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An engineering feat: How Royal Caribbean is adding a water park to a new cruise ship

21 Mar 2023
Elizabeth Wright

Royal Caribbean is making significant process with Icon of the Seas' construction. 


In fact, on March 15, the Meyer Turku shipyard confirmed that the first multi-fuel engine was turned on for the first time!

Building a ship this large and technically advanced, however, is sure to come with some challenges, such as designing the water slides for the Category 6 Water Park. 

"We knew we wanted water water everywhere, so we started there," said Jennifer Goswami, Director, Product Development for Royal Caribbean International, "And then we built the rest of the ship around that."

What is Category 6?

Thrill Island water park render on Icon of the Seas

Thrill Island will be a brand-new neighborhood dedicated to the most adventurous cruisers and home to the largest water park at sea: Category 6

This is not the first new neighborhood on the ship, as families can look forward to Surfside, which will make Icon of the Seas the first cruise ship in the fleet to have an area dedicated to young families.

When done, Category 6 water park will be 17,010 square feet and have six different record breaking slides, including the first family raft slides at sea: Storm Surge and Hurricane Hunter. 

Guests will also find the Pressure Drop, the first open free fall slide at sea. While overlooking a 45 degree angle drop, you will have to gain the courage to push yourself over the edge!

And, of course, the Frightening Bolt, the tallest water slide at sea that will have a 46 foot drop and 360 degree loop. Your ride will begin with you inside of a capsule waiting for the trap door to release. 

Did you know, however, that when Royal Caribbean first starting discussing Icon of the Seas, there were only going to be five slides onboard?  


"One of the interesting stories about the design of Icon of the Seas," said Kelly Gonzalez, Senior Vice President, Architectural Design, Newbuilding for Royal Caribbean Group, "is that we actually this idea of doing quite a number of water slides from the very beginning"

"We actually started with five...[and the name] Category 6 came about also with the decision of adding a sixth water slide."

Importance of collaboration


In total, there is 62% more water surface area on Icon of the Seas than any other Royal Caribbean ship. 

Nobody wanted to compromise on the speed or height of the water slides, so the company had to bring in a lot of experts to help design the water park in a way that it would be technically sound. This meant working with designers, architects, and naval architects. 


"Normally, a ship has maybe a couple of hundred tons or so of water in the pools," said Harri Kulovaara, Executive Vice President, Maritime & Newbuilding for Royal Caribbean Group. They are expecting Icon of the Seas to have closer to one thousand tons of water alone!

From the beginning, they knew that they had to be conscious about how much weight the water would add to the ship, as well as the funnel area in respect to wind and wind turbulence, without compromising the delivery date. 


"We had a weight reservation; we had a water reservation. We always have to work within certain boundaries. We make tradeoffs. We study what we think guests are going to love...," said Jay Schneider, Chief Product Innovation Officer for Royal Caribbean International.


"And really it was working closely with all of the partners throughout the company, including our site office, to make sure that we could push the boundary as really far as we could."

Building the water park


It was important that the slides be handled in a way that they could work with the main structural elements and components that were already built into the skeleton of the ship. 

Since the Category 6 water slides will be so complex and large, they are being built separately from the actual ship. Later, the slides will be barged next to the ship and transferred over to the top deck.  

Of course, Royal Caribbean knew that they were taking risks making this as complicated as they did. 

"I think that there will be so many intricacies, so many complex ways of getting everything that we want on the ship, but that is kind of the Royal Caribbean way as well, right?" said Goswami. 


When it is completed, there will be two towers in the open deck area that the slides will commence from, rather than just one. This design aspect allowed the team to create longer and faster slides for guests to enjoy. And more slides means more water!

There is more to the top decks than just the water park, too. It will be a three-deck high play land with different experiences to appeal to different interests. 

Launching in 2024

Icon of the Seas water park

When Icon of the Seas launches in early 2024, she will become the world's largest cruise ship, surpassing Wonder of the Seas, as well as the cruise line's first new class of ship since 2014. 

Related: 10 things Royal Caribbean got right with Wonder of the Seas

Icon of the Seas will be more than 6% bigger than Wonder of the Seas with the ability to hold up to 7,600 passengers! She will also be stand 20 decks high, measure 1,198 feet long, and weigh 250,800 gross registered tons.

Icon of the Seas' maiden voyage is not scheduled to depart until January 27, 2024 from Miami, Florida. During her first-ever trip, she will sail to Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; and Perfect Day at CocoCay, Bahamas

Hideaway aerial

Throughout 2024 and early 2025, Icon will be sailing round trip from Miami, Florida to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. 

As of March 21, 2023, the two cheapest sail dates are October 26, 2024 and November 16, 2024. Pricing for both begins at $1,271 per person based on double occupancy in an interior stateroom. Some sailings see an interior cabin start at $2,000 per person!

She will be joined by a second unnamed Icon Class ship in late 2025, as well as a third ship in 2026. Construction on the second ship began in February. 

Best Fort Lauderdale hotels near the cruise port

21 Mar 2023
Jenna DeLaurentis

Planning a cruise from Fort Lauderdale? If so, you’ll need to book a hotel in the city the night before your cruise begins, and we’re sharing our top recommendations.

Fort Lauderdale at night

Port Everglades—Fort Lauderdale’s cruise port—is one of the busiest cruise ports in the United States. Nearly 4 million passengers sail from the port each year, the majority of whom cruise to the Eastern, Western, and Southern Caribbean.

Regardless of where your cruise visits, it’s important to allocate enough time to reach the cruise port before embarkation day. We always recommend arriving in Fort Lauderdale the day before your cruise begins, as this gives extra wiggle room in the case of any unexpected travel delays.

Related: Guide to cruises from Fort Lauderdale

Arriving a day early means booking a hotel near the cruise port. Luckily, Port Everglades is located just a few minutes from Fort Lauderdale’s main attractions, from Dania Beach to Las Olas Boulevard.

Here’s our list of the best hotels near Fort Lauderdale to book before your cruise.

Where to stay in Fort Lauderdale before your cruise

Near the airport/Dania Beach

If your flight arrives anytime after 7PM the day before your cruise, we recommend staying near the airport. Although there are many activities and sights to see in Fort Lauderdale, arriving late means you just need a place to sleep, shower, and change before your cruise begins.

Luckily, there is an extensive selection of hotels to choose from near the airport. We recommend staying in the Dania Beach neighborhood, which is located near the airport and cruise port.

Many hotels in Dania Beach are situated along Dania Pointe, an outdoor shopping plaza with restaurants, bars, retail stores, and a movie theater. Due to its location and the variety of dining and shopping to enjoy near your hotel, Dania Beach is a great choice for a pre-cruise stay near the airport.

Las Olas

Las Olas is the downtown district of Fort Lauderdale. It’s an exciting place to spend the night before your cruise, as it’s lined with restaurants, bars, art galleries, and shopping.

The neighborhood is situated along Las Olas Boulevard, a major thoroughfare street which runs from downtown to the beach. The walkability of this neighborhood makes it an excellent place to spend the night before your cruise, as you can enjoy dining and entertainment options close to your hotel.

Not only that, but Las Olas Boulevard is near Fort Lauderdale’s Riverwalk, a district with ten parks and a walking path adjacent to the New River. If you stay in Las Olas, the Riverwalk makes a nice option for a morning stroll while waiting to head to the cruise port on embarkation day.

You should stay in Las Olas before your cruise if you arrive early the day before and want to enjoy dinner and drinks in an exciting, culturally-rich neighborhood.

Fort Lauderdale Beach

Why not start your vacation early? Staying at Fort Lauderdale Beach is the perfect way to enjoy the city’s gorgeous beaches and resort atmosphere before your cruise.

Fort Lauderdale Beach is the center of tourism in the city. It’s lined with hotels, resorts, and restaurants and offers a relaxing pre-cruise stay. Many of the city’s most luxurious hotels are in this neighborhood, but you can find budget-friendly options as well.

You should stay in Fort Lauderdale Beach if you arrive in the city with enough time to enjoy the area. Many guests choose to stay at the beach for a multi-day stay before or after their cruise, thus extending their vacation by several days.

Marriott Fort Lauderdale Airport

  • Average nightly price: $200 to $325
  • Address: 166 N Compass Way, Dania Beach, FL 33004
  • Location: Near airport and Dania Beach

The Marriott Fort Lauderdale Airport is a new hotel within walking distance to the outdoor shopping center of Dania Pointe. Launched in 2021, the hotel boasts modern amenities and decor.

Related: Marriott Fort Lauderdale Airport Hotel Review

Hotel amenities include a fitness center, outdoor pool, free wi-fi, convenience store, and an on-site bar and restaurant. The restaurant, Radiant 166, features an international menu with its own list of signature drinks.

Due to its proximity to the airport and variety of restaurants at Dania Pointe, the Marriott Fort Lauderdale Airport hotel can be an excellent choice for those arriving the night before their cruise.

Crowne Plaza Ft. Lauderdale Airport/Cruise Port

  • Average nightly price: $215 to $350
  • Address: 455 FL-84, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
  • Location: Near airport

The Crowne Plaza at Ft. Lauderdale Airport/Cruise hotel is one of the most convenient hotel options near Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. It's located less than ten minutes from both the airport and cruise port, making traveling to and from the hotel as easy as it can be.

