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Jo Rzymowska to lead Passenger Shipping Association's Cruise Section Committee

In:
28Sep2010
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line associate vice president and general manager of the United Kingdom and Ireland, Jo Rzymowska, has been appointed chair of the Passenger Shipping Association's Cruise Section Committee.

She succeeds Stephen Park, former UK head of Norwegian Cruise Lines, who left the company earlier this year.
 
Rzymowska, who joined Royal Caribbean in 2005, oversees the company's sales and marketing activities in the UK and Ireland for its three brands, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises.

Interview with musical arranger of new "Summer Breeze" show on Allure of the Seas

In:
23Sep2010
By: Matt Hochberg

Recently we had a chance to sit down with John Hinchey, the musical arranger for the brand new show "Summer Breeze", which is set to debut on Royal Caribbean's brand new Allure of the Seas ship.

This show, that is being performed each cruise in the Aqua Theater, is a brand new show never seen before on Royal Caribbean and we talked with Hinchey and took a look at this new show and how it came about.

Hi John! Tell us a little about your background in the music industry
I started out arranging music for cruise ship production shows for legendary cruise ship show producer Jean Ann Ryan and her music producer Bruce Fisher in 1981. Since that time Iʼve worked as a music director, producer, composer and arranger for a wide variety of music productions on land and at sea, in the recording studio and at live venues. The projects have been as simple as arrangements for a few instruments or vocalists to full symphony orchestra. The variety of musical styles and situations I find myself working in is very exciting. One time I was asked by a corporate client (KraftMaid) to compose a 10 minute piece using only things youʼd find in a kitchen, played as percussion instruments and 8 tap dancers. So Iʼve been literally asked to compose for “the kitchen sink!”
 
One of my recent projects was writing horn arrangements for Stingʼs Rainforest Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall this past May, featuring Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Lady Gaga, Debra Harry and Dame Shirley Bassey. This was the 5th of these Rainforest Benefit Concerts Iʼve arranged for and itʼs always quite exciting to be involved. You can stop by my website www.hincheymusic.com for more on details what I do and what Iʼve been up to.
 
Summer Breeze is the name of the new show you're working on for Allure of the Seas.  Tell us about what this show is all about.
This is a really fun show! RCCL had me arrange and produce music for a show by the same name on the Oasis Of The Seas last year. It was such a hit with the passengers, that I was asked to do another version of the show with all new music for the Allure Of The Seas.
 
This show is really a live concert event featuring the shipʼs 6 production singers and the fabulous 9 piece band on the ship. It takes place in the Aqua Theater, an open air venue on the fan tail of the ship. On the Oasis it is a “sail away” event, with the sun setting in the background as the passengers relax and enjoy the show. My understanding is it will be similar on the Allure The Seas.
 
Summer Breeze features up beat, fun, feel good music mostly from the 70ʼs but I snuck in a few appropriate songs from the 60ʼs and 80ʼs too. With the exception of one medley, all of the arrangements are full length songs, so the audience really gets to hear these amazing singers show off their talent. This venue also gave me the opportunity to write some arrangements that showcase the horns and the rhythm section in a way you might not get to hear them elsewhere on the ship.
 
Let's dive deeper into the music of Summer Breeze. What are a song or two you selected for the show and why?
Well letʼs see, the opener is the Christopher Cross hit “Ride Like The Wind.” I wanted to open the set with a song that lets you know, “This band means business and you are in for a great time!” We follow up with the B-52ʼs “Love Shack.” When you hear that drum beat and the singer says, “If you see a faded sign at the side of the road that says, ʼ15 miles to the LOVE SHACK!ʼ” it really is hard to keep from getting on your feet and even harder to keep a smile off your face. I donʼt want to spoil all the surprises but a highlight of the show for me is the medley of songs by Boz Scaggs. I wanted to select some material that was very familiar but also some songs that make you say, “I forgot about that song but I love it!”
 
