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The weirdest foods you can eat on a Royal Caribbean cruise

In:
11 Dec 2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean serves its guests thousands of meals and snacks across every ship on a daily basis, including a few items that may make you raise an eyebrow when you see it.


Liquid mushroom truffle risotto

Because Royal Caribbean serves an international clientele, there are going to be things on the menu that are not what you are used to. Expanding your palate is one thing that makes going on a cruise fun, but every so often there is a dish that is so different you can't help but think, "that is weird."

I try to be as open minded as possible when I go to any restaurant, but I've run across a few foods on Royal Caribbean that are just too much out of my comfort zone to give a try. I'm certain there are plenty of people who love these foods, but it seems like those foods are at best an acquired taste.

Whether you want to be an adventurous eater, or just want to gawk at what else there is, here is my list of five weird foods served on Royal Caribbean cruise ships.

Truffle & Eggs pizza

I love the new menu at Giovanni's Italian Kitchen, but the Truffle & Eggs pizza is something I thought about a lot and could never get myself to try.

This pizza has a fried egg on it, which evidently is a very common thing in Europe.

Linken D'Souza, Royal Caribbean's Global Vice President Culinary, Dining & Beverage, told me when Giovanni's launched about the decision to include a fried egg on pizza, "We've gone back to recipes traditionally seen in Europe. So, for example, it's very rare for you to see a fried egg on a pizza."

"That's actually very common in Europe. There's actually restaurants and every pizza they serve will do a fried egg on it."

I know they say, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do," but I think I'll stick to one of the other eight other amazing pizza options on the new Giovanni's menu.

Tomato water

This article could have been almost entirely made up of foods from Wonderland specialty restaurant, but I decided to pick just one that stood out as the weirdest, which is the tomato water appetizer.

Let me start off by saying I love tomatoes, but the tomato water serving is just strange in its taste, serving, and texture.

Essentially, each guest is given a test tube of the tomato water to drink as a shot. Tip your head back, close your eyes and look out stomach, because here it comes.

Besides the presentation being odd, not even an ardent tomato lover like myself really wants nothing but straight tomato essence. 

Escargot

Royal Caribbean Classic: Escargot | Royal Caribbean Blog

While a staple of Royal Caribbean's main dining room menu, the first time anyone sees escargot on the menu is almost certain to evoke an "eww" after hearing what it is.

Escargot is baked snails, and it is indeed a delicacy.

The menu describes the escargots bourguignonne as, "tender snails drenched in melted garlic-herb butter."

This is one weird dish that I've grown to enjoy, mostly because it's more garlic and butter than anything else. But I also try not to think too much about what I'm about to eat when I eat it.

Beetroot & Dill gravlax

Something I only saw for the first time a month ago was variations of gravlax in the Windjammer on Odyssey of the Seas.

Gravlax or graved salmon is a Nordic dish consisting of salmon that is cured using a mix of salt and sugar, and either dill or sprucetwigs placed on top, and may occasionally be cold-smoked afterwards.

While I've seen plenty of smoked salmon in my day, the beetroot and dill gravlax made me stop and stare.

Nick Vitani posted photos in the Royal Caribbean Dining Facebook group of the gravlax that was served on Navigator of the Seas and it elicited quite a few comments.

British foods (if you're not from Britain)

Adventure OTS, 13 Night Snowbird Migration Quebec to Ft. Lauderdale Oct. 8, 2018 - Page 3 - Live Blogs - Royal Caribbean Blog

We have many readers here from the United Kingdom, and while I appreciate all of your support, there are some weird British food in the Windjammer I have always shaken my head at as I walk by for years.

Royal Caribbean will offer traditional British foods in the Windjammer, such as bangers and mash or Yorkshire pudding. You see these foods on European itineraries, but they also show up on North American sailings as well.

I am the first to admit it's only weird because I'm not British (and even as an American, grits are equally weird), but I have yet to find the motivation to try "English Bacon" or "English Bangers".

Navigator of the Seas Guide & Review

In:
10 Dec 2021
By: 
Jenna DeLaurentis

Navigator of the Seas is one of Royal Caribbean’s amplified ships, and is currently sailing out of Los Angeles to visit destinations in Baja California and along the Mexican Riviera. 

Navigator of the Seas is the fourth ship in Royal Caribbean’s Voyager Class. The ship was built in 2002, but was recently refurbished in 2019 to feature upgraded amenities, restaurants, and attractions that are found on Royal Caribbean’s newest ships.

Navigator of the Seas has capacity for 3,990 passengers and, from 2002 to 2005, was the world’s largest cruise ship. She has fifteen decks filled with pools, waterslides, bars, diverse dining options, and activities for all ages.

If you are considering booking a cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas, be sure to read this planning and overview guide so that you have no surprises and are ready to explore once you get onboard.

Let’s get started!

Popular Areas On Navigator of the Seas

While at first glance Navigator of the Seas can look big, getting around the ship is very straightforward. Royal Caribbean designs its ships to have popular areas and attractions conglomerated into certain areas. The two main hubs on Navigator of the Seas are the Royal Promenade and Pool Deck.

Royal Promenade

Navigator of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

The Royal Promenade is the main thoroughfare on Navigator of the Seas. Spanning the majority of Deck 5, the Royal Promenade features bars, shops, restaurants, and lounges. Whether to grab a coffee, purchase a souvenir, or enjoy a drink, most guests will find themselves walking through the Royal Promenade several times per day.

Here are the venues located within the Royal Promenade:

Food and Beverage:

The Bamboo Room - A Polynesian-themed bar with tropical drinks and small bites

Playmakers - Royal Caribbean’s classic sports bar and eatery, featuring televisions and games like pool and shuffleboard

Copper & Clover - An English-style pub which offers a live guitarist at night

R Bar - A no-frills, quieter spot to grab a drink

Cafe Promenade - A cafe with quick bites, pizza, and a coffee/ice cream bar

Shopping and Lifestyle:

The Collection - The Royal Caribbean logo store where guests can purchase Navigator of the Seas apparel and souvenirs

Regalia Fine Jewelry  - The jewelry shop onboard

Port Merchants - The place to purchase duty-free liquor along with snacks and toiletries

To Dry For - Offered only on Navigator of the Seas, To Dry For is a blow dry bar that offers blowouts and hairstyling

Other:

Guest Services - The place to go to have any issues or questions resolved related to your cruise experience

Shore Excursions Desk - If you have questions about a shore excursion or need to book one, you can speak to a representative here

Pool Deck Area

Following the 2019 amplification, the pool deck on Navigator of the Seas was fitted with the Caribbean-style pool deck common on Royal Caribbean’s newest ships. The pool deck has two pools and one whirlpool in its main area, as well as two additional, larger whirlpools which overlook the pool deck on the jogging track deck above.

