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What is your favorite RCCL ship past and present and why?


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I think each of us has a favorite RCCL ship.  Those of us who have been lucky enough to have cruised over a long period of time probably have a favorite ship from days gone by and a favorite modern day ship.  My favorite cruise ship from the past would be The Song of Norway.  She was a smart proud looking vessel and my first RCCL ship.  I particularly remember sailing out of NY harbor past the Statue of Liberty while having a drink in the Viking Crown Lounge which was big enough for about 8 of us!  My favorite modern day ship would be the Allure which we were on for her maiden voyage.  I would like to also give honorable mention to the Sovereign class of ships which were wonderful.  What's your fav's?

Bill

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My first cruise on a Royal ship was the Oasis.  But, my favorite to date is Symphony.  I think I really liked it because it was only a few months old when we cruise on her and we embarked at the brand new Terminal at the Port of Miami.  We also stayed in the Family 4 bedroom Villa.  Everything about her was just spot on.  Love the ship.  

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This is a fabulous question and I truly enjoy being on every one of them!

I think it is Allure for me-- fond memories of that ship and its offerings. We had an unforgettable low-key summer cruise that was just absolutely perfect. I have been on Harmony and Wonder as well and love the Oasis class, but my mind goes back to Allure and we'll be back on next week!

However, I also very much enjoy the different style on Anthem and I cruise that ship over and over due to proximity (love the Hershey kiss cabanas in 270), but not nearly as many options for dining like on Oasis.

Finally, took a Jewel cruise to the Greek Isles and that ship has a special place in my heart. While smaller, it was a great ship and crew and I will always remember my time there.

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Our vote would also be for Symphony of the Seas.  Our first Oasis class ship, everything was modern, clean, and still had that "new ship" smell.   Great mix of open spaces, places to eat, and shows.   Love those Piano stairs on the way to the top deck. 

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For us, our favourite is the Radiance. Great solarium area with the Park Cafe in the adults pool deck area and overall connection to the sea, with lots of glass and great places to sit, both inside and outside to socialise, relax and watch the world pass by.  If we want a ship with lots to do, we love the Symphony. 

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I've only been on Ovation... so I guess Ovation? 😇 When we sailed on her back in 2017.. she was still pretty new.... I think her, Quantum and Anthem were the =4th largest ships in the world? Only behind Oasis, Allure and Harmony and I remember discussing with the people I was cruising with that Symphony would be out soon...

(We don't get many non-Quantum/Voyager class ships down here in Australia!)

We have Quantum of the Seas in Brisbane and Ovation of the Seas in Sydney for the 2022-2023 sailing season...

We're scheduled to get Enchantment for the 2023-2024 season though...

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Adventure of the Seas, she was the first cruise ship I ever sailed on and after my first 7 night cruise I was hooked.  I've sailed on Adventure multiple times and it is always a great time. 

Of course there is Oasis Class but most people love Oasis Class however a ship that I believe is underrated or looked over is Anthem of the Seas. I've done the ferris wheel once on Oasis Class ships and I don't know but I felt like i was to old to be on a ferris wheel, but on Anthem with the bumper cars it is the best it's like I'm a kid again at Six Flags Great America and the whole idea behind the SeaPlex is great. Then there is the entertainment, every time we've been on Anthem, Royal knocks it out of the park with the artist they book to perform in the Music Hall. I don't know who is responsible for booking the artists for Music Hall but whoever they are they are great at their job.  Then combine that with the shows We Will Rock You and Spectra's Cabaret, and you can rock out on Anthem from start to finish. 

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12 minutes ago, JasonOasis said:

Adventure of the Seas, she was the first cruise ship I ever sailed on and after my first 7 night cruise I was hooked.  I've sailed on Adventure multiple times and it is always a great time. 

Of course there is Oasis Class but most people love Oasis Class however a ship that I believe is underrated or looked over is Anthem of the Seas. I've done the ferris wheel once on Oasis Class ships and I don't know but I felt like i was to old to be on a ferris wheel, but on Anthem with the bumper cars it is the best it's like I'm a kid again at Six Flags Great America and the whole idea behind the SeaPlex is great. Then there is the entertainment, every time we've been on Anthem, Royal knocks it out of the park with the artist they book to perform in the Music Hall. I don't know who is responsible for booking the artists for Music Hall but whoever they are they are great at their job.  Then combine that with the shows We Will Rock You and Spectra's Cabaret, and you can rock out on Anthem from start to finish. 

