Since its humble beginnings during the 1960s as a consortium of Norwegian ship owners, Royal Caribbean Cruises has steadily grown and today the cruise line is the second biggest operating in the world.
With 21 ships in its fleet, the company has a wide array of itineraries to choose from. Royal Caribbean currently has three ships sailing from Southampton and Harwich to exciting destinations such as Barcelona and Rome.
From the Greek Islands to the Rock of Gibraltar and from Turkish bazaars to Barcelona’s fabulous architecture, the cruise line’s Mediterranean cruises cover every major tourist destination in Europe.
Royal Caribbean also offers cruises to Northern Europe, the Caribbean, Alaska and Canada, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Bermuda, the Bahamas and South America. The transatlantic and transpacific cruises are also very popular with cruise lovers.
With six ship classes to choose from every cruise lover is virtually assured to find a ship that suits his or her style. Select from among the Oasis class, Freedom class, Quantum class, Voyager class, Radiance class, Vision class and Sovereign Class.
The Oasis class vessels are the cruise line’s biggest ships. This honour used to belong to the Freedom class, but in 2009 Oasis of the Seas became the world’s biggest cruise ship. It has a passenger capacity of 5,400 (plus crew members), it weights a massive 225,282 tons and the total construction cost amounted to $1.4 billion.
With a gross tonnage of 69,130 each, Legends of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas are the company’s smallest two ships. They are perfect for people who prefer a more intimate ambiance than that offered by the mega cruise liners.
Accommodations vary from standard internal cabins to ocean view cabins, balcony cabins and a wide selection of suites. Suites range from ‘mini’ to the large Royal Suites equipped with a grand piano and private bar. On the majority of ships passengers from suites have access to their own private concierge service.
Amenities and entertainment
As of middle May 2013 the following amenities are available on all cruise ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet: telephones, televisions, a main theatre where headliner shows and Broadway-style shows are performed, a basketball court, a rock climbing wall, superb dining facilities, an indoor fitness centre, 24-hour room service, a swimming pool, a Windjammer buffet, the Adventure Ocean children’s programme and a selection of lounges – including the very popular Viking Crown Lounge.
All ships also feature paid amenities such as ship-to-shore telephone calls, wireless internet, cell phone access, bingo, a casino, a selection of shops and bars and a full-service spa.
Daytime activities include, mini-golf, rock climbing, swimming and ice-skating (on Voyager and Freedom class ships).
Entertainment on the cruise line’s ships varies from passenger-participation shows such as ‘Newlywed and Not-so-Newlywed’ games to posh Vegas-style productions. There’s also a good selection of musical entertainment on offer in the various public rooms.
Why cruise with Royal Caribbean?
The sheer diversity of itineraries, the selection of ships and the wide range of amenities and entertainment make Royal Caribbean a great choice for any cruise lover.