Odyssey of the Seas was designed for fun, with options for guests of literally all ages. Royal Caribbean says it aims to please families, with children making up more than 10 percent of its passenger base every year. You can see it on Odyssey of the Seas, where the massive pool deck has both a traditional pool as well as a kids' play area, called Splashaway Bay. This aqua park is designed for pint-sized cruisers, with water cannons, big dump buckets, playful fountains and little slides.
Adults have their own pool as well, in a gorgeously designed, multilevel Solarium. This massive complex is for guests 18 and older, and it offers several pools, hot tubs and loads of loungers. It's covered, so you feel the sunshine without baking in the heat, and it offers lovely views from the front of the ship. The Solarium is serviced by the nearby Solarium Bar, so passengers have a tendency to linger for hours at a time.
Because of its size, Odyssey of the Seas has lots of sundeck space on the ship's top decks. It features colorful clamshells, bright lounge chairs and even a few "casitas," small, covered cabanas that offer a little shade and some guaranteed space to call your own. Royal Caribbean has introduced these on several ships fleetwide, fee-free. On Odyssey of the Seas, however, you'll have to pay for them, which feels like a miss for something that was such a great included perk on other ships.
Odyssey of the Seas offers such a lengthy list of things to do each day, guests could elect to stay onboard rather than go ashore and keep themselves plenty busy. In addition to the pool areas, the ship offers a rock climbing wall, FlowRider surf simulator, RipCord by iFly skydiving simulator, Sky Pad virtual reality bungee trampoline, and a North Star capsule, which is held on a mechanical arm that extends about 300 feet above sea level, providing tremendous views of the ship and ports.
One of Odyssey of the Seas' standout features is the SeaPlex, a multipurpose indoor space designed to keep guests thrilled no matter the time of day. It is used for sports, including things like free-throw contests and pickleball or table tennis. But the can't-miss activity here is the bumper cars. At appointed times throughout the day, the space is transformed, with full-sized bumper cars banging alongside themed music (disco or the 2000s, for example). Adults and kids on our sailing loved this, coming back again and again. The SeaPlex also includes a two-level arcade, with games galore. Playmakers sits atop the space, so parents looking to grab a drink and watch a game can do so while keeping an eye on their kids below.
Adjacent to the SeaPlex is a virtual reality venue, where guests put on the full VR kit (headwear, plus chest, hand and foot sensors) to dive into a virtual world, battling aliens in a fantastical but real-feeling environment. This was our favorite activity onboard, and we saw other passengers emerging with big smiles. It's only open during certain times of the day, and capacity is limited, so we suggest you make reservations on the first day you board.
Odyssey of the Seas truly transforms at night, offering live music in a number of spots as well as cutting-edge theatrical performances in its main theater and innovative Two70.
The Royal Theater
Spanning two decks at the front of the ship, the Royal Theater serves as the ship's main spot for production shows. The theater does a solid job integrating technology with the live performances, making shows feel special and modern, even if all of the components of the shows aren't. (We caught a show that included a French can-can homage that felt dated and out-of-touch.)
Several shows are offered throughout the week, and they are well-attended. We were impressed by the high-flying acrobats and fun approach to modern and classic music, which often were woven seamlessly together.
The Royal Theater also hosts solo acts, jugglers and magicians.
Tip: Views from the wings on the side are good, and shows do move the action around so everyone gets a great look. If you don't want to sit with everyone else, pick the sides.
Two70 is the most innovative space we've seen on a cruise ship. During the day, its complexity hides behind big, beautiful sea views, thanks to its location at the back of the ship and sweeping, multistory windows. But the daytime serenity hides the pulse that beats just under the surface, emerging at night to reveal multiple stages that drop and rise, holes in the ceiling from which acrobats hang, six giant, dancing HD screens, and the 100-foot-wide, 20-foot-tall ultra-HD "Vistarama" screen.
When Two70 hosts a production show, you can see the full expanse of what the venue has to offer. Performances are a bit -- or a lot -- offbeat, featuring stories that are magical, loosely held together by threads that are a little out there. Guests might leave wondering what they just watched, but in the best possible way. Shows are fun feasts for all the senses that include hip music and dancing/acrobatics/contortionists that are impossible not to watch. The Two70 experience is wild, weird and wonderful.
When a show isn't going on, Two70 might host a late-night party (we boogied to 70s hits while we were onboard). Or it could be just a cool bar with great music. Two70's versatility is what makes it special and keeps people coming back for more.
Tip: Production shows are open to all ages, and we had fun listening as the kids seated near us reacted to the action.
Odyssey of the Seas' Music Hall is straight-up rock and roll. This two-story bar, decked out in black and crushed red velvet, feels like the kind of place a rock star would have happily called home, no matter the era. At its heart, the bar is exactly what the name not-so-subtly implies: a music hall. This is the spot for late night music and after parties. You can turn your full attention to the stage, or you can engage in a game or two of pool.
