Royal Caribbean's Winter Escape Sale offers bonus instant savings

In:
23Feb2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean begins today its Winter Escape Sale, offering guests up to $150 instant savings on cruises booked this weekend.

The Winter Escape Sale is valid on sailings booked between on February 23-26, 2018 on sailings departing on or after March 23, 2018. Offer excludes China departures. 

Offer details: Up to $150 instant savings

  • 30% off cruise fare for all guests’ in the stateroom.
  • Sailings 5 nights or less
    • Interior/Oceanview rooms: $50 instant savings
    • Balcony rooms: $75 instant savings
    • Suites: $75 instant savings
  • Sailings 6 nights or longer
    • Interior/Oceanview rooms: $50 instant savings
    • Balcony rooms: $100 instant savings
    • Suites: $150 instant savings

30% off is combinable with NRDB (Summer Bonus), Caribbean Bonus, OBC, Free Gratuities, Free Upgrades, promotional OBCs and instant savings, NextCruise offers, restricted discounts (for example, Senior, Resident, Military), Crown and Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. Winter Escape Sale is combinable with NextCruise offers, NRDB OBC, and restricted discounts (for example, Senior, Resident, Military) but is not combinable with Shareholder benefits and Crown and Anchor discounts. 30% off bookings made for China departures are combinable with NextCruise offers and Crown and Anchor balcony/suites discounts only. 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.

Video: Symphony of the Seas: 30 Days and Counting

In:
23Feb2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Symphony of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's newest Oasis-class ship, under construction at the STX shipyard in France. The ship is scheduled to be delivered in March 2018.

Video: Tour of Symphony of the Seas Under Construction

In:
22Feb2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Watch a hyperlapse tour of the world’s largest ship, Symphony of the Seas under construction at STX Shipyard in France. The ship is scheduled to be delivered in March 2018.

Drone video offers look at Symphony of the Seas

In:
22Feb2018
By: Matt Hochberg

If you are anything like me, you look for any excuse to watch Royal Caribbean cruise videos as a means of taking a virtual escape.

We stumbled upon a new video posted by AT Drones of Symphony of the Seas, which shows the ship at STX France.

Photos of Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas sea trials

In:
21Feb2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Symphony of the Seas recently returned from her four day sea trial, where more than 80 tests were performed onboard.

Royal Caribbean released new photos of Symphony of the Seas during her testing.

There will be another short sea trial that will need to be schedule prior to delivery in order to perform "a few more nautical performance trials."

Royal Caribbean hosting an open website usability test

In:
21Feb2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is inviting the public to help test their website at their corporate offices in March.

If you are interested in helping Royal Caribbean test their site's usability, and you will be in South Florida between March 12-16, you can apply to join.

Those accepted to the test will conduct the testing at Royal Caribbean's corporate offices, followed by lunch onboard a cruise ship.

Listener Emails on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

In:
21Feb2018
By: Matt Hochberg

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

Episode 238 is available for downloading, in which Matt is opening up the mail bag this week to answer more of your Royal Caribbean questions.

In this episode, Matt tackles topics such as taking a cruise to Alaska, sharing listener cruise reviews, discussing a strategy to get to Universal Studios, and which Caribbean itinerary is a better idea for kids.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 238. 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!

Experiences: Izumi sushi making class on Royal Caribbean

In:
20Feb2018
By: Matt Hochberg

For a few years, Royal Caribbean has offered guests the opportunity to try making sushi in a special class.  There is no doubt that making sushi seems like a daunting task, but Royal Caribbean promises a fun and informative experience. 

As an avid sushi fan, I look for any excuse to enjoy sushi on sea or on land.  Believe it or not, there was a sushi experience on a Royal Caribbean cruise that I had never tried before, so I sought to rectify that on a recent Brilliance of the Seas cruise.

The sushi class is offered on most Royal Caribbean ships, but I had resisted trying it primarily because I do not eat shellfish and I knew many of the rolls made used shellfish.  While dining at Izumi on Brilliance of the Seas, my waiter informed me the chef could adjust my offering for something I could eat, so I decided to give it a try.

What to expect

There is no cooking experience required to try the class. In fact, that is the appeal of the class.  

You will arrive to the class and be required to wash your hands prior to doing anything.  Once everyone arrives, an Izumi chef begins the class by introducing what sushi really is, its origins, and what type of sushi you will make.

In our class, we made three kinds of sushi:

  1. Maki (Rice and filling wrapped in seaweed)
  2. Nigiri (A topping, usually fish, served on top of sushi rice)
  3. Temaki (Sushi that has been hand-rolled into a cone shape)

The sushi chef introduces each roll, and goes step by step in showing everyone how to create the roll.

During the class, one of the Izumi waiters will be happy to use your phone or camera to take photos of your progress.

