Your cruising questions answered

In our Q&A with Royal Caribbean commercial director, Sean Treacy, YourLifeChoices members ask about mobility aid/wheelchair accessibility, how to secure the best cruise deal, what onboard medical facilities are available to guests and how much to budget for shore excursions.

Q. Are Royal Caribbean cruises accessible for passengers in wheelchairs and mobility scooters?

Yes. Royal Caribbean ships are designed and built to be accessible for passengers with special needs. The ships have accessible staterooms available and spacious corridors to accommodate 180-degree turns for wheelchairs. Most decks are accessible through automatic doors, and all public rooms feature entrances with gradual inclines. Guests must, however, let Royal Caribbean or their travel agent know their wheelchair and scooter dimensions to ensure they meet size limits.

Q. How long before a cruise do you need to book to secure the best deal possible?

The beginning of the year is a popular time to book a cruise with attractive early bird offers. These offers can include reduced cruise fares, bonus credit to spend onboard the ship, half-price deposits and free stateroom upgrades. Importantly, Royal Caribbean International offers a range of different sales and offers year-round, so we encourage guests to keep their eye out for great deals throughout the year. However, it’s important to book early to secure the stateroom and itinerary you prefer. 

Q. What onboard medical facilities are available for guests should they become ill or suffer a serious incident, such as a heart attack or stroke?

There is a medical centre staffed by qualified doctors and nurses onboard all Royal Caribbean ships. However, we recommend that guests bring onboard an adequate supply of any specific medicines they require onboard. In the event of a more serious illness or accident, the doctors onboard will liaise with nearby ports and emergency services to determine if a guest needs to be transported to hospital.

Please note that there is a charge for all medical services provided by the onboard medical centre (including all medicines, consults and treatments). These charges are not covered by private health insurance policies or by Australian Medicare, so we strongly recommend that guests take out comprehensive travel insurance to cover any such charges.

Q. How much should I budget for shore excursions and onboard costs per day – i.e. do you have an average figure to work off?

The price of shore excursions vary greatly, depending on the activity, length and location of the port. The best way to plan your budget is to book your shore excursions online before you start your cruise.

Q. What is Royal Caribbean’s most popular cruise?

Round Australia & New Zealand cruises and Repositioning cruises have proved to be very popular choices for 50+ travellers. These sailings are usually a little longer, ranging from 10–18 nights, giving guests ample opportunity to explore and experience everything onboard Royal Caribbean’s world-class ships while visiting some incredible destinations. 

Q. Does Royal Caribbean or its partners offer deals that include flights to the cruising location?

Yes, Royal Caribbean does occasionally offer free or significantly reduced flight deals when combined with certain cruises. For example, right now we are offering free flights on selected Asian sailings.

Q. Can you recommend which Royal Caribbean cruises would be ideal for people that have issues with walking long distances, such as shore excursions available by bus/train to see the sights or from ship?

Royal Caribbean offers a wide variety of shore excursions on each sailing to suit all fitness levels. The Royal Caribbean website lets you search the variety of shore excursions available based on the activity you would prefer. For instance, a guest who has issues walking long distances can search ‘Leisurely Morning Journeys’ or ‘Excursions Made Easy’. Guests who chose to book their shore excursions once onboard their sailing can chat with the shore excursion team for recommendations, and reserve the most appropriate activities.

Sean Treacy, commercial director, Royal Caribbean

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