Utopia of the Seas makes big waves at Port Canaveral (and Meghan Trainor is its godmother)

Portrait of Dave Berman

Royal Caribbean International executive Jay Schneider loves to talk about his company's newest ship, Utopia of the Seas .

But he'll defer when asked to talk about his favorite thing on the ship, which is the second-largest cruise ship in the world and boasts award-winning singer Meghan Trainor of "All About That Bass" and "Made You Look" fame as its godmother.

It would be like saying who your favorite child is, said Schneider, Royal Caribbean's senior vice president and chief product innovation officer.

But there's lots to choose from on the ship, which was starting its regular twice-weekly sailings from Port Canaveral this weekend.

"Utopia of the Seas is one of the most anticipated new cruise ships in the industry,” Port Canaveral CEO John Murray said. "We’re proud to be Royal Caribbean's partner for this industry-first experience and excited to support the strong market demand for short itineraries. Our team is ready and committed to providing high-quality experiences to help all cruise guests launch their memorable journeys from our port."

Royal Caribbean is marketing the ship as "the world's biggest weekend," in reference to its size, combined with its three- and four-night sailings.

Murray said basing such a large ship at Port Canaveral — and debuting it with twice-weekly sailings ― "exemplifies the trust and commitment our valued cruise partners have in our port and this community to deliver a high-quality guest experience."

Port Canaveral is the world's second-busiest cruise port, behind PortMiami.

Just how big is Utopia of the Seas?

Utopia of the Seas is the world's second-largest cruise ship, behind Royal Caribbean's Miami-based Icon of the Seas, which debuted there in January.

Utopia has 18 decks (including 16 passenger decks); 2,834 staterooms; a double-occupancy capacity of 5,668; a crew of 2,290; and is 1,188 feet long.

Where does Utopia of the Seas sail?

The ship offers three- and four-night cruises to the Bahamas, with departures on Fridays and Mondays. Most of the sailings will have port-of-call stops in Nassau and Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's private island.

What's on CocoCay?

CocoCay includes a recently opened, adults-only area, Hideaway Beach, with a private beach, pools, venues for drinks and snacks, cabanas and a DJ.

The island also has 14 waterslides in Thrill Waterpark; the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean and the Bahamas; a swim-up bar; and overwater cabanas.

What can you find on Utopia of the Seas?

Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group. said: “We set out to create a utopian playground at sea that delivers the perfect short getaway and ultimate vacation. I’m immensely proud of our dream team that turned this vision into reality. Utopia of the Seas embodies our commitment to push boundaries and deliver the best vacation experiences responsibly.”  

Utopia has 22 restaurants; 13 bars and lounges; six special areas for young children and teens, including the Splashaway Bay water play area; eight themed neighborhoods; five pools; eight hot tubs; a spa and fitness center; a solarium; two casinos with more than 370 slot machines and nearly 30 table games; two rock-climbing walls; and a mini-golf course.

The ship also features the FlowRider surf simulator; a 10-story-high zip line; three high-speed water slides at The Perfect Storm; and The Ultimate Abyss, which is the longest dry slide at sea at 259 feet, plummeting 10 decks, through zoom booster rollers and transparent racing windows.

In detailing the features of Utopia of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley said: "We have created the ultimate weekend getaway for everyone. Every day on the Utopia will feel like the weekend."

What's your culinary cruising pleasure?

Sure, where you're headed, and the accommodations you'll enjoy as you cruise, play a role in choosing the ship on which you'll sail.

But other than the destinations, the main reason people choose a cruise is the food onboard the ship, according to Jay Schneider, Royal Caribbean's senior vice president and chief product innovation officer.

And for those traveling on Utopia of the Seas, with 22 restaurants and 13 bars and lounges, there's a feast of choices.

Here's just a sampler of the menu of dining options for Utopia guests:

Royal Railway – Utopia Station: Royal Caribbean says the new venue combines adventure, food and technology to transport travelers ― in an "immersive train dining car experience” ― to various places and time periods.

"It's eat-ertainment," rather than a more conventional dinner and a show, said Schneider. "It's just a mind-blowing experience."

The first theme, Schneider said: The Wild West.

Izumi and Izumi in the Park: The Japanese restaurant features a private omakase multicourse experience, guided by the chef, as well as teppanyaki tables and al fresco seating.

Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar: The Italian eatery spans two stories, and also debuts Gio’s Terrazza, an outdoor terrace area.

The Mason Jar Southern Restaurant & Bar: This restaurant features a Southern-themed menu and live country music.

What are Utopia's entertainment venues?

The cruise line said its original productions are performed "across air, ice, water and theater," including high-diving, slacklining and acrobatics at the AquaTheater; ice-skating feats at Studio B; and theatrical productions at the Royal Theater.

Where can you listen to live music on Utopia of the Seas?

Live music venues include Spotlight Karaoke; Latin hotspot Boleros; Music Hall, featuring rock cover bands; Bell & Barley, the English pub with a guitarist; and the classic piano bar, Schooner Bar.

How varied are the accommodations?

The ship has more than 20 types of accommodations for various-sized groups, with views of the ocean or "neighborhoods" like the open-air Central Park and the Boardwalk. Among them are suites, such as the Royal Loft Suite, the Ultimate Family Suite and two Solarium Suites.

What's Utopia of the Sea's full capacity?

Royal Caribbean isn't saying, only revealing that the capacity of the ship, based on double-occupancy of its cabins, is 5,668.

But some clues can be gathered by the full capacity listed on its previous Oasis-class ships. Those ships have double-occupancy capacity ranging from 5,479 to 5,734 — and full capacity ranging from 6,680 to 7,084.

Where was Utopia of the Seas built?

The ship underwent more than two years of construction at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.

Who is the godmother of the Utopia of the Seas?

Royal Caribbean selected Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Meghan Trainor as the ship's godmother. She participated in the naming ceremony for the ship, then performed in the open-air AquaTheater. She also performed for passengers on a special three-night preview cruise that sailed out of Port Canaveral on Monday, performing while the ship was docked at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

“It’s an incredible honor to join the Royal Caribbean family as godmother of Utopia of the Seas and set the tone for the parties to come,” Trainor said in a statement released by the cruise line. “The best part is that we get to bring that weekend energy to the stage with my family and fans. What’s better than being on vacation with the people you love and dancing to your favorite music? Becoming Utopia’s godmother and being here for this incredible celebration with Royal Caribbean is a dream come true.”

As godmother, Trainor joined a long-standing maritime tradition of bestowing safekeeping onto the ship, its crew and its passengers.

Why did Royal Caribbean select Trainor as ship godmother?

Royal Caribbean CEO Bayley explained it this way: "This is the short getaway that’s all about celebrations, celebrating friends, family and the memories you make together. Meghan embodies that in every way, from who she is to how she shares her music with the world, making her the perfect godmother to match Utopia’s big weekend energy. We’re thrilled to welcome her to the family and host a party of epic proportions fit for the ultimate short getaway.”

What is Royal Caribbean's presence at Port Canaveral?

The Utopia is one of three Royal Caribbean ships based at Port Canaveral, joining the Adventure of the Seas and the Wonder of the Seas. The Utopia replaced Port Canaveral-based Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas, which was redeployed to Miami.

In addition, Royal's Symphony of the Seas makes port-of-call stops at Port Canaveral.

A fourth Royal Caribbean ship, Voyager of the Seas, will be based at Port Canaveral, beginning Nov. 26.

Why are twice-a-week sailings important for the port?

The twice-a-week sailings of Utopia of the Seas ― as opposed to once-a-week sailings ― are important for Port Canaveral. That's because the port's cruise revenue is based in part on fees tied to dockings of cruise ships and to passenger counts. The more sailings per month, the more potential revenue.

The port added about 1,000 parking spaces at Cruise Terminal 1 to accommodate the increased demand for Royal Caribbean's twice-weekly sailings of the Utopia of the Seas and, before that, the Allure of the Seas.

What does Royal Caribbean think about Port Canaveral?

Schneider said Port Canaveral is in "a great location," near the Orlando attractions and closer than the South Florida ports of Miami and Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale for people driving to their cruise port from the Atlanta area.

He said Port Canaveral's Royal Caribbean ships are a draw for international travelers, particularly from Mexico, Colombia and Australia.

Will Port Canaveral get more Royal Caribbean ships in the future?

Schneider won't make a specific commitment, but said: "As our fleet grows, will we try to maximize the presence in our ports," including Port Canaveral, PortMiami, Port Everglades and Galveston, Texas. "You'll see us grow in these markets equally."

What's an unconventional environmental feature of the ship?

The Utopia will be the third ship based at Port Canaveral to be powered by liquefied natural gas, a fuel that is cleaner-burning that traditional marine fuels.

The other LNG-powered ships at Port Canaveral are the Carnival's Mardi Gras and Disney's Wish. The Disney Treasure, which will join the Port Canaveral lineup in December, also will be LNG-powered.

How are cruise shipa ranked in size?

Not by number of passengers or number of cabins. But rather by gross tonnage. Utopia weighs in at 236,473 gross tons.

In all, Royal Caribbean operates the world's seven largest cruise ships, with No. 3 through No. 7 being Wonder of the Seas (debuted in 2022), Symphony of the Seas (debuted in 2018), Harmony of the Seas (debuted in 2016), Oasis of the Seas (debuted in 2009) and Allure of the Seas (debuted in 2010). These five ships all are "Oasis-class" ships, as is Utopia of the Seas.

So, with Wonder of the Seas also based at Port Canaveral, the port now is home to two of the three largest cruise ships. And the fourth-largest, Symphony of the Seas, makes regular port-of-call stops there.

Star of the Seas will replace Wonder of the Seas in July 2025. At 250,800 gross tons, it will become the world's largest cruise ship when it goes into service. The Icon-class Star of the Seas is expected to make six- and seven-night cruises to the Western Caribbean, as well as seven- and eight-night cruises to the Eastern Caribbean.

Dave Berman is business editor at  FLORIDA TODAY.  Contact Berman at  [email protected] , on X at  @bydaveberman  and on Facebook at  www.facebook.com/dave.berman.54

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

Royal Caribbean cruise: World's monster second-largest cruise ship arrives at US port

The world's second-largest cruise ship sailed into Port Canaveral in Florida on Thursday .

Royal Caribbean's Utopia of the Seas will set sail from the Central Florida's coast for three-night weekends and four-night weekday getaways from Port Canaveral.

The ship will take its travelers to the cruise line's private destination Perfect Day at Cococay in the Bahamas.

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The boat boasts an array of amentities, including a Pesky Parrot Great Tiki Bar for a drink and the Royal Railway for an immersive adventure.

It features 18 decks with over 40 restaurants, bars and lounges for the 5,600 passengers to enjoy while sailing the seas.


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The world's largest cruise, also with the Royal Caribbean company, the Icon of the Seas recently got forced off course due to Hurricane Beryl.

It was among at least 10 known cruise ships affected by the tropical storm.

Meterologists predict that hurricane season this year, which spans from June to November, will be particularly rough this year.

World's second-largest cruise ship arrives at Florida port

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The 21 largest cruise ships in the world.

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The Largest Cruise Ships in the World

Aerial of Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas.

Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

With every year comes bigger and grander cruise ships.

Just when you think cruise ships can't get any larger, a major cruise line unveils yet another longer, taller and grander state-of-the-art vessel – with the capacity to carry the population of a small town. To put the size of today's megaships into perspective: They often stretch three times longer than a 120-yard football field, and some feature nearly two dozen decks or measure more than 215 feet wide.

So, if you're looking for a vacation aboard a large-scale vessel, consider booking a voyage on one of the biggest cruise ships in the world. With cutting-edge technology and entertainment, world-class dining, and endless attractions and activities for cruisers of all ages, you may not even want to leave the ship. Here are the biggest cruise ships, arranged by gross tonnage.

