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The Quick Guide to Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships by Size You’ll Need

With a fleet of ships in all shapes and sizes, Royal Caribbean offers something for everyone. But with so many options, how do you choose the perfect vessel for your family’s adventure? That’s where we come in with this guide to Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships by Size.

In this post, we’ll explore Royal Caribbean’s ships by size so that you can find the perfect ship for your next adventure. Also, keep reading to learn why size matters when planning your cruise vacation and key factors you may want to consider. (Also, check out our separate guide to Royal Caribbean ships by age.)

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships By Size | photo of Symphony of Seas next to Anthem of the Seas
Symphony of the Seas (one of world’s largest ships) docked next to Anthem of the Seas at Royal Caribbean’s private island. Symphony holds approximately 2,000 more people than Anthem. (Credit: E. Warren, 12/2022)

How We Compare Cruise Ship Sizes – Gross Tonnage

The measurement most commonly used to determine a ship’s size is its gross tonnage. The term can be a bit confusing since it doesn’t necessarily correlate to the ship’s weight, but it is the standard of measurement used to calculate various things, including port dues. 

What Is Gross Tonnage?

Gross tonnage is basically the volume of all enclosed spaces on a ship. It is used to calculate manning regulations, safety rules, registration fees, and more. So, though gross tonnage doesn’t refer to the ship’s weight, it is a good indication of the ship’s size and capacity.

It is the most prevalent metric used to calculate the size of a ship since it is used nearly universally to determine various regulations and fees. As such, gross tonnage makes it possible to compare the sizes of different classes of ships.

Quick Primer On Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Classes

Royal Caribbean International currently has seven cruise ship classes. They are:

  1. Quantum Ultra Class, which includes the Odyssey of the Seas and Spectrum of the Seas. They can carry between 5,498 and 5,622 guests.
  2. Quantum Class, which includes the Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, and Ovation of the Seas. These ships can carry between 4,905 and 4,908 guests.
  3. Oasis Class, which includes the Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, and Wonder of the Seas. They can carry between 6,680 and 6,988 guests.
  4. Freedom Class, which includes the Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, and Independence of the Seas. They can carry between 4,515 and 4,960 guests.
  5. Voyager Class, which includes the Voyager of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, and Mariner of the Seas. These ships can carry between 3,807 and 4,290 guests.
  6. Radiance Class, which includes the Radiance of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, and Jewel of the Seas. They are capable of handling between 2,466 and 2,702 passengers.
  7. Vision Class, which includes the Grandeur of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, and Vision of the Seas. They can handle between 2,416 and 2,730 guests.

The most significant difference between the classes is the number of guests the ships can take. However, they also differ by size, and Royal Caribbean offers different entertainment types and amenities on the various cruise ship classes.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships By Size | photo comparing Wonder of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas
Wonder of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas at CocoCay. Wonder can carry approximately 3,200 more people than Freedom. (Credit: E. Warren, 4/2022)

All Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships By Size

Royal Caribbean currently has 26 cruise ships that vary considerably by size. Let’s look at the different options you have when you plan your next cruise.

1. Wonder Of The Seas

Wonder of the Seas is currently Royal Caribbean’s largest cruise ship. This Oasis-class ship has a gross tonnage of 236,857 GT and is 1,188 feet (362 meters) long.

Wonder can handle 5,518 passengers and 2,394 crew members for a total of 7,912 people on board.

It officially launched on March 4, 2022, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

2. Symphony Of The Seas

Symphony of the Seas is Royal Caribbean’s second-largest cruise ship, with a gross tonnage of 228,081 GT and the same length as the Wonder at 1,188 feet (362 meters). It is also an Oasis-class ship.

Symphony can also handle 5,518 passengers but just 2,200 crew members, giving it a total of 7,718 people on board.

It started its maiden voyage on April 7, 2018

3. Harmony Of The Seas

Harmony of the Seas has a gross tonnage of 227,700 GT and is slightly shorter than the largest two, with a length of 1,187 feet (362 meters). It is also an Oasis-class ship.

