Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has been in service since 1968. Today, it is the second largest cruise line in the world and one of the most trusted names in the cruise industry. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line features more than 170 destinations and over 140 ports of call on the menu. Excursions run the gamut from canoeing, deep sea fishing, and hiking through rainforests to shopping, landmark tours, scuba diving and cave exploration.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ impressive fleet features ships that are large enough to accommodate more than 4,000 passengers and smaller, more intimate vessels, which can accommodate 2,000 passengers. The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line fleet consists of the Freedom Family, the Voyager Family, the Radiance Family, the Vision Family, and the Sovereign Family.
The Freedom Class includes: Freedom of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, and Liberty of the Seas. The 18-deck Liberty of the Seas made her debut in May 2007 and she can accommodate 4,370 passengers, served by 1,360 crewmembers. Royal Caribbean also plans to release another mega-liner in Fall 2009. The Genesis Class will accommodate 5,400 passengers. Freedom of the Seas and Independence of the Seas are also among the fleets largest ships, with a maximum capacity of 3,634 passengers. Aboard Royal Caribbean’s mega ships, passengers can enjoy day spas, rock climbing, ice-skating, world-class fitness centers and a full-service casinos, as well as Wi-Fi services and flat screen TV’s in every stateroom. Freedom Class ships travel to Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Jamaica and Hispaniola, to name a few.
The Voyager Family includes: Adventure of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas. Passengers can enjoy pubs and promenades or restaurants and nightclubs while exploring the Eastern, Southern or Western Caribbean, Bermuda, the Mediterranean or the Atlantic Ocean.
Whether you’re interested in touring Barcelona or Istanbul, Scandinavia or Russia or the Greek Isles, Venice or the Hawaiian Islands, the Radiance Family was built to suit some of the most extravagant tastes. The Radiance Family ships include: Brilliance of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas. Each vessel features glass walls and elevators offering guests a front seat to all the beauty the sea has to offer. Glass solariums, day spas, a country club and adventure programs for kids are just a few amenities the Radiance Family has to offer.
For the party animal in you, the Vision Family features lounges and bars galore, non-stop nightclubs, mini-golf and beautiful spas for relaxation during the day. The Vision Family includes: Enchantment of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, Legend of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas, Splendor of the Seas and Vision of the Seas. The Vision Family travels to Alaska, Belize, Costa Maya, the Greek Isles, Iberia, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Turkey, and anywhere in the Caribbean. Each ship can accommodate more than 2,200 passengers per ship.
Great for couples and families alike, the Sovereign Family includes three ships: Majesty of the Seas, Monarch of the Seas and Sovereign of the Seas. Sovereign ships feature complimentary adventure programs for kids along with great restaurants and casinos as well as a nightclubs and large outdoor pools. These vessels can hold anywhere from 2,700-2,850 passengers and destinations range from Baja Mexico to the Bahamas. The Sovereign Family is also extremely popular for holiday cruises.
Couples looking for a romantic setting should consider Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas. With accommodations for 2,020 guests, Empress of the Seas is the smallest and most intimate ship in the fleet. Empress facilities include: a day spa, a world-class fitness center, a romantic Italian restaurant called “Portofino,” and a Latin-themed lounge called “Boleros.” Empress’ Caribbean and Bermuda cruise itineraries range from 3-11 nights.
Things to know before you go
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line prices include: meals, accommodations, snacks, access to fitness centers, entertainment and 24-hour room service. Keep in mind that the price does not include tips. In general, guests should tip the stateroom attendant, suite attendant, dining room waiter, assistant waiter and the headwaiter. Guests should also figure port charges and excursions into their budget as well.
Prices for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line cruises depending on destination, ship, ports of call, type of accommodations, and time of year. Typically, deluxe suites and rooms with balconies or ocean views cost more, with interior rooms costing considerably less. The best Royal Caribbean cruise deals are available in January, September-December, and late spring. Prices may range from $400 to $5,400 or more. The higher prices are usually for deluxe accommodations aboard any of the ships in the Radiance Family.
If your interests lean more towards excursions rather than ship activities, it’s best to select and purchase your excursions online far in advance, as tours tend to fill quickly. In general, you have 10 days prior to departure to purchase excursions online; otherwise you’ll have to purchase them on the ship or with a tour director, if available.
To book a Royal Caribbean Cruise Line voyage, visit the Royal Caribbean International website (www.royalcaribbean.com) or contact your local cruise travel specialist. For discounts and deals, visit any of the websites listed below.