  • 1. Royal Caribbean Icon of the Seas
  • 2. Royal Caribbean Utopia of the Seas
  • 3. Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Seas
  • 4. Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas
  • 5. Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas
  • 6. Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas
  • 7. Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas
  • 8. MSC World Europa
  • 9. Costa Smeralda
  • 10. Costa Toscana
  • 11. P&O Cruises Arvia
  • 12. AIDAcosma
  • 13. P&O Cruises Iona
  • 14. AIDAnova
  • 15. Carnival Jubilee
  • 16. Carnival Celebration
  • 17. MSC Euribia
  • 18. MSC Virtuosa
  • 19. Carnival Mardi Gras
  • 20. MSC Meraviglia
  • 21. Norwegian Encore

Find your perfect cruise

Royal Caribbean Icon of the Seas

Thrill Island water park on Royal Caribbean Icon of the Seas

Length: 1,198 feet

Width: 213 feet

Gross tons: 250,800

Maximum number of passengers: 7,600

Icon of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship afloat when it debuts in January 2024. The next-level megaship is Royal Caribbean 's first Icon-class vessel and the first of three ships powered by liquefied natural gas, or LNG, which is considered a more sustainable alternative to other fuel options. The ship will have 2,805 staterooms and carry up to 2,350 crew. There's no end to the fun with eight unique neighborhoods, including the new Surfside: a stay-all-day space designed specifically for families.

Other features on the ship include seven pools, nine whirlpools and six record-breaking waterslides. There are also more than 20 new dining venues, such as the swanky Empire Supper Club, which features an eight-course tasting menu; the AquaDome Market, the line's first food hall; and sushi restaurant Izumi in the Park. Cruisers will also find other international cuisine, including Japanese, Mexican and Italian fare, as well as The Lemon Post, the Surfside Eatery and Pier 7 in the Surfside neighborhood.

Read: The Newest Royal Caribbean Ships

Royal Caribbean Utopia of the Seas

The Ultimate Abyss slide on Royal Caribbean's Utopia of the Seas.

Length: 1,188 feet

Width: 211 feet

Gross tons: 236,860

Maximum passengers: 6,788

Royal Caribbean's first LNG-powered Oasis-class ship will sail its debut voyage in July 2024. The new ship will have 2,834 staterooms and up to 2,290 crew members, as well as eight neighborhoods to keep passengers entertained. Ten complimentary dining venues include the line's new food truck concept, The Spare Tire, which serves up handheld eats on the pool deck. The ship will also feature sloping beach-entry and resort-style pools, plus three Lime & Coconut bars on the outdoor deck.

In total, there are more than 40 dining options, bars and lounges on Utopia of the Seas. Many of Royal Caribbean's specialty dining and bar favorites are returning, such as Chops Grille, Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, Rising Tide Bar and Vue Bar. Guests will also find familiar entertainment offerings with rock climbing walls, the AquaTheater, Splashaway Bay, laser tag, mini-golf, the Sports Court, Studio B and much more. With two casinos, five pools and a visit to private island Perfect Day at CocoCay, you'll never run out of things to do.

Read: The Top New Cruise Ships

Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Seas

Side of Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Seas at sea.

Michel Verdure | Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

Gross tons: 235,600

Maximum passengers: 7,084

Royal Caribbean's current largest ship at sea, Wonder of the Seas , first set sail in March 2022. The Oasis-class vessel has 2,867 staterooms and carries as many as 2,204 crew members. While you may get lost on this ship, you'll never be bored. Features include eight unique neighborhoods – such as Central Park, the Boardwalk, and the new Suite Class neighborhood, an exclusive space for suite guests.

Take advantage of the AquaTheater, an outdoor live entertainment venue with a 30-foot diving platform and incredible ocean views. Wonder Playscape is an underwater-themed outdoor space for kids filled with slides, climbing walls, games and more. You can also enjoy a few of Royal Caribbean's Oasis-class favorites, such as the FlowRider surf simulator, the rock climbing wall or laser tag at the Battle for Planet Z. If you dare, head into the Ultimate Abyss: Billed as the tallest waterslide at sea, it towers 150 feet above sea level and features an exhilarating 13-second ride through 10 stories of dark, winding tunnels.

When hunger strikes, dine at your pick of more than 20 complimentary and specialty restaurants, including the new Mason Jar Southern Restaurant & Bar. If you're craving a cold beer, a cocktail or a cup of Starbucks coffee, you'll have roughly a dozen bars and lounges at your disposal.

Read:  The Top Party Cruises

Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas

Aerial of Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas.

Width: 215.5 feet

Gross tons: 228,081

Maximum passengers: 6,680

Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas , another Oasis-class ship, debuted in April 2018. This ship features 2,759 passenger staterooms and accommodates 2,200 crew members. There are seven distinct neighborhoods, four pools, roughly 20 restaurants (about half of which are specialty venues), and about a dozen bars and lounges. The ship even boasts two robotic bartenders that whip up drinks at the Bionic Bar.

Adults can enjoy Broadway-style shows in the onboard theaters and major international sports games at Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade. Meanwhile, kids can cool down at the Splashaway Bay water park, soar on a zip line nine decks high through the Boardwalk neighborhood, try out rock climbing or attend a show at the AquaTheater.

Read:  Royal Caribbean vs. Carnival

Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas

Aerial of Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas.

Gross tons: 226,963

Maximum passengers: 6,687

Another Oasis-class ship, Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas has been sailing since May 2016. The vessel features 2,747 staterooms and up to 2,200 crew members. Cruisers have plenty of places to dine thanks to eight complimentary venues – including the main dining room and Windjammer Marketplace, a globally inspired buffet – as well as nine specialty restaurants serving everything from burgers and shakes to Italian fare. The Boardwalk, one of the ship's seven neighborhoods, is a favorite spot for cruisers; it contains casual eateries, retail shops and carnival games.

Harmony of the Seas also has Splashaway Bay, the Ultimate Abyss waterslide and a trio of slides called The Perfect Storm. In the evening, don't miss a pre-dinner cocktail at the Rising Tide Bar, which offers a ride between the Central Park neighborhood and the Royal Promenade with dazzling skylight views. Sit back and sip your drink while the entire bar slowly floats between the decks.

Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas

Central Park neighborhood on Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas.

Simon Brooke | Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

Length: 1,187 feet

Width: 215 feet

Gross tons: 226,838

Maximum passengers: 6,771

Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas was the largest cruise ship in the world when it was launched in 2009. The line's debut Oasis-class ship is nearly five times bigger than the Titanic by gross tonnage; it has 2,801 staterooms and carries 2,109 crew members.

Oasis of the Seas was reimagined in 2019, with many added amenities that are on newer Oasis-class ships, such as FlowRider simulators, the Perfect Storm waterslides, the Ultimate Abyss and Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade. Across the ship's seven distinct neighborhoods, you'll also find state-of-the-art technology such as VOOM, billed as the fastest internet connection on the high seas – plus exciting live performances and theater productions, laser tag, escape rooms and more.

Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas

Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas leaving Fort Lauderdale.

Gross tons: 225,282

Maximum passengers: 6,826

Embarking for the first time in 2010, Allure of the Seas was Royal Caribbean's second Oasis-class vessel. The ship underwent a refurbishment in 2015. Allure of the Seas has 2,748 staterooms and 2,054 crew. Onboard highlights include seven neighborhoods, four pools, and several whirlpools and hot tubs, plus more than 20 dining venues and too many bars and lounges to count.

There are also plenty of entertainment options for guests of all ages, including an ice skating rink, the Sports Court, a nine-deck-high zip line, two rock climbing walls and two FlowRider simulators (a Royal Caribbean favorite). Kids will especially enjoy the interactive H2O Zone Water Park. Adults on this ship will appreciate Broadway productions like "Mamma Mia!," aerial acrobatic performances in Oceanaria (an original AquaTheater production) and '70s disco dance parties. If you find yourself on board for business reasons, rest assured that the ship's conference facilities can host as many as 1,394 guests.

Find a Royal Caribbean cruise on GoToSea.

MSC World Europa

Zen Pool on MSC World Europa.

Courtesy of MSC Cruises

Length: 1,093 feet

Width: 154 feet

Gross tons: 215,863

Maximum passengers: 6,762

MSC World Europa was one of the most anticipated new cruise ships when it launched in December 2022 as the first vessel in the line's MSC World-class fleet. It's also the first LNG-propelled ship by MSC Cruises , reaching a maximum cruising speed of 22.7 knots.

The ship's futuristic interior and exterior design features a 341-foot-long promenade. Half the promenade is covered with the Meraviglia-class LED sky screens, while the other half is open-air and offers ocean views. MSC World Europa features 2,626 staterooms and can house 2,138 crew members. As a special touch, each passenger deck is named after an international city, including London, Paris, Lisbon and Rome.

The ship is divided into distinct areas, with a quiet zen district for adults and a family zone that has bumper cars and roller skating. At the fleet's largest onboard water park, younger cruisers will find a twisty, stainless steel tunnel slide towering 11 decks high at the center of the ship. Luna Park Arena, the ship's 300-seat multifunction entertainment venue, can accommodate almost any performance or event.

When you're exhausted from all of the action, grab a bite to eat at one of 13 restaurants or a drink at a selection of bars and cafes. Then, take time to relax and unwind with a signature treatment at the Balinese-inspired MSC Aurea Spa. For an all-inclusive VIP experience during your voyage, book stateroom accommodations in the MSC Yacht Club. This exclusive part of the ship boasts premium suites, a separate pool, a private restaurant and lounge, butler service, and other amenities.

Costa Smeralda

Pool inside the Costa Smeralda.

Courtesy of Costa Cruises

Length: 1,106 feet

Width: 138 feet

Gross tons: 185,000

Maximum passengers: 6,554

Costa Smeralda was the first of the two Excellence-class vessels in the Costa Cruises fleet. The vessel debuted in 2019 as the Italian cruise line's largest ship to date. It was also the line's first vessel to use LNG power at sea and in port. The ship has 2,612 staterooms and can carry as many as 1,678 crew members.

Cruisers will never go hungry or thirsty, thanks to the 11 restaurants and snack bars plus 19 bars and lounges on Smeralda . One of the most notable dining venues on board is Archipelago, which serves innovative cuisine created by three world-renowned chefs. If you're interested in culinary pursuits, join other passengers for a cooking class at sea in the Food LAB. When it comes to entertainment, centrally located Colosseo – modeled after the piazzas across Italy – is the place to go for socializing and live performances. What's more, the ship also has 13 pools and hot tubs, an aqua park, the Beauty Spa Solemio, and the Squok Club for kids ages 3 to 11.

Costa Toscana

Deck at sunset on the Costa Toscana.

Costa Toscana, Costa Cruises' newest flagship and the second Excellence-class vessel in the fleet, set sail on its debut voyage in March 2022. Similar in size and passenger capacity to Costa Smeralda, Toscana is also LNG-powered. This vessel has 2,663 staterooms, and there can be up to 1,678 crew members on board.

Similar to Smeralda, Colosseo is the centerpiece of Toscana; you'll find live entertainment and themed bars in this area. There are 11 restaurants and snack bars plus 19 bars and lounges on the ship. For a refreshing aperitif with a view, head to the Aperol Spritz Bar, which features special beach cocktails. Another dining highlight is Sushino at Costa, the line's new sushi bistro. After dinner, take in unparalleled views of the sea along the Volare Skywalk, the highest point of the ship, which towers more than 200 feet above sea level.

Explore Costa Cruises deals on GoToSea.

P&O Cruises Arvia

Grand Atrium on the P&O Cruises Arvia.

Courtesy of P&O Cruises

Length: 1,130 feet

Maximum passengers: 5,200

Arvia joined the P&O fleet as sister ship to Iona in December 2022. It is also LNG-powered, has 2,614 cabins and carries up to 1,800 crew. The family-friendly ship offers guests many firsts, including Altitude, a new activity area with an escape room, a high-ropes experience, the Splash Valley aqua zone, the Sports Arena and much more.

