Royal Caribbean's Back to Cruise Sale offers instant savings this weekend

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is offering instant savings on cruises booked this weekend, on top of the cruise line's August BOGO 50% off promotion.

Cruises booked between August 9, 2018 – August 12, 2018 on sailings departing on or after September 9, 2018 are eligible for this offer.

Offer now EXTENDED through August 14, 2018.

The offer includes:

  • 50% off cruise fare of second guest booked in the same stateroom as fi rst full-fare paying guest
  • 25% off cruise fare for third guests and higher booked in the same stateroom as the fi rst two qualified guests.
  • Instant savings of up to $150 per stateroom determined by category booked and sailing length 
    • Sailings 5 nights or less
      • $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View
      • $75 for Balconies
      • $75 for Suites
    • Sailing 6 nights or longer
      • $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View
      • $100 for Balconies
      • $150 for Suites

 BOGO and Deck the Holiday Deals are combinable with each other as well as with Back to Cruise Sale, Fall/Winter Sailings Promo Code Driven Promotion, Free Upgrades, NRBD OBC, promotional OBCs, NextCruise offers, Instant Savings, restricted discounts (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military), Crown and Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. Back to Cruise Sale is combinable with Fall/Winter Sailings Promo Code Driven Promotion, Free Upgrades, NRDB OBC, OBC, instant savings, NextCruise offers, restricted discounts (for example, Senior, Resident, Military) but not combinable with Shareholder benefits and Crown and Anchor discounts. All 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. 

 Instant savings do not apply to China departures.

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

Mariner of the Seas listener cruise review 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 262 is available for downloading, where Don from EatSleepCruise joins us to talk about his experience on the newly refurbished Mariner of the Seas.

Mariner of the Seas underwent a big refurbishment, with lots of new additions to the ship.  Don shares what stood out from his quick sailing onboard.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 262. 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!

Royal Caribbean announces enhanced online check-in process

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean announced today an easier online check-in process that aims to cut down the check-in process by 25%.

Guests will be asked to enter fewer data fields and can apply information, like credit card data, to multiple parties on their reservation. These improvements help guests move through the check-in process faster and easier.

The new online check-in features:

  • Fewer steps needed for check-in completion
  • Option to check in one person or your entire party simultaneously
  • Ability to edit previously entered information without repeating any steps
  • Easy add-guest or remove-guest functionality from check-in process
  • The ability to stop and save at any point
  • Easily pick up where you left off on either the website or the Royal Caribbean mobile App check in
  • Convenient digital SetSail pass for mobile use at terminal

The new online check-in process is already available for sailings onboard Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas. Royal Caribbean plans to expand this functionality to other ships "in the near future".

Guests can check-in from 90 days to 72 hours prior to the sail date. If a guest misses the check-in window, the guest has the option to check-in at the Port.

Royal Caribbean introduces AI tool for turning photos into shareable works of art

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean announced a new digital experience, powered by artificial intelligence, called SoundSeeker that will turn your favorite photos into musical works of art.

After working on SoundSeeker for more than a year, the cruise line has released the tool publically today.  It is specifically designed to use machine learning to seamlessly create original soundtracks based on the content of each photograph.

By simply visiting the SoundSeeker site, users can upload three photos of their choice, and the AI analyzes them based on color, landscape, backdrop, emotion, body language and facial expression. SoundSeeker then turns them into a shareable and one-of-a kind soundtrack – virtually DJing life’s most brag-worthy moments. Fans can follow along on Royal Caribbean’s social channels, and by searching #SoundSeeker.


Royal Caribbean teamed up with the Berklee College of Music, and technologists from around the world, to create the unique song generator.  Berklee leveraged music theory to create a roadmap for the tool that helps determine the musical pairing to photos, accounting for pitch, tempo and instrumental combinations, among others. 

