Royal Caribbean releases 2015 Legend of the Seas Singapore itineraries

In:
22Aug2014

Royal Caribbean released the cruise itineraries for Legend of the Seas' Singapore season from June to November 2015.

Legend of the Seas is returning to Singapore after being homeported there from 2008 to 2013 and will offer a variety of three- to 10-night itineraries to destinations throughout Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Brunei, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Taiwan till November, as follows:

  • A 3-night cruise during the June school holidays that will call at Penang and Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang)
  • A 3-night cruise and 5-night cruise over the September school holidays that visit Penang, Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Bangkok (Laem Chabang) and Ko Samui
  • Two 10-night cruises to Ko Samui, Bangkok (Laem Chabang) (overnight), Sihanoukville, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My)
  • Three 10-night one-way cruises to Ko Samui, Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Sihanoukville, Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Nha Trang, Hue/Danang (Chan May) and Hong Kong
  • Two 10-night one-way cruises from Hong Kong to Taipei (Keelung), Manila, Boracay, Puerto Princesa, Kota Kinabalu. Bandar Seri Begawan (Muara) and Singapore.

There's also two consecutive 14-night itineraries in September, a southbound sailing from Singapore to Perth (Fremantle), Australia that will call at Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Langkawi, Phuket, Bali (Benoa), Lombok, Broome and Geraldton, followed by a northbound return to Singapore with the same ports-of-call.  

 

Quantum of the Seas technology event will feature expert David Pogue

In:
21Aug2014

Yesterday Royal Caribbean announced a technology reveal event for its newest cruise ship, Quantum of the Seas and today they announced that technology expert David Pogue will be part of the event.

Pogue is the host of NOVA ScienceNow on PBS, a columnist for Yahoo! Tech and a former technology columnist for The New York Times.

The big event is scheduled for August 25 at 10am eastern and will take place at they Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany.

The technology reveal for Quantum of the Seas is expected to follow the recent dining and enterttainment reveal events in showcasing what's new and exciting for Quantum of the Seas.  Royal Caribbean has built a reputation of pushing the envelope when it comes to technology on its cruise ships and this event should further than agenda.

One aspect of technology we know about that is coming to Quantum of the Seas is brand new high speed internet that will allow guests to stay connected at speeds never seen at sea.

99 days of Quantum: Music Hall

In:
21Aug2014

We're counting down the days until Royal Caribbean's next cruise ship debuts, Quantum of the Seas, with our 99 days of Quantum countdown.  Each day we will post something about this amazing new ship.

Music Hall

An under-appreciated new feature coming to Quantum of the Seas has to be the Music Hall.  It's a dedicated venue for passengers to enjoy intimate and exclusive access to live performances.

Royal Caribbean describes the design as "rebellious and edgy" and when there isn't a live act performing, there will be dance classes and improv workshops.  

At night, the Music Hall will live up to its name with bands, musicians and DJs playing music for all to enjoy.

Music Hall will span two decks (decks 3 and 4) and was inspired by "the spirit of rock and roll". There's rich tones and lots of leather and mirrors.

Music Hall is purposely designed for unobstructed views of a raised main stage, creating optimal views from any area, including the balconies on a mezzanine level.

READ YESTERDAY'S POST ALL ABOUT HIGH SPEED INTERNET

The second level will feature a Royal Caribbean signature, multiple self-leveling billiard tables.

Music Hall feels like the evolution of the live music venues we've come to enjoy on many Royal Caribbean ships and bring the best elements of each to create a really fun dedicated venue for those that want to enjoy great live music.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post as we celebrate 99 days of Quantum!

Royal Caribbean planning Quantum of the Seas technology reveal event next week

In:
20Aug2014

Royal Caribbean is teasing a new Quantum of the Seas event that will reveal the technological advances of this cruise ship next week.

The event will take place on Monday, August 25, 2014 at 10am Eastern time.

