Royal Caribbean has struck a deal with European low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle to fly about 8,000 Royal Caribbean guests to a number of destinations in the Mediterranean during the upcoming summer season.
As part of the deal, Norwegian Air Shuttle will transport cruise passengers from Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo to Malaga, Barcelona, Palma, Rome and Venice.
"We are very happy with the contract with RCCL. Cruise passengers have high requirements for comfort, which we can satisfy with our many new planes," Norwegian Air Shuttle sales director Lars Sande said.
Photo by Elaine Escorcio
Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas was recently in Cartagena, Colombia, on January 3, 2011, and a pretty cool 360 degree view of the ship docked at port is available to check out.
No other American cruise line has been targeting the European cruise market as aggressively as Royal Caribbean and it sounds like its efforts are paying off with sales spiking upwards. Royal Caribbean says the increase in its ships in Europe and the Mediterranean has resulted in boosting its sales for the United Kingdom and Ireland segment of the business.
How much higher are sales? Royal Caribbean says early bookings from its "wave" booking window show Royal Caribbean European sales are up more than 50% from the same time in 2010.
Royal Caribbean Vice President and Managing Director for UK and Ireland Dominic Paul said, "Our decision to continue to invest in the marketplace shows all signs of paying off. This summer we will have 11 ships based close to the UK around Europe, offering a huge variety of great value holidays, and this is driving a significant increase in sales. Our new “What you see is what you get” campaign is resonating well with both consumers and trade partners, and we are delighted with the support we’re receiving from the trade. We remain cautiously confident that the positive start to the year will set us in good stead for the remainder of 2011."
Remember the news of Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas being hit by that big storm in the Mediterranean? Well a woman who cruised on that ship during that storm has died and her husband believes it was because of her experience on the ship.
Barbara Davey slipped into a coma just three days after dealing with the giant waves impacting Brilliance of the Seas while in her stateroom. When the ship docked in Malta, she was transferred to a hospital but she never recovered and was airlifted back to the United Kingdom.
Barbara's husband, John Davey, wants answers and restitution. He is planning to sue Royal Caribbean over the incident because he feels the ship should have never left port after weather reports prior to the cruise hinted at the possibility of bad weather.
Royal Caribbean posted some new photos of Liberty of the Seas in dry dock in the Bahamas getting "Oasis-sized", meaning it's receiving upgrades to the ship from innovations that were originally from Oasis of the Seas.
Liberty of the Seas will receive...
- Broadway show (Saturday Night Fever)
- Royal Babies and Tots Nursery
- Large 18.5-foot video screen overlooking family pool area
- LCD wayfinder system
- Cupcake Cupboard restaurant
- Vintages lounge will be redone
A video is circulating around the Internet showing Disney Cruise Line's brand new Disney Dream coming very close to hitting Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas on January 17, 2011.
Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez issued this statement regarding the incident, "Monarch of the Seas was anchored and the Disney ship casted off and drifted close to our vessel".
Disney says the captain of the Dream was in control and the ships never got closer than 20 or 30 feet.
Cheers magazine has awarded Royal Caribbean a 2011 Cheers Beverage Excellence Award for "Best Chain Hotel Beverage Program".
The awards celebrate chain based establishments that provide excellent beverage service.
The criteria for these awards are a particular program's creativity, originality and impact on the sales and profitability of a full-service restaurant operation. Other factors considered are the level of marketing support, staff training and overall operator commitment to the initiative that lead to its success.
In a conference call with investors, Royal Caribbean Chariman and CEO Richard Fain confirmed rumors that Royal Caribbean may be ready to look to building a new ship.
During the call, Fain thinks now may be the time to look at building a new ship, "We feel time may now be right for such a move." In addition, a new ship would be a new class of ship, meaning it would not be another Oasis class ship or any other pre-existing Royal Caribbean ship class.
There's no timetable yet for placing an order, and Fain added in the short term, Royal Caribbean is focusing on current hardware revitalization, which means they will enhance current ships. Fain called the program "Oasis-sizing", where they take features from Oasis and Allure of the Seas and roll them out to older ships. This program was announced earlier this year and will add new features to older ships such as Radiance of the Seas, Splendour of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas.
UPDATE: (10:30am) Royal Caribbean Chariman and CEO Richard Fain added during a question and answer session that they will remain tight lipped about the new ship, but confirmed the ship will be a Royal Caribbean brand ship and based on the company's previous history of ordering ships for a new class, will likely start with one ship and then add more ships based on that class afterwards
Royal Caribbean announced better than expected fourth quarter and full year 2010 results. Its fourth-quarter net income climbed to $42.7 million or $0.20 per share from $3.4 million or $0.02 per share a year ago.
Royal Caribbean revenues for the fourth quarter were up to $1.6 billion, compared to $1.5 billion in the 2009 fourth quarter. Royal Caribbean attributes this increase to additional ship capacity and yield improvements.
Royal Caribbean also mentioned that during the fourth quarter, weather issues affected some of the ships and that affected the Net Yields a little bit as it increased 3.2%, but if you take away the weather issues, Net Yields on a Constant Currency basis would have increased 4.7%, in line with previous guidance.
Thanks to better energy consumption innovations, Royal Caribbean's quarter's fuel expenditures were about $4 million better than initially predicted.
In addition to the fourth quarter results, 2010 yearly results were in and net income for 2010 was $547.5 million, compared to net income of $162.4 million for the year 2009. Moreover, 2010 revenues increased to $6.8 billion, a 15% increase, compared to 2009 revenues of $5.9 million. Royal Caribbean's net cruise costs excluding fuel declined for the third year in a row.