Royal Caribbean cancels all cruise stops in Turkey in 2018

In:
18Oct2017

Royal Caribbean announced is cancelling all calls to Turkey for the 2018 cruise season in Europe.

Royal Caribbean made the decision, "due to the current unpredictability of Turkey, and taking our guests’ and crew members’ safety and wellbeing into account."  As a result, Royal Caribbean has decided to replace calls in Ephesus (Kusadasi) with alternate ports-of-call for the 2018 Europe season.

Instead, Jewel of the Seas will now call on Rhodes, Greece. Vision of the Seas will now call on Rhodes, Greece or Mykonos, Greece.

Any pre-paid Royal Caribbean shore excursions in Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey will be refunded to the original form of payment by the end of next week.

Royal Caribbean cancelled all its stops in Turkey in 2017 as well for similar reasoning.

Royal Caribbean WOW Sale offers extra onboard credit and 50% off second passenger

In:
18Oct2017

Royal Caribbean's WOW Sale begins today, with stackable savings that provides 50% off the second guest, plus bonus onboard credit

Cruises booked between October 18, 2017 through October 22, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. EST on sailings on or after November 18, 2017 are eligible for the WOW Sale (excluding China departures).

The WOW Sale includes:

  • 50% off cruise fare of second guest booked in the same stateroom as first full fare guest
  • 25% cruise fare savings for 3rd guests and higher booked in the same stateroom as the first two qualifying guests.
  • Kids Sail Free
    • 3rd and 4th guests 12 years and younger free cruise fare.
    • Guests 12 & under sail free on 4 nights or longer Europe, Bahamas, Bermuda, Hawaii, Coastal and Caribbean sailings departing November 1, 2017- December 31, 2018. Excludes SY sailings and sailings departing 11/17/17-11/27/17, 12/17/17 – 1/8/18, 2/15/18-2/20/18, 3/10/18-4/1/18, 5/15/18-9/1/18, 11/17/18-11/22/18 and 12/15/18-12/31/18.
  • Onboard credit determined by sailing length 
    • 5 nights or fewer
      • Interior / Ocean View: $50 USD per stateroom
      • Balcony: $75 USD per stateroom
      • Suite: $100 USD per stateroom
    • 6 nights or longer
      • Interior / Ocean View: $75 USD per stateroom
      • Balcony: $125 USD per stateroom
      • Suite: $200 USD per stateroom
  • Deck the Holidays Deals
    • Holiday sailings departing from December 19, 2017 through December 31, 2017 and December 18, 2018 through December 31, 2018.
    • Deck the Holidays and WOW Sale offers exclude China departures.
    • Includes an onboard credit determined by category booked and sailing length
      • $25 to spend onboard for Interior and Ocean View on sailings 5-nights or less
      • $50 to spend onboard for Balcony and Suite on sailings 5-nights or less
      • $50 to spend onboard for Interior and Ocean View on sailings 6-nights or longer
      • $100 to spend onboard for Balcony
      • $150 to spend onboard for Suites on sailings 6-nights or longer

BOGO does not apply to third and higher occupancy guests. BOGO offer is combinable with NRDB OBC, Kids Sail Free, promotional OBCs and instant savings, NextCruise offers, restricted discounts (for example, Senior, Resident, Military), Crown and Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. Deck the Holidays and WOW Sale are combinable with each other, NextCruise offers, NRDB OBC, and restricted discounts (for example, Senior, Resident, Military) but is not combinable with Shareholder benefits and Crown and Anchor discounts. BOGO50 bookings made for China departures are combinable with NextCruise offers and Crown and Anchor balcony/suites discounts only. All offers are not combinable with any other offer or promotion, including, but not limited to, Standard Group, Interline, Travel Agent, Travel Agent Friends and Family, Weekly Sales Events, Net Rates.

Offer available to residents of United States and Canada.

Royal Caribbean adds three new Symphony of the Seas sailings for booking

In:
18Oct2017

Royal Caribbean has added three additional Symphony of the Seas sailings for guests to book.

Royal Caribbean has characterized these sailings as "the biggest dress rehearsals ever," and there may be "a few final touches being made onboard." Nonetheless, guests can expect Symphony of the Seas "to look and feel fully operational."

