Press Release

A look at what's new in 2017 for Royal Caribbean

In:
09Jan2017

Each year, Royal Caribbean offers its guest new and interesting ways to see the world.  Like so many companies, they continuously look for new ways to innovate and capture the attention of the public in changes to their plans.  With 2017 here, Royal Caribbean is continuing with that tradition some new and notable itinerary and deployments this year.

Notable homeports in 2017

In 2017, the state of Florida will be home to the three largest cruise ships in the world year-round. Harmony of the Seas and Allure of the Seas will call Ft. Lauderdale home, and Oasis of the Seas in Port Canaveral, which is close to Orlando.

Royal Caribbean will also offer expanded Caribbean itineraries from the Northeast in 2017, with Rhapsody of the Seas joining Anthem of the Seas in Cape Liberty, New Jersey. This will be the first time that two Royal Caribbean ships will be sailing from Cape Liberty, offering guests in the New York more ways to explore the award-winning cruise line. 

The largest ship to sail to Cuba from the United States, Empress of the Seas will provide vacationers with the opportunity to discover the timeless sights, sounds and culture of this island nation. The newly revitalized Empress of the Seas will make history for the cruise line with its first visit to Cuba during a 5-night sailing departing Miami on April 19, 2017. 

New and notable itineraries in 2017

In 2017 Royal Caribbean will be offering several new itinerary options. 

  • Empress of the Seas will homeport in Tampa for the 2017 summer season – the cruise line’s first-ever summer program from the destination – offering a series of 4- and 5-night sailings, including port calls in Cuba. 
  • Explorer of the Seas will sail roundtrip from Seattle, and Radiance of the Seas will sail from Vancouver, BC to Seward, AK and then from Seward, AK to Vancouver, BC.
  • Freedom of the Seas will host guests on seven-night sailings through the Western Mediterranean, while Brilliance of the Seas will navigate eight European destinations with a 12-night itinerary, both departing from Barcelona, Spain.
  • Independence of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas will sail the Mediterranean and the Spanish Canary Islands from Southampton, England with itineraries that extend from 7 to 14 nights.
  • Serenade of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will head to northern Europe with a checklist of ports that includes Copenhagen, Denmark, home to the 100 year old Tivoli Gardens amusement park.
  • Adventure of the Seas will sail from Puerto Rico to the most sought-after Southern Caribbean islands on 7-night itineraries, and Liberty of the Seas will remain in Galveston, Texas in 2017, offering a variety of 7-night escapes to the Western Caribbean.

Will you be sailing on any of these new itineraries? Tell us what you have booked for 2017 in the comments below!

Royal Caribbean releases new sustainability report

In:
19Dec2016

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. released today its Sustainability Report, which documents the Company’s commitment to environmental stewardship and showcases improved efficiencies across its fleet.

In the report, the company noted the expansion of its Advanced Emissions Purification program, as well as a new set of goals for the year 2020 that were established with input from the company's global conservation partner, World Wildlife Fund.

2015 marked the 10th-year of the Save the Waves program, which focused on emissions and waste reduction, as well as increasing the number of shore excursions that met an internationally recognized sustainability standard.

In line with these goals, over the past decade RCL built its most efficient cruise ships and reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 25 percent. In 2015, 17 ships reported 100 percent re-purposed waste on certain itineraries.  

"At Royal Caribbean, we are working to put sustainability into the heart of our business," said  Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We bring 5,000,000 guests to nearly 500 ports around the world every year, and we understand our responsibility to do so in a way that protects the oceans that we sail every day. Our mantra is continuous improvement, and that especially applies to our environmental performance."

Royal Caribbean also achieved a few other notable highlights during this year, including

The full Sustainability Report may be viewed at www.rclcorporate.com/environment.

Royal Caribbean is the official cruise line of the New York Knicks & New York Rangers

In:
01Nov2016

Royal Caribbean announced today it will be the Official Cruise Line of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and the Arena Concert Series at Madison Square Garden.

