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Press Release

Royal Caribbean becomes first cruise line to be named Gay Travel Approved

20Oct2016 announced that Royal Caribbean International is the first and only cruise line to receive the distinction of being Gay Travel Approved.  According to the group, Royal Caribbean "has shown an ongoing commitment to the LGBTQ community by demonstrating a spirit of diversity and inclusion on all of its 25 ships that visit exciting destinations around the world."

The Gay Travel Approved Seal of Approval is awarded by to select travel partners that offer a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ travelers. This accolade is reserved for travel partners whom a panel of experts, editors and tastemakers have deemed deserving of a higher level of recognition by the LGBTQ community.

"Royal Caribbean has always been known and recognized for extraordinary service that is warm and attentive and remains committed to creating a diverse, welcoming environment on each and every one of our ships," said Grant Van Ulbrich, Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Royal Caribbean. "To take our efforts to the next level, we recently introduced a new Diversity and Inclusion department and one of its first priorities is to focus on continued training and education for our international crew members."

"This designation has been a long time in the making," said Steve Rohrlick, CEO of "Our GayTravel Cruise Guru Stephen Prisco has sailed on more than one hundred Royal Caribbean cruises.  The recent appointment of Grant Van Ulbrich as the first openly-gay Diversity Executive on a major cruise line and the steps he is implementing are indicative of Royal Caribbean International's commitment to the LGBTQ community. It is therefore our distinct pleasure to bestow GayTravel Approved 2016 to Royal Caribbean International."

Asia Cosplay Festival returns to Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas in February


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 to book and get access to all COSFEST SEA private events.

Royal Caribbean reports 25% growth in second quarter financial results


Royal Caribbean reported its second quarter 2016 earnings today, with US GAAP Net Income of $229.9 million or $1.06 per share, compared to $185.0 million or $0.84per share in 2015.  

Adjusted Net Income for the second quarter of 2016 was $235.2 million, or $1.09 per share, up over 25% versus the same quarter last year.  The outperformance for the quarter was primarily driven by better than anticipated fuel expense. 

"Our business remains strong and we continue to improve our return profile," said Richard Fain, chief executive officer. "This keeps us solidly on our path towards the Double-Double."

The company's booked position for the remainder of 2016 remains strong, similar to last year's record levels.

"While there are always puts and takes in our key markets, our portfolio is performing as expected, our booked position remains strong, and our newbuilds are entering their markets to great fanfare," said Jason T. Liberty, chief financial officer. "These factors are driving another year of record earnings."

You can see the full second quarter financial results here.

Royal Caribbean overhauls meeting and event options at sea with new website


Royal Caribbean announced today it has overhauled its options for groups that need corporate meetings, incentives and events at sea that will make the experience of meeting and event professionals seamless from start to finish.

Royal Caribbean has offered companies and groups the option to hold meetings, conventions and events onboard its cruise ships for years and took this opportunity to revamp its offerings that take advantage of the cruise line's best new features.

Royal Caribbean completed last week a redesign of its site that includes a fresh dynamic look, enhanced search functionality, streamlined site navigation, rich content and exclusive planning tools.

Featuring an inspiring look and feel, paired with a simplified user experience, the event and meeting planner hub now delivers a fully integrated process, including:

  • Dynamic design: Leading with rich imagery, video and a bold, easy-to-navigate layout, the entirely new site allows planners to quickly pinpoint where they want to start, whether searching by destinations, ships and event venues or just browsing.
  • Search widget: The new feature provides the ability to identify the ultimate event destination options based on a planner’s group size, for a customized experience.
  • Responsive functionality: Planners can explore and use the website from a variety of mobile and tablet devices as well as desktop computers and laptops.
  • Customization: Personalized and simplified searches and newly added content, including the Royal Caribbean “Event Customization Guide,” allow event planners to easily pull up the rich lineup of customizable options at their fingertips.
  • Request a Proposal Form: Travel professionals have the ability to request a proposal from the cruise line based on their specific group criteria.

