Royal Caribbean is one of the leading cruise lines in the industry. With its wide array of amenities, activities, and destinations, it’s no surprise it’s a popular choice among travelers, but are Royal Caribbean cruises all-inclusive?
Like many cruises, Royal Caribbean is not really all-inclusive. They do provide a base level of experience with many add ons. Most people are going to end up paying more that their base price when cruising with Royal Caribbean.
In this article, we will take a look at Royal Caribbean cruises and see how they are are aren’t all-inclusive. In addition, we will discuss what packages that are available on a Royal Caribbean cruise.
Are Gratuities Included?
With Royal Caribbean, gratuities are obligatory and are charged by the day. You can pay before you go, which we recommend so it is already taken care of.
Are Royal Caribbean Cruises All Inclusive with Food and Drinks?
With a massive fleet of 27 ships, Royal Caribbean offers a variety of vacation options that can fit any traveler’s wants and needs. One of the best parts about their cruises is the wide variety of restaurants, bars, and cafes. The question is, do the food and drinks come at an extra cost, or are Royal Caribbean cruises all-inclusive?
Unfortunately, none of the Royal Caribbean cruises have all-inclusive food and drinks at the base fare. However, you do have some options. You can either pay as you go or buy food or drink packages.
If you are looking to pay as little as possible, there are several complimentary restaurants on Royal Caribbean cruise ships. There are also regular deals that you can purchase for specialty restaurants before and during the cruise so you might end up with 50% off
Royal Caribbean Additional Food Cost
On Royal Caribbean ships you can expect to pay anywhere from $9 to $45+ per person for a meal depending on the restaurant you choose, beyond the main dining and buffets that are included in your fare. For example, if you want to eat at the kid-popular Johnny Rockets, you can eat for under $10 per person.
However, if you want a romantic night out on your honeymoon cruise, you can pay up to $45+ per person. For example, the chef’s table will be 5-7 courses for around $85.
The downside of the pay-as-you-go option is that it can add up quickly. However, you can easily get around this by eating at one of the 15 complimentary restaurants. Keep in mind that not all of these restaurants are on every cruise ship, and the same goes for the pay-as-you-go restaurants.
Nonetheless, it is possible to eat at nice restaurants and be able to enjoy your Royal Caribbean cruise without spending a fortune.
Royal Caribbean Food Packages
Royal Caribbean has four different dining packages: 3 Restaurant Package, 4 Restaurant Package, 5 Restaurant Package, and Unlimited Dining Package. It may be obvious to guess the difference between the four, but there are things you need to know first.
The 3, 4, and 5 restaurant packages offer discounts of up to 40% when dining at select restaurants. The package you choose will decide how many restaurants are covered. Royal Caribbean dining package costs range from $75-$105 per person. There is a surcharge of $10 per person on Oasis and Quantum Class ships.
With the Unlimited package, also called the Ultimate Package, you can enjoy discounted dinners at any of the specialty restaurants. If you and your spouse like to dine out and try different places, this would be the ideal package for you. The cost will vary from $80-$140 per person, depending on the cruise ship and the itinerary.
Choosing a dining package may be the way to go if you would like to save money, especially if you combine it with eating at some complimentary restaurants.
If you are traveling with children, know that their meals cost less so you won’t need to purchase a dining package for them. Kids aged 6-12 eat for a maximum of $10, and children under the age of 5 eat for free. Kids get their own menu, which includes some of the favorites from the adult menu.
Royal Caribbean Beverage Packages Cost
Now let’s take a look at what the beverage packages include. As with the dining options, you can either pay as you go or choose from four different beverage packages.
If you aren’t a drinker or want to stay away from sugary soda, then the water package is for you. With this package, you get 6, 12, or 24 one-liter bottles of Evian water in your room.
You will pay a one-time fee for the bottles (currently $39 for 12 bottles and $69 for 24 bottles).
Classic Soda Package
With this package, for just a few bucks a day, you can enjoy unlimited refills on fountain drinks. As a bonus, you will also receive a souvenir Coca-Cola cup. The soft drinks package is offered at any dining venue, so take advantage while you’re there!
With the refreshments package, you can enjoy all the water and fountain drinks you want. In addition, you’ll receive a variety of premium coffees, teas, bottled sparkling water, freshly squeezed orange juice, and mocktails (non-alcoholic cocktails).
Deluxe Beverage Package
Last but not least, we have the deluxe beverage package. This package includes everything in the refreshments package plus select beer, cocktails, wine, liqueurs, and spirits. Plus, you will get a 40% discount on bottles of wine under $100 and a 20% discount on bottles over $100.
Depending on the cruise ship and the itinerary, you can expect to pay $65-$90 per person per day for the deluxe beverage package. The refreshments and soft drink packages range from $15-$40 per person per day.
Is Wifi Included?
No, Royal Caribbean does not include free wifi on the cruise and it is not cheap or high-speed. If you are looking to save, embrace the idea of being unplugged and check in when you get to a port and get wifi at a restaurant.
Are Activities & Entertainment Included?
Some activities on Royal Caribbean are included in a base fare. Waterslides, pools, rock wall climbing, onboard shows, and entertainment are all included. Activities like the arcade and VR are not included.
Are Excursions Included?
No, Royal Caribbean fares do not include any excursions when at a port. Unless you want to stay on the ship.
Is Room Service Included?
Only a room service for continental breakfast is included in the base fare of a Royal Caribbean cruise, additional orders have an additional charge.
How Much Does a 7-Night Royal Caribbean Cruise Cost?
There are several factors that determine the cost of a Royal Caribbean cruise, such as the destination, cabin type, duration of the trip, and the number of people in your party.
To give you an idea, you can expect to pay a minimum of $2000 for a two-person seven-night Royal Caribbean cruise. This doesn’t include flying or driving to the departure port, food, or drinks.
We recommend checking the Royal Caribbean website and their third-party partners for special offers and discounts. They often have great deals that can save you hundreds of dollars.
Another way to get a good deal on a Royal Caribbean cruise is to look for a “last-minute” sale. These deals can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on your cruise vacation. If you aren’t set on a certain destination, this could be a great option for you.
Lastly, look at Facebook groups and other cruise forums to see if anyone is selling a vacation package at a discounted rate. There are typically people who have booked trips and can’t use them, so they sell them on social media or in other places for a fraction of the cost. The seller is able to salvage their money, and you get the trip of a lifetime, so it’s a win-win for everyone!
While Royal Caribbean cruises aren’t all-inclusive, there are still ways to save money on your vacation, including dining packages, beverage packages, and complimentary restaurants.
If you are still on the fence about whether or not a Royal Caribbean cruise is right for you, check out our articles 10 Best Honeymoon Cruises & Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean vs. Norwegian, Royal Caribbean vs. Princess, and Carnival Cruise vs Royal Caribbean for more cruise comparisons.