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Which Royal Caribbean Ship is Best For You?

Author: Olivia Sharpe

Published on:

From surf lessons to spas, viticulture to virtual gaming, check out our in-depth guide to Royal Caribbean’s fleet to help you choose your next cruise

The days of cruise ships being carbon copies of one another are long gone, and Royal Caribbean starts with a fresh canvas every time, bringing innovative new ideas and facilities to each vessel. So whether you’re looking for action-packed sailing days or time to chill, there’s a Royal Caribbean ship to suit you. Across the fleet you can expect delicious dining and friendly service, not to mention stylish, comfortable accommodation.

But beyond this, there’s something for everyone, from adrenaline-seeking daredevils and culinary crusaders to fun-loving families and couples looking for a romantic getaway. With each ship displaying its own unique character and facilities, you can choose whichever one floats your boat, as the saying goes.

Here's our guide to Royal Caribbean cruise ships and what they offer...

Odyssey of the Seas

Royal Caribbean Odyssey of the Seas

The ship will also feature a two-story sun deck

Best for those who think bigger is better

Departs from: Rome in Summer 2022

One of the newest and biggest cruise ships on the waves, Odyssey of the Seas is the first Quantum Ultra-Class cruise vessel to sail in the US and Europe. More than twice as wide as Egypt’s great Sphinx and with ample space for 5,000 passengers, the ship’s capacity means there’s a palpable buzz on board, with all the bright lights and excitement you’d expect from a floating city.

At SeaPlex, the largest indoor activity space at sea, guests can expect countless thrills, with bumper cars, roller-skating, glow-in-the-dark laser tag and an arcade boasting the latest cutting-edge VR experiences all up for grabs. Fancy learning how to surf? Guests can catch a wave on the 12-metre-long FlowRider surf simulator, and tackle 100,000 litres of rushing water as they skim the waves. For those looking for an even bigger high, there’s RipCord by iFLY simulator, where you can freefall without leaving the deck – and the Sky Pad bungee trampoline, where you strap on a VR headset for an out-of-this-world bounce-athon.

Royal Caribbean Odyssey of the Seas Playmakers

Odyssey of the Seas will also have a Playmakers bar

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the brand new pool deck kitted out with cosy casitas and comfy hammocks, or sipping a rum punch in the two-storey Lime and Coconut bar, Odyssey offers something for every type of cruiser. Then there’s the ground-breaking multimedia shows at immersive entertainment space, Two70, where clever tech transforms the ship’s enormous windows into backdrops for projections during live shows.

All this activity making you hungry? Odyssey of the Seas is the only Royal Caribbean ship to feature the swish new Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, serving up delicious, traditional trattoria fare such as meatballs in Romana sauce, pappardelle served with rich radicchio cream and perfectly hand-tossed pizzas.

Discover Odyssey of the Seas sailings HERE.

Anthem of the Seas

Royal Caribbean ships: Anthem of the Seas

Best for families

Departs from: Southampton in Summer 2022

With some of the fleet’s best family-friendly onboard activities, no other cruise ship packs more experiences into one day than Royal's Anthem of the Seas, so you can make up for all those adventures missed during lockdown and forget about the horrors of home-schooling. From roller-skating and rock climbing on a 12-metre-high vertical wall to brushing up on circus tricks at Trapeze school, there’s never a dull moment. And that’s without mentioning the four swimming pools and state-of-the-art theatre showing Broadway smashes like the hit musical, We Will Rock You.

Older teens and adults can use the time on board to get PADI scuba diving certified so that by the time you reach your destination, you’ll be ready to dive along coral reefs teeming with technicolour fish. PADI dive instructors offer a range of courses on Anthem, so you can get qualified right on board. No other cruise line offers the convenience of an onboard certification program through PADI, the largest, most trusted diver training organisation in the world, so this is really something special. Teens can also hole up in Hangout, an exclusive space just for 13 to 17-year-olds, with music to chill out to and a gaming lounge so they can kick back with new friends.

Royal Caribbean ships: Anthem of the Seas

Younger kids will have the time of their lives at the Adventure Ocean Kids Club, with climbable creations at Play Place and hands-on fun in the Adventure Science Lab, home to fossil digs, Space Mud making and more. Families will love stepping into the observation capsule of the North Star, which elevates guests high above the ship for 360-degree views of the glittering ocean. Winner of the Guinness World Record for the tallest viewing deck on a cruise ship, it rises more than 100 metres above sea level for a thrilling experience you won’t forget.

