The cost benefits of Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor Society onboard discounts

In:
29Aug2016

Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program, the Crown and Anchor Society, provides guests with some great rewards for being, "loyal to Royal" and cruising again and again with the company.  The benefits have always been a compelling reason to continue cruising with Royal Caribbean, and great incentive to move up the ranks of the Crown and Anchor Society to enjoy the top-tier benefits available. Of the many Crown & Anchor benefits available to guests, one of the most popular are the onboard discounts that are pre-loaded onto each SeaPass account.

How lucrative are these Crown and Anchor discounts and how much money could they save you on your next sailing? These are the sort of questions you might be wondering too, so here is our cost benefits of the Crown and Anchor Society, broken down by each level.

In order to calculate these benefits into dollars and cents, we looked at the perks available to members before and during their cruise and tried our best to assign a monetary value based on what they offer. Some benefits are a bit too intangible to assign an exact amount to, but we estimated as fairly as possible.  In many cases, there are discounts that can very greatly depending on what you actually order (internet package discounts, spa treatment discounts, etc) and we did the best job to offer a median discount, or something close to average.  We did note in these situations what we picked to be clear. For any discounts related to specialty restaurants, we picked Giovanni's Table as our example because the price is the same across the fleet.

Please note all discounts listed were accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting and these discounts can change at anytime.

Gold

  • Buy any wine, beer or soda by the glass and get a second free: $6.95 (beer)
  • Purchase any glass of wine, beer or soda and receive a 10% discount: $0.69
  • Buy one, get one free Johnny Rockets milkshake: $4.50
  • Receive 25% off any coffee beverage (not valid at Starbucks): $1.06
  • Buy a Bingo Package and get 1 free Jackpot Card: $6
  • Buy any internet package and receive 10% off your purchase: $12.59 (7-night 1 device Surf + Stream package)
  • Spend $25 or more on Royal Caribbean logo products and receive 10% off: $2.50
  • Buy one photo and receive 50% off discount on a second photo: $9.99
  • Get 10% off any one spa or salon service: $9.90 (60 minute Swedish massage)

Total average savings: $54.18

Platinum

  • Buy any wine, beer or soda by the glass and get a second free: $6.95 (beer)
  • Purchase any glass of wine, beer or soda and receive a 10% discount: $0.69
  • Buy one, get one free Johnny Rockets milkshake: $4.50
  • Buy any coffee beverage and get a second free: $4.25 (hot latte)
  • One complimentary non-alcoholic specialty coffee drink with the purchase of dinner in any specialty restaurant: $8 (coffees from Chops Grille)
  • Buy a Bingo Package and get 3 free Jackpot Card: $11
  • Buy any internet package and receive 15% off your purchase: $18.88 (7-night 1 device Surf + Stream package)
  • Two free Spin to Win at the Casino: $0 (Most likely prizes are trinkets of nearly zero value like keychains, and even then getting a "prize" is unlikely).
  • 20% off Casino tournament entrance fee (excluding Poker tournaments): $5 ($25 slot tournament)
  • Spend $25 or more on Royal Caribbean logo products and receive 10% off: $2.50
  • Buy one photo and receive 50% off discount on a second photo: $9.99
  • Get 15% off any one spa or salon service: $14.85 (60 minute Swedish massage)

Total average savings: $86.61

Emerald

  • Buy any wine, beer or soda by the glass and get a second free: $6.95 (beer)
  • Purchase any glass of wine, beer or soda and receive a 10% discount: $0.69
  • Buy one, get one free Johnny Rockets milkshake: $4.50
  • Buy any coffee beverage and get a second free: $4.25 (hot latte)
  • One complimentary non-alcoholic specialty coffee drink with the purchase of dinner in any specialty restaurant: $8 (coffees from Chops Grille)
  • Buy a Bingo Package and get 6 free Jackpot Card: $15
  • Three free Spin to Win at the Casino: $3 (We assume one wins a keychain with three spins, we'll give a $1 value).
  • 25% off Casino tournament entrance fee (excluding Poker tournaments): $6.25 ($25 slot tournament)
  • Buy any internet package and receive 15% off your purchase: $18.88 (7-night 1 device Surf + Stream package)
  • Spend $25 or more on Royal Caribbean logo products and receive 10% off: $2.50
  • Buy one photo and receive 50% off discount on a second photo: $9.99
  • Get 15% off any one spa or salon service: $14.85 (60 minute Swedish massage)
  • Receive $5 off a $30 bag of Wash and Fold Laundry on 5 or more nights: $5
  • $5 off any dry cleaning or pressing services of $25 or more: $5

