Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean releases Freedom of the Seas Summer 2013 Schedule


Royal Caribbean has unveiled Freedom of the Seas' Summer 2013 schedule that features 26 new sailings.  The schedule covers May through October 2013 and bookings are now open.

Freedom will continue alternating between seven-night western and eastern Caribbean cruises sailing out of Port Canaveral, Florida.

Eastern cruises will have ports of call in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., St. Maarten and CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas.

Western Caribbean sailings will stop at Falmouth, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private "island" on the north coast of Haiti.

Royal Caribbean wins rights to show Euro 2012 soccer games


Royal Caribbean has secured the rights to show the European Football Championships on board its ships this summer.

All 31 soccer matches between June 8 and July 1 will be shown live on Royal Caribbean ships that are sailing in Europe, including its sister Celebrity Cruise line.

Passengers will be able to watch the games in select bars around the ship or on the TVs in their staterooms.

Royal Caribbean vice president and EMEA managing director Dominic Paul commented, “Being able to show the games live is brilliant news for our guests, many of whom we know are passionate football fans. Often, holidaymakers are put off from going away when the big tournaments are on as they don’t want to miss the action – this way they can enjoy a fantastic cruise and, hopefully, cheer their team to victory.”

Ships that will show the games include Adventure of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Splendour of the Seas and Vision of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean orders azipod propulsions for Project Sunshine cruise ships


Royal Caribbean has ordered azipods from ABB to provide the propulsion to its very secret new class of cruise ships known as Project Sunshine.  The $60 million deal will provide complete power and propulsion to the two new cruise ships that are being built  by Meyer Werft for Royal Caribbean.

ABB announced that the order for the first shop was booked in 2011 and the second vessel's azipods were ordered in the first quarter of 2012.

The Project Sunshine cruise ships are a brand new class of cruise ships that Royal Caribbean is developing, that will be 158,000-gt and handle about 4,100 passengers.

ABB will supply a complete electrical systems for the new ships, the delivery for each ship includes power generation and distribution systems, thruster motors, and two 20.5MW propulsion systems including transformers, drives and two Azipod XO propulsion units. The Azipod propulsion is claimed to use less fuel than traditional systems, and to provide greater maneuverability in all operating conditions.

ABB says that its deliverables will maximize the ships fuel efficiency, speed and maneuverability while reducing emissions and providing reliable power to the ships.  All of this will help Royal Caribbean meet its energy efficiency and environmental impact targets.

Royal Caribbean ends its longest season in Persian Gulf


Royal Caribbean wrapped up its third and most successful cruise season in the Persian Gulf with nearly all sailings fully booked.

Royal Caribbean Regional Director International Representatives of Europe, Middle East and Africa, commented on the good season, "We are very happy to see the success of Brilliance of the Seas sailing in the region. The sailings attracted large numbers of group bookings from Northern Europe, Russia, South Africa and China. With nearly every sailing fully booked we are proud that we brought around 40,000 guests to the region supporting tourism in the ports of calls."

One change that has occurred during the season was improving the safety of Royal Caribbean's ships. Ali Al Daboos - Executive Director of Operations for Dubai Maritime City Authority spoke about what Royal Caribbean has done, "On Brilliance of the Seas, we observed best management practices. For example, guests are immediately informed to proceed to the emergency areas and not back to their cabins. Children who are part of the children care programme receive colored bands immediately so that staff know to which area to bring them to in case of an emergency, while staff wear bright reflective vests and hats so that they can easily be found if someone needs assistance etc. We were very impressed by the professionalism and how safety and security was handled by the captain and staff of Brilliance of the Seas."

Royal Caribbean incorporates intelligent systems on Oasis of the Seas


Royal Caribbean chose Agilysys, Inc to develop intelligent point of sales systems for its ships back in December 2010 and today we've seen the fruit of their labors.

Agilysys has developed systems based intelligent Microsoft Windows Embedded solutions, in order to streamline the flow of information collected on Oasis of the Seas and optimize the quality of passenger services (catering, maintenance, points sales / services). 

