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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Guests on Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas will have the opportunity to see brand new shows that were produced for the largest cruise ship in the world, including a headliner show that combines high-energy with high-tech.
Headlining the playbill will be the all-new show ‘Flight: Dare to Dream,’ a one-of-a-kind journey through the past, present and future of air travel and space exploration that will make history as one of the most ambitious stage productions to date. Guests take off on a spectacular adventure through time, chronicling key milestones in aeronautics, beginning with the first leisure voyage to Mars and ending with a stunning homage to the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk.
A Royal Caribbean Productions original, ‘Flight: Dare to Dream’ introduces cutting-edge 3D flying technology, video and automation to the 1,401-seat Royal Theater. Going where no stage has gone before, space and zero gravity will be simulated as actors “float” within a detailed replica of the International Space Station (ISS). The first theater set piece of its kind, the detailed design of Royal Caribbean’s ISS was informed by Astronaut Clayton C. Anderson, who lived 167 days in space and completed 38 hours and 28 minutes over 6 spacewalks in two separate missions.
“I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to relive my five months aboard the International Space Station for this out-of-this-world Royal Caribbean production,” said Clayton C. Anderson, U.S. astronaut, author & speaker. “I worked with Royal Caribbean to ensure the show’s zero gravity simulation, and appearance of the ISS replica were as true to life as possible to further enhance the show’s wow factor.”
Royal Caribbean Productions is the first team to consult with an astronaut that lived in space for a live theatrical production. Complex, high-impact choreography and production also take form in 3D flying with a custom built recreation of the Wright Flyer that will take off into the house; the set piece will have a 22 foot wingspan and single seat “cockpit.”
“We continue to push the envelope with high-tech, immersive entertainment at Royal Caribbean, and we couldn’t be prouder with how ‘Flight: Dare to Dream’ has brought to life the awe and wonder of flying,” said Nick Weir, Vice President, Entertainment, Royal Caribbean International. “Guests from 5 to 95 years old will not believe their eyes, as all our shows onboard Symphony of the Seas capture their imagination and create jaw-dropping I-can’t-believe-that-just-happened moments they won’t soon forget.”
Clayton Anderson & Nick Weir. Photo by Nick Weir.
Three additional headline shows across three distinct stage venues on Symphony of the Seas, include:
1977 in Studio B is the continuation to “1877,” the ice-skating show introduced on sister-ship Harmony of the Seas, featuring the time-traveling hero, Tempus. In his latest adventure, Tempus heads to London where a mysterious jewel thief with special powers has stolen the Queen’s crown jewels on the eve of her Silver Jubilee. Timing is everything in this imaginative original ice show, featuring high-tech projection mapping images that bring the ‘70s to life on the ice.
Hairspray, a guest favorite, gets a makeover for Symphony of the Seas with new choreography and staging of the Tony Award- winning musical. The larger-than-life, Royal Caribbean Productions’ original introduces revolutionary set design, taking the story of loveable teen Tracy Turnblad in 1960s Baltimore, to the next level.
HiRO raises the bar on Royal Caribbean’s aqua shows with more high flying feats, unexpected stunts and extraordinary acrobatics than ever before. Brought to life by the world’s best extreme-sport athletes, HiRO pushes the limits of a theatrical production at sea with cutting-edge technology and choreography and. No two shows are the same, making it worth seeing twice. The show features 3D flying technology used by aerialists as they literally soar above the crowd, plus acrobats and professional divers.
Royal Caribbean's Ovation fo the Seas is helping test a new satellite tracking system that aims to be even more precise and accurate than any system before it.
Ovation of the Seas is testing the highly accurate positioning technology, as part of the trial of a Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) for the Australasian region. Standalone GPS positioning is giving you five to 10 metre level positioning, whereas SBAS allows for corrections at the 10 centimere level to the entire area.
SBAS technology was used by Acoustic Imaging in consultation with the Port Authority of New South Wales to help dock Ovation of the Seas on its most recent visit to Sydney Harbour.
The Chief Operating Officer of Port Authority of New South Wales and Harbour Master, Philip Holliday said Ovation of the Seas is one of the biggest cruise ships to dock in Sydney Harbour during the cruise season.
"Sydney is extremely busy during the cruise season; we have enormous cruise ships coming in virtually every day and intermingled into all of that is ferry and recreation traffic. It's a busy working harbour," Mr Holliday said.
The lead scientist of Acoustic Imaging's maritime programs, Nicole Bergersen said the docking of Ovation of the Seas, which is over 330 metres long and too tall to sail beneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge, was a unique opportunity to test how the use of SBAS technology could potentially benefit the ports of Sydney Harbour.
