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15 reasons to book a cruise on Oasis of the Seas

In:
09 May 2022

Oasis of the Seas was a game-changing ship when she first debuted in 2009, and she is still considered one of Royal Caribbean’s most popular cruise ships. Not only is Oasis of the Seas one of the largest cruise ships in the world and jam-packed with nearly endless activities, but she was amplified in 2019 to add even more dining options, activities, and amenities for guests to enjoy.

When choosing between one cruise ship or another, it’s important to know what makes each ship stand apart from the others. Let’s take a look at the top reasons why you should book a cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas.

Portside BBQ

Oasis of the Seas is the only Royal Caribbean ship with Portside BBQ, which serves authentic, slow-cooked barbecue including St. Louis-style spare ribs, hand-pulled pork, BBQ half-chicken, and Texas beef brisket. Comfort food is in abundance at Portside BBQ, with sides including mac & cheese, baked beans, coleslaw, and fries. Don’t forget to end your meal with the Chocolate Brookie, a half-brownie, half-chocolate chip cookie dessert that is sure to impress.

Portside BBQ is open for lunch on Oasis of the Seas and comes at an extra cost, with combos of 2 to 3 cuts, 2 sides, and 1 dessert ranging from $12.50 to $15.40. Special drinks are available at Portside BBQ as well which are not found elsewhere onboard, including freshly brewed sweet tea and the Portside Spiked Palmer.

Live music can be enjoyed from Portside BBQ, with a country guitarist performing throughout the afternoon.

Related: Portside BBQ restaurant review on Oasis of the Seas

Onboard activities

As an Oasis Class ship, Oasis of the Seas has many of Royal Caribbean’s latest and greatest amenities and features that appeal to guests of all ages. Complimentary onboard activities include:

  • The Ultimate Abyss, a dry slide taking guests from the sports deck to the Boardwalk
  • Rock climbing on two 40+ foot walls
  • FlowRider surf simulator
  • Ziplining across the Boardwalk
  • Ice skating
  • The Perfect Storm water slides
  • Battle for Planet Z laser tag
  • Karaoke
  • Trivia

Mission Control: Apollo 18

If you’re looking for a unique cruise ship activity, consider trying the Puzzle Break Center, or escape room, on Oasis of the Seas.

The escape room onboard is Mission Control: Apollo 18, where guests can work in a team to figure out puzzles and clues to “escape” the room in time. Several Royal Caribbean ships have an escape room, but they all have a different theme, meaning if you tried the escape room on a different ship, the challenge on Oasis of the Seas will be different.

Mission Control: Apollo 18 takes place on a “spacecraft” that passengers must successfully launch to the moon. Six launching stations are located in the escape room, each of which has three separate tasks. 

This activity comes at an extra cost of $20 per person and lasts approximately one hour. Any guest 12 years of age or older is welcome to try the escape room.

Solarium sun deck

If you head all the way to the front of the Solarium on deck 15, you’ll find a spacious outdoor sundeck that makes for a perfect place to spend a sea day (just make sure you apply sunscreen!).

On most other Oasis Class ships, guests will find Solarium bridge wings that extend over the side of the ship in the front of the Solarium. While these provide an excellent view and place to watch the sunset and sailaway, there is no room to sunbathe.

Guests on Oasis of the Seas will therefore love the large, adults-only sundeck that is not only relaxing, but offers some of the best views found onboard.

Small Wonders

Oasis of the Seas is dotted with 42 "small wonders," a collection of artwork displayed in tiny portholes through a periscope that can only be described as cute.

By peering through the telescope, a tiny piece of 3D artwork appears. Each small wonder has its own image inside, so a scavenger hunt around the ship to find them all makes for a fun activity to do onboard.

If you cannot find them all, Guest Services will provide you with a list of where to find all the small wonders on the ship.

Related: Top 10 Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas hidden secrets

Central Park

Like all Oasis Class cruise ships, Oasis of the Seas has a split-design with the Central Park and Boardwalk neighborhoods in the middle. This design creates the ship’s unique neighborhoods, which give diverse atmospheres onboard Oasis of the Seas.

Central Park is one of the most beloved areas on an Oasis Class ship due to its peaceful atmosphere, where many passengers forget they are on a ship at all as they relax among the neighborhood’s trees, bushes, and flowers. Comfy seating is in abundance in Central Park, allowing guests to listen to live piano music, have a drink at Trellis Bar, play chess, or read a book.

Specialty dining venues are found in Central Park as well, where guests can enjoy an upscale meal at 150 Central Park, traditional Italian cuisine at Giovanni’s Table, or classic steakhouse dishes at Chops Grille. Retail stores, the complimentary Park Cafe, Vintages wine bar, and the Central Park library are located in Central Park as well.

High-energy entertainment

There is no shortage of entertainment options on Oasis of the Seas. In fact, you’ll find it difficult to not find something to entertain you throughout the day. Live music, signature production shows, comedians, game shows, and more take place every day onboard.

The main entertainment venues onboard are the AquaTheater, Studio B ice rink, and Royal Theater.

Aqua80, an AquaTheater show on Oasis of the Seas, is a favorite among cruisers. Combining the best music of the 1980s with acrobatics, diving, slacklining, dancing, and aerial tricks, Aqua80 is a high-energy, upbeat performance to see onboard.

Those looking for Broadway entertainment can see Cats: The Musical in the Royal Theater, a 90-minute performance telling the story of the Jellicle cats and their decision of who will ascend to the Heaviside layer.

For escapades on ice, check out Frozen In Time in Studio B, which brings stories of Hans Christian Anderson to life through elaborate set design, costuming, and amazing tricks on the ice.

Cruises from the northeast

If you live in the northeast and are hoping to sail on an Oasis Class ship without having to fly to Florida, Oasis of the Seas makes a great option. She primarily sails 7-night Caribbean cruises, which run from May through October and visit Port Canaveral, Perfect Day at CocoCay, and Nassau.

The convenience of being able to drive to the Cape Liberty cruise port instead of flying to Florida makes choosing a cruise on Oasis of the Seas an easy decision for many cruisers.

Related: Guide to cruises from New York

Visit Canada on an Oasis Class ship

Most cruises on Oasis of the Seas visit the sunny, warm waters of the Caribbean. A limited number of itineraries, however, visit Canada's northeast ports of Halifax and Saint John. These sailings depart from Cape Liberty, New Jersey.

While in Canada, guests can enjoy walking through the historic, waterfront ports, going whale watching, visiting the Maritime Museum in Halifax, and feast on fresh seafood.

Cruises to Canada tend to be 4-5 night cruises instead of 7-nights, giving passengers a chance to try out an Oasis Class cruise ship even if they cannot take a whole week off.

Vitality Cafe

Health-conscious cruisers will love the food and drink options found at Vitality Cafe, located within the spa on Oasis of the Seas.

Vitality Cafe focuses on healthier food and drinks, offering a menu of fresh-squeezed juices, protein shakes, smoothies, and small bites like granola bars and fruit cups.

Smoothies and shakes are fully customizable, so you're able to choose from the selection of ingredients to create the drink you prefer.

Beverages at Vitality Cafe come at an extra cost but are included in Royal Caribbean's beverage packages, with the exception of protein powder. Food is complimentary.

Caribbean-style pool deck

One of the biggest improvements made to Oasis of the Seas during her amplification was the Caribbean-style pool deck enhancement.

Royal Caribbean has been designing its newest cruise ships with a Caribbean resort-style pool deck design, featuring colorful seating and decor. They also feature the Lime & Coconut Bar, which serves some of the best tropical drinks onboard.

Booking a cruise on Oasis of the Seas means you can enjoy the ship's Caribbean pool deck, which will bring the perfect tropical vibe to your cruise vacation.

Diverse dining options

Oasis of the Seas has a plethora of complimentary and specialty dining options open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Whether a s'mores cookie skillet at Playmakers,  risotto at Giovanni’s Table, or burrito at El Loco Fresh, it’s nearly impossible to get hungry while cruising on Oasis of the Seas.

The following complimentary dining options can be found onboard:

  • Main Dining Room
  • Windjammer
  • Solarium Bistro
  • Coastal Kitchen (suite guests only)
  • Park Cafe
  • Vitality Cafe
  • Cafe Promenade
  • Sorrento’s
  • Boardwalk Dog House
  • El Loco Fresh

For those who want to enhance their dining experience by dining at specialty restaurants, the following options are available:

  • 150 Central Park
  • Chef’s Table
  • Chops Grille
  • Giovanni’s Table
  • Izumi
  • Johnny Rockets (complimentary for breakfast)
  • Playmakers
  • Portside BBQ
  • Vintages Wine Bar (tapas)
  • Starbucks

Oasis of the Seas is an excellent ship to try out a Royal Caribbean dining package due to the sheer amount of restaurants to choose from. For more information on the pros and cons of a Royal Caribbean dining package, check out our YouTube video:

Bars and nightlife

Just like restaurants, there are plenty of bars and nightlife venues to enjoy on Oasis of the Seas. 

Those who like salsa dancing will love spending the evening at Boleros, where you’ll find not only live Latin music, but the best mojitos onboard!

If you prefer a nightclub experience, head of to Blaze Comedy Club or Music Hall, where you'll find DJs and live bands playing late into the night.

If a nightclub sounds too intense for your liking, relax at Jazz on 4 or Schooner Bar for live jazz and piano music that will help you wind down after a busy day onboard.

Needless to say, there is plenty to choose from when it comes to evening activities on Oasis of the Seas.

Central Park and Balcony Staterooms

Oasis of the Seas has an abundance of stateroom options that can fit any cruise budget. Everything from the most basic interior staterooms to lavish suites can be booked on Oasis of the Seas.

Something that sets Oasis Class ships like Oasis of the Seas apart are the neighborhood balcony rooms. The Central Park and Boardwalk neighborhoods each have their own set of balcony staterooms that overlook the neighborhood.

Central Park rooms tend to be more tranquil, allowing guests to be surrounded by plants and trees and listen to live music in the evenings from their balcony. No ocean view is available from these staterooms.

Boardwalk rooms, on the other hand, are in a more dynamic environment, home to the sights and sounds of the sports bar, arcade, carousel, and AquaTheater. These rooms provide a partial view of the ocean.

Boardwalk neighborhood

Another reason to book a cruise on Oasis of the Seas is to discover the ship’s Boardwalk neighborhood, which takes guests back in time to the seaside piers of New England.

Whether riding the colorful carousel, filling up a bag with candy at Sugar Beach, eating classic American cuisine at Johnny Rockets, or ending the day with a drink at Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, the Boardwalk is a fun place to explore onboard during both day and night.

Here's where you can get a Covid test in South Florida before your cruise

In:
06 May 2022

Have a cruise in Miami or Fort Lauderdale and need to find a place to get a covid test before you sail?

Prior to any Royal Caribbean cruise, every passenger must obtain a negative Covid test. While this policy has been in place since the restart of the cruise industry in June 2021, it is still a common cause for concern among many cruise passengers who are anxious about whether or not they can easily find a Covid test in their area.

Some cities in the US may have ample testing options whereas others may have more limited options. Additionally, as many passengers must fly to their cruise departure port one day ahead of their cruise, this gives them less time to secure a test in their area. This is especially true for those passengers arriving on international flights to the United States, as the Covid test they must take for entry into the US may be expired by the time they must board their cruise.

Therefore, some passengers may opt to book a Covid test appointment in their cruise departure port upon arrival as opposed to finding a test in their local area. Prior to my cruise last week on Freedom of the Seas, I wanted to try out a local Covid testing site in South Florida to see what options are available for those hoping for an easy way to secure a Covid test.

Fort Lauderdale hotel aerial

When searching for local Covid testing, TentTest.com was recommended to me, which offers rapid Covid-19 antigen testing with results in 15 minutes. They had a wide range of testing time slots available, all the way from 6AM to 10PM. This was a welcome change from the limited hours I had experienced in the past when testing at pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens.

I booked my Covid test appointment one week in advance, although the site also offers same-day appointments on the off chance that you are unable to book in advance.

Location

Tent Test is located around 4 miles from both Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades. The address of the testing location is 718 SE 17th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316.

The testing location is convenient for anyone flying or driving to Fort Lauderdale, and it is located just a few blocks from popular hotels that many passengers book the night before their cruise, including Hyatt House Fort Lauderdale and Holiday Inn Express Ft. Lauderdale Cruise-Airport.

While it may not be the most convenient option for those flying into and cruising out of Miami, its proximity to the Fort Lauderdale cruise port is favorable.

