Royal Caribbean partners with GRAMMY Museum to offer students chance to perform at Symphony of the Seas naming ceremony

In:
15Oct2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is is partnering with the GRAMMY Museum® – the official foundation of the Recording Academy™ – to fund music education programs in underserved high schools within the Miami-Dade County Public School District. Twenty local schools will receive grants from Royal Caribbean through the GRAMMY Museum® Signature Schools program, and the chance to perform at Symphony’s naming ceremony.

The 20 schools were selected for maintaining thriving music programs with only limited resources. As the first Signature Schools program dedicated to Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Royal Caribbean and the GRAMMY Museum is taking music education beyond the classroom to inspire the next generation of performers with firsthand, career-building experiences.  

Each school will be honored during an exclusive tour behind the scenes at the Royal Caribbean Entertainment Studios on Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay campus, complete with hands-on introductions to what a career in music and entertainment could look like. Students will spend a day at the 132,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, which features a 300-seat theater, a 20,000-square-foot, costume-making facility, 14 dance studios, 15 vocal rehearsal rooms, an audio recording studio, two aerial training studios, and more. Further spotlighting the arts and flourishing talent in South Florida, one student ensemble will be invited to perform on a global stage at the official naming ceremony of Symphony of the Seas on Nov. 15 at Royal Caribbean’s new state-of-the-art Terminal A.

GRAMMY Museum Signature Schools Honorees:

  • American Senior High School
  • Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts
  • Booker T. Washington Senior High School
  • G. Holmes Braddock Senior High School
  • Hialeah Gardens Senior High School
  • Hialeah Senior High School
  • Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School
  • Miami Carol City Senior High School
  • Miami Central Senior High School
  • Miami Coral Park Senior High School
  • Miami Edison Senior High School
  • Miami Jackson Senior High School
  • Miami Norland Senior High School
  • Miami Northwestern Senior High School
  • Miami Southridge Senior High School
  • Miami Springs Senior High School
  • North Miami Beach Senior High School
  • South Dade Senior High School
  • Southwest Miami Senior High School
  • Westland Hialeah Senior High School   

“There is a reason behind choosing the name Symphony of the Seas; it’s because music, entertainment and family are woven throughout every aspect of the onboard experience of our guests’,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We have great pride in being a Miami-based company for nearly 50 years. Welcoming Symphony to our hometown is a special occasion, and it is important for us that we celebrate her arrival by giving back to our community in a meaningful way. In working with the GRAMMY Museum, we are helping inspire these incredible, young performers to continue pursuing their passion and show them the variety of career opportunities that exist.”

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: October 14, 2018

In:
14Oct2018
By: Matt Hochberg

We hope everyone reading this is having a wonderful Sunday and enjoying some time this weekend with friends, family and some good food too.  There was a lot of Royal Caribbean news this week, and we have summarized all up into one easy-to-read blog post for your convenience!

Royal Caribbean announced that Navigator of the Seas will be the first cruise ship to visit CocoCay following the transformation to Perfect Day in CocoCay.

Navigator of the Seas will sail a 3 night Bahamas sailing between May 3-6, 2019.

Perfect Day at CocoCay is a $200 million makeover of Royal Caribbean's private destination in the Bahamas.  CocoCay will offer guests plenty of ways to relax and enjoy beautiful beaches and pristine water, plus thrilling experiences like Thrill Water Park, ziplining and water sports.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

Mariner of the Seas has a lot of people excited to go on a short cruise again, and on this week's podcast, we have a cruise review to share from a recent Mariner sailing.

Ric from CruiseHabit.com joins Matt to talk about his recent sailing on Mariner of the Seas. Ric talks about why he booked this cruise, what he did onboard, and what Ric thinks of the recent upgrades.

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

Royal Caribbean Around the Internet

CruiseHabit tried out the Try Dive activity on a recent Royal Caribbean sailing.

Eat Sleep Cruise counted down their top ten favorite things to do on embarkation day.

Royal Caribbean shared a video on how the cruise line procures everything it needs for a sailing.

Friday Photos - October 12, 2018

In:
12Oct2018
By: Matt Hochberg

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

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

Our first photo this week is Harmony of the Seas docked in Labadee, by Mike Sperduto.

Karen Chandler took this photo of Oasis of the Seas from her Beach Bungalow #3 in Columbus Cove.

Check out this photo of Explorer of the Seas docked in Honolulu while on a Transpacific sailing by F1guynz.

Michael Kho took this photo of Majesty of the Seas while docked in Cozumel.

Rob Young snapped this picture of Freedom of the Seas docked next to Carnival Magic while in St. Maarten.

A rainbow over a Royal Caribbean ship, as seen by Gwendolyn Salzman.

We will wrap up this week's edition of photos with this shot by Shane Eubanks at Holland House Beach Hotel in St. Maarten, with Oasis of the Seas in the background.

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

Must-Try Eats at Izumi on Royal Caribbean

In:
12Oct2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Are you planning to try Royal Caribbean's signature sushi specialty restaurant, Izumi? We are big fans of Izumi across Royal Caribbean's fleet for the inspired menu, fresh ingredients and wide selection.

