Are you looking to enhance your vacation experience on your next cruise? Well, look no further! Royal Caribbean Blog has got you covered with their video featuring 7 tips for doing things differently on your cruise. These tips will not only help you save time and reduce stress but also make your overall vacation more enjoyable. From planning your own shore excursions to trying out specialty dining options, there are so many ways to make the most out of your next Royal Caribbean cruise. Additionally, they suggest applying sunscreen onboard before disembarking to prevent sunburn, getting beach towels at the gangway to save time, and trying onboard activities on port days to avoid long lines. By following these tips, you can ensure a smoother and more pleasant vacation experience. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your next cruise today and make sure to incorporate these tips for a truly memorable journey.
Planning your own shore excursions
Why book your own shore excursions
When going on a cruise, one of the most exciting aspects is exploring the different ports of call. While cruise lines offer a variety of shore excursions, planning your own can provide a more personalized and unique experience. By booking your own excursions, you have the flexibility to choose activities that align with your interests and preferences. This allows you to explore the destinations in a way that suits you best, whether it’s immersing yourself in the local culture, embarking on adventurous activities, or simply relaxing on a secluded beach. Planning your own shore excursions gives you the freedom to create a memorable experience that is tailored to your desires.
Researching and booking excursions
Before embarking on your cruise, it’s essential to research and plan your excursions in advance. Start by identifying the ports of call and researching the attractions and activities available at each destination. Look for reputable tour operators or local guides who offer tours and activities that align with your interests. Consider reading reviews and feedback from previous travelers to ensure the quality and reliability of the excursions.
Once you have a list of potential activities and operators, compare prices, inclusions, and itineraries to find the best option for you. Some websites and apps, such as TripAdvisor and Viator, can provide a comprehensive list of available tours and activities, allowing you to compare and book with ease. Additionally, reaching out to fellow cruisers through online forums and social media groups can provide valuable insights and recommendations.
When booking your excursions, check the duration and timing of each activity to ensure it fits within your port time. Consider the proximity of the excursion starting point to the cruise port, as well as transportation options if required. Keep in mind that popular excursions may sell out quickly, so it’s advisable to book well in advance to secure your spot.
Local guides and small group tours
One of the advantages of planning your own shore excursions is the opportunity to hire local guides or opt for small group tours. Local guides are often passionate about their hometowns and can provide insights into the culture, history, and hidden gems that you may not find on a standard cruise line excursion. They can offer a more personalized and authentic experience, taking you off the beaten path and immersing you in the local culture.
Small group tours also have numerous benefits. With fewer participants, you can enjoy a more intimate and relaxed experience, allowing for better interaction with the guide and fellow travelers. Small group tours typically provide a more immersive and in-depth experience, as they can tailor the itinerary to the group’s interests and preferences. Additionally, smaller groups can navigate crowded attractions more easily and often have more flexibility with timing and itinerary changes.
By planning your own shore excursions and choosing local guides or small group tours, you can enhance your vacation experience by immersing yourself in the local culture, discovering hidden gems, and creating lasting memories.
Utilizing onboard activities and amenities during port days
Benefits of onboard activities during port days
When most passengers disembark the ship to explore the ports of call, the ship becomes significantly less crowded. This presents an excellent opportunity to take advantage of the ship’s onboard activities and amenities, which are often quieter and more accessible during port days. By opting to stay onboard, you can enjoy a more peaceful and relaxed atmosphere, making the most of the ship’s facilities without the usual crowds.
Enjoying spa treatments or quiet areas
Port days are an ideal time to indulge in some self-care and relaxation at the ship’s spa. Whether you prefer a rejuvenating massage, a soothing facial, or a peaceful yoga session, the spa provides a serene environment to unwind and recharge. With fewer passengers onboard, you’ll likely have more flexibility in choosing appointment times and access to quiet areas such as the sauna, steam room, or relaxation lounges.
If you’re seeking a tranquil space to read a book, take a nap, or simply enjoy some quiet time, port days offer the perfect opportunity. Many cruise ships have designated adult-only areas, such as sun decks or lounges, where you can escape the hustle and bustle and find serenity amidst the sea.