Testing experience

I took an Lyft to the Tent Test site, but I was running late due to traffic and a slightly delayed disembarkation from my cruise on Oasis of the Seas. Nervous that I would miss the test, I called Tent Test and explained the situation. Luckily they were extremely understanding and allowed me to push my test back a half hour without any issue.

It was easy to spot the correct building as I arrived due to Covid testing signage on both the windows and curbside. The testing proctor, Ed, opened the door as he saw me approaching and welcomed me inside.

I was seated in a comfy waiting area inside the testing site. As I was the only person being tested in the time frame I selected, my testing process was extremely quick and efficient.

Normally those being tested would be moved from the waiting area to a private room, but as there was no one else in the building I was able to be tested in the waiting area. The proctor briefly explained what the test would entail and conducted the nasal swab.

While some tests, such as the Abbott BinaxNOW Ag Card Home Test, are a self-swab test, the proctor swabs your nose for you at Tent Test. I usually prefer self-swab, especially after an extra painful PCR Covid test I received in Egypt last year, but to my surprise my test at Tent Test ended up being the least-painful Covid test I have done yet!

After a simple swab right at the entrance of both nostrils, the proctor took the test to their lab area and I waited fifteen minutes for my result.

I was given a paper hard copy of my negative test results, which were complete with everything Royal Caribbean requires to board the ship: your name, test type, lab’s address, CLIA number, date of test, and your negative result. I had no issues presenting my negative test results from Tent Test at the cruise terminal in Miami.

Testing price

The standard Covid testing price for one person at Tent Test is $65 per rapid antigen test. Discounts may be available in larger groups. Additionally, Tent Test providers can also arrange to visit you directly at your hotel or house. For pricing and more information on these options, it’s best to give Tent Test a call ahead of time at (561)-888-0637.

While the test is not free like you will encounter at places like Walgreens and CVS, I felt it came at a fair price compared to many other testing options. Covid testing at Miami International Airport, for example, ranges from $79 to $179. In addition, while Royal Caribbean offers limited testing directly at the cruise terminal, costs start at $99 per person.

Tent Test also makes a great backup Covid test option in case something goes wrong with your primary testing method. Before one of my cruises, for example, I drove to Walgreens for a rapid NAAT test only to find out the pharmacy had unexpectedly closed early and there was no one to proctor my Covid test. Luckily I was able to reschedule for the next day, but if I had to travel that same day I would have been out of luck for a Covid test.

In addition, while the at-home Covid tests are extremely popular options for passengers, occasionally the test results are found invalid or the test kits are missing an item. Having Tent Test as a backup option can be extremely helpful.

Overall, I would recommend Test Test as an option for those who must secure a Covid test in South Florida before or after their cruise. The entire process was simple and just about as enjoyable as a Covid test can be. My testing proctor Ed was very friendly as well, which made me feel welcome and comfortable at the testing site.

What are the current testing requirements for Royal Caribbean cruises?

While Covid testing requirements are subject to change, here are the current pre-cruise testing requirements for cruises out of the United States:

  • Vaccinated guests must show a negative Covid-19 test result taken no more than 2 days before boarding day (PCR or antigen)
  • Unvaccinated kids aged 2-11 must show a negative PCR test taken no more than 3 days before boarding day
  • Unvaccinated kids’ pre-cruise test cannot be taken on boarding day (as they will receive an additional test at the terminal)

What to do on a rainy day on your cruise

In:
29 Apr 2022

As much as everyone on a cruise hopes for endless days of sun, a slight breeze, and warm temperatures, the truth is that sometimes you will encounter unfavorable weather conditions onboard or in port.

Royal Caribbean works hard to forecast weather conditions in advance and deviate course whenever necessary, but it’s not always possible to avoid rainy conditions. If your cruise ship encounters rain, though, don’t fret!

There are countless ways to spend a rainy day onboard, and here are some of our favorites.

Relax in the Solarium

Royal Caribbean ships, aside from those in the Voyager and Freedom Classes, have a covered Solarium for guests aged 16 and older. On chilly, rainy, or windy days, relaxing in the Solarium provides an escape from the weather outdoors while still allowing you to enjoy time by the pool or jacuzzi.

Related: Everything about Royal Caribbean’s Solarium

Additionally, if you are sailing on a Quantum Class ship (with the exception of Odyssey of the Seas), take advantage of the indoor pool, which is available for all ages. While the pools will be closed if the ship encounters any severe weather like lightning, they will generally remain open during normal rainy days.

Read a book

A classic cruise activity for a rainy day is to find a quiet corner onboard and read a book. Despite the fact that cruise ships are packed with entertainment, activities, music, and lounges, there are always places onboard to get away from the crowds.

Related: Chill spots to get away from the crowd on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship
Here are some of the best places to read a book on a rainy day:

  • Two70 (Quantum Class ships)
  • “Hidden” seating on the running track (Oasis Class ships)
  • Star Lounge (Voyager and Freedom Class ships)
  • Library or card room
  • Vintages wine bar

If you’re looking for book recommendations, check out our lists of the best reads to bring on your cruise:

See a show

If your rainy day is on a sea day, check the ship’s entertainment schedule to see if there are any matinee performances in venues like the Royal Theater, Two70, or Studio B.

Spending an hour or two in a show is a great way to pass time on a rainy day while being entertained in the process. Plus, by seeing the show in the afternoon instead of in the evening, your evening schedule is opened up for other activities onboard.

Listen to live music

If you encounter a rainy day on your cruise, take a look at the Cruise Compass to see what live music is available throughout the day. From live Spanish guitar at Boleros to jazz in the Royal Promenade, listening to live music can be a cozy, relaxing way to spend your time as the rain passes through.

Grab a drink

Relaxing with a drink in hand is always a fun way to spend time on a cruise, but can be especially nice during a rainy day. There are many places indoors on a cruise ship to grab a drink, plenty of which have large windows looking toward the ocean.

Here are some of the best bars or venues to relax in while waiting for the sun to come back out:

  • Viking Crown Lounge (Vision, Radiance, Voyager, and Freedom Class)
  • Two70 (Quantum Class)
  • Schooner Bar

Related: A look at Royal Caribbean's new fleetwide drink menu

Depending on the ship, you may find covered seating at outdoor bars. The North Star Bar on Quantum Class ships, for example, has a covered seating area at the bar where you can watch the ocean and enjoy the sea breeze while remaining covered.

Go to trivia

Trivia is a fun activity on any Royal Caribbean cruise, but can make an excellent option on a rainy day. There are numerous trivia categories available, from geography to Harry Potter and sports.

Trivia usually only lasts around 30 or 45 minutes and is located indoors, making it a quick activity to do while rain passes through. Plus, you have the opportunity to put your knowledge to the test and maybe even win a prize!

Take a class

While browsing your cruise’s daily schedule in the Royal Caribbean app, you’ll likely see a few unique classes that you might otherwise skip over in favor of relaxing by the pool. A rainy day, however, can be an excellent time to try some of these classes.

Classes may include:

  • Scrapbooking
  • Card making class
  • Italian/Spanish/Portuguese language class
  • Zumba class
  • Morning stretch
  • Seminars

Hang out at the sports bar

Royal Caribbean’s classic sports bar, Playmakers, makes a fantastic hangout spot on a rainy day, where you can cheer on your favorite team while enjoying classic bar food like burgers, wings, and french fries.

The amount of televisions in Playmakers means there is no shortage of games and sports to watch, which you can enjoy while playing bar games like shuffleboard, pool, and Pac-Man.

Related: Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade review

Royal Caribbean ships without Playmakers will usually have a venue available for watching sports, such as in the pub, but there are generally only one or two small TVs there.

Hang out at the SeaPlex

Quantum Class cruise ships may be the best Royal Caribbean ships to sail on through inclement weather, as they were built to sail in all weather conditions while still offering the latest and greatest amenities and activities onboard.

The SeaPlex is a wonderful place to go with kids on a rainy day, as they can get their energy out while running around the sports court, playing basketball, soccer, or going head-to-head with other passengers in bumper cars.

Enjoy a sit-down meal

Whereas dinner on a cruise ship is usually a more formal, sit-down event, most guests tend to favor a casual, quick lunch onboard. Whether grabbing a burrito at El Loco Fresh or heading to the Windjammer, eating lunch on a cruise is often something to do quickly in-between activities.

Related: Food on a Royal Caribbean cruise

On rainy days, though, consider dining in the Main Dining Room or at a specialty restaurant for lunch. Having a sit-down meal will help pass the time on a rainy day while enjoying a relaxing, multi-course meal.

Go to the arcade (or casino)

All Royal Caribbean ships have an arcade, but it’s not only for kids! From skee-ball to air hockey, there are plenty of games to keep you occupied on a rainy day. The arcade comes at an extra cost, with most games costing between $0.75 and $2.50.

Alternatively, if you would like the chance to win money, head to the casino to pass a few hours on a rainy day.

Book a treatment at the spa

If you look at the weather forecast on your cruise and see a day with unfavorable weather, don’t hesitate to book a treatment at the Vitality Spa. After all, not much is more relaxing than a massage.

If you don’t want to spend extra money on a spa treatment, check if your cruise ship has a complimentary sauna and steam room. Select Royal Caribbean ships (excluding Quantum and Oasis Class ships) have free-of-charge saunas available in the fitness center locker rooms.

If your ship has a thermal suite, you can purchase a pass that allows you to use the facilities at any time, which include a rainforest shower, hot stone loungers, and sauna.

Related: Thermal Suite on Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas

Indoor signature activities

While many of Royal Caribbean’s signature activities are located outdoors, such as rock climbing, ziplining, and the FlowRider, there are several indoor activities to enjoy on a rainy day. Depending on the ship, these activities can be enjoyed rain or shine:

  • RipCord by iFLY
  • Puzzle Break Center (escape room)
  • Zone Zero
  • Ice skating
  • Laser tag

Check the Cruise Compass to see which activities are offered. Some, like the escape room, RipCord by iFLY, and Zone Zero, require reservations.

See a movie

Whether on land or at sea, watching a movie is a nice way to pass time on a rainy or cold day. While all Royal Caribbean ships have an outdoor movie screen, there are often indoor movies played as well in venues like the Royal Theater.

In fact, Royal Caribbean’s Radiance Class ships have their own indoor movie theater which plays a variety of movies throughout the day!

Related: All about Radiance Class cruise ships

To see if any movies are playing on your cruise, check out the Cruise Compass or the Royal Caribbean app. Movies are free-of-charge, but get to the theater or cinema early to ensure you get the best seat!

Royal Caribbean cruises in May 2022: What to expect

In:
27 Apr 2022

Taking a Royal Caribbean cruise in May opens the beginning of the summer cruise season.

Symphony of the Seas in PortMiami aerial

If you have a cruise planned in May, this article is aimed at giving you a preview of what to expect for sailing this month, as well as helpful tips.

With spring break over, May is generally a slower month in terms of demand (with the exception of Memorial Day Weekend) because school is in session, and most families either just took vacation over spring break, or are about to take vacation next month when school is out.

It's also the month when Royal Caribbean's European cruise season begins in earnest with all the ship that will sail from the region in place to start service.

The Memorial Day holiday in the United States can see a bit more demand for cruises, although primarily for weekend cruises.

Certainly there is less demand for cruises in the first three weeks of May.

Ships sailing in May 2022

Oasis of the Seas in New York with Statue of Liberty
  • Freedom of the Seas from Miami, Florida
  • Anthem of the Seas from Cape Liberty, New Jersey until she moves to Southampton
  • Odyssey of the Seas from Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Allure of the Seas from Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Symphony of the Seas from Miami, Florida
  • Independence of the Seas from Port Canaveral, Florida
  • Harmony of the Seas from Port Canaveral, Florida
  • Mariner of the Seas from Port Canaveral, Florida
  • Liberty of the Seas from Galveston, Texas
  • Adventure of the Seas from Cape Liberty, New Jersey
  • Explorer of the Seas from Miami, Florida
  • Navigator of the Seas from Los Angeles, California
  • Spectrum of the Seas from Singapore
  • Grandeur of the Seas from Galveston, Texas
  • Enchantment of the Seas from Baltimore, Maryland
  • Radiance of the Seas from Vancouver, Canada or Seward, Alaska
  • Serenade of the Seas from Vancouver, Canada
  • Voyager of the Seas from Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Quantum of the Seas from Seattle, Washington beginning May 4, 2022
  • Ovation of the Seas from Seattle, Washington beginning May 5, 2022
  • Oasis of the Seas from Cape Liberty, New Jersey, beginning May 8, 2022
  • Brilliance of the Seas from Rome, Italy beginning May 9, 2022
  • Wonder of the Seas from Barcelona and Rome beginning May 12, 2022
  • Vision of the Seas from Barcelona, Spain beginning May 13, 2022
  • Rhapsody of the Seas from Rome, Italy beginning May 23, 2022
  • Jewel of the Seas from Amsterdam, Netherlands beginning May 27, 2022
Rhapsody of the Seas at sea

Most importantly, the last Royal Caribbean cruise ship to restart sailings since the pandemic will happen when Rhapsody of the Seas returns.