When we were on the Anthem a couple/few years ago Cape Liberty/Bermuda/Boston cruise, there was a tribute band, U2, that was absolutely fantastic (perfect/exactly?  No, but very good/close).  They performed several times in the Music Hall and their big finale was in the 270 which made it even better with all the visuals, better sound, and atmosphere.  I really wasn't much of a U2 fan until that cruise.  Now, I can't get enough of them.  Almost up there with Led Zeppelin, almost.  

When we got back I asked @Matt, on his live Youtube Q&A, if tribute bands are standard fare on Royal cruises.  He said that they were, almost exclusively, on Quantum Class ships.  1.  I hope the pandemic didn't ruin that.  On our May cruise to Alaska on the Ovation, no tribute band.  Not sure if it was because of the Pandemic or just not on an Alaska cruise or other reason.  2.  I think it would be great to expand the tribute bands to other classes of ships.  Especially if they are the quality of the band like that U2 tribute band.  

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15 minutes ago, Suite Snob said:

When we were on the Anthem a couple/few years ago Cape Liberty/Bermuda/Boston cruise, there was a tribute band, U2, that was absolutely fantastic (perfect/exactly?  No, but very good/close).  They performed several times in the Music Hall and their big finale was in the 270 which made it even better with all the visuals, better sound, and atmosphere.  I really wasn't much of a U2 fan until that cruise.  Now, I can't get enough of them.  Almost up there with Led Zeppelin, almost.  

When we got back I asked @Matt, on his live Youtube Q&A, if tribute bands are standard fare on Royal cruises.  He said that they were, almost exclusively, on Quantum Class ships.  1.  I hope the pandemic didn't ruin that.  On our May cruise to Alaska on the Ovation, no tribute band.  Not sure if it was because of the Pandemic or just not on an Alaska cruise or other reason.  2.  I think it would be great to expand the tribute bands to other classes of ships.  Especially if they are the quality of the band like that U2 tribute band.  

I know right now (sailing from the UK) on Anthem, there is a Beatles tribute band, and others like The Dukes (doing Dua Lipa), and Real Vybez (doing Bob Marley) for certain sets.

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45 minutes ago, Suite Snob said:

When we were on the Anthem a couple/few years ago Cape Liberty/Bermuda/Boston cruise, there was a tribute band, U2, that was absolutely fantastic (perfect/exactly?  No, but very good/close).  They performed several times in the Music Hall and their big finale was in the 270 which made it even better with all the visuals, better sound, and atmosphere.  I really wasn't much of a U2 fan until that cruise.  Now, I can't get enough of them.  Almost up there with Led Zeppelin, almost.  

When we got back I asked @Matt, on his live Youtube Q&A, if tribute bands are standard fare on Royal cruises.  He said that they were, almost exclusively, on Quantum Class ships.  1.  I hope the pandemic didn't ruin that.  On our May cruise to Alaska on the Ovation, no tribute band.  Not sure if it was because of the Pandemic or just not on an Alaska cruise or other reason.  2.  I think it would be great to expand the tribute bands to other classes of ships.  Especially if they are the quality of the band like that U2 tribute band.  

The week after you sailed Ovation, we had a Led Zeppelin tribute band called Led Zepagain. They played Music Hall a couple times and the main theater one evening.

You missed out by one week!

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8 minutes ago, HeWhoWaits said:

The week after you sailed Ovation, we had a Led Zeppelin tribute band called Led Zepagain. They played Music Hall a couple times and the main theater one evening.

You missed out by one week!

I'm beyond JEALOUS!  Damn, that sucks.  Good for you though.  Were they good?

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I love Oasis class ships.  They are, by far, my favorite class of ship although I've only been on the older Oasis class ships (Allure & Oasis).  I'm clamoring to get on one of the newer Oasis class ships to check them out.  The neighborhood design makes them ideal for whenever I want quiet time or time to seek activities which, I think, is the concept that appeals to many other people.   The breadth of options of things to do really appeals to me.

