Royal Caribbean CEO provides update on Anthem of the Seas following winter storm incident

In:
19Feb2016

Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley provided an update on Anthem of the Seas to travel agencies following a stronger than expected winter storm earlier this month.

Bayley reitterated how well the ship held up structurally despite the strong winds and large waves and provided an update on the ship's repairs.

According to Bayley, there are a handful of remaining minor issues that require attention including replacing outdoor ceiling paneling by the SeaPlex, repairing some balcony partitions and replacing broken furniture. North Star, RipCord by iFLY, FlowRider and other favorite experiences are fully operational.

Bayley added that Royal Caribbean has updated their storm avoidance policy and added additional resources at their headquarters to provide more data and guidance to support our captains. Senior marine executives and, when necessary, meteorologists will be involved in decisions about when, where and whether to sail when storms are forecast.

To the question about how the incident was allowed to happen in the first place, Bayley indicated the severity of the storm, "far exceeded forecasts, but ultimately it is our responsibility to avoid these possibilities – and this event has provided us with an important learning opportunity. We can do better, and we will."

Royal Caribbean 5-day WOW sale offers up to $200 onboard credit

In:
18Feb2016

Royal Caribbean is kicking off a 5-day WOW sale, where guests can get up to $200 to spend at sea on top of the current 30% off deal.

This WOW sale runs between February 20-24, 2016.

The new WOW sale is valid on all sailings departing on or after March 21, 2016, with the exception of all China departures.

Guests can get 

  • Up to $200 onboard credit
    • Cruises 5-nights or less: $50
    • Cruises 6-9 nights: $100
    • Cruises 10-nights or longer $200
  • $50 for 5 nights or less, $100 for 6-9 nights, or $200 for 10-nights and longer
  • 50% Reduced deposit
  • Combinable with 30% off every guest, every ship offer

Offer is combinable with standard/full fare and restricted rates (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military, BOGO, Upgrade, etc.), 30% Savings Offer, and Next Cruise offer. Offer is not combinable with any other offer or promotion, including, but not limited to Interline, Travel Agent, Travel Agent Friends and Family, weekly Sales Events, Net Rates, Shareholder Benefits, and Crown & Anchor Discount programs or rates.

Offer is available to residents of United States and Canada.

Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas floated out

In:
18Feb2016

Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship, Ovation of the Seas, successfully was floated out of Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany earlier today.

Numerous onlookers watched as the 41 meter wide ship left the shipyard building early Thursday afternoon.

Ovation of the Seas will remain in the shipyard until about mid-March, where she will get some more work done on her, such as the addition of the North Star observation pod.

The next major milestone for Ovation of the Seas will be her conveyance on the River Ems to the North Sea for sea trials.  It is expected to take place in about three weeks.

Ovation of the Seas will be officially launched in April 2016, when she departs Southampton for Tianjin, China on a 53-day Global Odyssey. She will begin her first homeport sailing season in China from Tianjin in June 2016. Ovation of the Seas, together with Quantum of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Legend of the Seas, will make up the largest fleet of any cruise line sailing in China.

99 days of Harmony: Harmony of the Seas construction photo update

In:
18Feb2016

There's less than 99 days until Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas debuts so we're counting down each day with a brand new blog post all about Harmony of the Seas. Read our blog each day for a new post all about this amazing cruise ship.

Harmony of the Seas construction photos

Friend of the blog Stewart Chiron, aka The Cruise Guy, is at STX France shipyard and shared with us photos of Harmony of the Seas that he took while on a hard-hat tour.  Enjoy!

Exterior of Harmony of the Seas

AquaTheater tan

Boardwalk Views

Studio B ice skating rink

Bionic Bar

Rising Tide Bar

Royal Promenade

Main dining room

Central Park

Adults-only Solarium

AquaTheater

Looking down to the Boardwalk

Thanks again to Stewart for the photos and be sure to follow the Cruise Guy on his many cruise adventures on Twitter!

 

Royal Caribbean Australia celebrates social media milestone with special offer

In:
17Feb2016

Royal Caribbean Australia & New Zealnd is marking a significant milestone today, reaching 200,000 Facebook fans of the official Royal Caribbean International Australia & NZ page, and to celebrate the cruise line is giving Facebook fans an exclusive AUD$200 discount per stateroom, which they can use on local 2016/17 sailings of five nights or longer when booked before February 26, 2016.

