Press Release

Falmouth port officially opens with ceremony

In:
22Mar2011

The Port Authority of Jamaica and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. officially opened Historic Falmouth Port today with the maiden call of Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas, one of the world’s two largest and most innovative cruise ships. Situated between the popular cruise ports of Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, Historic Falmouth is the first-ever thematic cruise port that provides a convenient gateway for guests to embark on more than 60 exhilarating land experiences along the north coast of Jamaica. Additionally, ongoing revitalizations throughout the town of Falmouth will offer guests an extensive array of cultural and historic experiences for an adventurous Jamaican port call on their cruise vacation. At a grand ribbon cutting ceremony, Hon. Bruce Golding, Prime Minister of Jamaica, Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., and Hon. Michael Henry, Jamaica’s Minister of Transport and Works, welcomed cruise guests to Jamaica and Historic Falmouth Port.

“It is especially rewarding for the Port Authority of Jamaica to help bring our country’s cultural history to a new generation of cruise guests,” said Minister Henry, who has portfolio responsibility for cruise shipping. “Our sights have always been to create the best-in-class berthing facilities at the Historic Falmouth Port and establishing the preeminent cruise destination in the region. The arrival of the world’s largest ship, Oasis of the Seas, at Historic Falmouth Port is a milestone for our ongoing success in fostering Jamaica’s tourism industry.

The revitalization of Historic Falmouth is a multi-phased development project, with the first phase offering a two-berth pier, retail and restaurant services, and a transportation center. Subsequent phases will include onsite attractions and experiences, hotel and residential developments, as well as additional retail and restaurant options.

“It is my honor to re-inaugurate Historic Falmouth Port alongside Prime Minister Golding and the people of Falmouth,” said Fain. “Royal Caribbean is delighted to have partnered with the Port Authority of Jamaica to create the Caribbean’s premier cruise port. Together, we are working to deliver our shared vision of the region’s first themed port of call to offer our guests all the best experiences along Jamaica’s north coast.”

The town of Falmouth also has many original prominent houses, shops and public buildings built in the 18th and 19th centuries that are still standing and are true historic gems. The restoration and preservation of several buildings in Falmouth is currently underway.

Royal Caribbean Brings History Back to Life at Historic Falmouth Jamaica

In:
17Feb2011

Royal Caribbean International's Voyager of the Seas today became the first ship to call at Historic Falmouth port. Situated between the popular cruise ports of Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, Historic Falmouth is the first-ever thematic cruise port and is also a convenient gateway for guests to embark on more than 60 exhilarating land experiences along the north coast of Jamaica. Additionally, restoration throughout the town of Falmouth offer guests a wide selection of cultural and historic experiences.

"We are delighted to see Voyager of the Seas make the first-ever ship call at Historic Falmouth," said Craig Milan, senior vice president of Land Operations, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "By partnering with the Port Authority of Jamaica, we are working to deliver our shared vision of Falmouth's rebirth. Together, we are bringing the town's historic sites to life and integrating the culture and authenticity of this destination into a superior guest experience."

The grand opening celebrations of Historic Falmouth port will take place on March 22, 2011 when Oasis of the Seas makes her maiden call into the port. Other Royal Caribbean ships that will be calling at Historic Falmouth include Freedom of the Seas on Feb. 23; Navigator of the Seas on Feb. 24; and Allure of the Seas debuting on March 30. Guests can experience a diverse variety of shore excursions at an additional cost while at Historic Falmouth, including:

  • Good Hope Great House: located fifteen minutes from Falmouth, guests can choose from the new horse & carriage ride, river-tubing, ATV exploring, among others, on this former 18th century Jamaican plantation.
  • Dolphin Cove & Dunn's River Falls: adventure seekers can climb Dunn's River Falls; zip-line through the lush rainforest canopy or wind down the mountainside on a Jamaican bobsled at Mystic Mountain; or swim with the dolphins at Dolphin Cove.
  • Appleton Estate: after a scenic drive through the Cockpit Country and Bamboo Avenue, guests can indulge in one of Falmouth's old-world delicacies by learning to make rum and sampling different aged rums.
  • Rafting on Martha Brae: located five minutes from Falmouth, guests can enjoy a tranquil ride on a 30-foot bamboo raft.

