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Royal Caribbean ships contribute to Bahamian economy

In:
01Oct2010
By: Matt Hochberg

Last month Nassau, Bahamas completed extensive dredging and refurbishment of Nassau Harbor and businesses in downtown Nassau are reporting healthy business as a result.

Ships like Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, which docks in Nassau every other Sunday, is responsible for increasing revenues in the city.

The Bahamas was amongst many countries which were seeking to have these ships call on their ports,” said Carla Stuart, director of Cruise Development in the Ministry of Tourism & Aviation. “By the end of December, the Oasis would have made 34 visits and brought at least 183,600 passengers for the year 2010. Head tax to be derived is estimated at $2.7 million while spend from the passengers of this vessel is estimated at $12 million. The ship will continue to call every other week.”

Thelma Miller of Vintage Island Handicraft, a Festival Place souvenir store, pointed out that the Oasis’ calls have been good for business on Sundays, which would otherwise be slow. Meanwhile, Senor Frog’s has also been happy with the business that the Oasis brings.
 
It does make a difference when the Oasis comes in,” said Chester Williamson, manager of Senor Frog’s. “I think the second week it came in with 3,000 people on board.”
 
Things will get better for Nassau after December when Oasis of the Seas' sister ship Allure of the Seas joins the Royal Caribbean fleet and will also make regular stops in Nassau.  this will allow for a stop each week by one of the mega-vessels.

Rhapsody of the Seas heads to Australia

In:
01Oct2010
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas is heading to Australia to start service for the summer season. Rhapsody of the Seas departed Hawaii on September 29 and is heading for Australia to begin her fourth season in the land down under.  

Rhapsody of the Seas will head right for Sydney habor, where she is due to arrive on October 16 and will also have the distinction of being the first international cruise ship to arrive in Australia this season.  Rhapsody of the Seas is expected to carry over 35,000 guests from around the world on her itineraries.

Rhapsody has become a favorite in Australia, after completing a record season in 2009-2010 of sailing with a full compliment of guests every voyage. . Home ported in Sydney, Rhapsody of the Seas will sail 17 cruises and visit a number of new destinations, including maiden calls at Newcastle, NSW, Champagne Bay in Vanuatu and Lautoka in Fiji. Rhapsody also returns to cruise the South Pacific islands of New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji.

Royal Caribbean Australia Commercial Manager Adam Armstrong thinks Rhapsody of the Seas is a perfect fit for Australia, "Australia has truly embraced Rhapsody of the Seas since her arrival in 2007.  Her seasons down under go from strength to strength, with more and more Australians stepping onboard to experience our ‘Royal’ treatment.”

Rhapsody's trip to Australia from Hawaii will coincide with two important geographic events during her 16-night cruise across the Pacific.  First, she will pass the equator of the Earth between Hawaii and Tahiti.  Afterwards, guests onboard will "lose a day" as she passes the International Dateline after sailing west from Raiatea in French Polynesia.

Royal Caribbean announces Royal 5K in St. Maarten

In:
01Oct2010
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean announced its first ever "Royal 5K" running event to be held in St. Maarten on December 16, 2010.  This race will be open to those cruising aboard Allure of the Seas.

This special race coincides with a cruise itinerary dedicated to running enthusiasts that include vitality-themed activities, such as

  • Join fellow runners by exploring the different ports of call with group fun runs
  • Meet high profile racing athletes during private meet & greets
  • Attend seminars & lectures with high profile athletes
  • Receive personal training tips from experts
  • Test your speed with a chance to set a world record time at sea
  • Recognize everyone's accomplishments with an awards ceremony
  • Be entered for a chance to win prizes including a grand prize trip to ESPN Headquarters

The race package costs $50 for adults and $35 for children.  Guests may register onboard the ship or in advance at the Royal 5K site.  Participating guests will receive a commemorative race t-shirt, as well as exclusive access to a post-race reception on board.

Royal Caribbean is delighted to offer this very special Royal 5K run in St. Maarten to Allure of the Seas’ guests,” said Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, Hotel Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “As part of our commitment to provide guests healthier vacation options, we look for opportunities like these to enhance our Vitality programming onboard and drive awareness of a health-conscious lifestyle. Coupled with an unprecedented line-up of new entertainment aboard Allure of the Seas, guests on this sailing will have a wide spectrum of exciting and heart-pumping options for an amazing cruise vacation.”

While the Royal 5K will be offered exclusively as a shore excursion on Allure of the Seas, all guests aboard the sailing have the chance to set the first Royal Caribbean jogging track record. Guests are invited to sign up in advance for a time slot on Tuesday, December 14, to test their running speed. Certified with RFID timing technology, they can attempt to set the cruise line’s record for the fastest run at sea on Allure of the Seas’ 0.46-mile long jogging track, the longest at sea.
 
