2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING BEST WORLD’S LARGEST CRUISE SHIPS
Exploring the Largest Cruise Ships in the World
Taking a cruise no longer means you’re just on a boat with perhaps a pool and a few buffet restaurants. The world of cruising has expanded tremendously over the past few decades, particularly with the introduction of so many of the biggest cruise ships.
Cruise ships have gone from lodging to full-scale entertainment and luxury resorts on the water.
Many of the world’s largest cruise ships feature amenities like sports courts and recreation such as outdoor climbing walls, full-sized movie theaters, theaters with the capabilities to host Broadway-style shows, larger cabins, and dozens of eateries. These are just a few of the many features found on the biggest cruise ships today.
Award Emblem: Top 6 Largest Cruise Ships in the World
The world’s largest cruise ships give passengers the opportunity to have everything right at their fingertips, while also exploring multiple ports of call on the same trip.
This ranking and review specifically covers the world’s biggest cruise ships and highlights, in addition to their size, some of the distinctive features and amenities that set them apart.
AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Largest Cruise Ships in the World
List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the largest cruise ship names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that largest cruise ship):
- Allure of the Seas
- Anthem of the Seas
- Harmony of the Seas
- Oasis of the Seas
- Ovation of the Seas
- Quantum of the Seas
Top 6 Largest Cruise Ships in the World | Brief Comparison
World’s Largest Cruise Ships
Allure of the Seas
2017 Cruise Critic Winner for Best Entertainment
Anthem of the Seas
Ship includes the iFLY Skydiving Simulator and the SeaPlex activities space
Harmony of the Seas
Features 20 onboard dining options
Oasis of the Seas
Ship is divided into 7 different “neighborhoods”
Ovation of the Seas
Interior cabins have floor-to-ceiling virtual balconies
Quantum of the Seas
Features the North Star, providing 360-degree sea views from more than 300 feet up
Table: Top 6 Largest Cruise Ships in the World | Above list is sorted alphabetically
How Should You Choose a Cruise?
Along with looking at the biggest cruise ships, there might be other considerations you keep in mind as you choose the right cruise for you. The following are key factors that go beyond simply looking at the world’s biggest cruise ships to help you make the right decision when you book your trip:
What is the itinerary? First and foremost, a top consideration when you’re choosing a cruise should be where the cruise goes. The Caribbean is one of the most popular destinations for cruises that leave from the U.S., although there are plenty of other options as well.
The price of your cruise can vary pretty significantly depending on the type of cabin you choose. This will come down to a personal choice, but even the biggest cruise ships tend to have relatively small standard cabins. Are you going to be spending a lot of time in the cabin? If so, upgrading might be worth the cost. On the other hand, if you plan to spend the majority of your time out and about, a small room with no window may be just fine for you.
Size does matter when you are picking a cruise ship. When you choose one of the largest cruise ships in the world, you’re going to have more options for dining and entertainment.
Also important to think about is the value you’ll get for your money. For example, you might choose a cruise and cabin that initially seems inexpensive, but then when you get on board, you have to pay for nearly everything extra, such as drinks, snacks, and more. In this case, you might be better off choosing a more expensive cruise that includes more of the extras you want. You’ll quickly realize that sometimes what seems like a great bargain when you’re booking a cruise doesn’t turn out that way when you’re paying your final bill at the end of the trip.
Image source: Pixabay
It should be noted that all of the world’s biggest cruise ships highlighted on this ranking are from Royal Carribean. Royal Carribean has consistently been competitive over the past decade in terms of building the biggest cruise ships, and their ships make up the majority of the top-ranked world’s largest cruise ships.
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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Largest Cruise Ships in the World
Below, please find the detailed review of each of the biggest cruise ships. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these world’s largest cruise ships to score so well in our selection ranking.
Allure of the Seas Review
Allure of the Seas is the second largest cruise ship in the world with a tonnage of 225,282 gt., and a length of 1,187 feet. It was launched by Royal Caribbean in 2010, and in addition to being a pick for one of the world’s biggest cruise ships, the Allure of the Seas has also been named a “Best Cruise Ship” by readers of Travel Weekly.
