Royal Caribbean trademarks Spectrum of the Seas ship name

In:
29Jun2017

Royal Caribbean has filed a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for "Spectrum of the Seas", which could be the name of a new cruise ship that is currently under construction.

Royal Caribbean filed the trademark application on June 24, 2017 and it is currently active.

This is not the first time Royal Caribbean had applied for a trademark on Spectrum of the Seas. Back in September 2014, Royal Caribbean trademarked it, along with 4 other names.  The trademark for Spectrum of the Seas was abandoned on September 14, 2015, and now the cruise line has re-filed for the same trademark.

It remains to be seen which ship, if any, will bear the name Spectrum of the Seas. Royal Caribbean currently has six ships on order and/or under construction, although two of the ships already have names associated with them (Symphony of the Seas and Icon of the Seas).

Thanks to Lloyd Marchand for alerting us to the filing.

What do you think of the name? Share your thoughts in the comments!

5 things you will love about Jamie's Italian on Royal Caribbean

In:
28Jun2017

Jamie's Italian on Royal Caribbean features the culinary creations of famed celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, and it has quickly become a highly-rated specialty restaurant by many Royal Caribbean fans.

Here is our list of five things we think you will love about Jamie's Italian too.

5. Freshly made pasta

Everyday, the chefs at Jamie's Italian make their pasta fresh, and that means you will enjoy some of the best tasting pasta available. Jamie Oliver's vision for his restaurants has always been centered around good and honest food, which we find with the pasta (and all the dishes) at Jamie's Italian.

Jamie's Italian makes nine types of pasta, from lasagna to tagliatelle, spaghetti, linguine and more. This means whichever pasta dish you order is sure to please.

4. Ultimate garlic bread

Garlic bread is a staple of many Italian restaurants, but the garlic bread at Jamie's Italian is a notch above all others.

The garlic bread is great for sharing with everyone at the table, and is freshly baked twisted garlic bread.  They may resemble a cinnamon roll, but they pack that great garlicky taste we love to have accompany our food.  Bonus points for saving some to dip in your leftover pasta sauce later in the meal!

3. Al fresco dining

The venues for Jamie's Italian feature indoor and outdoor seating.  When given the chance, we love the opportunity to step outside and enjoy the cool breeze with our meal.

On Oasis class ships, Jamie's Italian features tables outside the restaurant in the middle of Central Park.  Arguably one of the most beautiful spots ever created by Royal Caribbean, having Central Park as a backdrop for your meal is phenomenal.

While Quantum Class ships may lack Central Park, there is a lovely patio area outside of Jamie's Italian that offers a great view of the ocean. 

2. Epic brownie

There are many adjectives to describe how good something is, but when the word "epic" is thrown around, it carries with it some extra "oomph".

On the dessert menu, guests will find an epic homemade brownie. What makes it epic? There's a freshly baked warm fudgy brownie with vanilla ice cream and caramelized amartetti popcorn on top. Yup, epic.

1. The planks

Without a doubt, there is one type of dish Jamie’s Italian is best known for and that is the planks. There are two plank varieties: meat and vegetable. Both come with an array of cheeses that compliment the meaty/vegetarian goodness.

Arguably, the planks could easily be a meal in and of themselves, but our waiter suggested we order a combo plank, that offered the best of each option. We thought it was a great choice, not only because we would be able to sample the best of the best, but because we would not load up too much, too early.

What do you love about Jamie's Italian?

Did we miss one of your favorite things about Jamie's Italian?  Or are you salivating at our list? Share your ideas, suggestions and thoughts in the comments below!

Harmony of the Seas cruise preview on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

In:
28Jun2017

Hey everyone! Episode 204 of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available for your listening pleasure.

This week, Matt previews his upcoming cruise on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas.  Matt explores why he picked this cruise, the cool things to do on Harmony of the Seas, and his plans for each port of call.  

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 204. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSS or on iTunes!

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!

Royal Caribbean adds photo packages to Cruise Planner pre-cruise purchase option

In:
28Jun2017

Royal Caribbean has added photo packages to the Cruise Planner for guest to purchase prior to their cruise.

