Royal Caribbean Raises Curtain on Even Grander Symphony of the Seas

Family suite on Symphony of the Seas There's even a slide in the Ultimate Family Suite--Courtesy of Royal Caribbean

It’s no surprise that the Symphony of the Seas will be the biggest cruise ship yet.

Royal Caribbean International makes sure that each sister of the famous Oasis of the Seas gets at least a few inches longer and wider than what’s come before. But the fourth ship in the Royal Caribbean heavyweight class is also aiming to redefine family and adventure travel, the company’s execs said in a dramatic reveal of the floating world that will debut in Europe in April, 2018.

Symphony of the Seas will span 16 guest decks, carry 5,500 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,774 guest accommodations. New dining concepts and family activities, inventive theater, aerial, ice and aqua entertainment, and the most dynamic suite in family travel will join the lineup of Royal Caribbean exclusives.

Here’s a preview of what’s coming:

Playmakers on Symphony of the Seas

Playmakers Bar will be a defining feature of the Boardwalk zone–Image courtesy Royal Caribbean

Can you top this?

“Symphony will introduce the most cutting-edge, customizable, and digitally-enhanced experiences in the Royal Caribbean fleet,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We set out to create a new level of vacation adventure and deliver the ultimate escape for families of all sizes.”

There will be more balcony staterooms overlooking the open ocean and legendary Boardwalk and Central Park neighborhoods than her popular sister ships.

There will be all the features found on sibling Harmony of the Seas, including robotic bartenders at the Bionic Bar, powered by Makr Shakr; the trapeze and diving performances in the AquaTheater and the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea. But the seven-neighborhood concept of the Oasis-class ships will feature even more attractions and experiences.

Boardwalk reimagined

Symphony of the Seas will introduce the new generation of the Boardwalk neighborhood, featuring a new Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, with 30 big-screen TVs featuring events happening around the world. Spanning the length of the Boardwalk, the arcade will be a hot spot for families to enjoy wings, burgers and craft beer on draft, as well as friendly competitions of Ms. Pacman, Star Wars Battle Pod, Ice Skee-ball and other popular games

Across from the Boardwalk’s hand-carved carousel, Sugar Beach candy and ice-cream shop will bring an overload of sweet treats and feature family-friendly activities for aspirational bakers.

The ultimate family suite

Symphony will introduce the world’s largest and most interactive family suite. The two-level Ultimate Family Suite will include a slide from the kid’s-only bedroom to the living room below; a floor-to-ceiling LEGO wall, an air-hockey table and hidden nooks for chilling., said Vicki Freed, senior vice-president of sales and trade support.

A separate 3D movie theater-style TV room, complete with a popcorn machine and a library of video games and multiple gaming systems might have families staying in by day, if it weren’t for the 212-square-foot wraparound balcony with a bumper pool table, a climbing wall and a full-size whirlpool with panoramic ocean views. The 1,346 square foot space can accommodate up to eight and it will include the services of a personal Royal Genie to take care of arranging services and amenities.

El Loco restaurant on Symphony of the Seas

El Loco restaurant features a sea view–Image courtesy Royal Caribbean

More dining options

Symphony will debut new food and beverage concepts in addition to the two dozen specialty and complimentary restaurants found on other Oasis-class ships. Hooked Seafood, a New England-style seafood restaurant, will feature fresh seafood and a raw bar complete with oysters shucked to order. Located at the front of the ship in the Solarium, the casual restaurant will serve lunch and dinner.

El Loco Fresh in the Sports Zone will offer made-to-order tacos, burritos and other popular Mexican fare in an open-air area that seats 100 guests.

There will also be new menu additions at the Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine, Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver, 150 Central Park and Izumi Hibachi and Sushi restaurants.

Poster for show on Symphony of the Seas

Poster for the new comedy show Flight –Courtesy Royal Caribbean

Entertainment takes flight

The hugely successful Hairspray – the brand’s first Broadway musical at sea – will return on Symphony with a totally refreshed look to headline the Royal Theater. It shares the stage with a new original Royal Caribbean show, Flight, a historical satire on the evolution of air travel that ends with homage to the famed Wright Brothers.

In the AquaTheater open-air amphitheater at the rear of the ship, a new aqua show, HiRo, will offer a range of with high-diving and acrobatics. Studio B will offer a new ice-skating time-travel adventure, 1977. It will bring guests to London on the eve of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee when her Crown Jewels are stolen in the heist of the century.

At times when Studio B isn’t used for skating, guests can gear up for a glow-in-the-dark laser tag experience, where family and friends can battle over the fate of the last planet in the galaxy. There’s also a new Puzzle Break experience, where teams will race against the clock and learn to work together to escape the submarine-themed room before time runs out.

Poster on Symphony of the Seas

Poster for the 1977 stage show–Courtesy of Royal Caribbean

Fastest tech and check-ins at sea

The goal is a “frictionless arrival,” Bayley says. Guests will check-in via the brand’s new mobile app and seamlessly upload their security “selfie” to create their onboard account at home.
Upon arrival, guests will go through a security screening and then head straight to their stateroom, where their keys will be ready and waiting.

Symphony will also have the latest version of VOOM, Royal Caribbean’s proprietary satellite internet technology. “There is no comparable product out there and the new mobile app we use will make it even more useful,” Bayley promises.

Symphony of the Seas will become the 25th ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet when she sets sail in April, 2018. For the summer season in the Mediterranean, she will sail from Barcelona to ports in Spain, including Palma de Mallorca; Provence, France; the ports for Florence and Rome and Naples, Italy

After a trans-Atlantic crossing in November, the ship will make Miami her year-round home, sailing seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages from the purpose-built new Terminal A at PortMiami.

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About Wallace Immen

Wallace Immen is Executive Editor of The Cruisington Times, the Best in Cruising, Travel, Food and Fun. He's sailed on all of the world's seas to ports in over 100 countries and travelled on every continent. Contact: Website | Twitter | More Posts

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