Allure of the Seas visits St Kitts for first time


Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas made its first stop at St Kitts-Nevis on December 30, which St. Kitt's Tourism Minister described as "an historic event".

Rich Skerritt, the Tourism Minister for the island, spoke to The St. Kitts Nevis Observer about the occasion, "Almost the entire population of Nevis can be housed aboard this one vessel. This is a strong indicator of the growth of our relationship with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and the cruise industry in general.  This is also a reminder of our responsibility and the expectations which have been raised of our port to deliver a quality destination experience for cruise passengers and all visitors."

Cruise passenger numbers have increased over the last four years at St. Kitts along with passenger satisfaction levels.  

Allure of the Seas' arrival also drew St. Kitts' Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, Minister Skerritt and other government officials, who attended a cocktail reception and plaque & key exchange ceremony aboard Allureof the Seas.

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Royal Caribbean wins five awards at Travel Weekly’s Readers Choice Awards


Royal Caribbean has won five awards at the Travel Weekly 2011 Readers Choice Awards, held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  Royal Caribbean's sister company Celebrity Cruise Line won an addition three awards as well.

  • Best Cruise Line: Domestic – Royal Caribbean International
  • Best Cruise Line: Caribbean – Royal Caribbean International
  • Best Cruise Ship: Rookie – Royal Caribbean International Allure of the Seas
  • Best Cruise Line: Sales & Service – Royal Caribbean International
  • Best Cruise Line: Overall – Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean Senior Vice President of Sales, Vicki Freed, accepted the awards on behalf of the company.  Also accepting the coveted “Best Cruise Line; Sales & Service Award” on behalf of Royal Caribbean along with Ms. Freed was Joanne Schimelman, Vice President Sales and National Accounts.

Royal Caribbean planning to send Allure of the Seas to St. Kitts


Royal Caribbean's mega ship the Allure of the Seas is going to visit the island of St. Kitts.

Sunday will offer passengers an unique 9-night itinerary that will deviate from the usual pattern Allure of the Seas visits and will include docking in Basseterre, St. Kitts on December 30.

Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein described the visit to St. Kitts in a recent blog post as a variation on the typical itineraries that Royal Caribbean will offer from time to time.  Royal Caribbean spokesman Harrison Liu calls the visit "uniquely special", as there are no other calls to St. Kitts planned for Allure of its sister ship Oasis of the Seas.

In celebration, the island is planning a festive welcome for Allure of the Seas.  The celebration will include St. Kitts and Nevis' prime minister, tourism minister and other top officials will be greeting the ship.

Monarch of the Seas fails CDC Inspection


Dozens of infractions on a recent Centers for Disease Control inspection earned Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas a failing score of 85 out of 100 on its November 18 vessel sanitation inspection.

The inspection was unannounced and Monarch barely missed passing by one point (86).

Monarch was cited for among other infractions

  • fruit flies were mentioned 11 times (found in bulkheads, by preparation counters, and in and around the buffet during live service)
  • Soiled plates in the clean buffet stack
  • missing safety signage

The inspection also revealed that Monarch of the Seas had not adopted new standards from the CDC's Vessel Sanitation Program's (VSP) Operations Manual, which include carrying a test kit for measuring alkalinity in the swimming pools and posting poolside safety signs warning passengers not to use the facilities if they are "experiencing diarrhea, vomiting, or fever" and encouraging them to shower before entering the facility.

Royal Caribbean issued a statement in which it was "extremely disappointed" to learn that Monarch only received an 85 during its last inspection. The line added that it is working closely with the proper authorities to "correct and remedy the deficiencies found aboard Monarch that caused the low score," and that it was "confident that Monarch of the Seas would receive a passing score when the ship was re-inspected." We've reached out to Royal Caribbean and the CDC to determine if and when the ship was re-tested. We'll keep you posted.

Royal Caribbean calls for dredging of Australian shipping channel


Royal Caribbean's Managing Director of Australia, Gavin Smith, is calling once again on authorities at the Cairns, Australia to dredge the shipping channel  and the swing basin.

Smith said that while Rhapsody of the Seas was able to safely traverse the Trinity Inlet, it was "at the limit and edge of its physical capabilities".  He said that Royal Caribbean would prefer the dredging take place to allow for easier and safer crossings as well as allow larger ships, such as Radiance of the Seas, to dock at the cruise terminal.

Currently, Radiance of the Seas is required to anchor off Port Douglas when she arrives in February 2012.

Earlier in the year, Smith had asked for the channel to be dredged to allow the ship to dock even in poor weather conditions. Royal Caribbean prefers to dock rather than moor and force its passengers to be transported via tenders ashore.  

Cruise ship passenger evacuated from Royal Caribbean ship


A passenger aboard Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas had to be medically evacuated yesterday after she experienced symptoms of appendicitis.

The incident occurred on December 12 approximately 130 miles southwest of Key West, Florida as the ship was making her way back to Port Everglades, Florida.  A United States Coast Guard helicoper hoisted the woman off the ship and brought her to the Lower Keys Medical Center.

