Royal Caribbean fleet
Review of Royal Caribbean
(RCI) Royal Caribbean International is a subsidiary company and largest brand of RCCL (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd) – Norwegian-American corporation, ranked world’s second largest passenger shipping company (after Carnival Corporation). However, RCCL owns world’s biggest passenger ships. As of 2018, RCCL controls around 32% of the global ship cruising market (revenue) and 23% (passengers), with full ownership of 4 brands (RCI, Celebrity, Silversea, Azamara) plus 49% stake in Pullmantur (51% owned by Springwater Capital) and 50% stake in TUI Cruises (50% owned by TUI AG).
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd is based in Miami FL (USA) and incorporated in Liberia. The company was formed in 1997 when RCCL (Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, established 1968) purchased Celebrity Cruises (established 1988). A decision was made to keep the two brands separate. As result, RCCL was re-branded Royal Caribbean International (RCI) and RCCL was founded as parent company of RCI and Celebrity. RCCL headquarters adress is "Royal Caribbean International, 1050 Royal Caribbean Way, Miami, FL, 33132-2096 USA".
- Since March 2018, RCCL offers one login for RCI and Celebrity websites and mobile apps. The new policy allows one account to be used for loyalty program benefits, bookings and reservations with both brands. The account security was also simplified and strengthened to ensure customers' personal data.
- Since May 2018, RCCL also uses fleetwide only cage-free eggs and gestation stall-free pork. By the year 2024, for all its USA-based ships, RCCL will purchase poultry only from GAP-certified producers and dealers. The corporation will require chickens to be slaughtered and processed in a manner that doesn't involve live dumping and shackling, thus eliminating conscious throat-slitting and scalding.
- Since June 2018, RCI ship bars serve cocktails with optional plastic straws (not by default) - a new policy aiming to reduce sea pollution. "Why no straws?" signs at onboard bars fleetwide now indicate that drink orders will not automatically receive a straw, but only upon request.
- (deposit program changes) Since November 2018, RCI customers booking non-refundable deposit cruise fares don't receive onboard credit (USD 100) per stateroom. Instead, they are promised the lowest pricing on the fare.
- RCCL's has a call center in Springfield OR, operated since 2006. The customized office resembles a cruise ship. In 2014, the company employed there over 700 people. In Aug 2018 was announced that RCCL plans to outsource most of its Springfield jobs (~90%, excepting only sales employees) to company's call centers in Jamaica and Guatemala. This means that US sales agents will do the bookings, but when customers call back with issues they will be re-routed overseas.
- All RCCL cruise ships are serviced by Wartsila (Helsinki Finland-based corporation, marine equipment manufacturer and maritime services provider). In 2018, RCCL and Wartsila extended their service agreement to 2028. Under the agreement, Wartsila optimizes machinery efficiency through improved Turbocharger maintenance, also provides OEM (original equipment manufacturer) spare parts, workshop services, technical assistance for the entire RCCL fleet. The deal covers a total of 196 marine diesel engines on 46 vessels. Most RCCL liners are equipped with Wartsila-developed monitoring technology sending real-time engine data to a land-based centre for analysis.
The following table shows RCCL's Q4 2017 financial results. For comparison, there are also shown the corporation's Q42016 respective numbers, as well as the results reported by its main competitors on the market - Carnival Corporation and NCLH (Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd). Statistical data is for all brands (subsidiary companies) in their fleets.
|Breakdown||2017 Q4||2016 Q4||Carnival (2016)||NCLH (2016)|
|Total Revenue||USD 2 billion||USD 1,9 billion||USD 4 billion (USD 3,9 billion)||USD 1,25 billion (USD 1,1 billion)|
|Net Income||USD 288 million||USD 261 million||USD 546 million (USD 609 million)||USD 98 million (USD 72 million)|
|Net Income Per Passenger Day||USD 29||USD 26,42||USD 25,38 (USD 28,69)||USD 21 (USD 16,45)|
|Gross Revenue Per Passenger Day||USD 201,79||USD 193,21||USD 198 (USD 185,40)||USD 265,66 (USD 256,16)|
|Net Revenue Per Passenger Day||USD 161,21||USD 154,49||USD 162,58 (USD 152,47)||USD 206,18 (USD 196,17)|
|Operating Expense Per Passenger Day||USD 170,85||-||172,48||USD 227,99|
|Fuel Costs Year-over-Year||USD 10 million||-||USD 63 million||USD 8 million|
On October 1, 2018, RCI announced that company's 50th birthday cruise (themed "50 Years Bold Birthday Cruise") will be held on Symphony OTS leaving roundtrip from Miami (November 2-9, 2019). The 7-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary (to St Maarten, San Juan Puerto Rico, CocoCay) will feature unique programming, special events and surprise guest performers.
Royal Caribbean International (RCI)
Royal Caribbean is in top 3 best family cruise lines in the world, and owns some of the most popular liners for young adults, kids, and teens. The best of the mass-market lines is recommended mostly for young and middle-age, active and sports-oriented travelers. The high class new cruise ships (called “floating towns” for a reason) have larger staterooms, and endless choices of activities, with the best ideas for family fun cruises.
A signature feature of RCI ships is the "Viking Crown Lounge", introduced in 1970 with RCI's first ship MS Song of Norway (scrapped in 2013 as "Formosa Queen"). As RCI ships grew in size, the lounge also grew. On the Vision-Class (ships 1995) its location was changed - from forward to midship-aft (near the smokestacks) alowing more space to be alocated for the new amenities and entertainment.
In 2014 and 2015, Royal Caribbean International introduced their brand new Dynamic Dining concept that replaced the Main Dining Room concept on Quantum-class ships.
- RCI vessels with Dynamic Dining don't have a main dining room. Instead, they feature complimentary table service restaurants, each with its own theme and menu: "The Grande", "American Icon Grill", "Chic" and "Silk".
- Guests staying in suites have access to the "Coastal Kitchen" complimentary restaurant. Similar to the Freestyle concept on NCL Norwegian, passengers make reservations for their restaurant choice for each night in advance.
- Each venue maintains the same staff and menu throughout the cruise. Anthem of the Seas has a "Dynamic Dining Classic" option, allowing guests rotate between dining venues but keep the same waiter, assistant waiter and tablemates, from night to night.
The company had planned to extend its dynamic dining concept to Oasis-class ships. During 2014-2015 drydock refurbishments, decor and signage was installed on the 3 levels of the Main Dining Rooms of Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas to prepare them to function as separate "The Grande", "Silk" and "American Icon Grill" restaurants, although the 3 levels continued operating as a single dining room. "Coastal Kitchen" was also installed for suite guests only. However, on 15 July 2015, RCI announced that the dynamic dining concept would not be rolled out on Oasis-class ships or any other vessel classes not specifically designed for it. The company also clarified that Harmony of the Seas would have both Traditional and "My Time Dining" options.
