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Louan M wrote a review Feb 2020
London, United Kingdom19 contributions4 helpful votes
Where to begin. This cruise has been in the making for such a long time that I actually thought it would never come. We were a party of 5 (me, husband and 3 x daughters in their 20s) so my review will not have any information for children. What I will say is there is so much to see and do on this cruise ship that I cannot fit it all in. Before I go on further, this was our very first cruise and I am very hard to please! But Symphony of the Seas has given me sea legs and I cannot wait to go on another cruise.

We booked the cruise 1 year in advance and after we had booked, found out it is biggest and newest cruise ship in the world. We were going to Miami, St Kitts, St Thomas, and Coco Cay – Bahamas then back to Miami and we had high expectations because we found out very quickly whilst making all the arrangements, cruising is not cheap, but it did not fail us.

We boarded in Miami after flying from the UK the night before. The signage and instructions for the correct terminal was not very clear and our Uber driver had to circle around a few times. However, once we reached a very busy and hectic terminal, dropping off our suitcases and heading onboard the ship for the first time was smooth, quick and completely trouble-free.

We definitely got the WOW factor when we boarded, and the atmosphere was electric. This ship caterers for all ages. If you want to be involved in everything then go ahead, but if you want peace and quiet, that is also possible.

BUT I do have one complaint. We watched Hairspray on our very first night. It was brilliant but why do they need to have the air-conditioning up so high, everyone was complaining that first night. One of the air conditioning units was under my seat, so throughout the production, I was freezing. Needless to say, I got sick and developed a nasty cough that lasted 2 weeks after I returned to work.

Our rooms were on the 14th floor in rooms 14231, 14233 and 14235 all of which, have an internal balcony overlooking Central Park with views looking at the swimming pools, slides and lots of sky, it was a near perfect score for me. The staterooms (that’s what they call them) very nicely decorated and was spacious enough for me and my husband. Our daughters had rooms next to us so in total we took up 3 rooms. The bathroom was neat and compact – but I do advise to bring your own shower gel and shampoo & conditioner. They need to do something about the size of their towels, they are not bath towels but the smaller size. There are no dressing gowns in the normal staterooms, so I would recommend bringing your own. During the night when the lights are on, and the curtains and balcony door are open, the rooms opposite can see right into your room. So, I would recommend that you have a dressing gown for privacy.

There is enough space to unpack and hang your clothes, but the let-down is no storage for your suitcases. Unfortunately, we had duvets, pillows and bedding stored under out bed so we couldn’t fit our cases there either.

If you are staying in rooms next to each other, you can ask your room attendant (ours was called Chris who has a wealth of information and so very helpful), to open the balcony dividers so that you can walk the whole length of your balconies. We didn’t find this out until 4 days into our cruise!

The staff on board the ship couldn’t do enough for you. One of my daughters must have wheat and dairy free food. This was noted and no matter where we ate on the ship, they catered to her requirements. This scored very highly in my book.

You will not be disappointed by the ship. Its massive, it has everything that you need. There are enough restaurants that you can grab a snack or have a full meal. Don’t forget you have to pay for the speciality restaurants. We had a special offer to eat in Jamie Oliver’s restaurant which was very good. (if you see my review for Jamie’s in the UK, you would know that I was not impressed at all), however, the one on this ship is a whole other ball game.

We found the juice bar on our 5th day. It's on the 6th floor opposite side of the casino. The Windjammer has a different dish each night and I don’t really think you can go wrong eating here. Their breakfast was amazing and with so many different varieties that I think we were quite spoilt for choice.

I won’t go into the drinks package, as I think that is a whole other review, but what I will say is having grown up children over 21, we only had the refreshment package but we managed to have alcohol every day on the ship without paying!!

Unfortunately, from Miami to the Caribbean, we had a bit of bad weather and we could feel the ship swaying but, to speak the truth, I slept like a baby on that bed – I think the swaying helped me to sleep better! Captain Rob made daily announcements to keep us informed of our progress and weather update which was really appreciated. Apparently, the smaller ships were not able to make the crossing, and when we arrived at St Kits, we heard not all of the ships made the crossing – so we were glad that we were on such a large ship and it could take the battering from the Atlantic ocean.