Rhapsody will offer 7-night Mediterranean and Greek Isles itineraries, sailing from Rome.

This is an important milestone for Royal Caribbean in its bid to recover from the pandemic.

The Alaska cruise season will also fully start up in the month of May. Royal Caribbean will have four cruise ships sailing to Alaska in 2022.

Read moreComparing the Royal Caribbean ships sailing in Alaska 2022

Health protocols for May 2022 cruises

Symphony of the Seas sailing away

Depending on where you sail from, the health protocols related to Covid-19 can vary somewhat.  The good news is the core protocols across the fleet are the same, with a few variations here and there.

All Royal Caribbean guests age 12 and older must present proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with the final dose of their vaccine administered at least 14 days before sailing.

Boosters are not required, except for some European sailings require anyone that hasn't had their last shot more than 270 days ago to get a booster.

Royal Caribbean does not require kids younger than 12 to be vaccinated.

Freedom of the Seas aerial at Nassau

A new change this month centers around masking. Masks are optional for vaccinated guests & recommended for unvaccinated children while onboard. Masks are no longer required at Adventure Ocean for kids 2 years and up, they are recommended for unvaccinated kids.

Masks are also now optional while in the cruise terminal before or after your cruise, unless mandated by local authorities.

Guests under 2 years old do not need to wear a mask.

Covid testing requirements are nearly all the same, with the exception of some European countries.

Vaccinated guests must show a negative COVID-19 test result for a PCR or antigen test taken no more than 2 days before boarding day. 

Unvaccinated kids age 2 to 11 must show a negative test result for a PCR test (not antigen) taken no more than 3 days before boarding day. This test cannot be taken on boarding day for unvaccinated kids.

Guests under 2 years of age do not need to complete a pre-cruise test. 

May weather on a cruise

Mediterranean

It's going to get warmer in May in the Caribbean, so expect high temperatures to reach the high 80s and low temperatures not getting below the 70s.

In terms of rainfall, the wet season will resume in some areas. You will see lots of passing showers in places like San Juan, Puerto Rico or Antigua.

Over in Europe, the sun will be shining in the Mediterranean without the larger crowds that will come later this summer. May is the best time for a Greek Isles cruise because there is very little rain combined with temperatures in the high 60s and 70s.

The one downside of May in the Mediterranean is sea temperatures tend to be still chilly. If you want warm ocean temperatures in May, the Caribbean is the place for you.

Read moreWhat is the best time to cruise the Mediterranean?

If you're cruising to Alaska in May, expect less rain than normal. May is one of the driest months of the season, with just a 25% chance of rain. 

The average high in southeast Alaska is 54 degrees and the average low is 39 degrees.

Read moreWhen is the best time to cruise to Alaska?

Catalina

Sailings to the Mexican Riviera, expect more rain in the forecast. The months of May to October are the wettest months of the year (same for Eastern Mexico).

The eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15 and ends November 30. 

Odyssey of the Seas vs. Wonder of the Seas

In:
20 Apr 2022

Odyssey of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas are Royal Caribbean’s newest cruise ships, but they each belong to a different class, with each ship offering its own set of amenities, dining options, and entertainment.

If you’re looking to book a cruise on the latest and greatest of Royal Caribbean’s ships, both Odyssey of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas are sure to make for a wonderful cruise experience. Both ships fit over five thousand passengers, offer activities for all ages, have no shortage of restaurants and lounges, and visit exciting destinations in the Caribbean and Europe.

While the ships share many similar features, they differ in layout, size, and onboard offerings. Let’s take a look at how Odyssey of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas compare.

Overview

Odyssey of the Seas is the 5th ship in Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class. She has a maximum capacity of 5,510 guests, length of 1,138 feet, width of 136 feet, and measures 167,704 in gross tonnage. Her maiden voyage was on July 31, 2021.

Wonder of the Seas is the 5th ship in Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class and is currently the largest cruise ship in the world. She has a maximum capacity of 6,988 guests, length of 1,188 feet, width of 210 feet, and measures 236,857 in gross tonnage. Her maiden voyage was on March 4, 2022.

Layouts

As an Oasis Class ship, Wonder of the Seas is split into distinct neighborhoods. Because Oasis Class ships can accommodate so many guests, it’s important to have a ship layout designed to spread guests around the ship and avoid overcrowding in any one area.

These are the eight neighborhoods on Wonder of the Seas:

  • The Boardwalk, an outdoor area in the ship’s aft with a carousel, restaurants, an arcade, candy shop, the AquaTheater, and rock climbing
  • Central Park, an outdoor park in the middle of the ship filled with plants, flowers, restaurants, and retail venues
  • The Pool and Sports Zone, where guests can enjoy pools, whirlpools, waterslides, and sports activities
  • The Royal Promenade, the main thoroughfare on Wonder of the Seas with dining, shopping, bars, guest service areas, and more
  • Entertainment Place, home to the casino, ice skating rink, comedy club, and Royal Theater
  • Vitality Spa and Fitness, home to the ship’s wellness facilities
  • Youth Zone, the hub of Royal Caribbean’s Adventure Ocean programming
  • Suite Neighborhood, an enclave just for suite guests with a private lounge, restaurant, and sun deck

Odyssey of the Seas does not have the same neighborhood concept as the Oasis Class, but the ship’s layout can be categorized into a few distinct areas:

  • The Via, where guests can enjoy artwork, dining, shopping, Next Cruise, and Two70.
  • The Royal Esplanade, a two-story thoroughfare with dining, bars, lounges, shopping, and guest service areas
  • The Pool Deck, where guests will find pools, whirlpools, bars, and the North Star
  • The Sports/Seaplex, home to sports activities like indoor skydiving, bungee jumping, and bumper cars

Odyssey of the Seas is built more like a traditional cruise ship whereas Wonder of the Seas has a split-layout, where sections of the ship are split down the middle to allow for areas like Central Park and the Boardwalk.

Dining

As the newest ships in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, both Odyssey of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas have a large variety of dining options onboard. The following dining venues can be found on either ship:

  • Main Dining Room
  • Windjammer Cafe
  • Solarium Bistro
  • Coastal Kitchen
  • Cafe Promenade
  • Sorrento’s
  • Chef’s Table
  • El Loco Fresh
  • Wonderland
  • Chops Grille
  • Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar
  • Izumi hibachi (teppanyaki) & sushi
  • Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade
  • Starbucks

As Wonder of the Seas is a bigger ship, there are a few more dining options to note that are not found on Odyssey of the Seas:

  • The Mason Jar, a southern-inspired restaurant featuring dishes from around the American south with both a brunch and dinner menu
  • Park Cafe, a complimentary grab-and-go option for breakfast sandwiches, bagels, pastries, soups, sandwiches, and salads
  • 150 Central Park, a more upscale venue focused on sourcing local ingredients. Menu highlights include the pumpkin bisque, roasted tenderloin, and fried cheesecake
  • Johnny Rockets, offering classic American fare including hamburgers and milkshakes
  • Boardwalk Dog House, serving up hot dogs, sausages, and bratwurst
  • Hooked Seafood, offering a taste of New England through diverse seafood options from clam & crab chowder to the Maine lobster roll

Cruising on Wonder of the Seas gives the opportunity to enjoy outdoor dining venues, with Park Cafe, Chops Grille, and Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen offering both indoor and outdoor seating. Odyssey of the Seas does not have any outdoor dining available aside from El Loco Fresh on the pool deck.

Odyssey of the Seas has a larger hibachi area than Wonder of the Seas, as Teppanyaki (hibachi) is located in a completely different venue than Izumi sushi. This can make getting hibachi reservations easier as there are six cooking stations as opposed to the three found on Wonder of the Seas.

The only dining venue on Odyssey of the Seas that is not found on Wonder of the Seas is Cafe @ Two 70. This is a complimentary grab-and-go restaurant open for breakfast and lunch. Cafe @ Two 70 serves similar food to Park Cafe on Wonder of the Seas, offering bagels, breakfast burritos, salads, soups, quesadillas, and more.

Bars & Lounges

Odyssey of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas share the following bars and lounges:

  • Giovanni’s Wine Bar
  • The Lime & Coconut
  • English-style pub
  • Schooner Bar
  • Bionic Bar
  • Casino Bar
  • Playmakers
  • Music Hall
  • Boleros
  • Solarium Bar

There are several bars and lounges found on Wonder of the Seas and not Odyssey of the Seas:

  • The Mason Jar Bar, focusing on moonshine and whiskey drinks inspired by the American south
  • Trellis Bar, a small outdoor bar located in Central Park
  • Cantina Fresca, a colorful bar connected to El Loco Fresh on the sports deck, specializing in margaritas and aguas frescas
  • The Vue, a cantilevered bar in the forward area of the pool deck offering views of the ocean day and night
  • Wipe Out Bar, located at the aft of the ship on the sports deck
  • Rising Tide Bar, a bar moving up and down through the ship’s Royal Promenade and Central Park neighborhoods
  • Spotlight Karaoke, a karaoke venue and bar that also has private rooms to reserve
  • The Attic, a comedy club with a selection of comedians each cruise

Entertainment

Whether cruising on Odyssey of the Seas or Wonder of the Seas, guests will certainly not get bored, as each ship offers impressive entertainment options.

Both ships have signature entertainment in the Royal Theater as well as live music found throughout the ship at bars and lounges. As the two ships belong to different classes, though, additional entertainment venues differ.

Odyssey of the Seas is home to Two70, an entertainment venue found only on Quantum Class ships. Offering 270 degree views of the ocean from the ship’s aft, this large venue is a popular hangout spot during the cruise both day and night. Technology is a large aspect of shows at Two70, with robotic video screens and 12k projection mapping enhancing set design.

Odyssey of the Seas offers the following signature productions:

  • The Book (Two70)
  • The Effectors (Royal Theater)
  • Showgirls (Royal Theater)

Wonder of the Seas does not have Two70, but is home to Studio B and the AquaTheater.

Studio B is the ice skating rink onboard, featuring a talented cast of professional figure skaters from around the world. Studio B shows incorporate figure skating with projection mapping and tricks including backflips and aerial performances.

Unique to Oasis Class ships, the AquaTheater is where Royal Caribbean’s aquatic shows are performed. AquaTheater shows combine high diving, slacklining, acrobatics, aeralists, and synchronized swimming for a unique performance at sea.

Wonder of the Seas offers the following signature productions:

  • inTENse (AquaTheater)
  • Voices (Royal Theater)
  • The Effectors II: Crash ‘n’ Burn (Royal Theater)
  • 365: Seasons on Ice (Studio B)

Pool deck

The pool decks on Odyssey of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas share many similarities with each other as they both follow Royal Caribbean’s new Caribbean pool deck design. Colorful seating and decor brings a tropical vibe to the pool deck, which also features the Lime & Coconut Bar and private casitas available to reserve.

Despite similar decor, though, the pool deck layout of an Oasis Class ship differs quite a bit compared to a Quantum Class ship. Wonder of the Seas has a split pool deck design, as the open-air Central Park neighborhood is in the middle of the ship.

There are three outdoor pools on the Wonder of the Seas pool deck and one Splashaway Bay. Odyssey of the Seas has two outdoor pools in addition to Splashaway Bay. Both ships have several jacuzzis on the pool deck and plenty of seating.

Wonder of the Seas has more pool deck seating options available than Odyssey of the Seas, as the ship features a movie screen viewing area complete with padded lounge chairs and benches.

Odyssey of the Seas, as a Quantum Class ship, does not have any water slides and most of the ship’s signature activities are located in the SeaPlex and sports deck area. Wonder of the Seas has the Perfect Storm slides: two racing slides and one champagne bowl slide.

The Solarium on either ship is large, fully enclosed, and more similar than different, offering a pool, several jacuzzis, Solarium bridge wings, comfy seating, and the Solarium Bistro.