The newly added sailings are

  • 5-Night Western Mediterranean - March 31, 2018
    • Barcelona, Spain • Cruising • Naples / Capri, Italy • Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy • Cruising • Barcelona, Spain
  • 7-Night Western Mediterranean - April 7, 2018
    • Barcelona, Spain • Palma De Mallorca, Spain • Provence (Marseille), France • Florence/Pisa (La Spezia), Italy • Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy • Naples / Capri, Italy • Cruising • Barcelona, Spain
  • 7-Night Western Mediterranean - April 14, 2018
    • Barcelona, Spain • Palma De Mallorca, Spain • Provence (Marseille), France • Florence/Pisa (La Spezia), Italy • Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy • Naples / Capri, Italy • Cruising • Barcelona, Spain

How to convince someone to take a Royal Caribbean cruise

In:
17Oct2017

Convincing someone to try a Royal Caribbean cruise is no easy task.  Many people have negative preconceptions about cruising, had a bad experience in the past on another cruise line, or have some other reason for disliking the notion of a cruise vacation.

These negatives run the gamut from expensive to being bored and more.  There is no shortage of opinions from many different sources that purport the shortfalls of cruising.  Negative Royal Caribbean specific arguments tend to be a little less common, but given the broad range of opinions on the internet, they certainly exist too.

Regardless of the background of the person you are trying to convince, it is possible to convince them to take a Royal Caribbean cruise and (more importantly) for them to have a good time.  You have to know how to approach the trip and convince them to go in with an open mind. 

Here are some of our tips for convincing your spouse, or anyone else, to take a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation.

Plan around their hesitations

If you encounter someone who dislikes the idea of taking a Royal Caribbean cruise, often it is based around certain fears or opinions of what a cruise vacation is all about.  The key is to assuage them of these concerns.

"I'll be bored" or "There won't be enough to do"

Many first time cruisers imagine a glorified fishing boat, where all you do is sit around between meals.  A Royal Caribbean cruise is anything but that, as their ships are packed with incredible experiences that run throughout the day and night.

Consider looking at a Quantum or Oasis Class cruise ship, which have the latest and greatest experiences onboard.  These ships were built with activities and things to do onboard.

Show them some past Cruise Compasses, which are the daily newspaper of events for the ship.  The Cruise Compass lists every onboard activity, and is a great example of how much there is to see and do on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

You might also consider an itinerary that has more port stops than sea days.  Visiting these beautiful islands and cities means an opportunity to explore off the ship.  Having a port-intensive itinerary minimizes the amount of time on the ship, and can be a good "stepping stone" to a fuller cruise experience.

"I will get sea sick"

A very common misconception about a cruise vacation is they will get sea sick.  It can be based on nothing at all, or a past boating experience, or an extension of motion sickness suffered elsewhere (like on cars or trains).

Royal Caribbean cruise ships are massive.  Significantly larger than any fishing boat or ferry they may have taken in the past.  The ships employ advanced stabilizers that keep the sensation of movement on a ship at a minimum.

Moreover, the Captain will constantly seek out the smoothest waters.  Smooth waters means happy guests, and happy guests translate to more money being spent onboard.  

In the unlikely event of getting sea sick, there are also plenty of medication available that can easily mitigate the effects of getting sea sickness.  There are great over the counter medications, natural remedies, and even prescription medicine that can help.  Spending a few dollars to buy these items as a backup can be the kind of reassurance needed to get someone to try a cruise.

"A cruise is expensive"

The price of a cruise vacation is as varied as the cost of a car.  Just like there are car prices that are $16k, $30k, $100k and more, cruise prices can vary significantly.  When it comes to a Royal Caribbean cruise, it does not have to be expensive.  In fact, it is an excellent value.

It is important to talk about everything that is included with the cruise fare, such as complimentary meals and beverages, entertainment each day and night, activities onboard, and more.  Remind them that if you were to take a land vacation, they would have to pay for food in addition to their lodging and transportation.  

Royal Caribbean has so many ships in their fleet that visit destinations around the world, that there is bound to be a sailing that fits in their price range.  Between the itinerary, sail date, and stateroom type, there is a lot of choices.  

This just covers a couple of common complaints about the cruise vactions, but you get the idea. Find out what they do not like about a cruise, and thenexplain why those fears are misplaced.  Talk to them about what really goes on during a cruise, and determine how you will avoid their fears.  Then, think of things that disprove these stereotypes, and add them to your plan.

