Royal Caribbean International and their amazing fleet of ships

The fleet of Royal Caribbean International offers 6 classes of cruise ship. Since the 90’s Royal Caribbean has been giving us premium service cruises to fantastic world destinations. It is hard to fault this cruise line in any way as there really is a ship for every type of traveler out there. And that means one to ideally suit you as a solo traveler, or you and your family, your kids, your budget and, as a result, your dream!

“The brand of Royal Caribbean is synonymous with innovative design, family fun, fantastic on board activities and great broadway-style entertainment.”

The Vision Class

  • Built 1995 to 1998
  • 2000 passengers

The Vision class ships in Royal’s fleet were built in the mid to late 90s and have been refurbished to include fantastic panoramic windows. More intimate, these ships will suit you if you are travelling solo or as a couple. Choose these ships for the itineraries and destinations. Whilst intimate we would not recommend this class of cruise ship if you are travelling with children or looking for a wide array of activities on board.

Note that Grandeur of the Seas is now the oldest of all Royal Caribbean ships. Many do say that it is tired and old in its decor too and should be retired. But if you get a great price on a fantastic itinerary you may think again. Just be aware you are booking an old ship and it by no means comes close to having all the bells and whistles of the newer ships.

In the Royal Caribbean Vision class, you have 4 ships to choose from:

1. Grandeur of the Seas

2. Rhapsody of the Seas

3. Enchantment of the Seas

4. Vision of the Seas

The Voyager Class

  • Built 1999-2003
  • 4000 passengers

Royal Caribbean’s fleet of Voyager cruise ships  have undergone a multi-million dollar refurbishment program. Walk the “Royal Promenade” on these ships which is actually a shopping mall through the centre of the ship with restaurants, bars and shops. Great all-rounder ships, these include great activities such as surf-simulators, ice-rinks and climbing walls. We love these ships.

In the Royal Caribbean Voyager class, you have 5 ships to choose from:

1. Voyager of the Seas

2. Explorer of the Seas

3. Adventure of the Seas

4. Navigator of the Seas

5. Mariner of the Seas

The Radiance Class

  • Built 2001-2004
  • 2100 passengers

The Radiance class cruise ships are slightly smaller ships and are a fantastic choice for scenic itineraries. With so much glass and panoramic windows you will see everything. The retracting roof over the pool area also means that these ships are the right choice for cooler climate sailing such as Alaska or Nova Scotia, the Baltics or Scandinavia.

Vertical theatre means that their shows are fantastically theatrical. There are also themed dining experiences. You will find less activities on offer compared to the Oasis class ships and therefore Radiance class is a good choice for those of you wanting a more relaxing cruise experience.

In the Royal Caribbean Radiance class, you have 5 ships to choose from:

1. Radiance of the Seas

2. Brilliance of the Seas

3. Serenade of the Seas

4. Jewel of the Seas

5. Elegance of the Seas

The Freedom Class

  • Built 2006
  • 4500 passengers

Ships in the Freedom class of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line were among the biggest cruise liners on our oceans until the arrival of the Oasis class ships. Freedom really are spacious ships. You will find lots of activities and entertainment options including water parks and an ice rink which make them good family ships.

In the Royal Caribbean Freedom class, you have 3 ships to choose from:

1. Freedom of the Seas

2. Liberty of the Seas

3. Independence of the Seas

The Oasis Class

  • Built 2009
  • 5500 passengers

Oasis of the Seas, the first ship built in Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class, was the most expensive ship ever built back in 2009.

As Oasis splashed onto our seas with it came a bigger, better and more exciting cruise experience than ever before. Quite simply more of everything. Activity highlights include water parks, ziplines, ice rinks and surf waves. There are “neighborhoods’’ such as The Boardwalk and beautiful Central park. The ships offer cutting edge technology such as bionic bars. And, there are more people.

Yes, beware of the long lines for some activities. Onboard Oasis class ships you are in a floating city, and like all cities the most popular areas can get busy. And whilst the ship is huge lines can form for some activities. But they are worth it!

