Deployment – A Look Inside the Planning Process

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There is a strong desire amongst the readers of this blog and the followers of our live chats to know more about our deployment planning process, i.e., where we choose to put the ships. We want to respond to this desire but we need to balance it against the competitive and legal framework that applies to this critical subject. In an upcoming guest blog entry, I will ask Diana Block, VP, Revenue Performance & Deployment, and Chris Allen, Director, Deployment & Itinerary Planning to comment in more detail.

Because most readers live in the United States, most of the expressed commentary is in the form of questions about why we don’t have more or longer programs around the U.S. Our readers are frequently asking about more cruises from Galveston, New Orleans, Tampa, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Hawaii, Jacksonville, Mobile, etc.

This interest reflects a significant shift in U.S. consumer preference over the last 15 years. While a lot of our guests still get on a plane and fly to San Juan, South Florida, New York, Los Angeles or Seattle to board one of our ships, there are many cruisers who prefer to skip the flight and drive straight to a ship based much closer to where they live.

We offer cruises out of many homeports around the U.S. either year-round or seasonally. However, this important trend towards “homeporting” inevitably bumps into another very significant trend of the last 15 years – the whole world is catching on to cruising and there is demand for our cruises globally. This conflict between two important market preferences is exacerbated in the northern summer by the seasonal attractions of Alaska, Bermuda and Europe.

In the end, we have 22 ships (including Oasis of the Seas and Allure of Seas) to deploy and hard choices to make every year. We are very cognizant of Texans who want to cruise year-round from Galveston as well as Spanish who want us to offer summer programs out of Malaga, and many others as well. We are constantly monitoring guest satisfaction, operational experience, revenue performance, fuel and other costs, consumer research, customer commentary and strategic opportunity to determine what the right deployment of our 22 ships should be. I look forward to your comments on this compelling subject.

  • Yannick Haas

    Yes, I am one of those Texans who would love to go to Galveston and sail the Voyager Year around!!! I am hoping this will come about soon!!! The Voyager was my first Crusing experience and made me a Loyal RCL cruiser. I have sailed on the Adventure and Freedom since & looking forward to The Oasis on June 5th, 2010!!! LOVE RCL!!!

  • tom Young

    Dear Adam,
    I live in Vermont and the closest major city to us is Montreal. Is there a reason why you don,t leave out of there at any time during the year. This would be extremely convenient for us but I guess for some reason it does not work for you.
    Tom Young

  • http://miketurco.com/library/p2prev.pdf Scott Jensen

    What about the Great Lakes? A summer cruise thing only naturally. Create a big loop and, saying there is an open cabin available, let people board anywhere along that loop. Have the main port be Chicago. People being told that this port is their best chance of getting a cabin, but, again, if there’s one available when the ship comes into a closer port, they’re welcomed aboard. The loop could be Chicago (Sears Tower, lots of museums, comedy clubs), Milwaukee (tours of breweries), Green Bay, Duluth, Detroit (tour Ford factories), Cleveland, Toronto (doubles as your “foreign” port), and Kingston.

    If you did this, it would get a TON of press. Experiment with just one cruise and see where demand takes this.

  • Janet Davis

    We would definitely be interested in more cruises from San Francisco (to Hawaii, Northwest). There are a lot of West Coast cruisers, and we would like more options other than LA or SD. Thanks.

  • DAVID BURNS

    How about a Freedom class ship out of Cape Liberty, NJ

  • Kerry porter

    Yes please, bring back year round cruising to Galveston!!! You have lost a lot of my business to Carnival because of this. Many of us have kids in school and like to travel during the summer months!!

  • Kirsty Gee

    I would love RCI to sail from New Orleans, it was amazing.

    I am from Scotland and my nearest port is Greenock, would you consider this?

  • Nancy Berry

    We would love to see year round cruising out of Galveston. We are in the DFW area and enjoy being able to drive to the port as we did when we cruised on the Rhapsody of The Seas which we loved!
    We also might take more cruises if there were also shorter cruises out of Galveston.

