Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

Which New Voyager of the Seas Port is on Your Must-See List?

Voyager of the Seas is embarking on a new cruise itinerary this summer and many of her ports of call will be new to the Royal Caribbean International brand.  In this blog entry, I have asked Patrick Schneider, Director, Shore Excursions, to update you on some of the highlights of the tour program that will be offered for guests cruising on Voyager of the Seas this summer.  Patrick is one of the leaders in Craig Milan’s Land Operations group.

____________________________________________

Patrick Schneider in St. Kitts My primary responsibility as Director, Shore Excursions, is to oversee a team of Account Managers who identify and develop the tour programs offered worldwide on Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises.  We have added several new ports to our cruise itineraries this summer, several of which are included on Voyager of the Seas’ sailings.  I recently returned from a site inspection of many of these ports and wanted to provide an update on the experiences awaiting our guests this summer.

We conduct site inspections for several reasons and one of those is to visit new ports we’ll be calling to frequently in the coming months.  The goal of a site inspection may vary but it’s often focused on reviewing the operation with the local tour operators who will be conducting tours for our guests.  We visit the venues, port facilities, downtown areas, etc. that our guests will be visiting.  We work with experienced and reputable tour operators and through collaboration with these professionals, it’s quite common to develop several additional ideas for tour products we believe our guests will find interesting. 

During the recent site inspection, we visited five of the ports Voyager of the Seas will be calling on in 2011. 

Liberty of the Seas at Sea

Koper, Slovenia is this modern-day country’s only commercial outlet to the Adriatic Sea. I’m excited about this port in particular, as it is relatively unknown to most of our guests, and it has so much to offer.  The local population is thrilled to welcome our guests, and the town of Koper is such a wonderful experience right next to the ship.  However, the port is just a gateway to so many other interesting and unique venues.  It is quite a fascinating country, offering a new experience in Southern European cruise destinations.   There are several interesting things for guests to visit, many of which are outside the town of Koper, including the town of Bled and Lake Bled, which have existed for over a thousand years.  Or guests can visit the picturesque Karst region of Slovenia which is a short distance from the Slovenian/Italian border and is home to the Lipica Stud Farm, founded in 1580 and for over four centuries, has nurtured the tradition of breeding and selecting thoroughbred Lipizzaner horses.  Or guests can explore the Postojna Cave which has well-kept paths making it a horizontal cave, and is quite impressive.  There is also a unique tour available so guests can explore Slovenian heritage on display through various festivals in small towns.  The tour will visit various festivals based on the local schedule.  Examples of the festivals to be visited during the 2011 season are the Cherries Festival, Festival of Prosciutto & Wine, Festival of Plums, Fisherman’s Festival, Salt Festival, and Medieval Festival.

Located on the Adriatic coast in northeast Italy, Ravenna was briefly the capital of the Roman Empire and later the Italian capital of the Byzantine Empire. During this time, incredible mosaics were constructed throughout the city. Described as a symphony of color in Dante’s Divine Comedy, Ravenna’s well-preserved mosaics are some of the finest remaining in the western world and it is home to 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  The history and significance of Ravenna is often overlooked, and the walking tours with the guides really bring it into perspective.  It is also a gateway to two major Italian cities, Bologna and Florence (and Voyager remains in Ravenna long enough to for guests to visit to Florence, which is a first for ships in the Adriatic). Bologna, approximately 75 minutes from Ravenna, was once an ancient Etruscan settlement and within its walls the first university of the world was established in the 11th century. In its charming historical center, many ancient palaces and churches stand as a witness to the cultural relevance that Bologna has had over the course of time.  I would categorize Bologna as a ‘don’t miss’ Italian city – once you have wandered its streets and understood its history (it has the two towers that are over 10 stories tall and date back almost 1000 years – right in the middle of the city!), you will want to come back to visit it again.  Of course, one of my personal favorite attractions from this port would be the Ferrari and Lamborghini museums, with the added bonus of actually going onto the production floor of the Lamborghini factory and watching them assemble these famous cars by hand.

Florence, Italy

A principal harbor for over two thousand years, Bari, Italy is a charming city on the Adriatic coast. The old town, Barivecchia, is cherished for its medieval characteristics and buildings.  For me, it is more about the region than just the town, however.  What struck me most about Bari and the surrounding area was its ‘old school’ atmosphere of Italy.  You can go to the downtown area and the women are still making pasta outside their houses, visit the unique trulli houses in Alberobello, and then there are olive tree plantations where some of the olive trees are up to 2,000 years old – and still producing olives.  Imagine that – the region has been able to sustain these olive plantations through so many different civilizations.