Hotel amenities at the Crowne Plaza include an outdoor pool, fitness center, business center, and outdoor patio. The hotel also has an on-site restaurant, Kiki’s Restaurant, serving contemporary Latin and American fare.

This hotel is best for those with a flight arriving late in the evening. There are not a ton of options near the hotel for dining and activities and the hotel is not in the most walkable environment.

However, if you’re arriving late and need a convenient place to rest before ordering a Lyft to Port Everglades in the morning, the Crowne Plaza is a solid option.

Hyatt House Fort Lauderdale Airport - South & Cruise Port

  • Average nightly price: $200 to $375
  • Address: 90 SW 18th Ave, Dania Beach, FL 33004
  • Location: Near airport and Dania Beach

Looking for more space? The Hyatt House Fort Lauderdale Airport is an all-suite hotel with modern, spacious rooms. Studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites are available to book at the hotel, all of which feature a living room, fully equipped kitchen, and bedroom(s).

While such a large hotel room may seem like overkill for a pre-cruise hotel stay, the Hyatt House offers competitive pricing. It’s not uncommon to find nightly stays priced the same as nearby hotels with much smaller rooms. Plus, the Hyatt House Fort Lauderdale Airport offers free breakfast, which is definitely a plus when waiting to head to the cruise terminal in the morning.

Other hotel amenities include an on-site restaurant, fitness center, outdoor pool, electric vehicle charging, and business services. The hotel is located in the Dania Beach neighborhood within walking distance to shopping and dining at Dania Pointe.

Wyndham Garden Ft. Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port

  • Average nightly price: $180 to $350
  • Address: 129 N Federal Hwy, Dania Beach, FL 33004
  • Location: Near airport

The Wyndham Garden Ft. Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port is an excellent pre-cruise hotel stay near Fort Lauderdale’s airport. The hotel is a five minute drive from the airport, yet it’s along the North Federal Highway with plenty of dining and shopping opportunities.

Amenities at the Wyndham Garden include an outdoor pool, fitness center, free parking, a convenience store, and an on-site restaurant and cafe.

The hotel isn’t in the most exciting area, especially when you could stay in Dania Pointe, Fort Lauderdale Beach, or Las Olas, but it’s a comfortable, clean, and relatively affordable place to spend the night before your cruise.

Fairfield Inn and Suites Fort Lauderdale Airport-Cruise Port

  • Average nightly price: $150 to $330
  • Address: 2081 Griffin Rd, Dania Beach, FL 33312
  • Location: Near airport

The Fairfield Inn and Suites Fort Lauderdale Airport-Cruise Port is one of the most budget-friendly hotels on our list. When booking several months in advance, it’s possible to find nightly rates between $140 and $180.

Amenities at the Fairfield Inn include an outdoor pool and hot tub, fitness center, and convenience store. Free grab and go breakfast is available each morning as well.

The hotel is located just west of the airport and is a ten minute drive to Port Everglades. The Fairfield Inn is best for those arriving in Fort Lauderdale late at night who aren’t interested in the trendy restaurant, bar, and beach atmosphere elsewhere in the city.

The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort

  • Average nightly price: $375 to $600
  • Address: 321 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
  • Location: Fort Lauderdale Beach

Starting your vacation early at the beach? The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort may be your best bet for a pre (or post) cruise stay.

The Westin offers both standard rooms and suites, the most coveted of which have sweeping ocean views.

Amenities at the hotel include the Heavenly Spa, an outdoor infinity pool, fitness center, and a skywalk bringing guests directly from the pool to the beach. The hotel’s resort fee includes additional amenities including bike rentals, non-motorized water sports, seaside yoga, and beach chairs.

Five dining venues are located at the restaurant:

  • Lona Cocina & Tequileria
  • Waves Bar & Drill
  • Tinta (breakfast)
  • Starbucks
  • Grab & Go Cafe

The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort is a great hotel choice for those looking to splurge on their pre-cruise hotel stay. Because the hotel puts a focus on enjoying the beach, outdoor pool space, and on-site restaurants, you may want to book a stay longer than just one night.

Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort

  • Average nightly price: $335 to $650
  • Address: 505 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
  • Location: Fort Lauderdale Beach

The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, like the Westin, is another nice choice for those looking for a more elevated hotel experience on the beach. The property is an all-suite resort, and most suites have a kitchen, living room, and one or two bedrooms. Suites also feature private balconies with ocean views.

Amenities include a spacious outdoor pool, fitness center, spa, beach access, and electric vehicle charging. There are four dining venues at the Hilton, from the Le Marché Gourmet Market for casual fare to the Sun, Surf, and Sand Restaurant for seafood.

The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort is one of the premiere hotel options for a pre-cruise stay in Fort Lauderdale. If your flight doesn’t arrive until 10PM the night before your cruise, it’s probably not the best choice, but if you arrive with enough time to enjoy the hotel’s amenities, you can’t go wrong with a stay at the property.

Hyatt Centric Las Olas Fort Lauderdale

  • Average nightly price: $230 to $400
  • Address: 100 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
  • Location: Las Olas

Near the hip neighborhood of Las Olas is the Hyatt Centric Las Olas Fort Lauderdale, and this hotel is the perfect choice for those in search of an exciting evening in the city. The hotel has both standard rooms and suites and offers an outdoor pool, fitness center, and on-site restaurants.

Related: Hyatt Centric Las Olas Fort Lauderdale Hotel Review

We recommend arriving with enough time to enjoy the property’s colorful pool space, which features a pool bar and rooftop yoga sessions in the morning.

The hotel even features a reservations-only speakeasy. Named Room Nine01, the experience transports guests back to the 1920s and offers an array of cocktails and a gourmet food menu.

Staying at the Hyatt Centric Las Olas is best for those hoping to enjoy Fort Lauderdale’s evening and nighttime scene. Bars and restaurants dot Las Olas Boulevard and offer a fantastic way to get your vacation started the night before your cruise begins.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Fort Lauderdale 17th Street

  • Average nightly price: $220 to $400
  • Address: 1100 SE 17th St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
  • Location: Harbordale (near cruise port)

The Embassy Suites by Hilton Fort Lauderdale is located just about as close as you can get to the cruise port, making it a popular choice among cruisers.

Amenities at the property include an outdoor pool and patio, fitness center, on-site restaurant, and complimentary evening reception. A made-to-order breakfast is also included, which is served daily in the hotel’s courtyard.

All rooms are suites, and both two and three room suites are available.

While the hotel may not be located in the most interesting neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale, it offers a convenient pre-cruise hotel stay. The hotel is located near a shopping plaza, too, which can be helpful for picking up any last-minute items you need for the cruise.

Holiday Inn Express Ft. Lauderdale Cruise-Airport

  • Average nightly price: $215 to $330
  • Address: 1500 SE 17th Street Causeway, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
  • Location: Harbordale (near cruise port)

Located just down the road from the Embassy Suites is the Holiday Inn Express Ft. Lauderdale Cruise-Airport.

The Holiday Inn Express has 147 rooms, although it doesn’t have any suite options. Amenities at the hotel include complimentary breakfast, an outdoor pool, and fitness center.

Like other hotels in close proximity to the airport and cruise port, the Holiday Inn won’t offer a luxurious resort experience. Instead, it serves as a place to catch up on rest after a long flight or drive before starting your cruise vacation in the morning.

Royal Caribbean sets new world record, plus more news!

21 Mar 2023
Elizabeth Wright

It is official-- Royal Caribbean now holds the world record for the most passengers and crew onboard a transatlantic cruise ship crossing. 

Symphony of the Seas in Miami

A total of 7,604 people were onboard Symphony of the Seas, including 5,350 guests and 2,224 crew members, as she made her way from Miami, Florida to Barcelona, Spain to begin her seasonal Mediterranean cruises. The cruise lasted a total of 12-nights, departing on March 9 and arriving in Barcelona on March 21.

Before beginning her summer cruises, Symphony of the Seas will undergo basic maintenance at the Navantia shipyard in Cádiz, Spain. The next scheduled cruise will depart on April 16, 2023 from Barcelona and visit Palma De Mallorca, Spain; Provence (Marseille), France; Florence/Pisa (La Spezia), Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; and Naples / Capri, Italy before returning to Barcelona.

Symphony of the Seas will wrap up her European season on October 29 when she departs Barcelona on a 14-night transatlantic voyage back to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. En route, she will dock at Valencia, Spain; Seville (Cádiz), Spain; and Nassau, Bahamas.

That is not the only piece of headline worthy news from Royal Caribbean, either!

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from February 2023

Keep reading to learn more about the first engine that was started on Icon of the Seas', a new Royal Caribbean Group board member, as well as a credit card policy changes.

First engine started on the highly anticipated Icon of the Seas

Icon of the Seas construction aerial photo from February 2023

Even though Icon of the Seas is still months away from entering service as the cruise line's first Icon Class ship, getting excited over milestones is one way to make the time pass quicker. On March 15, the Meyer Turku shipyard confirmed that the first multi-fuel engine was turned on for the first time!

Per a social media post that was published directly by the shipyard, "Chef engineer Tuomas Auvien says: 'Icon of the Seas has six Wärtsilä main engines. The first of them (number 2) was started today, Wednesday 3/15 at 11:00 a.m."

"Both diesel and natural gas can be used as fuel in the main engines, Wednesday's start was made with diesel. The first main engine start on a ship largely tells a lot about the ship's readiness. It is a sign that the various departments throughout the yard have achieved something significant. To achieve this milestone, all professional groups are needed, and for that, big thanks to everyone!"

