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I spent 7 nights in a 172-square-foot room on the world's largest cruise ship. Take a look inside my cabin

29 Aug 2023
Calista Kiper

Last month, I booked a 7-night cruise on Wonder of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship. 

For the length of the cruise, my sister and I stayed in a 172-square-foot inside cabin

I chose a guarantee stateroom about one month before the cruise, ensuring a cheaper price but giving up the ability to choose our exact room. The total price was $2674.76, about $382 per night for two people for a week.

As I planned for my cruise, I saw that we had been assigned room number 7112, a windowless inside cabin at the very forward part of the ship. 

Although the room was small, we thought it was just spacious enough for all our needs. It also felt clean and modern. 

Directly facing the door, the room held two beds, separated per our request. Next to each bed was a small nightstand with a lamp, a charging station, and two selves at the bottom. 

We found that this bedside charging station was enough for all our electronics—I brought two power strips, but we never used them.

I used the shelves for my nighttime snacks but wished that the nightstand had just a little more space on top: it was barely wide enough to hold my water bottle and phone at the same time.

My sister took the left bed, which had a phone on top of the nightstand. She was able to shove it into one of the shelves for some more table space.

In front of the left bed was a small armchair in the corner, where my sister kept most of her items, and, opposite that, a vanity and dresser.

The vanity had a comfy chair and a large mirror with a bright ring light, which we appreciated for our makeup and hair needs. 

The dresser beside the vanity provided counter space as well as five drawers, which I used for all the items I didn’t keep inside my suitcase.

We discovered that the TV above the dresser could be pulled out of its position in the wall to face the bed, a convenient way to save space until we needed it. 

The TV had only a few channels by Royal Caribbean—such as channel 7, which provided departure information on the last day. I was able to use Chromecast, however, to stream from my phone to the TV when we wanted to watch our favorite shows. 

My sister and I found that the closet next to the dresser also had plenty of storage space. We didn’t even use all the shelves inside the closet, although we did use all the hanging space for our jackets and dresses.

A safe was located inside the closet, but it was too small for my laptop, and I didn’t have any other valuables I wanted to store in there.

All the cabin’s lights were located next to the bathroom door. The cabin had a card power switch, which needed a card inside it to turn on the electricity. I’ve noticed this before in hotel rooms—apparently, it serves to save energy.

On our first day, a card was already placed there, but I noticed it was gone the next day our stateroom attendant, Merlin, came. When I asked Merlin about it, she gave us a dummy card to keep. I knew that we would forget our SeaPasses if we left them in there!

Before my trip, I saw people write that they needed a nightlight for the dark room. But the bathroom light underneath the other switches had a small glow that emitted when the light was switched off. This served to guide us to the bathroom in the dark and also to easily inform us if the light was still on. 

Everyone has different tastes, but I found that this bathroom light was all the nighttime guide I needed. 

Much like the room, the bathroom was small but functional. The clear shower door opened the space, and three large shelves provided all the needed storage. Above the sink, a blue flower pattern livened up the space. 

As someone who loves my long, hot showers, I can confidently say the water pressure and temperature were perfect and adjustable. We also appreciated the shower’s built-in clothesline to dry our swimsuits. 

I wasn’t able to find a single outlet inside the bathroom (only a “shaver’s only” socket), so I did have to use the hair dryer in front of the vanity. This was definitely inconvenient when I was trying to get ready without waking up my roommate.

Before the sailing, I read online that many people disliked the provided hand soap and 2-in-1 shower soap. I had no problems with the hand soap for washing my hands, but I did opt to use my own body soap during the trip. 

Our stateroom attendant, Merlin, was wonderful and cleaned the room every day, quickly replacing anything we needed. 

We also ordered the complimentary room service breakfast on two out of the seven mornings, and while it was convenient to have breakfast in bed, I struggled to find enough table and dresser space for all our food. 

One aspect of inside cabins people often mention is the lack of windows. As someone who loves natural light, I did find myself spending time outside of the cabin to get some sun. 

But when we were ready to go to sleep, I appreciated the pitch-black room. I slept so soundly in the dark that I had to start setting alarms to make myself wake up at all! 

Before my cruise, I wasn’t sure if I would experience any seasickness, but when I saw we were located at the very front of the ship, I knew to prepare ahead.

Most people try to avoid cabins at the very front or back of the ship, as those locations can leave you more susceptible to sea seasickness. And after my experience in this cabin, I could see why. 

Read moreThe 5 best cabin locations on a cruise ship

As soon as the ship set sail, I started feeling nauseous and unsteady. The small cabin felt like it was rocking dramatically, leaving me dizzy. While Dramamine helped, I always felt best when I got out of the room and headed midship. 

Loud noises were another unexpected disadvantage from the cabin’s location. We heard loud bangs and clangs most hours of the night and day, especially when the sailing was more windy. 

Although my sister and I could never quite tell what was making those noises, we assumed it was a combination of the waves, the lifeboats, and the ship’s anchor. 

Thankfully, I am a sound sleeper, but cruisers who are more sensitive to nighttime noise may want to avoid such a forward room.

In the end, my sister and I were active enough around the ship that we didn’t mind the smaller room, and we appreciated having such a dark spot to sleep in. I recommend this stateroom to anyone who can sleep soundly and plans to be out of their cabin for most of the day. 

6 reasons to refuse to upgrade your cruise ship cabin

28 Aug 2023
Matt Hochberg

You might want to think twice before trying to win a cruise cabin upgrade.

I think it's fair to say a lot of people dream about being able to move up to a bigger and more lavish cabin. Whether it's from an inside to a balcony cabin, or all the way up to a spacious suite, who wouldn't want to pay less and get a nicer room?

The saying "if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is" sometimes holds up when it comes to bidding for a cabin upgrade.

Royal Caribbean allows guests to place a bid for a nicer room, potentially at a cheaper price than booking that cabin outright. While the bidding program is definitely a legitimate option you can consider, there are downsides to Royal Up you should know about before placing a bid.

4 bedroom suite

Since you'll pay more to win a cabin upgrade bid and have to change from the room you booked to something else, here are six reasons to turn down the opportunity to upgrade your cruise ship cabin.

You can't pick your room location


For a lot of people, picking the best rooms on a cruise ship means having control of exactly where the room is located, but you'll give that up with Royal Up.

When you place a bid for a room upgrade, you let Royal Caribbean pick the specific cabin to be assigned if you win the bid. There's no option to choose between cabins, and it's akin to a guaranteed cabin room assignment in that regard.

You could end up with a room that is at the far end of a hallway, and not only does that mean a longer walk to the elevators, but also potentially an issue if you are prone to motion sickness. A midship cabin is preferable for someone that is concerned about getting seasick.

Read moreHow to beat seasickness on a cruise ship

Central Park balcony

Likewise, your winning bid might end up with a room near a public venue and you could get noise bleed that keeps you up at night or awake in the morning. Ideally, you want a room that is above and below other cabins and away from bars, pools, or other noisy venues.

There are some people who are not picky about their room location, especially if they are getting a better cabin at a cheaper price.  Just be clear about the fact you'll let the cruise line pick your specific cabin should your bid be accepted.

Bidding is a complete guess

Anthem door

Don't get your hopes up, because there seems to be no pattern to how to actually win a room upgrade bid.

The program is similar to a silent auction, where the cruise line sets a minimum bid, and you make a bid without knowing what anyone else bid. Heck, you don't even know if there are actually any open cabins to be upgraded into.

While the Royal Up website provides a very easy to understand bid evaluator that ties a higher price to an increased chance at winning, the reality is max bids don't always win, and plenty of people have won upgrades with a minimum bid.

Read moreHow can you win that Royal Up stateroom upgrade bid? It's pure luck

Odyssey of the Seas

Jenn Greene, a Travel Planner with MEI Travel, called the bidding program "random" when describing it to her clients, "Royal Up is completely random. I let clients know that it’s more like a lottery than a guarantee. And that if you really want it bid high. With ships sailing full, I am seeing less opportunities for clients to bid."

As they say, you can't win if you don't play, but the whole process could just give you false hope of moving up and leave you disappointed.

It's expensive

Icon of the Seas sunset suite

While you might be able to save money on a cabin upgrade by bidding instead of changing your original reservation, it's not free.

Royal Caribbean gives you a range of prices you can bid, and that price you offer is going to be charged for two people, even if you're cruising solo.

That means you're adding onto the overall cost of your vacation, and more money spent on your cabin means a bigger vacation budget.


A lot of cruisers will tell you that money is better spent on experiences on the ship, such as shore excursions or specialty dining. Or better yet, money towards another cruise booking!

If you're on a tight budget, spending money to upgrade your cabin is going to balloon what you have available and may not actually be a deal in the grand scheme of things.

If you have more than one cabin booked

Connecting rooms

My favorite strategy for cruising with a family is to book two connecting cabins instead of one room, but this idea is incompatible with Royal Up.

You can certainly place bids for both rooms, but there's no promise if you win both rooms get upgraded. Or that the winning bid room will be anywhere near your other room, even if you booked connecting rooms.

Moreover, let's say you win a bid for one room to move up to a spacious suite.  You cannot move the people from the other room into the upgraded cabin and/or cancel the other room.

In short, if you have more than one cruise ship cabin booked and care about being anywhere near each other, Royal Up would be a mistake.

If you booked a specific sub-category of cabin

Aft Wonder of the Seas

If you do your research, you may spot certain special rooms that are quite rare and in high-demand.  So placing a bid to upgrade your room means forgoing those rooms.

As an example, Royal Caribbean's family cabins offer significantly more space and a separate sleeping area for the kids along with an extra bathroom.  Technically, these are inside or oceanview rooms, and a bid may get you in a higher category regular cabin.

There's also aft cabins, hump cabins, and a slew of other hidden gems that are advantageous because they have extra large balconies, preferable views, or are in a great spot.

