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Just for fun

Latest fad: virtual cruise bingo cards


With Royal Caribbean (and all cruise lines) not offering sailings currently, cruisers have been looking for some fun escapades to help pass the time and the latest trend is cruise bingo cards.

We have seen virtual cruises, coloring sheets, and now we have a home version of bingo to play.

Part of the appeal of social media is sharing with others your experiences, and we have seen a few bingo cards pop up around Facebook, where you can check off your cruise "achievements".

Royal Caribbean Senior Vice President of Sales and Trade Support & Service Vicki Freed shared one such card on her Facebook page that focused on how many ports you have visited.

Our friends (and sponsor) MEI Travel came up with their own cruise bingo card, which includes a few references to this site!

The Facebook group NYC Rocks came up with Travel Bingo: Royal Caribbean edition.

We spotted this Perfect Day at CocoCay bingo card on Facebook.

These are fun diversions that help us all take a mental escape from this world of no cruises.

Royal Caribbean hosting virtual happy hour


It's BYOB, because Royal Caribbean is inviting you to a virtual happy hour this evening!

In an email to Crown and Anchor Society guests, Royal Caribbean announced it is holding a virtual happy hour on the Crown & Anchor Society Facebook page t‌h‌i‌s Th‌ur‌sd‌a‌y
Ap‌ri‌l 9th, a‌t 5‌:‌0‌0 E‌S‌T. 

Royal Caribbean says we can expect to engage in trivia games & chat with others.

Royal Caribbean releases more cruise Zoom backgrounds for your meetings


Royal Caribbean has released a new batch of new cruise-inspired virtual backgrounds that anyone can use in the Zoom meetings.

These backgrounds can be easily integrated into a Zoom call by taking advantage of the virtual background option.

The new batch of virtual backgrounds include scenes from Perfect Day at CocoCay, St. John, St. Kitts, St. Maarten and more.

The backgrounds can be downloaded via this link.

Here’s how to add these to Zoom.

  1. First, from your computer, download all of our backgrounds.
  2. Then, in the bottom left corner for your Zoom window (while you're Zooming), you'll see an icon that says, "stop video."
  3. Click the little arrow right next to it and select choose a virtual background.
  4. Then upload one or all of our backgrounds and enjoy!

There is more help information about virtual backgrounds on Zoom's site.

New "Virtual of the Seas" cruise heads to Alaska this weekend


Royal Caribbean fans enjoyed a pair of "virtual cruises", and there is a brand new one that is visiting Alaska this weekend.

Curated by former Cruise Director Abe Hughes, the Virtual of the Seas is headed to Alaska.

Beginning on Sunday, cruise fans can expect a week long visit to Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Icy Straight Point and Hubbard Glacier.

You can follow Abe Hughes on his Facebook page and join in on the third sailing of Virtual of the Seas!

There have been two sailings thus far, a 7-nighter to the Western Caribbean and a 4-night Perfect Day at CocoCay itinerary.

These pretend sailings have been a huge hit with cruise fans that are looking for something to do in the midst of cruise withdrawal.

Free printable Royal Caribbean coloring pages for adults!


Last week I shared Royal Caribbean coloring sheets for kids, but if you want to color with a bigger challenge, I have you covered!

In these days of being stuck at home, coloring is a great pastime for anyone and I have a new Royal Caribbean coloring pages for all ages.

The new sheets feature scenes from the Boardwalk, Ultimate Abyss, and Harmony of the Seas in Labadee.

You can download and print these coloring sheets right here.

Share photos of your finished product and I'll add your creations back to this post!

By John Henderson

By Michael Poole

Former Royal Caribbean Cruise Director created a week-long virtual cruise for everyone stuck at home


There are a lot of cruise fans who are stuck at home and dreaming of the day they can get back onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise, so former Cruise Director Abe Hughes decided to offer a virtual cruise for them.

Dubbed "Virtual of the Seas", Hughes crafted a daily Cruise Compass to provide his friends at home activities that would not only keep them occupied, but were similar to the sort of activities you would find on a cruise.

Hughes is no longer a Cruise Director, although he does still work for Royal Caribbean in their sales department supporting travel agents near his home in the midwest.

Each day, there was a new Cruise Compass for anyone interested to read that had activities they could do at home, as well as collaborate online.  This included Sudoku, trivia, napkin folding and more.  

Each evening, Mr. Hughes hosted a Facebook Live session of his morning show recording that he used to do onboard the ship.

The idea proved so popular, that Royal Caribbean announced Virtual of the Seas will sail again, with a 4-night "cruise" that begins on March 30.

