The 25 BEST Royal Caribbean tips, tricks & hidden secrets!

In:
21Feb2020
By: Matt Hochberg

A Royal Caribbean cruise is hands down my favorite type of vacation, and with so many years of going cruising, I have come across a lot of tricks and tips that really enhance my cruise.

These nifty little secrets can save money, time or both, and so I wanted to whittle them down to the best Royal Caribbean tips and tricks in hopes of saving you time and money!

#1 Bring a bathing suit on embarkation day

On embarkation day, the pools are open so be sure to pack a bathing suit in your carry-on luggage so that you can enjoy them with less crowds!

Most guests pack their bathing suits in the checked luggage, which means they will not have access to it until later that day.  The result is far fewer guests in the pools, hot tubs and water slides than at any other time on your cruise.

You can change in a public restroom, and towels are available at the pool area to use.

#2 How to avoid the Deluxe Beverage Package rule

Did you know if one adult elects to buy the unlimited alcohol package, all other adults in the same room have to get it too?

If you have an adult in your room that does not drink (much) alcohol, you can get around this rule by calling Royal Caribbean and requesting that person get the Royal Refreshment package.

By having them get the non-alcoholic drink package, you will save a lot of money compared to buying them the Deluxe Beverage package that costs much more.

#3 Asking for special order food in the main dining room

Do not be afraid to ask your waiter for special requests that are not of the dietary need variety, but just something you really love.  Perhaps you like having a plate of vegetables to start your dinner off with or anything else that is not on the menu.  

Speak with your head waiter to make the request.  If the ship has the ingredients onboard to make it, odds are they will be happy to make it for you.

In general, we have found a 24 hour notice will ensure the chef's crew can take care of the request for you.  

#4 Go to the cruise terminal early

To beat the embarkation day crowds, plan to arrive to your cruise terminal somewhere between 10am and 11:30am.

There are a few really good reasons to arrive early.  

  1. Your vacation begins sooner!
  2. You can avoid the crowds that will make the embarkation process take longer, especially checking luggage and checking into the cruise
  3. You can avoid the lunch rush

Royal Caribbean ships usually arrive in port and disembark their passengers early in the morning, so if you can be at the pier around 10am, you will be setting yourself up for a great (and less crowded) start to your cruise!

#5 Book your cruise as early as you can to save money

There is no question that if you want to get the lowest price on a cruise, book it as early as you can.

Generally speaking, the best price for a Royal Caribbean cruise can be found when booked many months in advance.

Royal Caribbean sells its cruises largely based on the concept of supply and demand. When a sailing is first offered, supply is at its highest because no one has purchase a stateroom yet. As time progress, more and more staterooms are reserved and stateroom inventory drops, so the price increases conversely.

The earlier you can book, the best chance you will have at getting a good price on your cruise.

When we say "early", it essentially means as early as you can.  Royal Caribbean puts its itineraries on sale as much as two years in advance of the sailing, and while that may be too far in advance for many to plan vacations, the earlier you can book the cruise, the better for that bottom line price.

#6 Save money by pre-booking packages

To save time and money, you really should pre-book beverage packages, dining packages, internet packages and more.

In many cases, Royal Caribbean promises a discount on select pre-cruise purchases compared to the price onboard.

When you purchase anything before your cruise via the Cruise Planner site, you will be required to pay for it at the time of purchase.  This provides the ability to break up the total cost of the cruise.

When you make purchases onboard your cruise, at the end of the cruise you get a final bill with all of the charges tallied up.  By pre-purchasing certain items, you can pay off parts of the cruise months or years in advance, allowing you to reduce the cruise bill at the conclusion of your cruise.

An intangible benefit to pre-purchasing anything is it saves you time onboard from doing the exact same thing, which means more vacation time back to you.

Taking the time to purchase anything onboard does not take very much time, but every little bit helps, and some purchases on the first day of the cruise can require waiting in a line, such as drink packages.

#7 Use a good travel agent

In short, to save time and money, use a good travel agent.

There is a lot that goes into a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation, from your cruise fare (and the slew of discounts available), to dining, shore excursions, air travel and more.  Using a travel agent simplifies this entire process.

The best reason to use an agent is to save you time, because they are the ones sitting on hold when calling Royal Caribbean.  Tasks such as repricing, making special requests, dealing with weather events and more are why I use a travel agent every single I book a cruise.

