Royal Caribbean's two largest shareholders, A Wilhelmsen AS and Cruise Associates, have informed Royal Caribbean that they have terminated the Shareholders’ Agreement between themselves. The deal between the two shareholders meant they agreed to vote their shares for the election as directors of four nominees of each shareholder. With the termination of the Shareholders’ Agreemnt, the two shareholders are no longer obliged to vote their shares in this manner.
Royal Caribbean is not included in the agreement but did issue a statement that the decision has nothing to do with Royal Caribbean as a company. Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean's Chairman had this to say, "This action is solely between the two shareholders and does not involve the Company. We do not expect today’s announcement to result in any change in the Company’s operations or strategic direction."
Per Royal Caribbean's Articles of Incorporation stipulate that when the Shareholders’ Agreement was in place, the approval of at least one director affiliated with each of the two shareholders was required for certain corporate actions. Now that the agreement is terminated, this is no longer a requirement. In addition, Royal Caribbean noted that these changes are consistent with current trends in best practice for good corporate governance.
Royal Caribbean has announced it will hold a one-day sale on all of its cruises to the Bahamas and Caribbean this Saturday, August 27. Called the "One Day Saturday Super Sale", the sale will be valid on Bahamas and Caribbean sailings departing between September 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011.
Royal Caribbean is promising...
- $25 to spend onboard when you reserve an inside or outside stateroom
- $50 to spend onboard when you reserve a balcony or suite
One offer per stateroom and all bookings must be made on August 27, 2011 between 12:00am ET and 11:59pm ET. Offer is not combinable with any other offer or promotion, including, but not limited to, Interline, Travel Agent, and Net Rates, Crown & Anchor Discounts, Shareholder Benefits or Next Cruise offers, promotions, or benefits. Offer is available to US and Canada residents only.
Royal Caribbean announced that Explorer of the Seas will depart Cape Liberty, Bayonne, NJ earlier than expected this weekend. The Saturday, August 27 sailing will depart at 4pm EST, one hour earlier than originally scheduled.
All guests are asked to arrive at the pier no later than 3:00pm EST.
The change is due to the impending arrival of hurricane Irene and Royal Caribbean wants to get the ship out of the path of the storm. No other changes have been announced but Royal Caribbean is monitoring the situation.
Royal Caribbean is planning on sending more ships to Australia, but the company has concerns that the Australian ports could become overwhelmed by demand in the very near future.
Royal Caribbean feels that if a new terminal in Sydney, Australia isn't built soon, the port will reach capacity in 2013. Australia is enjoying increasing demand and the market for cruises is expanding so quickly that the facilities in place today will not be able to keep up with the increasing number of large cruise ships entering Sydney harbor.
Royal Caribbean's Australian managing director Gavin Smith released a statement that covers the growing concern, "We have a good situation that needs attention before becoming a problem."
Royal Caribbean wants the New South Wales government to reconsider the $60 million allocated by the previous Labor government to build a new terminal in White Bay, in Sydney's inner west.
Smith continued, "Our view is $60 million is a considerable amount of money to invest in a permanent terminal west of the Harbour Bridge that most ships calling into Sydney in the future won't be able to use. It would be more prudent and viable to redeploy a large part of the funding towards a terminal (east of the bridge) the whole industry can use"
Royal Caribbean has a good reason to be concerned, given their announcement that they will quadruple the amount of guests they will handle over the next few cruise seasons.
We first told you about passengers who missed their Royal Caribbean cruise earlier this week when Royal Caribbean was forced to depart San Juan, Puerto Rico earlier than scheduled due to the impending threat of Hurricane Irene.
Today, Royal Caribbean has denied any responsibility for leaving 145 passengers at port to get Serenade of the Seas of the way of the storm three hours early. Royal Caribbean contends that port officials began to limit harbor traffic at 12:30 pm on Sunday, forcing the ship to depart early.
Of the passengers left behind, 15 had purchased their airfare through Royal Caribbean and were subsequently given a hotel stay for two nights and flown to Aruba to join the cruise on the rest of its voyage. The other 130 passengers, however, were on their own. The reasoning, according to Royal Caribbean is, "Independent guests were advised of hotel availability in the area, but the expense was on them given that it was a weather-related event."
