Royal Caribbean is celebrating the holiday season this year with brand new onboard activities


Royal Caribbean will be offering a variety of holiday celebrations onboard its cruise ships in December 2015.

Guests sailing on a Royal Caribbean cruise this holiday season will be able to experience some festivities sure to get you in the spirit, such as

  • Classic movie screenings
  • Guest and crew caroling
  • Family arts and crafts
  • Cookie decorating
  • Special holiday-themed Adventure Ocean youth program
  • Upgraded stateroom experiences, including themed and adorned towel animals
  • Commemorative seasonal souvenir Coca-Cola cup
  • Holiday ice skating aboard select ships

Royal Caribbean ships featuring the Dreamworks Experience will offer holiday photos with Po of "Kung Fu Panda;" Shrek, Fiona and Puss In Boots of "Shrek;" and Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo and King Julien from "Madagascar " who will be adorned in festive holiday outfits. 

In addition, there will be a special holiday character breakfast for kids of all ages to enjoy a meal with Dreamworks characters.

These special holiday itineraries will be featured on cruises departing from home ports in the United States, including:

  • Bayonne, NJ
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale)
  • Miami, Fla
  • Port Canaveral, Fla
  • Tampa, Fla
  • Galveston, TX
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico

Royal Caribbean Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations, Mark Tamis, is excited about the holiday offerings this year, "We are all about bringing friends and family together to share an amazing vacation experience and what better time to do that than during the holidays. We are excited to be introducing many new onboard festivities that will further inspire holiday cheer. With a wide range of innovative onboard amenities and immersive holiday themed experiences, Royal Caribbean cruises are primed to provide distinct experiences that are ideal for families looking to take the stress out of holiday planning by letting them enjoy a memorable Christmas, Hanukkah or New Year’s holiday at sea."

On top of the special celebrations, Royal Caribbean is offering guests the chance to book December sailings through the BOGOHO HOHO! holidays promotion and gift their travel companion in the same stateroom with half off their cruise fare on all open North American sailings. For all eligible sailings departing December 15-31, 2015 or December 15-31, 2016, vacationers also can receive pre-paid gratuities for the first and second guests in the stateroom in addition to half off cruise fare for their second guest.

Royal Caribbean wins big for families, entertainment and suites at Cruise Critic Editors' Pick awards


Cruise Critic released the list of winners in the 2015 Editors’ Choice Awards and Royal Caribbean came away with a few notable honors.

Royal Caribbean won awards in the following categories

  • Best Cruise Line for Entertainment
  • Best  Cruise Line Suites
  • Best Cruise Line for Families

Cruise Critic noted Royal Caribbean's offerings for all age groups at an affordable price stood out as why it took home the family award this year.  

In terms of entertainment, Royal Caribbean's "second to none" onboard entertainment was a big plus.  Broadway shows, Centrum shows and Two70 all contributed to convince Cruise Critic that entertainment was king at Royal Caribbean.

In addition, Royal Caribbean's suites got special recognition for its suites that not only offer lovely amenities but also stand out for the "extensive list of suite perks".

Cruise Critic also specifically mentioned the two-bedroom AquaTheater suites on Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, as well as the two-level Loft Suites on Oasis and Quantum class ships.

The Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards are chosen by Cruise Critic's international team of editors, based on the lines and ships they feel best represent excellence in each of the designated categories. Awards announced October 2015.

Live blogging from Majesty of the Seas - Preamble


Royal Caribbean Blog contributor Michael Poole is about to go on Majesty of the Seas this weekend and here's his preview of his cruise!

Hi Royal Caribbean fans, it’s Michael Poole here again.  Today you're in for another live review from sea, but not quite yet. 

Starting tomorrow I’m boarding the Majesty of the Seas for a 4 night cruise sailing to Nassau, Coco Cay, and Key West.  This is a new ship for me, and it’s been years since I’ve sailed out of Miami, Florida.   

Royal Caribbean recently announced they were going to keep Majesty of the Seas in their fleet and do major upgrades to her come spring 2016.  She won’t be upgraded when I sail on her tomorrow, although it will be nice to compare and contrast after the upgrades.  

Pre – Cruise 

This morning I flew into Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. 

I’m staying at the Hilton Marina waterfront, mainly so I could watch the Independence of the Seas sail away.  Yes, I’m that big of a Royal fan!    

If you happen to have a husband that loves large yachts, you might want to book this hotel.  There's plenty of them to look at!  I booked my room for $120 and my balcony view is by far the best I’ve ever had, I mean look at this yacht!  

Afternoon Sail away Independence of the Seas 

As I previously mentioned I decided to stay in Ft. Lauderdale instead of Miami just  to watch a Royal Caribbean ship sail away.  

If you are anxious to get to the beach, I've written a post on how to get out there.  It's a really great view to watch the ships coming and going.  

