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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

Time to Explore the World’s Largest Cruise Ship

PHOTO: The singular Ultimate Family Suite on Royal Caribbean International’s Symphony of the Seas. (photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

Royal Caribbean International has announced the unique features coming to what will soon become the biggest cruise ship in the world.

“We’re excited to introduce Symphony of the Seas, our boldest composition yet, offering the best of Royal Caribbean with some new surprises for our guests to create a vacation that adventurers of all ages can enjoy together,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International, in a press release.

“We set out to create a new level of vacation adventure and deliver the ultimate escape for families of all shapes and sizes. Symphony will introduce the most cutting-edge, customizable, and digitally-enhanced experiences in the Royal Caribbean fleet.”

Of course, fans of the preceding Harmony of the Seas need not worry because all of the favorites from the sister-ship will still be reprised. That means Symphony, which will be even more family-friendly with extra dining and entertainment touches, will tout the likes of the Ultimate Abyss, Bionic Bar and AquaTheater.

“The best is getting even better,” Bailey explained.

Part of that is an extended superstructure along the vessel’s Boardwalk. Coming to the shipboard neighborhood is the Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade as well as the Sugar Beach candy and ice cream shop.

Playmakers will be home to 30 big-screen televisions and comfort food such as wings and burgers washed down with craft beer on draft. Those not interested in the big game can enjoy themselves playing Ms. Pacman, Star Wars Battle Pod, Ice Skee-ball and more.

The venue will stretch the Boardwalk’s port side replacing Harmony’s Sabor and Starbucks, the latter of which will relocate to the Royal Promenade.

On the starboard side, Sugar Beach will displace some former retail space adjacent to Johnny Rockets, which is still coming along for the ride. The new candy and ice cream shop will offer treats, toppings and opportunities for aspirational bakers.

In fact, Vicki Freed, the line’s Senior Vice President of Sales, Trade Support and Service, teased that on October 30th, travel partners will be invited to help design and name an ice cream flavor.

Great for families will be the new Ultimate Family Suite. Although there will only be one onboard, the double-decker loft accommodation will be, “packed full of innovation, creativity and fun,” according to Bailey.

Showcased will be a slide from the children’s bedroom to the living room, a separate oasis just for mom and dad, floor-to-ceiling LEGO wall, air-hockey table, 83-inch 3D TV, plus a veranda with a bumper pool table, climbing structure and whirlpool.

Pampered by a Royal Genie, Freed added, “These families are not going to want to leave us after seven days.”

Making up for the loss of Sabor along the Boardwalk, El Loco Fresh will serve up Mexican fare where Harmony currently has Mini Bites. Here, guests will be able to order custom tacos and burritos.

Bailey also noted that “we totally rebuilt the solarium space,” introducing Hooked Seafood there for New England-style cuisine in a casual eatery including a raw bar and oysters shucked to order.

Rounding out the entertainment onboard will be the return of the multipurpose Studio B venue with the added experience of laser tag. Bailey described it as the “world’s largest laser tag arena,” themed to the last planet in the galaxy.

Meanwhile, the new ice-skating show presented here will be “1977,” telling the story of London, the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and a heist of the Crown Jewels.

The Royal Theater will house “Hairspray” as its headliner coming back after its debut on Oasis of the Seas, plus original “Flight.” The latter performance is a comedy about air travel and the Wright Brothers.

The AquaTheater will newly showcase “HiRo” as high-divers and acrobats activate the watery stage.

Lastly, a new frictionless check-in process makes it easier on guests to board. Other than security, there will be no touch points reaching the ship as the app-based technology utilizes facial recognition, bar codes and beacons. Keys will conveniently await passengers at their staterooms.

Symphony of the Seas will launch in April 2018 with Mediterranean summer sailings from Barcelona, Spain before repositioning to Miami in November 2018. At that time, there will be four Oasis-class ships sailing from Florida.

This post first appeared on TravelPulse.



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