Everything You Need to Know About: What’s Included in a Royal Caribbean Cruise?
Are you ready to embark on a voyage full of breathtaking landscapes, mouth-watering cuisine, thrilling activities, and unparalleled luxury? Well, there’s no better way to embrace the high seas than a Royal Caribbean cruise. But as you stand on the brink of this adventure, you might be wondering – what’s included in a Royal Caribbean cruise fare? And what could add to your bill?
With our comprehensive guide to what’s covered in your Royal Caribbean cruise fare, you’ll be navigating these waters like an expert. Even if you’re a seasoned sailor or a first-time cruiser, we’ll help you unravel the intricacies of cruise inclusions and potential extra costs, making sure you get the utmost value and enjoyment out of your vacation.
We’ve meticulously dissected each category of amenities and services, laying it all out for your convenience. Jump to any section that catches your eye or walk with us step-by-step as we uncover the treasures of a Royal Caribbean cruise. So, anchor’s aweigh, let’s set sail on this journey of discovery!
Room Accommodations by Room Type:
Royal Caribbean cruise ships provide a range of accommodations, from economical interior staterooms to spacious suites with balconies. No matter your choice, your fare covers the cost of your cabin, daily housekeeping, and in-room amenities.
1. Inside Staterooms on Royal Caribbean
Inside Staterooms are the most economical choice for many cruise lines, offering a comfortable and cozy setting that serves as a relaxing sanctuary during your cruise vacation. While they are the smallest staterooms on Royal Caribbean cruise ships, they are designed to maximize space and provide a comfortable atmosphere. These rooms are an ideal choice for budget-conscious travelers who want a comfortable place to rest after a full day of activities but don’t plan to spend much time in their rooms.
Let’s dive into a comprehensive exploration of what you can expect when you choose an Inside Stateroom on a Royal Caribbean cruise:
Room Configuration: Inside Staterooms typically feature two twin beds that can convert to a Royal King bed based on your preference. Depending on the specific room, these can accommodate between 2 to 4 guests.
Seating Area: Each Inside Stateroom includes a small seating area, where guests can relax, read, or watch TV.
Storage: To accommodate your belongings, Inside Staterooms offer storage solutions including a closet with hangers for your clothes, and a chest of drawers for folded items. You’ll also find small storage spaces in the vanity and bedside tables.
Decor: Royal Caribbean offers Inside Staterooms that are designed to be welcoming and comfortable, featuring pleasant, contemporary decor and soothing colors.
Basics: Each Inside Stateroom includes a private bathroom equipped with a shower, a toilet, and a vanity area with a sink.
Amenities: Complimentary travel-sized toiletries including shampoo, conditioner, and soap are replenished as needed.
Storage: The bathroom also includes storage space for your toiletries, with shelves and cabinets.
Television: Inside Staterooms are equipped with an interactive television system that allows guests to check their bill, view cruise information, watch various channels, and even order room service.
Phone: A direct-dial telephone is included in each room, providing an easy way to connect with guest services or other staterooms.
Safe: For securing your valuables, each Inside Stateroom includes a small private safe.
Each room is equipped with individual climate control, allowing guests to adjust the room temperature for their comfort.
Daily Service: Housekeeping staff service the rooms at least twice a day. This includes making the bed, replacing used towels, replenishing toiletries, and removing any trash.
Evening Turn-Down Service: Every evening, while you’re enjoying dinner or a show, housekeeping will prepare your room for bedtime.
While Inside Staterooms are the base level of accommodation, Royal Caribbean occasionally offers promotional incentives that might include onboard credits, drink package discounts, or even complimentary gratuities. These offers vary and are subject to availability.
In the context of a cruise, where so many activities and experiences await outside your stateroom, an Inside Stateroom offers all the basic comforts and amenities you’ll need to enjoy your journey. It’s a comfortable place to sleep, refresh, and relax before heading out to your next adventure. And while it doesn’t offer some of the bells and whistles of higher-tier rooms, it provides great value for guests who want to enjoy all the fun of a Royal Caribbean cruise on a budget.
2. Oceanview Staterooms on Royal Caribbean
Moving up from Inside Staterooms, Oceanview Staterooms on a Royal Caribbean cruise offer guests a window to the outside world. As the name implies, these rooms feature a window or a porthole, allowing you to enjoy views of the ocean and your destinations from the comfort of your stateroom.
Room Configuration: Similar to the Inside Staterooms, Oceanview Staterooms usually come with two twin beds that can be converted into a Royal King bed. Depending on the configuration, these rooms can accommodate 2-4 guests.
