Excursion Focus: Fury Catamaran in Cozumel, Mexico

In:
17Apr2018
By: Michael Poole

Over the years I’ve visited Cozumel at least a dozen times and always find myself doing the same thing. On my most recent cruise to Cozumel, Mexico I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and try something new. So off to the cruise planner I went and I came across an excursion called, Fury Catamaran snorkel and beach break.

The price in the Royal Caribbean cruise planner is listed at $78 for adults and $59 for children. I happen to book during a weekend cruise planner sale and it was listed as 25% off.


 

I should mention you can book directly through their website and it’s the exactly the same excursion. In fact, I think half my boat booked through Royal and others through Fury directly. So I would check both options and see what’s the better price.

The meeting time for our excursion was 8:30AM, so we were up early to meet on the dock. In Cozumel, you have that pier you walk down to enter the shopping area, our catamaran was docked right before that. I would say no more than 100 yards from walking off the ship, so that was really convenient.

We didn’t end up leaving until 9:15AM because we were still waiting on some guest. They do handout soft drinks and water while you are waiting.

Our day was split into three different activities, which I really enjoyed. The first part was snorkeling for an hour, a beach break for an hour and a half, and ending with an hour ride back to the ship.

Stop one was snorkeling; we were only 5 minutes from the pier so it was a quick ride over. During the short ride they explain our day, what to expect, and all the safety tips. They provide you with snorkeling equipment when you board. We were here for an hour and it was actually a perfect amount of time. Beautiful coral and fish all over, I really enjoyed this snorkeling.




 

Our second stop was the beach break; they have a private beach, which is about 20 minutes away. During our cruise over they started serving rum punch, beers, or soft drinks, which are all included.

The beach was nice and everything on the beach was also included. They had beach chairs, aqua park, kayak’s, paddle boards, beach beds, and of course an open bar.



 

The bar served the same thing as the catamaran so rum punch or beer. If you are hungry they also serve hamburgers for $10 and that was the only upcharge option for the day.

The final part to our excursion was the one-hour ride back. During the ride back they keep bringing you drinks and asking if you need anything. I laughed that they don’t let you go 5 minutes without checking in on you, really outstanding service the whole day.


 

They also have some fun line-dancing going on during the ride back, but you can also just sit and enjoy the views.

The excursion lasted 4 hours and I found that to be a perfect amount of time. And since we started early in the morning we had the whole afternoon open in Cozumel. This excursion would be perfect for someone who doesn’t like to sit and do the same thing all day or just looking for something totally different.


 

I was so happy I tried the Fury Catamaran and I plan to return again soon! Feel free to leave any questions below or if you have tried Fury and what you thought.

In-depth look at Royal Caribbean's Royal Refreshment Drink Package

In:
16Apr2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Going on a Royal Caribbean cruise does not mean you have to "break the bank" to enjoy as many non-alcoholic beverages as you care to enjoy.  The Royal Refreshment drink package offers guests a variety of on-alcoholic drinks for one fixed price.

The Royal Refreshment package includes juices, premium coffees, bottled water and virgin cocktails.  By purchasing the Royal Refreshment package, it ensures you not only get to enjoy as many of these drinks as you like, but it also allows you to lock in the price of your preferred drinks.

What does the Royal Refreshment package include?

Guests can choose between unlimited fountain sodas, non-alcoholic beverages and cocktails, bottled water (500ml), sparkling water (375 ml), fresh squeezed juices, premium coffee and premium tea.  

Guests who purchase the Royal Refreshment package will also receive a souvenir Coca-Cola cup, which can be used with the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines on select Royal Caribbean ships.

How much is the Royal Refreshment package?

The price of the Royal Refreshment Package is $26.00 per guest (not including gratuity) per night of your cruise.

When you purchase the drink package, a one-time gratuity (referred to as a service charge) will be charged as well. 

This means the daily price you pay covers all the drinks covered in this package, as well as gratuity.

Is there ever a discount offered on the Royal Refreshment package?

On occasion, Royal Caribbean does offer a pre-cruise discount on certain drink packages purchased prior to your cruise via the Cruise Planner site.

We usually share Cruise Planner sales on this site, which tend to occur once every few weeks or so.  Be sure to follow us on Facebook for notifications when there is a new sale.

There is no risk in purchasing a drink package now and taking advantage of a price drop later. If you spot a better discount on something you already pre-purchased, you should be able to cancel the purchase and then re-purchase the same item under this promotion.

Does the Royal Refreshment package include espresso-based coffee?

Royal Caribbean defines "premium coffees" as cappuccinos, espressos, and lattes. Thus, espresso based drinks are included with the Royal Refreshment package at any restaurant, bar, or cafe that serves espresso beverages.

On non-Oasis class ships, the Royal Refreshment package does include Illy or Starbucks beverages from locations like Cafe Promenade or Cafe Latte-Tudes.

