Royal Caribbean expands new smartphone app to Majesty of the Seas

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has added Majesty of the Seas to the list of supported ships that can use the cruise line's new smart phone app.

While there has not been a new release of the app, the list of supported ships in the app now lists Majesty of the Seas in the supported ships area of the app.

Majesty of the Seas becomes to the tenth ship to be able to use the new app. Each ship has varying feature sets, as the app is still under development.

  • Adventure of the Seas
  • Allure of the Seas
  • Brilliance of the Seas
  • Enchantment of the Seas
  • Independence of the Seas
  • Majesty of the Seas
  • Mariner of the Seas
  • Oasis of the Seas
  • Serenade of the Seas
  • Symphony of the Seas

The app is available for download on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

10 free activities on Symphony of the Seas

By: Matt Hochberg

Symphony of the Seas offers guests a lot of fun activities and things to do onboard that will keep your family busy throughout your Royal Caribbean cruise.  In fact, the cruise line includes a lot of entertainment in your cruise fare, which means there is no additional cost to enjoy them.

Among the many choices, we picked out our top ten things to do on Symphony of the Seas that have no additional cost.  

1. Hairspray

Did you know the hit Broadway show, "Hairspray" is included in your Royal Caribbean cruise fare?

Hairspray is set in Baltimore in 1962 where Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair, only has one passion – to dance. After winning a spot on the local TV dance program “The Corny Collins Show”, she is transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity. As a trendsetter in dance and fashion she goes up against the program’s reigning princess, wins the heart of heartthrob Link Larkin and plays a major role in the integration of the television show. Welcome to the 60’s!

2. Laser Tag

At special laser tag sessions, Royal Caribbean transforms Studio B into a glow-in-the-dark arena that invites everyone to see if they can conquer the, "Battle for Planet Z".

Guests can don special laser tag vests, grab a laser tag gun and head into the arena for a fast-paced team-game that rewards the group that works well together and coordinates their efforts.  Just like laser tag on land, Battle for Planet Z is a high-energy race with bragging rights for the rest of the cruise on the line!

3. Zip line

On Symphony of the Seas, you can zip line 9 decks above the Boardwalk on a path that measures 82 feet from start to finish.

Passengers must be at least 52" tall to participate and weigh a maximum of 275 pound, also must at least weigh 75 pounds.

The zip line is free and guests must sign a waiver.

4. Ultimate Abyss

Guests wanting a thrill will be sure to checkout the Ultimate Abyss slide on Symphony of the Seas.  

The Ultimate Abyss is more than 150 feet above sea level and offers side-by-side slides that send guests down 10 decks at a rate of 9 miles per hour. Launching onto the ride from a glass platform, guests can take one last look at the Boardwalk 10 decks below before climbing onto a customized mat and taking the plunge into the depths of the daunting slides.

Rides on the Ultimate Abyss are included with your cruise fare, so you will have plenty of opportunity to scream down the slide, over and over again.

5. AquaTheater shows

The AquaTheater is arguably one of the top entertainment venues on any Royal Caribbean ship, because it offers some of the very best shows the cruise has developed.

Onboard Symphony of the Seas, guests can enjoy performances of "AquaNation", which features something Royal Caribbean calls "4D harnessing" for its aerialists, who can move  up and down, side to side and forward and back into the audience space. Another AquaTheater show, "HiRo" is coming soon to Symphony of the Seas and Royal Caribbean promises it will raise the bar for aqua shows with more high flying feats, unexpected stunts and extraordinary acrobatics than ever before.  HiRO pushes the limits of a theatrical production at sea with cutting-edge technology and choreography and. No two shows are the same, making it worth seeing twice. 

The AquaTheater on Symphony of the Seas features two 10-meter high platforms and the hydraulic-floored pool, the largest and deepest freshwater pool at sea, below serves as podiums for high-diving, hair-raising aerobatics that AquaTheater audiences have come to love.

6. Ice skating at sea

While on Symphony of the Seas, you can don a pair of ice skates and try ice skating at sea.  Regardless of your previous ice skating experiences (or lack thereof), anyone can put on a pair of skates and join in.  Free skates are offered throughout the cruise along with special time for advanced skaters.  

Skates and safety equipment are provided for free, although passengers may bring their own skates.  Passengers must wear long pants and must sign a waiver to participate.

Be sure to catch the complimentary ice show in Studio B, 1977, too!

7. Water slides

There is no question guests of all ages find water slides a favorite cruise ship activity, and Symphony of the Seas offers three slides to enjoy over and over again.  

The Perfect Storm trio of water slides offer two racer slides and a champagne bowl slide that are included in your cruise fare.  As you slide down any of the slides, you will twist and turn three decks into a splashy finish.

8. Splashaway Bay

Got kids? If so, expect them to want to spend a lot of time at Symphony of the Seas's aquatic adventure park known as Splashaway Bay.

Splashway Bay has plenty of splashing, with fountains, buckets, sprays and even slides for kids to enjoy to their heart's content.  Splashaway Bay was built to be a focal point of the pool area, and offer yet another improvement on what the cruise line has been known for in the past.

Like all the pool deck fun, Splashaway Bay has no cost to use, and is certain to be a very popular spot with your kids.

9. A ride on the carousel

In the Boardwalk neighborhood, guests young and old can enjoy a ride on a classic carousel that is sure to bring a smile to anyone's face. The carousel on Symphony of the Seas is hand-crafted and especially designed by Carousel Works for Royal Caribbean and is one-of-a-kind.

Inspired by turn-of-the-century carousels that were found in the northeastern United States, Symphony of the Seas' carousel is a classic attraction that is as beautiful in design as it is enjoyable to ride.

10. Mini-golf

Miniature golf has been a timeless family activity, and on Symphony of the Seas you can put your putting skills to test.

