1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I was very excited to go on the Symphony of the Seas. This was my eighth cruise and I had been on a few Royal Caribbean ships before. Only my sister and I went on this cruise. Since I hadn’t been on a cruise in years I was interested to ... Read More
I was very excited to go on the Symphony of the Seas. This was my eighth cruise and I had been on a few Royal Caribbean ships before. Only my sister and I went on this cruise. Since I hadn’t been on a cruise in years I was interested to see what had changed on RC ships. This ship was almost identical to the Oasis, except for some new additions such as the specialty restaurants and the Ultimate Abyss dry slide. The Good: -Nice stateroom (balcony view) -Decks clean and well-maintained -All of the staff, except for one crew member who I will soon get to, were friendly and always greeted guests -Ice Shows -Hairspray -Aqua Show -Cruise Director Simeon -The Love and Marriage Game show (especially because of the awesome cruise director) -Solarium (very relaxing!) -Ports of Call (Bahamas, Costa Maya, Roatan, and Cozumel) -Boardwalk -Central Park and Park Cafe -Main Dining room experience including great food and excellent wait staff -Dry Slide (fun despite receiving a burn on my left thigh. I followed the instructor’s directions as best I could but I still got burned. I recommend wearing pants and not shorts!) The Bad: -Specialty restaurants ultra expensive -Reservations for shows (I’m not sure how new this is but it caused unnecessary stress) -Soda being included in some locations on the ship but not others (why is the price of soda included in Sorrento’s but not the main dining room?) -Flight (this show was at times cringe-worthy. Great concept, but not executed that well) -The price of Voom, the wifi package (my cruise was during the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash. When I heard about the crash, I asked the Voom worker if I could simply find out if my flight to go home was cancelled but I was told I had to purchase wifi.) -A very small bag of popcorn being $2 at shows. Seriously? -Tablets for Bingo. You still have the option of playing Bingo on paper but it’s hard to compete with someone who has 36 cards on their tablet and they don’t have to do anything other than say “Bingo” when their tablet says they won. It just never felt like a fair playing field which took away a lot of the fun -Self-serve ice cream on pool deck was watery and not firm -Windjammer food not always up to par -The yellow and green water slide. This is the one shaped like a funnel cone. Everyone stops sliding and gets stuck once they’re in the funnel cone part of the slide, and they have to inch their way into the slide tunnel so that they aren’t just sitting in the middle of the funnel cone. This happens to 40 lb kids and 150 lb adults. Seems like an engineering issue! Doesn’t happen at similar slides in other water parks. The Ugly: I have never seen such blatant unprofessionalism before I met our stateroom attendant. It all started on the second night of the cruise when my sister and I were getting ready in our room for Formal Night. The TV was on and I was doing my hair. We thought that we heard some knocking and I asked my sister, did someone knock? Suddenly, the door flew open and the stateroom attendant was standing in the doorway facing me as I stood there half-naked with only a shirt on. He did not immediately close the door. I had to say CLOSE THE DOOR and he then left and shut the door. A simple “sorry” would have sufficed. As a medical professional, I have accidentally opened the door on people at inopportune moments and I understand that it happens. HOWEVER, the stateroom attendant did not just apologize. Immediately after he shut the door he began knocking on the door demanding that I come out into the hallway. I told him through the door that I was getting dressed and I was not going to come speak with him in the hallway. He then began shouting saying I NEEDED to come outside. I said that I was not going to come outside. I asked him “why?” through the door and he said “It’ll only take a minute!!” He would not tell us why I physically had to come speak with him. Then, the room attendant called our stateroom phone. My sister picked up the phone and he began YELLING at her saying that we must open the door when he knocks on it, and that we are supposed to use our “do not disturb” magnet if we don’t want anyone entering. He was basically saying that him opening the door on us was all our fault, and he was enraged. This was the second day of the cruise and we honestly had not even noticed that we had this magnet to use. My sister and I never once argued back, we kept trying to diffuse the situation by responding “Ok, we understand, thank you” but he repeatedly yelled through the phone repeating himself until he finally just hung up. No apology received. I told my sister that I wanted to report our room attendant to Guest Services immediately but she was adamant that we give him a second chance especially since we did not want to receive any kind of retribution. The man clearly had anger issues. We did not report him and that turned out to be a mistake. On the fifth morning of the cruise, we received a phone call at about 9:45 AM in our stateroom on a day at sea that woke us up. Over the phone, an unknown caller said “Good morning, wakey