Press Release

Royal Caribbean introduces AI tool for turning photos into shareable works of art

In:
07Aug2018

Royal Caribbean announced a new digital experience, powered by artificial intelligence, called SoundSeeker that will turn your favorite photos into musical works of art.

After working on SoundSeeker for more than a year, the cruise line has released the tool publically today.  It is specifically designed to use machine learning to seamlessly create original soundtracks based on the content of each photograph.

By simply visiting the SoundSeeker site, users can upload three photos of their choice, and the AI analyzes them based on color, landscape, backdrop, emotion, body language and facial expression. SoundSeeker then turns them into a shareable and one-of-a kind soundtrack – virtually DJing life’s most brag-worthy moments. Fans can follow along on Royal Caribbean’s social channels, and by searching #SoundSeeker.

 

Royal Caribbean teamed up with the Berklee College of Music, and technologists from around the world, to create the unique song generator.  Berklee leveraged music theory to create a roadmap for the tool that helps determine the musical pairing to photos, accounting for pitch, tempo and instrumental combinations, among others. 

“SoundSeeker is the latest proof point of Royal Caribbean innovation and how we focus it on delivering unexpected, memorable experiences; whether that is the SkyPad, which uniquely combines bungee jumping with virtual reality or live streaming your favorite shows from the middle of the ocean using VOOM, the fastest internet at sea,” said Jim Berra, chief marketing officer, Royal Caribbean International. “People of all ages crave new ways to share their best experiences on social media. This unprecedented tool allows you to put a completely unique, multisensory spin on sharing those memories – now friends and followers can see and hear your life’s adventures.” 

SoundSeeker uses machine learning, an artificial intelligence technique that enables computers to simulate human intelligence and make decisions on their own without explicit instructions. The learning process entailed more than 600 hours in which Royal Caribbean and a team of musicians and technologists reviewed hundreds of music tracks along with 10,000 photos, matching each of the 2.5 million combinations to one of 10 moods.

The AI in SoundSeeker uses Google Cloud Vision to identify objects, facial expressions and colors in a user’s photo by referencing the roadmap developed by the leaders in music theory at Berklee. SoundSeeker then finds the musical elements corresponding to each mood in the photo to compose a genuinely distinct audio and visual photo album. The Royal Caribbean tool is equipped to generate over one million unique tracks, based on custom base tracks, composed exclusively for the cruise line. The customized tracks take inspiration from a wide variety of music, including 90s hip-hop, rock, modern and electronic dance music. 

Royal Caribbean Hosts Largest Movie Premiere at Sea

In:
Category: 
02Aug2018

Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas is making waves in Hollywood this summer with her starring role, alongside Kristen Bell, Kelsey Grammer and Seth Rogen, in the Netflix original “Like Father.”

To celebrate, on Friday, Aug.3, the cruise line will host the largest movie premiere at sea by screening the dramedy across its Oasis Class ships – the world’s largest cruise ships: Symphony, Harmony, Allure and Oasis of the Seas – in the iconic AquaTheater, the onboard amphitheater boasting two movie screens. Leading up to the premiere, guests will be treated to a special event in the signature Boardwalk neighborhood, featuring a live DJ, face painting, delicious treats and beverage specials.

“Like Father” was filmed on board Harmony of the Seas and showcases the famed actors experiencing the robust lineup of thrilling activities and amenities for which Royal Caribbean is known, including Boleros, The Perfect Storm, FlowRider, Royal Promenade, Rising Tide Bar, and the line’s private island destination Labadee, Haiti, where they braved the longest overwater zip line. The movie, written, directed and produced by Lauren Miller Rogen, features Kristen Bell as a young advertising executive and workaholic, who was left at the altar and unexpectedly ends up on her Caribbean honeymoon cruise with her estranged father – Kelsey Grammer.  After several adventures and much soul-searching, the two return with a renewed appreciation for family and life. The film launches globally on Netflix on August 3.

