Executives from STX France and Royal Caribbean at the handover ceremony (Image: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.)
STX France officially delivered Symphony of the Seas – the world’s largest cruise ship – to Royal Caribbean International during a traditional flag-changing ceremony at its yard in Saint-Nazaire, France on 23 March 2018.
Built by more than 4,700 people over the past 36 months, the 228,081gt Symphony of the Seas is Royal Caribbean’s 25th cruise ship and will welcome 5,518 guests. The handover ceremony was attended by Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International; Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.; Laurent Castaing, general manager of STX France; other representatives from the shipyard and Royal Caribbean; and other invited guests.
“Symphony of the Seas is the latest example of how our people work to push the envelope of innovation with each new ship,” said Fain. “The Oasis Class has been a trend-setting design, but the team has evolved the design to build on that success to provide even more incredible family adventures. We’re thankful to have a partner in STX France that is every bit as ambitious as we are about building technologically advanced ships.”
Boasting seven distinctive neighborhoods overlooking a boardwalk, the tallest slide at sea, Royal Caribbean’s first glow-in-the-dark laser tag team game and a custom-made, submarine-themed escape room, Symphony of the Seas will also offer new dining experiences for guests. They will include New England-inspired upscale eatery Hooked Seafood, Mexican street food venue El Loco Fresh, sweet and ice cream shop Sugar Beach, and Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, which stretches the length of the boardwalk and offers 31 large-screen TVs, an indoor and outdoor arcade and classic American bar food.
Symphony of the Seas will also have 2,759 staterooms, including 28 additional balcony rooms that overlook the ocean or signature Boardwalk neighborhood. The ship will also have a two-level family suite with an in-room slide, a private cinema with an 85-inch HD TV, a floor-to-ceiling LEGO wall, a 212-square-foot balcony complete with table tennis and a full-size whirlpool. Guests will also benefit from a Royal Genie butler.
“Thanks to our stellar crew and partners at STX France, we now are ready to embark on this new boundless adventure that comes to life on Symphony of the Seas,” said Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “Symphony of the Seas will take family holidays to an all new level with energy and options never before found in one place. This ship is the perfect blend of our greatest hits we know guests love and a lineup of vibrant, new restaurants, activities and unparalleled entertainment – all purposefully designed around holidaymakers’ preferences.”
Symphony of the Seas will welcome her first guests on 31 March for a five-night preview sailing, which calls at Naples and Rome in Italy. The ship will officially begin her maiden season on 7 April with a seven-night Mediterranean voyage from her summer 2018 homeport of Barcelona, Spain. Guests will be able to enjoy itineraries to Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence, France; and Florence/Pisa, Rome and Naples, Italy.
In November, Symphony of the Seas will start sailing year-round seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises from Royal Caribbean’s new terminal in Miami, Florida.