Harmony can handle 5,479 passengers and 2,300 crew members, giving it a total of 7,779 people on board.

It started its maiden voyage on May 29, 2016, and is still going strong.

Stock photo of Oasis of the Seas (2013)
Oasis of the Seas, anchored in St. Maarten (January 2013)

4. Oasis Of The Seas

Oasis of the Seas, also an Oasis-class cruise ship, has a gross tonnage of 226,838 GT and is 1,187 feet (362 meters) long.

It can comfortably accommodate a total of 6,771 guests (5,602 with double occupancy) and 2,109 international crew members.

Oasis started its maiden voyage on December 5, 2009.

5. Allure Of The Seas

Allure of the Seas is fifth on this list, with a gross tonnage of 225,282 GT. It is also slightly shorter, with a length of 1,181 feet (360 meters). The Allure is also an Oasis-class ship.

Allure can handle a total of 8,880 people, which consists of 5,496 passengers with double occupancy (6,826 in total) and 2,054 crew members.

It departed on its maiden voyage on December 5, 2010, exactly one year after Oasis.

6. Spectrum Of The Seas

Spectrum of the Seas is a Quantum Ultra class cruise ship with a gross tonnage of 168,800 GT and a length of 1,139 feet (347 meters).

Spectrum can accommodate 5,480 people, consisting of 4,180 guests and 1,300 crew members.

The ship set off on her maiden voyage on April 18, 2019.

Photo of Ovation of the Seas (December, 2019)
Ovation of the Seas in Wellington, New Zealand (Credit: E. Warren, 12/2019)

7. Ovation Of The Seas

Ovation of the Seas is a Quantum class ship with a gross tonnage of 168,666 GT and a length of 1,138 feet (347 meters).

It can accommodate a total of 4,905 guests and 1,500 crew members.

The ship set off on her maiden voyage on April 17, 2016.

8. Odyssey Of The Seas

The only other Quantum Ultra class ship is the Odyssey of the Seas, which has a gross tonnage of 167,704 GT and a length of 1,135 feet (346 meters).

The ship can accommodate a total of 5,835 people on board, consisting of 4,284 passengers and 1,551 crew members.

Odyssey set off on its maiden voyage on July 31, 2021.

Odyssey of the Seas in Naples, Italy (May 2023)

9. Quantum Of The Seas

Quantum of the Seas is a Quantum class ship (and the ship that gave the class its name) with a gross tonnage of 168,666 GT and a length of 1,141 feet (slightly less than 348 meters).

The ship’s maiden voyage happened on November 2, 2014. It can accommodate a total of 4,905 guests and 1,500 crew members, just like the Ovation.

10. Anthem Of The Seas

Anthem of the Seas is the third Quantum class ship, and it’s pretty similar to the others. It also has a gross tonnage of 168,666 GT and a length of 1,141 feet (348 meters).

Anthem departed on its maiden voyage on April 22, 2015

Like the other Quantum class ships, Anthem can accommodate a total of 4,905 guests and 1,500 crew members.

11. Freedom Of The Seas

Freedom of the Seas is a Freedom-class ship that departed on its maiden voyage on May 11, 2006.

The ship has a gross tonnage of 156,271 GT and a length of 1,111 feet (338 meters). It can accommodate a total of 4,635 guests and 1,365 crew members.

12. Independence Of The Seas

Independence of the Seas is the second-largest Freedom-class ship, with a gross tonnage of 154,407 GT and a length of 1,112 feet (339 meters).

It can accommodate 3,648 guests and 1,360 crew members.

Independence departed on its maiden voyage on May 2, 2008.

Liberty of the Seas in Barcelona, Spain

13. Liberty Of The Seas

The third Freedom-class ship is Liberty of the Seas. It is almost identical to Independence in its size, with a gross tonnage of 154,407 and a length of 1,112 feet (339 meters).

Liberty can accommodate a total of 4,960 guests and 1,360 crew members. It was the second Freedom-class ship, built before Independence, and embarked on its maiden voyage on May 19, 2007.

