Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Preview on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast


Hey everyone! Episode 121 of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available for your listening pleasure.

This week, we're sharing the details about our cruise on Brilliance of the Seas to the Western Caribbean that begins this weekend.  Let's look at why we picked this cruise, the cool things to do on Brilliance of the Seas and our plans for each port of call.  

Be sure to also check out our pre-cruise summary of what our plans are for the cruise and for how you can read our live blog each day from the cruise.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 121. 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 offering Black Friday and Cyber Monday cruise deals


Just in time for the biggest shopping weekend of the year, Royal Caribbean is rolling out a Black Friday and Cyber Monday deal.

Black Friday Sale

For Black Friday shoppers, Royal Caribbean is taking its existing BOGO GETTER deal and adding on free Voom high speed internet along with 25% off 3rd and 4th passengers on all eligible sailings.,

Qualifying bookings will be entitled to

  • 50% off cruise fare of second guest booked in the same stateroom as first full fare guest
  • 50% reduced deposit
  • Onboard credit
    • Inside stateroom: $100 per stateroom
    • Oceanview stateroom: $200 per stateroom
    • Balcony & Suite staterooms: $300 per stateroom
  • 25% savings for 3rd and 4th passengers booked in the same stateroom for Caribbean sailings departing Jan-May, 2016.
  • One Voom internet package for one device on Anthem, Harmony, Allure, Oasis, Freedom, and Enchantment of the Seas on sailings departing between May 1 - September 30, 2016.

Offer applies to all sailings departing on or after Dec 10, 2015, excluding China departures.

Offer open to residents of U.S. or Canada. 

Cyber Monday Sale

The Cyber Monday sale is essentially the same as the Black Friday sale, but with a bit more onboard credit.

  • 50% off cruise fare of second guest booked in the same stateroom as first full fare guest
  • 50% reduced deposit
  • Onboard credit
    • Inside stateroom: $150 per stateroom
    • Oceanview stateroom: $250 per stateroom
    • Balcony & Suite staterooms: $400 per stateroom
  • 25% savings for 3rd and 4th passengers booked in the same stateroom for Caribbean sailings departing Jan-May, 2016.
  • One Voom internet package for one device on Anthem, Harmony, Allure, Oasis, Freedom, and Enchantment of the Seas on sailings departing between May 1 - September 30, 2016.

Cruise must be booked Nov. 30, 2015.

Offer applies to all sailings departing on or after Dec 10, 2015, excluding China departures.

BOGO is combinable with the adjoining OBC, 3rd and 4th Guest Savings and Voom offers, Crown & Anchor discounts and NextCruise offers; BOGO and 50% 3rd and 4th Guest Savings are not combinable with restricted rates (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military). OBC and Voom offers are combinable with restricted rates (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military, BOGO) and NextCruise offers. OBC and Voom offers are not combinable with Crown & Anchor discounts. Neither offer is combinable with any other offer or promotion, including, but not limited to, Interline, Travel Agent, Travel Agent Friends and Family, weekly Sales Events, Net Rates, Shareholder Benefits.

Spotted: Royal Caribbean offering luggage storage service on Grandeur of the Seas


Royal Caribbean is now offering guests on at least one of its cruise ships the opportunity to store their carry-on bags until their stateroom is ready.

Sue Watson from the All About Royal Caribbean Cruises Facebook group spotted the new service available on Grandeur of the Seas.

Guests can bring their carry-on luggage to the South Pacific Lounge on Grandeur of the Seas and have leave their carry-on bags there from 10:00am to 1:00pm.

Guests must reclaim their bags when they want to bring them to their stateroom.

It appears this service is designed to make things easier for guests in the time between boarding the ship and when their stateroom is ready.

Would you use this luggage storage service on your next Royal Caribbean cruise? Let us know in the comments!

Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Preamble


Welcome to our next Royal Caribbean adventure, onboard the beautiful Brilliance of the Seas!

We are taking a four-night Western Caribbean cruise from Tampa on Brilliance of the Seas.  This will be a cruise of firsts: first time on Brilliance of the Seas, first time cruising over a holiday and first time cruising without kids!

