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First Cruise Tips: Embarkation Day

By AdeleTuesday 14th March 2017

When you head on a trip of a lifetime, you want it to be smooth-sailing. We know that you want to start making those incredible holiday memories as soon as possible, so we’re here to help.
Follow this simple checklist to help get your embarkation day off to an exciting start:

1. Spending Money

You won’t need to worry about looking after your pennies when you’re on the ship, as our ships are cashless. However, there are alternative options available for you to set up a cash or credit card account onboard - so it’s up to you to decide what you’d prefer to do before boarding. We would, however, make sure you’re well prepared for shore excursions by taking out cash before coming onboard. A lot of people tend to rely on cash machines at each destination, but it’s always best to keep your to-do list as short as possible so you can focus on enjoying your break!

2. Weather and Temperature

It’s always best to check the weather before you come onboard, just so you know if you should pack an extra cover-up, an alternative to a pair of flip flops, or an extra pair of sunglasses. Whatever the weather has in store for you, we’ll definitely have an activity onboard to suit your needs, so don’t fret!

3. Luggage

Your main suitcases are checked in at the terminal and will be delivered to your stateroom, which you’ll have access to in the afternoon. Keep a nifty bag handy for any swimwear or flip-flops to help you chill out as soon as you come onboard. There’s no need to worry about towels, as you can get these out on your SeaPass card (you won’t be charged as long as you give them back). Don’t worry about floatation aids for the children in the pool, either, as these are also provided.

4. SeaPass Cards

An Onboard Expense account, or SeaPass, is the method of payment that we use for all onboard purchases and services. The Account can be set-up with either a credit card (American Express, Optima, MasterCard, Visa, Discover and Diner's Club) or as a cash account. You will be able to establish a ‘master account’, adding loved ones from your stateroom (or another stateroom) as authorised purchasers on your account if you wish. All of the purchases made during your trip are calculated and charged to your SeaPass. You’ll be given a receipt at each point of sale, and a final statement will be delivered to your stateroom at the end of your trip. Alternatively, you can pay off your tab at any point during your time onboard, just so you know where you’re up to! Your SeaPass cards will be issued to you, your family and friends on the dock before you set sail. Keep it handy for all of your onboard purchases, as well as gaining access to designated areas of the ship (including your stateroom). TIP: If you have any spare, then it’s worth bringing along some lanyards with clear plastic sleeves for your children. That way, they can keep their SeaPass close to them at all times.

5. Keep an Eye on the Clock

It’s important that you get to the port in good time so that your holiday starts on the right foot. You are not allowed to check-in or board any later than 90 minutes prior to sailing, so give yourself plenty of breathing time.

6. Airport Transfers

Airport Transfers can be booked with ‘Royal Connections’ transfer service, so you can be greeted with a friendly face when you step off the plane towards your extraordinary getaway. If you make your air arrangements through Royal Caribbean and arrive on the day of boarding, you will be greeted by our staff in the Baggage Claim Area or outside Customs (for international flights). They will then direct you to your transport from the airport to your ship. This service is also available to those who do not make air arrangements with Royal Caribbean. Please contact your travel agent or contact us for details.

7. Kid’s Clubs

Once you’re onboard, make sure you take your little ones to our Kid’s Club straight away and get them registered. Once you’ve filled in the paperwork that covers any allergy information and other important bits, the children will be able to get to know all of our friendly staff, make new friends and enjoy our exciting range of kid’s club activities.

8. Dining Reservations

One of the best parts of cruising with us is the delicious range of dining options we have to offer! If you haven’t already booked your reservations online, then keep an eye out for a member of staff to help you book a table and guide you around. If you have any specific dietary requirements or want to request a table, we advise that you email Special Services before boarding. If you forget to, don’t fret! You can simply inform an available member of the Royal Caribbean crew of your dietary requirements when you’re onboard! TIP: We have a variety of drinks packages available to suit all individual needs, ranging from tantalising cocktails to soft fizzy drinks. Squashes, water, tea and coffee are all included!

9. Shore Excursions and Activities

If you’ve already booked your shore excursions, then well done! You’re already one step ahead. Make sure that your schedule is tailored exactly to how you want it to be for the dream holiday. If you fancy taking part in any fitness classes or indulging in a spa treatment, then be sure to sign up when you’re touring our spa and sports facilities. This will mean that you can stroll to your class or appointment, with plenty of time to spare (or to fill with more activities!). TIP: The best time to speak to Guest Services is in the evening. Remember, you can check everything on the TV in your stateroom too. This will provide you with a lot of information, so you can simply put your feet up and keep them there!

10. Enjoy!

You are officially on holiday at sea! It’s time to grab a cocktail, take a dip in the swimming pool, or find a spot to watch the land as your ship leaves the port.
For more information on what exciting things you can get up to when you’re at sea, have a look at our wide range of our available onboard activities and facilities.

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