Cruise Ship Activities

Top things to do on a sea day on a Royal Caribbean cruise

In:
08Aug2017

Part of every Royal Caribbean cruise are days spent at sea, which means you have the entire day to enjoy the vast array of things to do onboard.  Sea days provide ample opportunity to see and do many things to do onboard, from dawn to dusk.  

Sea days on a Royal Caribbean cruise are fairly open-ended, with you setting your own pace for what to do.  Some guests elect to do a ton of activities, while others take it slow and enjoy pure relaxation time.  Regardless of what you pick to do on a sea day, there is lots to consider and here are the sort of activities it seems most people opt to try.

Sleep in

Sea days are the perfect day to sleep late, just because there is no port to arrive to and no excursions to be ready to experience.  While sleeping is not the most exciting activity to tell your friends about, it is no less an awesome feeling.

Many guests like to take things easy while on a cruise, and nothing says a laid back kind of day than sleeping into double digit hours!

Pool time

Perhaps no onboard activity is as synonymous with a sea day than spending time at the pools onboard. Whether you choose to sunbathe, swim or just go back and forth, you will find ample opportunity to enjoy pool time on a sea day.

Royal Caribbean ships have more than one pool, with some ships having dedicated pool areas for kids.  These kid-friendly pool areas often feature colorful splash zones, water slides, and of course pools and hot tubs.  While there is plenty of swim opportunities for kids on all Royal Caribbean ships, the newest ships in the fleet offer the latest and greatest choices.  Voyager, Freedom, Oasis and Quantum class ships offer the largest and most extravagant pool facilities for kids.

Royal Caribbean also has a dedicated area on its ships for adults only, known as the Solarium.  The Solarium is the adults-only pool that is open to guests that are at least 16 years old. It is usually located in the front of the ship's pool deck and is often indoors or with a retractable roof. Because of the indoor nature of the Solarium, it tends to be warmer and more humid in the Solarium than the main pool. Royal Caribbean also tends to have cushioned lounge chairs that differ than the loungers available in the main pool.

Lunch at specialty restaurants

While specialty restaurants are not that new an option on Royal Caribbean ships, offering lunch is becoming a new trend.  Typically, specialty restaurants are open for dinner, with lunch overlooked.  These days, more and more specialty restaurants are open for lunch and sometimes at a reduced price.

Advanced reservations for lunch are not normally available prior to your cruise, but one onboard, some restaurants take lunch reservations.

The Cruise Compass will list operating hours, but enjoying lunch at a specialty restaurant can provide an indulgent meal at a restaurant you might not otherwise have time to dine at.

Movies and Shows

Royal Caribbean ships are full of things to do on a sea day, including movies, live performances and competitions. Throughout the day and night, there are regularly scheduled entertainment to enjoy all around the ship.

During the day, you will find lots happening by the pool. Pool games, line dancing, food demonstrations and more occur on each sea day.  Plus, you will find live music performed right by the pool.  There is something so relaxing and enjoyable about hearing a reggae or steel drum band play music on a sunny sea day afternoon.

At night, Royal Caribbean puts on its best performances in the Royal Theater. Broadway shows, original productions and comedy/magic acts are lined up for guests to enjoy each evening.  

In addition, Royal Caribbean has added large screens near its pools in recent years, which means you can enjoy the latest films while taking in a swim (or from the comfort of a nearby chair). 

Read a book

A time honored tradition on the beach has always been to read a good book, and being on a cruise ship is no different. Many guests take advantage of their time onboard to finally get to that book (or books) they have been meaning to read.

During a sea day, there are a lot of great places onboard to read a book.  Depending on your style, one or more of these may be just the spot for you

  • On your stateroom balcony
  • By the pool
  • At a table at Cafe Promenade/Cafe Latte-Tudes
  • In a chair on the promenade deck (usually deck 4 or 5 on most ships

Signature activities

Royal Caribbean markets its cruise ships as floating destinations, and you would be remiss if you did not check out some of the signature activities available on your ship.

Royal Caribbean first made a name for itself by adding rock climbing walls to its ships, and these days, they offer much more than just that. Depending on the class of ship you sail on, there are many really fun (and complimentary) activities to enjoy.  Surfing on the FlowRider, ice skating, taking the view in aboard North Star, having a jump in the jump zone trampoline park, going down water slides and much more.

Whichever cruise ship you book, be sure to look into the activities available on the ship.  Sea days are a popular time for many guests to enjoy these activities, but a little bit of research ahead of time can mean you can beat the crowds and get a few turns in.  

Work out at the gym

Whether you go to the gym to maintain your regular exercise regiment, or just want to off set the delicious food you are enjoying onboard, Royal Caribbean's fitness center is a great way to keep fit on your sea day.

The equipment in the fitness center is complimentary for guests to use, and opens very early and stays open for much of the day and evening. There is ample opportunity to work out while on your Royal Caribbean cruise, and a sea day is a great time to stop by.

Royal Caribbean also offers fitness classes for an additional fee, where guests can partake in activities such as yoga, Pilates, spin and more.  There are sign up sheets in the gym, and it is open on a first-come, first-signed up basis.  Your best bet is to sign up early in the cruise for the class(es) you want.

Spa visit

A sea day can be super relaxing with just one visit to the Vitality Spa.  Whether you choose a massage, facial, or another service, there is plenty of choices.

