A public meeting was held last week that featured the members of the Placencia Village Council, Placencia Tour Guide Association and the Placencia chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association. The meeting was geared to having these locals express their concerns to Royal Caribbean represenatives and to the Belize government about a plan to build a new cruise terminal in Placencia.
Royal Caribbean has already purchased the land for the terminal, but opponents claim the proposal would damage the environment of the area, which is central to Placencia's appeal to begin with. Obviously the prospect of a cruise terminal in the town would increase the amount of tourists visiting the area, locals are more concerned with the environmental impact the cruise ships and tourists would have in the long run.
"Overnight tourists and foreign home owners are our current and future bread and butter that we have worked so hard for over the last 20 years," said local developer Boris Mannsfeld, who is building the Villas at CocoPlum. "They will be driven away if cruise ships arrive here."
Guests cruising aboard Royal Caribbean's new Allure of the Seas will have the opportunity to have their usual morning coffee as Starbucks will launch its first coffee shop at sea.
“We are always looking for unique ways and places to connect with our customers and deliver the Starbucks Experience,” said Chris Carr, senior vice president and general manager of Starbucks Licensed Stores. “Starbucks presence aboard Allure of the Seas is another place where our customers want and expect us to be.”
Starbucks will serve it's usual line of coffee drinks on the Royal Promenade from 7am to 11pm each day. The Seattle's Best Coffee will remain on the ship (Seattle's Best Coffee is a subsidary of Starbucks) and be served in the Adagio main dining room, conference rooms and the ship's signature specialty restaurants.
“We are passionate about delivering the WOW,” said Lisa Bauer, senior vice president of Hotel Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “Opening the first ever Starbucks at sea is another example of how Royal Caribbean is delivering distinctive beverage and dining options to our guests and exceeding their expectations. We are offering something that no other cruise brand can.”
Royal Caribbean third-quarter earnings rose an amazing 55% thanks to increased cruising demand and operating and fuel costs fell. Revenue rose to $2.06 billion from $1.76 billion a year before.
Third-quarter earnings were $356.8 million, or $1.64 per share, compared with earnings of $230.4 million, or $1.07 per share, a year earlier.
Royal Caribbean said it's near-term bookings were stronger than they had expected while revenue remained stable and continues to "be characterized as slowly improving,".
In addition to its third-quarter results, Royal Caribbean gave investors a prelimary look at 2011 earnings and expects to exceed Royal Caribbean's previous record of $3.26 a share.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., one of Haiti's largest foreign investors for almost 30 years, today announced the completion of the L'Ecole Nouvelle Royal Caribbean – one of the first schools to be built in Haiti after the earthquake. The strategically located 6,500 square foot school complex is in northern Haiti near nine towns and villages: Labadie, Cormier, Ducroix, Fort Bourgeois, Marchegalles, Cimetiere-Juif, Champ de Mars, Port Francais and Cap Haitien. The campus consists of six buildings, with 12 classrooms, administrative offices, a computer lab and bathrooms. The school will provide children from the area an education, including classes in English and environmental stewardship. In the evenings adults will attend vocational training.
Royal Caribbean has announced that country music star Taylor Swift will perform on the Jan. 16 sailing of its soon-to-debut, 5,400-passenger Allure of the Seas. Taylor Swift will perform in the Aqua Theater, which has a capacity of 735 people.
In addition, Royal Caribbean is giving away 100 cabins for that cruise in a contest it is running with Clear Channel Radio, Big Machine records adn Pop2Life. Those cabins that are being given away on the cruise also include passes to the Swift concert.
To enter the contest, simply go to http://www.theallureoftaylor.com/
Allure of the Seas is booked to be the set for a few scenes of a new film starring Adam Sandler, Al Pacino and Katie Homles. When Allure of the Seas arrives in Florida in November, the cast will board the ship to shoot scenes for the film "Jack and Jill". Filming will take place on the ship from November 12 to 23, during which time final preparations to Allure of the Seas will be underway.
The crew of Allure of the Seas will be in some of the scenes of the movie as extras.
An internal memo invites staff to send a photograph of themselves to the extras casting department, and says: "The movie production is looking for people between 30-60 years of age of all ethnicities, plus kids between the ages of 6-14. They also are looking for couples or pairs that can share staterooms."
Don't worry, the movie shoot will not affect your planned cruise on Allure of the Seas as her maiden voyage wont happen until December 1, 2010.
Unfortunately the brand new port at Falmouth, Jamaica is still not ready for cruise business yet, a fact that cannot sit well with Royal Caribbean. Royal Caribbean has tried infusing the project with millions of dollars to get things going and the port is still not ready for cruises due to a number of construction delays.
All was expected to be ready in time to welcome 1,800 passengers from P&O's Aurora and another 1,250 from Holland America's Ryndam on November 3, but those visits have now been cancelled and the ships will divert to Ocho Rios.
The new plan is to have Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas make the inaugural visit to the port on January 7, with Oasis and Allure following in March. A Royal Caribbean spokesperson had this to say about the progress and future of the port.
Royal Caribbean has scheduled a conference call for Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 10am Eastern time to announce the results of it's third quarter fiscal calendar earnings.
If you're interested in hearing the results live, you can listen on-line at Royal Caribbean's investor relations web site, www.rclinvestor.com. To listen to the call by phone, please dial (877) 663-9606 in the US and Canada. International phone calls should be made to (706) 758-4628. A replay of the webcast will be available at the same site for a month following the call.
Australia’s youngest and newest superliner, Rhapsody of the Seas, sailed into Newcastle Harbour at Dyke Point for the first time.
The Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships has labeled Royal Caribbean's food as the worst of the major cruise lines, giving it five out of ten stars for its cuisine.
Book author Douglas Ward was particularly harsh on Royal Caribbean's dining room, afternoon teas and wine lists as being the worst. He did concede that Oasis of the Seas managed to earn a rating of more than six out of 10 in only one category: informal dining/buffet.
Ward attributes the poor rating to Royal Caribbean's unwillingness to spend more for their food. He cited guest complaints that the food didn't look or taste as good as the brochures promised and the meats tended to be cheaper cuts. Other issues contributing to the lower score include lack of green vegetables, herbs or garnishes; the quality of pastry items; the choice of salt, pepper or olive oils; and a lack of fresh fish.
How did Royal Caribbean's competitors do? Carnival Cruise Lines and Costa Cruises did not do much better, while Cunard, Celebrity and Princess Cruises earned the best marks.