I recently completed my bachelors degree from Royal Caribbean University (please, hold your applause), and I learned SO MUCH! I thought it would be helpful for me to share some of the basics about the cruise line. Cruises can feel complicated because there are so many variables - ports of call, ships, rooms and suites, dining options, private islands, etc etc, and this is exactly why using a travel agent can help you get the most out of your cruise booking.
Lists make thing so much easier for me to remember and learn, so here is my simplified, list-oriented lesson to you on RC.
1 - Locations
Obviously RC has many options to cruise the Caribbean, and they pride themselves being Caribbean experts. Despite this, they also have cruises available in Alaska, Asia, Europe, Australia/Oceania and Canada! In fact, they currently service over 250 destinations in 77 countries worldwide! They are far from one-dimensional.
2 - Ship Classes
RC currently has 26 ships with another 4 being added by 2024, and they are all incredible in their own way. Before I worked in travel I would hear the names of cruise ships and think "how can people keep track of which ship is which?" RC makes it easy to distinguish their ships by having them grouped in different ship classes - the classes share similar features, amenities and style.
Vision Class - Enchantment, Grandeur, Rhapsody and Vision of the Seas
Voyager Class - Adventure, Navigator, Explorer, Voyager and Mariner of the Seas
Radiance Class - Brilliance, Jewel, Radiance and Serenade of the Seas
Freedom Class - Freedom, Liberty and Independence of the Seas
Oasis Class - Allure, Harmony, Oasis and Symphony of the Seas
Quantum Class - Anthem, Ovation, Quantum and Spectrum of the Seas
3 - Private Islands
Perfect Day at CocoCay:
CocoCay, the RC private island in the Bahamas, has recently been completely transformed! It's now known as "Perfect Day at CocoCay", and there is so much to do!
They have split the island into activities to "thrill" or "chill" - essentially if you are looking for action and adventure, there is A LOT, and if you are looking for relaxation, you are covered there, too. They have the tallest waterslide in North America, a 1600' zip line, a hot air balloon to take visitors up in the air for incredible views and water actives like snorkeling and jet skis. If you would rather chill, there are overwater bungalows, beautiful beaches and the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean.
The larger private island owned by RC also includes some incredible amenities and experiences. While it has 5 beautiful beaches, there are also plenty of things to do for the thrill-seeker. The Dragon's Breath Flight Line is the world's longest zip line over water, and there is also an alpine slide that goes 30 mph down the mountainside!
4 - Major On-Board Attractions
There are so many things on the RC cruises ships, it could take an entire series of blog posts to cover everything. In addition to the large pools, Flow Rider surf simulators and Broadway at Sea shows, here are some of the most interesting things aboard:
The North Star - This holds the Guinness World Record for tallest viewing platform from a cruise ship. The 15 minute trip allows passengers to take in views from 300' above sea-level. This is found on the Quantum Class ships. I would LOVE to check this out on an Alaskan cruise for glacier views.
The AquaTheater - the theater has 2 30-ft diving platforms and is home to some incredible water acrobatics! The AquaTheater can be found on Oasis Class ships.
The StudioB Ice Rink - Ice skating might not be the first thing you associate with cruising, but on select RC cruises guests can enjoy skating by day or watching professional ice shows at night!
5- Unique to RC
Autism Friendly - RC prides itself on being autism friendly. In addition to priority boarding and departure, they offer activities specifically for cruisers with developmental disabilities. All youth staff are trained specifically for working with Autism and Down Syndrome, and the cruise line even has an Autism TV Channel onboard most ships.
Cruisetours - There are some destinations where a few land days are the only way a visitor can truly see the area fully. Cruisetours by RC fill this need by providing tour groups that leave from the port and take travelers on adventures further from the sea. This is available in multiple destinations, but I personally feel it's a perfect add-on to Alaskan cruises!
Bigger & Better - RC boasts many "first ___" and "biggest ___", but one stands out among them - Symphony of the Seas is the largest cruise ship in the world at 1,188' long and 228,081 gross tons!
Well that's all I have for this recap, but there is plenty more to learn! Cruises are an excellent way to travel on a tight budget. If you are interested in taking a Royal Caribbean cruise, I would be glad to provide a free quote and find an itinerary that fits your wants and budget! Call or text me today at (404) 583-7516.