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Never before had a ship launch been more anticipated than that of Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas. And with excellent reason! Offering an impressive 18 decks of accommodations, entertainment, and leisure facilities, the planet’s largest liner truly redefines the cruise experience. From robotic mixologists and multimedia ice rinks to ten-storey waterslides and cuisine from every continent, a world of opportunity awaits – and it’s all in one place.
But the numbers don’t tell the whole story. What’s it like to be onboard the biggest cruise ship in the world? The Cruise1st team had a chance to visit Symphony of the Seas when she was docked in Barcelona. Here’s what we learned.
Symphony of the Seas: Fast Facts
Seven Themed Neighbourhoods
A floating city at sea
As we were flying into Barcelona, we could already see Symphony of the Seas from the plane window. Even from our bird’s-eye view, she looked huge. Once we were on board, it just felt like a floating city at sea. We walked along the Royal Promenade, with its luxury shops and cafés, and could hardly believe we were on a ship. All 18 decks were so spacious, and the ship’s seven themed neighbourhoods, like Central Park and Boardwalk, offer something new to discover with every visit. Everything was just so impressive. Symphony of the Seas is like a self-contained city, where you can find everything you need and more!
Living the suite life
With four styles of accommodation available in a variety of configurations, Symphony of the Seas has the right space for all types of at-sea living.
If peerless refinement is the standard, nothing compares to the top-of-the-line 142-square-metre Royal Loft Suite. A plush home away from home spread over two storeys, this suite has it all, including space for six, a king-size bed with a premium DUXIANA mattress, a private balcony with a whirlpool Jacuzzi, a dining area, and panoramic sea views. Love being waited on hand and foot? Be sure to check out the Star Suite Class, which comes with your very own Royal Genie personal assistant – happy to attend to your every whim from the moment you set sail.
Those travelling with kids can enjoy the best of both worlds in the Ultimate Family Suite, a stunning two-deck suite blending elegant décor and fun around every turn. Whether it’s the in-suite slide or private 3D cinema, parents and children alike are spoilt for choice in this amazing family-friendly suite.
There is also a range of premier accessibility-friendly rooms, luxurious oceanview staterooms, and spacious interior quarters with floor-to-ceiling virtual balconies, so you don’t even have to step outside for spectacular vistas.
People often say three weeks isn’t enough time to explore everything on board a cruise ship, and in the case of Symphony of the Seas, that is an understatement. Royal Caribbean has outdone itself, and the proof is in its impressive shows. Here’s our pick of the best entertainment options for the young and young at heart.
Without a doubt one of the most exciting inclusions in Symphony of the Seas’ programme, the official cast of Hairspray take to the stage to perform this feel-good Tony Award-winning Broadway musical. Sit back, relax, and prepare to be uplifted – not unlike Tracy Turnblad’s roots!
Extreme acrobatics on rail-thin balconies, motion sequences that blur land and water, and breathtaking plunges from unknown heights: What could be more exhilarating than HiRo, Royal Caribbean’s mesmerizing aquatic dance extravaganza? As one of Symphony’s most popular spectacles, you don’t want to miss the show everyone’s talking about.
At the heart of Symphony of the Seas, you’ll always find music, and nowhere is this better showcased than Dazzles, the venue that has a genre for everyone. Shine your dancing shoes and foxtrot to the big band, or if Saturday Night Fever is more up your alley, head down to disco night. There’s even a professional instructor on hand if you need a little extra tuition.
Flavourful food and delectable drink
Royal Caribbean certainly knows a thing or two about culinary excellence, and Symphony of the Seas is no exception. Home to 20 food establishments, the ship offers a taste sensation the likes of which you’ve never seen before. World-renowned Mediterranean classics straight from Jamie’s Italian; fresh, mouth-watering cuts at the All-American steakhouse; and traditional Mexican dishes so hearty they might just leap off the plate and hug you. There’s no such thing as a fussy eater when you’re dining aboard Symphony of the Seas.
There are also plenty of cosy cafés, where you can kick back with a barista-perfected brew. Or for something a little stronger – and with a kooky twist – stop by the Bionic Bar. Simply order on a tablet and watch as robotic bartenders mix your cocktail in a matter of minutes. It’s the future of mixology, making waves of a totally different kind. What’s your poison?
Fun for the whole family
Symphony of the Seas is not only the largest cruise ship at sea; it’s also the most adventurous! Many of the star attractions on Royal Caribbean’s other Oasis-class ships have made an encore on Symphony of the Seas. Who doesn’t love a good old retro arcade game? Or a relaxed (but secretly competitive) game of minigolf? Or, perhaps you’re more into perfecting that ace shot on the tennis court? Whatever you love to do in your free time, you can bet Symphony of the Seas has it covered. Sports fanatics will love catching a wave on FlowRider, a twelve-metre-long surf simulator ideal for brushing up on your technique. Alternatively, for something a little less intensive, try either of the two rock climbing walls or zoom along the nine-deck-high zip line. Either way, you’re bound to catch some stunning views of the ship from above.
Talk of Symphony of the Seas’ activities wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the pièce de résistance: Ultimate Abyss. Step into the maw of the giant anglerfish and brave this ten-storey thrill ride. It’s the tallest and longest waterslide at sea, unique in its multiple twists and turns that will leave you gasping for breath. The Perfect Storm will seem like a piece of cake afterwards, and it’s a great way to finish your swim as you plunge down the trio of three-storey waterslides, Cyclone, Supercell, and Typhoon.
Tech on deck
Symphony of the Seas has also considered your time in-room with VOOM internet technology, delivering the fastest online experience at sea. With the excellent connection, you’ll be able to binge the newest movies and shows on Netflix, stream your favourite tunes on Spotify, and share highlights of your holiday with your friends and family back home. You’ll also benefit from Royal Caribbean’s Royal IQ app, which helps you organise your time on and off the ship. This is a great way to plan the day’s activities – whether that’s booking a table at your favourite specialty restaurant or scheduling shore excursions.
Cruise1st can help you plan your dream holiday to the Caribbean on the world’s largest cruise ship. Browse our top cruise deals right on our website and book instantly online. If you need any assistant or would like more information, ring our Australia-based cruise experts on 1300 857 345.