Friday Photos

In:
08Aug2014

We love sharing Royal Caribbean photos that our readers send in because they are so much fun to look at.  We want your photos too, so send us your best Royal Caribbean photos to share with the world.

Our first photo this week is from Karen Boerner of the Centrum on Enchantment of the Seas during night.  I believe Royal Caribbean ships look exceptionally beautiful at night and this photo proves that theory!

Marie Cischigano sent in this photo of her relaxing on her balcony on Freedom of the Seas.  Great view and this is why so many people love to get balcony staterooms.

Next is this photo by Paul Wilson of Navigator of the Seas while he was in Roatan.  One of my favorite ships in Royal Caribbean fleet and taken on a beautiful island!

Frank Battiston sent us this photo from Allure of the Seas when the crew helped rescue 15 people who were stranded at sea. Well done, Royal Caribbean!

Lastly we have this photo by Matt Carrera of enjoying Antigua's local brew while on a Jewel of the Seas cruise.  It's always a plus to enjoy an adult beverage while on a beautiful island's beach.

If we didn't include your photo this week, then that means you need to send it in to us for use on a future Friday Photos post.  We want to see your favorite Royal Caribbean cruise photos and you can use this form to send them to us.

Jewel of the Seas listener cruise preview on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

In:
06Aug2014

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

Episode 53 is available for downloading and this week we are reviewing the beautiful island of St. Maarten.

Matt previews a listener's upcoming southern Caribbean cruise on Jewel of the Seas as well as discusses bringing kids on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 53. 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: Quantum of the Seas adviser Dhani Jones brings fitness to new cruise ship

In:
05Aug2014

Quantum Sports and Fitness Advisor Dhani Jones experiences an action-packed FlyWheel class on his quest to deliver new activities and fitness for Royal Caribbean's newest ship, Quantum of the Seas.

Everything about Royal Caribbean's Promenade View staterooms

In:
05Aug2014

An iconic area on many Royal Caribbean ships is the Royal Promenade, a boulevard of shops, restaurants and bars.  In addition, there are staterooms that look down on the Royal Promenade that offer sweeping views of the area so we thought it would be useful to look at what this stateroom does (and does not) include and why you might want to consider booking it for your next cruise.

A look inside a typical Promenade stateroom - Photo by Royal Caribbean

What is a Promenade stateroom?

The Promenade stateroom is a lot like an ocean view stateroom, in that it's a category of stateroom that offers a window and more square footage, compared to a standard inside cabin.  

The attraction of a Promenade stateroom is it offers bowed windows that overlook the Royal Promenade.

The exact size of Promenade stateroom varies depending on the class of ships. Voyager and Freedom class ships Promenade staterooms are 160 square feet, whereas on Oasis class ships they are 193 square feet.

Promenade stateroom windows as seen from the Royal Promenade - Photo by TravnKC

There is also a special category of Promenade staterooms for families called the Promenade Family Stateroom.  It's only available on the Freedom class of Royal Caribbean ships but it offers a more than double the space, with 327 square feet.

Family Promenade Stateroom - Photo by ADPMOM

What are the benefits of booking a Promenade stateroom?

The best part of a Promenade stateroom is the opportunity to watch the activities happening on the Royal Promeande.  From parades, to dance parties to just people watching, there's usually something going on and it's a fun way to scope everything out.

In addition, the bay windows included offer a nice place to sit and a little extra space in your stateroom.  For kids, being able to watch the Royal Promenade anytime from their room gives them entertainment anytime.

They tend to be an excellent value and the couch that is built into the bay window adds more another sitting area and of course, lots to see.

Since the Promenade staterooms surround the Royal Promenade, these rooms are right in mid ship, making the convenient to everywhere.

What are the disadvantages of booking a Promenade stateroom?

Parade going by - Photo by skjoiner

The same bay windows in a Promenade stateroom that let you look down on the activity on the Royal Promenade let everyone in the Promenade see right back into your stateroom.  Not to worry, Royal Caribbean provides two curtains to retain your privacy but for some people the idea is too voyeuristic.

In addition, the rooms can get noisy, especially during the parades.  The first night is usually the noisest due to the parade and cruise kick-off celebrations but it's usually very quiet after that.

Some cabins on the Oasis-class ships have pieces of the ship's structure or store fronts partially blocking the cabin's view. Not enough to ruin the view, but it's noticable, especially compared to Voyager and Freedom class ships that have no blockage at all.

