Cruise Advice and Tips
YES. All passengers, including US Citizens, must present a passport. This is an international cruise, calling upon ports in Canada and the United States. Passport documents are required.
You may bring 2 sealed bottles of wine per stateroom in your checked bags. Only wine and only sealed bottles. There are bag scanners used when entering and exiting the ship and bags will be scanned at check-in.
CeltCruise is a private group event and can only be booked through our travel agency. Please contact Robert Landreth directly for booking and prices.
Robert Landreth Travel Associates International 432-689-3500 firstname.lastname@example.org
Please join our Facebook group to connect with other cruisers and hear the latest developments
We have a confirmed line up of wonderful musicians. Due to the nature of this trip, the entertainment line-up is subject to change at any time.
Yes! Royal Caribbean can accommodate a variety of dietary needs. Please contact email@example.com 45 days prior to sailing of your special dietary requests — in particular for kosher meals and lactose-free meals.
Yes! Ovation of the Seas is handicap accessible. There are a limited number of wheelchair accessible cabins on board. You MUST book early in order to secure a wheelchair cabin.
Please find a comprehensive pack list on this page.
The schedule for CeltCruise activities is being developed and will be announced shortly before the sailing date. An event program will be distributed to each CeltCruiser detailing activities during the trip.
CeltCruise is offering a variety of sponsorship opportunities for businesses and individuals. Please visit our sponsor page for more details.
Packing Tips and Planning
High Temp 55, Low Temp 43
Hours of Sunlight 12.4 hours
Sunset 7:13 pm
Rainy Days in Month – 20 days
Nights on the water will be windy
Credit Card to keep on file for your room expenses. Cruises are cashless and expenses are charged to your room. You will need either a credit card or to provide cash in advance at the Purser’s desk for your room expenses.
Cash for use on excursions and in port. $150-$200 would probably suffice
Carry on bag – Your luggage may not be available for several hours after boarding. Be sure to have your essentials in a separate bag: Medications, Wallet, Snacks, Jacket, Gloves, possibly your dinner clothing for the first night, Chap stick and any other personal comfort items you might desire.
Rain Gear – You must be prepared for rain and cool weather. A packable rain jacket, an umbrella and gloves that are water resistant is a good start. It would not hurt to have rain pants if you plan an excursion and you will also want a warmer jacket for cold nights. Be sure to bring water resistant shoes if you plan any hiking or excursions. Consider also a waterproof pack or bag and possibly extra plastic rain ponchos.
Over the door shoe hanger – There is no bathroom counter space in your cabin. A shoe hanger allows you to store toiletries neatly out of the way.
Power Strip – Most staterooms only have a one available outlet outside of the bathroom. Since many of us charge multiple devices, having a power strip is a big help.
Small Day Pack – Can be on ship or on excursions to carry rain poncho, binoculars, travel umbrella, snack bars, hat, camera and wallet, etc. A purse can be a little awkward if you take any excursions.
Collapsible Water Bottle – These can be refilled for use on excursions and are useful on the ship to avoid purchasing bottled water.
Binoculars (if you forget these, you can rent them but this is pricey)
4 nice outfits for dinners and evening shows
4 Tshirts for layering
1 sweatshirt for layering
2 jeans or waterproof hiking pants
2 long sleeve shirts
Heavy jacket – with hood, water resistant
Winter Hat and possibly a Baseball cap
Polarized Sunglasses – helps cut glare on the water
Gloves – water-resistant and possibly smart gloves
Comfortable,water-resistant walking shoes/Hiking boots (depending on your excursion plans)
Extra Socks! Socks can get wet so be sure you pack spares. 8-10 pairs of socks is recommended
1 formal outfit for Burns Dinner with dress shoes and accessories
Evening purse for the ladies
Evening wrap for ladies – it can be very cool at night
Swimsuit – for the hot tub
Slip on shoes – super handy for use at the hot tub, spa, doing laundry, etc.
Work-out clothes, sneakers
Dance shoes – to join in the at the ceilis!