While the entire Izumi menu offers some intriguing choices, here is a quick look at a few of my top choices for ordering at Izumi on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Izumi Ryu Futomaki roll

If you are looking for a sushi roll to satisfy any appetite, then the Izumi Ryu Futomaki roll is sure to fill you up quickly.

This massive roll is one of the Chef's Signature Rolls, and it is a tempura fried mashup of sushi goodness.  It is comprised of assorted sashimi, scallions, scallions, spicy aioli, cream cheese, wakame salad, house ginger teppan dressing and a spicy chili thread.

Not only is this a giant sushi roll, it is also a deeply satisfying roll and the kind of thing to order when you really want a filling meal.  It is also a great value if you have a specialty dining package.

Tuna wasabi

One of Izumi's strengths are the great assortment of starters, and the Tuna Wasabi carpaccio is something I can order each time I visit Izumi and never tire of trying. 

The tuna wasabi is a simple, yet delectable appetizer.  It is also very light, which means you are not going into your main course already feeling full. 

Fresh tuna sashimi and a slice of jalapeño make for a brilliant contrast in flavors.  There is just enough kick from the jalapeño to compliment the tremendous tuna flavor.  Any tuna lover will relish this app.

Hot Rock

Izumi offers some of the best sushi at sea or on land, but it also has a really good option for those that do not like sushi (crazy, I know).  The hot rocks have become a staple of so many Izumi locations and it is as fun to cook as it is to eat.

Hot rocks are essentially a rock slab heated up to 575°F and served with raw meat and vegetables that you can cook at your table.  The hot rocks are available on all Vision, Radiance and most Voyager class of ships (with the exception of Adventure of the Seas) have hot rock and sushi. Quantum Class ships have sushi, hot appetizers and noodles. Oasis class have Hibachi and sushi. Mariner and Independence are the other 2 Izumis with mostly Hibachi.

The appeal of the hot rocks is more than just "something to order if you do not like sushi."  Freshly cooked steak, surf & turf, skewers and more are available to try and the result is a wonderful entrée.  Even as a sushi lover, I cannot help but take a few bites when my wife orders one of these.  

Mixed poke taco

Izumi updated its menu not too long ago and added a few new items, including the mixed poke taco.   Of all the new choices, these are my favorite for the great crunchy texture combined with excellent chopped sashimi.

Tuna, albacore (known also as the longfin tuna) and octopus are chopped up and mixed together with a few other complimentary ingredients to create an inspired take on a Mexican favorite. The mixed poke tacos are great for sharing too. 

If you prefer less carbs, or simply more of this dish, try the Poke Bowl, which is essentially the same ingredients as the taco, minus the shell.

DX Sushi Combo

If your goal is to find the one option on the Izumi menu that offers the best value, the DX Sushi Combo is the choice for you.

Simply put, the DX Sushi Combo offers the most sushi for the dollar on the menu.  8 pieces of nigiri, 2 tamago and 8 pieces of spicy tuna roll for $16. 

While the value is good, the sushi is even better and it has become my go-to sushi dish of choice.

Overall

I will admit that I am terribly biased when it comes to Izumi.  I love Izumi and will go there no matter what is on the menu, because I find so many great choices. 

The highlighted choices here are wonderful options, but I encourage you to seek out other items on the menu.  The soups & noodle dishes offer great non-sushi choices, and the signature rolls menu alone offer some fan favorite choices.

Have you been to Izumi on a Royal Caribbean ship? Share your favorite menu item with us in the comments below!

Royal Caribbean's Fall Savings Sale offers bonus savings this weekend

In:
11Oct2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is offering 60% off second guest, plus bonus instant savings on cruises booked this weekend.

The Fall Savings Sale is valid on cruises booked between October 11-15, 2018 on sailings departing on or after November 11, 2018.

BOGO Offer

 60% off cruise fare of second guest booked in the same stateroom as first full-fare paying guest.

Fall Savings Sale

Booking Window: October 11 – 15, 2018
Sailing Window: All sailings departing on or after November 11, 2018

Offer details: Up to $100 instant savings

  • On sailings 5 nights or less, $25 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $50 for Balconies and $75 for Suites
  • On sailing 6 nights or longer, $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $75 for Balconies and $100 for Suites

Fall Bonus

Booking Window: October 11 – 15, 2018
Sailing Window: sailings between November 11, 2018 – December 17, 2018

Offer details: Up to $100 instant savings

  • On sailings 5 nights or less, $25 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $50 for Balconies and $75 for Suites
  • On sailing 6 nights or longer, $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $75 for Balconies and $100 for Suites

 BOGO and Deck the Holidays Deals are combinable with Falling Savings Sale, NRBD OBC, promotional OBCs, NextCruise offers, Instant Savings, restricted discounts (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military), Crown and Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. Falling Savings Sale is combinable with NRDB OBC, OBC, instant savings, NextCruise offers, restricted discounts (for example, Senior, Resident, Military) but not combinable with Shareholder benefits and Crown and Anchor discounts.  All 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, Net Rates. 

