Frequently Asked Questions

You've got the questions, we have the answers. We cover several topics, from activities for the children to our onboard alcohol policy, ensuring to give you every bit of confidence in cruising with us.

Onboard Youth Program list

What is the Adventure Ocean programme?
Royal Caribbean’s complimentary, year-round Adventure Ocean programme is recognised as one of the industry’s leading youth programmes. The programme is available, by age group, for all kids and teens, aged 3 (must be toilet trained – no diapers or pull-ups) to 17:
* Please note 18 year olds are not permitted in the teen programme and no exceptions can be made

All children’s activities are supervised by male or female youth staff and must have a 4 year University degree or international equivalent in Education, Recreation or a related field. All staff will also have at least 3 – 5 years qualified experience in working with children ages 6 months - 17 years.

Supervised children’s activities for 3-11 year-olds:
    At sea – 9 am to 5 pm; 7 pm to 10 pm.
    In port – 30 minutes prior to first shore excursion to 5 pm; and 7 pm to 10 pm.

Supervised teen activities for 12-14 year-olds:
    At sea – daytime activities vary; night time activities – 8 pm to 2 am.
    In port – daytime activities vary; night time activities – 8 pm to 2 am.
 
Supervised teen activities for 15-17 year-olds:
    At sea – daytime activities vary; night time activities – 9 pm to the wee hours.
    In port – daytime activities vary; night time activities – 9 pm to the wee hours.

Teens may join adult activities with the exception of adult sports tournaments and the adult nightclubs (teens have their own nightclubs, Living Room and Fuel).
How do we register our children for Adventure Ocean?

Boarding day

  • Adventure Ocean staff are stationed at the entrance of the ship on day of boarding. Parents are encouraged to enrol the children into the kids club. Wrist bands are given to identify them in case of emergency. (Wrist bands are given to children up to age 11, older children may not appreciate being given them!)

On board the ship

  • Parents can take children on any day of the sailing and enrol them into the kids club. 
  • Parents do need to sign the children in on a day by day case
What sorts of activities can my children look forward to in the Adventure Ocean Programme?

Sample Activities by Age Group

•    Aquanauts (3 - 5 years): Finger Painting * Camp Aquanaut * Building Blocks * Music Activities * Space Night * Games – animal, colour and shape BINGO

•    Explorers (6 - 8 years): Pirate Night * Backstage Tour * Nutty Nicknames * Pyjama Night * Carnival games * Model Magic Creations * Talent Show

•    Voyagers (9 - 11 years): Karaoke * Sports Tournaments * * GaGa Ball* * List-o-Rama * Boys vs Girls * Scavenger Hunts * Crazy Tag

•    Teens (12 - 14 years): Sports Tournaments * Pool Parties *  Scavenger Hunts * Karaoke * Themed Dance Parties * Video Games * Nintendo© Wii *

•    Teens (15 - 17 years): Pool Parties * DJ Training * Battle of the Sexes * Karaoke * Casino Night * Themed Dance Parties * Nintendo© Wii-Guitar Hero * Movies

•    Island Activities: Beach Parties * Beach Volleyball * Hermit Crab Hunt * Sand Castle Building * Sea Shell Collecting * Rocket Launch * Water Balloon Toss
Are there educational activities that my children can experience onboard?

Our ‘Edu-tainment Programming’ includes:

