Cruise Ship Comparison: Symphony Of The Seas Vs Harmony Of The Seas

If you are considering booking a Royal Caribbean cruise then you will notice that there are many ships to choose from. Royal Caribbean has an impressive fleet of 60 ships.

Cruise Ship Comparison Symphony Of The Seas vs Harmony Of The Seas

Two of their most popular ships are Symphony Of The Seas and Harmony Of The Seas. But what is the difference between the two ships? Is one better than the other? Keep reading to find out more? 

Which Ship Is Biggest? 

Royal Caribbean cruise ships are organized into classes based on their class. The largest class (prior to the scheduled building of the ships in the upcoming Icon Class) is the Oasis class.

Both Harmony Of The Seas and Symphony Of The Seas are sister ships in the Oasis Class, which means that they are comparable in terms of size. They are considered to be extra large cruise ships. 

Symphony Of The Seas is 1188 feet long and 216 feet wide with a gross tonnage of 228,081. It can accommodate 5518 guests and 2200 crew members.

Harmony Of The Seas is also 1188 feet long but it has a gross tonnage of 226,963. It can accommodate 5497 passengers and 2200 crew members at full capacity. 

When deciding which cruise ship to book, think about how big the ship is compared to the number of people on board, but also how many staff members there are for every passenger.

This will give you an idea of how crowded the ship will feel, but also how efficient the service will be. Both ships have roughly 2.5 guests to every staff member at full capacity.

The tons of ships per passenger is also about the same at 41. 

Which Ship Is Oldest? 

When you are choosing a cruise ship, some people like to compare how old the ships are to see which one will have the most modern fixtures and fittings.

Both Symphony Of The Seas and Harmony Of The Seas are quite new. Symphony Of The Seas was built in 2018 and Harmony Of The Seas was built in 2016. 

Despite being such a new ship, Symphony Of The Seas underwent a minor refurbishment in 2021 which involved dry dock renovations and technical upgrades. Harmony Of The Seas went through the same renovations in 2021. 

What Cabins Can You Choose From? 

Harmony Of The Seas has a total of 2745 cabins which includes 189 suites, 1293 balcony rooms, 200 ocean view cabins, 505 inside cabins and 555 boardwalk cabins.

Symphony Of The Seas has 2759 cabins which includes 190 suites, 1316 balcony cabins, 176 ocean view cabins, 502 inside cabins, and 555 boardwalk cabins – some with a promenade view. 

Whichever ship you choose, make sure you book in plenty of time to ensure you can have your first choice of room.

If you don’t mind what type of cabin you stay in then you can book closer to the time and see if you get a good deal, as Royal Caribbean are known for their dynamic pricing and flash sales. 

How Many Pool Areas & Deck Spaces Are There? 

Before you book a cruise you want to make sure that there is enough pool space for you to enjoy a dip and some sun bathing. That is why it’s a good idea to compare how many pools and hot tubs each ship has. 

Symphony Of The Seas has an extra pool compared to Harmony Of The Seas, but both ships have the same number of hot tubs. Symphony Of The Seas has 4 pools, one of which is adult only.

It has 10 hot tubs, two of which are adult only. Harmony Of The Seas has 3 pools including 1 adult only pool, and 10 hot tubs including 2 adult only. 

3 or 4 pools might not seem like much compared to the number of people on the ship when sailing at maximum capacity.

On sea days when all of the passengers are on the ship rather than on excursions the pool areas tend to get very busy. However, there are plenty of other things to do on the ship.

Cruise holidays are not designed for spending all day lounging by the pool – if you prefer pool holidays then you would be better suited to a resort than a cruise ship. 

What Are The Dining Options?

Whatever Royal Caribbean ship you choose, you can be sure that there will be something for everyone when it comes to dining. It is still a good idea to check what is on board before you book so you know what to expect before your holiday. 

There are 27 different dining establishments on Symphony Of The Seas, 13 of which are complementary. Harmony Of The Seas has 25 dining establishments including 13 complementary options.

The difference between the two ships only matters if you plan on eating at the restaurants that charge an additional fee. 

Both ships have the following restaurants: 150 Central Park, Cafe Promenade, Chops Grille, Coastal Kitchen, Dog House, Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, Jamie’s Italian.

Johnny Rockets, Park Cafe, Solarium Bistro, Sorrento’s Pizza, Starbucks, Vintages Wine Bar, Vitality Cafe, Windjammer, Wonderland and a Main Dining Room. 

Symphony Of The Seas also has El Loco Fresh. Hooked Seafood, Playmakers, and Sugar Beach. Harmony Of The Seas features Chef’s Table, Mini Bites, and Sabor.

Whether you want classic American Diner food, Italian, Japanese or seafood, you will definitely find something you like on board. 

What Activities Can You Try? 

The entertainment available on cruise ships is getting more and more diverse and dynamic. Entertainment is a big part of your holiday, so it is important to make sure that you are happy with the options before you book.

Both ships have a similar amount of free entertainment available, with less than 25% of options requiring additional payment. 

Both Symphony Of The Seas and Harmony Of The Seas have an aquatheater, a games arcade, a basketball court, a climbing wall, and mini golf.

These activities are ideal for families. If you are looking for something for the adults, you can try the adult relaxation area, the casino, the spa, or the bionic bar where your cocktails are made by a robot.

Other activities include a zip line, a splash park with water slides, FlowRider surf simulator, the 10 deck thrill slide, poolside movies, musical shows,ice skating, escape rooms, a comedy club, and a carousel. 

Symphony Of The Seas and Harmony Of The Seas both feature excellent fitness centers so you can workout while on holiday.

The only difference between the activities available on these two ships is that Symphony Of The Seas has a laser tag and Harmony Of The Seas doesn’t. 

Between the destinations you will visit, the pool areas, and the entertainment, there is no chance that you will get bored on your cruise. 

Is There Any Difference In Cost?

Symphony Of The Seas and Harmony Of The Seas are both in the same class which means the cruise holidays will be priced in a similar way.

The actual price of your cruise will depend on which cabin you choose, the length of the voyage, the destination, and the package you book. 

Some people choose to go for an upgraded package for their beverages and food so that they spend less on board. Others choose a cheaper package and manage their on board spending during their holiday.

What you go for will depend on your budget, and how many of the non-complementary options you want to indulge in. When planning your budget, remember to account for tipping and service charges as well as wifi in your cabin. 

Royal Caribbean has dynamic pricing. This means that the price of the cruises, drinks packages, excursions and experiences are not fixed. The cost will fluctuate in the lead up to the voyage based on supply and demand.

You can make the most of this and try to buy things when there is a flash sale, but this requires a lot of planning. 

Which Ship Is The Best? 

When it comes to choosing which ship is best for you, this will depend on what your personal needs are. Both ships are very similar in terms of size and the quality of the finish.

They will have the same sort of decor and the room layouts will be almost identical. 

Symphony Of The Seas has an additional pool, an additional activity (laser tag) and 2 extra dining establishments which are not complementary.

Aside from these minor differences, the ships are essentially the same. This means that your cruise experience is likely to be very similar regardless of which ship you choose. 


Symphony Of The Seas and Harmony Of The Seas are both in the Oasis Class within the Royal Caribbean fleet. They are extra large cruise ships which are very similar in regards to the facilities and experiences that they offer.

Alex Kallen

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