"The berth box inside Circular Quay is marginally smaller than the Ovation of the Seas, so the Ovation of the Seas is actually parking with nose protruding out in front of that parking spot. We're on a level where metres matter, and centimetres matter." Ms Bergersen said.
"What SBAS is allowing us to do is have the pilot rely just on the information on the computer screen and if we can enable instrument navigation, then the pilot no longer needs visibility to be able to steer a ship.
"That's going to allow the Port Authority of New South Wales to bring in more ships, more frequently and in adverse conditions."
Royal Caribbean has big plans for the world's largest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas, especially when it comes to offering more for families to do than on any of its ships since.
Families on Symphony of the Seas can try a glow-in-the-dark laser tag adventure, take the plunge down the tallest slide at sea, or soak up some sun after getting drenched on the ship’s epic waterslides and surf simulators.
The highlights for families on Symphony of the Seas include:
The Ultimate Family Suite
The new Ultimate Family Suite is two stories of thrills on every level. This one-of-a-kind stateroom has some "swoon-worthy" features, whimsical color schemes and a whole lot of awesome.
The 1,346-square-foot interactive space is designed for both the young and young at heart, providing a space for families to come together during their cruise vacation, while also offering enough room and amenities to relax during that special “me time.”
Family Friendly Menus
Eating on Symphony of the Seas will be a pleasure, as the ship offers a little bit of everything onboard to ensure even the pickiest eaters can find something to enjoy. Symphony will make it easy for families to taste the ultimate kid’s menus at sea across more than 20 restaurants found on board, four of which are new concepts for the cruise line.
Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade is where families cheer on their home team playing on any of more than 30 big-screen TVs, while they munch on American classics like wings, popcorn shrimp, sliders, burgers and picture-perfect sundaes. After finding inspiration in celebrating a win, it is game on at the arcade with Ms. Pac-Man, Star Wars Battle Pod, Ice Skee-ball and a lineup of other popular arcade games.
El Loco Fresh is perfect for the family on the go with a fiesta of flavors, from made-from-scratch mole sauce and tangy salsa verde to the made-to-order tacos and burritos. This crazy delicious Mexican fare is fresh and fast for those looking to fuel up for their next onboard adventure.
Hooked Seafood is the ultimate catch for families looking for fresh seafood. Those angling for a real taste of New England-inspired classics can enjoy lobster and crab claws, or take their pick of local fish and just-shucked oysters at the ice-cold raw bar.
Sugar Beach candy and ice cream shop is the ultimate spot for that sweet tooth. Adults and kids alike can take their pick from a family’s favorite confections and ice creams, alongside a few sugarcoated surprises. The sweetest place on the high seas also features family-friendly DIY activities for aspirational culinary artists.
Things to do
Royal Caribbean has added new high-tech, high-energy original productions that will captivate children and grownups alike.
Battle for Planet Z has family, friends and foes go head to head for control of the last planet in the galaxy in this new glow-in-the-dark laser tag experience, complete with state-of-the-art technology and special effects.
Puzzle Break: Escape the Rubicon challenges teams to race against the clock as they learn to work together toward one common goal – to escape the submarine-themed room before time runs out.
Fun for all ages
Symphony of the Seas will also offer plenty of family favorites onboard, such as
Ultimate Abyss – the tallest slide at sea
The Perfect Storm trio of waterslides
Two FlowRider surf simulators
Splashaway Bay, a vibrant waterscape for kids and toddlers
Skating in a real-ice rink at Studio B
A nine-deck-high zip line
Two rock-climbing walls that stand 43 feet high
Full-size basketball court
19 pools across 1,188 feet
Symphony of the Seas will also offer complimentary programming for kids, in the form of the Adventure Ocean youth program. Guests ages 3 to 17 years old can participate in entertaining and educational experiences and activities infused with innovative fun and excitement. Highlights include:
Aquanauts (ages 3-5 years) serves up cool experiments and the chance to become Certified Jr. Adventure Scientists.
Explorers (ages 6-8 years) includes fun events and adventures, such as themed parties.
Voyagers (ages 9-11 years) offers a range of activities that puts the "cool" back into learning.
Babies and toddlers also have their own array of options to consider.
Royal Babies (ages 6-18 months) offers the tiniest guests and their parents interactive classes filled with enriching activities developed by early childhood experts.
Royal Tots (ages 18-36 months) provides 45-minute interactive playground sessions filled with age-appropriate activities and toys.
Tweens & Teens Program (ages 12-17 years) allows older kids the freedom to come and go from their dedicated spaces on board, while checking out games, sports and parties with others their age.
Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas was the staging ground for the Biggest Game of Hide and Seek, with Ben Harrison, age 26, from Hornsby NSW, taking home the AUD$10,000 prize, and a family cruise for four, all thanks to his stealthy hiding techniques.
