Royal Caribbean Ship Classes Comparison

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click one, I may earn a commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

With 25 cruise ships to choose from, selecting the best Royal Caribbean ship is no easy task. But, as Royal Caribbean groups its ships into classes, choosing the class of ship with the facilities that you want to experience is a great way to start your cruise planning.

In this guide, I’ll show you what to expect from each of Royal Caribbean’s ship classes. I’ve also made a handy chart so that you can compare the classes side-by-side.

How many ship classes does Royal Caribbean have?

Royal Caribbean has 7 classes of cruise ships:

  1. Quantum Ultra – Ships launched between 2019 and 2021
  2. Quantum – Ships launched between 2014 and 2016
  3. Oasis – Ships launched between 2009 and 2022
  4. Freedom – Ships launched between 2006 and 2008
  5. Radiance – Ships launched between 2001 and 2004
  6. Voyager – Ships launched between 1999 and 2003
  7. Vision – Ships launched between 1996 and 1998

A new class, Icon Class, will launch in late 2023, beginning with Icon of the Seas and then at least two more ships in 2025 and 2026.

Suggested read: The Newest Royal Caribbean Ships

So, are the new Royal Caribbean ships better than the old ones? Well, not always. Each class of ships has its pros and cons. So, read on to discover more.

Summary of Royal Caribbean ship classes:

  • Quantum and Quantum Ultra-class – Modern, high-tech ships with the fanciest features like the North Star observation pod and the iFly skydiving simulator
  • Oasis-class – The biggest ships in the world with so much to enjoy that you won’t have time to do it all
  • Freedom and Voyager-class – Slightly older ships, but some have been ‘amped’ to have extra features added
  • Radiance and Vision-class – The smallest ships with no fancy features that are best suited for destination-focused itineraries

Royal Caribbean Ships By Class

Each of these seven classes has between two and five ships in it. The ships within a class are ‘sister-ships’. This means that they’re all built to a very similar design, they have the same outer shell, if you will.

However, the ships in each class are not identical. They were each built to be slightly different. Then, between 2018 and 2020, some of the ships were ‘amped’, which means that they had a thorough refurbishment and lots of extra facilities added.

List of Royal Caribbean ships in each class:

  • Quantum Ultra – Odyssey of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas
  • Quantum – Ovation of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas
  • Oasis – Wonder of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas
  • Freedom – Independence of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas
  • Radiance – Jewel of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas
  • Voyager – Mariner of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas
  • Vision – Vision of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas

Royal Caribbean Ship Classes By Size

One key difference between the different classes of ships is the size. This is important as the largest of Royal Caribbean’s ships (Oasis Class) are almost three times the size of the smallest ships in the fleet (Vision Class).

ClassAverage Gross Tonnage
Oasis228,000
Icon (coming soon)200,000
Quantum Ultra169,000
Quantum169,000
Freedom154,000
Voyager138,000
Radiance90,000
Vision78,000

So is bigger better? Well, not always. Many people (myself included) love the Oasis-class ships because they have so much to do on board. There’s even a park in the middle with over 10,000 real plants and trees!

However, the largest cruise ships are just too big to dock at some ports. So, if you want to go island hopping around Greece, for example, you’ll need a smaller ship.

Tickets for the smaller ships tend to be cheaper, and there are some real bargains to be had. If you don’t have kids and don’t want to do surfing, zip-lining and all of that, then there’s no point paying extra for a ship that has activities that you won’t take part in.

New ship Odyssey of the Seas
New ship Odyssey of the Seas

Read more: Royal Caribbean Ships by Size

Royal Caribbean Ship Classes Chart

To help you decide which class of Royal Caribbean ship is best for you, here’s a chart showing the features you can expect on board:

Quantum UltraQuantumOasisFreedomRadianceVoyagerVision
Adults-Only SolariumYESYESYESYESYESYESYES
Adventure Ocean Kids ClubYESYESYESYESYESYESYES
AquatheaterYES
ArcadesYESYESYESYESYESYESYES
Baby Splash ZoneYESYESYESYES
Bionic BarYESYESYES (except Allure)
Bumper CarsYESYES
CarouselYES
CasinoYESYESYESYESYESYESYES
Central ParkYES
FlowRiderYESYESYESYESYES
Ice SkatingYESYESYES
iFly SkydivingYESYES
Indoor PoolYESYES
North Star Observation PodYESYES
Pool TablesYES
Pools & WhirlpoolsYESYESYESYESYESYESYES
Rock Climbing WallYESYESYESYESYESYESYES
Roller SkatingYESYES
Sky Pad Virtual Reality TrampolinesYESYES (Independence only)YES (Mariner only)
SpaYESYESYESYESYESYESYES
Ultimate Abyss Dry SlideYES (except Allure)
Water SlidesYES (except Allure)YESOnly for kidsYES (except Explorer)
Wonderland RestaurantYESYESYES (except Allure & Oasis)
Zip LineYES