Warm Weather Outfit for unseasonably warm weather, just in case
Scarf – handy for extra warmth when needed
Cell phone, charger
Camera, charger and extra batteries, extra sd cards
Tablet or reading device
Binoculars (you will regret it if you don’t bring!)
Travel alarm clock – Most ships do not have clocks in their cabins. The ship does offer wakeup calls, but if you prefer getting up on your own or want to take a nap and not miss dinner, consider packing a small clock.
Hand sanitizer/Sani Wipes – Even if you do not normally use a hand santizer, it is a good idea to keep with you on a ship with so many people in a tight space
Hand Warmers – Disposable hand warmers are great to stuff in pockets on cool nights
Sea sickness aids – Some people are more sensitive than others to the ship’s motion. The ship is very large, so there is only minimal movement, but for some people it is uncomfortable.
Ginger chews are also reported to be incredibly effective against sea sickness without the side effects
Smart phone gloves – so you do not have to remove them to take phone pictures. Amazon has many styles for gents and ladies.
Magnetic clips – your cabin is mostly metal. This is a great tip I found here to hang things in your room, clip up notes, hang wet swimsuits and gloves, etc. Space is at a premium, you will be grateful for anything that does not have to sit out. I like these
Insect repellent if you go on excursions
Lanyard for your room key
Travel hair dryer
Waterproof phone case
Extra Rain ponchos
Waterproof bag – great to protect things if you go shopping or on excursions
Great sites with Alaska Cruise tips:
Tips for the main dining room on Ovation of the Seas:
Dining Hours for Ovation of the Seas main dining room: Breakfast is served from 7:30am to 9:30am. Lunch is from noon to 2:00pm. Early dinner time is 6:15pm, and the late dinner is 8:30pm. Reservations for dinner are required, and it’s best to make your dining choices during your booking process. No reservations are required for breakfast or lunch.
Ovation of the Seas Main Dining Room Dress Code: For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, bare feet and tank tops are not permitted. For gentlemen, nice shirts and shorts are acceptable but smart casual such as slacks and polo style shirts are more appropriate at dinner time. You’ll be most comfortable in elegant attire for formal evenings. More on what to wear on the Ovation of the Seas.
Most entrees are at no extra cost, but special beverages, wines, beer, and soft drinks may be purchased via current bar menu.
When ordering steaks and other meats, specify your grilling preference.
While the main dining room of the Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas has a nice variety of entrees, we strongly suggest you plan at least one evening to include five star dining at Chops Grille.
Royal Caribbean is sensitive to special dietary concerns. The Ovation of the Seas can accommodate dietary requirements, including, gluten free, food allergies, kosher, low-fat, lactose-free, soy milk, Ensure, and low-sodium meals. Vegetarian meals (including Indian-style vegetarian) are available in both the main dining room and the Windjammer Cafe (lido buffet) at every meal. But it’s best to make special arrangements earlier than later. Royal Caribbean does request that you notify them at firstname.lastname@example.org 45 days prior to sailing of your special dietary requests — in particular for kosher meals and lactose-free meals.
Tips for Alternative Dining on Ovation of the Seas:
- We suggest that you make reservations for specialty restaurants during booking whenever possible.
- Most unfavorable guest experiences have occurred when passengers have NOT made reservations before boarding ship. The upscale restaurants on the Ovation of the Seas have tended to be almost if not totally booked in advance, leaving little room for reservations when you arrive onboard, so it’s probable that the Ovation of the Seas may have similar concerns.
- Chops Grille is available for dinner by reservation only.
- We recommend making your pre-confirmation reservations online (during the check-in process) or with Royal Caribbean’s Ship Services as soon as possible after booking.
- You may make your reservations the first day of your cruise, but with this is a risky option for all specialty restaurants.
- Royal Caribbean offers special reservations packages before you board, which include booking reservations for Chops Grille.
- This is a dinner only experience from 6:00pm to 10:00pm at Chops Grille. You’ll feel most comfortable at the supper club in elegant attire on formal evenings, but otherwise smart casual is suggested.
