Harmony of the Seas

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, a comprehensive expert review and hundreds of reader-submitted critiques.


1. Harmony of the Seas

It's hard to miss Harmony of the Seas' standout feature -- a pair of purple slides cascading down the back of the ship -- but the Ultimate Abyss isn't the Royal Caribbean ship's only claim to fame. Harmony provides an Oasis-class experience (different "neighborhoods," adrenaline-pumping outdoor activities and high-class entertainment), as well as a taste of the line's Quantum class, with robotic bartenders at the Bionic Bar and a family-style dinner at Jamie's Italian. 

Deployment: Year-round Caribbean cruises out of Fort Lauderdale

Sleep

  • Cabins are compact but cozy, with lots of storage space
  • Solo cabins do not bear a single supplement
  • Family Presidential Suite can accommodate 14 people
  • Cabin Reviews
  • Deck Plans

Eat

  • A variety of free and for-fee options offers something for every taste
  • Wonderland serves up whimsical cuisine using molecular gastronomy
  • Johnny Rockets is a great, free alternative for breakfast

Fun

  • "Grease" production show brings the Broadway original to life
  • Escape room makes for a fun, challenging group activity
  • Outdoor entertainment includes water slides, zipline and surf simulators

Photo Tour of Harmony of the Seas


2. Carnival Vista

Carnival Vista epitomizes the line's "Fun Ship" moniker. It offers the most variety of restaurants, bars, entertainment and outdoor fun of any Carnival ship. There's even an exclusive Havana area with a pool, hot tubs and bar available during the day to those staying in Cabana cabins. (A separate, Cuba-themed Havana Bar is open to all passengers, day and night.)

Deployment: Year-round Caribbean cruises from Miami

Sleep

  • All cabins are capable of fitting two to five people
  • Family Harbor cabins include a private lounge and free group babysitting
  • Cloud 9 Spa cabins come with spa freebies
  • Cabin Reviews
  • Deck Plans

Eat

  • Bonsai Sushi serves some of the best rolls and sashimi at sea
  • Staples such as Guy's Burger Joint and BlueIguana Cantina
  • DIY pasta bar for lunch at Cucina del Capitano

Fun

  • Outdoor recreation includes sky-high bike and ropes course
  • RedFrog Pub & Brewery offers craft beer, tours and tastings
  • IMAX theater, perfect for rainy days and lazy nights

Photo Tour of Carnival Vista


3. Norwegian Escape

The first ship in Norwegian's massive Breakaway Plus class, Norwegian Escape is an ideal choice for people who want high-quality entertainment and variety. The 4,200-passenger ship features two Broadway-style shows, 28 bars and restaurants and a handful of recreational activities -- including one of the scariest water slides at sea.

Deployment: Caribbean cruises from Miami; Bermuda and Canada/New England cruises from New York

Sleep

  • Cabins boast a contemporary, sophisticated design
  • Variety of categories include family, spa and solo
  • The fleet's largest suite-only enclave, The Haven
  • Cabin Reviews
  • Deck Plans

Eat

  • Alfresco dining offered in The Waterfront
  • Traditional Spanish tapas served at Pincho
  • Norwegian staples like Cagney's and Teppanyaki

Fun

  • The District Brew House is a beer lover's dream
  • Largest ropes course at sea
  • Spice H2O turns into an outdoor nightclub

Photo Tour of Norwegian Escape


4. Oasis of the Seas

Oasis of the Seas

You might need to blink twice to realize you're not in a resort while onboard Oasis of the Seas. The first ship in Royal Caribbean's Oasis class is broken up into neighborhoods -- including the lush, restaurant-lined Central Park and Coney Island-style Boardwalk -- and offers jaw-dropping entertainment and outdoor activities. Just make sure to reserve shows in advance, as they tend to fill up fast.

Deployment: Year-round Caribbean cruises out of Miami and Galveston

Sleep

  • In-facing balconies overlook Central Park and Boardwalk 
  • Apartment-sized double-decker "Lofts" 
  • Family cabins, from insides to suites
  • Cabin Reviews
  • Deck Plans

Eat

  • More than 20 dining options (about half cost extra)
  • Fan favorite Park Cafe for paninis, salads 
  • Coastal Kitchen restaurant for suite passengers only

Fun

  • 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"

Photo Tour of Oasis of the Seas


5. Celebrity Equinox

Equinox Theater on Celebrity Equinox

Sleek and sophisticated, yet relaxed, Celebrity Equinox treats its passengers to top-notch dining, bars and service. Four specialty restaurants, as well as a handful of complimentary options, offer something for every craving -- including French (Murano), Italian (Tuscan Grille) and pan-Asian (Silk Harvest).

