Why you should book a cruise ship inside room

In:
06Jun2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Is booking an inside cabin on your Royal Caribbean cruise a good idea, or a mistake waiting to happen?

An inside stateroom is usually the cheapest option available when booking, and it offers a "home away from home" to enjoy during your cruise. In fact, a lot of people end up booking an inside room for a variety of reasons.

If you are deciding between room choices, here are a few good reasons why you should book an inside cabin for your Royal Caribbean cruise!

How much time will you really spend in your room?

Royal Caribbean offers so much to see and do onboard its ships, and then there are all the activities you can do in the ports you visit, that you have to start wondering how much time will you actually spend in your room.

Unlike a hotel room, stateroom cabins are somewhere to get ready for your day ahead, but not a focal point of where you will spend your time. In practice, many guests find themselves outside of their room for most of the day, so why invest in space you will barely use?

An inside room and a balcony room offer the same basic amenities, but if you are going to be at the pool deck, exploring ruins, swimming, learning how to fold a napkin and dancing the night away, an inside room will still provide a place to shower, sleep and change.

Good idea if you are worried about getting sea sick

Experts say if you are prone to motion sickness, the best location for any stateroom is to be on as low a deck as possible, and towards the middle of the ship.  On most ships, that location is where the inside staterooms are located.

Obviously there are no guarantees that any room will be able to completely prevent getting sea sick, but the location of a room is among the most important factors in reducing the likelihood of it occurring the in the first place.

Inside rooms are not always tiny

Some cruisers hear "inside stateroom" and think a closet posing as a cabin, but that is not always true.

Royal Caribbean offers a great variety of interior staterooms to choose from, especially on their newer ships. Larger interior stateroom category can offer up to 178 square feet of space, and family interior staterooms range between 260 square feet to 324 square feet.

While inside rooms are not the most spacious rooms on the ship, they do offer more space than you might be giving it credit for offering.

The best room for sleeping!

If you want the best sleeping conditions, an inside room is just what the doctor ordered.

Since there is no natural light in an interior room, your cabin can get pitch black when you turn off all the lights, and that means prime sleeping conditions.

Unlike at home or in a balcony room, where the morning light seeps in and wakes everyone up, 3pm and 3am look exactly the same in an inside room (so pack an alarm clock!).

The inside room X factor: virtual balcony

So you like everything so far about an inside room, but giving up that view of the world still bugging you? Try a virtual balcony!

Virtual balcony rooms are available on select Royal Caribbean ships and they are inside cabins that feature a floor-to-ceiling LED screen that offers real-time, high definition views of the outside world.

This fun application of technology provides an on-demand option to see what is going on outside, whether to see if the sun is shining, or catch a view of the port your ship is docking at, the virtual balcony provides a balcony experience, without the balcony cost.

Save money!

Perhaps the most compelling reason to book an inside room is the cost.

Without a doubt, the best reason to book an inside room is for the cost savings, relative to other stateroom categories.

Often, inside staterooms are the least expensive option, which means you cans pend a lot less money on your cruise vacation, or have more money to spend during the cruise on things like drink packages, excursions, the spa and more.

Unfortunately, not everyone has a vacation budget for booking higher room categories, but an interior stateroom gets you on the same ship as people in a balcony or suite, and any cruise vacation is better than no cruise vacation!

The bottom line

Anyone that typically books inside rooms will tell you that you will find lots of public space and open decks on the Royal Promenade, pool decks, helipad give you ample opportunity to go outside and enjoy the fresh air and passing scenery.

The interior rooms may not be the right choice for everyone, but if it is the difference between going on a cruise or not, I will gladly stay in an interior room!

AstraZeneca aims to produce Coronavirus vaccine by September

In:
05Jun2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Drugmaker AstraZeneca announced today great news for the cruise industry, which has seen a great deal of hesitation among customers who are concerned about going on a cruise ship during the current pandemic.

The British company said it has begun manufacturing the University of Oxford’s potential coronavirus vaccine ahead of trial results and has doubled its capacity to two billion doses. It hopes to make 400 million doses for the U.S. and U.K. and 1 billion for those in low- and middle-income countries. 

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot told journalists the company plans to start distributing the vaccine to the U.S. and U.K. in September or October, with the balance of deliveries likely to be made by early 2021.

