The Ultimate Checklist: 8 things you must do at Royal Caribbean's private destination of Labadee

In:
31Aug2015

Royal Caribbean's private peninsula of Labadee is a small piece of paradise that guests sailing on select Caribbean itineraries will be able to enjoy.

Over the years, Royal Caribbean has added quite a bit of activities and fun opportunities to this private enclave.  

Here are ten things to keep you busy on your next at Labadee.

8. Take the tram

Once you get to Labadee, there is quite a lot to do and many beaches to choose from.  Guests can easily walk to any of these spots but when the sun is shining brightly or you need a break, consider using the tram.

Royal Caribbean provides complimentary tram service that will take you all around the peninsula and for those looking for a quieter beach experience, the tram is your ticket to reaching the furthest beaches.

The trams make continuous circles of their route and so the wait is never that long once the trams start running.

Feel free to hop on the tram and take a "grand circle tour" of the island for fun and get a chance to see all the different spots on Labadee without exhausting yourself with all that walking.

7. Dragon's Breath Flight Line

Photo by Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean heralds the Dragon's Breath Flight Line as the world's longest zip-cable over water and it is as impressive to ride down as it is to look at from the ground.

If you are looking to do the shore excursion that Labadee is known for, then this zip line is perfect for you.

Royal Caribbean says guests will reach speeds of 40-50 miles per hour as they soar over the beaches of Labadee and the view you will get is unparalleled.

You will have a chance to practice on a smaller zip line first before taking a truck up the mountain to the flight line starting point.  Odds are your palms will get a little sweaty in anticipation but it's an amazing experience all the way down!

6. Cabanas

If you ever get the chance to try the cabanas at Labadee, they are a must-do!

Royal Caribbean offers Cabanas at two of its beaches on Labadee: Barefoot Beach and Nellie's Beach.

Each cabana offers up to six guests a number of amenities including lounge chairs and a sofa, complimentary bottles of water, floating beach mats, snorkeling gear, towels and more.

In short, the cabanas are a great way to have a private beach experience in a gorgeous setting.

Cabanas are available to suite guests, however, many non-suite guests have had success in reserving cabanas on a first-come, first-served basis by going to the Explorations (shore excursions) desk onboard their Royal Caribbean ship and putting their name down on a list.

5. Beach Beds

Photo by Royal Caribbean

For a less expensive way to relax on Labadee, try the new beach beds.

At the end of Adrenaline Beach, you will find beach beds that offer guests the opportunity to relax with the utmost comfort while remaining on the beach.

These beach beds offer guests the opportunity to relax on the beach in a lot of comfort.  In terms of napping spots, it does not get much better than this.

4. Visit the Artisan's Village

Photo by Franco Caruzzo

Bringing home a little piece of Labadee is a great souvenir and the Artisan's Village has a lot of locals selling various hand-made creations that you can purchase.

You will find wood carvings, neclackes, paintings, t-shirts and more available to purchase.

Whether you buy something or not, looking at the various gifts for sale can be a nice break from the beach.

3. Dragon's Breath Point

For something a little off the beaten path, try Dragon's Breath Point.

Located on the far left side of Labadee (if you are on the dock), Dragon's Breath Point is an area to hang out and watch the zip line but there is also a near natural effect to enjoy.

 As the water flows in and out among the rocks, you hear a "hissing" noise that sounds like "dragon's breath".  It may just be air being compresed in small caves under the rocks, but it's a neat spot to enjoy.

In fact, the area surrounding the rocks is quite beautiful as well and is a great spot for some photos.

2. Dragon's Tail Roller Coaster

The alpine coaster found in Labadee is something unique to any cruise line's private island.  

Guests can ride the Dragon's Tail Roller Coaster from 680 feet above sea level and race down the mountain at speeds of 30 miles per hour.

Like the zip line, Drago's Tail offers some great views of the beaches below.  It's also a much longer ride down the zip line, so there is time to enjoy the views you will get as you dip and curve around the mountain.

