Episode 129 of the Royal Caribbean Blog podcast is now available for downloading and it features a listener's experience on a recent Oasis of the Seas cruise.
In this episode, Bryon returns to share with us how his Oasis of the Seas went, as Bryon shares with us why he booked this sailing and what his thoughts were of one of Royal Caribbean's biggest ships.
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!
Guests aboard Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas were unable to visit the cruise line's private destination of Labadee today due to political protests in the area.
Video posted to Facebook shows Freedom of the Seas was able to dock at Labadee, but groups of protestors staged a demonstration in small boats. This caused Freedom of the Seas' captain to decide not to let passengers off the ship.
Video by JC Roy
Cruise Critic member Nado44 estimated there were 10 motorized and colorful island watercraft carrying about 15-20 protesters each. Several non motorized row boaters also joined in.
The protests appear to be a result of protests as a result of local elections.
Royal Caribbean offered this statement regarding the situation in Labadee.
Today, when Freedom of the Seas arrived to Labadee, Haiti, the ship encountered a number of locals in small boats staging a protest. Although this protest was peaceful in nature, it was clear that if the protest continued, there would be a significant impact on our guests’ ability to enjoy Labadee.
Therefore, Royal Caribbean cancelled Freedom of the Seas’ port call to Labadee. Instead, the ship will remain at sea and call to Falmouth, Jamaica, tomorrow, as planned.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation and are in close communication with local and government officials in Haiti. At this time, we have not made any decisions regarding future port calls to Labadee. The next schedule call is Navigator of the Seas, on Thursday, January 21.
Royal Caribbean has released new photos, showing the construction progress of two of its newest cruise ships, Harmony of the Seas and and its fourth Oasis class ship.
Harmony of the Seas is under construction at the STX ship yard in France and will debut in May 2016.
Royal Caribbean's fourth Oasis class ship is under construction at the STX shipyard in France.
All photos are copyright Royal Caribbean International.
Royal Caribbean signs deal with China's Forbidden City Imperial Palace to showcase Chinese culture on Ovation of the SeasIn:
Royal Caribbean and the Chinese Imperial Palace Museum (the Palace Museum) held a joint press conference today at a signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement in the Forbidden City’s Jianfu Palace.
As part of the agreement, experts from different research fields selected by the Palace Museum will be invited to give lectures of Chinese history and culture to guests on Ovation of the Seas.
The Palace Museum also will provide professional consultation of the ship’s interior décor and art program. In addition, signature pieces from the collections of the Imperial Palace Museum will be on display to promote the traditional culture and arts of China. Paintings and art pieces created by artists from the Palace Museum will be available for guests to purchase at auctions held onboard.
Ovation of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s newest ship that debuts in April, will be the first to homeport in China immediately after its delivery and will begin service from Tianjin beginning June 2016.
The signing ceremony officially launches the “2016 – Let’s Ovation” campaign in China and marks the countdown to Ovation of the Seas’ maiden voyage in China.
“We are proud of the extensive collection of art and relics that represent the imperial treasures of the Ming and Qing Dynasties and it is our goal at The Palace Museum to showcase the traditional Chinese culture to people all over the world,” said Shan Jixian, Director of the Imperial Palace Museum. “This partnership with Royal Caribbean International and our programs on Ovation of the Seas will help to further these objectives. We are excited to promote the rich heritage of the Forbidden City and China to the guests of the world’s largest global cruise line and we hope to continue to expand on these efforts.”
Dr. Zinan Liu, President of North APAC and China, Royal Caribbean International said: “Cruising is becoming increasingly popular with Chinese travelers and Royal Caribbean’s award-winning and state-of-the-art ships with features found only on Royal Caribbean are very appealing to those consumers looking for a high quality vacation experience. Quantum of the Seas has been very well received by our Chinese guests and we are excited to now bring Ovation of the Seas to Tianjin. Sailing two of the world’s newest and most technologically advanced ships in China demonstrate our leadership and commitment to the market and this partnership with the Palace Museum showcasing China’s rich heritage will bring yet another unique element to our vacation offering.”
Ovation of the Seas will be officially launched in April 2016, when she departs Southampton for Tianjin, China on a 53-day Global Odyssey. She will begin her first homeport sailing season in China from Tianjin in June 2016. Ovation of the Seas, together with Quantum of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Legend of the Seas, will make up the largest fleet of any cruise line sailing in China.
Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas is currently under construction at Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. Watch to see how the construction process is coming along on the third Quantum class ship.
