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Guide to cruising with young children on Royal Caribbean Caribbean Blog Podcast

11 Jan 2017
Matt Hochberg

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

Episode 180 is available for downloading, which features an in-depth look at taking young children on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

In this episode, Matt and Christie discuss their experiences taking toddlers and infants on Royal Caribbean cruises and share strategies and tips for a succesful and fun cruise experience parents and child.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 180. 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!

Live blogging from Majesty of the Seas - Preamble

10 Jan 2017
Michael Poole

Hi Royal Caribbean Blog fans, it is Michael Poole here again for another live blog coming from Majesty of the Seas. If you recall, I did a live blog on Majesty of the Seas in October of 2015 - let that hold you over until I set sail this weekend.

This is such a unique cruise for me, because Majesty of the Seas sails 3 and 4 days cruises. As you know, these are quick Bahamas getaways and I really enjoy them. However, on this cruise I’m actually staying on board for three consecutive sailings. The first leg is 3 days, then 4 days, and ending with another 3-day weekend cruise.

Why I booked this sailing

I booked the first sailing (1/13) with a friend of mine sharing a cabin for a great rate. Who does not enjoy a nice weekend getaway to the Bahamas. As time got closer, I started looking at my vacation time and thought to myself, "Why don’t I book the 4-day sailing after to have a back-to-back cruise?"

So I booked the next sailing solo and could not be more excited to have a longer cruise. About a month ago, I talked to my friend who is sailing with me on the first cruise about the 1/20 weekend cruise. He is a casino VIP and was actually able to get that cruise free under his recent casino play.

So, very long story short, I will be on 3 sailings for a total of 10 days!


Well, I suppose the only negative part of having 3 cruises in a row, is that I’m in a different cabin every sailing. I tried to upgrade my leg 2 – 4 day solo cruise to the same cabin but the cost was too much for me going solo. I’ve changed cabins on back-to-back sailings before and the crew actually moves everything for you. In fact, they tell you to leave everything on hangers and they move it into the next closet for you. I would recommend just talking with both cabin attendants prior to the change. 

  1. Cruise 1 Deck 9 in a Superior Ocean View Stateroom - #9500
  2. Cruise 2 Deck 4 Inside Stateroom (solo cruise) - #4565
  3. Cruise 3 Deck 9 in a Superior Ocean View Stateroom - #9582 


All 3 sailings are going to the same places, so I will have 3 trips to Nassau, Bahamas and 3 “planned” trips to Royal Caribbean’s private island Coco Cay. I say "planned trips", because usually in the winter months, they tend to miss stopping at Coco Cay more due to high wind.

I will also have 1 sea day on my 4 day sailing which is leg 2 Monday – Friday. My plans in Nassau are to visit my favorite local pub and enjoy some beach time at Junkanoo beach. For Coco Cay, just enjoy the private island and relax in the sun and explore the backside of the island where you can find the new floating bar. 

Drink Package

If you have followed my live blogs before you know I usually purchase the drink package, as I find it a great value. However, after thinking about the cost of 10 days and actually drinking that much for 10 straight days – I’m not getting the package. I have pre-purchased a bottle of rum with the new in-cabin bottle service for leg 1, which was $40. I will also be carrying on six bottles of wine, likely 3 reds and 3 bottles of champagne. Royal Caribbean allows each guest to carry on 2 bottles per cabin and since I’m on 3 sailings, I can carry up to 6 bottles. 

I look forward to taking you along with me over the next ten days. This will be such a different experience for me, so it should be a great live blog. Have you ever sailed on Majesty of the Seas? 

Royal Caribbean's Turtle Walk and Swim allows guests to support World Wildlife Fund efforts

09 Jan 2017
Matt Hochberg

Guests on a Royal Caribbean cruise can help save the Earth between time at the pool and or enjoying a show.

Last year, Royal Caribbean announced it was teaming up with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to create a global partnership to support ocean conservation, and those efforts are spreading to onboard the cruise ships for guests to get involved too.

