Quantum of the Seas is floated out

In:
08Apr2014

Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship, Quantum of the Seas, was floated out today at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany.

Photo by Royal Caribbean International

The 167,800-ton, 4, 180-passenger Quantum of the Seas is the first in the Quantum-class of cruise ships for Royal Caribbean and will have her maiden voyage in November 2014 from Bayonne, New Jersey. She is the first of three Quantum-class cruise ships to be built.

Royal Caribbean has already announced the dining, itineraries and Broadway show for Quantum of the Seas with more information promised soon.

UPDATE: More photos have been released by Royal Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean announces Australia and South Pacific cruises for 2015-2016

In:
08Apr2014

Royal Caribbean announced today it will send Explorer of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific for the 2015-2016 winter season.

Royal Caribbean’s winter 2015-16 Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific season will open for reservations on April 29, 2014.

We had reported earlier Royal Caribbean was sending Explorer of the Seas to Australia and Royal Caribbean's announcement today solidified those plans.

From November 2015 through April 2016, Explorer of the Seas will primarily sail 11- and 14-night New Zealand cruises, with up to seven ports of call in New Zealand. Explorer of the Seas also will offer three- and four-night cruises in November 2015 and in February and March 2016.

Voyager of the Seas will sail eight- to 12-night South Pacific and Fiji cruises, all round-trip from Sydney.  Voyager of the Seas also will sail a 13-night South Pacific and New Zealand cruise on November 5, 2015, which will call at Bay of Islands and Auckland in New Zealand, as well as a seven-night Tasmania cruise on November 28, which will feature an overnight at Hobart, as well as call at Melbourne, Australia. 

Radiance of the Seas will offer a variety of itineraries to the South Pacific and Fiji, New Zealand, and throughout Australia. Guests can choose eight- to 14-night South Pacific itineraries from December 2015 through January 2016, or circumnavigate Australia in November 2015 and from late-February through March, 2016 – each comprising a 16-night New Zealand and southern Australia sailing from Sydney to Perth (Fremantle), followed by a 16-night northern Australia and Bali cruise back to Sydney. Radiance of the Seas also will sail four- to seven-night Tasmania cruises, departing December 11, 2015, and February 18 and March 28, 2016, and a 10-night Queensland cruise, departing February 8, 2016. 

If you enjoy re-positioning cruises, Explorer of the Seas will take guests on a 10-night Singapore to Perth itinerary, departing November 3, 2015, followed by a 16-night southern Australia and New Zealand cruise that arrives in Sydney on Nov. 29 for an overnight stay. The ship reverses these itineraries at the end of the season, departing from Sydney on April 12 and from Perth (Fremantle) to Singapore in late April.

Voyager of the Seas also will reposition between Singapore and Sydney on 14-night northern Australia itineraries on October 22, 2015, and April 16, 2016, with the former featuring an overnight in Singapore.

Radiance of the Seas’ trans-Pacific crossing will combine Hawaii with Australia or Canada on a 10-night Hawaii cruise from Vancouver, B.C. and subsequent 18-night, trans-Pacific itinerary to Sydney, departing September 11 and 21, 2015, respectively. A return trans-Pacific cruise will sail from Sydney to Hawaii on April 3, 2016, followed by an 11-night Vancouver-bound sailing on April 20. 

Royal Caribbean Italian food showdown

In:
07Apr2014

Royal Caribbean has been offering Italian food for years on its cruise ships and in recent years, has been changing its Italian food offerings up in recent years.  

So today we're going to compare the various Italian restauants Royal Caribbean serves up and see which one comes out on top!

1. Portofino

Royal Caribbean's reigning Italian food champ, Portofino, has been available on many ships across Royal Caribbean's fleet for many years. 

The food at Portofino is based on Northern Italian cuisine and offers traditional Italian pasta, fish and meats. What Portofino does well is mixing traditional Italian favorites with modern style.  You can get a plate of pasta in a tomato sauce or go with the Saltimbocca alla Romana.  