Thanks to Timothy Brian Krietemeyer for this screenshot

We spotted two options available for purchase on the Cruise Planner:

  • 20 prints package
  • All digital on USB package
  • All digital on USB + prints package

Royal Caribbean has offered photo packages for years, but traditionally they have been available for purchase via a third-party website.

Harmony of the Seas 2017 Live Blog - Cruise Preview

In:
27Jun2017

Welcome to our next Royal Caribbean LIVE blog adventure, as we are about to sail on the fabulous Harmony of the Seas. Harmony of the Seas debuted last year, and this is our first full sailing on what has become my favorite ship to date.

Beginning on July 1, I will head to Port Everglades for a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise.  We will visit the ports of Nassau, Bahamas; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; and Basseterre, St. Kitts.

While I was briefly on Harmony of the Seas for a a couple short sailings last November, this sailing will give me plenty of time to check out Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship. In fact, this the first of two Harmony of the Seas sailings I will be taking this year, so I will have lots of time to spend onboard Harmony in the coming months.

This sailing on Harmony of the Seas is a bit different for me for a couple of reasons. First, it is over the July 4th holiday, which means this is the first time I will be sailing over this holiday.

In addition, I will actually be working from Harmony of the Seas for a portion of the cruise.  My day job allows me to work remotely, and I have chosen to work a few days from Harmony of the Seas in exchange for a cruise longer than just a long weekend.  I do not have spare vacation days left in the year, so if I wanted to take a cruise without working, I would only be able to swing a short 3-night cruise.  It was a tough decision, but weighing my choices, I wanted a longer sailing and decided it was worth it to be on a longer cruise even if I have to work for part of it.  After all, being onboard a ship is better than not being onboard.

We picked Harmony of the Seas for this cruise for a couple of reasons.  After sailing on her in 2016, she quickly became my favorite ship and I really wanted to get back onboard.  Her high-speed internet meant she was among a handful of ships that I could reasonably do my job from without any interruption.  I would be remiss if I neglected to mention the amazing onboard activities.  From the water slides to the shows to Central Park, there is so much to do onboard.  The variety of things to do aboard an Oasis class ship really appeals to me.  

For this cruise, my wife and I will be sailing without the kids.  My in-laws volunteered to watch the children while we cruise, which means the two of us get some time to relax onboard.  Cruising with kids is a much different experience than cruising without them, and while we love traveling with our children, this will be a nice change of pace.

Of course, Harmony of the Seas has no shortage of activities and things to do onboard.  The water slides, musicals, dining and more are waiting, and having a full sailing to enjoy these activities is very exciting.

Itinerary

Our seven night sailing might not be the most exotic itinerary Royal Caribbean offers, but we have found some fun excursions in each place our ship will bring us. Plus, there are a lot of sea days, which means plenty of time to enjoy what Harmony of the Seas has to offer. In fact, the ship is what drew us to booking a sailing on her.

Day Port Arrival Departure
1 Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida - 16:00
2 Nassau, Bahamas 7:00 14:30
3 At Sea - -
4 Charlotte Amalie, St. Thoma 10:00 19:00
5 Basseterre 8:00 17:00
6 At Sea - -
7 At Sea - -
8 Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida 6:15 -

Since we live in Florida, getting to the cruise ship is fairly simple.  We will drive to South Florida with our kids to drop them off the night before the cruise, and then go to Port Everglades the morning of the cruise. Cruising from Port Everglades is one of the most streamlined and simple ports to cruise from, and that makes for an easy embarkation process.

Of all the ports we are visiting, I think our stop at St. Thomas is the one I am most excited to call upon. We are going to try something we would never do with the kids: take the ferry to nearby St. John. I have read a lot about the beautiful beaches in St. John, and this seems like the perfect opportunity.

Three things I am excited to try

3. Chops Grille for lunch

Earlier this year, Royal Caribbean began offering lunch at Chops Grille and it immediately piqued my interest.

