Smart phone app

The Royal Caribbean App: Everything you should know

In:
Category: 
22Feb2020

The Royal Caribbean app simplifies a great deal of the cruise check-in, planning and onboard experience. Since the app debuted, it has been tasked with integrating technology to make the guest experience easier.

Prior to your cruise, you will want to install and set up the Royal Caribbean app to get your cruise off to a great start.  

Is there a Royal Caribbean app?

Royal Caribbean offers an app for free to its guests that is available from the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

It can be used on an iPhone, iPad and a variety of Android devices.

You should download the app prior to your cruise, although Royal Caribbean does allow guests to download the app onboard the ship as well.

What does the Royal Caribbean app do?

The app can be used aboard Royal Caribbean's ships without a Voom WiFi package, and includes a variety of features.

Features are ship specific, which means some ships offer more things you can do with the app than others.

 

Here is a list of features, which vary from ship to ship, as the app moves toward coverage across the fleet:

  • Sign into your account to view your booked cruises (must be at least 13 years old to have a guest account)
  • Check into your cruise
  • Link reservations with other guests so you can plan and make reservations together once onboard
  • Learn about our activity, entertainment, and dining venues including menus
  • Access your loyalty information

After connecting to WiFi, you can:

Does Royal Caribbean have a texting app?

Royal Caribbean is testing a chat feature that is only currently available on Harmony of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

The chat feature offers one-to-one guest chat, along with group chats.

There is no cost to use Royal Caribbean's app while onboard and you do not need an internet package to use the app either.

Eventually, Royal Caribbean plans to roll out the chat feature to all ships, but there is no official timeline or published date when it will become available. The rumored estimate for chat to roll out to the fleet is the second half of 2020.

What ships does the Royal Caribbean app work on?

The list of Royal Caribbean ships that are supported is growing, with different features available on different ships.

Here’s a list of ships where the app is available:

  • Adventure of the Seas
  • Allure of the Seas
  • Anthem of the Seas
  • Brilliance of the Seas
  • Empress of the Seas
  • Enchantment of the Seas
  • Harmony of the Seas
  • Independence of the Seas
  • Liberty of the Seas
  • Majesty of the Seas
  • Mariner of the Seas
  • Navigator of the Seas
  • Oasis of the Seas
  • Ovation of the Seas
  • Quantum of the Seas
  • Rhapsody of the Seas
  • Serenade of the Seas
  • Spectrum of the Seas
  • Symphony of the Seas
  • Vision of the Seas
  • Voyager of the Seas

If your ship is not yet on this list, Royal Caribbean is actively working towards getting it added.  Ship refurbishments have become a reliable expectation of when new ships get added to the ship.

How to get Expedited Arrival with the app

Royal Caribbean offers in select ports an Expedited Arrival feature that greatly speeds up the cruise check-in process.

Expedited Arrival is currently available when embarking the following ships at these terminals:

PortMiami (Terminal A)

  • Oasis of the Seas
  • Symphony of the Seas
  • Navigator of the Seas

Port Everglades (Terminal 18)

  • Allure of the Seas
  • Serenade of the Seas
  • Independence of the Seas

Port Canaveral (CT1)

  • Harmony of the Seas
  • Mariner of the Seas

To get Expedited Arrival, there are three basic steps:

1. Create a guest account with Royal Caribbean before the cruise.

2. Download the Royal Caribbean app from either the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store.

3. Begin check-in and make sure you do a few steps:

a. Fill out all the questions in the short form provided.
b. Scan your passport with the app (do not manually enter the passport information).
c. Take a security selfie photo. Make sure you do not have a hat on or sunglasses, and have as muted a background as possible.

You can now book new cruises from the Royal Caribbean app while onboard a cruise

In:
11Feb2020

Guests sailing on a Royal Caribbean cruise can now book a brand new cruise via Royal Caribbean's app and take advantage of the NextCruise offers without stepping foot inside the office.

The new NextCruise option for booking via the RCI App is available now, and can be used anywhere on the ship. 

Simply download the Royal Caribbean app, connect to the Royal Caribbean wi-fi network onboard and make a NextCruise Book Later reservation with
access to all available offers

From the profile page in the app, scroll down and select the NextCruise feature which will lead you directly through the booking steps.

NextCruise booking via the Royal App is available on any Royal Caribbean ship that offers the app, currently onboard Allure, Oasis, Symphony, Harmony, Anthem, Ovation, Liberty, Serenade, Voyager, Vision, Adventure, Brilliance, Independence, Rhapsody, Majesty, Enchantment, Mariner, Navigator, Freedom and Empress of the Seas. The rest of the fleet is expected to be complete by end of 2020.

