Cruisers in the United Kingdom have a new way to get their luggage to the cruise ship a little bit easier now. Royal Caribbean is offering Brits a home luggage collection service, for a fee of course.
Those going on a cruise can have their luggage picked up from their home and delivered to their cabin and then dropped back off at their home after their cruise.
This new service costs £35 per item each way and is available for cruises on Royal Caribbean ships Independence of the Seas from Southampton, Jewel of the Seas from Harwich and Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Eclipse from Southampton.
Luggage is picked up by Royal Caribbean between 24 and 96 hours prior to the cruise departure depending on the address in the United Kingdom.
Royal Caribbean Cruises UK and Ireland managing director Dominic Paul was optimistic about the new option, “We see this service as particularly useful to our guests with mobility issues, large families or those who need to travel some distance to the port.”
Hurricane Igor is forcing a change in Oasis of the Seas' itinerary. On Tuesday, Oasis of the Seas will visit Philipsburg, St. Maarten on Tuesday and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas on Wednesday.
Royal Caribbean stated that the change will allow the ship to visit both ports while avoiding the issues that a storm like Igor can bring.
Panama is preparing its port facilities and tourism services for the cruise season that begins in October, with aspirations to outperform the previous period, according to Panamanian sources.
BrandWeek has an interview with Betsy O’Rourke, Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President of Marketing about it's recent advertising campaign dubbed “Vacation Daze". The new advertising campaign emphasizes the importance of taking vacation days and how many Americans do not use their vacation days and why that's wrong.
The advertising campaign is Royal Caribbean's attempt to induce a viral marketing campaign, advertising primarily on Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets in addition to the Royal Caribbean website. O'Rourke hopes consumers will send these videos to folks who are guilty of not taking their vacation days.
O'Rourke also mentioned that Royal Caribbean is doing better business as of late, although Royal Caribbean's numbers still lag a bit below their figures in 2008, before the financial crisis hit, "For Royal Caribbean, we are seeing a build up in demand. I can’t speak for the entire industry, but I follow what the U.S. Travel Association puts out. I came from the hotels business, and RevPAR [revenue per available room, a key metric] is up, and we’ve seen our business travel, meetings and incentives businesses pick up, so those are all very good signs. We also have more than 40 percent of our guests coming from international countries outside of the U.S. We’ve seen very strong demand across the board, but it varies country by country. We have not reached the ’08 levels yet, but we’re getting pretty close."
Also of interest is why Royal Caribbean chose to advertise only online, as opposed to using traditional media such as television. O'Rourke explains the decision like this, "Television creates a lot of awareness, but what we know is that people go online when they are actually searching to plan their trips. That’s why we’ve chosen these two channels."
Royal Caribbean President and Chief Executive Adam Goldstein said prices for their voyages have fallen over the past year. Moreover, Goldstein added that that those on sailings aboard Allure of the Seas would find cheaper rates than those for last year’s prices on her sister ship, Oasis of the Seas.
Goldstein avoided referring to reports of fares for Oasis of the Seas costing less than $1,000, he did reveal that the debut of Allure of the Seas has doubled capacity and therefore, is leading to more space and it's not unusual to see prices drop a bit for them.
Obviously this is great news for consumers who may want to try out the latest and greatest ships Royal Caribbean has to offer, as well as potentially lure new cruisers to give it a try.
Meanwhile Mr Goldstein revealed that “on some cruises I think there are more customers from the UK than from the US”. He added that the UK market remained an increasingly growing sector for the cruise industry, signalling that UK cruisers look set to continue an enjoyment filled relationship with one of the world’s largest cruise operators.
Ambius, the group responsible for the plants decor in Central Park on Oasis of the seas, was "recognized for excellence in plantscaping sector" at the 18th annual PIA Interior Plantscape Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet at the CalScape Expo 2010 on September 2nd, 2010 at the San Diego Sheraton Hotel & Marina.
Amibus' Mark Hawry accepted four awards for his teams work on bringing the best of land to sea with the Central Park project for Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas ship. Central Park showcases a revolutionary design that features a center of the ship that is open air and features lots of lush plant life.