Icon of the Seas render at CocoCay

When she makes her grand debut, Icon of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship in the world, surpassing Wonder of the Seas, measuring 250,800 gross tons with the ability to carry nearly 10,000 passengers and crew combined. She will also be the first ship in the fleet to run on LNG-power.

This type of fuel is one of the cleanest-burning marine fuels. When engines are built to use LNG fuel, this helps to reduce a cruise ship’s carbon emissions by approximately 30%.

Icon of the Seas render at sunset

The maiden voyage is currently scheduled for January 27, 2024 out of Miami, Florida. 

This news comes roughly one month after Royal Caribbean began construction on the second unnamed Icon Class cruise ship at the same shipyard.

Rebecca Yeung joins Royal Caribbean Group's Board of Directors effective March 15


Yeung has about 30 years of global experience in strategy and operations technology, and she is currently the corporate vice president, operations science and advanced technology at FedEx Corporation.

She has been at FedEx Corporation since 1998 and has served in different roles, including marketing, innovation, and technology. Her previous role at the company was the vice president, advanced technology & innovation.

Her current role makes Yeung responsible for advancing FedEx’s innovation and transformation strategy, including scaling robotics and automation technology, autonomous vehicles, decision science, and electromobility.

Royal Caribbean Group logo

She brings experience and expertise of working on a board of directors, too, as she also serves on the Board of Directors of Columbus McKinnon.

Richard D. Fain, Chairman of the Board, Royal Caribbean Group, said, “Ms. Yeung brings a valuable combination of skills to our board, as she is well-versed in technology, digitization and business strategy."

Additionally, Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group, said, “We’re excited to welcome Rebecca Yeung to the Board of Directors as we continue to deliver the world’s best vacations, responsibly."

“We believe her experience in technology, automation and innovation will be a valuable addition to the board as we usher in the next phases of our growth.”

Royal Caribbean changes credit card policy

An email sent out on March 20 indicates that Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises' payment processes will soon be heightened with additional security checks to authenticate credit card submissions.  
Effective April 1, 2023, CVV (Credit Verification Value) authentication will be required for all payments related to cruise fare, air travel, and pre-cruise purchases to help assist in fraud prevention mitigate overall risk. 


The payment process will remain unchanged, other than the new requirement to enter CVV at time of payment. Note that personal PIN numbers and CVV are different, as the latter is a unique code that verifies the physical presence of the form of payment at the time of transaction. 

On Visa, MasterCard, and Discover branded cards, the CVV is a 3 digit number located on the back of the card. On American Express cards, the CVV is a 4 digit number that can be found on the front of the card.

11 reasons to get as early a check-in time as possible for your cruise

20 Mar 2023
Jenna DeLaurentis

As your Royal Caribbean cruise approaches, there is one important step you shouldn’t overlook: selecting an early check-in time.

Oasis of the Seas in Port Canaveral

45 days prior to your cruise, you can check in to your sailing via Royal Caribbean’s website or the Royal Caribbean app. During the online check-in process, you'll upload identification documents, provide credit card information, and, most importantly, select a check-in time.

Your check-in time is the time at which you can enter the cruise terminal on embarkation day. The earliest check-in time is around 10:30AM and the latest in mid afternoon, and we always recommend reserving the earliest time available.

The earlier you get onboard your cruise, the more quickly you can start the vacation you’ve been dreaming about for so long. Beyond just starting your vacation earlier, though, are a range of other benefits you can experience by boarding earlier than most other passengers.

Here are the top 11 reasons to get as early a check-in time as possible for your cruise.

Fewer crowds at the cruise terminal

Allure of the Seas in Galveston cruise terminal

One of the best reasons to get an early check-in time is to avoid crowds at the cruise terminal. The embarkation process is fairly straightforward, but it entails going through several lines before you can board your ship.

First you’ll enter a line outside the terminal for other passengers with your same check-in time. Then, as you enter the terminal, you’ll enter a line to have your documentation checked. Finally, you’ll enter a line to go through security.

Waiting in line is not anyone’s idea of a fun vacation, so make sure to get an early check-in time to be among the first in the cruise terminal.

Best parking spots at the port

Top of the terminal

If you have an early check-in time, you’ll be among the first to arrive at the cruise terminal. Even though 1,000 other passengers may have your same check-in time, there will be far less competition for a great parking spot compared to later in the day.

If your check-in time isn’t until 1PM and you plan to park your car in the lot, you’ll be stuck with the worst spots. Getting an early check-in time means you can snag the coveted spots near the entrance of the closest garage to the terminal.

Avoid parking garage delays

Terminal 3 in Port Canveral

It’s an all too common scenario: you’re ready to park your car but are stuck in a long, slow moving line of traffic. No one likes being stuck in traffic at any time, but especially when you’re ready to board your cruise!

Depending on your cruise ship, between three thousand and seven thousand people will board the ship on the same day. Managing thousands of people is never easy, and this can lead to crowds not only in the cruise terminal, but also in the parking garage.

Avoid delays to park your car by selecting an early check-in time. If you’re lucky, you’ll be among the first to park your car, which will surely be quicker than later in the afternoon.

Start your vacation sooner

Pool deck fun for kids

Who doesn’t want to start their vacation as soon as possible? Having an early check-in time for a Royal Caribbean cruise means you can get your vacation started earlier than other passengers.

The earlier you check-in and board your ship, the faster you can explore your ship, order your first cocktail by the pool, and hang out in a jacuzzi. With the earliest check-in times, it’s feasible to be onboard before 11:30AM, allowing you to make the most of your first day onboard.

Passengers with late check-in times—think 1:30 or 2PM—will feel a lot more rushed on embarkation day. After they get onboard and eat a quick lunch, they’ll have to rush to their eMuster safety drill station and get ready for dinner.

Why rush when you can relax? Reserve an early check-in time to kick your vacation off the right way.

Best selection of dining times

Royal Caribbean’s dining packages can offer a great value on specialty restaurants, but they come with one major disadvantage: you can’t make dining reservations until you board the ship.

This means you may be limited on dining times and restaurant availability compared to those who paid full price for each restaurant by booking their reservations without a dining package. And since dining packages are extremely popular, many other passengers will be rushing to make dining reservations on embarkation day.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Royal Caribbean’s Unlimited Dining Package

Popular dining times—from 6 to 7:30PM—can book up quickly. One way to snag the best dining times is by getting onboard early and immediately heading to a specialty restaurant. Luckily, you can make reservations for all specialty restaurants at a single location, so there’s no need to visit every single restaurant to book your dining time.

Note: The exception is with Izumi Hibachi. If you plan to make hibachi reservations, be sure to head to Izumi once onboard.

Beyond specialty dining, though, you can be among the first to head to the Main Dining Room to confirm or request reservations. If you have any questions about your dining time or would like to request a new table, you can do so before other passengers arrive.

Shorter lines for the buffet

Nothing screams “first day of a cruise” quite like rushing to the Windjammer for embarkation day lunch. Royal Caribbean’s buffet gets extremely busy on embarkation day as thousands of hungry passengers search for a quick lunch to start their vacation.

One of the best advantages to having an early check-in time is getting onboard before most other passengers, and this also means getting to the Windjammer more quickly. If you’re one of the first to board your cruise ship, you’ll encounter fewer lines and crowds at the buffet, making the start to your vacation much less hectic!

Related: Where can I eat on the first day of my Royal Caribbean cruise?

Alternatively, you could choose to dine elsewhere instead of the buffet. Other restaurants are open on embarkation day, from specialty dining venues like Chops Grille to quick grab and go spots like Park Cafe. While the Windjammer is convenient, it can be uncomfortably busy on the first day of your cruise.

Register kids at Adventure Ocean more quickly


Cruising with kids? If you plan to drop your kids off at Adventure Ocean, you can register them for the program on embarkation day.

Adventure Ocean, Royal Caribbean’s children's programming, is complimentary for ages 3-17, but all children must be registered. The best time to register kids for Adventure Ocean is on embarkation day, and registration opens around 12:30PM.

Related: 50 best cruising with kids tips & secrets

Registration only takes a few minutes, but you’ll want to avoid the lines you might find later in the afternoon. The earlier you register your kids at Adventure Ocean, the less you have to worry about, and the sooner you can start trying fun activities onboard.

Try activities before everyone else

Speaking of fun activities, the sooner you get onboard, the sooner you can try signature activities like the FlowRider, rock climbing wall, Skypad, and waterslides.

Not all passengers know that these activities are open as soon as you board the ship, leading to far fewer lines and wait times.

If you’re eager to try the zip line, head to the sports deck right after lunch. Unlike on a busy sea day, you might be one of the only passengers in line, allowing you to fly across the zip line several times in a row with no wait!

Be sure to confirm activity times in the Royal Caribbean app’s daily schedule to make sure the activity you’re interested in is open. We also recommend wearing tennis shoes on embarkation day if you plan to participate in sports activities.

Reserve entertainment and activities before other passengers

There are certain activities and production shows that must be reserved in advance, and spots can fill up quickly. Comedy shows, the escape room, and the North Star observation pod are all examples of activities that require a reservation.

Luckily, you can pre book some entertainment and activities ahead of time on Royal Caribbean’s Cruise Planner website. Broadway shows, for example, can be reserved at no extra cost starting 30 days before your cruise. We recommend doing this to ensure you can reserve the best day and time that work for you.

