Tropical Storm Fay alters Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas itinerary

In:
12Oct2014

Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas will have to skip a stop in St. Maarten on October 13 and instead go directly to San Juan, Puerto Rico due to Tropical Storm Fay and another unanmed storm in the Atlantic ocean.

Cruise Critic is reporting the change, which will result in Explorer of the Seas arriving in San Juan at 2pm and stay overnight in port.

A Royal Caribbean spokeswoman told Cruise Critic: "The change was due to Tropical Storm Fay and Investigative Area 90 (the low pressure system). Explorer was scheduled to call at San Juan on Tuesday so we have extended the call [to two days]."

Explorer of the Seas is in the middle of a 9-night cruise from Cape Liberty, New Jersey.

99 days of Quantum: Quantum of the Seas' cruise director

In:
12Oct2014

There's less than 99 days until Royal Caribbean's brand new Quantum of the Seas debuts and we're counting down each day with a brand new blog post all about this amazing ship. Check into the blog every day for something new to read about Quantum of the Seas.

Quantum of the Seas' cruise director

Photo by Dothan Eagle

The heart of any Royal Caribbean cruise is the cruise director, who is the force behind all the onboard activities you find on your cruise.  On Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean has selected one of the line's best cruise directors, Jimmy Rhodes, to fill the role.

Rhodes will manage a team of about 120 dancers, musicians, youth and activities staff and will head up all the entertainment for guests 18 and older on Quantum of the Seas.

If you've cruises with Royal Caribbean in the past, Rhodes' name may sound familiar.  He's been a cruise director with Royal Caribbean for over 10 years.  In fact, he's been the cruise director on Explorer of the Seas, Monarch of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas.

Here's a little taste of Jimmy from his time on Explorer of the Seas when he listed the top 10 questions cruise passengers ask.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post as we celebrate 99 days of Quantum!

Royal Caribbean removes corkage fee for bottles of wine

In:
11Oct2014

Royal Caribbean has quietly removed the $25 corkage fee it previously charged to open a bottle of wine in its restaurants and lounges.  The removal of the corkage fee is effective immediately.

Royal Caribbean first started letting guests bring up to two bottles of wine (up to 750ml) per stateroom but included a $25 corkage fee to open the bottles in its restaurants, bars and lounges.

In practice, the corkage fee was infrequently charged and now the policy has been completely removed.

There's no official word from Royal Caribbean why the policy changed but it has been confirmed via Royal Caribbean's official Facebook page.

Thanks to Stacey Cruisedivanj for alerting us to the change.

99 days of Quantum: More Quantum of the Seas in Bremerhaven

In:
11Oct2014

With Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship, Quantum of the Seas, launching very soon, we're counting down each day with a brand new blog post all about this amazing cruise ship.

More Quantum of the Seas in Bremerhaven

Earlier this week we posted a video update of how work is progressing on Quantum of the Seas while she is ported in Bremerhaven, Germany. We've since run across another video construction update that's even newer than that one, so we wanted to share.

What I love about these videos is it gives us a good idea of the progress on this new cruise ship and every video shows off something a little different.

Enjoy!

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post as we celebrate 99 days of Quantum!

99 days of Quantum: Chops Grille

In:
10Oct2014

There are less than 100 days until Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship, Quantum of the Seas, debuts and every day we're counting down each day with something really fun on this brand new ship. Read our blog each day for a new post all about this amazing cruise ship.

Chops Grille

A Royal Caribbean staple, Chops Grille is coming to Quantum of the Seas and its bringing over a decade of quality, hand cut steaks for guests to enjoy.

Chops Grille markets itself these days as "the new American Steakhouse", which means it offers what you'd expect to find at any great American steakhouse but this one is at sea.

Royal Caribbean revamped the Chops Grille menu earlier this year and when you eat at Chops Grille on Quantum of the Seas, you will find traditional favorites mixed in with what's hot in steaks today.

At the center of the new menu are dry-aged steaks, that are aged for nearly four weeks to enhance the flavor, tenderness and aroma.  Royal Caribbean is particularly proud to be offering dry-aged steaks first at sea and it's a tremendous addition.

READ OUR REVIEW OF NEW CHOPS GRILLE MENU

Of course, Chops Grille also offers more than just steaks.  You will find Maine lobster, veal parmesan, grilled branzino and more succulent dishes paired with addictive sides and amazing desserts.

Chops Grille is a specialty restaurant and has a cover charge to dine there. There is a smart casual dress code and it will be open for dinner.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post as we celebrate 99 days of Quantum!

Friday Photos

In:
10Oct2014

Welcome back to Friday Photos, our weekly showcase of Royal Caribbean photos that were taken by readers of this blog.  

Every week, we ask our readers to send us their best Royal Caribbean vacation photos to be considered for this post and you're welcome to send yours in as well. We'd love to feature photos of the ships, excursions, activities onboard and anything else that reminds you of a great time while sailing with Royal Caribbean.

First up this week is a photo of a beach overlooking Orient Beach in St Maarten by Paul Westbrook.  I could go for a little bit of this today!

Jan-Arild Knutsen sent this photo of Radiance of the Seas passing the Golden Gate Bridge back in 2012.  Just made it!

Here's one of my favorite ships, Navigator of the Seas, docked in Cozumel by Ken Slusser.  I think we call could use a little Navigator of the Seas in our lives today!

I love the perspective on this photo by Humberto Carnero from Freedom of the Seas.  He wrote, "the sea is calling" and I think I really need to answer that call soon!

Our final photo this week is from Keith Davis and it's from the Mexican Riviera back in 2009 aboard Mariner of the Seas.  That is some beautiful scenery!