No other information about this has been released or announced yet but it will be another big event following the entertainment and dining reveals earlier this year.

99 days of Quantum: high speed internet

In:
20Aug2014

To celebrate the launch of Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas in less than 100 days, we're counting down each day with some really cool about the ship.  Check out our blog each day for a brand new post all about Quantum of the Seas.

High speed internet

Traditionally the internet on cruise ships has been slow.  As in 1996 at your parent's house on a dial-up modem slow.  With Quantum of the Seas, that's about to change.

Royal Caribbean has teamed up with O3b Satellite Communications to launch a new generation of medium-Earth-orbit satellites with sophisticated antenna arrays aboard the cruise ships.

The higher internet speeds will make it feasible for a guest to download streaming video or post video clips to Facebook. Royal Caribbean is developing new pricing plans for added service.

READ YESTERDAY'S POST ALL ABOUT RIPCORD BY iFLY

When Quantum of the Seas launches, it will have the new internet speeds ready to go, which is something Royal Caribbean COO Adam Goldstein was quoted as saying,"several new, show-stopper uses of the bandwidth."

"In the old days,” Goldstein said, “we sold escape from the outside world. But today’s younger travelers want full-time access to the Internet." Along those lines, Quantum will feature a new broadband technology for cruise ships, currently being tested aboard the line's largest ships, Oasis and Allure of the Seas.

So how fast is fast? During a test back in March, Royal Caribbean reported bandwidth speeds exceeding 500 Mbps during tests aboard Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post as we celebrate 99 days of Quantum!

How do I upgrade my stateroom?

In:
20Aug2014

You've booked a stateroom on a Royal Caribbean cruise but now you want to upgrade your stateroom to a higher category because perhaps the price has dropped or you have more money to spend.  Regardless of the reason, here's what you need to know on how to upgrade your stateroom.

Know before you upgrade

You should be aware of a few basic rules about upgrading staterooms.

First, generally speaking when you upgrade your cabin, what you're really doing is cancelling your existing reservation and then booking a new reservation.  Doing this will usually negate any booking incentives you got when you initially booked.  So you might upgrade your stateroom because of a price drop but you may lose the free gratuity offer when you initially booked.

Second, you can only upgrade your stateroom up until the final payment date without any penalty.  After the final payment date, if the price for the next category of stateroom up from you drops to what you paid or less, you can upgrade to that category for the same price.  

Third, you can't undo this if you change your mind later.  You could downgrade but it will be at the prevailing rate that day (assuming your old stateroom category was still available), not the price you initially booked your first stateroom for. 

Call a travel agent

My preferred way to upgrade a stateroom is to call a travel agent.  I book with a travel agent for the great convenience I get and I'd rather have them deal with Royal Caribbean when upgrading.

If you booked with a travel agent, you have to go through your travel agent to contact Royal Caribbean to upgrade you.  

Your travel agent will give you the new price and apply payments you have made towards the new stateroom.

Call Royal Caribbean directly

If you booked your cruise on your own directly with Royal Caribbean, you can call Royal Caribbean directly and give them your reservation number and tell them you want to upgrade.

The Royal Caribbean operator will price the new stateroom out for you and tell you what the new price will be.  Any payments or deposits you've previously made can be applied to the new reservation.

Upgrading your stateroom onboard

It's possible, though unlikely, that you can upgrade your stateroom on the day you sail onboard your ship.  

Since Royal Caribbean cruise ships sail full these days, availability is slim but there may be an opportunity to upgrade if there's an open stateroom.

You can go to Guest Services to speak with them immediately upon boarding but I would not bet on this being an option at all.  

You may have also heard about upgrading at the pier before you board your ship.  Years ago this practice was more prevalent and you could get some decent discounts for these literally last-minute staterooms.  However, ships are sailing full and the practice in general has been abandoned.

If upgrades are available, they will be at a reduced cost by speaking with the Pier Coordinator.  There's no harm in asking but upgrades are rarely available these days.

