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Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast Episode - What Royal Caribbean has planned with Jay Schneider

In:
09 Mar 2022

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Matt talks with Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President and Chief Product Innovation Officer Jay Schneider about what's coming down the pike in the next few years.

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Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast Episode - Perception & reality with the cruise industry and Omicron

In:
12 Jan 2022

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The Omicron variant and CDC updates have all generated plenty of headlines about going on a cruise ship, but lost in the shuffle is what it's actually like to go on a cruise.

What you don't necessarily read about is the hard work cruise lines are engaged in behind the scenes to care for passengers and crew members, as well as work with government stakeholders on how to lead the entire travel sector with unparalleled protocols.

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Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast Episode - Interview with Royal Caribbean Group Chief Product Innovation Officer

In:
04 Aug 2021

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This week we have a look behind the proverbial curtain of what Royal Caribbean has been up to during the shutdown with Royal Caribbean Group Chief Product Innovation Officer, Jay Schneider!

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Inside look at how Wall Street sees Royal Caribbean's future

In:
20 Apr 2020

The global uncertainties we face today leads many to contemplate what the future of cruising may look like in the coming weeks, months and even years. To find those answers, I turned to Wall Street for a different perspective.

While cruise fans and industry followers look at cruising one way, the people that work and follow the activity of the stock markets look through a completely different lens.

Dan Kline is a Motley Fool contributing partner and podcast/on-air personality, and a lot of his work recently has been focused on the cruise industry as the cruise line stocks have been riding a roller coaster lately, with primarily more drops than hills.

I posed a few of the major questions and concerns so many RoyalCaribbeanBlog readers have been curious about, in order to get a different perspective on the matter.

What sort of hurdles do you see Royal Caribbean facing in getting back to service?

Legally, the pandemic has to no longer be a health crisis -- that's the easiest way.

Being able to test people would help a lot. I've heard people talk about lower customer counts. Maybe a few trips just to get going, but hard to make money that way.

The hardest part after getting permission to operate is convincing people to go. I've seen how much effort Royal Caribbean puts into cleanliness -- the floating petri dish line makes me mad as people on cruises already faced social pressures on hand washing and the crews clean extensively.

I'm happy to get back on a ship (can't wait) but I'm 46. I'm not sure older passengers will feel that any risk is worth it.

The floating petri dish line makes me mad as people on cruises already faced social pressures on hand washing and the crews clean extensively.

What are your thoughts on cruise fare pricing when cruises do resume, and if discounts should be expected?

I expect very heavy discounts and have seen very low prices.

I'm a casino gambler and generally get comp offers. I've been able to get better rooms (a balcony) and comp play on 5-night cruises (booked for August and October). I would say that booking now while there is uncertainty (maybe for a fall trip) is the best way to get a deal.

What is your advice for someone looking to buy Royal Caribbean stock right now?

Be very careful. The company was profitable and, I believe will be again, but strategic bankruptcy is not out the question. Shareholders generally get wiped out in a bankruptcy.

What are some positive or negative signs from Royal Caribbean that you will be on the lookout for over the next few months?

I'd like to see them be able to raise more money. Carnival raised $4 billion in a bond sales but had to pay 11.5% interest to get there. That's very expensive debt. Royal has tapped its credit but has been very quiet.

Some readers are concerned about the long-term health of the cruise line, specifically as it relates to some form of bankruptcy. How realistic is it to be concerned about this?

I think a Chapter 11 may make sense if this extends into the summer. Creditors don't want to end up owning cruise ships or operating cruise lines, so I would expect, in the case of a bankruptcy, they would restructure. That's very bad if you own stock. It's probably not an issue if you planned a cruise.

Expect new ships to slower to come and all capital projects (like making Labadee more like Coco Cay) to take a backseat for a while.

You can follow Dan Kline on Twitter, and check out some of his recent articles on The Motley Fool.

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast Episode - Reaching Pinnacle Status

In:
02 Oct 2019

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Few cruisers ever reach Pinnacle Club status in Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor Society, but this week we talk with a listener who just hit this illustrious mark.  We talk about what it takes to get to Pinnacle, and what it means to him.

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Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast Episode - Interview with Paul Thornton

In:
12 Jun 2019

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Believe it or not, there’s a lot of people out there that love cruising so much that it has changed their lives.  I certainly fall into this category, having started Royal Caribbean Blog as a result of falling in love with a cruise vacation and this week, we get to chat with someone that literally wrote the book on how a cruise can change your life.  Author Paul Thornton recently wrote a book that looks at bloggers, influencers, godmothers and everyone inbetween that has had part or all of their lives shaped by cruising.

