Alt Text!

Dealing with being sick on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

25 Jan 2017
Matt Hochberg

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

Episode 182 is available for downloading, where we share a recent cruiser's experience with being sick while on her cruise.

No one wants to get sick on a cruise, but sometimes it just happens, and this week, we share what Halee's experience was like being sick onboard, and discuss lessons learned from her ordeal.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 182. 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 announces 2018-2019 deployment opening schedule dates

24 Jan 2017
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.

UPDATED March 6:

  • Week of March 6, 2017
    • Europe (Phase I) & Bahamas
  • Week of March 13, 2017
    • Alaska, Cruisetours, Year-Round Caribbean & Bahamas
  • Week of March 20, 2017 
    • Europe (Phase II)
  • Week of March 27, 2017
    • Northeast & Seasonal Caribbean
  • Week of April 3, 2017
    • Australia & Singapore
  • Week of April 24, 2017
    • China

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.

Video: Royal Caribbean’s Crew Members Share Their Passions

24 Jan 2017
Matt Hochberg

From horticulture to high diving, Royal Caribbean International’s crew members bring their many passions on board the ships they work on. While their job titles run the gamut, what they have in common is that they live the adventure they create for their guests. With the opportunity to meet new people every day and step foot in a new country nearly as often, it’s no surprise Royal Caribbean has a crew that's passionate and committed to bringing incredible vacations to life.

Majesty of the Seas Live Blog - Day 10 - Sea Day

23 Jan 2017
Michael Poole

Today is the final day of my 3 consecutive cruises, it’s been a great vacation but I thought to myself it’s not over yet I have one more day.

Today I woke up around 7:30am to the Captain making an announcement that we would not be going to their private island of Coco Cay. Due to the storm front moving down from Florida, we would spend the day at sea. I was sad we couldn’t go to over to the island because I love it so much, but I was okay with a sea day too. 

Morning on board 

First I started off my morning in the dining room and it was busy. Many of the guests were just taking the morning slow since it’s a sea day. I discovered my love for their toasted raisin bread.

Of course, when you ask for some they bring you the whole plate to enjoy. I went with my standard morning omelet and bacon and off I went. 

After breakfast I just wanted to explore the ship to see what all was going on.

First, I saw they were doing trivia in the Schooner Bar, so I joined in on that action for a while. I’m not going to lie, these questions were pretty hard, I think the best score was 9 out of 20 right and it wasn’t me!

They also had some line dancing going on in the Centrum hosted by the assistant cruise director, Moe. He works so hard, every event on that ship he’s either hosting or involved in.

I don’t think I went more than two hours a day without seeing him. He’s become a real friend of mine over the years from Enchantment and now on Majesty. 

Afternoon on board 

This afternoon I had planned to enjoy the pool deck but the wind was so high it was almost not enjoyable to be outside.

I walked the outside decks to take some pictures and talk about windy, I was holding on to everything I had on me. At this point the captain made his second announcement of bad news, that we were headed back to Florida tonight. I suppose it’s not really bad news because we could still enjoy the ship that evening docked.

A few hours later they issues another update that we would be arriving sooner than planned. With that being said, all the stores, casino, photo shop would be closing at 9pm. 

Evening on board 

Tonight we went to the show at 7:30pm and it was their first time performing the show. The name of the show just can’t come to me, but it’s the main show from the Enchantment they have brought over to Majesty. It was a good show; I’ve seen it many times and last for around an hour. 

My final meal tonight was back in the main dining room and I ordered the lasagna and tiger shrimp. I asked for my lasagna to be made with their red sauce to change it up, since I’ve had it three times this week.

The service was outstanding and I couldn’t have asked for better dining service. 

Everyone on board kept talking about this amazing piano player in the schooner bar, so I had to go check it out. And I’m glad I did, he was one of the best I’ve ever seen. The bar was very busy since all the shops/casino was closed. This was very different than past players, he had the crowd up dancing all over the bar and singing. In fact, at one point he left the piano and walked around signing with guest around the bar.

My best comparison of this experience is an evening in dazzles, very loud music and everyone dancing. It was the perfect way to end my vacation, and I’m so excited he will be on board through May so I can see him again. 

