Royal Caribbean has a fleet of 25 ships and has always been on the forefront of major improvements and innovations in the cruise industry. Royal Caribbean’s ships are diverse in their onboard offerings and design, but you’ll find the same thought towards guest comfort and imaginative activities across the fleet. This is especially true of the Oasis-Class ships that are also the world’s largest cruise ships.
Here’s our list of the 5 unique things we love about Royal Caribbean.
1. Innovative Cruise Ships
There’s no doubt that Royal Caribbean operates the most high-tech and innovative cruise ships in the cruise industry. With every new generation of ship, they manage to completely “push the envelope” and outdo the previous generations. That doesn’t mean they just let their older ships become obsolete. In fact, many of the recent new technologies and enhancements found on their latest ships, were first introduced on older vessels during dry dock refurbishments. Royal Caribbean has invested heavily in revitalizing existing ships to almost new condition.
Royal Caribbean Fleet (Ship Class)
Here are some the innovations found on Royal Caribbean ships.
The Royal Promenade is a signature element found on many Royal Caribbean ships, since Voyager of the Seas was introduced in 1999. The Royal Promenade is a central thoroughfare themed like a village street and features eateries, bars, shopping and hosts special events and parties. The Royal Promenade can be found on all Oasis-Class, Freedom-Class and Voyager-Class ships. On the Quantum-Class ships there is a similar concept called Royal Esplanade.
When Royal Caribbean launched Oasis of the Seas in 2009, they introduced 7 distinct “Neighborhoods” to identify various sections of the ship and assist guests in navigating the largest cruise ship in the world. The neighborhood concept is found on all Oasis-Class ships.
Inspired by a seaside pier, Boardwalk is a bustling area for the entire family to enjoy together. You’ll find places to eat, an arcade, shops and a beautiful custom-made carousel. Open to the aft area of the ship, Boardwalk also features the AquaTheater, a venue that comes alive with professional acrobatic and high-diving performances at night. Flanking each side of the AquaTheater are two challenging, 43 foot rock climbing walls. On Harmony of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas you’ll marvel at the Ultimate Abyss slide that sends you twisting down to the Boardwalk from 10 stories above.
Featuring an outdoor park atmosphere, Central Park offers a background of lush greenery, retail shops, eateries, bars and pathways through the gardens of seasonal flowers and trees. There are many spots to sit and enjoy a book or conversations.
When you seek seek things to do when the sun goes down, head to Entertainment place. This contemporary district offers a Comedy Club, Jazz on 4, Main Show Theater, Casino Royale and on Blaze Nightclub on Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas.
Pool & Sports Zone
This area maximizes your enjoyment in the sun, the air and in the water. There are four pools for sports, swimming or just floating around. On Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas you’ll find the H2O Zone water play area with colorful spraying statues for families to enjoy. On Harmony of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas you’ll find Splashaway Bay, a water park designed for the smaller kids, complete with slides, fountains and water dump bucket and The Perfect Storm, a trio of exciting water slides with many twist and turns. Also in this Neighborhood, you’ll find not one by two FlowRider surf simulators, and 82 foot Zip Line, adults-only Solarium, Mini-Golf and Sports Court.
Talking the concept of the Royal Promenade to the next level, on Oasis-Class ships, the soaring space is topped with glass sections that send natural light down and the remarkable Rising Tide Bar, the first moving bar at sea, moves slowly from the Promenade up to Central Park.
Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center
The perfect place to get fit and focus on achieving wellness. The Vitality at Sea Spa offers a Thermal Suite, with heated loungers, saunas and steam rooms, couples massage suites and individual treatment rooms and relaxation rooms. The Fitness Center features the latest in gym equipment and several classes are offered in spinning, Pilates and yoga.
A special place for children and teens, Youth Zone offers the popular Adventure Ocean youth program with 3 distinct age groups from 3 to 11 years, the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery for infants 6 months or older, and teen only spaces like Fuel Disco, The Living Room and Challengers Arcade. On Harmony of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas there is also a new Escape Room activity, where friends or family team up to solve clues in order to make their escape.
