All Royal Caribbean ships from best to worst! (2024)

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Leo

ranking of Royal Caribbran's ships from best to worst

Hello, cruise lovers!

In this article, we’re going to look at the best and worst Royal Caribbean ships.

I have created a ranking, updated to 2024, that considers various factors such as entertainment, cabins, age of the ship, and quality of food.

The methodology for this ranking incorporates an innovative blend of quantitative data and qualitative assessments.

Specifically, I’ve analyzed passenger reviews from reputable sources such as TripAdvisor and Cruise Critic, and I’ve integrated them with my own expert evaluations to ensure a well-rounded perspective on each ship’s merits.

Below, you will find the resulting ranking.
I created it in the most accurate way possible, but as always, I remind you that all opinions are personal and may vary from person to person.

1. Allure of the Seas

Allure of the Seas ship
Allure of the Seas

Allure of the Seas is considered the best ship by Royal Caribbean.

Although it is not very new (started sailing in 2010), it’s still a massive cruise ship that offers a huge variety of activities and amenities, making it the favorite among cruise travelers.

Guests love the ship’s spacious and comfortable rooms, ranging from budget-friendly interior cabins to luxurious suites.

Most of the reviews especially praised the exceptional service, with friendly and attentive staff that was always ready to create a memorable experience for passengers.

In terms of entertainment, Allure of the Seas captures the essence of Royal Caribbean’s signature offerings. Broadway-style shows, ice skating performances, and high-diving acts.

The ship also has numerous bars, lounges, and areas that provide plenty of options for relaxing and socializing.

Allure is also considered one of the best ships for families thanks to the children’s programs and family-friendly activities. For example, on board, you can find a surfing simulator, a zip line, and a mini-golf. There are also dedicated spaces and activities for teenagers.

Moreover, the quality of food and variety of options have received high marks from passengers. Most of the guests liked the big selection of restaurants and cafes, which satisfy all tastes.

Despite its many positives, some passengers noted that the ship’s size can be overwhelming. A few reviews said that some areas can get too crowded, especially during peak times.

2. Symphony of the Seas

Symphony of the Seas ship
Symphony of the Seas

Symphony of the Seas earns second place with many positive reviews on several aspects.

It’s one of the largest cruise ships in the fleet (227,700 tons), and has an impressive selection of cabins from interior rooms to luxurious suites, ensuring there’s something for every budget and preference.

Passengers appreciate the variety of things to do on board. From sports to games, from the spa to the pools and waterslides.

The ship is also highly praised by travelers for its excellent food. Dining on Symphony of the Seas is a highlight, with over ten complimentary dining options (live Windjammer and Solarium Bistro), and a wide range of specialty restaurants like El Loco Fresh offering a wide range of international and American dishes

If you want a preview of what you can eat on this cruise ship you can take a look at the Royal Caribbean menus!

However, like the previous one, some passengers note the ship’s size can make it feel crowded at times, and a few people also mentioned that the bathrooms are a bit too small in certain cabins.

3. Harmony of the Seas

Harmony of the Seas ship
Harmony of the Seas

3rd place for Harmony of the Seas. Basically, all the first 3 positions are taken by ships of Oasis Class.

Harmony has very similar activities and entertainment options to the previous ones.

Passengers loved the 10-story Ultimate Abyss slide, the zip line, and the FlowRider surf simulator.

Many passengers also appreciated the presence of specific areas for adults and children like the adults-only Solarium and the kid-friendly Splashaway Bay.

I think it’s the perfect ship for families. The only downside I found was that the food that was a bit too repetitive, and there were not enough varieties of pasta (but this is from an Italian’s point of view).

4. Oasis of the Seas

Oasis of the Seas ship
Oasis of the Seas

Oasis of the Seas, the first ship of the Oasis class launched in 2009. Wow this makes me feel old!

By the way, this is the fourth Oasis-class ship among the top positions. Passengers really love all the ships in this class.

What do people say about this ship? Well, a lot of passengers love that it is divided into neighborhoods like Central Park and the Boardwalk because it provides a unique experience while at sea.

Very positive reviews also for Broadway-style musicals like CATS and Grease and all the entertainment options in general.