Deployment: Year-round Caribbean cruises from Miami

Sleep

  • Cozy, neutral color scheme in all cabins
  • Spacious inside cabins range from 183 to 200 square feet
  • Concierge Class balcony cabins include added perks
  • Cabin Reviews
  • Deck Plans

Eat

  • Fabulous sit-down breakfast at Silhouette dining room
  • Order Sushi on Five rolls to go or to your cabin
  • Gastrobar serves gourmet bites with craft beer

Fun

  • Real-grass sun deck for picnics and lawn games
  • Quasar nightclub hosts silent disco parties
  • Burlesque-style, late-night entertainment

Photo Tour of Celebrity Equinox


6. MSC Divina

The One Pool on MSC Divina

From its Swarovski crystal staircases to its main theater, MSC Divina is a show-stopping ship. Looks aside, it has a solid dining program, with its Eataly partnership offering some of the best specialty restaurants at sea. The ship also treats those who want a more luxurious experience to an exclusive, key card access-only suite enclave called the Yacht Club.

Deployment: Caribbean cruises from Miami; Mediterranean cruises from various ports

Sleep

  • Four cabin classes offer choice of perks for same-size rooms
  • Super Family cabins cater to those with little ones
  • Sophia Loren Suite offers the utmost luxury
  • Cabin Reviews
  • Deck Plans

Eat

  • Eataly restaurants serve quality meals with fresh ingredients
  • Dinner with a view at Galaxy Disco Restaurant
  • Private restaurant, Le Muse, for Yacht Club passengers

Fun

  • Sweeping ocean views from top-deck infinity pool
  • Wine bar allows you to blend and bottle your own creations
  • Virtual World includes race car simulator and 4D cinema

Photo Tour of MSC Divina


7. Anthem of the Seas

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 Royal Caribbean 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.

Deployment: Bahamas, Bermuda, Caribbean and Canada/New England cruises from Bayonne

Sleep

  • 75 percent of cabins have balconies
  • Inside rooms feature "virtual balconies" with ocean views
  • Choice of suite types, all with extra perks and exclusive dining room
  • Cabin Reviews
  • Deck Plans

Eat

  • Jamie's Italian offers family-style dinner in a colorful space
  • Don't miss pub snacks at Michael's Genuine Pub
  • Vegetarian dishes and healthy options are indicated on menus

Fun

  • SeaPlex offers bumper cars, roller skating and trapeze lessons
  • Hit shows "We Will Rock You" and high-tech "Spectra's Cabaret"
  • Gorgeous adults-only Solarium with cascading pools

Photo Tour of Anthem of the Seas


8. Norwegian Breakaway

The Haven Courtyard on Norwegian Breakaway

Rocking a New York theme in honor of its homeport, Norwegian Breakaway offers a far-from-traditional cruising experience. The 4,028-passenger ship is jam-packed with dining and entertainment options, and prides itself on freestyle dining -- which means there are no set dining times or seat assignments.

Deployment: Cruises to the Caribbean, Bahamas and Bermuda from New York; Europe cruises from various ports

Sleep

  • Energy-efficient cabins require key cards to operate lighting and power
  • Haven suites get private courtyard with a small pool, exclusive lounge and restaurant 
  • No-supplement solo cabins have private lounge access
  • Cabin Reviews
  • Deck Plans

Eat

  • Many restaurants offer alfresco dining
  • Free options include supper club, noodle bar and grill
  • Cirque Dreams and Dinner show is family-friendly

Fun

  • 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

Photo Tour of Norwegian Breakaway


9. Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Theater on Celebrity Summit

At 2,158 passengers, Celebrity Summit offers a more intimate feel compared to other big ships. Passengers can enjoy the line's signature high-quality restaurants (both free and for-fee) and classy bars, with attentive service. Need to detox? The Persian Garden thermal suite has heated loungers and various spa rooms.

Deployment: Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale, Bayonne and San Juan; Bahamas cruises from Fort Lauderdale; Bermuda cruises from Bayonne; and Canada/ New England cruises from Bayonne

Sleep

  • More than 80 percent of all cabins face outside
  • Wide variety of balcony cabin configurations for more choice
  • AquaClass cabins and suites offer spa perks and freebies
  • Cabin Reviews
  • Deck Plans

Eat

  • Food-and-film pairing on the sun deck
  • Qsine diners order whimsical dishes on iPads
  • Exclusive restaurant, Blu, for AquaClass passengers

Fun

  • Impressive cocktails served at Martini Bar
  • Adults-only Solarium for no-sunburn lounging
  • Live music and ocean views at Sunset Bar

Photo Tour of Celebrity Summit


10. Allure of the Seas

The 5,400-passenger Allure of the Seas builds on the blueprint introduced by its Royal Caribbean sister, Oasis of the Seas (and now found on Harmony of the Seas). The ships feature attractions like ziplining and a handmade wooden carousel, but Allure has its own twists, including a Brazilian churrascaria and the Broadway show "Mamma Mia!"

Deployment: Year-round Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale

Sleep

  • 20-plus cabin categories ranging from insides to suites 
  • All cabins have flat-screen TVs that let cruisers book tours, order room service and more
  • Top-end rooms include lofts, two-bedroom suites overlooking the AquaTheater
  • Cabin Reviews
  • Deck Plans

Eat

  • 20-plus dining options 
  • Johnny Rockets burgers, hot dog joint 
  • Alternative venues: Japanese, Italian, steakhouse, Mexican

Fun

  • Coney Island-style Boardwalk with carousel 
  • Outdoor AquaTheater for daredevil diving shows 
  • "Beach" and "sports" pools, plus H2O zone for kids

Photo Tour of Allure of the Seas