Friday Photos - November 1, 2019

In:
01Nov2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Welcome to this week's edition of Friday Photos, where we showcase our readers favorite Royal Caribbean photos.  If we all cannot be on a Royal Caribbean cruise at the moment, then the next best thing is to look at photos of a cruise longingly as a means of getting a "cruise fix."

If you want to submit your photos for a future Friday Photos post, be sure to send them to us via this form.

We begin with this beautiful photo of Perfect Day at CocoCay by Colin C.

Next up is a photo by Joe Moran taken on a sunset catamaran in Bermuda during an Anthem of the Seas sailing.

Frankie C. sent in this photo of Mariner of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas docked in Nassau, Bahamas.

Here is a photo of Mariner of the Seas docked at Terminal A in PortMiami. Photo by Dave Horn.

Peter Kelley snapped this interesting shot while on Symphony of the Seas of someone enjoying their morning coffee from their balcony.

Our next photo is by Thomas Schauer, and it is of Harmony of the Seas docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Our last photo this week is by Gabrielle Owens, and it the view from her balcony on Symphony of the Seas.

That wraps up this week's edition of Friday Photos. If you want your Royal Caribbean photo featured here, use this form to send them in!

Autumn Adventure Sale offers 60% off second guest

In:
01Nov2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has revealed its Autumn Adventure Sale, which offers 60% off the second guest, kids sail for less and up to $150 instant savings.

The new sale is valid on cruises booked between November 1 — 3, 2019 and applies to sailings departing on or after December 1, 2019.

It includes:

  • 60% savings off the price of cruise fare of the second guest booked in the same stateroom as first, full-fare paying guest.
  • 30% cruise fare savings for third guests and higher booked in the same stateroom as the first two qualifying guests. 
  • Instant savings of up to $150 USD per stateroom on select sailings departing on or after December 1, 2019.
    • Savings amount determined by category booked and sailing length:
    • Sailings 5 nights or less, $25 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $50 for Balconies and $75 for Suites
    • Sailings 6 nights or longer, $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $75 for Balconies and $150 for Suites

BOGO60 is combinable with Autumn Adventure Sale as well as promotional OBCs, NextCruise offers, instant savings, restricted discounts (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military), Promo Code driven offers, Free Upgrades, Crown and Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. Offers are not combinable with any other offer or promotion, including, but not limited to, Standard Group, Interline, Travel Agent, Travel Agent Friends and Family, Weekly Sales Events, and Net Rates. Promo Code driven offers are based on select ships and sail dates and must be applied at time of booking, limit one promo code per booking. 

Offer available to residents of United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and select countries in the Caribbean. 

4 rewards Royal Caribbean will give you after just one cruise

In:
31Oct2019
By: Matt Hochberg

After taking just one cruise, Royal Caribbean gives its guests a fair amount of benefits and rewards to enjoy. Cruise line or not, the Crown and Anchor Society customer loyalty program offers its guests incentives to return time and time again.

While some of the most lucrative benefits are reserved for the top tiers of the program, today we have a look at what everyone can expect after just one Royal Caribbean cruise!

Priority check-in

When you arrive to the cruise terminal to check-in for your cruise, there will be a special line just for you as a Gold member of Crown and Anchor Society.

In fact, each tier of Crown and Anchor Society has its own line to check-in with the pier agents.  This means less waiting in line with the vast majority of guests, who are new to Royal Caribbean.

Private departure lounge with continental breakfast

On the last day of the cruise, Royal Caribbean sets aside a special area for Crown and Anchor guests to wait for their luggage tags to be called.

This is a quieter area, reserved just for those that have cruised before, and it includes complimentary coffee, juice and a few choice items to enjoy while you wait.

Onboard offers loaded on SeaPass Card

Arguably the best reward by Royal Caribbean for cruising again with them are the onboard offers you will receive pre-loaded onto your SeaPass card.

