Top 10 Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas hidden secrets

In:
13Jul2015

Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas is as impressive as she is large and when you have a ship this big, it's easy to miss something. We present our list of the best hidden secrets that can be easily overlooked on Oasis of the Seas.

10. Wing viewing areas

Oasis of the Seas has two viewing spots on Deck 14 that gives guests access to being able to see the ocean and get a great view of the ship herself.  This is a terrific spot for sailaways or for when Oasis of the Seas is arriving in port.

To get to the wing viewing areas, go all the way forward in the deck 14 on the port side. Once you arrive at the end of the corridor, there will be a glass door on the left.

9. Park Cafe

If you are looking for a bite to eat somewhere a little less hectic than the Windjammer, try the Park Cafe in Central Park on Deck 8.  Not only is it less busy, but they have some really great choices!

Park Cafe's Make your own salad allows guests to select your own salads made in front of you and a huge variety of fresh sandwiches. 

Park Cafe is also home to these small, but amazing, roast beef sandwiches.  These little bad boys are quite tasty and it (and the salads) are complimentary!

8. All access tour

Royal Caribbean provides an all access tour of Oasis of the Seas that is on the pricey side, but guests that have taken the tour have raved about the impressive look this tour provides.

The tour provides a look at parts of the ship that off limits, such as the ship's bridge, the "I-95" corridor and engine room.

pricey, but worth it

7. Best parade spot

When there is a special event happening on the Royal Promenade, such as a parade or perhaps one of those evening parties, try to get a table at Sorrento's Pizza.

Tables in this area will give you a good view right in the middle of the parade route, as well as a great view of the disco bridge that is rolled out during the show.

6. Best spot to use the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines

If you purchase one of the unlimited drink packages, you will get a souvenir Coca-Cola cup that you can use with the impressive Coca-Cola Freestyle machines.  There are machines around the ship, but usually there is just one machine per location.

If you want the best spot to use the machines, head to the Royal Promenade and look for the machines next to Sorrento's Pizza.  There are two machines there, which means there is double the usual capacity for just one location and that means shorter lines!

5. Johnny Rockets for breakfast

Everyone knows Johnny Rockets offers some amazing burgers and milk shakes for lunch, dinner and late night but did you also know that Johnny Rockets is open for breakfast?  And it's free!

Usually, Johnny Rockets is open from 7:30am to 9:30am, and it is a great spot to grab breakfast that will not be as crowded as the Windjammer or even the main dining room.  You will have a choice of scrambled eggs, omelettes, pancakes, French Toast and more.

Plus, you get a nice morning walk on the Boardwalk to go along with those eggs!

Thanks to blog reader markinct for this tip!

4. Less crowded lunch spot on embarkation day

When you board Oasis of the Seas on your first day and want somewhere a less crowded for lunch, try the Solarium Cafe.

Located on Deck 15 forward, the Solarium Cafe does not get nearly as crowded as the Windjammer and if you are boarding in the afternoon when everyone wants to grab lunch, try the Solarium Cafe as a good alternative.

The Solarium Cafe also has some beautiful views of the Solarium pool and the ocean too.

Thanks to blog reader Huntley for this tip!

3. Quiet spot to relax

Photo by johneeo

Looking for somewhere that is shaded and is quiet and a great spot to sit and relax?  

Head to deck 5 and go all the way to the aft of the ship.  You will find chairs that have a great view of the ocean and are usually devoid of other passengers.

2. Those wicker couches

Photo by Christoffer Löfhjelm

Part of any succesful Royal Caribbean cruise is having plenty of time to just sit back and relax.  On Oasis of the Seas, one of the best spots to park yourself and forget your worries has to be the wicker couches in the Solarium.

There is something about these extremely comfortable couches that can easily accomodate two guests that makes for the perfect spot to watch the ocean, read a book or pull the canopy over you and take a nap.  

1. Small wonders

Photo by nenner1

Hidden all over Oasis of the Seas is a series of art displays known as "Small Wonders", where you will find 42 natural wonders positioned all over the ship.

