Royal Caribbean offering up to 30% off pre-cruise purchases

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's latest Cruise Planner sale has begun, where guests can save up to 30% off pre-cruise purchases.

The Countdown to Cruise promotion runs between May 8 - May 15, 2019 and is valid on sailings from May 17, 2019 - November 30, 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. (Excludes Charter Sailings).
    • Deluxe Beverage Package. Discount Varies by Ship. (Excludes Charter Sailings).
    • Refreshment Package: 30% off onboard prices. (Excludes Charter Sailings).
  • Shore Excursions: Save up to 25% on select tours on select sailings. Discount varies by ship. (Excludes Charter Sailings).
  • Internet: up to 60% off on select sailings
    • VOOM Surf + Stream Voyage Package 1, 2, 3, 4 Device(s): Discount varies by ship. (Excludes Charter Sailings).
    • VOOM Surf Voyage Package 1, 2, 3, 4, Device(s): Discount varies by ship. (Excludes Charter Sailings).
  • Dining
    • 3 Night Dining Package. Discount varies by ship. (Excludes EN, MA, MJ, NV, OA Interporting + Master Sailings and Charter Sailings).
    •  Unlimited Dining Package on 3 Night, 4 Night and 5 Night sailings. Discount varies by ship. (Excludes AD, AL, FR, HM, LB,
      MJ, OA, RH, SY + Charter Sailings).
  • ACTIVITIES: Up to 10% off on select sailings
    • All Access Ship Tour. 10% off. Discount varies by ship. (Excludes Charter Sailings).

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 opens bookings for China 2020 sailings

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean released its 2020 China sailings for guests to book, which includes sailings on Quantum of the Seas and Spectrum of the Seas.

The new bookings are available to book for Crown & Anchor Society members on May 7, 2019. Bookings open to the general public on May 8, 2019.

Spectrum of the Seas will sail from Shanghai and is specially tailored for Chinese guests. Quantum of the Seas will sail from Beijing. Both ships will sail to Okinawa, Nagasaki, Tokyo and beyond — plus late-night stays in Kobe and Osaka, Japan on select sailings.

You can view sailings scheduled for Spectrum of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas.

Harmony of the Seas 2019 Live Blog - Cruise Preview

By: Matt Hochberg

I am headed back onto Harmony of the Seas for a quick 3-night sailing and I am taking you with me for this short sailing from Harmony's new home of Port Canaveral.

Harmony of the Seas just re-positioned to Port Canaveral, Florida and offered two 3-night sailings to get her back on schedule for her usual 7-night sailings.  I managed to take make a long weekend and book this sailing as an excuse to get back on my favorite ship, Harmony of the Seas.

The Cruise

Living in Florida, I have access to the kind of sailings that do not make much sense for others to go on, and this Harmony of the Seas sailing is a great example of one.  It is a short 3-night sailing that I booked all the way back in 2017 that I knew I could make work with my schedule since it was over a weekend.

Ever since I sailed on Harmony in 2016 and 2017, I have really loved everything about this ship and what it offers. I am often asked why Harmony is my favorite, and it has to do with the fact it offers that terrific Oasis Class experience, along with some Quantum Class "enhancements".  Water slides, shows, dining choices and plenty of activities make this a very fun ship to sail on.

I am taking my family with me on this 3-night sailing, and in the days leading up to this cruise we have been prioritizing what we will do once onboard. Having just three nights on an Oasis Class ship does not leave a ton of time to get it all in, so we are treating this cruise as a "victory lap" of our favorite aspects of this ship.


Since this is such a short sailing, we booked connecting interior rooms (category 6Q).  It has been quite a while since our last sailing in an inside room.

Considering how short this sailing is and how much we plan to do onboard, I think an interior was a good choice for us because we really will not be spending much time in the room.  In the never ending "inside or balcony room" debate, I have always felt it boils down to your situation, and we felt for such a short sailing it made more sense to go with an inside room.

The thing I really love about an inside room is how dark it gets when we go to bed.  No light bleed from the balcony.  The only problem is you have no idea if it is 3am or 3pm, so alarms are a must.


Our Harmony of the Seas cruise will make just one port stop in Nassau, Bahamas and will offer a sea day on the full day onboard.