Image Source: Royal Caribbean
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as a Largest Ship in the World
Details of Allure of the Seas, a pick for a largest passenger ship and a biggest cruise ship in the world, are highlighted below.
There are several itineraries you can choose from if you want to sail on the Allure of the Seas, a pick for biggest cruise ship in the world. While it’s not the biggest cruise ship, it’s second only to the Harmony of the Seas.
Most of the itineraries you can take on this pick for the second biggest cruise ship in the world leave from Fort Lauderdale.
Options include Western Caribbean cruises to ports including Labadee, Haiti, Falmouth, Jamaica, and Cozumel, Mexico.
There are also Eastern Caribbean routes that visit places including Nassau, Bahamas, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, and Phillipsburg, St. Maarten.
With so much extra space, many of the world’s biggest cruise ships, including this pick for a biggest cruise ship in the world, offer extensive on-deck entertainment and recreation options.
Aboard the Allure of the Seas, you’ll find the following:
- Two FlowRider surf simulators
- An 82-foot zip line located nine decks up
- An ice-skating rink
- Two 43-foot rock climbing walls
- Main pool
- Sports pool
- Full-sized basketball court
- Beach pool
- Adults-only Solarium pool
Dining and Entertainment
Another reason choosing the biggest cruise ship can make for a better experience is because there are more dining and entertainment options that what you might find on a smaller ship. This pick for a largest ship in the world includes some of the most expansive dining and entertainment options anywhere in the world. These include:
- The Broadway show Mamma Mia! is onboard
- There are AquaTheater shows
- Ice-skating shows
- Casino Royale
- Several bars including a live jazz club, comedy club, and karaoke bar
- Designer boutiques
- 150 Central Park features a six-course seasonal menu from James Beard Award winner Michael Schwartz
- Giovanni’s Table Italian restaurant
- The first Starbucks at sea
- Chops Grille American Steakhouse
- Sabor Taqueria and Tequila Bar
Anthem of the Seas Review
Anthem of the Seas is a Royal Caribbean ship currently ranked as the fifth biggest cruise ship in the world. Among the world’s largest cruise ships, the Anthem of the Seas is a favorite for many reasons, including the dining, entertainment, retail, and rest and relaxation options this fifth largest cruise ship provides to passengers. This fifth largest ship in the world is 1,141 feet long and is packed with some of the most innovative amenities available.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of 2017’s Largest Cruise Ships in the World
Among the world’s largest cruise ships, the following are some of the unique features of the Anthem of the Seas, ranked as the fifth largest cruise ship.
The Anthem of the Seas isn’t just the fifth largest ship in the world. It’s also one of the most innovative ships with a variety of features you wouldn’t see on any other of even the largest cruise ships in the world.
For example, RipCord by iFly offers the opportunity to do indoor skydiving right on the deck of the ship.
Also part of this fifth biggest cruise ship in the world is the SeaPlex, which is an indoor recreation area with everything from a roller rink to a floating DJ booth.
There’s also the Bionic Bar, which brings mixology together with technology to make cocktails.
The Anthem of the Seas, the fifth largest passenger ship among the world’s largest cruise ships, offers unique itineraries. These include options to sail to not only the Caribbean and the Bahamas but also Bermuda, Canada, and New England.
Caribbean ports of call include CocoCay in the Bahamas and Nassau in the Bahamas. Bermuda cruises leave from Cape Liberty in New Jersey and visit King’s Wharf, Bermuda.
Canada and New England itineraries include destinations like Boston, Portland, Maine, Bar Harbor, Maine, and Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The Anthem of the Seas features a varied selection of dining options including 14 casual and specialty restaurants located on the ship. There are also options to participate in something called the My Time Dining program, which unlike most other cruise lines, allows passengers to take advantage of both traditional and flexible dining programs.
With My Time Dining, passengers can select their dining time and table companions on a daily basis between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., and it doesn’t have to be the same every day.
Harmony of the Seas Review
Harmony of the Seas is a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that holds the distinction of being the biggest cruise ship in the world. This largest passenger ship is a leader among all other big cruise ships. It doesn’t just lead the way in terms of size. The biggest cruise ship in the world is also packed with features and luxuries that passengers find appealing, ranging from activities to Broadway shows.