"Falmouth has an important place in the cultural history of Jamaica. It is especially rewarding for us to use that history as an entree for a new generation of guests," said Hon Mike Henry, Jamaica's Minister of Transport and Works, who has portfolio responsibility for cruise shipping. "Our sights have always been set on being the preeminent cruise destination, and with the best-in-class berthing facilities at the Historic Falmouth port, we'll now easily welcome the world's largest ships."

The revitalization of Historic Falmouth is a multi-phased development project with the first phase near completion offering a two-berth pier, retail and restaurant services as well as a transportation center. Subsequent phases will include onsite attractions and experiences, hotel and residential developments, as well as additional retail and restaurant options. The town also has many prominent houses, shops and public buildings built in the 18th and 19th centuries that are still standing, but are in need of refurbishment. The restoration and preservation of several historic buildings in Falmouth is currently underway.

Falmouth was founded in 1790 from land owned by Edward Barrett. His granddaughter Elizabeth Barrett Browning would later be celebrated as one of the greatest poets in the English language. At that time Jamaica was the world's leading sugar producer, and this was most evident in Falmouth with more than 80 sugar estates nearby. The town was meticulously mapped out in the Colonial tradition, with streets named after British royalty and heroes—King Street, Queen Street, Rodney Street (after 18th century naval leader Admiral Lord George Rodney) and Wellington Street (after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington). The remarkable density of historic Georgian architectural buildings, which residents have lived in and maintained, is reflective of the town's rich heritage. Its public amenities included the first piped water supply system in the Western Hemisphere, established in 1799. The town prospered throughout the first half of the 19th century and was the birthplace of the abolition slavery movement. Falmouth was the site of many revolts, and many of the buildings in the town served as safe houses for those who had escaped. In fact, a prominent Falmouth reverend, William Knibb, whose house still stands in the town, was granted Jamaica's highest civil honor, the Order of Merit, in 1988, 150 years after the abolition of slavery. 

Royal Caribbean hires new company to handle onboard revenue

In:
16Feb2011

Royal Caribbean signed an agreement with Royal Media Partners, LLC to provide Royal Caribbean ships sailing in the Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda, New England, Mexico and Alaska stateroom television programming, port shopping services, publish and other onboard media ideas.  The new venture will put a big emphasis on entertainment and technology that is interactive.  The new deal begins October 1, 2011.

Royal Media Partners President Philip Levine is excited about the new partnership, "We are very excited to once again be working with the team at Royal Caribbean International and to not only increase revenue for the port shopping program, but to be a partner in driving all onboard revenue."

The new port shopping program will feature destination TV programming brought directly to guests’ staterooms. Guests wishing to plan their shopping day at port will be able to access pre-cruise, web-based port shopping and concierge information, as well as live shopping talks on demand once onboard. By creating mobile applications especially for Royal Caribbean, guests may retrieve real time port shopping information and up-to-date values and specials from the comfort of their smart phones or other mobile devices. In addition, a customized Royal Caribbean International Magazine will feature lifestyle content and photography.

Royal Caribbean Signs Letter of Intent to Build New Generation of Ships

In:
12Feb2011

Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. has signed a letter of intent with shipyard Meyer Werft to build the first of a new generation of Royal Caribbean International cruise ships. Developed under the code-name "Project Sunshine," the new vessel design incorporates new and exciting features that take advantage of the best of Royal Caribbean's experience and imagination. The project is a result of over a year of dedicated research and development.

The order calls for one ship to be delivered in the Fall of 2014 with an option for a second ship for Spring 2015. The 158,000 Gross Registered Tons (GRT) new build will carry just over 4,100 guests based on double occupancy. The estimated all-in cost per berth is about euro 170,000. This all-in cost includes the yard's base contract price plus everything needed to design, operate and build the vessel, from architect fees to supervision costs and all loose inventories from computers to art and bed linens.