Focus on things they enjoy

A key to success for convincing someone to take a Royal Caribbean cruise is to make it personal.  Find something they enjoy and illustrate how a Royal Caribbean cruise incorporates that passion.

If they are a fitness nut, talk about the impressive fitness center and classes available on Royal Caribbean ships.  Show them there is a running track onboard, and even shore excursions that demand physical endurance.

If they are a foodie, pick a Royal Caribbean ship that has a lot of great restaurants and talk about the variety of foods available onboard.  Consider even investing in a specialty dining package to help bring the cost down to enjoy those experiences.

If they have kids, be sure to talk about the award-winning Adventure Ocean program, which means there is programming for children every day and night of the cruise.  The kids get to have fun playing with other kids, while you get time to yourself.  Any parent should jump at that opportunity.

If they like history and culture, talk about the ports your cruise ship will visit. Show them the kind of experiences they can have in a single cruise, such as visiting Mayan Ruins in Mexico, touring a plantation house in Jamaica, and going where Spanish Conquistadors first stepped foot in Puerto Rico.

Talk about the experiences they might not know are on a cruise ship

I imagine many people who have never taken a cruise before, think of a cruise ship as a giant floating pool with a cafeteria somewhere and a bunch of newly weds and retirees strewn about.  Tell that to someone who has taken a Royal Caribbean cruise before, and they are likely to laugh at hearing that description.  The key is to talk about everything a Royal Caribbean ship offers.

When you are trying to convince someone to try a cruise, focus on the type of activities and offerings found on Royal Caribbean.  Your list will vary depending on which ship you are considering, but here are some good points not to miss.

  • FlowRider surf simulator
  • Broadway shows
  • Adults-only Solarium
  • Specialty restaurants
  • Spacious suites
  • Mini-golf
  • Rock climbing wall
  • Casino
  • DreamWorks characters and events
  • Fitness classes
  • Skydiving simulator
  • NorthStar observation pod
  • Water slides
  • Aqua parks
  • Ice skating

You get the idea with just the items we picked on this list.  The great thing about a Royal Caribbean cruise is that it offers so much to do that will appeal to virtually anyone.  Whatever your friend/spouse/colleague/sibling's interests are, chances are there is some way to cater those interests on Royal Caribbean.

Use video

You can talk about how great something is for days, but videos work wonders because they can see what you are talking about.  Incorporating video in your strategy works wonders.

YouTube is likely the best source of videos that show off how much fun a Royal Caribbean vacation can be.  Find videos that back up the points and ideas discussed earlier and use that to show them what you mean.

There are videos that incorporate ship tours, recordings of shows, vlogs, and a lot more.  Inevitably, you should have no trouble finding videos that provide a glimpse of the kind of fun waiting for them onboard.

Share these videos on their Facebook page, or text them a link to the videos so that they can quickly see your point.  If the video is already on Facebook, tag them in the video so they get notified.  Odds are they will click and watch.

Your thoughts

We have listed a lot of suggestions for those trying to convince someone else to go on a Royal Caribbean cruise, but do you know of an idea that we missed? If you have run into this scenario before, we would love to hear suggestions you might have to offer, or even stories about a reluctant spouse or friend that you can share.  Please leave your stories, experiences and suggestions in the comments!

Symphony of the Seas construction photo update

In:
17Oct2017

Royal Caribbean has released a new set of photos that show the construction progress being made on Symphony of the Seas.

Symphony of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's newest Oasis-class ship, under construction at the STX shipyard in France. The ship is scheduled to be delivered in 2018.

Enchantment of the Seas Live Blog Day 3 - Nassau, Bahamas

In:
16Oct2017

Today was our last day of the cruise, so I was just looking to relax today with no real plans. We were docked in Nassau from 8am to 5pm today, but I had already decided to stay on board and enjoy the ship.


 

I skipped breakfast this morning, so I was eager to get to lunch at Park Café. Again, I went with the salad and roast beef sandwich. The salad’s here are so good, you pick the toppings you want and they prepare it right away.

I asked the crewmember why they were so slow, as this was my second visit here and it’s empty. He mentioned that most guests think they have to pay to eat here.

After lunch I decided to visit the pool deck and that’s where I saw Super Mario working. I approached him and asked for a few minutes of his time.

