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Money Saving

Cruise FAQ: Saving Money

In:
23Mar2021

Whether you're on a strict vacation planning budget or have unlimited funds, it's great to feel like you've scored the most bang for your buck.

We've noted your burning questions about saving money on cruises. Check out the answers below, and find out how to hold on to more of your hard-earned cash.

How can I save money on a cruise?

The easiest thing you can do is familiarize yourself with standard cruise pricing across the industry so you'll know a good deal when you see one. If you need help, sign up for price drop alerts -- Cruise Critic, Cruise Watch, Cruiseline and Cruise Fish offer them -- that will tell you when fares have decreased.

You can also sign up for cruise line newsletters that will alert you to special deals and promotions on that voyage you've been eyeing.

Additionally, if you live near a cruise port and have a flexible schedule, be on the lookout for last-minute resident rates.

Another trick, partiuclarly if you don't anticipate spending much time in your room, is to book a less-swanky cabin. Choose an inside or oceanview stateroom instead of a balcony, for example.

For further savings after you're already onboard, you can book your next sailing while you're still on the present one. Most cruise ships have a future cruise desk, where cruise line representatives will almost always try to entice you to make a new reservation by reducing or waiving deposits or throwing in extras like dining, drink packages or onboard credit.

You can also seek to save a few bucks by reserving shore excursions that are independent of the cruise line. If spa treatments are your thing, ask about discounts for booking more than one, or make an appointment for a service on a port day, when services are often cheaper because most cruisers are ashore.

Working with a travel agent is another great way to increase value for money....

Can a travel agent save you money on a cruise?

Although travel agents can't offer discounts on cruise fares below what the cruise lines themselves are offering, they can toss in perks like onboard credit, free alternative dining, or beverage or Wi-Fi packages.

You won't see a reduction in the amount you pay for your cabin, but you will be receiving more value for your money. This is also true in terms of peace of mind. If something goes wrong your sailing, you have a professional point person to handle the mess on your behalf.

Read more10 Secrets Royal Caribbean travel agents wish you knew

What should you not buy on a cruise?

  • Duty-free items: Sometimes duty-free purchases are a bargain, but often you're better off buying alcohol, jewelry and other pricey items at home instead, especially if they're brands that are easy to find elsewhere. On Europe sailings, for example, you won't pay duty, but you will pay VAT, which generally wipes out any savings you might have earned via a duty-free transaction.
  • Drink of the day glasses: Sure, drinks of the day are yummy, but did you know you can often save a couple of dollars if you ask for the same beverage without the souvenir glass? (Trust us: You won't use it again, probably because it will break in your luggage on the way home.)
  • For more, check out our longer list of other items not to buy on a cruise.

Is it better to book directly with a cruise line?

Although booking with your cruise line will eliminate the middle man, you won't get a cheaper price, and it's not always the best idea in terms of value.

Travel agents cannot discount fares further than what the cruise line is offering, but they can make sure you get the same price and help you to score extras -- like onboard credit or free alcohol -- that will add value to what you get for your money.

Read moreTop things you didn't know travel agents can do for your cruise vacation

Can you negotiate cruise prices?

No, cruise lines don't negotiate. However, prices often fluctuate with demand, seasonality and other variables, so the best way for you to find the lowest fares is to monitor pricing over several months before booking anything.

Some cruise lines do allow passengers to bid on cabin upgrades if there are unsold rooms available as the sailing date approaches. If you are offered the chance to bid, you can enter a dollar amount that you think the upgrade is worth, but there's no guarantee you'll get it for that price if it's too low or if someone else outbids you.

Read moreHow to get cheap cruise deals

Is it cheaper to prepay gratuities on a cruise?

No. Each cruise line has a set per-person, per-day amount that it will charge to each cruiser's onboard account, based on the type of cabin in which they're staying. That amount doesn't increase or decrease based on when the gratuities are paid.

However, you can often find cruise deals that include gratuities in the fares, which means you'll see a bit more value from the booking.

Read moreShould you prepay gratuities for a Royal Caribbean cruise?

What happens if I book a cruise and the price goes down?

If you haven't yet reached the end of the final payment window, you can call your travel agent or cruise line to ask for a price adjustment. Generally they will oblige.

If you've already paid for your cruise in full, you can work with your cruise line to see if, given the circumstances, they might offer you an upgrade.

If that doesn't work, you could book the sailing at the new, lower price and cancel the original booking. However, if you've already made final payment, you'll lose a portion of your money, so the key is to make sure the savings on your new booking will outweigh the money you lose when you cancel the original one.

Also be sure to check that you won't be losing any value adds or promotions -- onboard credit, included gratuities, etc. -- that might have been associated with the original reservation, as there's no guarantee they'll still be available for the new one.

Read moreHow Royal Caribbean will let you take advantage of a price drop up until 48 hours before your cruise

What is the cheapest month to take a cruise?

The cheapest time to cruise is during hurricane season, the period of time between June and November when hurricanes are most likely to occur in the Atlantic.

If you book a cruise to the Bahamas or Caribbean during that timeframe, be aware that itineraries can and will be altered if bad weather poses a threat to passenger safety, and passengers are not entitled to compensation if that happens.

Read moreWhat is the cheapest month to go on a cruise?

Do cruises get cheaper closer to departure?

Yes, but it won't be widely publicized. This is particularly true for higher-end cabins, so if you have your heart set on a suite or balcony stateroom, don't bank on finding a deal a month before sailing.

The best way to find out about discounts on unsold rooms is to ask your travel agent to let you know of any deals they spot, sign up for price drop alerts, and be on the lookout for last-minute resident deals if you live near a cruise port.

Read moreHow far in advance should I book a cruise to get the best price?

How much cash should you bring on a cruise?

The payment system on modern cruise ships is cashless. Before you embark, you'll either tie a set amount of cash or a credit card to your onboard account. You will then be given a room key that also functions as your onboard charge card.

However, you should still bring some small bills for tipping luggage porters at embarkation, crew members who deliver your bags and room service to your cabin, and tour guides and transportation operators you think have done a particularly good job during any shore excursions you take.

Although daily gratuities are automatically added to your onboard account, you might also choose to tip extra in cash to crew members who have been particularly helpful. These amounts are totally at your discretion.

