Your Guide to the Largest Cruise Ships Sailing the Seas

27 June 2024

Travel Insurance Travel Tips

Are you considering going on a cruise ship holiday? Read on! This handy guide has everything you need to know, from cruise cover insurance to a list of the biggest cruise ships.

Why Are Cruise Holidays Getting More Popular?

Cruise holidays have skyrocketed in popularity, captivating the imaginations of travellers worldwide. But what exactly is fueling this surge in interest? The answer lies in a perfect storm of factors that make cruising an irresistible choice for adventurers of all ages.

First and foremost, cruise ships themselves have evolved into floating paradises. These marvels of modern engineering offer amenities that rival the finest resorts on land. From world-class dining experiences and Broadway-style entertainment to luxurious spas and thrilling water parks, there’s something for everyone on board. Today’s largest cruise ships are nothing short of cities at sea, entertaining passengers from dawn till dusk.

Cruises eliminate the hassles of traditional travel. The all-inclusive packages meet budget needs. And what’s more, there are a variety of itineraries and destinations to explore!

What to Expect from Cruise Holidays

  • Relaxation and entertainment on a grand scale
  • Unpack once and visit multiple destinations
  • A range of onboard amenities and activities

GoWalkabout Cruise Travel Insurance Explained

We can cover trips that involve a cruise, but please be aware that none of our policies will cover them as standard. Cruise cover is an additional add-on available under our Bronze, Silver and Gold policies, both single-trip or multi-trip cover.

For the purposes of our travel insurance, a cruise is defined as ‘a pleasure voyage of more than 72 hours duration, sailing as a passenger on a purpose-built ship on sea/s or oceans that may include stops at various ports.’

So, if a cruise of this length and description is part of your plans while you’re away, please be aware that you will need to upgrade your policy to reflect this.

What is Cruise Cover and Do You Need It?

Cruise travel insurance provides specialist protection for cruise-specific risks. Standard travel insurance policies are often required to ensure adequate protection throughout your trip. Without cruise insurance, you might not receive compensation for unexpected expenses and inconveniences unique to cruising.

Understanding Cruise Travel Insurance Policies

If you have specific questions regarding your quote, contact us, and we will explain the policy in detail. Overall, our cruise cover includes:

  • Medical treatment, including pre-existing medical conditions
  • Cruise interruption, cabin confinement, and missed port departures
  • Travel-related expenses, such as trip cancellations and delays
  • Exclusions may apply, such as pre-existing conditions not declared

The Top 10 Biggest Cruise Ships

Listed in order of size, here are the world’s largest cruise ships sailing the seas. These cruise liners are packed with entertainment and fine dining. You can expect smooth sailing and discover beautiful destinations along the way!


Cruise Ship Features
1 Royal Caribbean Icon of the Seas Largest cruise ship in the world
20 decks (18 guest-accessible decks)
A record-setting six water slides
The largest swimming pool at sea
2 Royal Caribbean Utopia of the Seas Powered by eco-friendly liquified natural gas (LNG)
Over twenty eateries
Oasis-class ship
3 Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Seas Once the largest cruise ship
18 decks and 19 pools
Oasis-class ship
4 Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas 16 guest decks and 2,759 staterooms
Was the biggest from 2018 to 2022
5 Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas 16 guest decks, 2,747 staterooms and suites
23 pools and whirlpools
6 Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas 18 total decks (16 guest decks)
2,801 staterooms, almost 2,000 of which have balconies
7 Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas 16 decks which are guest-accessible
2,742 staterooms (including 1,796 balcony suites)
8 MSC World Europa An 11-foot dry slide called the Spiral
16 decks and 430,000 square feet of public space
9 P&O Arvia Arvia is Latin for “from the seashore.”
15 passenger accessible decks
10 Costa Cruises Costa Smeralda Named after a popular tourist destination in Sardinia
20 decks, along with 2,614 staterooms

Other Notable Cruise Ships

It’s not all about size. Smaller cruise ships offer a more intimate experience and take you places where the largest ships cannot go.

large cruise ship at sea

Planning Your Cruise Holiday

Sunblock? Check. Wide-brimmed hat? Check! Deck shoes? Check! Passport? Check!

Now, you just need to decide which cruise is right for you. This can be a tough decision, especially for first-time cruisers! You need to consider the time of year, climate, budget, and, of course, destination.

Luckily, choosing the best cruise insurance is a lot more straightforward!

Choosing the Right Cruise Insurance

Adding cruise cover to your travel insurance policy is a must. This will protect you for specific scenarios and may even offer compensation.

Why You Need Cruise Travel Insurance

Cruises are fantastic ways to see the world. However, unlike traditional travel, specific risks can occur that could affect your overall experience. Cruise travel insurance offers a worry-free trip.