Human trials began in Oxford at the end of April and scientists hope to have some indication over whether the vaccine works by July. 

Soriot added that the company expected to have clinical results by August. “Our present assumption is that we will have the data by the end of the summer, by August, so in September we should know whether we have an effective vaccine or not,” he told BBC radio.

Last month, American biotech company Moderna announced it has an experimental vaccine that resulted in positive interim clinical data in its first human safety tests.

What happens if I want to cancel my Royal Caribbean cruise?

In:
05Jun2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is working on resuming sailings as soon as it is safe to do so, but some guests may be considering whether or not they want to keep their upcoming cruise booking.

With an ever-changing global landscape, new regulations announced by other cruise lines, as well as changes close to home, it is completely understandable if some vacationers are reconsidering their fall and winter cruise plans.

While no one can decide for you, whether you should cancel your cruise or not; I want to provide an in-depth look at your options.

If you are considering cancelling your Royal Caribbean cruise, here is what you can expect to happen:

How to cancel your cruise

Depending upon when your cruise is scheduled to sail, you have a few options to consider when it comes to cancelling.

Traditional cruise cancellation

Forgetting some of the new policies that will be outlined in a bit, Royal Caribbean's cruise cancellation policy is based upon the type of cruise fare you have purchased; and the timing of your final payment date.

If you booked refundable cruise fare, and have not yet made your final payment, you can cancel for a full refund of your deposit and any money paid.

If you booked a non-refundable cruise fare, and are outside of final payment, you will receive a Future Cruise Certificate in the amount of the cruise deposit, less a $100 per guest change fee.

Once you pass the final payment date, you may be subject to cancelation charges that vary depending on how close you are to your sailing. 

A traditional cruise cancellation will provide cash back, but potentially with penalties.

Cruise with Confidence cancellation policy

The traditional cruise cancellation policy worked for a world prior to 2020, so Royal Caribbean introduced the Cruise with Confidence policy to offer more flexible cancellation terms.

Essentially, Royal Caribbean will let you cancel any cruise you already have or one you will make between now and August 1, 2020 that is scheduled to set sail through April 30, 2022. As long as you cancel at least 48 hours before the sail date, you can receive a 100% Future Cruise Credit that is valid through December 31, 2021 or 12 months from your original canceled sail date (whichever is longer).

Lift & Shift

Another option available is to simply move your existing reservation to a cruise next year with the Lift & Shift program.

If you are ready to push your existing reservation to a cruise the following year, Royal Caribbean will protect the price and promotions you paid for the original reservation, provided the sailing next year meets these criteria:

  • New sailing needs to be dated within 4 weeks (before or after) of the original sail date
  • Same itinerary
  • Same length
  • Same stateroom category

Lift and Shift is currently available to be used on or before August 1, 2020.

Can I cancel my Royal Caribbean cruise online?

In order to expedite the amount of requests for cancellations, Royal Caribbean has set up an online form to cancel your cruise.

You will need the Booking ID, Ship, Sail Date, and Last Name from the reservation you wish to cancel.  At that point, the website will present options available to you.

If you booked with a travel agent, I strongly advise that you speak with them first to determine your options. Moreover, an agent can handle the paperwork required for a refund; and serve as a go-between when (not if) refund delays occur.

What if Royal Caribbean cancels your cruise?

You should be aware that more cruises could be cancelled by Royal Caribbean if the cruise line is not confident they can ensure your safety.

Since March, Royal Caribbean has cancelled a multitude of sailings around the world. There is usually little to no warning these cancellations will occur;  but it reflects the "moving target" the cruise line has encountered in their plans to resume sailings.

In the event you hang onto your reservation, but Royal Caribbean ends up cancelling your cruise, you will likely have a few options.

First, you can opt for a 125% Future Cruise Credit.  By opting to take a credit instead of a refund, Royal Caribbean will reward you with bonus money to use on a future sailing.

Alternatively, Royal Caribbean offers Lift & Shift to anyone affected by a cancelled cruise, allowing you to move it to next year.

Lastly, you can take a 100% refund instead of a credit or deferment.

If you had any pre-cruise purchases (drink packages, shore excursions, etc) booked, those will automatically be refunded, although you could opt for a 125% onboard credit for these purchases that you can apply on any future sailing.

How can I get my money back if I want to cancel?