  • Steve Hall

    My biggest interest in deployments is more variety. It seems to me that Royal Caribbean is quite happy to do the same itineraries year after year. I’m looking for more variety. Look at what Princess is doing with the Sapphire Princess in 2010-2011. They are now going to mix-in 14-day Hawaii cruises out of LA along with their 7-day Mexico cruises. Additionally, they’re going to have a 30-day San Francisco to Sydney cruise and a 29-day Sydney to Los Angeles cruise. I don’t know why the Mariner cannot mix-in some Hawaii cruises (and Pacific Northwest cruises like we had this year)instead of having the exact same Mexican Riviera cruise 52 weeks of the year. Also, Princess mixes it up and has 4 Mexico cruises out of San Francisco in that schedule as well. Why not move the Mariner up to SF and do a few 10-day cruises from there? I’m sure they would sell well (the Bay Area is a huge market!). San Francisco will have a new cruise ship pier in 2012 so maybe that could be in the plan.

  • Tom Mueller

    I’m not a Texas cruiser….but an Arkansan. I’ve sailed with RCL twice out of Galveston and am also a stockholder. In the “for what it’s worth” department, I would definitely cruise more if I didn’t have to pick up airfare for me and my family. Whether it’s Galveston, New Orleans, or Mobile, I think you would have enhanced demand if people didn’t have the $500 – $1,500 cost of airfare just to get there.

  • Mandy

    I’d love to see more options out of Baltimore, New Jersey or Boston. Unfortunately, cruises from those ports typically run significantly more than those out of San Juan (I have to assume supply and demand), so we typically fly. It would be nice to have the option to eliminate the flight. All that traveling before and after the cruise can be a really tedious way to start and end a great vacation.

  • Elizabeth

    Would love to see RC ships out of New Orleans! Mobile would be a second choice. New Orleans is within driving distance for many folks in LA, MS, TX, AR, TN, AL, GA, MO, KY, etc.

  • Elizabeth

    Edit:

    Would love to see RC ships out of New Orleans! Mobile would be a second choice. New Orleans is within driving distance for many folks in LA, MS, TX, AR, TN, AL, GA, MO, KY, etc.

    We have several friends that would love to do a cruise but haven’t because the spouse won’t get on an airplane and driving to south Florida would be too far.

  • Lucas

    I agree for having a ship year round from Galveston! I know we have been on Carnival twice (and we prefer Royal Caribbean much more!) b/c there was no ship from Galveston in the summer which is the only time we can cruise. Since many people cant afford the outrageous cost of airfare anymore I would assume it is alot cheaper to drive.

  • Nancy Wilkes

    Please come back to New Orleans. It not only appeals to Americans, but is always on the list of places to see for my European family and friends. I sailed out of there twice on RCI. Would not even consider NCL or Carnival. It’s a 5-hour drive for us, but well worth it. Mobile is closer for us, but New Orleans certainly has more world-wide appeal.

  • Dylan S.

    I think Galveston should have a year-round ship because of the large population here in Texas. Texas is the second most populated state in the US (only behind California), and has 3 of the United States’ 10 most populated cities.

  • Christine

    I would love another ship out of NY/NJ, we went on the Explorer out of NJ last year and loved it. We have teenage girls and cruise with them during President’s week unfortunately for 2010 and 2011, the schedule for those weeks do not match with their school schedule, so we are looking at leaving from Florida, which adds a lot of cost to the cruise.

  • Linda mARTINEZ

    Being a native Texan for 60 years, I was very sad to see RCL to pull their ships full time out of Galveston. Please reconsider and put a RCL ship back at the Port of Galveston or Port of Houston (where there is a brand new terminal just waiting for ships). We used to cruise at least 3 times a yr, but the cost of flying has skyrocketed and this has really cut in on our cruising time. (tee-hee). Seriously, Texans love RCL and there is still money to be made from Texans. Please reconsider and give us back a year round itinerary from RCL.

  • TTTony

    Cleveland guy here. I’d be for a Great Lakes itenerary as well. Granted, I’m sure there a lot of logistic hurdles to overcome to do that.

  • Cindy z

    We live in Houston are long time RC cruisers. RCCL is our favorite cruise line (15 and counting) and absolutely hate it that Carnival has a monopoly for a portion of the year. PLEASE bring a ship to Galveston full time! I believe the population within driving distance of Galveston warrants it.

