Official guide to getting excited for your Royal Caribbean cruise
I admit this is a silly post, but for those of us that really look forward to their next Royal Caribbean cruise, there is little that compares to getting excited for an upcoming cruise.
If you're like me, you probably get that warm, fuzzy feeling when you book a new Royal Caribbean cruise and it's only natural to want to carry that feeling over until your cruise is finally here. So here are some ways I've found to keep that smile on your face.
Plan your onboard activities
Once you book your cruise, the next logical thing is to start planning what you're going to do on the cruise. It's the next best thing to booking the cruise!
Figuring out which shore excursions you will take or which specialty restaurants you will eat at is always fun and it usually takes up a lot of time with the necessary research. Don't forget about addons for your cruise like the unlimited beverage packages, stateroom decor and maybe even a surprise for your loved one.
It may also make sense to read some recent Cruise Compasses to see what kind of activities (paid and complimentary) are available on your sailing.
Sign up for a roll call
Royal Caribbean has partered with CruiseCritic to offer meet-n-migle on every cruise that has at least 25 people signed up.
On CruiseCritic, you can find a list of roll calls where everyone on the same sailing as you can discuss your cruise. I've found it to be an entertaining way to share in the excitement of your cruise getting closer as well as help each other out with questions.
In fact, I've organized shore excursions with others on the site to help reduce costs, so it can be valuable in the planning process. Plus it's just fun to find others who are as excited as you about your cruise (instead of annoying your friends).
Go cruise shopping
There's an inside joke among my family that when we book a cruise, we single-handidly stimulate the local economy because of the cruise related purchases we "have" to get. From new clothes to gadgets to luggage, it seems there's always something we "need" to get for the cruise.
The truth is buying a new outfit or toy for the cruise is always a fun excercise and buying new duds helps keep the cruise in focus. In addition, you can take advantage of off-season sales to stock up on things you will need in the warm Caribbean (or wherever your cruise is going).
Watch Royal Caribbean TV shows
Over the years, various travel shows have featured Royal Caribbean cruises in their episodes and thanks to the Internet, there's plenty of them around.
You can start on YouTube and search for phrases like "royal caribbean episode" or "royal caribbean tv" or "royal caribbean travel channel". Google searches with the same phrases will also turn up results elsewhere.
If you don't mind paying for it, there are also some other TV show episodes available on iTunes or Amazon you can purchase for just a few dollars.
The great thing about these tv shows is they focus on life onboard the cruise and it helps me take a mental escape to my upcoming cruise.
Of course, I feel obligated to shamelessly plug the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast which is an audio show that is free and full of Royal Caribbean fun!
Watch YouTube videos
To get a good visual of what you can expect for your Royal Caribbean, there are no shortage of videos on YouTube to check out.
Search for your ship name and odds are you will find hundreds of videos to watch. Some are tours, some are family vacation videos and others explain aspects of the cruise. Regardless, it's a fun way to see what you can expect on your cruise and add ideas to your little list.
Read trip reports/photo reports from others on same cruise
Speaking of mental escapes, I really find reading other people's trip reports and looking at their photos to be a great way to get excited for my own cruise. After all, it's helpful to see what others found useful or a waste.
Once again message boards are a great place for this, in addition to our own little cruise reviews section.
Besides being entertaining, reading these reports helps with the first idea I posted about planning the cruise. If someone reports a fun excursion or restaurant to try, I will note it in my cruise planning spreadsheet (yes, I have a cruise planning spreadsheet) for reference later.
Watch web cams
There's a few web cams out there to help you get a mental escape to being on a Royal Caribbean cruise.
There's also port webcams that on select days you can see Royal Caribbean ships in port and admire them for their beauty. By far seeing them leave port in the evening is the highlight because it gives you a great view of these ships. PTZtv has a network of cams across North America and there's usually a couple of cams with Royal Caribbean ships to see.
Play music that reminds you of a cruise
There's a lot of great music out there that reminds me of a cruise. It's the sort of music I'd hear on a cruise ship and for me, that can help get me through a day of work.
We posted earlier a cruise music mix but there's plenty of other music out there. You can always tune into Radio Margaritaville for Jimmy Buffet music, which is all about warm islands with boat drinks.
Regardless of what music reminds you of being a cruise, I find it a great way to help me cope with not being on a cruise and getting excited for my upcoming cruise too.