Fun things to do on a cruise to Mexico

In:
27Jun2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean can take you on a cruise to various ports in Mexico to swim, scuba, eat, drink and climb your way around the country’s storied ancient pyramids and cenotes.

We get a lot of requests for recommendations of what to do in various ports of call, so today we are focusing on the cruise ports in Mexico that Royal Caribbean serves, and hand-picked excursions offered by both the cruise line and on your own.

Royal Caribbean offers Western Caribbean cruises from four to seven nights that depart ports in Florida and Texas. If you are interested in some fun activities offered in each Mexican port Royal Caribbean visits, here are some great suggestions.

Cozumel

Fun in the ocean is at the heart of Cozumel, as it is known for its exotic and exquisite diving.  In fact, oceanographer Jacques Cousteau once said Cozumel had the best in the world for scuba diving.  Royal Caribbean offers shore excursions to snorkel in the Palancar Reef, where you can swim among starfish in a natural sanctuary.  Or give back a little and save sea turtle hatchlings.

You can combine the sea and land with a day by the beach. Cozumel has a number of great beach resorts you can spend the day at with a day pass.

If you want a little culture, try the Mexico in a Nutshell tour for a sampling of Mayan traditions, illustrated through aerial acrobatics and Mexican architecture. There are also tequila samplings and chocolate tastings to consider.

Costa Maya

 

Costa Maya has a great deal of intriguing options to consider to fill your day. Some of the best Mayan ruins are found around Costa Maya, including the premier preserved site at Chichen Itza. Royal Caribbean offers a multi-day tour that will take you to Chacchoben, Tulum and Chichen Itza, on an overnight adventure.

If aquatic adventure is what you want, the Meso-American Barrier Reef offers kayaking or scuba diving. This area is an important marine region spanning nearly 700 miles. You can always head to the beach and enjoy a relaxing day at Maya Chan Beach.

If you want to try to reel in your fun (see what we did there?), then grab a lure and head out for some deep sea fishing.

Progreso

A newer cruise port for Royal Caribbean, Progresso (also known as Yucatan), is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chichen Itza.

You can take a glimpse into Mexico's past with a visit to Merida, the capital of the Yucatan state. There you will find colonial-era estates known as Mexican haciendas.

Speaking of the past, you can explore Mayan culture at the Uxmal ruins, one of the civilization’s political hubs. You can explore the classic Mesoamerican ball courts, where ancient games were played, and the stone decorations of the aptly named House of the Turtles. The Dzibilchaltun ruins, an ancient trading center, and Temple of the Seven Dolls are worth a visit too, as they reveal the Mayans’ long-held understanding of the solar system.

Your thoughts

What is your favorite thing to do in Mexico on a cruise? Are you considering another tour? Share your experiences and questions in the comments below!

Royal Caribbean announces $97 million Voyager of the Seas amplification

In:
26Jun2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean announced plans for $97 million in upgrades and enhancements to Voyager of the Seas.

Part of the Royal Amplified program, Voyager of the Seas will become the fourth ship reimagined as part of the Royal Amplified fleet modernization effort. She will receive a number of new first-to-market features. Beginning Oct. 21, the newly transformed ship will set sail on a series of 3- to 5-night Southeast Asia itineraries from Singapore, followed by a season down under with 9- to 12-night South Pacific cruises from Sydney, Australia, starting on Nov. 30.

Thrills

Voyager of the Seas will receive two waterslides, collectively known as The Perfect Storm.  Typhoon and Cyclone will be added to the ship to provide guests with three stories of twists and turns.

Voyager of the Seas also offers the FlowRider surf simulator, rock-climbing wall and mini-golf to compliment the new additions.

Families

Families on Voyager of the Seas will also enjoy Battle for Planet Z glow-in-the-dark laser tag in Studio B.

Adventure Ocean will be redesigned with a fresh take on the cruise line's programming for children. Kids 3-12 years old will enjoy a modern, free-play approach to a new, open layout in Adventure Ocean. A first on Voyager, a nursery for babies and tots will open its doors, while 3- to 5-year-olds can dive into the excitement in an area created just for them. 