  • Adventure ScienceSM makes learning fun through a blend of hands-on science experiments and wacky entertainment. Experiments include Staggering Through the Stars©, Germ Jungle©, Wacky Water Workshop©, Jurassic Junior©, Environmentation Station© and Volcanoes©
  • Adventure Art by Crayola offers children the opportunity to exercise their creativity with crafts such as cultural masks and pottery, while learning about the art, history and culture of the regions they visit on holiday. The projects vary according to cruise destination, sharing information on the history, traditions, aquatic habitats and animals indigenous to the Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, Australia, Asia and Europe
  • Adventure Theatre blends educational activities with on-your-feet fun, Adventure Theatre participants get a first taste of the actor's craft, in which entire worlds are created with just their bodies, voices and imaginations. Using structured theatre games, vocal and physical exercises, and creativity-freeing activities, instructors guide groups through an exploration of the theatre arts
  • Sail Into Story Time sparks imaginations and entertains young holidaymakers with a story hour followed by creative, hands-on activities and projects
  • Family Activities are a free, onboard programme that allow children and their parents to participate in planned activities within a structured environment to spend quality time together. Activities depend on the length of the cruise and can range from family discos, Karaoke, sporting events to talent shows and scavenger hunts
What programmes are available for smaller children, aged up to 3 years?

Royal Babies and Royal Tots

On board select ships, the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery for toddlers 6-36 months old offer parents childcare drop-off options in the daytime and evening with a carefully maintained and optimised staff to child ratio. Free-time play also will be offered daily, creating an interactive environment where parents and children can bond while playing with a variety of developmental toys in specially-designed programmes offered exclusively for guests sailing with Royal Caribbean. The Crayola Beginnings line of toddler art tools will be featured in unique developmentally-appropriate art activities designed for parents and children to enjoy precious creative moments together. There is a charge of $8 per hour per child.

  • Royal Babies (6 months – 18 months)/Royal Tots (18 months – 36 months) - playgroups for parents with children age 6 months to 3 years.  Fun, age appropriate activity sessions have a variety of themes that encourage little ones to explore and make new discoveries. At the same time, parents learn creative techniques for adding skill-building to playtime. Royal Babies (6 to 18 months) will enjoy Musical Inspiration, Everyday Early Learning and other themes. Royal Tots (18 months to 3 years) sessions include Fun on the Farm, Out & About in the Neighbourhood and more. A parent must accompany their child
  • During the day, Royal Tots can create early childhood memories at four new Crayola Beginnings workshops. During each 45-minute session, parents and their children enjoy story-time with an Adventure Ocean counsellor, and use Crayola Beginnings products to create the toddler’s first works of art. Themed sessions include My Colourful World (introducing the concept of colours); Families Have Fun (introducing the world of colouring); Let’s Explore the Sea; and Our Big, Big Ship
  • Parents travelling with infants and toddlers can now pack lighter for their cruise with Royal Caribbean’s Babies 2 Go programme, where parents can order organic baby food and nappies, wipes and creams by Huggies – the world’s leading nappy brand – for delivery to their staterooms upon their arrival. These baby essentials can be ordered online through Royal Caribbean’s Gifts & Gear section at RoyalCaribbean.com
  • A treasure chest of toys is available to families during their stay, comprising a collection of developmental toys specifically created for infants and toddlers, ages 6 – 36 months. Parents can borrow and exchange toys for a new activity every day to help growing minds learn through play. Very good selection of activity toys, electronic toys and age appropriate books etc. There is limited amount of “toy bags” available, but each bag contains around 5-6 items and they can be exchanged for another bag when desired
Are babysitting services available onboard?