Besides the Main Dining Rooms, RCI also features the "Chops Grille" steakhouse, "Windjammer Cafe" buffet restaurant, “Johnny Rockets”, Asian "Izumi", Poolside Bars and 24-hour Room Service. The “Cupcake Cupboard” is an onboard bakery available on the newest and refurbished ships. It offers 30 delicious cupcakes. Select Royal Caribbean ships offer the Starbucks coffee at sea.
Company's new alcohol policy allows passengers to bring their own wine on board and consume it in cabins (for free) or for a corkage fee (additional charge) in public areas.
New ship names
On October 1, 2018, RCCL-Royal Caribbean trademarked the ship name "Metropolis of the Seas".
- On September 4, 2018, RCCL trademarked 3 ship names that could be used for newbuilds in the future. The USPTO-registered vessel names were "Eon of the Seas", "Gallant of the Seas", "Phenom of the Seas".
- In September 2014, RCCL trademarked the ship names "Apex of the Seas", "Joy of the Seas", "Emblem of the Seas", "Harmony of the Seas", "Spectrum of the Seas".
- In January 2017 were trademarked the names "Valhalla of the Seas", "Sunrise of the Seas", "Icon of the Seas", "Symphony of the Seas".
RCI cruise ships classes
RCI's fleet has vessels in the following classses:
- Note: All vessels have Outdoor Movie Theater (poolside large LED screen for movies), Solarium (adults-only pool deck), Aqua Park, Rock Climbing Wall, FlowRider (surf simulator), 3D Cinema, Virtual Balcony Staterooms.
- "Oasis Class" ships (Oasis, Allure, Harmony, Symphony) feature Neighborhoods, AquaTheater, 3D Movies, Waterslides (Harmony, Symphony), Zip Line, 2 FlowRiders, 2 Climbing Walls, Carousel, Ice-Skating Rink, Loft Suites (2-deck cabins).
- "Icon Class" is a new design vessel with GT around 200K tons and passenger capacity 5000 (more details to be announced on later date).
- "Quantum Class"and "Quantum Ultra Class" ships (Quantum, Anthem, Ovation, Spectrum) feature North Star (top-deck, mobile observation capsule), RipCord (sky-diving simulator), Seaplex (large indoor sports complex), Two70 Lounge (3-deck high), Loft Suites, Music Hall (2-deck venue).
- "Freedom Class" (ships Freedom, Liberty, Independence) feature Ice-Skating Rink, Royal Promenade (indoor street).
- "Radiance Class" (ships Radiance, Brilliance, Serenade, Jewel) feature Glass Elevators, Gyroscopic Self-Leveling Pool Tables, Mini-Golf Course.
- "Vision Class" ships (Grandeur, Rhapsody, Enchantment, Vision) are fleet's oldest, excepting only the "Sovereign Class" ships Majesty and Empress.
The Voyager-class, Freedom-class and Oasis-class vessels have Royal Promenade. It is a centerline promenade in a multi-deck Atrium with pedestrian (shopping mall-like) area lined with restaurants and shops. At night, the Royal Promenade turns into entertainment venue hosting live parades and dance parties. Royal Promenade's upper levels have "Promenade Staterooms" (each with a large window overlooking the promenade below). Next aerial photo shows Voyager-class cruise ship (Adventure, Explorer, Mariner, Navigator, Voyager).
Next aerial photo shows an Oasis-class cruise ship (Allure, Oasis, Harmony, Symphony) as looked from above. In September 2018, RCCL trademarked the Oasis-Class ships smokestack area (located top-deck midship). The design features a crown-shaped bottom section with 2 slanted funnels above. In October 2018 was trademarked ship's oblong-shaped stern. The design features AquaTheater Suites (with balconies), Ultimate Abyss (2 cascading waterslides) and RCCL's logo.
Next is shown a Quantum-class ship (Anthem, Quantum, Ovation) as looked from above.
Instead of Royal Promenade, Quantum-class ships have "Royal Esplanade" - 2-deck high shopping complex without any overlooking "Promenade cabins".
Royal Caribbean ships offer a wide list of onboard facilities, the main of which include Grand-style productions Theatre, Live Comedy Club, Disco/Nightclub, Casino Royale, Library. Feature sports facilities include Studio B Ice-Skating Rink, Rock Climbing Wall, Flow Rider surfing simulator, Multiple Sports Court, Walking/Jogging track, Golf Simulator, ZIP-line, H2O Zone Waterpark with Waterslide, Adventure Beach, and on Quantum ships only Bumper Cars, Skydiving Simulator, North Star rotational capsule. In 2016, RCI entered the "Guinness Book of World Records" in the category "Highest Viewing Deck on a Cruise Ship". The record was because of the "North Star" glass-walled observation capsule rising over 300 ft (91 m) above sea level and rotating upwards and over the ship's sides providing 360-degree views.
Adults on RCCL cruises can enjoy adults-only relaxation areas and spas. Teens can do rock climbing or try the 12 m (40-ft) surfing “simulation” and zip-lining across ship's top deck on the world’s largest cruise ships ever. Families cruising with infants and toddlers will benefit from the “Royal Babies” and “Royal Tots” programs. Kids club activities are also available by the Adventure Ocean kids programme.
CocoCay Island refurbishments and expansion 2018-2019
Since 2015, RCCL invests huge money in the corporation's private Bahamian island CocoCay. In March 2018, Royal Caribbean announced an USD 200 million project (named "Perfect Day Island Collection") for developing private land destinations in the regions of Caribbean, Asia and Australia. As part of this project, on CocoCay will be built unique water attractions.
- Thrill Waterpark attraction to be constructed, with 2 water towers (Daredevil’s Tower, Family Tower) with a total of 13 slides. The Daredevil’s Tower complex consists of North America's tallest waterslide (named Daredevil’s Peak, height 135 ft / 41 m), Dueling Demons (2 drop slides), Manta Raycers (2 high-speed slides), Screeching Serpent (fully vertical slide), Green Mamba (coiling slide), as well as Caribbean’s largest wave pool (Adventure Pool ) with obstacle course (lily pads), rock-climbing wall, . The Family Tower complex consists of all 6 waterslides, including 1 tubed (The Twister, capacity 2 persons sharing 1 raft), 1 zero-gravity (The Slingshot, capacity 4 persons) and 1 racing (Splash Speedway, with 4 lanes).
- Caribbean’s biggest freshwater swimming pool (named Oasis Lagoon) has a swim-up bar and water loungers.
- Caribbean's only Zip-line with water landing has length 1600 ft (488 m) and crisscrosses the island at heigths up to 50 ft (15 m).
- The Bahamas' highest vantage point (an attraction named "Up, Up and Away") is a helium balloon flying up to 450 ft (137 m) above ground.