Keep in mind that travel agents are paid by Royal Caribbean, so there is no additional cost to you to use their services.   Talk to a few agents and feel them out for their knowledge of the product and when you find one that you are comfortable with, leverage their knowledge and expertise and book with them.

#8 Go to the helipad for sailaway

On Voyager, Freedom or Radiance class ships, be sure to visit the helipad for my favorite sailaway spot.

The helipad on is located on the bow (front) of the ship and during sailaway, Royal Caribbean permits guests access to the helipad.  This is a great spot to see the port as you leave, especially for those that do not have a balcony stateroom or simply want something a little different.

#9  Fly to your cruise port at least one day early

If you are flying to your cruise port, be sure to fly in at least one day before the cruise is scheduled to depart to protect against a travel delay.

By planning to arrive to your departure port at least one day early, you assure yourself that a travel delay will not impact your ability to get on your cruise. Having an extra day or two provides a buffer to account for travel delays.  

As an added bonus, by arriving to your embarkation port at least a day early, that means you get to start your vacation sooner!  And in many cases, the port you are departing from has its own cultural and historical attractions that you can explore.

#10 Check-in via the Royal Caribbean app

Royal Caribbean's new app is such a time saver, especially when it comes to completing online check-in.

Be sure to take a selfie, scan your passport and answer all questions.  If your ship and port support Expedited Arrival, the app becomes an invaluable resource to start your vacation. 

#11 Best times for deals at the spa

If you want to find the best prices for the spa on your cruise, consider booking things on port days, or early in the morning or late at night for the best prices.

The common thread among these times is it is when others are unable or unwilling to go to the spa, so prices tend to be better.

#12 Free breakfast at Johnny Rockets on Oasis Class ships

Did you know that Johnny Rockets is complimentary for breakfast on Oasis Class ships?  

All Oasis-class ships offer this option, but many guests are unaware that breakfast is served here, nor that it is included with your cruise fare (Johnny Rockets has a cover charge for lunch and dinner).

Johnny Rockets tends to be not very crowded for breakfast, because many guests are unaware of this option, and it also has a large seating capacity (indoor and outdoor seating options).

#13 Avoid embarkation day lunch lines in the buffet

The Windjammer is the go-to spot for most when they get onboard their Royal Caribbean ship for lunch, but there are good alternatives that are less crowded.

These locations include:

  • Park Cafe
  • Cafe @ Two70
  • Cafe Promenade
  • Sorrentos
  • Compass Deli (Majesty of the Seas only)

#14 Look for the cooking stations in the Windjammer

Freshly cooked food is always the best, and there are cooking stations available in the Windjammer that serve up some really tasty options.

In the morning, there is an omelet station available.  For lunch and dinner, you can find a rotating set of options that include pasta, stir-fry, crepes and more.

Check with the Windjammer wait staff for a schedule of options. 

#15 You can bring water or soda on embarkation day...

Royal Caribbean allows guests to bring up to 12 bottles/cans of non-alcoholic beverages per stateroom with them on embarkation day.

You can bring soda, water, energy drinks and any other non-alcoholic beverages.

Be sure to pack these items in your carry-on luggage, and not your checked luggage.

#16 ...and wine too!

In addition to the non-alcoholic beverages, you can also bring up to two bottles of wine per stateroom.

Each stateroom may bring up to two 750 ml bottles of wine or champagne, as long as one guest is of legal drinking age. Corkscrews will be provided for guests to enjoy their drinks in their stateroom. If guests wish to enjoy their wine or champagne in our dining or bar venues, there will be a corkage fee applied.

#17 Cruise off-season to really save money

If your schedule allows, the best time to cruise when prices are the lowest are in the off-season and shoulder seasons.

These are the times of year when demand is less for cruises to certain regions. People often wonder what is the cheapest month to go on a cruise, and the key is cruise when others cannot.

Most people go on vacation based around their school or work schedules. If you can cruise during these times, there are some truly low prices to enjoy.

#18 Read a past Cruise Compass

Want to get an idea of what entertainment, activities and things to do (along with times) will be offered on your cruise? Read a past Cruise Compass!

Royal Caribbean does not post or publish Cruise Compasses for upcoming sailings in advance.  Nor do they publish their entertainment schedules prior to a cruise. So the best way to learn about what is offered on your cruise is to check out a past Cruise Compass.

