It’s not your imagination. Cruise ships are getting bigger and bigger and soon, the sea will be chock full of massive floating hotels that house everything from public transportation to full-blown grocery stores. What’s even more amazing is that a handful of cruise ships are now offering full-time residency at sea. Yes, condos at sea are a reality and people with money to burn have been staking their claims at a rapid pace.
So what are the world’s biggest cruise ships? How big are they? Does bigger really mean better? After reading about the world’s biggest cruise ships, you decide!
Royal Caribbean International (RCL) is currently home of the world’s largest cruise ship Oasis of the Seas. Introduced in 2008, Oasis of the Seas has a gross tonnage of 222,900, 2,700 staterooms including 28 modern loft suites, 16 decks, and a guest capacity of 5,400 (double occupancy.) The ship is 1,184 feet long and it has a maximum beam of 154 feet. Oasis of the Seas is the only vessel at sea with actual indoor neighborhoods and it is the first and only vessel to offer a Zip Line at sea. Onboard districts include: Central Park – a public space combining nature and nautical; Boardwalk – dedicated to family, fun and featuring the new and entertaining AquaTheater; and the Royal Promenade. Oasis of the Seas is worth $1.24 billion and it belongs to RCL’s Genesis Class. Military vessels and submarines are the only other ships on the planet that fall into the billion-dollar category. Oasis of the Seas will make trips to the Eastern and Western Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Before Oasis of the Seas was introduced in 2008, Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seaswas the largest cruise ship ever built. Liberty of the Seas has a gross tonnage of 160,000, a length of 1,112 feet, and room for 3,634 passengers. The price tag? $870 million. Belonging to Royal Caribbean’s Freedom Class of ships, Liberty of the Seas arrived at Royal Caribbean in April 2007, and it made its first port of call during a promotional sail to the UK on April 22, 2007. During a live broadcast on The Today Show, Liberty of the Seas was christened. She made her maiden voyage May 19, 2007.
This behemoth ship has a whopping 15 passenger decks and it is the first ship to feature a surf park, a full-sized Everlast boxing ring, and an interactive water park for kids the H2O Zone Waterpark, complete with interactive sculpture fountains, ground geysers and a cascading waterfalls. Liberty of the Seas even has a barbershop! Other features of this massive city at sea include a 9-hole golf course, an ice-skating rink, a 43-foot rock climbing wall with eleven routes and a central spire, a full-size sports court, cantilevered whirlpools that extend 12 feet beyond the sides of the ship, Casino RoyaleSM, and numerous bars, lounges, restaurants, and oversized suites.
Royal Caribbean’s $870 million dollar cruise ship features travel to Alaska, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, Mexico, the Panama Canal, and South America as well as repositioning cruises and Transatlantic cruises.
The next vessel on the list of biggest cruise ships is Cunard Lines Queen Mary 2. Even though Queen Mary 2 isn’t at the top of the list she is still considered the most magnificent and luxurious Ocean Liner ever built. With a price tag of $800 million, it is second only to Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas. The Queen Mary 2 is 1,132 feet in length and it is 151,400 gross tons. Queen Mary 2 can accommodate 2,592 passengers (lower berths) and a maximum of 3,056, including the third and fourth berths. The ship features ballrooms, theaters, casinos, lounges, discos, grand dining rooms, 13 spacious decks, a basketball court and the world’s only planetarium at sea.
Queen Mary 2 also features apartment-style accommodations and nearly three quarters of the apartments here have private balconies. The Queen Mary 2 travels the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Northern Europe, Canada/New England, and the Canary and Atlantic Islands, as well as Transatlantic cruises. Cunard Lines million dollar cruise ship Queen Mary 2 is not only popular for her size, she also travels around the globe on world cruise voyages for 84 days, 90 days, 99 days, and even 105 days. Lucky passengers can expect to visit exotic ports of call such as Cape Town, Da Nang, Dubai, Fuerte Amador, Hong Kong, Kobe, Mumbai, Penang, Puerto Montt, and Rio de Janeiro, to name a few.
Other massive multi-million dollar cruise ships include Carnival Cruise Lines’Glory at $500 million, Carnival Cruise Lines’ Valor at $500 Million, and anything that says “Voyager Class” starting at a cool $520 Million.
Many of the world’s massive future cruise ships may resemble traditional cruise ships, but a closer look will reveal something different. Future cruise ships may actually house full-blown homes and condos at sea like The World. The World, managed by ResidenSea Ltd., is a luxurious private community at sea featuring residential options and rentals, meaning ocean residencies that can be purchased for a hefty price or rented. Rentals range from $1,300-$4,500 per night with a six night minimum stay. The World has 106 spacious private apartments, 19 studio apartments, and 40 studios for a total of 165 residencies. The World residencies range in price from $825,000 up to $6.3 million. Besides being the first and only ship of its kind, The World is also the first ship of its size burning marine diesel rather than bunker fuel.
The World amenities include a grocery store and deli, five restaurants, several lounges, bars and swimming pools, a boutique, complete athletic facilities that include a golf simulator, a putting green, a casino, as well as a full-sized tennis court, jogging track, a fully equipped gym, a movie theatre, a library and a variety of music performances, to name a few.
The World travels, well, around the world, with itineraries most can only dream of. Full-time residents of The World and short-term guests alike will find themselves in places such as Greece, Ghana, Namibia, Sao Tome, Cape Town, Dubai, Turkey (Bodrum), Istanbul, Russia, Ukraine, Italy, Monte Carlo, Aruba, or Portugal, to name a few.