Connect with us

Cruise News

How Royal Caribbean Plans to Change Cruising



To most people, a company’s quarterly report is the stuff naps are made of. But if you spend enough time digging into a cruise line’s financial report, you can almost always find some interesting tidbits. So what did we glean from Royal Caribbean’s first-quarter earnings call? To quote Richard Fain, the line’s chairman and CEO, “The future for [cruising] has never been brighter.” Here are some takeaways from the call.

They see Celebrity Edge as a game-changer.

Many cruisers don’t realize it, but Celebrity Cruises actually functions under the umbrella of Royal Caribbean Limited, and has since their merger in 1997. And Fain is extremely excited about their new ship. “While I’ve been lucky enough over the years to have been involved with a number of transformational ship designs,” he said, including, most recently, Oasis of the Seas. “Based on all that experience, I believe Celebrity Edge will be yet another transformational ship which will influence the design of ships to come. Everything about the Edge-class is new and exciting. The decor is highly unique, and the new spaces are totally inspired.”

More suites means more money.

One of the reasons the company is so high on Edge is the fact that the ship offers more suites. Fain says that the new class of ships offers “a little more than double the amount [of suites] for most of our existing ships. Since our guest pays more for a suite, doubling the suite count is not a bad thing to do.”

People will pay a higher price for more stateroom space.

There’s also the fact that the ship’s standard veranda cabin is nearly 25 percent larger. “This is due to an innovation in the way that cabins are designed and built,” Fain explained. “It involves changing the very structure of our rooms so that all the veranda space can be converted into air-conditioned living areas at the push of a button. For all of you who’ve traveled on a ship before, you understand well that the space comes at a huge premium at sea.” And again, this is obviously something that passengers will happily pay a premium price to enjoy.

Sponsored Link

Technology, not orange, is the new black.

Like Princess and their Ocean Medallion plan, Royal is going all-in with what they’re currently referring to as Project Excalibur. Fain says the company has “found intuitive digital applications to make the guest experience simpler and more comfortable. You’ll be able to open the door to your room without pulling out a card or key, request a beverage real-time from the comfort of your lounge chair and get recommendations for your traveling companion based on their preferences. We take our guest’s vacation time seriously, and technology is a great enabler to improve the use of that.”

The way cruisers spend money is changing.

In taking a closer look at the spending habits of cruisers, Jason T. Liberty – Royal’s chief financial officer and executive vice president – says the company has noticed a definite change. “As I’ve mentioned over the past couple of quarters,” he reiterated during the call, “guest [spending] has been continuing to shift towards areas that involve experiences over buying things.” In other words, while on board the ships, we’re more interested in shore excursions and internet access than we are shopping in the various stores. Liberty said that some of the company’s grown “was driven by a combination of our new hardware, shore excursions, and utilization of VOOM and Xcelerate, our high-speed internet offerings.”

The Korea situation is causing some disruptions.

Fain says that they’re dealing with problems in that region of the world by rejuggling their itineraries as needed, but admits “it is hurting. It’s reminiscent of the China-Japan dispute from several years ago. But fortunately, bookings in Europe and elsewhere have compensated.” Liberty added that Americans tend to spend more on European cruises, including doing more shore excursions.

You won’t likely find a bargain on Harmony anytime soon.

Liberty told those on the conference call that “Harmony of the Seas is commanding premium prices for her first summer Caribbean season.” Translation: You might get a stateroom, but it likely won’t be cheap. And how are Alaska cruises selling? “Our summer Alaska sailings benefited from a strong wave period and remain on track to outperform last year’s record season,” he reported.

Mariner of the Seas is coming home with a new look.

Miami will get another ship when the Voyager class Mariner of the Seas is repositioned in 2018. “That was really about timing,” said Royal’s CEO and President Michael W. Bayley, adding that the company has “some revitalization and dry-dock work that’s quite extensive” in the works for Mariner.

Continue Reading

Cruise News

Norwegian Encore is Now Open for Booking



Rendering by Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line’s latest addition to the fleet, Norwegian Encore, is now open for booking. The ship will begin sailing on November 17, 2019 to the Caribbean from Miami through April 12, 2020.

Norwegian Encore‘s eastern Caribbean cruises will feature some of the region’s most popular destinations. On the seven-day cruises, guests will first visit San Juan, Puerto Rico. The other calls will be in St. Thomas and Tortola.

