Royal Caribbean wins two awards at Travel Weekly Asia 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards

In:
16Oct2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean won the award for Best Cruise Line – Asia Pacific and Best New Ship (Spectrum of the Seas) at the Travel Weekly Asia 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards.

Angie Stephen at the award ceremony

At a ceremony held in Singapore this week, the cruise line has been a winner of Travel Weekly Asia awards since their inception in 2015.

The awards are presented to travel companies and individuals for their outstanding achievements, and recognize top travel organizations for their commitment, contributions and accomplishments.  The winners were determined by the travel trade and public through voting of 10 categories.  The categories represent the different segments of the travel industry which includes cruise, airline, resort, hotel, service residence, destination, technology, tourism experience, car rental and travel agency.

Angie Stephen, Managing Director, Asia Pacific of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. who accepted the awards said, “Our double Travel Weekly Asia awards are such a great way to start our upcoming new seasons in the region, and we thank all Travel Weekly Asia readers and our travel agents for their long-time recognition and support for Royal Caribbean.  We aim to continue delivering our award-winning cruise experience and service with our best ships Quantum of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas to all our customers and agents in Asia, as we look forward to the new decade with more growth opportunities.”

Royal Caribbean testing onboard food delivery on Symphony of the Seas

In:
15Oct2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is testing out a new feature of its smartphone app that allows guests to order food from specialty restaurants via its smart phone app.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader Preston shared details of the new app feature, which provided guests the option to order food items from restaurants such as Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, Izumi sushi or Johnny Rockets. Food items that do not have a fixed price, such as Johnny Rockets, cost anywhere from $3-$7 and a large pizza from Sorrentos costs $5.

Guests can choose to have the food delivered to their stateroom, or anywhere on the ship. If stateroom is selected, the room number is pre-selected by the app based on the guest's reservation. 

Alternatively, guests can have food delivered to them by selecting what deck they are on, and then drag and dropping a pin on a map to indicate where you are located on that deck. There are some no-delivery zones, like pools, waterslide lines, theaters, and other restaurants. 

Once the food is ordered, the server locates you based on the pinpoint and delivers the food as soon as it is ready. Thanks to Mark for doing "research" for us!

 

Many thanks to Mark and Danna for providing screenshots and "field testing" this new feature!

Royal Caribbean announces new Perfect Day private island experience in Vanuatu

In:
15Oct2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean announced a brand new private island destination at Perfect Day at Lelepa in Vanuatu.

The private island will be built with sustainability features designed to safeguard the island's ecosystems and will be the first carbon neutral private cruise destination in the world. Royal Caribbean's Perfect Day at Lelepa will be audited and certified by an independent, third-party expert to ensure it meets the standards for carbon neutrality. Details on the extensive and innovative techniques we will employ to achieve carbon neutrality will be released soon.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley announced the new project was created in partnership with the community of Vanuatu, "to showcase the distinct natural ecological beauty and diverse local culture of the island nation as well as provide employment and education opportunities."

"We believe our destinations should be sustainably designed," Bayley said. "That idea goes beyond simply protecting the ecological features of Lelepa and includes showing respect for the people and traditions that make this a special place."

Perfect Day at Lelepa will have a different look and feel from Royal Caribbean's wildly popular Perfect Day at CocoCay "because our guests around the world all have different definitions for their perfect day — and all of them are right. Our designers and nature have created the ideal South Pacific experience and we expect the results will be stunning."

Royal Caribbean's website indicates the new private island will open sometime in 2022.

Deck by deck changes coming to Freedom of the Seas

In:
14Oct2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean released the new deck plans for Freedom of the Seas in preparation for her 2020 Royal Amplified drydock, and that means there are a lot of changes coming to this ship.

After receiving lots of questions regarding where the changes are onboard the ship, we have compiled a list of the changes coming visually. 

Note that some existing stateroom categories may have changed, but those are not denoted in this post. This post looks at more significant changes to the ship.

Deck 2

  • Conference Center replaced with new staterooms

Deck 3

  • Arcadia Theatre renamed to Royal Theater
  • On Air Club replaced with staterooms
  • Staterooms added near Art Gallery
  • Leonardo Dining Room renamed to Main Dining Room

Deck 4

  • Arcadia Theatre renamed to Royal Theater
  • Sabor replaced by Izumi Hibachi & Sushi
  • Focus replaced by Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade
  • Isaac Dining Room renamed Main Dining Room

Continue Reading

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: October 13, 2019

In:
13Oct2019
By: Matt Hochberg

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!