  • AnneR

    We love the Explorer of the Seas & the convenience of sailing out of our home state of NJ. Would love if you could bring another ship to the Bayonne area, possibly one of the Freedom class. Explorer’s cruises are almost always sold out and is very popular. Having another ship would greatly benefit RCI and the NJ/NY/Conn/PA and outlining areas.

    FREEDOM CLASS YEAH!

  • Nedra Smith

    Mr. Goldstein, thank you for letting us give our input here. I have cruised out of Houston/Galveston 3 times now. With airfare being what it is, I think you should have one Voyager/Freedom class ship in Galveston year round. I also would like to see 3 or 4 day occasionally as well as 10-14 day Panama canal or other Carribean ports for some variety. You might also send a Celebrity ship to at least do some longer cruises. Cruises are very popular out of Galveston.
    However, I am looking forward to sailing the Oasis in January of next year!!!!!

  • Margie

    Dear Adam,
    We have only been cruising since 2006 and we have always gone on Royal Caribbean. We’re looking into another European cruise for next summer. We would love it if one of the itineraries could include Egypt again. Something similiar to to what the Legend of the Seas was doing this year. If it wasn`t for a broken foot and a broken leg we would have been on that itinerary this August.

  • Kelcie Hibbs

    As a Texan who cruises with many family members and friends on RCCL as well as a shareholder, I would love to see a year round ship based in Texas. I would also love to see a ship do sailings from New Orleans as well, as I believe the tourism would support RCCL and benefit the city. Sometimes it is not just the cost of the airfare, but the stress of travel on some individuals that has to be considered when bokking a cruise. It is much easier to get 3 or 4 generations of family members together if there is a port within driving distance. We cruise on average twice a year and would do so more frequently if we had more options. Our last family and friends cruise had 30 individuals. RCCL would definitely get more business from our gang if we had a year round option. We’ll all be on the Oasis in September 2010, and looking forward to seeing that marvelous ship. Thanks for asking for all of our opinions, Mr. Fain, I do appreciate it.

  • Carol

    Please bring the LIBERTY of the Seas to Cape LIBERTY!

  • Joyce Meyer

    Another vote for a ship homeported year-round in Texas or the Gulf. Besides appealing to those of us who are long-time RCI fans, it opens the door to many potential customers in the middle of the U.S. who probably wouldn’t fly halfway across the country to try a shipboard vacation. Today everyone is scrutinizing their vacation budgets, so why not provide us more opportunities to spend our vacation dollars on a ship instead of an airplane?

    And we too would like to see some variance in the itineraries…maybe alternate 10-night cruises with 4-night cruises to attract a broader range of passengers.

  • Vicki Elliott

    Thank you for opening up the idea of bringing year ’round cruising back to Galveston. This Texan who did make five trips out of Galveston from 2004 to 2007 and even journeyed to Alaska to see our beloved Rhapsody of the Seas again in 2008 would love to have cruising close to home again – especially with a different itinerary. I personally think would be great to go east – Key West (our first Rhapsody cruise went there) and then on to Coco Cay (there’s never been a private island destination) and then maybe Nassau (or some place comparable).

  • Michael McMenus

    Please sail year round out of Barcelona. We loved the BOS last January. We did the Canary Island Inteary and would love to do the eastern med portion sometime in the winter. We actually dislike going to europe in the summer because of the cost, heat, and crowds.

  • Bob D

    As pointed out nicely in a comment above,and after checking out your 2010 schedules, VARIETY still appears to be elusive in your deployment strategy. Your Alaska itineraries look fine, but anything south of Seattle is sparse. As west coast residents,we would appreciate a few more ports of call in the lower Pacific beside Cabo, Puerto and Mazatlan. We already lost Catalina Islands with the Monarch’s departure. I have no idea why. Holland America is venturing into the Sea of Cortez. Princess has the west coast cruises from Vancouver to LA. RCCL seems to be stuck with the old stuff although with newer ships. As for Galveston, I vote with the Texans. Given inflated airfares I would rather fly to Houston than the east coast. The circle Hawaii cruise we had on the Radiance a few years back was one of our best cruises. Your Hawaii itineraries now seem few and far in between. I’m sure there is a business reason for everything you do, it would simply be easier for us to stay “Loyal to Royal” if you could inject a bit more VARIETY to your offerings. Thanks.

