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Royal Caribbean Cruise FAQ

Shayne Rodriguez Thompson

Jan 15, 2020

Read time
5 min read

Cruise Critic brings you some of the most frequently asked questions about Royal Caribbean.

Will my phone work onboard a Royal Caribbean ship?

Royal Caribbean works with most cellphone companies that offer a "cellular at sea" program so that passengers can use their cell phones onboard. However, usage may be subject to data and roaming charges as determined by each service provider. It's best to contact your service provider for more information, including rate details, before your cruise.

Alternatively, you can put your phone into airplane mode and turn on Wi-Fi. You'll need to pay for a Wi-Fi package to connect to the internet, but once connected you can make Wi-Fi phone calls and use all your apps as you would at home.

For more about using your cellphone on a cruise ship, check out our guide on what to expect.

Am I allowed to bring nonalcoholic or alcoholic drinks onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship?

Passengers may not bring any beer or hard liquor onboard, but they may bring up to two 750-ml bottles of wine or Champagne per cabin. Bottles can only be brought onboard on the first day of the cruise and they must be carried in the passenger's carry-on luggage. A corkage fee will be charged should cruisers wish to enjoy these bottles outside of their stateroom.

Cruisers may also bring up to 12 standard (17-ounce) cans, bottles or cartons of nonalcoholic drinks onboard on embarkation day, per cabin.

There is no limit on how much milk or distilled water can be brought onboard.

Where can I smoke on a Royal Caribbean cruise?

This is one of Royal Caribbean's most frequently asked questions. Cigarette, cigar, e-cigarette and pipe smoking is only permitted in designated outdoor areas. Smoking is not permitted inside any stateroom or on any stateroom balcony. Violating this rule will result in a cleaning fee of $250.

Only cigarette smoking is permitted in the onboard casinos, except in areas designated as nonsmoking. There are select exceptions to the casino rule: On cruise ships that depart from Australia or the United Kingdom, smoking is never allowed in the casino. On cruises that depart from China or Hong Kong, smoking is permitted everywhere in the casino.

Do I need a passport or birth certificate to take a Royal Caribbean cruise?

Passengers who are U.S. citizens on cruises that start and end in a U.S. port, need either a current passport or an official copy of their birth certificate (not a photo copy) and a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license.

Passports are required for all passengers sailing on cruises that depart from international ports. Additionally, a passport is required for any cruise that features Martinique or Guadeloupe in the itinerary, even if the cruise sails round trip from a U.S. port.

Where can I eat on embarkation day at the start of a Royal Caribbean cruise?

The lunch buffet at Windjammer Marketplace is available on all Royal Caribbean ships on embarkation day. Additionally, some specialty dining venues -- both for-fee and complimentary -- may be open as well. Check the Cruise Compass for specifics.

I've been assigned My Time Dining, what does this mean?

My Time Dining is Royal Caribbean's flexible dinner time program, which enables cruisers to eat dinner in the main dining room at any time during opening hours on a first-come, first-served basis. Same-day reservations are also available.

The alternative to My Time Dining is traditional set dining, either early or late, where cruisers dine at the same table and with the same tablemates and waiters every night. You should sign up for traditional dining as soon as you've booked your cruises if that's how you prefer to dine, especially if you want early dining.

What is Royal Caribbean's Cruise Compass?

Cruise Compass is Royal Caribbean's daily onboard newsletter. It features a schedule of each day's activities, restaurant and facilities hours, port information, any specials and deals that will be available both onboard and in port, and just about anything you could want to know about what you can do onboard your cruise on any given day. Cruise Compass is delivered to your cabin daily, but you can also pick one up at Guest Services if you forget yours in your cabin. Additionally, the Cruise Compass is available to download from the Royal Caribbean app on select ships.

Does Royal Caribbean offer babysitting?

While in-cabin babysitting is not available on Royal Caribbean cruise ships, passengers can put their kids in the cruise line's Adventure Ocean kids' club during the day. At night, parents of kids ages 3 to 11 can take advantage of the "Late Night Party Zone" group babysitting program, which is available for children for a fee.

Can I do laundry on my Royal Caribbean cruise ship?

Royal Caribbean ships do not have self-service launderettes, but they do offer extra-fee washing, pressing and dry cleaning services. Additionally, all Royal Caribbean sailings offer a fixed wash-and-fold special -- fit as much as you can into the bag provided and get it all washed and folded a set fee.

What kind of electrical outlets will I find on Royal Caribbean ships?

All Royal Caribbean ships are equipped with standard North American (110V) and European (220/230V) outlets; some ships also have USB ports in cabins.

Passengers from outside of North American and Europe should bring an adaptor or purchase one onboard, if available.

Can I connect a gaming console to my stateroom television?

No, cruisers may not plug any external devices (DVD players, gaming consoles, etc.) into the stateroom televisions.

Can I bring duty-free products that I purchased in port onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship?

You may bring most duty-free purchases onboard; however, all duty-free alcohol purchases (and, in some ports, cigarettes) will be taken by the crew and stored onboard for the duration of the sailing. It will be returned to you on the last morning of your cruise.

Updated January 15, 2020
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