Offer is valid for new individual bookings made on Royal Caribbean International Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific, Trans-Pacific and Asia Repositioning cruises 5 nights or longer departing between September 20, 2016 and April 22, 2017 (inclusive). Offer excludes Ovations of the Seas.

New bookings must be made between 9am AEDT Friday February 12, 2016 and 6pm AEDT Friday February 26, 2016 in order to qualify for the offer. Eligible bookings will receive a $200 discount per stateroom.

In the last six months, Royal Caribbean Australia's facebook page fan likes doubled, which coincided with the line’s local fleet expansion to four megaliners, including two new ships in Explorer of the Seas and Legend of the Seas.

“This milestone is all about you: our Facebook friends and fans. You’re the true champions of our brand, and we couldn’t be where we are today without your support”, said Adam Armstrong, commercial director, Royal Caribbean International Australia.

“In return, we want to thank you wholeheartedly by offering you a AUD$200 discount on your next cruise. You’ve helped guide our journey so far, and we hope you’ll be part of the next chapter for Royal Caribbean in Australia,” he continued.

“Plus: if you look closely, you might just spot your profile photo in our specially created graphic, that honours many of our Aussie and Kiwi fans,” he concluded.

Over the years, Royal Caribbean has given away multiple sailings to Facebook fans, including hosting 100 fans onboard Voyager of the Seas in 2014 for the world’s first Facebook Party at Sea with pop sensation Nathaniel. Last year, to celebrate Royal Caribbean’s partnership with My Kitchen Rules, 10 friends were exclusively hosted to a special curated meal and cocktail party with the MKR winners onboard Royal’s first Queensland based ship, Legend of the Seas. And more recently, this month Royal Caribbean gave away a cruise for two on the biggest, newest and most incredible cruise ship to ever be deployed to Australia, Ovation of the Seas.

Live blogging from Allure of the Seas - Preamble

In:
17Feb2016

Hi everyone, I'm really excited to announce our next live-blog experience as we get ready for a cruise aboard Allure of the Seas for an 7-night Caribbean adventure.

It is my hope to provide to our readers a daily look at what this cruise will be like and share our experiences with you.  This means I will try to post photos every day along with a written report of how things are going (internet permitting).

If you're new to our live blogs, check out the live blogs we did for Freedom of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas and  Navigator of the Seas for an idea of what's in store for you. I'm hoping to give our readers a daily look into what we did that day, what was good/not good and what we have planned for the next day.  

For this cruise, I will be driving to Fort Lauderdale to start our adventure.  Coming from the Southeast United States, this will be an easy drive to the port with the family and we will arrive the day before our cruise to ensure we have no issues with being present for embarkation day.

As many of you know, this cruise was planned as a group cruise among readers of Royal Caribbean Blog and I cannot wait to meet up with everyone onboard the ship and share in exploring Allure of the Seas together. Ever since I planned the group cruise, I've thought the idea of cruising with other Royal Caribbean fans would be a lot of fun and we had a fabulous time for the first ever Royal Caribbean Blog group cruise on Quantum of the Seas.

We are planning to arrive to the Fort Lauderdale area a little after lunch and check into our hotel, Cambria Hotel and Suites.  We chose this hotel for its location near the port area, as well as offering suite accomodations for our family.

The day before the cruise, we have organzied a meet up at John U. Lloyd Beach State Park on Saturday, February 20th at 3:45pm to watch Oasis of the Seas (and other cruise ships) leave.  If anyone is in the area, please feel free to come on by and join us!

The next day, I will board Allure of the Seas as early as humanly possible and start the real fun on February 21st!

This is my first time on Allure of the Seas, although I had sailed on her sister ship, Oasis of the Seas back in 2010.  Given how long it has been since I have been on an Oasis class ship, it is clear the experience on Allure of the Seas will feel like something brand new.

Allure of the Seas offers so much to see and do onboard, and my family is excited for the opportunity to enjoy so many of the activities we have read and heard about over the years. Of particular interest are the specialty restaurants and many shows onboard.

We booked a number of firsts for us, including the prohibition party and Dinner at 150 Central Park.  We also have reservations for a number of the shows, so there will be plenty of opportunities to do new things.

Of course, our two children will be a focal point of our experiences onboard.  My kids being 5 and 1 years old, we will have a pretty good look at the activities for children onboard and we are all really excited to enjot it all.

In addition to the ship, we will visit three popular Western Caribbean ports of call: Labadee, Falmouth and Cozumel.  We have been to all of them in the past, and planning on mixing in favorite excursions along with some new stuff too.  I will share what we end up doing in each port, as we have purposefully left a bit of ambiguity to our shore excursions to give us more flexibility.

