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Cruise vs Land: Royal Caribbean Onboard Activity Prices

14th July 2014

Updated July 2018

Royal Caribbean: the cruise line we know to push all industry boundaries and showcase the most innovative facilities at sea. From ice-rinks, rock climbing walls, and Flowriders to Central Parks, carousels, and Broadway Shows, they truly make the impossible, possible. Creating ‘Wow’ moments at every turn, a Royal Caribbean cruise changes every perception of cruising.



With all of these incredible facilities on offer, the first thing many of us think about is cost. 'How much are all of these activities going to set me back?' The price of any holiday can be daunting, but for first time cruisers the confusion of onboard prices can be a worry.

With food, accommodation, entertainment, and activities included in the price, it is clear the value for money on a cruise is exceptional. Delving into a like for like comparison of land activities v cruise activities, this value becomes even more apparent.

With this in mind we wanted to look further into this price comparison, and find out how some of the activites onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise compare to land prices.

Broadway Show

Royal Caribbean Cruise: Complimentary

Royal Caribbean are knowing for showcasing Broadway musicals. Full productions of Hairspray, Chicago, Cats, and more are performed by world-class singers and dancers in state-of-the-art multi-tired theatres.

Average land price: £80

The price of a ticket for one person to go to a show in London's West End ranges between £30-£130.


Royal Caribbean Cruise: Complimentary


The only cruise line in the industry to boast Flowrider surf-simulators on their ships, they have taken the world by storm. First introduced on the Freedom of the Seas, these incredible wave machines pump 30,000 gallons of water per minute as fast as 20mph.

Average land price: £35

There are a few places in the UK to ride the Flowrider. Bodyflight in Bedford offer Flowrider lessons for around £35 per person (peak times), and family surf sessions cost around £100.


Royal Caribbean Cruise: Complimentary

This is another ground-breaking revolution at sea found on a number of Royal Caribbean ships. Ripcord by iFly is an indoor skydive simulator that will have you feeling like you are soaring 10,000 feet in the air, without having to jump out of a plane!

Average land price: £50 per person

There are a few indoor skydive simulators in the UK, and average prices range between £30 - £75 per person.

Mini Golf

Royal Caribbean Cruise: Complimentary


A round of golf at sea? Of course say Royal Caribbean! Many of the line's fleet boast nine-hole mini golf courses that will allow you to work on your swing, perfect your putt or have fun with the family. Clubs and balls are provided onboard.

Average land price: £6 per person

England is home to an array of mini golf courses and enjoyed as a day our for many of us. With prices varying, the average rate for one round of nine holes is £6 per person.

Kids Clubs

Royal Caribbean Cruise: Complimentary

Royal Caribbean's kids clubs have won many awards and are known for offering some of the most state-of-the-art fun at sea. There kids club are home to science labs, children's theatres and craft lessons, all staffed by highly-trained youth staff. Segmented into different age groups, children of all ages as well as teens can take part in the activities for no extra charge.

Average land price: £40 a week

If you were to pay for a children's camp in the UK during the school holidays it would cost an average £40 a week per child. Even some land-based holidays charge extra for children to use the kids club facilities.


Royal Caribbean cruise: Complimentary


Boasting a spectacular Aqua-theatre, this innovation was first brought to life on Oasis of the Seas. Positioned at the aft of the ship, these open aired aqua theatres feature out of this world shows from championship high divers and synchronised swimmers.

Average land price: £115

We do not have a similar kind of show in the UK, however it would cost between £75 and £160 per person to watch one of the water shows in Las Vegas.

Ice Skating

Royal Caribbean Cruise: Complimentary

Another innovation from Royal Caribbean brings ice to the Mediterranean and beyond. Ice skating rinks feature on every Royal Caribbean ship offering skate hire and skating for all ages. In the evening the ice comes alive with spectacular ice skating shows.