Total average savings: $102.86

Diamond

  • Buy any wine, beer or soda by the glass and get a second free: $6.95 (beer)
  • Purchase any glass of wine, beer or soda and receive a 20% discount: $1.38
  • Buy one, get one free Johnny Rockets milkshake: $4.50
  • One complimentary non-alcoholic specialty coffee drink with the purchase of dinner in any specialty restaurant: $8 (coffees from Chops Grille)
  • Buy a Bingo Package and get 6 free Jackpot Card: $15
  • Three free Spin to Win at the Casino: $1 (We assume one wins a keychain with three spins, we'll give a $1 value).
  • 25% off Casino tournament entrance fee (excluding Poker tournaments): $6.25 ($25 slot tournament)
  • 1 free day of internet usage or $30 off any Internet purchase: $30
  • Spend $25 or more on Royal Caribbean logo products and receive 15% off: $3.75
  • Free any size photo of your choice from your existing printed photograph selection: $19.99
  • Get 10% off a digital photo package or photo book: $19.90 (All inclusive digital photo package)
  • Get 20% off any one spa or salon service: $19.80 (60 minute Swedish massage)
  • Receive $10 off a $30 bag of Wash and Fold Laundry on 5 or more nights: $10
  • Receive $10 off a $30 bag of Wash and Fold Laundry on 8 or more nights: $10
  • $5 off any dry cleaning or pressing services of $25 or more: $5
  • Stateroom phone discount of $2 per minute: $11.90 (assuming a two minute phone call)

Total average savings: $173.42

Diamond Plus

  • Buy any wine, beer or soda by the glass and get a second free: $6.95 (beer)
  • Purchase any glass of wine, beer or soda and receive a 25% discount: $1.73
  • Buy one, get one free Johnny Rockets milkshake: $4.50
  • One complimentary non-alcoholic specialty coffee drink with the purchase of dinner in any specialty restaurant: $8 (coffees from Chops Grille)
  • Purchase one cover charge in a Specialty Restaurant on the first or second night of your cruise and the second cover charge is free: $25 (Giovanni's Table)
  • Three free Spin to Win at the Casino: $1 (We assume one wins a keychain with three spins, we'll give a $1 value).
  • 30% off Casino tournament entrance fee (excluding Poker tournaments): $7.50 ($25 slot tournament)
  • Buy a Bingo Package and get 6 free Jackpot Card: $15
  • 2 free day of internet usage or $59.90 off any Internet purchase: $59.90
  • Receive $10 off a $30 bag of Wash and Fold Laundry on 8 or more nights: $10
  • $5 off any dry cleaning or pressing services of $25 or more: $5
  • One free $30 wash and fog bag on 5 or more nights: $30
  • 20% off one tuxedo rental package: $17.80 (Traditional package)
  • Spend $25 or more on Royal Caribbean logo products and receive 15% off: $3.75
  • Free any size photo of your choice from your existing printed photograph selection: $19.99
  • Get 10% off a digital photo package or photo book: $19.90 (All inclusive digital photo package)
  • Get 20% off any one spa or salon service: $19.80 (60 minute Swedish massage)
  • Book a signature spa service while in port and receive a complimentary add on treatment: $25 (Frangipani Scalp Massage)
  • Stateroom phone discount of $2 per minute: $11.90 (assuming a two minute phone call)

