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This will be my third cruise, first with RC. I'm traveling with my extended family. My 5yo son and I are sharing a room. Can someone explain to me how the drink packages work? Can my son and I share one? Is room service included in the price? I'm just really confused by how this drink package works and the more I try to understand the more confused I get. I thought food and drinks are included EXCEPT for alcohol and "specialty" restaurants and cafes. I'd rather spend my money at port and on excursions than food and drink on board. Where do I find information on "kids club" hours and cost and information on fitness club hours, cost, classes. The website has a lot of information but I can't seem to find what I'm looking for. Also, what happened to the RC app? Is there one to replace it? 

 

~Thanks!! 

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Drink Packages:

You might find this article helpful which explains drink packages: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/royal-caribbean-beverage-packages 

Basically there are a number of drink packages on offer depending on if you want to include alcohol, non alcohol cocktails and juices or just soda. Consider the drink packages an 'all you can drink' package (with some exceptions for more expensive alcohol based drinks).

The packages are for a single person only and can not be shared. 

 

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Kids Club:

This article will probably be useful regarding the kids club for 3-5 year olds: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2014/03/05/look-royal-caribbeans-kids-club-3-5-year-olds 

You may also find this one interesting regarding other activities you both might enjoy: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2014/03/05/look-royal-caribbeans-kids-club-3-5-year-olds 

Dining:

You certainly don't have to go to the specialty restaurants and the main dining room offers a really good menu that I am sure you and the family would enjoy. The main dinning room is included in the cruise price. Depending on the ship there will also be a number of other dining options which are included in your cruise fare including pizza and a cafe etc (Normally drip type urn coffee is provided free).

Fitness Club:

Accessing the gym is free apart from some of the classes like spin classes etc. Hour seem to be 6am to 1am on most ships but check when you are on baord and they can let you know the hours for that ship

 

The RC App has been discontinued (you aren't missing much). Everyone's best guess is that they are in the process of developing a replacement which we should see later in the year.

 

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To be clear, you do not have to get any kind of drink package to get basic beverages like water (not bottled), juice (not fresh squeezed), or "basic" coffee. These other two articles should help clarify that side of the question:

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2015/08/11/first-time-cruisers-what-drinks-are-included-your-royal-caribbean-cruise

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2016/09/29/where-get-coffee-royal-caribbean-cruise

The main reason to buy a drink package is if you expect to be having a lot of specialty coffee beverages, sodas, bottled water, "mocktails", or alcoholic beverages. In that situation, it may be worthwhile to purchase a package for yourself and/or your son. The articles linked by @EmersonNZ should give some advice around that, but if you think you'd only get one or two such beverages a day at most, I'd say to skip the package and just pay the regular cost per beverage.

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   One other thing you might factor in to your formula for a drink package is how many port stops you have on the cruise.  If you plan on spending a vast majority of your port stops off the ship that will be time that calculates not using the package.  If he is like most 5yr olds he will be worn out by the time you get back.  You will be able to use the drink package on Labadee if that is one of your port stops.  Good luck and have a good time.

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Kids club House hours are 9-12, 1-4, and 7-10 on port days. After 10 pm there's a fee. On port days, it's open continually with closing around the all aboard time. On some nights, there will also be a dinner opportunity for the kids to join at 6. 

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WOW, a lot of great information...thank you all so much! Can I keep this feed going and ask more questions????

Where do I find info on the scheduled activities for my cruise? We're on Harmony of the Seas out of Ft Lauderdale July 22-29, 2017.

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4 hours ago, KDB said:

WOW, a lot of great information...thank you all so much! Can I keep this feed going and ask more questions????

Where do I find info on the scheduled activities for my cruise? We're on Harmony of the Seas out of Ft Lauderdale July 22-29, 2017.

Ask away. 

Past Cruise Compasses (daily activity listing) can be found here: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/cruise-compass

For your specific cruise, you won't know until you board and will receive the activity listing the night before each day. 

 

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More RC first-timer questions....

What's the best option for cell phone/internet service while on the boat and at port? I'm traveling with 9 people in 4 different rooms on 2 separate decks, my mother in law is worried about communication between the family members while on board and in port. Would we be better off signing up for an international call plan from our service provider or get some walkie talkies (I've seen this in several "tip" sites).

Are there laundry facilities/services available? I don't know how to pack for 7 days for myself and my 5yo son without packing a huge suitcase that I'd have to check at the airport. 

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There are no laundry facilities on Royal ships. You'd have to use the service like you'd find in a hotel. 

For communication, your best bet is probably the texting. Check with your carrier for rates, but this has been my experience. 

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14 hours ago, KDB said:

What's the best option for cell phone/internet service while on the boat and at port? I'm traveling with 9 people in 4 different rooms on 2 separate decks, my mother in law is worried about communication between the family members while on board and in port. Would we be better off signing up for an international call plan from our service provider or get some walkie talkies (I've seen this in several "tip" sites).

Your best bet is to invest in a Royal Caribbean internet package and use a common messaging app.  It's simple and relatively inexpensive.

Here's a good overview of how to stay in touch with other guests onboard: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2016/07/27/how-stay-touch-someone-your-royal-caribbean-cruise

Walkie talkies are annoying and their effectiveness within a ship made of a large amount of steel can be an issue.  The international plans are expensive.

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