Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: May 27, 2018

By: Matt Hochberg

Happy Sunday and happy unofficial start to summer, as the Memorial Day weekend here in the United States marks the start of the season for many.

Some cruise fans may have made plans for summer 2019 when Royal Caribbean announced this week its 2019 Cuba and short Caribbean itineraries for Majesty of the Seas and Empress of the Seas.

The new sailings are available for booking now, and run from April 2019 through the end of December 2019.

Both ships will offer cruises to Cuba that include stops at ports of call all around the Western Caribbean and the Bahamas. 

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 251st episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, which offers an overview of Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor Society.

In this episode, Matt talks about why you should join Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program and what you get at each tier of benefits.

Please feel free to subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and head over to rate and review the podcast on iTunes if you can! We’d appreciate it.

New RCB Video: Full details about Perfect Day at CocoCay

Have you subscribed to the Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel? We share some great videos there regularly, all about taking a Royal Caribbean cruise! This week, we are sharing our latest video – Full details about Perfect Day at CocoCay  — and don’t forget to subscribe here.

Royal Caribbean Around the Internet

Bloomberg is reporting Havana's cruise terminal will triple in size by 2024.

Touring Plans shared their ten favorite things to do in port on your own.

Skift reported on the closure of Royal Caribbean's tour venture.

WFLA wrote about Majesty of the Seas beginning her inaugural sailings from Tampa.

Cruise Law News reported on a power loss that occurred on Vision of the Seas.

Marine Industry News met with an eleven-year-old who has been chosen to help shape the future of cruise ships.

Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas changes itinerary to avoid Tropical Storm Alberto

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas will skip a scheduled stop in Cozumel due to the effects of Tropical Storm Alberto.

Guests were informed of the change while onboard the ship by the Captain. Royal Caribbean Blog reader Paul Crow reported Majesty of the Seas will spend the night in Havana, Cuba, which is where she is currently docked.

Majesty of the Seas was scheduled to visit Cozumel on Saturday as part of a five night sailing from Tampa, Florida.  

Tropical Storm Alberto is the first named storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, although the storm is not expected to become a hurricane. 

Friday Photos

By: Matt Hochberg

Happy Memorial Day weekend!  We're starting this weekend with our readers' favorite Royal Caribbean cruise photos.  Each week we invite our readers to share their photos with us!

We begin wtih this photo of Oasis of the Seas, taken by Dennis E. Nichols while in Jetty Park at Port Canaveral.

Allyson Yoshida took this beautiful photo of Legend of the Seas anchored in the Bay of Kotor.

As many of you know, I am a sucker for sunset photos and we have a great one by Sara Hiller that was taken after leaving Labadee.

Marc vanNiekerk sent in this photo of the Pilot boat near Empress of the Seas, with Miami in the background.

Robert Boik shared this photo of Enchantment of the Seas docked in Key West.

Next is a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge, as seen from onboard Explorer of the Seas.  Photo by Curt P.

Our final photo this week is by Darrell Mullen as he sailed away on Majesty of the Seas from Port Canaveral.

We want your Royal Caribbean photos too! Use this form to send us your favorite photos and we will include it in an upcoming blog post.

Royal Caribbean Commits to Improved Conditions for Broiler Chickens by 2024

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean International's parent company announced today it is adopting a series of requirements for its poultry providers to meet when it comes to how they breed, raise and process poultry. 

This announcement furthers the company's progress in its animal welfare sourcing program. Royal Caribbean has already committed itself to using cage-free eggs and gestation-crate free pork.

“Royal Caribbean takes seriously our responsibility to ensure improved animal welfare in our supply chain,” said Mike Jones, Senior Vice President, Supply Chain, Travel, Port Services and Workplace Solutions, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “This is why we we’re working to transition to products like cage-free eggs and gestation stall-free pork. We are proud to now also move the needle when it comes to the poultry we purchase for our business.”

