Royal Caribbean Blog






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I stayed in a $1,400 stateroom on Symphony of the Seas — see what my room on this cruise ship looked like https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2023/01/21/inside-stateroom-on-royal-caribbeans-wonder-of-the-seas-cruise
18556 at https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com
<div><img src=”https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/sites/default/files/styles/fb_style/public/fb/IMG_2096.jpeg?itok=yUrYnMEt” class=”ff-og-image-inserted”></div><p>I sailed onboard Royal Caribbean’s <a href=”https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/symphony-of-the-seas”>Symphony of the Seas</a> and stayed in the cheapest stateroom available.&nbsp;</p><p>Making her grand entrance in 2018, Symphony of the Seas is the fourth ship in the cruise line’s <a href=”https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2022/04/01/all-about-oasis-class-cruise-ships”>Oasis class</a> and held the title of largest cruise ship in the world until the debut of the <a href=”https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/wonder-of-the-seas”>Wonder of the Seas</a> in early 2022.&nbsp;</p><p>For $1,400 (including port fees and gratuities), I stayed in a <a href=”https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2020/08/27/should-i-book-guarantee-stateroom-cruise”>guaranteed cabin</a>, which means that I wasn’t assigned my cabin until a few weeks prior to departure. &nbsp;</p><p>This was my first time sailing in an interior stateroom. I’ve had balcony cabins on all of my previous cruises, so I was nervous as to how I’d adjust to no natural light at all.&nbsp;</p><p><b>Read more</b>:&nbsp;<a href=”https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2016/06/28/interior-vs-balcony-staterooms-royal-caribbean-cruise”>Interior vs Balcony staterooms</a></p><p>My interior cabin on Symphony of the Seas was only 149 square feet; however, it was one of the most contemporary feeling staterooms I have stayed in.</p><p>As I was sailing alone, I opted to keep the two beds together. While this was perfectly fine for me, I could see why a family might want to separate them into two twin-sized beds to help make the space feel more open and create a pathway in the middle of the stateroom.&nbsp;</p><p>There were a total of four American outlets in the stateroom: three by the desk and one by the left side of the bed, where there was also a light switch present. As a solo traveler, this was plenty of power for me! I also appreciated being able to turn off all the stateroom lights from the comfort of the bed.&nbsp;</p><p>Plus, the desk area also had one European outlet socket, as well as two USB plugs.&nbsp;</p><p>There was a telephone located on the other nightstand, but I would have preferred if it was hung somewhere in the room! The phone was so large that it made that a non-functioning nightstand. There was just enough room for a phone and pair of glasses.</p><p>Surprisingly, there was an abundance of storage in this cabin. The dresser contained three empty drawers, a fourth that contained a box of tissues and room service information, and fifth that was home to the hairdryer.</p><p>There were also two closets, one on each side of the rather large couch. One had five free shelves, with the sixth being occupied by the safe. There were two additional drawers at the bottom.&nbsp;</p><p>The other closet was just for hanging garments and contained eighteen hangers. &nbsp;</p><p>Above the desk was a single glass shelf. I didn’t find it to be that wide, but it was a great place to keep my sunglasses and other miscellaneous items throughout the week. When I first entered my stateroom, the desk was full of details regarding my cruise vacation, such as showtimes, Crown &amp; Anchor information, as well as two masks.&nbsp;</p><p>The large mirror above the desk was illuminated with a ring light, which was a great touch to this interior stateroom. It also provided great lighting for my makeup each morning!</p><p>Inside the dresser’s large cabinet was a mini-fridge. I found that my drinks were always kept cold, despite it saying that it was a cooler and not a refrigerator. It had three selves that could be moved and adjusted according to your preferences, as well as a single shelf on the side.&nbsp;</p><p>As expected, the bathroom inside of my cruise stateroom was small; however, I found it to be modern and clean. There was a shocking amount of counter space, as well as three shelves to the side of the mirror. Additional storage was available underneath the sink, too. On the back of the door were two hooks for wet towels and swimsuits.&nbsp;</p><p>Inside of the shower, there’s a soap dispenser that distributes Royal Caribbean’s signature bath scent: Salt + Breeze. I was disappointed that there was only one small ledge in of the shower. If I was traveling with one more person, it would have been a tight squeeze to fit all of our products there.