Like the previous ships, most of the critics talk about the level of crowdedness. A few guests said that it may ruin the experience for guests looking for a more intimate atmosphere.

5. Mariner of the Seas

Mariner of the Seas ship
Mariner of the Seas

Finally, in fifth position there’s a Royal Caribbean ship that is a little different…it’s Mariner of the Seas.

It’s quite an old ship of the Voyager class, it was launched in 2003 so more than 20 years ago. Even after all these years it still ranks in a very good place!

A good number of reviews highlighted the ship’s commitment to quality and variety in its culinary offerings​, in particular with the restaurants Jamie’s Italian and Izumi Hibachi & Sushi.
Moreover, passengers love the more relaxed atmosphere on board.

The main criticism is related to the itinerary. Mariner focuses primarily on Caribbean destinations so it offers only limited ports and short cruises.

6. Freedom of the Seas

Freedom of the Seas ship
Freedom of the Seas

Position number 6 in the ranking for Freedom of the Seas.

This Royal Caribbean ship was launched in 2006 and was last renovated in 2020.

It’s a 156,271-ton ship and can host a bit more than 4,500 passengers. This could be considered a medium-sized ship and I personally think it’s also one of the best in terms of size. It’s not too big and not too small.

On board, you will find all the attractions and areas that are on modern cruise ships. Sports fields, swimming pools, water slides, bars with live music, and a large theater.

At the same time, since it is not too big, it is also easy to move through all the decks, and not too crowded.

I really liked it…of course, I’d love to hear your thoughts! If you’ve tried it, let me know in the comments whether you liked it.

7. Odyssey of the Seas

Odyssey of the Seas ship
Odyssey of the Seas

Position number 7 for Odyssey of the Seas, one of the newest ships in the Royal Caribbean’s fleet.

Its inaugural sailing was on 31 July 2021 and it was officially christened during a ceremony in Port Everglades on 13 November 2021.

Although it is one of the newest ships, it is not among the largest because it is part of the Quantum class, whose ships are smaller than those of the Oasis class.

Since it’s very modern, a lot of the guests are fascinated by the innovative experiences such as the North Star, which lifts guests over 300 feet above sea level, and Ripcord by iFly, a skydiving simulator.

Despite its many positives, some guests found some minor problems like some elevators that were often broken and theater shows that always coincided with dinner times.

They seem to be only minor issues, so I hope they have been resolved now.

8. Icon of the Seas

Icon of the Seas ship
Icon of the Seas

Icon of the Seas is Royal Caribbean’s newest ship. It entered service in January 2024 and it’s both the biggest ship by the cruise line and the biggest ship in the world.

As you can imagine, Icon of the Seas is packed with thrilling attractions and entertainment options. For example, you will find Category 6 Waterpark, the largest waterpark at sea.

Since the ship is so new, there are still not many reviews so its position in the ranking could vary a lot in the next months.

However, the first reviews seem to be a bit mixed. Some travelers found the ship to be a major disappointment due to the presence of many children and crowded spaces, while others praised it as the best cruise experience, praising its beautiful design and the many onboard activities.

We will see how things evolve. I will definitely update this ranking as soon as new reviews are published.

If you’ve been on Icon of the Seas remember that you can send me your opinions both through the comments below or by email to hello@cruisewithleo.com.

9. Serenade of the Seas

Serenade of the Seas ship
Serenade of the Seas

From Serenade of the Seas, reviews start to get a bit more mixed.

This ship is quite small, it can only accommodate about 2,480 passengers.

Some passengers love it because its size guarantees a more intimate cruising experience compared to larger ships. So, it caters well to those seeking a quieter, more relaxed cruise experience.

On the other hand, some passengers think that the Serenade is a bit too small and its offerings are somewhat outdated considering that it was last renovated in 2012.

10. Independence of the Seas

Independence of the Seas ship
Independence of the Seas

Independence of the Seas was launched in 2008 but was renewed only 10 years later, in 2018 with the Royal Amplified program.

The multi-million-pound makeover added a few interesting characteristics like the new aqua park Splashaway Bay which now has new waterslides, water cannons, fountains, and pools.

The guests really liked some particular features of this ship like the full-service spa, the specialty dining options like the poolside “Fish & Ships“, and innovative attractions such as the SkyPad virtual reality bungee/trampoline and the Puzzle Break escape room.

