A Few New Milestones that Benefit Our Guests

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Occasionally I like to relate items I come across in the company progress report. Here are a few from this week:

Choice Air – slowly but surely we are reaching milestones, albeit slower than I would have imagined. Nearly 30% of our guests who are booking flights as well as cruises through us, are now booking their air through our Choice Air offering, rather than through our traditional air/sea offering. Choice Air allows the travel agent or guest, to compare and then select the best air deals available in the market vs. any air offer that Royal Caribbean has negotiated with the airlines. The same protections that we provide traditional air/sea customers in case of unforeseeable events, such as the volcanic ash, are also provided to Choice Air customers. Plus, flight number and seat assignments are available at time of booking. Choice Air is a major enhancement to our air offering and we need to do a better job of communicating this feature.

ValidFill Soda Dispensers – We sell a lot of Unlimited Fountain Soda Packages either in advance of the cruise or during the cruise. Until now, if you wanted to get your free refills you needed to find one of our bar staff, which on the pool deck often entailed waiting at the pool bar including for children. That is beginning to change. Freedom of the Seas will soon have two soda dispensers on the pool deck that detect a chip implanted in the bottom of the Coca Cola soda mug and provide the refill automatically based on the presence of the chip. Majesty of the Seas has had one of these units as a test and we are very pleased with the results. Our goal is to extend this fleetwide.

Royal Celebrity Tours 10th Anniversary – In the “we really are getting old” column, on April 21st we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the incorporation of Royal Celebrity Tours (RCT). During this decade we have provided approximately 250,000 cruise guests with fabulous land extensions to their cruises, usually in Alaska and usually featuring a segment on our state of the art Alaska train cars. We have also branched out our portfolio to include cruisetours in most parts of the world where we deploy our ships. The quality of the offerings has been extremely high since RCT’s inception and I am very proud of what this group has accomplished. Kudos to Craig Milan, Bob Stone, Andy Nelson, Maggie Kelly, Stephen Franz and the entire RCT team for a great 10 years.

Other notes:

  • The 5k corporate run in Miami last Thursday was fun but frustrating. My fancy GPS watch was telling me I was having the race of my life, but the race clock had a different version of the facts and I didn’t even achieve a personal best. Meanwhile, a top runner my age entered the CEO competition and although I was much closer to him (13 seconds) than in any previous race, the bottom line is I did not defend my title. Finally, although we finished first in our division in the co-ed competition, we also failed to defend last year’s overall city title. I have already picked up the intensity of my training. I want to congratulate our ladies who easily defended our city title in the women’s competition.
  • Last night I received the International Golden Compass Award at a fund-raiser for Seafarers’ House which is based in Port Everglades. Crew can take a break from their ships and go to Seafarers’ House to eat, shop, hang out, communicate with family, pray, and more. It was a nice affair, we raised a lot of money and I very much appreciated the honor. The event gave me the opportunity to publicly express how fortunate all of us in the industry are that crew are willing to work on our ships for a living. Without them there is no cruise or cargo shipping business.
  • Steve

    I love many of the innovations that Royal Caribbean continues to deliver. No other cruise line delivers the WOW factor when it comes to the ships themselves. I also think that Royal Caribbean has one of the most friendly crews on the seven seas. Suite perks fail in comparison with other lines.

    Now I only wish that Royal would put the WOW back into the overall quality of food delivered on board their ships in the main dining room. It’s a shame when Royal Caribbean can build such beautiful ships compared to their competition but cannot meet or beat them when it comes to the overall quality of food served in the main dining room. Mr. Goldstein, it’s time that your company take a serious look at the menus on board and revamp them along with bringing back the overall great quality of food one would expect from a cruise line like Royal Caribbean.

    While the members of the website Cruise Critic is just a small group when all things are considered, it is one of the most talked about subjects on the board. That should tell you something.

  • http://straddling-continents-cultures.blogspot.com/ Meliha

    Choice Air sounds great, and the ValidFill Soda Dispensers sound like it will be MUCH easier. Great!

