Tag: Royal CaribbeanView All Tags
Cruises / Cruise Ships / Man Overboard / Royal Caribbean / Majesty of the Seas / Cruise Travel / Cruising / → All Tags
In the latest tale of people jumping off cruise ships, an assistant purser on Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas apparently hated his job so much that he couldn't wait until he was back on land to quit, hopping overboard as the ship steamed from Key West to Miami. Fortunately for everybody involved, he was rescued two hours later while treading water off Miami's Cutler Bay, but you've got to wonder what would bring somebody to do such a thing.
While we were having a little Thursday night drink near Times Square last night, Rihanna was performing in the Opal Theater on Royal Caribbean's newest, biggest, largest cruise ship ever: the Oasis of the Seas to celebrate the night before her first cruise out of the Fort Lauderdale.
Then, this morning as we mixed some instant cappuccino in our modest kitchen, the Oasis set sail from the US with 5,400 passengers for her first voyage, a preview cruise that included the Good Morning America gang. While going about our mundane day, it was weird to remove ourselves from the scene for a moment and think about what was taking place; that the 225,000-ton ship with 20-ish restaurants and a freaking Central Park with live foliage, was floating. And with pop culture personalities, no less.
Cruises / Oasis of the Seas / Cruising / Dangerous Travel / Royal Caribbean / Seasickness / Motion Sickness / → All Tags
The brand new, unbelievably huge Oasis of the Seas cruise ship has been rocked by some serious waves on its first voyage. As USA Today points out, the 5,400-passenger vessel encountered hurricane-strength winds and waves over 60 feet high in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic. Fortunately for the cruise line, there aren't any passengers on board, as Royal Caribbean is merely transporting it from the shipyard in Turku, Finland to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for its inaugural cruise. But while many passengers would have likely gotten seasick, they wouldn't have been in any serious peril, as the ship has weathered the waves quite smartly. For maximum stability, Captain William Wright has slowed the world's largest cruise ship down and steered it head-on into the waves. He probably wouldn't admit it, but I bet he's having fun.
Whoever said that cruising isn't cool? Okay, aside from us? Well, with the launch of Royal Caribbean's new megaship so ginormous it might as well be named the Death Star but is instead called Oasis of the Seas, the image of cruising might be taking a turn for the better. Of course, that is only if you like spending your vacation afloat with 5,399 others who enjoy all the bells and whistles of a traditional cruise times three.
Aside from a zip line, mini Central Park, AquaTheater and cupcake cafe, the Oasis is bringing Rihanna on board. Nonot a lookalike, the real deal. Rihanna will do the first performance from her upcoing album "Rated R" on board the ship's 3-day preview cruise on November 19. The album doesn't release until Monday November 23, but the lucky press and invited guests on the preview cruise will get an early piece of the new RiRi stuff.
Some travelers endeavor to make every trip an educational and spiritually uplifting experience, seeking out museums, parks, and cultural sites and making a point to get to know the local people and understand their unique way of life. Other travelers simply want to relax and have fun in a warm, beautiful place, the more delicious food and fancy drinks the better. I've always been the former kind of traveler, but there's a part of me that seeks the comfort, luxury, and sheer simplicity of the latter. So while I might speak disdainfully of those who book vacations at all-inclusive resorts and never leave the property, I secretly wouldn't mind changing places with them every once in a while, spending a week learning nothing at all about my destination and returning home just a little bit dumber than I left.
Just when you thought it was safe to resume traveling to Mexico and taking cruises comes a story about another outbreak of the summer's biggest vacation-ruiner: Swine Flu.
Right now, off the coast of the French Riviera, the Voyager of the Seas from Royal Caribbean is experiencing an explosion of the sickness among 60 of their crew members, with another 70 showing symptoms of swine flu. The first 60 have been confined to their cabinsalthough it's common knowledge that cruise crew share cabinswhile the ship's 3,600 passengers head ashore to party in Nice and Monaco.
Although it's not known if the passengers are aware of the news of their sick ship, the loss of so many crew members from their posts is no doubt hurting the ship's service. We just hope that the virus doesn't use the rest of its vacation at sea to infect the rest of the crew and spread its way onto passengers. Apparently the crew began showing signs of swine flu after the cruise depart Barcelona earlier in the week; so now it's the Mexican/Spanish Swine Flu?
· 60 crew have swine flu on cruise ship off France [USA Today]
· Will Flu-Free Guarantees Lure Travelers Back to Mexico? [Jaunted]
· Cruise Coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo: Eric Gaillard, Reuters]
Cruises / Ships / Royal Caribbean / Blimps / → All Tags
[Update: CruiseCritic has just Twittered that the blimp has been located. Phew!]
