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First ever FlowRider professional lessons offered on Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas

In:
05 Oct 2016
By: 
Matt Hochberg

If you want to learn how to surf from the best, the first ever "Flow with a Pro" cruise will take place on Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas in December this year

This special cruise is sailing from Fremantle to Sydney, complete with tuition, expert advice and demonstrations from Adam Wildman, European flowboarding champion in 2013, 2014 & 2016 and Royal Caribbean’s home-grown FlowRider Ambassador.

Guests can ‘Flow with a Pro’ on Ovation of the Seas from Fremantle to Sydney, departing December 6, 2016 for a nine-night cruise. During this cruise, guests will receive access to complimentary group lessons from Adam Wildman, plus he will showcase some of his spectacular tricks with free guest demonstrations along the way.

Adam Wildman first discovered his talent for flowboarding on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas on a family holiday in 2009, and has now turned his passion into a profession. Hailing from the Gold Coast, his sport takes him all over the world. Having successfully defended his title as European Champion earlier this year, Wildman takes on the best of the best at the World Flowboarding Championships in Singapore.

"If you’ve ever thought about giving flowboarding a go, Ovation is the perfect place to test your talents. The most important thing to remember is that falling is half the fun! No matter your age or skill, you’re guaranteed to have a great time," said Adam Wildman, Royal Caribbean’s FlowRider Ambassador.

The signature FlowRider - which can only be found at sea on Royal Caribbean - mimics ocean surf conditions by pumping water at speed over the soft, padded riding area, which riders can ‘drop in’ on from the top of the FlowRider. Surfers will find it’s a slightly different experience to an ocean wave, since the water flows in the opposite direction, making it all the more fun to master. Guests can choose two different riding styles, stand-up traditional surfing and boogie boarding or knee boarding.

Video: Maintaining Central Park on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

In:
04 Oct 2016
By: 
Matt Hochberg

A tropical garden on solid ground requires constant care and expertise – but a lush, exotic park spanning the decks of the world’s largest ship takes gardening to a whole new level. Meet the horticulturalists passionate about maintaining Harmony of the Seas’ Central Park, where over 12,000 plants create a sanctuary in the middle of the ocean. 

Royal Caribbean reroutes Majesty of the Seas due to Hurricane Matthew

In:
03 Oct 2016
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Guests departing on the Majesty of the Seas sailing that leaves October 3rd will find a new route planned, due to the path of Hurricane Matthew.

Majesty of the Seas will now call to Key West, Florida, instead of her scheduled call to Nassau, Bahamas. Majesty of the Seas revised itinerary:

UPDATED 10am

  • Monday, Oct. 3 - Port Canaveral, Florida at 4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 4 - Freeport, Bahamas 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 5 - Key West, Florida at 8:00 a.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 6 - Key West, Florida depart at 9:00 a.m.
  • Friday, Oct. 7 - Port Canaveral, Florida at 7:00 a.m.

Royal Caribbean has also changed the itineraries of three other cruise ships this week due to the storm: Allure of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas.

Given the storm's path, Royal Caribbean wants to ensure the comfort and enjoyment of all guests on its ships for the safety of guests and crew.

Video: Royal Caribbean's Royal Genies Curate a One-of-a-Kind Luxury Experience

In:
27 Sep 2016
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Guests indulging in Royal Caribbean’s luxurious Star Class have the chance to enjoy the ultimate perk – a Royal Genie dedicated to building the ultimate personalized cruising experience. From planning once-in-a-lifetime destination adventures to a perfect dinner to celebrate a milestone, Royal Genies cater to their guests’ every whim – and create experiences that can’t even be imagined.

Royal Caribbean planning a photo opportunity with all three Oasis-class cruise ships

In:
20 Sep 2016
By: 
Matt Hochberg

A really big photo is being planned by Royal Caribbean that involves all three of its Oasis-class cruise ships in one place very soon.

Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley confirmed that the company will take photos of the three ships together in coordination with Harmony of the Seas' arrival in the United States in a few short weeks.

"We're trying to arrange all three Oasis-class to be next to each other, off the coast of Florida on November the 4th in the afternoon," Bayley said at an event aboard Allure of the Seas earlier today.

The plan is for Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas to appear together on November 4, 2016.  Royal Caribbean will also invite guests up to the helipad for additional photo opportunities.

Royal Caribbean held a similar event back in 2010, when Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas met at sea.