Seating Area: Along with a cozy seating area for relaxation, Oceanview Staterooms offer the added bonus of a window or porthole, providing natural light and a view of the ocean.
Storage: The storage solutions remain the same as Inside Staterooms, including a closet with hangers, a chest of drawers, and additional small storage spaces in the vanity and bedside tables.
Decor: Oceanview Staterooms maintain the contemporary, soothing decor of Inside Staterooms.
Bathroom, Tech Amenities, and Climate Control:
The bathroom facilities, tech amenities, and climate control are the same as Inside Staterooms.
Oceanview Staterooms enjoy the same level of attentive housekeeping service as Inside Staterooms, including daily servicing and evening turn-down service.
Depending on the specific promotions Royal Caribbean is running, guests booking an Oceanview Stateroom may be offered onboard credits, discounted or included gratuities, or other incentives.
3. Balcony Staterooms on Royal Caribbean
Balcony Staterooms are a popular choice for Royal Caribbean guests, offering a private balcony that provides the luxury of enjoying the ocean view any time you wish.
Room Configuration: As with other staterooms, Balcony rooms feature two twin beds that can convert to a Royal King bed, and can accommodate 2-4 guests depending on the specific room.
Seating Area: The seating area in a Balcony Stateroom offers the same comfort as Inside and Oceanview Staterooms, with the added bonus of a sliding glass door that leads to your private balcony.
Storage: The storage facilities are similar to the Inside and Oceanview Staterooms.
Decor: The decor in Balcony Staterooms continues the contemporary, soothing theme of the lower-tier rooms.
Private Outdoor Space: The main feature of a Balcony Stateroom is, of course, the balcony. It includes outdoor furniture such as a table and chairs, and on some larger balconies, loungers.
Views: Enjoy the fresh sea air and panoramic views of the ocean or your destinations right from your room.
Bathroom, Tech Amenities, and Climate Control:
The bathroom facilities, tech amenities, and climate control are the same as Inside and Oceanview Staterooms.
Balcony Staterooms benefit from the same daily servicing and evening turn-down service as Inside and Oceanview Staterooms.
Royal Caribbean often offers specific promotions for Balcony Staterooms. This might include onboard credits, dining credits, discounted or included gratuities, and more.
Balcony Staterooms offer a blend of comfort and luxury. The addition of a private balcony not only allows for breathtaking views but also provides an extra space to relax, unwind, and soak in the tranquility of the sea.
4. Studio Cabins on Royal Caribbean
Perfectly designed for solo travelers, Studio Cabins are an excellent choice for those wanting to experience a Royal Caribbean cruise without the usual single supplement fee. These cabins offer a cozy space designed to meet the needs of a single guest.
Room Configuration: Studio Cabins are smaller than standard rooms but designed smartly to accommodate one guest comfortably. They feature a full-sized bed and dedicated workspace.
Seating Area: While compact, these rooms often have a small seating area for relaxation.
Storage: Despite the smaller size, Studio Cabins still offer sufficient storage space with a closet with hangers, a chest of drawers, and small storage spaces in the bedside table or vanity.
Decor: As with all Royal Caribbean staterooms, Studio Cabins are decorated in a contemporary and calming style.
Bathroom, Tech Amenities, and Climate Control:
Studio Cabins offer private bathrooms, tech amenities, and climate control, similar to the other stateroom categories.
Studio Cabins enjoy the same level of attentive housekeeping service as the other staterooms, including daily servicing and evening turn-down service.
While promotions can vary, solo cruisers in Studio Cabins may enjoy onboard credits or other exclusive deals designed for the single traveler.
5. Panoramic Staterooms on Royal Caribbean
For guests seeking a roomy stateroom with breathtaking views, Panoramic Staterooms are an excellent choice. These rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, offering an uninterrupted, expansive view of the ocean.
Room Configuration: Similar to balcony rooms, Panoramic Staterooms have two twin beds that can be converted into a Royal King bed. These rooms can accommodate 2-4 guests.
Seating Area: The seating area is amplified by the panoramic windows that surround it, giving the illusion of a much larger space.
Storage: The storage solutions in these staterooms are the same as other staterooms, including a closet with hangers, a chest of drawers, and additional storage space in the vanity and bedside tables.
Decor: The decor remains contemporary and soothing.
Bathroom, Tech Amenities, and Climate Control:
The bathroom facilities, tech amenities, and climate control are the same as other stateroom categories.