&nbsp;</p><p>The water pressure inside of my cabin was neither awful nor great; it was just okay. I did have issues with the temperature that never got resolved. In the mornings, it was nearly impossible to get any hot water. Sometimes, I had to wait twenty-five minutes for the water to heat up to lukewarm! In the evenings, I had the opposite problem: the temperature was scalding hot.</p><p>At the entrance, there was a key slot that powered on all the electricity within the cabin to preserve energy. My room steward left a key in there all week, though. Additionally, there was a magnet that I placed on the exterior of my door which alerted the staff when I wanted my room to be tended to. If I wanted to be left alone, there was an option for that, too.&nbsp;</p><p>My stateroom was located on the forward of deck 7 in a “secret” hallway full of other interior cabins in between the port and starboard sides of the ship. It felt like a maze when I was first trying to locate my stateroom. However, I appreciated how there wasn’t another cabin door directly next to mine.</p><p>I am used to having a cabin located near the mid-ship when sailing, so being located all the way at a single end was a new experience for us.&nbsp;While the forward elevator bank was somewhat close, the aft was quite a walk from where I was located.&nbsp;</p><p>For $200 each day, I was satisfied with my interior stateroom. I was worried that the lack of natural sunlight would cause me to feel cramped, sleep in on accident, or that I would just flat out miss waking up to an ocean view.</p><p>If I was sailing with another person, the cost would have dropped to a little over $125 per person, per day, including all taxes, port fees and gratuities. Now that I know what a great value interior staterooms can be, I’ll consider them more for my personal travels!</p> Sat, 21 Jan 2023 15:33:14 +0000 Elizabeth
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I tried the new Royal Caribbean menus, and here’s how I’d rank everything I ate https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2023/01/20/i-tried-the-new-royal-caribbean-menus-and-heres-how-id-rank-everything-i-ate
18558 at https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com
<div><img src=”https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/sites/default/files/styles/fb_style/public/fb/mdr-what-i-ate.jpg?itok=o2MUFLXF” class=”ff-og-image-inserted”></div><p>I ate all seven dinners in the main dining room while onboard Symphony of the Seas to try <a href=”https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2023/01/07/first-look-royal-caribbeans-new-main-dining-room-menus”>Royal Caribbean’s new menus</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>It’s been about five years since the last time Royal Caribbean refreshed their dining menus, which is why they first tested the menus in late 2022 on Symphony of the Seas to receive guest feedback.</p><p>During the testing phase, they sent a team of six people onboard who were responsible for conducting in-person meetings with 30-40 passengers per day. In addition, surveys were sent out via email.&nbsp;</p><p>Now, Royal Caribbean is in the process of rolling out the new menus fleet wide by February 2023.</p><p>To be clear, I’m not a food critic and not classically trained in anything cuisine related. Others may come to their own conclusions, as everyone has different taste buds and preferences.&nbsp; But since a lot of readers want to know what I thought of the new menu options, I decided to share my opinions.</p><p>Here’s how I’d rank everything I ate while dining in the main dining room.</p><h2>Night one: “Welcome Aboard”&nbsp;</h2><p>My first night onboard, I was seated at 8:00pm on deck 3. After a long day of traveling, I was ready to eat, and I wasn’t the only one! Twenty minutes prior to our seating time, there was a massive line outside of the main dining room’s entrance.&nbsp;</p><p>We prefer making reservations for My Time Dining ahead of time, so this was my first time having traditional seating since 2010.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Appetizer: Spinach and artichoke dip</strong></p><p><strong>Ranking: 7.5/10</strong></p><p>The dip was creamy, and the chips were just salty enough; however, my one main problem with this dish was the dip to chip ratio. I ran out of the dip with about four chips left, which by themselves, I just thought were okay.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Main course: Southern fried chicken</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 6/10</strong></p><p>While I loved the presentation, this course was probably one of the ones I was most disappointed with. The fried chicken wasn’t crispy at all; there was no crunch when I bit into it. I also wish the mashed potatoes were just a little creamier, as they had a stiff texture to them.&nbsp;</p><p>That being said, the chicken did taste good, particularly when dipped into the tabasco honey sauce.&nbsp;I enjoyed the sauce so much that I poured some over my mashed potatoes!</p><p>I was also satisfied with the portion. The two pieces of chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn were plenty for me.