It’s interesting to note that, even after the renovation, quite a few people say that the pool and Solarium can get crowded during peak times, and it’s too difficult to find a free spot.

11. Liberty of the Seas

Liberty of the Seas ship
Liberty of the Seas

Liberty of the Seas is a ship that is particularly suited for families and first-time cruisers.

Families particularly enjoyed the wide range of activities available, and many reviewers recommend taking advantage of the drink packages offered by Royal Caribbean for a better experience with kids.

However, dining on this ship received mixed reviews. Some passengers said that the quality was exceptional, while others felt certain dining venues, like Chops Grille, did not meet their expectations in terms of quality compared to the price​.

Moreover, many passengers were disappointed by the absence of an Izumi restaurant, as this Japanese specialty dining option is a favorite on many other Royal Caribbean ships.

12. Adventure of the Seas

Adventure of the Seas ship
Adventure of the Seas

Adventure of the Seas still delivers quite a good cruising experience despite being an older ship.

It underwent a renovation in 2016 that added modern features like the FlowRider, new waterslides, and new dining options including Izumi and Chops Grille.

Some passengers said that the embarkation process was a bit too slow and a few of them recommended adding The Key program which offers early boarding among other benefits.

In the end, this ship features a mix of traditional and upgraded amenities, often compensated by the great helpfulness of the on-board staff.

13. Navigator of the Seas

Navigator of the Seas ship
Navigator of the Seas

Navigator of the Seas could be considered a medium-sized ship.

It was launched in 2002 but has all the family-friendly activities you’d expect on a cruise ship. For example the glow-in-the-dark laser tag, the escape room, the rock-climbing wall, the surf simulator, and also the Blaster which is considered one of the biggest waterslides on a cruise ship.

Despite its many amenities, the Navigator of the Seas isn’t without its drawbacks. While the ship includes some modern features like virtual balconies in inside cabins, it lacks quieter, more peaceful spaces, like spacious adult-only areas.

Moreover, some cabins lack a few conveniences like multiple outlets and USB ports.

14. Jewel of the Seas

Jewel of the Seas ship
Jewel of the Seas

Jewel of the Seas offers a nice vacation experience overall.

Many reviews talked about the great bar staff and the exceptional service. However, while the ship offers a good variety of dining options, some guests feel that the Windjammer lunch buffet could be improved.

Also, the entertainment has room for improvement, different guests asked for more diverse options and some more engaging entertainment alternatives.

Despite these points, it’s considered a good choice for a cruise, especially for couples.

15. Wonder of the Seas

Wonder of the Seas ship
Wonder of the Seas

Wonder of the Seas is the last Royal Caribbean ship added to the Oasis class.

It was launched only in 2022 and is one of the newest and largest ships in the entire fleet.

This ship has some incredible features like the two-story Ultimate Family Suite, which features an indoor slide, air hockey, table tennis, and butler service.

The dining options are equally impressive with a vast selection of food choices. The Windjammer Buffet on Wonder of the Seas is the largest in the Royal Caribbean fleet.

But this ship has some flaws too. For example, I can’t understand why the splash pad and water slides were placed next to the adults-only solarium.

In addition, sometimes the layout of the decks seems too confusing. In my opinion, when ships get bigger, you need to simplify the decks instead of complicating them.

However, we must admit that Royal Caribbean is the best cruise line when it comes to innovation, and this ship proves it.

16. Radiance of the Seas

Radiance of the Seas ship
Radiance of the Seas

Position number 16 of the ranking for Radiance of the Seas, a small ship that can host about 2,450 passengers.

Despite its modest size, it boasts a vast collection of both complimentary and specialty dining venues, making it a good choice for food lovers.

A thing that I particularly like about this ship is the design that maximizes natural light. Basically, half of its exterior is glass, including outside elevators that span 12 decks and offer panoramic sea views from many bars and lounges.

The negative aspects? Well, you will not find the most adventurous activities like ice skating or the FlowRider, which are available on larger Royal Caribbean ships. For this reason, I would not recommend it for families.​

17. Ovation of the Seas

Ovation of the Seas ship
Ovation of the Seas

Ovation of the Seas is a Quantum-class ship that was launched by Royal Caribbean in 2016.