Average land price: £10

There are a few indoor ice skating rinks in the UK with several more cropping up in the winter months. Average price is around £10 plus hire of around £2.

Rock Climbing

Royal Caribbean Cruise: Complimentary

The only cruise line to boast mega rock climbing walls on every one of their ships, these walls are a signature feature of the Royal Caribbean brand. If you are brave enough to rise to the challenge, brace yourself to climb 200 feet over the ocean.

Average land price: £15 per person

There are lots of indoor rock climbing walls around the country, especially within fitness centres and activity gyms. The average price for a one hour session climbing is £15.



When travelling with children (or children at heart) it is almost certain they will want to experience all of the exciting activities available. The fact there is no extra charge for most of them is a huge bonus and makes a hassle-free holiday with guaranteed fun.

See our Royal Caribbean Deals 

Farewell Indy - Will Anthem Of The Seas Be Southampton's New Sensation?

19th February 2014

1,112 feet long, 15 passenger decks high and bursting with the most innovate features at sea, Independence of the Seas raised every industry bar when she made her grand entrance in 2008.

This floating master-piece by Royal Caribbean has dominated the Mediterranean since her arrival. Gaining the title of Southampton’s most popular ship she has docked with pride in this busy UK port. Boasting a host of industry firsts she gives British cruisers the chance to experience one of the most innovative ships afloat - right from their doorstep.

With various cruise line’s bringing ships to Southampton to take advantage of the fascinating cities that line the sun-drenched Mediterranean during the summer, she has helped cater to the rapidly growing UK cruising market. Independence of the Seas, commonly known as Indy, has been the largest ship to sail from here and docked alongside other popular ships including Celebrity Eclipse, P&O Cruises Azura and Emerald Princess.

With British holiday-makers craving to cruise and experience new ships, it was no surprise that when the largest ship in the world Oasis of the Seas announced a one off sailing from Southampton, it sold out in record time. Did this spark an idea in Royal Caribbean’s head - Do we need a newer ship in Southampton?

A couple of months ago the big announcement was made - new ship Anthem of the Seas will call Southampton her home. It did not take long for speculation to start – will she replace the much loved Indy?

With no 2015 itineraries being released for Independence of the Seas and calling the 13th October 2013 sailing her 'farewell' cruise, we know Anthem is set to be the new 'cool kid' of Southampton.

With this in mind, I wanted to make a short comparison for you to see the changes you can expect in Southampton for 2015…


Independence of the Seas

Gross tonnage: 154,407 GRT

Length: 1,112 feet

Width: 185 feet

Passenger Decks: 15

Guest Capacity: 4,375

Anthem of the Seas

Gross tonnage: 167,800 GRT

Length: 1,141 feet

Width: 136 feet

Passenger Decks: 16

Guest Capacity: 4,905


Independence of the Seas – Home to one of the largest entertainment programmes at sea, Independence of the Seas has you covered from morning to night. The Alhambra Theatre seats 1,200 guests and showcases the best in musicals, Broadway style shows, comedians and other exciting productions. Studio B, the innovative ice-rink boasts spectacular ice-shows from a world-class international cast. The Olive or Twist Jazz Club enables guests to simply sit back and take in the idyllic sounds of a live pianist. As-well as a large casino, pub with live music, karaoke, nightclub and intimate champagne bar, the entertainment programme caters for every single taste.

My entertainment rating – 9/10

Anthem of the Seas – Set to raise every bar in cruise ship entertainment, Anthem of the Seas is expected to boast the most exciting array of entertainment at sea.  The main theatre will showcase the smash hit musical, MAMMIA MIA! Making its debut at sea it is set to unveil the best singers and dancers the fleet has had. Music Hall will be a bold, spacious venue with an electric atmosphere. This will be the place to experience great bands, fantastic solo acts, party nights and world-class Dj’s. The place I am most excited about it Two70. A venue like this has never been built on land, let alone at sea. A panoramic venue to admire 270° ocean views during the day, then turn into a spectacular entertainment venue in the evening. As the sun goes down the walls will transform into hi-tech digital projection screens with breath-taking performances from gymnasts, aerialists and dancers. As-well as these new venues, she will boast Royal Caribbean favourites such as the nightclub, casino, cocktail bars and more.

