Ask Adam Blog Series – September 2012 Q & A

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Fall is in full swing and so are the answers to the September Ask Adam questions. To see responses from August please click here, or if you have a question you would like to ask Adam regarding Royal Caribbean or what he’s been up to, please follow this link to our Facebook Discussions page and submit your questions there.

Good day, Adam. With airfare to and from Europe putting a cramp on many people booking cruises overseas, has the company considered doing occasional Transatlantic cruises from spring to fall so we can have an enjoyable, affordable way to cross “the pond”? I understand the difference between a cruise ship and an ocean liner, but an Oasis class ship should be comfortable on this route, plus it would keep us entertained on the crossing. Sure would be nice! – Jim M.

Hi Jim, air fare to Europe has been a challenge in regard to price, but the Oasis class ships have challenges when it comes to the size of various ports, especially the ports necessary for fueling which are not yet able to take a ship of this size.

The good news is that we do have Freedom-class vessels, the second largest cruise ships, performing Transatlantic itineraries on the shoulder seasons. Liberty of the Seas departs Barcelona on October 27, 2012 and Independence of the Seas is leaving from Northern Europe, out of Southampton for a Thanksgiving cruise on November 22, 2012 and we are currently offering reduced air rates on this sailing.

Adam, we have been on many cruises with Royal Caribbean as well as other cruise lines and we have noticed one thing, Royal Caribbean does not offer traditional afternoon tea (other than in the Windjammer). We would love to see traditional afternoon tea served in the beautiful dining rooms that Royal Caribbean ships offer! – Adam T.

Thank you for your feedback regarding afternoon tea. We have offered this in our dining rooms and specialty restaurants in the past and still do a traditional afternoon tea service on select sailings. We have found that even when we advertise this onboard we rarely see much interest on most sailings. There are many itineraries where a more casual approach to afternoon tea with great food offerings remains popular; therefore we have increased the level of service attention and our product variety to meet those demands.

We just returned from a cruise to Alaska onboard Radiance of the Seas. The cruise was great and it was our second time onboard, but the first time since its “upgrades”. We loved the changes and in our comment card offered a suggestion about the Boardwalk Dog House on the ship.

We did not like the Boardwalk Dog House at all. I have seen better hot dog stands on street corners. The hot dogs were not grilled enough, but the major problem in my opinion was the lack of appropriate condiments and accompaniments. Every hot dog stand must have chili, melted or shredded cheese, some chopped raw onions, baked beans, hot relish, chopped jalapenos, and hot wet sauerkraut. In addition, how about having some corn dogs? The condiments, including mustard, ketchup, relish and all other items should all be added by the server rather than having them available as pre-packaged condiments. Have the server “dress” the hot dogs with all of what the passenger wants and then wrap it in a wax or foil paper. That’s what I expected at the Boardwalk Dog House, not what you are presenting. What I am suggesting is very simple, easy and doable with little if any additional expense. – Ed T.

We really appreciate your feedback Ed, regarding our Boardwalk Dog House.

When we opened this venue on Allure of the Seas we couldn’t have imagined the level of interest people had for a hot dog, sausage, or bratwurst. In fact, it’s been so popular we had to increase staffing levels to meet the demand which is a complimentary dining option to all guests on several ships.

We feature eight varieties of hot dogs and sausages. Each one comes prepared differently and is made to order and we feel our authentic approach to each dog has been very well received by most people. Our chicken sausage and Polish Kielbasa are served in baguettes, which we make onboard. Of course the Austrian style wiener and the American Hot Dog, which is Kosher beef from New York, are also favorites. The German bratwurst and the smoked bratwurst are favorites and the cheese & jalapeno sausage and the Tuscan sausage, served with oregano, garlic and Italian sausages are also a lot of fun for our guests. All of our sausages and hot dogs include your choice of warm sauerkraut, sautéed onions or mixed peppers. We do not feature raw onions simply because we work very hard to keep raw foods in a controlled environment. Condiments we do have available for guests to serve themselves include mayonnaise, mustard, and relish. All of the hot dogs feature a side dish option of coleslaw or potato salad and are prepared before your eyes. Admittedly, we have had to keep the overall offering to a point where we can actually deliver the experience to such a high demand.

Adam, I would like to suggest that if you really want good feedback from your patrons, that on each cruise you invite a dozen or so Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle passengers to a special hour-long session, like a focus group, to present their ideas and concerns to the ship’s staff. Listen to the suggestions and complaints from those who cruise the most often with you. – Ed T.

Hi Ed, at this time we do not conduct focus groups on a sailing by sailing basis. We are always collecting feedback and want to hear about our guests experiences either through comment cards, surveys, or through reviews on our websites. We will however pass your suggestion on to our Marketing Research team.

