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Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas will be the next new cruise ship that is currently under construction. Quantum of the Seas will start sailing in Fall 2014 and her sister ship, Anthem of the Seas, will sail in 2015.

Royal Caribbean updates: SpaceX, Singapore cancellations & more

In:
03 Feb 2022
By: 
Matt Hochberg

There's plenty of cruise news out there, and I have a fresh look at some of the bigger stories from this week.

There are smaller updates from across the fleet that I think are kind of interesting, neat, or otherwise good to know.

If you ever have a news tip, feel free to email it to [email protected] for possible inclusion in a future update!

Coast Guard investigating SpaceX launch scrub due to Harmony of the Seas

Harmony of the Seas 2020 Live Blog - Cruise Preview | Royal Caribbean Blog

A SpaceX cruise ship attempt to launch a rocket last weekend was cancelled due to Harmony of the Seas veering into the "exclusion zone", and now the United States Coast Guard is involved.

Prior to any SpaceX launch, there is an exclusion zone established so that no planes, ships, etc are able to enter the space, which adjoins against the second busiest cruise and shipping port in the country at Port Canaveral.

How to get from Orlando to Port Canaveral | Royal Caribbean Blog

Harmony of the Seas entered that zone, which cancelled the launch. SpaceX was able to launch the rocket the next day.

The Falcon 9 rocket was carrying an Italian satellite into orbit

U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson David Micallef confirmed that the Coast Guard will look into what happened, "Our primary concern is the safety of mariners at sea, and we will continue to work with our federal, state, and local port partners to ensure safe and navigable waterways."

Singapore cancels two Quantum of the Seas cruises due to Covid-19

Royal Caribbean extends Singapore season for Quantum of the Seas in 2021 | Royal Caribbean Blog

Two sailings on Quantum of the Seas from Singapore had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 cases among the crew.

According to the cruise line, 0.6% of the crew tested positive for Covid-19, and so the sailings were cancelled "in an abundance of caution."

The crew members that tested positive were immediately isolated. Close contacts were also quarantined and tested.

Quantum of the Seas ends sailing 7 hours early due to non-covid medical issue | Royal Caribbean Blog

According to the Singapore Cruise Society, the affected sailings were the January 31, 2022 and February 3, 2022

The ship will under go a deep cleaning and disinfection during her time off.

Wonder of the Seas arrives in Cyprus

The newest and largest cruise ship in the world made a brief stop in Cyprus as it prepares to begin cruises.

Wonder of the Seas arrived in Limassol, Cyprus on January 31st in order to bring more crew members onboard.

Cyprus' Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos welcomed the ship upon her arrival, "The benefits for our economy and tourism are huge, when leading shipping companies dock in Cyprus. We welcome to the Port of Limassol the largest cruise ship in the world, the Wonder of the Seas of Royal Caribbean."

Wonder is now headed to Cadiz, Spain as a final stop before her transatlantic crossing to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The first sailing of Wonder of the Seas will be March 4, 2022.

Labadee sign painted

Labadee re-opened last week, and the sign that spells out the private destination's name has been repainted.

Prior to the pandemic, the letters had a colorful look to them, against a blue background.

Friday Photos | Royal Caribbean Blog

Royal Caribbean repainted the letters with a green background and a white floral motif.

Royal Caribbean also shared new aerial photos of Labadee.

 

Royal Caribbean trademarks "Accessory Place"

In January, Royal Caribbean Group trademarked the phrase "Accessory Place".

According to the paperwork filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the trademark is intended to cover the category of retail store services featuring jewelry.

Royal Caribbean announces new Singapore sailings on two cruise ships

In:
28 Sep 2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean announced a new ship will sail from Singapore, as well as an extension of other cruises.

Singapore was the first place that Royal Caribbean International restarted sailing during the global cruise shutdown, and it remains a focus for the Asian cruise market as the rest of the region struggles to reopen.

Spectrum of the Seas will move to Singapore, beginning October 21, 2022.

She will sail 3- to 9-night sailings from Singapore, and her new sailings are available to book immediately.

