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Photo tour of Chops Grille on Adventure of the Seas

In:
16 Mar 2017
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Last week we posted about Royal Caribbean opening Chops Grille on Adventure of the Seas, and today we have photos from the new restaurant.

On Adventure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean opted to add Chops Grille on on Deck 4, across from the Schooner Bar. It is the same location Sabor Modern Mexican has been added on other ships.

In addition to the new restaurant, Royal Caribbean also opted to offer a new menu update to this Chops Grille location.  This is the first Chops Grille menu update since January 2014, when the Chops GrilleNavigator of the Seas received a menu revamp.

Among the menu changes, Chops Grille on Adventure of the Seas offers an angus filet mignon and grilled scottish salmon. Moreover, the French onion soup and dry-aged steak option (which carried an additional charge) has been removed from the menu. There is, however, a Chops Dry Aged Steak Burger option. The broiled Maine lobster remains the only up-charge entrée on the menu.

Royal Caribbean's Dash & Splash Sale offers up to $100 instant savings on cruises booked this weekend

In:
16 Mar 2017
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is offering up to $100 instant savings on cruises booked this weekend, in addition to its current 30% off all guests offer.

The Dash & Splash sale is valid on Royal Caribbean cruises booked between March 16 and 20, 2017 on sailings on or after April 15, 2017. Offer excludes China departures.

  • 30% off the standard cruise fare for all guests in a stateroom
  • Instant savings
    • Sailings up to 5-nights
      • Interior & Oceanview staterooms: $25 off per stateroom
      • Balcony & Suites: $50 off per stateroom
    • Sailings 6 nights or longer
      • Interior & Oceanview staterooms: $50 off per stateroom
      • Balcony & Suites: $100 off per stateroom
  • Instant savings for Anthem of the Seas sailings departing on or after April 2, 2017
    • Sailings 5 nights or less
      • Interior and oceanview rooms: $25 off per stateroom
      • Balcony: $50 off per stateroom
      • Suites: $75 off per suite
    • Sailings 6 nights or longer
      • Interior and oceanview rooms: $50 off per stateroom
      • Balcony: $75 off per stateroom
      • Suites: $100 off per stateroom

30% Savings is combinable with adjoining Anthem Dollars Off, Crown & Anchor discounts, NextCruise offers and Shareholder Benefits. Anthem Dollars Off is not combinable with Crown & Anchor discounts or Shareholder Benefits. 30% Savings and Anthem Dollars Off are not combinable with any other offer or promotion, including but not limited to, restricted rates (for example, Seniors, Residents, and Military), Standard Group, Interline, Travel Agent, Travel Agent Friends and Family, Weekly Sales Events, and Net Rates.

Offer available to residents of United States and Canada.

Royal Caribbean to start charging for room service

In:
15 Mar 2017
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has made a policy change in its room service offerings, where it will charge guests a fee of $7.95 per order of room service from the All Day Menu and the American Section of the breakfast menu.

Continental breakfast options will remain complimentary, so guests can still take advantage of room service without additional fees in the morning. The $7.95 fee will be charged for each room service order. Guests in a Grand Suite stateroom or above will retain complimentary room service.

The change goes into effect on sailings after March 27, 2017.

The added fee for room service coincides with an update to the fleet-wide room service menu. 

Anthem of the Seas Cruise Preview on Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

In:
15 Mar 2017
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Hey everyone! Episode 189 of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available for your listening pleasure.

This week, Matt previews his upcoming cruise on Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas, which begins this weekend.  Matt explores why we picked this cruise, the cool things to do on Anthemof the Seas, and his plans for each port of call.  

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 189. And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast via RSS 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 2018-2019 Caribbean, Alaska and Northeast Itineraries

In:
15 Mar 2017
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has released its 2018-2019 North American cruise itineraries, that allow guests to choose cruises that sail to destinations in the Caribbean, Alaska and Northeast.

Royal Caribbean’s Alaska itineraries are available to book starting March 16, 2017, while year-round Caribbean & Bahamas sailings will begin opening on March 17 and continue to open on a rolling basis, shortly followed by seasonal Caribbean and Northeast itineraries beginning on March 30. All itineraries are available to book one day in advance for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members.

