Skip to main content

Royal Caribbean ships by age — from oldest to newest (2024)

Oasis Class

Royal Caribbean International, formerly known as Royal Caribbean Cruise Line when it was founded in 1968, is one of the most popular cruise lines today. Song of Norway, their first ship, was launched two years after the company was founded. 

Having held the title of largest cruise ship in the world since the debut of Freedom of the Seas in 2006, they are known for their innovative, and often, record-breaking ships. 

Today's newest ships have the most onboard amenities for guests to enjoy, whether it is more dining options, zip lines, Broadway-style musicals, and more. Some cruisers, however, prefer older ships due to their smaller size, which fosters a more intimate environment. Plus, they can visit destinations that are unable to accommodate larger vessels.

Royal Caribbean's fleet of 26 offers something for every type of traveler. Here is a list of Royal Caribbean's ships by age—from oldest to newest. 

Grandeur of the Seas (1996)


Part of Royal Caribbean's Vision Class, Grandeur of the Seas is one of their smallest ships, measuring 73,817 gross registered tons. She is also the cruise line's oldest ship at sea, a title she gained after Monarch of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's last Sovereign Class ship, and Empress of the Seas were sold in 2020. 

Compared to newer ships, Grandeur of the Seas might appear to be pretty bare; she offers a no-frills cruising experience with limited onboard amenities that deliver the WOW factor that the cruise line has come to be known for. Onboard, though, you will find an adults-only Solarium with a retractable roof, rock wall, mini-golf, and a pool deck for all ages to enjoy.

Rhapsody of the Seas (May 1997)


One year after the launch of Grandeur of the Seas, another Vision Class ship began sailing. Like her sister ship, Rhapsody of the Seas can fit less than 2,000 people at double occupancy. Between June 2023 and April 2025, she will sail to the Caribbean, Europe, and the Panama Canal.

Enchantment of the Seas (July 1997)


Enchantment of the Seas is only a few months younger than Rhapsody of the Seas. She stands out in that she received a new mid-body section in 2005. This lengthened the ship by 73 feet and increased her gross registered tonnage to over 80,000. 151 new staterooms were added, as well as new venues and amenities. 

Vision of the Seas (1998)

Vision of the Seas in Norway

Vision of the Seas was the last ship in the Vision Class to be constructed, and although referred to as a class, the six ships were actually built in pairs of two sister ships, meaning that Vision of the Seas is most similar to Rhapsody of the Seas, while Enchantment was originally built to mimic Grandeur. The remaining two ships -- Legend and Splendour of the Seas -- have since been sold. 

Voyager of the Seas (1999)

Voyager of the Seas

Voyager of the Seas is the first ship in the cruise line's Voyager Class and held the title of largest cruise ship in the world for one year, until she was surpassed by Explorer of the Seas. 

The well-known Royal Promenade first debuted on Voyager of the Seas. Ever since, the Royal Promenade has been incorporated into every new build in some capacity. On Quantum Class ships, for instance, it is known as the Royal Esplanade. Additionally, she was the first ship to ever feature an ice rink and rock climbing wall at sea.  

Explorer of the Seas (2000)


The second Voyager Class ship, Explorer of the Seas exceeded Voyager of the Seas' gross tonnage by only 32 gross registered tons when she set sail. 

In February 2008, the crew heard a mayday call over the radio and rescued three men from the 39-foot sailing vessel Tumbleweed, which had suffered a mechanical breakdown. The crew onboard had been drifting at sea for eleven days before being rescued. 

Radiance of the Seas (April 2001)


In 2001, Royal Caribbean launched a brand-new class of ship: Radiance Class. Radiance of the Seas cost around $338 million to build and, at 90,090 gross registered tons, has a gross tonnage significantly less than her Voyager Class counterparts. 

Through 2025, she will make voyages to Alaska, the Bahamas and Caribbean, Pacific Northwest, and Panama Canal. 

Adventure of the Seas (November 2001)


When constructed, Adventure of the Seas lacked some fan favorites, such as the Cyclone and Typhoon dual racer water slides, FlowRider surf simulator, Splashaway Bay, Izumi, Chops Grille, and Boleros. Thankfully, these were all added during a $61 million refit in 2016. She was the fifth ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet to undergo revitalization efforts. 

Brilliance of the Seas (July 2002)


The second Radiance Class ship to be built, Brilliance of the Seas set sail on her maiden voyage on July 15, 2002. When launched, she was the first cruise ship in the world to feature self-leveling pool tables. 

In 2019, the world's largest pasta-tasting event took place onboard, with a total of 468 people in attendance. The event was led by Executive Chef Alastair Gillott.