Spectrum of the Seas joins Royal Caribbean's fleet following delivery ceremony | Royal Caribbean Blog

Spectrum of the Seas was designed for the Asian cruise market, and has been not offered any cruises since early 2020.

In addition, Royal Caribbean has extended Quantum of the Seas sailings yet again, this time offering more sailings from Singapore on Quantum through April 7, 2022.

Royal Caribbean to homeport Quantum of the Seas in Singapore in 2019-2020 | Royal Caribbean Blog

"We are thrilled to introduce a whole spectrum of new adventures with Spectrum of the Seas, which features groundbreaking escapades exclusively designed for the Asian market, a testament to Royal Caribbean’s confidence in the potential of the cruising industry in the region. We have seen a surge in repeat cruisers, as well as a significant number of new to cruise guests, and look forward to bringing the best of the Royal Caribbean experience to our guests," said Angie Stephen, vice president, Singapore, Royal Caribbean International.

"At the same time, we are excited to extend Quantum’s ultimate ocean getaways once again through early next year to continue catering to the strong demand for sailings from Singapore."

American biotech coronavirus vaccine shows positive results in early human trials | Royal Caribbean Blog

Another change for Singapore sailings is the requirement for passengers to be fully vaccinated.

In addition to robust onboard ventilation systems, enhanced cleaning and sanitization as well as having its crew vaccinated, the cruise line will also require all guests to be fully vaccinated for all new bookings made from October 1, 2021, and onwards.

What makes Spectrum of the Seas different

Spectrum of the Seas arrives in first Asian port | Royal Caribbean Blog

Spectrum of the Seas is not only a new ship to Singapore, she is one of the newest ships in the fleet.

Royal Caribbean designed the ship to be an innovator, that offers plenty of innovations and touches of eastern culture infused with the ship.

Here are some of the major things to do on Spectrum of the Seas:

Top 14 best free things to do on a Royal Caribbean cruise | Royal Caribbean Blog

  • Asia’s first Sky Pad, a virtual reality, bungee trampoline adventure
  • Royal Caribbean’s first and exclusive Suite Enclave, which features the exquisite Royal Suite Class Star, Sky and Sea accommodations in a private area supremely positioned at the forward end of the ship. Guests booked in these luxury suites have exclusive floor access, an elevator, private restaurants, and a dedicated lounge area.
  • Cutting-edge and transformative venues such as Two70. Boasting stunning 270-degree ocean views by day and transforming into a multidimensional theater by night, this transformative space flaunts six agile Roboscreens, breathtaking live performers and mind-bending aerialists to create unimaginable visuals. 
  • Star Moment, a lively and energetic karaoke venue where family and friends can belt out and sing like stars.
  • The signature two-level Ultimate Family Suite, an expansive, multiroom retreat complete with its own ensuite slide and cinema, which also doubles as a karaoke stage.
  • A bold lineup of signature activities, including the FlowRider surf simulator, the North Star, an all-glass capsule that ascends 300 feet above the ocean to deliver incomparable 360-degree views; and RipCord by iFly, the first sky diving experience at sea.
  • Nineteen distinct dining options serve up flavors from around the world, including Hot Pot, an authentic Chinese dining experience; Teppanyaki, a celebration of authentic oriental flavors cooked in Japan’s traditional teppanyaki style; and Sichuan Red, a new specialty dining experience tailored just for Spectrum, where diners can savour a bold tapestry of authentic spices and Sichuan flavours. Signature classics include imaginative cuisine at Wonderland, top-notch, aged beef at Chops Grille, and authentic rustic fare and handmade pasta at Jamie’s Italian.

Quantum of the Seas in Singapore drops back to more stringent Covid-19 protocols

In:
21 Jul 2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Singapore has raised its Covid-19 alert status, and the result is Royal Caribbean's cruise protocols for sailings from that country have to go back to being far more strict.

As a result of the government announcement, Quantum of the Seas sailings will revert to a lower capacity, along with other restrictions, such as no sit down dining options.

Our friends at Singapore Cruise Society shared the update Royal Caribbean is conveying to booked guests.

