What's the differences between each of the Oasis class ships?

In:
01Apr2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has four Oasis Class ships in operation, with more coming, and you might be wondering what the differences are between each of the ships.

Each ship offers something a little different, but they have more in common than different. While they are not carbon copies of each other, a lot of the offerings are similar, and the Royal Amplified program aims to bring the amenities up between them all.

Keep in mind that this is not a listing of every single difference, rather, it is a look at the significant differences that most guests will notice.

Oasis of the Seas

Check out our first timers' guide to Oasis of the Seas.

Entertainment

  • Shows in the Main Theater: Cats & One Sky
  • Shows in AquaTheater: Aqua80
  • Show in Studio B: Frozen in Time
  • Mission Control: Apollo 18 escape room

Notable Dining Options

  • Chops Grille
  • Giovanni's Table
  • Johnny Rockets
  • 150 Central Park
  • Solarium Bistro
  • Portside BBQ specialty restaurant
  • El Loco Fresh complimentary Mexican restaurant
  • Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade
  • Sugar Beach candy shop
  • Coastal Kitchen

Pools & Slides

  • Caribbean-style pool deck makeover, complete with Lime & Coconut signature bar. New day beds, casitas and variety of seating were added.
  • Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, Typhoon, Cyclone and Supercell
  • Splashaway Bay kids aquapark (larger than on other Harmony or Symphony)

Unique Offerings

  • Oasis of the Seas features Music Hall (instead of Dazzles)
  • Ultimate Abyss slide
  • Laser Tag: The Clash for the Crystal City
  • Spotlight Karaoke venue
  • Bionic Bar
  • Revamped Adventure Ocean
  • Small Wonders

Allure of the Seas

Please note these differences are based on the upcoming Royal Amplification, which us currently on hold.

Entertainment

  • Shows in the Main Theater: Mamma Mia
  • Shows in AquaTheater: OceanAria
  • Show in Studio B: Ice Games! Ice Show
  • Royal Escape Room – Apollo 18: Lunar Landing

Notable Dining Options

  • Chops Grille
  • Johnny Rockets
  • Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar
  • 150 Central Park
  • Solarium Bistro
  • Portside BBQ
  • Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade
  • El Loco Fresh
  • Sugar Beach Candy Shop
  • Coastal Kitchen

Pools & Slides

  • Caribbean-style pool deck makeover, complete with Lime & Coconut signature bar. New day beds, casitas and variety of seating were added.
  • Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, Typhoon, Cyclone and Supercell
  • Splashaway Bay kids aquapark

Unique Offerings

  • Bionic Bar
  • Ultimate Abyss
  • Music Hall (instead of Dazzles)
  • Spotlight Karaoke venue
  • Revamped Adventure Ocean
  • Small Wonders

Harmony of the Seas

Check out our Harmony of the Seas Guide & Review.

Entertainment

  • Shows in the Main Theater: Grease & Columbus...The Musical!
  • Shows in AquaTheater: The Fine Line & Big Daddy's Hideaway Heist Aqua Show
  • Show in Studio B: 1887 A Journey in Time & iSkate
  • Escape the Rubicon escape room

Notable Dining Options

  • Chops Grille
  • Jamie's Italian
  • Johnny Rockets
  • 150 Central Park
  • Solarium Bistro
  • Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar
  • Izumi Hibachi & Sushi
  • Mini Bites
  • Wonderland
  • Coastal Kitchen

Pools & Slides

  • Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, Typhoon, Cyclone and Supercell
  • Splashaway Bay kids aquapark
  • No pool in the Solarium

Unique Offerings

  • Bionic Bar
  • Ultimate Abyss
  • Virtual Balcony rooms

Symphony of the Seas

Entertainment

  • Shows in the Main Theater: Hairspray & Flight
  • Shows in AquaTheater: HiRO
  • Show in Studio B: 1977 & iSkate 2.0
  • Escape the Rubicon escape room

Notable Dining Options

  • Chops Grille
  • Jamie's Italian
  • Johnny Rockets
  • 150 Central Park
  • Solarium Bistro
  • Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade
  • El Loco Fresh
  • Izumi Hibachi & Sushi
  • Hooked
  • Wonderland
  • Coastal Kitchen

Pools & Slides

  • Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, Typhoon, Cyclone and Supercell
  • Splashaway Bay kids aquapark

Unique Offerings

  • Bionic Bar
  • Ultimate Abyss
  • Virtual Balcony rooms
  • Enhanced Solarium Bar area
  • Ultimate Family Suite
  • Laser tag

Wonder of the Seas

Wonder of the Seas will be the fifth Oasis Class ship, and we do not know all details about the ship. 