Children in diapers are not permitted in the regular pools onboard. Because of this, Navigator of the Seas offers a small splashpad area on the pool deck. The space is not as large as the Splashaway Bay that you may find on other ships, but still offers fun splash areas for babies and toddlers.

The pool area also features casitas, which are small, covered daybeds with padded pool chairs. Casitas are a great option for those guests wanting a comfier, shaded spot to relax by the pool. There is no additional cost to use a casita, although they are first come, first serve. However, on Odyssey of the Seas, there is an additional cost to reserve a casita, so the casita policy on Navigator of the Seas may change in the future.

Also located on the pool deck are two dining options: El Loco Fresh and Johnny Rockets Express, as well as Sprinkles Ice Cream. 

One of the main additions to Navigator of the Seas’ amplification was the addition of The Lime & Coconut on the pool deck. The Lime & Coconut is a tropical-themed bar that spans three decks, offering fantastic views of the pool deck and entire ship. The bar offers comfy lounge chairs and tables and is a popular spot to watch sailaway. Located right next to The Lime & Coconut is the pool band, giving an upbeat and tropical vibe to the venue.

Up one deck from the pools, you will find the jogging track which has a variety of comfy chairs and additional casitas. This area can be a good spot to grab a chair as it is generally less crowded than the main pool deck.

Navigator of the Seas Tips & Best Things To Do | Royal Caribbean Blog

Next to the main pool deck is the Solarium, the adults only pool area onboard. The Solarium on Navigator of the Seas is not completely indoors, but has a combination of covered and uncovered areas. The Solarium features one pool, two large hot tubs, and the Solarium Bar. One added bonus of spending time in the Solarium is that the pool chairs are padded, which offers more comfort to guests. There are also a few complimentary daybeds available.

The pool deck area also extends to the aft and forward of Navigator of the Seas, where you will find the Sports Court and Navigator Dunes mini golf course, along with more seating areas.

Navigator of the Seas Dining and Restaurants

Like every Royal Caribbean ship, Navigator of the Seas offers a mix of complementary and specialty dining options.

A complimentary restaurant is included in your cruise fare, so there is no additional cost to eat there. There are also no limits on how many times you can eat at a certain location, so you are free to go back as much as you would like. A specialty restaurant comes with an upcharge. Some venues have a set cost for a meal whereas others follow a “pay as you go” model, such as Izumi Sushi.

Here are the dining options onboard Navigator of the Seas:

Complimentary Dining:

  • Windjammer Marketplace
  • El Loco Fresh
  • Main Dining Room
  • Cafe Promenade
  • Sprinkles Ice Cream

Specialty Dining:

  • Jamie’s Italian
  • Chop’s Grille
  • Playmakers
  • The Bamboo Room (small bites)
  • Izumi Sushi
  • Hooked Seafood
  • Johnny Rockets Express
  • Starbucks

Many passengers on Navigator of the Seas will start each day with breakfast in the Windjammer, which is a buffet that offers a range of both American and international cuisine options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Likewise, those passengers opting to eat complimentary meals may often find themselves eating in the Main Dining Room. As a Voyager Class ship, the Main Dining Room on Navigator of the Seas is 3 stories with elegant decor. We recommend eating at least one meal in the Main Dining Room to experience the venue’s atmosphere. The Main Dining Room on Navigator of the Seas is open for breakfast and dinner every day, as well as lunch on sea days.

Specialty Dining options on Navigator of the Seas are varied and include restaurants common on many Royal Caribbean ships, such as Chop’s Grille and Jamie’s Italian. The ship also offers Hooked Seafood, a restaurant found only on Navigator and Symphony of the Seas. One important thing to note is that Navigator of the Seas only offers Izumi Sushi and not Izumi Hibachi. However, the Izumi Sushi menu includes choices other than sushi, such as ramen and a hot rocks cooking option.

Navigator of the Seas Live Blog - Day 3 - Nassau | Royal Caribbean Blog

Choosing whether to eat only at complimentary restaurants or to expand your dining options with specialty restaurants is a decision all passengers will have to make. You can have a fantastic cruise by eating solely at complimentary venues, as Royal Caribbean takes pride in curating diverse menu options and presenting high quality food at any dining venue onboard.

Eating at a specialty restaurant, though, allows passengers to have a wider range of dining options, with cuisines and meals that may not be found elsewhere on the ship. Those looking to eat at specialty restaurants may find value in purchasing a dining package. If you plan to eat at specialty restaurants, our recommendation is to purchase either the 3-night Dining Package or Unlimited Dining Package.

Things to do on Navigator of the Seas

Shows & Entertainment

Navigator of the Seas offers complimentary shows, music, and activities for guests to enjoy.

The signature theater production on Navigator of the Seas is Showgirl! Past. Present. Future. Located in the Royal Theater, this production takes a look at the journey of a Showgirl throughout time through choreography, music, and elaborate costumes and set design.

In Studio B, the ice skating arena onboard, Navigator of the Seas offers iSkate: Reach for the Stars Ice Show. iSkate uses a combination of drones and figure skaters to dazzle the audience with freestyle skating to the performers’ favorite music.

Our tip for seeing the shows onboard is to ensure you make reservations early. Making reservations is easy to do in the Royal Caribbean app, as you can select the time and date that works best for you. If you forget to make a reservation and there are no more spots available, head to the Royal Theater or Studio B prior to the show and wait to see if there is room for extra guests. Guests often make reservations and forget or decide not to attend, which makes space for those without reservations.

You don’t have to attend a show to find great entertainment onboard, though. Navigator of the Seas offers live music throughout the day in its bars and lounges. In Boleros, guests can enjoy a live band playing Latin music (with a small space for dancing). Those in the Royal Promenade can stop at the Copper & Clover pub to listen to the acoustic guitarist present most evenings. Other music options onboard include piano tunes at the Schooner Bar, Caribbean-style music on the pool deck, and an evening DJ at the Cosmopolitan club.

Outside of shows and music, there are other activities to enjoy such as comedians, trivia, karaoke, and game shows. Our recommendation is to check your Cruise Compass or the Royal Caribbean app every day to see activities are happening onboard.