Australian comedian Celeste Barber took Royal Caribbean's social media thrill-seeking challenge

In:
30Jul2018

Australian comedian Celeste Barber accepted a thrill-seeking challenge by Royal Caribbean to complete as many as possible onboard Royal experiences in one day. The clincher is, Celeste is on dry land.

Royal Caribbean Australia has partnered with the Instagram star to show how fun the activities are onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise.

“How could I resist this challenge? On a Royal Caribbean cruise you have so many great activities all in close proximity. I was totally up for the challenge of attempting to do all the awesome things you can do on a Royal Caribbean cruise but doing them all in one day on dry land. Bring it on!” said Celeste Barber.

Celeste attempts to replicate a variety of Royal Caribbean’s unique onboard activities including RipCord by iFLY, FlowRider, and a show-stopping stage show performance. The Bionic Bar, and Jamie’s Italian by Jamie Oliver also feature in the series. Celeste puts her own comical twist on the activities, and takes her family along for the crazy challenge.

“I worked out pretty quickly that trying to do all these activities on land with my family was completely exhausting and was going to leave me broke so the idea of doing them all on a fancy cruise with a glass of wine nearby was far more appealing. Also, you had me at free kids club!” said Barber.

Thrilling activities, game-changing technology, unparalleled entertainment, and vibrant dining options come together to create the ultimate, contemporary cruising experience – only found on Royal Caribbean.

“My husband, kids and I all get excited by different things and activities on family holidays and on a Royal Caribbean cruise #hothusband can surf and skydive, my kids can run riot in the pools and games arcade while I can grab a cocktail from a robot mixologist (I know, what?!), and watch a live show. Then we can all meet up and eat all the carbs at our favourite Jamie’s Italian.  I can’t imagine any of us ever getting bored on a Royal Caribbean cruise!” said Barber.

“As demonstrated by Celeste, endless experiences await guests onboard our ships, allowing travellers to holiday like never before. We’ve got you covered in terms of diversity, abundance and value. And the best part – as I’m sure Celeste would attest to – everything is conveniently located right at your fingertips,” said Susan Bonner, VP and Managing Director, Royal Caribbean Australia & NZ.

Royal Caribbean wins top awards at AFTA National Travel Industry Awards 2018

In:
23Jul2018

Royal Caribbean International was named "Best Cruise Operator, International" and "Best Cruise Operator, Domestic" at the AFTA National Travel Industry Awards 2018. 

The annual event was held on Saturday night, and since 2005, Royal Caribbean has received the Best Cruise Operator award nine times.

“We are so grateful to our travel agent partners for their incredible and unrelenting support, year after year,” said Kathryn Valk, Director of Marketing and Sales, Royal Caribbean International Australia and NZ. “We’ll never stop bringing our guests the industry’s most adventure-packed cruise holidays, with some of the best dining, entertainment and accommodations in the world, and we’ll continue coming up with innovative ways to work seamlessly with our agents.”

Voyager of the Seas makes maiden call at Manila, Philippines

In:
23Jul2018

Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas made her first visit ever to the capital of the Philippines this past weekend.  Voyager is one of the largest ships to call at any Filipino port.

Photo by Royal Caribbean International

To celebrate the maiden call at Manila, a traditional plaque exchange ceremony was held onboard between Voyager of the Seas’ Captain Sindre Borsheim and local officials namely Mr Francisquiel Mancile, Port Manager of Philippine Ports Authority and Mr Patrick Chan, Vice President for Operations of Asian Terminals Inc.

Voyager of the Seas' visit to Manila was part of a 4-night sailing from Shenzhen.

"Royal Caribbean strives to provide every traveler with the vacation experience they deserve," said Ms Marilen Yaptangco, International Representative of Royal Caribbean International in the Philippines. "This quick stop on Philippine shores is an opportunity for us to showcase the world-class offerings of Voyager of the Seas to Filipinos."

New managing director announced for RCL Cruises Australia and NZ

In:
01Jul2018

RCL Cruises has announced Susan Bonner has officially moved into position as Vice President and Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, effective immediately.