Hump room

If those kind of considerations are important to you, do not accept an upgrade offer.

You might not get extra points


If you booked a balcony and then move up to a suite with a winning Royal Up bid, you won't get the bonus Crown and Anchor points.

Royal Caribbean gives suite guests an extra point per night in its loyalty program for booking a suite.  But that only applies if you actually book a suite from the beginning.

Those that book a standard cabin but end up in a suite from Royal Up will still only get one point per night.

Diamond Lounge sign on Adventure of the Seas

If you don't care about moving up the loyalty program ranks as much as you care about which cabin you stay in, then you can safely ignore this advice.  But there are a lot of beneficial Crown & Anchor perks at the higher levels that would be nice to get to faster.

Planning a cruise? Start here:

Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas review: What it's like to cruise on this ship today

28 Aug 2023
Angie Vognild

Adventure of the Seas may not have as many bells and whistles as other Voyager Class ships, but she offers some great values in cruising right now.

Adventure of the Seas in Belize

My mom and I recently disembarked Adventure of the Seas after a seven-night Western Caribbean sailing that visited Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Cozumel, Mexico; and Perfect Day at CocoCay. We had a wonderful time!

Here’s what you can expect when sailing on Adventure of the Seas in 2023.

Ship revitalization

Adventure of the Seas in Roatan, Honduras

Adventure of the Seas is a Voyager Class ship that first set sail in 2001.

She was the first ship to come back to service after September 11. To commemorate this, the godparents of Adventure are four individuals who “devoted their lives in service of others.” This plaque is located near Boleros.

Read more: All about Voyager Class cruise ships

In both 2016 and 2018, Adventure of the Seas went through a $61 million refurbishment. Royal Caribbean added new cabins, new thrills like the FlowRider and waterslides, as well as new venues such as Izumi, Chops Grille, and more.

Embarkation process

For this cruise, we decided to purchase The Key

When we were able to select our check-in time for embarkation day, noon was the earliest we could select. After we purchased The Key, we received an email about a week prior to our departure that we could arrive at 11 a.m. We were happy to see that we could get to the cruise an hour earlier than expected!

My mom and I took a Lyft to the Port Everglades terminal and arrived at 10:40 a.m. We wondered if they would make us wait since we were almost 30 minutes early. 

Read more: Guide to cruises from Fort Lauderdale

The Key check-in spot was easily identified, and we were able to walk right up and check-in. Security only took a few minutes.

We were then directed upstairs, where another employee separated suite guests and The Key guests. We weren’t there for more than five minutes when we were told we could board the ship.

The whole process was very easy, smooth, and fast. By our original planned arrival time, we were already onboard and exploring the ship. In reflection, it seemed as though we got the same priority treatment as a suite guest for a whole lot less money!

Was it worth buying The Key? If you are new to cruising and/or below Diamond in Crown and Anchor Society, I would say yes. Some of The Key benefits overlapped with my Diamond Plus status, such as the priority seating at shows and the wifi being included in lieu of my two free days.

I would definitely recommend The Key for your next cruise if you are planning to buy internet for your voyage. 

Interior cabin

My mom and I stayed in the cheapest available cabin, which was an inside guarantee cabin. 

Read more: I stayed in the cheapest cabin on Adventure of the Seas. It was small and windowless, but for $300 a night, it was a great deal.

We were not able to select the location of our cabin, but we ended up having an ideal location on deck nine. We only had to go up two flights of steps to reach The Windjammer and pool deck.

 Our cabin was situated in the very aft of the ship. Since we were at the end of the hallway, we didn't hear much noise, which was great for sleeping. The sailing was so smooth I couldn't feel the ship move at all in our cabin!

My first impression of the cabin was that it was well-kept and clean. There was more than enough storage for all of our belongings with a large closet and vanity with multiple drawers.

The bathroom was small but offered everything we needed.

This was my first time cruising with the new housekeeping change. My mom and I agreed that the once-a-day cleaning was just fine. It worked out great to have our stateroom attendant clean while we ate dinner. I actually liked not having a morning cleaning because I didn’t feel I had to get out of the room quickly so they could clean.

Dining onboard

Adventure of the Seas offers many places to dine onboard. We never went hungry!

Most mornings, we dined in the Windjammer for breakfast. I loved getting a custom omelet and some waffles, along with my favorite cranberry bread.

On our first sea day, we enjoyed breakfast in the Main Dining Room. We got to the Sapphire Dining Room at 9 a.m., and there was a line to be seated. We only had to wait about 15 minutes. It was a busy morning so our food didn’t come super quick, but I was glad to have breakfast in a different venue.

The Windjammer was busy a lot of the time since the ship was over capacity. When we went to the Windjammer during off times (like the end of breakfast or lunch, especially on port days), it was less crowded and we were able to find a clean table easier. 

Every evening, we dined in the Main Dining Room. We had early seating at 5:30 p.m. Here are the themed menus we had each night:

  • Welcome Aboard
  • French Night
  • Taste of USA
  • Italian Night
  • Mexican Night
  • The Royal Night
  • Bon Voyage

Our waiter and assistant waiter were both so nice! The service was excellent and fast. Our dinners usually only lasted about 75 to 90 minutes. 

My only complaint about the Main Dining Room was how some of our meals were not very hot. Either my food was super hot (which I like) or lukewarm. The cold food was always cold so I didn't have to worry about that.

Whenever we left dinner, there was a long line to get seated. This was usually around 7 p.m. We really liked having a scheduled seating so we could just walk to our assigned table every night and not wait in line.

I loved that I could use my Diamond Plus drink vouchers on drinks such as Johnny Rockets milkshakes and Starbucks frappuccinos. I of course also had some yummy cocktails most nights.

My mom tried room service once during our sailing. She ordered from the complimentary menu and got some coffee and donuts for an estimated delivery between 9 and 9:30 a.m.

The morning of, a crew member knocked on our door at 9:10 a.m. She was expecting two cups of coffee, but instead, she got two carafes, each filled with two cups of hot coffee. She was pleasantly surprised because she needs lots of caffeine in the mornings.

Activities and entertainment

My mom and I went to every Production and Headliner Showtime performance in The Lyric Theatre. We always love going to these shows because of the wide variety of acts, from singing, dancing, comedy, and dare I say, adventure.

Can’t Stop the Rock and Invitation to Dance with the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers, as well as IMPACT, were my favorite performances.

IMPACT was described as, “having passion and charisma, along with extraordinary lighting effects and staging.” What was really cool was that we were able to see their last performance on Adventure. They had been performing onboard for two and a half months. Their high-energy show was filled with dancing, singing, intricate choreography, stomping, drums, and more! My mom and I thoroughly enjoyed IMPACT, so much so that we saw them twice on the same night.

The ice skating show Cool Art Hot Ice “explored the multifaceted world of art by embarking on an odyssey through time and geography.” I didn't quite pick up on the theme of the show, but nonetheless, I enjoyed watching the beautiful ice skating.

We also saw Jimmy Hopper sing some rock tunes. After seeing his show, we felt like we had seen him before. Sure enough, when we returned home, we found an old Cruise Compass and saw he was on Harmony of the Seas in 2022 when we sailed!

Lastly, the comedian Heath Harmison performed on the first and last night. He hosted a late-night comedy show on the last night that was hilarious. I wish he offered more shows during our seven-day voyage!

I like going to the game shows on Royal Caribbean ships. Some of my favorites from Adventure of the Seas included Finish That Lyric, Majority Rules, Battle of the Sexes, and The Quest. Every game show was very well attended by all ages. It was usually hard to find a seat in the Imperial Lounge!

Other activities that were a highlight for us included:

  • The sail away party
  • Outdoor movie on the pool deck
  • Rock climbing (during The Key priority time)
  • The Perfect Storm waterslides

Ports of Call

My mom and I did not purchase any shore excursions during our trip. At each port of call, we explored on our own.

Roatan, Honduras

The Roatan port is convenient to a touristy area with restaurants and shops. We decided to go shopping a little bit and ended up purchasing a few souvenirs.

The water here was beautiful and crystal clear. We could see colorful fish right off the shore. There is no doubt that snorkeling and scuba diving would be great here!

I thought it was fun how the town did a special send-off for us when we sailed away. A whole bunch of locals, drummers, and dancers did a little show while they waved goodbye.

Belize City, Belize

Belize was a unique port because it was the only one that required us to tender to the city. 

Read more: What does tender mean on a cruise ship?

Because we had The Key, we did not have to worry about getting a tender ticket. We were able to get on a tender between 7:30 and 9 a.m. Everyone else had to get a tender ticket the morning of between 7 and 9:15 a.m. We got off the ship around 11 a.m., so we didn't really take advantage of this benefit.

I was slightly worried that the 20-minute ride to the city would be rough (I get motion-sick pretty easily), but it wasn't at all! It was smooth sailing the entire time.

My mom was afraid we’d have to wait a long time to return to the ship and have to stand in the heat. This was not the case. They kept enough tenders running that we walked right on one after we explored the port area and did some shopping. Plus there was a partially shaded waiting area, so my mom was happy. 


It was extremely hot in Cozumel the day we were docked, so we didn’t do much of anything! We got off the ship around noon, took a few photos with the ship, and then went back onboard for a cold drink at the bar. 

Perfect Day at CocoCay

Our final stop was at Perfect Day at CocoCay. I was most excited about this port! It has become one of my favorite places to visit. There’s so much to do, so every time I am there, it’s a different experience. 

Read more: 40 Perfect Day at CocoCay tips, tricks and secrets

It was so hot out that the first thing I wanted to do was get in the water at Oasis Lagoon and enjoy a cocktail at the swim-up bar. The water wasn't as cold as I wanted it to be, but it was refreshing, almost like bath water. 

