Symphony of the Seas vs. RMS Titanic: Comparing Two Giants

titanic symphony of the seas

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Imagine a face-off between two giant cruise ships: Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas and the RMS Titanic.

symphony of the seas
Symphony of the Seas (Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

Royal Caribean’s Symphony of the Seas is one of the world’s largest cruise ships and dwarfs the Titanic, yet the Titanic’s formidable ocean liner reputation still echoes throughout history. But our ambitious comparison doesn’t stop at the sheer size.

We’ll delve into the differences and similarities between the crew, perks, and—crucially—the precautions onboard each behemoth. 

Comparing the two Vessels

ItemTitanic Symphony of the Seas
Owner White Star LineRoyal Caribbean International
Year Launched19122018
Cost to Build£7.5 million$1.35 billion
ShipyardHarland and Wolff, BelfastSTX France, Saint-Nazaire
Gross Tonnage46,328 GRT236,857 GRT
Length 882 feet (269 meters)1,188 feet (362 meters)
Width92 feet (28 meters)194 feet (59 meters)
Passengers2,2245,774
Crew8922,100
Speed25 knots (46 km/h)23 knots (43 km/h)
Decks 918
AmenitiesSwimming pools, restaurants, bars, theater, casino, library, gymnasiumSwimming pools, water slides, surf simulator, zip line, ice skating rink, spa, laser tag, theater, casino, nightclubs, children’s activities
Notable featuresGrand staircaseUltimate Abyss slide, Ultimate Thrill ride, Perfect Storm waterslide complex

The Symphony of the Seas, a dazzling jewel in the Royal Caribbean crown, tips the scales at an impressive 228,081 gross tonnage, making her one of the largest cruise ships in the world.

There are five Royal Caribbean mega-ships: Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, and Wonder of the Seas. A sixth will debut in the summer of 2024 with Utopia of the Seas.

There are five Royal Caribbean mega-ships: Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, and Wonder of the Seas. A sixth will debut in the summer of 2024 with Utopia of the Seas.

She measures 1,188 feet from bow to stern, rivaling some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers.

On the other hand, the Titanic, once Queen of the ocean, measured about 882 feet in length and 46,328 gross tonnage. A formidable presence in her time, she was one of the largest vessels of the early 20th century.

symphony of the seas nassau bahamas
Symphony of the Seas

However, when we stack these two side-by-side, Symphony of the Seas takes the cake for sheer size. 

Crew and Passengers 

titanic symphony of the seas

Let’s discuss the people on the ship. Like any city, every ship, regardless of size, has its own population. There are crew members and passengers, each with their own needs and expectations.

When it sailed in 1912, the Titanic had around 885 crew members responsible for running this colossal piece of machinery and ensuring the comfort of its passengers. Their tasks ranged from steering the ship to serving caviar in the first-class dining rooms.

The Titanic could carry 2,435 passengers (between first, second, and third-class passengers), and you have quite a busy ship. Each class had designated areas onboard, which somewhat mirrored the societal norms of that era. 

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Guests booking certain staterooms on Symphony of the Seas will be eligible for an onboard credit.

In contrast, our modern-day titan, the Symphony of the Seas, has a crew of approximately 2,200. These folks are the heart and soul of the ship. They run the restaurants, keep the staterooms clean, and ensure everyone’s safe and sound on the high seas.

Unlike the Titanic, the Symphony of the Seas has a double occupancy capacity of 5,518 passengers and can accommodate up to 6,680 with all berths full.

Differences in societal norms and the evolution of cruise culture are evident in the distribution of passengers on Symphony.

titanic 1912
(Photo via Shutterstock)

While Titanic’s class segregation was more rigid, Symphony offers a wide range of accommodations – from budget-friendly staterooms to high-end luxury suites with ocean views.

Plus, the crew is more fully integrated with passengers, often joining in on the fun to create a more unified, inclusive atmosphere. 

So, whether you’re a passenger or crew member, one thing’s for sure: life at sea on these iconic vessels would be anything but dull.

