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Utopia of the Seas will have Royal Caribbean’s new elevators that cruise ship passengers will love

08 Jul 2024
Matt Hochberg

A clever solution to a traditional problem on cruise ships is coming to Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship.

New elevators coming to Utopia of the Seas

Ever since Icon of the Seas launched earlier this year, it earned rave reviews for many changes, including the addition of destination elevators.  And it now appears Utopia of the Seas will have the same feature.

Read more: Utopia of the Seas guide

Giant cruise ships have always had crowding issues, especially when waiting for an elevator. Royal Caribbean tested out a new alternative on Icon of the Seas and it worked quite well.

Bryan James, a musician and crew member on Utopia of the Seas, posted a video confirming the ship will indeed have the new kind of elevators.

Destination elevator on Utopia

"They just upgraded all the elevators on the ship," he said in a YouTube video he posted.

He described it as, "They make it so you don't stop on every single floor that somebody is pressing the button for."

Destination elevator panel

Guests go to a panel in the elevator lobby, and then select which floor they would like to go to.  The computer then assigns you a particular elevator to wait for in the lobby.

When your elevator arrives, there are no buttons to press inside. It already knows which floors it will stop at, based on an optimization for that car to get people to and from.

Destination elevator

The result is wait times for an elevator are significantly less, and that's a big deal for cruise ship passengers. Long elevator wait times are a pain point because of how inundated they can become during the day.

On most ships, even if an elevator shows up, it could be already full of people.  And even when it's full, the elevator would stop on every single floor someone has called for one.

Destination elevator bank

Jennifer Goswami, Director Product Development at Royal Caribbean Group, spoke at a recent conference about how well-received destination elevators have become among guests on Icon.

"Elevators, while kind of not always the flashiest of technology, have been an absolute smash hit for Icon," Ms. Goswami stated.

"When you're waiting outside of an elevator for three, four, five minutes, we call them microwave minutes where they feel like the longest minute of your life," she said.

Inside elevator on Utopia of the Seas

In April 2023, Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President and Chief Product Innovation Officer Jay Schneider, introduced the concept of destination elevators at a presentation and mentioned the Oasis Class ships suffered from long elevator waits, "even with the elevators that we have on the Oasis Class, we still can struggle with lines."

Testing on another Oasis Class ship

Destination elevator test

Utopia of the Seas may be the first Oasis Class cruise ship with destination elevators, but the line might be considering adding it to other ships too.

Earlier this year, a team from Royal Caribbean Product Development were testing out the Icon-style elevator system on Allure of the Seas.

In April, one elevator lobby was transformed to look like a destination elevator bank from Icon of the Seas. The elevators had temporary letters above each door, to indicate what assignment a passenger would have when requesting an elevator.

Allure is scheduled for a dry dock in February 2025, so it would be an ideal candidate for the upgrade.

More new features coming to Utopia


Ms. Goswami is correct in that elevators are far from the most interesting feature one can look forward to on a cruise ship, so here are a few more notable improvements coming to Utopia of the Seas.

The Royal Railway restaurant is a new immersive dining concept that will debut on Utopia. 

Combining food, visual effects, and theming, Royal Caribbean will have a new kind of restaurant experience that makes you feel like you're in a certain part of the world or in a certain era. It's more than just "another specialty restaurant", in that it aims to make you feel part of a story.

Read more: Royal Railway restaurant preview


If you like thrills, there will be an improved Ultimate Abyss slide on Utopia.

Measuring 259 feet long, Utopia's 10-story Ultimate Abyss will be 43 feet longer than the slides on other Oasis Class ships. There are racing windows and zoom booster rollers for a "surprise" exit on the Boardwalk. 

Close up of Spare Tire concept aty

If you're in the mood for a bite to eat while at the pool, expect a new and easier way to get something.

There will be a "food truck" on Utopia's pool deck, called the Spare Tire. The menu has "handheld favorites" like pulled pork sandwiches, cheeseburger flatbreads, daily rotating desserts.

Read more: 7 new things coming to Utopia of the Seas

There will be new shows and parties on Utopia of the Seas. While she may be the sixth Oasis Class cruise ship, there's a whole new lineup of entertainment.

There will be a new show in each of Utopia's signature venues: Royal Theater, AquaTheater, and Studio B.

If you like to dance, Royal Caribbean is adding the largest silent disco in the fleet to the ship. Silent Toga! appears to be another silent disco, being described as "[a] toga party with a silent twist."  

Those who prefer poolside action will appreciate the not one, not two, but four pool parties onboard, including the Sail Away Pool Party, Hey Utopia!, Senses Sunset Pool Party, and Plunge Day Pool Party, a Vegas-inspired daytime party. 

Read more: Royal Caribbean reveals shows and parties for Utopia of the Seas

Utopia begins sailing in July 2024

Utopia of the Seas at CocoCay

Utopia of the Seas will have her inaugural voyage from Port Canaveral, Florida on July 19, 2024.

Utopia will be the first new Royal Caribbean ship to debut with short cruises, instead of 7-night cruises. Her first sailing is a 3-night cruise to The Bahamas, followed by a 4-night cruise.  The pattern then repeats itself indefinitely.

The goal is for this ship to dominate the weekend cruise market. The idea is by offering 3- and 4-night sailings on its newest ship (instead of older vessels), those curious about cruising are more likely to try it and get hooked on Royal Caribbean.

Read more: Royal Caribbean's master plan to offer the best weekend cruises

Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost experts on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

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