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Royal Caribbean makes changes to Quantum of the Seas for the Chinese cruise market


Royal Caribbean has nearly completed updates to Quantum of the Seas that will better suit her for her role in offering cruises in China.

Since arriving in Shanghai back on June 24, the ship had some venues and areas of the ship changed to better accomodate the Chinese guests that will be sailing on her.

All photos by Royal Caribbean

Some changes include

  • Johnny Rockets was changed to a Kung Fu Panda Noodle Shop
  • Dynamikc Dining was removed and dining changed to traditional dining
  • Duty free shop was relocated to make room for luxury leather boutique
  • Sunglass shop replaced by high-end Italian footwear shop
  • Royal Caribbean branded marketing inserts in some store windows were swapped out to comport with Chinese tastes
  • Mamma Mia! was replaced with a one-hour show called "Sequins and Feathers"

Royal Caribbean director of revitalization operations, Fabien Teissonniere, estimates that 95 percent of the changes to Quantum of the Seas for the Chinese cruise market is complete and a few more changes will be made later this year or in early 2016.

Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas arrives in Shanghai to begin cruises from China


Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas arrived in Shanghai (Baoshan), China today, which will be her new homeport.  Quantum of the Seas will offer three- to eight-night, roundtrip cruises, year-round from Shanghai to North Asia destinations.

Chinese officials from the port authority from Baoshan district together with executives from Royal Caribbean joined the welcome ceremony for Global Odyssey guests at Wusong International Cruise Terminal this morning.

Quantum of the Seas's arrival completes a 53-night global odyssey cruise from New York that took the ship to the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean and finally, China.

Royal Caribbean President and CEO, Michael Bayley, spoke about the impact of Quantum of the Seas' arrival, "Chinese consumers have grown to expect the best the world has to offer, and Quantum of the Seas meets that standard like no other ship – this is a cruise from the future,  The addition of Quantum of the Seas has increased our brand’s capacity to the highest ever in the region. There is incredible potential in the Chinese market, and bringing our newest and most technologically advanced ship to China will cement our leadership position in the area."

Royal Caribbean promotes Dr. Zinan Liu as new President for the China and North Asia Pacific region


Royal Caribbean announced today it was promoting Dr. Zinan Liu as its new President for the China and North Asia Pacific region.

Zinan joined Royal Caribbean International in 2009 and has been spearheading all of Royal Caribbean's commercial and operational activities, and significantly growing the brand in the region, including opening offices in Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, and bolstering the brand's operations in Shanghai. 

Royal Caribbean President and CEO Michael Bayley commented on the promotion, "These are exciting times for Royal Caribbean International as we continue to build our business in China.  I am confident that Zinan's expertise as a global travel veteran, his strong relationships in the region, and astute business acumen, will put us in a powerful position to reach our goals."

Zinan holds a doctoral degree in economics from the University of London, and also is Chairman of Cruise Lines International Association, North Asia, where he has been an influential spokesman for the cruise industry in the region.

Royal Caribbean wins Best Cruise Operator in China for 7th year in a row


Royal Caribbean was awarded Best Cruise Operator for the seventh year in a row by Travel Weekly China and TTG China.

Both awards honor the best in the travel industry and recognize leaders in many aspects of travel, such as hotels and resorts, travel destinations, cruise lines, online travel and more.

Royal Caribbean Vice President of North Asia & China Dr. Zinan Liu commented on the award, “We are absolutely thrilled to receive these two prestigious trade awards once again.  As these awards are voted on by travel agents and consumers across the country, it is an honor to have the support and confidence in our brand from our valued travel partners and the market. This is a great accomplishment for the Royal Caribbean International team and we will continue to offer our partners and guests the best products and service.”

“These awards identify the industry’s finest,” said Rebecca Zhang, Travel Weekly’s Publisher in China. “The professionals who read and rely on trade media have the expertise to select those business, destinations and hotels that provide higher level of service to their clients. Our readers can be confident that these winners represent the best this industry has to offer.”

Royal Caribbean is sending Ovation of the Seas to China


Royal Caribbean will send its third Quantum-class cruise ship, Ovation of the Seas, to China when she debuts in April 2016.

Ovation of the Seas will be home ported in Tianjin, China, 70 miles southeast of Beijing.

Sister ship Quantum of the Seas will be heading to China later this summer and together with Ovation of the Seas and three other Royal Caribbean ships, Royal Caribbean is poised for a monster offering in this new cruising market.

 Once launched, Ovation of the Seas’ maiden sailings will include a 52-night Global Odyssey from Southampton, U.K. to Tianjin. Vacationers can be among the first to experience the new ship on the 2016 Ovation Global Odyssey, which will open for sale on Thursday, March 26, 2015. Five itineraries will take guests to some of the world’s most iconic cities:

  • A seven-night England to Barcelona cruise, departing May 3, 2016 from Southampton
  • 16-night Barcelona to Dubai cruise, via the Suez Canal, departing May 10
  • 14-night India and Southeast Asia cruise, departing May 26 from Dubai to Singapore
  • Three-night Malaysia cruise, departing June 9 on a roundtrip sailing from Singapore
  • And 12-night Exotic Asia cruise, from Singapore to Tianjin.

Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley made the announcement earlier today, “Cruising has become very popular for Chinese consumers and Royal Caribbean is already capturing their imaginations with our industry-leading cruise ships,” said Bayley. “We are furthering our commitment by bringing two of the world’s newest and most advanced Quantum-class cruise ships to the region. In addition, we are significantly expanding our investment in the training and employment of Chinese talent so they can join us in delivering our amazing and distinctive vacations to Chinese travelers.”

The five ships Royal Caribbean will base in China will be homeporting in four metropolitan Chinese cities – Shanghai, Tianjin, Hong Kong and Xiamen – and primarily sailing three- to 12-night itineraries to destinations in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. Royal Caribbean’s summer 2016 Asia adventures will open for booking in August 2015.

The news Ovation of the Seas will be based in China confirms an earlier report we posted that the new mega ship was indeed heading there.


Royal Caribbean sets up staff training center in China


Royal Caribbean has set up a staff training center in China.  The new center is at in Tianjin Maritime College in north China's port city of Tianjin.

The new training center will have an area of over 13,000 square meters and offer training rooms for Western and Asian cooking, guest rooms and exhibition halls.

Royal Caribbean chief human resources officer, Maria Del Busto, said the cruise line will have five new cruise ships from China in the next couple of years.

Tianjin gained official approval for a national cruise liner tourism development zone last year.

Royal Caribbean sending Quantum of the Seas to China in 2015


Royal Caribbean announced today it will send its brand new Quantum of the Seas to home port in Shanghai (Baoshan), China in May 2015.

In China, Quantum of the Seas will join Mariner of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas in Asia, increasing the company’s capacity in the region by 66 percent.

The move by Royal Caribbean shows how important the Chinese cruise market is to Royal Caribbean by putting a brand new cruise ship there instead of the usual pattern of older ships going to Asia.


Royal Caribbean COO Adam Goldstein commented on the announcement, "Consumers in China have grown to expect the best the world has to offer, and Quantum of the Seas meets that standard like no other ship.  We are ready to accelerate the growth of this vital market with a ship that will capture the imagination of travelers looking for a one-of-a-kind vacation experience."

"Every trend we are seeing in China tells us we can achieve real long-term competitive advantage and appealing returns on our investments in this fast-growing market by accelerating our presence there,” Goldstein said. “We will have to be nimble, but the ability to move fast is one of our strengths."

To replace Quantum of the Seas once it leaves New York, Liberty of the Seas will sail up and take her place and offer cruises to the Bahamas and Caribbean for the winter of 2015-2016.

Royal Caribbean will use Oceans TV to provide Chinese movies


Royal Caribbean has reached an agreement to have UK based Oceans TV provide in-cabin entertainment for use onboard Voyager of the Seas while she is in China.

Voyager of the Seas will now offer in all of its staterooms popular Chinese movies, including the highest grossing domestic Chinese movie of all time, Lost in Thailand.

In addition to movies, Oceans TV supplies cruise lines with satellite TV channels, live TV events, international movies, promotional videos, safety films and portable entertainment systems such as the iPad.

This is the first time Oceans TV has licensed movies to the cruise industry.

Royal Caribbean CEO talks of success in China


Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein is proud of what his company has been able to achieve in terms of success in the China cruise market.

"China is already our third-largest market in the world, behind the US and the UK, which is amazing, and we believe it will grow even more," said Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International.

Royal Caribbean reported the number of passengers embarking on China home-ported sailings has quadrupled from 25,000 in 2010 to 115,000 last year.  This year, Royal Caribbean is expecting to see that number rise to 300,000 guests.

Goldstein believes that it will take some more time, but eventually the Chinese cruise market will eclipse the United States cruise market, however, he does see it will bypass the UK cruise market in the next five years.

Part of Royal Caribbean's success was bringing bigger ships over, including Voyager of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas.

"When we first came to China in 2008, and talked about 2,000 people getting on in Shanghai and getting off in South Korea, no one believed it," Goldstein recalled.

China's cruise industry could face challenges


Royal Caribbean has been a big player in China's nascent cruise industry but some are concerned that obstacles in the near-future will hamper its growth overall.  

Royal Caribbean chairman in Shanghai, Liu Zinan, feels tighter integration between the cruise companies and government is essential, "The government, the local authorities, need to support the cruise lines in exercising international practice here."

Since cruise tourism was introduced in China less than 10 years ago, five cruise terminals have been built at an estimated cost of more than 4.5 billion yuan (US$736 million). Three more are under construction and another six are in the pipeline.

Royal Caribbean estimates in Shanghai and Tianjin, the combined investment in cruise infrastructure has topped 12.3 billion yuan.

The danger lies in these facilities not returning on the investment, with losses common thus far.