When you arrive to your stateroom on the first day of the cruise, there will be a letter waiting that lists every benefit you are entitled to enjoy while onboard.  Each guest has their own set of rewards, and these include perks such as BOGO deals on alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, discount at the Vitality Spa, Voom internet discount and more.

Here is an example of the Gold-level list of discounts from a recent cruise.

Priority access to new itineraries and offers

When new itineraries are released, or a new cruise ship is announced and open for booking, all members of Crown and Anchor Society are entitled to a head start on these bookings, ahead of the general public.

Usually, this comes in the form of new itineraries open to Crown and Anchor Society members a day in advance, and then it gets opened up to the general public after that.

This means priority access to these new bookings and an edge on getting lower prices and stateroom options.

What is your favorite perk of Crown and Anchor Society? Which benefit do you use the most? Share with us in the comments!

Royal Caribbean WiFi: Guide to Internet at sea

In:
31Oct2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Staying connected while on your Royal Caribbean cruise is easier and faster than ever. Here is your guide to being online while on your Royal Caribbean cruise.

How can I get internet access on my Royal Caribbean cruise?

Guests with Wi-Fi enabled devices may connect at any time for "stem to stern" coverage from anywhere, including your stateroom.

Connecting to Royal Caribbean's Wi-Fi is just like at anywhere on land:

  1. Log on to the to the network "royal-wifi" using your device.
  2. Open a web browser and attempt to visit any web site.
  3. The Royal Caribbean WiFi login page will appear, with options to purchase an internet package or allow guests that already have a package to login.

What is Voom?

You might hear and read about something called, "Voom," which is what Royal Caribbean calls its onboard internet service. Unlike traditional internet options at sea, Voom utilizes a different kind of satellite technology to provide much faster connectivity.  

Voom offers guests the ability to stream music and movies, upload pictures, video chat with family and friends using FaceTime or Skype, check their email, lookup their stock prices, surf the web and stay connected with work via VPN.

In fact, on Oasis and Quantum class ships, you can easily stream video from services like Hulu or Netflix, or engage in Facetime and Skype video calls.

Some other ships, notably Royal Caribbean ships that spend time outside the United States, the speeds may not be quite as fast, but fleetwide, the Voom service is significantly better than onboard internet available through other cruise lines.

How do I sign up for Wi-Fi?

Your access to the internet onboard your Royal Caribbean ship is tied to your stateroom and account you create.  

When you first logon to Royal Caribbean's Wi-Fi, you will see an option to create an account and there you can sign up for a plan or pay for the internet by the day.  In either case, the charge for internet usage will be applied to your stateroom account.

Can I use my Wi-Fi internet package at Perfect Day at CocoCay?

Yes, your Wi-Fi package works at Perfect Day at CocoCay for no additional charge.

What devices can access the internet? 

Any internet device that can access a 802.11b wireless connection can connect to the internet.  This include most smart phones, laptops and tablets.  

Royal Caribbean does provide workstations that are shared and available on a first-come, first served basis but we have found the workstations to be slow in terms of performance.

How fast is Royal Caribbean's Wi-Fi?

Let me be frank, internet access on a cruise ship will never be quite as snappy or responsive as it is on land.  However, Royal Caribbean's Voom packages are serviceable, and on the newer ships, pretty fast.

A number of factors can influence how fast the ship's internet is, including how many guests are using it, natural barriers and the ship's latitude.

How much does internet access cost?

The cost of a Wi-Fi internet package varies depending on the number of devices and the service package purchased. 

Royal Caribbean offers unlimited plans that can be purchased onboard the ship or pre-purchased prior to the cruise. 

Without a doubt, you will save money by pre-purchasing your Voom internet package via Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner site.

Can I switch between devices while using a Voom package?

Yes, you may use as many devices as you like, but whichever plan you purchase will limit you to the number of devices that may be connected at the same time.  

To change devices, first log off the first device by typing logoff.com into your web browser.  This will log your first device out.  Afterwards, log back in with the other device.  You can do this as many times as necessary.

