Royal Caribbean presents plans for new cruise terminal in Uruguay


Royal Caribbean presented a plan to Uruguay authorities of an exclusive terminal for their ships at the port of Montevideo, which would include a hotel and would involve a total investment of 40 million dollars.

El Pais reports that the Administration National Port Authority (NPA) and the Ministry of Tourism are studying the tourism investment project presented by Royal Caribbean to define an area exclusively for the cruise ship docking at the port of Montevideo and to build a hotel on an adjoining block.

Royal Caribbean looked at investing in Uruguay eight years ago when it considered building a cruise terminal in South America.  After considering their options, Royal Caribbean opted to go to ports in Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires due to costs.

The site of the proposed cruise terminal is an area currently used for shipping, the public moorings A and B of the port of Montevideo, which operates the ANP.

Pacheco said that "initially build a lightweight terminal that also include the actual building of the Ministry of Tourism, which will have to relocate elsewhere, as suggested by the authorities," adding that Royal Caribbean would seek access to a block adjacent to the building the PA to build a hotel on four floors with 200 rooms.

"The idea is to make a base port to embark and disembark passengers from different countries of the company," he said, adding that the shipping company also plans to build in that area a place to set up shopping malls and cultural centers. Similarly, although not official, Royal Caribbean would be interested in a larger project in Punta del Este .

Royal Caribbean completes Rhapsody of the Seas refurbishment


After a month in dry dock in Singapore, Rhapsody of the Seas has completed a $54 million revitalization.  Royal Caribbean characterized the refurbishment as, "deliver guests a host of exciting new dining options, visually stunning entertainment and unique amenities after the ship's bow-to-stern transformation."

Royal Caribbean senior vice president of marketing, Betsy O'Rourke, commented on the refubishment, "Rhapsody of the Seas' dry dock is part of Royal Caribbean's multi-ship enhancement and revitalization strategy to deliver the world's most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries and world-renowned Gold Anchored service to our guests, also known as the Royal Advantage.  With every inch of Rhapsody of the Seas renewed, five new dining restaurants added, the evolution of entertainment in our iconic Centrum, plus an array of new touches, guests will be wowed by what is virtually a new ship."

The complete list of changes to Rhapsody of the Seas includes

  • Royal Babies and Tots Nursery
  • a Diamond Lounge for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members
  • a Concierge Lounge for suite guests and top-tier loyalty guests
  • Completely refreshed staterooms
  • Wi-Fi availability throughout the ship
  • Flat-panel televisions in all staterooms
  • Outdoor LED movie screen on the pool deck
  • a digital way-finding system
  • Reinvented Centrum

New restaurants aboard Rhapsody of the Seas include

  • Giovanni's Table (lunch, $15, and dinner, $20)
  • Izumi Asian Cuisine restaurant (lunch and dinner, $3.00 cover charge for lunch and $5.00 for dinner plus a la carte menu pricing)
  • Park Cafe deli-style restaurant (open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, complimentary)
  • Chop's Grille steakhouse (dinner, $30 per person)
  • Chef's Table (dinner, $95 per person)

Royal Caribbean to transfer Monarch of the Seas out of fleet


The oldest ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet, Monarch of the Seas, will be transferred to sister company Pullmantur Cruises in April 2013.

Monarch of the Seas, built in 1991, was sailing 3 and 4 night cruises out of Port Canaveral to the Bahamas and will conduct its last sailing on March 29, 2013.

Royal Caribbean will announce a replacement for Monarch in the next few months.\

Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein commented on the news, "She will go on creating wonderful travel memories through her final sailings for our brand through next March and then continue doing the same for Pullmantur's guests."

New Zealand cruise passenger totals expected to rise in 2013


Demand for cruise ships is expected to rise in New Zealand by more than 20 percent in 2013 and Royal Caribbean's commercial manager for Australia and New Zealand cites Royal Caribbean's efforts to convince the public that cruising is still safe.

The effects of the Costa Concordia disaster have effected even New Zealand but Armstrong does not believe it will be a long-term concern, "Australians and Kiwis seem to have been able to process it as a one-off, probably human error, incident."

Royal Caribbean's business in New Zealand is growing quickly, with about 55,000 guests forecast for next season, compared to about 30,000 this year.

To meet the demand, Royal Caribbean will have five ships across two brands in the area.

Royal Caribbean plans on sending Adventure of the Seas to UK in 2013


Royal Caribbean announced it is planning on doubling its presence in the UK next year.

Coming to the UK in the summer of 2013 will be Adventure of the Seas, which will join Independence of the Seas.  Independence is returning for its fifth season in the UK.

