Royal Caribbean’s newest ships have some incredible features. From the Suite Neighborhood and Wonder Playscape to Thrill Island’s flowrider surf simulator, Ultimate Abyss, ice skating rinks and carousels on some Oasis-class ships, you will never get bored on these vessels.
When planning your next cruise, consider booking your cabin on one of these new ships. Learn more about their size and what to expect here.
What to Expect
Royal Caribbean cruises offer a big-resort experience, with massive ships that are often crowded. But these megaships also have serene spots like the tree-lined Central Park area or the Solarium, an adult-only retreat that’s found on most vessels.
You can expect plenty of onboard activities and options for all ages, from pool areas and water play zones to rock climbing walls and surfing simulators. Some ships even feature ice skating rinks.
If you can, book your cabins online in advance of your sailing to skip the line at check-in and enjoy early boarding. Also, make any specialty dining reservations or shore excursion bookings in advance so that you’re all set to go once the ship sets sail. On embarkation day, you’ll go through an airport-style security screening and a health questionnaire as you prepare to board. Take advantage of this time to pack your bags and prep your electronics for the ocean, as well. You can also use this opportunity to have your luggage sent to the airport for a fee (which is refundable upon return). You’ll be able to pick it up when you disembark at the end of your trip.
Ports of Call
A port of call is a marine port where cruise ships dock so that passengers can disembark properly and cargo can be loaded or unloaded. These ports are pre-assigned in a cruise vessel’s potential itinerary. In some cases, the company might have to cancel a port of call due to unforeseen circumstances.
Labadee is a unique Royal Caribbean destination that feels more like a resort than a traditional port of call. The private destination offers tranquil white sand beaches backing up to jungle mountains and thrilling adventures like the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea.
There are a variety of exciting shore excursions available for every type of traveler on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Nature lovers will enjoy a Bacab Eco Adventure Park Escape in Belize City, while thrill seekers can try a Dunn’s River Falls rafting expedition.
In addition to the main dining room, which features a nightly three-course menu included in your cruise fare, Royal Caribbean offers a wide range of restaurants and buffets. Most of these venues require an additional fee beyond the base cruise fare, but some are included in the basic package or are available for a minimal additional cost.
In the main dining room, guests can choose between traditional set time with assigned seating or a first-come, first-served option (My Time Dining). The latter allows for more flexibility and allows guests to dine alone at their table if they prefer.
Other venues, such as El Loco Fresh, on Symphony of the Seas and other ships, feature a modern Mexican concept that emphasizes shared plates. Other trends include a rise in dietary restrictions, particularly gluten-free, which has forced chefs to update some dishes on the menu. In addition, many restaurants have added healthier options and lighter sauces to reduce high levels of sodium that can be common in cruise ship food.
Whether you want to laugh or just sit back and relax, you’ll find live music in a selection of venues. There’s country music in the Mason Jar Southern Restaurant & Bar, salsa, merengue and samba from the six-piece band in Boleros Lounge and acoustic performances at English pub, Cask & Clipper.
Royal Caribbean ships cater to families and kids in particular with features like some of the biggest waterslides at sea and bumper car pavilions on Quantum-class ships. But the line has plenty of things to do for other groups too, including a number of nightclubs and a dedicated teens-only space.
You can also see a whirlwind of theatrical wonder with a Royal Caribbean ice show that spins, glides and jumps on a frozen stage. And for a cool twist on cocktail service, head to the Bionic Bar where your drink is poured and mixed by robots.