If you are interested in getting your cash back, here are the options available to you:

Traditional cancellations will provide cash back, minus any change fees or associated penalties.  Quite often, guests run into penalties because they booked a non-refundable cruise fare and/or they are past the final payment date.

If Royal Caribbean ends up cancelling your cruise, you can take a 100% refund, regardless of if you booked a non-refundable cruise fare or final payment date penalties. This requires the cruise line to cancel, instead of you, so the choice is taken out of your hands.  Still, this is the only way to get all of your money back as cash without penalties.

What about travel insurance?

Travel insurance covers a great deal of scenarios, but cancelling your vacation because you want to cancel is usually not covered.

Refer to your travel insurance policy, but unless you have a 'Cancel For Any Reason' policy, most travel insurance does not kick in until an outside influence occurs that prevents you from going on the cruise, such as becoming ill or another covered scenario.

Refund Delays

I will not sugar-coat things: Royal Caribbean is taking a long time to process refunds.  There are plenty of guests who have been waiting months for refunds, and the cruise line is not denying it.

Royal Caribbean is working hard to expedite refund requests and get money out sooner; but you should be aware that any refund request will not be processed quickly.

Working with a travel agent to get updates, and rectify incorrect refund amounts, has been one of the best strategies I, and many others, have used.  It is not pretty, but having someone working on your behalf does help.

Non-Royal Caribbean related refunds

Of course, you may have other purchases made in conjunction with your cruise vacation that is outside of Royal Caribbean. 

Each company you work with will have different cancellation policies, with some being far more flexible than others.

The airlines have modified their cancellation terms to be more flexible, although each airline has different rules regarding travel credits, refunds, or both. One loophole to getting a refund is if the airline cancels or changes your flight time, you may be able to jump in on a refund request.

Hotels have traditionally offered flexible cancellation terms, provided you did not opt for a non-refundable deposit. 

Perhaps car rentals have the most customer-friendly cancellations available; but you will have to refer to your rental reservation. 

Regardless of which refund you are requesting, the key is to be persistent and polite about getting answers to options available to you.

Your Choice

Ultimately, the decision to cancel your Royal Caribbean cruise is a personal choice that depends on various factors unique to yourself. There is little doubt the cruise experience will change, at least temporarily, from what we are accustomed to having onboard, but the cruise line is committed to cruising remaining a fun vacation experience.

The Cruise with Confidence options that have provided a great deal of flexibility may not be around forever, so now is a great opportunity to consider all of your options.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Chairman rejects the idea of a "new normal"

In:
05Jun2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain shared a new video with travel advisors challenging the notion of "new normal" as it relates to the world today.

Mr. Fain explained that change is an inevitable part of life, and as it relates to cruising, change is something that has been a key part of Royal Caribbean's mantra.

"Some people, many people are beginning to talk about the next chapter as the new normal. That's a term that I've begun to hate."

"The only constant is change. We don't know how the future is going to unfold. We don't know how long it will take to get beyond this epidemic, and the traumatic changes that we are enduring to deal with it. We do know that things will be different."

"Most importantly, there won't be a new normal for selling cruises, or taking cruises or operating cruises. Change is coming to cruising. Some suggest the cruising in the future will be unrecognizable from what we are used to. That we will go from one constant, unchanging cruise experience before, to a radically different, totally changed cruise experience after. Horse pucky."

Mr. Fain reiterated how important change has been to the makeup of Royal Caribbean, "When we design our ships, we talk about a design formula of one third tradition, one third evolution and one third revolution," he said.  "That formula's worked pretty well for us and it works in the post-COVID world, too. It doesn't stick us in the past, but it isn't a new normal."

Towards the end of the video message, Mr. Fain spoke about the health protocols Royal Caribbean is working on that will be announced soon.

"We will raise the bar even higher on health, safety, sanitation and medical care. We will soon be announcing a blue ribbon panel working to ensure our health safety protocols are unparalleled. We will proceed cautiously and we will learn from our experiences. And unquestionably, we will invest in all these areas more than most of our guests will ever fully see or know."

"As I said, our mantra is continuous improvement. And it means just that everything gets better. Every chance we get."

Photos: Majesty & Jewel of the Seas in Southampton

In:
05Jun2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Two Royal Caribbean ships have been in Southampton over the last few days repatriating crew from the UK and Europe.

