Visit our travel agent friends at MEI Travel

I've been on 15 Royal Caribbean cruises, and here are the best 6 cruise ships for adults

19 May 2023
Jenna DeLaurentis

In the past year and a half, I’ve sailed on fifteen different Royal Caribbean cruise ships. I’ve experienced everything from the cruise line’s smallest ship to the biggest cruise ship in the world, and some ships are definitely better suited for adults than others.

While Royal Caribbean is not an adults-only cruise line, certain ships may offer a more adult-focused experience than others. Whereas some may focus on kid-friendly activities like waterslides and zip lines, others offer upgraded adults-only spaces and a quieter atmosphere onboard.

Whether you’re bringing the kids along or are planning an adults-only getaway, it’s helpful to know which Royal Caribbean ships are best for adults. After sailing on fifteen Royal Caribbean cruise ships, here are the seven ships I would recommend most to adults.

Icon of the Seas

Icon of the Seas aerial at night concept art

Icon of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, will debut in 2024 as the biggest cruise ship in the world. Although Icon of the Seas puts a heavy focus on family-friendly activities, the sheer amount of features onboard easily puts the ship as a top choice for adults.

Related: Icon of the Seas: Itinerary, features, and more

In lieu of a traditional Solarium, Icon of the Seas will feature Cloud 17, an adults-only retreat on the pool deck with a private pool, cantilevered whirlpool, and Lime & Coconut Bar. Additionally, the ship will feature the first-ever swim-up bar at sea, an excellent choice for a pool day hangout spot.

Cloud 17

Even the design of family-focused neighborhoods, like the Surfside Neighborhood, have adults in mind. Surfside will be home to a brand new bar concept, The Lemon Post, which features both an adult and kids cocktail and mocktail menu.

From the bar, parents can supervise their kids at the nearby Splashaway Bay pool area, meaning you won’t need to sacrifice your own fun while keeping an eye on your kids.

Another area that will surely be popular for adults is The Hideaway, which is Royal Caribbean’s version of a Las Vegas beach club. At The Hideaway you’ll find a suspended infinity pool, multilevel terrace, hot tubs, and a bar.

Lemon Post Bar

With the cruise line’s most innovative entertainment, dining venues, and lounges yet, Icon of the Seas makes for the ultimate cruise vacation for adults.

Icon of the Seas itineraries

Icon of the Seas will sail 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruise itineraries when she launches in January 2024. Every itinerary includes a stop at Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas.

In conjunction with the ship’s launch will be the opening of Hideaway Beach, a new adults-only beach at Perfect Day at CocoCay. Having access to this new venue will make your adult-focused getaway even more enjoyable.

Navigator of the Seas

Navigator of the Seas, a Voyager Class ship, is the only Royal Caribbean ship based on the west coast year round, and she offers one of the best values in a cruise vacation. Sailing from Los Angeles, California, she visits ports along the Mexican Riviera.

Although Navigator of the Seas is over twenty years old, she underwent a $115 million amplification in 2019 that significantly revitalized the cruise ship. One of the most significant changes was a revamp of the pool deck, which added Caribbean-style decor and venues. One addition was the Lime & Coconut Bar, which features its own menu of tropical cocktails and stylish hangout space.

Bamboo Bar with people drinking

In addition to The Lime & Coconut, another of the most chic bars for adults on Navigator of the Seas is The Bamboo Room. This Polynesian-inspired bar crafts some of the most fun, fruity cocktails on Royal Caribbean.

Be sure to try the On The Run cocktail, made with Bacardi Superior Rum, watermelon juice, lime juice, guava syrup, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, and mint. Think of this cocktail as an adult version of a Capri Sun—you can order it to go and sip the drink as you explore the ship.

Outside of bars, new dining venues were also added to Navigator of the Seas including Hooked Seafood and Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade. These venues are excellent choices for a fun date night and tend to have a more adult-focused atmosphere.

