Find a Cruise on Royal Caribbean International
Call to plan a cruise: 1-877-978-2693
with a cruise advisor
On Board with Royal Caribbean
The company attracts North American cruisers in their 30s, 40s and 50s, many of whom travel with their families. You're more likely to encounter multigenerational groups on trips that overlap with winter holidays and school vacations; during these times, cruise ships may be filled to capacity.
Royal Caribbean ships offer four different types of staterooms, including suites. The number and size of each accommodation type vary by ship.
Interior staterooms are the smallest of Royal Caribbean's cabin categories. Rooms range from 96 to 337 square feet, depending on the ship and cabin type. These staterooms can accommodate anywhere from a single passenger (in Studio Staterooms) to six guests (in Spacious Interior rooms). Interior cabins may feel cramped; most hold two twin beds that can be combined into one king-sized bed, as well as private baths and a small sitting area. These cabins are not equipped with windows or balconies, but some do include "Virtual Balconies" that deliver real-time scenery on floor-to-ceiling screens. Regardless of the ship, all interior cabins come equipped with TVs. Although these are tight quarters, they're often the most affordable. Plus, because these staterooms are located near the center of the ship, they are not as susceptible to the boat's motion. This makes them a good choice for passengers who are prone to seasickness.
Ocean View staterooms are similar to interior staterooms, but they include portholes that offer views of the sea or public areas like the Boardwalk or Promenade. These cabins are also bigger than Interior Staterooms, though not always by much; Ocean View staterooms measure between 96 and 608 square feet, although the exact sizes of these rooms vary by ship. Larger Ocean View rooms with additional beds or sofa beds are available for families and larger groups. Ocean View cabins can accommodate up to eight passengers in some cases, but they are typically outfitted with two twin beds (which can be converted into a king-sized bed), plus small sitting areas, private bathrooms and TVs.
Balcony rooms range from 119 to 271 square feet (more spacious Balcony rooms are available for families), plus a private, furnished balcony that adds an extra 39 to 82 square feet of space. On older ships, such as Grandeur of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas, most Balcony rooms overlook the ocean. But on newer ships, like Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas, some Balcony cabins afford views of public areas like the Boardwalk, the Promenade or Central Park. Doorways in these rooms are wider, and Balcony accommodations can fit two twin beds that can be combined into a king-sized bed, plus a rollaway bed.
Suites on most Royal Caribbean ships are significantly larger than Interior or Ocean View staterooms, ranging from 225 square feet on Empress of the Seas to 1,744 square feet on Symphony of the Seas. All come appointed with balconies, and there are several different types of suites to choose from. If you're just looking for more space, opt for a Junior Suite; if you're traveling with a larger group, splurge on a family-style suite that comes equipped with additional beds in the living area. And if you want to sail in style, reserve a multilevel loft suite (many of which feature separate sitting areas and private balconies). Depending on the ship and the suite you choose, you may also have access to a private lounge and special dining venues on board, as well as a personal concierge. But, as you might expect, these accommodations cost a pretty penny – no matter the season.
What's Included in the Price
Royal Caribbean's 24 ships offer numerous amenities and activities to suit a variety of passengers.
If you're a thrill-seeker, consider cruising on one of the newer ships, such as Symphony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas or Harmony of the Seas. These ships feature innovative facilities such as zip lines, a sky-diving simulator, a trapeze school and a 10-story slide called the Ultimate Abyss. Other vessels come equipped with rock climbing walls, ice rinks and wave pools.
You can also learn a thing or two on board by participating in an enrichment class – study a foreign language, enjoy a cooking demonstration or craft your own bling in a jewelry-making class. Passengers can also choose from a number of onboard shopping boutiques or reserve treatments at the spa. (Note: Some activities – including fitness classes, spa treatments and craft sessions – require an additional fee.)
Kids will have plenty to do on board, thanks to the award-winning Adventure Ocean youth programs. While babies and tots interact in supervised playgroups, kids ages 3 to 5 can play in the Aquanauts club. Older children ages 6 to 8 can enjoy science experiments in the Explorers program, while kids ages 9 to 11 can play organized games in the Voyagers club. Teens can mingle in teen-only hangouts on the ship or get treatments at the teen spa, YSpa.
In the evening, you can enjoy a Broadway-style performance such as "Mamma Mia!" or "Grease." Royal Caribbean's ships also offer ice skating shows, AquaTheater productions and live musical performances – you can reserve seats on board or before your trip using the Cruise Planner. Other nighttime entertainment options include gambling at the casino and enjoying cocktails at one of numerous onboard bars and lounges.
The price of your cruise covers all meals offered in the Main Dining Room and at several other onboard eateries serving everything from pizza to Mexican fare. You can choose from one of two set dining times or make a reservation through the My Time Dining program.
Royal Caribbean ships also house specialty restaurants that offer a more refined ambiance along with cuisine options like steak and Italian (for an additional fee). Specialty restaurants require reservations (you can do this on the Royal Caribbean website prior to your departure), and a number of dining packages can be purchased ahead of time.
Specialty restaurants range from a Brazilian steakhouse to the family-friendly Johnny Rockets to a Starbucks for coffee lovers. (Note: Not all ships feature the same specialty restaurants; visit the Royal Caribbean website to see which eateries are available on each boat.) Some boats also feature Mystery Dinner Theaters, multicourse meals accompanied by theatrical performances and Wonderland, a creative dining experience of imaginative dishes.
Food and Drink Packages
Unless otherwise noted, beverages are not included in the cost of your meals, but a variety of beverage packages are available. Packages range from unlimited fountain soda ($8.50 per person per night) to a selection of premium coffees and juices ($26 per person per night) to the deluxe beverage package that is all-inclusive of alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks (cost varies by ship and itinerary). Passengers can also opt to have bottled water packages delivered to their staterooms. (Note that beverage packages aren't honored in all dining venues.)
Cruisers interested in dining at multiple specialty restaurants during their trip should consider buying a dining package. Packages include specialty dining for three nights ($75 to $85 per person), four nights ($90 to $100 per person), five nights ($105 to $115 per person) or every night of your sailing (prices vary by ship). Visit Royal Caribbean's website for more information.
There are three types of evening dress codes: "casual" (which includes polo shirts, slacks and sundresses), "smart casual" (which includes collared shirts for men and dresses or pantsuits for women) and "formal" (which requires suits, tuxedos, cocktail dresses or evening gowns).
Disclaimers about ship ratings: A ship’s Health Rating is based on vessel inspection scores published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If a ship did not receive a CDC score within 22 months prior to the calculation of its Overall Rating, its Health Rating appears as N/A; in such a case, the ship’s Overall Rating is calculated using the average Health Rating of all CDC-rated ships within the cruise line. All ship Traveler Ratings are based on ratings provided under license by Cruiseline.com.
When purchasing from our site, we may earn commissions. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.