In fact, I love Oasis class ships so much that since the cruising re-start my trips have been / will be Navigator, Serenade and Odyssey (twice)!     🙄🤪

Hmmm, in retrospect maybe I need to re-think how I'm going about my booking strategy 🤔.     In my partial defense, Symphony was a covid casualty in 2020. 

Anyway, can't wait to get back on an Oasis class at some point. 

 

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Honestly, y'all American peeps are so lucky, you get almost every Oasis-class ship.... meanwhile all we get are Quantum-class and Voyager-class ships (which I mean don't get me wrong, they're great but it's like)... come on RCI! Send us Oasis... or even Allure (tbh, I don't even care if she doesn't get her Amplification, I just want to experience an Oasis class ship and I think her not having her amplification is what stands her out apart from the other Oasis-class ships)...or you know... I'll even take Harmony, I doubt they'd ever send us Symphony or Wonder though... but who knows, maybe when Utopia is out they will send an Oasis-class down our way.

 

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28 minutes ago, Jamesszy94 said:

Honestly, y'all American peeps are so lucky, you get almost every Oasis-class ship.... meanwhile all we get are Quantum-class and Voyager-class ships... come on RCI! Send us Oasis... or even Allure (tbh, I don't even care if she doesn't get her Amplification, I just want to experience an Oasis class ship and I think her not having her amplification is what stands her out apart from the other Oasis-class ships)...or you know... I'll even take Harmony, I doubt they'd ever send us Symphony or Wonder though... but who knows, maybe when Utopia is out they will send an Oasis-class down our way.

 

They were plans for Oasis class down under but the pandemic has paused that.  

I'm still trying to figure out how they plan to deal with the very strict agricultural laws down under.  Central Park has thousands of live plants and many different species.  It's still not clear to me how they plan to deal with that in Australia.  Maybe Utopia won't have live plants in Central Park.  Time will tell.   

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51 minutes ago, Jamesszy94 said:

Honestly, y'all American peeps are so lucky, you get almost every Oasis-class ship.... meanwhile all we get are Quantum-class and Voyager-class ships... come on RCI! Send us Oasis... or even Allure (tbh, I don't even care if she doesn't get her Amplification, I just want to experience an Oasis class ship and I think her not having her amplification is what stands her out apart from the other Oasis-class ships)...or you know... I'll even take Harmony, I doubt they'd ever send us Symphony or Wonder though... but who knows, maybe when Utopia is out they will send an Oasis-class down our way.

 

But, and that's a big BUT, you guys usually get them first!  😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

Edited by Suite Snob
An assumption on my part, are you in the EU?
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Favorite is a hard thing to pin down for me. Freedom was my 1st, Adventure holds some of the most amazing memories for me, I think Mariner is the perfect ship (although we'll see if Navigator can live up the hype next year) and I've become addicted to the Oasis Class. I guess at the end of the day, They're all my favorites, because I'd rather be on a cruise ship, than at home, and any day at sea (well, almost) is better than a day at work. 🙂

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For us, it’s Anthem.  We love the tribute bands, we love 270, and we really loved, loved, loved NE cruises on her (still bummed they pulled her from that itinerary).  I still remember the fantastic cruise we took in Sept 2019, sailing past Lady Liberty before what we remember fondly as the best cruise we’ve sailed to date.  And did I mention “We Will Rock You”?  Our favorite shipboard show so far.  Lots of other shows close, but WWRY is the one we never miss. 

Of course, put me on a cruise ship, and I love the one I’m on! 😁

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It was Mariner, as she was my first RCG ship, but when I sailed her in Jan, I fell out of love. The bigger class ships seem to have a better flow of traffic. For non-oasis/quantum class I would have to go Freedom, love how it doesn't feel crowded in the aft areas. I also won really good in Freedom's casino. I sail Nav, Odyssey, Oasis and Grandeur (in that order) so we will see who ends up being the favorite.

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Empress.  

Loved everything about that little ship.  Smallest ship with the biggest heart.

Despite no DL the Schooner Bar became the regular spot for frequent cruisers and I made some ongoing friendships on her despite no DL.  

Best Boleros in the fleet.  Best Chops in the fleet.  No smoking Casino.  

Great aft public deck behind Boleros, forward access decks below the bridge for Stargazing.

She didn't feel small on the inside.  Great crew, everytime.

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13 hours ago, twangster said:

They were plans for Oasis class down under but the pandemic has paused that.  