Signature Activities on Navigator of the Seas

Water slides

When you first catch a glimpse of Navigator of the Seas, there is one thing you will notice: the waterslides. Royal Caribbean did not skimp on the ship’s water slides during her amplification, and the Perfect Storm water slides are a thrill for all ages.

The Blaster is an “aqua coaster” and is the longest water slide at sea at over 800 feet. Riders on The Blaster use a 2-person raft as they are blasted down and around the entire sports court area, including a stretch that is suspended over Navigator of the Seas with nothing but the ocean below. The other water slide onboard is Riptide, a headfirst water slide where guests lay on a mat and are zipped around the ship. Riptide has sections of the slide that not only suspend over the water off the side of the ship, but are clear, meaning that you see directly into the ocean below.

Sports Court

Other than the waterslides, the Sports Court is home to several other active activities, all of which are included in your cruise fare. A full sized basketball court is available, where guests can shoot hoops or participate in other activities on the court such as pickleball. This is often a hub of activity on sea days, with tournaments and free play throughout the day.

Also in the Sports Court area is the rock climbing wall. Guests of all ages can test their strength by climbing up the wall, which offers both beginner and more challenging routes. There will often be special events held at the rock wall like speed climbing challenges and night climbing sessions.

In the back of the Sports Court, you will find the FlowRider Surf Simulator. Guests can try their skills at boogie boarding and surfing as rushing water shoots out from the FlowRider.

Additional Activities

Beyond the Sports Court, there are many other activities to choose from onboard Navigator of the Seas. On the front of the ship is the Navigator Dunes, a complimentary mini golf course. Inside the ship guests can enjoy ice skating in Studio B.

One popular activity that does come at an extra cost is the Escape Room. Guests can reserve times to challenge themselves to complete this interactive puzzle in the Royal Caribbean app.

Wellness & Relaxation

While Navigator of the Seas offers exciting waterslides, shows, music, and more, some guests are looking for something a little more tranquil. Luckily, there are several ways onboard to fulfill your wellness needs.

The Vitality Fitness Center on Navigator of the Seas is larger than the space on other Voyager Class ships and offers free weights, cardio machines, and weight machines. It also features a spacious room where workout classes, like yoga and spinning, are offered. The majority of equipment faces large windows which allow for views of the ocean while working out.

If you’re looking for a more peaceful experience, the Vitality Spa & Salon on Navigator of the Seas will do the trick. There are a wide array of spa treatments to reserve including massages, facials, and nail treatments. Our recommendation is to take the complimentary spa tour on the first day of your cruise to learn more about the treatments available.

Those looking for quiet spaces to relax onboard should explore the Promenade deck located on deck 4. The Promenade deck is an outdoor walking area that spans the entire circumference of Navigator of the Seas. In addition, the Helipad can be accessed from the Promenade deck which is a peaceful spot to relax or watch the ship make her way through the sea.

Navigator of the Seas staterooms

Navigator of the Seas has a mix of staterooms including interior, outside view, balcony, and suite cabins. Here is an overview of the staterooms you can choose from when booking your cruise:

Interior

Interior rooms on Navigator of the Seas are, as the name implies, located in the interior of the ship. These rooms do not have a window or balcony. Interior rooms can be a good option for passengers on a budget and those who do not plan to spend much time in their stateroom.

Interior Promenade

If you’re looking to upgrade from an interior room but don’t necessarily want to splurge on a balcony, an interior promenade view is an option to consider. Interior promenade rooms are interior rooms with a window overlooking the Royal Promenade, which can help you feel more connected to the ship from inside your cabin.

Outside View

Outside view staterooms are most commonly located on the lower decks or front of the ship. Each outside view stateroom comes with a porthole offering views of the ocean. These rooms are generally more expensive than an interior stateroom, but less expensive than a balcony.

Balcony Room

Balcony rooms are extremely popular cabin choices for cruise passengers. Whereas in the past cruise ships were constructed with few balconies, nowadays new cruise ships are lined with balconies on each side of the ship. Balcony rooms on Navigator of the Seas are a great choice for those looking for a private, outdoor space. Not only do balconies allow for wonderful views of the ocean, but they also increase living space in a stateroom.

Junior Suite

A junior suite is a more spacious room than those mentioned above and also boasts a larger balcony space. In addition, junior suites have a full bath tub, upgraded bathroom amenities, and offer double Crown and Anchor Society points. As a junior suite and not a regular suite, though, some benefits differ. For example, junior suites do not include access to the suite lounge or complimentary room service.

Suites

Navigator of the Seas offers several types of suites for guests including the 2 Bedroom Grand Suite, Royal Suite, and Owner’s Suite. These staterooms are very spacious, with separate living, dining, and sleeping areas, as well as extra large balconies. The Royal Suite on Navigator of the Seas is particularly spacious, with a living room, mini bar, dining table, piano, two bathrooms, and master bedroom. Suites on Navigator of the Seas come with an array of benefits, including Suite Lounge access, concierge service, priority dining and spa reservations, complimentary room service, and reserved seating at shows.

Choosing which stateroom to pick can be a difficult decision for some guests. What works best for one passenger may not work for another, so it’s important to look at your vacation style and budget before selecting a cabin.

Do you plan to only be in your stateroom to sleep and shower and are traveling on a limited budget? An interior cabin may work best for you. Do you enjoy the privacy and extra space you can get with a balcony? Are you looking for the enhanced cruise experience you can find in a suite? Asking yourself these questions can help narrow down your stateroom options.

RoyalUp | Royal Caribbean Blog

You may also wish to place a bid in the RoyalUp Program. RoyalUp is a bidding system in which guests are able to bid on an upgraded stateroom prior to their sailing. Using a sliding scale, you can choose how much, per person, you would like to bid.

The chances of your bid winning can depend on a variety of factors such as the ship’s capacity and your bid amount. Generally you will receive an email inviting you to participate in RoyalUp about a month before your cruise.

Royal Caribbean puts drink packages, wifi, and shore excursions on sale

In:
10 Dec 2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has a new sale on pre-cruise purchases, including drink packages, shore excursions, wifi and more.

The Countdown to the Holidays sale runs between December 10 - 16 2021 and is valid on sailings from December 14, 2021 to December 31, 2022. It includes all ships, except Spectrum of the Seas and charter sailings.

