Video of drone over Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas

In:
04May2014

We love videos we find online of Royal Caribbean (naturally) and remote controlled drones so when we ran across this brand new video of a drone tracking Oasis of the Seas leaving port, we had to share.

This video is similar to another video of a drone tracking Allure of the Seas while in St. Thomas that was pretty neat too.

Friday Photos (on Saturday)

In:
03May2014

This weeks' Friday Photos is actually being posted on Saturday.  Better late than never, right?  If you ask me, it's never too late to show off our readers favorite Royal Caribbean photos so let's get this week's batch started!

First up we have a photo from John Siegmund of the sunrise off the Florida Coast while Explorer of the Seas was sailing to Port Canaveral, Florida.  Love that color!

Ken Slusser sent us this photo of Independence of the Seas anchored in Georgetown, Grand Cayman during his March 2014 cruise.  Wish I was enjoying this view right now!

Speaking of Grand Cayman, Stacy Mogle sent this photo while on an excursion visiting Hell on a Freedom of the Seas cruise.  The little lizard started walked directly to the center and she was able to snap the pic before he ran away.  This photo looks like it ought to be in National Geographic!

Nick has this great night shot of Explorer of the Seas while on a recent trip to Bermuda taken on the sports deck.  These night shots are so much fun to enjoy.

Did I mention ealier I wanted to be somewhere?  Well, here's definitely a spot I'd love to be back, Cozumel!  Phil Catarella took this photo of Ellen returning to Brilliance of the Seas after a great day, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming and relaxing.  

Steven Brinkman sent this photo in of Navigator of the Seas, which is one of my favorite Royal Caribbean ships.  Looks like another beautiful day on Navigator of the Seas!

We want to include your photos too! Send us your best Royal Caribbean photos using this form and we will post them for all to enjoy.

Almost-live blog on Allure of the Seas - Day 6 Cozumel

In:
03May2014

We decided to go to the wipe out cafe this morning for omelets and waffles. The cafe wasn't that busy and was great for a quick bite.

We dropped the kids off at kids’ camp for a bit. They wanted to go play games with their groups. This gave us time to pack up for our dolphin encounter at Dolphinarus. While packing up, we got to watch the Navigator of the Seas pull in. 

After picking up the girls, we grabbed a taxi over to Dolphinarus. It seemed fairly crowded, but later we learned that extra Carnival excursion tours were there today because of missing a stop in Grand Cayman.

The excursion provided about 45 minutes in the water with the dolphins! The drinks were good along with the snacks we tried.

From there we grab a taxi to take us to downtown so we could try Matt's favorite restaurant!

We were the only tourists there. There was a steady stream of locals that came to pick up food. Thankfully we didn't have to try too much Spanish though we were ready to try.

We got salsa and guacamole for appetizers. It was various tacos around the table! Everything was so fresh and tasty! The tortillas were freshly made.

After lunch, we did a little shopping before heading back to the ship.

After cleaning up, we went down for some casual pictures that I wanted to try and get with the girls. The photographers have always been very accommodating and took their time to get some really good pictures.

After, the girls wanted to ride on the Rising Tide Bar. I took them aboard and ordered them some Shirley Temples to enjoy.

Tonight the girls were going off to Grammy for pizza and then sitters, while we went to try out the Chefs Table!

We had received our invitation to the dinner along with a 20% off coupon for the dinner. The coupon was a nice surprise though strange to get in a way since we were already saying yes to the price by making the reservation.

Everyone met in the library at 7:30. We were met with a glass of champagne and then escorted into the concierge lounge. The chefs table is upstairs. It was very nice decor with the lighting fixtures over the table made out of silverware.

One criticism of the table was that the room was open to the first floor. The first few courses took place while the lounge was very noisy. It was a little distracting from listening.

We were introduced to the chef and the sommelier. They explained that they would each cover the course from each of their perspectives from first explaining the preparation of the course. Then the sommelier would explain why the wine was selected.

The courses were great, but the amazing course was the two soups. So the first course was seafood and grapefruit with grapefruit notes. This acidic course effected your taste buds in such a way on purpose that the second course, the sommelier had us taste the soups then sip the wine then back to sip the soups.

The soups totally changed the taste like magic! First the consommé tasted like a vegetable soup but after the wine it transformed it to asparagus soup.

After the dessert course, even more desserts were brought out! And to top it off, we received a signed copy of the cookbook featuring recipes from the specialty restaurants. So while the price seems high for the dinner, we got 6 glasses of wines, dinner, and a cookbook for a price (not to mention the 20% off coupon) that was way less than 150 central price if you include the wine pairing.

After dinner we hurried over to see the Blue Planet show. We really enjoyed this show as well. We usually haven't gone to many of the shows in the past, but my mother in law was really looking forward to seeing the various shows

.

Glad I was able to get all the tickets with the exception of the comedy shows.

Royal Caribbean offering 50 percent off second passenger for 2015-2016 cruises

In:
01May2014

Royal Caribbean unveiled a new promotion today, “Buy One, Get One 50 Percent Off" on 2015-2016 cruises.