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Dessert: Boston cream pie</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 8/10</strong></p><p>The dessert was my favorite course of the evening. The cake was fluffy, and it wasn’t overly chocolatey (I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate heavy desserts). I do wish it was just a tad bit sweeter, though.</p><h2>Night two: French night</h2><p>The theme for the second night’s dinner was French. For the remainder of the week (with the exception of the last night), I was seated at 5:30pm on deck five with a family of five. I was thankful for the earlier seating, as 8:00pm is personally too late for me.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Appetizer: Escargots</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 9/10</strong></p><p>As always, they were garlicky, buttery, and rich. The bread was a nice touch, as I was able to enjoy more of the sauce.&nbsp;</p><p>I’ve always appreciated the portion sizing, as I don’t think I could eat many more than 6 snails with how heavy the sauce is.&nbsp;</p><p>While I made it a plan to try as much as I could throughout the week, the escargots made another appearance on the Royal night and were enjoyed again by many in my dining party.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Main course: Roasted beef tenderloin</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 9/10</strong></p><p>The beef was tender, and I liked the peppercorn sauce. A huge plus was that the mashed potatoes were softer than the previous night. I wish there were a few more asparagus, though.&nbsp;</p><p>Four people at the table had the seafood linguine, and everyone cleared their plates!&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Dessert: Cappuccino chocolate cake</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 8.5/10</strong></p><p>The cake was moist, and the foam on top was light. The description of the dessert said that the cake was a “rich chocolate sponge cake”; but I found that it was overpowered by the&nbsp;coffee flavor.</p><p>In my opinion, it did not have a very strong chocolate flavor, and I liked that!</p><h2>Night three: Italian night</h2><p>On the third day of my sailing, the evening’s theme was White Night, while the dinner’s theme was Italian. Everyone got a chuckle of people showing up to dinner dressed in all white preparing to eat dishes heavy on red sauce.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Appetizer: Golden polenta fries with spicy dip</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 8/10</strong></p><p>When my appetizer was served, the dish was almost too hot to touch! The polenta fries were, as advertised, golden and crispy; however, the sauce wasn’t spicy at all. Honestly, I thought it was a tad bit sweet.&nbsp;</p><p>Someone else at the table ordered the same appetizer and agreed that the sauce didn’t have any kick to it.&nbsp;</p><p>Plus, the bed of spinach at the bottom of the dish was a bit random.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Main course: Chicken parmesan</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 7/10&nbsp;</strong></p><p>I was served a healthy portion, but like my fried chicken on the first night, the chicken’s crust could have been fried a little bit longer.&nbsp;</p><p>The dish was overpowered with a little too much basil for my liking, especially since the layer of mozzarella cheese on top of the chicken was pretty thin.&nbsp;</p><p>On the other hand, I thought the pasta was cooked very well, and I enjoyed the marinara sauce.</p><p><strong>Dessert: Tiramisu</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 9.5/10</strong></p><p>I thought the tiramisu was better than the cappuccino chocolate cake. Honestly, it was one of my favorite desserts served in the main dining room!</p><p>It was rich, creamy, and light all at the same time; however, the description said that there was a hint of Kahúla liqueur, but I found that flavor to be completely absent.&nbsp;</p><h2>Night four: Caribbean night</h2><p>Caribbean night was one of the ones I was most looking forward. I wasn’t sure how other guests would react, but I could tell by the multitude of empty tables that it wasn’t all that popular.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Appetizer: Crispy coconut jumbo shrimp</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 10/10</strong></p><p>This was the chef’s recommended appetizer, and I can see why. The shrimp were crunchy and fried perfectly, but they only had a subtle hint of coconut, which didn’t really upset me.</p><p>The sweet chili dipping sauce is what made this dish so incredible.&nbsp;Someone in my party even got a second order of them!&nbsp;</p><p data-slot-rendered-content=”true”>When his second plate arrived, I noticed some inconsistency in plating. They came out in an entirely different dish, the shrimp were noticeably larger, and there was much more of the sauce on the bottom. &nbsp;</p><p data-slot-rendered-content=”true”>Overall, this was one of my top three dishes that I had!</p><p><strong>Main course: Garlic-herb buttered tiger shrimp</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 7/10</strong></p><p>If you haven’t noticed by now, I love sauces that enrich the flavors of what I’m eating. Sometimes, seasoning just isn’t enough, and in my option, they have the ability to make or break the dish.