If you are new to the spa, you should consider taking a complimentary tour of the spa facility.  We have found the spa tours to be low sales pressure, and a good way to learn about the services offered.  

Sea days are quite popular for spa appointments, so be sure to book yours early in the cruise.  Better yet, book it ahead of time prior to your cruise on Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner site.

Your thoughts

What is your favorite sea day activity? Did we neglect to mention something you love to do while at sea? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Experiences: Royal Mystery escape room game on Harmony of the Seas

In:
20Jul2017

Royal Caribbean recently added a second escape room experience to Harmony of the Seas (as well as some other ships in the fleet), called A Royal Mystery.

Royal Mystery is an onboard activity offered to guests, where they must solve a series of puzzles based on clues hidden throughout the room to help solve a whodunit murder case.  Unlike Escape the Rubicon, Royal Mystery has no cover charge and is held in a public spot (for our game, it was in the On Air Lounge).

Guests participating have a set amount of time to comb over the details provided, as well as clues and puzzles they will discover until they can solve the case.  

What to expect

If you are unfamiliar with an escape room game, essentially it is a timed challenge, where you and those in your group have a set time limit to figure out various puzzles and clues to solve an overall solution that provides the means of "escaping" the room. Royal Mystery was created by Royal Caribbean's partner company, Puzzle Break.

When you arrive, the crew members will instruct everyone in attendance to form teams.  Teams can be between two and six people in total, which often results in teaming up with your fellow guests. Afterwards, a crew member will explain the basics of the game, play a short video introduction and provide the opening clues for all teams. 

Once the game begins, all teams must work to solve the puzzles in order to figure out who the murderer is, with the first team that comes up with the correct answer being the winner.

The puzzle

When you start out, your team will receive a packet full of information.  Some of this information includes puzzles, biographies on all the suspects, and pieces to puzzles that will be important later.  Teams must review the information in their possession, and then try to solve the various puzzles. Once a team has a possible puzzle solution, they bring it to the crew member for review.  If correct, the crew member provides a new clue for the team to use.

During the course of the game, crew members will share tips, advice and hints with all teams.  Most of these hints are suggestions or manners in which to investigate that aim to narrow down possibilities for teams.

The key to success is for teams to work together, but also delegate the various work.  Some puzzles can be solved by one or two team members, while others may need the whole team's input. Clues are hidden throughout the room, which team members may not take with them, but they can take pictures.  Bringing a phone that can take pictures is a good strategy.

Cost: Complimentary

Spotted: Royal Caribbean offering swim lessons for kids onboard the ship

In:
18Jul2017

On select Royal Caribbean some kids can spend part of their cruise learning to swim (better) with some new swim lessons available for booking in the Cruise Planner.

On Harmony of the Seas, two shore excursions listed under the Cruising location offer two PADI Swim School options, for level 1 and level 2. 

A team of professionals teaches beginning stroke techniques and more to little swimmers ages 6-8 and cost $49 per child. Up to 6 children can attend the class per swim instructor.

Level 1: Aqua Stars

Little ones from 6-8 years old can learn safety skills and enjoy water thrills during PADI Swim School’s Aqua Stars course. Within the safe hands of a friendly and highly qualified team of professional instructors, young swimmers can get a feel for the water while learning resting positions and forward movement techniques in a small-group setting. Before the lesson, swimmers will be assessed to ensure they can jump into the pool, completely submerge, recover for air and return to the pool’s wall. They will then learn how to tread water, float, swim, rest and breathe properly. After successfully rolling over to rest and breathe, they’ll be taught side breathing and the survival float. The shallow waters of your ship’s pool is the ideal space for new swimmers to learn the basics — all while having some splish-splash aquatic fun.

At course’s end young swimmers will know how to float, tread water, swim, and rollover to breathe.

Level 2: Splash Pros

Calling all little swimmers, ages 6-8: Here’s your chance to soak up new aquatic skills with PADI Swim School instructors during our Splash Pros course. Enjoy an interactive in-water swimming lesson amid the safe hands of professional trainers and the shallow waters of your ship’s onboard pool. For this small-group, intermediate-level lesson, your instructor will first evaluate your skills to ensure you can jump into the pool, completely submerge and swim at least 15 feet. Then learn how to properly reach, pull and roll to the side for rest and to catch your breathe. You’ll get a feel for the freestyle and backstroke while focusing on maintaining correct techniques for swimming short distances. Not only will you build confidence in the water, but you’ll also have tons of fun along the way.

At the end of the lesson young swimmers will know how to freestyle and backstroke around the water.

If your kids are old enough for the classes, is this something you would consider? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

First time cruiser's guide to Royal Caribbean's onboard activities

In:
06Jun2017

When you are onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise, there is a wide array of activities and events taking place every day of your sailing. Any notion of there not being enough to do is quickly dismissed once you take a glance at what is offered onboard.

Royal Caribbean's activities staff plan a variety of events to fill your time onboard the ship. These activities are optional for anyone to enjoy, and first time cruisers will find a great deal of options to pick from.  From trivia contests to dance lessons, exercise programs to dodge ball games, wine-tasting to surfing, there really is something for everyone.

Type of activities

From start to finish, your Royal Caribbean cruise will be filled with different activities to take part in.  Each activity is optional.  Think of them like a restaurant menu: you only enjoy what you want.  

