Rhapsody of the Seas

Royal Caribbean to send Rhapsody of the Seas to Istanbul instead of Alaska in 2015

In:
18Nov2013

Royal Caribbean has decided to send Rhapsody of the Seas to Istanbul instead of Alaska in 2015 and subsequently cancelled two sailings in April and May 2015 due to the change.

Cruise Passenger reports the two cancelled cruises are the Sydney to Honolulu 16-night cruise departing on April 17, 2015 and the the Honolulu to Vancouver 13-night cruise departing May 2, 2015.

Royal Caribbean it is contacting guests that were booked on these cruises and offering them a full refund or the option to move to an alternative cruise, including the Trans-Pacific cruises on Radiance of the Seas.

Instead of these cancelled cruises, Rhapsody of the Seas will offer a 16-night Sydney to Singapore sailing departing April 17, 2015 followed by a 14-night Singapore to Dubai cruise departing May 3, 2015. Lastly, there will be a 15-night Dubai to Istanbul cruise departing May 17, 2015.

Royal Caribbean announces 2014 Alaska cruises

In:
15Mar2013

Royal Caribbean announced its 2014 Alaska cruises and cruisetour offerings, which include 34 sailings on seven-night itineraries from Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle, Washington.  Delivering Royal Caribbean's Alaska experience will be the recently revitalized Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas.

Radiance of the Seas will switch between North- and Southbound seven-night cruises out of Vancouver and Deward, respectively.  Passengers will cruise the Inside Passage and the monumental Hubbard Glacier, as well as call at Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska. Radiance of the Seas’ Alaska season will be bookended with a seven-night itinerary, sailing roundtrip from Vancouver on May 9 and Sept. 5, calling at Icy Strait Point, Juneau, and Ketchikan, and cruising up Tracy Arm Fjord to see Sawyer Glacier.

 In addition, Rhapsody of the Seas will offer seven-night, roundtrip itineraries to Sawyer Glacier from Seattle, Washington. Passengers will sail the Inside Passage and call at Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria, British Columbia. Two similar seven-night itineraries that call at Ketchikan instead of Victoria will sail from Vancouver to Seattle on May 16 and vice versa on Aug. 29.

 “Royal Caribbean has been unfolding the wonders of the Alaskan frontier for a quarter century and we continue to deliver this amazing destination like no other cruise line,” said Lisa Bauer, executive vice president of Global Marketing and Sales, Royal Caribbean International. “Guests can explore this awe-inspiring destination while sailing aboard our recently revitalized ships that are Designed for WOW and enjoy Royal Caribbean’s friendly and engaging GOLD Anchor service from every staff and crew member. To further immerse themselves, vacationers also can choose an unforgettable Royal Caribbean Alaska cruisetour combining the best of land and sea in the region and without having to worry about any of the planning.”

In addition to witnessing the majesty of Alaska by ship, vacationers also can explore Alaska’s interior on a variety of exciting Royal Caribbean Cruisetours, which combines a sailing aboard Radiance of the Seas with a three- to six-night land tour adventure. Royal Caribbean takes care of all the planning, transportation and lodging on fully escorted tours that spend at least one night in Denali National Park and one leg on the Wilderness Express, a plush, glass-domed train cars that offer panoramic views of the grand Alaskan frontier. A 10-night, family-geared cruisetour will feature a three-night land tour that includes a behind-the-scenes visit to the Alaska Sea Life Center to learn about the region’s natural habitat and the center’s wildlife rehabilitation and conservation efforts, and wildlife spotting in Denali National Park at the Murie Science and Learning Center.

Rhapsody of the Seas upgrades will generate sales, according to travel agents

In:
18Jun2012

Travel agents are saying that the newly refurbished Rhapsody of the Seas will make the ship easier to sell, thanks in part to the ship's new amenities.

The upgrades that Rhapsody of the Seas received is part of Royal Caribbean's $300 million Royal Advantage program, where the line is looking to upgrade features and services on its older ships to bring them in line with the newer vessels, such as Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

Yuki Battan, owner of a travel agency in Seattle,thinks seeing the upgrades in person will make a difference with clients, "t’s different seeing it and feeling it than just seeing little pictures,” she said. “I can tell clients I got to taste the food and it was great, or the service was excellent.”

