The reason for the gigantic size of cruise ships is not only that they need to accommodate a large number of passengers, but also that all these people need to be entertained – and for this they need the appropriate infrastructure. Modern liners are more like cities with a lot of entertainment, amazing cuisine and a high level of service – apparently, that’s why every year more and more tourists dream of take a cruise… And the number of liners and their sizes, respectively, are growing along with the requests of passengers.
So what are the characteristics of the largest cruise ships on the planet?
1. Symphony of the Seas
Everything that has to do with Symphony of the Seas is massive (but what could you expect from the largest cruise ship in the world?). The liner has 18 decks (of which 16 are for guests), 22 restaurants, 24 swimming pools, 2,759 cabins and a park for 20 thousand tropical plants. And that’s not to mention the world’s tallest water slide on board.
Like other Royal Caribbean Oasis class ships, the vessel is divided into thematic areas that represent what passengers might find in a typical urban space. “People feel there is so much to do that it will take them days to get a thorough look at all of these diverse areas,” explains Colin McDaniel, editor of Cruise Critic, a leading cruise publication. – Each passenger has their own favorite area. At the same time, despite the large number of passengers, thanks to the well-thought-out organization of human flows, you will never feel like you are in a crowded space ”.
2. Harmony of the Seas
Harmony of the Seas has almost the same layout and onboard infrastructure as Symphony of the Seas (as do the next two ships on the list). The billion dollar ship has a maximum capacity of 6,687.
One of its distinctive features is a “bottomless slide” along which the guest rushes down “through” 10 decks at high speed.
3. Allure of the Seas
Allure of the Seas, launched in 2010, boasts 25 restaurants, four swimming pools and ten hot tubs. The liner can accommodate up to 6,687 people.
The ship also features a modern, 1,380-seat theater, where you can watch famous shows such as the Broadway musical Chicago. In addition, characters from the Shrek and Madagascar cartoons can be found on board.
4. Oasis of the Seas
The Oasis of the Seas was the first ship to introduce the concept of “seven areas” – a variety of areas for passengers. Subsequently, this standard was carried over to other ships.
At the time of its launch (2009), the liner set a record for the capacity – 6,780 people – and the depth of the pool. The guests were then entertained with exclusive screenings of the musical “Hairspray”.
5. MSC Meraviglia
The MSC Meraviglia is the first ship on the list not owned by Royal Caribbean.
A distinctive feature of this vessel is associated with an exclusive agreement between MSC Cruises and Cirque du Soleil: the famous Cirque du Soleil, which performs on board the ship 12 times a week.
As befits a liner whose main “catchment area” is the Mediterranean Sea, Meraviglia has its own branch of Eataly, the famous Italian gourmet chain. The huge covered Mediterranean-style terrace is open to passengers around the clock.
6. Norwegian Bliss
Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest and largest Breakaway-Plus ship, made its maiden voyage at the end of April 2018.
NCL ships can be recognized from afar thanks to their colorful hulls. Another distinctive feature of the liner is a spacious deck lined with restaurants. Norwegian Bliss also has the largest water racing track and offers passengers the opportunity to play laser tag.
7. Quantum of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Quantum class includes three ships of the same size – Quantum of the Seas, the Anthem of the Seas and the Ovation of the Seas. The company plans to launch several more liners.
Although the ships listed are slightly smaller than the Oasis ships, they offer passengers almost a similar experience. For example, on board the Quantum of the Seas guests have access to a wide variety of gastronomy (18 restaurants), an indoor skydiving simulator and a gem-shaped glass capsule that rises more than 300 feet into the air, from where guests are provided with a 360-degree view. Also worth mentioning is the Bionic Bar with a robotic bartender who prepares cocktails.
As Quantum of the Seas is designed specifically for the Asian market, several features have been adapted to suit local consumer habits and tastes, such as a huge casino and a selection of Asian food.
8. Anthem of the Seas
Anthem of the Seas is the only Quantum Class ship sailing the Atlantic.
The ship made its maiden voyage – an eight-hour cruise to France and Spain from Southampton, UK – in April 2015.
9. Ovation of the Seas
The ship was launched in 2016; He spends part of the year in Seattle and cruises to Alaska, and the rest of the year in Sydney, Australia.
The Ovation of the Seas features the most advanced Royal Caribbean cabins, including the industry’s first virtual balcony cabins and a branch of famous chef Jamie Oliver’s restaurant, Jamie’s Italian.
10. Norwegian Joy
The vessel was built specifically for Chinese travelers and has been stylized with a focus on them (hull design by artist Tang Ping).
The Norwegian Joy cruise ship has been operating between China and Australia since 2017 and can accommodate up to 3,883 people. The official language on board is Chinese.
11. Norwegian Escape
In 2015, the Norwegian Escape became the first NCL ship with an Exhaust Gas Treatment (EGC) system. Since then, this system has been upgraded or implemented on other ships, allowing them to sail in areas with very strict environmental requirements (for example, in Alaska).
The vessel is based in Miami and offers cruises to the Caribbean and the Bahamas.
12. Liberty of the Seas
The Liberty of the Seas, another Royal Caribbean mega-ship, has grown heavier after being refurbished in 2016, surpassing its cousins Freedom of the Seas and Independence of the Seas.
Onboard entertainment includes a FlowRider wave generator, 3D cinemas and a boomerang slide. There is also the famous three-story dining room, each of which is named after Italian Renaissance painters.
13. Norwegian Epic
Norwegian Epic has a maximum capacity of 4,100 people.
This is a vessel that shares the Norwegian philosophy of “free sailing” – no formalities and no strict timetable. Broadway onboard shows such as “Ballroom Blitz” and “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” have won several prestigious awards, including the “Best Cruise Ship Entertainment” award from Frommer’s travel guide series.
The vessel has an ice bar where the temperature is always 17 degrees Fahrenheit (-8 Celsius).
14. Freedom of the Seas
Like most of the ships listed above, Freedom of the Seas was once the largest cruise ship in the world.
On board, guests can experience the “Freedom Festival”: the event takes place on deck and brings together the best of the ship, including the best dining options.
15. Independence of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Freedom-class ships were the largest passenger ships in the world until they were supplanted by the Oasis-class ships.
Although the new ships are much larger, Freedom of the Seas and Independence of the Seas are still on the list of giants.
The 15-deck liner Independence of the Seas, in particular, is in 15th place in the list of the largest passenger liners in the world. In winter, the ship operates in the Port of Everglade, Florida, and in summer in Southampton, England.