Each cruise line has something for everyone, but there are many reasons to sail with Royal Caribbean. My last cruise was a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise that visited Belize, Honduras and Mexico, and it was truly one of my most enjoyable vacations ever. The trip was completely worry and stress free, and I found it easy to relax and enjoy every moment. As I’m sure you’ve seen on my About Me page, I’ve been to quite a few places, and sadly it’s getting a little more difficult with every trip to find brand new experiences. On this one trip I had multiple new and amazing experiences, and that’s really saying something for Royal Caribbean. Below are 10 reasons I would sail with them for my next cruise.
Compared to other cruise lines, Royal Caribbean is one of the more affordable options, and it’s actually a great value. (If you don’t believe me then read my Get More for Your Money on a Cruise article, where I explain how great of a deal cruising is.) I would describe myself as a value-oriented person because I don’t like to waste my money, but I will gladly pay up for something that I perceive to have a greater value, whether it be a one of a kind experience or a better made and longer lasting product. For the total cost of my trip, Royal Caribbean really gave me the value I needed and then some. As you read on it will be easy to see why.
2.) The Best Customer Service Ever!
On my Royal Caribbean cruise I had the best customer service ever. Period. And yes, I’ve been to Disney World, stayed at Marriott properties, shopped at Kroger, flown with Southwest, gotten my home-improvement on at Lowe’s, and I’ve even eaten at Chick-fil-A. These are all companies known for their great customer service, but for me, Royal Caribbean blew them out of the water. From the wait staff granting my every wish with double ice teas to an all appetizer dinner, to the cabin stewards who have an unbelievable talent for knowing exactly when I leave my stateroom so that it’s fresh as a daisy on my return (even if it’s 30 minutes later), to the person in charge of sanitizing guest’s hands. Seriously on the sanitizing, though, how can they make such a tedious job look like such a joy? Amazing.
3.) Awesome Food
OMG. The food. Beyond being ridiculously prolific, it was delicious too. And, with a new theme every day, you won’t get bored, or go hungry – I guarantee it. The buffet offered gourmet breads and cheeses, perfectly ripe fresh fruit, a deluxe salad bar, mouthwatering hot foods, a carving/sandwich station, and an assortment of decadent desserts. There was even a gluten free section and plenty of vegetarian options. The main dining room was exquisite, and one of my favorite parts was that Royal Caribbean offers My Time Dining where the guests choose when to eat. This ensures you don’t have to sit with strangers and endure small talk for the duration of the cruise! Wahoo! Also, besides the two main dining options, there’s a quick service café and specialty restaurants that provide an even higher notch of fine dining.
4.) Unique Activities
Royal Caribbean has some of the biggest cruise ships in the world, and they pack them full of some of the most unique and amazing things. Depending on the ship, you can ice skate, ride bumper cars, climb a rock wall, catch some waves on a FlowRider, indoor skydive, aerial aerobatics shows, ride multiple story water slides, or even zip line above the upper decks! It would be pretty impressive to enjoy all of this at a single land resort, but to think they are able to cram it all on a boat – that floats! Mind. Blown.
5.) Daily Events
There were two days at sea on my cruise. For someone who can’t spend all day (or even 20 minutes) worshipping the sun, I thought I’d have to cozy up in my room and read a book or watch TV for the majority of these two days. Since I can do both of these at home, and because I like to make every moment of my precious vacation time count, I thought those two days would be kind of wasted. Luckily, I was wrong. When I received my cruise itinerary for the day at sea, I began to circle all the events that interested me, and to quote Emeril Lagasse – BAM! My calendar was full and I was back in the vacation business. Although the typical cruise activities were available like dance parties and pool-side movies, more educational endeavors like trivia, dance classes, and art lectures were also offered. Yes, they even had the favorites like the newlywed game show and the sexiest man competition. In short, there was just too much to do on the first day at sea, so I was actually excited for my second day at sea.
6.) The Casino Actually Pays!
I’m not a big gambler. The penny machines are often too rich for my blood, but sometimes I put a few dollars into a machine and milk it by pushing the buttons painfully slowly. If I take enough time I can justify the cost for the length enjoyment I receive in return. (I’m well aware of the crazy factor here.) However, if you do like gambling, then don’t feel too bad about going to the onboard casino. There are table games and plenty of slot machines, and just because you’re stuck at sea doesn’t mean the machines are tight. One guest won $14,000 on our last cruise!
7.) Free Stuff (or “Free Stuff,” because I guess you kind of pay for it)
In my family, there is no better feeling than getting something for free. Even if it’s a coupon for something as minimal as a free dollar item at our local fast food joint, it’s worth waaaay more than a dollar in our eyes. If you also have some degree of this sickness, then you will enjoy bouncing around Royal Caribbean’s ships in search of your next freebie. Some of my favorite scores were the art and champagne at the art auctions, charms and jewels in the port shopping centers, and the special food items like liqueur infused cake at onboard demonstrations.
The true reason I ended up on Royal Caribbean was because they offered an excursion to Chichen Itza, the most famous of the Mayan ruins and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. I looked at all of the excursions from every cruise line that docked at Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Cancun, Mexico, and Royal Caribbean was the only one to provide an excursion to this site. Visiting the ruins takes all day because of the distance from port, and without a cruise-sponsored excursion I knew I would never make it to the ruins and back before the ship left. (Booking an excursion through the cruise line ensures the boat will not leave without you.) The other cruise lines have excursions to lesser known Mayan ruins that are closer to the ports, but I wanted to see the most famous one. I’m willing to guess that this is just one of the many examples of how Royal Caribbean offers one of a kind excursion experiences.
9.) No Hard Core Upsells
I’ve been on cruises that feel like one giant time share presentation, with upsell after upsell, and in-your-face marketing. On Royal Caribbean, they certainly want to upsell you (what company doesn’t?), but they simply make you aware that there’s an opportunity to purchase a drink or Wi-Fi package by placing a flyer on the buffet tables. I was never aggressively pressured to purchase a drink or anything else. They let you save your energy and “No thank you’s” for the markets at port – where you will definitely get all the practice you need at the polite decline.
10.) Loyalty Program
Royal Caribbean’s loyalty program is extremely easy to join. You become a Gold Member after sailing with them for only three days! Even at this entry level, members are entitled to exclusive rates for future cruises, priority check in (which can save quite a bit of time and get you to the buffet faster!), exclusive trivia sessions (don’t dismiss this perk too easily – the regular trivia sessions are packed!), and a private departure lounge, just to name a few. Of course, the perks grow the more days you sail with them.
For my next cruise I will not hesitate to sail with Royal Caribbean. The overall experience was amazing, and I thoroughly enjoyed my vacation. You might know somebody who knows somebody that had some degree of a bad experience on a cruise before. Maybe it was motion sickness (my doctor prescribes me the behind the ear patches and I’m totally fine), or perhaps there were not enough deck chairs in the prime sunbathing location, but whatever the reason, I encourage you to give cruising try. Let your hair down, throw your cares away, and join the party the cruise staff is determined for you to enjoy.
Read Next: Get More for your Money on a Cruise