Total average savings: $292.72

Pinnacle

  • Purchase one cover charge in a Specialty Restaurant on the first or second night of your cruise and the second cover charge is free: $25 (Giovanni's Table)
  • Buy any wine, beer or soda by the glass and get a second free: $6.95 (beer)
  • Purchase any glass of wine, beer or soda and receive a 25% discount: $1.73
  • One complimentary non-alcoholic specialty coffee drink with the purchase of dinner in any specialty restaurant: $8 (coffees from Chops Grille)
  • Three free Spin to Win at the Casino: $1 (We assume one wins a keychain with three spins, we'll give a $1 value).
  • 30% off Casino tournament entrance fee (excluding Poker tournaments): $7.50 ($25 slot tournament)
  • Buy a Bingo Package and get 6 free Jackpot Cards: $15
  • Free unlimited internet for the length of your voyage: $125.93 (7-night Voom Surf & Stream at $17.99 per day for one device)
  • Receive $10 off a $30 bag of Wash and Fold Laundry on 8 or more nights: $10
  • $5 off any dry cleaning or pressing services of $25 or more: $5
  • One free $30 wash and fog bag on 5 or more nights: $30
  • 20% off one tuxedo rental package: $17.80 (Traditional package)
  • Spend $25 or more on Royal Caribbean logo products and receive 15% off: $3.75
  • Free any size photo of your choice from your existing printed photograph selection: $19.99
  • Get 10% off a digital photo package or photo book: $19.90 (All inclusive digital photo package)
  • Get 20% off any one spa or salon service: $19.80 (60 minute Swedish massage)
  • Book a signature spa service while in port and receive a complimentary add on treatment: $25 (Frangipani Scalp Massage)
  • Stateroom phone discount of $2 per minute: $11.90 (assuming a two minute phone call)

Total average savings: $354.25

Conclusions

It should be noted that barely any guests will ever use every single discount on a cruise. In fact, many discounts go rarely used by guests.  However, this blog post aimed to consider how much potential savings one can take advantage of, as well as the sheer number of discounts Royal Caribbean rewards its loyal customers with.

Not surprisingly, the potential savings jump the most when guests reach Diamond level.  The lucrative savings really add up in the top-tier levels, providing further incentive to return for another cruise.  There are plenty more benefits provided by Crown and Anchor Society that are arguably more important than those listed here.

How to get to Port Canaveral for your Royal Caribbean cruise

In:
29Aug2016

Port Canaveral is one of the more popular cruising and vacation destinations in Florida, and is the gateway to cruise that many guests embark and start their adventure.  If you're looking to get to Port Canaveral, here is a quick guide to knowing how to get there quickly and easily.

Royal Caribbean operates two cruise ships from Port Canaveral currently, Freedom of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas. In November 2016, Oasis of the Seas will take Freedom of the Seas' spot to offer cruises from Port Canaveral.

Directions to Terminal 1

Royal Caribbean operates mostly out of the brand new Cruise Terminal #1, which is is located at 9050 Discovery Road Cape Canaveral, Florida 32920.

Driving to Terminal One is simple enough from most spots in Florida.  Most routes will take you to the Cape Canaveral/Cocoa Beach area via State Road 528, which is a toll road.  You should be prepared and either pre-purchase a SunPass or have exact change in your vehicle.

Directions from Orlando International Airport (MCO)

  1. Take the North exit from the airport, staying to the right on SR 528 East.
  2. Take SR 528 East all the way to Port Canaveral.
  3. Upon approaching the port area, follow the signs indicating Port Canaveral Cruise Terminals B Side.

From Melbourne International Airport (MLB)

  1. Exit east (left) out of the airport onto NASA boulevard and follow to U.S. Highway 1.
  2. Turn left (north) onto U.S. Highway 1.
  3. Travel approximately 20 minutes on U.S. Highway 1 passed the intersection of S.R. 520 in Cocoa about one mile to the S.R. 528 exit.
  4. Exit and travel east on SR. 528 for approximately 10 miles, crossing the Indian River, Merritt Island and the Banana River to reach Port Canaveral.

From Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB)

  1. Exit the airport south to the Central Florida Greenway (Toll Road 417).
  2. Go south 23 miles to S.R. 528 (the Beach line Expressway) eastbound exit.
  3. Go east (37 miles) to the Port. 

From Space Coast Regional Airport (TIX)

  1. Exit and drive east three blocks
  2. Turn south onto U.S. Highway 1 to the Beach line Expressway (S.R. 528) and follow this east to the Port.

From Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB)

  1. Take I-95 south to S.R. 528 East and follow to the Port

Parking Information

You can park directly at Port Canaveral with pre-paid parking options. Please note that rates are subject to change without notice and were accurate as of the day of this posting. 

There are also select hotels that offer a discount on parking at Port Canaveral. If you are staying at a qualifying hotel, you can get a discount at check-out for the parking fee.  Inquire with your hotel.