Hi Adam! First, thank you and all the staff that work on your ships for making every cruise the most wonderful trip imaginable! Would you consider having longer cruises from New Jersey, Baltimore or Fort Lauderdale? We feel they are still not long enough! Of course, I’d live on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship if I could. Maybe a round trip cruise from the United States through the Mediterranean? – Susan C.

Thank you, Susan. Longer itineraries are always something we consider when it comes to deployment options for our ships. Traveling from the Northeast does have its advantages as you need some additional cruising days to get to the Caribbean ports of call. We have done research in the past with offering longer itineraries from New Jersey and Baltimore but we actually do not see as much interest when it comes to guests needing to take 2 weeks off work. We do offer 7, 9, 10, and 11 night itineraries from New Jersey on Explorer of the Seas. We also offer 7, 9, and 12 night itineraries out of Baltimore on Enchantment of the Seas. We will continue to evaluate other deployment options when it comes to longer itineraries from the Northeast.

I understand that Royal Caribbean offers internships to college students. Do you know when the 2013 summer program will be online? Also, I see you currently have an employment position open for an “Air Market Planning Specialist” and am curious to whether you will offer an internship in a similar field to this job. I am studying at the Florida Institute of Technology (studying aviation and business) and have always had a passion for anything aviation and cruise line related. – Alex M.

Opportunities for our Emerging Leaders Summer Internship Program for 2013 should be posted on our career site by this December or in early January. The program runs for 8 weeks between June and July and there are usually internship opportunities in every department of the Company including Air & Sea. Please check back on our career site later this year.

Dear Mr. Goldstein, my family and I have been on several Alaskan cruises, all with Royal Caribbean and one of the ports that we enjoyed the most was Sitka. We were not at the port for a long time and were looking forward to re-visiting it on our next cruise. However, we haven’t been able to find a cruise that goes to that port. I was wondering, why is it not on your list of ports to visit anymore? – Jennifer S.

Thanks for your comment and feedback in regards to our Alaskan itineraries and Sitka in particular. Sitka, Alaska is a wonderful port of call, and we do try to place it in our itineraries whenever we can. Alaska has various ships each summer and due to the congestion, there are ports which cannot be called. Alaska is like a jigsaw puzzle when it comes to fitting in ships on different days and with only 7 days to work with, Sitka has been omitted, but not forgotten. We will continue to monitor our customer feedback cards in regard to the Alaskan itineraries to see if we can make your request happen as we want to ensure we are meeting our guest’s desires when it comes to our ports of call

There is also the opportunity for guests to take a cruisetour before or after the cruise which allows you to really explore all that Alaska has to offer, including Denali, another popular Alaskan destination.

Adam, I’ve been cruising over 15 times, seven onboard Royal Caribbean. On six of the cruises with Royal Caribbean I was in the teen club. Those were the best cruises I’ve been on so far because the teen club is designed to help teens meet other teens onboard. On my most recent cruise in August onboard Oasis of the Seas, I was in the 18-20 year old group… the age group where we’re too young to drink alcohol with our older friends, but too old to easily meet people in places such as the teen club. Are there plans for a better program in the future where guests between the ages of 18-20+ can more easily meet up, similar to the 12-14 or 15-17 clubs that I was in as a teen? I think this would make it easier for families that are traveling with young adults in the border age groups. Thanks! – Brian L.

Hello Brian, there are a variety of ways 18-20+ year olds can engage and interact with other young adults onboard. Young cruisers can utilize the Community Bulletin Board to organize a meeting or party with fellow like-minded guests. Also, young adults tend to gravitate to areas such as the sports deck. And of course guests over the age of 18 are allowed to play their hand in the casino or enjoy dancing in the nightclub and visit adult only areas, such as the Solarium, Parties & Adult games shows. The one thing we do not recommend is staying in your stateroom!

Also, on all ships we offer a variety of 18-20+ programs, activities and events, which can be found in the Cruise Compass. On both Oasis and Allure of the Seas, we have a separate 18-20+ flyer which lists these activities for the 18-20+ age group.

Hi Adam, why don’t you send more Voyager class ships to Brazil? – Wania G.

Your question is an excellent one and I am glad you asked. Voyager class in Brazil is something we look at often. Currently we have other itineraries that require Voyager-class ships and we do not have one available for Brazil at this time. In the meantime, please check out the offerings of Splendour of the Seas out of Sao Paulo (Santos). Itineraries vary in length from 3 to 7 nights, and you can always plan two consecutive cruises if you want longer itineraries.

