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Royal Caribbean among first companies to join to promote Green Tourism

04 Feb 2012

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."

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

03 Feb 2012

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.

Royal Caribbean adds ports of Bari and Messina to summer 2012

03 Feb 2012

In Italy in 2012, Royal Caribbean will have five ports of embarkation in Italy, of which two are new this year: Bari & Messina.  These new ports of embarkation are in addition to Civitavecchia, Venice and Genoa.  In addition, there will be 10 ships in Italy this year, up from 8 in 2011, including Navigator of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean Italy kicks off the summer season by announcing the addition of Mario Pasquero as new commercial manager, responsible for marketing departments and web operations.

Also, new cruises from Venice and the new home for Splendour of the Seas, Bari.  Royal Caribbean is also offering new "flight + cruise" packages where you can fly at reduced rates to the ports in Northern Europe where cruises aboard Brilliance of the Seas area available.

Royal Caribbean chooses new simulator training provider

02 Feb 2012

Royal Caribbean has chosen Resolve Maritime Academy to be its exclusive simulator-based training provider.  The arrangement will allow Royal Caribbean's personnel to receive training exclusively at the new Simulation Training Center adjacent to Port Everglades starting in the second quarter of 2012.

This training will provide Royal Caribbean with simulation-based courses such as maritime human factors training, bridge resource management (BRM) and maritime leadership & communication.

In addition, the training center in Florida will feature a Det Norsk Veritas (DNV) Class A full mission bridge simulator, electronic chart display & information system (ECDIS) classroom and navigation lab with a suite of "mini" bridges. Courses offered will include: ship handling; bridge resource management (BRM); operational use of ECDIS; and Radar/Automatic Radar Planning Aids (ARPA). Customized programs also will be offered, including: integrated bridge systems (Sperry VisionMaster and NACOS Platinum); dynamic positioning systems; and communication & leadership development for all ranks and employees. Future plans include an engine room simulator which will be utilized for operational and engine resource management (ERM) training.

Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President Marine Operations, Captain William S. Wright, commented on the the impact of this new partnership, "The brands of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. are regarded as leaders in innovative ship building, design and safety and strive to continually enhance the fleet's navigation and safety systems by consistently introducing the latest in state-of-the-art technology."

Royal Caribbean transforms New York City Subway Car into Cruise Ship

02 Feb 2012

Royal Caribbean's marketing department is at it again and this time they have transformed one of New York City's subway cars on the Times Square Shuttle (S train) into a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. 

We're not sure how long this will be available but it's "in the wild" for now.

Update: Reader Ldunn has informed us that the subway car wrap will be up through the month of February.

Royal Caribbean talks of impact of the Costa Concordia disaster

02 Feb 2012

During Royal Caribbean's fourth quarter 2011 results, the company commented on the impact the Costa Concordia tragedy has had on its business.  The following is from Royal Caribbean's press release.

It is very difficult to assess the impact of the incident on our revenues. It has been the subject of extensive media coverage and world-wide attention. In addition, we curtailed our marketing activities as did most cruise lines and travel agencies. We believe that most observers and potential guests understand that cruising is safe and that this incident was a very rare anomaly in an otherwise reliably safe vacation. But in the near term it has a significant impact on our bookings.

We are pleased to note that there has been no material change in cancellation activity which has remained within normal levels. However, new booking activity has been hurt. Overall booking volumes from North America have fallen by low to mid-teen percentages versus same time last year for the last few weeks. In Europe, where media coverage has been more extensive, the decline has been higher, though results vary significantly by country. In aggregate the company's other markets, including Asia/Pacific and Latin America are down slightly. For the year as a whole, notwithstanding the recent slowdown, booked load factors and pricing are still higher than they were at the same time last year. This reflects the very robust starting position the company was in before the incident.

The impact on bookings has been greatest in the first three quarters and wanes as the year progresses. On the other hand, the first quarter also has more of its capacity booked making it less affected by changes in booking patterns. Spring and summer sailings are showing the largest declines in new bookings, while longer term bookings remain healthy. In addition, the company noted that the impact is much greater for first time cruisers compared to experienced cruisers. This reflects the greater knowledge experienced cruisers have about cruise vacations and ships.

Including the contribution from distribution changes and deployment initiatives noted above, the company currently anticipates yield improvement for the full year 2012 to be in a range between 1% and 5% on a Constant-Currency basis and between flat and 4% on an As-Reported basis versus the prior year.