- There is no smoking in Chops Grille. The 39 USD fee per diner does include gratuity.
- Specialty drinks, beer, wine, and soft drinks can be purchased from the current bar menu at Chops Grille.
How much should I tip at The Chops Grille, Prime Table, Jamie’s Italian, Wonderland, and Izumi Japanese on the Ovation of the Seas? First, bear in mind that all alcoholic beverages that you pay for will have a gratuity added. The cover charge does include gratuity, however, you may wish to consider giving an extra gratuity to the waiter or waitress who has served you. An appropriate amount is to estimate the value of the meal you ordered if you ordered it on land and tip 15-20% based on that cost. If you feel that the value of the meal was $50 were you to order it in a land-based restaurant, you should tip $7.50-$10. It is certainly your discretion not to tip, but, the waiters serving you are some of the best on the ship and should be rewarded if they provided you with an exceptional dining experience.
Gratuities and Tipping
Gratuities / Tipping onboard the Ovation of the Seas
Tips on the Ovation of the Seas are automatically charged to your shipboard account (Sail & Sign Account) unless you make alternative arrangements with the Guest Services desk. Tipping guidance is as follows:
The total amount is $13.50 per day per stateroom guest, and $16.50 per day per suite guest. Your gratuity is for housekeeping services, your stateroom attendant, and dining services.
For beverage purchases, fifteen percent of the bill is automatically added to the Sail & Sign charge. Room Service staff may be tipped at your discretion. Tipping your Maitre d’ of your dining room is at your discretion. You should tip if you received special attention or services from the Maitre d’.
Your daily automatic gratuity is divided among staff as follows:
Culinary and Dining Staff: 8.30 USD
Stateroom Housekeeping staff: 1.35 USD
Housekeeping Staff for a Suite: 2.10 USD
Stateroom Attendant: 3.85 USD
Suite Attendant: 6.10 USD
Some additional thoughts on tipping onboard the Ovation of the Seas:
If you are putting your kids any of the Youth programs and they have a great time, you should consider tipping the Youth Director. The youth staff works extra hard at making certain your kids have a great time, and, if your kids’ experience finds that to be true, it is appropriate for you to show your consideration to the staff. Our tip guidance is $5 per day, per child. Make certain that the Youth Director understands that the tip should be shared amongst the staff. You will be one of the few who tip the youth staff and they will usually be sincerely appreciative.
You can prepay the standard tip. However, the people who go above and beyond should be tipped a bit more. On the last day of the cruise, there will be a request for tips and envelopes provided. Our cabin steward went out of his way to make our three children feel special and took a picture of our family. Our staff in the dining room knew exactly what our choice of beverages was after the first night. These people should be tipped accordingly.
You may have pre-paid your gratuities when you booked and paid for your cruise.
The liquor deals are excellent. However, keep in mind the limits on what you can bring back into the country per US Customs regulations. Also, liquor bought at the onboard store cannot be consumed during your cruise — you will be given the liquor you purchased during disembarkation.
No, you can’t bring Cuban Cigars back into the U.S. if you are U.S. Citizen, even though you can buy them in a foreign port. You can, however, smoke them in appropriate areas on the ship.
While not a guarantee, many items go “on sale” on the last day of the cruise.
Reportedly, several companies that run art auctions onboard cruise ships will provide an appraisal with their art that will lead you to believe that you are getting very good value. Some people do find the appraisal methods questionable. -So, if you are inclined to buy art at one of these auctions, we suggest that you never purchase with the intention of making a profit. When you buy art to suit your taste, and stay within your budget, you’ll likely avoid that ripped off feeling!
ATMs are available on the ship. There is a $5.00 fee in addition to your bank charges.
Internet and Phone Access
You can access the internet on the Ovation of the Seas — there is WiFi on the entire ship. There is also an internet cafe on the Ovation of the Seas.