Related: Navigator of the Seas Guide & Review

Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you can’t participate in fun activities, and a few adrenaline-filled features were added to the ship in 2019 as well. Navigator of the Seas features two waterslides, one of which has over 800 feet of dips, drops, and straightaways extending over the side of the ship!

Laser tag, a surfing simulator, and an escape room can also be found onboard.

Navigator of the Seas itineraries

Cabo San Lucas beach

There are far fewer port options available on the west coast of North America compared to in the Caribbean. This means Navigator of the Seas typically sails the same few itineraries year round, but that doesn’t mean the itineraries aren’t enticing.

Related: Mexican Riviera cruise guide

Here are the three main itineraries offered on Navigator of the Seas:

  • 3-night Ensenada cruise visiting Ensenada, Mexico with one day at sea
  • 4-night Catalina & Ensenada cruise visiting Ensenada, Mexico and Catalina Island with one day at sea
  • 7-night Mexican Riviera cruise visiting Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlán with three days at sea

Mariner of the Seas

Mariner of the Seas in Nassau

Like Navigator of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas is a Voyager Class cruise ship that underwent a significant amplification to add new features and venues to the ship. If we had to pick the best Royal Caribbean cruise ship for vacation value, we’d pick Mariner of the Seas.

Related: After 12 sailings on Mariner of the Seas, I’m convinced this ship offers the best value Royal Caribbean has to offer

During her amplification, Mariner of the Seas received $120 million in upgrades, which included an escape room, laser tag, waterslides, Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, Izumi Hibachi, and Jamie’s Italian.

Jamie's Italian

Like Navigator of the Seas, The Bamboo Room bar is located on the ship’s Royal Promenade, and is a fantastic getaway for adults onboard. In addition, the updated specialty restaurants make planning a date night easy, whether you’re in the mood for hibachi or homemade pasta.

Outside of dining and drinks, Mariner of the Seas has just the right amount of entertainment. The ice skating rink, Studio B, hosts a production show that features twists, turns, and flips on the ice, whereas the theater hosts game shows, comedians, and dancing productions.

Related: Mariner of the Seas Guide & Review

In combination with the wide variety of live music onboard, from Latin tunes at Boleros to piano melodies at the Schooner Bar, Mariner of the Seas offers nearly as much programming as you'll find on Royal Caribbean’s newest ships.

Mariner of the Seas itineraries

Water slides on Mariner of the Seas

Mariner of the Seas currently offers Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, Florida. Everything from short 4-night cruises to 8-night itineraries are available, which visit gorgeous destinations including Tortola, Bermuda, Aruba, and Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Starting in May 2024, she will begin offering 5-night Western Caribbean cruises from Galveston, Texas. These itineraries visit Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico with two days at sea.

Allure of the Seas

Allure of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s massive Oasis Class cruise ships are arguably the most family-focused ships in the fleet. Each of these vessels boasts an unparalleled amount of activities for kids, including splash pads, ice skating rinks, rock climbing walls, and the most space dedicated to Adventure Ocean kids programming.

With so many activities, it’s unsurprising that Oasis Class ships attract a large number of families, but fear not: you can still have an incredible, adult-focused cruise experience on these vessels.

If we had to pick the Oasis Class ship best for adults, we’d choose Allure of the Seas. Allure of Seas was set to undergo an amplification in 2020 to add features like waterslides, updated kids programming, and new dining venues to the ship, but this has been indefinitely postponed.

Related: The Oasis Class features that are only left on Allure of the Seas

Because of this, the ship isn’t as kid-focused as other Oasis Class ships. This makes for a quieter, more tranquil atmosphere onboard while still offering world-class entertainment and a wide selection of dining and bars.

While onboard, you can enjoy romantic date nights at one of the many restaurants in Central Park, the ship’s outdoor park with over 20,000 plants. After dinner, catch the Broadway production of Mamma Mia, listen to a live rock band at Dazzles, or see a comedian at the ship’s standalone comedy club.