  • Alan Marcovitz

    We live in south Florida and are happy to have several ships homeported here. We would like to see more longer cruises, 10-14 days. Celebrity picks up some of the slack (we are booked on the Equinox this December). We have also done back to backs, but 7 or even 8 days to the Eastern Caribbean doesn’t get you to many of the ports.

  • Barbara Reid

    I am so happy to respond to your comments. I live in the DFW area and my sister lives in Beaumont. We practically “grew up” in Galveston. Our first cruises were on the Rhapsody out of Galveston (separately), and now cruise together. We would absolutely love to be able to cruise out of Galveston year-round. There are many, many people in the DFW area who enjoy being able to drive to Galveston for a cruise. San Antonio is another large population area whose cruisers could drive to Galveston. Additionally, Oklahoma and Arkansas are geographically convenient to Galveston. Many take advantage of Southwest Airlines’ less expensive airfares as well as their generous baggage allowance. Hobby Airport is very convenient to Galveston. These factors are encouraging to those who enjoy cruising but do not want to pay the higher airfare prices to other ports cities. In addition, this convenience also allows many cruisers to fly into the Galveston area the day of the cruise, thus eliminating the additional cost of a hotel night pre-cruise.

    Please take these comments into consideration when deciding where to deploy the beautiful Royal Caribbean ships.

    Regards,

    Barbara Reid

  • Brian

    We live in Maryland and found it convenient to drive to Bayonne last year. We enjoyed our Nova Scotia/Canada cruise so much that we are doing a Bermuda/Carribean cruise in October on EOS. It would be great to have a Freedom Class ship for Port Liberty.

  • Daniel

    I would like to see Voyager class or higher out of Galveston year round. We are a young family from the midwest and would be more likely to cruise more often if we could save the air fare that it takes to get three kids to Florida.

    In fact, what we would save in not flying a family of five would almost pay for a second yearly cruise.

    That being said…I wouldn’t be more likely to cruise if the ship were not Voyager class or higher as for our family, the amenities on the larger ships is a big selling point.

    You gotta appreciate a company that will take the time to listen to its customers rather than just telling us to deal with whatever they decide.

  • Diane

    We are avid cruisers and have cruised out of Galveston several times. Rhapsody was a wonderful ship and we miss her. We have sailed on Voyager once and are booked for a February sailing. However we absolutely would. love for RCL to renew a commitment to year round cruises out of Galveston and to base more than one ship here year round. For those of us who like to cruise often out of Glaveston we would love to see more variety in cruise lengths and itineraries. Ships sailing out of Galveston are always full.We also have a new state of the art terminal in Houston just waiting for cruise ships. We know people from all over the country find it easier and cheaper to fly into Houston being in the middle of the country. This is a no brainer positive business decision for RCL especially given the present economy and cost of flying.

  • Kathy Leonhauser

    We definitely need a Freedom Class ship departing from the NJ/Phila/Baltimore area. I’m sure that ship would fill up in a heartbeat. I’ve got grandchildren I’d love to take on a cruise, but if I have to include cost of airfare/hotel,it’s just not happening.

    We promise, we’ll take good care of her!!

    “WHY NOT”??

  • Joyce Meyer

    While the vast majority of passengers on our Voyager cruise in February were from the U.S., we were pleasantly surprised to meet a number of guests from Canada, Mexico, South America and Europe, too. In fact there was a group of 42 from Sweden aboard, and they told us the airfare from Stockholm to Houston was less than to Miami…so that’s why they chose to sail out of Galveston. Another selling point for a ship in the Gulf area year-round.

  • robert t

    Sorry to bear bad news to those wanting to cruise the Great Lakes, but that’s not likely to happen any time soon. Even RCI’s smallest ships, the Sovereign Class, are too large (880 ft long by 106 ft wide) to fit in the St. Lawrence Seaway locks (740 ft by 78 ft).