Singapore has raised its Covid-19 status to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), which will apply to sailings beginning on July 22 and remain in effect until at least August 18.

Guests sailing on Quantum will have to take an antigen test prior to embarkation at the cruise terminal, in addition to the PCR test they are required to take in the days leading up to sailing.

Specifically, here are some of the major changes guests sailing on Quantum of the Seas from Singapore can expect: 

  • Reduced shipwide capacity of 25%
  • Group sizes of no more than two guests.
  • Guests from same household may travel in the same stateroom, but will be required to remain to a maximum of two per group while in public areas
  • Restaurants & bars will be closed, but the Main Dining Room menu will be available through room service. Guests will have to dine in their cabins.
  • Capacity for all life entertainment shows to be restricted to 50 guests.
  • Permitted onboard activities, such as those in SeaPlex, Activitity Zone & Pool Zone will continue to operate at reduced capacity.
  • Guests who pre-purchased dining and beverage packages will be refunded automatically.

Passengers booked on the July 22nd sailing of Quantum of the Seas have the option for a full refund if these new protocols are not to their liking. All other sailings going forward have the choice of a 100% future cruise credit.

This is not the first time Quantum of the Seas has had to adhere to heightened protocols from Singapore. Earlier this year, similar protocols were put into place.

In May 2021, Singapore announced it would move to Phase 2 when cases in the country spiked. In May and now, the changing ship protocols are not a result of any cases on the ship.

Throughout the pandemic, Singapore has taken an aggressive stance at trying to detect and isolate new cases.

The Government will review the measures in two weeks and adjust them based on the situation at that time, the Ministry of Health (MOH) added. 

Singapore opted not to differentiate between vaccinated and non-vaccinated people for this alert change, but will consider doing so when vaccination rates are higher or when the situation has stabilized

First look at Royal Caribbean's changes to Singapore cruises

In:
17 May 2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean recently announced new tighter restrictions for cruises from Singapore due to a heightened alert in the country due to Covid-19.

The changes made to the onboard experience aboard Quantum of the Seas include less passengers onboard, as well as expanded social distancing and even changes to dining.

Many are curious what the experience is like, and if it still feels like a cruise vacation.

Our friends at the Singapore Cruise Society boarded Quantum of the Seas on Monday to share a sense of what things are like.

What changes have been made?

In a nutshell, Singapore has added stricter measures due to an increase in the spread of COVID-19.

The measures are in place between May 16 - June 13, and are meant to limit the spread of the virus.

On Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean made changes to meet new government requirements:

  • Quantum of the Seas is set to sail at 25% occupancy capacity
  • Group sizes will be limited to two guests per cabin
  • Guest occupancy in public venues will be reduced accordingly, allowing for at least 16 square meters per guest, while theaters will be limited to 50 attendees for each show
  • Heightened limits will apply to all pools and hot tubs and also at SeaPlex
  • New takeaway options at dining establishments, and guests will also enjoy a wide range of choices for room service

These restrictions are temporary and all will return to normal once the government lifts the heightened alert status.

A look at the changes

There are about 500 passengers on this sailing to reflect the lower capacity.

Your menu you can use to order dinner.

Grab and go menu items at [email protected]

Tables are not available to eat at while in [email protected] Instead, guests take the food elsewhere to eat.

No self service beverages.

Social distancing at Cafe Promenade and Sorrentos.

Tables are available to sit at with up to 2 people per table, but guests cannot eat food or drink at the table.

Harp and Horn remains open for take outs. All Beverage Package and Dining Package were cancelled and refunded to guests.

Guests can sit and wait for their drinks to be prepared, but cannot drink in the bar.

Other bars have been re-purposed since they cannot be used as a sit down bar at this time.

Tables have been set up outside of staterooms for guests to leave plates and food they are done with, as well as pick up room service delivery.

Dinner is served via room service, including beverages.

Guests must preorder their meals for the next day by 8pm.

Beverage ordering list.

In-room movies are available to watch for free.

Cruise Compass and entertainment for the first day onboard.

