Almost 1 in 2 Royal Caribbean cruise ship passengers are millennials

25 Apr 2024
Elizabeth Wright

Royal Caribbean's demographic is shifting to attract younger passengers. 

Millennials in a hot tub

"Millennials and younger generations have gained 11 percentage points share compared to 2019," said Jason Liberty, Royal Caribbean Group's CEO, "And today, almost 1 in 2 guests are millennials or's a very powerful statement."

This isn't necessarily a new trend, as the 2023 State of the Cruise Industry Report released by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) revealed that passengers between the ages of 20 and 59 are now making up over 50% of passengers onboard cruise ships. 

Additionally, 88% of millennials expressed enthusiasm for cruising within the next few years. 

Hideaway Beach

The Caribbean remains the company's largest product group. In 2024, sailings to this region make up 55% of their deployment. 

Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's exclusive destination in The Bahamas, is a favorite. With activities designed for those who crave adrenaline rushes or a day of blissful relaxation, the island was created to appeal to a wide array of interests. 

Additionally, Royal Caribbean continues to launch new builds across all of its brands, including Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Silversea. 

Icon of the Seas in CocoCay

Whether cruisers are looking for a refined, destinated-focused sailing onboard Celebrity Ascent or a jam-packed cruise onboard Icon of the Seas, the company continues to provide exciting products and experiences that redefine what it means to take a cruise vacation. 

Royal and Celebrity have plans to grow even more, with Utopia of the Seas scheduled for debut in July 2024, followed by Star of the Seas and Celebrity Xcel in 2025. 

They're also working on creative more exclusive experiences for guests, such as the Royal Beach Clubs in Nassau and Cozumel, indicating that it's both the ships and destinations that are appealing to millennial guests. 

Those who sail with Royal Caribbean are five times more likely to sail with them again

Wonder of the Seas at CocoCay

From top-tier service to delicious dining, one-of-a-kind production shows, and more, the onboard experience onboard Royal Caribbean Group ships is unmatched, regardless of which line appeals to you the most. That, combined with the destinations, created a well-rounded experience. 

"There [are] 25,000 guests a day that come into Nassau," said Liberty, "And we're going to take some of those guests [and] bring them over to the [Royal] Beach Club."

Utopia of the Seas, for instance, will visit both Nassau and Perfect Day. "That's really a phenomenal game charger,' said Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean CEO and President. 

Royal Beach Club in Nassau

"It really is drawing in a huge amount of new to cruise, and it's beautifully positioned in Canaveral right fundamentally in Orlando."

In short, creating exclusive and elevated experiences is attracting a high level of demand from consumers, whether it's a private beach at a popular port or an entire island.

Royal Caribbean's website is seeing record demand


As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers got used to online shopping. 

"In the first quarter, we had 100 million visits to our websites...that's twice what we had pre-COVID," said Liberty.

"We have really upped our game, not just on a marketing basis, but [to make our websites help our customers] dream about what they want to do and help them get to the experience that they're looking for."


The Cruise Planner allows guests to easily browse all available options for their sailing, including drink packages, shore excursions, specialty dining experiences, spa treatments, Wi-Fi packages, and more. 

In essence, those who take advantage of the online portal can have their entire cruise planned out before stepping onboard, making the cruise itself as hassle-free as possible. 

Liberty went on to talk about the growth of the mobile app, too. 

Royal Caribbean's website

We are removing friction and unlocking travel planning by investing in a modern digital travel platform, making it easier than ever for guests to book their dream vacations while allowing us to expand wallet share," said Liberty.

Our digital experiences delight guests. Our mobile app is consistently adopted by 94% of our guests on board, and we continue to enhance its capabilities."

"What a great start to the year" Royal Caribbean reports strong first quarter earnings

25 Apr 2024
Matt Hochberg

The year 2024 is off to a great start for Royal Caribbean Group's bottom line.

Royal Caribbean Group reported first quarter results

Royal Caribbean Group posted its first quarter financial results, which saw Net Income of $360 million, with total revenues of $3.7 billion.

"Wow, what a great start to the year!" is how Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO Jason Liberty started his statement off in the press release for the earnings report.

"Demand for our leading brands and the incredible experiences they deliver continues to be very robust, resulting in outperformance in the first quarter, a further increase of full year earnings guidance, and 60% expected earnings growth year over year."

Icon of the Seas

That demand he talks about is what drove the company's financials into a better financial position than the company had originally anticipated.

Strong demand and strength in onboard spend pushed first quarter earnings ahead.  In fact, there was better demand anticipated during the lucrative WAVE season. This is an industry term for the beginning of the year when the general public books the most cruises of the year.

Read more: Royal Caribbean is making more money than it expected. The good and the bad news for cruisers

Family walking into CocoCay

High demand persisted across all of the top cruise markets, and on top of that, customers were spending more on cruise extras.  That combination lead to higher revenue, as well as Royal Caribbean Group updating its guidance for the rest of the year.

First quarter by the numbers

Spectrum of the Seas aerial at sea

Here are the key stats from the Royal Caribbean Group's first quarter.

Cruise ships sailed at an average of 107% full during the quarter. That's up 5 percentage points compared to the first quarter of 2023. 

Occupancy rates over 100% are a good stat, and it means there were more than two people in a lot of cabins.

Celebrity Logo

Total revenues were $3.7 billion, Net Income was $360 million or $1.35 per share, Adjusted Net Income was $478 million or $1.77 per share, Adjusted EBITDA was $1.2 billion, and operating cash flow was $1.3 billion.

About half of the first quarter yield growth was driven by higher ticket pricing on the fleet of ships, with the remainder driven by a combination of guest spending on extras, ships sailing with more passengers onboard, and new cruise ship demand. 