The Music Hall also hosts late-night game shows and trivia contests throughout the day.
The ship's casino is located midship on Deck 3. It offers slot machines as well as table games.
Bars & Nightlife
There's no shortage of bars to visit on Odyssey of the Seas, which has found a way to carve out unique venues around the ship. Guests tend to find their spots and stick to them, coming back night after night.
Heart of the Action
During the day, Lime & Coconut, a two-story bar on the ship's top decks, is the place to be. The bar features swinging seats and bartenders who offer up a little flair while serving fruity, beachy cocktails.
For a Singalong
The Schooner Bar features a grand piano, and a pianist will play favorites (and take requests) until late in the evening.
Dance floor? Check. Latin rhythms? Yep. Boleros is a blast that keeps going till late.
To Have a Quiet Pint
Feeling like a traditional British bar, the Crown & Compass Pub offers a casual atmosphere and occasional live music (of the solo singer/guitar player type). It's quiet but set in the heart of the action on the ship's promenade, so you never feel completely out of touch. Try the beer cocktails.
For Beer and a Game
You'll find the best selection of beer onboard at Playmakers. If you're craving craft beer or a juicy IPA, this is pretty much the only spot to get it. Luckily, you can enjoy your brew while watching sports on one of the 56 TVs here.
For Live Music
Don't miss the Music Hall, which has a large stage and different options most nights.
To Try Once
The Bionic Bar features robot bartenders, who make up drinks that passengers order on tablets. Watch as they mix and shake your concoction, then deliver it to you, contact-free. It's worth doing once for the novelty of it, but if you crave human interaction, you likely won't linger here.
Odyssey of the Seas' Vitality at Sea Spa is located on Deck 15 forward. It features an impressive entry, where passengers can make appointments and check in for treatments. Guests can select from a wide range of massages -- like deep tissue or hot stone -- skin treatments and hair and nail services. It also offers medi-spa treatments as well as specific options for men and teens.
It also features a thermal suite, offering heated lounge chairs, a lanconium dry heat chamber, a cadarium chamber and rainforest shower room. Unlimited passes to the space are available for purchase.
Tip: Daily spa specials are outlined on your cruise planner or on your app. Specials typically combine services -- massage plus scalp massage and pressure point foot treatment, for example -- for a reduced price.
The fitness center on Odyssey of the Seas probably rivals your gym at home. It includes a huge variety of Technogym equipment, designed for cardio as well as strength. You can cycle, hit the treadmill or elliptical, or row on the cardio machines, and a variety of dumbbells and weight plates will fit your strength needs. Weight machines will cover all your muscle groups, and they even have instructions (via QR code) for novices.
Fitness rooms are available for group classes (you'll likely pay a fee for these sessions), including yoga or Ryde indoor cycling. A jogging/walking track encircles Deck 15.
Tip: Hit the gym at lunchtime to avoid the crowds. Peak periods are late morning and late afternoon.
Families will love sailing Odyssey of the Seas, which offers abundant activities and features for kids and their parents. Most of the programming is included in the cost of your cruise, though you will pay extra for things like babysitting.
Odyssey of the Seas' Adventure Ocean programming provides dedicated spaces for kids and teens in areas they'll want to hang out. (The teen space will make adults jealous!)
Royal Caribbean also has an Autism at Sea program, and families with autistic children will have access to sensory friendly films and toys, dietary menu options, and overall autism friendly training for Adventure Ocean staff. They'll also have priority check-in, boarding and disembarkation.
Beyond the kids clubs and programming, most of the activities onboard are suitable for families and children, including the cool VR games and bumper cars.
Infants must be at least 6 months to sail on Odyssey of the Seas. The ship doesn't offer specific family cabins, but many staterooms feature adjoining doors and can accommodate multiple people.
Babies and tots up to 36 months have a tiny space to call their own. Snack and nap time (the baby area includes cribs) are part of the experience.
We love the tiny pirate ships and space shuttles that fill the Juniors space, aimed at kids 3 to 5 years old. The area also includes a giant, interactive digital wall.
For Kids, ages 6 to 12, there's a little bit of everything, from a cool Hangout for playing video games or listening to music to a workshop designed for art projects and science experiments. Kids also can play in group or partner activities with the digital ball wall.
Teens have their own exclusive area, the Social 180 and the adjacent patio. This age group has fewer structured activities, with a mostly casual atmosphere created for a group who would rather interact with one another than adults, though an adult is always onsite and close at hand. The patio is something special; it's an outdoor space that overlooks the pool deck but features high walls offering privacy. It includes lots of lounge chairs and hip sunbeds, as well as giant chess boards.