Royal Caribbean offering bonus instant savings on cruises booked over next 100 hours

In:
21Oct2016

Royal Caribbean will offer bonus instant savings of up to $100 for cruises booked over the next 100 hours, in addition to the current 60% off second guest promotion.

Royal Caribbean cruises booked between October 21 - 30, 2016 applies to sailings on or after November 19, 2016 (excluding China departures). This deal was extended through October 30 by Royal Caribbean on October 26.

The offer includes

  • 60% off cruise fare of second guest booked in the same stateroom as first full fare guest.
  • 30% cruise fare savings for 3rd and 4th guests booked in the same stateroom as first two qualifying guests.
  • Instant savings
    • Sailings 5 nights or less
      • Interior and oceanview staterooms: $25
      • Balcony and suite staterooms: $50
    • Sailings 6-nights or longer
      • Interior and oceanview staterooms: $50
      • Balcony staterooms: $75
      • Suites: $100
  • Eligible Caribbean and Bahamas holiday sailings, offer includes a per stateroom savings based on stateroom category.
    • For eligible holiday sailings 5 nights or less departing December 22-31, 2016 and 2017
      • $50 off per stateroom for interior and oceanview and $100 off per stateroom for balcony and suite categories.
    • For eligible holiday sailings 6-nights or longer, departing December 15-31, 2016 or 2017
      • $100 off per stateroom for interior and oceanview, $200 off per stateroom for balcony, and $300 off per stateroom for suite categories.

BOGO60 is combinable with 3rd and 4th Guest Savings, Instant Savings, Holiday Savings, Anthem Free Upgrade, Crown & Anchor discounts and NextCruise offers. BOGO60 and 3rd and 4th Guest Savings are not combinable with restricted rates. Instant Savings and Holiday Savings are combinable with restricted rates and NextCruise offers.

Instant Savings and Holiday Savings are not combinable Crown & Anchor discounts. All offers are not combinable with any other offer or promotion.

Offer open to residents of U.S. or Canada. 

In-depth look at Royal Caribbean's Deluxe Drink Package

In:
20Oct2016

Royal Caribbean's Deluxe Beverage Package is the cruise line's unlimited alcohol offering for guests to enjoy a wide variety of drinks for one fixed price.

Since Royal Caribbean revamped its unlimited alcohol packages in September 2016, there is now one unlimited alcohol package for guests who wish to "have it all" and lock in their price.  Beer, wine, cocktails, coffee, water and more are all included in this package and purchasing the deluxe drink package means you will know your cost for drinks in advance and be able to lock it in now.

You can read more about what the different unlimited beverage packages are and how they work.

What does the deluxe drink package include?

Guests can choose between unlimited cocktails, beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages, premium coffee, tea, and bottled water. This package includes drinks with a value of up to $12. For guests that would like to enjoy a beverage over that threshold, a $12 credit will be applied towards the beverage of choice and guests will be required to pay the balance.

Guests with Deluxe drink package can also get 40% discount on wines under $100. Wines above $100 will receive a 20% discount.

All Beverage Packages exclude any beverages served inside licensed Starbucks stores, such as those on Oasis-class ships.

How much is the deluxe drink package?

The base price is $55 per person, per day excluding the service charge, which will be added to the package price upon purchase.

This means the daily price you pay covers all the drinks in the package as well as gratuity.

Often, there are pre-cruise discounts available for guests that purchase the drink package online, via Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner.

Who is the deluxe drink package best for?

Guests who want to be able to pick from the widest variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks will want the deluxe package.  

Royal Caribbean advertises the deluxe package as having "virtually unlimited options" and that is pretty close to the truth.  Guests who can consume a lot of cocktails, beers, coffees, juices and more are well-suited for this package.  

A common scenario we hear about is a guest who likes to drink a lot of coffee and/or juice in the morning, and then enjoy alcoholic beverages during the day and evening.

Can I get souvenir glasses/mugs while using the deluxe drink package?

You can get drinks like Labadoozies, Coco locos, after dinner shots or the drink of the day with the deluxe drink package but does not include the souvenir mugs/glasses they are often served in.

You should tell your waiter or bartender to get the drink without the souvenir cup to avoid being charged extra for the souvenir cup.

