Oops, I missed the question about survival tips...One thing that would have been nice to know is to make sure and pack your dinner clothing and swimsuits for the first night in your carry on. On our first cruise, we didn't get our luggage in time for the early seating and dinner and had to miss it.
Take a highlighter and read the Cruise Compass (the daily flyer that provides information about activites) every evening and highlight the activities you are interested in. Believe it or not, I found myself disappointed that I missed out on something I would have enjoyed because I forgot about it on more than one occasion.
Don't overpack!!! A few pairs of shorts, half a dozen shirts and a few pairs of dress pants will be enough. Also, bring a tie for the formal night, if you are so inclined. Remember, for a fee, they do have a laundry service on board, so you won't need all of those "Just in case" items. If tragedy strikes and all of your shorts get dirty, simply have them laundered.
Make sure and explore the Royal Caribbean web-site thoroughly before you go. You can pre-purchase various packages, such as the wine and dine or romance packages so you won't be surprised when you get on board.
Also, I am a big soft-drink fan and purchased the soda package and really regretted it. I drank mostly mixed drinks and the free tea/lemonade. I would recommend not buying it.
Good luck and have a wonderful time!