7 Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

A transatlantic cruise on a new ship, a very large one, without a lot of children on board seemed like a good idea. In many ways, it was a fine experience, except for dining. It is unclear to me how meals could be so bad, how service ... Read More
A transatlantic cruise on a new ship, a very large one, without a lot of children on board seemed like a good idea. In many ways, it was a fine experience, except for dining. It is unclear to me how meals could be so bad, how service could be so sloppy to non existent to unconnected. There were lots of pluses on the ship. Entertainment was top notch, including a great production of the musical Hairspray. Public spaces and cabins are well fitted and mostly comfortable. Housekeeping and cleanliness were highlights of the ship. And there were lots of deck chairs and lounge chairs available on sunny days. The solarium, at the front of the ship, on decks 14 and 15 is a great space, but it turns into a heat trap on hot sunny days. There are lots of spapools spread around and they were always clean, despite being well used. But, beware the inconsistent food service. So many examples, I am not sure where to begin. There was a lunch at the Park Cafe where we ordered two sandwiches, which were delivered to the table on one plate. We asked for a second plate, but were told they were running out of plates. Another day they ran out of forks. In the Solarium cafe, one could order an omelette, made to order, but we were told they did not provide fresh toast of bagel to go with it. And the tables in this space were jammed so close to each other that you could not get out of your chair without bumping into other guests. Then there was the main dining room. It was consistently inconsistent in service, but the food was consistently mediocre to bad. I complained to guest services, Diamon Club concierge and dining room managers, the cruise director and many other staff. The reply was always the same, You must remember Symphony is a very large ship. Duh, Royal built it and has been operating it since April. They should know how to run a big ship. Strange thing is, they know how to service the cabins, they know how to keep the ship immaculely clean, and they know how to move crowds of people around the ship. Despite the poor dining experiences, we had a good time on this transatlantic voyage. But I doubt I would ever travel on a mega ship again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We just completed the Symphony's inaugural transatlantic crossing in Nov 2018. We have done many of these voyages and are seasoned transatlantickers. This voyage far exceeded our expectations in every aspect including the cuisine ... Read More
We just completed the Symphony's inaugural transatlantic crossing in Nov 2018. We have done many of these voyages and are seasoned transatlantickers. This voyage far exceeded our expectations in every aspect including the cuisine (fresh bowls of berries!), the chocolate, butterscotch and white chocolate fountains, the lobster entrees - all just excellent. All of the shows were outstanding - the Broadway production, Hairspray, the Ice shows and the Aqua theatre - the athletes were stupendous. The tightrope walkers across the high seas while the ship was in motion - don't know how they pulled it off. The bionic bar was immensely entertaining, with robotic arms that make your martinis by plucking liquor bottles that were hanging upside-down off the ceiling. Oh so cool. The entertainment was robust for this type of cruise - always something fun and musical along the promenade. Zumba classes were high energy and actually too well-attended due to the great instructor. Thanks for the experience - this ship and its glory was well worth it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We sail frequently mostly on Celebrity, are Elite+, and wanted a big ship with lots to do for our transatlantic crossing. Symphony of the Seas was amazing with lots of venues and activities. Btw/ We loved the newly designed cabin ... Read More
We sail frequently mostly on Celebrity, are Elite+, and wanted a big ship with lots to do for our transatlantic crossing. Symphony of the Seas was amazing with lots of venues and activities. Btw/ We loved the newly designed cabin layout, colour palatte and spacious showe. The crew below Officers/Managers were friendly, engaging and often exceeded our expectations. Wonderful to experience this great service and teamwork on such a big ship. Food quality was generally poor in the free venues. Speciality food and service was EXCELLENT but came with extra costs. Not many deals once on-board so pre-purchasing before departure is recommended. Other than Captain Rob, the Officers/Managers were not very present or engaging throughout the cruise. Loved Captain Rob. At our stop in Port Canaveral the ship’s Officers/Managers made a mistake by not completely exiting excursion passengers ahead of general departures like normal and promised but didn’t take ownership for their mistake and instead blamed the usual immigration processing delays that often plague sailings returning to America, particularly transatlantic crossings. Oddly, neither the ship nor port personelle made any effort to remedy their mistake as it unfolded. Everyone that day had reason to be upset by the immigration delays but excursion passengers were particularly hard hit. We then hit another round of delays getting off at our final stop in Miami as the transportation facilities and process was a disaster. Organization by Royal on the ground was non-existent and the brand new terminal seemed poorly designed to handle busses efficiently and queue taxis and Uber’s. A terrible final 2 days getting off the ship. Thankfully the 10 days prior were great once we started paying for quality food. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We were just on the maiden voyage across the pond of The Symphony of the seas. I don’t know where to start. The ship is gorgeous. The murals, the hanging art in the elevator shafts, the public rooms, the restaurants, all the art work. ... Read More
We were just on the maiden voyage across the pond of The Symphony of the seas. I don’t know where to start. The ship is gorgeous. The murals, the hanging art in the elevator shafts, the public rooms, the restaurants, all the art work. The ship is a feast for the eyes. The cabins were decorated very nicely and had loads of places to store your clothing. The staff was amazing. Always smiling and always asking what they could do for you. The food was actually the best we had ever experienced on a ship. The meats were so tender and flavorful, and every night things were varied. The lunch display in the main dining room, whether a la carte or buffet was different everyday, and almost too beautiful to eat. The theatre venues were as always, spectacular. The shows were broadway worthy and the new world of computer generated scenery during the productions left us with amazement.. It’s so nice to not have to open a restroom door with a handle. All restrooms on the ship have panels on the wall you wave your hand in front of and the door opens automatically. That is a wonderful thing for all. The pool areas were brightly colored and the new slides from the top of the ship down to the pool areas were amazing. The children’s pool was delightful and looked like a Rube Goldberg contraption, making old and young smile. As usual there is an ice skating rink, flow rider, rock climbing ,carousel and anything else you would want on this fabulous ship. Once in a while there was a line of passengers waiting to get into a show, but that really wasn’t much of a problem..with more then 6000 passengers it was never too crowded to enjoy yourself. You could be busy all day and night and never get bored. This ship makes you smile. We had recently been on an Oceania cruise what a difference like night and day. The food here was so much more superb and the entertainment couldn’t be compared. We can’t wait to go on the ship again. A+ for this new wonder..... Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I travel with a special needs child/adult who is a high functioning 30 year old. I was disappointed that there was no services provided for him such as a daycare or allowed to participate in the teen activities. He needs no special ... Read More
I travel with a special needs child/adult who is a high functioning 30 year old. I was disappointed that there was no services provided for him such as a daycare or allowed to participate in the teen activities. He needs no special care and is not medically fragile but is mentally very young 12 year old. He would have enjoyed meeting the teens and participating in some of their activities. He needs no supervision though I do not let him leave the floor I am on except to go take a nap. I do like to know where he is so that I can get him to shows, meal, etc on time. There was also no option for leaving him on the ship during excursions. I would have liked to do some of the more strenuous walks such as Pompeii but I knew they would be too difficult walking for my son. When I travel with you to Aruba this coming February there are activities I would like to do but are unable to do so because there is no care for him. Again he has no medical needs he is just mentally young and can't walk long distances. I saw several people with developmental problems, down syndrome, etc on the cruise whom I am sure parents would have liked a break themselves. This is an area you need to address. Most disabled adults are very social and love games, movies, and arts and crafts. Most of all these travelers love to meet and talk to new people and make friends. It would be a great selling point for your cruise line if you would offer some alternative for people with special needs. I do understand the training for medically fragile is extensive and would make it difficult to supply services for those individuals but for high functioning special needs the only training needed is first aid and CPR which I am sure all your child care people are required to have anyways. My son would have loved to watch movies, play table tennis, do games, go to karaoke with the younger crowd. As you examine and revamp your