Can I purchase the deluxe drink package and share drinks with someone I know onboard?

No, sharing beverages on any of Royal Caribbean's unlimited drink packages is strictly prohibited.

Royal Caribbean becomes first cruise line to be named Gay Travel Approved

In:
20Oct2016

GayTravel.com announced that Royal Caribbean International is the first and only cruise line to receive the distinction of being Gay Travel Approved.  According to the group, Royal Caribbean "has shown an ongoing commitment to the LGBTQ community by demonstrating a spirit of diversity and inclusion on all of its 25 ships that visit exciting destinations around the world."

The Gay Travel Approved Seal of Approval is awarded by GayTravel.com to select travel partners that offer a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ travelers. This accolade is reserved for travel partners whom a panel of experts, editors and tastemakers have deemed deserving of a higher level of recognition by the LGBTQ community.

"Royal Caribbean has always been known and recognized for extraordinary service that is warm and attentive and remains committed to creating a diverse, welcoming environment on each and every one of our ships," said Grant Van Ulbrich, Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Royal Caribbean. "To take our efforts to the next level, we recently introduced a new Diversity and Inclusion department and one of its first priorities is to focus on continued training and education for our international crew members."

"This designation has been a long time in the making," said Steve Rohrlick, CEO of GayTravel.com. "Our GayTravel Cruise Guru Stephen Prisco has sailed on more than one hundred Royal Caribbean cruises.  The recent appointment of Grant Van Ulbrich as the first openly-gay Diversity Executive on a major cruise line and the steps he is implementing are indicative of Royal Caribbean International's commitment to the LGBTQ community. It is therefore our distinct pleasure to bestow GayTravel Approved 2016 to Royal Caribbean International."

What you need to know about neighborhood balcony staterooms on Royal Caribbean's Oasis class ships

In:
19Oct2016

Among the many impressive features on Royal Caribbean's Oasis class ships, are two neighborhoods that offer a lot to see and do, as well as incredible staterooms that look into these areas.

Central Park balcony and Boardwalk balcony staterooms are a compelling choice for anyone looking at stateroom choices on any Oasis class ship, and here is the important information to consider when booking these kinds of rooms.

What is a Central Park or Boardwalk balcony room?

These neighborhood facing balconies are a balcony category stateroom that offer a balcony that looks towards either Central Park or Boardwalk, instead of a balcony that overlooks the ocean.

The idea was a first in the cruise industry because prior to Oasis of the Seas, balconies had never been internally facing. 

The neighborhood balconies offer the same fresh air and light that ocean view balconies do, but with the opportunity to enjoy the ambiance of the Boardwalk or Central Park neighborhoods.  In addition, neighborhood view balcony staterooms tend to be slightly cheaper than ocean view balconies.

The exact size of a neighborhood view stateroom with balcony is 182 square feet with a 52 square foot balcony. Both types of rooms include twin beds that convert to a queen, a desk, sitting area (some with sofa bed), TV and minibar and a balcony with two chairs and small table.

Central Park balcony rooms are on Decks 10 through 14, and Boardwalk balcony rooms are on Decks 8 through 14.

Why might you not want to book a Central Park or Boardwalk balcony stateroom?

Other than what you can see from your balcony, the room experience between a neighborhood balcony and an ocean view balcony are pretty much the same. For some folks, a balcony without an ocean view is not desirable.

A common concern that we hear about is noise from the neighborhood impacting the guest experience. In our experiences, the ambient noise from Central Park or Boardwalk is negligible and does not bleed into the stateroom itself. Of course, if you desire the sound of the ocean with your balcony, that will be missing here. It is worth noting that Boardwalk balcony rooms can have more noise when there are shows occurring in the AquaTheater, but your stateroom location and noise tolerance will vary.

It is also worth noting in terms of privacy, there are neighborhood balcony rooms on the opposite side of the ship that will face your balcony.

What do neighborhood balcony rooms offer that ocean view rooms do not?

There are some inherent advantages to booking a neighborhood balcony room over an ocean view balcony room.  First and foremost, the price for neighborhood balcony rooms is often less expensive than ocean view balcony rooms.

