Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is known for its enormous cruise ships, filled with exciting amenities like zip lines, FlowRider surf simulators, bumper cars, and observation pods. When you are planning a Royal Caribbean cruise, you may wonder what is included in your cruise fare. It can be confusing to figure things out, especially when you are faced with a menu list of “add-ons” that you can purchase.
This post will help you figure out what’s included in a Royal Caribbean cruise, and what you may need to purchase separately. Keep in mind that the ships and itineraries vary, so you’ll want to get complete details for your specific sailing.
Disclosure: I’ve sailed on Royal Caribbean at no cost for several media trips and have also paid my own way. This post contains affiliate links and a purchase/click through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us at no cost to you. All opinions are my own.
Compare prices on your next Royal Caribbean sailing here.
What is Included in a Royal Caribbean Cruise?
Items that Are Included in Your Royal Caribbean Cruise
When you purchase your cruise fare, the biggest difference you’ll see in price is in the type of stateroom that you select. There are lots of different options, including interior staterooms, balcony staterooms, and suites.
I typically recommend getting a balcony if you can, because you are likely to use it. It’s always so nice to spend time on the balcony, reading a book, or just watching the waves.
On Royal Caribbean, the Oasis-Class ships (like the Wonder of the Seas and Allure of the Seas) have another type of balcony. These balconies don’t face the ocean but instead face either the balcony or Central Park.
Suites come with a whole selection of benefits, including a concierge, separate boarding lines, WiFi, access to the concierge lounge, larger and more deluxe staterooms, and the option to dine at Coastal Kitchen. They are more expensive but can be a great experience.
Interior cabins are typically the cheapest. They can be a good deal, but only book an interior stateroom if you know you won’t want/need the balcony.
Depending on how booked your cruise is, you may receive a “RoyalUp” offer. With this, you’ll have the opportunity to bid for a stateroom upgrade. It’s totally optional and there’s no guarantee you’ll win the upgrade. If you do win, you are automatically upgraded.
We bid and won a RoyalUp bid on our sailing on the Odyssey of the Seas. We were able to get a suite and had concierge access, for less money than we would have paid had we booked it initially. If having a suite is important to you, however, it’s best to just book it in advance.
Included Dining on Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean has some delicious food, and much of it is included in your cruise price. Complimentary dining options include the main dining room, as well as some other dining venues. These complimentary restaurants may include (and vary by ship):
- Cafe Promenade
- Sorrento’s Pizza
- El Loco Fresh
- The Dog House
- Windjammer Buffet
- Solarium Bistro
- Coastal Kitchen (for concierge/suite guests)
- Dining locations at Labadee and CocoCay
- Room service (with an additional charge for service)
Unless you have a drinks package, you’ll pay for alcoholic beverages, as well as premium coffee. Ice water (but not bottled water), non-pressed fruit juices, iced tea, hot tea, lemonade, and brewed coffee are included.
When booking your cruise, you’ll be able to choose a dining time for the main dining room. There’s also the option of My Time dining, which lets you have a more flexible dinner time at no extra charge.
Entertainment and Activities Included on Royal Caribbean
Entertainment and activities on Royal Caribbean ships are top-notch, and most of it is included in your cruise fare. This includes Broadway-style shows, game shows, ice shows, water shows, comedians, live music, karaoke, trivia, and more. You may need to reserve your spot in advance, but generally these are complimentary.
While there’s always a lot going on when on a Royal Caribbean cruise, I definitely recommend that you take advantage of the shows (especially the ice shows, water shows, and Broadway-style shows). These shows are among the best I’ve seen.
There are also lots of onboard activities that are included on Royal Caribbean. Like everything else, these vary by ship. But some things that you should expect to see include pools, hot tubs, water slides, fitness center, bumper cars, the North Star observation pod, mini golf, surf simulators, zip lines, ice skating, rock climbing wall, tennis/pickleball courts, and ping pong. You definitely won’t be bored.
Traveling with kids? Royal Caribbean also offers kids’ clubs. The Adventure Ocean youth programs are available for ages 3 to 12 (with three different groups divided by age). There are also tween and teen programs. These are a great way for kids to meet other kids on board, and for parents to have some quiet time.
Perfect Day at CocoCay and Labadee
If you are visiting Perfect Day at CocoCay or Labadee (in Haiti), you may wonder what is included. These private destinations do have some special offerings that you’ll pay extra for, but you don’t need to pay just to visit.
If you want to just walk off the ship and go to the beach, you’ll have lots of included options. You’ll also be able to have your lunch at the various locations. If you have a beverage package, you can use it at both of these destinations.
You are also to purchase add-ons for your day at these private destinations for an extra fee. Options include the water park and private beach club at CocoCay, cabanas, shore excursions, and more.
What’s Not Included on Your Royal Caribbean Cruise
Vitality Spa on Royal Caribbean
If you are looking for some relaxation on your cruise vacation, be sure to spend some time at the Vitality Spa onboard Royal Caribbean ships. Spa treatments are available for an additional fee. There’s also a fitness center located within the spa, and this is (for the most part) complimentary for cruisers.
WiFi on Royal Caribbean
Of all the cruise ships I’ve been on, I’ve found the WiFi signal on Royal Caribbean ships to be the most reliable. WiFi on Royal Caribbean is affordable, but it is offered at an additional price. Some cruisers, like concierge guests, do receive it for free, however.
Like all cruise ships, alcoholic beverages on Royal Caribbean are offered at an extra cost, even in complimentary dining venues like the main dining room. There are ways to decrease the cost, however, like purchasing a drinks package – including a premium drinks package and the classic soda package.
If you are considering adding a drinks package to your sailing, you’ll want to do some math to figure out if it’s worthwhile. Cruisers who only have a drink or two per day may find it more worthwhile to just purchase drinks on an a la carte basis.
Pressed juice (where available, in the spa), and specialty coffees are offered for an additional cost.
The Royal Caribbean ships have large casinos on board, with plenty of tables and slot machines. If you choose to go to the casino, you’ll pay extra.
Royal Caribbean offers some phenomenal specialty restaurants, including Izumi, Wonderland, Chops Grille, Giovannis, and the Mason Jar (offerings vary by ship). These restaurants do have an extra cost.
There are different ways that you can pay for these experiences. There’s always the option to purchase each one individually. Or, there are add-ons where you can buy a package of specialty restaurants or even unlimited dining. These are a great way to save some money if you are planning on eating at several different specialty restaurants during your Royal Caribbean cruise.
The Royal Caribbean ships offer an arcade onboard, with all of the most popular video games. You’ll pay extra, by game, if you visit the arcade.
With all of these inclusions and add-ons, you’ll want to make sure you factor everything into the price of your cruise. Many of these add-ons can be purchased in advance, and you’ll often save some money by doing that, rather than purchasing when you are on board.