Nearly everyone has a favorite cruise ship. In this chart, we outline the key distinctions among the 10 most popular cruise ships in the industry. Look for highlights of onboard accommodations, dining and entertainment, as well as ship itineraries. Don’t have a favorite cruise just yet? Our picks just might inspire you to find the perfect vacation match.
Want more info about these top 10 ships? Click on the vessel name below to read about ship highlights and find links to itineraries, a photo tour of the ship, and a comprehensive expert review and hundreds of reader-submitted critiques.
The 5,400-passenger Allure builds on the blueprint introduced by its sister, Oasis. Both ships feature attractions like ziplining and a handmade wooden carousel, but Allure has its own twists, including a Brazilian churascarria and the Broadway show “Mamma Mia!”.
- 20-plus dining options
- Johnny Rockets burgers, hot dog joint
- Alternative venues: Japanese, Italian, steakhouse, Mexican
- Coney Island-style Boardwalk with carousel
- Outdoor AquaTheater for daredevil diving shows
- “Beach” and “sports” pools, plus H2O zone for kids
Norwegian Getaway, which debuted in 2014, is a Miami-inspired ship that sails year-round from that port. You’ll notice touches of South Beach throughout: the Tropicana room, designed as a 1940s Havana supper club; the Flamingo Grill, serving Cuban food; and Burn the Floor with a Havana nights theme and sultry Latin dancing.
Deployment: Cruises to the Caribbean
- 27 restaurants, indoors and out
- Celebrity chef-inspired venues include Ocean Blue and Carlo’s Bakery
- Three complimentary main dining rooms
- Ice Bar (literally the coolest spot onboard)
- Sky Trail ropes course with an eight-foot-long plank
- Kids’ pool, adults-only deck and five water slides
The innovative, 4,180-passenger Anthem of the Seas debuted in 2015 with crazy attractions like a skydiving simulator and a London Eye-style glass pod that rises over the pool deck. The high-tech ship offers fast Wi-Fi, onboard bookings via tablets and apps, and RFID bracelets for cabin access and on-ship purchases. The look is classy and modern, and cruisers are spoiled for choice in dining, accommodations and sea day fun.
- Four main dining rooms with different themes, menus
- Devinly Decadence offers tasty, low-cal choices
- Don’t miss pub snacks at Michael’s Genuine Pub
- SeaPlex offers bumper cars, roller skating, trapeze lessons, video games and Ping-Pong
- Hit shows “We Will Rock You” and high-tech “Spectra’s Cabaret”
- Gorgeous adults-only Solarium with cascading pools
The boisterous Carnival Breeze debuted in 2012 as the third ship in the line’s popular Dream Class. The 3,690-passenger Breeze embodies a new breed of Fun Ship with a toned-down tropical feel and more cohesive decor. Changes come thanks to a new designer and the first full execution of the line’s half-billion-dollar “Fun Ship 2.0” initiative, a fleetwide identity overhaul focusing on food, booze and entertainment.
- Varied mix of dining options with only a few extra-fee venues
- Pair of two-deck dining rooms with flexible and assigned dining options
- Revamped top-ship buffet for less congested crowds
- Water park with slides and water sprayers
- Each bar has a unique vibe, music, decor and drink list
- Great interactive show: “Hasbro, the Game Show”
The 5,400-passenger Oasis launched in 2009 as the largest cruise ship ever built. In addition to debuting many at-sea firsts, including an outdoor AquaTheater, Oasis represents a revolution in design. An open-air corridor carved out along the length of the ship creates space for a tropical foliage- and eatery-filled Central Park and a Coney Island-style Boardwalk.
- More than 20 dining options, about half for-fee
- Fan favorite Park Cafe for paninis, salads
- Coastal Kitchen restaurant for suite passengers only
- Foliage-filled Central Park is hub for eating, drinking
- Glass-covered Solarium with pool
- Surf simulators, zipline and rock-climbing walls
The 3,006-passenger Carnival Sunshine received a huge makeover in 2013, adding most of the Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades. Among the additions are Guy’s Burger Joint, the BlueIguana Cantina, Cucina del Capitano, Alchemy Bar and a triple-deck adults-only Serenity deck.
- Plenty of free dining options, focusing on casual eats
- Extra-fee options include Italian, steak and Asian venues
- Breakfast burritos at the BlueIguana Cantina are out of this world
- The Punchliner Comedy Club for family-friendly and adults-only comedy
- WaterWorks and SportSquare for outdoor fun and thrills
- “Hasbro, the Game Show” and four shorter PlayList Production shows
Cool sophistication is the unmistakable vibe onboard 3,046-passenger Celebrity Reflection, the final — and biggest — of the five ships in Celebrity’s Solstice Class. You’ll find class staples like the Lawn Club, Solarium and themed dining venues, as well as additional suite classes — but no official nightclub.
- Six for-fee restaurants, from crepes to DIY steaks
- AquaClass passengers get exclusive restaurant, Blu
- Qsine diners order quirky international comfort food on iPads
- Impressive cocktail serving at Martini Bar
- Adults-only Solarium for no-sunburn lounging
- Cellar Masters: a wine-lover’s happy place
The 2,500-passenger Disney Dream — which debuted in 2011 — takes a classy, art deco approach to family cruising. Star Wars-themed play areas, adults-only bars and sun decks, and standout shows (including fireworks) make for a memorable multigenerational vacation.
Deployment: Year-round Bahamas cruises from Port Canaveral
- Rotational dining setup: Eat in one of three main restaurants every night, but keep same waiters
- Buzzworthy $85-a-head French venue, Remy
- Diners interact with “Finding Nemo’s” Crush at Animator’s Palate
- AquaDuck water coaster ride circles the pool deck
- Disney produces some of cruising’s best stage shows
- Adults-only Satellite Sun Deck and Falls
Regal Princess is unmistakably elegant and strikes the right balance between fun and refinement. Its hub is the grand Piazza for entertainment, food, drinks and people-watching. Don’t miss the SeaWalk, a glass walkway that juts out from the Lido Deck; it’s a hallmark of this class of ships.
- Plenty of free dining, including Alfredo’s Pizzeria and International Cafe snacks
- All three main dining rooms offer menus for dietary restrictions
- Huge buffet with plenty of seats
- Princess Live! — the first television studio at sea
- Sanctuary adults-only sun deck
- Popcorn and cookies for pool deck Movies Under the Stars
Norwegian Breakaway, which debuted in 2013, is a New York-themed ship and a sister ship to Norwegian Getaway. It offers resort-like, rather than ship-like, entertainment and dining, with lots of extra-fee options, but cruisers can enjoy great outdoor spaces like Spice H2O and The Waterfront, all of the ship’s marquee entertainment, and casual, as well as sit-down dining without paying an upcharge.
- Many restaurants offer alfresco dining
- Free options include supper club, noodle bar and grill
- Dinner theater and upscale date-night venues charge a fee
- Popular shows include “Rock of Ages” and “Burn the Floor”
- At night, enjoy live jazz, comedy, dueling piano players and theme parties
- Top-deck attractions like rock climbing, water slides, and ropes course
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