There is no way to know in absolute terms what your upcoming Royal Caribbean cruise will or will not offer, but Royal Caribbean insiders will consult past Cruise Compass' to see what was available on those similar sailings to get an idea of what to expect.

#19 Use the porters

Whether the first day or the last day of your cruise, be sure to grab a porter to make things easier on yourself.

Porters are available to assist with your luggage. Their services are complimentary, although a tip is expected for their trouble.

Commonly it is expected to tip somewhere around $1-$2 per bag. For just a few dollars, you can make the embarkation and disembarkation process significantly easier.

Not only can a porter help take a load off of you, they can greatly assist with disembarkation and getting you through the terminal faster. In many ports, porters have a special line for Customs that allows you to get through it all faster.

#20 Book entertainment before your cruise

If you are sailing on an Oasis or Quantum Class ship, you can pre-book shows in advance, such as the Broadway musicals or ice shows.

Royal Caribbean does not charge for its shows, nor does it charge for advanced reservations.  Take advantage of the opportunity to get tickets and not be stuck in a line waiting to enter the theater or worse, miss out on the show completely.

Just like dining, you can reserve shows in advance by going to Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner site.  Once logged in, navigate to Onboard Activities and select the show you wish to reserve.

#21 Research shore excursions before the cruise

The tours and excursions available to book in the ports your cruise will visit are many, so take advantage of the resources online to find the perfect tour before your cruise begins.

While you can book shore excursions onboard your ship, the lines at the shore excursion desk can often be quite long and doing your research from home gives you plenty of time to compare different options and learn what each port offers.

You can view all the shore excursions available by logging into Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner and browsing the shore excursions by port.  Each excursion will list the price, details of the activity and any physical or age restrictions.

Royal Caribbean offers a lot of shore excursions in every port and on top of that, you can also consider shore excursions through third party groups to further expand your options.

Keep in mind the differences between Royal Caribbean's shore excursions and third party shore excursions.  Here are some basic considerations

  • Royal Caribbean shore excursions guarantee your return to the ship, even if the excursion is delayed.
  • Third party shore excursions can offer more personalized tours at a lower price.
  • Royal Caribbean shore excursions are fully refundable if your ship cannot dock at a scheduled port.
  • Guests can use onboard credit towards purchasing Royal Caribbean's shore excursions if they book onboard.

#22 The Main Dining Room is open for lunch on sea days

Naturally everyone thinks of the main dining room for dinner, but did you know it is often open for lunch (and breakfast) too?

On sea days, the main dining room is open for lunch and it serves up a different menu of options than what is offered during dinner.

No reservations needed, just walk on in and be seated.

#23 Make My Time Dining reservations

If you are in My Time Dinning for dinner, your best strategy is to make reservations either before the cruise, or during the cruise.

By having a reservation, you will be seated faster. The larger the group, the more important having a reservation is to limiting the wait times.

Peak dinner time is between 6:30pm and 8:00pm, so if you plan to dine during these times, reservations are so important.

#24 Eat outside!

If you are on a Radiance or Quantum Class ship, be sure to enjoy your meals outside while at the Windjammer.

The Windjammer on Radiance and Quantum class ships offers an area at the rear of the ship to enjoy any meal with a fantastic view of the ship's wake.  

Oasis Class ships offer outside dining is also available on Central Park and Boardwalk neighborhoods.

#25 Try the signature activities on embarkation day

If you want to try Sky Pad, FlowRider, rock climbing wall or zipline, take advantage of lower waits on the first day of the cruise.

Because so many guests are just getting onboard and acclimated to the new ship, many guests are unaware of where the headline attractions are or that they are open on embarkation day.

By going on embarkation day, not only will you likely have a short wait but you may be able to re-ride a number of times!

Your Tips!

I would love to hear your tips and tricks! Share them in our comments on this post.

Friday Photos - February 21, 2020

In:
21Feb2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Love Royal Caribbean? Need a "fix" until your next cruise? Every week we share our readers' favorite Royal Caribbean cruise photos so that we can all enjoy a "virtual escape" onboard!

We kickoff this week's edition with a photo by Bob "Carp" Carpenter of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge as Rhapsody of the Seas sailed out of Tampa.

Here is a look down the pier at CocoCay, taken by Michael Kho.

Our next photo is of the ice skating show on Navigator of the Seas. Photo by Nicole Waite.