Royal Caribbean has released very little information about what will or will not be on Wonder of the Seas.

Concept art for the ship seem to indicate variations on the exterior design. In addition, Wonder of the Seas is scheduled to sail from Shanghai, China. 

Should I buy Royal Caribbean stock right now?

In:
01Apr2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Aside from questions about when Royal Caribbean will resume sailings, the next most commonly asked question I have been seeing is if buying Royal Caribbean stock is a good idea.

The COVID-19 situation has wreaked havoc on the stock market, and cruise line stocks have been among the hardest hit.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) is -74.16% lower on its value in year-to-date trading and has touched a low of $19.25 and a high of $135.32 in the current 52-week trading range.

Is Royal Caribbean's stock a good buy?

Of the many rules and advice one can give about buying stocks, it is you want to "buy low and sell high".  Essentially, buy stocks when they are at their lowest and sell when they are at their highest.

Most stock experts believe cruise line stocks are pretty darn low, although it is anyone's guess if the price has bottomed-out quite yet.

There are a lot of factors currently working against Royal Caribbean: their ships are shutdown until at least May, there is little hope of a bailout by the U.S. government, and the general public's anxiety about COVID-19 and going on a cruise.

On the flip side, the appeal of buying Royal Caribbean's stocks is some day, this will pass and the cruise line is very likely to return to a position of making billions of dollars again in profit, which saw its stock price rocket to the top of the market.

Chris Woronka, senior leisure analyst at Deutsche Bank, commented on the cruise line's current situation to Barron's, "There is meaningful cash burn as the ships are idle. But I do think these companies all have strong support from their banking groups."

“You would prefer to have some operation during the peak summer period, but it’s unknown exactly what that’s going to look like,” says Woronka. “You’re going to scale back into profitability. It’s not a switch where you go from zero to normal. It’s going to be a process to build back to profitability, but it starts with getting some sailings going again.”

The share price would not as cheap as it is if there were not risks. Analysts seem to agree the dominant risk is how long COVID-19 drags on, especially if it goes into next year. In addition, even when the crisis is over, how quickly consumers will want to cruise again is debatable.  And then there is the risk that affects everyone, which is the possibility of a global recession that will slow any recovery down.

This is a classic "can you weather storm now, in anticipation of better days later" situation.

Benefits of owning stock beyond investment

You should buy any stock because you think it is a good investment, but owning Royal Caribbean stock has an added benefit if you own at least 100 shares.

The benefit is

  • $250 Onboard Credit per Stateroom on Sailings of 14 or more nights
  • $100 Onboard Credit per Stateroom on Sailings of 6 to 13 nights.
  • $50 Onboard Credit per Stateroom on Sailings of 5 nights or less.

You may request this benefit multiple times-as often as you sail on Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises or Azamara. 

Benefit is non-transferable and not available to employees, agents of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. or its subsidiaries and affiliates, travel agents and tour operators. Benefit is not combinable with interline rates, travel agent rates, and employee friends and family rates. Benefit cannot be redeemed for chartered sailings, any Galapagos sailings or complimentary sailings.

It is essentially free onboard credit for investing in a stock you may have had interest in buying anyway, but the combinability is a hit or miss if you can actually take advantage of it or not.

Disclosure: I/we do not own any stocks mentioned in this article, nor any position in the stocks mentioned.  I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com). 

Royal Caribbean offering travel agent community new support program to assist with COVID-19 impact

In:
31Mar2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean announced today it is creating RCL Cares to show support of the travel agent community that aims to assist thousands of travel professionals in the U.S., Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories dealing with the negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis.  

RCL Cares will roll out in a few days, and offer variety of services to help educate travel partners as they navigate the myriad of government benefits, including those in the newly signed U.S. economic relief measure—the CARES Act.

These services will include one-on-one assistance and access to key resources and the latest information pertaining to recovery benefits available under the act.

Travel partners can find educational material about the new law beginning today, and they will soon have the opportunity to receive more assistance through a resource desk the company is setting up. The program will not provide legal advice.

The sales teams from Azamara, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Silversea will guide travel advisors through the information about the CARES Act as they consider their options for economic relief. 

Travel professionals can get started with RCL Cares at CruisingPower.com, where they can access highlights of the CARES Act, FAQs, Small Business Association resources and tips. The support program will introduce new services and tools in the near future to continue helping travel partners during this difficult time.

Take a look back to a Sovereign of the Seas cruise in 1998

In:
31Mar2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's cruises are temporarily suspended around the world, so if we cannot go on a cruise today, how about a look back at cruising over 30 years ago!

Pack your Calgary Winter Olympics sweater, refrain from discussing the Iran-Contra affair, and turn up the Kylie Minogue because we are headed back to 1998 onboard the Sovereign of the Seas!