You can follow Abe Hughes on his Facebook page and join in on the second sailing of Virtual of the Seas!

Royal Caribbean releases cruise-inspired Zoom backgrounds to use in your meetings


Next week's Zoom conference call can have a Royal Caribbean feel to it with one of a dozen new Zoom backgrounds the cruise line released.

With more and more people relying now on virtual meetings held with the popular Zoom application, Royal Caribbean released new virtual backgrounds anyone can start using.

The virtual backgrounds include scenes from Perfect Day at CocoCay, the Coco Beach Club, Navigator of the Seas, Schooner Bar, Alaska, Royal Promenade and more.

The backgrounds can be downloaded via this link.

How to enable a virtual background

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. Click My Meeting Settings, if you are an account administrator or Meeting Settings, if you are an account member.
  3. Navigate to the Virtual Background option on the Meeting tab and verify that the setting is enabled. 


  • If the setting is disabled, click the Status toggle to enable it. If a verification dialog displays, choose Turn On to verify the change.
  • If the option is grayed out, it has been locked at either the Group or Account level, and you will need to contact your Zoom administrator.

You can refer to the full Virtual Background help document for specific requirements and options to enable it.

20 ways to create Royal Caribbean fun without going on a cruise


At the very least, it is going to be quite a while before any of us get to on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

While a involuntary dry dock for us all is downright depressing, I came up with some ways to recreate the fun at home.  I know many of us are going stir-crazy sheltering-in-place, and you are definitely not alone!

Here are 20 ways you can feel kind of like you are on a Royal Caribbean cruise without getting onboard a ship.

1. Cook a Royal Caribbean meal at home

Do you miss the main dining room or Windjammer food? The fantastic food served on a Royal Caribbean ship is always a highlight of any cruise vacation, and you can recreate some classics at home.

You can download Royal Caribbean's commemorative Food & Beverage ebook, which features recipes of classic dishes, such as lobster crepe, baked alaska, baby beet salad and more.

Recreating a meal from a Royal Caribbean ship is a great way to relive some of your favorite memories, or even try something new! 

2. Watch a movie filmed on Royal Caribbean 

Over the years, Royal Caribbean has been the backdrop a few different feature films and short series, so this may be the perfect time to catch up on these flicks.

Like Father” was filmed on board Harmony of the Seas and stars Kristen Bell, Kelsey Grammer and Seth Rogen in a Netflix original movie.

Then there's the Hallmark Movie that stars Royal Caribbean Godparents Carlos and Alexa PenaVega, "Love at Sea", which is set also on Harmony of the Seas.

3. Enjoy the Musical Stylings of Billy Pando

If you have ever been lucky enough to catch a performance of Billy Pando in the Schooner Bar of a ship, then you know how talented this man is at his craft.

Billy Pando is Royal Caribbean's go-to A-List performer each evening on the most important sailings, and you can watch some of Billy's live performances on his Facebook page.

Here is one live session he did on March 22 that is sure to make you feel like you are at the Schooner Bar (especially if you follow tip #8 on this list).

4. Color Royal Caribbean style

Coloring by Charlene Cancun

Coloring is a super relaxing activity, no matter what age you are! You can find Royal Caribbean coloring sheets online to print out and see how well you can stay within the lines!

5. Read a Royal Caribbean book

Note: links in this section contain affiliate links, which means I make money if you buy something. Don't worry, the price is the same to you.

Books are another thing you can find plenty of on Amazon! Whether you’re looking for the history of Royal Caribbean, cook books, or stories from a Captain, there is enough good reads out there to keep you occupied.

My favorite book is "Under Crown and Anchor: Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, the first twenty-five years", and is difficult to find, but such intricate history and details that any super fan will enjoy.

6. Watch RoyalCaribbeanBlog videos!

Okay, this is very self-serving, but you can watch our super helpful planning videos that are totally free on the Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube page!

There are dozens and dozens of videos on all sorts of topics from planning help, to first time cruise tricks, advice and a lot more.

Don't forget that every Monday night, I am live on YouTube answering your cruise questions too! Be sure to subscribe to our channel so YouTube will notify you when I go live.

7. Re-watch Royal Caribbean vintage commercials

Want to really kick up the nostalgia factor? Check out these Royal Caribbean commercials from the past.

Some of these videos will make you laugh, cry, or remember a classic you have not seen in a while. It is fun way to bring back memories of when you started cruising!

8. Concoct a cruise drink

While you may not have an unlimited drink package at home, you can try making the sort of cocktails or mocktails you typically order on a cruise!

Margaritas, lava flows, daiquiris and more are super popular on a cruise, and if you have blender and the ingredients, many are easy enough to try out from the comfort of your own kitchen.

