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Brilliance of the Seas ran into a nasty storm of the weekend that caused rough seas, something Royal Caribbean called a "serious incident." The 90,000-ton ship swayed as far as 15 degrees in either direction several times. Several passengers reported minor injuries such as bumps and bruises and at least two people suffered broken bones.
Royal Caribbean offered cruisers a $200 credit because of the situation but some cruisers protested the offer and Royal Caribbean caved in, offering a full refund for the value of the cruise.
Rough seas caused minor injuries and some damage to Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas over the weekend. A winter storm sent 30 foot waves against the cruise ship and caused some minor problems.
The ship rolled violently as the storm's huge waves crashed into the hull, throwing furniture, passengers and the ship's christmas tree around and breaking some interior glass.
The Brilliance of the Seas was supposed to be on a 12 day cruise that took it from Spain to Italy, then on to Greece, and finally Egypt. Due to the storm, Brilliance will now head back toward Malta.
File this story in the "Hard to be believe it's true" category. Finland's National Board of Customs is reporting that the delivery of Allure of the Seas from STX's Turku Shipyard to Royal Caribbean helped contribute to Finland's trade balance ending up about a billion euros in the black.
STX claims that Allure of the Seas is the most valuable individual export product ever delivered from Finland. The improvement in the trade balance is the first time Finland's trade balance has been in the black for the first 10 months of this year.
At the end of the third quarter, the trade balance was still 225 million euros in the red but the delivery of Allure helped fix that imbalance.
Royal Caribbean raised the amount it suggests its guests tip its staff onboard its ships to 20%
Royal Caribbean will start the new gratuity recommendations for cruises that depart on or after July 1, 2011. At that time, passengers will be asked to tip $11.65 per day, up from $9.75 that was previously recommended.
Gratuities onboard are optional, but passengers who choose to prepay their gratuities will be forced to pay the higher rate.
The brand new 32-acre Falmouth port in Jamaica will finally open next month. The construction of the port has been a $220-million project developed by Royal Caribbean in partnership with the Port Authority of Jamaica.
The first ship to dock will be Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas, and her guests will have access to walking tours of the 240-year-old town, as well as access to 60 attractions in the surrounding area and in Ocho Rio and Montego Bay.
Royal Caribbean Chairman Richard Fain is trying to learn to surf again at the fourth annual "Chairman's Challenge" aboard the Flowride Surf Simulator.
We had the opportunity to interview Padraic Connelly, a performer on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, who is best known onboard the ship for playing the role of Wilbur Turnblad in "Hairspray".
Tell us a little about yourself, such as where you're from and how you got into the entertainment industry
I'm originally from Daytona Beach, FL. I first started doing musical theater at Flagler Palm Coast High School, where I had three incredibly inspirational directors. I ended up at the University of Florida as a Theater major, and while I was there I began performing and teaching with UF's Theatre Strike Force, which is the school's official improv group. After college, I moved with my two best friends (who, coincidentally, are now performing with The Second City on NCL's Dawn) and started performing at the IO Theater in Wrigleyville. When I'm not on a cruise ship, I'm doing a show called Whirled News Tonight ( http://www.whirlednewstonight.
I found myself in a perfect situation for the RCCL job. My girlfriend had just moved to California to start grad school, and I'd missed out on a promotion opportunity in Chicago that'd I'd been gunning for for months. I got an email from the producer of Whirled News with the audition information in it, with a note saying, "I doubt you'd be interested in this, but just in case..." I went to the audition and, not really expecting anything from it, managed to walk in completely relaxed. It is to this day one of the best auditions of my entire life. Several weeks went by, and suddenly I got the email that I'd been hired. I had JUST sat down to watch a movie (I think it was "The Last Station") and just remember sitting in the theater, barely paying attention to the screen I was so shocked. A few weeks later, I was in Hollywood, FL, rehearsing with Cast 2 for the Oasis of the Seas Inaugural Season!
Aside from the chance to make cruisers' vacations even more magical, there is something to be said for having 24-hour dining and entertainment. Even though we're working, it's fun work and during our downtime we get to have just as much fun as the other guests and share in their fun! Even after months of running the same routes, the excitement of pulling into a port with snorkeling, swimming, excursions and dining never quite wears off.
Tie. Giovanni's Table for lunch, Solarium Bistro and Giovanni's for dinner. I cannot get enough of the risotto at Giovanni's or the pumpkin soup at Solarium!
It all depends on the mood! If we're sitting in the Schooner bar, listening to Ed or Paul play, nothing beats a Manhattan on the rocks. If it's a party on the pool deck, you have to grab a Bushwhacker. And for watching a show or people watching on the Royal Promenade, it's tough to beat a margarita on the rocks or a simple scotch and soda! And for the next morning, several of the ship's venues serve fresh-squeezed orange juice. LOTS of fresh-squeezed orange juice.... thank goodness....
Puerto Costa Maya on the Western Route for its INCREDIBLE food (don't miss the catch of the day or the fresh salsas and guacamole at Maya Bar) and the Mayan ruin tours. If you're heading to the Chacchoben ruins, ask for Luis, who's an amazing guide. On the Eastern Route, you absolutely can't beat St. Maarten. Whether you stay on the Dutch side in Philipsburg or head over to Marigot for a few hours, you'll have a blast!
I hate to admit it, but Cee Lo Green's "F*** You" has been topping my playlist lately (along with the rest of the album).
Allure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's newest ship, utilizes an extensive network of security networks for both public areas and even some not-so-public regions. Allure and its sister ship Oasis of the Seas, use more than 300 Oncam IP 360° 5-megapixel cameras. Many of these cameras are positioned in public areas of the ship that have multiple entrances, enabling simultaneous monitoring of all those entrances.
"A well-designed video surveillance system is an important tool for the safety and protection of everyone," said James Ionson, CEO, Oncam Global Inc. "It provides invaluable assistance to security personnel in resolving incidents, such as helping to identify a noise in the engine room, responding to passenger medical emergencies and determining liability issues, for just a few examples. With the right information, they can appropriately react."
The benefit of these cameras is it can do what traditional security cameras could not. One camera in the ceiling in a hallway with elevators on both sides can be monitored at the same time along with the traffic in the hallway. One of these Oncam IP 360° cameras replaces four traditional CCTV cameras.
In addition to Oasis and Allure, Royal Caribbean has been retrofitting these new security cameras into the security system of older cruise ships since 2006.
Royal Caribbean is reporting travel agents and consumers in Australia have become more familiar with the Royal Caribbean brand in recent time, but there are still challenges ahead as the cruise line looks to gain an even larger share of the cruise market down under.
Royal Caribbean Cruises managing director, Gavin Smith, said the increased capacity planned over the next 12 months, including the return of Celebrity Cruises and the debut of Radiance of the Seas, will coincide with Royal Caribbean putting on more field sales staff to drive its message home to agents.
Just how far has Royal Caribbean come? One year ago, there were about 40,000 beds available but today that number is closer to 100,000 beds to sell.
Helping increase the inventory is Radiance of the Seas, which features 50% of its cabins having a balcony, which is important to the Australian cruise market. Gavin Smith cites that Americans and British cruisers that go to Australia demand the balconies.
Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas rescued six people adrift at sea on a raft during a recent cruise.
Monarch of the Seas was on its way out of the Bahamas when a passenger onboard the ship spotted the raft near Freeport, Bahamas. The Coast Guard reports that the rescued people on the raft did not appear to have any life-threatening issues. Officials estimate the group of six was floating for 15 days, but there was no way to know exactly how long.
Investigators said they think the people on the raft are migrants from Cuba. If they are, officials said the group will be sent back to their country.