Ask Adam Blog Series – January 2013 Q & A

by 1894

As we approach the two year anniversary of our Ask Adam blog, we would like to thank our fans for continuing to read and ask Adam new and interesting questions. To see the responses to December’s Ask Adam post, click here, or if you happen to have a question you would like to ask Adam regarding Royal Caribbean (or even what he’s been up to) please follow this link to our Facebook Discussions Page and submit your questions there.

Who determines the merchandise mix onboard and what can be done to adjust it? The price of gold is high; can you really not come up with alternatives? – Betsy M.

Royal Caribbean International partners with Starboard Cruise Services that manages all merchandise selection as well as global sourcing of products. The merchandise selection varies across our fleet and is based on historical buying trends of our guests and seasonal trends of the brands carried in our onboard shops. Our pricing onboard may vary based on where the ship is sailing from, where the product was sourced and local currency. Our jewelry stores offer a wide selection of styles and variety of price points, including lower priced alternatives to gold jewelry.

Is there any chance of a ship docking out of the Mobile Alabama Port Authority? – Debbie R.

Hi Debbie, we always keep an open mind to new home ports and itineraries however our current planning does not include Mobile.

Will there ever be any “pet friendly” cruises offered by Royal Caribbean? My wife and I have two small dogs (under 20 pounds) and would love to be able to take them with us when we cruise, especially for long cruises. I appreciate your thoughts on this, thanks in advance. – Eric B.

Hi Eric, at this time we do not allow pets onboard our ships because of heath regulations unless they are service dogs trained to assist a guest with a disability.

Have you decided where and when the Rock Legends 3 cruise will be? We made the mistake of going on The Simple Man with Lynard Skynard and didn’t have a very good time! The cruise was at the end of November/ first of December and we couldn’t afford to do the Rock Legends 2 so soon and had already booked Simple Man. Can you schedule Rock Legends 3 for the end of 2013 please? Thanks so much. Royal Caribbean rocks! – Monica P.

Hi Monica, we just completed our second Rock Legends charter last Monday onboard Liberty of the Seas and it was a huge success.

Although the feedback onboard was extremely positive and we certainly welcome the opportunity to host another, it has not yet been determined if the charter company will give it another go.

Numerous guests were surveyed last week regarding their preferred date preferences between December 2013 and January 2014 and it turns out, most prefer January.  However, the actual sailing date will really depend upon our charter client’s ability to secure talent.

It’s nice to see how popular this cruise has become and we’re hoping it will come to fruition for a third year in a row.

At present, Royal Caribbean does not offer advance booking for the Behind the Royal Advantage – All Access Tour via the online Pre-Cruise Planner although reservations for entertainment, excursions, spa appointments, specialty restaurants, etc. can be booked online. Is this being considered as an online booking advancement option in the very near future, specifically for Oasis class cruises? Thanks! – Carl D.

Hi Carl, good question and the answer is yes! Please stay tuned for future updates.

I would like to know why a family of 5 can only get outside staterooms. I have three children, ages 11, 8, & 7 and we have to book cruises on another cruise line because they have some balcony staterooms that will accommodate our family. We would much rather take them on Royal Caribbean but our hands are tied. Your thoughts and opinions would be greatly appreciated! – Monte C.

Hi Monte, we offer balcony staterooms that accommodate a family of five in addition to Family Interior and Family Oceanview staterooms that accommodate up to six guests and we offer suites. The Family staterooms book up quickly so I’d recommend that you book as far in advance as possible.  Please call us at 866-562-7625 or contact a travel agent for more information.

Hi, Adam – I was hoping you could pass the following suggestion on to the right people/teams. Currently, when you log on to your website to review upcoming reserved (or held) cruises, you’re shown a list that reads:

Reservation Number 1234567

Reservation Number 1234568, etc.

It would be so helpful if they could add identifying details, such as the ship name, month/year, or region so it would be easier to see at a glance the one you want to click on. Just a thought! Thanks! – Jackie C.

Thank you for your great recommendation Jackie, we will take this into consideration on future website updates.

Is there any way to make Choice Air more affordable so that we can cruise from Europe as we have done in the past? We have our third cruise on the Independence of the Seas booked but if the airfare is prohibitive, my husband will cancel our cruise, which will break our hearts. The cruise is so reasonable but the air fare is not. – Joyce G.

