Is It Worth Getting A Drinks Package On Royal Caribbean
If you plan to be off the ship exploring ports most days, then not only will you not have as much time on board to drink your drinks, but youre also less likely to want a hangover! For this reason, a drinks package may be better value on a cruise with lots of sea days, such as a transatlantic sailing.
Cost Of Individual Drinks On Royal Caribbean
Heres a basic broad overview of typical drink prices found on the larger Royal Caribbean ships.
- Bottled water $2.25 to $3.25
- Soft drinks $3.25/can
- Specialty coffees $4.35
- smoothies/mocktails $5-$6
- Wine starts at $9/glass.
- Hard liquor $7-$9
- Cocktails $10-$13
Note that all drink orders will be assessed an automatic gratuity of 18%, which would be added to the prices above.
Royal Caribbean Loyalty Program
Royal Caribbean has a point-based frequent cruiser program, the Crown & Anchor Society, that has six tiers ranging from Gold to Pinnacle Club .
Members earn points for every night they sail on one of the lines ships, with double points awarded to passengers staying in suites. To hit the first tier, Gold, takes one cruise. Reaching the second tier, Platinum , would take five cruises if youre doing seven-night trips .
Lower tiers dont bring all that much in terms of truly valuable benefits. Youll get things like priority check-in and a private departure lounge with Continental breakfast at the end of a trip. But higher levels of the program start to be enticing.
The second-to-highest tier, Diamond Plus , brings Concierge Club access, priority seating at onboard shows, an exclusive number to call for bookings and reduced rates for solo travelers, plus other things. The top Pinnacle Club level brings free cruises after hitting key milestones.
Note that, in contrast to airline frequent flyer programs, cruise line loyalty programs do not require you to requalify for status every year. So, yes, the perks with lower tiers arent great. But its not as difficult as it might at first seem to hit the more rewarding higher level tiers in just a few years if youre cruising a lot.
A passenger staying in suites could get to the Diamond Plus level with just 13 seven-night cruises. Take a few longer voyages, like a transatlantic sailing, and you could reach it even sooner.
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Do Royal Caribbean Cruises Include Excursions
Official Royal Caribbean cruise excursions can be very pricey, so you may want to look for cheaper alternatives on reputable websites like Viator. Alternatively, you can just get off the ship and do your own thing.
Please note: When cruising resumes, guests may be required to take official Royal Caribbean shore excursions in certain ports, or stay on the ship. I will update on this when we have more information.
Pool Areas And Lounge Chairs
This might seem obvious, but hanging out by the pool on a lounge chair is a pretty great way to spend a sea day. Poolside games, line dancing, and other pool deck activities are included with your cruise.
Many cruise ships have both a main pool area, and an adult pool area if you prefer a more quiet atmosphere.
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Soft Drinks And Alcoholic Drinks
Royal Caribbean kindly offers multiple packages so you can prepay for your sodas and alcohol. This gives a more all-inclusive feel to the cruise. These packages usually require you to drink above 5 or so drinks a day to make the price of the package worth it. We have done drink packages and they do give you a great all-inclusive feel. Its nice not having to worry if you want a specialty coffee, a coke or a margarita.
Royal Caribbean does allow each person to bring on board a case of soft drinks. They also allow two bottles of wine per stateroom. If all you need is just a diet coke to get you going in the morning, just bring it on board. That way you dont have to worry about paying the prices on the cruise ship.
Should You Get A Drink Package
At around $45 per person, per day for the ONLY drink package that includes alcohol, buying all the adults packages can add up fast. Is it worth it? Do the math to see if its a value to you: we found that cocktails were around $10-12 each, and wine was about $8-10, so you broke even after about four drinks per day. Thats about two more than I usually have, so for me, it wasnt worth it.
Note: The package is only $45 if you order it online before your cruise later it jumps up another 20%.
Theres a lesser package that includes soda, bottled water, juice, and specialty coffees and teas, but again, I found that I wouldnt use it enough: I dont drink soda and could get the coffee, juice, and water I needed for free. Lastly, theres a bottled water only package, that I would only consider if you must have bottled water instead of filtered.
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Serenade Of The Seas Size And Capacity
Serenade of the Seas boasts a gross tonnage of 90,090 the standard tonnage for all Radiance-class ships and a length of 962 feet. There are 12 decks. There is capacity for 2,490 passengers and 891 crew members.
This makes the ship on the small side, but that doesnt necessarily mean that it feels crowded. Instead, it feels a little more intimate and more like the classic cruising experience, versus the big, all-inclusive resort feel thats more standard on some of the bigger cruise ships on the water today.
Serenade of the Seas is powered by a gas-turbine vessel, and, even though it has a relatively small size, the ship still requires higher quality fuel and higher fuel consumption, despite the gas turbine systems higher efficient speeds as compared to diesel cruise ships. Unfortunately, green cruising has not exactly made its way to Serenade of the Seas just yet.
