Liberty of the Seas

Tea Party holding special cruise

In:
05Aug2010

If you affiliate yourself with the Tea Party movement, then there's a Royal Caribbean cruise for you.  Conservative publishing site WorldNet Daily is sponsoring a special cruise dubbed "The WND Tea Party at Sea" to be held aboard Liberty of the Seas September 19-26, 2010.

This cruise will feature teaching sessions by Joseph Farah, Alan Keyes, Jerome Corsi, David Kupelian, and Aaron Klein, all of whom are contributors to WorldNet Daily, a site with politically conservative tenancies.

The cruise follows the WorldNet Daily "Taking America Back" conference, a three-day extravaganza at Miami's Doral Resort and Spa (home of the Blue Monster golf course). The conference spans Constitution Day, Sept. 17, and features a current elected representative, Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.); a couple of formers, Jeremiah Denton (R-Ala.) and Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.); and a couple GOP hopefuls (Floridians Allen West, seeking a House seat, and Alexander Snitker, running for Senate). And, for all of you who have been wondering, "Where's Ann Coulter lately?", the conservative commentator will be on board, too.

If September 2010 doesn't work for you, there's another cruise being held by the same organizing group in January 2011 for "true patriots who are passionately committed to the principles of liberty and freedom as granted to us by the Founding Fathers."  This cruise will feature Keyes as well as former Georgia congressman Bob Barr and Gary DeMar, founder of American Vision.

The European invasion of American cruise ships

In:
20Jul2010

CruiseLineFans posted an article that is looking at the effects of cruising on Europe and the overall trend that cruise lines are experiencing to move their ships to Europe to meet the growing demand there.  In the article, there's a mention about Royal Caribbean's strategy of increasing their presence in Europe and competing against not only their traditional counterparts (NCL, Carnival) but also stalwarts of European cruising such as P&O, Thomson and others. 

Royal Caribbean International will have eleven ships in Europe in 2011, with the latest addition being Mariner of the Seas, having left Los Angeles for Rome. Mariner will sail from March to November 2011, while the Liberty of the Seas will be based in Barcelona and the Independence of the Seas now will sail year-round from Southampton, England.

Royal Caribbean will also base a ship in Palma, the traditional base for tour operator ships (such as TUI/Thomson, with whom they halve a half interest in TUI Cruises) and also to take on Aida Cruises.

Lewis Black to headline Liberty of the Seas cruise in November

In:
19Jul2010

Quick note for anyone sailing on Liberty of the Seas, comedian Lewis Black will be headlining a seven-day cruise on Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas on Nov. 7, sailing out of Miami.

Joining Lewis will be some other comedians including

  • John Pinette
  • Dom Irrera
  • Kathleen Madigan
  • John Bowman
  • Larry Wilmore
  • Ted Alexandro
  • Joe Grifasi
  • Mark Linn-Baker
  • Vic Henley
In addition to comedy acts in the evening, there's also a number of events taking place such as Mark Linn Baker, from Perfect Strangers, will be screening Mel Brooks' My Favorite Year, the first movie in which he starred, and hosting a Q&A afterwards; Dom Irrera, Star of Comedy Court, will do the show with some of you felons participating; Lewis Black will be doing book signings and Q&A sessions.

Barcelona Spain set to be popular cruise port

In:
15Jul2010

The summer of 2011 will have some very big cruise ships stopping in Barcelona, Spain and Liberty of the Seas, a Freedom Class ship, will be included. Aside from Oasis and Allure of the Seas, it's the next largest Royal Caribbean ship with a capacity of 3,600 passengers.

The Miami Herald had a quick write up about the things to see in Barcelona, a city known for its beauty, and one of the most popular European cities for Americans to visit in Europe.

Downtown, near the port and especially along the famed walking street Las Ramblas, Barcelona pulses with strolling crowds of all ages. You'll find engaging street entertainers, including mimes dressed like the Tin Man or a flowering plant, each hoping for a contribution. Nearby are outdoor markets, churches, parks, and dozens of fine restaurants.

Liberty of the Seas will sail on Saturdays to Toulon, France; Nice; Civitavecchia and Naples. 

Port Everglades competing with Miami for cruise capital of the world

In:
25Jun2010

Port Everglades, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is gaining ground quickly on Miami, Florida for most cruise passengers in the world.  Miami has been the traditional "cruise capital of the world" for many years but recent changes have made Port Everglades, located just 28 miles to the north, a close competitor.  If current trends continue, Port Everglades will overtake Miami by 2012, thanks to in part, Royal Caribbean.

Liberty of the Seas, currently serving Europe, will return to the United States next year and has been announced to call Port Everglades it's home port.  Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, the two largest cruise ships in the world, already call Port Everglades home.  This leaves just Majesty of the Seas left in Miami as Royal Caribbean's presence.  

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s level of commitment is less clear. Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., declined to comment on its future plans to sail from Miami, nor would he say whether Royal, which owns several brands including Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises, intends to keep its headquarters at the port after its building leases expire in 2011 and 2014.

Miami, for it's part, admits it needs to do more to lure Royal Caribbean back to Miami.  Recently the port of Miami inked a deal with Carnival to keep Carnival in Miami until at least 2018 and County Manager George Burgess said, "We need to roll up our sleeves and negotiate with Royal, just like we did with Carnival".