Navigator of the Seas (December 2002)


Navigator of the Seas was the first Voyager Class ship to feature wider balconies with glass windows. Today, she is one of two ships in the fleet to have the Bamboo Room, a tiki-inspired cocktail bar. Likewise, she received the cruise line's resort-style pool deck during her $115 million dry dock in 2019. 

Serenade of the Seas (August 2003)


Royal Caribbean's first-ever world cruise will be onboard Serenade of the Seas, a 90,090 gross registered ton vessel that was launched in 2003. Over the course of 274 nights, she will sail to more than 150 destinations in 65 countries and visit 11 great wonders of the world, including the Great Wall of China, Petra archaeological site in Jordan, Taj Mahal, and Great Barrier Reef.

Read more: An upcoming cruise will sail around the world in 274 days - see what it'll be like

Mariner of the Seas (November 2003)


The last Voyager Class ship was launched in 2003, meaning that all ships in this class are nearing twenty years old. Over the years, though, they have been refit to keep them updated. In 2018, Mariner of the Seas received a $120 million amplification. 

Currently, she sails out of Port Canaveral, Florida; however, she will be repositioned to Galveston, Texas in April 2024, where she will make 4-, 5-, and 7-night roundtrip sailings to the Western Caribbean.  

Jewel of the Seas (2004)


The fourth-and-final Radiance Class ship, Jewel of the Seas, departed on her maiden voyage on May 8, 2004. Today, she makes longer, more port-intensive sailings, including a 17-night Arctic Circle cruise, 15-night Ireland and Iceland cruise, 14-night Greenland cruise, 12-night British Isles cruise, 11-night Southern Caribbean cruise, and more. 

Freedom of the Seas (2006)


Freedom of the Seas was launched in 2006. While the ship drew inspiration from Voyager Class ships, she is larger, measuring 156,271 gross registered tons and 1,111 feet long. In comparison, Voyager of the Seas comes in at 137,276 gross registered tons and is 1,020 feet long. 

Upon her completion, she became the largest cruise ship ever built, and Royal Caribbean ships have held the title ever since. 

Liberty of the Seas (2007)

Liberty of the Seas

Each Freedom Class ship offers something unique that cannot be found on another. Freedom, for instance, has a resort-style pool deck, while Liberty of the Seas has the tidal wave, the only boomerang-style water slide in the fleet. 

Unfortunately, Liberty of the Seas did not get her dry dock upgrades as originally scheduled in 2020. She did, however, receive some enhancements in 2016 that added a collection of water slides, including the first-ever boomerang-style slide at sea, Tidal Wave, and Splashaway Bay. 

Read more: All about Freedom Class cruise ships

Independence of the Seas (2008)


Independence of the Seas set sail in 2008. Ten years later, she underwent a dry dock and got the first trampoline park at sea. Dubbed the "Sky Pad," the virtual reality bungee experience has been retired from all four ships it was on: Independence, Mariner, Odyssey, and Spectrum of the Seas. 

Through April 2025, Independence of the Seas will call Florida her home port, and she will make anywhere from 3-night Bahamas cruises up to 7-night Western Caribbean cruises. 

Oasis of the Seas (2009)


Oasis of the Seas redefined "family vacation." The cruise ship, which was the first to ever surpass 200,000 gross registered tons, was the first to be divided into themed neighborhoods, all of which focus on providing a different experience. 

Moreover, she was the first cruise ship to feature a zip line, which lets guests soar nine decks above the Boardwalk. 

She was last renovated in 2019. During this, her gross registered tonnage was increased to 226,838 due to the additional cabins that were added to Deck 14. 

Allure of the Seas (2010)


The second Oasis Class ship, Allure of the Seas, was launched one year after Oasis. 

While there was a renovation planned, it has been suspended. This would update Allure with some of the additions that were added to later Oasis Class ships, including the Ultimate Abyss and Perfect Storm water slides. 

Quantum of the Seas (2014)


Quantum Class vessels were designed to function in both warm and cold weather conditions. For that reason, they have more indoor areas than other Royal Caribbean ships, such as the SeaPlex. 

The SeaPlex boasts numerous activities throughout the cruise, such as dance and exercise classes, pickleball, soccer, roller skating, and even bumper cars. 

Quantum of the Seas also features a skydiving simulator and observation capsule that takes guests 300 feet above sea level. 

Anthem of the Seas (2015)


Anthem of the Seas, the second Quantum Class ship, has the H20 zone. The remaining three Quantum Class ships have the upgraded Splashaway Bay for children. Her first-ever voyage took place on April 22, 2015. 