    In fact, the trend to larger ships constrains their routes because the Panama Canal locks are only 965 ft by 106 ft. RCI’s older ships fit, but the new ships far exceed the Panama Canal’s capacity. Therefore, it’s a long voyage to reposition the new ships between the East and West coasts.

  • thomas lamb

    I enjoy crusing out of Norfolk, Va. they have a very nice terminal and the service is great. Hope you will be there for along time.

  • Lois

    Two suggestions — a Freedom Class ship to sail year round out of Galveston and a Freedom Class Ship to sail a Southern Caribbean route. All the Freedom class ships seem to sail is Eastern/Western Caribbean and now the Oasis will be doing the same — we need one in the Southern Carribbean and Galveston!

  • Paula

    We have cruised out of Galveston six times, once on Rhapsody, once on Splendor, twice on Princess and twice on Voyager and will be going on Voyager again in January 20l0. We live in South Texas and is very convenient to drive up same day of cruise. Another reason for sailing on Voyager over and again is Eric, the Cruise Director, and his staff. Have been on l3 cruises and he is far above all the rest. Would love it if you would arrange an itenerary out of Galveston to Key West and Bahamas. Love the Voyager and convenience of Galveston but getting a little tired of the same itenerary in the Caribbean.

  • Brad S

    As a big fan of Royal Caribbean I was excited to read your comments about the line’s deployment and your mention of Texas. I would really like to see a ship back in the Houston area year around. I sailed on Rhapsody when she was here and it was so conveient and I would definitely sail more than one time a year on RCL.
    We have a brand new cruise terminal sitting empty in Bayport (just minutes to Hobby Airport). Houston has great potential and is within driving distance of many people who wouldn’t need to fly.
    I believe that Royal needs to deploy a ship to Galveston year around to capture more of the cruise market out of Texas that the other cruise lines are capturing for the seven months that RCL is not here.

  • Marcia Albritton

    Isn’t it time the rest of the country had the opportunity to enjoy ‘jump in the car and drive to the port’ availability? RCCL has invested alot of money in various ports, so WHY NOT go to some more centrally located ports in Alabama, Mississippi or Louisiana and let the rest of us give up the added expense of plane tickets and hotels. The central part of this country would jump at the more conveniently located ports and I am sure would whole heartedly support them, WHY NOT indeed…

  • dave

    Dear Adam,

    It is exciting to see so many comments requesting more more cruises out of Galveston. We would like to see a variety of itinerary choices leaving Galveston by number of nights and destination. For example, consider a 9 night Southern Caribbean itinerary alternating with a 5 day Western Caribbean. Leaving out of San Juan is a long haul and expensive for cruisers, let alone those who have to travel from the Central or Western states. Also, you put a Freedom Class ship in Galveston, and I guarantee you it will always be full!

  • Colton B.

    Mr. Goldstein,

    I really enjoy your blog and the fact that you listen to our comments, mine is, like many other comments is regarding year round cruises from galveston. Carnival has two year round ships there and since there is no RC ship there in the summers first time cruisers would only have the option of Carnival.

    There are many people close to Galveston as Houston is the fourth largest city in the nation and it is an hour away. In addition San Antonio and Dallas are about four hours away, and they are both top ten cities population wise.

    When we went on our Carnival cruise (We would have gone on RC, but there was no ship in Galveston during Thanksgiving Break.) there were quite a few people there from Louisiana and Arkansas, which means it even pulls people from other states.

    There is obviously a big demand for year round Galveston cruises, and I’m asking you Mr. Goldstein to seriously consider year round cruises there. Thank you very much for your time!

  • Matt Hince

    Hope to see you back in Texas year-round soon!

  • Bron

    Mr. Goldstein,

    My family is planning a 50th wedding anniversary cruise for my parents next year (2010) and we would love to cruise out of Galveston. We have cruised on both the Rhapsody and Splendour and loved the convenience of crusing from Galveston as we all live in the Houston area. With the added cost of airfare we are limited in choices. Please consider giving us a year round alternative in Galveston/Houston. We all have children and are limited to summer cruse travel.

