Royal Caribbean UK promising space cruises in 2030

In:
01Apr2016

April Fools is in full swing, as Royal Caribbean UK "announced" today that it is building a spaceship called "Orbiter of the Galaxy."

The spaceship will offer space cruises by 2030 and even offer high speed Voom internet while in orbit.

Royal Caribbean went on to say that construction of Orbiter of the Galaxies is well under way. Cruisers can expect all the usual features, with a space-age twist.

This "news" adds to the April Fools festivities, with Royal Caribbean earlier announcing it will team up with a man who tried to name another ship, "Boaty McBoatface" to name a new Royal Caribbean ship.

Royal Caribbean's April Fools joke invites man behind funny ship name to name next Royal Caribbean ship

In:
01Apr2016

Royal Caribbean has "invited" James Hand, the man who recently entered a contest in the UK to name a ship Boaty McBoatface, to "help" Royal Caribbean name its next cruise ship.

Coincidently posted on April 1, Royal Caribbean  knows that James Hand has forever altered the business of naming ships, and perhaps could make a career out of it. Therefore, Royal Caribbean is thrilled to extend James Hand an offer to bring his talents on deck, and help Royal Caribbean develop the name for a future ship.

With five ships debuting in the next three years, Hand’s clever copywriting skills will surely be put to good use.

"The people of the United Kingdom know the name of a great ship when they see it," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Like the rest of the world, we fell in love with the name Boaty McBoatface when we heard it, and we knew immediately that Royal Caribbean could use James Hand’s talent to name our next ship."

As the first step, Royal Caribbean is inviting James Hand to sail on its newest and biggest ship, Harmony of the Seas, when she launches in Southampton, UK this May. Hand will meet with the cruise line’s very own ship naming experts to discuss potential names for a forthcoming ship.

"If James accepts our offer, who knows, perhaps he could name all our future ships,” added Bayley. “James Hand, Chief Naming Officer, Royal Caribbean International. It has a nice ring to it."

Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Day 5 - Sea Day

In:
31Mar2016

Our blog writer, Michael Poole, is live blogging from Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas!

Well friends, my fifth and final day is already here. These days sure go by fast. 

The good news is this is just my final day for the first cruise, because I’m staying on board for the next sailing too! 

Today was a sea day, and I decided to do it a little different and stay inside today.  If it was my last day, I’d defiantly be poolside, but I thought my sunburn could use a break.  

Morning on board

Like always, I woke up and grabbed my large coffee at Starbucks, but this time an hour later, at 8am. 

I decided to keep sleeping this morning, since I knew I was in no rush for any early activates. 

I went outside to explore the outside decks and tried to enjoy my sea day in a different way, than just the pool deck. 

I also explored the gift shop to search for these new floating pool cup holders that Matt blogged about the other day, and indeed there they were. 

I collect the ship models and the blue coffee mugs, but I already have both from when I was on her two years ago, so didn’t buy anything. 

After going through a few shops, I decided it was time for my first beer, and I wanted to explore the Schooner Bar. 

The atmosphere in here is really fun, the bartenders are so happy, and well the views they speak for themselves. 

I enjoyed a few goose islands while playing Royal Caribbean Trivia.   I felt like I shouldn’t be playing, almost like I had an advantage over other players. 

The two questions I got wrong were the total number of passengers the Independence of the Seas can hold (it’s 4,370) and the number of current ships in the fleet.  But to be fair, I got that question correct, since they said number of current ships, but they were counting the two new ships, plus Empress. 

Lunch on Sea Day

I was so excited for my lunch today and was actually texting Matt about how I couldn’t wait to eat Giovanni's Table’s lasagna.  Well, serves me right, because they were closed for lunch today. 

I didn’t understand why, because the Cruise Compass said they were open at noon.  Well, that was out so off to the Windjammer I went. 

I walked in the Windjammer and they had a beautiful cake when you walked in saying "thank you" for cruising on the Brilliance. 

I looked around at the food, and nothing really looked good to me, since my mind was set on Lasagna.  They were serving, hot dogs, pizza, burgers, ribs, pasta’s but nothing looked good to me. 

So I was now off to Park Café, third time is the charm right?  I knew the roast beef sandwich and salad would hit the spot.

Theater Tour

On day one I received a card in my cabin inviting me to a back stage tour of the main theater.   The tour was today at 1:30pm, and we were to meet on the portside entrance on deck 5 of the Pacifica Theatre. 

Well it was 1:35 and no one was around to let us into the tour.  After a few calls to guest services and the Loyalty Ambassador’s desk, they showed up a little before 1:40pm. 

Once we got started we received a great tour of the stage and all the elements on the stage.    After, we explored the back room area with all the props were stored. 