Arvia has 30 bars and restaurants. New dining venues include the American-inspired 6th Street Diner and Green & Co. feat. Mizuhana, which focuses on sushi and plant-based dishes. For entertainment, plan to see the line's production of "The Official Take That Musical," an adaptation of London West End musical "The Band." Guests can also head to the dome beneath the SkyDome retractable roof for live performances, aerial displays, movies on the giant SeaScreen and DJ parties under the starry skies.

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AIDAcosma at sea.

Courtesy of AIDA Cruises

Gross tons: 184,600

Maximum passengers: 6,654

The sister ship to AIDAnova, AIDAcosma set sail in early 2022. The partly LNG-powered AIDA Cruises vessel has 2,732 staterooms and the capacity for up to around 1,500 crew members. With 17 restaurants and 23 bars and cafes, AIDAcosma offers passengers a seemingly endless number of venues to dine and imbibe. Other onboard attractions include a four-deck outdoor area, complete with an infinity pool and an expansive area for sunbathing; an indoor playground with a bouldering wall and ropes course; the Body & Soul Spa; and a 360-degree stage at the Theatrium.

P&O Cruises Iona

SkyDome on the P&O Cruises Iona.

Length: 1,129 feet

Gross tons: 184,000

P&O Cruises' Iona, which launched in spring 2021, has the distinction of being the first LNG-powered British cruise ship. The family-friendly vessel has 2,614 cabins and carries 1,800 crew members. Iona's top features include the two-story SkyDome, a gin distillery, four pools, 10 entertainment venues, and 30 restaurants and bars offering a wide variety of food and beverage options.

With selections ranging from casual eateries to gelaterias to Indian- and British-inspired cuisine at Sindhu, you won't get bored with the restaurant choices. For an especially unique meal, dine and sip wine while watching aerial performances in the Grand Atrium at The Glass House. Or, enjoy dinner at The Limelight Club, an adults-only supper club venue featuring vocal performances and other live music. After dinner, check out the entertainment around the ship, including aerial productions in the Grand Atrium, guest and crew shows in Headliners, late night dancing in The Club House, and performances in partnership with the entertainment company Creativiva in the SkyDome.

AIDAnova at sea.

Gross tons: 183,900

When German line AIDA Cruises' first Helios-class ship, AIDAnova, debuted in December 2018, it was the first LNG-powered cruise ship in the world. The ship is equipped with 2,626 staterooms, including the two-deck Penthouse Suite, and carries around 1,500 crew members. You won't miss this ship when it's docked in port: It features the line's signature exterior design, with bold red lips at the ship's bow and blue-and-yellow eyes on the port and starboard sides.

While on board, passengers can check out 17 restaurants, along with 23 bars and lounges; party the night away at the Beach Club; and take in live performances on the 360-degree stage in the Theatrium. When it's time to relax, head to the Body & Soul Spa, where you can book a massage, spend time in one of the hot tubs or saunas, take a dip in the private pool, and chill out on the private spa sun deck.

Carnival Jubilee

Width: 137 feet

Gross tons: 183,521

Maximum passengers: 6,631

Carnival Jubilee, as sister ship to Carnival Celebration and Carnival Mardi Gras, will offer many of the same features and amenities as its two predecessors when it launches in December 2023. The new vessel will have 2,687 staterooms, 1,735 crew and six zones of fun. Currents and The Shores are new to Jubilee . Currents is inspired by the underworld of the ocean with mermaids and sea monsters; it's designed with new bars, restaurants, music venues and high-tech spaces, including a wave-shaped LED ceiling and six LED windows that virtually take guests under the sea. The Shores is all about the outdoors, inspired by beaches and boardwalks. Cruisers can grab a slice of pizza at Coastal Slice, a hot dog at Beach Buns and a cocktail at Marina Bar.

On Jubilee, you'll also find Carnival Cruise Line favorites such as BOLT, the first and fastest roller coaster at sea, as well as Waterworks, the onboard water park with twin racing slides, three spiraling slides and more. The line's "next-level fun" ship will also include familiar eateries and lounges like Shaquille O'Neal's Big Chicken, Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, Cucina del Capitano, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse and more.

Carnival Celebration

Carnival Celebration in Caribbean waters.

Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Celebration sailed its inaugural cruise in November 2022. Carnival's second-newest ship at sea is LNG-powered and the second in the line's Excel class, with 2,687 staterooms and as many as 1,735 crew. Guests will find new attractions to enjoy on the ship, such as the partnership with the Kennedy Space Center at Space Cruisers: This program is designed for children ages 2 to 11 at Camp Ocean.

Adults can check out the new bar at Latitudes, which features specialty cocktails and outdoor scenery through the virtual windows. Celebration has a variety of complimentary dining venues, including Shaq's Big Chicken, Guy's Burger Joint and Mexican favorites at BlueIguana Cantina. There is also a selection of specialty restaurants like Emeril's Bistro 1397, Rudi's Seagrill, the Steakhouse and Bonsai Teppanyaki. For action and 360-degree views of the ocean from the top of the ship, take a spin around the track on the BOLT roller coaster.

Compare Carnival Cruises on GoToSea.

MSC Euribia

MSC Euribia at sea.

Length: 1,087 feet

Width: 141 feet

Gross tons: 181,541

Maximum passengers: 6,327

MSC Euribia, the newest MSC Cruises ship, debuted in June 2023. The line's second LNG-powered vessel – and the fifth Meraviglia-class ship – has 2,419 cabins and can carry as many as 1,711 crew members. The ship's hull features Alex Flämig's artwork "#SaveTheSea" to highlight the company's dedication to preserving the marine ecosystem.

On board Euribia , guests will find five pools and 11 dining venues, offering everything from sushi and teppanyaki to Latin American street food. There are also 21 bars and lounges, the MSC Aurea Spa, the Ocean Cay Aquapark, luxury retail shopping and more. Two additional highlights are the longest – and most impressive – LED Dome at Sea, which covers the ceiling of Galleria Euribia, and the reimagined Carousel Lounge. The beautiful, updated space features floor-to-ceiling windows, outdoor terraces and cozy seating to enjoy live entertainment, including performances by one of the largest big bands at sea.

MSC Virtuosa

Le Grand Théâtre on the MSC Virtuosa.

Maximum passengers: 6,334

This vessel launched in 2021 as a sister ship to MSC Grandiosa , the line's other Meraviglia Plus-class ship. MSC Virtuosa has 2,421 staterooms and carries around 1,704 crew members. It offers cruisers 11 dining venues plus 21 bars and lounges. At the heart of the ship, Galleria Virtuosa houses the largest shopping area on a cruise ship, with more than 12,500 square feet of retail space. In this area, you'll also find entertainment venues, restaurants and cocktail bars. And don't forget to look up: An impressive LED dome, one of the longest at sea, spans the ceiling of the promenade.

Another highlight to check out during your voyage is the MSC Starship Club, which features Rob, the first humanoid robotic bartender on a cruise ship. The multilingual expert mixologist even tells jokes and will show you a dance move or two. After all the indoor fun, head outside for a cool dip in one of MSC Virtuosa's five pools or take a ride on the slide at the Savannah Aquapark.

Book an MSC Cruise on GoToSea.

Carnival Mardi Gras

Carnival Mardi Gras at sea.

Gross tons: 180,000

Maximum passengers: 6,465

One of Carnival Cruise Line's newest ships, Mardi Gras , debuted in July 2021. Its name honors the line's first ship, the TSS Mardi Gras, which launched in 1972. The original Mardi Gras was around 27,000 gross tons and 650 feet long – in contrast, the new Carnival Mardi Gras weighs more than six times as much and is nearly twice as long. This ship also holds the title as North America's first LNG-powered ship. It has 2,641 staterooms and holds up to 1,745 crew members.

Six themed areas each offer unique dining and entertainment experiences. For New Orleans -inspired cuisine, head to the French Quarter; there, you'll find Emeril's Bistro 1396 and The Brass Magnolia, a bar reminiscent of The Big Easy's jazz culture and Garden District. Don't miss one of the ship's top onboard attractions: the BOLT roller coaster, where riders can hit speeds of nearly 40 mph at 187 feet above sea level.

Read: The Top Themed Cruises

MSC Meraviglia

MSC Meraviglia at Port Miami.

Courtesy of Port Miami for MSC Cruises

Length: 1,036 feet

Gross tons: 171,598

Maximum passengers: 5,655

MSC Cruises' Meraviglia first set sail in 2017 with an impressive 2,244 staterooms and the capacity to carry 1,536 crew members. A dozen restaurants offer a wide variety of cuisines, including a Spanish tapas bar with dishes created by a Michelin-starred chef, Japanese teppanyaki, Italian fare, fresh seafood, steaks and more. There are also 20 bars, lounges and cafes serving everything from Champagne and cocktails to ice cream and crepes.

The central highlight of the ship is Galleria Meraviglia, a 315-foot promenade with eateries, boutiques and evening parties. Nightly entertainment includes live performances and shows in the Broadway Theatre and the Carousel Lounge. Kids will find plenty to do, as well: There's an Aquapark, an F1 simulator, a flight simulator, LEGO play areas, bowling and more. When it's time to wind down, book a signature treatment at the MSC Aurea Spa.

Norwegian Encore

Length: 1,094 feet

Width: 136 feet

Gross tons: 169,116

Maximum passengers: 3,998 (double occupancy)

Norwegian Encore was built in 2019 as one of Norwegian Cruise Line 's Breakaway Plus-class ships. The vessel has 2,040 staterooms and carries 1,735 crew members. There are several complimentary culinary venues on board, including three main dining rooms, The Local Bar & Grill, the Garden Café buffet, and grab-and-go options. Specialty dining restaurants offer a variety of cuisines, from seafood to steak to Japanese teppanyaki.

When it's time for cocktail hour, 14 bars and lounges serve up everything from cold brews to fine wine and whiskey. For a pre-dinner option, head up to the Observation Lounge for panoramic ocean views. Norwegian Encore is also home to several entertainment venues featuring award-winning live shows and performances.

You'll find the most fun on the ship's top decks. First, head to the Encore Speedway race track, which takes thrill-seekers on a heart-pumping ride through high-speed curves extending 13 feet off the side of the ship. Also at the top of the vessel you'll find The Haven: Norwegian's exclusive "ship within a ship" concept boasts luxurious suites, villas and penthouses with balconies. These luxe accommodations include perks like 24-hour butler service, a concierge and a private sun deck.

Find a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise on GoToSea.

Frequently Asked Questions

The largest cruise ship currently in service is Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas, at more than 235,000 gross tons. Icon of the Seas will become the largest cruise ship in the world at 250,000-plus gross tons after its launch, set for January 2024.

Carnival Jubilee, scheduled to debut in December 2023, and Carnival Celebration are the line's largest ships at 183,521 gross tons.

The line's largest ship is Disney Wish at about 144,000 gross tons. The vessel is 1,119 feet in length and 128 feet wide; it has 1,254 staterooms and carries up to 4,000 passengers and 1,555 crew.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Gwen Pratesi has been an avid cruiser since her early 20s. She has sailed on nearly every type of cruise ship built, including the newest megaships, paddle-wheelers on the Mississippi River, and an 18-stateroom river ship on the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia. She has also cruised on a traditional masted sailing ship and on a small luxury expedition vessel in Antarctica crossing the notorious Drake Passage twice. She covers the travel and culinary industries for major publications including U.S. News & World Report.

You might also be interested in:

  • The Top World Cruises
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Travel | Royal Caribbean reveals name for 2nd of world’s…

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Subscriber only, travel | royal caribbean reveals name for 2nd of world’s largest cruise ships.