You might not think much of the itinerary, but this cruise is all about the ship. Whether it is your first time on Harmony or been on before, I think most people sailing are looking to hit the highlights and enjoy as much time onboard as possible.

I do not think we will do much in Nassau. I may get off the ship briefly for a beer or two at Pirate Republic Brewery for simply an excuse to get off the ship, but that remains to be seen.

Three things I am excited to try

3. Trying something new (to me)

If there is a theme of this cruise preview, it probably has to do with revisiting a favorite ship.  Doing the things we love on a cruise ship is always a treat, but I do my best to also push myself out of my comfort level just a bit and try something new.

I have not settled on a particular activity or offering onboard, but I would like to take this opportunity and try something new onboard.  Even though I have been on Harmony a few times, I am far from having "done it all," so it would be great to add a new experience to my repertoire.

2. Columbus, The Musical

My favorite original Royal Caribbean production is Columbus, The Musical on Harmony of the Seas.  It is a musical comedy written in the style of "Something Rotten" and my wife and I just love the show.

Since it is only available to see on Harmony of the Seas, we are taking this opportunity to enjoy another showing. We may or may not be wearing our Columbus shirts that we made.

1. Royal Caribbean app chat feature

This sailing will be my first time that I get to sail on a Royal Caribbean ship that offers the chat feature in the Royal Caribbean app.

The chat feature is in beta and being tested on Allure of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas, so I will be excited to see how well it works and try it out myself.

What's next

Our Harmony of the Seas cruise begins on Thursday, May 9th, and I will be sharing the details on the blog, as well as across my social media channels.  Be sure to follow me on FacebookInstagram and Periscope for live updates throughout the day.

I invite you to share in this experience with me, by posting in the comments for any blog post questions and comments you may have.  I try to make these live blogs as interactive as I can, so I want everyone to feel welcome to share their thoughts.

Thanks for reading all of this and welcome aboard our next fun live blog experience!

Video: Royal Caribbean Redefines Island Time at Perfect Day at CocoCay

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean International’s Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas is set to redefine private island destinations. After a $250 million transformation, Perfect Day is the ultimate combination of thrill and chill. This unrivaled private island, only available to Royal Caribbean guests, provides an array of distinct adventures and iconic features from, the tallest waterslide in North America, Daredevil’s Peak to Oasis Lagoon, the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean -- one-of-a-kind experiences that will top any bucket list.

Royal Caribbean adds connecting room feature to website search

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has updated its website to offer a new connecting rooms feature to its cruise search.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader WannaCruise spotted the new feature that was added to Royal Caribbean's website. To activate the feature, simply search for more than one room and the "Include connecting rooms" option will appear.

The new option makes it easier for families and groups to get rooms that have a common door between the rooms, which provides more space and an additional bathroom.

Up until now, there was no simple way to find connecting rooms on the website other than consulting deck plans to find available rooms.  

Video: First look around Perfect Day at CocoCay

By: Matt Hochberg

Perfect Day at CocoCay is finally open! If you are wondering what Royal Caribbean has added to its private island, then today's RoyalCaribbeanBlog video is perfect for you!

We have a first look at the one-of-a-kind Perfect Day at CocoCay—the next-level private island exclusive to Royal Caribbean guests. The newly opened destination welcomes travelers to an experience like no other after a $250 million transformation of the cruise line's existing slice of paradise in The Bahamas.

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 episode!

So check out the video and then let us know: What will be your first stop when you get to Perfect Day at CocoCay?

Infographic: Everything there is to do at Perfect Day at CocoCay

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean opened Perfect Day at CocoCay over the weekend, and there is a lot that you can see, do and experience on Royal Caribbean's private island. Just how much, you ask? Check out this new infographic to get a sense of just how much Royal Caribbean has packed into this island makeover.

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: May 5, 2019

By: Matt Hochberg

Happy weekend! In case you missed any Royal Caribbean news, here is a look at everything that happened this week!

Royal Caribbean celebrated the grand opening of Perfect Day at CocoCay with its private island transformation completing its first major phase.

Guests sailing on Navigator of the Seas were welcomed to Perfect Day at CocoCay, where a number of new venues, activities and offerings were officially open for guest use.