In an Australian first, Aussies aged eight and over boarded the megaship docked in Sydney Harbour to play a huge version of the iconic childhood game, as part of a unique competition to celebrate 10 years of Royal Caribbean sailing Down Under.
Two games were held – one for adults aged 15 and over and another for kids aged 8-14. Competitors were picked from over 20,000 entrants and came from far and wide; NSW, QLD, NT, SA, WA, VIC - to seek out the best hiding spots onboard in an attempt to outwit the “Seekers”, Australia’s national Hide & Seek team The Nascondingos, who competed in the 2017 annual World Championships in Italy.
12-year-old Ryan S from Kincup in regional QLD took home the kids’ prize which was a family cruise for four, after hiding from the Nascondingos under a couch. Runner up Benjamin H from NSW is also taking his family on a holiday.
Winner of the adults’ game, Ben Harrison aka ‘Big Red’ used sheer distance as his tactic, attempting to get as far away from home base as he could in the allocated hiding time. He chose curtains to hide under in rounds one and two, and in the third – his winning spot – Ben managed to squeeze underneath a table that was concealed by a curtain. After being awarded his novelty size check, Ben said “It’s a pretty big accomplishment. I am very surprised, I still have butterflies in my stomach. I’m very very happy”. He and fiancé Jess will be putting the $10,000 towards their wedding at the end of the year, and will use the cruise for their honeymoon.
The Nascondingos have heralded it their hardest game yet, “There was just a lot of ground to cover. We’re short twitch athletes and we’re used to five-minute rounds. These 20 minute rounds covering eight football fields really put us under pressure. It was far more challenging than we thought it would be. Curtain and couch hiding were the most popular spots” said Alan Jones, Nascondingo’s Captain.
From attempts to host unofficial games in a certain Swedish furniture store, to a campaign for Hide and Seek to appear as an official exhibition sport in Tokyo in 2020, the event took place as the game gains traction as a serious sport among people of all ages.
MC for the day, TV personality Jason Dundas said of the frivolity; “I’ve been travelling the world filming Getaway from over 100 countries for 11 years and I’ve never been on a cooler ship and had more of a fun experience onboard in my life”.
Royal Caribbean celebrated its valued travel agent community with its annual Travel Partners of the Year Awards for North America.
The awards recognize travel agencies that do show a commitment to selling Royal Caribbean cruises, and this year's accolades recognized more than 10 top performers.
“These are extremely exciting times for the cruise industry – cruise lines and travel partners alike. The sky’s the limit at Royal Caribbean, and the strong performance we’ve seen is thanks in large part to our valued travel professionals and their incredible knowledge when it comes to planning inspiring vacations on our ships,” said Vicki Freed, senior vice president, Sales, Trade Support and Service, Royal Caribbean International. “I’m very proud to honor these experts who consistently work with us and continue to see success with their businesses. Congratulations to the returning and first-time Travel Partners of the Year award recipients.”
Royal Caribbean’s 2017 Travel Partners of the Year winners are as follows:
Chairman's Award for Overall Achievement Cruise Planners – an American Express Travel Representative
President's Award for Overall Achievement Expedia CruiseShipCenters
National Account Partner of the Year World Travel Holdings
Host Agency Partner of the Year Travel Planners International
New-to-Cruise Partner of the Year International Cruise & Excursions, Inc. (ICE) *First-time winner
Home-Based Partner of the Year CruiseOne, Dream Vacations & Cruises Inc. *First-time winner
Online Partner of the Year Cruise.com
Rising Star Partner of the Year Cruises-N-More *First-time winner
Consortia Partner of the Year Virtuoso
Corporate Incentive Partner of the Year Buy the Sea
Marketing Partner of the Year Travel Leaders Network
Southeast Partner of the Year Tourico Holidays *First-time winner
Northeast Partner of the Year Autism on the Seas
Central Partner of the Year KHM Travel Group
West Partner of the Year Morris Murdock
Canada Partner of the Year Maritime Travel – LeGrow’s Travel *First-time winner
Royal Caribbean welcomed its one millionth guests sailing from Singapore, marking a milestone for the cruise line's 11 years of sailing history in Asia.
Singaporean Mr Wong Sin Fatt (王信發), 52, boarded Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas earlier this afternoon in full surprise as he was welcomed and cheered by Royal Caribbean crew and staff in the millionth guest countdown at the ship’s gangway. To celebrate, Mr. Wong was taken to the ship's Viking Crown lounge, where both the ship’s Captain Claus Andersen and Mr Sean Treacy, Managing Director, Asia Pacific of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. presented to Mr Wong the millionth guest prize package worth over US$2,400.