When you find one, there will be something that looks like a periscope or telescope that if you peer into, you will find these tiny three dimensional pieces of art.

This is a fun activity for kids or adults to try to find them all and it is one of those hidden gems many guests simply overlook.

Hint: if you give up and cannot find them all, Guest Services can provide you with a list of them all to help!

Did we miss any Oasis of the Seas secrets? Share them in our comments!

Planning a Royal Caribbean cruise: St. Thomas

In:
13Jul2015

As part of my next Royal Caribbean cruise, I want to take you along for the planning process as we make decisions and plan our Royal Caribbean vacation.  I hope this will give you some insight into my thought process and perhaps this will assist you for planning your next Royal Caribbean cruise too.

Today we are going to look at excursion ideas for one of the stops on our Freedom of the Seas 7-night cruise, St. Thomas.

Background

I've been to St. Thomas about four times now and I am struggling with what to do here.

St. Thomas is quite beautiful and we have always done some sort of beach excursion.  We may work in some shopping or a tour, but inevitably we end up at the beach.  And that beach is always Magens Bay.

The reason I am conflicted is because going to the beach is easy and works well for my family.  It is low key and because I have two young kids (4 and 6 months), we cannot do something adventurous even if we wanted to.  

The other problem with finding new things to do in St. Thomas is I have come to the conclusion that a lot of the popular things to do in St. Thomas are tourist traps. 

On our last trip to St. Thomas, we did a group tour so that we could see more of the island and expand our horizons.  I felt like we just went from one tourist spot to another, so while I am always looking for new ideas, I have resigned myself to the conclusion there may simply be no escaping the touristy nature of things to do there.

The Options

After careful research, I cam up with these excursion ideas.

Magens Bay

Why mess with something that works, right? Magens Bay is beautiful and provides the kind of Caribbean beach experience most folks want when they go on a cruise.

The cost to getting to the beach and the beach itself are minimal and there aren't a lot of big waves here either, which is good for my older daughter.

The biggest negative I can say about Magens Bay is that we have been here before.  Many times. 

Pros: Known entity; Great for kids; Beautiful setting

Cons: Been here many times

Skyride to Paradise Point

Photo by Mike LaMonaca

While browsing Royal Caribbean's shore excursions, I ran across the Skyride and it sounds pretty interesting.  Take a tram up 700 feet to mountaintop Paradise Point and enjoy the view.  

This will not be an all day excursion, but it sounds like a fun little thing to do in addition to something else on the island.

On our last trip to St. Thomas, our tour brought us to a different peak (Mountain Top) and we had a great view there, so this would be similar but from a different perspective.

Interestingly enough, everything I have read indicates it is cheaper to purchase this excursion through Royal Caribbean than going to the tram directly. It also seems like when you purchase a pass, it is good for anytime that day, so it gives us flexibility.

Pros: Great view; Easy for kids

Cons: Moderately expensive ($21.75 for adults / $10.75 for kids)

Lindquist Beach

Just like Magens Bay, Lindquist Beach is another beach option and the appeal here is it is not Magens Bay!

Photo by David Marriott

Based on reviews and photos posted online, it looks quite beautiful as well.  I will not waste more time waxing poetically about the virtues of a beautiful beach.

The only negative I can think of is we might go here in spite of Magens Bay and then regret not going to Magens Bay if this beach does not feel as good as Magens Bay.

Pros: Beautiful beach

Cons: Might regret not going with the #1 beach in St Thomas

Charlotte Amalie

​Photo by Andrew Love

It's been a number of years since I went to downtown Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas' capital, and explore the city.

In other ports, we usually enjoy wandering the streets and doing some shopping along with having lunch at a local spot.  It is the kind of adventure I really enjoy.

The problem with walking around Charlotte Amalie is it will be July in the Caribbean and walking around outside sounds like a recipe for being tired and sweaty, with a pinch of whiny kids.

