Sneak peek at Perfect Day at CocoCay construction progress

By: Matt Hochberg

We have the first official images from Royal Caribbean of what the final Perfect Day at CocoCay experience will look like, as the cruise line makes progress towards launching the revamped private island experience.

First up is a view of the bridge over Oasis Lagoon with landscaping already added. Royal Caribbean promises Oasis Lagoon will be the Caribbean’s largest freshwater pool.

Photo credit Royal Caribbean International.

In addition, the first water slides being installed on Splash Summit. Splash Summit is part of the Thrill Waterpark area, and will include six multi-rider slides, including The Twister, a winding tube slide for two sharing a raft; The Slingshot, a zero-gravity slide for four; and the four-lane Splash Speedway racing slides.

Photo credit Royal Caribbean International.

Royal Caribbean expects to open the first phase of Perfect Day at CocoCay in May 2019. Perfect Day at CocoCay is the first in Royal Caribbean's recently announced private island collection. With a $200 million makeover, Perfect Day at CocoCay will feature Thrill Waterpark, Oasis Lagoon, Up, Up and Away helium balloon, Chill Island beach, and the action-packed South Beach with sports, paddle-boarding, glass-bottom kayaking and more.

Friday Photos - February 8, 2019

By: Matt Hochberg

Love Royal Caribbean cruises and the start of the weekend? Then you will love Friday Photos, where we celebrate the start of the weekend with some great Royal Caribbean photos that our readers have shared with us. Sit back, relax, and let's enjoy this week's batch of Royal Caribbean photos!

We begin with a photo of a sunny day in Labadee, by Kinny Lee.

Twangster shared this photo of Oasis of the Seas departing Port Everglades after a delayed departure time due to Hurricane Matthew aftermath.

Next up is a photo by Ariella of a sunset from onboard Enchantment of the Seas.

Here is a photo of the CocoCay sign, as seen when arriving via tender.  Photo by Anoop.

Here is a shot of Anthem of the Seas by Lauren Ogonowski.

Kathy Singer stopped by the her favorite spot on Independence of the Seas while on the way to see Grease. 

We wrap up with a photo of pre-Amplified Mariner of the Seas docked in Langkawi, Malaysia. Photo by Ethan Wang.

Thank you to everyone for these wonderful cruise photos.  If you would like to share your Royal Caribbean photos with us, use this form to send them in.  Have a great weekend!

Port and dock update: February 7, 2019

By: Matt Hochberg

We ran across a few quick updates on port news that have some impact on Royal Caribbean in the future.

St. Croix wants to handle Quantum Class ships

Caribbean Journal reports the US Virgin Islands Port Authority is exploring an opportunity to increase cruise passenger visits to the island of St Croix so that it could handle a Quantum Class ship.

According to the Port Authority, the plan would be to modify the Ann E. Abramson Marine Facility in Frederiksted to accommodate Quantum Class cruise ships.

The largest ships that currently berth in St Croix have a max capacity of up to 2,501 passengers.

Victoria port expansion impacted by lost steel

CTV Vancouver is reporting a multi-million dollar dolphin extension destined to upgrade Victoria's cruise ship terminal has been lost at sea.

The piles were meant to extend Pier B at Ogden Point by 55 metres and allow it to serve bigger cruise ships like the Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas, which has committed to stopping in Victoria beginning this May.

The B.C. Pilots Association and Royal Caribbean International carried out tests at Pier A on Friday and it has been decided that for this summer, the Ovation of the Seas will stop at Pier A.

The replacement steel is expected to arrive in late summer from China. The extension is slated to be completed in time for the 2020 cruise season. 

Spotted: Chat feature added to Harmony of the Seas

By: Matt Hochberg

Guests aboard Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas have reported that the highly-anticipated chat feature of Royal Caribbean's new smart phone app have been activated.

Royal Caribbean Blog reader Marshall Stewart sent us a screenshot of Royal Caribbean's app while onboard Harmony of the Seas and noted that the app has enabled the chat feature, as well as the X-Ray vision app.

The features were activated during their sailing while the ship was visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The chat feature allows guest-to-guest chat on Harmony of the Seas.  Guests may link to other staterooms and chat with friends and family for free.

Previously, Royal Caribbean had been testing the chat feature exclusively on Allure of the Seas.

The app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Video: Alaska cruise mistakes to avoid!

By: Matt Hochberg

Are you planning a Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska and looking to avoid some easy pitfalls? After taking our first cruise to Alaska, we have a few of the things we wish we did differently.

A cruise to Alaska should be at the top of any cruisers' must-do list, and we loved our time visiting the Last Frontier, but we definitely learned a few lessons from our first Alaskan cruise. For our next cruise, we will definitely change things up and we are sharing our lessons learned in this brand new Royal Caribbean Blog video!

And if you love this video, we have lots of other great cruise videos to watch on our Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel!

By the way, have you subscribed yet? Be sure to subscribe to our channel and never miss a single episode!

If you have cruised to Alaska, what mistakes would you avoid the next time? Share your ideas in our comments!

Royal Caribbean makes list of most loved brands

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean made the list of the top ten Most Loved Brand Offline, according to Engagement Labs' second annual TotalSocial Brand Awards series.

Engagement Labs looked at more than 500 US consumer brands in a variety of industry sectors and ranked the most loved brands based on net positive conversations happening online (via social media) and offline (via face-to-face conversations).

The awards are based on the Company's proprietary TotalSocial data and analytics platform, which continuously measures the online and offline social metrics that are proven drivers of business performance. These metrics, including both online and offline conversations against the following major conversation dimensions: net sentiment (the difference in the percent positive conversations minus negative), brand sharing (the extent to which people are sharing or talking about a brand's marketing or advertising), volume (a measure of how many conversations mention a brand) and influence (the extent to which an influential audience is talking about a brand). 