Guests can only choose the Book Later open-booking option via the app. This allows you to place a non-refundable reduced deposit of $200 per stateroom, and gives you up to one year to choose a ship and sail date.  If you pick a cruise within the first two months, you will receive up to $600 in savings. 

The NextCruise office will remain an option for specific sailings bookings, whereas the app provides an option for guests who aren’t ready to pick a ship and sail date yet, but do wish to make a deposit and also want to make a booking from the convenience of their smart phone. 

Rhapsody of the Seas added to Royal Caribbean app

In:
27Jan2020

Royal Caribbean has expanded its new app to include support for Rhapsody of the Seas.

Rhapsody now appears in the list of supported ships that can be found from within the app.

The new app is being actively developed, which means not all features area available on the app yet.  Moreover, the cruise line is slowly rolling out support for more ships.

The app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Royal Caribbean makes it easier to update cruise check-in information

In:
Category: 
08Jan2020

Royal Caribbean recently updated its app to make it easier for guests to return to edit their information after checking-in online to help qualify for Expedited Arrival.

One of the most useful offerings in select embarkation ports is Expedited Arrival, which moves guests quicker through the check-in process in the cruise terminal.

In the past, once a guest completed online check-in, it was difficult to get back to update the information.

With the 1.23.0 release, Royal Caribbean added a new link below the SetSail Pass to easily get back and update information.

Here is how to get Expedited Arrival for your next sailing:

1. Create a guest account with Royal Caribbean before the cruise.

2. Download the Royal Caribbean app from either the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store.

3. Begin check-in and make sure you do a few steps:

a. Fill out all the questions in the short form provided.
b. Scan your passport with the app (do not manually enter the passport information).
c. Take a security selfie photo. Make sure you do not have a hat on or sunglasses, and have as muted a background as possible.

The app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Guest chat feature planned for all Royal Caribbean ships in second half of 2020

In:
Category: 
23Dec2019

It looks like one of the most-asked about features in Royal Caribbean's app might debut in the second half of 2020.

A RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader shared a response from Royal Caribbean's app support account to the question of when chat might available. The email says, "we hope to have chat on all of our ships by the third or fourth quarter of 2020."

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. SVP Digital Experience Jay Schneider recently shared some insight into the cruise line's digital evolution, and spoke to the fact they are keenly aware of the strong demand for this feature to become available, "We know people want chat. We know it's the number one feature they ask for, and it's something we're trying to rush to the market."

A beta version of the chat feature is currently available on Allure of the Seas & Harmony of the Seas

There is no cost to use Royal Caribbean's app while onboard and you do not need an internet package to use the app either.

The app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

How Royal Caribbean will make check-in, Adventure Ocean and its app easier & faster

In:
27Nov2019

Royal Caribbean has a reputation for being a leader in a variety of areas, including integrating technology to make the guest experience easier.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. SVP Digital Experience Jay Schneider has been at the helm of Royal Caribbean's next-gen tech, known as Project Excalibur, for three years and shared the plans, challenges, and successes the company has with leveraging technology.

The origins of Project Excalibur

All good stories have a beginning, and Project Excalibur began with a simple task from the very top of Royal Caribbean.

"Project Excalibur started as a result of really a passion from Richard (Fain); Seeing what was happening elsewhere, both across the industry, travel and hospitality overall, and just frankly, the planet. With more and more Millennials sailing with us, with more and more digitally enabled consumers at all ages, it really became an opportunity for us to step back and look at how do we transform our company through the use of technology."

"It really became an opportunity for us to step back and look at how do we transform our company through the use of technology."

"It wasn't really an idea of what it exactly meant, but the goal was to unpacking how to digitize everything. Digitize the things that we could remove the hassles from guests, put them on vacation faster, pull friction out of the experience."

"We see friction in a number of different ways; It's interacting with the Cruise Planner website, it's doing your check-in process... Friction can be digital, it can be physical. There's real friction: your key doesn't work, you'll have to go Guest Services. Sitting through muster is friction. Not being able to get into your room is friction. Not wanting to have to wait in line for a cocktail, or have to run down to Sorrentos, is friction."

App development isn't easy

Like all software development, creating a brand new Royal Caribbean app that sought to simplify the cruise experience for guests is not an overnight task. Moreover, developing an app to work on a cruise ship comes with its own set of challenges.

"Everything you expected on land, is designed for you to be on land. Your phone wakes up through a push notification, because you're connected to the cloud somewhere, whether through WiFi or cellular. There are so many ways where technology on land is easier."

"The problem is we also operate 50 data centers at sea that have to work in a redundant way, and so if you think about that, our challenge is to figure out how, you, the consumer can work with us when you're on land and then when the guest is onboard, how everything is localized."