Video: What's included (and costs extra) at Perfect Day at CocoCay

In:
31Oct2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Is your Royal Caribbean cruise visiting Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas, and you are trying to figure out what costs extra and what is included with your cruise fare?

Many families are curious what Royal Caribbean offers at no additional cost at Perfect Day at CocoCay, and what experiences or activities will cost extra.  We have a look at all the complimentary offerings, and what will require you to pay extra in this video.

And if you love this video, we have lots of other great cruise videos to watch on our Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel!

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

So check out the video and then let us know: What are you planning to do on your visit to Perfect Day at CocoCay?

Royal Caribbean talks Hurricane Dorian hit on revenue, impact of ship upgrades, Perfect Day at Lelepa and more

In:
30Oct2019
By: Matt Hochberg

During an earnings call with investors today, Royal Caribbean's executives discussed a variety of topics related to the company's financial success in the third quarter. Part of those discussions shed some light into various plans and progress being made by the cruise line that guests may find intriguing.

Hurricane Dorian cost Royal Caribbean $27 million

Anytime a hurricane disrupts cruise itineraries, there is an impact on Royal Caribbean's bottom line, but Hurricane Dorian caused the largest impact of any hurricane in Royal Caribbean's history.

Royal Caribbean Chief Financial Officer Jason Liberty characterized Hurricane Dorian's unusual, one-time impact on Royal Caribbean's financial performance.  Three main Florida embarkation ports closed on a weekend as a precautionary measure.  These measures impacted 16 sailings and made this the most disruptive storm in the company's history. 

The financial impact was particularly large because the affected ships included the very successful Oasis-class, because Perfect Day at CocoCay was closed for 10 days, and because of the cruise line's extensive relief efforts.  The combination of guest compensation, the closure of Perfect Day at CocoCay and the relief efforts negatively impacted the third quarter by $27 million.

Guests love the upgrades and enhancements

Royal Caribbean's investments in destinations and ships continue to be a hit with guests who are booking cruises to experience them.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain spoke about this effect, "Perfect Day at CocoCay continues to amaze our Royal Caribbean International guests, and boost our bottom line. Our vessel modernization program is driving strong results. These upgrades are expensive, but our guests love them and reward us accordingly."

"Or take our investments in technology, which are beginning to bear fruit. These investments are expensive, and demanding, but they improve the experience for crew and guest alike. They make us more attractive, or more efficient. "

Perfect Day at Lelepa will built with sustainability in mind

Royal Caribbean recently announced a new Perfect Day island destination in Vanuatu, and the island will be powered by renewable sources of energy to ensure it is carbon footprint is reduced.

Mr. Fain spoke about their plans for Lelepa, "There's also one, very special aspect of this project that is also worth noting. Lelapa will be the first private cruise destination in the world that achieves carbon neutrality. All of the energy consumed will be generated from renewable sources. Accomplishing that requires both major investment and major innovation, but Perfect Day at Lelapa will be rich in both."

A look at how many guests are experiencing Perfect Day at CocoCay

You do not have to listen to earnings call with investors to know Perfect Day at CocoCay has been a giant hit with guests.

Mr. Liberty mentioned at one point in the call, more than 70% of Royal Caribbean's guests sailing on a Caribbean cruise will experience Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Plans for Perfect Day at Lelepa

Royal Caribbean International CEO and President Michael Bayley provided a few details on Perfect Day at Lelepa in Vanautu during the call.

Mr. Bayley indicated Perfect Day at Lelepa should open in late 2021 or early 2022.

He also said that guest volume for Perfect Day at Lelepa will be less than Perfect Day at CocoCay, "The volume will be less less than Perfect Day at CocoCay, which I think at its peak in a few years will get to close to 3 million people going there. The number for Vanuatu, I think, reaches close to 750-800,000 is currently in our plans."

