Europe's first cougar cruise to sail on Royal Caribbean

In:
07Sep2010
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If you're looking for a cougar cruise, there's a new one that has been announced, but you will need to get to Spain to experience this one.  Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas will depart from Barcelona and cruise April 16-21, 2011. 

This cruise comes after cougar cruises have been banned by the three largest cruise lines in Australia, and also by Carnival, the world's largest cruise line, in the USA.

"We are pleased that Royal Caribbean will be hosting our European Cougar Cruise," says Rich Gosse, Executive Producer of http://www.cougarevents.com. "While it is perfectly acceptable for middle-aged men to date women their daughter's age, women don't have the same privilege. After the tremendous success of the world's first International Cougar Cruise, December 2009, aboard Carnival, we were shocked that they refused to allow another. If there had been problems on the first Cougar Cruise we would understand being banned. But hundreds of our cougars and cubs onboard were well-behaved, and there were absolutely no problems. We expect the same will be true with the European Cougar Cruise."

Interested in going on the cougar cruise? You can book it by going to http://www.SinglesTravelCompany.com

Royal Caribbean cruise results in family harmony

In:
07Sep2010
By:

A blogger for a New Zealand web site is in the middle of a 10 night cruise and had to report that while everything on the cruise ship was great, what was really awe inspiring was the fact that their two young sons have stopped fighting thanks to the fun of the ship.

The squabbling and bickering has stopped and no one has punched, pinched, kicked or dobbed on anyone for ages. "They're not fighting," my wife whispers, noting that our two boisterous young sons are acting out of character.

Their sons were enrolled in the Adventure Ocean Kids' Club and it sounded like they were happy with the experience in the club.

We can look forward to three themed sessions every day. On selected evenings the staff also host casual dinners so parents can eat alone. Elsewhere onboard there are activity sessions and playgroup meetings for babies and toddlers. And, next to a video-arcade room, is a "teen-only" dance club and lounge room for the older offspring. They have organised activities, too.

Hurricane Earl Royal Caribbean Update

In:
03Sep2010
By:

Quick update regarding Explorer of the Seas and how it's itinerary is being affected by Hurricane Earl from CruiseCritic.

Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas, which left Bayonne on Thursday, will arrive early in Portland today and will ride out the storm before leaving late on Saturday. It had been due to be at sea today. A spokesperson told Cruise Critic: "We made arrangements to stay overnight in Portland, and will depart on Saturday evening once the storm has passed and we receive the go-ahead from the U.S. Coast Guard."

Interest in cruising in China on the rise

In:
03Sep2010
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Cruising in China is expected to grow this year, with a 5% increase in domestic cruises, and the future for China looks bright.  The Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal in downtown Hongkou District opened in 2008 and already construction of another port, the Shanghai Wusongkou Terminal, is scheduled to be completed by 2012.  Once the second terminal is complete, Shanghai will be able to handle eight cruise ships per day, with home-ported ships stopping there 66 times in this year alone, more than double the amount from last year.

At the All Asia Cruise Convention, Royal Caribbean senior vice-president  Michael Bayley sounded optimistic about the future of cruises in China, "China has a potential of around 40 million cruise guests annually if the market penetration reaches the level of the U.S. and Europe".

Royal Caribbean already has a vested interest in the growth of cruising in China, as Royal Caribbean signed a memorandum of understanding last year with Shanghai International Port Group to form a strategic partnership in cruise operation areas, such as market promotion, port, staff training and management-experience exchange.

"Such strategic partnerships are an important and valuable element of our activity to increase penetration in China," Bayley said.

Cruise lines urge Japan ports to get better

In:
02Sep2010
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The Japan Cruise Symposium taking place in Fukuoka, Japan is looking at opportunities for Japan to become a major cruise line destination but before that can happen, Japanese ports need to become more appealing for cruise lines to visit.

Royal Caribbean Regional Vice President Rama Rebbapragada said that Royal Caribbean ships stopping in Japan have doubled in recent years.  Rebbapragada is also the current chairman of the Asia Cruise Association (ACA) saw the symposium as a great opportunity to build better partnerships with more communication about shore attractions in Japan.

Other concerns raised by other cruise line representatives include changing the perception that Japan is a very expensive destination, encourage Japanese ports to aim to be marquee ports and promote cruising in the country better to its people.

Royal Caribbean announces new restaurant for Allure of the Seas

In:
02Sep2010
By:

There will be a new specialty restaurant on the soon-to-be-completed Allure of the Seas, Samba Grill, a Brazilian-style Churrascaria restaurant.

The new restaurant will be a little different depending on the time of day.   During the evening, Samba Grill will be adults only while during the day it will revert to being the Solarium Bistro, where it will serve light breakfasts and lunches.

Samba Grill will be a notable difference between what you will find on Allure of the Seas' sister ship, Oasis of the Seas, where the Solarium Bistro serves healthier choices for all three meals during the day and dinner in the evening for a supplementary charge of $20.

While eating at Samba Grill, guests will be served by waiters dressed as gauchos, who will offer grilled meat off skewers while live music is playing.

The new restaurant will have a charge of $25 per person, as well as a vegetarian alternative, featuring a wide-ranging salad bar, for $15 per person.

What's next for Turku shipyard?

In:
02Sep2010
By:

STX Finland's Torku shipyards are home to the soon to be completed Allure of the Seas.  Allure is floated, painted and almost ready to leave for her international press gala and start her service in Royal Caribbean's fleet, but once Allure of the Seas leaves, there's a lot of doubt in the Torku shipyards about what's next.

