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Dreamworks Experience coming to Voyager of the Seas in Australia


Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in Australia when she debuts in November 2012, will be arriving with some special DreamWorks guests.  Royal Caribbean has announced details regarding the DreamWorks Experience at Sea on Voyager of the Seas.

Voyager of the Seas will feature characters from “Madagascar”, “Shrek”, “Kung Fu Panda” and “Puss in Boots”.

“Since being introduced on Allure of the Seas in 2010 – and then rolled out to another four ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet – the DreamWorks Experience has been incredibly popular with guests,” Royal Caribbean Australia and New Zealand Commercial Manager Adam Armstrong said.

In the main dining room, there will be special breakfasts in addition to photo opportunities daily with Po from “King Fu Panda”, Shrek, Fiona and Puss in Boots from “Shrek”, King Julien, Alex, Gloria and the Penguins from “Madagascar”.

Passengers aboard Voyager of the Seas will also be able to meet-and-greet with the characters during surprise appearances throughout the ship, including Voyager’s youth club, Adventure Ocean, where they will be involved in activities including storytelling and dance parties.

Two street parades will be scheduled down the Royal Promenade per cruise while DreamWorks films including “Puss in Boots” and “Madagascar 3” will be shown in the 1,350-seat 3D Cinema.

For an in-cabin fix, there will be a dedicated DreamWorks TV channel which will play programs and movies 24-7. 

Royal Caribbean offering the chance to sail with the cast of Madagascar


In connection with the release of "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted",  Royal Caribbean is offering a content to sail with Alex, Gloria, King Julien and the Penguins on select ships featuring the DreamWorks Experience offered exclusively on Royal Caribbean.

You can visit to enter the contest through June 20 for your chance to win the "Madagascar at Sea" sweepstakes.  The two grand prizes are a seven-night cruise for four to Europe or the Caribbean, while one daily winner will earn a $25 gift card for correctly answering trivia about the cruise line and the “Madagascar” franchise.

To celebrate the release of “Madagascar 3” Royal Caribbean ships featuring the DreamWorks Experience, Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas, will host special screenings of the movie in 3D throughout the summer, plus offer exclusive content – including movie trailers and behind the scenes videos – as well as the chance to win prizes, such as movie posters, DVDs, character photos and more during daily trivia and other onboard activities.

DreamWorks Experience coming to Voyager of the Seas


Royal Caribbean announced that Voyager of the Seas will receive the DreamWorks Experience package next year after the cruise giant reached an agreement with DreamWorks to extend the agreement that was already in place.  Voyager of the Seas will soon offer DreamWorks parades, character breakfasts and other special events.

Voyager of the Seas will become the fifth ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet to receive the DreamWorks addon.  Royal Caribbean is hoping the addon will give Royal Caribbean more interest in the Asian cruise market as Voyager of the Seas debuts in Asia next year.  

Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein spoke about the new deal, “Expanding the DreamWorks Experience to Voyager of the Seas further illustrates our commitment to the China market, and the Asia and Australia region. This is really going to set us apart as an international cruise line that delivers the very best in family entertainment for guests around the world."

Royal Caribbean will offer 3-D screenings of Kung Fu Panda 2


Royal Caribbean will offer showings of Dreamwork Animations newest film "Kung Fu Panda 2" on some of their newest ships.

Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas will have the new film playing onboard from June through August 2011. In addition, there will be  a series of red-carpet premieres aboard each ship, which will be celebrated onboard Oasis of the Seas on June 4, Freedom of the Seas and Allure of the Seas on June 5, and Liberty of the Seas on June 18.

In coordination with the new film, Royal Caribbean is rolling out a new promotion called “Pandamonium,” which is a cruise promotion aimed at families who are looking to cruise this summer.  The package is available onboard the four Royal Caribbean ships that feature the DreamWorks Experience, and includes VIP seating at one of the onboard “Kung Fu Panda 2” premieres, exclusive meet and greets with DreamWorks Animation characters, two soft drink packages, two cupcakes from the Cupcake Cupboard, a complimentary family photo and a chance for guests to build their own Pets at Sea plush animal. The Pandamonium package can be booked using the promotional code YNOTxxPO.

Video of the Day: Alex the Lion from film Madagascar gives you a sneak peek of the Allure of the Seas Fitness Center


Royal Caribbean confirms Dreamworks additions will not impact everyone


When the Dreamworks alliance was announced last month, many Royal Caribbean fans were afraid that their favorite ships would be turned into a giant floating shrine to Shrek and his friends.  

In a blog post by Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein, he confirmed that if you have no desire to experience any of the Dreamworks entertainment, you won't have to.  All of it will be isolated in designated areas and like any other form of entertainment on the ship, you will need to seek it out to experience it.

On the other hand, some readers expressed concern that the DWA presence onboard Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas will create too much of kid-centric, theme park style environment.

For guests who are not interested in this additional offering, it will be just as possible as before on these same four ships to have a fantastic Royal Caribbean experience taking advantage of all of the entertainment, programming, culinary and destination experiences that are already so appealing.

The news is not shocking, given that Disney ships, world renown for their characters, make it very possible to cruise with them and never see their characters.  The announcement by Goldstein is in response to a vocal outcry across the internet by concerned cruisers who wanted to know the limits of the Dreamworks team up.

