Europe

Interview with Royal Caribbean Italy commercial manager

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24Jun2012

Royal Caribbean has increased its focus on the Italy cruise market, with an emphasis in Genoa.  An interview was published recently with the new Royal Caribbean commercial manager for Italy, Mario Paquero.

The tragedy of Costa Concordia has strongly affected the entire national market for cruises. You ever expect to have a problem like that?
"We have always believed you could do great numbers, even if there were a couple of months rather difficult for everyone. But things quickly changed and bookings for the current season have gone beyond our expectations. If we also consider the difficult time of global economic crisis this represents for us an even greater success. "

How was it possible to reverse this trend?
"The company has decided to hold rates quite low given the high quality that will still offer the tourist. And then, for that matter, in the cruise price is really all inclusive, those who get on board our ships must not pull out a dollar for extras. "

And in Genoa, which are the next steps of Royal Caribbean?
"First, we plan to increase the number of our direct employees because the company believes very much in the Italian market and the future we hope to witness a fast and progressive growth of the group. Not only that, but from an operational standpoint, the port of Genoa will be reconfirmed as one of the major airports across the country. "

The relationship between the city and the cruise is not always positive: closed shops, a few attractions, little assistance to visitors. You who give judgment?
"I do not think this is true. For our part we have been from the beginning excellent relations with local government, the Port Authority and more generally with all the components of the economic fabric of the city that have supported our investments. By tourists, then there is a high rating to the city and the judgments that have emerged from our evaluation boards are more than good. Of course things can still improve and by the Royal's best efforts to make this happen through a constant dialogue with the institutions and associations. "

Not only Genoa: Your company also believes strongly in the port of La Spezia.
"The port of La Spezia is indisputably a major arrival point for our ships. And this for the extraordinary opportunity offered by the territory, rich in culture, natural beauty and geographically strategic with respect to the most important and famous Italian art cities. "

The cruise market, filed in 2012, will continue to grow?
"The feeling we have right now are positive although it is impossible to predict long-term. The index to the holidays of this type, however, increases from year to year. And this happens not only in the Mediterranean but also throughout the rest of the world. " 

Royal Caribbean looks back on one year in France

In:
21Jun2012

July first marks the one year anniversary of Royal Caribbean adding a subsidiary in France.  For months, Royal Caribbean has been marketing to support sales and now they are seeing those efforts taking shape with the first cruises to French ports.

On June 3rd, Liberty of the Seas made her inaugural visit to Marseilles and Toulon harbor.  Liberty of the Seas is the largest ship operating in Europe and this summer will offer 21 cruises from France.

On July 5th, another Royal Caribbean ship, Brilliance of the Seas, will make its first stop at Le Havre and head for the Norwegian fjords.  Following her will be the recently refurbished Grandeur of the Seas, which will begin with a stop in Marseilles.

Frederic Martinez, CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises France, is happy with the progress the company has made, "We are very happy because ships arrive, they can be seen and tested by customers."

Overall, this year, the company will offer 27 cruises from French ports for a target of 30 to 35,000 passengers. This is less than the expected 40 to 45,000 customers at the launch of the French subsidiary, but Royal Caribbean was forced to reduce the estimates because of a difficult environment and the impact of the Costa Concordia disaster.

"We had one year in the form of a challenge because of the events he was forced to cash. Our growth has remained strong because we are still small, we have established a subsidiary in France there are less than a year, compared to the previous situation, our offer is much stronger because of departures from French ports. Nevertheless, we still felt a slowdown from February to early April. Also noteworthy is that the economic context is not famous. The crisis in the euro area can be felt in all European markets and, like others, the French are watching their budget. But now the market is very strong, although it has been boosted with blows of promotions, which is good for customers but not so good for owners, whose margins are reduced. This also causes a visibility problem because many customers wait until the last minute to book, hoping to get a better price, "says Frederic Martinez.

Royal Caribbean's boss in France believes, that the very aggressive pricing policy practiced in recent months by different companies, which forces Royal Caribbean's hand, should not last: "It's a real issue. We had an exceptional year and it was therefore necessary to sustain demand by offering very attractive. But we must not repeat this indefinitely and make reference price. Because this approach is not economically viable, at least maintaining a high level of quality, what we want. " 

Brilliance of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas will make 40 cruises to Europe in summer 2013

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15Jun2012

Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas will make a total of 40 cruises throughout Europe, with 41 stops in the summer of 2013.

