If you’ve never been on a cruise, I would say you’re missing out. Not only do they hit up some interesting locations, the ships themselves are floating marvels. Like cities on the ocean, these marvels of human ingenuity have everything you could possibly want, from food to entertainment to shopping.
Some, however, stand out above the rest. Whether through technical advancement or sheer size, there are several cruise ships without compare.
Click ‘Start Slideshow’ and see these extravagant and most luxurious ships in the world!
Harmony of the Seas – Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean is a well-known name in the cruise world. They’ve had many ships over the years, but the cruise line is taking things to the next level with their ship Harmony of the Seas and its two sister ships.
First up are the water slides. Now, I’m afraid of heights, but seeing these things makes me want to fight that fear. These slides start at the park on the upper deck of the ship, one of the two parks up there, to be specific. The rear of the ship houses the big-kid stuff with things like the FlowRider surf simulator. Yes, you can totally surf on the boat, which is cool.
Anyway, back to the slides. These things start at the rear of the ship, extend out over the edge, and then spiral down past the nine decks of the ship before finally emptying out into the cavernous center of the ship. It looks positively exhilarating.
The ship is also broken up into multiple neighborhoods, each with its own things to see, hear and enjoy. I think the ones most of note are Central Park, the Royal Promenade and the Boardwalk.
Central Park is like something you wouldn’t expect to see on a boat. It has some 12,000 trees and plants and includes uptown dinner and shopping areas. The Royal Promenade looks a bit like Vegas, with bright lights and shiny decor. It’s also home to the Bionic Bar, which has robot bartenders who can mix up pretty much any drink you want.
The Boardwalk brings back that awesome 1950s style with diners and a carousel. It’s like taking a quick visit to Coney Island, except on a boat in the middle of the ocean. Super cool stuff. One other thing to note is the boat’s AquaTheater, which features some high-flying performances to keep everyone entertained.
Look at the inside of this thing! So many things to see and do!
The Harmony of the Seas has some really neat stuff on it. With ice shows and stage shows, all the different neighborhoods, great food and places to relax, there’s almost no reason to leave the ship when it hits up its exotic ports.
Royal Caribbean isn’t the only cruise line packing great adventures into their ships. Up next is a cruise that has luxury in mind.
Majestic Princess – Princess Cruises
The Majestic Princess, set to launch on its maiden voyage in April, has some luxury features you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else.
Since we’re talking luxury, let’s start with the suites. These rooms can put hotel rooms to shame. The suite has multiple televisions, a large balcony with furniture, a sofa, a mini-bar, a queen-sized bed, a desk and additional seating (in case you make friends on the ship). Similar amenities are found in the less expensive suites, which is impressive in and of itself.
Food-wise, the Majestic Princess hosts a variety of eateries. Alfredo’s Pizzeria serves up hot pies while Chopsticks Noodle Bar gives you an Asian experience you may otherwise only be able to find in Japan or China. Those are, of course, only two of the many different options available.
For fancier fare, there are several specialty diners. Patrons can enjoy Cantonese classics from a Michelin star-awarded chef in Harmony, or can enjoy upscale French food at La Mer. For a truly unique experience, guests can order an ultimate balcony dining special, which features gourmet dishes served on the balcony in your suite by boat staff.
The adventure continues around the ship. The Atrium features performances by jugglers and acrobats, right in the center of the ship. A fine art gallery hosts auction for those who wish to take something special home with them. The Seawalk is an impressive glass bridge which juts out over the edge of the ship, giving walkers an impressive view of the sea.
This majestic beauty is brand new and carries nearly 5,000 people on each journey!
Princess Cruises has done everything they can to make this one of the most luxurious cruises out there. Great food and beautiful rooms are just two of the many reasons you might be interested in seeing what Princess has to offer.
Our next ship offers an unparalleled experience as it crosses the sea from New York to Southampton, England. What could it be?
Queen Mary 2 – Cunard
Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 is a marvel of modern engineering. Not only is she the largest ocean liner ever built, she has a classic beauty which simply cannot be denied.
On first glance, one might believe they were seeing something out of an old film. With its black and red paint, the Queen Mary 2 brings up images of people climbing onto large ships, ready to make their way to America and prosperity.
Nostalgia aside, the Queen Mary 2 is a really great ship. It features the largest library at sea. It has kennels for your furry friends to make the journey. You can enjoy West-End and Broadway-style shows in the grand Royal Court Theatre.
Exceptional dining experiences should be expected. From the beautifully designed Britannia Restaurant to the intimate Grill dining rooms, there is something for everyone.