Royal Caribbean and The Market Square Garden Company announced their marketing partnership, which provides Royal Caribbean with premier brand integration and exposure across Madison Square Garden’s unrivaled set of assets, including digital platforms, venue signage and presence in the transformed Madison Square Garden.

Royal Caribbean will enjoy significant brand exposure at The Garden during all Knicks and Rangers games, as well as during concerts at Madison Square Garden. This includes courtside and in-arena LED signage throughout the Arena, featured spots on MSG’s GardenVision and features on Knicks and Rangers digital and social assets.

"New York is an incredibly important market for Royal Caribbean, and we couldn’t think of a stronger fit in a strategic partner than the Madison Square Garden Company,"said Jim Berra, Chief Marketing Officer, Royal Caribbean International. "As the Official Cruise Line of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and the Arena Concert Series at Madison Square Garden, we hope to inspire New Yorkers to consider Royal Caribbean for their next great adventure."

"As the number one cruise line in the world, Royal Caribbean is a fantastic addition to our legendary group of marketing partners and we look forward to working with them on some exciting initiatives," said Ron Skotarczak, executive vice president, marketing partnerships, The Madison Square Garden Company. "We are excited to provide incredible value for our newest partner that will help drive their business."

Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas makes maiden call to Wollongong, Australia

In:
31Oct2016

Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas arrived at the port of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia, becoming Australia's newest cruise port.

The 2,200 guests on board arrived in Port Kembla at 8am and were welcomed with a special fly-over by a vintage Catalina flying boat, as well as thousands of excited locals waving the ship in from vantage points along the South Coast.

Guests were treated to a special "Welcome to Wollongong" marketplace at Lang Park organized by Destination Wollongong, which showcased local produce and products from the region. More than 400 local volunteers were also on hand throughout the day to help guests get the most out of their day in port.

"We have been working towards our call to Wollongong for quite some time. Guests onboard Radiance of the Seas had a wonderful day exploring the city and local area, making the dedication and hard work that’s gone into this project for the past two and a half years all worthwhile," said Adam Armstrong, managing director, Royal Caribbean Australia & New Zealand. 

Destination Wollongong General Manager, Mark Sleigh said: "When Councillor Leigh Colacino first approached Royal Caribbean to discuss bringing cruise ships to Wollongong, he promised that the community would look after their guests as well as any destination in the world.  I’m delighted that Wollongong more than delivered on that promise, and made the maiden voyage of Radiance of the Seas a day that Wollongong, and indeed our visitors, will never forget!"

This is far from the only stop Royal Caribbean will make at Wollongong.  Over the next 18 months, Voyager of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas will also call here, brining more than 16,000 visitors to the area by the end of the cruise season.

Seven different shore excursions also showcased the region outside of the city, with visits to scenic Bald Hill Lookout, Jamberoo Action Park, Kiama, Shellharbour Village, Symbio Wildlife Park and the tranquil Nan Tien Temple among some of the most popular.

"We are very proud to be the first cruise line to bring a ship to Wollongong and this historic milestone marks the beginning of a long-term relationship between Royal Caribbean and the region. We will continue to explore opportunities to utilize the port as an overflow to Sydney Harbor," Armstrong concluded.

Royal Caribbean named Australasia’s Leading Cruise Line at World Travel Awards Asia and Australasia

In:
22Oct2016

Royal Caribbean has won another impressive award this year, taking out Australasia’s Leading Cruise Line at the prestigious World Travel Awards Asia and Australasia, presented in Danang, Vietnam.

The award is determined from votes cast by travel and tourism professionals throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, as well as the general public.

"It’s been an incredible year for Royal Caribbean, and we are honoured to have such a prestigious international award under our belt," says Adam Armstrong, Managing Director of Royal Caribbean Australia and New Zealand.

"Australasia has really shown us the love since the arrival of our first ship down under nine years ago, and we can’t wait to welcome our guests back onboard our award-winning, innovative ships again this season – set to be our biggest ever."