Here is what is included during the sale:

BEVERAGE: Up to 40% off

  • Classic Soda Beverage Package: 30% off onboard prices.
  • Classic Soda Beverage Package + VOOM Surf & Stream 1 Device: Over 35% off onboard prices.
  • Dasani Water Cans: 40% off onboard prices.
  • San Benedetto Water Cans: 40% off onboard prices.
  • Evian Water Bottles: 40% off onboard prices.
  • Deluxe Beverage Package: 30% off onboard prices.
  • Deluxe Beverage Package + VOOM Surf & Stream 1 Device: Over 35% off onboard prices.
  • Refreshment Package: 30% off onboard prices.

SHORE EXCURSIONS: Up to 25% off

INTERNET: Up to 50% off

  • 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: Up to 55% off

  • Unlimited Dining Package on 3N – 9N sailings: Discount varies by ship

ACTIVITIES: Up to 20% off

  • All Access Ship Tour (excl. Grandeur of the Seas)

Gifts & Gear: Up to 55% Off

  • Anniversary Decorations with Champagne
  • Happy Birthday Decorations with Chocolate Cake & Strawberries
  • Happy Birthday Decorations with Vanilla Cake & Strawberries
  • Inky Beach Set
  • Inky Beach Towel (TicTacToe)
  • Inky Travel Set
  • Red Wine and Cheese
  • Royal Caribbean Beach Towel
  • Strawberries with Champagne
  • White Wine and Cheese

PHOTO PACKAGES: Up to 70% off

  • Photo Packages: From 5 - 100 Print and/or Digital Options: Discount varies by ship.
  • Photo Package: Private Photo Session: Discount varies by ship.
  • Photo Package: Picture This Private Studio: Discount varies by ship.
  • Photo Package: All Digital: Discount varies by ship

Spa: Up to 30% Off

  • Spa Packages: Discount varies by ship.

Will this sale save me money?

In general, cruise planner sales have the potential to save money, but exact savings differ from sailing to sailing.

Royal Caribbean does not apply a flat discount across its sailings, but many items are cheaper to buy online before the cruise than once onboard.

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.

More helpful information

Five big changes coming to Royal Caribbean in 2022

In:
09 Dec 2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

As we approach the start of a new year, there is not only a lot of optimism surrounding a full year of cruises once again, but also some big changes and additions.

Royal Caribbean is always planning years in advance, and 2022 is shaping up to be a cruise season full of intriguing choices for a vacation.

A new ship, the return of other ships, new deployments and much more await cruisers in the new year.

I picked out five of the most intriguing changes or additions that someone going on a cruise in 2022 will want to be aware of before booking a new cruise.

Return of the entire fleet

First and foremost, in 2022 we will see every single Royal Caribbean cruise ship return to service.

When 2022 begins, four Royal Caribbean ships will still be out of service: Vision, Voyager, Radiance and Rhapsody of the Seas.  But there are plans for each of these to start back up again.

  • Vision of the Seas 10- and 11-night Southern Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, beginning Jan. 24, 2022
  • Voyager of the Seas 7- and 9-night cruises in Northern Europe from Barcelona, Spain, starting April 15, 2022
  • Radiance of the Seas 7-night Alaska sailings from Vancouver, Canada, beginning April 29, 2022
  • Rhapsody of the Seas 7-night Mediterranean and Greek Isles itineraries, sailing from Rome starting May 23, 2022

What happens if a cruise is oversold above reduced capacity? | Royal Caribbean Blog

In addition to ships returning to service, we should also see capacity get back to pre-pandemic numbers.

Royal Caribbean executives outlined their plan to have full capacity likely around summer 2022.

Royal Caribbean Group Chief Financial Officer Jason Liberty told investors in October 2021, "We are kind of preparing our business to maximize our revenues and profitability in this very kind of lucrative peak summer season."

Biggest Alaska cruise season yet

Royal Caribbean will send four ships to Alaska in 2022, which should finally see the region get four ships there, including two Quantum Class ships.

Ovation, Quantum, Radiance and Serenade of the Seas will sail to America's last frontier in 2022 and offer 7-night cruise vacations departing from Seattle; Seward, Alaska; and Vancouver, British Columbia. 

Not only will there be many ships there, but Royal Caribbean is also introducing new itineraries that tout four ports of call and others that showcase twice the glaciers

Wonder of the Seas launch

When you have a new cruise ship launching, that's big news.

Wonder of the Seas is scheduled to begin sailing in March 2022 from Fort Lauderdale for a brief Caribbean season before heading to Europe for the summer.

Wonder will become the world's biggest cruise ship when she debuts with a March 4, 2022 sailing. Port calls will include Cozumel; St. Maarten; and San Juan, Puerto Rico, among others.

Wonder of the Seas: Itinerary, features, and more | Royal Caribbean Blog

In summer, Wonder moves to Barcelona, Spain, to offer seven-night Mediterranean cruises, calling on ports like Capri and Palma de Mallorca.

Wonder of the Seas will be similar to other Oasis Class ships by featuring distinct neighborhoods, albeit with one change. This ship will have a brand-new Suite Neighborhood, bringing the number of onboard neighborhoods from seven to eight.

What's the differences between each of the Oasis class ships? | Royal Caribbean Blog

The Suite Neighborhood offers Royal Suite Class cruisers access to a private restaurant, lounge and sun deck with a plunge pool and dedicated bar. 

The ship will also offer a reimagined pool area; Wonder Playscape, an interactive, top-deck family play area; and The Vue, a cantilevered bar that offers panoramic sea views.

Fun new itineraries

If you want to cruise somewhere different, there are always new itineraries to consider when booking a cruise.

Rhapsody of the Seas will begin sailing from Bridgetown, Barbados in November 2022 and offer port intensive Southern Caribbean cruises.

There are a number of 5-, 7-, 8-, and 14-night cruises to choose from, visiting destinations such as Trinidad, Grenada, Guadeloupe and more.

On the on 14-night sailings, Rhapsody is offering overnights in ports like Aruba and Cartagena.

Also new in 2022 will be cruises to Bermuda from Florida.

Mariner of the Seas will introduce sailings from Florida to Bermuda, which is something that has not been offered in any recent memory.

These 8-night cruises will include two days in Kings Wharf, before heading to Nassau for a late night stay and then a full day at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Hideaway Beach

A new expansion to Perfect Day at CocoCay is tentatively scheduled bring an adults-only area to the private island in 2022.

The plan is for this expansion to open in "late 2022", although nothing more specific has been divulged.

Hideaway Beach will be complimentary, and located on the western end of the island adjacent to Thrill Waterpark.

Which Royal Caribbean change are you most excited about for 2022? Tell us in the comments!