Panoramic Staterooms enjoy the same level of attentive housekeeping service as the other staterooms, including daily servicing and evening turn-down service.
Panoramic Staterooms often come with added benefits like onboard credits, depending on the promotions at the time of booking.
The standout feature of these rooms is the floor-to-ceiling windows that provide a wide-angle view of the sea and ports of call. Guests can enjoy the view from the comfort of their room, making Panoramic Staterooms a popular choice among cruisers who prioritize views and a sense of spaciousness.
6. Junior Suites on Royal Caribbean
Junior Suites on Royal Caribbean cruises offer a step up in size and comfort from the standard staterooms, making them a popular choice for guests seeking a more spacious room at an affordable price.
Room Configuration: Junior Suites offer a larger living area with two twin beds that can convert into a Royal King, and a sofa that converts into a double bed. The room can comfortably accommodate up to 4 guests.
Seating Area: A more expansive seating area featuring a sofa, coffee table, and chairs provides ample room for relaxation or entertaining.
Storage: The enhanced storage includes a larger walk-in closet, a chest of drawers, and additional storage in the vanity and bedside tables.
Decor: Junior Suites feature a tastefully decorated interior with a calming and contemporary style.
Bathroom, Tech Amenities, and Climate Control:
Bathroom: Junior Suites feature a larger private bathroom, usually equipped with a bathtub in addition to the standard shower.
The tech amenities and climate control are the same as other stateroom categories.
Junior Suites enjoy the same level of attentive housekeeping service as the other staterooms, including daily servicing and evening turn-down service.
Priority Boarding: As a Junior Suite guest, you’ll have priority boarding on embarkation day.
Luxury Amenities: Enjoy a Royal Caribbean bathrobe (for onboard use), luxury bathroom toiletries, and a Lavazza espresso coffee machine in your suite.
Occasionally, promotions may include onboard credits, specialty dining credits, or even free excursions.
7. Grand Suites and Above on Royal Caribbean
Grand Suites and higher categories are the epitome of luxury on Royal Caribbean ships, offering spacious living areas, premium amenities, and dedicated services. It’s important to note that staterooms on Royal Caribbean vary slightly in design and setup from ship to ship, although the main details are very similar.
Room Configuration: These suites feature a separate bedroom with two twin beds that convert to a Royal King and a spacious living area with a sofa that converts into a double bed. These suites can accommodate up to 4 guests.
Seating Area: The large seating area offers a comfortable space to relax or entertain, with a sofa, armchairs, and a dining table.
Storage: Ample storage space is available with walk-in closets, chests of drawers, and additional storage in the vanity and bedside tables.
Decor: The suites boast a luxurious decor that offers a high-end, comfortable ambiance.
Bathroom, Tech Amenities, and Climate Control:
Bathroom: Grand Suites and higher offer a larger bathroom with a bathtub and a double sink vanity, in addition to the standard shower.
The tech amenities and climate control are the same as other stateroom categories.
Grand Suites and above enjoy the same level of attentive housekeeping service as the other staterooms, including daily servicing and evening turn-down service.
Concierge Service: Suite guests enjoy dedicated concierge service to assist with dining reservations, booking excursions, and more.
Priority Services: Enjoy priority check-in, departure, dining reservations, and seating at shows.
Suite Lounge Access: Suite guests have exclusive access to the Suite Lounge, which serves complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cocktails every evening.
Special Amenities: Luxury bathroom amenities, bathrobes for onboard use, and an espresso coffee machine are included in the suite.
Depending on the promotion at the time of booking, guests may receive onboard credits, specialty dining credits, or even free excursions. Booking a Grand Suite or above ensures an incredible experience, with spacious living areas, exclusive perks, and unparalleled service, making your cruise journey truly remarkable.
Regarding the room types above Grand Suite, there are a few classes higher which are available on the Oasis and Quantum Class Ships. These 3 classes are the Sea, Sky, and Star Class. Each of these classes come with even more incredible perks and breathtaking suites. We will cover these unbelievable suites in a separate post so stay up to date with our newsletter!
Royal Caribbean Cruise Excursions Guide
When booking Royal Caribbean cruises, it’s essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the excursions available. But, after buying your cruise ticket, what’s included in a Royal Caribbean cruise when it comes to these shore excursions? This guide will provide you with insider information to help you plan your unforgettable trip, save money, and stay organized when it comes to these adventures. Here’s everything you need to know:
Included Excursions (Free of Charge):
Port Visits: Your cruise fare covers the opportunity to visit various ports of call. Once you arrive at a port, you can disembark the cruise ship and explore the destination at your own pace. Maps and information about local attractions are typically provided onboard.
