There is always something going on somewhere in the fleet or at headquarters. An experiment. A trial. An effort to make the Royal Caribbean cruise experience better for our guests. Sometimes the idea disappears without a trace. Usually something good comes of it. I’d like to mention a few concepts that you will probably be hearing more about in the near future.
The first has to do with a staple of cruising: the muster drill we require our guests to participate in at the beginning of each cruise. This is an International Maritime Law requirement. After 40 years we are still working on improving the drill from both a safety and satisfaction standpoint. We are trying out having our guests come to their muster drill station without first returning to their staterooms to get their life jackets and then returning the life jackets to their staterooms after the drill. The idea is possible, particularly on our larger ships, because we can store a sufficient amount of life jackets at the muster stations in case of a real emergency. Also, in the event of a real emergency, going from wherever you are at the moment to your stateroom and then to your muster station may not be optimal from the safety aspect. This experiment is looking extremely promising for both guest flow and comfort. In addition, we are testing the electronic recording of all present at the muster station so the bridge and safety officers can know real time who is present and accounted for.
The second has to do with promoting family dining at our specialty restaurants. Up to now we have restricted attendance at Chops Grill and Portofino to age 13 and higher. But given that family friendliness is very important to Royal Caribbean International, we want to enable more families to dine together in our specialty restaurants as well as in the main dining room. We have a trial going on right now to see how removing the age restriction works in the specialty restaurants.
Third and finally for now, we will soon announce in detail a new an improved way of allowing travel agents and guests to book air travel in connection with a cruise. When we’re ready in a few weeks I will ask Doug Santoni, SVP, Revenue Performance, to bring you up to speed.
Even in challenging times we are committed to bringing you ‘Wow’ innovations on a regular basis.