Central Park serves as a public area with pathways, seasonal flower gardens and canopy trees. It provides cruisers with another and unique choice in outdoor space.
Hawry accepted three Award of Excellence citations for Oasis of the Seas including oversight of the Exterior Garden, the installation of Central Park and the design and provisioning of the ships' silk replica and preserved foliage. Central Park on Oasis of the Seas also picked up the prestigious Judge's Award, which was awarded for the most outstanding overall project in 2010.
Showcasing onboard experiences all her own, Royal Caribbean International's Allure of the Seas, the world's next largest and most innovative cruise ship debuting in December 2010, will introduce new culinary concepts and tempting twists to signature Oasis-class restaurants. A Brazilian steakhouse will be a destination restaurant that comes to life for dinner service in the Solarium, featuring authentic Brazilian-style meats and seafood dishes, from Picanha cut sirloin steak to Atlantic salmon marinated with sea salt and garlic, served table-side and sliced straight off the skewer. In Central Park, recently anointed Chef de Cuisine Molly Brandt will present guests with a one-of-a-kind menu and distinct dining experience at Allure of the Seas' 150 Central Park, a signature fine dining experience.
POOL AND SPORTS ZONE
VITALITY AT SEA SPA AND FITNESS CENTER
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced today it has named Gabriela Gonzalez Saul managing director for their operations in Mexico. In her position, Gonzalez Saul will lead the new office in Mexico, which will open in December 2010 to support the Sales, Marketing and Commercial Operations for the company's three cruise brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises.
A research team from the United Kingdom's Greenwich University completed some "ground-breaking" research into ship evacuation and safety while using Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas as a laboratory. More than 2,300 passengers aboard Jewel of the Seas took part in a 'live' assembly drill while at sea.
The evacuation response time was monitored by the research team with a about 100 video camera, including CCTV, fish-eye, digital and analog cams that were pre-positioned by the research team. Passengers wore infrared tracking tags during the experiment, which lasted about a half hour. This allowed researchers to track everyone's exact movements and later reconstruct the paths people took to make their way to their assembly station.
Head of the research team Prof Ed Galea, who is also director of the fire safety engineering group at Greenwich, said the experiment on board the Jewel of the Seas had created nothing less than a piece of maritime history. "This assembly trial was unique in several aspects, as we collected data from a large cruise ship, during a virtually unannounced assembly drill and while we were actually at sea," he said.
This research on Jewel of the Seas is part of a three year Safeguard project that is being funded by the European Union with a cost of more than €3 million with a purpose of analyzing evacuation procedures on a cruise ship, specifically the length of time it takes passengers to respond to an alarm. The goal of this research is to improve current evacuation procedures.
Tracy Murrell, director maritime safety and compliance for Royal Caribbean Cruises, said: "We are extremely pleased with the success of the exercise onboard Jewel of the Seas. The shipboard team embraced the spirit of the exercise and assisted in all aspects to ensure flawless execution. Royal Caribbean is proud to be part of the ongoing efforts to improve safety onboard passenger ships and looks forward to learning from the results of the project."
If you like playing those scratch off lottery games and are a fan of Royal Caribbean, now you can combine your favorite two passions in one. Starting today, the Florida Lottery will be selling a new scratch off game with a Royal Caribbean theme called "Cruise for Cash".
Tickets cost $5 and the game offers players the change to win up to $200,000 instantly and a second chance promotion on the Florida Lottery website has the possibility to win a 7-night Caribbean cruise vacation for two aboard Oasis of the Seas or Allure of the Seas. The new game is available at Florida Lottery retailers statewide.
If you win the cruise, you also will receive $1,000 in ship credit and premium accommodations for two at a deluxe hotel prior to departure. There will be a total of 112 cruise packages awarded with this game. Cruise winners will have the option of selecting from various Royal Caribbean International cruise vacations, subject to availability and the terms of the CRUISE FOR CASH game.