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1st Time Cruisers – 1 Sweet Cruise 2024

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What’s Included with your cruise fare?

Your cruise fare includes the following items:

  • Your room with daily room service *Suites frequently include additional exclusive amenities.
  • A selection of included restaurants
    • Main Dining Room – classic sit-down dining venue
    • Windjammer buffet – 
    • Cafe Promenade – lite eats available 24 hours a day
  • A selection of beverages (some may only be available at certain times of the day)
    • Tap water
    • Flavored waters
    • Milk
    • Fruit juices
    • Coffee
    • Hot Chocolate packets
    • Lemonade
  • A selection of entertainment and onboard activities
    • Live music
    • Ice skating shows
    • Ice skating
    • Invitation to Dance
    • Jackpot
    • Original Productions
    • Can’t Stop The Rock
    • Dance classes
    • Fitness classes
    • Flowrider surf simulator (both free and paid lessons available)
    • Table tennis
    • Pools
    • Whirlpools
    • Game shows
    • Typhoon and Cyclone water slides
    • Water park
    • Outdoor movies
    • Sports Court
    • Solarium Adults Only area
    • Mini golf
    • Rock Climbing Wall
    • The Silent Party
  • Kids Clubs!  Cruise lines provide amazing complimentary kids clubs for kids 3-17. We’d have to drag our kids away.

What are the obligatory costs?

There are three items that are effectively obligatory:

  • Your cruise fare
  • Daily gratuities.  You can pre-pay gratuities along with your cruise fare by final payment date, or be charged on the last day of your cruise – billed to your credit card on file for onboard expenses.  These daily gratuities is shared by your room staff, dining staff and additional behind-the-scenes staff.  You technically can modify these gratuities by speaking with guest services.
    • As of February, 2024, the daily gratuity rate is $18/pp per day, $20.50/pp per day for suites.
    • For any reservations booked prior to 11/11/23, we added prepaid gratuities to your reservation at the old rate of $16/pp per day. (higher for suites)
  • Gratuities for nearly all items purchased onboard.  Royal Caribbean currently adds 18% to nearly all onboard purchases.

What are optional expenses?

Like most businesses, cruise lines will provide lots of opportunities to spend more money, including:

  • Shore Excursions.  The cruise line will offer a selection of shore excursion, plus we work with Shore Excursions Group as a preferred partner of Cruise Planners.
  • Onboard shopping.  There is a variety of duty-free shopping onboard, along with jewelry, clothing and convenience store type shops.
  • Wi-Fi. For our guests who utilize CGM’s, Royal Caribbean provides two free accounts.  While the past two years have included full wi-fi accounts, technically they can limit access to just CGM cloud servers.
  • Spa
  • Beverage Packages.  Soda and alcohol are not included in your base cruise fare.  You can purchase drinks ala carte, or purchase a beverage package.  There are a number of packages available, from only soda, so a deluxe package including alcohol.  These packages are frequently discounted when purchased ahead of time on the guest portal.
  • Dining Packages. If you prefer specialty dining over the included restaurants, you can save by purchasing a dining package.  While we’re not foodies, we find the included restaurants tend to be pretty good.
  • Onboard Activities.  While most onboard activities are included in your cruise fare, some ar not, including:
    • Mystery Dinner Theater
    • Lessons on the Flowrider surf simulator (free opportunities are available on the Flowrider, but do not include lessons)
    • Art auctions
  • Photos.  Professional photographers will be onboard and will frequently take pictures at the main dining room, in front of backdrops on formal nights, onboard and possibly ports of call. You can purchase ala carte, in packages, or not at all.
  • Arcade.  The arcades usually have ala carte or package type pricing.
  • Casino
  • Perfect Day at CoCoCay.  CoCoCay is Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas.  It includes a number of free amenities, however there are several upgrades available, from Thrill Waterpark to overwater cabanas and Hideaway Beach – an adults-only section of the island.
  • Speciality Dining.  Available ala carte, as a cover charge or as part of a dining package.  All are optional.
    • Chef’s Table
    • Izumi
    • Johnny Rockets
    • Chops Grille
    • Giovanni’s Table
    • Room Service
  • Bars & Lounges
    • Schooner Bar
    • Boleros
    • Solarium Bar
    • Viking Crown Lounge
    • English Pub
    • Pool Bar
    • Champagne Bar

Many of these items can be pre-purchased via Royal Caribbean’s guest portal at a discount, so we’d recommend checking prices prior to boarding.

Attire Onboard

Cruises have become much more casual over the years, however most cruise lines still have at least one formal night scheduled.  The requested attire includes <>.  The formal nights will generally be photo opportunities as well, with several backdrops available for family photos.

Royal Caribbean utilizes three levels of attire while onboard.

  • Casual. You’re on vacation – relax! Jeans, polos, sundresses and blouses are all the right amount of laid back. Please keep swimwear to the Pool Deck. Shorts are welcome for breakfast and lunch.
  • Smart Casual. Think of this as a step up from your typical dinner wear. Dress to impress with collared shirts, dresses, skirts and blouses, or pantsuits. Jackets, sports coats and blazers are snazzy and welcome.
  • Formal. Make it a night out in your best black-tie look – suits and ties, tuxedos, cocktail dresses or evening gowns. There can be 1-3 formal nights during a sailing and is at the ship’s discretion.

We’ll be sailing on an 8-night itinerary, with 2 formal nights.

Note that camouflage type clothing is illegal in a number of countries, as it is reserved for members of the military.

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