Serenade of the Seas listener cruise review on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

In:
03Jun2015

Our newest podcast episode is out to help give you a quick "audio escape" to a Royal Caribbean cruise!

Episode 96 is available for downloading, where Beth shares her experience aboard Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas on a transatlantic European cruise.

From what to do on a cruise with many sea days, to what Serenade of the Seas offered and fun things in Europe, this week we take a virtual look at what Beth's Serenade of the Seas cruise offers and what her thoughts were on the experience.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 96. 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!

Royal Caribbean extends partnership with Mood Media to provide on-board overhead music

In:
03Jun2015

Royal Caribbean extended its deal with Mood Media Corporation to be the sole provider for all the on-board, overhead music for Royal Caribbean's new Quantum class cruise ships.

Mood has provided the sound for Royal Caribbean ships in 220 distinct zones of music across 12 ships since 2007. In creating Royal Caribbean’s on-board sound, music designers carefully capture the global, exploratory nature of the company and its guests by blending traditional classics and contemporary favorites with hand-picked Italian, Spanish, French, English and Asian selections.

Additionally, Mood now provides music to the smart ship via 14 players covering 28 zones (gym, spa, smaller themed restaurants and larger dining halls, café, casino, pool deck, discotheque and more). One featured program is the highly customized RCC playlist, “Royal Caribbean Core.” The music straddles the line between familiar mainstream pop and hip indie pop to convey exhilaration and adventure. The tracks feature “seize-the-day” lyrics and a feeling of momentum from artists like Fitz and the Tantrums, U2 and Coldplay.

Royal Caribbean Vice President of Entertainment, Nick Weir, commented on the new deal, "After years of experience working with Mood Media as a music provider to our fleet, we knew we were placing our ship in good hands. The team was a key contributor in achieving the big picture experience we envisioned for our 21st century patrons"

“Royal Caribbean ascended above its competitors within the tourism industry because they value the importance of creating a holistic cruise experience that truly touches all sensory touch points for their loyal guests. They certainly took that mindset to another level with the new Quantum Class, and it’s a very exciting time for them,” said Ken Eissing, President of Mood Media – North America.

Video: Inside Anthem of the Seas' Safety Command Center

In:
02Jun2015

Going above and beyond safety compliance is a priority for Royal Caribbean International. Find out more about the groundbreaking technology and award-winning design behind the Safety Command Center onboard Anthem of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean begins new sale today with up to 30% off cruise fare

In:
01Jun2015

Royal Caribbean kicked off its newest cruise sale today with its 30 FOR 30 deal.

Beginning June 1, 2015, guests can enjoy up to 30% off their cruise, including some of Royal Caribbean's newest ships.

You can save up to 30% off standard cruise fare for first and second guests

  • Interior staterooms: 10% off 
  • Oceanview staterooms: 20% off
  • Balcony and Suites: 30% off

The 30 FOR 30 offer is valid on all sailings on or after August 1, 2015. Excluding China sailings, as well as Anthem of the Seas sailings departing before April 29, 2016.  The 30 FOR 30 deal is available for bookings made between June 1 and June 30, 2015.

Offer is combinable with Crown & Anchor discounts and NextCruise offers. Offer is not combinable with restricted rates (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military) or any other offer or promotion, including, but not limited to, Standard Group, Interline, Travel Agent, Travel Agent Friends and Family, weekly Sales Events, Net Rates, Shareholder Benefits.

Photos from Jewel of the Seas sailing from Seattle

In:
01Jun2015

Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas sailed out of Seattle for her first voyage to Alaska of the season over the weekend.  

Since we love to share cruise photos, here are a few great shots of Jewel of the Seas in Seattle.

Big thanks to Tom & Diane Trudnowski, who managed to get these wonderful shots of this Radiance class beauty.

Ovation of the Seas to offer cruises from England before going to China

In:
01Jun2015

Royal Caribbean's third Quantum-class cruise ship, Ovation of the Seas, will offer two cruises out of Southampton, UK before she makes her way east to be homeported in China.

A five-night and seve-night cruise are available to book, with the first going from Southampton to France and Belgum on April 17 and the second going to northern Spain and Gibraltar on April 22.

Following those sailings, Ovation of the Seas will embark upon a 56-night global odyssey cruise to Asia on May 3.  Ovation of the Seas will sail from Southampton to Barcelona, then Barcelona to Dubai and Dubai to Singapore.  Finally, there will be a quick 3-night cruise from Singapore before she heads to Tianjin, China.

Royal Caribbean extends Explorer of the Seas' Australia cruise season

In:
01Jun2015

Royal Caribbean has added two new cruises to the end of Explorer of the Seas' season in Australia, keeping the ship down under for a little bit longer.

In April 2016, guests can choose from a 12-night New Zealand itinerary and a 24-night transpacific voyage from Sydney to Seattle.

Passengers who were booked on the repositioning cruise to Alaska have been offered, "a range of alternative itineraries to rebook" according to Cruise Critic.

The New Zealand cruise will make stops at Picton, Wellington, Napier, Tauranga and Auckland.

The 24-night transpacific cruise will make stops at Nomea, Vanuatu's Mystery Island and Vila, Suva, Honolulu and Lahaina before ending in Seattle, Washington.

Quantum of the Seas stops in Dubai

In:
31May2015

Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas is making her way around the world as part of a 53-night cruise and the other day she was is in Dubai.

Royal Caribbean celebrated the occasion with Dubai Tourism onboard Quantum of the Seas in Two70 with a welcome reception along with the traditional exchange of plaques and keys ceremony.

