Royal Caribbean is set to double the amount of Crown and Anchor Society points each cruise solo cruisers recieve. Instead of just one point per night, solo cruisers will recieve two points per night sailed.
The change is being made because solo cruisers pay a special solo rate, which is essentially double the normal rate. Therefore, paying double should net you double the points.
Cruise Tricks is reporting the change in points will be applied to all cruises in October 2013 and going forward.
In addition, any solo cruisers that book a suite will recieve three points per night, which is an extra point above what anyone that books a suite with at least double occupancy.
Crown and Anchor Society is Royal Caribbean's loyalty program that was changed back in 2011 to reflect more points for longer cruises.
Hello Royal Caribbean fans! We've got an audio fix for all you commuters, walkers, joggers, bike riders and working stiffs!
In this episode, Matt explores the different unlimited alcohol packages Royal Caribbean offers to its guests and describes what each package includes, how much you have to drink to get your moneys worth out of it and answer the always difficult question of are the unlimited alcohol packages worth it.
We will also share more listener feedback, including your questions and comments.
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!
Thanks to Marc for providing this Cruise Compass
If you think the perfect Caribbean beach is somewhere with crystal clear water that has beautiful color and delicious mixed cocktails, then we have the spot for you. Located on the French side of St. Martin as part of the larger Orient Beach region, Bikini Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean and a great place to spend a day.
Bikini Beach is part of Orient Beach on the French side of St. Martin (St. Maarten). Orient Beach is known for being quite beautiful and the Bikini Beach operation offers services that are sure to make your time at the beach as relaxing as possible.
Getting to Bikini Beach from your cruise ship will require a taxi/car ride of about 20-30 minutes. Like all beaches on St. Martin/St. Maarten, admission to the beach is free but use of the services does cost extra. Four chairs and 2 umbrellas will run $20, which is a fair price in the Caribbean. In addition, bar and restaurant service is available either by waiter to your beach chair or you can walk to the bar area and enjoy lunch there.
By far the reason to visit Bikin Beach is the beautiful beach. The water color is the sort of thing you see in postcards and the water is amazingly clear. Orient Beach is such a large beach that there's a number of other operations set up on the beach similar to Bikini Beach, but the size of the area helps keep crowds manageable.
For an additional cost, there are some water toys you may get access to. During our visit, for $10 per person, you could use the trampoline, log and water obstacle. The beach also partners with locals who can provide other services such as jet skiing, parasailing and massages for an additional cost as well.
Like many beaches in the Caribbean, locals will walk up and down the beach offering services and goods for sale. A simple no is usually enough to send them on their way to the next guest.
There's no question that the ocean here is the main attraction and the color and vividness of the water really made this one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever been to. If you want a beach with some of the best looking water you've ever seen, this is the beach for you. The sand is also really soft and no rocks or shells to really speak of (at least none that you can feel while walking). Once in the water, the bottom is sandy and free of rocks for the most part so no water shoes required.
While the beach is great, the icing on the cake is the service provided by the Bikini Beach staff. There's wait staff that will deliver any food and drink you need to right to your beach chair. Prices for the food and drink are about what you might pay at an average restaurant in the United States, so it isn't a tremendous value but when you're on vacation at a beautiful beach, it just feels nice to have someone bring you drinks without having to get up. The wait staff was also attentive and we never had to play "where did the waiter go" game.
The bar also has more formal tables that are covered to sit at if you prefer to get away from the water while you have a snack or drink. The staff claims there is a WiFi signal that guests can access but you essentially have to walk into the parking lot to access it and I was never able to actually connect. The staff also natively speaks French but their English is more than adequate.
We happened to visit Bikini Beach during the off season but Orient Beach in general can get full during the busier months of the year. Make sure you get off your Royal Caribbean cruise early and go directly to the beach for the best availability.
Because Bikini Beach is on the French side of St. Martin, topless sunbathing is possible so it's something to consider if that sort of thing bothers you.
Overall, Bikini Beach is a wonderful choice for anyone that wants beautiful water, a great beach and bar/restaurant service on top of it. The level of service was terrific and it's hard to beat the view.
Address: Orient Bay, St Martin
Cost: Beach admission free; Use of chairs and umbrellas additional cost.
Thanks to Cary for sending this Cruise Compass
Royal Caribbean Quantum Experience Advisor Dhani Jones is the center of this new Quantum of the Seas webisode all about how Jones will help create a game plan for active cruising onboard its newest ship.
Royal Caribbean announces Dhani Jones will be celebrity sports and fitness expert for Quantum of the SeasIn:
Royal Caribbean announced that former NFL star and TV show host Dhani Jones will be the Sports and Fitness celebrity expert advisor for the brand new Quantum of the Seas cruise ship.
Jones will be part of the Quantum Experience Advisors, a team of celebrity experts who will help shape the look, feel and offerings aboard the new Quantum class cruise ships Royal Caribbean is building. Jones is the second advisor, following interior designer and HGTV-star Genevieve Gorder.
Jones has been working with Royal Caribbean's guest activities team in Miami, Florida since June 2013 to come up with new exciting activities for cruise ship guests. Jones has been lending his expertise on the latest active trends and providing fresh ideas for Quantum of the Seas' SeaPlex sports zone. The SeaPlex will be the largest entertainment complex at sea.
Since starting with Royal Caribbean, Jones has taken a look at the existing Royal Caribbean programming for guests as well as the signature Royal Caribbean offerings. He has come up with some new ideas for the Quantum-class ships and been lending his expertise on the latest active trends and providing fresh ideas for SeaPlex.