Royal 5K participants also will be able to attend onboard seminars and receptions featuring running talents including Bart Yasso, the chief running officer of Runner’s World magazine; Frank Shorter, an Olympic Marathon Gold and Silver Medalist; Sonja Friend-Uhl, a member of seven U.S. world teams, 2000 Olympic trials competitor in the 1500m, and currently ranked in the top 24 women in the U.S. for distances from the 5k to the Half-Marathon; and Sean Jefferson, an NCAA All American, 1600m National Champion and professional runner and tri-athlete.

MagicMeets offers cruise for Disney lovers

In:
30Sep2010
By: Matt Hochberg

If you're a fan of Disney and/or the Disney Parks, there's a Royal Caribbean cruise for you!

Magic Meets, a Disney fan gathering, is holding their annual event onboard Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas, which departs Bayonne, New Jersey for a 5 night cruise to Bermuda on July 16-21, 2011.

The cruise offers Disney fans from online communities a place to gather to share their interest in all things Disney.  Magic Meets has been running for a number of years with the event last year held for for the first time on a cruise, which was on Grandeur of the Seas this past July.

Prices start at $931 per person for an inside cabin (price includes taxes and fees).  You can book a cabin with MEI-Mouse Fan Travel.

Grandeur of the Seas to skip CocoCay today

In:
30Sep2010
By: Matt Hochberg

Majesty of the Seas will not go to CocoCay today. Instead, the ship will stay in Nassau overnight until 5 p.m., before finishing its cruise in Miami on Friday morning as originally scheduled.

Credit to CruiseCritic for information

Tropical Storm Nicole changes Grandeur of the Seas itinerary

In:
29Sep2010
By: Matt Hochberg

Tropical Storm Nicole has affected the itinerary of Grandeur of the Seas. Instead of stopping at CoCo Cay, Grandeur of the Seas will stop in Nassau, Bahamas today. The rest of the ship's itinerary is unaffected

Credit to CruiseCritic for information

Royal Caribbean prices keep in line with economy

In:
29Sep2010
By: Matt Hochberg

CEOs in America are paying more attention to their pricing strategies, while torn between rising costs and the reluctance of consumers to pay more. Core inflation, which excludes volatile energy prices and food has not undergone major changes in the U.S. in recent months and executives do not fail to analyze where, when and how they can raise prices.

Royal Caribbean Cruises has been increasing the price of their cruise, but more gradually than before and only after collecting data on stocks that are receiving telephone and on its website, says Brian Rice, his chief financial officer. Throughout the day, the cruise operator adjusts hundreds of prices. However, Rice said that rates have not reached the pre-recession levels. "Clearly we have our prices where we need them," he says.

Legend of the Seas makes first visit to Seoul

In:
29Sep2010
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas made her first visit ever to Seoul, South Korea, after being added as a port of call by Royal Caribbean.  Legend of the Seas will be largest ship to ever visit the the Incheon port on Tuesday.

Traditional plaque and memento exchanges to commemorate the maiden call took place at a VIP ceremony onboard the ship.
 
 “Seoul is a very vibrant city with many cultural, shopping and gastronomical attractions which is rising in popularity amongst tourists in recent years. We are pleased to add Seoul to our Korean destinations on top of Busan and Jeju Island, which will give our international guests more ways to discover this country,” said Kelvin Tan, Royal Caribbean’s Regional Director, Asia Pacific. “The port of Incheon has impressed us today on this occasion with its efficiency and strong support, which prompts me to say confidently that this port will be very important in Royal Caribbean’s future plans in Asia. Already, with our ship now sailing year round in the region and out of Busan, we hope to operate cruises from more Korean ports in the future and bring more of the world-renowned Royal Caribbean vacation experience to our Korean guests.”
 
Royal Caribbean has plans for Legend of the Seas to return to Incheon again 10 more times starting in July of next year.

Royal Caribbean WOW Sale begins today

In:
29Sep2010
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is kicking off it's much hyped "WOW Sale" today, which is offering savings for Royal Caribbean cruises in 2011.  During the sale, passengers can get up to $200 per cabin in onboard credits.  In addition, you will only have to pay half the normal amount for a deposit to book a cruise.

"Our WOW sale is truly our best consumer offer," Royal Caribbean senior vice president for sales Vicki Freed tells USA TODAY, noting the promotion is good on voyages through 2012. The sale "offers the most flexibility of dates and ships."

Onboard credit amounts vary depending the length of your cruise...

  • 3-5 night cruises: $50 per cabin
  • 6-9 night cruises: $100 per cabin
  • 9 nights or more: $200 per cabin.

Special offer can not be combined with any other offer or promotion, including Crown & Anchor, Shareholder Benefit, Future and Next Cruise offers.  This deal is only valid September 29 & 30, 2010.

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