Royal Caribbean consortium wins contract for new Hong Kong cruise terminal



A business consortium, with Royal Caribbean a minority partner, has won the rights for a new cruise terminal in Hong Kong to build a $1.046 billion facility at Kai Tak.

The 10-year contract was determined by a bidding process and will have the new terminal built by mid-2013 at the site of the former Kai Tak airport.  The terminal will be built to accommodate the super cruise liners of today, with an apron area of 850 x 35 meters, water depth of 12-13 meters, and no air draft restriction.  Such a size can easily allow for a ship like Oasis of the Seas to dock there.

The Cruise Terminal at Kai Tak has been designed by Foster + Partners. The new terminal has immigration and customs facilities with design capacity to expeditiously process 3000 passengers per hour.

Royal Caribbean kicks off new marketing campaign in France


Royal Caribbean is kicking off it's new advertising campaign in France, "Royal Caribbean International, la mer autrement", which translates to "Royal Caribbean, otherwise the sea".

This campaign is the first one for Royal Caribbean in France, and is meant to coincide with the arrival of Royal Caribbean ships to the French market this summer.

Royal Caribbean will play 20 and 30 second commercials on French television starting March 3.  Royal Caribbean will also advertise in print media, with all advertising mediums highlighting the activities and entertainment found onboard Royal Caribbean's ships.

This campaign follows the opening of an office in Paris by Royal Caribbean in July 2011. For its first summer season in France, the cruise line has scheduled the arrival of three ships from the ports of Marseille, Toulon and Le Havre in June and July 20.

Royal Caribbean changing up corporate executives


According to a report by Seatrade Insider, Royal Caribbean has realigned the responsibilities of several executives including Michael Bayley, Lisa Bauer and Ken Muskat.

Michael Bayley, who has served as executive vice president on the international side, will become executive vice president of operations for the Royal Caribbean brand. He will have responsibility for both hotel and marine operations. 

Lisa Bauer, who was the senior vice president of hotel operations since 2007, will be the new senior vice president of global sales and marketing, focused on the line's international growth efforts.

Ken Muskat, who was vice president of consumer outreach, will be the new vice president of onboard revenue.

Rhapsody of the Seas begins refurbishment today


Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas entered Singapore's Sembawang Shipyard today to begin a month-long refurbishment as part of the company's Royal Advantage program.

Rhapsody of the Seas is the third Royal Caribbean ship to receive these upgrades, that provides the older ships in the fleet upgrades and amenities found on the newer ships.  The end result is a revamped Royal Caribbean fleet that is better able to compete in the competitive cruise market.

Rhapsody of the Seas complete list of upgrades include

  • Five new specialty dining venues
    • Chops Grille
    • Giovanni’s Table
    • Park Café
    • Izumi
    • Chef’s Table
  • Royal Babies and Tots Nursery
  • Diamond Lounge for Crown and Anchor Society members
  • Concierge lounge for suite guests
  • New furniture
  • New carpets
  • New upholstery
  • Renovated staterooms.

Royal Caribbean's Commercial Manager Adam Armstrong commented on the refurbishment, "“Rhapsody of the Seas has been a tremendous success in Australia and New Zealand where she has carried over 175,000 guests and developed a very loyal following. Now we’re adding a host of extra innovations and popular features to really raise the bar for local fans. Originally scheduled for only a two-week ‘drydock’ for regular maintenance, we have since extended the project to four weeks in order to allow more extensive enhancements across the entire ship, including dining, cabins, entertainment and technology.”

Following the upgrades, Rhapsody of the Seas will head to Australia to join Radiance of the Seas, which received her own revitalization in May 2011.

Royal Caribbean bookings improve after Costa Concordia impact


Royal Caribbean is reporting that bookings for its cruises have made improvements in recent weeks, after taking a bit of a stumble due to the Costa Concordia disaster.

While Royal Caribbean admitted in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the pace of bookings is lower than this time last year, they are seeing improvement in revenue build .

