Royal Caribbean offering up to 30% off Cruise Planner purchases with weekend sale

In:
16Feb2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is offering up to 30% off select Cruise Planner purchases this weekend, with its Countdown to Cruise sale.

The weekend Cruise Planner sale promises savings on certain shore excursions and drink package purchases.  Guests can check which discounts, if any, are available for their upcoming sailing by visiting the Cruise Planner site. Keep in mind that not all sailings may see the sale applicable, nor are all offers significantly cheaper than previously posted.

To check if your sailing has this new offer available, log into the Cruise Planner on Royal Caribbean's web site and check which promotions you happen to see.

If you spot a better discount on something you already pre-purchased, you should be able to cancel the purchase and then re-purchase the same item under this promotion.

Meet the Oasis of the Seas that never was

In:
15Feb2018
By: Matt Hochberg

When Royal Caribbean designs its cruise ships, they consider a lot of ideas and possibilities.  Any company that designs a product or service will go through many iterations or concepts before settling on the final design.

This week, we take a look at an early design for Royal Caribbean's Oasis class cruise ships that incorporates many concepts that never made it to the final cut.

Boston-based Wilson Butler Architects was a key creative force behind many of the features on what would become Oasis of the Seas. Wilson Butler has worked with Royal Caribbean since 1997, and responsible for the main theater designs for Royal Caribbean’s Voyager-class ships and theaters on its Radiance-class of ships, including the 900-seat Aurora Theater on the Radiance of the Seas, and the 915–seat Pacifica Theater on the Brilliance of the Seas.

A few years before Oasis of the Seas would debut, the firm had an idea for what was then referred to as Project Genesis.  It was an early design for the ship meant to introduce the neighborhood concept.

Design by Wilson Butler Architects

Wilson Butler proposed the design, which has a number of areas offering different attractions.  Some of these ideas would make the final cut (albeit in different forms), while others never made it.

"Studio Sea" and "The Midway" are two ideas that would be a part of the eventual final ship design.  Studio Sea would become the AquaTheater, while The Midway would be renamed The Boardwalk.  Interestingly, "The Midway" featured additional features not seen in the Boardwalk, such as a Lighthouse and Aquarium Light.

Arguably the most intriguing idea was "The Ocean Pass," which appears to have a blue whale at the top and a number of decks designed to look like an under the sea area.

The two areas of "Market Pier" and "The Coral Strand" are also interesting places, with each offering dining choices, separated by something called "The Coral Arch".

Design by Wilson Butler Architects

Another early design by Wilson Butler had an area known as "Great Blue Way," which sounds like a play on words for Broadway's nickname of The Great White Way. 

The design has two lounge ideas not seen on Oasis of the Seas today.  The Speak-Easy is likely what we now know as Jazz on Four, and Inferno sounds like a nightclub.

Which design element do you wish Royal Caribbean would put on a ship? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Royal Caribbean increasing satellite bandwidth with expansion of agreement with Speedcast

In:
14Feb2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Speedcast announced today they have extended its relationship together, which will further increase the bandwidth delivered across all Royal Caribbean International cruise ships.

The expansion of this deal will lead to increased bandwidth for guests and crew members, which will improve the guest experience.

Royal Caribbean began parterning with Speedcast in 2006, when Speedcast installted the first Ku-Band VSAT antenna that helped with increased demand. The Speedcast network now delivers fully managed communications solutions and value-added services to 37 Royal Caribbean brand ships for shipboard administration, and guest and crew usage. Multiple antennas on each ship with seamless automatic failover between Ku-Band and C-Band ensures high availability and Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

"Speedcast has been an integral part of our long-standing efforts to implement the latest connectivity solutions that allow us to provide enhanced communications for everyone, from our guests onboard to our employees onshore," said Guillermo Muniz, director, Network and Satellite Engineering, Royal Caribbean. "We are consistently raising the bar on ship innovation and increasing requirements, and Speedcast is right there with us, collaborating to make sure that we have the infrastructure and support to deliver the best experience."