Teens will be able to enjoy an exclusive, updated hangout, along with the addition of a laidback outdoor deck.

Relaxation

The Vitality Spa and Fitness Center will be enhanced and relocated to the aft of the ship as part of the upgrades.

A total of 72 new inside and balcony staterooms will be added to the ship, along with a Suite Lounge and outdoor area - exclusively for guests in Grand Suites and above; and the Diamond Lounge for members of Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program. 

Guests on Voyager of the Seas of the Seas will also be able to take advantage of the new mobile app, which allows for check-in, planning activities, viewing onboard expensses, booking and managing dining, shore excursion and show reservations and more.

Balcony staterooms on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

In:
26Jun2019
By: Matt Hochberg

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

Episode 308 is available for downloading, where Matt breaks down the differences between balcony staterooms on Royal Caribbean.

A balcony stateroom comes in many forms on Royal Caribbean, and Matt has a look at the differences between the various balcony rooms and what you need to know about each type.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 308. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSSStitcher or on iTunes!

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

All about the Royal Caribbean shareholder discount

In:
26Jun2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean offers a variety of discounts at any time of the year, but one discount that is consistently offered, and yet not very well-known, is the discount for people that own shares of Royal Caribbean stock.

The Royal Caribbean shareholder benefit may not be the most lucrative discount available, but every bit helps and it might save you some money.  Here is what you need to know about the stockholder discount.

Eligibility for the shareholder discount

The shareholder discount is available for any Royal Caribbean shareholder with a minimum of 100 RCL shares at the time of sailing.

The benefit is only available for the stateroom in which the shareholder (with a minimum of 100 shares) is sailing. Only one shareholder credit per stateroom on any one sailing. If shares are held jointly, 100 shares are required for each onboard credit request on any one sailing.

There is no limit on how many times you may take advantage of this discount, but it is one benefit per sailing.

Shareholder Discount Amount

The exact amount of your discount will depend on the length of your sailing.  The type of stateroom you stay in is irrelevant. The discount is applicable on any eligible Royal Caribbean International sailing.

  • $250 Onboard Credit per Stateroom on Sailings of 14 or more nights.
  • $100 Onboard Credit per Stateroom on Sailings of 6 to 13 nights.
  • $50 Onboard Credit per Stateroom on Sailings of 5 nights or less.

Can I combine the shareholder discount with other discounts?

The shareholder benefit offer was updated in June 2019 and applies to bookings made on or after June 1, 2019.  With the June 2019 update, the shareholder benefit is easier to use in conjunction with a lot of promotions that it was not in the past.

Benefit is non-transferable and not available to employees, agents of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. or its subsidiaries and affiliates, travel agents and tour operators. Benefit is not combinable with interline rates, travel agent rates, and employee friends and family rates. Benefit cannot be redeemed for chartered sailings, any Galapagos sailings or complimentary sailings.

Redeeming shareholder benefit

Provide your name, address, confirmation number, ship and sailing date along with a copy of your shareholder proxy card or a current brokerage statement showing proof of share ownership in Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. All shareholder onboard credit requests must be received approximately 2 -3 weeks prior to sail date. Via Mail: RCL Investor Benefit Offer, PO Box 025511, Miami, Florida 33102-5511 Via Fax: 1-305-373-6699 Via Email: shareholderbenefit@rccl.com

Please direct all inquiries to the Shareholder Benefit Team: (954) 628-9325, option #3

Video: Top 5 cruise tips for all cruisers

In:
25Jun2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Our newest RoyalCaribbeanBlog video is now available, where Matt shares his top tips that anyone going on any cruise should follow.

Matt wanted to share five of his favorite tips and advice for someone new to Royal Caribbean that they should be aware of for their sailing. These are the tips and tricks he uses on every sailing, and you should too. 

And if you love this video, we have lots of other great cruise videos to watch on our Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel!

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

So check out the video and then let us know: What do you think is essential and universal cruise advice?

Royal Caribbean adds Kids Sail Free filter to website search

In:
24Jun2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Finding all the sailings that qualify for Royal Caribbean's super-popular Kids Sail Free deal just got easier with a recent update to their website that added a Kids Sail Free filter to the cruise search.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader FionaMG noticed a new filter that has been added to the site search to quickly narrow the search results to only show sailings that qualify for the Kids Sail Free offer.