Group Sitting and In-Stateroom Babysitting Services

  • Late Night Party Zone – Group sitting is available from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am in the Adventure Ocean centre.  The cost for this service is $6/hour per child.  Children attending must be at least 3 years old and fully toilet trained – no nappies or pull-ups allowed.
  • Our Sitters at Sea programme is available through the Guest Relations Desk and must be booked at least 24 hours in advance.
  • A Royal Caribbean staff-member will arrive equipped with Fisher-Price toys and Mattel games, and engage and entertain the young cruisers until their parents return. Children must be at least one year old.
  • Upon their return, parents will be presented a log of the child’s activities with the babysitter, including books read, games enjoyed, food consumed, and when the child was put to bed.
  • The charge is $19 per hour for up to three children within the same family; and $15 per hour for a maximum of three children in the same family. There is a two-hour minimum requirement.
Can children use the pool areas if they are wearing nappies?
Due to public health regulations, children in nappies, swim nappies, pull-ups or who are not completely toilet trained are not allowed in the pools, whirlpools or H2O zone. Children in nappies or who are not toilet trained may use the Baby Splash Zone specially designated for them on the Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.
What additional Youth Facilities/Amenities are onboard?
Adventure Ocean youth facilities are designed to meet the needs of younger guests. Different rooms are used for the different age groupings. Some of the added kid-focused ship facilities and amenities include:
  • Movies for children – shown on stateroom televisions.
  • Adventure Family Library – available in the ships library, this area offers classic and popular family titles in a variety of languages (based on the ship’s itinerary) and a comfortable reading area for kids to relax and delve into a book, individually or with a parent.
  • Royal Bedtime Stories – this activity invites the whole family to the Adventure Family Library to enjoy a bedtime story and lullabies. Children are encouraged to dress in their pyjamas while an Adventure Ocean counsellor reads from one among a variety of popular storybooks.
  • Adventure Ocean Dining – allows young guests to eat dinner on several nights in the most popular dining areas with their favourite youth staff and new friends.
  • Fountain Soda Package – allows guests up to 18 years of age to enjoy as many soft drinks as they like for a fixed price for the duration of the cruise (prices vary with cruise length; $28 for a seven-night cruise.
  • Crown & Anchor offers a specific youth programme which includes a number of benefits to returning guests age 17 and below. This will include offers like a free “mocktail” or a youth spa treatment for teens.
  • Children would also receive a gift because of their membership, such as a rucksack or Crayola products.


Family Facilities

How old do children need to be to join a cruise?
Infants sailing on a cruise must be at least 6 months old as of the first day of the cruise and/or CruiseTour. However: For transatlantic, transpacific, Hawaii, select South American and other selected cruises and/or CruiseTours, the infant must be at least 12 months old as of the first day of the cruise/CruiseTour. For the purposes of this policy, any cruise that has 3 or more days consecutive at sea will require infants to be 12 months old on the first day of the cruise/CruiseTour.

Please be aware that guests travelling with a young infant that does not meet the infant policy will be denied boarding. No refunds or other compensation shall be due from the cruise line to anyone as a result of the denial of boarding to an under-age infant or other accompanying guests.

Royal Caribbean International reserves the right to ask for proof of age. Royal Caribbean International's age policy for gambling and consumption of alcoholic beverages is as follows: Please note: An individual's age on the date of sailing determines his or her status for their cruise. However, if a guest celebrates their 21st birthday during the cruise, the guest may thereafter ask the Guest Services Manager to modify ship's records to permit their consumption of alcohol during the remainder of the cruise. The guest will be required to appear at Guest Services with his or her parent or guardian and to present a government issued form of identification to establish that the guest's 21st birthday was celebrated during the cruise.

For children under the age of 18 there will be an M on their SeaPass card and there will be images of children on the card so that the staff on-board can easily tell that they are a minor. 
Will a Family Room meet our needs?
Royal Caribbean can meet the needs of any family as we offer a variety of stateroom options. Spacious accommodation for 4 to suites for 16, we’ll have the perfect option for your family whether it’s big or small. Staterooms are designed to give you the perfect place to relax on your journey. All staterooms have a private bathroom (in suites) with shower, a sitting area to relax in and come with a TV, telephone and safe. You can also order room service 24 hours a day. And to make your stay as satisfying as possible, we offer a range of extra features, like additional beds or cots for the under 3s. Please note that Pullman beds, offered in selected staterooms, are not suitable for children under 6 years old.

No Guest younger than the age twenty-one (21) will be assigned to a stateroom unless accompanied in the same stateroom by an adult twenty-one (21) years old or older. A guest's age is established upon the first date of sailing. This age limit will be waived for children sailing with their parents or guardians in connecting staterooms; (staterooms do not have to be connecting, they can be next door or directly across), for underage married couples; and for active duty members of the United States or Canadian military.

