How Much Money Should I Bring on a Royal Caribbean Cruise

How Much Money Should I Bring on a Royal Caribbean Cruise

Embarking on a Royal Caribbean cruise is an exciting and memorable experience, but it’s important to plan your finances wisely to make the most of your trip. Determining how much money to bring on a Royal Caribbean cruise requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure you have a comfortable and enjoyable journey. In this article, we will provide you with some essential tips and guidelines to help you plan your budget effectively.

Factors to Consider

Before calculating the exact amount of money you should bring on your Royal Caribbean cruise, consider the following factors:

1. Duration of the Cruise: The length of your cruise plays a significant role in determining your budget. A shorter cruise will require less money compared to a longer one.

2. Destination and Activities: Different destinations and onboard activities may have varying costs. Research the ports of call and activities you plan to participate in to estimate the additional expenses.

3. Cabin Type: The type of cabin you choose will impact your overall budget. Upgrading to a suite or balcony cabin will cost more than an interior or ocean-view cabin.

4. Inclusions: Royal Caribbean cruises offer various inclusions, such as meals, entertainment, and some beverages. Consider what is included in your package to assess additional expenses accurately.

Calculating Your Budget

To calculate your budget, follow these steps:

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Step 1: Determine your fixed expenses: Start by calculating the cost of your cruise fare, including taxes, fees, and port expenses. This is your fixed expense that you need to pay upfront.

Step 2: Estimate additional expenses: Consider the activities you will be participating in, such as shore excursions, spa treatments, specialty dining, and alcoholic beverages. Research the average costs of these activities to get an estimate.

Step 3: Account for onboard expenses: While many amenities are included in your cruise fare, there may be additional expenses such as gratuities, Wi-Fi access, laundry service, and shopping. Include an estimate for these expenses.

Step 4: Add a buffer: It’s always wise to have some extra money for unexpected expenses or emergencies. Consider adding a buffer amount to your budget for peace of mind.

Common Questions and Answers

1. Are gratuities included in the cruise fare?
Most Royal Caribbean cruises do not include gratuities, which are typically charged daily per person and automatically added to your onboard account. Check with the cruise line for the exact gratuity policy.

2. Are alcoholic beverages included?
Unless you have purchased a beverage package, alcoholic beverages are not included in the cruise fare. Royal Caribbean offers various beverage packages that can be purchased before or during the cruise.

3. Can I use credit cards onboard?
Yes, Royal Caribbean accepts major credit cards for onboard expenses. However, it’s always advisable to carry some cash for convenience and smaller expenses in ports of call.

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4. Can I exchange currency onboard?
Royal Caribbean offers currency exchange services, but the rates may not be the most favorable. It’s recommended to exchange currency before boarding or at the ports of call for better rates.

5. How much should I budget for shore excursions?
The cost of shore excursions can vary widely depending on the destination and the activity. It’s best to research the specific excursions you are interested in to get an estimate of the costs.

6. Are there any free activities onboard?
Yes, Royal Caribbean provides numerous free activities onboard, such as live entertainment, pool access, fitness center usage, and various events and shows.

7. Can I prepay my onboard expenses?
Yes, Royal Caribbean offers the option to prepay your onboard expenses through their online portal. This allows you to have a better control of your budget.

8. Is travel insurance necessary?
Travel insurance is not mandatory but highly recommended. It can protect you from unexpected events, such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost luggage.

9. Should I bring cash for tips?
While gratuities are typically charged to your onboard account, it’s customary to tip certain staff members directly, such as your room steward and dining room waiter. Having some cash for tips is a good idea.

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10. Are there any discounts available onboard?
Royal Caribbean often offers discounts and promotions onboard, especially for specialty dining, spa treatments, or future cruise bookings. Keep an eye out for these deals.

11. Can I withdraw cash onboard?
Yes, Royal Caribbean has ATMs onboard, but they usually charge high transaction fees. It’s advisable to withdraw cash at ports of call where you can find better rates.

12. Can I use my cell phone onboard?
Royal Caribbean offers Wi-Fi packages for internet access, allowing you to use messaging apps and make calls using internet-based services. However, note that the packages can be quite pricey.

13. What should I do if I run out of money onboard?
If you run out of money onboard, you can charge additional expenses to your credit card or use the cash you brought. It’s always a good idea to plan and budget accordingly to avoid such situations.


Determining how much money to bring on a Royal Caribbean cruise requires careful consideration of factors like cruise duration, destination, cabin type, and additional expenses. By estimating your fixed expenses, accounting for additional costs, and adding a buffer amount, you can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable cruise experience. Remember to plan ahead, research, and budget wisely to make the most of your Royal Caribbean cruise.