To use the filter, simply go to the "Find A Cruise" option and select it to refine the results shown.

For more details on Kids Sail Free dates, terms and conditions, refer to our Kids Sail Free guide.

Royal Caribbean forms new joint venture to develop ports around the world

In:
24Jun2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced today a new joint venture with ITM Group that seeks to develop cruise ports around the world.

The new company is called Holistica, and its goal is create an inclusive model for destination development that works holistically – thus the name – to meet the needs of coastal communities, local governments, and land, sea, and air travelers.

The first project for the new company is a $275 million development in Freeport, The Bahamas that is centered around the Grand Lucayan resort. The project includes ambitious plans for local ownership, employment, job training, community investment and sustainable construction practices.

In addition to the Freeport project, the companies said the new venture will own and operate destinations in Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; and Kumamoto, Japan.

The partners have commenced a search for a CEO for the new company, which will be headquartered in Miami. 

"The continuing growth and rising popularity of cruise vacations make it clear that the sustainable development of coastal destinations, including the thoughtful evolution of existing ones, is in the travel industry's best interest," said Michael Bayley of RCL. "We have spent five decades learning what works and what doesn't, and we know the potential of strategic development to deliver extraordinary guest experiences and meet the needs of local communities."

Added Bayley: "Having more destinations, and developing them in a responsible manner, gives travelers greater vacation quality, and expands the landscape of available travel options as the tourism industry grows."

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: June 23, 2019

In:
23Jun2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Happy Sunday! We hope you’re having a relaxing weekend and enjoying summer! It’s time to sit back, relax, and catch up on all the recent Royal Caribbean news!

Is a suite worth the extra cost? We broke down the important information of what a suite gets you and if it is worth it.

Staying in a suite will get you the most expansive and luxurious accommodations Royal Caribbean, but it also comes with the highest price tag.  

Check out our breakdown for all the benefits and advantage a suite provides to help you decide if you should try one yourself.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 307th episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, where Matt shares a review of his recent Mariner of the Seas cruise

In this episode, Matt shares how his 3-night cruise on Mariner of the Seas was, and how poor weather did not stop him from having a great time.

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: Harmony of the Seas secrets

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 — Harmony of the Seas secrets  — and don’t forget to subscribe here.

Royal Caribbean Around the Internet

The Travel Women posted an Instagram guide to Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Royal Caribbean reported that Barron’s listed Richard Fain as one of the World’s Best CEOs. 

Skift shared how Royal Caribbean is utilizing a data-driven cruising model.

Spotted: 5 drink card on Majesty of the Seas

In:
21Jun2019
By: Matt Hochberg

We found a new kind of drink card option that allows guests to buy five, instead of ten, drinks per card.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader Jane Treppa sent us this phot of the 5 Drinks Savings Card for $35 on Majesty of the Seas.

Guests can pay one price for 5 drinks at any onboard, bar, restaurant and lounge that is valid for the purchase of most beers, glasses of wine and cocktails, as well as fountain sodas, specialty coffee and fresh juices. Essentially, it covers the same beverages that the Deluxe Beverage Package does. 

The reason why drink cards are an intriguing offer is because you can share a drink card with other guests, whereas the drink package benefits are not shareable.  Moreover, if one adult purchases the drink card, other adults in the same stateroom do not have to purchase a drink card as well.

Drink cards are a tool that Royal Caribbean uses on select sailings to help spur drink purchases. There is no way to know in advance if or when a drink card would be offered. The decision of a drink card to offer, if any, is made by the ship.

Video: Harmony of the Seas secrets

In:
21Jun2019
By: Matt Hochberg

We are sharing our favorite hidden secrets about Harmony of the Seas in this RoyalCaribbeanBlog video!

Harmony of the Seas is incredible, and we scoured the ship to find (and now share) little known secrets… from spots to underwater speakers to unique entertainment, and SO much more. 

And if you love this video, we have lots of other great cruise videos to watch on our Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel!

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

If you have cruised on Harmony of the Seas, what is your favorite secret about the ship? Share your ideas in our comments!

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