It can definitely be considered a modern cruise ship thanks to its engineering, design, and unforgettable experience that can offer.

During the years Ovation of the Seas traveled to many destinations including Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Alaska. For this reason, I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you had tried it.

If you haven’t, you should know that this ship is packed with high-tech entertainment and attractions, making it impossible to experience a dull moment.

However, some passengers have reported that venues struggle to accommodate guests at peak times, which can ruin the overall experience.

Remember, if you’ve been on any of these ships, I’d love to hear about your experience. You can share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

18. Brilliance of the Seas

Brilliance of the Seas ship
Brilliance of the Seas

Brilliance of the Seas offers a mix between a classic and a modern cruising experience.

It is an old ship (launched in 2002) but the entertainment and the activities that are included make it feel like a modern cruise ship.

For example, there’s a spacious fitness center and a good-sized spa, a rock climbing wall, and a mini-golf course that is accessible to all guests.

Moreover, this ship has a a positive reputation for its cleanliness and for the well-maintained cabins that are perfect to provide both comfort and convenience.

However, some passengers have noted areas for improvement. For example, the ship has been critiqued for limited late-night dining options and the quality of its buffet. There have also been comments about the ship catering more to an older crowd compared to newer, larger ships​.

19. Anthem of the Seas

Anthem of the Seas ship
Anthem of the Seas

In position number 19 we find a big ship again, it’s Anthem of the Seas part of the Quantum class.

Anthem of the Seas stands out for its array of entertainment and dining options. On board there’s a big choice of restaurants, lounges, bars, and venues that are perfect to dine, relax, or have fun.

For families, this ship provides some very good age-appropriate activities and areas. For example, for kids ranging from 6 months to 17 years old, there’s a Science Lab for hands-on experiments and exclusive teen areas like The Living Room and Fuel Teen Disco.

Anthem of the Seas also shines in its entertainment offerings, with some of the best theme nights that you can find on Royal Caribbean’s ships.

Some passengers have shared concerns over cabin layout. A few guests said that too many rooms have limited balcony views and that their TV had sound quality problems.

20. Enchantment of the Seas

Enchantment of the Seas ship
Enchantment of the Seas

Enchantment of the Seas is one of Royal Caribbean’s oldest ships. It was first launched in 1997, was lengthened in 2005, and renovated in 2013.

Despite the refurbishment, it still lacks some modern features like USB outlets, updated décor in cabins and public spaces, and some attractions like water slides.

Reviews are generally mixed, with many complimenting the friendly staff and enjoyable experiences aboard, but others expressing disappointment, particularly when comparing amenities and experiences with other Royal Caribbean’s larger ships.

Moreover, some travelers have experienced motion sickness due to the ship’s size, suggesting it might not be the best choice for those prone to seasickness​.

21. Voyager of the Seas

Voyager of the Seas ship
Voyager of the Seas

Voyager of the Seas was the first ship of the Voyager class. It can accommodate a bit more than 3,800 guests and has a gross tonnage of 138,194 tons.

Although not very small, it is still a rather old ship dating back to 1999, even though it underwent a renovation in 2019.

Passengers have shared various experiences, highlighting both positive aspects and areas that could be improved.

For example, many passengers loved the professional and kind crew that often made voyages pleasant, despite occasional challenges posed by weather affecting the stability of the ship.

The food was generally considered good. There are different options from the Asian dishes at Izumi, to the rustic Italian flavors at Giovanni’s Table and the prime cuts of meat at Chops Grille.

Overall it remains a solid choice for those looking to explore some particular destinations like the Western and Eastern Caribbean, and the Mediterranean. However, passengers need to be aware that this is not a very modern ship.

22. Rhapsody of the Seas

Rhapsody of the Seas ship
Rhapsody of the Seas

Rhapsody of the Seas provides a cozy and intimate small-size cruise experience that seems to excel in personalized services.

This is Royal Caribbean’s second oldest ship and also one of the smallest.

It was launched in 1997 and it can “only” carry 2,416 passengers.

This ship is generally praised for its cleanliness and maintenance. Cabin sizes and amenities like comfortable bedding and good water pressure in showers receive positive feedback, with some noting the ship might not be the best choice for solo travelers due to the lack of fellow solo guests.

