The First Day on a Royal Caribbean Cruise | Royal Caribbean Blog (2024)

Get a look at what to expect on Day One of a cruise and the expert tips to make it memorable.
The First Day on a Royal Caribbean Cruise | Royal Caribbean Blog (1)

You can enjoy a lineup of adventures on a Royal Caribbean cruise from Day One, like the North Star observation capsule, ice skating and more.

Credit: Royal Caribbean

On a cruise, your vacation starts as soon as you set foot on your cruise ship. In fact, Day One has the makings to be as memorable as every other day of your getaway. Each ship is packed with adventures, restaurants, entertainment and more, and you can get in on the action right away.

Now, where do you start? There’s a guide for that, and this one is packed with expert tips and hacks to navigate your first day on board because every minute of your time off is a minute to enjoy. High-speed waterslides, surfing and skydiving simulators, entertainment across four “stages“—air, ice, water and theater—as well as restaurants ranging from Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen to American steakhouse Chops Grille are all at your fingertips.

Read on to see how you can make the most of your time on board from the get-go:

The First Day on a Royal Caribbean Cruise | Royal Caribbean Blog (2)

From high-speed waterslides to kids aqua parks and adults-only pools, there’s something for everyone on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Credit: Royal Caribbean

Getting On Board

Set yourself to vacation mode early and check in for your cruise with the Royal Caribbean mobile app. You’ll get all the information you need before you arrive, and you can scan your passport and upload a “selfie” as a security photo to generate a mobile boarding pass and choose your arrival time. The pass is your ticket to quickly get on board. Several terminals even have facial recognition for an experience that’s as hands-off as it gets. Whether you check in with the app or online, as long as you have the right identification documents handy, getting to your ship will be a breeze.

Next, you’ll want to pick up your SeaPass card, which functions as your room key, ID and credit card. It’ll be in a sealed envelope that’s waiting for you right outside your stateroom.

See You Later, Luggage

When you get to the cruise terminal, leave your baggage behind—literally. You can give porters your luggage once you’ve tagged it with the necessary details, like your stateroom number, and they’ll work with the ship’s crew members to deliver it to your stateroom later that day.

Pro tip: Bring a small bag or tote with a few essentials—like a swimsuit, sunscreen and shades—so that you’re ready to jump in on the action on board, whether that’s at places like the pool and on the waterslides, the rock climbing wall or the bumper cars at SeaPlex.

The First Day on a Royal Caribbean Cruise | Royal Caribbean Blog (3)

The Ultimate Abyss is the tallest slide at sea, with 10 stories of heart-pumping twists and turns.

Credit: Royal Caribbean

Explore the Ship

Go on and familiarize yourself with your home away from home and all it has to offer. You can simply wander or plan out your path with the deck plans (aka maps) on the app or digital wayfinders throughout the ship.

Pro tip: Use the mobile app (foriOSorAndroid) to personalize your cruise, especially when traveling with a group. Book ahead of time and easily map out your adventures, from shore excursions to activities, dining and more.

Get Playing

There’s something for kids and adults of all ages and interests on a Royal Caribbean ship. If you like to be active, there are ice skating rinks, bumper cars, laser tag, escape rooms, simulated surfing and skydiving and zip lines, to name a few experiences. Want to relax? Enjoy a shady casita by the pool, book a spa treatment, head to the adults-only Solarium area or take a stroll in Central Park, the neighborhood that’s filled with more than 20,000 real plants. You can quickly find out what’s open by checking out the Cruise Compass on the app or as a printed copy that you can pick up at Guest Services or in your stateroom.

Pro tip:Visit the to check out the lineup of treatments and classes. For the kids (6 months to 12 years old), take advantage of Adventure Ocean’s open house on Day One to register for the award-winning kids’ program.

The First Day on a Royal Caribbean Cruise | Royal Caribbean Blog (4)

From New England- and Southern-inspired restaurants to pizzerias and steakhouses, you have many different eateries to choose from on a Royal Caribbean ship.

