Royal Caribbean

Top 10 Royal Caribbean stories of 2014


With 2014 nearly complete, it's time to look back on the year and see which news stories generated the most interest.  There's no doubt that 2014 was a busy year for Royal Caribbean and so it's interesting to see which stories rose to the top of people's interest.

This year's top ten list of Royal Caribbean stories is based on our statistics of most viewed stories.  There's some stories that made the top ten list that surprised me and others I'm more surprises did not make the list.  Let's dive in!

10. Royal Caribbean confirms Quantum of the Seas will feature Royal Esplanade

There was a lot of rumors swirling but Royal Caribbean confirmed less than a month before the ship launched that there would be a Royal Esplanade instead of a Royal Promenade onboard Quantum of the Seas.

The Royal Promenade had been a staple of new Royal Caribbean ships since the Voyager Class but proving just how different Quantum of the Seas is from ships before it, the company went in a different direction.

The concept of the Royal Esplanade is similar to the Royal Promande: a central indoor area on the ship where you can find shops, restaurants and entertainment.  The difference is the Royal Esplanade had more of a shopping district feel to the Royal Promenade's canyon-like strip.

9. Royal Caribbean to bring Broadway show "Cats" to Oasis of the Seas

As part of Oasis of the Seas' refurbishment, Royal Caribbean announced the Broadway musical CATS would replace Hairspray onboard the ship.

Based on T.S. Eliot's “Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats,” CATS was one of the longest running productions on Broadway and is the winner of numerous awards including seven Tonys, two Oliviers and a Grammy.

What was interesting about this announcement was the fact CATS has been off Broadway fro many years but the show has been resurrected on Oasis of the Seas. 

8. Royal Caribbean will offer RFID WOWbands for free to all guests

Royal Caribbean changed its mind on charging money for its new RFID wristbands aboard Quantum of the Seas right around Quantum of the Seas' launch.

When the WOWbands were announced, they came with a small $2 per band fee but Royal Caribbean decided to waive the fee and give them away to all guests.

The decision to change the bands to be free is a move, in part, to increase their adoption rate. Royal Caribbean expects at least half its guests to use the WOWbands on any given cruise.

7. Giant wave hits Explorer of the Seas

Last month, cruisers aboard Explorer of the Seas reported that a 40 foot wave struck Explorer of the Seas and caused damage to a few of the ship's lifeboats.

The wave caused two life boats to be torn from their position along side the ship and struck the Promenade deck.

The wave had very little impact on the cruise and repairs fixed the damage quickly but people love reading about giant anything hitting cruise ships.

6. Royal Caribbean announces Dynamic Dining will expand to Oasis of the Seas

Royal Caribbean announced its ground breaking Dynamic Dining program will expand to Oasis of the Seas back in August and it certainly generated a lot of opinions on the matter.

Following the Quantum-class cruise ships, Oasis of the Seas will become the first cruise ship in the fleet outside the Quantum-class to get the Dynamic Dining makeover.

I think the news was a bit of a shock considering Royal Caribbean had previously said they wanted to wait and see how Dynamic Dining was received before expanding.

5. Royal Caribbean posts updated Quantum of the Seas cutaway

Before Quantum of the Seas launched, we were all desperate for any and all information about this new ship and this released cutaway gave us all a good sense of what to expect.

The giant cutaway showed off many venues on the ship and gave us an idea of where everything is relative to the ship.

4. Royal Caribbean to send Quantum of the Seas on 53-night around the world cruise

Royal Caribbean had previously announced it would send its newest cruise ship to China but then it announced an epic around-the-world journey on its way there.

The 53-night cruise will leave Cape Liberty in the New York area and then eventually end up in Shanghai (Baoshan), China.  Along the way, guests can enjoy cruises across the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean.

If 53-nights is a bit too much, you can also choose from five other mini-sailings built into the 53-night affair, ranging from three to 16 nights.

3. Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas suffering from propulsion problem

Propulsion problems forced Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas to skip two port calls back in March.

Oil loss from the ship's fixipod propulsion unit had to have the crew shutdown the pod.  The incident occured just before the ship's scheduled drydock later that month.

Royal Caribbean attempted to make repairs in St. Kitts but they could not fully repair the unit and had to leave the unit offline.  

Since Adventure of the Seas' drydock, the problem was fixed and there have not been any other incidents since.

2. Oil spill in Galveston delays Navigator of the Seas

Thanks to a 160,000 gallon oil spill near Galveston, Texas, Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas was delayed from getting back into Galveston port.

The unfortunate incident delayed the passengers onboard Navigator from getting off the ship and of course also delayed the new cruisers from embarking.

