Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

Ask Adam Blog Series – August 2013 Q & A

Thank you for all of the questions submitted to the monthly “Ask Adam” blog series. If you have a question you would like to ask about Royal Caribbean International, table tennis, running or the life and thoughts of the President  & CEO of Royal Caribbean International, please post it in the comments below or on our Facebook wall.

Q.  Adam, I hope you’re well. Do specialty restaurants (Rita’s, Chops, Giovanni’s Table, etc.) honor the all you can drink alcohol package? The official beverage package flyer (and your last reply on this blog) only mentions the Windjammer Café and Main Dining Room as approved dining venues that honor the package. – Sef W. 

A. With our beverage packages you’re covered in every bar and lounge, the Windjammer Café, main dining room, specialty restaurants and even our private destinations, CoCoCay and Labadee. The available selection of beverages varies from bar to bar, so be sure to explore all your refreshment possibilities.

Q.  I live in Maryland and have been cruising from the Port of Baltimore since Royal Caribbean’s first year there. With the announcement that Carnival will no longer sail out of Baltimore after 2014, is there a chance that a second Royal Caribbean ship could use Baltimore as its home port? Also, do Radiance Class ships have access to the Port of Baltimore? I know there are height considerations given the height of the Key Bridge. – Jeff H. 

A.  Jeff, many thanks for your support of our deployment from Baltimore.  We are not currently looking to add a second ship to Baltimore even with Carnival pulling out. However, we will always consider this if we feel that there is strong enough demand for a second ship. In the meantime, Radiance class can access the Port of Baltimore; however, we are pleased with the beautifully revitalized Grandeur of the Seas and are constantly looking at updating our deployment to provide variety and different ports of call.

Q.  Hello Adam. Does Royal Caribbean plan on cruising India?  Maybe one of the big ships to cruise from India even just for a small period of time as it is very expensive for Indians to cruise the bigger ships on Royal Caribbean as they are all in Europe or America (Travelling to Europe/America and back to India is the expensive part for a family of four). – Ted 

A.  Hello Ted, India has always been a market with tremendous intrigue and vast potential. However, there is much work still to be done on the infrastructure as well as other operational considerations before we would be able to deploy one of any of our ships on a regular basis.

Q.  Adam, I’m sorry to see you have no plans to bring back sailings to the Los Angeles. There are so many of us on the California West Coast that love Royal Caribbean and cannot always afford to fly across the country to get a cruise. That extra $500-$700 dollars per person is a deal breaker. Hawaii roundtrip from LA or San Diego, Pacific Coastal cruise would be great. Don’t forget about us on the West Coast. – Liz F.

Q.  Adam, PLEASE!!! bring one of the Royal ships back to the Port of Los Angeles. I know so many people miss the Cruises out of L.A. CAN’T stand Carnival! – Annette M. 

Q.  I’m going to add to the people who have requested in the past that you resume cruising on the West Coast. Hopefully if enough of us ask for it you’ll do it.  - Chad 

A.  Thanks for your continued support from the West Coast. We will keep this in mind as we consider our future deployment.

Q.  Hi Adam, I understand there may be plans to revamp the Royal Caribbean and the Celebrity credit card point redemptions and awards programs. Can you give the details on the improvements and changes? – James N.

A.  James, we recently announced our new MyCruise Rewards program where card holders earn points with every qualifying credit card purchase.  Go to RoyalCaribbean.com/MyCruiseRewards to see the new rewards chart and program rules.  You can now use your Royal Caribbean Visa card to earn double points for purchases on Royal Caribbean International® and our sister brands, Azamara Club Cruises® and Celebrity Cruises® . You’ll earn one point for every $1 spent on your everyday purchases.  You can also redeem your points for cruise rewards on all three cruise lines.  There are now over 100 rewards to choose from including cruises, discounts, upgrades, and onboard credit.  We’re offering 10,000 bonus points after your first qualifying transaction, which is redeemable for a $100 onboard credit.  So if you are not a card holder, you may want to consider applying soon.

