The 5 Most Popular Cruise Ships Compared

All of Australia’s favourite cruise ships come in a variety of different designs and follow a few different themes. In this article we’ll take a look at Australia’s top 5 cruise ships, and what makes them great!

Celebrity Solstice

One of Australia’s favourite cruise ships for almost a decade has been the luxurious Celebrity Solstice. Home to some of the most opulent and luxuriously designed cabins and amenities, the cruise ship really goes all out. Boasting a Lawn Club and even picnics on real manicured grass overlooking the rest of the ship and the ocean below.

Solstice sails in the South Pacific, New Zealand, Australian capitals and even Hawaii and the Great Barrier Reef. There’s also a great sampler to and from Sydney.

Cabins

  • In Aqua Class you’ll find luxury amenities as well as a great health-focused room service menu and even complimentary access to spa facilities!
  • More than 85% of the cabins feature balconies.
  • In every cabin, you’ll find a Mac mini for bookings, as well as internet access and entertainment purposes.

Dining

  • You’ll find all food and dining options in the same area of the ship, and that means it’s extraordinarily easy to find everything. Just take a look on Deck 5.
  • Free dining can be found on the multi-level dining room, as well as a buffet and grill.

Activities

  • All major activities are located at the front of the ship on Deck 4, including the theatre as well as the Entertainment Court.
  • You’ll find a three-hole putting course, hot glass show and a bocce court at the Lawn Club spread across half an acre of real grass!
  • The main pool can be found on the upper deck and features a family pool and fountains.

Explorer of the Seas

Quite literally the biggest ship in Australian waters, the Explorer of the Seas by Royal Caribbean is a masterpiece in itself – even before you consider the 10 pools, ice skating rink and surf simulators you can find onboard. Spread across 15 decks at more than 300 meters long, the ship truly is iconic. It’s the perfect host for family holidays and even the fussiest travellers! There’s always something to do, no matter your age or the level of excitement you’re looking for.

Explorer of the Seas travels down Australia’s East Coast – which also includes Tasmania – the South Pacific and Hawaii and Seattle.

Cabins 

  • There are over 1,000 cabins on the ship with views directly over the sea as well as 24 massive Ocean View suites with floor-to-ceiling windows.
  • Every cabin available has space for either twin, queen or convertible beds.
  • If you don’t want an ocean view cabin, then you’ll find that the 138 stunning Royal Promenade view cabins will certainly hit the spot with their views of the trees and stores in the ship’s very own Central Park.

Dining 

  • The main dining area is spread across a massive 3 levels and features beautifully designed velvet curtains and fibre optic displays, as well as a grand staircase.
  • If you’re down to pay an extra fee, you can even go to Johnny Rockets or Izumi for some amazing authentic cuisines.
  • You’ll even find a Starbucks and a Ben and Jerrys on Deck 5!

Activities 

  • A simple walk along the Royal Promenade is one of the most exciting parts of the cruise. It’s mesmerising how such a large ship can exist. The Promenade features shops, dining and other activities and is longer than a football pitch and even wider than a three-lane freeway!
  • You’ll be able to watch films at the 3D theatre as well as the outdoor screen.
  • If you’re an adventurer you can even climb the rock climbing wall and look out over the ocean.

Norwegian Jewel

One of the most beautifully decorated ships afloat, the Norwegian Jewel features some of the most colourful patterns and styles all throughout the ships cabins and dining halls. An update a few years ago brought in new dining options, entertainment activities and even new room updates.

The Norwegian Jewel sails the East, South and North coasts of Australia which also includes Darwin and Tasmania. You’ll also be able to sail from New Zealand, Indonesia as well as Singapore, Thailand, China and Vietnam. Alaskan and Japanese sailing routes are also available.