Singapore Cruise Society is the leading cruising blog and community in Southeast Asia.

First started in 2014, Singapore Cruise Society has documented significant cruise happenings in Singapore. Since then, we have grown to be one of Asia's largest cruise-
centric blog and community, providing everything from cruise vacation experiences to the latest development in the cruise travel industry. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Royal Caribbean adjusts cruise ship health protocols on Singapore cruises due to Covid-19 alert

In:
14 May 2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is advising guests sailing on Quantum of the Seas from Singapore of new protocols following an increase in Covid-19 cases in Singapore.

Singapore raised its alert status to "Phase 2 - Heighten Alert", following "several clusters of infections" over the past two weeks.  A total of 46 total cases have been reported, primarily in health care areas and an airport terminal.

Our friends at Singapore Cruise Society shared an email Royal Caribbean sent to guests booked on Quantum of the Seas advising them of onboard changes as a result of the increased cases.

To be clear, these changes are not a result of any cases on the ship.

Royal Caribbean have made changes during the health situation.  

UPDATE: Royal Caribbean has revised the wording of the changes

  • Quantum of the Seas is set to sail at 25% occupancy capacity
  • Group sizes will be limited to two guests per cabin booking.
  • Guest occupancy in public venues will be reduced accordingly, allowing for at least 16 sqm per guest, while theatres will be limited to 50 attendees for each show.
  • Heightened limits will apply to all pools and hot tubs and also at SeaPlex.
  • For dining, we have made adjustments to offer takeaway options, and guests will also enjoy a wide range of choices for room service. 

Refunds are being made available to any guest that wishes to not sail due to these the changes.

"The health and safety of our guests and crew are of utmost importance to us, and while we continue to monitor the situation closely, Quantum of the Seas continues sailing with a comprehensive, layered set of measures developed to protect and keep everyone onboard healthy. Our robust programme includes pre-departure screenings using the gold standard measure of PCR tests, contactless embarkation and debarkation processes, and enhanced ventilation and sanitation on the ship."

The changes are being made as a result of working with the Singaporean government.

Singapore has taken an aggressive stance at trying to detect and isolate new cases. Singapore's Ministry of Healthy outlined some of the things it is doing to curb the spread of these new cases, "To reduce the risk of any spread from undetected cases in the community, we have cast a wide net and taken swift action to detect, isolate, and ringfence any possible emerging transmissions to the community. "

"We need to act decisively to contain these risks as any one leak could result in an uncontrolled resurgence of cases. Hence we will move to impose targeted restrictions on higher risk settings such as those where there is a high density of people who are unmasked for prolonged periods."

Quantum of the Seas has been sailing from Singapore since December 2020 under special permission from the government.

The sailings have been so successful and popular that Royal Caribbean has extended her time there through October 2021, marking 11 months sailing from her homeport.

Quantum has had over 60,000 guests sail onboard with zero positive Covid-19 cases to date.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley is extremely proud of how safe and successful these sailings have been, "Royal Caribbean’s 30-plus sailings in Singapore offer a real-life, validated model of how cruising can be a unique, safe vacation beyond what many other travel options can offer."

"I'm confident we'll continue to see how successful cruising can be through a combination of our proven, healthy and safe practices, which are informed by the Healthy Sail Panel’s 74 recommendations, and the rollout of vaccines around the world."

The layered approach to health of crew members and guests will continue, such as COVID-19 testing, reduced sailing capacity, physical distancing measures, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing processes, and industry-leading contact tracing.

Royal Caribbean extends Quantum of the Seas Singapore season

In:
31 Mar 2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Quantum of the Seas is doing so well in Singapore that she will stay there even longer.

Royal Caribbean announced on Thursday Quantum of the Seas will remain in Singapore through October 2021, marking 11 months sailing from her homeport.

This is the second time Royal Caribbean has extended her cruise season from Singapore, which was slated to end in June 2021.

In partnership with the Singaporean government, Quantum of the Seas has been allowed to cruise through a series of strict protocols and safety requirements.