The fight for families


There's been a slew of articles all over the interwebs all about the Royal Caribbean and Dreamworks alliance and it seems everyone has an opinion on it.  MSNBC posted an article about the fight for families cruise lines are now engaging in with Royal Caribbean and Dreamworks, Norwegian Cruise Line and Nickelodean and Disney all vying for families to choose their ships.  The premise is that these alliances are hoping the kids will influence their parents to choose a cruise line, an idea we first posted about last week.

Anyone who doesn't think that the Royal Caribbean deal is about competing with Disney has their head in the sand.  Is Royal Caribbean looking to go head-to-head with Disney in terms of characters? Maybe not.  But what Royal Caribbean is trying to do is not cede the entire family cruise with young children demographic to Disney.  An under reported benefit of the Dreamworks deal is that Royal Caribbean also gets the rights to show the Dreamworks film library on board its ships.  That's a big bonus for kids who will be able to watch Shrek or Kung Fu Panda ad nauseum in their staterooms.

I know there's a lot of backlash from cruisers who are concerned their next cruise will be filled with character based entertainment that will ruin their cruise.  If you consider what Disney does on their ships the crux of character integration on a cruise ship, on Disney ships, you really have to go out of your way to see a character, much less interact with one.  You can be in the pool, or on the sun deck or at dinner and never see one.  The character entertainment on Disney is very compartmentalized and I imagine Royal Caribbean will have a similar model as well. 

How much of an impact this alliance will have remains to be seen but this deal shouldn't be vilified or feared.  Rather, it looks to be (on paper) a good deal for both sides and hopefully something that will fatten Royal Caribbean's bottom line, which in turn helps us all.

Analyzing the CEO's Blog: Dreamworks Announcement


We're going to start a new series of blog posts that go through the latest blog entries by Royal Caribbean's CEO Adam Goldstein and give an opinion on them, as well as offer you an opportunity to share your thoughts.  Our first entry will deal with the post made on June 6, 2010.

First, the current Ultimate Value Books (a.k.a. coupon books) expire on June 30th and the new ones will arrive before then. In the interim, we’re giving our guests immediate access to the three most significant new or augmented benefits: Internet, laundry and photo. An insert will be placed in the coupon book onboard until the new ones arrive. On most ships the books will arrive in the next two weeks. Legend of the Seas will get her books in late June.

This move is pretty self explanatory and makes sense.  With the recent announcement of changes to Crown and Anchor Society benefits, it's smart of Royal Caribbean to not leave anyone "caught in the middle".

Second, some of our shareholders who are Crown & Anchor members are displeased that the shareholder benefit cannot be used together with Crown & Anchor discounts, including the new onboard booking bonus. We are sorry that this is the case but we cannot modify our approach in this area. In order for the onboard booking bonus to be as robust as possible and to be used together with the Crown & Anchor discounts, we could not allow the shareholder discount to also be used together with it. Please bear in mind that the reason to own our stock is that you believe the stock represents a good investment in connection with your personal investing strategy. The cruise benefit is a nice opportunity to have, if applicable, but not a reason to own the stock.

This was a really surprising response and I found it pretty honest.  He could have just thrown out marketing talk and ignore the issue of Royal Caribbean shareholders complaining about not being able to use their shareholder bonus discount on top of the Crown and Anchor discounts, but instead gave a pretty honest response of you own stock to invest in the company, not get discounts on cruises.  That being said, that isn't going to make those that were complaining happy but, the man has a point!

We have received comments from members who want the benefit of the new onboard booking bonus retroactively applied to previously made bookings. I hope most of you appreciate that we needed to pick a time to introduce this benefit and that there would always be customers who had booked not long before the implementation date. There is no way to draw a line on retroactivity and so the bonus is applicable for eligible bookings made on or after our June 1st announcement.

I think Adam made the fairest choice here by being fair to no one.  I can understand some would be upset if they booked onboard a future cruise a few days before this announcement or a few weeks, but the truth is you got the best deal possible at the time of booking.  If they went back to 2 weeks prior, then everyone who booked 3 or 4 weeks or longer would be up in arms.  There would never be a date range that would make everyone happy unless you went back really, really far and that doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Returning to DreamWorks, we are really excited about this major step forward in our entertainment and programming. DreamWorks is the leader in animated films and Royal Caribbean International is the leader in cruising. Although these companies have worked in very different spaces, they have in common vision, inspiration, creativity, scale and global reach. Not to mention that both companies’ products make people happy.

I posted my thoughts on the merger in an earlier post, but it makes sense that Adam would be playing up this major alliance that Royal Caribbean entered into.  I was reading some comments on the deal around the net, and there are people who say they don't care about characters and don't want their future cruises filled with the characters.  My response to that is simply if you've been on a Disney Cruise, you know that if you never want to see the characters, you won't.  The meets and other character events are held at specific locations and specific times, so it's not like you'll find Shrek roaming the halls looking to give out hugs.

Dreamworks characters rumored to be coming to Royal Caribbean


According to a tweet by Stitchkingdom, the characters from DreamWorks Animation will be appearing as characters to meet aboard Royal Caribbean ships.  This could be the announcement promised at 11am eastern today by Royal Caribbean.  In a few hours, we will know more!

Update: USA Today is confirming the rumor.  Characters will first arrive on Allure of the Seas and then spread to Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas.  The characters will include Shrek, Fiona and Puss In Boots from Shrek; Alex, Marty and the Penguins of Madagascar; Po of Kung Fu Panda and Hiccup of How to Train Your Dragon. The characters will appear as part of exclusive special events, parades, character breakfasts and photo opportunities. Characters also will appear in an AquaTheater show on Allure of the Seas, and in an ice skating show on the ship.