Royal Caribbean Ships by Age

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Royal Caribbean currently has 24 cruise ships, with more being built and on order. This post has a list of Royal Caribbean ships by year built, ordered from newest to oldest.

New Royal Caribbean cruise ship - Wonder of the Seas

List of Royal Caribbean Cruise ships by age

Ship NameClassYear Built
Wonder of the SeasOasis2021
Odyssey of the SeasQuantum Ultra2021
Spectrum of the SeasQuantum2019
Symphony of the SeasOasis2018
Harmony of the SeasOasis2016
Ovation of the SeasQuantum2016
Anthem of the SeasQuantum2015
Quantum of the SeasQuantum2014
Allure of the SeasOasis2010
Oasis of the SeasOasis2009
Independence of the SeasFreedom2008
Liberty of the SeasFreedom2007
Freedom of the SeasFreedom2006
Jewel of the SeasRadiance2004
Mariner of the SeasVoyager2003
Serenade of the SeasRadiance2003
Navigator of the SeasVoyager2002
Brilliance of the SeasRadiance2002
Adventure of the SeasVoyager2001
Radiance of the SeasRadiance2001
Explorer of the SeasVoyager2000
Voyager of the SeasVoyager1999
Vision of the SeasVision1998
Enchantment of the SeasVision1997
Rhapsody of the SeasVision1997
Grandeur of the SeasVision1996

What is the newest Royal Caribbean ship?

In 2021, the newest Royal Caribbean ship is Spectrum of the Seas which was launched in April 2019. This Quantum Class ship sails out of China and was specifically designed for Chinese guests. The primary language on-board is Mandarin and all signage and announcements are in simplified Chinese, followed by English.

Which is the next Royal Caribbean ship to launch?

Royal Caribbean’s next ship will be Odyssey of the Seas. This ship was due to launch in November 2020. However, shipyard closures due to the global pandemic have resulted in the launch of this ship being pushed back several times.

Read more about Odyssey of the Seas

What is the oldest Royal Caribbean ship?

The oldest Royal Caribbean ship is Grandeur of the Seas. This ship was built in 1996.

Prior to December 2020, the oldest Royal Caribbean ship was Empress of the Seas, followed by Majesty of the Seas. These cruise ships were sold to make way for new additions to the fleet.

Harmony of the Seas Royal Caribbean ship
Photo credit: Royal Caribbean

What’s the difference between old and new Royal Caribbean ships?

There are several differences between the older and newer ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet. These are:

Size

Royal Caribbean ships have increased in size as time has passed with the newer ships being much larger and with the capacity for more passengers compared to older ships.

Symphony of the Seas has a gross tonnage of 228,081, which makes her more than three times as large as Grandeur of the Seas with a gross tonnage of 73,817.

Read more: Royal Caribbean ships by size

Facilities

Newer Royal Caribbean ships have an incredible array of facilities on-board with amenities like water slides, zip lines, skydiving simulators, virtual reality trampolines, escape room games and bumper cars.

You won’t find any of these things on the older ships. However, every Royal Caribbean ship does have swimming pools, a rock-climbing wall, an arcade and a kids’ club.

Read more: The best Royal Caribbean ships for kids

Destinations

Each cruise ship sails out of one or two ports. In some cases, ships are based in Europe in the summer and the Caribbean in the winter. Many cruise ports have a limit as to the size of the ships they can accommodate. For this reason, Royal Caribbean uses its smaller, older ships to visit destinations that are not accessible to mega ships.

Itineraries on smaller, older cruise ships are often more port-intensive with fewer sea days. With the newer ships, the ship itself is often the attraction rather than the ports of call, so you may have more days at sea.

Passengers

As the newer Royal Caribbean ships have so much to do on-board, they tend to attract a younger crowd of families with children and younger couples. Older ships tend to be more popular with older couples and retired people.

Ambience

The atmosphere on-board the oldest and newest Royal Caribbean ships is somewhat different. This is in part down to the passengers on-board, as older ships tend to attract fewer children and an older, more relaxed crowd. You probably won’t find the nightclub to be pumping late into the night as it will be on a new ship.

Also, the decor of the newer ships will be much more modern. Royal Caribbean cruise ships are refurbished every three years, so the oldest ships are always in good condition, but the decor may look a little dated in some places in comparison.

Price

The older Royal Caribbean cruise ships are much cheaper than the newer ones. Frequent cruisers are always excited to try the nexy new ship, so cruises on brand new ships are priced at a premium to reflect the demand for them.

If you’re cruising on a tight budget, you can save a lot by choosing one of the older ships.

Get the best price on your Royal Caribbean cruise booking

The price you pay for your cruise will be different depending on who you book it with, even though what you get will be exactly the same.

It’s generally always cheaper to use a specialist cruise travel agent that can access discounted rates.

Click here to see who’s offering discounted rates on Royal Caribbean cruises.

Of course, not all travel agents are equal in terms of the service that they provide. If you’d like to get a quote from a trusted travel agent that I’ve used to book multiple cruises myself, click here to get a quote.

Royal Caribbean FAQs

How many Royal Caribbean cruise ships are there?

There are currently 25 ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet, with the newest being the Odyssey of the Seas, delivered on 31st March 2021. There are currently five more ships planned over the next five years, three of which will be in the new Icon Class.

What are the different classes of Royal Caribbean ships?

Royal Caribbean ships fall into the Vision Class, the Voyager Class, the Radiance Class, the Freedom Class, the Oasis Class and the Quantum Class, including Quantum Ultra. Oasis Class ships are the largest. Quantum Class are the newest. A new class, Icon, will debut in 2023.

What is the oldest Royal Caribbean ship?

The oldest operating Royal Caribbean ship is the Grandeur of the Seas. Built in 1996, it’s also one of the smallest ships in the fleet. 11 ships built prior to Grandeur of the Seas have been sold on, many since scrapped. The oldest was Song of Norway, built in 1970.

What two ships did Royal Caribbean sell?

Royal Caribbean has actually sold 11 cruise ships in its history. The most recent sales were the Empress of the Seas (sold to Cordelia Cruises) and Majesty of the Seas (sold to Seajets), both of which were sold in 2020.

What is the nicest Royal Caribbean cruise ship?

The nicest Royal Caribbean cruise ship depends on what you’re looking for. The newest and therefore most modern is the Odyssey of the Seas, launched in 2021 as the second Quantum Ultra-class cruise ship.

Who owns Royal Caribbean ships?

Royal Caribbean ships are owned by the cruise line Royal Caribbean International. This brand is owned by the Royal Caribbean Group, which also owns other cruise lines including Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises.

What is Royal Caribbean’s motto?

Royal Caribbean does not have an official motto. For a number of years, they used the marketing slogan “Where Extraordinary Happens” but this was purely an advertising campaign, and not the official motto of the company.

What is Royal Caribbean known for?

Royal Caribbean is known for being one of the most innovative cruise lines, with some of the world’s largest ships. Royal Caribbean is a family-friendly cruise line, with new facilities that use technology to give adults and children amazing experiences.

What flag does Royal Caribbean fly under?

Royal Caribbean ships all fly under the flag of the Bahamas where the ships are registered. Other cruise lines in the Royal Caribbean Group are flagged under the Malta flag. The headquarters of Royal Caribbean is in Miami.

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