Though sister companies -- both Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International are owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited -- Celebrity and Royal Caribbean offer very different cruise experiences. Cruise Critic pits the two against each other -- the only winner, however, is you when you pick the line that best fits your needs.
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Hate paying individually for drinks on a mainstream cruise ship -- or perhaps you've been known to run up a huge bar tab onboard? You might be the ideal candidate for an alcohol-inclusive drinks package, offered by the majority of mainstream cruise lines. Found somewhere between the ubiquitous soda packages and the included-in-your-fare booze of most luxury lines, these programs let cruisers pay one base price that covers most -- if not all -- of their nonalcoholic and alcoholic drinks onboard. Of course, while high prices and annoying fine print may persuade some travelers to go it a la carte, for others, the freedom to sample brightly colored cocktails and wines of unknown provenance can be too appealing to ignore. See below for a line-by-line guide to available drink packages, followed by some Cruise Critic reader reactions to the programs.
No, you can't actually jump off a cruise ship with a parachute on your back (and please, do not). But you can try a skydiving simulator, thanks to Royal Caribbean's partnership with RipCord by iFly, available on Anthem of the Seas and other Quantum-class ships.
Since its debut in 2009, Oasis of the Seas has continued to turn the cruise world upside down. With first-in-cruising innovations like a zip line, a carousel, a levitating bar and real, live trees, it commands respect -- even from those who argue its massive size doesn't appeal. In addition to being the largest ship at sea, it's arguably the most well-known. So where does that leave Royal Caribbean's newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, and how can it possibly step out of the shadow of its behemoth fleetmate?
Royal Caribbean's ships are the most action-packed in the industry, with a plethora of complimentary "wow" activities including -- depending on the ship -- rock climbing walls, ziplining, ice skating, simulated surfing and skydiving, thrill slides and more. While the adrenaline rush is free, many other indulgences come with a fee. Here are some ways to save.
Royal Caribbean, a line known for bringing thrilling activities like rock climbing walls, surf simulators and ice rinks to the high seas, also offers laser tag as part of its lineup of edgy offerings. As of now, this offering is only available onboard Symphony of the Seas.