When we think of cruising in style and luxury, the first thing that pops into our heads is the Royal Caribbean cruise ships. These ships are an ideal choice for megaresort lovers and are bigger than any other cruise vessels afloat. The Royal Caribbean cruise ships are chockfull of bars, entertainment zones, attractions, and restaurants, more than you will ever find on any other cruise ship. The giant Oasis-class ships of the cruise line harbour multiple pool areas, rock climbing walls, miniature golf courses, basketball courts, surfing simulators, water play zones, and zip lines. Ready for a surprise? All of the fun stuff mentioned is just on the top deck.
The interior areas of the ships come with full-size spas, Broadway-quality theaters, large casinos, and much more. Oh, and one more thing, some Royal Caribbean cruise ships also feature ice skating rinks. Shocked? Well, be ready to shock more as we are going to be taking you aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ships. Let’s sail away matey!
Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships – A Quick Glance
Cruising on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships
Royal Caribbean cruise line offers voyages to more than 300 destinations across 71 countries on 6 continents. With the cruise line, you can sail to the waters of the Caribbean and Mexico, or board a ship to Alaska as you marvel at the soaring bald eagles and gape at the humpback whales. Unleash your inner sailor as you navigate the waterways of Europe or simply ride the waves in luxury down under New Zealand and Australia.
Depending on the itinerary that you choose, the cruise line offers numerous shore excursions. You can go on sightseeing tours, taste the local fare, or explore the world beneath the waves on a snorkeling outing. Typical itineraries offered by the cruise line range from two to eighteen nights.
For those who want to enjoy the ultimate cruising experience, the Royal Caribbean offers the Ultimate World Cruise which is an extensive trip and spans over 274 nights. The Royal Caribbean cruise ships depart from ports all over the USA including Fort Lauderdale, Boston, and Seattle, as well as from international ports. So before embarking on your cruising adventures make sure to check the ports near you to save some money.
If you wish to know about more cruising tips and how you can enjoy a journey on the waves without breaking the bank, then refer to our article.
Royal Caribbean Fleet
The Royal Caribbean has 26 ships in its arsenal that together offer more than 94,000 berths. Among the Royal Caribbean cruise ships, the five biggest cruise vessels, Symphony of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Wonder of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, and Harmony of the Seas can hold more than 6,600 passengers. Collectively these five vessels are regarded as the Oasis class and offer top-notch amenities. By 2024, the Oasis class will have another remarkable addition, the Utopia of the Seas, a ship that will not only possess all the qualities of its sisters but will also offer so much more to its passengers.
Apart from the Oasis class ships, the Royal Caribbean cruise line also harbors two other classes of ships, the Quantum class and the Freedom Class, that are also quite ginormous, albeit a bit smaller than Oasis class, and can board about 4,500 to 5,600 passengers. For those looking for a balance between capacity and intimacy, the Royal Caribbean offers Voyager class vessels that are somewhat smaller but offer almost all the amenities of the bigger ships and can hold about 3,800 passengers.
The smallest of the small ships that the cruise line has, are divided into two classes and each can hold about 2,500 passengers. Even though these Royal Caribbean cruise ships don’t have as many amenities as offered by he larger ships, these can take you to unseen and unknown places that are inaccessible by large ships.
So, if you don’t mind giving up some onboard amenities, and want to opt for an intimate experience that will take you to the unknown depths of the world, then these smaller ships are the best choice for you. Moreover, these ships are also quite light on the wallet, so you won’t have to rob a bank just to go on a cruise.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships – Destinations and Itineraries
As mentioned before, the Royal Caribbean cruise ships sail almost everywhere in the world. During summer the cruise line deploys half of its ships on sailings to the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas, sends six or seven ships to Europe, and deploys three to four ships to Alaska. When winter comes around, the cruise line sends more ships to the Caribbean and a few to Australia and Asia.
To make a name in the Chinese market, in recent years the cruise line has also deployed one to more ships to China. The newest among the Royal Caribbean cruise ships, Spectrum of the Seas, has offered trips to Chinese travelers out of Shanghai and Tianjin, China. In North America, the Royal Caribbean cruise ships sail out of Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades, Port Canaveral, PortMiami and Tampa in Florida; Galveston, Texas; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Baltimore; Boston; Seattle; Bayonne, New Jersey; Seward, Alaska, and Vancouver, British Columbia.
The cruise line also introduced sailings out of Barbados in the year 2021. In Europe the Royal Caribbean cruise ships sail out of Amsterdam; Southampton, England’ Barcelona, Civitavecchia, Italy; Copenhagen; Ravenna, Italy and Barcelona.