Onboard activities 

Odyssey of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas may offer different signature activities onboard, but both ships provide a wide range of fun for guests of all ages.

Odyssey of the Seas offers the following signature activities:

  • The North Star, an observation pod that rises 300 feet above sea level from the pool deck, offering 360 degree views of the ship, ocean, and ports
  • RipCord by iFLY, an indoor skydiving simulator
  • Zone Zero, a virtual reality zone in which guests walk through and interact with a virtual world
  • Sky Pad, a bungee jumping arena with an optional virtual reality feature
  • Bumper cars
  • Roller skating
  • Circus school

Many activities on Odyssey of the Seas are located within the SeaPlex, an indoor sports area with a court for sports like basketball and volleyball, an arcade, and the Playmakers Sports Bar. Signature activities like Zone Zero, bumper cars, roller skating, and circus school are found in the SeaPlex.

Most activities offered on Odyssey of the Seas are included in your cruise fare, although there are a few exceptions. Zone Zero comes at a cost of $18 per person. The North Star and RipCord by iFLY offer both complimentary and extra cost options. To score a complimentary time slot, be sure to reserve a time for the activity on the Royal Caribbean app as soon as you get onboard, as they can fill up quickly.

Wonder of the Seas offers the following signature activities:

  • The Ultimate Abyss, a dry slide taking guests from the sports deck to the Boardwalk neighborhood
  • The zipline, where guest fly nine decks above the Boardwalk neighborhood
  • A carousel
  • Wonder Playscape, an underwater-themed playground for children
  • Ice skating
  • Mini golf
  • Sports court (outdoors)
  • Water slides

All signature activities on Wonder of the Seas are included in your cruise fare. An escape room is set to be constructed but has not been built yet. 

Both ships offer one FlowRider surf simulator and rock climbing. Two rock climbing walls are found on Wonder of the Seas. In addition, both ships have the revamped Adventure Ocean programming, including a teens-only outdoor deck space.

Odyssey of the Seas itineraries

Odyssey of the Seas splits her time sailing from Ft. Lauderdale and Rome, offering cruises to the Caribbean and southern Mediterranean. She sails from Rome between May and October.

Itinerary highlights for Odyssey of the Seas include:

  • 7-night Eastern Caribbean Holiday cruise visiting St. Maarten, San Juan, and Labadee
  • 6-night Mexico & Perfect Day cruise visiting Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Perfect Day at CocoCay
  • 6-night Greek Isles cruise visiting Santorini, Mykonos, and Naples
  • 12-night Holy Land cruise visiting Limassol, Jerusalem, Haifa, Ephesus (Kusadasi), Athens, and Naples

Wonder of the Seas itineraries

Wonder of the Seas will be homeported in Port Canaveral, Florida starting in November, offering primarily 7-night Western and Eastern Caribbean cruises. During the summer of 2022, Wonder of the Seas is sailing 7-night Western Mediterranean cruises departing from Barcelona and Rome.

Itinerary highlights for Wonder of the Seas include:

  • 7-night Eastern Caribbean & Perfect Day cruise visiting Perfect Day at CocoCay, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten
  • 7-night Western Caribbean & Perfect Day cruise visiting Perfect Day at CocoCay, Cozumel, Roatan, and Puerto Costa Maya
  • 7-night Western Caribbean cruise visiting Rome, Naples, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Marseille, and Florence

Transatlantic cruises are offered on both ships when sailing to and from Europe.

Staterooms

Odyssey of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas both offer a wide range of stateroom choices, from the most basic interior cabins to lavish loft suites.

As Quantum and Oasis Class ships, both ships offer the Royal Suite Class, which offers an upgraded suite experience for guests. From suite lounge access to exclusive dining at Coastal Kitchen, staying in a suite offers a fantastic cruise experience on either ship.

Wonder of the Seas has a few stateroom categories not available on Odyssey of the Seas, though. As the ship has a split middle section, balcony rooms are available in the Central Park and Boardwalk neighborhoods which look down into their respective neighborhoods. Boardwalk view rooms have a partial ocean view whereas Central Park rooms do not.

Wonder of the Seas also has the Ultimate Family Suite, which features an in-suite slide, jacuzzi, movie/game room, interactive piano staircase, and more.

As Quantum and Oasis Class ships, both ships offer the Royal Suite Class, which offers an upgraded suite experience for guests. From suite lounge access to exclusive dining at Coastal Kitchen and a private sun deck, staying in a suite offers a fantastic cruise experience on either ship.

Wonder of the Seas has the separated Suite Neighborhood onboard, which features Coastal Kitchen, the Suite Lounge, and a private deck with a plunge pool, comfy lounges, and a private bar.

Which ship should I choose?

As the newest ships in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, you’re guaranteed to have a top-notch cruising experience whether you choose Odyssey of the Seas or Wonder of the Seas. The ships offer many of the same dining venues, lounges, and onboard experiences.

The layout of Oasis Class ships offer a totally different feel to a cruise when compared to other ships in Royal Caribbean’s fleet. From relaxing with a book in Central Park or hanging out at Playmakers with a sea breeze on the Boardwalk, many cruisers prefer the size of an Oasis Class ship.

Wonder of the Seas offers an unparalleled amount of dining venues and onboard activities, offering some of Royal Caribbean's most kid-friendly activities like mini golf, water slides, ice skating, the Ultimate Abyss, and the zipline. 

Odyssey of the Seas has more of a traditional cruise ship build, as there is no split section in the middle of the ship. Odyssey of the Seas may not be as large as Wonder of the Seas, but some cruisers find they prefer the feel of a Quantum Class ship over Oasis Class.

And while there are fewer entertainment venues on Odyssey of the Seas when compared to Wonder of the Seas, there is certainly no shortage of onboard entertainment. Plus, Odyssey of the Seas has several features not found on Oasis Class ships like bumper cars, the North Star, and RipCord by iFLY, which make for interesting onboard activities for guests of all ages.

Ultimately, both Odyssey of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas will offer an unforgettable cruise experience, allowing you to enjoy all of Royal Caribbean's newest amenities, dining, and entertainment.

We recommend watching full ship tours of Odyssey of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas before making your decision, as seeing a full video of the ship can help you decide which ship will work best for your cruise vacation.

Guide to cruises from Fort Lauderdale

In:
18 Apr 2022

Fort Lauderdale is one of Royal Caribbean’s busiest ports, home to some of the fleet’s most popular ships. Due to its proximity to the Caribbean, cruises from Fort Lauderdale visit many of the region’s most popular destinations in the Eastern, Western, and Southern Caribbean, including Mexico, Aruba, and the Bahamas.

Royal Caribbean sails year round from Fort Lauderdale’s port, which is known as Port Everglades. From choosing an airport to booking parking and hotels, here is what you need to know before cruising out of Port Everglades on Royal Caribbean.

How to get to the Fort Lauderdale cruise port

Port Everglades is conveniently located just 5 miles from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and 4 miles from downtown Fort Lauderdale.

The address of Port Everglades is 1850 Eller Drive, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33316.

Royal Caribbean ships primarily use terminal 18 at Port Everglades, although ships may dock at a different terminal if terminal 18 is in use. Passengers should follow the port’s digital signage upon arrival to guide them to the correct terminal.

Flying to Fort Lauderdale cruise port

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport

Flying into Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is the most convenient option for those flying to Florida before their cruise. With over 130 flights to domestic and international destinations, Fort Lauderdale’s airport has plenty of direct flights to choose from.

As the airport is located so close to the port, it is recommended to take a taxi or use a rideshare service to Port Everglades, which usually comes at a cost of $12-20. The drive from the airport to port should only take around 10 or 15 minutes.

However, one of our greatest tips at Royal Caribbean Blog is to fly to your cruise departure port the night before your cruise to ensure you don’t encounter any delays that could make you miss your vacation. There are many hotels to choose from located near Fort Lauderdale’s airport, making transportation from airport to hotel and hotel to port a breeze.

Related: Why you shouldn’t fly to your cruise the same day it begins

Miami International Airport

Alternatively, passengers can choose to fly out of the Miami International Airport (MIA). The Miami International Airport is around 29 miles away from Port Everglades. Driving time from Miami to Fort Lauderdale will take around 45 minutes, although it is important to leave wiggle room for traffic. Taxis and rideshare services are available from Miami to Port Everglades, and may cost between $50-70 each way.

It’s recommended to fly into Fort Lauderdale over Miami as travel time is shorter from the airport to Port Everglades. If your flight options are much better to Miami over Fort Lauderdale, though, flying into Miami may be a better option. If this is the case, be sure to leave extra time on your cruise embarkation and disembarkation days to ensure you arrive at the port and airport with plenty of time to spare.

What time should I schedule my flight home after my cruise from Fort Lauderdale?

When booking your flight home after a cruise, it’s crucial to make sure you do not book your return flight too early on disembarkation day, as you don’t want to risk missing your flight home.

We recommend booking a flight home no earlier than 11:30AM for flights out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and 12:30PM for flights out of Miami International Airport.

While you may be able to arrive at the airport in Fort Lauderdale by 8:30-9:30AM on disembarkation day, it’s always a good idea to leave extra wiggle room in case of any unexpected problems. Waiting at the airport for an hour or two longer than needed is a much better option than accidentally missing your flight home!

Royal Caribbean shuttle service from airport to port

Shuttle services are offered from the airport to port (and vice versa), which can be booked directly with Royal Caribbean or through an outside provider, such as the Fort Lauderdale Airport Shuttle.

We recommend a rideshare service or taxi over a shuttle bus, though, especially in Fort Lauderdale, as the port is extremely close to the airport. Not only do prices of taxis and rideshares tend to be quite low from Port Everglades to the Fort Lauderdale airport, but you will not have to wait for a shuttle bus to fill up before leaving.

Parking at Port Everglades

Those driving to the Fort Lauderdale cruise port have a few options when it comes to parking, all with varying price points. Because Port Everglades is located so close to Fort Lauderdale’s airport, there are many parking lots available to choose from. Passengers should expect to spend between $56 and $115 when parking for a 7-night cruise.

On-site parking is available at Port Everglades, with pricing at $15 USD per day for regular-sized vehicles and $19 for oversized vehicles. To park at Port Everglades, passengers should first drop off their bags with the porters at the terminal and then proceed to the terminal’s parking garage. This is the most convenient option due to its proximity to your cruise ship.

Off-site parking will be a bit cheaper, with prices around $6-10 dollars per day, and include a shuttle service to and from the parking lot to the port. Generally, the closer a parking lot is to the terminal, the more expensive the daily parking fee will be.

These are some of the best off-site parking options while cruising out of Fort Lauderdale:

Where to stay the night before your cruise in Fort Lauderdale

It’s highly recommended to fly in the day before your cruise departs, so booking a hotel is an important part of the planning process when cruising from Fort Lauderdale.

If your flight arrives late in the evening on the night before your cruise, it is easiest to stay near the airport. As you will likely arrive tired from a late flight, staying in an exciting neighborhood isn’t totally necessary. Dania Beach and Edgewood are two Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods close to the airport and Port Everglades, each with a variety of hotel options.

If your flight arrives earlier in the day, however, you may wish to stay closer to downtown Fort Lauderdale or the beach. This gives you time to explore the area and enjoy the city’s highlights before your cruise. Las Olas Boulevard is the main walkable street in Fort Lauderdale, offering plenty of shopping, restaurants, and bars. The street runs west to east from downtown Fort Lauderdale to the beach, with no shortage of hotel and resort options.

Royal Caribbean Blog readers shared the following recommended hotel options in Fort Lauderdale on our message boards:

If you plan to stay in Miami the night before your cruise, here are a few recommended options:

Some hotels will offer shuttle service to the terminal on embarkation day, but we recommend taking a taxi or rideshare service instead, as you’ll have complete flexibility on the time you travel to the terminal from your hotel.

Which Royal Caribbean ships sail from Fort Lauderdale/Port Everglades

Many ships in Royal Caribbean’s fleet sail from Fort Lauderdale, whether they are homeported at Port Everglades or offering just a few sailings.

Odyssey of the Seas, the newest Quantum Class ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, is homeported in Fort Lauderdale for most of the year, excluding the Mediterranean cruises she offers during the summer. Odyssey of the Seas offers Western, Eastern, and Southern Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale, visiting destinations such as Labadee, Curacao, Falmouth, and George Town (Grand Cayman).