In the summer, she sails out of Southampton around Europe. In October 2023, however, she will cross the Atlantic to sail from Cape Liberty for the winter, offering 7- and 8-night Bahamas cruises. 

Ovation of the Seas (April 2016)


2016 was a busy year for Royal Caribbean, as they had two ships launch within two months of each other. The first, Ovation of the Seas, left on April 16, with Harmony of the Seas following on May 29. 

Ovation of the Seas is one of two ships in the entire fleet to feature dining venue Fish & Ships, with the other being Independence of the Seas. Here, you can find items such as fish & chips, chicken fingers, and deep-fried candy bars. 

Harmony of the Seas (May 2016)


Following Royal Caribbean's six-year break from releasing new Oasis Class ships, Harmony of the Seas set sail in May 2016. She differs from her two younger sisters in that she features redesigned cabins and is the only Oasis Class ship that does not have a pool inside of the adults-only Solarium. 

When she was launched, she was the only ship to feature the Ultimate Abyss and Perfect Storm water slides. Since then, these amenities have been added to Oasis of the Seas, and many other ships throughout Royal Caribbean's fleet have received water slides, too. 

Symphony of the Seas (2018)


Symphony of the Seas held the record as the world's largest cruise ship for just about four years, until Wonder of the Seas set sail in 2022. Compared to Harmony of the Seas, Symphony has a higher gross registered tonnage, measuring 228,081 versus Harmony's 226,963. 

During the winter months of 2023 and 2024, she can be found sailing out of Florida. In Summer 2024, however, she will be relocated to Cape Liberty, New Jersey, where she will make 7-, 8-, and 9-night Eastern Caribbean cruises. 

Spectrum of the Seas (2019)


Spectrum of the Seas is Royal Caribbean's first Quantum-Ultra Class ship, which is similar to the regular Quantum Class. For that reason, they should be thought of as a subclass instead of an entirely different class. 

Moreover, Spectrum of the Seas was designed for an Asian cruising market. It, for instance, is the only ship in the fleet to have Leaf and Bean, a coffee and tea spot that is located in the Royal Esplanade. 

Odyssey of the Seas (2021)


Like Spectrum of the Seas, Odyssey of the Seas is not identical to other Quantum Class ships. Onboard, guests will find that the Main Dining Room is unified, as opposed to separate dining rooms. Moreover, there is a teppanyaki restaurant in addition to just sushi. 

Odyssey of the Seas can also hold close to 5,500 guests, while Ovation's maximum capacity is 4,905. 

Read more: All of the fun activities on Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas

Wonder of the Seas (2022)

Wonder Europe

Wonder of the Seas is the fifth Oasis Class ship and was the largest cruise ship in the world until Icon of the Seas was delivered to Royal Caribbean's fleet. 

She is unlike any of the other Oasis Class ships in that she only has one FlowRider. In place of the other one, guests will find Wonder Playscape, an underwater-themed playground that has slides, climbing walls, games, and puzzles. 

Icon of the Seas (2024)

Icon Aft view

Icon of the Seas is the world's largest cruise ship and the first new class of ship from Royal Caribbean since 2014. She measures 250,800 gross tons, making her 6% bigger than Wonder of the Seas. 

The ship has been designed with families in mind. Not only will there be the largest water park at sea onboard, but there will be a brand-new family-focused neighborhood called Surfside. 

Adults will even get an upgraded escape at The Hideaway. There is so much to do onboard Icon of the Seas, which will be sailing from Miami to the Eastern and Western Caribbean.

Read more: The 15 big changes on Icon of the Seas that Royal Caribbean has planned

Utopia of the Seas (July 2024)


The sixth Oasis Class ship is set to embark on her maiden voyage in July 2024. Utopia of the Seas is set to be the ultimate weekend trip, offering 3- and 4-night cruises from Port Canaveral to Nassau and Perfect Day at CocoCay

She will be most similar to Wonder of the Seas; however, Utopia will also offer unique experiences that cannot be found on other Oasis Class ships, such as the first-ever immersive train car dining experience and Pesky Parrot bar. 

Likewise, Utopia will be the only Oasis Class ship with Izumi in Central Park, allowing guests to enjoy their favorite rolls al fresco. 

Star of the Seas (August 2025)


Royal Caribbean's second Icon Class ship will enter service in August 2025. Star of the Seas will sail from Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. 

Royal Caribbean has already announced some changes to the second Icon Class vessel. Empire Supper Club, for instance, will be themed after Chicago, rather than New York City. 

Third unnamed Icon Class ship (TBD 2026)

Royal Caribbean's third Icon Class ship will launch in 2026. At the time of writing, little information has been revealed about the new vessel, including its name and homeport.

Loading Comments