Press Release

ABB to deliver first fuel cell system for Royal Caribbean

In:
13Nov2017

Heavy electrical company ABB announced it will deliver its first fuel cell system to be piloted on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.  This will be the first fuel cell system to provide an energy source for a luxury cruise ship.

The pilot installation, including control, converter and transformer technology from ABB, will generate 100 kW of energy, and has been fully developed, marinized, assembled and tested by ABB Marine & Ports. ABB selected an FCvelocity® proton exchange membrane (PEM) pure hydrogen fuel cell engine from Ballard Power Systems for its pilot system.

Fuel cells generate energy by exploiting an electrochemical reaction at the interface between the anode or cathode and the electrolyte membrane. They involve no combustion, converting fuel directly to electricity and heat.

"Our goal is to take the smoke out of the smokestacks", said Harri Kulovaara, Executive Vice President of Maritime and Newbuilding, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We are dedicated to innovation, continuous improvement, and environmental responsibility, and using fuel cell technology gives us the opportunity to deliver against all three of these pillars."

This test installation is part of Royal Caribbean's drive to include emissions-free fuel cell technology as part of the powering for its forthcoming Icon-class ships.

Royal Caribbean announces new fleetwide tech innovations to enhance guest experience

In:
08Nov2017

Royal Caribbean announced today a slew of technological innovations that aim to make things simpler and easier for guests going on a cruise.

At the heart of the new technology overhaul is a new smartphone app that will be rolled out to every Royal Caribbean ship over the next two years.  The app promises to eliminate check-in lines at ports, equip crew members to anticipate guests’ needs, and enable giant cruise ships to sail through the water on a fuel-saving curtain of air.

Some features of the new app include 

  • Allowing guests to board ships in the time it takes to order fries from the drive-through, skipping check-in lines thanks to facial recognition technology that knows who they are on arrival.
  • Sign up for shore excursions, order drinks and make dinner reservations without ever leaving their chairs by the pool thanks to an intuitive app on a device most of them already have—a smartphone.
  •  Indulge in VR and AR experiences that transform ship spaces into virtual environments and interactive games, where stateroom ceilings might be replaced by starry skies, the walls of a restaurant can transform into the sights and sounds of an outdoor café and digital signs challenge you to play an arcade game.

Many of these same technologies are being deployed to put the power to manage your vacation in the palm of your hand. Jay Schneider, RCL’s senior vice president, digital, explained, “Our new app will make it simpler than ever to book and plan your cruise vacation from home or with a travel agent. Once on board, you can navigate our ships with interactive maps and guides, explore the ship with cool features like x-ray vision, or order drinks that can be delivered to you wherever you are on the ship.” The app, along with the next generation of the company’s WOW Bands, will also unlock guest staterooms and enable guests to control stateroom lighting and temperature.

This technology will be available on 13% of ships by the end of 2017, 50% by the end of 2018 and fleetwide by the end of 2019.

Frictionless Check-in

Royal Caribbean is turning to a combination of technologies to make the process of getting onboard a Royal Caribbean ship the easiest it has ever been.  In Royal Caribbean's eyes, less time spent boarding means more time for vacation.  To that end, Royal Caribbean is utilizing technologies ranging from facial recognition to RFID tagging to GPS mapping to Bluetooth-enabled beacons to streamline boarding, manage check-ins automatically and improve wayfinding. 

“We are finding ways to eliminate friction and frustration, giving guests more time to make the memories that make vacations special,” said Schneider.

Lessened environmental impact

At a Royal Caribbean's invitation-only Sea Beyond event in New York City, innovations aimed at enhancing overall ship management and improving energy efficiency were on display.

For example, forthcoming command centers will use augmented reality to assist with navigation and maneuvering. “Think of it as enabling the nautical equivalent of flying on instruments,” said Richard D. Fain, RCL’s chairman and CEO. “Our ships always operate with keen sensitivity to the limitations the weather may impose. But having new means to mitigate the weather’s impacts on departures and arrivals helps us uphold schedule and itinerary commitments important to our guests,” added Fain.