    Thank you!!!

  • Julie braun

    Being from Wisconsin, I certainly don’t expect any departures from here. My one request is that RCCL try to vary the southern itineraries more. We cruise every year and often repeat the same destinations. We would love to visit new places but are loyal to RCCL and prefer Voyager class or larger. Unfortunately, most of these ships overlap islands and destinations. (You’ll notice my next cruise will be the 3rd time on AOS!) I’d love to see the newer/larger ships visit some new ports in the Caribbean, Mexico, or South America!

  • J Maffett

    >>I happily live in Central Florida so am within driving distance of many ports. But I am also a shareholder and want to see RCI do well and increase the value of my investment.

    >>Clearly these are not easy decisions. Everyone wants to have a ship close to home. Some areas have ports that could support a cruise ship, some do not. Then there are the regulatory issues.

    >>I think that RCI needs to take this opportunity to look into the future and see what holes exist and try to fill those. What parts of the world are underserved? Where is demand pent up or growing?

    >>Cruising has been growing in popularity and more people have cruised. Perhaps that means changing not just home ports but also the ports of call. That may mean focusing more on some of the smaller ships, and leaving the behemoths to the “major” ports like Cozumel. Let Galveston or Mobile have Freedom and bring smaller ships to Tampa and Jacksonville.

    >>Thanks for giving us the opportunity to voice our opinions.

  • Clyde H

    Your lips are moving, but I don’t see any ships out of the gulf coast yet. (Tampa does NOT count. Just another “Florida” cruise.

    Carnivore is wining over many converts at this point out of Galveston and NOLA. Time to figure out how to put a year round ship out of Galveston again. I DON”T like to fly so you lose me elsewhere.

    Consider one of the Radiance class. Shame there are no more of those. What elegant ships, the best afloat.

    Arms crossed and waiting……. Diamond+ member.

  • Mary J

    We have cruised out of Galveston several times and miss having the option of a year-round ship there. We also miss having 4 and 5 nighters to chose from. There are several times we would have driven to Galveston for a shorter “extra” cruise if that option had been available from RCI. We have no interest in sailing with Carnival. We have sailed out of Vancouver, Bayonne, and San Juan and enjoyed it very much, but our home port is Galveston and it sure would be nice to have more options there. We would definitely cruise more often if we had the choice.

  • e. mCwILLIAMS

    Would love to once again see a Royal Ship out of Philadelphia.

    The first time we cruised was on a Celebrity ship (The Meridian)she sailed from Penns Landing, We have also sailed from the New Cruise Terminal at the Navy Yard, on the Enchantment of the Seas.

    We have travelled to many different Ports to sail on Royal Carribean Ships the downside has been the added one to two thousand dollars for airfare.

    We would be able to cruise a whole lot more without the airfare!
    Thanks, Mac

  • Mark G

    I just saw my Sister and her family off in Galveston for a Carnival cruise this past weekend. In July 2005, we all cruised on the RCI Rhapsody of the Seas and had a great time. My sister said that she would have preferred to go on a RC cruise, but Carnival is the only line sailing out of Galveston right now. Too bad that RCI is not in Galveston this summer. I noticed that April is the last planned month for a “Voyager” cruise out of Galveston next year. I hope that somehow, that changes. I really hope that RCI will bring a ship back to Galveston for the summer months again soon.

  • Brian

    I too would love to see RCI in Galveston year round. December to March, the weather can be iffy and the kids are in school except for Christmas and spring break. We try to do 2 cruises a year, but having to buy airline tickets makes that very difficult. If we can drive we might even do 3 cruises a year. I do like Vikki’s idea of Key West and Coco Cay. That would be an awesome itinerary.

  • Donna

    Please come to Galveston year round. Our first cruise was in September 2007 on the Monarch, from LA. We were hooked! We had such a wonderful time and the service was superior to anything we had ever experienced. We have cruised Royal several times since. Last summer we were invited to go with my brother and family on a cruise out of Galveston. As we are all from Texas, this was very convenient, unfortunately it was not to be on Royal. The experience was not good and I had several “not my job” experiences with staff and left on my own to solve issues or find answers to questions – certainly something I have never, ever experienced or seen on Royal. Please have more cruises from Galveston, as the saying goes, “Everything is bigger and better in Texas”, how about Royal being a part of that! Look forward to seeing you in Galveston!!??!! Thanks!