Check out this list of 38 Royal Caribbean drink recipes for instructions on how to make your favorite (or discover a new one)!

9. Start planning your dream cruise vacation

While cruising is on hold right now, it wont always be like this, so planning your next cruise is one of the best ways to help pass the time.

Now is a great time to put a deposit down for a cruise in the future, and start planning which shore excursions you want to try, read a Cruise Compass to see activities onboard, and learn everything you can about the ship.

10. Play the Royal Caribbean version of Monopoly

This one will be tough to find, but if you can scrounge one up on eBay, there is actually a Royal Caribbean edition of Monopoly!

This edition of the game was given away to travel agents on Independence of the Seas as a gift, but a copy or two pops up on eBay now and then to purchase.

11. Watch the Oasis of the Seas Megafood Documentary

Royal Caribbean has been the subject of a number of documentaries over the years that provide an inside look at how cruise ships operate.

One of the newer ones is an episode of the Megafood series on Netflix that looks at food production on Oasis of the Seas.

12. Watch ship walk-through videos on YouTube

Is there a particular Royal Caribbean ship that you are missing the most? Chances are that there is a walk-through video of that ship on YouTube!

Try searching for videos of your favorite ships and enjoy someone else taking a stroll around the vessel. It is definitely not the same thing as being there, but it should make the time on your couch a little more exciting!

13. Play 20 Questions with Royal Caribbean ships, restaurants, venues and more

The classic “20 Questions” game is a staple for passing the time! One person thinks of a person, place, or thing, and another person asks yes or no questions to try to guess what word the first person is thinking. As the name suggests, they only get up to 20 questions until they have to guess!

14. Take a virtual cruise with Abe Hughes

Former Royal Caribbean cruise director Abe Hughes still works for Royal Caribbean, and has taken it upon himself to offer everyone a virtual cruise.

Every day this week, he has been sharing a Cruise Compass from Virtual of the Seas, and even recorded his traditional morning show for all to enjoy. Check it out!

15. Look through photos from your last cruise

Even though we cannot go onboard a ship right now, this may be the perfect opportunity to look back on happy memories from past vacations.

If you have paper copies of your photos, now is also a great time to get them organized into an album!

16. Follow Nick Weir on Twitter

Nick Weir is the Senior Vice President of Entertainment for Royal Caribbean International, and he is a mega force of innovation and fun, and he is on Twitter!

Despite the cruise industry sitting in idle, Mr. Weir is still hard at work coming up with the next amazing theatrical production for Royal Caribbean, and he tends to share little teasers and tidbits on Twitter.

While you are on social media, be sure to follow Royal Caribbean's Chief Metorologist James Van Fleet too! Mr. Van Fleet not only covers the weather around the world, but shares a look into his life, Oklahoma Sooners football, and where he is traveling these days.

17. Share your stories with us in the comments!

Do you have a fun story or memory from a past Royal Caribbean cruise? I want to hear about it, and I bet others do too!

I encourage you to share a fun memory in the comments of this blog post, and read everyone else's experiences to help relive better times.

18. Create a cruise playlist

If you have Spotify or Pandora, consider finding some great music that reminds you of being on the pool deck of a Royal Caribbean ship, or at one of the amazing beaches you might visit.

Reggae, steel drum, Jimmy Buffett, and Zac Brown Band are just some of the typical tunes you can find that will instantly set the mood that you are onboard or at the beach.

Whether you delve into your own collection of music, or check out an online radio station, or even a digital music streaming service, there are some great choices out there.

Radio Margaritaville is a good place to start, along with Spotify or Pandora.

19. Join Matt to talk Royal Caribbean on Facebook

Okay, one more self-serving shameless plug, but every Tuesday and Saturday I am live on Facebook to talk Royal Caribbean...and you are totally invited!

These days, it is so comforting to be among my cruise friends, and during these live videos I will answer cruise questions, discuss the latest news, and have some fun along the way. Make plans to join us!

20. Break out those Royal Caribbean mugs and soda cups

This is the perfect time to use those Royal Caribbean souvenirs at home, instead of them collecting dust in the back of the cabinet.

Use a Royal Caribbean coffee mug with your morning coffee, or fill up a souvenir soda cup with your favorite soft drink (or mixed cocktail, I'm not judging)!

When Royal Caribbean cruises resume, these are the must-dos onboard


It has been well over a week since the last Royal Caribbean cruise departed, and while we are all doing our parts by staying at home and practicing social distancing, eventually Royal Caribbean will welcome its guests back onboard for the kind of vacation so many of us truly love.