One of the more unique things the Queen Mary 2 features is a planetarium. This ship is the only ship in the world with one, and passengers can learn all about the stars and how ships navigate by them before heading out to the deck and seeing it all with their own eyes.
Somehow, the Queen Mary 2 just fits in so well with New York City as a backdrop. What a ship!
If you’re looking to travel to England and you have some extra time and money to spare, this would be an incredible way to do it. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Do you want bumper cars, skydiving and great heights in your cruises? If so, the next ship is one you’re going to want to see.
Quantum of the Seas – Royal Caribbean
This ship is all about fun, as far as I’m concerned. The Quantum of the Seas, lead ship of Royal Caribbean’s Quantum class of ships, has an incredible amount of things to keep you and your family busy between port calls.
Let’s start with the North Star, something I would love to take advantage of. Passengers enter a large, jewel-shaped capsule, which is then lifted 300 feet above sea level. Up in the air, you get to see a 360-degree view of the ocean, as well as any land which may be nearby. This sounds, frankly, incredible. One of the greatest parts of a cruise, in my opinion, is being able to see things you otherwise wouldn’t be able to, and this takes you to new heights.
After coming down from the North Star, maybe you might want to hop into the RipCord by iFly. This is the first ever sky-diving simulator at sea, and is only available on the Quantum and its sister ships. You’ll need to go through a little training before you’re able to give the RipCord a try, but it’s a lot of fun and makes for a great alternative to jumping out of an airplane.
Once you’re done with your aerial adventures, you should head over to the Seaplex. This area of the ship hosts basketball courts, a roller skating rink and bumper cars! After the sun goes down, it transforms into a music and dance hall, complete with disco lights and thumping beats.
Like other Royal Caribbean ships, the Quantum of the Seas also features the FlowRider surf simulator and a 30-foot rock climbing wall. Both of these, by the way, have great views of the RipCord, so you can easily watch other passengers get freaked out as they’re flying through the air.
The North Star really is the shining spot on this cruise ship. Its breathtaking views are unmatched.
Though the Quantum of the Seas shares a lot with its cousin ship, the Harmony of the Seas, it also offers some compelling elements you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
If a cruise sounds like more of a family adventure to you, our next cruise ship might be more your speed.
Norwegian Breakaway – Norwegian Cruise Lines
For a family adventure, one need look no further than the Norwegian Breakaway from Nowegian Cruise Lines. Named the best cruise ship for families in 2013 and 2015, the Breakaway has enough conveniences to keep your whole family busy, whether you’re all together or if you’ve sent the kids away for some alone time.
One of the biggest draws for families on the ship is, without a doubt, the Aqua Park. It sits 17 decks above the sea and has pretty much every bit of watery fun you can imagine. We’re talking multi-story waterslides, swimming pools and hot tubs. For the younger crew, there is a Kid’s Aqua Park featuring scaled-down versions of what the Aqua Park offers.
In addition to the Aqua Park, the Sports Complex should be a huge draw. It includes the largest-at-sea rope course, featuring more than 40 different obstacles you need to maneuver through in the multi-level structure. The Sports Complex is also host to something I don’t think I’d ever be able to try: The Plank. Adventurous folk can walk eight feet over the edge of the ship on a small plank. Absolutely terrifying, but thrilling, nonetheless.
When it’s time to split up, kids can check out the Splash Academy. It’s loaded with pillows and toys and all kinds of things to allow children to be creative. While they’re doing that, the adults can enjoy a drink or two at the Bliss Ultra Lounge or the SVEDKA and Inniskillin Ice Bar, which is kept at a chilling 17 degrees and is entirely made of ice, before heading off to the ship’s casino.
The Breakaway has an incredible amount of family-friendly fun, but still has great content for those just looking for a good time.
I often think cruises are considered something old people do after retirement, but more and more cruises are offering activities for everyone, and I think making things more family friendly is another great way to increase their audience.
Cruise lines seem to be getting more and more creative, and Carnival’s newest ship is making waves.
Carnival Vista – Carnival Cruise Lines
The first thing that really caught my eye about the Carnival Vista is something I’ve never seen before: The SkyRide. In reading about cruises and such, I’ve learned quite a bit, but nothing struck me quite like the idea of a suspended bicycle course.
Imagine the views from this thing! It’s a twin-track system, so you and a friend, or a stranger, can go head-to-head to see who can finish the course the fastest. Alternatively, and this sounds like more fun, you can take your time and just enjoy the amazing views.
