Symphony of the Seas Cruise Review


Having sailed on all three prior Oasis
class ships, we’ve been looking forward to sailing on
the newest member of the fleet, Symphony of the Seas. We began planning this
cruise over a year ago, and of course, we had some pretty high expectations for
the largest ship in the world. After sailing a seven-day Western Caribbean
cruise, we are back to tell you all about this record-breaking ship.
I’m DB from EatSleepCruise.com, and this is our Symphony of the Seas
Caribbean cruise review. Being the world’s largest cruise ship, Symphony of
the Seas accommodates over 6,000 passengers. The good news is that the
brand-new state-of-the-art terminal A in Miami, Florida offered a seamless and
speedy embarkation. Despite the number of eager cruisers, our entire check-in
process took only a few minutes. Getting off the ship a week later was a pleasant
surprise as well. Disembarkation was just as smooth and effortless with improved
processes, technology, and plenty of staff. If it isn’t broke, why fix it? That is the
case with the Symphony of the Seas as Royal Caribbean did not change much when
it came to the outdoor sports deck. Oasis- class favorites like the Flowrider, a
zipline, a nine-hole mini-golf course, the perfect storm water slides, and a
children’s aqua park are all present on Symphony of the Seas. The ultimate Abyss, which debuted on Harmony of the Seas, is also onboard this brand-new mega ship.
If you are a thrill seeker, you will want to test out all of these fun-filled
activities. There are over 2,200 crew members on board to take good care of
you during your trip. Like many large cruise ships, some venues did seem under
staffed especially during peak times, though for the most part, the crew was friendly,
attentive, and helpful. Our wait staff at dinner were nice but always appeared
rushed. This was also the case occasionally at some of the bars and
lounges. Our stateroom attendant was excellent
and definitely a standout for service on this cruise. With all the bells and
whistles, you will not be bored on Symphony of the Seas. Along with four
pools, the sports deck, and other amusements, there are also your typical
cruise selections: trivia, seminars and classes,
the cruiser favorite belly-flop contest, and many more. Nothing stood out to us as
different or innovative in this category. We spent most of our daytime enjoying
the various neighborhoods, the sports deck, and lounging by those pools. We dined
in the main dining room five out of the seven nights of our cruise. After a
glitch on the first evening, we were able to acquire a table for two in a
different section for the remainder of the nights. Our waiter and assistant
waiter met our service expectations but were not overly memorable. The menus on
this sailing were a slight departure from the typical Royal Caribbean menus, but
the food was on par with past cruises. The one exception was the second formal
night, also known as lobster night. The lobster tails were unlike anything we
had ever seen on a cruise or on land and were not to our liking. Over the recent
years, we’ve been testing out more specialty restaurants while cruising. On
this sailing, we sampled three different venues.
Besides our lunch at Playmakers which was great, we were a bit disappointed with
the new Hooked seafood restaurant and our dinner at Wonderland. Compared to the
main dining room, the seafood at hooked was much better. I really enjoyed the
lobster roll for lunch, but dinner just did not meet this New Englander’s
expectations. We have dined at Wonderland on two other ships and have to admit
that the food during this trip was the least impressive. The menu has been
changed a little bit and some of our favorites didn’t just live up to
previous experiences. Although, the addition of a host acting as the Mad
Hatter was a really great touch. Where the specialty dining suffered
during our trip, the casual restaurants shined. While the Windjammer was
underwhelming for us, the rest of the options were great. The new El Loco
Fresh is a nice replacement for the old wipeout cafe. Our favorites including
Park Cafe and the boardwalk doghouse were great alternatives to the buffet and
served fresh, well prepared food. In addition, the Princess was pleasantly
surprised with the new and improved pizza at Sorrento’s. We really enjoyed having
these diverse options. Similar to other ships in the fleet, Symphony of the Seas
is home to several venues with regular entertainment. The performers in these
venues ranged from Billy Pando the piano player in the schooner bar to the house
band that tended to be found in dazzles. When there wasn’t a signature show to
catch, there were other activities including parties and parades in the
Royal Promenade. Of course, there was the adult game show the quest and the love
and marriage game show, not to mention the popular red party in Studio B. With
so many options, there’s really something for everyone to enjoy
on this ship. Even with our very high bar when it comes to entertainment on the
Oasis class, Symphony of the Seas still surpassed our expectations.
Hairspray was top-notch and one of our favorite Broadway musicals found at sea.
The Royal Caribbean original production of Flight was spectacular with several
state-of-the-art stage pieces that truly enhanced the show. Along with the two
entertaining ice shows, there were also two aqua theater productions with the
new Hiro show being a great combination of acrobatics, dancing, and of course
diving. Along with other entertainment like comedy shows, the seven nights were
packed with high-quality entertainment. We booked an ocean view balcony
stateroom on deck 11. The room was laid out in a typical
fashion with plenty of space. Among the amenities were added USB outlets near
the desk and power outlets near the bed. The room boasted a well-positioned
flat-screen television and two closets offering plenty of space for all our
clothing. After sailing on competitor cruise lines, the size of the balcony was
also a breath of fresh air. With several familiar venues, it was surprising that
the cruise line didn’t add anything new to the ship in terms of bars and lounges
besides Playmakers. For the most part, the bars on the ship offered reliable
service but did seem slightly under staff at times. Finding seats at popular
venues did not prove to be too much of a problem if you got there a little early.
Our favorite go-to lounge was the schooner bar for its specialty martinis
and live piano music. Other venues with signature menus include Boleros, the
Bionic Bar, and the Rising Tide Bar. There are a lot of cruisers on board Symphony
the Seas, but you should know that when booking and cruise on a ship of this size.
With that being said, we were pleasantly surprised that wait times for elevators
were never a problem even on disembarkation day. Getting
poolside loungers was also not as difficult as expected, and with the
different outdoor areas, the crowds tended to disperse pretty nicely. We
would rate this category as exceeded expectations if it wasn’t for the crowds
at the shows. Even with reservations, there were lines forming as early as 45
minutes prior to show time. So if you want a good seat, plan to show up pretty
early. One of the new additions to this class of ship is laser tag occurring in
Studio B on select days of your cruise. This is a first-come first-serve
activity. The line for the game got quite long, and the staff seemed unorganized.
The execution could have been better perhaps by having a sign-up for specific
time slots to avoid long wait times. As for the game itself, it’s a bit dark and
tough to see, and the technology seemed dated compared to laser tag on
competitor cruise lines. Still, it is a family fun activity as long as you’re
willing to wait, and it is included in your cruise fare. Another exclusive to
Symphony of the Seas is the enhanced ultimate abyss slide. While we did do a
test run on Harmony of the Seas, we gave this slide another go. The addition of
the lighting and sound effects didn’t really change the experience for us. As
thrill-seekers, we’re expecting a bit more from this slide; although, it does
feel like this version is slightly faster than its predecessor on Harmony
of the Seas. As an activity that is included in your cruise fare, it’s worth
at least one ride on this slide to test it out for yourself.
Overall, sailing on the world’s largest cruise ship definitely met these avid
mega ship fans expectations. We’re happy to report the ship delivered an
exceptional vacation. Royal Caribbean is still the leader when it comes to
entertainment, and this ship truly embodies the line’s commitment to
production shows that blow the competition out of the water.
Generally speaking, food, staterooms, bars and lounges, and other activities were on
par with what we’ve come to expect from mega ships. One area we found a bit
lacking though was specialty dining especially for the expensive cover
charges. When it comes to mega ships, you can’t get any bigger than Symphony of
the Seas, so there’s something to be said about the crowd control and seamless
embarkation and disembarkation process. Symphony of the Seas definitely ranks in
the top of the best options for vessels of this size. With a little bit of
planning, your family can have an unforgettable time onboard this world
record holding ship. And that will do it for our Symphony of the Seas Caribbean
cruise review, but of course we want to hear from you! If you’ve sailed on this
record-breaking ship, leave us a comment below to share your cruise review.
I’m DB from EatSleepCruise.com, and if you enjoyed this video, we’d really
appreciate it if you gave it a big thumbs up! Don’t forget to subscribe down
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find us all over social media @EatSleepCruise and thanks again for
watching.