Exemplifying the hard work and effective protocols is the fact Quantum has had over 50,000 guests sail onboard with zero positive Covid-19 cases to date.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley is extremely proud of how safe and successful these sailings have been, "Royal Caribbean’s 30-plus sailings in Singapore offer a real-life, validated model of how cruising can be a unique, safe vacation beyond what many other travel options can offer."

"I'm confident we'll continue to see how successful cruising can be through a combination of our proven, healthy and safe practices, which are informed by the Healthy Sail Panel’s 74 recommendations, and the rollout of vaccines around the world."

Read moreHow cruising changed on Royal Caribbean's first cruise back

The new sailings will include 2-, 3- and 4-night cruises to nowhere, where the ship makes no port stops along the way.

These new sailings will be available to Singapore residents and open to book on April 13, 2021.

The layered approach to health of crew members and guests will continue, such as COVID-19 testing, reduced sailing capacity, physical distancing measures, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing processes, and industry-leading contact tracing.

Read moreCDC asks Royal Caribbean to share covid safety technology from its cruise ships

Quantum has been a shining light for Royal Caribbean while the rest of the fleet remains dormant.

In the meantime, the sailings from Singapore have been an invaluable source to demonstrate proof of concept approaches for safe sailing.

Angie Stephen, vice president and managing director, Asia-Pacific, Royal Caribbean International, added that with the new protocols in place, guest satisfaction actually went up, "We have seen guest satisfaction ratings jump since we started sailing this past December."

Thanks in part to the success of Quantum of the Seas in Singapore, Royal Caribbean is planning to restart other ships around the world, including Adventure of the Seas from Nassau and Anthem of the Seas from Southampton.

Royal Caribbean produces video where masks are required on Quantum of the Seas

In:
12 Mar 2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean has created a new video for guests sailing on the only Royal Caribbean cruise ship sailing right now to better demonstrate where and when face masks are needed.

Wearing a face mask on a cruise ship has been one of the more polarizing topics among guests related to cruises restarting, and has been one of the many required protocols on Quantum of the Seas since she restarted sailings in Singapore in December 2020.

Royal Caribbean has produced a new video for guests on Quantum of the Seas to demonstrate where and when masks are required.

It is important to note the face mask policy is specific to Quantum of the Seas only, and it remains to be seen what the rules regarding face masks will be on other ships around the world.

Our friends at the Singapore Cruise Society shared screenshots of the new video that give examples of what to and not to do onboard.

The health protocols on Quantum of the Seas were developed in tandem with the government of Singapore.

Among the many protocols are reduced capacity onboard, and has implemented mandatory universal testing during embarkation and debarkation, and enforced mask wearing, physical distancing and enhanced cleaning practices across the ship, among other required practices.

The cruise line calls its collection of new health protocols, "The Royal Promise", and it encompasses all the new changes onboard to protect guests from the current health crisis.

Creating a video like this comes after the Singaporean government investigated a group of passengers who took their masks off for a photo.

A Valentine's Day story from the only Royal Caribbean cruise ship sailing

In:
14 Feb 2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Quantum of the Seas may be the only Royal Caribbean cruise ship sailing right now, but she's got a lovely story fit for Valentine's Day.

Currently, Quantum of the Seas is offering 3- and 4-night cruises with no port stops from Singapore and one crew member couple onboard helped celebrate Valentine's Day.

The ship has had over 25,000 guests across 20+ sailings since December, and working onboard is Rose (USA) and Johel (Brazil).

Rose Serim is the Cruise Program Administrator and Johel Fonseca is the Sports Supervisor on Quantum of the Seas. They shared their story how they met and continue to sail together.

We met on Ovation of the Seas in October 2017. Our first date was onboard Ovation at the specialty restaurant, Izumi.

We've since been together for almost 3.5 years and in addition to Ovation, have been on Spectrum of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, and now Quantum of the Seas together.

Royal Caribbean added the crew are thrilled to be back onboard and are sending their love to everyone at home. 

Rose and Johel are the ones on the Flowrider surf simulator and the iFly skydiving simulator.

