Royal Caribbean offering bonus instant savings on cruises booked this weekend

In:
21Feb2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's Dive Into Deals sale offers guests up to $150 off their dream vacation plus up to $100 to spend at sea, plus more big savings.

New bookings made between February 21 – 24, 2019 on sailings departing on or after March 21, 2019.

The Dive Into Deals offer includes:

  • 60% off cruise fare of second guest booked in the same stateroom as first full-fare paying guest, and 30% off cruise fare for third guests and higher booked in the same stateroom as the first two qualified guests
  • Up to $100 to spend at sea (“OBC”) per stateroom determined by category booked and sailing length:
    • Sailings 5 nights or less, $25 OBC for Interior and Ocean View, $25 for Balconies and $50 for Suites
    • Sailing 6 nights or longer, $50 OBC for Interior and Ocean View, $75 for Balconies and $100 for Suites
  • Dive into Deals Sale offers up to $150 instant savings per stateroom determined by category booked and sailing length:
    • Sailings 5 nights or less, $25 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $50 for Balconies and $75 for Suites
    • Sailings 6 nights or longer, $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $75 for Balconies and $150 for Suites.
    • Onboard credit and Instant savings do not apply to China departures
  • Kids Sail Free: provides free cruise fare for 3rd guests and higher who are 12 years old or younger on select 4-night or longer Alaska, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Caribbean, CaribNE, Coastal, Cuba, Europe and Hawaii sailings departing between March 1 – December 15, 2019.
    • Offer excludes Spring Break sailings (Sailings between March 16 – 30, 2019), Holy Week/Easter sailings (Sailings between April 13 – 22, 2019) Summer sailings (Sailings between May 15 – August 31, 2019) and 2019 Thanksgiving sailings (Sailings between November 23 – 30, 2019). 

BOGO and Kids Sail Free are combinable with each other as well as with Dive into Deals Sale, promotional OBCs, NextCruise offers, Instant Savings, restricted discounts (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military), Promo Code driven offers, Free Upgrades, Crown and Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. Dive into Deals Sale is combinable with promotional OBCs, NextCruise offers, Instant Savings, restricted discounts (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military), Promo Code driven offers and Free Upgrades but not combinable with Crown and Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. 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. Promo Code driven offers are based on select ships and sail dates and must be applied at time of booking, limit one promo code per booking.

Offer available to residents of United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and select countries in the Caribbean.

Video: Royal Caribbean Delivers Firsts and Favorites on Navigator of the Seas

In:
21Feb2019
By: Matt Hochberg

A $115 million modernization gives way to off-the-charts adventure on Royal Caribbean’s reimagined Navigator of the Seas, where friends and families will make the most of their short getaways with a variety of new experiences for all ages. Go behind the scenes for a look at the construction process as a team of 4,000 experts build The Blaster, longest aqua coaster at sea; Riptide, the industry’s only head-first mat racer; a Caribbean, resort-style poolscape; To Dry For, the first standalone blow dry bar at sea, plus vibrant, new restaurants and bars. In addition to sailing 3-night weekend and 4-night weekday itineraries, the amplified ship will be the first to visit Perfect Day at CocoCay – the cruise line’s highly anticipated private island in The Bahamas – come May 2019.

Spectrum of the Seas scheduled to depart dock

In:
21Feb2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Meyer Werft shipyard has announced Spectrum of the Seas is scheduled to leave its dock on February 25, 2019.

Once Spectrum of the Seas has left the dock, she will berth at Meyer Werft's out-fitting pier to be fitted with its funnel cladding.  If the weather holds up, the plan is for the North Star to also be installed on the ship.

The plan is for Spectrum to remain in the shipyard for further work and onboard trials until the ship's conveyance through the river Ems up to the North Seas, sometime in March 2019.

The ship yard reiterated that all of these plans are contingent on weather, and delays may result.  Before Spectrum of the Seas can berth at the out-fitting pier, the floating section (engine room unit) of the Norwegian Encore that is currently moored here will have to be moved to another berth in the shipyard port. Once the Spectrum of the Seas has left the dock, the floating part for the Norwegian Encore, which is due for completion in autumn 2019, will be maneuvered back into the free covered building dock II for further construction work.

Spectrum of the Seas February construction photo update

In:
21Feb2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean just released new construction photos of Spectrum of the Seas from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

The 7,860 lb. propellers, part of the 20.5-megawatt azipods, are getting their finishing touches before being placed onboard Spectrum of the Seas.

The 20.5-megawatt Azipod is installed onto Spectrum of the Seas.