What is going to make Summer Breeze a show that you think will compel guests to see it?
Hereʼs my suggestion, when you look at the schedule of events for the day and see “Summer Breeze” put it on your schedule. About 20 minutes before show time go to your cabin, put on some loose fitting, comfortable clothes and shoes you can dance in or kick off easily. Then head up to the Aqua Theater, get one of those great fruity drinks they serve or your favorite beverage. Then find a nice comfy chair but donʼt plan to be in it too long because dancing and singing along to some songs you love is in your immediate future.
 
Where will Summer Breeze be performed on Allure of the Seas?
I believe it will be in the Aqua Theater.
 
How does creating a show like Summer Breeze on a cruise ship differ from creating a show in any other venue?
As far as the technical details of what I do, there really is no difference. Wherever you do a show, it is to entertain, to lift the audienceʼs emotions, to give their mind a brief respite from everything else going on in their lives. If you think about it, the same reason you might take a vacation.
 
But I will say this, as a professional in the entertainment industry, there is something that sets RCCL apart from most others in this business whether itʼs on land or at sea. That is their commitment to quality and excellence in entertainment. These shows take months, sometimes years, to plan and produce. But RCCL seeks out some of the best talent in the industry on the production side as well as that incredible talent the passengers see onstage. Through the entire process from the people we work with to the tools and equipment we use for sound, lighting, costuming etc, itʼs all top notch.
 
Matt, thanks so much for asking me about Summer Breeze, it is a show Iʼm really proud of and I think the audiences on the Allure of The Seas are gonna love it.
 
For information about John Hinchey and Hinchey Music Service see Johnʼs website at www.hincheymusic.com or visit his blog on music production “Notes On Notes” at http://johnhinchey.com/

Mommy blogger cruise planned for 2011

In:
23Sep2010
By: Matt Hochberg

On April 29th, 2011, several hundred mom bloggers will board a Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Majesty of the Seas in Miami to begin their voyage to the Bahamas, as part of the Bloggin’ Mamas Conference & Cruise. Organizers Heather Lopez of Happy Healthy Mom and Caroline Schafer of the Moms On Vacation Travel Club have teamed up to create this one of a kind opportunity for moms to network for both business and pleasure.

Schafer & Lopez took the concept of mom group traveling and combined it with a mom blogger conference after hearing many complaints from moms about having to spend too much money to attend onshore conferences, having to be away from their family, and not really enjoying everything because they were too overwhelmed. According to Heather Lopez, “The cruise environment allows for the controlled scheduling of workshops and social events, and even onshore activities, which makes it easier to ensure that moms will benefit from both the information and the experience. Plus, the moms can bring their kids and spouses, so they get the benefit of a vacation as well.”

Highlights for the event include:

  • Engaging workshops conducted by experienced bloggers sharing how bloggers can grow their following, grow their influence, and convert their blogs into profitable endeavors
  • Networking opportunities that can help connect faces to their blogs
  • Brand 2 Blogger connections, giving moms the opportunity to try out the latest in products for their family
  • On shore excursions in the Bahamas
  • Workshops scheduled in mid afternoon, rather than morning to allow moms to shop and tour the Bahamas
  • Childcare available
  • Evening social mixers to bring some more fun onboard
  • Invitation Only events for VIP’s
  • Swag Bags & Giveaways
  • Affordable Package Price & Payment Plan

When Lopez and Schafer first came up with the concept, they immediately assembled an advisory board made up of some of the most influential mom bloggers out there to ensure that all aspects of the event were planned with several viewpoints in mind. Advisory board members include Traci Bisson/ The Mom Entrepreneur, Amy Bellgardt/ Mom Spark and Mom Made That, Holly Hanna/ The Work At Home Woman, Dawn Berryman/ Market Mommy, Toni Bloomfield/ Market Mommies, Abbey Fatica/ Living My MoMent, Lin C/ Blogomomma, and Lucinda Cross/ Corporate Mom DropOuts; reaching a combined total of over 100,000 moms nationwide between them.