  • 3 Nights / 4 Days cruises
    • Regular vehicle: $64.00
    • Oversized vehicle: $112.00
  • 4 Nights / 5 Days
    • Regular vehicle: $80.00
    • Oversized vehicle: $140.00
  • 5 Nights / 6 Days
    • Regular vehicle: $96.00
    • Oversized vehicle: $168.00
  • 6 Nights / 7 Days
    • Regular vehicle: $112.00
    • Oversized vehicle: $196.00
  • 7 nights / 8 Days
    • Regular vehicle: $128.00
    • Oversized vehicle: $224.00
  • 8 Nights / 9 Days
    • Regular vehicle: $144.00
    • Oversized vehicle: $252.00
  • 9 Nights / 10 Days
    • Regular vehicle: $160.00
    • Oversized vehicle: $280.00

Taking a taxi

There are lots of taxis at Port Canaveral, as well as the airports in the area that can easily take you to/from Port Canaveral.

Ride-sharing programs, such as Uber or Lyft are also options that can save a lot of money compared to traditional taxis. These ride-sharing services allow people to use their own personal automobiles to provide car rides. Uber and Lyft are gaining in popularity among people headed to the cruise port as a less-expensive way of getting private car transportation to the port.

In either case, get a fare estimate before choosing which service is right for you.

Renting a car

In so many cases, a one-way car rental is the best optional economically because of the flexibility it offers, as well as the per-person cost. Most major rental car facilities have locations in the Cocoa Beach area and provide complimentary shuttle service to the port.

The larger the group, the better sense renting a car makes.  Check what the rental car rates will be for the time you are looking to go, but having a rental car offers not just a means of getting to the port, but also a way to see local attractions, enjoy a greater variety of restaurants and stock up on last-minute supplies prior to getting to the cruise terminal.

When reserving your car, be sure to indicate that you will return the car in a different location and look for locations in Cape Canaveral or Cocoa Beach.  The major rental car companies have locations within 5 miles or so of the cruise terminals.

A good tip for those renting a car is to first drive the car to the cruise terminal, drop off the luggage and everyone else in your party there.  Then, the driver should drive the rental car back to the car rental location and take the free shuttle back to the pier. The reason for this is many people opt to bring the car to the car rental location first and lines can develop for the shuttles since the shuttles aren't very big.  If just one person needs a ride back with no luggage, it can be much easier to hop into the first shuttle back to the terminal since you don't have to worry about fitting luggage or family.

Royal Caribbean Transfers

Royal Caribbean offers a bus service of its own (called transfers) to bring you to the port from Orlando International Airport (MCO). Royal Caribbean offers transfers in one way increments (you can book two one-ways to create a round trip). 

To purchase a Royal Caribbean Guest Transfer or for additional information consult your travel agent or the Royal Caribbean reservations department at 1-800-327-6700.

From an area hotel

If you are staying in a hotel prior to your cruise, the hotels in Port Canaveral and Coco Beach are very convenient to the port.

Take route A1A north and follow A1A all the way until you reach the port area.  Follow the signs for the terminal of your cruise.

Some hotels in Cape Canaveral will offer cruise and park deals, where you can pay for a one night stay at the hotel and receive complimentary parking for the duration of your cruise as well as shuttle service to the pier terminal.

What time to arrive to Port Canaveral

In general, Royal Caribbean allows guests to arrive to the port anytime in the late morning to early afternoon.  Check with your cruise documents for the exact time window.

It is our opinion that arriving to the cruise port earlier (rather than later) is advantageous in a few regards. First, you will beat the crowds at check-in that usually arrive between noon and 1:30pm. Second, you will board the ship sooner, which means you have more time onboard. 

There is no right or wrong time to arrive, as long as you are within the window of time Royal Caribbean lists for your sailing. Arriving early does add a risk of extra waiting around to be let on and staterooms are not accessible onboard until 1:00pm. However, the majority of guests tend to arrive in the early afternoon, which can lead to longer lines.

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: August 28, 2016

In:
28Aug2016

Thanks for joining us for another weekly look at all of the Royal Caribbean news from this week.  The late-summer heat is still on, and we have plenty of Royal Caribbean news to share from this week.

A tropical storm in the Atlantic caused three Royal Caribbean ships to change itineraries in order to avoid being impacted by the storm.

Royal Caribbean announced changes for Freedom of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas and Empress of the Seas that resulted in some variations to the pre-set plans.

The changes for each ship were made to ensure the safety of every guest and crew member aboard.  There have been no futher itinerary updates announced for other ships.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 160th episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, where we talk with travel expert Dan Moore about Harmony of the Seas.

