Stateroom Attendants - 9 - The Stateroom Attendants that I saw throughout the ship were all very friendly. Whilst nobody will ever live up to my first ever SA from Jewel (a guy named Seville), both of the attendants that I had did the job well and were friendly. I only ever reserve 10 for the absolute highlight employees, but they did a good enough job to warrant a 9.
Cafe Promenade - 8 - The Cafe Promenade itself seemed a bit disorganized this sailing. Again, 10 is reserved for the absolute standout employees (such as Latisha who worked at Cafe Promenade on HM), but the folks there seemed friendly enough. Nobody that stood out too much.
Other Complementary Cafe Staff (e.g. Sorrento's, Park Cafe etc.) - 6 - Not a lot of friendly staff here. They seemed to be going through the motions. Not all of them, but I hate to say that the Sorrento's and Park Cafe staff weren't that great. At Sorrento's, the manager had to serve Pizza most nights (he was friendly). I just didn't feel much friendliness from them. Maybe their contracts are nearly up? Can't give them more than a 6, sorry.
Windjammer - 8 - The waiters mostly seemed friendly, alongside the serving staff and greeters. Despite this, some were over the top. The reason that I am docking from 9 to 8 is that yesterday, there was a manager verbally berating staff in front of customers including a racist remark (akin to something Gordon Ramsay would say). That's completely out of order and I am making sure that it is mentioned in this review. The managers who greeted guests seemed really friendly though.
Playmaker's - 9 - The waitress at Playmaker's seemed friendly, so a 9 for her. It was a port day so not very busy.
Cruise Director - 9 - Michele Scarpato was the CD for these sailings. I really enjoyed him. He is not one that is obnoxious and thinks they are the star of the show or one that is bland and uninspired. He has the right balance of energy and professionalism. Did a great job at 80's night and the various show intros/closings alongside the Morning Show and other events. Visible around the ship as well. The only reason that I can't give him a 10 is that we didn't get to see him do the traditional pool events (Belly Flop) or the evening events (Quest, L&M etc) which are the basics, although that isn't his fault given the format of Med cruises and Oasis Class. Definitely a good one.
Activities Manager - 10 - Margot van Erck was AM for both sailings I'm giving Margot a 10 for being the first good Activities Manager that I have seen in years. Very energetic, but not at all over the top and loud like some. I saw her around the ship a lot and she worked with Michele very well in the Morning Show. It was a breath of fresh air to have an AM that was not over the top annoying or one that was bland and was barely seen. She did a great job and would not be surprised if she made it to CD one day (and they made a couple of hints about that in the Morning Show).
Cruise Director's Staff - 9 - There were no bad CS members on this cruise (such as the Bingo guy from Mexico on HM who shouted at guests on debarkation morning and was going through the motions for the entire 2 weeks). The person doing debark on the gangway was much friendlier (I think her name is Gabby). The Bingo Host, Jackpot JP was also much livelier than the guy on HM. Katheryn from South Africa was also a great member of Staff and seemed to be everywhere. The rest were also good, but those are the 3 who I remember off the top of my head.
Sports Staff - I did not interact much with the Sports Staff (too much of a wimp to do some of the sports activities) so can't give a score as such, but from my observations, they came across well. Graeme from Scotland was a highlight on the Staff. He was on Harmony last year and was a great personality on both ships (particularly at 80's night). I recommend that Royal promote him to Sports Supervisor if he intends to stay with them.
Ice Cast - 8 - It's interesting watching a show and then seeing what performers are like when the spotlight is off. The Ice Cast is the only one where this applies. Several members of the cast would get a 9 based on my interactions with them at the Skating sessions, however one came across rather cold and abrupt on pretty much every interaction and also had an argument with fellow members of the cast as to whether or not we could get on the ice for a particular session. I can ignore one 'off' interaction, but as it was almost every time, I have to reduce the overall score to 8. Sorry to the other members though as they were great at the shows (more on that later) and seemed friendly.
Diamond Concierge - 10 - I never interacted with the concierge on the 1st sailing, however we found out that the Lounge offered wings on the 2nd sailing in the late afternoon, so that was where we went each afternoon after the gym. Jackie Yabut was the concierge on the 7/8 cruise and was fantastic. Very friendly and not at all one of the concierges that ignores guests and stays at the desk. She was good enough to warrant a 10.
Loyalty Ambassador - 8 - Louise Japundzic was the Loyalty Ambassador for both weeks. I knew her from Harmony where she was fantastic. This time, we only interacted with her when we did the B2B process and she did seem slightly stressed out (although to be fair to her, the customer in front of us was a bit difficult). She was great on HM though, so still gets an 8.
Captain - 9 - For Captains, I give 5 points for their skills as Captain of the ship and 5 points for their front of house skills as like it or not, they are in the cruise industry where there are guests and if they don't want to interact with guests, they should go into one of several other maritime industries. With that said, pretty much every Captain in the world will get 5 straight off the bat (bar Capt. Schettino who gets 0). As for front of house skills, Captain Rob seemed like a very personable guy, hosted a great Captain's Corner on both weeks and came across likable. However, there wasn't much announcements (maybe a new policy) and I rarely saw him outside of scheduled events, hence why I am giving him a 9 not 10. Would definitely like to sail with him again though, but please bring back the announcements!
As you can see, Symphony has a great crew. Many have been on since the takeout and are around the end of their contracts, so who knows how the crew will be by the time she arrives in Miami? Positive experience all around, with just a few issues.