Q.  I see you’ve made changes to the Royal Caribbean Visa card program. As a cardholder I’d like to see some kind of on-board perks for us, such as priority check-in or a little gift. I realize that we already get double points for paying with the Royal Caribbean Visa but something little and not very expensive would make us even more loyal. – Chad 

A.  Chad, we are always looking at new improvements and this is a good suggestion that we can take under advisement for future changes. 

Q.  Have you considered doing cruises along the Pacific coast of South America? I could be a way to reposition Radiance of the Seas or Rhapsody of the Seas between Alaska and Australia. 

A.  We have considered this but are not currently pursuing this.

Q.  It is upsetting that Royal Caribbean does not have a ship leaving from Tampa, Florida from April until November. We have to drive to the East Coast for our cruises. Please schedule ships from Tampa during the summer. – Alice D.

A.  Thank you for the suggestion and support. We do not have enough ships to support both our seasonal Europe and Alaska deployment while also maintaining summer deployment in Tampa!  However, we do recognize that Tampa is a great market which is why we are pleased to add a 2nd ship, Vision of the Seas, for the winter 2014-15 season operating 7 night sailings.

Q.  Adam, my sister and I have been taking two cruises a year with Royal Caribbean. Unfortunately, on the May 6, 2012 sailing on Allure, my sister became quite ill. She had to be flown back to Ft. Lauderdale from Jamaica. Fortunately, we had purchased the insurance. She spent six weeks in the hospital in Florida. It has taken a long time but she is much better. The staff on the ship couldn’t have been better. They showed so much compassion to both of us and helped me get ready to disembark.

We were upgraded to a grand suite on this trip of which we were only on for a couple of days.  We would love nothing more than to cruise again… She really cannot afford a cruise. I can help somewhat but we are still short… Is there any discount that could help us? Thank you for your time. – Teena K.”

A.  Teena, I am glad to hear that your sister is doing well.  Since you are looking for special offers I recommend that you check out the Cruise Deals page on RoyalCaribbean.com.  You may want to sign up for our promotional emails (located at the bottom of the Cruise Deals page).  If you are on Twitter, you should follow our @RoyalHotDeals handle.  Thank you for your loyalty and we hope you see you and your sister onboard soon. 

Q.  Does Royal Caribbean have any plans to have more country music on any of its new ships? Just an idea: Why not have a saloon with can-can dancing along with square dancing and clogging and great country music. This would be a selling point to your cruises for many people. – Mary C. 

A. Thank you for the suggestion, Mary.  We are always interested to hear what our guests would like to see onboard as we continually update what we offer.

Q.  Will there be a program to replace the double diamond in December? Or have we just lost out on this program?  Thank You.  -William P. 

A.  Hi, William.  The December Celebration was a limited promotion provided to our top Crown & Anchor Society tiers over the past years as an extra reward to guests who were cruising.  Here at Royal Caribbean, we are always thinking of ways to recognize our most loyal guests as we value your membership within the Crown & Anchor Society.  Rewarding you and earning your loyalty over the years is something we strive for every day.  Stay tuned for exciting programs we have planned.

25 responses to:
“Ask Adam Blog Series – August 2013 Q & A”

  1. Juanita Binder

    Dear Adam,
    I was so sorry to hear about your new non smoking policy, I have been using RCCL for the past 13 years, and when you went to non smoking in the staterooms, I started to book the balcony rooms (at a
    higher cost to me) so that I could enjoy my coffee in the morning outside with being able to smoke, with not having to get dressed to go out to another deck. Being outside on the balcony should not effect the person in the room next to me, since there is a divider between the two. I also do not want
    to walk the decks at night alone. As much as I like my cruises this looks like it will be my last.
    Maybe you should consider having rooms on one side of the ship as smoking, I think that would be
    fair for all. The non smokers and the smokers. It’s just too bad that it has to come to this.

