Royal Caribbean testing VIP guest access program

In:
05Nov2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is testing out a new limited quantity VIP guest experience on select Liberty of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas sailings.

Royal Caribbean is calling this pilot program, The Key, it provides guests with special benefits and perks during their cruise. 

The Key is being tested out on Liberty of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas for sailings beginning November 25, 2018 through the end of March 2019. The Key will be available only in the Cruise Planner for purchase at a rate of $24.99 per person, per day.  All guests in a stateroom age 6 and up must purchase in order to receive benefits.

Once purchased, the Key benefits are utilized via the SeaPass card and a summary of benefits will be available in their stateroom on boarding day.

With The Key, guests can enjoy a private lunch at Chops Grille when they board, daily private hours at marquee attractions, like the FlowRider, rock climbing Wall and ice-skating rink, and access to VIP seating at shows. Please note: Guests will need to reserve their seating online at Cruise Planner before they set sail.

The Key provides:

  • Carry-on luggage service offering drop off at the Theater (until 1:30 PM) and delivery to your stateroom (Up to 2 bags per guest)
  • Private lunch at Chops Grille on boarding day from 11:30 AM until 1:30 PM - this does not need to be reserved, as the dining team will be expecting guests who’ve purchased The Key package
  • Daily private hours at signature attractions like the FlowRider, Rock Climbing wall, and ice-skating rink
  • Priority tender service from cruise ship to shore
  • Access to the VIP seating at shows (reservations required through the Pre-Cruise Planner)
  • Complimentary VOOM Surf & Stream (1 device)
  • Choice debarkation with an exclusive à la carte breakfast beginning at 6:30 AM until 9:30 AM

From what we understand, this is a pilot program and whether or not it rolls out to other ships and sailings depends on how well the program is received and performs.

Does this sound like something you would want to purchase? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Spotted: Sky Pad pre-cruise reservations

In:
05Nov2018
By: Matt Hochberg

If your next Royal Caribbean offers the Sky Pad virtual reality jump experience, then you might be able to pre-book it before the cruise via Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner site.

We have spotted the option to pre-book Sky Pad sessions on the Cruise Planner site for upcoming Mariner of the Seas and Independence of the Seas sailings. The Sky Pad option is under the Entertainment & Activities menu.

There is no cost to reserve a time, and you can select times from 30 minute blocks.

Thanks to Royal Caribbean Blog reader Jason Cook for alerting us to this change.

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: November 4, 2018

In:
04Nov2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Happy Sunday! November has arrived, and we hope you had a great week with friends, family, and plenty of food.  Each week we summarize all of this week's Royal Caribbean news, just in case you missed any of it.

The big news this week was Royal Caribbean's announcement of the major changes coming to Navigator of the Seas in 2019.

Navigator of the Seas will undergo a refurbishment in early 2019, and will feature a number of changes including an awe-inspiring Caribbean poolscape, waterslides, the first blow dry bar at sea, nightlife and dining, and thrilling activities for the whole family.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

Have you ever dined at Izumi Japanese specialty restaurant?

In this week's podcast episode, Matt shares an overview of what Izumi offers, the various options across the fleet, and mentions which menu items are his favorite.

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.

New RCB Video: Royal Caribbean cruise money saving tips

Have you subscribed to the Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel? We share some great videos there regularly, all about taking a Royal Caribbean cruise! This week, we are sharing our latest video — Royal Caribbean cruise money saving tips — and don’t forget to subscribe here.

Royal Caribbean Around the Internet

The Pinay Solo Backpacker Blog shared a guide for first timers to Ovation of the Seas.

Disney Tourist Blog shared their first impressions of Royal Caribbean from a Disney Cruise Line sucker loyalist.

CNBC quoted Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman Richard Fain talking about fuel costs and their effect on earnings.

Cruise Habit recorded a podcast about cruise line loyalty programs (including Crown and Anchor Society).

CocoCay construction progress photo report - November 1, 2018

In:
03Nov2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is hard at work to transform its private island of CocoCay in the Bahamas to Perfect Day at CocoCay, and we have a look at the progress that has been made recently.

Royal Caribbean Blog readers Brian and Elizabeth Robison visited CocoCay while on Mariner of the Seas and provided these photos.

The new pier is expected to open around the end of this year.

