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Booking a Royal Caribbean cruise? Here’s what you need to know

Are you planning on booking a Royal Caribbean cruise but feeling overwhelmed by all the options? Look no further! 

Whether it’s your first time or your tenth, there’s always something new to discover and learn about cruising. To help you plan and make the most of your trip, we spoke to an expert at Royal Caribbean who shared their insider knowledge on what you need to know before making your reservation. From choosing the room options to onboard activities, here are the answers to some of our Member’s top questions. 

Why should travellers pick Royal Caribbean?

Wonder of the seas
Royal Caribbean

We have 28 ships, and as of next summer, the most out of any cruise brand in the world. We have some of the most incredible ships that are architectural marvels, including the largest cruise ships in the world. And, of course, Royal way service that we are well known for.  

Royal Caribbean has been mindful and dedicated to preserving the oceans since we really began in 1969. In 1992, we were the first cruise line to start our Save The Waves program, which means nothing goes overboard, and we opened the world’s first net-free zero or net zero cruise terminal in Galveston last year. And we’re also very proud to have renewed our partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, which originally kicked off in 2015. We committed an additional $5 million to preserve the ocean’s health. And I guess the biggest takeaway is that the World Wildlife Fund would never partner with a cruise line if they didn’t think we were or knew that we were at the top of our game regarding sustainability. And, of course, taking care of the world’s ocean.  

Which destinations does Royal Caribbean sail to?

Royal Caribbean

We have ships all over the world. Now, there are over 300 destinations that we sail to on six continents. From home ports around the world to private destinations (with more to come). Plus, you can choose from over 3000 global shore excursions. There is something for everybody at Royal Caribbean; no matter where you’re from, how old you are, and what you like, our ships have something for you.  

In 2024, there will be 28 ships, 23 of them sailing in the Caribbean and six in Europe. For in Alaska, we will redeploy the ships in the Caribbean. We also have three ships sailing in Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific, and two ships sailing in Asia.  

What is the most accessible port for people in Ottawa to sail from?

Our port in Orlando, Florida, is a short, direct flight from Ottawa. It’s a great opportunity to cruise close to home.  

We also sail in Newark, New Jersey, less than a seven-hour drive from Ottawa. It also has great direct flights. When you get off the plane in Newark, from baggage claim, it’s 18 minutes in an Uber or a taxi to the cruise terminal. 

What are Royal Caribbean’s private islands?

Royal Caribbean

One of our two private islands is Labadie in Haiti. Labadee is an amazing private destination. It has Dragon’s Breath Coaster, it’s the longest zipline over water in the world. If you’re brave enough to do it, that’s great. If not, all you need to do is sit at the exit and watch people come down. That’s a lot of fun as well.  


Royal Caribbean

Perfect day at CocoCay in the Bahamas reopened in 2019 after a $250 million investment. Out of over 300 destinations that Royal Caribbean travels to around the world, CocoCay is our number one cruise port rated by guests. 

CocoCay is included in the price of your cruise. It’s an incredible experience; there is a thrill and chill island with plenty of things to do. We have two snack shacks on each side of the island where you can walk up and grab and go food or our big restaurants. There’s also the tallest waterslide in North America (Daredevils Tower), the largest wave pool in the Caribbean, the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean, and the first overwater cabanas in the Bahamas – so many different choices for you. We also have our amazing new Hideaway Beach that will be coming in January. 

What type of entertainment is available?

Royal Caribbean Aqua Theater

Royal Caribbean is also known as the cruise line with the most innovative ships in the world. We were the first cruise line to do it all. We were the first cruise line to have balconies, flow riders, a sports court, climbing walls, Aqua theatres, and the list goes on and on. We are still the only cruise line that does have the full orchestra. 

We have some great common features that you will see in all our classes of ships, including our sports activities, the Broadway theatre, pools, the fitness center, casinos, and much more.   

Nearly everything is included. When you’re on board, put your wallet away, as you won’t have to spend more money on signature activities, including entertainment, nightlife, meals, kids’ and teens’ programs, and a fitness center.   

How many original shows does Royal Caribbean have?

We have hundreds of original productions on all our ships. 

What types of shows are available?

Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean

We are the only cruise line to entertain on over four stages: the Aqua Theatre, Broadway stage, ice skating rink, and the Attribute musical venue. 

