Royal Caribbean adds full suite benefits to Ocean View Panoramic Suite stateroom

By: Matt Hochberg

Guests sailing in an Ocean View Panoramic Suite (category VP) will now be entitled to the same suite benefits guests sailing in a Grand Suite or higher category stateroom enjoy.

A few Royal Caribbean Blog readers have shared they have received indications from Royal Caribbean that their previously booked Panoramic Suite rooms will receive full suite benefits.

Prior to this change, the Panoramic Suite staterooms had the equivalent benefits of a Junior Suite, but with this change, guests in these sort of rooms will now get more benefits.

Panoramic Suites were added to Voyager and Freedom class ships in the past few years.  Most of these rooms are categorized as Spacious Panoramic Ocean View Stateroom (category 1L), but the Ocean View Panoramic Suite offer more space and are the rooms that qualify for these upgraded benefits.

In addition, the VO Class stateroom on Grandeur of the Seas will receive benefits equivalent to Grand Suites.

Gangways added to new Royal Caribbean cruise terminal in PortMiami

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's new cruise terminal in PortMiami is coming along in its progress, and it appears that the gangways have been installed and dredging has moved further east along the pier.

Thanks to Royal Caribbean Blog reader Twangster, we have these new photos to share of the progress being made, as seen earlier this week from Mariner of the Seas.

7 ways Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas is different from other Oasis-class ships

By: Matt Hochberg

Symphony of the Seas may be the fourth Oasis Class cruise ship, but she is not without her own innovations and first-of-a-kind experiences.  

In the past, subsequent sister cruise ships in a class were often very similar to the ships that came before, but Royal Caribbean added a lot of new activities and offerings on Symphony of the Seas to provide guests plenty of incentive to try her out.  Here is our list of the top seven ways Symphony of the Seas is different from Oasis, Harmony or Allure of the Seas.

1. Solarium Big Wonder (art installation)

Photo by Cruise Life Rick

The artwork on any Royal Caribbean ship will be a major differentiator from other vessels, but we think the Solarium art installation was so significant, it merited mentioning on its own.

A one-of-a-kind work of art comprised of thousands of dichroic acrylic elements is the first to be featured in the Solarium, spanning an area of 2,594 square feet and flooding the pool beneath with natural light. The poolside palm trees bathed in this contrast of light and shadow make it a must-see (and Instagramed) site to see.

2. No Sabor on Boardwalk

Symphony of the Seas is the first Oasis Class ship not to feature Sabor on the Boardwalk, or anywhere on the ship.

Royal Caribbean opted to rethink its Boardwalk neighborhood a bit and introduced the Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade.  It spans the entire length of one side of the Boardwalk neighborhood, and is home to sports watching, arcade games and tasty food.

3. Sugar Beach Candy shop

Much like Playmakers, Sugar Beach is a brand new candy and ice cream shop that is not on any other Royal Caribbean ship.  The concept was to offer sweet treats for adults and kids alike.  

Rather than just being "another candy shop", Sugar Beach features colorful candy-packed walls with ice cream and tons of toppings.  In addition, it is home to some baking events onboard.

4. Ultimate Family Suite

Symphony of the Seas introduced the Ultimate Family Suite stateroom, which is less of a stateroom and more of a family-inspired castle at sea.

The two-level room has some incredible features, such as an exclusive slide from the kid’s only bedroom down to the living room below; a floor-to-ceiling LEGO wall, an air-hockey table and hidden nooks for chilling. There is also a separate 3D movie theater-style TV room, complete with popcorn machine and a library of video games across multiple gaming systems. If all that was not enough, there is also a 212 square foot wrap-around balcony and a full-size whirlpool for fantastic views.

5. New restaurants

Dining is at the heart of what Royal Caribbean offers on its ships these days, and Symphony of the Seas ushered in a few new restaurant concepts for guests to enjoy.

While Sabor is not on Symphony of the Seas, Royal Caribbean does offer a new Mexican restaurant in El Loco Fresh that serves up fresh and fast Mexican favorites.

In the Solarium, guests can try fresh seafood and a robust raw bar at Hooked Seafood restaurant.

6. Laser tag at sea

From the cruise line that brought you the FlowRider, rock climbing wall and Ripcord by iFly, comes glow-in-the-dark laser tag.

Located in Studio B, Battle for Planet Z offers friends and family the chance to battle for laser tag dominance in this new glow-in-the-dark laser tag experience, complete with state-of-the-art technology and special effects.

7. Lots of new entertainment

Royal Caribbean did not just "copy and paste" its entertainment line-up from other Oasis-class ships for Symphony of the Seas.  A number of brand new productions are available on Symphony of the Seas that are shown throughout the ship and a brand-new experience for all guests.

  • Hairspray: Big hair, big dreams and all the right moves — you can’t stop the beat in this Tony Award-winning Broadway hit.
  • Flight: An uplifting historical satire on the evolution of air travel that ends with homage to the famed Wright Brothers.
  • 1977: This spectacular adventure on ice follows a time traveling, dimension-jumping hero as he is called upon in London to recover Her Majesty's Crown Jewels in time for the famous Silver Jubilee.
  • HiRo: A mind-blowing show that combines cutting-edge technology, future-forward choreography, unexpected stunts and highly innovative, physically extraordinary acrobatics.

