Okay, so you probably have a rough idea of what you think cruising is all about. But be prepared, because there are constantly comments from first-time cruisers that they're totally surprised once they get onboard.
Royal Caribbean International cruise ships are some of the most innovative in the industry - they're bigger and brighter, with a lot more open spaces and private balconies. Onboard and shoreside activities appeal to everyone from the rock climber, to the sun worshiper.
Where to start? Planning a cruise vacation on Royal Caribbean is easy. Many people like to start by choosing a Destination. Others choose their cruise by Port of Departure, or even the Ship.
While some people may think cruising is expensive, a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation is actually a great value and is a very smart, affordable way to travel. When you're onboard one of these cruise ships, almost everything is taken care of - your accommodations, gourmet meals in the dining rooms and cafés, and snacks throughout the day. All activities including amazing fitness center, entertainment and award-winning Adventure Ocean® Youth Program are all paid for. Even 24-hour room service is included. So, if you're looking for an incredible value, look no further - this is the vacation for you!
From kids to grandparents, a Royal Caribbean cruise is the perfect vacation no matter what your age.
What Happens On A Cruise
Explore all of the adventures available to you onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship – from rock climbing, to wine tasting, to sitting poolside, there is a wide variety of activities for you to choose from.
Dining on these cruise ships is as exciting as every other aspect of life onboard. There are so many different dishes and enticing atmospheres to experience you won't know where to start: pasta at Portofino, classic burgers from Johnny Rockets, gourmet five-course meals in the main dining room… In addition, all cruise ships offer low-fat ShipShape Day Spa menus, kids' menus, and, if you arrange in advance, kosher menus. Specialty restaurants are not available on all ships.
Main Dining Room
The main dining room stands out for its world-class food and décor, and it's the perfect choice for groups both large and small. From heavenly entrees to delectable desserts—and dining options to suit a range of vacationing needs— this is fine dining that everyone can enjoy.
With My Time Dining you can experience the fine quality, ambiance and service offered in our main dining room while enjoying flexibility in your dining options. By selecting My Time Dining, you can choose to dine in our main dining room between the hours of 6:00 – 9:30 pm (times vary by ship). Then once onboard your ship, you will have the convenience and flexibility to select the perfect dining time for each day of your cruise vacation.
For a romantic evening at sea make a reservation at Portofino, the specialty restaurant offering delicious Italian cuisine. Sample some of the chef's new creations or have one of your favorites prepared the classic way. Either way, you won't be disappointed.
From the first bite of the antipasto to the last spoonful of tiramisu, dining in the elegant atmosphere of Portofino is an evening to remember.
A nominal fee ranging from $20 - $25 USD applies per dining guest, including gratuities. Specialty beverages, beer, wine and soft drinks are offered at current bar menu prices.
Chops Grille is a guest favorite, the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion or simply be treated to a fantastic dinner. Enjoy juicy steaks, fresh seafood, hearty side dishes and delicious desserts in an elegant atmosphere. From filet mignon to mesquite grilled salmon, Chops Grille offers much more than simple meat and potatoes.
Dishes In Chops Grille are seasoned with Royal Culinary CollectionsTM blend of spices. Meat dishes offer a choice of traditional béarnaise sauce, famous peppercorn sauce, garlic-herb butter or Royal Caribbean steak sauce. A wide selection of Royal Culinary CollectionsTMmustard is also available.
Slip back in time in this fifties-style burger joint that's fun for the whole family. The burgers are juicy, the shakes are thick and the retro style is so authentic you'll think you've been here before.
The Johnny Rockets restaurant you'll find onboard is everything you'd expect from the shore-side restaurant - authentic 1950s décor, a menu filled with all-American favorites and, of course, friendly service. Johnny Rockets is a great casual dining alternative that everyone in the family will enjoy.
The Windjammer Café is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat before hitting the pool or a casual dinner to top off a day of adventure. Open almost around the clock, it offers great food, spectacular views and an attentive waitstaff, all in a casual atmosphere.