Royal Caribbean delays Summer 2023 Europe deployments

In:
08 Dec 2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

You are going to have wait an extra week for the 2023 European itineraries to be released by Royal Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean updated its 2023-2024 opening deployment schedule by one week for Europe Summer 2023 cruises.

Originally, Europe Summer 2023 was set to open the week of December 6, 2021, but will now open on the week of December 13, 2021.

It is not unusual for the deployment schedule to be altered, and the challenges of planning cruises for almost two years from now with all the upheaval in the cruise industry is no simple feat.

The rest of the deployment schedule will remain as previously scheduled, with 7-night Caribbean also scheduled to be released during the week of December 13.

More changes are possible, and the deployment schedule notes the remainder of the deployment is "coming soon."

What is a deployment schedule?

The deployment schedule is the plan for when Royal Caribbean will open select sailings for sale.

There is no indication of which day, just the week the new itineraries will become available to book, but it could be on any day of the noted week.

Guests will commonly misconstrue the new cruises to come out on the exact day, rather than at some point during the week.

When the new sailings are available, it is common for the new itineraries to be entered into the booking system first, and the website second. This means in some cases cruises are bookable earlier if booked over the phone or with a travel agent, even if they do not appear on the website.

What can you do now while you wait?

If you think you might book one of these cruise when they are released, you will want to monitor Royal Caribbean's website for when they are available to book.

Royal Caribbean typically allows Crown and Anchor Society members a 24 hour head start on the general public, but since anyone can sign up for Crown and Anchor Society, there is no excuse for waiting.

It is a good idea to speak with your travel agent soon to discuss which types of cruises you might be interested in to expedite the process of booking the right booking for you.

Booking your cruise as early as you can is a great way to save money in the long term, as prices tend to be lowest when they first become available to book.  In addition, if you are looking for a hard-to-find cabin, such as certain suites, this is a great time to book.

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Royal Caribbean extends ability to cancel cruises with additional flexibility through January 2022

In:
08 Dec 2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has extended the ability for cruise passengers to cancel a cruise at the last minute with its Cruise with Confidence program.

The Cruise with Confidence program allows anyone booked on a Royal Caribbean cruise to cancel their sailing up to 48 hours before their sail date, and that credit can now be used for any sailing booked by January 31, 2022 up to 48 hours before your sail date and get the full value in a Future Cruise Credit that’s good to redeem until May 31, 2022. 

The credit can be used toward any cruise that sets sail through December 31, 2022, or one year from the original sailing date, whichever is later.

Essentially, anyone has more time to book a cruise to get this last-minute benefit policy, along with more sailings that it applies to than before.

When a guest cancels their cruise past the final payment date, they can get a future cruise credit worth 100% of the cruise fare paid as long as they cancel at least 48 hours before the sail date.

Previously, the Cruise with Confidence Program was set to expire on December 17, 2021 and only applied to cruises departing before the end of April 2022.

In an email to travel agents, Royal Caribbean said it extended the program again to give passengers more time to change their mind and feel confident about their decision to sail, "As we make strides towards our fleetwide return, we want to ensure that planning your clients' vacations is as worry-free as possible."

"Therefore, we've made the decision to extend our popular Cruise with Confidence program to reservations confirmed on or before January 31, 2022 and sailing through May 31, 2022. "

While there was word that it might not have been extended, Royal Caribbean told travel agents on Wednesday it would get extended again.

It was originally introduced right before cruises began shutting down due to Covid-19 as a mechanism to give guests piece of mind they could change their plans after the final payment date.

Without the Cruise with Confidence program, there would be a penalty if you cancelled a cruise after the final payment date.

Included with the ability to cancel a cruise under Cruise with Confidence is the Best Price Guarantee, which allows guests to reprice their sailing up to 48-hours prior to the sail date if the price drops.

If you have a cruise booked already, then you qualify automatically for Cruise with Confidence. Going forward, you have until at least January 31, 2022 to qualify for Cruise with Confidence.

Guide to cruises from New York

In:
08 Dec 2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean offers cruises from the northeast corridor via Cape Liberty, New Jersey that is a convenient option for anyone that wants to cruise from New York and the surrounding area.

Royal Caribbean celebrates largest cruise ship to sail from New York area for the first time | Royal Caribbean Blog

While other cruise lines sail from Manhattan or Brooklyn, New York, Royal Caribbean opted to sail from across New York harbor at Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey.

Royal Caribbean sails year round from Cape Liberty, offering residents of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania a convenient port that most people can easily drive to and board a ship.

Whether you live in the area, or are looking to fly in for a cruise from the Big Apple, here is what you need to know about cruises from New York.

New Jersey, not New York

Friday Photos - September 27, 2019 | Royal Caribbean Blog

Traditionally, cruise lines would sail from Manhattan, but costs and port restrictions made that option unappealing to Royal Caribbean.

Instead, Royal Caribbean has its own cruise terminal in Bayonne, New Jersey at Cape Liberty.

Located just minutes from Newark International Airport, Cape Liberty is an easy to get to cruise port without the need to deal with New York City traffic or bridges.

At 125,000 square feet, the cruise terminal can handle even the largest Royal Caribbean cruise ships, including the Oasis Class ships.

The terminal is adjacent to a September 11th memorial, known as the Tear Drop Memorial.  Passengers can walk to the memorial from outside the cruise terminal. It is also a great spot to get a photo of your ship.

Despite not departing from New York City, passengers still enjoy a great view of New York harbor, including views of the New York City skyline, the Statute of Liberty, Ellis Island, and an opportunity to sail under the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.

How to get to Cape Liberty

Depending on if you fly into the area or drive, there are a few ways to get to the cruise terminal.

The address of the Cape Liberty Cruise Terminal is 4 Port Terminal Boulevard Bayonne, N.J. 07002-5038

Flying to New York/New Jersey

Royal Caribbean subsidizing flights from New York to Bermuda for summer 2021 cruises as low as $99 | Royal Caribbean Blog

There are three major airports serving the New York/New Jersey area: Newark (EWR), La Guardia (LGA), and John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airports.

The easiest option is Newark, because it is located just 10 miles to the west of the port. Without traffic, it is a short 20 minute car ride to the cruise port. 

Oasis in Bayonne this morning! - Royal Caribbean News and Rumors - Royal Caribbean Blog

The other New York airports will require a longer commute to the port, as well as additional tolls to cross bridges over to New Jersey. Depending on traffic conditions, the trip can take an hour or longer.

The simplest way to get to the port is by car service. Lyft, Uber, or taxis are all available to take you from any of the airports to the cruise terminal.