14. Navigator Of The Seas

The Voyager class ships are slightly smaller than the Freedom class, and the first is Navigator of the Seas. It has a gross tonnage of 139,999 GT and is 1,020 feet (310 meters) long.

Navigator has the capacity for 3,968 guests and 1,232 crew members. It departed on its maiden voyage on December 14, 2002.

Photo of Mariner of The Seas in Singapore circa 2017.
Mariner of the Seas in Singapore (January 2017)

15. Mariner Of The Seas

The next Voyager class ship is Mariner of the Seas. It has a gross tonnage of 138,279 GT and is 1,020 feet (311 meters) long. The ship can accommodate 3,114 guests and 1,185 crew members.

Its maiden voyage started on November 16, 2003.

16. Explorer Of The Seas

Explorer of the Seas is another Voyager class vessel. It’s slightly smaller than Mariner, with a gross tonnage of 137,308 GT and a length of 1,020 feet (311 meters).

In total, the ship can accommodate 4,290 guests and 1,185 crew members. Explorer embarked on its maiden voyage on October 28, 2000.

Photo of Explorer of the Seas in South Pacific Islands (2016)
Explorer of the Seas in Pacific Islands (Credit: E. Warren, 12/2016)

17. Adventure Of The Seas

Adventure of the Seas is the fourth Voyager class ship. Its gross tonnage is 137,276 GT, and it is 1,020 feet long (311 meters). Adventure can accommodate 3,807 guests in total, as well as a crew of 1,185 people.

It departed on its maiden voyage on November 18, 2001.

18. Voyager Of The Seas

Voyager of the Seas is the eponym of Royal Caribbean’s Voyager class. Like Adventure, it has a gross tonnage of 137,276 GT and a length of 1,020 feet (311 meters).

Voyager can accommodate 4,000 guests and 1,200 crew members, and it embarked on its maiden voyage on November 21, 1999.

Voyager of the Seas in Hong Kong, China (March 2017).

19. Radiance Of The Seas

The next ship is the first of the Radiance class: Radiance of the Seas. It has a gross tonnage of 90,090 GT and is 962 feet (293 meters) long.

Along with its smaller size, it can also accommodate fewer people: only 2,466 guests and 894 crew members.

Radiance started its maiden voyage on April 7, 2001.

20. Brilliance Of The Seas

Brilliance of the Seas is another Radiance class vessel. It departed on its maiden voyage on July 15, 2002.  

Brilliance also has a gross tonnage of 90,090 GT and is 962 feet (293 meters) long. It can accommodate 2,543 guests and 848 crew members.

Seranade of the Seas in Vancouver, B.C. (July, 2022)

21. Serenade Of The Seas

The next vessel in the Radiance class is Serenade of the Seas. Its gross tonnage is also 90,090 GT, but it is slightly longer than the other two Radiance vessels at 965 feet (294 meters).

Serenade can accommodate 2,476 guests in total, along with 832 international crew members. It departed on its maiden voyage on August 25, 2003.

22. Jewel Of The Seas

Jewel of the Seas is the fourth cruise ship in Royal Caribbean’s Radiance class. It’s identical in size to Radiance and Brilliance, with a gross tonnage of 90,090 GT and a length of 962 feet (293 meters).

Jewel can accommodate 2,702 guests and 852 crew members. It embarked on its maiden voyage on May 8, 2004.

Jewel of the Seas in Seydisfjordur, Iceland ( July 2023)

23. Enchantment Of The Seas

Enchantment of the Seas is a Vision class ship with a gross tonnage of 82,910 GT and a length of 989 feet (301 meters). 

Enchantment accommodates 2,730 guests and a crew of 852 people. It embarked on its maiden voyage on July 13, 1997.

24. Rhapsody Of The Seas

Rhapsody of the Seas is another Vision class vessel. It has a gross tonnage of 78,491 GT and a length of 915.35 feet (around 279 meters).