&nbsp;</p><p>In the case of my tiger shrimp, I found myself wishing that they included more of the sauce. In general, I thought there could’ve been a little bit more of everything.&nbsp;</p><p>There were only five shrimp, a relatively small bed of vegetables, and a half scoop of rice.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Dessert: Sugar-free blueberry cobbler</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 7.5/10</strong></p><p>I don’t really know what I was expecting, but I could immediately tell that it was sugar-free. That being said, it was served warm, and the amount of oatmeal crumble on top was just enough. It didn’t make the dish crust heavy.&nbsp;</p><h2>Night five: Mexican night</h2><p>From what I gathered onboard, Mexican night had mixed reviews. I heard guests say that it wasn’t necessary since El Loco Fresh was on deck 15. Others, like myself, were excited for it (I can never get enough Mexican food).&nbsp;</p><p>Even though the “classics” section is no longer present on the menus, I found that there was usually aa option or two each night for the main course for those who might be a little pickier. On Mexican night, they were spaghetti bolognese and grilled chicken breast.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Appetizer: Roasted poblano pepper soup</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 10/10</strong></p><p>This soup landed itself in my top three favorite dishes. Fair warning, though, I thought it had a kick to it, which surprised me because the description never said anything about it being spicy.&nbsp;</p><p><meta charset=”UTF-8″>The only thing that could have made it better was including more of the roasted corn, red peppers, and sautéed chorizo. I would’ve enjoyed having texture and taste in each bite.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Main course: Carne asada</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 7/10</strong></p><p>You could only order the carne asada medium rare or medium well. I don’t love too much red in my steak, so I went with medium well; I think I would have liked it more if I had it prepared medium rare.&nbsp;</p><p>My steak ended up being more on the dry side. The salsa verde, however, was delicious, and I ended up asking for more of it to add to my steak.&nbsp;</p><p>Like the polenta fries, I found that the spinach on top of the pinto beans was random. I wish there had been more peppers instead.&nbsp;</p><p>All of that being said, I was satisfied with the portion of steak I was given!</p><p><strong>Dessert #1: Warm chocolate chip cookie</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 10/10 (I would go higher, though!)</strong></p><p>I asked for two desserts, mainly because our head waiter had&nbsp;</p><p>recommended the warm chocolate chip cookie multiple times.&nbsp;Everyone felt like they had to try it, and it was better than we all imagined!</p><p>It was the <em>best</em> thing I ate on the cruise!</p><p>The deep dish cookie was served in a piping hot ramekin and topped with vanilla ice cream.</p><p>The outside was crisp and golden, while the inside was perfectly ooey and gooey. It never became too soft, even with the melting ice cream on top.</p><p><strong>Dessert #1: Caramel flan</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 6/10</strong></p><p>I’m really glad that I ordered the warm chocolate chip cookie because I would’ve been disappointed if this was the only dessert I got.</p><p>The caramel taste was minimal, and the syrup topping was pretty runny.</p><h2>Night six: the Royal night</h2><p>I wasn’t surprised that the main dining room was the most crowded on “dress your best” night when lobster was listed as a complimentary menu option.&nbsp;</p><p>Everyone in my dinner party ordered at least two of one course, whether it was two appetizers, two main courses, or two desserts.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Appetizer: Chilled shrimp cocktail</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 9/10</strong></p><p>The shrimp cocktail is a classic onboard Royal Caribbean ships. I wish, though, that there were more than four shrimp. At least six would have been nice. I found myself itching for my entree while others enjoyed their second appetizer.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Main course #1: Broiled lobster tail</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 9.5/10</strong></p><p>Three other people at the table ordered the lobster as their first entree, too. All of them were around one pound.<meta charset=”UTF-8″>However, since&nbsp;additional lobster tails are no longer complimentary and cost $16.99 each, nobody ordered a second to see how it compared to the first.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>My lobster was tender, and they provided just the right amount of butter. Plus, the rice was moist and served as a great compliment.&nbsp;</p><p>I was a little disappointed with the sides, as I would have liked a few more carrots and more than one piece of broccoli. If that had been my only entree, I think I would’ve had to order something else!