Public transportation will only get you part of the way there, and the final segment of the trip will rely on private car. For that reason, I recommend simply booking a ride sharing service or taxi, and going directly to the port.

Driving directions

Anthem of the Seas Live Blog - Day 1 - Embarkation Day | Royal Caribbean Blog

By car, there are a few different ways to get to Cape Liberty, depending on the direction you are coming from.

From Newark International Airport (9 miles):

  • Exit the airport, following signs to the NJ Turnpike.
  • Take the NJ Turnpike to exit 14A.
  • Pay toll at exit and continue straight (after traffic light onto bridge) onto Route 440.
  • Follow signs for Route 440 South.
  • Continue on Route 440 South to Port Terminal Blvd.
  • Turn left at Port Terminal Blvd. (there is a traffic light at the intersection).
  • This is the entrance for the "Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor" or the old "Military Ocean Terminal Bayonne."
  • Continue straight and approach the guard gate.
  • Continue past the guard gate and follow the signs to the cruise terminal.

From NJ Turnpike north or south:

  • Take the NJ Turnpike to exit 14A.
  • Pay toll at exit and continue straight (after traffic light onto bridge) onto Route 440.
  • Follow signs for Route 440 South.
  • Continue on Route 440 South to Port Terminal Blvd.
  • Turn left at Port Terminal Blvd. (there is a traffic light at the intersection).
  • This is the entrance for the "Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor" or the old "Military Ocean Terminal Bayonne."
  • Continue straight and approach the guard gate.
  • Continue past the guard gate and follow the signs to the cruise terminal.

From NYC, via the Lincoln Tunnel:

  • Take the Lincoln Tunnel to New Jersey.
  • Follow I-495 West to the NJ Turnpike/I-95.
  • Take the NJ Turnpike south to Exit 14A - Bayonne. Follow directions above from Exit 14A.

From NYC, via the Holland Tunnel:

  • Take the Holland Tunnel to New Jersey.
  • Take the NJ Turnpike west to exit 14A. Follow directions above from Exit 14 A.

From the West, via I-80:

  • Take I-80 East to I-95 South
  • Take the NJ Turnpike south to Exit 14A- Bayonne. Follow directions above from Exit 14A.

From the west, via I-78:

  • Take I-78 East directly to the NJ Turnpike.
  • Take the NJ Turnpike east to Exit 14A- Bayonne. Follow directions above from Exit 14A.

From the east/Staten Island/Long Island:

  • Take the Verrazano Narrows Bridge into Staten Island.
  • Take I-278 West.
  • Take Route 440 North to and over the Bayonne Bridge.
  • Continue on Route 440 North approximately 3 miles.
  • Make a right into the Bayonne Ocean Terminal.
  • Continue straight and approach the guard gate.
  • Continue past the guard gate and follow the signs to the cruise terminal.

From the Bronx/Connecticut/New England:

  • Proceed to and across the George Washington Bridge.
  • Follow signs for the New Jersey Turnpike/I-95 South.
  • Take the NJ Turnpike south to Exit 14A - Bayonne. Follow directions above from Exit 14A.

From Westchester County:

  • Take I-684 South to I-287 West
  • Take I-287 West to I-87 South.
  • Follow signs to and over the George Washington Bridge.
  • Take the NJ Turnpike south to Exit 14A - Bayonne. Follow directions above from Exit 14A.

From Rockland County:

  • Take the Palisades Parkway South to I-80 West.
  • Follow signs for the New Jersey Turnpike/I-95 South.
  • Take the NJ Turnpike south to Exit 14A - Bayonne. Follow directions above from Exit 14A.

Parking

Cape Liberty | Royal Caribbean Blog

There is a parking garage adjacent to the cruise terminal at Cape Liberty to park your vehicle for the duration of the cruise.

Parking fees are $25 per day including all taxes.

Cash and major credit cards are accepted. No reservations are necessary and parking is guaranteed.

The height restriction of the garage is 7’ 4”. There is an open lot adjacent to the parking garage to accommodate vehicles with height restrictions.

Be sure to bring your parking stub with you when boarding the ship, because you’re going to need it when walking to your car after your cruise. You must pay your parking fee at the machine that is outside the garage. There is a walk up kiosk.

Where to stay the night before

Royal Caribbean Blog - Unofficial blog about Royal Caribbean cruises

One of the most common questions about taking a cruise from Cape Liberty is where to stay the night before the cruise begins.

It is always a good idea to fly in at least one day before your cruise to avoid travel delays impacting your ability to get on the cruise ship.

If you are going to fly in the night before the cruise and have no interest in doing any tourist attractions before the cruise, consider staying at a hotel near Newark Airport. Be sure the hotel is near Newark Airport, and not the city of Newark, because the quality of hotel and surroundings is substantially different.

Rapid COVID-19 tests now available at New York airports | Royal Caribbean Blog

Jersey City is another option to stay the night before the cruise because it is closer to the cruise port than Manhattan (New York City), but I'm not especially fond of this area for two reasons: A hotel in Jersey City is not going to be much cheaper (if at all) than Manhattan hotels, and if you want to be closer to the port, Newark Airport hotels are much closer.  Moreover, if you plan to do any sightseeing in New York, staying in New Jersey is a real hassle in terms of transportation.

Many cruisers who want to do sightseeing will spend the night in a Manhattan hotel. There are many hotels in New York City. Be sure to book one in Manhattan, and not one of the other boroughs.  Moreover, pick a hotel below 125th street to ensure you are close enough to the landmarks and hot spots tourists like to visit.

Regardless of where you stay, my advice is book refundable hotel fare because New York and New Jersey hotel prices are quite volatile.  Watch the prices and cancel and rebook when a new sale appears.

Hotel recommendations

Over the years, RoyalCaribbeanBlog readers have stayed at various hotels in the area and offered their recommendations.

Keep in mind one person's experience can be vastly different from your own, so take these recommendations as a suggestion, and not a guarantee of anything.

  • Newark
    • Embassy Suites by Hilton Newark Airport
    • Country Inn & Suites Newark Airport
  • Jersey City
    • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Jersey City
    • Sonesta Simply Suites Jersey City
  • Manhattan

You can get other recommendations from our readers on the RoyalCaribbeanBlog message boards.

Which Royal Caribbean ships sail from New York/New Jersey?

Royal Caribbean changes cruise ship itineraries due to Snowstorm Jonas | Royal Caribbean Blog

Royal Caribbean offers cruises from Cape Liberty throughout the year, although there tend to be more ships sailing in the summer months.

