Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas at Coco Cay
Money Saving Royal Caribbean cruise Tips and Tricks
Royal Caribbean is awesome for adventure travelers of all ages, families with kids, and fun-seekers wanting an adrenaline rush. We’re stoked to share some general tips with you, and finish off the article with some expert money saving tips from Matt, the host of Royal Caribbean Blog.
Book Drink Packages Early
Let’s get going with our number ONE Royal Caribbean cruise tip. If you’re splurging on a drink package, book your package EARLY using Royal Caribbean’s cruise planner. Die hard Royal Caribbean fans KNOW that if you wait to book your drink package onboard, you’ll pay more for it. Experts say you could save up to $10 per DAY or MORE by booking early. Of course, the drink package doesn’t always make sense, so be sure to calculate how many drinks per day you’d have to drink EVERY day of your cruise to make it worth the cost.
You can use your estimator HERE to get some clariry. https://cruisetipstv.com/estimator/. If you’d like a bit more depth on the pros and cons of the drink package, we made a full video about the topic, which you can view here: https://youtu.be/11TyBkuRvSc (don’t miss this one- we share OUR drink package story, and offer some hacks). If the drink package isn’t your thing, you should know Royal Caribbean still allows cruisers to bring two bottles of wine or champagne per stateroom, a great way to save a little cash.
Book Specialty Dining Before Your Cruise
You can also make your specialty dining and activity reservations early using Royal Caribbean’s cruise planner. If you book early, you might even be able to get a discount. Whether it’s venturing down the rabbit hole at Wonderland, indulging in a traditional steak at Chops, or booking a show, a little pre-planning can ensure you get the most from your dining and entertainment experiences onboard.
Insider tip: DON’T book your Aqua show tickets on the first night of your cruise leaving Florida. Rough seas tend to lead to cancellations. Also, when it comes to activities, showing up early is always recommended. Great examples of this are the parade and aqua shows, it’s best to arrive early to find the best seating for you and your crew.
Try the Labadoozie
Visiting Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private destination on your Royal Caribbean cruise? We have some tips for you. First, you’ve gotta try a Labadoozie. You can order this citrusy, tropical concoction with or without rum, and it’s a cult favorite for a reason. Want to know a secret? The recipe can be found on RoyalCaribbeanblog.com, but don’t tell anyone. There’s a ton to do in Labadee, including, shopping, zip lining, an aqua park and even a roller coaster, but renting a cabana, if you score one early, is a total treat. You’ll enjoy little luxuries like a cooler full of water, extra towels, privacy, and even a beach attendant.
Don’t Miss the Food Stations
Let’s jump back on the ship for some dining tips! The Windjammer buffet hides a little secret that many cruisers don’t catch on to until later in their cruise, and that’s the custom food stations. You’ll find everything from omelets at breakfast, to carving stations at dinner, which go way beyond standard buffet fare. That’s not all. Royal Caribbean’s Cafe Promenade offers delicious coffee, which is considerably better than what you’ll find at the buffet.
Park Café ALSO offers killer roast beef sandwiches called “kummelweck”. They’re a huge fave amongst Royal Caribbean cruisers in the know. In fact, Park Cafe is a cult favorite for many loyalits, who recommend the quick and easy breakfasts there, as well as a great embarkation day lunch (shh…don’t tell anyone).
Beat the Crowds
How about some activity hacks? When it comes to activities, one of the best tips we hear, time after time, is to maximize that first day! Some of the most popular activities on Royal Caribbean ships tend to be a LOT less crowded on embarkation day, so pack your swimsuit and sunscreen in that carry-on bag, and check out the FlowRider, Ripcord by iFly, rock climbing and bumper cars on day 1. While everyone else is getting a feel for the ship, and hitting the buffet, you can be crossing adrenaline rushes of your list.
Now, if you’re super serious about this idea, you can even sign the waivers for activities like the zip line and flow before you cruise, so you can save time and hassle on your first day. Just check for them in your cruise planner on the Royal Caribbean website. Oh, and if you’re lucky enough to sail on a ship that has it, Quantum-class’s North Star is awesome anytime you can take advantage of it, but you’ll get the best views on sea days, because the rising glass capsule sometimes can’t extend out as far while in port. Catch the North Star on sea days for a better chance at the full 300 foot experience.