Finally, cash is useful in port if you're hoping to buy souvenirs. If you're going somewhere that takes U.S. dollars, withdraw money before you board, as ship ATMs are notorious for exorbitant surcharges. If you're cruising someplace (like Europe) that won't take USD, wait until you get there, and find an ATM in port that will dispense local currency at a much better exchange rate than the airport kiosks.

What should you not buy on a cruise ship?

In:
Category: 
15Mar2021

There is a fine line between "so what? You're on vacation!" and "That's a lot of money" when it comes to buying things on a cruise vacation.

Part of going on vacation is splurging and treating yourself to something you might not otherwise buy back at home. Jewelry, a massage, cocktails are just a few examples of ways some people like to plus-up their trip.

Just because you are on vacation does not mean you have to waste your money either, and there a few situations where you should put your SeaPass card back in your pocket.

Here are the top things you can buy on a cruise, that I think you should hold off on buying at sea and buy them when you get home.

Art auction

I know there are some readers who really love the art auctions on a cruise ship, but art auctions are a prime example of "buyer beware".

Unfortunately, these art auctions have a really poor reputation for over the top evaluations, slow shipping times, and buyer regret.

Certainly some people buy art on a ship and love their piece.  I think the key is to be aware that valuations are opinions, not facts, and you should buy art because you think it will look good in your living room; not because you think it will be part of your retirement plan.

An alternative is to look at buying art in the ports your ship will visit. Many ports have art for sale in the stores near the ship, and you can find something that captures your vacation memories for likely less than the art onboard.

Read more5 Costly lessons learned on a cruise (and how to avoid them!)

Electronics

Royal Caribbean sells a decent selection of cameras, action cameras, memory cards, and other fun electronics that you can use on your vacation, but don't expect any kind of competitive price for them.

In general, you are going to pay full retail prices for cameras, camcorders, and various accessories on a ship.  If you buy them at home at a retail store or online, you will find more more competitive prices.

There is nothing wrong with picking up a spare memory card if you realize you forgot one (I have done that once), but deals for these items are not common at all.

If you realize you forgot your camera or something else important, consider buying it in your embarkation port.  Your taxi can easily bring you to WalMart or Best Buy before going to the port.  Or you could look at prices in a port you are visiting.

Baby supplies

If you are going on a cruise with a toddler or infant, Royal Caribbean does stock a limited supply of diapers and formula, but this should really be for an emergency only.

Not only is their stock low, they may not have the right size of something, or the brand your child prefers.  Never mind you are going to overpay for these items.

It is a good idea to pack many more supplies than you think you will ever need to ensure you have plenty of extra.

Another alternative is to buy baby supplies in a port you are visiting.  Look for a pharmacy or super market for reasonably priced options.

Read moreIntroduction to bringing toddlers on a Royal Caribbean cruise

Personal hygiene & medicine

Got a sun burn? Need more shaving cream? Have a headache? Royal Caribbean stocks what you need, but it will not cheap.

Whether you need toothpaste, aloe, Tylenol, or any other personal care product, skip buying it on the ship.

Any port you visit likely stocks these items at better prices, so try to wait to pick it up there.

If you are flying to your cruise port and do not want to deal with the airline restrictions on liquids, consider buying them in your embarkation port before you go to the cruise terminal.

Read moreHow To Avoid Getting Sick on a Cruise

Drink package

Don't worry, I think a drink package can be a great value.  However, if you are buying it onboard the ship, you are wasting money.

Royal Caribbean regularly discounts its drink packages when you purchase them online, so do yourself a favor and buy them online before your cruise.

You can buy a drink package at almost any time up until a few days before your cruise.  

No matter the price of the drink package online, it will absolutely be less online than if you buy it onboard.

Read moreHow to get a get a discount on a Royal Caribbean drink package

Ship internet

Just like the drink package, your wifi package will absolutely be cheaper online if you buy it before the cruise.

There is one exception to waiting to buy the ship wifi, and that is if you are Diamond or higher in Crown and Anchor Society because you are entitled to a big discount on your wifi package. On short sailings (less than 5 nights), it actually can make sense to wait to buy it onboard.

But if you are new to Royal Caribbean, or have not cruised much, you will save money by booking a wifi package online before the cruise.

Read moreRoyal Caribbean WiFi: Guide to Internet at sea

How to book a cruise with your credit card reward points

In:
Category: 
27Nov2020

If you have credit card reward points burning a hole in your pocket, you can use them to help reduce the cost of a cruise vacation or even get it for free.

Unlike redeeming credit card points for flights, there is not as straight forward an option for getting a free cruise with your credit card.

Outside of Royal Caribbean's branded credit card (more on that later), the option to use rewards for cruises is not nearly as simple.

However, there are a few ways you can leverage your credit card points to make your cruise vacation cheaper.

Pay down the cost of the cruise

Unfortunately redeeming reward points for a cruise is not as simple as booking a flight, but you can definitely still leverage all of those points you earned.

The easiest thing you can do is use a credit card that gives you points that can be applied directly towards purchases you make on travel and/or any purchase.

Many credit cards will let you apply your points towards your credit card balance for the month, thereby offsetting the cost of the cruise. This has an additional benefit of allowing you to partially pay off the cruise if you do not have a lot of points. Other credit cards may offer cash back instead, which can also reduce the cost.

Moreover, you can use this strategy effectively by using points to pay off the deposit, and then apply more points later at regular intervals with payments or waiting for the final payment.

Example:

  • $500 initial deposit to secure the fare
  • $1000 payment a few months later
  • $500 payment next month
  • $1200 final payment 90 days before the cruise

Each of those payments could potentially be on different credit card billing cycles, and you could apply rewards points to each one.

Read more45 ways to save money on a Royal Caribbean cruise

Redeem your points for a cruise

There are a few credit cards that offer travel rewards that can actually be used to book a cruise.

Rewards programs, such as American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou, offer these options, but there is a small catch.  When you book them, you have to book through the credit card's travel agency. This means if you have a travel agent you regularly use, or prefer to book cruises on your own, you have no choice but to go with the credit card company.

Usually the price of the cruise is presented in cash, and at checkout there is option to apply some or all of your credit card points to cover the cost of the cruise.

Get a free cruise with Royal Caribbean's credit card

Royal Caribbean offers its own branded Visa Signature credit card, where you can earn points towards free cruises (as well as other benefits, like onboard credit).

Like all company-specific cred it cards, the rate at which you earn points is worse than general travel rewards credit cards, and you are of course limited to just Royal Caribbean cruises.

