Everybody’s cruise ship needs are different. Some cruisers far prefer fine dining to lounging by the pool, while others will prioritise kids’ entertainment over a state-of-the-art gym. So in this series of handy Cruise Line Guides we have suggestions for great ships to match your personality, preferences and requirements.
This time, we’re looking at the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and their wonderful fleet of ships.
One of Royal Caribbean’s two largest cruise ships, Oasis of the Seas is a first-class option for families with kids of all ages. Aside from providing comfy family cabins of varying sizes, the wide range of family-friendly amenities and activities are unmatched.
Kids will love the four swimming pools, 3D cinema, ice-skating rink, rock-climbing walls, zip line and two surf simulators. In addition, there are dedicated kids clubs with a toddlers splash pool, an arts and crafts workshop, a video arcade and computer stations, a science lab, a kids’ nightclub and a hangout space. And for teenagers, there’s the DJ academy and a cool, 1950s-era diner.
On top of all that, this ship also offers DreamWorks-themed cruises, where children can watch parades by characters like Shrek and Kung Fu Panda… then eat breakfast with them! What more could any kid desire?
Upcoming cruises: Barcelona, Rome, Naples (18 September, 5 nights); Transatlantic (15 October, 12 Nights)
For those who want to stay in shape at sea, look no further than Voyager of the Seas. This excellent ship allows fitness freaks to play basketball or volleyball in the full-size sports court, practice figure eights in the ice-skating rink, climb 60 metres up the rock-climbing wall, work up a sweat on the jogging track, perfect a golf swing in the sports simulator or at the mini-golf course, and test lap speeds on the in-line skating track.
And, of course, there’s the spa and fitness centre. Comprising an enormous ocean-view workout area (with 20 treadmills, cycles, elliptical machines, free weights and more), various exercise classes, 14 massage and treatment rooms, a hydrotherapy pool and a spacious Solarium, it isn’t difficult to stay perfectly ship-shape.
Upcoming cruises: East Asia Cruise (22 September, 7 Nights); Australasia Cruise (25 November, 13 Nights)
Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas is top dog when it comes to fine dining. The main three-deck-high dining room – variously called Romeo and Juliet, Othello and King Lear, depending on the deck – offers delicious breakfasts (including fluffy pancakes), extensive buffet lunches (try the fruit soups and refreshing antipasti) and a flexibly-timed dinners complemented by classical music (peruse the healthy Vitality Menu).
Yet this is only the start, as there are dozens of other diners available. You can enjoy divine Italian cuisine at Portofino, savour a sublime steak at Chops Grille, tuck into some classic Americana at Johnny Rockets, grab a sandwich or pizza from Café Promenade, work your way through the buffet in the Windjammer Café, cool yourself down at the ice cream parlour, or indulge your sweet tooth even further at The Cupcake Cupboard.
Upcoming cruises: The Best of Spain (20 September, 12 Nights); Caribbean Dream (20 November, 8 Nights)
All Royal Caribbean cruise ships offer a dizzying array of entertainment options, but none so much as Allure of the Seas. It really has something for everyone. Film buffs can enjoy a fully-equipped cinema with all the latest releases, a specialist 3D screening room, and outdoor movie screenings.
Theatre lovers can see West End-quality productions (currently Chicago), experience the one-of-a-kind ‘Aquatheatre’ (water and aerial acrobatics), and be blown away by the on-board Ice Shows. And night owls can listen to world-class music at Jazz on 4, enjoy a good laugh at the excellent Comedy Club, or test their luck at glamorous Casino Royale.
That’s not to mention the vast range of drinking, dancing and karaoke options in Allure’s dozen-or-so bars…
Upcoming cruises: Miami & Caribbean (21 September, 7 Nights); Mediterreanean (19 May 2015, 5 Nights)
Peace and Quiet
Among Royal Caribbean’s fleet, there’s no more relaxing cruising experience than with Majesty of the Seas. The smallest ship within the fleet, it offers an intimate, quiet and stress-free experience, with most cruises around Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Casual is the order of the day: there are no strict dress codes (except on specific ‘formal nights’), the service is personal but unfussy, and passengers are younger and more international than most. As the cruises are only three- or four- days, it’s popular with first-timers.
While Majesty of the Seas has an impressive array of amenities – from fine dining, bars and nightclubs to sports facilities, theatre and open-air pools – it’s greatest attraction is its simplicity, making it the best place on the seven seas for just kicking back and unwinding. And if, somehow, you feel the need to relax further, simply head to the Viking Crown Lounge for absolute peace and quiet and spectacular views across the sea.
Upcoming cruises: Miami to the Bahamas (29 September, 4 Nights)
Whatever your personality, preferences and requirements, Bolsover Cruise Club is committed to finding is committed to finding the right Royal Caribbean Cruise for you. Find out more about your ideal cruise by getting in touch today.