Royal Caribbean UK offering free flights to 2017 UK and European sailings

In:
06Jul2016

Royal Caribbean UK is offering free flights to selected 2017 UK and European sailings for the first & second guest including free transfers or enjoy free port parking in Southampton on sailings departing from the UK.

The Free Flights promotion is applicable only to new bookings made between 5th July & Monday 5th September 2016 on selected sailings of 6 nights or more departing from selected airport gateways to the 1st & 2nd guests in the booking only. Additional passengers will pay the full airfare applicable at the time of booking.

The Free Flights promotion is applicable to departures with a duration of 6 nights or more from a range of UK & Ireland airports on selected UK & European 2017 itineraries onboard Brilliance of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas & Vision of the Seas.

Existing bookings will not receive the promotion benefits. Guarantee stateroom bookings are excluded.

Flights are economy, inclusive of taxes and standard transfers. Direct flights are not guaranteed.

The full terms and conditions of the deal can be found here.

Top 5 quintessential Royal Caribbean foods

In:
05Jul2016

Going on a Royal Caribbean cruise, expect to run across a lot of great food.  Many Royal Caribbean fans love to enjoy the many culinary options available but there seem to be some foods onboard that after a few Royal Caribbean cruises are recognized as the kind of food one only finds (or enjoys) on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

This is not a list of the best food on a Royal Caribbean cruise, just a few options you can have that seem to resonate immediately as something "very Royal Caribbean." Arguably, there are a lot of snacks, entrees and side dishes that we can consider "a Royal Caribbean food," but here are our list of five that always ring true as a quintessential Royal Caribbean food.

Triangle hash browns

If you eat breakfast almost anywhere on the ship, you are likely to run across Royal Caribbean's version of hash browns that are triangle in shape, and sort of remind me of McDonalds hash browns.

The hash browns are your typical fried potato pattie, that comes in triangle shape and are found on pretty much all Royal Caribbean ships in the breakfast selection, including the Windjammer, main dining room and room service menus.

My grandfather was fond of saying fried foods in general, are hard to not be tasty and these are something that if you see, will resonate as a true Royal Caribbean food.

Guacamole from Sabor

Since Sabor Modern Mexican premiered on Navigator of the Seas just a few years ago, it has quickly become a fan favorite and I believe its guacamole is heart of the specialty restaurant's appeal.

Guests dining at Sabor will have their guacamole hand-crafted right at their table, and made to your liking.  Extra lime, extra spicy, no tomatoes or however you like your guac is key to making this really tasty.  Plus, the guacamole is really great tasting.

The reason the guacamole from Sabor makes this list is if you ever talk to someone who has dined at Sabor, you are most likely to hear the guacamole mentioned, if not poetically described.

Ranger cookies

There are a ton of tasty treats, desserts and snacks that are so hard to resist, but the ranger cookies are one of those foods that you have to try.

I think ranger cookies make this list because I have yet to see ranger cookies somewhere other than on a Royal Caribbean cruise, but seeing it onboard at Cafe Promenade or the Windjammer provides a pavlovian response of a euphoric sense that you are indeed on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

If you have never tried a ranger cookie, it’s an “everything but the kitchen sink” kind of recipe—you throw in whatever tasty stuff is lying around, such as rolled oats and pralines. Royal Caribbean’s version kicks it up with shredded coconut for a sweet taste and delectable texture. Read more at http://www.royalcaribbean.com/connect/a-very-royal-recipe-ranger-cookies...

Tutti salad

You might have heard about this thing called, "the tutti salad," but by the name alone, you likely do not know what it is.  It is one of those things you have to experience to fully understand.

On sea days in the main dining room, lunch is served and in addition to the fixed menu, there is a make-your-own salad bar that Royal Caribbean calls the Tutti salad.

The tutti salad bar is essentially a large salad bar in the main dining room that is available to guests on sea days, where guests can pick from a variety of ingredients to create their own custom salad.

You can walk around the rather large salad bar area and pick from what interests you. Vegetables, cheeses, chicken, shrimp, tuna, dressings and more are all available to choose from.

What makes the tutti salad so unique, is that you can have  a freshly made salad exactly the way you like it.

Honey stung chicken

Up until a few years ago, honey stung chicken was a food choice in the Windjammer that was only available on embarkation day.  It is still available via room service and the reason these breaded chicken cutlets make our list is it is one of those foods that you can only get a Royal Caribbean cruise.

