Our GM of cruise, Jeff Leckey, was lucky enough to be on the inaugural sailing of the Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Sea, which is officially the largest cruise ship in the world with 5200 passengers.
The first thought I had as I pulled up to the port in Barcelona to board Symphony of the Seas was WOW... she is enormous, and dwarfed the other three cruise ships that were in port at the same time. The big fear for people choosing a mega ship is how long it will take to process all those passengers and once I am on board will there be large queues for everything?
My fears were soon laid to rest, thanks to the innovative Royal Caribbean check-in technology and the super slick organisation at the port of Barcelona. From taxi drop off to boarding the ship, it only took just under 30 minutes - one of the fastest check ins I have ever experienced, and this is the largest ship in the world. A staggered boarding time helps keep the crowds down and the ability to upload your photo online prior to check in ensured everyone moved quickly through the terminal.
What can you expect on Symphony of the Seas?
An amazing selection of dining venues and entertainment choices that are separated into individual neighbourhoods. Each neighbourhood makes you almost feel like you are on a smaller ship and you never got that feeling of being overwhelmed by the size of the vessel or the choices on offer. With so much to see and do on board, we barely spent any time in our cabin.
On-board dining and entertainment
The shows onboard were Broadway quality, and such amazing value when you consider global hits such as Hairspray are included in your cruise fare. The incredible dining options will keep your taste buds entertained the whole cruise. Highlights for me were the High Diving show at the Aqua Theatre, The Ice Show on the ships own ice rink, zip lining, rock wall climbing and the Ultimate Abyss, a slide that takes you from Deck 16 to Deck 5 in around 12 seconds... you have to try it.
After her first season in Europe, Symphony of the Seas has now moved to the Caribbean. With so many outdoor activities and open spaces this is a great ship to enjoy the Caribbean. Would I cruise Symphony of the Seas again? Absolutely!