Other travelers found the service, crew, and beautiful port destinations enjoyable enough to overlook the negative things of the ship. Others have expressed disappointment, particularly when comparing it to newer or larger ships, indicating a need for improvements in menu options and entertainment.

23. Explorer of the Seas

Explorer of the Seas ship
Explorer of the Seas

Explorer of the Seas is a Voyager-class ship launched by Royal Caribbean in 2000. It offers a variety of activities and experiences suited for every generation, therefore I think it could be a good choice for people looking for fun and relaxation at the same time.

Passenger reviews are generally positive, highlighting enjoyable ports, comfortable trips, and a broad array of onboard activities.

Some feedback indicates the ship could feel full, especially when traveling with many children, and that this can affect the enjoyment of amenities like pools and hot tubs.

Moreover, it may show some signs of aging but I personally like the diverse destinations that this ship offers.

24. Quantum of the Seas

Quantum of the Seas ship
Quantum of the Seas

Position number 24 for Quantum of the Seas. I must say that I am very surprised to see this ship so low in the rankings, especially since it is a fairly new ship, launched in 2014.

It offers a good range of dining experiences, with multiple main dining rooms, and very interesting specialty restaurants like Jamie’s Italian and Wonderland, where the dining is as much about the experience as it is about the food.

Quantum also excels in entertainment with venues like the Two70 with its immersive productions, and a variety of activities including a skydiving simulator, rock climbing, and even bumper cars in the SeaPlex.

Overall, Quantum of the Seas offers a complete cruise experience thanks to the innovative features that were introduced with the Quantum class.

Why is it so low in the rankings then? Well, many people found the ship too crowded and a lot of passengers considered it extremely negative.

25. Spectrum of the Seas

Spectrum of the Seas ship
Spectrum of the Seas

Spectrum of the Seas is also part of the Quantum Ultra-Class and it’s even newer than Quantum of the Seas, it was launched only in 2019.

This ship is slightly larger than its Quantum Class counterparts and has some exclusive features like a private swimming pool and a restaurant for those staying in suite-class accommodations. It also has the Ultimate Family Suite, which has a two-story playground complete with a private 3D cinema and a slide for the kids.

Spectrum of the Seas mostly sails in the Asia-Pacific region, offering departures from Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Singapore to various destinations in Asia.

The problem of this ship is the same as the previous one. It’s in this position on the list because passengers say it is too crowded.

Many complain about the long lines, the always full pools, and the difficulty of finding free spaces.

26. Vision of the Seas

Vision of the Seas ship
Vision of the Seas

Penultimate place in the ranking for Vision of the Seas.

It was launched in 1998 and refurbished in 2013 with minor updates in 2017 and 2022. According to the reviews, the ship shows signs of age, even though public areas are clean and well-maintained.

The ship offers a variety of itineraries departing from Baltimore, including popular routes to the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, New England, and the Southern Caribbean.

This makes Vision of the Seas a good choice for those looking to explore these regions but potential cruisers need to manage expectations regarding the ship’s age compared to larger, newer ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet.

27. Grandeur of the Seas

Grandeur of the Seas ship
Grandeur of the Seas

In last place, and therefore ranked as Royal Caribbean’s worst ship, is Grandeur of the Seas.

This is Royal Caribbean’s oldest and smallest ship, so it’s no surprise that it’s at the bottom of the list.

Some passengers said that, despite its age, Grandeur offers a comfortable and intimate atmosphere, with attentive service and a focus on creating a memorable cruise experience.

However, you should be very aware of the ship’s limitations, such as the fewer balcony cabins available and the small size of cabins, which may show signs of wear.

Moreover, the dining options are way more limited. For example, from what I have seen, the buffet has a limited selection of dishes compared to the larger ships. Additionally, a guest highlighted an issue with the ship’s capability to cater adequately to special dietary needs, such as gluten-free options, which resulted in a negative experience.

Lastly, this ship lacks most of the top-deck attractions of larger ships, and therefore families, particularly those with teens and tweens, may find it a bit challenging to keep the younger entertained.

Choose it only if you are aware of these aspects and are looking for a smaller, more intimate cruise ship.

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