Some activities, though, can only be reserved once onboard. If you’re sailing on a Quantum Class ship and want to try RipCord by iFLY, the ship’s indoor skydiving simulator, you’ll need a reservation. While you can reserve the paid option of this activity before your cruise (a 2 minute flight), the complimentary option (a 1 minute flight) is only available to book onboard.

Related: 15 free things to try on your next cruise

The limited amount of complimentary flights will fill up more quickly than you think, so having an early check-in time gives you a head start on reserving these activities.

Be the first at the pool

Crowded pool decks are a common sight on a cruise ship, but not on embarkation day. If you want to avoid crowds, pack your swimsuit in your carry-on bag and head to the pool right after you get onboard.

Embarkation day is perhaps the most empty you’ll see a cruise ship pool during your entire vacation. With so much happening on the first day, from exploring the ship to unpacking, many cruisers wait to use the pool until later in their cruise.

Related: 25 things you need to know for the first day on a cruise ship

Plus, most passengers don’t think to bring a bathing suit in their carry-on bag. If they dropped off their luggage with the porters at the cruise terminal, they’ll be swimsuit-less for the majority of embarkation day.

Even so, you can still encounter crowds at the pool on embarkation day, especially if you’re on a short weekend cruise. Having an early check-in time means you can eat lunch and change into your bathing suit before most other passengers have boarded the ship!

Hotel check-out

Many passengers stay at a hotel the night before their cruise begins, especially if they fly to the cruise port. Most hotels require you to check out around 11AM, which coincides perfectly with the earliest check-in times for a Royal Caribbean cruise.

If you need to check out of your hotel at 11AM but your check-in time at the terminal isn’t until 2PM, this could lead to several hours waiting around with your luggage.

Getting the earliest check-in time possible means you can wake up, have breakfast, and head to the cruise terminal as soon as you check out of your hotel.

Celebrity Cruises Captain's Club loyalty program info, tips & secrets

20 Mar 2023
Jenna DeLaurentis

Booking a Celebrity Cruise? Be sure to join the Captain’s Club—the cruise line’s loyalty program—which provides exclusive perks and events to loyal cruisers.

Although there are dozens of cruise lines to choose from, many people prefer staying loyal to one brand. Staying loyal to one cruise line allows you to rack up loyalty points more quickly, leading to not only money-saving rewards, but an enhanced onboard experience.

One of the best aspects of Celebrity Cruises’ loyalty program is the reciprocity with Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society. You can easily match your status between the two brands. This means that, even if you’ve never sailed with Celebrity before, you may be eligible for one of the top tiers in their loyalty program as a Crown & Anchor Society member.

Everything from onboard discounts to free cruises are rewarded to Captain’s Club members, and we’re sharing everything you need to know about the program.

How do I earn Captain’s Club points?

You earn points in Celebrity’s Captain’s Club based on the stateroom you book and number of nights you sail. Because of this structure, the speed at which you move up tiers in the loyalty program can differ greatly from one passenger to the next.

Here is how many points you will earn per night on Celebrity Cruises:

  • Inside or ocean view: 2 points per night
  • Veranda: 3 points per night
  • Concierge Class and AquaClass: 5 points per night
  • Sky Suites and Aqua Sky Suite: 8 points per night
  • Celebrity, Signature, Royal, and Sunset Suites: 12 points per night
  • Penthouse, Reflection, and Edge Villa: 18 points per night
  • Iconic Suite: 24 points per night

Staying in the Iconic Suite—the cruise line’s most luxurious suite—earns a whopping 12x more points than an inside or ocean view cabin. Of course, earning more points per night comes at a higher price point.

At 12 points per night, the Iconic Suite can cost over $30,000 per person on a 7-night cruise! You can find deals on inside cabins, on the other hand, for under $600 per person.

Power Up Points with Celebrity Cruises

Don’t have a cruise booked? You can still earn Captain’s Club points with Celebrity through their Power Up Points program.

Power Up Points are points that can be earned online and converted to Captain’s Club points at a 10:1 ratio. For every ten Power Up Points you earn, you’ll receive 1 Captain’s Club point.

You can earn Power Up Points through participating in online activities like surveys and social media content. Completing an online survey may be worth 20 Power Up Points, for example, so 2 Captain’s Club points will be automatically added to your loyalty account.

To sign up for Celebrity’s Power Up Points program, you can enroll on Celebrity’s website.

Captain’s Club Tier Overview

There are six tiers to the Captain’s Club loyalty program, each of which offers increasingly more coveted benefits:

  • Preview (0 Club Points)
  • Classic (2-149 Club Points)
  • Select (150-200 Club Points)
  • Elite (300-749 Club Points)
  • Elite Plus (750-2,999 Club Points)
  • Zenith (3,000+ Club Points)

The first level, Preview, is for first-time cruisers on Celebrity. Beyond access to the Captain’s Club newsletter, loyalty desk access, and eligibility for Captain’s Club promotions when booking onboard, this tier does not offer any other benefits.

It acts as a starting point for those cruising for the first time with the goal of encouraging these guests to continue cruising with Celebrity.

More benefits are included in the Classic tier. Starting at 2 Club Points, all cruisers will be at this level after their first Celebrity cruise. Benefits include:

  • Special Captain’s Club Welcome Celebration Night
  • Access to exclusive events on specialty sailings
  • One pre-cruise category upgrade up to AquaClass
  • 10% discount on wifi packages
  • 25% discount on digital or print photo package
  • $100 off The Studio photo packages
  • 10% discount on a drink package or premium drink package
  • 10% discount at The Spa
  • 10% discount off one-time use laundry services
  • 10% off any bottle of wine
  • 5% discount on small group discovery shore excursions
  • 5% discount on Hollywood Hot Glass
  • Complimentary scoop of gelato
  • Complimentary specialty coffee when dining in a specialty restaurant

Select is the next tier up from the Classic level. The Select level brings additional discounts and freebies, but it doesn’t offer the exclusive benefits you’ll see as you move further up the Captain’s Club.

Nonetheless, in addition to the benefits of the Classic tier, you’ll receive:

  • Captain’s Club Wine Tasting
  • Captain’s Club Backstage Tour
  • 15% off any bottle of wine
  • 25% off wifi packages
  • 30% off digital or print photo packages
  • $150 off The Studio photo package
  • Two complimentary pressed laundry items
  • One discounted bag of laundry for cruises 12 nights or longer

If you always cruise in inside or ocean view rooms, it will take around eleven 7-night cruises to reach the Select tier. Staying in standard veranda rooms drops this to just seven cruises, whereas cruising in a Sky Suite would have you reaching the Select tier after just three cruises.

Elite Tiers in Celebrity’s Captain’s Club

Preview, Classic, and Select are the three lower tiers in the Captain’s Club. Once you reach 300 Club Points, you join the Elite tier and start to see many more benefits.

Celebrity has two elite tiers: Elite and Elite Plus. If you only booked 7-night cruises, reaching the Elite tier would require:

  • 22 cruises in an interior room
  • 15 cruises in a veranda
  • 9 cruises in Concierge Class or AquaClass
  • 6 cruises in a Sky Suite or Aqua Sky Suite
  • 4 cruises in a Celebrity, Signature, Royal, or Sunset Suite
  • 3 cruises in a Penthouse, Reflection, and Edge Villa
  • 2 cruises in an Iconic Suite

Exclusive access

Elite members and above in the Captain’s Club are invited to two daily events: the Coffee Lounge and Elite Cocktail Hour.

Each morning for two hours, a private continental breakfast is held in either the Tuscan Restaurant or Tuscan Grille specialty restaurant. Although the breakfast does not have as much variety as the Oceanview Cafe or main dining room, it offers a quieter breakfast option. As a plus, smoothies, mimosas, and other boozy breakfast drinks are complimentary!

Additionally, a cocktail hour is held each evening from 5-7PM, excluding embarkation day. The cocktail hour is not held in a specific venue; instead, guests can order drinks from the cocktail hour menu at most bars and lounges across the ship.

Elite members and above also have complimentary access to the Persian Garden on one port day. The Persian Garden is a thermal suite—available only on Millennium and Solstice Class ships—that features steam rooms, saunas, and hot stone loungers.

Private events

Elite members have access to additional private events compared to those in lower tiers, such as Music + Mixology, which features exclusive cocktail offerings and a live band. The Senior Officer Party is offered as well, where Elite members and higher can mingle with senior officers onboard their cruise ship.

As another plus, those sailing on the Celebrity Apex or Celebrity Beyond can participate in Create & Pour, a paint and sip event led by one of the ship’s artists. If you’re looking to let your creative side shine during a Celebrity cruise, this can definitely be a fun event.

Additional benefits

In addition to the exclusive events and benefits found in the Preview, Classic, and Select tiers are several other perks for Elite members.

If your cruise itinerary includes tender ports, Elite members get priority tender access, which can be a nice benefit when you’re hoping to get on shore as early as possible.

Other benefits include a complimentary dry clean item, one complimentary bag of laundry, and a private shipboard departure lounge.

Discounts increase with the Elite tier as well:

  • 20% off any bottle of wine
  • 15% discount on drink package or premium drink package
  • 30% discount on wifi package and 90 minutes of premium wifi
  • 40% off digital or print photo packages
  • $200 off The Studio photo package

Elite Plus

The next tier up from Elite is Elite Plus, which you will reach with 750 Captain’s Club points. In comparison from the jump from Select to Elite, there are not nearly as many additional perks given upon reaching Elite Plus status.

