Royal Caribbean has announced that Michael Schwartz will create new menus for the 150 Central Park restaurant aboard Oasis of the Seas. Schwartz is the winner of the James Beard Award and will pick the menu for the signature restaurant. Schwartz is best known for his commitment to sustainable and seasonal food at Miami's Michael's Genuine Food & Drink.
Michael Schwartz will be responsible for creating new dishes at 150 Central Park restaurant and will also pull some of his favorite recipes from his restaurants in Miami, Florida and Grand Cayman.
Schwartz has hand picked his new Chef de Cuisine, James Seyba, to oversee the new menu's implementation and to engage with guests daily.
Royal Caribbean's Vice President of Food and Beverage, Frank Weber, discussed the decision to bring Schwartz onboard, "Royal Caribbean continually looks to deliver the Royal Advantage to its guests through diverse and innovative dining concepts and the freshest possible ingredients. By joining forces with chef Michael Schwartz at Oasis of the Seas' 150 Central Park, we are gaining a respected hometown partner who will help us to navigate and embrace the local agricultural community by hand-picking the most appropriate local small farms to supply ingredients for our premiere dining venue."
Chef Scwhartz is excited about the opportunity as well, "I am thrilled for the opportunity to collaborate with such an acclaimed global brand as Royal Caribbean and to work with them to further the important sustainable philosophies I care so much about. It is so exciting for me to bring some of my favorite farmers' local products onboard for the first time, adding to the already impressive food and beverage offerings available to guests on Oasis of the Seas."
The 2011-2012 cruise season will kick off in St. Kitts with Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas arriving on October 8th.
Serenade of the Seas, a cruise ship with a capacity of 2,450 guests, will dock at Port Zante and make two calls in October with a total of 16 stops for the season. Serenade of the Seas will bring a total of 40,640 passengers during the 2011-2012 season.
In addition, Port Zante will welcome Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas six times as well as Navigator of the Seas and her 8 calls.
At the Seatrade Europe in Hamburg, Germany the Seatrade Insider Cruise Awards 2011 were awarded and for Port of the Year, Falmouth was named the winner for 2011.
Falmouth opened earlier this year on the coast north of Jamaica. Established by the Port Authority of Jamaica in partnership with Royal Caribbean and opened in March, Falmouth Harbor Theme represents an investment of about U.S. $ 270 million, with a pier with two piers, shops, restaurants and transportation center. Later phases of development planned for the immediate future include attractions, hotels, residences and more shops and restaurants.
Falmouth, located on the north coast of Jamaica, is located between the popular destinations of Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, making it a convenient point of entry and exit to the island. In addition, cruise ships have more than 60 shore excursions to choose from, including walks around the city.
Royal Caribbean is planning to hold it's semi-annual WOW Sale on October 4 & 5, 2011. WOW Sales are limited-time promotions Royal Caribbean runs a few times per year that offer some good deals on new bookings.
This WOW Sale is good on on all Royal Caribbean cruises departing on or after January 1, 2012 and includes
- $50 per cabin in on-board credit on three- to five-night itineraries
- $100 in credit for six- to nine-night itineraries
- $200 per cabin for 10-night or longer itineraries
- 50 percent reduced deposit paid on October 4 and 5, 2011
Royal Caribbean's senior vice president of Sales, Trade Support and Services, Vicki Freed, thinks the WOW Sale offers a lot of value to their customers, "Our two-day WOW! Sale will help drive traffic to our valued travel agents, whose expertise is important to the vacation planning process. This offer is an irresistible opportunity for vacationers to plan ahead for a winter getaway, spring break, or a family vacation anytime of the year. Guests will enjoy sailing aboard the world’s most innovative cruise ships; visiting popular destinations on exciting itineraries; and experiencing our renowned Gold Anchor Service – which together make up the Royal Advantage.”
Royal Caribbean is betting on the Mediterranean by announcing that they plan on expanding their presence in the region. Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein on a trip to Milan, Italy talked about the cruise line's plans, "In 2012 we will double our presence in Italy, France and Spain. The economic crisis is certainly not hurting our industry, but the margins for growth in the Mediterranean are still sensitive and so we want to be players to play this game. "
Just to support the development plans, Royal Caribbean is upgrading its fleet. Two new ships are scheduled to start operation in the coming years, being built in German shipyards instead of the Italian Fincantieri Meyer Wert shipyards. Goldstein, however, ultimately did not not close the door to future ships being built in Italy, "We know the value and experience of Fincantieri . So, as we say, we are 'open minded' and will reevaluate when the opportunity for new orders we will certainly take into account also the opportunities that may come from Italy. "
What seemed like a gamble, when Royal Caribbean ordered and built two ships 220 thousand gross tons, but has been a success. "But this is our strategy," Goldstein says "The customer has any kind of offer to choose independently. So it is the same with ships, with a range of very different size."
Royal Caribbean's Splendour of the Seas, which arrives on December 9 on the Brazilian coast, will have two routes in the northeast of Brazil. The new destination of choice is the city of Maceio.
With seven-night and out of Santos, the Splendour of the Seas will make stops in Salvador and in the capital Alagona. There is also an itinerary for seven or eight nights, with stops in Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Punta del Este, and also mini-cruises of three, four and five nights, with esclas Buzios, Ilhabela, Porto Belo, Ilha Grande and Cabo Frio.
During the season in Brazil, Splendour of the Seas will conduct a total of 21 cruises.
The deal is worth an estimated $50-60 million, which is about what the budget for past media endeavors has run Royal Caribbean. According to Kantar Media, Royal Caribbean (including its subsidiary brands such as Celebrity Cruises) spent about $72 million on U.S. measured media in 2010, the majority of which was spent on the Royal Caribbean brand.
While Royal Caribbean conducted the review, an unnamed executive mentioned that Mindshare's duties will be relegated to Royal Caribbean's ships in North America, even though more than half of Royal Caribbean's fleet is in Europe.