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Is Royal Caribbean's chat feature coming to more ships?

In:
Category: 
14Oct2020

A guest to guest chat feature has been the most highly anticipated feature in Royal Caribbean's app, and some cruisers think perhaps we are on the precipice of chat rolling out.

A number of RoyalCaribbeanBlog readers have shared screenshots from their Royal Caribbean app for upcoming cruises that have the chat feature enabled.

Royal Caribbean's chat option was in development before the cruise industry shutdown in early March, and was only available on Harmony of the Seas and Allure of the Seas in beta testing.

The chat icon has recently appeared on guests with cruises booked on Freedom of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas.

Thanks to Christian Monn, Brian McNichols and Luke Wallace for screenshots

Prior to the shutdown, Royal Caribbean confirmed it was targeting the third or fourth quarter of 2020 to roll out chat to all of its cruise ships.

There is no cost to use Royal Caribbean's app while onboard and you do not need an internet package to use the app either.

Will chat roll out to all ships?

While Royal Caribbean has acknowledged the chat feature is "the number one feature" guests are asking for, it is unclear if it really is ready on more ships or simply the app accidently showing the feature as active.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Royal Caribbean Group said the prolonged cruise shutdown has forced them to cut spending in a number of areas, including tech.

"In addition, we have reduced our planned capital spending through 2021, which may negatively impact our execution of planned growth strategies, particularly as it relates to investments in our ships, technology, and our expansion of land-based developments."

How does chat work?

The texting feature in Royal Caribbean's app works very similar to other texting apps you may have used in other apps.

Royal Caribbean's chat offers one-to-one guest chat, along with group chats.

Once onboard the ship and logged onto Royal Caribbean's Wi-Fi  network (no internet package required to use the app), other guests will show up as offline or online but are only online if they have the app opened and to the “chat” window.

If your travel agent linked your reservation before sailing with a friend or family the will automatically show up in your list of contacts. You also have the option of adding other guests.

The one feature the team was working on getting just right was the notification feature so that if you were not actively using the Royal Caribbean app, you would be notified of an incoming message.

Royal Caribbean's app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Royal Caribbean deck plans get bright new design on at least one ship

In:
Category: 
09Sep2020

Royal Caribbean has introduced an updated look to its deck plans in its app on at least one Royal Caribbean ship.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader Daniela T. shared screenshots of the updated deck plan designs that include a lot more color and depth to the look.

Old deck plan design from Mariner of the Seas

New deck plan design on Navigator of the Seas

Royal Caribbean's deck plans have traditionally been more utilitarian than eye-catching, but this new design seems to indicate a new direction for the deck plans that combines form and functionality.

As of right now, it looks like just Navigator of the Seas' deck plans have been updated in the app, but other ships could be updated later on with the new look as well.

 

The new maps should automatically appear for anyone with an upcoming Navigator of the Seas sailing. Keep in mind that if your cruise is not scheduled in the next few months, you may not be able to access it yet via the app.

You can download the Royal Caribbean app from the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Royal Caribbean will use its mobile app to keep guests safe when cruises resume

In:
08Sep2020

When cruises restart, Royal Caribbean's app will play its largest role yet in becoming the focal point for a healthy return to cruising.

Royal Caribbean Group announced on Tuesday it intends to leverage its mobile app for paving a way for a safe return to cruising.

Royal Caribbean's app already offered a variety of features and capabilities, but will grow to include more functionality including:

  • Muster 2.0 – one of the least-loved, but most important, parts of a cruise vacation – the safety drill – is transformed from a process designed for large groups of people into a faster, more personal “one-to-few” approach that guests can complete at their own time.
  • Scheduled arrival time – staggered arrival times for guests help eliminate crowds by managing the ebb-and-flow in parking lots, drop-off areas and terminals to allow for physical distancing from car to stateroom.
  • Expedited boarding – by completing check-in with the app, scanning passport information and uploading a ‘selfie’ security photo, guests can generate a mobile boarding pass and qualify for an expedited boarding process. Debuted in 2018, the innovative, digital experience minimizes check-in and security lines at ports, allowing guests to get on board seamlessly and safely in minutes.

  • Digital key – guests can unlock staterooms with their smartphones by downloading a digital key, available in just a few taps for select ships and staterooms.
  • Stateroom automation – using their smartphone, guests have the ability to control elements inside their stateroom, such as the TV, lighting, window shades and temperature, limiting touchpoints while achieving higher levels of stateroom customization.
  • Onboard account – guests can view onboard charges and credits in real time from anywhere on the ship without waiting in line or on hold.
  • Daily planning – onboard activities, entertainment shows, dining and shore excursions are viewable and open for reservations all through the guest mobile app.

Royal Caribbean expects more advancements to be added to the app, including some changes that will take place "behind the scenes".

The mobile app is leveraged by ships across many Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara ships.