Royal Caribbean's Star of the Seas is the second of three planned Icon class ships, which will be the largest cruise ships in the world. (Royal Caribbean International)

The cruise line announced that ship’s name Thursday going with Star of the Seas, which will begin sailing in summer 2025, although details about the ship and where it will be home ported were not revealed.

It’s the second in the line’s new Icon class, which the line said would include class-specific features “from the beach retreat to the resort escape and the theme park adventure – the lineup of new experiences and favorites on Star will set the stage for even more ways for every type of family and adventurer to make memories without compromise.”

The class features 20 decks and comes in at 250,800 gross tons at 1,198 feet long. That bumps down the current title holders among the Oasis class that debuted in 2008 with Oasis of the Seas. The line made successive ship slightly larger so each held the title of world’s largest cruise ship with Allure of the Seas in 2009, Harmony of the Seas in 2016, Symphony of the Seas in 2018 and current title holder Wonder of the Seas in 2022. Port-Canaveral bound Utopia of the Seas debuting next summer won’t earn the No. 1 spot set to fall to second after Icon’s debut.

How much bigger are Icon class ships?

Wonder comes in at 235,600 gross tons and 1,188-foot-length. Icon of the Seas will actually have less passenger capacity based on double occupancy — 5,610 compared to Wonder’s 5,734. The size of the rooms among 28 categories, and the expected growth of family traveling, though, means Icon of the Seas’ maximum capacity of 7,600 exceeds Wonder’s 7,084.

Both Icon of the Seas and Star of the Seas remain under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, although Icon has already undergone sea trials and will make the transatlantic voyage to Florida on Dec. 23 ahead of a series of preview sailings in January and it’s first sailing with normal customers beginning Jan. 28, 2024,

A third Icon class ship is due in 2026.

Demand prompts Royal Caribbean to open more Icon of the Seas sailings

“The idea of combining the best of every type of vacation into one ultimate adventure has created more excitement than ever anticipated, and Star of the Seas will be the next bold answer to the record-breaking consumer demand we’ve seen for nearly a year and counting with Icon of the Seas,” said Royal Caribbean President and CEO Michael Bayley in a press release.

The ship will become the third powered by liquefied natural gas, a cleaner burning fuel that’s part of cruise lines’ efforts to reduce emissions. It joins Icon of the Seas and next year’s Utopia of the Seas among the line’s LNG ships. Only PortMiami and Port Canaveral are set up for LNG fueling.

The ship will also be set up with shore power connections, meaning it doesn’t have to burn fuel while in port, another effort among cruise lines to reduce their carbon footprint, and part of Royal’s goal of reaching a net zero cruise ship by 2035.

Star of the Seas will follow Icon’s footprint, which features a six-slide waterpark, seven pools, the new Surfside family neighborhood at the aft of the ship, and the massive glass dome that makes up the new AquaDome neighborhood at the top of the ship.

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From Amelia Island on the northeast tip of Florida to Alligator Reef in the Keys. From the pink sands of Eleuthera in the Bahamas to the slopes of Mount Scenery on the Dutch island of Saba in the Lesser Antilles. The May 2024 issue of our Explore Florida & the Caribbean takes you places – by land, sea and air. The new issue that will appear in digital format on Sunday, May 5, features stories on Florida’s lighthouses, cruise-line dining, a return to ultra-luxe Little Palm Island in the Keys, a camping trip to Peanut Island in Palm Beach County, a […]

Travel | New issue of ‘Explore Florida & the Caribbean’ is going places

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World's second-largest cruise ship, ‘Utopia of the Seas,’ calls Central Florida home

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. - The "Utopia of the Seas," one of the largest cruise ships in the world and the second-largest ship overall, has docked at Port Canaveral, bringing a floating city to Central Florida.

The ship features eighteen decks, 2,800 staterooms, and accommodates over 5,000 passengers. Among its highlights is the Solarium, an adults-only area with a translucent covering, lounge chairs, couches, and pools, providing a sun-safe environment for relaxation.

Jay Schneider, Chief Product Innovation Officer at Royal Caribbean, expressed excitement about the ship's launch. "It’s the world’s biggest weekend. We’re so excited for the launch of Utopia, the next, in our fleet, and what is frankly, the next transformational family vacation," Schneider said.

The "Oasis Class" ship is the first of its kind to offer short 3- and 4-day trips, catering to the growing demand for brief getaways. Schneider noted, "Short getaways are super popular for people, whether it’s 3-night or 4-night trips."

Utopia of the Seas offers a variety of dining options, including Giovanni’s for Italian cuisine and The Mason Jar, a Southern-inspired restaurant that combines dining with entertainment. The Mason Jar features live music and a dance floor, creating a lively atmosphere for guests.

For those seeking thrills, the ship boasts the longest dry slide at sea, a 259-foot purple slide providing excitement without getting wet. The ship also features the Pesky Parrot, a unique bar offering creative twists on traditional drinks, such as a peanut butter Piña Colada.

The first sailing of Utopia of the Seas is scheduled for July 19, with destinations including Nassau and Royal Caribbean’s private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay. The ship is still being finalized, with finishing touches like hanging art and installing tiles ongoing.

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Full List: The 10 Current Largest Cruise Ships on the Planet

If you think cruise ships have gotten bigger, it’s not just your imagination. Whereas a ship built in the 1990s might hold 2,500 passengers and come in at around 75,000 gross tons (a measure of ship size), that’s nowhere near the ships built today.

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

Today, any new ship from a major line will be at least 140,000 gross tons, with many much larger than that. Passenger counts have also swelled, with many new ships carrying 5,000 cruisers when completely full.

But the largest cruise ships on the planet are in another league altogether. They can measure up to 250,000 gross tons (roughly triple the size of a ship built 30 years ago!) and when at full capacity with crew, have nearly 10,000 people onboard.

Why Are Cruise Ships So Big?

Truth be told, while the size of massive modern ships is staggering, not everyone likes the large ship experience. Some people can find them too crowded and too hard to navigate. But not everyone feels that way, and cruise lines have invested literally billions into building ships that are as large as possible. So what is the appeal of a mega ship?

Amenities/Activities: For passengers, the big advantage of size comes with everything that can be fit onto the ship. Instead of the old days where there was a pool, some loungers, and a buffet, modern mega ships are literal resorts at sea.

There are multiple pools, more than a dozen restaurants, casinos, ziplines, literal parks, ice-skating rinks, rock-climbing walls, spas, and more bars than you can count on your fingers and toes.

All of that combines into an experience that can exceed expectations and keep passengers coming back for more.

Efficiencies of Scale: For cruise lines, one big positive about a larger ship are greater efficiencies. Instead of having the cost of building two smaller ships — and the costs of having two sets of crew to run them both — one larger ship offers the chance for just as many passengers at a lower cost.

Marketing: Finally, one overlooked aspect of why cruise ships are bigger than ever has to do with marketing and publicity. There’s a certain awe and interest that comes with the world’s largest ships. Seeing them in port is essentially a giant billboard for a cruise line. And the largest ships also get significant press due to their size. All of that can translate into more interest, ticket sales, and prices for the newest — and biggest — ships.

With that in mind, here is the current list of the world’s largest cruise ships as of now…

Icon of the Seas

Icon of the Seas trials

When it comes to the largest ships, Royal Caribbean is the undisputed leader with the six biggest cruise ships in the world. But the king of the fleet — and the largest cruise ship in the world — is Icon of the Seas .

Icon of the Seas doesn’t sail with passengers until 2024, but it’s already made waves. It’s not just the massive size (250,800 gross tons and 7,600 passengers at maximum capacity), but what’s onboard. A full-fledged waterpark, seven different pools, and eight different neighborhoods offer a spot for everyone. This ship looks to change cruising forever.

  • Gross Tonnage: 250,800
  • Length: 1,198 feet
  • Passenger Capacity: 5,610 double occupancy; 7,600 max capacity
  • Year Built: 2023

Wonder of the Seas

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

Wonder of the Seas is the latest edition of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class ships (until Utopia of the Seas arrives in 2024), which were the largest class in the world until the new Icon class took the torch. Still, it’s not as if Wonder of the Seas is a slouch.

At 235,600 gross tons, there’s room for 7,084 passengers and an amazing amount to see and do onboard. This includes Central Park, the mid-ship outdoor promenade that winds through lush gardens, and the AquaTheater, where performers put on aquatic shows, including towering high dives at sea.

  • Gross Tonnage: 235,600
  • Length: 1,188 feet
  • Passenger Capacity: 5,734 double occupancy; 7,084 max capacity
  • Year Built: 2022

Symphony of the Seas

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

Each iteration of Oasis-class ships has arrived just slightly larger than the previous when it comes to gross tonnage. That means they each had their time as the largest in the world before another arrived on the scene. In this case, Symphony of the Seas (228,000 gross tons and the ability to hold 6,680 passengers) took the crown in 2018.

Today, it’s the third-largest cruise ship on the planet, but it’s no slouch. It holds seven different neighborhoods, nearly 3,000 staterooms, three waterslides, and Ultimate Abyss — a 10-story dry slide.

  • Gross Tonnage: 228,081
  • Passenger Capacity: 5,518 double occupancy; 6,680 max capacity
  • Year Built: 2018

Harmony of the Seas

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

Built in 2016, Harmony of the Seas features 18 decks, more than 225,000 gross tons (about 10% smaller than Icon of the Seas) and can carry nearly 6,700 passengers when completely full. That’s good enough to make it the fourth-largest cruise ship in the world.

It features many of the same components of other ships in the class, like the adults-only Solarium, Central Park, and the AquaTheater. That’s not to mention 17 different spots to grab a bite to eat.

  • Gross Tonnage: 226,963
  • Passenger Capacity: 5,479 double occupancy; 6,687 max capacity
  • Year Built: 2016

Oasis of the Seas

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

The ship that started the trend of truly mega ships is also the namesake of the Oasis class — Oasis of the Seas. If you notice, most of the largest ships on our list were built recently. This ship first began sailing in 2009 and set off the “arms race” of larger ships that continues today.

Following a refurbishment, it now features three waterslides, a dozen lounges, 2,801 cabins (including one with a panoramic view right above the ship’s bridge), a splash pad for kids, and even an escape room themed like the 1960s NASA mission control. And did we mention 20 different places to find something to eat?

  • Gross Tonnage: 226,838
  • Length: 1,187 feet
  • Passenger Capacity: 5,602 double occupancy; 6,771 max capacity
  • Year Built: 2009

Allure of the Seas

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

Following a refurbishment of Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas — which was the second ship in the class and built in 2010 — is actually now the smallest of the group based on tonnage. Still, that’s good enough for sixth largest in the world at “just” 225,000 gross tons.

On the ship, you’ll find 18 decks, 2,748 staterooms and more than 6,800 passengers when completely full. That’s definitely a lot of people, but remember that you also have a lot more space to spread out, giving plenty of elbow room.

  • Gross Tonnage: 225,282
  • Passenger Capacity: 5,496 double occupancy; 6,826 max capacity
  • Year Built: 2010

MSC World Europa

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

While Royal Caribbean has a lock on the largest ships, the title of largest cruise ship from outside that cruise line goes to MSC World Europa.

Coming in at almost 216,000 gross tons, it’s roughly 14% smaller than Icon of the Seas. But don’t think it’s some slouch. From bumper cars to seven pools to an 11-story slide, there’s no shortage of things for kids to do. Adults will love the 13 different dining options and an indoor promenade or Panorama Lounge for shopping, having a drink, or just relaxing.

This ship will be joined in 2025 by sister-ship MSC World America, set to sail stateside.

