Royal Caribbean adds flight connections from London


Royal Caribbean is planning on offering direct cruise connection from London's Stansted airport in June by utilizing British Airways charter flights to make a connection to Venice, Italy.

These flights will connect to a seven-night Adriatic sailing on Voyager of the Seas.

Jo Rzymowska, Royal Caribbean's United Kingdom and Ireland general manger, says the move comes in response to guest demand, “Feedback from cruise travellers tells us that convenient flight connections are a factor when selecting their next cruise experience.

“Around 6.7 million people live in Stansted’s main catchment area, putting our cruise connections onto the doorstep of millions of potential customers.  

“The new service will deliver an efficient route for thousands of UK cruisers to begin their holiday immediately on the day of departure”.

Seven Royal Caribbean ships to visit Venice in 2011


A positive start to the season for Splendour of the Seas, her first year season cruising from Venice and she is ready to go. Splendour of the Seas is the first ship of Royal Caribbean's fleet to dock at the port of Venice in 2011 and opened a major new cruise season for the brand.

At Movimenterà alone, nearly 60,000 passengers embarked from the port of Venice 29 times for 10 and 11-night cruises to Greece and Croatia until November 2011. Voyager of the Seas arrives on May 21, Brilliance of the Seas May 25. From April to November, there will be seven ships of Royal Caribbean that pass through the capital of Veneto, for a total of 113 airports and handling over 320,000 passengers.

"Year after year, Venice increasingly consolidates its leading role in planning for Royal Caribbean - says Lina Mazucco, CEO Cruises Ltd RCL Italy -. 2011 in particular will be a golden year for the former Maritime Republic, which will nearly double the flow of Royal Caribbean cruise: from about 170,000 last year, we expect to reach over 320,000 this year. "

Port of Barcelona will welcome Liberty of the Seas on Saturday


The Port of Barcelona will welcome on Saturday the largest cruise ship in its history and the largest in the Mediterranean: Liberty of the Seas. Liberty of the Seas is 339 meters long and can accommodate over 4,300 passengers and 1,400 crew members.

The ship is the third largest in the world and will operate from Terminal B Pier Townhouse to September period when Cruise made four, five and seven-night Mediterranean Barcelona port.

The ship has peculiarities as a surf simulator, a climbing wall, basketball court and ice, a theater for 1,350 spectators, 10 restaurants, 16 bars, basketball courts, mini golf, gym and spa, as well as an internal drive shopping longer than a football field.

Royal Caribbean adding ports of call in Sicily


At the Sicily Travel Expo, Royal Caribbean announced that it will be in Sicily for the first time. In 2011, five vessels will be transitioning to Messina, Sicily which can bring nearly 160,000 passengers.

Palermo will be the first port of call for Grandeur of the Seas May 20, 2011. Mariner of the Seas, in her debut year in the Mediterranean Sea, will touch only once a Palermo October 1. On October 8, it will be Brilliance of the Seas' turn. The cruise season will close the Navigator of the Seas, for the first time in Palermo on October 24.

Liberty of the Seas helps raise Valencia, Spain's cruise numbers


The Port of Valencia, Spain reached 37% of cruise passengers in 2009, putting it in fifth place in Spain's national ranking, after Barcelona, ​​Palma de Mallorca, Malaga and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

With the arrival of Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas , the port receives 4,300 passengers and the Valencia Tourism Foundation has made ​​a special welcome, including on tastings of horchata.

The biggest cruise of the berth so far in Valencia, with 339 meters (more than three football fields in length), contains inside all sorts of attractions for passengers, suites, cabins three types, restaurants, swimming pools, pubs, nightclubs, shopping mall, casino and several sporting facilities, mini golf and boxing rings included.

Royal Caribbean booking trends slowest in six years


Royal Caribbean Associate Vice President & General Manager Jo Rzymowska said that booking trends in the United Kingdom are the slowest in the six years since she joined the company.  Rzymowska believes Britons are waiting longer than usual to book their summer holidays.

Speaking at the launch of a new travel agent training website in London last night, Rzymowska thinks people are just waiting until it's closer to their vacations to book, “This year the booking trends have been the latest in my six years in tenure,” she said. “There are definitely people who haven’t booked their summer holiday yet who are holding out.”

So why the slow down?  Rzymowska believes it's a combination of recent global events and concerns of economic uncertainty.

The good news for Royal Caribbean is that despite the reluctance of some to book, sales for 2011 are still up and Rzymowska thinks the rest of the year will be good as well.