One new event Elite Plus members receive access to is the Spa Wellness event. This event includes enjoying sailaway on the Spa Veranda, a guided meditation, and an overview of wellness treatments and mini massages.

Additionally, Elite Plus members receive several increased discounts:

  • 15% off specialty dining cover charge
  • 20% off regular drink package
  • 35% discount on wifi and 240 minutes of premium wifi
  • $250 off The Studio photo package
  • Two complimentary bags of laundry

Zenith: The Ultimate Tier

The highest tier in Celebrity’s Captain’s Club is Zenith, which you can reach with an impressive 3,000 Club Points.

To put this into perspective, reaching Zenith would require spending 1,500 nights on a Celebrity cruise in an inside room! While this number goes down a bit when staying in a veranda (1,000 nights) and Sky Suite (375), there is no denying that you have to cruise a lot to reach Zenith.

Unsurprisingly, the top tier of the Captain’s Club delivers impressive benefits, including:

  • Complimentary unlimited premium wifi package
  • Complimentary laundry
  • Complimentary premium drink package
  • 50% discount on digital or print photo package
  • $300 off The Studio photo packages
  • 25% off specialty dining cover charge
  • 20% discount at The Spa
  • Priority seating in the theater
  • Access to Concierge Lunch in the Main Dining Room
  • Upgraded bath amenities
  • Charitable donation on your behalf made by Captain’s Club
  • Complimentary 7-night Caribbean or Bermuda cruise upon reaching Zenith
  • Complimentary 7-night Caribbean or Bermuda cruise at 6,000 points, and every 3,000 points thereafter

Loyalty matching with other cruise lines

Allure of the Seas docked

Celebrity’s Captains Club has reciprocity with Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society. The status matching between these two brands means you can match your Captain’s Club tier level to the Crown & Anchor Society and vice versa.

Status matching does not extend to the highest tier levels for each cruise line. Pinnacle members with Royal Caribbean, for example, will not become Zenith members of the Captain’s Club. Elite is the highest level to which you can match your Royal Caribbean status.

Select members in the Captain’s Club will be matched to Platinum in the Crown & Anchor Society. Elite, Elite Plus, and Zenith members will be matched to Diamond status in the Crown & Anchor Society.

Captain’s Club Partnerships

Celebrity Beyond

Celebrity Cruises has partnerships with entertainment, hotel, and retail companies throughout the United States. These partnerships provide additional benefits to Captain's Club members, from free upgrades at resorts to discounted production shows.

Celebrity Cruises Night Out

Members of the Captain’s Club have access to discounts at a variety of Broadway shows, production shows, and sporting events across the United States. Depending on the show, you can save between 10-40% off standard ticket prices.

Some offers even include a $25 dining credit to be used at STK Steakhouse at their locations in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Denver.

Upcoming shows can be viewed at the Celebrity Cruises Nights Out page here.


Celebrity has a partnership with MGM Resorts and offers a tier matching program. This leads to great benefits at many MGM Resorts locations, which includes waived resort fees, free room upgrades, priority check-in at resort properties, complimentary valet parking, and more.

Preview members are matched to MGM’s Sapphire tier whereas Classic members are matched to the Pearl tier. These tiers don’t give as many benefits as higher tiers in the program, but you can still see benefits like discounts on entertainment and car rentals.

Select, Elite, Elite Plus, and Zenith are matched to MGM’s Gold tier, and this is where most of the benefits kick in.

Hertz Rental Car

Celebrity’s partnership with Hertz gives additional benefits to Captain’s Club members. Depending on your tier level with Celebrity, you will receive a Hertz Gold Plus Rewards membership in addition to weekly rental discounts and free upgrades.

As a Captain’s Club member, you get up to 20% off any purchase from and its brands, including:

  • Harry & David
  • Cheryl’s Cookies
  • Simply Chocolate
  • The Popcorn Factory

Captain’s Club questions

Do Captain’s Club points ever expire?

Captain’s Club points will never expire as long as you have an active account in the loyalty program. Unlike most airline loyalty programs, you won’t have to worry about reaching a certain level of cruising each year to keep your benefits.

How many points do I need for a free cruise on Celebrity?

To earn a free cruise through Celebrity Cruises' Captain’s Club, you must reach the Zenith tier at 3,000 points. Once you reach Zenith, you can book a complimentary 7-night Caribbean or Bermuda cruise. Zenith members are given a veranda stateroom for this free sailing, although they must pay taxes and fees.

You can receive additional free cruises with Celebrity Cruises after every 3,000 Club Points you earn. At 6,000 points, for example, you receive a complimentary 7-night Caribbean or Bermuda cruise, but this time in an AquaClass stateroom.

You would continue receiving complimentary cruises when you hit 9,000 points, 12,000 points, 15,000 points, etc.

Can I link my account to a spouse or partner?

You can link your Captain’s Club account to a spouse or partner, and both members will take the tier level of the spouse/partner with more points.

However, points are still earned by each member individually, so if the accounts are separated, the members will only have access to the points they earned individually.

What is the Captain’s Club phone number?

If you have additional questions about the Captain’s Club, or need to inquire about points that have not yet posted to your account, you can call Celebrity cruises.

  • United States and Canada: 1-844-418-8624
  • United Kingdom: 0844 481 7505 (costs 7p per minute)
  • Ireland: 1800 932 662 (costs 7p per minute)

Planning a Celebrity cruise? Start here:

2023 Royal Caribbean Drink Package Info, Tips, Pros & Cons

19 Mar 2023
Matt Hochberg

A Royal Caribbean beverage package offers the choice to enjoy an unlimited amount of drinks for a fixed daily price. This post offers tips for saving money with these drink packages and our reviews of the various plans.  

We will get to what each version of Royal Caribbean's Beverage Packages include and whether the Royal Caribbean Drink Package is worth the money below.  Our tips and opinions are based on our first-hand experiences with the drink packages, and the current versions for this year.  

Before we get to the dollars and cents, let us cover some basics. 

What is a Royal Caribbean drink package?

For those who are unfamiliar with it, Royal Caribbean's drink packages are a fixed daily cost plan offered on all Royal Caribbean ships so guests can budget their beverage costs in advance and (potentially) save money.  The various plans provide guests with unlimited drinks that can be used at any bar or restaurant on Royal Caribbean ships (and private destinations).  

Bamboo Bar with people drinking

The drink package benefits are available on the guest's SeaPass card, which any waiter or bartender can verify they have the package.

Royal Caribbean guests wishing to purchase a drink package can do so either prior to their cruise via the Cruise Planner web site or once onboard their ship. Once purchased, you must pay for the package for the duration of your cruise.  If purchased during your cruise, guests will pay for the remaining nights of their cruise.

Let’s get more into the nitty-gritty of the 2023 Royal Caribbean drink package…

Coco Loco drinks

The drink packages can be redeemed at pretty much any restaurant or bar on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship or private destination.  There are only two places a drink package cannot be used: room service and stateroom mini-bars.

Frequent users of Royal Caribbean's drink packages become pretty adept at getting more bang for their buck on the packages, but with some advance planning, first-time Royal Caribbean cruisers can also make the most of the packages.

From time to time, Royal Caribbean may offer a drink package discount. These discounts are offered selectively and can vary in terms of how much the discount is and for which sailings they are eligible.  Nearly all discounts we have seen are offered prior to the cruise on the Cruise Planner web site.

Bamboo Lounge drink

Will these sales save you money? These discounts have the potential to add to the potential value a guest can get from a drink package, but remember any discount does not necessarily make the value proposition a drink package offers a "slam dunk" deal.

That is probably enough background on Royal Caribbean's drink packages.  You likely still have some more questions, and we will dig into them below and get them answered.  For a simple system, it can be surprisingly complex, do not feel bad if it takes some reading before you fully understand how the drink package works and whether it is a good for for your party.

Will a drink package save me money?

Drink package table

Before even booking a drink package, you should determine roughly how many drinks per day you think you can and will drink over the course of your cruise.  For some folks, 5-6 drinks per day is easy, while others may think that is a lot every day of a cruise.

There's no question that a Royal Caribbean drink package can save you money if you can drink enough to make it worthwhile. Some people don't care so much about "breaking even" on their purchase, because they just like the fact they pay one price and all their beers, cocktails and other beverages are included.

It really boils down to your habits on a cruise and how much you think you might drink. 

2023 Royal Caribbean Beverage Package Overview

Royal Caribbean offers a few drink packages to consider.  Each package provides guests with an unlimited allotment of servings of the specific beverages their package includes.

None of the packages include mini bar items, Evian water, canned sodas, bottled juice and souvenir glassware, specialty beers as listed on bar menus, or super premium category beverages.

Refreshment Package

Royal Caribbean Refreshment Package

This drink package pretty much includes all beverages onboard that do not contain any booze.  It is popular with older children and those that like having juices, coffee and teas.

For each guests that purchases this package, it includes

  • Premium coffees and teas
  • Bottled still and sparking water
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Mocktails
  • Fountain sodas / Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages
  • Coca-Cola Souvenir Cup included

The price per night of the Refreshment Package is $29.00 per guest (excluding gratuity).

Classic Soda Package

Coke cup

The Classic Soda package is what was once called by many guests, "the soda card".  It is unlimited soda and quite popular with kids.  