When you are eating honey stung chicken, then you are likely on a Royal Caribbean cruise and all foods taste better when you are on a Royal Caribbean cruise!

It gets rave reviews because people associate it with being on a cruise and let's face it, everyone is the happiest on the day their cruise vacation they have been looking forward to is finally starting.

Your thoughts

There are probably many more foods on a Royal Caribbean ship that you associate with being on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Which foods do you think are definite Royal Caribbean traditional foods? Were one of these a favorite yours? Tell us about in the comments.

5 Royal Caribbean drink recipes for your summer party

In:
04Jul2016

Whew, boy! Hottest Fourth of July we've had in years, and that means it is the perfect excuse to enjoy some great Royal Caribbean drinks in the comfort of our home.

Having a cocktail on a Royal Caribbean cruise is something many guests relish doing every cruise, and if you cannot be on a cruise this summer to enjoy one, then do the next best thing and make one at home.

Here are a few of our favorite Royal Caribbean drink recipes that are sure to "hit the spot" during your summer.

Across the Universe

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz. Tanqueray No. 10 Gin
  • 1/2 oz. Aperol
  • 1/2 oz. St. Germain
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • Splash of Prosecco
  • About 1 ¼ cups watermelon juice

At least a few hours in advance (preferably overnight), pour watermelon juice into an ice cube tray and freeze. Combine gin, Aperol, St. Germain, lime juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well until chilled and pour into a glass over watermelon ice cubes. Optional: Garnish with an herb, slice of watermelon or lime or an edible flower.

Coco Loco

Ingredients (Makes one cocktail):

  • 1/2 oz Orange Juice Concentrate
  • 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice Concentrate
  • 1/2 oz Papaya Juice Concentrate
  • 1/2 oz Coconut Cream
  • 3/4 oz Dark Rum (Or make it a virgin Coco Loco without the rum)
  • 3/4 oz Coconut Rum
  • 1/4 oz Grenadine
  • Crushed ice

Toss all the ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth. Then pour the potion into a cocktail glass and dress it up with a fresh wedge of pineapple.

Anchors Away

Ingredients (Makes one cocktail):

  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1/2 oz Blue Curaçao
  • 1/2 oz Blackberry Brandy
  • 11/2 oz Orange Juice
  • 1 oz Sweetened Lemon Juice

Blend all the ingredients above. Strain and pour into your favorite glass. Then garnish with a fresh slice of orange and a cherry. 

Mango Cooler

Ingredients (Makes one cocktail):

  • 1 oz Sweetened Lime Juice
  • 2 oz Mango Juice
  • 1 oz Dark Rum
  • 3/4 oz Triple Sec

Blend all the ingredients together with crushed ice, transfer to your favorite frosty glass and toss in an orange slice and a cherry.

Punchless Piña Colada (for the kids)

Ingredients (Makes one cocktail):

  • 1 1/2 oz Coconut Cream
  • 3 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 2 cups Crushed Ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Then pour in a tumbler, garnish with a fresh wedge of pineapple, and top with whipped cream and a cherry.

For the adults, you can add rum!

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: July 3, 2016

In:
03Jul2016

Happy July 4th and Canada Day Weekend to everyone out in blog land!  Many of you are enjoying a relaxing and long weekend, and I hope this week's round up of all the Royal Caribbean news makes it even better!

Royal Caribbean made a lot of folks smile this week, when they announced they would be building a brand new cruise terminal in Miami, Florida.

The new terminal, Terminal A, will be able to handle even Oasis-class cruise ships and open in Late 2018.

Terminal A would house an angular glass center and a parking garage with about 1,000 parking spaces at the northeastern side of the port, designed by England-based global architecture firm Broadway Malyan.

In addition, Royal Caribbean has promised an Oasis-class cruise ship will be based at the new terminal when it opens.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 152nd episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, where countdown our favorite bars and lounges across the fleet.

In this episode, Matt and Michael talk about their favorite spots on a Royal Caribbean cruise to enjoy an adult beverage and why they stand out from the rest.

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

Thrillist thinks Harmony of the Seas will, "blow your mind."

Royal Caribbean has a look at its new tech boss.

Cruise Hive has a list of 3 Royal Caribbean ships you should try.

Harper's Bazaar has 10 reasons cruising is chic again.

Photos from opening night of Royal Caribbean's Columbus, The Musical! on Harmony of the Seas

In:
02Jul2016

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas had its first preview of Columbus The Musical yesterday, and we have photos from the premier performance.