Sovereign of the Seas is one of three Sovereign Class cruise ships, and was operated by Royal Caribbean beginning with her maiden voyage on January 16, 1988 from PortMiami.

You migh tnotice that in addition to the option of Italian dinner in the Kismet and Gigi dining rooms, there is the much ballyhooed midnight buffet between midnight and 1am to enjoy.

There is plenty to keep you busy on this 73,192 ton ship.  In addition to the five-deck Centrum, glass elevators and fountains in marble pools, you can choose between karaoke, 70's disco party, live music and bingorama!

Sovereign of the Seas served in Royal Caribbean's fleet until November 2008 when she joined Pullmantur Cruises.

It is interesting to note that Sovereign of the Seas was the first Royal Caribbean ship to feature the now well-known suffix "of the Seas".

The name of the vessel was suggest and vehemently argued by Mortis Skaugen. "He literally shook the name into me," Richard Fain observes. There have been two prior ships called Sovereign of the Seas. The first, the price of King Charles I, was a towering, intricately carved Royal Navy warship of 1637. The second Sovereign was launched 200 years later from an American yard, a swift clipper ship built by Donald McKay. A handsome model of each vessel decorates the current ship's Schooner Bar.

Although on first hearing the name seemed overlong, it imparted exactly the right sense of royal occasion. Of course, the vessel's workaday generic would, predictably, be abbreviated to Sovereign; "___ of the Seas" would serve as an invaluable class-identifying suffix integrated into the names of both successors.

The first sea trials took place on September 5, 1987, which was a weekend.  Weekends were always selected for sea trials so that removing the vessel doe snot idle the workforce.

Sovereign of the Seas' naming ceremony was held in Miami on Friday, January 15. 

Taittinger had created a huge new champagne bottle - the largest ever blown - specifically called a sovereign in honor of the ship - the largest of its kind ever built.

President and Mrs. Carter were onboard the ship, as the crowd, serenaded by a large orchestra, took their seats on the pier. It was a festive throng, caparisoned with hats, flowers, company ties, and always, multitudes of cameras.

Led by Chairman Eigil Abrahmsen, Mrs. Carter and the President emerged from the crew gangway and trod a red-carpeted path to the dignitaries' platform. The former First Lady had chosen a yellow suit, prettily matched by a chrysanthemum alee lining her right of way.

Of the many Carters on hand, one of the youngest had shared with Chairman Abrahmsen the ultimate grandmother's accolade. "This young man told me that he knew wat RCCL stands for," the chairman informed his audience. "It stands for Rosalynn Carter's Cruise Line!"

After the speeches and a solemn blessing, Mrs. Carter and the chairman climbed atop the launch platform.  The music stopped. A hush fell over the spectators.  In a clear voice, Rosalynn Carter offered the traditional benison, named the vessel and cut the launch cord.

The maiden voyage of Sovereign of the Seas had only one glitch, while she was tied up in San Juan. That same evening, an inbound container vessel, Long Beach, grounded in the channel, bottling up Sovereign and keeping inboard cruise ships at sea.

Near noon, the captain of the port ordered tugs to stop trying to pull the grounded vessel off the sandbar, pushing her farther on instead in order to clear the channel.  Because of the delay, Sovereign missed her maiden St. Thomas call but - delightful compensation - scheduled a beach day at Labadee instead.

We timed this sailing quite well, because we will be able to watch Super Bowl XXXII between the Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos. The rules of time travel strictly forbid placing bets to profit from the outcome of the game!

Unfortunately, our trip to the past must come to an end. I hope you enjoyed this retro look back at one of the most important ships in the history of Royal Caribbean!

Video: Latest Royal Caribbean News - More cancelled sailings, construction delays & a virtual cruise!

In:
31Mar2020
By: Matt Hochberg

With so much happening these days, our newest RoyalCaribbeanBlog video is a recap of all the Royal Caribbean news happening right now!

While we are all at home waiting for cruises to resume, I have a look at the big news from this past week to keep you informed of what is going on around the world of Royal Caribbean!

And if you love this video, there’s plenty more for you to enjoy over on our Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel!

By the way, have you subscribed yet? Be sure to subscribe to our channel and never miss a single video!

So check out the video and then let us know: What are you looking forward to doing the most when cruises reusme?

A look at life on empty cruise ships thanks to social media

In:
31Mar2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has not offered any cruises for over two weeks, which means its ships have been sailing with just crew members onboard as they wait to return to service.

Thanks to social media, we have a peek at what the crew's life is like without passengers.