Spiralqueen grabbed this shot of Grandeur of the Seas docked at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Stuart Cole sent in this photo of sail away from Sydney on Ovation of the Seas.

Here is a great looking sunset from Harmony of the Seas, taken by Peter Slinger.

Our final photo is by Joe Moran (@JLMoran) from on a sunset catamaran in Bermuda.

Thank you to everyone for sharing these wonderful photos with us.  If you would like to share your best Royal Caribbean cruise photos, use this form to submit them.

Have a great weekend!

Royal Caribbean weekend offer has up to $450 instant savings

In:
21Feb2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is offering 60% off second guest, kids sail free and up to $450 instant savings on cruises booked this weekend.

The Dive Into Deals sale runs between February 21 - 23, 2020 and is valid on select sailings departing on or after March 21, 2020.

It includes:

  • Instant savings of up to $300 USD per stateroom 
    • Sailings 5 nights or less, $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $75 for Balconies and $150 for Suites
    • Sailings 6 nights or longer, $75 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $100 for Balconies and $300 for Suites
  • BOGO60 provides 60% savings off the price of cruise fare of the second guest booked in the same stateroom as first, full-fare paying guest.
    • BOGO60 also provides 30% cruise fare savings for third guests and higher booked in the same stateroom as the first two qualifying guests. BOGO60 savings applied to cruise fare at checkout.  
    • In addition, BOGO60 offers up to $150 instant savings per stateroom on select sailings. Instant savings amount determined by category booked and sailing length:
      • Sailings 5 nights or less, $25 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $50 for Balconies and $75 for Suites
      • Sailing 6 nights or longer, $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $75 for Balconies and $150 for Suites.
      • Instant savings do not apply to China departures. 
  • Alaska Kicker
    • Applies to new bookings made between February 1 – March 3, 2020.
    • Alaska Kicker applies to select sailings departing between May 15, 2020 - September 11, 2020 on Ovation of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas.
    • $25 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $50 for Balconies and $100 for Suites.
  • Kids Sail Free applies to new bookings made between February 12, 2020 – March 31, 2020.
    • Kids Sail Free provides free cruise fare for 3rd guests and higher who are 12 years old or younger as of cruise departure date, booked in the same stateroom as the first two qualifying guests in a triple of quad-occupancy stateroom.
    • Kids Sail Free applies to select 4-night or longer Alaska, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Caribbean, CaribNE, Coastal, Europe, Hawaii, Repositioning and all 2020 Serenade of the Seas sailings departing between March 1, 2020 – December 17, 2020 and January 8, 2021 – May 17, 2021.
    • Offer excludes 2020 President’s Day sailings (Sailings between February 14 – 17, 2020), 2020 Spring Break sailings (Sailings between March 14 – 23, 2020), 2020 Holy Week/Easter sailings (Sailings between April 3 – 17, 2020), Peak Summer (Sailings between May 15 – August 31, 2020), 2020 Thanksgiving sailings (Sailings between November 21 - 28, 2020), 2021 President’s Day Sailings (Sailings between February 12 – 15, 2021), and 2021 Spring Break and Easter sailings (Sailings between March 13 – April 4, 2021).
    • Taxes, fees, and port expenses are additional and apply to all guests.

BOGO60, Kids Sail Free and Alaska Kicker are combinable with each other as well as promotional OBCs, NextCruise offers, instant savings, restricted discounts (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military), Promo Code driven offers, Free Upgrades, Crown and Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. Dive into Deals Sale is combinable with BOGO60, Kids Sail Free and Alaska Kicker as well as with promotional OBCs, NextCruise offers, Instant Savings, restricted discounts (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military), Promo Code driven offers Free Upgrades and Shareholder Benefits but not combinable with Crown and Anchor discounts. Offer are not combinable with any other offer or promotion, including, but not limited to, Standard Group, Interline, Travel Agent, Travel Agent Friends and Family, Weekly Sales Events, and Net Rates. Promo Code driven offers are based on select ships and sail dates and must be applied at time of booking; limit one promo code per booking.

Offer available to residents of United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and select countries in the Caribbean.

Video: Top 10 Biggest Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships in the World!

In:
20Feb2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is known for building some of the world's largest cruise ships in the world, so I have a look at the top 10 biggest ships in Royal Caribbean's fleet today and in the future!