My entertainment predicted rating - 10/10

Synopsis - Whilst Independence of the Seas offered a feast of entertaining options, Anthem of the Seas will utilise the very latest in entertainment technology to bring onboard experiences like you've never seen before. Balancing innovative developments with classic favourites are sure to strike the right chord with passengers.


Independence of the Seas – One of the first ships in the fleet to feature such a large dining selection, she sends guests on an exciting culinary journey. The three-tier main dining room with its deep red and gold décor is the perfect place for cherished family meal times. For alternative dining the options are endless, from a casual burger in Johnny Rockets to a juicy steak in Chops Grille. After her upgrade in April 2013 she gained my favourite onboard restaurant, Italian bistro - Giovanni’s.

My dining rating – 10/10

Anthem of the Seas – Royal Caribbean appear to remain tight-lipped about the dining onboard Anthem of the Seas, which makes me think they have something amazing up their sleeve. I wonder if she will boast more of a British cuisine experience as she will be sailing from Southampton? I am sure she will offer a host of restaurants, cafes and dining rooms to stun us once again.

My dining predicted rating – Hard to predict at the moment.

Things to do

Independence of the Seas – The Freedom class ships really changed things in the cruising industry, making the impossible possible. From wave machines, ice rinks and water parks, so much adventure can be had. The first ships to introduce the H2O Water Park, she allows children to have as much fun as adults. The rock climbing wall, mini golf, Flowrider and ice-skating are great for adventure-seeking families, couples and singles. For the more relaxing cruiser, she is home to a large spa, whirlpools, cupcake classes and the adult-only Solarium.

My activity rating – 9.5/10

Anthem of the Seas – Anthem of the Seas will completely redefine what there is to do on a cruise ship. Boasting a whole range of industry firsts, guests are sure to be impressed when they see what they can do onboard. Fly onboard? Why not! In true Royal Caribbean style, they just had to push boundaries even further by adding an indoor skydive onboard. RipCord by iFly will allow guests to experience a once in a lifetime skydive simulator. If that has not excited you enough, on top of the ship will be North Star, a pod like capsule that will slowly lift you 300 feet above sea level to enjoy 360° panoramic views of the ocean and surrounding areas. Become a kid again in SeaPlex, the biggest sports and entertainment complex at sea. This ground-breaking venue will home a full sized basketball court, circus school, roller-skating, floating DJ and bumper cars.

My activity predicted rating – 10/10

Synopsis - As industry leaders in onboard innovations it's no surprise that the newest member of the family offers even more unique experiences never attempted at sea before. With so much in one place the ship shall be a new destination in herself.


Independence of the seas – The accommodation on Independence of the Seas offers the perfect selection of stateroom types for every cruiser. From interior, outside, balcony and suite there is something for every taste and budget.

My stateroom rating – 8/10

Anthem of the Seas – As expected, Anthem of the Seas will even spice up the staterooms. Offering the well-known outside, balcony and suite rooms, as-well as a range of new room categories. Interior staterooms will feature virtual balconies that project real-time video footage of the ocean onto an LED screen – a truly innovative design, I cannot wait to see what these look like. Set to have more family accommodation than any other ship, she will be home to the ground-breaking family connected staterooms that allow families the option to be together, as well as take some alone time when needed. The suites are set to raise the bar even further with the hugely spacious two-storey loft suites that give sensational views with their floor-to-ceiling windows.

My stateroom predicted rating – 10/10

Synopsis - Anthem of the Seas is set to offer innovations in stateroom design to cater for all budgets and party arrangements and pays particular attention to families.