Sadly, Royal Caribbean is in the process of phasing out Portofino in favor of some of the other Italian restaurants we will be discussing in this post but it remains the stalwart of Italian food on many Royal Caribbean ships.

We think of Portofino as the veteran champ that has been around for a while but still has what it takes to comepete.

2. Giovanni's Table

Giovanni's Table is the up-start "new kid on the block" that offers traditional Italian fare, family style.  Royal Caribbean describes Giovanni's Table as, "an Italian Trattoria influenced by the Tuscan countryside".

Whereas Portofino offers a mix of new and old, Giovanni's Table mostly sticks with tried and true Italian dishes.  Eggplant parmigiana, lasagna, meat balls and more are available.  

Having first debuted on Oasis of the Seas, Giovanni's Table has been spreading to other Royal Caribbean ships with each new ship revitalization and stands to be the new standard by which Royal Caribbean serves up Italian food.

Giovanni's Table is the up-start that is making a name for itself but hasn't "won it all" quite yet.

3. Jamie's Italian

The "new kid on the block" is the newly announced Jamie's Italian, which is coming to Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas.  The restaurant is the product of celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver, a famous cook from England.

Royal Caribbean promises you’ll enjoy rustic dishes, handmade using seasonal ingredients, and authentic recipes that are tried and tested crowd-pleasers.

The menu is comprised of Jamie’s Italian Famous Plank piled high with cured meats, pickles and tempting cheeses. From there, try delicious pastas made in-house everyday—like indulgent pumpkin panzerotti and zingy prawn linguine to name a few.

We had a chance to sample a number of the dishes that will be available at Jamie's Italian at the recent Quantum of the Seas dining reveal event in New York and it's clear this Italian restaurant will focus on completely rewriting the book (or menu) on what you think of when it comes to Italian food.

For Italian food on Royal Caribbean ships, Jamie's Italian is like the "dark horse" that could tip the balance in what guests look for on at dinner.

4. Windjammer

Sometimes you just want to enjoy simple Italian food with as much red or white sauce as your plate can handle.  Or maybe you prefer very little sauce.  Whatever your preference, the Windjammer serves up an assortment of Italian food throughout the day at our leisure.

There's something to be said about a plate of pasta with sauce combined with unlimited refills.  And of course you can always grab a burger, salad and sushi to put on your plate too.

The Italian choices in the Windjammer vary daily but there's almost always a pasta dish or two and other traditional Italian dishes here and there.

The Windjammer is a crowd favorite for its simplicity and mass-appeal.

And the winner is?

Which Royal Caribbean Italian restaurant has your vote for the crown? It's a tough choice so share your vote in the comments for this post and choose wisely!

Royal Caribbean sales event for the week of April 7, 2014

In:
07Apr2014

Each week Royal Caribbean posts new sales for various cruises across its fleet that can offer great discounts on specific sailings in the near future.

This sale runs between April 08 through April 09, 2014, with early access for Crown and Anchor Society members on April 07.

​Adventure of the Seas
Itinerary: 14 night ocean voyage - Caribbean & The Azores
Departure Port: Miami
Sail Date: 04/20/2014

Inside: $379 per person (Category Z)
Ocean-view: N/A
Balcony: N/A
Suite: N/A

Allure of the Seas
Itinerary: 7 night Eastern Caribbean Cruise
Departure Port: Fort Lauderdale
Sail Date: 04/13/2014

Inside: $649 per person (Category Q)
Ocean-view: N/A
Balcony: N/A
​Neighborhood Balcony: N/A
Suite: N/A

Allure of the Seas
Itinerary: 7 night Western Caribbean Cruise
Departure Port: Fort Lauderdale
Sail Date: 04/20/2014

Inside: $699 per person (Category L, M)
Ocean-view: N/A
Balcony: N/A
​Neighborhood Balcony: N/A
Suite:$1599 per person (Category JS)