Symphony of the Seas will begin sailing from Fort Lauderdale in November 2022, offering 6-night Western Caribbean cruises and 8-night Southern Caribbean cruises, visiting Labadee, Falmouth, Nassau, Aruba, and Curacao.

Related: Symphony of the Seas Guide & Review

Liberty of the Seas will be the ship of choice for those looking for short cruises from Fort Lauderdale. Starting in November 2022, she will offer primarily 3 and 4-night Bahamas cruises, visiting Nassau and Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Harmony of the Seas will offer several cruises out of Fort Lauderdale from November 2022 - March 2023 prior to being homeported in Miami. She will offer 5, 6, 7, and 8-night Caribbean cruises, visiting destinations such as St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Cozumel, Costa Maya, Puerto Plata, San Juan, Aruba, Curacao, and Labadee.

Allure of the Seas cruises out of Fort Lauderdale, offering 6, 7, and 8-night cruises to the Western, Eastern, and Southern Caribbean. Ports of call include Roatan, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Labadee, Aruba, Curacao, San Juan, St. Maarten, Nassau, and St. Thomas.

Vision of the Seas makes a great choice for those passengers wanting to visit lesser-known destinations. She sails from Fort Lauderdale to exciting ports such as Puerto Limon (Costa Rica), Colón (Panama), Cartagena, Bonaire, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Antigua, and Aruba.

Other Royal Caribbean ships may occasionally offer a cruise out of Fort Lauderdale. Rhapsody of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas, for example, currently offer just one sailing each departing from Fort Lauderdale, with Rhapsody offering a 3-night Bahamas cruise and Enchantment a 14-night Panama Canal cruise.

More cruise ship port guides:

15 countries you didn't know you could cruise to on Royal Caribbean

In:
16 Apr 2022

It’s well known that a Royal Caribbean cruise can take you to amazing destinations around the world. Most cruisers know they can visit destinations like the Bahamas, Mexico, St. Maarten, Alaska, Italy, and Spain while on a cruise, but did you know that Royal Caribbean offers cruises to over 60 different countries?

Cruising to lesser-known ports offers the chance to see regions and cultures of the world you’ve only dreamed of, whether the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, street markets of Thailand, or wildlife of Greenland. 

Let’s take a look at 15 countries (or territories) you didn’t know you could cruise to on Royal Caribbean, but we’re warning you now: this post will give you major wanderlust.

Malaysia

Royal Caribbean cruises leaving from Singapore often visit the country of Malaysia, with port stops in Penang and Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang). Cruising to Malaysia brings the chance to discover a blend of Malay, Chinese, and Indian cultures, traditions, and religions.

Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia’s capital city, with a metropolitan population of nearly 8 million people. Popular attractions in Kuala Lumpur include the Petronas Twin Towers, shopping centers, the Thean Hou Temple, the Little India neighborhood, and Merdeka (Independence) Square.

Visiting the Batu Caves is among the most popular attractions while cruising to Malaysia, though. A massive, colorful staircase leads visitors to the limestone Batu caves, a sacred pilgrimage site for Tamil Hindus. In front of the staircase is a 146-foot statue of Lord Murugan, a god of the Tamil people of southern India.

The other popular port in Malaysia, Penang, has had its culture influenced by China, India, Britain, and the Middle East due to its history as a regional trading center. Cruises dock near George Town, the capital city of the island state of Penang.

Visiting George Town brings the opportunity to view Chinese temples, Hindu Temples, mosques, churches, street markets, gardens, and museums. Traveling by trishaw (a 3-wheel pedicab) is a fun way to get around George Town.

Eating Malaysian cuisine is another way to experience the diverse blend of cultures found in Malaysia, with Chinese, Indian, Malay, and Thai culinary influences found in local dishes. From curried noodles to Chinese dumplings and pork soup, your taste buds are sure to be impressed in Malaysia.

Thailand

If you’re interested in wandering through busy markets, visiting Buddhist temples, and tasting one of the most beloved cuisines in the world, consider booking a Royal Caribbean cruise that visits Thailand.

Some itineraries visit Bangkok, and often include an overnight stay, allowing visitors more time to explore Thailand’s bustling capital city. Popular sites to visit in Bangkok include the Grand Palace, Wat Arun (Buddhist temple), and floating market.

Phuket is another common port stop in Thailand, bringing visitors closer to Thailand’s famous beaches, including the tropical paradise of Koh Phi Phi island. From island hopping to cooking classes and visits to the elephant sanctuary, Phuket offers a wide range of activities for all interests.

Must-try foods in Thailand include tom sam (papaya salad), chicken or pork grilled meat skewers, fresh spring rolls, and fried noodles such as pad thai and pad see ew. Be prepared for some spice and an abundance of flavor in every bite.

Vietnam

Cruises to Vietnam are often on the same itinerary as cruises to Thailand, but the two countries have many differences. Whereas Thailand drives on the left side of the road and uses the Thai alphabet, Vietnam is on the right side of the road and uses the Roman alphabet. In addition, French-influence can be found in Vietnam, whether in local cuisine, architecture, or cafe culture.

Royal Caribbean cruises to Vietnam often visit the ports of Hue/Danang (Chan May), Nha Trang, and Ho Chi Minh City.

Hue and Da Nang are in Central Vietnam and are common spots to visit when the cruise docks in Chan May port. One of the most popular activities for a day in Central Vietnam is an excursion to the ancient town Hoi An, a quaint city offering a blend of cultures with Chinese architecture, Japanese pagoda, Vietnamese culture, and canals. 

Nha Trang is a beach destination offering tropical, white sand beaches and beach resorts. Heading into the countryside is another highlight to experience while in Nha Trang, with shore excursions taking guests on a bicycle ride past small villages and farms.

Ho Chi Minh City offers an urban experience for visitors, with the opportunity to discover French colonial buildings, Buddhist temples, and bustling streets. Shopping at local markets and tasting Vietnamese cuisine is a must while in Ho Chi Minh, with a warm bowl of pho and crispy banh mi sandwich some of the most popular foods to try.

Guests interested in history may enjoy the “Cu Chi Countryside Biking” tour, which strolls through small agricultural villages and includes a stop to the Cu Chi tunnels, a network of underground tunnels used in wars against the French and American forces.

Additionally, depending on the itinerary, a 2-day shore excursion may be offered to visit the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, a UNESCO world heritage site. While those opting to visit Angkor Wat will not experience Vietnam, they are sure to be amazed with the plethora of temples to explore in Cambodia.

Japan

Japan is a bucket-list destination for many people, with the country’s dramatic contrast between historic cultures and modern technology a draw for around 30 million tourists per year.

Royal Caribbean offers cruises to Japan, with port stops common in Kyoto (Osaka), Okinawa (Naha), Akita, Fukuoka, Nagasaki, and Tokyo (Yokohama). Cruises to Japan generally depart from China on Spectrum of the Seas.

Cruising to Japan offers an array of shore excursion opportunities, from exploring Tokyo’s bustling streets to admiring the scenery of Mt. Fuji and visiting shrines and temples. It goes without saying that tasting local cuisine is a must while in Japan, whether udon noodles, sushi, Wagyu beef, or matcha ice cream.

While cruises to Japan have not yet returned following the shutdown of the cruise industry in 2020, they are expected to return once cruises can restart from China.

Vanuatu

Vanuatu is a nation comprising 83 islands in the South Pacific, home to around 320,000 people. The majority of the population lives in rural areas, and over 100 languages are spoken throughout the archipelago.

Royal Caribbean cruises often visit Vanuatu on South Pacific cruises departing from Australia or on transpacific cruises. Popular port stops in Vanuatu include Mystery Island and Port Vila.

Port Vila is the capital of Vanuatu, offering visitors the opportunity to discover Vanuatu’s culture through markets and food, or enjoy the city’s nearby nature through waterfalls, rainforest hikes, and beaches.

Mystery Island is a secluded, uninhabited island, making for a relaxing beach day. Visitors to Mystery Island can enjoy excellent snorkeling, standup paddling, and taste local cuisine, cooked by the residents of nearby Aneityum island.

Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at Lelepa will be located on Vanuatu’s Lelepa island, with the island’s amenities and activities designed to showcase the diversity and ecological beauty of Vanuatu.

New Caledonia (French overseas territory)

New Caledonia is a French overseas territory and archipelago in the South Pacific, home to around 270,000 people. A melting pot of Kanak Melanesian, French, Polynesian, and Asian cultures, New Caledonia offers a unique cultural experience and picturesque landscapes.

Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia, is a popular destination for Royal Caribbean cruises to the South Pacific. Located on the largest island of Grande Terre, visitors to Noumea can explore nearby beaches, local markets, and French and Melanesian cuisine.

Many itineraries also visit the Loyalty Islands, an archipelago and administrative subdivision of New Caledonia, with port stops on Lifou Island and Maré Island. In addition, some itineraries visit Isle of Pines, known as the “Jewel of the Pacific” for its raw, beautiful landscape and turquoise waters. Visitors to New Caledonia can expect to find gorgeous, clear water, well-preserved coral reefs, and insights into local Melanesian culture.

Don’t forget to try bougna, a native dish of crab and yams cooked in a banana leaf, and brochettes, which are skewers of grilled chicken.

Fiji

Fiji is an island nation archipelago located in the South Pacific, home to over 300 islands and nearly 900,000 people. Visiting Fiji is possible on a Royal Caribbean South Pacific itinerary departing from Australia, with port stops including Suva and Lautoka.

Suva is the most populous city in Fiji, where visitors can explore the city’s urban culture or head out into nature to discover waterfalls, rainforests, beaches, and what life is like in the Fijian countryside.

Royal Caribbean cruises also visit Lautoka, the second largest city in Fiji. Those looking for a beach day will find plenty of lovely beaches near Lautoka and on surrounding islands, whereas visitors looking to get more active can go ziplining, soak in thermal mud pools, kayak, and explore the Sleeping Giant mountain range.

Kava is the beverage to try while in Fiji. Enjoyed throughout the South Pacific, Kava is a mild sedative drink made from mixing water with the powdered root of pepper kava plants, which results in feeling calm and relaxed. Royal Caribbean offers shore excursions that include kava ceremonies for those looking to try the drink and learn more about its history and significance.

If you’re hungry, be sure to try kokoda, a Pacific-style ceviche made with mahi-mahi, coconut cream, lime juice, and chilies.

French Polynesia

Spread across 118 small islands and atolls, the beauty of French Polynesia can be discovered while on a Royal Caribbean cruise. As French Polynesia is located further into the Pacific from Australia compared to New Caledonia and Fiji, visits to the region are generally only found on transpacific cruises.

Common port stops to French Polynesia on transpacific cruises include Raiatea, Moorea, and Papeete, Tahiti. Visitors will want to explore the lush landscapes of French Polynesia, from cascading waterfalls to mountains, volcanoes, and black-sand beaches.

Beach days are also sure to impress guests in French Polynesia, whether on a catamaran ride, snorkeling, or sunbathing in the warm South Pacific sun.

Don’t forget to head outdoors to watch as your ship sails into the islands each day, as the jagged mountain peaks rising dramatically from the ocean are sure to be a beautiful sight to view from onboard.

Nicaragua

Cruises to Nicaragua are not very common, as the country is usually only visited on repositioning Panama Canal cruises. Royal Caribbean ships tender in the Pacific coastal town of San Juan del Sur.

What was once a small fishing village is now a popular destination for tourists in Nicaragua, offering beaches, shopping, and world-class surfing. Despite becoming more popular in recent years, San Juan del Sur maintains its charm and is easy to explore on foot.

Most visitors to San Juan del Sur will spend the day at the beach or walking through town. Passengers hoping to get active may enjoy hiking to Cristo de la Misericordia, one of the largest statues of Jesus in the world, which overlooks the coast and surrounding mountains of San Juan del Sur..

Shore excursions may also be offered to nearby destinations in Nicaragua, such as the colorful city of Grenada or Lake Nicaragua, which boasts incredible views of the volcanic peaks on Ometepe Island.

For food and drink, stop at a local restaurant for fresh jugos (juices), tostones (plantains), and gallo pinto (rice and beans). Nicaraguan cuisine is flavorful, affordable, and filling, so enjoying lunch in port is a must-do activity while in San Juan del Sur.

Belgium

Royal Caribbean cruises to Belgium are infrequent, usually only found on transatlantic or longer cruises departing from Southampton. Cruise ships dock in the port of Zeebrugge, which is around 30 minutes from Bruges, where most visitors will spend their day in Belgium.