On Oasis-class ships (Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas), the Royal Refreshment package does not include any drink from the free-standing Starbucks kiosk.  Instead, guests can enjoy premium coffees and teas from Cafe Promenade or Park Cafe with their Refreshment package.

Does the Royal Refreshment package include milk shakes?

No, none of the drink package includes milk shakes.

Who is the Royal Refreshment package best for?

We believe the Royal Refreshment package is a great choice for guests who are not interested in (or are not old enough to purchase) alcoholic beverages, but still want to have premium non-alcoholic beverages while on their cruise.

Typically, this package is popular with guests that enjoy premium coffees, virgin cocktails and soft drinks. Teenagers especially gravitate towards the Royal Refreshment package, because they can enjoy the lots of drinks without fear of a large bill later.  Adults also find the package worthwhile, for the premium coffee and fresh squeezed juices option.

Essentially, it tends to resonate as a good choice for guests who are not interested in alcoholic beverages, but want to still enjoy many drinks that cost extra.

What is the difference between the Royal Refreshment package and the Classic Soda Package?

The Classic Soda package only includes soft drinks and a souvenir Coca-Cola cup, whereas the Royal Refreshment package includes soft drinks, a souvenir Coca-Cola cup, and many other varieties of drinks.

Instead of just sodas, the Royal Refreshment package includes virgin cocktails, premium coffee, fresh squeezed juice and more.

Can I purchase the Royal Refreshment package and share drinks with someone I know onboard?

No, sharing beverages on any of Royal Caribbean's unlimited drink packages is strictly prohibited.

If I buy the Royal Refreshment package, are others in my stateroom required to purchase the same drink package?

No, unlike Royal Caribbean's Deluxe Beverage package, Royal Caribbean does not require other guests in the same stateroom to purchase a Royal Refreshment package.

Friday Photos

In:
13Apr2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Are you ready for a virtual escape to a Royal Caribbean cruise? Every Friday we share our readers' favorite Royal Caribbean cruise photos in a showcase of why we love going on Royal Caribbean.

Kinny Lee took this long exposure photo of the Carousel at night on Allure of the Seas.

Tony Oleszczuk took this photo from his aft cabin on Vision of the Seas, as the ship passed the entrance into St. John's Newfoundland harbor.

Here is a carved up watermelon on Freedom of the Seas, taken by Bill Barber.

Here is a shot of Anthem of the Seas docked off the coast of CocoCay, taken by Anoop while onboard the tender.

This photo taken of Anthem of the Seas from the top of Cadiallac mountain in Bar Harbor, Maine by Jill Snyder.

Jesse Mickelson shared with us this photo of Anthem of the Seas in Barbados.

We wrap up this week's photos with a look at Anthem of the Seas, as seen from North Star.  Photo taken by Matthew Hull.

Thank you to everyone who's photos were featured this week, and if you want to share your best Royal Caribbean cruise photos, you can send them in via this form. Have a great weekend!

Video: Symphony of the Seas Arrives in Naples Timelapse

In:
12Apr2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas arrived in Naples, Italy, for the first time and there's a great timelapse video of the world's largest cruise ship.  

Royal Caribbean testing expedited boarding

In:
11Apr2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is inviting select guests to try out a new way to board the ship that aims to improve the embarkation process.

Royal Caribbean Blog reader, Steve, shared with us an email sent with the invitation to try the expedited check-in for an upcoming sailing on Allure of the Seas.

Guests simply need to download the new Royal Caribbean smart phone app and then check-in on the mobile app prior to the cruise.

Once the mobile check-in is complete, guests might see an Expedited Arrival choice on their mobile boarding pass, which means they have been selected to participate in our boarding trial.

Upon arrival at the cruise terminal, there will be an Expedited Arrival lane for these guests, who may present their mobile boarding pass. 

Since this is a test, the exact process may change.  This may be a precursor to the "frictionless" check-in Royal Caribbean announced late last year

New photo of Royal Caribbean's Spectrum of the Seas construction

In:
11Apr2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has posted a new photo of the construction of its first Quantum Ultra class cruise ship, Spectrum of the Seas.

Designed specifically for the Chinese market, Spectrum is scheduled for delivery in 2019.

This photo was taken at the Meyer Werft ship yard in Papenburg, Germany. Photo is copyright Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean to homeport Quantum of the Seas in Singapore in 2019-2020

In:
10Apr2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean announced Quantum of the Seas will call Singapore home for six months in 2019-2020.

Prior to her arrival in Singapore, Quantum of the Seas will be revitalised in a multi-million dollar project that will see the ship refreshed and upgraded.

Her itineraries include 4-night cruises to Penang or Phuket, 5-night cruises to Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Penang and Phuket, a 7-night cruise to Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Penang and Phuket (with an overnight) and a 7-night cruise to Bangkok (Laem Chabang) (with an overnight) and Ho Chi Minh City..