Royal Caribbean has decided not to implement some of the previously announced changes coming to Majesty of the Seas during an upcoming refurbishment later this spring.
A Royal Caribbean spokesperson confirmed to Royal Caribbean Blog that the scope for Majesty of the Seas' refurbishment has been finalized and not everything that was initially announced is going onboard.
Specifically, it now appears Majesty of the Seas will not be receiving a new waterslide, new specialty restaurants in Sabor Modern Mexican or Izumi, as well as not receiving the DreamWorks Experience.
Other planned upgrades, including Voom internet, poolside movie screen, family jacussis and an update to the casino, are all still planned.
A guest initially reported the news on Cruise Critic's message boards, after receiving an email from Royal Caribbean customer relations.
Royal Caribbean originally announced the refurbishment plans in July 2015 after changing its mind and keeping Majesty of the Seas in the fleet, rather than transfer her to sister brand Pullmantur Cruises.
The first day of your Royal Caribbean cruise is a really fun moment in any cruise fan's vacation, because it is when vacation begins and the many days, months and even years leading up to this cruise are finally realized.
Embarkation day offers a lot to see and do, and for anyone going on a Royal Caribbean cruise, here is what you can expect on embarkation day.
In most cases, your Royal Caribbean ship will arrive in port in the early hours of the morning and begin letting its just completed cruise passengers off shortly thereafter.
The check-in process on embarkation day will take place throughout much of the day, and guests can arrive at their convenience to the port, as soon as the port allows guests to do so.
In our experience, guests will usually be let into the cruise terminal around 10am, or shortly thereafter and embarkation usually begins somewhere around 11am.
The exact times depend on a variety of factors, including how quickly customs clears the ship and how quickly Royal Caribbean's crew is ready for the new wave of guests.
You should plan on arriving to the cruise port as early as you can so that you can start your vacation. The sooner you arrive, the sooner you can board the ship.
It seems like a majority of guests tend to arrive in the afternoon hours, so arriving before 1pm can often result in shorter lines.
The check-in procedure at the port consists of dropping off your luggage with porters, going through security and then meeting with the pier staff to receive your boarding documents.
It is important to have your SetSail pass printed out prior to arriving at the pier to ensure a smooth and quick check-in process. You can find your SetSail pass at Royal Caribbean's web site under My Cruises.
Royal Caribbean often boards guests in groups based on the order they arrive, although some guests do receive priority boarding (such as suite guests).
In most cases, guests receive their SeaPass card, wait to be called to board and then board the ship.
On Quantum class ships, your SeaPass cards are waiting in your stateroom.
Lunch to 3pm
Once onboard a Royal Caribbean ship, there will be lots to see and do and like any cruise, it is up to you what to do.
At check-in, you should have access to a special embarkation day Cruise Compass that lists venues that are open and activities that will be available.
Most guests opt to have lunch somewhere on the ship on embarkation day. The Windjammer is the most popular choice, although ships may have other venues open as well.
Some common activities to consider in the early afternoon after you eat are
- Spa tour
- Swimming in the pool
- Drinks at the bar
- Register children at Adventure Ocean or Nursery
- Purchase an unlimited alcohol package or beverage package
This is a great time to explore the ship and get your bearings onboard and see what is offered. Getting acclimated with where everything will make your cruise easier since you will spend less time trying to locate everything. Plus you may discover something onboard you didn't know existed!
By 1pm, your stateroom will be ready and that means you can check out your new home, drop off any carry on luggage you brought and start enjoying the benefits of your room.
3pm - 6pm
Depending on your ship's departure time, a mandatory muster drill will take place where guests are instructed what to do in case of an emergency at sea.
The crew will instruct you where and when to report for muster drill and it is a fairly straight-forward event.
The muster drill consists of going to your assigned muster station and being instructed on what would happen in the event of an emergency at sea. There is no need to bring a life jacket to the muster drill.
While the muster drill is not the most exciting thing about your cruise, following your muster drill, the real fun begins of a Royal Caribbean cruise.
Sail away usually follows the muster drill, in which case there is a sail away party at the pool deck that many guests opt to join in.
While many guests elect to join in the sail away party fun, others enjoy sail away from other parts of the ship, such as their balconies, on public decks or at the helipad on some ships.
6pm and after
Following the muster drill and sail away, your evening plans will start to open up more than what was available during the afternoon.
Once the ship leaves port and gets into open water, shops, the casino and more bars will open up.
Specialty restaurants, the main dining room and other dining venues will also start serving dinner. Evening entertainment starts up around this time, with live music at a number of locations throughout the ship.
