Royal Caribbean International is inviting adventure seekers to break out of their ordinary routine and take their weekends to new heights with the debut of the reimagined Mariner of the Seas. After an extensive $90 million makeover, Mariner's 3- to 4-night Bahamas cruises will offer the chance to do, see and experience more than any quick getaway has ever done before, complete with an out-of-this-world bungee and trampoline virtual reality experience, a glow-in-the-dark laser tag arena, a tiki-chic lounge and more.
Royal Caribbean revealed today new features coming to Mariner of the Seas as part of a $90 million refurbishment this year.
Mariner of the Seas will undergo a refurbishment this year, where she will recieve all-new features including:
- A new bungee trampoline experience — Sky Pad
- This brand-new bungee trampoline experience will launch guests sky high for gravity-defying fun with a virtual reality headset option.
- Guests will strap in and don their virtual reality headset to transport them to another time and planet to bounce over moon craters or compete in intergalactic games. The out-of-this-world experience is for guests of all ages, and also can be enjoyed without virtual reality headsets, for those who prefer to look out over the ocean as they leap toward the sky.
- FlowRider surf simulator
- Perfect Storm waterslides
- Dual high-speed racer slides.
- Jamie's Italian specialty restaurant
- Polynesian-themed "The Bamboo Room" bar, with "tiki-chic" decor.
- A laid-back, punched-up Polynesian-themed watering hole that will whisk guests away with its throwback vibe and kitschy cool cocktails.
- The retro lounge will heat up the ship's already vibrant nightlife scene with its tiki-chic décor. Guests can choose their favorite specialty handcrafted cocktails to sip and savor, plus, make their friends jealous with Instagram-worthy moments throughout the kitschy-cool, uniquely styled space.
- Izumi Hibachi & Sushi specialty restaurant
- Battle for Planet Z laser tag
- It’s bots versus aliens in a battle for the last planet. Grab a blaster, choose a side and gear up for a stellar glow-in-the-dark time.
- Escape room
- Guests can team up to find hidden clues and figure out codes in an attempt to rescue a time-traveling scientist in Puzzle Break: The Observatorium
- Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade
- Enjoy all the biggest live sporting events over ice-cold brews, wings, sliders and more.
- Starbucks at Sea
As part of the ship's refurbishment, Royal Caribbean will be adding new staterooms, as well as updating all the existing staterooms on the ship.
"At Royal Caribbean, we believe in the constant pursuit of adventure and that every weekend is an opportunity to experience something new and live life to its fullest," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "With the new Mariner of the Seas, we invite travelers to weekend like they really mean it and make the most of a quick getaway than they even thought was possible."
Mariner of the Seas will call Miami, Florida home in 2018, and will be the first Voyager Class ship to offer short Caribbean sailings. Mariner of the Seas will offer 3- and 4-night itineraries from PortMiami, beginning on June 21, 2018.
Royal Caribbean will be putting on sale this week its 2019-2020 Short Caribbean itineraries, and we have a look at the various itineraries that will be available.
The new bookings will go on sale tomorrow, November 21st, 2017.
You can view each ship's sailings here:
The opening schedule for the 2019-2020 sailings is as follows:
- Northeast, Canada & Bermuda: Summer 2019: Week of December 4, 2017
- Europe Phase I & Alaska: Summer 2019: Week of December 11, 2017
- Remaining deployment: Spring 2018
Royal Caribbean announced that Mariner of the Seas will begin her upcoming Southeast Asian season a month earlier, adding 10 roundtrip sailings from Singapore in September 2017.
Mariner of the Seas will be returning to Singapore on September 10th this year for her 2017/18 season, instead of October as originally scheduled. The sales for her new September cruises open for sale today. They include the nine-night one-way cruise from Shanghai to Singapore on September 1st with calls at Xiamen and Ho Chi Minh City plus an overnight in Hong Kong which coincides with the Singapore one-week school holidays; and a mix of three- to five-night Southeast Asian itineraries.
Following her Singapore season, Mariner of the Seas will then be deployed to Miami, Florida in April 2018, after having homeported year-round in Asia out of Singapore and China since 2013.
Sister ship Voyager of the Seas is expected to bring several thousands more tourists to Southeast Asia’s ports for her 2018/19 winter/spring season. Itineraries will be revealed later this month when the season opens for sale.
Royal Caribbean announced today a number of new sailing options to the Caribbean from New Orleans, Galveston and Miami.
After a three-year hiatus, Royal Caribbean will return to offering cruises from New Orleans, Louisiana with Vision of the Seas in the winter of 2018-2019. Beginning on December 15, 2018, Vision of the Seas will offer 7-night itineraries to the Bahamas and Yucatan Peninsula.
Before making her way to New Orleans, Vision of the Seas will offer two 16-night sailings through the Panama Canal from Miami to Los Angeles, California. This will be the first time in three years that Royal Caribbean has offered a cruise through the Panama Canal.