Recap of the Majesty 

The Majesty of the Seas is not the newest ship in the fleet, it’s not the largest ship in the fleet, but she’s the friendliest ship in the fleet. Often you will hear the hotel director saying that, but it’s true. The crew on Majesty is what makes her different than any other ship I’ve been on. Yes, we have all had great service across the fleet, but on Majesty the crew is almost like family. I can’t tell you how many hugs I gave this last day and thanks for everything. I’ll give you an example; their loyalty ambassador on board Shane has won officer of the year two years in a row. I was surprised the same person won two years in a row, but now I understand it. Last night, I saw him in the Diamond area, the show, the schooner bar and again this morning at 7am; he came to the diamond holding area to wish everyone a safe trip home. I’ve never seen this type of exposure from officers on any cruise I’ve taken before. 

I’m sad my journey has come to an end, but I’m happy it happen, and made memories from this cruise for a life time. Thank you so much for following along with me these 10 days! Until next time, I’ll see you at sea…

Royal Caribbean becomes only cruise line to offer full range of PADI Scuba Diving offerings

23 Jan 2017
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean announced today it is the only cruise line in the world with onboard PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors®) Five Star Dive Centers, which allows guests to become certified scuba divers as part of their vacation.

Royal Caribbean’s partnership with PADI offers plenty of options for guests, regardless of experience. Whether a newbie or experienced diver, Royal Caribbean offers a range of programs from a 30-minute Try Dive program, for those just wanting to get their feet wet, to PADI’s Reactivate™ Program for certified divers wanting a refresher; prices starting at $29 and $59 per person, respectively.

Those seeking the ultimate scuba dive vacation can enroll in PADI’s Open Water Diver course to earn their complete scuba diving certification, starting at $599 per person. The premiere scuba course begins at home with the online course using either the PADI Touch™ app for mobile devices or PADI eLearning® online for desktop and laptop computers, leaving more time for the fun of scuba diving while on vacation.

Once on the high seas, divers will test the waters in the ship’s pool before heading out to complete the four mandatory, open-water training dives in some of the world’s most spectacular underwater surroundings. The training dives will be split among two different ports of call, allowing for maximum sightseeing in the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean or South Pacific. Upon returning home, guests will be certified scuba divers able to plan and execute dives on their own and have the stories to share about the aquatic world they’ve recently discovered. 

Guests looking to immerse themselves in the beauty of the ocean and wonder of marine life can book their PADI course before boarding through the Cruise Planner, or while on board at one of the Royal Caribbean-exclusive PADI Five Star Dive Centers found on 10 ships across the fleet, including Oasis-, Freedom- and Voyager-class ships, as well as Quantum-class’ Anthem of the Seas.

"For the past 16 years Royal Caribbean has worked closely with PADI to develop our onboard dive program," said Roberta Jacoby, managing director, Global Tour Operations at Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. "No other cruise line offers the opportunity for guests to become PADI certified scuba divers as part of the cruise, making it an ultimate dive trip as well. When guests sign up for the PADI Open Water Diver Course, they receive first-rate training and diver certification, performing their own scuba dives amidst the beautiful and serene waters of multiple Caribbean destinations and the South Pacific."

Majesty of the Seas Live Blog - Day 9 - Nassau, Bahamas

22 Jan 2017
Michael Poole

Today we are in Nassau, Bahamas from noon until midnight. I woke up early (7:30am) and I hope you are sitting down when you read this…I went to the gym. They only have 5 treadmills, so I waited 10 minutes until one of them opened up. Not a big deal, but I did hear the staff ask someone to get off because she was over their 30 minutes limit. After the gym I showered up and headed down for breakfast in the main dining room. I kept telling myself I was going to skip breakfast this morning, but since I was skipping lunch off I went. I was sitting next to a couple we had met and he informed me to order a fresh made to order omelet with un-opened eggs. Wow this really made a difference from the omelets I’ve been eating previously. 

At 10:45am they had the Crown and Anchor welcome back party. Let’s just say I’m getting this party down since it’s my third time, but they do hand out free drinks.

This was the first time I have officially heard Royal Caribbean say the name of Oasis IV, Symphony of the Seas. This is the 4th Oasis Class ship launching in Spring 2018. They talked about when she comes out she will start sailing in Europe and then to her homeport in Florida. 

Around 12:30pm I left the ship for my afternoon in Nassau. We had a small group of 4 from the ship that decided to explore the island.

First up we headed to the Queen’s Staircase.

My last time here was on my live blog on Enchantment of the Seas in October. I wanted to go back to see how the area looked post hurricane damage. If you have never been here the walk is about 15 minutes and it is completely free to explore. The staircase is directly behind the Nassau hospital by the pier. After we left the staircase we headed over to the Greycliff Hotel.