I spent a good half hour talking to him about traveling at sea for the last 20 years. Look for a new blog post just about him coming soon.


 

I decided to go grab my computer and write up some info about him while it was still fresh on my mind. That’s where I found an Oktoberfest beer in the Schooner Bar. This beer was included in my drink package and so refreshing.

Tonight I was thinking what haven’t I done yet this cruise, and it hit me I never went up to the diamond or concierge lounge. Surprisingly, I was the only guest up here tonight at one point and enjoyed chatting with the crew.


 

While we were sitting there chatting I looked over and they were opening the solarium roof. In all my sailings on this ship, I’ve never seen them open it before.


 

Dinner tonight was in Chops again; tonight they gave me 20% off the cover charge. At this point they should have just put me to work I’ve been here so much! My waitress suggested I try some new items and I agreed. I went with the rack of lamb and they were really good. If you are really hungry this option might not fill you up, but I would order them again.

I can’t say enough about the crew in this Chops Grill, everyone was so friendly and happy to be serving you.


 

After dinner I went to the parade of flags show in the centrum. They do this around 8pm when first dinner is over and before second dinner starts. It was fun watching them bring a little of their own culture out.


 

Next I went over to the schooner bar, I spent more time here this weekend than anywhere. I always found a good seat and the bar service is very fast. I also really enjoy watching the sun set while in the lounge.


 

My final stop was the adult game show, The Quest. If you have read my live blogs before you will know I’m a big fan of The Quest. I don’t want to give the game away, but I highly recommend you go to this show at least once. I’m also happy to report we go first place, so my winning streak is back!


Well this concludes my live blog on board Enchantment of the Seas. It’s been a fun couple of weeks sharing my days with you. I don’t plan on cruising for the rest of the year, but that’s always subject to change!

Royal Caribbean plans cruise ship return to St. Thomas following hurricane devastation

In:
16Oct2017

Royal Caribbean announced today it will resume calls to St. Thomas on November 10, following weeks of skipping the island due to hurricane damage.

Adventure of the Seas will mark Royal Caribbean's return to the island.  She will be the first Royal Caribbean ship since early September to visit St. Thomas, which was impacted by hurricanes last month.

In partnership with the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Royal Caribbean also has committed to undertaking the complete restoration of Magens Bay, one of St. Thomas’ most popular tourist attractions – with plans for a grand re-opening of the pristine destination during Adventure of the Seas’ visit on Nov. 10.

With power and water to the island fully restored and most downtown shops, restaurants and bars and tour operators fully operational, guests will be able to experience a diverse and extensive array of dining, shopping and activities.

“We are very excited to get back home to our friends in St. Thomas. The Caribbean is our family, having cruised there for nearly 50 years, and the long-standing relationships created in all this time are unwavering,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We are committed to doing everything we can to help and proud to support the restoration of the iconic Magens Bay."

In addition, Royal Caribbean is planning a return to San Juan, Puerto Rico and St. Maarten by the end of November and is working closely with local governments to announce the exact dates.

By December 1, all scheduled calls to the three islands will operate as planned.

First time cruisers: It's supposed to rain my entire cruise!

In:
16Oct2017

A reoccurring concern among first time cruisers that book a Royal Caribbean cruise in the warmer months of the year is they see a weather forecast that looks something like this.

Does this mean your cruise is ruined? Not so fast.

Understanding rain in the tropics

The tropics have two seasons: the dry season and the wet season.  During the summer months in the tropics, it rains every day. This means there is a high chance of rain, but it is not an all day soaker event.

Unlike rain storms in the north, where fronts move through and saturate the area with rain for much of the day, rain storms in the tropics are sporadic and short-lived.  They pop up during the afternoon, move quickly and have been known to actually rain while still sunny.

These sort of afternoon pop up storms are incredibly difficult to predict, so most weather forecasters simply attribute a high percentage chance of rain and hope for the best.  Pop up storms are so sporadic that it is too difficult to know exactly where it will rain, so forecasts often look worse than they really are. Despite the fact you see rain in the forecast everyday, it does not mean it will actually rain at all on you, nor will it rain for a long time.

How to plan your day

This may sound crazy, but ignore the forecast.

Seriously.

Rain in the tropics is so common and so unpredictable that it is simply not worth concerning yourself with prior to your trip.  Since it is often short-lived, if it does actually rain on you, you can wait it out (with a cocktail in hand) and before you know it, the sun will be back out.