Since Allure of the Seas has not been amplified, cruise fares tend to be lower. Lower fares can make upgrading to a balcony cabin or suite more attainable for some guests, making for the perfect adult getaway.

Allure of the Seas itineraries

Allure of the Seas docked

Allure of the Seas currently offers 7-night Western Caribbean cruises departing from Galveston, Texas and visiting Roatan, Costa Maya, and Cozumel. These itineraries have three ports and three sea days, offering the perfect mix of time onboard and in port.

Starting in November 2023, Allure of the Seas will offer 3 and 4-night cruises departing from Port Canaveral, Florida. These itineraries will visit both Nassau and Perfect Day at CocoCay, with the 4-night cruise including one day at sea.

Anthem of the Seas

Anthem of the Seas in Lisbon

Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class ships are among the best ships for adults. Their sophisticated design, quiet indoor spaces, and spectacular itineraries make them a perfect choice for adults.

That isn’t to say Quantum Class ships aren’t great for families, however, and we often recommend this class of ships to first time cruisers. With bumper cars, indoor skydiving, and surf simulators, Quantum Class ships can be fun for guests of all ages.

Related: All about Quantum Class ships

The reason these ships are so great for adults, though, is due to the their design. Most kid-focused attractions on the ships are found only in designated areas. The majority of family-friendly activities occur in the indoor SeaPlex court and in the ship’s aft, leaving the rest of the ship more geared toward adults.

Plus, the lack of waterslides on these vessels makes the pool deck experience calmer for adults, and the adults-only Solarium on Quantum Class ships is perhaps the best in the fleet.

While you can’t go wrong with any Quantum Class ship, our top recommendation for adults is Anthem of the Seas. As the second ship in the Quantum Class, Anthem of the Seas shines in her diverse itinerary options and high quality entertainment.

Related: Anthem of the Seas Guide & Review

Anthem of the Seas is one of the only non-Oasis Class ships to feature a Broadway show, We Will Rock You. The ship’s high-energy performance tells the story of a group of rock rebels fighting for musical freedom in a dystopian futuristic society.

Outside of the Broadway production are even more exciting entertainment choices, including a cabaret show in the expansive Two70 venue and live rock bands in the Music Hall.

Anthem of the Seas itineraries

Anthem of the Seas offers cruises from Southampton, England during the summer months and from Cape Liberty, New Jersey during the winter.

Departing from the UK allows Anthem of the Seas to offer a wider range of itinerary options compared to Royal Caribbean ships based in the Mediterranean, including:

  • Norwegian fjords cruises: 7-night itineraries visiting Norway
  • Spain & France cruises: 7-night itineraries visiting northern Spain and France
  • Mediterranean cruises: 14-night itineraries visiting Spain, Italy, France, and Portugal
  • Canary Islands cruises: 12-night itineraries visiting mainland Spain and Portugal as well as the Canary Islands and Madeira

These longer itineraries tend to attract fewer kids and families onboard, making for a more adult-focused cruise vacation.

Related: 30 Best European Cruise Tips

Once in North America, Anthem of the Seas sails primarily 7-night cruises to Port Canaveral, Nassau, and Perfect Day at CocoCay. She occasionally offers longer itineraries to the Southern Caribbean.

Radiance of the Seas

Radiance pulling into Seward

Planning an adults-only getaway to Alaska? If so, Radiance of the Seas makes a great choice. Like all Royal Caribbean ships, Radiance of the Seas is designed for guests of all ages, but the ship has a more chill vibe onboard compared to newer ships sailing to Alaska.

As a Radiance Class ship, Radiance of the Seas was built with ocean views in mind. Adults will appreciate the impressive amount of windows around the ship, allowing you to see breathtaking views in nearly every direction. Whether at the ship’s champagne bar or in the Viking Crown Lounge, you can always find a quiet spot to relax with a view.