Standard Shore Excursions: Royal Caribbean offers a selection of standard shore excursions that are included in your cruise fare. To take advantage of these free cruise port excursions:
Check the Cruise Compass: The daily Cruise Compass is a daily newsletter delivered to your stateroom. It outlines the activities and excursions available at each port, including the free options.
- Attend Port Talks: Royal Caribbean conducts informative port talks onboard the cruise ship. These presentations provide insights into each destination, including the free cultural visits and guided tours. Attending these talks is highly recommended to plan your activities effectively and can give you great ideas to find your ideal shore excursion.
Specialty Excursions: Royal Caribbean International offers a range of specialized excursions that require an additional fee. These may include private tours, exclusive experiences, or adventure activities. While these excursions come at an extra cost, they can provide unique and personalized experiences. To book paid excursions:
Explore Online: Visit the Royal Caribbean website to browse through the available excursions for your specific itinerary. You can filter the options by destination, activity type, and cost.
Onboard Booking: Once you board your Royal Caribbean ship, visit the excursion desk or guest services to inquire about and book the paid excursions. The staff will provide detailed information, pricing, and availability.
Insider Tips for an Organized and Enjoyable Experience:
Pre-Cruise Research: Before your cruise, research the ports of call and the available excursions. Visit the Royal Caribbean cruise line website, review travel guides, and read online reviews to gain insights into the destinations and excursions that interest you.
Book in Advance: For popular excursions, it’s advisable to book in advance to secure your spot. This applies to both included and paid excursions. Online booking through the Royal Caribbean cruise line website or contacting customer service is the easiest way to secure your desired activities.
Follow Daily Itinerary: Once onboard your Royal Caribbean ship, pay attention to the Cruise Compass, which lists the day’s activities and port information. Make note of the timing and meeting points for the free cultural visits and guided tours. The ship’s staff will provide clear instructions and guidance throughout your journey.
Stay Organized: Keep track of your booked excursions and their respective timings. Utilize the Royal Caribbean app or personal planner to manage your schedule effectively. Arrive at meeting points promptly to avoid missing out on any activities.
Engage with Onboard Experts: The ship’s crew and staff members are well-versed in the ports of call and excursions. Don’t hesitate to approach them with questions, seek recommendations, or clarify any doubts you may have. Their expertise can enhance your experience and help you make the most of your trip.
By utilizing the free excursions included in your cruise fare, attending port talks, and following the provided information, you can enjoy cultural visits and guided tours without any additional cost. For paid excursions, thorough research, booking in advance, and utilizing the onboard resources will ensure a seamless and memorable experience.
Remember to download the Royal Caribbean app, check the cruise line website, consult with their customer service, and review the latest updates to ensure the accuracy and availability of excursions for your specific cruise itinerary. With proper planning and organization, your Royal Caribbean cruise excursions will be the highlight of your trip.
Food on a Royal Caribbean Cruise
A highlight of any Royal Caribbean cruise is the wide array of dining options available. From casual quick bites to multi-course gourmet meals, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to food on a Royal Caribbean cruise. So let’s review what’s included in a Royal Caribbean cruise when it comes to food?
Main Dining Room
Your cruise fare includes meals in the main dining room, where you can enjoy a rotating menu of appetizers, entrees, and desserts. The main dining room offers a formal dining experience with waiter service. You can choose from two dining times or opt for “My Time Dining,” where you can dine whenever you wish during dinner hours.
The Windjammer Cafe is a buffet-style eatery that is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, sometimes referred to as the “Windjammer buffet”. The cafe offers a wide variety of dishes from around the world, including salads, entrees, desserts, and a carving station. It’s a popular spot for a quick meal or a casual dinner.
Your cruise fare also includes food from various quick-serve spots around the ship. You can grab a slice of pizza at Sorrento’s, enjoy a sandwich at Cafe Promenade, or relish a savory hot dog at the Boardwalk Dog House.
Continental breakfast delivered to your room is included in your cruise fare. Other items are available for an additional fee, unless you are in a Royal Suite Class where you can enjoy complimentary room service.
Royal Caribbean cruises also offers a range of specialty dining options for an additional fee. These venues offer a more unique dining experience, often centered around a specific cuisine. Popular options include Chops Grille (steakhouse), Izumi (Japanese), and Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver. The cost for these venues varies, but you can expect to pay an additional fee per person.
