Royal Caribbean's increase in onboard revenue attributed to cruise ship revitalizations


Royal Caribbean reported third quarter financial results today and the big "star" of the results was the onboard spending, with a 7% increase overall.  So what is Royal Caribbean's secret?  They think it's all about the revitalization program.

During the financial results conference call, Royal Caribbean Chief Financial Officer Jason Liberty pointed to a few key factors that are part of the fleet-wide renovations to why the company is seeing better guest spending onboard their ships.

  • Specialty Restaurants
  • Casino
  • Internet
  • Unlimited alcohol packages
  • Shore excursions

"We benefited from new onboard venues introduced as a result of our revitalizations, and we saw further strength in spending from our U.S. customers, which helped generate improvement in gaming, beverage, specialty dining and shore excursions," Liberty said during the conference call.

Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein elaborated on how the company is looking to get more onboard spending, "So as I believe we mentioned earlier, gaming, beverage, shore excursions, retail and also some of the smaller revenue streams, internet has been doing well for us, which we wanted to see because we made a significant investment in, I think, 7 or 8x more bandwidth to the ships this year, and that seems to be paying off. So a number of the investments that we have already made, we would expect to continue to pay dividends and revenue growth into 2014 and beyond. And we continue to look under every stone for onboard revenue opportunities that don't conflict with the satisfaction of the product offering."

Basically, guests are spending more money in all these aspects and most of these venues are areas of the cruise ships that get upgraded or added as part of the revitalization program.  

When each ship is refurbished, more restaurants are added and wifi is spread out to more areas across the ship. Add to that the new drink packages and Royal Caribbean is offering its guests more opportunities to spend money.

Royal Caribbean to add 75 staterooms to Voyager class ships


During Royal Caribbean's third quarter financial results conference call, Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein mentioned that as part of the fleet-wide revitalization program, all Voyager class ships will recieve 75 new staterooms.

Voyager class ships are the next batch of Royal Caribbean's ships to get the upgrades that will roll out many new ammenities and upgrades, first seen on the Oasis class.  These new staterooms, however, are a departure from other ship upgrades and unique to the Voyager class.

The order of upgrades is currently scheduled as follows

  • Navigator of the Seas: February 2014
  • Adventure of the Seas: April 2014
  • Voyager of the Seas: May 2014
  • Explorer of the Seas: February 2015

Mariner of the Seas received her upgrade back on May 2, 2012 and did not recieve a stateroom upgrade at that time.

Strike in ship yard could delay Royal Caribbean ship upgrades


The Navantia ship yard in Cadiz, Spain signed an agreement last year to make upgrades to Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas but a labor strike at the port could put those plans in jeopardy.

Royal Caribbean is scheduled to send Brilliance of the Seas on April 24 to the port, with the intentions of making improvements to the ship as well as perform maintenance.  The date for the work coincides with the new threat of a labor strike in the metal sector and a call for demonstrations in Cadiz shipyards.

The strike could be avoided if labor can get the industry to sign a collective agreement between April 17-19 but unions have already threatened to extend the protests.  Spokesmen for metal workers are in favor of going for an indefinite strike if no agreement prior.

The possibility of these labor issues clashes with Royal Caribbean's needs.  The contract stipulates the shipyard has half a month to repair the cruise ship.  Setbacks with labor could lead Royal Caribbean to cancel the contract, as was done in March when labor issues arose and forced the MS Grand Holiday to move the work to the French shipyard in Marseilles because of the uncertainty of the labor situation in Cadiz.

The port expect the strike to not happen again, especially since Royal Caribbean has a history of sending its ships to the port for work over the years.  Starting in 2009, Voyager of the Seas was refurbished there as well as Splenodur of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas.

Legend of the Seas completes $50 million refurbishment


Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas emerged from a month-long $50 million refurbishment in Singapore yesterday and will resume cruises in Asia before returning to Europe.  The upgrades to Legend of the Seas are part of Royal Caribbean's fleet-wide upgrades to bring amenities from their Oasis-class cruise ships to all the ships.

Legend of the Seas refurbishment saw these additions to the ship

  • New speciality dining restaurants
    • Park Café
    • Chef’s Table
    • Chops Grille
    • Izumi Asian Cuisine
  • New bars
    • R Bar
    • Viking Crown Lounge nightclub
  • Outdoor movie screen
  • New and updated staterooms
  • flat-panel TVs
  • digital signage
  • bow-to-stern Wi-Fi

For the next few weeks, Legend of the Seas will offer Southeast Asia itineraries out of Singapore.  Beginning in April, the ship will sail a four night Southeast Asia itinerary roundtrip from Singapore and then reposition to Europe for the summer season. It will begin by sailing seven-night Western Mediterranean itineraries roundtrip from Rome.