The oil spill was something outside of Royal Caribbean's control but luckily it was taken care of in a timely manner and things got back on schedule after the ship got back into port.

1. Royal Caribbean offering kids sail free on select May to December cruises

Back in March, Royal Caribbean offered a great promotion that allowed guests to have the third and fourth passengers sail free on select cruises along with offering complimentary upgrades and reduced deposits.

The kids sail free (which was really any third and fourth passengers) was for all triple or quad occupancy staterooms and people seemed to really get excited about it.

I think once it was established the promotion was not just for kids, people really jumped all over it.  Heck, I was able to use it for my upcoming Freedom of the Seas cruise and it saved me a lot of money too!

10 things you'll miss the day after your Royal Caribbean cruise


Your best Royal Caribbean cruise ever has just wrapped up and you're back home and already you're longing for the next one.  If you're anyting like my family, we start missing certain aspects of the cruise experience right away.

Here are the things we always think about "the day after" that we wish we could see/eat/do again.

10.Someone to bring new towels every day

You get home, take a shower after a long trip back home and when you put your towel on the floor... no one replaces it with a clean one!  There's something nice about having fresh towels brought to you every day to keep things nice and fresh.

9. Being welcomed to each meal with a smile, a wave and some hand sanitizer

When my daughter sees hand sanitzer these days, she always mentions going on a cruise.  Whether you are walking into the Windjammer, Main Dining Room or a specialty restaurant, being greeted warmly always makes you feel good.  

I especially enjoy the "antics" of the early morning Windjammer staff who combine their hellos with dances, songs and high-fives. 

8. Knowing what day it is by looking down on the ground

Granted most people do not have elevators in their houses, but it's nice to be able to look down on the ground and know what day it is.  It's a little touch that makes a Royal Caribbean cruise feel like a Royal Caribbean cruise.

7. Having all of our meals cooked for us

Who doesn't enjoy having all your meals and snacks prepared for you every night?  When you get home, you start thinking about all the preperation and work involved in cooking and it makes you yearn for one more night in the Main Dining Room.

6. Being able to see the ocean all the time

Whether you're walking around the deck, going out to your balcony or disembarking at a new port, the ocean is always there and getting that ocean breeze is something you just can't beat.  Being back at home, I miss that smell of the ocean and hearing the waves crashing into the ship.  

5. The only schedule to worry about is in your Cruise Compass

When you're onboard your Royal Caribbean cruise, the Cruise Compass is all you need to figure out what to do that day.  Being back at home, work emails, kids practices, errands and the rest all dictate where you have to be when.  Call me crazy, but I greatly prefer deciding between the bellyflop competition or towel folding seminar to carpooling the kids to school.

4. Someone making your bed each day with turndown service

Since I was a kid, I've felt making up your bed was silly since the only person that sees it is me.  But when you're on a Royal Caribbean cruise, it's great having the bed made up for you each and every morning.

And at night, turn down service is the perfect way to get ready for bed.  I may not ever do it myself at home, but turn down service is the way to get into bed if I had a choice!

3. Waking up somewhere new every day

One of the best things about cruising is the idea you go to sleep in one place and you wake up somewhere else.  Going to new ports every day and exploring is what makes a Royal Caribbean vacation so much fun!  

At home, you go to sleep and wake up in the same place every night.  There's no question the cruise alternative is the way to go!

2. Basically everything on the pool deck

I was thinking about something regarding being by the pool is something I miss when I'm home but I decided that first day back you just miss the entire pool deck experience.

Sunning yourself, being in the water, getting unlimited free ice cream cones and having someone bring you the drink of the day all contribute to the pool deck experience.  When you're home, you miss out on pretty much all of that and it feels odd not going up to deck 11 for a swim.

1. Not being at work

'Nuff said.

Royal Caribbean removes corkage fee for bottles of wine


Royal Caribbean has quietly removed the $25 corkage fee it previously charged to open a bottle of wine in its restaurants and lounges.  The removal of the corkage fee is effective immediately.

Royal Caribbean first started letting guests bring up to two bottles of wine (up to 750ml) per stateroom but included a $25 corkage fee to open the bottles in its restaurants, bars and lounges.

In practice, the corkage fee was infrequently charged and now the policy has been completely removed.

There's no official word from Royal Caribbean why the policy changed but it has been confirmed via Royal Caribbean's official Facebook page.

Thanks to Stacey Cruisedivanj for alerting us to the change.

Royal Caribbean signs maintenance contract with ABB


Royal Caribbean has signed a $50 million contract with ABB to provide extensive maintenance to its cruise ships.  