Depending on the year, there can be different ships offering cruises to destinations in the Caribbean, Bermuda, Bahamas, or Canada/New England.

Most recently, Anthem of the Seas has been the cruise ship spending most of her time in Cape Liberty.

In 2022-2023, Royal Caribbean will offer cruises across two ships: Adventure, Anthem and Oasis of the Seas.

20 Adventure of the Seas tips, tricks and secrets | Royal Caribbean Blog

Adventure of the Seas will return to Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey to sail a combination of itineraries to Bermuda, the Caribbean and Canada. 

Adventure will sail 9-night Eastern Caribbean sailings that visit ports such as St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, Bermuda and Royal Caribbean’s private destination, Labadee. In addition, there is the option of 4- and 9-night cruises heading up the east coast to visit Halifax, Nova Scotia; Saint John, New Brunswick; Boston; Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine.

Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas will sail from UK in Summer 2021 | Royal Caribbean Blog

Anthem of the Seas will sail from Cape Liberty in Winter 2022 before she departs to Europe in the summer. She then returns in October 2022 to offer 7-night cruises to The Bahamas that include full days in Nassau and Perfect Day at CocoCay

Guests looking for extended time in the tropics can opt for one of Anthem’s 11-night southern Caribbean sailings to San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. John’s, Antigua; Castries, St. Lucia; and Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis.

Photos: Oasis of the Seas departs New York Harbor for first time | Royal Caribbean Blog

Oasis of the Seas will take over for Anthem of the Seas in summer 2022 when she sails from Cape Liberty and offers cruises to Canada, The Bahamas, and Eastern Caribbean.

Oasis of the Seas will kick off her Northeast cruises beginning on May 1, 2022 and then offer a variety of itineraries:

  • 7-Night Perfect Day, Bahamas
  • 5-Night Canada 
  • 9-Night Eastern Caribbean

What time should I schedule my flight home after my cruise from Cape Liberty?

Picking the right time for your flight home is a balancing act of how much time you want to waste waiting in the airport versus rushing off the ship in a frenzy to make your flight in the first place.

There are a couple factors when choosing your flight time home:

  • Which airport you are departing from and its proximity to Cape Liberty
  • What time you think you will disembark the ship
  • What time the ship will be cleared by local authorities to allow disembarkation to begin
  • Traffic

How long it will take you to get off the ship and through customs is an inexact science, and depends on how fast/slow authorities clear the ship, if you have luggage to pick up, and how many other passengers want to get off the ship at the same time you do.

Then you have to figure out how much time it will take to get to the airport, and how busy those airports are with their own check-in lines. 

Newark is absolutely the best option, as you should be able to get there with a short commute (20 minutes by car).  Getting to La Guardia or Kennedy can take as long as 90 minutes (or more).

A good rule of thumb is to not schedule any flights before noon if flying home from La Guardia or Kennedy, and no earlier than 11am from Newark.

It's better to be at the airport and bored than stressing out about potentially missing your flight because of delays along the way.

Why aren't cruise ships built in the United States?

In:
07 Dec 2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Did you know that modern cruise ships are not built at all in the United States?

Regardless if it is Royal Caribbean's newest mega ship, a super yacht for SilverSea, or anything inbetween, no cruise line builds their ships in the United States. Why is that?

When U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) proposed legislation to permanently allow foreign flagged cruise ships to sail to Alaska without having to stop in Canada, she included a condition that would eliminate the bill once there is a U.S.-built ship that carries more than 1,000 passengers, if U.S. shipbuilders ever aspired to build cruise ships.

That little caveat in the bill by Senator Murkowski highlights the fact that modern cruise ships simply aren't built in America.

Symphony of the Seas construction photo update | Royal Caribbean Blog

Cruise ships are primarily built in shipyards in Europe, such as Meyer Werft in Germany or Chantiers de l'Atlantique in France. All of Royal Caribbean's ships have been built in one shipyard or another in Europe over the years.

I asked Commander Don Goldstein, Retired United States Coast Guard, who has over 32 years of experience working with the cruise industry why ships are not built in the United States.

As you may have guessed, the primary reason why cruise ships are not built in the United States comes down to cost. In short, it costs too much to build a cruise ship in the United States for a few reasons.

Oasis 3 Construction Photos | Royal Caribbean Blog

Commander Goldstein pointed to three primary reasons why it's just too expensive to build a ship domestically:

Labor costs

Shipyard where Odyssey of the Seas is being built to shutdown for six weeks | Royal Caribbean Blog

Just like so many other aspects of manufacturing, labor is cheaper overseas than it is in the United States. The automotive industry is a prime example of why companies choose to build their products outside of the United States.

Union labor in particular is not cheap, and labor costs on a vessel as massive as a cruise ship can add up costs quickly.

Cruise ship construction is a labor intensive industry, and when you factor in the cost of American labor and the tax structure, it becomes unreasonably expensive.

Unlike cars, cruise ships aren't built in places like Mexico. They are built in Europe, so how are those countries that have similar standards of living to the United States able to build ships more reasonably? Essentially, they are heavily mechanized and are considered strategic assets.

Material costs

Symphony of the Seas construction photo update | Royal Caribbean Blog

The cost of materials used in construction of the ship is going to cost more when it comes from the United States, especially U.S. built/manufactured materials.

As you may know, cruise ships are foreign-flagged. In order to be U.S. flagged, most of the material on a vessel must be from the United States.

Regulations

Coast Guard wont fine you for not wearing a mask on a cruise ship, but you will get kicked off | Royal Caribbean Blog

Building anything in the United States means more regulations by a variety of government entities during the process.

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are just two of the agencies Commander Goldstein pointed to that would have oversight in the process, with others likely part of the process.

Following World War 2, the United States added strong protectionist legislation meant to preserve the maritime industry, but it actually had the opposite effect. Many shipyards domestically closed, and the few left are only focused on military work that rely on government paid contracts to ensure there is a profit.

Odyssey of the Seas December construction photo update | Royal Caribbean Blog

An op-ed in the Los Angeles Times argued that instead of protecting U.S. jobs, these protectionist laws actually ruined American cruises and cost American jobs.

Commander Goldstein said the only reason a company would build a cruise ship in the U.S. would be to flag it here for coastwise voyages, like NCL's Pride of America.

By going that route, it brings into play a lot of regulatory protocols, such as using U.S. materials and equipment, U.S. shipyards which are subject to U.S. labor laws, OSHA requirements, and USCG inspection. 

