Reflections on 2012 Make Way for 2013 Developments

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Here we are at the end of another year that went by in a flash. My 24th year with the company has been one of the most interesting and challenging to be sure. The company and the industry have had to rally in response to both the tragedy in Italy and the economic malaise in the world – especially in Europe.

We are oriented to emphasize the value of our products and services. During the last few years the value message has been essential as consumers strive to ensure every dollar/euro/pound/etc. is money well spent. It is incumbent upon Royal Caribbean to maintain the exceptional value of our products.

It has been a good year for our fleet both in satisfaction ratings and in revitalizations. During 2012 we made major investments in Grandeur of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas. I really enjoyed spending a night on Grandeur recently to see first-hand the improvements featuring the Centrum Wow entertainment.

We continue to implement new products and services from the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines to the Barbie program from Mattel to the expanded beverage packages. In addition, we are well into the upgrading of our main dining room culinary offering and of our internet connectivity throughout the fleet. Our commitment is to remain the world’s most innovative cruise line through our own efforts and in partnership with other leading brands such as Starbucks, Fisher Price and DreamWorks.

There is also a lot that transpired off board. One of 2012’s most notable developments was the acceleration of social media usage especially by our loyal guests. Wow. There is considerable usage of Facebook and Twitter of course but lots of other interesting connections are emerging via Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and others. I don’t think these companies started for the purpose of enabling cruise conversations and imagery to bounce around the web, but they might as well have.

Throughout the year I’ve noted the support our travel agent partners have given us. On December 14th, we were fortunate to be named Best Cruise Line for the 10th consecutive year by Travel Weekly based on voting by U.S. travel agents. We are extremely appreciative and consider it a very significant achievement for our brand to win such consistent recognition at such a high level of the industry.

With all these developments as a backdrop to 2013, next year should be most interesting too. We don’t know a lot of what will transpire but we do know a few things already. One at the top of the list is we will finally, mercifully be able to say what our Sunshine ships will be all about. If you think it has been hard to wait so long to find out, just imagine knowing and not being able to say.

In closing out 2012, I want to thank all of my colleagues shipboard and shoreside for their endless extraordinary efforts to deliver the Wow to our guests. Happy Holidays to each and every one of you and to all our readers as well.

  • Sharon Sejda


    As a Diamond Plus member, I’m anxiously awaiting the news of the Sunshine ships. We just returned from the Allure of the Seas a few weeks ago. This is a ship that needs no itinerary, just enjoying everything it offers is joy enough. On one of our evenings visiting the Viking Crown Lounge, I came across a drink I’d not seen before, it was called the ‘Liberty Thyme’ (although they were out of ‘thyme’ , so I said I’d just have a ‘Liberty’!). This was by far the best drink I’ve ever had. What are the chances of getting the recipe so I can attempt to recreate at home. My next cruise isn’t until April on the Jewel of the Seas – I’m hoping they serve it there, but would love to make some at home.
    Thank you – I always look forward to reading your blogs,

    Sharon Sejda

    • Adam

      Thank you, Sharon. We are glad to have you as a reader and we can’t wait to hear your take on Project Sunshine once more details are announced.

  • Barbie Smith

    Just got back Sunday from the Mariner of the Seas. We were also on her in Jan of this year. We love RCL and love to go out of Galveston because it is close enough to drive easily but we would like to see more destinations out of Galveston. It would be nice if they had a few trips to the Bahamas. I know that Carnival sails to Bahamas from Galveston every once in a while. It would be nice to see a little variety.

    • Adam

      Thank you for your suggestion, Barbie, but at this time we have no plans to supply cruises from Galveston to the Bahamas.

  • Lawrence Marchionda

    When will a cruise line offer free internet. I am sure if this was offered which ever cruise line it was would control the market with hardly no additional investment.

    • Adam

      We appreciate your input, Lawrence. Thank you.

  • Sharon Courtemanche

    My husband and I have a cruise booked with you for April of 2013…but when I saw the 10 Bahamas cruise out of Cape Liberty we took the plunge and now look forward to 2 cruises with you. We have done about 10 Disney cruises and we are sure we will be pleased with you folks too. Really looking forward to it… Sharon

    • Adam

      We can’t wait to hear what you think, Sharon. We’ll see you onboard this April.

  • http://royalcaribbean Susan Gonzalez

    As emerald crown and anchor members, we continue to love and support royal Caribbean. This new year we will have to cut back on one of our cruises as we just bought our dream home but I know we will eventually get the urge and will be back on board. Thank you to you and the whole Royal Caribbean family for being so wonderful and making us feel like we are also a part of your family. We remain LOYAL TO ROYAL!

    • Adam

      Congratulations on your dream home, Susan! And don’t worry, we’ll still be here waiting for you to return onboard. Thank you.

