Cruise

Cruises 101

by Sherri Eisenberg

Royal Caribbean International

Number of ships: 21
Ship capacity: 1,600 to 3,630 passengers
Price range: Inexpensive

The audience: Royal Caribbean sells itself as the active choice for all who fear boredom. You'll see lots of dads with video cameras shooting their kids riding waves on the surfing simulator. The interior of the behemoth ship looks like a shopping mall, cluttered with boutiques and cafés.

Strengths: The activities. With ice-skating rinks, rock-climbing walls, ocean-science programs for the kids, and those supercool wave pools, there really is a lot more action than on your typical cruise. These are the largest ships on the sea, accommodating up to 3,630 passengers.

Weaknesses: Imagine people…everywhere. In line for the elevators, in line for breakfast, in line for dinner. Not a good choice for those who use words like "exclusive" or "solitary" to describe their vacations.

Insider Tips: If you're worried about an expanding waistline on the cruise—a common enough cruise affliction—you'll be pleased to learn that Royal Caribbean has some of the largest fitness centers on the seas, meaning you won't have to fight for equipment. It was also the first major cruise line to ban trans fats.

Itineraries: Caribbean and Alaska voyages are the most popular. An eight-day Southern Caribbean cruise makes stops in Puerto Rico, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, and St. Martin (from $600 per person).

Royal Caribbean International
Tel: 866 562 7625

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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