Hi Joyce. Thank you for your question. Choice Air allows the travel agent or guest, to compare and then select the best air deals available in the market versus any air offer that Royal Caribbean has negotiated with the airlines.  We share your concerns about high airfares and are constantly working with our airline partners to find additional discounts for our guests.  From time-to-time we offer “ChoiceAir Specials” that provide $50-$200 discount when you purchase ChoiceAir along with your cruise on select sailings.  You can call our air team at 1-800-533-7803 and one of our ChoiceAir Support Agents will be glad to explore options with you or you can contact a travel agent.  One last tip, you can check out our “FlexFare” option on ChoiceAir to find flights and fares that we will hold for you at no obligation, up until the final payment of your cruise.  That gives you the opportunity to lock in a fare, while you continue to shop ChoiceAir or other sources for fare sales.  The $25 service fee for ChoiceAir applies to flex fares as well, but you may find it to be a good value in order to lock in a fare with no further obligation.

Have you had much of an interest in Antarctica? I know there are environmental issues and I am sure a lot of paperwork and arranging, but if you offered one cruise a year, and advertised it well in advance, I am sure you would fill a ship. Such a unique and once in a lifetime cruise. Then you could claim all 7 continents…. – Matthew G.

Matthew, thanks for your interest in Antarctica. You are correct that there are additional regulations for operating this type of cruise but that is not the primary reason that we do not offer it. Instead, we generally do not have any ships based in Argentina because all of our ships are much larger than the typical ships cruising to Antarctica.

Adam, without value booklets waiting in the staterooms where will we be able to find a list of “perks”? – Bill O.

Hello Bill. Indeed a great question! Once the Ultimate Value Booklets are converted into an electronic format, guests will receive a welcome letter outlining all tier specific Crown & Anchor Society onboard offers that are available for redemption during that sailing.

I am sorry to repeat this question you steadfastly refuse to answer, but here it goes again. Why does Royal Caribbean not sail the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles anymore? – Graham M.

Graham, demand for this itinerary was not as strong as what we can achieve operating our ships in other markets.

Why did you quit docking in downtown Cozumel, and start docking at the international pier? This makes it harder to get downtown. – Daniel H.

Daniel, we have not recently changed our overall strategy and usage of piers in Cozumel.

Hi Adam, are accessible friendly shore excursions part of the Royal Caribbean Commitment to providing a rewarding experience to all its cruisers? – Michael J.

Hi Michael, yes, we offer Shore Excursions for our guests with limited or no mobility in over 60 ports around the world. These are called Easy Tours and provide the highlights of the cities we visit. All shore excursions are clearly identified with a wheelchair icon on the Shore Excursions section of the website. As guests browse through excursions in the different ports of calls, they will see this icon on the tours in which we offer this access.  Please also read more here, as our site talks about accessible shore excursions.

Thanks to everyone for submitting questions, and remember if you have a question you would like to ask, please click here. If you have a customer service related issue, the quickest way to obtain a response is to fill out our contact form here:

  • Donna Mignone

    Besides Explorer of the Seas, Will you ever be allowing another ship into the Cape Liberty, Bayonne NJ? Another itinerary?? How about ships at the NY Piers, NYC and Brooklyn????

    • Michael Fischetti

      The rumor is that we should be getting one of the Quantum ships in Cape Liberty, one can only hope!!

    • Adam

      Hi, Donna– please keep an eye on our Facebook page for any changes to our itineraries.

  • jennifer krzak

    I recently sailed on the Allure and I absolutely adored the ship. But I was so disappointed when I went to the Fitness Center on board, and found out Zumba classes weren’t offered! Being an instructor myself, I was looking forward to not missing my workouts and shaking my hips onboard-will Zumba classes ever be offered?

    • Melissa Fenner

      I was wondering the same thing, I have a cruise booked for April and will be very dissappointed if there are no Zumba classes! BTW, my Zumba instructor and many of the ladies who take classes with her went on a Zumba cruise last year as a group and she was able to teach many classes to the group or anyone who wanted to join them. Maybe that is something you could offer on your next cruise (maybe they would even give you a free something for teaching)!!

