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Royal Caribbean adds optional field to upload proof of booster in app

In:
21 Apr 2022

In addition to uploading a photo of your Covid-19 vaccine, Royal Caribbean has added the optional ability to upload a photo of your booster card.

Booster vaccine card

A third vaccine dose, or booster as it is commonly referred to, is not required by Royal Caribbean except in certain European countries, so the cruise line has added a new field to submit proof of a booster in those scenarios.

The new booster proof field appears to be available for most, if not all, sailings. 

Providing a vaccination record is a required field in the pre-cruise check-in guests can complete in the Royal Caribbean app, with the booster field marked as optional.

Thanks to RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader smokeybandit for noticing the new functionality has been added.

Royal Caribbean's app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

The advantage of uploading vaccine proof before the cruise

Allure of the Seas Test Cruise Live Blog - Day 1 | Royal Caribbean Blog

Whether boosters are required or not, uploading proof of Covid vaccination can expedite the check-in process in the cruise terminal.

Just as taking a selfie photo means one less thing to do in the terminal, a photo of the vaccine card allows Royal Caribbean to verify a passenger's vaccination status.

Royal Caribbean officially opens new Terminal A cruise terminal in Miami | Royal Caribbean Blog

It's acceptable not to upload a photo of your vaccine card in advance, but you will have to wait for the port agent to take a photo while in the terminal.

Guests will still need to bring their vaccine card with them, but taking the photo at home will allow the embarkation process to move just a little bit faster since the terminal staff will not have to take time to take photos of everyone's card.

Will Royal Caribbean require booster shots?

As of right now, Royal Caribbean has no plans to require a booster shot for most sailings, including cruises from the United States.

Ever since boosters became available, Royal Caribbean has been steadfast in labeling them as optional and recommended, but not required, for cruise ship passengers.

In all the health protocols released this year, Royal Caribbean, "strongly recommends" guests get boosted before their cruise. In fact, they have been warning future protocols may require boosters as far back as February 2022.

Royal Caribbean has vaccinated over half of its crew members | Royal Caribbean Blog

Boosters are now part of the mandatory vaccination program for crew members. Royal Caribbean began a booster campaign for its crew several months ago.

Crew members have the option to get their booster in their home countries prior to rejoining the ship. Or they will be given the opportunity onboard.

Royal Caribbean adds ability to upload vaccine card proof in app for kids

In:
03 Feb 2022

Royal Caribbean has updated its app so kids that are fully vaccinated can upload photos of their vaccination card.

Up until now, the app did not give parents the option of uploading a photo of their child's vaccine card in the app because there was legacy logic that did not ask for children's vaccine cards due to the Covid-19 vaccine being only available for kids 12 and up.

In the months since the vaccine has been approved for kids as young as 5, the app did not open up the option for kids vaccine cards to be uploaded, which meant an extra step of verification in the cruise terminal on embarkation day.

Now, the Royal Caribbean app allows the option for kids under the age of 12 to upload a photo of their vaccine card.

Thanks to RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader smokeybandit for noticing the 1.31.2 update added the function in Royal Caribbean's app.

Royal Caribbean's app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Why you should submit a photo of your vaccine cards

By submitting your vaccine card via the app, you can speed up the check-in process.

Just like taking a selfie, it's necessary to take a photo of the vaccine card so that Royal Caribbean can verify a passenger's vaccination status. Those that do not upload a photo via the app, will have to wait for the port agent to take a photo.

Guests will still need to bring their vaccine card with them, but taking the photo at home will allow the embarkation process to move just a little bit faster since the terminal staff will not have to take time to take photos of everyone's card.

How to upload your vaccine card photo

The vaccine card photo upload is part of the four-step check-in process in Royal Caribbean's app.

You can upload a photo when you first complete the online check-in process, or go back later to add a photo.

The third step is to upload a photo of your vaccine card, along with entering the vaccine manufacturer and date of last dose.

After uploading a photo, the app will put it into a waiting status as it gets manually verified.

Don't worry that it remains in the "waiting" phase for a little bit. Eventually the card will either be accepted or you will be asked to submit it again.

Royal Caribbean app walkthrough and tips

In:
31 Dec 2021

The Royal Caribbean app is an integral part of a cruise experience. Most passengers onboard will find themselves using the app multiple times a day to reserve shows, see what dining venues are open, check their account balance, and much more.

The Royal Caribbean app is free to download and is available on both Android and iOS devices. To download the app, simply head to the App Store or Google Play store. Once you have the app downloaded and opened, you will be prompted to sign in with your Royal Caribbean account. You do not have to have an internet package to use the Royal Caribbean app.