  • Gross Tonnage: 215,863
  • Length: 1,094 feet
  • Passenger Capacity: 5,231 double occupancy; 6,762 max capacity

Costa Smeralda/Costa Toscana (Tie)

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

These two ships come in at a tie for the eighth-largest cruise ship in the world. Built in 2019 and 2021, respectively, they both belong to Costa Cruises. And if the shape of the ship looks familiar, that’s because Costa is a sister line to Carnival. A similar design is used for Carnival’s largest ships, Mardi Gras, Celebration, and Jubilee. However, those ships come in just under the 185,000 gross tons seen with Smeralda and Toscana.

Both ships offer 13 pools and hot tubs, nearly a dozen restaurants and just under 20 bars and lounges. And if you like balcony views? There are 1,550 balcony rooms on each, providing plenty of options for the roughly 6,500 passengers that can sail at full capacity.

  • Gross Tonnage: 185,010
  • Length: 1,106 feet
  • Passenger Capacity: 5,224 double occupancy; 6,554 max capacity
  • Year Built: 2019/2021

P&O Arvia

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

Taking the crown as the 10th-largest cruise ship in the world is Arvia from P&O Cruises. Measuring just under 185,000 gross tons, it offer a similar design to ships like Costa Smeralda and Carnival Celebration, but don’t think these ships are all the same.

For instance, Arvia features a unique Skydome area that is a pool area with retractable roof by day and an entertainment venue by night. It also features its own rum distillery onboard, meaning you can take home rum literally made on the ship. Kids will love the Altitude zone that features a ropes course, mini-golf, and more. There’s also Mission Control, a submarine-themed escape room.

All told, a reported 6,685 passengers can enjoy the ship at one time.

  • Gross Tonnage: 184,700
  • Length: 1,130 feet
  • Passenger Capacity: 5,200 double occupancy; 6,685 max capacity

More on Large Ships:

  • The World’s Largest Cruise Ship Compared to Famous Places
  • The World’s Largest Cruise Ships Sailing For Each Line (With Photos)
  • Photos: See the New Icon of the Seas Sail for the First Time

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The two largest cruise ships in the world set sail from Florida. Here’s how they compare

Utopia of the seas sailings start july 19.

Haley Coomes , Digital Content Producer

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – With ports along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, Florida is a top cruise destination. On Thursday, a new ship was homeported at Port Canaveral, and it’s another Royal Caribbean behemoth.

Royal Caribbean’s Utopia of the Seas will offer 3-night weekend and 4-night weekday cruises. The vessel can hold 5,668 passengers and has 18 total decks, The cruise ship is the first of its kind to debut three-night weekend and four-night getaways to CocoCay. The ship includes a 10-story dry slide, waterslides, rock-climbing walls, over 40 dining options and two casinos.

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While impressive in size, it’s second to Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, which is the world’s largest cruise ship.

The Icon of the Seas had its maiden voyage out of Miami in January 2024. As Jalopnik put it, it’s the size of five Titanics . A striking feature is its upper deck, where there’s a different pool option for every day of the week. There’s also Category 6 — the ship’s 17,000-square-foot water park, currently the largest at sea.

Below is a breakdown of how the two vessels compare in size.

The Icon of the Seas is part of Royal Caribbean’s Icon Class, while Utopia is in the Oasis. Port Canaveral is also home to the third-largest ship, Wonder of the Seas .

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Copyright 2024 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.

About the Author

Haley coomes.

Haley is a digital content producer for ClickOrlando.com and first started as a News 6 producer in October 2014. She's a graduate of Indiana University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in journalism. She specializes in theme parks and lifestyle writing.


Royal caribbean’s utopia of the seas, world’s 2nd-largest cruise ship, sails into port canaveral, ‘urgent and necessary:’ port canaveral ceo announces new cruise terminal, port canaveral breaks record for most cruise passengers in a month.

Should Be Cruising

The 20 Biggest Cruise Ships in the World in 2023

By: Author Carrie Ann Karstunen

Posted on Published: March 1, 2022  - Last updated: January 6, 2023

The 20 Biggest Cruise Ships in the World in 2023

Cruise ships have been getting bigger—and adding lots of attractions that were unheard of just a few years ago. To help you pick which megaship is right for you, I’ve rounded up the 20 biggest cruise ships in the world in 2023.

Along with a ranking of the top 20 cruise ships by size , I’ve included important stats and unique features for each ship. If you’re considering sailing on one of the biggest cruise ships in the world, you’ll want to read this guide before you choose!

How do we determine the size of cruise ships for comparison?

Cruise ships can be measured by a variety of factors. You might assume that a ship’s size is determined by its length, weight, or even its passenger capacity.

But the size of a cruise ship is generally determined by gross tonnage —and (confusingly) that’s not a measurement of weight!

Gross tonnage, or GT, is a measure of the ship’s internal volume . To calculate GT, first a ship’s volume is calculated by measuring from keel to funnel to the outside of the hull framing. That number (in cubic meters) is then run through several mathematical formulas to determine GT. (I won’t go into all of that here, but if you’re interested the US Coast Guard has a simplified guide to measuring gross tonnage ).

The world’s 20 largest cruise ships in 2023

Currently, the top 20 biggest cruise ships have four sets of ties in the rankings, all between sister ships that share the same cruise line and class. So although we’ll start our list at #16, there are twenty ships in total!

Cruise fans will notice there are several new ships on the list this year. Have any of these newer ships bumped your favorites down in the rankings? Read on to find out!

16. (tie) MSC Seascape

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

  • Cruise line: MSC
  • Year built: 2022
  • Gross tonnage: 170,412
  • Length: 1112 ft / 339 m
  • Max. beam: 135 ft / 41 m
  • Staterooms: 2270
  • Max. passengers: 5877
  • Passenger decks: 15

Just making this year’s list of the world’s 20 largest cruise ships, MSC Seascape is tied for #16. The second Seaside EVO class ship launched by MSC Cruises in just over a year, Seascape features a glam New York City vibe.

The ship’s four-story Atrium is at the heart of the action on board, and boasts a sparkling staircase set with 10,000 Swarovski crystals—the perfect spot for a photo op on formal nights !

But MSC Seascape isn’t all glitz and glamour—the family-friendly ship offers 13 pools and water features and more than 140,000 square feet (13006 m²) of public outside space. Kids will love Pirates Cove Aquapark , a play space with slides, a rope bridge, and plenty of water sprayers and dumping buckets to beat the heat.

Seascape is also the first ship to feature the new thrill ride Robotron , a robotic virtual rollercoaster ride perched on the top deck.

Foodie guests on MSC Seascape will enjoy the ship’s eleven restaurants, including a massive Market Place Buffet and several specialty dining venues grouped together at Chef’s Court .

Related: MSC Cruises Launches MSC Seascape in New York City

16. (tie) MSC Seashore

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

  • Year built: 2020 (launched 2021)
  • Max. beam: 134.5 ft / 41 m

Almost identical to her sister ship Seascape , MSC Seashore is tied for #16 on the list of the largest cruise ships. The first in the EVO subclass of MSC’s Seaside class ships, Seashore and her sister are larger than other ships in their class and offer expanded outdoor spaces.

As an EVO ship, MSC Seashore offers improved technology to increase efficiency and reduce her carbon footprint. The energy-efficient equipment includes an advanced wastewater purification system and Safe Air , a new sanitation system that eliminates viruses and bacteria.

Seashore was purpose-built for the American market, but still offers the European flair that MSC is famous for. Guests can enjoy a taste of Italy at the ship’s Venchi 1878 gelato bars , offering twenty flavors of the decadent frozen treat in flavors like tiramisù and stracciatella.

MSC Seashore also features a gorgeous aft infinity pool—one of the largest at sea—with luxurious submerged sunbeds. The spot is a tranquil adults-only oasis by day, but it comes alive in the evening as the setting for the always-popular Silent Disco .

15. (tie) MSC Bellissima

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

  • Year built: 2019
  • Gross tonnage: 171,598
  • Length: 1,036.2 ft / 315.83 m
  • Max. beam: 141 ft / 43 m
  • Staterooms: 2,217
  • Max. passengers: 5,686
  • Passenger decks: 14

Tied for the fifteenth spot in the list of the world’s largest cruise ships, MSC’s Bellissima is as tall as thirteen double-decker buses!

Perfect for a family cruise, Bellissima offers a wealth of kids’ activities for children aged one through seventeen. Parents can track kids’ whereabouts on board via an RFID bracelet synced with MSC’s app. For adults who want to enjoy a leisurely meal, there’s the Happy Dinner program where the little ones are escorted to the kids club as soon as they finish eating!

MSC Bellissima is home to a thrilling Grand Canyon-themed waterpark with three waterslides—two racing tubes as well as a champagne bowl-style slide. The younger set will love the Aquaplay spray area, and guests of all ages can climb the Himalayan bridge, a rope course that crosses the ship high above the water.

Guests aboard Bellissima also have access to an electronic cruise assistant, similar to Siri or Alexa. A first in the cruise industry, Zoe —who speaks seven languages and adapts to each passenger’s preference—provides information and help booking shows, spa treatments, and shore excursions, as well as notifications of events and promotions.

15. (tie) MSC Meraviglia

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

  • Year built: 2017
  • Staterooms: 2,244
  • Max. passengers: 5,655

When MSC’s Meraviglia entered service in 2017, she was the sixth-largest cruise ship in the world—but has since fallen to #15, tied with her newer sister ship Bellissima .

The namesake of the Meraviglia class of cruise ships, she was the first to offer an expanded dining experience with fourteen restaurants, including a whopping four complimentary main dining rooms. Celebrity chef Carlo Cracco was enlisted to improve the quality of the ship’s cuisine.

On Meraviglia entertainment options abound—the Broadway Theatre hosts six unique shows each cruise, along with the Carousel Lounge where you can experience Cirque du Soleil at sea. The crew also puts on an impressive amount of activities and events, so there’s always something to do on a sea day .

The ship’s Amusement Park has a full-size bowling alley, 4-D cinema, F1 simulators, an arcade, as well as a sportplex that becomes a disco spot for young cruisers in the evening.

14. (tie) MSC Virtuosa

MSC Virtuosa, one of the largest cruise ships

  • Year built: 2020
  • Gross tonnage: 181,541
  • Length: 1,087.4 ft / 331.43 m
  • Max. beam: 160 ft / 50 m
  • Staterooms: 2,421
  • Max. passengers: 6,334

MSC’s ship Virtuosa , built in 2020, is one of the newer offerings by the Swiss-Italian cruise line and is tied for number fourteen on our list of the world’s biggest cruise ships.

Virtuosa offers five pools in total, plus a water park with three waterslides, so water babies of all ages can spread out and enjoy the fun. The pools can accommodate over a thousand guests at a time!

If relaxing with a cocktail is more your style, stop by and see Rob the bartender at Starship Club . He’s the first humanoid bartender at sea, and speaks six languages!

Cruisers can also wander the Galleria Virtuosa —the pretty indoor promenade with restaurants and shops features an arched ceiling with the longest LED dome at sea , presenting an ever-changing light display.

14. (tie) MSC Grandiosa

MSC Grandiosa, one of the world's biggest cruise ships

  • Staterooms: 2,632
  • Max. passengers: 6,761

Tied for number 14, Grandiosa was the first vessel in MSC’s Meraviglia-Plus class , later joined by her sister ship MSC Virtuosa .

With 200 more staterooms than previous MSC ships, Grandiosa has expanded the number of accessible cabins on board, and added groups of up to three connecting staterooms as well as new family balcony cabins. Some spacious family staterooms can sleep up to twelve!

Grandiosa also has some innovative environmental features, including systems to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 80%, and sulfur emissions by 97%. She has a fuel-efficient hull and can run on shore power when docked.

Fun fact: Grandiosa ‘s godmother is Italian screen legend and longtime MSC ambassador Sophia Loren. She actually holds that honor for most of MSC’s fleet!

