Is a Royal Caribbean Cruise Worth it?

There are so many cruise line options out there today, so it can be hard to decide which one is worth it. What about Royal Caribbean? Is a Royal Caribbean Cruise worth it? The short answer is yes! 

A Royal Caribbean cruise is a great option for couples, families with children, and everything in between. But if you’re wondering about more specifics, take a look at this review that breaks down the specifics of a Royal Caribbean cruise. 

Royal Caribbean is our favorite cruise line for families and 2nd best overall (we still love Virgin Voyages for adult-only cruises).

Royal Caribbean Cruise Overview

Royal Caribbean is known as a massive fleet with over 27 ships sailing around the world. 

One of the biggest draws for these cruises is the varied and exciting slate of entertainment options. Plus, each Royal Caribbean ship is filled with dozens of different onboard activities. On board a Royal Caribbean ship, you’ll find everything from rock climbing walls and FlowRider surf simulators to Escape Rooms, skydiving simulators, casinos, Broadway shows, ice skating rinks, and even zip lines. Aimed at travelers of all ages, these ships do a great job of keeping everyone entertained.

When we went on our first Royal Caribbean cruise, we had so much fun going from the FlowRider to the pool to other entertainment onboard. We were a group of 4 adults but acted like children.

Royal Caribbean has ports all around the world, but its most popular destinations are in the Caribbean and Alaska. Cruise lengths range from 2 nights to a 274-night ultimate world cruise. They have a fleet size of 24 ships, and their smallest ship can accommodate 2000 people while the largest ship can hold 5700 passengers and crew.

It is important to note that Royal Caribbean cruises are not all-inclusive. For example, each traveler has to purchase one of their drink packages if they want anything other than water and coffee. In addition, you will have to pay extra for some of the premium restaurants, which can add up quickly. Tips are also a set daily cost in addition to your cruise fare. So, be aware of those requirements and costs before booking your trip.

Royal Caribbean Cruise: What’s Included and What’s Not

Again, Royal Caribbean cruises are not all-inclusive, but there are plenty of options and amenities included in the base fare. Of course, some guests choose to add more packages to this basic price, but the base fare gets you plenty of good food and activities.

Base Fare Royal Caribbean Inclusions

Every fare comes with accommodations, but you can always choose to upgrade those accommodations. 

Meals and snacks are also included. Not every meal and snack is included, but the majority are. Each Royal Caribbean cruise ship offers different restaurants and dining options, so the exact ones that are included in your fare will depend. But you can rest assured that several breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options can be enjoyed at no additional cost.

Royal Caribbean guests can also enjoy complimentary children’s programming while on board. This program is designed for children 3 to 17 and is a great way for parents to get some time away. For parents, this is one of the main inclusions that make a Royal Caribbean cruise worth the price.

And, of course, guests have access to most activities, shows, and games on board. You’ll always have something to look forward to, and you won’t have to worry about additional costs popping up every day.

Any additional upgrades or perks do come at an additional cost, but a lot of those can be included before boarding. You’ll still be well aware of the cost you’re paying.

What is not included

Its hard to go on a Royal Caribbean cruise without spending extra. Anything beyond the basics is going to cost extra.

  • Drink Packages – If you will be doing many sodas, specialty coffees, or alcohol, it may make sense to purchase a drink package. Otherwise, you can also pay per drink.
  • Excursions – When you get off the ship, all of the excursions are additional cost. They can be purchased through Royal Caribbean and outside vendors.
  • Gratuities – There is an automatic service gratuity of USD 18.00 per person, per day for guests in non-suite staterooms and Junior Suite, or USD 20.50 per person, per day for guests in Suites, will be applied to each guest’s SeaPass account daily. 
  • Spa Treatments – Any treatments in the Spa are going to be at an additional price.
  • On-Board Activities – While many onboard activities are included in the cost of your fare, some will be at an additional price like bingo.
  • Specialty Restaurants – My favorite things to spend extra money on. Expect to pay for an upgraded meal beyond the main dining hall.

Royal Caribbean Cruise: Dining Review

One of the guests’ biggest compliments about Royal Caribbean cruise lines is the variety of food options. You can find tons of different styles and atmospheric options, so you’re sure to find something you’ll love.

Royal Caribbean dining options include a lot of more casual dining, which includes a buffet-style restaurant called the Windjammer and the main dining room. Both of these options are included in your boarding fare, so they’re easy stops for lunch or dinner. You can also indulge in a little room service and get breakfast in-room. 

For a little change of scenery, try one of a handful of included restaurant options. Royal Caribbean offers some fine dining restaurants and options, but these choices do come at an additional cost. 

Royal Caribbean Cruise: Cabin Review 

Guests of Royal Caribbean also speak highly of their comfortable cabins and the variety in budget options. Most Royal Caribbean ships offer everything from inside cabin, balcony cabin, and suite options. Plus, there are larger staterooms and adjoining rooms to fit larger travel groups and families.  

The staterooms offered by Royal Caribbean are filled with amenities in their staterooms, such as virtual balconies (virtual balconies are high-definition screens inside interior staterooms that show exterior views in real-time). Even in the more budget-friendly options, Royal Caribbean cabins have comfortable sitting areas with small couches.

Royal Caribbean Cruise: Activities and Entertainment Review

Royal Caribbean cruises know how to keep everyone entertained. There are so many activities and entertainment options for adults, teens, and kids onboard the ship. From surf simulators, waterparks, rock climbing walls, and live shows to bumper cars, casinos, and escape rooms, there is something for everyone. There are also dedicated kids club areas as well as adult-only lounges and nightclubs.

If you enjoy going to shows, then Royal Caribbean has a line-up that you might not find anywhere else. The cruise line is known for offering award-winning Broadway shows such as Grease, Cats, and Hairspray. You can also enjoy comedy shows, game shows, and other live performances.

In fact, Royal Caribbean is considered the best in the cruise industry when it comes to entertainment. While the specific offerings depend on the ship and length of trip. On some ships, guests can enjoy an ice show in one theater and a water show in another. The variety offered by Royal Caribbean is unparalleled.

Royal Caribbean Cruise: The Verdict

So, what do you think? A Royal Caribbean cruise is a great option for nearly every kind of traveler. And so much of the fun is included in your boarding fare, so you won’t need to worry about that final bill. Now, who’s ready for that next cruise?

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