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.
Last week we posted an article detailing the lighting that was installed on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, which gave a behind the scenes look at the inspiration and design of the interior lighting aboard Royal Caribbean's latest and greatest ship. This week, part two of the article has been posted which explores the interior design of more of the ship.
Michael Riotto of Michael Riotto Design LLC was in charge of the lighting and for the nightclub "Dazzles", Riotto had an easier time than in other locations where the height of the room was an issue. Being three decks high, there's lots of room to work with. Riotto used a selection of Elation Professional Impression LEDs above the riser, and some of his looks catch the steel beams and reflect off the glass, creating unique looks behind any band performing on the stage.
Over at the Comedy Live nightclub, Riotto built a scale mockup to demonstrate the different LED colors and intensities. “It ended up being a very collaborative process that turned out to be a very creative transition space from a public gathering space outside, to a colorful entertainment venue inside".
A retired couple that took a cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas this past June are upset about how they were treated following an outbreak of the Norovirus on their ship. John and Christine Stevens were on a Baltic cruise aboard Jewel of the Seas when John contracted the Norovirus that left him with stomach cramps, severe vomiting and diarrhea. They take issue with how they were treated after catching the nasty bug.
The two have law hired firm Irwin Mitchell to investigate a claim on their behalf say they were not the only ones who were affected. Allegedly, the onboard doctors were so backed up, that John was forced to simply take Imodium while he waited. In addition, while under the influence of the bug, he was quarantined in his stateroom and was unable to obtain food and drink during their confinement in spite of several phone calls to room service and one to Passenger Relations.
“We want answers. I find it unacceptable that a travel company can just take money off people like us and not live up to their side of the bargain. I want to understand how so many of us fell ill and what Royal Caribbean is going to do about it so that it never happens again.”
Good news for Royal Caribbean investors, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced improved earnings for 2010's second quarter as well as providing higher guidance for the third quarter and full year 2010.
Royal Caribbean Cruises reported a net income for the second quarter 2010 of $60.5 million, or $0.28 per share, compared to a net loss of $35.1 million, or ($0.16) per share, in second quarter of 2009. In addition, revenues improved to $1.6 billion in the second quarter of 2010 compared to $1.3 billion in the second quarter of 2009, as a result of capacity increases and yield improvements. Net Yields for the second quarter of 2010 increased 4.9% despite the impact of the stronger US Dollar.
Improved fuel consumption efforts resulted in significantly better fuel consumption of 318,000 metric tons during the second quarter. At-the-pump pricing (including the benefit of the company's hedging) was virtually unchanged. Altogether, the quarter's fuel expenditures were approximately $6 million better than previous calculations.
- Business conditions have remained on target in each of the company's main markets while improved cost control has enabled the company to raise its earnings guidance for the year
- Operating costs were lower than expected due mainly to strong cost control, energy conservation measures, expense timing and currency fluctuations
- Second quarter Net Yields increased 4.9%, (5.4% on a Constant Currency basis)
- Second quarter Net Cruise Costs per APCD, "NCC", declined 2.8%, (2.0% on a Constant Currency basis)
- Net Yields are expected to increase approximately 4% in the third quarter and 3% - 4% for the year as a whole, (7% and 4% - 5% respectively on a Constant Currency basis)
- NCC are expected to be down 1% for the third quarter and down approximately 1% - 2% for the full year
- EPS expectation for the full year 2010 has been increased by $0.10 to $2.25 to $2.35. Third quarter 2010 EPS is expected to be in the range of $1.52 to $1.57.
Royal Caribbean Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard D. Fain, also commented on the progress for the quarter, "What a difference a year makes. It is gratifying to post another solid quarter with improvement in yields and strong cost control. Despite ongoing uncertainty with the economy, our profitability continues to improve and our booking environment continues to be remarkably stable. We remain focused on strengthening our financial position and I am encouraged about the tremendous global response to our brands."
Brian J. Rice, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer talked about the reasons for a good second quarter, "Demand for our cruises remains on track with our earlier projections. The strengthening of the US Dollar will clearly result in a reduction of our reported yields, but also provides a corresponding reduction in expenses. Most importantly, our continued focus on cost controls and efficiency is driving improved earnings."