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Mariner of the Seas

Royal Caribbean will send more ships to Europe

In:
24Aug2010

Royal Caribbean is planning on sending in the summer of 2011 as many cruise ships to Europe as ever before. Eleven ships will be in operation in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, the company said in Frankfurt, Germany.

That's three more ships than in the current summer season 2010. Also announced, the Brilliance of the Seas in the winter season 2011/12  will be reinstated in the Persian Gulf. The first tour to/from Dubai begins in November 2011 and that two months earlier than in the coming winter season.
 
For the first time this side of the Atlantic, Liberty of the Seas with space for up to 3634 guests, will be traveling in the summer of 2011 the 339 meters long, . It belongs to the second largest class of ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet and will travel from Barcelona to the western Mediterranean. Also for the first time in Europe is Grandeur of the Seas (279 meters, 2446 passengers), with a base port in the Palma de Mallorca. In Genoa, Mariner of the Seas begins the third Euro-novice their travels.

Photo of the Day: Mariner of the Seas leaving Cabo San Lucas

In:
20Aug2010

Photo by Hacienda Cocina

Royal Caribbean's presence in Italy is growing

In:
03Aug2010

Royal Caribbean Vice President Michael Bayley visited the new Royal Caribbean headquarters in Italy, the second largest in the world, that had opened in 2010 to announce that Royal Caribbean will handle 60% more passengers in 2011.  Next year will see 2.5 million passengers, airports will grow by 35% to a total of 671 calls at 17 ports.

With Royal Caribbean's addition of 3 Voyager class ships to Italy, about 3,300 passengers will now sail in and out of Italy. Navigator of the Seas docks at Civitavecchia, Voyager of the Seas for the first time in Venice and Mariner of the Seas for the first time will dock in Genoa.

Royal Caribbean is planning on its ships visiting a number of Italian ports, including Civitavecchia, Venice, Livorno, Naples, Messina, Ravenna, Bari, Cagliari, Palermo, La Spezia, Sorrento Salerno, Portofino, Genoa, Portoferraio, Santa Margherita and Trieste.

Photo of the Day: Mariner of the Seas in Cabo

In:
21Jul2010

Photo by Paco Flores

Rio de Janeiro to host 500,000 cruisers in 2010/2011 cruise season

In:
20Jul2010

The Brazilian Cruise Associaton has announced that the port of Rio de Janeiro is expected to welcome almost 500,000 cruisers for the 2010-2011 season, which begins in October. About 17 ships will make a stop in Rio and according to the Brazilian Cruise Association, 479 000 cruisers will disembark in Rio de Janeiro. This number represents a 7% increase compared to the quota registered last season.

Along with many other cruise lines, Royal Caribbean will have two of it's ships visiting Rio.  These ships include Mariner of the Seas and Vision of the Seas.

The Brazilian season of 2010/2011 Cruise will have 20 ships, two more than in 2009/2010, which will sail along the coast of Brazil until May 2011. In 2008/2009, Rio de Janeiro received 112 cruises, which took almost 270 000 cruisers, and in the 2009/2010 season were 448,000 tourists on 193 routes.

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.

Photo of the Day: Mariner of the Seas in Cabo San Lucas

In:
15Jul2010

Photo by Hacienda Cocina

Mariner of the Seas moving to Europe because of violence

In:
21Jun2010

It's no secret that Royal Caribbean has been moving its ships from North America to Europe in large part to seek out the higher demand and bigger profits to be found in Europe.  The Los Angeles Business Journal is reporting that the real reason Mariner of the Seas is sailing to Europe after a short stint in Los Angeles is not to find bigger profits but because of the recent surge of violence in Mexico.

The widely publicized war between the country’s federal government and its powerful drug cartels has led to nearly 30,000 deaths since 2007. And on the West Coast – where 90 percent of cruises depart for the Mexican Riviera and other points south – the number of passengers in the last two years has dwindled by 21 percent.

Royal Caribbean stands by its claim that the move to Europe is just for economic reasons and not because of the violence.

The Royal Caribbean cruise line, for its part, will say only that the decision is an economic one.
“We’re looking to maximize our profits,” said Harrison Liu, a spokesman for the cruise line, owned by Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “Both Europe and the Caribbean are hotter tickets than the Mexican Riviera, and there’s a stable market out of Galveston.”
Personally, I don't think the violence in Mexico helps the situation any, but given that so many other ships have left American ports for Europe, it isn't hard to believe that Mariner of the Seas is (pardon the pun) in the same boat.  Royal Caribbean isn't trying to hide the fact that they are chasing larger profits based on the numerous statements from Royal Caribbean in the form of statements to the press as well as blog posts.

Mariner, Radiance & Serenade of the Seas win Port of San Francisco Environmental Gold Award

In:
11Jun2010

The Royal Caribbean Twitter account announced that Mariner of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas had won the prestigious Port of San Francisco Environmental Gold Award.  The annual award recognizes vessels for demonstrating “the strong environmental commitment of Princess Cruises in the areas of air emission reduction, waste water treatment, and recycling and disposal programs for solid waste.” This distinction is awarded by San Francisco’s Cruise Terminal Environmental Advisory Committee.

The CTEAC operates the program to recognize cruise lines that are committed to environmentally responsible operations, include the deployment of ships using reduced emission system technology or cleaner-burning fuel.

Royal Caribbean ships have long been proponents of environmental awareness and their ships have a number of "green technology" elements on board such as advanced wastewater purification systems, window tinting and operational conservation measures.

Discussion: Mariner of the Seas leaving Los Angeles

In:
09Jun2010

Last month, Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein announced that Royal Caribbean was pulling Mariner of the Seas from it's Los Angeles port in favor of moving her to Europe to help with the ever rising demand.  This decision leaves Royal Caribbean without a ship cruising the Mexican Riviera at the moment and needless to say, it's left some folks upset.  Mariner of the Seas replaced Vision of the Seas, which also left it's Mexican Riviera route in favor of Europe.

The problems many have lay in a few categories.  First, there is no option for fans of Royal Caribbean out of Los Angeles.  Those in the western United States are without an option for a nearby ship that serves warm water ports.  Second, many Royal Caribbean fans in the United States are upset over the trend of much of the Royal Caribbean fleet heading to Europe to chase the all mighty Euro and the demand there for cruises. Third, many who have gone on Mariner of the Seas report that the ship is routinely full and that it's not like she was sailing half empty.  All of these concerns have left many with a combination of anger, disgust and frustration.

Royal Caribbean clarified its position on the move in a blog post by Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein when he acknowledged that while Mariner of the Seas was meeting its capacity while in Los Angeles, it was still being moved to Europe because "we are unable to generate acceptable levels of performance for Mariner of the Seas. We are obligated to our shareholders to deploy her where she can earn superior returns".  

For most in the United States, European cruises are interesting options, but ultimately too expensive for most given the high cost of airfare just to get onboard the ship as well as the time off needed for such vacations.  The problem of Mariner of the Seas leaving is compounded by the fact that there is no ship scheduled to replace her yet, and if you do live in a western state, it means you must travel east for warm water cruises, which adds extra cost for travel.  On the one hand, it's hard to blame Royal Caribbean for doing what they're doing.  After all, they are a corporation and their first goal is produce profit for their shareholders (as any publicly traded company does).  On the other hand, the cruise industry is built upon the notion of building customer loyalty and Royal Caribbean has demonstrated a strong will to retain its customers for future cruises.

So what do you think about the decision to move Mariner of the Seas to Europe?  Is Royal Caribbean justified in moving it, and many other ships to Europe to make larger profits?  Or should Royal Caribbean stem the flow of ships east and maintain the fleet it has serving the western hemisphere?

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