Most of the activities listed for guests to enjoy are complimentary, which means there is no additional fee.  There are, however, certain events that have an additional cost associated with them.  It will be clearly labeled whether an event is complimentary or costs extra. 

In general, Royal Caribbean tries to offer its guests a wide variety of choices.  Having thousands of guests onboard its ships means the staff will try their best to have something for everyone.  The exact activities offered will vary from ship to ship, and sailing to sailing.  Royal Caribbean does not publish its activities prior to a cruise, but if you learn about the most common activities available onboard, it should provide a good idea of what to expect once onboard.

Physical activities

  • Rock climbing wall
  • Mini golf (not available on all ships)
  • FlowRider surf simulator (not available on all ships)
  • Sports court activities (basketball, volleyball, soccer, etc)
  • Water slides (not available on all ships)
  • Zip line (not available on all ships)
  • Ice skating (not available on all ships)
  • Fitness classes
  • Skydiving simulator (not available on all ships)

Educational

  • Trivia contests
  • Napkin folding demonstrations
  • Towel animal folding
  • History and port lectures
  • Dance lessons
  • Wine/alcohol tasting
  • Escape rooms (not available on all ships)
  • Culinary classes
  • Behind the scenes tours

Gambling

  • Bingo
  • Casino gaming lessons

Shows

  • Poolside games
  • Theatrical performances
  • Live music
  • Comedians
  • Acrobatic/dive shows
  • Karaoke

Family activities

  • DreamWorks character meet opportunities
  • Parades
  • Movies
  • Teens-only events
  • Dance parties

Cruise Compass

If you are wondering how to find out which events will happen and when, then you will want to consult the daily publication provided each day to guests, known as the Cruise Compass.  

Each evening, your stateroom attendant will deliver a paper copy of the Cruise Compass to your stateroom.  Inside, you will find a list of the next day's activities, shows and entertainment.  It also lists the times venues such as restaurants, shops, bars and the spa will be open.  There is even a weather report and information about the port you will be visiting.

Most importantly, there is a chronological listing of events from the early morning to the late evening. Each event has a time, event name, location and possibly brief description listed.  There will also be an indication if this event costs extra.

As mentioned earlier, Royal Caribbean does not provide a copy of its Cruise Compass in advance of a cruise, but we keep an archive of past Cruise Compass' on this website, so that you reference them.  While a past Cruise Compass will not provide an exact list of events for your cruise, it does serve as a "ballpark overview" of what to expect.

On Royal Caribbean ships that offer the Royal iQ smartphone app, a copy of the Cruise Compass can also be referenced there.  In fact, the app provides the ability to select events from the Cruise Compass and add them to your own personal calendar.  Royal Caribbean also announced that it is working on a new smart phone app, which should debut later this year.

Tickets and shows

Most activities and entertainment on a Royal Caribbean cruise require no reservations or tickets in advance.  Guests simply show up at the designated time and location and an activities crew member will be present to coordinate the function.

Certain events do offer advance tickets for the performances.  Oasis and Quantum class ships will even offer tickets for its theatrical products prior to the cruise, via Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner website.  Tickets are complimentary, and guarantee a seat in the show, but not a specific seat.  Royal Caribbean also requires guests with tickets arrive to the show a certain amount of time before show time or risk losing that guarantee.

Activities such as exercise classes, wine/liquor tastings, or culinary demonstrations may require and/or offer advanced tickets to secure a spot.  The nature of these events are that there is a limit on how many guests may attend. You can certainly show up at the given time and hope for a spot, or speak to a crew member about reserving them.  Tickets to certain events are even available online via the Cruise Planner, where guests may purchase the tickets before getting onboard. 

If tickets are available prior to a cruise for an event, we generally recommend guests take advantage of the option to secure a spot for them.  Once onboard the ship, admission to certain events gets quite competitive, so taking advantage of pre-cruise reservations is a good practice.

Pools and water slides

During the daytime, the pool deck tends to be a hub of activity for guests of all ages.  Depending on the ship, guests will find a variety of pools and even water slides to enjoy.  Royal Caribbean designed their pools to be fun, relaxing and most of all refreshing experiences. Whether you are there for the ambiance, the cooling effect or the activities, time at the pool is a great idea.

Pools

Royal Caribbean's pools are a hub of activity on most cruises.  It is where the activity staff will hold many events and you will find by just spending time at the pool, you will encounter a lot of the ship's going-on's. 

Nearly all the events happening at a pool will occur at the main pool. Exact activities differ depending on your ship and sailing but here are some common ones 

  • Belly flop competition
  • World's sexiest man competition
  • Scuba classes
  • Fitness classes
  • Poolside bingo
  • Dance classes
  • Poolside movies

Water slides

In recent years, Royal Caribbean has begun adding water slides to its cruise ships.  Guests of most ages can enjoy the slides, which are complimentary and the kind of activity guests can enjoy as many times as they want.

Currently, water slides are available on

  • Harmony of the Seas
  • Symphony of the Seas
  • Liberty of the Seas
  • Adventure of the Seas

Some other ships feature slides for kids, such as the Radiance Class ships, as well as Majesty of the Seas.

Fitness Center and Gym

One popular onboard activity is staying physically fit while onboard.  Whether you love spending time at the gym, or are just looking for a way to work off the delicious food served onboard, Royal Caribbean's fitness center is the right place for you.

