Royal Caribbean North Star: Ultimate Guide

Updated

by Marcello

Royal Caribbean ships have abundant innovative features, activities, and entertainment options.

One of the most striking Royal Caribbean exclusives is the North Star.

If you’re ready to soar 300 feet above sea level, here’s what you need to know about Royal Caribbean North Star.

What is the North Star on Royal Caribbean?

Royal Caribbean North Star Observation Pod on Quantum of the Seas

The North Star is a glass pod observation capsule that provides breathtaking 360-degree views from 300 feet above sea level. It’s attached to a mechanical arm that raises pods up, down, and over the vessel’s side.

The ride is a part Ferris wheel and part ski resort gondola in an experience not for those afraid of heights.

The ride lasts between 15 to 20 minutes, accommodating up to 14 passengers and one operator.

You can find the North Star on the lido deck, where it operates from 8 am – 6 pm on most days.

However, the availability may change depending on weather and port restrictions.

For example, many ports restrict the pod’s ability to extend past the ship’s side. The North Star capsule is limited to only up and down movements on port days.

If you want to experience the full range of motion, it’s best to take the ride on a sea day when the pod can fully extend over the vessels’ sides.

Which Royal Caribbean Ships have the North Star?

North Star observatory rising on Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas as it sails in the ocean
(Photo Courtesy: Royal Caribbean)

Royal Caribbean’s North Star is available exclusively on Quantum and Quantum-ultra cruise ships.

In total, five Royal Caribbean ships boast the North Star attraction:

  • Anthem of the Seas
  • Odyssey of the Seas
  • Ovation of the Seas
  • Quantum of the Seas
  • Spectrum of the Seas

How Much is the North Star?

Passengers taking a ride on North Star on the Spectrum of the Seas cruise ship
(Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean International)

The North Star is free for passengers on most itineraries.

However, some sailings in the UK, China, Singapore, Alaska, and the Caribbean have begun charging fees of $20-$25.

Additionally, you will need to pay during select times of day, such as sunrise and sunset.

You can also reserve the entire pod for “private flights.” The private flights provide an excellent location for special events, including proposals and wedding ceremonies.

Who wouldn’t want to get married soaring above a cruise ship?

The North Star on Ovation of the Seas over the Side of the Cruise ship overlooking the Alaskan mountains
(Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean International)

Royal Caribbean offers a special “North Star Experience” for Alaskan sailings” for $49.

The North Star Experience occurs during calls at Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier. The experience provides unparalleled views of the ship and surrounding landscape as the pod rise high above the sea and over the vessel’s side.

Take it from us; there’s no better way to admire the scenic Alaskan landscape than from a panoramic pod 300 feet in the air.

Unlike the complimentary experiences, the premium packages include a pre-flight reception, Champagne (to toast during the experience), and a commemorative certificate.

How to Book the North Star on Royal Caribbean

The pool deck on Spectrum of the Seas with the North Star raised in the background
(Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean International)

You can book a reservation for the North Star when you are on the ship. You can book reservations through the Royal Caribbean app or the Sports Staff booking desk.

If you haven’t booked a flight, you have the option to wait in a standby line. When there are empty spots or others miss their reserved time, you’ll get a chance to enter the pod.

The North Star capsule has a capacity of 14 people, so that you may be waiting in the standby line for a little while. On our Royal Caribbean cruise, we waited 60 minutes before our turn on the ride.

Like other attractions, you’ll find the shortest lines on port days when most people leave the ship. If you haven’t booked a time slot, early mornings and port days are your best bet for finding the shortest lines.

North Star Height and Weight Restrictions

Ovation of the seas in alaska with North Star raised and glacier in the background
Photo Credit (Royal Caribbean)

There’s no age restriction to ride the North Star.

But, passengers must be at least 42 inches tall when accompanied by an adult or 48 inches to ride alone. The Royal Caribbean North Star also has a weight limit of 300lbs per rider.

The pod is wheelchair accessible, with an elevator to the platform and a ramp to access the pod.

What’s The View Like

Aerial view of the upper deck of the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship from the North Star observation pod

The North Star pod is every photographer’s dream. The all-glass exterior provides breathtaking panoramic views of the ship and horizon – perfect for vacation photographs, proposals, and wedding ceremonies.

Royal Caribbean’s North Star provides incredible views of the cruise ship. But, while looking over the pool deck, it did feel a bit creepy looking down on all the sunbathers.

Throughout the 15-minute ride, we couldn’t help but marvel at the incredible world around us.

Fun Facts About the North Star

  • Royal Caribbean’s North Star first debuted in 2014 on Quantum of the Seas
  • The North Star holds the Guinness world record as the ‘tallest viewing deck on a cruise ship.’
  • Royal Caribbean’s Voom wifi works inside the capsule.
  • The design was inspired by the pods on the London Eye
  • The pod reaches a height of 300 ft (100m) above sea level

Final Thoughts: Royal Caribbean North Star

The Royal Caribbean North Star is an experience that should be on every cruiser’s bucket list.

The incredible views and smooth ride are unlike any other cruise ship attraction.

To avoid waiting in line, pre-book through the Royal Caribbean app or at the Sports Desk. And, if you must wait in line, try to arrive early in the morning or on a port day for the shortest wait times.

The ride itself is slow and relaxing. And even those afraid of heights have enjoyed the 15-minute ride.

Experiencing the North Star should be on every cruiser’s bucket list.

Photo of author

Author

Marcello

I’ve been cruising since I was 11 years old. I love the freedom that cruising provides, meeting new people, and exploring amazing new ships. I love to share my passion for cruising and travel with readers.

Leave a Comment