Travel Cruis­ing large

The world’s largest ship is the per­fect set­ting for a group hol­i­day, dis­cov­ers Woman’s Day’s ERIN HOLOHAN

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Contents -

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.

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