On Allure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean allows guests to walk or swim as a group to support the efforts of the WWF.  T-shirts and plush dolls are available for sale, with proceeds from every sale going to WWF's global ocean conservation work.  

The plus doll available is a sea turtle, which is indicative of the type of animals the WWF is working to protect.

A look at what's new in 2017 for Royal Caribbean

09 Jan 2017
Matt Hochberg

Each year, Royal Caribbean offers its guest new and interesting ways to see the world.  Like so many companies, they continuously look for new ways to innovate and capture the attention of the public in changes to their plans.  With 2017 here, Royal Caribbean is continuing with that tradition some new and notable itinerary and deployments this year.

Notable homeports in 2017

In 2017, the state of Florida will be home to the three largest cruise ships in the world year-round. Harmony of the Seas and Allure of the Seas will call Ft. Lauderdale home, and Oasis of the Seas in Port Canaveral, which is close to Orlando.

Royal Caribbean will also offer expanded Caribbean itineraries from the Northeast in 2017, with Rhapsody of the Seas joining Anthem of the Seas in Cape Liberty, New Jersey. This will be the first time that two Royal Caribbean ships will be sailing from Cape Liberty, offering guests in the New York more ways to explore the award-winning cruise line. 

The largest ship to sail to Cuba from the United States, Empress of the Seas will provide vacationers with the opportunity to discover the timeless sights, sounds and culture of this island nation. The newly revitalized Empress of the Seas will make history for the cruise line with its first visit to Cuba during a 5-night sailing departing Miami on April 19, 2017. 

New and notable itineraries in 2017

In 2017 Royal Caribbean will be offering several new itinerary options. 

  • Empress of the Seas will homeport in Tampa for the 2017 summer season – the cruise line’s first-ever summer program from the destination – offering a series of 4- and 5-night sailings, including port calls in Cuba. 
  • Explorer of the Seas will sail roundtrip from Seattle, and Radiance of the Seas will sail from Vancouver, BC to Seward, AK and then from Seward, AK to Vancouver, BC.
  • Freedom of the Seas will host guests on seven-night sailings through the Western Mediterranean, while Brilliance of the Seas will navigate eight European destinations with a 12-night itinerary, both departing from Barcelona, Spain.
  • Independence of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas will sail the Mediterranean and the Spanish Canary Islands from Southampton, England with itineraries that extend from 7 to 14 nights.
  • Serenade of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will head to northern Europe with a checklist of ports that includes Copenhagen, Denmark, home to the 100 year old Tivoli Gardens amusement park.
  • Adventure of the Seas will sail from Puerto Rico to the most sought-after Southern Caribbean islands on 7-night itineraries, and Liberty of the Seas will remain in Galveston, Texas in 2017, offering a variety of 7-night escapes to the Western Caribbean.

Will you be sailing on any of these new itineraries? Tell us what you have booked for 2017 in the comments below!

Spotted: New Royal Caribbean drink menu design

08 Jan 2017
Matt Hochberg

Check out this new drink menu design that is available on Independence of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas.

These photos come from the Olive or Twist bar on Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas. This appears to be a new design for the generic bar menu that is available at a number of different locations onboard the ship.  It offers a variety of cocktails, liquors and beers. 

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: January 8, 2017

08 Jan 2017
Matt Hochberg

Happy Sunday! We hope you are having a great weekend and staying warm! Brew yourself a cup of tea or cocoa and get ready to check out this week’s summary of Royal Caribbean news!

If you happen to be a resident of the United Kingdom or Ireland, there is a job opening at Royal Caribbean that you definitely want to check out.

Royal Caribbean UK is looking to hire a summer "intern" to showcase all the fun of a Royal Caribbean cruise on a daily basis.

Royal Caribbean describes this "intern-ship" as a hybrid between being a photographer, documentary maker and a storyteller. A typical day will see the successful candidate immerse themselves in the extraordinary moments, experiences and stories that take place on land and at sea, and share them with the world via Instagram.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 179th episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, where our podcast listeners share which Royal Caribbean ship is their favorite.

In this episode, listeners call into the podcast to talk with Matt about which Royal Caribbean ship is their favorite and why.