</p><p><strong>Main course #2: Cheese tortellini</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 8/10</strong></p><p>The cheese tortellini wasn’t served until after I had finished my lobster.</p><p>I wasn’t the only person who ordered this dish, and we agreed that the sauce was creamy and rich.&nbsp;</p><p>In my opinion, the portion was pretty small, and I wish there was more fresh parmesan, as it was condensed to one area of my pasta.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Dessert #1: Sugar-free strawberry shortcake</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 7/10</strong></p><p>After the blueberry cobbler, I was expecting this to also be noticeably sugar-free, so I was not surprised by that. I was mainly disappointed by the lack of fresh strawberries, and it was definitely missing that strawberry flavor.&nbsp;</p><p>The cake, however, was perfectly light and spongey. &nbsp;It would be a great choice for someone who didn’t want a heavy dessert!</p><p><strong>Dessert #2: Warm&nbsp;chocolate cake&nbsp;</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 7/10</strong></p><p>If you’re a fan of chocolate, this dessert <em>is </em>for you, trust me!&nbsp;Personally, with the moist chocolate cake and heavy sauce, it was way too rich for me.&nbsp;</p><h2>Night seven: Mediterranean night</h2><p>On the last night, the family that I had been dining with decided to eat at the Windjammer. The all aboard time for CocoCay was 5:30pm, which was also our fixed dining time. Since I was alone, the waitstaff had me in and out of the main dining room in an impressive thirty-eight minutes!</p><p>Overall, however, Mediterranean night was my least favorite.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Appetizer: Mediterranean tapas medley</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 8/10</strong></p><p>The tapas was the best part of my meal. I liked the tzatziki but found the hummus to be a little bland.&nbsp;</p><p>Three slices of pita bread wasn’t enough for two dips. I had to ask for more, and the additional slices that were brought out were bigger than my original ones.&nbsp;</p><p>I enjoyed the classic Greek salad, particularly the marinated olives!&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Main course: Vegetable Greek moussaka&nbsp;</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 3/10</strong></p><p>Truthfully, I found the entire dish to be lacking flavor and wish I had ordered the grilled Mediterranean steak instead.&nbsp;</p><p>There were far too many breadcrumbs on top, and they were unusually dry.&nbsp;The small side of tomato salsa wasn’t enough to give this dish the added moisture.&nbsp;It was difficult to finish the first layer of the moussaka to reveal the vegetables underneath. Plus, the olives on top did not taste fresh.&nbsp;</p><p>Other than texture, I was unable to tell the vegetables apart; they all tasted the same.</p><p><strong>Dessert: Warm apple cobbler</strong></p><p><strong>Rating: 7/10</strong></p><p>When I first tasted the apple cobbler, I thought that it was sugar-free. I had to double check to make sure that it wasn’t! It was served warm with a nice sized scoop of vanilla ice cream, though.&nbsp;</p><h2>Gluten-free options</h2><p>While I did not order any gluten-free food, a member of the Royal Caribbean Dining Facebook group, Sue Riggs, shared some photos of their gluten-free main dining room options!&nbsp;</p><h3>Chicken cordon bleu</h3><h3>Jerk Chicken</h3><h3>Tikka masala&nbsp;</h3><h3>Steak with chimichurri</h3><h3>Chicken parmesan</h3><h3>Gluten-free desserts</h3><h2>Other main dining room options</h2><p>The kind family that let me sit with them at dinner also let me snap some photos of their food throughout the week, and I’ve included those pictures below.&nbsp;</p><h3>Seared beef carpaccio&nbsp;</h3><h3>Pan-seared filet of sole&nbsp;</h3><h3>Lasagna al forno</h3><h3>&nbsp;Italian chocolate-hazelnut cake</h3><h3>Asian-style pork bao tacos</h3><h3>Jerk seasoned pork chop</h3><h3>Pesto tagliatelle &nbsp;</h3><h3>Pineapple sunshine cake</h3><h3>Tortilla soup</h3><h3>&nbsp;Chili-lime crusted salmon</h3><h2>Overall thoughts on the new menus</h2><p>Personally, I enjoyed stepping outside of my comfort zone and trying new things. I knew that if I ordered an appetizer, main course, or dessert that I ended up not liking, I could simply ask for something else– such are the joys of cruising!&nbsp;</p><p>Truthfully, I came into this expecting there to be some trial and error for the kitchen staff. Overall, I was satisfied with the new menus.</p><p>Of course, there were some courses that I wasn’t a fan of and would not plan on getting again, but I’m looking forward to seeing how the main dining room compares to my upcoming sailings.&nbsp;</p> Fri, 20 Jan 2023 15:11:05 +0000 Elizabeth
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I went to CocoCay for the first time, and here’s what I’d do differently https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2023/01/19/cococay-first-time-what-to-do-differently
18549 at https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com