As of March 31, 2024, the Group's customer deposit balance was at $6.0 billion. 

Record booked position

Once again, 2024 is another year seeing more people book cruises than ever before.

Royal Caribbean Group is seeing "very strong" demand and prices. Overall, this has been the strongest WAVE season in the company's history from both a demand and pricing standpoint. 

Prices for a cruise in 2024 are higher than they were at the beginning of the year in 2023.

Drink package price onboard

Plus, passengers are spending more on add-ons and making purchases before the cruise at a rate higher than prior years.  The company said this is due to, "greater participation at higher prices." That essentially means more people are buying add-ons and they cost more than the used to.

Mr. Liberty called out the new Icon of the Seas as being a difference maker, "Our existing fleet along with our new ships continue to perform exceptionally well, highlighted by the market response to the launch of Icon of the Seas, which has exceeded all expectations."

Utopia of the Seas night render

"The momentum continues with Utopia of the Seas and Silver Ray, set to launch this summer. And, just this quarter alone, we announced an order for a seventh Oasis Class ship and the expansion of our Royal Beach Club portfolio in Cozumel; and we officially broke ground on Royal Beach Club Paradise Island.  These strategies will further propel our leadership in the cruise industry and push us to new heights in the vacation industry."

Royal Caribbean Oasis Class Ships by Age

24 Apr 2024
Calista Kiper

There's simply nothing within the cruise industry that compares to the scale and pizzazz of Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class ships.

Since Oasis of the Seas launched in 2009, these large ships have revolutionized what you can experience on a cruise.

Not only are these ships massive, but they’re also intentionally designed with a large variety of activities, entertainment, and dining.

The Oasis class was the first to introduce the concept of neighborhoods, distinct areas that offer different amenities, separating crowds and making it harder to get lost.


Not only that, but Oasis Class ships also feature amenities like laser tag, zip lines, ice skating rinks, AquaTheaters, Boardwalks with carousels, the Perfect Storm water slide, the Ultimate Abyss dry slide, and an entire nature-filled neighborhood modeled after Central Park.

However, they aren’t all the same. 

With each new rendition, Royal Caribbean seeks to improve and revitalize its ships.

In order of oldest to newest, here are all of the Oasis Class ships and what makes them unique.

Read more: Royal Caribbean ships by age — Newest to Oldest

Oasis of the Seas

  • Inaugural sailing: December 2009
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 6,780
  • Gross tonnage: 226,838

Royal Caribbean launched Oasis of the Seas in 2009, starting the Oasis Class off with a bang.


At the time of her launch, Oasis of the Seas was the biggest cruise ship in the world, featuring more amenities and activities than ever before.

She broke ground with seven distinct neighborhoods, becoming a destination in her own right.

In addition, she was amplified in 2019, adding new dining venues and bars, updating the pool deck to a Caribbean resort style, and revamping the kid’s programs and other activities.

Royal Caribbean invested $165 million in the amplification, ensuring that Oasis still feels fresh and luxurious even at 15 years old.

Oasis of the Seas in Port Canaveral

The first Oasis-Class ship mainly sails from Miami and Cape Liberty, offering Caribbean cruises.

In the summer of 2024, she will sail to the Mediterranean and begin 7-night Western Mediterranean cruises.

Read more: I've only sailed Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class ships: Will I be disappointed if I try other ships?

Allure of the Seas 

Allure of the Seas docked
  • Inaugural sailing: December 2010
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 6,780
  • Gross tonnage: 225,282

Royal Caribbean didn’t hesitate to continue the popularity of its Oasis Class.

Allure of the Seas, the second Oasis-Class ship, was launched in 2010, just one year after her predecessor.

However, she is the only Oasis-class ship that hasn’t yet been amplified. She was scheduled to receive an amplification in 2020, but the global pandemic has delayed this plan.

This means that Allure (unlike the other ships) does not have water slides, the Ultimate Abyss dry slide, newer specialty restaurants, or an escape room.

However, she still features some exciting activities and makes for a unique experience as Royal Caribbean’s only “original” Oasis-Class ship.

Another unique aspect of Allure is her itineraries: she currently offers 3 and 4-night cruises from Port Canaveral. 

While other Oasis-Class ships mainly have 6 and 7-night sailings, Allure makes shorter cruises and sailings on weekends possible.

Read more: I'm a new cruiser and tried a weekend cruise on one of the biggest cruise ships. It was filled with lots in a short amount of time

Harmony of the Seas

Harmony of the Seas in Cozumel, Mexico
  • Inaugural sailing: May 2016
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 6,687
  • Gross tonnage: 226,963

Harmony of the Seas is one of Royal Caribbean’s most popular and well-known cruise ships.

She is the 3rd ship in the Oasis Class but ushered in new expectations with a set of enhancements to the Oasis-Class experience.

Big Daddy's Hideaway Heist on Harmony of the Seas

Harmony was the largest cruise ship in the world when she was launched in 2016, and was later revitalized in 2021.

She has the updated Oasis-class features like the Ultimate Abyss slide, three multi-story water slides, and an escape room.

Additional activities make for an adrenaline-packed cruise experience: an 82-foot zip line, two rock climbing walls, a mini golf course, a full-sized basketball court, an ice skating rink, and two FlowRider surf simulators.

The 3rd Oasis-class ship currently offers 7-night Western Caribbean cruises out of Galveston, Texas.

Symphony of the Seas

Symphony of the Seas
  • Inaugural sailing: April 2018
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 6,680
  • Gross tonnage: 228,081

When she launched as the fourth Oasis-Class ship, Symphony of the Seas replaced Harmony of the Seas as an even larger cruise ship.


Not all ships within the same class are the same, and Symphony does a great job of proving how Royal Caribbean tries to improve each cruise ship.