Our stop in St Kits and St Thomas was rather disappointing and we found it quite boring. There isn’t much to do there and the site seeing was a bit dull, but we were happy to get the opportunity to walk about. The next time we do a Caribbean cruise, we will go more towards Barbados and St Lucia which have more to offer in terms of hiking, sulphur springs etc.

The weather and me being ill did put a bit of a damper on our weeks cruise, however it did not stop us having fun and honestly, we enjoyed all of it. From that first night of the sailing away party, the night clubs where I danced till the early mornings with my daughters, the silent disco (highly recommended), rock climbing and surfing for my husband, Worlds Sexiest Man competition for my daughters (and me of course), the slides, ice-skating, a full working theatre, one of the best gyms I have seen in a hotel like venue, constant entertainment, various pools including adult-only, ….. the list is endless.

It was truly amazing, and we cannot wait for our next trip, but after being on the biggest ship in the world, where do we go from there!
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Sail Date: January 2020
Cabin Type: Balcony
Type of Trip:
Destination: Caribbean
Cabin
Dining
Service
Pools & Sundecks
Onboard Activities
Entertainment
Value
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas

189 reviews
 All photos (3,693)3,693
Full view
Traveller (488)
Common Areas (2,030)
Dining and Bars (1,156)
Itineraries for this ship
Itinerary
7 Night Cruise to the Western Caribbean
Departure date
Saturday, 29/01/22
Route
Miami, Costa Maya, Roatan, Cozumel, Perfect Day at CocoCay, Miami
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Cruise OnlyUS$603pp
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Fly CruiseUS$1,490pp
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Overview

About
Passengers: 5,518   |   Crew: 2,200
Passengers to crew: 2.51:1
Passengers to space: 41.3:1
Launched: 2018   

Decks

  • Deck 3
  • Deck 4
  • Deck 5
  • Deck 6
  • Deck 7
  • Deck 8
Additional decks
Deck 3 layout
Cabins
  Interior (1V)  
  Ocean View (2N)  
  Ocean View (1N)  
  Interior (2V)  
 
Amenities
Main Dining Room
Conference Center

Cabins

Balcony
Cabin size: 182 - 272 sq. ft.
Connected rooms: 323
Accessible rooms: 32
Maximum passengers: 6
Number of cabins: 1796