For guests who may have visited Venice, Italy before, there are always new experiences to be had in the city that is composed of 117 islands in the Venetian Lagoon and held together by a series of canals.  While Venice is a very well-known city, it is hard to understand it without exploring it thoroughly.  It is a maze of pathways, with no vehicles driving around, just lots of people!  As you explore, and think of the history of the city, why it developed, how it was developed (fascinating in its own right!), and how much influence it had on Europe’s development, you really start to feel the mystique.  I do think there is a lot of value to taking a tour, and then spending time delving deeper into the towns, exploring the various squares and neighborhoods.  We offer an after hours visit to the famous St. Mark’s Basilica, appropriately titled St. Mark’s Basilica After Hours.  St. Mark’s is one of the most popular and visited sites in the city and is crowded with visitors during the day but it becomes a silent temple of worship as the evening falls and guests can experience this reverential peace.  Most visitors catch only a glimpse of Venice which may provide a very superficial picture of the city.  There is far more to see in Venice than the traditional sight of St. Mark’s and our Secret Venice Walking Tour will take guests deep into Venice’s intricate maze of hidden pedestrian passageways on a 2.5-hour guided walk, plunging into the bustle of everyday Venetian life.

Couple Biking in Dubrovnik, CroatiaDubrovnik, Croatia is most famous for its old city and walls which have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.  Dubrovnik has recently become a highlight port for many European itineraries, and there is no question it is worth all of the hype.  However, the villages near Dubrovnik give our guests a much more comprehensive understanding of the lifestyles of Croatians, as well as a great view of the amazing coastline.  Visiting the old city is a must for first-time visitors and we offer multiple tours that include or entirely focus on the walled city, but our local tour operator has also put together some great full day options that enable our guests to see both the city and also experience other parts of the country.  For returning visitors, the resort town of Cavtat is a charming example of a seaside town and the views along the Dalmatian coastline are fantastic.  One unique way to experience this is on the Konavle 4WD Safari which allows you to explore areas of Dubrovnik, not often visited by tourists, as well as some of the most beautiful parts of the Croatian countryside.  Or try the Bike Adventure in Konavle Valley for a scenic ride through the countryside, vineyards and along the Ljuta River.

I’ve only covered some of the highlights in this blog – each of these ports has much more to offer.  Visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com/ShoreEx for more details on the tours and venues referenced in this blog as well as all the other exciting options available.  Guests looking for a new and unique experience will have plenty to talk about after cruising on Voyager of the Seas this summer and experiencing all that these ports have to offer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Close

Connect With us

Tab indicator
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@williamgstuart We're sorry to hear about this. Please contact our UK office at +44 (0) 844 493 4005 or infouk@rccl.com. Thank you.
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@Kenny_Main We're sorry to hear about this. Can you please follow & DM us w/ more details, incl. your contact info & booking #? Thank you.
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@lollodipietro Thank you for your inquiry. You can find more information at http://t.co/APPVtVGHVk. Good luck!
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@philippa_1990 We wish you were still here with us too! Where to next?
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@Anthony_Griffo We would appreciate any additional feedback you could provide us at http://t.co/FofFvQcNmk. Thank you.
Soak it all in.

CocoCay view captured by dresanchez.
Sightsee from your deck chair.

#royalwow views captured by guest poordany on Instagram.
Vacation over too quickly? Sail back to back on Oasis of the Seas this fall and experience Europe like never before.
http://bit.ly/1lRMvKl
Some of our favorite guest photos from Labadee. http://bit.ly/1iKMoVI
We had an amazing time showcasing Quantum Dining in Aspen. Thank you to our friends at +FOOD & WINE http://bit.ly/QuantumDining
Go behind-the-scenes of some of our favorite onboard shows. http://bit.ly/1m0EMOv
In case you missed it, watch our Quantum Entertainment Hangout with Kristin Chenoweth here: Live Google+ Hangout with Kristin Chenoweth and Nick Weir
All-new shows and a Broadway favorite - Quantum of the Seas will have it all. Explore the world-class entertainment onboard: http://bit.ly/QOTSEnt
Don't miss out - join our Hangout with Kristin Chenoweth at 4:00pm EST for a special #QuantumOfTheSeas Entertainment announcement, live from the +Hyde Bellagio in Las Vegas: http://bit.ly/KChenEntHangout
Questions about Quantum Entertainment? We’ve got you covered. Join Kristin Chenoweth on 6/11 at 4pm EST for a Hangout live from Las Vegas: http://bit.ly/1oDtVKX

JavaScript and Flash are required to view video content. View the playlist on YouTube.

