Symphony of the Seas to hold second sea trials on March 3


STX France shipyard has scheduled Symphony of the Seas for a 24 hour set of sea trials, which will depart on March 3rd and return 24 hours later.

Ouest France reports the second set of sea trials will take place between Saturday March 3rd and Sunday March 4th. 

The purpose of this set of sea trials is to mainly test the propulsion system tests that, "were not quite satisfactory during the previous campaign."

Symphony of the Seas completed her first set of sea trials earlier this month, where more than 80 tests were performed onboard.

Delivery of Symphony of the Seas is scheduled to take place on Friday, March 23rd.

Friday Photos


Love Royal Caribbean? Need a "fix" until your next cruise? Every week we share our readers' favorite Royal Caribbean cruise photos so that we can all enjoy a "virtual escape" onboard!

We begin this week with a photo of a busy day on Anthem of the Seas, taken by Jason Nolan.

Next is this beautiful photo taken on Harmony of the Seas by Twangster.

John Bamber took this photo of DNCE performing on Oasis of the Seas.

We are back on Anthem of the Seas for this photo, this time of the SeaPlex.  This photo was taken by Matt (not me).

Jean Francois "Jay" Bekono took this photo from a day at sea.

Here is a look at a glacier, taken by Kinny Lee on Explorer of the Seas.

Kay Lynn Akers took this photo of Harmony of the Seas from onboard the Carnival Glory.

Thank you to everyone for sharing these wonderful photos with us.  If you would like to share your best Royal Caribbean cruise photos, use this form to submit them.

Have a great weekend!

Royal Caribbean's Winter Escape Sale offers bonus instant savings


Royal Caribbean begins today its Winter Escape Sale, offering guests up to $150 instant savings on cruises booked this weekend.

The Winter Escape Sale is valid on sailings booked between on February 23-26, 2018 on sailings departing on or after March 23, 2018. Offer excludes China departures. 

Offer details: Up to $150 instant savings

  • 30% off cruise fare for all guests’ in the stateroom.
  • Sailings 5 nights or less
    • Interior/Oceanview rooms: $50 instant savings
    • Balcony rooms: $75 instant savings
    • Suites: $75 instant savings
  • Sailings 6 nights or longer
    • Interior/Oceanview rooms: $50 instant savings
    • Balcony rooms: $100 instant savings
    • Suites: $150 instant savings

30% off is combinable with NRDB (Summer Bonus), Caribbean Bonus, OBC, Free Gratuities, Free Upgrades, promotional OBCs and instant savings, NextCruise offers, restricted discounts (for example, Senior, Resident, Military), Crown and Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. Winter Escape Sale is combinable with NextCruise offers, NRDB OBC, and restricted discounts (for example, Senior, Resident, Military) but is not combinable with Shareholder benefits and Crown and Anchor discounts. 30% off bookings made for China departures are combinable with NextCruise offers and Crown and Anchor balcony/suites discounts only. All offers are not combinable with any other offer or promotion, including, but not limited to, Standard Group, Interline, Travel Agent, Travel Agent Friends and Family, Weekly Sales Events, Net Rates.

Video: Symphony of the Seas: 30 Days and Counting


Symphony of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's newest Oasis-class ship, under construction at the STX shipyard in France. The ship is scheduled to be delivered in March 2018.

Video: Tour of Symphony of the Seas Under Construction


Watch a hyperlapse tour of the world’s largest ship, Symphony of the Seas under construction at STX Shipyard in France. The ship is scheduled to be delivered in March 2018.

Drone video offers look at Symphony of the Seas


If you are anything like me, you look for any excuse to watch Royal Caribbean cruise videos as a means of taking a virtual escape.

We stumbled upon a new video posted by AT Drones of Symphony of the Seas, which shows the ship at STX France.

Photos of Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas sea trials


Symphony of the Seas recently returned from her four day sea trial, where more than 80 tests were performed onboard.

Royal Caribbean released new photos of Symphony of the Seas during her testing.

There will be another short sea trial that will need to be schedule prior to delivery in order to perform "a few more nautical performance trials."

Royal Caribbean hosting an open website usability test


Royal Caribbean is inviting the public to help test their website at their corporate offices in March.

If you are interested in helping Royal Caribbean test their site's usability, and you will be in South Florida between March 12-16, you can apply to join.

Those accepted to the test will conduct the testing at Royal Caribbean's corporate offices, followed by lunch onboard a cruise ship.

Listener Emails on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast


Our newest podcast episode is out to help give you a quick "audio escape" to a Royal Caribbean cruise!

Episode 238 is available for downloading, in which Matt is opening up the mail bag this week to answer more of your Royal Caribbean questions.

In this episode, Matt tackles topics such as taking a cruise to Alaska, sharing listener cruise reviews, discussing a strategy to get to Universal Studios, and which Caribbean itinerary is a better idea for kids.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 238. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSSStitcher or on iTunes!

Take a listen and as always, let us know what you think! Please rate and review the podcast on iTunes and leave your comments below!

Experiences: Izumi sushi making class on Royal Caribbean


For a few years, Royal Caribbean has offered guests the opportunity to try making sushi in a special class.  There is no doubt that making sushi seems like a daunting task, but Royal Caribbean promises a fun and informative experience. 

As an avid sushi fan, I look for any excuse to enjoy sushi on sea or on land.  Believe it or not, there was a sushi experience on a Royal Caribbean cruise that I had never tried before, so I sought to rectify that on a recent Brilliance of the Seas cruise.

The sushi class is offered on most Royal Caribbean ships, but I had resisted trying it primarily because I do not eat shellfish and I knew many of the rolls made used shellfish.  While dining at Izumi on Brilliance of the Seas, my waiter informed me the chef could adjust my offering for something I could eat, so I decided to give it a try.

What to expect

There is no cooking experience required to try the class. In fact, that is the appeal of the class.  

You will arrive to the class and be required to wash your hands prior to doing anything.  Once everyone arrives, an Izumi chef begins the class by introducing what sushi really is, its origins, and what type of sushi you will make.

In our class, we made three kinds of sushi:

  1. Maki (Rice and filling wrapped in seaweed)
  2. Nigiri (A topping, usually fish, served on top of sushi rice)
  3. Temaki (Sushi that has been hand-rolled into a cone shape)

The sushi chef introduces each roll, and goes step by step in showing everyone how to create the roll.

During the class, one of the Izumi waiters will be happy to use your phone or camera to take photos of your progress.

Following creating the various rolls, you get to eat everyting your created.  Considering you we made three rolls and two pieces of nigiri, that was a lot of food.

On our cruise, the sushi making class included a complimentary tour of the ship's galley.  It is always fascinating to see how the ship prepares so many meals for its guests, and to have a galley tour part of the class price is an added bonus.

The sushi making class was just about an hour long (including time to eat the sushi), and the galley tour was an additional 30 minutes.


I really enjoyed the sushi making class, perhaps even more than I anticipated.  Part of the enjoyment comes from the fact the Izumi chef helped us make the sushi so well. Frankly, I was expecting to butcher my attempt at creating sushi, so when the final product actually looked like something I might order, I was impressed.

The pace of the class worked well, and I feel like we all were able to pick up the key concepts quickly. The chef was always quick to walk around and provide assistance where necessary, and offer guidance to improving the techniques applied.

At $33 per person, the price is an excellent value when you consider you are getting three rolls, a few pieces of nigiri and a tour of the galley. I felt that we got a lot for the cost.

Overall, I think the sushi making class is a fun opportunity for anyone to try.  It is great to do alone, or invite friends and family to do it together.  Be sure to come hungry!

Cost: $33 per person on Brilliance of the Seas.