According to Hamad Bin Mejren, senior vice president of Dubai Tourism, Quantum of the Seas is the largest cruise ship that has ever docked in Dubai.

First time cruisers: comparing Royal Caribbean's Oasis class to Voyager class

In:
30May2015

When you are looking to pick the perfect Royal Caribbean cruise for your family, often you will find a few good choices to choose from and in many cases, it can come down to the ship class as the big difference. 

With over 20 ships in Royal Caribbean's fleet, there are a lot of choices and today we will compare two of the most popular classes of ships, the Oasis-class to the Voyager class.

The ships

The Voyager-class ships include Voyager of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas.

The Oasis-class ships include Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas.

Ship size

The Voyager class ships were built between 1999 and 2003 and set the standard for what a large cruise ship is these days.  You will have a little over 3000 passengers onboard with you, has 15 decks and is 138,000 GT.

The Oasis class was first built between 2007 and 2010 with some new ships under construction since 2013.  On these ships, there are somewhere between 5400 and 6200 passengers, has 16 decks and is 225,282 –227,700 GT.

Both classes of cruise ships are large but the Oasis class is currently the largest in the world.  While the Oasis class dwarfs the Voyager class, they are both really big ships and essentially we are talking about a big class and a bigger class.

What's onboard

Voyager class ships are best known for their 350-foot indoor mall known as the Royal Promenade,that features indoor pubs, shops, cafes, and bars.

Activity options on all five ships board include a basketball court, at least 3 pools, a mini-golf course, a rock wall, an ice skating rink and on some ships a FlowRider surf simulator.

Royal Promenade on Navigator of the Seas

The Oasis class is known for having it all and have seven different "neighborhoods" that are areas of the ship with a distinct theme, such as a Royal Promenade, Boardwalk, Central Park and more.  There's also a slew of dining choices (25 in total) and Broadway shows.

You will find onboard Oasis class ships many of the same features of the Voyager class but larger and in some cases more of them.  For example, there are two rock climbing walls and two Flow Riders on the Oasis class.

Central Park on Oasis class

Both classes of ships have the same core offerings, such as the Adventure Ocean kids club, dining rooms, specialty restaurants, pools and more.

Significant differences

Besides the size of the ships, there are some key differences that will either be a plus or minus for you.  

The Oasis-class ships have a special pool splash area just for kids and babies.  On the Voyager class, you will find pools but no water play area for kids and no pool access for children with diapers. This can be a big factor for families with younger children.

H2O Zone on Oasis class ships

In terms of pricing, generally speaking the Voyager class ships tend to cost less and offer more variety in their itineraries.

Voyager class ships also offer a lot of the same onboard activities and entertainment that the Oasis class does, such as the ice skating rink, FlowRider, and Royal Promenade.

Both classes of ships have recently been refurbished over the last few years and have gotten new specialty dining options as well as updates to their staterooms.

For families with children under 18, the Oasis class offers a lot more in kids activities, both in terms of the Adventure Ocean club as well as activities.

In terms of dining, if you enjoy specialty restaurants and do not mind the extra cost, the Oasis class offers far more choices than any Voyager class ship.  If you want a Voyager class ship with a lot of specialty dining, Navigator of the Seas should be your pick.

Sabor Modern Mexican on Navigator of the Seas

Another key difference is the Oasis class ships have Broadway shows, such as Cats (Oasis of the Seas) and Mamma Mia (Allure of the Seas).  The Voyager class ships have Broadway caliber shows but they do not feature former Broadway shows.

Where the ships sail

The Voyager class ships have spread to nearly every corner of the globe.  At the time of this blog post, there are two Voyager class ships based in Asia and Australia, one in the United States, one in Puerto Rico and many traveling to Europe in the summer.  You will find a great deal of port options on a Voyager class ship.

Voyager of the Seas in Sydney

The Oasis class ships are traditionally based in Florida although Royal Caribbean has started to send them to Europe for the summer.  As of the time of this blog post, the home ports for all Oasis class ships will still be in Florida.

Conclusions

Voyager class ships offer a lot for very likely less cost than the Oasis class.  You still get a decent variety of specialty dining, pools, and lots to do .  

The Oasis class offers it all and has more for families with young children to enjoy.  It still has premium pricing so you will likely pay more for it on average.

Both classes are large ships and with the recent refurbishments to the Voyager class, the differences are not as wide as they once were.

Honorable mention for the Voyager class goes to Navigator of the Seas.  It seemingly had the best refurbishment with a slew of restaurants, virtual balconies and more.

Honorable mention for the Oasis class is Harmony of the Seas, which will debut in 2016 and will have water slides, a first for Royal Caribbean ships.

Which class do you prefer? Is Voyager class a better choice or do you think there's no beating Oasis class? Share your opinion in the comments below!

Voyager of the Seas Australia TV special

In:
27May2015

In Australia, Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas was featured in a prime time television show that showed off just what a cruise vacation on this ship is like.

The show, "Tom, Rach and Rosso Go Cruising", showcases what Voyager of the Seas offers and why a cruise vacation may be something you would be interested in.

Royal Caribbean invted TV personality Tom Williams, model Rachael Finch and radio personality Tim (Rosso) Ross onboard Voyager of the Seas to see what it was all about.

The three spent 12 nights on a South Pacific cruise and showed off the various things to do onboard the ship as well as the exotic ports they visited.  

Here's the full video of their adventure.

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