99 days of Harmony: Ultimate Abyss

In:
14Feb2016

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

Ultimate Abyss

Guests onboard Harmony of the Seas can look forward to a brand new thrill: a story drop on a brand new slide called, "Ultimate Abyss."

Ultimate Abyss will be the tallest slide at sea and also an epic adventure.

READ YESTERDAY'S POST ALL ABOUT GREASE

The Ultimate Abyss is more than 150 feet above sea level and offers side-by-side slides that send guests down 10 decks at a rate of 9 miles per hour.

Launching onto the ride from a glass platform, guests can take one last look at the Boardwalk 10 decks below before climbing onto a customized mat and taking the plunge into the depths of the daunting slides. Spontaneous audio effects within each tunnel create a multi-sensory thrill for daring guests willing to test their mettle while traversing 216 feet through the one-of-a-kind slide duo. The Ultimate Abyss is made up of two separate cylinders, a reflection of one-another, each with a diameter of approximately 2.6 feet and constructed of stainless steel.

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

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: February 14, 2016

In:
14Feb2016

Happy Valentine's Day! Hope your day is filled with chocolate, flowers and a Royal Caribbean cruise! We are spreading the Royal Caribbean love with our look at all the Royal Caribbean news from this week.

Unfortunately, the big news this week was word of Anthem of the Seas running into a large winter storm in the Atlantic that saw wind speeds over 150 miles per hour and waves over 30 feet in height.

Following the storm, Royal Caribbean made the decision to return Anthem of the Seas to her homeport early and offer its guests full refunds.

The ship sustained mostly superficial damage, but an onslaught of media attention painted the story very negatively.

Royal Caribbean apologized for the incident and added it has created a new weather team at its headquarters to provide additional assistance to ships in determining the severity of storms.

There is a lot more Royal Caribbean news to share...

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 132nd episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available and we're talking about Royal Caribbean's Royal Promenade

In this episode, Matt talks about what the Royal Promenade is, what it offers guests and why he thinks it is such a great spot onboard for so many activities.

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 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!

Ron shared a photo of treats from Cafe Promenade. 

Travis Kamiyama posted this amazing sushi platter.

Kayla Gillman shared this photo of the Royal Promenade on Independence of the Seas.

99 days of Harmony: Grease

In:
13Feb2016

Royal Caribbean is counting down the days until its brand new Harmony of the Seas debuts and as of today, there are 99 days until that happens, so for the next 99 days we will be posting something every day about this amazing new ship.

Grease

Ever since Royal Caribbean introduced Broadway shows to its cruise ships, guests have been clamoring for more and Harmony of the Seas will feature a brand new Broadway show that has proven to be a classic for years, Grease.

The all-new, never-before-seen stage production, specially adapted by Royal Caribbean Productions, will boast a soundtrack of crowd favorites such as “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin’,” “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee,” “Born to Hand-Jive,” “Beauty School Dropout” and more.

“Grease is a show that speaks to families of all ages and is sure to get guests out of their seats, singing and dancing, which is why we made the unprecedented decision to have it debut on Harmony and premiere it onboard Independence immediately, starting in July,” said Nick Weir, Vice President, Entertainment, Royal Caribbean International. “As the first cruise line to bring Broadway performances onboard its ships, it’s only fitting that we would also be the first to bring Grease to the hospitality industry.”

The fact that tickets to Grease are complimentary is a big deal when you consider how much Broadway show tickets cost, even if the show is on tour off Broadway.

Royal Caribbean has made a name for itself by offering Broadway shows on its cruise ships, including Cats on Oasis of the Seas, MAMMA MIA! on Allure of the Seas, Saturday Night Fever on Liberty of the Seas and now, Grease on Harmony of the Seas and Independence of the Seas.

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

Friday Photos

In:
12Feb2016

Friday is here and that means we are showing off some of the wonderful Royal Caribbean photos that our readers have shared with us.  You can share your photos too and then we can share them with the world!