The ship is scheduled to be delivered in April 2019.

Royal Caribbean cancels first Freedom of the Seas sailing following scheduled drydock

In:
21Feb2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Guests sailing on the February 23, 2020 sailing of Freedom of the Seas have received an email from Royal Caribbean informing them that their sailing has been canceled.

The email states, "Freedom of the Seas is undergoing an extended renovation which means, we must regrettably cancel our February 23rd, 2020 sailing. We know this news is disappointing and apologize for the impact to your vacation."

Guests who were booked on the February 23rd sailing have the option to rebook to another 2020 sailing on Freedom of the Seas or Vision of the Seas, as well as any other Royal Caribbean sailing or to simply receive a refund.

The cancellation of what was supposed to be the first sailing of Freedom of the Seas following the ship's scheduled Royal Amplication mirrors the recent decision to cancel the first sailing of Navigator of the Seas following her drydock work that resulted from delays at the shipyard where the work was being done.

Royal Caribbean has not announced the exact changes coming to Freedom of the Seas as part of her dry dock, but the ship has no scheduled sailings between January 19 and now March 1, 2020. Royal Amplified will cover 10 ships over four years, that focuses on upgrades to three main areas: Pool Deck & Attractions, Bars & Nightlife, and Dining Mission.

Brilliance of the Seas 2019 Cruise Review on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

In:
20Feb2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Our newest podcast episode is out to help give you a quick "audio escape" to a Royal Caribbean cruise!

Episode 290 is available for downloading, where we share a review of our recent cruise on Royal caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas.

Matt just got back from a 4-night Western Caribbean cruise aboard Brilliance of the Seas and talks about what he did onboard and shared some of his favorite things about this ship.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 290. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSSStitcher or on iTunes!

Take a listen and as always, let us know what you think! Please rate and review the podcast on iTunes and leave your comments below!

Royal Caribbean offering up to 30% off pre-cruise purchases with Cruise Planner sale

In:
20Feb2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is offering guests up to 30% off on select pre-cruise purchases with Royal Caribbean's new Cruise Planner sale.

The Sail Into Savings sale runs between February 20 - February 27, 2019 and is valid on sailings between March 1, 2019 to September 15, 2019.

Royal Caribbean states guests can expect to find discounts on:

  • Beverage Packages: Up to 30% off on select sailings
    • Deluxe Beverage Package + VOOM Surf & Stream 1 Device: Discount varies by ship.
    • Deluxe Beverage Package: Discount varies by ship.
    • Refreshment Package: 30% off onboard prices. Discount varies by ship.
  • Save up to 25% on select shore excursions. Discount varies by ship.
  • Internet
    • VOOM Surf + Stream Voyage Package 1, 2, 3, 4 Device(s): Discount varies by ship.
    • VOOM Surf Voyage Package 1, 2, 3, 4 Device(s): Discount varies by ship.
  • Dining Packages
    • 3 Night Dining Package. Discount varies by ship.
    • 3 Night, 4 Night and 5 Night Ultimate Dining Package. Discount varies by ship.
  • Activities: Up to 10% off on select sailings
    • All Access Ship Tour: 10% off.

To check if your sailing has this new offer available, log into the Cruise Planner on Royal Caribbean's web site look for any available offers. Keep in mind that not all sailings may see the sale applicable, nor are all offers significantly cheaper than previously posted.

If you spot a better discount on something you already pre-purchased, you should be able to cancel the purchase and then re-purchase the same item under this promotion.

Royal Caribbean launches stateroom bidding program in Australia and New Zealand

In:
19Feb2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Guests from Australia or New Zealand can now bid to upgrade their stateroom via the RoyalUp program.

RoyalUp is Royal Caribbean's stateroom bidding program, where the cruise line may offer guests the opportunity to bid for a higher stateroom category by inviting them to submit an offer of their choice. If the offer is accepted, the guests will be automatically charged and upgraded.

Royal Caribbean launched the program in North America in November 2018.

Terms and conditions apply. For more information, head to www.royalcaribbean.com.au.

Royal Caribbean orders sixth Oasis-class cruise ship

In:
18Feb2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean announced today it has entered into an agreement with French shipbuilder Chantiers de l'Atlantique to order a sixth Oasis-class ship for delivery in the fall of 2023.

This order is contingent upon financing, which is expected to be completed in the second or third quarter of this year. 

"It is such a pleasure to announce the order of another Oasis-class ship," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "This order is a reflection of the exceptional performance of this vessel class and the extraordinary partnership between Chantiers de l'Atlantique and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd."