  • Denise M

    I love to cruise on RCL and Celebrity. Can you please bring in another Royal ship into Phila and also can you bring in the Liberty of the Seas to Bayonne NJ. The Explorer is wonderful but we need a change of ships in Bayonne.

  • Todd Gay

    We usually sail with 25+ family and friends each summer and have had to resort to cruising with Carnival because they are the only ship sailing out of Galveston when the kids are all out of school. We understand that you only have so many ships with a ton of departure ports to choose from – my only problem with that is that the nearest departure port for ANY RCCL ships to Texas is Tampa – and even then it’s mostly 4-5 day cruises. We would LOVE to see another ship – and we aren’t being picky we many ANY RCCL ship – depart from Galveston. We would even be willing to drive to New Orleans – but please give us our summer ship back!! We love cruising and prefer RCCL to any other cruiseline!! We so hope to see RCCL back in Texas year around.

  • Jarrod mccloughan

    Please leave the Rhapsody here in Sydney permanently!!
    We love Royal, and having to save on a 14 hour flight to the West Coast of the US or 8 hours to Singapore for the Legend would be a huge bonus.
    I know you have some loyal Carnival Corp (P&O Australia)passengers being converted to RCI.
    Keep up the hard work, and don’t give up on us Down Under.

  • J COllett

    Another vote for a year-round ship in Galveston or Houston. There are many safe western Caribbean ports that are accessible from these ports, so varied itineraries are quite possible. Not all ports around the world are safe for Americans right now, so this is a plus.

    Also, Galveston and Houston offer many before- and after-cruise amenities for those who travel from outside the area. These ports are accessible by both air and car to people from all over Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.

    Last, but not least, the economy of Texas is quite strong, while other areas languish. I know we can keep a ship full….even if it is a small one. Please give us a chance!

  • Dr. Kurt

    Quite a thread going here! I would like to see a Freedom Class ship ported on the West Coast (LA, SD or SF). Alternatively, perhaps a Flowrider could be installed on Mariner? :) You can locate it in place of the inline skating track is that nobody uses!

  • jUStin Tabor

    I would love to see more offerings from Jacksonville and Tampa. I understand there are already a number of ports in Florida which offer numerous, year round opportunities, but I believe both of these ports have something to offer. Jacksonville’s location in north Florida affords a port that is much closer to home for much of the south and may be close enough to convince some first time cruisers to give cruising a try. Being on the west coast, more offerings from Tampa would offer those of us who live on the western side of Florida more of an opportunity without having to travel to Port Canaveral, Fort Lauderdale, or Miami. I am in Gainesville, so personally Jacksonville is the most convenient, but I would be just as satisfied with Tampa. While Port Canaveral is still within a reasonable distance, Fort Lauderdale and Miami are at least 5 to 6 hours from me. While this distance may seem minimal to some, it’s enough to persuade me to go out of Port Canaveral whenever possible, unless other opportunities in Tampa or Jacksonville would present themselves. I also acknowledge there are certain limitations to Tampa and Jacksonville due to the fact that ships must pass under bridges at both ports, however, I would be happy to see one of the smaller ships in the fleet based at either of these ports year round.

  • Cherry

    It would be a great idea to have a ship at least part of the year out of Charleston, SC. It is just a few hours from Charlotte, Atlanta, Virginia, WVA and other mid Atlantic and Southern states.

    The ships ported in Baltimore tend to do either a longer itenerary to the Caribbean and Bahamas or a short and expensive cruise to Bermuda, out of Charleston would give similar options to cruising out of Port Canaveral, but easier access for many loyal RCCL cruisers.

    I also agree with posters who would love to see some new ports added and to shake up some of the current iteneraries.