Throughout the cruise ship, you’ll find a variety of spots to grab a snack. The Cafe Promenade, for example, offers coffee, pastries, and sandwiches. Sugar Beach is the place to go for a sweet treat, with a selection of candies and ice cream available for purchase.
Your cruise fare includes tap water, iced tea, lemonade, and coffee. Soda, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages are not included but can be purchased individually or as part of a beverage package.
Special Dietary Needs
Royal Caribbean International is committed to meeting the dietary needs of all its guests. They offer gluten-free, lactose-free, low-fat, low-sodium, vegetarian, and vegan options. If you have specific dietary requirements, you should inform Royal Caribbean at the time of booking, and they will make every effort to accommodate your needs.
Remember, all dining times, availability, and included venues are subject to change based on the cruise ship, itinerary, and possible COVID-19 protocols.
Dining on a Royal Caribbean cruise is an adventure in itself, with a wide range of cuisines and dining experiences to suit every palate and preference. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick snack or a gourmet meal, you’re sure to find something delicious on board.
Dining Packages – 3 Options
Dining packages on Royal Caribbean cruises offer guests the opportunity to enjoy a variety of specialty restaurants at a lower cost compared to individual dining experiences. Options typically include the “3-Night Dining Package,” “Unlimited Dining Package,” and the “5-Night Dining Package.”
- The “3-Night Dining Package” allows guests to dine at specialty restaurants for three nights of their cruise.
- The “Unlimited Dining Package” gives passengers access to specialty dining for every night of their cruise, even offering lunch on sea days.
- The “5-Night Dining Package” is designed for cruises that are longer in duration and gives guests access to specialty dining for five nights of their cruise.
It’s important to note that the package prices vary depending on the specific cruise ship and itinerary, but Royal Caribbean ships provide excellent value for guests who want to enhance their culinary experience on board. However, certain specialty items, like the lobster or premium steak options, may come at an additional cost.
Included in your cruise fare:
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the Main Dining Room
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Windjammer Cafe
Pizza at Sorrento’s
Sandwiches and pastries at Cafe Promenade
Hot dogs at the Boardwalk Dog House
Tap water, iced tea, lemonade, and coffee from designated locations
Continental breakfast room service
Not included in your cruise fare and average costs:
Specialty dining venues (Chops Grille, Izumi, Jamie’s Italian, etc.): ranges from $25 to $50 per person, per meal, depending on restaurant and meal
Alcohol: costs vary, but a Deluxe Beverage Package starts at around $63 per day, per person
Soda: a Royal Refreshment soda package starts at $12.99 per day, per person
Bottled water: the Water Package starts at $12.02 (12 bottles)
Specialty coffees: a Cafe Select Coffee Card starts at $31 for 15 specialty hot or iced coffee drinks
Full room service menu (outside of continental breakfast): $7.95 per order
Snacks and sweets at locations like Sugar Beach: prices vary, typically $2-$5 per item
Dining at Johnny Rockets (available on select cruise ships): $6.95 per person
Dining at the Chef’s Table: $85 per person
Wine tasting events: around $15-$30 per person
Beverage packages: a Deluxe Beverage Package (alcohol included) starts at around $63 per day, per person
Getting the Most Value:
As we’re uncovering what’s included in a Royal Caribbean cruise, we want to figure out how can we get the most value from the different packages? When it comes to dining on a Royal Caribbean cruise, you can save money by enjoying the complimentary dining options available. If you wish to splurge on specialty dining, consider buying a dining package which gives you access to multiple specialty dining venues at a discounted price.
The key is to only pay for what you’ll truly enjoy and use as your total cruise cost can quickly get out of hand without adequate planning. That’s not to say that a dining package isn’t worth it, they certainly are if you choose restaurants with your favorite styles of food.
For beverages, if you plan on having more than 5 or so drinks a day, the Deluxe Beverage Package can be worth it. It includes alcoholic beverages, premium coffee, bottled water, and fresh juices. If you’re a big soda drinker, the Royal Refreshment package can save you money, but remember that free beverages like tap water, iced tea, and lemonade are always available.
Lastly, always keep an eye out for pre-cruise sales on Royal Caribbean’s Cruise Planner site. This is where you can often find discounts on a Royal Caribbean drink package, dining packages, and more, helping you to maximize your cruise budget.
Drinks on a Royal Caribbean Cruise
For many cruise enthusiasts, the wide variety of beverages available onboard can significantly enhance the cruising experience. In this detailed guide, we’ll walk you through the different options you have when it comes to drinks on Royal Caribbean cruises.