There isn't any news of any other ships on order and that's been the case now for a few years.  The main competitor to the shipyards are in Germany, Italy and France and all of them have received orders over the last few years. Turku shipyard is the only one who has no job pending.

One issue for Torku is that cruise lines tend to build cruise ships where previous ships were built, such as Carnival Cruises, who ordered a new ship to be built at the Italian Fincantieri shipyard because the ship of the previous series of ships was ordered from there.

There's no question that Turku shipyard's future depends largely on Royal Caribbean, the shipowner whose ships have been built in the shipyard for 40 years.

So what are Royal Caribbean's future ship building plans beyond Allure of the Seas?  The company has not yet committed to anything since the beginning of the financial crisis ended. It is, however, considering new ships, since the company's main competitor Carinval Cruise Line is looking to take a bigger lead in the cruise market.

Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein hasn't said much about what the future will hold, opting to focus on what's still in front of him, "We are going to grow as a company and brand, but today we focus on fully Allure of the Seas ship."

Updated Hurricane Earl itinerary changes

In:
01Sep2010
By:

Here is an updated list of itinerary changes for select Royal Caribbeah ships due to Hurricane Earl.  Thanks to Cruise Critic for the information

  • Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas was unable to make its scheduled port calls in St. Thomas on Tuesday and St. Maarten today. Instead, the ship made an extended visit to Nassau on Sunday, spent Monday and Tuesday at sea, calls on Costa Maya today and Cozumel on Thursday. It will then spend Friday at sea as it returns to Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, as scheduled.
  • Freedom of the Seas, which left Port Canaveral on August 29, will be unable to make its scheduled port calls to St. Thomas today and St. Maarten on Thursday. The ship called on CocoCay, Bahamas on Monday, as scheduled, spent Tuesday at sea, and will call in Grand Cayman today. On Thursday, Freedom will visit Cozumel. The ship will then spend Friday and Saturday at sea as it returns to Port Canaveral on Sunday as scheduled.
  • Monarch of the Seas, which departed from Port Canaveral on Monday, was unable to call on CocoCay, Bahamas on Tuesday. The ship will now sail directly to Nassau were it will stay until midnight tonight. The ship will spend Thursday at sea as it returns to Port Canaveral on Friday, as scheduled.
  • Majesty of the Seas, which departed from Miami on Monday, extended its port call in Key West, Florida on Tuesday until early this morning. It will spend the remainder of Wednesday at sea and call on Nassau on Thursday, September 2. The ship will return to Miami on Friday as scheduled
  • Enchantment of the Seas, which left Baltimore last Thursday, called on San Juan on Sunday. On Monday, it visited Samana, Dominican Republic instead of St. Thomas as originally scheduled. It stopped in Labadee on Tuesday and spends Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at sea as it returns to Baltimore on Saturday.

Royal Caribbean encourages Americans to take more vacation

In:
31Aug2010
By:

Royal Caribbean is looking to convince some last minute planners that a Labor Day weekend cruise could be just the thing to help if you're feeling a little low on energy from working a lot this summer.

MIAMI, Fla. (Aug. 30, 2010) - Over-worked, over-tired and stressed-out workers have one more thing to worry about this coming Labor Day - how many vacation days they could potentially be losing this year. And if The President of the United States, who just returned from a respite on Martha's Vineyard, can still find time, then shouldn't everyone?
 
     The fact that people are not using all of their vacation days is well documented and the statistics are staggering. According to data released in a 2009 vacation study, U.S. adults who only receive an average of 13 vacation days per year typically leave three days unused. When considering that the U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics has recorded approximately 153 million employed Americans, this means that each year an average of 459 million vacation days are going unused in the United States. Based on these overwhelming facts, Royal Caribbean is encouraging consumers to use their hard-earned vacation days and reminding them that even The President - a person with arguably one of the hardest jobs in America - needs to get away every now and then.
 
     "Vacations are not a luxury, they're a necessity," says John de Graaf, Executive Director of Take Back Your Time, a nonprofit organization that studies issues related to overwork. "Men who take them are 32% less likely to suffer from heart disease than those who don't. For women, it's 50%. And women who don't take vacations are more than twice as likely to suffer from depression. Pass them by at your peril."
 
     Championing a "cruise them, don't lose them" message, Royal Caribbean is giving vacation-deprived consumers encouragement to leave their desks behind in favor of some much needed rest and relaxation. The cruise line has recently launched a compelling video - Vacation Daze - showcasing the irony of letting vacation days expire and the absurdity of this unfortunate reality. The video can be seen at www.youtube.com/royalcaribbeanintl. For solutions and a variety of cruise options to fit all schedules, visit www.royalcaribbean.com or contact your travel agent.
 
     "The average American spends 261 days commuting, filling out time sheets and wondering what's for dinner. As Labor Day marks the end of summer, we wanted to shine a spotlight on this perennial issue and also remind people to take a much needed and hard-earned break, even if it's just for a couple of days," states Betsy O'Rourke, SVP Marketing, Royal Caribbean International.
 
     A recent travel industry survey suggests that close to half (45%) of working Americans let hard-earned time-away go to waste in 2009; furthermore, three-quarters (78%) anticipate leaving as many as 10 vacation days on the table in 2010. Why the annual commitment to all work and no play? Most confess that coordinating schedules with family and friends is too difficult (51%) or they are not able to afford a "real vacation" (40%); others admit it is less about personal situations and more about work-life being too busy to enjoy time away (47%). While consumers express pessimism towards the possibility of a work escape, adults who choose to go on vacation feel reconnected with the family (53%), more productive and positive about their jobs (34%), as well as the health benefits of being rested and rejuvenated. 

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