Adventure of the Seas will offer seven-night cruises to France and Spain, and include stops in ports such as Vigo, Gijon and Le Havre (Paris).  In addition, Adventure of the Seas will offer 12-night Baltic cruises to ports like Oslo, Copenhagen, Talinn and Helsinki.  Royal Caribbean is also planning to send Adventure of the Seas on 14-night Mediterranean cruises.

Royal Caribbean's Vice President and Group Managing Director in Europe, Dominic Paul, commented on the addition, "The UK cruise market has long been a success story for Royal Caribbean International and doubling the number of ships sailing from Southampton is another great milestone."

Royal Caribbean announces 2013 Alaska cruises


Royal Caribbean unveiled its summer 2013 cruise itineraries for Alaska to the public.  The soon-to-be revitalized Rhapsody of the Seas will be one of Royal Caribbean's ships offering trips to Alaska for that season along with Radiance of the Seas, which was also revitalized in 2011.

From May 17 through Aug. 30, 2013, Radiance of the Seas will offer alternate seven night north and southbound cruises between Vancouver, Canada and Seward, Alaska.  laskan ports of call include Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Skagway. Additionally, guests will cruise the Inside Passage as well as get an up-close view of Hubbard Glacier.

Rhapsody of the Seas also will sail every Friday on seven-night, round-trip Alaska cruises from Seattle, stopping at Juneau and Skagway, Alaska, and Victoria, British Columbia. Passengers will also visit through Alaska’s Inside Passage, as well as venture up Tracy Arm Fjord to see Sawyer Glacier.

In addition to just cruises, Royal Caribbean Alaska Cruisetours combine a Radiance of the Seas’ sailing with a pre- or post-cruise land tour that totals to a 10- to 13-night land and sea adventure that ranges as far north as Fairbanks. For the land tour portion, guests are escorted by a Royal Caribbean Tour Director. Royal Caribbean Cruisetours include premium hotel accommodations, motorcoach transportation and admission into select attractions. Almost all 2013 Alaska Cruisetours also include a leg aboard the Wilderness Express.

Royal Caribbean shows off new safety simulator


Royal Caribbean showed off its brand new training simulator at its$6.5 million facility in Fort Lauderdale, where crew can train to handle a ship in all sorts of weather conditions.

Royal Caribbean teamed up with Resolve Maritime Academy long before the Costa Concordia incident brought renewed attention to the area of cruise ship safety.

Royal Caribbean Captain William Wright, who is the senior vice president of maritime operations for Royal Caribbean, summed up the new facility's role as, “This was not a knee-jerk reaction to recent events."

Resolve agreed to build the new simulators to Royal Caribbean’s specifications; the first training courses will take place on April 30. Royal Caribbean has used the company for more than a decade for firefighting, search and rescue and other emergency training. 

Royal Caribbean consortium wins contract for new Hong Kong cruise terminal



A business consortium, with Royal Caribbean a minority partner, has won the rights for a new cruise terminal in Hong Kong to build a $1.046 billion facility at Kai Tak.

The 10-year contract was determined by a bidding process and will have the new terminal built by mid-2013 at the site of the former Kai Tak airport.  The terminal will be built to accommodate the super cruise liners of today, with an apron area of 850 x 35 meters, water depth of 12-13 meters, and no air draft restriction.  Such a size can easily allow for a ship like Oasis of the Seas to dock there.

The Cruise Terminal at Kai Tak has been designed by Foster + Partners. The new terminal has immigration and customs facilities with design capacity to expeditiously process 3000 passengers per hour.

Royal Caribbean kicks off new marketing campaign in France


Royal Caribbean is kicking off it's new advertising campaign in France, "Royal Caribbean International, la mer autrement", which translates to "Royal Caribbean, otherwise the sea".

This campaign is the first one for Royal Caribbean in France, and is meant to coincide with the arrival of Royal Caribbean ships to the French market this summer.

Royal Caribbean will play 20 and 30 second commercials on French television starting March 3.  Royal Caribbean will also advertise in print media, with all advertising mediums highlighting the activities and entertainment found onboard Royal Caribbean's ships.

This campaign follows the opening of an office in Paris by Royal Caribbean in July 2011. For its first summer season in France, the cruise line has scheduled the arrival of three ships from the ports of Marseille, Toulon and Le Havre in June and July 20.

Royal Caribbean changing up corporate executives


According to a report by Seatrade Insider, Royal Caribbean has realigned the responsibilities of several executives including Michael Bayley, Lisa Bauer and Ken Muskat.

Michael Bayley, who has served as executive vice president on the international side, will become executive vice president of operations for the Royal Caribbean brand. He will have responsibility for both hotel and marine operations. 

Lisa Bauer, who was the senior vice president of hotel operations since 2007, will be the new senior vice president of global sales and marketing, focused on the line's international growth efforts.

Ken Muskat, who was vice president of consumer outreach, will be the new vice president of onboard revenue.