Plan Your Royal Caribbean International Vacation
Big, bigger, biggest! In the early 1990s, Royal Caribbean launched Sovereign-class ships, the first of the modern megacruise liners, which continue to be the all-around favorite of passengers who enjoy traditional cruising ambience with a touch of daring and whimsy.
Plunging into the 21st century, each ship in the current fleet carries more passengers than the entire Royal Caribbean fleet of the 1970s, and has amenities—such as new surfing pools—that were unheard of in the past.
All Royal Caribbean ships are topped by the company's signature Viking Crown Lounge, a place to watch the seascape by day and dance at night. Expansive multideck atriums and promenades, as well as the generous use of brass and floor-to-ceiling glass windows, give each vessel a sense of spaciousness and style. The action is nonstop in casinos and dance clubs after dark, while daytime hours are filled with poolside games and traditional cruise activities. Port talks tend to lean heavily on shopping recommendations and the sale of shore excursions.
Key Royal Caribbean International Tips
Are you a first-time cruiser? View our helpful hints and tips on Your Shipmates, Dress Code, Junior Cruisers, and much more! See Tips
Top Reasons To Cruise
- A Step Above Offering the same value as other mainstream lines, Royal Caribbean's ships are more sophisticated than its competitors’.
- Big Ships The Royal Caribbean fleet boasts the world’s largest cruise ships.
- Extra Charges You will have to break out your wallet quite often once on board, as the cruise fare is far from inclusive.
- Recreation Gym rats and sports and fitness buffs find multiple facilities available to satisfy their active lifestyles while at sea.
- Something for Everyone With activities that appeal to a broad demographic, Royal Caribbean is a top choice for multigenerational cruise vacations.
Is This Line Right For You?
Choose This Line If
- You want to see the sea from atop a rock wall—it's one of the few activities on these ships that's free.
- You're active and adventurous. Even if your traveling companion isn't, there's an energetic staff on board to cheer you on.
- You want your space. There's plenty of room to roam; quiet nooks and crannies are there if you look.
Don't Choose This Line If
- Patience is not one of your virtues. Lines are not uncommon.
- You want to do your own laundry. There are no self-service facilities on any Royal Caribbean ships.
- You don't want to hear announcements. There are a lot on Royal Caribbean ships.
What To Expect On Board
Dining is an international experience, with nightly changing themes and cuisines from around the world. Passenger preference for casual attire and a resortlike atmosphere has prompted the cruise line to add laid-back alternatives to the formal dining rooms: the Windjammer
Café and, on certain ships, Johnny Rockets Diner; Seaview Café evokes the ambience of an island beachside stand. Royal Caribbean offers you the choice of early or late dinner seating and has introduced an open seating program fleet-wide.
Room service is available 24 hours, but for orders between midnight and 5 am there’s a $3.95 service charge. There's a limited menu.
Royal Caribbean doesn't place emphasis on celebrity chefs or specialty alternative restaurants, although they have introduced a more upscale and intimate dinner experience in the form of an Italian specialty restaurant and/or a steak house on all ships.
A variety of lounges and high-energy stage shows draw passengers of all ages out to mingle and dance the night away. Production extravaganzas showcase singers and dancers in lavish costumes. Comedians, acrobats, magicians, jugglers, and solo entertainers fill show lounges
on nights when the ships' companies aren't performing. Professional ice shows are a highlight of cruises on Voyager-, Freedom-, and Oasis-class ships—the only ships at sea with ice-skating rinks.
Fitness and Recreation
Royal Caribbean has pioneered such new and previously unheard of features as rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, bungee trampolines, and even the first self-leveling pool tables on a cruise ship. Interactive water parks, boxing rings, surfing simulators, and cantilevered
whirlpools suspended 112 feet above the ocean made their debuts on the Freedom-class ships.
Facilities vary by ship class, but all Royal Caribbean ships have state-of-the-art exercise equipment, jogging tracks, and rock-climbing walls; passengers can work out independently or in classes guaranteed to sweat off extra calories. Most exercise classes are included in the fare, but there's a fee for specialized spin, yoga, and Pilates classes, as well as the services of a personal trainer. Spas and salons are top-notch, with full menus of day spa–style treatments and services for pampering and relaxation for adults and teens.