Image Source: Royal Caribbean
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as 2017’s Biggest Cruise Ship in the World
Unique features of Harmony of the Seas, the biggest cruise in the world, are below.
In total, on Harmony of the Seas, the biggest cruise ship, there are 20 dining options. Guests can take part in the Royal Caribbean GOLD Anchor Service, which features a widely-varied menu of dinner options in both early and late seating times in the Main Dining Rooms. This is in addition to dozens of other dining options on the ship. The ship also participates in the flexible My Time Dining program.
Some of the dining options include the Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine restaurant, Royal Caribbean’s Chops Grille, Sabor Modern Mexican, and the Japanese grill, Izumi Hibachi and Sushi.
The entertainment options are so plentiful aboard this biggest cruise ship in the world that it would be difficult to do even close to everything offered. Some of the entertainment and shopping options available aboard the Harmony of the Seas, the largest cruise ship, include:
- The showcased musical onboard is the Broadway hit Grease
- There is a Bionic Bar located on the Royal Promenade where passengers can get creatively crafted cocktails from robotic bartenders
- There are complimentary AquaTheater shows and ice shows
- There is a VIP room at the Casino Royale
- There are regular parties and parades on the Royal Promenade
- Duty-free shopping is available onboard
- There’s a 3D movie theater onboard
- The boat includes the Splashaway Bay kids’ water park
While the Harmony of the Seas is the largest ship in the world and features plenty of options for kids, families, and adventure seekers, it also has abundant facilities for people who want rest and relaxation while onboard.
The Vitality at Sea Spa is a full-service spa featuring a large menu of services and a thermal suite.
There is a state-of-the-art fitness center with group classes like yoga, and there are ten whirlpools on the boat. There’s also the Central Park outdoor garden featuring galleries, restaurants, and shopping, and there’s a Concierge Club and Diamond Lounge onboard this biggest cruise ship in the world.
Oasis of the Seas Review
The Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas is ranked as the third biggest cruise ship in the world, coming in at 1,187 feet. This ship excels regarding its activities and available restaurants and bars, and it’s considered a high-energy ship that’s good for travelers who want a lot of excitement and things to do when onboard, as well as for families with children. This ship was built in 2009 and is considered one of the leading boats among the push to create the largest cruise ships in the world.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the World’s Largest Cruise Ships
Below are some of the key features of the Oasis of the Seas, ranked as one of the largest cruise ships in the world.
Popularity of Onboard Attractions
As mentioned, having been built in 2009, the Oasis of the Seas is recognized as a pioneer among the biggest cruise ships. This third largest passenger ship has so many onboard attractions that according to CruiseCritic.com, the ship often sails at 100% capacity or more, and onboard activities are so popular that up to 30 percent of passengers report never getting off the boat when they’re in port.
It should be noted that while the Oasis of the Seas is one of the older ships on this ranking of the world’s largest cruise ships, it did have an update in 2014 with a focus on the dining areas and adding new suites.
One of the many good things about the Oasis of the Seas, the third largest ship in the world, is the wide variety of cabin options available. There are interior cabins and oceanview rooms, as well as cabins with balconies overlooking interior areas of this creatively designed ship, including views of the Boardwalk, Central Park, and the Promenade. There are also two suites on the boat that are built on their own floor on Deck 17.
Even the smallest interior cabins have good storage and closet space, and there are windowed cabins available in various sizes.
Kids and Family
As mentioned above, the Oasis of the Seas is not only one of the biggest cruise ships, but this third largest ship in the world is great for people who want a high-energy trip and plenty of options for kids and families.
This is certainly a kid-friendly ship, and some of the amenities best for families aboard the Oasis of the Seas include:
- H20 Zone kids’ water park
- DreamWorks Experience featuring characters from movies like Kung Fu Panda and Shrek
- The Adventure Ocean Youth Program is complimentary
- There are teen programs and areas to hang out
- There is a Royal Babies & Tots Nursery
- There are games and a carousel located at the Boardwalk
- The ship includes a 3D movie theater
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Ovation of the Seas Review
Ovation of the Seas is the third ship that became part of Royal Caribbean’s Quantum class, and its sister ships include the Quantum of the Seas and the Anthem of the Seas.