- Shipwreck Galleon ("Captain Jack’s Galleon" kids park) has 30 water cannons. The Sprayaway Geyser sprays water up to 82 ft (25 m) in the air. Both are part of Splashaway Bay aquapark. This is the enlarged version of the Royal Caribbean ships upgraded onboard aqua parks for kids, fitted with fountains, splash pools, sprinklers, geysers, cannons, whirlpools, slides, 2 drench buckets.
- Captain Jack’s is a new bar and dining venue - designed as rowboat, with waterfront views, serving beverages and fast-food items (including chicken wings and steak fries).
- Skipper’s Grill serves lunch fast-food (including sandwiches, burgers, tacos, salads).
- The beachside restaurant Chill Grill is CocoCay's largest. Also new is the food bar Snack Shack.
- Newly added amenities include wave runner and boat tours, snorkeling, private cabanas and daybeds for rental, several beach bars with upgraded menus.
CocoCay has 3 new beaches:
- Chill Island Beach offers private cabanas and daybeds.
- South Beach is specifically designed for beachside activities - volleyball, basketball, soccer, paddle boards, glass-bottom seakayaks, zorbs / nflatable bumper bubble balls. At South Beach are offered bungalows, daybeds, teepees (cone-shaped tents).
- Coco Beach Club is an exclusive beach with overwater cabanas providing premium island vacation experiences. Coco Beach cabana rentals are inclusive of 1 hammock, 1 waterslide, dedicated service (by an attendant). The complex also includes a freshwater infinity pool, full bar, an exclusive restaurant (serving Mediterranean cuisine specialties).
In May 2018, RCI announced plans to build permanent accommodations on CocoCay allowing Suite passengers to stay on the island overnight (or longer). The concept includes premium cabanas serving passengers on any of the RCI ships calling at CocoCay.
In 2017-2018 was constructed a new pier (able to handle RCI's largest / Oasis-class liners), as well as basketball court, bocce ball court, bowling court, volleyball nets, large-size pool table.
In 2016 the private island was upgraded with new swim-up bar at Barefoot Beach, new cabanas, new island dock (for tenders), 35 beach bungalows (capacity 6 persons each) at Barefoot Beach.
In 2015, the island was upgraded with new trams (quieter and taller) and were added a new / shorter tram route and a new freshwater shower (at Barefoot Beach).
RCI "VOOM" Internet
VOOM is the name of the RCI's new high-speed internet service provides passengers with the pleasure to enjoy at sea faster connectivity, with almost the same high-speed Internet connections they are used to while on land. The new satellite technology utilizes each RCI cruise ship specifically.
Voom Internet has latency 120 ms, ping ~300 ms, download speed ~4,6 Mbps, upload speed ~5,2 Mbps. Voom allows fast streaming of music and movies (incl YouTube, Netflix), uploading multiple (incl big-sized) pictures, also video chatting (FaceTime, Skype, conference calls), checking email, web surfing, stable and fast VPN connections. The onboard system is based on the 802.11b wireless connection (theoretical bandwidth peak 11 Mbps).
- Onboard Internet access is intergrated to the stateroom number and the personal onboard account. Following the log-on to the ship's wireless network "Royal WiFi", there is an option for creating an Internet account where the passenger can sign up for a particular Internet plan or to pay by the minute. The charge is always applied to the cabin (onboard) account.
- While using the Voom Internet package, passengers can switch between various mobile devices (smart phones, tablets, laptops). However, the number of devices connected at the same time is limited by the Internet plan.
- The cruise ship also has several Internet workstations available for all passengers on FCFS basis (first-come, first-served).
- Among the cheaper alternatives to the Voom internet are connecting onboard (while the ship is in ports of call) or ashore (in restaurants, bars, etc).
New Internet packages cost (2018-2019 prices)
RCI's ship internet offering was revamped from only one plan into different per day packages with pricing based on the number of included devices. Two new packages are currently available for booking:
- Note: All below listed unlimited Internet package prices are "Cruise Planner" booking rates and include the 30% pre-cruise booking discount. Packages can be purchased on board and also pre-purchased (before the cruise) via RCI's "Cruise Planner" booking system.
- "Voom Surf Voyage" is the "light package" providing high-speed Internet for general web browsing, e-mails and social media platforms (excepting video streaming). The "Voom Surf Voyage" Internet package cost (per day) depends on the number of mobile devices using it. Voom Surf pricing is as follows: $13 (1 device), $12 (2 devices), $10 (4 devices) and $20 (Single Day Pass per device / per day).
- "Voom Surf + Stream" is the "real deal", offering unlimited Internet activities, including the high-speed video streaming (music, movies, video chatting, texting, VoIP apps /Internet phone calls). The "Voom Surf + Stream" Internet package cost (per day) also depends on the number of mobile devices included. Voom Surf + Stream pricing is as follows: $18 (1 device), $16 (2 devices), $14 (4 devices) and $28 (Single Day Pass per device / per day).
- Occasionally, Royal Caribbean offers Voom package discounts for passengers with pre-purchased online (via Cruise Planner) internet packages. Discounts are also offered for Royal Caribbean loyalty program members (Crown and Anchor Society) when the Voom package is purchased onboard.
RCI gratuities (2018-2019 cruises)
Daily gratuities are per person (pp):
- USD 14,50 pp (interior, oceanview, balcony staterooms, both adults and kids)
- USD 17,50 (suites)
- Daily gratuity is an automatic service charge added to the passenger's onboard account each day.
- Passengers can prepay gratuities.
- The amount of gratuities is split between the ship's staff - dining (wait and cooking), housekeeping staff, room stewards (cabin and suite attendants).
Lifeguards on Royal Caribbean ships
Since 2017, all RCI ships have onboard licensed lifeguards by the line's "water safety program", implemented fleetwide. By the new program, water safety signs are placed throughout the ship.
The onboard lifeguards, are dressed in special uniforms (in bright red and white) and stationed at every swimming pool, including the Solarium (adults-only retreat) during the complex' opening hours. All Royal Caribbean lifeguards are trained through the company's partnership with StarGuard Elite (Florida-based lifeguard training center.
- The water safety program includes a 15-min presentation (on embarkation day). The instruction is for by both kids and parents, and held during Adventure Ocean's open house session.
- Swim vests for all kids (aged 4-12) are readily available. Additional signage is added around swimming pool areas and in all cabins to encourage parents to use them.
- Kids under 12 require a parent or guardian to be present when swimming in any of the cruise ship's pools.
