When it comes to cruising, you have so much choice in terms of lines and destinations that sometimes it can be difficult to choose. In this blog series we’ll look at the top reasons why you should consider various cruise lines.
My very first cruise over 25-years ago was on Royal Caribbean International (you can read more here). And I grew up travelling on the brand, so I like to think that I know it very well. For me, Royal has something that can appeal to every type of cruiser. Let’s have a look why – here are my five reason for travelling with Royal Caribbean.
Royal Caribbean operate the largest cruise ships in the world and have been at the forefront of cruise ship technology and design for many years, including the very first mega-cruise ship in 1988 with Sovereign of the Seas (which sadly was retired and scrapped in 2020 due to the Coronavirus Pandemic). Since then, the line has continued to push the boundaries in size, technology and the overall experience on board.
Arguably the most ground-breaking step-change in recent times was the introduction of the Oasis Class back in 2009. Oasis of the Seas and her current four sisters (with more to follow) introduced a whole new ships design with a split superstructure that creates an inward facing environment, which includes a park and a Coney Island style boardwalk. It is truly remarkable when you consider it.
I fully accept that large ships aren’t always everyone’s cup of tea. Royal Caribbean also operates a number of smaller vessels with more of a traditional focus compared to their larger cousins.
Internally, Royal Caribbean ships are marvels as well, having introduced a number of firsts to the cruise industry. Some examples include:
- The Royal Promenade – Introducing an internal promenade that spans most of the central core of the ship that acts as a focus point for activities, shops, bars and other things. They were the first cruise line to introduce this (though it was previously seen on some ferries) and has been mirrored by other lines since.
- The first ice skating and aqua theatres at sea
- Bionic Bar – As the name suggests, this is a bar which features robotic bar tenders which will craft you a custom drink. It’s a really fun experience.
- Two70 Theatre – a multi-functional space that acts as the ships ‘living room’ in the day where you can grab a casual bite to eat and curl up with a good book, then in the evening it transforms into an immersive theatre with shows and events. Oh, and there’s more robots.
- Tallest Slide at seas – A number of Oasis Class ships feature the Ultimate Abyss, a 10-floor helter-skelter where you plunge 10 ft above sea level (it’s great fun)
- North Star – a London eye’esque capsule that is suspended 300 ft above the ocean on board Quantum Class ships.
The next upcoming class of Royal Caribbean, the Icon Class, will no doubt feature a number of other firsts and innovations. This is particularly around the environment, as it will be the first LNG-powered Royal ship, amongst a number of other innovations no doubt.
They put the WOW in activities
Royal are also known for bringing a number of new and innovative activities to sea. There’s a pretty long list but sufficed to say if you like to keep busy, you won’t be disappointed. This includes:
- Rock climbing
- Ice skating
- Sky diving
- Bumper cars
- Glow-in-the-dark laser tag
- Escape rooms
- Roller skating
To name but a few! There’s also plenty of other activities including slides, circus schools and others.
Royal do not shy away from group activities either, with days chocca with things to do from trivia, to wellness, food and drink and then in the evenings big game shows. One not to be missed for adults is The Quest, an adult-themed scavenger hunt that is always a lot of laughs.
Another area Royal Caribbean stands out is the entertainment offer on board. Now, don’t get me wrong – you can get incredible entertainment on most lines, and in fact many offer similar sorts of activities, but for me, none quite offer the sheer variety that Royal do.
So, what do I mean by this? Well, for one, Royal offer an unprecedented variety of entertainment – that includes full West End Theatre shows, other full shows, Ice Skating Shows, aqua and diving shows, and acrobatics-based shows. That’s really something, and all to an exceptional high standard, drawing some of the World’s best talent.
Royal Caribbean was the first line to offer full feature and length West End shows on their ships, including Cats, Chicago, hairspray and Greece (to name a few). On top this, they also offer a number of in-house creations that include everything from circus-skills and gymnastics inspired shows to medleys of famous songs.
And yes, due to the variety of venues on board, Royal are known for doing a whole host of other types of show. Honestly, I’ve always found the ice and diving shows to be truly incredible – and there’s a reason for that, as many of the people involved are ex-Olympic athletes or exceptional in their various fields.
A Royal space of your own
Royal offer a huge variety of staterooms, including some of the most extravagant suites at sea. Whether that’s interior rooms (some of which include a Virtual Balcony to the outside world), oceanview rooms or a variety of balcony rooms.
Personally, I like the contemporary feel of Royal’s staterooms (which truth be told you don’t find on every line), which as you expect evolves as each class of ship is released. For instance, the cabins found on board Quantum Class ships are by far some of the most comfortable and stylish rooms I’ve stayed in at sea.
The Royal Suite Class is a group of different suites found on board the fleet. They boast some of the most interesting suites at sea. Highlights include a number of luxurious loft suites, the unique bridge wing panoramic suite found on board Oasis of the Seas, Aquatheatre suites that overlook the wake and Aquatheatre, or perhaps the most quirky, the two-level Ultimate Family Suite, which has an in-room slide, a private cinema, a floor-to-ceiling LEGO wall and a 212-square-foot balcony complete with table tennis and a full-size whirlpool
It is of course important to note that the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic will of course have an impact in terms of how things operate in the near future, so no doubt Royal will need to adapt their approach to many of the areas mentioned above.
Want to know more?
Visit the Royal Caribbean website here.
I’ve sailed on board Royal Caribbean many times – my most recent example was on Board Anthem of the Seas to Maine and Nova Scotia. Read all about it here.
Let me know in the comments and on social media your thoughts on Royal Caribbean. Have you spent time on board? What’s your favourite part?