If your mission is to only earn free cruises on Royal Caribbean with credit card points, this is the simplest method of doing so.  However, you will get more bang for your buck with other rewards cards.

Read moreIs the Royal Caribbean credit card worth it?

Use points to bring vacation cost down

If none of these options seem to be a great fit, you can always fall back on using your credit card points to help bring down the overall cost of your cruise vacation.

If you have to fly to your cruise, you can redeem your points for flights and reduce another significant cost.  

You could use credit card points towards individual purchases, such as cruise add-ons, like shore excursions or drink packages.

These add-ons can be purchased through Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner website before the cruise begins.

Read moreShould you buy pre-cruise purchases now or wait to buy it onboard?

45 ways to save money on a Royal Caribbean cruise

In:
Category: 
28Oct2020

Everyone wants to save money on a cruise, so here are all of the easy ways to save money on your Royal Caribbean vacation.

While you might not be able to utilize all 45 tips for one cruise, a great many of these can be combined to help bring down the overall cost.

These are tried and true money saving secrets that will hopefully work for you as well!

Book with a travel agent

The easiest way to make certain you have the best price on your cruise fare is to use a travel agent.

I recommend everyone use one, because you only stand to benefit from using a travel agent.

Travel agents provide great service to folks looking to take a Royal Caribbean cruise because they are keyed in on the latest promotions and they can be your best advocate for finding promotions that help you, not just the day you book but every day until final payment.

A good travel agent will be able to assist with the booking process, and give you every single permutation of pricing to figure out which itinerary, stateroom or promotion makes the most sense for you.  I cannot count the time I have saved by having the travel agent jump through the proverbial hoops for me to figure out what is the best deal for my family.

The reality is you only stand to benefit from using a good travel agent, both in convenience and time saved.

Book as early as you can for lower rates

The earlier you book your Royal Caribbean cruise, the better the price in the long run.

Generally speaking, prices tend to be lowest when sailings go on sale. As more people book a given sailing, prices tend to rise because there is less inventory available and prices go up.

Your best bet is to book early and place a deposit on a sailing that can lock in that price until your final payment date.  This not only gives you the lowest possible price, it also gives you the most time to make payments on the cruise.  Plus, that deposit is fully refundable if you happen to change your mind later.

If you cannot book two years in advance, that is okay too.  They key is not to wait, but instead book a cruise as early as you can.

Look for pre-cruise deals

In the months leading up to your cruise, Royal Caribbean will offer pre-cruise discounts on things like shore excursions, drink packages, wifi and more.

Every so often, there is a new sale that you can find by logging into Royal Caribbean's cruise planner site and checking if the price has changed.

These sales occur fairly regularly, and I always post about them here on the site as a reminder as well.

You can re-price pre-cruise purchases

If you buy a drink package or excursion before your cruise and next week, month or year it drops in price, you can re-price it easily.

If you spot a better discount on something you already pre-purchased, you should be able to cancel the purchase and then re-purchase the same item under this promotion.

Bring your own wine onboard

Did you know that Royal Caribbean allows its guests to bring a limited quantity of wine on a cruise?

Guests may bring up to two bottles of wine per stateroom on embarkation day. Each bottle of wine may be up to 750ml in size. 

Do not put the wine in the luggage you hand over to the porters on embarkation day.

You can bring soda and water onboard

In addition to wine, you can also bring non-alcoholic beverages onboard on the first day as well.

Small quantities of non-alcoholic beverages can be brought in a carry-on or hand luggage onboard only on boarding day. 

Specifically, non-alcoholic beverages brought onboard may not exceed 12 standard (17 oz) cans, bottles or cartons per stateroom. Distilled water or specialized beverages such as, milk for medical purposes, dietary or infant use, are permitted.

Don't buy WiFi on the first day

A great way to shave off the cost of a WiFi package is to skip buying it on the first day.

Your first day on a cruise is busy, and you are in port for most of the day, where your cell phone works normally.

If you can go without WiFi until midnight (or later) on day 2 of the cruise, you will not have to pay for the first day and only pay pro-rated amount for the rest of the sailing.

Dining packages will save you money

If you want to enjoy some specialty restaurants without paying full price, invest in a dining package.

Royal Caribbean's dining packages provide a set amount of specialty restaurants at a fraction of the list price to dine there.  Quite often, a dining package can knock as much as half off the regular per person price.

Purchase this before your cruise and make reservations on embarkation day.

Look for residency discounts

Before you book a cruise, ask your travel agent if there are any special rates for residents of your state.

You would be surprised how many residency deals there are, and not just for states that have cruise ships sailing from them.

Royal Caribbean regularly targets different areas of the United States and the world with special rates.

Crown and Anchor discounts available for balcony rooms

Once you hit Platinum in Crown and Anchor Society, you automatically qualify for a balcony stateroom discount on every cruise.

The exact balcony discount rate depends on your status level in Crown and Anchor Society, and it goes up with each tier you reach.

Before you assume that balcony or suite is too expensive, make sure you include your balcony discount.

Extra onboard credit for rebooking onboard

Royal Caribbean's Next Cruise program rewards guests that book another Royal Caribbean cruise while onboard their current cruise.

Essentially, booking another Royal Caribbean cruise onboard with Next Cruise gets you free onboard credit for doing so. 

Unlimited drink packages have the potential to save money

You will save much more money by not buying any alcoholic drinks on your cruise, but since so many do enjoy cocktails, beers and other beverages during the cruise, the best way to savor these within a budget is to buy a drink package.

If you buy a drink package in the months leading up to your cruise, you can lock in a lower price compared to what it costs onboard, and you will spread out the total cost of the cruise.  A drink package purchase requires full payment up front, so that means it could be on a different credit card billing cycle from your cruise fare.

There is no question a drink package has the potential to save money, it just relies on you to take full advantage of what the drink package offers.

Discounts sometimes available for certain occupations

Royal Caribbean regularly offers discounts to guests who have certain jobs, including active or retired military, teachers, police officers and more.

Among the many available discounts, there can be special rates reserved for certain vocations, so be sure to let your travel agent know what you do for a living, and if you are active or retired military.

Casino offers special rates

If you have gambled enough on Royal Caribbean cruise ships in the past, you might qualify for incredibly cheap fares or even free cruises.

Just like land casinos, Casino Royale offers special offers to entice gamblers back onboard and low cruise fares and complimentary sailings are one of those perks.

