Below are nine basic tips for your next cruise vacation. Along with general ideas, there are several specific insider notes for vacationing on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.
1. Email alerts
Royal Caribbean will send you email alerts on their latest discounted cruises, special fares, and last minute deals. If you are a planner or someone who likes to take off on an impromptu vacation, this is a smart way to save some money.
2. Repositioning cruises
When cruise lines are relocating specific ships to a new port, they will offer deeply discounted travels. You will then have to make accommodations for a return trip (since your ship will not be traveling back to the embarkation port). These types of trips are perfect for staying a few days at the port city prior to returning home.
3. Online check-in
Take advantage of the convenient online check-in services at Royal Caribbean. You can also complete other paperwork such as waivers prior to departure. It will make your standing-in-line-time shorter on embarkation day.
4. Specialty restaurants
Browse through the specialty restaurants on your specific RC ship ahead of time. If you make three reservations, this should qualify you for a ship’s credit in the 30%-40% range. This discount should be available to use at any point throughout your cruise for any item you wish. (As always, read the fine print for specifics.) Also, ask for the children’s discount in specialty restaurants for a flat rate kid’s meal.
5. Group rates
Royal Caribbean honors discounts if you belong to certain groups, such as senior citizens, military, and even residents of some states (Florida). If you use a travel agent, they will be able to quickly check for all types of group rates. You may also be able to receive a cheaper cost for certain shore excursions if you book early and apply your special rates.
This cruise line allows you to bring two bottles of wine (750ml each) per cabin onto the ship only on boarding day. (You are not allowed to bring liquor or beer.) If you buy some delicious spirits at your ports of call, they will be held for you until the end of the cruise. Pinnacle and Diamond Plus passengers get three free drinks each night (soda, water, wine and liquor from a list); and The Diamond Lounge has free drinks from 5PM to 8PM every night.
7. Stand on the bow
If your ship is in the Voyager, Radiance, or Freedom class, you can actually stand on the bow of the ship – just like in the movies! It feels like flying (wind and all).
8. Watch the Aqua Show from above
On the Oasis class of Royal Caribbean ships, you can look down on the Aqua Theatre from deck 14. It’s a neat change of perspective, and you won’t get wet perched way above the show.
9. Join the club
After your first cruise with Royal Caribbean you may wish to join the membership club called “Crown & Anchor.” This will allow you to get all the latest news, maximize your discounts, and get access to special events and locations on the ships.
Angela is a professional freelance travel writer and published indie author – AngelaMinor.com
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