This is a very old hotel and they let you just walk through it to explore. They offer day passes here also around $100, however it does not come with any food/beverages. Many famous people come to stay here because of how luxury it is. When you walk through their hotel you end up at the chocolate factory. They always have a free sample, so you have some chocolate to taste.

After exploring the hotel we headed back to the pier area to explore. We noticed they had a live band going on the sidewalk and just seemed like there was so much going on. Of course, I had to stop into my favorite pub again to grab a beer and use their free Wi-Fi. 

Evening on board

Tonight we went up to the Diamond event and I was able to take some great photos as the sun was setting. I know, you must be thinking well by day 9 how many more pictures can you take! But sometimes these just never get old.

They also had some snacks up in the lounge but I passed to safe room for dinner. 

For dinner tonight I was lucky enough to get invited to the Captain's Table again.

We met in the Schooner bar at 8pm for happy hour and then walked down to the dining room.

The experience at this table is hard to describe, but it is unlike any service I have ever had before.

The Hotel Director talked about the upgrades coming to the Majesty of the Seas during her next dry dock in January 2018. This leads me to believe, The Majesty of the Seas is not leaving the fleet anytime soon. The meal lasted a little over two hours and just great conversation all around. 

Well that is it for my full day in Nassau, Bahamas. Tomorrow we are headed to Coco Cay!

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: January 22, 2017

22 Jan 2017
Matt Hochberg

Each week we summarize all of this week's Royal Caribbean news in one post, just in case you missed any of it. Lots of things happen in your life during the week, so this is your opportunity to catch up on everything Royal Caribbean.

The big news this week came from the rumor mill, with some compelling indications of what Royal Caribbean's next cruise ship will named.

First, a blog post from the FlowRider company specifically referred to Oasis IV as Symphony of the Seas.  Then a few days later, a construction photo shows the same name being prepared on the ship's hull.

Royal Caribbean has made no official announcement regarding what its fourth Oasis class ship will be named, but many believe she will be named Symphony of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 181st  episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, which provides an overview of what Labadee offers.

Royal Caribbean's private destination of Labadee is a highlight for any cruise, and on this episode, Matt looks at what there is to do in Labadee, what to expect on shore, and tips for a fun day.

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

Penn State University has a look at two Royal Caribbean crew members who graduated from Penn State.

Cruise Dudes Podcast interviewed a listener who recently sailed on Allure of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean shares how its cruise ships save energy.

Six fun things to do in Labadee other than sitting at the beach

21 Jan 2017
Matt Hochberg

Everyone loves a good beach day, but sometimes you want to branch out and, to borrow a phrase from a past Royal Caribbean marketing campaign, get out there. Royal Caribbean's private destination of Labadee is well-known for its amazing beaches and serenity, but for those that want a little more active fun, here are some suggestions for what to do on your next visit there.

Ride the longest zip line over water

As soon as you step foot onto Labadee, you will likely notice the zip line cables extending down from the top of a nearby mountain, which seems to draw many guests who want to experience it for themselves.

The Dragon's Breath zip line takes you 500 feet above the beach as you reach speeds of 40-50 miles per hour. The zip line is 2,600 feet long and begins atop lookout mountain, and will take you above the ocean and land.

Arawak Aqua Park

If your idea of a good time is jumping, falling and canon-balling into the ocean off giant inflatable objects, then Arawak Aqua Park is perfect for you.  While there is plenty of time spent in the water, unlike a day at the beach, this aqua park is all about expending a ton of energy in this fun marine playground.

Floating trampolines, pyramids and water slides await you as you jump, climb and splash to your heart's content. It is fun for kids and adults who want to keep cool while having a lot of fun while enjoying picture-perfect views of the turquoise sea around you.


To get a full appreciation of Labadee's natural beauty, one needs to go about 400 feet in the air on an exciting parasailing adventure.

Going up in a parasail provides one of the best views of Labadee, your Royal Caribbean ship, and the surrounding area. Guests take a scenic journey to the parasailing area, where they fly in tandem high above Labadee.  Without a doubt, you will not find another view like this one.

Jet Ski

Anytime I think of jet skiing in Labadee, I am reminding of this classic Royal Caribbean television commercial.

Regardless of your nostalgia, a jet ski ride is the perfect way for anyone that wants to take a high-speed adventure through the waters of Labadee.  This is great for anyone that wants to indulge their sense of adventure and enjoy Labadee's natural beauty with the wind in their hair.