Plus, we are the first cruise line to offer Broadway shows. We do have six Broadway shows over seven different ships. They are the same shows you will see on the West End or Broadway, except you will not have to pay hundreds of dollars. They’re complimentary.  

My top favourites are We Will Rock You and Mamma Mia. 

How many ship classes are there?

We have seven different classes of ships, everything from our smaller Vision and Radiance classes, which are built for our exotic itineraries and hold just under 2000 guests, all the way up to Oasis and soon-to-be Icon Class ships. 

What type of rooms are available?

Royal Caribbean Suite
Royal Caribbean

There are plenty of choices depending on what you’re looking for, everything from an interior stateroom with no windows. If you’ll never be in the room aside to sleep and change, that could be a great choice.

Then there is the interior with a virtual balcony, and we were the first cruise line to launch these in 2012. We have a camera at the front of the ship, and you get a whole wall to see live video on the virtual balcony.

The interior view rooms offer a window overlooking the Royal Promenade or the central boardwalk. They are a great option that costs less than a regular ocean view. Similarly, the ocean-view rooms have a window view of the water, or you can opt for an ocean-view balcony room.

When it comes to the suites, there are some excellent choices. If you’re looking for something a little bit different, maybe having a big celebration or a bucket list trip, there is everything from the junior suites to the ultimate family townhouse suite.

What are some of the dining options?

Royal Caribbean

My number one pick for complimentary dining is the main dining room. It has multiple dinner seatings, or we have My Time Dining, which is flexible dinner anywhere between, for example, 5:30-8:00 p.m. I also suggest the main dining room for lunch or breakfast as they serve you fresh food straight to order.

The Windjammer is our amazing marketplace buffet. But there are many other complimentary choices, including the pizzeria or healthy options at the Park Cafe.

Johnny Rockets Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean

Regarding specialty and a la carte, Chops Grille is our most famous restaurant. But we have everything from Starbucks to Johnny Rockets and more.

Do I need to get a dining and beverage package?

Royal Caribbean Mason Jar
Royal Caribbean

The dining and beverage packages are optional. With the dining package, you can add dining at one restaurant or unlimited. You’d be surprised how many choose the unlimited package because they can go to the specialty restaurants unlimited all cruise long.


Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean has one beverage package for alcohol. That is the deluxe premium package that includes top-shelf liquor.

The refreshment package includes non-alcoholic drinks, including bottled water, sparkling still water, pop, fresh squeezed juices, and specialty coffees. At Cafe Promenade, you can also get Starbucks coffee.

If you’re not going to drink that much, then the refreshment package is the way to go, as you can bring two bottles of wine per stateroom when cruising with Royal Caribbean. Or if you buy a dining package, it includes 40% off bottles of wine under $100.

What is available for children and teens?

Adventure Ocean

There are many great options, including children’s menus and family dining, where kids are served quickly. The complimentary Adventure Ocean is for those six months up to 17 years old. It has plenty of activities for the entire family and is a space where parents can drop off children so they can enjoy their dinner.  

Adventure Ocean also has a teen program for those 12-17 years old. You would be so surprised to see the incredible venues that they have in there, whether they’re doing science experiments or they’re playing games; it’s a fantastic program that kids don’t want to leave. Parents can even leave their kids on in Adventure Ocean throughout the day, and the staff will take them to lunch and everything. 

Royal Caribbean ships also have nurseries for babies and tots six to 36 months. It has an hourly fee of $8.  

Every Adventure Ocean staff member has a minimum four-year university degree, many of whom are teachers. And if you’re working in the nursery, they have specialized training. 

Are Royal Caribbean ships accessible?

Royal Caribbean is the most accessible destination when it comes to vacations anywhere. Mobility, hearing, visual, and any other special needs we can help accommodate. We have a great special needs digital brochure that CAA Travel Consultants can share with you. Plus, there’s a number that you can call to speak to our team dedicated to special needs, who can answer questions. 

Are the cruises autism-friendly?

We were the first autism-friendly cruise line in 2012. And we’re very proud to offer this. The autism-friendly amenities onboard our ships include priority check-in boarding and departure, special dietary offerings, and much more. 

Book an appointment with a CAA Travel Consultant to start planning your Royal Caribbean cruise. With your CAA Member Benefits, you’ll receive sparkling wine and a welcome fruit basket in your stateroom upon arrival, a complimentary print or digital photograph, and up to $100 onboard spending per stateroom on select itineraries. 

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