For each guests that purchases this package, it incudes

  • Fountain Soda and refills in any venue
  • Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages
  • Coca-Cola Souvenir Cup included

The price per night of the Classic Soda Package is $12.99 per guest (excluding gratuity).


Deluxe Beverage Package

Royal Caribbean Drink Package Information and Planning Tips | Royal Caribbean Blog

Royal Caribbean offers just one unlimited alcohol package, the Deluxe Beverage package.

It offers "the best of both worlds," with access to nearly the entire stock of beverages with or without liquor. Enjoy virtually unlimited combinations on everything from cocktails with top-shelf spirits to premium teas and every beverage in between.

For each guests that purchases this package, it includes

  • Cocktails, spirits, liqueurs
  • Beer
  • Wine (by the glass)
  • Mocktails
  • Premium coffees & teas
  • Fountain sodas / Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages
  • Coca-Cola souvenir cup included
  • Bottled still and sparkling water
  • Fresh squeezed juices
  • 40% discount on wines under $100. Wines above $100 will receive a 20% discount.

The Deluxe Beverage Package includes drinks with liquor up to $14 in value.  Drinks that are served in a souvenir cup/glass/mug and/or drinks served inside fruit (i.e. pineapples) are not included with the drink package, however a portion of the drink price is subsidized by the beverage package.

The best reasons to get a Royal Caribbean drink package on your cruise | Royal Caribbean Blog

The price per night of the Deluxe Beverage package varies from ship to ship, and sailing to sailing. Royal Caribbean seems to employ a variable pricing model that considers time of year, ship class and other factors in offering the price of the drink package.

Due to the varying prices across the fleet, we hesitate to publish any kind of pricing here. If purchased prior to your cruise on the Cruise Planner site, the Deluxe Beverage package often costs between $48 - $79 per guest, per night (excluding gratuity). The price will be higher if purchased onboard, usually between $63 - $89.00  per guest, per night.

One significant recent change to the Deluxe Beverage package is all Royal Caribbean passengers 21 years of age and older (18 years in Australia and the U.K) are  required to purchase the Deluxe Beverage Package if at least one other person in their cabin has one.

If the other adult(s) in the same stateroom do not wish to purchase a Deluxe Beverage Package, you can call Royal Caribbean and ask for an exemption.  Usually, Royal Caribbean will allow the other adult(s) to purchase a less-expensive drink package, such as the Refreshment Package.

Coffee Card

If all you want are lattes, espresso, or something stronger than regular coffee, then perhaps Royal Caribbean's Café Select Coffee Card is the right choice for you.

Unlike the other drink packages, the coffee card is not unlimited.  Instead, you get a physical card that will be punched every time you use the card.  Each card is good for 15 punches.

For every brewed coffee you order, the barista will punch a hole in the card to note how many of the drinks you've ordered.

Where to eat breakfast on Harmony of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

You can use the coffee card at Royal Caribbean coffee locations, such as Cafe Promenade or Cafe Latte-tudes. It does not work at freestanding Starbucks kiosks.

Royal Caribbean usually prices the coffee card at $31 per card.

Another difference from the other drink packages is you are allowed to share the coffee card benefits with another guest.

Is there a limit on Royal Caribbean drink packages?

There is no limit on a Royal Caribbean drink package in terms of how many drinks a guest may consume in a day or throughout the cruise.

The only limit on a drink package is that you may only order one drink per order, per drink package.

If multiple people are ordering a drink with a drink package, the bartender or waiter may take each guests' SeaPass card to place the order.

There are a few other drink package rules that you should be aware of as well.

Is it worth getting the drink package on Royal Caribbean? - Pros and Cons

We have used Royal Caribbean's drink packages on a number of occasions and we have also paid out of pocket for our drinks on even more cruises.  The drink package has an equal number of fans and critics.  We tend to fall somewhere in the middle, disagreeing with both extremes. We think the drink package has its pros and its cons, so let us take a look at some of them!

Savings - You can save money with a drink package (versus paying for each drink a la carte), but you have to be a certain kind of drinker and not waste the daily package benefits.  If you are someone that enjoys having many drinks every day, it can definitely save you money with a Royal Caribbean drink package.  This requires anyone that buys the package to be willing and able to enjoy a good half-dozen drinks every day of their cruise.  

There is no question a drink package has an excellent value proposition associated with it, but you need to be able to drink enough to "break even" on the package versus buying the drinks on your own.  If you knew you would not be drinking enough every day of your cruise to break even, why would you over pay for a package?

With that said, prices for Royal Caribbean drinks have been on the rise over the last few years. Cocktails are regularly priced at around $10-13 per drink, which means bar tabs can quickly get expensive. And with so many tantalizing choices on each bar menu, the temptation to grab a drink is always present.

The drink package benefits will save the most money for folks that drink a lot during the day and spread their drinking out throughout the course of their day and night.  

Is the drink package worth it on Royal Caribbean? | Royal Caribbean Blog

Amount of Drinks - One common regret we hear about drink packages is a phenomenon known as "drink fatigue," where guests drink more than they really would ordinarily order and they end up ordering drinks for the sake of ordering drinks.  When using a drink package, I always struggle with the question of, "Am I ordering a drink because I want one or because I have a drink package?"  There have been plenty of times with a drink package, I know I am ordering a drink because I have the package and the show, activity or event I am attending offers drinks, so why not get a drink.

If you are on a short cruise and are looking to have a good time, the drink package can make a lot more sense, since there are less days to use the package benefits.  Likewise, shorter cruises have a tendency to have more of a party atmosphere than longer cruises.  

It is important to keep in mind what your goal is when ordering a drink package.  Are you going to be spending much of your time by the pool or are you someone that will be doing other activities where drinking may not always be an option.  

Convenience - Many guests swear by the convenience of Royal Caribbean's drink packages.  It makes enjoying drinks simple, with no-fuss involved.  There is no worrying about how much the drink costs and if you should get it or something cheaper.  Heck, there is not even the concern about if you can afford to get a drink or not.  

It is a fair point and among the most commonly cited reasons people love the drink packages.  We love the convenience of the drink package too, especially to have the freedom of trying new drinks without fear of ordering something we do not like and being "stuck" with it.  Or relegating ourselves to drink the same old drinks because we know we like them.

The thing is, the number one reason to buy a drink package is to save money, otherwise why would it exist.  Royal Caribbean would not roll out something that offers no savings and expect people to pay for it, right?  With that in mind, while convenience is important, we believe the cost savings still supersedes whatever convenience the drink package offers.

How much is the drink package on Royal Caribbean? | Royal Caribbean Blog

Budgeting - This is probably the most contentious point.  In addition to being convenient, a lot of its fans advocate the unlimited drink packages help them stay on a budget and avoid thinking about money on a vacation.

On the surface, this makes sense because you can buy a drink package before your cruise and break up the cost of the cruise, or opt to purchase it onboard and cap your drinking spending.  In either scenario, it goes to making your total cost more predictable.  It reminds us of cell phone plans and why so many people prefer unlimited data plans rather than fixed-data plans.  Simpler to have one cost that covers everything, than worry about "going over."

There is a point to be made about pre-purchasing a drink package months before your cruise, paying it off then and then later going on your cruise and not dealing with a bill at the end of your cruise that makes you cringe (or worse).  It does not mean you will actually save any money, as you still need to drink enough each day of your cruise to make a drink package worthwhile.  Otherwise, you overpaid earlier than usual.

The whole notion of not having to worry about receipts, gratuity or how much a drink costs holds less water for us.  Sure, it is nice to have, but far from essential.  If someone told me I could save more money by doing some simple math every day, you bet I would bring my calculator onboard.  There are a lot of fun things to do on a Royal Caribbean cruise, and the more money I can save, the more fun stuff I can afford.

Royal Caribbean revamps its unlimited drink package offerings | Royal Caribbean Blog

Sticker Shock - Even if you are not on a tight budget, drink prices on a Royal Caribbean cruise can be somewhat shocking. There might be the most amazing drink on the menu, but you cannot bring yourself to spend $14 (or more) on it because that sounds too expensive for just one drink.

It is debatable how much any drink should cost.  Go to a concert or theme park, and you will find prices for drinks that make Royal Caribbean's pricing strategy look pedestrian.  

On the other hand, your local restaurants may serve up drinks for a fraction of the cost of what you will find at Boleros. Having the drink package does help ease your mind about paying $14 for that cucumber martini.

Everything you need to know about the Bionic Bar on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

It is important to note that you are not always forced into paying full prices for drinks.  Every day there will be a "drink of the day," where one drink is discounted about 20%. 

You can usually find other drink specials throughout your cruise.  In addition, guests that are members of Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor Society are eligible to receive discounted and complimentary drinks during the cruise.  Diamond and above members get complimentary drinks every evening, which can be a big money saver.  

Moreover, guests are allowed to bring up to two bottles of wine per stateroom on their Royal Caribbean cruise.  All of this contributes to bringing down the cost of drinks on a cruise, especially if you forgo a drink package and pay a la carte for your drinks.

How do I get the best deal on a Royal Caribbean drink package?


The best way to get a deal on a Royal Caribbean drink package is to buy one as early as you can and then re-price when there are price drops.