I could see us going here first in the morning to get some exploring in and then taking a cab to the beach to cool off.

Pros: Been a while since we explored Charlotte Amalie; Like exploring

Cons: Hot weather may make this a bad idea; Using stroller could make walking around tricky

The Decision

After considering our options, we ended up choosing.... the skyride and a beach.

We are not sure which beach we will go to yet but we are going to keep things up in the air and make a decision closer to our day.

The skyride does sound pretty neat and it is something new that we can try, so we will likely book that and check it out early in the day and then make a decision about which beach to go to.

If we were going to St. Thomas in the winter, I think there would be some other choices to consider but summer in the Eastern Caribbean means it will be simpler and more relaxing to sit at the beach.

What would you do if you were going to St. Thomas? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: July 12, 2015

In:
12Jul2015

Sit back and catch up on this week's Royal Caribbean news.  We've gone through and hand-picked some fun articles for you to take a look at in case you missed any of it.

This week, Royal Caribbean announced it decided to keep Majesty of the Seas in the fleet, rather than transfer her out as previously announced.  

In addition, Royal Caribbean will send Majesty of the Seas to a dry dock, where she will receive a number of major upgrades that will offer guests much more to see, do and eat onboard.  Following her upgrades, Majesty of the Seas will offer 3 and 4 night itineraries out of Port Canerval, Florida in 2016.

Reservations for the Majesty of the Seas’ inaugural Port Canaveral season are now available for sailings beginning May 27, 2016.

More Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 101st episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, and we are reviewing a podcast listener's recent cruise aboard Liberty of the Seas.

Rob Chang took a 9-night cruise aboard Liberty of the Seas with his family and he joins Matt on the podcast to discuss his experiences onboard the ship as well as what he did onshore and what he would recommend to do for others going on her.

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 offering new shore excursion to Pope's private summer residence

In:
12Jul2015

If you are taking a Mediterannean cruise, Royal Caribbean has a new shore excursion for those stopping in Rome.

Royal Caribbean rolled out a new shore excursion to the Pope's private summer residence estate, along with stops at other well-known landmarks such as the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica.

Since 1626, the estate has served as a second home to the pope. View majestic gardens and a working farmhouse set amid Roman ruins of the ancient Amphitheatre and Villa built by Emperor Domitian and dating back to the 1st Century A.D.

This is the first time this residence has ever been opened.

Royal Caribbean guests will also visit the Pontifical Villas in Castel Gandolfo, the estate’s majestic gardens and the on-site working farmhouse, a panoramic drive across Rome, and an in-depth tour of the world-famous Vatican Museum.

Following the tour, enjoy a panoramic drive through Rome—passing by the Colosseum—before arrival in Vatican City.

The price for the Pope's Summer Residence and Vatican City - CVR2 shore excursion is $165 per adult and $129 for children.  The tour is approximately 10 hours.

Top ways to cool off on a Royal Caribbean cruise

In:
11Jul2015

Summer is here and that means temperatures are going up and Royal Caribbean has some great ways to cool off and avoid getting over heated.

H2O Zone

Royal Caribbean's H2O Zone was designed to cool off in a fun way.  

This colorful aquatic play area is filled with plenty of ways to get wet and it's a big hit with kids and even adults who dare to venture in.

Guests can run around, stand under, on top of and in between many different spouts of water.  The result is all the same: drenched before you know it!

Ice Skating

How about cooling down with some ice?

Voyager, Freedom and Oasis class cruise ships offer ice skating rinks onboard, where the temperature inside have to be right around freezing.  

Besides stopping the sweat, it's undeniably fun putting on a pair of skates and testing your skills in the rink.  From first timers to those people that can skate backwards (we envy and admire you at the same time), ice skating at sea will cool you down while you have fun.

Water slides

In 2016, two Royal Caribbean ships will begin offering water slides and according to our very unscientific research, water slides are a guaranteed way to cool off fast.