For example, she was the first Royal Caribbean ship to have Hooked Seafood, an extra-cost restaurant with fresh New England seafood cuisine.

Symphony is one of Royal Caribbean’s most action-packed ships, perfect for guests who love a variety of different activities.

Symphony of the Seas sailing away

She was recently re-amplified in 2023 and currently offers 6 and 7-night Western Caribbean sailings out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

In May, she will home port in Cape Liberty, New York, sailing to Port Canaveral, Florida, Perfect Day at Cococay, and Nassau, Bahamas over 7-night cruises.

Wonder of the Seas

Photo by Stephen S.
  • Inaugural sailing: March 2022
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 6,988
  • Gross tonnage: 236,857

Much like her sister ships, Wonder of the Seas was the biggest cruise ship in the world at her launch.

Wonder of the Seas Royal Promenade

In fact, she was only recently de-throned in 2024 by Icon of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean continued to improve and change the Oasis Class with Wonder’s launch, adding unique features like the Mason Jar Southern restaurant, Cantina Fresca bar, and Vue bar.

Instead of the usual seven neighborhoods, she has an eighth addition: a Suites-only neighborhood at the ship's top.

The opportunities are endless. 

Wonder of the Seas also has countless activities and a new underwater-themed playground called the Wonder Playscape.

This massive vessel sails 7-night Caribbean itineraries (both Eastern and Western) out of Port Canaveral, Florida, with stops at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Utopia of the Seas (coming in 2024)

  • Inaugural sailing: July 2024
  • Maximum passenger capacity: 5,668
  • Gross tonnage: 236,860

Royal Caribbean isn’t done releasing Oasis-Class ships. 


Utopia of the Seas will launch in July 2024, sailing into the scene as the newest cruise ship and sixth Oasis Class ship.

Royal Caribbean’s upgrades aren’t over, either. 

Utopia will be its first Oasis-Class ship to use Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), the cleanest fossil fuel to power ships today.

Delivery of LNG

Use of LNG can reduce carbon emissions by 30%, sulfur emissions by 100%, and nitrogen oxide emissions by 85%.

Much like Allure of the Seas, Utopia of the Seas will begin by offering 3 and 4-night cruises from Port Canaveral, Florida, to Perfect Day at CocoCay and Nassau, Bahamas.

Her inaugural sailing will begin on July 19th, 2024.

Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class ships by age

Unnamed (expected in 2028)


An order has been placed for a seventh Oasis Class ship, set to be launched in 2028.

Little details have been released, and the public does not yet know the name of the ship.

But Royal Caribbean has found a massive amount of success with its Oasis Class. 

The ships have become a new standard in the cruise industry, a paragon of size and amenities.

Jennifer Goswami

Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO said that, “From the moment [the first Oasis Class ship] sailed, it has been an absolute huge success.”

“These ships deliver from every dimension. And the most important dimension is customer satisfaction.”

He says that the breadth and depth of these ships, as well as the unique neighborhoods, are partially responsible for this huge success.

Family eating ice cream in Boardwalk

Because there’s something for every individual, families can experience fun activities separately, and then come together in the evening for dinner or other events.

families can experience unique activities, there’s something for every individual 

“It really is a winning formula.”

Royal Caribbean cruise ship cancels rest of sailing because of propulsion issue

23 Apr 2024
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas has encountered a propulsion issue that has slowed the ship, and will now head to its final port of call.

Radiance of the Seas has cancelled the rest of her cruise

Guests onboard Radiance of the Seas were alerted by the ship's Captain of the issue, which occurred on Tuesday as the ship was sailing up the west coast of the United States.

Radiance of the Seas is sailing an open-jaw 4 Night Pacific Coastal Cruise to move the ship from Los Angeles to Vancouver and get the ship in position for her 2024 Alaska season. An open jaw cruise is one that begins and ends in a different port.

The Captain spoke to guests over the public address system to inform them of the issue, "Our teams have discovered that radiance of the seas is experiencing a technical issue with one of its propulsion systems, resulting in the ship being required to sail at a much slower speed."

Radiance of the Seas

He emphasized the ship is still safe to operate, "Please know your safety and comfort, along with that of my crew are my top priorities and our ship remains seaworthy and safe. It's just slower."

He did not specify exactly what the propulsion issue is, or what happened to cause it.

Radiance of the Seas has two Azipods, which are multidirectional pods that drive the ship and can be rotated 360 degrees and are have been the standard form of propulsion for all of Royal Caribbean's new cruise ships in recent years.

Radiance of the Seas wake

Guests could see only one Azipod is being used once the incident occurred.

As a result of the slower speed, Radiance of the Seas now needs to skip the rest of the ports on its itinerary and go straight to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

According to the Captain, Radiance of the Seas will arrive there on Thursday, April 25th in the evening between 9 and 10 p.m. The ship can then be ready to disembark guests on April 26 as scheduled.

Radiance of the Seas azipod

Radiance of the Seas is a 90,900 gross ton Radiance Class cruise ship. Her maiden voyage was in 2001.

Radiance is a smaller ship by today's standards, and has a capacity of 2,466 guests at double occupancy.

She is 962 feet long.


Radiance of the Seas

Letters were distributed to guests in their staterooms to confirm the changes.

As a result of the altered itinerary, guests can expect a partial refund for the disappointment. Royal Caribbean is not obligated to offer compensation for technical problems, but tends to do so as a gesture of goodwill.

Guests will receive 50% of their cruise fare paid back as an onboard credit.

letter given to guests

Any shore excursions purchased for ports that will be skipped will be refunded fully as an onboard credit.

The onboard credit can be used onboard the ship, and any unused credit will be refunded back to the credit card on file within 14 business days after the sailing concludes.

