Royal Caribbean International (RCI), is celebrating 50 years of cruising this year. Through the course of its five decades in the business, RCI has managed to take cruise experiences a notch above the rest, year on year.
Amongst the largest in the world, the company has introduced cruise enthusiasts to new and varied forms of entertainment and activities on board its 25 ship-strong fleets. It has pioneered change and innovation in the industry, with a constant focus on enhancing the way people experience cruises around the world.
In November 1970, The Company was officially launched with its first ship, the Song of Norway. With a 1,004 passenger capacity, it was the industry’s first ship built for warm-weather cruising. This was followed by the launch of the World’s first ‘Megaship’ – Sovereign of the Seas – in 1988.
The now-retired ship boasted of features such as a five-deck Centrum, sweeping staircases, glass elevators, and marble fountains. The Voyager of the Seas launched in 1999, the ship introduced both the first ice-skating rink at sea, as well as the first rock-climbing wall at sea. It is currently the lead ship of RCI’s Voyager class.
In 2006, RCI launched its Freedom of the Seas. The ship brought the first boxing ring to sea, was brought by ship which was inaugurated by professional boxers Roberto Duran and Joe Fraser. It also featured the first surf-simulator at sea, known as the ‘FlowRider’.
The machine pumps 30,000 gallons of water per minute, giving guests a feel of a true surfing experience. In 2009, the Oasis of the Seas was launched with 12,000+ plants called ‘Central Park’ home. It was also the first ship to feature 7 distinct neighborhoods and the first zip-line at sea.