The Different Classes of Royal Caribbean Ships

Still not sure which class to pick? Here’s an overview of each of the Royal Caribbean ship classes…

Quantum & Quantum Ultra Class

Ships: Quantum of the Seas (2014), Anthem of the Seas (2015), Ovation of the Seas (2016), Spectrum of the Seas (2019), Odyssey of the Seas (2021)

Odyssey of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-class ships are the most innovative of all. They have unique features like the North Star observation pod, the RipCord by iFLY skydiving simulator and bumper cars – all things that you simply won’t find on any other cruise ships in the world.

When Royal Caribbean began building Quantum-class ships, it was the first time that the line had ever decided to build ships smaller than those that had come before. Usually, cruise ships have gotten larger over the years. That said, Quantum-class ships are by no means small, most have space for 4,180 guests at double occupancy and 4,905 if every bed is full.

Quantum-class ships are ideal for cold weather sailings such as those out of New York or Southampton. There’s an indoor pool and lots o indoor activities to enjoy when you can’t sunbathe out on the open decks.

If you’re wondering what the difference is between Quantum Class and Quantum Ultra Class, the answer is not much. Quantum Ultra-class ships each have Sky Pad virtual reality trampolines on the back and the indoor pool has a retractable roof for sunnier days. There’s the addition of a Playmakers sports bar, a karaoke lounge and a tea room, but these come at the loss of the pub and teen disco.

Oasis Class

Ships: Oasis of the Seas (2009), Allure of the Seas (2010), Harmony of the Seas (2016), Symphony of the Seas (2018), Wonder of the Seas (2022)

Wonder of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class ships are the biggest in the world with space for over 6,600 guests. These massive ships are so wide that they have a hollow centre where you’ll find the huge Central Park with thousands of plants, the Boardwalk complete with a carousel and a zip-line over the top of it all.

Most Oasis-class ships feature the tallest slides at sea, the 10-storey Ultimate Abyss as well as loys of thrilling water slides. As well as ice skating, there is also a roller skating rink as well as the AquaTheater where you can watch the most spectacular high diving shows.

The oldest Oasis-class ship, Oasis of the Seas underwent a huge revamp in 2019. However, Allure of the Seas’ amplification has been delayed, so she’s missing some of the key features you can expect from the other Oasis-class ships in the fleet. You can read more about that here: Allure of the Seas Vs Oasis of the Seas.

Read more: Full Guide to Oasis-Class Cruise Ships

Freedom Class

Ships: Freedom of the Seas (2006), Liberty of the Seas (2007), Independence of the Seas (2008)

Independence of the Seas

They may be a little older and a little smaller, but Freedom-class ships have plenty to enjoy. Refurbishments of these ships have seen the addition of lots of exciting features such as The Perfect Storm Waterslides, escape rooms and laser tag. Independence of the Seas also has the SkyPad trampolines.

While you won’t find any of the over-the-top activities that are unique to the Quantum and Oasis Classes, you can enjoy mini golf, basketball and ice skating as well as the things that all ships have like the casino, spa and swimming pools.

Radiance Class

Ships: Radiance of the Seas (2001), Brilliance of the Seas (2002), Serenade of the Seas (2003), Jewel of the Seas (2004)

Serenade of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s Radiance-class ships are known for their views as they have lots of glass walls, glass elevators to outside and some wonderful viewing areas. As these ships can access smaller cruise ports, you’ll find some really interesting itineraries to places like the Panama Canal, Alaska, the Eastern Mediterranean and Australia.

Radiance-class ships are the only Royal Caribbean ships to have self-levelling pool tables – something that was quite special when these ships were launched in the early 2000s. You won’t find any waterslide on boards, but there are still some small slides for kids.

Voyager Class

Ships: Voyager of the Seas (1999), Explorer of the Seas (2000), Adventure of the Seas (2001), Navigator of the Seas (2002), Mariner of the Seas (2003)

Royal Caribbean Voyager Class

While they may be around 20 years old, Voyager Class ships still have a lot to offer, especially since these ships were amplified to add things like waterslides, laser tag and escape rooms.

The actual offerings vary by ship though, so you’ll want to check more closely if there’s a particular activity that you want to try. For example, when comparing Mariner of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas, you’ll see that one has virtual reality trampolines, whereas the other has a better pool deck with bigger waterslides.

While many areas on these ships are brand new, they can still feel a little dated, particularly in the staterooms and some of the bars.