Every Royal Caribbean cruise comes with a selection of complimentary beverages. These drinks can be enjoyed throughout your cruise at various locations on the ship such as the Windjammer Cafe, Main Dining Room, and certain bars and lounges. Included in your fare are:
Regular and decaf coffee
Certain juices available at breakfast (not fresh-squeezed)
Beyond the complimentary options, there are additional beverages that come at a cost:
Specialty coffee and tea
Bottled water (still or sparkling)
Alcohol (beer, wine, and spirits)
These drink prices can vary: a soda may cost around $3, a beer $6-$8, a glass of wine $9-$20, a cocktail $8-$13, and a bottle of water $2-$5.
To manage these costs, Royal Caribbean offers beverage packages, each priced per day, per person:
Deluxe Beverage Package: This all-inclusive package is priced between $63-$70 and includes unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. You’ll have access to cocktails, beer, wine by the glass (up to a $12 value), non-alcoholic cocktails, premium coffee and tea, bottled water, and all fountain sodas. If your desired drink exceeds the $12 value, you will need to pay the difference. You also receive a 40% discount on bottles of wine under $100 and a 20% discount on bottles over $100. There is a one drink at a time policy to ensure the safety and comfort of all guests.
Refreshment Package: This non-alcoholic package is priced between $29-$38. You’ll enjoy unlimited premium coffee and tea, bottled water, fresh-squeezed juices, non-alcoholic cocktails, and all fountain sodas.
Classic Soda Package: At $12.99 per day, you can enjoy unlimited soda access.
An 18% gratuity is automatically added to the cost of these drink packages.
Promotions and Special Offers
Royal Caribbean occasionally offers promotions such as a free Deluxe Beverage Package as part of your upcoming cruise fare. Keep an eye out for these promotions when booking. If you don’t need to book immediately, we always recommend subscribing to the newsletter of the cruise line as you will likely receive special offers in your inbox!
Insider Tips for Maximizing Your Beverage Experience
Pre-Cruise Discounts: Check the Cruise Planner before your cruise for potential discounts on beverage packages.
Package Coverage: Beverage packages can be used at all bars, lounges, restaurants, and private destinations.
Non-Transferable: Drink packages are for individual use and cannot be shared. If one person in a cabin purchases a package, all others in the cabin aged 21 and over must also purchase a package.
To Package or Not to Package: If you plan to consume 5-7 alcoholic drinks a day, a beverage package may be more cost-effective. However, if you only plan on having a few drinks throughout your cruise, paying per drink may be the more economical choice.
Drinks play a big part in enhancing your onboard experience, but remember to enjoy responsibly. Cheers to a memorable cruise!
Dining in Specialty Restaurants
While Royal Caribbean cruises offers a variety of dining options included in your cruise fare, there are also specialty restaurants available for an additional cost. Each specialty restaurant offers a unique experience, from upscale Italian at Giovanni’s Table to hand-cut steaks at Chops Grille.
Specialty restaurant prices vary by restaurant and cruise ship, but generally Royal Caribbean charges from $25 to $50 per person, per meal, not including beverages. There are also specialty dining packages available for purchase that allow you to enjoy multiple specialty restaurants at a discounted price.
If you want to get the best value, consider dining at specialty restaurants for lunch. Many of the specialty restaurants are open for lunch on sea days, and the cost is often less than dining in the evening.
Remember, reservations are recommended for specialty restaurants, especially for dinner. You can make reservations online before your cruise, or once you’re on board.
Remember, these extras aren’t mandatory for an amazing cruise experience. Prioritize what’s important for you and your travel party, and create a budget that allows you to enjoy those experiences without stress. Consider investing in experiences or amenities that will significantly enhance your cruise enjoyment.
Royal Caribbean cruise line offers a room service menu for its guests who prefer to dine in their cabins. The menu includes a variety of dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as snacks and beverages.
In the morning, a complimentary continental breakfast is available, offering items such as cereal, pastries, fruit, coffee, and tea. This can be ordered using the door hanger in your room, marking your selections and hang it outside your door before you go to bed.
For all other times of the day, a $7.95 per order fee applies, regardless of how many dishes you order. This means you could order a sandwich, a salad, a dessert, and a drink, and you would only be charged a single $7.95 fee. This fee applies to all orders outside of the complimentary continental breakfast, and it is a delivery fee, not a per item charge. Drinks ordered through room service are charged at their regular prices.