Thanks to everyone who sent in their photos this week.  Be sure to send your photos in as well by using this form.

99 days of Quantum: Booking onboard activities on Quantum of the Seas

In:
09Oct2014

We're counting down the days until Quantum of the Seas debuts later this year with our 99 days of Quantum blog series. Each day we will post something about Quantum of the Seas to share with all of you!

Booking onboard activities on Quantum of the Seas

If you're lucky enough to have a Quantum of the Seas cruise booked, you're able to start booking certain aspects of your Royal Caribbean cruise vacation.  Today, let's look at booking onboard acitivites and what's available (so far) for your adventure!

Fist thing you will want to do is log into Cruise Planner to get access to making reservations tied to your cruise.

Royal Caribbean is offering two activities to choose from currently that are available for booking.   In the future, you're likely to see more offerings but the process of reserving something is the same.

The all access tour and Dreamworks Character Breakfast are available.  Each has a cost, although the breakfast is complimentary for children.

The all access tour is described as, "Get an insider's look at the world's most innovative cruise line. Join us for the ultimate behind-the-scenes ship tour and explore the Bridge, the Engine Control Room and everywhere in between."

The Dreamworks Character breakfast is described as, "Special characters from DreamWorks Animation are onboard and ready to deliver non-stop entertainment. It all begins early in the morning, right at the breakfast table.  In between nibbles, the whole family will be full of giggles as the characters stop by your table for some playful shenanigans. Be sure to get your photo taken with your favorite character so you can show it to your friends back home."

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post as we celebrate 99 days of Quantum!

Royal Caribbean offering Buy One Get One 50% Off in October cruise sale

In:
09Oct2014

Royal Caribbean is offering two new sales in one. Book any Royal Caribbean cruise (excluding Quantum of the Seas or Anthem of the Seas) before the end of October, and you can take advantage of these two offers:

  • Buy one guest, get one guest for 50% off
  • When booking air accomodations through ChoiceAir, get an additional 5% off the first and second guests.

The new cruise deal is good for bookings made between October 2 - 31, 2014 on all ships excluding Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas and all China departures.  

Promo Code OCTOBERAIR must be entered to receive additional ChoiceAir discount.

Oasis of the Seas deck plan changes coming after dry dock is complete

In:
09Oct2014

Royal Caribbean is going to be upgrading Oasis of the Seas as part of her upgrades while she is in drydock and there's quite a bit of changes coming to this ship.  After receving lots of questions related to how where the changes are onboard the ship, we've compiled a list of the changes coming visually.

Deck 3

  • Opus DIning Room changes to American Icon Grill

Deck 4

  • Private dining (port side) becomes Izumi
  • Private dining (starboard side) becomes Diamond CLub
  • Opus Dining Room becomes The Grande

Deck 5

  • Opus Dining Room has become Silk restaurant
  • Cupcake Cupboard has come Kate Spade Store
  • Focus store has become Michael Kors store
  • Guess store has become Regalia store

Deck 6

  • Seafood Shack has become Sabor
  • Boardwalk Bar has become Sabor Bar
  • Pets at Sea has become Britto shop
  • Ice Cream Parlor renamed to Cups and Scoops
  • Boardwalk Donut Shop has become Boardwalk Dog House
  • Inside staterooms added (6279, 6281, 6679, 6681)
  • Diamond Club replaed with staterooms (6593, 6591, 6589, 6587, 6585)
  • Pinwheels has become an Arcade

Deck 7

  • New staterooms added (7279, 7679)

Deck 8

  • Public restrooms in Central Park forward reduced in size
  • New staterooms added at Central Park forward (8450, 8452, 8454, 8456)
  • New staterooms added near Dazzles (8279, 8679)

Deck 9

  • New staterooms added (9279, 9679)

Deck 10

  • New stateroom added near forward elevators (10458)
  • New staterooms added near central elevators (10279, 10679)

Deck 11

  • New staterooms added at aft (11330, 11730)
  • Concierge Club is now Concierge Club & Wonderland restaurant
  • New staterooms added near Concierge Club & Wonderland (11279, 11679)

Deck 12

  • Concierge Club is now Concierge Club & Wonderland restaurant
  • New Grand Suites added to aft (12330, 12730)
  • New staterooms added near Concierge Club & Wonderland (12279, 12679)
  • Royal Suite 12240 replaced with new staterooms (12238, 12240, 12242, 12244, 12246, 12248)
  • Presidential Suite 12640 replaced with new staterooms (12638, 12648)

Deck 14

  • New staterooms added near Card Room (14279, 14679)
  • New Grand Suite staterooms added at aft (14330, 14730)

Deck 16

  • Izumi removed and becomes part of the Windjammer

Deck 17

  • Viking Crown Lounge has become the Suite Lounge and Coastal Kitchen restaurant
  • Pinnacle Lounge has become a Royal Suite (1701)
  • Pinnacle Chapel has become a Royal Suite (1758)

99 days of Quantum: Quantum of the Seas in Bremerhaven

In:
08Oct2014

There's less than 99 days until Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas debuts so we're counting down each day with a brand new blog post all about Quantum of the Seas. Read our blog each day for a new post all about this amazing cruise ship.

Quantum of the Seas in Bremerhaven

Quantum of the Seas has made her way to Bremerhaven, Germany where she just got North Star installed and is undergoing sea trials, among other work being done on her.

Quantum of the Seas will remain at the Columbus Cruise Center in Bremerhaven for the next couple weeks to undergo internal development and finishing of the complete cruise ship.

Here's a video of Quantum of the Seas having North Star installed as well as a closer look at how's she's looking these days.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post as we celebrate 99 days of Quantum!

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