Royal Caribbean credit card can rack up discounted fares

Just like an airline branded credit card, Royal Caribbean's credit card is aimed at cruise line loyalists who want to earn rewards for a cruise vacation.

By using the Royal Caribbean credit card you can earn discounts or even a free cruise from everyday purchases.

Pre-pay gratuities

Pre-paying gratuities allows you to lock in the current gratuity rate, as well as assist in budgeting the total vacation cost by having part of the cost be paid at different times.

Every so often, Royal Caribbean adjusts the gratuity rate, but if you have opted to prepay, you will be grandfathered into the old rate.

Look for drink specials onboard

When looking at Royal Caribbean drink prices, many guests base their math of whether a drink package makes sense off the regular price for drinks, but in reality, there are drink specials all around the ship that bring that price down.

One of the best ways to get a deal on a cocktail is to order the drink of the day.  The drink of the day is a select cocktail that changes every day, which has about a 20% discount on it and is available from most bars onboard.  You can just ask the bartender or waiter what the drink of the day is and take advantage of those savings.

In addition, individual ships will run their own bar specials, like 2 for 1 deals, drink combo deals and other happy hour discounts.  The exact details of a drink special will vary from ship to ship, and sailing to sailing, but it is important to understand that they exist.  

To find drink specials, consult the Cruise Compass for some advertised deals, as well as walk around bars and look for posted signs.

Book spa treatments on port days

Fans of spa services will find port days to have the best deals.

The spa usually offers the best deals on port days to attract guests to book services because everyone is off the ship.  Check the daily spa specials on your port day to see what's available.

Put your phone into airplane mode

If you leave your cellphone active while on a cruise ship, it can connect to the ship's cell phone antenna while at sea, or to a local network at one of the ports you are visiting. Nearly every cell phone plan calls this "roaming", and that means you pay a hefty price for placing calls, sending texts and using data.

To avoid this mistake, simply put your phone into airplane mode once you get onboard on the first day. Airplane mode will disable your phone's antenna and prevent it from connecting to any network.

You can still use apps and other functions of your phone while in airplane mode, including connecting to WiFi

Ask for no souvenir cup

One way to cut down the cost on those tasty cocktails is to skip the souvenir cup.

Often a waiter will walk around the pool deck with a great looking drink in a souvenir cup, but if you ask for the same drink in a plastic cup, the price of the drink will go down.

Book a cruise during less-busy months

Royal Caribbean offers cruises throughout the year, but there are certainly times of the year when cruising is more in-demand than other times. 

If you can, consider taking a Royal Caribbean cruise when most schools are in session because these are the times of year when you will be able to net some super savings.

The best months for the lowest fares include

  • January (except New Years)
  • February (except Presidents Week)
  • First two weeks of March
  • October
  • November (except Thanksgiving)
  • First two weeks of December

Book a cruise on older ships

When you watch any of Royal Caribbean's television commercials, you will see scenes from their Quantum and Oasis class ships and they are absolutely amazing experiences, but they also come with premium pricing.

To save money, book a cruise on an older ship instead.

I know it sounds like with an older ship they will not have all the whizz-bang features of the new ships, but Royal Caribbean has spent millions of dollars in upgrading these ships and I would not hesitate to cruise on them.

Take advantage of Kids Sail Free offer

A great money-saving promotion for families it the Kids Sail Free deals.

During select times of the year, Royal Caribbean offers third and fourth passenger fare for kids 12 years old and under staying in the same room as their parents.  

The "catch" is there are lot of blackout dates, primarily around school holidays and breaks.  If you can manage to book a cruise while Kids Sail Free is offered, it can represent tremendous savings.

Book a guarantee stateroom

If you do not care which specific room assignment you get, a guarantee stateroom can shave off hundreds of dollars from your cruise.

A guarantee stateroom is when Royal Caribbean gives you a discount on a particular category of rooms in exchange for giving up the ability to choose your exact room.

The exact discount you can expect for opting for a guarantee room depends on the sailing.

Repeat cruisers get onboard discounts

After just one Royal Caribbean cruise, you can expect a list of onboard discounts available to use on every sailing.

These discounts are provided by the Crown and Anchor Society, and it includes discounts on drinks, internet, laundry and more.

The exact discounts vary from tier to tier of the customer loyalty program. As you move up each tier, the discounts get more lucrative.

Look for a sheet in your stateroom with the exact discounts available.

Don't book too many shore excursions

While there are tours available in every port you will visit, you do not necessarily need to book a tour in order to see the sights.

In Europe in particular, it is easy to visit the biggest attractions on your own by walking or relying on public transportation.

This can be much less expensive than touring with a group on an organized tour, and maybe more enjoyable, too.

Bring every toiletry that you might need

While Royal Caribbean sells most toiletry item you might need onboard its ships, it will cost much more than buying it at your local store.

To avoid overpaying for toothpaste, sun screen or medicine, be sure to bring more than enough of it all to ensure you do not run out.

Avoid double tipping

If you order a beer or alcoholic beverage, Royal Caribbean will automatically add a gratuity to your bill, so unless you really loved the bartender or waiter, don't tip them twice.

Often guests don't really read the receipt and are so accustomed to adding a tip that they don't realize gratuity has been automatically applied to the bill. 

Ask for specialty restaurant specials onboard

If you see a waiter walking around the ship asking if you want to dine at their specialty restaurant, ask if there is any special price they can offer.

When the restaurant sends someone around to drum up business, it is usually a sign they want to fill spots, and (nicely) asking for a discount is not unusual.

You may need to commit to a reservation that day to get the deal, but it is a great way to sweeten the deal.

Senior Citizen discount

Are you over 55 years old? You may qualify for a special discount!

Guests who are 55 years or older can qualify for reduced rates, so you will need to contact Royal Caribbean or your travel agent to inquire about exact rates.

Look for the drink card

Have you heard about something where you can pre-purchase 10 drinks for a set price? Usually the price is somewhere between $75-85 and you can share the drink card with anyone you want. That means a $12 cocktail would cost you really about $7.50-$8.50 each with the drink card.

The "catch" with the drink cards is you cannot pre-purchase them for your cruise, and there are no guarantees they will be available on any particular sailing.  Generally, it will be offered on the third to fifth day of a 7 night cruise.

If the drink card is available, it usually becomes available around half way through your sailing, so on a 7-night cruise, it might show up on day 3 or 4.  

Again, there is no means of which to know if a drink card will be available on your cruise with any kind of certainty.