Columbus, The Musical! is a new Royal Caribbean original production that tells the tale of Christopher’s luckless distant cousin, Marvin, on a madcap voyage to the Caribbean.

Marvin Columbus is the very, very, very, very, very distant relative of Christopher and spent his entire life ‘neath Chris’ shadow. Marvin’s disappointed nobleman father, sends him on a voyage to find his destiny. Storms, pirates, and even flying sharks – all lead Marvin to his greatest discovery; himself. Romance, adventure, and ‘happy ever after’ are on the map, as Marvin Columbus finally finds his destiny.

The musical was created in the spirit of “Spamalot” and “Something Rotten."

Friday Photos

In:
01Jul2016

Happy July 4th to all of our American readers! Whether you are celebrating today or not, it's Friday and that means it's the weekend and it's time to share Royal Caribbean photos our readers sent in!  You can send in your favorite Royal Caribbean photos with this form, and we will include it in an upcoming post!

We begin this week's photo batch, with this shot of Coco Cay from Angela Middleton.  Wish I was spending my holiday weekend here!

Here is a creative shot of Empress of the Seas, as seen by Bob Carpenter while in Georgetown, Grand Cayman.  Great perspective!

Speaking of Grand Cayman, here is a photo of the island paradise by Blake Baldwin, taken from Independence of the Seas. Sign me up for a visit here!

Adrian Chan sent us this photo of Independence of the Seas docked in Labadee.  Look at the contrast between the ship and the water.  Great colors!

If you thought to yourself, "I would love to see more photos of Independence of the Seas," well, your wish has been granted! Here is a photo by Suzanne of her 10-year-old daughter, Rebecca, climbing the rock climbing wall. It is probably safe to say she is better at the wall than I am.

Next, is a photo of Enchantment of the Seas by Christopher Simone. This photo was taken on Coco Cay, when Christopher and his family took a walk to a point toward the far east end of Barefoot Beach. They found a pile of sand nearly 20 feet high, which got them a great view of the ocean and Enchantment of the Seas apparently plowing through the lush foliage of the inner island toward the north.

Mary sent us this photo of Adventure of the Seas, while they were visiting St. Thomas.  Looks like another day in paradise!

Thank you to everyone that sent in their photos.  Would you like your Royal Caribbean photo to be showcased? Submit your photo via this form and we will use it in a future post!

Royal Caribbean will offer 50% off second guest, 25% off third & fourth passengers and up to $200 in instant savings

In:
01Jul2016

Royal Caribbean's popular BOGO deal is returning in the month of July, when the cruise line will offer guests a new promotion that offers 50% off second guest, 25% off third and fourth guests – plus a bonus of up to $200 in instant savings.

The July BOGO Offer is valid on cruises booked July 7 - July 17, 2016 on all sailings departing on or after August 7, 2016. Offer excludes China departures.

The promotion gives guests

  • Buy One Guest, Get Second Guest 50% off
  • 25% savings for third and fourth guests booked in the same stateroom as the first two qualifying guests
  • 50% reduced deposit
  • Instant savings
    • 5-nights or less
      • Interior/Oceanview: $25 off per stateroom
      • Balcony: $50 per stateroom
      • Suite: $100 per stateroom
    • 6 nights or longer
      • Interior/Oceanview: $50 off per stateroom
      • Balcony: $100 per stateroom
      • Suite: $200 per stateroom

BOGO is combinable with adjoining 25% Savings for 3rd and 4th guests, Dollars Off, Holiday OBC, Crown & Anchor discounts and NextCruise offers. BOGO and 3rd and 4th Guest Savings are not combinable with restricted rates (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military). Dollars Off is combinable with restricted rates (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military) and NextCruise offers. Dollars Off is not combinable with Crown & Anchor discounts. All offers are not combinable with 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. 

Offer available to residents of United States and Canada.

Royal Caribbean and World Wildlife Fund set 2020 sustainability goals

In:
01Jul2016

Royal Caribbean and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced they have set new sustainability goals to reduce Royal Caribbean's environmental footprint, raise awareness about ocean conservation among the cruising guests and support WWF's global oceans conservation work by 2020.

Royal Caribbean initially targetedon reducing carbon emissions and ensuring sustainable seafood procurement, and now is now announcing additional 2020 environmental sustainability targets.

This second phase will focus not only on RCL’s direct operations, such as the development of sustainable sourcing strategies for key soft commodities, but also on the sustainability of the company’s tour operators and destinations. This will be done through the endorsement of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s standard, an internationally recognized travel industry sustainability standard.