The price of a drink package can change many times before the cruise begins and this is because of various sales offered.  Typically, there's a pre-cruise sale every few weeks, although the total cost of the drink package may not actually change

Regardless, it's possible for there to be a price drop and in that case, you can cancel and rebook the drink package with no penalty via the Cruise Planner website.

By booking a drink package early you lock in the price and guard against a price increase, but can still take advantage of a price decrease.

Trying to "time" a lower price is a mistake because sometimes the price goes up and never goes back down.

Drink Package Frequently Asked Questions

Are Royal Caribbean drink packages per person or per room?

Percentages off during a cruise planner sale

Each drink package purchased is per guest, and may only be used by the person buying it.

This means a drink package cannot be shared by more than one person.

How to buy a Royal Caribbean drink package?

What to think about before buying a Royal Caribbean drink package | Royal Caribbean Blog

The easiest way is to purchase it via Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner site.  

You can buy the drink package at any time up to 48 hours before your ship sails.  Buying a drink package in advance is the best strategy to save money, because it will cost more onboard the ship.

Alternatively, guests from the U.S. or Canada can buy the drink package by calling (800) 398-9819.

Read moreHow to purchase Royal Caribbean's unlimited drink packages

Does a Royal Caribbean drink package include gratuity?


When you buy any drink package, you will see a line item charge for a "service charge."  This includes the gratuities for any beverages you order.

How to cancel a Royal Caribbean drink package?

Log into Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner for your sailing, and then click on your initials at the top right corner.

Then click Order History. Find your drink package and click View Details, followed by Cancel.

Where can I use my drink package?

Any bar, restaurant, or lounge will accept your drink package benefits. This includes the Windjammer, main dining room, and specialty restaurants.

The drink packages also work at Perfect Day at CocoCay or Labadee.

The only places you cannot use your drink package are with room service, minibar or Starbucks.

What happens if you don't buy a drink package on Royal Caribbean?

If you elect not to buy a drink package, then any beverages that cost extra will be charged to your SeaPass account on an a la carte basis.

Keep in mind you'll not only be charged for the drink, but also the 18% gratuity automatically added. This gratuity is compulsory and cannot be taken off.


Overall, whether a Royal Caribbean beverage package is right for you is a highly personal decision, based on a lot of variables.  There is no flat "yes" or "no" answer to determining if a drink package makes sense for everyone, but hopefully the considerations in this post can help with your decision.  

Before purchasing any drink package, be sure to do your homework and do the math of how much you have to drink, every day of your cruise for it to make sense.

First-time cruisers will hopefully find this post as a good jumping off point for further reading on the drink packages.  The drink packages can make sense for some people and others no sense at all.  It is foolish to assume any drink package is a good or bad value without first considering how you cruise.

How to make the drink packages on Royal Caribbean work for you | Royal Caribbean Blog

Keep in mind that you can always purchase a drink package even after your cruise begins, if you find yourself drinking more than you thought.  Royal Caribbean advertises that its drink packages can be purchased at any point in a cruise, provided there are at least four days left in the cruise.

The key is to know how you like to cruise and which pros and cons of the drink package are more important to you.  At worst, you are going to overpay for a drink package or for drinks on your own.  In either case, you will still likely have a great vacation experience.

Your thoughts

What is your experience with Royal Caribbean's beverage package? Thinking about using it? I would love to hear your thoughts about a Royal Caribbean beverage package, and how it works (or does not work) for you, in the comments! If you have questions, ask them there, too.

Royal Caribbean News Round-Up: March 19, 2023

19 Mar 2023
Matt Hochberg

This was a busy week with Royal Caribbean news, and we have a summary of all of the news from this week to make certain you did not miss any of it.

One Royal Caribbean offer was indeed too good to be true.

Premier Pass logo

After accidently posting a new VIP pass for sale on its site, the cruise line informed anyone that bought it that their purchase would be cancelled and money paid refunded.

The Premier Pass was on sale for about a day or so before the mistake was spotted.

Royal Caribbean delays Mariner of the Seas return

The scheduled dry dock work on Mariner of the Seas will require more time than Royal Caribbean anticipated.

Guests booked on the first sailing back received an email that the April 1, 2023 sailing has been cancelled.

Mariner of the Seas is currently in Cadiz, Spain undergoing dry dock for routine maintenance.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 491st episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, all about Royal Caribbean's plans for a beach club in Nassau.

Royal Caribbean will open a beach club in Nassau, Bahamas and here's what Matt thinks of what we know so far.

Please feel free to subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and head over to rate and review the podcast on iTunes if you can! We’d appreciate it.

New RCB Video: 9 Common misconceptions about a Royal Caribbean cruise

Have you subscribed to the Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel? We share some great videos there regularly, all about taking a Royal Caribbean cruise! This week, we are sharing our latest video — 9 Common misconceptions about a Royal Caribbean cruise — and don’t forget to subscribe here.

Royal Caribbean adding “Wizard of Oz” musical to Icon of the Seas

Wizard of Oz musical poster

We now know which musical will be featured on Icon of the Seas when she launches next year.

Nick Weir, Senior Vice President of Entertainment for Royal Caribbean International, posted on Twitter an announcement that The Wizard of Oz will be the show for Icon.

Royal Caribbean says the Wizard of Oz production is not the 2011 musical adaption by Andrew Lloyd Weber.

How does a cheap Celebrity cruise compare to Royal Caribbean?

Celebrity Silhouette

What's it like to go on Celebrity Cruises for a cheap cruise versus Royal Caribbean?

Both cruise lines are owned by the same company, but the experiences do vary somewhat.

Allie tried a cheap 4-night cruise on Celebrity Silhouette and compared it to her cheap cruise on Mariner of the Seas.

What cruisers wish they knew before going on their first cruise

Hindsight is always 20/20, including going on a cruise ship.

We asked people on the internet for what they know now that they wish they knew before trying their first cruise.

From beating the chair hogs to asserting dominance in the elevator, here are our favorite answers.

Is it a boat vs ship? What's the difference?

18 Mar 2023
Jenna DeLaurentis

Referring to a cruise ship as a boat is one of the biggest faux pas when it comes to cruising. We’ve all heard a first-time cruiser exclaim “Look how big that boat is!” without realizing that they should be calling it a ship.

Cruise ships are massive vessels that can weigh over 200,000 tons—the polar opposite of a small sailboat or canoe—but what is the difference between a boat and a ship?

Generally speaking, a boat refers to a small vessel whereas a ship refers to a large vessel. This may seem obvious, but it’s the easiest way to classify a boat versus a ship. A common way to compare the two is that a boat can be carried on a ship, but a ship cannot be carried on a boat.

Promenade deck

However, the exact definition of a boat versus a ship cannot be determined by just size. At what size does a boat become a ship? Does having a certain number of engines turn a boat into a ship? Or does the body of water a vessel travels through determine if it is a boat or ship?

Unfortunately, there’s no standard, internationally-accepted definition of a boat versus a ship. Nonetheless, there are a few ways in which you can usually tell the difference between a boat and a ship.

Size of a boat versus a ship

The most obvious difference between a boat and a ship is size—boats are smaller than ships. Depending on the source, a water going vessel could be considered a ship when it is over 100 feet in length, although by some definitions it must be even longer.

Length is not the only factor that determines whether it is a ship or boat, though. Some definitions require a vessel to weigh over 500 tons to be considered a ship. For reference, the average sailboat weighs a little over four tons while the smallest Royal Caribbean ship has a gross tonnage of nearly 80,000!

Ships also have the potential to transport boats. The largest cruise ships, for example, carry around twenty lifeboats, but you'll never see a lifeboat carrying a ship (hence why it’s a lifeboat and not a lifeship).

Powering a boat versus a ship

Powering a ship is a complex operation. Ships have much more complex technology onboard, with modern navigation systems and operational equipment.

Allure of the Seas—one of Royal Caribbean’s biggest ships—has six engines that provide 13,500 horsepower, making the 225,282 ton vessel sail smoothly through the seas. In addition to engines are tunnel thrusters, stabilizers, gas turbines, wastewater treatment systems, and large galleys.

Boats, on the other hand, don’t require such complex mechanics. Small boats, such as canoes and kayaks, can be powered by a single paddle, whereas sailboats move with the wind. You certainly won’t see a Royal Caribbean ship powered by wind!

Boats can also be powered by motors, but they aren’t nearly as powerful as the engines you’ll find on a ship.

Crew, passengers, and cargo

Powering a ship requires much more technology compared to a boat. Most Royal Caribbean cruise ships have over 1,000 crew members working onboard, and most of them are not even involved in the technical operation of the ship.

Sure, you have crew working in the engine room, but there are chefs, stateroom attendants, entertainers, and musicians onboard as well, something you won’t find on most boats.

Other ships, such as cargo ships, may only have 20 to 30 crew members onboard. This is still much more than you’ll find on most boats, especially those built for only two or three people. Even most luxury yachts, which are considered large for boat standards, almost always have a crew under 15 people.

Some people classify a ship as a vessel that has a permanent crew whether the ship is in use or not. A boat may only be manned when it’s in use (i.e. traveling on the water instead of docked).

Furthermore, ships often carry passengers to travel long distances from one place to another. While small boats like water taxis may also carry passengers, it’s typically only for a short distance and there aren’t private cabins for each passenger onboard.

Another way to distinguish between a boat and a ship is in the ship’s cargo. Today’s largest container ships can hold nearly 25,000 containers, with the average somewhere around 15,000. A boat could never compete with the cargo capacity of a cargo ship, with each container weighing over 5,000 pounds when empty!