RCI's water safety program was rolled out fleetwide in the period February-June 2017. Follows the list of all RCI ships and the cruise itinerary dates when each ship will implement the new lifeguard service:
- Oasis (February 26-March 5)
- Harmony (March 7-11)
- Independence (March 11-16)
- Anthem (March 11-14)
- Liberty (March 12-19)
- Freedom (March 22-29)
- Allure (March 23-26)
- Brilliance (March 24-30)
- Quantum (March 26-31)
- Ovation (March 29-April 3)
- Navigator (March 31-April 5)
- Serenade (March 31-April 7)
- Jewel (March 31-April 4)
- Rhapsody (April 5-8)
- Majesty (April 21-24)
- Empress (April 24-29)
- Adventure (April 26-29)
- Enchantment (May 8-12)
- Grandeur (May 13-18)
- Explorer (May 15-26)
- Mariner (May 26-June 4)
- Radiance (May 28-June 6)
- Voyager (June 5-12)
- Vision (June 15-27)
The news made RCI the 2nd major cruise company with lifeguards onboard its ships - following Disney (employing certified lifeguards since 2013) and followed by NCL (in 2017 summer) starting with the line's 4 largest vessels and employing onboard lifeguards fleetwide by 2018.
(new) RCI "Next Cruise" (onboard booking)
In August 2017, Royal Caribbean changed "Next Cruise" (onboard cruise booking program). NextCruise allows passengers to book a future RCI itinerary while on the ship. The old program included booking with reduced deposits.
- Since August 2017, the deposit required for onboard booking is the same as the deposit required with shore bookings (ranging between USD 100-450 per stateroom, depending on itinerary length).
- Since December 2017, NextCruise shipboard booking customers are eligible to pay a reduced deposit (USD 100 pp) regardless of voyage length - but only if they book with non-refundable fare. Refundable fare bookings still require full deposit. This offer is available on all RCI cruises - excluding only China roundtrips. The USD 100 pp deposit is applicable when booking Interior Cabin up to Junior Suite.
- Grand Suite and above stateroom bookings require full deposit.
- Group bookings are also not eligible for the USD 100 pp deposit.
- In case that the non-refundable fare bookings are cancelled, "Future Cruise Credit" will not be issued.
Currently, the only benefit from onboard cruise booking is the future onboard credit (abbrev OBC), which is based on cabin type:
- 4-5 night itineraries - Inside and Oceanview cabins (USD 25 per cabin), Balcony Stateroom and Junior Suite (USD 50), Grand Suite and higher (USD 150)
- 6-9 night itineraries - Inside and Oceanview cabins (USD 50 per cabin), Balcony Stateroom and Junior Suite (USD 100), Grand Suite and higher (USD 300)
- 10-night and longer itineraries - Inside and Oceanview cabins (USD 100 per cabin), Balcony Stateroom and Junior Suite (USD 200), Grand Suite and higher (USD 500).
(new) RCI Cruise Cancellation Policy
Starting April 18, 2018, Royal Caribbean passengers who want to cancel an upcoming cruise without penalty have to do so farther out from the departure date than before. The new RCI cruise cancellation policy simplifies the penalty fee schedule by reducing the number of itinerary categories from 5 to 2: those of 1 to 4 nights and those 5 nights or longer.
- Under the old policy, travelers booked on 1 to 5 night long itineraries could cancel up to 60 days prior to deparrture without cancellation fee.
- The new RCI cancellation policy changes the cruise length / itinerary duration to 1 to 4 nights (including short holiday and mini-cruise deals) and requires cancellation at least 75 days before departure.
- Cruises 1 to 4 nights long canceled between 74 and 61 days out incur a fee of 50% of the total fare. Cruises canceled 60 to 31 days out incur a fee of 75% of the total fare and any cruise canceled within 30 days or less of departure is not refunded at all (100% cancellation fee).
- The second tier of cancellations includes any itineraries 5-night or longer, including cruisetours and holiday voyages. Under the old policy, cruises 6-nights or longer, holiday voyages 1 to 5 days, holiday voyages 6-night or longer, and cruisetours had separate cancellation penalty schedules. By the new policy, itineraries 5-night or longer must be canceled at least 90 days prior departure date in order to avoid cancellation fee. Previously, RCI customers could cancel 75 to 90 days before departure, depending on itinerary category.
- Cruises 5-night or longer canceled 89 to 75 days prior departure incur a penalty equal to 25% deposit paid. Cruises canceled 74 to 61 days incur penalties of 50% of the total fare. Cruises canceled 60 to 31 days incur penalties of 75% of the fare Cruises canceled within 30 days or less of departure is not refunded at all (100% cancellation fee).
The previous time when RCI updated company's cancellation policy was on March 7, 2016.
(new) RCI Shore Excusrions Cancellation Policy
On June 15, 2017, Royal Caribbean International implemented a new "Shore Excursions Cancellation Policy" fleetwide. The new policy transitions from 1 day / 24-hour prior to land tour departure date to a 48-hours prior to cruise port arrival date.
- Shore Excursions can be modified / changed or cancelled up to 2 days / 48 hours prior to cruise port arrival date without any penalty.
- Land Tours that involve travel by air / flights (international and domestic), trains, also special / themed events, overnight hotel stays and Private Journeys (customized tours) must be cancelled 30 days prior to cruise departure date to avoid cancellation fees / penalties.
- In the event a land tour is cancelled 48-hours prior to cruise port arrival date, a full refund is provided to the passenger’s onboard account.
In the end of March 2017, RCCL corporation launched its own land tour travel website - GoBe.com. The website is non-cruise travel related and allows international travelers to book tours and excursions in 97 countries and 896 cities worldwide.
- As of 2017, tour prices (per person) ranged from UISD 14 (Cape Town bus tour) to USD 3,785 (Rome helicopter tour).
- The new website is managed by Larry Pimentel (RCCL's Chief Destination Officer, also Azamara Club's President and CEO. The website provides full tour information, including duration, activity level, languages, etc.
- Optional custom itinerary planning is also offered.
On select voyages RCI offers behind-the-scenes crew life tour with duration 2 hours. The "All Access Crew Life Tour" (priced USD 79 pp) can be booked via CruisePlanner and offers a glimpse of what it is like to work and live on the ship.
(new) RCI Non-Refundable Cruise Deposit Policy
Om July 1, 2017, RCI implemented fleetwide a new, nonrefundable cruise deposit program.
- An USD 100 "cruise change" fee per person (pp) is imposed to each booked reservation (under "non-refundable deposit fare") opting to change the originally selected vessel and/or departure date.
- Multiple adjustments to the vessel / departure date result in the assessment of USD 100 pp change fee for each qualifying change made to the booked reservation. RCI doesn't limit the number of changes.
- Outside of final payment, when a non-refundable cruise deposit cancellation occurs, booked passengers receive "Future Cruise Certificate" in the amount of the cruise deposit, minus the USD 100 pp change fee.
- Nonrefundable deposits are the only option for booking higher-grade cruise ship Suite, and also for all guaranteed cabin categories.
In late February 2017, the RCCL corporation imposed a fee of USD 65 pp in case of leaving the cruise early (whatever the reason might be). Passengers who refuse to pay face the prospect of being banned from RCCL cruise ships FOREVER.