Certain other restrictions and conditions will apply; such as compliance with the age twenty-one (21) alcohol policy, and proof of marriage for underage couples or proof of active duty military status required).
How does onboard dining work for families?


My Family Time Dining

This new programme aims to help kids complete dinner within 45 minutes, freeing parents to enjoy coffee and desert at their leisure. Once seated, kids will enjoy expedited service and be immediately served. Available only during the first seating in the main dining room, kids registered in the complimentary Adventure Ocean youth programme and My Family Time Dining will be met by Adventure Ocean counsellors at the main dining room entrances at 6:45 p.m. and be escorted back to the Adventure Ocean spaces for on-going evening activities, while parents can continue to enjoy their dinner.


Speciality Dining - Chops Grille and Portofino

All guests 13 and over are welcome and may be booked on-line. Children under 13 years may book only before 7 p.m. but must be booked onboard; based on availability and total party size. After 7 p.m. children under the age of 13 are not allowed. All guests under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Following the ship revitalizations, there are now more speciality dining options on many ships, most of which are child friendly. eg. Giovanni’s Table is listed on the website as “family style” and some such as Rita’s Cantina are available at lunch time as well as dinner. Also, Johnny Rockets is likely to be very popular with kids, and there is often an option to dine with Adventure Ocean staff without a charge, when signed into a session.
Are there any specifically family-friendly shore excursions available?
We have many especially designed family tours. When booking shore excursions online look out for the family friendly icon. On the vast majority of our tours children under 3 years go free and we offer discounted prices for children aged 4 to 12 years.

At our private destinations Labadee and Cococay, Adventure Ocean staff have a crèche area where children can enjoy a number of outdoor, mostly beach related activities. Examples are given above in the “Island Activities” section.
Which family-friendly onboard activities are included in the cruise fare?
Below activities are complimentary:
  • Bungee Trampoline - must be at least 6 years of age and 6-12 years olds must have adult supervision
  • FlowRider – Must be 6 years of age or older to ride and must be taller than 52” bodyboard/58” flowboard in height.  Under 18’s must be supervised at all times
  • Ice Skating -  6-12 years olds must have adult supervision, anyone under 6 must have an adult on the ice with them
  • In-Line Skating - All Waivers must be filled out by parent or legal guardian for those under the age of 18
        - Children ages 0-5 must be accompanied by parent or legal guardian on the ice
        - Children ages 6-12 must have parent or legal guardian in Studio B to observe
        - Anyone ages 13 and above may be on the ice on their own
  • Rock Wall - must be 6 years of age and 6-12 years olds must have adult supervision
  • Zipline - Riders must be at least 75 pounds to participate but must not exceed the maximum weight restriction of 275 pounds. No one under 52” in height may ride/participate in Zip Line ride/attraction under any circumstances.
Can my child(ren) dine with the DreamWorks Characters?
On ships that feature Dreamworks, it is possible to arrange Character Dining, in the Main Dining room for Breakfast (8:00am onwards). This can be arranged onboard or be booked in advance online. There is no charge for this service and it is subject to availability.
Are walkie-talkies allowed onboard?
Dect phones (portable phones) are available to rent for $25.00 a week on Radiance and Voyager class vessels. Guests may reserve a seat at the Guest Relations Desk, (price is subject to change). Guests are also allowed to have two-way radios, more commonly known as walkie-talkies, for onboard personal communications. Basic specifications are as follows: Up to 10-mile coverage range, Up to 5 watts power, Internal Voice, Operated Transmission, No external mounting antenna.
Does Royal Caribbean provide highchairs or buggies?
Highchairs are available on request. Guests need to request on their reservation. Royal Caribbean does not provide buggies. Currently there are no baby change facilities offered on our ships with the exceptions of the Royal Babies Nursery. However, the nursery does have a small supply of changing mats (also given in the toy lending program) which can be requested.
What is the onboard alcohol policy?
On all sailings, the minimum drinking age for all alcoholic beverages on all Royal Caribbean International is as follows.
         