If you are considering going on Dragon's Tail, invest in the all-day pass that costs a little bit more money, but will get you plenty of opportunities to get a glimpse of Labadee as you zip down.

1. Labadoozie

My absolute favorite thing about Labadee has to be enjoying their signature drink, the Labadoozie.

The Labadoozie is a frozen alcoholic beverage that is served in a cup or souvenir mug.  It's a combination of a few fruit juices, rum and ice that combine to form the perfect concoction for a day at the beach.

You can purchase Labadoozies from any of the bars, but often you will spot Royal Caribbean waiters walking around the beach selling these drinks.  

For kids, you can order the Labadoozie without alcohol so the whole family can enjoy the experience!

What are your favorite things to do on Labadee? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Royal Caribbean names Michael Giresi Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer

In:
31Aug2015

Royal Caribbean named Michael Giresi new senior vice president and chief information officer. 

Giresi will report directly to Adam Goldstein, president and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Goldstein commented on Giresi's hiring, "Michael's background and experience implementing leading edge technology, combined with the skills of our seasoned management team, will be vital as Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. continues to innovate and accelerate its global expansion.  His broad experience and proven leadership will provide the company with the necessary tools to marry technology solutions that will continue to differentiate us."

Giresi joins Royal Caribbean after serving as senior vice president and CIO for Tory Burch, where he was responsible for the implementation of new infrastructure and technology initiatives for one of the fastest growing fashion brands in the world.  Throughout his career, he has held various management positions, including executive vice president and CIO for Direct Brands, Inc, CIO for Godiva Chocolatier and director of information technology for the Campbell Soup Company.

"I am looking forward for the opportunity to join Royal Caribbean, a company that stands for excellence in the travel industry," said Giresi. "Working with the IT team, we will create the infrastructure necessary to move the company to the next level."

Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas features retractable roof that allows guests to enjoy the pool year round

In:
31Aug2015

Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas features two glass enclosures for either side of the ship's upper-deck pool, patio and bar area that was made by OpenAire and it has become a popular spot on the ship.

Photo by OpenAire

The retractable roof retracts into a central core and wall panels that slide down to railing height that allows the space to go from indoor to outdoor easily and quickly.

When it's cold outside or the weather does not cooperate, both of these 3,706-square-foot structures close automatically and silently, letting guests continue enjoying all of the ship’s amenities. The design has brought extremely positive reviews for both Anthem of the Seas and OpenAire.

Anthem of the Seas is the second collaboration between Royal Caribbean and OpenAire.  OpenAire created a similar retractable roof for sister ship Quantum of the Seas.  The work done on Quantum of the Seas made the work on Anthem of the Seas much easier.

Photo by OpenAire

The retractable roof will also create significant future operational savings for Royal Caribbean, as the thermally-broken aluminum framing is maintenance-free and resistant to corrosion caused by an outside atmosphere of salt air and the moist chemical aquatic inside environment. By allowing the ocean’s sunshine and breezes into the pool area, it also reduces HVAC energy use by 27% compared to a traditional enclosure.

OpenAire will complete work on a retractable enclosure for Royal Caribbean’s upcoming Ovation of the Seas ship this fall.

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: August 30, 2015

In:
30Aug2015

Summer is coming to an end, but there is still plenty of Royal Caribbean news to share from this week!

Royal Caribbean gave us another peek at the construction progress being made on its third Oasis class cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean released a few new photos of Harmony of the Seas under construction at the STX shipyard in France.

Harmony of the Seas will begin service in spring 2016.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 107th episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available and this week, Matt is reading your emails.

In this episode, Matt digs into the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast email inbox and dedicates this week's episode to our listeners.  Matt reads questions about going with a group, Grandeur of the Seas, shore excursion ideas and more.

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.

Join us aboard the largest cruise ship in the world!

We're so excited to announce the next group cruise for readers and staff of RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com aboard Allure of the Seas!  This is an exclusive group where we are inviting you, our readers, to join us on a fantastic Allure of the Seas sailing on an 7-night cruise to the Western Caribbean.