"This is the twenty-third cruise ship that RCL will be building at our shipyard, and we are especially proud of it," said Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l'Atlantique. "The order reflects the confidence our customer puts on us, based on the exceptional quality of our long-term co-operation between the two companies and on our capacity to bring innovative solutions to meet our customer's expectations."

The cruise line's fifth Oasis-Class ship is due for delivery in the spring of 2021.

Paradise Beach Cozumel 2019 shore excursion review

In:
18Feb2019
By: Matt Hochberg

If your cruise ship is visiting Cozumel, Mexico, then you will very likely be in the market for somewhere to cool off and enjoy the beautiful waters that Cozumel is famous for. Picking the right beach for your family is more a decision of what you want to do, rather than a scientific examination of which beach is superior.

For many years, Paradise Beach has been a popular choice for cruise ship visitors who want an inexpensive, yet uncompromising beach day in Cozumel.  We decided to head back to Paradise Beach for that exact reason and see if the value proposition remains a compelling choice.

Description

Paradise Beach offers a simple approach, where each guest pays $3 admission and then everything else available is priced a la carte. Unlike many of the other popular beaches in Cozumel, Paradise Beach relies on offering a low-cost of entry to entice guests in.

The drive to Paradise Beach is fairly quick, about 10 minutes from where Royal Caribbean docks in Cozumel via taxi. The cost of our taxi ride was $30 for the six of us.

Upon entry, you have the choice to sit near the pool or beach.  You can move freely between the two areas, but it is up to you where you want your family's "home base" to be located.

A vast majority of the seating is located near the beach, as most guests seem to gravitate towards a beach day.  There is seating with or without shade, and the staff is quite accommodating as to where exactly you would like to sit.

The beach is quite nice and clean, although the left side of the beach has far more rocks than the right side.  If you are interested in snorkeling, the left side is your choice.

Paradise Beach also offers an aqua park add-on option. Like many other beaches, you can buy full day access to the aqua park and enjoy the various inflatables.  Unlike neighboring Mr. Sanchos, I did like that the inflatables seemed to be significantly closer to shore.

If the pool is more your fancy, Paradise Beach offers a rather enormous pool to enjoy.  They advertise it as the largest heated pool in Cozumel.  

Unlike the beach, there is not nearly as much seating with shade by the pool.  If you are okay with a bit of sun, there are some seats underneath trees that should provide partial protection.

The pool is not very deep, and there are shallower areas that were probably designed for lounging, but younger kids will find it a good spot for them.

Spending the day at Paradise Beach, you are likely to want to enjoy some food and drink while visiting.  As mentioned earlier, the food and drink is priced a la carte.  There is a new all-inclusive option available, but compared to other all-inclusive options in Cozumel, I did not think it was a terrific value.

Chips & Guacamole, along with Bloody Mary

Chips and Salsa

Mexican Breakfast

Veggie and fish tacos

Chicken and beef tacos

You will be assigned a waiter for your stay at Paradise Beach, and your waiter can bring you any food or drink you need.  Placing the order is done via the waiter's tablet device and then a few minutes later another waiter will bring your order. 

There is a good mix of Mexican food, along with American favorites. Picky eaters should find plenty to enjoy, while there are still some good Mexican choices available too.  

Comments

Paradise Beach remains a great beach option for those that fall into one of two categories: you only want to spend part of the day at the beach/pool and/or you are not interested in an all-inclusive experience.

The beach is well-maintained, offers ample seating with plenty of shade (or no shade) and the aqua park option should keep most families busy with things to do. 

Their pool is massive and quite lovely.  The fact it is heated stands out as a very nice option, as some of the pools we have been to around Cozumel are downright frigid.  

We found the food to be pretty good, and on par for what you can find at most beach resorts on the island. The taco truck stand and mojito cart are particularly good choices if you want something a little better.

The biggest issue with Paradise Beach is if you happen to be there on a day when there are a lot of ships in port.  Paradise Beach is one of the best-known spots in Cozumel, so it is no secret of what it offers. As a result, it has the potential to get crowded.  On the day we visited, there were only three ships in port and Paradise Beach was doing pretty well with folks enjoying the experience.

If you want a beach/pool day and you are looking to really indulge with food or drink, you would be better off at El Cozumeleno or Nachi Cocom.  But if drinking your weight in tequila, or eating a ton is not in the plans, than Paradise Beach is a very compelling choice.  It is the perfect add-on if you perhaps want to go downtown first to shop and then cool off with some beach time.

How to book: No reservations required or available. Just show up. Website

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