Brilliance of the Seas will depart out of Harwich, England to ports in Northern Europe and the Baltic Sea with 12 night itineraries.  Meanwhile, Splendour of he Seas will offer seven-night cruises to the Adriatic and Eastern Mediterranean out of Venice, Italy.

Brilliance of the Seas will begin its summer season on May 15, 2013 and will offer eight trips to and from Harwich to scales and in Copenhagen Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn, Gothenburg and St. Petersburg where it gets a night.

Splendour of the Seas, which was upgraded in November 2011 with new amenities from the Royal Advantage program, will start its summer season on May 5 with a six-night cruise from Barcelona to Venice with a stop in Marseille, Florence/Pisa and Rome (Civitavecchia).  The ship will offer four itineraries, two in the Greek islands, one in the Greek Islands and Turkey, and another in the Greek Islands and Croatia.

Royal Caribbean will increase its departures from Marseille and Toulon in 2013

In:
13Jun2012

Royal Caribbean announced that it will significantly increase its offerings from Marseille, France next year.

From May 6 to August 26, 2013, Royal Caribbean will offer 17 roundtrip cruises from Marseille, versus just 7 this summer. The itinerary will cover Barcelona, ​​Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Genoa.

Currently Grandeur of the Seas is scheduled to sail out of Marseille but in 2013, Legend of the Seas.  Legend of the Seas was delivered in 1995 by French shipyards, the ship 264 meters long and 69,000 tons can accommodate 2,074 passengers. It will benefit next winter from a vast revitalization program to renovate its public spaces and cabins, while bringing new entertainment and dining options on board.

Besides cruises from Marseille, Royal Caribbean will increase its presence in 2013 at the port of Toulon. Between May 27 and October 21, 2013, 22 cruises (versus 21 this summer) will be offered aboard Liberty of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean will remain in Barcelona through 2013

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12Jun2012

Royal Caribbean has committed itself to serving the port of Barcelona, Spain through 2013 and will make about 50 stops next year.

During 2013, Liberty of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas will home port in Barcelona and offer western Mediterranean itineraries but they will soon be joined by other Royal Caribbean ships.  Splendour of the Seas will arrive in May and Serenade of the Seas will offer a new route from Barcelona in January to the Middle East.

The news comes after Royal Caribbean opted to drop other Spanish ports such as Malaga, Valencia and the Balearic Islands will be dropped in 2013.  Royal Caribbean has promised to re-evaluate the situation in 2014 but for now, Barcelona remains a key port of call for Royal Caribbean in Spain.

In 2013, over 20,000 cruise passengers will call at Barcelona on Royal Caribbean ships that are based on other ports and that will mean about 1.2 million euros spent in Barcelona by tourists.

Royal Caribbean meets with Greek authorities to build port in Rhodes

In:
12Jun2012

Members of the government is meeting with officials from Royal Caribbean about interest in building a cruise pier in Rhodes, Greece.  

A meeting at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Athens on Thursday will lay out a plan by Royal Caribbean to spend over 25 million euros to build a pier at Akantia where they can accommodate ships of up to 350 meters and turn the island into a small "cruise center".

Royal Caribbean is looking to invest the money in the port in exchange for assistance with the notorious Greek bureaucracy.  

The meeting is scheduled to include Greek Miniser of Regional Development, Minister of Tourism and Culture and the Secretary General of the Ports along with represenatives from Royal Caribbean.  The purpose of the meeting is to see how quickly Greek officials can work to approve the proposal by Royal Caribbean.

Mariner of the Seas inaugural cruise in Italy scheduled for today

In:
09Jun2012

The  inaugural sailing of Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas sets sail today in Civitavecchia, Italy for the Mediterranean.

Royal Caribbean has organized a big party on board with a special gues ice skating world champion Carolina Kostner, who will perform on the ice rink inside the cruise ship.