Top 5: Freedom of the Seas on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

In:
20Aug2014

This week's podcast episode is ready to go, as we present episode 55 of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast for your downloading pleasure.

This week, Matt looks at the top 5 things to do aboard Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas.  The ship offers a lot to see and do and Matt has sifted through everything onboard to find the top 5 experiences he enjoys the most.

There's also lots of reader emails and voicemails to share this week about everything Royal Caribbean.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 55. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSS 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!

Video: Michael Schrwartz brings Michael Genuine Home Brew to Quantum of the Seas

In:
19Aug2014

James Beard award-winning Chef and Royal Caribbean Quantum Experience Advisor Michael Schwartz is not only serving up good food but authentic local brews. Chef Schwartz travels to Alabama where his signature Michael Genuine Home Brew is crafted that will be served up onboard Quantum of the Seas.

99 days of Quantum: RipCord by iFLY

In:
19Aug2014

There are less than 100 days until Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship, Quantum of the Seas, debuts and every day we're counting down each day with something really fun on this brand new ship. Read our blog each day for a new post all about this amazing cruise ship.

RipCord by iFly

When Royal Caribbean added a rock climbing wall to its cruise ships, people were amazed by what you could do on a cruise ship. Then Royal Caribbean added an ice skating rink, mini-golf course and a surf simulator and that changed everyone's minds on what's possible on a cruise ship.   With Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean is about to change those perceptions once again.

RipCord by iFly is a skydiving simulator that will be a first for cruise ships.  Rather than descend from 10,000 feet in the sky, RipCord allows guests to get the sensation of skydiving without the incredible risk.

Set in a recirculating indoor vertical wind tunnel, guests can feel like they're falling from the heavens in a safe environment.  You wear the gear and goggles as if you were jumping out of an airplane, so it's as authentic an experience as you can get without the airplane.  Trained instructors are with you the whole time in a totally controlled environment.

READ YESTERDAY'S POST WITH BEAUTIFUL QUANTUM OF THE SEAS PHOTOS

Guests will be able to make reservations online prior to their cruise or onboard as well.  The RipCord experience is complimentary and there's the option to purchase pictures or video of the fun too.

Before taking flight guests are required to register and participate in a training course where they are shown an overview video and taught correct flight position and hand signals from trained instructors. Guests are then outfitted in their flight gear, including a jumpsuit, goggles, and helmet. Once on the flight deck, each guest enjoys two, one-minute long flights with an instructor, consisting of one practice flight followed by a free-style flight. 

RipCord is going to be one of those experiences that you tell your friends and family about when you get home because it's not too often you get to experience something like this.

RipCord operates daily and is included in your cruise fare.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post as we celebrate 99 days of Quantum!

Haiti raises fee to Royal Caribbean passengers by $2

In:
19Aug2014

The Haitain government announced it has reached a deal with Royal Caribbean to raise the fee the cruise line pays the country for each cruise passenger that visits Labadee by $2.  The additional revenue will fund social projects benefiting the local community.

Royal Caribbean operates a private resort on the peninsula that its cruise ships visit.

Haiti's Prime minister, Laurent Lamothe met with Royal Caribbean's COO, Adam Goldstein, and negotiated the new fee that will pay $12 US per visitor instead of the $10 US paid so far. The agreement will begin starting on March 15, 2015.

About 600,000 cruise passengers visited the Labadie site in 2013.

The Haitian Prime minister said he urged Royal Caribbean to also invite cruise passengers to visit a number of touristic sites in surrounding areas, such as the Sans Souci Palace, at Milot, and the Citadelle, a UNESCO world heritage Fortress built nearly two centuries ago, near Cap-Haitien.

Haitian authorities also announced a series of measures to increase security and set up or repair basic infrastructure in targeted areas to facilitate the excursion which will be offered to visitors.

Hat tip to Cruise Law News for alerting us to this story.

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