In a statement to the press, Royal Caribbean Group believes the app is one piece of the overall strategy in keeping guests healthy and safe, "These innovations will further demonstrate the Group’s commitment to exceeding guests’ expectations as well as their standards for health and safety on a cruise."

Royal Caribbean launches new mobile game based on Adventure Ocean

In:
Category: 
23Jul2020

Royal Caribbean launched a new app for kids based on a game kids could play onboard its cruise ships in Adventure Ocean.

The Treasure of Barnacle Briggs is a new game available on Apple's App Store that offers kids an interactive quest and is free to download.

The concept was originally created for Adventure Ocean on Royal Caribbean's cruise ships by a company named Firstborn, and it launched as part of the Royal Amplifications of Oasis of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas.

The game is an adaptation of what kids would find on the ships, and gives kids the choice of four mysterious islands that together present immersive, imaginative stories and adventures that your family can play through together. 

Firstborn technical director, Drew Dahlman, describes the game, "The benefit of the narrative is we’re building a whole universe that really brings players in."

Each of the mystical islands features its own set of challenges that takes the user on a journey to retrieve coveted keys that will unlock Barnacle Briggs’ hidden treasure. 

The game features stunning visuals, this interactive quest brings players a mind-bending maze, a formidable foe, tricky turns on tracks that test reaction time and a wild ride down slippery slopes.

Whether kids, parents or Diamond Plus guests play the game, they will find a game inspired by classic video games that put your reaction time and precision to the test.

  • On Maze Island, players must dodge boulders in a twisting labyrinth
  • On Gold Mine Island you must leap across gaps in the track
  • On Blizzard Island you can maneuver a toboggan through every peak and valley in a race down the slopes

On top of it all, Royal Caribbean included a mischievous animal adversary based on feedback from kids.  On Octopus Island, you will find an eight-legged foe who throws barrels, crates and sticky starfish that players must avoid by tapping their quick reflexes.

The interactive digital experience was first a success at sea. “When we saw how well the games were received on board Oasis of the Seas—people were congregating around the large screens at Adventure Ocean to check it out—we knew we needed to introduce Barnacle Briggs to the world in some way,” said Lauren Berman, senior manager for product development at Royal Caribbean.

You can download the game from Apple's App Store.

Freedom of the Seas added to Royal Caribbean app

In:
28Feb2020

Royal Caribbean has expanded its new app to include support for Freedom of the Seas.

Freedom now appears in the list of supported ships that can be found from within the app.

The new app is being actively developed, which means not all features area available on the app yet.  Moreover, the cruise line is slowly rolling out support for more ships.

The app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

The Royal Caribbean App: Everything you should know

In:
Category: 
22Feb2020

The Royal Caribbean app simplifies a great deal of the cruise check-in, planning and onboard experience. Since the app debuted, it has been tasked with integrating technology to make the guest experience easier.

Prior to your cruise, you will want to install and set up the Royal Caribbean app to get your cruise off to a great start.  

Is there a Royal Caribbean app?

Royal Caribbean offers an app for free to its guests that is available from the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

It can be used on an iPhone, iPad and a variety of Android devices.

You should download the app prior to your cruise, although Royal Caribbean does allow guests to download the app onboard the ship as well.

What does the Royal Caribbean app do?

The app can be used aboard Royal Caribbean's ships without a Voom WiFi package, and includes a variety of features.

Features are ship specific, which means some ships offer more things you can do with the app than others.

 

Here is a list of features, which vary from ship to ship, as the app moves toward coverage across the fleet:

  • Sign into your account to view your booked cruises (must be at least 13 years old to have a guest account)
  • Check into your cruise
  • Link reservations with other guests so you can plan and make reservations together once onboard
  • Learn about our activity, entertainment, and dining venues including menus
  • Access your loyalty information

After connecting to WiFi, you can:

Does Royal Caribbean have a texting app?

Royal Caribbean is testing a chat feature that is only currently available on Harmony of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

The chat feature offers one-to-one guest chat, along with group chats.

There is no cost to use Royal Caribbean's app while onboard and you do not need an internet package to use the app either.

Eventually, Royal Caribbean plans to roll out the chat feature to all ships, but there is no official timeline or published date when it will become available. The rumored estimate for chat to roll out to the fleet is the second half of 2020.

What ships does the Royal Caribbean app work on?

The list of Royal Caribbean ships that are supported is growing, with different features available on different ships.

Here’s a list of ships where the app is available:

  • Adventure of the Seas
  • Allure of the Seas
  • Anthem of the Seas
  • Brilliance of the Seas
  • Empress of the Seas
  • Enchantment of the Seas
  • Freedom of the Seas
  • Harmony of the Seas
  • Independence of the Seas
  • Liberty of the Seas
  • Majesty of the Seas
  • Mariner of the Seas
  • Navigator of the Seas
  • Oasis of the Seas
  • Ovation of the Seas
  • Quantum of the Seas
  • Rhapsody of the Seas
  • Serenade of the Seas
  • Spectrum of the Seas
  • Symphony of the Seas
  • Vision of the Seas
  • Voyager of the Seas

If your ship is not yet on this list, Royal Caribbean is actively working towards getting it added.  Ship refurbishments have become a reliable expectation of when new ships get added to the ship.

