It has been almost a decade since Oasis of the Seas made her maiden voyage. Since then Royal Caribbean has added three other sister ships to the Oasis class (Allure, Harmony, & Symphony).
During that period of time I have sailed dozens of cruise ships, yet never found my way onto an Oasis class ship. That was until February 2019 when I would sail on the youngest of the four sisters, Symphony of the Seas. I would be sailing solo, but as part of a large group and was very much looking forward to spending seven days away from the cold New England weather. I had heard all the hype around these mega ships, but it was time for me find out firsthand what they were all about.
After spending a week aboard Symphony of the Seas, sailing to the Western Caribbean, I can definitely say the ship grew on me and I had an absolute blast on board. I was amazed at how well the ship could accommodate so many guests, and very rarely did it feel crowded.
Looking back on the sailing, there were some venues that stuck out to me. Each venue for a different reason but each one had a positive impact on my overall experience. I would like to share the details around those venues as they are not to be missed!
This space is the home to a number of smaller venues including the Carousel, Dog House, Johnny Rockets, Playmakers, Ultimate Abyss (exit), and the Aqua Theater. What I loved the most about this space was the ability to sit down, have some food and drinks, and be able to people watch everyone passing through the Boardwalk area.
As I mentioned earlier, I was sailing with a group, and Playmakers ended up being our meet up location of choice. We would often have drinks here before or after dinner and I would often come out on my own just to sit down and catch up on my social media. If you find yourself up on deck 15 (pool deck) and want to head down to the Boardwalk be sure to hop on the Ultimate Abyss and take the 216 foot plunge down to deck 6!
Wonderland is not your average dinner, it’s a culinary experience. Distinctive menus give way to Sun, Ice, Fire, Earth, and Sea inspired creations. Family style service is suggested from the staff to allow everyone to try everything. We had a party of 16 while dining here and the family style sharing really made it fun as we each experienced and discussed the dishes.
You do need to be open to trying things here that may not sound completely appetizing by description. I forced myself to try everything, even if it had an ingredient I did not usually care for. I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed each of the dishes. You really need to experience Wonderland for yourself to truly understand what it is all about. Go ahead and order yourself a Down the Rabbit Hole off of the drink menu, you can thank me later!
Take a video tour of Symphony of the Seas
I am usually one of those people who spends tons of time at cruise ship pools. I love the atmosphere, the pool games, and the people watching. On Symphony I never found myself there. It wasn’t a matter of it being too crowded as it actually boasts a large pool space to passenger ratio as compared to most other cruise ships. On our first sea day a friend in the group said he was headed there so I decided to meet up with him. I enjoyed the space and really appreciated the partial coverings from the sun.
There is also a bar in the middle of the Solarium which is very convenient. I should note that the Symphony does have a small pool in the Solarium unlike her older sister Harmony. It really is a great sea day option especially if you looking to avoid kids as the space is reserved for guests 16 and older. Grab a towel, a lounger, and sit back and relax as the sea views go by!
Silent discos are becoming very popular in the cruise industry and I really hope they are here to stay. They add a couple dynamics to the night club experience that I am a big fan of. First off, chances are you will like one of the two songs playing at any given time. In the standard club experience you are forced to listen to whatever that lone DJ is playing. What is not to love about a bonus track!?
Secondly, it adds a social aspect, as you’ll find yourself telling friends to change their channel or you’ll debate over which song is better. On Symphony 7 day sailings they offer Hush Parties on two nights. My group looked forward to it each time. Grab your friends and head to the Attic night club for the Hush parties. Be ready to root for team blue or team green!
- View Prices on Cruises on Symphony of the Seas
Similar to the Boardwalk, Central Park holds a number of smaller venues. Chops Steakhouse, Jamie’s Italian, 150 Central Park, Park Café, several bars, and the high end retail shops can be found within Central Park. The dining locations have seating both within the restaurants and out in the park itself. I often used Park Café as an alternative to the Windjammer buffet for breakfast and lunch. Park Café has ample selections and was far less busy and crowded than Windjammer.
There is also public seating within Central Park including a number of wooden rocking chairs. Grab a book and a coffee and enjoy a quiet relaxing morning here or come hungry with a glass of wine at dinner time to enjoy one of the many specialty restaurants in this location.
This is just a small selection of the venues aboard this mega ship. There are endless things to see and do on Symphony of the Seas. Even with seven days onboard it was not enough time to do everything I had planned.
I will definitely have to plan another sailing on her or one of her sisters in the near future. Have you been on an Oasis class ship? If so, what did you think? If you have been on Symphony specifically, what were some of your favorite venues that I missed?
Thank you for reading along. I hope this post either helped you plan for an upcoming sailing on Symphony of the Seas or simply helped you relive some of your favorite spaces from a previous sailing. If you want to check out more of my content you can do so at CruiseLifeMatt.com or on Instagram @CruiseLifeMatt.