    

Jack's Cruise Blog shared photos with us of these great ships in port, while crew members were disembarking and getting charter flights home.

Jewel of the Seas had crew members from Allure of the Seas that were transferred onboard prior to Allure beginning her dry dock while the two ships were in Gibraltar. 

   

Both ships came from The Bahamas to Southampton in an effort to repatriate more of the cruise.

Royal Caribbean announces pricing for its $2.0 billion of bonds

In:
05Jun2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced on Friday that it has priced its concurrent private offerings of $1.0 billion aggregate principal amount of 9.125% Senior Guaranteed Notes due 2023, and $1.0 billion aggregate principal amount of 4.250% Convertible Senior Notes due 2023.

The Senior Notes will mature on June 15, 2023. The Senior Notes will be fully and unconditionally guaranteed on a senior unsecured basis by a newly formed, direct wholly owned subsidiary of the Company that will own all the equity interests in the Company's subsidiaries that own seven of the Company's vessels. 

The Convertible Notes will mature on June 15, 2023, unless earlier converted, redeemed pursuant to a tax redemption or repurchased. The initial conversion rate per $1,000 principal amount of Convertible Notes is 13.8672 shares of common stock of the Company, which is equivalent to an initial conversion price of approximately $72.11 per share, subject to adjustment in certain circumstances. The initial conversion price represents a conversion premium of approximately 25.00% to the last reported sale price of $57.69 per share of the Company's common stock on The New York Stock Exchange on June 4, 2020.

The Convertible Notes will be convertible at the holder's option in certain circumstances. Upon conversion, the Company may satisfy its conversion obligation by paying or delivering, at its election, as applicable, cash, shares of its common stock or a combination of cash and shares of its common stock. The Convertible Notes will not be guaranteed by any of the Company's subsidiaries.

In connection with the offering of the Convertible Notes, the Company granted certain of the initial purchasers of the Convertible Notes a 13-day option to purchase up to an additional $150.0 million aggregate principal amount of the Convertible Notes. The Notes are expected to be issued on or around June 9, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions. The closing of each of the Senior Notes offering and the Convertible Notes offering is not contingent upon the closing of the other offering.

The Company expects to use the combined net proceeds from the offerings of the Notes for general corporate purposes, which may include the repayment of indebtedness.

Top 10 things to do before going on a cruise

In:
04Jun2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Before your first cruise vacation begins, there are some important things everyone should before going on their cruise ship.

A cruise vacation does not mean simply showing up to the embarkation port on the first day of your cruise and seeing how things go. In order to avoid some common first time cruise mistakes, I have tried and true advice to share for anyone with a cruise planned.

10. Research shore excursions

Your cruise ship will visit different ports of call during your sailing, so picking a great shore excursion for the few hours you have in each stop is very important.

Your first step is to determine the most popular activities in each port. Then, start looking at what tours are available, either on your own or through the cruise line.

The key is to determine which tours you want to book, and reserve it in advance. In some cases booking in advance will save you money, and everyone can benefit from having the luxury of time to consider all options.

9. Pre-book to save money

Royal Caribbean offers discounts on many packages and cruise add-ons if you buy it before the cruise.

Log into Royal Caribbean's website and head over to the Cruise Planner site to find pricing on things like a drink package, onboard WiFi, specialty dining and more.

Drink Packages

The most common question is if a Royal Caribbean drink package is worth it, and the answer depends on the person.  The price of a drink package before the cruise will always be cheaper than compared to buying it onboard.

There are a lot of considerations when it comes to if you need any of these options, but if you want to buy any of it, be sure to do so before the cruise because it will cost you more onboard the ship.

The decision to get a drink package is totally dependent on your drinking habits, and a drink package has the potential to save money, provided they drink enough every day of the cruise.

WiFi

Royal Caribbean's cruise ship WiFi will allow you to stay connected and surf the web, check email, and post to social media.

It is not uncommon to find discounts of up to 60% off the onboard prices for a Voom internet package. Regardless of the discount offered, pre-purchasing internet will save you money compared to buying it onboard.

Dining Packages

While there are lots of great places to dine on your ship that cost nothing extra, indulging in specialty dining offers more choices at an extra cost. Royal Caribbean has designed its specialty restaurants around themes or cuisines (Italian, steakhouse, sushi, etc).

The exact amount extra will vary from restaurant to restaurant, and ship to ship.