"Planning an unforgettable event at sea with us – no matter how intimate or grand – just became as intuitive and seamless as the world-class service we deliver to guests onboard our 25 ships 365 days of the year," said Lori Cassidy, AVP, Global Corporate, Incentive and Charter Sales, Royal Caribbean International. "With our reimagined website, we are thrilled to launch our latest investment in building new and stronger relationships with meeting and event professionals. As partners and brand experts, our job is to make the entire process as easy and valuable as possible, and this is further testament to that dedication."

For more information or to receive a quote to host a meeting, charter a ship and more, planners in North America can contact (800) 529 6916 and visit the new

Texas to add new cruise tax on cruises out of Galveston in 2014


The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) will begin collecting personal importation taxes on alcohol and cigarettes from passengers returning from cruises in Galveston in 2014.  Royal Caribbean operates Navigator of the Seas currently out of Galveston.

Beginning on January 4, 2014, cruise travelers disembarking out of Galveston will need to pay the tax for alcoholic beverages and cigarettes imported into the state that were purchased either on the ship's duty free store or at a foreign port of call. 

During the recent legislative session, the agency was appropriated funding to begin tax collection of imported alcoholic beverages and cigarettes from seaport facilities. The Galveston Port facility will be the first seaport location where this tax will be collected with plans to extend to the Houston-Bayport facility in the fall of 2014.

Tax collection points staffed with TABC personnel will be situated at both terminals 1 and 2 at the Galveston facility located where patrons come through the U.S. Customs secondary checkpoint. Passengers will be able to pay the taxes with either cash or credit cards.

TABC personnel have worked with Port of Galveston officials to ensure that the tax collection is done efficiently and with limited disruption of port operations and delays to the passengers.

Royal Caribbean to build new rehearsal facility for shipboard performers at FIU


Royal Caribbean signed an agreement today with Florida International University to build a new rehearsal facility for shipboard performers.  Once complete, it will offer FIU students unprecedented access to training, internships and exclusive research opportunities in hospitality and the cruise industry.

Royal Caribbean will break ground this week on the 130,000-square-foot, $20 million facility on the FIU Biscayne Bay Campus and is expected to open its doors in January 2015. The facility will be outfitted with full automation capability, where performers can train in either of two leading rigging systems.

Royal Caribbean Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard D. Fain said his team is pleased to have been able to find the ideal conditions right in South Florida to build a new state-of-the-art facility that will make it possible to produce the increasingly sophisticated shows Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises passengers have come to expect. The partnership provides Royal Caribbean with the opportunity to help train FIU students in other areas of the business through internships in operations and management.

“We are excited to partner with FIU on our new entertainment facility, not only because it will enable Royal Caribbean to continue to produce world-class entertainment for our ships, but because it will provide an opportunity for FIU students to receive a unique and hands-on education in the hospitality industry,” said Fain. ”Royal Caribbean considers South Florida home, and what better way to give back to the community than to be able to enrich the education of FIU students.”

The new training facility will feature a number of capabilities that will make it unique in the cruise industry:

  • The building will contain two three-story high studios outfitted with state-of-the-art rigging systems. One will feature aChicago Flyhouse system, while the other will have a Flying by Foy system.
  • 10 other rehearsal studios
  • A 300-seat black box theater
  • 20,000 square feet dedicated to costume creation and storage

The partnership will open extraordinary opportunities for students and faculty in the College of Architecture and the Artsand the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management:

  • 20 internships (corporate and shipboard)
  • Access to the unique training facility
  • Access to data and other proprietary information to be used for research purposes
  • Royal Caribbean performers will live in existing student housing, making it possible for FIU to build new housing for students. New student housing will also open in 2015.

