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A look at the family fun on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

02 Nov 2016
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas is packed with offerings for guests of all ages, and families will find the most options Royal Caribbean has ever included in one cruise ship. To demonstrate that fact, Royal Caribbean has released a new infographic that showcases it all.

Harmony of the Seas spans 16 guest decks, encompasses 226,963 gross registered tons, carries 5,479 guests at double occupancy, and features 2,747 staterooms.

Royal Caribbean will live stream the meeting of its three Oasis class ships

01 Nov 2016
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is planning a first of its kind meet up, with all three of its Oasis class ships coming together in one spot, and they are inviting you to join them (virtually) for this momentous meeting.

On November 4, 2016, Oasis of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas and Allure of the Seas will convene off the Florida coast, with plenty of photo and video being taken of this historic event.

Royal Caribbean will live stream this incredible event on its Facebook page, and is inviting the public to join them for this celebration.

The live stream will begin at approximately 5:00pm eastern time on November 4, and will also feature an opportunity for Royal Caribbean fans to submit their questions about the Oasis class ships to Royal Caribbean's CEO Michael Bayley.

The meeting of these three vessels coincides with Harmony of the Seas' arrival at its new homeport of Port Everglades, Florida.  Harmony of the Seas is currently on a 13-night transatlantic voyage, with this event culminating an already fun-packed voyage.

The live stream will be available on Royal Caribbean's Facebook page, and we will be sharing the live feed on our Facebook page as well.

What questions would you want to ask Michael Bayley about Harmony of the Seas, or any of its Oasis class sister ships? Share your questions in the comments!

Royal Caribbean is the official cruise line of the New York Knicks & New York Rangers

01 Nov 2016
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean announced today it will be the Official Cruise Line of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and the Arena Concert Series at Madison Square Garden.

Royal Caribbean and The Market Square Garden Company announced their marketing partnership, which provides Royal Caribbean with premier brand integration and exposure across Madison Square Garden’s unrivaled set of assets, including digital platforms, venue signage and presence in the transformed Madison Square Garden.

Royal Caribbean will enjoy significant brand exposure at The Garden during all Knicks and Rangers games, as well as during concerts at Madison Square Garden. This includes courtside and in-arena LED signage throughout the Arena, featured spots on MSG’s GardenVision and features on Knicks and Rangers digital and social assets.

"New York is an incredibly important market for Royal Caribbean, and we couldn’t think of a stronger fit in a strategic partner than the Madison Square Garden Company,"said Jim Berra, Chief Marketing Officer, Royal Caribbean International. "As the Official Cruise Line of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and the Arena Concert Series at Madison Square Garden, we hope to inspire New Yorkers to consider Royal Caribbean for their next great adventure."

"As the number one cruise line in the world, Royal Caribbean is a fantastic addition to our legendary group of marketing partners and we look forward to working with them on some exciting initiatives," said Ron Skotarczak, executive vice president, marketing partnerships, The Madison Square Garden Company. "We are excited to provide incredible value for our newest partner that will help drive their business."

Video: A Behind-The-Scenes Look at Harmony of the Seas' Ultimate Abyss

01 Nov 2016
Matt Hochberg

Towering over 150 feet above sea level, the Ultimate Abyss launches thrill seekers into a serpentine of twists and turns on the world's biggest ship. Guests climb to the slide's glass platform, taking in the view from the top of the tallest slide at sea. From there, sliders launch into 216 feet of tunnels, whizzing past multi-sensory effects and blast onto the Boardwalk 10 decks below. Get a behind-the-scenes perspective on the adventure that is the Ultimate Abyss.

Hurricane Matthew damage causes delay in Royal Caribbean's renovation plans for Adventure of the Seas

31 Oct 2016
Matt Hochberg

Hurricane Matthew may have dissipated weeks ago, but its impact is still being felt today, with an announcement by Royal Caribbean that Adventure of the Seas refurbishment plan has been modified.