  • Brian Boettcher

    Adam –

    We’ll be aboard Navigator in a week…looking forward to celebrating a graduation and a few birthdays along the way with our entire family. A cruise on RCCL has never been other than a joy. Always the best for you and the RCI family!

    • Adam

      Congratulations to your entire family, Brian! We’ll see you onboard Navigator of the Seas soon.

  • Eliza

    In past years, when a new ship in constructed, booking starts about a year and a half in advance. If this continues to hold true, will bookings for the new Sunshine ship begin this spring? Also, will Crown and Anchor have advance booking privilages again and it will be according the what tier you are on in C&A?

    • Adam

      Hi Eliza, please stay tuned to our page for future updates regarding Project Sunshine.

  • http://aol/Facebook Nancy Allen

    Looking forward to cruising on Allure in March with another couple who we met on Oasis a few years ago. Have become good friends. Do not live to far from each other so can get together often. We will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversaries. Theirs will be while on board and we have resevations for 150 Central. Looking forward to a good time.

    • Adam

      Happy early anniversary, Nancy! We’re excited you chose to celebrate with us and are pleased that you have made such great friends onboard.

  • Barbara Prisinzano

    I,am tacking a cruise on the Oasis of the sea in 2014 ,this will be my first cruise with Royal Caribbean, I’ve heard good things about this ship, i cant wait to come aboard, What i wanted to know is the age group that’s coming with me, we are in our 50’s ,is this ship suited for this age group??

    • Adam

      Hi Barbara, each ship offers a variety of activities for people of all ages so you should be able to fit right in. Thank you.

  • Bruce

    And stock is up big time! Well done!

  • Debbie Grier

    I have to comment here. I had my daughters wedding on allure of the seas on Dec 2,2012 I was very disappointed in the way her wedding was handled and would never recommend royal romance to anyone!! We paid almost $6,000 for a two hour wedding. It was so unorganized and rushed. Thankfully the bride and groom did not know what was going on. I handled all the problems. Paid a DJ for two hours and almost an hour into the wedding I had to insist he play. My guests were not permitted to eat any food for the first hour and the buffet just sat there. When I notified royal romance they refunded me $300 which is really not acceptable to me. I thought I was getting $600. After all, her bouquet fell apart as soon as the ceremony was over and we had to keep putting it back together

    My daughter and her husband are diamond members a
    And members of cruise critic and I can not believe their wedding turned out to be so unorganized!!

    I’m considering hiring an attorney. This whole process has been extremely nerve racking!!

    • Adam

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Debbie. We will be sure to pass your comment along to the proper department.

  • Donna Bell

    My husband and I just recently took our first cruise. The jewel of the Sea was a wonderful 1st choice. Staff…..well, lets just say that everyone I saw was smiling, helpful, and we never wanted for anything! Food was excellent and so was everyone we met. We are hooked on RC! I now want to work my way up your ships, I have started with the smallest, and I am 52 years young….I look forward to seeing you soon.

    • Adam

      Thank you for your comment, Donna. We appreciate your kind words.

  • Chris Dorcsis

    We will be on Adventure in February 2013. Will it have the coca-cola freestyle machines by then.

    • Adam

      Hi Chris, Coca-Cola ® Freestyle machines are currently on six Royal Caribbean Ships Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Majesty of the Seas, and Enchantment of the Seas and we are excited about future developments as we continually strives to enhance the onboard experience for our guests.

  • Alan

    First, let me wish you and the entire Royal Caribbean family a great new year. We just got back from a week on the Allure — our first cruise on an Oasis Class ship. There’s no question that there is a global demand for this incredibly unique product that can’t be satisfied by two vessels. So I was delighted, both as a frequent passenger and a shareholder, to see that RCI has put another Oasis Class ship on order at STX France, with an option for an additional one.

    On our recent cruise, someone asked Captain Tommy what he thought was the factor that made Royal Caribbean unique. He said he thought it was Richard Fain’s view that success involved ships that combined 1/3 classic content, 1/3 evolution of successful content, and 1/3 innovative concepts. I think he was right. You can see that viewpoint in each new class of ships.

    We talk about how the sea is calling. It calls to us, and it sings to us. In their time, it sang the Song of Norway and the Song of America. Each as innovative in its time as are Oasis and Allure, and, I am sure, the Sunshine Class ships will be.

    So my new year’s wish is for you and Richard to consider merging our company’s past and future by naming the first Sunshine new build the Song of the Seas.

    • Adam

      Happy New Year to you as well, Alan. We appreciate your comment and will keep your request in mind. Thank you.

  • Matt

    I have a quick question. I would love to try cruising with Royal Caribbean but when I price cruises the price of a Royal Caribbean cruise is almost double what I get quoted from Carnival or Norwegian. Why is this? Am I looking in the wrong place? I have cruised both Carnival and Norwegian but have yet to experience Royal Caribbean. Please point me in the right direction. Thanks.