wakey!!” and hung up. This disrupted our sleep but it was especially upsetting for my sister because she has a sleep disorder. My sister and I first thought that the call had been from our room attendant because he had called our room a few times before to see if we needed anything. We always thought this was strange and overbearing because no other room attendant has repeatedly called us on any other ships we have been on. Well, we saw our room attendant in the hallway when we exited our room that morning. My sister explained to him what had happened and simply asked him if he was the one who made that call. He went berserk and immediately began shouting at both of us. He was very defensive and showed us his phone saying “See, I made no call to you!” He then said CHECK THE CALLER ID ON YOUR PHONE. He also called his supervisor in front of us to report the unknown call we received. My sister and I took a few steps out of the hallway and back into our room to look at our phone for caller ID. Before we knew it, the room attendant was STANDING IN OUR ROOM blocking the door and shouting at us, saying that he was not the one who called us. He also brought up the situation from Day 2 of the cruise. This was scary and intimidating. Also, there is no caller ID on the room phones so I’m not sure why he told us to look at our caller ID. The room attendant then made this statement in a threatening tone, “By the way, I’ll have to see what I need to do about whatever dye you’re putting in the toilet! None of my cleaning solution can get it out. I’ll have to see what I need to do about that!!” I said, “we haven’t put anything in the toilet, what dye are you referring to?” and he just stormed out. It almost seemed like he made this statement as if to say, if you report me to guest services I have something on you too. He also seemed to be trying to embarrass us with this statement. This room attendant was on a power trip, the likes of which I have never seen before. This man was ageist and sexist. He clearly felt like he could act in this obscene manner because we were two 20-something year old girls and he was a 40-something year old man. He shouted at us as if we were brat kids, when we are well-behaved grown women. I once heard another guest who was an older woman speaking highly of him. Of course he is respectful to older adults. I know he would not have treated an older man how he treated us. After this second dramatic event, I went to Guest Services and explained everything that had happened. The response we received was professional and we had a different room attendant for the final two days, although we still had to see this man in the hallway outside our room. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
14th cruise with Royal, but first on a “big” ship. Excellent experience, from embarkation, food, service, entertainment, beautiful public areas, nothing felt crowded even with 6,000 people. Gorgeous artwork all over the ship. Central ... Read More
14th cruise with Royal, but first on a “big” ship. Excellent experience, from embarkation, food, service, entertainment, beautiful public areas, nothing felt crowded even with 6,000 people. Gorgeous artwork all over the ship. Central Park with nice spaces to sit, music in the evening. Solarium, especially the pool with seats and drinks ledge, and great Bar and Bistro. Even the pizza was decent, Park Cafe too! Cafe Promenade was great and very handy. Really loved the horn group from the orchestra that played at Jazz Club and Dazzles. Jamie’s and Chops were amazing. Diamond lounge and concierge were great, but felt like we were in the dungeon. Spa special for steam and sauna was a ripoff....basic sauna, no upper level benches, no aromatherapy in very basic steam room, no cool water sprayer, no colored lights....Royal keep up with the competition, MSC does this so much BETTER !! Buying photos was another miss too, can’t buy photos you’re not in, can’t find photos by what specific restaurant you were in. NOT user friendly! Read Less
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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I was initially worried about cruising with 6000 other people on a mega-ship, but we actually noticed the crowds *less* than we did on smaller ships. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly with no lines. We made reservations and ... Read More
I was initially worried about cruising with 6000 other people on a mega-ship, but we actually noticed the crowds *less* than we did on smaller ships. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly with no lines. We made reservations and never waited in line for shows or for a table at dinner. The only lines we encountered were for the waterslides and the FlowRiders, but those we expected. The ship had a variety of lively spaces and quieter spaces, and the only complaint I would have with its design is that you feel very isolated from the ocean. If we hadn't had a oceanview balcony, I don't know if we would have even known we were at sea. One drawback to the balcony, though: we noticed creaking and clanking from the door frame in the evenings, possibly from the metal expanding and contracting with the changes in temperature between day to night. Otherwise, the cabin was spacious enough, with ample storage space, and our stateroom attendant was attentive and responsive. We noticed that the