The fitness center is usually located near the ship's spa, and is open for most hours of the day.

Fitness center aboard Harmony of the Seas

Inside the fitness center are a variety of choices, ranging from cardio to strength-training equipment.  The equipment in Royal Caribbean's fitness center are complimentary and available on a first-come, first served basis.  There is no cost to use the machines and free weights at the fitness center.  In fact, Royal Caribbean tends to stock its gyms with top equipment for guest use.  

In addition, there are spaces for fitness classes, such as spin, yoga, and Pilates. These classes have limited capacity, and there is usually a sign up sheet near the entrance to the fitness center where guests can write down their name and stateroom number for a particular class they want to attend. Guests are charged for each class they attend, so you can attend as few or as many as you like, provided there is space available.

Family and children's activities

The heart of things to do on a Royal Caribbean ship for kids is centered around the Adventure Ocean program.  Adventure Ocean is the supervised children's program, which is kind of like camp, where parents drop the kids off and pick them up anytime while Adventure Ocean is in operation.

Adventure Ocean is available for children who are at least three years old and fully potty trained, all the way through the age of seventeen.  Counselors lead the Adventure Ocean programming while the children are in attendance, and activities are age appropriate.  These activities include art, dance parties, games, scavenger hunts, supervised play and more. Adventure Ocean is complimentary, unless your child stays in Adventure Ocean past 10pm, at which point an hourly charge is assessed. Kids may remain in Adventure Ocean until 2am during the after-hours time.

Children are split up into groups based on their age.  Older children and teenagers will find their own dedicated areas of Adventure Ocean that include lounges and teen-only events listed in the Cruise Compass.

On sea days, Adventure Ocean usually is open

  • 9am - noon
  • 2pm-5pm
  • 7pm-10pm
  • 10pm-2am (Extra cost after hours)

During port days, Adventure Ocean will be open as long as the ship is docked in port, allowing parents to leave their children in Adventure Ocean while they enjoy a time on shore.

Royal Caribbean publishes a special daily version of the Cruise Compass, just for kids and teens.  Your stateroom attendant will deliver a copy of this if there are kids in the room, and it lists Adventure Ocean programming for the coming day.  The regular Cruise Compass will also list teens-only events as well.

For children younger than three years old, Royal Caribbean's Royal Babies & Tots Nursery offers infants and toddlers supervised care for an hourly charge. 

The nursery has limited space, and it is recommended to make reservations for the times you wish to bring your child.  You can always call the nursery and inquire if there is open space to drop off at the time, but ideally you will want to make reservations. Like Adventure Ocean, the nursery is has set hours, and opens in the morning, going late into the night.  If it is a port day, the nursery can open earlier to match the time the ship is in port.

Beyond Adventure Ocean, many of the activities listed in the Cruise Compass are open to kids, as well as adults. 

Nightlife

After the sun sets, Royal Caribbean ships are filled with lots of evening activities. 

Music is a big part of Royal Caribbean's nightlife.  Guests will find live performances around the ship (primarily at bars), along with the opportunity to dance at many of them.  Dance parties on deck and in select venues are common as well, with usually a music event lasting well into the early hours of the next morning.

Each evening, there will be theatrical performances offered in the Royal Theater, as well as other venues such as Two70, the AquaTheater and/or ice skating rink.  Depending your ship, the variety and scope of nighttime entertainment will vary, but there will be something going on each evening that is clearly the primary performance.  In addition, there will be alternate times provided for most of these productions, to allow guests time to enjoy dinner without having to sacrifice seeing the show.

Royal Caribbean's shows are its signature activity, with some ships even offering full Broadway shows.  The shows are included in your cruise fare, and seating is provided on a first-come, first served basis.  We recommend arriving to any show at least 15 minutes early to secure a (good) seat.

Royal Caribbean will also regularly show feature-length films near the pool, provide sing-along music at the pub, offer karaoke performances, and much more.

Free Royal Caribbean onboard physical and fun activities

In:
02Feb2017

Going on a Royal Caribbean cruise means taking a vacation on a cruise ship built to offer a very fun experience, both onshore and onboard. Over the years, Royal Caribbean has invested heavily in what it offers guests to do on its ships. While there are traditional cruise ship activities available, such as shuffleboard, swimming and the like, but there are lots of really fun active outdoor activities to do too.  In fact, these activities are complimentary!

Here is an overview of the fun outdoor activities you can try out on your next Royal Caribbean cruise.

Rock climbing wall

Perhaps no other onboard activity put Royal Caribbean "on the map" quite as much as the rock climbing wall did. When Royal Caribbean introduced the first rock climbing wall, the guest feedback was so positive that rock climbing walls were added to other ships in the fleet and have become a staple of any Royal Caribbean ship going forward.

The rock climbing walls come in different sizes, but they all offer different tracks that allow for different experience levels.  It is usually open most of the day for kids and adults to enjoy.  Royal Caribbean provides all the safety equipment that you will need, including helmets, harnesses and shoes.  You just need to bring a pair of socks.

Climbers need to be at least 6 years old and sign a waiver.  Climbing the rock wall is free and no reservations are required.

Mini golf

Miniature golf is one of those activities that seems timeless.  It is a fun activity day or night, regardless of age.  On Royal Caribbean's larger ships, you will find a variety of mini golf choices that feature not just a fun game, but a great view of the ocean as a backdrop to the game.

