Anthem of the Seas' North Star
Anthem of the Seas' North Star / Royal Caribbean
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Freedom of the Seas
Freedom of the Seas / Royal Caribbean / Michel Verdure
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Rock climbing on Harmony of the Seas
Rock climbing on Harmony of the Seas / Royal Caribbean / Roy Riley
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FlowRider on Liberty of the Seas
FlowRider on Liberty of the Seas / Royal Caribbean / Rob Kalmbach
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FlowRider
FlowRider / Royal Caribbean
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Harmony of the Seas
Harmony of the Seas / Royal Caribbean / Michel Verdure
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Perfect Storm water slides on Harmony of the Seas
Perfect Storm water slides on Harmony of the Seas / Royal Caribbean / Rob Kalmbach
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H2O Zone on Oasis of the Seas
H2O Zone on Oasis of the Seas / Royal Caribbean / Tim Aylen
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Enchantment of the Seas' splash park
Enchantment of the Seas' splash park / Royal Caribbean
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Ultimate Abyss on Harmony of the Seas
Ultimate Abyss on Harmony of the Seas / Royal Caribbean / Michel Verdure
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Zip lining in Labadee
Zip lining in Labadee / Royal Caribbean / Craig Lenihan
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Majesty of the Seas' Pool
Majesty of the Seas' Pool / Royal Caribbean / Justin Panzarella
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Anthem of the Seas' Solarium
Anthem of the Seas' Solarium / Royal Caribbean / Roy Riley
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Enchantment of the Seas
Enchantment of the Seas / Royal Caribbean
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SeaPlex on Anthem of the Seas
SeaPlex on Anthem of the Seas / Royal Caribbean / Roy Riley
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Rock climbing on Anthem of the Seas
Rock climbing on Anthem of the Seas / Royal Caribbean / Roy Riley
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Ice skating
Ice skating / Royal Caribbean / Cedric Angeles
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Carousel on Oasis of the Seas
Carousel on Oasis of the Seas / Royal Caribbean / Katherine Wessel
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Liberty of the Seas
Liberty of the Seas / Royal Caribbean / Michel Verdure
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YouthZone on Oasis of the Seas
YouthZone on Oasis of the Seas / Royal Caribbean / Katherine Wessel
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Harmony of the Seas' Wonderland Restaurant
Harmony of the Seas' Wonderland Restaurant / Royal Caribbean
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Smoking Sriracha Eggs at Wonderland
Smoking Sriracha Eggs at Wonderland / Royal Caribbean / Quentin Bacon
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Michael's Genuine Pub on Anthem of the Seas
Michael's Genuine Pub on Anthem of the Seas / Royal Caribbean / Michel Verdure
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Onion dip at Michael's Genuine Pub
Onion dip at Michael's Genuine Pub / Royal Caribbean / Quentin Bacon
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Jamie's Italian on Anthem of the Seas
Jamie's Italian on Anthem of the Seas / Royal Caribbean / Michel Verdure
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Charcuterie at Giovanni's Table on Grandeur of the Seas
Charcuterie at Giovanni's Table on Grandeur of the Seas / Royal Caribbean
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Anthem of the Seas' Bionic Bar
Anthem of the Seas' Bionic Bar / Royal Caribbean
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Boardwalk on Allure of the Seas
Boardwalk on Allure of the Seas / Royal Caribbean / Simon Brooke-Webb
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Starwater on Quantum of the Seas
Starwater on Quantum of the Seas / Royal Caribbean / Tim Aylen
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Oasis of the Seas' Aquatheater
Oasis of the Seas' Aquatheater / Royal Caribbean
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Grease on Harmony of the Seas
Grease on Harmony of the Seas / Royal Caribbean / Roy Riley
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Serenade of the Seas' Game Reserve
Serenade of the Seas' Game Reserve / Royal Caribbean
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Grandeur of the Seas' disco
Grandeur of the Seas' disco / Royal Caribbean
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Virtual balcony on Voyager of the Seas
Virtual balcony on Voyager of the Seas / Royal Caribbean
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Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom on Radiance of the Seas
Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom on Radiance of the Seas / Royal Caribbean
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Pool deck on Mariner of the Seas
Pool deck on Mariner of the Seas / Royal Caribbean
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Royal Caribbean
Cruise Line Review
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