New photos of Royal Caribbean's fourth Oasis class ship construction | Royal Caribbean Blog

"Most other countries do not have a regulatory agency like the USCG," Commander Goldstein explained. "Instead, they let classification societies do the majority of the inspection/certification work.

"Some are very good and some are not so carful about adherence to the international requirements.  OSHA rules, designed to keep shipyard workers safe, are expensive."

"When I worked on U.S. vessels in foreign shipyards, the difference is safety protocols was very obvious."

Video: Royal Caribbean Lays Keel for Oasis III & Announces Oasis IV | Royal Caribbean Blog

To illustrate the point further, Commander Goldstein recalled inspecting a U.S. flagged tanker that was at the Hyundai Shipyard in South Korea in 1987. He was dispatched to oversee the significant work being done there that was required to be reviewed by the USCG.

"Before the work was done overseas, the company that owned the vessel put the work up for bids, both in the U.S. and overseas."  

"The Korean shipyard won the bid, even though when work on a U.S. flagged tanker is done overseas, when the vessel is brought back to the U.S. to work in the Jones Act trade, there is a 30% tariff applied to the cost of the overseas work."

"Even with that tariff, I was told that the cost of the work at Hyundai was half what the cheapest bid from a U.S. shipyard."

As you can see, the extra costs to build a cruise ship in the United States are substantially more than overseas, and it is why cruise lines choose to build their ships elsewhere.

Foreign-flagged cruise ships

The unconfirmed cruise ship rumors that get repeated a lot by cruise fans | Royal Caribbean Blog

Since the cruise ships are built outside the United States, they cannot be flagged as an American vessel.

American shipyards are not equipped with the experience building modern cruise ships, nor do they have the capacity or supply chain to assemble cruise ships. 

Cruise ships these days are almost all foreign-flagged, with registrations in places like Panama, The Bahamas, Liberia or elsewhere.

To register a ship with any country - and fly their flag - a company has to pay them a fee to join their ship registry. Besides the issues outlined earlier in this article, the costs for a ship registry in the U.S. is much higher than other countries.

St Maarten Ultimate Explorer Cruise & Island Tour shore excursion review

In:
07 Dec 2021
By: 
Haley Mills

On our port day in Sint Maarten, we decided to take a full tour of the island. This was our second visit to Sint Maarten, but the first time we had just walked around the port. We were excited to really see everything.

We were surprised that the tour didn’t start until 12:30! Normally long tours start in the morning, so we had lots of time to kill. We had ordered room service, so enjoyed that on our balcony, and people watched for a little bit, but it was hot. We got off and walked around the little port area, then we just moseyed around the ship until tour time. 

Our meet up point was right outside the ship, and then we had to walk from the pier through the little marketplace, to the bus depot. It’s about a quarter mile walk, but it is hot, so prepare yourself for that. The good news is, that’s the longest walk you will take on this tour.

All other movement is by bus or boat. Our group was big enough to need two full size tour buses, so we split up.

We really lucked out with an amazingly knowledgeable and hilarious guide:  Dominic. She kept us thoroughly entertained through the two hour bus ride around both Dutch and French sides of the island!

When we booked the tour, we did not realize the whole tour would be on the bus with no stops, but it was quite enjoyable, and we saw more of Sint Maarten than we expected. Dominic pointed out different neighborhoods, talked about the school systems, popular hangouts, etc. I loved learning about the everyday people and history of the island, and not just famous tourist spots. We also learned the differences between the two countries:  laws, currencies, languages, etc. It was so interesting!

Once we circled back around to the Dutch Side, we backed into a tiny lot in an area full of restaurants.

Now that we were stuffed full of Sint Maarten knowledge, it was time to kick back and relax on Simpson’s Bay! Both buses unloaded onto a double decker catamaran, which puttered slowly into the bay.

It was a bit windy, but we enjoyed complementary rum punch, beer, and chips while dancing to Caribbean-Remixed Adele and admiring the big shiny yachts at anchor. The guide pointed out the biggest on the bay, decked out in chrome--once owned by Steve Jobs.

While we were having a great time, it was, unfortunately, impossible to miss all of the wrecked and abandoned boats floating (some barely so) in the bay. There were a few wreckage crew out retrieving scrap metal and breaking down the boats that needed to be taken out.

It was strangely beautiful, but very sad to know that they are still collecting boats 4 years later, and that there are this many left. 

Eventually, the catamaran pulled back into the marina, and we loaded back up the buses to head back to the ship. Dominic pointed out a few more things on our way home, and then we all trudged slowly back to the pier.

We were worn out! Funny how riding in a bus makes you sleepy. I’ll include the details at the bottom of this post for your review. It’s not wheelchair accessible, but if you can get by with a walker or other mobility assist, and get up the steps of a bus and onto a boat platform, you’ll be ok. The only major walking is to and from the ship. Make sure you bring sunscreen! And eat some lunch before you go--a snack bag of Doritos does not make much of a meal.

This tour is definitely one I would recommend to newcomers to Sint Maarten, and we were very glad we chose this excursion.

Not only did we learn so much about the island, we got to see more of it than we expected, and we didn’t have to do it in separate trips. And the boat ride at the end of the day was just an absolute treat.

Royal Caribbean trademarks names that could be new water slides

In:
06 Dec 2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

It looks like some new water slides could be coming to Royal Caribbean.

Based on recent trademark applications filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, a series of names for potential water slides have been submitted.

Five trademarks were filed on behalf of the Royal Caribbean Group, in addition to the Perfect Storm trademark.

Perfect Storm has been the collective name for water slides Royal Caribbean has had on its cruise ships, and each of the new trademarks have a common theme of a storm.

Read moreWhich Royal Caribbean ships have water slides?

Here are the new trademarks:

  • Category 6
  • Hurricane Hunter
  • Storm Surge
  • Pressure Drop
  • Storm Chasers

Each of the trademarks simply says the trademark registration is intended to cover the category of cruise ship services.

In addition to water slides on its ships, Royal Caribbean also has water slides at its CocoCay water park.

Of course, these trademarks could be for something completely different than a water slide.  In addition, Royal Caribbean does not always utilize things it trademarks, so these filings may not be indicative of anything other than an idea they have.

Up until now, the Perfect Storm slides have come in two or three slide configurations on the ships.

Photos: Voyager of the Seas completes $97 million renovation | Royal Caribbean Blog

Two racer slides, Cyclone and Typhoon, offer a fast ride side-by-side to a water splash down.

Supercell is the name of the large bowl shaped slide, where you enter large saucer section to see how many times you can go around before exiting down to the end.