Complete Guide to Royal Caribbean Fleet & Ship Classes

Of the major cruise lines, few offer a more diverse lineup of ship classes than Royal Caribbean. In fact, for the most-part, Royal Caribbean ship classes are quite distinguishable from each other. In this post, we’re highlighting class specific features and giving you the insight to choose the best ship for your next Royal Caribbean cruise.

 

Royal Caribbean has been a leading innovator in the cruising industry for over five decades. From 1996 through 2021, Royal Caribbean introduced a new cruise ship every year in all but six of those years. Their current fleet of 26 ships which includes two under construction, are grouped into seven ship classes, each with their own base of specific common features.

Vision Class

Currently the oldest vessels in the fleet, Vision Class ships were launched between 1995 and 1998 and of the original six ships in this class there are four remaining. With two full decks of balcony staterooms & suites, Vision class ships made the once out-of-reach balcony stateroom more accessible for cruisers. Theses ships were also the first to feature Royal Caribbean’s adult-only Solarium.

Grandeur of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
Dec 1996 73,817 GRT 916 ft 996 1,992 (dbl) 2012

2021-2023 Itineraries:
Southern Caribbean (Barbados), Short Caribbean (Galveston), Caribbean (Miami)


Rhapsody of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
May 1997 78,491 GRT 915 ft 1,020 1,998 (dbl) 2016

2021-2022 Itineraries:
Europe (Venice), Caribbean (Tampa)


Enchantment of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
Jul 1997 82,910 GRT 989 ft 1,142 2,252 (dbl) 2017

Watch Video: Enchantment of the Seas – Ultimate Cruise Ship Tour

2021-2022 Itineraries:
Bermuda (Baltimore), Bahamas/Caribbean (Baltimore), Canada/New England (Baltimore)

Notes:
Enchantment of the Seas was lengthened in 2005 by cutting the ship in two and adding a new 73-foot section. This resulted in increased capacity with 151 new staterooms, kids splash area, many new venues and the unique bridges on the pool deck.


Vision of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
May 1998 78,340 GRT 915 ft 1,024 2,050 (dbl) 2017

2021-2023 Itineraries:
Caribbean (San Juan, Fort Lauderdale), Mediterranean (Barcelona)


Voyager Class

Voyager Class was not only a game-changer for Royal Caribbean, but also the cruise industry. These incredible five ships launched between 1999 and 2003, proved that just about anything is possible on a cruise ship. Aside from their tremendous size, Voyager Class introduced many firsts like ice skating on real ice, the rock-climbing wall, the Royal Promenade with interior facing staterooms, Johnny Rockets Diner with waterview booths, plus expanded food and beverage options, entertainment venues and enhanced Royal Caribbean signature spaces. Over the years, these ships have been upgraded many times to include some of the latest most popular features from across the fleet.

Voyager of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
Nov 1999 137,276 GRT 1,020 ft 1,801 3,602 (dbl) 2019

2021-2023 Itineraries:
Japan/Far East (Tianjin), Southeast Asia (Singapore), Baltics/Russia (Copenhagen, Stockholm), Canada/New England (Boston), Caribbean (San Juan)

2019 Amplification Highlights:
– Addition of Perfect Storm Waterslides
– Glow-in-the-dark laser tag
– Redesigned Spa, Fitness Center & Kids Spaces
– Addition of 72 new staterooms


Explorer of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
Oct 2000 137,308 GRT 1,020 ft 1,643 3,286 (dbl) 2019

Watch Video: Explorer of the Seas – Port Miami Sailaway

2021-2023 Itineraries:
Caribbean (Galveston, San Juan, Miami)

Notes:
Explorer of the Seas was to receive a major amplification in 2020 which is now on hold indefinitely.


Adventure of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
Nov 2001 137,276 GRT 1,020 ft 1,557 3,114 (dbl) 2018

2021-2023 Itineraries:
Bahamas (Nassau, Cape Liberty), Caribbean (Galveston), Bermuda (Cape Liberty), Canada/New England (Cape Liberty)

Notes:
Adventure of the Seas was to receive a major amplification in 2021 which is now on hold indefinitely.