Royal Caribbean becomes first cruise line to be named Gay Travel Approved

In:
20Oct2016

GayTravel.com announced that Royal Caribbean International is the first and only cruise line to receive the distinction of being Gay Travel Approved.  According to the group, Royal Caribbean "has shown an ongoing commitment to the LGBTQ community by demonstrating a spirit of diversity and inclusion on all of its 25 ships that visit exciting destinations around the world."

The Gay Travel Approved Seal of Approval is awarded by GayTravel.com to select travel partners that offer a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ travelers. This accolade is reserved for travel partners whom a panel of experts, editors and tastemakers have deemed deserving of a higher level of recognition by the LGBTQ community.

"Royal Caribbean has always been known and recognized for extraordinary service that is warm and attentive and remains committed to creating a diverse, welcoming environment on each and every one of our ships," said Grant Van Ulbrich, Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Royal Caribbean. "To take our efforts to the next level, we recently introduced a new Diversity and Inclusion department and one of its first priorities is to focus on continued training and education for our international crew members."

"This designation has been a long time in the making," said Steve Rohrlick, CEO of GayTravel.com. "Our GayTravel Cruise Guru Stephen Prisco has sailed on more than one hundred Royal Caribbean cruises.  The recent appointment of Grant Van Ulbrich as the first openly-gay Diversity Executive on a major cruise line and the steps he is implementing are indicative of Royal Caribbean International's commitment to the LGBTQ community. It is therefore our distinct pleasure to bestow GayTravel Approved 2016 to Royal Caribbean International."

Asia Cosplay Festival returns to Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas in February

In:
15Oct2016

Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas will be transformed into a world of cosplay fantasy once again next February, when it plays host to Asia’s biggest cosplay festival at sea for the second time. “COSFEST SEA: Beyond The Great Horizons”, organised by The Singapore Cosplay Club in collaboration with the cruise brand, will be on a 3-night weekend cruise from Singapore to Penang from February 17 to 20. The region’s top cosplayers for the championship plus exciting cosplay entertainment and activities will be in store to spellbind fans and guests.

Stephanie Loh, President of The Singapore Cosplay Club said, "“COSFEST SEA: Beyond The Great Horizons” will be bigger and better with new cosplay activities and entertainment for folks of all ages! Everyone including young kids and their parents is invited to indulge in a moment of fantasy onboard. We want to make cosplay enjoyable for everyone, all the more on a super ship like Mariner of the Seas."

The biggest highlight of this theme cruise is the Asia Cosplay Meet Championship which will feature contestants from eight countries and territories such as China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, The Philippines and Thailand all vying for the top spot. For the first time as well, there will be guest contestants from outside of Asia, namely USA. This will be open for public viewing for all the guests onboard to catch the action. There is also a special preview before the competition begins. More details on the contestants will be unveiled at a later stage.

Onboard, the cosplayers will also have chances to mingle with one another and discover about different cosplay cultures. As for the guests, they are welcome to join in the mood in their own cosplay outfits.

Other activities highlights open to all guests include the ‘Movie Costume Museum’ which will show an impressive display of costumes from many movie and animation titles and have costumes for guests to dress up their children for photo taking; the spectacular ‘Cosplay Parade’ along the Royal Promenade which will be filled with cosplayers dressed up as popular Anime characters; and the ‘Cosplay Treasure Hunt’ for participants to accomplish as many missions as possible onboard. Guests onboard will have the chance to meet some of their favourite movie characters. 

Interested parties can visit www.sgcosplayclub.org to book and get access to all COSFEST SEA private events.

Royal Caribbean reports 25% growth in second quarter financial results

In:
02Aug2016

Royal Caribbean reported its second quarter 2016 earnings today, with US GAAP Net Income of $229.9 million or $1.06 per share, compared to $185.0 million or $0.84per share in 2015.  