What about the next cruise?


A propulsion issue on Radiance of the Seas is cause for concern for anyone with an upcoming sailing booked on her as to what impact it may have on it.

In the letter given to guests onboard Radiance, the ship's staff conveyed a message for back-to-back cruisers that are booked for the next sailing.

 "Our teams are hard at work to correct this issue and our current progress is meeting our timeline. However, we'll need to be docked to complete the required repairs," the letter explained.

"At this time, we intend to sail as planned on April 26th, 2024, and we are committed to keeping you informed every step of the way."

"We'll provide you with another update by April 26th."

Letter to guests on April 26 sailing

Guests booked on the April 26th sailing also received an email summarizing the same information mentioned previously in this article.

Recent propulsion problems for Radiance

Radiance of the Seas in Alaska

Radiance of the Seas has had some bad luck lately with its propulsion system.

Last year, Radiance encountered a propulsion issue during her Alaska season that cancelled a few cruises at the last-minute.

Two cruises were cancelled before Radiance could resume sailings.

Cruise ships have redundant engines for this situation

Work on Oasis propellors

As the Captain of Radiance of the Seas explained, propulsion issues like this are not unheard of and the ship is quite safe to sail on.

Cruise ships can sail with less than both engines running. In fact, it's common not to have all engines going at once in order to conserve wear and tear.

When a situation like this occurs, the ship can still operate at a reduced speed safely.

Historically, ships with propulsion problems have been able to sail and either make repairs along the way, or hold off until a scheduled upcoming dry dock. The incident with Radiance last year having to cancel a couple of cruises was certainly an outlier.

Royal Caribbean cancels more visits to Labadee, Haiti into the fall

23 Apr 2024
Matt Hochberg

More cruise ships will skip a visit to Royal Caribbean's private beach in Haiti.

Labadee cancelled through September

Guests booked on cruises in the summer and early fall are getting notifications from Royal Caribbean, that their visits to Labadee have been cancelled.

Following on cancellations that began in March due to civil unrest in Haiti, the cruise line has been forced to cancel more cruises into September 2024.

Royal Caribbean had previously cancelled visits to Labadee through the end of May 2024.

Read more: Is Royal Caribbean still going to Labadee, Haiti?

More Labadee cancellations

Liberty of the Seas in Labadee

On Tuesday, cruisers began to share updates they received from Royal Caribbean that their itineraries have been updated to drop Labadee and replace it with another port or a sea day.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog has spotted different cruises cancelled in June, August, and even September.

In most cases, ships are being re-routed to Grand Turk in the Turks & Caicos Islands.

Cancellation email

As an example, the Adventure of the Seas September 21st sailing has had her visit to Labadee replaced with a visit to Grand Turk.

"Due to the continuing situation in Haiti, we'll now visit Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos, instead of Labadee, Haiti," the statement said in an email to booked passengers.

"We're sorry for the change - your safety is our top priority."


Similar emails have been sent to guests booked on cruises with scheduled stops in Labadee throughout summer 2024.

Guests who had any shore excursions booked for their visit to Labadee will automatically receive a refund to their onboard accounts.

The cancellations affect ships such as Adventure of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, and Symphony of the Seas all due to visit Labadee in the summer.

No other cruise lines sail to Haiti.

Understandable disappointment

Oasis labadee

Guests have already started sharing the news and their opinions on the change.

"For the folks looking forward to Labadee, for the folks in Labadee, and for Royal, I am sorry this has been so tough," wrote WAYNO on the RoyalCaribbeanBlog message boards.

"Understandable but sad as I was pumped to visit both private destinations in a single sailing," wrote tntornadox on another message board.

A necessary change

Labadee beach

The civil unrest in Haiti has forced Royal Caribbean's hand in this situation, even if Labadee is not near the areas of conflict.

Located on the north coast of Haiti, Labadee is a walled-off private enclave for Royal Caribbean cruise guests. It's at least a 6-and-a-half hour drive from Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Royal Caribbean started cancelling visits to Labadee following the fallout of a siege of the government by gangs that began in mid-March. Since then, the country has experienced a major upheaval with a new government, prison break, and many deaths.

Barefoot beach

More than 53,000 people have fled Port-au-Prince and food shortages are taking place across the island, according to reports.

A state of emergency was declared on March 3, followed by the prime minister’s resignation on March 12. 

In July 2023, the US State Department raised the security threat to a Level 4 due to kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and poor health care infrastructure.

Where is Labadee?

Google map

Labadee is located on the northern coast of Haiti, whereas the majority of the violence is occurring further south in more populated areas.

In short, it's walled off from the rest of the country and is in a remote area. It's guarded by a private security force. Guests aren't permitted to leave the area. 

Unlike other ports, such as Cozumel or Nassau, you won't be able to book a third-party excursion. Instead, all tours in Labadee have to be reserved directly through Royal Caribbean. Moreover, all food and supplies are brought ashore from the ship, rather than from elsewhere in Haiti. 

Royal Caribbean breaks ground on new beach club in Bahamas reserved for its passengers

22 Apr 2024
Matt Hochberg

Work is officially underway on Royal Caribbean's new beach club in Nassau, Bahamas.

Construction begins at Royal Beach Club

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Monday for the new Royal Beach Club, Paradise Island.

The 17-acre Royal Beach club project was first announced in 2020, but the cruise industry shutdown of 2020 forced a delay in it becoming a reality.  Nonetheless, today's milestone signifies the official start of work for the new offering.

The official opening is slated for sometime in 2025.

Ground breaking ceremony

Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO Jason Liberty and Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley were joined by The Bahamas' Prime Minister Philip Davis and Deputy Prime Minister I. Chester Cooper to commemorate the major milestone.