Nineteen Royal Caribbean ships will sail from South Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas, the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast.

Symphony of the Seas

Now available to book

  • After spending her inaugural summer season sailing to the historic cities of the Mediterranean, Symphony of the Seas will unite with her three Oasis-Class sisters stateside, arriving to Royal Caribbean’s brand new Terminal A at PortMiami. Beginning November 17, she will sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, adding Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis to other marquee Oasis-Class ports of call.   

Alaska

Available to book March 16, 2017

  • Explorer of the Seas will continue to sail to the new frontier with seven-night itineraries departing from Seattle, Washington with ports of call in Victoria, British Columbia, Juneau, Alaska and the Inside Passage, showcasing its jaw-dropping scenery and diverse wildlife.
  • Radiance of the Seas will sail seven- and nine-night open-jaw itineraries between Seward, Alaska and Vancouver, British Columbia, uncovering the myriad of Alaskan adventures.

South Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico Offer Year-Round Caribbean

Select Ships available to book starting March 17, 2017

  • Allure of the Seas will reposition from Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale to PortMiami for the winter season, where she will continue to offer seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.
  • Harmony of the Seas will continue to sail year-round seven-night Caribbean itineraries from Port Everglades Cruise Port in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, switching from Saturday to Sunday departures for the winter.
  • Oasis of the Seas will continue year-round seven-night itineraries from Port Canaveral, east of Orlando, Florida to the Caribbean, while Majesty of the Seas will offer three- and four-night getaways to The Bahamas.
  • Liberty of the Seas will continue her year-round deployment from the Port of Galveston in Texas, offering seven-night Mexico and Western Caribbean itineraries.
  • Enchantment of the Seas will sail three- and four-night getaways to The Bahamas, year-round from PortMiami.  

Northeast U.S. and Seasonal Caribbean

Available to book March 30, 2017

  • Quantum-Class Anthem of the Seas will continue year-round itineraries from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, New Jersey sailing a diverse series of five- to 12-night itineraries to Bermuda and the Caribbean and seven-night itineraries to The Bahamas. For the fall season, Anthem of the Seas will offer nine-night itineraries to Canada and New England.
  • The newly revitalized Adventure of the Seas will call the Northeast “home” for the first time since her debut, sailing a variety of seven-night itineraries from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, New Jersey to The Bahamas and New England & Canada throughout the summer season. In the fall 2018, the ship will feature three open-jaw 10- and 11-night Fall Foliage sailings to Quebec, Canada. Adventure of the Seas will reposition to Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale for the winter season, offering six- and eight-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.
  • Grandeur of the Seas will continue to offer a variety of destinations and experiences for guests sailing from Baltimore, including nine-night itineraries to The Bahamas and 12-night itineraries to the Southern Caribbean in the winter; and nine-night journeys to Canada and New England and five-night getaways to Bermuda’s pink sand beaches in the summer.
  • Vision of the Seas will join Liberty of the Seas in Galveston, Texas for the winter season offering shorter four- and five-night Western Caribbean getaways.
  • Rhapsody of the Seas will sail round-trip seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries out of Tampa, Florida during the winter season.
  • Jewel of the Seas will make San Juan, Puerto Rico her homeport for the winter season, sailing seven-night Southern Caribbean itineraries.
  • Brilliance of the Seas will sail from Tampa in the winter, alternating four- and five-night itineraries to the Western Caribbean.
  • Serenade of the Seas will homeport in Boston for September and October, offering seven-night itineraries to Canada and New England and seven-night itineraries to Bermuda. She will then reposition to Ft. Lauderdale for longer winter vacations sailing the majestic waters of the Southern and Eastern Caribbean on 10- and 11-night itineraries.
  • Navigator of the Seas will sail five- and nine-night Southern and Western Caribbean itineraries from PortMiami throughout the winter season.
  • Independence of the Seas will make her way to Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida offering four- and five-night itineraries to the Western Caribbean throughout the winter.