I have always enjoyed meals at Chops Grille, so the prospect of trying a new menu for lunch sounds like a great idea.  Chops Grille built a reputation across the fleet for a quality meal, and I think going for lunch (and for dinner on another night) sounds like a great idea.

2. Visit St. John

While we have been to St. Thomas many times, this is the first time we are going to try to visit St. John.  Without our kids, I feel getting going and on schedule is easier, and that opens up visiting the island.

While Royal Caribbean offers a few excursions there, I want to try it on my own primarily for the adventure component of getting back and forth. Once at St. John, the plan is to visit Cinnamon Bay beach.

1. Ultimate Dining Package

In the name of "research," I bought the ultimate dining package for this sailing.  I had always planned on getting a specialty dining package, but when Royal Caribbean added the ultimate dining package, I jumped on it immediately.

Since the ultimate dining package offers specialty dining each evening (and lunch on sea days), this will be my first cruise skipping the main dining room completely.  I admit, I will miss the main dining room, but Harmony of the Seas has such great specialty dining, I am excited to truly indulge in the various dining options.

What's Next

Our Harmony of the Seas cruise begins on Saturday, July 1st, and I will be sharing the details on the blog, as well as across my social media channels. Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Periscope for live updates throughout the day.

I invite you to share in this experience with me, by posting in the comments for any blog post questions and comments you may have. I try to make these live blogs as interactive as I can, so I want everyone to feel welcome to share their thoughts.

Thanks for reading all of this and welcome aboard our next fun live blog experience!

Video: Royal Caribbean’s Ship Designers Stay Ahead of the Curve

In:
27Jun2017

Designing and building the world’s largest cruise ships is no small feat for Royal Caribbean’s Newbuild team. Creative collaboration between the team’s designers, architects, shipbuilders and executives is the key to building industry-leading vessels. Often spanning six or seven time zones, the team is brought together by a shared passion. They’ve built a rapport that allows them to feed off of each other, making innovation the norm. And when the most talented minds in the cruising industry come together, the result is ships that others only dream about.

Royal Caribbean partners with Brandwatch as social intelligence provider

In:
27Jun2017

Brandwatch announced today that Royal Caribbean International has selected Brandwatch as its social intelligence technology platform of record.

Brandwatch's social intelligence products and platforms will provide stable support to Royal Caribbean's customer service efforts. Brandwatch will enable Royal Caribbean to sift through its online discussions to determine which mentions need immediate attention, which customers need to be engaged with and which community members need to be amplified.

"We chose Brandwatch for their unparalleled platform stability when trying to engage and understand our most important community – our guests," said Kara Wallace, Vice President, North America Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. "Brandwatch's recent product releases and feature updates, along with their dedication to customer success, allows us to address social concerns in a timely fashion and put our guests first."

"Insight into consumer preferences - especially in the lucrative travel market - is critical for Royal Caribbean," said Rich Pasewark, Chief Revenue Officer at Brandwatch. "We are excited to help them use social media analysis to understand the cruise market and drive marketing decisions from the insights delivered by the Brandwatch platforms. Insights to action makes a difference for all of our clients, it enables them to improve their marketing and connect with their audiences."

Royal Caribbean announces 2018 President's Cruise sailing

In:
26Jun2017

Royal Caribbean announced today its third President's Cruise, which offers guest the chance to cruise with Royal Caribbean's CEO.

The 2018 President's Cruise will be held on the September 29, 2018 sailing of Harmony of the Seas out of Port Everglades, Florida. Royal Caribbean posted the details to its President's Cruise mini-site.

The cruise will be 7-nights and include a special itinerary, with stops in Nassau, Bahamas, St. Thomas, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Labadee.

The President's Cruise is centered around celebrating its most loyal customers, who get the chance to cruise with Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley, as well as attend special events just for them.

Guests can still book the 2017 President's Cruise, which is a 7 Night Mediterranean Cruise on Freedom of the Seas, September 17, 2017 out of Barcelona, Spain.