Majesty Cruise

My plan for this cruise is just to relax and enjoy some sunshine; it has been rainy in my home town Atlanta, GA for weeks now.  

I hope to bring you with me virtually and share my experiences on board.  I will respond to questions throughout the day, so if you have any questions please just ask!

Until the next post, see you at sea!  

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: October 4, 2015


It was another week full of exciting Royal Caribbean news including something for those with special needs, itinerary changes because of a hurricane, a new website update and more!

We have a lot to share, so let’s jump right in…

The big news this week was Royal Caribbean will start offering the Autism Channel on most of its cruise ships very soon to meet the needs of its special needs cruisers.

The Autism Channel is a streaming television service providing information and resources to families and professionals supporting and improving the lives of people with autism spectrum disorders.

The new on-demand programming will begin in late October 2015 on Quantum, Oasis, Freedom, Voyager and Radiance class ships.

There will be over 35 different episodes available, ranging from 4-30 minutes in length. Some episodes are about an hour as well.

Royal Caribbean News

Let's cruise together on Allure of the Seas

I want you to join me on Allure of the Seas!

The Royal Caribbean Blog staff are going on Allure of the Seas and we are inviting all of our blog readers to join us!

We will be sailing on Allure of the Seas on February 21, 2016 and there are some fabulous rates available.  Interior staterooms start at only $850 per person (double occupancy)!

Read all the details (and the fun meets we already have planned).  This will be an amazing week with plenty of surprises and exclusive events for those that book into our group!

Royal Caribbean Blog Reader Finds

If you are on a Royal Caribbean cruise and spot something cool, new or just fun, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our Royal Caribbean Blog Reader Finds each Sunday!

Ryan Fritsch sent us this great photo of Jewel of the Seas with the Golden Gate bridge behind her.

Paul Crow shared a photo of waiting for the ice show to begin on Independence of the Seas.

Nikki Nothstein‎ just returned from a cruise Liberty of the Seas and she says,"already wishing I was back on the deck in the Solarium enjoying the sunshine."

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 113th episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available and this week, our friend Susan returns to talk all about her back-to-back Independence of the Seas cruise.

In this episode, Matt taks to Susan all about her experience doing a back-to-back cruise on Independence of the Seas, with a look at her staterooms, onboard activities she enjoyed and how her high school reunion at sea went.

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.

Royal Caribbean Around the Internet

Royal Caribbean shared the 10 most stylish items to take on vacation.

Travel Weekly reports on Royal Caribbean's goal of eliminating last-minute cruise deals.

Eat Sleep Cruise has a virtual bar crawl around Adventure of the Seas!

Cruise Hangout shared reviewed their first Royal Caribbean cruise.

13 useful Royal Caribbean cruise tips from that I learned from Periscope


Have you heard about the brand new video streaming app called Periscope?

It is essentially an app that allows people to stream live video from anywhere they have a signal and we, at Royal Caribbean Blog, are on Periscope too! (Follow us at @theRCLblog)

Last night we were chatting together about taking a Royal Caribbean cruise and I posed a question to my friends that joined me, "Share with everyone your best Royal Caribbean cruise tip."

Wow, there were some some really great ideas and I wanted to share the best of them right here on the blog.

Lisabeme2: Book onboard for the NextCruise booking bonus.

AVFD102: Get to the port early and use a porter.

RKSister: Don't overpack.  Wear clothing more than once, such as pants or shorts.

Bill1125: Book a suite to get Concierge access because at disembarkation, you get to use secret elevators and encounter no lines leaving the ship.

Jamesw32: Don't wait to go home to give feedback.  Get any concerns resolved onboard.

Daboyz1223: Wear a swimsuit onto the ship in embarkation day because your luggage may not get to your stateroom for a while.

Lisabeme2: Do the VIP All Access Tour at least once.

CraigOchs: Pack a highlighter to use for the Cruise Compass.

Kevinkline5: Walk as part of the "Walk for Wishes" charity event onboard.

Bill1125: Bring ice cream to the pool bar and amazing drinks can happen.

RKSister: Book My Time Dining a few days in advance before your cruise.

Jamesw32: Progressive trivia is a great way to meet new friends, especially if you are cruising solo.

Kris1208: Just enjoy and relax.

What are your best Royal Caribbean tips? Share them in the comments!

Royal Caribbean changes Liberty of the Seas itinerary due to Hurricane Joaquin


Royal Caribbean has altered Liberty of the Seas planned itinerary due to the forecasted path of Hurricane Joaquin.

Liberty of the Seas will not be able to call on Kings Warf, Bermuda as originally scheduled. Instead, the ship will sail to St. John, Canada in an effort to ensure guests have a safe and comfortable cruise.