These big, bold, loud ships are packed with activities you wouldn't expect to find at sea — from ice skating rinks and rock climbing walls to skydiving simulators, bionic bartenders, bumper cars, and even surfing simulators. Just how big are these vessels? The fleet includes the largest cruise ship in the world, Harmony of the Seas, which sails with 6,780 passengers when it is at full capacity.

What We Love

Staying Connected: This is the line for you if you want to Instagram, Snapchat, Skype, and even stream movies while on board. Royal Caribbean has the fastest internet at sea, with high-speed Wi-Fi available fleet wide. For passengers who hate the idea of unplugging, this Voom internet service is a big bonus to cruising on Royal Caribbean.

Fast Boarding: The new check-yourself-in-at-home process, which allows you to go from the curb to your cabin in mere minutes, really sets this line apart. Best of all, you can upload a photo at home rather than having to take one (travel weary, bedraggled, and possibly even jet lagged) on the day you board.

Amusement Park-Style Activities: Some of these ships have bumper cars, a merry-go-round, miniature golf courses, ice skating rinks, and zip lines, and Harmony of the Seas also has the Abyss, which — at 10 stories tall — is the longest slide at sea. 

Innovative Entertainment: The lineup includes full-scale productions of Broadway shows such as “Cats,” "Grease," and “Shrek the Musical.” In addition, animated DreamWorks characters make appearances in parades and shows on ice or in water. You can also see live aerialists interact with robotically controlled video screens.

Art Collections: Newer ships have impressive modern art collections, with interactive installations that move and change, and playful, colorful static pieces throughout. 

Best Known For

Nightlife: Night owls will find plenty of action. Spend the evening in the Vegas-style Casino Royale, toast with cocktails and a view in the Viking Crown Lounge, check out the two-level disco, or try salsa dancing at Boleros.

Cabin Choices: These ships have as many as 34 cabin categories, and there’s a price level for everyone. Look for innovative designs, including two-story loft suites, cabins with views of the ship’s mall-like promenade, and inside cabins with “virtual balconies,” designed around a full-length LCD screen that displays a real-time video feed of the sea.

Johnny Rockets: On a dozen of the ships, for a $4.95 cover charge you can sit in a poolside diner and order those familiar burgers, chili fries, and shakes.

Who It's Best For

The Young (and Young at Heart): This mainstream line appeals to cruisers of all ages, with plenty of activity and entertainment options as well as extensive kids clubs. Families flock to the larger, newer ships while the more seasoned crowd is more often found on the line’s smaller, older ships.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

You Can Get Lost: On the first day, you’ll need to consult the deck plan often, or download an app, to be able to figure out how to get around.

Crowds Are Unavoidable: These are big ships, and you’ll be one of many searching for an available lounge chair on the sun deck on a sunny day, or hoping to catch the last seat in a show lounge, or waiting for your omelette at the buffet.

Food Isn’t the Main Draw Here: Our opinion of most food on board? It’s okay, not great. The few exceptions include Miami-based Chef Michael Schwartz's restaurants — 150 Central Park and Michael's Genuine Pub — and several of the top specialty restaurants on the line's newer ships, including the molecular gastronomy-inspired Wonderland and Jamie’s Italian, which was designed in partnership with British TV personality, Jamie Oliver. In addition, on Quantum-class class ships, even the buffet has gotten a welcome upgrade, and we were pleased to see both amazing variety and high-quality ingredients such as excellent cheese, charcuterie, and olives. 

Fran Golden
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger