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Royal Caribbean International

Plan Your Royal Caribbean International Vacation

Big, bigger, biggest! In the early 1990s, Royal Caribbean launched Sovereign-class ships, the first of the modern megacruise liners, which continue to be the all-around favorite of passengers who enjoy traditional cruising ambience with a touch of daring and whimsy.

Plunging into the 21st century, each ship in the current fleet carries more passengers than the entire Royal Caribbean fleet of the 1970s, and has amenities—such as new surfing pools—that were unheard of in the past.

All Royal Caribbean ships are topped by the company's signature Viking Crown Lounge, a place to watch the seascape by day and dance at night. Expansive multideck atriums and promenades, as well as the generous use of brass and floor-to-ceiling glass windows, give each vessel a sense of spaciousness and style. The action is nonstop in casinos and dance clubs after dark, while daytime hours are filled with poolside games and traditional cruise activities. Port talks tend to lean heavily on shopping recommendations and the sale of shore excursions.

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Key Royal Caribbean International Tips

Are you a first-time cruiser? View our helpful hints and tips on Your Shipmates, Dress Code, Junior Cruisers, and much more! See Tips

Top Reasons To Cruise

  1. A Step Above Offering the same value as other mainstream lines, Royal Caribbean's ships are more sophisticated than its competitors’.
  2. Big Ships The Royal Caribbean fleet boasts the world’s largest cruise ships.
  3. Extra Charges You will have to break out your wallet quite often once on board, as the cruise fare is far from inclusive.
  4. Recreation Gym rats and sports and fitness buffs find multiple facilities available to satisfy their active lifestyles while at sea.
  5. Something for Everyone With activities that appeal to a broad demographic, Royal Caribbean is a top choice for multigenerational cruise vacations.

Is This Line Right For You?

Choose This Line If

  • You want to see the sea from atop a rock wall—it's one of the few activities on these ships that's free.
  • You're active and adventurous. Even if your traveling companion isn't, there's an energetic staff on board to cheer you on.
  • You want your space. There's plenty of room to roam; quiet nooks and crannies are there if you look.

Don't Choose This Line If

  • Patience is not one of your virtues. Lines are not uncommon.
  • You want to do your own laundry. There are no self-service facilities on any Royal Caribbean ships.
  • You don't want to hear announcements. There are a lot on Royal Caribbean ships.

What To Expect On Board

Food

Dining is an international experience, with nightly changing themes and cuisines from around the world. Passenger preference for casual attire and a resortlike atmosphere has prompted the cruise line to add laid-back alternatives to the formal dining rooms: the Windjammer

Café and, on certain ships, Johnny Rockets Diner; Seaview Café evokes the ambience of an island beachside stand. Royal Caribbean offers you the choice of early or late dinner seating and has introduced an open seating program fleet-wide.

Room service is available 24 hours, but for orders between midnight and 5 am there’s a $3.95 service charge. There's a limited menu.

Royal Caribbean doesn't place emphasis on celebrity chefs or specialty alternative restaurants, although they have introduced a more upscale and intimate dinner experience in the form of an Italian specialty restaurant and/or a steak house on all ships.

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Entertainment

A variety of lounges and high-energy stage shows draw passengers of all ages out to mingle and dance the night away. Production extravaganzas showcase singers and dancers in lavish costumes. Comedians, acrobats, magicians, jugglers, and solo entertainers fill show lounges

on nights when the ships' companies aren't performing. Professional ice shows are a highlight of cruises on Voyager-, Freedom-, and Oasis-class ships—the only ships at sea with ice-skating rinks.

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Fitness and Recreation

Royal Caribbean has pioneered such new and previously unheard of features as rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, bungee trampolines, and even the first self-leveling pool tables on a cruise ship. Interactive water parks, boxing rings, surfing simulators, and cantilevered

whirlpools suspended 112 feet above the ocean made their debuts on the Freedom-class ships.