How close are we to chat across the fleet

One of the most-requested features for Royal Caribbean to offer is a guest-to-guest chat communication feature. Royal Caribbean has been testing a chat function in its app on Allure of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas for months, so we asked Mr. Schneider when chat will roll out to the entire fleet.

"One of the things we've gotten complaints for, is the pace of our evolution. In fact, the number one reason people rate us poorly in the app store is, 'You're not on my ship.' That's deliberate. We want to make sure that the technology we put onboard every ship works flawlessly, and chat isn't there yet."

"We know people want chat. We know it's the number one feature they ask for, and it's something we're trying to rush to the market."

"I hope in early 2020, we will be able to light chat up on every ship that has the app. I think we're a couple months away of final testing."

"You asked the question around why it's hard to put technology on a ship, chat is the hardest. There is a number of ways Apple, and even Google on an Android platform, expect you to operate that doesn't exist at sea in the ocean."

"We know people want chat. We know it's the number one feature they ask for, and it's something we're trying to rush to the market."

How to make embarkation super smooth

We asked Mr. Schneider how his team's work is making embarkation as easy as possible, and he shared a few easy tasks anyone can do to take advantage of the cruise line's expedited arrival process.

1. Create a guest account with Royal Caribbean before the cruise.

2. Download the Royal Caribbean app from either the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store.

3. Begin check-in and make sure you do a few steps:

a. Fill out all the questions in the short form provided.
b. Scan your passport with the app (do not manually enter the passport information).
c. Take a security selfie photo. Make sure you do not have a hat on or sunglasses, and have as muted a background as possible.

Adventure Ocean: A new challenge

On Oasis of the Seas, the Project Excalibur team faced a brand new challenge: Adventure Ocean kids programming.

"The reboot of Adventure Ocean on Oasis is amazing...We wanted to bring technology to the experience that was contextual for each of the different age ranges that we serve."

"We wanted canvases that we could continue to tell amazing creative on, and digital gives us the ability to do that."

"You'll see technology that we've partnered with companies and bought. You'll see custom content that we've created. We wanted canvases that we could continue to tell amazing creative on, and digital gives us the ability to do that."

"I think one of the game changers is kids registration, instead of filling paper out for parents. Parents no longer have to fill paper out, it's tap your SeaPass card, we know who you are; tell us what we need to know about your kid and go on.  Eventually that'll be available pre-arrival in the app, so you could just do it pre-arrival and not even hassle onboard."

"For kids, there's games they've never played before, stories they haven't come through yet, really ways to entertain them that we haven't put on ships yet, that I think is going to be awesome."

Empress of the Seas added to Royal Caribbean app

In:
15Nov2019

Royal Caribbean has expanded its new app to include support for Empress of the Seas.

Empress now appears in the list of supported ships that can be found from within the app.

The new app is being actively developed, which means not all features area available on the app yet.  Moreover, the cruise line is slowly rolling out support for more ships.

The app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Spotted: Digital stateroom key on Oasis of the Seas

In:
09Nov2019

Guests with upcoming sailings on the amplified Oasis of the Seas are seeing a new option to use Royal Caribbean's app to open their stateroom door.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog readers Ashley Chandonia and Victoria Wittle shared screenshots of their app offering the new option.

The app works in conjunction with a SeaPass card.

Spectrum of the Seas was the first Royal Caribbean ship to offer a digital key and control the stateroom television from the app.

The app is available for download from the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Voyager of the Seas added to Royal Caribbean app

In:
17Oct2019

Royal Caribbean has expanded its new app to include support for Voyager of the Seas.

Voyager now appears in the list of supported ships that can be found from within the app.

The new app is being actively developed, which means not all features area available on the app yet.  Moreover, the cruise line is slowly rolling out support for more ships.

The app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Royal Caribbean testing onboard food delivery on Symphony of the Seas

In:
15Oct2019

Royal Caribbean is testing out a new feature of its smartphone app that allows guests to order food from specialty restaurants via its smart phone app.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader Preston shared details of the new app feature, which provided guests the option to order food items from restaurants such as Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, Izumi sushi or Johnny Rockets. Food items that do not have a fixed price, such as Johnny Rockets, cost anywhere from $3-$7 and a large pizza from Sorrentos costs $5.

Guests can choose to have the food delivered to their stateroom, or anywhere on the ship. If stateroom is selected, the room number is pre-selected by the app based on the guest's reservation. 

Alternatively, guests can have food delivered to them by selecting what deck they are on, and then drag and dropping a pin on a map to indicate where you are located on that deck. There are some no-delivery zones, like pools, waterslide lines, theaters, and other restaurants. 

Once the food is ordered, the server locates you based on the pinpoint and delivers the food as soon as it is ready. Thanks to Mark for doing "research" for us!

 

Many thanks to Mark and Danna for providing screenshots and "field testing" this new feature!

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