Video: Behind-the-Scenes of Royal Caribbean's State-of-the-Art Studio

In:
13 Sep 2016
By: 
Matt Hochberg

The largest entertainment producer in the world, Royal Caribbean International, operates a 132,500-square-foot facility that produces world-class entertainment for its fleet of ships around the world. The Royal Caribbean Production Studio, located on Florida International University's Biscayne Bay campus in Miami, FL, includes three-story studios, a 300-seat theater, a 20,000-square-foot costume-making facility, 10 rehearsal studios, audio rooms, a gym and residences for its singers, dancers and choreographers.

Royal Caribbean crew member dies and four others injured during lifeboat drill on Harmony of the Seas

In:
13 Sep 2016
By: 
Matt Hochberg

One crew member died and four other crew members were injured on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas earlier today.

During a lifeboat drill that was conducted in Marseilles, France, an accident occurred when a lifeboat, with five people on board, broke free from the vessel and fell. 

Royal Caribbean confirmed the injury totals via social media.

Local news in France are reporting the accident occurred this morning when the boat detached from the fifth deck while it had five people on board.

Harmony of the Seas is cruising the Mediterranean and departed Rome on September 8.

First time cruisers: Royal Caribbean's SeaPass card

In:
03 Sep 2016
By: 
Matt Hochberg

One of the first events on every Royal Caribbean cruise is when guests get their SeaPass card to use onboard their cruise. Every guest must use one and it is your figurative and literal key to your cruise experience and here is what you need to know about your SeaPass card and account.

SeaPass basics

When you hear the word, "SeaPass," it refers to your onboard expense account that is a lot like a credit card account, where all of your onboard purchases are charged against.  Since Royal Caribbean ships are cashless, your SeaPass card is how you make purchases, gain access to designated areas of the ship and identify yourself to Royal Caribbean easily.

Each person on the ship (including kids) will receive a SeaPass card with their information stored in the account. At embarkation, you will put down a credit card (American Express, Optima, MasterCard, Visa, Discover and Diner's Club) to place against your purchases.  At the end of your cruise, all of your purchases are added up and charged to that credit card.

Royal Caribbean also allows you to use traveler's checks, debit cards with a Visa or MasterCard logo, or cash to activate your SeaPass charging.

Once onboard your ship, you can use the SeaPass card to do things like

  • Get into your stateroom
  • Make onboard purchases
  • Check-in when returning back to the ship in ports
  • Accessing your onboard photos

Your SeaPass card is something to bring with you anywhere you go onboard or onshore. 

Making purchases

Using your SeaPass card to make purchases online is pretty simple and identical to using a credit card. Present your SeaPass card to a Royal Caribbean crew member and they will swipe it, provide you with a receipt to sign and that is about it.

A running tab of all your purchases will be kept under separate folio numbers for each guest and an itemized statement left in your stateroom the night before disembarkation.

Normally to activate this SeaPass account, most guests provide a credit card, (American Express, Optima, MasterCard, Visa, Discover and Diner's Club), to have these purchases charged to at the end of their cruise. Additionally, the SeaPass system may be activated with traveler's checks, debit cards with a Visa or MasterCard logo, or cash.

Onboard credit

Often, guests have onboard credit from a variety of channels. This onboard credit is effectively free money that is credited to your SeaPass account that will offset purchases made onboard.

If you have any onboard credit, it will automatically post to your SeaPass account on the first night of your cruise.  All charges you make your SeaPass card are first deducted from your onboard credit before you start accruing a tab.

You cannot designate certain charges to go against your onboard credit in lieu of others. Rather, it's a first charged, first debted system.

Kids

Children receive a SeaPass card too and they are essentially no different from an adult account, although there can be differences if you would like.

Minors receive SeaPass cards that have a different design to easily identify them to any crew member. 

In addition, parents can opt to revoke charging privileges completely or give a daily limit.

The cost benefits of Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor Society onboard discounts

In:
29 Aug 2016
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program, the Crown and Anchor Society, provides guests with some great rewards for being, "loyal to Royal" and cruising again and again with the company.  The benefits have always been a compelling reason to continue cruising with Royal Caribbean, and great incentive to move up the ranks of the Crown and Anchor Society to enjoy the top-tier benefits available. Of the many Crown & Anchor benefits available to guests, one of the most popular are the onboard discounts that are pre-loaded onto each SeaPass account.

How lucrative are these Crown and Anchor discounts and how much money could they save you on your next sailing? These are the sort of questions you might be wondering too, so here is our cost benefits of the Crown and Anchor Society, broken down by each level.

In order to calculate these benefits into dollars and cents, we looked at the perks available to members before and during their cruise and tried our best to assign a monetary value based on what they offer. Some benefits are a bit too intangible to assign an exact amount to, but we estimated as fairly as possible.  In many cases, there are discounts that can very greatly depending on what you actually order (internet package discounts, spa treatment discounts, etc) and we did the best job to offer a median discount, or something close to average.  We did note in these situations what we picked to be clear. For any discounts related to specialty restaurants, we picked Giovanni's Table as our example because the price is the same across the fleet.