  • Scott HUPPERT

    I am a D+ member with Crown and Anchor, and I love RCCL’s ships, however lately with all the ships that seem to be leaving the USA and going to homeport around the globe it is getting harder to find a cruise which isn’t the ordinary 7 night caribbean. I would like to see (out of any southern port) a 10/11 day caribbean cruise (Besides the Jewel Pamama Cruise). I understand that it is offered out of New Jersey, however I would personally like to see another one out of Florida or Texas that does a 10/11 day cruise (Preferrabally on a Voyager class or larger) since out of NJ there is a potential for the first two and last two days to be quite cold.

  • Niecey

    Thank you for asking for comments. I would love to see the return of the Hawaii Circle cruises departing either from San Diego or Los Angeles.
    Another suggestion would be for a Panama Canal cruise that goes from East to West and repeating.

  • http://bvavricek@sbcglobal.net Brenda vavricek

    Count me in as yet another in favor of a full-time ship sailing from Galveston. We have sailed on 18 RCCL cruises in the last 4 years and I am sure that number would be higher if there was a full-time ship in Galveston.

    I do appreciate having the opportunity to give this feedback. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Big steelerfan

    I would like to see a few southern caribbean cruises offered out of Port Canaveral a year. I know they would be longer than seven days but, for people who refuse or are afraid of flying this would be great. Port Canaveral is so easy to get in and out of. It beats the heck out of Miami.

  • Jeff

    The Rhapsody of the Seas is a Texas ship, and I have filed a report with the Governor letting them know you have not returned our property as of yet. :)

    Please bring her home year round!

  • Geoff

    Dear Sir
    We are fairly new cruisers, having only been on two cruises, one on Rhapsody and one on Carnival Ecstasy, We are booked in April 2010 on Voyager in an OS with an inside across the hall. We have plans to celelbrate our 35th ann. with a med cruise out of Barcelona in 2015 and we plan to be diamond or d+ for that cruise. my point is we are planning at least 2 cruises per year til that point and all oare with RCCL. the CCL was ok but wasnt RCCL service or cruise value. We would sincerely request you place at least one year round vessel in Galveston, where our cruise dollars could be spent on RCCL rather than airlines and hotels and certainly not to CCL. I am sure not everyone who cruises out of Texas has the plans like we do, but there are alot who would forsake CCL to RCCL in a new york minuite if year round cruising was availiable to us from Royal Caribbean. Thank for your ear and looking forward to another great RCCL cruise next April.

  • Debra G

    I’d like to see a ship in Galveston year round. There are many hotels and restaurants in the area and two nearby airports. Parking was plentiful even when the Rhapsody, the Grand Princess and whatever Carnival Ship were all there. We sailed with family and friends four times on Rhapsody before she left Texas. We loved that ship and we were told it was full on each of our cruises. We’re booked on the Voyager out of Galveston in February. We’d like to cruise again in May but have no plans because we don’t want to fly/drive across country to cruise. Longer cruises from Galveston to South America or the Panama Canal would be wonderful. Thank you.

  • Luv2cruise

    It would be great to have a ship ported in San Francisco for Alaska and Mexico cruises would be wonderful. I already cruise RCCL 3-4 times a year but would add 2 more cruises a year if I didn’t have to travel.

  • Kristen

    It would be fantastic to have a cruise out of Jacksonville, whether it was short Bahamas trips or 7 night Caribbean ones. I think you would have more people drive from other southern states, since Jacksonville is much closer than Port Canaveral, Ft Lauderdale, Miami, or Tampa. I know my usual 2 time/year RCCL trip would turn into at least 4-5… it would be fun to do last minute trips for a change! Thanks!

  • Betty Burkett

    I would love to see Royal Caribbean go out of Galveston or Houston. I would especially like to
    see a 14 night cruise out of Galveston to the
    Panama Canal or other places of interest. People
    are just waiting for the day we have a good RC
    ship out of Galveston. It’s out favorite line
    and we’ve traveled it probably 20 times and
    still haven’t done all of the excursions. Even
    a 7 night cruise would be delightful. My husband
    and I aren’t happy that we are going to have to go
    on a Carnival ship out of Galveston but we like
    others don’t want to have to travel to Miami or
    San Diego – it’s too much trouble. Would love to
    have the Rhapsody back!