I'm still trying to figure out how they plan to deal with the very strict agricultural laws down under.  Central Park has thousands of live plants and many different species.  It's still not clear to me how they plan to deal with that in Australia.  Maybe Utopia won't have live plants in Central Park.  Time will tell.   

Wait?! Was this actually confirmed like RCI were going to send an Oasis-class ship down here?! If so - do we know when and which? (I'm guessing it'd probably have been Oasis or Allure, since we're probably not good enough for Harmony, Symphony or Wonder, by that, I mean our cruising industry isn't as big as the US (obviously) and there's only so many destinations that Royal ships go to sailing out of Sydney😛 ) Maybe they'll go into drydock to remove all the live plants and rehome them to another Oasis class ship and use fake ones? Or maybe like you said, Utopia won't have live plants and it'll be designed specifically for the Aussie market! Would love that.... then I'd be able to sail on her every week....

As long as we also get one of the Icon class ships..... I'll be a happy camper.

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55 minutes ago, Jamesszy94 said:

Wait?! Was this actually confirmed like RCI were going to send an Oasis-class ship down?! If so - do we know when and which? (I'm guessing it'd probably have been Oasis or Allure, since we're probably not good enough for Harmony, Symphony or Wonder 😛 ) Maybe they'll go into drydock to remove all the live plants and rehome them to another Oasis class ship and use fake ones? 

It was never announced officially but in the days of Lelepa which also suffered a pandemic induced delay and with more ports moving towards Oasis capable the writing was on the wall that Oasis would be coming down under.  No date or ship was officially announced.   

I have spoken to Lazslo, Royal's head botanist who installs all the Central Parks about Australia.  First of all they can't re-home plants between ships or to land.  Once a plant comes on board the only way it leaves is through the incinerator.  That applies in all regions.  He lives in Florida now and guests from Florida ask him all the time if they can take any of the plants home when they replace items in Central Park.  No plant comes off the ship.  Ever.   

While the US and Europe are not as strict as Australia there are agricultural laws in all regions. Millions of dollars go into Central Park plants.  Ripping it bare is literally burning up millions.  A few years ago Lazslo once stated Australia will never see Oasis class because of Central Park.  Since he made that statement in 2018 I've kept it in the back of my head knowing that there is a concept of Oasis class down under brewing in Miami.

When Wonder debuted in March I was eager to investigate Central Park.  I was curious to see if they had any issues with the plant selections for China now that the ship was actually in America.  I also wanted to see if Central Park used live plants or fake ones on the premise of a concept or wish that Wonder may have been built with a goal of eventually splitting time in Australia.  Lazslo was of course there in Wonder's Central Park in March.  The Central Park I saw was the Central Park installed for China he told me.  All of the plants were acceptable to the USDA (our federal agricultural regulator) but not all of the plants would survive in the North American climate.  He was working on the plan to replace plants as they died off in the Florida heat, replacing them with species that are known to handle the Med and Florida better. 

So for now the issues related to Central Park down under remain unsettled.  It's not just when the ship initially arrives down under, it's an issue every time the ship re-enters Australia week after week, cruise after cruise.   Cruise ships don't get a free pass from Australia's very strict agricultural regulations.  On every cruise there is the potential that Central Park has picked up a pest on that cruise at some other port and could be introducing that pest to Australia.  Oasis class may be the only ships in the world that have such a large volume of live plants and outdoors so it is a unique situation.  Time will tell how they handle this.  

He also told me that every time an Oasis class ship does a turn around at a US home port a USDA inspector comes on board.  Every time.  So while not as strict as Australia, it's taken very seriously here as well.  

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I would have to say I have a tie on my favorite ship,  the Allure and the Radiance.  I love that the Allure has not been amplified!  I miss the Champagne bar on most of the ships now.  I love the Radiance for its elegance and my hubby loves it for the dart board LOL.  We have been on the Allure twice and now she will be at the closest port to where we live. YAY We have sailed on the Radiance twice and now have booked 2 more cruises on her.

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Favorite ship so far is Symphony of the Seas. Ship has everything you need and want. A lot of places to eat, great entertainment, quiet places to relax, plenty of spots to relax in the water. Food is excellent and drinks are very good.