Construction will begin in the next few months, and Royal Caribbean hopes it will offer an authentic Bahamian experience. Plus, it is the first-of-its-kind project that gives back to the people of The Bahamas with a unique public-private partnership allows Bahamian nationals to hold up to 49% equity in the venture. 

Paradise Island pool

The first of the Royal Beach Club destinations, the Nassau club aims to offer Royal Caribbean passengers exclusive access to a prime spot to enjoy an unparalleled beach experience.

Unlike the private island experience, the Royal Beach Club is an extra-cost venue with a limited capacity.  Guests visiting Nassau on a port stop will have the opportunity to purchase admission to the beach club.

The club is located on a narrow strip of land near where the cruise ships dock on Paradise Island.

Pool and beach views in artist rendering

The club will have three pools with swim-up bars, live music, two beaches, four restaurants serving local food.

The capacity of the club should be about 2,000 guests.

More details are expected closer to the opening.

Opening 2025

To reach the beach club, passengers will have to taxi a complimentary water shuttle from Bay Street located near the Straw Market. Once onboard, guests will have two drop-off options: near Sapphire Beach and the west end of the pool.

The look of the club will take inspiration from its home country. The local architecture will be crafted by a local Bahamian architectural firm. Bahamian entrepreneurs and businesses are integral to the construction and management of the new venture, creating hundreds of job opportunities both immediately and in the future. Bahamian residents have already engaged in workshops. 

Another world-class experience

Family area rendering

The start of construction means this dream is coming to fruition, and Royal Caribbean couldn't be more excited for it.

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Jason Liberty said at the event, "Marking more than the beginning of the construction process, today’s groundbreaking event symbolizes partnership, momentum and continued economic development for so many Bahamian entrepreneurs and the entire community."

"We are grateful to our partners for their support, especially the Bahamian government, who stand with us here today in celebration of what is to come"

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley also spoke, "As we break ground on Royal Beach Club Paradise Island, together with the government and the people of The Bahamas, we are celebrating what partnership and innovation can achieve. This will be yet one more reason, in Nassau’s bright future, to experience a destination we have visited since the very beginning of Royal Caribbean more than 50 years ago."

"The beauty and charm of the island are why we chose to debut the Royal Beach Club Collection in Nassau, and with the collaboration and support of local entrepreneurs and the wider community, we know that what we create will far exceed everything we imagined.”

Honorable Philip Davis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas spoke about the importance of this new beach club, "With the signing of this Heads of Agreement for the development of Royal Beach Club Paradise Island, we embark on this project to further enhance the vitality of our tourism product. Signing today’s agreement, we add another world-class experience to our tourism offerings. And even more importantly, we take a bold step toward greater Bahamian empowerment in the tourism industry."

I went to Royal Caribbean's private island on a Celebrity cruise ship. Here's what surprised me about this visit

22 Apr 2024
Elizabeth Wright

Celebrity Cruises has officially begun regular visits to Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's private island in The Bahamas. 

Celebrity Reflection at CocoCay

After departing Fort Lauderdale, Florida on April 21, Celebrity Reflection sailed to CocoCay, arriving shortly before Wonder of the Seas. This marks the first time that Celebrity has called at the island since the $250 million renovation that was completed in 2019. 

The enhancement included a pier, as well as numerous attractions targeting thrill-seekings, including Thrill Waterpark, a zip line, and a helium balloon.

Celebrity Reflection, along with Celebrity Beyond, are scheduled to regularly visit the island on itineraries ranging from 3 to 7 nights. 


From the moment I stepped onboard, it was evident that Celebrity was heavily leaning into CocoCay promotional materials. 

CocoCay advertisements frequently appeared on television screens throughout the ship, and the Cruise Director even held an information seminar about the island at 2:30pm before sailing away. I heard the "Perfect Day" song playing in the buffet during lunch, too! 

They really seemed to want to give passengers every bit of information possible to help them plan a "perfect" day ashore. 


When we returned to our inside stateroom after dinner, we discovered that our cabin steward had left us some complimentary CocoCay swag, including a baseball cap, towel clips, and a small misting spray bottle. 

From receiving identifiable wristbands to having my basic drink package treated like the premium one, here's everything that surprised me on my visit to Perfect Day at CocoCay with Celebrity Cruises. 

The hero photo is credited to Chris Yansick, who is currently sailing onboard Wonder of the Seas. 

Read more: I went to CocoCay for the first time, and here's what I'd do differently

Guests onboard Celebrity Reflection were asked to wear wristbands to help staff differentiate who was cruising on Royal Caribbean versus Celebrity


In addition to the destination-specific goodies that we received in our cabin, we were also provided two orange wristbands. 

"...we kindly ask you to wear [them] while visiting Perfect Day at CocoCay. Doing so will help us shape your future experiences at this exclusive, private destination, as we will learn about our guests' needs, preferences, and expectations," read the informational sheet. 

Many guests seemed to respect Celebrity's wishes, as the majority of passengers who disembarked at the same time as I did had them on. Plus, there were a lot of people wearing them at the adults-only Hideaway Beach. I was asked by the couple sitting next to me what the bands were for, so they had noticed a lot, too!  


Though I'm not surprised by what seemed to be more Royal Caribbean guests at Hideaway due to Wonder of the Seas' capacity, it was hard not to notice all the bright orange bands throughout the day. 

While the younger crowd that typically frequents Royal Caribbean may be more likely to pay for admission to Thrill Waterpark or the zip line, the bands will help the company learn what Celebrity guests are seeking on the island. 

Around 11:30am, I left Hideaway Beach to get an idea of where Celebrity guests were congregating the most. 


