Hopefully you saw my last post about Our Royal Caribbean Cruise Adventure to CocoCay, Bahamas. I shared about the real reason and heart behind our trip in the blog and of course all the adventures. One of the main things we learned while cruising is that we very much enjoyed it and look forward to taking more cruises. I realize that cruising isn’t for everyone but thought that for those of you who might be interested, I’d share some Tips for cruising with Royal Caribbean that we learned along the way.
Tips for Cruising with Royal Carribean
Once you book your cruise, Research! There are so many YouTube videos and blogs out there that talk about tips and tricks for cruising and specifically cruising with Royal Carribean. We watched alot of videos and this really prepared us for the trip. Advice about specific things to pack, cruise ship etiquette, and all sorts of other advice. Of course, you’ll also want to make sure that you research your ports of call. Some of the YouTubers we liked were the Royal Caribbean Blog, and ParoDeeJay. ParoDeeJay mainly cruises with Carnival but they were still full of really good advice.
- Get to the Terminal Early
On the day you board the ship to leave, make sure that you get to the terminal early. We arrived to the terminal at 10am even though we weren’t schedule to board until 12pm. Not sure if it happens often or not, but they actually had us board at 11am and by getting there at 10am we didn’t wait in a single line during the entire boarding process. We walked right through security and right up to the check-in desk. After we sat in some chairs for about an hour, they boarded us which took about 10 minutes to walk through the terminal and up the gang-plank and onto the ship. The process was simple and smooth. Once we were on the ship, we were able to explore the ship and head to the Windjammer for lunch.
- Make sure to Pack…
A watch, a travel coffee mug, a travel water jug and some nice but casual clothing options for dinner. Let me explain each.
The watch, this is a bit of a no-brainer. The ship’s activities very much run on a schedule and so knowing the time is so valuable to being able to take advantage of all that the ship offers. The hubby forgot his watch, fortunately I remembered mine and so we were saved with that. You don’t want to be taking your phone out every time.
Travel Coffee Mug, mainly if you’re a coffee or hot tea drinker. We are in this house and while they have to go cups for coffee, they’re just your standard coffee to-go cup and walking around a ship with a cup of hot coffee is slightly dangerous. If we had a sealed travel mug we would’ve felt more comfortable taking a morning stroll with our coffee around the deck.
A travel water jug – stay hydrated and this is a FREE way to do so! We brought along our Hydroflasks that seal and this way we didn’t have to purchase water bottles around the ship when we were thirsty or go back to the cafe to grab a cup of water. After breakfast, we just filled up and we were typically good til lunch time and would fill up again. This also allowed us to have water in our room when were in there for the night. This pregnancy has me thirsty, so I drink in the middle of the night and this was a life saver!
When packing, we packed comfy clothes for exploring the ship and our ports during the day. You know the shorts and t-shirts type clothes. We packed our formal wear for the formal nights, a dress for me and a suit and tie for him. But it didn’t even dawn on us to pack a pair of khakis and polos for him and a few fancy shirts and skirts or something along those lines for me. While you’re not required and we were fine wearing our jeans and t-shirts in the formal dining room, we felt out of place and just slightly underdressed.
- Drink Package? Yes or no?
This was something we went back and forth on prior to the cruise when we booked it and ultimately decided not to book. Which once we found out we were pregnant worked out well since I wouldn’t have been able to drink the alcohol (I assume they would’ve refunded but not sure since each person in the cabin has to have the package). The reason we decided against it was the cost. When we booked the cruise, it was $44/day per person and that was 30% off. Which meant that we’d have to order an average of 6 drinks each day for each of us. Being that we’re not big drinkers, this just financially didn’t make sense to us. Instead the $8 for the drink of the day made more sense. In addition we would’ve paid $44 for the days we weren’t on the ship which would’ve been a total of 2 port days and then you also pay for the day you board and the day you disembark. That would’ve been $352 before taxes and gratituity for days that might have had time for a drink or two. We walked away with the thought, that if your cruise involves alot of port days, don’t get the drink package. If it involves alot of ship days, get the drink package and drink drink drink!
- Arrive Early
For every event that you want to participate in and be apart of, make sure to arrive 15-30 minutes early. If on the cruise itinerary it states that it’s a favorite, make sure to arrive 30 minutes early! This way you ensure that you get a seat of your choice and can sit together with your group.
- Try out a speciality restaurant
The ships host some speciality restaurants. Our ship had Chops Grille, Izumi and Giovanni’s. When we booked our cruise we were given a $50 on ship board credit and we choose to use that credit to lunch at Chop’s Grille. Best decision we made! The meal was amazing! And fun fact, it’s also an all you can eat adventure. Our favorite meal on ship and by far the best meal.
- Shore Excursions
If you choose to do a shore excursion transfer (i.e. Port Canaveral to Disney world) book the transfer through the cruise. If there’s a hiccup with the transport back (traffic etc) the ship must and will wait for you. If you book your own and are delayed, the ship will leave without you.