Why we chose this cruise

There is a fun story behind why we decided to book this sailing on Brilliance of the Seas.  Back in September, my wife and I were watching an episode of Dream Cruises on AWE Network and it happened to be Brilliance of the Seas.

I love these documentaries, mostly because it gives me a quick Royal Caribbean "fix" and while seeing all the fun things available on Brilliance, I told my wife I was going to find a deal for us.

My wife scoffed at my remark, because she knew we were low on vacation funds and even lower on vacation days.  

Challenge accepted!

After a bit of searching (during the commercial breaks), I found a sailing over Thanksgiving that would require just one day off from work and an affordable price....provided we left the kids at home.

It took some negotiating, but eventually my wife gave me the okay to book the cruise.  

Our plan would be to leave the kids with my in-laws and we would drive down to the port.

Our plans onboard

This is our first time on Brilliance of the Seas, but not our first time on a Radiance class ship.

We sailed on Jewel of the Seas in 2013 and had a great time.  What the ship lacked in size, it made up for in character.

The big difference between Jewel of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas is Brilliance of the Seas was refurbished in 2013 and offers a lot to see and do onboard.

Since we are leaving the kids at home, the first thing we did after booking the cruise was to book the premium unlimited alcohol package.  This will be our first time using one of the drink packages and I am very interested to see if it's "worth it."  

I have always felt that the unlimited alcohol packages do not make financial sense for me because it is just too much to drink over the course of the cruise.  However, I am keeping an open mind and will see how well the package works.

I am also excited to try a number of the restaurants onboard, since I love Royal Caribbean dining and there are some favorites to visit and new choices to try.

Specifically, I am looking forward to going to RIta's Cantina, Chops Grille, Izumi and Park Cafe.  Reviews will be forthcoming!

Our plans on shore

We only have one port call, Cozumel, and our plans are still up in the air.  We want to do something different than we usually do, but not certain what that something is.

I think we will end up putting together a potpourri of activities.  I have been over the shore excursion options dozens of times but either what I like is too expensive or not really interesting to me.  

We have a fairly good amount of time in port, 8am to 6pm, so time is on our side.

I could see us taking a taxi to the east side of the island in the morning, heading downtown for lunch and shopping and then hitting a beach before heading back.  

Our itinerary

Our ship

Next update should be on our embarkation day, Thursday, November 26. Stay tuned for all of our live blog updates right here.

Live Blog Index

Royal Caribbean offering new dining packages on Allure of the Seas


Royal Caribbean has started offering dining packages on select Allure of the Seas sailings, that allow guests to enjoy multiple specialty restaurants for a fixed price.

There appear to be three dining packages to choose from

  • 3-night package: $80 per adult
  • 4-night package: $95 per adult
  • 5-night package: $110 per adult

Guests that reserve a dining package will be asked to select their dining party and preferred dining time.  Royal Caribbean will then make a courtesy dinner reservation will be made the guest's behalf in a pre-selected restaurant on day 1 or day 2.

On Day 1, guests will receive reservation confirmation in their stateroom. Guests are able to amend or to complete additional dinner reservations by visiting a Hospitality Desk or any specialty restaurant.

For restaurants with a la carte pricing, package includes a $30 credit towards the food portion of your bill.

Kids ages 6-12 dine at specialty restaurants for only $10. Ages 5 and under eat free!  Royal Caribbean staff can add kids to existing reservations at kid's prices once onboard.

Earlier this year, we have spotted similar dining packages offered on Explorer of the Seas and some Freedom class ships.

It is not clear yet if these dining packages are available for all sailings yet.  Royal Caribbean Blog reader Calvin Harris spotted the deal offered on his December 12, 2015 Allure of the Seas sailing.

UPDATE: Royal Caribbean Blog readers have spotted similar dining packages on Oasis of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas & Serenade of the Seas.  

Will you book one of these dining packages for your next Royal Caribbean cruise? Tell us in the comments below!

Royal Caribbean releases 2014 Sustainability report showing how cruise line leverages innovation for environmental gains


Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd released its 2014 Sustainability Report, which documents the Company's commitment to environmental stewardship and showcases improved efficiencies across its fleet.