Royal Caribbean revealed its fifth Oasis Class ship will be named Wonder of the Seas and it will sail from Shanghai, China.

Under construction in Saint-Nazaire, France, Wonder of the Seas will be the next ship in Royal Caribbean's lineup of innovative ships.  She will debut in 2021 as the world's largest cruise ship and the first of the renowned Oasis Class to sail the Asia Pacific.

More information on Wonder’s itineraries and brand-new adventures will be announced soon. 

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

Helping friends take a Royal Caribbean cruise is always a great pleasue, and on this week's podcast, Sheri and her family just went on Harmony of the Seas for their first Oasis Class experience.

Sheri shares what her first Royal Caribbean cruise in quite a few years was like on this week’s episode. 

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

New RCB Video: Why you NEVER want to buy a drink package on a Royal Caribbean ship

Have you subscribed to the Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel? We share some great videos there regularly, all about taking a Royal Caribbean cruise! This week, we are sharing our latest video — Why you NEVER want to buy a drink package on a Royal Caribbean ship — and don’t forget to subscribe here.

Royal Caribbean Around the Internet

Cruise Tips TV shared a video if the Thrill Waterpark Cabana is worth it.

Eyewitness News reported that Royal Caribbean crew, staff and volunteers have served almost 600,000 meals for the people of Grand Bahama.

HospitalityNet wrote about how Royal Caribbean pricing tactics are utilizing AI.

Quantum of the Seas will add laser tag and escape room during upcoming renovation

In:
11Oct2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas will undergo a multi-million dollar month-long renovation later in October in preperation for her new Southeast Asian season out from Singapore from this November.

The ship will enter dry dock upon arrival in Singapore to give Quantum a new look and feel, as well new features such as the laser tag game and escape room that can be enjoyed by guests of all ages. 

Every five years, Royal Caribbean ships undergo routine maintenance work.  Quantum is ending her four-year plus deployment in China and she will next undergo renovation to prepare for her new Southeast Asian season out from Singapore from this November.

This week, Quantum of the Seas visited Keelung Port, as she is making her way from Tianjin to Singapore over a 12-night one-way journey which also includes Fukuoka, Hong Kong, Hue/Danang and Ho Chi Minh City as ports-of-call. 

Quantum of the Seas will first offer 34 Southeast Asian cruises over six months from November 2019 to April 2020.  The ship will then return for a longer season in October 2020, with a total of 40 sailings over seven months till April 2021– the cruise line’s longest ever deployment in the region for a Quantum Class ship.

Her itineraries include 4-night cruises to Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang) and Penang or Phuket, 5-night cruises to Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Penang and Phuket and a 7-night cruise to Bangkok (Laem Chabang) (with an overnight) and Ho Chi Minh City.  This will also be the ship’s first time in the region for festive cruises of Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year.

"The potential of the Taiwan cruise market is tremendous, being the second largest in Asia.  There is stronger awareness here for our international style of cruising and our world’s most innovative ships thanks to our trade partners’ efforts in the recent years.  Now with our best and newest in the region namely Quantum of the Seas, we are confident of attracting even more Taiwanese to cruise with Royal Caribbean," said Josh Wen.

Friday Photos - October 11, 2019

In:
11Oct2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Friday is here and that means it is time to share our readers' favorite Royal Caribbean photos! Each week, we invite our readers to send us photos from their past Royal Caribbean cruises to be showcased on the blog.

With the weekend nearly upon us, here is this week's batch of fabulous photos!

We begin with a photo by Martin of Symphony of the Seas, as seen from Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Next, we have a photo of the Parade of Flags on Brilliance of the Seas. Photo by Bill Barber.

Lynne Anderson took this photo of the 80's pool party on Rhapsody of the Seas.

Misty Meredith snapped this photo of Harmony of the Seas docked at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Here is a shot of Grandeur of the Seas in Bermuda, taken by Dave Horn.

Ken Janson grabbed this photo of Radiance of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas docked near each other in Skagway, Alaska.

Our last photo this week is by Ernest Enchia, and it is of the Ultimate Abyss at night on Symphony of the Seas.

Thank you to everyone for their great photos, and we invite everyone reading to send in their photos too.  Use this form to submit your photos to be included in an upcoming Friday Photos post!