cruises please consider these suggestions. Part two: Traveling with a special needs person can be difficult. You seem to have made every effort to make accessible facilities available.These are my observations. During rough waters my son used a rollator (a walker with a seat) to help him keep his balance. The cabin doors are extremely heavy and difficult to maneuver when using a walker. Some of the new hotels now have if you are in an accessible room when you swipe your key card the door automatically opens so you can enter. I would love to see that feature. The doors in the bathrooms for the handicapped stalls stays open WAY too long. There is no way to manually pull these doors shut. There should be a manual closing feature or swipe control. In the women's restroom on the Boardwalk when you open the handicap stall door it blocks all the other stalls and you must wait for it to close to go past it to the other stalls. Also seating is ridiculously close in the Solarium making it difficult for HC and typical cruisers to maneuver. I understand you want every square inch utilized but it was extremely difficult. Other than those minor things I feel you did an excellent job making the boat accessible in all areas. Eric enjoyed being in the pop choir and was able to get up on stage with everyone and all of the entertainment staff was extremely kind to him making him feel special. Part 3 the food: The food was extremely inconstant. Breakfast in the main dinning it was the hard poached eggs even when asked for them soft and runny. Eggs Benedict came with hard cooked eggs. By contrast the scrambled eggs on the buffet were perfect. Dinner the Chicken cor don Blue was so over cooked I was afraid to order the Chicken Kiev the next night again by contrast the steaks were always perfectly cooked. The duck and lamb were both served over cooked. The service was general fantastic a couple of nights it was slow. A few nights we had to skip desert so we could get to our show. The presentation was always on point. Portion sizes were fantastic though I do wish you had an option of ordering 1/2 size portions. I enjoyed the soup bar in the main dinning room and the pasta bar in the solarium Also the omelet bar was wonderful...I would have like a Mongolian Barbecue as I got hungry for Chinese takeout. You seemed to have all other take out food covered. Service and food at Johnny Rockets was great...Great waitress that sang with my son and made his day. She deserves lots of praise. Wish I had had more time I would have done Wonderland I heard lots of rave reviews. Many complaints about the food constancy in the main dinning. Though I will say that the staff was very accommodating and willing to fix things or get you another meal. Presentation was always beautiful. Also many complaints that the main dinning should be open earlier than 8 am. Also there should be seating available in the morning for people who get there early as you do for people who arrive early for lunch and dinner. Also would be nice to have some kind of seating in the waiting area of the theaters for the handicapped and elderly who get to the theaters early for the shows or in the stand by area for seating. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
First time we did a trans Atlantic cruise. For our 40th anniversary. We did numerous specialty restaurants. Most favorite was Wonderland. Very special. Even if you are picky eater (like me) you should try it. We thought all the ... Read More
First time we did a trans Atlantic cruise. For our 40th anniversary. We did numerous specialty restaurants. Most favorite was Wonderland. Very special. Even if you are picky eater (like me) you should try it. We thought all the dining was great. We had lamb for our first several dinners at different restaurants. The best was at the Solarium (slightly extra cost) but worth it. We did My Time dining . We liked it. We had duck one night and thought is was great. We did not purchase any of the drink options, but we did purchase wine by the bottle at many of our specialty diners. We somehow had some discount. Entertainment was good. We did get bored after so many days at sea. We probably will not do a trans-Atlantic cruse again. Not the fault of Royal Caribbean. We did really enjoy the cruise. We t got off in Miami. Had our luggage. We got in line at 6am. Off the ship at 635am. We were at the gate in Miami airport at 705am. Yes, just 35 minutes. Amazing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We´re a gay couple from Norway (early 40´s)and this was our 19th cruise overall but FIRST transatlantic... we tried Harmony some years ago and loved it and wanted to try the Symphony + TA. We started booking a Central Park view cabin and ... Read More
