Pearl Island Lighthouse, Nassau, Bahamas
Pearl Island Lighthouse, Nassau, Bahamas


Move over, resorts: cruises offer the adventure of a lifetime with more value added than ever before. Whether you're cruising to the Caribbean, sailing to Alaska or hitting up the Mexican Riviera, you can amp up your vacation on a cruise with all the thrills and chill you need to make the most of your time off. You may not even realize just how much bang you actually get for your buck — but worry not! This guide will break down all the dollar stretching ways you can have a truly unforgettable vacay.

Published on July 19, 2019

Cruising is the ultimate way to max out memories without maxing out your credit card. Not only do you get to explore some of the world's top vacation destinations, but you also enjoy everything from seemingly endless dining options to nightly show-stopping entertainment, the award-winning Adventure Ocean youth program, plus thrilling activities like the FlowRider* surf simulator, water slides, rock climbing and ice skating — all included.


When you're looking at your upcoming vacation options, you may be asking yourself am I going to have to fork over a bunch of money to do anything cool?

Luckily, when you board a cruise and seek out amazing activities, sports and adventures, there are tons of onboard experiences to choose from — and no surprises. Are you interested in zip-lining over the Boardwalk? That's included. Are you hoping to catch a wave on the surf simulator? You can try as many times as you'd like. Do you want to get a view of the horizon from the best spot possible? Then climb to the top of the rock-climbing wall, there’s not charge. If you want to spend a whole day beating your buds at laser tag, go for it. The best out of three wins! Interested in bouncing the day away on the bungee trampoline — the world is your oyster. Because the possibilities for filling your day for free are endless when you're onboard.


Your adventure filled with endless onboard thrills you can tackle together starts the second you book your cruise. The kids will love racing down the tallest slide at sea, Ultimate Abyss — it’s 10 stories high, and a total rush. Teens can get their adrenaline pumping on the surf simulator and zip lining. And grownups will find something that speaks to every type of interest while strolling through the ship's seven neighborhoods.

When it comes time to fuel up in between adventures, there’s no shortage of craveworthy cuisine from around the world by award-winning chefs. In fact, you can taste your way around the globe in just one trip to the Windjammer buffet — but there are also plenty of go-to staples there to please your pickiest eaters too. And you can always find quick, easy and utterly delicious options close by, wherever you are onboard. Whether it’s bold Mexican bites like tacos, burritos and quesadillas just steps from the pool deck at El Loco Fresh, pizza so ooey-gooey that Sorrento’s should have its own borough, or hot dogs piled high with tempting toppings at Boardwalk Doghouse.

And because everyone deserves to have a little “Me Time” on vacation, Royal Caribbean has your babysitting covered. Kids can’t get enough of the Adventure Ocean (AO) youth program, which has all sorts of age-appropriate activities for kids ranging from the littlest cruisers to tweens. We’re talking games, puzzles, crafts, science projects, movies, themed sessions and plenty more. All led by youth staff who have degrees in education or recreation — so you know your most precious travel companions are in good hands. Which brings us to your “Me Time.”


Taking some time alone with your other half can be an incredible way to connect — though it’s not always easy on a family vacation. But nothing says romance quite like exploring the world with the love of your life. So with the kids excitedly checked into AO, you can spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool deck. The main pools are always popular, but the Solarium is a great getaway from the bustle with cozy nooks overlooking the ocean and a more tranquil pool vibe.

Or if you’re doing date night onboard, dine in style with a romantic dinner. There are all kinds of specialty restaurants serving cuisine from around the world every night of your cruise if you’re craving something in particular. But the complimentary dinner at the Main Dining Room never skimps on special, with a wide selection of spectacular dishes in an upscale setting. The nightly menu consists of some staples you can expect every night, like prime rib and escargot, while others comprise a rotating cast of international flavors — and every one is guaranteed to please your palate.

After dinner, no date night is complete without entertainment, and you’ve got plenty of curtain calls to choose from. Full-scale productions of Broadway blockbusters and West End hits. Ice skating spectaculars. High dive shows that will have you on the edge of your seat. Plus a downright dizzying number of places and parties to do some dancing. And best of all, it’s all included.


If you're looking to make the most out of your vacation days, why limit yourself to one location or adventure when you can have it all? You may have to pay a little bit extra for offshore activities if you want to join a guided tour, and these can be the best way to witness the wonders of ancient history and modern marvels. But you’re always free to explore, and most ports have tons you can do all on our own.

Grab the whole family and hop on an cruise, where each day brings you to a new piece of paradise. You could be wandering the roads of South Beach one day and relaxing on the white-sand beaches of The Bahamas another. Or exploring jungles and ancient ruins in Mexico, and then snorkeling through vibrant coral reefs off the coast of Roatan the following day. And in between all that fun on shore, fill your days at sea with epic onboard activities like learning how to skydive or dining on the international cuisine you've been dreaming of.

If you're looking for more breathtaking locations, set sail to the Mexican Riviera on a weekend getaway or a weeklong journey out of L.A. From massive rock formations emerging from the Pacific Ocean in Cabo San Lucas, to whale watching in Ensenada or even just sipping local craft beers beachside in Puerto Vallarta while chatting with friendly locals — you’ll experience more culture in a week or so than you possibly could if you never left your all-inclusive resort.

Looking for even more options? When it comes to captivating natural beauty, Alaska has it all. From Ketchikan's misty emerald forests to Juneau's vibrant waterfront and Sitka's majestic fjords, few places can compete with the breathtaking backdrops found in the Last Frontier. Like the massive, centuries-old glaciers that line the horizon in most any direction. The stunning Taiga forest, which takes up roughly seventeen percent of the Earth’s land. Or raging white water rivers carving their way through the dramatic landscapes. Alaska is hands down the spot for your coolest adventure yet.

When you compare everything a cruise has to offer, it’s easy to see you get unbeatable value without the expensive price tag of an all-inclusive resort vacation, or the unexpected surprise expenses. What’s more, unlike “cookie cutter vacations” at all-inclusive resorts, a cruise gives you the flexibility to tailor your getaway depending on your party’s interests, needs, and budget. With upgrades such as specialty dining, beverage packages and guided excursions available if you want to splurge, and an incredible experience you don’t have to compromise on even if you don’t. So do yourself a favor and trade in your boring all-inclusive resort for the experience of a lifetime when you decide to cruise to an exotic location. Whether you're heading out to the Caribbean, the Mexican Riviera or Alaska, this is one memory-maxing vacation you'll never forget.


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Plan your excursions, upgrade your dining packages, and enjoy more drinks for less when you book everything ahead of time.


Choose from drink, dining and excursion packages to make this all-inclusive cruise your best family vacation yet.


Cruise to CocoCay for the Perfect Day, where most of the experiences won't cost you a dime.

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