City at sea

In the past decade there has been a trend towards building bigger and bigger cruise ships, which offer cruise fans a plethora of choice. From a wide variety of stateroom options and dining venues, to plenty of attractive bells and whistles, these ships appear to have it all.  Here’s five of the biggest, and newest.

Allure of the Seas

  • 225,282 tons
  • 5,400 guests
  • cruising the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale.

Highlights: Interior staterooms with a view, an Aqua Theater, two FlowRider surf simulators, a carousel, a moving bar, a dining room seating 3,000 guests and multiple dining venues.

Allure is the older twin sister of Oasis of the Seas, the ship which not only launched a new class for Royal Caribbean, but also the largest cruise ship ever built. Both ships are huge, spacious and have an innovative design introducing many “firsts” to high seas holidays, including the first Starbucks on a cruise ship. Although identical in design to Oasis of the Seas, Allure is said to be a fraction longer, technically making her the largest cruise ship in the world.

Norwegian Breakaway

  • 146,600 tons
  • 4,028 guests
  • cruising Bermuda, the Bahamas, Southern Caribbean and Florida from New York.

Highlights: 15 dining venues, eight bars, a huge spa, an Aqua Park with five water slides and two swimming pools, a sports complex with a sea ropes course and solo staterooms. 

Breakaway was the first of new two ships for Norwegian Cruise Line, and was designed to bring together the best features from the line’s fleet, while also introducing innovations of her own. One of her special features is The Haven By Norwegian, an exclusive area tucked away at the top of the vessel, with 42 suites (and 18 others located elsewhere) ranging from Spa Suites to two-bedroom Family Villas. They come with a range of perks including personalised butler service, and a restaurant and pool.

Queen Mary 2

  • 148,528 tons
  • 2,592 guests
  • cruising the Caribbean, Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, world cruises and transatlantic crossings.

Highlights: 12 bars and lounges, a planetarium, a Book Club, golf simulators, a full-sized promenade deck, three dining rooms, a Todd English restaurant and a large ballroom.

Queen Mary 2 was the longest, tallest and widest passenger vessel ever built when she launched in 2004. She is a ship which pays tribute to the golden age of ocean travel while also being a very modern liner; with sweeping staircases and a grand ballroom, classic British heritage is combined with the hallmarks of nostalgia, opulence and style. In 2012 she had a makeover, with the staterooms being completely refreshed, and public spaces including a new Golden Lion Pub being redesigned.

Royal Princess

  • 141,000 tons
  • 3,600 guests
  • cruising the Mediterranean from Barcelona and Venice, and the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale.

Highlights: All ocean view staterooms with balconies, the largest swimming pool in the Princess fleet, three dining rooms, The Sanctuary and alternative dining options including Chef’s Table Lumiere.

Royal Princess is one of several groundbreaking ships to launch in recent years. Among her features are two havens for adults, the Sanctuary and the Retreat Pool, which have private cabanas in a first for the cruise line. Also unique is the over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck, glass-bottomed, enclosed walkway on the ship’s starboard side, which extends eight-and-a-half metres beyond the edge of the vessel, and the cantilevered SeaView bar features cocktails with sweeping ocean views.

MSC Preziosa

  • 140,000 tons
  • 4,345 guests
  • cruising the Mediterranean from Genoa.

Highlights: An MSC Aurea Spa, four dining rooms, 21 bars, a casino, four swimming pools including, 12 whirlpools, a bowling alley, a sports area with playing fields, and a fitness centre. 

MSC Preziosa was the 13th ship to join the MSC Cruises’ fleet, and the fourth Fantasia class ship. Among her very special features are a children’s area including the Doremi Castle Aqua Park, which has a pathway of water features on raised platforms featuring sprays, fountains, a drenching bucket and more, and Vertigo, the line’s longest waterslide. In line with the other Fantasia ships, Preziosa has an MSC Yacht Club with 69 suites and private areas including a bar, solarium, hydro massage pools, a lounge and butlers.


To find out more about cruising or to find the cruise of your dreams within your budget, visit

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