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Royal Caribbean testing out chatbot that can answer common questions

11 Aug 2023
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is experimenting with a new chat bot that can answer some basic questions customers might have before they get on a ship.

Sign of Royal Caribbean

We spotted a new chatbot on select pages of the Royal Caribbean website that provide an option to engage with and get answers.

A customer service chatbot is a bot that uses AI and machine learning to answer basic customer questions via a business messenger. For example, you could ask "how do I book a cruise" or "when can I check-in for my cruise?".

Chatbots use existing knowledge base articles to help answer customers’ questions. They can recognize and answer multiple forms of the same question and can be trained to give instant responses using your preferred voice and tone.

Chatbots are a popular mechanism for ecommerce sites to get answers to customers 24/7 on topics that are very commonly asked. AI chatbots have really risen to prominence since 2020, providing 24/7 support, and automatically resolving questions without any human intervention.

Chatbot pop up

The chatbot is in a pop up that appears on select pages of the Royal Caribbean website, such as the frequently asked questions section. It is not available on the Royal Caribbean app.

If you opt to click on the "Chat with us" pop-up, the Virtual Agent greets you with the option of inquiring about an existing booking or if you have no booking.

Chatbot pop up active

The chatbot allows you to type your questions and it will try its best to find you an answer.

Testing out the chatbot

Answer from chatbot

I was curious as anyone to know how helpful the chatbot could be, so I fed it some questions that are commonly asked in Google searches.

Below you'll see the question in bold, followed by the chatbot's response.

Dining room waiter

How much do you tip a cruise waiter?

As of September 7th, 2022, the automatic service gratuity of $16.00 USD per person, per day for guests in non-suites staterooms, or $18.50 USD per person, per day for guests in Suites, will be applied to each guest’s SeaPass account on a daily basis. The gratuity applies to individual guests of all ages and stateroom categories. Gratuities are shared among dining, bar, culinary services staff, stateroom attendants, and other hotel services teams who work behind the scenes to enhance the cruise experience.

Read moreTipping on a cruise ship: what you should and shouldn't do

Bottled water

Can I bring a 12 pack of water on Royal Caribbean?

Yes, guests are allowed to bring non-alcoholic beverages as carry-on items on boarding day. Non-alcoholic beverages may not exceed 12 standard (17 oz.) cans, bottles, or cartons per stateroom.

Read moreWhat food or drinks you're allowed to bring on a Royal Caribbean cruise


Do I need a passport or birth certificate to take a Royal Caribbean cruise?

Yes, as a US citizen, you will need a valid US passport book that is valid for at least 6 months after your cruise ends to board a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. If you are sailing from a US homeport, an official US state-issued birth certificate is also accepted. Guests age 16 and older who present an official US state-issued birth certificate will also need to provide a valid driver's license or government-issued picture ID.

Read morePassport card vs book: Which should you choose?

Covid test

Do I need a Covid test to enter US after a cruise?

Vaccinations, face masks, and pre-cruise testing are no longer required to sail, with the following exceptions: transpacific sailings ending in Australia (pre-cruise testing & vaccines required), cruises from Australia (vaccinations, face masks and pre-cruise testing required), and the Ultimate World Cruise (vaccination required).

Can you split a drink package on Royal Caribbean?

I'm afraid I don't have an answer for that at the moment.

Read moreRoyal Caribbean Drink Package guide

Will my phone work onboard a Royal Caribbean ship?

Yes, Royal Caribbean works with cellular networks to provide the ability to connect your device through "cellular at sea". These roaming rates to utilize your device are determined by your cellular provider. Prior to your sailing, it is recommended to contact your cellular provider for more information on these rates and special packages available. Additionally, another option for staying connected without utilizing your cellular data is connecting to VOOM, the fastest internet at sea. VOOM allows guests to stay connected via wifi, with a variety of packages to choose from.

Read moreCellphone Use Onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise


Where can I smoke on a Royal Caribbean cruise?

For the comfort and enjoyment of our guests, our ships are designated as non-smoking; however, we recognize that some of our guests do smoke. To provide an onboard environment that meets all needs, we’ve designated certain areas of the ship as smoking areas. Smoking is permitted in designated outdoor areas, must be properly disposed of, and never be thrown overboard. We’ll have visible signage posted in areas where smoking is permitted, and ashtrays that are provided for use. Cigar and pipe tobacco are limited to designated outdoor areas and Cigar Bars. You must be at least 21 years of age to purchase, possess, or use tobacco on sailings beginning in U.S. ports. For sailings beginning in all other ports, the minimum age is 18 years old.

Family at Windjammer

Where can I eat on embarkation day at the start of a Royal Caribbean cruise?

On the first day of your Royal Caribbean cruise, you can enjoy a meal at our different available venues before heading to your stateroom.


I've been assigned My Time Dining, what does this mean?

My Time Dining is one of the options you’ll get to choose from when you book your cruise. Unlike traditional dining — where a dining time is assigned to you — guests who opt for My Time Dining can eat in the Main Dining Room anytime they like during dinner hours, according to availability. Reservations are strongly recommended. My Time Dining uses the same menu as traditional seating. The wait staff will have your table ready for you so can avoid a delay in seating. If you would like a specific waiter or table, they are more likely to be able to accommodate your request with advance reservations (however, please note this is based on availability). Guests who have signed up for My Time Dining will have their SeaPass card designated with the dining room and deck number. They will be seated in one of the main dining rooms. There will be a My Time Dining check-in desk at the entrance to the dining room with wait staff to greet guests. My Time Dining is now a choice within the booking process. When making a reservation you will be offered “My Time” or traditional dining times* (i.e., 5:30 pm 8:00 pm). *Traditional dining times may vary by ship and itinerary.

Read moreWhat you need to know about Royal Caribbean's My Time Dining

Ship ratings feature added

Ship ratings example

In addition to the chatbot, you can now find cruise ship ratings for all of Royal Caribbean's cruise ships.

In visiting any of the ship landing pages, you'll find at the bottom a list of ratings.

Ship reviews

In fact, there's a lot of reviews listed for each ship.

For Wonder of the Seas, there were 51,409 reviews. Ovation of the Seas has 27,366 reviews. Mariner of the Seas has 37,647 reviews.

Perfect Storm waterslides on Wonder of the Seas

Moreover, the reviews don't seem to be filtered, if at all. There were as many glowing positive reviews and one star negative reviews.

Read moreWhy you can't trust online reviews of cruise ships

In case you're wondering, here's how the fleet stacks up based on average review score:

4.7 Stars

4.6 Stars

4.5 Stars

  • Anthem of the Seas
  • Brilliance of the Seas
  • Explorer of the Seas
  • Grandeur of the Seas
  • Jewel of the Seas
  • Ovation of the Seas
  • Radiance of the Seas
  • Vision of the Seas
  • Voyager of the Seas

4.4 Stars

  • Enchantment of the Seas
  • Rhapsody of the Seas

Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost expert on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

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