Bruges is a city with medieval history and architecture, once the center of trade in northwestern Europe. Today the city is quaint and charming, allowing visitors to stroll along canals, historic squares, and parks.

Enjoying down time in cafes and restaurants is a nice way to spend the day in Bruges, whether tasting Belgian beer, fries, waffles, or the country’s famous chocolate.

Iceland

Home to some of the most unique landscapes in the world, Iceland is a must-see destination that can be visited on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Port stops in Iceland include Reykjavik, Akureyri, Isafjordur, and Seydisfjordur.

Cruising to Iceland offers visitors the chance to experience the country’s geological landscape, whether soaking in hot springs, viewing erupting geysers, and hiking volcanoes. Visiting glaciers and volcanoes is possible in one day in Iceland!

Cultural insights can be enjoyed too, as guests can learn more about Iceland’s melting pot of Scandinavian, Viking, and even Celtic cultures.

As cruises to Iceland will likely be during the summer months, plenty of daylight is to be expected, allowing visitors to maximize their time exploring the country. Some cruises include overnight stays at certain Icelandic ports, as well, for those who would like to see as much of Iceland as possible.

Greenland

Greenland, an autonomous dependent territory of Denmark, is possible to visit on a Royal Caribbean cruise, although it is not a commonly offered itinerary, so be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to visit while you can!

Cruises to Greenland often visit Nuuk, Greenland’s capital, and Qaqortoq. While Nuuk and Qaqortoq are considered large towns by Greenland’s standards, they only have populations of 17,635 and 3,050 people!

Visitors to Greenland can expect to find rugged landscapes, rural towns and villages, hot springs, insights into Nordic and Inuit culture, and meat and seafood-focused cuisine. Wildlife viewing opportunities are in abundance in Greenland, too, from minke, fin, and blue whales to seals and polar bears.

Greenland itineraries may also include a visit to Prins Christian Sund, a fjord in southern Greenland where guests can be awe-inspired by glaciers, steep mountain peaks, waterfalls, and wildlife. While at Prins Christian Sound, cruisers can walk around the tiny settlement of Aappilattoq, home to just 100 residents.

Turkey

Offering a blend of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures is the country of Turkey, another country that can be visited while on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Select Greek Isles, Mediterranean, or Holy Land cruises include a port stop in Turkey.

The most common port stop in Turkey is Kusadasi, a resort town located on Turkey’s Aegean shore. Most visitors to Kusadasi plan to visit Ephesus, an ancient city founded in the 10th century BC. Considered one of the best preserved archaeological sites in the world, visitors to Ephesus can enjoy well-maintained streets and buildings of the Roman Empire.

While less common, some cruise itineraries will offer a stop in Istanbul, Turkey. At the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Istanbul offers visitors a unique chance to discover how cultures, religions, and cuisines coexist in a city of over 15 million people.

Famous attractions to visit in Istanbul include the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Grand Bazaar. Don’t forget to try Turkish cuisine, with foods such as doner kebab, pide, and borek popular among locals.

Egypt

Cruisers looking to visit the only remaining wonder of the ancient world are in luck, as Royal Caribbean offers cruises to Egypt. Common ports to visit on a cruise to Egypt are Alexandria and Port Said.

Port stops in Egypt are long, with ships often docked from 7 or 8AM to 10PM. This allows passengers enough time to travel to and from Cairo, visiting famous sites including the Pyramids of Giza, Sphinx, and the Saqqara Necropolis.

Alternatively, guests can choose to stay in the coastal cities of Alexandria and Port Said, admiring old architecture, learning about the Suez Canal, and discovering Egypt’s culture.

Be sure to taste local Egyptian cuisine during your day in port, such as falafel and koshari, and don’t forget to order a cup of tea!

Montenegro

Montenegro is a small Balkan country with a population of just 622,000 people along the Adriatic, and Royal Caribbean ships often visit the historic port of Kotor.

Kotor is a small, compact town with winding cobblestone streets and historic squares. Wandering through the streets of Kotor’s Old Town is a must while visiting Montenegro, as the town is filled with historic churches, markets, restaurants, and picturesque waterfront views.

If you are hoping to travel outside Kotor and experience more of Montenegro, consider a shore excursion that travels inland, visiting small villages such as Njeguši, where you can learn more about life and culture in Montenegro.

Don’t forget to watch your ship sail into the Bay of Kotor, which navigates through Europe’s southernmost “fjord”. While technically a river canyon and not a fjord, the dramatic cliffs alongside a narrow section of the Mediterranean provide visitors with unbelievable views when sailing to and from Kotor.

8 questions to ask yourself before picking a cruise ship

In:
06 Apr 2022

Selecting the best ship for your Royal Caribbean cruise can be a difficult task, especially if you’ve never cruised with Royal Caribbean before.

Royal Caribbean has six classes of ships: Vision Class, Radiance Class, Voyager Class, Freedom Class, Quantum Class, and Oasis Class. Each class comes with its own features, entertainment, layout, and itinerary options.

Whereas some passengers may value adrenaline-filled activities onboard like ziplining and rock climbing, others may be looking for a more traditional cruising experience. Likewise, having an idea of how far you want to travel to reach the cruise departure city, what type of entertainment you prefer, and what you like to do while onboard are all important considerations to make.

Let’s take a look at the questions you should be asking yourself prior to selecting a Royal Caribbean ship to ensure you find the best ship for you.

Am I traveling with kids?

While any Royal Caribbean ship makes for a fantastic family vacation, certain ships simply offer a lot more for kids to do and experience onboard.

Ships may offer water slides, ice skating, bumper cars, circus school, ziplining, the FlowRider, indoor skydiving, and more. Bigger or recently amplified ships will have more activities for kids onboard, but you will find activities like rock climbing, mini golf, and Adventure Ocean programming on all ships.

If you’re traveling with children aged 6-36 months, you’ll want to look for a ship that offers a nursery. The nursery, unlike Adventure Ocean programming for older children, does come at an extra cost, but the price is quite reasonable at $6 - $8 per hour depending on the time of day. 

Passengers with children still in diapers may want to look for a ship with a baby splash pad area so their kids can cool down and enjoy the pool deck. 

How much does itinerary matter?

Royal Caribbean offers itineraries to many of the world’s most famous attractions and picturesque islands. Whether the crystal blue waters of the Bahamas or historical cities of the Mediterranean, you’re guaranteed to visit some incredible destinations while on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Asking yourself how much the itinerary matters to you on a cruise is a good first step to choosing a ship. Larger ships are more limited in port options compared to Royal Caribbean’s smaller ships, which may offer more unique itineraries to lesser-known destinations.

Many Oasis Class cruise ships, for example, tend to visit the same ports in the Caribbean on most itineraries: Cozumel, Puerto Costa Maya, Roatan, Nassau, Perfect Day at CocoCay, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Labadee, Falmouth, and San Juan.

Some Oasis Class itineraries occasionally make stops at places like Puerto Plata, Aruba, and Curacao, or travel to Europe. For the most part, however, itineraries are not as varied on Oasis Class ships compared to smaller Royal Caribbean ships.

Therefore, if you’re hoping to travel to lesser-visited ports such as St. Lucia, Cartagena, Puerto Vallarta, or Martinique, you’ll want to look for an itinerary on a smaller cruise ship.

Will I be eating at specialty restaurants?

Royal Caribbean offers fantastic complimentary dining options. Whether a sit-down meal in the Main Dining Room or grab-and-go lunch at El Loco Fresh or the Windjammer, there is plenty of food to choose from onboard.

Many passengers prefer to eat at specialty dining, though, in order to take advantage of the wide variety of restaurants available on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Every Royal Caribbean ship has at least one specialty restaurant onboard, with all except one (Enchantment of the Seas) having three or more. 

Oasis and Quantum Class ships will have the widest selection of specialty dining options, from the eclectic fare and dining experience found at Wonderland to elegant meals at 150 Central Park. For foodies, larger Royal Caribbean ships can be a great option for the sheer variety of cuisine and restaurant choices available. It’s possible to eat dinner at a different venue every night on Royal Caribbean’s largest ships and still not try every restaurant!

That being said, even smaller Royal Caribbean ships have enough specialty dining options. Radiance of the Seas, as an example, may be a smaller ship, but still offers specialty dining at Chops Grille, Giovanni’s Table, Samba Grill, Izumi, and Chef’s Table.

What value do I place on entertainment?

Royal Caribbean prides itself on offering impressive entertainment with talented, professional casts from around the world. From backflips on an ice skating rink to aerialists spinning around a hoop in the air, you’re sure to be amazed by the entertainment onboard.

The bigger the Royal Caribbean ship, the more entertainment venues found onboard. Certain passengers value entertainment more than others, so if entertainment is a make or break for you on a cruise, it’s important to have an idea of what venues and shows are offered on each type of ship.

If you are hoping to watch full-length Broadway shows and the latest and greatest of technology incorporated into productions, cruising on an Oasis or Quantum Class ship would be a good option.

While not the biggest ships in Royal Caribbean's fleet, the Voyager Class offers plenty of options when it comes to entertainment, with the Studio B ice skating rink, main theater, and live music in various venues throughout the ship, from the pub to Boleros.

Vision and Radiance Class cruise ships offer shows in the main theater and live music, but they do not have a separate entertainment venue like Studio B or an AquaTheater. However, many passengers are content with the variety of entertainment options available on smaller ships, with signature theater productions, comedians, game shows, and live music performed throughout the cruise.

What do I like to do while onboard?

If your idea of a relaxing cruise vacation means spending all day, every day on the pool deck or in the Solarium, you will most likely be happy on any Royal Caribbean ship. Even the smallest of Royal Caribbean’s ships offer pools, whirlpools, and adults-only relaxation areas.

In fact, if you prefer to spend your days simply relaxing with a book and looking out at the ocean, you might actually prefer a smaller ship over a large one. Smaller ships often have more quiet space on the outdoor Promenade Deck, helicopter pad, and in the front of the pool deck to relax and unwind away from crowds and activities.

If you want to have a nearly endless amount of activities going on throughout the day, though, look for a Voyager (amplified), Freedom, Quantum, or Oasis Class ship. Whether pickleball competitions, karaoke bars, ziplining, or bungee jumping, there’s sure to be a lot to choose from on a larger Royal Caribbean ship.

Will I be staying in a suite?

If you plan to book a suite for your next cruise, you may want to take a look at what the suite experience will be like on the ship you are considering.

Suite benefits on a Royal Caribbean cruise can vary from ship to ship, although they all feature the same basic benefits like priority boarding, concierge service, VIP pool deck seating, etc. Oasis and Quantum Class ships, however, offer the Royal Suite Class to those in Grand Suites and above, which is an elevated cruise experience for suite guests.

The highest tier of the Royal Suite Class is Star Class, where guests have access to the Royal Genie service and complimentary specialty dining, beverage packages, internet, gratuities, and more.

Suite guests on Oasis and Quantum Class ships also have access to Coastal Kitchen, a complimentary dining venue only for suite guests. Coastal Kitchen is available every day of the cruise for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

In fact, Wonder of the Seas has an entire Suite Neighborhood dedicated exclusively to suite guests, so this can be a nice ship to book if you plan to stay in a suite. The Suite Neighborhood features Coastal Kitchen, the Suite Lounge, and a private sun deck complete with its own bar, plunge pool, and lounge areas.

How far away is the port from where I live?

If you’re picking a cruise ship, consider whether you want to drive or fly to port and if you’re okay traveling to a port far away from where you live. While the hub of Royal Caribbean cruising is in Florida, ships sail from many ports around the world.

If you live in the northeast, you may want to consider booking a cruise on one of Royal Caribbean’s ships that sail from New York (Cape Liberty). Ships of various sizes sail from Cape Liberty, from Radiance Class to Quantum and Oasis Class. It may be easier for those in the New York area to sail on Oasis of the Seas rather than fly to Florida to sail on Symphony of the Seas.

Likewise, if you are within a short driving distance to Baltimore and are looking for a no-frills getaway, you might want to consider a cruise on Enchantment of the Seas or Vision of the Seas. While not the newest and biggest ships Royal Caribbean offers, they can offer a fun getaway departing from close to home.

If you live in southern California or on the west coast, consider cruising on Navigator of the Seas to the Mexican Riviera as opposed to flying to Florida. You will have a similar experience onboard as on other Royal Caribbean ships without needing to fly across the country.

What will the weather be like on my cruise?

It’s a good idea to know what the weather may be like on your particular cruise itinerary before picking a ship.