(new) RCI pet / animal policy
In August 2018, RCI updated its "emotional support animals" policy by banning such animals fleetwide. Support / companion animals are not recognized by ADA. By definition, these are pets determined by a medical professional as providing benefit for handicapped people (cruise passengers with disabilities).
In officially issued statement, RCI explained as main reason for its policy change to differentiate support from service animals, the latter of which are trained and certified to actually help the disabled. Service animals traveling with physically / non-physically disabled passengers are still allowed on the ships. Pets are not allowed on RCI ships.
(new) RCI photo packages prices
In late June 2017, Royal Caribbean added two photo packages available for online purchasing at "Cruise Planner".
- The photo packages include 2 options - all digital (unlimited photos are uploaded on an USB stick) and printed.
- The unlimited digital photo package costs USD 250.
- The 20-prints photo package costs USD 200.
- Before 2017, Royal Caribbean offered photo packages available for online purchasing on a separate website.
RCI "Cruise Compass" (onboard newsletter)
"Cruise Compass" is named the RCI's onboard newsletter delivered by cabin attendats each evening. This is a daily guide for news, onboard events and activities on the cruise ship scheduled for the the next day.
- The newsletter also provides valuable information regarding forecasted weather, bars with drink specials, itinerary ports of call and shore excursions info, themed events (parties, lectures, seminars, etc), sporting events.
- Some of the events are not repeated, other activities change daily.
- RCI doesn't publish "Cruise Compass" guides for upcoming cruises in advance.
- age 1 is an overview of what to expect the next day, including port, weather report, specials, highlighted events, dedicated "Important things to know today" section.
- Page 2 lists more onboard events, sales and special offers. The "Activity and Entertainment Highlights" section lists headlines of all evening show performances onboard,
- Page 3 lists all the ship's venues (bars, restaurants, food bars, lounges, Spa, Gym, etc) and their opening hours. Here is also the RCI's main dining room dress code. At the page's bottom is the "drink of the day" special - a discount-priced cocktail.
- Page 4 lists all the next day's activities broken down by time (morning, afternoon, evening) - all shipboard events, each has time, title and deck location. Each of the listed activities can be teared off.
- "Adventure Ocean" is another newsletter providing information of kids programming (small children and teens) scheduled on the cruise ship. Some of these events are also listed in the "Cruise Compass". "Adventure Ocean" newsletter has "Daily Planner" with kids and teen activities (broken up by ages).
- The "Royal iQ" app is available on some RCI ships and features a "Cruise Compass" digital copy. This mobile app allows adding specific events directly to your own digital calendar. Via the app, you can make reservations (spa, dining, etc) or add activities directly from the "Cruise Compass" to your own calendar. Your own daily schedule will be automatically updated. Unfortunately, the app works only on Quantum- and Oasis-class ships.
RCI's shipboard "DreamWorks Experience" shipboard program
The DreamWorks programming is another exclusiveness with the 3D Theater and all the characters meets and greets.
In December 2010, RCI debuted its 3D Theater-based "DreamWorks Experience" entertainment program for families. It features latest blockbuster movies in 3D, as well as characters meets and greets on the ship. Among the films are "Shrek," "Madagascar," "How to Train Your Dragon,", "Kung Fu Panda". By this program are offered complimentary movie-themed games (in "Adventure Ocean" / kids' facilities and programming), character-themed dining, parades, 3D animations, workshops, special shows in Studio B (ice rink) and AquaTheater (Oasis ships), photo ops.
RCI's kids and teen shipboard programming
Also complimentary the company offers to kids and teenagers supervised activities at dedicated facilities and youth counselors on each vessel.
- For toddlers (2-3 yo) on each liner are provided at-fee nursery services (hourly charge) via highly experienced and professionally trained staff.
- RCI's children program (named "Adventure Ocean") covers ages 2-17 and features brand partnerships (with Fisher Price, Crayola), Family Disco Hour. dedicated areas and facilities, including toddlers only pools, computer rooms, video game arcades, separate kids- and teen-only clubs,.
- On September 30, 2018, RCI discontinued fleetwide company's in-cabin babysitting service ("Sitters at Sea" program served by crew members, upon request). Service's only alternatives still available are shipboard nursery (on some liners only, serving toddlers and kids up to 3 yo) and group sitting ("Late Night Party Zone" program for kids 3-11 yo, served by Adventure Ocean staff). The other two kids programs (Adventure Ocean, Royal Babies and Tots) remained unchanged.
Itinerary of Royal Caribbean
RCI cruises 2018-2019 Caribbean itineraries are operated with 15 ships departing from 9 USA cruise ports (home-ports) to visit all 39 Caribbean Sea ports of call.
Royal Caribbean cruise itinerary changes
For season summer 2018-2019, RCI has the largest ships and capacity in comparison to any other cruise line for Australia and New Zealand destinations. The company deploys there the ships Explorer, Ovation, Radiance and Voyager, for a total of 66 itineraries ranging in length from 2- to 23 days.
RCI extended its roundtrip departures from Baltimore MD (South Locust Point terminal) through June 2020. Here is homeported the Grandeur ship offering year-round cruises to Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda and Canada New England. Grandeur operates out of Baltimore since 2013, replacing there the Enchantment ship.
In 2019, RCI has company's ever biggest Asian season, with 3 liners (Voyager, Quantum, Spectrum) and total 78 itineraries leaving roundtrip from Singapore. The deployment also served the planned drydocks in Singapore of Voyager OTS and Quantum OTS. Singapore as port destination is among the most attractive to Chinese travelers due to the offered numerous short-breaks (around 80% of all voyages are 3-4-night itineraries) and affordable pre- or post-cruise hotel packages.
Royal Caribbean cruise itineraries by ship
Follows a review of Royal Caribbean itinerary program for 2018-2019-2020 scheduled itineraries. For sailing dates (departures, arrivals), ports of call times and RCI cruise prices per person follow the ship pages listed below.
|Ship Name||Homeports||Itineraries Changes|
operates on round-trips to Eastern Caribbean (St Croix, St Kitts, St. Maarten, St Thomas, Dominica, Martinique) and Southern Caribbean (Antigua, St Lucia, Grenada, Curacao, Bonaire).
During 2019-2020 season Adventure of the Seas offers 6- to 8-night itineraries from Fort Lauderdale FL to Bahamas and Caribbean to destinations including Grand Cayman, St Thomas, San Juan. The ship also offers select 6-night itineraries to Canada New England during summer months, and longer 10- to 11-night fall foliage cruises from September.
operates on 7-day tineraries to Western Caribbean (Cozumel Mexico, Jamaica, Labadee Haiti) and Bahamas-Eastern Caribbean (Nassau, St Maarten, Jamaica, Puerto Rico).
