Symphony of the Seas, the Largest and Most Ambitious Cruise Ship Ever Built
Symphony of the Seas – which, on its maiden voyage from Barcelona in March 2018 became the largest passenger ship ever built At 362 metres long, you could balance it on its stern and its bow would tower over all but two of Europe’s tallest skyscrapers. Owned and operated by Miami-based cruise line Royal Caribbean, it can carry nearly 9,000 people and contains more than 40 restaurants and bars; 23 pools, jacuzzis and water slides; two West End-sized theatres; an ice rink; a surf simulator; two climbing walls; a zip line; a fairground carousel; a mini-golf course; a ten-storey fun slide; laser tag; a spa; a gym; a casino; plus dozens more shopping and entertainment opportunities. To put it another way, Symphony of the Seas might be the most ludicrously entertaining luxury hotel in history. It just also happens to float.
Picture a cruise ship. In the last decade or so, cruise ships have gone from a means of transport to vast floating cities with skydiving simulators, bumper cars and bionic bars. Restaurants offer menus designed by Michelin-starred chefs. As a result, the cruise industry is experiencing a golden age, boosted by millennials and explosive growth in tourists from China.
Sailing on Symphony of the Seas is like going to a hotel that just moves magically over night. Passengers get to see many destinations, and only have to unpack once.
The essential consideration when designing a cruise ship is flow of human traffic. Understanding how people behave, anticipating how they behave, is key. With nearly 9,000 people on board including crew, distributing attractions evenly across the ship is crucial. Hence, Symphony’s two main theatres are at opposite ends. The casino is central, but below the Royal Promenade. (A rule of thumb is that it takes the first two days of a cruise just to get your bearings.)
Perhaps even more important is the movement of the ship’s 2,200 crew, who must be able to access galleys and stores in the bowels of the ship easily.
As the ship is so vast, the detailed design work is commissioned out to multiple architectural firms. Restaurant architects design restaurants; caravan designers tend to be good at state rooms (the industry term for cabins). Early in the design process, Royal Caribbean holds open competitions to design new spaces.
The Symphony of Seas crowning glory is its split superstructure: 18 decks tall, its central section is a promenade design. The aft is divided up the middle by an 11-deck valley, giving it a horseshoe shape. Standing in the centre of the Boardwalk (the ships is split into seven “neighbourhoods”) feels like standing in Manhattan, with mini-skyscrapers on each side. The chasm is bridged by a Sun deck at the top; from there the 11-storey Ultimate Abyss slides curl down to the Boardwalk.
Food is stored in bungalow-sized cold rooms. Even here, flow is king: the layout of the room has been meticulously optimised by observing chefs and service staff to maximise output at peak time; because cold food guarantees unhappy passengers, all of Symphony’s restaurants are designed with a set maximum distance from galley to table.
The level of hygiene is extreme. Every part of the ship, from lift buttons to the casino’s chips, are sanitised daily; interior materials have to stand up to the high level of chlorination from the constant cleaning. Rubbish is frozen in vast storage containers to slow bacteria growth and is only removed in port.
In midships above the Royal Promenade lies perhaps Symphony’s most remarkable feature: Central Park, an open-air garden enclosed by the upper cabins.
Central Park is a landscaped garden with 12,000 plants and trees which required extensive engineering, right down to the soil and watered with an underground system. Botanists were consulted, as were ports’ various customs agencies for rules on foreign plant species. It’s remarkable: an airy urban park, floating on a skyscraper with an open-air café and performance space thrown in, all in the middle of the ocean.
There is so much on-board to do, and see.
There isn’t a holiday in the world that packs more adventure into one week than Symphony of the Seas®. With more than 16 decks and 20 restaurants, 7 distinct neighbourhoods bustling with unique on-board experiences, and endless thrills to discover around every corner, the world’s largest cruise ships serve up expeditions filled with excitement drenched slides and rides, shows that transcend the stage and gourmet globetrotting from Italy to Wonderland.
On the world’s biggest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas®, the travel adventures are larger than life. From epic on-board thrills to revolutionary dining and entertainment, this ship will change how you holiday, whatever the experience you’re after.
The new Symphony of the Seas® is overflowing with bolder ways to fill your time between islands. Now you’ll never run out of things to do or places to treat your taste buds. Gear up for a glow-in-the-dark laser tag face-off in Battle for Planet Z℠. Catch a wave on the FlowRider® surf simulator and race down The Perfect Storm℠ triple-threat waterslides. Indulge your sweet tooth at Sugar Beach℠ or feast on made-to-order rolls at Izumi Hibachi & Sushi.
A Foodie Fantasy
The Symphony of the Seas has more than 20 restaurants. If you’re craving high-end eats, Symphony of the Seas® hits all the high notes. Fresh-caught, New England-style seafood, family-style Italian from Jamie Oliver and much more.
Catch jaw-dropping performances on stage, ice, water and in the air with entertainment that transcends the stage – literally.
No Limit on Nightlife
You can easily fill a day with non-stop thrills onboard Symphony of the Seas®. Just make sure to save some energy for when the sun goes down, because that’s when the party really starts to heat up onboard one of the newest cruises.
PERFECT DAY AT COCOCAY
Imagine your perfect day. The sun is shining, you’re in the beautiful Bahamas and you’re looking forward to spending time doing your favourite activities with family and friends. That’s exactly what Royal Caribbean had in mind when they created their private island experience for cruisers, “Perfect Day at CocoCay Bahamas”.
This amazing experience combines a beautiful sandy beach with theme park rides, water slides and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities such as floating high above the island on a helium balloon ride, experiencing the Oasis Lagoon or find your zen at the exclusive Coco Beach Club®, where it’s nothing but good vibes. Plunge into the beachfront infinity pool. Indulge in upgraded cuisine. Then kick back and cue the views in the first Floating Cabanas in The Bahamas., Miles away from ordinary, you’ll find the island escape you’ve been dreaming about at Chill Island. All your beach day favourites are here — and more. Like fresh bites at Chill Grill, plus cabanas, crystal clear tropical waters and powdery sands.
This is Perfect Day at CocoCay – only on Royal Caribbean®.