Royal Caribbean recently announced that Quantum of the Seas will remain in Singapore until June 2021 to continue offering cruises for three additional months between March 22, 2021 and June 21, 2021.

These 2-, 3- and 4-night Ocean Getaways  operate with a set of comprehensive health and safety measures in place, such as mandatory testing, reduced sailing capacity and strict physical distancing measures.

Royal Caribbean will continue offering cruises to nowhere from Singapore through June 2021

In:
10 Feb 2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

The only Royal Caribbean cruise ship able to sail right now will continue calling Singapore home for a few months longer.

Royal Caribbean announced that Quantum of the Seas will remain in Singapore until June 2021 to continue offering cruises for three additional months between March 22, 2021 and June 21, 2021.

Quantum was deployed to Singapore in December 2020 to offer cruises exclusively to residents of Singapore.  

Just like the original sailings, these new sailings will be "cruises to nowhere" with no port stops. 

Now available for bookings, these 2-, 3- and 4-night Ocean Getaways will continue to operate with the same set of comprehensive health and safety measures in place, such as mandatory testing, reduced sailing capacity and strict physical distancing measures.

"We are thrilled to announce the extension of the sailing season and look forward to having guests experience first-hand our signature cruise vacation that has wowed local cruisers already, with many booking repeat visits," said Angie Stephen, Managing Director, Asia-Pacific, Royal Caribbean International. "Our close partnership with the Singapore Government has played an instrumental role in the success of these pilot cruises, and we remain committed to safeguarding the health and safety of our guests and crew during these additional sailings."

The additional sailings have been added following the cruise line's decision to cancel all of the scheduled sailings to Alaska for Quantum of the Seas so that the ship could remain in Singapore.

These new cruises are only available to residents of Singapore.

Success in Singapore

Quantum of the Seas has been able to restart cruises successfully in Singapore in a world where much of the cruise ship industry remains shutdown.

For two months now, Quantum of the Seas has been able to sail and avoided any outbreaks on the ship.  Despite a false positive scare, the ship has been able to operate under Singapore's pilot program, which allows cruise ships to sail with comprehensive protocols.

In order to offer cruises in a safe manner, Royal Caribbean came up with sweeping changes to its ship that would facilitate all the necessary new protocols.

These multilayered health and safety measures were created based on science, data driven and developed with expert guidance from the Healthy Sail Panel, Royal Caribbean Group’s Head of Public Health and Chief Medical Officer and the Singapore Ministry of Health. 

Quantum of the Seas has a reduced capacity onboard, and has implemented mandatory universal testing during embarkation and debarkation, and enforced mask wearing, physical distancing and enhanced cleaning practices across the ship, among other required practices.

New to the cruise experience is Royal Caribbean’s Tracelet, a custom wearable required for all guests and crew on board Quantum of the Seas. The technology helps monitor physical distancing and the cruise line’s contract tracing procedures.  

For a healthier and safer adventure for all, guests and crew must wear masks on board and during signature experiences.

Royal Caribbean releases Hawaii and China 2022 cruises

In:
29 Jan 2021
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Two new 2022 itineraries have been quietly released by Royal Caribbean.

The itineraries revealed are on Spectrum of the Seas in Asia and Quantum of the Seas repositioning cruises to/from Hawaii.

Spectrum of the Seas will sail 4-8 night itineraries in 2022 from Shanghai (Baoshan) and for the first time ever, Beijing (Tianjin).

Sailings on Spectrum will visit Japanese ports such as Nagasaki, Fukuoka and Sasebo.

These new Spectrum of the Seas sailings begin in January 2022 and run through October 2022.

In addition, two long sailings on Quantum of the Seas to and from Hawaii have been added.

Quantum will depart Honolulu in April 2022 to head to Vancouver, and then will stop back in Hawaii in October 2022.

Read moreHawaii cruise on Royal Caribbean: Everything you need to know

Royal Caribbean does not offer regular cruises to Hawaii, but does stop there as part of repositioning cruises between Australia and North America.

Royal Caribbean has not announced any deployment schedule yet for the remainder of 2022-2023 cruises.  These new sailings appeared without warning.