Starting with Harmony of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's brand new third Oasis class cruise ship, guests can choose from three different three multi-story water slides to ride down.

There will be a water slide with a champagne bowl that swirls riders around as they approach the end of the slide, as well as two racing water slides.

Majesty of the Seas will also be getting the "slide treatment", when she undergoes a refurbishment and will have water slides added too.

Private island swimming

Pools, slides and even ice are great but it is tough to be a dip in the ocean.  At Royal Caribbean's private destinations of Labadee and CocoCay, you can do just that (and a whole lot more).

Both destinations are located in the warm waters of the Caribbean and are perfectly suited for a great beach day.

Lather up the sun screen and then jump in the water for a day full of sun, sand and swimming.

What is your favorite way to cool off on a Royal Caribbean cruise? Share your tips in the comments!

Royal Caribbean fun: Love and Marriage Game Show

In:
10Jul2015

Royal Caribbean has some very fun shows onboard its ships, and one of my favorite shows has to be the Love and Marriage game show.  Over the years, the Love and Marriage show has become a fan favorite event and we are going to dive into the essentials of what you need to know about this show.

Love and Marriage show basics

Let us begin with describing the Love and Marriage game show and what it is.  

Most Royal Caribbean cruise directors that I have heard talk about the show, describe it as being similar to the The Newlywed Game television show.

The cruise director picks three couples from the audience:

  • A couple that recently been married
  • A couple that has been married for around 10-20 years
  • A couple that has been married the longest (usually 20+ years)

There are two rounds, and in each round, one spouse is taken backstage to be in isolation while the other spouse is asked a series of questions about their relationship.  The questions are usually about the circumstances in which they first met, dates they have gone on and even some personal questions about their relationship.

After the first spouse gives their answers, the other spouse returns and asked the same questions.  Each question that both spouses answer the same results in a point for that couple. 

The spouses then switch and the next round repeats similar to the first round, but with new questions.

At the end of both rounds, the couple with the most points wins.

Why the Love and Marriage game show is entertaining

Before the show even begins, the ship's cruise director will ask for volunteers and usually there are quite a few couples vying to be picked.  As a sort of audition, each couple must perform a quick demonstration of their passion for each other by repeating a phrase.  After each couple auditions, the audience votes for their favorite based on applause.

The couples who really go over the top with their enthusiasm are usually the ones that get the most votes, so off the bat, you get some very fun folks who give it their all to be picked.

The real fun is when the show begins and we hear the answers and then the reaction of the other spouse to each answer.  

What makes the show fun is when one spouse is very wrong or a spouse reveals something embarrassing about themselves.  The cruise director certainly plays a part in encouraging the couples to be honest and then poking fun at the answers. 

The show is kept family friendly for the most part, although there are references to each body parts and past sexual experiences.  It's presented in good fun and older children that are mature enough for these kinds topics will also find the show amusing.

How to see the Love and Marriage game show

The show is usually held in the Royal Theater on one evening of the cruise.

You will have to check your Cruise Compass for the exact day and time.

The show is also shown live and subsequently in re-runs on the stateroom televisions.  This can be a good option if you have other plans or perhaps you have to be in your stateroom for some reason.

Auditioning for the show

If you are feeling in the mood to participate in the show and poke a little fun at yourself, any married couple can audition for the show.

You should plan on arriving at the theater well before the show is to begin.  At least 30 minutes before show time and sitting close to the stage are good ideas.

As mentioned earlier, the cruise director will ask you and your spouse to repeat a phrase and demonstrate for the audience why you really deserve to be there.  This is when being creative helps.  

Over the years, couples have screamed, kissed passionately, swept each other off their feet and otherwise demonstrated a great deal of enthusiasm to differentiate themselves from the other couples.  There is no guaranteed way to be picked, but try to be as excited and enthusiastic as possible when auditioning.

Royal Caribbean offering Weekend WOW Sale with a bonus up to $50 onboard credit

In:
10Jul2015

For this weekend only, Royal Caribbean is giving guests up to an extra $50 in onboard credit that is combinable with the Rock Your View upgrade offer on Anthem of the Seas and BOGO Holidays on a variety of holiday sailings.