Our first photo is from Murray, and it is of his nephew Kameron giving Explorer of the Seas an Australian welcome on her first port of call in Fremantle.  Gorgeous colors!

Check out this shot of Rhapsody of the Seas at Buzios in Rio de Janiero, Brazil by Renato Rossini.  Interesting contrast between this major cruise ship and the smaller vessels in the foreground.

Zoltán Marton sent us this photo of Serenade of the Seas that his brother sent him.  His brother works on Serenade of the Seas as an assistant waiter.  This photo is from Sydney, Canada, which is located in Nova Scotia.

Here is a fun photo from Dave Rimington of the FlowRider on Navigator of the Seas.  Great form!

Lastly, we have this photo by Denny Allen of him and his wife being prepped for their Labadee zip line excursion.  From personal experience, I can tell you all that this is a lot of fun!

Thank you to everyone that sent in their photos that we featured this week and if you want your photos included, use this form to send them to us!

Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas propulsion damaged by major storm

In:
12Feb2016

UPDATE: 3:58PM: Coast Guard officials have said the damaged azipod has been replaced and Coast Guard officials are examining it along with the ship's lifeboats and other safety equipment to see if they meet standards. The ship can safely maneuver with one azipod, Rowe said.

The United States Coast Guard reports that the major storm Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas ran into last week damaged part of its propulsion system.

Coast Guard spokesman Charles Rowe says the Anthem of the Seas' left azipod was rendered inoperable during the storm. An azipod is a propeller that's mounted to a steerable pod that contains an electric motor.

According to Rowe, Royal Caribbean informed the Coast Guard prior to the ship returning to its homeport of Bayonne.

Despite the damage, Rowe indicated the ship can safely maneuver with a single azipod.

The Coast Guard says the ship sustained largely cosmetic damage, including broken glass, china and balcony doors.

Anthem of the Seas encountered a major storm last weekend that saw hurricane-strength conditions and forced the ship to return home early.

The top decadent Royal Caribbean snacks

In:
11Feb2016

When you are on a Royal Caribbean cruise, that means you are on vacation and splurging here and there is what makes being on vacation so much fun.

In addition to the terrific entertainment onboard and the ports you will visit, there are a lot of tasty snacks you can enjoy that just are not worth worrying about how many calories they have.  This is about enjoying your vacation!

Let us look at some of the most decadent snacks available to binge on during your Royal Caribbean cruise.

Sorrentos Pizza

There is no doubt that the pizza at Sorrentos will not win any awards, but sometimes you just need a slice of pizza and Sorrentos fits that requirement.

Sorrentos pizza comes in a few different varieties, depending on what they are cooking, and it is included in your cruise fare.

For most guests, grabbing a slice of pizza is the perfect pit stop as you move from one end of the ship to the other.  And after a night of partying, pizza really hits the spot!

Kummelweck Sandwich

A Royal Caribbean classic offering is the Kummelweck sandwich, which offers slices of seasoned slow-roasted beef, sliced to perfection that is available to guests at Park Cafe.

The Kummelweck sandwich was first offered on Oasis class ships, but Park Cafe has spread to other ships in the fleet since then.  It's also available on Quantum class ships at Cafe@270.

Guests are served a rare, thin cut of beef dipped in au jus accompanied by a secret sauce.

If it sounds mighty tasty, that is because it really is and something that is a must-try (at least a half dozen times) for any guest.

Dog House hot dog

When Royal Caribbean designed its Dog House hot dog offerings, they did not just settle on one style of dog.

The Seaplex Dog House and Boardwalk Dog House offers four kind of hot dogs:

  • Big apple: Chicken and apple
  • German: Thuringer (Pork - genuine old world style)
  • Smoke House: Smoked Bratwurst (pork - traditional spices)
  • Coney Island: Classic American all-beef Kosher hot dog

No matter which dog you pick and what sides you toss on them, it is a tasty quick snack that really "hits the spot."