Royal Caribbean has revamped some of its mini golf courses with its newer ships and some recent refurbishments. The mini golf courses on Adventure of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas all have a new take on the traditional Royal Caribbean mini golf experience.  In fact, Adventure of the Seas has a two-deck mini golf course.

Playing mini golf onboard Royal Caribbean ships is free and no reservations are required.

FlowRider

Much like the rock climbing wall, the FlowRider surf simulator also made a name for Royal Caribbean's ships by offering something as incredible as a surf simulator onboard a cruise ship. The self-contained surfing area pumps 34,000 gallons per minute and allows passengers to try stand-up surfing as well as boogie boarding. 

While the FlowRider experience is far more of a controlled environment than the ocean, learning to stand up (and stay standing up) on your surf board is not so easy, so Royal Caribbean offers lessons for an additional price.  Both private and group lessons are available.

The FlowRider has scheduled times of operation during the day when it is open to all guests for no additional fee.  Guests must sign a waiver and there is a height requirement of 52" for boogie boarding and 58" for stand up surfing.

The FlowRider is available on Quantum class, Oasis class, Freedom class and select Voyager class cruise ships.

Zip-line

On Oasis class ships, guests can soar 9 decks above the Boardwalk neighborhood, stretching 82 feet from end to end.

Passengers must be at least 52" tall to participate and weigh a maximum of 275 pound, also must at least weigh 75 pounds.

The zip line is free and guests must sign a waiver.

Water slides

A very recent addition to Royal Caribbean's array of onboard activities are water slides.  Unlike other cruise lines, Royal Caribbean did not offer large water slides on its cruise ships until fairly recently.

Harmony of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas offer similar water slides known as, "The Perfect Storm." These slides offer a fast and thrilling ride that is certain to be a hit with families.

In addition, Harmony of the Seas features an additional champagne bowl slide that swirls guests around as they make their approach to the end of the ride. Liberty of the Seas has the Tidal Wave slide, which has guests boarding a raft and sliding up a near vertical wall for a very fun effect.

Water slides are available mostly during the day, and free for guests to enjoy as many times as they like.

Ultimate Abyss

Speaking of slides, Royal Caribbean added one more slide to Harmony of the Seas, but this one features no water. In fact, Royal Caribbean wanted to create a truly thrilling experience with the Ultimate Abyss slide. Located on the aft of the ship, the Ultimate Abyss is more than 150 feet above sea level and offers side-by-side slides that send guests down 10 decks at a rate of 9 miles per hour.

Guests board the slide by climbing stairs that lead directly into the mouth of a giant angler fish, where they get into a customized mat and then descend down the slide, traversing 216 feet of a multi-sensory tunnel. Guests can reach a speed of 9 miles per hour, and it is the kind of thrill experience unlike anything else at sea.

The Ultimate Abyss is free and available for rides mostly during the day.

Aqua parks

Royal Caribbean is a family cruise line, and as such, there are some great aqua parks for kids and their parents to enjoy together.  These aqua parks have different names, but they all incorporate a large splash pad area with plenty of geysers, water cannons and spraying water fountains.

Freedom class ships and Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas feature the H2O Zone, which is a multi-colored splash area that looks almost like a progressive art form, until you see all the water spraying in every direction.  There is even a swirling pool that kids can enter and turn-about to their heart's content.

Royal Caribbean re-imagined the aqua park concept with its latest creation, Splashaway Bay.  Available on Harmony of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas, this area features slides, water cannons, waterfalls and more in an "aquatic adventure park" for kids of all ages. Royal Caribbean describes Splashaway Bay as, "a vibrant waterscape for kids and toddlers with sea creature water cannons, winding slides, a gigantic drench bucket and a multi-platform jungle-gym to keep everyone entertained for hours."

On Radiance class ships, there is a small water slide and splash pool for young children to enjoy.

Due to public health regulations, children in diapers, swim diapers, pull-ups or who are not COMPLETELY toilet trained are not allowed in the pools, whirlpools or H2O zone. Otherwise, kids are free to use the aqua parks as much as they like.

Sports Court

The sports court is a multi-purpose facility onboard Royal Caribbean ships that offer basketball, volleyball and tennis games.  We have even seen dodgeball games on select cruises offered.  It is the perfect place to get outside and join your fellow passengers and cruise staff in a game or two of sports fun.

Guests can engage in pick up games, or enter into tournament style competitions that are organized by the ship's activity staff.  Check the Cruise Compass for what is scheduled but Royal Caribbean will provide all equipment needed to play.

Ice Skating

Royal Caribbean is always looking to bring the "WOW factor" aboard their cruise ships and the idea of offering ice skating at sea is exactly one of those ideas.  Whether you are a first time skater or a seasoned veteran, anyone can put on a pair of skates and join in.  Free skates are offered throughout the cruise along with special time for advanced skaters.  

Skates and safety equipment are provided for free, although passengers may bring their own skates.  Passengers must wear long pants and must sign a waiver to participate.

Jogging track

Exercise for a lot of passengers is an important part of their cruise experience and on the sports deck, you will find a jogging and walking track that will allow you to get a few miles of exercise in.  The tracks list how many loops are required to make a mile.  Of course, the jogging track on Royal Caribbean ships come with a great view of the ocean!

