Cruise Guides

Wow and Wow! Our Experts Visit Royal Caribbean's New Ship

A member of our travel team took a trip on Royal Caribbean’s impressive new ship ‘Symphony of the Seas’. Check out her first impressions and recommendations below!

Wow and wow! My recent experience on Royal Caribbean’s newest ship ‘Symphony of the Seas’ was one to remember! An Oasis Class ship, Symphony of the Seas has 7 distinct neighbourhoods, a range of speciality restaurants and numerous exciting attractions, with a huge selection of staterooms from top of the range family suites to lofts with floor to ceiling windows and lots of space.

Accommodation:

The ship features a variety of room types, including traditional balcony cabins with inward and outward facing views, Villa suites, Owner suites, Star lofts, Grand Suites and more. There are good sized staterooms for families, with bunk beds tucked into an alcove with a privacy curtain – kids will love these! 

For those who want to go all out, there is a new 4 Bed Villa Suite that accommodates 14 guests for larger families. There’s also an ultimate family suite on board, with it’s own slide, giant balcony with Jacuzzi, double height ceilings, fantastic private quarters, kids area, Lego wall, air hockey and a popcorn machine, which is an absolute dream for families with deep pockets and is already solidly booked out!

Bathrooms are surprisingly spacious, with with good storage and a nice low light at night-time to prevent toe stubbing! 

Bathrooms are surprisingly spacious, with with good storage and a nice low light at night-time to prevent toe stubbing! All staterooms are furnished with restful colour schemes, flat screen TV’s, a large sofa (which converts if required), lovely comfy beds and most importantly, plenty of storage and sockets for charging!

One of the successes of this new ship was the updated ‘virtual windows’ featured in inside cabins, which offer a view from high tech cameras positioned outside the ship. They were really effective, offering honest views as you pull into ports – meaning there is truly an option for every pocket.

Quick facts:

 

  • Symphony is 18 decks high – standing upright at 362 metres, and accommodates over 6,000 guests, following in the path of Oasis/Allure and Harmony of the Seas, two of the biggest cruise liners in the world.
  • The ship weighs more than 17,000 African Elephants!
  • Symphony has 20 restaurants with over 300 menu options available.
  • This ship shows the Broadway show Hairspray
  • Kids will love the Battle for Planet Z, a new pitch black lazer game for everybody young and old!

The neighbourhoods:

My favourite has to be Central Park – its 12,000 trees and carefully selected plants are real joy to behold.  This neighbourhood is open to the elements and the 7 decks rising on either side keeps it serene, sheltered and protected. A winding walkway is flanked both sides with designer shops – Bvlgari, Cartier and a range of speciality restaurants such as Chops, 105 Central Park, Jamie’s Italian and a vintage wine bar.

The pool & sports zone:

There’s a lot of activity in this area of the ship with a trio of twisting water slides, two FlowRiders, a zipline, mini golf and two 220ft rock climbing walls. This is all topped by the massive and terrifying Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea, which plunges 10 storeys – phew! For more traditional activities, there is a basketball/sports court, Splashaway Bay for kids, 23 other pool options and loads of sundecks! Located close to the activity is El Loco’s, the new Mexican restaurant.

Vitality at Sea:

The ship features a spacious gym that houses all the latest equipment, providing nutritional advice and offering specific consultations. Pilates and yoga classes take place daily. There are a variety of treatments available, including massages, seaweed wraps, pedicures, and botox. All products are Elemis, and the treatment rooms are spacious and tranquil.

  • Inside the Royal Suite
  • Watch Hairspray in the ship's theatre
  • There are a wide range of restaurants with over 300 menu options!
  • There are a range of activities for kids, from 6 months to 17 years!

Entertainment Place:

Here’s where the evening starts! See performances by top class professional skaters, who conduct amazing performances with 40 coloured drones in the ice skating rink!

The main theatre shows the Broadway production Hairspray, and nearby you can have a game of Lazer Tag, try your luck at the tables in the Casino Hall, or enjoy an evening at the comedy club or the Karaoke bar.

For a more chilled evening, head to the intimate jazz and blues bar or visit the other numerous bars and lounges throughout the ship depending on your mood. Finish off your evening at The Attic for a late night boogie on the largest dance floor at sea!

There is a whole host of new entertainment planned, including:

  • Flight – a multi-million-dollar original production starting with a journey to space and going backwards in time.
  • HiRO – some of the world’s best extreme-sport athletes. Expect aerobatics like never before – no two shows are the same!
  • Iskate 2.0 – A second ice skating production showcasing the talents of the resident ice skating team demonstrating their best moves!
  • New speciality restaurants – Hooked (New England style seafood), Sugar Beach (sweets) and El Loco (Mexican).
  • Playmakers Sports Bar with 30 TV screens streaming numerous sporting events every day and video games etc.
  • New designed boardwalk with fairground carousel, Johnny Rockets and more…

Aqua Nation:

This performance is simply jaw dropping – an unmissable event!

A show like no other! Synchronised swimmers start the show, followed by two high divers’ performing complicated twists and turns from 10 metre diving boards into what seems like a tiny pool! This show makes you hold your breath, with balancing tightrope walkers conducting amazing feats above your heads and the aerobatic grace of an air ballerina. 

Royal Promenade:

The greatest 80’s party takes place on the promenade. Featuring mad haircuts, neon outfits and fantastic music, it’s an unforgettable street party in the centre of the ship. The robotic bartenders will make your cocktails at the Bionic Bar and the Rising Tide bar elevates from deck 5-8 whilst you relax and enjoy a drink.

The rest of the promenade is place to stroll, enjoy a pizza, grab a Starbucks, or browse through a number of retail shops and bars. This is a hub of activity and the place to meet others!

Youth Zone:

Royal Caribbean is the market leader when it comes to its youth programmes. It offers activities for kids of all ages – suitable for kids from 6 months (drop off) to 17 years! The Royal Babies, the Adventure Ocean and Teen Programme all run on Symphony of the Seas, in addition the new Puzzle Break, a challenging escape room experience trapped in a submarine.

Want to see Symphony of the Seas yourself? 

This ship is based in the Mediterranean this summer and moving to the Caribbean this winter. If you want to book a trip, you can request a quote on our site.

 

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Cathal Kehoe - 23 April 2018

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