Allure of the Seas offers cruises from Florida in 2019 through 2020. All 4 Oasis Class vessels sail 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.
operates on round-trips to Florida-Bahamas (Port Canaveral, Coco Cay, Nassau), Eastern Caribbean (Puerto Rico, St Thomas, St Maarten, St Kitts), Western Caribbean (Costa Maya and Cozumel Mexico, Labadee Haiti, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Roatan Honduras), Southern Caribbean (Barbados, Martenique) and also to Bermuda during summer.
During 2019-2020 season Anthem of the Seas departs from Cape Liberty and offers 5- to 9-night summer cruises to Bermuda, Bahamas, and Caribbean. In the fall season, the ship offers 9-night itineraries to Canada New England.
In early February 2018, RCI's President and CEO confirmed that a Quantum Class ship is to be homeported in Southampton UK for season 2020.
operates on round-trips out of Tampa to Western Caribbean (4-day Cozumel Mexico, 5-day Key West FL, Cozumel).
In the summer, the ship operates in Europe on Mediterranean round-trips out of Barcelona (Italy, Greece, Turkey, Malta, Adriatic Sea).
Empress of the Seas cruises for May 9, 2018 - March 30, 2019 are changed to Majesty. In addition to the ship change, the June 25, 2018, August 6, 2018, September 3, 2018, September 17, 2018, and October 1, 2018 itineraries are modified.
Royal Caribbean added 7- and 8-night itineraries onboard Empress of the Seas calling on Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos, in addition to Havana. The longer cruises depart from Miami in 2019. The vessel already offers short, 4- and 5-night Cuba itineraries visiting or overnighting in Havana.
operates on Bahama cruises to Nassau and Coco Cay (3-day and 4-day round-trips).
In 2018 Enchantment of the Seas joins Liberty of the Seas in Galveston TX, for roundtrip 4- and 5-night Caribbean itineraries (starting on June 23, 2018).
In a later announcement, Royal Caribbean revealed that Enchantment of the Seas moves to Port Canaveral for sailings between: May 4, 2018 - April 15, 2019. Guests on these cruises are moved to the ship in the same class, Vision of the Seas. The following sailings on Enchantment of the Seas are cancelled: June 23, 2018 - March 13, 2019 and April 19, 2019.
In 2019-2020 season Enchantment of the Seas sails 4- and 5-night itineraries from Galveston to various destinations in Mexico.
operates on South Pacific Islands itineraries (Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu) and also on Cruises to Nowhere (out of Sydney AU).
REPOSITIONING: (through Hawaii and Vancouver BC)
For 2018-2019 season Explorer of the Seas continues to sail 7-night itineraries from Seattle, with stops in Victoria BC, Juneau and the Inside Passage. To these sailings can be added the new Alaska cruise tour itineraries designed to appeal to couples and families, extending the holiday length to up to 13 nights.
In March 2019 Explorer of the Seas heads to the UK and in November 2019 to the Caribbean to start its following Australian season. On March 29, 2019 the ship leaves Sydney on a 46-night repositioning voyage through Asia, the Middle East and Europe, offered in 4 sectors. Explorer of the Seas is based in Southampton for almost 6 months in 2019, operating 2-night to 14-night itineraries to the Baltic, visiting Stockholm for the first time, Mediterranean and Canary Islands.
2019-2020: Explorer of the Seas returns to the United States with 5-night Western Caribbean and 9-night Southern Caribbean itineraries sailing from Miami FL.
operates on 7-day round-trips to Eastern Caribbean (Labadee Haiti, Puerto Rico, St Maarten, St Kitts) and Western Caribbean (Costa Maya and Cozumel Mexico, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Belize, Roatan).
In May 2018, RCI Freedom is repositioned from Fort Lauderdale Florida to Puerto Rico. Between May 2018 and March 2019, the ship is homeported in San Juan for roundtrip departures. In Puerto Rico Freedom replaces RCI Adventure, which is repositioned to NYC (Cape Liberty NJ).
During 2019-2020 season Freedom of the Seas offers 7-night Southern Caribbean itineraries out of San Juan.
operates on round-trips to Bermuda and to Bermuda and Nassau Bahamas (during summer). Also sails to Florida-Eastern Caribbean (Miami, Nassau, Freeport, Coco Cay), to Florida-Bahamas (Port Canaveral, Nassau, Coco Cay) and to Southern Caribbean (Barbados, Antigua, St Lucia).
In 2018-2019-2020, Grandeur of the Seas continues sailing out of Baltimore year-round on various itineraries, including a new 9-night program to CocoCay and Nassau in the Bahamas, Bermuda (5 nights), fall foliage cruises to Canada and New England (9 nights), and southern Caribbean (also 9 nights), to destinations like Saint Thomas, Saint Kitts and Sain Maarten.
operates on 7-day round-trips to Western Caribbean (Cozumel Mexico, Jamaica, Labadee Haiti) and Bahamas-Eastern Caribbean (Thomas, St Thomas, St Maarten).
The ship offers inaugural season itineraries in Europe out of Barcelona Spain (7-day itineraries to France and Italy).
Harmony of the Seas offers cruises from Florida in 2019 through 2020. All 4 Oasis Class vessels sail 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.
operates on short round-trips to Western Caribbean (Costa Maya and Cozumel Mexico, Belize) and Eastern Caribbean (Labadee Haiti, Jamaica).
operates on round-trips to Eastern and Southern Caribbean (St Thomas, St Kitts, St. Maarten, Dominica, Aruba, Curacao, St Lucia, Antigua). REPOSITIONING (Transatlantic): During summer, the ship operates in Europe on round-trips out of Rome (Civitavecchia) to Greece and Greek Islands, Turkey, Italy (Sicily).
Starting January 2019, the ship is homeported in Miami. All pre-scheduled (January through April) 2019 cruises from Puerto Rico were cancelled. The homeport Miami cruise program includes 5-night Western Caribbean, and 9- and 10-night Southern Caribbean itineraries.
operates on 7-day round-trips to Eastern-Western Caribbean (Costa Maya and Cozumel Mexico, Roatan Honduras, Grand Cayman, Jamaica).
During 2019-2020 season Liberty of the Seas offers 7-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Galveston.
operates on Bahamas cruises out of Miami (3-day Nassau, 4-day Nassau and Coco Cay.
Starting March 25, 2019, the ship operates Cuba cruises leaving roundtrip from Port Canaveral (Orlando, Florida.USA) to Havana.
Majesty of the Seas moves to Tampa for cruises between June 22, 2018 - April 29, 2019. The following sailings are cancelled: May 7, 2018 - June 18, 2018. Guests on the canceled voyages have their vessel changed to Enchantment of the Seas.