Our tour guide was the stage manager and he went over all the items that were set-up for this evenings show.  He also talked about some of the items backstage for different shows they use the longer sailings. 

The tour lasted around 20-30 minutes and I thought it was very unique experience and I’m happy I decided to attend. 

Evening on Board

Tonight, I enjoyed some live music in the Centrum; the assistant cruise director actually sang three songs.  This was her first time signing on a cruise ship and it was quite entertaining.  I heard a guest asking someone after she sang, if she was being serious about it being her first time, she was that good.  After she finished the ship band came on to play some songs.  I really enjoyed myself down in the Centrum this evening, just relaxing and reflecting on the cruise. 

Once the music was over, I decided to go visit vintages wine bar.  This bar is on deck 6 facing the Centrum.  This bar is by far the most beautiful bar on board and the décor is perfect for a win bar.  They have a round bar, so that you can sit on either side, but honestly every seat was open in the evenings.  They have a new rose champagne they are pushing for $31 glass, and I was able to try a sample.  

The service is really great here, and they are very knowledge about the wines. 

Well tonight was sad for all the passengers, the last night of their cruise.  Everyone had their bags outside their cabins so they could take them ashore in the morning. 

This is the departure process if you don’t want to carry the bags off yourself in the morning.  Personally, I like the express option where you carry them off yourself, but I understand with children that’s not possible. 

Well friends, that wraps up my cruise! Thank you for following along with me for the past five days.  But you are in luck, because my trip is not over yet!  I’m headed back out on a four-day cruise tomorrow, back to Cozumel, Mexico I go!   

99 days of Harmony: Let's Celebrate

In:
31Mar2016

Each day is bringing us closer to the launch of Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas and we are celebrating with a new blog post every day, all about this amazing new ship!

Let's Celebrate

Royal Caribbean has been known to throw some really fun parties on its cruise ships, but on Harmony of the Seas, there is one party designed to be the party!

"Let's Celebrate" is described as, "the ultimate celebration of celebrations" and is essentially a parade on the Royal Promenade all about partying as an excuse to celebrate something.

What does that mean, exactly? Royal Caribbean promises it's a little of Halloween, Birthdays, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July, and New Year’s Eve all in one wild and crazy parade that you will never forget.

Essentially, it is every celebration of the year crammed into one event and is a parade designed specifically for Harmony of the Seas.

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

Royal Caribbean partners with National Geographic to offer high quality equipment on select shore excursions

In:
31Mar2016

Royal Caribbean is offering guests the chance to explore coral reefs, shipwrecks and underwater volcanoes with the top-quality gear of National Geographic Snorkeler.

Seventeen new Royal Caribbean shore excursions will offer these National Geographic Snorkeler tours. These tours can be reserved before you sail on Cruise Planner, the online booking tool, or onboard the ship.

National Geographic touts their equipment as, "high-quality, performance dive snorkeling equipment."

In addition, guests can purchase their own National Geographic Snorkel set onboard a Royal Caribbean ship.  Guests that book a tour featuring National Geographic Snorkeler equipment will enjoy 10% off the gear at the Dive Shop and at the Shore Excursions Desk.

Here are some examples of the National Geographic Snorkeler excursions

Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Day 4 - Cozumel

In:
30Mar2016

Blogger Michael Poole is on Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas and is sharing what he did today. Enjoy!

Morning on board

I can’t think of a better port to visit in the Caribbean than Cozumel, Mexico. 

I woke up at 7am and it was still dark outside, so I grabbed my Starbucks coffee and did a little blog work.  I happen to turn my cell phone data on just to see if it work, and it did!  I’m an employee for a wireless company so I was able to use my employee plan and do morning Periscopes of the Independence of the Seas docking in Cozumel, next to us. 

At 8am, I decided to head back to the cabin to shower up for a full day in Mexico. 

Day in Cozumel, Mexico

They were already letting passengers off the ship, so it appeared we were a half hour ahead of schedule.   I didn’t realize getting off, but Cozumel, Mexico is on central time.   

I pre-booked an all day beach day called Nachi Cocom, if you have never heard of this place I did a full blog post on what all they have to offer.

It costs $55 per person and it includes all the food and drinks.  

I arrived at Nachi at 9am ship time, but it was 8am there and most of the staff was not even there.  The nice lady, who always takes your pictures, just told me to make myself at home. 

About an hour later other guests started to arrive and that was when they came and collected my payment.  When you make reservations it’s $11 deposit per person online and $44 cash per person when you arrive. 

I noticed a few changes since my last visit in November.  First, when you arrive (during opening hours) they hand you a glass of champagne. 

Also, they added a new bar area behind all the beach chairs. 

This helps the staff bring you drinks faster, but also if you want to go grab one yourself or sit in the shade at the bar.  