staff in general were very eager to please and very accommodating of requests. Our favourite staff were those we met in the main dining room. The service was excellent and the meals hot and flavourful. My only complaint with the main dining room is that I would have liked to see more vegetarian options listed (without having to ask for special accommodation). The buffet was adequate. El Loco Fresh was often prohibitively busy, especially for lunch on sea days (even when tacos and nachos were available at the buffet!). We didn't try the other food options. But we would have likely more late night options available. The variety of food available after 9 pm is unusually sparse. The entertainment was very good. We enjoyed Hairspray, Hiro, and 1977. Flight was well done but not as engaging? We also enjoyed the laser tag and other activities like the FlowRider, as well as the live music around the ship. Our kids also enjoyed visiting the teen club and kids club. We loved the ports -- Roatan, Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Nassau. In each, we made arrangements to go off and do our own thing. And as much as I enjoyed the ship, it was also nice to get away on our own and enjoy more authentic local experiences. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We went on the Symphony of the Seas with a group of 8 couples all traveling without our kids. We go on a vacation every two years together and this was our fourth Royal Caribbean cruise as a group. We all flew into Miami the day before and ... Read More
We went on the Symphony of the Seas with a group of 8 couples all traveling without our kids. We go on a vacation every two years together and this was our fourth Royal Caribbean cruise as a group. We all flew into Miami the day before and had a relaxing day at the hotel pool to start the vacation off right. We stayed at the Marriott Biscayne Bay and had a beautiful view of the port. Embarkation was as smooth and easy as everyone says. Terminal A has an excellent system in place. We used the app to check in and we were on the ship within 15 minutes. We usually board early but arrived around 1:00 this time. It was a nice change as we had immediate access to our room and dropped off our carry ons. After a quick freshen up we opened the door to go to lunch and our luggage was already in the hall! We had a 1D balcony room on deck 8 right in the center of the ship. I loved the location and spent a lot of time enjoying the balcony. The rooms are the nicest I’ve seen and there are no complaints about the space. We were able to unpack everything and keep the room looking tidy with all the storage space. One note is that I did bring my own twin mattress topper for my side of the bed as I was worried about the firm mattresses. I think this was the right call and I would do it again. We waited in a short line to get our Wow bands at Boleros. Yes, these are totally worth it for convenience. The staff makes an effort to have the electronic pads available to just tap your band and pay. It works at the towel stand and anyplace you can use your sea pass, including for show reservations. Every part of the ship is beautiful! I made an effort to explore and still didn’t get to see everything. I loved finding all of the imaginative artwork. We mostly ate in the main dining room for dinner. Because of our large group we had late seating at 8:00pm. This meant getting a late afternoon snack of pizza or appetizers at Vintages or elsewhere to tide us over until dinner. Our whole group decided dinner does take a little too long there and I think we will eat there less on future cruises. Most of the group ate dinner at the Windjammer on the last night and thought it was great. The food in the main dining room was fine. Occasionally very good and occasionally not. Trust the wait staff if they question your choice. Every time they tried to sway us to not order something and we did, we realized they were right. We did try most of the included dining places and appreciate being able to find something to eat at almost any time of day. I loved the specialty coffee drinks at the Cafe Promenade and the fruit smoothie at Vitality. HIRO was my favorite show. It’s in the Aquatheater and you do need to get there early for seats. All of the shows are entertaining in some way. There were too many activities to be able to try all that interested us. We did the Escape Room and had a lot of fun, this was worth the extra money. This particular itinerary was more about the ship for us. We only got off at St. Kitts to shop so I can’t comment on the excursions. But I did enjoy being on the ship in port while it was less crowded. Speaking of crowds this week was packed! I was expecting that because it must be spring break in a lot of places. The kids took over every pool and hot tub. There was nothing relaxing about the pool deck. I give the bartenders a lot of credit because they were kept busy non stop! Yet we rarely had to wait more than 5 minutes at a bar. We made use of the deluxe beverage package which was easily worth it. Shout out to the staff at Vintages! The Solarium is a wonderful retreat. I was able to get one of the round beds one day and take a relaxing nap. For the most part the staff was top notch, friendly, helpful and constantly cleaning. The rest rooms were always clean and I love the system to wave your hand and open the door. Disembarkation went faster than I remember from previous cruises. Overall I would definitely recommend this ship! I wish I could go again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We went on SOTS with high expectations considering the price we paid. After we booked, we were disappointed to review the beverage package price. It was 1100$ for 2 adults to get the deluxe package. Then the number of restaurants you ... Read More