Furthermore, Royal Caribbean says there was simply no way of contacting the passengers in time to alert them to the change, “There was no way to notify our guests of this change in departure time. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our guests, but this decision was made by the Port of San Juan to ensure the safe transit of all guests and crew through the port.”
It turns out Royal Caribbean isn't alone in this. Another 300 passengers missed their Carnival Cruise when Hurricane Irene prompted the Carnival Victory to leave port four hours early.
Royal Caribbean will offer options in the 2011/2012 season to perform weddings onboard their ships that sail from Brazil. The bride and groom may hold the marriage ceremony on the Splendour of the Seas or Vision of the Seas, with three different package options: the Royal Happiness, the Royal and Royal Romance Eternity.
The symbolic ceremony lasts approximately one hour and is performed by one of the officers while the ship is moored in one of the authorized ports - Santos, Rio de Janeiro or Salvador. In addition to the guests who may accompany them on the cruise, the couple can invite up to 40 guests not to attend the celebration and reservations must be made up to two months in advance.
The partners Bedaque Marina Barbosa and Tamara were responsible for all training of the crew that will perform the symbolic ceremony. There is also the choice of suppliers - as a band, cake and favors - enclosed in the package.
Hurricane Irene has altered the itinerary of two more Royal Caribbean ships.
Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas will skip Cococay on Tuesday, its private island in the Bahamas. Instead, the ship will spend an extra day at sea.
Majesty of the Seas will also skip her scheduled sotp at CocoCay on Wednesday and go directly to Key West instead. Majesty should arrive at Key West at 4pm on Wednesday and stay there overnight until 6pm on Thursday.
These two changes are in addition to four other Royal Caribbean ships that had their itineraries altered already inlcuding Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas.
In addition, Hurricane Irene has caused Royal Caribbean to secure and evacuate Cocacay.
Due to fear of Hurricane Irene impacting Serenade of the Seas, Royal Caribbean decided to leave San Juan, Puerto Rico earlier than the scheduled 8:30pm time. The earlier departure time may have gotten the ship out of the path of the storm, but it stranded some Royal Caribbean passengers in San Juan after they claim they weren't made aware of the schedule change.
Passenger Nicole Washington of Baltimore, MD arrived at the docks Sunday shortly after 5, she found the gates locked and the ship gone.
“There was nobody there,” she said. “Everybody was gone and there was nobody there to tell me where the ship was.”
In a statement, Royal Caribbean spokesperson Cynthia Martinez explained the change, "On Sunday, due to the projected path of Hurricane Irene, and the weather forecast to reach San Juan, Puerto Rico that evening, authorities at the Port of San Juan limited traffic in and out of the port. As a result, Serenade of the Seas was required to depart earlier than our originally scheduled time of 8:30 p.m.”
Washington did admit that she never checked into the cruise so according to Royal Caribbean, the line had no idea she was even in San Juan.
Martinez went on to say, “There was no way to notify our guests of this change in departure time. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our guests, but this decision was made by the Port of San Juan to ensure the safe transit of all guests and crew through the port.”
Hurricane Irene is becoming the big story of the 2011 hurricane seas thus far and its projected path is veering east of where meteorologists originally had thought it could go, which is great news for those going on a cruise out of Florida.
While these projections are nothing more than educated guesses, they do give us an idea of the most likely path and the new path has Hurricane Irene moving east of Florida instead of the state taking a more direct hit, as was predicted earlier in the week. For those embarking on cruises, this means the impact the storm will have on their cruises could be less than previously hinted at.
Royal Caribbean isn't taking any chances and has already altered the itineraries of four of its ships. Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas all are changing up the order in which they will be making their port calls to hopefully avoid the path of the storm.
The bad news is Irene has gone from being likely a Category 2 storm to possibly increasing to a Category 4 before belting Florida and North and South Carolina at the weekend.
It's important to note that the projected path doesn't mean Florida is "out of the woods" yet, but the further east Irene goes, the better it is for those looking forward to a Royal Caribbean cruise this weekend.