Every month we’ll take a cruise line and look at the history, the fleet and its people to find out what really makes its cruises worthwhile. This month, we’re looking at a cruise line world-renowned for its luxury standards: Royal Caribbean.
The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has been gracing waters for nearly 45 years, and though a relativity young contender compared to companies such as P & O Cruises, it has become one of the world’s top providers of modern cruise holidays. With 21 ships currently in the water, the company is always looking to add to their expansive fleet in order to provide even more for their passengers. Let’s take a look at why this cruise line is one of the very best.
Royal Caribbean first came about in 1968, from the combined efforts of three Norwegian shipping companies, namely Anders Wilhelmsen & Company, I.M. Skauge & Company and Gotaas Larsen. The first Royal Caribbean ship, the Song of Norway, entered service in 1970 and the company hasn’t looked back since. More ships were added to its fleet in the 1970s and ‘80s and during the 1990s, trips to Europe, Mexico and Alaska were added. Royal Caribbean was also the first cruise line to offer computerised bookings, something we’d never dream of not having today!
Recent years have seen a continued expansion of its ship’s repertoire, with a focus on elegance, style and an inclusion of activities popular with the current market, such as providing rock climbing facilities from the mid-2000s onwards. The company is constantly upgrading and even ‘stretching’ its state-of-the-art ships (the process of cutting a ship in half and building into its center to extend the vessel’s length and capacity).
Royal Caribbean has so many ships they’ve conveniently grouped them into seven classes, with similar ships classed together, so you can first choose the class that fits your wants and needs and then the specific ship within that class.
The Oasis Class includes cruise ships so large, with cruising activities so out of this world, you would probably be amazed! You can cruise down a zip line, boogie board on a surf simulator and lounge in tropical gardens on board these massive vessels.
The Voyager Class of ships are jam packed full of entertainment, with a full size basketball court, golf and even ice rinks on board to keep your days full of activity. The Freedom Class – which includes Independence of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s Southampton-based vessel – will entice those with a sweet tooth to try its new 1940s-style shop, Cupcake Cupboard.
For those looking for a more intimate atmosphere, the ships in the Sovereign Class are smaller and perhaps more suitable. These luxurious boats are often used for shorter journeys to the likes of the Bahamas and Bermuda, and are therefore perfect for couples looking for quick, romantic getaways.
Royal Caribbean cruises can literally take you around the globe, to destinations in the Mediterranean, Asia, Australia and, of course, the Caribbean Islands. You can even cruise from the UK, to top European destinations like France, Italy, the Canary Islands and even the fjords of Norway.
All you need to do now is decide which extraordinary ship and action-packed itinerary is right for you! To review Royal Caribbean’s current itineraries, visit their page on our main site.
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