Royal Caribbean WOW Sale offers 60% off second guest, onboard credit and reduced deposit

In:
12Oct2016

Royal Caribbean will kick off its next promotion with the return of a WOW Sale, which will offer 60% off second guest, up to $200 to spend at sea and 50% reduced deposit.

For five days, The October WOW Sale will run, with a special preview just for Crown and Anchor Society Members. A valid Crown & Anchor Society membership number must be included in the reservation to book any sailing during the Crown & Anchor Society preview.

This WOW sale is open to Crown and Anchor Society Members beginning at noon ET on October 12, and the general public October 13-19, 2017.  It is valid on all sailings departing on or after November 12, 2016, excluding China departures.

The offer includes:

60% off second guest offer, 3rd and 4th guests receive 30% off

  • Cruises 5 nights or less
    • $50 onboard credit per stateroom
    • 50% Reduced Deposit
  • Cruises 6-9 nights
    • $100 onboard credit per stateroom
    • 50% Reduced Deposit
  • Cruises 10 nights or longer
    • $200 onboard credit
    • 50% Reduced Deposit

Bonus Holiday onboard credit up to $500 per stateroom, for eligible Bahamas / Caribbean holiday sailings:

  • $100 OBC per stateroom for eligible 3-5 night sailings departing Dec 22-31, 2016 & Dec 22-31, 2017
  • $200 OBC per stateroom for eligible 6-9 night sailings departing Dec 15-31, 2016 & Dec 15-31, 2017
  • $500 OBC per stateroom for eligible 10+ night sailings departing Dec 15-31, 2016 & Dec15-31, 2017

WOW Sale and Holiday Bonus are combinable with BOGO60, standard/full fare and restricted rates (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military, etc.) and Next Cruise offers. WOW Sale is not combinable Crown & Anchor discounts, Shareholder Benefits or Loyal to Royal Sales. 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, and Net Rates.

Offer available to residents of United States and Canada.

A look at the Royal Suite Class on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

In:
12Oct2016

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

Episode 167 is available for downloading, which features a first-hand review of the Royal Suite Class on Anthem of the Seas.

Guide book authors Laurel Stewart and Len Testa join Matt to talk about their experience in a Grand Loft Suite on Anthem of the Seas, and review their experiences trying out the Royal Suite Class offerings.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 167. 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 wins Best Cruise Line Inside Cabins and Best Cruise Line Suites in Cruise Critic UK Editors' Picks Awards

In:
12Oct2016

At the eighth annual Cruise Critic UK Editors' Picks Awards, Royal Caribbean came out on top for two categories related to accomodations.

Royal Caribbean won for Best Cruise Line Inside Cabins and Best Cruise Line Suites.

Cruise Critic described why Royal Caribbean won for each category.

Inside rooms:

Royal Caribbean proves inside cabins can be fun and functional. Several of the cruise line's ships include interior staterooms with virtual balconies that have floor-to-ceiling HD-TVs showing real-time views of oceans and ports -- complete with the sound of the waves. Royal Caribbean also has inside cabins that can accommodate single travelers, a relative rarity at sea.

Suites:

Royal Caribbean offers many options when it comes to its suites, with staterooms like the luxurious two-level Royal Loft Suite, as well as the innovative Presidential Family Suite, exclusive to Harmony of the Seas. The cruise line's Royal Suite Class ups the ante, with a customized menu of inclusions, amenities and services that make the experience feel special and personal.

The awards are selected by a global panel of impartial Cruise Critic editors and celebrates excellence in cruise travel and features a host of categories dedicated to ocean, river and luxury cruising.

Here's the full list of Cruise Critic UK Editors' Picks award winners.

Royal Caribbean to resume calls to its private destination of CocoCay on October 15

In:
11Oct2016

Hurricane Matthew inflicted damage to many areas of the Bahamas, including Royal Caribbean's private destination of CocoCay.  The cruise line has skipped scheduled stops there since the storm passed, but will resume calls later this week.

