Are you planning an upcoming Caribbean cruise? I have taken a few but here’s an overview of my first time cruising with Royal Caribbean. My husband and I got to visit Roatan, Belize City, and Cozumel during this trip. If you have upcoming vacation days, I highly recommend you looking into setting sail!
This past November (2016) my husband and I took a Royal Caribbean cruise to Roatan, Belize City, and Cozumel. It was both of our first times taking a cruise with Royal Caribbean and we were very excited for what we were in store for! Our ship was the Liberty of the Seas and it certainly did not disappoint.
When I was younger I took a family cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines, and more recently I have vacationed with Zack’s family on Carnival. Zack, on the other hand, has taken multiple cruises with different lines.
Right off the bat, there’s no denying that the Royal Caribbean ships are jaw-dropping with their expansive size and plethora of on-board activities. We noticed that there were fewer children compared to Carnival cruises during the summer, we figured this was probably due to the time of year. Our stateroom was towards the front of the ship on the interior. It was nicely sized with generous amounts of drawer and closet space for a 7-night cruise. You can read about my Caribbean Cruise Outfits by following the link.
Each day we would have plenty of options for how we wanted to fill our days. If we didn’t want to lay by the pool or gamble, there would be multiple presentations or shows going on. Below is a list of some of the activities we enjoyed!
- $1 mimosas: This is an absolute must if you’re ready to get your drink on at noon. The special only lasts for 1 hour in the casino. We grabbed what we wanted and took them to presentations and to walk around the ship with.
- Ice skating performance: Seriously, this was incredible! We were running late to the show so we had to sit towards the back but the tricks and lifts were unbelievable.
- Diamond and gem presentation: We loaded up on $1 mimosas and found our seats in the front. We sat through about an hour-long presentation explaining key facts about diamonds and other gems. There was a raffle at the end and everybody was given free vouchers for a charm and loose gem to redeem at port.
- Bingo: So we didn’t actually do this, but we had every intention of making it to a game! They always fell either too early in the morning so we were still finishing up breakfast or right in the middle of the afternoon when we were laying by the pool. We’ve played Bingo on other cruises and they are always such a fun time!
On the Liberty of the Seas there were at least 5 specialty dining areas that required additional payment. We opted to stick to the main dining rooms–one casual and one formal.
For the most part, we would stick to the “formal” dining room for breakfast, since the food was made to order and we found the coffee to be much better. Similar food could be found buffet style in the casual dining area, however, if we didn’t wake up early enough… Or wanted more coffee. I got the same thing almost every morning–sausage links or bacon with potatoes or a bagel. Zack would get the same thing but with eggs. For lunches, we headed for the casual dining area for hot dogs, hamburgers, pasta, chili, etc.
The dinners were amazing. They had a few meals that were offered every night such as a pasta dish and sliders. Each night it was fun to see what we were going to be offered. I tried to something new each night and was always pleasantly surprised! The one dish that stood out the most was salmon with a honey mustard drizzle and potatoes. It was my first time having salmon and what a great introduction it was!
Of course, we also ordered room service late at night! Royal serves it free all day until midnight to around 6 am. We just ordered sandwiches, cookies, and tea. In addition to our late night room service calls, we would stop in one of the many cafes/bars off the promenade. While some served beer and wine for an additional price, others served free pizza and sandwiches and we couldn’t pass those up!
The day before arriving in Roatan we decided to sign up for an excursion. The excursion included a roundtrip bus ride from the port to Las Palmas Beach, also known as Pirates Bay. We were greeted by a “pirate” serving punch then found our way to the beach loungers. The sand and water were gorgeous! A few waiters would come by every so often and ask if we wanted any food or drinks. I ordered a few MexiCola’s… A mix of Coke, tequila, and lime juice–YUM! And Zack ordered different beers and a tropical mixed drink. We stayed and lounged for a few hours before heading back to the ship for a late lunch.
Our ship had a tender to get to the port in Belize. We were also told to plan an hour of cushion to any excursion or trip planned outside of the port. Instead, we decided to stick around the port and try their food and drinks. Our first stop was The Wet Lizard, what I would consider the main restaurant/bar in port. I think it’s sort of a novelty stop, so I enjoyed going there! The food was way better than expected too. We ordered chips and salsa to share with drinks–I got Long Island Iced Teas and Zack got local beers. I also got a delicious burrito bowl and Zack got tacos. The Belizean salsa was not what we were expecting but we both enjoyed it so much! It was a mix of tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, and Habanero with some lime juice and cilantro.
After exploring the port, we found a little bar (I believe it’s called Island Bar???) serving 2 for $10 rum punches. We sat down at the bar and ordered and started a friendly conversation with the bartender who told us about the upcoming holiday, Garifuna Settlement Day. The drinks were STRONG, so one for each of us was definitely enough. Afterward, we found our way back to the tender and got back on the ship.
We decided to stay in port in Cozumel as well. First, we went to Senior Frogs, right on the water. While the view was nice, the place was packed and LOUD. By loud I mean, whistles and waiters screaming in your face to take shots. Definitely a party atmosphere! We ordered a 40 oz of Dos Equis to share and chips with guacamole. The guac was made table side and delicious, of course!
After Senior Frogs, we wanted to stay in port before returning to the ship. We found a smaller beach bar with fewer people and decided to check it out. The waiters were extremely nice with a much better vacation vibe we were going for. I tried a Paloma for the first time–SOLD, it’s amazing!!! (Right when we returned, I learned how to make my own at home!) And Zack ordered himself beers–are you seeing a trend? Haha. We met some other cruisers from the Royal ship docked next to us, I got a balloon hat, and we took in the beautiful views.
Cruises are such a fun way to spend vacation since you’re able to visit more than one place! You also get to choose how much or how little you want to participate in. It’s easy to overbook vacations but on cruises, you can slow down and only sign up for excursions if you want to or just lounge by the pool or in one of the inviting seating areas on-board.
Do you have a favorite cruise line or destination? Let me know in the comments below!
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