In addition, Royal Caribbean is offering complimentary perks for neighborhood balcony staterooms on Oasis class ships. Beginning in November 2016, guests staying in Boardwalk or Central Park view balcony staterooms will be able to enjoy complimentary amenities such as free food, drinks and more.

Moreover, neighborhood balcony rooms allow guests staying in them to enjoy some great people watching opportunities and enjoy the general ambiance of the neighborhoods you can view.  Boardwalk view balcony rooms also have an added benefit of some offering full or partial views of the AquaTheater performances.

Differences between Central Park and Boardwalk rooms

As the name implies, the primary and most noticeable difference between Central Park and Balcony rooms, are the view.

Central Park view balcony rooms offer a view of the Central Park neighborhood below.  Central Park is 

Central Park is one of seven distinct "neighborhoods" that help break up an Oasis class ship.  It is an immense area in the middle of the ship that offers a lush park for guests to enjoy with tropical plants, trees and walkways. Central Park features a lush garden in an area about as long as the Royal Promenade and twice as wide.  Central Park rooms tend to have a bit less noise from the neighborhood because there are no shows in this area (there is live music in the evenings), and there tends to be less guests hanging out in the area.

The Boardwalk neighborhood is reminiscent of the whimsical seaside resorts that dot the coast of England and the nostalgic boardwalks of yesteryear such as Coney Island. There is a carousel, restaurants and the AquaTheater stage. Unlike Central Park balcony rooms, there is a partial view of the ocean when facing aft, and some rooms even offer views of the AquaTheater (the more aft your room is, the better the chance). Because of the shows and the fact the Boardwalk tends to have higher foot traffic than Central Park, it can be a bit noisier than Central Park.  

Summary

In the end, Royal Caribbean's neighborhood balcony appeal will depend on how you cruise. Do you like quiet time watching the sea, or enjoy arriving into port? Do you find the Central Park or Boardwalk neighborhoods particularly intriguing? 

When you consider the usual less expensive cost for neighborhood balcony rooms and the new perks for neighborhood balcony rooms, it is a particularly compelling option. In addition, many Boardwalk balcony rooms still offer a view of the ocean when looking to the aft of the ship.

While neighborhood balcony staterooms do not offer a full view of the ocean, having a balcony, regardless of view, is still what makes a great cruise experience.

Project Icon on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

In:
19Oct2016

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

Episode 168 is available for downloading, which takes a look at the big news that Royal Caribbean is building a new class of cruise ships.

Matt and Michael discuss the news that Royal Caribbean has ordered two new cruise ships that will create a brand new class of ships, that will be powered by cleaner next-gen fuels.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 168. 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's Harmony of the Seas By The Numbers

In:
18Oct2016

An overview of Harmony of the Seas like you’ve never seen. The world’s largest cruise ship is packed with bold and unexpected lineup of experiences found nowhere else on land or sea.

Royal Caribbean extends Singapore cruise season by adding new sailings

In:
18Oct2016

Royal Caribbean announced it has extended its cruise season in Singapore until next June, with nine additional sailings.  The change comes as Mariner of the Seas arrived in Singapore this week to begin her longest-ever Southeast Asian season.

Mariner of the Seas will offer 41 sailings of 3 to 10 nights to popular destinations in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong and China till March 2017.

Ovation of the Seas will be back in March to April 2017 with a total of 10 new sailings, comprising 3 to 5 nights to Penang, Phuket, Bangkok (Laem Chabang) and a 12-night one-way cruise to Tianjin with calls at Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My) for an overnight, Hue/Danang (Chan May), Hong Kong and Seoul (Incheon).

Voyager of the Seas will return to Singapore in May to June 2017 to offer 13 sailings of three to five night Southeast Asian itineraries to Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Penang, Phuket and an 8-night one-way cruise to Hong Kong, with stopovers at Bangkok (Laem Chabang) for an overnight, Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My) and Nha Trang. 

At the same time today, Royal Caribbean also received Travel Weekly Asia’s Readers Choice Awards for ‘Best Cruise Line - International’ and ‘Best Cruise Line - Family’. The awards honor the “best of the best” in the travel industry which have provided exceptional service and products in the past year. The winners were voted by Travel Weekly Asia’s readers on over 40 categories representing the different segments of the travel industry. 