While there was certainly no shortage of guests at Hideaway Beach, I found that because of Wonder's capacity, it made Celebrity's presence seem more scattered. 

Rather than observing a lot of Celebrity passengers at Chill Island, Oasis Lagoon, or South Beach, the excess of Royal guests was exceedingly noticeable. In fact, I was surprised by the abundance of empty lounge chairs, especially since it was a little bit before peak lunch times. 

Hideaway Beach definitely seemed to be popular for cruises on both lines. 

I was worried Wi-Fi and drink packages wouldn't work on the island


Though Celebrity is part of Royal Caribbean Group, I wasn't sure if my packages would work ashore. When I initially stepped foot on the island, my Wi-Fi seemed to be cutting out a lot. 

Since I upgraded to Celebrity's Premium Wi-Fi, I had higher hopes for the connectivity. In the end, I'm glad I paid the difference because my partner's Basic Package was even more restrictive. She was able to open apps on the ship that she wasn't able to on the island, such as Instagram and TikTok. 

Moreover, Celebrity offers passengers two alcoholic packages, whereas Royal Caribbean only has one: the Deluxe Beverage Package. Those who purchase Royal Caribbean's Deluxe Beverage Package receive a relatively all-inclusive experience, with cocktails made with top-shelf spirits included. 


Celebrity's Classic Package is more restrictive, as it only includes drinks up to $10. While I could have paid to upgrade to the Premium Package, I figured that there would be a decent selection of drinks to choose from. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case onboard, as the majority of cocktails cost anywhere from $12 to $17. 

I wasn't sure how the package would be honored ashore, though. To my surprise, the Classic Package was treated like the Premium. 

There was no cap on beverages; my finacée was able to order a Patrón soda for no extra charge. However, all the bartenders I spoke with said that they're still trying to figure out Celebrity's packages since this is Celebrity's first sailing to CocoCay. There's a chance that this will change in the future. 

Having visited Perfect Day at CocoCay numerous times, the experience ashore felt extremely similar to my Royal Caribbean sailings


It's truly a winning formula. Those who want to enjoy Celebrity's upscale amenities will be able to do so, while also being able to visit the award-winning island. Celebrity ships are about giving the Celebrity customer a product with high guest satisfaction to enjoy, too. 

While I enjoyed my time at the upbeat Hideaway Beach, it was nice returning to a low-key ship. Plus, there were definitely fewer children onboard. 

As someone in their mid-twenties with no kids, it was nice to be surrounded by adults onboard while also being able to enjoy everything that CocoCay is known for. Now, those interested in visiting CocoCay have options, whether they're seeking a family-friendly vacation or a more adult-oriented and refined experience. 


According to Royal Caribbean President and CEO Michael Bayley, the demand for Perfect Day at CocoCay is “exceptionally high.” Out of 100 global destinations, it's the number one rated port that Royal Caribbean sails to. 

Celebrity Cruises' President, Laura Hodges Bethge, acknowledges that Celebrity's clientele doesn't want to be left out of this private island experience. “

By introducing this new program," she said, "we can meet this demand and offer something new and historic to all our guests.”

Royal Caribbean eliminated norovirus outbreaks on its cruise ships last year after making big changes

22 Apr 2024
Matt Hochberg

No one wants to get sick, especially on vacation, and Royal Caribbean implemented a program in 2023 that got rid of one of the worst illnesses people sometimes catch on cruise ships.

Norovirus on cruise ship

Within Royal Caribbean Groups' environmental stewardship report for 2023 is a section that details what the company is doing to improve public health on its ships.

The Norovirus Eradication Campaign was launched in 2023 on Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises vessels with the ultimate goal of eliminating transmission of norovirus on its ships.

Norovirus is referred to as "the stomach flu", and is easily spread from person to person.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 19 to 21 million cases of vomiting and diarrhea illnesses caused by norovirus each year. 

Norovirus is transmitted when someone ingests particles of vomit or feces from an infected person, such as through consuming food touched by an infected individual, touching contaminated surfaces and then their mouth, or placing contaminated objects on clean surfaces.

The CDC says the most common symptoms of norovirus are diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. 

Woman with stomach pain

While only about 1% of all annual norovirus cases reported in the U.S. happen on cruise ships, the perception is it occurs more frequently due to media reports of gastrointestinal viral outbreaks on cruise ships. This is partly because health officials track illness on cruise ships, so outbreaks are found and reported more quickly on a cruise ship than on land.

You're far more likely to catch norovirus at a long-term care facility, hospital, childcare center, or school.

Regardless, because of the media attention reports of the virus on cruise ships attract, Royal Caribbean Group took action to mitigate cases.

A new approach

Couple in Solarium

In June 2023, Royal Caribbean launched a norovirus eradication campaign that included a range of new protocols and policies.

The six tenants of the program were outlined in the Seastainability report:

1. Enhanced acute GI training for onboard medical teams and traveling PHOs 

2. Increased PHO oversight of our Outbreak Prevention Plan, which covers requirements like hand washing, buffet oversight and disinfectant mandates for all public areas aboard our ships

PDI Wipes

3. Switching to PDI SaniCloth Prime hospital-grade disinfectant wipes (Link contains affiliate link, which costs you nothing extra to use!)

Unlike earlier wipes, PDI wipes carry an EPA claim against norovirus, helping them play a key role in reducing acute GI cases onboard cruise ships.

4. New contactless tap technology, eliminating the need for crew to handle guest cards

5. Enhanced crew training on what to do when experiencing acute GI symptoms and how to avoid cross-contamination in food and beverage service areas

6. An update to our Safety & Quality Management system to stop self-service in buffets if the onboard norovirus rate exceeds 1.5%


According to the report, after the eradication campaign was implemented in June 2023, there was not a single norovirus outbreak onboard any Royal Caribbean International or Celebrity Cruise ship for the remainder of 2023.