Please note all discounts listed were accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting and these discounts can change at anytime.

Gold

  • Buy any wine, beer or soda by the glass and get a second free: $6.95 (beer)
  • Purchase any glass of wine, beer or soda and receive a 10% discount: $0.69
  • Buy one, get one free Johnny Rockets milkshake: $4.50
  • Receive 25% off any coffee beverage (not valid at Starbucks): $1.06
  • Buy a Bingo Package and get 1 free Jackpot Card: $6
  • Buy any internet package and receive 10% off your purchase: $12.59 (7-night 1 device Surf + Stream package)
  • Spend $25 or more on Royal Caribbean logo products and receive 10% off: $2.50
  • Buy one photo and receive 50% off discount on a second photo: $9.99
  • Get 10% off any one spa or salon service: $9.90 (60 minute Swedish massage)

Total average savings: $54.18

Platinum

  • Buy any wine, beer or soda by the glass and get a second free: $6.95 (beer)
  • Purchase any glass of wine, beer or soda and receive a 10% discount: $0.69
  • Buy one, get one free Johnny Rockets milkshake: $4.50
  • Buy any coffee beverage and get a second free: $4.25 (hot latte)
  • One complimentary non-alcoholic specialty coffee drink with the purchase of dinner in any specialty restaurant: $8 (coffees from Chops Grille)
  • Buy a Bingo Package and get 3 free Jackpot Card: $11
  • Buy any internet package and receive 15% off your purchase: $18.88 (7-night 1 device Surf + Stream package)
  • Two free Spin to Win at the Casino: $0 (Most likely prizes are trinkets of nearly zero value like keychains, and even then getting a "prize" is unlikely).
  • 20% off Casino tournament entrance fee (excluding Poker tournaments): $5 ($25 slot tournament)
  • Spend $25 or more on Royal Caribbean logo products and receive 10% off: $2.50
  • Buy one photo and receive 50% off discount on a second photo: $9.99
  • Get 15% off any one spa or salon service: $14.85 (60 minute Swedish massage)

Total average savings: $86.61

Emerald

  • Buy any wine, beer or soda by the glass and get a second free: $6.95 (beer)
  • Purchase any glass of wine, beer or soda and receive a 10% discount: $0.69
  • Buy one, get one free Johnny Rockets milkshake: $4.50
  • Buy any coffee beverage and get a second free: $4.25 (hot latte)
  • One complimentary non-alcoholic specialty coffee drink with the purchase of dinner in any specialty restaurant: $8 (coffees from Chops Grille)
  • Buy a Bingo Package and get 6 free Jackpot Card: $15
  • Three free Spin to Win at the Casino: $3 (We assume one wins a keychain with three spins, we'll give a $1 value).
  • 25% off Casino tournament entrance fee (excluding Poker tournaments): $6.25 ($25 slot tournament)
  • Buy any internet package and receive 15% off your purchase: $18.88 (7-night 1 device Surf + Stream package)
  • Spend $25 or more on Royal Caribbean logo products and receive 10% off: $2.50
  • Buy one photo and receive 50% off discount on a second photo: $9.99
  • Get 15% off any one spa or salon service: $14.85 (60 minute Swedish massage)
  • Receive $5 off a $30 bag of Wash and Fold Laundry on 5 or more nights: $5
  • $5 off any dry cleaning or pressing services of $25 or more: $5

Total average savings: $102.86

Diamond

  • Buy any wine, beer or soda by the glass and get a second free: $6.95 (beer)
  • Purchase any glass of wine, beer or soda and receive a 20% discount: $1.38
  • Buy one, get one free Johnny Rockets milkshake: $4.50
  • One complimentary non-alcoholic specialty coffee drink with the purchase of dinner in any specialty restaurant: $8 (coffees from Chops Grille)
  • Buy a Bingo Package and get 6 free Jackpot Card: $15
  • Three free Spin to Win at the Casino: $1 (We assume one wins a keychain with three spins, we'll give a $1 value).
  • 25% off Casino tournament entrance fee (excluding Poker tournaments): $6.25 ($25 slot tournament)
  • 1 free day of internet usage or $30 off any Internet purchase: $30
  • Spend $25 or more on Royal Caribbean logo products and receive 15% off: $3.75
  • Free any size photo of your choice from your existing printed photograph selection: $19.99
  • Get 10% off a digital photo package or photo book: $19.90 (All inclusive digital photo package)
  • Get 20% off any one spa or salon service: $19.80 (60 minute Swedish massage)
  • Receive $10 off a $30 bag of Wash and Fold Laundry on 5 or more nights: $10
  • Receive $10 off a $30 bag of Wash and Fold Laundry on 8 or more nights: $10
  • $5 off any dry cleaning or pressing services of $25 or more: $5
  • Stateroom phone discount of $2 per minute: $11.90 (assuming a two minute phone call)