Independence of the Seas – Based in Southampton for almost eight years, she has spent many summer months in the UK. Sailing to the fascinating cities that line the charming Mediterranean sea, she has continuously proved to be a popular choice for those wanting a sun-drenched getaway without having to fly. The Norwegian Fjords itineraries have also proven popular with the British market.

My itinerary rating – 10/10

Anthem of the Seas – Much anticipation was circulating about Anthem of the Sea’s itineraries and when they were released last week, everyone was delighted by her sailings. Her schedule includes a range of 2 to 14 night cruises to the popular Mediterranean cities and Canaries. No Norwegian Fjords itineraries will be offered, but Adventure of the Seas is set to return to Southampton in 2015 and offer a range of Mediterranean and Fjord itineraries.

My itinerary predicted rating – 9/10

Synopsis - Whilst Anthem will offer more of the Med, those looking to view the heights of the Fjords from the North Star will have to wait for another season.

Will Anthem of the Seas Fill Indy’s Shoes?

From my comparisons it is clear to see both ships are a floating resort of fun, adventure and new experiences. With both ships carrying almost the same amount of passengers, it will not affect the amount of people that can cruise on Royal Caribbean from Southampton during the summer.

Independence of the Seas has become such a popular ship with the British market that I do wonder if Anthem can match the strong opinion.

I think British cruises will love the fact we are finally getting a new ship debut here, instead of having to fly to experience a new ship. It will be great for us to experience amazing Europe itineraries on a new and innovate ship.

It will be an extremely exciting time to have the most innovative ship right on our doorstep. With the British cruising market rapidly growing I expect Anthem of the Seas to be very successful here and open even more eyes for those new to cruising. Royal Caribbean predict 80,000 will holiday on Anthem of the Seas from Southampton during 2015 alone and expect this will contribute around £50 million to the local economy.

Anthem of the Seas will be an excellent ship for families. To sail from Southampton during the school summer holiday months is a huge advantage for family holiday-makers that prefer not to fly. Independence of the Seas is already a family favourite, so I expect Anthem to easily live up to this with her fantastic array of activities.

I think those who sail on Independence of the Seas that have grown to love her size and onboard amenities may now opt for Adevnture of the Seas from Southampton or some may even fly to reunite with their much-loved Indy. One thing is for sure, I think it will hard for anyone to be disappointed by any Royal Caribbean ship they choose.

With Anthem of the Seas pre-registration proving hugely popular, it appears the whole of England are eagerly waiting to welcome the new sister to their home.

Bring on 2015....

By Sally Grimes

Can you do 100 activities onboard Allure of the Seas in one day?

21st November 2013

Updated July 2019


When it was announced that there was going to be a cruise ship built that is longer than four full sized football pitches, five times the size of Titantic, and worth more than $1.5 billion, nobody quite believed it. Royal Caribbean are known for pushing boundaries, but how far could they go?

We thought we'd put the ship to the test, and see if we could find 100 activities onboard Allure of the Seas to do in one day. If you are one who likes keeping busy during your cruise holiday, read on to find out how we got on!


After a wake-up call, a hot shower and a quick glance at the daily activity schedule, this is how the day began…

1. Watch the sunrise 6.30am

2. Breakfast on the balcony 6.37am

3. Watch the morning show on TV 7.00am (Tip: Presented by the Cruise Director, this is a great way to get an overview of the day's activities)

4. Go for a jog - the jogging track is located on Deck 5 and is 0.43 miles long. 7.16am

5. Sweat it out in the gym 8.00am

6. Speak to the Future Cruise desk about what onboard benefits can be received if you book your next cruise onboard. 8.30am

7. Stroll through Central Park 8.45am

8. Read about the variety of live plant onboard 8.47am

9. Take a look in the Coach store 8.52am

10. Morning tea and cake 9.00am

11. Join in a trivia 9.20am

12. Walk the length of the ship down the Royal Promenade 9.45am

13. High-five a crew member 9.46am

14. Take a ride in a glass elevator for sweeping views of the ship 9.48am

15. Have a picture with Shrek 9.50am

16. Catch some rays on a sun lounger 9.52am (Tip: If you do like the sun, you can relax on an in-door lounger in the Solarium)

