Smart phone app

Royal Caribbean adds Navigator of the Seas to new app


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

Navigator 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.

Spotted: Chat feature added to Harmony of the Seas


Guests aboard Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas have reported that the highly-anticipated chat feature of Royal Caribbean's new smart phone app have been activated.

Royal Caribbean Blog reader Marshall Stewart sent us a screenshot of Royal Caribbean's app while onboard Harmony of the Seas and noted that the app has enabled the chat feature, as well as the X-Ray vision app.

The features were activated during their sailing while the ship was visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The chat feature allows guest-to-guest chat on Harmony of the Seas.  Guests may link to other staterooms and chat with friends and family for free.

Previously, Royal Caribbean had been testing the chat feature exclusively on Allure of the Seas.

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

Royal Caribbean talks Perfect Day at CocoCay impact, booking trends, smart phone app impact and more


Royal Caribbean held a call with investors to go over their record 2018 financial results and provide guidance for the coming year.  Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd earnings beat Wall Street expectations, benefiting from higher demand for its Caribbean cruises and passengers spending more money on activities while on board.

Between the fiscal anecdotes and figures shared, cruise fans could glean a few tidbits of interesting information.

Two powerful booking trends

At the beginning of the call, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain started off that two powerful trends are dominating bookings for Royal Caribbean: experiences over material possessions and favorable demographic shifts.

Mr. Fain spoke about what he is seeing in the market, "As we have been very vocal about two important and positive consumer trends. First, the trend in favor of experiences over material possessions, and second, the favorable demographic shifts.

We've been talking for a long time about how people have shifted their focus from buying TVs, cars, etc to buying memories or experiences. And that shift has become so powerful that I think it's now obvious to everybody.

At the same time, the demographic makeup of our population keeps shifting in our direction. 

These two trends have become increasingly powerful, and our company and our brands are well-positioned to benefit from these trends."

The first two weeks of Wave season have been fantastic

For those unaware, Wave season is the sales period that has historically taken place between January and March and stands out because a large percentage of cruisers book their sailings in the early months of the year. This year, Royal Caribbean has seen a record Wave season take place.

Richard Fain mentioned it at the top of the call, "Happily, the record-breaking start to Wave validates our confidence. And with Wave off to a wonderful start, our already good booked position continues to strengthen.  Bookings have been at higher levels than last year, and in fact we received more bookings during the first week of Wave than we have in any other week in our history...except for the second week in Wave, which was even better."

Royal Caribbean Chief Financial Officer Jason Liberty also touched on the great start to the year, "Over the past three months, bookings have been higher than the same time last year.... In fact, two out of the past three weeks have been record-booking weeks for the company."

Perfect Day at CocoCay facts

With the launch of Perfect Day at CocoCay coming up in just a few months, Royal Caribbean sounded quite bullish on the impact it is already having and will have on the cruise line's bottom line.

Richard Fain commented on the impact Perfect Day at CocoCay will have on the cruise industry, "The island development will really shake-up the short-term cruise market, and I am confident that our guests will love it."

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley also had some interesting facts to share about Perfect Day, "When you look at Royal Caribbean International, we have I think 13 ships operating in the Caribbean during the year, and then when you look at the deployment of those ships to Perfect Day in 2019, I believe ten out of the thirteen ships are calling to Perfect Day.  Our projections are that by 2020, we will be taking just shy of two million guests a year to Perfect Day.

And then of course the other element is the sales associated with the experience of Perfect Day, and we've seen our sales of activities and experiences really take off on our pre-cruise sales for the experience, so we're up by a factor of close to nine, I think, for our Perfect Day sales."

Smart phone app investment return

Naturally investors want to hear that a company's investment in a piece of technology or a new initiative is driving home a return and Royal Caribbean is happy to report that despite its major tech initiative, code named Project Excalibur, has not fully launched yet, already the cruise line is reaping some benefits.

Mr. Liberty explained that essentially, the cruise line is seeing guest satisfaction rising quickly because the app and other tech advances remove friction from the guest experience.  That in turn provides higher yields for Royal Caribbean.  In the future that will make it easier for the consumer to buy things from the cruise line.

