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This is my first time going on a royal Caribbean cruise ship, our previous experiences have all been on Disney, but the kids are getting older (15 & 13) so we wanted to give RC a try. First thing I want to let families know, my room with a veranda room 9212 comes with a king bed and a sleeper sofa, but no where could I find how the sleeper sofa was set up and with two teenagers one girl and one boy it was important and a big concern for me. I'm happy to say that the sofa seat becomes a comfortable bed and then in opens in way of a trundle twin pulling out from under neither, therefore both teens had their own beds and different heights - perfect! Under the master bed is a ton of blanket and pillows which the room attendant will take out each evening for you. Differences? between royal Caribbean and Disney? The main two things we noticed right away, no soda included for the kids, which I'm ok with as they had fruit water and lemonade and when you board you can either stick with using your key card or you have to buy the wrist band (Disney the bands are free) I was prepared that you have to pay extra for the "good" resturants but all the food is good. I never got the hang of dinner, 6 or 8:30 dinning or make a reservation for "my time" dining. I never bothered to make a reservation, we showed up whenever and somehow they were equipped to seat us no problem. Disney had a better grasp of handling entertainment around the two dinner times so whether you're early or late dinner there's always a show for you. We were late dinners on RC and found all the shows were 8:45 The paid for resturants are far far far below the quality of disney, we were dissapointed in thinking 150 central park was going to be the same level as remmys. RC doesn't have anything at that level. RC foes have wonderland which is a resturant that presents the food interestingly which I love that kind of thing, unfortunately our waiter had a very thick accent and spoke very fast, we had no clue what he was saying and sadly he basically rushed thru the menu and insteaf of recommending thing he basically ordered for us and we didn't get to choose food we would have liked, it was sad because I personally was looking forward for that resturant all week and we were rushed through like cattle. I think that's one thing I noticed about all the sit down dinning, food comes very fast, which is one aspect is great but it was so fast we almost didn't get to enjoy dinning. The shows are fantastic, we watched them all whether they interested us or not when we read about them and I'm so glad we saw them all as they were all really really entertaining, Hiro and 1977 were our favorite but all are good. Bingo : I love Disney bingo, I still sing B11 to this day! RC bingo is super expensive and rushed, Disney for about $35 as I remember you get 4 games it takes about an hour. RC its $35 for one game and it goes very fast, always the same pattern, quite a let down seen as 99% of the people don't win. We only purchased one set, but the family next to us had 3 children so all 3 got their own set plus parents so 4 at $35 each for a 15min game, that's a lot of money for one chance. Disney really had much better bingo. My teens were supposed to be divided into younger and older rooms but they combined the two, which isn't a big deal normally, but my daughter who's the younger was very intimidated by the older room which was mostly boys so she spent most of the trip with us while my son was in heaven. I feel they had very little organized group activities for the kids so it being mostly video games in the room, more boys hung out there and being much older than her she felt out of place. Also they close the kids activites when at port so if your kids want to stay on board there's not the group supervision and activities like there are on Disney. Our cruise didn't stop at RC island, so I'm not sure if they have the teen excurison like they do with disney, my kids always loved leaving the boat with the kids group and returning with the kids. Despite all the diffetences, I think I have made Disney sound better which for kids maybe it is, but we have booked another RC cruise for next year, I think because the ship is bigger and there's more to do, we feel its a better fit for us, but I think there will always be many things Disney does better.

Great Family Cruise

Symphony of the Seas Cruise Review by jheregvonmunch

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2018
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Balcony
This is my first time going on a royal Caribbean cruise ship, our previous experiences have all been on Disney, but the kids are getting older (15 & 13) so we wanted to give RC a try. First thing I want to let families know, my room with a veranda room 9212 comes with a king bed and a sleeper sofa, but no where could I find how the sleeper sofa was set up and with two teenagers one girl and one boy it was important and a big concern for me. I'm happy to say that the sofa seat becomes a comfortable bed and then in opens in way of a trundle twin pulling out from under neither, therefore both teens had their own beds and different heights - perfect! Under the master bed is a ton of blanket and pillows which the room attendant will take out each evening for you.

Differences? between royal Caribbean and Disney? The main two things we noticed right away, no soda included for the kids, which I'm ok with as they had fruit water and lemonade and when you board you can either stick with using your key card or you have to buy the wrist band (Disney the bands are free)

I was prepared that you have to pay extra for the "good" resturants but all the food is good. I never got the hang of dinner, 6 or 8:30 dinning or make a reservation for "my time" dining. I never bothered to make a reservation, we showed up whenever and somehow they were equipped to seat us no problem. Disney had a better grasp of handling entertainment around the two dinner times so whether you're early or late dinner there's always a show for you. We were late dinners on RC and found all the shows were 8:45

The paid for resturants are far far far below the quality of disney, we were dissapointed in thinking 150 central park was going to be the same level as remmys. RC doesn't have anything at that level. RC foes have wonderland which is a resturant that presents the food interestingly which I love that kind of thing, unfortunately our waiter had a very thick accent and spoke very fast, we had no clue what he was saying and sadly he basically rushed thru the menu and insteaf of recommending thing he basically ordered for us and we didn't get to choose food we would have liked, it was sad because I personally was looking forward for that resturant all week and we were rushed through like cattle.

I think that's one thing I noticed about all the sit down dinning, food comes very fast, which is one aspect is great but it was so fast we almost didn't get to enjoy dinning.

The shows are fantastic, we watched them all whether they interested us or not when we read about them and I'm so glad we saw them all as they were all really really entertaining, Hiro and 1977 were our favorite but all are good.

Bingo : I love Disney bingo, I still sing B11 to this day! RC bingo is super expensive and rushed, Disney for about $35 as I remember you get 4 games it takes about an hour. RC its $35 for one game and it goes very fast, always the same pattern, quite a let down seen as 99% of the people don't win. We only purchased one set, but the family next to us had 3 children so all 3 got their own set plus parents so 4 at $35 each for a 15min game, that's a lot of money for one chance. Disney really had much better bingo.

My teens were supposed to be divided into younger and older rooms but they combined the two, which isn't a big deal normally, but my daughter who's the younger was very intimidated by the older room which was mostly boys so she spent most of the trip with us while my son was in heaven. I feel they had very little organized group activities for the kids so it being mostly video games in the room, more boys hung out there and being much older than her she felt out of place. Also they close the kids activites when at port so if your kids want to stay on board there's not the group supervision and activities like there are on Disney. Our cruise didn't stop at RC island, so I'm not sure if they have the teen excurison like they do with disney, my kids always loved leaving the boat with the kids group and returning with the kids.

Despite all the diffetences, I think I have made Disney sound better which for kids maybe it is, but we have booked another RC cruise for next year, I think because the ship is bigger and there's more to do, we feel its a better fit for us, but I think there will always be many things Disney does better.
jheregvonmunch’s Full Rating Summary
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Dining
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Ages 13 to 15
Ages 16+
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 4D 9212
Great room, middle of ship, height was good for us. very quiet, didn't hear anyone at night. Sleeper sofa with trundle bed under for 4th person.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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