Video: Royal Caribbean Brings a New York Deli to Anthem of the Seas

In:
23Aug2016

Guests onboard Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas can get a real taste of New York when they dine in the Windjammer's New York Deli. Experience specially prepared deli favorites like pastrami sandwiches, rye bread and kosher pickles that the Big Apple is so well known for.

Royal Caribbean will offer 30% off every guest plus up to $200 to spend at sea in new WOW Sale

In:
23Aug2016

Royal Caribbean is bringing back its WOW Sale, with 30% off every guest, up to $200 onboard credit and 50% reduced deposit.

The WOW Sale runs between August 23 - 27, 2016 and is valid on all sailings departing on or after September 23, 2016 (excluding China departures).

The offer includes

  • 30% off all guests
  • Onboard credit
    • Cruises 5 nights or less
      • $50 onboard credit per stateroom
    • Cruises 6 to 9 nights
      • $100 onboard credit per stateroom
    • Cruises 10 nights or longer
      • $200 onboard credit per stateroom
  • 50% reduced deposit

WOW Sale is combinable with 30% Savings, Holiday OBC, standard/full fare and restricted rates (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military, etc.) and Next Cruise offers. WOW Sale is not combinable Crown & Anchor discounts, Shareholder Benefits or Loyal to Royal Sales. All offers are not combinable with any other offer or promotion, including, but not limited to, Standard Group, Interline, Travel Agent, Travel Agent Friends and Family, Weekly Sales Events, and Net Rates. WOW Sale is valid for Cruisetour package.

Offer available to residents of United States and Canada.

Royal Caribbean cancels two cruise ship stops in St. Thomas due to expected storm

In:
22Aug2016

Royal Caribbean has canceled to scheduled stops in St. Thomas due to an approaching tropical storm.

Concerns over a tropical disturbance in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, Invest 99-L, which may develop into a tropical depression or storm in the days ahead, forced Royal Caribbean to make the change, according to Virgin Islands Port Authority Executive Director Carlton Dowe.

St. Thomas Source is reporting Oasis of the Seas was scheduled to visit Crown Bay on August 23 and the Freedom of the Seas was scheduled for August 24.

According to guests onboard, Oasis of the Seas will skip both St. Thomas and St. Kitts, and instead visit San Juan on August 23 from 1:30pm to 11:30pm, then have a sea day, and then visit Labadee from 8am to 4:30pm.

Freedom of the Seas will skip both St. Thomas and St. Martin and instead be at sea on August 23, then stop at Costa Maya, Mexico on August 24, Cozumel, Mexico on August 25, and then spend the remaining days at sea before returning back to Port Canaveral on August 28.

Spotted: Starbucks coffee card on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas

In:
22Aug2016

Guests sailing onboard Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas recently spotted this new coffee card, exclusively for use at the Starbucks at Sea location.

Thanks to Tom and Diane Trudnowski for providing these photos.

The card offers 15 Starbucks drinks for $30 per card. The card's value is only good for the sailing a guest purchases it on and is shareable.

This is very similar to the pre-paid punch drink cards and coffee cards that have been spotted on other Royal Caribbean ships. 

5 things to love about Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas

In:
22Aug2016

Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas is a popular ship that offers cruises in Europe and North America throughout the year.  There is a lot to love about this ship, and we have five important facts you should be aware of before your next cruise on Independence of the Seas.

5. Grease

In 2016, Royal Caribbean added the Broadway musical, Grease, to Independence of the Seas and it is available to enjoy on your cruise with no additional cost.

This stage production of Grease was specially adapted by Royal Caribbean Productions and features all of your favorite songs, such as “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin’,” “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee,” “Born to Hand-Jive,” “Beauty School Dropout” and more.

The best news about Grease on Independence of the Seas, is that the show is included in the cost of your cruise fare, so you can enjoy a Broadway show while onboard for absolutely no additional cost.

4. Views from the helipad

Independence of the Seas has a large helipad at the bow of the ship, which is a great venue for guests to enjoy during most times.  The helipad is the perfect spot for sailaway, stargazing, enjoying a view of the ocean or just a spot to sit down on one of the benches and relax.

To access the helicopter pad, go outside on deck 4 and then walk forward, climb up a set of stairs and continue walking forward until you reach the helicopter pad.

If you want to go out to the helipad and avoid the flight of stairs out on deck 4, you can cut through Pyramid Lounge on deck 5 at the front of the ship. Walk in and you'll see a DJ booth on the right. Walk past that booth and you'll see a set of doors that look like they're crew only, but they're not. They lead right out to the entrance to the helipad. Only a short flight of stairs and you are there.

3. Cantilever hot tubs

Hot tub Jacuzzis are always a great way to relax and forget all of your worries, and on Independence of the Seas, there are cantilever hot tubs that offer as wonderful a view as they are comfortable.

The hot tubs on Independence of the Seas are 16-person, half-moon whirlpools that cantilever out 12 feet over the ship's side, to offer some incredible views of the ocean below.  And oh yea, they are super relaxing too.

2. Five bars to visit late at night

If your idea of a fun cruise is staying up late and enjoying drinks while perhaps dancing, talking or relaxing into the late hours of the evening, then there are a few bars you will find open later than others.

On Independence of the Seas, the Casino Bar, Boleros, Schooner Bar, The Raven and the Connoisseurs Club remain open later than other bars.  

Guests who want to avoid an (earlier) last call notice, should head to one (or a few) of these locations to enjoy uninterrupted late-night beverages.

1. FlowRider

One of the more popular features on Independence of the Seas is the FlowRider surf simulator on deck 13.

The FlowRider is a simulator that sends water a very high speed across a small area that mimics what it is like to surf on the ocean. Guests can try their hand at stand-up traditional surfing or boogie boarding.

The FlowRider is included in your Royal Caribbean cruise fare, and you may try your hand at surfing as many times as you like. Just hop back in line and wait for a turn.

There is the opportunity to book private lessons for an additional cost.  At last check, private lessons cost $60 per person and lasts about an hour. Each lesson will have six to eight guests.

Private lessons can be booked onboard the ship and is sometimes available via the Royal Caribbean Cruise Planner.

Your favorite

What is your favorite thing about Independence of the Seas?  Is it on our list or do you have something you think is worth the cruise fare alone? Tell us about in this blog post's comments!

Passenger found dead on Royal Caribbean cruise ship

In:
21Aug2016

Police in Bermuda responded to a report that a Royal Caribbean passenger on Grandeur of the Seas was found dead in his stateroom.  No foul play is suspected in the incident.

According to Bernews, a police spokesperson said, “At 1:40pm on August 20, 2016, police received a report of a death onboard the cruise ship, Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas which was berthed at Heritage Wharf in Dockyard.

The passenger is a 45-year old male from the United States and his death was certifies by the doctor aboard Grandeur of the Seas.

“Foul play is not suspected and the Bermuda Police Service is liaising with the relevant ship authorities.”

Everything about Two70 on Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas

In:
21Aug2016

Perhaps no space on Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas is as innovative, impressive and down right fun as the aft-facing theater known as Two70.

Two70 is an unique venue to the Quantum class of ships, and offers guests multiple experiences throughout the day that makes Two70 a hub of entertainment.  This means, there is almost always something going on in Two70, and it has quickly become a favorite among guests.

If you have a cruise booked on Anthem of the Seas, here is the important information to know about everything going on in Two70.

What is shown in Two70

Royal Caribbean offers a few different shows in Two70 to enjoy.  Exact shows and schedules will depend on your sailing.

Vistarama

Ordinarily, Two70's giant windows offer sweeping views of the ocean, but quickly those windows can be transformed into a theater experience with Vistarama. Vistarama transforms Two70’s floor-to-ceiling sea view into any scene, real or imagined. You will find cityscapes, glass windows, expansive rooms and a lot more.

Vistarama is made possible by 18 projectors that combine to create an ambient surface over 100 feet wide and over 20 feet tall in stunning 12K resolution.

Vistarama is not just a passive experience, because impromptu digital shows come to life at any point in the show. Simply put, Vistarama is a stunning display that is as beautiful as it is immense in scale.

There will be different Vistarama shows throughout any given point in the cruise, so it is one of those experiences you need to stop by and see what is being shown.

Roboshow

RoboShows are perhaps the most impressive use of the amazing troupe of six agile Roboscreens, that are capable of moving in many different directions and tells a story through the use of amazing technology, music and well-choreographed video.

Each of the Roboscreens measures seven feet and is controlled by mega-powerful robotic arms.  When working in tandem, the Roboscreens can twist, spin and move all around to offer a very impressive visual experience.  

Of course, the show is why guests should stop by, and there are a variety of different shows to see.  Each is unique and it is something that has to be experiences to truly understand and enjoy.

Spectra's Cabaret

Spectra's Cabaret is an original Royal Caribbean production that is shown in the evenings and is a featured show onboard Anthem of the Seas.

Trying to explain Spectra's Cabaret is not easy, but it features the Maestro and his Agents of Rhythm, whom take the audience through an, "an electric multi-dimensional cabaret" that involves singing, dancing, plenty of lighting effects, integration with the Roboscreens and much more.