Size is not everything, but it sure is impressive! Our newest video has a ranking of the largest Royal Caribbean ships based on gross tonnage.

And if you love this video, there’s plenty more for you to enjoy over on our Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel!

By the way, have you subscribed yet? Be sure to subscribe to our channel and never miss a single video!

So check out the video and then let us know: Which of these big ships is your favorite? 

What is the best room on a cruise ship?

In:
19Feb2020
By: Matt Hochberg

When you book a cruise vacation, you will need to choose a cabin and entails determining the best stateroom for your family.

Naturally, you might be wondering what is the best room on a cruise ship. Here is a look at what to know before booking your cabin.

Picking the best room on a cruise

The short answer is there is no single option for everyone that is "the best." Rather, the best cabin for anyone is relative to their preferences, budget and tastes.

Royal Caribbean provides a great deal of staterooms to choose between on any cruise, that run the gamut of price, location and amenities.

When it comes to picking the best stateroom, you will have to weigh these considerations:

First and foremost, how much you can spend on a room will dictate largely your choices.  If you are cruising on a slim budget, suites and perhaps even balcony rooms are going to be out of the question.  If you have more to spend, then you will have more choices.

Perhaps the toughest decision is what type of stateroom to pick. There are good arguments to be made for every type of room, from inside rooms to balconies to suites.

An inside room will save you a lot of money, and makes a lot of sense since the ship has so much to see and do that you likely will not be spending much time in the room.  You could spend a little bit more and get an oceanview room and gain some natural light.  Or perhaps you go for a balcony room, which provides a private area to step outside and enjoy the ocean breeze as you see fit.  And of course, a suite means having the ultimate in luxury onboard and being in a room that nice, you will find good reason to enjoy time in there.

Choosing the right room for you is about how you like to cruise, and what you are looking to do onboard.  Shorter cruises means you will likely be running around trying to see and do everything, so investing a ton in an expensive room may not make financial sense.  On longer sailings, having a larger room means more space to spread out and enjoy to nap, read or watch the world go by.

Deciding if a balcony room is worth the price is something many cruisers have to consider with each booking. Ultimately, it depends on your budget and how much more it would cost to move up to a balcony room (or suite) from a lower category.

How important is location

Where your room is located plays a factor in determining what the best location is on a cruise ship.

The primary concern for most people when choosing a room is noise bleed.  The good news is that most rooms on Royal Caribbean do a good job at blocking out most noise, but no stateroom is soundproof.

A good rule of thumb when choosing a room is picking one that has no public spaces directly one deck above or one deck below it.

When choosing a room, you will need to look at if it's on a higher deck versus lower deck, as well as midship versus forward or aft.

In general, the most popular spot to be on a cruise ship is midship on a higher deck because these rooms are centrally located. Moreover, cabins towards the middle of the ship have the reputation of providing a smoother ride when the ocean is rough. The sensation of movement due to the ocean is perceived differently by everyone, but it is worth noting.

Staying on a lower deck has the advantage of being closer to popular common areas, such as the Royal Promenade, theaters and dining rooms. This means less dependency on elevators.

A room on a higher deck provides more desirable views, as well as being closer in proximity to the pool deck. On warm weather sailings, this may be a very convenient choice.

Which is the best side of a cruise ship to be on?

Many readers are curious which side of the ship they should pick for the room, and I believe it does not matter at all.

First and foremost, there is no set side that is always going to face one particular direction in port or at sea.  It varies depending on a variety of factors, and none of them are going to be known until you are onboard. Moreover, there is plenty to see in all directions when it comes to most sailings.

When docked, the crew can tie up a ship on either side. This means that one side does not consistently have better views when in port.

Ultimately, where your room is located on the ship (midship versus forward or aft) is an arguably more important consideration than the side of the ship.

Room upgrades & Guarantees

If all of this has made sense up until now, here are two other stateroom options that may change up your decision, while potentially saving you money.

Bidding for a room upgrade

Royal Caribbean offers guests on most sailings the opportunity to bid for a stateroom upgrade through something called RoyalUp.

RoyalUp asks guest to provide a blind bid for a stateroom upgrade on the chance the room is available.  Once a bid is made, Royal Caribbean will consider it until such time that there is an upgrade opportunity. 