How to get Expedited Arrival with the app

Royal Caribbean offers in select ports an Expedited Arrival feature that greatly speeds up the cruise check-in process.

Expedited Arrival is currently available when embarking the following ships at these terminals:

PortMiami (Terminal A)

  • Oasis of the Seas
  • Symphony of the Seas
  • Navigator of the Seas

Port Everglades (Terminal 18)

  • Allure of the Seas
  • Serenade of the Seas
  • Independence of the Seas

Port Canaveral (CT1)

  • Harmony of the Seas
  • Mariner of the Seas

To get Expedited Arrival, there are three basic steps:

1. Create a guest account with Royal Caribbean before the cruise.

2. Download the Royal Caribbean app from either the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store.

3. Begin check-in and make sure you do a few steps:

a. Fill out all the questions in the short form provided.
b. Scan your passport with the app (do not manually enter the passport information).
c. Take a security selfie photo. Make sure you do not have a hat on or sunglasses, and have as muted a background as possible.

You can now book new cruises from the Royal Caribbean app while onboard a cruise

In:
11Feb2020

Guests sailing on a Royal Caribbean cruise can now book a brand new cruise via Royal Caribbean's app and take advantage of the NextCruise offers without stepping foot inside the office.

The new NextCruise option for booking via the RCI App is available now, and can be used anywhere on the ship. 

Simply download the Royal Caribbean app, connect to the Royal Caribbean wi-fi network onboard and make a NextCruise Book Later reservation with
access to all available offers

From the profile page in the app, scroll down and select the NextCruise feature which will lead you directly through the booking steps.

NextCruise booking via the Royal App is available on any Royal Caribbean ship that offers the app, currently onboard Allure, Oasis, Symphony, Harmony, Anthem, Ovation, Liberty, Serenade, Voyager, Vision, Adventure, Brilliance, Independence, Rhapsody, Majesty, Enchantment, Mariner, Navigator, Freedom and Empress of the Seas. The rest of the fleet is expected to be complete by end of 2020.

Guests can only choose the Book Later open-booking option via the app. This allows you to place a non-refundable reduced deposit of $200 per stateroom, and gives you up to one year to choose a ship and sail date.  If you pick a cruise within the first two months, you will receive up to $600 in savings. 

The NextCruise office will remain an option for specific sailings bookings, whereas the app provides an option for guests who aren’t ready to pick a ship and sail date yet, but do wish to make a deposit and also want to make a booking from the convenience of their smart phone. 

Rhapsody of the Seas added to Royal Caribbean app

In:
27Jan2020

Royal Caribbean has expanded its new app to include support for Rhapsody of the Seas.

Rhapsody now appears in the list of supported ships that can be found from within the app.

The new app is being actively developed, which means not all features area available on the app yet.  Moreover, the cruise line is slowly rolling out support for more ships.

The app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Royal Caribbean makes it easier to update cruise check-in information

In:
Category: 
08Jan2020

Royal Caribbean recently updated its app to make it easier for guests to return to edit their information after checking-in online to help qualify for Expedited Arrival.

One of the most useful offerings in select embarkation ports is Expedited Arrival, which moves guests quicker through the check-in process in the cruise terminal.

In the past, once a guest completed online check-in, it was difficult to get back to update the information.

With the 1.23.0 release, Royal Caribbean added a new link below the SetSail Pass to easily get back and update information.

Here is how to get Expedited Arrival for your next sailing:

1. Create a guest account with Royal Caribbean before the cruise.

2. Download the Royal Caribbean app from either the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store.

3. Begin check-in and make sure you do a few steps:

a. Fill out all the questions in the short form provided.
b. Scan your passport with the app (do not manually enter the passport information).
c. Take a security selfie photo. Make sure you do not have a hat on or sunglasses, and have as muted a background as possible.

The app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Guest chat feature planned for all Royal Caribbean ships in second half of 2020

In:
Category: 
23Dec2019

It looks like one of the most-asked about features in Royal Caribbean's app might debut in the second half of 2020.

A RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader shared a response from Royal Caribbean's app support account to the question of when chat might available. The email says, "we hope to have chat on all of our ships by the third or fourth quarter of 2020."

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. SVP Digital Experience Jay Schneider recently shared some insight into the cruise line's digital evolution, and spoke to the fact they are keenly aware of the strong demand for this feature to become available, "We know people want chat. We know it's the number one feature they ask for, and it's something we're trying to rush to the market."

A beta version of the chat feature is currently available on Allure of the Seas & Harmony of the Seas

There is no cost to use Royal Caribbean's app while onboard and you do not need an internet package to use the app either.

The app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

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