Harmony of the Seas is generating a lot of attention with all of its amazing features and Dan Moore recently sailed on her while in the Mediterranean.  Dan shared with us his the favorite aspects of the ship, as well as his tips for a great time.

Please feel free to subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and head over to rate and review the podcast on iTunes if you can! We’d appreciate it.

Royal Caribbean Blog Reader Finds

If you are on a Royal Caribbean cruise and spot something cool, new or just fun, share a photo with us on Facebook or Twitter so we can add it to our Royal Caribbean Blog Reader Finds each Sunday!

Royal Caribbean Around the Internet

My Travel Monkey shared a trip report from Independence of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean lists the reasons a balcony stateroom is the best choice for a room.

Cruise Hive is reporting 3 cruise ship passengers injured on an excursion.

Cruise Habit has a look at cruising during hurricane season.

Royal Caribbean shares a look at the Wayfinders on its ships.

Spotted: Beach Bed rental on Royal Caribbean's CocoCay

In:
27Aug2016

Earlier this week, we found new Beach Bungalows available for guests to rent at Royal Caribbean's private destination of CocoCay, and stumbled upon another way to relax: beach beds.

Full-day beach bed rentals are now available on CocoCay, which allow you and those in your group to enjoy your own beach bed, nestled among the palm trees of South Beach. They provide a relaxing view of the ocean, while allowing for privacy with adjustable curtain walls.

Each beach bed includes two floating beach mats, a cooler stocked with four bottles of water and beach towels. Transportation to and from Beach Beds is via private Cocolimo.

The cost for each beach bed rental is $150 and has a maximum of six people per beach bed. 

Thanks to Kayla for alerting us to this addition.

First time cruisers: Royal Caribbean's Vitality Spa

In:
27Aug2016

Cue the lavender scented oil, because we are talking about the ultimate means of relaxation on a Royal Caribbean cruise: the Vitality Spa.

Every Royal Caribbean ship has a Vitality Spa location, which offers guests services, seminars and treatments that are aimed at making you feel better, look better and be healthier.  The exact size and range of services will vary from ship to ship, but there are important considerations to know before stepping foot inside.

Spa services

Royal Caribbean's Vitality Spa offers quite a variety of services.  Typically, the spa is split into three main areas: the salon, the treatment area and the fitness center.  

The salons will typically offer manicures, pedicures, waxing, hair styling, barber services for men and more.

In the treatment part of the spa, guests can choose from deep-tissue massages, acupuncture, bamboo massages, teeth whitening, Botox, detox services and much more.  

A full list of spa services will be available once onboard your ship, although you can also get a pretty good idea of what is available by browsing the spa services listed on Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner site.

Booking spa services

Royal Caribbean allows guests to reserve spa appointments either online before a cruise or once onboard.  

Booking spa services online in advance of your cruise will help break up the total cost of the cruise, as well as guarantee an appointment for a specific day and time.  It is important to note that spa services are rarely discounted prior to the cruise.

Most guests tend to book spa reservations once onboard the ship.  Slots do tend to fill up as the cruise progresses, but if you are flexible with appointment day and times, you can often find availability.  Each day, the Vitality Spa will offer some sort of discount or package deal, with the most lucrative deals often on port days.  Regardless, these specials are only available for booking the day they are offered. 

Reservations for the spa onboard the ship can be made at the spa entrance, by calling the spa directly from a courtesy phone or by contacting suite or Diamond concierge attendants.

If you want to have a service performed on a certain day or time (such as getting your hair or nails styled prior to formal night), reservations made as soon as possible are recommended. 

Gratuities

Keep in mind that it is customary to provide an additional gratuity for services performed at the spa.  Generally, Royal Caribbean will add an 18 percent tip to the receipt when paying for the service.

You do have the option of providing an additional tip if you choose, but it is not required.

Thermal Spa

Select Royal Caribbean ships offer a thermal spa, which is a collection of services that can be enjoyed on your own.  The exact options will depend on your ship, but usually it includes

  • hot stone chairs
  • rainforest shower room
  • infrared sauna
  • steam room

Royal Caribbean sells day-passes for this service, which offer unlimited access to the thermal spa.  These passes are limited in quantity to prevent overcrowding.