Majesty of the Seas offers 4- and 5-night itineraries to Havana Cuba (day visits and overnights) leaving roundtrip from Tampa (in the period April-October 2018) and from Fort Lauderdale (November 2018 through March 2019).
operates on Asia cruise round-trips out of Singapore (to Thailand and Malaysia) and out of Shanghai (to South Korea and Japan). In 2018, the ship is repositioned to homeport Miami via Suez Canal and Transatlantic segments. The relocation cruise is called "Global Odyssey” (Asia to Caribbean) combining 3 itineraries- Singapore to Dubai, Dubai to Barcelona, Barcelona to Miami.
In 2018, Mariner of the Seas is homeported in Miami, Florida. The ship is the first Voyager-class vessel to offer short-break Caribbean cruises. Before Miami, Mariner underwent a 32-day refurbishment in Bahamas. Once back in service, the ship starts 3- and 4-night itineraries roundtrip from Miami (beginning June 21, 2018).
In 2019-2020 season Mariner of the Seas offers sailings from Port Canaveral.
operates on round-trips to Bahamas-Western Caribbean (Nassau, Cozumel Mexico) and Southern Caribbean (Labadee haiti, Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire).
During summer, the ship operates in Europe on round-trips out of Southampton to Mediterranean Sea, Canary Islands and Baltic Sea (Norwegian Fjords).
In 2019-2020 season Navigator of the Seas is based in the new Terminal A port in Miami.
operates on 7-day round-trips to Western Caribbean (Cozumel Mexico, Labadee haiti, Jamaica) and Bahamas-Eastern Caribbean (Nassau, St Thomas, St Maarten).
During 2019-2020 season Oasis of the Seas spends the summer in Europe for the first time since 2014, sailing from Barcelona. The ship offers 7-night itineraries, visiting Palma de Mallorca, Marseille, Florence, Rome and Naples.
Oasis of the Seas offers cruises from Florida in 2019 through 2020. Oasis undergoes a bow-to-stern refit before changing homeport to Terminal A at Miami for fall and winter seasons. All 4 Oasis Class vessels sail 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.
operates on China round-trips to Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea.
During 2018-2019 season Ovation of the Seas returns to Tianjin, China for a second season, exploring the best of Japan, including 2 new ports for the ship: Sasaebo and Shimonoseki.
Beginning November 2018 the ship sails in Australian waters from Sydney for its 3rd and longest season in the country, offering 13 sailings.
In 2019, with the arrival of Ovation of the Seas for 2019 Alaska summer season, Royal Caribbean debuts one of its Quantum Class ships in Alaska. Ovation repositions from Sydney to her summer homeport of Seattle. Ovation offers 7-night itineraries to destinations like Juneau and Victoria, showcasing the natural treasures of Alaska. The ship joins Radiance of the Seas in Alaska.
new ship (scheduled launch 2020)
|new ship (scheduled launch 2019)|
operates on short round-trips out of China to South Korea and Japan.
During winter 2019-2020 (November through April) the Quantum ship is homeported in Singapore. The liner offers a total of 34 itineraries - to and from Penang Malaysia, Phuket Thailand and Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam. This deployment increased the Royal Caribbean's passenger capacity in Singapore by 30%.
In early February 2018, RCI's President confirmed that a Quantum Class ship is to be homeported in Southampton UK for season 2020.
operates on round-trips to Queensland, New Zealand and South Pacific Islands (Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu).
REPOSITIONING (Alaska-Australia through Hawaii). The ship is relocated for the summer Alaskan cruise season from Australia to Canada (and reverse) through Hawaii.
For 2018-2019-2020 season Radiance operates 7-night and 9-night itineraries between Seward and Vancouver. To these sailings can be added the new Alaska cruise tour itineraries designed to appeal to couples and families, extending the holiday length to up to 13 nights. In Australia, Radiance (2018-2019) offers new "open-jaw itineraries" (10-night cruises) between Auckland and Melbourne or Sydney.
operates on round-trips in South America (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay), Mediterranea itineraries in Europe (out of Venice during summer - Greece, Turkey, Adriatic Sea) and out of Tampa to Western Caribbean (Costa Maya and Cozumel Mexico, Belize, Roatan Honduras, Grand Cayman).
The ship returned to Tampa in November 2017.
operates on round-trips to Southern Caribbean (BVI, St Kitts, Dominica, Antigua, St Maarten).
During summer, the ship operates in Europe (baltic Sea) on round-trips out of Demmark
2019-2020: Serenade of the Seas sails out of Fort Lauderdale FL on Southern Caribbean cruises. Port visits include Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Puerto Limon. The ship also sails to Bermuda.
|Spectrum of the Seas||tba|
In early February 2018, RCI's President and CEO confirmed that a Quantum Class ship is to be homeported in Southampton UK for season 2020.
Symphony of the Seas offers cruises from Florida in 2019 through 2020. All 4 Oasis Class vessels sail 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.
operates on Mediterranean round-trips out of Venice (to Greece and Turkey).
REPOSITIONING (Suez Canal)
During winter, the ship operates in Asia on Red Sea round-trips out of Dubai.
During season 2018-2019 winter, Vision of the Seas is home-ported in New Orleans (NOLA). Beginning December 15, 2018, the ship offers 7-night itineraries to Western Caribbean (Yucatan Mexico) and Bahamas. Before the repositioning to NOLA, Vision of the Seas offers two 16-night cruises through Panama Canal (between Miami and Los Angeles).
In a later announcement, Royal Caribbean revealed that Vision of the Seas moves to Galveston for 2018-2019 season. The following sailings are cancelled: March 9, 2019 - April 13, 2019.
2019-2020: Vision of the Seas doubles Panama Canal offerings prior to heading to San Juan for Caribbean adventure, including visits to a new destination for the cruise line, Punta Cana.
operates on round-trips to South Pacific Islands itineraries (Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu).
During season 2018-2019 (April through June), the ship is homeported in Singapore for 3- to 9-night itineraries in Southeast Asia (Thailand and Malaysia). The ship has scheduled all 90 roundtrips from Singapore, including:
The aircraft has confirmed scheduled launch in 2030. Construction of the "space and cruise ship" hybrid vessel is already underway.
Royal Caribbean Europe itineraries 2018-2019-2020 (UK, Mediterranean)
- In April 2017 Royal Caribbean unveiled plans for the first Quantum Ultra-class ship (Passion of the Seas) to sail from Asia-Pacific region in 2019. Set to be launched in spring 2019, the vessel is the next evolution of the groundbreaking Quantum class and joins her sister ships, Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas. The announcement was made as RCI unveiled its full roster of 2018-2019 China, Singapore and Australia itineraries. With nearly a decade since Royal Caribbean's first cruise in China, the cruise line further bolsters its commitment to the market by dedicating a lineup of its most technologically advanced ships to the rapidly growing market. The new ship is specifically designed for guests in the region, featuring even more cutting-edge and unprecedented experiences and amenities.
