Finally, one of the world’s largest cruise ships will focus on short trips


Are you a fan of super-short cruises? You’re about to get a major new option.

This week, Royal Caribbean announced that one of its giant Oasis-class ships would sail short cruises year-round starting later this year — something that none of the vessels have done since they began debuting 14 years ago.

The world’s largest cruise brand said its 225,282-ton Allure of the Seas — the second vessel in the groundbreaking five-ship series — would transition from operating seven-night sailings to voyages of three and four nights full time on Oct. 30 through at least early 2025.

Until now, the ship and its four sister vessels have spent most of their days sailing seven-night voyages.

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Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class vessels are the world’s biggest and most amenity-laden ships, and they are in high demand from cruisers. They are also among Royal Caribbean’s newest vessels, along with the ships of the recently unveiled Quantum-class series.

Traditionally, major cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean have devoted their biggest and newest vessels to seven-night sailings — a more-lucrative market — and placed smaller and older vessels on shorter runs.

Allure of the Seas will start its never-ending run of short cruises in October with sailings out of Port Canaveral, Florida, before switching to Miami as its hub in July 2024.

Related: The 6 types of Royal Caribbean cruise ships, explained

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The three- and four-night itineraries that Allure of the Seas will operate out of the two ports will both feature a stop at Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas. The trips will also bring stops in Nassau in the Bahamas.

Allure of the Seas is currently based in Galveston, Texas, for seven-night sailings to the Caribbean.

As mentioned above, the Oasis-class ships are bigger than any other cruise vessel afloat, and for big-ship lovers, there’s really nothing quite like them.

Each of the Oasis-class vessels has three separate main pool areas, a kiddie splash zone, a surfing simulator, a miniature golf course, a basketball court and even a zip line. And that’s just on their top decks.


Inside the vessels, you’ll find more lounges, bars, restaurants and shops than you can imagine, plus huge casinos, spas and showrooms with Broadway-style shows. They even have indoor ice skating rinks, just in case you want to get your Michelle Kwan on.

There are also giant waterslides on four of the five ships. Allure of the Seas, alas, is the one Oasis-class ship that is missing them. Royal Caribbean announced plans to add waterslides to Allure of the Seas several years ago, but the plans were put on hold after the COVID-19 pandemic caused cruising to shut down for more than a year.

Related: The ultimate guide to Royal Caribbean cruise ships and itineraries

While cruise lines often put older, smaller ships on their shorter runs, Royal Caribbean has experimented with putting some of its newer and bigger ships on such itineraries in recent years, though it stopped short of deploying an Oasis-class ship to the routings.

In 2019, for instance, the line deployed its just-revamped and still relatively large Navigator of the Seas to Miami for short runs — a notable move at the time.

Generally low-priced and easy to do on a whim, short cruises out of Florida appeal heavily to a local market that isn’t looking for anything too fancy. They’re just out for a quick, inexpensive getaway.

That said, short cruises out of Florida are also hugely popular with first-time cruisers from all over the country who want to give cruising a try without making too big of a commitment. They’re hot with millennials, too, as they’re big on short getaways.

Related: Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program: The ultimate guide

As Royal Caribbean president and CEO Michael Bayley told me during an interview at the time of the Navigator of the Seas deployment to Miami, those two groups are increasingly critical to impress if you’re a cruise line wanting to grow your business. You want them coming back. That got Royal Caribbean rethinking its short-haul strategy.

“We suddenly thought to ourselves, ‘hold on a second, we’ve been putting our oldest, smallest ships in this short-cruise space,’ and why would we do that?” Bayley said.

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