Rhapsody of the Seas has several new dining options, including Royal Caribbean's signature steakhouse, Chops Grill, and two restaurants that debuted on the Oasis: Italian restaurant Giovanni’s Table and Asian eatery Izumi.

The ship also has a Park Cafe, the salad and sandwich shop that was born in the Oasis’ Central Park neighborhood. On the Rhapsody, the Park Cafe is on the pool deck.

The ship's five-story Centrum was reinvented and given technology to allow for acrobatics shows done from two chandeliers.

Other new features are a giant screen on the pool deck, a concierge lounge and remodeled bathrooms in all cabins. The Rhapsody also now has the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery for passengers under age 3.  

Royal Caribbean announces Australia & New Zealand 2013-2014 plans

In:
19Apr2012

Royal Caribbean is offering its broadest range ever of itineraries in Australia and New Zealand come summer 2013-2014.  For the second consecutive cruise season, Voyager Of The Seas, Radiance Of The Seas And Rhapsody Of The Seas will offer cruises to the region.

Voyager of the Seas will offer 53 distinctive itineraries along with the recently revitalized Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas.  In total, Royal Caribbean will offer 55 cruises at 56 Australian, New Zealand and South Pacific ports, with departures from September 2013 to April 2014.

Royal Caribbean commercial manager for Australia, Adam Armstrong, commented on the news, "It’s with great pleasure that we can confirm that sister ships, Voyager of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas, will be back to wow Australian cruisers in summer 2013-14. For the next two summer cruise seasons, Royal Caribbean International will be the largest cruise line operating out of Sydney, and these newly revitalised “premierships” will offer the very latest in cruising – experiences guests previously had to travel to other parts of the world to have."

“We’ve added more cruises on Australia’s first megaliner Voyager of the Seas and some new itineraries across the entire fleet to ensure that there are even more options to suit different lifestyles and needs. It’s our widest ever range of cruises Down Under."

Voyager of the Seas will reposition from Singapore to Sydney on a 14-night cruise in late October 2013 that begins with an overnight in Singapore and calls at Port Keland for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Darwin and Brisbane, Australia. The ship then homeports at Sydney for nine sailings to New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia. These cruises range from nine to 14 nights.

A nine-night Tasmania cruise in early February 2014 features an overnight at Hobart on a one-time-only itinerary. At the end of the season, Voyager of the Seas will sail an 18-night Australia and New Zealand itinerary to Perth before returning to the Far East on a 14-night sailing in late March to Singapore via Bangkok.

Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas also homeport at Sydney from October 2013 to early May 2014, and will operate a wide variety of itineraries ranging from seven to 15 nights.

The cruises visit Australia’s Tasmania and Queensland, New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia. Radiance of the Seas will circumnavigate Australia twice with a 16-night north coast and a 17-night south coast and New Zealand itinerary.

Pacific crossings between Vancouver, BC and Sydney bookend both ships’ Australia season. These are a 12-night Hawaii and a 16- or 17-night South Pacific sailing, departing Sept. 13, 2013 and April 10, 2014 aboard Radiance of the Seas, and Sept. 6, 2013 and April 18, 2014 aboard Rhapsody of the Seas. 

Royal Caribbean completes Rhapsody of the Seas refurbishment

In:
29Mar2012

After a month in dry dock in Singapore, Rhapsody of the Seas has completed a $54 million revitalization.  Royal Caribbean characterized the refurbishment as, "deliver guests a host of exciting new dining options, visually stunning entertainment and unique amenities after the ship's bow-to-stern transformation."

Royal Caribbean senior vice president of marketing, Betsy O'Rourke, commented on the refubishment, "Rhapsody of the Seas' dry dock is part of Royal Caribbean's multi-ship enhancement and revitalization strategy to deliver the world's most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries and world-renowned Gold Anchored service to our guests, also known as the Royal Advantage.  With every inch of Rhapsody of the Seas renewed, five new dining restaurants added, the evolution of entertainment in our iconic Centrum, plus an array of new touches, guests will be wowed by what is virtually a new ship."