The track is split in half, with one half for joggers and the other half for walkers.  There is no fee to use the track and you may use the track anytime.

Fitness classes

Personal fitness has never been more popular, and Royal Caribbean offers a combination of complimentary and paid fitness classes. Guests can check their Cruise Compass once onboard to see the options available, but there are definitely a few classes to choose from that will cost you nothing extra.

The complimentary fitness classes have included courses that focus on stretching and getting great abs.  A full list of courses available will be found in the Fitness Center onboard the ship.  There are usually sign up sheets, where guests can lock-in a spot for them.

In addition to the classes, the Fitness Center is also complimentary for guests to use, with a variety of exercise machines, treadmills, free weights and open space for self-lead exercise. Royal Caribbean's Fitness Centers are quite impressive, especially on its newer ships.  It is a large space with lots to offer guests of all levels.

The Fitness Center is open most hours of the day and night, with just a few hours of actually being closed late at night.  Access to the Fitness Center is free, although there are some classes that come with an additional charge.

RipCord by iFly

Have you ever dreamed of skydiving but never pursued it primarily because you would have to jump out of a perfectly good airplane? Yup, me too.  That is why Ripcord by iFly is such a great option. Similar to the FlowRider, this is a skydiving simulator, where guests enter into a vertical wind tunnel and with the assistance of an instructor, get the sensation of skydiving.

Guests don a special "wind suit" and after some instructions on the proper form, have their chance to experience a sky dive.  

Guests on Anthem of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas are able to reserve a complimentary session via the Cruise Planner during their cruise.  They also must sign a waiver.  

SeaPlex

The sports court has always been a popular spot for physical activity on cruise ships, but Royal Caribbean re-imagined what this space could be on its Quantum class ships.  While not outdoors, the SeaPlex allows for guest to do so much more than just what a sports court can, and it is not subject to weather conditions. 

Bumper cars, roller skating, full-size basketball court, circus school and more at Seaplex, the largest indoor active space at sea. There is even an X-Box lounge, for guests to play video games with friends onboard and online. At night, the SeaPlex can transform into a party zone, complete with floating DJ booth overhead.  

SeaPlex is available on Quantum class ships. Just like the sports court, SeaPlex is open throughout the day and has no charge for its use.

Your thoughts

What is your favorite physical activity on a Royal Caribbean cruise? Are there certain activities you think are must-do for someone new to Royal Caribbean? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Guide to watching the Super Bowl on a Royal Caribbean cruise

In:
30Jan2017

The Super Bowl is one of the biggest television events of the year, and a must-see event for many Americans.  Just because you happen to be on a Royal Caribbean cruise does not mean you have to miss out on seeing "the big game."

Many people find great deals on Royal Caribbean cruises in early February, because most schools are in session, which means less bookings than other busier times of the year.  So if you find yourself one of those lucky people that can take advantage of these lower fares, here is how you can watch the Super Bowl while on a cruise.

Where to watch the game onboard

Royal Caribbean is well aware many guests want to see the Super Bowl, and despite the fact the in-room staterooms do not usually carry the local channels at home that air the game, for a special event like the Super Bowl, Royal Caribbean will do a little extra footwork to ensure it is available. It is worth noting that the feed may not include the much-talked about television commercials, because the television feed is different than what you might have at home. In many cases, the game is from an international television feed, so the game might be in English, but the commercials in another language.

Royal Caribbean will show the game in a variety of venues. Depending on your ship, the game can be shown in bars, the pool deck movie screen and even in the Royal Theater. Exact locations will be posted in the Cruise Compass for that day.  

In addition to showing the game in various spots, there will be typical football watching snacks as part of a "tailgate party" offering.  These have included hot dogs, nachos, chips and more.

Stream the game

Thanks to Royal Caribbean's high-speed Voom internet, another option would be to stream the live game.  

Fox will live stream the game on FoxSportsGo.com and its Fox Sports Go mobile app. You'll be able to access Fox's live stream for free, without needing to prove you are a cable or satellite TV subscriber (or needing to ask to borrow a friend's or -- worse -- your parents' pay TV log-in info). Free football for all!

The Fox Sports Go app works with iOS, Android, Windows and Amazon tablets.

For those tuning in more for the Super Bowl commercials than the Super Bowl itself, Fox is integrating local ads into the stream so it'll offer the same or a similar mix of ads as the TV broadcast, which features both local and national ads.

Did you know...

Back in Super Bowl XLV, Royal Caribbean aired its own Super Bowl commercial specifically targeted to viewers in cold markets.  While this old commercial has nothing to do with watching the Super Bowl on a cruise this year, it is still fun to remember that one time Royal Caribbean entered the Super Bowl commercial fray.

Royal Caribbean becomes only cruise line to offer full range of PADI Scuba Diving offerings

In:
23Jan2017

Royal Caribbean announced today it is the only cruise line in the world with onboard PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors®) Five Star Dive Centers, which allows guests to become certified scuba divers as part of their vacation.

Royal Caribbean’s partnership with PADI offers plenty of options for guests, regardless of experience. Whether a newbie or experienced diver, Royal Caribbean offers a range of programs from a 30-minute Try Dive program, for those just wanting to get their feet wet, to PADI’s Reactivate™ Program for certified divers wanting a refresher; prices starting at $29 and $59 per person, respectively.