CocoCay is scheduled to welcome guests back starting on Saturday, October 15.

If that schedule holds up, Enchantment of the Seas should be the first Royal Caribbean ship to return to the private destination on that date.

The extent of the damage to CocoCay has not been disclosed, although Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley issued a letter to guests last weekend that indicated the cruise line was working with Bahamian officials to help repair and restore services in the region.

"There are fewer details to share yet in the Bahamas, but he need will no doubt be great, and we will do all we can to assist. We are in contact with the Bahamian government to understand their most urgent needs and how we can help."

Royal Caribbean selects finalists for Harmony of the Seas Godmother

In:
11Oct2016

Royal Caribbean has narrowed down the choices for who will be Harmony of the Seas' Godmother to just three amazing women.

The cruise line is conducting a search for a Hometown Hero in Education for her Godmother. In selecting Godmothers, Royal Caribbean looks to capture the essence of the role by honoring women whose life lessons and achievements illustrate the kind of courage, dedication and determination that are an inspiration to all.

Anike Sakariyawo

Physical Science Teacher, Miami Norland Senior High School

Katherine O'Fallon

Magnet Coordinator, New River Middle School

Brittany Affolter

Manager, Teacher Leadership Development, Teach for America Miami-Dade

"We’ve seen an overwhelming response from the community with an outpouring of exceptional nominations from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. It is an honor to be able to recognize such inspiring educators for the work they do to make a positive impact on our youth," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "These three upstanding individuals have demonstrated unwavering passion and dedication, going above and beyond the classroom to make a huge difference in the community. We thank everyone who participated by recognizing our many heroes in education; they are leading the way in inspiring our youth to dream big, and that’s work we all can be proud of."

The public can now view each of the essay submissions and vote for the educator they feel is having the most positive influence on South Florda's youth. The winner will receive a $25,000 grant for their non-profit organization, and the honor of becoming the Godmother to Harmony of the Seas. The winner will receive an invitation to the naming ceremony of the Harmony of the Seas on November 10, 2016. The Grand Prize winner will also receive A 7-night Caribbean cruise onboard the Harmony of the Seas for two in a double-occupancy balcony stateroom (winner and a guest) awarded in the form of a cruise certificate.

Online voting is open from October 6 at 12:00pm to October 14 at 12:00pm EST, 2016 at local10.com/godmother.On Oct. 24, one finalist will be named the winner, and honored as Godmother of Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ship, during an official naming ceremony on Nov. 10, 2016.

Royal Caribbean orders new class of cruise ships to be powered by liquefied natural gas and fuel cell tech

In:
10Oct2016

Royal Caribbean announced today it has said that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with shipbuilder Meyer Turku to build a new class of cruise ships that will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The new cruise ships will join Royal Caribbean's fleet and are under the project name "Icon". The Icon ships would likely accommodate approximately 5,000 passengers, but details are still being worked out.

The vessels will be delivered in the second quarters of 2022 and 2024. In the meantime, the company said, it will begin testing fuel cell technology on an existing Oasis-class ship in 2017, and will also run progressively larger fuel cell projects on new Quantum class vessels being built in the next several years.

According to Royal Caribbean, the use of LNG and the introduction of fuel cell technology will usher in a new era of shipbuilding that will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"With Icon class, we move further in the journey to take the smoke out of our smokestacks," said Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. "We are dedicated to innovation, continuous improvement, and environmental responsibility, and Icon gives us the opportunity to deliver against all three of these pillars."

"Our guests expect us to push every envelope we can," said Michael Bayley, president and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean International. "And on this new class of ship, we began by challenging ourselves to find a new approach to power and propulsion that is safe, reliable, and more energy-efficient than ever before." Bayley added that exciting and innovative new guest experience elements of the Icon class design will be revealed later in the development process.