Royal Caribbean changed Enchantment of the Seas' itinerary earlier today to avoid Hurricane Joaquin as well.

Royal Caribbean will continue to closely monitor weather conditions and will provide updates as soon as they become available.

Hurricane Joaquin forces Royal Caribbean to change Enchantment of the Seas itinerary


Royal Caribbean has altered the itinerary for Enchantment of the Seas due to Hurricane Joaquin.

Due to the current path of the hurricane, Enchantment of the Seas will not be able to call on Nassau, Bahamas as originally scheduled. Instead, the ship will sail to Freeport, Bahamas in an effort to try to find the calmest seas possible. 

No other Royal Caribbean ship itineraries have been changed yet.  This marks the first Royal Caribbean ship to be affected directly by the hurricane.

Royal Caribbean will continue to closely monitor weather conditions and will provide updates as soon as they become available.

Royal Caribbean named Best Cruise Operator at TTG Travel Awards for 8th year in a row


At the 26th Annual TTG Travel Awards in Bangkok, Thailand, Royal Caribbean took home the honor of being named the Best Cruise Operator.  It is the eight year in a row Royal Caribbean has won this award.

The Best Cruise Operator award recognizes the cruise line offering the best product, services and facilities. This award is also recognition for Royal Caribbean for being the most professional sales and marketing team in terms of innovative ideas and servicing.

Royal Caribbean has been voted unanimously by readers of TTG Asia, TTG China, TTG India, TTGmice, TTG-BTmice China, TTGassociations and TTG Asia Luxury for the award. The TTG Travel Awards are given out annually to honor organizations in Asia Pacific’s travel industry for their strong commitment towards service excellence.

Sean Treacy, Managing Director, Singapore & Southeast Asia of Royal Caribbean Cruises (Asia) Pte Ltd. who received the award said, “It’s a great achievement for us to win this prestigious award for eight years running, which shows how much Royal Caribbean International has grown to be the cruise brand of choice in Asia. For this, we deeply thank our trade partners and customers for their continued strong support. We aim to keep delivering exceptional holidays to more and more of them with our revolutionary ships, innovative style of cruising and high service standards and value as our business grows in Asia.”

Royal Caribbean's introduction of Quantum of the Seas to Asia this year has brought a lot of attention to cruising in the region and combined with what Mariner of the Seas has been offering, the cruise line has been doing well in this burgeoning cruise market.

Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas on her way to Australia


Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas is on her way to Australia, where she will soon be the largest cruise ship to sail in that region.

Photo by Raul Soler

Explorer of the Seas departed Southampton, England today and will sail for 42 days through Europe and via Dubai, India and Asia before arriving in Perth, Australia on November 13.

Once Explorer of the Seas arrives in Perth, she will offer a 16-night itinerary around the southern half of Australia and New Zealand, before arriving at her new homeport of Sydney on November 28.

On that same day, sister ship Voyager of the Seas will be in Sydney harbor as well and both ships will be present to meet for what is sure to be a great photo opportunity.

Explorer of the Seas arrives in Australia just months after receiving a multimillion dolar makeover back in April.  She features a number of new additions and improvements including

  • FlowRider surf simulator
  • New restaurants
    • Chops Grille
    • Giovanni's Table
    • Izumi
  • two new bars
  • Virtual balcony staterooms
  • Panoramic staterooms
  • Complete refresh of all public spaces and staterooms

Royal Caribbean focuses on brand messaging to manage public relations


Royal Caribbean Vice President and Global Chief Communications Officer, Rob Zeiger, is the head of the cruise line's branding and a new interview with him showcases the challenges of what the company is trying to do in marketing itself.

PR Week posted a lengthy interview with Zeiger that looked at what he and his team do each day to deliver the message Royal Caribbean wants to offer.

There is plenty of negative cruise ship coverage in the media, so Zeiger focuses on how fun and affordable a cruise ship vacation can be.

"Royal Caribbean is aimed at families who want to do stuff, so on some ships we have skydiving, surfing, rock climbing, ice skating, and ziplining.  There is something for every generation."

A great example of marketing specific to a region is when Navigator of the Seas went to Texas and a pair of enormous, inflatable longhorns were adorned on the ship.  But when Royal Caribbean announced Anthem of the Seas was coming to the UK market, they went for something far more subdued.

Also of interest is the fact Royal Caribbean has completely revamped its crisis room.  This summer, Royal Caribbean tore down its crisis room and replaced it with a new state-of-the-art notification system.

When a fire broke out on Freedom of the Seas in July, Zeiger says his team’s comms approach was similar to a telegraph system, providing the public with constant updates. He adds that his team prefers that strategy, as opposed to waiting until they have all the information to send out a press release be-cause "it is a given" that people want to know what is happening as quickly as possible.

You can read the entire interview with Rob Zeiger here.