Ships: Adventure of the Seas | Allure of the Seas | Brilliance of the Seas | Enchantment of the Seas | Explorer of the Seas | Freedom of the Seas | Grandeur of the Seas | Independence of the Seas | Jewel of the Seas | Legend of the Seas | Liberty of the Seas | Majesty of the Seas | Mariner of the Seas | Monarch of the Seas | Navigator of the Seas | Oasis of the Seas | Radiance of the Seas | Rhapsody of the Seas | Serenade of the Seas | Splendor of the Seas | Vision of the Seas | Voyager of the Seas
Royal Caribbean has always done a good job with its show, music, and guest performers, but over the past couple of years it's upped its game so much that it now ranks among the very best cruise lines for entertainment. Its biggest ships, Oasis and Allure of the Seas, both feature honest-to-god Broadway productions -- Hairspray! on Oasis and Chicago: The Musical on Allure. Real shows, with words and everything! That's rare enough in the cruise biz to be revolutionary, but it seems to be working. Just before this book went to press, Royal Caribbean announced that it would be expanding the idea to Liberty of the Seas in early 2011, though it hadn't yet named the show that will be featured. Liberty and sister-ship Freedom of the Seas will also be presenting a second musical on each sailing, this one a kid-friendly show targeted at families. Royal Caribbean is very good at moving ideas that work fleetwide, so we might see major entertainment advances across its fleet over the next couple of years.
Besides its big theater shows, RCI also offers passenger talent shows, ballroom dancing competitions, karaoke, sock hops, and occasional "name" groups and soloists, such as the Platters, the Drifters, the Coasters, John Davidson, and Marty Allen. The newer the ship, the larger and more sophisticated the stage, sound, and lighting equipment, with some boasting a wall of video monitors to augment live performances.
Aside from its showrooms and huge glitzy casinos, Royal Caribbean is big on signature spaces, with each ship offering the nautical, woodsy Schooner Bar as well as the Viking Crown Lounge, an observation-cum-nightclub set high on a top deck and boasting panoramic views of the sea and ship in all directions. The Latin-themed Bolero's bar (aboard Oasis, Allure, Freedom, Liberty, Independence, Navigator, Mariner, Monarch, and Majesty) serves a mean mojito and has Latin music into the night. Atrium bars also feature live music, often classical trios.
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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.