Royal Caribbean sent an email to travel partners, indicating that "extensive damage" at the Freeport, Bahamas shipyard, as well as the global rerouting of cargo ships carrying equipment and materials, have causes a delay in getting the new changes implemented on the ship. Several cargo ships carrying essential materials were forced to bypass Freeport to circumvent the storm and, in turn, continued their predetermined route.

Adventure of the Seas will still exit dry dock on November 14, as previously planned, to embark on its scheduled itineraries.  Royal Caribbean was able to implement some of the changes as scheduled, such as updated design and décor, as well as newly renovated areas such as Boleros Latin lounge and the two-story mini golf course. However, there will be visible work going on during the next sailings.

  • Work will continue on the Dual Racer water slides, FlowRider and Splashaway Bay aqua park with a new opening date of December 10, 2016.
  • Chops Grille will now open early next year, while Izumi Japanese Cuisine is no longer part of the planned scope. Giovanni's Table, will offer select Chops Grille menu items until the steakhouse opens in early 2017.
  • The introduction of new staterooms is no longer possible at this time. Guests booked in these staterooms will be contacted by a representative from Royal Caribbean's Customer Service team to discuss re-accommodation options on the same sailing.  Guests confirmed in a panoramic oceanview stateroom will be offered a complimentary upgrade to balcony accommodations and $100 OBC per stateroom to spend onboard.
  • All guests on Adventure of the Seas sailings departing November 14 - December 3, 2016 will be offered a 25% Future Cruise Credit based on the cruise fare paid. 

The new timetable looks like this.

  • Available as of November 14, 2016
    • Two story mini-golf course
    • Boleros Latin Lounge
  • Available as of December 10, 2016
    • Dual Racer Water Slides
    • FlowRider
    • Splashaway Bay Aqua Park
  • Coming in Early 2017
    • Chops Grille
    • Suite Lounge
  • Removed from renovation plans
    • Izumi Japanese Cuisine

Halloween photos from Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

31 Oct 2016
Matt Hochberg

With today being Halloween, Royal Caribbean is celebrating this spookishly fun holiday across its fleet, including onboard the brand new Harmony of the Seas.

Many blog readers ask about how Royal Caribbean celebrates a holiday like this, and today we have some fun photos to share from some lucky guests onboard.

Photos by Emmy Schaffer

Photo by Anna-Carin Littson

Royal Caribbean created a Haunted House in the On Air Club, and Anna-Carin Littson shared with us photos of this venue.

Photo by Anna-Carin Littson

Happy Halloween!

Video: Adventures Abound for Kids in Adventure Ocean on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas

31 Oct 2016
Matt Hochberg

From Harmony of the Seas' extensive lineup of entertainment on for the whole family to kid-friendly spaces onboard, Royal Caribbean's newest and most innovative ship has something to offer guests of all ages. Young cruisers can enjoy Splashaway Bay waterpark or get active on the Lucky Climber, while teen have their own dedicated spaces such as a disco and lounge with video games and foosball.

Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas makes maiden call to Wollongong, Australia

31 Oct 2016
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas arrived at the port of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia, becoming Australia's newest cruise port.

The 2,200 guests on board arrived in Port Kembla at 8am and were welcomed with a special fly-over by a vintage Catalina flying boat, as well as thousands of excited locals waving the ship in from vantage points along the South Coast.

Guests were treated to a special "Welcome to Wollongong" marketplace at Lang Park organized by Destination Wollongong, which showcased local produce and products from the region. More than 400 local volunteers were also on hand throughout the day to help guests get the most out of their day in port.

"We have been working towards our call to Wollongong for quite some time. Guests onboard Radiance of the Seas had a wonderful day exploring the city and local area, making the dedication and hard work that’s gone into this project for the past two and a half years all worthwhile," said Adam Armstrong, managing director, Royal Caribbean Australia & New Zealand. 

Destination Wollongong General Manager, Mark Sleigh said: "When Councillor Leigh Colacino first approached Royal Caribbean to discuss bringing cruise ships to Wollongong, he promised that the community would look after their guests as well as any destination in the world.  I’m delighted that Wollongong more than delivered on that promise, and made the maiden voyage of Radiance of the Seas a day that Wollongong, and indeed our visitors, will never forget!"