This Royal Caribbean Blog group cruise is all about enjoying a fun Royal Caribbean cruise along with other fans who are big fans of Royal Caribbean.  Don't miss this opportunity to check out the amazing ship as well as be a part of exclusive events for those that book with our group!

For more details on booking the cruise, the itinerary and prices, check out the Royal Caribbean Blog group cruise page and if you have any questions, email me!

Royal Caribbean Around the Internet

The Street has a look at the over-the-top world of cruise ship vacations.

In The Loop Travel has a look at the activities that will be available on Harmony of the Seas.

Cruise Law News reports Vision of the Seas rescued migrants near Greece.

Eat Sleep Cruise has a list of the top 10 cruise gadgets for 2015.

Maketh-The-Man shares his experience on Anthem of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean has a list of their 9 favorite things to do in Alaska.

Photo tour of Royal Suite on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas

In:
29Aug2015

Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas has a lot of different staterooms to choose from and today, we will look at the Royal Suite with Balcony (RS) stateroom to give you an idea of what to expect if you book this category.

Harold Banks took photos of his Royal Suite, which was in stateroom 1701 on Oasis of the Seas during the July 11, 2015 sailing.

The Royal Suite measures in at 1250 square feet and has a balcony that is 172 square feet.

Grand Suites on Oasis of the Seas feature Grand entrance with doorbell, master bedroom with Queen bed and sitting area, master bath with tub, shower, two sinks and bidet. Living room sofa converts to a double bed; guest bathroom with shower, entertainment center, and the dining room features a dry bar, piano area with dry bar, closets, an interactive flat-screen TV, mini-safe, radio, telephone, and a hairdryer. The private balcony features a Jacuzzi and dining area.

All photos by Harold Banks

Royal Caribbean changes Freedom of the Seas departure time due to Tropical Storm Erika

In:
28Aug2015

Royal Caribbean announced the boarding time for Freedom of the Seas will be changed due to the predicted path for Tropical Storm Erika,

Royal Caribbean is asking all guests on Freedom of the Seas that are departing this Sunday to arrive to the ship between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The ship will now depart at 3:30 p.m.

Royal Caribbean has previously changed the boarding time for Independence of the Seas and altered Adventure of the Seas' itinerary due to Tropical Storm Erika.

Royal Caribbean also indicated they are monitoring Erika's path and changes could be coming to Enchantment of the Seas & Majesty of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean will announce any further changes, with the next update coming on August 29 at 5pm.

New photos of Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas construction

In:
28Aug2015

Royal Caribbean has released new photos of Harmony of the Seas construction.

Harmony of the Seas is Royal Caribbean's third Oasis class cruise ship, and will debut in Spring 2016.

The photos were taken earlier this month at the STX shipyard in France. All photos are copyright Royal Caribbean International.

6 of the best ways to celebrate an anniversary or birthday on a Royal Caribbean cruise

In:
28Aug2015

Many guests choose to take a Royal Caribbean cruise as the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion in their life, such as a honeymoon, anniversary or birthday.

Often, we get emails asking about special activities to do to celebrate these happy times and here is our list of the best ways to celebrate on a Royal Caribbean ship!

6. Room decorations

How about having your stateroom decorated before you arrive onboard your ship?

Royal Caribbean sells a variety of stateroom decoration packages that will add signs, banners, ribbons and more to your stateroom to let everyone know someone in this room is special!

To purchase any of the decorations, try the Gifts & Gear page on Royal Caribbean's website and order the right room decoration package for you.

Most of the packages are fairly inexpensive, usually starting at around $45.

5. Spa treatments

Perhaps there is no more indulgent thing to do onboard a Royal Caribbean ship than treat yourself to some time at the Vitality Spa.

Royal Caribbean offers a wide variety of services at the spa, from massages to facials to acupuncture and more.  

For those celebrating a honeymoon or anniversary, try one of the couples massages available.  And be sure to look at opportunities to mix and match services.  Perhaps a massage to start with and a trip to the salon to get her hair done before dinner.