The largest cruise ship in Europe docks for the first time in Santa Cruz de Tenerife


The port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in Spain was graced today with the first visit of Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in Europe.  Liberty has come to the Island from Miami as a stopover before the start of its summer season in the Mediterranean.

A statement released by the Port Authority ensures that the ship is two inches longer than its sister ship, Independence of the Seas, which is 339 feet long and 154,407 gross registered tons, with capacity to 4,375 cruisers.

Liberty of the Seas is served by 1,300 crew, 730 of them dedicated to ensuring safety on board.

The ship, built in Finland in 2007 at a cost of $ 800 million, remain in port until 18:00 pm and depart in the direction of Cadiz to continue to cover a voyage of fourteen days that end in Barcelona, ​​home port of their routes for the Mediterranean. 

Mariner of the Seas debuts in Italy


Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Sea arrived for her new Mediterranean itineraries for the first time in Italy.  The ship arrived in the early hours of the morning to Civitavecchia, where she will be home for the entire 2011 season, until the end of October.

During the "Italian baptism," the ribbon-cutting ceremony has been entrusted to champion Fiona May. Mariner of the Seas was also the scene of a unique event, "Run for Royal", the first 3km never sailed on a cruise ship, which involved five runners.

Yesterday in Civitavecchia, in the presence of a large group of journalists, travel agents, port authorities and sports stars and entertainers, there was an Italian baptism of Mariner of the Seas, the new queen of the Royal Caribbean's Mediterranean Fleet, for the first time in the Mare Nostrum.

The ship's godmother of the event was Fiona May, an Italian athlete, twice world champion of long jump, welcomed on his arrival the ship was established in 2003.

Lina Mazzucco, general manager Royal Caribbean Italy, explains the choice: " In a lively and passionate character and style of Fiona, we recognized the spirit of Mariner of the Seas, a ship full of character, dedicated to the Italians, lovers of sport and a holiday at the same time dynamic and healthy, which makes the wishes of the family. Its elegance, femininity and perseverance in life as in sport, we did see in her the perfect spokesperson for this amazing ship . "

For the first time ever in the history of the company, the ship will depart from Genoa Royal - apart from Civitavecchia - and will offer seven-night cruises to the guests that will touch Cannes, Ajaccio, Barcelona, ​​Palma de Mallorca.

More than half of Royal Caribbean fleet will be in Europe in 2012


Royal Caribbean is planning on sending a record amount of its ships to Europe for the 2012 cruise season, which constitutes more than half of its fleet.  The cruise line announced 12 of its 22 ships will be serving European itineraries in 2012 as demand in the region is expected to continue growing.

By sending 12 ships in 2012, it will increase Royal Caribbean's presence in the continent from 11 in 2011 and 8 in 2010.

More changes for Royal Caribbean in Europe include

  • Serenade of the Seas will sailing out of Barcelona starting in 2012
  • Royal Caribbean has also added cruises out of Amsterdam, Holland, where Brilliance of the Seas will call Copenhagen home as it conducts northern Europe itineraries
  • Mariner of the Seas will add Holy Land cruises as well as seven-night Western Mediterranean voyages from Rome
  • Vision of the Seas will visit the Holy Land as well as some Northern Europe itineraries
  • Liberty of the Seas will offer new five-night Western Mediterranean cruises

Royal Caribbean has also announced it will offer cruises from 8 "interports" (locations that passengers can board ships wile in the middle of a scheduled itinerary).  The interports will include

  • France
    • Toulon
    • Marseille
    • LeHavre
  • Italy
    • Genoa
    • Messina (Sicily)
    • Bari 
  • Valencia, Spain
  • Kusadasi (Ephesus) Turkey


Maiden calls will be made at Arhus, Denmark; Klaksvik, Faroe Islands; and Kenes (Lofoten), Norway

Recession pushed Royal Caribbean further into Europe


At the cruise industry conference and trade show Cruise Shipping Miami 2011, Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein indicated that the recession has forced Royal Caribbean to send more ships to markets outside of the United States, such as Europe, to seek higher revenue.

Before the recession, cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean got most of their customers from North America but the economic quagmire pushed the cruise giant to look abroad and encourage new source markets.  It's a strategy that Goldstein indicated would not be changing any time soon.

Europe, in particular, has been a target of Royal Caribbean as Goldstein sees it as a market that can provide much of the growth needed for Royal Caribbean to continue to grow.

A record 15 million people worldwide cruised in 2010 and 2011 is expected to exceed that number, thanks to higher demand outside of North America as well as a largely untapped market of potential cruisers in North America of which only 3 percent of the population has cruised.