After several hours at the Oasis Lagoon, my mom and I got chicken sandwiches and a funnel cake to share at Snack Shack. It was so delicious!

We wanted to find a nice relaxing spot in the shade, so we headed over to the hammock area at Chill Island. I took advantage of my Wi-Fi and watched a show while in the shade. It was a lovely day!

Disembarkation day

As The Key guests, we enjoyed an exclusive breakfast in the Main Dining Room. This was available from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m.

There was a special breakfast menu that featured entrees like steak and eggs, crab benedict, and french toast. There were also other continental breakfast items available. After most mornings in the Windjammer, this was a nice way to spend our last breakfast on the Adventure.

We chose to leave the ship during the main departure time and pick up our luggage inside the terminal. We had a late flight out of Fort Lauderdale, so we were not eager to leave. Before disembarking, I got one last Starbucks coffee!

In the terminal, there was a dedicated area for The Key guests' luggage. Our two suitcases were the very last ones in The Key area when we exited the terminal at 9:20 a.m. As soon as we walked outside, I ordered an Uber. It didn't take long to get one, and the drive to the airport was a quick 10 minutes.

A few final thoughts

We sailed the second week of August. Because school hadn't started quite yet, there were lots of families onboard. In fact, of the 3,947 people onboard, nearly 1,000 of them were children (under the age of 18). The ship’s capacity is 3,807, so there were lots of families using bunk beds.

This cruise seemed to be the end-of-summer vacation for many families. There were lots of family reunion groups onboard. My mom commented that she felt on the older side at 62 years old.

The diamond lounge was very quiet throughout the voyage. There was plenty of seating whenever we went. We found out there were less than 110 diamond, diamond plus, and pinnacle members sailing!

The Wi-Fi was fast onboard. However, it was sometimes spotty in our cabin. I didn't have problems when I watched YouTube videos or had to send work emails. Overall, I would say the Wi-Fi was reliable and quick.

Royal Caribbean News Round-Up: August 27, 2023

27 Aug 2023
Matt Hochberg

Welcome to this week's edition of the Royal Caribbean post round-up, where we summarize all of the Royal Caribbean news and information from this week into one handy-dandy post! There is plenty of great content to enjoy, so sit back, relax, and enjoy this week's round-up!

What's it like when there's passengers on a cruise ship?

Sometimes cruise ships move between new home ports without any passengers onboard, and in the case of Oasis of the Seas, the crew got to enjoy the ship to themselves for a few days.

One crew member shared what it's like to sail on an empty cruise ship with no passengers.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 509th episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, sharing what you should know before you pick a cruise.

Before you book any cruise, Matt shares the important things to know and do (especially if you're new  to cruising).

Please feel free to subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and head over to rate and review the podcast on iTunes if you can! We’d appreciate it.

Video: 4 things I think Royal Caribbean should change IMMEDIATELY!

Have you subscribed to the Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel? We share some great videos there regularly, all about taking a Royal Caribbean cruise! This week, we are sharing our latest video: 4 things I think Royal Caribbean should change.

Why you should avoid cruises with lots of sea days


Should you pick a cruise with a lot of sea days? Maybe not.

Sea days can feel monotonous because some people prefer to explore the ports of call rather than lounging around the ship. Then again, a lot of veteran cruisers love sea days.

We thought of 6 reasons not to book a cruise with a lot of sea days, just in case you wanted to think about which sailing is right for you.

Weirdest things our readers have seen other people do on a cruise ship

snow on board cruise ship

The more you cruise, the more often you see something completely unexpected.

People-watching is something everyone enjoys no matter where you are, and you can sometimes see something unexpected while on your cruise.

Our readers shared the oddest things they witnessed on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

After 100 nights at sea, here are my biggest cruise regrets

Regrets after 100 nights of cruises

Jenna has sailed on cruise ships for 106 nights (so far) and still has a few things she wish she could do over again.

If you have an upcoming cruise, it’s helpful to know what to avoid during the entire process so that you can avoid stress and hassle later on.

Whether booking one itinerary over another, packing more efficiently, or booking a risky flight schedule, there are a few things she wishes she did differently.

Allure of the Seas is the last Oasis Class ship with some classic features

Allure of the Seas

Because Allure of the Seas did not get a Royal Amplification yet, she remains the last Oasis Class ship with amenities and venues that have since been removed on other ships.

In the meantime, guests can enjoy a few classic features you either can’t find on the others or are slowly being phased out.

Royal Caribbean ships by age — Newest to Oldest

26 Aug 2023
Jenna DeLaurentis

With 26 cruise ships currently sailing and 2 more to launch in 2024, Royal Caribbean’s fleet is filled with exciting, record-breaking vessels.

New Royal Caribbean cruise ship

The oldest Royal Caribbean ship is 26 years old whereas the newest launched just last year. Despite being part of the same cruise line, older ships offer a vastly different experience than the newest ships in the fleet.

If you’re planning a Royal Caribbean cruise, it’s helpful to have an idea of which ships belong to Royal Caribbean’s fleet. It can be difficult to keep track of each ship, its age, and amenities, so we’re putting everything you should know into one place.

Here’s our list of Royal Caribbean ships from newest to oldest.

List of Royal Caribbean cruise ships by age

This listing has every Royal Caribbean cruise ship from newest to oldest, as well as which ship class and important details about each.

This table shows all Royal Caribbean cruise ships from newest to oldest as well as when what class of ship they are.

Utopia of the Seas (coming in 2024)

Utopia of the Seas concept art
  • Inaugural sailing: July 22, 2024
  • Passenger capacity (double occupancy): 5,668
  • Gross tonnage: 236,860

Utopia of the Seas will be Royal Caribbean’s newest ship when she launches in July 2024. She is the sixth ship in the cruise line’s Oasis Class, known for its open-air design and features like an AquaTheater and Central Park.

When she launches, Utopia of the Seas will offer 3 and 4-night cruises from Port Canaveral, Florida, visiting Perfect Day at CocoCay and Nassau, Bahamas.

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

Icon of the Seas (coming in 2024)

  • Inaugural sailing: January 27, 2024
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 7,600
  • Gross tonnage: 250,800

Icon of the Seas will be the world’s largest cruise ship when she launches in January 2024. As the first ship in Royal Caribbean’s new Icon Class, Icon of the Seas will offer an impressive array of activities and amenities onboard.

Guests will love the new AquaDome neighborhood, the Category 6 Waterpark, and family-friendly Surfside neighborhood.

Upon launching, Icon of the Seas will offer 7-night Caribbean itineraries from Miami, Florida.

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

Wonder of the Seas

Wonder of the Seas aerial rear
  • Inaugural sailing: March 4, 2022
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 6,988
  • Gross tonnage: 236,857

Wonder of the Seas launched in March 2022 and is currently the world’s largest cruise ship by gross tonnage. She is the fifth Oasis Class ship, yet has slightly different design elements than her sister ships, which include The Vue bar, The Mason Jar southern restaurant, and a suites-only neighborhood.

Wonder of the Seas sails 7-night Caribbean itineraries visiting destinations in the Eastern and Western Caribbean along with stops at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Related: Wonder of the Seas Guide, itinerary, features, and more

Odyssey of the Seas

  • Inaugural sailing: July 31, 2021
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 5,510
  • Gross tonnage: 167,704

Odyssey of the Seas is the fifth and final ship in Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class. Quantum Class ships are known for their technology-driven designs and activities.

Highlights of a cruise on Odyssey of the Seas include RipCord by iFLY, an indoor skydiving simulator, and the SeaPlex, an indoor sports arena with activities like bumper cars and rollerskating. Adults will enjoy the enclosed, climate-controlled Solarium as well as a tropical-themed pool deck with The Lime & Coconut bar.

Odyssey of the Seas sails to the Caribbean in the winter months and spends the summer season in Europe, offering Greek Isles and Holy Land cruises from Rome.

Related: Odyssey of the Seas Guide & Review

Spectrum of the Seas

Spectrum of the Seas with sun setting
  • Inaugural sailing: April 18, 2019
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 5,622
  • Gross tonnage: 169,379

Spectrum of the Seas, the fourth Quantum Class ship, is based in Asia year round—the ship was designed for the China cruise market.

Onboard you’ll find extra casino space, a suites-only Solarium, and a specialty restaurant with Sichuan cuisine.

Spectrum of the Seas currently sails from Singapore, but she will begin offering cruises from Shanghai in April 2024. These cruises will visit destinations in Japan, China, and Vietnam.

Symphony of the Seas

Symphony of the Seas docked
  • Inaugural sailing: April 7, 2018
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 6,680
  • Gross tonnage: 228,081

Symphony of the Seas is the fourth Oasis Class ship and is perfect for passengers who love having an abundance of options when it comes to entertainment, dining, cabin choices, and activities.

Symphony of the Seas is currently offering Western Mediterranean cruises in Europe. After the summer season comes to an end, she will offer Caribbean cruises.

Related: Supplying the fun: Symphony of the Seas cruise review

Harmony of the Seas

Harmony of the Seas
  • Inaugural sailing: May 29, 2016
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 6,687
  • Gross tonnage: 226,963

Harmony of the Seas, the third Oasis Class cruise ship, offers Caribbean cruises year round. She currently sails from Florida, but will reposition to Galveston, Texas in November 2023.

Unlike Allure of the Seas, which currently sails from Galveston, Harmony of the Seas includes updated Oasis Class features like the Ultimate Abyss dry slide and Perfect Storm waterslides. This makes her an even greater option for a fun-filled getaway to the Western Caribbean.

Related: Harmony of the Seas Guide & Review

Ovation of the Seas

Ovation of the Seas in Sydney
  • Inaugural sailing: April 14, 2016
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 4,905
  • Gross tonnage: 168,666

Ovation of the Seas is the third ship in the Quantum Class. Like other Quantum Class ships, she was built to sail in all weather conditions, from chilly Alaska to the tropical South Pacific. 