“SoundSeeker is the latest proof point of Royal Caribbean innovation and how we focus it on delivering unexpected, memorable experiences; whether that is the SkyPad, which uniquely combines bungee jumping with virtual reality or live streaming your favorite shows from the middle of the ocean using VOOM, the fastest internet at sea,” said Jim Berra, chief marketing officer, Royal Caribbean International. “People of all ages crave new ways to share their best experiences on social media. This unprecedented tool allows you to put a completely unique, multisensory spin on sharing those memories – now friends and followers can see and hear your life’s adventures.” 

SoundSeeker uses machine learning, an artificial intelligence technique that enables computers to simulate human intelligence and make decisions on their own without explicit instructions. The learning process entailed more than 600 hours in which Royal Caribbean and a team of musicians and technologists reviewed hundreds of music tracks along with 10,000 photos, matching each of the 2.5 million combinations to one of 10 moods.

The AI in SoundSeeker uses Google Cloud Vision to identify objects, facial expressions and colors in a user’s photo by referencing the roadmap developed by the leaders in music theory at Berklee. SoundSeeker then finds the musical elements corresponding to each mood in the photo to compose a genuinely distinct audio and visual photo album. The Royal Caribbean tool is equipped to generate over one million unique tracks, based on custom base tracks, composed exclusively for the cruise line. The customized tracks take inspiration from a wide variety of music, including 90s hip-hop, rock, modern and electronic dance music. 

Check out the signature cocktails at the Bamboo Room on Mariner of the Seas

By: Matt Hochberg

Ever since Royal Caribbean spent $120 million reimagining Mariner of the Seas, it has gotten a lot of well-deserved attention for some incredible new changes and improvements.  Chief among them is the new Bamboo Room lounge.

Royal Caribbean calls the Bamboo Room a "laid back Polynesian watering hole with a throwback vibe and kitschy-cool craft cocktails".  We love Royal Caribbean's custom cocktails, such as the wonderful margaritas at Sabor Modern Mexican, so we wanted to share what to look for at the Bamboo Room.

Currently, the specialty cocktails are priced at $14 each.

The Royal Zombie

The signature tiki mug is "Cliff The Parrot", and it is available for purchase for $10. Just let your bartender know that you would like to purchase one.

The Bamboo Swizzle

Buffalo Trace bourbon, Lemon juice, Cinnamon Syrup, Soda, Mint and Angostura Bitters.

The Navy Grog

Saturn Landing

Bobby's Gin, Ginger Syrup, Velvet Falernum Liqueur, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Mango and Lime Juice.

Mariner of the Seas is now sailing short 4-night Weekday and 3-night weekend getaways to The Bahamas, from PortMiami.

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: August 5, 2018

By: Matt Hochberg

Can you believe August is already here? It is the middle of Summer and there is a lot of Royal Caribbean news to catch up from during this week.

The Royal Caribbean news that made the biggest splash this week with our readers was the change that appears Royal Caribbean's drink packages now include milkshakes at Johnny Rockets as part of the package benefits.

Recently we heard reports that guests were being informed that their drink package benefits included milkshakes at Johnny Rockets, and now we see Royal Caribbean's website has been updated to indicate that milkshakes are indeed included.

With this drink package policy change, guests with the Deluxe Beverage Package have the opportunity to enjoy milkshakes that are included with the cost of their beverage package.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 261st episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, where we interview someone who just reached the Pinnacle Club level of Crown and Anchor Society.

In this episode, Matt talks with Nick about what it took to reach the top of Crown and Anchor Society and what the distinction means to him.  Nick also shares his review of the newly refurbished Mariner of the Seas.

Please feel free to subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and head over to rate and review the podcast on iTunes if you can! We’d appreciate it.

Royal Caribbean Around the Internet

CNBC spoke to Royal Caribbean's Chairman and CEO about the impact of a trade war on cruising.

Explore with Ed shared must-eat recommendations by cruise bloggers.

Eat Sleep Cruise scored the changes and additions to Mariner of the Seas.

Seatrade Cruise News reported that Susan Bonner has been appointed to oversea the Australasian market.

CocoCay construction progress photo report

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is in the midst of upgrading its private island in the Bahamas as a part of a massive upgrade and we have some brand new photos of the work being done.

Royal Caribbean Blog reader Twangster took these photos earlier today while on a visit on Empress of the Seas.

Here is a look at the new pier being constructed.

Across the tender lagoon these new buildings have popped up.  This is near where the pier ends. In the simulations, if you walked off the pier and verged right this is where these buildings are.

You can see the cluster of buildings in this pier shot through the cranes.

Here is the end of the lagoon.  Glass bottom boats departs from these slips, lots of earth moving behind that barrier.

Royal Caribbean UK discontinues offering unlimited alcohol packages on 3-night or shorter sailings

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean UK has discontinued offering guests an unlimited alcohol beverage package (Deluxe Beverage Package) on 2- or 3-night sailings.

The packages will only be offered on sailings of 4 nights or longer, according to Royal Caribbean UK's Alcohol Beverage Package Terms and Conditions.

According to Royal Caribbean UK's Twitter page, "this change was made in an effort to provide guests with speedy bar service, and a richer onboard experience."

As far as we can tell, this policy change only appears to affect European sailings (or at least ones departing from Southampton) at this time.

Friday Photos

By: Matt Hochberg

It is Friday and with the weekend nearly here, that means we are sharing our readers' favorite Royal Caribbean photos.  Each week, we ask our readers to send us Royal Caribbean photos to share on the blog.

We start off with this photo by Daniel Stober, who simply wrote that he really likes Royal Caribbean's French Onion soup.

William Wickham took this photo of the grand opening of Izumi on Adventure of the Seas, which is the first Izumi location on the Royal Promenade.

Next is a photo of the Sunshine Skyway bridge, taken while Terry Wooten was on Brilliance of the Seas departing Tampa.

Check out this beautiful photo by Twangster of the Empress of the Seas pool deck at night.

Alan Fulton captured a shot of the sunset behind Explorer of the Seas as ther ship departed Tracy Arm Fjords.

Martha Kowalik took this photo but cannot remember if she took it in Cozumel or Costa Maya. That is how you know she had a good time on this cruise.

We wrap up this week's photos with a shot of Symphony of the Seas in Naples, Italy, taken by David Berenbaum.

Thank you to everyone for sharing these great photos. If you want to include your photos too, please send them to us via this form!

Royal Caribbean Hosts Largest Movie Premiere at Sea

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas is making waves in Hollywood this summer with her starring role, alongside Kristen Bell, Kelsey Grammer and Seth Rogen, in the Netflix original “Like Father.”

To celebrate, on Friday, Aug.3, the cruise line will host the largest movie premiere at sea by screening the dramedy across its Oasis Class ships – the world’s largest cruise ships: Symphony, Harmony, Allure and Oasis of the Seas – in the iconic AquaTheater, the onboard amphitheater boasting two movie screens. Leading up to the premiere, guests will be treated to a special event in the signature Boardwalk neighborhood, featuring a live DJ, face painting, delicious treats and beverage specials.

“Like Father” was filmed on board Harmony of the Seas and showcases the famed actors experiencing the robust lineup of thrilling activities and amenities for which Royal Caribbean is known, including Boleros, The Perfect Storm, FlowRider, Royal Promenade, Rising Tide Bar, and the line’s private island destination Labadee, Haiti, where they braved the longest overwater zip line. The movie, written, directed and produced by Lauren Miller Rogen, features Kristen Bell as a young advertising executive and workaholic, who was left at the altar and unexpectedly ends up on her Caribbean honeymoon cruise with her estranged father – Kelsey Grammer.  After several adventures and much soul-searching, the two return with a renewed appreciation for family and life. The film launches globally on Netflix on August 3.