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surrocruiser

New to Royal, any tips?

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Hello all, we just booked our very first cruise on Royal Caribbean. We have done Disney, NCL, Princess and Carnival. this will be our 13th cruise. Carnival has been our last 3 bc of traveling with extended family and preferring the 8 day itineraries.

 

I have established an handful of things I do every cruise but I am wondering what  should we know plan or do differently on Royal Caribbean? We usually bring a fan for cabins bc they are always hot, 12 pack of soda per person for in the cabin along with some sort of cooler since mini fridges arent the best, and order a 12 pack of waters (really cheap) on Carnival, bring a larger reusable tumbler for iced tea and water throughout the day.

 

We will be sailing on the Harmony of the Seas doing Eastern Caribbean. Probably not getting off in any ports aside from Cococay bc we have done them and really want to be able to check things out onboard. 

Anything else you can suggest would be GREATLY appreciated. 😍

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     You will love the Harmony. Great ship. There are no deals on water on royal like carnival has. You can take water on with you. I brought 3 cases of water on the symphony in a rolling carry on. Never was told I couldn’t have all the water. Actually I was carrying it on for all 3 cabins we had, so I wasn’t doing anything wrong. Reserve your shows ahead of time. We have taken many carnival cruises but we find we keep going back to the oasis class ships now. You do not need to take cooler, little refrigerator is fine. You will miss all the food options carnival has but park cafe is great for salads and roast beef sandwiches. Go there first day on ship. Buffet is crazy boarding day. 

Edited by renza

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10 minutes ago, renza said:

     You will love the Harmony. Great ship. There are no deals on water on royal like carnival has. You can take water on with you. I brought 3 cases of water on the symphony in a rolling carry on. Never was told I couldn’t have all the water. Actually I was carrying it on for all 3 cabins we had, so I wasn’t doing anything wrong. Reserve your shows ahead of time. We have taken many carnival cruises but we find we keep going back to the oasis class ships now. You do not need to take cooler, little refrigerator is fine. You will miss all the food options carnival has but park cafe is great for salads and roast beef sandwiches. Go there first day on ship. Buffet is crazy boarding day. 

When was that.  Royal changed their carry on policy for water and soda Sept 1 last year. You are now allowed 12 cans (bottles) of soda or water per stateroom in carry on luggage only.

 

Prior  to Sept 1 2018 while carrying on any water or soda was technically prohibited it was never enforced.  

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I have done it on all my oasis class ship cruises. My last cruise that I carried 3 cases of water on was the symphony on June 8th. Plus when in port my brother carried on a case in his hands in Mexico. No questions ever, even when it was not allowed. 

Edited by renza

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Ignore any "percent off" numbers touted by Royal, they make those up.  Just look at the bottom line cost.

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2 hours ago, renza said:

     You will love the Harmony. Great ship. There are no deals on water on royal like carnival has. You can take water on with you. I brought 3 cases of water on the symphony in a rolling carry on. Never was told I couldn’t have all the water. Actually I was carrying it on for all 3 cabins we had, so I wasn’t doing anything wrong. Reserve your shows ahead of time. We have taken many carnival cruises but we find we keep going back to the oasis class ships now. You do not need to take cooler, little refrigerator is fine. You will miss all the food options carnival has but park cafe is great for salads and roast beef sandwiches. Go there first day on ship. Buffet is crazy boarding day. 

You are limited to 12 bottles of water per cabin now. Can't roll cases on. 

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Thanks so much, I love hearing from others who have sailed.

 

I did call Royal last week about bringing drinks on board. I was told 12 per cabin, up to 17 oz each. I"m sure what actually happens may be different but that was the "official" policy she said.

 

Normally, we spend a lot of time in the cabin on the balcony but this trip, we want to try to check out EVERYTHING haha. Any tips for a plan of attack?

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1 minute ago, surrocruiser said:

.... Any tips for a plan of attack?

 

Start at the top deck and work your way down.

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12 hours ago, BirdTravels said:

You are limited to 12 bottles of water per cabin now. Can't roll cases on. 

     Yes u can. I just did it last month. Plus many of my friends did it a few weeks ago. I live 30 min from Fort Lauderdale, we take at least 3 cruises a year and always do it. Even when it was not allowed we did it. Never in over 20 sailings on royal have we been stopped. 

Edited by renza

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We use to sail Royal, but haven't sailed on a  RCI cruise since 2013, we have been doing Carnivals because we can sail more going to New Orleans and not having to fly.   We  booked the Radiance back in early 2018 for a New Zealand cruise in November 2019.  At that time and for that cruise there wasn't an option of booking with or without a refundable deposit.... it was refundable.   I've been looking at 10 day cruises for next year so that we will make the Diamond level.     I'm shocked that the deposits aren't refundable prior to the final payment.  We are looking at $900 loss if we book now for a 2020 cruise in the fall and something happens within a year.   We're in our mid 60's and not sure if I want to lose close to a 1000 bucks if one of us gets sick or injured in the next few months.    The only thing I can think of is purchase our travel insurance the day I purchase the cruise.    

 

 

 

 

Edited by Ocean Spirit

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4 minutes ago, Ocean Spirit said:

 ... I'm shocked that the deposits aren't refundable prior to the final payment.  ...

 

 

 

Except for full suites and guarantee bookings, you still have the option for refundable deposits.

