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Spotted: Royal Caribbean brings back RFID "WOW Band" wristbands on one cruise ship

13 Feb 2023

It looks like Royal Caribbean might be bringing back their WOW Bands.


Symphony of the Seas departed on a 7-night Western Caribbean cruise in February 11, 2023, and to many guests' surprise, they found that they were once again able to purchase WOW Bands at Guest Services!

Here's everything you need to know about the soft relaunch of WOW Bands onboard Symphony of the Seas.

What are WOW Bands and what can you use them for?


WOW Bands are silicone ready-to-wear, water-resistant wristbands that come equipped with RFID chips. They are a great option for those who do not like to carry around their SeaPass while onboard. With the tap of your wrist, everything is billed directly to your onboard account; there is still no need to carry cash or credit cards. 

All guests are able to purchase and wear WOW Bands; they are neither Crown & Anchor nor suite exclusive benefits. 

Ship docked in Caribbean

The wristbands can be used for everything onboard except the casino. You can open your stateroom door, make onboard purchases, access lounges (for suite guests and select Crown & Anchor members), and even order a drink with your drink package.  

Note that if you are ordering a drink on the pool deck or casino, the bartenders are not equipped with mobile scanners. You will have to take off your wristband and/or provide your stateroom number. If you order at a physical bar, they are able to tap your WOW Band while it is on your wrist. 

If you are disembarking the ship in ports of call, you will need to use your physical SeaPass. It is best to leave your WOW Band inside of your stateroom when you are disembarking the ship for the day. 

How much do WOW Bands cost?


WOW Bands can be purchased at Guest Services for $5.99 each (yep, there was a price increase!). If you have an old WOW Band on hand, you are able to reuse it! Just make sure that you stop by Guest Services, so they can encode it for your specific voyage. 

There are three colors available for guests to choose from: white, black, and blue. Every band costs the same, regardless of what color is chosen. On this specific cruise, yellow was not available, even though it was in the past. 

The price also stays the same throughout the cruise, whether you buy it on the first last or last day. If using a WOW Band interests you, you will get the most out of the price by purchasing the wristband as early as possible. 

What is it like using a WOW Band while onboard?


I found out about WOW Bands on day 2 of my 7-night cruise and immediately went to Guest Services to purchase one! 

I never heard Royal Caribbean make an announcement that WOW Bands were available. I saw other guests wearing them and deduced that they were brought back. 

My family and I purchased WOW Bands on our Harmony of the Seas cruise in 2018, and we never really used them because of how many issues we had. My dad said he remembered us regularly visiting Guest Services to have them replaced.

Since that was my last cruise before the pandemic and Royal Caribbean discontinuing the bands, I was eager to try out all of the features. 

Since I have a drink package, my first stop, obviously, was the bar. I went to Boleros and ordered a glass of champagne at the bar; it was a seamless process!

The scanner has some difficultly reaching where I was sitting, so I assume if you were sitting at the far end of the bar or in the lounge area, you would have to take off your wristband and/or provide your stateroom number. 


I had no trouble opening my stateroom door. In fact, I prefer using the WOW Band for that, as I keep my SeaPass in my phone case and have to pull it out whenever I want to enter my cabin. Having the WOW Band will make it easier to get into my stateroom tonight when I return with Sorrento's pizza and a drink! Last night, I struggled opening my door with pizza in one hand and my soda cup in the other. 

My next stop was the pool deck. I was disappointed to learn that the bartenders do not carry mobile scanners with them, as that kind of defeats the purpose of the WOW Bands; I asked a few different bartenders if they were able to tap my wristband from my lounger, and they all said no. I was able to provide my stateroom number without handing off my SeaPass or WOW Band.

Later on in the evening, I used the WOW Band to order drinks at Izumi during dinner and Schooner Bar. My waitress at Izumi did not have a mobile scanner, so she, too, had to take my stateroom number. At the Schooner Bar, the scanner only reached so far, so I had to get out of my seat to go tap the wristband. 

Thus far, I have enjoyed the convenience of not carrying a SeaPass around; however, I wish Royal Caribbean had better outfitted their staff to be able to accommodate guests with the bands. Having to take off my wristband, provide my cabin number, or physically move closer to the scanner seems to defeat the purpose of paying extra for it. 

What if you do not want to use a WOW Band?


WOW Bands are totally optional. If you do not wish to pay for one, you can continue to use your SeaPass as normal. 

Even if you opt to purchase a WOW Band, you can use your SeaPass whenever you feel like it.