Those seeking the ultimate scuba dive vacation can enroll in PADI’s Open Water Diver course to earn their complete scuba diving certification, starting at $599 per person. The premiere scuba course begins at home with the online course using either the PADI Touch™ app for mobile devices or PADI eLearning® online for desktop and laptop computers, leaving more time for the fun of scuba diving while on vacation.

Once on the high seas, divers will test the waters in the ship’s pool before heading out to complete the four mandatory, open-water training dives in some of the world’s most spectacular underwater surroundings. The training dives will be split among two different ports of call, allowing for maximum sightseeing in the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean or South Pacific. Upon returning home, guests will be certified scuba divers able to plan and execute dives on their own and have the stories to share about the aquatic world they’ve recently discovered. 

Guests looking to immerse themselves in the beauty of the ocean and wonder of marine life can book their PADI course before boarding through the Cruise Planner, or while on board at one of the Royal Caribbean-exclusive PADI Five Star Dive Centers found on 10 ships across the fleet, including Oasis-, Freedom- and Voyager-class ships, as well as Quantum-class’ Anthem of the Seas.

"For the past 16 years Royal Caribbean has worked closely with PADI to develop our onboard dive program," said Roberta Jacoby, managing director, Global Tour Operations at Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. "No other cruise line offers the opportunity for guests to become PADI certified scuba divers as part of the cruise, making it an ultimate dive trip as well. When guests sign up for the PADI Open Water Diver Course, they receive first-rate training and diver certification, performing their own scuba dives amidst the beautiful and serene waters of multiple Caribbean destinations and the South Pacific."

Experiences: Escape the Rubicon on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

In:
24Dec2016

On Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas, you will find  unique ways to spend time onboard, but one experience that really stands out is the Escape the Rubicon. 

Escape the Rubicon is an escape room experience, which Royal Caribbean first introduced on Anthem of the Seas (it is also available on Ovation of the Seas). On Harmony of the Seas, the escape room has its own dedicated venue, so it is fully built out for a complete experience.

If you are knew to an escape room game, you might be a little hesitant at the idea of going into a "locked" room for an our and not really knowing what to expect. Take solace in the fact that Escape the Rubicon might have been the most fun we had onboard the ship.  This is truly unlike anything else you have ever done on a cruise ship, and it is incredible appealing.

What to expect

If you are unfamiliar with an escape room game, essentially it is a timed challenge, where you and those in your group have a set time limit to figure out various puzzles and clues to solve an overall solution that provides the means of "escaping" the room. Royal Caribbean teamed up with Puzzle Break to create a special version just for Harmony of the Seas.

When you arrive for your session, a short video will explain some ground rules of the puzzle. A crew member will supervise your group and will go over a few items in the room that are not part of the game, such as fire sprinklers and emergency exits.

The host will then have one member of the team hit the start button and you are off, leaving you with 60 minutes to figure out the puzzles to escape. 

The Puzzle 

The game requires a minimum of six players, believe me when I say this, you need at least six to play. During my experience we only had five and the host would play as the sixth person, but only doing what he told her to do specifically.

At a few points in the game we were moving slower than we should to complete the puzzle. The host would give us basic hints like, "what are we looking for" or "what are we trying to complete" in a way to bring the team on task and focus.

Without giving the puzzle away, the key is to work together as a team and think outside the box.  It is very easy to assume certain elements of the room and ideas are "obvious", but often paying attention to the small details really helps.  In addition, split tasks among members of the group to get things done quicker.  Often there are multiple puzzles to decipher at the same time, so make use of the brain power in the room.

What we liked: A completely different experience from the usual cruise ship activities, and quite challenging too. 

What we did not like: It is not a complimentary activity.

Cost: When we experienced Escape the Rubicon, the game was complimentary but we have heard Royal Caribbean is now charging $8.99 per guest to compete.

Experiences: Prohibition Party on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas

In:
27Apr2016

Royal Caribbean offers a lot of activities, events and shows for guests to do onboard their ships, including a themed event that takes us back to the days of the Great Gatsby.

The Prohibition Party is offered on Royal Caribbean's Oasis-class cruise ships and is a themed dance event that has a cover charge for guest to experience it.

While on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas, we were able to see what the Prohibition Party is all about and experience it for ourselves.

We reserved the Prohibition Party prior to our cruise and it is usually held late at night, with a start time of 10:00pm.

The premise of the Prohibition Party is you are going to a 1920's-style speakeasy, where the Eighteenth Amendment is in full effect, and guests are there to sing, dance and drink "tea".

Guests will receive in their stateroom an invitation for the special event and a place to meet.  Once there, they are instructed to give the person at the side door the secret password and are then allowed admission.

The event occurs on Jazz on Four and encourages all guests to dress up for the event with clothing fitting of the 1920's.  A vast majority of guests elect to dress up and it is highly recommended you do so as well.

Your $35 per guest admission charge includes entertainment, food and of course, drink.  There are plenty of alcoholic beverages provided throughout the event in the form of various cocktails.  Most of the drinks we had were fruit based drinks.

There is a loose storyline as part of the event, but it is mostly about guests enjoying some drinks and getting onto the dance floor to dance to some great live jazz music.

One interesting part of the event is when all guests are handed play money and betting cards to bet on a horse race.  Guests fill out their betting cards and then a recorded radio broadcast plays to reveal the winner.  Pretty neat!