Take advantage of free drinks

Believe it or not, there are ways to get free drinks on your Royal Caribbean cruise.  Granted, there is no way to effectively drink all day like this, but any free drinks you can get are less drinks you have to buy!

One of the best ways to get free drinks is by being a Crown and Anchor Society member.  Diamond level and above members are eligible for three free beverages per evening from 4:30 to 8:00pm, in addition to the unlimited complimentary beverages in the Diamond Lounge during those hours.

All Crown and Anchor Society members will have special coupons pre-loaded on their SeaPass account that provide deals like Buy One, Get one beer, wine or soda by the glass.  In addition, Royal Caribbean holds Crown and Anchor Society events onboard for members, with complimentary cocktails served.

Free champagne can also be found at select events, including art auctions, Captain's Welcome and during holiday celebrations.

Free onboard credit if you own Royal Caribbean stock

If you own at least 100 shares of Royal Caribbean Group stock (RCL), you can get extra onboard credit.

You could get up to $250 in onboard credit by being a shareholder, so be sure to take advantage of this offer if you qualify.

Last minute deals

While I always advocate booking a cruise as far in advance as possible, last minute deals are possible.

Around 60 days before the cruise departs, you can look to see what availability and pricing is present.  Around this time, cruisers whose plans have changed have already canceled, cruise lines have a good read on passenger load, and last-minute deals begin to emerge. The reductions may or may not continue as the sailing date draws closer.

Ask your travel agent for "Going, Going, Gone" rates as another way to quickly identify discounted sailings that are coming up.

Wave Season deals

The cruise industry has the most offers in the early part of the year, known as Wave Season.

Between January and March, cruise lines tend to roll out their best deals of the year in an effort to set up bookings for the rest of the year.

It is always a good idea to track the new offers during Wave Season to see if there are any particularly good deals to jump on and book.

Avoid laundry costs by packing enough clothes

Since Royal Caribbean does not offer self-service laundry, the only laundry options you have will cost you extra.

Your best bet is to pack enough clothing to avoid having to send any laundry out during your cruise. Planning ahead with extra outfits can ensure you do not have to spend more on getting clothes cleaned.

You might also consider buying single-use detergent packs so you can wash small garments in your stateroom bathroom sink.

Cabin upgrades for less

One way you might be able to get a stateroom upgrade for less is to bid for it.

The Royal Up program allows guests to place bids for a stateroom upgrade in the weeks leading up to their cruise.

This is a blind stateroom upgrade bidding program, where close to your sail date you can let Royal Caribbean know how much you would be willing to pay if an upgrade situation presented itself.

Bring your own snorkel equipment

One of the most popular Caribbean shore excursions is to go snorkeling, and bringing your own equipment would not only save you money on an excursion, but allow you to use it in more than one port.

There are no restrictions on using your own snorkel equipment, even Royal Caribbean's private destinations of Perfect Day at CocoCay or Labadee.

Note that if you don't have your own snorkel vest, you will be required to rent one while snorkeling at its private destinations. 

Keep checking prices after you book

After you book your cruise, you can take advantage of price drops all the way up until your final payment date.

If you spot a better price for the same room category and sailing you are on, have your travel agent reprice the cruise to get the lower rate.

Being able to reprice is not available in all countries (such as the United Kingdom or Australia), but for guests in the United States or Canada, it is a great way to get the best price.

Repositioning cruises tend to be the best values

If you want to pay the least per night on your cruise, you should consider an "open-jaw sailing".

Transatlantic, transpacific and cruises that begin in one port and end in another port tend to be priced very reasonably, and are usually longer sailings too. With less stops in port towns and cities, these ocean cruises are often a cheaper options.

Set up a group for your friends and family

If your group of friends or family will need 8 cabins or more, you should talk to a travel agent about setting up a group with Royal Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean rewards groups of people that book together with the same agency.  By setting up a group, the tour operator (whoever is in charge of the group) can get money back from the cruise line that could mean a big discount, or even a free cabin.

There are lots of perks for having a group, but speak to a travel agent before anyone books a room.

Group discounts

Even if you are not traveling with a group of people, group discounts can be available to just about anyone.

When a travel agency sets up a group, they get to lock in the pricing and often travel agents have access to group rates across their network consortium.

Being booked in a group does not require you to spend anytime with others in the group, it is just a discount that could save you a lot of money.

Shop around for travel insurance

Royal Caribbean offers its own travel insurance, but you should look at prices from other travel insurance providers to find the best blend of benefits and price.

Third party travel insurance providers are plentiful, and prices can vary considerably.

Ask for free seasickness medicine

While you should be prepared and have some seasickness medicine just in case, if you happen to forget it, you can get it for free from the cruise line.

If you are not feeling well, Guest Services and/or the medical center is usually happy to provide complimentary over the counter seasickness medicine to anyone that asks.

Ask others to share taxis

When in port, if you see other cruise guests waiting for a taxi, ask if you can share a ride with them.

If both of your groups can fit into a single taxi, you can split the cost of the cab and save money compared to getting a private ride.  Plus, you might make new friends!

Is the Royal Caribbean credit card worth it?

In:
Category: 
10Sep2020

The Royal Caribbean Visa Signature credit card offers no annual fee and bonus points that can be earned towards free cruises and other cruise-related benefits, but is it a good credit card for you?

Just like an airline branded credit card, Royal Caribbean's credit card is aimed at cruise line loyalists who want to earn rewards for a cruise vacation.

The Royal Caribbean credit card is popular with people who do not want to pay an annual fee, in addition to the benefits.

There is usually a one-time bonus for signing up for the credit card, along with earning 2 points per $1 spent on qualifying purchases with Royal Caribbean and sister brands.  Other purchases will earn 1 point per $1 spent.

The sign up bonus is pretty easy to earn: you will get 10,000 one-time new cardholder Bonus Points if you use your new credit card account to make at least one transaction that posts to your account within 90 days of the account open date.

Those 10,000 points equal $100 onboard credit that you could turn around and apply to your next sailing, or save it towards a higher-tier reward, including a free cruise.

All of those points can be redeemed towards onboard credit, cruise discounts and vacations, and more.

To earn a free cruise, you would need to save at least 50,000 points for a 3-4 night Royal Caribbean cruise. You get a minimum of a oceanview stateroom, and the cost of the cruise cannot exceed $1,000.