Already, bookings have started to recover, particularly in North America and the company does not expect that this event will have a significant long term impact on its business.

Royal Caribbean reports "strong" Fourth Quarter 2011 results

02 Feb 2012

Royal Caribbean reported today its fourth quarter and full year 2011 results along with an initial outlook for 2012.

Before the results were even mentioned, Royal Caribbean Chairman Richard Fain commented on the Costa Concordia tragedy, which has gripped the cruise industry in recent weeks, "All of us in the industry, who are so devoted to providing safe and exceptional vacations to millions of people around the world, are devastated and humbled when something like this happens."

Royal Caribbean's fourth quarter of 2011 ended on a strong note with solid bookings and cost control helping to compensate for the rise in fuel costs and foreign exchange impacts.

Royal Caribbean reported net income for 2011 of $607.4 million, versus $515.7 million in 2010.  For the fourth quarter, net income was at $36.6 million, which is up from $31.9 million in 2010.

Issues such as a rise in oil prices and a strengthening U.S. dollar offset profit, but Royal Caribbean was still able to end on a strong note.  Royal Caribbean's Chief Financial Officer Brian Rice commented on how the company was able to beat these issues, "For the year as a whole, adjusted for fuel price increases and geopolitical events, our earnings would have meaningfully exceeded the midpoint of our January 2011 guidance."

Looking forward to 2012, booking patterns at the end of 2011 were strong despite even the Costa Concordia disaster.  During the two weeks prior to the tragedy, Royal Caribbean reported bookings averaged 5% more than the same period last year and at higher prices.

The Concordia disaster is still impacting the cruise industry as a whole and Royal Caribbean says it's "very difficult to asses the impact of the incident on our revenues".

Royal Caribbean resumes marketing campaign in UK

31 Jan 2012

Royal Caribbean has restarted its "wave" marketing campaign for the busy peak season after the company decided to suspend marketing efforts in the wake of the Costa Concordia disaster.

Royal Caribbean decided to stop marketing out of respect to the victims of the Concordia, which sank off the coast of Italy on January 13.

Royal Caribbean feels now is the time to resume marketing campaigns once more and is offering thousands of free flights for summer cruises. The new campaign will focus on ads on television, radio and print.

Royal Caribbean's General Manager in the United Kingdom, Jo Rzymowska, spoke about the decision, "It’s up to us to work with our trade partners and get the message to the consumers that this was an awful, very rare but terrible accident and we as an industry are doing everything we can to make sure it never happens again."

“We needed to be sensitive about what happened and the immediate decision to stop all activity was not a difficult one. It was crystal clear to us in the light of the tragedy that was the right thing to do."

“From then on we have monitored things day by day by getting sentiment from the market, and a lot of that we did by talking to our trade partners. We feel that February 1 is the right time to go out with our own activity.”

The resumed campaign will last throughout February and offer 10,000 free flights for summer 2012 sailing across Royal Caribbean’s European program of cruise itineraries.

Royal Caribbean expects to double its business in Middle East

29 Jan 2012

Helen Beck, Royal Caribbean's regional director for the Middle East, expects to more than double its business in the Middle East over the next three to five years.

"Over the next three to five years, we plan to more than double our business in the Middle East, and possibly even triple it."

Beck said that Royal Caribbean recorded a compounded annual growth rate of about 40% in guest volumes and revenue in the Middle East over the previous five years. Beck expects that momentum to continue despite some recent challenges to cruising, such as the political instability that has struck a number of countries.

Despite the "Arab spring" that disrupted the regimes of many Middle Eastern countries, Beck claims that business was relatively unaffected, "Royal Caribbean suffered no negative impact during the Arab Spring. On the contrary, we recorded a 30 per cent growth in the Middle East in 2011 over the previous year."

For Royal Caribbean, the United Arab Emirates represents for 25-30 percent of its business in the region.  In total, about 15,000 passengers constitute the Middle East cruise region for Royal Caribbean.

Asked how the company is expected to fare in 2012, Beck said the year will be a tough one as Eurozone troubles are likely to have an impact on the cruise market. "However, we are not solely dependent on the European markets," she said. Beck said that while the North American market accounted for 80-85 per cent of Royal Caribbean's business until five years ago, in 2012 the cruise line expects its revenue to be equally divided between North America and the rest of the world.

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