15 Royal Caribbean Cruise Hacks

Planning a Royal Caribbean cruise? Look no further! In this article, we’ve got you covered with 15 essential cruise hacks that will ensure you have an amazing time on board. From insider tips and tricks to hidden gems and must-try experiences, we’ve got the inside scoop. So sit back, relax, and get ready to make the most of your Royal Caribbean adventure!

Presented by the Royal Caribbean Blog, this video is packed with expert advice and practical hacks that will enhance your cruise experience. Whether you’re a first-time cruiser or a seasoned sailor, these tips will help you navigate the ship’s amenities, find the best spots for relaxation or entertainment, and even save some money along the way. Don’t miss out on these invaluable insights that will leave you well-prepared and ready to make the most of every moment on your Royal Caribbean cruise. Happy cruising!

Booking and Planning

Planning and booking a cruise can be an exciting and sometimes overwhelming experience. With so many options to choose from, it’s important to make the right decisions to ensure a memorable vacation. From choosing the right ship to taking advantage of promotions, here are some helpful tips to make the most of your booking and planning process.

Choosing the Right Ship

One of the first things you should consider when booking a cruise is the type of ship that suits your preferences and needs. Royal Caribbean offers a wide range of ships, each with its own unique features and amenities. Are you looking for a family-friendly ship with lots of activities for kids? Or maybe you prefer a more tranquil and sophisticated experience on an adults-only ship. Research the different ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet to find one that matches your interests and desired atmosphere.

Booking at the Right Time

Timing is everything when it comes to booking a cruise. To secure the best deals and availability, it’s recommended to book your cruise well in advance. Most cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, open their itineraries for booking up to 18 months in advance. By booking early, you can take advantage of lower prices, better cabin selection, and the ability to secure your preferred dining and entertainment options. However, if you have a flexible schedule and are willing to take a last-minute vacation, you may find some great last-minute deals.

Taking Advantage of Promotions

Royal Caribbean frequently offers promotions and deals that can save you money or provide additional perks. Keep an eye out for special offers such as discounted fares for residents of certain countries, onboard credit, or free upgrades. Subscribe to Royal Caribbean’s email newsletters or follow them on social media to stay informed about the latest promotions. Additionally, booking during a promotion period, such as during the line’s annual “Wave Season,” can often result in significant savings.

Using a Travel Agent

While booking directly with Royal Caribbean is a convenient option, considering the expertise of a travel agent can be beneficial. Travel agents have extensive knowledge of cruise lines, itineraries, and can offer valuable insights and advice. They can help you find the best deals, navigate the booking process, and ensure that all your preferences and needs are met. Travel agents often have access to exclusive promotions and can provide you with a personalized booking experience.

Researching Ports of Call

As part of your planning process, spend some time researching the ports of call that your cruise will visit. Each port has its own unique attractions, activities, and local culture to explore. Look for popular landmarks, historical sites, or natural wonders that you don’t want to miss. By doing your research, you can plan your time in each port more efficiently and make the most of your shore excursions. Royal Caribbean’s website and other online resources can provide information on the highlights and recommended activities at each port of call.

Packing Tips

Packing for a cruise can be a challenge, especially when it comes to limited cabin space and varying weather conditions. These packing tips will help ensure you have everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable cruise.

Pack a Power Strip

Cruise cabins often have a limited number of electrical outlets. To make sure you have enough outlets to charge all your devices, pack a power strip or a multi-plug adapter. This way, you can easily charge your phone, camera, and other electronics without having to choose between them.

Bring a Reusable Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is important while on a cruise, especially in warm climates or during active shore excursions. Instead of constantly buying bottled water, bring a reusable water bottle. Many cruise ships have water stations where you can refill your bottle for free. This is not only environmentally friendly but can also save you money in the long run.

Pack a Carry-On Bag

When you board the ship, your checked luggage may take some time to arrive at your cabin. To have essential items available immediately, pack a carry-on bag with things like medications, toiletries, a change of clothes, and any other necessities. This way, you can start enjoying the cruise experience without having to wait for your luggage to be delivered.

Don’t Forget Extension Cords

In addition to a power strip, it’s also a good idea to pack extension cords. They can come in handy when you need to charge your devices while using them or if the outlets in the cabin are not in convenient locations. Just make sure that the extension cords meet the safety regulations of the cruise line.

Pack Essentials in a Day Bag

Whenever you disembark at a port of call, it’s useful to have a day bag with your essentials. Include items such as sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, a portable charger, and a lightweight jacket or sweater. By having a dedicated bag, you can easily access everything you need while exploring the port and ensure you’re prepared for any unforeseen weather changes.