We appreciate some of the more innovative itineraries you offer, but are wondering if you are considering a Black Sea itinerary? – Ann K.

The Black Sea is a very interesting, exotic region and we would love to have ships call there. Unfortunately, there is a low bridge while traveling through the Bosporus Straits which prohibits larger vessels from entering the region. Mostly smaller size vessels, smaller than our ships, can call there as they can travel below the bridge.

Hi Adam, I know you’re an avid runner, so I’m hoping you have some love for your brethren bicyclists. Some of us would love to take our bikes on vacation with us so that we could explore the amazing ports that are offered. While I know this might cannibalize some shore excursion bookings, I don’t think the damage would be significant. Do you foresee a time when we will be able to bring our bikes onboard and make them accessible for self-guided cycling tours in ports of call? After all, you know what they call a runner with bad knees… a cyclist! – Paul K.

Hi Paul, thank you for your suggestion, this is not something we offer today but we can look into this for the future.

My comment is in regard to Explorer of the Seas out of Cape Liberty. I must say that I’m very glad our first cruise of 14, was not this one. The terminal was terrible and the ship was not up to the same standard as other aged ships we have cruised on. Some of our experiences included warm water out of the cold water faucet and lack of water while they worked on the warm water problem. Fortunately the service, cabin attendant, dining room and entertainment were top notch and as good as any of our previous cruises. I heard rumors that the terminal situation is in planning and the ship is slated for refurbishment. Would you care to tell us if either or both are in the works? Thank you. – Billy M.

I am sorry to hear that your cruise on Explorer of the Seas was not up to your and our standards. I have reached out to our Guest Port Services department in regards to the Bayonne, Cape Liberty terminal. Your comments were passed on and they will ensure that more attention is made to turn operations and the terminal as a whole. Unfortunately, I cannot speak to future plans in regards to the terminal, but we will closely monitor the situation with the port authority and see if there are things which we can do to better guest experience.

As for Explorer, she did have some improvements done in January 2010, with a full enhancement planned as part of our revitalization program.

Dear Adam, why did you change the main seating time to 5:30 from 6:00PM? That leaves little time to chat with friends at the Diamond Club before dinner. – Tina

This is a very good question, Tina, and it does come up from time to time. With over 1,100 sailings and nearly 500 itineraries (and so much more in the works), we have needed to be flexible with our onboard traditional dining times. We always try to meet the demands of the guests sailing each cruise and sometimes our most popular dining times are quite early, while on other sailings, such as those ships sailing on Latin or European itineraries, require much later dining times. Plus, we always feature My Time Dining, where you can dine in the main dining room at your own time, on every sailing across the fleet. Flexible dining times and My Time Dining helps us meet the demands of all our guests and we hope to meet your dining time expectations on your next cruise.

Hi Adam, I have gone on 14 cruises with Royal Caribbean and enjoy cruising with you very much. I have stayed in a range of rooms, including a small room all the way to the Aqua Suite onboard Oasis of the Seas, usually with my youngest granddaughter. She enjoys watching movies in the room when her parents are doing other things. My question is why don’t you have a DVD player in the suites? Since we pay a good price for these rooms for the space and convenience, it would be really nice if there was something small children could be entertained with in the room. This would really help a lot. Thanks – Virginia V.

Hi Virginia, currently all suites across the fleet have DVD players with the exception of the Oasis & Allure of the Seas. We will make sure to pass your suggestion along for these two ships.

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:

  • Rebecca Stefanescu

    Hi, Adam!
    I just returned from a fabulous Allure cruise! I am single, no kids, and retired. When will RCCL install singles cabins without the double price for people like me? I would live on your ships (literally!) if that were the case! Please don’t allow your competition to take my business!

    • Adam

      Thank you for your comment, Rebecca. We will be sure to pass this along to the proper department.

  • Jane Sancho

    Hi Adam:

    I dont see any cruises leaving from Malaga, Valencia or Palma de Mallorca in Summer 2013. The only Spanish port you seem to be offering is Barcelona. Is there a reason for this and is it in your plans to reinstate these cruises?

    • Adam

      Hello Jane, at this time we have no plans to add any cruises leaving from Malaga to our 2013 summer itineraries. We will pass your comment on to the correct department.

  • theresa keane

    I have looked at your wine choices in the packages offered on board. I would like to know how we can strongly suggest more choices of wines that are sweeter for those such as myself that like a sweet wine? Any type of brand of a Moscato would be a big seller for sure. You have so many red wines and I found only 1 white wine I would drink but it is not a favorite so to order 5 bottles would not be happening for me.