Royal Caribbean's 48-hour sale offers bonus instant savings and kids sail free

In:
30Oct2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is running a 48-hour sale that is offering 30% off every guest, kids sail free and bonus instant savings.

The Daring Deals sale is valid on cruises booked between October –30 – 31, 2019 and applies to select sailings departing on or after November 30, 2019.

It includes:

  • 30% off cruise fare for all guests in the stateroom
  • Kids Sail Free provides free cruise fare for 3rd guests and higher who are 12 years old or younger on select 4-night or longer Alaska, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Caribbean, CaribNE, Coastal, Europe, Hawaii, and Repositioning sailings departing between November 1, 2019 – May 15, 2020 and August 31, 2020 – December 17, 2020.
    • Offer excludes 2019 Thanksgiving sailings (Sailings between November 23 – 30, 2019), Holiday sailings (Sailings between December 15, 2019 – January 3, 2020), President’s Day sailings (Sailings between February 14 – 17, 2020), Spring Break sailings (Sailings between March 14 – 23, 2020), Holy Week/Easter sailings (Sailings between April 3 – 17, 2020) and 2020 Thanksgiving sailings (Sailings between November 21 – 27, 2020). 
  • Daring Deals applies to new bookings made October 30 – 31 2019.
    • Instant savings of up to $150 per stateroom on select sailings departing on or after November 30, 2019
    • Sailings 5 nights or less, $25 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $50 for Balconies and $75 for Suites
    • Sailings 6 nights or longer, $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $75 for Balconies and $150 for Suites
  • Deck the Holiday Deals applies to new bookings made between October 30 – 31 2019.  
    • Instant savings of up to $100 per stateroom on select sailings departing between December 2 – 31, 2019 and November 30 – December 31, 2020.
    • Savings amount determined by category booked and sailing length:
      • Sailings 5 nights or less, $25 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $50 for Balconies and $50 for Suites
      • Sailings 6 nights or longer, $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $75 for Balconies and $100 for Suites

 30% Off Every Guest and Deck the Holiday Deals are combinable with each other as well as promotional OBCs, NextCruise offers, Instant Savings, restricted discounts (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military), Promo Code driven offers, Free Upgrades, Crown and Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. 30% Off Every Guest and Kids Sail Free are combinable with each other as well as with promotional OBCs, NextCruise offers, instant savings, restricted discounts (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military), Promo Code driven offers, Free Upgrades, Crown and Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits.  Kids Sail Free and Deck the Holiday Deals are combinable with each other for sailings departing December 2 – 14, 2019 and November 28 – December 17, 2020 only. Daring Deals is combinable with 30% Off Every Guest, Deck the Holiday Deals, Kids Sail Free, as well as with promotional OBCs, NextCruise offers, Instant Savings, restricted discounts (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military), Promo Code driven offers, Free Upgrades, and Shareholder Benefits, but not combinable with Crown and Anchor discounts. Offers are not combinable with any other offer or promotion, including, but not limited to, Standard Group, Interline, Travel Agent, Travel Agent Friends and Family, Weekly Sales Events, and Net Rates.  Promo Code driven offers are based on select ships and sail dates and must be applied at time of booking, limit one promo code per booking. 

Offer available to residents of United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and select countries in the Caribbean.

First look at the Ultimate Panoramic Suite on Oasis of the Seas

In:
30Oct2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Debuting on Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean is giving us a look at a brand new type of suite stateroom -- the Ultimate Panoramic Suite.

One of the changes coming to Oasis of the Seas as part of her Royal Amplification is the addition of the Ultimate Panoramic Suite, which offers 914 square feet of space and sweeping 200 degree views from wall to wall and floor to ceiling glass windows.

This new room type also offers a walk-in closet, and upgraded bathroom with panoramic views of its own.

The Ultimate Panoramic Suite can accommodate up to 4 guests.  They will be on either side of the ship on deck 14 forward. The room numbers are 14128 and 14528.