We went on SOTS with high expectations considering the price we paid. After we booked, we were disappointed to review the beverage package price. It was 1100$ for 2 adults to get the deluxe package. Then the number of restaurants you can eat at are limited. Windjammer and main dining room are included. You may also have a slice of OK pizza at Sorento, or grab a quick snack at cafe promenade. As for the rest, you have to pay extra and they were fully booked when we tried to go. Food at the main dining room was average at best. My pastas on a busy Tuesday night are better that what we were served, for instance. It is very annoying to pay a huge price and get that kind of food. Basically, good food is not included in the package and even if you want to pay, you have to schedule in advance. There are a lot of extras on the ship. Kids wanted to watch a movie at night in our stateroom while we went to an adult show. We paid 12$ for a movie that was on Netflix, plus 6$ for popcorn. This is abusive. The configuration of the dining rooms are confusing. Spoons are not with the soup, dressing for salad is not with the salad, etc. Except for deck 15, water is hard to find on the ship. You are not allowed to refill your bottle of water, for public health and safety issues! They give you plastic bottles instead, which is a huge environmental fail according to me. Toilets are difficult to find. On the Promenade, you have quite a few restaurants and you have to go all the way to the staterooms to find one single toilet. You have to adjust to the ship schedule. When on holiday, you don't want to follow schedules. Yet, zipline is closed between 12h to 2h, and so is the kids club. I never managed to do the wall climbing, as we were never on schedule. You'd better carry your running shoes, shorts and t-shirt with you when you go to the Abys and zipline, otherwise, you will be sent back. We never managed to do the laser tag. It was already fully booked on Wednesday for the whole week. Essentially, all we could do during the day was the pool and slides. It get boring after a couple of hours. SHOWS are excellent. We loved the aqua theater show, as well as the comedy show. The pianist was excellent, and so was the bands. We were very impressed with the quality and the talent. Karaoke was fun too! The beverage package was expensive and red wine was warm. There is very little selection. If you like French or Italian wine, you will find it hard to find. Otherwise, you have to go to Vintage and pay extra. Service is top. Kids club is very basic. Just a playroom with computers. No multilingual personnel when we tried to go. We couldn't enjoy it. Solarium was the best, but we only managed to go for 15 minutes because it is for 16 YO and more. Food was good too. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Our last three cruises has been on NCL and we loved them. Our friends asked us to join them on RC Symphony of the Seas, although reluctant we agreed. After all it's a cruise, what is there to lose. Well we were stunned with ... Read More
Our last three cruises has been on NCL and we loved them. Our friends asked us to join them on RC Symphony of the Seas, although reluctant we agreed. After all it's a cruise, what is there to lose. Well we were stunned with everything about this cruise. Amazing!, from the spacious cabin to the Broad Walk to the Aqua Theater to Central Park. They transform you to a special place that is happy and relaxing. Restaurants - The food at Chops, Jamie's and Izum (Ryan as our Hibachi chef) was fabulous. None of us were impressed with Hooked Seafood or Coastal Kitchen. Bars - We hit numerous bars but the only two we sat at for any amount of time was Trellis and Boleros. Most of our time was spend at Trellis were our mixologists Bosco, Richard and Sorin were the best we ever had. The drinks they mixed were tasty and visually perfect. Pool - Unlike the NCL cruises we were on we had no issues in finding four chairs together. We only had a few minutes wait for the water slides that were great. We went to the hot tubes on three nights and we were the only ones enjoying them (another big difference). Enbark and Disenbark - The only thing I have to say about this is the Miami Terminal has this down. NO WAITING either way. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
This truly is an INCREDIBLE Ship! Just walk and walk and enjoy the surroundings! Take it ALL in, that's what you are there for, to ENJOY the Ship! The MANY venues to eat at! The MANY entertainment spots! The MANY beautiful pools and ... Read More