Royal Caribbean is also innovating to reduce fuel consumption across its fleet, which not only lowers operating costs but also lightens stack emissions that are part of cruising’s environmental footprint. Historically, each new class of RCL ships is significantly more fuel efficient than its predecessors as new high efficiency appliances, window tinting and improved lighting, heating and cooling technologies help reduce energy needs. The company continues to evolve hull designs to reduce drag, an evolution most evident in the “bulbous bows” now common on cruise ships. In addition, RCL is pioneering the use of an air lubrication system that coats the hulls of its ships with millions of microscopic air bubbles to further reduce resistance and drag. In initial uses, air lubrication has reduced fuel consumption at speed by 7 to 8 percent.

Complementing RCL’s energy conservation efforts are initiatives to use alternative energy sources. Some RCL ships are already equipped with solar panels that generate sufficient power for limited onboard needs. At Sea Beyond, RCL will be previewing the use of fuel cells for power generation. Fuel cell use could fundamentally change ship design by distributing power sources throughout the ship. Furthermore, adoption of fuel cells would also mean producing less energy from diesel generators, reducing ships’ environmental footprints. The company is planning fuel cell experiments on existing ships, with an eye to extensive use of fuel cells and liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion on its upcoming Icon class of ships. “We are fully embracing the expectation that we run an environmentally sustainable business,” said Fain. “Experimenting with new ways to power our ships is just part of our broad commitment to being a responsible environmental steward.”

Focus on the crew

The innovations enriching the cruise guest experience will be complemented by a suite of tools for crews, as well. For example, the app-enabled offerings for guests will be mirrored on the crew side by mobile applications that help crew members check-in guests, complete required paperwork, track delivery of guests’ bags to their staterooms, and interact with guests and anticipate their needs throughout their vacations.

In addition, crews will have access to easier means to manage their own schedules, stay connected to friends and family while onboard, and stay connected to RCL during their off-contract periods.

Royal Caribbean UK sponsors Chorley shirts ahead of FA Cup

In:
Category: 
02Nov2017

Royal Caribbean UK and the Chorley Football Club announced today a new shirt sponsorship deal.

The shirt sponsorship has been agreed for the Emirates FA Cup First Round game with Fleetwood Town, which will be screened worldwide on Monday 6 November. Royal Caribbean will also take TV arc advertising, programme advertising and hospitality as part of the sponsorship agreement.

Ben Bouldin, UK Managing Director, Royal Caribbean, said: “We are very excited to be sponsoring the shirts for Chorley FC’s biggest game in the club’s history. We wish Chorley FC all the best and look forward to a positive result!”

The FA Cup game will be screened on BT Sport in the UK and throughout Europe, North Africa, USA, Russia and China by FA official broadcast partners.

Royal Caribbean announces return to San Juan and St. Maarten following hurricane damage

In:
25Oct2017

Royal Caribbean announced today the cruise line will return to two major cruise ports largely impacted by hurricanes earlier this year.

Royal Caribbean will return to San Juan, Puerto Rico and Philipsburg, St. Maarten, which will be a, "major milestone towards the revival of these Caribbean gems which were impacted by recent hurricanes."

On November 30, Freedom of the Seas will be the first ship in the fleet to call on San Juan, Puerto Rico

Grandeur of the Seas will follow suit on December 17 as the first cruise ship to sail into, St. Maarten since Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas arrived to provide humanitarian relief last month.

As of November. 30, all scheduled calls to San Juan and St. Thomas across 10 ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet will operate as planned

This announcement comes on the heels of Royal Caribbean’s recent news that Adventure of the Seas will be the first ship to call on St. Thomas on November 10.  

"Royal Caribbean is encouraged by the commendable progress that has been made by the governments of Puerto Rico and St. Maarten towards the recovery of these destinations and it means a lot to us that we are heading back home. We have been part of the Caribbean community for almost 50 years, and for all of us it has been paramount that we focus on supporting our long-standing partners – who feel more like family after so many years," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Supporting these destinations that are so reliant on tourism is key to the future of the islands and the best thing we – as travelers and businesses – can do for the islands."

Royal Caribbean has been working closely with the governments of Puerto Rico and St. Maarten, and local businesses, and plans to offer destination experiences that will allow guests to enjoy the natural beauty, historic landmarks and culture of these idyllic islands. Power and transportation is on track to be readily available in San Juan by November 30.

Similarly, the return of power and water to most of St. Maarten means that a majority of the shops, restaurants and bars, and tour operators around Philipsburg will be fully operational for guests to experience a diverse and extensive array of dining, shopping and activities in the area. The sun and vistas of the region’s best beaches, Great Bay Beach and Kimshaw Beach, will be a beacon for guests wanting to dive into the turquoise blue waters and admire the sea life, whether by boat or catamaran, or from the relaxing comfort of a beach lounger.