You have the option of pre-booking a specific restaurant, or purchasing a dining package that offers a set amount of restaurants for a lower per-meal cost.

8. Book flights & hotels

Something you should keep an eye on as soon as you book a cruise are flight prices and hotel rates.

First and foremost, be sure to plan to fly in at least one day ahead of time before your cruise.  A common cruise mistake is trying to fly in the same day your cruise ship leaves and risking putting your entire vacation in jeopardy if there is a travel delay.

Not only does flying in at least a day ahead of your cruise guard against travel delays impacting your vacation, but it starts your vacation earlier!

You should also monitor hotel prices, but never book anything that is non-refundable.  Hotel prices tend to be very volatile, and I have observed significant price changes in the weeks and months leading up to a cruise.

Your best bet is to make a refundable deposit for a hotel, and then keep an eye on prices and cancel and rebook as necessary. Most hotels tend to offer no-money down reservations and flexible cancellation terms, which allows you to take advantage of price drops and sales closer to your sail date.

7. Make sure you have enough cash

While a Royal Caribbean cruise is cashless, there is still a need to have cash on hand for a variety of scenarios, including:

  • Tips for porters, bus drivers and almost anyone else who gets you to or from the cruise terminal
  • Taxis, souvenirs and most transactions while in your ports of call
  • Casino spending money on the ship
  • Optional extra tips for bartenders/waiters onboard

It is impossible to know exactly how much cash you need, but plan on at least having some on hand. Depending on your spending habits, the amount of ports your cruise will visit, and the size of your family, the more or less cash you will need.

You can always get cash onboard the ship from Guest Services, the onboard ATM or the casino, but these come with transaction fees.

6. Learn about your cruise ship

If your goal is not miss out on anything fun or interesting on your cruise, you are best served by learning as much as you can about your ship before you set sail.

Knowledge is power, and the more you know about what to expect on your Royal Caribbean cruise, the better prepared you will be and I think that leads to a better vacation experience. Learning about Royal Caribbean cruises has never been easier, and there is so much great information at your fingertips.  

Take advantage of the internet by reading trip reports, consulting a past Cruise Compass, listening to podcast episodes, and otherwise learning from others.

In particular, reading a past Cruise Compass from the ship and itinerary you are booked on is a really good way to get answers to commonly asked questions, such as:

There is a wealth of great information from past cruisers on what to expect from your ship. Essentially, you want to be certain what the ship offers onboard so there are no surprises during your vacation.

Check out the 2020 Royal Caribbean cruise planning guide for an in-depth starting point.

5. Check your travel documents

In order to go on your Royal Caribbean cruise, you will need to have the proper documentation to actually board the ship.  Depending on which country your cruise begins and ends in, the exact documentation will vary.

A good starting point is to make certain you know exactly where everyone's passport, birth certificate and/or state issued identification is located.  Moreover, check expiration dates of these documents and verify that they will not be expiring anytime soon.  

If you are wondering do you need a passport for a cruise, the answer will depend on your citizenship and which country your cruise is sailing and returning. If you are a U.S. citizen and going on a cruise that begins and ends in the U.S., you do not need a passport to sail, but it is still a good idea to get one anyway. It is simpler and safer to have a passport, and a fantastic investment for any traveler.

4. Consider travel insurance

While everyone may not need to buy a travel insurance plan, you really should at least consider it before your cruise begins.

Travel insurance comes in many forms, and covers a variety of possible scenarios. It is available to purchase through Royal Caribbean directly, your travel agent, or any number of third parties.

Trip insurance can protect you against a multitude of emergencies, unforeseen events and accidents.  It is one of those things that you are glad you have it, if you need it.  

It is important to not just look at price but consider what is actually covered by the plan.  A common misconception surrounds hurricanes.  Many people think trip insurance will cover them if there is a hurricane in the general vicinity of their cruise and they can cancel with a full refund.  The reality is most plans only cover hurricanes if the cruise is canceled or otherwise directly impacted by the storm.  A guest's desire to cancel because they fear a storm is not usually grounds for the insurance to kick in, so it is important to understand what the plan does and does not cover and what circumstances allow for the insurance to kick in.

Be sure to check if any of your credit cards include complimentary trip insurance as part of the card benefits.