Royal Caribbean noted that booked load factors (which is a measure of occupancy) is at about the same level as they were at this time last year but at higher prices.  Royal Caribbean also believes the Concordia incident will not impact long term bookings.

Royal Caribbean orders another Sunshine class cruise ship


Royal Caribbean has opted to exercise an option to build a second Sunshine-class cruise ship, that will be delivered in Spring 2015.

Royal Caribbean's decision to build the second of the yet-to-be-seen class of ships signals the company feels good about the project.  The ship will be built by German shipbuilder Meyer Werft on substantially the same terms as its first Sunshine ship.

Royal Caribbean Chairman Richard Fain commented on the decision, "This confirms our continued confidence in the success of this new generation of ships and our strong conviction about the Royal Caribbean International brand."

Like the first ship Royal Caribbean ordered (and is still under construction), the second ship will be 158,000 gross registered tonnes and accommodate 4,100 guests.

Royal Caribbean getting ready for summer cruise season in Italy


Royal Caribbean is getting ready to kick off the summer season in Italy. Among these there are two Voyager Class ships including Navigator of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas. 

Navigator of the Seas will offer cruises of 7 nights between May and October from Civitavecchia and the new home port of Messina. Mariner of the Seas will offer cruises from June to September, with a new route of 7 nights in the Western Mediterranean from Genoa and Civitavecchia, from May to October, 12-night cruises to the Holy Land from Civitavecchia.

Another novelty of the season will be cruises of 6, 7 and 8 nights from Venice and the new home of the re-port of Bari with Spendour of the Seas, which completed a dry-dock refit in November 2011, and is ready to return to Italy with some of the most exclusive of the upgrades including more technology, more rooms with balcony, new restaurants and entertainment options. 

Royal Caribbean to hold auditions for singers, dancers and gymnasts in Atlanta


Royal Caribbean is going to hold an open audition for singers, dancers and gymnasts on March 4th in Atlanta, Georgia.  Royal Caribbean Productions is looking to fill some roles in its various shows aboard its ships including its Broadway, ice and aqua shows.  

The audition event will be at the Atlanta Ballet and they are looking for talented performers between the ages of 18 and 40.

Anyone interested in attending should bring with them a current photo and resume.  In addition, singers should come prepared with sheet music in the proper key and 16-32 bars of a ballad and an up-tempo song. Must be able to sing various styles of music.  Dancers must be technically trained with a strong background in Jazz. Flying and tumbling skills are a plus.

Royal Caribbean recognized by Port of Seattle for environmental achievement


Royal Caribbean was among the winners of this year's Green Gateway Partners Award by the Port of Seattle for its "comprehensive environmental achievements".

The Green Gateway Partners Awards set as a minimum requirement participation in the Port’s At-Berth Clean Fuels programme or use of shore power.

These and other environmental activities are assigned point values. Depending on the number of points earned, Green Gateway Partners can achieve one of three recognition levels – gold, silver or bronze. The awards and scoring system were done by a third party.

“These maritime operators demonstrate by their actions every day that you can be good environmental stewards while contributing to our economy,” said Tay Yoshitani, CEO of the Port of Seattle. “We look forward to honouring more of our customers in the future.”

Deena from Jersey Shore hosting Royal Caribbean Cruise


Fans of the "Jersey Shore" television show can book a cruise that features Deena Nicole Cortese in September.

The cruise aboard Explorer of the Seas departs Cape Liberty, New Jersey on September 16 and sail to Bermuda before returning on September 23.  

The cruise will feature

  • Deena will host happy hours
  • private events
  • a club night in Bermuda

In addition to Deena, DJ Nicky Sibilia will also be onboard the cruise.

Prices start at $1,200 and go up to $2,975 depending on how swanky one wants to get. Additional opportunities -- outdoor games with Deena, dinner with Deena, dance lessons with Deena, etc. -- can also be had for an extra fee.