Royal Caribbean set to upgrade Independence of the Seas


As part of Royal Caribbean's Revitalization program to upgrade all of its cruise ships to include amenities first introduced on the Oasis of the Seas, Independence o the Seas has recently been scheduled to have its upgrade take place in April 2013.

Independence of the Seas will receive

  • Outdoor movie screen
  • Cupcake Cupboard
  • Digital Signage
  • Pervasive Wi-Fi
  • Nursery 
  • Giovanni’s Table specialty restaurant

The $7 million refurbishment will take two weeks, at which point Royal Caribbean will deploy Independence of the Seas to Southampton, England where on May 2, 2013 she will begin her summer season.  Some of the itineraries offered include some new shorter sailings such as a two-night cruise to Le Havre for Paris and three-night cruises to Le Havre for Paris and Zeebrugge for Bruges. 

Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas finishes revitalization


Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas has completed its three week $29 million overhaul.  As part of Royal Caribbean's revitalization program, the cruise ship was serviced at the Navantia Ship yard in Cadiz Spain where Serenade received new new dining concepts, entertainment options and technology advancements.

Serenade of the Seas has almost doubled the amount of dining options onboard including

  • Giovanni’s Table: An Italian trattoria featuring Italian classics served family-style (open for lunch, $15, and dinner, $20)
  • Izumi Asian Cuisine: A pan-Asian restaurant with an authentic dining experience featuring mouthwatering flavors and a sushi bar with hot-rock cooking (open for lunch and dinner, $3.00 cover charge for lunch and $5.00 for dinner, plus a la carte menu pricing)
  • Park Café: An indoor/outdoor gourmet market featuring made-to-order salads, sandwiches including the signature Kummelveck beef sandwich, soups and pastries (open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, complimentary)
  • Rita’s Cantina: A casual yet vibrant restaurant, catering to families by day, and adults by night; offering Mexican appetizers and a comprehensive selection of margaritas (open for lunch and dinner, a la carte menu pricing)
  • Chef’s Table: An exclusive and private experience co-hosted by the executive Chef and Sommelier for a wine pairing dinner of five courses (open for dinner, $95 per person) 

In addition, Serenade saw its Centrum reimagined into a new public space that features the new Centrum experience, such as the 60's-inspired R Bar and new entertainment.  Acts such as daytime activities, dazzling nighttime entertainment and a new high-flying entertainment experience where aerialists glide through the atrium will occupy the Centrum throughout the day.

Royal Caribbean has also added a new Concierge Club for suite guests, a Diamond Club for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program members, the Crown and Castle Pub and the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery.  Wi-Fi has also been rolled out to the entire ship along with flat-panel televisions in all staterooms, an outdoor LED movie screen on the pool deck and a digital way-finding system.

Many of the changes to Serenade of the Seas are ideas that were originally introduced on Oasis of the Seas.  Serenade is just one of many ships in Royal Caribbean's fleet that has or will receive an upgrade since 2011.

Singapore shipyard gets Royal Caribbean contract for cruise ship upgrades


Royal Caribbean has awarded Sembawang Shipyard in Singapore a Favored Customer Contract (FCC) to provide ship repair, revitalisation, upgrading and related marine services.

The contract allows for repairs, revitalization and upgrades to Royal Caribbean's fleet of ships that cruise in the Singapore region.  The contract also commits to joint planning, information and experience sharing, thus leveraging complementary resources to achieve sustainable targets in the areas of HSE (Health, Safety and Environment), logistics management, quality, cost-efficiency and onschedule deliveries, which are key performance indicators for high quality cruise vessels maintenance.

Sembawang was selected in part because of its work in the past with Royal Caribbean, such as the successful revitalization of Rhapsody of the Seas.

The contract was signed at Royal Caribbean's headquarters in Miami, Florida by Royal Caribbean Vice President of Technical Projects and Newbuildings Kevin Douglas, Vice President of Marine Operations Svein Taklo and the Executive Director of Sembawang Shipyard Wong Lee-Lin.

Royal Caribbean gives update on fleet wide revitalization program


During Royal Caribbean's third quarter financial results conference call, Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein gave shareholders and analysts an update on the status of their fleet wide revitalization program.

Royal Caribbean is in the midst of upgrading its entire fleet with new onboard amenities, stateroom upgrades and restaurants.  Enchantment of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Legend of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas are the next group of cruise ships scheduled to receive these upgrades over the next few months.

Goldstein added that by fall 2013 (roughly a year from now), all but one of Royal Caribbean's Vision and Radiance class ships will have undergone revitalization—that’s 30% of Royal Caribbean brand’s capacity, Goldstein said.

Serenade of the Seas will receive her upgrades in November 2012, Enchantment of the Seas will be next in December 2013 and Legend and Brilliance of the Seas will follow in early 2013.

You can view a full schedule of when each ship will receive an upgrade on our schedule page.