What it’s like to sail on Symphony of the Seas?

Symphony was built in 2018 and is currently the largest cruise ship in the world. Just how large is the largest cruise ship? Symphony is 1,188 feet long. To put that into perspective, that’s a little over 3 football fields long. 

Symphony can hold a little over 6600 guests at full capacity and has 2200 crew onboard. Symphony is an Oasis Class ship and is the sister ship to Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas. Symphony has 16 public decks, 10 complimentary dining options, 10 specialty restaurants, 7 distinct neighborhoods, 4 pools and 42 bars and lounges.

Symphony is our favorite cruise ship to date. Symphony is perfect for us and fits our cruising style and personality. There is something going on all day and no matter what your mood is, you can find something that you enjoy. Want a little adventure? Check out the FlowRider. Want a little relaxation? Grab a book and head to one of the 42 lounges and relax the day away. Our Symphony cruise was simply unbelievable and we cannot wait to go back.

Stand Out Things on Symphony of the Seas

Broadway Shows (Hairspray)
Central Park
150 Central Park
Live Entertaiment
Rising Tide Bar

Symphony of the Seas Playlist (click on playlist arrow in top right corner)

Our Review – All Things Good & Bad

Ship Design

  • The one thing you cannot miss on Symphony is the art. There is art everywhere and we loved that. According to Royal Caribbean, the art on Symphony embodies the theme – The Wonder of our World, a Journey into the Unimaginable. You can spend hours just wondering around and looking at all the pieces. 
  • The layout of Symphony is wonderful for crowd control (all of the Oasis class ships are like this). There are many paths to take to get to one place and this helps with bottlenecking of crowds. Even with over 6,000 people on board, we never felt crowded (except at elevators. Elevators are a nightmare on every ship)
  • We loved the distinct neighborhoods. The Boardwalk area is so festive and lively. We love the complimentary carousel. Central Park is also a really cool location. You don’t even feel like you are on a ship.
  • The promenade is fun. There are not only stores and restaurants but they also have parades, flash mobs, and night parties here as well. Definitely an area not to be missed when sailing on Symphony.


  • Windjammer (complimentary buffet B, L, D) – the buffet was good. We are not typically buffet people because we do not like the crowds but we did enjoy the food. There are a lot of options for every type of palette. Tip – Make sure to check out the stairs outside of the buffet. They are super cool.
  • El Loco Fresh (complimentary B, L) – located next to the sports court, El Loco Fresh is an excellent breakfast buffet alternative to the Windjammer. We loved the breakfast here. It was never crowded and they serve Juevos Rancheros, which I love. They also serve the typical breakfast buffet food here as well (bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, bread, etc). For lunch, you can grab some Mexican favorites like tacos, tortillas, etc. Lunch is definitely more crowded than breakfast.
  • Park Cafe (complimentary B, L) – Park Cafe is located in Central Park and they serve bagels, sandwiches and other quick options for breakfast. For lunch, they have an amazing salad bar and serve fantastic sandwiches. We love the Park Cafe salads. It does get really crowded. We recommend going on off dining times. Either go earlier or later than the usual time everyone would typically eat breakfast or lunch. Tip – Park Cafe is open on embarkation day so you can avoid the main buffet if you want.
  • Sorrento’s (complimentary pizza) – Sorrento’s is located on the promenade and serves pizza and antipasta. The pizza is ok. Not our favorite but in a pinch, works. It is a great place to grab a late night snack if you want and there is a soda machine right there so that is really convenient.
  • Cafe Promenade (complimentary snacks & coffee) – the Cafe Promenade is located on the promenade. This is a specialty coffee location but they also have complimentary snacks (danish, small sandwiches, etc) and they have complimentary coffee as well on one side.
  • Chops Grille (specialty D) – Chops is the steakhouse on Symphony. We ate here on embarkation day with the Key. We loved our lunch and recommend checking out the Key perks if you are interested.
  • 150 Central Park (specialty D) – our favorite restaurant on Symphony. The atmosphere is very sophisticated and the food is delicious. In our opinion, if you only have one option for a specialty restaurant, this would be our choice. It is the perfect romantic evening.
  • Jamie’s Italian (specialty D) – the best pasta we have had in an Italian restaurant. The pasta is very fresh and al dente. We loved it. If you can, leave some room for dessert because wow! so yummy. The lemon meringue cheesecake is to die for!
  • Wonderland (specialty D) – Wonderland is an adventurous dining experience but everyone should try it at least once. The food is strange but really good. Give it a go!
  • Izumi (specialty D) – Izumi is part Japanese steakhouse and part sit down sushi/Asian restaurant. Our reviews for this restaurant were split. Sean really liked the food but Stef didn’t. For Stef, the food was ok. The mochi balls are amazing though and you should definitely try those. Sean liked his udon noodles and wanted to go back. We didn’t get to try the Japanese steakhouse portion but it looked like traditional food being served.
  • Hooked (specialty D) – we were very nervous to eat here because Sean is allergic to all seafood BUT the food was amazing and Sean was never contaminated at all. Best seafood at sea. Definitely recommend this!


In our opinion, Royal Caribbean has the best entertainment at sea. From the live music to the stage productions, you will never be disappointed with the entertainment on Royal ships.

  • Broadway productions –  We saw Hairspray and it was fantastic. Great performers, great music and great sets. We also saw Flight, which is the in-house production. Another great show with fantastic music and over-the-top sets and props.
  • Ice skating shows – there is a full ice rink on board and we happened to miss the ice shows on Symphony because we were watching other shows (there is so much to do on Symphony). We have seen the ice shows on other Royal ships and we definitely need to see these on our next visit.
  • Dive shows – Hiro is the dive show on Symphony and it is breathtaking. The performers are spectacular. This is don’t miss show!
  • Live entertainment – there is live music going on all over the ship. Jazz on 4, Boleros, Dazzles, Central Park…the best musicians we have seen at sea.

Onboard Activities

We love how the on board activities are complimentary on Royal ships. Other ships charge for activities:

  • FlowRider
  • Ziplining
  • Carousel
  • Ice Skating
  • Mini Golf
  • Rock Climbing
  • Abyss
  • Laser Tag

Video Review – Symphony of the Seas

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