One of the leading cruise companies with a wide range of destinations and itineraries plus a huge fleet of 26 ships, it’s no wonder that Royal Caribbean is one of the top choices for honeymooners, families, and friends alike.
When planning the perfect Royal Caribbean cruise, some decide based on the destinations on the itinerary, and some on what the cruise ship itself has to offer.
To help you choose, we’ve put together a list of our picks for the 10 best Royal Caribbean ships.
Best Royal Caribbean Ships Quick Picks
Best Royal Caribbean Ship for Families: Harmony of the Seas or Anthem of the Seas
Largest Royal Caribbean Ship: Allure of the Seas
Best Royal Caribbean Ship for Itineraries Around the World: Ovation of the Seas
Harmony of the Seas
Holding up to 6,687 passengers and 220 crew members, Harmony of the Seas is one of the world’s largest cruise ships.
It offers multiple cabin categories, with more than 70% of cabins featuring balconies. As on any ship, the interior staterooms are the cheapest, but if you’re looking for a little more space and luxury you can choose from a variety of suites. These range from Junior Suites all the way up to four-bedroom Villa suites that can accommodate the whole family, making this one of the best Royal Caribbean ships for family travel. All cabins have a flat-screen TV and a minibar. Suites also come with access to a private restaurant, sun deck, and lounge.
There are 20 different dining options, including a variety of specialty restaurants ranging from Mexican to Japanese cuisine. These require reservations at an additional fee.
Onboard activities and facilities include many staples of the Royal Caribbean fleet, including rock climbing walls and surf simulators. Other exciting amenities include a 10-story slide, three multi-story waterslides, an arcade, age-appropriate clubs for the kids, a spa, and a variety of bars and lounges for the adults to enjoy.
Navigator of the Seas
Navigator of the Seas has a 3,968-passenger capacity and a wide range of rooms and suites. After a major upgrade in 2014, interior staterooms now boast amazing virtual balconies so that even the cheapest cabins can enjoy a scenic view. Suite cabins have real balconies and include a variety of extra perks, such as whirlpool bathtubs.
The main dining room spans three different levels and serves meals buffet style, so guests can enjoy a varied menu and plenty of seating! There’s also a selection of casual eateries as well as a handful of specialty restaurants.
When it comes to onboard activities and facilities, this ship leaves little left to be desired. After an upgrade in 2019, this ship now proudly features the world’s longest at-sea waterslide, great nightlife venues, and a gorgeous new pool area as well as six whirlpools, three pools, a rock climbing wall, an ice skating rink, a surf simulator, and a spa.
Allure of the Seas
Also among the largest cruise ships in the world is the Allure of the Seas, with a 6,826-passenger capacity. This ship is split into seven unique neighborhoods, each featuring its own range of activities, entertainment, and dining options.
Around 65% of cabins on this ship have balconies, and all staterooms also have TVs and minifridges. As usual, interior staterooms are the cheapest option, but if you splash out on a stateroom, you can enjoy a large balcony and a concierge service.
There are 19 different dining venues and even a Starbucks onboard. Allure of the Seas offers many of the Royal Caribbean fleet staples when it comes to onboard amenities, such as ice skating rinks and rock climbing walls as well as the Ultimate Abyss (the tallest slide at sea), new spaces for teenagers and kids, two surf simulators, a science lab, and a zip line descending 10 decks.
Allure of the Seas departs from Miami and Orlando, Florida, and Galveston, Texas, and sails to a variety of destinations in the Caribbean.
Vision of the Seas
Vision of the Seas is a slightly smaller cruise ship, with just a 2,514-passenger capacity, but that doesn’t mean it’s small in character.
There is a selection of four different stateroom categories, including Interior, Ocean View, Balcony, and Suites. Interior staterooms are the cheapest. Suites have balconies and enjoy extra amenities such as whirlpool bathtubs.
Foodies who step aboard this ship won’t be disappointed. With a diverse array of dining venues, guests can indulge at the main buffet, grab a snack at one of several casual eateries, or dine at one of the specialty restaurants, such as Izumi for Asian food or the Chops Grille steakhouse.
Daytime activities are nothing short of fun-filled, with rock climbing, swimming, casino games, and different activities like sushi and cupcake-making classes. If you’re looking to escape from the little ones, there’s even an adults-only pool and lounge area.
Ovation of the Seas
Ovation of the Seas is a 4,905-passenger ship with stunning staterooms. Interior, Ocean View, Balcony, and Suite category accommodations all include a flat-screen TV, a sitting area, and a safe. Seventy-five percent of the cabins offer balconies. Those staying in interior cabins don’t need to miss out on the spectacular views, though; all are equipped with virtual balconies that give a virtual view of the ship’s location.
There are 16 onboard eateries, with six signature restaurants that require a reservation at an additional fee, such as the Italian restaurant curated by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. The food onboard generally receives praise.
