Policies

Royal Caribbean prohibits emotional support animals from its cruise ships

In:
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14Aug2018

Royal Caribbean has updated its policy regarding emotional support animals by announcing that effective immediately, emotional support animals may not sail onboard Royal Caribbean International ships. 

The cruise line cites that emotional support animals are not recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

All Emotional Support Animals noted on reservations prior to July 30, 2018 are protected and will be allowed to sail. A notation advising of a protected emotional support animal will be placed on the reservation by the Access Department.

Royal Caribbean joins Southwest Airlines, which also announced today, it will restrict emotional support animals on its airplanes.

Royal Caribbean issued a statement regarding the change and why it was implemented, "We are updating the policy to differentiate emotional support animals from service animals that are trained to perform a function for a person with a disability.  It is important to us that all our guests enjoy their vacation, which is why we put into practice this new policy.  Royal Caribbean’s policy remains the same for service animals traveling with guests that have a physical or non-physical disability.

Moving forward, emotional support animals cannot be added to existing or new reservations.  Confirmed guests who already have emotional support animals noted in their reservation will be permitted to bring the animal."

Royal Caribbean announces enhanced online check-in process

In:
07Aug2018

Royal Caribbean announced today an easier online check-in process that aims to cut down the check-in process by 25%.

Guests will be asked to enter fewer data fields and can apply information, like credit card data, to multiple parties on their reservation. These improvements help guests move through the check-in process faster and easier.

The new online check-in features:

  • Fewer steps needed for check-in completion
  • Option to check in one person or your entire party simultaneously
  • Ability to edit previously entered information without repeating any steps
  • Easy add-guest or remove-guest functionality from check-in process
  • The ability to stop and save at any point
  • Easily pick up where you left off on either the website or the Royal Caribbean mobile App check in
  • Convenient digital SetSail pass for mobile use at terminal

The new online check-in process is already available for sailings onboard Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas. Royal Caribbean plans to expand this functionality to other ships "in the near future".

Guests can check-in from 90 days to 72 hours prior to the sail date. If a guest misses the check-in window, the guest has the option to check-in at the Port.

Royal Caribbean will stop using plastic straws by end of 2018

In:
08Jun2018

All of Royal Caribbean's cruise ships will eliminate the use of plastic drinking straws by the end 2018 in an effort to reach a comprehensive plastics elimination program.

The policy will be mirrored with sister brands Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, TUI Cruises, and Pullmantur Cruceros.

Royal Caribbean has already implemented a "straws upon request" policy, and this new policy will go a step further to eliminate the plastic option all together. That program will be taken a step further by the start of 2019, when guests requesting a straw will receive a paper straw instead of a plastic one. Guests also will begin seeing Forrest Stewardship Council-certified wood coffee stirrers and bamboo garnish picks as part of the plastic reduction strategy.

After straws, stirrers and picks, the company's next efforts will focus on other single-use plastics such as condiment packets, cups, and bags. A full plastics audit is underway, with the overall plan to be completed in phases by 2020.

Royal Caribbean cuts down on use of drink straws onboard its cruise ships

In:
21May2018

Guests sailing on Royal Caribbean may notice their next round of cocktails will not served with a plastic straw by default.

The cruise line has begun cutting back on the use of plastic straws, citing the negative environmental impact straws can have on the ocean.

Photo by Kathy Constantine from Adventure of the Seas

Photo by Nick Vitani on Enchantment of the Seas

Signs posted at bars around many ships indicate that when a guest orders a drink, they will not receive a straw automatically.  Guests may receive a straw upon request from any server.

Royal Caribbean's Save the Waves program began in 1992 as an effort to help protect the ocean ecosystem, and this new policy regarding drink straws is another step towards minimizing ocean pollution.

Royal Caribbean updates bringing a drone policy

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18Apr2018

Royal Caribbean has updated its policy on guests bringing drones onto a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.

Royal Caribbean states guests may bring drones on their cruise to be used on land only, and outside the port area.  Drones may not be operated onboard the ship at any time, nor on Royal Caribbean’s private destinations: CocoCay, Bahamas or Labadee, Haiti.

Previously, Royal Caribbean's policy was to store the drone for guests and then allow guests to take the drones off the ship while in port.

Royal Caribbean does warn guests that if they use a drone in port, they assume full responsibility for its safe operation.

"Guests assume full responsibility for understanding all local authority rules related to drone usage and for obtaining any required permissions for drone operations. Different countries may have different rules. Any liability, including environmental damage from drone usage is the guest's responsibility. Royal Caribbean assumes no liability for guest drones that may be confiscated by local authorities for violating local laws or for any accident or injury resulting from a guest drone flight."

Thanks to Fred Block for the heads up on this change!

Royal Caribbean bans Samsung Galaxy Note 7 cell phones on its cruise ships

In:
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22Oct2016

Royal Caribbean is notifying its guests that the much maligned Samsung Galaxy Note 7 cell phones are no longer allowed to be brought on its cruise ships.

Emails have been sent to some guests with cruises coming up to notify them of the policy change.

This decision was made in light of recent incidents and safety concerns raised by Samsung about this particular device, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recent ban of the phone from all airplanes.

Royal Caribbean joins many other cruise lines in banning the device after reports of fires from the device, as well as recalls, have created safety concerns with operating the device safely.

Summary of new Royal Caribbean policies for 2014

In:
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24Jan2014

It seems like things are always changing on Royal Caribbean and when 2014 began just a few short weeks ago, quite a number of new rules and policies changed too.  

One of our favorite readers, Ed Tinkertoy, suggested we list all the changes in one post.  So if you're cruising with Royal Caribbean in 2014, here's what you will need to know that's different this year.

No more late fees for pool towels

Royal Caribbean used to require guests to use their SeaPass card to rent pool towels and would charge them $25 per unreturned towel.  As of January 1, 2014, that policy has been eliminated.

Royal Caribbean cited guest feedback as the reason for this change and now you can take towels without having to show your SeaPass card or worry about being charged about when you return them.

We've also heard towel returns in general are easier now, with towel return bins near the gangway as you come back to the ship from port.  This means more convenience for guests and less hassle, so it's a good change.

Smoking ban on balconies

Royal Caribbean followed a few other cruise lines in forbidding smoking on balconies starting January 1, 2014.  

Smoking in staterooms has been banned for a while but balcony smoking had been permitted. Now, if you want to light up, you have to go to designated smoking areas on the ship or risk a $250 fine.

The new rule generated a lot of feedback on both sides of the argument but the new policy has gone into effect and is now the "law of the land".  

Guest comment cards are now electronic

If you've cruised with Royal Caribbean before, then you are probably familiar with the feedback cards the crew would always encourage you to fill out.  As of January 1, 2014, there are no more cards and instead it's all online now.

Within 24 hours of your disembarkation, you will receive an email from Royal Caribbean encouraging you to share your feedback.  You will have seven days to complete the survey, which is a lot more time than the day or so you had with the cards (assuming you remembered to drop it off).

The new change gives guests more flexibility and time to share feedback and Royal Caribbean claims it takes just 7 minutes to complete.

New unlimited alcohol packages

The new unlimited alcohol packages actually went into effect in November and December 2013, but for anyone cruising in 2014, it may still be news to you.

Royal Caribbean added a new ultimate package for $65 per person, per day, added a few more things to the existing packages and dropped the requirement that required everyone in the same stateroom to buy an unlimited alcohol package.

For guests, the change means more options, less restrictions and all for the same price.  I'd call that a good change!