Throughout the ship you’ll find several indoor spaces with floor-to-ceiling windows, such as the Two70 lounge, which allow you to enjoy views of your destination rain or shine.

In the summer season, Ovation of the Seas offers 7-night Alaska cruises departing Seattle. As the Alaska season comes to an end, she repositions to Sydney, Australia to offer South Pacific and New Zealand cruises.

Related: All about Quantum Class ships

Anthem of the Seas

Anthem of the Seas in Spain
  • Inaugural sailing: April 22, 2015
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 4,905
  • Gross tonnage: 168,666

Anthem of the Seas, the second Quantum Class ship, has sailed to a wider variety of destinations than her sister ships in the class.

During the summer, Anthem of the Seas has typically offered European cruises from Southampton, England, visiting destinations in Norway, the Mediterranean, and the Canary Islands. In the winter, Anthem of the Seas has offered Caribbean cruises from Cape Liberty, New Jersey.

In October 2024, however, Anthem of the Seas will reposition to Singapore and offer cruises in Asia for the first time.

Related: Anthem of the Seas Guide & Review

Quantum of the Seas

  • Inaugural sailing: November 2, 2014
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 4,905
  • Gross tonnage: 168,666

Quantum of the Seas is the first ship in the Quantum Class, the newest class of ships until the Icon Class launches in 2024.

Quantum of the Seas sails a wide range of itineraries. She offers Alaska cruises from Seattle during the summer and Australia, New Zealand, and South Pacific itineraries from Brisbane during the Australia cruise season.

Allure of the Seas

Allure of the Seas aerial with sunset
  • Inaugural sailing: December 1, 2010
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 6,780
  • Gross tonnage: 225,282

Allure of the Seas is the second Oasis Class cruise ship, and she is the only ship in the class not to feature amenities like waterslides and updated dining venues. She was due to receive an upgrade in 2020, but her amplification has been indefinitely postponed as a result of the pandemic.

Nonetheless, Allure of the Seas still offers the classic features cruisers love in the Oasis Class, which include an AquaTheater, ice-skating rink, Central Park, and Boardwalk neighborhood.

Allure of the Seas sails Western Caribbean cruises from Galveston, Texas, but she will reposition to Florida in mid-2024 to offer 3 and 4-night Caribbean cruises.

Related: Allure of the Seas Guide & Review

Oasis of the Seas

  • Inaugural sailing: December 5, 2009
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 6,780
  • Gross tonnage: 226,838

There was no other ship like Oasis of the Seas when she launched in 2009. As the first ship in the Oasis Class, Oasis of the Seas was unlike any vessel to ever set sail.

Fourteen years later, the Oasis Class is still the most popular class of ships in Royal Caribbean’s fleet. Guests have come to love the large, activity-filled ships in the Oasis Class, as there is no shortage of things to do and see onboard.

After her 2019 amplification, Oasis of the Seas had new dining venues, waterslides, a revamped pool deck, and new cabins added to the ship.

Related: Oasis of the Seas guide: Cabins, itineraries, what to expect

Independence of the Seas

Independence of the Seas aerial view birds eye
  • Inaugural sailing: May 2, 2008
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 4,375
  • Gross tonnage: 155,889

Independence of the Seas is the last of the Freedom Class ships. She received an amplification in 2018 that added waterslides, an escape room, and a kids aqua park to the ship.

The ship makes an excellent option for a short cruise, as she offers 3, 4, and 5-night cruises visiting destinations in the Caribbean.

Related: All about Freedom Class cruise ships

Liberty of the Seas

  • Inaugural sailing: May 19, 2007
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 4,960
  • Gross tonnage: 155,889

Liberty of the Seas is the second Freedom Class ship, and like her sister ships, she offers short cruises from Florida.

She currently sails from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, offering 3 and 4-night cruises visiting both Perfect Day at CocoCay and Nassau, Bahamas.

Freedom of the Seas

Freedom of the Seas aerial at CocoCay
  • Inaugural sailing: June 4, 2006
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 4,515
  • Gross tonnage: 156,271

Freedom of the Seas is one of Royal Caribbean’s best ships for a short weekend getaway. After a 2020 amplification, Freedom of the Seas received upgrades including a tropical-themed pool deck, waterslides, and updated dining venues and bars.

She currently sails 3 and 4-night itineraries from Miami, visiting Perfect Day at CocoCay and Nassau, Bahamas. In 2024, she will begin offering 6, 7, and 8-night Caribbean cruises.

Related: Freedom of the Seas Guide & Review

Jewel of the Seas

Jewel of the Seas
  • Inaugural sailing: May 8, 2004
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 2,502
  • Gross tonnage: 90,090

Jewel of the Seas is the last ship in the Radiance Class, and the last Royal Caribbean ship to be built with a multi-story atrium as opposed to a Royal Promenade thoroughfare.

She offers longer itineraries than most newer Royal Caribbean ships, which include 12-night Arctic Circle cruises and 11-night Southern Caribbean cruises. She spends the summer season in Europe and repositions to the Caribbean during the winter months.

Related: All about Radiance Class cruise ships

Mariner of the Seas

Mariner of the Seas in Nassau
  • Inaugural sailing: November 16, 2003
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 3,807
  • Gross tonnage: 139,863

Mariner of the Seas, the fifth Voyager Class ship, is a favorite ship among cruise fans, and many argue she offers the best value in a cruise vacation that Royal Caribbean has to offer.

Amplified in 2018, Mariner of the Seas features many of the same activities and dining venues as the fleet’s newer cruise ships, yet cruise fares are often much lower than ships like Symphony and Wonder of the Seas.

Mariner of the Seas sails in the Caribbean year round, offering cruises to the Eastern and Western Caribbean.

Related: Mariner of the Seas Guide & Review

Serenade of the Seas

  • Inaugural sailing: August 1, 2003
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 2,476
  • Gross tonnage: 90,090

Serenade of the Seas, a Radiance Class ship, will soon be Royal Caribbean’s most well-traveled ship. In December 2023, she will set sail on the cruise line’s Ultimate World Cruise, a 274-night journey to all 7 continents.

As a Radiance Class ship, she is well-designed for such a colossal journey, and offers indoor spaces like a climate-controlled adults-only Solarium and indoor movie theater.

Navigator of the Seas

  • Inaugural sailing: December 14, 2002
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 4,000
  • Gross tonnage: 139,999

West coast cruisers will love sailing on Navigator of the Seas, a Voyager Class ship that sails from Los Angeles, California.

Navigator of the Seas features amenities like record-breaking waterslides, a tropical-themed pool deck, a tiki bar, and Hooked Seafood restaurant, all of which were added to the ship during her 2019 amplification.

Cruisers can visit destinations along the Mexican Riviera on Navigator of the Seas such as Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta.

Related: Navigator of the Seas Guide & Review

Brilliance of the Seas

Brilliance of the Seas side docked
  • Inaugural sailing: July 19, 2002
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 2,543
  • Gross tonnage: 90,090

Brilliance of the Seas may be a small cruise ship by Royal Caribbean standards, but she makes up for her size with exciting itineraries in the Pacific.

During the summer she sails from Vancouver, Canada, offering 7-night Alaska cruises. In the 2023-2024 Australia season, she will offer unique itineraries in the region, including a 34-night circumnavigation around Australia.

Adventure of the Seas

Adventure of the Seas in St Maarten
  • Inaugural sailing: November 18, 2001
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 3,807
  • Gross tonnage: 138,193

Adventure of the Seas, the third Voyager Class ship, sails from Florida and offers 6 and 8-night cruises to the Eastern, Western, and Southern Caribbean.

Unlike sister ships Mariner of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas did not receive an amplification. While she still has Voyager Class features like an ice-skating rink and outdoor Solarium, she does not have the cruise line’s most updated dining venues, lounges, and entertainment.

Related: Adventure of the Seas Review & Guide

Radiance of the Seas

Radiance of the Seas in Alaska
  • Inaugural sailing: April 7, 2001
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 2,466
  • Gross tonnage: 90,090

Radiance of the Seas is the first ship in the Radiance Class, which was designed to offer comfort while sailing through a variety of climates and landscapes.

Splitting her time between Alaska and the Caribbean, she does just that, and guests will appreciate the comfortable indoor spaces on either type of itinerary.

She differs from other ships sailing to Alaska in that she offers one-way Alaska cruise itineraries. These itineraries start in Vancouver and end in Seward, Alaska (and vice versa), allowing guests to combine a 7-night cruise with a land vacation in the state’s interior.

Explorer of the Seas

Explorer of the Seas docked
  • Inaugural sailing: October 28, 2000
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 3,840
  • Gross tonnage: 138,194

Explorer of the Seas is a Voyager Class ship splitting her time between the Caribbean and Europe. During the summer, she offers itineraries to the Greek Isles and Adriatic, and in the winter months she sails to the Eastern, Western, and Southern Caribbean.

Waterslides were added to the ship in February 2023, making the vessel more equal to her sister ships.

Voyager of the Seas

Voyager of the Seas in Barcelona
  • Inaugural sailing: November 21, 1999
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 3,840
  • Gross tonnage: 138,194

Voyager of the Seas turned heads when she launched in 1999—she featured the cruise industry’s first-ever Royal Promenade, an indoor thoroughfare running down the center of the ship.

The Promenade has been a staple of Royal Caribbean ships since, and it’s where guests will find retail stores, bars, lounges, and other venues like Guest Services and Next Cruise.

Voyager of the Seas currently sails from Galveston, Texas, but she will make her way to Europe for the 2024 summer cruise season.