Cabins 

  • The ship’s ‘Haven’ is a concept which features an enclave holding 16 cabins which allows it to be serviced by a butler service 24 hours a day, as well as access to its own private sundeck.
  • If you book for a group, you’ll be able to easily change the layouts and connections between each room, so that keeping everyone together is a breeze.
  • You’ll find the stunning jewel-toned colour palette in 1,100 cabins.

Dining 

  • The ship is home to four major dining rooms, all of which are free. This allows for passenger numbers to be diluted and reduce foot traffic – keeping comfort levels high at all times.
  • Inside the Garden Cafe, you’ll find the Kids’ Cafe. It has great miniature seating and a special menu for kids and families to share.
  • There’s an awesome all-you-can-eat steakhouse which is also available for those who have a great appetite.

Activities

  • On Deck 12 is where the action happens! There’s pools, waterslides, hot tubs, and poolside bars!
  • There’s even an awesome chill out area for teens to relax – Club Underground.
  • You’ll even find an awesome sporting complex to play volleyball, basketball and even tennis.

Carnival Legend

Since being refurbished in 2014, the Carnival Legend now boasts the worlds fastest and steepest waterslide at sea! The ship is also home to more than 160 square meters of playgrounds and even a Dr Seuss show! It’ll be hard not to have an amazing time on the Legend, and even adults will feel like kids in a candy store!

The Carnival Legend sails Australia, New Zealand as well as Hawaii and South Pacific and departs from Sydney.

Cabins

  • All cabins have been mildly refurbished, and all now feature stunning lighting and layouts to maximise comfort and space.
  • Sea-goers will find that more than 80% of the ship’s 1,062 cabins are oceanview cabins, and 80% of the oceanview cabins have balconies!
  • For sharing rooms with families, you’ll be glad to know that 106 cabins feature connecting doors.

Dining

  • Daylight hours will see the Taste Bar dishing up small portions of the evening’s main meals, as tasters, for free throughout the day.
  • You’ll find ice-cream and pizza serviced 24 hours a day, from the buffet – for free!
  • For an extra fee, you’ll be able to get your hands on fresh seafood like lobster and crab during sea days.

Activities

  • Kids will have access to SplashZone, just across from the adults-only relaxation area – the Serenity Retreat Deck, which features its own bar.
  • On the top deck, you’ll find the awesome Green Thunder waterslide! It’ll push you to 65km/h and even has a jaw-dropping free-fall section for those adrenaline seekers.
  • There’s also a multi-level entertainment lounge with family shows like Hasbro the Game Show and a bunch of awesome 80s music productions.

Carnival Spirit

The Spirit has undergone a major refurbishment since the middle of 2015 which saw a major style overhaul arrive, as well as a bunch of minor comfort additions. You’ll find a number of stunning themed areas on the ship, including a Shanghai-themed piano bar and an awesome Egyptian-styled lounge. The Spirit has also been made suitable for Aussies with the addition of local power outlets, Aussie beers and our famous barista-made coffees. It’ll make you feel right at home!

The routes for the Spirit include Australia’s East Coast and Tasmania, the South Pacific and a bunch of Sampler cruises which depart Sydney all year round.

Cabins 

  • Almost two-thirds of cabins have a Seaview balcony
  • There are over 80 interconnecting cabins, making family and group travel totally effortless.
  • The Vista Suites even feature massive wraparound balconies, amplifying your outer views.

Dining 

  • You’ll find 7 individual dining experiences aboard the ship which includes a buffet, Taste Bar and even awesome burger joints and Mexican food.
  • The opulent Empire Restaurant is spread across two stories and offers awesome decor as well as singing and dancing waiters.
  • You can even create your own cocktails at the Alchemy Bar.

Activities 

  • Carnival has made sure that no one is bored with their non-stop fun plan. Activities like trivia tournaments and even scavenger hunts go on every day.
  • Similar to the Legend cruise, you’ll also find an awesome Green Thunder waterslide as well as the SplashZone and plenty of adults-only leisure centres.
  • Karaoke nights are also a big thing aboard the Spirit