Royal Caribbean launches new Global Brand advertising campaign


Royal Caribbean launched a new brand campaign that looks to tap into consumers connection with the sea to help escape to a new vacation.

The campaign is aimed at "reawakening consumers" to the idea that being on the ocean is relaxing, rejuvenating and romantic when on a Royal Caribbean cruise.  The new advertising plan will start off with a conch shell acting as a phone, called a "shellphone" to communicate the decree "The Sea is Calling. Answer it Royally."

The idea behind the campaign comes from research through focus groups in 16 countries that resulted in a sense that people feel a connection to the sea and that being on a Royal Caribbean cruise is a great way to "get away from it all".

Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President of Marketing described the new campaign, "We are tapping into the sea’s powerful, emotional force to reframe the context of cruising for consumers who don’t understand what a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation offers.  The Sea is Calling’ is a global-scale campaign that will resonate with people no matter where they live, what language they speak, or whether or not they’ve cruised before. And we want vacationers everywhere to know that Royal Caribbean’s distinctive and innovative ships, personal service and breadth of destination experiences is how we ‘Answer it Royally.’”

The new shellphone advertisements will begin appearing on December 19 in major cities such as New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Boston and Miami.  The campaign will officially kick off in January 2012 with a focus to drive consumers to

New 30-second and 60-second commercials on television will begin on January 9, 2012.

Royal Caribbean offers new specialty restaurant dining packages


Royal Caribbean is offering new dinner packages at its specialty restaurants to help trim the cost of dining on four of its most popular ships.

Offered on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas...

  • Central Park Dining Package
  • Chef's Dining Package
    • $120 per passenger
    • Dinner at
      • Five-course meal at Chef's Table (with wine pairing for each course)
      • 150 Central Park
      • Chops Grille
  • Choice Dining Package (Oasis of the Seas)
    • $50 per passenger
    • Dinner at
      • Chops Grille
      • Giovanni's Table
      • Choice of Izumi or Solarium Bistro
  • Choice Dining Package (Allure of the Seas)
    • $55 per passenger
    • Dinner at
      • Chops Grille
      • Giovanni's Table
      • Samba Grill

There is also a dining package on Radiance of the Seas that offers dinner at Chops Grille, Giovanni's Table, Izumi and Samba Grill for $70 per passenger.  There is also the Chef's Dining Package that offers the Chef's Table in addition to every extra-charge specialty restaurant onboard and will cost $120 per passenger.

Splendour of the Seas is offering a Chef's Dining Package for $105 per passenger and includes a meal at Chef's Table, Chops Grille and Izumi.

Royal Caribbean CEO explains how he connects with customers


Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein was interviewed by Forbes in a group of CEOs to evaluate how they connect with their customers.  Here are Adam's answers.

What is your primary customer metric?
“Our primary customer metric is called the secured guest index. And it’s a top one out of five box on enjoyed the experience; we’ll tell other people about it; we’ll do it again. So we are looking at the percentage of people who are in the top one of each of those three.”

As CEO, how do you connect with customers?
“A small example of something that people would not expect from me or from the CEO is that I’m able to take advantage of my passion for table tennis. I’ll spend a couple of hours playing anybody who wants to play me one after another. And it’s just amazing, the response of the people. They want to try — sometimes they’re great, sometimes they’re terrible. But they just want to play the CEO in table tennis.”

How do you measure results?
“The iron discipline of immediate customer feedback. We get approximately a 50% response rate on the customer satisfaction survey that we hand out at the end of the cruise. The division heads and the hotel director and the captain if necessary are seeing exactly what the feedback of the customers were in detail by area for the vacation that ended in the morning and now they have to get ready for the vacation that’s starting for a new group of 6,000 people that afternoon. And that discipline has been in place for 40 plus years and it really informs the commitment to excellence that sustains the product day in and day out.”

How do your view social media?
“The social media age, we really feel was somehow created for our benefit. And what social media has demonstrated is that people are more interested in pure opinion than anything. We really try not to come into the dialog directly. So I think at my level it’s looking for patterns that suggest issues that I’m quite keen on. We ended up in a global controversy for our decision to keep the ships going to Haiti after the earthquake two years ago, what we found was that social media in general, and my blog in particular was where we were able to speak with the voice on the issue, that was unconstrained by the formalities of press releases.”

Talk about your global focus.
“Our business is in the full bloom of transition from an industry that was principally for middle and upper middle class Americans to take 7-night cruises in the Caribbean to an industry where everybody is cruising from everywhere and traveling to cruise everywhere. One of our fixed brands called (Croisières de France), is essentially a little piece of France floating around the Mediterranean, where everything is in French language, served by French people, French cuisine, French entertainment, French everything. There are a lot of French people who prefer that environment. There are some French people who would like to be in the Royal Caribbean International global environment.”