Being a Vista Signature card, it comes with the standard travel benefits like lost luggage protection, emergency cash worldwide, Visa Signature Concierge service, and more.

Royal Caribbean card benefits

The appeal of this card are simple: it costs nothing to keep the card (no annual fee), and you will earn more points on your Royal Caribbean purchases than with some other cards.

Moreover, this is a credit card for Royal Caribbean fans who love to cruise, and being able to get credit rewards that you can directly apply to your cruise is easy.

While there are plenty of other travel credit cards, being able to earn cruise onboard credit or free cruises is quite rare a reward.

In addition, the card has no foreign transaction fees, which is useful when visiting ports of call on a cruise.

Drawbacks

Other cruise line credit cards offer more lucrative sign up bonuses.  The Carnival World Mastercard offers 0% APR for the first 6 months, and enough bonus points for a $200 credit. The Norwegian Cruise Line World Mastercard also offers a $200 signup bonus and triple points on NCL purchases.

Of course, the chief benefit of the Royal Caribbean Visa credit card is all about Royal Caribbean Group rewards, which means there is less flexibility if you change your mind later on what you want to redeem your points towards.

This card is only avaialble for United States residents.

Should you get the Royal Caribbean Visa credit card?

This card is a good choice for cruise fans who mostly cruise with Royal Caribbean (and its sister brands) but are strongly against paying an annual fee.

If you want to get the most lucrative credit card rewards program out there, there are better cards that can offer more value for what you spend compared to this card. A few even have no annual fee, while most others do have an annual fee but with signficantly higher rewards and more varied choices in how to redeem them.

The Royal Caribbean Visa card offers exactly what it advertises: a way to earn discounts or even a free cruise from everyday purchases. The question is how important Royal Caribbean specific rewards are to you.

How to cruise on the cheap

In:
Category: 
30May2020

When it comes to making your money go further, cruising on the cheap means taking advantage of certain strategies and opportunities to ensure you are spending less overall.

While you can reserve extravagant rooms and book bucket list tours, there are always inexpensive and very fun cruise vacations you can take in order to maximize your money.

The key to cruising on the cheap is knowing where to look, and pouncing on the right deal.

Look at the small and medium ships

While Royal Caribbean's Oasis and Quantum Class ships are as amazing to cruise on as they look, they do not usually have the cheapest cruise fares out there. Newer ships command higher prices.

Instead, price shop around the Voyager or Radiance Class ships to find the real bargains. Similar to how a used car that is a few years old will provide a better value than a brand new vehicle, cruise ships that have been around for a few years tend to offer better deals to entice cruisers to book them.

The great thing about the Voyager and Radiance Class ships is that you are not compromising a ton on the onboard experience, but will save a lot compared to the bigger ships.

In addition, Majesty of the Seas and Empress of the Seas are Royal Caribbean's oldest and smallest cruise ships, and they also tend to have some very low prices.  Keep in mind these ships are fun to cruise on for a "classic cruise experience", but they may lack some of the modern features many of us expect on newer ships.

Shoulder season cruising

Some of the best prices for any cruise will be at the very beginning or very end of the cruise season.

If a cruise to Europe, Alaska or Australia is what you are aiming at, be sure to look for the first couple sailings when cruises begin or when they are about to end.

Known as the shoulder season, these times are when perhaps the weather is not perfect or when families are still adhering to the work and school calendars.

Refer to our guide on what is the cheapest month to go on a cruise to get a sense of the lowest prices for every itinerary.

Book early

The tried and true way to lock in the best prices is to book as early as you can.

Royal Caribbean's prices tend to go up over time, as more and more guests book up rooms.  As a result, I find the lowest prices tend to be offered early.

Booking early is especially important for high-demand sailings, such as the summer, holiday weeks (Christmas, New Years, Spring Break, et al).  These sailings will always command higher prices, so the key for getting the lowest price on these cruises is to book early.

Yes, last minute cruise deals do exist periodically, but they are few and far between and it is a bit of gamble if you will find something that lines up perfectly with your plans.

Cheap cruise fare versus cheap cruising

An important distinction to make is are you looking for the lowest price overall, or do you want a cheap per-night cruise sailing?

When it comes to getting the lowest price on the final bill, short cruises will be where you want look. These sailings typically sail to Mexico or The Bahamas, and they almost always depart from a port in Florida.

Royal Caribbean offers three and four night sailings every week, and if you can manage to book one during the school year and/or during hurricane season, you can really find some super low prices.

On the other hand, if you want to get the lowest price per-night of the cruise, look towards longer sailings, such as repositioning cruises.

A transatlantic crossing or a ship moving to a new home port can be among the cheapest per-night sailings you can find.  These cruises tend to be longer voyages and Royal Caribbean will heavily discount these sailings in order to fill rooms.

Book a guarantee room

One way to save more money on any sailing is to book a guarantee stateroom.

Guarantee staterooms offer a lower price, in exchange for allowing Royal Caribbean to pick the exact location. You will receive a room of at least that category (or higher), but it may be days or weeks before you learn of the room assignment.

These rooms help shave hundreds of dollars off the cost of your cruise, and may allow you to move up to a higher room category without paying more.

10 Ways to save money on your Royal Caribbean cruise

In:
27Feb2020

A Royal Caribbean cruise does not need to be an expensive vacation, especially if you take advantage of a few money-saving tips I have to share today.

Many first-time cruisers find a multitude of options to consider, so here are some ways to get the most value out of your cruise.

Buy a dining package

I have read money-saving tips that advocate skipping specialty dining all together to save money, but if you want to enjoy some specialty restaurants without paying full price, invest in a dining package.

Royal Caribbean's dining packages provide a set amount of specialty restaurants at a fraction of the list price to dine there.  Quite often, a dining package can knock as much as half off the regular per person price.

Purchase this before your cruise and make reservations on embarkation day.

Buy a drink package

You will save much more money by not buying any alcoholic drinks on your cruise, but since so many do enjoy cocktails, beers and other beverages during the cruise, the best way to savor these within a budget is to buy a drink package.

If you buy a drink package in the months leading up to your cruise, you can lock in a lower price compared to what it costs onboard, and you will spread out the total cost of the cruise.  A drink package purchase requires full payment up front, so that means it could be on a different credit card billing cycle from your cruise fare.

There is no question a drink package has the potential to save money, it just relies on you to take full advantage of what the drink package offers.

Watch for price drops

If you live in a country where you can re-price cruises before final payment date (United States, Canada, etc), then this is one of my favorite ways to help bring the price down.