Sponsored Link

This past January, the ship marked her first construction milestone with a steel-cutting ceremony that took place at Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany. Slated to be around 167,800 tons and holding 4,000 guests, Encore‘s debut in Miami will coincide with the scheduled completion of the line’s new terminal at PortMiami.

More details on the ship’s design, cabins, dining, and onboard amenities will be revealed in the months to come.

For more information on Norwegian’s new PortMiami terminal, click here.

Continue Reading

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line Adds Photo Packages



As much as passengers love having their pictures taken around the ship — especially on formal night! — they’ve always hated how expensive it can be to buy those photographs. This week, Carnival Cruise Line has rolled out photo packages designed to make it at least a little bit cheaper to bring home the images of those special moments.

How Much The Packages Cost

Screenshot via Carnival.

Now available for pre-cruise purchase in the Fun Shops, there are three different packages for cruisers to choose from, all of which offer significant savings over buying individual photos while on board. The packages break down as follows:

  • Pixels: This package offers prints of 5 of your best photographs, plus 1 16” by 20” canvas portrait at a cost of $99.99.
  • Pixels Plus: With this package, you can choose as many of your favorites as you like and have them printed at a cost of $199.99.
  • Pixels Plus Digital: This option offers you all of the prints of your favorite photographs, plus a souvenir USB stick containing high-resolution digital versions of the pictures, and runs $249.99.

Although all three packages must be purchased in advance in order to take advantage of the discount, those picking the Pixels option have until the final sea day of their voyage to pick the five prints they want to have made. Passengers who purchase a package will receive a Pixels gift ticket, which will be left in their stateroom. That ticket can then be taken to the photo gallery for redemption (which must be done within two days of boarding).

Sponsored Link

Not All Photos Are Included

There are, of course, exceptions and restrictions, although generally speaking, the packages do include all of the candid and posed shots taken by the ship’s photographers. But photos of people not staying in your stateroom aren’t included, nor are photos of large groups (such as those that might be taken for weddings or other special events) or generic ship images. If your group does a private photo shoot (or wants additional prints), those come at an extra charge. And it’s important to note that once you’ve disembarked, the photos will no longer be available! For full details on the packages, head to the Fun Shops at

Will you purchase a photo package for your next Carnival cruise?

Continue Reading

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Horizon Will Have Live Music in Steakhouse



As the countdown to Carnival Horizon’s spring arrival continues, new details are emerging every day about what passengers can expect on the fleet’s newest ship. This week, it was revealed that Horizon will introduce a new twist to the line’s popular steakhouse.

What Will Be Different

This morning, Carnival’s Brand Ambassador, John Heald, announced on his Facebook page that guests dining at Fahrenheit 555 — aka the line’s branded, for-fee steakhouse —will be treated to live piano music during dinner hours, which typically run from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Sponsored Link

Many people at first wondered if this meant there would be two piano-centric venues onboard Horizon, but as it turns out, deck five’s layout is a bit different on this ship than on her sister ship, the Vista, and it is this small difference actually winds up making the dinnertime entertainment possible: On Vista, the steakhouse is across the hall from the piano bar, while on Horizon, the two are side-by-side. The two venues will be separated by a watertight door which, during the dinner hour, will be opened so that a pianist can play classical music to entertain guests.

Read More: 7 Reasons to Dine in Carnival’s Steakhouse

And no, guests needn’t fear that if they are lingering over a late dinner at the steakhouse, the atmosphere will suddenly turn raucous when the piano bar opens. As Heald explained, “If anyone is still dining in the steakhouse at 10 p.m. or whenever we open the piano bar, we will close the door, the piano bar will open, and the steakhouse is closed off again.”

About Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse

Carnival Cruise Line recently started revamping the steakhouse menus across the fleet to add items such as pork belly, fresh oysters, crab risotto, prime beef and a new dessert called Table Art where the chef designs your dessert in front of you.

The steakhouse is currently priced at $35 per guest, with the kid’s menu offered at $10.

Do you like the idea of a pianist playing while you enjoy dinner at the steakhouse?

Continue Reading

Sponsored Link


Sponsored Link

Stay in the Know with Cruise Radio

Send this to a friend

Hi, this may be of interest to you: How Royal Caribbean Plans to Change Cruising. This is the link: