Royal Caribbean will offer an unique six-day cruise from Xiamen, China to Japan on April 2nd. During this cruise, famous Taiwan singer-songwriter Fei Yu-ching will perform as a special guest on for a concert at sea, the first concert at sea to be held in Asia.
Legend of the Seas will visit two cities in Japan, including Kaoshima and Beppu. Kaoshima is well known as the "Naples of the Eastern world" and Beppu is known for its geothermal hot spots. Legend of the Seas will return to Shanghai, China on April 7th.
About 200 passengers aboard Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas contracted norovirus while the ship was still docked in New Orleans. The outbreak delayed Voyager of the Seas' departure by two hours.
A report says 20 of the 200 passengers had to be quarantined due to their condition.
Crew aboard Voyager of the Seas spent an extra two hours cleaning the ship.
Royal Caribbean is among the first major companies to embrace the standards set forth by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
The council recently commended companies such as Royal Caribbean for being among "the first group of global travel and tourism corporations to publicly commit to promoting sustainable tourism products and services recognized by the GSTC."
The council's mission is to foster sustainable tourism and travel practices, and the organization considers its criteria as "the worldwide minimum requirements for tourism businesses of all size to approach sustainability."
While some in the media would lead you to believe potential cruisers are shying away from taking a cruise, a report out of Cleveland, Ohio shows that most people haven't changed their potential cruise plans.
Local travel agents report their businesses have suffered no ill effects in the three weeks since the Costa Concordia incident occurred.
Aiding in the situation is how cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean have helped convey information about safety to their customers. Jeannette Yanuzzi, an agent with Parma's Tempo Travel, said several cruise companies, including Royal Caribbean, have supplied her with information about onboard safety protocols, should clients express any reservations. But her clients haven't asked for it.
"I think the public is educated enough to realize it's a completely isolated incident," said Joanne Shikitino, manager of Cleveland's Cruises Etc.
A British man has fallen overboard from Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas and Mexican and American officials are conducting a search of the waters nearby to find him.
Royal Caribbean confirmed that a 30-year-old man was seen going over the railing from his stateroom aboard Allure of the Seas. Video camera footage from aboard the ship confirmed the report as well.
The incident occured as Allure of the Seas was sailing to Cozumel, Mexico and the United States Coast Guard is assisting the Mexican Navy in the search efforts.
In Italy in 2012, Royal Caribbean will have five ports of embarkation in Italy, of which two are new this year: Bari & Messina. These new ports of embarkation are in addition to Civitavecchia, Venice and Genoa. In addition, there will be 10 ships in Italy this year, up from 8 in 2011, including Navigator of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas.
Royal Caribbean Italy kicks off the summer season by announcing the addition of Mario Pasquero as new commercial manager, responsible for marketing departments and web operations.
Also, new cruises from Venice and the new home for Splendour of the Seas, Bari. Royal Caribbean is also offering new "flight + cruise" packages where you can fly at reduced rates to the ports in Northern Europe where cruises aboard Brilliance of the Seas area available.
Royal Caribbean has chosen Resolve Maritime Academy to be its exclusive simulator-based training provider. The arrangement will allow Royal Caribbean's personnel to receive training exclusively at the new Simulation Training Center adjacent to Port Everglades starting in the second quarter of 2012.
This training will provide Royal Caribbean with simulation-based courses such as maritime human factors training, bridge resource management (BRM) and maritime leadership & communication.
In addition, the training center in Florida will feature a Det Norsk Veritas (DNV) Class A full mission bridge simulator, electronic chart display & information system (ECDIS) classroom and navigation lab with a suite of "mini" bridges. Courses offered will include: ship handling; bridge resource management (BRM); operational use of ECDIS; and Radar/Automatic Radar Planning Aids (ARPA). Customized programs also will be offered, including: integrated bridge systems (Sperry VisionMaster and NACOS Platinum); dynamic positioning systems; and communication & leadership development for all ranks and employees. Future plans include an engine room simulator which will be utilized for operational and engine resource management (ERM) training.
Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President Marine Operations, Captain William S. Wright, commented on the the impact of this new partnership, "The brands of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. are regarded as leaders in innovative ship building, design and safety and strive to continually enhance the fleet's navigation and safety systems by consistently introducing the latest in state-of-the-art technology."
Royal Caribbean's marketing department is at it again and this time they have transformed one of New York City's subway cars on the Times Square Shuttle (S train) into a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.
We're not sure how long this will be available but it's "in the wild" for now.
Update: Reader Ldunn has informed us that the subway car wrap will be up through the month of February.
During Royal Caribbean's fourth quarter 2011 results, the company commented on the impact the Costa Concordia tragedy has had on its business. The following is from Royal Caribbean's press release.
It is very difficult to assess the impact of the incident on our revenues. It has been the subject of extensive media coverage and world-wide attention. In addition, we curtailed our marketing activities as did most cruise lines and travel agencies. We believe that most observers and potential guests understand that cruising is safe and that this incident was a very rare anomaly in an otherwise reliably safe vacation. But in the near term it has a significant impact on our bookings.
We are pleased to note that there has been no material change in cancellation activity which has remained within normal levels. However, new booking activity has been hurt. Overall booking volumes from North America have fallen by low to mid-teen percentages versus same time last year for the last few weeks. In Europe, where media coverage has been more extensive, the decline has been higher, though results vary significantly by country. In aggregate the company's other markets, including Asia/Pacific and Latin America are down slightly. For the year as a whole, notwithstanding the recent slowdown, booked load factors and pricing are still higher than they were at the same time last year. This reflects the very robust starting position the company was in before the incident.
The impact on bookings has been greatest in the first three quarters and wanes as the year progresses. On the other hand, the first quarter also has more of its capacity booked making it less affected by changes in booking patterns. Spring and summer sailings are showing the largest declines in new bookings, while longer term bookings remain healthy. In addition, the company noted that the impact is much greater for first time cruisers compared to experienced cruisers. This reflects the greater knowledge experienced cruisers have about cruise vacations and ships.
Including the contribution from distribution changes and deployment initiatives noted above, the company currently anticipates yield improvement for the full year 2012 to be in a range between 1% and 5% on a Constant-Currency basis and between flat and 4% on an As-Reported basis versus the prior year.
Already, bookings have started to recover, particularly in North America and the company does not expect that this event will have a significant long term impact on its business.