It is worth noting the CDC outbreaks page does list Celebrity Constellation as having an outbreak in January 2024.

Something else trialed was the implementation of Synexis BioDefense purifiers. On eight cruise ships, these units reduced the presence of microbes associated with diseases like COVID-19, influenza and norovirus.

97.3% public health inspection scores

Symphony of the Seas in PortMiami aerial

Another big step Royal Caribbean Group made in improving the health of guests and crew members on its ships was to invest more in its public health inspection program.

All cruise ships participate in the CDC's Vessel Sanitation Program, which has been in place since the 1970s to conduct random, unannounced inspections of ships if they wish to visit a port in the United States.

The program enforces strict health and safety guidelines, covering the cleaning of high-touch areas and the management of food storage in freezers, refrigerators, and galleys.

Icon of the Seas galley

Royal Caribbean Group hired  new internal public health inspectors to help the ships improve their public health practices.

The team reviewed public health trends and past areas of concern to come up with recommendations to do better.

As a result of these and other improvements, the average United States Public Health Services (USPHS) inspection score was 97.3 across the fleet. In fact, 10 ships scored a perfect 100

A ship must score 85 or above to pass inspection.

Should you be concerned about getting norovirus on a cruise?

Ocean view balcony

Royal Caribbean Group's eradication program is certainly a positive step, but if you're still worried about catching norovirus, the risks are low.

Even before this new initiative was put into place, the CDC acknowledges that risks are quite low on cruise ships compared to your chances of catching it elsewhere on land. In short, the math points to it being an unlikely scenario for you to encounter.

Brilliance of the Seas

Moreover, the cruise industry as a whole was already headed to a better place prior to 2020. The rate of acute gastroenteritis illnesses on cruise ships decreased during 2006-2019 for passengers and crew, according to CDC data.

Read more: How To Avoid Getting Sick on a Cruise

The CDC advises frequent hand washing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds to prevent the spread of norovirus. Key times for handwashing include after using the restroom or changing diapers, and before eating, preparing food, or handling medicine.

Clorox wipes

If you want to bring something on your ship to help lower the chance of catching norovirus, Lysol and Clorox products are among the bleaches the Environmental Protection Agency lists as being effective against norovirus.  Before you buy anything, keep in mind bleach isn't allowed on cruise ships.

Read more: What can you not bring on a cruise

Instead, you could pack hydrogen peroxide wipes (just don’t flush them down the toilet). We recommend these Clorox Healthcare Hydrogen Peroxide Wipes for taking with you on your ship (Link contains affiliate link, which costs you nothing extra to use!).

Royal Caribbean touts "significant progress" in decarbonization reduction target

22 Apr 2024
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean Group's work is far from done, but it's getting closer than ever to its big eco-friendly goals.

Ovation of the Seas on a sunny day

On Monday morning, Royal Caribbean Group released its annual "Seastainability Report", which outlines its environmental goals and progress made to reach them.

In 2023, Royal Caribbean Group advanced its goal of achieving net zero emissions by surpassing half of its carbon intensity reduction target, conducting successful biofuel trials in Europe, and launching the first waste-to-energy system on a ship in the maritime industry.

Plus, there are the overarching goals of reducing carbon intensity by double-digits by 2025 and introducing a net-zero cruise ship by 2035. 

Highlights from the report

Seastainability report

Here are the major achievements reported in this year's report:


  • Achieved a 6.8% reduction in carbon intensity, surpassing half of its ambitious carbon intensity reduction goal.
  • Expanded energy options following successful biofuel trials, demonstrating that alternative fuels can be integrated without modifying engines or affecting onboard systems.
  • Enhanced global local sourcing, cutting transportation distances by 37%, which supports local communities and reduces Scope 3 emissions in certain areas.
  • Advanced marine species protection through the Shellbank program, using genetic technology to match DNA of critically endangered sea turtles to specific sites for conservation and to combat illegal harvesting.
Artist Discovery Program for Icon of the Seas

Community Support

  • Introduced Royal Caribbean International's Artist Discovery Program, featuring emerging Caribbean artists aboard the new ship, Icon of the Seas.
  • Developed specialized training programs for Bahamian entrepreneurs through the Small Business Development Centre's (SBDC) Royal Caribbean Kickstarter Programme, aimed at boosting local tourism-related businesses.
  • Debuted the first accessible Star Class suite on Icon of the Seas, enhancing inclusivity.
  • 100% scored on public health inspections on 10 ships, with a 97.3% average fleet wide between Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises.


  • Launched the first at-sea waste-to-energy systems on Silver Nova and Icon of the Seas.
  • Initiated construction of the first tri-fuel methanol-capable ship, Celebrity Xcel.
  • Extended the partnership with the University of Miami's OceanScope, providing additional funding to support over two decades of ocean conservation and research on Royal Caribbean Group ships.


Royal Caribbean Group has three primary groups they work with to assist on their journey.

For the past 20 years, they've worked with University of Miami’s OceanScope program to share ocean data.

Since 2016, the World Wildlife Fund has been a partner in supporting conservation efforts, such as the Hawksbill Turtles, Polar Bears, and Whale Sharks.

The company also supports Shellbank, which is a genetic technology program that matches DNA of critically endangered sea turtles to specific locations to create priority conservation sites and prevent illegal harvesting.

