Press Release

Royal Caribbean treats breast cancer survivors to cruise vacation

In:
10Dec2018

A group of breast cancer survivors from the US, UK and Singapore led by US-based non-profit organization Send Me On Vacation, was invited by Royal Caribbean International’s Asia Pacific office to sail on a three-night cruise from Singapore to Penang over the weekend, on its ship Voyager of the Seas. As part of the group’s activities onboard, they were dressed up in mermaid costumes for a special photoshoot by the poolside, as they enjoyed their holiday at sea.

This is the second time for Send Me On Vacation recipients on sail with Royal Caribbean in Asia. The organization’s mission is to provide much-needed vacations to breast cancer survivors who need to rejuvenate and heal their minds, bodies and spirits. It empowers survivors to reconnect with themselves on a rejuvenating vacation.

Ms Cathy Backus, founder of Send Me On Vacation who sailed with the group said, “Our recipients transform into mermaids to reconnect to their inner beauty, strength and grace. The photo therapy or photoshoot that we conduct visually shows each women that they are beautiful inside and out. Experiencing a vacation after fighting breast cancer ignites the spirit and restores joy and happiness back into life after the fight.” 

“Royal Caribbean has a complimentary synergy to Send Me On Vacation in the way it fosters diversity, human kindness and inspires people to look beyond the now and ask themselves what if this vacation can take me to places I never thought I could see in my dreams, and what if I could heal because love and happiness have been restored into in my life again,” she added. 

Royal Caribbean invests in biometrics to streamline check-in and boarding for cruises

In:
28Nov2018

Royal Caribbean has partnered with an industry leader in the field of biometrics to provide frictionless arrivals for guests in the boarding procedure.

Tascent, Inc. announced it has been selected by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. to deliver an end-to-end biometric solution utilizing face recognition to streamline the check-in and boarding process for its travelers. To take advantage of Royal Caribbean’s new face recognition-enabled Expedited Arrivals process, passengers can register from the comfort of their own home and then breeze through check-in and boarding upon arrival at the terminal.

The goal of this technology is a streamlined, efficient process and personal welcome for travelers.

Tascent has been working with Royal Caribbean's Excalibur team, and has already implemented the first phase of its work, which was first utilized by the new Celebrity Edge in Terminal 25 of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Integrated with Tascent Enterprise Suite and Royal Caribbean's passenger systems, this enables seamless, “on-the-move” recognition of registered passengers as they arrive for their cruise. In combination, this capability will result in a streamlined, efficient process and personal welcome for travelers.

Royal Caribbean and WWF-Australia announce partnership to protect critically endangered hawksbill turtles

In:
13Nov2018

With the support of Royal Caribbean, WWF-Australia will step up efforts to help combat the illegal trade of hawksbill turtles in Asia-Pacific - the number one threat to the critically endangered turtle.

For the first time in the region, WWF-Australia will work with partners to test ground-breaking technology to extract DNA from tortoiseshell products, such as earrings, bracelets and other trinkets. The collaboration will develop a DNA database to help identify hawksbill populations most at risk from the illegal tortoiseshell trade by tracing hawksbills products from their point-of-sale to where they were poached.

“Despite international trade being banned over twenty years ago, poaching and the sale of hawksbill products still takes place in our region. It is unclear where poaching is most prevalent, but with the help of the turtle DNA test and database we’ll be able to map poaching hotspots and work with local governments in the Asia-Pacific region to combat these illegal activities,” said Christine Hof, Marine Species Project Manager, WWF-Australia.

Hawksbill turtles are one of the most beautiful and important species in the ocean, playing a vital role in maintaining the health of our oceans; from promoting coral growth through their appetite for algae, to supporting vital feeding grounds for reef communities.  However, over the last 100 years the hawksbill population has declined by more than 75% and it’s estimated there are only 4,800 breeding females remaining in the Pacific Ocean.

The hawksbill faces a unique threat as it is the only sea turtle species that is hunted for its shell, commonly known as “tortoiseshell”, which is made into souvenirs frequently sold to travelers while on holidays overseas. 

“Hunted and traded for their shell, Hawksbill turtles are critically endangered. Ending this trade will take a coordinated effort. We are extremely passionate about this partnership with WWF-Australia, and need to act now to ensure these prehistoric sea creatures have a future,” said Susan Bonner, VP and Managing Director, Royal Caribbean Australia & NZ.

The partnership will also increase awareness of the issue amongst those travelling throughout Asia-Pacific. RCL and WWF-Australia intend to educate millions of supporters and travellers about this illegal trade by providing them with the information they need to identify illegal tortoiseshell products and avoid buying them, with the launch of an extensive consumer campaign.

A hawksbill turtle adoption programme will be available to all Australians in 2019. Adoption of a hawksbill turtle via Royal Caribbean will support WWF-Australia’s essential conservation work – protecting the habitat, preserving their food sources and ensuring the safety of threatened species locally and globally.

RCL has a long history of innovation, and is committed to protecting the communities and environments in which it operates. From wastewater and waste management, to energy efficiency and sourcing practices, RCL is dedicated to continually improving operations, to minimise its’ environmental footprint and increase support for conservation.

“We have a responsibility to the guests who sail with us, the people who work for us, and the communities we visit, but most importantly we have a responsibility to the magnificent oceans, which are at the very essence of our business,” said Bonner.

In 2016, RCL and WWF embarked on a five-year global journey to help ensure the long-term health of the world’s oceans. The RCL and WWF-Australia local partnership to protect the hawksbill turtle will run in the Asia-Pacific region for the next three years.

For more information visit www.royalcaribbean.com.au/wwf.