The scheduled visits to St. Maarten will operate as planned starting on Dec. 17 with the exception of Oasis of the Seas, which will make its first call to the island on January 1 during her New Year’s Eve cruise. Additionally, the global cruise line will return to St. Croix on January 8 with the arrival of Jewel of the Seas, which will sail from San Juan. All calls to Dominica are cancelled through June 2018 and the cruise line is working closely with the local government on a return date to the destination.

Royal Caribbean plans cruise ship return to St. Thomas following hurricane devastation

In:
16Oct2017

Royal Caribbean announced today it will resume calls to St. Thomas on November 10, following weeks of skipping the island due to hurricane damage.

Adventure of the Seas will mark Royal Caribbean's return to the island.  She will be the first Royal Caribbean ship since early September to visit St. Thomas, which was impacted by hurricanes last month.

In partnership with the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Royal Caribbean also has committed to undertaking the complete restoration of Magens Bay, one of St. Thomas’ most popular tourist attractions – with plans for a grand re-opening of the pristine destination during Adventure of the Seas’ visit on Nov. 10.

With power and water to the island fully restored and most downtown shops, restaurants and bars and tour operators fully operational, guests will be able to experience a diverse and extensive array of dining, shopping and activities.

“We are very excited to get back home to our friends in St. Thomas. The Caribbean is our family, having cruised there for nearly 50 years, and the long-standing relationships created in all this time are unwavering,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We are committed to doing everything we can to help and proud to support the restoration of the iconic Magens Bay."

In addition, Royal Caribbean is planning a return to San Juan, Puerto Rico and St. Maarten by the end of November and is working closely with local governments to announce the exact dates.

By December 1, all scheduled calls to the three islands will operate as planned.

Grandeur of the Seas to be first cruise ship to return to St. Maarten

In:
12Oct2017

Following the devastation of Hurricane Irma, Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas will be the first commercial cruise vessel to return to the destination post-Irma on Sunday, November 5th.

A delegation from Royal Caribbean recently met with Port St. Maarten Board, Management and Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher, to discuss the recover efforts that underway.

The Royal Caribbean delegation discussed the state of various infrastructure on the island with the Port St. Maarten Management and Board.  They also got an update on the Great Bay Beach Promenade, the commercial center of Philipsburg, Front Street and other areas of interest from a tourism perspective.

Royal Caribbean carried out a site visit as part of their destination readiness assessment to accept cruise passengers, and the availability by early November of tours, shore excursions, shopping, beaches, and other cruise tourism related amenities.

Following the visit, Royal Caribbean praised the Port St. Maarten Board, Management and Government with respect to the diligence carried out by the aforementioned to get the country ‘cruise ready’ for November in order to bring in much needed foreign exchange into the economy that would kick-start the economic engine of the country – (cruise) tourism.

Royal Caribbean named Best Cruise Operator of TTG Travel Awards for 10th year in a row

In:
28Sep2017

For the tenth consecutive year, Royal Caribbean was named Best Cruise Operator of the TTG Travel Awards at the 28th Annual TTG Travel Awards 2017 ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand.

Royal Caribbean has been voted unanimously by readers of TTG Asia, TTG China, TTG India, TTGmice, TTG-BTmice China, TTGassociations and TTG Asia Luxury for the award. The TTG Travel Awards are given out annually to honor organizations in Asia Pacific’s travel industry for their strong commitment towards service excellence.

Royal Caribbean won the award for offering the best product, services and facilities. This is highlighted by the deployment of the newest Quantum Class ship Ovation of the Seas in Singapore for a season this year. 

Sean Treacy, Managing Director, Asia Pacific of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. who accepted the award said, “This is the moment we’ve been waiting for: winning the TTG Travel Award for 10 years in a row! This makes our 10th anniversary in Asia even more meaningful, as we grew from a new market entrant into the region’s leading cruise brand, all with the strong unwavering support of our travel partners and customers from Day One. We are very proud that each of our ships in Asia has brought the cruising scene to new heights with innovative features and excellent service. We look forward to offering even more exciting holiday experiences in the next decade, while making cruising – and Royal Caribbean International – a top vacation choice in Asia.”