This truly is an INCREDIBLE Ship! Just walk and walk and enjoy the surroundings! Take it ALL in, that's what you are there for, to ENJOY the Ship! The MANY venues to eat at! The MANY entertainment spots! The MANY beautiful pools and hot tubs! The MANY fun bars! AND the art and décor on this ship are beyond AMAZING!! ... We found getting on and off this Ship remarkably FAST and most efficient! never a problem! ... We're not the partying type, so, our trips are always quite subdued, the way we like them -- thus some areas were not rated "excellent" as we did not personally experience them, but we did see them! ... The Windjammer Restaurant is AMAZING with something for everyone and GREAT views! The Staff were always VERY helpful! ... And the ENTERTAINMENT -- It cannot be beat! Experience each and every show there is to offer and you will be left in total awe!! ... Only ONE minor mishap and it had to do with Human Behaviour and NOT the Ship or Staff in any way. We chose our spot to watch the Parade along the Promenade, very well, getting there very early! To only have a woman invade our personal space, insisting she had the right as she had paid, and continued to bop us on the head with her huge photo taking device (Tablet). She was exceptionally rude and had to be physically restrained by her darling husband. Poor man. It is just so sad to me that such behaviour exists and is believed to be their right. Wow. Stand your ground people, and stick up for what you were smart enough to plan ahead for -- The Perfect Viewing Spot! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise as because we had never previously experienced RCI and wanted to see what they offered. Embarkation was a breeze, very nice. The ship is impressive, but a little too overwhelming. To me, the most significant part of a ... Read More
We chose this cruise as because we had never previously experienced RCI and wanted to see what they offered. Embarkation was a breeze, very nice. The ship is impressive, but a little too overwhelming. To me, the most significant part of a cruise is being able to see the water. For me, water helps me de-stress. On the SotS there are way too many places where you have absolutely no idea that you are anywhere near the ocean. A real downside for me. The Ocean-view, balcony cabin was the industry standard, cookie-cutter room. Nothing unpleasant (other than the loudest toilet flush I've ever heard), but nothing too remarkable either. We were rather disappointed that, despite having any-time dining, we had to make reservations every night.On our first night, we were unaware of this and were made to feel like second-class citizens for our oversight. It took close to 20 minutes for us to get a table. The food was adequate, not poor, but certainly not memorable. On 2 nights we ate in the Windjammer. One of those nights was amazing, truly spectacular. The other rather bland. Entertainment, when you could get a booking was incredible (other than one of the two comedians that, to be honest, just mailed it in). Unfortunately, it was also the one thing that soured the cruise for us. My wife and I booked the "1977" show for our second night on the cruise. We arrived early to get good seats and saw a "Reserved" sign, placed alongside row 3 of the seating. We assumed that this meant that the first 3 rows had been set aside for others more highly-valued than ourselves. Accordingly, we sat in the 4th row. A few minutes later a young lady starting frantically gesticulating to a gentleman to our end of the row. It was very apparent, to all in the vicinity, that she wanted him to talk to my wife & I. He approached us and asked for our room cards. After examining them, he shook his head to the young lady at the other end of the row. By now they had succeeded in attracting everyone’s attention. With a not-so-subtle jerk of her thumb, she we should be ejected from our seats. My wife & I were promptly excused and told to find somewhere else to sit. I asked the gentleman that moved us on, how were we to know which seats were reserved, when the sign was only adjacent to the 3rd row. He said that management had told them to save the first 4 rows. I asked to speak with management but was denied. My wife & I then watched this gentleman remove several others form those specific rows until a large family came in and sat in the 3rd row. He checked their cards, didn't like what he saw and attempted to move them on. They argued back & forth for a short while, until with a not-so-discrete handshake, cash was passed to this gentleman. Not surprisingly, the family were allowed to sit where they wanted. I have subsequently written to RCI to see if this is an acceptable part of the show seating procedure, but despite being promised a response within 48 to 72 hours, after a week, nobody seems to have deemed my complaint important enough to reply. The ports were lovely, except Nassau, of course. As relatively seasoned cruisers we did our own thing and took no RCI excursions. Other than some delightful Filipino ladies that worked in the Copper & Kettle and our very friendly room steward, all the staff seemed to be just doing a job and had an incredibly surly manner. maybe the ship is just too much for them too??? All-in-all, it's very doubtful that we will try RCI again. Once you've had a bad experience, you never really want to subject yourself to it again. There are plenty of other criuse companies out there that have yet to p1ss us off! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose to go on the Symphony after having sailed on the Allure seven years ago. We have been on other ships from other lines in between, but we loved the size and variety on the Oasis class ships. We knew that we would be paying a ... Read More