For lunch, I ordered their ever so famous guacamole and I’m going to be honest with you, I ate it all!  I also ordered a chicken quesadilla, which also disappeared.  They had plenty more options, but I was just too hot to eat a large meal. 

I would also recommend ordering as soon as you can, since almost everyone places his or her order at the same time.  The food service started at 10am local time, and goes through the afternoon, in case you need lunch #2 (Matt’s style). 

Approximately, 3pm I was ready to head back to the ship, they will call a taxi for you and they always arrive within 5 minutes. 

The taxi ride takes 10-15 minutes to get back to the ship and cost $17 each way.   

Back onboard

I headed back to my room to drop a few items off and noticed I had a paper on my bed.  

It was the information explaining the back-to-back process. 

They have two options, one explains if you want to get off and explore Tampa or stay on board.  I’m not really sure why anyone would want to get off a cruise ship.  But based on the information we will meet at 9am, and will walk off together then right back on. 

They did leave a customs form for me to complete, so hopefully it’s a painless process.  I’ll be sure to take my camera and document as much of the process as I can. 

I don’t think I mentioned this but there were six ships docked in Mexico today. I noticed they had them docked together by cruise line, which I loved so I could get a close-up look on the Independence of the Seas. 

She is a larger ship than the Brilliance, so I was looking up on her.  The one thing I enjoy about the Freedom class ship is they have an H20 zone for the children to have a blast in. 

Evening on board

Tonight I enjoyed some live music in the centrum for the first time.  They were playing mostly country music, which I love being from Tennessee.  However, I’m more used to the bands playing a mixture of all types of genres. 

When the band took a break they played battle of the sexes.  I’ve never seen this type of event in the centrum and it had a little “adult theme” in the games. 

Dinner in Windjammer

So at this point, I’ve been having dinner each evening in the Windjammer and that held true tonight.  I thought I would talk about meals in here in a little more detail for you. 

If you have ever been there for breakfast you will notice almost all the options are repeated on both sides of the Windjammer.  In the evenings for dinner they have a sections with themed food items. 

They are making sure they have a different variety for everyone’s liking.  You can also find them making a unique bowl of stir-fry with the ingredients you wish.   

I won’t be dining in here for the next cruise, but I’m happy to have learned of all their options if you want a simple-casual dinner. 

Dancing under the Stars

Tonight was the pool deck party, called Dancing under the Stars. 

The party started at 10:30pm and goes until people just keep dancing.  They had the light up cups to purchase, I’m sorry I didn’t look at the price. 

The Cruise Director, Ricky Mathews, got the party started off with some the standard line dancing songs, I’m sure we have all heard before. 

It then turned to more fast pacing dancing; as much as I love to dance I sat this one out.  I noticed they had a table set-up with fruit kabobs, it was a beautify setup that went fast.

 

Well friends, at this point in the evening I decided to call it an evening. 

Tomorrow is our last day on the cruise and it’s a sea day.  I’m doing some first time activities for myself on a sea day and I can’t wait to share it with you.  

Royal Caribbean to transfer Majesty of the Seas out of the fleet in 2018

In:
30Mar2016

It appears Royal Caribbean will transfer Majesty of the Seas out of the fleet in 2018 to a combined Pullmantur/CDF Croisieres de France fleet in 2018.

Cruise Critic is reporting the change, in which Majesty of the Seas will leave Royal Caribbean's fleet following an earlier announcement in November 2014 that the ship would leave the fleet, but Royal Caribbean decided to cancel those plans.

Until Majesty of the Seas departs the fleet, she will continue offering cruises as scheduled.

Majesty of the Seas is the last of the Sovereign-class cruise ships in the fleet and has a drydock scheduled for May 2016.  The changes coming to Majesty of the Seas in this refurbishment have been scaled back, but the ship will still be getting work done this spring.

Former Royal Caribbean vessel and sister ship, Monarch of the Seas, was also transfered to Pullmantur back in 2013.

Royal Caribbean re-categorizing staterooms on some of its cruise ships

In:
30Mar2016

Royal Caribbean has announced starting in 2017, it will re-categorize some of its staterooms across eight of its ships.

These new simplified categories are designed to make booking staterooms faster, easier and more consistent.

The changes are affecting Anthem of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas.

For Majesty of the Seas, the new category nomenclature remains unchanged. Features vary by ship.

Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Day 3 - Sea Day

In:
29Mar2016

Michael Poole is live blogging from Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas every day of his cruise. Enjoy!

Pool Deck

Today is our first sea day, and honestly these are some of my favorite days on a cruise. 

I woke up at 7AM today, and got my Starbucks coffee ($3.54) for a large.  I was enjoying my coffee and I over heard a family talking about how they needed to hold some pool chairs.  Then I remember, oh the chair hogs are going to be in full-force.  I made it to the pool deck by 8:15am and sure enough almost every chair had personal belongs in them. 