Some Royal Caribbean ships offer more indoor spaces than others, making certain ships ideal for sailing in colder weather. Quantum Class ships, for example, have an indoor SeaPlex instead of an outdoor Sports Court, allowing guests to enjoy sports activities no matter the weather.

Likewise, Vision, Radiance, and Quantum Class ships feature an indoor pool as opposed to only an outdoor pool. While the indoor pool on Vision and Radiance Class ships is for adults only, as it is located within the Solarium, Quantum Class ships have an indoor pool available for guests of all ages.

If you plan to sail from New York to the Caribbean, for example, it could be nice to sail on a Quantum Class ship (Anthem of the Seas) instead of Oasis of the Seas to take advantage of the indoor spaces when sailing through colder weather en route to the Caribbean.

What questions do you like to ask yourself before choosing a cruise ship? Let us know in the comments below.

Royal Caribbean cruises in April 2022: What to expect

In:
29 Mar 2022

April means a full month of spring Royal Caribbean cruises to choose from, as well as the moving of ships back to Europe.

Navigator of the Seas in Willemstad, Curacao

This article is an effort to share what you need to know about going on a Royal Caribbean cruise in the month of April, with important news, tips, and helpful information along the way.

Just like March, April is when many families look to enjoy a spring break cruise. That means higher demand for cruises in April through the Easter holiday, and higher guest counts more than likely.

Freedom of the Seas

Easter falls on April 17, 2022, which is usually the culmination of spring break demand.  The last week and half of April could see less demand for cruises, since school will be back in session.

If you want to avoid crowds, look for a cruise in the last week of April.

Ships sailing in April 2022

CocoCay aerial 2021
  • Freedom of the Seas from Miami, Florida
  • Anthem of the Seas from Cape Liberty, New Jersey
  • Odyssey of the Seas from Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Allure of the Seas from Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Symphony of the Seas from Miami, Florida
  • Independence of the Seas from Port Canaveral, Florida
  • Harmony of the Seas from Port Canaveral, Florida
  • Mariner of the Seas from Port Canaveral, Florida
  • Oasis of the Seas from Miami, Florida
  • Liberty of the Seas from Galveston, Texas
  • Adventure of the Seas from Galveston, Texas
  • Explorer of the Seas from San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Navigator of the Seas from Los Angeles, California
  • Spectrum of the Seas from Singapore
  • Grandeur of the Seas from Bridgetown, Barbados
  • Brilliance of the Seas from Tampa, Florida
  • Enchantment of the Seas from Baltimore, Maryland
  • Jewel of the Seas from Miami, Florida
  • Wonder of the Seas from Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Vision of the Seas from from Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Radiance of the Seas from Los Angeles, California beginning April 23, 2022
  • Serenade of the Seas from Los Angeles, California, beginning April 26, 2022
  • Voyager of the Seas from Copenhagen, Denmark, beginning April 15, 2022

Three more Royal Caribbean cruise ships return to service in April.

Radiance of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas will start back up with a repositioning cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver so that they can be ready for the start of the Alaska cruise season in May.

Voyager of the Seas will sail from Barcelona to Copenhagen on April 15, and then begin regular service from Copenhagen in late April to kick off Royal Caribbean's European season.

At the end of April, only one Royal Caribbean cruise ship will remain out of service since the pandemic, which is Rhapsody of the Seas.

Transatlantic sailings

April is the time of year for many Royal Caribbean ships to leave the Caribbean waters and sail east to Europe.

Wonder of the Seas will bid adieu to her temporary home in Fort Lauderdale and sail to Barcelona, Spain on a 14-night transatlantic cruise on April 20th.

Here's a look at the other transatlantic crossings in April:

  • Brilliance of the Seas 14-Night Portugal & Spain Crossing to Rome: April 25, 2022
  • Jewel of the Seas 14-Night British Transatlantic to Amsterdam, Netherlands: April 29, 2022
  • Odyssey of the Seas 14-Night Spanish Transatlantic to Rome, Italy: April 23, 2022
  • Vision of the Seas 14 Night Transatlantic Cruise to Barcelona, Spain: April 29, 2022

Health protocols for April 2022 cruises

Freedom of the Seas aerial at CocoCay

With Royal Caribbean ships sailing from many places other than the United States in April 2022, the exact protocols will vary somewhat, but the core requirements seem to be universal.

All Royal Caribbean guests age 12 and older must present proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with the final dose of their vaccine administered at least 14 days before sailing. 

With the exception of the transatlantic crossings that do not allow anyone unvaccinated onboard, Royal Caribbean does not require kids younger than 12 to be vaccinated.

All crew members on every ship will be fully vaccinated.

Masks are optional for vaccinated passengers onboard its ships indoors.

Unvaccinated children are expected to wear masks indoors and in crowded settings. All children, regardless of vaccination status, will need to wear a mask in Adventure Ocean. Guests under 2 do not have to wear a mask at any time.

Covid testing requirements are nearly all the same, with the exception of transatlantic crossings. 

Vaccinated guests must show a negative COVID-19 test result for a PCR or antigen test taken no more than 2 days before boarding day. 

Unvaccinated kids age 2 to 11 must show a negative test result for a PCR test (not antigen) taken no more than 3 days before boarding day. This test cannot be taken on boarding day for unvaccinated kids.

Guests under 2 years of age do not need to complete a pre-cruise test. 

Different protocols for some sailings

Be sure to refer to Royal Caribbean's requirements for your sailing, especially if you are on a transatlantic cruise, or sailing from somewhere outside of the continental United States, such as Puerto Rico or Barbados.

As an example, the transatlantic crossings require all passengers to be fully vaccinated, and only one day before the cruise to get a negative Covid test result.

It's important to double check the protocols on Royal Caribbean's website well before your embarkation day to ensure you are doing everything you need to be, in the right timeframe.

April weather on a cruise

Child on pool deck

Spring in the Caribbean means warm temperatures before the summer heat arrives in the region.

You'll find higher temperatures across the board, with it far less likely to be chilly during your cruise once in the Caribbean.

Dominica

You will find warmer temperatures in places like The Bahamas, and if you take a Southern Caribbean cruise, expect average high temps to reach the low 90s.

April is the the end of the dry season in the Caribbean, so don't expect too much rain.

Just like in the Caribbean, expect warm temperatures in the Mexican Riviera, with high temperatures in the mid 80's to low 90's.

April weather in the Mexican Riviera is some of the best weather once you get to Mexico. April is the driest month of the entire year based on historical data from the Mexico Tourism Ministry.

Easter on a cruise

Odyssey pool deck couple

If your cruise sails over the Easter holiday, you can expect some special events onboard.

The exact activities will depend on the sailing, but in the past we've seen:

  • Easter Sunday Catholic Mass
  • Easter Word Search
  • Easter Scrapbooking Workshop
  • Family Easter Scavenger Hunt

In addition, Royal Caribbean has had special foods in the Windjammer and main dining room.

Top 30 extra cruise costs that are not included

In:
23 Mar 2022

A Royal Caribbean cruise vacation includes a lot of activities, dining, ports to visit, and things to do, but it is not an all-inclusive vacation.

Cruises offer a great deal of value, but there are extra costs to be aware of, so that you can budget around them.

In order to avoid sticker shock later, here are the top extra things on a cruise that will cost you extra, and how to reduce your out-of-pocket price.

Onboard photos

Cruise vacations are all about the memories you make onboard, and Royal Caribbean has plenty of photographers each evening to capture them.

These photo opportunities cost nothing to stop and take, but if you want a print or digital download, it will cost you extra.

A single 8x10 print will cost $19.99, although there are photo packages that will cost you less per print.

The best way to avoid this cost is to skip the photographers and take your own photos around the ship, or on shore. While you will not have access to their backdrops, there are lots of good alternatives. Staircases, balconies, the pool deck, and various spots around the Royal Promenade/Centrum make fantastic ad-hoc backgrounds for any photo.

Shore Excursions

Cruises are at their heart a means of which to visit different places around the world. Each day your ship whisks you away to a new port of call, where you have access to a slew of activities there.

The easiest and most straight-forward way to find something to do on shore is to book a shore excursion through Royal Caribbean. While the cruise line shore excursions are extremely convenient, they do come at a price.

You can save a few dollars if you book a shore excursion on your own through a third party service.  You could also bypass a tour or activity all together, and simply walk around the port on your own, or hop in a taxi and go to a pre-determined destination.

The best way to lower this cost is to research shore excursion options in advance, and figure out the most cost effective strategy for your day in port.

If you do explore on your own, ensure you are working with a trusted tour operator (meaning they have a good reputation online), and manage your time to ensure you get back to the ship well before you are required to return.

Alcohol

While Royal Caribbean does include some drinks with your cruise fare, alcohol is not one of them.

Enjoying a cocktail, beer or glass of wine on a cruise is a very popular option, that can add up quickly.  Royal Caribbean's drink prices for booze will often be in the $10-13 range before you add gratuity.

For anyone that wants more than just an occasional drink here or there, you have a few options to keep that bar tab lower.

The easiest strategy is to buy a Royal Caribbean drink package. These drink packages offer a one-time flat fee for unlimited drinks on your cruise. They are not cheap, but do offer a fixed budget option that can save you money, if you drink enough.

Perhaps the best money-saving tip for keeping your bar bill down is to drink off the ship. Quite often, the cost of alcoholic beverages in the ports you visit is substantially cheaper, especially in the Caribbean.

While not as convenient as drinking on the ship, you can often get far more value from drinking on land than onboard.

Back onboard the ship, keep an eye out for drink specials and even free drinks. The drink of the day offers a different discounted cocktail, while happy hour specials, complimentary champagne or alcohol tasting events can be found during the cruise.

If you’re considering purchasing a Deluxe Beverage package on Royal Caribbean, our video on the pros and cons of a drink package may help you decide if it’s the best choice:

Soda and nonalcoholic drinks

Like alcohol, soda and nonalcoholic drinks are not included in your cruise fare. Nonalcoholic drinks on a Royal Caribbean cruise include fresh-squeezed juices, smoothies, mocktails, soda, specialty coffees and teas, bottled water, and milkshakes.

Nonalcoholic drinks can be purchased individually throughout the cruise or guests can purchase the Refreshment Package from the Cruise Planner website. The refreshment package includes unlimited nonalcoholic drinks throughout the cruise, usually at a cost of around $23 per night.

If you only plan to drink soda, you can purchase a soda package instead of a refreshment package. Soda packages run around $10 per night if purchased in advance on the Cruise Planner website. Each soda package, like other drink packages, comes with a souvenir cup that guests can refill throughout the cruise at Coca-Cola Freestyle machines or other venues onboard.

Specialty coffee and tea

If you like to start your morning with a latte, espresso, or frappe, you should know that these are not included in your cruise fare.

Specialty coffees and teas can be found at select venues around the ship, such as Cafe Promenade, the Windjammer, and Cafe @ Two70. Prices of specialty coffees and teas are similar to what you find on land.

All drink packages cover specialty coffees and teas, or guests can opt to purchase the Cafe Select Coffee Card, which usually costs around $31.

The Cafe Select Coffee Card is a physical punch card that guests can use for up to 15 espresso based beverages throughout the cruise. The exact rules of the card can vary by ship and barista. Sometimes a barista will punch two holes in the card for a large beverage that uses multiple espresso shots, whereas others will only punch one. This card also seems to work for specialty tea beverages as well, such as chai lattes.

Starbucks

Starbucks is not included in your cruise fare or with any dining or beverage package, including the Cafe Select Coffee Card. Starbucks purchases will be charged to your SeaPass account or you can opt to pay through the Starbucks app.

Passengers can earn rewards in the Starbucks app through onboard purchases but are unable to redeem rewards on a Royal Caribbean ship.

One new change Royal Caribbean is implementing, though, is the use of Starbucks coffee at its other coffee locations onboard. Therefore, guests using a drink package or coffee card somewhere like Cafe Promenade can enjoy specialty coffee drinks made with Starbucks coffee.

Specialty Restaurants

One of the biggest trends in cruising today is specialty restaurants, which offer additional dining options at an extra cost.

Sushi, seafood, steaks, hibachi and more have become popular dining alternatives on Royal Caribbean ships, and most have a cover charge that will carry a per-person cost to dine there.

The easiest way to save money on these is not go at all. Royal Caribbean offers plenty of complimentary food on its ships in the main dining room, and other venues. Free food is available all day, every day and it is not bad at all.

