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Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas departed from Port Canaveral on Sunday, May 22, for a voyage in the Bahamas, before then setting sail for Jamaica.

During the ships arrival in Falmouth, Jamaica, Thursday morning, Harmony of the Seas made contact with the dock. No injuries amongst passengers or crew have been reported, and the ship received only minor damage to the stern. The ship is said to have collided with a small concrete mooring pylon. The collision has caused minor dents and paint scrapes to the ship.


(Port at Falmouth, Jamaica)

Since the collision, Harmony of the Seas has been successfully repaired, and is currently scheduled to continue on its normal sailing itinerary as planned.


The Oasis-class Royal Caribbean ship is currently on a 7-night itinerary in the Western Caribbean. Previously to visiting the port in Jamaica, Harmony of the Seas had visited The Bahamas, and ports such as Nassau, and Royal Caribbean’s private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

The incident at Falmouth, Jamaica occurred around 7 a.m. local time on Thursday. After striking a piling on the dock, the ship sustained cosmetic and minor damage.

In a statement from Royal Caribbean, “there were no injuries to guests or crew and only minor cosmetic damage to the ship’s stern. The sailing will continue as scheduled.”

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This week Celebrity Cruises announced its newly curated list of shore excursions designed specifically by its ships’ Captains.

These exclusive shore excursions will take place in Greece, and amongst the Greek Isles. These new excursions will additionally be available on any Celebrity ship that is sailing on a Greek Isles itinerary, during the summer of 2022.

Celebrity Cruises

“Celebrity Cruises’ Captains are sharing their favorite Greek experiences through a new “Captain-Curated” shore excursions program. Offered aboard any Celebrity ship sailing the Greek Isles during summer 2022, the all-new collection of unique and exclusive excursions are designed to ensure guests “Journey WonderFULL” and experience the destination “like a local”,” stated Celebrity Cruises in a press release this week.

These Captain-curated excursions touch back to Celebrity Cruises’ roots, as Celebrity Cruises was founded in 1988 by the Chandris family of Greece. Today, 70% of marine officers across the Celebrity Cruises fleet hail from Greece. Additionally, more than 40 Captains and Chief Engineers also originate from Greece.

Greece (celebrity)

“What a dream come true for our guests to experience one of the world’s most breathtaking regions through the people who know it best - our Captains, who either grew up in Greece or have spent their career sailing to and visiting its posts,” stated Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, CEO of Celebrity Cruises. “Celebrity Cruises has a proud Greek heritage and Greece holds a special place in our hearts that we are now uniquely sharing with our guests.”

Some of these Captain-curated shore excursions will take place in ports of call and destinations such as the following:

Celebrity Cruises

During these excursions, passengers will be able to experience and participate in activities such as; visiting a family-owned olive mill, discovering culinary gems, touring ancient sites and ruins, enjoy seaside views and landscapes, and much more.

These specially curated shore excursions are now on sale and available to guests who wish to book with Celebrity Cruises, for this summer of 2022.

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This morning, May 26th, Carnival Cruise Line’s ship Carnival Freedom experienced a fire onboard while docked at the Grand Turk port in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The cruise line issued a statement regarding the event, “Carnival Freedom’s emergency response team quickly activated and extinguished a fire inside the ship’s funnel while the ship was in Grand Turk. All guests and crew are safe, and the ship’s guests were cleared by local authorities to go ashore. We continue to assess the situation. Carnival Freedom left Port Canaveral on Monday on a five-day cruise,” said Matt Lupoli, Senior Manager of Public Relations for Carnival Cruise Line.

The cruise line reported that the fire had occurred, and was contained to the ship’s funnel, and that no passengers or crew were harmed during the incident. Guests onboard Carnival Freedom captured photos and videos of the fire.

Passengers were made aware of the fire onboard, when passengers from a neighboring ship, docked nearby began shouting to passengers of Carnival Freedom while they were on their balconies. Passengers were said to have been gathered by crew members and taken to their muster stations for safety.

After assembling at their assigned muster stations, guests were later told they could leave the ship and go ashore. The crew is reported to have assured guests that the fire was under control and that there was no immediate danger.

Carnival Freedom was operating a five-day itinerary when the fire occurred. The ship is currently scheduled to continue its voyage as usual. Carnival Freedom had previously departed from Port Canaveral, Florida on Monday May 23rd. As of now, there are no injuries being reported from the incident onboard, to either passengers or crew.