Royal Caribbean highlighted in its report the delivery of its Quantum-class ships, the expansion of its Advanced Emissions Purification program and its plans to update its Save the Waves goals into the next decade.

Royal Caribbean has looked to emerging tech, such as RCL's air lubrication system, which creates a reduced friction layer of billions of microscopic air bubbles on a ship's hull, have helped Royal Caribbean launch some of the lowest-emission ships in the industry. RCL's new Quantum-class ships, for example, emit about 20 percent less carbon dioxide than previous designs.

One interesting success was Royal Caribbean's Florida-based ships achieved a major milestone of not landing anything to a traditional landfill and a 114 percent increase in waste recycled across the fleet.​

"At Royal Caribbean, we are working to ensure that sustainability remains at the heart of our business," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We bring 5,000,000 guests to nearly 500 ports around the world every year, and we understand the need to act responsibly towards the oceans that we sail and the places we visit. Our mantra is continuous improvement and we constantly strive to find new and better ways to meet those goals."​

For the second year, the Company developed its sustainability report in accordance with the internationally recognized GRI G4 guidelines. Additional highlights from the report include:

  • 2014 greenhouse gas emissions are 21.4 percent lower than the 2005 baseline.
  • Royal Caribbean International became the first cruise line to launch a specialized autism initiative, in collaboration with Autism of the Seas, to make the ships a more welcoming environment for autistic guests and their families.
  • The company increased responsible local sourcing in Europe, Asia and Australia and New Zealand, with a 20 percent increase in Australia and New Zealand.
  • RCL also received a first-ever certification from RAINN, the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the United States, recognizing the company's professionalism in preventing and responding to security incidents.

Top 7 Must-Dos on Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas


Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas offer so much for guests to enjoy, but of all the experiences onboard, which one stands out as the best?

Matt counts down his top seven experiences while he was onboard Anthem of the Seas to give you a look at what this new ship has to offer.

Royal Caribbean updates website for Gifts & Gear section


Royal Caribbean's online destination for purchasing gifts, decorations and everything that can be delivered to your cruise ship, Gifts and Gears, has gotten a new web site design.

As part of Royal Caribbean's overall redesign of their web site, the Royal Gifts section of the site now has a new look to go with the new name.

From here, guests can 

  • Rent tuxedos
  • Order gifts to their home
  • Order gifts and products to their stateroom
  • Purchase items from the bedding collection
  • Purchase gift certificates
  • Shop Royal Weddings
  • Shop Royal Celebrations

Over the last few months, Royal Caribbean has been updating the look and feel of its website and the Royal Gifts section is the latest section to receive the update.

Orders for ship delivery are accepted up to 48 business hours before debarkation (with the exception of flowers and packages containing flowers).

Two Royal Caribbean cruise ships set for memorable meet in Sydney harbor


Royal Caribbean fans down under are going to want to get a good spot around Sydney harbor for the first meeting of two sister ships: Voyager of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas.

Photo by Jonathon VanHamlin

On Saturday, November 28,  Explorer of the Seas, Australia’s biggest cruise ship, make her maiden call to Sydney after an epic voyage from Southampton. Meanwhile, her slightly smaller sister ship, Voyager of the Seas, will greet her in Sydney Harbour at 6:30pm in a Historic Royal Harbour Rendezvous.

At 6:30pm the two Voyager Class megaliners will rendezvous in the Harbour near Fort Denison, treating locals a never-before-seen event.

If you happen to be in the area, Royal Caribbean recommends the following look-out spots

  • Bradley's Head (on Sydney's North Shore)
  • Cremorne Reserve (on Remorne Point)
  • Circular Quay
  • Royal Botanic Gardens (near Circular Quay)
  • Luna Park and North Sydney Swimming pool

Royal Caribbean cruise ship rescues Cubans on raft at sea


Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas rescued a group of Cubans that were spotted at sea on Sunday morning.

Daily Mail reports the Cubans were spotted in a makeshift raft and taken onboard until the US Coast Guard arrived to take custody of them.

Independence of the Seas is on a 5-night Western Caribbean cruise that left Port Everglades, Florida on Saturday.