Continue Reading

Poll shows Americans will be slow to want to cruise again after coronavirus

In:
31Mar2020
By: Matt Hochberg

A new Harris Poll indicates that cruise lines and airlines will have the toughest road back after the coronavirus threat passes.

The poll was conducted between March 21-23, and looked at the feelings of Americans as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the many questions asked, one area of focus was how long until Americans return to normal activity once the virus flattens.

The poll found airlines and cruises "may be impacted the worst."

It found 22% of Americans say it will take a year or longer before they take a cruise and 1 in 10 say never again.

According to CLIA, about 30 million people went on a cruise in 2019, with 11.9 million coming from the United States. In 2018, the United States had a population of about 327.2 million people.

Royal Caribbean extends ability to cancel a cruise up to 48 hours before a sailing through September 1 due to coronavirus

In:
30Mar2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean announced today it has extended its Cruise with Confidence cancellation policy to now include sailings through September 1, 2020.

Under this policy, Royal Caribbean is providing guests with the flexibility to cancel a cruise for any reason up to 48 hours before a sailing is scheduled to depart.  

 Guests will receive a full Future Cruise Credit for their fare, usable on any future sailing of choice in 2020 or 2021.

The Cruise with Confidence program was introduced earlier this month at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, and provides significantly relaxed rules concerning cancelling a cruise if the situation changes for a guest.

Ordinarily, guests would incur a penalty for cancelling a sailing beyond the final payment date, which is typically 90 days before a sailing commences. Cruise with Confidence provides a great deal more flexibility to change minds with no penalty.

“Guests are reacting positively to our Cruise with Confidence policy,” says company chairman and CEO Richard Fain, “because it enables them to make informed decisions and to better manage complicated travel plans during this unprecedented time of uncertainty.”

The extension applies to all cruises with sailing dates on or before September 1, 2020, and applies to the company’s global brands Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara.

All Cruise with Confidence Future Cruise Credits must be redeemed on sailings departing on-or-before December 31, 2021.

Currently, Royal Caribbean has cancelled all of its sailings between March 14 and May 11 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and plans to resume service on May 12, 2020.

In addition, due to port closures around the world, Royal Caribbean added they expect to return to service for Alaska, Canada and New England sailings July 1, 2020.

Free printable Royal Caribbean coloring pages for adults!

In:
30Mar2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Last week I shared Royal Caribbean coloring sheets for kids, but if you want to color with a bigger challenge, I have you covered!

In these days of being stuck at home, coloring is a great pastime for anyone and I have a new Royal Caribbean coloring pages for all ages.

The new sheets feature scenes from the Boardwalk, Ultimate Abyss, and Harmony of the Seas in Labadee.

You can download and print these coloring sheets right here.

Share photos of your finished product and I'll add your creations back to this post!

By John Henderson

By Michael Poole

Spotted: Royal Caribbean issues safety guidelines to crew members to curb the spread of Coronavirus

In:
30Mar2020
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has issued new safety protocols to its crew members that are working on its cruise ships to help stop the spread of COVID-19 outbreaks onboard.

In the wake of at least 14 crew members on Oasis of the Seas confirmed to be infected, Royal Caribbean has issued new safety guidelines.

According to Crew-Center.com, the letter passed to crew on Navigator of the Seas includes these 10 new rules:

1. Only crew that are assigned to work can leave their room
2. Crew that are not working MUST STAY in their room. Failure to comply will result in disciplinary action up to termination.
3. Smokers are NOT ALLOWED out of their rooms to smoke. Smoking in the cabin is also NOT ALLOWED. Failure to comply will result in disciplinary action up to termination.
4. Food and water will be delivered to your room, the menu selection will be on your television.
5. In-room movies will be available within few hours, please be patient as we need to add you into the system first.
6. Please treat the room with respect, keep it clean and tidy. This is still a guest stateroom.
7. Fresh linen and toilet paper will be provided.
8. The moment you experience and of the following symptoms call the nurse on duty: High Fever, Coughing, Breathing Problems.
9 We will continue with our twice-daily temperature check, your management team will come to you, DO NOT leave your cabin.
10. Keep your self healthy by practicing good hygiene and wash your hands as often as possible.

All Royal Caribbean ships are currently shut down from cruising with guests. There are only crew members onboard maintaining the ships until regular sailings resume.

Royal Caribbean reiterated its commitment to its crew members and their safety in a statement, “The health and well-being of our crew is our foremost priority. Crewmembers who exhibited symptoms were evaluated by our medical staff and remain under close supervision. In accordance with our health and safety protocols, our crew have been asked to self-isolate in cabins while we await confirmation of initial results from public health authorities.”

Royal Caribbean hopes to resume sailings on May 12, 2020 to some destinations.

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