Total average savings: $173.42

Diamond Plus

  • Buy any wine, beer or soda by the glass and get a second free: $6.95 (beer)
  • Purchase any glass of wine, beer or soda and receive a 25% discount: $1.73
  • Buy one, get one free Johnny Rockets milkshake: $4.50
  • One complimentary non-alcoholic specialty coffee drink with the purchase of dinner in any specialty restaurant: $8 (coffees from Chops Grille)
  • Purchase one cover charge in a Specialty Restaurant on the first or second night of your cruise and the second cover charge is free: $25 (Giovanni's Table)
  • Three free Spin to Win at the Casino: $1 (We assume one wins a keychain with three spins, we'll give a $1 value).
  • 30% off Casino tournament entrance fee (excluding Poker tournaments): $7.50 ($25 slot tournament)
  • Buy a Bingo Package and get 6 free Jackpot Card: $15
  • $39.98 discount off any Internet purchase: $39.98
  • Receive $10 off a $30 bag of Wash and Fold Laundry on 8 or more nights: $10
  • $5 off any dry cleaning or pressing services of $25 or more: $5
  • One free $30 wash and fog bag on 5 or more nights: $30
  • 20% off one tuxedo rental package: $17.80 (Traditional package)
  • Spend $25 or more on Royal Caribbean logo products and receive 15% off: $3.75
  • Free any size photo of your choice from your existing printed photograph selection: $19.99
  • Get 10% off a digital photo package or photo book: $19.90 (All inclusive digital photo package)
  • Get 20% off any one spa or salon service: $19.80 (60 minute Swedish massage)
  • Book a signature spa service while in port and receive a complimentary add on treatment: $25 (Frangipani Scalp Massage)
  • Stateroom phone discount of $2 per minute: $11.90 (assuming a two minute phone call)

Total average savings: $272.80

Pinnacle

  • Purchase one cover charge in a Specialty Restaurant on the first or second night of your cruise and the second cover charge is free: $25 (Giovanni's Table)
  • Buy any wine, beer or soda by the glass and get a second free: $6.95 (beer)
  • Purchase any glass of wine, beer or soda and receive a 25% discount: $1.73
  • One complimentary non-alcoholic specialty coffee drink with the purchase of dinner in any specialty restaurant: $8 (coffees from Chops Grille)
  • Three free Spin to Win at the Casino: $1 (We assume one wins a keychain with three spins, we'll give a $1 value).
  • 30% off Casino tournament entrance fee (excluding Poker tournaments): $7.50 ($25 slot tournament)
  • Buy a Bingo Package and get 6 free Jackpot Cards: $15
  • Free unlimited internet for the length of your voyage: $125.93 (7-night Voom Surf & Stream at $17.99 per day for one device)
  • Receive $10 off a $30 bag of Wash and Fold Laundry on 8 or more nights: $10
  • $5 off any dry cleaning or pressing services of $25 or more: $5
  • One free $30 wash and fog bag on 5 or more nights: $30
  • 20% off one tuxedo rental package: $17.80 (Traditional package)
  • Spend $25 or more on Royal Caribbean logo products and receive 15% off: $3.75
  • Free any size photo of your choice from your existing printed photograph selection: $19.99
  • Get 10% off a digital photo package or photo book: $19.90 (All inclusive digital photo package)
  • Get 20% off any one spa or salon service: $19.80 (60 minute Swedish massage)
  • Book a signature spa service while in port and receive a complimentary add on treatment: $25 (Frangipani Scalp Massage)
  • Stateroom phone discount of $2 per minute: $11.90 (assuming a two minute phone call)

Total average savings: $354.25

Conclusions

It should be noted that very few guests will ever use every single discount on a cruise. In fact, many discounts go rarely used by guests.  However, this blog post aimed to consider how much potential savings one can take advantage of, as well as the sheer number of discounts Royal Caribbean rewards its loyal customers with.

Not surprisingly, the potential savings jump the most when guests reach Diamond level.  The lucrative savings really add up in the top-tier levels, providing further incentive to return for another cruise.  There are plenty more benefits provided by Crown and Anchor Society that are arguably more important than those listed here.