Knowing the ins and outs of the app’s features can make your cruise vacation a lot smoother. Let's jump in and take a look at the features on the Royal Caribbean app.

Calendar and Planner

When you open the app, you will be brought to the main page which is home to your daily planner, calendar, and helpful information for your cruise. This page is the main hub for the app and is where you can see the daily schedule of activities onboard.

To view the schedule of activities and events, swipe up on the words “Daily Planner”. Here, you can scroll through each day to view everything happening onboard. You can also select the “filter” button to filter by category, such as entertainment, fitness, and activities.

If you see an activity that looks interesting, you can press “Add to Calendar” to add it to your own personal calendar within the app. This can be a great way to keep those activities that interest you organized, and you will also receive a notification on your phone thirty minutes prior to a scheduled event.

Dining and Drink Boarding Pass Question - Royal Caribbean Dining - Royal Caribbean Blog

Another thing you can do in the Daily Planner is reserve activities, shore excursions, and entertainment. Our recommendation is to open the Daily Planner shortly after embarking the ship and look for any activities or entertainment that require a reservation.

Popular activities like the North Star and RipCord by iFLY offer both complementary and paid options, but the complimentary reservations usually fill up very quickly. Shows can also fill up quickly, so it is a good idea to make reservations early to help ensure you can see and do everything you want on the ship.

Royal Caribbean usually adds activities to the Daily Planner in the days leading up to your sailing, so it may appear blank if your sailing date is further away.

Also located on the main page of the app are buttons that bring you to pages where you can access check in, safety, health, dining, and account information. Here is a brief overview of each of those pages:

Safety

Royal Caribbean adds safety muster information to app | Royal Caribbean Blog

The safety page is very important, as this is where you will complete the eMuster drill prior to sailaway. Royal Caribbean’s new eMuster is a three step process in which you watch a safety video, listen to the emergency horn, and visit your muster station once onboard the ship.

Our recommendation is to complete the eMuster as soon as possible once onboard. You may even choose to complete the first two steps before arriving at the terminal so that all you have to do once onboard is visit your muster station.

Check out our full article on the new eMuster drill for a more in-depth look at the process.

Health

First look at Royal Caribbean's new health protocols when it restarts cruises | Royal Caribbean Blog

Royal Caribbean is committed to ensuring a safe and healthy experience for every passenger. The health page lists information on embarkation requirements, onboard protocols, and port and shore excursion limitations. It also provides information on what to do if you are feeling unwell onboard.

This is a great place to browse prior to your sailing to ensure you are aware of all current protocols and documentation requirements. Protocols can change frequently, so knowing what is required of you before you show up at the terminal will make sure you do not run into any unexpected surprises.

Royal Caribbean will also send out regular emails detailing current protocols and health information, so checking your email frequently can be another way to stay updated.

Check-in

New check in process in app - Royal Caribbean Discussion - Royal Caribbean Blog

The check in page is where you can complete the check in process prior to embarkation.

On this tab, you will input your documentation and contact information, as well as select an arrival time at the terminal for embarkation day.

Before you check in on the app, be sure to have your passport and vaccination card on hand.

Account

Royal Caribbean releases new update to smart phone app | Royal Caribbean Blog

The account page is where you check your account balance throughout the cruise. It can be a good idea to check this page periodically to ensure you are aware of how much you are spending onboard and that there are no mistakes.

If you notice any unexpected or incorrect charges, you can get them resolved at Guest Services.

Dining

Feeling hungry? The dining page is the most convenient way to learn about which dining options are available onboard.

You can see which restaurants and venues are open, make dining reservations, and view restaurant menus. 

Digital key and stateroom controls

Select Royal Caribbean ships offer a digital key option, where you can choose to open your stateroom door using your app in addition to your SeaPass card.

In addition, some staterooms may offer stateroom controls, where you can control the temperature, lighting, curtains, and television through your app.

Virtual Reality Games

Top 25 free things you can do on Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class cruise ships | Royal Caribbean Blog

Depending on the ship, there may be other pages available to you in the app.

For example, on Quantum class ships, you can use the Two70 button to participate in Expedition Two70: An Augmented Reality Feature.

On Oasis class ships, you can click on the games button, head to the Boardwalk neighborhood, and point your phone’s camera at game posters near Playmakers to launch various games on the app.

Deck Maps

Another useful feature on the app, especially on the first day of your cruise, is the ability to view the ship’s deck maps. You can access this page by clicking on the small ship icon near the top of the screen.

