Royal Caribbean protests new tourism tax in Spain


Royal Caribbean is joining other cruise lines in protesting a new tourist tax that is about to go into effect in Spain.  The new tax would charge cruise operators the same rate of 2.5 Euros that is currently charged to tourists staying in 5 star hotels for every passenger.  

The cruise lines argue it isn't fair since all passengers on the ship will be subject to the same rate as those staying at a 5 star hotel, when clearly not all passengers are in the same type of accommodations.

Francisco Reddel, port manager Mediterranean and Middle East Operations of Royal Caribbean was at the Balearic Cruise Forum 2012 in Palma de Mallorca to join in the chorus of complaints about the new tax law.

Royal Caribbean will soon begin reconstruction of port of Yalta


Reconstruction of the port of Yalta, Ukraine will begin after it is approved by the Ukraine Law of Sea Ports.  Vice-Premier of Ukraine - Infrastructure Minister Borys Kolesnikov expects this to happen sometime next month as he was speaking at a press conference in Simferopol.

"This is a technical problem. In order to move quickly, you need to pass a law on seaports that will guarantee the rights of investors, " said Boris Kolesnikov. He added: " The law is already in Parliament, on the whole procedure will take about 25-30 days, then return the draft to Royal Caribbean.  

 Royal Caribbean has previously shown a great deal of interest in revitalizing the ports of Yalta and Sevastopol.  Royal Caribbean is looking to compete with other cruise lines for the Black Sea cruise market.  Improving the ports is expected to involve improving the infrastructure of the ports as well as building new restaurants, hotels and other facilities nearby.

Royal Caribbean will send two ships to Brazil for summer 2012-2013


Royal Caribbean is planning on sending Splendour of the Seas to Brazil for the Brazilian summer season, starting in December 2012.

Splendour of the Seas will arrive in December 2012 and remain in Brazil for the longest season ever, until April 2013.  

Vision of the Seas will also offer cruises from Brazil, with 10 and 11 night itineraries to the Caribbean between November 2012 and March 2013.



Royal Caribbean announces second Royal 5K race


Royal Caribbean is bringing back the Royal 5K race this year and will take place twice.  First,  the event will take place in Falmouth, Jamaica in April 2012 aboard the Allure of the Seas.  Next, in December 2012, Royal Caribbean will hold the Royal 5K in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, onboard Oasis of the Seas. 

These cruises that include the Royal 5K race will also offer passengers other activities including

  • Private meet-and-greet sessions with high-profile racing athletes
  • Seminars and lectures with high-profile athletes
  • Personal training tips from experts
  • Speed tests onboard the track on your ship
  • A chance to win prizes, including a grand prize trip to ESPN headquarters

The Royal 5K package price is $25.  

The first Royal 5K was held back in December 2010 in St. Maarten.

Police investigating suicide aboard Allure of the Seas


Bahamas police are investigating an apparent suicide of a British man on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas that occurred this past Friday.  This investigation is related to the incident first reported about a man who fell off the ship.

Police report that at 7:10am while aboard Allure of the Seas, the man committed suicide while the ship was off the coast of Cozumel, Mexico.

American Federal agents are assisting the police in the Bahamas, including Superintendent Paul Rolle, Head of the Central Detective Unit, along with officers from the Broward County Sheriff's Office and Customs and Border Protection.

"We do not have much information we can share with the public at this point. All we know is a British man is dead and it may or may not have been suicide. We are still conducting our on scene investigations and interviewing eyewitness. We are being assisted by other law enforcement agencies and expect to wrap up our investigations shortly. At that time, I will provide an update," he said.

Royal Caribbean issued a statement said the 30-year-old fell from the balcony of his stateroom on Deck 11.  The statement also said, "The ship made multiple public announcements and began a complete search of the ship, in efforts to locate the guest. When the guest did not respond to the pages and was not found onboard, the captain alerted the local authorities of the situation."

The victim suffered serious injuries and was declared dead at the scene.

Legend of the Seas will cruise from China to Japan on April 2


Royal Caribbean will offer an unique six-day cruise from Xiamen, China to Japan on April 2nd.  During this cruise, famous Taiwan singer-songwriter Fei Yu-ching will perform as a special guest on for a concert at sea, the first concert at sea to be held in Asia.

Legend of the Seas will visit two cities in Japan, including Kaoshima and Beppu.  Kaoshima is well known as the "Naples of the Eastern world" and Beppu is known for its geothermal hot spots.  Legend of the Seas will return to Shanghai, China on April 7th.

Norovirus outbreak aboard Voyager of the Seas delays departure


About 200 passengers aboard Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas contracted norovirus while the ship was still docked in New Orleans.  The outbreak delayed Voyager of the Seas' departure by two hours.


A report says 20 of the 200 passengers had to be quarantined due to their condition.

Crew aboard Voyager of the Seas spent an extra two hours cleaning the ship.

Royal Caribbean among first companies to join to promote Green Tourism


Royal Caribbean is among the first major companies to embrace the standards set forth by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

The council recently commended companies such as Royal Caribbean for being among "the first group of global travel and tourism corporations to publicly commit to promoting sustainable tourism products and services recognized by the GSTC."

The council's mission is to foster sustainable tourism and travel practices, and the organization considers its criteria as "the worldwide minimum requirements for tourism businesses of all size to approach sustainability."

Cleveland residents undeterred by Concordia disaster


While some in the media would lead you to believe potential cruisers are shying away from taking a cruise, a report out of Cleveland, Ohio shows that most people haven't changed their potential cruise plans.

Local travel agents report their businesses have suffered no ill effects in the three weeks since the Costa Concordia incident occurred. 

Aiding in the situation is how cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean have helped convey information about safety to their customers.  Jeannette Yanuzzi, an agent with Parma's Tempo Travel, said several cruise companies, including Royal Caribbean, have supplied her with information about onboard safety protocols, should clients express any reservations. But her clients haven't asked for it.

"I think the public is educated enough to realize it's a completely isolated incident," said Joanne Shikitino, manager of Cleveland's Cruises Etc.

Search underway in Mexico for man that fell overboard Royal Caribbean ship


A British man has fallen overboard from Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas and Mexican and American officials are conducting a search of the waters nearby to find him.

Royal Caribbean confirmed that a 30-year-old man was seen going over the railing from his stateroom aboard Allure of the Seas.  Video camera footage from aboard the ship confirmed the report as well.

The incident occured as Allure of the Seas was sailing to Cozumel, Mexico and the United States Coast Guard is assisting the Mexican Navy in the search efforts.