The company is extending these commitments to include comprehensive broiler chicken welfare policies. By 2024, in the United States, Royal Caribbean will responsibly purchase 100 percent of chickens from Global Animal Partnership (GAP) certified sources. RCL will require these chickens to be processed in a manner that avoids live-dumping and live-shackling, instead utilizing a pre-shackle, multi-step controlled atmosphere processing system that is widely known as more humane.

“Royal Caribbean shows yet again that doing good is part of doing well,” said Matthew Prescott, Senior Director of Food and Agriculture for The Humane Society of the United States. “Our partnership with the company dates back almost a decade, and we welcome this latest move to animal welfare.”

Royal Caribbean offering up to 30% off Cruise Planner purchases with Memorial Day Sale

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is offering up to 30% off certain Cruise Planner purchases during its Memorial Day Sale.

Offer applies to select sailings departing June 4, 2018 - December 15, 2018.

Guests can check which discounts, if any, are available for their upcoming sailing by visiting the Cruise Planner site. Keep in mind that not all sailings may see the sale applicable, nor are all offers significantly cheaper than previously posted.

To check if your sailing has this new offer available, log into the Cruise Planner on Royal Caribbean's web site to view any available offers.

If you spot a better discount on something you already pre-purchased, you should be able to cancel the purchase and then re-purchase the same item under this promotion.

Based on the countdown timer, the sale expires at midnight on Monday, May 28, 2018.

7 neat things Royal Caribbean is adding to Perfect Day at CocoCay that you might have missed

By: Matt Hochberg

Amid the glitz and glamour of the mega announcement that Royal Caribbean will invest $200 million to upgrade its private destination of CocoCay in the Bahamas, it is easy to overlook some of the smaller details. 

Sure, there will be incredible water slides, over the water cabanas, an impressive wave pool, and plenty of beach fun to go around, but scouring the various concept art, we came up with seven smaller details that are part of the plans for Perfect Day at CocoCay that we think are worth mentioning...and looking forward to trying out.

It is worth mentioning that we found these details by looking closely at artist renderings.  This artwork may not necessarily represent what will actually be the final product, nor what may actually be something offered at CocoCay.  

A covered pier

It is safe to say a lot of people are excited for Royal Caribbean to add a pier to CocoCay for the sole benefit of increasing the likelihood of being able to go to CocoCay.  Tendering is dependent on ideal sea and wind conditions, which has resulted quite often in ships having to skip scheduled stops in CocoCay due to poor conditions.

While a pier makes it a whole lot easier to get to the island, anyone that has walked on a pier can tell you one thing that you quickly notice while walking down the pier is how hot it can get there.  There is no shade, as it is often a concrete walkway in the middle of the shore.

Royal Caribbean appears to have remedied that issue by providing a covered pier walkway for guests to enjoy, which means less of that "surface of the sun" heat!


With all the excitement of Perfect Day at CocoCay, it is easy to overlook a new feature that is sure to be the focus of plenty of photos. 

At the Arrival Plaza, there appears to be a geyser, or some other sort of water spouting semi-natural phenomena.

Tidal wave slide

Up until now, Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas was the only place to try out the Tidal Wave water slide, which is a fun raft ride that features a Boomerang style slide.

CocoCay will offer its own Tidal Wave slide at the Family Tower area of Thrill Waterpark.  It looks like Royal Caribbean will call it The Twister, and describes it as, "takes two riders down its winding tubes on a tandem raft."

Rock climbing wall in the pool

Royal Caribbean made a name for itself years ago when it added rock climbing walls to its cruise ships. Back then, that was a revolutionary change.  Now, all Royal Caribbean ships offer this signature activity and it appears CocoCay will take the idea one step further with a rock climbing wall... over water!

Thrill Waterpark will offer a rock climbing wall that is built over the pool, which means "falling off" is just as fun as going up!

Twin pool rope swing

Speaking of pool fun, there will be twin rope swings at Thrill Waterpark, where you will be able to practice your back flip/summersault combo.

The renderings appear to show two rope swings on either end of the pool.

Beach teepees

You have heard of beach cabanas, bungalows and beds, but prepare yourself for beach teepees!

Located on South Beach, Royal Caribbean describes them simply by saying, "Kick back in your own beachfront glampsite."  