The Thermal Spa option is available on Radiance, Oasis and Quantum class ships.

Teen services

On Royal Caribbean's Oasis-class ships, the Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center includes a separate YSPA (teen spa) area.

The YSPA offers treatments and services for guests that are 13-17 years old.

YSPA menu has facials, massages, nail and hair treatments. Sample treatments available in the YSPA are Acne Attack facial, Beach Babe deep conditioning hair treatment, Sole Mate pedicure and more.

Just like the adult area of the Vitality Spa, treatments at YSPA have an additional charge per service.

Spa tips

  • Tours are available at anytime of the spa, but try to take a tour on embarkation day when they are the easiest to take.
  • You can often ask the Spa staff what the specials will be in the days ahead.  You might not be able to book it, but at least be aware of what specials will be available later to book.
  • There are certain activities held at the spa with no additional charge.  Theses events may have a sales-pitch to them, but there are some complimentary seminars and evaluations offered.
  • Note the name of a crew member that performs a service at the spa that you like, so if you return, you can request that person again.

Royal Caribbean changes itinerary for Empress of the Seas cruise ship due to Invest99

In:
26Aug2016

Royal Caribbean alerted guests aboard Empress of the Seas that their itinerary was changed due to the weather forecast regarding the tropical disturbance Invest 99L.

Given the storm's current location and projected path, Royal Caribbean reversed the itinerary and canceled a call in Key West, Florida for the sake of the safety of its guests and crew members.

The new itinerary is as follows:

  • August 25: PortMiami, Florida 4pm
  • August 26: CocoCay
  • August 27: Nassau, Bahamas 9am - midnight
  • August 28: At Sea
  • August 29: PortMiami, Florida 7am

Guests that booked any shore excursions in Key West, Florida through Royal Caribbean will receive refunds in the form of a credit to their onboard account.

Royal Caribbean also apologized for any inconvenience, "We sincerely regret the impact weather is having on your sailing, and thank you for your understand and cooperation.  Every time one of our ships sets sail, our single focus is to give you a wonderful, outstanding vacation."

Royal Caribbean's Boardwalk: Everything you need to know

In:
26Aug2016

One of the most endearing neighborhoods found on Royal Caribbean's Oasis-class cruise ships is the Boardwalk, which is reminiscent of the whimsical seaside resorts. Dedicated to family, fun and nostalgia, the Boardwalk neighborhood was inspired by both the seaside piers that dot the coast of England and the nostalgic boardwalks of yesteryear such as Coney Island.

The Boardwalk is one of seven seven distinct "neighborhoods" that help break up an Oasis class ship.  Located at the aft of the ship, the Boardwalk is a rather large area on the ship that offers lots of entertainment throughout the day and evening.

The area is well known for the dining and entertainment options, as well as view of the ocean.  Being at the rear of the ship, guests can catch a glimpse of the ocean, along with a show or something to eat. Boardwalk is an area for the entire family to enjoy together, whether young or just young at heart. The elements of the Boardwalk are a dynamic way to engage families in classic fun with a colorful original carousel as well as casual eateries, retail outlets and carnival games. 

There is plenty to see and do in the Boardwalk and here is a look at what you can look forward to on your next cruise.

Dining

Royal Caribbean offers some terrific dining options in the Boardwalk, including restaurants and bars.

These include

The various restaurants in the Boardwalk are inviting choices for lunch or dinner.  Johnny Rockets is open for breakfast (with no charge for breakfast), and as you stroll the Boardwalk, most of the options are perfect for dropping in for a bite to eat.  The Boardwalk features some of the best dining choices aboard any Royal Caribbean ship.

Staterooms

There are a number of staterooms that offer views of the Boardwalk neighborhood on Oasis-class ships, a feature that is unique to this class of cruise ship. 

On Royal Caribbean's Oasis-class ships, guests can reserve three types of staterooms that offer a view of the Boardwalk.

Boardwalk View Stateroom with Balcony

Balcony Boardwalk staterooms offer a sitting area (some with sofa bed), minibar and private balcony overlooking the amusements and exciting entertainment down on the Boardwalk.

Boardwalk balcony staterooms are 182 square feet in size, with a 52 square foot private balcony (on Oasis of the Seas, the balcony is 47 square feet).

These rooms are a very popular and attractively priced option. Depending on your stateroom location, there is the possibility of seeing the ocean and/or AquaTheater from the balcony.