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Life at sea - An interview with Royal Caribbean's top cruiser, Super Mario

In:
23 Oct 2017

I think we have all said we wish our cruise vacation was longer, or we could stay on board another week. But can you imagine staying on board for over two decades?

That’s exactly what Super Mario does. He’s Royal Caribbean’s top cruiser, with the most nights sailed on board. I was lucky enough to sail with Super Mario during my recent Enchantment of the Seas cruise. At the time of interviewing him on October 15, 2017 he has 7,003 Crown and Anchor points.


 

Twenty years ago, he decided he wanted to take a cruise and fell in love with them. Before he found Royal Caribbean he spent three years exploring different cruise lines. In fact, he’s done over 150 sailings with other cruise lines before he found Royal Caribbean. He sailed with all the major cruise lines, searching for the right one he could call home.


 

It wasn’t until November 21, 1999 he tried his first Royal Caribbean cruise, on Voyager of the Seas. Mario described the moment he first saw her sail into Miami, Florida and how massive the ship was.

He knew right away he had to get on board that ship. Voyager of the Seas was the first ship that debuted the Royal Promenade deck. Mario said he was blown away with this ship and all she had to offer. After that sailing Super Mario never looked back, he’s been on board Royal Caribbean ships for the last 18 years straight.


 

While talking to Mario I tried to get him to tell me his favorite ship, but he doesn’t have one. He likes the longer sailings and always books the transatlantic and Panama Canal sailings.

So you must be thinking, well why is he on Enchantment of the Seas doing three and four night sailings. Mario has a home (he calls it his hotel) in Miami, Florida. So sailing out of Miami lets him travel home for a few hours on turn-around day. He likes to get off the ship at 7:30am, get McDonald’s for breakfast, and relax in his home.

Around 2pm he gets back to the ship to sail out again.


 

I asked Mario if he ever plans to stop cruising and he said no, “I’ll die on a cruise ship.”

Cruising is his passion and a way of life. It’s almost hard to believe but he works full-time at sea running a company. So during the day he’s in his “office” on the pool deck working. Royal Caribbean has made him a sign that hangs over his favorite table poolside that reads: Super Mario’s Office.


 

We talked about the many port of calls he’s traveled to over the years. One that stands out was traveling to China. He said, that was the one cruise that he didn’t talk to anyone because none of the passengers spoke English. Though his favorite port of call is in the Caribbean - Cozumel, Mexico.

Finally, we talked about his upcoming cruise schedule, which he books years in advance. He’s on board Enchantment for one more sailing, then a night in his “hotel” before he travels to Spain to jump on the Freedom of the Seas.

The Freedom will make her way from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale. He sure does love those transatlantic sailings; next year he’s going to bring over Symphony of the Seas to Miami, Florida.

After his Symphony cruise, he’s booked Independence of the Seas for 6 months straight!


 

It was such an honor to sit down with Super Mario and talk about his history at sea. I hope to cruise with him again soon, because he’s such an enjoyable person to talk to.

Have you ever sailed with Super Mario? If so, comment below when and which ship.

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast Episode - A behind-the-scenes look at how Royal Caribbean entertainment is created

In:
23 Nov 2016

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As guests, we get to see the final production of so many performances on Royal Caribbean ships, but in reality there is so much that goes into how these shows are created. From concept to costuming to rehearsals, substantial time and effort goes into these impressive shows. While on Harmony of the Seas, I was sit down with Royal Caribbean Managing Producer Alex Marchant to discuss how a show like “Columbus, The Musical!” gets created, and share some of the stories behind Royal Caribbean’s latest big hit.

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Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast Episode - Interview with Allure of the Seas' Hotel Director

In:
23 Mar 2016

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From time to time, we get a chance on the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast to meet the Royal Caribbean crew members that are largely responsible for making these amazing ships function as well as they do. Getting the “inside view” of the operations of these Royal Caribbean ships is an unique opportunity and this week, I am pleased to welcome to the show Allure of the Seas’ Hotel Manager, Joao Mendonça. I recently spoke with Mr. Mendonça while onboard Allure of the Seas to talk about how he keeps the largest cruise ship in the world running as well as it does.

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Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast Episode - Izumi Master Chef Interview

In:
09 Mar 2016

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When people think about Royal Caribbean, quite often their thoughts go to relaxing by the pool, impressive cruise ships sailing around the world or even one of the many wonderful activities onboard. And while each of these is an important part of any Royal Caribbean cruise vacation, one thing that is often missing from that list is the food, because as I’ve said for years, Royal Caribbean cruises are not just about burgers, fries and whatever is in the main dining room, but actually offers some of the most incredible, unique dining experiences anywhere in the world.

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