17. Take a dip in the pool 10.20am

18. Watch a pool tournament, such as water polo and volleyball 10.30am

19. Listen to the steel drum band at the pool deck 10.40am

20. Ride the Flowrider surf simulator 10.45am



21. Watch at least one person get wiped out by the flow rider 11.05am

22. Watch the Flowrider show 11.10am

23. Cool down with an ice cream 11.30am

24. Look down at the sea from the top of the ship 11.45am


25. Lunch in the Windjammer 12.00pm

26. Try the famous beef roll in Central park Cafe 12.35pm

27. Tee up for a round of Mini Golf 12.50pm

28. Ride the Zipline 1.05pm

29. Check out a loft suite 1.12pm

30. Walk through the Boardwalk 1.23pm

31. Grab a doughnut from the doughnut stand 1.25pm

32. Make a wish with Zoltan 1.27pm

33. Ride the only carousel at sea 1.30pm

34. Dance with the Johnny Rockets staff 1.36pm

35. Watch an Aquashow, another Royal Caribbean first 1.40pm

36. Try a corn-dog 2.15pm

37. Have a picture by the boy and balloon statue 2.17pm

38. Keep the energy up with a bag of pick'n'mix sweets from the candy store...there's still a long way to go! 2.22pm

39. Walk along the outer decks and spot for other ships on the horizon 2.27pm

40. Play shuffleboard 2.35pm (Tip: If you not know how to play, there is always someone on hand to show you!)



41. Visit the Cupcake Cupboard 2.50pm

42. Name Oasis of the Seas 7 Godmothers at the Guest Services Desk 2.55pm

43. Go shopping! 3.05pm

44. Talk a walk out on the helipad 3.20pm

45. Wine tasting 3.36pm

46. Take out a book from the library 3.45pm

47. Go to an art auction 3.50pm

48. Lace up for some of the only ice-skating at sea 4.00pm

49. Ask for some tips from the professional ice skaters 4.15pm

50. Walk the spiral stairs 4.22pm

51. Watch a live afternoon gameshow 4.25pm

52. Afternoon tea 4.42pm (Tip: A great place to grab a tea is at the Promenade Cafe on Deck 5)

53. Shoot some hoops in the Basketball Court 4.54pm

54. Climb the Rock climbing wall 5.00pm

55. Try the harder rock climbing wall – if you are brave enough! 5.05pm

56. Watch the belly-flop competition 5.08pm

57. Go to the Spa for a much deserved mini-massage 5.15pm

58. Listen to a health seminar 5.25pm

59. Visit the Internet Café and send an email home 5.36pm


60. Dress to impress for an evening of glamour 5.40pm



61. Watch a parade down the Royal Promenade 5.55pm

62. Have a cocktail 6.00pm (Tip: The Pool Bar is a lovely, social spot for this)

63. Watch the sunset 6.07pm (Tip: Watching the sunset from the helipad is an amazing experience)

64. See a movie on the outdoor movie screen 6.09pm

65. Pre-dinner champagne 6.15pm (Tip: The Champagne Bar is on the Royal Promenade, just in front of the dining room)

66. People watch and look at everyone’s spectacular dresses 6.17pm (Tip: The Royal Promenade is the best place to do this!)

