Today we have the honor of talking to DJ Big Phyll, a Celebrity DJ for Royal Caribbean, who has recently been DJ'ing on Oasis of the Seas. Big Phyll talks to us about his thoughts on where to have a great time on Oasis of the Seas, as well as sharing his favorite aspects of Royal Caribbean's newest ship.
- Favorite restaurant on Oasis of the Seas: 3-way tie between Giovanni's Table, Chops Grille, & Izumi. I also love Vintages, which I enjoyed tapas & wine flights daily.
- Preferred drinks on a cruise ship: Tiger's Blood - equal parts Courvoisier & port wine (introduced to me by a bartender at Blaze Nightclub); Italian wines; Louis XIII de Remy Martin.
- Favorite port of call to visit: Nassau, Bahamas.
- Favorite track of the moment that you love to play when you're working: "Shots" by LMFAO.
If you're looking for an all-inclusive beach resort in Costa Maya where you can feel like a king (or queen), Maya Chan Beach Resort is the place to go check out.
Maya Chan Beach Resort is a private all-inclusive beach resort located in minutes south of Puerto Costa Maya in Mexico. This resort limits the amount of guests on any given day to about 40, to ensure a private and secluded feel to the beach. Guests are picked up at the port and driven by bus to the resort. Once there, guests are escorted individually to their spot on the beach, which can feature amenities such as palapas, couches and lounge chairs.
In addition to the beach, included in the price for the day are access to water toys such as bikes, snorkels, kayaks and water floaties. Moreover, guests are provided with a freshly cooked buffet lunch and unlimited alcoholic drinks. Internet is also available for free.
Beautiful beaches in Mexico are a dime a dozen, but what makes Maya Chan Beach so great is the personal attention to detail the resort's staff provides their guests. The included drinks are top shelf liquor and flow freely. All too often I've been to all inclusive resorts where the staff is stingy with the drinks, but not here. Staff regularly walk around offering to bring you drinks as well as complimentary snacks such as local fruit.
Lunch is served buffet style and comprised of fajitas that are all cooked freshly that day. We found the food offered here to be the best Mexican food we had in all of Mexico.
In the end, it's the amazing customer service that won us over. It's hard to describe just how accommodating everyone here was. The staff speak very good English (most are American ex-pats, while others are Mexicans with very good English) and there is nothing here that they seemingly wont do for you.
Location: K.M. 6.5 Carretera Majahual-XcalacSouth just after K.M.6.5.Majahual, Quintana Roo, Mexico 77940
Cost: $46 + $10 transportation
Photo by Brandi Palechek
Here's an interesting story where a council member from Dana Point City, California tried to contact Royal Caribbean about seeing what it would take for their cruise ships to stop in their city as a port of call. Lara Anderson contacted Royal Caribbean to get an answer after questions were raised by the Pacific town on the viability.
Christopher Allen, Director, Deployment and Itinerary Planning for Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises & Azamara Club Cruises responded to the request and cited these issues that Royal Caribbean uses to determine what ports to stop at: Location, marketability, tour/shore excursion offerings, port fees, politics and regulations.
Of more interest are the tough requirements a city needs to be able to handle Royal Caribbean's large vessels.
The port must have the infrastructure to handle our ships. We do not have any small ships. Most of our ships are actually too big to fit through the Panama Canal. As a result, only our ‘small’ ships are over on the West Coast of North America. But even our small ships average about 2000 guests and are about 290 meters in length. Our strong preference for all ports is to be able to dock. Most, but not all, of our ships carry tenders and can tender guests into a port if the distance is below 1.5 miles. However, we try to avoid tender ports as it can create lines, weather disruptions and lesser guest experience. That said, if the appeal is strong enough we will still tender.
It looks like Dana Point City wont be a port city anytime soon short of a major port overhaul, but nonetheless, it's an interesting look at what it takes to be a port destination.
Royal Caribbean detailed some of the new updates that have come to Monarch of the Seas in a report from the ship. Royal Caribbean gave some TLC to its crew areas by adding an updated gym, new food stations and the crew outdoor deck areas.
Also of interest was the fact that Monarch of the Seas is the "number two ship in the fleet and her ratings are consistently improving and above target". Legend of the Seas currently holds the number one position.
In addition there was a bit of trivia. Monarch of the Seas was a "test bed" for the Izumi restaurant that is currently on Oasis of the Seas and can still be found on here as a treat for those who love sushi.
We reported yesterday Royal Caribbean's second quarter 2010 earnings report and the news was so good that it gave the Royal Caribbean stock a nice push upwards. Investors were happy to see shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises closed up 12 percent Thursday on positive earnings news for the second quarter and a positive outlook for the rest of the year.
The price of Royal Caribbean stock closed up $2.98 to $27.50 at the end of trading on Thursday. Cruise companies were battered a year ago amid the recession, and shares of Royal Caribbean and Carnival were hampered recently by fears of a double dip recession. Royal Caribbean's outlook Thursday helped put those fears to rest.
UPDATE: Guests aboard Grandeur of the Seas reporting they will skip Key West.
a tropical storm Tropical Storm Bonnie brewing near the Bahams right now, there is a possibility that Grandeur of the Seas, which departed today, may not be able to dock in Key West. It has left port in Fort Lauderdale but a statement by Royal Caribbean had this to say about what lays ahead:
"According to the most recent weather forecasts, the ship will be able to depart on time and head south to Key West, Florida. However, U.S Coast Guard has closed the Port of Key West until tropical storm force winds have subsided. If the Port of Key West has not reopened by early tomorrow morning, Grandeur of the Seas will be unable to make its scheduled port of call there tomorrow. Should the ship be unable to visit Key West, Grandeur of the Seas will spend the day at sea tomorrow, sailing directly to Cozumel, Mexico, where it will arrive earlier than scheduled on Saturday."
If you've been on a Royal Caribbean cruise in the fairly recent past, more than likely you've eaten at the Windjammer Café, the ever popular and somewhat ubiquitous buffet that fans of Royal Caribbean look forward to on each of their cruises. The Windjammer is a buffet restaurant that is included in the price of your cruise. It offers a wide variety of food from fresh fruit and salad to sandwiches, burgers, dessert and much more.
The exact menu of the Windjammer varies from ship to ship as well as what's in season and fresh. Don't be confused, the Windjammer isn't your typical stale buffet with old food. Rather, it's a great place for meals or snacks at many times of the day.
Many guests get their first taste of the Windjammer on embarkation day when they first board the ship. The Windjammer is typically open for lunch for those boarding the ship and a great opportunity to get your vacation started off right. Throughout the cruise, you will find opportunities to sample different food depending on the meal.
Some Windjammers, like those on Navigator of the Seas or Mariner of the Seas, feature a Jade section to the Windjammer, which serve Asian foods such as soup, rice and even sushi.
Windjammer Cafe Hours:
- Continental Breakfast: 6:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m.
- Full-Buffet Breakfast: 7:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
- Lunch: Noon-2:00 p.m.
- Afternoon Tea and Snacks: 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
- Dinner: 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.