    • Andrea

      I hope I can answer your question. I’ve sailed twice with Carnival (Fascination and Ecstasy) and once with RCCL on the Allure. I admit that 2 older Carnival ships do not compare to the Allure. However, the entire vacation from the staff, to the promenade, to the activities were much better on Royal (in my opinion).

      As for price, all companies offer different-style cruises and are therefore priced differently. Disney is priced different and so is Cunard when you compare them to Royal and Carnival. The ports are the same, so what gives? Is it the atmosphere? The staff, the food, the activities, and/or the stateroom? I don’t think anyone can answer this for you – it’s something you have to experience for yourself to see if it’s worth the price or value.

  • Emma Maldonado

    I love sailing on Royal Caribbean. Have sailed at least once on just about every other cruise line that sails from the US but am only loyal to Royal Caribbean….they definitely know how to “Wow” their guest. Thank you Royal Caribbean Staff for making every cruise my family and I have sailed on the best ever. Happy Holidays and my family and I look forward to sailing with you again in the very near future.
    John and Emma Maldonado

    • Adam

      Happy holidays to you too, Emma. Thank you for the warm comment.

  • Michael Davey

    Hi Adam,

    When can we book the Sunshine ships ?

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Michael (Emerald)

    • Adam

      Please keep an eye on our page for future announcements about our Project Sunshine class ships. Thank you.

  • Cherie Anderson

    My husband & i love Royal Caribbean the best. always find staff very friendly & polite.
    Thank u Royal Caribbean for adding to my list of memories, u put a smile on my face

    Cherie Harris Anderson
    P.S. Lookig forward to another cruise soon :)

    • Adam

      We are looking forward to having you onboard, Cherie! Thanks for your comment.

  • http://facebook josh zimmerman

    what is going on tothe enchantment the artical says there were major investments and i go on it feb. 4 2013 and i was just wandering respond please

    • Adam

      Hi Josh, Enchantment of the Seas recently returned from dry dock with numerous upgraded amenities. Please click here to see photos from her revitalization on our Pinterest board.

  • Dee


    I enjoy cruising RCCL with my family each year. One reason why I have remained loyal to Royal Caribbean is for a five star outstanding cruising experience from ship amenities, cleanliness, staff friendliness and professionalism, and food quality and value. I am noticing though a lack in customer service when it comes to employees monitoring guest behaviors. For example, on board the Allure I witnessed children allowed in adult pool areas, infants allowed to enter pools with diapers, unruly children running around dining rooms and in specialty restaurants causing disturbance to fellow diners , and teens playing around with elevators, using foul language and spitting on guests from balconies!! Most of these behaviors were occurring in front of pool staff and crew members who dismissed the situation or looked the other way. When several guests complained, crew members shrugged their shoulders and told us that management tells them to keep all guests happy. So this tells customers like myself that we do not matter and that our cruise experience must be dismissed to afford those who are not following rules and have no supervision or control over their children a wonderful time aboard your fleet! This is not fair and you need to address this before you start losing loyal customers who do follow your rules to other cruise lines. A cruise ship is not a free for all nor a babysitter, please fix this ! Thank you!

    • Adam

      We’ll be sure to pass your comment along, Dee. Thank you for reaching out to us.


    there is no other vacation better then rccl…………………………………………………………..ITS THE BEST RUN BY PROS WHO KNOW WHAT NEEDS TO BE ACCOMPLISHED… I AM PROUD TO HAVE MET YOU ONCE (MR FAIN) IN MY LIFETIME.


    • Adam

      Thank you for the kind words, John.

  • Janet Pushee

    Royal Caribbean is my favourite cruiseline. I am booked on the Oasis Jan. 26/13 (for the 3rd time) to celebrate my 70th birthday. Really looking forward to another vacation on the Oasis of the Seas. Thank you.

    Janet Pushee

    • Adam

      Happy early birthday, Janet! We look forward to helping you celebrate.

  • Tone

    I really miss RCCL, as I have been forced to sail on the NCL Epic, because they offer the solo cabins. I must say I do like the Studio cabins. Can I look forward to any good news regarding solo cabins on the new Sunshine ships or new Oasis class ships???

    I’d love a response more specific than,
    “Please keep an eye on our page for future announcements about our Project Sunshine class ships. Thank you.”


    • Adam

      Hi Tone, unfortunately we are unable to provide any information at this time about Project Sunshine other than what we have already stated. That being said, thank you for your interest.

  • Bonnie Chiasson

    No doubt, since the recent Carnival tragic situation, you will be receiving questions about the safety of RCCL ships. We have plans for a March cruise on the Navigator of the Seas. I would like to know two things (1) What is the age of the Navigator of the Seas cruise ship? (2) Does this ship have a safety net like a backup engine room?

    Thanks for your response…..

    Bonnie Chiasson
    New Orleans

  • Cheryl

    Hi, I was wondering what the song sung by the wait staff on the Liberty of the Seas is?