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Royal Caribbean asked its customers for their best cruise tips. Here are the best ones they shared

23 Feb 2023

Everyone likes easy ways to improve their cruise ship vacation, and Royal Caribbean just asked its fans for their best suggestions.

Royal Caribbean asked on its Facebook page for the best Royal Caribbean cruise tips, and it generated a lot of suggestions.

Whether it's your first cruise or you're a seasoned pro, tips and hacks that can help make the most of someone's cruise is always welcome. You never want to walk off of a ship and realize that you missed out on something. 

To kick off the discussion, Royal Caribbean shared one of our favorite tips: Johnny Rockets is open for breakfast on Oasis Class ships only and it's free! 

The post generated over 250 comments, and here's the best of the suggestions made by cruise fans.

1. Planning Ahead

Cruise planner results

The great thing about cruising is that you can get most, if not all, of your planning out of the way before ever stepping onboard. 

Robert Hildebrandt knows how to maximize time on your cruise vacation: planning ahead. By pre-booking as much as you can, including dining, excursions, drink packages, activities and more, you can board your cruise ready to enjoy the ship and just relax. 

2. To-Go Orders


Have you ever tried to book a specialty dining restaurant, but there weren’t any seatings available that fit your agenda?

Rebecca JoAnne has found a great hack to still be able to enjoy your favorite dishes, by ordering your food to go.

Utilizing this hack, she has enjoyed eating Izumi on her balcony several times. 

3. Avoid the crowds

Solarium Bistro

There is nothing worse than having your plate full of food and searching for an empty table in the Windjammer during breakfast. So what do you do when you want to enjoy a buffet breakfast but without the crowds?

Brian Carty recommends heading to the Solarium Bistro if you’re sailing on Oasis and Quantum class ships.

Here they serve a smaller version of the Windjammer breakfast buffet, with a laid-back vibe.

4. Don’t fly the same day as your cruise departs

Airplane landing

Now this may not be a secret, but not flying the same day of your cruise is one of the most important things you can do for any cruise.

Cassie Stapleton put it best, if you’re flying to your cruise, always plan to arrive the day before. You never know when a delay may happen, and you don’t want to miss your cruise because of one. 

5. Hold onto your belongings

When sailing through the ocean, you can expect to experience some wind. What many people don’t realize is how strong that wind can be, taking their towels and belonging off of their chairs.

Chelsea Rushton Fitchett advises future cruisers to bring towel clips or bands for those windy sea days so your towel stays put on your chair. 

6. Finding a quiet place

Promenade Deck

There is nothing better than experiencing the fresh air while sailing. However, it can be hard to find a peaceful place onboard to do so, with all of the different activities going on.

Johnna Stanton knows the perfect spot to go when onboard Freedom and Voyager class ships is the outside promenade deck to not only enjoy the view, but also get away from the noise on the other decks. 

7. First day lunch 

The Windjammer is known for being a hotspot on the first day for lunch. Majority of the cruisers will head straight there after boarding to get their first fix of food.

However Eric Lynn knows that when they bob, you weave - and suggests heading over to Park Cafe instead if sailing on an Oasis Class ship. Not only do they serve great lunch options in Central Park, it is also much less crowded than the Windjammer. 

8. Check-in


When it’s time to get on your cruise, you don’t want to have to wait any longer than you have to. With Royal Caribbean’s check-in process, you have to choose a check-in window for boarding.

Shelley Clifford suggests checking in as soon as it opens to ensure that you can get the earliest boarding time and start enjoying your vacation sooner. 

9. Keeping track of your SeaPass

When you’re onboard, your SeaPass card is your lifeline. You use it to get beverages, open your cabin, embark and disembark the ship, and more. This is one thing you do not want to lose.

Kassandra W. advises that cruisers get a lanyard and pouch prior to their cruise to hold their SeaPass card. She says not only will it help keep you from misplacing it, but it will handy when you need to use it.

10. Utilize all of your cabin space


We all know that cabin space is limited, and you don’t want to give up precious closet space to hold your suitcases.

Diana Baker let’s newer cruisers in on a hack: store your suitcase under your bed.

Not only does this keep it out of the way and free up cabin space, but you can also pull it out to use as a hamper for dirty clothes.

11. Keep the air conditioning running in your cabin

Junior Suite on Symphony of the Seas

Some ships have a card slot to activate your ship cabin's air conditioning, but it doesn't need to use just your SeaPass card.

Tom Hinrichs suggested using any kind of gift card works in the slot to keep your room cooled while you're away.

12. Treat the crew members

Crew member smiling at the bar

Crew members are so helpful and important on a cruise, especially your cabin attendant.

Cathy Pye Barrett brings small gift bags on the ship and each day of her cruise, she drops a few goodies in one for her room attendant.