If you’ve purchased a beverage package, it’s worth noting that it does not apply to drinks ordered through room service. All drinks ordered through room service, regardless of drink packages purchased, will be charged at their regular menu price, in addition to the $7.95 delivery fee.
It’s important to keep in mind that while ordering to your room can be a convenient option, there are many free dining venues available on the ship that offer a wider range of food options.
Child Programming and Care
Royal Caribbean cruises offer a variety of programs and facilities to ensure that children of all ages have a memorable cruise experience.
Adventure Ocean Youth Program: This is a complimentary program divided into different age groups (3-5 years, 6-8 years, and 9-11 years) providing age-appropriate activities like arts and crafts, science experiments, movie nights, and more. Children are supervised by trained staff members and can participate in the program during the day and in the evenings.
Royal Babies & Tots Nurseries: These facilities are available for children between 6 months to 36 months old. It offers professional childcare at an hourly rate (around $6 during the day and $8 at night). Parents can drop off their infants and toddlers while they enjoy some free time. The nurseries are stocked with toys and learning activities and also offer sleeping areas.
Teen Programming: Royal Caribbean cruise line hasn’t forgotten the teens (12-17 years). There are teen-only hangout spots and planned events like theme parties, pool parties, and game tournaments. Teens can come and go as they please in these supervised but laid-back settings.
Late-night group sitting: For parents who want to enjoy the night without the kids, Royal Caribbean cruises offer a late-night group sitting service called the “Late Night Party Zone” where children can be left under supervision. There is usually a fee for this service (around $7 per hour per child).
Activities and Shows
Included in your cruise fare are a wide range of activities and entertainment options.
Live Entertainment: Every night, guests can enjoy Broadway-style shows, live music performances, comedy shows, and even ice skating and aqua shows on select ships.
Games and Contests: During the day, there are poolside games on the pool deck, trivia contests, dance classes, and more for adults and families to participate in.
Fitness Classes: There are some complimentary classes offered at the gym such as stretch and abs workouts. More specialized classes like yoga or spinning usually have an additional fee.
Signature Activities and Games
Royal Caribbean ships are known for their signature onboard activities. While some come with an extra cost, what’s included in a Royal Caribbean cruise for free? Let’s take a closer look.
The North Star: The North Star is a signature feature found on select Royal Caribbean cruise ships (the quantum class ships), including the Quantum, Anthem, Ovation, Spectrum, and Odyssey of the Seas. This innovative observation capsule lifts passengers over 300 feet above sea level, providing breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views of the sea and the ship’s surroundings. The ride on the North Star observation pod is complimentary during the day, but special packages may be available for sunset or sunrise experiences at an extra charge. The North Star observation pod can accommodate up to 14 people at once, offering an unparalleled perspective that is sure to be a highlight of your cruise journey.
Adventure Ocean: Adventure Ocean is Royal Caribbean’s youth program designed for children ages 3 to 17, offering a wide range of engaging activities and entertainment onboard. It includes age-specific programming, dedicated spaces, and a team of trained staff to keep kids entertained with games, sports, arts and crafts, themed parties, educational activities, and more, ensuring a fun-filled and supervised experience for young cruisers at no extra cost.
Rock Climbing Walls: Most Royal Caribbean ships offer a rock climbing wall that is free of charge with all necessary equipment provided on each cruise ship.
FlowRider Surf Simulators: Many Royal Caribbean ships have one or two FlowRider surf simulators. There’s no extra cost to use the FlowRider, and you can ride as many times as you want.
Ice Skating: On any Royal Caribbean ship that have an ice skating rink, you can ice skate for free during open skate sessions. Complimentary skates are provided.
Zip Line and Carousel: On the Oasis-class ships, guests can ride a zip line nine decks above the Boardwalk, or enjoy a traditional carousel ride. Both of these activities are complimentary.
Mini Golf: Most Royal Caribbean cruises, almost all, offer a miniature golf course, open day and night, free of charge.
Please remember that even though many activities are included, they often require signing a waiver and availability can be subject to weather conditions.
Fitness and Spa
Whether you’re looking to maintain your workout routine or pamper yourself with a rejuvenating spa treatment, Royal Caribbean ships offers an array of fitness and spa services.
Fitness Center: Every Royal Caribbean cruise includes a state-of-the-art fitness center, which is included in your cruise fare. The fitness center offers cardio equipment, weight machines, and free weights. Additionally, there are complimentary classes offered such as stretching and abs workouts. More specialized fitness classes like spinning, Pilates, or yoga are also available for an extra charge (typically $12-$20 per class).