    • Adam

      Hi, Jennifer– we will certainly pass your suggestion along to the proper department.

  • Marja P.

    Would you consider setting up permanent rooms for the deaf/hard of hearing and the blind providing all the ADA equipment installed within the room? I went on a RC cruise once and had requested for the ADA equipment and they failed to provide the equipment and claimed that they had given the equipment to another ship that left the port already.

    • Adam

      Thank you, Marja. We’ve passed your suggestion along to the appropriate department for consideration.

  • Kim Borgman

    I have cruised with your company two times and loved it. One of the great things is meeting all your different staff. They come from all parts of the world. What is your hiring practice for recruiting these employees.

    • Adam

      Thank you, Kim. We work with several hiring partners to ensure we have a diverse and well-qualified crew for our ships.

  • Sharon Robertson

    We would like to suggest that cruises taken on Celebrity count for something toward our RCI status levels. We are Diamond Plus Members, and while we understand that we will be “recognized” as such on a Celebrity Cruise, we hesitate to take one because that will not help us as we strive for Pinnacle Club status on RCI. Please consider crediting the RCI status levels with some points when a Celebrity Cruise is taken – those cruises are, after all, more costly. Also, it would encourage your members to travel more!

    • Ed

      I agree…. All the cruise lines in the RCL company should have ONE loyalty program. Nights spent on any of the RCL lines would be treated the same. Hotel companies have loyalty programs that are common to all the hotel brands in the company. RCL should do the same.

    • Adam

      Thank you, Sharon, for sharing your thoughts.

  • tiffany

    I suggest that royal ca
    ribbean start having some smaller ships or more ships leave out to go to the caribbean during the prime summer months such as june.

  • Jeff Dodd

    Mr. Goldstein,

    I have a suggestion. Next January, I’m going on the Allure of the Seas with a number of friends to celebrate my 50th birthday. I continue to have friends who are interested in the cruise and want a link to it. How about providing ways to share specific cruises by date and vessel via email, Facebook, and Twitter?

    Looking forward to being on the Allure. Very excited.

    • RickKaz

      Mr. Goldstein, you should try out the Cruise Critic message boards for sailing date specific Roll Calls where you can meet others who will be sailing with you. Royal Caribbean usually also hosts a Meet and Mingle for Cruise Critic members.

      • Adam

        Hello, Rick. Please visit our Royal Connections page. There you will find other cruisers looking to connect with each other before their cruise.

    • Adam

      Hi, Jeff– We have a place for our cruisers to meet with each other, called Royal Connections, please check it out here.

  • Allen

    Hello Adam, I am one of those and hope you reconsider selling the Mexican Riviera as a Loyal Royal Caribbean Cruiser, I enjoy playing Golf in the area and have it’s a little more than six times recently in the last 4 years and the Caribbean would like to sale with Royal Caribbean and Mexican Riviera and not have to switch brands and miss the opportunity to increase my Crown and Anchor Society Level by having to sail with a different brand. If Royal Caribbean would honor those sailing credits to Crown and Anchor Society accounts.

    • RickKaz

      I’ve had to switch to the not so fun ship these past few years since RCI pulled out of LA and San Diego for Mexican Riviera sailings. I’m one sailing away from Diamond and would jump right on board if RCI returned to the Mexican Riviera. Cabo, La Paz, and Puerto Vallarta would be a nice itinerary.

      • Adam

        Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Rick.

  • justin

    Will RCCL ever go back to offering the pacific nw cruise from Seattle to the various British Columbia ports? that was my first cruise ever because it was short and good as a “test” experience. I’ve since cruised 9 times. Might be a good way to build a new customer base.

  • Dawn

    We travelled a while back with our children, one of which has Cerebral Palsy.
    I tried to contact RC ahead of time to see what accomadations could be made for her.
    We were told she could not participate in the Kids Club, nor could she swim in the pools.
    The only alternative we were offered was babysitting (at an additional fee)
    So not only could she not partake in shipboard activities, neither could Mom.

    What is being done to make traveling with children with disabilities more desireable , enjoyable and more “worth it”?

    • Adam

      Hi, Dawn– we have read your comment and someone will be reaching out to you shortly.