Boardwalk View Stateroom

Similar to the Boardwalk View with Balcony rooms, the Boardwalk View rooms are like oceanview staterooms, but with a porthole instead of a balcony that overlooks the Boardwalk.  These rooms offer convenient access to the Boardwalk neighborhood.

The rooms are 187 square feet on Oasis of the Seas and 191 square feet on Allure of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas in size. The rooms feature two twin beds that convert to Royal King, boardwalk view, sitting area, and a private bathroom.

Boardwalk View rooms will cost less than their balcony cousins, but still offer a way to see all the happenings on the Boardwalk.

AquaTheater Suite

One of the most luxurious stateroom options on Oasis-class ships are the AquaTheater suites, which offer the perfect vantage point for entertainment in the AquaTheater.  They also are immaculately furnished and feature private wrap-around balconies and more.

The appeal of these staterooms are the top-of-the-line experience, along with the fantastic views.  It goes without saying that a suite experience is the ultimate way to splurge and enjoy oneself on a cruise, and these AquaTheater suites are tough to beat.

AquaTheater suites range in size, but expect a room around 650-823 square feet in size, with a private balcony that is around 600-803 square feet in size.  Yes, this is a big room.

Entertainment

Like all areas of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, the Boardwalk offers many things to see and do as well.

The centerpiece of Boardwalk is a one-of-a-kind carousel. Handcrafted from poplar wood especially for Royal Caribbean, the full-sized, traditional carousel feature 18 figures suspended from stainless steel poles showcasing a time-honored menagerie of animals such as zebras, giraffes and lions, alongside a variety of hand-painted horses including a princess horse and a crowned frog prince.

The lead horse, customarily the fanciest horse of the carousel, is adorned with Royal Caribbean logos, while a single chariot serves as a stationary seat for two. The frame of the carousel has a red and golden yellow facade, turn-of-the-century artwork scenery panels, and LED lights that twinkle during the day and night.

Many shows will take place in the AquaTheater, which is a remarkable outdoor venue that features a backdrop of the ocean across the horizon. Guests will find a variety of shows during the day and a dazzling ocean front theater with water and light shows, and professional aquatic acrobatic and synchronized swimming performances by night. 

The AquaTheater is a distinct high diving, acrobatic performance space introduced by Royal Caribbean with the Oasis class of ships, that feature two 10-meter high platforms and the hydraulic-floored pool, the largest and deepest freshwater pool at sea, below will serve as podiums for high-diving, hair-raising aerobatics that AquaTheater audiences have come to love. With seating for 600 theatergoers, the AquaTheater features some of the very best entertainment found on any Royal Caribbean ship, and the diving shows are not to be missed. 

There are two rock climbing walls that flank the AquaTheater, with multiple climbing routes that offer the right kind of challenge for climbers of all levels.

The Boardwalk Arcade is another fun family option, where you can try your luck at ring toss, skeeball and other beloved carnival games.

Boardwalk Must-Dos

Of all the experiences available in the Boardwalk neighborhood, there are a few must-do activities we recommend all guests check out for themselves.

Take a ride on the Carousel

No cruise aboard an Oasis-class ship is complete without a ride (or three) on the Carousel.  Regardless of age, guests of all ages can enjoy the classic nature of this attraction.

Be sure to bring your camera, because there are bound to be terrific photo opportunities and ride during the evening and day to get completely different experiences.

AquaTheater shows

The evening AquaTheater diving and acrobatic shows are some of the best entertainment Royal Caribbean offers and should not be missed.  The shows are awe inspiring athletic and artistic masterpieces that features incredible diving performances.

There are three different shows featured in the evening across the Oasis-class ships.

  • Oasis of the Seas: Oasis of Dreams
  • Allure of the Seas: OceanAria
  • Harmony of the Seas: The Fine Line

Guacamole at Sabor

On Oasis-class ships, Sabor is priced a la carte, and that means it is easy to drop in for arguably the best food on their menu, the guacamole.  

The guacamole at Sabor is authentic and incredibly tasty, and has been widely regarded by other Royal Caribbean fans as superior to most other guacamole they may have tried.  Enjoy a serving of guacamole and chips either in the restaurant or take it to go to enjoy elsewhere. Regardless, you will find the perfect snack on your cruise.

The Boardwalk is available on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas.

What do you enjoy about the Boardwalk? Share your thoughts in our comments!