According to CruiseCritic.com, who translated a Finnish news report, the test blimp attached to the new cruise ship Oasis of the Seas has gone missing.
The blimp, called the Aerostat was launched earlier this week for testing as a new adventure amenity aboard the cruise ship which is also in its own sea testing trials. For passengers who are tired of walking around and around the ship, the Aerostat would enable them to get off the boat for a little while. The blimp would rise about 165 feet high in the sky but would still be tethered to the ship.
Except somewhere in testing that rope has snapped off.
The 220,000-ton, 5,400-passenger Oasis of the Seas is scheduled to return to the STX Europe Finland shipyard in Turku today, but the current whereabouts of the blimp are still unconfirmed. No one was onboard the object, which was being tested for use as a balloon ride onboard the largest cruise ship ever built.
And this is exactly what we would keep us from riding a cruise ship's baby blimp. Meanwhile, the blimp is still out there. We hope Royal Caribbean can find it soon.
Cruises / Ships / Royal Caribbean / Blimps / → All Tags
The annals of shipboard entertainment are a study in the growing ADD-ness of travelers; there once was a day when week-long ocean crossings were happily passed with games of shuffleboard and skeet shooting, and then we graduated to learning napkin-folding and wine pairings during Caribbean cruises. These days however, it seems as though even 4-night trips require access to D-list celebrities, rock climbing walls and mini-golf greens.
Would you believe that we've done all of the abovewell, we watched the skeet shooting and never touched the celeband yet we remain flabbergasted by the amenity that Royal Caribbean is trying to bring onboard their new Oasis of the Seas. It's a freaking blimp-on-a-string!
What Recession? / Cruises / Celebrity Cruises / Royal Caribbean / Norweigian Cruises / Carnival Cruies / → All Tags
While tourism boards whip out all the bells and whistles in an effot to convince people to hit the road in 2009, aka the era of the staycation or heaven forbid, the nay-cation, expensive and far-flung locales are having to work the hardest to attract tourists.
For this reason, we sympathize with the "Visit Alaska" pitch we recently received, which argues that there's no better time to see the last frontier since the recession has cut resort and cruise prices. And with packages so low, now's the time to take advantage and spend that last bit of rainy day cash in the cookie jar.
Carnival Cruises just booked a huge number of passengers, and it won't even have to take them anywhere: The cruise company has been hired by Canadian police to house security personnel during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
The three ships will serve as floating hotels to ease the city's housing shortage by allowing some 4,000 private guards to cabin up. The police had earlier contracted with a rival company called Cruise Connections, who is now suing them for allegedly backing out to try and get a better deal -- recessionomics at work!
Travelzoo / Awards / American Airlines / United / Megabus / Royal Caribbean / → All Tags
A photo from the 2008 Tzoos
Have you ever had a fantasy where several skimpily-clad flight attendants try to get you drunk on cocktails named "Zoo-tinis" and then hand you a giant letter "Z" as a reward for being awesome? If you were lucky enough to be British Airways or Royal Caribbean Cruises on Wednesday night, then it wouldn't have been a fantasy at all.
At the Travelzoo Awards 2009 at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, the "Top 20" email travel alerts newsletter reached into its bag of deal providers and picked the best of the best to bestow with a "Tzoo" award.
Looking at the list of winners, we can't help but wonder "WTF" for some, and utter a "hip-hip-hooray" for others. We've listed the most interesting of the awards for you below, and we're sure you'll recognize some of the major deal players who grace more than just Travelzoo with their low, low prices (we're talking about you, Megabus and Qantas).
Hey look. Here's a huge can of worms. Let's open it. I wouldn't normally think this would be such a hot topic, but it seems that frequent cruisers have some extremely strong opinions on the recent "Royal Champions" kerfuffle, while the companies involved remain defiant that they didn't do anything wrong.
A detailed summary of the back story can be found in the links below, but the gist of it is that community website Cruise Critic (which is ultimately owned by Expedia) contacted between 50 and 75 enthusiastic and prolific message-board posters on behalf of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, who "engaged" these Royal Champions with the same kind of access usually reserved for the traditional, clearly-identified media, namely, free pre-inaugural cruises and sneak-peeks of new products and services. Unlike members of the traditional media, however, the Royal Champions were under no obligation to identify their involvement with the company as they posted their (mostly positive) reviews on message boards.