Royal Caribbean Goes Underground to Bring the Royal Experience to New York Commuters


Royal Caribbean International’s new brand campaign is targeting New York-area commuters, both above and below ground, by taking over the 42nd Street S line in Manhattan this February. As commuters are transported between Times Square and Grand Central Station, the award-winning cruise line is giving them a taste of the Royal experience with fully-branded shuttle cars supporting the cruise line’s new messaging. First rolled out in December 2011, the campaign is focused on reawakening consumers to the sights and sounds of the sea by communicating the decree, “The Sea is Calling. Answer it Royally.”

The subway cars, which are wrapped both inside and out, reflect actual Royal Caribbean cruise ships. The cars’ interiors are each separately wrapped as an onboard theater featuring marquees of some of the Broadway shows guests can see onboard select Royal Caribbean ships such as Hairspray, Chicago and Saturday Night Fever; an onboard spa with bamboo showers and masseuse; as well as an open deck area complete with a Flowrider surf simulator and surfer. Each car conveys the options for entertainment, relaxation and adventure that can be enjoyed on a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation. Commuters, who will be treated to special surprises during the month, are encouraged to take photographs and videos to share with friends through their social media channels, tagging Royal Caribbean by using the specified hashtag #RoyalShuttle. Royal Caribbean also challenges fans to find “hidden treasures” in the shuttle artwork, including characters such as Shrek and Po from the cruise line’s exclusive partnership with film studio powerhouse DreamWorks Animation.

For New York-area residents inspired to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life, Royal Caribbean offers convenient cruising options to Bermuda and the Caribbean out of Bayonne, N.J., and Baltimore, Md., onboard Explorer of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas. Royal Caribbean’s innovative onboard amenities, upscale accommodations, dining and entertainment are all delivered with the cruise line’s signature Gold Anchor Service, all within a few-hours drive from home.

Royal Caribbean teams up with Baccardi to create unique MBA internship program


The University of Miami School of Business Administration, Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced a program that provides a unique opportunity for MBA students to experience business from two different company and industry perspectives during a single summer internship. Five students have been selected to participate in the first year of the Emerging Leaders Internship Program this summer.

The students, two in marketing, one in sales, one in finance and one in strategy, will spend the first two months of their internships at the headquarters of Bacardi U.S.A., Inc., the import and distribution area of one of the world's leading spirits and wine producers. After completing their work on the producer/supplier side at Bacardi U.S.A., Inc., the students will spend the next two months working at the headquarters of Royal Caribbean, the world's second largest global cruise brand and one of the largest travel retail customers of Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.

"Unlike traditional MBA internships, most of which take place at just one company, the Emerging Leaders Program enables our students to get a true sense of the buyer-supplier relationship as they experience both sides first-hand," said Frances Aldrich Sevilla-Sacasa, interim dean of the University of Miami School of Business Administration. "We are very fortunate to have the support of Bacardi U.S.A. and Royal Caribbean, both global leaders in their own industries, as we launch this groundbreaking internship program."

The Emerging Leaders Program is the result of collaboration between members of the School's Board of Overseers. The chief financial officers of both Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. and Royal Caribbean, Michael Misiorski and Brian Rice, are members of the board and the program was developed as part of the board's work to develop new career opportunities for the School's students.

"This innovative partnership is a big win for all three of our organizations," said Michael Misiorski, senior vice president and chief financial officer, Americas, Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. "The students will benefit by having the opportunity to not only gain practical experience through mentoring and coaching and enhance their leadership skills, but to also see how our companies operate internally from the supplier side to the consumer side. Likewise, our companies can tap into the University of Miami's remarkable MBA talent."

"While our existing internship program has proven itself extremely fruitful, Royal Caribbean is excited to work with another successful, local company to take the program to the next level," said Brian Rice, chief financial officer, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "Together with Bacardi, we will introduce a group of top-quality MBA students to our industries, company cultures and dynamic business models, and provide them with a thorough understanding of our organization in the hopes that they will choose to continue applying their skills in South Florida."

The Emerging Leaders Program interns are competitively selected. The 2011 interns include: Erica Lynn Durst, Irena Katzarkov, Brett Harbin, Marian Johnson, and G. Wesley McGeorge.