13. Mardi Gras

world's biggest cruise ships: Carnival Mardi Gras

  • Cruise line: Carnival
  • Gross tonnage: 181,808
  • Length: 1,130 ft / 344 m
  • Max. beam: 138 ft / 42 m
  • Staterooms: 2,641
  • Max. passengers: 6,630

The 13th biggest cruise ship in the world is Carnival Cruise Line’s widely-anticipated Mardi Gras (currently the cruise line’s second-largest ship) which took her maiden voyage in July 2021.

Mardi Gras debuted several new concepts for Carnival, including three new dining venues. Big Chicken by Shaq serves up fried chicken and more, while quick-service Street Eats offers three food stations, each specializing in a different type of cuisine.

Emeril’s Bistro 1396 , created in partnership with celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse (Carnival’s new Chief Culinary Officer ), serves up New Orleans-style Creole dishes.

The Grand Central Atrium reinvented the central area of the ship, with a larger space featuring bars, cafés, and shops with aerial performances overhead.

She also boasts the first rollercoaster at sea —BOLT is an open-air coaster with spectacular sea views. Riders can control their speed using pedals inside each two-person motorcycle-themed car.

12. AIDAcosma

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

  • Cruise line: AIDA
  • Year built: 2021
  • Gross tonnage: 183,200
  • Length: 1,106 ft / 337 m
  • Staterooms: 2,626
  • Max. passengers: 6,600
  • Passenger decks: 16

Setting sail on her maiden voyage in February 2022, Carnival Corporation’s German brand AIDA ‘s newest ship AIDAcosma makes #12 on the list.

AIDAcosma ‘s unique features include the Ocean Deck , a four-story relaxation oasis with an infinity pool and panoramic ocean views.

The ship also has a reinvented Fun Park , complete with a ropes course, rock-climbing wall, and a large indoor playground.

Her seventeen restaurants and 23 bars and cafés ensure that guests have plenty of variety on their cruise vacation! Notable is the new Mamma Mia specialty restaurant, serving fresh Italian cuisine including homemade pasta dishes.

11. Carnival Celebration

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

  • Gross tonnage: 183,521
  • Length: 1130 ft / 340 m
  • Max. beam: 137 ft / 42 m
  • Staterooms: 2687
  • Max. passengers: 6631

Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship Carnival Celebration launched in 2022 as the second member of the Excel class , joining her sister Mardi Gras . The new ship almost made the top 10 of the largest cruise ships, landing at number 11.

Celebration pays homage to her homeport of Miami with the 820 Biscayne zone, named after the cruise line’s first headquarters. The zone will feature the Deco Deli and 820 Bar , serving up Cuban sandwiches and tropical drinks.

Pizza fanatics will want to try the brand new Miami Slice , a free pizzeria that replaces the Pizza Pirate or Pizzeria del Capitano venues found on all other Carnival ships. The walk-up pizza joint features vibrant décor reminiscent of late-night eateries on Miami Beach’s Ocean Drive. 

Younger guests can check out Space Cruisers , a new program offered in partnership with the Kennedy Space Center. Kids age 2 to 11 will have the opportunity to try NASA-inspired activities tailored to their age group.

Celebration is the second ship in Carnival’s fleet to be completely powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Related: Cassidy Gifford Becomes Godmother of Carnival Celebration in Miami

10. AIDAnova

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

  • Year built: 2018
  • Gross tonnage: 183,858
  • Max. passengers: 6,654

In tenth place is AIDAnova , sister ship to AIDAcosma . The first of AIDA’s ships to use liquefied natural gas (LNG), AIDAnova has nearly zero emissions.

Wellness-minded cruisers will love AIDAnova ‘s 3545 square meters dedicated to fitness and relaxation. The new Body & Soul Spa features five ocean-view saunas, a sun terrace with three jacuzzis, and a tepidarium. Over 30 free exercise classes are offered each week in the Sport area, or train solo in the open-air gym.

Or take a leisurely stroll on the Lanai deck, where guests can walk almost all the way around the ship, stopping at restaurants and bars including the Lanai Bar at the stern.

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

  • Cruise line: P&O
  • Gross tonnage: 184,089
  • Length: 1,130 ft / 344.5 m
  • Staterooms: 2,614

Number nine is P&O UK’s Iona , the largest cruise ship built specifically for the British market. One of the newer ships on the list, Iona was delivered in 2020 but made her first voyage in August 2021.

Family-friendly Iona features the enclosed SkyDome pool area, kids’ splash zone, and a shallow pool for little cruisers. Hosted by specially-trained Reef Rangers, the Reef kids’ club is a fun environment for children aged 2-17, open from early morning until late.

But Iona ‘s not all about the kids! She’s actually home to the world’s first gin distillery at sea , producing the Marabelle label. Inspired by the Scottish island of Iona, the gin contains 18 botanicals. Guests can attend two unique gin masterclasses on board, including one that allows you to craft your own gin with expert guidance.

8. (tie) Costa Toscana

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

  • Cruise line: Costa
  • Gross tonnage: 185,010
  • Staterooms: 2,612
  • Max. passengers: 6,554

Italian line Costa Cruises’ newest ship, Costa Toscana , comes in at the eighth-largest cruise ship in the world. The Tuscan-inspired vessel features furnishings, fabrics, and accessories all made in Italy. Even the driftwood used to craft dining tables at Archipelago restaurant was harvested from the Italian shoreline by Guardians of the Coast .

Food is a major focus of the ship, with many of her 21 restaurants offering authentic local cuisine by chefs including Bruno Barbieri, Hélène Darroze, and Ángel León. Even the littlest cruisers have a special place to eat— Squok Restaurant is dedicated to families with kids.

If all the amazing food on board inspires you, be sure to check out Toscana ‘s Food LAB , where guests can learn to prepare their own culinary creations alongside the ship’s chefs.

8. (tie) Costa Smeralda

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

Tied for eighth place is Costa Smeralda , a favorite of sustainability-minded cruisers. Smeralda was the first in Costa’s fleet powered by liquefied natural gas (sister ship Toscana now also shares this feature), a fuel source that reduces the ship’s environmental impact.

Other eco-friendly features include LED lighting throughout the ship, an onboard desalinization plant that sustainably harvests onboard water directly from the sea, and systems that recover the engines’ heat to reduce energy use.

Costa Smeralda earned the coveted Green Plus notation from RINA, only awarded to the most environmentally friendly cruise ships.

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

  • Cruise line: P&O Cruises
  • Gross tonnage: 185,581
  • Length: 1130 ft / 344.5 m
  • Staterooms: 2614
  • Max. passengers: 6685

P&O UK ‘s newest ship Arvia is also the cruise line’s largest, and debuts at #7 on the 2023 list of biggest cruise ships. An Excel-class ship like Iona , Arvia is similar but boasts some key differences.

Like her sister, this ship also features a Sky Dome over the pool area—but Arvia ‘s is retractable to allow for alfresco swimming, dining, and entertainment when the weather is right.

Arvia is home to the fleet’s first swim-up bar , complete with plenty of in-water seating, allowing guests to order and enjoy a cocktail right in the pool.

The new ship debuted several new restaurant concepts, including Green & Co featuring Mizuhana , featuring fish and plant-based cuisine. Also new are Roast at The Quays for traditional British lunches and the 6th Street Diner , an American-style diner serving breakfast,brunch, and dinner.

Arvia also has the first rum distillery at sea ! The Tidal Rum has partnered with P&O to produce the unique rum blend on the ship at Anderson’s Bar .

6. MSC World Europa

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

  • Gross tonnage: 215,863
  • Length: 1094 ft / 333.3 m
  • Max. beam: 154 ft / 47 m
  • Staterooms: 2626
  • Max. passengers: 6762

With the debut of MSC World Europa in December of 2022, MSC Cruises now has a whopping seven ships on the list of the top 20 biggest cruise ships in the world—the most of any cruise line!

The Geneva-based company has been working diligently to expand the fleet and MSC’s newest cruise ship is a whopper of a vessel.

The ship is an astounding 21 decks high (there’s a deck 22, but cruise superstition skips deck 13), four decks taller than the largest cruise ship in 2023. Sixteen of those decks are passenger-accessible.

Much like the megaships offered by Royal Caribbean, MSC World Europa is divided into several districts that contain similar offerings—a must-have on any gargantuan cruise ship. Guests can visit the adults-only Zen district for a bit of calm, or the Family district with ten kids’ facilities offering fun for little cruisers and their grownups.

Ranking among the top ships with the most water features at sea, World Europa offers six pools and 14 hot tubs , along with an aquapark featuring multiple waterslides.

MSC World Europa is also the line’s first LNG-powered cruise ship —and the biggest liquefied natural gas powered cruise ship in the world! This cleaner alternative to traditional marine fuel significantly reduces carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen oxide emissions.

5. Allure of the Seas

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

  • Cruise line: Royal Caribbean
  • Year built: 2010
  • Gross tonnage: 225,282
  • Length: 1,180 ft / 360 m
  • Max. beam: 198 ft / 60.5 m
  • Staterooms: 2,742
  • Max. passengers: 6,780

Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas ranks as the fifth largest cruise ship in 2022. She’s the second (and smallest) of the Oasis-class ships.

Allure of the Seas features seven themed “neighborhoods”—the Royal Promenade, Central Park, Entertainment Place, Boardwalk, Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea, and the Youth Zone.

With a ten-deck-high zip line and the interactive H2O Zone waterpark, Allure of the Seas is a favorite ship for adventurous cruisers of all ages.

4. Oasis of the Seas

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

  • Year built: 2009
  • Gross tonnage: 226,838

Number four is Oasis of the Seas , the first of the namesake Oasis class, and the oldest ship to make the top 15 list. Built in 2009, she was then the largest cruise ship in the world, and the first to have a maximum capacity of over 6000 passengers!

Oasis of the Seas may be an older ship, but she doesn’t look like one! In 2019 she had a $165 million transformation that brought the ship up to date.

Entertainment abounds on this ship, from the splashy Aqua80 show in the AquaTheater to Music Hall , a live music venue with plenty of floor space for dancing. Or try one of the four onboard water slides including the ten-story-high Ultimate Abyss .

3. Harmony of the Seas

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

  • Year built: 2016
  • Gross tonnage: 226,963
  • Length: 1,188.1 ft / 362.12 m
  • Max. beam: 215.5 ft / 65.7 m
  • Staterooms: 2,747
  • Max. passengers: 6,687

Coming in at number three is Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas , built in 2016 at a cost of 1.3 billion dollars.

With her three pool decks containing an impressive collection of pools and hot tubs, you’ll never feel crowded taking a dip. You can even learn how to SCUBA dive , right on the ship! Aboard Harmony of the Seas , guests have the opportunity to take the PADI® Open Water Diver Course, culminating with open water dives at various ports of call.

After you’ve worked up an appetite in the pool, try one of Harmony of the Seas ‘ twenty restaurants, serving over 200 different dishes on a daily basis.

2. Symphony of the Seas

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

  • Gross tonnage: 228,081
  • Length: 1,184.42 ft / 361.011 m
  • Staterooms: 2,759
  • Max. passengers: 6,680

The largest cruise ship in the world until 2022, Symphony of the Seas comes in second—but is still a behemoth at 1184 feet and 228,081 gross tons!

Built in 2018, Symphony of the Seas boasts some fun tech! Check out the Big Wonder , a seven-ton canopy lit with color-changing LEDs that cast a glow over the ship’s Solarium at night.

Enjoy a cocktail at Bionic Bar , where one of two robot bartenders can shake you up the perfect martini. But don’t worry, the ship’s 13 other bars and lounges are staffed by friendly humans.

Or play a lively game of glow-in-the-dark laser tag to battle for control of Planet Z —when the ship’s ice rink is temporarily transformed into an alien world, of course.