Mr Wong can look forward to a free cruise holiday for him and his sibling in his stateroom for his current 4-night Penang & Phuket Cruise sponsored by Royal Caribbean, plus VIP treatment for both. In addition, the cruise line is treating both of them to onboard credit of US$300 which they can spend on for instance specialty dining, shore excursions, shopping and even the special behind-the-scenes tour. Mr Wong also receives a cruise certificate worth US$1,000 for his next cruise holiday.
“This definitely made my holiday knowing that I’m the millionth guest for Royal Caribbean! This is my first time with Royal Caribbean, but never dreamt of winning something like this. My sister wanted a different holiday experience for the whole family, and I’m really excited about my prize that I’m sharing with my family with me here,” said Mr Wong, who is travelling with his family of eight for a vacation.
Mr Treacy said, “We have been looking forward to this day to welcome our millionth guest and thanking him in a big ‘Royal’ way. Crossing this milestone in a span of 10 years here represents a true achievement for us, and this would not have been possible without the strong support of all our guests and key stakeholders including the Singapore Tourism Board and Changi Airport Group which partner us on fly-cruise marketing, as well as the two cruise terminals in Singapore.
Royal Caribbean has created a new first-of-its-kind quiz to help those that want to travel to discover more about who they are and what places around the world would most likely energize and excite them.
The 13-question quiz draws on various personality types, and specifically assesses a person's underlying motivations and interpersonal needs that most affect their travel preferences. Once complete, quiz-takers receive a unique description of who they are as a traveler, along with insight into destinations and activities that best suit them – from relaxing on a Caribbean beach to dogsledding across Alaska.
Travelers can share their results by tagging @RoyalCaribbean and #ComeSeek on Facebook and Twitter, and invite their friends and family to learn more about their own adventure personality.
Co-created with Myers-Briggs, the new tool serves to guide adventurers in planning more fulfilling vacations than ever before, and maximizing their value for spend as well as their precious time off.
"Royal Caribbean encourages everyone to act on their wanderlust. Now we've created a fun, engaging tool to help travelers do just that by digging into their adventure personality," said Jim Berra, chief marketing officer, Royal Caribbean International. "It's exciting that Royal Caribbean is the first in the travel industry to partner with CPP–The Myers-Briggs Company. By combining our nearly 50 years of experience with the research expertise of Myers-Briggs, adventure seekers of all ages not only can better understand their adventure makeup but also their fellow explorers. It's also worth mentioning that there's roughly a zero percent chance of a wicked Nor'easter in the Caribbean Sea."
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced Laura B. Miller has been named senior vice president and chief human resources officer. Miller will report directly to Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Miller joins Royal Caribbean with more than 25 years of experience implementing human resources strategies for leading companies, and most recently served as SVP and chief human resources officer for ADT Corporation. Prior to that, Miller was the chief human resources officer for Coca-Cola Refreshments, a $20B subsidiary of the Coca-Cola Company, where she lead a team of over 650 HR professionals that were responsible for supporting 70,000 employees in over 600 locations.
"At Royal Caribbean, we know it takes all 67,000 of our employees working together to surprise and delight almost 6 million guests each year," said Fain. "Laura understands the importance of teamwork, and her background and skills are ideally suited for the role of leading and managing our HR organization as we strive to identify, hire, develop, motivate and retain the best employees, both shipboard and shoreside, responsible for providing our guests with extraordinary vacations."
As of December 31, 2017, Royal Caribbean's global brands employed over 67,000 employees, including 61,000 shipboard employees as well as 6,000 full-time and 100 part-time employees in our shoreside operations.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced today that it has named Martha Poulter senior vice president and chief information officer. Poulter will report directly to Adam Goldstein, president and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Poulter joins RCL after spending the last 13 years of her career as CIO for major corporations. Poulter most recently served as executive vice president and CIO for Starwood Hotel and Resorts, where she led a global IT team integrated across Starwood's nine brands and operational platforms, as well as serving as a member of Starwood's leadership team. Prior to that, Poulter spent nearly two decades at General Electric, including time as CIO of GE Capital.
"Martha certainly has the background to make a difference at Royal Caribbean," said Goldstein. "She'll bring that experience to bear on a full range of challenges here, including our plans to evolve the fleet's IT infrastructure, keep pace with the rapid evolution underway in important areas like data privacy and security, and ramp up support for the Excalibur digital transformation that is underway across our company."
"I am looking forward to the opportunity to join Royal Caribbean, a company that stands for excellence and innovation in the travel industry," said Poulter. "Working with the IT team, we will help RCL develop and support the technologies necessary for running a global business in a digital world."
Poulter graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering and received her MBA from the University of New Haven.