One mantra I advocate time and time again to save money is to book your cruise as early as you can.  In the months leading up to your cruise, if there is a price drop, you can take advantage of it up until final payment date.

The easiest way to reprice a cruise is to work with a good travel agent, who can take care of the process on your behalf.

Keep in mind that whichever booking promotions you had with your initial booking may be lost when repricing, so be sure to compare the total cruise cost before and after a reprice.

Head back to the ship for lunch

It is hard to overlook the fact your cruise ship offers complimentary food all day long, including when docked in a port.

When touring one of the ports of call your ship will visit, you might consider having lunch back on the ship instead of somewhere on land.

Some guests opt to go back to the ship to eat and then head back out afterwards, or they may eat a late lunch once they get back on the ship after the conclusion of a shore excursion.

Take advantage of Kids Sail Free offer

If there is one promotion that Royal Caribbean offers that seems to save the most money, it is the Kids Sail Free deals.

During select times of the year, Royal Caribbean offers third and fourth passenger fare for kids 12 years old and under staying in the same room as their parents.  

The "catch" is there are lot of blackout dates, primarily around school holidays and breaks.  If you can manage to book a cruise while Kids Sail Free is offered, it can represent tremendous savings.

Tour on your own

While there are plenty of great shore excursions to consider, do not overlook simply walking off the ship and exploring on your own as a great money saving idea.

You could walk or take a taxi to a nearby beach, or explore the downtown area of the nearby city you are visiting.  In many cases, this is a very inexpensive way to enjoy the port you are visiting without breaking the bank.

Bring your own wine and non-alcoholic drinks

Did you know that Royal Caribbean allows its guests to bring a limited quantity of wine or non-alcoholic beverages on their cruise?

Guests may bring up to two bottles of wine per stateroom on embarkation day. Each bottle of wine may be up to 750ml in size. Do not put the wine in the luggage you hand over to the porters on embarkation day.

In addition, you can now bring small quantities of non-alcoholic beverages in a carry-on or hand luggage onboard only on boarding day. 

Specifically, non-alcoholic beverages brought onboard may not exceed 12 standard (17 oz) cans, bottles or cartons per stateroom. Distilled water or specialized beverages such as, milk for medical purposes, dietary or infant use, are permitted.

Use your credit card points

If you have racked up credit card points, a cruise is an excellent time to redeem points to help save money on your vacation.

Whether you have a credit card that provides free flights, cash back bonuses to use on shore excursions, or points to redeem towards hotel stays, I have found credit card reward programs an excellent means of "chipping away" at the overall vacation cost.

Cruise on an older ship

Rather than booking Royal Caribbean's latest and greatest ships, try a cruise on a ship that has been in the fleet for a few years.

The Voyager and Freedom Class ships have all been (or are about to be) upgraded and enhanced as part of the Royal Amplified program and represent some of the best values available today. They are still large ships, with lots to offer, minus the new cruise ship price tag.

Going on an older ship does not mean you have to sail on some dilapidated ship. Royal Caribbean maintains its fleet quite well, and with upgrades over the last few years, these ships are as fun to go on as they are good at saving you money.

Book a guarantee stateroom

Royal Caribbean may offer the option of picking the exact room assignment for you, in exchange for money off the cruise fare.

If you are flexible with where on the ship your room is located, guarantee room assignments are a fantastic value because you get the category of room you initially wanted, at a lower cost.  

Video: Why you don't want to wait to book a cruise

In:
26Dec2019

Are you waiting to get that price drop or perfect sale in order to book a Royal Caribbean cruise? Believe it or not, that is a big mistake.

Here is why trying to time a sale is a mistake, and what you ought to be doing instead.

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 video!

So check out the video and then let us know: How far in advance do you typically book a cruise?

10 Ways to Save Money on Your 2019 Royal Caribbean Vacation

In:
Category: 
04Feb2019

Are you looking to take a Royal Caribbean cruise in 2019 without breaking your budget?  This post is aimed at helping you figure out ways to budget for the vacation to save money! To help you get the most out of your vacation dollars, we’re here with 10 money-saving tips for your next Royal Caribbean cruise.

Regardless of your budget, it is never a bad idea to consider ways to save more money. Some may find cutting spending onboard is the only way to make a Royal Caribbean cruise financially viable, while others may find cost savings a means of affording more to do onboard (or a second cruise).

Here are some of our recommendations for saving money on your 2019 Royal Caribbean cruise vacation.  Not all of these strategies may be for everyone, but the hope is at least one (if not more) will result in more money in your pocket and that generally makes everyone happier.  

10. Bring your own soda, water, juice or wine

Did you know that Royal Caribbean allows its guests to bring a limited quanity of wine or non-alcoholic beverages on their cruise?

Wine

Guests may bring up to two bottles of wine per stateroom on embarkation day. Each bottle of wine may be up to 750ml in size. Do not put the wine in the luggage you hand over to the porters on embarkation day.

Wine lovers will be able to bring a couple of bottles of their favorite wine on their cruise at a savings compared to purchasing the wine onboard.  Moreover, bringing your own wine means you will save money on your total bar tab during your cruise.

My favorite aspect of bringing your own wine is if you do not finish the bottle of wine, Royal Caribbean can store the wine for you and deliver it another restaurant at that time.

It is important to be aware that Royal Caribbean will charge you a corkage fee for personal wines opened at any restaurant or lounge onboard.  Even with the corkage fee, you will still save a significant amount of money compared to purchasing a bottle of wine onboard.

Guests are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages onboard any cruise ship, with the exception of being able to bring two bottles of wine per stateroom.

Non-alcoholic beverages

Yes, you can now bring small quantities of non-alcoholic beverages in a carry-on or hand luggage onboard only on boarding day. 

Specifically, non-alcoholic beverages brought onboard may not exceed 12 standard (17 oz) cans, bottles or cartons per stateroom. Distilled water or specialized beverages such as, milk for medical purposes, dietary or infant use, are permitted.

9. Pre-purchase a specialty dining package

Specialty restaurants are an optional way to gastronomically indulge while on your Royal Caribbean cruise, and these days, it seems like specialty dining has never been more popular.  If you have your heart set on trying out places like Sabor, Izumi or Chops Grille, you should consider buying a dining package to save money overall.