From May 1st through May 31st, 2014, residents of the United States and Canada can get 50% off the cruise fare of the second guests when booked in the same stateroom as a full-fare guest.  

The offer applies to new individual and named group bookings in all stateroom categories and sailings departing between January 1, 2015 and April 30, 2016, and excludes Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, as well as third and additional guests. 

This new offer is combinable with Crown & Anchor discounts and benefits. 

After the the offer expires on May 31st, the offer will be removed from the booking if the guest cancels and reinstates the booking, applies a fare change, or changes the ship or sail date of the booking; certain other changes to the booking may also result in removal of the Offer. Offer applies to new individual and named group bookings only. 

Almost-live blog on Allure of the Seas - Day 5 Sea Day

In:
30Apr2014

Today we started our day after strolling around the top deck as well as getting some Starbucks coffee.

Then we made our way to the character breakfast. Let me just say: chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!!!! There was everything from chocolate milkshakes to chocolate pancakes, to an assortment of chocolate muffins. Everything else from the morning breakfast menu was available as well.

There is no fee for this breakfast. I am not sure if the theme changes, but this morning was Madagascar movie theme with appearances from Alex the lion, King Jillian, and Gloria. The characters would come around to each table for a photo op as well as pass out stickers. Again our head waiter found us and said hello and even offering to go get more chocolate items for the girls!

Then after the breakfast, we dropped the kids of at camp. Kids’ camp theme today was Kung Fo fighting camp with a show for mid morning at the adventure ocean stage.

We opted for some Solarium time this morning while they were at camp. Then we took the girls to Johnny rockets for lunch again. Again, the food was hot and fresh with the burgers and the onion rings.

After lunch, we went to the belly flop contest and enjoyed with front row seats!

Then we dropped the girls back off for circus theme camp for our older daughter and a nap at the nursery for our younger daughter so we could hit the spa.

The spa had a great fresh fruit smoothie bar as well as other items. It was relaxing, but my only comment was my spa service was in just an alcove off the main atrium of the spa.

We picked up the girls to get them ready for formal night! It was Lobster night! I decided to get the peach soup, mushroom tart, and the fisherman plate. The food was really good as usual. After dropping the girls off for bed, we were off to try the Rising Tide Bar. It was fun to try and the sound of the water fountain from underneath while the bar was up on deck 8 was very nice!

Next up was Viking Crown Lounge. I really like the decor in the new lounge. It had a great view of the pools below all lit up at night. The duet band was a lot of fun for 90s night, but we weren't able to stay long.

We had tickets for the headliner act: Jeff Tracta with "a journey through pop culture”. He was an impressionist about fifty years of comedy, music, and pop culture. The show was very entertaining.

Royal Caribbean chooses Agilysys InfoGenesis for point-of-sale system for Quantum-class ships

In:
30Apr2014

Royal Caribbean announced today that it has selected the Agilysys InfoGenesis point-of-sale system for its two newest Quantum-class cruise ships, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas.

Agilysys is a leading provider of innovating hospitality software solutions and services.

Royal Caribbean CIO Bill Martin commented on the deal, "The InfoGenesis POS system continues to be well-suited to our needs.  It is among the most versatile point-of-sale systems on the market, combining an accessible user interface with a variety of reporting tools. With this technology in place, we are well positioned for the future, with a comprehensive POS system that will enhance guest service and give us a competitive edge."

InfoGenesis markets itself as an easy to set up and maintain system that integrates with many other applications and is designed to process transactions in the highest volume environments without any loss of performance at the point of sale.

"We have had a long relationship with Royal Caribbean and are delighted the company has once again selected the InfoGenesis POS system," said Tony Ross, vice president of sales for Agilysys. "In the highly competitive cruise market, companies must implement technology that enables them to streamline operations while creating lasting connections with guests. The InfoGenesis solution, with its scalable architecture, flexible configuration and superior integration capabilities, will enable Royal Caribbean's two newest ships to operate at peak efficiency and deliver the five-star guest experience for which the company is known."

Cruising for women on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

In:
30Apr2014

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

Episode 39 is available for downloading where we look at the "art" of booking back to back Royal Caribbean cruises.

Matt has invited his friend Annette to talk all about cruising on Royal Caribbean for women and what the ladies can look forward to while onboard. Spa, salon, cupcakes and more are here to discuss!

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 39. 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!

Pro tips on how to ride Royal Caribbean's FlowRider (better)

In:
29Apr2014

Royal Caribbean's FlowRider is a very popular (and free) activity aboard select cruise ships but if you're anything like me, you aren't a natural born surfer. 

So we reached out to a couple of professional FlowRider veterans for tips on how to master the art of riding the artificial wave.

Our panel of FlowRider experts include

  • Nick, from All Things Flow13oarding, has been riding the FlowRider for 14 years and is a 7 time bodyboard world champion.
  • Brandon, from Heinen Motorsports, is a pro FlowRider and wakesurfer and uses the FlowRider to tran in the off season.

If you were to give someone brand new to the FlowRider one tip to, what would it be?

Nick: On the bodyboard: Hold the board on the side middle rails, keep your elbows on the board and use your legs in the water for speed and to keep the board straight. And most importantly have fun! 