Allure of the Seas
Itinerary: 7 night Eastern Caribbean Cruise
Departure Port: Fort Lauderdale
Sail Date: 04/27/2014

Inside: N/A
Ocean-view: N/A
Balcony: N/A
​Neighborhood Balcony: N/A
Suite: $1699 per person (Category W)

Allure of the Seas
Itinerary: 7 night Eastern Caribbean Cruise
Departure Port: Fort Lauderdale
Sail Date: 05/04/2014

Inside: N/A
Ocean-view: N/A
Balcony: $949 per person (Category D1, D2)
​Neighborhood Balcony: $899 per person (Category B2, C2)
Suite: $1399 per person (Category JS)

Allure of the Seas
Itinerary: 7 night Eastern Caribbean Cruise
Departure Port: Fort Lauderdale
Sail Date: 05/11/2014

Inside: N/A
Ocean-view: N/A
Balcony: $1399 per person (Category D4)
​Neighborhood Balcony: $1099 per person (Category C1)
Suite: $2749 per person (Category JS)

Brilliance of the Seas
Itinerary: 4 night Western Caribbean Cruise
Departure Port: Tampa
Sail Date: 04/17/2014

Inside: $199 per person (Category L, M)
Ocean-view: $219 per person (Category F, G, H)
Balcony: N/A
Suite: N/A

Brilliance of the Seas
Itinerary: 5 night Western Caribbean Cruise
Departure Port: Tampa
Sail Date: 04/21/2014

Inside: $229 per person (Category K)
Ocean-view: $239 per person (Category F, G, H)
Balcony: N/A
Suite: N/A 


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Royal Caribbean promotes Adam Goldstein, begins looking for new CEO

In:
07Apr2014

Royal Caribbean Ltd, the parent company to Royal Caribbean International, promoted Adam Goldstein from CEO of Royal Caribbean International to a newly created position president and chief operating officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., effective immediately. 

As a result, Royal Caribbean is now searching for a new CEO of Royal Caribbean International.

Goldstein's new position will have him working with Royal Caribbean Chairman Richard Fain on the strategic direction for the cruise line.  Goldstein will also oversee human resources, information technology, supply chain, corporate communications, safety and environment, government relations, guest port operations and commercial development. 

“Royal Caribbean was a five-ship company when I arrived here, and today we are many times larger than that,” Goldstein said in a statement. “The opportunity we have is to take even greater advantage of our global scale and knowledge, while delivering the guest satisfaction that helped us grow to where we are today.”

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: April 6, 2014

In:
06Apr2014

Sit back and catch up on this week's Royal Caribbean news.  We've gone through and hand-picked some fun articles for you to take a look at in case you missed any of it.

Broadway fans will rejoice in Royal Caribbean's big announcement this week that one of the longest running Broadway shows of all time, Andrew Lloyd Weber's CATS, is coming to Oasis of the Seas.

As part of the ship's refurbishment later this year, Royal Caribbean will swap out Hairspray and replace it with CATS.

Oasis of the Seas will be going into drydock in while in Europe on October 2014.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The thirty-fifth episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available and we're reviewing our recent cruise aboard Navigator of the Seas.

In this episode, answers the question of how do you figure out the right Royal Caribbean cruise for you.  Matt offers ways to sift through all the cruises Royal Caribbean offers to figure out which cruise options to choose from and ultimately make a decision.

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.

Join us for the first ever Royal Caribbean Blog Cruise!

We're so excited to announce the first ever group cruise for readers and staff of RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com aboard Quantum of the Seas!  This is an exclusive group where we are inviting you, our readers, to join us on one of the first Quantum of the Seas sailings on an 8-night cruise to the Caribbean.

This Royal Caribbean Blog group cruise is all about enjoying this brand new ship with other fans who are big fans of Royal Caribbean.  Don't miss this opportunity to check out the brand new cruise ship as well as be a part of exclusive events for those that book with our group!