Royal Caribbean partners with GRAMMY Museum to offer students chance to perform at Symphony of the Seas naming ceremony

In:
15Oct2018

Royal Caribbean is is partnering with the GRAMMY Museum® – the official foundation of the Recording Academy™ – to fund music education programs in underserved high schools within the Miami-Dade County Public School District. Twenty local schools will receive grants from Royal Caribbean through the GRAMMY Museum® Signature Schools program, and the chance to perform at Symphony’s naming ceremony.

The 20 schools were selected for maintaining thriving music programs with only limited resources. As the first Signature Schools program dedicated to Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Royal Caribbean and the GRAMMY Museum is taking music education beyond the classroom to inspire the next generation of performers with firsthand, career-building experiences.  

Each school will be honored during an exclusive tour behind the scenes at the Royal Caribbean Entertainment Studios on Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay campus, complete with hands-on introductions to what a career in music and entertainment could look like. Students will spend a day at the 132,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, which features a 300-seat theater, a 20,000-square-foot, costume-making facility, 14 dance studios, 15 vocal rehearsal rooms, an audio recording studio, two aerial training studios, and more. Further spotlighting the arts and flourishing talent in South Florida, one student ensemble will be invited to perform on a global stage at the official naming ceremony of Symphony of the Seas on Nov. 15 at Royal Caribbean’s new state-of-the-art Terminal A.

GRAMMY Museum Signature Schools Honorees:

  • American Senior High School
  • Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts
  • Booker T. Washington Senior High School
  • G. Holmes Braddock Senior High School
  • Hialeah Gardens Senior High School
  • Hialeah Senior High School
  • Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School
  • Miami Carol City Senior High School
  • Miami Central Senior High School
  • Miami Coral Park Senior High School
  • Miami Edison Senior High School
  • Miami Jackson Senior High School
  • Miami Norland Senior High School
  • Miami Northwestern Senior High School
  • Miami Southridge Senior High School
  • Miami Springs Senior High School
  • North Miami Beach Senior High School
  • South Dade Senior High School
  • Southwest Miami Senior High School
  • Westland Hialeah Senior High School   

“There is a reason behind choosing the name Symphony of the Seas; it’s because music, entertainment and family are woven throughout every aspect of the onboard experience of our guests’,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We have great pride in being a Miami-based company for nearly 50 years. Welcoming Symphony to our hometown is a special occasion, and it is important for us that we celebrate her arrival by giving back to our community in a meaningful way. In working with the GRAMMY Museum, we are helping inspire these incredible, young performers to continue pursuing their passion and show them the variety of career opportunities that exist.”

Royal Caribbean plans to offset some of its emissions with wind power

In:
11Oct2018

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced today it has signed a deal with Southern Power for Southern Power's 200-megawatt (MW) Reading Wind Facility. This initiative, which will offset up to 12 percent of Royal Caribbean's emissions beginning in 2020, is one of many programs the cruise line has to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through innovations at sea and in port.

The facility is expected to generate roughly 760,000 megawatt hours per year over the duration of the 12-year agreement, which translates to enough clean energy to offset 10-12 percent of Royal Caribbean's annual carbon emissions starting in 2020. With this innovative program, Royal Caribbean is able to apply a new approach while continuing its primary initiatives to advance sustainability efforts across the company's fleet.

The wind facility is located in Osage and Lyon Counties in Kasnas and the deal provides Southern Power with the economic basis to construct the project. 

"This agreement complements our longstanding strategic initiatives to reduce the company's emissions and become a more sustainable operator," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We are constantly looking for new ways to reduce our environmental footprint, both in the short and long term, and thanks to our partnership with Southern Power this is the latest step in our journey."

The project is expected to break ground in the second quarter of 2019 and is expected to be complete by the second quarter of 2020. Southern Power will operate and maintain the facility upon completion.

Royal Caribbean is also employing several technologies and innovations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create more efficient vessels, including:

  • Advanced Emission Purification systems, which remove approximately 98 percent of sulfur dioxide emissions
  • Air lubrication systems to reduce drag and increase fuel efficiency
  • Energy management software, an industry first, to achieve top fuel efficiency
  • The introduction of new fuels such as liquefied natural gas, in the near future
  • Onboard the ship: the use of energy-efficient equipment in galleys and the replacement of incandescent bulbs with fluorescent and LED lighting, as well as the introduction of fuel cells

Royal Caribbean extends service agreement with Wärtsilä

In:
Category: 
04Oct2018

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Wärtsilä have agreed to extended their existing service agreement to the year 2028. The original agreement, signed in 2013, spanned 10 years. Under the agreement, Wärtsilä is optimising maintenance efficiency through improved Turbocharger maintenance, providing OEM spare parts, workshop services and preferred technical assistance for 46 Royal Caribbean Cruises’ ships.

The partnership is to complement the RCL Global Marine in-house expertise with continuous improvement via various technical innovations and direct access to Wärtsilä’s technical expertise with continuous focus on safety and life cycle cost.

This new agreement between RCL and Wärtsilä, signed in June 2018, covers a total of 196 engines installed in 46 cruise ships, the majority of which sail in the Caribbean and Europe. The largest portion of RCL fleet of vessels is equipped with Wärtsilä’s condition monitoring technology, which transmits real-time information about engine condition to a Wärtsilä Expertise Centre for analysis. This allows for predictive maintenance planning and optimisation of operations.

“When it comes to maintenance planning and operations, the marine and cruise industry is moving more and more toward long-term partnerships. This is a natural direction, as it enables a holistic approach to vessel maintenance. A partner that understands the installation and optimises their condition throughout their lifecycle can help Royal Caribbean to enhance their business. Close cooperation is essential in such partnerships,” says Sean Carey, Service Unit Director North America, Wärtsilä Services.

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.”

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