Royal Caribbean announces new Oasis Class ship will be Wonder of the Seas and sail from China

In:
10Oct2019
By: Matt Hochberg

The next of Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class ships will be named Wonder of the Seas and set sail from Shanghai – its year-round home.

The next ship to join the leading cruise line’s innovative lineup will be named Wonder of the Seas and set sail from Shanghai – its year-round home.

Under construction in Saint-Nazaire, France, Wonder of the Seas will be the next ship in Royal Caribbean's lineup of innovative ships.  She will debut in 2021 as the world's largest cruise ship and the first of the renowned Oasis Class to sail the Asia Pacific.

Wonder of the Seas also reached an important milestone at its shipyard, where the ship's keel was lowered into place at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard, marking the start of the ship’s physical construction. During what is known as the keel-laying ceremony, a 970-ton block, measuring 155 feet by 65 feet, was lifted onto the building dock with a 1,400-ton crane.

"Royal Caribbean is known for its innovation and constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, and an Oasis Class ship in China is proof of that," said Bayley. “Wonder of the Seas will redefine the ultimate vacation and be revolutionary in her own right, and she marks one of Royal Caribbean’s most exciting chapters to come."

More information on Wonder’s itineraries and brand-new adventures will be announced soon. 

Great Escapes Sale offers 30% off every guest, Kids Sail Free and bonus onboard credit

In:
10Oct2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is offering bonus onboard credit with its weekend Great Escapes Sale.

The Great Escapes Sale runs between October 10 - 14, 2019 and applies to all sailings departing on or after November 10, 2019.

Here is what the offer includes:

  • 30% off cruise fare for all guests in the stateroom.
  • Kids Sail Free
    • Applies to new bookings made between October 10 – 14 2019.  
      • 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, Europe, Hawaii, and Repositioning sailings departing between September 1, 2019 – May 15, 2020 and August 31, 2020 – December 17, 2020.
      • Offer excludes 2019 Thanksgiving sailings (Sailings between November 23 – 30, 2019), Holiday sailings (Sailings between December 15, 2019 – January 3, 2020), President’s Day sailings (Sailings between February 14 – 17, 2020), Spring Break sailings (Sailings between March 14 – 23, 2020), Holy Week/Easter sailings (Sailings between April 3 – 17, 2020) and 2020 Thanksgiving sailings (Sailings between November 21 – 27, 2020). 
  • Great Escapes Sale offers up to $150 per stateroom to spend at sea on select sailings departing on or after November 10, 2019
    • OBC amount determined by category booked and sailing length:
      • Sailings 5 nights or less, $25 OBC for Interior and Ocean View, $50 for Balconies and $75 for Suites
      • Sailings 6 nights or longer, $50 OBC for Interior and Ocean View, $75 for Balconies and $150 for Suites
  • Deck the Holiday Deals
    • Applies to new bookings made between October 10 – 14 2019.  
    • Deck the Holiday Deals offers instant savings of up to $100 per stateroom on select sailings departing between December 2 – 31, 2019 and November 30 – December 31, 2020. Savings amount determined by category booked and sailing length:
      • Sailings 5 nights or less, $25 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $50 for Balconies and $50 for Suites
      • Sailings 6 nights or longer, $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $75 for Balconies and $100 for Suites

30% Off Every Guest and Deck the Holiday Deals are combinable with each other as well as 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. 30% Off Every Guest and Kids Sail Free are combinable with each other as well as with 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.  Kids Sail Free and Deck the Holiday Deals are combinable with each other for sailings departing December 2 – 14, 2019 and November 28 – December 17, 2020 only. Great Escapes Sale is combinable with 30% Off Every Guest, Deck the Holiday Deals, Kids Sail Free, as well as with promotional OBCs, NextCruise offers, Instant Savings, restricted discounts (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military), Promo Code driven offers, Free Upgrades, and Shareholder Benefits, but not combinable with Crown and Anchor discounts. 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, and 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. 

Royal Caribbean teams up to create its own branded beer for its private island

In:
09Oct2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has teamed up with Oakland Park, Fla.-based Funky Buddha Brewery to create an exclusive beer which will be available only the cruise line's private island of Perfect Day at CocoCay and at the Funky Buddha taproom.

Royal Caribbean filed a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on July 8, 2019 for the name of the beer, "Chilla Thrilla".

Tenemu reports it discovered labels for the beer filed with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau that list Chilla Thrilla with a 5 percent ABV.  It will be packaged in 12-ounce cans and will feature a number of different labels, each highlighting a different area of Perfect Day at CocoCay:

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