The pattern of activities in the evening on embarkation day is a lot like what happens on any other evening of your cruise.
What are your favorite things to do on embarkation day? Share them in our comments!
Can you believe January is half way over? That means we are all getting closer to our next Royal Caribbean cruise!
This week, there was plenty of Royal Caribbean news, including the big entertainment reveal for Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas.
Royal Caribbean pulled back the curtain on all the entertainment planned for Harmony of the Seas, which includes two musicals: Grease and Columbus, The Musical!
There are also new shows in the AquaTheater, Studio B ice skating rink and new parties and shows across the ship (the 90's party really has us excited).
There was plenty more Royal Caribbean news, so let's jump right in.
Royal Caribbean News
- Sadly, 21 guests were involved in a car accident during a shore excursion in Falmouth.
- Deck-by-deck look at the changes coming to Liberty of the Seas.
- Our guide to enjoying specialty restaurants for lunch.
- We shared the top 5 different staterooms you should consider for your next cruise.
- Royal Caribbean announces its 2015 travel partners of the year award recipients.
- Answers to the most common Royal Caribbean unlimited alcohol package questions we see.
- Four Royal Caribbean features that were inspired by something outside the company.
- Our five best money saving tips for getting a Royal Caribbean deal.
Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast
In this episode, Matt and Annette share the plans for the second Royal Caribbean Blog Group Cruise and why they think, this will be a really fun event.
How you can support Royal Caribbean Blog
So many of our readers have reached out to us to ask how they can help the blog and we are introducing the Royal Caribbean Blog Insiders for just that reason.
The Insiders group is a way readers can contribute to Royal Caribbean Blog and help fuel some of the really amazing ideas, projects and new content that we have lined up.
As a way of saying thank you for your contribution, there are some fun rewards for being a member of the Royal Caribbean Blog Insiders.
Becoming a member of the Royal Caribbean Blog Insiders is completely up to you and you can cancel at any time. No questions asked!
As always, thank you for visiting Royal Caribbean Blog and being a part of our community!
Royal Caribbean Around the Internet
Cruise Deals App shared 18 money saving cruise secrets, including one from us!
Royal Caribbean has 4 cruise experiences for any budget.
If you want some extra space on your next Royal Caribbean cruise and do not mind a little extra price, then be sure to check out a Category TS Two Bedroom Suite on Brilliance of the Seas.
Royal Caribbean Blog reader Deborah Wolfe shared with us these photos of her stateroom from her recent cruise in December.
Photos of this room come to us from stateroom 7672.
Walking in, guests will find a spacious living room includes dining table, vanity, chairs, and double sofa bed.
Each suite also has floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors leading to your expansive private veranda.
There is a guest bedroom with two twin beds that convert to a queen-sized bed, two upper Pullman-style bunk beds, dresser, and private bathroom with shower.
Two Bedroom Suites have a master bedroom with two twin beds that convert to a queen-sized bed, walk-in closet, and large private bathroom with tub and shower.
The two bedroom suite measures 532 square feet in size with a 195 square foot balcony.
Royal Caribbean weekend sale offers deals on spring cruises on Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Anthem of the SeasIn:
Royal Caribbean is kicking off a special weekend sale that promises fares starting at just $799 for three of its most popular cruise ships, Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas.
The three day Special Weekend Spring Sale runs between January 15 - 18, 2016 and is valid on Oasis, Allure and Anthem sailings departing April 1-June 30, 2016.
For eligible sailings on those ships, guests can enjoy
- 50% off cruise fare of second guest who must be booked in the same stateroom as a first guest who books at full fare
- 50% reduced deposit
- Onboard credit for bookings made Jan. 15-18, 2016 on Oasis, Allure and Anthem of the Seas sailings departing April 1-June 30, 2016
- $75 for interior
- $125 for ocean view
- $250 for balcony
- $350 for suite categories
- All other sailings (excluding China sailings) will receive this onboard credit
- $50 for interior
- $100 for oceanview
- $200 for balcony
- $300 for suite
- 25% cruise fare savings for 3rd and 4th guests booked in the same stateroom as the first two qualifying guests
BOGO is combinable with the adjoining OBC, 3rd and 4th Guest Savings, Crown & Anchor discounts and NextCruise offers; BOGO and 3rd and 4th Guest Savings are not combinable with restricted rates (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military). OBC Offer is combinable with restricted rates (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military, BOGO) and NextCruise offers. OBC is not combinable with Crown & Anchor discounts. All offers are 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, Net Rates, Shareholder Benefits.
Offer available to residents of United States and Canada.