On the last day, she puts cash in one.

Michelle Taylor echoed Cathy's suggestion, "Tipping the hard working staff is important to us. A little bit goes a long way. It makes me appreciate others so much more."

13. Laundry bag

Dirty clothes pile up quickly on a cruise.

Sandy Volandt brings a laundry bag to place our dirty clothes in. This is similar to our cruise cabin hack of bringing a laundry hamper.

14. Pack a highlighter

Cruise Compass on bed

A tried-and-true cruise tip is to bring a highlighter with you on your cruise.

Teresa Moretti suggested to bring a highlighter to mark all the things you can do in the Cruise Compass.

15. Take photos of crew member name tags

Crew member nametag

The post-cruise survey is so important for Royal Caribbean and the crew members. 

Among other things, the survey helps recognize crew members that stand out, but it's up to the guest to remember and note the guest's name.

Angie Coard takes a photo of name tags of the crew that she wants to acknowledge in the post-cruise survey, "It helps them out a lot when they are praised by the guests and they all work so hard!"

More cruise advice

7 Experts share their advice for traveling after COVID-19

24 Mar 2020

Whether by cruise ship or airplane or car, so many people relish traveling as a way to see the world, revisit history, and enjoy great food along the way. The outbreak of COVID-19 has changed everything, and travel has been particularly hard hit.

Between the lockdowns, cruise lines suspending operations, and the economy taking a hit, it seemed appropriate to reach out to a few travel experts for what their advice would be given the global impact of this virus.

I contacted seven of the very best cruise experts to ask them what travel advice they would share to anyone who wants to get out there again. Here is what they had to say.

It could take a while

"Be patient. But also be aware that it could be a while. If 30 days from now, the situation around the world is still a mess, the cruise lines could decide to extend the period even longer.

The only people who want the ships to be sailing more than would-be guests is the cruise lines themselves."

- Doug Parker (Host of Cruise Radio)

Be Flexible

"Don't let today's concerns keep you from planning future trips - planning now can also give you something to look forward to while your vacations may otherwise be on hold.  

If you have an upcoming trip you don't think will work out, don't cancel earlier than required by providers' policies; you don't want to cancel a trip you could have taken, plus, if a travel provider decides to cancel, they may offer better terms than you'll get cancelling on your own.  

Above all else, be flexible; as unprecedented as this is to your life, the same is true for businesses."

Billy Hirsch (Cruise Expert,

Stay up-to-date

"These are unprecedented times across the globe, and certainly for the cruise industry. The best piece of advice right now is to stay up-to-date on the latest policies and updates from your cruise line.

Changes continue to be made daily – and compensation continues to be announced for impacted cruises, so it’s more important than ever to keep in contact with the line, fellow cruisers and/or your travel advisor for the latest updates as they’re made."

- Colleen McDaniel (Editor-in-Chief of Cruise Critic)

Wait it out

"The advice we're sharing with our community right now is to be as patient as possible. Whether that means you're on pins and needles wondering if your late Spring cruise gets cancelled, or booking another cruise in the near future, we're all anxious to have some answers!

But, we think waiting just a few more weeks to see how the remainder of this month pans out before taking action is a good move for most. If you're anxious to book, consider securing a deal on a cruise sailing later in the year, or into 2021. There's much less cancellation risk, and lots of great cabins available."

- Sheri Griffiths (Host of CruiseTipsTV)

Stay safe and stay positive

"It's tough not being able to cruise now and knowing exactly when we can get back out there, but I'm definitely trying to stay positive. We all know this will pass and cruise travel will come back strong. I feel badly for people who might be struggling with income and lack of work at these times, though."

If you are passionate about travel and cruising, it can be of some comfort to start planning for a cruise or trip for later this year (or even next year) so that you have something to look forward to -- while also taking advantage of some great prices and relaxed policies on cancellations for rebooking.

Like most people, I've been already getting a bit of cabin fever as we spend most of our days stuck in the home, but it's helped to be able to look for deals and get excited about planning for some time at sea once this all passes. There is going to be a huge amount of pent-up demand and energy for cruising and travel in general when things get back to normal."

- John Roberts (Travel writer, In The Loop Travel)

There's no rush to decide now

"If you’re thinking of booking a trip for the next few months, my advice there, too, is that there’s no rush. I think pricing is going to come down significantly on close-in departures in the coming months. We haven’t seen crazy deals yet for close-in departures – at least not in a widespread way. But we will. Cruise lines appear to be holding off on the crazy deals until they have a better sense of when they will be able to resume sailing. Once that becomes more clear, I expect some very heavy discounting and value-add promotions on the close-in sailings. They will be desperate to refill the ships.