Rhapsody accommodates 2,416 guests and a crew complement of 765 people. It departed on its maiden voyage on May 19, 1997.

25. Vision Of The Seas

Vision of the Seas is the eponym of the Vision class. It has a gross tonnage of 78,340 GT and a length of 915 feet (279 meters).

The cruise ship accommodates 2,514 guests and 742 international crew members. Its maiden voyage started on May 2, 1998.

26. Grandeur Of The Seas

Grandeur of the Seas is the fourth cruise ship in Royal Caribbean’s Vision class. It has a gross tonnage of 73,817 GT and a length of 916 feet (279 meters).

Grandeur accommodates a total of 2,440 guests and 760 crew members. It departed on its maiden voyage on December 14, 1996.

Grandeur of the Seas docked next to the larger Independence of the Seas in Labadee, Haiti (February 2015)

Future Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships

Royal Caribbean is in the habit of regularly announcing new cruise ships, and we are currently looking forward to the launch of two new ships: Icon of the Seas and Utopia of the Seas.

Icon of the Seas will be the first in a new class called the Icon class. It has a gross tonnage of 250,800 GT and will accommodate a maximum of 7,600 guests and 2,350 crew members. Royal Caribbean plans to launch this vessel in 2024.

Utopia of the Seas will also arrive in 2024 and boasts a gross tonnage of 236,860 GT. It will be able to accommodate more than 5,000 guests and 2,290 crew members. 

Why Does Size Matter?

When it comes to planning a family cruise vacation, the size of the ship can have a big impact on the overall experience. Here are some key factors families may want to consider when choosing a Royal Caribbean ship based on its size:

Amenities: Larger ships tend to have more amenities, which can be a big draw for families with kids. From water parks and zip lines to Broadway-style shows and multiple dining options, larger ships offer a wide variety of activities and entertainment options. Families who want a jam-packed itinerary with plenty of things to do may want to consider a larger ship with lots of amenities.

Crowds: On the flip side, some families may prefer a smaller ship to avoid crowds and have a more intimate experience. Smaller ships tend to have fewer passengers, which can mean shorter lines, more personalized service, and a quieter atmosphere. Families who want a more relaxed and low-key vacation may want to consider a smaller ship.

Age of Children: The age of your children can also be a factor in choosing the size of your ship. Larger ships may have more options for childcare and activities for kids, which can be a big plus for families with young children. However, families with infants or toddlers may prefer a smaller ship with a more relaxed atmosphere.

Also, the size of the ship will determine how many kids are on board. If you want opportunities for your older kids and teens to socialize with their own age group, you’ll find more options on a larger ship.

Photo of entrance to Teen Club on Wonder of the Seas
Entrance to Teens-Only space on Wonder of the Seas (Credit: E. Warren, 4/2022)

Personal Preference: Of course, personal preference is also a factor when it comes to choosing the size of your ship. Some families may prefer the excitement and energy of a large ship, while others may prefer the more intimate and relaxed experience of a smaller vessel. Families who have cruised before may have a better sense of what they like and can choose a ship based on their past experiences.

Itinerary: Families may want to consider the ship’s itinerary when choosing its size. Depending on the size of the ship, it may be able to visit smaller, more remote ports or larger, more popular destinations. Families who want to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations may want to consider a smaller ship, while those who want to hit all the major ports may prefer a larger vessel.

Overall, the size of the ship can be an important factor to consider when planning a family cruise vacation. 

Closing Thoughts

No matter what size Royal Caribbean ship you choose for your family vacation, one thing is certain: You’re in for an unforgettable adventure on the high seas. From the smallest ships to the largest, each vessel offers its own unique blend of amenities, activities, and experiences that will create countless lifetime memories for you and your family.

Elaine Warren

Founder & Crew Chief

Elaine founded this website after publishing the book The Family Cruise Companion’s Guide to Cruising With Kids. She has sailed on 39 cruises (and counting). She loves helping families navigate their way to an adventure-filled, fun, and memorable vacation.

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