    • Samantha Corner

      I agree, not everyone likes citrus or floral boquets. I personally love a good Moscato or Lexia. Let’s see at least one of these aboard to cater for those who like something a little sweeter in life.

      • Adam

        Samantha, thank you for your comment.

  • Carmela Ghirxi

    Hi Adam, I would like to know why Royal Carribean do not offer Malta to Malta cruises. I have been on The Jewel of the Seas for the Scandanavia and Russia cruise, departing from Harwich, but the flight was a great ordeal for me, as I suffer from claustrophobia. May I say that my husband and I had a great time on the cruise, but then again it was spoilt because we had to fly back home.

  • Ana

    Dear Adam

    We been cruising with Royal for the past 9 cruises now and I was wondering if there is any chance that you going to start sailing from either Los Angeles or San Diego CA again or even San Francsico? – Ana

  • sandra Mortimer

    Hi Adam,

    I definitely would crusie on RC again if I could take my bike with me!

  • Nicolai J

    Hi Adam

    first of all thanks for 6 wonderfull cruises on the royal fleet, 1 question is do you consider to keep a ship in europe all year, maybe doing mediterranean/Canary islands, out of Barcelona/malaga when Independence leave during the winter you have no ships here?

  • Nicholas Canepa

    Hello Mr Goldstein

    Congratulations on your fantastic company, i have cruised with royal 10 times and im still only 24, i would like to know if you have any plans for Oasis of the seas to stop in Gibraltar on a transatlantic crossing to Europe, i would love to see her in my home port.


    Nicholas Canepa

    • Adam

      Thank you for your comment, Nicholas, however at this time we have no plans to alter Oasis of the Seas’ itinerary. Thank you.

  • Richard Boker

    Dear Adam,

    My wife and I are Diamond Members and recently returned from a cruise aboard Enchantment of the Seas from Baltimore to Bermuda. I sent you an email regarding the Concierge aboard the ship and received a reply from you, which I appreciated very much. I also sent a similar letter to several other departments within Royal Caribbean and received a reply from each thanking me for my comments and offer me the opportunity to provide further feedback. Unfortunately, when I reached out to each department and attempted to take advantage of this offer to provide other feedback about my cruise experience, my calls and emails went unanswered. Quite a disappointment having been a customer since 1983 and a shareholder.

    Is the feedback a one time per cruise opportunity? My intended comments were not derogatory or inflammatory, but informative as to why I would not book a Grand Suite on a future cruise after having done so on my last trips aboard Enchantment.

    Thank you.

    Richard Boker

  • Alice

    Hey Adam, I would love to see a 7 day itinerary out of Florida that goes to the southern Caribbean. I enjoy St. Tomas and St. Maarten but would love to see something different, and a over-seven-day cruise is not feasible with our schedules (or wallets). Any plans for that in the future?

    Also, please keep a Radiance-class ship in Florida, and please consider greater than 3 or 4 day itineraries for this ship on a regular basis. I hear this class is beautiful and it is on my wish list for the future, but I prefer a 5, 6, or 7 day cruise.

    • Audrey

      I agree, Alice. Royal needs a 7 day southern Caribbean itinerary out of Florida (vs. San Juan as is currently offered.) All it’s major competitors offer some great southern routes from FLL and/or Miami. Eastern & Western gets old after awhile. A Radiance class ship based in Florida. (Port Canaveral would be fantastic, although I know the Enchantment is heading there to replace the Monarch.) would be fabulous!

      • Adam

        Thank you for your suggestion, Audrey. We’ll be sure to pass your comment along to the proper department.

  • Kevin Korman

    Hi Adam,

    My Partner and I are Diamond Plus and are working on our goal to become Pinnacle. We have Eighteen more
    RCI cruises booked and two Celebrity. We currently have 369 cruise points and are scheduled for the Liberty TA
    this saturday out of Barcelona and the Independence TA on Nov.22nd out of Southampton, which we will stay on for twenty four days including the three day and eight day following the transatlantic. We also love to
    cruise Celebrity however, being Elite on Celebrity doesn’t give us any incentive to cruise Celebrity as much. My
    suggestion is to have higher levels to work for on Celebrity. We enjoy both cruiselines and as you can see, we are very loyal. Your loyalty program on RCCL is the best on the high seas. Your ships, staff, programs cannot be beat.

    We always have great expierences on your ships. So many people are so deserving of your WOW cards. We are very excited about the Sunshine Class, and are hoping to be wearing Pinnacle pins by then. Keep up the great work!

    Sincerely, Kevin Korman & Randal Moore

    • Adam

      Thank you both for continuing to be Loyal to Royal, Kevin.