The deck maps page offers detailed, deck by deck plans of your particular ship. We recommend browsing through the deck maps prior to your cruise to familiarize yourself with the ship’s layout and offerings. Whether you need to meet at a restaurant for dinner, find the Escape Room in time for your reservation, or you simply get lost, the deck maps can point you in the right direction.

Also located on the deck maps page are buttons for activities, dining, entertainment, shops, shore excursions, spa, fitness, and services. Each of these selections will bring up a list of what is offered onboard in each category, along with where on the ship a particular place is located. If you click on the Windjammer, for example, you can read a description of the venue and click the “Find on Deck” feature to see exactly where the Windjammer is located on your ship.

Profile Page

The avatar icon near the top of the screen brings you to your individualized page where you can access information on your profile, stateroom, check in, reservation, dining, internet, and recent charge activity. You can also access your SetSail Pass from this page, as well as switch between sailings on the app if you have multiple cruises booked.

Chat Feature

In the top right corner of the app, you will see a message icon. This is how you access the app’s chat feature. The chat feature allows you to chat with other guests onboard without having to purchase an internet package. This can be a good option for large groups who need a way to contact each other throughout the day. However, this feature is not free and comes at an additional cost of $1.99 per passenger, per day.

Do I need to use the app?

Some passengers may not own a smartphone or are hoping to shut their phone off for the duration of the cruise. While the app is not required, it offers a much more convenient way to access your cruise information, upload and view documents, and reserve activities.

If you’re not using the app, you can make reservations in person, print your SetSail Pass, and browse the paper Cruise Compass to view daily activities, but this will often be more of a hassle than using the Royal Caribbean app.

Those who are looking to stay disconnected on vacation may want to consider using the app but not purchasing an internet package. By doing so, you won’t be distracted by your phone, but will still be able to utilize the app’s features.

Royal Caribbean adds validation to Covid-19 vaccine card photo uploads in app

In:
01 Nov 2021

The Royal Caribbean app is getting updates all the time, and some cruisers have noticed a change to the option to upload a photo of your Covid-19 vaccine card.

Royal Caribbean changes Covid-19 vaccine requirements for cruise ships | Royal Caribbean Blog

In September 2021, Royal Caribbean added a new way for passengers to upload a photo of their vaccine card directly into the app to speed up the check-in process in the cruise terminal.

The ability to upload a photo is not yet possible for every ship, but it is being offered on more ships once available.

When the feature was added in September, the app would immediately move your status to green to indicate you are done, but now cruise fans are noticing it changes to a gray hourglass status instead to indicate your card is being validated.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader David Beers reached out to Royal Caribbean to get an idea of what this change means exactly, especially as it relates to checking in for a cruise.

Jheanell Pagon from Royal Caribbean's Executive Office indicated the vaccination submission status has been updated so that the cruise line can manually check the validity of the card being uploaded.

"After reviewing your correspondence with our Port Operations team, they advised they recently deployed a new feature in the Guest Check-in App to include a Vaccination Submission Status. So now, the status We are validating your card is the normal new status you’ll see once you enter your vaccine record during Online Check-in."

The Royal Caribbean App: Everything you should know | Royal Caribbean Blog

"Once submitted, it then takes us 24 to 48 hours to approve since we are manually checking the validity of each card."

Guests will still need to bring their vaccine card with them, but taking the photo at home will allow the embarkation process to move just a little bit faster since the terminal staff will not have to take time to take photos of everyone's card.

Royal Caribbean's app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Spotted: Royal Caribbean adds new way to add Covid-19 vaccine card in its app

In:
13 Sep 2021

In an effort to make the check-in process easier, Royal Caribbean has added a new feature in its app to scan a copy of a passenger's Covid-19 vaccination card.

Ever since Royal Caribbean restarted cruises, vaccinated guests have had to get their vaccine cards photographed by the terminal staff. 

With this new feature in the app, guests could instead take a photo of their card just like they take a selfie photo to speed up the embarkation process.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader twangster spotted the feature for a Freedom of the Seas cruise on October 8, but it is not appearing for all sailings.

When enabled, guests can take a photo of the front and back of the vaccine card, as well as select which vaccine manufacturer they have.

Guests will still need to bring their vaccine card with them, but taking the photo at home will allow the embarkation process to move just a little bit faster since the terminal staff will not have to take time to take photos of everyone's card.

Royal Caribbean has worked steadily to speed up the check-in process in its app by allowing guests to do as much as they can at home to save time at the terminal.