The switch to LNG provides further momentum for the technology, which has begun making significant inroads in the maritime industry. "Increasing the commitment to LNG makes it easier for suppliers to make their own infrastructure commitments," said Fain. "As more ships are built for LNG, the number of ports that support it will grow." The Icon ships are expected to run primarily on LNG but will also be able to run on distillate fuel, to accommodate occasional itineraries that call on ports without LNG infrastructure.

This order is contingent upon the completion of contractual conditions, including documentation and financing.  Final contracts are expected to be completed by year end.  Based upon current ship orders, projected capital expenditures for full year 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 are $2.4 billion, $0.5 billion, $2.6 billion, $1.5 billion and $2.0 billion, respectively.  Capacity increases for 2016 through 2020 remain unchanged and do not include potential ship sales or additions that the company may elect to make in the future.

Answers to many common Harmony of the Seas frequently asked questions

In:
10Oct2016

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas has generated a lot of interest among Royal Caribbean fans and first time cruisers alike, and with a ship this intriguing, there are a lot of concerns and questions people may have.

We decided to list answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related specifically to Harmony of the Seas for everyone's future reference.

When can I reserve shows onboard?

Royal Caribbean has added a lot of great entertainment on Harmony of the Seas. Guests are able to reserve shows on their Harmony of the Seas cruise, although when exactly they become available varies from sailing to sailing. The truth is, there is no rule about when these kinds of activities become available for booking, and every sailing can be different.

Typically, we see enteratainment become available to reserve online around 75-60 days prior to the sail date, but your experience may vary.

What exactly is the Wonderland restaurant?

Wonderland is a specialty restaurant that has a cover charge and is an imaginative take on specialty dining, where the experience is just as important as the food offered.

Wonderland first debuted on Royal Caribbean's Quantum-class ships, but Harmony of the Seas is the first Oasis-class ship to offer this unique restaurant. In fact, it is a two-story Wonderland restaurant.

It is loosely based on the Alice in Wonderland books, and features an eccentric design motif.  Dining at Wonderland is more than just another place to eat.  Rather, it is an opportunity to try something completely different and the wait staff is part of the experience as much as the food.

What are the Windjammer hours?

Exact times can change, but here are the Windjammer dining hours we have seen thus far.

  • 6:30-7:00am Early bird
  • 7:00am - 11:00am Breakfast
  • Noon-3:30 Lunch
  • 6:00pm - 10:00pm Dinner

What is Royal iQ and how does it work?

Royal iQ is Royal Caribbean's smart phone app available on Harmony of the Seas for iOS and Android devices. Royal iQ already let guests track their luggage delivery status on embarkation day, manage a personal calendar of reservations and events, communicate with other guests onboard, book shore excursions and modify existing reservations.

Guests do not need a Voom WiFi plan for the Royal iQ app to work.

Ideally, the app should be downloaded before the cruise and then once onboard, connect to Royal Caribbean's WiFi network and open the app.

The app's core functionality provides the ability to track luggage, manage personal calendar and book shore excursions and dining reservations without any additional cost.

There is a communications option, which costs $7.95 for use onboard and provides the option to text or call someone else that is using the app and has activated their iQ Unlimited Call & Text Package.

Photo by Kayy McKay

Each person needs to have the app for the iQ communications package to function.

How do the stateroom lights work?

Staterooms on Harmony of the Seas feature a card slot near the entrance to each stateroom that requires a card to be inserted into it for the lights and air conditioning to work.  This ensures an energy-saving means of reducing the ship's impact on the environment.

Just insert your SeaPass card (or really any card you might have) in the card slot and the lights and air conditioning will remain active as long as the card is in the slot.

What makes Harmony different from other Oasis-class ships?

There are a number of large and subtle differences between Harmony of the Seas and her sister ships, but here are the big ones.

What is the Escape the Rubicon puzzle room?

