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Luxury Enclaves on the World's Biggest Cruise Ships

The world’s biggest cruise lines keep breaking records with all-new “world’s biggest” ships, presenting you with an opportunity to experience something truly unique.

As we explore in this article, picture yourself on board one of the newest and most revolutionary giant cruise ships from Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises or Norwegian Cruise Line, celebrating with family and friends, absolutely immersed in world-class entertainment and ample dining options. The atmosphere is so vibrant, it’s incomparable – something you won’t find anywhere else on earth!

Royal Caribbean - Symphony of the Seas, for some time in early 2020s, the largest cruise ship on the planet call to port at sunset
From 2018-2022, RCL's Symphony of the Seas was the world's largest cruise ship!

Imagine exciting social opportunities and the chance to meet people like yourself, enjoying the vacation of a lifetime and discovering new destinations together or relaxing in unparalleled comfort among some of the most engaging venues on the planet.

Did you know that each of these giant vessels have private, luxurious spaces reserved for their suite and top-tier stateroom guests only?

Sailing Supreme: Exploring the Top 3 Largest Ships in Royal Caribbean's Fleet

Royal Caribbean is synonymous with innovation and grandeur. They’re now also the largest fleet at sea, having grown to surpass even Carnival during the last few years. Boasting some of the biggest and most feature-rich vessels.

Let's set sail and start our discovery with the Top 3 largest ships in Royal Caribbean's fleet by passenger capacity, along with their luxurious enclaves and the innovative classes to which they belong.

Icon of the Seas: A Visionary Voyage

Taking the crown as the world's largest cruise ship as of 2024, Icon of the Seas pushes the boundaries of design and technology. This magnificent vessel, the first in Royal Caribbean's new Icon Class, boasts a capacity of over 7,600 guests.

The "Icon Signature Neighborhood" truly looks to be iconic and sets her apart from other ships – a private enclave with opulent suites, exclusive dining options, and personalized butler service. This luxurious haven will cater to the most discerning traveler, offering an oasis of tranquility amidst the vibrant energy of the ship.

Think world-first shipboard swim up bar, two story sundeck, and no one from outside the neighborhood can even pay their way to access dining at the exclusive Coastal Kitchen.

Port and stern view of Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Seas cruise ship in port
The immense, Wonder of the Seas. Royal Caribbean's 2nd Largest Cruise Ship

Wonder of the Seas: Oasis of Luxury

Wonder of the Seas holds the title of the second-largest ship in the fleet with a capacity of over 7,000 passengers. This beauty belongs to the revolutionary Oasis Class, also known for its "neighborhood" concept. Wonder of the Seas is divided into eight unique neighborhoods, each offering a distinct ambiance and activity set.

For the luxury seeker, the exclusive Suite Neighborhood beckons. This haven of tranquility features opulent suites with breathtaking ocean views, private balconies, and a dedicated concierge service. Guests can indulge in their in-suite dining options or unwind in the private Solarium, a sanctuary with a pool, whirlpools, and plush loungers.

Symphony of the Seas: A Symphony of Luxury

Clocking in at number three with a capacity exceeding 6,500 passengers, Symphony of the Seas, another Oasis Class marvel, offers unparalleled luxury experiences. Similar to Wonder of the Seas, Symphony boasts the opulent Suite Neighborhood with its expansive oceanfront suites, personalized service, and exclusive amenities.

The Royal Suite Class on Symphony of the Seas elevates luxury to new heights. These palatial havens feature private balconies with stunning ocean vistas, a whirlpool bath, and a spacious living area. Guests in this exclusive enclave enjoy unparalleled service from a dedicated butler, priority restaurant reservations, and access to the private Coastal Kitchen restaurant.

Unveiling Grandeur: A Look at MSC Cruises' Biggest and Boldest

MSC Cruises, perhaps the fastest growing force in the cruise industry, boasts a fleet of impressive vessels. Let’s explore some of their largest ships by passenger capacity, showcasing their luxurious offerings and the innovative ship class they represent.

MSC World Europa and the World Class: Ushering in a New Era

The crown jewel of MSC Cruises is the recently launched MSC World Europa, the first of the line's innovative World Class vessels. This behemoth boasts a capacity exceeding 6,700 guests and sets a new standard for sustainable cruising with its cutting-edge environmental technology. Beyond its eco-friendly marvels, World Europa promises an unparalleled guest experience.

The MSC Yacht Club, a hallmark of MSC Cruises' luxury offerings, takes center stage on World Europa. This private enclave offers exclusive access to a guest sundeck, a dedicated pool, a panoramic lounge, and a world-class restaurant. Guests in the Yacht Club can unwind in their lavish suites, complete with private balconies and 24-hour butler service. The personalized attention and dedicated amenities elevate the cruising experience to new heights.