  • bjorn jakobsen

    Hi Adam
    We are just back from Oasis after b/b cruise in easter
    and we had to stay 7 more days in florida because of
    the ashes.But its ok. insurrance paid it all, and
    american airline gave us 1st class back home.
    but back to Oasis. It is a great ship,the lounge for
    diamond and diamond+ was very good++ and the time it took to get people onboard and of the ship surpriced me.very good, Because of the wide ship it allways were space for everybody. we will be back on that ship. But first we take Navigator back to Fl.in oct.
    This is celebration voyage Our 100 cruise and 30 years with RCCL (rci) Oct.5 1980 on Nordic Prince!!

    Thank you very much

    Bjorn + Gitte

  • Michelle

    Will the soda dispensers be available on the Oasis or Allure?

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Michelle, at this time our ValidFill Soda Dispensers are not available on the Oasis of the Seas . However, it is still our goal to expand this feature amongst our fleet so check back with us.

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  • anand kumar

    SIR, I WAS RCCL EMPLOYEE SINCE LAST 11 YEARS AS A WAITER UN FORUUNEATLY A HAVE SOME PROBLEM IN HOME SO I DECIDED TO RESIGN .BUT SOME PEOPLE SAY Y RETIRE ALSO. I MAKE A TERRIABLE MISTAKE. I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE THE RETIRE MENT MONEY BACK TO THE COMPANY&WANT TO WORK BACK ON RCCL SHIPS. RIGHT NOW IAM JOBLESS PL .I HAVE NO OTHER OPETION LEFT .I MAIL THEM PLENTY TIMES TO COME BACK TO WORK PL HELP ME SIR IAM JOBB LESS NOW.

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Thank you for your email. We suggest you visit our career site at https://www.royalcareersatsea.com/ to see what new opportunities we have.

  • Tyler

    Hi Adam. I think Royal should add drink packages similar to those of Celebrity- your sister line.

    I can see a number of people purchasing them and for those who wouldn’t get their monies worth could still purchase a la carte.

    Your thoughts?

    Celebrity Drink Packages

    – The Classic Non-Alcoholic Package ($14.95) includes sodas, bottled and fresh-squeezed juices and water and premium coffees.
    – The Premium Non-Alcoholic Package ($18.40) comprises everything in the Classic Non-Alcoholic Package plus specialty coffee, name-brand bottled water, energy drinks, flavored water, smoothies and frozen non-alcoholic drinks.
    – The Classic Package ($44.85) has everything in the Classic Non-Alcoholic Package plus beers that cost up to $5 each, and spirits, cocktails and wines by the glass that go for up to $8 each.
    – The Premium Package ($56.35) includes all beverages in the Premium Non-Alcoholic Package plus all beers, all spirits, cocktails and wines with a value of up to $12 per glass.

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Tyler, thank you for your suggestion regarding drink packages. We will pass it on to the appropriate department for internal review.

  • Jim

    When will the dispensers be available on the Freedom of the Seas?

  • SHERRI

    When will the soda dispensers be available on the Freedom of the Seas?

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Sherri, the ValidFill Soda Dispensers will be available on Freedom of the Seas by the August 29th voyage.

  • Larry Mathias

    Just wondering if the ValidFill will be on the Rhapsody by next summer. We are traveling to Alaska next June. We were on Liberty last June, and were frustrated with the wait staffs delays whenever we wanted a refill. This sounds ideal for us.

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Larry, we are delighted that you will be cruising on Rhapsody of the Seas next summer. In regards to the ValidFill, we will not be including this system onboard Rhapsody of the Seas, yet. But if we do, rest assured that we will announce it here and on our Facebook page. In regards to the delays, we have revamped our service standard, so you should no longer experience any service delays in the future.

  • Lori

    Have booked Brilliance of the Seas for Nov. 2012 and looking at options for Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic beverages. At this time since it is so far away prices and details of the options are not available on the website. Any details that can be emailed to me? I have been reading regarding the ValidFill Dispensers as well. Are they available on Brilliance of the Seas? Thanks

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Hi Lori, you can find out the options for beverage packages here and reserve your beverage packages through your pre-cruise planner.