Return to Cruising Ship Guide: Symphony of the Seas
When is Symphony of the Seas slated to resume operations?
Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas resumed cruising on August 14, 2021. Sailing roundtrip from Miami, the ship is cruising a variety of 6- and 7-night Western and Eastern Caribbean cruises to Costa Maya (Mexico), Coxen Hole (Honduras), Cozumel (Mexico), Nassau (Bahamas), Falmouth (Jamaica), Philipsburg (St. Maarten), Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas), and the line’s own private island Perfect Day at CocoCay (Bahamas).
For cruises departing from Florida, Royal Caribbean “strongly encourages all eligible guests ages 12 and up to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before sailing.” Guests who are fully vaccinated may choose to provide proof of vaccination in order to be exempt from certain health protocols and associated fees, including additional COVID-19 testing and travel insurance requirements. To be considered fully vaccinated, the final dose of your vaccine must be administered at least 14 days before sailing.
Royal Caribbean requires that as of September 13, all guests age 2 years and older complete a COVID-19 test no more than 2 days before sailing, and receive a negative result, which will be verified during the check-in process.
Cruising on Symphony of the Seas? Here’s our guide to everything you need to know before you board.
About the Ship: Symphony of the Seas currently holds the title of the world’s largest cruise ship. The massive, Oasis-class ship is home to so many amenity options you may not be able to try everything in a 7-day sailing! Symphony of the Seas earned the Cruiseline.com 2019 Members’ Choice Award for Best Ship, receiving very high ratings from our members across the board for activities, dining, cabins, and entertainment.
At full capacity (prior to COVID restrictions), Symphony of the Seas has the ability to carry 6,370 total passengers and 2,394 crew members. There are 2,759 total cabins, broken down into 53 category types.
Activities + Entertainment: With a plethora of activities from zip lines, surf simulators and rock-climbing walls to Broadway-style shows and high-diving acts in the AquaTheater, Symphony is certain to appeal to travelers of all ages. Activity highlights include 23 pools and jacuzzis, the typhoon and cyclone waterslides, laser tag, kid and teen programs, a Solarium, mini-golf, a spa, casino, and a carousel. The ship is also home to Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea.
Nighttime highlights onboard the ship include performances of Broadway fan-favorite ‘Hairspray’, live music, and ice dancing shows. Adults can relax and unwind at one of the numerous bars and lounges, including the robotic-centric Bionic Bar, Playmakers Sports and Arcade Bar, nautical-influenced Schooner Bar, and Vintages wine bar.
Dining: It should come as no surprise that the world’s largest cruise ship has a delicious and eclectic blend of dining options to suit every guest’s taste and pallet. You will find more than 20 restaurant options, including a number of Symphony-only unique eateries, as well as Royal Caribbean staples. Included options are the Main Dining Room, Windjammer Buffet, Solarium Bistro, Coastal Kitchen, Park Cafe, Cafe Promenade, Sorrento’s, Dog House, El Loco Fresh, Vitality Cafe, as well as room service. Specialty options include Chops Grille, Jamie’s Italian, Wonderland, Izumi, Hooked Seafood, 150 Central Park, Solarium Bistro, Johnny Rockets, and Starbucks coffee.
Pricing: Sailings are filling up quickly with the return of Serenade of the Seas in the Caribbean. With a high demand from travelers to sail on this popular ship, we recommend booking NOW if you are considering cruising as prices are only going up.
Right now you can expect to pay about $130 per person per night for entry-level accommodations. Considering a balcony cabin? This class of rooms currently starts at around
$160 per person per night and go up from there based on location and category.
What to Expect at Embarkation & Onboard Protocol:
There are a number of evolving protocols that Royal Caribbean has implemented for the embarkation process. For sailings departing in August 2021, all guests 2 and older (regardless of vaccination status) will need to take a COVID-19 test with an accredited test provider no more than two days before arriving at the terminal for embarkation.
Prior to sailing, Royal Caribbean suggests all passengers download the Royal Caribbean App to check into their cruise as well as select a time slot for arrival on boarding day. One day before departure, all guests must complete the Guest Health Questionnaire in the Royal App. When you arrive to board the ship, be prepared to bring the following: Passport/Passport Card or a state-certified U.S. Birth Certificate, COVID vaccine card or COVID-19 test result, proof of travel insurance, and completed health questionnaire.
Onboard, there will be select venues and events designated for vaccinated guests only. When indoors, CDC guidelines require all guests two and older to wear masks unless they are actively eating or drinking. Per the guidelines, Royal Caribbean will make allowances for guests to remove their masks in venues and events dedicated to fully-vaccinated parties. Masks are not required in your stateroom when you are with your traveling party, outside on the open decks, or at Perfect Day at CocoCay, unless in a crowded setting.
This was an awesome trip from start to finish, and our group ranged in ages from 4 to 66....there was something to do and enjoy for all! - stachouse4
Very nice ship with lots of things to do. Enjoyed pools, slides, flowrider, coastal kitchen and liked the Jr. Suite. - scott3804
You will not be disappointed with Symphony of the Seas. It's worth getting the dining and drink packages. Makes for an all-inclusive experience at sea. There is literally something for everyone on this ship. Enjoy! - dbschade
Every day you are greeted with the friendly faces of the most hardworking staff. Your every need is catered to as you fill your day with the incredible activities on the cruise. There is so much to do, you can spend all seven days without stepping off the cruise and still be satisfied. - apanne
With so much to see and do in the various Caribbean ports Symphony of the Seas visits, we recommend planning your shore excursions before you get onboard. Top-rated excursions by port include:
Perfect Day at CocoCay - Perfect Day is Royal Caribbean’s own private island in the Bahamas. The destination is jam-packed with so many activities and adventures that you will have a hard time deciding what to do first! The island’s amenities received a rehaul in 2019, so most of the activities you will find are relatively new.
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(Latest Update: September 7, 2021)
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Have you ever sailed on an Oasis-class ship?