Credit: Royal Caribbean

Grab a Bite

If you’re hungry, you can have your choice of dishes from several restaurants that are open as soon as you board. There are spots like Windjammer Cafe, which serves up a variety of foods that reflect the many places the crew members are from—from the Caribbean to Europe and India—and El Loco Fresh, which serves up casual Mexican fare like DIY tacos, burritos, quesadillas and more.

You can also take a peek at the menus at the main dining room and specialty restaurants, which will open for dinner that night. And if one spot—like —catches your eye, you can make reservations right then and there or on the app.

Line Up Your Entertainment

Next, scope out the playbill and make reservations to watch the jaw-dropping entertainment on board. Every Royal Caribbean ship has a lineup of full-scale performances that every member of the family will love—some even put on shows across four “stages:” air, ice, water and theater. Enjoy deck-defying acrobatics, slacklining, high diving and more at AquaTheater; Olympic-level ice skaters at Studio B; and original and Broadway productions like “Mamma Mia!” and “Hairspray.” Or simply kick back to live music at one of the many bars and lounges.


Sit back and relax by the pool where you can enjoy a front-row seat to ocean views. Really settle into your vacation vibes with the signature Lime & Coconut co*cktail, a delicious blend of coconut rum, coconut milk, guava syrup and lime juice, while at The Lime & Coconut poolside bar, where DJs and live bands play. And if zero-proof co*cktails are your thing, those are on the menu, too, like the Blueberry Nojito and the Watermelon Mint Lemonade.

Whether you splurged on a luxe two-story suite, have multiple connected staterooms with your family or just want to check out the views from your balcony, your stateroom will be ready by the early afternoon. This is a great time to unwind and unpack—which you only have to do once on a cruise.

The First Day on a Royal Caribbean Cruise | Royal Caribbean Blog (5)

Most bars will be open as soon as you board the ship, so start putting that beverage package to work.

Credit: Royal Caribbean

Complete the Safety Briefing (in Minutes)

Before setting sail, everyone on board needs to complete a safety briefing. Luckily, with the mobile app, you can do it whenever—and wherever—you like in just a few minutes. You can also find it on your stateroom TV and do it from the comfort of your bed. The final step is to visit your designated location (aka muster station), so you can check in with the crew.

Set Sail

Head to the top deck for incredible views and a sail away party with live music. Post your ‘gram-worthy shots and toast to your trip by making use of your beverage package and grabbing a tropical co*cktail inspired by several of the destinations Royal Caribbean visits, like the Bahamian Goombay Smash and the Jamaican Planter’s Punch.

Wrap up Day One with a movie under the stars with your family or have a night out on the town with your friends. You can start with dinner then grab front-row seats to a show and end the night on a high note with a co*cktail at one of the bars and lounges where you can karaoke, see a comedian perform or listen to live musicians.

Ready to get away? Check out the cruises and 240-plus destinations you can choose from here.

The First Day on a Royal Caribbean Cruise | Royal Caribbean Blog (2024)


What is the 3 1 1 rule on Royal Caribbean? ›

You are allowed to bring a quart-size, zip-lock bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes though the checkpoint in carryon luggage. These combined items need to be less than 3 ounces. More information from the TSA. So the 3-1-1 rule is the TSA's quick reminder: 3 ounces, 1 quart bag and 1 bag per traveler.

Do you get lunch the first day of a cruise? ›

Sit-down lunch on embarkation day: On embarkation day, most people head straight to the buffet to have lunch and wait for their cabins to open. It's a mob scene. But many cruise ships have alternative venues open — the main dining room or a mini-buffet in the solarium or atrium area.

What is the first thing you do when you get on a cruise ship? ›

Similar to the airport, you and your carry-ons (and your luggage) will be scanned and have to go through a security checkpoint, but the process isn't as rigorous. Further inspection usually isn't required unless security finds something that is prohibited.

Is lunch included on embarkation day in Royal Caribbean? ›

Is lunch included on embarkation day for the Unlimited Dining Package? Lunch will be included for the Unlimited Dining Package depending on availability. Please check once onboard if any specialty restaurants are open for lunch on embarkation day.