Dhani Jones is best known for being an 11-year veteran of the NFL and has since become a host on the Travel Channel's show Dhani Tackles the Globe, the self-proclaimed adventurer participated in many of the world's games. From Rugby to Sambo, Jones immersed himself in each culture and learned how athletes around the world compete in their favorite sports. Off the field, Jones is currently starring in a new show on FOX Sports 1, Jones and Mosley, and also is an author, entrepreneur and philanthropist, founding a company that sells high-end bow ties for various charities around the world.
"I'm having a phenomenal time working with Royal Caribbean as a Quantum Experience Advisor," said Jones. "It's giving me the opportunity to demonstrate my passion for sports, travel, fitness and adventure, and draw on my own experiences traveling the globe to contribute ideas that will bring good fitness and good fun to Quantum of the Seas."
In late 2012, Royal Caribbean applied for trademarks for six new ship names and went on to use two of them officially (Quantum of the Seas & Anthem of the Seas). This week, it let one of the names it applied for a trademark to lapse in registration, which could be a sign Royal Caribbean will not be using it as a name of a future cruise ship.
The registration status for Vantage of the Seas changed to "ABANDONED-FAILURE TO RESPOND OR LATE RESPONSE" as of October 2, 2013.
This could be a sign Royal Caribbean is no longer interested in using the name, although there is the potential that this name may have been applied for again in a separate application.
If Vantage of the Seas was in fact dropped from consideration, then the remaining unused cruise ship names Royal Caribbean could potentially choose from is
- Ovation of the Seas
- Passion of the Seas
- Pulse of the Seas
Of course, there is still the possibility that any new cruise ship names could be chosen outside of this list but we'd expect Royal Caribbean to try to protect the name before announcing it.
Royal Caribbean currently has two un-named cruise ships on order, with options for more. One ship is a Quantum-class ship and the other is an Oasis-class ship.
Hope you had a great week (maybe one week closer to your next Royal Caribbean cruise?) and you had a chance to keep up with what's new with Royal Caribbean this week. But if not, here's a roundup of this week's news.
Royal Caribbean News
- The shutdown of the United States government affected Brilliance of the Seas passengers
- Good news for surfers out there; Royal Caribbean is now allowing tricks on the FlowRider
- Genvieve Gorder released her first Quantum of the Seas webisode
- We reviewed dinner at Chops Grille on Jewel of the Seas
- We also reviewed the Royal Caribbean calling plans provided by AT&T Wireless
- Royal Caribbean announced new Ocean Voyage cruise packages for trans-Atlantic cruises
- Royal Caribbean also announced the 2014-2015 season for Mariner of the Seas
Join us for the first ever Royal Caribbean Blog Cruise!
We're so excited to announce the first ever group cruise for readers and staff of RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com aboard Quantum of the Seas! This is an exclusive group where we are inviting you, our readers, to join us on one of the first Quantum of the Seas sailings on an 8-night cruise to the Caribbean.
This Royal Caribbean Blog group cruise is all about enjoying this brand new ship with other fans who are big fans of Royal Caribbean. Don't miss this opportunity to check out the brand new cruise ship as well as be a part of exclusive events for those that book with our group!
Royal Caribbean Around the Internet
Royal Caribbean released the Cupcake Cupboard's recipe to make gluten-free pumpkin cupcakes.
Legend of the Seas was named 2014 Ship of the Year in annual German cruise award "Der Deutsche Kreuzfahrtpreis".
Philly.com has a list of eight ways to save money on a cruise vacation.
The best part about Friday (aside from the impending weekend) is sharing great Royal Caribbean photos that our readers have sent in with all of you. Each week we ask everyone reading this to send us your best, favorite and fun Royal Caribbean photos to share with the world.
Once again our readers have responded with some great choices to share so let's jump right in.
Our first photo comes from Bryce J. Griffler and it's a photo from his Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska earlier this year. I love taking photos with the camera on the ground and looking out, so this photo certainly fits the bill.
Our second photo is from Chris Davis and it's a photo of him trying out the FlowRider on his Independence of the Seas cruise to Norway's Fjords in May 2013. Chris is far braver than I am to give this a go, as I imagine the next shot was a face plant into the FlowRider. Good form Chris!
More FlowRider photos? Sure thing, here's one is from Harry A. Yerikyan on his Oasis of the Seas cruise. Not sure if this is Harry in the photo or not, but this is more my style because it has less of a chance of ending up eating FlowRider foam.
John Paul sent us this photo with the wait staff in the main dining room and was sure to mention the staff is what makes for a great cruise. Couldn't agree more!
Kris sent in this photo of Freedom of the Seas' wake from his February 2013 cruise. I love looking out at the wake on my Royal Caribbean cruises because it's so calming. And if I can't be on a Royal Caribbean cruise right now, then this is the next best thing.
Next is a selfie of Tom and Diane Trudnowski, and if I can read t-shirts, it's from their first back-to-bacl Freedom of the Seas cruise. Plus it looks like they've got a few boat drinks to make for the perfect start to their cruise. You have my seal of approval!
Lastly we have a photo from Victor Sacal of the Rising Tide bar on Oasis of the Seas. It looks like the bar is at Central Park for this photo and it's well established I'm a sucker for the Rising Tide bar (and other cheap moving venues) so consider me officially wishing I was there right now.
If we didn't include your photo this week, then that means you need to send it in to us for use on a future Friday Photos post. We want to see your favorite Royal Caribbean cruise photos and you can use this form to send them to us.