The Ovation of the Seas is WiFi enabled throughout the ship including cabins. The Ovation of the Seas does provide PC’s in RC ONLINE on Deck 6. However, if you want to bring your own, the entire ship is WiFi enabled. VOOM, Royal Caribbean’s High Speed Internet, is currently available on the Ovation of the Seas. Voom is considered to be six times faster than typical cruise WiFi. VOOM also permits VOIP applications such as Skype and Facebook!
On the Ovation of the Seas, you can enjoy WiFi through Surf Voom or through Surf & Stream Voom.
Surf Voom Packages Per Day Prices:
12.99 USD for one device (per device)
11.99 USD for two devices (per device)
9.99 USD for four devices (per device)
19.99 per device for a Single Day Pass
Surf & Stream Voom Packages Per Day Prices:
17.99 USD for one device (per device)
15.99 USD for two devices (per device)
13.99 USD for four devices (per device)
27.99 USD per device for a Single Day Pass
Choices for making and receiving phone calls and text messages (SMS) while onboard the Ovation of the Seas.
Cell phone roaming is enabled on the Ovation of the Seas, however, the system can be pricey as the price plans feature international roaming rates and data charges (this can be very expensive). Contact your mobile phone operator to ensure that your account is activated for international roaming and inquiry as to per minute rates and data charges.
As of August 2009, all the major US mobile operators as well as Rogers Wireless in Canada are available on the Ovation of the Seas. There are also several mobile operators available on the Ovation of the Seas.
To avoid shockingly high roaming charges -a nasty surprise for most of us after cruises- Royal Caribbean has introduced fleet wide AT&T Cruise Ship Packages that you can opt for through AT&T! This plan has three tiers, as follows:
Ovation of the Seas WiFi, Cell Phones & Internet Tips:
Talk: for 30 USD for 30 days, this tier offers 50 minutes. Overage fees are $1.00 (USD) per minute.
Talk and Text: for 60 USD for 30 days, Talk and Text provides 50 talk minutes and 100 texts/videos/pictures. Overages on talk minutes cost $1.00 (USD) per minute, and text/picture/video overages are billed at $.50 (USD) each.
Talk, Text, and Data: for 120 USD for 30 days, this top tier offers 50 talk minutes, 100 texts/pictures/videos, and 100 MB data. Overage fees are $1.00 USD per talk minute, $.50 (USD) for each text/video/picture overage, and $10 (USD) per 10 MB overage.
Crown and Anchor Society members do receive WiFi discounts. If you are a Crown and Anchor Society member, and you purchase WiFi online before you cruise, you will pay full WiFi prices but receive your discount in credits onboard.
It doesn’t matter whether you bring your own computer or use the computers on the ship. The price is the same.
Prices are per number of devices for Voom Surf and Voom Surf & Stream packages.
You can change devices. The Voom plans only specify the number of devices that can be concurrently connected.
To change or switch devices, just type logoff.com in your web browser. Then log on with your preferred device.
Even with higher speeds, if you are sending emails, get all of your writing done offline and then just connect when you actually send them.
VOOM is not available on Transatlantic or repositioning cruises.
Internet speed will vary, and will depend upon how many people are accessing WiFi, where your ship is located, and weather conditions.
To add the AT&T Cruise Ship package, call 800-335-4685 or +1-916-843-4685. From abroad, these are free wireless calls.
The AT&T Cruise Ship packages expire after 30 days.
AT&T will not prorate for early cancellation of a package.
Daytime Attire on a Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship
Royal_Flowrider2During the day on a Royal Caribbean Cruise, casual attire is the style of the day, including, shorts, sundresses, tank tops, etc. for the ladies, and for men; shorts, polo shirts, T-shirts, etc. will do. Rubber-soled, low heeled or flat shoes are recommended while onboard. The use of any footwear with wheels is prohibited onboard all Royal Caribbean ships – leave the Heelys© shoes and rollerblades at home! If you are travelling on a Royal Caribbean Freedom or Voyager class ship and plan on doing some skating, socks and long pants are mandatory.
