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First RC cruise, advice please!


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We are going on our first RC cruise on Jan 12-19, Harmony of the Seas, we have a mid ship balcony room and have purchased the soda package. This will only be our second cruise ever, our first was a 4 night on DCL. It is only myself, my wife, and our 10 yo daughter.

 

What do us newbies need to know?   Any tips and/or advice welcome!

Thanks

Paul

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Wow, so many to mention. You'll gets lots here from others but my tip is:  From our experience, upon meeting our cabin steward at embarkation we tip them on Day 1 half the amount we would tip them for the whole cruise, then the balance at the end. This creates goodwill & we always believe this is why we have a great relationship and service from our steward throughout the cruise.

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Hi @Phs79, welcome to the Royal Caribbean Blog forums!

Since this isn't your very first cruise, I would recommend going to the Getting Started section of the main blog and just looking at the articles "The differences between Royal Caribbean's ships", "All about Royal Caribbean Food", and "Royal Caribbean Gratuities" to just learn about some of the specifics with Royal. After that, you can check out @Matt's YouTube Channel and look for videos that are relevant to your sailing -- be they about cruising on Royal in general, Harmony specifically, Labadee / Coco Cay, or other items you think would be good to know. His podcast is also a great resource, and you'll probably find some links to Harmony-specific episodes when you do the site search, or by searching "Harmony of the Seas podcast". If you have a podcast player installed on your phone or tablet, you can also subscribe to the podcast and get the latest episode delivered every Wednesday.

This definitely won't answer all of your questions, but it'll give you a great start. After that, please come on back here and let us know any specifics you didn't find explained elsewhere. There's a ton of knowledge and information on this site and these forums, and lots of very helpful people here who all want to do their best to make sure you have a great experience. 😊

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Recommendations above are great.  Definitely reserve your shows if there’s something you want to see.  Pre-book any specialty dining or excursions before getting onboard.  Look at deck plans as Oasis class ships are massive and it’s nice having a rough idea of what’s where when you finally board.  I love watching YouTube videos and listening to the podcasts on here, lots of good info.

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I think the best rule of thumb is don't try and do everything but make sure to set out what's most important to you! 

The one thing I took from my first cruise on Explorer of the Seas was that breakfast is NOT the most important meal of the day. While the breakfast was nice, it was usually the same thing every day. For my next cruise I'm already planning on sleeping in past breakfast and enjoying the different options every day for lunch! 

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If it all possible get to Port Canaveral area a day early and stay at one of the many hotels in the area.  The day of the cruise arrive at the pier at about 10:30am.  It doent matter what your arrive time says on your paperwork, that is a suggestion not a rule.  The earlier the check in the earlier the fun starts.  The windjammer buffet (stuffet) opens about 11 or 11:30 for lunch on embarkation day.  There is a wide variety on the buffet so if you have picky eater in your family this might be the place.  The Windjammer is also a mad house the first day.  The alternative would be the Park Cafe in Central Park (great sandwiches and salads) or the Solarium Bistro on Deck 15 at the very front of the ship.  Then its time to explore the ship.  Your room will open around 1pm. and the sea pass cards will in a small slot next to the room door..  Your sea pass card will have deck number and table number on it.  Thats always a good time to go to the dining room your assigned and find your table.  Your allowed to walk right to find your table.  It will save you not having to get escorted to your table the first night at dinner time.  When doors open for dinner just walk right in to your table.    Just a few thoughts for the first day.  Take your time and enjoy!

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Just enjoy and don't be afraid of leaving your 10 yr. old at any of the kids venues alone. the RC team are amazing kid sitters. I left 4 of my grand kids with them and they loved it. Also, you must go to the Quest. It is usually on the 6th night of the cruise. Its an adult venue but there have always been some kids there. It's hilarious.

Howard

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