Know Your Ship Before You Cruise
Want to get the inside scoop before your Royal Caribbean cruise, from verified Royal Caribbean cruisers? You always hear us say “know your ship before you cruise” and in this case, the best way to do that is to check out tens of thousands of ship, port and even cabin reviews at cruiseline.com. If you’re looking for a way to connect with other cruisers before you sail, check out ShipMate App as well, and don’t forget to upload YOUR review and photos when you return from your cruise. You can visit cruiseline dot com here: https://cruiseline.com/?utm_source=youtube&utm_campaign=cttv
Work That Cruise Compass!
Your daily newsletter is the key to making the most of your Royal Caribbean cruise, so pack a highlighter pen, and a magnetic clip to affix your daily newsletter to the metal walls in your stateroom. If you’re cruising with kids, they’ll love being involved in choosing activities for the next day, and you may even minimize those “what should we do now” situations. On some ships, you can now view the daily activities right in the app as well. We found the app to be among the best at sea, with an easy to view and scroll activity design.
5 Bonus Tips From the Godfather of Royal Caribbean Cruising
Now, we’re honored to bring you “five money saving tips for getting the best Royal Caribbean cruise deal”, from our friend Matt Hochberg, the host of the award winning podcast and website, RoyalCaribbeanblog.com. Matt is commonly asked how someone can save money on a Royal Caribbean cruise or just get a good deal on their sailing. While Matt says there is no silver bullet solution that will work for everyone, he has these tips for getting the best possible price.
#1. Book as early as you can to get the lowest possible fares. In general, Royal Caribbean rewards those that book their cruises early with the lowest fares. As more people book a given sailing, prices tend to rise because there is less inventory available. Matt suggests you place a deposit on a sailing that can lock in that price until your final payment date. This not only gives you the lowest possible price, it also gives you the most time to make payments on the cruise. And, that deposit is fully refundable if you happen to change your mind later.
#2. Use a travel agent. Whether you are brand new to Royal Caribbean or a veteran, book your cruise with a good travel agent. It is their job to stay on top of the various deals and promotions Royal Caribbean rolls out there and because they are constantly pricing a variety of sailings across Royal Caribbean’s fleet, they may be aware of deals and savings out that you might not have considered.
In addition, even after you book a cruise, Royal Caribbean is constantly rolling out new promotions that could save you even more money, and a good travel agent will be there to re-price things for you while you plan the fun parts of your cruise. Need a good travel agent? Contact Wendy at her team at our partner travel agency: https://cruisetipstv.membercruises.com/travel/HomePage.html
#3. Book a cruise during less-busy months. Matt’s first two tips will get you some great prices, but if you want to find those super low cruise fares, consider taking a Royal Caribbean cruise when many others are not willing to. What does that mean? Since Royal Caribbean is a family cruise line, you can save money by avoiding taking cruises when kids are off from school for holidays.
Summer, Christmas, Spring Break and Easter are all times when families have built in vacation time and many look to cruise. In short, book your cruise while school is in session. Here are the specific times of year when you will be able to save big: January (except New Years), February (except Presidents Week), the First two weeks of March, October, November (except thanksgiving), and the first two weeks of December.
#4. Consider ships sailing from alternate ports: In addition to considering time of year, also consider the ports Royal Caribbean sails from and which ones can get you a better deal. Royal Caribbean offers cruises from a variety of ports around the world, but some sailings always seem to be priced lower than other sailings mainly due to where the cruise departs from. In North America, you can often find great rates from Galveston, Texas, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Tampa, Florida.
#5. Skip the brand new ships. When you watch any of Royal Caribbean’s TV commercials, you will see scenes from their BRAND new ships and they are absolutely amazing experiences, but they also come with premium pricing. Royal Caribbean has a LARGE fleet of cruise ships and they all offer really fun experiences.
The thing is, Royal Caribbean charges a premium for its newest ships, so some of the best deals can be found with the relatively older classes of ships. Here are Matt’s five favorite ships that offer a tremendous value for the money: Independence of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, and Mariner of the Seas. There are plenty of others as well, but the bottom line is if you can look past the latest and greatest, you can find great deals on some truly amazing ships.
Huge thanks to Matt from RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com for these awesome money saving ideas.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this info. For more information on Royal Caribbean cruises, check out our videos HERE.