Choose from a wide variety of food and a seemingly never-ending buffet for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks throughout the day. Serving stations offer salads, soups, sandwiches and burgers, meat-carving and hot entrees. And for your sweet tooth, choose from a multitude of cookies, cakes and frozen yogurt.
NB: Not all ships features these restaurants and surcharges apply to some restaurants.
What to Wear
There are three distinct types of evenings onboard: casual, smart casual and formal. Suggested guidelines for these nights are:
Casual: Sport shirts and slacks for men, sundresses or pants for women
Smart Casual: Jackets and ties for men, dresses or pantsuits for women
Formal: Suits and ties or tuxedos for men, cocktail dresses for women
3 to 4-night cruises include one formal night and two or three casual nights.
5 - nights include one formal, one smart casual and three casual nights.
7-night cruises include two formal nights, one smart casual night and four casual nights.
10, 11, and 12-night cruises include two formal nights and three smart casual nights, all other nights are casual.
14 and 15-night cruises include three formal nights and four smart casual nights. All other nights are casual.
Royal Caribbean will automatically add a $12.00 to $12.95 USD gratuity ($14.25 to $15.95 USD for Suite guests) to each guest’s onboard SeaPass® account on a daily basis, to be shared by crew that work to enhance your client’s cruise.
You will still have the option to prepay before sailing, rather than having the automatic gratuities applied onboard. Bookings that prepay their gratuities before sailing will not be charged daily onboard.
The amount of the automatic gratuity is at your discretion. In the unlikely event you are not completely satisfied with the service while onboard, you may visit Guest Services to modify the amount of the daily gratuity.
A 15-18% gratuity is automatically added to beverages, mini bar items, and spa & salon services, and will be itemised on your receipt.
Fun isn't just for adults at Royal Caribbean. They offer exciting programs for guests of all ages, starting at just 6 months old! And you can feel confident leaving your children, over three years of age, because every member of staff holds a college degree in education or other related field, or has qualified experience in working with children.
From 6-36 months of age, tiniest guests and their parents are invited to participate in the Fisher-Price Aqua Babies and Aqua Tots Programs. Developed by Fisher-Price exclusively for Royal Caribbean International, these activities are hosted by trained youth staff. A parent or caregiver MUST accompany children during activity sessions.
Kids from 3-17 may take part in complimentary Adventure Ocean® Youth Program. Adventure Ocean was specially designed to blend educational activities with just plain fun. To participate in the Adventure Ocean programs, children must be three years of age and potty-trained (diaper and pull-up free).
Like a lot of people, a trip to Alaska was something we both had wanted to do for quite some time. However fitting it in was difficult. Sarah from Quay Travel managed that very efficiently. What to me was proving frustrating, sometimes there are too many options, was to Sarah, not a problem. She found for us a cruise which suited our timing, and then arranged the best flight options to get us to Seattle. YES - we thought that is all organised, however we had decided to sort out our shore excursions . For what ever reason the cruise line’s web site did not like me. A Quay Cruise staff member willingly took us under her care and quickly sorted matters out for us. My wife and I are very pleased to say that everything on our trip which was organised here in NZ by Quay Cruise happened when and as it should. Our thanks to Sarah and her Team - the hassle is taken out of travelling.
When we returned from Alaska I said to my husband we would never be going on another cruise - because nothing could beat that experience. Perfect in every way, excellently chosen accommodation and smooth transitions. Thanks Quay Cruise.
It’s a long way from Auckland to Alaska and return. That’s why you need the best Travel Agent to plan your cruise; find the perfect ship for you and deliver you home again. Michelle and the team are the best in the biz. We wouldn’t go further than NZ without them. Now, where to next?
We first met Margaret when one of our grandsons attended the same daycare centre as her daughter. Since that time we have been fortunate in having Margaret take care of the planning for the cruises we have sailed on. She always pays attention to every detail in helping us plan our holidays and in particular her knowledge with regard to cruises means that we know we are getting the best deal and service available. She goes that extra mile to ensure every holiday is special.