We´re a gay couple from Norway (early 40´s)and this was our 19th cruise overall but FIRST transatlantic... we tried Harmony some years ago and loved it and wanted to try the Symphony + TA. We started booking a Central Park view cabin and upgraded to a Junior Suite and then to a Grand Suite. It was a good a deal, so we went for it. PRE-CRUISE: One night in Barcelona, stayed in the Acta Mimic Hotel, close to the port, good for a one night sleep. EMBARKATION: Fastest embarkation ever. we did the online thing, uploaded pictures and at the port they just scanned our sailing passes and Boom... om board in less than five. SHIP: Symphony is just Amazing... the amount of art pieces around is just incredible. Layout is perfect, that you dodn't feel the crowd around. Loved the ship overall. CABIN: we ended up upgrading ourselves to a Grand Suite slowly slowly, cabin 7254; just Amazing... loved the layout. Incredible amounts of storage space. Bathrom size perfect. Location was just perfection... close to elevators, close the the entertainment decks. SUITE CLASS PERKS: Grand Suite Cabin gives you Sky Suite Class perks: Concierge Service, All Day Access to Coastal Kitchen with reservations, Specialty Bottled Water (upon arrival), Complimentary VOOM, Priority Boarding and Departure, Priority Dining Reservations, Reserved Seating Area in Select Entertainment Venues, Suite Lounge Access (complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cocktails each evening), Access to Suite Sun Deck, Spa Bathrobes for Use Onboard, Luxury Pillow Top Mattress, Luxury Bathroom Amenities by L’Occitane. The concierge (Rahul) was amazing and fixed everything we needed in a very efficient way, the first day we just brought him a plan we wanted for our dining reservations (specialty and Coastal kitchen) and he took care of that in just few hours. The suite lounge is really a place to enjoy and relax, in our sailing there were a lot of Pinnacles (around 250) and therefore it was always crowded during the day and it kinf of annoyed us, but whatever that was not going to disturb our holiday. The only thing we missed in this suite class is having a buttler or kind of an upgraded Stateroom attendant but we managed well. Suite Sun deck with a bar and jacuzzi: perfection. DINING: • Coastal kitchen: As part of the Suite perks, we had access to CK as our main restaurant. In general we loved CK, the dinner menu changes everyday (at least for the first seven days), breakfast and lunch menus didnt change daily but t it was great we loved every single meal. The staff made its best to make us feel welcome and at home. • Windjammer: Very good and varied selection for lunch (when we were there), good quality and tastes, also good service from the waiters. • 150 Central Park: This was our choice for the first night and it was a train wreck, dinner for the two of us took around 2,5 hours and we waited almost an hour between started and main without having contact with the waiter at all, like if we were forgotten... then the waiter shows up and gives up a excuse aboput some problems in the kitchen and asked us to wait a little bit more... we did, the food came and the steaks were raw, even if Iasked a medium -raw it was still cold inside... whatever we decided to not make a problem of it, eated some of it and hqad dessert and that was it. • Chops Grille: It was good, good steaks, good service but nothing to brag about. being this the most "signature" restaurant from RCCL, they should do better. • Jamies's Italian: One of our favorites, so good at every level that we visited it twice during the cruise. The menu, the quality of the food and the service were some of the best during all the cruise. • Hooked: one of the new kids in town of the RCCL restaurants... perfection at every level... The food, service, the design of the restaurant... Just do yourself a favor if you liek seafood and eat there. • Wonderland: Incredible dinner, good service and amazing entertainment now with a mad hatter going around interacting with the tables while you enjoy dinner. • Solarium Bistro: loved the concept and easy delicious buffet dinner. • Johnny Rockets: easy going dinner but it was slowly with an almost empty restaurant. • Playmaker's (for dining): BEST BURGERS EVER. period. • El Loco Fresh: if you like (or love) Mexican food just go there, easy lunch and delicous and fresh and and and and.... Guacamole... burritos... Carnitas... BARS: as said, we bought the premium drinking package and we found it is still worth it. In general we found the service around all bars to be good with no long waiting. Best bar for us as the English pub... ENTERTAINMENT: NO SPOILERS: just go and enjoy and the shows... everything... Symphony entertainment team does a great job overall and the shows are some of the best productions we have ever seen on a ship SERVICE: I would say the service all around the ship was great. SHORE EXCURSIONS DESK: we didn´t use this so will not comment on that. CRUISE NEXT OFFICE: they did their job and we booked two future cruises with very good deals and promos DEPARTURE: VERY CAOTHIC PERIOD, the shuffle to the airport was kind of crazy and not organized at all. CONCLUSSION: we would definitely and easily sail again in the Symphony but not in Suite Class, it was great, and we loved it but comparing with other suite programs (Celebrity and NCL) you get less for your money... Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
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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