Of course, I hope you will be joining for me on this cruise virtually. If you have any questions for me while I’m onboard, comment in the post below, email or twitter me, and I’ll do my best to answer.   I will also be doing daily broadcasts on Periscope, so be sure to watch there!

Our itinerary

Next update should be on our embarkation day, Sunday, February 21. Stay tuned for all of our live blog updates right here.

Live Blog Index

Have a question about Allure of the Seas? Want Matt to cover something specifically in the live blog series? Tell us in the comments!

Navigator of the Seas listener cruise review on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

In:
17Feb2016

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

Episode 133 is available for downloading which has a review of a listener's experience on Navigator of the Seas last week.

Podcast listener Ethan is back to share his family's experience on Navigator of the Seas.  Ethan talks about the ports he visited, his stateroom and everything he did onboard Navigator of the Seas.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 133. 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!

99 days of Harmony: Royal Caribbean reveals more details about Harmony of the Seas at media event

In:
17Feb2016

Royal Caribbean held a press conference earlier today at STX France shipyard to discuss Harmony of the Seas with members of the European press.

Present at the question and answer session were Royal Caribbean Senior Vice President, Hotel Operations Mark Tamis & STX France Responsable d'affaire, Jean Yves Pean.  

The event was hoted by Royal Caribbean Vice President of Entertainment Nick Weir and also featured a video segment with Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley.

At the event, some tidbits and factoids were shared with those in attendance.

  • Harmony of the Seas cost is "somewhere north of a billion dollars"
  • Harmony of the Seas will be 20% more efficient than the other two Oasis class ships, thanks to improvements in hydronamic design, a new type of engine and product enhancements
  • Harmony of the Seas will be 33 centimeters longer than Allure of the Seas, making it the largest cruise ship in the world.
  • Some of the technology from the Quantum class ships Two70 space will be utilized in Studio B.
  • The AquaTheater will feature video projection mapping on the two "tusks".
  • There will also be an aerial element in the AquaTheater that involves "3D flying", where acrobats can be flown all around the AquaTheater.
  • Bionic Bar will replace Champagne Bar on Harmony of the Seas.
  • Jamie's Italian will replace Giovanni's Table on Harmony of the Seas.
  • A new menu with new offerings will be in Harmony of the Seas' main dining room.
  • Wonderland will feature a bar that has "creative cocktails" for guests even if they are not dining in the restaurant.
  • There will be more space available in the staterooms by making them longer, especially from deck 6 and above.
  • The Stowaway piano player will be onboard Harmony of the Seas.
  • Puzzle Break escape room will be on Harmony of the Seas.

99 days of Harmony: DreamWorks Experience

In:
16Feb2016

Royal Caribbean is counting down the days until its brand new Harmony of the Seas debuts, so for the next 99 days we will be posting something every day about this amazing new ship.

DreamWorks Experience

Ever since Royal Caribbean partnered with DreamWorks to bring their characters onboard Royal Caribbean's cruise ships, it's been a big hit.  Not surprisingly, the DreamWorks Experience will be coming to Quantum of the Seas too.

DreamWorks Animation characters including Po of Kung Fu Panda; Shrek, Fiona and Puss in Boots of Shrek; and from Madagascar, Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, King Julien and the Penguins will be available for guests to meet during their Harmony of the Sea cruise.

In addition to character meets, guests can enjoy DreamWorks Experience activities including

  • A DreamWorks Character breakfast in the main dining room
  • 'Meet and greet’ experiences throughout the day
  • Photo opportunities with the characters

Kids can also get the chance to play with their favorite DreamWorks Animation characters at Adventure Ocean

  • Story time
  • Dance parties
  • Adventures rooted in the popular character stories

Of course, you will be able to watch DreamWorks films in the ship’s 3D movie theater and on a dedicated DreamWorks TV channel in their stateroom.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post as we celebrate 99 days of Harmony!

Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas float out scheduled for February 18

In:
16Feb2016

Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship, Ovation of the Seas, is scheduled to have her float out from Meyer Werft's covered building dock on February 18, 2016.

The 168,666-gt cruise ship is the third Quantum class cruise ship and has taken just 18 months of construction to reach this point.

The float-out of the ship will commence aroind 12:30pm local time.

Following the float-out, more tests will be carried out in the harbor and the ship will be berthed alongside the yard's outfitting pier.

Delays in the float out schedule may occur due to weather conditions.

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