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!