  • Protection against unexpected medical and travel-related expenses: Illnesses and injuries can happen anywhere, and being on a cruise is no exception. Cruise insurance helps cover medical expenses, which can be exorbitant if you require treatment on board or at a port of call.
  • Coverage for cruise-specific risks: Cruises come with unique risks that standard travel insurance might not cover. These include cabin confinement due to illness, missed port departures, and itinerary changes. Cruise travel insurance ensures you’re protected against these potential disruptions.
  • Peace of mind for a stress-free cruise holiday: Knowing you’re covered in case of emergencies or unexpected changes allows you to relax and enjoy your vacation fully. Whether it’s a medical issue or a travel hiccup, cruise insurance provides reassurance that you’re prepared for the unexpected.

Cruise cover with a GoWalkabout policy includes:

  • Compensation if you are confined to your cabin due to injury or illness
  • Compensation if your ship is unable to berth in one of the ports on your itinerary due to severe weather or rough sea conditions
  • Compensation for the loss of pre-booked and paid-for excursions when you or the person you are travelling with are too ill to take part

Preparing for Your Cruise

We all want a smooth trip when going on holiday. The beauty of a cruise is that you have a weight allowance that is higher than that of traditional travel! Load up your suitcases and don’t leave anything behind. Here are some essentials:

  • Travel documents: Ensure you have all necessary documents, including your passport and required visas. Having these readily accessible will make your embarkation process much smoother.
  • Cruise-specific items: Remember to bring a swimsuit and sunscreen. Many cruise activities involve pools and sunbathing, so these are crucial.
  • Comfortable clothing and shoes: Cruises offer a variety of activities, from formal dinners to casual outings. Pack a mix of comfy clothes and shoes suitable for different events and excursions.

Cruise Holiday Tips and Advice

Here are some essential tips and advice to ensure smooth sailing and the best possible experience.

Hints and Tips for a Smooth Cruise

  • Research your cruise line and ship: Before booking, understand the amenities and activities offered on board. Each cruise line and ship has its unique features, so choose one that matches your preferences and interests.
  • Plan for shore excursions and travel documents: Shore excursions can fill up quickly, so book them in advance. Also, ensure you have all necessary travel documents, such as passports and visas, well before your departure date.
  • Pack wisely and leave valuable items at home: Pack only what you need and avoid bringing valuable items that could be lost or stolen. Essentials like sunscreen, swimwear, and comfortable shoes are must-haves.

Travel Advice for Cruise Holidays

  • Check with your cruise provider for specific travel insurance requirements: Some cruise lines may have specific insurance requirements. Verify these before purchasing your policy to ensure you’re adequately covered.
  • Declare pre-existing medical conditions when purchasing cruise travel insurance: Honesty is crucial when buying insurance. Make sure to declare any pre-existing medical conditions to avoid complications with coverage later on.
  • Stay informed about travel advisories and health concerns at your destinations: Keep an eye on travel advisories and health warnings for the regions you’ll be visiting. This information can help you stay safe and healthy during your trip.

Relax and Enjoy Your Cruise Holiday with the Right Insurance

You can focus on relaxation and enjoyment with the right cruise travel insurance. Comprehensive insurance allows you to fully unwind and enjoy your holiday without worrying about potential mishaps. Not risking financial loss due to unexpected medical or travel-related expenses is essential. Cruise travel insurance safeguards you from financial setbacks caused by medical emergencies or travel disruptions.

Choosing a specialist cruise travel insurance policy that covers your specific needs is crucial. Opting for a policy tailored to cruise travel ensures you’re protected against unique risks such as cabin confinement, missed ports, and itinerary changes. Following these tips and securing the proper insurance, you can look forward to a worry-free and memorable cruise holiday. Bon voyage!


What are some of the largest cruise ships currently sailing?

Some of the largest cruise ships currently sailing include Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, MSC Cruises’ MSC Grandiosa, and Carnival’s Mardi Gras. These ships boast impressive sizes and offer a plethora of amenities and activities.

What amenities can I expect on the largest cruise ships?

The largest cruise ships have many amenities, including multiple dining options, entertainment venues, pools, water parks, fitness centres, spas, shopping areas, and even unique features like ice-skating rinks, rock-climbing walls, and zip lines. There’s something for everyone on these floating resorts.

How do I choose the right cruise travel insurance?

When selecting cruise travel insurance, consider a policy covering cruise-specific risks such as cabin confinement, missed port departures, and itinerary changes. Ensure the policy includes coverage for medical expenses, trip cancellations, and lost or delayed luggage. It’s essential to declare any pre-existing medical conditions when purchasing the insurance.

What should I pack for a cruise on one of these large ships?

Pack essentials like travel documents (passport, visas, travel insurance information), cruise-specific items (swimsuit, sunscreen), and comfortable clothing and shoes for onboard activities and shore excursions. It’s also wise to bring a small first-aid kit, any necessary medications, and a power strip for additional outlets in your cabin.

How can I make the most of my time on a large cruise ship?

To maximise your experience, research the ship’s amenities and activities before you board and plan your days accordingly. Book shore excursions in advance, take advantage of onboard entertainment and dining options and allow yourself time to relax and enjoy the ship’s features. Staying informed about the daily schedule and making reservations for popular activities can help you avoid missing out on any must-see events or experiences.

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