You can play on the green as often as you like, while enjoying some beautiful views of the ocean that surrounds you.  No reservations are required, just show up and grab a putter and ball.  Be sure to try out night time mini golf one evening to mix things up.

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: October 7, 2018

By: Matt Hochberg

Happy Sunday! It has been a busy week of Royal Caribbean news, and we have it all summarized for you in this round up.

Royal Caribbean's CEO Michael Bayley commented on a lot of different topics during a question and answer session this week onboard Harmony of the Seas.

Mr. Bayley held a question and answer session with cruisers to address questions and concerns.  In the nearly two hour event, a number of intriguing changes were announced, along with updates to topics of interest to many cruisers.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 270th episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, where Matt reviewed his recent cruise on Brilliance of the Seas.

Matt is back from a 4-night cruise on Brilliance of the Seas to the Western Caribbean, and he talks about what he did onboard the ship, as well as in Cozumel.  Matt also talked about trying out the ultimate dining package and deluxe beverage package.

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

USA Today compared Symphony of the Seas to the Disney Fantasy.

Traveling Dad shared what he packs for the the first day on Symphony of the Seas.

Tampa Bay Times reported on Port Tampa Bay reaching 1 million cruise passengers for the first time ever.

Cruise Trade News reported Jo Vaughton has been promoted at Royal Caribbean UK.

Royal Caribbean website maintenance window scheduled for October 7

By: Matt Hochberg

A heads up for anyone looking to use the Royal Caribbean website, as a maintenance downtime window has been scheduled for much of Sunday, October 7th.

Royal Caribbean has advised us that this weekend, from midnight Saturday until 6 pm Sunday evening, the Royal Caribbean website will be down.

Royal Caribbean says the downtime is for standard maintenance.

Friday Photos - October 5, 2018

By: Matt Hochberg

Every Friday we share Royal Caribbean cruise photos that our readers sent in, as a means of showcasing great photography and giving all of us a "virtual break" to enjoy the view of being on a cruise.  If you want to send in your photo, use this form and we could feature it in an upcoming post.

We begin with this photo of Explorer of the Seas near Dawes Glacier in Alaska, taken by Kathy Pfister.

Next up is a photo of Freedom of the Seas, as seen from the helipad.  Photo by Rob Young.

Krisztina Benko took this photo of the pool deck on Majesty of the Seas, while docked in Havana, Cuba.

A peek through the sliding doors on Grandeur of the Seas by Gwendolyn Salzman.

Joe Moran shared this photo of Freedom of the Seas, right after a rain shower passed by the ship.

Check out this shot by David Ep of Grandeur of the Seas and Allure of the Seas in Antigua.

Our last photo for this week is by Michael Bonham, and it is of Explorer of the Seas in Sydney Harbor, as seen from Bridgeclimb.

Thank you to everyone that shared their photos with us this week! If you want to share with us your photos, use this form to send them in!

Royal Caribbean releases Spectrum of the Seas construction October photo update

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has released a new set of construction photos to show off the progress being made on its next new cruise ship, Spectrum of the Seas.

Spectrum of the Seas under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. The ship is scheduled to be delivered in April 2019.

Video: Spectrum of the Seas artist rendering

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's China website has posted a video that gives an artist rendering of a few of the venues on the cruise line's next cruise ship, Spectrum of the Seas.

Spectrum of the Seas will be the first Quantum Ultra Class cruise ship and is scheduled for delivery in 2019.

The ship will feature a number of firsts for a Royal Caribbean ship, including the cruise line’s first private enclave for suite guests, new stateroom categories, "innovative dining concepts", and "stunning features and experiences".

Thanks to Lloyd Marchand for alerting us to this video.

Royal Caribbean extends service agreement with Wärtsilä

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Wärtsilä have agreed to extended their existing service agreement to the year 2028. The original agreement, signed in 2013, spanned 10 years. Under the agreement, Wärtsilä is optimising maintenance efficiency through improved Turbocharger maintenance, providing OEM spare parts, workshop services and preferred technical assistance for 46 Royal Caribbean Cruises’ ships.

The partnership is to complement the RCL Global Marine in-house expertise with continuous improvement via various technical innovations and direct access to Wärtsilä’s technical expertise with continuous focus on safety and life cycle cost.

This new agreement between RCL and Wärtsilä, signed in June 2018, covers a total of 196 engines installed in 46 cruise ships, the majority of which sail in the Caribbean and Europe. The largest portion of RCL fleet of vessels is equipped with Wärtsilä’s condition monitoring technology, which transmits real-time information about engine condition to a Wärtsilä Expertise Centre for analysis. This allows for predictive maintenance planning and optimisation of operations.

“When it comes to maintenance planning and operations, the marine and cruise industry is moving more and more toward long-term partnerships. This is a natural direction, as it enables a holistic approach to vessel maintenance. A partner that understands the installation and optimises their condition throughout their lifecycle can help Royal Caribbean to enhance their business. Close cooperation is essential in such partnerships,” says Sean Carey, Service Unit Director North America, Wärtsilä Services.

Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

By: Matt Hochberg

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

Episode 270 is available for downloading, where we share a review of our recent cruise on Royal caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas.

Matt just got back from a 4-night Western Caribbean cruise aboard Brilliance of the Seas and talks about what he did onboard and shared some of his favorite things about this ship.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 270. 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!

Royal Caribbean trademarks possible new cruise ship name

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has trademarked the name Metropolis of the Seas, which could possibly be used as a name of a future cruise ship.

The cruise line registered the trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on October 1, 2018.

Royal Caribbean trademarked three other possible cruise ship names in September. In addition, Apex of the Seas was registered in 2017 and is still a live trademark.

Royal Caribbean currently has four unnamed ships on order, in addition to Spectrum of the Seas.