Royal Caribbean Receives Top Recognition From Seatrade for Leadership Program


Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. received recognition for its shipboard "Building On Talent" leadership development program during this year's Seatrade Awards Ceremonial Dinner. The ceremony, which took place at the Guildhall in London on April 14, 2011, included over 350 of the maritime industry's key players, and celebrated the outstanding contributions made over the last year for safe, efficient and environmentally friendly shipping. During the awards gala, the Royal Caribbean was presented the "Investment in People" award.

"This special recognition is truly a testament to Royal Caribbean's continued dedication to nurturing our company's talent and creating our leaders of tomorrow," said Maria Del Busto, vice president, global chief and human resources officer, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "By strategically managing our talent, and thoughtfully planning the successors of our key leadership roles, Royal Caribbean will be better positioned for the future."

Created in partnership between Royal Caribbean executives and Human Resources, "Building on Talent" is a multi-dimensional leadership development initiative. "Building on Talent" identifies high-potential leaders and develops bench strength so leaders can potentially assume multiple roles throughout the organization. The program's reach is global, both shipboard and shoreside, and cascades from senior executive to professional levels.

"The fleet 'Building on Talent' program has allowed us to identify high potential Marine and Hotel officers, and help them develop their leadership skills and position them for more senior positions," said Svein Taklo, vice president, Marine Operations, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We are honored that Seatrade has recognized our investment in our employees, as well as our commitment to developing our officers' skills and talents."

The Seatrade Awards were presented by Guest of Honor HRH The Princess Royal. The awards program rewards new ideas and concepts that have proved themselves in early operational use and awarding those at the forefront of new thinking. The independent judging panel chaired by Efthimios Mitropoulos, Secretary-General of the IMO, selected the winners of the 2011 awards.  

Royal Caribbean to Assist South Florida Community at 14th Annual G.I.V.E. Day


More than 1,000 volunteers associated with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. will spend this Saturday painting and landscaping their South Florida community as part of the company's 14th annual G.I.V.E. Day.

G.I.V.E., which stands for "Get Involved Volunteer Everywhere," is a community service event that brings together Royal Caribbean employees, their families, friends, vendors and business partners to assist non-profit organizations and improve the quality of life in their local communities. The volunteers will be painting and landscaping three South Florida locations - Covenant House in Fort Lauderdale, Children's Harbor in Pembroke Pines and the Holocaust Memorial on Miami Beach.

"As one of the largest employers in South Florida, we are committed to supporting and helping our local communities. It is part of our Corporate Social Responsibility," said Michele Nadeem, vice president of Global Corporate Communications, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We believe that the personal satisfaction and fun of assisting our neighbors on G.I.V.E. Day will help inspire our employees to pursue volunteer and public service opportunities throughout the year."

Covenant House Florida serves runaway, homeless and at-risk youth under 21, including teen parents and their children in South Florida. Without a fresh coat of paint in over 15 years, this facility is a perfect location for G.I.V.E. Day volunteers. Since there is also a dire need for shade on the property, volunteers will be landscaping the site as well.

Children's Harbor in Pembroke Pines provides residential services for foster children in a family-style setting, and community based services for the prevention and intervention of abuse and neglect. The five homes on site are in need of painting, and volunteers will also assist in cleaning up and landscaping the children's playground area.

The Holocaust Memorial on Miami Beach was dedicated and opened to the public in 1990. The Memorial is composed of a large plaza of Jerusalem stone and a large lily pond set against a backdrop of green forest. Volunteers will landscape the area around the educational center, as well as paint the memorial's lamp posts.

Now in its 14th year, G.I.V.E. Day is an example of how the more than 40,000 Royal Caribbean employees give back to their communities around the world, by donating thousands of volunteer hours to assist their communities with neighborhood development, civic drives, environmental improvement and disaster recovery. Similar G.I.V.E. Day events are also being planned for and will take place in Wichita, Kansas; Anchorage, Alaska; Seattle, Washington; and Springfield, Oregon.