Our newest podcast episode is out to help give you a quick "audio escape" to a Royal Caribbean cruise!
Episode 37 is available for downloading where we look at what booking incentives Royal Caribbean offers.
Matt look's at all the different booking incentives Royal Caribbean offers its guests, including what they are and which ones tend to be a better deal than others.
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 launched today its newest discount cruise program for Crown and Anchor Society members, dubbed Crown and Anchor Society Exclusive Rates.
The Crown and Anchor Society Exclusive Rates replace the Crown and Anchor Society Savings Certificates and offer lower on select cruises directly from the Crown and Anchor Society section of the Royal Caribbean web site.
The new Crown and Anchor Society Exclusive Rates offer discounts on select cruises. Travel agents can apply Crown and Anchor Society Exclusive Rates for any customer.
For guests, this new programs means discounts are applied instantly instead of having to do math to see what the discount will be. The aim of the new program is to simplify discounts for guests.
Royal Caribbean’s navigational team do everything they can to provide the most stable ride possible. It keeps the entertainers safe and the guests cheering.
Thank you to Robert MacLagger for providing a copy of this Cruise Compass
Happy Sunday and I hope you had a great week (and weekend)! This week's biggest news was Royal Caribbean's CEO, Adam Goldstein, has been promoted and the company is now looking for a new CEO.
Among other duties, Goldstein's new position will have him working with Royal Caribbean Chairman Richard Fain on the strategic direction for the cruise line.
Royal Caribbean News
- Quantum of the Seas floats!
- Almost 100 passengers are sick on Grandeur of the Seas.
- Royal Caribbean announced Australia and South Pacific cruises for 2015-2016.
- Our Royal Caribbean Italian food showdown.
- We reviewed Goff's Caye excursion in Belize City.
Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast
Royal Caribbean recently announced its brand new approach to dining for the Quantum-class cruise ships, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas and this week Matt is exploring what Dynamic Dining is and if this is a change for the best.
Royal Caribbean Around the Internet
MDLblog has photos of his food from his Navigator of the Seas cruise.
Disney Cruise Line Blog has a book review of the Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line.
Royal Caribbean has the top 3 tips for picking the right vacation destination.
Seatrade Insider says Royal Caribbean government relations now fall under Kalisch.
NBC Miami reports a 10-month old was airlifted from Enchantment of the Seas after having difficulty breathing.
Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas is dealing with a gastrointestinal sickness that has broken out on the ship for the second time in two weeks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting almost 100 passengers on the Grandeur of the Seas cruise that left Baltimore on April 5th.
Royal Caribbean spokeswoman commented, "Those affected by the short-lived illness have responded well to over-the-counter medication being administered onboard the ship."
A cruise that departed Baltimore March 28 on the same ship also had an outbreak of viral illness that the CDC said was caused by norovirus. During that cruise, more than 100 passengers became ill. Fewer than a dozen crew members were sickened.
Grandeur of the Seas is expected to return to Baltimore as scheduled Saturday morning.
Upon its return to Baltimore, the ship is expected to be thoroughly sanitized. In addition, "two CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers and an epidemiologist will board the ship," as part of the ongoing investigation, according to disease control officials.
We've reached the weekend and this best weekends begin with a collection of Royal Caribbean photos our readers sent in. We have a great batch to share this week, so let's get it started.
Ken Slusser sent us this photo of Independence of the Seas and Allure of the Seas docked alongside each other in Falmouth, Jamaica. I'm always amazed when the Oasis class ships can make the Freedom class ships look small.
Next we have a photo from Giulio Saggin of people crammed into the elevator on Voyager of the Seas back in 2012. Giulo also blogged about his experience here.
I love this photo of Voyager of the Seas' pool deck at night by Alison. Night swims are the best swims!
Next is a photo by Murray of Radiance of the Seas while anchored at Airlie Beach in Queensland, Australia. Crikey!
Speaking of anchored Royal Caribbean ships, here's Explorer of the Seas docked in San Juan by Julia Wadsworth. Love the old schooner in the foreground!
If you prefer photos of Royal Caribbean ships on the move, try this one by Dan Kohout of Liberty of the Seas entering the channel at Port Everglades on February 24th 2014. I love the colors in this photo and the great contrast.