Who Should Sail on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships?
If you are a lover of all things luxury and enjoy megaresort experiences, then the Royal Caribbean cruise ships are the ideal choice for you. The ships offer vacationers a ton of entertainment and recreation options. From dining to activities, you will be given a plethora of choices. Even though cruise ships are a great vacay option for extroverts, they can also prove to be an ideal vacation for introverts.
The Royal Caribbean cruise ships offer numerous serene spots where you can sit back and relax, reading a book with a drink against the sound of the waves. The Wonder of the Seas harbour is a tree-lined Central Park area where you can lounge on a bench with the sun on your face and the sea breeze wafting past you, playing with your hair. The Royal Caribbean cruise ships are designed in such a way that even though they carry thousands of passengers they never feel stuffy and crowded.
For its teen and tween vacationers, the Royal Caribbean cruise ships house some of the wildest attractions, from bumper car pavilions to large waterslides. These aspects of the Royal Caribbean cruise line make it an ideal choice to cruise with kids. Moreover, the ships also caters to customers from a wide range of income. Those not willing to spend a lot on a cruise have the option to choose from smaller, affordable cabins. Moreover, there are plenty of casual dining options, affordable bars, and budget-friendly onboard activities available that will elude you from your money worries and allow you to enjoy your vacation.
On Board the Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships
Cabins and Suits
Royal Caribbean offers a wide range of accommodations on its ships, from luxury to budget-friendly. Some Royal Caribbean cruise ships offer as many as 34 categories of cabins. Some of the cruise line accommodations like the Royal Loft Suites that are found on the Oasis class ships are two decks high offering sweeping views across the top of the vessel. In some ships, the top suites come with numerous perks like a private butler, who will cater to your every need, access to a private suite lounge, sun deck, as well as private restaurants.
Restaurants and Dining
Apart from the Royal Caribbean cruise line’s smaller ships, that offer limited dining options, the bigger vessels come with so many choices that it can be overwhelming. The Royal Caribbean cruise ships in the Oasis class category offer 20 dining options that range from Johnny Rockets dinners to high-end restaurants that specialize in serving scrumptious six-course meals.
Every vessel also houses a main dining room, and a casual buffet eatery, where the price of the meals is included in the total fare of the cruise. Other included-in-fare dining options are Sorrento’s pizza parlours, coffee bar Café Promenade, and the Mediterranean cuisine-themed Solarium Bistro. The extra-charge eateries on the Royal Caribbean cruise ships include Chops Grille, the cruise line’s signature steakhouse, Jamie’s Italian, Giovanni’s Table, Hooked Seafood, and many more.
Some ships also come with Starbucks stands, while some harbor full-blown Starbucks cafes. On some ships, you will also come across Izumi, which is a sushi-serving Asian eatery; Wonderland, an imaginative cuisine-serving restaurant; Vintages, a wine bar and Playmakers Sports Bar and Arcade. If you wish to enjoy the extra-charge restaurants without putting a strain on your wallet you can opt for a dining package that offers meals on discount.
Entertainment and Activities
Theater and Shows
Theater entertainment is the Royal Caribbean’s biggest strength and can be mind-blowing. The biggest Royal Caribbean cruise ships come with state-of-the-art theaters that are as big as the ones on Broadway. These theaters showcase top-name Broadway shows like “Hairspray” on the Symphony of the Seas and “Cats” on the Oasis of the Seas. Moreover, about 13 Royal Caribbean cruise ships have ice skating rinks, where the cruise line hosts ice skating shows. The rinks are in the interiors of the ships and are surrounded by stadium seating for up to 775 people.
You will also find 3735-seat outdoor aqua theaters on the Oasis class ships. These theaters are home to dazzling water and aerial shows. The Quantum class ships come with Two70, a high-tech theatre space, offering multi-sensory shows combining dancing, acrobatics, and singing, and also harbour two-deck-high Music Halls.
Other Interior Activities and Attractions
The interiors of the Royal Caribbean cruise ships are lined with bars, nightspots, and lounges. Every Royal Caribbean ship harbors a casino that is a sight to behold. The Oasis of the Seas is home to the Casino Royale which has 27 table games, 450 slot machines, a poker room as well as a bar.
The ships in the Oasis, Freedom, and Voyager classes also come with Royal Promenades that are indoor mall-like spaces and are home to some of the coolest food outlets, retail shops, and bars. On the Oasis of Seas, the Royal Promenade harbors a Bionic Bar where a robot makes your drink as well as an innovative Rising Tide Bar that rises between the Royal Promenade and the outdoor Central Park, three decks above. Karaoke lounge, Latin-themed nightspot, Schooner Bar, and a British Pub also adorn the ships.