    • Cheryl

      Dear Adam,

      We just canceled the cruise we booked in May ’14 because of the new smoking rule. If you email me, I will give you our old booking number for proof. We always booked a balcony or a suite for multiple reasons, with being able to smoke and chill/read/sleep/talk/sight see in private and in pj’s as one of them. I’m all for socializing, but not all the time. Everyone has their own reasons for cruising.
      There is no way anyone can convince me that being in the open air, with a divider between balconies, and a cigarette that takes 5 minutes to smoke is causing anyone any true grief. We have none smoking neighbors and not once have they mentioned our smoking bothered them. Their son even has a true case of asthma. They also spend a lot of time in their backyard.
      I have severe food allergies. I notify our dining staff on every cruise. I also inform them we will not be in the dining room on Formal Nights, because of the high concentration of shellfish in the MDR. The last time we sailed our waiter deliberately dropped shellfish in front of me (Nobody at the table even ordered what he dropped,. He also admitted the next day to my husband and I). I immediately had a severe allergic reaction. I thankfully always have my medicine on hand. If Royal Caribbean really cared about people’s allergies, you would have more then the space allocated in our personal files online. With a ten letter limit, you might as well not have anything.

      I’m sorry to see that Royal Caribbean wants everyone to follow the PC Clone way of life. Can’t we leave all the politics at home?

      In closing, I say goodbye to Royal Caribbean, it was fun while it lasted.

      • Greg

        I beg to differ with one statement. If my wife is around Cigarette smoke for more then 2-3 minutes her asthma kicks in, and it becomes very very difficult for her to breathe. Just becasue you DO NOT believe 5 minutes affects someone does not make it true. If you want to cancel your cruise over smoking, then so be it, that is your choice. but I want to thank you for opening that Balcony up for my wife and I to book, and for keeping us in business since were both in the Medical field.

    • Derek

      In all fairness, smoking on the balcony DOES drift to adjoining balconies. I have been on several cruises and can confirm that the smoke from the neighboring balcony drifts into our suite. I am glad smoking is no longer allowed in staterooms as that is a fire hazard.

    • Tracy Wrensted

      Hi Adam,

      I have just got back from taking a cruise on the voyager of the seas. Over all we had a wonderful time. My question is, I bought a lotto ticket and didn’t get around to checking it. Is there anyway of doing so?

      Happy customer,

      Tracy

  2. Greg F.

    I’m also very disappointed by this decision to discriminate against people who smoke.

    Would it not be possible to designate a small number of balcony cabins and Junior Suites on one side of the ship, maybe near the stern, as smoking balconies? I don’t see how that could bother non-smokers, and I would be happy to pay a premium price for such a cabin.

    As it now stands, my wife and I lose a vacation option, and Royal Caribbean loses two more Diamond members.

  3. Darren Ellul

    Hey Adam! This summer I went on my first ever cruise. I really enjoyed the youth program but I don’t understand why there are only activities from the evening to late at night. Are there any plans for there to be activities during the day as well as the evening and night? I know there was activities all day when we out at see but we had different staff members with us. I would have preferred to have the staff members we had throughout the week as the staff members from the younger groups where acting like we where little kids.

  4. Jan Brandvold

    Just want to say how happy I am that there is no longer smoking on the balconies or in the cabins. As one who is severely allergic to cigarette smoke, I am extremely sensitive to active and residual smoke. People who smoke do not realize how far the disseminates, and how long the odor stays. We have had cruises with a balcony that we could not use at all because of smokers three floors below, and on the same floor several cabins forward from ours! We could not even open our door, because of the smoke that would blow in. We once had a cabin that was so smokey we had to request special cleaning before using it — all bedding changed, and ozonator left in room for an extended time. Next year will be our first RCI cruise, and although I am a little nervous about the indoor smoking spaces, I do feel better about the limited number places on the ship that allow smoking. (I most definitely will not be visiting the casino!) Thank you for changing your policy.

    • Greg

      Amen. My wife and I have had to get cabin changes on multiple cruises because of the residual left behind from smoking. Usually not a big deal, but a very big inconvience when the ship is sold out, as we have to wait until sailing to see what rooms are available.

  5. Jackie Condie

    Kudos to you and your team for the recent change to the smoking policy!! As a non-smoker who has been inconvenienced by those smoking on their balconies (meaning I wasn’t able to enjoy time on my own), I heartily welcome and applaud the change.