Over her 34 sailings during the six months from November 2019 to April 2020, Quantum of the Seas is expected to add some 150,000 guests to the Singapore cruising scene.

President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, Mr. Michael Bayley, said that the commitment to bring in bigger and better ships like Quantum of the Seas demonstrates Royal Caribbean’s confidence in the region to continue experiencing record-breaking growth.

“The Asian cruise market has seen tremendous growth over the last few years, and Singapore has been leading growth as one of the most significant cruise destinations and cruise source markets in the region,” said Mr. Bayley.

He added, “In response to the strong demand from Singapore and the region, we have decided to bring in longer cruises for Quantum of the Seas’return. The season will feature cruises starting from four nights and the first ever 7-night round trip cruises on a Quantum Class ship here. With this ground-breaking itinerary design for the Asian cruise market, our guests will get the opportunity to enjoy a more comprehensive Quantum Class experience and take in more of what this amazing ship has to offer.”

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: April 8, 2018

In:
08Apr2018
By: Matt Hochberg

They say April showers brings May flowers, but Sundays bring you a round-up of all of this week's Royal Caribbean news!

The Royal Caribbean news everyone was focused on this week was Symphony of the Seas, with a new accolade to add to her list: she is the most Instagrammable cruise ship in the world.

Royal Caribbean has appointed Russ Francis as the company’s first ‘Instagrammer-in-Chief’ as Symphony takes her first guests on their holidays in the Mediterranean from Barcelona, Spain. His new role will be to help inspire guests to do the ship justice through their Instagram content and establish Symphony of the Seas as the world’s most Instagrammable ship.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 244th episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, featuring a comparison of Royal Caribbean to Disney Cruise Line.

A long time Disney Cruise Line veteran tried Royal Caribbean for the first time, and on this week's episode, we take an in-depth discussion of the differences between the two lines, and how the two lines are similar and vary at the same time.

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 Around the Internet

USA Today shared five things to love about Symphony of the Seas.

Business Insider has a look at how Royal Caribbean has gotten travelers to spend more money on its cruises.

Wired has a look at the inside story of how Symphony of the Seas was built.

Photo Tour of Owners Suite stateroom on Rhapsody of the Seas

In:
07Apr2018
By: Matt Hochberg

We have a photo tour to share of an Owner's Suite on Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas, which will take you through the cabin to provide an idea of what to expect if you book this category stateroom.

On Rhapsody of the Seas, we reviewed stateroom 8002, which is located on Deck 8 in the forward part of the deck.  

Some of the staterooms on Rhapsody of the Seas have special names, and our stateroom was called, "The Beethoven Suite".  Other than the fancy name, there is not really much distinction between this and another Owners Suite.

Upon walking in, the first thing you will notice is there is a ton of space.

The vanity area features lots of storage space, a television, electrical outlets (including a not-so-obvious plug above the TV) and...

...in room coffee and tea maker!

The primary bed can be completely enclosed by the curtains, providing privacy and does exceedingly well at keeping it dark.

The sitting area features another television, tables nad chairs.

There is also a large sofa and comfortable chairs that flank another table.

The sofa can open up to a bed, which can accomodate two guests easily.

Above the television is a Playstation 3, which is primarily used for playing movies. The Suite Concierege has a collection of DVDs that you can borrow (or you can bring your own).

The private balcony measures 104 square feet.

This particular room was very close to the bridge, and provided a look at one of the bridge wings.

The bathroom is massive, and features a stand-up shower, bathtub, dual sinks, toilet and bidet.

Being in a suite, guests receive upgraded toiletries.

Friday Photos

In:
06Apr2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Friday is here and that means two things: the weekend is beginning and we have some terrific Royal Caribbean photos to share from our readers.

Each week, we invite our readers to share with us their favorite Royal Caribbean photos in a kind of virtual escape for everyone.

Let's get started with this photo of Allure of the Seas in Labadee, as taken by Kinny Lee while parasailing. 

Jonny Smith sent in this photo of Navigator of the Seas in Labadee, as seen from the top of the zip line.  

Henry Greenfield took this photo from his Panoramic View stateroom.

Check out this Anthem of the Seas shaped cake that Michael Kho found.  Yum!

Here is a view of the new Royal Caribbean Crown of Miami cruise terminal under construction as seen during sail away from PortMiami last weekend. Photo by David Berenbaum.

John Bamber took this photo of Anthem of the Seas docked in the Royal Naval Dockyard in Kings Wharf, Bermuda.

We wrap up Friday Photos with this sunset photo of Voyager of the Seas in the South China sea, taken by Traveler.

Thank you to everyone who sent in photos this week. We welcome your best Royal Caribbean cruise photos too, and you can send them in by using this form. Have a great weekend!

 

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