"Royal Caribbean has worked hard to earn a reputation of offering the most innovative ships in the cruise industry and this next generation will not disappoint," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. "While we continue our policy of keeping our newest ideas and features under wraps during the early stages of construction, I can say that I am very excited about the passion and imagination that our teams have devoted to the project. Project Sunshine builds on the best ideas of our existing ships and adds exciting new activities and entertainment concepts. It will offer features for everyone: from grand, spectacular spaces to small intimate settings; from active, invigorating activities to the serenity of more personal space; and from a plethora of dining alternatives to a cornucopia of opportunities for families. I am also excited about the energy efficiency and environmental technologies which have been incorporated. Our existing ships are some of the most energy efficient in the world and Project Sunshine takes this one further step. Based on our over 20 years of experience with Meyer Werft, along with their compelling proposal, we know they will deliver on all of the innovations Royal Caribbean's guests have come to expect."

"Meyer Werft is pleased to be working with Royal Caribbean especially in light of their reputation for building such innovative ships. I am very happy we are continuing our long time partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and its brand Royal Caribbean International. Their projects always present incredible opportunities for Meyer Werft to create the latest cutting edge hardware in the cruise industry," said Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft shipyard.

The letter of intent is subject to customary conditions being satisfactorily met.  

Man charged with death of crew member on Allure of the Seas

In:
11Feb2011

Mexican authorities have charged a 24-year old national with the murder of Monika Markiewicz. The 32-year old victim was a crew member aboard the Royal Caribbean International cruise ship, Allure of the Seas.

Ms. Markiewicz did not report back to the ship before it departed Cozumel on February 4. Her body was discovered the next day in the water off of a remote beach in Cozumel. Royal Caribbean International has been informed that law enforcement in Cozumel has identified and charged a local resident and bartender, 24-year old Nelson Perez Torres, with the murder. Reports indicate that Torres and Ms. Markiewicz were casually acquainted for several months and he followed her for a period of time before killing her along the roadway on her way back to the ship. Royal Caribbean's Global Security Department fully supported and assisted Mexican officials in their investigation of this isolated and uncharacteristic crime for Cozumel.

"We thank the Mexican authorities for their commitment to quickly solving the murder of our crew member, Monika Markiewicz. Her untimely death is tragic and has saddened all of us at Royal Caribbean. We have informed Monika's family in Poland of today's news update and we will continue to be in contact with them and to support them during this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends," said Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International.

Brilliance of the Seas to offer on-shore excursions to Dubailand

In:
13Jan2011

If you're going on a cruise aboard the Brilliance of the Seas, which visits Dubai, there's a new excursion option to check out.  Royal Caribbean has reached an agreement with Dubailand to allow guests to visit  The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence and key attractions at Dubailand.

The deal marks the second cruise season that Royal Caribbean and Dubai Properties Group (DPG) have woked together to make this an option for cruisers.

The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence is a lifestyle, shopping and leisure destination known for its stunning beach-side setting. The diversity of food, beverage, entertainment and cultural offerings has made The Walk at JBR a must-see for tourists.

Other key destinations in DUBAILAND® will also be promoted in Royal Caribbean's pre and post cruise tour land packages, as well as on-shore excursion programs. These attractions include Dubai Autodrome in MotorCity, Dubai Outlet Mall in Outlet City, The Global Village, and Dubai Sports City which features the Els Club, the Butch Harmon School of Golf and the Cricket Stadium. These projects currently receive millions of visitors annually, and add further variety to Dubai's tourism offering by providing visitors with exciting entertainment options and value for money.

From January 24 through April 9, Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas will offer seven night cruises that vist destinations in the Arabian Gulf area.  In addition, Royal Caribbean has added new 12 night itineraries that include stops in India as well. 

"We are delighted to resume the extremely successful marketing alliance between these two strong brands which has allowed thousands of visitors to experience our popular DPG designations last season," said Khalid Al Malik, CEO, Dubai Properties Group.

Rama Rebbapragada, Regional Vice President of Royal Caribbean International, said: "We hope to replicate the success of our full capacity 2010 sailings, and are thrilled that our new 12-night itinerary has received a huge amount of interest from key global source markets including the UK, North America and Germany."

Photovoltaics installed on Allure of the Seas

In:
06Jan2011

United Solar, a leading global manufacturer of light-weight, flexible thin-film solar modules and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices, announced today that their UNI-SOLAR® brand photovoltaics have been installed on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas cruise ship.

Royal Caribbean International launched the Allure of the Seas on December 5 out of Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, with UNI-SOLAR laminates installed by BAM Solar of Miami providing electricity for the ship's shopping district.