Related: All about Voyager Class cruise ships

Vision of the Seas

  • Inaugural sailing: May 2, 1998
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 2,514
  • Gross tonnage: 78,717

Vision of the Seas is the namesake for Royal Caribbean’s Vision Class. Vision Class ships are, when compared to other Royal Caribbean ships, relatively small.

Despite having a capacity of over 2,000 guests, they lack features like a sports court, waterslides, and other amenities found on the fleet’s newer ships.

Nonetheless, their small size enables them to fit into a wider variety of ports. Vision of the Seas is the only Royal Caribbean ship sailing from Baltimore, Maryland, where she offers cruises to the Caribbean, southeast coast, and Bermuda.

Related: All about Vision Class cruise ships

Enchantment of the Seas

  • Inaugural sailing: July 13, 1997
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 2,730
  • Gross tonnage: 82,910

Enchantment of the Seas is the only Royal Caribbean ship to have been stretched, during which she was split into two sections and new cabins were added in between both ends.

Related: 3 surprising facts about Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas

After being stretched, she is still among the fleet’s smallest vessels, but is longer and heavier than her sister ships in the Vision Class.

Enchantment of the Seas is currently in Europe for the summer season, but she will return to Florida in fall 2023 to offer Western Caribbean cruises from Tampa.

Rhapsody of the Seas

Rhapsody of the Seas in Greece
  • Inaugural sailing: May 19, 1997
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 2,416
  • Gross tonnage: 78,878

Rhapsody of the Seas is the second Vision Class cruise ship, and she offers some of Royal Caribbean’s most intriguing itineraries.

The ship is currently in Europe, where she is sailing Greek Isles itineraries from Haifa, Israel and Limassol, Cyprus.

After the summer season ends, she will begin offering 7-night cruises in the Southern Caribbean and Central America, with homeports in Colombia and Panama.

Grandeur of the Seas

  • Inaugural sailing: December 14, 1996
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 2,440
  • Gross tonnage: 73,817

The oldest Royal Caribbean ship is Grandeur of the Seas at 26 years old. Small but mighty, Grandeur of the Seas offers a traditional cruise experience and sails Caribbean cruises from Florida.

In 2024, she will offer a 15-night Greenland cruise along with several shorter Canada cruises departing from Boston.

Should I sail on an old or new Royal Caribbean ship?


Most passengers prefer cruising on newer ships, as these offer the most variety when it comes to activities, cabin categories, dining options, and entertainment.

Voyager, Freedom, Oasis, and Quantum Class ships can all be considered “newer” ships whereas Vision and Radiance Class ships are considered older.

Even though the Radiance Class technically launched after the Voyager Class, Voyager Class ships feel newer with activities like waterslides and design elements like a Royal Promenade and ice-skating rink.

Related: Pros and cons of sailing on an older Royal Caribbean cruise ship

When you put Royal Caribbean’s newest and oldest ships side by side, you’ll find similarities and differences. The classic Royal Caribbean experience is still the same, as you can enjoy meals in the Main Dining Room, attend nightly entertainment shows, and grab your favorite signature drinks from the bar.

Schooner Bar on Radiance of the Seas

Where the experience differs, though, is in the amount of programming and activities available. While you might have just a few restaurants to choose from on a Vision Class ship, for example, you could choose from 8 or 9 on an Oasis Class ship.

One advantage of old ships, of course, are the variety of itineraries available. You won’t find the fleet’s newest ships traveling to destinations like Greenland and Costa Rica—many new ships are located in either the Caribbean or Europe.

Before booking a Royal Caribbean cruise, take the time to research the fleet’s ships to ensure you book a ship that fits your travel style. Some cruisers may prefer sailing on older, smaller vessels whereas others enjoy the variety of amenities on Royal Caribbean’s newest, biggest ships.

10 of the biggest misconceptions people have about a cruise before sailing

26 Aug 2023
Matt Hochberg

Going on a cruise ship can be confusing for a first-timer that has never sailed before.

Liberty of the Seas

You don't have to go very far to run into one of the often repeated myths that exist about what a cruise is all about. Many of these are rooted in experiences from decades ago, and quite a lot has changed in the cruise industry.

Cruise ships have gotten larger and more sophisticated.  Moreover, they've evolved past the generation of ships that people may remember.  Part of the issue is in many cases pop culture continues to portray cruise ships as if it's still the 1990s. Stereotypes are hard to break, and it perpetuates a certain expectation many people that have never cruised think about when they imagine a cruise vacation.

It's been my experience so many tropes about a cruise are outdated and misinformed preconceived notions that are quickly dispelled once you look into what the reality is truly like.

Woman standing in front of pool deck on Symphony of the Seas

People that have cruised many times would be the first to tell you that a cruise vacation can vary greatly depending on the line you choose, cruise ship you pick, time of year, and a variety of other factors.  It's no different than if you were to take a trip to New York City: not every vacation there is the same kind of experience.

Before you write off a cruise vacation, here are the top ten commonly cited myths about a cruise and why they are plain wrong.

I'll get seasick

Balcony view

We will begin with a misconception that actually has some truth to it, in that while it is possible you could get seasick on a cruise, it's unlikely and easily preventable.

I've taken over 70 cruises and I have on a few occasions gotten seasick.  It's not ideal, but when it happens, there are easy ways to combat it.

First, you could prevent seasickness from ever occurring.  You can take over-the-counter medication, such as Dramamine or Bonine once a day to ensure the symptoms never begin. When I started cruising, I always followed this regiment and it always worked. These days, I don't take it preemptively, but if I do get queasy during the cruise, I'll pop one of the pills and very quickly start feeling normal again.


Another option is to ask your doctor for a patch that goes behind your ear that you'll wear throughout your cruise. It's another easy way to ensure you never get seasick.

There are a variety of homeopathic strategies too, such as ginger pills, eating green apples, peppermint, and even wristbands.

The reality is while you could get seasick on a cruise, the chances are quite low, especially if sea conditions aren't terrible.  A cruise ship is far more stable than a fishing boat that you may have been on, and it takes a lot to get a ships swaying.

If you talk to people that cruise a lot, they'll tell you in most cases, you cannot notice the ship moving at all and that instances of motion sickness are pretty low overall.

Only old people take cruises

Couple in Junior Suite

There's an old saying that people that go on cruises are "the nearly dead and the newly wed", and it's a stereotype that comes from cruising in the 1970s or 1980s.

Cruise ships evolved from ocean liners, and in those days, the only people that could really afford to cruise were older people. It was expensive and took a great deal of time, which is something families didn't have a lot of.

Fast forward to the 1990s, and the cruise industry begins its pivot towards the family cruise market. Cruise ships become bigger and offer more to do than ever before.  With more ships comes more inventory and that helps lower prices (more on high prices later).

Family cruise travel really took off in the 2000s, and you'll find a great mix of ages on the mainstream cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean.

On an average Royal Caribbean cruise, you'll find guests of all ages. Toddlers, school-aged kids, teens, adults, seniors and probably a guy named Big Dawg Ron. You get a good mix of people so it never feels like one demographic dominates the ship.

In fact, Royal Caribbean designs its cruise ships to have something for millennials, baby boomers, gen-x'ers and gen-z. It's meant to provide a little of everything, and you get to decide what appeals to you.

Splashaway Bay and Water's Edge

Royal Caribbean's ships have kids club and areas of the ship designed specifically for kids and teens in mind.  Their new Icon of the Seas cruise ship has an entire area of the ship reserved just for young families.

Will there be retirees onboard? Absolutely.  But you will also find lots of other ages too, and probably way more young people than you thought would be there.

I'll feel claustrophobic onboard

In my experience, the top two reasons people have resisted going on a cruise are fear of getting seasick (see above) and the feeling they'll be trapped onboard.

It's difficult to convey in a blog post, but cruise ships are much bigger than you think. It's one thing to see a photo or even a video of a ship, but when you see them in person, you realize just how massive these ships are.

There are public decks and spaces you can go to, and I think you'll find the ship more like a city than a cramped space. 

Promenade Deck

From shows, to restaurants, to the pools, it's more likely you will not feel stuck.

If you're worried that you'll feel claustrophobic on a ship, you should understand there's so many to do onboard and many places to go.  Moreover, your ship will visit plenty of ports along the way, giving you an opportunity to disembark the ship and explore these countries.

With plenty of open deck space, it's easy to avoid that closed-in feeling. 

Cruises are too expensive

Wonder of the Seas in Port Canaveral

Whether based in the old days of cruising or an assumption from seeing the glitzy new ships, the idea that taking a cruise is expensive is truly incorrect.

A cruise vacation remains one of the best values in travel when compared to taking a land vacation.

Just like a land trip, prices will vary depending on a variety of factors, but when you consider a cruise includes not just a hotel room, but food, entertainment, and a means of which to get you to different ports, that's a lot for one price.

Read moreWhat's included in your Royal Caribbean cruise fare

Wonder of the Seas pool deck

No matter your budget, there's a cruise you can afford.  There are cheap inside rooms on short weekend cruises, lavish suites, and plenty in the middle too.

Throughout the year there are different cruises you can take and in general, a Royal Caribbean cruise is affordable.  While there are pricey cruises (especially over holidays), bargain values still exist on many ships. The beauty of having 27 ships in the fleet is that there's likely something for everyone, and with a little research and flexibility, I'm certain you can find something in your price range.

Ovation of the Seas docked

Like all mass-market cruise lines, Royal Caribbean offers a module cruise experience. Your cruise fare gets you onboard with a certain set of amenities included, and it's up to you if you want to spend more to get a drink package, shore excursion, wifi, or some other extra.

Read moreWhat's worth paying extra for on a cruise?

Similar to a land vacation, you can take a cruise on the cheap or splurge with an over-the-top vacation. It's just important to remember a cruise is not inherently expensive.

I'll be bored

AquaTheater show on Wonder of the Seas

Similar to the concern of feeling trapped on a cruise, many people worry there isn't enough to do and they'll be bored.