Signature Activities And Games
Royal Caribbean offers fun and unique signature activities onboard its cruise ships, the majority of which are included in your cruise fare. If you watch any Royal Caribbean cruise commercial, you will inevitably see people tackling the FlowRider, rock climbing wall, skydiving simulator, and more.
Signature activities included in your cruise fare include the FlowRider, rock climbing wall, mini golf, waterslides, zipline, the Ultimate Abyss, sports court, SeaPlex, bumper cars, aqua parks , and ice skating.
RipCord by iFLY, the skydiving simulator found on Quantum Class ships, has both complimentary and extra cost options available. Complimentary time slots often get reserved quickly, so its important to reserve a time slot in the Royal Caribbean app as soon as you get onboard the ship.
Also on Quantum Class ships is the North Star observation pod. This activity is complimentary on port days and comes with an extra cost when the ship is at sea.
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Alcoholic And Some Non
As mentioned previously, alcoholic beverages, as well as some non-alcoholic beverages, are not part of the cruise fare. On Royal Caribbean ships, beer, wine, cocktails, soda, specialty coffee and tea, and bottled water will all cost additional fees. Depending on your drinking habits, purchasing one of the beverage packages available might be a better option than paying the a la carte pricing.
Royal Caribbean now offers one alcoholic package called the Deluxe Beverage Package. The offerings in this package include most beers, wines, and cocktails $13 or less. There is also a Classic Soda package and the Royal Refreshment package which covers most non-alcoholic drinks.
Open Deck Design Makes An Appearance
One other feature of Oasis-class ships that seems like it will make an appearance on Icon of the Seas? The famous split deck on those ships that provides Central Park and The Boardwalk with sunlight.
This frame shows what appears to be the pool deck, with a large split that opens up to the decks below.
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Lounges And Watering Holes To Be Sure To Check Out
Again, just like with the specialty dining options, there arent a ton of different lounges and bars to hit up aboard Serenade of the Seas, due to its smaller size, but you can still find a good spot to have a sip or two.
The Schooner Bar is the same as what youll find on every Royal Caribbean ship, with its nautical theme and laid-back atmosphere. It also features live music on the daily.
The Safari Club is a more masculine-style watering hole, with lots of dark wood, billiards and man-approved cocktails.
Of course, more bars can be found by the pool and in the spa-adjacent Solarium.
New Services Venues Trademarked Ship Names
Note: OTS=”Of The Seas”
In January 2017 were trademarked the ship names Valhalla OTS, Sunrise OTS, Icon OTS, Symphony OTS. On September 15, 2014, RCCL trademarked the ship names Spectrum OTS, Harmony OTS, Emblem OTS, Joy OTS, Apex OTS. In September 2015 were abandoned the trademarks Emblem OTS, Passion OTS, Pulse OTS, Apex OTS, Joy OTS, Spectrum OTS. Other currently trademarked by Royal Caribbean ship names include Gallant OTS, Phenom OTS, Valhalla OTS, Sunrise OTS.
In September 2018 were trademarked 3 ship names – Eon OTS, Gallant OTS, Phenom OTS. In October was trademarked Metropolis OTS.
In September 2018 was trademarked the Oasis-Class ships’ smokestack area . The design features a crown-shaped bottom section with 2 slanted funnels above. In October 2018 was trademarked the hull’s oblong-shaped stern. The design features AquaTheater Suites , Ultimate Abyss and RCCL’s logo. In December 2018 was trademarked the name “Fly Rider” .
In October 2019, RCI partnered with Funky Buddha Brewery for an exclusive beer label available only on CocoCay Island. The private beer label was trademarked on July 8, 2019. The craft beer is a tropical ale packaged in 12-oz cans and is offered in different labels themed after CocoCay’s areas.
In April 2020, RCG filed a trademark application for “Seaface” – its own sanitary mask brand intended for cruise ship services.
In March 2021 was trademarked the phrase “America’s Cruise Line” .
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Are There Sundecks Private Areas Not Included With Your Cruise
Most cruise lines do have an area that is more private, either reserved only for suites, or an adult only area that is additional.
Private spa like areas, such as Princess Cruises Sanctuary, has a beautiful and luxurious space with a limited number of reserved lounge chairs. Theres a lovely spa menu available and included with the price, for either a half or full day.
Other cruise lines may have private adult only areas, that have different offerings, so do check the specifics of your cruise ship.
Tip: Towels are also given to you complimentary, so definitely dont pack these from home.
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Child Programming And Care
Royal Caribbean’s Adventure Ocean offers complimentary programming to children between the ages of 3 and 17 years old. From when Adventure Ocean opens each day until 10pm, there is no additional cost. From 10pm to 2am, Adventure Ocean incurs an hourly cost.
While in Adventure Ocean, kids take part in activities led by the staff. There’s a lot for kids to do at Adventure Ocean and the programming is specialized for each age group. It’s a mix of learning, play time and socializing.
Select ships have science lab and craft workshop rooms within Adventure Ocean, where kids can participate in staff-led scientific experiments and crafts.