Thank you to everyone who sent us photos this week and if you haven't sent us your Royal Caribbean photo yet, please use this form to send them in so it can be featured here!
Let's hop in the "wayback machine" and take a look at Royal Caribbean's marketing ads from 1995.
Back in the mid-1990s, Royal Caribbean was advertising itself with the slogan, "You've got some Royal Caribbean coming". We have three advertisements that feature this slogan and focus on Bermuda, Europe and south Asia.
For a warm getaway to Bermuda, Royal Caribbean features an ad with the Song of America.
No specific Royal Caribbean ship mentioned in this ad for Europe but it does talk all about what a typical cruise day is like there.
This ad for south Asian destinations of Bali, Singapore and China features cruises aboard the Sun Viking. Interestingly, this ad from 1996 does include the Royal Caribbean website all the way in tiny font in the lower left corner.
Royal Caribbean offers a number of cruises to Belize City and like us, you may be looking for something fun to do here during the day. We spent weeks searching for the right excurison for our family and we eventually decided on Goff's Caye.
Goff's Caye is a small private island off the shore of Belize City. It's only accessible by boat and you must book a private excursion to reach the island. Did I mention Goff's Caye is small? It's only 1.2 acres of sand but if you're looking for somewhere to swim, enjoy the sun and snorkel, then this is the place for you.
We booked our excursion online for $40 per person (kids under 4 are free). This gets you transportation to and from the island, snorkeling equipment and complimentary rum punch.
Getting to and from the island is probably the most difficult aspect of the entire itinerary. Royal Caribbean ships have to tender in Belize City, so you have to take the Royal Caribbean tender to Belize City and then take a different boat to Goff's Caye.
We were on the first tender to Belize City to avoid the notoriously long tender lines on the cruise ship and made our way to the check-in area in Belize City for the excursion. We had put down a deposit online a few weeks earlier and paid off the remainder of the balance in port. We were then given wristbands and told which dock to report to.
A couple of hours later it was time to board the speedboat to Goff's Caye. There were about a dozen or so people on the boat and the ride takes about 20-30 minutes. The boat goes much faster than the cruise ship tenders so the ride isn't so bad to get there.
Once you arrive at Goff's Caye, you pick a spot on the beach. You can rent chairs (no umbrellas) for a nominal fee. The beach is clean and mostly rock-free. Walking from the beach anywhere else does require shoes due to the various rocks in the interior of the island.
You can optionally purchase lunch on the island, which is BBQ food. Prices were reasonable and there are beverages also available for purchase. Rum punch and water are complimentary.
If you choose, snorkeling is provided in groups. At a designated time, the boat takes a group off shore to snorkel and the snorkeling group moves around the island. I did not partake in the snorkeling but I spoke with a number of people who did and they all reported the experience to be fun. They all said they saw a good amount of sea creatures and generally enjoyed the experience.
Goff's Caye is a no-frills beach break excursion. For someone looking for a basic beach day with just you, sand and the water, then this is perfect.
The remote location of Goff's Caye makes it quite serene. There's little cover from the sun so be sure to bring plenty of sun lotion (and be sure to actually apply it, unlike this blogger).
What we liked about Goff's Caye was we got a chance to sit down and relax on the beach with the occasional swim. We had gone to Goff's Caye in February and it was a cloudy day so the water temperature was a bit cool.
The value for the excusion is quite high as the overall cost isn't bad at all, especially compared to other private island beach excursions. Ultimately the low-cost is what convinced us to book Goff's Caye and I was happy with the choice. It wasn't the best beach excursion I've ever taken but it was exactly what I expected.
If you want an inexpensive beach day in Belize City, it's hard to go wrong with Goff's Caye.
Spring feels like it's finally here and with it, we have a brand new episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast too!
This week, Matt shares his experience at Royal Caribbean's Dynamic Dining announcement event and what Dynamic Dining means for the future of Royal Caribbean cruising. Thee's a lot to this change Matt shares details of what Dynamic Dining is and how it will change cruise dining.
There's also lots of reader emails and voicemails to share this week about everything Royal Caribbean.