About Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
For over 40 years, Royal Caribbean
International has ushered tourists around the world in its ever-growing fleet of ships. As its name suggests, Royal Caribbean offers many cruises
to the Caribbean, but it also provides excursions to 76 countries across 6 continents. Itineraries range from 3 days to 2 weeks. Many customers, especially families, opt for a week-long cruise.
In 1969, three Norwegian shipping companies founded Royal Caribbean International to cash in on the booming American tourism market. The company's first three ships met with success. However, Royal Caribbean didn't gain worldwide recognition until it launched Song of America in 1982. Song of America, the third largest cruise liner of its time, became the prototype for other ships after its debut. Today, Royal Caribbean is the second-largest cruise line in the world. Its headquarters are in Miami, Florida.
Since the 1980s, Royal Caribbean has owned some of the largest cruise liners in the world. The Oasis of the Seas, and it's sister ship Allure of the Seas are currently the world's largest passenger ships. Currently, Royal Caribbean operates 22 ships in six different classes: Oasis, Freedom, Voyager, Radiance, Vision class and Sovereign. Classes are based on the size of the ship and what kind of amenities it offers. Starting in 1991, all Royal Caribbean ships have names that end with the words, "of the Seas."
The Royal Caribbean fleet sails across the world to visit over 250 ports of call. Popular destinations include the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexico, but Royal Caribbean also offers cruises to Canada, Europe, Australia, Asia, South America and Dubai. On cruises to the Caribbean and Bahamas, customers are often treated to an excursion to Labadee or CocoCay---two private resorts operated by Royal Caribbean. Both resorts feature white sand beaches, lounge chairs and canopies for lunch or dinner.
Royal Caribbean offers their guests both traditional entertainment like shows and lounges, and more adventurous activities like ice-skating and rock-climbing. Daytime activities usually revolve around the pool area, spas and gyms. Newer ships, like the Liberty of the Seas, also come equipped with ice skating rinks, rock-climbing walls and surfing simulators. Evening activities include concerts, games, dancing and Vegas-like productions. According to Douglas Newman of CruiseCritic.com, Royal Caribbean has some of the most impressive shows on the sea.
Due to the large size of Royal Caribbean's ships, guests enjoy a wide variety of places to eat. The main dining room typically serves a five-course meal, while specialty restaurants like Johnny Rockets offer more casual food. Other dining options include the Windjammer Buffet, the Chops Grille steakhouse, and the Italian restaurant Portofino. A midnight buffet and 24-hour room service are also available for guests.
Traveling with kids? Royal Caribbean is a popular cruise line for families due to its babysitting services and kid-oriented activities. Younger children will enjoy the Adventure Ocean program that provides lots of entertainment, such as Pirate Night and Wacky Olympics. Teenagers may pick and choose from a list of activities like pool parties and karaoke. The only drawback for families? The cabins tend to be small in older ships, says Linda Coffman of CruiseDiva.com.
If you have questions about Royal Caribbean cruises, phone a Royal Caribbean representative at (800) 398-9819. Or use the email contact form on Royal Caribbean's website (see resource links). If you live outside of the United States, visit www.royalcaribbean.com to find contact information for an office in your area.
A native of Washington, D.C., Caroline Tung Richmond has worked as a freelance writer since 2007. Her articles have appeared in both print and online publications such as the "Baltimore Sun," "Highlights" and Travels.com. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University.
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