Credit: Princess Cruises/P&O Cruises

The world's largest ocean cruise ships from P&O Cruises to Royal Caribbean

Author: Sophie Chichester

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Cruise ships have become astronomically huge over the years, capable of carrying thousands of passengers and crew and filled to the brim with restaurants, rides and amenities.

Cruise ships have become not so much floating hotels but floating villages, offering guests absolutely everything the heart desires and more.

Not only are the opportunities for making friends endless but the dining options are exhaustive, entertainment is at its very best and there's always something new to do.

While the smallest ships in the world carry around 800 passengers, mega-ships can carry more than 3,500 passengers!

ROL Cruise is the UK's No.1 Independent Cruise Specialist and sells a great many cruises onboard these gargantuan vessels. Here’s an overview of their top five large ocean cruise ships.

What is considered a ‘large’ ship?

Large ships are classified by the following:

Small-Mid Ships: Between 800 and 1,499 passengers

Midsized Ships: Between 1,500 and 2,499 passengers

Large Ships: Between 2,500 and 3,499 passengers

Mega Ships: 3,500+ passengers

Dance the night away on Queen Mary 2. Credit: Cunard

Queen Mary

Cruise Line: Cunard

Occupancy: 2,691 passengers

Queen Mary 2 was once the world’s largest and most famous ocean liner when she was launched in 2004; the ship then underwent a £90million transformation in June 2016.

There are a whopping 34 food and drink options onboard the ship. She's also home to the world’s finest wine cellar at sea, with a unique collection of 486 wines and a collection of ports, dating back to 1840. Another claim to fame is the dance floor - it's the largest one at sea.

As for accommodation, Britannia Club offers a balcony, beautiful ocean views and rooms bathed in natural daylight while Britannia Staterooms provide numerous ways to travel in comfortable bliss with Balcony, Ocean View, Inside and Single rooms on offer.

- READ MORE: Everything you need to know about Cunard -

Celebrity Reflection boasts a beauty salon, a sauna and a solarium. Credit: Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Reflection

Cruise Line: Celebrity Cruises

Occupancy: 3,046 passengers

Celebrity Reflection is already a luxurious ship but she is set to undergo a major refurbishment in 2023, with restaurants, bars and lounges updated, new boutiques installed and exclusive new sanctuaries for Suite Class guests.

The ship currently boasts four restaurants, a basketball court, fitness centre, fitness equipment, jogging track, a beauty salon, sauna, solarium, steam room and whirlpool, plus a range of entertainment options including a nightclub, theatre and casino.

Cabins boast luxurious linen, 32-inch interactive televisions, glorious bathroom facilities and stunning views.

Sky Princess has a range of cabins to suit every budget, including wheelchair-accessible staterooms. Credit: Princess Cruises

Sky Princess

Cruise Line: Princess Cruises

Occupancy: 3,660 passengers

The MedallionClass Sky Princess launched in late 2019 and is one of the newest vessels in the Princess Cruises fleet. There is a range of cabins to suit every budget, including wheelchair-accessible staterooms.

The best rooms of all onboard are the Sky Suites. Each Sky Suite hosts up to five guests and comes with a 270-degree panoramic view. The 1,000-square-foot continuous balcony is the largest in Princess' fleet!

Dining options are plentiful onboard this ship with more than one of its restaurants winning cruise food awards.

- READ MORE: The most popular cruises for 2021 -

The music maestro will be perform onboard Iona this autumn. Credit P&O Cruises


Cruise Line: P&O Cruises

Occupancy: 5,200 passengers

Iona is Britain’s most environmentally friendly cruise ship powered by liquefied natural gas and boasts the first gin distillery at sea. The ship's other claim to fame is Gary Barlow as its music director!

There's plenty of accommodation choice with P&O Cruises' wide range of cabins, ranging from inside to suite as well as rooms for solo travellers. As for food, not only is there a fabulous range of restaurants but celebrity chefs and P&O Cruises Food Heroes Marco Pierre White and Olly Smith will be hosting masterclass talks on board sharing their gastronomic and drinks expertise.

Entertainment-wise, jaw-dropping aerial shows have been specially devised for Iona by 80s music legend Tony Hadley.

Allure of the Seas was the world’s largest cruise ship for six years. Credit: Royal Caribbean

Allure of the Seas

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Occupancy: 5,400 passengers

Allure of the Seas was the world’s largest cruise ship for six years and is all about shining the spotlight on spectacular. Guests can choose from four cabin categories: Interior, Ocean View, Balcony and Virtual Balcony all of which come with the best Wi-Fi at sea, friendly staff and 24-hour room service.

Restaurants to look out for are Coastal Kitchen, a Mediterranean fusion restaurant offering an à la carte menu, and Samba Grill, a Brazilian steakhouse while entertainment includes Broadway shows plus endless occasions to get on your feet and party as well as sing your heart out at karaoke.

- READ MORE: Your complete guide to Royal Caribbean cruise line -

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