At the third position, the Royal Caribbean Cruises invested $120 million in revitalizing their ships cater to millennials and improve the customer base experience. The most loved brands offline are those which are spoken about positively during face-to-face conversations.

Top things you can only do on a smaller ship on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

By: Matt Hochberg

Our newest podcast episode is out to help give you a quick "audio escape" to a Royal Caribbean cruise!

Episode 288 is available for downloading, which has the top reasons to take a cruise on one of Royal Caribbean's smaller ships.

Every Royal Caribbean ship offers something a little different, but the smaller ships do have some inherit benefits that the much larger vessels cannot offer. This week, Matt picks his top five reasons to book a smaller ship.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 288. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSSStitcher or on iTunes!

Take a listen and as always, let us know what you think! Please rate and review the podcast on iTunes and leave your comments below!

Video: Symphony of the Seas’ HiRo Raises the Bar

By: Matt Hochberg

HiRo, Royal Caribbean’s newest aqua show, features more high-flying feats, unexpected stunts and extraordinary acrobatics than ever before. Brought to life by the world’s best extreme-sport athletes, HiRo pushes the limits of a theatrical production with cutting-edge technology and choreography. With 3D flying technology used by aerialists as they literally soar above the crowd, plus acrobats and professional divers no two shows are the same, making it worth seeing twice.

Royal Caribbean brings back WOW Sale with bonus of up to $400 onboard credit

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's WOW Sale begins today, with up to $400 bonus money to spend onboard the ship, in addition to 60% off second guest and kids sail free offer.

The WOW Sale is valid on bookings made between February 6 – 10, 2019 on sailings departing on or after March 6, 2019.

The WOW Sale includes:

  • 60% off cruise fare of second guest booked in the same stateroom as first full-fare paying guest, and 30% off cruise fare for third guests and higher booked in the same stateroom as the first two qualified guests. 
  • BOGO offers up to $100 to spend at sea per stateroom determined by category booked and sailing length:
    •  Sailings 5 nights or less, $25 OBC for Interior and Ocean View, $ 25 for Balconies and $50 for Suites
    • Sailings 6 nights or longer, $50 OBC for Interior and Ocean View, $75 for Balconies and $100 for Suites
  •  WOW Sale offers up to $300 to spend at sea per stateroom (up to $400 to spend at sea when combined with BOGO OBC) determined by category booked and sailing length:
    •  Sailings 5 nights or less, $50 OBC for Interior and Ocean View, $75 for Balconies and $150 for Suites
    • Sailings 6 nights or longer, $75 OBC for Interior and Ocean View, $100 for Balconies and $300 for Suites
  • Kids Sail Free: provides free cruise fare for 3rd guests and higher who are 12 years old or younger on select 4-night or longer Alaska, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Caribbean, CaribNE, Coastal, Cuba, Europe and Hawaii sailings departing between March 1 – December 15, 2019.
    •  ​​​​​​​Offer excludes Spring Break sailings (Sailings between March 16 – 30, 2019), Holy Week/Easter sailings (Sailings between April 13 – 22, 2019) Summer sailings (Sailings between May 15 – August 31, 2019) and 2019 Thanksgiving sailings (Sailings between November 23 – 30, 2019).   

BOGO and Kids Sail Free are combinable with each other as well as with WOW Sale, promotional OBCs, NextCruise offers, Instant Savings, restricted discounts (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military), Promo Code driven offers, Free Upgrades, Crown and Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. WOW Sale is combinable with promotional OBCs, NextCruise offers, Instant Savings, restricted discounts (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military), Promo Code driven offers and Free Upgrades but not combinable with Crown and Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. Offers are not combinable with any other offer or promotion, including, but not limited to, Standard Group, Interline, Travel Agent, Travel Agent Friends and Family, Weekly Sales Events, Net Rates. Promo Code driven offers are based on select ships and sail dates and must be applied at time of booking, limit one promo code per booking.   

Offer available to residents of United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and select countries in the Caribbean. 

Royal Caribbean offering up to 30% off pre-cruise purchases with Cruise Planner sale

By: Matt Hochberg

Guests can save up to 30% off on select pre-cruise purchases with Royal Caribbean's new Cruise Planner sale.

The Set Sail & Save sale runs between February 6, 2019 and February 11, 2019 on sailings between February 11, 2019 and August 31, 2019.

Royal Caribbean states guests can expect to see:

  • Beverage Packages: Up to 30% off on select sailings
    • Deluxe Beverage Package + VOOM Surf & Stream 1 Device: Discount varies by ship.
    • Deluxe Beverage Package: Discount varies by ship.
    • Refreshment Package: 30% off onboard prices. Discount varies by ship.
  • Save up to 25% on select shore excursions. Discount varies by ship.
  • Internet
    • VOOM Surf + Stream Voyage Package 1, 2, 3, 4 Device(s): Discount varies by ship.
    • VOOM Surf Voyage Package 1, 2, 3, 4 Device(s): Discount varies by ship.
  • Dining Packages
    • 3 Night Dining Package. Discount varies by ship.
    • 3 Night, 4 Night and 5 Night Ultimate Dining Package. Discount varies by ship.
  • Activities: Up to 10% off on select sailings
    • All Access Ship Tour: 10% off.

To check if your sailing has this new offer available, log into the Cruise Planner on Royal Caribbean's web site look for any available offers. Keep in mind that not all sailings may see the sale applicable, nor are all offers significantly cheaper than previously posted.

If you spot a better discount on something you already pre-purchased, you should be able to cancel the purchase and then re-purchase the same item under this promotion.