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Cruising with Royal Caribbean is an incredible way to enjoy an affordable vacation while visiting multiple destinations on world-class cruise ships. With your base cruise fare, you’ll have so much already included, such as lodging, transportation, food and entertainment.

Planning a Royal Caribbean cruise on a budget doesn’t mean you have to skimp on luxury. With some extra time and research, you can find great deals and promotions that will save you money. 

Extra cash means you can spend money on excursions, specialty dining or beverage packages. Or, if you’re like me, saving major money on a Royal Caribbean cruise means you can cruise more often!

If you’re looking for the best tips and tricks to save money on a Royal Caribbean cruise, consider this your ultimate guide. 

Book Early + Reprice Often


This is probably the easiest way that you’ll save money on your Royal Caribbean cruise. When new itineraries are released, the cheapest cabins will get booked first. 

Consider booking a stateroom that best fits your budget as early as you can. This locks in a price and ensures you won't be spending money on a more expensive cabin. Of course, some people want to splurge on a balcony or suite experience. Others prefer to book the cheapest cabin possible to save money. Either way, you'll benefit from booking early and repricing often to ensure you have the lowest price.

With Royal Caribbean’s Best Price Guarantee Program, you can reprice your cruise as many times as you want. If you see a price that’s lower than you paid for the same sailing and cabin, just call Royal Caribbean and they will refund you the difference. You can take advantage of this program up to final payment date.


I’ve saved up to $1,500 by taking a little time to reprice my stateroom on Royal Caribbean’s website here and there. When I see the price has dropped, I simply call the cruise line and ask for a reprice; most of the time, this is a quick and painless process. 

Just recently, I upgraded our stateroom on an upcoming reservation from an inside cabin to a balcony guarantee and saved $500! In my opinion, checking the current promotion and pricing for your upcoming cruise is the quickest way you can save a lot of money. 

Check for Eligible Discounts


When you book your Royal Caribbean cruise, be sure you select “Apply a promo code and exclusive rate discounts” to confirm you’re receiving the best price.

Seniors (55+), EMT/Police and Military can all be eligible for discounts. Depending on your residency, you can also receive a resident discount. Florida residents are eligible for discounts on most sailings, in my experience.

Crown and Anchor members are also eligible for a discount between $50 and $375 on balcony staterooms and suites, so be sure to enter your loyalty number when booking.

As a Florida resident and military family, we almost always receive some sort of discount on our cruises. For example, on a recent Alaska cruise, my resident discount saved me $84. We also saved $500 on an upcoming Canary Island cruise, even though neither of these sailings leave from Florida. 

Sign Up for Emails


When you book your first Royal Caribbean cruise, be sure you enroll in email communications to save $50 on your booking. This should be a pop-up when you visit the website to book your cruise and it will ask you to enter your email.

This can only apply to your first cruise, so make sure you take advantage of this offer before you place a deposit on the reservation. 

Book at Next Cruise

NextCruise office

If you fall in love with the art of cruising and become loyal to Royal Caribbean, you will find it can be very lucrative to book upcoming reservations at Next Cruise. 

Onboard all Royal Caribbean ships, you will find a desk for Next Cruise where vacation planners can book future cruises for you. You’ll receive any current Royal Caribbean promotions, along with reduced deposits and extra onboard credit. 

Royal Caribbean’s website states you can receive up to $600 onboard credit; in my experience, this discount is normally closer to $50-$100, but that's likely because I tend to book cheap cruises and inside cabins. 

These future bookings can also be transferred to your travel agent within 30 days of booking at Next Cruise. You can also make reservations for other people, such as friends and family back home. You can reserve up to three additional staterooms with the same benefits and offerings. 

Utilize a Travel Agent


To the surprise of many, there’s no cost to you when booking a Royal Caribbean cruise with a travel agent. These experts work for you to save you both time and money. In fact, when you book everything on your won, you are essentially doing the work of a travel agent without any compensation for doing so.

Travel agents have exclusive access to certain fares and promotions. They can also assist you with any questions or issues that you encounter between booking and sailing. 

My travel agent goes above and beyond to make sure I’m receiving the best rate for my cruises. It’s also been extremely helpful to have her track my Future Cruise Credits and understand the best way to apply these to my cruises. With so many canceled and changed cruises post-pandemic, I would be overwhelmed tracking all of my cruise credits.

A travel agent works directly with Royal Caribbean to ensure everything is good to go with your reservation and upcoming cruise. Consider utilizing a travel agent in the future to save more money.