The Bloggin’ Mamas Cruise & Conference has already garnered tons of brand interest and will be launching a marketing campaign to promote the event shortly. Megan Calhoun of TwitterMoms agreed to help promote the event to her network of over 25,000 members and Jennifer James of the Mom Bloggers Club & Mom Salon is tentatively scheduled as one of the event’s keynotes. Moms are encouraged to register soon to reserve the current rate.

Royal Caribbean and USA Today Kick off 'Reporters at Sea: Family Style' Contest

In:
22Sep2010
By: Matt Hochberg

Calling all families!  Royal Caribbean International and USA TODAY announced today a search for America's best and brightest family to cover the unveiling of Allure of the Seas, which will share the title of the world's largest and most revolutionary cruise ship along with sister ship, Oasis of the Seas.  Today through October 29, 2010, families are invited to enter to win the coveted role of field correspondents alongside USA TODAY'S own cruise editor, Gene Sloan. Once onboard the ship, the lucky winning family of up to six will receive behind-the-scenes access to file reports that will appear at USA TODAY's Cruise Log about one of the most buzzed-about hospitality and entertainment stories of the year.

While embarking on a four-night preview sailing, the winning family will enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at The DreamWorks Experience featuring the "How To Train Your Dragon On Ice" show, an aqua show featuring "Madagascar", character breakfasts, activities for the kids in Adventure Ocean, character meet-and-greets, parades, sail-away parties, 3D films in the ship's 3D theater, as well as backstage access to Chicago: The Musical.  In addition to the United States, the "Reporters at Sea: Family Style" contest is searching for family journalists in Canada, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, South Korea, China and Venezuela.
 
Reporters-to-be can audition for the assignment of a lifetime by submitting a creative video of 45 seconds or less in length and no more than 100 MB in size at www.allureoftheseas.usatoday.com.  The video should showcase the family's best reporting skills and tout why Royal Caribbean should select them to be USA TODAY's correspondents onboard Allure of the Seas.  Videos will be judged on the entrants' ability to entertain, as well as effectively bring to life and clearly explain innovative and imaginative travel or cruising concepts.
 
Once the entry period ends, judges will select three finalists per country, and Americans will vote for their favorite U.S. video between October 15 and October 29, 2010.  Multiple generations are encouraged to enter.  The individual who enters the contest on behalf of his or her family must be 18 years of age.  Winning families of up to six members from each country will be simultaneously announced on November 15, 2010, and will be flown to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to cover two exclusive preview cruises onboard Allure of the Seas from November 19 to November 23, 2010.
 
Allure of the Seas shares the title of the world's largest and most revolutionary cruise ship with its sister ship, Oasis of the Seas.  An architectural marvel at sea, she will span 16 decks, encompass 225,282 gross registered tons, carry 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,700 staterooms. Allure of the Seas will tout Royal Caribbean's exclusive neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, which will include Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone.  The ship will alternate a Western Caribbean with an Eastern Caribbean seven-night itinerary from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.  Additional information is available at www.AllureoftheSeas.com.
 
The Reporters at Sea: Family Style contest builds on the success of last year's Reporter at Sea contest, in which winners from five countries reported individually about the launch of the groundbreaking Oasis of the Seas.  For more information about the Reporters at Sea: Family Style contest, how to enter and vote, the official rules and details on the prize, please visit www.allureoftheseas.usatoday.com.

Pan American Development Foundation to honor Royal Caribbean

In:
22Sep2010
By: Matt Hochberg

The Pan American Development Foundation will honor Royal Caribbean as part of its 2010 Heroes of the Hemisphere event.  Royal Caribbean has been awarded this honor because of its" corporate social responsibility efforts in the Western Hemisphere". Also, the non-profit will recognize the efforts of everyone who provided relief to Haiti after the devastating earthquake.