If you really want to try a specialty restaurant, buy a dining package to cut down on the cost.

If you’re considering purchasing a dining package, check out our YouTube video where we go over the pros and cons of a Royal Caribbean dining package:

Room service

The majority of room service is not included in your cruise fare, with the exception of continental breakfast, which is complimentary for guests.

The continental breakfast menu includes items like bagels, toast, coffee, tea, juices, fruit, and oatmeal. There is also an American-style breakfast available with foods like pancakes and eggs, but this comes with an extra charge.

All room service aside from continental breakfast comes with a charge of $7.95 per room, plus an 18% gratuity. Note that the charge is per room and not per item, so you are able to order as much as you like for one charge.

Gratuity

Royal Caribbean charges a daily gratuity to cover the wait staff and stateroom attendants and recognize great service aboard their cruise.

As of January 2, 2018, the daily gratuity amount is $14.50 per guest, per day for those guests in standard accommodations.  Guests in suites will pay $17.50 per person, per day in gratuities.  The daily gratuity amount is the same for all passengers, regardless of age.

While this gratuity is unavoidable, you should be aware of tipping that comes in other venues.

An automatic 18% gratuity gets added to most onboard purchases, including the spa, drink purchases and more.

There is not a way to avoid tipping, and it is well-deserved for the hard working crew members. What you ought to do is budget accordingly and be aware it is part of the overall cruise cost.

Souvenirs

No matter what type of vacation you go on, bringing home a souvenir to remind you of the trip is a near-constant.

Whether you elect to buy souvenirs on the ship or in the ports you visit, these gifts will cost you extra.

One good way to save on onboard purchases is to wait until the end of the cruise. Usually there are last-day sales at the shops onboard, including discounts on t-shirts.

You can also save money buying goods in the ports you visit, where local products and vendors may offer similar options at discounted prices.

Spa Treatments

Treatments in the Vitality Spa on Royal Caribbean ships are not included in your cruise fare. Treatments can be reserved ahead of time via the Cruise Planner app or purchased once onboard.

Discounts can usually be found at the spa on port days, so be on the lookout for discounted treatments listed on the Cruise Compass once onboard.

If you are unsure of whether you should book a spa treatment or not, consider taking a tour of the spa. Spa tours are free of charge and take place during the first day of your cruise, where you can see the spa’s facilities and learn more about the different types of treatments available.

Thermal spa

Oasis and Quantum Class ships have a thermal spa onboard, where guests can enjoy hot stone loungers, saunas, steam rooms, and a rainforest shower throughout the duration of their cruise. Thermal spa passes average around $100-120 for a 7-night cruise and guests can access the facilities at any time.

On Vision, Radiance, Voyager, and Freedom class ships, sauna and steam rooms are complimentary to guests and located within the locker rooms in the fitness center.

Salon

Like the spa, treatments in the salon at the Vitality Spa are not included in your cruise fare. Haircuts, shampoos, style dries, updos, manicures, and pedicures all cost extra.

Salon treatments can be purchased on the Cruise Planner before your cruise or once onboard. If you’re hoping to have your hair styled for a special occasion or formal night, it might be a good idea to reserve your appointment in advance.

Fitness classes

The Vitality Fitness Center is found on every Royal Caribbean ship. Unlike a tiny gym you might find in a hotel, the Vitality Fitness Center is a full-sized gym with a wide range cardio and weight equipment, free weights, and stretching areas.

The fitness center is complimentary for guests, but fitness classes like yoga, pilates, and spinning come at an extra cost.

Each fitness class can be purchased individually once onboard, but the most cost effective way to take advantage of fitness classes is through a Class Pass.

Class Passes range from $39.99 for any 3 fitness classes or $69.99 for unlimited classes on a 5-7 night cruise.

There may be some complimentary fitness activities listed on the Cruise Compass or in the Royal Caribbean app as well, including morning stretch and Zumba.

WiFi

While the cost for onboard internet has come down quite a bit over the last few years, it is not free.

Royal Caribbean's wifi (known as Voom), offers reasonably fast internet access for a flat daily cost. There is a 24-hour option, but the unlimited internet for the duration of the cruise is a more popular choice.

To save on the cost of WiFi, pre-purchase a package before your cruise. There are discounts for WiFi packages almost all the time, and they really are much cheaper than on the ship.

Speaking of extra costs, do not use your phone's cellular connection for data, as you will be roaming and come home to a monster bill.

Chat feature

The Royal Caribbean app has a chat feature available to guests for a cost of $1.99 per person, per day. The chat feature allows guests to message other passengers onboard through the Royal Caribbean app regardless of whether the passengers have a VOOM internet package or not.

This can be a nice option for families or friends who need to message each other while onboard but aren’t interested in purchasing an internet package for everyone in their group.

Ship-to-shore telephone calls

It’s possible to make phone calls from your stateroom’s telephone to shore, but it will come at an extra cost. The current charge for ship-to-shore telephone calls is $7.95 per minute, which will be automatically billed to your SeaPass account.

A more cost effective way to make calls ashore is by purchasing an internet package and placing calls through wifi calling or a service like Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger.

Adventure Ocean select times and offerings

Royal Caribbean is a fantastic cruise line for families due to the extensive amount of kids activities and programming available onboard. Adventure Ocean is Royal Caribbean’s children’s programming, which provides supervised childcare and activities for guests aged 6 months to 17 years.

Adventure Ocean is included in your cruise fare with two exceptions: childcare after 10PM and the nursery. Childcare for ages 3-11 incurs an hourly fee of $7 between the hours of 10PM and 2AM.

AO Babies/Royal Babies & Tots is the nursery onboard, providing childcare for babies and toddlers 6-36 months old.

The nursery comes at a cost of $6-8 per hour depending on the time of day. There is also an open play area of the nursery with toys and play mats. Parents can bring their toddlers to the open play area throughout the day for free provided they are supervising their child.

Puzzle Break Center

Select Royal Caribbean ships have the Puzzle Break Center, an escape room in which passengers must complete a series of puzzles to “break out” of the room in an allotted amount of time.

Each ship has a different escape room, so if you’ve tried the Puzzle Break Center on one ship it won’t be the same challenge as another. The Puzzle Break Center is $20/person and the game lasts approximately one hour.

Zone Zero

Zone Zero is a fully-immersive virtual reality experience found only on Odyssey of the Seas. Guests at Zone Zero wear a full virtual reality suit that includes sensors on their hands, legs, and feet, as well as goggles and a backpack that contains most of the virtual reality hardware.

Guests then walk through a virtual world, fighting pirates as a group. Every move you make is simultaneously made via your avatar in the virtual reality world, making for a truly impressive cruise activity.

The cost of Zone Zero is $18/person. Spots are limited and fill up quickly, so it’s recommended to reserve this activity through the Royal Caribbean app as soon as you get onboard.

North Star (sea days)

The North Star is an observation pod found on Quantum Class ships that takes guests up to 300 feet above sea level for dramatic 360 degree views of the ship.

The North Star has both complimentary and extra cost options. The North Star is free of charge while ships are docked in port, with time slots open throughout most of the day.

At sea, each ride up The North Star comes with a cost of $29.99 per person.

Some sailings may have “Premium” North Star experiences offered, with a cost of $49.99 per person, per ride. This is most commonly found on Alaska cruises during visits to places like Hubbard Glacier and the Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier.

While there are many complimentary rides available, reservations can fill up quickly. Be sure to open the Royal Caribbean app as soon as you get onboard to reserve The North Star, whether you are looking to book the complimentary or extra cost ride.

Note: prices are subject to change by sailing, ship, and departure port

RipCord by iFLY (longer flight)

Royal Caribbean’s indoor skydiving simulator is similar to The North Star in that there are both complimentary and extra cost options.

Complimentary rides at RipCord by iFLY involve watching a short skydiving instructional video, changing into skydiving apparel, and putting your flying skills to the test with a one minute ride.

Two minute rides are available at The North Star for a cost of $49.99 per person. Advanced flying classes may also be offered onboard which also come with an additional cost.

Note: prices are subject to change by sailing, ship, and departure port

Arcade

All Royal Caribbean ships have an arcade onboard for both kids and adults to enjoy. The size and offerings of the arcade vary by ship, but it always comes at an extra cost.

Most arcade games cost between $1-3 per game. Arcade credits can also be purchased in advance on the Cruise Planner, but we recommend buying as you go to avoid any leftover credits at the end of the cruise.

Casino

Of course, Casino Royale on Royal Caribbean ships comes at an extra cost. And while there is the possibility of winning big, there’s also the (more likely) possibility of losing money, too.

Keep an eye out for the “Learn To Play: Casino Table Games” activity listed in the Cruise Planner. This is a lesson in how to play either Blackjack, Roulette, Three Card Poker, or Ultimate Texas Hold’em.

During this activity, guests will receive step-by-step instructions in these table games. The lesson costs $25 per person, but it includes $25 in FreePlay for casino games and two complimentary drinks.

Members of Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society receive between $2-6 in free play to be used in the casino throughout the cruise.

The Key

The Key is an upgrade you can purchase before your cruise which is meant to bring exclusive experiences to your cruise vacation. Benefits of The Key include priority check-in at the cruise terminal, a Chops Grille embarkation day lunch, private time at onboard activities, a 1 device VOOM Surf & Stream internet package, priority departure from ship-to-shore at tender ports, and early access to entertainment venues.

The Key is priced per day on a sailing, with daily prices ranging from $25 to $42.

If you are considering purchasing The Key for an upcoming cruise, several members of the Royal Caribbean Blog team have recently reviewed their experience with The Key:

We also have a video sharing our thoughts on The Key on the Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube channel:

 

All Access Ship Tour

Royal Caribbean offers the All Access Ship Tour, which takes guests “backstage” on a cruise ship to see what happens behind the scenes. Passengers visit the galley to learn about how cruise ships prepare food for thousands of guests, the bridge, the laundry room, engine control room, and more.

The All Access Ship Tour can be reserved on the Cruise Planner website. The cost can vary, but is usually in the ballpark of around $120 per guest.

Gifts and gear

If you’re cruising for a special occasion, want to send a gift to someone’s stateroom, or are simply looking to enhance your experience in a fun way, you can purchase gifts to be delivered to a cabin onboard.

Gifts include chocolate covered strawberries, Royal Caribbean themed beach towels, and a beach toy set for kids.

There are also plenty of ways to celebrate a special occasion through gifts onboard, from room decor for a birthday or anniversary to a birthday cake and champagne.

Purchasing an item from the Gifts and Gear section of the Cruise Planner will ensure the item or room decor is in your stateroom on the first day of the cruise.

Medical services

Going to the onboard Medical Center is something no passenger wants to do, but also something you should be prepared for in case of an emergency or unexpected illness.

Treatment at the Medical Center is not included in your cruise fare and all medical expenses incurred will be billed to your SeaPass account. There is no way to avoid the upfront cost at the Medical Center, with or without insurance.

It’s possible to get reimbursed for medical expenses through your insurance at home, but it is not guaranteed as Royal Caribbean’s Medical Center may be considered out of network. Therefore, purchasing travel/cruise insurance prior to your cruise is recommended to ensure any medical expenses are reimbursed.

Laundry and dry cleaning services

Royal Caribbean offers laundry and dry cleaning services onboard which come at an extra cost. Pricing is dependent on the type of laundry service and item washed. A full list of prices can be found here.

Another popular laundry option is the wash and fold service. For a fixed amount of $34.99 per bag, guests can have their dirty clothes washed, folded, and returned to their stateroom.

Airport or hotel transfers

Getting to and from the cruise terminal from the airport or your hotel is not included in your cruise fare. The most common ways of getting to the cruise terminal are rideshare services like Lyft or Uber, an airport shuttle bus service, taxi, or hotel shuttle.

Rideshare services and taxis tend to be the most straightforward option as guests can call a ride at the time that is most convenient for them. Shuttles, however, can be a cost effective option if guests are traveling solo or with just one other person to a cruise terminal further away from the airport (such as from Orlando to Port Canaveral).

The exception to this is for passengers who have purchased an airport-to-pier transfer through Royal Caribbean’s Air2Sea program. If this option was purchased when booking a flight, transfer to and from the airport will be provided to guests.

If you have questions about getting to the airport on disembarkation day, contact guest services onboard to learn about your options. They may also have shuttle bus space available which you can purchase for an extra cost.

Your thoughts

Which extra cruise costs do you typically buy? Which do you always skip? Is there a money saving tip you want to share? Post your questions and suggestions in the comments!

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