Perhaps the WOW Band is not the right accessory for formal night. No worries! Buying a WOW Band will not tamper with the functionality of your SeaPass. 

What ships have WOW Bands on them?


As of February 12, 2023, the only confirmed ship with WOW Bands onboard is Symphony of the Seas. Royal Caribbean has not made an announcement as to when they expect to roll them out on the rest of the fleet. In fact, they never even announced their launch on Symphony of the Seas.

When you board your ship, you can always head to Guest Services to see if they are available. If not, you will just have to use your SeaPass as normal! 

Top 4 places to use WOWbands

11 Jun 2016

With the launch of Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas, there is a new ship that can use WOWbands and it got us thinking about the top reasons to use Royal Caribbean's RFID bracelets.

WOWbands allows guests to use these bracelets just like their SeaPass card, but with much more convenience.  They are the latest innovation from Royal Caribbean and incredibly cool.

If you happen to find yourself on a Royal Caribbean ship that has WOWbands, such as Harmony of the Seas, here are the top five places you will find them really helpful.

4. Gym

Those looking to burn off some extra calories on their cruise will really enjoy having a WOWband instead of carrying a SeaPass card.

One constant when it comes to working out is getting sweaty and not having to stash your SeaPass card somewhere makes things much easier.  

Plus, pockets are not common among active wear, so having a bracelet is much more convenient.

3. Casino

The casino on your Royal Caribbean is the place to try your luck, but it seems having to remember your SeaPass card in each slot machine is always a gamble.

The slot machines in the casino allow guests to track their progress and earn points for the money they gamble.  The problem is it is really easy to forget your SeaPass card in the slot machines when you are done playing on that machine.

With the SeaPass card, there is no forgetting your SeaPass card in the machine. Just let the slot machine read your WOWband and you are on your way.

2. At the pool

Just like the gym, when you are ready for a day by the pool, having to carry (and not lose) your SeaPass card is always a challenge, but a WOWband is the perfect accessory.

WOWbands are made from waterproof silicone and can make having access to charging drinks, getting towels and getting back to your stateroom a whole lot easier.

1. Coming back to your stateroom

Eventually, you will have to get back to stateroom and it seems like there are plenty of times you will be returning to your room throughout the day.

With WOWbands, there is no digging for your SeaPass cards because all you have to do is move your wrist in the general direction of the stateroom door reader and you get access!

For parents, who often have their hands full with children, bags or both, WOWbands make things so much simpler.

Where do you like using your WOWband? Tell us in the comments!

Spotlight: Royal Caribbean WOWbands on Harmony of the Seas

30 May 2016

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas offers a lot of firsts, including being the first Oasis-class cruise ship to offer the RFID bracelets known as WOWbands.

What is a WOWband?

Let us begin with the basics of what a WOWband is before discussing how to use it on Harmony of the Seas.

WOWbands are essentially optional replacements for your SeaPass card. Imagine a bracelet you can wear that allows you to open you stateroom door, charge onboard purchases or check into shows and restaurants.

They are made of silicone and come in a variety of colors: white, yellow, black and blue.

WOWbands use Radio Frequency (RF) technology that can be read by Royal Caribbean's readers that are found at kiosks, tablets and mobile scanners that Royal Caribbean crew operate.

Your WOWband is linked to your SeaPass account and holds all of your information related to your cruise vacation such as your stateroom information, dining reservations and more.  

How much are they on Harmony of the Seas?

Photo by Rich Freudenberg‎

Guests on Harmony of the Seas can choose to purchase WOWbands for $4.99 each.

Guests can purchase one and re-use it on another Harmony of the Seas cruise, or on any other Royal Caribbean ship that has WOWbands.  

In fact, WOWbands from other Royal Caribbean ships can be used as well. You just need to go to Guest Services and have them re-programmed.

Where do I buy it on Harmony of the Seas?

WOWbands can be purchased from Guest Services on Harmony of the Seas.

WOWbands are complimentary for suite guests.

Should I get a WOWband on Harmony of the Seas?

WOWbands are an optional feature but once you try the WOWbands, you will likely be leaving your SeaPass card behind in your stateroom.

They are a neat option, but completely optional.  All guests will be issued SeaPass cards and those will continue to work, even if you get a WOWband

Royal Caribbean tests charging for RFID WOWband bracelets on Anthem of the Seas

13 Nov 2015

In a reversal of policy, Royal Caribbean has begun charging $4.99 for its new RFID bracelets, known as WOWbands, on Anthem of the Seas.

