Review of Symphony Of The Seas deck 5 (Promenade-Lobby-Shops-Spa)
Royal Theater (upper balcony level 3 of 3)
Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center (lower level 1 of 2) is the ship's 2-story wellness complex. On this level is the “ShipShape Spa” (open between 8 am - 10 pm). It consists of reception, relaxation room (complimentary water/teas), Beauty Salon (manicure/pedicure, hairstyling, makeup, waxing, barbering, teeth whitening), 29 treatment rooms (incl for acupuncture and couples massages), Razul Room (mud treatments), Medispa (botox treatments), Jacuzzi Room, Thermal Suite (heated ceramic beds, sauna/steam rooms, rainforest showers). Thermal Suite day passes cost US$30 PP. There is a separate YSPA (teen spa) area – treatments and services for teenagers ages 13-17. YSPA menu has facials, massages, nail and hair treatments. Mainly on port days are offered spa promotions, incl discounts, add-ons, 2-for-1, taster treatments. Up to 10-20-30% discounts are offered with booking multiple treatments. A spiral staircase leads to the upper level (ShipShape Center/Fitness).
Royal Promenade is similar to the RCI’s “Royal Esplanade” (on Quantum ships) design concept of a multipurpose (shopping-dining-entertainment) district. This is a huge, open-floor design interior area resembling a street. The centerpiece artwork here is named “Head” (by David Cerny), which is a large-sized revolving head made of chrome. The statue is dynamic (comprised of multiple horizontal blocks) changing its shape throughout the day. The Royal Promenade has natural light from above and runs almost the full length of the ship connecting both atriums (forward and aft). “Promenade Deck” has lined-up multiple bars, lounges, restaurants (most with outdoor seating), boutiques and shops selling duty-free merchandise. The “street” features impressive design and decoration (incl original artworks) and various daytime activities. Among those are live music, fun demos, dance classes, alcohol tastings, DreamWorks characters meets-greets. “Let’s Celebrate!” is a signature evening party event designed specifically for the Symphony ship - a Royal Promenade grand parade themed on partying and celebrating. Other themed onboard parties are “Totally Awesome 90s” (dancing) and “Red Party” (special effects).
The ship’s elevator lobby features an abstract artwork (by Marc Fornes & Theverymany) entitled “Ivy” - an aluminum structure 130 ft / 40 m high.
Port Shopping area hosts daily talks about shopping options in all ports of call in the ship’s current itinerary.
Royal Shops is the ship’s duty-free shopping arcade with name-brand boutiques (retail shops) selling at discount prices perfumes, cosmetics/beauty products, fashion/accessories, shoes, leather goods, watches/jewelry, sunglasses. The list of boutiques includes Kate Spade (designer bags, clothing, shoes, accessories), Michael Kors (designer handbags, watches, shoes, clothing, accessories), Regalia (designer jewelry- Bulgari, Cartier, luxury watches- Breitling, Hublot, TAG Heuer), Solera (cosmetic, skincare products, perfumes), Willow Shop (retail clothing/organic garments), Prince and Greene (designer clothing/accessories). The Shop sells Royal Caribbean logo merchandise/souvenirs (apparel, accessories, cruise ship models). Port Merchants is a general store for conveniences (also liquor and tobacco).
On Air Club (100+ seats) is a sports bar with large TVs mounted on the outside. It also serves as a multipurpose lounge (for daytime activities /bingo, workshops) and as a late-night karaoke bar.
Boleros (90+ seats) is the RCI’s signature Latin-themed lounge-bar-nightclub. The lounge has comfortable plush seating, large dance floor, stage for Latin band music performances (salsa and merengue) in the evenings. The cocktails menu has an extensive list of mojitos, margaritas, premium tequilas and rums. After 10 pm, Boleros Lounge transforms into a disco nightclub with DJ programming. Daily here are hosted art auctions.
Cupcake Cupboard (open 11 am - 11 pm, 10 seats) is the ship’s bakery shop for cupcakes (a la carte priced). Cupcakes are fresh-baked daily, large-sized, with rich frosting and in many different flavors and fun designs. During the scheduled cupcake decorating classes (30-min, for kids and adults), passengers can design their own cupcakes with icing, sprinkles, colored sugar and other toppings. Participants in the classes get bonus points in the dessert checklist.