1. Wonder of the Seas

Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Seas

  • Gross tonnage: 236,857
  • Length: 1,187.8 ft / 362.04 m
  • Max. beam: 210 ft / 64 m
  • Staterooms: 2,859
  • Max. passengers: 6,988

Wonder of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International is the cruise line’s newest—and the world’s biggest cruise ship, at almost 1188 feet long and 236,857 gross tons!

Delivered in February 2022, Wonder of the Seas made her maiden voyage from Fort Lauderdale on March 4, 2022.

Like the other Oasis-class ships, she’s organized into neighborhoods, but with the addition of an eighth unique section. This new neighborhood is dedicated to suite guests, with a plunge pool and bar as well as the suites-only Coastal Kitchen and Suites Lounge .

Wonder of the Seas offers some exciting new features—in addition to boasting the largest poolside movie screen of any RCCL ship there’s also The Vue , a cantilevered bar offering panoramic ocean views.

For the kids, there’s the new Wonder Playscape —an underwater-themed play area with climbing walls and an interactive puzzle mural.

Comparing the 20 biggest cruise ships in the world

Largest cruise ships faq.

How is the size of a cruise ship measured?

Ships are measured by gross tonnage, which is a measure of internal volume.

What does maximum beam mean on a ship?

Maximum beam is the measurement at the widest part of a ship’s hull.

Which cruise ship is the biggest?

Royal Caribbean’s  Wonder of the Seas  is the world’s largest cruise ship, with a gross tonnage of 236,857.

Which cruise ship is the longest?

Royal Caribbean’s  Wonder of the Seas  is the world’s longest cruise ship at 1,187.8 ft (362.04 m).

Which cruise ship can hold the most passengers?

Royal Caribbean’s  Wonder of the Seas  can hold the most passengers, with a maximum occupancy of 6,988.

Which cruise ship has the most staterooms?

Royal Caribbean’s  Wonder of the Seas  has the most passenger staterooms, at 2,859.

Have you sailed on one of the largest cruise ships in the world? Or do you prefer cruising on a smaller ship? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

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2nd largest cruise ship in the world

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Largest Cruise Ships

CruiseMapper logo

See here the world's largest cruise ships list (including vessels under construction ) owned by the best cruise line companies . This article is also integrated with our ship dimensions , passenger capacity , and old cruise ships surveys.

Largest Cruise Ships - CruiseMapper

CruiseMapper's list of biggest cruise ships includes all vessels with gross tonnage/volume over 150,000 GT-tons .

Each one of these behemoth ships is an engineering marvel produced by our contemporary age of fun and super technologies. Kudos to their builders and double kudos to their proud owners who have invested so much in these newbuild projects!

Note: In the following table, all links are internal (CruiseMapper) and redirect to the liner's itinerary schedule where you can compare dates and prices per person (double occupancy cabin rates).

The world's largest river cruise ship is Victoria Sabrina . The 2020-launched riverboat is China-built, owned by Victoria Cruises China and deployed year-round on Yangtze River. The vessel has the impressive volume of 17000 GT-tons, LOA length 150 m (492 ft), width 22 m (72 ft), 7 decks (5 with cabins), 270 staterooms, max capacity 690 passengers plus 195 crew/staff.

Oasis-class - biggest cruise ship in the world ever built

World's currently largest cruise ship class is produced exclusively for RCI-Royal Caribbean andin 2 sub-series - Oasis-Class (Allure OTS, Oasis OTS) and Oasis-Plus (Harmony OTS, Symphony OTS, Wonder OTS). These are sisterships from the fleet of the second- largest cruise shipping company in the world - RCCL-Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (as shipowner) that follows only Carnival Corporation (as shipowner).

As to vessels' dimensions, each boasts the unimaginable weight of 227,000-230,000 GT / gross tons, LOA length 362 m (1187 ft) and waterline width 47 m (154 ft). The extreme breadth is over 60 m (198 ft). As the GT is a volume measurement, the ship's actual mass (called displacement) is approx 100,000 tons (the hull alone weighs about 54,000 tons). Surpassing all passenger ship standards, building cost and all previous ship travel vacation concepts, the Oasis-class ships are currently the only passenger shipping vessels of such immense size.

Other interesting numbers are the above waterline height (72 m / 236 ft), depth (23 m / 74 ft below waterline), 16 passenger decks, draft/draught (9,3 m / 31 ft), cruising/service speed 23 knots (26 mph / 42 kph), capacity 5400 passengers at double occupancy (max 6296 / 6870) and officers+crew capacity 2165.

The world's biggest cruise ship propulsion system guarantees the perfect maneuverability by 3 rotatable Azipod thrusters (suspended under the ship's stern), each with a huge electric motor and a 6 m (20 ft) propeller. The ship offers great stability due to its enormous size. And in times of need - there are 18 lifeboats, each with a capacity of 370 people.

Oasis-Plus class is also currently the world's most technologically advanced and energy-efficient cruise vessel ever built. It is equipped with a new-generation exhaust gas cleaning system (multi-stream scrubbers) and with a hull lubrication system allowing the ship to float on air bubbles (created around the hull) thus reducing drag and increasing fuel efficiency.

Regarding cruise accommodations , this class of vessels has some of the largest suites at sea - measuring 150 m2 (over 1600 ft2, balcony included). Another signature feature is the 7 "neighborhoods" (theme-park-like areas), 5 large swimming pools, a huge casino, a full-size volleyball/basketball court, large-capacity bars, and lounges. Oasis-Plus ships additionally have waterslides (created by Aquatic Design & Engineering) and a total of 23 "water fun" areas (swimming pools, large-size outdoor jacuzzies, waterslides, flowriders/surf simulators). The stern-located Ultimate Abyss water slide is 150 ft (45,70 m) above sea level. It features 31 sections, two 360-degree circles, 27-degree slide incline, 28 m (92 ft) serpentine-like drop, 13,14 seconds average sliding time (top to bottom), around 300 small LED lights and graffiti artworks throughout.

These phenomenal ships were manufactured by STX Europe (shipyard Turku Finland / Oasis-class) and in by STX France (shipyard Saint-Nazaire France / Oasis-Plus). The new Oasis ships are 2,15 m (7 ft) longer.

Biggest Carnival cruise ship - "Carnival Pinnacle" class

Watch this amazing YouTube video about the "Carnival Pinnacle cruise ship". The project was designed by the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri as their biggest ever passenger ship - GT tonnage 200,000 tons, capacity 6000 passengers, length 380 m (1246 ft), The "Pinnacle Project" was initiated by Carnival Corporation in 2004 to tip the scales in the "Carnival vs Royal Caribbean" competition.

Carnival Pinnacle was never built as the project was officially canceled (mainly due to the vessel's incredible cost at that time). However, many of the project's elements and innovative design features were later adapted for other large-sized cruise liners built for rival companies.

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16 largest cruise ships in the world in 2022.

In this article, we will be taking a look at the 16 largest cruise ships in the world in 2022. To skip our detailed analysis, you can go directly to see the 5 Largest Cruise Ships in the World in 2022 .

Cruise ships remained at the center of the Covid-19 pandemic news when it started to spread globally. Ships with cases of coronavirus were refused entry at ports by several countries. The first cruise ship to have a major outbreak was the Diamond Princess, where over 700 people out of 3,700 people ended up being infected, with 9 dying. Cruise ships were among the first to suspend their operations after most governments advised people to not travel on them, which has greatly affected the industry, but with things mostly returning to normal in 2022, smooth sailing for the industry may be ahead.

The cruise ship industry is dominated by a few top companies which own many of the biggest cruise ships in the world. Some of the biggest cruise ship companies include Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: NCLH ) and Disney Cruise Line, operated by one of the biggest media companies in the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS ).


In this article we list some of the largest cruise ships in the world. We took three metrics into account during our selection: total size in gross tonnes, total length in meters and maximum capacity in terms of number of passengers.

16. MSC Meraviglia

Total size of the ship (in gross tonnes): 171,598

Total length of the ship (in meters): 316

Maximum capacity of the ship: 5,655 people

MSC Meraviglia's port of registry is in Malta, and is owned by MSC Cruises. Delivered in 2017, the ship's ranking used to be much higher but has been displaced over the years with newer, bigger cruise ships.

15. MSC Virtuosa

Total size of the ship (in gross tonnes): 181,541

Total length of the ship (in meters): 331

Maximum capacity of the ship: 6,334 people

Owned by MSC Cruises, MSC Virtuosa was launched in 2019. The ship's construction was delayed due to the pandemic and instead of 2020, it entered service in 2021.

14. Carnival Celebration

Total size of the ship (in gross tonnes): 180,000

Total length of the ship (in meters): 344

Maximum capacity of the ship: 6,500 people

Owned by one of the biggest cruise ship companies in the world, Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE: CCL ), it is the second of the company's Excel class of cruise ships.

13. Mardi Gras

Often referred incorrectly as the Carnival Mardi Gras, due to being owned by Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL), Mardi Gras faced several delays in its construction and launch due to the Covid-19 pandemic, beginning its weekly sailings in July 2021.

12. MSC Grandiosa

Maximum capacity of the ship: 6,761 people

Indirectly owned by the Mediterranean Shipping Company, one of the biggest shipping companies in the world, MSC Grandiosa is directly owned by MSC Cruises and was built in France. Launched in 2019, it is easily one of the largest cruise ships in the world. The cruise ship currently has a crew of more than 1,700 people.

11. AIDAcosma

Total size of the ship (in gross tonnes): 183,200

Total length of the ship (in meters): 337

Maximum capacity of the ship: 6,600 people

AIDAcosma is the second biggest cruise ship owned by AIDA Cruises, which was launched in 2021. The giant floating building has 20 decks and a crew more than 1,500. It is part of the Helios Class production series and among the facilities offered are a running track for morning joggers and a bouldering wall, in addition to the usual facilities such as swimming pools, theaters and several bars and restaurants.

10. AIDAnova

Total size of the ship (in gross tonnes): 183,858

Maximum capacity of the ship: 6,654 people

Built in 2018 in Germany, AIDAnova is owned by AIDA Cruises, which is a listed Germany cruise line and which in turn is a wholly owned subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL). While AIDA Cruises operates 14 ships, the AIDAnova is the biggest cruise ship in its lineup.

9. Costa Toscana

Total size of the ship (in gross tonnes): 185,010

Maximum capacity of the ship: 6,554 people

Costa Toscana was built in 2021 after a delay as it was originally supposed to launch in 2020. It is run by Costa Cruises.

8. Costa Smerelda

The Costa Smerelda is one of the largest cruise ships in the world in 2022 and is owned by Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL). It is also one of the biggest cruise ships to be powered purely by liquefied natural gas. The first cruise of the ship took place in 2019.

Total size of the ship (in gross tonnes): 184,089

Total length of the ship (in meters): 345

Owned by Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) and operated by P&O Cruises, a British cruise line, MS Iona was built in Germany and was delivered in 2020, with its construction cost overing £730 million. It is the biggest cruise ship operated by P&O Cruises and has one of the biggest entertainment venues of any cruise ship. Its maiden voyage took place in 2021.

6. MSC World Europa

Total size of the ship (in gross tonnes): 215,863

Total length of the ship (in meters): 333

Maximum capacity of the ship: 6,762 people

Owned by the privately held MSC Cruises, an Italian company, MSC World Europa is the biggest cruise ship in Europe. It is one of the most recent cruise ships in our list and is set to begin operations from the 20th of December in 2022, after initially serving as a hotel ship during the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Doha, Qatar. MSC World Europa is set to be joined by multiple sister ships through the 2020s.

Please click to continue reading and see the  5 Largest Cruise Ships in the World in 2022 .

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Disclosure: None. 16 largest cruise ships in the world in 2022 is originally published at Insider Monkey.

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The 15 Largest Cruise Lines In The World

2nd largest cruise ship in the world

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Largest Cruise Lines Research Summary

The largest cruise line in the world is Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) , with a revenue of $22.86 billion .