Running Track: If you prefer to exercise outdoors, there’s a jogging track available on every cruise ship. Early morning is typically the best time to avoid the crowds.
Spa Services: The Vitality Spa offers a variety of services including massages, facials, and body wraps, but these come with additional costs. The price can vary based on the service, but expect to pay around $100-$200 for a massage or facial. They often run promotions, especially on port days, so keep an eye out for those for the best value.
Thermal Suite: Some Royal Caribbean ships offer a Thermal Suite in the spa. This is a quiet, relaxing space with heated loungers, steam rooms, and a sauna. A pass for the Thermal Suite will cost extra and can be purchased for the day or the entire cruise. Most of the quantum class ships have a Thermal Suite.
One important aspect to consider when planning your cruise vacation budget is gratuities. Gratuities on Royal Caribbean cruises are a way to reward the hard-working staff for the exceptional service they provide during your cruise vacations.
For convenience, Royal Caribbean automatically adds a daily gratuity to each guest’s onboard account, typically around $14.50 per guest per day for regular staterooms and around $17.50 per guest per day for suite guests. This covers gratuity for your stateroom attendant and dining team in the main dining room.
Guests have the flexibility to adjust this amount by visiting the Guest Services desk if they feel the service was above or below their expectations. Alternatively, guests can opt to pre-pay gratuities at the time of booking.
For additional services like spa treatments, specialty dining, personal training sessions, and beverage purchases, an 18% gratuity is typically added to the bill. Remember, gratuity policies can change, so it’s a good idea to confirm the details before your cruise.
There are some additional services offered on Royal Caribbean cruises that fall outside the typical categories:
Internet: While not included in your cruise fare, VOOM internet, the fastest internet at sea, is available for purchase. You can choose between a Surf package (for browsing the web, checking email, and using social media) or a Surf + Stream package (if you want to stream music or video). Prices vary but typically start around $15.99/day for the Surf package and $19.99/day for the Surf + Stream package for one device. Packages for multiple devices are available at a discounted rate.
Photography: Professional photographers are on board to capture your cruise memories. While the photographers will take pictures for free, there is a charge to purchase the photos. You can buy individual photos, or purchase a photo package that includes a certain number of prints or digital copies. Prices can range from around $20 for a single photo to several hundred dollars for a full digital package.
Medical Services: Each ship has a medical facility and staff to handle minor illnesses or injuries. While there is a charge for medical services, they are available 24/7 for emergencies.
Not Included in Your Cruise Fare
Now that we’ve reviewed everything when it comes to what’s included in a Royal Caribbean cruise, there are certain experiences and services which come with additional costs that we want to briefly recap:
Gratuities: Tips for your room steward and dining room staff are not included in your cruise fare. The recommended gratuity is $14.50 per person, per day for standard staterooms, $17.50 for Grand Suites and above.
Spa and Salon Services: Services at the Vitality Spa and the ship’s salon are not included in your cruise fare.
Fitness Classes: While the use of the gym and some fitness classes are included, specialized classes like spinning, Pilates, and yoga come with an additional charge.
Specialty Dining: Meals in the main dining room, buffet, and most casual dining venues are included, but specialty restaurants have an additional cost.
Alcoholic Beverages and Specialty Coffee: Only basic drinks are included in your cruise fare. Alcoholic beverages, specialty coffee, and bottled water come with additional charges, unless you have purchased a drink package.
Internet: VOOM internet is available for an additional charge which is significantly faster than wifi packages from almost all other cruise lines.
Excursions: Shore excursions at each port of call are not included in your cruise fare and prices vary greatly based on the nature and duration of the activity.
Photography: While photographers will take photos for free, purchasing the photos will cost extra.
Medical Services: While available 24/7, the ship’s medical services are not included in your cruise fare.
We made it to the end! Now that we know exactly what’s included in a Royal Caribbean cruise, we hope you will be fully confident when selecting your ideal cruise vacation. As we’ve seen, Royal Caribbean cruises offer an array of inclusive services, amenities, and activities to provide you with a memorable vacation filled with adventure, relaxation, and luxury. However, knowing what’s included in your cruise fare is critical to avoid any surprise expenses during your trip.
Whether you are a first-time cruiser or a seasoned traveler, understanding what your cruise fare covers can help you plan and budget your trip more effectively, allowing you to truly sit back and enjoy your cruise vacation. From the array of staterooms, dining options, drink packages, and onboard activities to the additional services available, there’s something for everyone on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Happy cruising!