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Thank you Clarea!   Great to know.  For whatever reason I helped book a friend to join us on the cruise we were going on in February of this year and the rep I was dealing with had told me no refundable deposit option.    RCI had always been one of our favorite lines, great to know.

 

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5 minutes ago, Ocean Spirit said:

Thank you Clarea!   Great to know.  For whatever reason I helped book a friend to join us on the cruise we were going on in February of this year and the rep I was dealing with had told me no refundable deposit option.    RCI had always been one of our favorite lines, great to know.

 

 

If you use a reputable travel agent, they should be able to offer you the refundable option.

 

If you book direct, via Royal's website, you have to enter all passenger info before your reach a page that gives you the refundable option.  Royal has purposely made checking refundable deposit prices onerous.

 

If you book direct, by calling Royal, they may not advise you that there is a refundable option, so be prepared to insist.

 

 

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Refundables are still available for anything below suites, but just understand the prices are higher.  We always book non-refundable as we carry insurance in case anything happens and we cannot go.  But so far no issues and I have 20 non refundable cruises booked through April 2021

 

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38 minutes ago, Ocean Spirit said:

We are looking at $900 loss if we book now for a 2020 cruise in the fall and something happens within a year.

 

 

Sounds strange unless you have 9 people or maybe in a suite.  Even non-refundable deposit is mostly refundable.  There is a $100 per person fee to change or cancel a cruise, but the rest comes back to you as a future cruise deposit that has to be used within a year.

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8 minutes ago, karena1 said:

Refundables are still available for anything below suites, but just understand the prices are higher.  We always book non-refundable as we carry insurance in case anything happens and we cannot go.  But so far no issues and I have 20 non refundable cruises booked through April 2021

 

20 through 2021?  Oh, I can't wait for that day!  hahaha  My husband and I were just talking about how we could get to Pinnacle ( we are very close to Diamond +)...THAT is how!  Now, to be able to pay for all of those is another story!  (maybe once we are retired! )  🙂  

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2 minutes ago, Luv2teachandcruise said:

20 through 2021?  Oh, I can't wait for that day!  hahaha  My husband and I were just talking about how we could get to Pinnacle ( we are very close to Diamond +)...THAT is how!  Now, to be able to pay for all of those is another story!  (maybe once we are retired! )  🙂  

We are at 560 now and working to Pinnacle.  We don't do Suites, just balconies, so only 1 point per night.  We do a lot of short cruises since we live in Florida and 3 to 4 7 nighters a year.  Our lives revolve around our next cruise and we are truly blessed that we are able to cruise so much!

 

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Just now, karena1 said:

We are at 560 now and working to Pinnacle.  We don't do Suites, just balconies, so only 1 point per night.  We do a lot of short cruises since we live in Florida and 3 to 4 7 nighters a year.  Our lives revolve around our next cruise and we are truly blessed that we are able to cruise so much!

 

Nice!!! You are ALMOST there!   We have a few years until retirement, and with me being a teacher, I am so limited as to WHEN I can go, so I have to wait until I retire...and a time when we don't have to take the kids! hahaha.  We have mostly done balconies, have done 1 suite, and have 1 suite booked for next year.  Going on Symphony in 3 weeks!  

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1 minute ago, Luv2teachandcruise said:

Nice!!! You are ALMOST there!   We have a few years until retirement, and with me being a teacher, I am so limited as to WHEN I can go, so I have to wait until I retire...and a time when we don't have to take the kids! hahaha.  We have mostly done balconies, have done 1 suite, and have 1 suite booked for next year.  Going on Symphony in 3 weeks!  

We go on Symphony in Dec and then we will have been on all the Oasis Class ships at least once. Enjoy Symphony.  If you get a chance, can you post a picture of the drink package prices?  I already have the package, but think I can get it cheaper on the ship with my D+ discount.  Don't want to cancel what I already have unless I am sure what my price on the ship will be.

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4 minutes ago, karena1 said:

We go on Symphony in Dec and then we will have been on all the Oasis Class ships at least once. Enjoy Symphony.  If you get a chance, can you post a picture of the drink package prices?  I already have the package, but think I can get it cheaper on the ship with my D+ discount.  Don't want to cancel what I already have unless I am sure what my price on the ship will be.

Once I am on ship I will check it out and post it!  No problem!

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5 minutes ago, karena1 said:

We go on Symphony in Dec and then we will have been on all the Oasis Class ships at least once. Enjoy Symphony.  If you get a chance, can you post a picture of the drink package prices?  I already have the package, but think I can get it cheaper on the ship with my D+ discount.  Don't want to cancel what I already have unless I am sure what my price on the ship will be.

We have also done all of the Oasis Class ships(or will have after this next cruise).  My kids like the size and that there is so much for them to do, and so many places for them to be where they don't have to see us. hahahaha.  They always look so surprised when we see them on deck!

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26 minutes ago, Luv2teachandcruise said:

Once I am on ship I will check it out and post it!  No problem!

Thank you so much!

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Staying on the ship when it port can be nice. Don’t fight crowds at the pools, elevator, food areas, etc. If you google cruise compass Harmony you can see current ones for itinerary. 7 weeks till I go on and can’t wait! It’s been 7 years since I’ve been on a ship. The Oasis class ships are awesome. Tons to see on the ship

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