Video: Symphony of the Seas Transatlantic Departure Timelapse from Malaga

In:
03Nov2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Watch a timelapse video of the world's largest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas, begin her transatlantic journey to her new homeport in Miami, Fl from Malaga, Spain.

Friday Photos - November 2, 2018

In:
02Nov2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Welcome to this week's edition of Friday Photos, where we showcase our readers favorite Royal Caribbean photos.  If we all cannot be on a Royal Caribbean cruise at the moment, then the next best thing is to look at photos of a cruise longingly as a means of getting a "cruise fix."

If you want to submit your photos for a future Friday Photos post, be sure to send them to us via this form.

Our first photo this week is of Susan Widdowson's "big" winnings on Harmony of the Seas.

Michael Bonham took this photo of Explorer of the Seas in Sydney harbor.

Here is a photo from North Star, taken by Bob Carpenter overlooking the city of Nha Trang, Vietnam.

Here is a photo from Costa Maya, taken by Kinny Lee, of a Carnival ship departing.

Adam G. took this panoramic photo of Anthem of the Seas while docked in Bermuda.

Next is a fun photo of Adventure of the Seas shrouded in fog, taken from Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park in Maine by Michael Kho.

Our final photo this week is from Ken, and it is of Oasis of the Seas in Labadee on what looks like a perfect day.

That wraps up this week's edition of Friday Photos. If you want your Royal Caribbean photo featured here, use this form to send them in!

Royal Caribbean officially opens new Terminal A cruise terminal in Miami

In:
02Nov2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean formally opened its new cruise terminal in PortMiami with a celebration event held inside Terminal A.

The event was headlined with speeches by Royal Caribbean's leadership, as well as Miami city and PortMiami officials.

Richard Fain, Chairman & CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. started off the day talking about what this new terminal means to the cruise line.

Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Commissioner Rebecca Sosa, Chairwoman for the Economic & Tourism Committee, both congratulated Royal Caribbean on the opening of this terminal, and declared today to be Royal Caribbean day in Miami.

Michael Bayley, President & CEO of Royal Caribbean International, also said a few words at the event.

The official opening saw Royal Caribbean's leadership, along with the Mayor of Miami and other city officials, activate the 56 foot tall gold propellors to welcome everyone into the terminal.

Terminal A is a brand new, state-of-the-art cruise terminal that was built to be the home of Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas and her sister, Allure of the Seas.  The building was designed by England-based global architecture firm Broadway Malyan. 

The names of Royal Caribbean ships appear on the staircase.

A fire department celebration of the special day.

Check-in and security screening area

Security screening area

The 170,000-square-foot terminal is nicknamed the ‘Crown of Miami’ because of its distinct shape.

Symphony of the Seas arrives to Terminal A on November 9, 2018.

Video: The Best Family Vacation at Sea

In:
02Nov2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean International’s newest ship, Symphony of the Seas, will bring a new sound of adventure to Miami in November 2018. A playground for all ages, the world’s largest cruise ship offers a lineup of exciting new thrills along with ways to unwind. From laser tag and waterslides, to “me time” at the spa and the one-and-only Ultimate Family Suite, the quintessential family vacation is reaching new heights.

Navigator of the Seas will get new water slides, restaurants and experiences in major 2019 refurbishment

In:
01Nov2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean announced a $115 million modernization for Navigator of the Seas, with a lineup of firsts and Royal Caribbean favorites, including an awe-inspiring Caribbean poolscape, waterslides, the first blow dry bar at sea, nightlife and dining, and thrilling activities for the whole family.

Navigator of the Seas will undergo a refurbishment in early 2019, return to service on February 24, 2019 and offering 3- and 4-night Caribbean cruises from Miami. Beginning May 2019, Navigator will offer short Caribbean itineraries that will visit the cruise line’s highly anticipated private island in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Navigator will get two new waterslides that have never been offered on any other ship.  

The Blaster, the cruise line’s first-ever aqua coaster and the longest waterslide at sea, will offer a two-person raft that will propel them through more than 800 feet of hills, drops and straightaways, which includes extending over the side of the ship for a rush of ocean air.

 

On its counterpart, Riptide, guests will plunge headfirst down the industry’s only headfirst mat racer and reach an exhilarating finish through a translucent tube with endless ocean views.

