Royal Caribbean consistently ranks as one of the top cruise lines for families. With 25 ships in its fleet, there is a cruise ship and itinerary for every type of cruiser.
Below are 8 reasons why families love cruising with Royal Caribbean:
1. They have some of the largest ships in the cruise industry
Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class ships – Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas – each has capacity for just under 5500 passengers.
These ships, as well as the rest in their fleet, are focused on providing a variety of entertainment and dining options for the entire family. If you’ve ever cruised with Royal Caribbean, you probably already know that there’s always something to do on board and plenty of people to meet.
2. Wide variety of itineraries to choose from
With such a large fleet of ships, Royal Caribbean offers cruises to every continent except Antarctica. They have nine home ports in North America and ships stationed in Australia and Asia throughout the year.
Families can choose from many itineraries including:
- Canada & New England
- Europe (offered year-round)
- South Pacific
3. Known for unique experiences and performance spaces
From ziplines, carousels, and Broadway shows to surf simulators, rock climbing walls and the DreamWorks Experience – families have a lot of choice when it comes to on board activities and entertainment.
Interested in skating while you’re on a cruise ship? Nine of Royal Caribbean’s ships have indoor ice skating rinks and two have indoor roller skating rinks (skates are complimentary).
Royal Caribbean’s Quantum class ships hold the Guinness Book of World Records for “Highest Viewing Deck on a Cruise Ship”. The North Star is a one-of-a-kind observational capsule that takes passengers more than 300 feet in the air and gives them a 360-degree view over the side of the ship.
Six ships feature Broadway shows (Mama Mia, Cats, and Grease to name a few), seven ships have have evening aerial shows and three ships have been outfitted with the AquaTheater – where show performers dive from 30-foot diving platforms.
4. Family friendly cabin configurations
While Royal Caribbean ships offer the standard inside stateroom, oceanview cabin, and staterooms with balconies, they also offer several staterooms specifically geared towards families.
Royal Caribbean’s Loft Suites (offered on Oasis, Allure, Quantum and Anthem of the Seas) are two-story suites that can accommodate 6 people. Bedrooms are on the upper level and a sitting area can be found on the first-level.
The Family Oceanview Stateroom (265 to 328 square feet) requires a minimum of 5 people for the reservation and features a king size bed, bunk beds and a pullout sofa bed.
For larger groups, you might want to look at the Royal Family Suite on Freedom, Oasis, Voyager, and Quantum class ships. This suite is a 550+ square foot space with a private balcony. It can accommodate up to 8 guests and has a king bed, a room with 3rd and 4th Pullman beds, a living area with double pull out sofa bed and two bathrooms – one with a bathtub.
Head here to learn more about all of the family friendly cabins and staterooms aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships.
5. Kids clubs for children 6 months to 17 years old
Royal Caribbean offers young cruisers (6 to 36 months) interactive playgroup sessions and special activities and programs run trained caregivers. Daytime ($6/hr) and evening drop-off is ($8/hr) offered at the Royal Babies & TotsSM Nursery.
The Adventure Ocean® Youth Program is Royal Caribbean’s kids club program where children are divided up by age and kids can enjoy programs specifically designed for them.
- Aquanauts (ages 3 to 5)
- Explorers (ages 6 to 8)
- Voyagers (ages 9 to 11)
- Just for Teens (ages 12 to 14 and ages 15 to 17)
Activities and programs are constantly running throughout the day and kids can enjoy activities in the Adventure Ocean and teen-only spaces late into the evening (hourly rate applies after 10PM).
6. Flexible meal times with My Time Dining
Unlike other cruise lines when you are given a set time for dinner, Royal Caribbean’s My Time Dining program allows cruisers to choose to have dinner in the main dining room any time between 6:00PM and 9:30PM. You can tailor your dinner time around your shore excursions or on board activities and choose a different dinner time each day.
The My Family Time Dining program is offered for the first dinner seating in the main dining room for families with children ages 3 to 11. Kids will be served first and after dinner, they’ll be picked up by Adventure Ocean staff to take part in special evening activities while parents can finish their meal in the dining room.
7. Lots of water fun
All Royal Caribbean ships have two or more swimming pools and water slides are currently being added to their entire fleet.
The FlowRider surf simulator can be found on board ten Royal Caribbean cruise ships and the H2O Zone (seen above – water park with interactive geysers, water guns and waterfalls) can be found on five ships.
8. Several specialty restaurants included in the cost of your cruise
There are several specialty restaurants aboard Royal Caribbean ships – some of which are included in the cruise fare.
Sorrento’s Pizza, Park Café, Boardwalk Donuts and Café Promenade are some of the places cruisers can pick up a snack, a light meal or a drink.
Royal Caribbean’s Beverage & Dining page explains what’s included and what’s not.
Royal Caribbean is known for their large capacity ships and innovative on board activities and entertainment options and the price reflects that. They aren’t the cheapest cruise line to vacation with, but they’re not a luxury or ultra-exclusive cruise line either.
Have you cruised or considered cruising with Royal Caribbean before? We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments below.