New Cruise Option in the Caribbean

Royal Caribbean’s new 5,518-passenger Symphony of the Seas

BY DON NICHOLS — Winter 2019

glow-in-the-dark laser tag adventure called “Battle for Planet Z” and a challenging escape room in a submarine setting. A sweet shop stocked with more than 100 types of candies, not to mention multiple flavors of ice cream. A two-story Ultimate Family Suite with a winding slide, floor-to-ceiling building-block wall, table tennis, and even a private cinema.

Welcome aboard the world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s new 5,518-passenger Symphony of the Seas, a family-pleaser that launched last April in the Mediterranean and made its U.S. debut in November. From its new home port in Miami, it will now sail the Caribbean year-round on seven-night voyages.

Call the line’s 25th ship a virtual floating playground. Besides the laser tag and escape games, the family fun includes arcades, four pools, a children’s aqua park, four water slides, two FlowRider surf simulators, two rock-climbing walls, and a zip line nine decks high. All that, plus more than 20 restaurants — including a new sports bar and restaurant concept with 30-plus big-screen TVs — and top-notch entertainment, such as Flight: Dare to Dream, a captivating new musical production featuring 3D flying technology. 866-562-7625; royalcaribbean.com

MORE FUN COMING SOON: In May, Royal Caribbean will unveil its $250 million upgrade and expansion of its private CocoCay island in the Bahamas, which it’s renaming Perfect Day at CocoCay. Attractions include what the company labels the tallest water slide in North America, the Caribbean’s largest wave pool, and the highest views in the Bahamas from a helium balloon that will soar 450 feet into the air. An exclusive beach club with over-the-water cabanas on a prime stretch of sand will debut late this year. Symphony of the Seas and other Royal Caribbean ships make day stops at CocoCay, which continues to welcome guests during the renovation work.

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