English Pub (menu, open between 11 am - 1 am) is a traditional English/Irish pub bar (gastropub) by Michael Schwartz (Miami celebrity chef). The pub’s menu is a la carte priced, with additional lunch and dinner menus. The main menu has a selection of draught beers, IPAs, ales, craft beers (incl the “Michael’s Genuine Home Brew” ale /2012-established brand), plus a variety of snacks. The food is standard pub fare and delicious. Among the snack items are marinated olives, fried hominy, deviled eggs, potato chips, tomato-bread soup, polenta fries, chicken wings, roasted pork sliders, cured meats, selection of cheeses. Also available are wines, bourbon flights, cocktails and desserts. The decor features dark wood, brass finishes, deep booths.
Sorrento’s Pizzeria (open between 11:30 am - 3 am, capacity ~100 seats) is a complimentary restaurant offering fresh, oven-baked pizzas (3 slices at a time) and pies for lunch, dinner and late-night. The decor features brick walls and a wood-fired oven. The pizzeria’s menu has traditional items (with meat, cheese, vegetables, gluten-free, incl Hawaiian, Florentine, pepperoni, barbecue chicken, four-cheese), custom-made pizza/pie, daily specialties, antipasti (olives, mozzarella, grilled vegetables), desserts (biscotti, gelato ice cream, raspberry mousse, amaretti, chocolate panna cotta). Drinks are at extra charge.
Guest Services is the ship’s Reception Desk for 24-hour staff assistance, information, bookings/reservations (via iQ tablets), luggage and cashier services.
Shore Excursions Desk has computer stations and tables (no paper brochures). It provides information on Royal Caribbean cruise tours and excursions (sponsored ashore), also planning and tour booking services.
Next Cruise Desk is for Royal Caribbean cruise booking while on the ship. It serves the line’s Crown & Anchor Society (past guest loyalty program). The RCI loyalty program offers to its members exclusive (discount) cruise rates (vary by itinerary and cabin category), balcony/suite discounts, onboard booking bonus (savings transferred to future OBC /shipboard credit), early sales access (a day before the general sale).
Starbucks Coffee Bar (open 7 am – 11 pm, 56 seats) is a la carte-priced bar for specialty coffee drinks and snacks. The Starbucks bar menu is the same as on land, offering frappuccinos, smoothies, lattes/mochas, refreshers, iced coffee/tea, sweets. Ordering is also the same as in the land-based bars. Starbucks is located near the Luckey Climber (kids' play area, aft) and is served by trained baristas. The bar has limited seating, a walk-up bar and several stools lined by its wall. Payments can be also made via Starbucks cards (or the phone app). Starbucks coffee prices are as follows: cold drinks (Coffee $4,25, Mocha $4,75), Iced Cafe (Americano $2,75, Latte $3,75, Mocha $4,25), Tazo Tea (Shaken Iced $2, Latte $3, Hot Tea $1,75), Vanilla Steamer ($2,75), Soy Milk ($3), Hot Chocolate ($2,75), hot coffees (at $3,50 - Americano, Cappuccino, Latte, Mocha), White Chocolate Mocha and Caramel Macchiato (each $3,75). Starbucks Coffee Bar is not available on European cruise itineraries.
Rising Tide Bar (capacity 35 seats) is the first-at-sea moving bar (designed/constructed by Serapid). The “elevator bar” has a hydraulic system for ascending/descending over 3 decks. The glass-steel construction weighs 40 tons and ascends (smoothly and silently) from Royal Promenade up to Central Park (on deck 8). The bar is oval-shaped and full-serviced by a bartender.
Bionic Bar (powered by Makr Shakr “robot bar”) is the world’s first-ever bar run by robots working as both mixologists and bartenders. There are 2 robotic arms that prepare and serve cocktails (all bottles hanging from the ceiling) making 2 drinks per minute. Cocktails are delivered in plastic cups via 4 conveyor belts. Orders are made via tablets. The menu offers classic and signature cocktails, plus the option for made-to-order concoctions. A TV display shows the ordered drinks, their ingredients and wait times. The Bionic Bar’s area is lined with tables and counter seating. You can individually name your order. The name appears on the TV screen so you can track when the robot works on it. Just like at any of the ship bars, payments here are made via SeaPass (boarding cards) or RFID bracelets. Drinks can be ordered only by passengers 21+ years old.
Power Walking / Jogging Track (2-lane, covered, 2,4 laps = 1 mi) makes a full circuit, but portside/starboard seaviews are obstructed by lifeboats/equipment.
Main Dining Room (upper level 3 of 3) is an aft-located complimentary restaurant for Dinner only, with 2 fixed sittings - at 6 or 8:30 pm, plus the flexible My Time Dining.
AquaTheatre's entry is on deck 6.
A total of 24 elevators (12x forward + 12x aft) provide access all the way to deck 16, while decks 17 and 18 are accessed by 6 lifts.