Guests aboard the first commercially available Anthem of the Seas sailing this week discovered Royal Caribbean is now charging for the WOWbands, although WOWbands are still complimentary for suite guests.

Guests may purchase WOWbands at Guest Services and purchased WOWbands are reusable on future cruises.

When Royal Caribbean originally announced the WOWbands product, there was a small nominal charge of $2 per band, but Royal Caribbean quickly changed that policy to make them free to all guests.


WOWbands are RFID enabled bracelets that that allows passengers to connect with a number of Royal Caribbean experiences, such as purchase goods and services, access stateroom doors and check-in for activities or entertainment.  They are essentially a replacement for the traditional SeaPass card.

Thanks to Royal Caribbean Blog reader Kenneth Jarvis for updating us on this news.

UPDATE: Royal Caribbean has issued a statement regarding the change:

Royal Caribbean International is currently testing a new pricing strategy for the WOWBands found onboard Anthem of the Seas. Guests who wish to use a WOWBand in place of their SeaPass card may purchase one in the onboard gift shop for $4.99. Guests in Suites (Junior Suites and above) will continue to receive the WOWBands in their staterooms at no charge.

This is currently only being tested on Anthem of the Seas and guests on Quantum of the Seas will continue to receive their WOWBands at no additional costs.

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast Episode - WOWbands

11 Mar 2015

Listen to the Show

If you were to ask me what is the coolest new tech innovation Royal Caribbean has rolled out recently, I think it has to be the WOWbands. WOWbands are Royal Caribbean’s forward thinking way of making our life as guests simpler onboard and this week, I want to take a deep dive into what WOWbands are, how they work, and what we can expect from them in the future.

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

On this episode:
Running time:

Royal Caribbean WOWbands: What you need to know

19 Nov 2014

What is a WOWband?

Worn on the wrist, WOWbands are bracelets that come in a variety of colors that allows passengers to connect with a number of Royal Caribbean experiences.

You can use your WOWband to enter your stateroom, purchase beverages, merchandise and anything else Royal Caribbean sells.  They can also access the Suite Lounge or Crown and Anchor Diamond Lounge.

Because you can wear your WOWband on your wrist, you do not have to bring your SeaPass card along anymore and this frees you up from trying to find the SeaPass card when you need it.  Just like the SeaPass card, you will not need cash or other credit cards because all charges go right to your SeaPass account.

What does a WOWband look like?

WOWbands are silicone bracelets that come in a variety of colors: white, yellow, black and blue.

How does it work?

WOWbands use Radio Frequency (RF) technology that can be read by Royal Caribbean's readers that are found at kiosks, tablets and mobile scanners that Royal Caribbean crew operate.

Your WOWband is linked to your SeaPass account and holds all of your information related to your cruise vacation such as your stateroom information, dining reservations and more.  

Who can use a WOWband?

Any Royal Caribbean cruise passenger can use a WOWband, but they are optional.  You can still use SeaPass cards in conjunction with or in lieu of, WOWbands.

How do I get a WOWband?

WOWbands may be purchased onboard your ship for $4.95 each. They can be purchased at anytime from Guest Relations, although on embarkation day there may be a specified distribution point.

Guests staying in a suite will find a WOWband for everyone in that stateroom. They are already activated and ready for use as soon as you get it.

How much do WOWbands cost?

Royal Caribbean charges $4.99 for each WOWband.

Guests in Grand Suites and above (Golden Suites & Royal Premiere for Spectrum of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas) will continue to receive the WOW Bands in their staterooms at no charge.

What if I don't want to use a WOWband?

WOWbands are optional and you may keep your SeaPass card instead to use.  Even if you get the WOWband, you can use both.

Royal Caribbean is encouraging all guests to use WOWbands but they are not required.

What ships offer WOWbands?

Currently Spectrum of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas offers WOWbands. 

Royal Caribbean does have plans to roll out WOWbands to all ships across the fleet, but that will take several years before it's all ready.

Royal Caribbean will roll out RFID WOWbands over several years

07 Nov 2014

Speaking at the CruiseWorld conference, Royal Caribbean President Adam Goldstein indicated the rollout of its new RFID wristbands, known as WOWbands, will take several years before they are available across all of Royal Caribbean's ships.

While the RFID technology behind the WOWbands are fairly simple, the new shipboard property management system that the WOWbands rely on takes much more time to install.


WOWbands will be added ship by ship, although we do not have any indication as of yet which ship will get WOWbands next.

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