"There is a strong relationship to where guest satisfaction scores go up, and people pay more both for their ticket as well as onboard. Certainly ships that we have put Excalibur on we are seeing those benefits."

Royal Caribbean CEO talks tech and Icon Class


Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley spoke to TTG about a variety of topics related to the future of Royal Caribbean, and touched upon a few topics that revealed a few hints of what is to come.

When questions about the features and innovations of sister cruise brand Celebrity Cruises, Michael Bayley confirmed that the cruise line is looking at bringing the Infinite Veranda idea over to Royal Caribbean, “Edge has a lot of innovation. We need time to assess what works well and what doesn’t but we will take on some elements and put them on the new class of ship – Icon class and potentially Oasis 5."

Bayley's comments follow up on guest surveys from last year that showed off a possible Infinite Veranda for Royal Caribbean.

Mr. Bayley also commented on the status of the cruise line's new smart phone app, saying the new tech rollout will be available on around 12 ships by the end of year and the rest by "early 2020". He added, “We’re looking at facial recognition and notifications based on the profile of the passenger.”

Royal Caribbean expands new smartphone app to Vision of the Seas


Royal Caribbean has released a "soft update" to its new smart phone app that allows guests sailing on Vision of the Seas to start using the app.

The new version does not list Vision as a supported ship in the app store, but opening the app shows both ships on the list.  

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 updates app with support for Harmony and Liberty of the Seas and add new games


Royal Caribbean rolled out a new update to its smart phone app that adds support to two ships, plus new interactive games on Symphony of the Seas.

Version 1.13.0 was released today and it adds support for Harmony of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas. This brings the total to 12 ships in the fleet that can take advantage of the app.  Each ship has varying feature sets, as the app is still under development.


In addition, guests on Symphony of the Seas can download and play two new immersive games from the app: Duck Duck Bear and Splish Splash Soak. These games are activated when standing in front of designated signs on the Boardwalk.

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.

A look at Royal Caribbean's new app feature roadmap


While onboard Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas, we had the chance to get an update on what new features are coming to its smart phone app.

The app team held a demo and talk for members of the media while on Symphony of the Seas and shed light on a few new features coming to the app.

They team demoed guest messaging, which is currently being tested on Allure of the Seas. They indicated that they are looking to improve the ease at which guests connect with each other by using a code unique to each guest.  

They are looking to balance the need for privacy from other guests, combined with the need to make the app easy to use.

Speaking of chat, the team estimated the new chat feature could reach Symphony of the Seas sometime in the first quarter.

Speaking of chat, Royal Caribbean plans to add something they call "Ship to Guest messaging" where not only can guests chat with other guests, but get messages from the ship.  

They avoided calling it a chatbot, for fear of coming off as a gimmicky feature that lacks usability.  Instead, they are developing a feature that allows guests to quickly get assistance with different requests.

Another new feature will be the ability to view and rate shore excursions via the app.  Royal Caribbean not only wants to allow guests to book shore excursions, but get meaningful feedback on tours and allow guests to share their experiences.

The team was asked about moderating the reviews, but they indicated the key is to keep the reviews authentic and not watered down.  

Royal Caribbean also wants to make dining easier on its ships by allowing guests to view menus and even place orders. 

In addition, allowing guests to indicate stateroom changes and directly work with stateroom attendants to allow guests to set preferences for their upcoming stay.

Royal Caribbean shared some of their plans for having the ability for guests to order drinks via the app. The plan now is to first roll out that feature at Perfect Day at CocoCay, then expand to certain areas od the ship and finally expand to more areas of a ship.

Which feature are you most excited to see come to the app? Tell us about it in our comments!

Royal Caribbean releases new update to smart phone app


Over the weekend, Royal Caribbean released a new update to its smart phone app, which adds a bit of functionality and official support for Majesty of the Seas.

Version 1.11.0 of the new app was released to the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.  According to Royal Caribbean, the app provided official support of Majesty of the Seas, as well as these new features:

  • Make plans with guests in other staterooms by linking reservations
  • View main dining preferences
  • View reservations on personal calendars

Majesty of the Seas was added to the app quietly earlier this month, but this update confirms the change. 