67. Watch the Captains speech 6.18pm

68. Have a picture with the captain 6.21pm

69. Have a formal picture by the ships professional photographer 6.25pm

70. Have dinner in the main dining room 6.30pm 

71. Watch a waiter perform a magic trick 6.45pm

72. Try something you have never eaten before 6.47pm 

73. Meet the head waiter 6.50pm

74. Admire the stars walking through Central park in the evening 7.30pm

75. Take 5 minutes to sit on a bench and listen to the live violinist in Central park 7.35pm

76. Go to a show 7.40pm (Tip: You must go and see the Broadway production of Hairspray)

77. Take a look at every venue in Entertainment Place 8.36pm (Tip: You can check out where you want to go on the next night of your cruise)


78. Roll the dice in the casino 8.39pm

79. Join in a game of Blackjack 8.40pm

80. Listen to live music in Dazzles 8.48pm



81. Ride the Rising Tide Bar 8.52pm

82. Make new friends 8.54pm (Tip: Meeting new people is a great part of a cruise and you can make life-long friends)

83. Join in karaoke 9.05pm

84. Feel at home with a beer in the English pub 9.10pm

85. Watch the Latin dancing in Boleros 9.15pm

86. Walk through the Schooner Bar and smile at the piano man, play it again Sam! 9.19pm

87. Dance in the nightclub 9.23pm

88. Take a peep in Adventure Ocean to see the children enjoying the sleepover parties 9.28pm

89. Go to the Viking Crown Lounge 9.30pm

90. Toast a night cap with friends 9.36pm

91. Get changed out of formal wear and head back out 9.42pm

92. Take a late night dip in the whirlpool 9.50pm

93. Try a new late night cocktail at the pool deck 10.00pm (Tip: The frozen Mojito is delicious)

94. Dance like no one is watching under the stars 10.10pm

95. Use the way-finder to navigate you way back to your stateroom 10.25pm

96. Order a late snack snack with room service 10.35pm

97. Sit on your balcony and admire the moon's reflection across the dark ocean 11.00pm

98. Make a wish on a shooting star (if you're lucky enough!) 11.30pm

99. Take a shower and change into the Royal Caribbean robe and slippers 11.35pm

100. Go to bed...phew what an incredible day! 11.58pm


So with a full belly, tender feet and a day packed with memories, there are 100 activities accomplished in just one day onboard one of the biggest ships in the world.

If you'd like to experience this fun-packed ship for yourself, browse our Allure of the Seas cruise offers.

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The Most Popular Cruise Destinations of 2009

30th December 2009

As another year of cruising comes to an end, we thought we'd take a look back at 2009 and the most popular cruises and destinations. Unsurprisingly, our number one cruise destination is the Mediterranean - with a huge range of cruise lines and itineraries featured in this diverse and fascinating region. With many Med cruises departing from UK ports, there's often no need to fly and this certainly keeps the cost down. Royal Caribbean's, Independence of the Seas sailings from Southampton reflected this trend, and made her our most popular ship of 2009. Packed with stunning leisure and entertainment options, the Independence delighted cruisers on voyages to the Med and the 5th most popular destination, the Canary Islands.

Our 2nd most popular destination is the Baltic, Fjords and Scandinavia. A growing market, the stunning sights and history of the Northern Europe are proving a favourite with cruisers. Almost all cruise lines offer itineraries in this region now, with Fred. Olsen and Cruise and Maritime Voyages offering superb traditional voyages on more intimate sized ships, for an absorbing experience.

The Caribbean is our third most popular destination and there's nothing better than a spot of island hopping under sun-kissed skies. Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises, premium quality sailings in have proved extremely popular in this region, as have P&O Cruises British style cruises and Royal Caribbean's action packed adventures. In fourth place we find European short break cruises. These cruises offer a great taster of what a cruise line has to offer, with Ireland, Bruges & Amsterdam amongst the most popular ports of call.

Outside the top 5 we find more specialised cruises like the transatlantic crossing and world cruises. Cunard Line are undoubtedly the leaders in the transatlantic voyage with their decadent Southampton to New York sailings. The world cruise sector offers chance to be a part of an epic journey, to discover Australasia, the Far East or closer to home. 'Once in a lifetime' destinations like the Panama Canal, South America and Alaska also make our top 10 destinations with Dubai - a relatively new and fast growing destination for cruise holidays.

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