Starting to sound good? Brace yourself for a festival of flavours exploding from the ship’s many excellent restaurants. Try the salmon dynamite roll at Izumi, the coolest sushi spot at sea. It fuses cream cheese and cucumber with spicy mayo, garlic-chili-oil, citrus and a decadent Champagne sauce. Or head to Jamie’s Italian for chianti-braised short rib served with creamy parmesan mash. For something out of the ordinary, families can watch a robotic bartender mix drinks at Bionic Bar.

Find out more about Royal Caribbean's family cruises HERE.

Allure of the Seas

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Best for nightlife and entertainment

Departs from: Barcelona in Summer 2022

Having been awarded the accolade of 'best cruise ship for entertainment' on multiple occasions, Allure of the Seas certainly knows what it's doing when it comes to thrilling nightlife. With more bars on board than any ship out there, guests can watch live performers at the Bow & Stern English pub, sing along to the piano at Schooner Bar, or belt out everything from show tunes to shower tunes during a karaoke session at On Air Club.

The golden goose, however, has got to be the Rising Tide Bar, where you can order your favourite cocktail and take a seat at the moving bar, which travels up and down three decks, as smooth as can be. Strut your stuff on the dancefloor at multi-level nightclub Dazzles, or check out living statues, pulsing colours, and billowing sheer curtains at Club Twenty. Allure’s legendary pool parties are not to be missed. When the stars come out, the party heats up on the pool deck, with DJs spinning club anthems and dance classics all night.

Recognized for its dazzling onboard entertainment, Allure also offers a cornucopia of dynamic shows. Catch high-flying stunts with the AquaTheatre’s Oceanaria, where aerialists and acrobats embark on a mystical adventure through an ancient underwater civilisation. Bathe in the sounds of talented live orchestras in the Main Theatre or sing along to Abba songs in hit musical Mamma Mia!.

Royal Caribbean ships: Allure of the Seas aqua theater family RK2 4514 RET CMYK

There are incredible ice shows to behold, where a cast of skilled ice skaters bring all manner of athleticism and artistry to the rink. And David Attenborough fans will love Blue Planet, which celebrates the wonders of Earth with powerful music, soaring vocals and energetic dance that leave audiences breathless.

It’s not all about night owls, however. There’s plenty to do on Allure during the day, too. From white-knuckle zip line rides 10decks up to splash-worthy spaces like the interactive H20 Zone Water Park, there is plenty to keep you and the family entertained 24/7.

And when it comes to dining, the world’s your oyster. From gourmet hot dogs loaded with all your favourite toppings at Dog House to a VIP epicurean adventure at Chef’s Table, every night is a new opportunity for culinary discovery. We love the hand-cut steaks and chilled seafood towers at Chop’s Grille. Think jumbo shrimp, green-lipped mussels, clams, Jonah crab claws, and Maine lobster.

Brilliance of the Seas

Best for a relaxing cruise

Departs from: Venice in Summer 202

With slightly fewer high-octane activities and more of an emphasis on enjoying good company, Brilliance of the Seas is the perfect ship for adults and couples to unwind with a host of gentler activities to pass sunny days. Perfect your swing in a game of mini-golf on a green that overlooks a sea of blue; play classic games like Pacman and table hockey in the arcade; or bring your A-game (and your other half) to the onboard basketball and volleyball court for a little one-on-one. Head to The Pool Table to chalk up on a ridiculously clever gyroscopic table, the first self-levelling pool table at sea.

Elsewhere, a series of fascinating guest lectures on topics ranging from stargazing to meditation offers a chance to expand your horizons and hear experts from different fields share exciting new perspectives. While you’re at it, why not sign up to a wine-tasting class, for a deep dive into vintages from some of the most famous vineyards in the world? Sip, swirl and become a connoisseur as you enjoy a delicious California cabernet, Australian shiraz, or Argentinian malbec.

Solarium pool Royal Caribbean

When the sun goes down, guests flock to the onboard casino for a slice of Vegas glamour. Explore countless games, from slot machines and poker tables to roulette. Or take part in complimentary sessions to learn how to play iconic card games like a pro.

After a little R&R? You won’t want to miss the adults-only Solarium for some unadulterated me time. A relaxing retreat just for grown-up guests, you can enjoy fantastic ocean views, swimming pools, whirlpools and cascading lagoons. Follow up with a massage, body wrap or facial using professional spa products by brands like Elemis at the Vitality Spa, and emerge relaxed and rejuvenated.

Finally, outdoor film nights are perfect for snuggling up under the stars and watching romantic movies on the big screen, before heading to bed and dreaming of the wonderful destinations you’ll arrive at tomorrow and the day after.

Find out more about Brilliance of the Seas' facilities HERE.

To find out more, visit royalcaribbean.com.