Rhapsody of the Seas

Details for Voyager of the Seas cruises in Australia released


Royal Caribbean announced last month that Voyager of the Seas would be sailing to Australia for the 2012/2013 season and since then, many fans have wanted to know more details about these sailings so Royal Caribbean has released more details about what we can expect.

Voyager of the Seas will kick off its Australian cruise season on November 23, 2012 and will offer 12 cruises out of Sydney and Fremantle, Australia  This first cruise will begin (and eventually end its run in Australia) with a 14-night repositioning cruise between Singapore and Perth, Australia with stops in Thailand and Vietnam.

Itineraries include four 14-night New Zealand itineraries along with shorter cruises to Tasmania and Fiji.  There's also two 18-night voyages between Fremantle and Sydney, taking in southern Australia along with Milford Sound in New Zealand.

Adam Armstrong, Royal Caribbean's commercial manager, is excited for the debut of Voyager of the Seas down under, "Voyager of the Seas will not only be the biggest ship based here but she also introduces unique concepts never before experienced at sea in the region".

In addition to Voyager of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas and the recently refurbished Radiance of the Seas will return to Australia as well for their own set of cruises.

Radiance of the Seas will also operate out of Sydney and Fremantle and offer passengers 10-night cruises to Queensland over the holidays of Christmas and Easter.  They will also offer five night "sampler cruises" to Newcastle and Brisbane.

Rhapsody of the Seas will offer 12 cruises to the South Pacific region along with four 11-night voyages to Tropical Queensland.

Royal Caribbean planning overhaul for Rhapsody of the Seas in 2012


Royal Caribbean is planning on sending Rhapsody of the Seas into drydock following the 2011-2012 Australian cruise season for a multi-million dollar revamp.

Work on overhauling the ship will take three to four weeks in March 2012 in what Royal Caribbean is calling a "major revitalisation".

Adam Armstrong, Royal Caribbean's Australia commercial manager described the changes, "This will be major revitalisation. We will be extensively reworking the entire ship. Cabins, entertainment and dining will all be completely renovated.”

Armstrong added that while the Rhapsody will still look like her old self when the work is done, she will boast “a few more special pieces”

Can you stay fit on a cruise ship? Woman challenges herself to try


Cruise ships, Royal Caribbean or not, are well known for their ample supply of food and the fact that many tend to indulge a little too much on a typical cruise but Heather McCracken, a New Zealand reporter, wanted to try to go on a cruise and not gain any weight.

She chronicled her journey of 3 nights aboard Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas from Wellington, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia.

McCracken chose to try a lot of the Vitality options on the menus although she did succumb to temptation on a few occasions, "But at 11pm I'm confronted by a surprise chocolate buffet: chocolate-dipped strawberries, chocolate truffles, chocolate eclairs, chocolate cocktails, even a giant chocolate Neptune.

My willpower fails.  Cruise ship one, me nil."

To help fight weight gain, she chose to try out a number of activities aboard Rhapsody including stretching classes, conditioning classes, pool volleyball and a gym session.

So how did Heather do?  She gave into temptation a few more times on the cruise but in the end declared a tie.

Do you think you could go on a cruise and not gain weight?  Have you ever tried it?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Royal Caribbean cruises to Alaska in 2012 announed


Itineraries for Royal Caribbean cruises to Alaska in 2012 were announced yesterday of 10 to 18 nights.

Cruises include sailings aboard Radiance of the Seas that sail north and south between Vancouver and Seward as well as Rhapsody of the Seas offering round trip cruises out of Seattle, Washington.

Royal Caribbean also announced 20 new land tours including a 12 night offer for families that include a trip to Fox Island and excursions to the Anchorage Museum and Imaginarium.  There are also six-night Canadian Rocky Mountain cruise tours that include an overnight train journey.

Adam Armstrong, commercial manager, Royal Caribbean Cruises Australia loves the new Alaska itineraries, “Not only do we have great cruise itineraries on offer, but they can also be packaged with land tours in Alaska and the Canadian Rockies. We call them ‘cruisetours’ and they offer something for everyone – fun, adventure or relaxation – plus once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to see the region’s dramatic cliffs, Alpine glaciers, unique marine life and expansive wilderness.”

Other interesting offerings include

  • An 18-night Ultimate Cruisetour couples the Canadian Rockies pre-cruise with a five-night post-cruise escorted Alaska land tour
  • A six night Canadian Rockies cruisetour that combines Calgary, Banff, Jasper, Vancouver and Victoria with an overnight train journey aboard VIA Rail and accommodations throughout at world-renowned Fairmont hotels.

Rhapsody of the Seas to make doubles calls to Newcastle next season


Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas is building upon its success in 2010-2011 by promising a bigger and better season in 2011-12 with double the number of port visits

The port of Newcastle in Australia has been a very popular destination with Royal Caribbean guests as the season has sold out on cruises that have stopped in the New South Wales town.

Royal Caribbean Australia Commercial Manager Adam Armstrong is happy to know their guests are finding what they want, “Royal Caribbean Cruises searches the world for amazing destinations to give our guests a truly memorable holiday experience. Newcastle has it all: beautiful beaches, a buzzing harbour and city life with plenty to see and do, and most of all - friendly, welcoming residents. It is no wonder Lonely Planet voted Newcastle one of the top ten cities in the world. It is a popular stop with most of our guests disembarking to explore the city and beyond to the Hunter Valley, returning with only good things to report. It is why Royal Caribbean has doubled the port visits to Newcastle when Rhapsody of the Seas returns for the next cruising season."

