A Gigantic Floating Palace!
For those of you who have looked up in amazement at The Shard in London, you will understand what I mean by big!
Well how about a cruise ship that is longer than The Shard is tall! The brand New Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas is 363 meters long about 50 meters more than The Shard, and wait for it… it is 5 times longer than the Titanic!
Due to launch on its maiden voyager on March 31st 2018 for a short 5 night cruise from Barcelona with ports of call at Naples and Civitavecchia (Rome) before returning to Barcelona.
The 227,700-ton, 6,360-passenger cruise ship Symphony of the Seas comprises 7 neighborhoods, named Royal Promenade, Central Park, Boardwalk, Youth Center complex, Entertainment Zone, Sports Zone and Spa/Fitness complex. Sisters to the giant Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas and Symphony Of The Seas (the current size leaders in cruise world) are heavier than their siblings by over 1,700 tons, more than three meters wider, and able to accommodate 100 more passengers. The total capacity of the newest Royal Caribbean ships is well over 6,000 guests.
Symphony is nearly 330 ft (101 m) longer than RMS Titanic and 165 ft (50 m) longer than the Eiffel Tower. There are several promenades, two FlowRiders, two rock-climbing walls, an ice-skating rink, huge theatre for Broadway-style productions and aerial acts. “The Ultimate Abyss” water slide flings down 10 decks, at over 150 ft (46 m) above sea level, a fairground carousel. 40 restaurants and bars. 23 pools a zip line. Put another way, this ship could just be the most incredibly entertaining experience you will ever have.
Symphony of the Seas spends her inaugural summer season exploring the awe-inspiring destinations of the Mediterranean calling on ports in Barcelona, Palma Mallorca, Florence/Pisa Rome and Naples. After which she departs for Miami arriving in early November to start 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries on November 17 from the state-of-the-art Terminal A, dubbed ‘Crown of Miami.’
No common cabins for the Symphony of the Seas, only staterooms which are 180 to 270-sq.foot balcony rooms. There are a total of 2744 staterooms in 43 categories. 46 are wheelchair accessible rooms. Among the largest aboard Symphony of the Seas are the Royal Loft Suites (142 m2).
The Ultimate Family Suite is unique for RCI loft suite featuring a slide (from the kid’s bedroom down to the living room), not sure how well that will go down with Mum and Dad! floor-ceiling LEGO wall, hidden nooks for chilling, air-hockey table. A 3D movie theater-style TV room is fitted with popcorn machine and library of video games. The 210 sqf wraparound balcony has a bumper pool table, kids climbers and full-size whirlpool. The largest and most-fun Family Suite at sea accommodates up to 8 passengers.
There are no shortage of restaurants and bars on the Symphony of the Seas. The main dining room has 3-tiers, the Quantum is designed as three separate restaurants situated on three different decks – American Icon Grill (Deck 3), The Grand (Deck 4) and The Chic (Deck 5). Symphony also includes some Quantum restaurants, such as Sabor Modern Mexican, Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine, Coastal Kitchen. Ship’s Bionic Bar is famous for its dancing robot bartenders. Its location is on the Royal Promenade. The Izumi Restaurant features a la carte hibachi, teppanyaki and sushi menu.
This is a complete list believe it or not of all the eating options:
- American Icon Grill (a la carte restaurant; offers open seating breakfast, lunch, “Brasserie 30” menu; with two assigned dinner seatings and Private Dining area.)
- The Grande Restaurant (serves themed breakfasts and dinners / two fixed seatings and “My Time Dining”)
- Chic (features an expansive menu of dinner options; two seatings and “My Time Dining” program)
- Johnny Rockets (128-seat fast food restaurant, complimentary)
- Sabor (Mexican a la carte restaurant, reservation-only, with “Playground” kids area)
- Windjammer Marketplace buffet restaurant (offers Early Breakfast at 6:30 a.m., Breakfast between 7:00-11:30 a.m., Lunch 11.30-3:30 p.m. and Dinner 6.30-9:00 p.m.)
- Giovanni’s Table (96-seat Italian specialty restaurant, reservations recommended)
- El Loco Fresh restaurant (offers fresh-made Mexican favorites. It is located in the Sports Zone and replaces Mini Bites on Harmony)
- Hooked Seafood (specialty restaurant located in the Solarium / New England style seafood)
- Sugar Beach Candy & Ice Cream (replaces the retail outlets on Johnny Rockets side of the ship’s Boardwalk)
- Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade (located on Boardwalk neighborhood it spans the entire length of Boardwalk neighborhood. Playmakers takes the place of where Sabor & Starbucks were aboard Harmony of the Seas. Starbucks opens on the Royal Promenade, available during European season only)
- Chops Grille (steakhouse/seafood)
- Sorrento’s (Italian restaurant)
- Izumi (Asian/Japanese restaurant)
- Solarium Bistro (healthy dining)
- Coastal Kitchen (Grand Suites’ and above passengers, Pinnacle members)
- WipeOut Cafe (fast food bar)
- Boardwalk Dog House (complimentary)
- Park Café (deli bar, casual-dining)
- Mini Bites casual eatery.
Another innovative first for the Symphony of the Seas is the way they go about getting you on board.
When arriving at the port, you can use your mobile phone to check-in and board the ship via just a security checkpoint between the ship and the wharf. The new process uses a combination of bar codes, beacons and facial recognition, to make boarding fast.