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Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean reports better than expected first quarter 2012 results


Royal Caribbean reported its first quarter 2012 financial results and characterized it as better than expected.  In addition, they updated its guidancefor the remainder of 2012.

Royal Caribbean's net income for the first quarter 2012 was $47 million versus $78.4 million in 2011. Revenues improved to $1.8 billion in the first quarter of 2012 compared to $1.7 billion in the first quarter of 2011 as a result of capacity increases and yield improvements.

As Royal Caribbean expected, booking activity continued to improve over the span of the last few months.  Cumulative bookings since early February have been down mid single digits, although gradual improvement continues. Bookings from the United States have been running ahead of same time last year for the past four weeks.

Royal Caribbean Chairman Richard Fain commented on the results, "First quarter results were satisfactory given the difficult and uncertain operating environment and we continue to see gradual improvement in the demand for our great vacations.  We did not expect the impact of the tragedy to be long term and we are seeing evidence the effects are waning."

Bookings for the fourth quarter of 2012 and for 2013 sailings remain strong, with both load factors and pricing running ahead of same time last year. In addition, the company has seen an increase in summer demand for its Pullmantur brand's tour product.

Royal Caribbean announces Australia & New Zealand 2013-2014 plans


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. 

Video: See Alaska's glaciers aboard Royal Caribbean


Royal Caribbean releases Freedom of the Seas Summer 2013 Schedule


Royal Caribbean has unveiled Freedom of the Seas' Summer 2013 schedule that features 26 new sailings.  The schedule covers May through October 2013 and bookings are now open.

Freedom will continue alternating between seven-night western and eastern Caribbean cruises sailing out of Port Canaveral, Florida.

Eastern cruises will have ports of call in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., St. Maarten and CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas.

Western Caribbean sailings will stop at Falmouth, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private "island" on the north coast of Haiti.

Royal Caribbean wins rights to show Euro 2012 soccer games


Royal Caribbean has secured the rights to show the European Football Championships on board its ships this summer.

All 31 soccer matches between June 8 and July 1 will be shown live on Royal Caribbean ships that are sailing in Europe, including its sister Celebrity Cruise line.

Passengers will be able to watch the games in select bars around the ship or on the TVs in their staterooms.

Royal Caribbean vice president and EMEA managing director Dominic Paul commented, “Being able to show the games live is brilliant news for our guests, many of whom we know are passionate football fans. Often, holidaymakers are put off from going away when the big tournaments are on as they don’t want to miss the action – this way they can enjoy a fantastic cruise and, hopefully, cheer their team to victory.”

Ships that will show the games include Adventure of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Splendour of the Seas and Vision of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean orders azipod propulsions for Project Sunshine cruise ships


Royal Caribbean has ordered azipods from ABB to provide the propulsion to its very secret new class of cruise ships known as Project Sunshine.  The $60 million deal will provide complete power and propulsion to the two new cruise ships that are being built  by Meyer Werft for Royal Caribbean.

ABB announced that the order for the first shop was booked in 2011 and the second vessel's azipods were ordered in the first quarter of 2012.

The Project Sunshine cruise ships are a brand new class of cruise ships that Royal Caribbean is developing, that will be 158,000-gt and handle about 4,100 passengers.

ABB will supply a complete electrical systems for the new ships, the delivery for each ship includes power generation and distribution systems, thruster motors, and two 20.5MW propulsion systems including transformers, drives and two Azipod XO propulsion units. The Azipod propulsion is claimed to use less fuel than traditional systems, and to provide greater maneuverability in all operating conditions.

ABB says that its deliverables will maximize the ships fuel efficiency, speed and maneuverability while reducing emissions and providing reliable power to the ships.  All of this will help Royal Caribbean meet its energy efficiency and environmental impact targets.

Royal Caribbean ends its longest season in Persian Gulf


Royal Caribbean wrapped up its third and most successful cruise season in the Persian Gulf with nearly all sailings fully booked.

Royal Caribbean Regional Director International Representatives of Europe, Middle East and Africa, commented on the good season, "We are very happy to see the success of Brilliance of the Seas sailing in the region. The sailings attracted large numbers of group bookings from Northern Europe, Russia, South Africa and China. With nearly every sailing fully booked we are proud that we brought around 40,000 guests to the region supporting tourism in the ports of calls."

One change that has occurred during the season was improving the safety of Royal Caribbean's ships. Ali Al Daboos - Executive Director of Operations for Dubai Maritime City Authority spoke about what Royal Caribbean has done, "On Brilliance of the Seas, we observed best management practices. For example, guests are immediately informed to proceed to the emergency areas and not back to their cabins. Children who are part of the children care programme receive colored bands immediately so that staff know to which area to bring them to in case of an emergency, while staff wear bright reflective vests and hats so that they can easily be found if someone needs assistance etc. We were very impressed by the professionalism and how safety and security was handled by the captain and staff of Brilliance of the Seas."

Royal Caribbean incorporates intelligent systems on Oasis of the Seas


Royal Caribbean chose Agilysys, Inc to develop intelligent point of sales systems for its ships back in December 2010 and today we've seen the fruit of their labors.

Agilysys has developed systems based intelligent Microsoft Windows Embedded solutions, in order to streamline the flow of information collected on Oasis of the Seas and optimize the quality of passenger services (catering, maintenance, points sales / services). 

About 325 Point of Sales (POS) terminals by EverServ 6000 and 50 tablets were deployed on Oasis of the Seas, allowing personnel to collect, centralize and share all the information collected on passengers to be more attentive to their requests. The collection of such information flow is crucial to ensure such quality of food on board (temperature of the dishes in the many dining rooms), to optimize the travel time for passengers on board, put in place of personalized promotions and mobile payment methods, etc.

Royal Caribbean wins Cruise Line Brand of the Year award


The 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend (EQ) study named Royal Caribbean the Cruise Line Brand of the Year by Harris Interactive, which measures corporate reputation and brand health.

Contributing to Royal Caribbean moving to the top of the list this year were a number of cruise incidents.

Also earning above average scores in brand equity are Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line, which round out the top three in the category. Most notably, Celebrity Cruises posted a significantly better brand equity score this year, perhaps driven by an uptick in quality, but more so by a stronger intention to use the cruise line than compared to the previous year.

"Consumers are savvy, and before they buy, want to feel 'linked and connected' to the brands they're purchasing," according to Joan Sinopoli, Senior Vice President of the Brand and Communications Consulting group at Harris interactive. "And, although services may be similar, preferred brands more than often exceed a customer's expectations, making them more than likely to recommend to others."

Royal Caribbean believes impact of Costa Concordia is normalizing


Royal Caribbean's Director General of Italy, John Rotondo, spoke at a press conference in Genoa, Italy and commented that the impact on bookings from the recent Costa Concordia disaster seems to be lessening these days.

''The incident in Costa Concordia has had a major impact on the cruise market. But now the situation is normalizing. As of today, the levels of absolute satisfaction are booked.''

Rotondo commented further on how Royal Caribbean was helping convince the public to cruise again with lower prices, "To convince the customer, it required a lot of pressure on prices. The economic crisis, the large amount of supply capacity and the occurrence of Costa Concordia are the three elements that have emphasized the pressure on prices.'' 

Rotondo said in comparisson to 2011, Royal Caribbean has doubled the number of Italians onboard its ships.  Royal Caribbean's ships operating in Italy are Voyager class, with Italian passengers representing 35% of the 3,600 passengers each ship can hold.  The other two thirds are American, Canadian, British, Germans and citizens of Northern Europe.