Lastly, Mariner of the Seas will call Miami, Florida home in 2018, following a transpacific cruise. Mariner of the Seas will be the first Voyager Class ship to offer short Caribbean sailings. Before she offers cruises from her new home, Mariner of the Seas will undergo an extensive 32-day revitalization. Once back in service, Mariner of the Seas will offer 3- and 4-night itineraries from PortMiami, beginning on June 21, 2018.
Enchantment of the Seas will join Liberty of the Seas in Galveston, Texas, offering 4- and 5-night Caribbean cruises. She arrives in Galveston on June 23, 2018. Guests currently booked on Enchantment for sailings departing Miami after June 23 will be contacted individually to transition the original booking to Mariner of the Seas.
Sailings onboard Mariner of the Seas will become available to book on May 1, 2017. Enchantment of the Seas and Vision of the Seas sailings will be available to book as of May 5.
Each quarter, Royal Caribbean's management gets on the phone with investors to discuss its quarterly earnings. Much of the call is dedicated to the discussion of rather uninteresting fiscal reports, however, there are a number of tidbits that Royal Caribbean fans can glean during the discussion.
During Royal Caribbean's first quarter 2017 earnings call with investors, we picked up on five interesting points worth noting.
Sneak peak at features for new smart phone app
Royal Caribbean Chairman and CEO Richard Fain made a quick reference to some of features coming to the new smart phone app that the cruise line is developing.
Dubbed, "Project Excalibur," this new app will offer new ways for guests to have a simpler experience onboard.
"Starting over two years ago, we have found intuitive digital applications to make the guest experience simpler and more comfortable," Fain announced during the call. "You'll be able to open the door to your room without pulling out a card or a key, request a beverage real-time from the comfort of your lounge chair, and get recommendations for your traveling companion based on their preferences."
"We take our guest vacation time seriously, and technology is a great enabler to improve the use of that."
Guest spending is fundamentally changing
Royal Caribbean CFO Jason Liberty made mention of the fact onboard revenue continues to grow, and that is a reflection of a shift in where guests spend their money. Specifically, they are spending more money on experiences, in lieu of buying things.
Onboard revenue yield was up 8.9% for the quarter, which was driven by new hardware, shore excursions and Voom.
"As I mentioned over the past couple quarters, guests spend has continuing to shift towards areas that involve experiences over buying things," Liberty explained.
Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley added, "What we are seeing is a switch to more experience-related revenue streams, and obviously we are trying to leverage that. Things like shore excursions obviously, and beverages and beverage packages. "
"I think really what we are seeing is we're seeing a really good pick up on our pre-cruise sales, and that has been driving a lot of these revenues. There's various theories on how impactful pre-cruises sales are, and one of the theories is that if you sell a dollar pre-cruise, you'll probably see anywhere from 20 to 50% uptick in the onboard spend by the very same guest."
Mariner of the Seas will receive a drydock
Two days ago, Royal Caribbean announced that Mariner of the Seas would return to North America after spending many years in the Asia-Pacific region.
Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley explained, "With Mariner moving back into the States, that was really about timing. Mariner was coming out anyway when Quantum Plus came into the market, and we had an opportunity because we have some revitalization and drydock work that's quite extensive that we're planning for Mariner."
Symphony of the Seas bookings are doing well
Bookings in general are quite good for Royal Caribbean, and even the yet-to-be-launched Symphony of the Seas is doing well with guests booking it.
"Symphony of the Seas, which comes out in April of next year, the forward bookings are terrific."
How millennials cruise
An investor asked how passengers under 35 years old view Royal Caribbean, and Michael Bayley elaborated on the appeal of cruising to millennials.
"When a millennial has a child, they really come into our sweet spot...for Royal Caribbean certainly. As soon as those millennials get kids, then they really want to have a great time with their family, and we work very well for them. "
"The one obvious thing that's quite meaningful is digital technology and access through Voom to the world around them. Of course, that's something we put into place a couple of years ago, and I think that's really proven to be successful."
"The other component is the whole idea of multi-generational vacations, and that's something we really do focus on. This idea that we can offer a multi-generational experience to our customers. And of course, the Oasis Class ships really are the great expression of that."
"And then dining I think is becoming something that's slightly different with the millennial market, and that's something we're obviously focused on, both in our current fleet, and also as we look at our new builds coming online."
Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas will be transformed into a world of cosplay fantasy once again next February, when it plays host to Asia’s biggest cosplay festival at sea for the second time. “COSFEST SEA: Beyond The Great Horizons”, organised by The Singapore Cosplay Club in collaboration with the cruise brand, will be on a 3-night weekend cruise from Singapore to Penang from February 17 to 20. The region’s top cosplayers for the championship plus exciting cosplay entertainment and activities will be in store to spellbind fans and guests.
Stephanie Loh, President of The Singapore Cosplay Club said, "“COSFEST SEA: Beyond The Great Horizons” will be bigger and better with new cosplay activities and entertainment for folks of all ages! Everyone including young kids and their parents is invited to indulge in a moment of fantasy onboard. We want to make cosplay enjoyable for everyone, all the more on a super ship like Mariner of the Seas."