With new features and capabilities coming to Royal Caribbean's app as a result of ensuring health and safety are the top priority. This includes a variety of new changes:

Royal Caribbean's app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Spotted: Royal Caribbean cruise expected check-in date added to app

In:
10 Aug 2021

Ever since Royal Caribbean restarted cruises again, it has been a bit of mystery when online check-in would open, but now that appears to be a lot easier to anticipate.

Before the cruise industry shutdown, online check-in was standard across the fleet to open right at the 90 day mark, but the exact date of when online check-in would open these days has been less standardized.

A new update to the Royal Caribbean app looks to now give guests advanced notice of the date online check-in will become available.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader Jason Lickert alerted us to a new option for sailings listed in the Royal Caribbean app that have not yet opened for check-in now have a date when it will open.

In the Royal Caribbean app, select a sailing that has not opened for online check-in yet.  Instead of a message saying check-in isn't available, there is now a date listed of when it will become available.

Thus far, the date only appears in the app, and not after logging into Royal Caribbean's website.

While there is no pattern yet as to when online check-in will be available, at least there is now a date for guests to plan to log back in rather than randomly checking if it is available.

Online check-in is more important to guests now because the check-in times at the cruise terminal are enforced, and with check-in times beginning later than they did before the cruise industry shutdown, early check-in times go quickly.

The reason why check-in times are now enforced is to ensure social distancing in the cruise terminals. Royal Caribbean wants to avoid there being too many people congested in one particular area.

Once online check-in is available, time slots for arrival to the cruise terminal are shown in 30 minute windows.

If you arrive before or after the set time, you will be asked to wait outside until it is your turn.

The reason why an early check-in time matters is the earlier you board, the more time you have onboard the ship on the first day.  In addition, travel plans getting to the terminal may mean a later check-in time requires you to spend time outside the terminal instead of onboard the ship.

Royal Caribbean's chat feature is now available on every cruise ship

In:
06 Jul 2021

The next time you go on a Royal Caribbean cruise, expect to be able to use the guest-to-guest chat feature onboard.

One of the projects Royal Caribbean was working on during the cruise industry shutdown was getting its chat feature ready to be used on all ships, and going forward, the cruise line says it will be available in the Royal Caribbean app when you sail.

While on Freedom of the Seas, Royal Caribbean Group Chief Product Innovation Officer Jay Schneider confirmed the chat feature is ready for use fleet wide, "As we bring every ship back, every ship, will have chat."

In fact, Mr. Schneider said the chat feature was ready to be roll out to the fleet just before the global health crisis forced all the ships to shutdown.

There is a cost to use the chat feature, which is $1.99 per guest, per day. You do not need to purchase internet access in order to use the app features in the app. In fact, you can use the app on a tablet or other non-cellular device.

Chat has been something Royal Caribbean has been working on since at least 2019, with it being in a beta test on Harmony of the Seas and Allure of the Seas

The chat in Royal Caribbean's app works very similar to other texting apps you may have used in other apps.

Royal Caribbean's chat offers one-to-one guest chat, along with group chats.

Once onboard the ship and logged onto Royal Caribbean's Wi-Fi  network (no internet package required to use the app), other guests will show up as offline or online but are only online if they have the app opened and to the “chat” window.

If your travel agent linked your reservation before sailing with a friend or family the will automatically show up in your list of contacts. You also have the option of adding other guests.

Royal Caribbean's app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

With new features and capabilities coming to Royal Caribbean's app as a result of ensuring health and safety are the top priority. This includes a variety of new changes:

Dependency on the smart phone app has never been greater because so many new features are being incorporated onto it.

Spotted: Daily charge for Royal Caribbean text chat on Quantum of the Seas

In:
19 Dec 2020

Royal Caribbean has always operated its cruises a little bit differently in Asia, and we can add chat to the list.

A guest who was aboard a Quantum of the Seas cruise from Singapore noticed Royal Caribbean is now charging a daily fee for its chat feature.

The app is free to download and use its core functionality, but the chat feature seems to be an add-on.

Sail n Snow shared a photo from Royal Caribbean's app advertising guests can add-on the text chat feature for $1.99 per day, per guest.

It is also worth noting Royal Caribbean has charged for activities and things to do on Asia sailings that are not charged for in North America or Europe, such as North Star or Ripcord by iFly.

The text chat feature on Royal Caribbean's old app, Royal iQ had a daily charge associated with it.

Royal Caribbean's chat feature was still in development prior to the cruise line shutting down due to the global health crisis, and at the time was complimentary on the two ships it was being tested on: Allure of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas.

On Apple's App Store and Google Play store, the app description lists chat as a feature, with the note that "fee applies".

Other cruise lines offer a chat feature in their apps, with some charging for the feature and others including at no additional cost.