Exploring onboard shopping and entertainment
While the majority of passengers are exploring the port destinations, you can take advantage of exclusive shopping deals and less crowded entertainment options onboard the ship. The onboard boutiques and shops often offer special promotions and discounts during port days, allowing you to indulge in some retail therapy without the crowds. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs, jewelry, or designer brands, you can take your time browsing and making purchases at your leisure.
Additionally, the ship’s entertainment venues, such as theaters, cinemas, and live music venues, may have reduced attendance during port days. This can give you the opportunity to secure better seats and enjoy the shows and performances without the need to arrive early or face crowded spaces. Take advantage of these quieter moments to immerse yourself in the onboard entertainment and make the most of the ship’s offerings.
By utilizing onboard activities and amenities during port days, you can enjoy a more relaxed and peaceful experience while still making the most of your cruise vacation. Whether you choose to pamper yourself at the spa, explore the onboard shops, or immerse yourself in the entertainment, these moments of tranquility can enhance your overall cruising experience.
Trying out specialty dining options
Unique culinary experiences
While cruise ships offer a variety of dining options included in the cruise fare, trying out specialty dining venues can take your culinary experience to a whole new level. Specialty restaurants often feature unique menus, exquisite dishes, and a more intimate ambiance, providing a distinct dining experience from the main dining rooms and buffets.
Specialty dining venues can cater to various tastes and preferences, ranging from steak houses and seafood restaurants to Italian trattorias and Asian fusion eateries. These restaurants often highlight signature dishes, premium ingredients, and innovative culinary techniques. By indulging in specialty dining, you can savor a wide range of flavors and cuisines, expanding your culinary horizons and enjoying a memorable meal.
Benefits of specialty dining
Aside from the exceptional cuisine, specialty dining offers several benefits. One of the main advantages is the personalized service and attention to detail. With a smaller number of tables and dedicated waitstaff, specialty restaurants can provide a more attentive and immersive dining experience. The ambiance is often more refined and intimate, creating a relaxed and elegant atmosphere for your meal.
Another benefit of specialty dining is the opportunity to dine in unique settings and enjoy breathtaking views. Many specialty restaurants are strategically located on the ship, offering panoramic vistas of the ocean or the port as you indulge in your meal. This creates a truly memorable dining experience and adds an extra level of ambiance to your culinary journey.
Reservations and popular restaurants
When planning to try out specialty dining venues, it’s advisable to make reservations in advance, especially for popular restaurants. As these venues often have limited seating and high demand, securing a reservation ensures you can experience the restaurant of your choice at a preferred time.
Most cruise lines provide options to make specialty dining reservations online before your cruise or through the ship’s mobile app. Take advantage of these platforms to review the variety of restaurants available and their respective cuisines and menus. By planning your dining experiences ahead of time, you can ensure that you can enjoy the restaurants you desire and have a seamless and enjoyable dining experience.
In conclusion, trying out specialty dining options can greatly enhance your culinary journey on a cruise. The unique flavors, personalized service, and distinct ambiance create a memorable dining experience that adds a touch of luxury to your vacation.
Taking advantage of early boarding
Maximizing your time on the ship
One of the perks of early boarding is having more time to explore the ship and settle into your accommodations before the crowds arrive. By arriving early, you can familiarize yourself with the layout of the ship, locate important amenities, and start your vacation off on the right foot. Additionally, you can take advantage of the quieter atmosphere to capture stunning photos of the ship and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
Avoiding long lines and crowds
One of the main advantages of early boarding is avoiding the long lines that often form later in the day. During peak embarkation times, the check-in process and security screenings can be time-consuming and crowded. By arriving early, you can breeze through these procedures and avoid the stress and frustration of waiting in line.
Similarly, early boarding allows you to avoid the crowds that gather at popular areas and attractions on the ship. Whether it’s the buffet, the pool deck, or the entertainment venues, being among the first onboard gives you the opportunity to enjoy these spaces without the usual hustle and bustle. This allows for a more relaxed and enjoyable experience, as you can fully appreciate the ship’s amenities without feeling rushed or crowded.