What is truly impressive about Spectra's Cabaret is that it is a multi-media extravaganza brimming with kaleidoscopic sounds, effervescent colors and dazzling movement. Spectra’s Cabaret blends live performance and experiential cinema along with music from popular culture.  In short, it is like nothing you may have seen before.

Virtual Concert & Virtual Symphony

Royal Caribbean has built a reputation for offering terrific music on its cruise ships, and Two70 offers virtual concerts that are the next best thing to the real thing.  In fact, it can be difficult sometimes to hear a difference.

There are Virtual Concert & Virtual Symphony performances offered throughout Anthem of the Seas sailings, that feature performances by the American Philharmonic Orchestra or the Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns.  

This is a real concert that was recorded in ultra-high definition and broadcast on the amazing screens in Two70.  

Seminars

There is a lot of entertainment offered in Two70, but some of it involves you.  Often, there will be classes and lessons offered in Two70 during the day, where guests can go to learn about a certain topic.  This can come in the form of dance classes, educational seminars and more.

We have seen a lot of different kinds of classes offered here, including ballroom dance (which is quite popular), culinary lessons and jewelry making workshops.

Nightclub

 

When evening turns to night, Two70 is transformed yet again into an adults-only nightclub.  Club two70 offers plenty of music for adults to dance to, in a nightclub kind of experience. 

Loud music, flowing drinks and plenty of space to dance.  With the large dance floor and ample seating, Club two70 is a mix of a lounge and club that should provide the right kind mix of both for guests looking to dance the night away.

The view

While there is lots of great entertainment in Two70, visiting this part of the ship is worth it just for the sweeping views available.  Whether you are in port, or out at sea, there is always a very impressive landscape to enjoy.

Two70 got its name by the fact it offers a two hundred and seventy degree view of the aft of the ship, and this means you can enjoy one of the best views on the ship, inside or outside.  

In truth, Two70 acts kind of like the ship's "living room," and like most living rooms, it is a great place to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the view from the comfort of a couch.

Cafe @ Two70

It just would not be a Royal Caribbean cruise if there is not food conveniently located nearby, and adjacent to Two70 is the cafe that shares its name: Cafe @ Two70.

Throughout the day, guests can get meals and snacks from Cafe @ Two70.  By far, the best choice for food here is the Kummelweck Sandwich.  This sandwich was first offered on Oasis-class ships, but is available on Anthem of the Seas in Cafe @ Two70.  It is essentially a rare, thin cut of roast beef, dipped in au jus and served on a roll with a touch of horseradish.  

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.

There is plenty more of food served in Cafe @ Two70, and is a great less-crowded breakfast option.  Regardless of which meal you choose to eat here, the best part is taking your food over to Two70 and enjoying the view with your food!

Two70 Bar

If you like a view with your drink, head over to Two70 on one of Anthem of the Seas ships because it is hard to beat what you can see here.

With all the goings-on in Two70, grabbing a drink at Two70's bar makes for the perfect accompaniment to any performance.

Besides the view, the drink quality at this bar is quite good.  In our experience, this bar tends to rely less on mixes and hand-crafts many of the drinks served here. This means the quality of the drinks are far often superior to other locations onboard.

Your thoughts

Have you been to Two70 on Anthem of the Seas? What is your favorite aspect of Two70? Which performance stands out as a real crowd pleaser? Share your opinion in our comments below!

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: August 21, 2016

In:
21Aug2016

Welcome to this week's edition of the Royal Caribbean post round-up, where we summarize all of the Royal Caribbean news and information from this week into one handy-dandy post!  There is plenty of great content to enjoy, so sit back, relax, and enjoy this week's round-up!

Royal Caribbean announced new Empress of the Seas sailings through the end of 2016, which are now available to book.

These new sailings extend through the end of December, and offer a variety of itineraries, including many longer sailings.

Guests can embark on Empress of the Seas sailings that range from 4- to 8-nights, and will visit ports all over the Caribbean.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this news is what was not announced, in that these new sailings signal there will be no Royal Caribbean sailings to Cuba this year.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 159th episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, where we share a first-time Royal Caribbean cruiser's review of Allure of the Seas.

Trying Royal Caribbean for the first time is something a lot of people consider, and this week, James comes on the podcast to review his recent Allure of the Seas sailing.  James discusses what he and his family thought of Royal Caribbean and what their experiences were like onboard.

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!

Royal Caribbean Around the Internet

Planet Minecraft has a full 1:1 scale reproduction of Allure of the Seas. You're welcome, Internet.

Cruise Critic tried the zipline on Harmony of the Seas.

CNN Money looks at the Chinese cruise market that loves cruising.

CruiseHabit has a look at which cruise line is good for first timers.

Eat Sleep Cruise has a full review of the Puzzle Break on Anthem of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean UK has a list of 5 things to love about St. Lucia.