Royal Caribbean also decided to completely reimagine its pool area, with a Caribbean feel.  The standout resort-style deck takes on a new look with more pool for everyone – even a Splash Pad for tots – and all the ingredients that make for a perfect weekend.

While hanging at the pool, guests can checkout the new two-level signature bar, Lime and Coconut, which will serve cocktails and live music well into the evening.

Another first for Navigator of the Seas will To Dry For, the first standalone blow dry bar at sea. Offering blowouts, hairstyling and polish changes, plus a selection of wines and champagnes, the new space is the perfect stop for a quick beauty fix before a night out.

Navigator of the Seas will get even more additions:

  • First Johnny Rockets Express
  • Bamboo Room Polynesian-themed lounge
  • Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, featuring a new Owner's Box VIP room
  • Jamie's Italian specialty restaurant
  • Hooked Seafood specialty restaurant (replacing Sabor Modern Mexican)
  • Starbucks
  • El Loco Fresh (coming to the reimagined pool deck)

Families will love to hear about some of the other new activities Royal Caribbean will add to Navigator of the Seas, including:

  • Glow-in-the-dark laser tag with Battle for Planet Z in Studio B
  • Mini-golf
  • Royal Escape Room: The Observatorium

Younger kids will enjoy Royal Caribbean’s new take on the Adventure Ocean youth program in a newly designed open, free play space. With trained staff and the cruise line’s award-winning programming, the modern concept will let imaginations roam free with activities organized by interests at every corner.

The teen areas will also sport updates with a redesigned Living Room, the teen-only laidback hangout, as well as a new “hidden” entrance and outdoor deck that serves up nothing but chill vibes.

Navigator of the Seas will be the third Royal Caribbean ship to undergo a Royal Amplified upgrade. Royal Amplified is a $900 million imitative to reimagine Royal Caribbean's fleet through a new modernization effort.

Royal Caribbean offering 60% off second guest and Kids Sail Free

In:
01Nov2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is offering 60% off second guest and Kids Sail Free on new bookings made in November.

The November offer is valid on new bookings made between November 1 – December 4, 2018 on all sailings departing on or after December 1, 2018.

Here are the offer details:

  • 60% off cruise fare of second guest booked in the same stateroom as first full-fare paying guest
  • 30% off cruise fare for third guests and higher booked in the same stateroom as the first two qualified guests
  • Kids Sail for Free Offer:
    • offers free cruise fare for 3rd guests and higher who are 12 years old or younger on 4 nights or longer Alaska, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Caribbean, CaribNE, Coastal, Cuba, Europe and Hawaii sailings departing between December 1, 2018 – December 14,2019.
    • Offer excludes Holiday sailings (Sailings between December 18, 2018 – January 1, 2019), President’s day sailings (Sailings between February 15 – 18, 2019), Spring Break sailings (Sailings between March 16 – 30, 2019), Holy Week/Easter sailings (Sailings between April 13 – 22, 2019) Summer sailings (Sailings between May 15 – August 31, 2019) and 2019 Thanksgiving sailings (Sailings between November 23 – 30, 2019).
    • Offer is not combinable with Deck the Holidays
  • Great Escapes Sale
    • Great Escape Sale offers instant savings of up to $100 per stateroom determined by category booked and sailing length
    • Valid on bookings made between November 1 – 5, 2018 on all sailings departing on or after December 1, 2018
    • On sailings 5 nights or less, $25 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $50 for Balconies and $75 for Suites
    • On sailings 6 nights or longer, $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $75 for Balconies and $100 for Suites

BOGO and Deck the Holidays Deals are combinable with Great Escape Sale, promotional OBCs, NextCruise offers, Instant Savings, restricted discounts (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military), Crown and Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. BOGO and Kids Sail Free are combinable with Great Escape Sale, promotional OBCs, NextCruise offers, Instant Savings, restricted discounts (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military), Crown and Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. Great Escape Sale is combinable with promotional OBCs, instant savings, NextCruise offers, restricted discounts (for example, Senior, Resident, Military) but not combinable with Shareholder benefits and Crown and Anchor discounts. Kids Sail Free and Deck the Holidays are not combinable with each other. All offers are not combinable with any other offer or promotion, including, but not limited to, Standard Group, Interline, Travel Agent, Travel Agent Friends and Family, Weekly Sales Events, Net Rates.

Offer available to residents of United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and select countries in the Caribbean.

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