3. Complete online check-in

The easiest (and best) way to check-in for your cruise is via Royal Caribbean's app.  It is free to download, and will save you time later, when you arrive to the cruise terminal.

Royal Caribbean's app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

After you download the app, log in and complete the check-in process. Doing this now will save you time later.  In fact, in some ports, you can qualify for expedited arrival simply by completing all the necessary paperwork in advance.

2. Print luggage tags

After you complete online check-in for your cruise, you can print out luggage tags to attach to your suitcases that will be delivered to your stateroom.

These tags tell the Royal Caribbean crew members which deck and stateroom to deliver the luggage to later in the day.

You can print the luggage tags by logging onto Royal Caribbean's site and accessing your online cruise documents.

1. Pre-book entertainment

If you are sailing on an Oasis or Quantum Class ship, you can pre-book select shows before the cruise via the Cruise Planner website.

There is no extra cost to make reservations for shows, and it assures you of a seat for that performance, provided you arrive on-time.

There is no set timeframe when entertainment becomes available for booking on Oasis or Quantum Class ships. It is usually closer your sail date, so check the Cruise Planner periodically for if the option appears.

You can find shows to book on Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner site.

Up to 45% off pre-cruise Royal Caribbean purchases this week

In:
04Jun2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has launched a new sale on shore excursions, drink packages, internet and more.

The Sun-Soaked Savings offer applies to bookings made between June 4 - June 11, 2020 on sailings from  August 1, 2020 - March 31, 2021.

It includes:

BEVERAGE: Up to 45% off on all sailings.

  • Classic Soda Beverage Package: 40% off onboard prices. (Excludes Charter Sailings + Spectrum of the Seas)
  • Classic Soda Beverage Package + VOOM Surf & Stream 1 Device: (Excludes Charter Sailings + Spectrum of the Seas)
  • Dasani Water Cans: Discount varies by ship. (Excludes Charter Sailings + Spectrum of the Seas)
  • Deluxe Beverage Package: Discount varies by ship. (Excludes Charter Sailings + Spectrum of the Seas)
  • Deluxe Beverage Package + VOOM Surf & Stream 1 Device: Discount varies by ship. (Excludes Charter Sailings, Vision of the Seas + Spectrum of the Seas)
  • Refreshment Package: Discount varies by ship. (Excludes Charter Sailings + Spectrum of the Seas)

SHORE EXCURSIONS: Up to 40% off

  • Shore Excursions: Discount varies by ship. (Excludes Charter Sailings + Spectrum of the Seas)

INTERNET: Up to 65% off

  • The Key: Discount varies by ship.. (Excludes Charter Sailings, Majesty of the Seas & Spectrum of the Seas)
  • VOOM Surf + Stream Voyage Package 1, 2, 3, 4 Device(s): Discount varies by ship. (Excludes Charter Sailings + Spectrum of the Seas)
  • VOOM Surf Voyage Package 1, 2, 3, 4 Device(s): Discount varies by ship. (Excludes Charter Sailings + Spectrum of the Seas)

DINING: Up to 55% off

  • Unlimited Dining Package on 3N – 9N sailings: Discount varies by ship. (Excludes Charter Sailings, Majesty of the Seas & Spectrum of the Seas)

ACTIVITIES: 20% off

  • All Access Ship Tour: 20% off onboard prices. (Sailings from 8/1/20 - 12/31/20, Excludes Charter Sailings, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas & Spectrum of the Seas)

GIFTS & GEAR: Up to 20% off

  • Chocolate Covered Strawberries: 20% off onboard prices. (Excludes Charter Sailings, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas + Voyager of the Seas)
  • Happy Anniversary Decorations with Champagne: 20% off onboard prices. (Excludes. Charter Sailings, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas + Voyager of the Seas)
  • Happy Birthday Decorations Bright Style: 20% off onboard prices. (Excludes Charter Sailings, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas + Voyager of the Seas)
  • Happy Birthday Decorations with Vanilla Cake & Strawberries: 20% off onboard prices. (Excludes Charter Sailings, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas + Voyager of the Seas)
  • Inky Beach Set: 20% off onboard prices. (Excludes Charter Sailings, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas + Voyager of the Seas)
  • Inky Beach Towel (TicTacToe): 20% off onboard prices. (Excludes Charter Sailings, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas + Voyager of the Seas)
  • Inky Travel Set: 20% off onboard prices. (Excludes Charter Sailings, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas + Voyager of the Seas)
  • Red Wine and Cheese: 20% off onboard prices. (Excludes Charter Sailings, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas + Voyager of the Seas)
  • Strawberries with Champagne: 20% off onboard prices. (Excludes Charter Sailings, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas + Voyager of the Seas)
  • White Wine and Cheese: 20% off onboard prices. (Excludes Charter Sailings, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Spectrum of the Seas + Voyager of the Seas)

