Brilliance of the Seas to offer on-shore excursions to Dubailand


If you're going on a cruise aboard the Brilliance of the Seas, which visits Dubai, there's a new excursion option to check out.  Royal Caribbean has reached an agreement with Dubailand to allow guests to visit  The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence and key attractions at Dubailand.

The deal marks the second cruise season that Royal Caribbean and Dubai Properties Group (DPG) have woked together to make this an option for cruisers.

The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence is a lifestyle, shopping and leisure destination known for its stunning beach-side setting. The diversity of food, beverage, entertainment and cultural offerings has made The Walk at JBR a must-see for tourists.

Other key destinations in DUBAILAND® will also be promoted in Royal Caribbean's pre and post cruise tour land packages, as well as on-shore excursion programs. These attractions include Dubai Autodrome in MotorCity, Dubai Outlet Mall in Outlet City, The Global Village, and Dubai Sports City which features the Els Club, the Butch Harmon School of Golf and the Cricket Stadium. These projects currently receive millions of visitors annually, and add further variety to Dubai's tourism offering by providing visitors with exciting entertainment options and value for money.

From January 24 through April 9, Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas will offer seven night cruises that vist destinations in the Arabian Gulf area.  In addition, Royal Caribbean has added new 12 night itineraries that include stops in India as well. 

"We are delighted to resume the extremely successful marketing alliance between these two strong brands which has allowed thousands of visitors to experience our popular DPG designations last season," said Khalid Al Malik, CEO, Dubai Properties Group.

Rama Rebbapragada, Regional Vice President of Royal Caribbean International, said: "We hope to replicate the success of our full capacity 2010 sailings, and are thrilled that our new 12-night itinerary has received a huge amount of interest from key global source markets including the UK, North America and Germany."

Baltimore sets new cruise passenger record


The port of Balitmore, Maryland set a new record for number of cruise passengers in 2010.  Thanks in part to Royal Caribbean offering year-round cruises from the port, 210,549 people sailed on 91 cruises from the Cruise Maryland Terminal. The 2010 cruise record beat the previous record set a year earlier in 2009 of 167,235 passengers on 81 cruises.

According to the Maryland Port Administration, the cruises in 2010 generated about $90 million for the state's economy in 2010, an increase of about $10 million from the previous year.

Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas will return in 2011 and offer cruises to Bahamas, Bermuda and the Caribbean.

Police find drugs on Royal Caribbean ship


Customs and Border Patrol agents found a stash of $100,000 in drugs hidden in a cruise ship equipment locker.  Drug sniffing dogs discovered the stash on Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas as it returned to Baltimore harbor this past Saturday.

The agents discovered two packages of heroin that weighed a total of one pound, eight ounces, and a 14-ounce package of cocaine on the ship.

CBP spokesman Steve Sapp said authorities don't know whom the drugs belonged to and no one has been arrested. The drugs were found in an area off-limits to passengers, he said.

Enchantment of the Seas was being targeted by Customs and Border Patrol agents because of it's history of drugs being discovered onboard the ship.  Officials are working with Royal Caribbean to find out who these drugs belonged to.

Illness outbreaks down in 2010


Good news for those worried about the recent outbreak of norovirus on Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports number of outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness on cruise ships sailing from U.S. ports dropped again in 2010.

There were 14 outbreaks of norovirus in 2010, down from 15 in 2009 and 2008, 21 in 2007 and 34 in 2006.

More encouraging is the number of outbreaks dropped despite an increase in cruisers overall.  The Cruise Lines International Association has estimated the industry carried 14.3 million passengers in 2010, up from 13.4 million in 2009.

In 2010, Royal Caribbean only reported one outbreak

Royal Caribbean extends wine program across the fleet


Royal Caribbean is extending it's successful Wine Experience Program that was on Allure of the Seas to its entire fleet later this year.  

The hour long Lafite Wine Experience debuted last month on the brand new Allure of the Seas and will now be available on all of its ships by March 2011.  

"Royal Caribbean International continues to expand our extensive range of food and beverage offerings through enrichment programs such as the Lafite Wine Experience,” said Frank Weber, vice president of food and beverage operations at RCI. “This robust wine experience provides even the most novice wine drinkers the opportunity to refine their palate and discover the fine nuances of one of the world’s most renowned vintners.”

Illness strikes Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas


Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas was delayed on January 3rd after an outbreak of illness struck the ship, causing 150 passengers to become sick.

Royal Caribbean reports a gastro-intestinal illness marked by diarrhea and vomiting affected some passengers, including three crew members.  Royal Caribbean took measures to ensure the ship was ready for its next voyage by remaining in port five hours longer than normal to undergo a ship-wide cleaning.

The cruise terminal was also sanitized and the ship is scheduled to depart on another cruise Saturday night.

During the voyage, crew took precautions to prevent the spread of the virus such as banning menus and silverware from meals.

Brokerage house predicts new Royal Caribbean ship will be ordered in spring 2011


Danske Markets, a brokerage house, believes that Royal Caribbean will increase the fleet in the future. "We believe Royal Caribbean will announce new ship orders until the spring of 2011", writes in an analysis broker comment.

In his bullish scenario they see that Royal Caribbean ordering new vessels in line with recent market order.

"We believe the price of new ship orders may represent a significant share price trigger as Royal Caribbean's ROIC (return on invested capital) is sensitive for new construction investment in the longer term", writes Danske Markets.

Royal Caribbean offers Royal Life program


Royal Caribbean is offering a sports and fitness program on an upcoming Vision of the Seas cruise, February 5 to 12, 2011, dubbed Royal Life. 

The cruise features seven nights on board, with an intense schedule, for both adults and children, with activities such as spinning classes, rhythms, hydrobike, pilates, yoga (at sea and ashore), kids yoga and contest for the whole family, besides trekking Buzios accompanied by monitors. Best of all, the activities will take place overlooking the sea and the beautiful beaches of Brazil and the menus will always be a choice of dishes lighter and healthier.

Participants will have the opportunity to attend lectures by experts as Szerman Ward, manager of the health and beauty and pioneer in the practice of aerobics in Brazil and in the implementation of PAS in the country. In Ilhabela, guests may participate in a volleyball clinic with Marcelo Negrao, Olympic champion and former national team player. There will also be lectures nutrition, with tips on how to build a healthy menu.

In addition to Ilhabela, the scales of the ship include Rio de Janeiro, Buzios and Salvador. The loading can be done in Santos (February 2) or Rio de Janeiro (February 6).

Guests will also enjoy moments of relaxation in leisure areas of Vision of the Seas , which has two pools, six whirlpools, spa, solarium, theater, shops and beauty salons, distributed in 11 decks. The ship has capacity for over 2,400 guests.

Jamaican Ministers respond to Falmouth delays


Despite construction delays and worker issues, Jamaican officials are confident that the brand new Falmouth port will be ready for cruisers starting on February 17.

Minister of Transport and Works,  Mike Henry says work stoppage issues at historic Falmouth Cruise Port Development have been settled.  Furthermore, the new port facility will be ready for its revised opening in February.

Originally, Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas was set to dock in Falmouth on January 7th but the project goals were not met and therefore, Navigator was rerouted to Montego Bay, Jamaica.