If you are a family or planning a generation cruise vacation you will all love Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class. Packed full of fun, you will never be bored. If you are an active couple then these ships will suit you just as well. If you prefer a calmer sailing, with less children around, with focus on rest and relaxation then these are not the ships for you.

The older Oasis and Allure have been updated and renovated so the entire Oasis class are in tip-top condition now. Remember size comes with a higher price tag and cruises onboard Oasis class ships can be expensive. However, you will still get a holiday with great value for money when you look at the sheer choice onboard.

Harmony of the Seas also offers solo cabins (single occupancy cabins) for the cruise guest traveling solo.

And who can resist cruising on the biggest and newest cruise ship at sea? Wonder of the Seas has started sailing in the Caribbean, and will come over to Europe for the summer, returning to Florida to cruise the warm Caribbean waters for the winter season. How about ringing in the New Year with a cruise onboard this wonder?

And now we are all holding our breath to find out more about the newest planned ship in this class, Utopia, Word is it will be even bigger than Wonder of the Seas. Where will it’s home port be and where will it sail?

In the Royal Caribbean Oasis class, you have 6 magnificent ships to choose:

1. Oasis of the Seas

2. Allure of the Seas

3. Harmony of the Seas

4. Symphony of the Seas

5. Wonder of the Seas

6. Utopia of the Seas (scheduled for it’s debut sailing in 2024)

The Quantum class

  • Built 2014
  • 4500 passengers

Royal Caribbean’s newest class of cruise ships offer many of the same features that you find in the Oasis class, but are slightly smaller ships. Known as “smart ships”, cruise ships in the Quantum class have their own satellite navigation system delivering wireless internet on board 24/7 (note! you still need to pay for it!).

These ships feel more sophisticated than Oasis class. due to extravagant furnishings, more artwork and luxurious finishes. They are super-modern with high end shops in the mall area. The hub of the ship is the Royal Promenade/esplanade where is so much to do and see including shops, cafes, pubs and music venues.

Royal Caribbean offer the world the first smart ship

Quantum has a high-tech focus, claiming to be the most high-tech cruise ship in the world when it was first launched. As a result you could experience bionic bars high tech video projections, a parachuting simulator, dodgem cars and the amazing North Star. The North Star is unique to the Quantum class ships and is a glass capsule which takes you on a 360 degree ride about 30 meters above sea level. The theatre is huge and great shows and full musical productions are on offer. Casinos are also larger onboard Quantum class ships so the entire casino is a designated smoking area.

With two beautiful solariums (one of which is adults only) and numerous clubs and entertainment venues on offer, Quantum class will be a hit for groups and families and couples alike.

Top tip! Beware on Anthem of the Seas if you book cabins on deck 13 – you are right below Lido deck (deck 14). If you are unlucky you can hear noise above your cabin with all the activity, even early in the morning, so it could be disturbing!

Quantum ships built with primarily the Asien market in focus have mandarin spoken widely onboard in additon to English. These ships are a good choice if you are looking for a culture-rich cruise or immersion cruise into ports of call in Asia.

Recently at least two of the Quantum ships will have a homebase in the USA – in Seattle and Florida. Take note! these ships are busy and popular areas get crowded. There are wait times for some activities. But overall a super modern cruising experience.

For solo travelers many of the Quantum class ships offer single cabins, contact Royal Caribbean for the latest information and pricing if you are cruising by yourself.

In the Royal Caribbean Quantum class, you have 5 innovative ships to choose from:

1. Quantum of the Seas

2. Anthem of the Seas

3. Ovation of the Seas

4. Spectrum of the Seas

5. Odyssey of the Seas

Meet the author: With more than 20 years experience from the travel industry, Mattias offers tips, expert advice and a unique perspective anchored in having worked with market leading cruise lines, tour operators, consolidators, airlines and hospitality suppliers. Read more..