Escape the Rubicon is a puzzle game, which is a timed game where guests compete to figure out a series of clues hidden throughout one room in an allocated amount of time (usually 60 minutes) in order to find the "key" to escaping the room.

After a briefing, guests search a room for clues and hidden messages and then try to put it all together to figure out the key phrase. There are word searches, patterns and other challenges designed to get you thinking in a lot of different directions.

Each game requires at least six guests and is located near the Adventure Ocean club.  Guests can sign up for it once onboard the ship (although some guests have reported seeing it available on the Cruise Planner site).

Can you open balcony partitions?

If you have a connecting balcony stateroom, often guests want to open up the balcony divider between the rooms to allow for a larger balcony space.

The key to getting this done is to ask the stateroom attendant. Talk to your stateroom attendant and ask if you can have the balcony dividers opened up because you are friends with the balcony stateroom(s) next to you.

Who will the Captain and Cruise Director be when Harmony of the Seas does its trans-Atlantic sailing?

Captain Gus Andersson will be Harmony of the Seas' Captain and Abe Hughes will be the cruise director for the repositioning cruise to Harmony of the Seas' new homeport in Port Everglades.

Eventually, Captain Johnny Faevelen will resume his duties aboard Harmony of the Seas. Each Captain takes a 10 week rotation, so Captain Johnny will be the ship's Captain once again sometime after Harmony of the Seas arrives in Port Everglades.

Did we miss your question? Post it in the comments below and we will try our best to answer it!

Enchantment of the Seas Live Blog Day 3 - Nassau, Bahamas

In:
10Oct2016

Today is our third and final day on board the Enchantment of the Seas. The only negative thing I have to say about this cruise is that’s it’s too short!

We are docked in Nassau, Bahamas today from 8AM – 5PM.

We tried ordering room service but kept getting put on hold so we decided to eat at Chops Grill for breakfast.

On Enchantment of the Seas if you are Diamond Plus or staying in a suite, you have a perk of having free breakfast in Chops. The options are like the dining room, but you have outstanding service and not very busy either. I had the ham and cheese omelet and it was much larger than the one I had yesterday from room service. 

Nassau, Bahamas 

We got off the ship around 9AM, and headed to the Queen’s Staircase.

As you are well aware Hurricane Mathew hit the Bahamas very hard this week. First, my thoughts and prayers go out to Nassau as they have quite a recovery to go through. The island looks very bad in a few areas; I saw a lot of trees down everywhere, power lines down, and rooftops down.

Once we arrived to the Queen’s Staircase, I could not believe the condition it was in. If you recall from my last Enchantment of the Seas live blog in February, it was so beautiful. They had trees down everywhere and you were walking through branches.

My experience here did not matter at this point, it was just sad to see it first person.

Once we left our plan was to visit my favorite rum stop, John Watling’s distillery. Halfway there we saw so much storm damage we just could not do it anymore, it was so upsetting to see we turned around for the straw market. The island has been closed for almost a week, so people were extremely aggressive for sales. 

My friends have been telling me about a craft brewery here in Nassau for sometime, so I decided to check it out. The pub is called Pirate Republic and it’s the first thing you see coming off the ship if you head to Senor Frogs direction.

The pub is very cool for those looking for a relaxing spot, and they offer free wifi (with purchase of something). I went with their beer flight, which was $8, and their beer was outstanding. The service was also very good; the staff talked to you and wanted to know about our home life.

Around 1PM we decided to head back to the ship and enjoy one last pool day. 

Afternoon on board 

We headed to the Windjammer for lunch and I got the basic fish and rice. The ship was pretty empty as most everyone was still in Nassau.

Shortly after we ate we enjoyed a few hours on the pool deck. I had wish they had live music playing, but I understand why they don’t since it was pretty empty.

This is when I noticed Empress of the Seas was docked in Nassau too. She was hiding beside another cruise ship and I couldn’t see her.