The Quantum class ships come with a smaller version of the Royal Promenade that is called the Royal Esplanade and also harbours a fun zone regarded as the SeaPlex. The SeaPlex includes a bumper car pavilion, the space can also be transformed into a roller rink and sometimes even used as a circus school. For something quiet and relaxing the vacationers can visit the ship’s enormous spas that include treatment rooms, thermal areas, saunas, rainforest shower areas as well and steam rooms.
Royal Caribbean went all out with their deck-top attractions. The ships harbor pools of course, but some of the bigger ships like the Oasis-class ships have distinct pool areas including a watery zone for kids and water parks that harbor significant waterslides. You will also find several other fun activities on the Royal Caribbean cruise ships like rock climbing walls, zip lines, basketball courts, miniature golf courses, and surfing simulators to name a few.
Some new ships also house skydiving simulators where you can experience the sensation of skydiving. Oasis-class ships have an outdoor Boardwalk area that harbors a hand-carved carousel. The Quantum class ships took fun and enjoyment a tad bit further. These ships are house to North Star rides which are undoubtedly the most bizarre attraction on a cruise ship. The North Star rides are giant mechanical arms topped with glass-enclosed capsules that soar you above the ship offering you the beautiful views of the shimmering sea.
The Royal Caribbean cruise ships have countless fun activities for their mini voyagers. Adventure Ocean is one of the programs for children offered on board for kids aged 3 to 12. The children are split into three age groups namely Aquanauts (ages 3 to 5), Explorers (ages 6 to 8), and Voyagers (ages 9 to 12). Each group is given age-appropriate activities that range from arts and crafts and scavenger hunts. Some ships also have extensive dedicated spaces for different age groups. The free programming at the Adventure Ocean ends at 1 p.m you can however pay extra and leave your kids there until 2 a.m., when the area is transformed into a supervised Late Night Party Zone.
The cruise line also operates a Royal Babies nursery program for children ages 6 to 18 months. This program includes interactive child and parent classes that involve activities designed specially by early childhood experts. There is also a Royal Tots program for ages 18 months to 3 years that offers 45-minute interactive playground sessions. For teens and tweens, the cruise line has exclusive programs, and some of its ships also come with the Living Room that harbors games and widescreen TVs as well as Fuel which is a teen’s-only disco.
How Much Does It Cost to Cruise on Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships?
Royal Caribbean cruise ships are designed to cater to a broad mix of people. The ships harbour a wide range of cabin types that are priced at different costs. On a typical sailing, you can easily get an entry-level cabin for $100 per person per night. The high-end suites are however five to 10 times more than that amount. At the time of this guide’s posting the cost of a two-bedroom Grand Suite on the Harmony of Seas for a seven-night Caribbean cruise was going for $3,010 per person based on double occupancy.
On the other hand, the least expensive inside cabin was priced at $481 per person based on double occupancy. The balcony cabins on the same sailing started at a price of $683 based on double occupancy. The cost of the cruise also depends on the ship you opt for and the time you book. If you go for one of the older, smaller ships rather than the ones like Oasis, and Quantum class ships the price will be much lower. Moreover, if you opt for a cruise during the offseason periods like September and October you will be able to sail in a budget-friendly fashion.
Some extra stuff that you will have to pay for include drinks (for most beers $7.99 and wine by the glass for $8 to $14), spa services, shore excursions, internet service, extra-charge restaurants, and a few other things. You can however opt for a package to reduce the price of some of these items.
Requirements for Cruising
- The Royal Caribbean cruise line does not allow children under 6 months. Solo travelers must be 21 and above to sail unaccompanied from North America, and 18 or above for cruises departing from Asia, South America, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe.
- A pregnant woman, who is near her 23rd week will not be allowed to sail.
- For one-to-four-night trips, all passengers have to pay fares in full at least 75 days prior to departure. While for five nights or longer trips passengers have to pay 90 days prior to departure.
- Those who book one-to-four-night trips can cancel their cruise 75 days before departure and get a full refund. Those who book a cruise for five nights or longer have to cancel the cruise 90 days before departure to get a full refund. If you happen to miss the aforementioned deadlines, you will be subject to cancellation penalties.
- The cruise line has a Royal Caribbean’s AIR2SEA program that allows you to pay the lowest airfare for flights to and from the departure port.
How to Book
To book a cruise aboard one of the Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships, head on to the Royal Caribbean website to check out the slots available, itineraries, departure schedule, and cost.
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