For more outside fun, the Carnival Vista several great attractions. The SkyCourse is an aerial rope course that offers a great challenge. With two levels of challenge, you can make the experience as difficult or relaxed as you like. WaterWorks is an all-ages water park which features some incredible water slides, each with their own twists and turns. The Carnival Vista, like other Carnival ships, even has an onboard miniature golf course if you find yourself really missing the links.
Heading inside switches things up a little bit. If you’re interested in seeing a movie, but don’t want to take advantage of the pool-side Carnival theater, why not step into the ship’s IMAX theater? Yes, the Carnival Vista has an IMAX, which is pretty cool. Carnival also has some other big entertainment names you might recognize. Why not spend some time watching a Lip Sync Battle? Maybe you’ll take in a Seuss at Sea show? Perhaps CLUE: The Murder Mystery sounds enticing?
The Carnival Vista also has daycare service with its Night Owls program, which will watch your kids until the early hours of the morning so you can head out and have some fun, knowing they’re safe. For the older kids, the Circle “C” hotspot is great for tweens while Club O2 will keep those older teens entertained.
I really can’t get over the SkyRide and how fun it looks. Zooming around the ship sounds fantastic!
Carnival Cruise Lines has really stepped things up with the Carnival Vista. From the unique SkyRide to the wildly varied entertainment options inside, finding something to enjoy between ports should be a simple prospect.
Sometimes a vacation needs a little magic, and who does that better than the mouse everyone loves best?
Disney Magic – Disney Cruise Line
For decades, Disney has been the creators of magic for children and families around the world. From their films to their parks and, now, to their cruises.
The Disney Magic lives up to its name. Like a floating Disney theme park, this ship features shows, food, rides and anything else you might want to have a truly Disney experience.
Stories come to life in the Walt Disney Theatre. Audiences can enjoy live performances of special Disney stories, like Twice Charmed: An Original Twist on the Cinderella Story. Passengers can catch the newest Disney films at the Buena Vista Theatre or can enjoy a Disney classic out on the deck.
Speaking of the deck, Disney characters are all over the place. Just like at any of the theme parks, you might run into some of your favorite Disney characters as you make your way around the ship.
If you’re a fan of onboard activities, you’re in luck. The Disney Magic has a unique area where you can enjoy various Disney worlds! I would definitely find myself getting lost in MARVEL’s Avengers Academy, though my wife would probably be spending more time in Andy’s Room from Toy Story.
Like other cruise ships, the Disney Magic is also home to a waterpark. It’s shining star is the AquaDunk. The story is it was designed by Donald Duck’s nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie. Several of the prototypes didn’t work, as was discovered when they had Donald test them out. Eventually, they ended up with the AquaDunk, a thrilling water slide that takes you out over the edge of the boat before depositing you 212 feet away from where you started. I’ve never been one to trust those nephews, but this sounds like a great ride.
I can’t think of any way to experience Disney in a more relaxing atmosphere than on a cruise.
Disney always knows how to make things absolutely spectacular, and they’ve accomplished that with all the wonderful things available on the Disney Magic.
Perhaps you’ve gone through this list and have thought to yourself “Man, I would love to live on a cruise ship.” If so, the world lies ahead.
The sea is our home.
That is the message you find when you begin to read about The World, one of the largest private residential ships on the planet.
Launched in 2002, The World is 644 feet long and contains 1664 individual homes. Residents own these homes, and the ship, by extension, so they’re able to dictate the experiences they desire.
The World constantly travels the globe, stopping and spending time in ports all over the place. Here, residents spend time enjoying the local areas before embarking on their next adventure.
Life aboard the boat is just as exciting as the excursions often taken at the various ports it visits. Residents do yoga, go swimming, play tennis on a regulation-sized tennis court or take shots in a golf simulator. They are also constantly learning. The ship often plays host to lecturers and workshops from local experts and dignitaries.
Food is also a big deal aboard The World. Meals are created using local ingredients and inspirations, and guest chefs are welcomed aboard to make special meals for residents. Additionally, the ship has its own special restaurants featuring numerous different cuisines.
If you’re living on a ship, you’re going to want to make sure you’re comfortable. Cruise rooms are typically nice, but they don’t always feel like home. The World has a variety of residences, ranging from studios to three-bedroom residences.
There’s something that sounds absolutely incredibly about living on the sea, constantly moving from port to port, experiencing new adventures every day!
The World was the largest ship of its kind, but a South Korean ship named The Utopia was set to launch in 2016. If you want to live on The World, it’s going to take a whole lot of money, but this would be an experience you would never forget.
Do you have a favorite cruise ship? What would make one perfect for you? Let us know!