Research Credit Card Perks


If you travel and cruise often, it’s worthwhile to have a credit card that rewards you for traveling. Some high-end credit cards have great perks and benefits that can help you accrue points. 

I always book my Royal Caribbean cruises on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, for a few key reasons. 

First, this card is a premium travel credit card and we receive 3x points on all travel purchases with the card. Therefore, a $1,000 purchase will earn 3,000 Ultimate Rewards. These points can be redeemed for 1.5 cents per point on the Chase website, which is worth $45. When spending thousands of dollars on cruising and airfare, this adds up quickly.

Second, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has incredible travel insurance provided for common carriers, including cruise lines. This includes travel interruptions, cancellations and delays; most importantly, it covers emergency medical coverage and emergency medical evacuation coverage. 


The American Express Platinum card also includes travel insurance and coverages, including emergency medical evacuation coverage. 

Before booking additional travel insurance for your trip, consider if your credit cards already include coverage. If you cruise often, look into opening a credit card that rewards you for traveling. Ensure you are maximizing your purchases by paying for your cruises with credit cards that earn points for travel.

Read moreCruise Line Credit Cards: What You Need to Know

Become a Royal Caribbean Shareholder


Royal Caribbean shareholders can earn up to $250 onboard credit when holding at least 100 stocks of RCL during the time of sailing. Longer sailings will receive the maximum benefit while all shareholders earn at least $50 onboard credit.  

This can be an easy way to save money if you cruise often with Royal Caribbean. It might be a great time to buy RCL stock at a discount given the unfortunate impact of the pandemic on the cruise industry.

Prior to sailing, you can visit the Royal Caribbean website to learn what information needs to be provided to the cruise line. This can be done via email, fax or mail. 

Watch Pre-Cruise Sales


After booking your cruise, make sure to watch for pre-cruise sales in the Royal Caribbean cruise planner. This is where you can purchase shore excursions, internet packages, specialty dining and beverage packages. 

Royal Caribbean uses a dynamic pricing model, meaning the cost of these extras will fluctuate based on your specific itinerary, ship and sail date. 

The pre-cruise planner sales happen frequently throughout the year. Be sure to check back often to snag the best sale price, which can be as much as 30% off sometimes. 

Also, if the price drops after you’ve already booked a reservation, you can simply cancel and rebook at the new price. 

Book Third Party Excursions


Royal Caribbean’s shore excursions offer flexibility and convenience, but you will pay a premium price. If you want to do an excursion at one of your ports, consider booking the same tour directly with a third party company. 

Most of the time, you can walk off your cruise ship and book the same excursion offered onboard for a fraction of the cost. 

I’ve had good luck using Viator for excursions. In fact, the company offers worry-free shore excursions that guarantee your on-time arrival back to your ship. If you are late, the company will cover up to $1,000 of transportation costs.

Look Into Cruise Packages

Chops Grille

Cruising can look different to everyone. Some people want an all-inclusive experience while others are looking to save as much money as possible. Some have a hard time making frugal choices onboard and want to have everything prepaid.

Packages can save you money and are meant to make your cruise vacation easier. Most people who enjoy drinking throughout their cruise will benefit from a premium beverage package. In general, 5-6 drinks a day makes the drink package worth it. 

Similarly, those who want to indulge in Royal Caribbean’s specialty dining might benefit from a dining package. For example, Chops + 1 packages can cost $75 each. With a standard meal at Chops Grille costing $55, this allows you to dine at a second restaurant for only $20!

Voom device

Internet packages can also save you money if you plan to have daily use of this service onboard.

One thing to consider when booking these packages is how much time you’ll actually be spending onboard. Port-intensive cruises mean you won’t be spending as much time onboard, so you won’t have as much time to utilize these purchases. On the flip side, if you have multiple sea days and consider the cruise ship to be your vacation destination, you’ll have more opportunities to drink, eat and get your money’s worth. 

Sail in the Off Season


It’s a rule of thumb that sailing in the off season, or shoulder season, is an easy way to save money on your Royal Caribbean cruise.

Typically, when kids are in school, you’ll be able to lock in a lower cruise fare. As such, cruising around holidays and during the summer can be more expensive - even for the same exact ship and itinerary. 

When demand is lower for certain itineraries, Royal Caribbean is forced to lower prices to ensure sailings remain profitable. This is when you can save big money, even on newer ships! 

Hurricane season is another great time to save money on a Royal Caribbean cruise if you aren’t concerned about heightened risk of storms. Of course, cruise lines have sophisticated forecasting models and tools that prevent cruise ships from getting caught in the middle of a hurricane. Additionally, hurricanes develop and move slowly so there’s more time to make adjustments. 

