Royal Caribbean opens two new Perfect Day at CocoCay venues

By: Matt Hochberg

Over the weekend, Royal Caribbean expanded its Perfect Day at CocoCay soft opening by providing guests access to Splashaway Bay and Skipper's Grill restaurant.

With the official opening of Perfect Day at CocoCay coming up next month, Royal Caribbean opened up the two new venues a bit early. Both Splashaway Bay and Skipper's Grill are located close to the pier.

Splashaway Bay is a complimentary aqua park for kids that shares the name of the aqua park available on select Royal Caribbean ships. 


Skipper's Grill is another complimentary dining option on the island that provides lunch and snacks to guests.

In addition to the newly opened venues, it appears Royal Caribbean has expanded its Voom internet access to the island, marking the first time any of its private destinations offer internet access on the island.  Guests with a Voom package purchased for their cruise can use the Voom at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

These new openings builds on the soft opening that began in March 2019 when Royal Caribbean opened the Oasis Lagoon pool and a couple dining venues.

The first phase of Perfect Day at CocoCay is officially scheduled to open in May with Thrill Waterpark, the Zip Line, Splashaway Bay aqua park, Up, Up and Away helium balloon, Captain Jack’s Galleon, Skipper’s Grill dining, Captain Jack’s dining, Chill Island, Chill Grill dining, and Oasis Lagoon freshwater pool slated to open. 

South Beach, Coco Beach Club and the overwater cabanas will open in December 2019.

Please note that these dates might be subject to change depending on the progress of construction.

Perfect Day at CocoCay is a $200 million upgrade to the cruise line's private island in the Bahamas that was first announced in March 2018.

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: April 21, 2019

By: Matt Hochberg

Spring is here and it is also Sunday, which means we are celebrating warm(er) temperatures and Royal Caribbean news from this week!

Royal Caribbean announced this week it intends to rennovate and expand its corportate headquarters in Miami.

The $300 million plan will expand the company’s workforce capacity from 2,200 to 4,200.

When finished, the renovated and expanded headquarters would include a fitness center, a daycare, a cafeteria, an auditorium and a maritime innovation center for the design development and renovation of cruise vessels.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 298th episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available, featuring the important things to know about staying in a suite.

Before you book a suite, here are some important things to consider and distinctions to be aware of when it comes to Royal Caribbean's suite rooms.

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

In The Loop Travel shares a look at the changes to Navigator of the Seas.

The Points Guy looks at the largest cruise ships in the world.

ZDNet wrote about how to work remotely from a Royal Caribbean ship.

Friday Photos - April 19, 2019

By: Matt Hochberg

We love any opportunity to take a virtual escape on a Royal Caribbean cruise, and that is why every Friday we share our readers' favorite Royal Caribbean cruise photos. It is a showcase of cruising fun, and you are invited!

Without further ado, we present this week's edition of Friday Photos. Enjoy!

Our first photo is by John Marmet of Adventure of the Seas, as seen from CocoCay.

Lendy Collins snapped this photo of sunset over Havana as her Empress of the Seas ship departed the city.

Here is a look at the sunset over Florida, as seen by Henry Greenfield.

You can see Adventure of the Seas in the distance from atop Cadillac Mt. in Acadia National Park. Photo by John Estok.

Bonnie was able to capture a rainbow from a waterfall in Geraingerfijord

Marc Linsey shared this photo from Oasis of the Seas.

Our final photo this week is by Ken Janson, and it is from the FlowRider on Ovation of the Seas.

Thank you to everyone who shared their photos this week, and we invite everyone to send in their favorite Royal Caribbean photos by using this form.

Royal Caribbean adds virtual stateroom tours for suites

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has begun adding virtual stateroom tours for select staterooms on the Royal Caribbean website that allow guests to take a 360-degree view of suites.

The new virtual tour options are powered by Matterport and allows the user to move virtually around the room, with special features highlighted during the tour.

Currently we have only spotted this new virtual tour option for suites on Symphony of the Seas.

Here is a link to each stateroom type that offers a virtual tour:

Thanks to Lovetocruise2002 for alerting us to this feature.

As a bonus, there is a 3D tour provided by Matterport of the Boardwalk neighborhood on Symophony of the Seas.

So far, no changes to Royal Caribbean's Cuba sailings

By: Matt Hochberg

President Trump's administration announced a new set of rules to tighten travel to Cuba, but there is no impact yet on scheduled Royal Caribbean sailings to Cuba.