Live Blogging from Anthem of the Seas - Preamble

In:
14 Mar 2017
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Welcome to our next Royal Caribbean LIVE blog adventure, as we are about to sail on the impressive Anthem of the Seas.  This sleek new ship debuted in 2015, and it will be my family's first foray on a Quantum Class ship.

Beginning on March 19, my family will head to Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey for a 7-night Bahamas cruise. We will visit the ports of Port Canaveral, Florida; Nassau, Bahamas and CocoCay.

While I was briefly on Anthem of the Seas for a 2-night preview cruise in 2015, this sailing will give me plenty of time to check out Royal Caribbean's Quantum Class offerings.  The dining situation changed over the last year or so on Anthem, and being based in the New York City metro area, this ship is a first choice for many who look to take a cruise.

This cruise will depart from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey on Sunday, March 19th. Living in Florida, we are flying up to Connecticut on Friday evening, having some pre-cruise fun in New York City (including a NYC meet-up that everyone is invited to) and then taking public transportation bright and early the morning of our cruise.

In addition to my wife and kids, my parents will also be cruising with us.  This means an extended family cruise, and I think we are all looking forward to exploring this ship and getting some family time in onboad an impressive ship.

In the name of "research", we reserved a Grand Suite room to see what the Royal Suite Class is all about.  We just tried a Grand Suite on Navigator of the Seas, but the Royal Suite Class promises to offer a completely different, and enhanced suite experience.  I am intrigued by the option, and want to see how similar and different itis from a traditional suite cruise.

Of course, Anthem of the Seas has no shortage of activities on its Quantum Class ships.  The SeaPlex, Two70, We Will Rock You, North Star and more are waiting, and having a full sailing to enjoy these activities is very exciting.

 

Itinerary

Our seven night sailing might not be the most exotic itinerary Royal Caribbean offers, but we have found some fun excursions in each place our ship will bring us. Plus, there are a lot of sea days, which means plenty of time to enjoy what Anthem of the Seas has to offer.  In fact, the ship is in large part the major draw for why we booked it.  

DayPorts of CallArrivalDeparture
Sunday, March 19, 2017Cape Liberty, New Jersey--3:00 pm
Monday, March 20, 2017Cruising----
Tuesday, March 21, 2017Orlando (Port Canaveral), Fl12:01 pm9:30 pm
Wednesday, March 22, 2017Cococay, Bahamas9:30 am5:00 pm
Thursday, March 23, 2017Nassau, Bahamas7:00 am6:00 pm
Friday, March 24, 2017Cruising----
Saturday, March 25, 2017Cruising----
Sunday, March 26, 2017Cape Liberty, New Jersey6:00 am--

Without a doubt, the best part of sailing on Anthem of the Seas is the fact we get to sail from New York harbor and see the New York City skyline, along with the Statue of Liberty.  An added bonus is sailing under the Verrazano Narrows bridge!

Of all the ports we are visiting, I think our stop at Royal Caribbean's private destination of CocoCay is the one I am looking forward to the most.  In general, I love going to Royal Caribbean's private destinations for the sheer beauty and relaxing nature of these areas.  Plus, I reserved for the first time a beach bungalow to try out.

Three things I am excited to try

3. Royal Suite Class

This is our first time trying a stateroom in the Royal Suite Class, which means we should be experiencing an even better/enhanced version of the suite offerings that we had on Navigator of the Seas last month.

While I am not much for spending time in the Concierge Lounge or asking the Concierge for a bunch of favors (just not my style), I do really like the idea of complimentary Voom internet, reserved seating at shows and a private sundeck.  I think these sort of add-ons will be of great use. That and the room!

2. Kennedy Space Center

There is no doubt that the shore excursion to try in Port Canaveral is a tour of Kennedy Space Center. We have been meaning to go for a long time, but this cruise we will finally get a chance to check it out.

With my parents with us on this cruise, we are going to leave the kids with my mother and me, my father and my wife will go take the tour.  I think this will be a lot of fun, and a perfect opportunity to not only learn about an important piece of our nation's history, but take something off our bucket list.

1. Two70


 

Of all the activities, shows and features available on a Quantum Class ship, the Two70 space is without a doubt my favorite spot onboard.  My cruises on Quantum of the Seas taught me that when in doubt, head to Two70 because something is inevitably happening there.