Royal Caribbean is offering

  • Book an Interior or Ocean View stateroom and receive $25 onboard credit
  • Book a Balcony or Suite and receive $50 onboard credit

This onboard credit offer is on top of Royal Caribbean's Buy One Guest, Get Second Guest 50% Off + Free prepaid gratuities on sailings departing Dec. 15-31, 2015 or 2016.

This Weekend WOW Sale applies to new bookings made July 10-12, 2015 for all sailings departing on or after August 9, 2015, excluding China departures and Ovation of the Seas sailings departing between December 15, 2016 and January 23, 2017. 

Offer is combinable with current standard/full fare rates, restricted rates (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military, BOGO), Next Cruise offer, and Anthem Upgrade Offer. Offer is not combinable with any other offer or promotion, including, but not limited to, Interline, Travel Agent, Travel Agent Friends and Family, weekly Sales Events, Net Rates, Crown & Anchor Discounts, and Shareholder benefits.

Offer available in the United States and Canada.

Why I don't buy Royal Caribbean's unlimited alcohol packages

In:
10Jul2015

Ever since Royal Caribbean debuted its unlimited alcohol packages in late 2012, they have become quite popular with many guests who love the idea of locking in the price of something that can get very expensive, very quickly: alcohol.

For a lot of folks, having drinks on their Royal Caribbean cruise is a big reason they enjoy taking a cruise and I completely understand.  Heck, I love having drinks too while I am onboard.  It is really hard to top having a fruity drink with an umbrella in it while sitting by the pool on a beautiful day in the Caribbean.

The reason why I do not purchase the unlimited alcohol packages and why I often advocate to take a second look at them is because I do not feel I can get the value out of them to make it worth the cost.

Why (not to) buy the package

The number one reason anyone would want to purchase a Royal Caribbean unlimited alcohol package is because they want to be able to drink an unlimited amount of drinks without running up a crazy bill.  It sounds like a perfectly good idea, right?

The package is simple: pay a fixed cost for every day of your cruise and you never have to worry about a bar bill again.  Royal Caribbean gets a flat fee and you get the freedom to order whatever you want.

By most estimates, you have to drink around 5 to 6 drinks per day, depending on what you order and which package you get, to essentially "break even" on the package's cost.  After all, why would you purchase something if you are going to over pay, right?

This is why I don't buy the package.

For me, five to six drinks per day, every day of my cruise is a lot.  Can I do it one or two days in a row? Heck yea! But on a seven night (or longer cruise), that's a lot to drink and I wont want that much to drink every day.  

Do not forget about port days, where a vast majority of the day I am not even onboard, so there is little time that day to drink enough to meet my daily quota to get my money's worth.  And if I am drinking for the sake of drinking to get my money's worth, then why buy the package?

What I do instead

Instead of buying the drink packages, I opt to pay for my drinks a la carte.  

In my mind, even if I drink three to four drinks per day, I am still coming out ahead of the drink package cost.  And when I am in port, usually alcohol is less expensive than on the ship and I can really reap the savings.

If I can reference something I learned in middle school English class, I would like to quote an ancient Greek aphorism, "know thyself".  It means you should remember your limits and when it comes to having drinks, some people can easily have a lot to drink and others not so much.  For me, I recognize that I'm happy with just a couple of drinks per day at the most.

By purchasing drinks a la carte, I feel like I am ordering drinks when I really want one and not ordering them just because I can with the package.  

Wine!

The other reason why I do not get the alcohol packages is because Royal Caribbean allows guests to bring up to two bottles of wine per stateroom.  

I bring the wine to dinner and this will get me through a few evening meals without having to pay for drinks.

Not everyone drinks wine but the fact this is something I can do to keep costs down and at the same time indulge in having a drink means the value proposition of an unlimited alcohol package is much less for me.