Just to emphasize the '' Italian 'cruise for 14 weeks will sail the waters of the Mediterranean, Royal Caribbean has adopted a philosophy of "Italian friendly", offering food and hospitality "Italian." On board the ship, there will be European soccer matches projected on a big screen.

Liberty of the Seas arrives in France

In:
08Jun2012

Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas arrived in France earlier this month and now is based out of southern France.   Since the beginning of June, Liberty of the Seas offers each week more than 3,600 cruise to discover the Mediterranean from Toulon.

"One year after the opening of our office in France, we are very pleased to offer our first departures from French ports", says Frederic Martinez, CEO of Royal Caribbean France.

Liberty of the Seas is not the only ship from France, as the Grandeur of the Seas will sail from Marseille and the Brilliance of the Seas, from Havre. "We worked hard to adapt our offer to French customers, says Frederic Martinez. A significant part of our staff speak French. The menus are in French, the French television channels are available. And we worked our wine. "Interest in the French market is due to its dynamism for several years. Last year, 441,000 passengers were carried by cruise ships, according to the French Association of Cruise Lines (AFCC), an increase of 14%.

Regarding the effect the Costa Concordia disaster has had on Royal Caribbean, Royal Caribbean has taken steps to hinder the negative effects. "We have reduced our ambitions, however, recognizes Frederick Martinez. We visions French 40,000 passengers this year. They will eventually be only 30,000 to 35,000. "This is still a nice progression: the group table and a market share of 6% this year, against only 4% last year. For 2013, the group is up 10%. The starting number will increase from 27 to 39 this year next year. Despite the loss of the ship from Le Havre. "Next year, the Brilliance will be used in Asia, where we record very strong growth, said Frederic Martinez. Pending the arrival of our ships coming in 2014 and 2015, we must make trade-offs depending on the strength of our markets. "

Royal Caribbean leaving Malaga as home port in 2013

In:
08Jun2012

Royal Caribbean will cease home porting its ships in Malaga, Spain in 2013.  Currently Adventure of the Seas is there and will complete its 28 cruises but by 2013, she will move to be ported out of Southampton, England.

The move by Royal Caribbean to leave Malaga isn't permanent.  Royal Caribbean describes the change as "transitional" and anticipates reassessing the possibility of returning to Malaga in 2014, "given the interest of the company for the city".

Royal Caribbean has spent three years operating out of Malaga, near Valencia, as a base port for the western Mediterranean. The Adventure of the Seas, with capacity for 3,840 passengers, currently covers the route Málaga, Valencia, Civitavecchia (Rome), Livorno (Pisa and Florence) and Ajaccio (Corsica). 

The change was characterized by a Royal Caribbean spokeswoman as "reprogramming of the ships to meet new demand" and she also indicated that Malaga has received very high results in passenger satisfaction surveys.

Sebastian Camps, the Malaga port manager, insists Royal Caribbean's departure is "temporary" and blames the economic situation in the Mediterranena area.

Royal Caribbean to scale back European cruises in 2013

In:
21May2012

Royal Caribbean announced it will send just nine ships to Europe in 2013, down from 12 ships this year.  Weak bookings in Europe have contributed to Royal Caribbean's decision to reduce its presence there.

The nine ships will offer 276 cruises over 58 itineraries in 2013.  

A third of the ships going to Europe in 2013 will sail out of the United Kingdom, including Independence of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas.  The ships will offer cruises to the Baltics, Mediterranean and Canary Islands.  A report from the Passenger Shipping Association shows that more than 40% of British passengers choose to being their cruise from a UK port.

In addition, Legend of the Seas will offer seven-night western Mediterranean itineraries out of Genoa, Italy and visiting Provence (Marseilles), France; and Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, and Valencia, Spain.

Vision of the Seas will alternate seven-night Norwegian cruise to the North Sea and offer cruises to visit the Norwegian Fjords, Russia and other northern European destinations.

Navigator of the Seas will offer seven-night eastern Mediterranean and Greek isle cruises.  Serenade of the Seas will offer 12-night Mediterranean and Greek isle cruises.  Splendour of the Seas will serve the Adriatic sea and Greek isles.  And finally, Liberty of the Seas will offer a selection of five- and seven-night Western Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona.

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