Royal Caribbean offers on most, if not all, of its cruise ships specialty dining packages, where guests can dine at 2, 3, 4, or 5 specialty restaurants during their cruise for one low cost. The advantage is these packages cost less than trying to book the same restaurants individually.  Of course, you could forgo specialty dining completely and really save some money, but there is no reason to not save some cash when checking out these favorites.

Your best bet is to purchase the dining packages on Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner and to read the terms and conditions of how they function.  There is no question these packages will save you money on specialty dining, provided you were planning on eating out while onboard in the first place.

8. Do most of your drinking on shore

In our experience, Royal Caribbean's drink prices are about what we pay for drinks at many restaurants on land, but there is no question you will save money by drinking at the ports of call you visit compared to onboard.

Bars and restaurants at the ports your Royal Caribbean ship will visit regularly offer cheaper drink prices for beers and cocktails and that can mean big savings if you can wait to enjoy some drinks when on land, compared to on your ship.

Depending on your itinerary, this strategy may be more lucrative than others, but it is a good way to indulge in your favorite mixed drink or cerveza for a lower cost.

7. Look for drink specials onboard

If you are going to enjoy a few cocktails onboard your Royal Caribbean ship, you can avoid paying top dollar for them. When looking at Royal Caribbean drink prices, many guests base their math of whether a drink package makes sense off the regular price for drinks, but in reality, there are drink specials all around the ship that bring that price down.

One of the best ways to get a deal on a cocktail is to order the drink of the day.  The drink of the day is a select cocktail that changes every day, which has about a 20% discount on it and is available from most bars onboard.  You can just ask the bartender or waiter what the drink of the day is and take advantage of those savings.

In addition, individual ships will run their own bar specials, like 2 for 1 deals, drink combo deals and other happy hour discounts.  The exact details of a drink special will vary from ship to ship, and sailing to sailing, but it is important to understand that they exist.  

To find drink specials, consult the Cruise Compass for some advertised deals, as well as walk around bars and look for posted signs.

6. Use credit cards before your cruise

Personal fiscal responsibility aside, proper use of a credit card can definitely save you some money on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Royal Caribbean has its own branded Visa credit card, which allows guests to earn points that can be redeemed for onboard credit on future cruises (as well as other rewards too).

For each purchase made with the credit card, you can earn points that can be redeemed for onboard credit or even free cruises.

Of course, there are lots of other credit cards out there with various reward programs that can help offset the cost of your cruise.  Credit card reward programs with cash back bonus are popular options. Regardless of which card you use, if you can manage to pay off each month's balance on time, you ought to be rake in the credit card rewards quickly, which can go towards paying for the cruise, or the various costs associated with the cruise (new clothes, airfare, hotels, etc).

5. Book shore excursions on your own

At each port of call you visit, Royal Caribbean will offer plenty of shore excursions to consider, however you might look past those excursions to save more money.

While Royal Caribbean's shore excursions offer convenience and reliability, they tend to cost more and (arguably more importantly) involve larger groups that move at a slower pace.  Instead, consider booking shore excursions on your own.  This will likely save you money, or at the very least offer you more variety in options available as well as customization in what you see and do.

In many ports, you can skip booking an excursion all together and simply walk off the ship and start exploring the port.  Taking a taxi into town, walking the streets and discovering things around you are at the core of what makes port days so much fun. 

If you are looking to book a shore excursion on your own, we recommend planning it out before your cruise.  This will give you time to consider all options, research the tour operator, and find the best prices.

4. Book spa treatments on port days

Royal Caribbean's Vitality Spa is the perfect place to relax, enjoy a treatment that is customized for you and feel rejuvenated.  While the spa is a magical place for those looking to relax, it can also be expensive.  The key to saving money on the spa is to wait for port days to book a treatment.

The spa is open everyday of your cruise, but on days your cruise ship is docked in a port, they will often run much better deals to convince guests to stay onboard and indulge in a treatment.  The Vitality Spa is a business, and when the ship is in port, most guests are off the ship exploring, which means the spa is not nearly as busy.  As a result, they will run different specials that are more lucrative than normal to get folks to book something and stay onboard.

You can inquire about port day specials at any point in your cruise at the Vitality Spa desk and see if it looks like a good deal to you.  Often, the port day spa specials are the best overall values found in the spa.

3. Put your phone into airplane mode

This tip has more to do with not incurring a large bill when you get home.  These days, a smartphone is as essential to bring on a cruise as sunglasses or your passport, but if you do not prepare your device properly, it could cost you a lot of money.

Before your ship is ready to sail away, be sure to put it into airplane mode, which disables your phone's ability to use a cellular signal.  The reason you want to do this is once your cruise ship leaves your home country, your phone will look for a signal outside the regular cellular network and connect to the ship's cell tower, which is known as roaming.  Roaming means you are out of network, and will result in high fees for pretty much anything you do that uses the cellular signal.

You should place the phone into airplane mode, and then be confident in using your phone for taking photos, playing games or even connecting to the ship's WiFi without fear of a monster bill later that month.

2. Skip the souvenir glass

Imagine this: you are on the pool deck, enjoying another beautiful at sea and suddenly you see a drink station set up with the cutest glowing/flashing/colorful glasses.  They are cool looking and the drink inside looks even better, but you are better off asking for that tasty cocktail sans souvenir cup.

The souvenir cups are nice, but it tacks on a few extra dollars to the cost.  You can ask for the same drink without the souvenir glass/mug/pineapple and save on the cost of the drink.  This saves you money, but you still get to enjoy drinks by the pool.

1. Use a travel agent

The best way to ensure you are getting the lowest price on your Royal Caribbean vacation is to use a travel agent. Regardless of if this is your first or fiftieth cruise, a travel agent is a worthwhile "investment," and the best part is they are free to use!

Travel agents provide great service to folks looking to take a Royal Caribbean cruise because they are keyed in on the latest promotions and they can be your best advocate for finding promotions that help you, not just the day you book but every day until final payment.

A good travel agent will be able to assist with the booking process, and give you every single permutation of pricing to figure out which itinerary, stateroom or promotion makes the most sense for you.  I cannot count the time I have saved by having the travel agent jump through the proverbial hoops for me to figure out what is the best deal for my family.

The reality is you only stand to benefit from using a good travel agent, both in convenience and time saved.

Your thoughts

Do you have any of your own money-saving strategies when on a Royal Caribbean cruise, or perhaps saving for a Royal Caribbean vacation? Disagree with any of our tips? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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