- As part of the deployment plans for 2018-2019, Mariner of the Seas repositions to a new home in Miami embarking on a "Global Odyssey" from Asia that features 3 long sailings from Singapore to Dubai; Dubai to Barcelona; and Barcelona to Miami. Voyager of the Seas has her first full season in Singapore in 2018-2019, offering 3- to 7-night adventures throughout Southeast Asia with stops that include ports in Thailand and Malaysia. The new 2018-2019 deployment season presents additional highlights, including an expanded offering of open-jaw itineraries for adventure-seekers traveling down under with new 10-night itineraries between Auckland and Melbourne or Sydney on Radiance of the Seas. During the winter, Ovation of the Seas repositions to Sydney for her longest season in Australia, reclaiming the title as the largest ship based in the region.
(new) Alaskan cruise tours 2018-2019 -2020
A total of 10 new Alaskan cruise tours are offered by RCI during season 2018-2019 season.
- The itineraries are on Explorer of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas, operating on 7- and 9-night itineraries.
- Explorer of the Seas continues with 7-night cruises from Seattle, with stops in Victoria BC, Juneau and Inside Passage.
- Radiance of the Seas sails 7-night and 9-night cruises between Alaska and Canada (Seward - Vancouver).
- To these cruise itineraries can be added the new "cruise tour" (land and sea) itineraries designed for couples and families and extending up to 13 nights. These include Fjord and Tundra national Parks Explorer (premium tours in Kenali Fjords and Denali), plus 2 nights in Fairbanks. There is also "Family Tundra Express" cruise tour and an 1-night add-on to Denali.
- Alaska cruise tour prices started at USD 750 PP (double occupancy inside cabin) on Northbound Alaska and Hubbard Glacier cruise.
Royal Caribbean's "Private Journeys" excursions
RCI passengers seeking for personalized shore excursion experiences can take advantage of the company's "Private Journeys" program.
- The USD 100 concierge-style service enables guests to book port calls tailored to their interests, travel style and budget. Private Journeys tours allows access to 1 of 9 professional Destination Insiders, who can help plan every detail of the shore excursion before the cruise sets sail. Activities can include private yacht sailing along the Italian or French Riviera, cooking alongside Michelin-starred chefs, or get a taste of Alaska at a crab feast in a remote fjord. The USD 100 fee for Private Journeys is applicable to excursion's final cost.
- Private Journeys are offered as a 3rd shore excursion choice (beside independent and RCI sponsored group tours). This new choice offers direct booking through RCI. It allows passengers to customize every aspect and detail of their port of call stop. Private Journeys can be booked ONLY via Royal Caribbean, Booked passengers have to provide Private Journeys' staff with their idea / basics of what they want (duration, prefered places, activities, meals, etc). Then they work with local (professional) tour guides to design the excursion. The contact with Private Journeys is by email or phone.
- "Private Journeys" RCI tour deals guarantee: priority disembarkation, sure return to the cruise ship (if the tour runs late, the ship waits for you), convenient access to private tour vehicles, quality of service (reputable / insured operators in direct contact with the RCI cruise ship's personnel).
Royal Caribbean cruises to Cuba from Florida (Miami and Tampa)
- Royal Caribbean gave adventure-seekers unique chances to explore the "freedom island" destination Cuba with new cruise itineraries to Havana on Empress of the Seas. The newly refreshed ship had scheduled a total of 58 voyages (4- and 5-night itineraries) in the period January 2018 through March 2019, with more than half offering overnights in the capital city.
- Empress of the Seas returns to Tampa for summer 2018, with a series of 4- and 5-night itineraries, visiting Key West, Costa Maya, Cozumel and Havana on most sailings. For the winter 2018-2019 season the ship repositions to Port Everglades, continuing with short Caribbean adventures.
- On December 1, 2017, RCI added 2 new Cuban ports (Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos) included in 4- to 8-night long Caribbean itineraries on Empress of the Seas. The new 7-night "Best of Cuba" itinerary from Miami visits Cienfuegos, Havana and Nassau. The 5-night itinerary visits Key West Florida and Havana (overnight). The 8-night itinerary visits Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba, Grand Cayman Island and Labadee Haiti.
- Majesty of the Seas offers 4- and 5-night itineraries to Havana Cuba (day visits and overnights) leaving roundtrip from Tampa (in the period April-October 2018) and from Fort Lauderdale (November 2018 through March 2019).
In July 2017 Royal Caribbean unveiled a 2nd cruise ship to visit Cuba, Majesty of the Seas out of Port Canaveral FL. Majesty departs from Port Canaveral March 25, 2019 sailing on a 4-night voyage that calls at Havana.
The current list of passenger shipping lines offering cruises to Cuba includes:
- Carnival Paradise leaving from Tampa Florida - cheapest prices (from USD 480 pp) since June 2017
- MSC Cruises (ship MSC Opera, leaving from Havana)
- Holland America (ship Veendam) leaving from Fort Lauderdale since December 2017
- Oceania Cruises (ships Marina and Regatta) starting in 2017, Cuba circumnavigation, stops in Cienfuegos and Havana, also part of some Panama Canal transition itineraries.
- NCL (ship Norwegian Sky, 4-day itineraries with Havana overnights - starting May 2017.
- Azamara Cruises (ship on Azamara Quest from Miami)
- Thomson Uk / Marella Cruises (ship Marella Dream) 7-day, leaving roundtrip from Jamaica (Montego Bay) to Havana
- Compagnie du Ponant (yacht Le Ponant, leaving from Miami Florida)
- Pearl Seas Cruises (ship Pearl Mist, leaving from Fort Lauderdale Florida)
- Lindblad Expeditions (chartered sailing ship MS Panorama II, leaving from Havana)
- Celestyal Cruises (ship Celestyal Crystal, leaving from Havana and Montego Bay Jamaica)
- Grand Circle Cruise Line (ship MV Clio / ex Tere Moana) one-way from Miami to Havana, or the reverse from Havana to Miami (embarkation/disembarkation in port Cienfuegos).
- International Expeditions (leaving from Havana, charter flights out of Miami)
- Victory Cruise Lines - MS Victory I (former MS Saint Laurent) - fly-cruises from Miami to Havana (home-port Cienfuegos /departures)
- Note: According to the current Cuban law, US citizens of Cuban origin (born in Cuba) are not allowed to visit the island country (including on cruise ships). Regardless of their US citizenship status, Cuban-born Americans were denied booking on cruise itineraries visiting ports in Cuba. However, the situation changed in April 2016, after Carnival Corporation negotiated with the Cuban government for allowing ships with Cuban-born passengers, as such US citizens are allowed to visit the country on USA-Cuba charter flights. The Carnival-fathom line started Miami to Cuba cruises in May 2016.
- Alaska Airlines offers regular nonstop flights to Havana from Los Angeles (California USA). An 80-min ling JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale (Florida) to Havana costs less than USD 100. Previously, air travel from USA to Cuba was thought charter flights only.
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