The complete list of changes to Rhapsody of the Seas includes

  • Royal Babies and Tots Nursery
  • a Diamond Lounge for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members
  • a Concierge Lounge for suite guests and top-tier loyalty guests
  • Completely refreshed staterooms
  • Wi-Fi availability throughout the ship
  • Flat-panel televisions in all staterooms
  • Outdoor LED movie screen on the pool deck
  • a digital way-finding system
  • Reinvented Centrum

New restaurants aboard Rhapsody of the Seas include

  • Giovanni's Table (lunch, $15, and dinner, $20)
  • Izumi Asian Cuisine restaurant (lunch and dinner, $3.00 cover charge for lunch and $5.00 for dinner plus a la carte menu pricing)
  • Park Cafe deli-style restaurant (open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, complimentary)
  • Chop's Grille steakhouse (dinner, $30 per person)
  • Chef's Table (dinner, $95 per person)

Royal Caribbean announces 2013 Alaska cruises

In:
14Mar2012

Royal Caribbean unveiled its summer 2013 cruise itineraries for Alaska to the public.  The soon-to-be revitalized Rhapsody of the Seas will be one of Royal Caribbean's ships offering trips to Alaska for that season along with Radiance of the Seas, which was also revitalized in 2011.

From May 17 through Aug. 30, 2013, Radiance of the Seas will offer alternate seven night north and southbound cruises between Vancouver, Canada and Seward, Alaska.  laskan ports of call include Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Skagway. Additionally, guests will cruise the Inside Passage as well as get an up-close view of Hubbard Glacier.

Rhapsody of the Seas also will sail every Friday on seven-night, round-trip Alaska cruises from Seattle, stopping at Juneau and Skagway, Alaska, and Victoria, British Columbia. Passengers will also visit through Alaska’s Inside Passage, as well as venture up Tracy Arm Fjord to see Sawyer Glacier.

In addition to just cruises, Royal Caribbean Alaska Cruisetours combine a Radiance of the Seas’ sailing with a pre- or post-cruise land tour that totals to a 10- to 13-night land and sea adventure that ranges as far north as Fairbanks. For the land tour portion, guests are escorted by a Royal Caribbean Tour Director. Royal Caribbean Cruisetours include premium hotel accommodations, motorcoach transportation and admission into select attractions. Almost all 2013 Alaska Cruisetours also include a leg aboard the Wilderness Express.

Rhapsody of the Seas begins refurbishment today

In:
01Mar2012

Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas entered Singapore's Sembawang Shipyard today to begin a month-long refurbishment as part of the company's Royal Advantage program.

Rhapsody of the Seas is the third Royal Caribbean ship to receive these upgrades, that provides the older ships in the fleet upgrades and amenities found on the newer ships.  The end result is a revamped Royal Caribbean fleet that is better able to compete in the competitive cruise market.

Rhapsody of the Seas complete list of upgrades include

  • Five new specialty dining venues
    • Chops Grille
    • Giovanni’s Table
    • Park Café
    • Izumi
    • Chef’s Table
  • Royal Babies and Tots Nursery
  • Diamond Lounge for Crown and Anchor Society members
  • Concierge lounge for suite guests
  • New furniture
  • New carpets
  • New upholstery
  • Renovated staterooms.

Royal Caribbean's Commercial Manager Adam Armstrong commented on the refurbishment, "“Rhapsody of the Seas has been a tremendous success in Australia and New Zealand where she has carried over 175,000 guests and developed a very loyal following. Now we’re adding a host of extra innovations and popular features to really raise the bar for local fans. Originally scheduled for only a two-week ‘drydock’ for regular maintenance, we have since extended the project to four weeks in order to allow more extensive enhancements across the entire ship, including dining, cabins, entertainment and technology.”

Following the upgrades, Rhapsody of the Seas will head to Australia to join Radiance of the Seas, which received her own revitalization in May 2011.

