Royal Caribbean Ship Classes Explained - Cruise International

Royal Caribbean Ship Classes Explained

By Cruise International | 2 Oct 2021

What exactly do the six different classes of Royal Caribbean cruise ships have to offer? If you’re wondering what the differences are between Royal Caribbean ship classes, here is an easy-to-understand run down of each class of ship and what travellers they’re best suited to.

Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas

Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas

Vision class

Royal Caribbean International Rhapsody of the Seas

Rhapsody of the Seas

Designed to fit into almost any port, Royal Caribbean’s four Vision class ships, taking 2,446 guests each, can travel to ports of call across the world. Despite their smaller size, Vision vessels are popular for their swimming pools, solariums, rock climbing walls, themed dining rooms, Broadway-style shows and lounges, whether you’re looking for activities galore or to simply relax.

Why choose Vision class: Amazing itineraries that other ships in the fleet can’t offer
Best for: Couples and families

Radiance class

Radiance of the Seas from Royal Caribbean on a cruise in Sydney, Australia

Radiance of the Seas

It’s all about the views on the four Radiance class ships, taking 2,501 guests each. Wide-open spaces, glass walls, balconies and lifts to viewing areas offer panoramic views of land and sea. You can stand just about anywhere and see something amazing. As well as being able to get into many of the smaller cruise ports around the world, the Radiance fleet also offers varied dining experiences, spectacular entertainment and luxurious spa treatments.

Why choose Radiance class: A classic cruise experience on a beautiful ship
Best for: Couples and cruise veterans

Voyager class

Pool deck on board Explorer of the Seas while on a cruise

Explorer of the Seas

The Voyager class ships are known for everything from climbing walls to miniature golf, along with English-style pubs and boulevards, including the Royal Promenade, bustling with shops and restaurants. These five ships, which take 3,114 passengers each, were the first to feature an ice rink offering lessons and ice shows, and Royal Caribbean continues to add new offerings, from restaurants and entertainment to surf simulators and aqua parks.

Why choose Voyager class: For lots to do and good value for money
Best for: Families looking to save

Freedom Class

Independence of the Seas

Taking 3,634 passengers each, the three Freedom class vessels were once the largest cruise ships in the world (until the Oasis class was introduced) and offer the ultimate big ship experience. With highlights including an aqua park, water slides, rock climbing wall, ice-skating rink, designer shopping, FlowRider surf simulator, sports court and solarium pool, the class is great for those who want to have an active time on board.

Why choose Freedom class: For a big ship experience without the premium price tag
Best for: Families wanting to cruise on a large ship but not break their budget

Oasis class

Oasis of the Seas

As the largest cruise ships in the world, Oasis class vessels are packed with innovative features and facilities. Accommodating around 5,500 passengers each, the vessels are all designed around seven neighbourhood concepts. Standout features include Central Park – the only living park on the seas – Royal Promenade and Boardwalk, home to arcades, amusements and the Aquatheatre. There is also a zip line, waterslides, a Vitality Spa and loft suites.

Why choose Oasis class: For everything all on one ship
Best for: Families looking to keep busy

Quantum class

Quantum of the Seas

Known as some of the world’s most innovative cruise ships, Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class and Quantum Ultra Class ships are filled with state-of-the-art, technological delights. There’s the ‘North Star’ – the Guinness World Record winner for tallest viewing deck on a cruise ship – alongside skydiving simulators, cocktails crafted by robots and much more alongside multilevel entertainment and a capacity of nearly 5000 passengers per ship.

Why choose Quantum class: For the latest in innovative technology
Best for: Families with older children and active couples

Icon class

Royal Caribbean will be adding to its fleet in 2023 with the first of three new Icon class ships. The cruise line will first introduce Icon of the Seas, able to accommodate about 5,000 passengers and built using new fuel technology, including liquid nitrogen gas and fuel cells. 

Check out our guide to Royal Caribbean cruises.

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