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

Royal Caribbean showcases the career of its SVP of Global Marine Ops.

This Time Tomorrow shares a look at a day in Santorini while aboard Jewel of the Seas.

Eat Sleep Cruise shares why they are excited to cruise on Harmony of the Seas.

E-deliciou-S has a tour of Explorer of the Seas.

Disney Cruise Line Blog has a full review of the 2017 Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line.

Spotted: Royal Caribbean raising prices of certain drinks above what the drink package includes

07 Jan 2017
Matt Hochberg

Many Royal Caribbean Blog readers have reported recently prices of certain alcoholic beverages have increased to the point they are no longer included with the unlimited alcohol package.

This first reports occurred on Royal Caribbean cruises that sailed around Christmas and New Years, and it was thought the price increase was a result of holiday demand.  Yet, the drink price changes remain in effect on cruises beginning after the holidays.

Royal Caribbean's deluxe drink package only covers beverages that are $12 or less ($13 on Oasis class ships).  Drinks priced higher than the included threshold are charged the difference to the guest.

Pub drink menu on Allure of the Seas. Photo taken January 4, 2017

Pub drink menu on Independence of the Seas. Photo taken January 5, 2017

Olive or Twist bar menu on Independence of the Seas. Photo taken January 6, 2017

Pub drink menu on Adventure of the Seas. Photo taken January 7, 2017

The drink package policy may change in the days or weeks to come to match these drink price increases. However, this is the first time since Royal Caribbean introduced its drink packages that we are seeing a notable amount of drinks priced outside the drink package allowances.

Photo tour of Category CV Central Park View Stateroom on Allure of the Seas

07 Jan 2017
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas is one of the largest cruise ships in the world, with many different categories of staterooms onboard this magnificent ship.

Today, we have a photo tour of the Category CV Central Park View Stateroom.  Somewhat similar to the Central Park Balcony staterooms, these rooms offer a view of the Central Park neighborhood, but without the balcony experience.

On Allure of the Seas, the stateroom used for this tour is stateroom 9593, which is located closer to the forward elevators on deck 9.

Walking into the room, you will immediately notice the light shining through the large window.

The layout of the room is very similar to a Promenade View stateroom, with a bay window at the end of the room.

Central Park View staterooms measure 194 square feet in size and have two twin beds that convert to a queen-sized bed, considerable closet space, a private bathroom with shower, as well as an expanded living area with desk, drawer space, vanity, and sofa. Each stateroom also has its own flat-screen television, thermostat controlled air-conditioning, internet access, direct-dial telephone, radio, mini bar, individual safe, and 24 hour room service.

The Central Park View staterooms offer a seating area to view Central Park from, which doubles as a couch.

Thanks to Dr. Kris Leppien-Christensen for providing these photos.

Friday Photos

06 Jan 2017
Matt Hochberg

The new year is here, and with it comes our first Friday Photos of 2017!  Each week, we invite our readers to share with us their favorite Royal Caribbean photos so that we can showcase them right here.

Our first photo this week is from Susan Widdowson, and it is from the bridge wing on Harmony of the Seas.  Definitely a great spot for photos!

Next we have a photo of Harmony of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas in St. Maarten, taken by Ken.  Two giants in one port!

Here is a photo by Ethel Crawford of Adventure of the Seas in Barbados.  Ethel took this shot while onboard Jewel of the Seas.

Our next photo is of Anthem of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas in Cozumel.  Thomas Lemmer shared this photo, and you can see North Star is in the raised position too!

Check out this amazing shot by Bob Carpetner from onboard Harmony of the Seas, when all three Oasis class ships met in one spot.  

We go from the largest ship in the world to one of the smallest in Royal Caribbean's fleet.  Here is Majesty of the Seas, as seen from CocoCay.  John Kreidermacher shared it with us and it is a great perspective!

Navigator of the Seas is playing "peek-a-boo" in this photo by Jose Pena, taken while in Labadee.

That wraps up this week's edition of Friday Photos. If you would like to share your best Royal Caribbean photos with us, use this form to send them in!