15 Royal Caribbean Cruise Hacks

Onboard Savings

While cruising offers a fantastic all-inclusive experience, there are still ways to save money while onboard. These tips will help you maximize your savings and get the most value out of your cruise vacation.

Bring Your Own Wine or Champagne

Some cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, allow guests to bring their own wine or champagne onboard. Check the specific guidelines of your cruise line regarding the quantity and any associated corkage fees. Bringing your favorite bottle of wine or champagne can be a great way to enjoy a special occasion or simply relax on your balcony without the additional cost of purchasing drinks onboard.

Look for Drink Package Deals

If you’re someone who enjoys a few drinks throughout the day, consider purchasing a drink package. Royal Caribbean offers various drink packages that can provide unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for a fixed price. Look for promotions or discounts on the drink packages, especially during the booking process. By pre-purchasing a drink package, you can save money compared to buying drinks individually.

Take Advantage of Happy Hour

Many cruise ships offer happy hour specials at select bars and lounges. During these designated times, you can enjoy discounted prices on drinks. Take note of the ship’s daily schedule and look for happy hour times. It’s a great opportunity to try new cocktails or enjoy your favorite beverage at a reduced price.

Book Specialty Dining in Advance

While the main dining options onboard are typically included in the cruise fare, specialty restaurants often have an additional fee. However, these specialty restaurants often offer a higher quality dining experience and unique cuisine. If you are interested in dining at a specialty restaurant, consider booking in advance. Royal Caribbean allows guests to make specialty dining reservations online before their cruise, securing their preferred time and ensuring they don’t miss out on popular restaurants.

Take Advantage of Onboard Sales

Throughout your cruise, the ship will likely have sales on various items. From clothing and accessories to jewelry and souvenirs, these sales offer an opportunity to purchase items at discounted prices. Keep an eye on the ship’s daily newsletter or app for information about upcoming sales and promotions. However, be mindful of your budget and only purchase items that you truly need or will enjoy.

Maximizing Your Time

Making the most of your time onboard is key to having a memorable cruise vacation. By following these tips, you can ensure you have a well-planned itinerary and make the most of all the activities and experiences available.

Arrive a Day Early

To avoid any potential travel delays or stress, consider arriving at the departure port a day early. This way, you can relax and explore the city before your cruise begins. It also gives you a buffer in case of unexpected travel disruptions. By arriving a day early, you can start your vacation feeling refreshed and ready to embark on your cruise adventure.

Use the Royal Caribbean App

Royal Caribbean offers a user-friendly app that can enhance your onboard experience. The app provides access to daily schedules, activity information, dining options, and maps of the ship. You can also use the app to book shows, make dinner reservations, and view your onboard account. Take advantage of this convenient tool to plan your days and stay informed about the ship’s activities.

Pre-book Shore Excursions

To ensure you have the opportunity to participate in your desired shore excursions, consider booking them in advance. Royal Caribbean offers a wide variety of shore excursions at each port of call, catering to different interests and activity levels. By pre-booking, you can secure your spot and avoid disappointment if an excursion sells out. You can book shore excursions on the Royal Caribbean website or through your travel agent.

Plan Activities in Advance

In addition to shore excursions, Royal Caribbean offers a multitude of onboard activities and experiences. From rock climbing walls and water slides to cooking classes and spa treatments, there’s something for everyone. To make the most of your time onboard, review the ship’s daily schedule and plan out the activities you want to participate in. This way, you won’t miss out on any workshops, shows, or events that you’re interested in.

Utilize In-Room Dining

Sometimes, you may want to enjoy a meal or snack in the privacy of your own cabin. Royal Caribbean offers in-room dining options, allowing you to order from a menu and have the food delivered directly to your cabin. This can be a convenient and relaxing way to enjoy a meal or snack, especially if you prefer a quieter dining experience or want to savor the view from your balcony.

15 Royal Caribbean Cruise Hacks

Staying Connected

Staying connected while on a cruise can be important for various reasons, whether it’s keeping in touch with loved ones or accessing information online. Here are some tips to help you stay connected during your cruise.

Buy an Internet Package

Most cruise ships offer internet access for guests at an additional cost. Internet packages typically allow you to connect to Wi-Fi onboard and use your devices to browse the internet, send emails, or use social media. If you need to stay connected during your cruise, consider purchasing an internet package. Royal Caribbean offers various internet packages to suit different needs, ranging from basic plans for light internet usage to unlimited plans for those who require a reliable and high-speed connection.

Use Local SIM Cards

If your cruise includes international ports of call, purchasing a local SIM card can be a cost-effective option for staying connected. Upon arrival at a port, you can usually find stores or kiosks where you can purchase a prepaid SIM card that provides data and call/text services. Just make sure that your phone is unlocked and compatible with the local network. Using a local SIM card can save you money compared to roaming charges or expensive international data plans.