SeaPlex is a large indoor multi-purpose space that was designed to offer extraordinary cruise experiences. From a circus school, complete with flying trapeze, full-size basketball court, roller-rink where you skate to music from the floating DJ booth, bumper cars and the only food-truck on a cruise ship, SeaPlex takes having fun to a new level. SeaPlex is only available on Quantum-Class ships.
Rising Tide Bar
Take a leisurely ride on the Rising Tide Bar as it ascends from the Royal Promenade on Deck 5 to Central Park on Deck 8 all while enjoying a cocktail. Riding Tide Bar is only available on Oasis-Class ships.
We all know “There’s an app for that”, but how about using a tablet to instruct a robot to make you a drink? The Bionic Bar is a fun way to get the drink you want the way you want it, as almost everything is customizable. The two arm robot bartenders can whip up two drinks per minute and up to 1,000 per day. The Bionic Bar is currently available on all Quantum-Class ships, Harmony of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas (2018).
Photos Courtesy: Royal Caribbean International
2. Unique Activities
On a Royal Caribbean ship there’s never a problem to find something to do. Aside from the typical activities found onboard ships from almost every cruise line, there are a few that are found only on Royal Caribbean.
First introduced on Freedom of the Seas, the FlowRider surfing simulator is a favorite activity for many and watching the wipeouts are equally enjoyable. FlowRider is so popular that Royal Caribbean added a second one to all Oasis-Class ships. FlowRider is a free activity on all Freedom-Class, Oasis-Class, Quantum-Class & Voyager-Class ships (Mariner of the Seas will receive FlowRider after 2018 dry dock)
Imagine skating on real ice in the middle of the Caribbean. Open skating will be offered at certain times during a cruise. This is a free activity and they supply the skates and helmets. Ice Skating is a free activity and is available on all Voyager-Class, Freedom-Class & Oasis-Class ships.
Royal Caribbean will take you to new heights on North Star. Enjoy incredible 360-degree views from your jewel-shaped capsule as you ascend 300 feet over the ocean. North Star is a free activity and is available on all Quantum-Class ships.
RipCord by iFly
Experience skydiving right from the deck of a cruise ship. RipCord by iFly is a skydiving simulator that allows virtually anyone to try a one-minute skydiving session without having to get on an airplane. RipCord by iFly is a free activity on Anthem of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas and available for an extra charge on Quantum of the Seas.
The Ultimate Abyss is a 10 story dry slide that starts on Deck 16 and sends you spiraling down to the Boardwalk on Deck 7. From the aft section on Deck 16, you enter through the mouth of a fierce-looking angler fish, then up the stairs to the glass platform suspended 100 feet above the AquaTheater. You’ll make the trip down riding a mat and during your plummet, you’ll enjoy (or not) lighting and sound effects. The Ultimate Abyss is a free activity and is available on Harmony of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas (2018).
Feel the thrilling rush as you zip line nine decks above the Boardwalk. The 82 foot long zip line is a free activity and is available on all Oasis-Class ships.
Photos Courtesy: Royal Caribbean International
3. World-Class Entertainment
Onboard Royal Caribbean ships you’ll be entertained by some of the most dazzling performances in state-of-the-art venues.
The outdoor AquaTheater showcases awesome high-diving performances, acrobatics and synchronized swimming, along with water and lighting effects, during the themed and entertaining shows. AquaTheater shows are offered on all Oasis-Class ships.
Royal Caribbean is currently offering five different Broadway productions of the following shows:
Cats (Oasis of the Seas)
Grease (Harmony of the Seas & Independence of the Seas)
HairSpray (Symphony of the Seas -2018)
Mamma Mia (Allure of the Seas)
Saturday Night Fever (Liberty of the Seas)
Catch some of the best ice skaters in the world perform amazing acts during the professionally produced and choreographed shows. Ice shows are offered on all Freedom-Class, Oasis-Class & Voyager-Class ships.
Two70 Show Lounge
Royal Caribbean has created the ultimate in immersive entertainment. Blending 12K resolution graphics, robotics, and top notch live performances, experiencing shows in the Two70 theater is a thrill and definitely not to be missed. During the day the space offers sweeping ocean views and then transforms in the evening to provide the ambiance for performances, before transforming again for late night dancing, as it becomes a nightclub. Two70 is only available on Quantum-Class ships.
