>  Cruising   >  Voyager of the Seas vs Anthem of the Seas: Which ship should you choose in Australia?

Royal Caribbean is bringing a Quantum class ship and a Voyager class ship to Australia for the 2025/26 cruise season. Voyager of the Seas has sailed in Australia before, but this is the first time it has been based in Brisbane at the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal. Anthem of the Seas is making its debut in Australia and sailing from Circular Quay in Sydney.

One of these Royal Caribbean family favourites is older than the other, but this definitely shouldn’t be the only thing that guides your decision. Both ships have plenty to offer and are better suited to different types of travellers. Should you choose Voyager of the Seas or Anthem of the Seas for your Royal Caribbean cruise in Australia?  It all comes down to who you’re sailing with and what type of trip you’re after.

Royal Caribbean departure ports and destinations in Australia

Both ships sail to similar destinations but there are some important differences when it comes to their departure ports. For a start, they’re based in different states. Anthem of the Seas is based in Sydney in New South Wales while Voyager of the Seas is sailing out of Queensland’s capital city.

Anthem of the Seas is the only ship offering sailings to New Zealand so choose Anthem if you want to visit Aotearoa. Voyager of the Seas features a new port – Luganville in Vanuatu – and cruises to the South Pacific and up the east coast of Australia. Brisbane is the closest jumping off point for tropical itineraries and sailings to Queensland’s attractive coastal towns like Cairns and Airlie Beach.

Voyager of the Seas vs Anthem of the Seas: Ship age and refurbishments

Anthem of the Seas launched in 2015 and was due for a major drydock but this was cancelled due to COVID-19. Voyager of the Seas was built in 1999, so it’s six years older, but this ship underwent a $97-million refurbishment in 2019 (you can read our detailed review of the refurbishment here). This means that while Anthem of the Seas is technically the newest ship, Voyager of the Seas looks fresher and more modern in many ways.

Voyager of the Seas Viking Crown Lounge
Voyager of the Seas Viking Crown Lounge

Anthem of the Seas vs Voyager of the Seas: How many passengers?

Anthem of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas are a different class of ship, so it’s no surprise they are different sizes and there are differences between the two when it comes to passenger numbers. In a nutshell, Anthem of the Seas is bigger than Voyager of the Seas in every way.

Anthem of the Seas is the second of Royal Caribbean’s Quantum class ships and can carry 4,180 passengers spread over 16 decks. Voyager of the Seas is a Voyager-class ship that only caters to 3,258 passengers. Perhaps surprisingly, Voyager of the Seas only has one less deck than Anthem.

Voyager of the Seas vs Anthem of the Seas: Which ship has the best cabins?

When it comes to cabins, there are three major differences between the two ships. The first is there are no dedicated single cabins on Voyager of the Seas, so solo sailors may prefer Anthem of the Seas.  The second is that Voyager of the Seas had 72 brand new cabins added during the 2019 refurbishment. If you want to book one, they’re located on decks 11 and 12 at the front of the ship.

The final major difference is handy for those who are on a tighter holiday budget. Voyager of the Seas has an excellent choice of inside cabins, including some that don’t have Royal Caribbean’s Virtual Balcony feature. These traditional inside cabins on Voyager of the Seas will almost always be (much) cheaper than an inside cabin with a virtual balcony on either ship.

Royal Caribbean Virtual Balcony inside cabin

Thinking of sailing in a suite and wondering which ship to choose? Anthem of the Seas is the clear winner as the choice of suites and number of suite amenities is far more extensive on this ship.

Anthem of the Seas vs Voyager of the Seas: Restaurants and bars

There are some major differences between Anthem of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas when it comes to their restaurants and drinking spots. Both ships have a Windjammer Marketplace, Café Promenade, Johnny Rockets, Chops Grille and Izumi but that’s where any similarities end. Even the main dining rooms are different, with Anthem having four main dining rooms with different décor in each while Voyager of the Seas has one main dining room spanning three decks.

Windjammer Marketplace
Windjammer Marketplace on Voyager of the Seas

Each ship has a pub but only one ship – Anthem of the Seas – has Coastal Kitchen, a private dining room for guests staying in suites and above. Anthem also has more complimentary dining options compared to Voyager of the Seas, such as the pizza restaurant Sorrento’s, the Solarium Bistro for healthy fare and a nice alternative dinner option, and The Cafe @ Two70 which has stellar views over the wake.

That said, when it comes to bars, we much prefer those on Voyager of the Seas. Many of them, such as the classy R Bar, feel more intimate than the larger venues on Quantum of the Seas. This is largely due to the fact that Voyager of the Seas is a smaller and more intimate ship than Quantum.

Activities and entertainment on Anthem and Voyager of the Seas

Anthem of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas offer impressive yet different entertainment options. Both ships have a FlowRider and laser tag, but apart from this there aren’t many similarities when it comes to the activities on offer onboard both of these Australia-based ships.

The Flowrider

Anthem of the Seas features the Olivier Award-winning musical “We Will Rock You” plus the newest and most modern things to do, such as the North Star, SeaPlex, iFly and Bionic Bar. However, that doesn’t necessarily make this ship better.

On Voyager of the Seas, there’s an ice skating rink, an ice skating show, and two high-speed waterslides with twisting turns and thrills. However, the kids waterplay pool complex on Anthem of the Seas has the edge over the one on Voyager of the Seas.

The Verdict: Anthem of the Seas vs Voyager of the Seas

If you’re seeking an action-packed cruise, it’s hard to go past either of these Royal Caribbean ships. Which one you choose will come down to what type of cruise experience you’re looking for, who you’re travelling with and how much you want to spend.

Anthem of the Seas is very similar to the other Quantum class ships, so if you feel like a change, Voyager may be the ship for you. Most children will be too young to have sailed on Voyager of the Seas during its previous Australia season, which makes this a ‘new’ ship for local families.

Royal Babies & Tots
Voyager of the Seas Royal Babies & Tots Nursery

If you live in or within driving distance of Brisbane, Voyager of the Seas is an obvious choice as there’s no need to pay for airfares. The same goes for Anthem of the Seas for those who live in Sydney or within driving distance of the New South Wales capital.

Anthem of the Seas is a newer ship, which gives it a slight edge over the older Voyager of the Seas, but many cruisers will prefer Voyager’s smaller size and modern fitout. Whichever ship you choose, you’re sure to have an action-packed holiday on either of these Australia-based ships.

Disclosure: The writers have sailed on both of these ships as guests of Royal Caribbean.

Want more great cruise advice? Check out our tips for choosing the perfect cruise, cruising with grandchildren, cruising with tweens and cruising with kids of all ages, solo cruising, the best activities on Ovation of the Seas, doing a Transatlantic cruise with kids, cruising in Australia or Papua New Guinea, Iceland cruise tips, cruising on a megaship, scoring a bargain cruise fare, cruising the Mediterranean, making the most of a cruise ship kids club, luxury cruising with kids, and the Byron Beach Club onboard P&O Cruises. We have also reviewed Disney Wonder, Pacific Adventure, Celebrity Edge, Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas, Pacific Encounter, Carnival Splendor, Voyager of the Seas, Nieuw Statendam, Viking Helgrim, Pride of America, Coral Expeditions in Tasmania and the Great Barrier Reef, Celebrity Solstice, and Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.