Susan is responsible for the business operations of Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises in the region, reporting to Gavin Smith, Senior Vice President International.

“With the highest market penetration for cruising of any country, I’m looking forward to continuing the incredible momentum our brands are experiencing in this region,” said Susan, “We truly believe there is a cruise out there for everyone, and our three distinctive lines offer award-winning cruise experiences to put us top of mind when Aussies consider their next holiday.”

Susan comes to Sydney from Royal Caribbean’s Miami office, where she served as Vice President of Celebrity Cruises’ Revenue Management and Onboard Revenue, and was integral in launching the line’s luxury Solstice Class ships. Prior to that, she led the Revenue Management and Onboard Revenue performance of Royal Caribbean International during the line’s historic introduction of the Quantum Class megaships.

Susan is a passionate advocate of gender equality, women in leadership and workplace diversity, part of an empowering female line-up at RCL which includes the first female CEO of a publicly traded cruise company, Celebrity Cruises’ Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, and an Australian office in which two thirds of the management team are women.

Bonner pursued her higher education by studying marketing at the prestigious Tulane University in New Orleans. As well as holding a passion for travel and cruising, Susan is a hot yoga enthusiast and the proud mother of a 19-year old son who attends military school back in the US.

Mariner of the Seas arrives in PortMiami following $120 million makeover

In:
21Jun2018

Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas arrived to her new home at PortMiami today after a $120 million upgrade that added new thrills, restaurants, staterooms and entertainment.

Mariner of the Seas will offer short getaway cruises with 4-night weekday and 3-night weekend cruises from Miami to The Bahamas. Her entrance to the short cruise market radically changes the dynamic of what a weekend cruise can offer. Giving millennial travelers more ways to play, the ship’s short itineraries pack more adventure than ever with Sky Pad, a virtual reality, bungee trampoline experience; the cruise line’s first Polynesian-inspired, tiki-chic bar, The Bamboo Room; glow-in-the-dark laser tag, racer waterslides and more.

Royal Caribbean added a lot of new features to Mariner of the Seas, including:

  • Sky Pad – The gravity-defying bungee trampoline experience amped up with virtual reality
  • The Perfect Storm – A thrilling pair of three-story-high racer waterslides called Cyclone and Typhoon
  • Laser Tag: Battle for Planet Z – An epic glow-in-the-dark battle for the last planet in the galaxy
  • Escape Room: The Observatorium – Royal Caribbean’s newest escape room challenge
  • FlowRider – The cruise line’s signature 40-foot-long surf simulator, perfect for hanging ten
  • The Bamboo Room – A laidback Polynesian watering hole with a throwback vibe and kitschy-cool craft cocktails like the Island Old Fashioned and Tiki Tea – the first in Royal Caribbean’s fleet
  • Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade – For fans watching their home team on one of more than 25 TV screens, making their own legendary plays at the arcade, or refueling on game-day favorites
  • Jamie’s Italian – Serving fresh, handmade and rustic Italian fare by Chef Jamie Oliver, one of Britain’s most famous food exports
  • Izumi Hibachi and Sushi – Asian-inspired dining featuring hibachi, sushi and sashimi and more – made to order with authentic flavors, the freshest ingredients and impeccable presentation

Mariner of the Seas will welcome guests for the first time on Monday, June 25, as it sets sail on a 4-night cruise to The Bahamas. The newly reimagined ship will continue to offer 4-night weekday and 3-night weekend itineraries from Miami, with visits to Nassau and CocoCay. Beginning May 2019, Mariner will sail to the new Perfect Day at CocoCay, the first destination in Royal Caribbean’s recently announced collection of private island experiences around the world.

Mariner of the Seas is the second ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet to undergo the Royal Amplified program, which is a $900 million commitment to reimagine its fleet.

Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas makes a double maiden call in the Philippines

In:
11Jun2018

Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas made her first visit to two different ports in the Philippines this weekend, Subic Bay and Manila. This is the largest ever cruise ship to call at any Filipino port, and with the highest number of guests onboard totalling close to 4,600 from around the world. She is currently on a 5-night cruise from Hong Kong.

Photo by Royal Caribbean International

To celebrate the maiden call at Subic Bay, a traditional plaque exchange ceremony was held onboard between Ovation of the Seas’ Captain Flemming Nielsen and local officials namely Atty. Wilma Eisma, Chairman and Administrator of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and Mr Roberto Alabado III, Assistant Secretary of Department of Tourism. Senator Richard "Dick" Gordon and Ms Ma. Cristina Garcia, Vice Governor of Bataan were present at the event as well.

Photo by Royal Caribbean International

Photo by Royal Caribbean International

A similar ceremony was held to celebrate the ship’s maiden call in Manila, with Captain Nielsen and Mr Mancile Francisquiel, Port Manager of Philippine Ports Authority, Mr Pocholo Joselito Paragas, Chief Operating Officer of Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) – Department of Tourism, and Atty. Solfia Arboladura, Director of Manila Tourism and Cultural Affairs Bureau presented the “key to the City of Manila” to the ship's Captain.

Photo by Royal Caribbean International

Ovation of the Seas is the largest cruise ship to enter the Philippines.

Royal Caribbean Icon Class ships will be classed by DNV GL

In:
08May2018

The shipyard charged to build Royal Caribbean's two Icon Class cruise ships has signed a contract for the classification of the ships with DNV GL Maritime.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is envisioned as the primary fuel for the new vessels, which would dramatically reduce or even eliminate emission of nitrogen oxide (NOX), sulphur oxide (SOX) and particulates, as well as cutting carbon dioxide (CO2). The ICON Class will also introduce fuel cell technology, which in combination with hull air lubrication means that the ships could potentially be some of the most fuel efficient cruise vessels ever constructed.  The ship will also take advantage of hull air lubrication, which has been used on other ships in the fleet

The final concept for the first vessel is currently being discussed, and the concept design phase is expected to start this spring. The initial building phase of the first ship will begin next year, with keel laying planned for October 2019.

Royal Caribbean names Symphony of the Seas 'The World's Most Instagrammable Ship'

In:
05Apr2018

Royal Caribbean declared its newest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas, is the world's most Instagrammable cruise ship.

To help guests make the most of these Insta-moments, Royal Caribbean has appointed Russ Francis as the company’s first ‘Instagrammer-in-Chief’ as Symphony takes her first guests on their holidays in the Mediterranean from Barcelona, Spain.

Russ Francis’ Instagram skills were spotted by the company when he entered Royal Caribbean’s search for the first Instagram Intern-Ship at sea in 2017. His new role will be to help inspire guests to do the ship justice through their Instagram content and establish Symphony of the Seas as the world’s most Instagrammable ship.

“For something to be truly Instagrammable it has to be unique enough that people want to show off about it” comments Russ Francis, Royal Caribbean Instagrammer-in-Chief. “It’s so much more than being a pretty setting. Extraordinary Instagram content causes a reaction whether that’s jaws dropping in amazement or mouths watering at the very best dishes, it’s about capturing experiences that ‘wow’ the viewer. Symphony of the Seas ticks every single box making it the world’s most Instagrammable cruise ship.”

Russ has developed his guide to the ten most Insta-worthy moments that will help achieve the Insta-famous goal.