Summary

Promenade staterooms on Mariner of the Seas - Photo by Rennett Stowe

Overall, Promenade staterooms offer a fun view that is an unique Royal Caribbean experience.  Promenade staterooms are certainly more interesting than inside or ocean view staterooms and the extra couch in the bay window is a real plus.

The staterooms are conveniently located and for kids, it's a wonderful source of entertainment since they can constantly watch the Royal Promenade activities.  

Like nearly every stateroom category, it's important to note what is above and below your stateroom.  We've heard reports of noise from shops during early or late hours.  Noise bleed isn't unique to the Promenade staterooms but it is worth noting when choosing your exact cabin.

If you're wondering which level of staterooms to choose, it's a very subjective question. The lowest deck offers the closest views but with the most noise (relatively speaking).  The highest deck is a little far from the "action" but it gives you a little more privacy.  Generally speaking the middle and upper deck are the most popular.

Have you stayed in a Promenade stateroom? Do you want to stay in one? Post in the comments below and share your thoughts!

Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas previews upcoming refurbishment

In:
05Aug2014

Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas is about to get a ship-wide refurbishment that will give it brand new upgrades that will enhance the guest experience and breathe new life into this ship that will be sailing in Australia.

Voyager of the Seas will get a number of new features including

The new refurbishment will take place in October 2014.

First time cruisers: Taking the kids on a cruise

In:
04Aug2014

Royal Caribbean cruises are a great family vacation so when you're brand new to cruising and bringing your kids with you, there's a lot going on for them (which in turn helps you).

What's available for kids on a Royal Caribbean cruise?

Royal Caribbean has programs for children as young as six months old all the way to teens.

Children between the ages of six months and 36 months old can participate in the Royal Babies (6-18 months) and Royal Tots (18-36 months) program.  These are activities offered on select Royal Caribbean ships for parents and their children to enjoy together.  

READ MORE: BRINGING AN INFANT ON A ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISE

The extent of what's available to 6-36 month olds differs from ship to ship, but the newer ships in the fleet offer the most, including dedicated nurseries that have an hourly rate for taking care of kids up to 36 months during the evenings.  All ships offer in-room babysitting, depending on staff availability as well.

Select Royal Caribbean ships offer the Babies and Tots Nursery, whch has trained professionals that will watch, feed and allow your kids to sleep for an hourly fee.

Royal Caribbean's prime program for kids is Adventure Ocean and is offered in three segments

  • Aquanauts (3-5 years old)
  • Explorers (6-8 years old)
  • Voyagers (9-11 years old)

Adventure Ocean is complimentary and is offered for most of your day onboard your ship, whether the cruise is in port or at sea.  There's a lot for kids to do here and the programs specialize for each age group.  It's a mix of learning, play time and socializing.  

Kids are checked in and out by parents and it's fully supervisied by Royal Caribbean staff. The requirement to participate is to be at least 3 years old and be fully potty trained.  There are after hours programs offered as well in Adventure Ocean for an hourly fee if parents want their kids to have supervision later into the evening.

Tweens and teens have their own program that provides supervision by Royal Caribbean staff but with the opportunity to have more freedom.  There are teen-only spots onboard the ship where they can come and go as they please.  Royal Caribbean built the teen programs to be about empowering teens to do their own thing but still offer activities and fun events to help introduce everyone.

Sample Activities by Age Group

Aquanauts (3 - 5 years)

  • Finger Painting
  • Camp Aquanaut
  • Building Blocks
  • Play dough sculptures
  • Music Activities
  • Dot Dancing
  • Games – animal, color and shape BINGO 

Explorers (6 - 8 years)

  • Pirate Night
  • Backstage Tour
  • Nutty Nicknames
  • Carnival Night
  • Sports Tournaments
  • Wide World of Sports Night
  • Autograph Hunts 

Voyagers (9 - 11 years)

  • Karaoke
  • Sports Tournaments
  • Adventure Challenge
  • GaGa Ball
  • H20 Thunder Races
  • List-o-Rama
  • The Art Walk 

Navigators (12 - 14 years)

  • Sports Tournaments
  • Pool Parties
  • College Night
  • Challenge Series
  • Scavenger Hunts
  • Karaoke
  • Disco Dancing
  • Video Games 

Teens (15 - 17 years)

  • Dancing
  • Pool Parties
  • DJ Training
  • Battle of the Sexes
  • Karaoke
  • Coffee Talk
  • Talent Show
  • Formal Night
  • Survivor Series 

Facilities available on Royal Caribbean's fleet

  • Two youth facilities, including teen center
    • Legend, Splendour, Grandeur, Rhapsody, Enchantment, Vision, Radiance, Jewel, Serenade, Brilliance
  • Three youth facilities, including teen center
    • Majesty
  • Four to five youth facilities, including teen center
    • Voyager, Explorer, Adventure, Oasis, Allure, Navigator, Mariner, Freedom, Liberty, Independence

What else can kids do on a Royal Caribbean cruise?