    Adam, why do you not port out of Charleston , sc.? what will happen to the crew of the Monarch of The Seas when the ship is gone from your fleet?. Also why not a beer package on all cruise ship the cost of two beers and tip runs almost 10.00 our account got drained big time for beer. Offer a package that give so many beers a day for one price or something so fair for cruiser and fair for cruise line. We going again in April 2013. Thanks for your time.

    • Adam

      Hello Michelle, we will be sure to pass your message along to the proper departments.

  • Stephen Evans

    We have just returned from a med cruise on liberty. The ship is awesome, the only gripe we have is about drink prices. 5 GBP for a pint of beer once all the extras are added is extortionate. Why don’t you offer all inclusive drinks packages like other lines. Also, why do the prices on the menu not reflect the actual prices we paid, tips and tax are not optional so should be shown.

    • Adam

      Thank you for your suggestion, Stephen. We will be sure to pass it along to the proper department for review.

  • Kevin Myrold

    I am wondering where the new ships will be cruising to and when they will be available for booking….we are interested in the maiden voyages. We are Diamond Plus and love everything about RCCL. We especially enjoy the Allure and Oasis….enough to keep us busy when we want to be and enough space to get away from a crowd. The Diamond Lounge is a favorite location for us, but we were wondering why it’s location is different from the Freedom Class ships… is nice to look out over the ocean while enjoying our before dinner cocktails!

    • Adam

      We are happy you enjoy the view, Kevin. Thank you for your comment.

  • Susdan Hibbard

    We have returned from our 5th cruise (7 night to Bermuda) on Explorer of the Seas.A couple with a 17 month old was seated at the table next to us. This Grandma recognized the cry as teething and suggested watermelon for the child. Each evening therafter, a plate of chopped fruit was on the table before the family arrived. My husband and I were seated at a table for 10 with one other person, who decided he preferred to eat in the Windjammer. The second night, people from the adjacent table for eight asked if we wouldl to join them. the head waiter and the watier put us together for the rest of the cruise, in spite of the fact that this chaneged the wqit staff assignment, and we became great dining companions. We have been so happy with RCL and have booked a cruisetour to Alaska for next summer. We have told all our friends that your sevice is fantastic. Thaqnk you all for wonderful cruising.

    • Adam

      Thank you for sharing such a lovely story with us, Susan. We’ll see you next summer in Alaska.

  • Tom Kilmartin

    RE: Royal Connect

    Dear Adam,

    I would like to applaud RCCL on implementing their “Royal Connect” program, but I fear you are still “missing the boat” and leaving quite a bit of the market untapped. I am sure a large percentage of your customers utilize “smart phones” (as does the Royal Connect offering, although in a RCCL specific configuration).

    What I would suggest is that RCCL invest in creating a FREE downloadable app that allows a passenger access to basic ship information, but then also enables then to subscribe/purchase the “Royal Connect” application for the duration of their cruise. This would be accomplished by a specific passcode number provided by RCCL to the passenger after purchase, and only applicable for that specific sailing. I would bet that this would also prove to be more profitable to RCCL then the current “Royal Connect” program (Ahhh… there’s the rub).

    These days many of us use our smart phones daily as out primary camera due to the advances in camera resolution. By creating such an app this would allow us, your customers to continue to use our own smart phones without having to carry a second (2nd) “Royal Connect” phone. For this reason alone, I myself will not be utilizing “Royal Connect” program on my cruise in December 2012. Additionally this app would preclude your customers from having to adapt to a different technology (i.e.- iPhone vs Android) but could utilize the phone they are familiar with everyday.

    The technology is there and the app, I would think would be a no-brainier to construct. Here’s hoping RCCL joins its “Connected” customers with an updated “Royal Connect” program.

    Tom Kilmartin
    Oasis, 12/8/12

    • Adam

      Thank you for your suggestion, Tom, we will be sure to pass this along to the proper department.

  • nelson

    dear Adam

    my wife and i are planning our first cruise in june to the carribean . we are a kosher consumer and only eat kosher we have spoken to freinds that have been on many of royals cruises and tell us that the menue is preety much limited to gloryfied airplane food . is there anything that can be done that the food can be a higher grade
    and some more options on the menue . i know there are some kosher cruises were they do offer a regular food services but they are expensive and they are not always sailing . adam what can be done for the kosher consumer to at least get a better variety that exists right now ? thank you very much and hope to hear from you soon

    • Adam

      Hello Nelson, once you are onboard, please consult your waiter as he will be able to walk you through our menu and the kosher options available. Thank you.

  • Marie

    Hi we just came back from a Cruise on the Enchantement of the Seas in june, we were wondering what is the kind of m’ont Green tea that you serve in the main dining room ?