I would warn people that it may be longer than they think before cruise ships begin sailing again. It’s very hard to say at this point. There are so many variables. But we may be looking at several months, at least, in some regions of the world.

Also, I would recommend that anyone spending a significant amount of money on a future cruise right now pay the extra money to buy a travel insurance policy that includes reimbursement coverage if a travel provider such as a cruise line or airline fails. I’m not saying this is going to happen. But it’s prudent in a time like this to be covered for the worst possible outcome. Not every travel insurance policy covers the collapse of a travel provider. It’s important to read the fine print in a policy before buying it. Generally, the policies sold directly through cruise lines, for instance, do not cover this."

- Gene Sloan, (Senior Reporter, Cruise and Travel at The Points Guy)

Be Patient

"We are in uncharted waters right now, sailing through heavy fog, searching for a glimpse of the lighthouse to lead us out of these unprecedented times. It may be a tough pill to swallow, but this is going to play on as it plays out.

The best advice I can give anyone booked or looking to book a cruise is to be patient. It doesn't matter which cruise line, or ship, the next cruise we each go on is going to be amazing for the simple fact we are back to normalcy in our daily lives."

Scott Sanders (Cruise Expert,

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast Episode - Airfare tricks and strategies

11 Apr 2018

Listen to the Show

Before you book that dream Royal Caribbean cruise, you might want to look into the airfare for how to get to the cruise ship and back.  This week, we share what options are available, and some good ideas for how (and when) to book your airfare.

Share with me your thoughts, questions and comments via...

On this episode:
Running time:

Freedom of the Seas: Four Must Do Activities

09 Jul 2010

If you've got a cruise coming up on Freedom of the Seas, then this is your week as we have even more tips for your next cruise aboard Freedom of the Seas, as provided by

  1. Explore the Promenade
  2. Sample the Cuisine
  3. Experience the Entertainment and Nightlife
  4. Activities for Kids

Here is one of the tips, explore the promenade

The Promenade is longer than on other RCI ships, and is similar to a large suburban mall. Three miles of corridors connect the public rooms, and are well marked so passengers don't get hopelessly lost. Boutiques that are on the other Voyager-class ships are on Freedom. The Royal Promenade has special lighting effects for the Mardi Gras-style parades. The Royal Promenade features several spots for snacks and has a book shop, The Book Nook.

Five more tips for Freedom of the Seas

08 Jul 2010

Last week, Andy Mayer posted tips from his recent cruise aboard Freedom of the Seas and he's back this week with more tips to share.  As always, these tips are specific to Freedom of the Seas, but I believe they can be applied to nearly any Royal Caribbean sailing.

  1. Get up early if you want lounge chairs near the pool on the days at sea
  2. Book your own excursions
  3. Get private lessons on the Flowrider
  4. Get a “cabana chair” in Haiti
  5. Return to the ship earlier than normal in Grand Cayman
  6. Depart on your own term

Here's a good tip Andy posted about regarding the best place to rest in Labadee


Unfortunately, we found information lacking about RC’s private beach at Labadee, Haiti.  We checked for maps at guest services and asked around, but could learn almost nothing.  The head of the excursions desk on deck 5 knew zero!  I want to pass one thing on to you.
When you get off this ship, go straight and take the path almost as far as you can take it.  By walking straight and far, you come to a less rocky area, from which you can swim.  However, you will also find “cabana” chairs.  These are two normal chairs pushed under a half-moon, umbrella like cover that provides shade and a bit of privacy.  They are first-come, first-serve.  If you don’t care about swimming, then find some shade under a tree.  But, if you want to swim and want shade to relax, go directly for a cabana chair.

Five tips for Freedom of the Seas

01 Jul 2010

Andy Mayer posted some great tips from his recent experience aboard Freedom of the Seas and they are some good advice.  Here's a quick rundown of them.

  1. Buy Bottles of Wine Not Individual Glasses
  2. Try the Buffet for Dinner
  3. Get the Early Dining Seating for Dinner
  4. Get the Fountain Soda Package
  5. Prepare to be Disconnected

Here's one full tip is posted about the bottles of wine being a better deal than by the glass

My colleague Mike told me about this before we left, and he was right.  Glasses of wine in the dining room can be expensive – in the $15 range.  However, if you know that you want wine every night and don’t mind the same wine for two nights or more in a row, buy a bottle.  At the end of the meal, your waiter marks the cork with your table number, takes it away, and then brings it back the next night for you to finish.  Since we had only two drinkers (my wife and I), this worked better than the RC Wine Plan, where the fewest number of bottles you can buy is five.  The per bottle cost of the Wine Plan is less than we paid, but we couldn’t have possibly drunk five bottles in a week.

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