This is far from the only stop Royal Caribbean will make at Wollongong.  Over the next 18 months, Voyager of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas will also call here, brining more than 16,000 visitors to the area by the end of the cruise season.

Seven different shore excursions also showcased the region outside of the city, with visits to scenic Bald Hill Lookout, Jamberoo Action Park, Kiama, Shellharbour Village, Symbio Wildlife Park and the tranquil Nan Tien Temple among some of the most popular.

"We are very proud to be the first cruise line to bring a ship to Wollongong and this historic milestone marks the beginning of a long-term relationship between Royal Caribbean and the region. We will continue to explore opportunities to utilize the port as an overflow to Sydney Harbor," Armstrong concluded.

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: October 30, 2016

30 Oct 2016
Matt Hochberg

Happy Sunday! We are so happy that you stopped by and hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Grab a mug of your favorite hot beverage, sit back, and check out the latest in Royal Caribbean news.

Perhaps the last question about Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas was answered this week, when Royal Caribbean revealed the Godmother to the new ship.

After winning the final vote, Brittany Affolter was named Godmother to Harmony of the Seas, edging out two other women who were competing for the spot.

Brittany’s work with Teach for America in Miami-Dade County has supported and inspired a number of high-needs schools in Royal Caribbean’s hometown. 

We have a lot more Royal Caribbean news to share from this week, so let's jump right in...

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

Royal Caribbean offers sailings to many destinations around the world, including the beautiful Mediterranean and on this week's podcast, we have a review of a recent sailing to this beautiful area.

In this week's podcast episode, Matt talks with Dirk about Dirk's recent 13-night Navigator of the Seas cruise to the Western Mediterranean. This is a great look at Navigator and the many ports in the Western Mediterranean.

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

The Cruise Dudes interviewed Matt about the Icon class cruise ship announcement.

ShermansCruise has a list of 9 awesome free things to do on Royal Caribbean.

The Enterprisers Project answers what digital transformation means at Royal Caribbean.

Yin&Yang share their adventures exploring Labadee and Jamaica while on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

How to cancel and rebook pre-cruise purchases on Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner

29 Oct 2016
Matt Hochberg

You might have read the news earlier this weekend that Royal Caribbean is offering discounts on select drink packages, internet packages, shore excursions, specialty restaurants and more, which has you thinking if this new promotion can save you some (more) money. But what if you had already purchased an internet package and now the price is cheaper?  Here is your guide to canceling and rebooking with Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner!

The good news is, anything you purchase via Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner is fully refundable up to two days before your cruise is set to begin.  If you cancel the item, the value will be refunded back to the form of payment that was originally used within 3-4 business days.  This means, if you are debating if you want to buy something from the Cruise Planner, but have not made up your mind, you can lock in these prices and still have time to cancel with no penalty.

You can still cancel one of these items onboard your Royal Caribbean ship, but be aware that the refund will come back in the form of onboard credit, instead of back to your credit card.

How to rebook something you bought in the Cruise Planner

If you find there is a better price for a package, service or experience and want to take advantage of that lower price, here is what you have to do.

1. Log into your Royal Caribbean account and proceed to the Cruise Planner for the sailing you have in mind.

2. At the top right corner of the pick, click Order History.  You will want to cancel the item you bought first, and then re-book it later.

3. Once at the Order History page, you will be able to see everything you have reserved or purchased for your cruise.  From here, find the item you want to cancel and click cancel.

4. Follow the next few steps to confirm the cancelation.  You should find yourself at a screen that displays a confirmation message with the exact refund to the form of payment used.  As stated earlier, it may take a few business days for the refund to be made.

5. Now that you have canceled the original purchase, you can proceed with re-purchasing the item at its lower price.

How to rebook something you bought via the phone

Alternatively, you can call Royal Caribbean directly and have them cancel and/or re-purchase the items to take advantage of the new price. Find the Royal Caribbean customer service number in your country and then work with the agent to make the change.

We recommend using the Cruise Planner because it is quite simple, and will end up being quicker than dealing with phone hold times and repeating to the agent all of your booking information and billing details.