Find out for yourself

Obviously these are all my opinions and I recognize everyone is different. Forgetting about breaking up the cruise cost or having the ability to experiment with drinks, the real reason to buy the drink package is to be able to pay a fixed price for your drinks and save money on them in the end.  

If you have been on a cruise before, you probably know about how much you typically drink, so you can figure out if the unlimited alcohol packages make sense for you.  

I recommend looking at a calendar of your itinerary and consider if you really can drink enough to make the package work for you.  If it seems like the decision is too close to call, I recommend opting not to get the package off the bat.  See how a few days go, because you can always order the package at any point in your cruise, as long as there are at least 4 days left in your cruise.

In my opinion, the worst thing you can do is just assume the package is a good or bad deal without really understanding what it takes to get the value out of it.  Everyone is different, so take a few minutes to "do the math" and perhaps you will come to the same conclusion as me.  Or maybe you will call me crazy, in which case I will toast my next drink I buy (on my SeaPass account) to you!

Do you buy the unlimited alcohol packages? Or do you avoid them too? Share your thoughts in the comments!

First time cruisers: A complete guide to picking the perfect shore excursions

In:
09Jul2015

You booked a Royal Caribbean cruise and now you want to figure out what you are going to do at the ports your ship will be visiting.

Where do you start?

Shore excursions are a major part of any Royal Caribbean cruise because a large part of your overall vacation is exploring the ports of call you will visit.  You have just a few hours at each stop, but it should be enough to get a taste of the city you are visiting.

The concern many guests have is figuring out what the options are to choose from and which ones are a good idea and which are a mistake.

The way to be assured that you have the most options and pick the right one for you, is to do your research ahead of time.  

Many of your fellow passengers will not do much, if any, research and will rely purely on the information Royal Caribbean provides them.  In fact, most will wait to get onboard the ship and then book something.

Besides risking a poor decision, they are also wasting time on their cruise from doing fun activities.

Let's explore what you need to know so that you can research your ports properly and make all of your reservations in advance, leaving you with more time onboard your ship to do what you really want to be doing.

Learn the basics about the ports

Before you even look at one shore excursion, you should research what each port is best known for.

Typically, the individual ports you visit are best known for something and there can be a few activities that stand out among the rest.

Depending on your itinerary, you may even know what each port is known for ahead of time, such as major cites like Boston, Rome, Barcelona, or Venice.

Start off with a list of the ports you will be visiting.  

The port you start and end your cruise with is a very important place because you may end up spending the most time of any ports here.  I recommend folks arrive to their embarkation port at least one day in advance to avoid travel delays impacting your ability to get to your Royal Caribbean cruise.  

Some people will tack on extra days beyond that on the beginning or end of the cruise, so you will find that you may be spending a lot of time in your embarkation/disembarkation port.  The most important factor can be aspects like an affordable hotel, dining and transportation to/from the ship.

For your embarkation port as well as the rest of the ports you are visiting, start off with some light reading.  I recommend doing an internet search for each city and learning about its significance.  

Wikipedia articles are often good starting points, because they will quickly get to why the port you are going to is frequented and some of the major attractions.

The goal of this step is to understand if you are visiting somewhere that is known for its beaches, or for its history, or for its culture, or for something else.  

Just because a port is known for its beaches does not mean you cannot take a tour of ancient ruins or go shopping, but you want to make sure you are not missing a big draw.  A good example would be going to Civitavecchia, Italy and not knowing that Rome is a quick drive from there.

Understanding the difference the two kinds of shore excursions

Before you look at one shore excursion, it is important to know about some fundamental differences between shore excursions.

At a very basic level, there are two kinds of shore excursions: shore excursions offered by Royal Caribbean and shore excursions offered by third parties.

Royal Caribbean shore excursions

Royal Caribbean shore excursions are sold directly by Royal Caribbean to its guests, and they are group activities managed by local companies in each port that Royal Caribbean has vetted and will stand by.  