Royal Caribbean to feature DNCE on Total Eclipse cruise on Oasis of the Seas

In:
11Jul2017

Multi-platinum selling band DNCE will perform aboard Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas for the cruise line's Great American Eclipse cruise.

On August 21, DNCE will headline Royal Caribbean’s solar eclipse viewing party with a surprise guest for an out-of-this-world performance aboard the exclusive 7-night Total Eclipse Cruise on board Oasis of the Seas, one of the world’s largest and most adventure-packed cruise ships.

DNCE frontman Joe Jonas and all-star bandmates, including bassist and keyboardist Cole Whittle, guitarist JinJoo and drummer Jack Lawless, will perform the band’s heart-pumping hits like “Kissing Strangers,” “Body Moves” and, of course, “Cake by the Ocean.” Guests booked on the Total Eclipse Cruise can visit Royal Caribbean’s website and reserve their complimentary seats for the concert by logging on to their reservation.

DNCE live from world's largest cruise ship!

A post shared by Royal Caribbean Blog.com (@royalcaribbeanblog) on

“When we were invited to headline this once-in-a-lifetime event, we didn’t think twice. What could be more out of this world than witnessing a full solar eclipse at sea? ” said Joe Jonas. “We’re stoked about coming back on board with Royal Caribbean to put on a lights-out performance with a very special guest. It’s beyond exciting to be able to celebrate this crazy moment in history out in the middle of the ocean.”

This will be DNCE's second live performance on a Royal Caribbean ship. The band played on sister ship Harmony of the Seas in November 2016 to celebrate Harmony's arrival in the United States.

In addition to the viewing party, guests on Oasis of the Seas will be treated to other eclipse-themed activities, including dance parties, trivia, interactive science fun for kids and their families, and tasty cocktails and dishes.

The 7-night Total Eclipse Cruise on board Oasis of the Seas will set sail on Aug. 20, 2017 from Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida, and visit Caribbean destinations in the Eastern Caribbean. Those interested in booking this sailing can book now by visiting RoyalCaribbean.com/TotalEclipse, calling (800) ROYAL- CARIBBEAN or contacting their travel agent.

Royal Caribbean Asia celebrates 10th anniversary

In:
11Jul2017

Royal Caribbean Cruises (Asia) Pte Ltd. celebrated its 10th anniversary last week with a celebration in Singapore at Clifford Pier, together with more than 150 trade, media, corporate and government partners from the region.

Guests in attendance were regailed with a look at the milestones reached over the past 10 years, from the first ship Rhapsody of the Seas’ arrival in 2007 to the most recent homeporting of Asia’s largest Ovation of the Seas in Singapore this year. In addition, the new TVC ‘Where Everyone Gets What They Need’ was unveiled, while guests got a virtual experience of Royal Caribbean’s most popular features from the new head-mounted display (HMD) VR headset – the ‘Holideck’ – on display.

Sean Treacy, Royal Caribbean’s Managing Director for Asia Pacific, thanked their team and travel partners for all of their support, "The last 10 years have seen Royal Caribbean flourish tremendously, having expanded our regional footprint from just one office in Singapore to six across Asia Pacific, and from one to three ships for our fleet in Singapore today. We are committed to continue bringing innovative and quality ships and growing Royal Caribbean as the top vacation choice for travellers in the region."

Royal Caribbean partners with Brandwatch as social intelligence provider

In:
Category: 
27Jun2017

Brandwatch announced today that Royal Caribbean International has selected Brandwatch as its social intelligence technology platform of record.

Brandwatch's social intelligence products and platforms will provide stable support to Royal Caribbean's customer service efforts. Brandwatch will enable Royal Caribbean to sift through its online discussions to determine which mentions need immediate attention, which customers need to be engaged with and which community members need to be amplified.

"We chose Brandwatch for their unparalleled platform stability when trying to engage and understand our most important community – our guests," said Kara Wallace, Vice President, North America Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. "Brandwatch's recent product releases and feature updates, along with their dedication to customer success, allows us to address social concerns in a timely fashion and put our guests first."

"Insight into consumer preferences - especially in the lucrative travel market - is critical for Royal Caribbean," said Rich Pasewark, Chief Revenue Officer at Brandwatch. "We are excited to help them use social media analysis to understand the cruise market and drive marketing decisions from the insights delivered by the Brandwatch platforms. Insights to action makes a difference for all of our clients, it enables them to improve their marketing and connect with their audiences."

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