In addition, five extraordinary people from Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Brazil and Mexico will be honored as the 2010 Heroes of the Hemisphere for their dedication to improving the lives of people in their communities

"I Love Lucy" cruise planned on Oasis of the Seas

In:
22Sep2010
By: Matt Hochberg

If you're an "I Love Lucy" fan, then there's a cruise for you.  Fans of the famous television show can now be a part of the week-long "I Love Lucy Diamond Jubilee Cruise".

The cruise, on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, will celebrate the "once-in-a-lifetime double-anniversary celebration" on October 15, 2011 (this coincides with the 60th anniversary of the TV show).  The ship will make stops in Labadee , Haiti ; Falmouth , Jamaica ; and Cozumel , Mexico.

Onboard activities include celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the TV series as well as the 100th birthday of its famous star, Lucille Ball. Other events include special banquets, “Lucy”-themed “live” shows, discussions with special guests who knew and worked with the great lady, screenings of her most-loved episodes, trivia contests, and more.

If this is of interest you can book by contacting Barb Shulman ([email protected]) 619.548.1289 Toll Free 877.278.9386 or Danielle Marsh ([email protected]) 864.228.7992 Toll Free 866.403.1318

Ukraine Transport Ministry agrees with Royal Caribbean on the development of the Yalta port

In:
22Sep2010
By: Matt Hochberg

Ministry of Transport and Communications of Ukraine and the Yalta Sea Trade Port signed a protocol on cooperation with Royal Caribbean International on reconstruction and development of the port.

According to new agreement, Royal Caribbean intends to reconstruct the building of the Yalta Seaport and increase the berthing front, which will enable the port to four cruise ships simultaneously.
 
Royal Caribbean management also believes it possible to quickly equipment in Yalta's modern multifunctional dock.
 
Also in the plans - the construction of hotel and restaurant complex, which will focus not only on passenger cruise ships, but also to tourists visiting Yalta throughout the year.
 
Chief engineer and designer of the company Royal Caribbean International Scott Lage already started to read the potential of the Yalta port, and assured that from the moment he will have all the necessary information, the pace of development of investment projects to accelerate.
 
Signing of the Protocol is regarded as an increase in interest in cruises on the Black Sea, and the realization of major projects in this area directly affected and to develop itself as a tourist pearl of Yalta in Ukraine.
 
Earlier, Minister of Transport and Communications of Ukraine Konstantin Efimenko announced its intention to attract investors for the construction of the Yalta port yacht marina worth 2.2 billion USD.

Rio de Janeiro to receive more than 1.2 million cruise visitors

In:
21Sep2010
By: Matt Hochberg

The The Brazilian Association of Representatives of shipping companies (of which Royal Caribbean is a member) estimates that the six destinations of the state of Rio in Brazil that are scheduled to receive ships (Rio de Janeiro, Buzios, Angra dos Reis, Jaguanum Island, Big Island and Cabo Frio) will receive a total of almost 1.210 million of visits in the 2010/2011 season, which begins in Brazil in October.

 
The city of Rio de Janeiro, which has a major port for berthing of the country, is receiving the greatest number of visits: 507 000. "The trip cruises are beneficial to cities, since a passenger can do more than one site visit, increasing the economic impact and, if good impression and is well treated, he returns to spend a longer period," explains the organization's president, Ricardo Amaral.

Endangered owl discovered on Oasis of the Seas

In:
20Sep2010
By: Matt Hochberg

A Florida burrowing owl was discovered in the mini-golf course aboard Oasis of the Seas this past Saturday.  Just before Oasis was about to leave, the federally protected bird was discovered at which point Royal Caribbean contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

FWC Lt. David Bingham and a Broward County Sheriff's Office deputy safely removed the pint-sized bird from the golf course. The owl was released in an open field in western Broward County.

As a species of special concern, Florida burrowing owls, their burrows and their eggs are protected from harassment and/or disturbance by state law. Burrowing owls also are protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

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