Evening Attire on a Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship
Royal_Dining_FamilyRoyal Caribbean features three different types of dress codes in the evening, although two of the three seem to overlap: Casual, Smart Casual and Formal. Most evenings the dress code remains Casual or Smart Casual. For the main dining room, gentlemen will feel most comfortable in casual slacks (Dockers, khaki’s) – you could get away with a nice pair of jeans, however. Wearing a pair of nice shorts (pressed, longer in length) is not entirely inappropriate with proper footwear; however, you are likely to be in the minority. A polo / sports shirt or a button-down shirt is appropriate. For the ladies, casual dresses, casual skirts or pants and blouses, summer dresses, Capri pants, dress shorts and tasteful jeans (no rips, cut-offs, acid washed, etc.) are all appropriate. Smart Casual is defined as ties and jackets for men, pantsuits or dresses for women. The interpretation of these two styles appears blurred most evenings.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Formal Nights / Cruise Elegant Nights
Depending on the length of the cruise on Royal Caribbean, one, two or more nights will be a Cruise Elegant. Formal nights officially suggest tuxedoes or suits and ties for the men and cocktail or evening gowns for women. While you will see the occasional tuxedo, you will more likely see a sport coat, dress shirt and dress slacks, or, a business suit (with and without neckties) on the gentlemen. For the ladies, appropriate cocktail attire, elegant skirts, pantsuits and blouses will typically be favored over evening gowns. Contrary to what you may have heard, most people still dress up for formal nights if they are eating in the main dining rooms.
Don’t Feel Like Dressing-Up On Cruise Elegant Nights?
If your idea of a formal night is a new pair of flip-flops, head to the Lido Restaurant (the buffet on the Lido Deck – typically near the pool towards the rear of the ship) on Cruise Elegant nights on Royal Caribbean. The dress code in the Lido Restaurant is always relaxed – shorts and t-shirts are acceptable at any time. Shirts and shoes/footwear (flip-flops are OK) must be worn at all times inside the Lido Restaurant, however.
Attire For Dining at the Royal Caribbean Cruises Alternative Dining Restaurant (Supper Club, Steakhouse, etc.)
The reservations-required supper club dining restaurants / steakhouses onboard select Royal Caribbean ships follows the same dress code as the main dining rooms as Formal Nights. People will normally treat the night they dine out at the steakhouse as a special night and you are more likely to see more sport coats and business suits on the men, and, cocktail dresses on the ladies dining in the steakhouse. Men are officially requested to wear a sports coat. Alternative dining venues are available on the Adventure of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas , Enchantment of the Seas , Explorer of the Seas , Freedom of the Seas, Independence of the Seas , Jewel of the Seas , Liberty of the Seas , Majesty of the Seas , Mariner of the Seas , Monarch of the Seas , Navigator of the Seas , Oasis of the Seas , Radiance of the Seas , Serenade of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas.
Attire for Cruises to Alaska
Royal Caribbean suggests sweaters, lightweight jackets, raincoats and comfortable shoes. Casual clothes that can be layered easily are highly recommended. Bring a heavier sweater if you are traveling to the glaciers, along with a raincoat and umbrella, because it is often cold and windy in such areas.
The Ovation of the Seas features Royal Caribbean’s Seaplex, which is an innovative first of a kind experience available on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class ships. The Seaplex, located midship on Deck 16, is the largest indoor recreation arena on the ocean. Here, you can roller skate, take circus trapeze classes, play full court basketball or volleyball, play ping pong, air hockey, or video games, or dance the night away! For dancing and roller skating, your DJ is literally floating above you. -And if you love bumper cars, you’ll find them here, too!
Ovation of the Seas’ Seaplex Activities Tips:
You will need socks for roller skating in the Seaplex.
The Ovation of the Seas’ Seaplex activities do vary. Roller skating and bumper cars are available during the day, and disco dancing occurs at night.
Be prepared for long lines for the circus trapeze classes, so we do recommend making reservations. Participants must be over the age of six, and a waiver is required.
Ping pong, air hockey, and video games are available on the second floor of the Seaplex.
Most Seaplex activities are complimentary.
The Seaplex Doghouse food truck provides complimentary hot dogs.