Whether it is Vistarama, a Roboshow or virtual concert, I cannot wait to get a full dose of Two70 goodness in during this sailing!

What's Next

Our Anthem of the Seas cruise begins on Sunday, March 19th, and I will be sharing the details on the blog, as well as across my social media channels. Be sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Periscope for live updates throughout the day.

I invite you to share in this experience with me, by posting in the comments for any blog post questions and comments you may have. I try to make these live blogs as interactive as I can, so I want everyone to feel welcome to share their thoughts.

Thanks for reading all of this and welcome aboard our next fun live blog experience!

Royal Caribbean adds two new bottled alcohol packages

In:
14 Mar 2017
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has added two new bottled alcohol stateroom delivery options for guests to prepurchase prior to their cruise. 

The Royal Gifts shop added two new packages that offer a bottle of liquor with cans of Coca-Cola products.

Absolut Vodka and Sprite Package

Cost: $38

This package includes: (1) 375 ml. bottle of Absolut Vodka and 4 Sprite cans.

This product is not available on the following ships:

  • Explorer Of The Seas
  • Legend Of The Seas
  • Mariner Of The Seas
  • Ovation of the Seas
  • Quantum Of The Seas
  • Radiance Of The Seas
  • Splendour Of The Seas
  • Vision Of The Seas
  • Voyager Of The Seas

Johnnie Walker Red and Coca-Cola Package

Cost: $45

This package includes: (1) 375 ml. bottle of Johnnie Walker Red and 4 Coca-Cola cans.

This product is not available on the following ships:

  • Explorer Of The Seas
  • Legend Of The Seas
  • Mariner Of The Seas
  • Ovation of the Seas
  • Quantum Of The Seas
  • Radiance Of The Seas
  • Splendour Of The Seas
  • Vision Of The Seas
  • Voyager Of The Seas

These two new packages are in addition to the rum and gin bottled alcohol packages that were first offered back in December 2016.

Any of these drink packages can be purchased prior to a cruise, and be delivered to a guest's stateroom.

Video: Engineering Harmony of the Seas’ Most Distinctive Neighborhood, Central Park

In:
14 Mar 2017

Winding along walkways and climbing up two living walls, the 12,000 plants and trees are undeniably the stars of Harmony of the Seas’ Central Park. But hidden below is an intricate system of irrigation, fertilization, lighting and drainage that keeps the foliage green and beautiful. In partnership with the park’s horticulturalists, a team of engineers maintains the steel decks that house the plants, and the lighting and speaker systems that create the unmatched tropical ambiance at the heart of the world’s largest cruise ship.

Royal Caribbean's last ever cruise by Legend of the Seas departs Dubai

In:
13 Mar 2017
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas departed on March 13th for her last ever sailing under Royal Caribbean colors.

Photo by CruiseArabiaOnline

Legend of the Seas was launched in 1996, and has sailed more than 600 cruise itineraries and is the most-travelled ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet.

During her career she has been based in Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the South Pacific, Alaska, Central America, Caribbean, the Baltic, Mediterranean and the Middle East. No other Royal Caribbean ship has been so widely deployed.

Legend of the Seas will be handed over to TUI Group’s Thomson Cruises subsidiary after her arrival in Barcelona in two weeks.

"Since its inaugural sailing, Legend of the Seas has created many wonderful memories for hundreds of thousands of guests, and we expect this successful history to continue as she transitions to Thomson Cruises," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.  "While she will be missed, her transition supports our objective of moderate capacity growth."

Photo by CruiseArabiaOnline

Legend of the Seas is scheduled to depart Dubai Cruise Terminal at 8pm, with events planned on-board to mark her last ever sailing under Royal Caribbean colors.

“The fact that she is sailing from Dubai on this last ever cruise speaks to the importance of the city as a new global cruise destination,” a spokesperson for Royal Caribbean said.

Legend of the Seas was in port in Dubai at the same time as her fleet mate and sister ship Vision of the Seas, which is currently homeporting in Dubai for the 2016/17 cruise season.