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Sky-high demand breaks Royal Caribbean single day booking record again

01 Dec 2022
Matt Hochberg

A whole lot of people booked a Royal Caribbean cruise last week.

Freedom of the Seas aerial at CocoCay

Royal Caribbean reported it has broken its own bookings record for the third time this year.

Because of the Black Friday shopping holiday, Royal Caribbean saw the single largest bookings day. That's in addition to what is now the cruise line's highest volume booking week.

Royal Caribbean had rolled out a lucrative sale to coincide with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which has evidently resonated with customers who took advantage of the offer.

Lagoon pool

The new record broke the record set just a few weeks ago when Icon of the Seas went on sale. 

Icon of the Seas is set to debut in January 2024 and generated an incredible amount of intrigue when the new ship was revealed to the public

Clearly the first new class of cruise ship since the Quantum Class in 2014 created a fever among cruise fans who were eager to reserve a spot for themselves.

Allure of the Seas docked

As you might imagine, Royal Caribbean is quite excited about the new high water mark for sales.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley celebrated the news, "This has been a year for the books at Royal Caribbean International, from the full return of our 26 ships to the first look at Icon of the Seas, the best family vacation in the world."

"Every milestone met is an accomplishment achieved, it’s a wonderful start to 2023 and we are excited for what lies ahead. We could not have reached this point without our loyal guests, valued travel advisors and partners, and the Royal Caribbean International team around the world."

2022 has been a comeback year for cruises

Adventure of the Seas sailing into Nassau

Following two years of bad news related to the cruise industry shutdown, 2022 has proven to be a winner.

In 2022, Royal Caribbean marked both the single largest booking day and the highest volume booking week in April, which was followed by another record-breaking single day of bookings with the opening of Icon in October. 

Carnival Cruise Line also reported it had a busy Black Friday when it posted a record Cyber Monday booking day that was 50 percent above volume for Cyber Monday 2019.

Disney and Royal Caribbean in Nassau

"The Cyber Monday sale activity showed consumer demand across the fleet, and we were particularly pleased with the booking activity for Carnival Venezia's new year-round service from New York, and our new extended six-month program for Carnival Magic out of Norfolk," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

"Our very successful naming ceremony for Carnival Celebration on November 20 and all the media coverage it generated clearly kept Carnival top of mind as vacationers got started on their holiday shopping yesterday."

Demand for cruises is increasing

Royal Caribbean is seeing nothing but higher demand for cruises.

During Royal Caribbean Group's earnings call with investors in November, executives talked about the strong demand for new bookings.

"While 2022 bookings remain strong and on pace to achieve occupancy targets, the most notable change over the past few months has been a substantial acceleration in demand for 2023 sails," said Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Jason Liberty.

"We received twice as many bookings for 2023 sailings in Q3, as we did in Q2."

Naftali Holtz, Royal Caribbean Group's Chief Financial Officer, also talked about this increasing trend, "we're seeing the kind of booking activity and demand and enthusiasm for those products is increasing and accelerating."

Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost expert on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

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