We chose to go on the Symphony after having sailed on the Allure seven years ago. We have been on other ships from other lines in between, but we loved the size and variety on the Oasis class ships. We knew that we would be paying a premium to sail Royal's newest ship in the fleet, but we thought it was worth it, having sailed on the Allure in similar circumstances. I have found that most of the other reviews people have left are fairly accurate. Embarkation was very smooth, especially after having done everything online. I did find that during the days leading up to the cruise, the RCL website was somewhat buggy and I had a few problems logging in to upload photos and fill out the information. I also sometimes had problems with the cruise planner on their website for dining/entertainment reservations. Disembarkation was just as smooth, with the grouping system being used to get people off in an orderly fashion. My one complaint is the ground transfers that we purchased through RCL to get us back to the airport. Once you are off to the ship, it is chaos and hard to find where you are supposed to go. Even once you get to the buses, it is chaotic and nobody really seemed to know what was going on. People were getting onto the wrong buses and then having to get off. They could use some more order for that process. In terms of on board experience, it was mostly positive and were as follows: Dining - We were happy with the quality of food. We dined only at the included restaurants and did not experience any of the premium dining options. We went to the main dining room every night for dinner and found the service and food to be really good. Everything always came out hot and fresh. One night my wife's tuna came out overcooked, but it was promptly replaced with a better plate. The other free restaurants on board were good as well. We really enjoyed El Loco Fresh for lunch. The buffet was good, but at meal times (especially on sea days) it was so crowded that trying to find a table and navigate the lines was overwhelming. The hot dogs in the boardwalk were also great. The one major complaint about dining is that some of the hours of the establishments didn't make sense. On almost every other cruise I've been on, the main dining room was open every day for sit down lunch. However, on this cruise, that was not the case, and I found the main dining room was only open for lunch on sea days. It would also have been nice if the hot dogs were available later in the evening. My kids were also disappointed that the soft serve ice cream would shut down around 10 PM. On other cruises we would often stop by for soft serve on the way up to bed as a treat. Service - Overall, the service was excellent. Everyone is willing to help. The main dining room staff was great. They provided great service and worked hard to please. It is nice if you can get the same table every night for dinner, that way your servers get to know you and anticipate your needs. Our room steward was also very efficient. I don't think I saw him more than three or four times over the whole cruise, but our room was always cleaned early in the morning and then again during dinner. Room - We had an Ultra Spacious Ocean View Room on deck 11. The room itself was very large and included one king bed, a couch that converted into two small twin beds, and a curtained off nook with bunk beds. Our favorite feature of the entire room was the giant walk-in closet that had ample shelving and space to hang clothes. The bathroom was small. In a room designed to hold 6 people, it would be nice if they did the Disney ship style bathrooms and put the toilet and shower into two separate rooms. I was a little surprised to see the condition of our stateroom, it looked a little beat up for being less than a year old. Large stains were on the carpet and the paint on the windows in the room was already all scratched and worn off. Entertainment - I think Oasis class ships have the best entertainment at sea. The Hiro water show was amazing. My whole family down to the two year old loved it. The ice skating shows were both great (with 1977 being my favorite of the two). While I found Flight to be a little boring, it was still a great quality show - just not necessarily my taste. I didn't like the reservation system for the shows on the ship. Most nights, the line for "reserved" seating was longer than the non-reserved line. I think when you are on vacation, you shouldn't have to worry about planning out ahead of time each and every thing you will want to do. I was also disappointed that this ship doesn't have the Dream Works characters on board. That does add a lot for younger children. Overall, the Symphony is a good ship to cruise. It has something for everyone. When we went on the Allure 7 years ago, I left the ship being blown away by the level of service and the overall experience. This time, while I left happy, I wasn't as impressed. I am not sure if that has to do with the general change in tone of the cruise industry in general being geared more towards paying premiums for everything or not. However, I would cruise an Oasis class ship again. I am not sure if the premium we paid for cruising on the newest ship was worth it. We probably could have gotten the same experience at a lower cost cruising on one of the older Oasis ships. Read Less
Symphony of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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