Activities & entertainment

Activities (20)
  • CruiseCritic Meet and Mingle
  • Dance Classes
  • Dance Classes
  • Dance Parties
  • Fitness Classes*
  • FlowRider (2)
  • Hot Tubs (9)
  • Pool Games
  • Pools (4)
  • Rock Climbing Wall (2)
  • Running Track
  • Scavenger Hunts
  • Sports Tournament
  • Trivia
  • Vitality At Sea Fitness Center
  • Vitality At Sea Spa*
  • Wine Tasting*
  • Zipline
  • Waterslides (4)
  • Luckey Climber
Entertainment (18)
  • Casino Royale*
  • Dazzles
  • Deck Parties
  • Demonstrations
  • Entertainment Place
  • Game Broadcasts
  • Game Shows
  • Jazz On 4
  • Karaoke
  • Live Music
  • On Air Club
  • Poolside Movies
  • Royal Promenade
  • Royal Theater
  • Royal Theater
  • Studio B
  • The Attic*
  • Wellness Lectures
Dining (23)
  • Main Dining Room - American
  • Wonderland - Avant Garde*
  • Sugar Beach - Candy*
  • Coffee Shop - Coffee Bar*
  • 150 Central Park - Farm to Table*
  • Boardwalk Dog House - Fast Food
  • Johnny Rockets - Fast Food*
  • Trellis Bar - Garden Bar*
  • English Pub - Gastropub*
  • Vitality Café - Health Conscious
  • Jamie's Italian - italian
  • Izumi - Japanese*
  • Boleros - Latin bar*
  • Park Café - Light Fare
  • Schooner Bar - Nautical bar*
  • Rising Tide Bar - Niche Bar*
  • Rising Tide Bar - Niche Bar*
  • Café Promenade - pastries
  • Sorrentos - Pizza
  • Bionic Bar - Robotic Bar*
  • Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade - Sports Bar*
  • Chops Grille - Steakhouse*
  • Vintages - Wine Bar
* May require additional fees
Traveller rating
  • 118
  • 30
  • 21
  • 6
  • 14
Time of year
Language
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Selected filters
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  • English
ELDIABLOU wrote a review 18 Nov
Miami, Florida36 contributions29 helpful votes
+1
Me and my wife love cruises and we had the opportunity to work as a contractor with a Lab doing Covid19 test for all 2000 crew members on board the Symphony of the Seas for 8 consecutive weeks without debarking. I get to explore every corner of the Cruise ship and I can tell you that is a totally rewarding experience! All shows are at a Broadway or Las Vegas level!! Very professional actors and performers. To mention a few: HIRO the Aqua show is amazing, the Ice skating show is superb! Singer Mark Preston former lead vocal of the Lettermen's has a clear and powerful voice still. Jazz club and performers are high quality and this is only on the entertainment part. The dining experience has a wide variety of restaurants and bars, and all of them are the best choice for your palate! Now on the STAFF part I was not able to remember all crew member names but just to mention some are: Carlos, Eloy, Pachi, Diego, Kevin (Mexico) Benedicto, Herbert, Sherwin, Rommel, Vance, Arico, Melanie (Philippines), Roxana (Romania), Alick, Sudeep, Priya (India), BeerSee, Depak (Mauritius), Alper (Turkey), Maria Sol Popovich (Argentina) The Dolgovas, Marina (Ukraine) Captain Rick (Canada) and many more staff members that make an unforgettable experience on board of the largest ship in the world weighing an outstanding 228000 tons Symphony of the Seas! Thank you crew members!
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DublinGemologist wrote a review 10 Nov
Katy, Texas45 contributions134 helpful votes
Not too much I didn't enjoy about this cruise experience. This ship is huge and offers pretty much everything you could possibly want. We actually had a hurricane heading toward Miami and decided to go ahead and fly to Miami, take a wait and see attitude as to whether then ship would depart with passengers. About half the passengers cancelled, so we had plenty of room and service. We maneuvered around the hurricane, ended up cruising an extra day due to the storm (ok by me!)
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Chris wrote a review Sep 2021
Ventnor City, New Jersey1 contribution1 helpful vote
We went for 6 days and at the end they charge us $75 ! for some towel that we have nothing to do with. Insane ! . Even worst we called and ask to correct this mistake. They told us they need to review/check with the cleaning guy etc etc! what a Joke this company is! Avoid them! Waste of time and money Do not cruise with them! Norwegian is lot Better!
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1 Helpful vote
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alfonsogoolash wrote a review Jun 2021
Cape Town Central, South Africa3 contributions
Myself and my future boarded this cruise in Africa. It was the 7 Day package to be exact. Service was amazing. Food up to standards. Entertainment was very entertaining and live performances was totally a blast. I found the wine to be a bit on the expensive side. Live music was phenomenal Would love to do this cruise sometime soon and would also love to have a much longer stay.
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JHS6223YL wrote a review Jul 2020
47 contributions49 helpful votes
Wow! How can I some up a seven day cruise. One word. Excellent! We went on this ship in mid December 2019 for a Caribbean cruise. It was my first time. This is a newer ship and was very nicely appointed. This was before Covid, but the detail in cleaning on the ship was not expected. I went out early every morning, and sometimes just getting back from the night life, and there were hundreds of people cleaning the decks, stairs (outside and inside) and the constant cleaning in the restaurants was a pleasant surprise. The even have banks of sinks at the entrance to the buffets to wash before you ate. They had a young girl stationed by the sinks with a pleasant greeting of, "washy washy" to encourage people to wash their hands before eating. The restaurants were all good and the casino and bars a lot of fun. Get the unlimited beverage package if you drink alcohol at all! I am not sure I would ever go on a cruise again what with the current health crisis, but I thoroughly enjoyed my cruise in December. It seems like a lifetime ago!
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Upcoming itineraries

Itinerary
7 Night Cruise to the Western Caribbean
Departure date
Saturday, 29/01/22
The map for this itinerary is not available at this time.
Itinerary
Top deals
Cruise OnlyUS$603pp
View Deal
Fly CruiseUS$1,490pp
View Deal
Fly CruiseUS$1,669pp
View Deal
Cruise OnlyUS$603pp
View Deal
Fly CruiseUS$1,669pp
View Deal
Prices are cruise only, per person, double occupancy, and are provided by our partners. Taxes, fees and port expenses are not included. Fuel supplements may apply. Availability of prices is subject to the supplier’s pricing availability.