Sean Treacy, Managing Director, Singapore & Southeast Asia of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. said, "Winning these prestigious awards is a great honor for us. We thank the Travel Weekly Asia readers and our industry partners for their recognition and strong support. We look forward to our 10th anniversary in Asia next year, we aim to grow Royal Caribbean as a top vacation choice in Asia with our innovative ships and revolutionary onboard experiences, as we deliver to everyone "the One holiday" with "endless adventures". 

Photo report from Royal Caribbean's CocoCay following Hurricane Matthew

In:
17Oct2016

Royal Caribbean's private destination of CocoCay in the Bahamas has become a popular spot for cruise guests, and many readers have inquired upon the island's status following Hurricane Matthew impact last week.

Enchantment of the Seas was the first Royal Caribbean cruise ship to visit the island since the storm passed through, and Royal Caribbean Blog reader Rick Cincotta shared these photos from his time there.


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Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: October 16, 2016

In:
16Oct2016

We hope everyone reading this is having a wonderful Sunday and enjoying some time this weekend with friends, family and some good food too.  There was a lot of Royal Caribbean news this week, and we have summarized all up into one easy-to-read blog post for your convenience!

Royal Caribbean made headlines this week when it announced plans for its next class of cruise ships that will be powered by liquefied natural gas and fuel cell technology.

Dubbed "Project Icon," Royal Caribbean has ordered two ships so far from shipbuilder Meyer Turku and will likely accommodate approximately 5,000 passengers, but details are still being worked out.

According to Royal Caribbean, the use of LNG and the introduction of fuel cell technology will usher in a new era of shipbuilding that will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

Have you ever considered trying out the Royal Suite Class? In this week's Royal Caribbean Blog podcast, we discuss what this new program offers with a first-hand experience.

Laurel Stewart and Len Testa join Matt to talk about their recent cruise on Anthem of the Seas, where the couple tried out the Star Class offerings and report back on what this kind of experience offers.

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

Cruise Habit asked veteran cruisers what they wish they had known when they first started cruising.

Not Another Mummy Blog shows how Royal Caribbean changed their family's mind about being a cruise type.

The Daily Mail shares what a recent Serenade of the Seas family cruise around Norway was like.

Seatrade Cruise News says Royal Caribbean is investing heavily to improve its China distribution.

Asia Cosplay Festival returns to Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas in February

In:
15Oct2016

Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas will be transformed into a world of cosplay fantasy once again next February, when it plays host to Asia’s biggest cosplay festival at sea for the second time. “COSFEST SEA: Beyond The Great Horizons”, organised by The Singapore Cosplay Club in collaboration with the cruise brand, will be on a 3-night weekend cruise from Singapore to Penang from February 17 to 20. The region’s top cosplayers for the championship plus exciting cosplay entertainment and activities will be in store to spellbind fans and guests.

Stephanie Loh, President of The Singapore Cosplay Club said, "“COSFEST SEA: Beyond The Great Horizons” will be bigger and better with new cosplay activities and entertainment for folks of all ages! Everyone including young kids and their parents is invited to indulge in a moment of fantasy onboard. We want to make cosplay enjoyable for everyone, all the more on a super ship like Mariner of the Seas."

The biggest highlight of this theme cruise is the Asia Cosplay Meet Championship which will feature contestants from eight countries and territories such as China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, The Philippines and Thailand all vying for the top spot. For the first time as well, there will be guest contestants from outside of Asia, namely USA. This will be open for public viewing for all the guests onboard to catch the action. There is also a special preview before the competition begins. More details on the contestants will be unveiled at a later stage.

Onboard, the cosplayers will also have chances to mingle with one another and discover about different cosplay cultures. As for the guests, they are welcome to join in the mood in their own cosplay outfits.

Other activities highlights open to all guests include the ‘Movie Costume Museum’ which will show an impressive display of costumes from many movie and animation titles and have costumes for guests to dress up their children for photo taking; the spectacular ‘Cosplay Parade’ along the Royal Promenade which will be filled with cosplayers dressed up as popular Anime characters; and the ‘Cosplay Treasure Hunt’ for participants to accomplish as many missions as possible onboard. Guests onboard will have the chance to meet some of their favourite movie characters. 

Interested parties can visit www.sgcosplayclub.org to book and get access to all COSFEST SEA private events.

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