The new deal will last 15 years and will cover two Oasis-class cruise ships as well as four ships for sister company Celebrity Cruises.  The goal of the deal for Royal Caribbean is to increase cost efficiency and predictability of maintenance costs. 

The contract also includes an option to extend the agreement to additional existing vessels, vessels that are currently under construction and future newbuilds. 

The contract provides Royal Caribbean with a range of services that optimize the life cycle of the vessels: scheduled dry docking services, Azipod propulsion unit modernizations and condition based maintenance services, which contributes to better predictability of maintenance  costs. 


Royal Caribbean call center in Oregon to add 200 new jobs


Royal Caribbean is looking to hire 200 new employees for its call center in Springfield, Oregon. 

Royal Caribbean will be looking to fill the newly created entry level jobs in their customer service and sales departments.

Since the opening of the Springfield office eight years ago, trade support director Rita Stolze said they've gone from 100 employees to a staff of nearly 750.

“Well it’s great for our community, because we are a business that continues to grow and expand our employee base year after year. So it continues to show the community our commitment,” said Stolze.

Stolze said there's also a lot of room for internal growth and promotions. They are accepting applications on their website.

Royal Caribbean UK looking for new digital and social media agency


Royal Caribbean has begun looking for a new standalone digital and social media agency to handle its UK operations.

Up until now, a group made up of JWT and Mindshare, based in New York, has handled Royal Caribbean’s $90 million global ad account since 2007.

The cruise line is using Creativebrief to run the process and contact potential agencies.

Royal Caribbean signs 10 year service agreement with Wärtsilä


Royal Caribbean has signed a 10 year maintenance and technical support agreement with Wärtsilä to support the cruise line's fleet of ships.

Wärtsilä will provide services to Royal Caribbean such as condition monitoring of the engines, individualized technical support, the development and design of new components as well as spare parts supply agreement. 

Wärtsilä has subcontracted with ABB Turbocharging to cover 142 Wärtsilä engines and 170 ABB turbochargers in 36 Royal Caribbean vessels, 32 already in operation and four newbuilds, with an option to add more vessels in the future.

ABB Turbocharging will work with Wärtsilä to provide a customized service package for the turbochargers on the vessels, including scheduled and unscheduled spare parts and labor at ABB workshop.

Royal Caribbean releases new digital planning platform for guests


Royal Caribbean released today an all-new planning tool that allows guests to seamlessly and intuitively plan all aspects of their cruise vacation quicker and easier than ever before.

Developed in tandem with sister company, Celebrity Cruises, the new platform makes it possible for all reservations, activities and entertainment to be booked well in advance of departure, ensuring no vacation time needs to be spent on planning. In addition, Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas’ Dynamic Dining reservations also are open and available for guests to book.

The new Cruise Planner is aimed at personalization and planning with a simplified, modern, user-friendly format enabled for desktops and tablets.  It features an extensive search and filtering feature that makes it possible for guests to easily navigate and research products and opportunities available on their specific booked itinerary. 

Royal Caribbean is touting Cruise Planner’s quick and easy menus that dive deep into the vacation options available, enabling access to restaurants and beverage packages with just one click, and the ability to browse hundreds of shore excursions by day, port, activity type, number of guests, and more. 

Guests can use the platform to explore each and every activity that Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises offer both on and off the ship, and make changes to activities and reservations up until four days prior to their sail date. A streamlined order history, shopping cart with a categorized summary, and printable calendar that is color-coded for each member of the traveling party, keeps track of everything so that guests can easily and visually plan their cruise.

Guests booked on Royal Caribbean International can now see the all new Cruise Planner by visiting

Top 10 Royal Caribbean stories of 2013


Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara to run as separate businesses in UK


Royal Caribbean has decided to split up its three cruise line operations in the United Kingdom and create individual businesses for Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises.  The decision comes after concluding the three companies have grown to a size that warrants “increased focus and investment”.

Effective January 1, 2014, current associate vice president & general manager Jo Rzmowska will become the managing director for Celebrity Cruises. Top positions for managing directors of Royal Caribbean and Azamara is underway both internally and externally.

Each individual managing director will also get his or her own commercial, marketing and sales teams, as well as separate agent trainers and trade marketing budgets.

Dominic Paul, who remains as vice president and managing director of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the proposed restructure was an important milestone in the history of the global RCL Cruises Ltd business:

“The only other market that we have this kind of focus is North America. This is the first time we have given any other market such attention. We have seen that when a market gets to a certain size of importance, this is the structure that works best to grow.

“The UK is the second-largest market globally and this move is a recognition of the growth achieved so far and to best position each cruise line for future development and growth.”