As of 2022, the global cruise line industry has a market size of $7.67 billion.

A person can spend between $1,300 – $2,000 on the average 7-day sailing with a mainstream cruise line.

The global cruise line market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 11.2% through 2028.

Cruise lines or cruise companies are classified as passenger shipping corporations, associations, or organizations. The cruise line industry offers individuals leisure travel without needing to hop on a plane.

The cruise ships developed for these organizations are massive, offering everything from a travel experience, great food, company, entertainment, and tours. Many of the individual brands provide unique activities and signature amenities to their clients aboard the vessels.

The four top cruise lines own much of the cruise line market, with their market share projected to grow to 87.6% by 2021. Many of these companies are well-established passenger shipping brands, founded in the latter half of the 20th century when cruise ships became more popular.

There are a variety of different cruise lines, but typically, they can be classified into 3 different types: mainstream, premium, and luxury.

From luxury brands to budget deals, there’s something for everyone on a cruise ship. The 15 largest cruise lines in the world are as follows:

A person can spend between $1,300 - $2,000 on the average 7-day sailing with a mainstream cruise line

Diving Deeper into the Top 15 Cruise Lines in the World

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)

2022 Annual Revenue : $22.86 billion Number of Passengers : 1.4 million

Founded in 1970 in Naples, Italy, MSC is a Swiss-Italian-owned shipping line with a presence in all the major ports of the world. Their cruise line division, MSC Cruises focuses on holiday cruises for their passengers.

MSC Cruises is the world’s largest privately held cruise company, and fourth-largest in the world, boasting a 7.2% share of all cruise line passengers in the market.

In 2019, MSC Cruises rolled out the world’s first personal cruise assistant , called ZOE. This device is found in every room on the ship and is available to ask questions about your stay, reserve excursions, check your bill, and more.

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Carnival Corporation

2022 Annual Revenue : $12.2 billion Number of Passengers : 5.8 million

Founded in 1972, Carnival Corporation is a British-American cruise operator and currently holds the title of the world’s largest travel leisure company .

Carnival boasts over 100 vessels over ten different cruise line brands. It is a dual-listed company, meaning it operates as two companies, Carnival Corporation and Carnival plc, functioning as a single entity.

The company was initially publicly offered on the New York Stock Exchange in 1987 with the intention to generate capital for future acquisitions. During the 1990s, Carnival acquired a variety of companies including Holland America Line, Windstar Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, among others.

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Royal Caribbean Group

2022 Annual Revenue : $8.8 billion Number of Passengers : 3.3 million

Founded in 1997 when Royal Caribbean Cruise Line purchased Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean Group is an American-owned global cruise company based out of Miami, Florida . It holds the title of second-largest cruise line operator in the world.

This organization owns three cruise lines, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea Cruises. In addition to their cruise lines, Royal Caribbean Group has a 50% stake in TUI Cruises in a joint venture with TUI AG.

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2022 Annual Revenue : $4.844 billion Number of Passengers : 1.3 million

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) is a holding company domiciled in Bermuda and headquartered in Miami, Florida . This organization owns and operates three different cruise lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

In February 2011, NCLH was incorporated as a Bermuda exempt company before debuting on the NASDAQ in 2013. NCLH is the third-largest cruise operator in the world, controlling 9.5% of the cruise market’s share.

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Viking Cruises

2022 Annual Revenue : $2.1 billion Number of Passengers : 143,700

Based in Switzerland and headquartered in Los Angeles, California , Viking Cruises is a cruise line that provides adventures on rivers, ocean, and expeditions. Their three divisions are named Viking River Cruises, Viking Ocean Cruises, and Viking Expeditions.

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Disney Cruise Line (DCL)

2022 Annual Revenue : $1.6 billion Number of Passengers : 312,200

This cruise line is a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company. In 1996, the Magical Cruise Company Limited launched their first vessel in London, with headquarters in Celebration, Florida .

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TUI Cruises

2022 Annual Revenue : $1.32 billion Number of Passengers : 330,100

TUI cruises is a German-based cruise company, formed in 2007 between TUI AG and Royal Caribbean Cruises as a joint venture. This specific line is targeted towards German tourists and competes heavily with AIDA Cruises.

Their fleet features cruise ships across three brands, TUI Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, and Marella Cruises. This is a premium cruise line and its amenities include food, entertainment, and amenities, all tailored for a German experience.

Virgin Cruises

2022 Annual Revenue : $973.3 million Number of Passengers : 111,100

Headquartered in Florida, Virgin Voyages was the result of Virgin Group and Bain Capital merging together to form the organization in 2015. In June 2020, there was only one single ship in their fleet, with three more scheduled to make their debut for up to 2,700 passengers each.

Genting Hong Kong: Dream Cruises

2021 Annual Revenue : $723 million Number of Passengers : 264,100

This holding company operates cruise and resort businesses, with their largest cruise line being Dream Cruises. Headquartered in Hong Kong, Genting established Dream Cruises in 2015 as an Asian luxury cruise line, debuting their first cruise in November of 2016.

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

2022 Annual Revenue : $327.3 million Number of Passengers : 110,700

This Norwegian-owned cruise shipping line is based in Suffolk, UK. Currently, its operation includes four cruise ships, but the company was founded in 1848 by three Olsen brothers.

Hurtigruten AS

2021 Annual Revenue : $334 million Number of Passengers : 122,300

This Norwegian-based company is a ferry service and cruise line operating out of Norway. Part of their business is operating a ferry service along the Norweigan coast, while the other part is their cruise line.

Marella Cruises

2021 Annual Revenue : $281 million Number of Passengers : 102,900

This British cruise line entered the cruise line market in 1973 but due to financial difficulties, shut down its operations in 1976. In 1995, they were in a position to open up their line again, after a competitor entered the cruise line industry.

Ponant/Paul Gauguin Cruises

2021 Annual Revenue : $233 million Number of Passengers : 85,400

Founded in 1988, Ponant, or Compagnie du Ponant is a French-owned cruise ship operator. Founded by officers from the French Merchant Navy, this organization now operates eleven ships. This luxury cruise company offers all kinds of cruises, including Antarctica.

Star Cruises

2021 Annual Revenue : $219 million Number of Passengers : 80,200

Headquartered in Hong Kong, Star Cruises operates primarily in the Asia Pacific market including destinations to Japan, Vietnam, and other Asian destinations. This organization is another offshoot of Genting Group in Malaysia.

Celestyal Cruises

2021 Annual Revenue : $175 million Number of Passengers : 64,100

Founded in 2014, Celestyal Cruises is the only cruise company based in Greece. Currently, their fleet consists of four ships with expeditions to Greek, Turkish, and Cuban ports.

Largest Cruise Lines FAQ

How much does the average person spend on a cruise?

The average cruise can cost someone $237 per day. For the average 7-day sailing with a mainstream cruise line, a person can spend between $1,300 and $2,000. This typically includes both fare and onboard spending.

What is the most popular cruise line?

The most popular cruise line is Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), with an average revenue of $22.86 billion. The second most popular cruise line is Carnival Corporation with a revenue of $12.2 billion, followed by Royal Caribbean Group with $8.8 billion in annual revenue.

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Caitlin Mazur is a freelance writer at Zippia. Caitlin is passionate about helping Zippia’s readers land the jobs of their dreams by offering content that discusses job-seeking advice based on experience and extensive research. Caitlin holds a degree in English from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA.

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So what happens if the world's largest cruise ship — 5 times bigger than the Titanic — hits an iceberg?

  • The Icon of the Seas, set to sail in the Caribbean in January, is five times the size of the Titanic.
  • But it's unlikely to ever meet the same fate as the iconic ship, thanks to radar and iceberg monitoring.
  • Royal Caribbean also says their cruise ships have enough lifeboats and rafts for everyone on board.

Insider Today

With the world's largest cruise ship set to make its maiden voyage in six months — and in light of another recent disaster at the Titanic — it's hard not to wonder what would happen if the Icon of the Seas met the same fate as the storied ocean liner.

The Icon of the Seas is currently set to sail in the Caribbean, meaning it won't be encountering ice. But even if in the future its used in an area in which there could be ice, it's still incredibly rare for a cruise ship today to strike an iceberg. It's not impossible though.

In 2007, in an incident The New York Times dubbed the "modern Titanic," a small cruise ship struck ice, causing a fist-sized hole that let water into the engine room and caused the power to fail. The 154 people on board had to evacuate on lifeboats and rafts.

Last year, a Norwegian Cruise Line ship hit an iceberg while traveling through dense fog near Alaska, causing enough damage to shorten the voyage and cancel another so it could undergo repairs.

But neither was a catastrophe of Titanic proportions.

Cruise industry expert Stewart Chiron, better known as The Cruise Guy, told USA Today that last year's incident was "extraordinarily rare." While cruise ships might occasionally make contact with ice, Chiron said it's uncommon for a ship to have physical damage or change its plans as a result.

Related stories

Cruise ships rely on radar technology and satellite monitoring to avoid collisions with icebergs. Improvements in GPS and aircraft patrols of the oceans have also made sailing the seas safer, but there's still a small risk .

Thankfully cruise ships today are also better prepared for disaster.

Royal Caribbean , the cruise line behind Icon of the Seas, says all of their cruise ships carry "sufficient lifesaving craft to accommodate every guest and crew member onboard, as well as additional capacity in reserve." Passengers on their cruises are also required to complete drills so they know what to do in case of emergency.

So even if unlikely tragedy did strike, the lifeboat and raft protocols could help passengers avoid living out some of the most dramatic , and controversial , scenes of the "Titanic" movie.

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    151300 t. 335m / 1,099 ft. 38m / 125 ft. 3400. 1686. The world's largest river cruise ship is Victoria Sabrina. The 2020-launched riverboat is China-built, owned by Victoria Cruises China and deployed year-round on Yangtze River. The vessel has the impressive volume of 17000 GT-tons, LOA length 150 m (492 ft), width 22 m (72 ft), 7 decks (5 ...

  22. 15 biggest cruise ships in the world

    1. Symphony of the Seas: This 18-deck cruise ship is currently the largest passenger ship in the world, measuring 1,188 feet. Check out the gallery for the rest of the world's largest cruise ships ...

  23. Top 25 Biggest Cruise Ships in the World

    Here's a look at the 25 biggest cruise ships currently sailing throughout the world. 1. Icon of the Seas, Royal Caribbean. Gross tonnage: 250,800. Length: 1,198 feet. Width: 213 feet. Passengers: 5,610 double occupancy. Icon of the Seas recently surpassed Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas as the largest cruise ship in the world.

  24. 16 Largest Cruise Ships in the World in 2022

    Owned by one of the biggest cruise ship companies in the world, Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL), it is the second of the company's Excel class of cruise ships. 13. Mardi Gras

  25. 17 biggest cruise ships in the world

    17 biggest cruise ships in the world. The largest cruise ships include Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas and Disney Cruises plus ships with everything from rollercoasters to ice rinks.

  26. The 15 Largest Cruise Lines In The World

    MSC Cruises is the world's largest privately held cruise company, and fourth-largest in the world, boasting a 7.2% share of all cruise line passengers in the market. In 2019, MSC Cruises rolled out the world's first personal cruise assistant, called ZOE. This device is found in every room on the ship and is available to ask questions about ...

  27. Royal Caribbean Ship Delayed for the Second Cruise in a Row

    The next cruise for the 139,863-gross-ton, Voyager-class ship is scheduled to visit both Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico. The first day of the sailing is a day at sea, however, and it is likely ...

  28. So what happens if the world's largest cruise ship

    In 2007, in an incident The New York Times dubbed the "modern Titanic," a small cruise ship struck ice, causing a fist-sized hole that let water into the engine room and caused the power to fail ...