Port Everglades earned a lot of Royal Caribbean's new found loyalty thanks in part to how it handled the Oasis of the Seas situation.  When Royal Caribbean was shopping for a home port, it received a lukewarm reception from Miami but Port Everglades agreed to double the terminal budget from $37.4 million to $75 million. Royal Caribbean then promised to send even more passengers to Port Everglades to compensate for the extra cost of the 5.5-acre super terminal, which has 90 ticket counters.

Update to passenger arrested for fondling child

In:
24Jun2010

We reported earlier today of a Pennsylvania man that was arrested by the FBI for fondling a young boy on a Royal Caribbean cruise.  Royal Caribbean has issued a statement to USA TODAY newspaper regarding the incident.

 

"Royal Caribbean maintains a zero tolerance policy regarding any criminal activity onboard our ships. Any allegation of a crime is treated seriously and reported to law enforcement.

On December 18, a guest onboard Liberty of the Seas brought Mr. Stevenson's alleged inappropriate behavior to the attention of a crew member. Royal Caribbean's onboard security immediately responded and preserved information and potential evidence that could be helpful to law enforcement. The incident was immediately reported to the FBI and the Miami-Dade police department, and Mr. Stevenson was confined to his stateroom.

On December 20, the ship was met at the Port of Miami by the FBI and Miami-Dade Police Department officers who conducted an investigation onboard. We will continue to support law enforcement agencies during their prosecution of this allegation."

Royal Caribbean passenger took a cruise to fondle a boy

In:
24Jun2010

A 71 year old man from Clinton, Pennsylvania was charged with with traveling with intent to engage in illegal sexual conduct after he admitted he took a December 2009 cruise on Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas so he could have a sexual encounter a child.

Authorities say Stevenson went into the children's area during a December cruise and fondled a 6-year-old boy in a hot tub. The FBI says surveillance footage shows Stevenson putting his arm around the boy and pulling him onto his lap.

A trial date has not been set yet for the case.

Go cruising and support the people of Haiti

In:
08Jun2010

Obviously we all love a good cruise and there's a great reason to book your next cruise to help support he people of Haiti, who were devasted by that mega earthquake earlier this year.  Given that Royal Caribbean stops in Labadee, it makes sense for fans of Royal Caribbean to get together to help out a great cause.  A group called "Cruise 4 Haiti" is organizing a group cruise where a portion of the cost of the cruise will go straight to some really great charities that are assisting the people of Haiti that were affected by the earthquake.

 
Here's how it works: Book a cabin with the Cruise 4 Haiti group on the Liberty of the Seas departing on 11.14.10 from Miami, Florida.   $75 for each cabin booked will be donated to the the Cruise4Haiti non-profit partners For Haiti with Love and Airline Ambassadors.   You can be a part of a great cause while enjoying another fantastic Royal Caribbean Cruise.
 
I hope lots of people can support this great cause either by going on the ship or spreading the word about this charity. 

Shrek and other Dreamworks characters coming to Royal Caribbean ships

In:
04Jun2010

Royal Caribbean announced today a strategic alliance with Dreamworks Animation studios to provide the Dreamworks characters such as Shrek, onboard select Royal Caribbean ships.   Characters from Dreamworks Animation's most popular feature films will be featured, including the films – "Shrek," "Madagascar," "Kung Fu Panda" and "How to Train Your Dragon".

The new characters will first appear on the soon-to-be-launched Allure of the Seas, which debuts in December 2010.  Following Allure, Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas will receive characters on board their ships as well.

The move comes as an answer to the Disney Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line that feature their own assortment of characters for guests to meet with during their vacation.  As the number two cruise line in the world, Royal Caribbean felt a need to add their own assortment of characters for their guests to meet.

Throughout the year, characters including Shrek, Fiona and Puss In Boots from Shrek; Alex, Marty and the Penguins of Madagascar; Po of Kung Fu Panda and Hiccup of How to Train Your Dragon will appear on board the ships at select times.  Activities that the characters will participate in include parades, special events, special character meals andphoto meet-n-greets.  Characters also will appear in an AquaTheater show on Allure of the Seas, and in an ice skating show on the ship.

There will be no additional cost to guests to experience any of these character activities.

Analysis

The move by Royal Caribbean to bring characters on their ships is interesting, although not completely unexpected.  Disney introduced the idea of having characters on their ships and once Norwegian brought the Nickelodean characters, it only made sense for Royal Caribbean to make a move to counter that.  Obviously this announcement will resonate most with families although the Shrek characters especially seem to resonate beyond kids.

Dreamworks characters rumored to be coming to Royal Caribbean

In:
04Jun2010

According to a tweet by Stitchkingdom, the characters from DreamWorks Animation will be appearing as characters to meet aboard Royal Caribbean ships.  This could be the announcement promised at 11am eastern today by Royal Caribbean.  In a few hours, we will know more!

Update: USA Today is confirming the rumor.  Characters will first arrive on Allure of the Seas and then spread to Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas.  The characters will include Shrek, Fiona and Puss In Boots from Shrek; Alex, Marty and the Penguins of Madagascar; Po of Kung Fu Panda and Hiccup of How to Train Your Dragon. The characters will appear as part of exclusive special events, parades, character breakfasts and photo opportunities. Characters also will appear in an AquaTheater show on Allure of the Seas, and in an ice skating show on the ship.

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