The Ovation of the Seas is the sixth largest cruise ship in the world, coming in at 1,138 feet, and it’s packed with activities, amusements, and unique activities that Royal Caribbean is known for, particularly on its biggest cruise ships. This is not only one of the world’s largest cruise ships, but it’s also one of the newest on this list of the largest cruise ships in the world.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the World’s Largest Cruise Ships
Along with its size as the sixth biggest cruise ship in the world, below are some other unique details about this leader among big cruise ships.
This sixth largest passenger ship is unique from the other names on this ranking because most of the itineraries leave from Singapore and visit Penang, Malaysia. Other destinations include visiting Bangkok, Thailand, Phuket, Thailand, and Hong Kong.
This sixth largest passenger ship provides the opportunity to explore Asian destinations not often offered by other cruise lines.
Since the Ovation of the Seas isn’t just one of the world’s biggest cruise ships, but also one of the newest, it has advanced features and technology, including Royal IQ.
Royal IQ is free to passengers, and it’s an interactive service that allows them to plan their voyage and schedule everything, including activities, dining reservations, and entertainment. It can be used as a mobile app, and it’s also accessible on kiosks located throughout the ship.
Also, this largest cruise ship features fast internet service.
New Stateroom Designs
This sixth biggest cruise ship in the world features modern and innovative stateroom designs, in addition to the many shows, activities, and other offerings that make this a passenger favorite among big cruise ships. The vast majority, 75 percent, of the staterooms have balconies, which is a much higher number than most other cruise ships.
Quantum of the Seas Review
The Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas is the fourth biggest cruise ship in the world at 1,141 feet. It receives excellent ratings from passengers and also cruise-related travel writers and websites. The Quantum of the Seas represented a technological step forward for cruise ships in many ways, in addition to it being one of the world’s biggest cruise ships.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as a Leader Among the World’s Biggest Cruise Ships
As well as being the number four biggest cruise in the world, the Quantum of the Seas has other unique features like the ones listed below.
Quantum of the Seas, the fourth biggest cruise in the world and one of the newest big cruise ships, features a wide range of entertainment for all ages, from children to adults.
For adults, some of the entertainment options include the Casino Royale, which has thousands of square feet dedicated to slots and tables, and also the Two70 venue. This venue is an aerial entertainment and ice bar.
This pick for a largest cruise ship also boasts Music Hall, which is a live music venue.
Along the Quantum of the Seas, one of the world’s biggest cruise ships on this list of the biggest cruise ship names in the industry, there is a big focus on dining. Royal Caribbean offers passengers on this boat the opportunity to take advantage of something they call “Cosmopolitan Dining.” This means the options are extensive, and there is a wide variety of specialty restaurants as well, including Wonderland, Jamie’s Italian from Jamie Oliver, and Michael’s Genuine Pub, which is the first American gastropub at sea.
Fun and Recreation
Like the other names included on this list of the largest cruise ships in the world, Quantum of the Seas excels in offering some of the most exciting fun and recreation through their many amenities and facilities. Some of these include:
- 220-foot outdoor poolside movie screen
- Indoor pool with retractable roof
- The Seaplex is the largest indoor active space at sea with bumper cars, roller skating, basketball courts, and more
- Features RipCord by iFly, which is a skydiving experience
- North Star Observation Capsule
- FlowRider Surf Simulator
- H20 Zone kids’ water park
Conclusion—Top 6 Largest Cruise Ships in the World
The above ranking of the world’s biggest cruise ships, all of which happen to be from Royal Caribbean, covers why these big cruise ships are not only distinctive in size, but also other ways they’re unique.
Cruise ships continue to grow in size and popularity, and there’s increasing competition to have the biggest cruise in the world or the biggest cruise ship in the world, so these may not remain the world’s largest cruise ships for long, but for now they are the winners.
Each of these biggest cruise ships isn't just massive in size. They’re essentially floating resorts, with more amenities, activities, and facilities than most travelers could have ever envisioned at sea, even just ten years ago. Happy cruising!
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