Royal Caribbean shares a look at its security chief.

First time cruisers: The most important things to pack for your Royal Caribbean cruise

In:
20Aug2016

Whether you are new to cruising or not, what to pack (and not pack) can be quite a challenge.  Inevitably, the question boils down to what is essential to pack for a cruise and this blog post should assist in providing a guide of must-pack items.

There are tons of cruise packing guides available on the internet, but I sought to compile a packing list of things that pretty much everyone needs.  This packing list is about the basics that should be in almost everyone's luggage. Of course, there might be an item or two on this list that does not apply to you, and there will be plenty more that you think you should bring, but we wanted to include the basics.

If you are wondering what to pack for a Royal Caribbean cruise, then here is what you need to know.

Travel documents

These items are the most critical things to pack, because without them, you are not getting on your Royal Caribbean cruise.  You could forget to pack everything else on this list, but all of that can be bought, whereas these items are not so easily replaceable.

You might notice we only listed passport and not a birth certificate, and that is because I firmly believe you ought to invest in a passport to safeguard you and your family in the event of a travel emergency.  While you can cruise on some Royal Caribbean cruises with just a birth certificate, a passport is a far better option and it is worth the extra investment.

  • Passport
  • SetSail Pass
  • Credit card
  • Travel insurance documentation (if purchased)
  • Cash in the form of small bills for tipping

Clothing

It is self-explanatory that you will need to bring clothing on your cruise to have for each day.  How much clothing one person goes through on a cruise will vary, but this should be the basics.

The most difficult decision for this list was how many outfits per day to pack.  Depending on your activities, you will be changing during your day a few times.  If it is a sea day, you might wake up and put on your bathing suit, change in the afternoon into regular clothes and then change again for dinner.  Port days, you might put on one outfit for your adventure on shore and then change into something else when you return and again for dinner.  Or you might just wear one outfit the entire day.  Everyone's habits are different.  Still, I felt most guests will wear 2-3 outfits per day.

  • Couple of swimsuits per person (at least two)
  • Water shoes
  • 2-3 outfits per day of your cruise
  • 3-6 outfits for evenings on a 7-night cruise
  • Sunglasses
  • Sweater or wrap for when it is cold indoors

Toiletries

Like clothing, you may end up packing much more than is on this list, but there are likely to be some basics to bring with you to ensure you have what you need to get through your cruise without any issues.

  • Prescription medicines
  • First aid kit
    • Fever reducer medicine
    • Anti-diarrheal medicine
    • Band-aids
  • Sunscreen
  • Extra contacts/glasses
  • Deodorant
  • Hair conditioner and/or shampoo
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste

Accessories

Arguably, this is the toughest category of packing to plan for, because there are things on this list that may depend on your definition of "important."  I think enough people pack these items to warrant bringing them on the cruise with you and they are ubiquitous enough among cruise guests.

  • Electric strip (no surge protectors)
  • Highlighter for the Cruise Compass
  • Camera (your phone may double as this)
    • Extra memory cards for the camera
  • Chargers for electronic devices (phones, cameras, laptops, iPads)
  • Small bag for excursions

Your thoughts

This is not a total packing list, just a listing of the most important things you should pack on a cruise that apply to pretty much everyone.  Do you think we missed something?  Or is there something on this list that you think should be bolded, circled and posted on highway billboards because it is that important? Share your suggestions in the comments!

Friday Photos

In:
19Aug2016

The weekend is here and every Friday, we share our readers' favorite Royal Caribbean photos so that we can all enjoy a quick "virtual trip" back on a cruise.  If you want to share your Royal Caribbean photos, use this form to send them in!

Our first photo is from Scott Singer, who took this photo of the monkeys of Gibraltar while on an Independence of the Seas cruise. Looks like tourists did not excite these two.

Next is a photo by Julius Lacano from Grandeur of the Seas, where he got to see "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" while onboard his cruise.

Here is Jewel of the Seas next to Rhapsody of the Seas in Santorini, by Manuela.  This is a great perspective of these two fabulous ships!

Bente sent us this photo as they watched Mount Vesuvius during sailaway from Napoli, while on Harmony of the Seas.

Phil Partridge posted this photo of his wife, Nina, while on their balcony aboard Oasis of the Seas.

Hannah Carr was enjoying lunch in this photo from Santorini, with Jewel of the Seas in the background. Opa!

Our final photo this week is of Brilliance of the Seas in Cozumel, taken by CrennTive while aboard Independence of the Seas.  Looks like another day in paradise!

Thank you to everyone that sent in their Royal Caribbean photos and if you want your photos featured here, be sure to send us your favorite photos with this form!

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