I went on 2 of Royal Caribbean's largest and newest cruise ships. I enjoyed them, but they're not for everyone.

  • I've sailed on Royal Caribbean's largest cruise ships, Wonder of the Seas and Icon of the Seas.

  • Both megaships are jam-packed with people, amenities, and dining options.

  • But if you want a quiet cruise to unique destinations, they might not be for you.

Before booking a vacation at sea, travelers should always research the best cruise line and ship for their needs.

If you're looking for a cheap and fast trip, try Margaritaville at Sea. Craving something more upscale? Consider Oceania Cruises.

But if you're looking for high-end sailing to unique destinations, I'd suggest avoiding Royal Caribbean's megaships.

Royal Caribbean has become synonymous with giant, family-friendly cruise ships

Wonder of the Seas (left) and Icon of the Seas (right) docked
Wonder of the Seas and Icon of the Seas docked at Perfect Day at CocoCay.Brittany Chang/Business Insider

By 2028, Royal Caribbean wants one-third of its fleet to be megaships.

The latest addition, the 1,196-foot-long and 248,663-gross-ton Icon of the Seas, entered service in January, unseating Wonder of the Seas as the world's largest cruise liner.

Together, the two vessels can fit over 19,000 people — about 4,500 crew and 14,500 guests. Each ship has eight neighborhoods and there are 29 bars and 48 eateries between them.

Wonder of the Seas (left) and Icon of the Seas (right) both have Sorrento's, a complimentary grab-and-go pizza shop
Both Wonder of the Seas and Icon of the Seas have Sorrento's, a complimentary grab-and-go pizza shop.Brittany Chang/Business Insider

I've attended complimentary sailings on both Wonder and Icon, the longest of which was three nights on the latter. From their colorful pool decks to the inescapable crowds, as a solo-adult traveler, I was equal parts entertained, overwhelmed, and overstimulated.

But admittedly, I had fun. I do love a good waterslide; Wonder has three of them and Icon has six.

If you want to go on a cruise with your children — and if they, like me, love activities like rock climbing and mini golf — Royal Caribbean's megaships could be your best option.

Wonder of the Seas (left) and Icon of the Seas (right), both of water amenities
Water parks at Wonder of the Seas and Icon of the Seas.Brittany Chang/Business Insider

Wonder and Icon are jam-packed with activity spaces like ice-skating rinks and ziplines.

But don't expect a peaceful retreat. The rowdy, bar-hopping adults and screaming children at the water playground aren't conducive to a relaxing vacation.

Megavessels might not be for you if you want a quiet cruise

Wonder of the Seas (left) and Icon of the Seas (right).
Wonder of the Seas has four pools and Icon of the Seas has seven.Brittany Chang/Business Insider

If you want a relaxing vacation — maybe one that doesn't involve crowds of children — you shouldn't stay on either Royal Caribbean yacht.

There are many ways to have a luxury vacation on Icon of the Seas. But unless you want to pay for upcharged amenities at every turn, you'd be better off spending more upfront to reserve a premium cruise line — especially if you're interested in cruising for the destinations, not the ships.

After all, like most of Royal Caribbean's largest vessels, Icon and Wonder exclusively sail in the Caribbean.

Icon of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas at Perfect Day in CocoCay
Wonder of the Seas and Icon of the Seas almost always stop at Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's private island in the Bahamas.Sharon Yattaw

Some destinations, such as French Polynesia, have set restrictions on which cruises can travel there amid concerns about pollution and overcrowding.

If stopping at these ports — or, really, anywhere outside the Caribbean — is at the top of your vacation wish list, you'll have to travel on a smaller Royal Caribbean ship or go with a different cruise line like Oceania, Silversea, and Regent Seven Seas.

You might not get a waterpark, but you'll get a quieter vacation to locations no megaship will likely be allowed to visit.

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