The advantage of upgrading your room via RoyalUp is that you could move up to a higher, more desirable room, for less than booking it outright.  However, there is no way to know if there is even an upgrade opportunity (the program is used quite often by the cruise line as a backup incase someone cancels at the last minute) and there is no way to know if your bid is "good enough" to win.

If your RoyalUp bid is accepted, Royal Caribbean will assign your room automatically, leaving little to no choice in its location.

Guarantee Rooms

If you want to save money on the a cabin, and are not particular about the exact location, then a guarantee room assignment might be the choice for you.

Booking a stateroom guarantee means Royal Caribbean will pick the exact room assignment for you, while guaranteeing you will get that room category or higher.  

So if you booked a balcony guarantee, you would be assured of getting at least a stateroom with private balcony somewhere on the ship, with the exact room assignment coming later.  Guarantee rooms could potentially provide a higher room category, although this is a rare occurrence.

For guests who do not care that much where exactly on the ship their room is located, a guarantee room booking can save a lot of money on the cruise fare.

What to pack for a cruise on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

In:
19Feb2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Our newest podcast episode is out to help give you a quick "audio escape" to a Royal Caribbean cruise!

Episode 342 is available for downloading, which focuses on one aspect of the cruise experience many of us can use some improvement with... packing!

Matt shares what you absolutely need to pack on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 342. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSSStitcher or on iTunes!

Take a listen and as always, let us know what you think! Please rate and review the podcast on iTunes and leave your comments below!

Royal Caribbean pushes back May 2021- April 2022 deployment schedule back two weeks

In:
19Feb2020
By: Matt Hochberg

The highly anticipated next release of new Royal Caribbean sailings for May 2021 - April 2022 has been pushed back a couple weeks.

Royal Caribbean has shared a new schedule of when the new sailings will go on sale.

  • Week of March 9, 2020: China – Phase 2
  • Week of March 9, 2020: Short Caribbean
  • Week of March 16. 2020: Australia
  • Week of March 23, 2020: China – Phase 3
  • Week of March 30, 2020: Singapore & Transpacifics

Essentially, China Phase 2 and Short Caribbean will now both be released the week of March 9, instead of the week of Week of February 24 and March 2, respectively.

These 2021-2022 sailings are in addition to the ones that were released in November & December 2019.

All itineraries and openings are subject to change without notice. 

Deployment schedules gives consumers an idea of when to expect particular cruise schedules to become available to start looking at future cruises.

Everything you wanted to know about Oasis of the Seas

In:
18Feb2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas was revolutionary when she debuted in 2009, and more than 10 years later, she is still one of the most beloved ships in the fleet among cruisers.

Her $165 million transformation in 2019 added a thrilling combination of new Royal Caribbean experiences for guests to enjoy.

With so much to like about this ship, here is a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about Oasis of the Seas.

Where does Oasis of the Seas depart from?

Oasis is now sailing 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises from Miami before heading to Bayonne, New Jersey in May 2020, where it will become the first of its kind and the largest cruise ship to sail from the area.

While sailing from PortMiami, Oasis of the Seas sails from Terminal 1.

When was Oasis of the Seas refurbished?

Oasis of the Seas underwent a refurbishment in 2019 as part of the Royal Amplified program, that added a number of changes, including , including the cruise line’s first barbecue restaurant, Portside BBQ; and guest favorites, from the tallest slide at sea–the Ultimate Abyss–to popular live music venue Music Hall, and a reimagined, Caribbean pool deck. 

There were quite a few changes made, but here are the most noteworthy ones:

  • Caribbean-style pool deck makeover, complete with Lime & Coconut signature bar. New day beds, casitas and variety of seating were added.
  • Ultimate Abyss slide (dry slide)
  • The Perfect Storm water slides
  • Splashaway Bay aqua park
  • Portside BBQ specialty restaurant
  • El Loco Fresh complimentary Mexican restaurant
  • Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade
  • Sugar Beach candy shop
  • Spotlight Karaoke venue
  • Music Hall venue
  • Bionic Bar
  • Revamped Adventure Ocean
  • Mission Control: Apollo 18 escape room

In short, the 2019 upgrades to Oasis enhanced the ship to bring it in line with any new cruise ship available to sail on today. These additions are aimed to keep the ship just as relevant and intriguing as any new Royal Caribbean ship.

How much does it cost to go on Oasis of the Seas?

The price for a cruise on Oasis of the Seas will depend on a variety of factors, so pricing can really run the gamut of options.