So when the gangway is open once more, here is my must-do list of things to see, do and eat (of course) once again!

Go to the Windjammer first

Eating at the Windjammer on embarkation day has always been a cruising tradition, as it marks the unofficial start to my vacation.

I have always felt there is something special about dining at the Windjammer on the first day, probably because it instills that feeling of, "my cruise is here!".

I would be remiss if I did not also talk about the fantastic food selection available, whether I opt for salads, burgers, Indian curry, cookies, pasta....or all of that on multiple trips. It never disappoints.

Hit the water slides

Ever since Royal Caribbean started adding water slides, they have been a big hit with guests, and I am one of those people.

My kids love the water slides too, so going down the water slides a couple of times is the kind of family time I enjoy about any Royal Caribbean cruise.

Of course, I also do not mind challenging my daughter to a race down the slides knowing full well the laws of physics and how weight works in my favor.  

Reading the Cruise Compass

Royal Caribbean's Cruise Compass may seem like just a list of activities, offers and times of operations, but I like to think of it as my guide to all the fun waiting for me.

Each evening your stateroom attendant will leave the Cruise Compass on your bed (with perhaps a towel animal surprise too) for you to read and I love reading everything inside.

I love to look for the odd sounding events included along with traditional cruise activities, and perhaps pick out something the whole family can do together.

Glancing down the Cruise Compass is more than just staying informed of what the Activities staff has planned, it is an opportunity to discover something new or different to do onboard.

Do the escape room

Royal Caribbean's intricate and challenging escape rooms have become a must-do activity.

Escape rooms challenge your brain and teamwork skills by attempting to solve the clues and escape before time on the clock runs out.

Whether you are already a fan of the escape room trend or just eager to try this challenge for the first time, I think you will enjoy the thrill of trying to beat the escape room on select Royal Caribbean ships.

Watch a sunset at sea

I have seen plenty of sunsets while on a cruise, but it never gets old, and is a must-do activity every time we sail.

When conditions are right, and the clouds give way to an unobstructed sunset, it is an incredible sight.

While activities like water slides, zip lines, or ice skating garner a lot of attention when it comes to marketing a cruise, sometimes the simple pleasures are what endears us all to cruising time and time again.

Enjoy live music by the pool

Imagine this: the sun is shinning, with a cloud or two passing by as the warm Caribbean breeze brushes past your cheek.  You have a colorful cocktail in your hand, as the band is playing "Red Red Wine" close your eyes.  That epitomizes the perfect moment on a Royal Caribbean cruise for me.

The live music on a Royal Caribbean cruise is among the best hidden secrets.  Royal Caribbean's dedication to live music has become something I always look forward to and enjoying the live band at the pool is just the icing on an incredible cake.

Spend every minute I can at Perfect Day at CocoCay

Royal Caribbean's private island in The Bahamas has raised the bar for what any cruise line private island is about, and it is probably one place I miss the most that is not onboard a Royal Caribbean ship.

From the Oasis Lagoon, to the water slides in Thrill Waterpark, to the Coco Beach Club, to the cabanas at Chill Island, there is so much to do and it is what I imagine when I think of paradise.

While not all sailings visit Perfect Day at CocoCay, I will make a point to find a sailing that visits here sooner than later.

Sing along to the music in the Pub

Whether we are talking about "Country Roads", "Friends In Low Places", or "Sweet Child 'o Mine", there are plenty of great songs to sing along to in Royal Caribbean's pub.

My go-to nighttime activity is to grab a chair, order a drink and enjoy music played by acoustic guitar as I enjoy the company of my friends onboard.

Pubs are available on most ships (Radiance Class and larger), and I love the type of music played.  The tunes in the pub will range from oldies, to '90s, and to decades inbetween. Basically, these are songs you likely know all the words to and likely have heard in many bars before.

Your favorites

What are you looking forward to the most once Royal Caribbean starts cruising again?  Let us know in the comments below!

How to make towel animals just like on a Royal Caribbean ship


Royal Caribbean cruises are known for a variety of amazing and innovative things to do onboard, and among the many things guests look forward to enjoying on their cruise are the towel animal creations their stateroom attendants may leave as a surprise.

The artistry of folding bath towels into animals and other creations has become a favorite tradition of cruising.

If you would like to bring a little bit of this fun home, we have a step-by-step guide for creating nine of these while not onboard.

Making towel animals at home can remind you of the fun times you had onboard, and perhaps serve as a good reminder to book another cruise soon so that you can meet more of these fun pals onboard!

Did you try to make a towel animal? Share with us a photo of your creations in the comments!