I think this myth comes from all the imagery of people sitting by the pool and enjoying a sunny day.  Sure, that looks great, but what else is there to do besides sleep, eat, and hang at the pool?

The answer is much more than you ever thought possible.

Teenagers on cruise ship slide

Cruise ships offer a myriad of activities and onboard entertainment. There's water slides, rock climbing, zip-lines, ice skating, trivia, shopping, cooking demonstrations, dance parties, shows and so much more.

Browse a past schedule of activities from any Royal Caribbean cruise ship and you'll see an example of just how much there is to do in the morning, afternoon, and evening. One thing Royal Caribbean does better than many other lines is keep the fun going well into the evening.

Royal Caribbean also has full Broadway shows on some of its ships.  This includes Mamma Mia, Cats, Saturday Night Fever and more.  Other ships feature Broadway-style musical revues and dance performances.  All the shows on any Royal Caribbean ship are included in your cruise fare.

There are movies shown throughout the day and evening by the pool deck, karaoke to sing to, gambling in the casino, silent discos, DJs, live bands, and guitarists.

Royal Caribbean likes to compare itself to Las Vegas in terms of entertainment, and you'll find quite a lot of entertainment to keep you busy.

Most people that take a cruise will tell you there's simply more to do than they possibly can handle in just one sailing.  It's why so many people cruise over and over again.

I have to get dressed up


Another myth rooted in the old days of cruising is concern about a dress code.

While dress codes do exist on Royal Caribbean cruise ships, they are minimal and barely enforced.  Think of them as suggestions rather than hard and fast rules.

There's no dress code for what to wear around the ship, other than shoes and a cover-up for a restaurant.

It's really the dining venues that have rules about what you can wear and in practice, these are less stringent than you might think. The Main Dining Room has a daily dress code, and specialty restaurants have their own dress code. Regardless, you won't have to wear the same clothes you might wear to a prom.

Family at Windjammer

Royal Caribbean's dress codes act more as guidelines than rules, and you will see most passengers wearing fairly casual clothing to meals.  For breakfast and lunch, there's really nothing more expected than not a bathing suit.  At dinner, there's a different expectation, but some passengers wear shorts while others get more dressed up. Most guys will wear jeans or slacks with a collared shirt.  Ladies are usually seen in a cocktail dress, blouse and jeans, or something else casual.

If you prefer to skip a sit-down meal all together, there's a buffet and other casual restaurants you can go to and grab something quick to eat too.

At the very least, you will not have to get dressed up if you don't want to. There are lots of options for meals, and outside of restaurants, there are no dress codes to adhere to on Royal Caribbean.

Bad things always happen on cruise ships

Crew member emuster

If you watch the news, you'd think there's always someone "falling" off a ship, power outage, fire, or some other calamity. Unfortunately, the reality of the safety of cruise travel is completely misconstrued by the mainstream media in so many examples.

Let's be clear: statistically, cruising is a very safe vacation.

No one falls off a cruise ship unless they are doing something they're not supposed to or are somewhere they are not supposed to be (such as getting on top of a railing).

Cruise ships are regularly inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard (and other maritime agencies of other countries). Plus, every cruise ship has its own team of engineers and mechanics to keep the ships working properly. 

Crew members drill on every sailing to ensure they know what to do in case of an emergency.  When you go on a cruise, you'll see this in action likely while your ship is docked in port. Ships have fire doors, water-tight sections, sprinklers, smoke alarms, and firefighters to deal with any issue.

Have there been incidents on cruise ships? Of course, just like there have been airplanes or buses that have crashed. They're the exceptions, not the norm.

I have to eat with strangers

Symphony of the Seas main dining room

I don't blame you if you are not interested in having meals with strangers. It's your vacation, and the last thing you want is an awkward meal with random people.

Today's big ships have lots of flexibility so you do not have to eat with strangers if you don't want to.

If you choose to eat at any specialty restaurant or casual dining venue, you will only eat with your own party (with the exception of the Hibachi specialty dining, and to be fair, it's like that on land too).

Family eating in main dining room

Royal Caribbean also offers My Time Dining, where you can eat in the Main Dining Room on your schedule and be seated with just your group. Cruisers who choose this format can head to dinner any time within set hours to get a table by themselves (or with a group if they like).

The traditional dining option in the Main Dining Room could seat you with someone else you don't know.  This is the option where you have dinner every night at the same time with the same table and wait staff.

You can request a table to yourselves for traditional dining by requesting it before the cruise.

Mariner of the Seas dining room

If you are booked in traditional dining, you should contact Royal Caribbean prior to your cruise to make the request. Send an email to [email protected] about 2-3 weeks prior to your sailing with your request.  This strategy usually works for most people. 

Read moreHow to not eat with strangers on a Royal Caribbean cruise

I can't eat healthy

Windjammer food on a plate

Eating healthy on a Royal Caribbean cruise is far from an oxymoron.  Rather, it is a state of mind that is definitely achievable with the right kind of planning, and a little motivation.

Being on vacation is an excuse for some people to indulge more than they would at home, and you'll find no shortage of sweet and savory foods.

Ultimately, it's up to you how healthy you eat on a cruise, because there are plenty of healthy choices and ways to control portion size. While cruises are well-known for their amazing indulgences, there are just as many good for you choices too (but no one really writes articles about those).


Every menu has healthier choices you can order, in addition to salad bars, made-to-order cooking stations, and vegan and vegetarian options.

Just like any restaurant you go to near your home, there are healthy and not-so-healthy choices you can order.  But if you want to avoid gaining weight and eat smart, you will find those options too.

Cruising isn’t real travel

The myth that cruising doesn't provide an immersive or compelling experience like land travel does is simply a case of snobbish opinions within the travel industry.

You will find authentic experiences in the places your ship visits that don't visit the typical tourist spots. The cruise line will provide as many shore excursions as possible that cover a variety of things to do, including the tacky and adventurous.

Plus, you don't have to take a cruise line excursion at all. You could get off the ship and explore on your own and discover your own off-the-beaten path spot.

Tulum beach in Mexico

Some cruises offer overnight visits, but most have enough time to get a taste of what the city or town you visit has to offer.

A cruise is what you make of it, and the same is true of the places you can visit on land. You could choose to see the top tourist spot in town, or hop on a bus and visit a local market.  It's an open-ended choice and offers as much cultural immersion as you'd like.

I've spent over 100 nights on cruise ships, and these are my biggest cruising regrets to avoid making

25 Aug 2023
Jenna DeLaurentis

No one likes making mistakes, but it’s bound to happen while traveling, especially over the course of twenty cruises.

In the past two years, I’ve spent 106 nights on cruise ships, sailing everywhere from the sunny Mediterranean to the tropical Caribbean and chilly Alaska. Even though cruising so often has taught me to avoid plenty of rookie cruising mistakes, I still have a few regrets from my time onboard.

Whether booking one itinerary over another, wishing I packed more efficiently, or booking a risky flight schedule, there are a few things I wish I did differently.

If you have an upcoming cruise, it’s helpful to know what to avoid during the entire process so that you can avoid stress and hassle later on.

After spending over 100 nights on cruise ships, these are my 8 biggest cruising regrets you should avoid making.

Booking too many Western Caribbean itineraries

Latin America is my favorite region of the world, and I make it a point to visit the region as often as I can. Not only do I love practicing my Spanish skills, but the friendliness, diverse landscapes, and relatively low costs of the region keep me coming back time and time again.

Because of this, I tend to book Western Caribbean cruises far more often than cruises to other regions in the Caribbean. Not only do I get to visit some of my favorite ports on a Western Caribbean cruise, but these itineraries have fewer sea days than Eastern Caribbean sailings, and I’ll always take an additional port day over another day on the ship.

Yet on my most recent Western Caribbean cruise, I found myself getting bored with visiting the same ports over and over. While I enjoy visiting destinations like Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Roatan, I’ve already been to the ports several times.

Related: Best shore excursion in every Caribbean cruise port

I knew exactly what to expect in each of these ports, and I didn’t feel I was growing from the travel experience anymore like I would have if I were visiting new destinations.

I regret not booking more diverse itineraries in the Caribbean throughout the past few years. While I have been to Cozumel four times, for example, I’ve never seen the white sand beaches of Aruba, ridden the scenic train in St. Kitts, or hiked to a waterfall in Dominica.

I wish I chose my itineraries more wisely so I had the chance to visit a greater number of destinations.

Not making My Time Dining reservations

On a recent Quantum of the Seas cruise, I decided to try My Time Dining for the first time. Unlike Traditional Dining, in which guests dine at the same time each day, My Time Dining allows guests to dine at a different time each evening, and I was curious to see how the two compared.

Yet as my cruise approached, I completely forgot to make My Time Dining reservations on Royal Caribbean’s Cruise Planner website. As soon as I boarded the ship on embarkation day, I headed to the Main Dining Room to figure out how to make reservations, but I found that availability was more limited than I expected.

Related: Royal Caribbean My Time Dining versus Traditional Dining

Ultimately we were able to get a time sorted, but it caused unnecessary stress, and I certainly did not want to wait in the long “No Reservations” line each evening.

If I ever do My Time Dining again on a Royal Caribbean cruise, I’ll make sure I make reservations in advance.

Waiting too long to purchase compression packing cubes

I am a big advocate of using packing cubes when traveling. Packing my clothes into packing cubes allows me to fit far more clothing items in a small suitcase. As another plus, it also keeps my belongings organized while traveling.

For years I had been using a random pair of packing cubes I purchased on Amazon. There was nothing special or fancy about the cubes; they condensed my clothes slightly, allowing me to pack more easily.

A few months ago, however, my packing cubes needed to be replaced. I ordered a pair of “compression” packing cubes. To be honest, I didn’t really understand what these were, and I just purchased the first cubes I saw online from the reputable company Thule.