  • Carnival: $5 per user for duration of cruise
  • Disney Cruise Line: Free
  • NCL: $9.95 (includes phone and voicemail capability)
  • MSC: Free
  • Princess: Free

When Royal Caribbean resumes sailings, the app's role will be more important than ever. The cruise line recently notified guests that the app is required to be downloaded prior to sailing.

New functionality has been added to the app to facilitate social distancing and add more touchfree functionality.

Royal Caribbean says its app is required when cruises restart

In:
07 Dec 2020

It looks like Royal Caribbean's mobile app has gone from utility to must-have.

Guests who go to Royal Caribbean's website to complete online check-in are now seeing a large banner informing them, "You are required to download the mobile app prior to sailing."

With Royal Caribbean preparing to restart cruise operations, dependency on the smart phone app has never been greater because so many new features are being incorporated onto it.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog has confirmed that there will be assistance available for guests who do not have a smartphone or device, so you will not be denied boarding if you do not have the app.

Ever since Royal Caribbean debuted its app, the cruise line has added more functionality and made it a larger part of the overall experience.

With new features and capabilities coming to Royal Caribbean's app as a result of ensuring health and safety are the top priority. This includes a variety of new changes:

  • Enforced check-in times at the cruise terminal
  • Muster 2.0 enhanced safety drill
  • Digital Key and stateroom controls
  • Guest to guest chat feature
  • Wellness check and health questionnaires 

You can download the Royal Caribbean app from the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

It is important to note that you do not need to purchase internet access in order to use the app features in the app. In fact, you can use the app on a tablet or other non-cellular device.

On the first cruises back on Quantum of the Seas in Singapore, guests have been informed the app is required of all guests before the ship sails.

In Singapore, guests who do not show up on time for their check-in may experience a delay in waiting, "Your check-in appointment is dedicated to your screening, so arriving earlier will have you turned away until your time."

For guests that do not elect to get the app, they are missing out on the ability to make onboard plans and avoid crowds, track their own expenses and better plan their day.

The app will be how you conduct the onboard safety drill. This must be done before the ship sails and is required of all guests.  It can be completed through your stateroom television as an alternative to the app.

The app will also be how you make reservations for all dining, shore excursion, activity, and entertainment.

Royal Caribbean believes the app is just as much about convenience as it is providing contactless means to conduct daily cruise life activities.

Phones on a cruise?

The role of smart devices on a cruise has been a long-standing debate among cruise fans.

While most guests own smart devices, the question of if they prefer to use them or not on a cruise is a point of contention for some.

There are some cruisers who prefer to disconnect and leave their smart devices off while on a cruise because of a preference for simplicity.

kontraxed posted on the RoyalCaribbeanBlog message boards he always puts his phone away when he gets onboard, "Normally, the first thing I do when I get on a cruise ship is turn off my cell phone and put it in the safe...For me, that's bliss! "

Many other guests keep their phones with them and use them either sparingly, or avoid work-related functitons while on vacation.

Royal Caribbean app updated with easier ways to get to popular features

In:
24 Nov 2020

Royal Caribbean released a new update to its smartphone app that enhances the look, while adding new features for when cruises restart again.

Version 1.26.1 has been pushed out to users, and it includes a number of enhancements.

The most notable change is the home screen design, which makes popular features easily accessible, including check-in, boarding passes, dining and more.

The check-in process has been simplified and cleaned up as well, with the option for guests to select an arrival time, along with wellness screenings and pre-cruise health questions.

The addition of wellness check and health questionnaires is one of many changes Royal Caribbean is making in order to prepare for cruises to return in a world still dealing with the global health crisis.

On Quantum of the Seas cruises from Singapore, check-in times will be much more important so that the check-in/wellness screenings can be conducted efficiently.

Guests sailing on Quantum of the Seas have been informed their check-in appointment is dedicated for their screening, and arriving earlier will have them turned away until the designated time.

The Royal Caribbean app also has the guest safety briefing video added to it, which is part of the Muster 2.0 enhancement where guests will conduct the muster drill on their own, instead of as a group.

Royal Caribbean has developed and patented something it called eMuster™, and it gives guests the essential information in the app and your stateroom TV, allowing you to complete the briefing on your own time.

After going through the Muster 2.0 process in the app or stateroom TV,  you will just need to visit your assigned assembly station—a designated check-in location—before the ship sets sail, so a crew member can verify all the steps are completed. 

Read more6 really interesting facts about Royal Caribbean's new cruise safety drill

The app store also says guests will be able to view menus on their ship with the help of QR codes.

You can download the Royal Caribbean app from the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

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