Net Zero progress

Celebrity Cruise logo
Goal2023 Progress
Reduce our carbon intensity by double digits from a 2019 baseline by 2025• 6.8% reduction in carbon intensity
• Completed 50 energy-efficiency retrofit projects, including steam
turbine and LED lighting system upgrades
• Grew portfolio of fuel options with first LNG-powered ship and
successful biofuel trials
• Debuted Total Energy Management (TEM) system to optimize energy
• 30 ships with shore power capabilities as of year end
Achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050
Deliver net-zero cruise ship by 2035• Completed successful biofuel trials on three ships
• Launched Silversea’s Silver Nova, which is 33% more energy efficient
than required for ships today
• Started construction on Celebrity Xcel, our first tri-fuel methanolcapable ship (2025 delivery)

Water sustainability

Goal2023 Progress
Increase or maintain 90% potable water production
and reduce potable water bunkering in vulnerable
areas by 2025
• 93% potable water production
Equip 100% of fleet with Advanced Wastewater
Purification systems by 2025
• 98% equipped
Equip 100% of fleet with IMO and USCG certified
systems for ballast water by 2025
• IMO 100%
• USCG 74%

Waste management

Recycling center
Goal2023 Progress
Reduce solid waste offloaded to landfill by 90% from the 2007 baseline by 2025• 87% reduction
• Expanded Green Hub program to Galápagos
• Launched the first waste-to-energy system at sea
Reduce single-use plastics 100% by 2025•  60% reduction
• Relaunched phase three of our plastics reduction program, focused on food containers and water bottles, after adjusting for impact on the environment and guest feedback
Reduce food waste across our fleet by 50% by 2025• 25% reduction

Supply chain

Supplies coming onboard
Goal2023 Progress
Implement program to foster an inclusive and diverse
supply chain through our procurement process by 2024
Operationalized our supplier onboarding portal,
providing additional insights that inform our decision

Sourcing Goals

Chef inspecting new supplies
Source 100% cage-free eggs globally by 202552%54%The global egg shortage due to highly
pathogenic avian influenza disrupted our
egg supply chain in 2023. We are partnering
with new suppliers to reach our 2025 target
and are testing new preservation options,
such as frozen cage-free eggs.
Source 100% of chickens for U.S. operations
from Global Animal Partnership (GAP)
certified suppliers by 2025 
20%96%We made significant progress in 2023, well
above our internal goals for the year.
Source 100% gestation-crate-free
pork globally by 2025
15%45%Sourcing gestation-free pork is challenging
in a competitive marketplace, yet we
partnered with three new suppliers to stay
on track for 2025. 
Source 90% of wild-caught seafood by
volume from Marine Stewardship Council
(MSC) certified fisheries18 by 2025
83%31%We faced a setback when Maine lobster
fisheries lost their MSC certification.
This resulted in a reduced percentage
of our volume meeting commitment.
We are in the process of identifying
new opportunities and engaging in
conversations with MSC.
Source 75% of farm-raised seafood by
volume from Aquaculture Stewardship
Council (ASC) certified fisheries by 2025
75%69%We remain on track to meet our 2025
Obtain MSC and ASC Chain of Custody
certification for specified species for our
ships by 2024
 UpdatedWe updated our goal from 2023 due to a
change in the MSC & ASC Chain of Custody
Standard specific to the certification
type we plan to use. We aim to complete
certification in 2024. 


Guest service crew members
Goal2023 Progress
Form an Executive Diversity Council, chaired by CEO
by 2023
• Achieved
Review gender pay equity annually for all global
employees, including shipboard crew, by 2024
• Expanded assessment beyond U.S. to include United Kingdom, Philippines, Mexico and Monaco shoreside locations; on track for all global employees and shipboard crew by 2024
Publish updated human rights policy and conduct human rights impact assessments by 2025• On track to be published in early 2024; on track to complete assessments by 2025

Royal Caribbean News Round-Up April 21, 2024

21 Apr 2024
Calista Kiper

Did you miss any of this week's Royal Caribbean news? No worries, because we have you covered with our wrap-up of cruise news!

Royal Caribbean crew members are often praised for going above and beyond, and this Windjammer employee is a cut above the rest.

Washy washy crew member

Reminding guests to wash their hands is a simple task, and Stacian makes it entertaining like no one else can.

She is one of the many members with the "Washy Washy" assignment, and has worked on Royal Caribbean cruise ships for 20 years.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

Slot machine

The 531st episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available! 

How do you get a free Royal Caribbean cruise from gambling? And is it worth it?

Matt answers all your questions about the Casino Royale deal—the best one out there—in this 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: The WORST Royal Caribbean Deals

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—The WORST Royal Caribbean Deals—don’t forget to subscribe to our channel!

16 things to ask your cruise ship cabin attendant

What kind of special requests can you make to your stateroom attendant?

Whether you need a sharps container, extra towels, or even furniture moved out of your way, your stateroom attendant can tend to all your concerns.

To ensure you have the most comfortable stay, here's everything you can ask your cabin attendant for.

Follow our NEW Facebook page!

Follow us on Facebook

We have a new Facebook page, so please follow us there too!

Unfortunately our old Facebook page was removed, so you'll need to follow us on our new Facebook page so you don't miss any updates!

Celebrity will visit Royal Caribbean's private island

Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean will be bringing their close sisterhood even closer.

Celebrity will visit CocoCay

On Monday, April 22nd, Celebrity ships begin visiting Royal Caribbean's private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

The move is symbolic of the sister lines' closer relationship.

Because of the high demand for Bahamas and Caribbean cruises, Celebrity will begin visiting the region, with occasional stops at CocoCay.

What happens on Turnaround Day on a Cruise?

Dirty laundry
Photo by Johnk6404

How do cruise ships go straight from one sailing to the next?

Turnaround day is when the previous guests disembark from a cruise and the incoming guests board.

Behind the scenes, crew members and cruise terminal staff work tirelessly to get it all down in just a few hours.

This is the entire process of turnaround day, and how the crew gets it all done.