My husband and I were on the Symphony last week, so I thought I'd share some thoughts.
Embarkation/Disembarkation: both of these were efficient and quick. We arrived around 10:15, parked in the garage across from Terminal A, and were onboard in about 15 minutes. Once inside the building we were directed to a Diamond checkin line, and were quickly on our way through security and onto the Promenade. There were plenty of employees with tablets checking in guests and I didn't feel as though it was busy. We did self-assist disembarkation, we left our cabin at 6:50 and were in our car on the road by 7:15. The facial recognition couldn't be more efficient.
Cabin: we had an oceanview balcony, 8558, which we picked for it's proximity to Central Park. Other than the corner aft balcony we had a few years back on the Independence, this was my favorite cabin. It was only 2 doors down the hallway and was easy for us to get to everything we wanted. We always book a balcony and have sailed other Oasis class ships, so we knew what to expect and I have no complaints about storage or layout or anything. On our last sea day they cleaned our balcony.
Food/Drink: we had both the unlimited dining package and the deluxe drink package. While we did most of our drinking at Trellis Bar, we didn't feel like there were long waits at the bars as we were walking around, and there were plenty of servers walking the pool decks and we received bar service in the cantilevered hot tubs on several days. I noticed the coffee card being advertised at Cafe Promenade on Day 3. We ate at Wonderland for the first time on this trip, and really enjoyed the entire experience. The Mad Hatter was fun and I really enjoyed interacting with him. I don't eat seafood, and our server made some adjustments to our appetizers so I could enjoy the meal. I definitely didn't leave hungry. The first of our two nights at Chops was hectic with our server literally sweating from running around the restaurant. While he was friendly, I felt bad for him. On our second visit the restaurant was much calmer and we were actually able to have conversation with out server. Our service at all our other dinners was great. We tried Playmakers twice for some afternoon snacks, and other than the pulled pork sandwiches, everything else was good. The pork was kind of mushy and gross. We tried El Loco Fresh a few days and enjoyed that, and didn't even step foot in the Windjammer once. Most days for breakfast we enjoyed the sandwiches at Park Cafe, once we ate in the dining room and we enjoyed that.
St. Maarten: We walked over (about 10ish minutes) to the beach at Front Street and grabbed some chairs and an umbrella for $15 for the day, plus a bucket of beer for $10. The weather was a little gloomy, but cleared up and we didn't have any rain. We ate lunch at Pirates in Paradise on the boardwalk, and it was just ok compared to previous trips there.
San Juan: We strolled down to Paseo de la Princesa, and the streets were decorated for Christmas. We headed up the hill towards our favorite local bar, La Taberna Lupulo. Had a few drinks and strolled back. Nothing too exciting, a nice relaxing day.
Cococay: We have both been there several times in the past and were curious to see the changes. We found some nice loungers along the water on the far beach over where they're still doing the construction, and where the floating tiki bar is. There was some construction noise for about an hour, but then it was quiet and relaxing all day and we found it much less crowded than Chill Island. We sunbathed for a bit, then walked the island to see all the changes and grab some lunch. The water park didn't seem too crowded (we didn't pay for it, but just from looking in and being able to see the lines for the slides), and the Oasis Lagoon was really nice. We liked the options for lunch, even Chill Grill is larger/cleaner and offers more variety than we expected. We grabbed a few things there and later got some mozzarella sticks from Snack Shack. After we headed back to our chairs we saw a baby lemon shark swimming around off the beach. It was a little guy, but still keep your eyes open. We are big fans of Funky Buddha Brewery and were excited to try their Chilla Thrilla Cococay exclusive beer. It was light and refreshing and a good beach drinking beer.
Misc: Sunday the ship was really rocking. During the top tier event water was gushing out of the aquatheater pool, and barf bags showed up on all staircases. There was a medical emergency onboard and someone was removed from the ship via helicopter. I don't know what was going on, but I hope that they are ok. On Wednesday the Promenade was decorated for Christmas, and that night Santa visited. He took pictures with kids in front of the tree while the singers and some crew performed Christmas carols. It was a fun and different experience as we haven't been able to cruise during December since I used to work in retail management. I had a hot stone massage which was just ok. At the end my therapist suggested a few products to purchase, but didn't push it when I politely declined. Hiro was fantastic! 1977 had great skating, the drones were impressive, and I thought the effects they projected on the ice were well done.