Royal Caribbean sails full steam ahead
TTN with Mohamed Saeed, Managing Director, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara & Silversea Cruises – Middle East, for more insight. (The sole Middle East representative of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, registered in Dubai as Safeen Tourism.)
“Wonder of the Seas has had a wonderful season so far in Europe, where she offered seven-night Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona and Rome,” Saeed tells us. “After her summer season, Wonder of the Seas will return to Florida to offer year-round sailings in November 2022, when she sails from Port Canaveral.”
Destinations range from Perfect Day at CocoCay and Philipsburg, St. Maarten, to Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; and Cozumel, Mexico.
Icon of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s next new cruise ship is under construction in a shipyard in Finland, and is expected to debut in late fall 2023. The final look of the vessel is shrouded in mystery but one thing is confirmed: Icon will be the cruise line’s first of three ships to be powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas). Traditionally, cruise ships are powered by diesel, with LNG they become more energy-efficient, reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley talked about the efficiency of Icon of the Seas, “Our new Icon class is coming with LNG-hybrid but, basically it’s LNG. It’s 35 per cent more fuel energy efficient than regular fuel. And the ship itself, because of the design, is about 30 per cent more efficient.”
From Barbados to Bermuda, to Colombia and Curacao, and even a private island destination in The Bahamas, dozens of Caribbean locales are among the 240-plus destinations you can explore with Royal Caribbean. Setting sail from cities like Miami, the Big Apple and Galveston, Texas, there’s a range of cruises you can choose from, like weekend getaways, 14-night adventures and everything in between.
“The dream team are returning to Europe for summer 2023 with itineraries to suit every kind of adventurer. Will it be Symphony of the Seas sailing from Barcelona, Rhapsody of the Seas sailing from Limassol & Haifa, Odyssey of the Seas sailing from Rome? Or many of our other ships gracing the European shores. Whichever you choose, you’ll enter a world of excitement as you sail to Europe’s hottest destinations, taking in everything these incredible ships have to offer along the way.”
Royal Caribbean International has also released its line-up of holidays on Spectrum of the Seas for 2023-2024, and longer cruises are making a comeback. A mix of new 5- to 12-night cruises will whisk adventurers to far-flung destinations in Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam, joining the cruise line’s popular short getaways to Malaysia and Thailand. Next season’s year-round adventures on Asia’s largest and most innovative ship are now open to book.
On a mix of longer cruises that are 5-, 7-, 9- and 12-night itineraries, holidaymakers of all ages are in for memorable adventures and must-see destinations like Bangkok, Thailand; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Manila, Philippines. Royal Caribbean’s crowd favourite 3- and 4-night getaways, first introduced in July, round out the cruise line’s next year-round season. Spectrum will head back to the colourful Penang, Malaysia, and the stunning beach resort of Phuket in Thailand – the perfect fuss-free escapes with little to no planning required for vacationers.
Meanwhile, internet connectivity on board Royal Caribbean Cruises is set to improve multifold as it begins offering onboard internet via SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network. The technology will be deployed across all Royal Caribbean-owned cruises beginning immediately, with installation scheduled to be completed in Q1 2023.
“Our sales team regularly conducts one on one training via webinars and presentations with our valuable travel partners to educate and inform them about any updates on our cruise products.
“We’re currently developing an interactive Trade Advisors portal to better engage the travel partners with RCCL offerings, deployments, tips and how to sell cruise,” concludes Saeed.