Book on Smaller and Older Ships


Royal Caribbean is known for building the biggest and most innovative cruise ships in the industry. These mega ships have the latest and greatest technology, newest entertainment, exciting dining options and more. 

With so much hype around the newest ships, you can expect to pay a premium to sail onboard these sailings. Inaugural sailings for a brand new ship can cost you thousands of dollars. 

As such, Royal Caribbean’s older and smaller ships can offer much more affordable cruise fares. Even ships that are a few years older, but still relatively new in the cruise world, can offer much more affordable itineraries. 

Older and smaller ships can still provide an awesome cruise experience even without all the bells and whistles. Also, smaller ships can sometimes dock at smaller ports, meaning you can visit more unique locations. 

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If you are going on a Disney Cruise with young kids, you’ll probably want to take advantage of all of the family-friendly activities on the ship. From entertaining Broadway-style shows to traditional character interactions, these special Disney touches are the things that make the Disney Cruise Line stand out to families.

There are also other activities available on the ships - sometimes offered at an additional cost. One of these is the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, which originated at Walt Disney World and expanded to additional locations including the Disney Cruise Line.

The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is a special experience for kids, but it can also be expensive. So you’ll need to evaluate whether the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is worth it for your family. Read on for our considerations to help you decide.

What is the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Where Is It?

bibbidi bobbidi boutique

The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is a salon, run by a team of “fairy godmothers”. They offer a variety of fairytale transformations, including a knight, princesses, or a ship captain. These transformations typically include hair and makeup as well as a costume, and they are extremely popular among young children. You’ll often see kids walking around the ship post-visit, making it even more appealing to kids.

There are currently Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutiques on the Disney Dream, the Disney Fantasy, the Disney Magic, and the Disney Wonder. It’s located on Deck 5 on the Fantasy and Dream, and on Deck 10 on the Wonder and Magic. There will also be a location on the brand-new Disney Wish. They accept kids ages 3-12.

Types of Packages and Pricing

bibbidi bobbidi boutique

There are several different packages available, depending on the type of transformation you are looking for as well as the number of days you want to visit. These are all at an additional cost to the standard price of your cruise.

Princess packages (which are the most popular) start at $99.95 for hairstyling, face glitter with a gem, a sash, a t-shirt, a cinch sack, and nail polish. For an additional fee, you can upgrade to the Castle Package which includes a princess gown, necklace, and other accessories. There’s also a Frozen package, perfect for Elsa and Anna fans.

For a very special experience, there are also multi-day packages where your child can be transformed for 3 days of your cruise. These packages start at $495 and go up to over $1000.

The knight packages are the least expensive at $79.95. They include hairstyling, a costume, accessories, and confetti. There’s also the Captain’s Package, which includes a Captain Minnie/Mickey plush, a costume, and hairstyling.

Cancellation Policy

After you've booked your child’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique appointment, you’ll still have the option to cancel if something comes up or if you or your child change your mind. However, a 24-hour cancellation fee applies. If you cancel in less than 24 hours, or no-show, you’ll be charged $10 per person.

Is the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Worth It?


This can be an expensive activity on a ship filled with complimentary, included activities. So you’ll really need to evaluate whether the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is worth it.

It is a unique experience and something that kids will always remember. They will also see other kids who have been transformed, and they may make it even more appealing. It’s definitely a special thing to do, especially for a birthday or other important occasion.

However, there are some reasons not to do it. The hair/makeup portion of the makeover is a big part of it. If you’ll be visiting a beach on your cruise vacation, or if your child likes to go in the pool, on the AquaDuck or AquaDunk, or in the splash area, all of that work will be undone.

bibbidi bobbidi boutique

There’s also the opportunity cost of spending your limited time on the ship in a salon. If your kids have other things they will want to do on the cruise, they may not want to spend as much time having their hair done.

Ultimately, it’s a decision you should make considering the temperament and interests of your child, as well as your plans for your cruise vacation. If you get on board and decide not to do it, remember that you can cancel with at least 24 hours' notice.

How to Make Reservations for the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

bibbidi bobbidi boutique

Appointments for most Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique packages can be made online or in the app before your sailing, once you have made your final payment and are in your booking window (based on your Disney Castaway Club level).

Based on availability, you are also able to make reservations once you are onboard. The Royal Sea packages, however, need to be reserved in person, onboard.

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