Majesty of the Seas becomes to the tenth ship to be able to use the new app. Each ship has varying feature sets, as the app is still under development.

  • Adventure of the Seas
  • Allure of the Seas
  • Brilliance of the Seas
  • Enchantment of the Seas
  • Independence of the Seas
  • Majesty of the Seas
  • Mariner of the Seas
  • Oasis of the Seas
  • Serenade of the Seas
  • Symphony of the Seas

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.

Royal Caribbean provides insight into roll out plans for new smart phone app


Speaking to investors, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain provided guidance on the cruise line's plans for roll out of its new smart phone app across all brands.

"Today, I thought it would to show you just how aggressively we are rolling out these capabilities to our guests. I would emphasize that our guest capabilities represent just one dimension of the program, but it's a highly visible one."

"The guest app, in its current form, includes features such as accelerated check-in, the daily planner, onboard accounts, shore excursions, as well as the ability to book various items such as shore excursions, specialty restaurants and other onboard activities."

"You can see in the slide that we've highlighted three milestones that represent the way we make the app available to our guests. We call them, crawl, walk, run.

The first phase, crawl, refers to testing mode. In crawl, mode, the app is up and running, but we keep it very quiet so we can test it out with a small group of participants. When we are comfortable that the functionality has reached an acceptable level, we shift to the walk stage.

When we get to walk, we allow everyone who wishes to do so to use the app, but we don't aggressively push it. This is roughly equivalent to the beta stage of most apps. It gives us a chance to test it under real-life conditions, but only with a limited group of users.

Lastly, when we get to the run phase, we want as many guests engaged as possible. The app is then available to anyone and we vigorously publicize it, so that as many guests as possible use it. When we get to the run stage, the app has been thoroughly vetted and most of our guests use it and love it.

Our initial priority for the app capabilities has been on easing the process of boarding and disembarking. We've also prioritized other things that our guests most want. Next will come more bells and whistles, such as facial recognition, the ability to easily book your onboard activities before sailing, new chat capabilities, and an innovative digital stateroom key. Again, I want to repeat that this only refers to the capabilities our guests use. A lot of focus has also been on the capabilities on making our employees more efficient and more effective.

Now, one question I am sometimes asked is how we can scale this so quickly out to our fleet. The reason is that over the years, we have built and maintained our fleet to take maximum advantage of technology. As a result, we already have a lot of technology on the ships that can be used to provide some of these capabilities. We need to add more, but this gives a definite leg up."

Royal Caribbean Chief Financial Officer Jason Liberty also spoke of the rapid pace the cruise line is taking to get these new technology initiatives online sooner than later, "We are very much trying to accelerate our Excalibur efforts to the point that we have certain capabilities come online a little bit quicker than we had expected them to."

First look at Royal Caribbean smartphone app chat feature


Royal Caribbean is actively working to roll out new features to its smartphone app that will eventually be available across the fleet.  In the meantime, they are testing a new chat feature between guests that is available only on Allure of the Seas.

Guests simply need to download the new Royal Caribbean app from the iTunes App store or the Google Play store.  The app and its use are completely free.

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.

To add another guest, you need to have their last name, birthday, and reservation number.  If you add someone that was not on a linked reservation by your travel agent, then they must add you as well as you adding them for privacy reasons. 

Messages will show as “Sent” and also “Delivered” to give you an idea if it was seen. To be delivered it seems like you need to have opened the Royal app.

At this time, there are no push notifications of messages at all. You have to open the Royal app and it will have a numbered badge on that chat bubble.

Thanks to Doug G. for sharing his experience with this app on Allure of the Seas!

The app is currently available on 10 Royal Caribbean ships, although the chat feature is only available on Allure of the Seas at this time.  

  • Adventure of the Seas
  • Allure of the Seas
  • Brilliance of the Seas
  • Enchantment of the Seas
  • Independence of the Seas
  • Majesty of the Seas
  • Mariner of the Seas
  • Oasis of the Seas
  • Serenade of the Seas

Royal Caribbean has not shared any kind of timeline for when other ships will be added to the app, nor when a particular feature will become available for use.