Navigator of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
Dec 2002 139,999 GRT 1,020 ft 1,693 3,386 (dbl) 2019

 

Watch Video: Navigator of the Seas – Ultimate Cruise Ship Tour

2021-2022 Itineraries:
Bahamas (Miami, Fort Lauderdale), West Coast/Mexico (Los Angeles)

2019 Amplification Highlights
– Addition of Blaster Aqua Coaster, Riptide Mat Racer
– Reimagined Pool Deck
– Glow-in-the-dark laser tag
– Royal Escape Room
– Redesigned Spa, Fitness Center & Kids Spaces
– Several new dining venues and bars including Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade,
Hooked Seafood, El Loco Fresh, Lime & Coconut, Bamboo Room


Mariner of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
Nov 2003 139,863 GRT 1,020 ft 1,674 3,344 (dbl) 2018

Watch Video: Mariner of the Seas – Ultimate Cruise Ship Tour

2021-2023 Itineraries:
Bahamas (Port Canaveral), Caribbean (Port Canaveral), Bermuda (Port Canaveral)

2018 Amplification Highlights
– Addition of Perfect Storm Waterslides
– Sky Pad
– Glow-in-the-dark laser tag
– Royal Escape Room
– Several new dining venues and bars including Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade,
Jamie’s Italian, Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, Bamboo Room


Radiance Class

The four ships of the Radiance-Class were launched between 2001 and 2004. While Royal Caribbean was building the much larger Voyager class ships during that time, Radiance class ships were designed to Panamax standards to allow them to pass through the Panama Canal. There are many design elements carried over from previous classes, however, Radiance-Class ships were all about taking in the views. In fact, these ships boast exterior view elevators, two-level glass sections in the dining rooms, many ocean-facing public venues and over 500 balcony staterooms.

Radiance of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
Apr 2001 90,090 GRT 962 ft 1,071 2,143 (dbl) 2017

 

2021-2022 Itineraries:
Caribbean (Miami), Alaska (Vancouver, Seward)

Notes:
With their large use of glass throughout the vessels, Radiance Class ships have made a career visiting Alaska and other very scenic destinations.


Brilliance of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
Jul 2002 90,090 GRT 962 ft 1,070 2,142 (dbl) 2018

2021-2023 Itineraries:
Caribbean (Tampa), Bahamas (Tampa), Mediterranean (Venice)


Serenade of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
Aug 2003 90,090 GRT 965 ft 1,073 2,146 (dbl) 2017

 

2021-2023 Itineraries:
Australia/New Zealand (Sydney), Alaska (Vancouver), Caribbean (Tampa), Bahamas (Tampa)


Jewel of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
May 2004 90,090 GRT 962 ft 1,097 2,191 (dbl) 2016

2021-2022 Itineraries:
Europe (Copenhagen, Stockholm, Amsterdam), Canada/New England (Boston), Caribbean (Miami, Port Canaveral)


Freedom Class

The three ships of the Freedom class launched between 2006 and 2008, built on the success of the Voyager class ships with many enhancements. While the overall design between the two ship classes is quite similar, the increased size of Freedom class allowed designers at Royal Caribbean to push innovation and provide more onboard experiences. Freedom class introduced the lines first cantilevered whirlpools, FlowRider Surf Simulator and dedicated kids splash park, plus expanded dining and entertainment venues in the larger Royal Promenade and around the ship.

Freedom of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
May 2006 156,271 GRT 1,112 ft 1,967 3,934 (dbl) 2020

Watch Video: Freedom of the Seas – Cruise Ship Sailaway

2021-2023 Itineraries:
Bermuda (Cape Liberty), Canada/New England (Cape Liberty), Caribbean (Miami), Bahamas (Miami)

2020 Amplification Highlights
– Addition of Perfect Storm Waterslides
– Reimagined Pool Deck
– Glow-in-the-dark laser tag
– Conversion of H2O Zone to Splashaway Bay
– Redesigned Spa, Fitness Center & Kids Spaces
– Several new dining venues and bars including Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade,
Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen, El Loco Fresh, Lime & Coconut


Liberty of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
May 2007 154,407 GRT 1,112 ft 1,899 3,798 (dbl) 2016

2021-2023 Itineraries:
Caribbean (Galveston), Bahamas (Fort Lauderdale)

Notes:
Liberty of the Seas was to receive a major amplification in 2021 which is now on hold indefinitely. During her 2016 dry dock, Liberty of the Seas received Perfect Storm waterslides, including the only boomerang water slide at sea, Tidal Wave, conversion of H2O Zone to Splashaway Bay and new dining and beverage venues.


