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What’s New at Royal Caribbean


Royal Caribbean recently introduced its spectacular Oasis Class ships – Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas – the two largest cruise ships at sea. But, rather than resting on this achievement, the cruise line is already planning a whole new class of ships.

The Oasis and the Allure have proven to be popular choices for cruise vacationers. They feature creative new concepts in staterooms, dining and entertainment, as well as new technologies that make them more ecologically responsible. And while the ships are designed to accommodate 5,400 passengers each, passengers say the ships don’t feel too large or too crowded.

The Allure launched after the Oasis, and it has some new touches, including the first Starbucks at sea. Allure also has an entertainment partnership with DreamWorks’ Animation SKG, and passengers encounter the film studio’s beloved characters – including Shrek and Kung Fu Panda – in deck parades, in the dining rooms and during special events.

An innovative design divides the public spaces on each ship into seven "neighborhoods,” each with distinctive features. These include Central Park, filled with growing plants and trees; Boardwalk, where you can ride a carousel; and the Pool and Sports Zone, which includes the AquaTheater, a pool by day and performance venue by night. Many of the neighborhoods feature both gathering places and quiet spaces, such as the reading nooks in Central Park.

 The ships have lots of dining options, from casual snacks to gourmet sushi; staterooms that overlook the sea or Central Park; ziplines and FlowRider surf simulators; and great Broadway-style shows ("Hairspray” on the Oasis and "Chicago” on the Allure).

In early February, Royal Caribbean announced that it will build a new generation of 4,100-passenger ships under the code name "Project Sunshine.” Royal Caribbean has promised new features, dining options and entertainment concepts on these ships, as well as even more energy efficiency. Cruise fans can expect to hear a lot more before the first "Sunshine” ship debuts in 2014.

In addition to introducing new ships, Royal Caribbean is also expanding its presence in Europe. About half of the cruise line’s 21-ship fleet will be deployed to Europe for at least part of 2011, either in the Mediterranean or Northern Europe. Some itineraries offer cruise tour opportunities, combining a cruise with a land-based tour of destinations like the Italian Lakes; Paris and London; Madrid and Barcelona; or Istanbul and Cappadocia.

To talk about taking a Royal Caribbean cruise, contact your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.