Voom Wifi on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

By: Matt Hochberg

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

Episode 268 is available for downloading, where we discuss how to get online while on a Royal Caribbean cruise and how to save some money at the same time.

Looking to get connected and stay in touch with friends and family back home? Or maybe you just want to (humbly) brag about your awesome cruise vacation? Here's what you need to know about getting online on a Royal Caribbean cruise, and some tips for getting the lowest price.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 268. 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!

Video: Royal Caribbean Guests Enjoy a One-of-a-Kind Scuba Experience

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is the only cruise line in the world to partner with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors® (PADI) to offer a full Open Water Diving course for guests onboard. With classes done onboard in the ship’s pools and then an open-water dive, guests can earn their certification during their 7- night vacation. Once the course is complete, guests have unlocked an incredible new world of underwater beauty that they are now certified to discover on their own.

Royal Caribbean trademarks crown-shaped smokestack

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has trademarked the design of the smokestack area on a ship that is meant to be crown-shaped.

Royal Caribbean filed a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office last week with an image mark and description of what they intend to guard.  The design is certainly based on an Oasis Class ship.

"The mark consists of a crown-shaped bottom portion having a set of slanted smokestacks encased in cowling-like structures residing on the top surface of the crown-shaped bottom portion, where the back wall of the crown-shaped bottom portion further defines a set of crown points."

It is not clear if this trademark filing is meant to cover existing Oasis Class smokestack design, or perhaps cover a new design that is coming to a new cruise ship.

Harmony of the Seas aerial

Allure of the Seas aerial

Symphony of the Seas aerial

Spotted: Carry-on luggage storage available on Mariner of the Seas

By: Matt Hochberg

Guests sailing on Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas may be able to take advantage of a complimentary carry-on luggage storage service for use until staterooms are ready for guests later in the day.

Royal Caribbean Blog reader Twangster spotted this service being offered on a recent Mariner of the Seas sailing.

Photo by Twangster

When the guests hear the staterooms are ready announcement over the public address system, guests are reminded to pickup your carry on stored in the theater.

We have heard of carry-on luggage storage options being offered on other ships, such as Empress of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean to eliminate in-room babysitting

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean informed guests via email that it will be discontinuing its in-room babysitting service as of September 30, 2018.

Known as Sitters at Sea, Royal Caribbean intends to no longer offer in-stateroom sitter services.  Royal Caribbean offers on most, but not all, of its ships a nursery for children that are up to 3 years old.

Any sailings departing on or before September 30 will still offer Sitters at Sea upon request and subject to availability. Guests can inquire at Guest Services onboard for further information.

The cruise line also re-affirmed its dedication to offering kids programming on its ships.  Its Adventure Ocean and Royal Babies & Tots program will remain unchanged, and Royal Caribbean will still offer "Late Night Party Zone" group sitting by our Adventure Ocean Youth Staff for children between the ages of 3 through 11.

The Sitters at Sea program was a service by Royal Caribbean where guests could inquire if any crew members were willing to baby sit children in a guest stateroom.  The advent of nurseries on many Royal Caribbean ships has likely seen demand for in-room babysitting dwindle in recent years.

The remaining Royal Caribbean ships without a nursery are Empress of the Seas, Majesty of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas.

We have reached out to Royal Caribbean for further information.

Royal Caribbean cruise terminal in PortMiami photo report - September 14, 2018

By: Matt Hochberg

We are just weeks away from the opening of Royal Caribbean's new cruise terminal in PortMiami, and here is another look at the exterior progress being made.

Cruise Life Rick snapped some photos of the work being done on what will be Terminal A at PortMiami, while sailing past it on Mariner of the Seas.

The new state-of-the-art terminal at PortMiami will be home to Allure of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas. Once completed in October 2018, Royal Caribbean will implement the best technologies to deliver a state-of-the-art guest experience.

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: September 16, 2018

By: Matt Hochberg

Thank you for joining us for this a look at all the Royal Caribbean news from this week. We had plenty to share, so let us jump right in!

Royal Caribbean trademarked three new ship names this week, which gave rise to much discussion on opinions of these names.

The ship names were registered with the United States Patent and Trademark office and could possibly be used as the names of new ships.

While trademarking a ship name is a significant step forward in the eventual naming of a new ship, not all trademarked names end up being used by Royal Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 267th episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, where we share a listener's review of Adventure of the Seas to Canada and New England.

In this episode, James talks about his first Royal Caribbean cruise and what he experienced on Adventure of the Seas.  James also discusses the ports he visited in Canada and New England.

Please feel free to subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and head over to rate and review the podcast on iTunes if you can! We’d appreciate it.

Royal Caribbean Around the Internet

Royal Caribbean profiled its Chief Information Officer, Martha Poulter.

Travel Weekly reported on Royal Caribbean joining Tipto.

Travel Pulse named Royal Caribbean its Contemporary Cruise Line Partner of the Year.

Project: Wanderlust shared five ways for kids to spend the day on Independence of the Seas.