For more details on booking the cruise, the itinerary and prices, check out the Royal Caribbean Blog group cruise page and if you have any questions, email me!

Royal Caribbean Around the Internet

Cruise Law News is reporting a gastrointestinal outbreak on Gradeur of the Seas.

Cruise Hive has a report of two port workers were killed during Independence of the Seas' unberthing process.

Cruise Miss shares her thoughts on Royal Caribbean's Dynamic Dining.

Jason Leppert has a new vidcast all about cruising.

Royal Caribbean to bring Broadway show Cats to Oasis of the Seas

In:
04Apr2014

Royal Caribbean announced today Andrew Lloyd Weber's Broadway musical CATS is coming to Oasis of the Seas following the ship's refurbishment in the fall of 2014.

CATS will replace Hairspray on the ship, the Broadway show that has played on Oasis of the Seas since the ship launched.

Based on T.S. Eliot's “Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats,” CATS was one of the longest running productions on Broadway and is the winner of numerous awards including seven Tonys, two Oliviers and a Grammy.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Really Useful Group to bring one of the world’s most beloved musicals to Oasis of the Seas,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Executive Vice President, Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “Adding CATS to our already amazing line up of Broadway musicals such as Hairspray, Chicago: The Musical, Saturday Night Fever and Mamma Mia exemplify our commitment to bringing top quality entertainment to our guests at no extra cost.” 

Oasis of the Seas will be going into drydock in while in Europe on October 2014.

Friday Photos

In:
04Apr2014

Happy Friday everyone! We have another great assortment of Royal Caribbean photos our readers have sent in to us to share with all of you.  This is always so much fun to do so thank you to everyone who makes this weekly post possible!

Our first photo is from Ken Sussler in Labdee while on his Independence of the Seas sailing in March.  I think Ken has inspired me for a photo opportunity on the Royal Caribbean Blog group cruise!

Connor De La Pena sent in this photo and he didn't indicate what ship this is from but since all of his other photos he has sent in were from Oasis of the Seas, I'll guess it's also from Oasis of the Seas.

I am a sucker for sunset photos and lens flares photos so this Liberty of the Seas photo from Laura Metzler is my favorite photo ever. 

Eilika Trummar sent in this photo of the suite balconies on Allure of the Seas and I think it's a great example of composition and with the sunset in the background, you know it has my approval.

John McCormack sent in this photo of Legend of the Seas and two other ships vie for berthing space in St. Kitts. February, 2014.

Hunt sent in this photo of himself, his sister and her husband and Hunt's  dear friend Jeffrey, Arrrrrg!

We want to include your Royal Caribbean photos too! Send them in with this form and we will include it in an upcoming Friday Photos post!

Video: Michael Schwartz Episode 1: Genuine Food & Drink Onboard Quantum Class

In:
04Apr2014

Royal Caribbean announced Chef Michael Schwartz is the Quantum Experience Advisor for Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas and here is his first webisode describing his role in picking the food and dining experiences onboard.

Royal Caribbean to send Explorer of the Seas to Australia to replace Rhapsody of the Seas in 2015

In:
04Apr2014

Royal Caribbean will send Explorer of the Seas to Australia for the 2015-2016 cruise season to compliment sister ship Voyager of the Seas.

Explorer of the Seas will replace Rhapsody of the Seas, which has been a fixture in Australia since 2007.

Explorer of the Seas, a Voyager class cruise ship, was previously announced to be going to Europe for April through September 2015 and will begin offering cruises in Australia starting in November 2015.

Royal Caribbean made the announcement in an email sent to members of its Crown & Anchor loyalty program.

Radiance of the Seas will also return to the region again for the 2015-16 season, the newsletter reveals.

For Rhapsody of the Seas, 2014/2015 will be its last season down under.

Royal Caribbean’s Australasian itineraries for 2015/16 will go on sale at the end of the month.

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