Roll Call
-Helpful Info for Cruisers-

Cruise Tips...

Luggage storage - We put our two 29" bags under the bed. We also store the life jackets in them to make more space in the closets. This is especially helpful when there are 3 or 4 life jackets in the closet. Just don't forget where they are in case you need them. We tend to go on longer cruises and need all the space we can get, besides having the straps dangling down bothers me.

Soda Card - If you buy the soda card while in the embarkation port, you pay sales tax. By waiting until the next morning, you save around $8 to $10. I suggest using a cruise line branded water bottle when ordering a soda. They will put ice in it and fill it up with soda, with large bottles taking more than 12 oz. Otherwise they fill a glass with ice and pour in the soda, not giving you the whole 12 oz., and they never give you what is remaining in the can. Not sure how this works outside of the U.S.

Bringing Your Own Wine - Guests are allowed to bring two (2) 750 ml bottles of wine on board per stateroom on embarkation day. Instead of paying a corkage fee, we pour a glass each and take it to dinner. Never had any complaints.

Bags of Laundry - Periodically Royal will wash, dry and fold a bag of laundry for the fixed price of $30. It is not a daily offering. This is an additional service offered beyond there regular laundry service. Guests can now send smaller clothing items to be washed and folded. Fit as much as you can into the bag provided for you and they will take care of the rest. Please ask your stateroom attendant for more information. Availability may vary. They take your clothes out of the paper bag and put it in a mesh bag, then throw that bag into a very hot commercial washer with bags from other guests. They do not sort your stuff. I can only assume that if your clothes are all dark, they will wash it with like clothing. We have had stuff ruined such as a polo shirt coming back a weird color and underwire bras damaged. So, be careful what you send in. It works fine for my underwear and jeans. To get the most stuff in each bag I suggest you tightly role each item. Higher ranked C&A members get this service complimentary.

Packing Tape - This is used in case your laundry bag rips, or you have a really full bag. With a full bag, I place one of the many Art Auction flyers on top of the bag, then run tape across the top to keep stuff from falling out and from the tape getting on the clothes.

Inside Cabin with a window - My wife didn't want to sail in an inside cabin until we learned to turn the TV to the forward facing cam station(with sound muted.) Now, if she wakes up and the TV is dark, she knows the sun isn't up yet. This doesn't work on all ships as some switch to scenic videos when the sun goes down, or simply don't have the cam.

Shareholder Benefit OBC - If you own 100 shares of RCC Ltd. stock, you can get OBC based on the number of days of your cruise. Royal Caribbean includes any cruises taken on the Royal Caribbean, Celebrity (except Celebrity Xpeditions), and Azamara cruise brands. The amounts of OBC are as follows:

You can book your cruise through your favorite travel agent or directly with Royal Caribbean.  After you book your cruise, simply send in proof of share ownership to RCCL and you will receive the credit.  Proof would consist of a copy of your current brokerage statement.  You can email RCCL with any questions The problem with this program is that you cannot combine this with any other benefit. For example, if you are a member of the Crown & Anchor Club and book with a special rate, then you are not eligible for the Shareholder Benefit. Even booking with the very small Military or Senior discount makes you ineligible.

Booking Back-to-Back (B2B) Cruises - When we take the trouble to fly or drive to a port, we prefer to make the best of the trip and do more than one cruise from that port. I was very surprised to find many fellow cruisers who had no idea you could do that. We always look a the cruise before and after the target cruise. Often they do multiple itineraries like an Eastern and Western Caribbean making a very nice 14-day cruise. The only downside is that the shows and menus are repeated.

More to come...