Ask Adam Blog Series – January 2013 Q & A

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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: http://bit.ly/c44GkU