Since this room is a Star Class suite in the Royal Suite Class, guests can expect a number of benefits including:

  • Royal Genie
  • Exclusive Complimentary Dining
  • Complimentary Ultimate Beverage Package
  • All Day Access to Suites-Only Coastal Kitchen
  • Still and Sparkling Water Replenished Daily
  • Complimentary Coca-Cola Beverages and Water
  • Nespresso Coffee Maker
  • Access to Exclusive Activities such as the Bridge, Galley and Back Stage Tours
  • Spa Bathrobes for Use Onboard
  • Complimentary In-Suite Movies
  • Luxury Bathroom Amenities by L’Occitane
  • Duxiana Mattress and Frette Linens

Royal Caribbean announces Royal Beach Club in Antigua

In:
29Oct2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean announced the first of its Royal Beach Club in Antigua, which will open along a half-mile of beachfront near Fort James.

The company signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Antigua and Barbuda for the project, which is scheduled to open in 2021.

Built for Royal Caribbean International guests, The Royal Beach Club at Fort James will combine Antigua's famous beaches with the cruise line’s signature service and amenities.

Curated as the ultimate beach experience, the Royal Beach Club Collection will bring the unique features and flavors of each destination to life. In Antigua, guests can take in the island’s exceptional views from private cabanas or plunge into a stunning pool and swim up to the bar to order a classic rum punch.

“The Royal Beach Club Collection is an adventure we cannot wait to reveal to our guests,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We have incredible partners in the government of Antigua and Barbuda to bring the first of our collection to life. Together, we are designing an experience that will bring more visitors to these idyllic islands and will create significant economic benefits and opportunities for local employment for years to come.”

The Royal Beach Club concept builds on the remarkable success of Royal Caribbean’s new Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas but will be a distinctly different experience for guests.

“With Royal Beach Club, we’re starting with a great day at a beautiful beach, and adding even more services and activities,” Bayley said. “Each location will feature local food and music, family activities and custom attractions to give everyone plenty of options on how to spend their day by the ocean.”

Though Royal does not expect to release specific designs for the Antigua destination for several months, the company expects to offer regional fare, island-style BBQs and live music, along with unforgettable experiences, including such thrills as wave runners, paddle boarding, snorkeling, a family splash pad and stunning pool with swim-up bar.         

Royal Caribbean to offer prix-fixe specialty restaurant lunch experience

In:
29Oct2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is going to offer its guests a prix-fixe lunch experience of signature courses from the cruise line's top specialty restaurants. 

Taste of Royal will combine the some of the best dishes from different specialty restaurants into one meal.  

The meal will begin with a selection of sushi and sashimi presented by Izumi. Next up is from Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen featuring mascarpone risotto with crabmeat. Then Chops Grill will serve up a classic surf and turf of filet mignon and jumbo shrimp. Followed by fried cheesecake with Nutella, whipped cream and caramelized popcorn from 150 Central Park. All topped off with a classic Aperol Spritz from Hooked Seafood. 

Within the next couple of weeks, guests will be able to start making reservations within the Cruise Planner. Guests can also book it onboard at any Specialty Dining Desk or, alternatively, at any restaurant on the ship.

Taste of Royal starts at $54.99 USD per person. There is also an optional wine pairing that is available for $19.99. Prices are subject to change and 18% gratuity will be added. It will not be included with a dining package. Children 0-5 are complimentary and children 6-12 are $10. Children must order from the Royal Caribbean kid’s menu.

The wine pairing includes three 3 oz sample pours of wine selected to pair with the appropriate courses, along with a sample of port to pair with dessert. If you purchased a beverage package,  guests will receive 25% off the cost of the wine pairing.

Taste of Royal will occur once per sailing during lunch on a sea day, Cruises longer than 7 nights may offer more than one opportunity.

Guests that pre-purchase Taste of Royal will receive a letter in their stateroom with more details on location, timing, and more.

If you have dietary restrictions, Royal Caribbean says to let the cruise line know in advance if there are specific allergies or conditions and they will accommodate.

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