"UNI-SOLAR laminates were the only solution that works for such a unique solar application like this," said Andrew Rasken, President of BAM Solar. "We needed lightweight. We needed a solar product that doesn't require surface penetrations, one durable enough that people can walk on, and that will stand up to the rigors of the harsh elements of being at sea. UNI-SOLAR's product versatility, flexibility and numerous unique characteristics of the laminates were the perfect solution for this exclusive and fun application—one which BAM Solar is honored to have been selected to design, manage and install."

This project is BAM Solar's second installation of UNI-SOLAR laminates on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.

"The first Oasis-class ship, Oasis of the Seas, has had such positive feedback for using solar that we knew we had to do it again with our Oasis' sister ship, Allure of the Seas," said Rasmus Norling, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Manager of R&D Environmental Technologies and Environmental Stewardship. "Royal Caribbean is devoted to environmental protection and is the industry leader in our commitment to energy sustainability. Solar is one part of that mission."

"United Solar has exciting new product developments in both commercial and residential solar," said Mark Morelli, President and CEO of United Solar's parent company, Energy Conversion Devices. "The use of our laminates on cruise ships is just one more application that has proven to be a great fit for our flexible, light-weight, durable product—powered by UNI-SOLAR. We are very pleased to have partnered with BAM Solar on this very unique installation."

Royal Caribbean Chairman receives lifetime achievement award

In:
20Dec2010

The Travel Weekly Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual whose efforts have led to extraordinary results within an enterprise and who also has made significant contributions to the industry as a whole," said Arnie Weissmann, vice president, editor-in-chief, Travel Weekly. "Richard Fain's career has provided a model of vision and accomplishment to inspire tomorrow's leaders."

"I am humbled and honored to be the recipient of this award especially because it was awarded by Travel Weekly's readers, most of whom are travel agents. The growth of our industry and its many exciting changes would not have been possible without the biggest driver of Royal Caribbean's overall success - our people - our shipboard teams, as well as our shoreside employees. Accepting this award is especially meaningful as our company is being recognized by the travel agent community with nine awards overall," said Fain. "For 30 years, I've had the privilege to participate in the travel industry, working with talented people while helping travelers experience the world. The legacy of the recipients of the Travel Weekly Lifetime Achievement Award collectively defines the environment that the travel industry operates in today and it is an honor to join such a distinguished group of recipients."

Fain first joined Royal Caribbean in 1979 as an outside director on the company's Board of Directors. He became Chairman and CEO in 1988, and now oversees the global cruise company operating 40 ships under the Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Pullmantur, Azamara Club Cruises and CDF Croisières de France brands. Prior to joining Royal Caribbean, Fain spent 13 years as treasurer, chief financial officer and joint managing director of Gotaas-Larsen Shipping Corp., a London-based owner and operator of cargo ships.

He serves as a member of the Florida 100, the national board of the Posse Foundation and the University of Miami's Board of Trustees. Fain also is former chair of the United Way of Miami-Dade, the Miami Business Forum, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.

He also is a past chair of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), and industry trade association representing nearly 17,000 affiliated travel agencies and the bulk of the world's cruise lines. He holds a B.S. degree in economics from the University of California Berkeley and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Previous recipients of the Travel Weekly Lifetime Achievement Award have included: Bill Marriott, Gordon Bethune, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Arthur Tauck, Tim and Nina Zagat and Bob Dickinson.

Ambius providing the plants aboard Allure of the Seas

In:
10Nov2010

Ambius, the world's leading provider of plants for the workplace, is bringing the Central Park neighborhood to life aboard Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas, which shares the title of the world's largest and most revolutionary cruise ship with sister-ship Oasis of the Seas. Central Park is an open-air atrium as long as a football field, offering guests an idyllic environment filled with live plants and trees and flanked by upscale shopping and dining venues. Ambius's award-winning team of landscaping designers, led by Denise Eichmann, were awarded the contract as landscape specialists responsible for organizing and implementing all of the landscaping aboard Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas.