Related: All about Radiance Class cruise ships

Many cruisers also appreciate that Radiance of the Seas gives guests access to the helicopter pad. When sailing through scenic destinations, the helicopter pad is among the best viewing spots on the ship, allowing you to connect more closely with the destinations on your itinerary.

While the ship lacks features like an escape room and ice skating, she still offers other fun activities for adults to enjoy including mini golf, rock climbing, and a sports court. Radiance of the Seas also features an indoor movie theater, which is perfect for chilly sea days or a date night after dinner.

Radiance of the Seas itineraries

Radiance of the Seas in Alaska

Radiance of the Seas splits her time between Alaska and the Caribbean. During the summer months, she sails one-way Alaska cruises from Vancouver, Canada to Seward, Alaska and vice versa.

Related: Royal Caribbean Alaska cruise guide

A one-way itinerary allows guests to visit more destinations in Alaska and/or extend their time in interior Alaska before or after the cruise. Plus, these itineraries are usually priced lower than roundtrip sailings, providing an excellent value when cruising to the Last Frontier.

After a Panama Canal crossing, Radiance of the Seas spends the remainder of the year in the Caribbean. Departing from Tampa, guests can book 4, 5, and 7-night sailings to the Western Caribbean and Bahamas, some of which include a stop at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Rhapsody of the Seas

Rhapsody of the Seas in Bay of Kotor, Adriatic Sea, Montenegro

If you’re in search of a low-key getaway on a small cruise ship, it doesn’t get much better than Rhapsody of the Seas.

Rhapsody of the Seas is the second oldest ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, and it’s a far cry from the cruise line’s newest and biggest vessels. With a total capacity of just 2,416 guests, the ship holds around a third of the passengers compared to new ships like Wonder of the Seas and Icon of the Seas.

Related: All about Vision Class ships

Rhapsody of the Seas pool deck near Crete

The ship’s small size and age mean there are fewer activities for families. You certainly won’t find features like waterslides, laser tag, and skydiving onboard, although there is a rock climbing wall and Adventure Ocean kids programming.

The smaller amount of kid-friendly activities means far fewer families book cruises on Rhapsody of the Seas compared to the fleet’s newer ships. This leads to a more adult-focused atmosphere onboard, which can make a cruise more relaxing for those traveling without kids.

Plus, cruise fares on Rhapsody of the Seas tend to be much lower than newer ships. Money saved on cruise fare can be put toward extra add-ons like drink packages, specialty dining, spa treatments, and shore excursions, leading to a more enhanced cruise experience.

Despite being a small ship, Rhapsody of the Seas still features nine dining venues. Guests can enjoy complimentary meals at the Main Dining Room, Windjammer, and Park Cafe or specialty dining at Chops Grille, Giovanni’s Table, and Izumi.

Related: I sailed on Royal Caribbean’s newest and oldest cruise ships: here’s what it’s like to cruise on each

Outside of dining venues, Rhapsody of the Seas also features a spacious adults-only Solarium, large spa and salon, Schooner Bar, and a variety of entertainment lounges and venues.

Rhapsody of the Seas itineraries

Rhapsody of the Seas splits her time between the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. During the 2023 summer season, she will offer 7-day cruises to the Greek Isles as well as itineraries to Israel and Cyprus. These itineraries are among the most romantic Royal Caribbean offers, making for an excellent getaway for adults.

In November, Rhapsody of the Seas will make her way back to North America, where she’ll offer Southern Caribbean cruises to Colombia, the Panama Canal, Costa Rica, Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao.

Jenna DeLaurentis enjoys exploring new ports of call around the world on a cruise ship, learning about new cultures, discovering beautiful landscapes, and trying diverse cuisine. She loves to get active while at port, whether cycling through mountains in the Caribbean or scuba diving under the sea.

Get our newsletter

Stay up-to-date with cruise news & advice

    We never share your information with third parties and will protect it in accordance with our Privacy Policy