Following creating the various rolls, you get to eat everyting your created.  Considering you we made three rolls and two pieces of nigiri, that was a lot of food.

On our cruise, the sushi making class included a complimentary tour of the ship's galley.  It is always fascinating to see how the ship prepares so many meals for its guests, and to have a galley tour part of the class price is an added bonus.

The sushi making class was just about an hour long (including time to eat the sushi), and the galley tour was an additional 30 minutes.

Summary

I really enjoyed the sushi making class, perhaps even more than I anticipated.  Part of the enjoyment comes from the fact the Izumi chef helped us make the sushi so well. Frankly, I was expecting to butcher my attempt at creating sushi, so when the final product actually looked like something I might order, I was impressed.

The pace of the class worked well, and I feel like we all were able to pick up the key concepts quickly. The chef was always quick to walk around and provide assistance where necessary, and offer guidance to improving the techniques applied.

At $33 per person, the price is an excellent value when you consider you are getting three rolls, a few pieces of nigiri and a tour of the galley. I felt that we got a lot for the cost.

Overall, I think the sushi making class is a fun opportunity for anyone to try.  It is great to do alone, or invite friends and family to do it together.  Be sure to come hungry!

Cost: $33 per person on Brilliance of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas hosts biggest game of Hide and Seek

In:
20Feb2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas was the staging ground for the Biggest Game of Hide and Seek, with Ben Harrison, age 26, from Hornsby NSW, taking home the AUD$10,000 prize, and a family cruise for four, all thanks to his stealthy hiding techniques.

In an Australian first, Aussies aged eight and over boarded the megaship docked in Sydney Harbour to play a huge version of the iconic childhood game, as part of a unique competition to celebrate 10 years of Royal Caribbean sailing Down Under.

Two games were held – one for adults aged 15 and over and another for kids aged 8-14. Competitors were picked from over 20,000 entrants and came from far and wide; NSW, QLD, NT, SA, WA, VIC - to seek out the best hiding spots onboard in an attempt to outwit the “Seekers”, Australia’s national Hide & Seek team The Nascondingos, who competed in the 2017 annual World Championships in Italy.

12-year-old Ryan S from Kincup in regional QLD took home the kids’ prize which was a family cruise for four, after hiding from the Nascondingos under a couch. Runner up Benjamin H from NSW is also taking his family on a holiday.   

Winner of the adults’ game, Ben Harrison aka ‘Big Red’ used sheer distance as his tactic, attempting to get as far away from home base as he could in the allocated hiding time. He chose curtains to hide under in rounds one and two, and in the third – his winning spot – Ben managed to squeeze underneath a table that was concealed by a curtain. After being awarded his novelty size check, Ben said “It’s a pretty big accomplishment. I am very surprised, I still have butterflies in my stomach. I’m very very happy”. He and fiancé Jess will be putting the $10,000 towards their wedding at the end of the year, and will use the cruise for their honeymoon.

The Nascondingos have heralded it their hardest game yet, “There was just a lot of ground to cover. We’re short twitch athletes and we’re used to five-minute rounds. These 20 minute rounds covering eight football fields really put us under pressure. It was far more challenging than we thought it would be. Curtain and couch hiding were the most popular spots” said Alan Jones, Nascondingo’s Captain.

From attempts to host unofficial games in a certain Swedish furniture store, to a campaign for Hide and Seek to appear as an official exhibition sport in Tokyo in 2020, the event took place as the game gains traction as a serious sport among people of all ages.   

MC for the day, TV personality Jason Dundas said of the frivolity; “I’ve been travelling the world filming Getaway from over 100 countries for 11 years and I’ve never been on a cooler ship and had more of a fun experience onboard in my life”.

Royal Caribbean Cruises named one of the 2018 World's Most Ethical Companies for third year in a row

In:
20Feb2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute as one of the 2018 World's Most Ethical Companies for the third year in a row.

Royal Caribbean has won the distinction three consecutive years as among the world's most ethical companies in the leisure and recreation category, underscoring RCL's commitment to leading ethical business standards and practices.

"I am extremely grateful that Ethisphere has again honored Royal Caribbean as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "At Royal Caribbean, ethical leadership is an important part of our worldview. We value this honor, and will continue to hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards in following our mantra of continuous improvement."

The World's Most Ethical Companies assessment is based upon the Ethisphere Institute's Ethics Quotient® (EQ) framework, which offers a quantitative way to assess a company's performance in an objective, consistent and standardized manner. The information collected provides a comprehensive sampling of definitive criteria of core competencies rather than all aspects of corporate governance, risk, sustainability, compliance and ethics.

Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (35 percent), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20 percent), culture of ethics (20 percent), governance (15 percent) and leadership, innovation and reputation (10 percent). All companies that participate in the assessment process receive their scores, providing them with valuable insights into how they stack up against leading organizations.

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