Deep sea fishing

Did you know you can go fishing while in Labadee? Royal Caribbean provides a 3-hour fishing voyage off the coast of Labadee, where your Captain takes you in search of saltwater fish to catch.

Guests embark on a 25.5 foot boat for an opportunity to try to find and reel in various large fish, such as marlin, tuna, wahoo and mahi mahi. 

Alpine Coaster

Located 680 feet up on Santa Maria’s lookout mountain, you will find the Dragon's Tail roller coaster, which is an alpine coaster.  You may have seen these sort of rides at some ski resorts during the summer months. 

Essentially it is a single car vehicle that races down a track at 30 miles per hour and features 360-degree turns as well as dips, waves and curves, you can catch glimpses of the ocean.

Majesty of the Seas Live Blog - Day 8 - Turnaround Day

21 Jan 2017
Michael Poole

Groundhog Day may be a few weeks away, but it has come early on Majesty of the Seas. We are back in Florida for another turnaround day for my third and final cruise.

I got up early to pack up my cabin and received a phone call from guest services that my on board account needed to be paid. On my pervious cruises I have always had my credit card roll over to the next cruise. However, on this ship you must go down and provide the card each time. Not a big deal, because he said I could come right up to the desk and settle the account. 

At 9am I decided to go move my belongings from one cabin to the next. This time I was going from deck 4, back up to deck 9-ocean view cabin. I didn’t take pictures, but it looks just like the cabin I day from day one blog post. At 9:30 they have all us back-to-back cruisers to meet down by guest services to receive our new SeaPass cards.

This time there were 23 guests staying on board for the next cruise. After going through customs, with a completed form, off to Grills I went. I had this bacon, egg, cheese bagel to the day and I just had to get another one.

I had some friends join me today that are local, few crew friends I’ve made, and even one guest on board. So I had quite a few friends for lunch today, and we stayed until 2pm. It was weird not getting on board until the afternoon hours. 

There were no lines in the new beautiful Terminal 1. This terminal is one of the best designs I’ve seen at any port. There are no escalators just ramp-style hallways that you can easily role down your luggage.

Once on board we quickly went to Johnny Rockets for lunch, are you getting the theme here just food, food, and more food! On the first day they offer 20% off, so it comes up to $5.64 and that includes all you can eat plus a soft drink. I did not really want anything but when on a cruise… I got a single patty burger and at around half. Now my friend Nick, he can’t say the same. He ordered two burgers and stacked them on top of each other. Let’s just say he at every single bite. 

Muster drill was right after our lunch, so at this point I felt like we were going quite a bit. But muster drill today was kind of fun because we had so many dolphins out in the water. They just kept signing back and forth beside the ship, so everyone was taking pictures.

Directly after muster drill we headed to the spa raffle, but sadly no free spa for me – maybe one day I will win. This is a raffle for 5 spa treatments for free, and they pitch many sales during the cruise.

I would say it’s not the most entertaining sail away, but someone has to win. 

Evening onboard 

Tonight we decided to see the comedy show in the main theater. Surprisingly the theater was packed, almost every seat was taken. We went to the 7:30pm show and let out at 8:20pm. It was a nice way to spend some time before dinner and some really good laughs. The comedy was for families and most of the jokes were at first time cruisers and their experience day 1 on board. The comedian was recommending that we all come back to his adult late-night comedy, however we didn’t make it. 

Dinner was in the main dining room, and I had the same waiters from this past week. So that was fun that they knew me and excited to have me back at their table. I ordered the Prime Rib, this is by far my favorite meal the whole cruise in the dining room.

Followed by carrot cake and maybe some ice cream too! 

Well that recaps my full day for turnaround. What an action packed day from start to finish. I went straight to bed after dinner, so that I was well rested for my day in Nassau, Bahamas tomorrow.

Construction photo reveals name of Royal Caribbean's next cruise ship

20 Jan 2017
Matt Hochberg

There appears to be photographic proof of what Royal Caribbean's next cruise ship will be named.

A photo was shared by Royal Caribbean fan and avid ship construction fan, Lloyd Marchand from the STX France shipyard that shows a piece of Royal Caribbean's fourth Oasis class cruise ship with the outline for what will be the ship's name.

Photo shared by Lloyd Marchand

The letters begin to spell out the rumored name, Symphony of the Seas.  Earlier this week, a partner company accidently posted Symphony of the Seas as the name of the new ship on its blog.

Royal Caribbean has not formally announced the name of this ship yet, although we do know it will debut in Spring 2018.