  • Tami

    Dear Adam,

    Why doesn’t RC sail out of Galveston more often then 5 months a year and why did they stop running 4 & 5 night cruises out of Galveston all together? We cruise 2-3 times a year and now we only have 1 choice of cruise lines most of the time. RC used to have more then one ship in Galveston all year long. What happened?

    Texas has the best economy in the US right now and Austin is the fastest growing city. Wouldn’t it make sense to give more options in Galveston to the residents of the West gulf region and SW region?

    • Adam

      Hi Tami, unfortunately we do not have enough ships to operate out of Galveston year round. However, we will be sure to pass along your comment for review. Thank you.

  • Teresa Eller

    Do you think RCL will ever sail out of Jacksonville, FL. I think this would be a great success.

  • Joyce Degon

    Why do you only have cruises out of Boston, MA in September and October? What about May, June, July, August? Love sailing out of Boston! Joyce and Joe D.

  • mike goldinger

    After Carnival cruise problem any thoughts on cruisers taking water on board ?

  • Brad

    I am disappointed that RCI removed their ships from the West Coast. Granted, Mexico is not quite the destination it has been in the past but has RCI considered:

    –Many cruise passengers just enjoy the ship?
    –West Coast one way cruises (LAVancouver) with an air or rail add on?
    –Roundtrip West Coast cruises from LA?
    –Hawaii cruises from LA?

    It seems that with a little creative planning, RCI could operate one of its smaller ships on the West coast and provide some choice in the market. Also, by scheduling different itineraries over each week, a person could have a variety of 14-day vacations:

    -7 day Mexico and a 7 Day Round Trip West Coast
    -14 Day Hawaii
    -7Day north and 7 day south west coast

    • Adam

      Hi Brad, at this time we have no plans to return a ship to the West Coast. Thank you.

  • Ray Hum

    Why doesn’t RCCL have Pacific Coast cruises, say from Vancouver to San Diego. It would seem that there are enough cities along the West Coast to put together some 7 and 10 day cruses.

    • Adam

      Hi Ray, at this time we have no plans to return a ship to the West Coast. Thank you.

  • Olga

    Hello! I have 4 kids, 4 months , 2 y.o. , 10 and 12. I really want to go on vacation on cruise with all my family but when I was checking prices I was told that for baby I have to pay the same price. Why little children prices can’t be reduced? Especially that I will use babysitter on board and pay for it also. Thank you.

    • Adam

      Hi Olga, please click here for more information.

  • Nycole

    Why doesn’t RCI port / leave out of Galveston, TX anymore? My husband and I were disappointed when we were forced to take a Carnival cruise this past summer due to the ships leaving from Galveston. Sad thing is, we were even more disappointed once we sailed with them. Due to our location and closet port to drive to, Galveston is our main option. We both have said we will never cruise with Carnival again and have told our friends that the best to cruise with is RCI. I want to cruise again soon, but am not happy with the cruise lines I have to choose from. Will you ever contemplate Galveston again?

    • Adam

      Hi Nycole, during the Winter we do have ships leaving from Galveston. However, we do not have enough ships to operate out of Galveston year round. However, we will be sure to pass along your comment for review. Thank you.

  • Keith Kendall

    We have an upcoming cruise in about 30 days and yesterday I got an e-mail from RCI that you are going to start adding the gratuity to the shipboard account starting Mar 1st. We are C&A Platinum (will be Emerald after next months cruise) and have never failed to leave the proper gratuity. But, this is no longer a gratuity now, but a flat out fee. Not happy about it at all. Is there some unwritten policy that I can get out of it or reduce one or two of them if needed? I don’t anticipate that, but there have been a couple times I was tempted to lower the standard amount a bit, but didn’t do so. It just seems a matter of principal. Might as well add it to the price of the cruise. I want to stress, we have always sailed only with RCI and brought many new friends with us over the years. Always been very happy with service, sometimes actually overwhelmed at how good and beyond expectations. Just don’t like not having any say. Let me know the thought process behind this? Too many people skipping out?? Thanks. Keith Kendall

    • Adam

      Hi Keith– If you desire, guests will be able to modify (whether it be increase, decrease or cancel) your daily gratuity amounts charged onboard.