Overall, the Prohibition Party is a fun excuse to get dressed up, enjoy ample cocktails with live jazz music. Guests looking for something different in their evening entertainment are sure to enjoy this fun choice.

What we liked: Lots to drink for the money, different event from anything else offered, great live music.

What we did not like: It starts fairly late, limited food choices.

Cost: $35 per guest

Top 10 Family things to do on Royal Caribbean's Quantum-class ships

In:
14May2015

Join us in welcoming back Don from EatSleepCruise! He’s treating us to his list of the best activities for families on Royal Caribbean's Quantum-class cruse ships!

There is so much to do and see onboard Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Anthem of the Seas,  that it is an ideal vacation for families. Whether your family is the outgoing type, or likes to vacation in a relaxed, casual style, Quantum class ships offer a great mix of amenities and public spaces to please everyone from 2 to 92!

If you vacation like us, we know you want to make the most of every minute. But, no matter how many days you are onboard a Quantum class ship, it seems like there is never enough time to get everything done. But, don’t stress. We have outlined the top 10 family activities for your next Anthem of the Seas trip to ensure you have the perfect family vacation. 

Soar to New Heights – Quantum class ships offer some amazing “firsts” at seas, among them are Ripcord by iFLY, a skydiving simulator, and North Star, an aerial gondola that takes you 300 feet above sea level.  Both are must-do activities for families. While North Star is first come, first serve, you can make iFLY reservations in advance of your trip on the Cruise Planner!

Have Some Four Wheeled Fun- The kids are in for a real treat on Anthem of the Seas as they can experience the first ever roller skating rink at sea. Some roller skating events have themes, like 70s disco night or 90s pop night, so check the cruise compass to find a time that will entertain all members of the family. Then, gear up for a rock and rolling good time! And, yes mom and dad you also have to get out on the rink!

Throw your Own Personal Pizza Party – Most cruise ships have the same boring pizza selections: cheese, pepperoni, and that unidentifiable specialty pizza. However, Sorrento’s Pizza shop on Quantum class ships allows cruisers to make a fresh, custom pie by selecting from a wide array of toppings. So, while everyone else is at dinner, head to Sorrento’s with the kids, and let them be in charge of the menu one night.  

Go Head First into Oncoming Traffic – At the multi-use SeaPlex on Anthem of the Seas, there is so much you can do! On several days of your cruise, this venue offers select times for you and your loved ones to let out a little aggression, safely, with some bumper cars.  Don’t be fooled by the location, these cars are armed for a mighty good collision. Check the compass for times and restrictions as little ones do need to ride with a parent.

Plan a DIY Scavenger Hunt – There are so many beautiful paintings, digital photographs, and sculptures onboard that Quantum class ships are like floating museums-don’t tell your kids that.  So, you can create your own fun by hunting down some of these “rare artifacts” Indiana Jones style.  See who can find the most pieces of art in a pre-determined time frame. Hint: the elevators are a great place to start.

Sing Your Lungs Out – A cruise ship staple for young and old alike is karaoke. Happening at different times throughout your Anthem cruise, there are scheduled family karaoke sessions. So, why not get the whole family together for a sing-a-long? Who cares if your 13 year old daughter is embarrassed! Grab her hand and head up to the stage to “Shake it Off” along with Taylor Swift.

Make a Memory – One of the untapped gems of Quantum class ships is The Workshop, a secluded space located in the upper level of Two70. With a variety of complimentary classes available, family members can work with cruise staff to create personalized scrapbooks for all those vacation memories. Even if you have never made one before, there is no better time than the present to start a new tradition. No previous experience is necessary; all you need to bring is your imagination and your DIY skills! And the kids get to play with glue sticks!

Pose with Shrek – Not only Shrek, but many members of the Dreamworks family are onboard, and they want to meet you and the kids. During most sea days, there are scheduled “meet and greet” times to take pictures with all of your favorites, from Princess Fiona and Shrek, to Gloria and Alex from Madagascar, to the cast of How to Train Your Dragon. So, grab your camera and make sure to bring your smiles! Most of these “meet and greets” do allow you to use your own camera for pictures, whereas some of them are for professional portraits only, so check the compass for details.

#SelfieAtSea with Shrek! #QuantumOfTheSeas

A photo posted by Royal Caribbean Blog.com (@royalcaribbeanblog) on

Stay in Shape – There are so many organized and unorganized fitness related opportunities onboard Anthem of the Seas that there is no excuse for not staying active during your cruise. Perhaps, just a walk around the sports deck every afternoon for some old fashioned “family time”. Or, you may want to up the ante by challenging your kids to a rock climbing race, or even a boogie board showdown on the surf simulator known as the Flowider. Remember, it will help work off some of those extra calories too!

Make it a Family Movie Night – I know, the last thing you might be thinking on your Caribbean cruise is that you want to sit indoors for 2 hours to watch a movie. Well, lucky for you, Anthem has extra-large outdoor movie screens located on the pool deck, playing family friendly movies. Depending on the length of your cruise, there will probably be two or three different movies playing in rotation.  With showings during the early evening, it might be the best time to snuggle up on a deck chair with your personal crew.

Now, all you need to do is book that vacation and get ready for some family fun. If you need some help arranging your Quantum class cruise, our exclusive planning guide might best place to start!  

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