Independence of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
May 2008 154,407 GRT 1,112 ft 1,929 3,858 (dbl) 2018

Watch Video: Independence of the Seas – Ultimate Cruise Ship Tour

2021-2023 Itineraries:
Caribbean (Miami), Bahamas (Port Canaveral)

2018 Amplification Highlights
– Addition of Perfect Storm Waterslides
– Sky Pad
– Glow-in-the-dark laser tag
– Royal Escape Room
– Conversion of H2O Zone to Splashaway Bay
– Several new dining venues and bars including Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade,
Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, Fish & Ships, Sugar Beach


Oasis Class

When it comes to major leaps forward within the cruise industry, the introduction of the Oasis class ships in 2009 has been one that has set the bar to such a high level, that even after more than a decade, no other cruise lines have come close. The four Oasis Class vessels, with a fifth under construction and another on order, are vessels whose design is so revolutionary in size, amenities, varieties of accommodation and awe-inspiring onboard experiences. Royal Caribbean delivered a long list of firsts with Oasis class ships. These include the first Zip Line at Sea, diving and entertainment venue the AquaTheater, two-level loft suites, hand-crafted carousel and the two split hull sections of Central Park and Boardwalk, offering dining, entertainment and the first non-ocean view balcony staterooms.

Never to be outdone, even by their own vessels, in 2016 with the launch of Harmony of the Seas, the third Oasis Class ship, Royal Caribbean introduced the Ultimate Abyss slide that winds its way from Deck 16 down to the Boardwalk on Deck 6, The Perfect Storm waterslides including the line’s first champagne bowl slide, Splashaway Bay and the Bionic Bar.

These new features and more have also made their way to Oasis of the Seas following her 2019 Amplification with Allure of the Seas currently waiting to receive a similar makeover at a future date.

Oasis of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
Dec 2009 226,838 GRT 1,187 ft 2,803 5,606 (dbl) 2019

Watch Video: Oasis of the Seas – Ultimate Cruise Ship Tour

2021-2023 Itineraries:
Bahamas (Cape Liberty), Caribbean (Miami), Canada/New England (Cape Liberty)

2019 Amplification Highlights
– Addition of Perfect Storm Waterslides
– Addition of Ultimate Abyss
– Reimagined Pool Deck
– Glow-in-the-dark laser tag
– Royal Escape Room
– Conversion of H2O Zone to Splashaway Bay
– Several new dining venues and bars including Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade,
Music Hall, Lime & Coconut, Portside BBQ, El Loco Fresh


Allure of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
Dec 2010 225,282 GRT 1,187 ft 2,742 5,484 (dbl) 2015

2021-2023 Itineraries:
Caribbean (Port Canaveral, Fort Lauderdale, Galveston), Mediterranean (Barcelona, Rome)

Notes:
Allure of the Seas was to receive a major amplification in 2020 which is now on hold indefinitely.


Harmony of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
May 2016 226,963 GRT 1,188 ft 2,747 5,479 (dbl) N/A

Watch Video: Harmony of the Seas – Ultimate Cruise Ship Tour

2021-2023 Itineraries:
Caribbean (Port Canaveral), Mediterranean (Barcelona, Rome)

Notes:
Harmony of the Seas continued the evolution of the Oasis Class with the debut of the Ultimate Abyss, Perfect Storm waterslides, Splashaway Bay and Bionic Bar.


Symphony of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
Apr 2018 228,081 GRT 1,188 ft 2,759 5,518 (dbl) N/A

Watch Video: Symphony of the Seas – Ultimate Cruise Ship Tour

2021-2023 Itineraries:
Caribbean (Miami)

Notes:
Symphony of the Seas debuted casual eatery El Loco Fresh, Hooked Seafood, Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade and the Ultimate Family Suite.