-    The minimum age to consume alcohol on Royal Caribbean International ships on sailings originating in Europe, Asia, Australia and South America is 18.
         
-    The minimum age to consume alcohol on Royal Caribbean International ships on sailings originating in North America remains at 21. Any sailing that includes a US port the minimum drinking age is 21, even when originating in Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. The minimum age to consume alcohol at all private destinations remains 21 without regard to where the sailing originated. The Company retains the right, on rare occasions, to raise the minimum age of alcohol consumption on any sailing when local laws require or permit such a modification.
   
 
Guests can now bring two bottles per stateroom onboard at embarkation; this can be consumed in the stateroom without charge but when consumed in any shipboard restaurant, bar, or dining venue, each bottle shall be subject to a corkage fee of $25.00 per bottle.  Alcoholic beverages that are purchased in ports of call or from onboard shops will be stored by the ship and delivered to guest staterooms on the last day of the sailing. Security may inspect containers (water bottles, soda bottles, mouthwash, luggage etc.) and will dispose of containers holding alcohol. Royal Caribbean's Guest Conduct Policy may be enforced, up to and including disembarkation, if a guest violates any alcohol policy. Guests under the age of 21 will not have alcohol returned to them.

 
Guests who violate any alcohol policies, (over consume, provide alcohol to people under the age of 21, demonstrate irresponsible behaviour, or attempt to conceal alcoholic items at security and or luggage check points or any other time), may be disembarked or not allowed to board, at their own expense, in accordance with our Guest Conduct Policy.
All guests must comply with TSA guidelines for transporting liquids.
 
Royal Caribbean reserves the right to revoke or otherwise restrict drinking privileges of any guest, regardless of age.
What is the onboard gambling policy?
Guests 18 years of age and older are welcome to play in our casinos (for all Alaska sailings, guests must be 21 years of age in order to play in our casinos).


Health & Safety

Will my child(ren) be safe onboard?
At Royal Caribbean International, the safety and security of our guests and crew is our highest priority and fundamental to our operations. Our marine safety record over our 42-year history clearly illustrates our commitment to the safety of the millions of guests and crew that sail on our ships. The measures we take in the interest of safety are many, with our ships often exceeding what is required by regulatory authorities - these are all part of our ongoing commitment to innovation and continuous improvement in every aspect of our business.

  • What is a “muster drill”?
    A muster drill is a mandatory exercise with the objective to familiarise all guests and crew with the location (muster station) where they are to assemble in the unlikely event of an emergency. During this drill, additional safety information (i.e., how to don a life jacket) is presented.
  • What is the timing of the muster drill for guests?
    The International Convention of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulatory guidelines require that a muster drill be held within 24 hours of a ship’s departure from its embarkation port.  The muster drill for guests on all ships across our fleet is to be held 30 to 60 minutes prior to departure on the day of turnaround, or embarkation.

  • What are the mustering procedures for kids participating in children’s/youth programmes?
    The muster procedure, as part of the Youth Evacuation Programme, will ensure that children are brought to the muster station where they would be reunited with their parents / guardians. This is also mentioned in the general muster drill announcement.

  • What languages are the muster drills conducted in?
    Announcements for the guest assembly drill are made in English, or the official language of the vessel.  The announcements are made in additional core languages when we have large numbers of guests onboard who do not speak English.  On some sailings, announcements may be made in the language of the market, then followed by English and any other approved core language(s).
  • Should passengers wear their life jackets when participating in a muster drill? Should passengers wear their life jackets when participating in a muster drill?
    Guests should not bring life jackets to the muster drill. Our procedures direct guests to proceed directly to their muster stations in the unlikely event of an emergency and upon hearing the emergency signal.  This reduces the chance for cross-traffic and improves response time at muster stations, as guests do not need to return to their staterooms to retrieve their life jackets if they are in another part of the ship at the time.  Crew members will provide guests with life jackets at the muster stations. In the unlikely event of an emergency, one of the most important aspects is to account for all persons onboard, and this process facilitates that accountability.