Exploring the ship before it gets busy
Arriving early for boarding also provides the chance to explore the ship’s facilities and attractions before they become busy. You can take your time to visit the various decks, public spaces, and entertainment venues without the need to navigate through crowds. This is especially beneficial for those who want to familiarize themselves with the ship’s layout, locate restaurants and bars, find the nearest restrooms, or discover hidden gems on the ship.
Early boarding also allows you to secure preferred seats or spaces in popular areas, such as by the pool or in the theater. Whether you prefer a sunny spot on the deck or want to have optimal views of the stage during a show, arriving early ensures you can claim your desired spot without any hassle.
In conclusion, taking advantage of early boarding can significantly enhance your cruise experience. By avoiding long lines, minimizing crowds, and having more time to explore, you can make the most out of your time on the ship and start your vacation on a relaxed and enjoyable note.
Exploring alternative dining venues
Variety and different cuisines
While the main dining room and buffet offer a wide range of culinary options, exploring alternative dining venues can add an extra element of variety to your cruise vacation. Many cruise ships feature alternative restaurants or casual eateries that serve different cuisines and dishes, allowing you to try new flavors and culinary experiences.
From sushi bars and Mexican cantinas to gourmet burger joints and French bistros, alternative dining venues present a world of options to satisfy your taste buds. These venues often have unique menus and concepts, providing a departure from the standard offerings found in the main dining areas. By venturing outside of your comfort zone and trying different types of cuisine, you can expand your palate and discover new culinary favorites.
Finding hidden gems on the ship
Exploring alternative dining venues can lead you to discover hidden gems on the ship. While the main dining areas are typically bustling with activity, these hidden gems offer a more intimate and relaxed dining experience. Whether it’s a small café tucked away on a lower deck or a specialty restaurant with a limited seating capacity, these venues often have a distinct ambiance and character that adds to the overall dining experience.
By venturing off the beaten path and seeking out these hidden gems, you may stumble upon unique dining venues with unparalleled charm and exceptional cuisine. These venues often provide a more intimate and personalized dining experience, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the ambiance and savor every bite.
Trying different types of cuisine
When it comes to alternative dining venues, one of the main advantages is the opportunity to try different types of cuisine. While you may be accustomed to the traditional offerings in the main dining room, alternative restaurants offer a chance to explore international flavors and specialty dishes.
Whether you’re craving Asian cuisine, Italian delicacies, or a taste of the Mediterranean, alternative dining venues cater to a range of culinary preferences. These restaurants often have talented chefs who specialize in specific cuisines, ensuring that each dish is expertly prepared and authentically flavored.
Trying different types of cuisine not only expands your culinary horizons but also provides a memorable dining experience. From the vibrant colors and rich spices of Indian dishes to the delicate flavors of sushi, alternative dining venues can transport you to different parts of the world and create lasting impressions.
In conclusion, exploring alternative dining venues on your cruise can add a new dimension to your culinary journey. The variety of cuisines, hidden gems, and unique dining experiences create a diverse and unforgettable dining adventure.
Booking spa treatments during less crowded times
Benefits of booking spa treatments
Visiting the spa is often a highlight of a cruise vacation, providing the perfect opportunity for relaxation and rejuvenation. By booking spa treatments during less crowded times, you can enjoy exclusive benefits and a more serene spa experience.
One of the main advantages of booking spa treatments during less crowded times is that you’ll have greater availability and flexibility in choosing appointment times. Popular treatments and time slots may fill up quickly, especially during peak hours. By opting for less crowded times, such as early mornings or port days, you can secure the treatments you desire and have the luxury of selecting the most convenient time for you.
Additionally, booking spa treatments during less crowded times often means less waiting and a more personalized experience. With fewer guests in the spa area, you’ll have more individualized attention from the spa staff. This allows you to fully relax and take advantage of every moment of your treatment without feeling rushed or crowded.
Avoiding crowded spa areas
During peak hours or sea days, the spa area can become bustling with guests seeking relaxation and pampering. By booking treatments during less crowded times, you can avoid the hustle and bustle of peak hours and enjoy a more peaceful and serene spa experience. This means fewer people in the waiting area, quieter relaxation lounges, and more available amenities such as saunas, steam rooms, and hot tubs.
The reduced crowds also allow you to navigate the spa facilities more easily and enjoy a quieter atmosphere. Whether you’re enjoying a hydrotherapy session, indulging in a massage, or trying out a facial, the spa experience can be even more enjoyable when there are fewer guests around.