<div><img src=”https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/sites/default/files/styles/fb_style/public/fb/Elizabeth-in-CocoCay.jpg?itok=apBuYoZc” class=”ff-og-image-inserted”></div><p>I went to <a href=”https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/perfect-day-cococay-tips-tricks-secrets”>Perfect Day at CocoCay</a> for the first time, and I learned some things that will enhance my experience when I return to the island.</p><p>The first (and last) time I visited Royal Caribbean’s private island CocoCay was in 2010 when I was eleven years old. Since then, a lot has changed. In 2019, it received a $250 million renovation and was renamed to “Perfect Day at CocoCay.”</p><p>Royal Caribbean focused on adding incredible thrills, including a 1,600 foot zip line, freshwater pool, helium balloon, and <a href=”https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/cococay-water-park”>waterpark</a> that features one of the tallest waterslides in the world at 135 feet.</p><p>The island’s beaches are brimming with beach chairs and umbrellas for passengers who would rather spend the day soaking up rays on the beautiful beaches. If you’re willing to spend the money, private cabanas are also available for rent.</p><p>Pricing varies based on sailing, but they usually start at $999 for a cabana on Chill Island, Oasis Lagoon, and South Beach.</p><p>Additionally, they added a colorful pier to the island, meaning that guests no longer have to tender ashore. The walk time from ship to the Arrivals Plaza is about six minutes, and every attraction can be reached in another ten minutes from there. There are also trams that escort guests throughout the island.</p><p>I had such a great day hanging out on the revamped island for the first time, but here are my thoughts on what I’ll do differently next time!</p><h2>Stick to one main activity</h2><p>From zip lining, splashing around at the waterpark, sunbathing on the beach, and snorkeling, to kayaking and swimming with pigs, there’s so much to do and so little time to do it all.</p><p>Since it was my first time visited the renovated island, I wanted to see and do as much as possible.</p><p>I booked the full day pass for Thrill Waterpark, and I was so excited to ride Daredevil’s Peak, one of the tallest waterslides in the <i>world</i>.</p><p>Both Odyssey of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas were docked on the day I was there, so the waterpark was busier than I thought it would be. It took about an hour and a half just to ride two waterslides!</p><p>There were other rides that I wanted to try, like the Sling Shot and Twister, but the lines were about an hour long each, and I was looking forward to relaxing on the beach for awhile.</p><p>The next time I visit CocoCay, I’ll stick to one activity, whether that’s the waterpark, beach, or hanging out at Oasis Lagoon.</p><h2>Get off the ship early</h2><p>I wish I had disembarked the ship as soon as I could, as I waited about an hour to go ashore.</p><p>By the time I got the waterpark, most rides had a wait time of at least thirty minutes. Unless, that is, you were willing to ride the Screaming Serpent (I wasn’t!).</p><p>I think that if I had gotten off early, I would have been able to sneak a few extra rides in, but even if the lines would have been the same length as when I arrived, it would have been nice to hangout in the wave pool before it got crowded.</p><p>By the time I got to Chill Island, it was impossible to find a vacant chair, so I ended up placing my items on my towel off to the side because I didn’t want to spend a long time scouting for one.</p><p>If you want a front row lounger, it’s crucial that you get off the ship as soon as you can to secure your spot for the day! Plus, why <i>wouldn’t</i> you want to spend as much time as you can on the island? You can always head back in early if you get tired or want to enjoy the ship’s amenities with fewer people onboard.</p><h2>Buy shore excursions in advance</h2><p>I am a huge fan of purchasing everything in advance via the Cruise Planner, but since this was technically a work trip and I didn’t know what my schedule would entail, I refrained from doing so.</p><p>I made some friends onboard who had booked the Thrill Waterpark, and I spontaneously decided to tag along; I didn’t buy my pass until the night before, so I paid a whopping $149!</p><p>They, however, got a Black Friday deal and paid around $50 each.</p><p>While I thought riding Daredevil’s Peak was both nerve-racking and incredible, I don’t think it was worth the nearly $150 price tag, especially since I only rode one other slide before we all headed to Chill Island for some much needed relaxation.&nbsp;</p><p>Looking ahead at my future cruises that visit CocoCay, I can purchase a pass for $79.99 and $88.99, which seems much more reasonable to me.</p><p>Plan ahead and book your shore excursions for CocoCay beforehand! This is not only a way to save money, but some experiences tend to sell out quickly, like the <a href=”https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2019/12/18/guide-perfect-day-cococay-cabanas”>cabanas</a> and <a href=”https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2021/07/12/coco-beach-club-cost-tips-review”>Coco Beach Club</a>.