Chips and salsa

There are two spots on Royal Caribbean that regularly serve up some great chips and salsa: Sabor and Rita's Cantina.

Regardless of which one you visit, be sure to enjoy the perfect finger food that is great for groups.  Bonus points if accompanied by a margarita!

There is an additional fee to dine at either restaurant, but when you are in the mood for a great Mexican snack, this is your best bet.

Johnny Rockets milkshake

Johnny Rockets has locations around the world, including Royal Caribbean cruise ships, and the chain has a reputation for amazing classic American food, including its milkshakes.

The milkshakes at Johnny Rockets are made with hand-dipped premium ice cream and are as good as they sound.

Milkshakes come in three flavors: vanilla, chocolate or strawberry.

There is an additional cost to the milkshakes, but it might be one of the best, inexpensive splurges available on your Royal Caribbean cruise.

Sandwiches from Cafe Promenade

It never ceases to amaze me how I will not feel hungry, but as soon as I walk by Cafe Promenade and see the amazing sandwiches waiting to be picked up, I instantly become famished.

Each day, Royal Caribbean offers a different variety of sandwiches, from wraps to shrimp rolls, to Greek salad rolls and more.

A visit to Cafe Promenade often begins with the words, "let me just see what they have..." and before you know it, you have a plate full of mini-sandwiches to enjoy.

What is your favorite snack that is worth every single calorie? Leave a comment and share with us!

A look at new art feature coming to Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

In:
11Feb2016

Art and architecture firm Marc Fornes & Theverymany has provided a preview of one piece of art they are working on for Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas.

Entitled, "Ivy", the art was created by Marc Fornes and is a 40m high permanent aluminum structure within the elevator lobby of Harmony of the Seas.

There is an interesting look at the initial sketches and the development in progress.

Tip of the hat to Frank Ireland for alerting us to this information.

Royal Caribbean apologizes for Anthem of the Seas experience and strengthens storm avoidance policy

In:
10Feb2016

Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas returned home to Cape Liberty, New Jersey this evening and the cruise line is offering its guests and crew an apology and a promise to avoid similar situations in the future.

In a statement issued by Royal Caribbean, the company apologized for its ship encountering sustained 120-mph winds during a winter storm off the coast of the Carolinas.

"We apologize for exposing our guests and crew to the weather they faced, and for what they went through."

Royal Caribbean also announced new plans to avoid storms like this with improved guidance.

Royal Caribbean, "identified gaps" in their planning system and acknowledged, "what happened this week showed that we need to do better."

Furthermore, Royal Caribbean announced their are strengthening their storm avoidance policy, and have added resources at their Miami headquarters to provide additional guidance ships' captains.

Much of the superficial damage to Anthem of the Seas has been repaired and the company expects Anthem of the Seas to resume her planned itinerary for next week's cruise.

What do you think of Royal Caribbean's response? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Royal Promenade on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

In:
10Feb2016

Episode 132 of the Royal Caribbean Blog podcast is now available for downloading and it is all about a signature aspect of many Royal Caribbean ships: the Royal Promenade.

In this episode, Matt takes a look at what makes the Royal Promenade such a beacon activity on a Royal Caribbean ship, what guests can expect to see and do there and why the Royal Promenade is one of Matt's favorite spots on a cruise.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 132. 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!

Photos of new Liberty of the Seas racing water slides

In:
09Feb2016

Two of Royal Caribbean's newest water slides opened today on Liberty of the Seas.

The racing slides, known as The Perfect Storm, opened on Liberty of the Seas to guests today to enjoy.  The Tidal Wave slide should be open tomorrow.

Typhoon and Cyclone slides

Tidal Wave slide should open tomorrow.

Photo by Chris Bowers

Guests have the choice between riding the green or orange slide.

Royal Caribbean Blog reader Chris Bowers reported there was an LED light in the green slide and it was a "fast ride."  He also noted that if you have a choice, he preferred gren because it had great visuals.

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