Royal Caribbean also guarantees if you take one of its shore excursions, they will ensure you do not miss the ship if you are delayed on the excursion.  Even if the ship is slated to leave, the ship will wait for your group to return or provide transportation for your group to meet up with the ship at the next port.

Furthermore, if your ship cannot dock at a port for any reason, any shore excursions you booked with Royal Caribbean directly will be completely refunded.

The price of Royal Caribbean shore excursions are set in stone and are not negotiable.  The full cost of the shore excursion will be due upon booking and if you were to book a Royal Caribbean shore excursion onboard your ship, you could use onboard credit to pay for it.

Royal Caribbean shore excursion pros

  • Easy to find and learn about
  • Guaranteed return to your ship
  • Fully refundable if your ship skips a port

Royal Caribbean shore excursion cons

  • Tends to be more expensive than third party shore excursions
  • Group tours, which means tour will move at the slowest person in the group's pace
  • Limited offerings

Third party shore excursions

Third party shore excursions are essentially any tour or activity you do on your own that is not sold to you by Royal Caribbean.  This can be a group tour or an individual tour.  It can even be you taking a taxi somewhere and doing something on your own.

With third party shore excursions, you are responsible for planning all aspects of the tour, so you will have to find a company or person, negotiate the rate and then find them in port and ensure you return on time.

The policies of what happens if your ship cannot dock at the port and refunds can vary from tour guide to tour guide.  Many will offer a refund policy if your ship cannot dock, but it is something else to consider.

Prices for third party shore excursions can sometimes be negotiated, depending on the excursion and the guide.  Some excursions will require full payment at the time of booking, but many will require just a deposit to hold your spot, with full payment prior to the excursion beginning.

Third party excursions are far less limited than what Royal Caribbean offers, and you can price shop among many competing companies to find the one for you.  

Third party shore excursion pros

  • Far greater variety of choices
  • Tends to be less expensive than Royal Caribbean shore excursions
  • Possibility for personalization and be more efficient with your time

Third party shore excursion cons

  • You are responsible for getting back to the ship on time
  • Requires more leg work to learn about them all
  • You must handle any financial dealings, including cancelations.

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Royal Caribbean high speed Voom internet: Everything you need to know

In:
08Jul2015

Voom, Royal Caribbean's high speed internet service, is revolutionizing the kinds of internet speeds guests can expect to find on their cruises and here's everything you need to know about it.

How much is Royal Caribbean's Voom internet?

Guests can get unlimited internet for $15 per day, per device when purchasing multiple days for the remainder of the cruise. 

Guests can add a second device and get 50% off the second device, for a total cost of $22.50 per day ($15 1st device + $7.50 2nd device).

Total cost for a 7-night cruise for one device is $105 or $157.50 for two devices.

The unlimited packages can also be pre-purchased in advance via Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner for sailings after August 1, 2015.

Guests can also purchase a daily package for $29.95 per day ($209.65 for 7-nights).

Which ships offer Voom?

Voom is currently available on Oasis and Quantum class ships only.

Allure of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, and Quantum of the Seas all have Voom while on their itineraries in the Caribbean, Mediterranean or Asia. The service is not available during transatlantic crossings and repositioning cruises.

Will Voom be expanding to other ships in Royal Caribbean's fleet?

While specific dates and ships are still to be determined, Voom will be available on all Caribbean ships by mid-2016.

Majesty of the Seas is slated to get Voom internet following her refurbishment in May 2016.

How fast is Voom?

Voom internet speed test on Quantum of the Seas

Voom has a latency of only 120ms and Royal Caribbean promises guests can do things such as stream music and movies, upload pictures, video chat with family and friends using FaceTime or Skype, check their email, lookup their stock prices, surf the web and stay connected with work via VPN. 

Essentially, anything you can do at home, you'll be able to do onboard.

Can I use a Crown & Anchor member discount when pre-purchasing via Cruise Planner?

No, guests will have to wait to purchase their internet packages onboard the ship.

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