Facilities vary by ship class, but all Royal Caribbean ships have state-of-the-art exercise equipment, jogging tracks, and rock-climbing walls; passengers can work out independently or in classes guaranteed to sweat off extra calories. Most exercise classes are included in the fare, but there's a fee for specialized spin, yoga, and Pilates classes, as well as the services of a personal trainer. Spas and salons are top-notch, with full menus of day spa–style treatments and services for pampering and relaxation for adults and teens.

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Royal Caribbean International

Key Cruising Tips

  • Reservations can be made online precruise for specialty restaurants, shore excursions, and spa treatments on all ships, as well as the shows on Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, and Liberty of the Seas.

  • The signature Viking Crown Lounge found on every Royal Caribbean ship is a daytime observation lounge and a nightclub after dark.

  • Popular with children of all ages, the DreamWorks Experience on certain ships offers character meals, meet-and-greet gatherings, and photo ops.

  • With a multibottle package you can save up to 25% off regular list prices on wine.

  • A complimentary Coca-Cola souvenir cup is included with the fountain soft drink package.

  • Bottled water and bottled juice packages of varying quantities can be delivered to your stateroom and will save you up to 25%.

Your Shipmates

Royal Caribbean cruises have a broad appeal for active couples and singles, mostly in their thirties to fifties. Families are partial to the newer vessels that have larger staterooms, huge facilities for children and teens, and seemingly endless choices of activities and dining

options.

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Dress Code

Two formal nights are standard on seven-night cruises; one formal night is the norm on shorter sailings. Men are encouraged to wear tuxedos, but dark suits or sport coats and ties are more prevalent. All other evenings are casual, although jeans are discouraged in restaurants.

It's requested that no shorts be worn in public areas after 6 pm, although there are passengers who can't wait to change into them after dinner.

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Junior Cruisers

Supervised age-appropriate activities are designed for children ages 3 through 17; babysitting services are available as well. Children are assigned to the Adventure Ocean youth program by age. They must be at least three years old and toilet trained to participate (children

who are in diapers and pull-ups or who are not toilet trained are not allowed in swimming pools or whirlpools; however, they may use the Baby Splash Zone designated for them on the Freedom, Liberty,Independence, Oasis, and Allure of the Seas). Youngsters who wish to join a different age group must participate in one daytime and one night activity session with their proper age group first; the manager will then make the decision based on their maturity level.

In partnership with toymaker Fisher-Price, Royal Caribbean offers interactive 45-minute Aqua Babies and Aqua Tots play sessions for children ages 6 months to 36 months. The playgroup classes, which are hosted by youth staff members, were designed by early childhood development experts for parents and their babies and toddlers, and teach life skills through playtime activities. Nurseries have been added for babies 6 to 36 months old, with drop-off options during the day and evening—and if parents supply diapers, attendants will change them. There is an hourly fee, and only eight babies and toddlers can be accommodated at a time.

A teen center with a disco is an adult-free gathering spot that will satisfy even the pickiest teenagers.

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Service

Service on Royal Caribbean ships is friendly but inconsistent. Assigned meal seatings assure that most passengers get to know the waiters and their assistants, who in turn get to know the passengers' likes and dislikes; however, that can lead to a level of familiarity

that is uncomfortable for some people. Most ships have a concierge lounge for the use of suite occupants and top-level past passengers.

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Tipping

Tips that are not prepaid when the cruise is booked are automatically added to shipboard accounts in the amount of $12 per person, per day ($14.25 for suites), to be shared by dining and housekeeping staff. A 15% gratuity is automatically added to all bar tabs and spa and

salon services.

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Past Passengers

After one cruise, you can enroll in the Crown & Anchor Society. Tiered membership levels are achieved according to a point system. All members receive the Crown & Anchor magazine and have access to the member section on the Royal Caribbean website. All members

receive an Ultimate Value Booklet and an invitation to a welcome-back party. Platinum members also have the use of a private departure lounge and receive priority check-in (where available), the onboard use of robes during the cruise, an invitation to an exclusive onboard event, and complimentary custom air arrangements. As points are added to your status, the benefits increase to Emerald, Diamond, Diamond Plus, and Pinnacle Club. For instance, Diamond and above receive such perks as access to a private lounge, behind-the-scenes tours, and priority seating for certain events.

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