  6. Gibson C.

    Hi Adam, hope you’re doing fine. I’m from Singapore and I was very happy that Mariner of the Seas will be home-ported here for 4 months starting in November 2013. It is twice as big as the previous Legend of the Seas. Thank you and your team for bringing larger ships to South-East Asia.

    I would like to enquire about future cruise deployment to Singapore? Will we have the chance to have larger ships coming in or are there any other plans for us? (:

    One more question, what’s this no-smoking policy that was created? What is the coverage? I believe that it should not affect existing bookings but only those cruises booked after this no-smoking policy is announced.

    Awaiting your favourable reply!

    Thanks!

  7. Kayla

    Hey Adam,

    I am thrilled that you can no longer smoke on balconies! It was one of my main concerns when booking our upcoming cruise. My fiancé and I were nervous about everything stinking, especially since it’ll be our honeymoon! Now I’m more excited than ever. I do think tho that there are some people who are very courteous when it comes to smoking and others who just don’t care and pretty much puff it your direction. It’s the people that don’t care that ruined it for everyone else (although I’m a non smoker)

  8. Ron Enners

    My first cruise was a 3-day “trial” out of Canaveral with RCCL, and we were hooked. I just turned 60, an sInce we only cruise during the seasons when the high school and college kids are in school, most of my cruisemates are within 10 years of my age. Regarding your nightclubs onboard, I rarely hear the good old Rock & Roll of the 60s, 70s and 80s. Mainly, it’s the recent “pop” music, or disco (YUCK!) parties. Come one, there’s a lot of rockers on board. Let’s have some Rock&Roll dance music?!? (I will say, on a recent Celebrity cruise, R&R music was prevalent.)

  9. Lillian Fiedel

    Thank you Royal Caribbean for the “No Smoking on Balconies!!!! Its about time as my husband and I have always booked a balcony and too often could not enjoy it because of our neighboring cabins SMOKING. YES, it does infiltrate to other cabins. If you don’t like it, go Carnival!!!!!

    • Jan

      I commend Royal Caribbean for making the difficult decision to halt smoking on balconies.
      I, too, have paid top dollar on a balcony cabin (single occupancy) only to be driven back into
      my cabin by the stench of cigarette or cigar smoke. If I leave my balcony door open to enjoy
      fresh air or to fall asleep to the sound of the Caribbean Sea, the smell of tobacco invades
      my cabin. My clothes begin to smell like cigarettes. BRAVO Royal Caribbean!! I am looking forward
      to my cruise in May, December and the following June (2015). Loyal to Royal!!

    • Rick

      Airports tried that, Smoking areas, we saw how that worked out. A complete ban will work just fine, People still fly airplanes, go out to eat, go to movies etc. Smokers who cruise will get over it just like in the past bans. They should if they intend to continue cruising because all the other cruise lines are banning smoking. As smokers quit cruising, their places will be taken by new cruisers who didn’t cruise because of the smoking that was allowed. 5-fives RCL

  10. Tom Hinrichs

    What many smokers don’t want to admit, is that the odor in a smokers cabin/room lingers in that room long after they’ve left. What happens when a non-smoker is in that cabin on the next cruise? All those “smoking” cabins will sit empty if no smokers book them. Any non-smoker who books a cruise, and ends up in a cabin that has been smoked in, will be demanding a cabin change!

  11. Tom Hinrichs

    Hi Adam,

    Any chance that Royal Caribbean would add a third ship to Alaska? Mainly doing round trips from Seattle or Vancouver.

  12. Chris

    Bravo, Royal, for implementing the no-smoking rule! Now I can breathe sea air instead of having to breathe some inconsiderate smoke from someone’s cigarette, or someone throwing their cigarette butt(s) overboard.