The biggest highlight of this theme cruise is the Asia Cosplay Meet Championship which will feature contestants from eight countries and territories such as China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, The Philippines and Thailand all vying for the top spot. For the first time as well, there will be guest contestants from outside of Asia, namely USA. This will be open for public viewing for all the guests onboard to catch the action. There is also a special preview before the competition begins. More details on the contestants will be unveiled at a later stage.
Onboard, the cosplayers will also have chances to mingle with one another and discover about different cosplay cultures. As for the guests, they are welcome to join in the mood in their own cosplay outfits.
Other activities highlights open to all guests include the ‘Movie Costume Museum’ which will show an impressive display of costumes from many movie and animation titles and have costumes for guests to dress up their children for photo taking; the spectacular ‘Cosplay Parade’ along the Royal Promenade which will be filled with cosplayers dressed up as popular Anime characters; and the ‘Cosplay Treasure Hunt’ for participants to accomplish as many missions as possible onboard. Guests onboard will have the chance to meet some of their favourite movie characters.
Interested parties can visit www.sgcosplayclub.org to book and get access to all COSFEST SEA private events.
Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas spread some early holiday cheer by welcoming onboard a group of seniors and volunteers of the local voluntary welfare organisation Lions Befrienders for a Christmas tour, show and lunch.
The 60 seniors were treated to an ice show, as well as lunch in the Main Dining Room. They also enjoyed viewing the Christmas decorations onboard and had a photo-taking session with the giant Christmas tree along the Royal Promenade.
Captain Mal Bardsnes of Mariner of the Seas with Mr Sean Treacy, Managing Director, Singapore & Southeast Asia of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., also presented a donation check of S$10,000 on behalf of the company to Dr Chey Chor Khoon, Executive Director of Lions Befrienders, to contribute to Lions Befrienders’ seniors' welfare and more eldercare services and facilities.
This activity is part of Royal Caribbean’s yearly Christmas charity activity in Singapore which invites onboard local charity groups, ranging from seniors to children with special needs or from low income families.
Mr Treacy said, “This year, we specially honour the Pioneer Generation for our Christmas charity celebration. Hence it is our great pleasure to invite Lions Befrienders’ seniors to tour our ship during one of her most beautiful moments of the year, for them to enjoy a day out with our family-friendly entertainment and amenities, and most of all, for us to have the opportunity to contribute to their welfare. Royal Caribbean will continue to work closely with charity organizations in the region to contribute actively to the community.”
Dr Chey added: “We are delighted to have Royal Caribbean’s continual friendship and care for our seniors, many of whom may not have the opportunity to enjoy such a treat on the seas. Royal Caribbean’s donation will go a long way in ensuring the sustenance of our services as we expand our programs and reach to more vulnerable seniors.”
Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas will host a world-first dance theme cruise, featuring regional dance veteran Aleena Tan as well as world and regional renowned coaches such as Burn The Floor’s Luka Fanni from Italy, Peter Townsend and Belman Salihovic from Australia, Sunny Low, Derrick Torre and Feliz Ferlino from Singapore and Uapan Sdnivongs from Thailandi.
This special event will take place on a 4-night cruise from February 29 to March 4, 2016 from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang) and Langkawi is expected to attract dance enthusiasts from across the region, who will enjoy the exclusive tutelage under these world class class veterans, all brought together on this cruise.
Workshops onboard will offer guests ballroom and Latin dancing, Banchatango, New Vogue and Rock ‘n’ Roll classes, and include demonstrations from the coaches.
In addition, the event will offer previews and dance shows on Cha Cha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble, Jive, Waltz, Tango, Slow Foxtrot and Quickstep, along the ship’s 136m-long Royal Promenade and in the 1,300-seater theater. Performers will include Professional Champions from Russia, Mikhail Eremeeve and Olesya Eremeeva.
Aleena Tan has previously organized four dance theme cruises with Royal Caribbean in Asia with the most recent one as “Dancesport All Champions”, the world’s first showdance competition at sea in January 2015. On her choice of Royal Caribbean again for her latest dance theme cruise, she said, “We always want to do something different and unique for every one of these dance cruises, which is very much like the innovative feel of Royal Caribbean ships. Plus, I’ve always been attracted to Mariner of the Seas’ classy ambiance, beautiful venues and excellent service, which has been a most befitting choice for all my past events, like for the upcoming one.”
The Singapore Cosplay Club is hosting "Cosfest Sea" event on Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas.
Cosplay is the hobby of getting dressed up in the costumes of fictional characters.
The cruise will sail on January 8, 2016 on a 3-night weekend cruise.
The club is planning a number of events for its members, including
- Asia Cosplay meet championship
- Cosplay parade
- Cosplay/Anime parties
- Cosplay photoshoots
The event will feature contestants from eight countries including China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.