PHOTO PACKAGES: Up to 20% off

  • Photo Packages: From 5 - 100 print and/or digital options: discount varies by ship. (Sailings from 8/1/20 - 3/31/21; See full terms for exclusions)

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 offers up to $2 billion in bonds and convertible bonds that mature in 2023

In:
04Jun2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean announced on Thursday it is offering up to $2 billion in senior notes and convertible bonds that mature in 2023 in two separate offerings. 

The company said in a statement it will use the proceeds for "general corporate purposes", which may include repaying debt.

The Senior Notes will be fully and unconditionally guaranteed on a senior unsecured basis by a newly formed, direct wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company that will own all the equity interests in the Company’s subsidiaries that own seven of the Company’s vessels with an aggregate net book value of approximately $7.7 billion. The Convertible Notes will not be guaranteed by any of the Company’s subsidiaries.

CDC will use red, yellow, or green system to identify COVID-19 on cruise ships during shutdown

In:
03Jun2020
By: Matt Hochberg

A new plan by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will utilize a color-coded system of identifying potential and existing cases of Coronavirus on cruise ships while there are no passengers onboard.

The Miami Herald is reporting that the CDC's new system will assign each cruise ship with a color to signify the ship's status:

  • Green: no confirmed cases of COVID-19 or COVID-like illness for 28 days.
  • Yellow: one or more COVID-like illness cases pending confirmation.
  • Red: one or more cases of confirmed COVID-19 or COVID-like illness within the past 28 days

The new system is one part of the agency's plan to detect, prevent and mitigate the spread of coronavirus on cruise ships. It was developed to assist in simplifying the process of getting crew members home.

If a ship is in Green status, crew transfers and repatriation are possible via commercial transportation, whereas non-commercial transportation would be permitted for yellow or red status.

In addition to the color-coded system, the CDC included recommendations for action to take onboard cruise ships for each color system to mitigate the spread of the disease.

Even while a ship is in Green status, the CDC recommends cruise ships take certain steps to slow the spread if it were to occur:

  • Instruct crew members to wear a cloth face covering when outside of individual cabins
  • Relocate all crew to single-occupancy cabins with private bathrooms
  • Implement social distancing (6 feet) of crew members when working or moving through the ship

It also will require certain other changes for ships in Green status:

  • Eliminate self-serve dining options at all crew and officer messes
  • Discourage handshaking
  • Place hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol) in multiple locations and in sufficient quantities to encourage hand hygiene
  • Promote respiratory and hand hygiene and cough etiquette
  • Place posters that encourage hand hygiene to help stop the spread in high-trafficked areas

Plan for passengers is still unknown

The color-coded system was designed for the current state of cruise ships during the global cruise shutdown, but an entirely different approach needs to be determined for passengers.

The CDC’s director of the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine Martin Cetron indicated these plans do not apply to passenger cruises. Furthermore, he told the Miami Herald, "the CDC has not begun to review plans for how to safely operate cruises prior to development of a vaccine."

"This is the bare minimum," Cetron said of the plans to mitigate spread of the virus on ships while cruising is stopped. "If a line ever wants to get back to full density on board, bringing on board people who are at risk of dying of COVID, they have to be able to control COVID on these ships when their occupancy is 90% less. It will be this plan on steroids."

Tourism opening back up elsewhere

While the cruise industry is under the microscope of government oversight, other aspects of the tourism industry have plans in place to resume operations.

Theme parks in Orlando, Florida are re-opening this month, with Universal Orlando re-opening select resort hotels and parks to guests this week. Walt Disney World will re-open in July, and SeaWorld Orlando & Busch Gardens Tampa will re-open June 11.

The airlines have been operating throughout the COVID-19 era, with regular flights in and out of countries such as Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom.

Port Canaveral's CEO recently said he feels the cruise industry is taking an "unfair hit" from the federal government.

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