 

2017 Royal Caribbean Beverage Package Info, Tips, Pros & Cons

In:
26Jun2017

Royal Caribbean's beverage packages offer guests the opportunity to enjoy plenty of drinks for a fixed daily price.  This post offers tips for saving money with these drink packages and our reviews of the various plans.  

We will get to what each version of Royal Caribbean's Beverage Packages include and whether the Royal Caribbean Drink Package is worth the money below.  Our tips and opinions are based on our first-hand experiences with the drink packages, and the current versions for this year.  

Before we get to the dollars and cents, let us cover some basics.  For those who are unfamiliar with it, Royal Caribbean's drink packages are a fixed daily cost plan offered on all Royal Caribbean ships so guests can budget their beverage costs in advance and (potentially) save money.  The various plans provide guests with unlimited drinks that can be used at any bar or restaurant on Royal Caribbean ships (and private destinations).  The drink package benefits are available on the guest's SeaPass card or WOWband, which any waiter or bartender can verify they have the package.

Royal Caribbean guests wishing to purchase a drink package can do so either prior to their cruise via the Cruise Planner web site or once onboard their ship. Once purchased, you must pay for the package for the duration of your cruise.  If purchased during your cruise, guests will pay for the remaining nights of their cruise.

Let’s get more into the nitty-gritty of the 2017 Royal Caribbean drink package…

The drink packages can be redeemed at pretty much any restaurant or bar on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship or private destination.  There are only two places a drink package cannot be used: room service and stateroom mini-bars.

A lot of information exists about Royal Caribbean drink packages, with most of the focus on whether or not the package makes financial sense.  In fact, our most popular articles concerning Royal Caribbean unlimited alcohol packages include Are the unlimited drink packages worth it, 4 questions to ask yourself before buying an unlimited alcohol package, Should you buy the unlimited alcohol packages. Frequent users of Royal Caribbean's drink packages become pretty adept at getting more bang for their buck on the packages, but with some advance planning, first-time Royal Caribbean cruisers can also make the most of the packages.

From time to time, Royal Caribbean sometimes offers discounts to its guests on the drink package price. These discounts are offered selectively and can vary in terms of how much the discount is and for which sailings they are eligible.  Nearly all discounts we have seen are offered prior to the cruise on the Cruise Planner web site. These discounts have the potential to add to the potential value a guest can get from a drink package, but remember any discount does not necessarily make the value proposition a drink package offers a "slam dunk" deal.

Before even booking a drink package, you should determine roughly how many drinks per day you think you can and will drink over the course of your cruise.  For some folks, 5-6 drinks per day is easy, while others may think that is a lot every day of a cruise.

That is probably enough background on Royal Caribbean's drink packages.  You likely still have some more questions, and we will dig into them below and get them answered.  For a simple system, it can be surprisingly complex, do not feel bad if it takes some reading before you fully understand how the drink package works and whether it is a good for for your party.


Continue Reading

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: June 24, 2017

In:
25Jun2017

Happy Sunday! We hope you’re having a relaxing weekend and enjoying summer! It’s time to sit back, relax, and catch up on all the recent Royal Caribbean news!

Royal Caribbean made headlines this week when it unveiled a first-of-its-kind social media innovation.

The cruise line developed its own Snapchat Spectacles that are capable of broadcasting live underwater, and shared a few underwater adventures with its Snapchat followers.

The mask was custom engineered by the cruise line for use with Snapchat Spectacles. It allows the wearer to snap while underwater and will give those above the surface a unique perspective into the intriguing underwater world of marine life.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 203nd episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, where we take an in-depth look at Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner site.

In this episode, Matt talks about what the Cruise Planner offers guests before their cruise, and how to best take advantage of pre-cruise purchases.

Please feel free to subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and head over to rate and review the podcast on iTunes if you can! We’d appreciate it.

Royal Caribbean Around the Internet

WildGravity Travels shared a port highlight and ship tour from Enchantment of the Seas.

John Bamber shared a cabin tour of his stateroom on Anthem of the Seas.

In The Loop Travel shared a new video of a day spent in Royal Caribbean's CocoCay.

My Cruise Course thinks now is the time to start planning your Baltic Cruise for next year.

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