Boats don’t usually carry cargo, unless it’s a small fishing boat carrying the day’s catch.

Where they sail

Ships and boats typically sail in different bodies of water. Ships usually sail in the ocean, traveling far distances to carry cargo or passengers. You won’t find a ship traveling in a small lake or river, but you will find ships traversing the world’s oceans from one continent to another.

Examples of ships include cruise ships, container ships, tankers, offshore vessels, naval ships, and large ferries.

Boats most commonly sail in smaller bodies of water, including ponds, lakes, and rivers. Most boats only travel close to the coast, as they aren’t designed to travel long distances across the open ocean.

Examples of boats include small ferries, water taxis, towing vessels, sailboats, kayaks, and canoes.

What about sailboats and submarines?

It’s common to classify a boat as a vessel that does not travel long distances in the ocean, but what about a sailboat?

Most sailboats are considered to be boats instead of ships. They are significantly smaller than vessels like cargo ships and cruise ships, hold fewer passengers and crew, and are usually used for short-term travel near the coast.

However, there is a difference between a sailboat and a sailing ship. Sailing ships are larger vessels with at least three masts, and with square sails on each mast. These ships were the standard vessels used for ocean travel during the Age of Discovery in the 15th century.

Yet submarines, which should be considered ships, are considered boats. This is due to the history of submarines. Early submarines were carried on ships, so they were classified as boats. As submarines became bigger and bigger over time, the name stuck, and they are still called boats today.

The bottom line

If you’re looking for a concrete definition of a ship versus a boat, you won’t find one. More often than not, it’s easy to distinguish between the two by comparing the size of the vessel, its mechanics, and the body of water the vessel travels through.

As you can see, there are many exceptions, such as with submarines and large sailing ships. If there’s one thing we know for certain, however, it’s that you should never call a cruise ship a boat!

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

17 Mar 2023
Jenna DeLaurentis

An important part of planning a Royal Caribbean cruise is knowing what is and is not included in your cruise fare. While your cruise fare includes accommodation, food, and activities, it does not include gratuities for crew members.

Many first-time cruisers are confused about how tipping works on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Who do you need to tip onboard? Should you carry cash or tip on your SeaPass card? Do you need to tip on shore excursions?

Luckily, it’s easy to understand the ins and outs of tipping on a cruise ship. From prepaying gratuities to carrying small bills, here’s what you should and should not do when tipping on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

You SHOULD know what gratuities cover

Junior Suite on Symphony of the Seas

Each passenger on a Royal Caribbean cruise pays a daily gratuity to cover the services of hard working crew members onboard. These gratuities are shared among the dining, bar, and culinary teams, stateroom attendants, and the hotel service team.

Royal Caribbean crew members work extremely hard throughout their multi-month contracts, and gratuities are a way to reward them for providing amazing service.

Wine being poured

Because they are charged on a daily basis, you do not have to worry about tipping each crew member yourself. Many passengers, however, still like to leave extra tips for their stateroom attendant and dining room waiters at the end of the cruise.

An envelope will be delivered to your stateroom for any extra (optional) tips. You can pick up more envelopes at Guest Services if there are additional crew members you would like to tip.

You SHOULD know how much gratuities cost per day

Inside cabin on Liberty of the Seas

Gratuities on a Royal Caribbean cruise are priced per day, but the amount owed depends on your stateroom category.

Guests in non-suite staterooms (including Junior Suites) pay $16 USD per person, per day for gratuities. Those in Grand Suites and above pay $18.50 USD per person, per day.

Therefore, for a 7-night cruise, you will pay $112 per person for gratuities in a standard cabin and $129.50 per person in a suite. It’s important to account for gratuities when budgeting for a Royal Caribbean cruise. When sailing with a family of four on a 7-night cruise, gratuities can add nearly $500 on top of your cruise fare.

Grand Suite on Liberty of the Seas

Depending on where you book your cruise, gratuities may already be included in the price of your cruise fare. Australians booking cruises from Australia, for example, will not incur gratuities on top of their cruise fare, but the cruise fare reflects the price with gratuities added.

You SHOULD pay gratuities in advance

There are two options when it comes to paying gratuities on a Royal Caribbean cruise: prepaying gratuities or waiting to pay them once onboard.

Prepaying gratuities means you can include the current daily gratuity rate in your cost of the cruise when booking. When paying for your cruise, the daily gratuity will be added into the overall cost, and you will not owe any gratuities once the cruise begins.

If you elect not to pay gratuities in advance, a daily charge will appear on your SeaPass account every day of the cruise. If you are on a 3-night cruise, for example, and don’t pay gratuities in advance, you will see a $16 (or $18.50) charge on your account each day of the sailing.

Related: Should you prepay gratuities for a Royal Caribbean cruise?

We almost always recommend prepaying gratuities before your cruise begins. This allows you to pay off your cruise balance early, so that by the time you get onboard, you won’t have to worry about extra charges.

Paying in advance also locks in the current gratuity rate in case it were to increase. It’s not uncommon for cruise lines to increase daily gratuity by $1 or $2 every few years. If you prepay gratuities and the price increases before your cruise, you won’t have to pay the new daily rate.

You can prepay gratuities at any time up to 48 hours before your sail date. If you booked with a travel agent, contact your travel agent and they can add gratuities to your booking. If you booked with Royal Caribbean directly, your best bet is to call or access your account online to prepay gratuities.

You SHOULD bring small bills

Bringing small bills is recommended on a cruise, as it allows you to tip crew members easily throughout the sailing. Having $1 and $5 bills handy is helpful when you want to give a bartender a small tip with your drink or tip a porter for handling your baggage on embarkation day.

If you don’t have small bills, you can ask Guest Services to break down larger bills. Simply bring a $20, $50, or $100 bill to Guest Services and they will be happy to give you change.

How much cash should you bring on a cruise? Ultimately, it depends on your travel style. Most payments on your cruise vacation will be completely digital, so most passengers only use cash onboard to give additional tips to crew members.

Related: How much cash should you bring on a cruise?

You SHOULDN’T remove gratuities once onboard

Technically, you can visit Guest Services once onboard your cruise ship and opt to remove gratuities from your account. Some passengers like to do this in order to give tips to crew members directly whenever they see fit.

While this may seem like a good idea in theory, it comes with one major drawback.

It’s unlikely you will meet every crew member onboard who would otherwise receive a percentage of gratuities. Although details on how gratuities are allocated are not shared with the public, it’s likely Royal Caribbean has a pool of gratuities that is split amongst the crew members.

By giving tips to crew members individually, you may be taking potential gratuities away from other hard working crew members you don’t meet in person.

It’s totally fine to give extra tips to crew members who go above and beyond during your sailing, but we recommend doing this in addition to the automatic gratuities.

You SHOULDN’T forget cash on shore excursions

It’s customary to tip your shore excursion tour leader, driver, and guides, so don’t forget to bring cash with you in port. Most passengers tip their guides between $5-10, but there is no right or wrong amount to tip on a shore excursion.

Aside from tipping, you should bring cash on shore excursions to purchase extras like souvenirs, drinks, and snacks. We recommend bringing around $100-200 USD with you in port each day.

You SHOULD expect an 18% gratuity on certain purchases

Massage at the spa

Certain onboard purchases are subject to an 18% gratuity on top of the listed price, including beverages, mini bar items, and spa and salon purchases.

In addition, when you reserve specialty restaurants, dining packages, drink packages, and spa services on Royal Caribbean’s Cruise Planner website, the gratuity will be added upon checkout.

Because gratuity is already included in the price of these purchases onboard, it’s not necessary to tip extra. However, many passengers still like to tip a few dollars with a drink or specialty restaurant dinner to show their appreciation.

Royal Caribbean adding “Wizard of Oz” musical to Icon of the Seas

17 Mar 2023
Matt Hochberg

Dorothy, the tin man, scarecrow, and cowardly lion are all headed to the high seas. 

Wizard of Oz musical poster

Based on audition information posted by Royal Caribbean Entertainment, it looks like "The Wizard of Oz" musical will be the featured production show on the next new cruise ship for Royal Caribbean, Icon of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean has not formally announced the entertainment for Icon of the Seas, but the Royal Caribbean Entertainment clearly states it is looking for performers to audition for The Wizard of Oz on Icon of the Seas.

One posting wrote, "Principals (Featured Singers) hired for WIZARD OF OZ (3-4 performances weekly) will also perform in an original Royal Caribbean Signature Production onboard the ICON of the Seas (3-4 performances weekly). Candidates must be available and willing to travel internationally aboard our ships."

In addition to the audition information, Nick Weir, Senior Vice President of Entertainment for Royal Caribbean International, posted on Twitter an announcement that The Wizard of Oz will be the show for Icon.

It's likely the show will be performed in Icon's main theater, as opposed to different venue.

About the musical

Scene from Wizard of Oz

Royal Caribbean says the Wizard of Oz production is not the 2011 musical adaption by Andrew Lloyd Weber.

This will be the Royal Caribbean Productions version of the classic.

Coming in 2024

Icon of the Seas aerial at night concept art

Icon of the Seas will be Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship, and first of its kind.

The first in the Icon Class will launch in January 2024, and will have a gross tonnage of 250,800, making her the largest cruise ship in the world by gross tonnage.

The ship will be homeported from Miami and offer week-long Caribbean cruises.