  1. Ultimate Abyss – The faces of those who have just survived the white-knuckle descents of the tallest slide at sea is not something you want to miss on camera… but can you capture the exhilaration just at the right moment for the perfect Insta shot?
  2. Central Park – Snap the lush greenery of over 12,000 tropical plants in this serene open-air neighbourhood. Packing this picture with as many beautiful and natural colours as possible will make it stand out on Instagram feeds.
  3. Ultimate Family Suite – For a shot at the most exclusive onboard content, make friends with the adventure seeking family staying in the Ultimate Family Suite! With 1,346 square foot filled with a plethora of features including an indoor slide, air hockey table and an eye-popping LEGO wall, you can take advantage of the mix of the bold colours and interesting shapes, making it the most brag-worthy content for Instagram.
  4. Vitality at Sea Spa – The tranquil spa is perfect for an ultra-smug Insta moment in between chilling out and being pampered. ‘Towel selfies’ are very in right now after all.
  5. Pool and Sports Zone – This part of the ship is teeming with action packed Instagram potential. Simply turn your camera towards one of the three colourful waterslides, two FlowRider ® surf simulators or nine-deck high zip line for adrenaline-fueled shots.
  6. Paradox Void– Discover an unusual and strangely captivating reflective art installation stretching high above you in the Royal Promenade. Made from 1,200 steel triangles, getting the lighting right here can work magic to the reflective surfaces, adding instant intrigue for your followers.
  7. AquaTheatre – Head to the aft of the ship to snap the dazzling amphitheatre-style theatre and experience stunning aquatic acrobatics and high-diving aerial performances. This will test your reflexes as you try to capture the live action against an unbeatable ocean backdrop.
  8. Royal Theatre – With unparalleled entertainment onboard there are umpteen content moments every evening, but for something really special just shimmy your way down to the Royal Theatre for a rendition of “Hairspray” to see if you can capture the excitement of live theatre in just one snap.
  9. Solarium Big Wonder (art installation) – A one-of-a-kind work of art comprised of thousands of dichroic acrylic elements is the first to be featured in the Solarium, spanning an area of 2,594 square feet and flooding the pool beneath with natural light. The poolside palm trees bathed in this contrast of light and shadow make it a must-capture shot for any serious Instagrammer.
  10. Hooked - Royal Caribbean’s first New England-style seafood restaurant will feature fresh seafood and a robust raw bar complete with oysters harvested to order. Located at the front of the ship in the adults-only Solarium, the casually sophisticated restaurant will offer expansive views of the open water – the perfect backdrop for a mouth-watering insta-shot.

To celebrate Symphony of the Seas being the world’s most Instagrammable ship, Royal Caribbean is launching a competition for all onboard guests to post in their best Instagram shots of the extraordinary ship. Using the hashtag #SymphonyoftheSeas, Russ Francis, the new Instagrammer-in-Chief will judge the best posts. The Instagrammers of the best ship shots will win an onboard treat from a massage in the spa to a bottle of Champagne in their suite.

Russ also shared some tips for anyone looking to use Instagram.

  • Take photos in a square frame - Instagram images appear as a square, so take your Instagram snaps in a square frame. This way, all of your picture will appear in the upload, and you won’t need to crop or zoom to ensure everything fits in.
  • Strong colours, shapes, lines and good lighting - To help your Instagram shot have the WOW factor; make sure it has strong colours and defined shapes and lines. If you’re struggling to make the lighting work and are flexible about timings then return to your shot at the ‘Golden Hour’, the hour before sunrise and the hour after sunset, to capture something really shareable.
  • Use negative space - Negative space means the physical space that surrounds your image subject. Instagram photos that have the right mix of negative space and a tangible object can really stand out.
  • Reflections - Reflections are a quick and easy way to get an interesting and unusual effect on your Instagram picture. Water, mirrors and glass are three great surfaces to get you started
  • Use gridlines to balance your shot – Improve snaps by taking the photo outside of the Instagram app and using your phone’s gridlines function. Apply the ‘rule of thirds’ and ensure that compositional elements are placed along the nine lines and their intersections of the grid. Pros claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest than simply centering the subject.
  • Show some personality – Layering on words and stickers to an Instagram Story can add some fun and individuality to your extraordinary shots that usually encourages greater levels of engagement.
  • Use a great caption - These days, it isn’t just about the picture or videos. Captions play a big role in how many likes you get and how people engage with your Instagram content. Use emotive descriptions and humour to connect with your followers.

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