The North Star on the Ovation of the Seas:
Using the famous London Eye for creative inspiration the Ovation of the Seas’ North Star takes you 300 feet above the ocean in a jewel of a capsule! Enjoy panoramic views of the ocean and the ship, as the North Star swings you up -and dangles you over- this beautiful ship! The North Star is located forward on Deck 16 of the Ovation of the Seas.
Ovation of the Seas’ North Star Tips:
We recommend reservations for the North Star.
The North Star is complimentary, but we do suggest that you guard against any cancelation charges. If you must cancel, we recommend doing so no later than 24 hours in advance.
While there may be port restrictions, we do suggest checking out the availability for the North Star experience when you are at port because the lines tend to be shorter.
RipCord by iFLY on the Ovation of the Seas:
“It’s a bird! It’s a plane!” It’s none other than you as you enjoy the skydive simulator sensation on the Ovation of the Seas! Aft of the Seaplex on Deck 16, one full minute of this experience via RipCord by iFLY is complimentary!
Ovation of the Seas’ RipCord by iFLY Tip:
You can book reservations for RipCord by iFLY online before your cruise to avoid the wait time.
The Rock Climbing Wall on the Ovation of the Seas:
Whether you are a novice or an advanced rock climber, this 30 foot wall is available to you at no additional cost on the Ovation of the Seas! Located aft and starboard on Deck 15, the Rock Climbing wall provides that chance to learn and refine your skills at sea.
Ovation of the Seas’ Rock Climbing Wall Tips:
No reservations are required for rock climbing.
Guests must be at least six years old to participate.
All guests must sign a waiver to participate.
Royal Caribbean has all the safety equipment needed to rock climb. However, you do need to bring socks.
On the Ovation of the Seas, there are rock climbing tournaments for teenagers. Advanced participants may also have special sessions geared just for them.
Children’s Programs & Babysitting
The Ovation of the Seas has a kids’ programs to entertain the younger cruisers. Youth groups are divided based on age. There are a total of five age groups with the own areas and activities.
The Aquanauts is for ages 3 to 5
Explorers are ages 6 to 8
Voyagers covers ages 9 to 11
Navigators for ages 12 to 14
Teens are covered in ages 15 to 17
Royal Caribbean Programs for Children Under Age 3
Royal_Kids1Supervised programs on Royal Caribbean are not available for kids that are not potty trained or who are younger than 3. However, in partnership with Fisher-Price, there are special programs for Royal Babies that are 6 to 18 months old and Royal Tots for kids 18 to 36 months old. These programs are scheduled for parents and their little ones together throughout the cruise. The Dedicated Nursery does provide trained staff and age appropriate activities for 6 to 36 month old babies. This nursery, located forward on Deck 11, costs 6 USD per hour during the day, and 8 USD per hour nightly.
Babysitting onboard the Ovation of the Seas
Babysitting is available on the Ovation of the Seas as a group or in-stateroom if personnel are available. Babysitting runs $10.00 per hour for one or two children in the same family and $15.00 per hour for three kids.
Royal Caribbean Club Adventure Program Overview
For a detailed overview of the Club Adventure program, what to expect, costs, late night babysitting services, slumber parties, and child care, click here. There are even childcare options for when the Ovation of the Seas is in port — this allows parents go into port and leave the kids on the ship.
Ovation of the Seas Children’s / Kid’s Programs Tips:
The daily activities for the various kids’ programs are delivered to cabins every evening. They are also handed out by their respective Directors.
The Ovation of the Seas has a curfew. Unless they are in an organized activity kids ages 17 and under must be in their room after 1 AM unless accompanied by an adult.
Generally, babysitting runs $10.00/hour for one or two children in the same family and $15.00/hour for three kids. The kids must be at least one year old. Rates are subject to change, and the babysitting service will depend upon staff availability.
Because there are limited staff who are babysitters, it’s important to reserve this service as early as you can.
*Information is listed is a guide to assist you in planning. Please note that PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE at the discretion of the cruise line.
Information from CruiseAdvice.org