  • Ice skating rink on Ice skating rink on Adventure of the Seas. 17 hours + 31 seconds ago
  • Ocean views from Adv Ocean views from Adventure of the Seas. 18 hours + 18 minutes ago
  • Adventure of the Sea Adventure of the Seas. 18 hours + 18 minutes ago
  • Even more fun on the Even more fun on the horizon. Explorer of the Seas. 18 hours + 18 minutes ago
  • Rope swing into the Rope swing into the ocean. 1 day + 18 hours ago
  • Walk through a tunne Walk through a tunnel of flowers. Wisteria Tunnel, Japan. 1 day + 18 hours ago
  • Soak in the Pamukkal Soak in the Pamukkale thermal pools. #turkey 1 day + 18 hours ago
  • Swim in Jellyfish La Swim in Jellyfish Lake, Palau, where the jellyfish no longer have their sting. 1 day + 18 hours ago
  • Horses on the beach Horses on the beach in Barbados. 2 days + 15 hours ago
  • Every day should be Every day should be a beach day. St. Thomas. 2 days + 15 hours ago
  • Above and beyond.
  • Wait until you see the underwater views. #GreatBarrierReef
  • Well hello there, paradise.
  • Kissing the Caribbean goodbye for now. Click the link in our bio to watch the season finale of our @AwesomenessTV travel show with @yomuscleboii.
  • Even more fun on the horizon.
  • Soak it all in. #cococay
  • Colorful CocoCay.
  • Sail above the rest.
  • Nothing says vacation like sunsets at sea. #royalwow
  • Our favorite place to chill out. #alaska
Why the Royal Caribbean Brand Continues to Evolve

Monday, July 28, 2014 10:02 AM

By Vicki Freed, SVP of Sales and Trade Support and Service, Royal Caribbean International I asked some of the Royal Caribbean International senior leadership to write a guest blog about the state of... Continue Here to Read More…

My New Responsibilities

Thursday, July 24, 2014 10:37 AM

By Adam Goldstein, President &amp; COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. When I took on my new responsibilities a few months ago, I thought it would be very interesting to become a provider of shared... Continue Here to Read More…

Royal Caribbean at the Food & Wine Classic

Monday, July 21, 2014 11:52 AM

By Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Executive Vice President, Operations, Royal Caribbean International I recently returned from Aspen, Colorado where Royal Caribbean International was the official cruise... Continue Here to Read More…

Have You Cruised on 30 Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 10:07 AM

By Adam Goldstein, President &amp; COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Less than four months to Quantum of the Seas! As one of my law professors like to say, the “relentless march of the... Continue Here to Read More…

Royal Caribbean Expands Cruise Vacation Offerings in Asia

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 8:30 AM

By Adam Goldstein, President &amp; COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. My latest travels brought me back to Asia the week of June 16 – 20.  As always, the pace and energy of the region are... Continue Here to Read More…

Personal Plans for the Second Half of 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014 9:51 AM

Blog by Adam A quick update on my other doings as the “empty nest” approaches even faster than the delivery of Quantum of the Seas. Our family continues our involvement with many aspects of... Continue Here to Read More…

How Entertainment on Quantum & Anthem Will Transcend Anything You've Seen on Land or Sea

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 4:22 PM

Blog by Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Executive Vice President, Operations, Royal Caribbean International Hello, everyone.  Last week I had the pleasure of being in Las Vegas where we announced the amazing... Continue Here to Read More…

Catching the Travel Bug: My Explorations through SEED

Friday, June 20, 2014 11:18 AM

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s community support efforts often focus on education and social services for underserved youth. Over the years I have written from time to time about my long term... Continue Here to Read More…

Kristin Chenoweth Talks Entertainment on Quantum of the Seas

Thursday, June 12, 2014 12:05 PM

Blog entry by Kristin Chenoweth Kristin Chenoweth is a Tony and Emmy Award winning Broadway, film, and television actress. She is also the official Quantum Experience Advisor for Entertainment and... Continue Here to Read More…

How to Take Advantage of Opportunities Across the Globe

Monday, June 9, 2014 11:27 AM

It seems fitting to write this from a shipyard in Germany, because what I wish I had known when I was 22 was how global and networked my business and my life would become. When I was 22, the only... Continue Here to Read More…