On sea days, often the Captain will take routes to follow the sun and avoid clouds so that guests can enjoy the kind of sunny day they dreamed about when booking the cruise.  Of course, the Captain can only do so much to help, but if it can be helped, he will do what he can.

The exception to all of this are tropical storms (hurricanes), but your Royal Caribbean cruise will not be anywhere near these storms to begin with.  Royal Caribbean detours its ships well away from the path of the storm.

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: October 15, 2017

In:
15Oct2017

We hope everyone reading this is having a wonderful Sunday and enjoying some time this weekend with friends, family and some good food too.  There was a lot of Royal Caribbean news this week, and we have summarized all up into one easy-to-read blog post for your convenience!

By far the big news this week was the much anticipated reveal of activities, restaurants, and entertainment on Symphony of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean pulled back the curtains a bit, and showed off what guests can look forward to seeing, doing, and eating on what will be the world's largest cruise ship.

Among the newly announced features, the new Ultimate Family Suite, Hooked seafood restaurant, and Playmakers Sports Bar garnered a lot of the attention.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

Did you hear the news about the recent unlimited alcohol package rule change? On this week's Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast, we talk about the new change and what it means to you.

Matt discusses what the new rule change is, why it changed, and what impact it may have on getting the drink package going forward.

Please feel free to subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and head over to rate and review the podcast on iTunes if you can! We’d appreciate it.

Royal Caribbean Around the Internet

Cruise Habit shared news that Celebrity Cruises now offers legal same-sex marriages at sea.

Cruise Cirtic has a new video about the craziest top-deck activities on cruise ships.

The Voyage Report interviewed Royal Caribbean's Chief Meteorologist on their podcast.

TTG reported that Royal Caribbean is attracting younger families to UK cruises.

Ship Monk reported on the passing of a cruise journalism industry legend, John Honeywell.

Enchantment of the Seas Live Blog Day 2 - Coco Cay

In:
15Oct2017

Today was our first port of call, my favorite island of Coco Cay. We arrived at 8am and the weather couldn’t have been better. I decided to have breakfast at Chops Grill before I got off the ship. This is special breakfast for Diamond Plus, Pinnacle, and Suites. The real benefit is the service, because it’s the same food you would order in the main dining room. For breakfast I ordered an omelet and a side of bacon. I wanted to eat a large breakfast and skip lunch, since I had Chops again for dinner.


 

Around 10am I took the tender boat over to the island. On my way over I noticed the pier construction was in progress. They are building a pier here so the Oasis class ships can start visiting Coco Cay. The dock is expected to be complete by summer of 2018. If you are wondering, you cannot hear any noise from the construction while you are on the island.


 

My plans for today were to relax and have a few drinks at the floating bar. I was recently here in Coco Cay and noticed the floating bar had writing all over it from the guest. Now, they have sanded all the writing off and it looks brand new again. I spent a few hours out here making friends and enjoying the day. At one point we saw a 2-foot shark go under the floating bar, oh I wish I had my camera.


 

Around 2pm I saw some very dark clouds moving in, so I decided to head back to the ship. By the time I made it to the security line it started to pour rain. Living in Florida, afternoon rain showers are a way of life. Once I made it back on board I managed to grab a two-hour nap.



 

Tonight was the captain’s reception and formal night. They had Super Mario on stage to present him a bottle of wine. Super Mario has spent more than a decade on board throughout the fleet. He was part of their speech and saying jokes, recommending the Crown and Anchor Society. He’s now at 7,003 points in the society and holds the most points out of 11 million members.


 

Dinner was in Chops tonight at 6:30pm. I wanted to try something different since I’ve had the filet a lot recently; they recommended the 16oz rib eye. The steak was really good and if you are hungry, I highly recommended going with this steak. I had mushrooms and mac-n-cheese on the side. The restaurant was so busy tonight, but I as still in-and-out in less than 90 minutes. The staff in this Chops Grill is so friendly they want you to have a great experience here and go the extra mile to ensure you do.




 

After dinner, I attended the under the stars party on the pool deck. The party was like the sail away party but during the evening hours. I must say I was the only person on the pool deck not wearing white. At this pool party they have a wear all white theme.


 

Tomorrow our last stop is in Nassau, Bahamas so stay tuned!

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