Adjusted Net Income for the second quarter of 2016 was $235.2 million, or $1.09 per share, up over 25% versus the same quarter last year.  The outperformance for the quarter was primarily driven by better than anticipated fuel expense. 

"Our business remains strong and we continue to improve our return profile," said Richard Fain, chief executive officer. "This keeps us solidly on our path towards the Double-Double."

The company's booked position for the remainder of 2016 remains strong, similar to last year's record levels.

"While there are always puts and takes in our key markets, our portfolio is performing as expected, our booked position remains strong, and our newbuilds are entering their markets to great fanfare," said Jason T. Liberty, chief financial officer. "These factors are driving another year of record earnings."

You can see the full second quarter financial results here.

Royal Caribbean overhauls meeting and event options at sea with new website

In:
20Jul2016

Royal Caribbean announced today it has overhauled its options for groups that need corporate meetings, incentives and events at sea that will make the experience of meeting and event professionals seamless from start to finish.

Royal Caribbean has offered companies and groups the option to hold meetings, conventions and events onboard its cruise ships for years and took this opportunity to revamp its offerings that take advantage of the cruise line's best new features.

Royal Caribbean completed last week a redesign of its RoyalCaribbeanIncentives.com site that includes a fresh dynamic look, enhanced search functionality, streamlined site navigation, rich content and exclusive planning tools.

Featuring an inspiring look and feel, paired with a simplified user experience, the event and meeting planner hub now delivers a fully integrated process, including:

  • Dynamic design: Leading with rich imagery, video and a bold, easy-to-navigate layout, the entirely new site allows planners to quickly pinpoint where they want to start, whether searching by destinations, ships and event venues or just browsing.
  • Search widget: The new feature provides the ability to identify the ultimate event destination options based on a planner’s group size, for a customized experience.
  • Responsive functionality: Planners can explore and use the website from a variety of mobile and tablet devices as well as desktop computers and laptops.
  • Customization: Personalized and simplified searches and newly added content, including the Royal Caribbean “Event Customization Guide,” allow event planners to easily pull up the rich lineup of customizable options at their fingertips.
  • Request a Proposal Form: Travel professionals have the ability to request a proposal from the cruise line based on their specific group criteria.

"Planning an unforgettable event at sea with us – no matter how intimate or grand – just became as intuitive and seamless as the world-class service we deliver to guests onboard our 25 ships 365 days of the year," said Lori Cassidy, AVP, Global Corporate, Incentive and Charter Sales, Royal Caribbean International. "With our reimagined website, we are thrilled to launch our latest investment in building new and stronger relationships with meeting and event professionals. As partners and brand experts, our job is to make the entire process as easy and valuable as possible, and this is further testament to that dedication."

For more information or to receive a quote to host a meeting, charter a ship and more, planners in North America can contact (800) 529 6916 and visit the new RoyalCaribbeanIncentives.com.

Texas to add new cruise tax on cruises out of Galveston in 2014

In:
21Dec2013

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) will begin collecting personal importation taxes on alcohol and cigarettes from passengers returning from cruises in Galveston in 2014.  Royal Caribbean operates Navigator of the Seas currently out of Galveston.

Beginning on January 4, 2014, cruise travelers disembarking out of Galveston will need to pay the tax for alcoholic beverages and cigarettes imported into the state that were purchased either on the ship's duty free store or at a foreign port of call. 

During the recent legislative session, the agency was appropriated funding to begin tax collection of imported alcoholic beverages and cigarettes from seaport facilities. The Galveston Port facility will be the first seaport location where this tax will be collected with plans to extend to the Houston-Bayport facility in the fall of 2014.

Tax collection points staffed with TABC personnel will be situated at both terminals 1 and 2 at the Galveston facility located where patrons come through the U.S. Customs secondary checkpoint. Passengers will be able to pay the taxes with either cash or credit cards.

TABC personnel have worked with Port of Galveston officials to ensure that the tax collection is done efficiently and with limited disruption of port operations and delays to the passengers.

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