Vision Class

Ships: Grandeur of the Seas (1996), Rhapsody of the Seas (1997), Enchantment of the Seas (1997), Vision of the Seas (1998)

Rhapsody of the Seas

The smallest and oldest ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet, Vision-class ships shouldn’t be overlooked. If you don’t mind the lack of bells and whistles, you can find some great deals on cruises on these ships.

Like all Royal Caribbean ships, you can enjoy rock climbing walls, arcades, casinos, spas, pools and whirlpools. There’s also the Adventure Ocean kids club to keep your children entertained, making these ships a good choice for families and couples alike. Enchantment of the seas also has a bungee trampoline.

Cruises on Vision-class ships are often destination-focused, such as longer Caribbean cruises that explore some of the lesser-visited islands in the Southern Caribbean.

Don’t Overpay For Your Royal Caribbean Cruise!

Here’s how I get the lowest price when I book a cruise…

1. Compare prices from every travel agent in one place.

2. Choose a trusted travel agent with a best price guarantee.

Please don’t book with any old company just because they have a cheap deal. I suggest that you find the best price and then take it to a trusted travel agent who will beat it as well as giving you the best service.

Royal Caribbean Ships Classes FAQs

Which Royal Caribbean ships have bumper cars?

Bumper cars or ‘dodgems’ can be found only on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum and Quantum Ultra-class ships. So that’s Odyssey of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas. bumper cars

Which Royal Caribbean ships have roller skating?

You can go rollerskating in the SeaPlex on board five of Royal Caribbean’s ships – Odyssey of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas. These are all Quantum-class or Quantum Ultra-class ships.

Which Royal Caribbean ships have iFLY?

Five of Royal Caribbean’s ships feature the Ripcord by iFLY skydiving simulator. These are Odyssey of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas.

Which Royal Caribbean ships have a carousel?

You’ll find the Merry-Go-Round carousel only on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class ships. These are Wonder of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas
.Royal Caribbean carousel

Which Royal Caribbean ships have Wonderland?

Wonderland is a speciality restaurant that’s featured only on Royal Caribbean ships that were built since 2014. These are Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas, Odyssey of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas. wonderland

Which Royal Caribbean ships have Central Park?

Central Park is only found on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class ships. These are Wonder of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas. These are the biggest ships in the fleet and the only ones with the hollow space in the middle. central park

Which Royal Caribbean ships have Water Slides?

11 of Royal Caribbean’s 26 ships have thrilling water slides. These are Wonder of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean’s Radiance-class ships have small waterslides for kids, but no slides for adults. Mariner of the Seas Waterslide

Which Royal Caribbean ships have Playmakers?

Playmakers Sports Bar is found on eight of Royal Caribbean’s ships. These are Odyssey of the Seas, Wonder of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas. Playmakers

Which ships have the Royal Genie?

Royal Caribbean’s Royal Genies are available to guests staying in Star Class suites on Oasis-class Quantum-class ships. These are Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas, Odyssey of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas.
Royal Genie

Which Royal Caribbean ships have FlowRider?

Almost all Royal Caribbean ships have either one or two FlowRider surf simulators. The only ships without Flowriders are the oldest Vision-class and Radiance-class ships. There are no FlowRiders on Grandeur of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, Vision of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas or Jewel of the Seas. Flowrider

Which Royal Caribbean ships have virtual balconies?

Virtual balconies are only available on Wonder of the Seas, Odyssey of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas.

Which Royal Caribbean ships have ice skating rinks?

Around half of all Royal Caribbean cruise ships have ice skating rinks onboard where you can go ice skating and watch professional ice shows. These are the Oasis-class, Freedom-class and Voyager-class ships. ice skating on a cruise

Final Thoughts

Understanding the different classes of ships is a good starting point when choosing a Royal Caribbean cruise. If you love the idea of having fun activities around every corner, then you’ll love the Oasis Class, Quantum Class and Quantum Ultra Class ships, as well as the new Icon class that’s coming soon.

However, if you most look forward to visiting different destinations and relaxing with a cocktail, then the older and smaller ships will suit you just fine.

Remember, that not all ships in a class are identical, so be sure to take a good look at the deck plans and Royal Caribbean’s website to make sure that you know what you’re getting when it comes to booking your cruise.

If you’re planning to stay in a suite, you should also know that Royal Caribbean’s suite perks are a little better on the Oasis Class, Quantum Class and Quantum Ultra Class ships than they are on the older ships.

You should also take note of what’s included in a Royal Caribbean cruise as some of the activities do cost extra.

Before you go!

I'd love to help you to...

1. Find a great cruise - See today's top cruise deals

2. Book with a trusted travel agent - Here's who I recommend

3. Cruise smarter - Join my email list for insider tips


Found this to be useful?

You're welcome to share this guide with your friends if you think it may help them too.

Leave a comment