Friday Photos

In:
26Aug2016

Every Friday, we share our readers favorite Royal Caribbean cruise photos because, we all can use a "virtual escape" to relive some great cruising memories.

If you want your photo featured in an upcoming Friday Photos post, be sure to use this form to send it to us.

Our first photo this week is from Scott Singer, and it is of his son, Oliver, who fell in love with the Johnny Rockets menu while on a 14-night cruise. Love those burgers and shakes!

Next, we have Serenade of the Seas in Geiranger, Norway by Allen S. The natural beauty of Scandinavia is amazing.

Staying in Europe, here is a photo by Dave Rimingtonn of him enjoying Ouzo, while enjoying the view of the beautiful Rhapsody of the Seas in Santorini. Opa!

Scott Allan sent this photo of a very colorful Schooner Bar aboard Brilliance of the Seas.  Looks like another fun evening in a classic Royal Caribbean bar!

Next up, we have Legend of the Seas in Manila, Philippines, taken by Princelee Acupan.  Legend of the Seas is well-versed in cruises around that part of the world, having sailed Asian waters for many years now.

Who among us has not recreated a photo similar to this? With apologies to James Cameron, this is something we all try, including Wendy Hoggarth's husband and daughter.

Our final photo this week is from Julie Brown, and it is of the Christmas tree found on the Royal Promenade of Adventure of the Seas.  Spending the holidays on a Royal Caribbean ship is terrific!

Thank you to everyone that sent in their photos that were featured this week, and we want to see your Royal Caribbean photos too! Use this form to send them in and we will feature them in an upcoming edition of Friday Photos!

Design Beauty: Main dining room on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas

In:
25Aug2016

Royal Caribbean's cruise ships are as beautiful to look as they are fun to cruise aboard, and the sheer beauty of these ships should not be overlooked by guests.  Royal Caribbean designed its cruise ships to be innovative, both in what they offer for guests to do, as well as design.  Where other cruise lines tend to base their ship designs on past patterns, Royal Caribbean has created its own tradition.

Given how recognizable Royal Caribbean ships are, this is the first in a series of blog posts to look at the beautiful designs that encompass a Royal Caribbean ship.  Hopefully this will provide insight into the design of these areas, as well as highlight the beautiful and creative designs that shape these magnificent ships.

A focal point of the cruise experience is dinner, and Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas has perhaps one of the most striking dining rooms available in its main dining room. Today it is simply the Sapphire Dining Room, but for many years it had a different name that helps explain why its dining room looks the way that it does.

The stunning three-level formal dining room on Explorer of the Seas is linked by a grand staircase, dramatic fluted, gold-leaf columns, golden velvet curtains, and a domed ceiling with a gold sky burst rays. The Sapphire Dining Room features a gilded sunburst of gold and silver leaf that bathes the three-story dining room in a luxurious glow. 

Lush carpets, classical music and white glove service all accentuate the terrific food served in here.

Prior to being renamed to the Sapphire Dining Room, each floor of the dining room bore the name of a famous explorer from history: Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan and Vasco de Gama.  A series of intricate mosaics adorne the walls (covering an area of 663 sq. ft.) of the dining rooms.  The murals, rendered in stone and glass mosaic, depict the constellations in the night skies present at the time of their global discoveries.

Spotted: CocoCay Beach Bungalows at South Beach

In:
25Aug2016

Guests visiting Royal Caribbean's private destination of CocoCay have a new option for a little privacy and fun.  Beach Bungalows are now available on Royal Caribbean's web site to reserve.

Royal Caribbean built 35 of these beach bungalows in the South Beach area of the island. Each bungalow rental costs $225 and accommodates up to six guests.

Royal Caribbean describes these beach bungalows as a haven of tranquility, a type of "members-only" area. Each beach bungalow includes floating beach mats, water, and beach towels. Transportation to and from Beach Bungalows is via private Cocolimo shuttle transportation.

These new beach bungalows are in addition to the CocoCay cabanas available for rent that have been available for a number of years.

Royal Caribbean has been working on adding upgraded enhancements to CocoCay since July, and the South Beach area is seeing a lot of attention. In addition to the beach bungalows, there are new restrooms that have been added that are just a 5 minute walk from South Beach, as well as 650 new lounge chairs at South Beach.

Thanks to Shannon for alerting us to this news!

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