Travel Cruising large
The world’s largest ship is the perfect setting for a group holiday, discovers Woman’s Day’s ERIN HOLOHAN
If we get separated and can’t find each other, we’ll meet at the restaurant for dinner,” my travel companions say as we board the Symphony Of The Seas. “Surely we’ll run into each other,” I say to myself. “How big could this ship be?”
The answer? HUGE. I’ve never been on a cruise when I join Royal Caribbean for the inaugural journey of their biggest vessel to date, but I quickly realise boredom isn’t fathomable.
With seven neighbourhoods on board and the capacity to hold almost 7000 passengers at any one time, this vessel is a true modern marvel.
It’s got zip-lining, two rockclimbing walls and three multistorey waterslides, its very own Central Park, an ice-skating rink, casino, stateof-the-art spa, gym and more!
It’s straight into holiday mode for me, but while a few of my friends are keen to hit The Ultimate Abyss – the world’s tallest slide at sea – I keep things tame by the pool.
I’m up for more action later so I give one of the smaller slides a go and visit the ship’s very own putt-putt golf course, followed by the arcade, where I’m quickly reminded just how out of practice I am by some very talented teens.
By then I’ve earned myself a treat, so I book in for a pedicure and a hot stone massage at Vitality at Sea Spa.
Relaxed and rejuvenated, it’s off to the pool bar for a cocktail and live music before dinner.
When it comes to food, we’re spoilt for choice. From Jamie’s Italian to El Loco Fresh Mexican (all of which you can book via the ship’s guest app) there are plenty of options.
We opt out of fine dining and hit up Johnny Rockets for an old-school burger and chips.
After a big first day, I’m ready to hit the hay. I haven’t booked
one of the ship’s famed suites – the family suite even has a slide from the bedrooms to the lounge! – but with comfy beds and a stunning sea view sunrise to wake up to, my room will do just fine.
After breakfast at the Windjammer Buffet, I’m keen to make the most of day two.
There’s plenty more fun to be had but what I’m most excited about is a trip to the theatre to see Hairspray The Musical. I pop into the onboard lolly shop for some snacks, then, like most of the crowd, I’m brought to a standing ovation at the end of the performance.
Another delicious dinner on board is followed by a cocktail at the bionic bar – a little strong for my liking but for a robot, he didn’t do a bad job!
Having well and truly got my sea legs, and with my cruising journey coming to an end in the morning, I even make an appearance at the silent disco.
It’s safe to say there’s something for everyone!
There’s so much to do – cooking class, anyone? Hairspray The Musical was amazing! It’s multistorey water-slide mayhem on deck – and it’s not just for kids!
We stocked up on sweets at the lolly shop.