The onboard activities are sure to keep you entertained throughout the day, with facilities such as an observation pod, a surf simulator, a skydiving simulator, a bionic bar (where adults can enjoy a range of delicious cocktails prepared by robots), upscale shopping boutiques, a rock climbing wall, and even an outdoor movie screen.
One of the best Royal Caribbean ships for unique itineraries around the world, Ovation of the Seas sets sail from Vancouver, Honolulu, Seattle, and Sydney for itineraries in Alaska, Australia, Hawaii, and the South Pacific.
Odyssey of the Seas
Holding 5,498 passengers, Odyssey of the Seas is one of Royal Caribbean’s newest ships.
It offers Interior, Ocean View, and Balcony staterooms, as well as suites. New virtual balcony rooms have floor-to-ceiling displays projecting real-time views of sights and sounds outside the ship.
There are 15 dining options ranging from all-you-can-eat buffets to Japanese venues, and even a Starbucks. There are also nine bars and lounges, so adults can retreat and enjoy a relaxing drink.
In terms of activities, this ship boasts plenty to do including shopping, a 40-foot-long surf simulator, kids’ clubs, a fitness center with classes, pools, a spa, the North Star observation capsule, a skydiving simulator, and an arcade. There is also a range of entertainment, including live music, theatrical performances, movie nights, a casino, and more.
Odyssey of the Seas sails from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Cape Liberty, New Jersey to ports in Europe and the Caribbean.
Anthem of the Seas
With a capacity of 4,905 guests, Anthem of the Seas is an innovative ship that is also one of the best Royal Caribbean ships for families.
Staterooms have a whole host of features that make them desirable, such as family-friendly adjoining cabins. Interior rooms have virtual balconies that show real-time footage of the ship’s location. Cabin categories include Interior, Ocean View, Balcony, and Suite, all of which offer flat-screen TVs and minifridges.
Dining is more than convenient on this ship, with 14 different venues including six signature restaurants available for an extra fee.
Guests can enjoy a range of amenities on board, including a 360-degree observation pod, a skydiving simulator, bumper cars, rock climbing, nightly shows, casino games, and daytime spa treatments.
Anthem of the Seas departs from New Jersey, Singapore, Southampton (England), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), and Cape Liberty, and sails to Asia, the Caribbean, The Bahamas, and Europe, including transatlantic voyages.
Freedom of the Seas
The Freedom of the Seas is a 4,635-passenger ship. It has had recent updates, which include newly styled staterooms. Guests can choose from four room categories: Interior, Ocean View, Balcony, or Suite. All cabins include minibars and LED TVs. Suites offer extra features such as private balconies and living areas.
This ship is another one that has a three-level main dining restaurant. It also has several casual eateries (including Johnny Rockets and El Loco Fresh) and some specialty restaurants at an extra charge.
Amenities include a rock climbing wall, an ice skating rink, a brand new pool area, new waterslides, a surf simulator, and a variety of bars, lounges, and a casino for the adults to enjoy.
Freedom of the Seas departs from Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for sailings throughout the Caribbean and Bahamas.
Voyager of the Seas
Voyager of the Seas accommodates up to 4000 guests and has revamped its staterooms in recent years. There is a range of staterooms, cabins, and suites to choose from, and the interior cabins offer virtual balconies that show a live projection of the ship’s current location..
Guests can dine at the ship’s main dining room and the buffet, as well as a selection of casual eateries and specialty dining restaurants.
There’s plenty to see and do onboard, with new lounges to grab a drink at; brand new waterslides; a spa; spaces for kids, teens, and babies to hang out; a fitness center; a laser tag arena; a surf simulator; and a poolside movie screen. There are also three pools, six whirlpools, a rock climbing wall, and an ice skating rink plus bars, lounges, and a casino.
Voyager of the Seas departs from ports in North America, Europe, and the Mediterranean and sails to the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Europe, and New England
Marina of the Seas
Hosting up to 4,000 passengers, Marina of the Seas is a stunning ship, known among cruise fans for having beautiful staterooms. The four stateroom categories–Interior, Ocean View, Balcony, and Suite–all have flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi.
If you’re looking for great food you won’t be disappointed, with a selection of 11 dining venues including a multi-level dining room, specialty restaurants, and even Jamie’s Italian by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.
This ship’s amenities include an escape room, a surf simulator, Broadway-style shows, youth programs and teen lounges for the kids, three pools, six whirlpools, and 10 bars and lounges for the adults.
Mariner of the Seas departs from Florida and Galveston, Texas, and sails to the Caribbean, The Bahamas, and Bermuda.
Now that you’ve read our picks for the 10 best Royal Caribbean ships, which one are you most looking forward to traveling on? Let us know in the comments. And if you’re still undecided, reach out to one of our expert cruise travel agents.
Emily is a Freelance travel writer from the UK who believes that the discovery of culture, history, foods, and modern life is the most exciting part of travel. She loves finding great deals and experiencing great travel on a budget.
Emily graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in the United Kingdom, with a degree in Asia Pacific Studies.