When she returns in November, there will be four port calls in total in her 2011-12 season.  THe popular Newcastle stop is part of the 11 night Queensland itinerary.

Royal Caribbean finalizing Australia plans for 2012/2013


Royal Caribbean is close to finalizing plans to send three of its cruise ships back to Australia for the 2012/2013 cruise season.   Royal Caribbean managing director for Australia, Gavin Smith, said he is certain that Royal Caribbean will have three ships in Australia.

The decision was easy to make after strong bookings for the 2011/2012 seas have made Rhapsody of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and Celebrity Century quite popular.  It's expected that all three ships will return for the following season to build upon its success down under, so far.

Smith said adding more ships to the area this year has created challenges, but nothing Royal Caribbean cannot handle, “The pressure is maintaining strong forward booking patterns to give the company confidence that they can continue this level of deployment. The continued success of our deployment and our pricing gains us confidence with the parent company. They are continuing to support our operation with the required level of investment. Without question we will have three ships in Australia in 2012/13 and have made the port bookings."

Smith expects to have the plans for Australia in 2012/2013 finalized by March.

Photo of the Day: Rhapsody of the Seas


Photo by Kevin Kennedy

Rhapsody of the Seas makes maiden call to Australia


Australia’s youngest and newest superliner, Rhapsody of the Seas, sailed into Newcastle Harbour at Dyke Point for the first time.

Not only is she Royal Caribbean International’s first cruise ship to visit Newcastle, but she was also the first international cruise ship to arrive for the Australian cruising season when she sailed into Sydney harbour on Saturday.
“We’re very excited to have included Newcastle as one of our new ports of call. It’s an exciting destination for visitors and an excellent gateway to the Hunter Valley and beyond for our guests,” said Adam Armstrong, commercial manager, Royal Caribbean Cruises Australia Limited. “Each year more and more Australians step onboard Rhapsody of the Seas, and we are committed to growing our operations in the local market and adding new and exciting ports of call.”
Over 2,000 guests disembarked the ship yesterday and took a variety of shore tours, including the wineries of the Hunter Valley, as well as spending time in the city of Newcastle itself. Guests also included a large number of tourists travelling on the ship from America, Europe and Asia.
Rhapsody of the Seas will be Newcastle’s largest cruise ship visitor this season with a further call in the city on 25 March 2011 as part of her 11-night Tropical Queensland cruise.
The popular cruise ship has returned this year for her fourth consecutive summer cruise season operating out of Australia, offering a total of 17 cruises for 2010-11.
Approximately 35,000 passengers will travel on Rhapsody of the Seas for the 2010-11 season, visiting 16 cities across Australia and generating income for local communities as part of the travel industry’s fastest growing sectors.
In addition to Newcastle, her other maiden calls this season include Champagne Bay in Vanuatu and Lautoka in Fiji.

Rhapsody of the Seas heads to Australia


Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas is heading to Australia to start service for the summer season. Rhapsody of the Seas departed Hawaii on September 29 and is heading for Australia to begin her fourth season in the land down under.  

Rhapsody of the Seas will head right for Sydney habor, where she is due to arrive on October 16 and will also have the distinction of being the first international cruise ship to arrive in Australia this season.  Rhapsody of the Seas is expected to carry over 35,000 guests from around the world on her itineraries.

Rhapsody has become a favorite in Australia, after completing a record season in 2009-2010 of sailing with a full compliment of guests every voyage. . Home ported in Sydney, Rhapsody of the Seas will sail 17 cruises and visit a number of new destinations, including maiden calls at Newcastle, NSW, Champagne Bay in Vanuatu and Lautoka in Fiji. Rhapsody also returns to cruise the South Pacific islands of New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji.

Royal Caribbean Australia Commercial Manager Adam Armstrong thinks Rhapsody of the Seas is a perfect fit for Australia, "Australia has truly embraced Rhapsody of the Seas since her arrival in 2007.  Her seasons down under go from strength to strength, with more and more Australians stepping onboard to experience our ‘Royal’ treatment.”

Rhapsody's trip to Australia from Hawaii will coincide with two important geographic events during her 16-night cruise across the Pacific.  First, she will pass the equator of the Earth between Hawaii and Tahiti.  Afterwards, guests onboard will "lose a day" as she passes the International Dateline after sailing west from Raiatea in French Polynesia.

Royal Caribbean cruise results in family harmony


A blogger for a New Zealand web site is in the middle of a 10 night cruise and had to report that while everything on the cruise ship was great, what was really awe inspiring was the fact that their two young sons have stopped fighting thanks to the fun of the ship.

The squabbling and bickering has stopped and no one has punched, pinched, kicked or dobbed on anyone for ages. "They're not fighting," my wife whispers, noting that our two boisterous young sons are acting out of character.

Their sons were enrolled in the Adventure Ocean Kids' Club and it sounded like they were happy with the experience in the club.

We can look forward to three themed sessions every day. On selected evenings the staff also host casual dinners so parents can eat alone. Elsewhere onboard there are activity sessions and playgroup meetings for babies and toddlers. And, next to a video-arcade room, is a "teen-only" dance club and lounge room for the older offspring. They have organised activities, too.