</p><h2>Bring snorkel equipment</h2><p>While I was hanging out on Chill Island, I kept hearing people talk about all the fish that they were seeing! Usually, I only snorkel on dedicating snorkeling excursions; however, I want to start carrying a mask with me in case the opportunity presents itself!</p><p>I’m familiar with the traditional beach warning flags (i.e., red for high hazard, yellow for medium, and green for low), but I didn’t know that purple meant presence of marine life. They had a purple flag blowing in the breeze, so I feel I missed out on seeing some neat stuff!</p><p>I was a bit bummed that I wasn’t able to see the “huge” fish and stingray that everyone was talking about!</p><p>I also visited Honeymoon Island on this cruise and having snorkel equipment would’ve been great there, too.</p><h2>Check the times for the Snack Shack (and other dining venues)</h2><p>Here at Royal Caribbean Blog, many are fans of the mozzarella sticks at CocoCay, so I was planning on giving them a try while I was there!</p><p>Unfortunately, I didn’t check the operating times for the Snack Shack, and it was already closed when I got there around 3:30pm. Our all aboard time was 5:30pm, so I assumed that they would have remained open a little bit later.</p><p>I was frustrated that I didn’t get to see if the mozzarella sticks lived up to the hype, so this is first on my list of things to do when I return in a few weeks.</p><p>I saw a lot of people carrying around funnel cakes, and they looked tasty, too!</p><p>Thankfully, though, I was able to eat a delicious meal at the Chill Grill, so I wasn’t left hungry <em>and</em> disappointed. I enjoyed being able to make my own tacos, and I thought they were much better than El Loco Fresh onboard.&nbsp;</p><h2>Overall thoughts on Perfect Day at CocoCay</h2><p>I don’t remember all that much about the island from my first visit years and years ago, but my dad said that he enjoyed a day ashore with only the ship’s guests.&nbsp;</p><p>The beaches are pristine, and the day can be whatever you want to make of it.</p><p>Personally, I prefer it over Labadee by far. I never feel the need to purchase an excursion there; I’m content just finding a place to hangout on the beach.</p><p>I love how Perfect Day at CocoCay’s activities are meant to appeal to a wider range of people and interests; you can go to a waterpark, ride a helium balloon, hang out and listen to music at the swim up bar in Oasis Lagoon, or relax on the beach all day.</p><p>Plus, the market is also much more relaxed. You can walk in and out of the individual stores without feeling pressure to buy anything.</p><p>I’m so glad that I finally got to experience it, as I’ve been wanting to visit since it was revealed nearly three years ago.</p> Thu, 19 Jan 2023 19:36:41 +0000 Elizabeth
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Royal Caribbean concept art reveals vision for beach club in Nassau, Bahamas https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2023/01/19/royal-caribbean-concept-art-reveals-vision-beach-club-nassau-bahamas
18563 at https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com
<div><img src=”https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/sites/default/files/styles/fb_style/public/fb/nassau-beach-club-aerial-render.jpg?itok=dGRogRVe” class=”ff-og-image-inserted”></div><p>We have a detailed look at what will be Royal Caribbean’s first private beach club in Nassau, Bahamas.</p><p>Royal Beach Club at Paradise Island, The Bahamas was originally announced just before the cruise industry shutdown as a new kind of destination experience: not quite as secluded or open a as private island, but still an exclusive option for Royal Caribbean guests.</p><p>The project was <a href=”https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2020/03/10/royal-caribbean-will-build-new-royal-beach-club-nassau-bahamas”>originally announced</a> in March 2020. Nothing new has been announced, but this our first look at the renderings for the beach option.</p><p>While there have not been any major updates announced, the cruise line insists the project is still a go. When asked for comments about the designs, Royal Caribbean had no comment.</p><p>We discovered concept art for the new beach club that provides context for what guests can expect.</p><h2>The Ultimate Beach Club Experience</h2><p>Royal Caribbean calls the Royal Beach Club the “ultimate beach club experience” for cruise passengers, as well as a place to enjoy for Bahamians.</p><p>The project calls for a&nbsp;$110 Million investment that over the next 10 years is projected to return $1 billion in guest spend, government taxes and other expenditures.</p><p>It’s located on the&nbsp;western end of Paradise Island, which is the narrow strip of land many cruise ship passengers are accustomed to seeing as they sail in or out of Nassau that features a lighthouse at the very end.</p><p>Royal Caribbean’s&nbsp;Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) provides more details as to what guests can expect. It’s important to note that these plans could change without notice. Since it’s our only insight into what Royal Caribbean is/has planning/planned, it’s better than nothing. Please keep expectations in line as merely a reference point.