When I received them in the mail and tested them out, I was in shock with how many clothes I could fit into a single cube. There are two zippers on each cube, one for closing the pack initially and the other for compressing the items in the cube even further.

With compression packing cubes, I can easily fit around double the amount of clothes in my carry-on suitcase. I can’t believe I waited so long to try compression packing cubes! Now, I will never travel without them.

You can purchase the packing cubes here.

Not taking a scuba diving course on a cruise ship

Select Royal Caribbean ships offer the chance to become PADI Open Water scuba certified onboard, which is an internationally accepted scuba diving certification. For those interested in scuba diving, doing the course onboard is a convenient way to become certified.

In the course, you first do a few training sessions in your cruise ship’s pools. Once in port, you complete your open water dives in the ocean to become certified.

Ever since my first cruise, I had been meaning to book the course and become a certified scuba diver, but I kept putting it off for one reason or another. Even after booking a “Discover Scuba” shore excursion in St. Thomas—one of my favorite shore excursions to date—I still kept putting off taking the course.

Related: Excursion Focus: Discover Scuba Diving in St. Thomas

An upcoming trip, however, has me regretting not becoming certified on a Royal Caribbean cruise. I’m headed to Australia this fall and didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef.

Because I’m not scuba certified, I had to book a course in my city in order to be ready to dive once I get to Australia. Now, instead of learning to dive in warm, coral-filled waters, I’ll be taking the course in the frigid waters of a high alpine lake.

If I could go back in time, I would have completed my scuba diving certification on one of my cruises. Not only would I have been able to dive in some spectacular locations in the Caribbean, but I wouldn’t have had to book a last-minute course at home.

Not booking a land-based cruise tour after my one-way Alaska itinerary

Last summer I booked the cheapest Alaska cruise I could find, a one-way itinerary departing from Vancouver, British Columbia and ending in Seward, Alaska.

Unlike other ports on an Alaska cruise, Seward is not located in the state’s famous Inside Passage. Instead, the port is in Southcentral Alaska, just two and a half hours from Anchorage.

Visiting the port is only available on one-way Alaska itineraries, and many passengers take advantage of the itinerary by planning extra days in Alaska before or after the sailing. Most of these visitors plan a trip to Denali National Park & Preserve, home to the highest peak in North America.

Related: Royal Caribbean Alaska cruise guide

Some passengers plan this extra time on their own, renting a car and sightseeing without a guided tour. Others, though, opt to reserve one of Royal Caribbean’s Cruise Tours, which are multi-day sightseeing tours on land.

After an eight day trip I thought I would be ready to go home, so I didn’t bother planning extra days in Alaska’s interior. Although visiting Denali has always been on my travel bucket list, I figured I could come back another day.

Upon arriving in Anchorage, though, I immediately regretted not planning extra time in Alaska’s interior. On the day of my visit to Anchorage, there was a clear view of Denali’s peak, and I was awestruck by the mountain’s beauty even from so far away.

At this point I realized it was silly to try and rush home. I should have taken the opportunity to visit more of Alaska instead of waiting for a future trip that may or may not happen.

While I can’t go back in time, I wish I had planned extra time in Alaska after my one-way cruise.

Booking a flight with a short layover

When booking flights for my Symphony of the Seas cruise earlier this year, I made a decision I swear I’ll never do again—I booked a layover of just one hour.

If there’s anything that traveling across the country several times per year has taught me, it’s to always schedule more time than you think you need for a layover. As a general rule of thumb, I prefer booking layovers that are around two or three hours.

Even though a longer layover means more time waiting around in the airport, it’s worth it for the peace of mind. Layovers under an hour can be extremely tight, especially if you’re traveling through a busy airport or if your first flight is delayed! I would much rather hang out in an airport lounge for an extra hour than risk missing my flight.

Yet when I booked my flight to Miami earlier this year, I neglected to follow my own advice. I booked a flight with just a one hour layover in Salt Lake City—the itinerary would save me five hours of travel time, so I figured it was worth the risk.

Related: The costly cruising mistake newbies make planning their first cruise

When it came time to fly, my first flight was over thirty minutes delayed. Panicking, I soon realized I would only have around five minutes to catch my next flight before the doors closed.

Once in Salt Lake City, I sprinted faster than I ever have before to make my connection. Luckily I made the flight with about a minute to spare, but the shorter travel time was absolutely not worth the stress.

Since then, I will never book a layover under an hour in any circumstance, but especially when heading to a cruise port.

Packing too many clothes for an Alaska cruise

Speaking of packing lightly, one of my biggest cruising regrets was packing way too many clothes for my first Alaska cruise.

Although I have now been on five Alaska cruises, I was totally overwhelmed with what to pack for my first sailing to the Last Frontier. I ended up doing something I never do while flying—check a bag—and I basically put my entire wardrobe into the suitcase.

Once in Alaska, I realized just how big of a mistake it was to overpack. Unlike the hot, humid Caribbean, I found that being in Alaska meant my clothes stayed cleaner longer. I spent most port days in the same outfit: a pair of leggings, a sweater, and my rain jacket.

Related: Alaska cruise packing list: What to pack for your sailing

There was no need to pack six sweaters, two sweatshirts, five long-sleeve shirts, a down jacket, a rain jacket, three pairs of jeans, and five pairs of leggings. In fact, I probably only wore about half of what I packed.

While overpacking meant I could have a wide selection of outfits to choose from each day, it ultimately created more hassle than it was worth. From paying for a bag fee to navigating Seattle’s public transit and walking around the city with a huge suitcase, I swore I would never pack so much for a cruise again.

Since my first Alaska cruise, I’ve only ever packed for cruises with a carry-on suitcase and a personal item. For more information on how I pack so lightly for these cruises, check out this article on everything I packed for my most recent Alaska cruise.

Sailing from the same embarkation ports

My last major cruising regret is sailing from the same embarkation ports all the time.

I do not live within driving distance of a cruise port, so that means I frequently fly to ports around the world. Although I could have used this opportunity to visit cities I had never been to before, such as Houston, Amsterdam, and Quebec City, I found myself booking cruises from the same ports over and over.

I’ve sailed from Fort Lauderdale and Miami more times than I can count, but I’ve never booked a cruise from New York, Baltimore, or Rome.

Because I always arrive a day before my cruise begins, I spend the first day of my trip sightseeing in the embarkation port. I wish I would have been more adventurous with my embarkation ports so I could have spent time sightseeing in a wider variety of destinations.

Do you have any cruising regrets? Let us know your biggest mishaps in the comments below!

Goal! Royal Caribbean takes the helm as official vacation sponsor for Miami's premier soccer club

25 Aug 2023
Matt Hochberg

A new partnership has been formed between Miami's leading cruise line and soccer club.

Royal Caribbean becomes vacation sponsor of Inter Miami CF

On Friday, Royal Caribbean announced, "an unprecedented, multiyear partnership" with Inter Miami CF. The soccer club was established in 2018 and is in the Eastern Conference of Major League Soccer.

Royal Caribbean will be the soccer club's main partner and Official Vacation Partner.

The new partnership builds on the cruise line welcoming international star Lionel Messi, who joined the team for the 2023 season.

Royal Caribbean is no stranger to sponsorship deals, as the company has been a corporate sponsor of different teams in the past.  It provides them with a new way to advertise their vacations to the public.

Icon of the Seas aerial at night concept art

With the impending launch of Icon of the Seas in January, the cruise line is clearly getting ready to turn up the advertising of the new ship to get the public's attention.

Icon of the Seas is built with far more family-focused activities than other cruise ships, and it's a brand new type of cruise ship.

Scheduled to begin sailing in January 2024 and already available to book, will feature a water park, kids club, entire portion of the ship for young families, and more dining and entertainment than on any other ship since.

Thrill Island and Surfside

Icon of the Seas will have more cabins to cater to families with higher capacities, thanks in large part to new room designs.

Adults aren't being left out either.  While the kids are busy with all of their activities, there's a jazz club, elevated supper club, adults-only pool and bar, dueling piano bar, and lots more.

World’s Largest Cruise Line is Set to Become the Club’s Main Partner and Official Vacation Partner

Royal Caribbean Group CEO Jason Liberty spoke on the new deal, "Royal Caribbean started in Miami more than 50 years ago, and we have always had heart and passion for our community. It's been exciting to see Inter Miami’s success, including their recent Leagues Cup title, energize South Florida. As the Club’s Main Partner, we are thrilled to build on that momentum together and deliver memorable moments to fans around the world."

Royal Caribbean's SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Kara Wallace, also heralds the new relationship, "Royal Caribbean and Inter Miami have won the hearts and minds of fans from around the world. Together as partners, the possibilities to reach more dreamers and adventurers are exponential from ship to pitch, especially as we look forward to the arrival of Icon of the Seas."

What the partnership will bring

Terminal A pink color

The sponsorship deal means a lot of cross brand promotion.

You can expect to see stadium LED, in-game content, fan zone activations, the Club’s digital and social platforms and more starting with the next home game at DRV PNK Stadium.

In addition, both partners will share community service initiatives in South Florida.

Weirdest things our readers have seen other people do on a cruise ship

24 Aug 2023
Calista Kiper

Have you ever witnessed a stranger doing something weird, even unexplainable?

Weird things on a cruise

People-watching is popular because it can be so rewarding: folks do the strangest things in public! Witnessing these moments reminds us of the unique unpredictability of human beings—and often leaves us feeling a little superior. 

Cruising is no different; cruisers often feel that a cruise brings out the most bizarre human behavior. And on a cruise, you’ll have the most downtime and proximity to observe all the activities around you.

We asked our readers on the Royal Caribbean Blog forum the weirdest thing they’ve seen another cruiser do. Based on the responses we received, they’ve witnessed it all— from family feuds to a ship captain turned biker.

