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10 things Royal Caribbean got right with Symphony of the Seas

28 Jan 2023
Elizabeth Wright

Symphony of the Seas is one of Royal Caribbean's newest and biggest cruise ships in the fleet. Offering large open decks, plenty of things to do onboard, and lots of dining choices, its hard not to love everything Symphony of the Seas has to offer.

Currently the second largest ship at sea (a title held for close to four years until Wonder of the Seas entered service in 2022), there's a lot to love about the Symphony of the Seas.

As the fourth Oasis Class ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet, you can expect to find many fan-favorites, including the zip line, two FlowRiders, AquaTheater shows, and Rising Tide Bar. 

The ship is still relatively new, as it entered service in 2018. It is 1,188 feet long and weights a total of 228,081 gross tons (which is more than the weight of 17,000 African elephants)! 


Here's what Royal Caribbean did right with the Symphony of the Seas and what you can look forward to on your next sailing.

1. Refreshed Solarium 


The Solarium onboard the Symphony of the Seas is an adults-only retreat located at the forward of the ship on deck 15. It features a one-of-a-kind art installation that's comprised of thousands of dichroic acrylic elements. At night, it's lit up with a combination of pinks, blues, and greens. 

Plus, they brought back the Solarium pool after receiving feedback on its removal on the Harmony of the Seas.

Additionally, the Solarium Bistro received a major update compared to older Oasis Class ships. The venue is two-stories, with the top half home to Hooked Seafood. 

2. New specialty dining options 


The Symphony of the Seas was the first Oasis Class ship to replace Sabor on the Boardwalk with Playmakers Sports Bar and Arcade. Unlike other specialty dining restaurants, Playmakers is only offered a la carte. You can purchase a side of fries for only $3, while their infamous "Touchdown Sundae" runs at $12 (but it is served in a collectable Playmakers football helmet bowl!).

Inside, you’ll find 31 big-screen televisions! 

If you’ve sailed on the Harmony of the Seas, you’ll notice that this venue replaced the Starbucks on the Boardwalk. The kiosk returned to the Royal Promenade.

Playmakers can also be found on the Wonder of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas after her refurbishment in 2019. 

Symphony was also the first ship in the fleet to receive Hooked Seafood, which serves up fresh New England-style seafood. If you're a fan of oysters, you'll appreciate how you can try oysters three different ways: Rockefeller style, with leeks and white wine, or with brie and champagne. 

Onboard pricing is $24.99 per adult for lunch and $54.99 per adult for dinner. Children cost $12.99 each. 

Hooked is also available on the Navigator of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas. 

3. Sugar Beach


Another new addition to this Oasis Class ship's Boardwalk's was Sugar Beach, and it has now become a staple on many ships within the fleet. 

Inside, you can find more than 200 different candies. Guests can also purchase ice cream here and create their own concoction by adding whatever toppings they desire. 

Note that it is not a complimentary venue. 

4. "Hidden" piano staircase


Found on deck 15 leading up the to Windjammer Marketplace on deck 16, the piano staircase plays musical notes when stepped on, and guests can create their own tune by walking up and down them! It's entertaining for all ages. 

5. Entertainment options 

HiRO SOTS Aquatheatre

Royal Caribbean is known for their complimentary onboard entertainment that make guests wonder "how am I on a cruise ship?". 

Guests will surely ponder that after watching an adaptation of the broadway musical Hairspray, which features many songs from the original production, as well as jaw-dropping set designs. 

1977, the ice skating show onboard, begins with light-emitting drones before taking viewers on a journey through time to save Her Majesty's Crown Jewels. 

Passengers onboard any Oasis Class ship should make sure that they see an AquaTheatre show, as divers plunge into the deepest pool at sea from up to 30 feet. The show onboard the Symphony of the Seas is HiRO and combines technology, futuristic choreography, unexpected stunts, and acrobatics. 