There's lots going on onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise regardless of if your kids are in the kids club or not.  There's pools and even dedicated kids aqua zones on the newer ships.  The H2O Zone is full of water spouts, colorful decorations and lots of areas to get soaked and the perfect place for kids to run around in.

Oasis-class and select Freedom and Voyager-class cruise ships offer the Dreamworks Experience, which incorporates the Dreamworks film characters into meet-n-greets, parades and character breakfasts.

Royal Caribbean also plans many of its daily activities into family-friendly offerings so everyone is welcome.  

Many of the activities Royal Caribbean is known for is available to kids, such as mini-golf, the FlowRider, the rock climbing wall, ice skating and more.

Royal Caribbean offers free drinks, soda and gratuities for UK bookings

In:
03Aug2014

Royal Caribbean kicked off a new sale for residents of the United Kingdom and Ireland that offers an "all inclusive" promotion.

New bookings created between August 1 and September 30, 2014 will receive

  • Free Select Drinks Package (beer, wine, non-alcoholic cocktails, fountain soda with souvenir cup)
  • Free Soda Package (for kids)
  • Free Gratuities

The deal is applicable to the following sailings:

  • Sailings from the UK on Anthem, Explorer & Brilliance of the Seas, with a duration of 3 Nights & above: April 2015 - October 2015
  • Sailings from Europe on Allure, Rhapsody, Splendour, Serenade & Vision of the Seas, with a duration of 3 Night & above: April 2015 - November 2015 
  • Sailings in the Caribbean on Adventure, Allure, Freedom, Independence & Oasis of the Seas, with a duration of 6 Nights & above: October 2014 - December 2015
  • Transatlantic & Repositional sailings are excluded from this offer.      

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: August 3, 2014

In:
03Aug2014

Hope you had a great week (maybe one week closer to your next Royal Caribbean cruise?) and you had a chance to keep up with what's new with Royal Caribbean this week. But if not, here's a roundup of this week's news.

Royal Caribbean News

Here's what happened in the world of Royal Caribbean this week

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The fifty-second episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is available that is all about booking shore excursions.

We recorded a live episode of the podcast this week to celebrate our one year anniversary of the podcast. Our listeners called in with their thoughts on booking an interior stateroom versus a balcony.

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

The Miami Herald writes about Royal Caribbean is hoping to lure new passengers with flexibile dining.

TTG Digital says Royal Caribbean to launch new travel agent incentive.

Float out scheduled for Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas

In:
01Aug2014

Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship, Quantum of the Seas, will leave ship builder Meyer Werft's covered building for its official float out on Saturday, August 9, 2014.  The event will occur at 7:30am local time.

Quantum of the Seas, the third largest cruise ship in the world and will be docked alongside the yard's pier for one night, before being turned on August 10 for thruster and stabiliser tests.

Following float out, the remaining tasks will be tests and trials that will be carried out on board until the ship’s conveyance down the river Ems to the North Sea, which is scheduled for the middle of September.

We will have a live webcam feed right here on Royal Caribbean Blog of the float-out broadcast.

Friday Photos

In:
01Aug2014

We love to share your Royal Caribbean photos every Friday and give everyone a quick "mental escape" to look at some stunning photos.  We want your photos too, so send us your best Royal Caribbean photos to share with the world.

Our first photo this week is from Marie Coscgigano of Freedom of the Seas.  It's a beautiful ship and one of the best ships in the fleet!

Here's a photo by Karen Boerner of why she now books balcony staterooms: room service breakfast outside! Great idea and that looks like a great way to start your day.

Great sunset by Keith Davis taken from the Seaview Cafe on Jewel of the Seas while sailing out of Tampa. Gorgeous!

Speaking of sunsets, here's another one taken on Voyager of the Seas from Hobart, Tasmania by Rudi Steinmetz.  Rudi writes, "Nothing better than watching the sun rise while on a Royal Caribbean Cruise." Amen!

Lastly here is a view from the bridge of Allure of the Seas during a behind the scenes tour by Dana and Patricia Hall.  Being on the bridge is a really cool event!

If we didn't include your photo this week, then that means you need to send it in to us for use on a future Friday Photos post.  We want to see your favorite Royal Caribbean cruise photos and you can use this form to send them to us.

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