Sixty Ambius personnel from across the country will gather at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale to board the vessel following her twelve day transatlantic crossing from the STX Europe in Turku, Finland on Thursday, Nov. 11. "Following months of preparation and planning, the Ambius crew will tackle the massive job of loading the plants onto the ship to meet an elaborate logistics plan," said Denise Eichmann, Senior Project Manager, Ambius. "More than 12,000 plants will be loaded, planted and irrigated with a low volume drip irrigation system which properly delivers the correct amount of water to each plant in less than 72 hours. This remarkable undertaking will help make the Allure of the Seas' Central Park come to life."
 
Earlier this year, Eichmann's team received the Calscape's prestigious Plantscape Hall of Fame Judge's Award for the most outstanding overall project in 2010. The team was recognized for bringing the best of land to sea with Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas' Central Park initiative, which showcases a revolutionary design where the center of the ship opens to the sky and features lush, tropical grounds. This public gathering place features serene pathways, seasonal flower gardens and canopy trees, and provides guests with more choices in unique outdoor spaces. 
 
Ambius' North American project development team boarded Allure of the Seas in Turku on October 18, 2010 to begin work. At the shipyard and during crossing, the team installed faux plantings and floral arrangements in over 30 venues. "Each venue of the ship features themed decor which requires unique and creative landscaping," adds Eichmann. "Highlights of the compelling landscape aboard the world's greenest and most lavish cruise ship include massive palm trees in the solarium; planters of seaside grasses on the pool decks; bamboo groves and zen gardens at the spa; spiral topiary in cast iron pots at the Bow and Stern Pub; aloe and agave succulents at Rita's Cantina Mexican restaurant; and fields of lavender at the grand staircase outside the Champagne Bar."

Royal Caribbean Announces Opening of Its New School in Haiti

In:
22Oct2010

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., one of Haiti's largest foreign investors for almost 30 years, today announced the completion of the L'Ecole Nouvelle Royal Caribbean – one of the first schools to be built in Haiti after the earthquake.  The strategically located 6,500 square foot school complex is in northern Haiti near nine towns and villages: Labadie, Cormier, Ducroix, Fort Bourgeois, Marchegalles, Cimetiere-Juif, Champ de Mars, Port Francais and Cap Haitien.  The campus consists of six buildings, with 12 classrooms, administrative offices, a computer lab and bathrooms. The school will provide children from the area an education, including classes in English and environmental stewardship. In the evenings adults will attend vocational training.

In delivering the school to the Haitian people as promised, Royal Caribbean worked with South Florida based InnoVida and the St. Coleman's School, as well as Haiti based ProDev, L'Ecole Nouvelle Zoranje and the Solano Foundation.
"What better way to help Haiti than by educating the children?" said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.  " Haiti's needs are enormous, and although we can only be a small part of the solution, we believe our model school is a good start.  We hope that these children will develop into leaders who will guide Haiti's recovery in the future."  
 
The school is on land Royal Caribbean leases from the Haitian government.  Royal Caribbean worked with InnoVida and used the company's Fiber Composite Panels to build the entire school complex in only four weeks, using 50 local Haitian workers, in time for the 2010-2011 school year.  All construction materials were transported from Miami onboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships.  InnoVida's structures can sustain hurricane winds, resist earthquakes due to their high deflection capacity, are waterproof and are a highly energy efficient system.
 
This first school will be a primary school for grades kindergarten through 5.  There will be three kindergarten classes with 36 students, and each grade 1 through 5 will have 25 students, for a minimum of 230 children educated this school year.  Royal Caribbean's next Haitian school building project is entering into the planning stages now.
Continuing its tradition of promoting innovation and creativity, Royal Caribbean partnered with the YMCA of Greater Miami and provided children an opportunity to name the school in Haiti.  Out of the more than 3,000 submissions received, a seventh grader from the YMCA afterschool program in Miami Lakes proposed the winning name L'Ecole Nouvelle Royal Caribbean.
 
Beginning just three days after the earthquake, Royal Caribbean transported more than 3,000 pallets of much needed supplies on Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises ships that called on Labadee.  Also, to date, Royal Caribbean's monetary contribution to the Haiti relief effort is at least $2.5 million, which includes money raised from the donated Labadee calls, the onboard guest donations, and matching funds.  The company's operations at Labadee impact over 500 local Haitians who are either employees or vendors at Labadee commuting from nearby villages.  Royal Caribbean also employs over 200 Haitian crew members onboard ships.

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