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.

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 2020, 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 to April 2021.

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 ship they can accommodate. For this reason, Royal Caribbean uses its smaller, older ships to visit destinations that are not accessible to megaships.

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.

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