How to cheat Royal Caribbean drink package? ›

How to Hack (and Share) the Royal Caribbean Drink Package
  1. 1 Buy your drink package before the cruise.
  2. 2 Share the drink package with someone else.
  3. 3 Order top-shelf liquor at the bar.
  4. 4 Take advantage of the non-alcoholic drinks.
  5. 5 Take bottled water with you on excursions.

What do you do with your luggage on embarkation day? ›

What do you do with your luggage on embarkation day? As soon as you arrive at the port, you'll be met at the vehicle drop-off area by couriers who will take your luggage and put it onto racks. From that point it will be brought onto the ship and delivered to your stateroom.

What should I wear on embarkation day? ›

Check the Weather: Your outfit should be suitable for the climate of your departure port. Warm weather calls for light layers, while cooler climes may require something a bit cozier. Comfort is Crucial: Opt for breathable fabrics and comfortable shoes. You'll be on your feet, checking in, and exploring the ship.

What would happen during the first day of embarkation on a cruise? ›

It's the day that you go through the cruise terminal and step on board your ship. It's an exciting day, but there's quite a lot to think about. Having said that, with the right preparation, the luggage, security, and documentation process will run smoothly, and you'll enjoy a stress-free start to your cruise holiday.

What do people wear on the first day of a cruise? ›

What should I wear on embarkation day? Since you most likely will be doing a lot of walking and standing in line, comfortable shoes are key. Dress casually, and don't be surprised to see tropical wear on Caribbean cruises or even groups in matching T-shirts. Also make sure you check the weather beforehand.

Is it better to board early on a cruise? ›

Quicker boarding process

Arriving at the terminal early means that you will not have to deal with the later crowds. While the check-in process is pretty straightforward, there are a couple steps that you have to take prior to being let on the ship, including checking your travel documents and going through security.

What is the first day of a cruise called? ›

Sail date - The date a cruise begins. Sailaway - Refers to both the beginning of a cruise vacation, when the ship leaves port (often accompanied by a party on deck), as well as departures during the cruise from scenic ports of call when passengers gather on deck to watch the ship depart.

How long does it take to get your luggage on a cruise? ›

On embarkation day luggage will be delivered directly to the cabin. The expected delivery timeframe is from late afternoon through early evening.

Will my room be ready when I board Royal Caribbean? ›

What to expect once on board. If there are any issues, please contact Guest Services. Your stateroom will be ready by 1:30 pm, and you'll find your SeaPass (your room key) by the door, and any others inside your room. Your SeaPass is your room key and is used for onboard purchases.

What time is the welcome lunch on Royal Caribbean? ›

*** Welcome lunch is open from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm.

Is breakfast room service free on Royal Caribbean? ›

To order, dial Room Service. Served from 6:00 am - 11:00 am. Continental breakfast is complimentary. American breakfast has a service fee of $7.95¹ per room delivery.

How often can you get a drink with drink package on Royal Caribbean? ›

Is there a daily limit for drinks with the Deluxe Beverage Package? No, there is not a daily limit for drinks with the Deluxe Beverage Packages.

Can I order 2 drinks at a time on Royal Caribbean? ›

Can I order multiple drinks at a time with the all-inclusive beverage packages? No. As this is a personal package, only one beverage per guest will be served.

How strict is Royal Caribbean on sharing drinks? ›

If one adult purchases a drink package, Royal Caribbean requires all adults staying in the same stateroom to buy one. “All packages are for single guest use and cannot be shared by multiple people,” their website states.

Can I bring full size shampoo on a cruise? ›

I understand wanting to bring your favorite toiletry items with you on vacation. You are absolutely welcome to bring your own shampoo, conditioner, and body wash with you onboard. They don't even need to be travel-sized!

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kerri Lueilwitz

Last Updated:

Views: 5533

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (67 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kerri Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1992-10-31

Address: Suite 878 3699 Chantelle Roads, Colebury, NC 68599

Phone: +6111989609516

Job: Chief Farming Manager

Hobby: Mycology, Stone skipping, Dowsing, Whittling, Taxidermy, Sand art, Roller skating

Introduction: My name is Kerri Lueilwitz, I am a courageous, gentle, quaint, thankful, outstanding, brave, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.