New Years Eve on Liberty of the Seas on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

In:
14Feb2018
By: Matt Hochberg

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

Episode 237 is available for downloading, where we a podcast listener reviews his New Years Eve cruise on Liberty of the Seas.

In addition to discussing a recent cruise, listener Matt Hince talks about what it is like to ring in the New Year aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise and what others may find interesting if they were to give it a try.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 237. 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!

Shipyard lists Royal Caribbean's Project Icon ship gross tonnage

In:
14Feb2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Ship builder Meyer Werft has listed the gross tonnage for Royal Caribbean's next class of cruise ships, which sheds a bit of light onto how large these ships will be.

The Project Icon ships were announced in late 2016 with few details, but the ship yard lists the ships will have a gross tonnage of 200,00 tons.

In comparison, 200,000 tons puts the ship between the size of Royal Caribbean's Oasis and Quantum class ships.

  1. Oasis of the Seas: 225,282 tons
  2. Project Icon: 200,000 tons
  3. Quantum of the Seas 168,666 tons
  4. Freedom of the Seas 154,407 tons

Gross tonnage is a nonlinear measure of a ship's overall internal volume.

At the time of the project's announcement, Royal Caribbean said these ships would accommodate approximately 5,000 passengers. The new ships are scheduled for delivery in the second quarters of 2022 and 2024.

Royal Caribbean removing Michael's Genuine Pub from its cruise ships

In:
13Feb2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has announced effective February 28, Royal Caribbean will be removing Michael's Genuine Pub on its Quantum Class ships and replaced with a new concept.

Royal Caribbean informed travel agents the cruise line is concluding its contract with Michael's Genuine Pub onboard Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas.

With the ending of the contract, the former locations will become these new venues:

  • Harp & Horn on Quantum of the Seas — February 26th
  • Brass & Bock on Anthem of the Seas — February 25th
  • Amber & Oak on Ovation of the Seas — February 26th 

According to Royal Caribbean, the new pub experience, "will offer a wide selection of beer and specialty cocktails, and will also feature a menu of bites."

Royal Caribbean will take delivery of Symphony of the Seas on March 23

In:
13Feb2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean will take delivery of the world's largest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas, on Friday, March 23, 2018.

The event will celebrate the handing over of the ship from French shipyard STX France to Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. The ship cost 1.2 billion euros, and will be the 13th ship delivered by the shipyard to Royal Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean's fourth Oasis Class cruise ship measures 362 meters long and 66 meters wide, and weighs in at 228,000 gross tons.  

Sea trials are scheduled to commence on Thursday and last to Sunday, which will test the ship's performance. 

Symphony of the Seas will be Royal Caribbean International's 25th ship in the fleet and will start its inaugural season in the Mediterranean Sea this summer, before arriving in her home port of Miami.

Video: High-tech Entertainment on Ice Steals the Show on Royal Caribbean

In:
13Feb2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean entertainment spans beyond the stage and onto the ice at the cruise line's signature Studio B ice rink. Home to productions unlike any other, the venue pairs state-of-the-art technology features, like jaw-dropping projection capabilities, lighting and sound, with highly skilled entertainers to bring show-stopping performances to life.

First look at Royal Caribbean's newly refurbished Adventure of the Seas

In:
12Feb2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas has returned to service following an extensive refurbishment, and we have a look around the ship at some of the changes.

Royal Caribbean Blog reader RKSister shared these photos from onboard the ship, at the start of the first sailing post-refurbishment.

Photos by RKSister

First look at menu and prices for Izumi restaurant on Adventure of the Seas

In:
12Feb2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has added an Izumi specialty restaurant to Adventure of the Seas, and we have a first look at this new style of Izumi experience.

Photo by Carl Luxford

Izumi on Adventure of the Seas is the first Izumi location to be positioned on the Royal Promenade, which means it will be unique in its offerings.

Since Izumi took over a space that was previously occupied by a sports bar, Izumi on Adventure of the Seas will offer simply sushi and sake/beer.

Photo by Travis Kamiyama

Photo by Travis Kamiyama

Photo by Carl Luxford

Izumi on Adventure of the Seas represents the 19th Izumi location to open across Royal Caribbean's fleet.

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