New measures Bolton announced include limits on non-family travel to Cuba and a cap on the amount of money US families can send their Cuban relatives.

The Trump administration also announced a new policy allowing Americans to sue foreign firms operating in properties Cuba seized from them following the 1959 revolution. This would enable lawsuits against foreign companies that operate from hotels, distilleries and other properties Cuba nationalized after Fidel Castro's takeover.

Travel Market Report quoted Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Director of corporate reputation Melissa Charbonneau, "We’re reviewing the recent statements to evaluate their impact on our guests and our company. For now, we are sailing our Cuba itineraries as scheduled and will keep our guests updated if anything changes."

Royal Caribbean has been cruising to Cuba since 2017 when Empress of the Seas made her inaugural visit. Today, Majesty of the Seas and Empress of the Seas visit Cuban destinations including Havana, Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba. 

SeaTrade Cruise News quoted a Royal Caribbean spokesperson, "We’re reviewing the recent statements to evaluate their impact on our guests and our company. For now, we are sailing our Cuba itineraries as scheduled and will keep our guests updated if anything changes.:

Royal Caribbean adds Spectrum of the Seas to new app

By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has expanded its new app to include support for Spectrum of the Seas.

Thanks to Michael S. for alerting us to this change.

Spectrum, now appears in the list of supported ships that can be found from within the app.

The new app is being actively developed, which means not all features area available on the app yet.  Moreover, the cruise line is slowly rolling out support for more ships.

The app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Video: Things that are BANNED on a Royal Caribbean cruise!

By: Matt Hochberg

Check out our latest video where we are sharing the things you definitelly cannot do on a Royal Caribbean cruise!

We have a list of things that are banned while on a Royal Caribbean cruise, as well as talking about things you can bring or do, but only at certain times or places.  

If you love this video, we have lots of other great cruise videos to watch on our Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel!

By the way, have you subscribed yet? Be sure to subscribe to our channel and never miss a single episode!

So check out the video and then let us know: Did anything on this list of banned things surprise you?

What you need to know about suites 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 298 is available for downloading, where Matt explains the important things to know about a Royal Caribbean suite.

Booking a suite for your next cruise is one way to really enhance your onboard experience and treat yourself to some of the best accomodations at sea. Before you book a suite or step foot in one, here are the important tips about a Royal Caribbean suite you should know ahead of time.

Here’s the podcast page for Episode 298. 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 to expand facial recognition tech to more ports to speed up disembarkation

By: Matt Hochberg

IDEMIA announced that its partnership with Royal Caribbean and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be expanded to help speed up cruise passengers disembarking at select cruise ports.

Following successful trials of its high speed 3D face capture technology in Cape Liberty, New Jersey, and the Port of Miami, the program is now moving into commercial production at these ports.

IDEMIA and Royal Caribbean anticipate additional deployments in other Florida ports later in 2019 that each process several million passengers annually.

IDEMIA’s facial recognition technology has enabled the Royal Caribbean passenger debarkation process to be both more secure and efficient. The use of IDEMIA’s MFACE technology has played a key role in enhancing the passenger experience by completing the process significantly faster than the manual verification method previously used.

MFace technology compares the facial identities of guests disembarking with the identities of ticketed passengers who boarded the ship at the start of a cruise, matching against images in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Traveler Verification Service (TVS). No images are stored by Royal Caribbean, CBP or IDEMIA after the trip is completed to ensure that passenger privacy is maintained.

Spotted: New Coca-Cola souvenir cup featuring lid and handle

By: Matt Hochberg

Guests on some Royal Caribbean ships are reporting a new souvenir Coca-Cola cup that is included with Royal Caribbean's unlimited drink packages.

While not all Royal Caribbean ships have these new cups, some guests have begun posting photos of the new cup design on sailings departing this week. The most notcable difference is the addition of a handle and built-in straw to the top of the cup.

Photo by Brad Payne

Photo by Kate Larson

These cups have been reported as being on Adventure of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas. Special thanks to Karen Fraser, Kate Larson and Adam Rothschild for helping with this article.

From time to time, Royal Caribbean and its Coca-Cola partner update the design of their souvenir cups.

These souvenir cups are compatible with the self-serve soda machines on the pool deck as well as the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines. The Coca-Cola souvenir cup has a special chip in it which activates the machine.

Do you like the design of these souvenir Coca-Cola cups? Tell us in the comments below!