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

Navigator of the Seas scheduled to be first ship to experience Perfect Day at CocoCay

In:
11Oct2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has informed its travel partners that the Navigator of the Seas May 3, 2019 sailing is targeted as the first ship to experience private destination Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Navigator of the Seas will sail a 3 night Bahamas sailing between May 3-6, 2019.

Perfect Day at CocoCay is a $200 million makeover of Royal Caribbean's private destination in the Bahamas.  CocoCay will offer guests plenty of ways to relax and enjoy beautiful beaches and pristine water, plus thrilling experiences like Thrill Water Park, ziplining and water sports.

According to Royal Caribbean's website, Thrill Waterpark, the Zip Line, Splashaway Bay aqua park, Up, Up and Away helium balloon, Captain Jack’s Galleon, Skipper’s Grill dining, Captain Jack’s dining, Chill Island, Chill Grill dining, and Oasis Lagoon freshwater pool will open in May 2019.

Perfect Day at CocoCay will open in phases, and May 2019 marks the first phase opening.  

Royal Caribbean plans to offset some of its emissions with wind power

In:
11Oct2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced today it has signed a deal with Southern Power for Southern Power's 200-megawatt (MW) Reading Wind Facility. This initiative, which will offset up to 12 percent of Royal Caribbean's emissions beginning in 2020, is one of many programs the cruise line has to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through innovations at sea and in port.

The facility is expected to generate roughly 760,000 megawatt hours per year over the duration of the 12-year agreement, which translates to enough clean energy to offset 10-12 percent of Royal Caribbean's annual carbon emissions starting in 2020. With this innovative program, Royal Caribbean is able to apply a new approach while continuing its primary initiatives to advance sustainability efforts across the company's fleet.

The wind facility is located in Osage and Lyon Counties in Kasnas and the deal provides Southern Power with the economic basis to construct the project. 

"This agreement complements our longstanding strategic initiatives to reduce the company's emissions and become a more sustainable operator," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We are constantly looking for new ways to reduce our environmental footprint, both in the short and long term, and thanks to our partnership with Southern Power this is the latest step in our journey."

The project is expected to break ground in the second quarter of 2019 and is expected to be complete by the second quarter of 2020. Southern Power will operate and maintain the facility upon completion.

Royal Caribbean is also employing several technologies and innovations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create more efficient vessels, including:

  • Advanced Emission Purification systems, which remove approximately 98 percent of sulfur dioxide emissions
  • Air lubrication systems to reduce drag and increase fuel efficiency
  • Energy management software, an industry first, to achieve top fuel efficiency
  • The introduction of new fuels such as liquefied natural gas, in the near future
  • Onboard the ship: the use of energy-efficient equipment in galleys and the replacement of incandescent bulbs with fluorescent and LED lighting, as well as the introduction of fuel cells

Mariner of the Seas listener cruise review on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

In:
10Oct2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Our newest podcast episode is out to help give you a quick "audio escape" to a Royal Caribbean cruise!

Episode 271 is available for downloading which has a review of a listener's experience on Mariner of the Seas last week.

Ric from CruiseHabit.com is back to share his experience on Mariner of the Seas.  Ric talks about the recent changes to Mariner of the Seas and how it compares to his previous cruises.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 271. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSSStitcher or on iTunes!

Take a listen and as always, let us know what you think! Please rate and review the podcast on iTunes and leave your comments below!

Save up to 30% off Royal Caribbean pre-cruise purchases with Countdown to Cruise sale

In:
10Oct2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has announced a new week-long sale that offers up to 30% on select pre-cruise purchases.

The Countdown to Cruise sale runs between October 10, 2018 - October 17, 2018 and is valid on select Royal Caribbean sailings from October 20, 2018 - March 31, 2019.

The offer is valid on certain shore excursions, drink packages and internet packages.

Royal Caribbean states guests can expect to see:

  • Beverage Packages: Up to 30% off onboard prices
    • Deluxe Beverage Package + VOOM Surf & Stream 1 Device: Discount varies by ship
    • Deluxe Beverage Package: Discount varies by ship
    • Refreshment Package: 30% off onboard prices
  • Shore Excursions: Save up to 25% on select tours on select sailings. Discount varies by ship.
  • Internet
    • 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
    • Dinner at Chops Grille: Save 20% off. Available on select ships.

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.

Royal Caribbean announces 2020-2021 deployment opening schedule dates

In:
09Oct2018
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's eagerly awaited deployment opening schedule appears to be available for its world wide cruise itineraries.

A new Royal Caribbean document points to when Royal Caribbean will post the deployments for regions around the world.

  • Week of November 5, 2018: Alaska & Hawaii (Phase I)
  • Week of November 19, 2018: Europe (Phase I)
  • Week of December 3, 2018: Short Caribbean
  • Week of December 10, 2018: Caribbean (Phase I), Northeast, Canada & Bermuda
  • Week of December 17, 2018: Europe (Phase II)

All itineraries and openings are subject to change without notice. 

Deployment schedules gives consumers an idea of when to expect particular cruise schedules to become available to start looking at future cruises.

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