  • Who regulates the cruise industry?
    The cruise industry is a heavily regulated industry, and the safety of our guests and crew is always our highest priority.
    •    All cruise ships are designed and operated in compliance with the strict requirements of the International Maritime Organisation, the UN agency that mandates global standards for the safety and operation of cruise ships through adoption of treaties, regulations and resolutions, codified in the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention.
    •    Safety-related regulations and requirements are rigorous – and we often go substantially above and beyond what is required; for example, carrying backup mechanical, navigational and safety provisions.
    •    Our ships’ crews undertake extensive training, certification, drills and scenarios in preparation for the very unlikely event of an emergency, including training on ship evacuation procedures.

  • What training does the crew go through for muster?
    All of our ships’ officers receive specialised training, and every crew member must participate in safety training modules so they are prepared to respond quickly and effectively in the unlikely event of an emergency. We also conduct weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual drills on all of our ships, to train and prepare for response to a variety of potential situations. In addition, each of our vessels is equipped with advanced fire detection and suppression systems, and every ship has highly trained personnel onboard who can effectively respond to and manage these systems.

  • How many life saving crafts do the ships carry?
    The number of life saving crafts varies on each class of ship.  All of our ships have sufficient survival craft for everyone on board, plus additional capacity in reserve, per regulatory requirements.

  • What are the mustering procedures for passengers with disabilities?
    During the mustering process, trained crew with high visibility vests will be posted throughout the ship to assist guests with disabilities. In addition to posted personnel, specially trained crew teams are available to assist guests with special needs.
How is security handled on your ships?
Each ship has a security officer responsible for ship security.  These officers oversee a team of trained security personnel who implement and enforce security procedures on our ships.  Central to their work is the ship’s SeaPass security system, which assigns all guests and crew members a unique identification card.  This card identifies them to the ship’s security through their digital photograph and biographical information.  This data is routinely provided to government agencies so that they may actively screen manifests in furtherance of ships’ security.  Any time a guest or crew member attempts to board or depart a ship, an automated system allows security personnel to verify the person’s identity and confirm their authority to board or depart the ship.  This technology allows the ship to know which guests and crew members are onboard and which are not, at any given time.

In all cruise terminals our ships visit, our security includes screening procedures similar to those found at airports.  This includes the use of metal detectors and x-ray machines for all guests, visitors and crew.  During embarkation, proper government issued photo identification is verified.  For most guests and embarkation points around the world, a valid passport and current visas are required.
What about Norovirus, doesn’t that affect cruise ships regularly and what measures do you have in place to prevent it?
Outbreaks of norovirus occasionally occur onboard cruise ships, just as it may in hospitals, daycare centres, nursing homes and schools.  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the only illness that is more prevalent is the common cold.  The main reason norovirus is often times associated with cruise ships is because of the higher sanitation and mandatory reporting requirements onboard cruise ships, which require that gastrointestinal illnesses be reported.  On a cruise ship, those affected by the short-lived illness generally respond well to treatment provided onboard and the illness usually resolves itself in 24-48 hours.

Royal Caribbean International takes numerous proactive steps to prevent, control and eradicate norovirus onboard its ships. Some of these stepped-up procedures include:
•    Implementing a two-stage illness prevention program.  The programme’s action plan outlines specific, heightened sanitation procedures for crew members – from the captain to housekeepers.  
•    Implementing enhanced cleaning procedures and protocols, as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
•    Using special cleaning products and disinfectants to clean throughout our ships.
•    Conducting special cleaning of all “high-touch” areas on the ship, including, but not limited to, counter tops, rest-room and vanity surfaces, door handles, railings and grab bars, exercise equipment, TV remote controls, light switches, elevator buttons, and computer keyboards.