Cruises are a great way to vacation. Board the ship, unpack and sail off to new destinations without the headache of changing hotels. If you’re a first time cruiser or have never sailed with Royal Caribbean, there are countless little known Royal Caribbean cruise line secrets to help you make the most out of your next cruise.
Before we dive into the secrets of cruising, it’s important to pick the right destination & ship. Everyone’s tastes and every family has different needs. Before booking your cruise, choose the best destination and ship for your family. Are you looking to hit the beach on a Caribbean island? See the glaciers in Alaska? What places are you most interesting in seeing and plan your trip accordingly.
Also determine the amenities you want on the ship. Would the kids love the chance to ice skate? Do you prefer a smaller or larger vessel? Each cruise ship class is different, so take a look at what is offered before you book.
Cruise Critic is an awesome resource for searching the latest ships, ports and destinations. You can also get to know people you meet through the site by attending the Meet & Mingle with other Cruise Critic users.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Secrets:
1. Complete online check-in
Check-in online for your cruise before you sail. Royal Caribbean requires you to check-in no later than 3 days prior to sailing. This helps keep the line moving on embarkation day.
You can also sign any waivers such as for the FlowRider and Zip Line up to three days prior to the sail date. Get all of the paperwork out of the way, so you can relax once you board.
2. Purchase shore excursions in advance
You can purchase shore excursions online prior to your cruise. Popular excursions sell out early and you don’t want to be disappointed! If you didn’t book your spot, a limited amount of excursions are still reserved for on board booking so schedule those as soon as you board the ship.
See my 5 tips for selecting shore excursions for help determining which excursions are right for you.
3. Reserve specialty dining in advance
Reserve your table at one of the many specialty restaurants before you sail. If you make 3 or more reservations, you’ll get a credit of up to 30% of the value. You can use that credit any way you wish during your cruise.
A newer feature is that kids can dine at the specialty restaurants for just $8 and order off a special menu. The special kids price will be adjusted and shown on your final bill.
If you prefer to wait until you board, book on the first day. You can ask to see the main dining room menu’s for the week then pick your day to dine in a specialty restaurant accordingly.