Use Wi-Fi Calling

If you have a smartphone with Wi-Fi calling capabilities, you can make calls and send text messages using a Wi-Fi connection, regardless of your location. This can be a useful feature to have if you need to stay in touch with family or friends while at sea. Check with your mobile service provider to ensure that your phone supports Wi-Fi calling and to inquire about any additional fees or requirements.

Research International Roaming

If you prefer to use your own mobile service while onboard, it’s important to be aware of international roaming charges. Contact your mobile service provider before your cruise to understand the costs associated with using your phone’s cellular data, making calls, and sending texts while at sea or in international ports. Consider any available international roaming packages or temporary add-ons that may be cost-effective for your specific needs.

Find Free Wi-Fi Spots in Port

While onboard, Wi-Fi access usually comes at a cost. However, when in port, you may be able to find free Wi-Fi spots. Many cafes, restaurants, and even local visitor centers offer complimentary Wi-Fi to customers. Take advantage of these opportunities to check emails, browse the internet, or use apps that require an internet connection. Just be cautious when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, ensuring that you protect your personal information and use secure websites.

Health and Safety Tips

Maintaining your health and safety during a cruise is essential to ensure a worry-free vacation. Follow these tips to stay healthy, prevent illness, and have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Pack a First Aid Kit

It’s always a good idea to pack a basic first aid kit for your cruise. Include items such as band-aids, pain relievers, motion sickness medication, antacids, and any prescription medications you may need. Having these items readily available can help alleviate minor discomforts or symptoms that may arise during your trip.

Practice Good Hygiene

To prevent the spread of illness, it’s crucial to practice good hygiene habits while onboard. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially before eating or after using the restroom. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available. Avoid touching your face, mouth, or eyes unless your hands are clean. By following these simple hygiene practices, you can reduce the risk of contracting and spreading germs.

Stay Hydrated

Maintaining proper hydration is important while on a cruise, especially in warmer climates. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration. As mentioned earlier, bringing a reusable water bottle can help you stay hydrated without having to constantly purchase bottled water. Take advantage of the ship’s water stations to refill your bottle and quench your thirst.

Avoid Excess Sun Exposure

Spending time out on deck or at sunny ports of call exposes you to the sun’s rays. To protect your skin from sunburn and reduce the risk of long-term skin damage, apply sunscreen generously and regularly. Wear protective clothing, such as hats and sunglasses, and seek shade when the sun is at its strongest. It’s also advisable to avoid excessive alcohol consumption, as it can contribute to dehydration and increase your susceptibility to sunburn.

Be Cautious When Exploring Ports

When exploring ports of call, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution. Familiarize yourself with the local customs, laws, and any safety concerns specific to the destination. Avoid displaying valuable belongings or large amounts of cash. Use reputable transportation services and be cautious when accepting offers from strangers. By being vigilant and staying informed, you can minimize the risk of encountering any safety issues during your excursions.

15 Royal Caribbean Cruise Hacks

Entertainment and Activities

A Royal Caribbean cruise offers an array of entertainment options and activities to keep you engaged and entertained throughout your voyage. Take advantage of these onboard offerings to make your cruise experience even more enjoyable.

Take Advantage of Onboard Shows

Royal Caribbean is known for its top-notch entertainment shows, featuring talented performers and stunning productions. From Broadway-style musicals to comedy acts and acrobatic performances, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Check the onboard schedule and plan to attend the shows that interest you the most. Arrive early to secure good seats as they can fill up quickly, especially for popular performances.

Participate in Onboard Games and Contests

Cruise ships often offer a variety of games and contests for guests to enjoy. From trivia competitions and scavenger hunts to karaoke nights and dance-offs, there’s always something fun happening onboard. Participating in these activities is a great way to meet fellow cruisers, show off your skills, and have a lot of laughs. Keep an eye on the ship’s daily newsletter or app for information about upcoming games and contests.

Try Different Specialty Restaurants

In addition to the main dining options, Royal Caribbean provides a selection of specialty restaurants with unique menus and culinary experiences. Use your cruise as an opportunity to try different types of cuisine and expand your palate. Choose from sushi bars, Italian trattorias, steakhouse grills, and more. Each specialty restaurant offers a distinct atmosphere and culinary specialty, ensuring a memorable dining experience.

Use the Fitness Center and Spa

Staying active and taking care of your well-being is important, even while on vacation. Royal Caribbean’s ships are equipped with fully-equipped fitness centers, allowing you to maintain your exercise routine and work off any indulgences from onboard dining. Attend fitness classes, use cardio equipment, or lift weights to stay in shape. Additionally, treat yourself to some relaxation and pampering at the onboard spa. Indulge in revitalizing treatments or simply unwind in the spa’s tranquil atmosphere.