Finally, Flight: Dare to Dream is a Royal Caribbean Productions original that focuses on chronicling humanity's fascination with flying. It is one of the most ambitious stage productions to date, as the design was informed by Clayton C. Anderson, an Astronaut who lived in space for 167 days and completed 38 hours and 28 minutes over six spacewalks in two missions. 

6. Central Park's abundance of plants


Did you know that there are about 20,700 lush tropical plants in Symphony of the Seas' Central Park neighborhood? In comparison, Harmony of the Seas only has 12,000

It takes a special and intricate system of irrigation, fertilization, lighting, and drainage to help sustain such a unique park.

No wonder there's a landscape specialist who works with a team of three horticulturalists onboard! 

Read more: the flourishing garden on Symphony of the Seas has over 20,000 plants, and it's my favorite spot onboard

7. Return of Ultimate Abyss and Perfect Storm


Both the Ultimate Abyss and Perfect Storm can be found onboard the Symphony of the Seas. 

The Ultimate Abyss debuted on the Harmony of the Seas in 2016, while the Perfect Storm waterslides launched after the Liberty of the Seas' dry dock in 2016.

These added thrills immediately became beloved by adventurous sailors. 

From the aft of deck 15, guests can plunge down ten stories on the Ultimate Abyss, one of the tallest slides at sea, and end up on the Boardwalk. Note that it has a minimum height of 44 inches. 

The Perfect Storm features two twisting slides called Cyclone and Typhoon. The pair of slides let passengers race against each other to the bottom. Supercell, the third waterslide, sends riders down a few turns before released into a bowl slide and ends with a plunge pool. 

All slides descend three decks and jet over the Central Park neighborhood that's ten decks below!

8. Nicely appointment accommodations 

Symphony of the Seas interior cabin

Oasis Class staterooms received a major upgrade on the Harmony of the Seas, and Royal Caribbean kept the new design on the Symphony of the Seas. 

There are five main categories of staterooms onboard: studio, interior, ocean view, balcony, and suite. There is a stateroom for cruisers of all budgets, party sizes, and preferences.

Basic amenities in the staterooms include mini-bars (coolers, not refrigerators), safes, phones, and flat-screen televisions. In the bathroom, guests will find cups that can be replaced daily, towels, hand soap, and body wash. 

There are also at least three plugs, as well as two USB outlets, so you never have to worry about not being able to charge your devices!

9. First-ever Ultimate Family Suite

Heads were turned when Royal Caribbean launched the Ultimate Family Suite onboard the Symphony of the Seas in 2018. 

It offers a family experience unlike any other, and you can think of it like a kid's paradise, complete with a personal in-suite slide, video gaming room, life-sized Connect Four, and air hockey table.

While the kids play hard, the adults can relax hard in the Jacuzzi located on the balcony that overlooks the Sports Deck. Plus, they won't have to worry about planning a thing, as the suite comes with a dedicated Royal Genie who takes care of coordinating daily activities and one-of-a-kid experiences.

There is only one of these suites available onboard and only three in the entire world, with the other two on the Wonder of the Seas and Spectrum of the Seas. Due to their exclusively, they tend to book up very quickly as soon as new itineraries are released. 

10. Running track alcoves 


Located on deck five in the forward of the ship, guests can find two alcoves off the side of the track. Here you can find shuffleboard, comfortable seating, play ping pong, and, of course, get some phenomenal ocean views!

You'll rarely find these alcoves busy, so it's a great place to escape outdoors if you're hoping to avoid crowds. 

Don't worry, the aft seating on the track is still available for those wishing to soak in some of those sea day wake views. 

Elizabeth graduated from New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute with her M.A. in Journalism in May 2023. Growing up, she had the privilege of traveling frequently with her family and fell in love with cruising after sailing on the Oasis of the Seas her freshman year of high school. She wanted to pursue a career that highlighted her passion for travel and strengths as a writer. 

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