I did notice they were not asking for our Sea Pass cards on this cruise when you needed pool towel. This policy seems to vary from ship to ship, but it’s mostly to prevent you from leaving the towels all over over the pool deck. 

Evening 

Tonight we enjoyed some live music in the centrum and I really enjoyed it. The last two nights I’ve been kind of disappointed with entertainment, but it was great tonight.

Around 7:30PM we were getting hungry, so off to the main dining room. We had My Time Dining and made reservations for 8:45pm each evening, but we were seated with no problem.

We left one glass worth of wine in the bottle on the first night, and our waiter brought it over to our table tonight. Dinner tonight was a unique dinner options that I hadn’t seen before. I had short rib and a small cut of filet.

Hillary went with a tomato based pasta, which was very plain tasting. The waiter noticed she didn’t like her meal and wanted to bring her something else. They really want you to have a great experience, so if you ever get something you don’t love ask them to change it. 

After dinner, Hillary watched the Presidential debate in our cabin and I went to the Quest. I was 20 minutes late to the quest, dang it if I would just read my Cruise Compass. The game was fun and very adult themed game show as usual.

After the Quest I was walking out through the Schooner Bar and the bartender called me over by name and said grab a seat. I love how the crew really gets to know you in just a short time of 3 days, it’s quite hard to believe how they remember it all. 

Well friends, this ends my 3-night live blog on Enchantment of the Seas. I want to thank you for coming along with me this weekend. It was my 8th time sailing on this ship and the memories just keep building. 

 Random Thoughts:

  • Voom worked very well, kept you logged in at all times. Struggles a little on the top pool deck.
  • No checking out pool towels
  • Octoberfest beer offered at $8, but won’t work with any drink package nor is their a discount.
  • Saw beer bucket specials “buy 4 beers get 1 free”
  • The crew seem very happy and always smiled.
  • The Diamond lounge is open until 9PM for happy hour.
  • Park Café no longer serves Roast Beef, just pizza, pre-made sandwhiches and salads. 

 See you next month for my next live blog on Majesty of the Seas!

Royal Caribbean diverts Grandeur of the Seas to Cape Liberty to avoid Atlantic storm

In:
10Oct2016

Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas arrived in Cape Liberty, New Jersey yesterday after the cruise line decided to divert the cruise ship there for a few days to avoid a storm in the North Atlantic.

Royal Caribbean confirmed on Twitter that Grandeur of the Seas will remain in Bayonne, New Jersey until Tuesday to ensure the safety and security of its guests.

Grandeur of the Seas was originally scheduled to depart from Baltimore on a 5-night sailing to Bermuda, but Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Nicole changed those plans and the ship was rerouted to Canada.  This new weather system has interrupted those plans as well. 

Because of the unusual change in itinerary, Royal Caribbean will also offer guests onboard a 100% future cruise credit.

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: October 9, 2016

In:
09Oct2016

Happy Sunday! It has been a busy week of Royal Caribbean news, and we have it all summarized for you in this round up.

The big news this week was all about the impact of Hurricane Matthew on Royal Caribbean's operations. A number of sailings were impacted, including one Majesty of the Seas cruise that was canceled.

At first, Royal Caribbean delayed the sailing by a day but then decided to cancel the October 8th cruise because of the path of the storm.

The massive hurricane presented too large of a problem for the sailing to operate, and thus, Royal Caribbean took the rare action of actually cancelling the entire cruise.  Royal Caribbean gave guests the choice of a full refund for the cruise fare paid or future cruise credit of 150% of the cruise fare paid.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 166th episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, where we discuss what you need to know about choosing a stateroom for your Royal Caribbean cruise.

In this episode, Matt looks at the different stateroom categories available and provides information and tips on choosing the right stateroom for you.

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

Beyond Ships shared a photo feature of Navigator of the Seas in Europe.

Cruise Critic has a look at why following a hurricane matters.

Eat Sleep Cruise reports on the Royal Suite Class.

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