  13. JM

    I am wondering if RCI would ever do a round-trip cruise from the US to Europe (especially Italy) and back? I have a family member who would love to do a Mediterranean cruise, but this person cannot fly for longer than three hours at a time due to a blood clot issue (this limitation has not only been given to this person by the doctors, but has unfortunately been found to be true when a three-and-a-half-hour flight produced a blood clot in this person’s legs). So, the only way to get over there would be to cruise over, but then we would need to also cruise back after cruising around Europe. I am sure there are others who would enjoy such a cruise, too, even without health problems! :)

  14. Karen

    I am a smoker. We travel with a group of 4 couples and have cruised Royal Caribbean for the past 7 years exclusively. The men are cigar smokers who enjoyed playing cards and smoking their stogies. On the first few cruises they were still allowing smoking on the pool deck at the tables by the windows. The situation the guys had there was perfect. They could smoke, play cards, have a drink, take a dip in the pool..all within feet of where they were sitting. THEN a few years ago, that was changed. No more smoking on the pool deck at the tables by the windows. They were then relegated to sitting on the balcony smoking stogies and playing cards or in the dark Cigar bar. The bar bills were considerably less on that and the future cruises. We never spent any time with our guys out on deck as they were inside or out on the balcony.NOW no smoking on the balcony! I agree that the cigarette and cigar smoke is most annoying even to smokers. So if we cant smoke on the balconies and cigar smoking is only allowed in the Cigar bar why can’t their be a civilized area that’s set up for smokers? Somewhere outside that has some nice comfy seating and bar service. It could be set up outside on the areas on the lower deck where smoking is presently permitted or even on a higher out side deck.( ie: like Carnival Freedom’s Serenity area) It’s most annoying to have to stand outside next to an ashtray and smoke, like a teenager hiding it from their parents!!
    I can deal with not smoking on the balcony because there have been issues with fires,but at least give us a DECENT area to smoke in that has plenty of signage showing the smoking allowed designation. We wouldn’t want the non smokers to have to wear a mask walking thru our space. BTW, we are now cruising another line. Sorry RCCL.
    Diamond plus member

  15. Janet Demary

    Thank you Royal Caribbean for not allowing smoking on balconies. We have cruised with RCCL for 20 years and have had several occasions where we could not use our balcony or even leave the door open due to smoke from other balconies. People don’t realize how far smoke travels and for anyone with asthma, it is really difficult. Hopefully this smoking ban will also extend to the casinos. It is close to impossible to walk through one without coming out smelling like cigarette smoke.

  16. Sharon

    I just had my first cruise.. I loved it.. but after reading all these comments on how much people are complaining over stuff..Wow.. I don’t like perfume.. yet women feel they needed the whole bottle, let’s ban them from the ship, kids have peanut allergies, ban them from the ship.. both the peanuts and the kids..my bed is too hard, my bed is too soft, the person next too me looked at me wrong.. She smells funny.. You have people from how many different countries and States on one boat and you ALL want to be pleased.. Do you want to know what made me happy! I spent 4 blissful days with the love of my life. No kids fighting, no phone ringing, no nothing.. after 18 years of marriage.. 2 stressful jobs.. being a caregiver to my parents(STRESSFUL) nothing mattered. The smoking, the weird people I saw, the noisy kids running down the hall bouncing off the walls. The drunk people bouncing off the walls.. the grumpy old people. And you all feel the need to have the whole boat to yourselves. No smokers allowed. So are they going to make a ship to cater to the no alcohol.. no kids.. no perfume.. no peanuts( because that is a health hazard).. AND I DON’T EVEN SMOKE!!!! You all just ruined any further cruises because now all I can do is think of is that person gonna be the person complaining over their life! Or enjoying it to the best of their ability.. From the cruise ships point.. I see a lot of empty rooms and some happy people but at what cost..

  17. Patty Coddington

    I noticed on our last back-to-back cruises on the Liberty of the Seas (October 20 and October 27) that some people were smoking electronic cigarettes in the dining room, theater, and other indoor public areas. Is this not against Royal Caribbean’s smoking policy? While electronic cigarettes do not produce an offensive odor, not enough is known about the effects of the vapors on those around the smoker.

  18. Catherine

    RCI are going to lose a lot of loyal customers over this smoking ban on balconies, and banning e-cigarettes other than in smoking areas, that makes no sense whatsoever ? I don’t think this has been properly thought out and may just cost RCI a lot of $$$

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