We recently had the honor of cruising on Royal Caribbean’s new ship, Symphony of the Seas. This first post is going to be all about the ship- what it offers and things we did. My next post will be about cruising with toddlers.
A HUGE thank you to Royal Caribbean for sponsoring our trip! We had the time of our lives and we owe it all to you!
I’ve received a ton of questions and I’m going to try my best to cover everything in this post and the next post but if I miss something, feel free to message me. 🙂
All About the Ship
Believe me when I say, Royal Caribbean outdid themselves. They literally thought of everything for this ship! I only have good things to say. It’s a dream ship and the ultimate family vacation!
After being a frequent cruiser, I was worried about doing too much walking (it’s the biggest ship in the world) from one place to another but they did a great job of making sure everything was centrally located and getting from one place to another was a breeze.
Symphony of the Seas is organized into seven unique neighborhoods:Boardwalk, Pool and Sports Zone, Central Park, Royal Promenade, Entertainment Place, Youth Zone and the Vitality Spa and Fitness.
Boardwalk- this was one of my favorite neighborhoods because there was so much to look at! They have a hand carved carousel in the center, two 43-foot rock climbing walls, Sugar Beach- an ice-cream and candy store, Playmakers Sports Bar and Arcade, and the amazing outdoor venue- the Aqua Theatre. Also, here you can watch people zip line from the top of the ship and come out of the 10-story slide- Ultimate Abyss! This is such a fun area and one that I took the most pictures.
Pool and Sports Zone- this is where you can find five different pools, the main entrance to the Ultimate Abyss, the slide that is ten stories above sea level that takes you to the Boardwalk in 13 seconds, the Perfect Storm (trio of waterslides), the zip line thats nine stories high, and Splashaway Bay- a water area for kids and toddlers, the adults only Solarium, as well as the surf simulators, miniature golf, and a large Sports Court offering several different sports
That’s me up there! 🙂
Central Park- this makes you feel like you’re in NYC and not on a ship, it’s beautiful! This open-air area has beautiful plants with several restaurants, shops, and entertainment.
Royal Promenade– the heart of the ship. It’s where you first step foot on board and it’s the center of all: parades, eateries, shops, and bars.
Entertainment Place- This is where a lot of your entertainment is from glow-in-the-dark laser tag battle to a full-scale ice skating rink, comedy shows, to the Royal Theater where you can watch the Broadway musical Hairspray and several other shows.
Youth Zone- This is the main hub for kids; the facility is phenomenal. The programs they offer are incredible. I’ll talk more about the kid’s program, Adventure Oceans later in the post and in my next blog post.
Vitality Spa and Fitness– This is where you can go to relax and get pampered or even workout by yourself or in group classes.
Food I’m a foodie and can be very opinionated about food… I can’t even tell you how many times I said to my husband, “This is quality food, not the normal cruise food!”. Everything we tried wasn’t just good, it was delicious and presented beautifully! This ship has 23, YES 23 specialty and complimentary dining options. From Mexican to seafood to a hibachi grill to Italian to a buffet of everything you could possibly imagine, they have it!
They even have a Bionic Bar with two robotic bartenders! It was really fun to watch.
Judd and I had the privilege of taking a behind the scenes food tour to see how they feed 8,000+ people every day. I was just amazed at the systems they have in place and how much food they make every single day.
Something random that I really liked about this cruise is they asked everyone to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer prior to entering dining areas. Being a germaphobe, I LOVED this.
Entertainment Trust me when I say it, YOU WILL NEVER GET BORED ON THIS SHIP! There is so much to see and so much to do! They have everything from zip lining across the ship, to swimming at the pool, seeing the Broadway show- Hairspray, shopping, relaxing at the Vitality Spa, surf simulators, riding the carousal, gambling in the casino, laser tag, mini golf, the tallest slide at sea (10 stories), waterslides, watching the high-flying aqua show- Hiro, and so much more!
This cruise ship offers a large variety of rooms. Every room I saw was decorated beautifully and felt very new and clean. From balcony staterooms that overlook the iconic Boardwalk neighborhood to The Ultimate Family Suite, they have it all. I received several questions about room sizes, cruise lines will only let you book staterooms that will hold the number of people in your party. While staterooms can sometimes be smaller than a hotel room, they are designed to have plenty of places to store your things and allow you to move around the room comfortably). The pictures below are from the Ultimate Family Suite, a 2 story suite with a slide and a separate master suite.
Adventure Ocean Programs (Kids Program) I plan to share more about traveling with kids and the kids program in my next post but wanted to give a general overview of this amazing program. It’s for ages 3-17. The program is “tailored to entertain, educate and inspire the youngest of adventurers with science, arts and crafts, theater, sports and parades that make imaginations run wild.”
It is organized by age groups: Royal Babies (ages 6-18 months), Royal Tots (ages 18-36 months), Aquanauts (ages 3-5); Explorers (ages 6 to 8), Voyagers (ages 9 to 11), and Tweens and Teens program (ages 12-17). Each age group had their own area plus some additional rooms for arts, science, etc. I will be posting a lot more about this program on my next post.
We didn’t do any excursions this trip, we just walked around Nassau.
However, I did look at what they offered and they have tons of excursions for everyone. One really cool thing that they are opening in May 2019 is “A Perfect Day” in CocoCay in the Bahamas. This is their private island that just went through a $200 million transformation. For years they have asked cruisers what “their perfect day would be.” They designed this island based off of those answers. It will have the tallest waterslide in North America, the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean, and so much more. I can’t wait to check this place out in the future!
Several readers asked about motion sickness on cruises. I do get seasick very easily so I always make sure I’m stocked on Dramamine and Seabands prior to leaving on a cruise. As long as I take the medicine daily I am always fine. I will say on this ship, I never once felt the ship move!
I had the pleasure of meeting the CEO of Royal Caribbean while I was on the cruise and he said the goal is to make their cruises fun for multigenerational families and the company does a great job of this! They have entertainment, features, and food for everyone of all ages. If you can’t tell, we had the best time and we will definitely be back for another cruise in the future. You blew us away, Royal Caribbean! You were the ultimate family vacation for us and we will definitely be back!
Interested in Booking? I haven’t announced this yet but I am now certified to plan trips for families! I’d love to help you plan your next trip. Email me at BriannaLovesTraveling@gmail.com.