Choosing less busy times for relaxation
In addition to booking specific treatments, taking advantage of less crowded times can provide opportunities for relaxation outside of scheduled spa appointments. Whether it’s enjoying the heated loungers, soaking in a jacuzzi, or simply unwinding in a calm atmosphere, the spa area offers a serene space for relaxation.
By choosing less busy times, such as early mornings or port days, you can have a more peaceful and uninterrupted spa experience. Indulging in the amenities and taking time for self-care during these moments allows you to fully recharge and rejuvenate, enhancing the overall enjoyment of your cruise vacation.
In conclusion, booking spa treatments during less crowded times can significantly enhance your spa experience on a cruise. By avoiding crowded areas, enjoying personalized attention, and indulging in relaxation during quieter moments, you can immerse yourself in tranquility and rejuvenation.
Making use of the ship’s mobile app
Convenience of accessing information
One of the most useful tools for enhancing your cruise experience is the ship’s mobile app. These apps provide a convenient way to access important information, schedule activities, and stay connected with the ship’s services and amenities. By utilizing the ship’s mobile app, you can have important information at your fingertips, making your cruise vacation more convenient and enjoyable.
With the mobile app, you can easily navigate the ship’s layout, locate dining venues, entertainment options, and other onboard facilities. The app often provides deck plans, maps, and interactive features to help you find your way around the ship without any confusion. This eliminates the need to carry physical maps or constantly refer to the ship’s information boards.
Additionally, the app typically includes important updates and announcements, such as changes in itinerary, disembarkation information, or upcoming events. By staying informed through the mobile app, you can adapt your plans accordingly and make the most of the ship’s offerings.
Easy access to onboard services
The ship’s mobile app allows for seamless access to onboard services and amenities. From making dining reservations and booking shore excursions to checking your onboard account and ordering room service, the app simplifies these processes and eliminates the need to visit guest services or multiple locations on the ship.
By utilizing the app, you can conveniently make reservations for specialty dining venues, ensuring you secure a table at your preferred time. You can also book spa treatments, schedule activities, and reserve seating for shows and entertainment. This streamlines the planning process and saves you time, allowing you to focus on enjoying your vacation.
Furthermore, some mobile apps offer messaging capabilities, enabling you to stay connected with your fellow travelers and loved ones on board. This can be particularly useful in coordinating plans, meeting up for activities, or simply staying in touch throughout the cruise.
Features and functionality of the app
The ship’s mobile app typically offers a range of features and functionality to enhance your cruise experience. These can include:
Itinerary management: View your daily schedule, including dining times, entertainment options, and shore excursions.
Onboard account access: Check your current onboard account balance, monitor your expenses, and review past purchases.
Activity booking: Reserve activities, shows, and entertainment directly from the app, ensuring you don’t miss out on popular experiences.
Dining reservations: Make reservations for specialty restaurants and explore menus and dining options.
Deck plans and maps: Easily navigate the ship’s layout, locate amenities and venues, and plan your day accordingly.
Communication: Stay connected with fellow passengers using messaging features within the app.
Updates and notifications: Receive important updates, announcements, and reminders from the cruise line.
In conclusion, making use of the ship’s mobile app can greatly enhance your cruise experience by providing convenience, access to information, and streamlining various processes. By utilizing this technology, you can stay informed, plan your activities, and make the most of your time on board.
Applying sunscreen onboard before disembarking
Preventing sunburn and skin damage
Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is essential, especially during port days when you’ll likely spend extended periods of time outdoors. Applying sunscreen onboard before disembarking gives the sunscreen ample time to set in and provide optimal protection against sunburn and skin damage.
UV rays can cause sunburn, premature aging, and even increase the risk of skin cancer. By applying sunscreen before heading out for the day, you create a barrier between your skin and the sun’s rays, reducing the risk of sunburn and related skin issues.
Giving sunscreen time to set in
Sunscreen requires time to fully bond with your skin and provide the intended protection. Applying sunscreen onboard allows you to give it this necessary time to set in and create a protective layer on your skin. Waiting until you reach the beach or port to apply sunscreen may result in less effective coverage and potentially leave your skin vulnerable to sunburn.