Royal Caribbean calls for dredging of Australian shipping channel

In:
15Dec2011

Royal Caribbean's Managing Director of Australia, Gavin Smith, is calling once again on authorities at the Cairns, Australia to dredge the shipping channel  and the swing basin.

Smith said that while Rhapsody of the Seas was able to safely traverse the Trinity Inlet, it was "at the limit and edge of its physical capabilities".  He said that Royal Caribbean would prefer the dredging take place to allow for easier and safer crossings as well as allow larger ships, such as Radiance of the Seas, to dock at the cruise terminal.

Currently, Radiance of the Seas is required to anchor off Port Douglas when she arrives in February 2012.

Earlier in the year, Smith had asked for the channel to be dredged to allow the ship to dock even in poor weather conditions. Royal Caribbean prefers to dock rather than moor and force its passengers to be transported via tenders ashore.  

Australia's cruise season begins this month with Radiance and Rhapsody of the Seas

In:
17Sep2011

Australia's cruise season kicks off in the month of September as ships like Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas call the land down under home for the summer season.

Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas will debut in Australia this season on October 15 and it will be the first time she's come to Australia since her major revitalization that took place earlier this year.  Radiance will sail in Australia until April 5, 2012.

Joining Radiance will be Rhapsody of the Seas on November 13, marking her fifth season in Australia. Radiance will remain in Australia until April 13, 2012 and offer 17 different itineraries, such as seven to 18-night South Pacific trips, Queensland voyages and weekend "sampler" trips.

For those cruising on Radiance of the Seas, her maiden Australia itineraries offer cruises as short as two nights or as long as 18, and depart from Sydney and Fremantle.  There's also five 14 and 16-night cruises to New Zealand or a 12-night sailing to the South Pacific.

A new two-night "weekend getaway" itinerary, sailing on November 18, will offer Australians a chance to sample a Radiance-class cruise, while a seven-night Tasmania itinerary, sailing on February 12 next year, will overnight at Melbourne and Hobart.

Radiance will also make a 34-night circumnavigation of Australia.

Royal Caribbean planning major cruise fleet upgrade

In:
11Jul2011

Royal Caribbean is planning a spending spree to upgrade its fleet of cruise ships over the next three years to help keeps its older ships competitive in the cruise market.  

This $300 million revitalization called "Royal Advantage", will allow most of its Vision, Voyager and Radiance class vessels to get a series of upgrades including

  • Restaurants from Oasis Class of ships
    • Chops Grille steakhouse
    • Rita's Cantina Mexican restaurants
    • Izumi Restaurant (sushi)
    • Chops Grille (Steak house)
    • Park Café (sandwiches and salads)
    • Boardwalk Doghouse (brats and wieners)
  • New cabin designs
  • Royal Babies and Tots Nursery
  • Wi-fi throughout ship
  • Digital Wayfinding Systems
  • Oversized LED video screens on pool decks

There's more planned but no details are available quite yet.  These changes sound quite similar to the changes that have already been made to ships such as Radiance of the Seas mostly recently.

These overhauls will require each ship to enter into a lengthy drydock process where the ship will get its upgrades.  The schedule of upgrades are as follows

  1. Splendour of the Seas - November 2011
  2. Rhapsody of the Seas - March 2012
  3. Grandeur of the Seas - May 2012
  4. Serenade of the Seas - November 2012
  5. Legend of the Seas - 2013 or 2014
  6. Vision of the Seas - 2013 or 2014
  7. Navigator of the Seas - 2013 or 2014
  8. Voyager of the Seas - 2013 or 2014
  9. Explorer of the Seas - 2013 or 2014
  10. Adventure of the Seas - 2013 or 2014
  11. Brilliance of the Seas - 2013 or 2014

We know that the overhaul for Splendour, Grandeur and Serenade of the Seas will take place in Cadiz, Spain after Royal Caribbean signed a deal to have those ships rehauled there last month.

Royal Caribbean also mentioned that Independence of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas will receive smaller, less significant upgrades.

Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein is excited about the changes that will help keep the cruise line competitive, "The Royal Advantage revitalizations takes many of the best features that we have created in recent years and introduces them across our fleet, offering our guests enhanced vacation choices around the world."

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