Spa reservations can be made online prior to your cruise or once you are onboard.

4. Special dinner at a specialty restaurant

A great way to celebrate anything from a holiday to birthday to "I can't believe we're back on a Royal Caribbean cruise" is a dinner at one of Royal Caribbean's specialty restaurants.

Depending on which Royal Caribbean ship you are on, there are a variety of restaurants to choose from and each has their own appeal.

It is hard to go wrong with any of the choices, so look at which restaurant's menu appeals the most to you!

Be sure to mention in the reservation and when you check in the special occasion you are celebrating.

Our favorite restaurants for a special night out

3. Indulgent shore excursion

While you may first consider things to do onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise, do not overlook the places your ship will visit because there are some really fun things to do on shore to celebrate too.

Royal Caribbean offers many different kind of shore excursions and for a special occasion, perhaps this is the excuse to try a shore excursion you have always wanted to do.

Parasailing, all-inclusive resort visits, tours of historical landmarks and more are available in many ports and it should be about picking something unique to do that you will not forget.

Research the ports you will be visiting and review your options.  Often, there are shore excursion ideas you may not have even been aware they exist.

Some good picks for a celebratory shore excursion

2. Order a full cake

Photo by Susan Slinkard

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to celebrate a special occasion but a cake is always a classy way to show you care.

Royal Caribbean sells a variety of 8-inch round cakes that can serve up to 8 guests that you can pre-order for your cruise.

The cakes are available in chocolate or vanilla and are decorate for the occasion.

Special occasions include

  • Bon Voyage
  • Happy birthday
  • Congratulations

These cakes cost $16.95 from the Gifts and Gear section of Royal Caribbean's web site.

1. Rent the North Star

If you are sailing on one of Royal Caribbean's Quantum class cruise ships, how about some time alone in the 300-foot observation pod known as North Star?

You can reserve time in the North Star for a private viewing.  This will allow you to not have any line to wait in, as well as just you and who you want in the North Star with you.

Royal Caribbean has even performed weddings in the North Star, for a truly unique way to say, "I do."

What is your favorite way to celebrate a special day on a Royal Caribbean cruise?

Royal Caribbean offering Weekend WOW Sale with a bonus up to $50 onboard credit

In:
28Aug2015

For this weekend only, Royal Caribbean is giving guests up to an extra $50 in onboard credit that is combinable with the BOGO Plus offer.

Royal Caribbean is offering

  • Book an Interior or Ocean View stateroom and receive $25 onboard credit
  • Book a Balcony or Suite and receive $50 onboard credit

This onboard credit offer is on top of Royal Caribbean's BOGO+, which offers Buy One Guest, Get Second Guest 50% Off + Free upgrades promotion.

This Weekend WOW Sale applies to sailings departing on or after September 28, 2015, excluding China departures.

O­ffer is combinable with current standard/full fare rates, restricted rates (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military, BOGO, Upgrade o­ffers), and Next Cruise o­ffers. O­ffer is not combinable with any other o­ffer or promotion. 

Galveston cruise terminal expansion delayed and over budget

In:
27Aug2015

Renovatins to the Galveston cruise terminal are running behind schedule, which means by the time Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas arrives in November, the terminal will still be under construction.

The Houston Chronicle reports the terminal expansion was originally planned to be completed back in May, but construction roadblocks and an archeological dig for a 19th century Texas Navy ship have increased costs and delayed work.

The port of Galveston is working to add 92 feet to the 1,000-foot-long berth and build a new passenger check-in, luggage screening and waiting area.

Royal Caribbean struck a five-year deal with Galveston last year to bring a larger ship to the port on the condition that the port expand the terminal.  Liberty of the Seas will replace Navigator of the Seas, and bring with her, an extra 500 more passengers. 

Port Director Michael Mierzwa said, "We're incurring some additional expenses, but it's not Royal Caribbean's fault, it's our fault."

In the interim, the port's board of trustrees approved a plan to add an air-conditioned tent, portable restrooms and additional seating - until the second building is complete.

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