About 325 Point of Sales (POS) terminals by EverServ 6000 and 50 tablets were deployed on Oasis of the Seas, allowing personnel to collect, centralize and share all the information collected on passengers to be more attentive to their requests. The collection of such information flow is crucial to ensure such quality of food on board (temperature of the dishes in the many dining rooms), to optimize the travel time for passengers on board, put in place of personalized promotions and mobile payment methods, etc.

Royal Caribbean wins Cruise Line Brand of the Year award


The 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend (EQ) study named Royal Caribbean the Cruise Line Brand of the Year by Harris Interactive, which measures corporate reputation and brand health.

Contributing to Royal Caribbean moving to the top of the list this year were a number of cruise incidents.

Also earning above average scores in brand equity are Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line, which round out the top three in the category. Most notably, Celebrity Cruises posted a significantly better brand equity score this year, perhaps driven by an uptick in quality, but more so by a stronger intention to use the cruise line than compared to the previous year.

"Consumers are savvy, and before they buy, want to feel 'linked and connected' to the brands they're purchasing," according to Joan Sinopoli, Senior Vice President of the Brand and Communications Consulting group at Harris interactive. "And, although services may be similar, preferred brands more than often exceed a customer's expectations, making them more than likely to recommend to others."

Royal Caribbean believes impact of Costa Concordia is normalizing


Royal Caribbean's Director General of Italy, John Rotondo, spoke at a press conference in Genoa, Italy and commented that the impact on bookings from the recent Costa Concordia disaster seems to be lessening these days.

''The incident in Costa Concordia has had a major impact on the cruise market. But now the situation is normalizing. As of today, the levels of absolute satisfaction are booked.''

Rotondo commented further on how Royal Caribbean was helping convince the public to cruise again with lower prices, "To convince the customer, it required a lot of pressure on prices. The economic crisis, the large amount of supply capacity and the occurrence of Costa Concordia are the three elements that have emphasized the pressure on prices.'' 

Rotondo said in comparisson to 2011, Royal Caribbean has doubled the number of Italians onboard its ships.  Royal Caribbean's ships operating in Italy are Voyager class, with Italian passengers representing 35% of the 3,600 passengers each ship can hold.  The other two thirds are American, Canadian, British, Germans and citizens of Northern Europe.

Video: An inside look at Royal Caribbean cruise ship operations


Royal Caribbean unveils Explorer of the Seas 2013 schedule


Royal Caribbean has announced the summer and fall 2013 itineraries for Explorer of the Seas.  During both seasons, Explorer of the Seas will undertake 30 cruises to 17 different ports of call based on 7 itineraries.

From April to October 2013, Explorer of the Seas will sail out of New York City to Bermuda, the Caribbean, Canada and New England.

Explorer will remained in her home port of Cape Liberty, New Jersey. 

From April through August 2012, Explorer of the Seas will alternate five-night Bermuda and nine-night Bermuda & Caribbean itineraries. The five-night itinerary will feature an overnight at Kings Wharf, Bermuda, while the nine-night sailing calls at Kings Wharf; St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private destination on the north coast of Haiti. From September through October, vacationers can choose a seven-night Bermuda itinerary, which features three days and two nights at Kings Wharf.

Explorer of the Seas will also offer vacationers a Canada and New England sailing to catch the arrival of autumn and the changing of the leaves. Departing Aug. 31, guests will call at Boston, Mass.; Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine; Saint John, New Brunswick; and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Royal Caribbean plans to expand service to Taiwan


Royal Caribbean indicated on Tuesday that it plans to expand its service in the Asia-Pacific region by introducing a 140,000 ton ship to its Asian routes in August.

The new ship will offer cruies between Keelung and Shanghai as well as other destinations in Japan and South Korea.

At Royal Caribbean's Taipei office, the cruise line said its desire to sail out of Keelung is a sign of the company's desire to establish itself in the Asian cruise market.  In addition, Royal Caribbean is also considering making Keelung its home port in the Asia region.