Wonder of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
Mar 2022 236,857 GRT 1,188 ft 2,867 5,734 (dbl) N/A

2022-2023 Itineraries:
Far East (Shanghai, Hong Kong)

Notes:
The fifth Oasis Class ship, Wonder of the Seas is currently under construction with a planned debut in 2022. Built for the Chinese cruise market, she will continue the evolution of the class with many new spaces and a design that is quite different from her sisters.


Quantum Class

Sometimes it’s not about building bigger, but smarter. Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class is a convergence of style and technology that delivers an incredible array of features and onboard experiences. Firsts in this class include Ripcord by iFly, the only sky diving simulators at sea, North Star, where guests get elevated 360 degree views from the comfort of their observation capsule and SeaPlex, a two-level multi-purpose indoor space offering activities like bumper cars, roller skating, basketball and more. Be entertained in the one-of-a-kind theater, Two70, where the latest tech in robotics and high-definition displays envelopes the audience and is part of the show experience. Add to that, sophisticated dining choices and some of Royal Caribbean’s most popular features spun in a totally new way.

Quantum of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
Nov 2014 168,666 GRT 1,141 ft 2,094 4,180 (dbl) 2019

2021-2023 Itineraries:
Far East (Singapore), Australia/New Zealand (Brisbane), Alaska (Seattle)

2019 Dry Dock Notes:
During Quantum of the Seas scheduled 5-year dry dock in 2019, she received an Escape Room and Laser Tag along with routine maintenance.


Anthem of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
Apr 2015 168,666 GRT 1,141 ft 2,090 4,180 (dbl) 2020

Watch Video: Anthem of the Seas – Ultimate Cruise Ship Tour

2021-2022 Itineraries:
Europe/Mediterranean (Southampton), Bahamas (Cape Liberty), Caribbean (Cape Liberty)

2020 Dry Dock Notes:
During Anthem of the Seas scheduled 5-year dry dock in 2020, she received routine maintenance.


Ovation of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
Apr 2016 168,666 GRT 1,138 ft 2,091 4,180 (dbl) N/A

2021-2022 Itineraries:
Australia/New Zealand (Sydney), Alaska (Seattle)

Notes:
Ovation of the Seas was the third and final Quantum Class ship before the arrival of the enhanced Quantum Ultra Class.


Quantum Ultra Class

Expanding on the successful technological wonder of the Quantum Class, Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Ultra Class ships deliver the same excitement with some new additions. New to this class is Sky Pad, offering thrills of a virtual reality bungee trampoline, loads of new dining and beverage spots and glow-in-the-dark laser tag. Tweaks were also made to elevate the onboard experience throughout the ship.

Spectrum of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
Apr 2019 169,379 GRT 1,139 ft 2,137 4,246 (dbl) N/A

Watch Video: Spectrum of the Seas – A First Look: Quantum Ultra Class Ship

2021-2022 Itineraries:
Far East (Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Tianjin)

Notes:
Spectrum of the Seas was designed specifically for the Chinese cruise market and features exclusive venues not found on any other Royal Caribbean ships.


Odyssey of the Seas

Maiden Voyage Size Length Staterooms Guests Last Refurb
May 2021 169,000 GRT 1,138 ft 2,105 4,198 (dbl) N/A

Watch Video: Odyssey of the Seas – Cruise Ship Preview (2021)

2021-2022 Itineraries:
Mediterranean (Haifa, Rome), Caribbean (Fort Lauderdale)


Icon Class

There’s not a lot publicly known about Royal Caribbean’s future new builds under the Icon Class. Currently, there are three ships in this class on order with the first scheduled for 2023 and vessels 2 and 3 following in 2025 and 2026. These ships will be an all-new design, likely featuring some incredible new experiences plus incorporate many of Royal Caribbean’s most popular ones. The 200,000-gross ton, 5,000 guest vessels will be larger than Quantum Class, but smaller than Oasis class and utilize new propulsion technology with an eco-friendly LNG drive system significantly reducing emissions.

 

How many of these Royal Caribbean ships have you sailed on? Let us know in the comments.

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