Being a solo passenger, I was able to find one chair open between couples.  The pool deck was coming to life, they had zoom class going followed by a kids movie on the big screen. 

Around noon I decided to head inside for some lunch. 

Lunch at Rita’s

In the backside of Windjammer they have a Mexican restaurant called Rita's Cantina

This restaurant is priced a la carte, but the prices are very low. 

The restaurant just added two large TV’s at the bar, where they were always playing ESPN, these were added two weeks ago. 

The view is honestly the best part of this restaurant, just open air and looking at nothing but the ocean. 

Now, let’s talk about the bad.  For starters, my service wasn’t that great, honestly I felt like I was trouble for the waiter for being there.  I actually had to go track him down to pay, but it doesn’t stop there.  

They give you chips and salsa, and the salsa well was like nothing I’ve ever tasted before.  Let’s just say I gave it two tries and that’s when I pushed it aside. 

I ordered a chicken Quesada and it was fine, kind of small to be honest.  

That being said, if you want to come here for beers or drinks, it’s a great spot.  But I recommend you eat in the Windjammer first. 

Afternoon onboard

After lunch, I just explored the ship, made a walk through the casino, but no donation’s yet. 

I grabbed a pint in the pub, and they have the best service in there, I love it. 

I managed to catch the belly flop contest hosted by our Cruise Director, Ricky Mathews.  He recently got on board from the Oasis of the Seas and just filling in for her remaining sailings out of Tampa.  He did the best belly flop contest I’ve ever seen, just so joyful and dancing. 

I recorded the whole contest and will put on YouTube once I return home. 

Evening Hours – Formal Night

Tonight was formal night around the ship, but it didn’t really feel that formal.  Most of the passengers are families and it looks like they didn’t want to get dressed up this evening. 

I decided to explore  the Schooner Bar, since I have not spent anytime in there.  They were playing music-trivia when I arrive around 5:30pm. 

This is a classic bar across the fleet, and just like Vision-class, they have a full row of glass windows from ceiling to floor, oh I love these views. 

They did ask for my photo ID at the bar, and this has now happen to me three times.  

I later decided to head up to the Diamond lounge at 8pm, and it was empty.  But no worries about it being empty, sometimes less is more. 

I should talk to you about all the bars around the ship being empty.  In all my cruises, I’ve never seen the bars across the ship just always empty, every chair empty and no wait time.  There is just not a lot of drinking on this cruise since it’s mostly families. 

Drink Package Check up

Well my friends, I decided to finally give in and purchase the Select drink package today.  

I was by the pool and wanted to enjoy some Stella’s and decided I’m getting the package.  I paid around $120 for the last three days of the cruise.   I was able to purchase the package poolside without any issues. 

So those of you who had bets on the package, you win!   

Tomorrow we are in Cozumel, Mexico!

Royal Caribbean offering Buy One, Get One 50% off, plus 25% off third and fourth passengers

In:
29Mar2016

Royal Caribbean's new BOGO SAVER sale will begin on April 4, 2016 and offer 50% off your second guest, 25% off third and fourth guests and pre-paid gratuities on many sailings.

The new BOGO SAVER deal is valid on all sailings on or after May 5, 2016, excluding China departures.

The deal includes

  • Buy One Guest, Get Second Guest 50% Off
  • 25% off for 3rd and 4th guests
  • BONUS Pre-Paid Gratuities in Oceanview categories and above for the first and second guests on all products excluding Alaska, Asia, China, Transatlantic and Repositioning sailings.
  • PLUS for eligible new deployment sailings departing on or after May 1, 2017 (excluding China departures), offer includes Free Upgrades within stateroom type.

Cruise must be booked April 4-April 13, 2016.

The Free Upgrade offer is within the stateroom meta-category (for example from a D8 to a D1, interior to interior, or ocean view to ocean view). Free Upgrade refers to booking a stateroom for the price of the lowest available category within the same stateroom meta-category type. Upgrade is subject to stateroom availability at time of booking. Upgrade offer excludes Panoramic, Family, and Suite staterooms.

BOGO is combinable with adjoining Pre-Paid Gratuities, 25% Savings, New Deployment Upgrade Offer, NextCruise Offer, Crown & Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. Pre-paid Gratuities are not combinable with Crown & Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. BOGO and 25% Savings are not combinable with restricted rates (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military). Pre-Paid Gratuities are combinable with restricted rates (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military) as well as NextCruise offers. Offer is not combinable with any other offer or promotion, including, but not limited to, Standard Group, Interline, Travel Agent, Travel Agent Friends and Family, Weekly Sales Events, and Net Rates.

Offer available to residents of United States and Canada.

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