners. we also had lunch at Hooked, we weren;t as impressed here. It was Thursday and the lobster did not taste fresh and even the roll was a bit stale. Dessert was nothing different that served elsewhere on the ship. The shows were the highlight of the trip. Fantastic all of them. Because we didn't have reservations, we only saw the comedians on the last night. THey were great and we wish we would have seen them more. Once again make reservations as soon as possible when you can. The service was fine and most everyone was very friendly. No complaints. We only got off in St. Marteen, and I wish we hadn't. the place is in utter devestation from Irma in 2017. It was depressing to ride around in a bus looking at the devestation, the guide was so thankful for the business though. We are retiired and spent most of our time in the adult only section. THis is a great ship for families, but we were disappointed in the Boardwalk area. Not much for kids there besides the arcade and merry go round. The things that bugged us were minor, like charging $2 for a bag of popcorn outside the theaters, or charging $6 for a box of candy you can get for $1 at the dollar store. Terrible. Junkie stuff for sale each day but people seemed to be buying it. Yuck... We would recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Beautiful ship and for as many people that are on board, it never felt too crowded. The crew were super nice and friendly, food was terrific, definitely go with the deluxe drink package (it's worth it), great shows in the theaters, ... Read More
Beautiful ship and for as many people that are on board, it never felt too crowded. The crew were super nice and friendly, food was terrific, definitely go with the deluxe drink package (it's worth it), great shows in the theaters, lots of pools and spas. The shore excursions were pretty good. We were able to get on the ship early, which was super nice. Main Dining Room had great food and the wait staff does a great job. Even the buffet in the Windjammer was really good. Hairspray is a must see, so too is the show in the Aqua Theater. We traveled out of Miami and Royal Caribbean's port there is brand new and very nice. They got people on in a quick fashion. We did a balcony room on Deck 10 and it was nice. Bathroom is a little small, but you don't spend too much time in your stateroom, so it was fine for the week. All around it was a great cruise and I would 100% go on Symphony of the Seas again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Symphony of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 5.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 4.4
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness & Recreation 5.0 N/A
Family 5.0 4.2
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 4.5 4.3
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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