Guide Cruising the Eastern Caribbean: A Guide to the Ships & Ports of Call

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Cruising the Eastern Caribbean: A Passenger's Guide to the Ports of Call This book offers comprehensive coverage of vessels that cruise the region and what.
Table of contents

It varies from casual to formal and applies to dinner only. For breakfast and lunch, the main dining room has a less stringent dress code of no swimsuits, hats, tank tops or other pool clothing. The specialty restaurants always have a dress code that falls somewhere between casual and formal that Royal Caribbean calls "smart casual".

Royal Caribbean defines it as, "jackets and ties for men, dresses or pantsuits for women. Right after booking a cruise, Royal Caribbean allows guests to register their cruise on their My Cruises section of the Royal Caribbean web site and manage their reservation, with the option of booking dining, entertainment and other purchases prior to the cruise. Often, not all options are available for prebooking and it leaves some guests wondering when they can do it.

The best reason to book certain activities, entertainment and dining in advance is to guarantee a spot for you and your family, as well as break up the total cost of the cruise. There is limited capacity for shows, dining and other activities and Royal Caribbean tends to offer guests the option of reserving them prior to their cruise. By booking these activities early, you can ensure you have the time and day that you want all lined up. There are, however, some value to pre-purchasing some of these options, provided they are of interest to you. Here are the things you ought to book in advance, assuming you were going to get them to begin with meaning, do not purchase a drink package if you had no interest in one before.

The drink and internet packages available via the Cruise Planner are quite often discounted significantly more than onboard the ship. In addition, prebooking means you will split up the total cost of the cruise because payment will be required at the time of booking. If one person in a cabin purchases an unlimited alcohol package, all others in the cabin aged 21 and over must purchase a package. This may or may not be a problem for you, but it is important to be aware of the change.

Specialty restaurants are a bit more ambiguous in terms of having an advantage to prebooking. Discounts are far rarer than the drink and internet packages, and availability at specialty restaurants if one chooses to book them onboard is quite large. Anything else available for prebooking presents little to no advantage to booking in advance.

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Shore excursions are also something that is not required to be booked prior to your cruise, unless there is a particular trip that you absolutely want to experience and would be upset if it was filled up, there is little incentive to prepurchase shore excursions. A good reason to wait to book an excursion with Royal Caribbean is to evaluate the weather closer to the date you will actually be there. If you are hungry during your cruise, then you will not have to go very far to remedy that situation.

Royal Caribbean offers a wealth of food to try, some of which is included in your cruise fare and some other options that have an additional cost. When you book your cruise, you will have the option of picking traditional dining or My Time Dining. Each has its benefits, so be sure to compare My Time Dining versus Traditional Dining along side your own preferences to know which option will work the best.

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Specialty dining is an emerging trend aboard their ships, where guests may elect to pay extra to dine at one of these restaurants. Each specialty restaurant is focused on a particular cuisine or food style that is often not available onboard the ship. We also have an overview of what's included in your Royal Caribbean cruise fare to lay out exactly what costs extra and what does not. While I do believe you can go an entire cruise without spending a dime on food that is not included with your fare and be quite content , I do advocate guests try a specialty restaurant or two for the terrific quality and service provided.

Specialty dining has become a focal point of the cruise experience, and it is a great way to enhance the cruise experience. Just like opting to go out for dinner instead of cooking dinner at home, a specialty restaurant on Royal Caribbean ships is a fun reward to yourself.

Seriously—good dining can totally make a trip and bad dining can break a trip , so if you only read more on one topic in this guide, make it dining. There is so much more you can see and do on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Of course, the ports you will visit are a major attraction for any sailing. Swimming, exploring history, learning a new skill, and shopping are just some of the typical activities in most excursions. If we tried to list it all, we would likely come up with a list even longer than this blog post!

The key to any good day in port is centered around educating yourself about all the options available, and nuances of the port you are visiting. The internet is a wealth of information on every port you will visit. Shore excursions are a major part of any Royal Caribbean cruise because a large part of your overall vacation is exploring the ports of call you will visit.


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You have just a few hours at each stop, but it should be enough to get a taste of the city you are visiting. Check out our guide to picking the perfect shore excursion , and be on your way to nailing down some great plans in every port of call. Here are some other posts that cover "other stuff" on a Royal Caribbean cruise, and other ways to improve your vacation that do not really fit in the categories above:.

Another way to get help and build anticipation for! There are a lot of friendly folks who post in the forums, and they can offer their opinions and ideas on all things cruising. Remember, this blog post is just a starting point. You will want to read our Getting Started section for a great array of hand-selected posts that are perfect for someone looking to jump into planning their first cruise.

Want to know where to eat? Our Specialty Restaurant reviews will help! If all of this is still overwhelming or you want personalized recommendations for a Royal Caribbean cruise, click here to get a vacation quote from a no fee travel agent that specializes in Royal Caribbean. Are you taking a Royal Caribbean cruise in or ? If you are a Royal Caribbean veteran, what tips would you add to this? We love hearing from readers, whether it be questions from newbies or tips from seasoned Royal Caribbean pros with tips of their own to add! View the discussion thread. Like what you see? With your support, we can create more exciting content and share with everyone!

Become an Insider. Royal Caribbean Blog. What's new for Without a doubt, Royal Caribbean's biggest change in will be the launch of its upgraded private island in the Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay. When to cruise When trying to decide what time of year makes sense for a cruise, you may be wondering if there is a time of year that is better than another.

How long should of a cruise to book? Which ship to book? How to book your cruise When you are ready to make your Royal Caribbean cruise, you can certainly reserve your stateroom via RoyalCaribbean. What to pack Whether you are new to cruising or not, what to pack and not pack can be quite a challenge. Passport SetSail Pass Credit card Travel insurance documentation if purchased Cash in the form of small bills for tipping Yes, we did say you should get a passport , because it is the best travel investment you can make.

You do not have to dress up at all. What to pre-purchase before your cruise Right after booking a cruise, Royal Caribbean allows guests to register their cruise on their My Cruises section of the Royal Caribbean web site and manage their reservation, with the option of booking dining, entertainment and other purchases prior to the cruise. Travel advice.

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