These new targets include:

 Additional Sustainable Seafood Procurement 2020 Targets

  • Obtain MSC and ASC Chain of Custody certification for Royal Caribbean’s global fleet of ships to ensure seafood marked as MSC or ASC certified is traceable to a certified fishery or farm.
  • Eliminate the procurement of highly vulnerable species, including shark fin, identified by WWF utilizing IUCN and CITES rankings.
  • Publically adopt the “WWF Traceability Principles for Wild-Caught Fish Products”

 Key Commodity Procurement 2020 Target

  • By the end of 2016, conduct an analysis of key food commodity categories in order to identify and prioritize commodities with the highest environmental impact.
  • Using this analysis, develop strategies to improve sustainable sourcing practices by 2020.

Global Tour Operations 2020 Target

  • RCL endorses the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) standards and its certification framework for sustainable tourism.
  • RCL will publicly recognize current tours that are verified against a GSTC-recognized sustainability standard. In addition, RCL will indicate which tours are verified to this standard and will categorize all of these tours under “sustainable tours” so that consumers can view our range of “sustainable” offerings.
  • Starting in 2016, RCL will educate key staff by updating RCL’s Operations Manual for Tour Operators with GSTC standard and certification process and organizing supportive trainings.
  • By the end of 2017, RCL will include educational information in the request for proposal bid invitations regarding RCL’s commitment to the GSTC standard and certified operators.
  • By the end of 2018, RCL is committed to leveraging our influence in the marketplace to conserve and protect natural and cultural resources. As a cornerstone of our responsible tour sourcing policy, RCL will give preference to tours that are GSTC certified and to those that have made progress towards certification, when quality, price, and availability are equal.
  • Investigate the option to offset carbon emissions, through WWF Gold Standard projects, for RCL shore excursions.
  • By the end of 2019, all “sustainable tours” offered by RCL will be provided by GSTC certified operators and RCL will categorize all tours by GSTC certified operators under a sustainability designation so that consumers can search for and readily identify these options.
  • By the end of 2020, RCL will increase the number of sustainable tours offered to guests by certifying 1,000 RCL tours by GSTC certified operators.

Destination Stewardship 2020 Target

  • Beginning in 2016, RCL will support up to three WWF ocean tourism and coastal conservation projects per year to advance ongoing conservation efforts and continue to drive sustainability within the tourism industry.
  • By the end of 2017, working with partners such as WWF GSTC, RCL will support the implementation of GSTC’s destination assessment in two destinations, as well as RCL private destinations, to identify sustainability and environmental threats and develop corrective action plans in concert with destination managers and local stakeholders.
  • By 2018, RCL will set a target for RCL private destinations to become GSTC certified to the applicable GSTC standard.
  • WWF and RCL will continue to pursue alignment with WWF ocean conservation priorities and WWF’s Marine and Coastal Tourism Strategy.

Boy nearly drowns on Royal Caribbean cruise ship

In:
30Jun2016

Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas had to head back to its homeport of Bayonne, New Jersey following an incident where a young child nearly drowned in the pool.

In a statement by Royal Caribbean, the cruise line indicated an 8 year old boy had an accident in one of the ship's pool.  The boy needed medical attention, so Anthem of the Seas sailed back to Bayonne.

He is currently being treated at the hospital. Royal Caribbean's Care Team is providing support to his family.

Royal Caribbean asked the public to keep the child in everyone's thoughts and prayers.

Royal Caribbean helping to test Federal programs aimed at reducing wait times for cruise passengers

In:
30Jun2016

Royal Caribbean is working with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to launch Automated Passport Control and Mobile Passport Control programs that are designed to expedite customs processing for eligible travelers arriving at Port Everglades.

Photo by Marc-Andre Mireault

The Sun Sentinel is reporting that the new programs are being tested this summer, with passengers arriving on Oasis of the Seas in Terminal 18 able to use new passport kiosks in the cruise terminal.

With Automated Passport Control, qualified inbound travelers can use kiosks to submit their travel documents and customs declaration forms before speaking to a customs officer. They must have U.S. or Canadian passports, or be an eligible Visa Waiver Program international traveler.

U.S. and Canadian citizens with smartphones can opt to use the free Mobile Passport Control app to complete their customs declaration form prior to arrival. The mobile passport app is expected to launch in late July.

Port Everglades is the first cruise port in the United States to test these passport kiosk and mobile app programs.

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