Meet your favorite DreamWorks characters from Shrek, Puss in Boots, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and more, exclusively onboard Royal Caribbean. Enjoy special entertainment, parades, meet and greets and character meals. The DreamWorks Experience is only available on Allure of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas & Voyager of the Seas.
Photos Courtesy: Royal Caribbean International
4. Generous Loyalty & Suite Perks
Crown & Anchor Society Loyalty Program
Royal Caribbean offers past guests some of the best perks in the cruise business. The six-tier Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program starts with limited benefits after your first cruise, then you’ll accumulate additional points based on your number of cruising nights, earning one point for every night you cruise. If you book a suite, you will earn two points for every night. Here is a breakdown of the Crown & Anchor membership levels and the number of points/nights required to reach each level.
Gold – 3 points/nights
Platinum – 30 points/nights
Emerald – 55 points/nights
Diamond – 80 points/nights
Diamond Plus – 175 points/nights
Pinnacle Club – 700 points/nights
Royal Caribbean offers their suite guests and array of perks and amenities that do vary by ship across the fleet. On Allure of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas an enhanced suite program called Royal Suite Class is offered. Suite perks do start with Junior Suite accommodations and the level of perks increase with higher room categories. Guests staying in the highest level suites on ships included in the Royal Suite Class program, will receive access to the Royal Genie. The Royal Genie is on-hand to fulfill exclusive and personalized one-of-kind VIP experiences.
5. Variety of Accommodations
Finding the right accommodation onboard Royal Caribbean ships is easier with the wide variety of staterooms and suites. Like many other aspects of cruising with Royal Caribbean, they also offer some unique accommodations.
Interior with Virtual Balcony
These interior rooms actually have a real view thanks to a floor-to-ceiling HD display that broadcasts a live feed from the exterior of the ship. Virtual Balcony rooms are available on Anthem of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas & Voyager of the Seas.
These interior rooms offer bow windows with views of the Royal Promenade. Promenade View rooms are available on Freedom-Class, Oasis-Class & Voyager-Class ships.
Boardwalk View & Balcony
These rooms offer a view of the Boardwalk area. Some of the Boardwalk Balcony rooms located on higher decks and towards the aft can view the shows in the AquaTheater. Boardwalk Balcony rooms receive DINE. DRINK. DISCOVER amenities including free meal for four at Johnny Rockets, a soda package for two and a private rock climbing wall session. Boardwalk rooms are available on Oasis-Class ships.
Central Park View & Balcony
These rooms offer a view of Central Park. Central Park Balcony rooms receive DINE. DRINK. DISCOVER amenities including free lunch for two at Giovanni’s Table, Jamie’s Italian or Johnny Rockets, a bottle of wine and expert casino gaming lessons. Central Park rooms are available on Oasis-Class ships.
Family Panoramic Ocean View Staterooms
These rooms have been added to a new section of deck 12 on select ships. They feature forward-facing views from above the ship’s bridge through 6 large floor-to-ceiling windows. There are only two per ship and they can sleep up to 6 guests, with one queen bed, separate room with two bunks and a double sofa bed. There is also a full bathroom with shower and half bath with sink and toilet. Family Panoramic Ocean View rooms are available on Adventure of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas.
These large one and two bedroom suites located aft of the Boardwalk, offer incredible ocean views and a birds-eye vantage to take in the AquaTheater shows. AquaTheater Suites are available on Oasis-Class ships.
Two-Level Loft Suites
These suites offer two-levels of luxurious living at sea and huge walls of glass that bring the outdoors in. Loft Suites receive the enhanced Royal Suite Class perks, and the Royal Loft Suite, Owner’s Loft Suite, Grand Loft Suite and Sky Loft Suite also receive access to the Royal Genie. Two Level Loft Suites are available on Oasis-Class & Quantum-Class ships.
Photos Courtesy: Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean is leading the way with new innovations, technology, guest comfort and ship design. We can only imagine what exciting new elements are being planned today, for their future new builds. One thing is for certain, whatever comes next is going to be incredible.