19 thoughts on “Symphony of the Seas Cruise Review

  1. Thanks for the review. I appreciate your inclusion of crowd control which is something other reviewers leave out, yet is super important especially in a ship this size.

  2. I am looking for a cruise vacation with my wide and daughter not knowing how to go about it. But this information alone with a few others, thank you for that

  3. We were on Symphony of the Seas Feb 23-March 2, 2019. We had a great time. We prefer the large ships because they have so much to do. My husband went on the Abyss slide and he said it wasn't very fast and on the way down he skinned his knee on the wall of the tube, so I didn't try it.

  4. This was a great review.   I have been watching vlogs lately but this is exactly what I needed a pure review without watching one or 2 persons for 20-40 minutes.  Kudos.  Job well done.   I have not been on this one but I remember when we did do the Harmony we were unable to ice skate due to this 'reservation' strategy.   I must admit, it was my first time on RCCL so hopefully when I get on the Spectrum this Xmas, I will remember to book 'everything' early.

  5. We are are sailing SOTS for our first ever cruise in June ‘19. Any advice for celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary while on board?

  6. Great experience, especially when sailing with a large family!!! We just got back a few days ago and we all “loved” it. This review is on point though.

  7. Just got from her on Sat and I loved it. I found this to be an accurate review as well. It is a really big ship yet they manage traffic flow well.

  8. I am intrigued already to set sail on Symphony of The Seas!!! Great review, great tips, truly appreciate all your insights.

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