Safety at Sea

On safety, one can’t help but point out the glaring differences between the Symphony of the Seas and the Titanic, primarily due to the advances made in maritime safety standards over the century that separates them. 

Safety FeatureTitanicSymphony of the Seas
Safety regulationsNot subject to modern safety regulationsSubject to the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations
Lifeboat Capacity20 Lifeboats for 1,178 people18 lifeboats for 6,660 people
Watertight compartments16 watertight compartments20 fully-sealed watertight compartments
Fire SafetyLimited fire detection and suppression systemsAdvanced fire detection and suppression systems, including fire alarms, sprinklers, and fire doors
Navigation TechnologyLimited navigation technology, such as compasses and sextantsAdvanced navigation technology, including radar, sonar, and GPS

When the Titanic set sail in 1912, she was touted as virtually unsinkable because of the ship’s double bottom and 16 water-tight compartments. If the hull was pierced, it was believed that a maximum of two to four compartments could be flooded, still allowing the ship to stay afloat.

Also in her inventory were 20 lifeboats meant to ferry passengers to rescue vessels rather than keep them afloat indefinitely. However, these lifeboats could accommodate about half of the ship’s total capacity. 

If we jump forward to the 21st century, we have a ship like the Symphony of the Seas, a testament to modern nautical engineering and safety.

It has state-of-the-art navigation and communications technology, including radar, computerized weather tracking, and satellite communication. It’s built with the most up-to-date design and safety features.

Symphony of the Seas
(Photo via Port Canaveral)

Compartmentalization is still a safety feature, but it has been significantly advanced — the Symphony has a double-bottom like the Titanic but also has additional stability features, and a large proportion of the ship’s hull is water-tight. 

The life-saving equipment aboard the Symphony is also impressive. It’s stocked with enough lifeboats, liferafts, life jackets, and other safety gear to accommodate everyone on board, which far surpasses the Titanic regarding safety preparedness.

A comprehensive safety drill, known as a muster drill, is carried out before the ship even leaves port, preparing passengers and crew for a scenario where they must evacuate. 

The valuable lessons we have learned from the Titanic disaster are worth noting. The maritime safety measures have been significantly improved, making cruising one of the safest travel options available today.

Although modern cruising may have a shared history and lineage with the Titanic, safety at sea has come a long way since that era.

A Glance at Amenities

Let’s pivot and talk about the fun and exciting aspect of cruise ships – the amenities and activities on board. The Titanic, during her time, was known for its lavish interiors and luxurious amenities, while the Symphony of the Seas has truly raised the bar for onboard entertainment and recreation, making it an ocean-going city of fun.

SYMPHONY OF THE SEAS EXTERIOR

When it came to dining, the Titanic was a class act, offering first-class passengers a selection of up to 13 courses in the evening. Can you believe it? And we’re not just talking mac ‘n cheese here. Oysters, lamb with mint sauce, and peaches in chartreuse jelly graced their extravagant menu.

On board the Symphony of the Seas, guests have a choice of 23 dining options, ranging from high-end dining at the Chef’s Table to quick bites at the Boardwalk Dog House.

Titanic dinner menu

Moving on to entertainment, the Titanic offered orchestral music, a reading and writing room for the ladies, and a smoking room for the gents.

All very impressive for 1912, but imagine trading that for Broadway-style shows, an open-air water theater, or robot bartenders at the Bionic Bar aboard the Symphony. Quite the leap.

The Turkish bath and squash court on the Titanic were some of the ship’s most notable features. Now, imagine this: zip lines, rock climbing walls, mini-golf, a full-scale basketball court, and not one, but two surf simulators. That’s what a day at sea looks like aboard the Symphony of the Seas.

Symphony of the Seas' zip line
Symphony of the Seas’ zip line (Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

Throughout history, every ship has brought its unique interpretation of cruising. The Titanic introduced a new level of extravagance and grandeur.

Today, the Symphony of the Seas boasts various incredible features that would have astonished Jack and Rose.

RELATED: Royal Caribbean Ships by Size

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