MSC Grandiosa cruise ship in port
MSC Grandiosa in port

Perhaps more than any other cruise line, MSC has incredible potential to become the best cruise line around. It's privately owned, meaning if the Italian shipping company which finances the outfit wants to deck out entire staircases in Swarovski Crystal, they don't have to ask shareholders for their permission! There are some interesting luxury features you might not find with other cruise lines.


Meraviglia Plus Class, the MSC Euribia, Grandiosa, and Virtuosa

As part of the Meraviglia Plus class of ships, each of the Euribia, Grandiosa, and Virtuosa mirror the incredible features and amenities of their smaller sister ships Meraviglia and Bellissima, albeit on a larger scale. These ships each exceed 6,300 guests, with the Grandiosa exceeding 6,700!

The MSC Yacht Club and Aurea Spa are again present on these ships, offering a luxurious onboard haven for discerning travelers, while exclusive private shore excursions will thrill you in port.

This private sanctuary features exclusive amenities including a dedicated pool area, a panoramic lounge, and a refined restaurant. Guests can indulge in spacious suites with private balconies and personalized butler service, ensuring a truly pampered voyage.

MSC Meraviglia in port in the Caribbean
MSC Meraviglia is the original ship from which the Plus Class vessels were envisioned!

Freedom Awaits: Unveiling the Biggest and Best of Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is renowned for its freestyle cruising philosophy, offering guests the freedom to personalize their vacation experience. This spirit extends to their fleet, with a diverse range of vessels catering to various preferences. Let's again set sail and discover some of the largest ships in NCL's fleet by passenger capacity, exploring their luxurious offerings and the innovative ship class they represent.

Breakaway Plus Class: Unparalleled Choice

Claiming the top spot for passenger capacity in NCL's fleet are the Breakaway Plus Class vessels – Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Joy, and Norwegian Bliss. Each amazing ship accommodates over 4,000 guests, offering a world of possibilities within their hulls.

The Haven by Norwegian, NCL's luxurious enclave, takes center stage on these ships. This private retreat provides an oasis of tranquility with more exclusive access to a sundeck, a private pool, a panoramic lounge, and specialty restaurants. Guests can unwind in their opulent suites, featuring private balconies, 24-hour butler service, and priority access to select onboard activities. The Haven by Norwegian elevates the cruising experience to a whole new level.

Norwegian Bliss, a Breakaway Plus class ship calling to port
Norwegian Bliss, among the largest in NCL's fleet yet still much smaller than ships of competing MSC or RCL

Breakaway Class: Freedom Redefined

Following closely behind are the Breakaway Class ships – Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Breakaway. These innovative vessels, each accommodating over 3,900 passengers, redefine the concept of freestyle cruising with their open and flexible design.

While The Haven by Norwegian is not present on the Breakaway Class ships, they offer a variety of luxurious suite categories. These spacious accommodations boast private balconies, some with extended whirlpools, and personalized concierge service upon request. Guests can unwind in the tranquility of their suites or indulge in the many pampering treatments offered at the Mandara Spa.

NCL's largest ships extend far beyond their luxurious offerings. The Breakaway and Breakaway Plus Classes are havens for entertainment. Guests can be mesmerized by dazzling Broadway productions at the state-of-the-art theaters, captivated by breathtaking performances at the dynamic Cirque du Soleil at SEA venues on Breakaway Plus Class ships, or test their skills in the interactive game show studio. In the evenings, a vibrant nightlife scene awaits with a variety of bars and lounges offering live music, dancing, and themed events.

NCL is renown for its fun, free style of cruise vacation. The fact that their largest feature-rich ships aren't anywhere near as large as those of their competitors might just be the middle-ground you're seeking. Biggest, boldest of the fleet, yet less encumbered by port size accommodation and considerations for crowds.

Norwegian Bliss in Alaska, the biggest cruise ships
Norwegian Bliss touring the frontier of Alaska

Choosing which largest cruise ship for your next vacation

Each of these three cruise lines has more large ships on order, so your options for sailing is only going to increase during the next few years. That can allow feelings of being overwhelmed to impact your ship or destination choice, especially if you’re relatively new to cruising.

The largest ships in the fleet tend to amplify the best of what each brand has to offer. Cruise lines have the opportunity to concentrate resources in designing these ships, then momentum in delivering their world-class services to their deserving guests.

At the end of the day, they’re designed to be fun – and the exclusive spaces afforded luxury passengers means you can escape somewhere quiet and really treat yourself if/when you’ve had enough fun for the time being.

The real question is, are you even going to want to get off the ship?


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