To maximize the effectiveness of sunscreen, it’s recommended to apply it at least 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure. This allows the sunscreen to fully absorb into the skin and provide adequate protection against the sun’s harmful rays.
Protecting yourself from UV rays
UV rays can be damaging to your skin even on cloudy or overcast days. By applying sunscreen before disembarking the ship, you ensure that your skin is protected throughout the day, regardless of the weather conditions. UV rays can still penetrate clouds and cause skin damage, so it’s crucial to maintain sunscreen protection even if the sun isn’t shining directly.
In addition to applying sunscreen, it’s advisable to wear protective clothing, such as lightweight long-sleeved shirts, pants, and wide-brimmed hats. Sunglasses with UV protection can also safeguard your eyes from harmful rays. By taking these precautions, you can enjoy your time in port without compromising your skin’s health.
In conclusion, applying sunscreen onboard before disembarking is crucial to protect your skin from sunburn and potential long-term damage. By giving the sunscreen time to set in and creating a barrier against UV rays, you can enjoy your port days without the unpleasant consequences of sunburn.
Getting beach towels at the gangway
Saving time and avoiding long lines
On port days, many passengers rush to the pool deck to get beach towels before heading ashore. This often leads to long lines and wait times, delaying the start of your day in port. By getting beach towels at the gangway instead, you can save time and avoid these potentially frustrating situations.
Near the gangway exit, there is usually a towel station where you can check out towels for the day. This convenience allows you to grab your towels as you disembark the ship, eliminating the need to make a detour to the pool deck and stand in line. The shorter wait times at the gangway ensure a smoother and more efficient start to your port day.
Convenience of getting towels near the exit
Getting beach towels at the gangway offers added convenience, as it allows you to have everything you need as you step off the ship. Instead of carrying towels from your cabin or making an extra trip to the pool deck, you can simply grab fresh towels near the exit. This makes it easier to navigate through crowded areas and focus on enjoying your time in port.
Additionally, by having beach towels readily available as you disembark, you can move seamlessly from the ship to your chosen activities without any delays. Whether you’re heading to the beach, exploring the city, or going on a shore excursion, having towels in hand saves you the hassle of searching for a towel station or returning to the ship to retrieve towels later in the day.
Avoiding crowded pool deck areas
One of the challenges of getting towels at the pool deck is encountering crowded areas and long lines. On port days, most passengers head off the ship, leaving the pool deck less crowded and more peaceful. By opting to get beach towels at the gangway, you can avoid the inevitable rush and chaotic atmosphere that often characterizes the pool deck during peak hours.
By taking this alternative approach, you can enjoy a more relaxed and stress-free experience when obtaining beach towels. This enables you to start your day in port on a positive note, free from the usual frustration of long lines and crowded areas.
In conclusion, getting beach towels at the gangway instead of the pool deck offers time savings, convenience, and a more pleasant start to your port day. By avoiding the crowds and streamlining the process, you can focus on enjoying your time ashore without unnecessary delays.
Enhancing your vacation experience on a cruise is all about doing things differently and taking advantage of the unique opportunities that present themselves. By planning your own shore excursions, you can create a more personalized and unique itinerary that aligns with your interests and preferences. Researching and booking excursions in advance allows you to secure the activities you desire and ensures a smooth and enjoyable experience.
Utilizing onboard activities and amenities during port days provides a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere, allowing you to fully enjoy the ship’s facilities without the usual crowds. Booking spa treatments during less crowded times provides a more serene and personalized experience, while exploring alternative dining venues adds variety and new culinary experiences to your vacation.
Taking advantage of early boarding maximizes your time on the ship and helps you avoid long lines and crowds. Exploring the ship before it gets busy allows you to familiarize yourself with the layout and discover hidden gems. Making use of the ship’s mobile app provides convenient access to information, services, and features that enhance your cruise experience.
Applying sunscreen onboard before disembarking ensures your skin is protected from sunburn and skin damage, while getting beach towels at the gangway saves time and avoids long lines at the pool deck. By following these tips and making the most out of your Royal Caribbean cruise, you can enjoy a more personalized, unique, and unforgettable vacation.