  • Fiona

    Is there any chance that in the future you will consider changing your reservation system to allow for larger groups? My husband and I have 4 daughters and we cannot make reservations online or check what the price will likely be despite the fact that we only want one cabin. It would seem appropriate that cabins that can handle more than 4 guests should be allowed to be booked in a single reservation.

    • Adam

      Hi Fiona, please call 800-238-0166 and they can answer all of your questions. Thank you.

  • Katherina

    I live in Costa Rica and my US visa has been denied twice, which means I can’t go on a cruise, except Grandeur of the Seas which sails from Panama, and I’ve already been on that one, I would LOVE to cruise again, please come up with another latin america port so I can cruise again!!!!

    • Adam

      We’ll be sure to pass your suggestion along, Katherina. Thank you.

  • Suzanne

    I would like to know why Royal Caribbean is so adverse to singles cruising. I love your cruise line and after my next cruise will be Diamond member, but due to a recent divorce I no longer have a cruise partner and I can not afford to pay your outrageous single supplement. Will I ever be able to cruise with you again? When will cruise lines admit that there is a large segment of the travel public that are single travelers.

  • Jan

    I too would like to see cruises resume from the West Coast. One of the most fun trips we enjoyed the most was from LA to Vancouver. After you’ve done the Caribbean countless times , the West coast was a welcome change. Never get tired of that itinerary.

    • Adam

      Hi Jan, at this time we have no plans to return a ship to the West Coast. Thank you for your comment.

  • Kenneth

    How can your competitors achieve profit out of Los Angeles with there ships but not royal?

    • Adam

      Kenneth, thank you for your comment. However, at this time we have no plans to return a ship to the West Coast.

  • Diane Henry

    Why is pricing and availability for the larger suites (Royal Family Suite, Presidential Suite, etc) not available on the RCL website. When I searching for cruises it would be extremely helpful to know how much the cabins cost and if they are available for a given cruise. I really don’t want to spend an hour on the phone trying to find a cruise that fits my budget and availability.

    • Adam

      Hello Diane, thank you for your comment. For group questions please call 800-238-0166.

  • Neta Platt

    As far as the Mexican Rivera goes, just go to NCL they have started back up there and are so much better than RCL. We do love RCL also, but since they don’t go someplace we go elsewhere.

  • William

    My question to Adam is that I feel rc should provide “hot spot” areas on their ships where customers can go to check email or surf the Internet. With the cost of the cruise this should be included and not be something that the guests pay for additionally. If necessary guests could be limited to a max time , ie 15 minutes per day to just touch base with family etc.

    • Adam

      Thank you for your suggestion, William.

  • Robert Kerr

    I am sure this question has been posted before but I want to go to Hawaii!!

    I understand that a ship not under a U.S. flag must port in another country on a U.S. based trip.
    What about a quick dock in Mexico in rout to Hawaii. You get a round trip out of a U.S. port and we get to go round trip to Hawaii.

    You get FAR compliance and happy passengers. Everyone is happy.

  • Brian

    I have asked a few times, and can never seem to get selected for an answer. When will Royal start to sale into some new or seldom visited ports at the expense of Nassau, St. Thomas, St. Marteen, Cozumel, and the likes? More sailings to smaller islands like St. Kitts, Antigua, Turks and Caicos, Bonair, and Roatan. Cruising every year makes it difficult to go somewhere new when ships continuously do the same route over and over again……. Any chance on expansion to newer islands or less visited islands?

    • Adam

      Hi Brian, thank you for your comment, we will be sure to pass it along. Thank you.

  • Angel

    I will take a cruiser in October, the Fredom of the Seas, I want to know, if a storm occurs, what will happen with my timetable?, becuase after my cruiser, i will go to disney, and Ive specific days to travel.

    • Adam

      Hi Angel– We try to avoid the path of the storm and make it back to port on schedule; however, if there is an extreme case where it is unsafe to return, for the safety of all our passengers and crew, the sailing may be extended or shortened. This is also one of the reasons we suggest having the necessary documents (visas, passport expirations) for a few days longer than the cruise itself.