</p><p>”The proposed project will include the development of Paradise Beach and Colonial Beach to create an arrivals area, family zone, water sports centre, food and beverage services, and swimming pool and back of house areas in support of a world class beach experience.”</p><p>It looks like this will be an extra cost experience, as the EIA mentions an entrance fee:</p><blockquote readability=”36″><p>It is anticipated that with the payment of an entrance fee, the experience will include access to the Royal Beach Club, lunch and the rental of a beach chair. For an additional fee, guests will be able to purchase alcohol and sodas, a cabana, day-bed, clamshell, and participate in watersports and local tours.</p><p>There will be an array of activities available to guests, including, but not limited to, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, jet skiing, floating mat rentals, inflatable water slides, parasailing, nature hikes, volleyball, and other sand and water related activities.</p><p>The construction of a family attraction will delight visitors of all ages and may include water fountains and splash zones. While the location is inherently beautiful, RCG will also ensure that additional landscaping is planted throughout the site.</p></blockquote><p>Royal Caribbean purchased much of the land on the island, and also has access to additional land from the Bahamian government through a lease.</p><p>In looking through some of the proposals, we can see a few concepts for areas of the beach club.&nbsp; It’s clear this is more than just a private strip of sand to enjoy.</p><p>The&nbsp;Conceptual Master Plan has a very low resolution image, but we can make out these features:</p><ul><li>Beaches<ul><li>Tranquility Beach</li><li>Hideaway Beach</li><li>Sapphire Beach</li></ul></li><li>Cabanas<ul><li>VIP Cabanas</li></ul></li><li>Beach Bars</li><li>Bungalows</li><li>Signature Bahamian Bar</li><li>Artisan Village</li><li>Tidal Wading Pool</li><li>Adults Pool</li><li>Food hall</li><li>Tram service</li><li>Restrooms</li><li>Snack Shack</li><li>Kids’ Splash Pool and Wading Pool</li></ul><p>Upon project completion, Royal Caribbean believes its passengers will spend more time in Nassau.</p><p>During a call that could last up to nine hours, the Royal Beach Club experience will include four to five hours on Paradise Island plus additional time for shopping and other Nassau attractions.</p><h2>Getting to and from the Nassau Beach Club</h2><p>As Paradise Island is close to the Nassau Port, guests will have direct and quick access to the harbor via water taxis.</p><p>Essentially, there will be a transit system that Royal Caribbean will establish where passengers walk off their cruise ship and through the Nassau Port area to reach the water taxi station.</p><p>From there, the water taxi can take them to one of two stops at the beach club.</p><h2>Still moving ahead</h2><p>Ever since Royal Caribbean announced the Royal Beach Club, it hasn’t said much about it and that lead to speculation that the idea might have been cancelled.&nbsp;</p><p>Royal Caribbean executives insist it’s simply paused, but still a go once funding for it becomes available.</p><p>In December 2022, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley talked about port projects, such as the Royal Beach Club, “We have multiple other port type projects that are still operating. They’re still in place. And our ambition is to continue with our strategy. But obviously we have to be mindful of all of the various issues that came from the pandemic.”</p><p>”My ambition is to as quickly as possible… to get the capital to continue to to create these these products for the business.”</p><p>The same week, Royal Caribbean Group CEO Jason Liberty echoed the sentiment that nothing is cancelled, “there’s nothing that has has been canceled.”</p><p>”We’re going to be able to continue to grow each one of our brands and we’re going to be able to invest in Perfect Days and in Royal Beach clubs, etc.”</p> Thu, 19 Jan 2023 14:55:00 +0000 Matt
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Cruising with mobility needs https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/podcast/episode-484-cruising-mobility-needs
18561 at https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com
<p>Rachel and Rebecca share their experience cruising on Liberty of the Seas after needing special wheelchair accessibility on their cruise.</p><p><strong>Show notes</strong></p><p>Share with me your thoughts, questions and comments via…</p><p>You can subscribe to the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast via <a href=”https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/rcl-blog-podcast/id685427740″>iTunes</a>, <a href=”https://play.google.com/music/m/Ivzhqk4apf244bja3v54p2pzpaa?t=Royal_Caribbean_Blog_Podcast”>Google Play</a>, <a href=”http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/wdw-today/royal-caribbean-blog-podcast”>Stitcher</a>&nbsp;or <a href=”https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/showfeed.xml”>RSS</a>.</p> Wed, 18 Jan 2023 18:24:23 +0000 Matt
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