Enjoy Nightlife and Live Music

When the sun goes down, the onboard nightlife comes alive on a Royal Caribbean cruise. You can find a variety of venues offering live music, themed parties, and dancing. Whether you prefer listening to a jazz band in a sophisticated lounge or dancing the night away at the ship’s nightclub, there’s something for every taste. Check the daily schedule or ask the ship’s crew for recommendations on the best spots to enjoy the onboard nightlife.

Saving Money on Excursions

While shore excursions can be a highlight of your cruise, they can also add up in cost. However, there are several ways to save money while still enjoying memorable experiences at each port of call.

Book Excursions Independently

While it may be convenient to book shore excursions through the cruise line, it can often be more expensive. Consider researching and booking excursions independently. Many ports have local tour operators who offer similar or even better experiences at lower prices. Read reviews, compare prices, and ensure that the tour operator is reputable and trustworthy. Booking independently can provide an opportunity to support the local economy and have a more personalized experience.

Research Free or Low-Cost Activities

Not every port of call requires a paid excursion to have a fulfilling experience. Research the local area to discover free or low-cost activities that you can enjoy independently. Many ports have beautiful beaches, scenic hikes, or historical sites that can be explored at no cost. You can also visit local markets or sample street food to immerse yourself in the local culture without breaking the bank.

Use Public Transportation

When exploring a port of call, consider using public transportation instead of taxis or organized tours. Public buses or trains are often a more affordable way to get around and can provide an authentic experience of the destination. Research the local transportation options ahead of time, familiarize yourself with schedules and routes, and ensure that it aligns with your plans. Remember to allow enough time to return to the ship before it departs.

Explore Local Cuisine

Dining at local establishments is not only a great way to experience the culture and flavors of each port but can also be more budget-friendly than eating at tourist-oriented restaurants. Seek out local eateries or food stalls where you can sample authentic dishes at lower prices. Ask the locals for recommendations or do some research online to find hidden culinary gems.

Consider Group Activities

If you’re traveling with a group or have made friends onboard, consider participating in group activities or sharing the cost of excursions. Group discounts or package deals may be available for certain activities or tours. Additionally, splitting the cost of transportation or rental equipment, such as bikes or kayaks, can significantly reduce the overall expenses.

15 Royal Caribbean Cruise Hacks

Dealing with Seasickness

For some people, seasickness can be a concern when cruising. However, there are strategies and remedies that can help minimize the symptoms and ensure a more comfortable experience.

Choose the Right Cabin Location

The location of your cabin can make a difference in how you feel the movement of the ship. Mid-ship cabins, especially on lower decks, tend to experience less rocking and swaying. Avoid cabins located near the bow or stern, as they may be subject to more motion. Additionally, selecting a cabin with a window or balcony can provide a visual reference point and help reduce the sensation of motion.

Take Medication or Use Remedies

There are various over-the-counter medications and remedies that can help alleviate seasickness symptoms. Antihistamines, such as Dramamine, can be effective in reducing nausea and dizziness. Scopolamine patches, which are applied behind the ear, can also help prevent seasickness. Consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist to determine the most suitable option for you. It’s recommended to start the medication or apply the patch prior to the cruise, as they can take time to become effective.

Avoid Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Consuming excessive alcohol can exacerbate seasickness symptoms. Alcohol can affect your balance and make you feel more unsteady. If you’re prone to seasickness or concerned about feeling unwell, it’s best to moderate your alcohol intake or avoid it altogether. Remember, there will be plenty of time to enjoy drinks once you’ve found your sea legs.

Stay on Deck and Focus on the Horizon

When you start to feel seasick, it can be helpful to go outside and focus on the horizon. Watching a stable reference point, such as the distant line where the sky meets the water, can help reorient your senses and alleviate symptoms. Take deep breaths of fresh air and try to relax. If possible, walk around the deck to gently acclimate your body to the ship’s motion.

Find Alternative Therapies

Some individuals find relief from seasickness through alternative therapies such as acupressure wristbands, ginger supplements, or aromatherapy. These methods may not work for everyone, but they are worth considering if you prefer a natural approach or want to explore different options. Experiment with different remedies to find what works best for you and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.


Booking and planning a cruise can be a thrilling experience, and with the right information and preparation, you’ll be set for an incredible vacation. From choosing the right ship and taking advantage of promotions to packing efficiently and saving money onboard, these tips will help you make the most of your cruise adventure. Remember to plan ahead, stay flexible, and savor every moment as you embark on an unforgettable journey with Royal Caribbean.

15 Royal Caribbean Cruise Hacks

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