This is our third cruise on Royal Caribbean since 2018 yet only now that I finally find time to pen down all the stuff that would serve as future notes for us and of course for all other cruisers!
So, back in 2018, we went on Voyagers of the Seas and last Sep (2021) – yup in midst of COVID-19 – we went on Quantum of the Seas and this year (June 2022), we went on Spectrum of the Seas! I think we enjoyed ourselves very much on each – both adults and kids.
Before you carry on reading, do note that this is going to be a text heavy sharing rather than with loads of pictures because trying to enjoy in the moment with the family! Also, you can easily google for the videos.
Hope you find it useful!
All about Booking!
We booked our cruises directly via their website instead of going through travel agency. It is very simple and the forms are direct – even for payment.
First, go create an account here >> https://www.royalcaribbean.com/account/create. I find it very useful when I have everything under this email address account so I can login anytime to check for updates. The App uses the same email address too.
Next, here are all the tips and info that I think are useful to note!
(i) Look out for deals!
You should notice all these on their Facebook page as well.
But do note that school holidays are peak period so prices are always on the higher side. So, if you are NOT travelling with children above 7 years old, definitely pick non-school holidays! Prices are way more attractive.
And, if you are travelling with seniors aged above 55 years old, do check the box under exclusive discounts and check the terms & conditions. They will enjoy additional 10% off except on black-out dates (which typically includes school holidays and public holidays).
(ii) What room type to choose?
Interior / Interior with virtual screen / Ocean View / Balcony / Junior Suites
For us, balcony was definitely the go-to choice because hubby and I are pampered with sea view and breeze! Also, it is really useful for hanging-dry our swim wear in between the water play times.
It is also very useful during shower times for the kids. Since the room is air-conditioned all the time and can be cold after shower, we would open the balcony door to “warm” the room up a little. The air-conditioning is auto-off once you unlock the balcony door. I think that is a neat design! In case you have neighbours who just smoke in the balcony, you can still have the air-con off without opening the door. (Grrr at smoking neighbours)
The natural light that comes through helps us wake and start out day nice and fresh. And of course, sun rise / sun set definitely cool!
Within balcony class, they actually have different price points too. Obstructed view – I always avoid this but now I was told by staff that typically this obstructed actually means you see the safety boats instead of the seas when you look down from your balcony!
Else, you could opt for the regular balcony or the one with large balcony. I noted that the one with large balcony has a smaller room space! So, choose wisely!
But if you prefer to save the budget for better dining experiences or shopping, you can opt for interior rooms instead! Actually we do not stay in the room in the day very much either.
Junior suites are much bigger than balcony rooms and they come with Silver class privileges! I know it entitles you to Silver dining where there is a more premium buffet line. The room comes with bath tub too! Unfortunately, they are almost ALWAYS sold out ! When I was booking out next cruise (yes, like now in June), all junior suites for December sailings are ALL SOLD OUT!
TIP! They have this RoyalUP program – where they will email you a couple weeks before sailing. You can choose to bid for an upgrade. For eg, you can choose to bid at SGD80 per pax for a balcony room from interior. They would only charge for the 1st 2 pax (even if you have 3 or 4 pax in the same room) and of course only if you are successful with the bid. You will be informed via email probably days before sail day. You decide the amount to bid for! You can also try to upgrade to higher grades room like junior suite if available.
(iii) Which part of the ship? Forward / Mid / Aft? Which floor?
Mid is always recommended – even by their staff. It is said that mid has less movements in case of strong winds / waves etc. But I have to say, we didn’t feel a thing when we were in Aft. The last round in Quantum though – we were in forward and we could feel some sways. It wasn’t raining but wind was really strong (sometime in mid Sep). So, if you tend to get motion sickness / sea sickness, opt for mid or aft.
Mid is also great for reaching places, especially in big ship like Spectrum. We were staying in Aft this time and we really did walk quite alot.
If mid is not available and if you have no issue for sways (that might happen in rare occasions), then go for Forward. Forward is nearer to the pools, Adventure Ocean (kids’ club) and Royal Theatre (where most shows are) – great for families! Windjammer (buffet line) and main dining room are a little towards the aft.
Floor wise, you would want to know:
Deck 3 and 4 – Main Dining room (complimentary sit-down dining) / Shopping / Royal Theatre (key shows are held here)
Deck 5 – Specialty restaurants / TWO70 (where activities are and one highlight show is held here too)
Deck 11 & 12 – Adventure Ocean (Deck 12 for kids above 6yo)
Deck 13 – Spa & Fitness
Deck 14 – Windjammer (complimentary buffet line) / Sorrentos (complimentary pizza place) / POOLS!
Deck 15 – Running track / Rock Climbing / SeaPlex (where bumper cars will be played) / Arcade
(iv) Dining time – Early / Late / My Time?
This is an option for dining in the main dining room. If you would be visiting Windjammer buffet, there is no specific options. So early is around 530pm while late is around 8pm. If you opt for these options, they would pre-assign your table so your table will always be reserved for you. We usually go for My Time so we can pop by anytime between 645pm to 845pm. If you prefer to have a definite table, you can also reserve a time slot via the app. But if you do not, there will still be table available for you.
In fact, they arranged the same table for us when we went on different days without booking. It is nice to be at the same table when you have some kind of rapport with the staff.
(v) What details do you need at point of booking?
At this point, you would not need any passport details. You will only need to enter all passengers’ first name and last name, gender, date of birth, citizenship, email address (for first passenger). First name and last name are important as they MUST match what is in the passport. So, do take note especially if you are entering them on behalf of friends.
(vi) Payment details
You would be expected to pay SGD100 per pax non-refundable deposit. Of course, you can choose to make full payment now, otherwise do remember to make balance payment by the due date stated! It should be around 75days prior to sailing. Just check the date stated after deposit is made.
Get your credit card ready or if you are booking through mobile phone, you might have your card details saved. It was pretty much hassle free.
Once everything is done, you can always login to this website https://www.royalcaribbean.com/account/ to check on your sail related stuff and documents.
Do download the Royal Caribbean app too!
You can do pre check-in there and also it will have all the SetSail Pass that includes your reservation number, room number, personal details required for boarding.
You can also check out the main dining room menu to decide which days / meals you would like to dine there!
All bookings / reservations for bumper cars / shows have to be made via the app and can only do so when you are connected to the ship’s wifi!
Stay tuned for next few parts where I will share more about the stuff required before sail day and of course what to expect on boarding day. Definitely also sharing more stuff on actual fun onboard!