  • cutlet

    Just returned from a cruise out of Panama which was booked while on board another cruise in alaska. We were so excited to go to islands we had never traveled. I am concerned for others doing the same…there was NO mention in any brochure or from the agent that this was a Spanish speaking cruise. When I contacted customer service, I was told it was not coded as such but if that were true why were the entertainers (comedian, magician and all music) all in spanish? Even our diamond concierge knew and was shocked to hear we did not know! As always, the staff was amazing…but I think there needs to be more communication with your clients! We feel we have missed out on so much of our vacation and would like to know how this will be reconciled.

  • Doug Zapart


    My wife and I just returned from our 3rd cruise in 12 months (6th in 5 years) with Royal last Sunday (aboard the Explorer of the Seas). As we are Loyal to Royal and 2 points away from C&A Diamond status, we were somewhat dismayed in some on board and pre-cruise changes that Royal is instituting without notifying its customers.

    When we first started cruising, there were evening chocolates on the pillows, this disappeared last year (possibly earlier since our last several reservations were in suites). This was not to much of an issue since we brought some with us to celebrate Valentines day.

    The next thing to disappear (effective last August) was the luggage tags (except for suite guests). We did receive our luggage tags since we were booked in a Grand Suite, but my wife’s parents, who were traveling with us in a Junior suite, were not granted this privilege. It was at this time that I learned of the new luggage tag policy. As directed, we proceeded to the cruise pier and expected that the porters dock side would provide some type of tags (no real savings to Royal other than postage). Since the prior sailing was delayed by 1 1/2 hours arrival, this created some delays and confusion when we arrived at the pier.

    Once we were on board, we learned that Royal is no longer providing any pens or stationary in the rooms (again with out advanced notice). Not to much of an issue except for when we need to fill out the information on each of the C&A certificates for redemption, complete our laundry form, next cruise form or the Guest survey at the end of the cruise.

    As a guest in a Grand Suite (as well as C&A members), we have always had use of robes and slippers for use on board. It seems that the robes are still offered but the slippers are not. Expecting this, neither my wife or I brought slippers with us which was slightly inconvenient, but not earth shattering.

    I do understand that in today’s corporate economy that costs and expenditures need to be controlled, but some of these small extras go a long way and also offer some extra marketing (in the form of the stationary). In the future, it would be helpful to hear before hand that changes (such as the pre-paid gratuity change that I learned about here) are communicated to your guests to avoid any confusion.

    Thank You,

    • Adam

      Thank you, Doug. We value the input from our guests and we’ll be sure to pass this information along.

  • Martin Frankfurt

    Hi Adam

    Both myself and my wife (sharon) really. really want to do another caribbean cruise with RCI but, we have visited most of the ports on the current itineraries. Are there going to be any alternative itineraries for this coming year. Just to add that RCI certainly have the best ships around currently and can’t wait to see what the Quantum class will look like. Just as good if not better I guess.

    Thank you


    • Adam

      Hello Martin, we’d love to see both your wife and you return onboard. Please keep an eye on our page for additional itinerary updates.

  • Hiram

    Hi Adam,

    Would RCI ever consider lowering the WiFi rates? I believe it is rather expensive taking into consoderation that the sigmal is pretty poor. I know it must be satellite internet most likely, and it is really hard to connect, websites will open slowly.

    Thank you,
    Hiram Novelo, Mexico city

    • Adam

      We appreciate your input, Hiram. However, at this time we have no plans to change our wi-fi pricing.

  • Cameron Ryan

    Will coke freestyle machines be on all ships by the end of the year? Particularly Rhapsody of the seas sailing from Sydney?

    • Adam

      Hello Cameron, at this time we have no plans to add the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines to Rhapsody of the Seas. Thank you.

  • BecciBoo

    Mr. Goldstein: I just heard that you have removed the bagpipers from Allure/Oasis and now just when we can finally afford to go and have booked for next year, we won’t be getting any of those serenades from the pipers. Sooooooo sad now. I’ve been looking forward to it for years!!!!!!!!!!

    • Adam

      Hi, Becci– thanks for sharing your love for our onboard entertainment. We try to do our best to keep our performances fresh and unique by trying new genres and styles quite frequently. We’ll make a note that the bagpipers were appreciated.

  • tanya soler

    Hello Adam,

    How can I get your buyer/purchaser to look at my product to make it available on your cruise line
    ? Please advise thank you.