Chief among the new offerings is the opening of Thrill Waterpark. At Thrill Waterpark, you can find Daredevil’s Tower, where guests can try a number ofsingle-rider waterslides of various heights, including the 135-foot-tall Daredevil’s Peak – the tallest waterslide in North America.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 300th episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, where we begin a mini-series of episodes focusing on cruises to Alaska.

Call us crazy, but we think you should ignore online reviews of cruise ships. Matt explains why concerns people have about a particular ship due to something they read is nothing to actually worry about.

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

Houston Chronicle detailed how Royal Caribbean now rivals Broadway in terms of its show productions.

Cruise Fever wrote about how 12 Royal Caribbeans are moving to new homeports this week.

Royal Caribbean opens Perfect Day at CocoCay

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean officially opened its revamped private island in the Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

The newly opened destination welcomes guests following a $250 million transformation of the cruise line's existing private destination in The Bahamas.

Guests sailing on Navigator of the Seas were welcomed to Perfect Day at CocoCay, where a number of new venues, activities and offerings were officially open for guest use.

While Royal Caribbean opened some areas of Perfect Day in the weeks leading up to this grand opening, today was the first day guests had the opportunity to try Thrill Waterpark.

At Thrill Waterpark, you can find Daredevil’s Tower, where guests can try a number ofsingle-rider waterslides of various heights, including the 135-foot-tall Daredevil’s Peak – the tallest waterslide in North America.

Additional highlights are the twin Dueling Demon drop slides, launching riders from a vertical position; the Manta Raycers, where friends can race down twin open flume slides; the high-speed, fully vertical Screeching Serpent; and the coiling Green Mamba, a massive aqua tube slide.

There is also lots for kids of all ages to enjoy. From three dry slides and 16 water cannons, to rope features and a splash pad, Captain Jill’s Galleon is an interactive play structure loaded with swashbuckling thrills. There's even Sprayaway Geyser, which shoots water 80 feet up into the air!

Of course, Perfect Day at CocoCay features the beautiful beaches that people have flocked to The Bahamas for years. Chill Island has beach favorites here, including jet skiing excursions as well as plentiful cabanas and daybeds for relaxation under the shade. 

The island features a 1,600-foot-long zip-line course that crisscrosses Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Perfect Day features the Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool, Oasis Lagoon, which has three distinct coves. Children can get in on the fun, too, with the kid-friendly zero-entry zone.

Skipper’s Grill is a waterfront restaurant that mixes the best views with an array of complimentary menu items,  like salads, sandwiches, tacos and burgers. 

The first—and only—Splashaway Bay ashore features two drench buckets, five slides (two tubes and three racer slides), as well as numerous fountains, water cannons, sprinklers and geysers. There is also an obstacle course featuring cannons and rope bridge.

Refer to our guide for Perfect Day at CocoCay prices and costs, including what is complimentary and what has an additional charge. We also have a list of Perfect Day at CocoCay waterslides & experiences height and weight requirements.

What are you most excited to try at Perfect Day at CocoCay? Let us know in the comments!

Keel layed for Odyssey of the Seas

By: Matt Hochberg

A keel laying ceremony was held today for Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship, Odyssey of the Seas, at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

The ship's keel is the first block, and was officially lowered and put into place. This block weighs 970 tons and is one of a total of 79 blocks for the new cruise ship. The keel laying ceremony marks the official start of construction for Odyssey of the Seas. The ship will have a gross tonnage of about 169,000.

The first steel parts for Odyssey of the Seas were cut to size in the Meyer Werft Laser Center already back in February 2019. 

Representatives from Royal Caribbean International and Stephan Schmees, Executive Board Member Project Management at Meyer Werft, placed the lucky coin under the block of the new ship before it was lowered into position. 

“With the keel laying for Odyssey of the Seas at Neptun Werft it becomes clear again, how well our teams at the different locations are working together. It is our great pleasure to build these innovative ships for Royal Caribbean International and to continue our long-standing business relationship”, said Stephan Schmees.

Odyssey of the Seas is scheduled to be delivered by Meyer Werft in Papenburg in autumn 2020. 

Odyssey of the Seas’ deployment and itineraries will be revealed later this year.