Zorb balls

South Beach will also be home to a new kind of activity, called zorbing.

Basically, you enter an inflatable zorb ball and, uhh...., zorb around!  From what we understand from hours of scouring the internet, zorbing involves entering these giant inflatable balls in a hamster ball-like activity.

Which of these under the radar activities are you most excited about? Is there something else you spotted in the artist renderings worth mentioning? Let's talk about it in the comments for this post!

Royal Caribbean's Memorial Day sale offers 50% off second guest, kids sail free and bonus instant savings

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean started its Memorial Day Sale, with 50% off the second guest, kids sail free on select sailings and up to $150 instant bonus savings.

Memorial Day Sale cruise must be booked between 5/24/18 – 5/29/18 and applies to select sailings departing on or after 6/24/18.

It includes:

  • 50% off cruise fare of second guest booked in the same stateroom as first full-fare paying guest.
  • 25% off cruise fare for third guests and higher booked in the same stateroom as the first two qualified guests.
  • Memorial Day Sale instant savings of up to $150 per stateroom determined by category booked and sailing length
    • Sailings 5 nights or less
      • $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View
      • $75 for Balconies
      • $75 for Suites
    • Sailing 6 nights or longer
      • $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View
      • $100 for Balconies
      • $150 for Suites.
  • Kids Sail for Free Offer offers free cruise fare for 3rd guests and higher who are 12 years old or younger on 4 nights or longer Europe, Bahamas, Bermuda, Hawaii, Canada, Coastal and Caribbean sailings departing between September 1, 2018 – May 31, 2019.
    • The Kids Sail Free Bonus excludes sailings between 2/15/19 – 2/18/19, sailings between 3/16/19 – 3/30/19, sailings between 4/13/19 – 4/22/19, sailings between 11/17/18 – 11/23/18 and sailings between 12/17/18 – 1/1/19.

Offer is combinable with select promotions.

Offer open to residents of US, Canada, Puerto Rico and select countries in the Caribbean. 

Royal Caribbean water slides: Everything you need to know

By: Matt Hochberg

In recent years, Royal Caribbean has begun offering water slides on select Royal Caribbean ships and that has a lot of families excited to race down them.

If you are wondering which Royal Caribbean ships offer water slides and what types of slides are offered, here is an overview of everything you need to know.

Which ships have water slides?

While Royal Caribbean has been adding water slides to existing and new new ships, much of the fleet still does not have them yet.  Here is a list of which Royal Caribbean ships do offer water slides onboard.

  • Liberty of the Seas
  • Adventure of the Seas
  • Harmony of the Seas
  • Symphony of the Seas
  • Independence of the Seas
  • Mariner of the Seas

Royal Caribbean's Radiance Class ships offer a single water slide for children on the back of the ship that is meant for younger kids. This includes

  • Radiance of the Seas
  • Serenade of the Seas
  • Brilliance of the Seas
  • Jewel of the Seas

Majesty of the Seas does not have a full water slide, but its Splashaway Bay area (children's aquatic park) has a small water slide for kids to enjoy.

Types of water slides on Royal Caribbean

The most common type of water slide is something Royal Caribbean refers to as The Perfect Storm slides.  This is typically two racer water slides that intertwine and offer a fast-paced plunge down.

In addition to the racer slides, Harmony of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas offer a champagne bowl slide known as "Supercell".  This slide starts off as a typical water slide, but guests enter a large bowl area, where they can loop around a few times before exiting the slide.

Liberty of the Seas is the only ship in the fleet to offer the Tidal Wave slide, which is a boomerang style raft slide.

As mentioned earlier, Radiance Class ships offer a small water slide for younger children that includes a small splash area at the end.

Water slide restrictions

In order to ride any of Royal Caribbean's water slides, there are a few restrictions you should be aware of to ensure you can ride.

The Tidal Wave slide on Liberty of the Seas has a max per passenger weight of 250 pounds, and a combined raft weight of 450 pounds.  Guests need to be at least 100 pounds and 52 inches tall to ride.