On the Standup Flowboard: Keep at least a steady 80% pressure/balance on the back foot and lean on your back hip while trying to keep your shoulders balanced and pointing towards the front, Try not to twist and turn your shoulders and try to keep the board straight with your feet and hip. When you go on stay low on your back leg and try to go in a straight line with steady pressure and balance on your feet. About 80% on the back and 20% on the front. If the board starts to turn try to put more pressure on the back so that it straightens out. If you start falling get down lower and try to sit so that you fall safely. 

Brandon: I would say to new flow riders. Jst because you skateboard or snowboard or even wakeboard forget what you know and start from scratch. The flowrider is a beast of its own and there is no other sport that water is rushing at you up to 40 Mph.

What do you think the biggest mistake people new to the FlowRider make in terms of being able to stand up on the board?

Nick: Leaning forwards and jerking the board sideways and twisting your shoulders and hip. You want to try to go in a straight line and keep the pressure down on the board a steady pressure on the back.

Brandon: The trick to flowrider is keeping most of your weight on your back foot. I would say 85% of your weight. Stand up straight and don't hunch over. This keeps your weight more centered. When the board wants to turn just roll with it don't fight it. After a few falls you will be floweriding.

Honestly, how much does it hurt to wipe out on the FlowRider?

Nick: It doesn't really hurt at all! It's much like falling on a trampoline with water as padding. Bodyboarding is a much softer fall so that helps you learn how to fall a little safer.

Brandon: The first few falls might hurt a bit and the next day your neck will be sore. But its all in good fun!

Once you get the whole "standing up on the board" thing, what should people try if they want to learn a trick?

Nick: Stay low so you don't fall as hard and try to go slow; Some of the first tricks you can try are: Carving, 360, Ollie, Shuvit (Board Spin)

Staying low helps you keep your balance and more center of gravity. Recording yourself on video helps a lot and can help show you what you might be doing wrong. Watching videos on youtube helsp a lot as well!

Checkout Pro Flowboarders on our website and youtube! www.13roz.com and www.youtube.com/thirteenareowes. Everything is practice and if you try over and over you'll get it!

Any recommendations on best type of clothing to wear or not wear on the FlowRider?

Nick: The best things to wear are tight board shorts, one pieces, shirts/rash guards. 

You're not allowed to wear accessories so be sure to take off your rings, ear rings etc! You might loose them as well as your bathing suit so be sure to have them on tight! 

Video: Engineering the FlowRider Onboard

In:
29Apr2014

The video features a closer look at the FlowRider surfing simulator, which happens to be one of Royal Caribbean's most popular activities among all ages.

Almost-live blog on Allure of the Seas - Day 4 Falmouth

In:
27Apr2014

We were up early again this morning.

After a quick walk up on the top deck, we made our way down to the diamond lounge for a bagel or muffin. It’s nice that most mornings it opens up before some of the other options.

Then we made our way down to check out the board walk as we wait to arrive in Falmouth. We noticed the donut shop display cases. There was some interesting flavored like key lime as well as old favorites. The girls played around on the little climb and slide play structure next to Rita's for a bit.

We docked around 10:30. Independence of the seas was in port the same day as us. We had booked a day at Rose Hall Hilton for today. We decided to go through a local company because it was less expensive and stayed longer than the excursion offered through Royal Caribbean.

We ended up leaving 45 minutes late because two people never showed, but we still had plenty of time for the day at the hotel.

We had picked this excursion because of the water park and lazy river for the girls! The hotel was about 20-30 minutes from the ship.

An attendant greeted us after making our way towards the pool and pointed out where to get towels and setup chairs for us. The food and drinks were good and the service was very friendly. We probably will be going back in July because the girls had so much fun.

After we made our way back to port, we wanted to walk around for a bit in the port area, but we had to get ready to take the girls to Izumi for their dinner. We were eating at Chops later. The hostess at Izumi sat us at a window table for sunset. We ordered the hot lava rock for cooking beef tenderloin as well as wonton soup. We happened to order shrimp goyoza as well, but the girls discovered they loved those and ate two orders themselves on top of the soup and beef tenderloin.

We also tried the tempura vegetables and spicy tuna roll that's not listed on the menu. The service was great. We did our best to keep the girls from being disruptive in the restaurant. All the food was wonderful!

After dinner, we made our way down to the boardwalk for the girls to make a Pet-at-sea and get some ice cream before turning them in for the night with the sitters.

We had reservations at Chops Grille with our server Emrah from the first night. We had a great night. He remembers everything from options we liked to the wines we ordered.

The mushroom soup, tuna tartare, and French onion soup are amongst my favorites! He had told us to come with an empty stomach so we could try as many different favorites! One thing I noticed is that the desserts seemed to be made much more simplistic in presentation from what we remembered on Enchantment, but the flaming cream brûlée was fun to watch with the dimly lit restaurant.

Chops Grille is always a great option on board and tonight was the same way.

We finished out the night in the casino for 70s night. We wish we could have seen the 70s party but Chops was calling our names and I didn't bring my yellow leisure suit and wig on this cruise. Next time!

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