Get ready for a good laugh as we introduce the top 10 weirdest things readers saw other cruisers do.


“Strangest thing I've seen on a Royal ship was a college-aged adult wearing a wild and elaborate Halloween costume walking around the ship normally but completely outside of the Halloween season. Must have lost a bet with his buddies. It was a double-take moment. Did I just see that?”

- Twangster

Royal Caribbean does not have a strict dress code, other than prohibiting bare feet in venues and tank tops from the main dining room or specialty dining venues. It’s always possible that you’ll see some strange costumes or attire!

If you do want to wear a costume without sticking out, Royal Caribbean holds various Halloween events on cruises that sail over the October 31st date, including Halloween decorations, photo opportunities, and a large costume parade. You can expect costumes to be worn everywhere on Halloween Day.

Centrum from Rhapsody of the Seas

“There was a couple on board with us a few years ago that danced in the Centrum every night. She was always in sparkly/sequined boots, either bunny or cat ears, and hot pants/short shorts with fish nets. He was always in cargo shorts or Demin shorts with a Hawaiian shirt, sometimes the sleeves were missing. Didn't matter the song, they were dancing and had some signature moves."

"They were definitely the stars of the show, whether they knew it or not."

"As we were waiting for our departure group to be called, two ladies were sitting behind us talking about "Sparkly Boots" and wondering if they had participated in 70's night. I turned around and said yes, they did. The lady asked me how I knew who she was talking about and I said the whole ship knew…”

- Kadmgs

If you’re wondering where you can see dancing stars like this fun couple, the Centrum is the large, open area spanning several decks that replaces the Royal Promenade or Esplanade on both Vision Class and Radiance Class ships. 

In addition to being the center of special events, the Centrum includes a main elevator, with bars, dining venues, and lounges overlooking its edge.

captain johnny's book the captain

“Another strange occurrence is seeing your cruise ship Captain riding a Harley around Labadee. Captain Johnny keeps his personal Harley on board the ship. I was on this sailing when he tweeted this. Saw him riding it around.”

- Twangster

Captain Johnny Faevelen is a well-known character to many Royal Caribbean cruisers, but did you know he brings his personal Harley-Davidson motorcycle on board? For those who witness him riding it, this is definitely an unusual sight. 

For more about Captain Johnny, check out his book, The Captain, which details how he went from a fisherman to captain of one of the world’s largest cruise ships.  

Read more: 5 Royal Caribbean inspirations to prepare for your cruise

Family at Windjammer

“If you were on an Alaskan cruise back in May 2016, and saw a tall, skinny teenage boy eat three plates heaped full of donuts for breakfast in the Windjammer (27 by his count)....yes, we did teach him to eat a decent meal. And no, we weren't eating with him. He finally fessed up long after the cruise.”

- barbeyg

Was this young man acting greedy, or just making the most of his paid fare? The Windjammer Cafe is the all-you-can-eat buffet included with your base fare, the complimentary dining venue with the widest variety of options. 

Your base fare also includes access to the main dining room, a grab-and-go coffee shop, and several quick food venues by the pool.

You will also have access to complimentary food at various venues on Perfect Day at Coco Cay, Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas. 

“A guest busted for shoplifting.  Security searched the cabin, recovered the goods, and put them off at the next port to find their own way home.”  

- Twangster

Shoplifting is certainly included on the list of things that can get you kicked off a cruise ship immediately. And considering the ship is a confined space with security on board, it’s best to keep the law for at least the length of your vacation.  

Suite Sun Deck render on Icon of the Seas

“We were sitting in the hot tub around sundown and a gentleman proceeded to get in with a full plate of Windjammer food. Mostly I remember him trying to eat what I think was chicken wings and watching pieces of the food falling into the water around him. Needless to say, it was a clear sign that it was time for us to exit and go get ready for dinner. (I can promise you him eating in the hot tub did not trigger a hunger response!)”

- CruizIan

In addition to hot tubs onboard, Royal Caribbean ships also have a main pool and an adults-only, indoor Solarium pool. There are also several kid pools, splash pads, waterslides, and a 40-foot-long surf simulator, the FlowRider.

The pools are open most of the day, with many activities nearby, including live music!

“We had this one gentleman [who would] always wear different color pastel suits with a top hat EVERYDAY. We were doing a Med cruise and it was hot, yet I would see him in France with a baby pink suit and a matching top hat.”

- ClockingOut

You’re never required to dress up, especially in pastel-colored suits. Royal Caribbean’s dress code is mainly casual beach style, smart casual, and formal wear. You can wear beach or casual clothes for most of the day, and switch to a smarter casual in the evening. 

One formal (or dress your best) night will also be on the schedule during your vacation. On this night, you can expect for everyone to dress their best in elegant dresses and collared shirts and dress pants.

“An entire family had too many wines & decided to start fighting each other. Punches were thrown & security broke it up & sent them packing. The Chef felt so bad for the remaining few people that he sent servers to give us 3 free rounds of drinks. This was an epic chefs table experience.”

- Tonyfsu21

The Chef’s Table is an exclusive, private dining experience offered on Royal Caribbean ships to a limited number of guests, usually around 12. 

This experience includes a 5-course meal and wine tasting, with a personal waiter and chef decided to your table. Each serving of food also comes with a carefully selected wine pairing.

The Chef’s Table is an excellent and private experience, so remember not to start any fights if you try it out.

“It was a Christmas cruise and there was a couple in their late 30's to early 40's who wore Christmas pajama onesies all cruise long, day and night. They also had their own "custom" metal "Yeti" style cups and straws that they drank from. Rarely did we go to/through the Centrum and not see them there in their pajamas and drinking from their Yeti's. Needless to say, the Centrum was THE place to people-watch that cruise.”

- Kadmgs

We always recommend bringing a reusable water bottle for your time on board. In addition to a YETI cup, here are some other things worth bringing on a cruise: liquid soap, laundry hamper, luggage tag holders, shampoo and body wash, aspirin, chapstick, AirTags, noise-canceling headphones, air freshener, magnetic hooks, an e-reader, and a nightlight. 

It’s important to remember to bring the essentials because anything you purchase onboard will come at a much steeper price.

Read more: 100 item Ultimate Cruise Packing List

snow on board cruise ship

“We were on a Christmas and New Years cruise a few years ago out of Baltimore.....and on boarding day it was snowing.... This was the Grandeur of the Seas.”

- Rob&Ana

Yes, it does snow on cruise ships! While a strange sight, it wouldn’t be impossible to see snow onboard if you’re sailing through a cold, wintery area.

Royal Caribbean ships that sail from the Northeast of the United States, such as in Bayonne, New Jeresy and Baltimore, Maryland, may see snow as they board or disembark at these ports. But this sight is unlikely, and the snow will melt soon as the ship moves quickly south.

Crew member shows what it's like to sail on an empty cruise ship with no passengers

23 Aug 2023
Elizabeth Wright

Have you ever wondered what it's like for crew members to sail onboard an empty ship with no passengers?


It is not uncommon for ships to change home ports to offer a wider variety of itineraries. This is why you will see ships make transatlantic and transpacific voyages throughout the year, so that they are able to offer voyages in different regions of the world, including Alaska, the South Pacific, and Europe. 

Oasis of the Seas recently sailed from Miami, Florida to Cape Liberty, New Jersey, where she will remain until November 2023. She'll return to Florida for a couple of months before crossing the Atlantic Ocean in April 2024 to start her summer season in Europe. 

When Oasis of the Seas repositioned from Miami to Cape Liberty, the ship operated without any guests, meaning that the crew had the entire Oasis Class vessel to themselves for a few days. 


Oasis of the Seas turning basin

Related15 reasons to book a cruise on Oasis of the Seas

Lera, a crew member onboard the ship who has been working with the company for five years, recently posted a YouTube video shedding some light into what these passenger-less days were like. 

Three days without guests


While Oasis of the Seas sailed from Miami to Cape Liberty, crew members got to enjoy the ship's amenities without any guests onboard. Synchro said that it felt like a mini-vacation. 

The first day started with a crew sail away party in the Royal Promenade, but before festivities on the second day could begin, they had to complete a crew drill. 

Once that was over, though, they were treated to a street food festival on the Boardwalk! This event was organized by the HR team, and crew members from different countries prepared their national food for everyone to try. 


According to Synchro, her favorite dishes were those from South Africa, Mexico, and Romania! Some other featured countries were Jamaica, India, and the Philippines. 

Plus, they didn't have to wear their crew uniforms. From what she documented, it looked like a fun event for guests.

They were also able to enjoy the arcade games on the Boardwalk and in the ship's arcade on Deck 15, as well as partake in a game of bingo in the main theater. 


"It's just [those] little that you don't feel that you're on a ship." Synchro said these moments are the most priceless, especially after spending nine months onboard as a crew member. 

Passenger cabin auction


While she did not participate in this, there was an auction for crew members to potentially win a stay in guest cabins.

When the pandemic was ongoing, Synchro said that she spent a lot of time in passenger cabins, so she did not feel like she had to spend money to experience this! She was, however, happy for those that got the opportunity. 

She visited some friends who were staying in cabin 9260, which is a Grand Suite, and were having a mini dance party!


RelatedRoyal Caribbean suites guide & review

After showing viewers around the stateroom, which she considered to be pretty luxurious considering it had a dual sink and bathtub, she stepped out onto the balcony to take in the beautiful sunset and hang out with her friends. 

If you are interested in seeing more crew member content, check out Synchro's YouTube channel. She currently has a little over 7,000 followers and posts a wide variety of videos, including those showcasing her crew accommodations, day in the life vlogs, and more. 

In the past, she has posted other videos of what it's like for crew to be alone onboard a Royal Caribbean ship. In 2021, she gave a tour of Harmony of the Seas when it was empty