The Perfect Storm water slides require guests to be 48 inches tall to ride.  There are weight maximums as well, which seem to vary depending on the ship.  On Liberty of the Seas, guests may weigh a maximum of 300 pounds. On Adventure of the Seas, guests may not weigh more than 250 and 220 pounds (depending on the slide).

Splashaway Bay's water slides require kids to be at least 42 inches to ride.

On Radiance Class ships, children under the height 46 inches must be accompanied by an adult.

Royal Caribbean water slide cost

Guests may enjoy all of the water slides across Royal Caribbean's fleet of ships without any additional cost.


Labadee, Royal Caribbean's private destination in Haiti, offers guests the opportunity to race down the Dragon's Splash Waterslide.  It features a 300-foot slide that drops you into a 18-foot splash zone.

This slide has an additional cost to it, where you can purchase a single ride down the slide or an all day pass.

Perfect Day at CocoCay

Royal Caribbean is in the midst of upgrading its private island in the Bahamas, including the addition of a major waterpark that will offer slides.

A number of water slides will be added to CocoCay, including 13 slides in total (with five kid-size water slides).  It will be the most slides found in any waterpark in the Caribbean.

Key features of the Thrill Waterpark will include:

  • Daredevil’s Tower – Guests will push their limits on seven exhilarating slides, including twin Dueling Demons drop slides and the duo of Manta Raycers; the high-speed, fully vertical Screeching Serpent; the coiling Green Mamba; and the 135-foot-tall Daredevil’s Peak – the tallest waterslide in North America.
  • Family Tower – Adventurous squads will share the thrill with six multi-rider slides, including The Twister, a winding tube slide for two sharing a raft; The Slingshot, a zero-gravity slide for four; and the four-lane Splash Speedway racing slides.

Thrill Waterpark is scheduled to open in April 2019, but the exact schedule is subject to change.

Pricing has not been announced yet for any of the upgrades coming to Perfect Day at CocoCay, but the Thrill Waterpark is expected to have an additional charge.

Water slides tips and tricks

Try to ride them in the morning or evening

Lines for the water slides are to be expected, but you can beat the crowds if you are flexible in your time. Check the Cruise Compass for exact times of operation, but try to ride the water slides in the morning when they first open and/or in the evening when many guests are having dinner.

Both of these times will result in much shorter lines.  The late-morning and afternoon are the peak times for the water slides, so expect a longer wait if you want to ride during those times.

How to go fast(er)

On the racer slides, if you have a need for speed, here is how to go down the fastest.

The secret to going down the racer slides the fastest is to wear as little clothing as possible. Clothing means friction between you and the slide. Rash guards, t-shirts and "ornate" bathing suits are all the kind of swim wear that will slow you down.

Regardless of what you may think of them, Speedo swimsuits for men are the ideal bathing suit for attaining top speed on the racer water slides.

Of course, be sure to cross your arms and and legs to get maximum velocity.

Crown and Anchor Society overview on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

By: Matt Hochberg

Great news, Episode 251 of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available for your listening pleasure.

This week, Matt explains what Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor Society is and why you might want to join.  Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program offers guests a lot of rewards and opportunities and this week's episode is an introduction into what Crown and Anchor Society is all about.

We also have a lot of your emails, voicemails and messages to share with everyone.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 251. 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!

Royal Caribbean releases 2019 Cuba itineraries for Empress of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean released today its Short Caribbean and Cuba itineraries for its two smallest cruise ships, Empress of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas.

The new sailings are available for booking now, and run from April 2019 through the end of December 2019.

Majesty of the Seas will sail from Fort Lauderdale and offer 4-, 5, and 7-night itineraries to stops in Cuba, the Bahamas and Western Caribbean.  Some itineraries include overnight stops in Havana, Cuba.

Empress of the Seas will sail from Miami, Florida and offer a variety of sailings to multiple ports in Cuba, along with visits to other Western Caribbean ports. Empress will not only offer overnight stops in Havana, but will also visit other Cuban ports, such as Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba.

You can view a full list of 2019 itineraries for Majesty of the Seas and Empress of the Seas.