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Majesty holds a special place in my heart as it was my very first cruise; Oasis because it was the first cruise the our Grands; Radiance because it was our "first" bucket list trip and Hubby surviving a heart attack & stint 4 weeks before sailing and Dr gave his blessing for him to go; upcoming Jewel for our "Third" Bucket List trip to the British Isles and 65th birthday celebration.

Note: "Second" bucket list trip was a land vacation to Iceland and seeing the Northern Lights 3 nights in a row.

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21 hours ago, twangster said:

Empress.  

Smallest ship with the biggest heart.

Great crew, everytime.

I've been wondering this for a long time but your post made me want to ask it out loud:

Are the smallest ships training grounds for new crew, newly promoted crew, and so on.  

I'm thinking that maybe because of the type of service you get and what seems to be more personalized is because it's a new crew, newly promoted crew and they are trying impress their supervisors and the customers above and beyond those that are well established in their present positions on the bigger ships.  (yes, I understand that there are some new crew and newly promoted crew on the bigger ships).  New crew and newly promoted crew are fresh to the job and haven't been hit by the redundancy stick. 

Just a thought.  I have no idea if this happens or not.  

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10 hours ago, twangster said:

It was never announced officially but in the days of Lelepa which also suffered a pandemic induced delay and with more ports moving towards Oasis capable the writing was on the wall that Oasis would be coming down under.  No date or ship was officially announced.   

I have spoken to Lazslo, Royal's head botanist who installs all the Central Parks about Australia.  First of all they can't re-home plants between ships or to land.  Once a plant comes on board the only way it leaves is through the incinerator.  That applies in all regions.  He lives in Florida now and guests from Florida ask him all the time if they can take any of the plants home when they replace items in Central Park.  No plant comes off the ship.  Ever.   

While the US and Europe are not as strict as Australia there are agricultural laws in all regions. Millions of dollars go into Central Park plants.  Ripping it bare is literally burning up millions.  A few years ago Lazslo once stated Australia will never see Oasis class because of Central Park.  Since he made that statement in 2018 I've kept it in the back of my head knowing that there is a concept of Oasis class down under brewing in Miami.

When Wonder debuted in March I was eager to investigate Central Park.  I was curious to see if they had any issues with the plant selections for China now that the ship was actually in America.  I also wanted to see if Central Park used live plants or fake ones on the premise of a concept or wish that Wonder may have been built with a goal of eventually splitting time in Australia.  Lazslo was of course there in Wonder's Central Park in March.  The Central Park I saw was the Central Park installed for China he told me.  All of the plants were acceptable to the USDA (our federal agricultural regulator) but not all of the plants would survive in the North American climate.  He was working on the plan to replace plants as they died off in the Florida heat, replacing them with species that are known to handle the Med and Florida better. 

So for now the issues related to Central Park down under remain unsettled.  It's not just when the ship initially arrives down under, it's an issue every time the ship re-enters Australia week after week, cruise after cruise.   Cruise ships don't get a free pass from Australia's very strict agricultural regulations.  On every cruise there is the potential that Central Park has picked up a pest on that cruise at some other port and could be introducing that pest to Australia.  Oasis class may be the only ships in the world that have such a large volume of live plants and outdoors so it is a unique situation.  Time will tell how they handle this.  

He also told me that every time an Oasis class ship does a turn around at a US home port a USDA inspector comes on board.  Every time.  So while not as strict as Australia, it's taken very seriously here as well.  

Hmm interesting, thanks for the insight.

How likely is it that RCI deviate yet again with Utopia and don't install Central Park (or at least the plants)? So that she's suitable for cruising in Australia? 🤣😛 I'm guessing probably like a 1% chance

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7 hours ago, whitsmom said:

Majesty holds a special place in my heart as it was my very first cruise; Oasis because it was the first cruise the our Grands; Radiance because it was our "first" bucket list trip and Hubby surviving a heart attack & stint 4 weeks before sailing and Dr gave his blessing for him to go; upcoming Jewel for our "Third" Bucket List trip to the British Isles and 65th birthday celebration.

Note: "Second" bucket list trip was a land vacation to Iceland and seeing the Northern Lights 3 nights in a row.

Same here. Majesty was our first cruise. And 4 of our first dozen cruises. I liked that ship. But our most recent cruise was on Symphony. And wow. I was told I wont be able to go smaller again. 

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