Many first timers are curious how much does a cruise cost. The total cost is a combination of the cruise fare, transportation, gratuities, beverages, specialty dining, shore excursions, internet, photos and more.

How much a Royal Caribbean costs depends so much on the choices you make before and during the cruise. Many of the extra costs are optional, but then again you are on vacation and indulging is what makes vacation so fun.

With a few exceptions, Oasis of the Seas typically offers 7-night cruises with prices that are budget friendly, as well as more extravagant suite options for those that want to splurge.

Is Oasis of the Seas a good ship?

It is very common to be curious if Oasis is a "good ship", especially among new cruisers.

Oasis of the Seas is not only a great ship, she is among the best ships in Royal Caribbean's fleet in terms of the amenities and activities it offers, quality service onboard, and the latest innovations.

The ship is one of the largest ships in the world, with plenty of space to offer things to do onboard for guests of all ages. Water slides, specialty dining, an escape room, pools, ice skating, a Broadway show and more await you on this ship.

Does Oasis of the Seas have formal nights?

Yes, on a 7-night sailing, Oasis of the Seas will offer two formal nights. 

Formal night will be held on Day 2 and 5 on Western itineraries and Day 2 and 6 on Eastern itineraries. 

What times are the shows on Oasis of the Seas?

Exact times of shows and activities will vary from sailing to sailing.

To get a ballpark idea of what shows, activities and times are on Oasis, consult a past Cruise Compass. Copies of a recent Cruise Compass are a great way to learn about what your ship offers, as well as get an idea of what to expect in terms of show times.

Royal Caribbean does allow guests to pre-book shows on Oasis of the Seas via the Cruise Planner site.  Around 45-60 days prior to sailing, entertainment for Oasis of the Seas becomes available to book. Reserving a show time has no additional cost, and assures you of a spot in a specific performance.

If you are unable to book a show in advance, there is always a standby line available to wait in, which means closer to show time, any open seats will be available on a first-come, first reserved basis.

What restaurants are free on the Oasis of the Seas?

  • Windjammer
  • Park Cafe
  • Boardwalk Dog House
  • Solarium Bistro
  • El Loco Fresh
  • Sorrento's
  • Cafe Promenade
  • Main Dining Room
  • Johnny Rockets (breakfast only)

How many pools does Oasis of the Seas have?

There are four primary pools on Oasis of the Seas, along with a series of whirlpools, and Splashaway Bay aqua park.

The pools are not heated. The Beach Pool is saltwater, and the other pools are fresh water filtered pools.

The pools are located on deck 15 and 16.

What shows are playing on Oasis of the Seas?

Among the many things to do on Oasis of the Seas are the signature shows. This includes:

  • Cats, the Broadway musical, in the Royal Theater
  • One Sky in the Royal Theater
  • Aqua80s in the AquaTheater
  • Frozen in Time in Studio B

There is no additional cost to see these shows

Is Oasis of the Seas the largest cruise ship in the world?

While Oasis of the Seas used to be the largest cruise ship in the world, she no longer holds that title.

Oasis is the fourth largest cruise ship, having been surpassed by sister vessels Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas.

Video: What's new on Royal Caribbean if you haven't cruised in a few years

In:
18Feb2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Has it been a few years since your last Royal Caribbean cruise?

If so, welcome back! This video is all about sharing some of the big changes Royal Caribbean has made in the last couple years that ought to get you up to speed on where things stand today.

And if you love this video, there’s plenty more for you to enjoy over on our Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel!

By the way, have you subscribed yet? Be sure to subscribe to our channel and never miss a single video!

So check out the video and then let us know: What's the most exciting change to happen on Royal Caribbean in the last few years?

Royal Caribbean testing family steel drum lesson activity

In:
18Feb2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is quietly testing a brand new family activity that could be coming to a cruise ship near you soon.

The Steel Pan Family Jam is being tested on select ships, that allows families to learn how to play the steel drums while on their cruise.

Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President of Entertainment, Nick Weir, shared a video of one of these lessons and mentioned it is in pilot mode, but "will go fleetwide soon."

In addition, the cruise line filed a trademark for the "Steel Pan Family Jam" name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Royal Caribbean added a mini steel drum set to the bar area of the Lime & Coconut on Oasis of the Seas, with example sheet music. This was offered without musical instruction.

Is this an activity you want to try on a Royal Caribbean cruise?

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