Teens aged 12-17 onboard have access to a complimentary teen club and hangout area.
Children between the ages of 6 months and 36 months old can participate in the Royal Babies & Tots program. Most Royal Caribbean ships offer a nursery, where parents can drop children off throughout the day and evening. Use of the nursery comes at an hourly charge.
Some ships often have an open play area set up during the day, where parents can bring toddlers to play. This is unsupervised play time and the parents must remain present.
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Cruise Ship Kids Club
If youre cruising with kids, youll love the cruise line kids club. Cruise lines offer fun and interesting activities for children, and excellent supervision by the kids club staff.
Each cruise line has its own program such as Adventure Ocean on Royal Caribbean, Camp Carnival on Carnival ships, Princess Pelicans on Princess and so on.
What Royal Caribbeans New Video Revealed About Icon Of The Seas
Royal Caribbean has yet to reveal all the details of what promises to be its most exciting new ship, arguably since Oasis of the Seas joined the fleet as the first Oasis-class ship.
However, in a sneak peek video the cruise line posted, we are getting some hints of what Icon of the Seas will look like, possibly include, and more.
As a set of ongoing teasers for the new ship, the cruise line has posted video updates about its construction, which is currently underway in Finland ahead of the ships completion in 2023. But these videos have been cryptic, not revealing too much. In fact, even today we dont know exactly what the ship will even look like.
But in a new video just posted we are finally getting a chance to see some of the unique characteristics of the ship even if its not clear exactly what they are just yet.
The 7-minute video: Shaping the Worlds Newest Icon is posted above. Weve also highlighted some specific sections of the video that stood out to us as revealing more about what Icon of the Seas may include
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Beverages Already Included In Your Cruise Fare
So what free drinks on Royal Caribbean will you find? Royal Caribbean complimentary drinks covered by your cruise fare include milk, some juices, hot chocolate, and regular coffee and tea . You will also find some fountain-style drinks at the buffet. Youll find non-carbonated drinks like juice or juice-based punch, but no sodas. And, of course, you should also be able to get regular non-bottled water.
Will Royal Caribbean Still Have Buffets
There are rumors that buffets will be eliminated on some of the Royal Caribbean cruises, but that seems unlikely given the recent changes. In fact, the CDC changed its rules to allow passengers who are fully vaccinated to have buffets, but that doesnt mean cruise lines are racing to bring back the buffet. Royal Caribbeans global vice president Linken DSouza recently said that there would be no change to buffets on any of the ships.
The CDC recently eased restrictions on serving yourself on cruise ships, and this has led to the return of self-service on Windjammer buffets. The company will also offer packaged grab-and-go options, which proved popular after the pandemic. Self-service has also been reinstated on private island destinations and Solarium Bistros. While the ban has been a thorny issue for cruisers, the new policy is good for everyone.
Cruise Cabin Accommodations And Transportation To Cruise Port Destinations
This is really the basics right? Simply choose the cabin type that works best for you on your cruise ship or choice and your itinerary.
No matter the cabin you choose, youll have comfortable accommodations and a great place to sleep. Plus, all cruise staterooms come with twice a day housekeeping services, which means that you will feel very taken care of!
Pool Deck And Sports Deck
All Royal Caribbean ships have a large pool deck for cruisers to enjoy at no additional cost. Offering at least one main pool, hot tubs, and loungers, the pool deck is the ideal place to spend your days at sea. We especially enjoy the Caribbean pool on the newly amplified ships.
Additionally, many ships in the fleet also offer other pool deck amenities like slides and a kids aquapark. Royal Caribbean ships offer a variety of thrilling slides including the first boomerang slide at sea, the first ever head-first mat slide at sea, an aqua coaster, the Perfect Storm waterslides, and the 10-story Ultimate Abyss slide.
Further, most elements of the sports deck are included in the Royal Caribbean cruise fare as well. Activities like a basketball court, mini golf, the rock climbing wall, zipline, and the Flowrider surf simulator are all complimentary and fun for cruisers of all ages. Of course, there is also a jogging track and fitness center for those looking to stay active on a cruise.
Finally, the Solarium is the adults only area on Royal Caribbean cruise ships. Here, guests can relax in a tranquil area sans kids. Some Royal Caribbean ships have pools in the Solarium while some Oasis-class ships do not.
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Did We Enjoy The Food
We loved the number of food venues included in the cruise fare and we had some great meals in the buffet and other locations. The free room service breakfast was a great perk and we definitely werent ever hungry during the cruise.
Royal Caribbean do desserts particularly welland the 24/7 access to cookies was AMAZING.
We were disappointed by the quality of the food in the main dining room, as were many others on the cruise but perhaps our expectations were too high.
I hope that Royal Caribbean will continue to improve their vegetarian options but overall we definitely enjoyed the food on the cruise.
To find out more about my Royal Caribbean cruise onboard Anthem of the Seas, check out this video: