Cruise Lines To Extend U.S. Cruise Suspension Through September 15, 2020

CLIA announced today that cruise lines will extend the cruise suspension yet again. since the start of this global pandemic.

In a statement released earlier today, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced “the associations ocean going cruise line members will voluntarily exchange the suspension of cruise operations from US ports until September 15, 2020”

“Due to the ongoing situation within the US related to COVID-19, CLIA member cruise lines have decided to voluntarily extend the period of suspended passenger operations. The current no sale order issued by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention will expire on July 24, and although we had hoped that cruise activity could resume as soon as possible after that date, it is increasingly clear that more time will be needed to resolve barriers to resumption in the United States.”

The statement goes on to say that they are airing on the side of caution to ensure the best interest of passengers and crew member and that this will allow additional time to consult with the CDC on appropriate measures for the eventual resumption of cruise operations.

Source: https://cruising.org/news-and-research/press-room/2020/june/clia-announces-voluntary-suspension-of-cruise-operations-from-us-ports

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BREAKING: Royal Caribbean Extends Suspension of Cruising For the 4th Time – Until July 31st

During this morning’s investors conference call, CEO Michael Bayley announced that the suspension for voyages has been extended until July 31st.

“Our plan is this afternoon we’ll be announcing further suspension for voyages until the end of July, until July 31st. The only exception to the suspension will be our China operations.”

Michael Bayley, CEO of Royal Caribbean International

This is the 4th time the suspension has been extended.

1st Suspension – Sunday, March 13, 2020

Sunday, March 13, 2020 Royal Caribbean first announced the suspension of cruising in the US for 30 days, 2 days later the company included their fleet globally. The expected return to service was April 11, 2020.

2nd Suspension – Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Tuesday, March 24, 2020 the global suspension was extended until May 12, 2020 with expected return to service for Alaska, Canada and New England sailings on July 1, 2020.

3rd Suspension – Thursday, April 16, 2020

Thursday, April 16, 2020, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. decided to extend the suspension of sailings of their global fleet through June 11, 2020.

4th Suspension – Wednesday, May 20, 2020

And today until until July 31st.

Updated with Royal Caribbean’s official press release:

“Given ongoing global public health circumstances, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has decided to extend the suspension of most sailings through July 31, 2020, with the exception of sailings from China, which will be suspended through the end of June.

We are working with our guests and travel partners to address this disruption to their vacations, and we are genuinely sorry for their inconvenience.

We expect to return to service on August 1.”

Royal Caribbean International, press release

Click here for more information on Health and Travel Alerts

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Royal Caribbean Extends Global Suspension of Cruising an Additional 30 Days

Royal Caribbean announced today that they have extended the suspension of sailings another 30 days.

Given global public health circumstances, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has decided to extend the suspension of sailings of our global fleet.

We are working with our guests to address this disruption to their vacations, and we are genuinely sorry for their inconvenience. We are also working with our crew to sort out the issues this decision presents for them.

We expect to return to service on May 12, 2020. Because of announced port closures, we expect to return to service for Alaska, Canada and New England sailings July 1, 2020.

Royal Caribbean is offering 125% future cruise credit to come back and sail with them by December 31, 2021.

For more information visit RoyalCaribbean.com

SOURCE Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

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UPDATED: Royal Caribbean Expands Suspension of Cruising Globally

As we reported yesterday that Royal Caribbean was suspending all US sailings, this has now been updated to include all sailings world wide for the next 30 days.

Given global public health circumstances, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has decided to suspend the sailings of our fleet globally at midnight tonight.

We will conclude all current sailings as scheduled and assist our guests with their safe return home.

As with our announcement yesterday regarding U.S. sailings, we expect to return to service on April 11, 2020.

SOURCE Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

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VIDEO: Royal Caribbean Cancels and Suspends US Cruises

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Royal Caribbean to Bring Life Back to Grand Bahama Island

Royal Caribbean has purchased the Grand Lucayan on Grand Bahama Island, will restore the hotel in 2 phases, add a casino, water park and shopping. The company has also stated they will restore the cruise port to ultimately fit 7 ships.

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The Government of The Bahamas sold the Grand Lucayan on Monday, March 2, 2020 to a partnership between Royal Caribbean International and ITM (Bahamas Port Investments Ltd.), which is expected to make a $250 million investment between the hotel and the redevelopment of the cruise port. The Heads of Agreement Signing Ceremony was held on the Great Lawn of the property, some 11 months following the signing of the Letter of Intent on Wednesday, March 27, 2019.

Prime Minister of The Bahamas, the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis, described the day as a wonderful one as the government’s intention was never to hold on to the property but initially purchased it to save jobs of Grand Bahamians and businesses. “As we stated at the time, it was our intention to privatize the property as quickly as possible.

We wanted to ensure that we found the right buyer who shared our vision for the renewal of Grand Bahama. Our vision was the renewal and rebirth of Grand Bahama’s tourism sector and product as an essential element in the restoration of this island’s potential.”

The Prime Minister also noted that discussions are currently ongoing to determine the best way to redevelop the Grand Bahama International Airport, which will require a major investment.

Minister of Tourism & Aviation, the Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, said, “I am extremely excited that the intended purchasers of this hotel are Royal Caribbean and the ITM Group. Between them they are well funded to bring to the table a great deal of experience in the tourism sector and have a proven track record of successful projects.”

The development projected for the Grand Lucayan will bring about a total transformation of the resort. Hundreds of millions of dollars will be invested into the property to refurbish, renovate, reconstruct 500 rooms in Phase One and another 500 rooms along with 500 villas in Phase Two. Additional features will include a new casino, a spectacular water theme park and a new shopping, restaurant and retail center.

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In addition, a new cruise port will be built in the Freeport Harbour to accommodate three ships in Phase One and up to seven ships in subsequent phases. As a result of the purchase 3,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created in construction as well as in employment at the hotel and cruise port.

Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator the Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson, gave welcome remarks. Also giving remarks were Robert Shamosh, Chief Executive Officer, Holistica Destinations; Mauricio Hamui, Chief Executive Officer, ITM; and Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.

Also in attendance were Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Peter Turnquest and other Ministers of Cabinet, Members of Parliament, Permanent Secretaries, Senior Government Officials, representatives from the business community, taxi drivers, and straw vendors.

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Royal Caribbean Cruises Named One Of World’s Most Ethical Companies For 5th Time

Ethisphere recognizes companies that strive to create positive change in global communities. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has been recognized by Ethisphere, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, as one of the 2020 World’s Most Ethical Companies.

This year 132 companies are recognized for setting the global standards of business integrity and corporate citizenship. The honorees span 21 countries and 51 industries and includes 14 first-time honorees and seven companies that have been named to the list every year since it’s inception.

“At Royal Caribbean ethical values have helped make us into who we are,” said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.  “We value this honor and will work to demonstrate these core, ethical values day in and day out.”

AARP, Canon, Cleveland Clinic, Cummings, Best Buy Co., Inc., Hilton and illycaffè to name a few, are part of this list. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has been recognized since 2015 and is the only honoree in the Leisure & Recreation industry.

“Congratulations to everyone at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., for earning this recognition,” said Timothy Erblich, CEO, Ethisphere. “This is a moment to acknowledge the leaders working to advance corporate cultures defined by integrity and affirm those companies contributing to broader societal imperatives and the greater good.”

Companies are scored through the Ethisphere’s proprietary Ethics Quotient®. The World’s Most Ethical Companies assessment process includes more than 200 questions on culture, environmental and social practices, ethics and compliance activities, governance, diversity and initiatives to support a strong value chain. The process serves as an operating framework to capture and codify the leading practices of organizations across industries and around the globe. Best practices and insights from the 2020 honorees will be released in a report and webcast in March and April of this year.

All companies that participate in the assessment process receive an Analytical Scorecard providing them a holistic assessment of where their programs stand against the demanding standards of leading companies.

Royal Caribbean International is the only cruise line to be named with this honor. The full list of the 2020 World’s Most Ethical Companies can be found at https://worldsmostethicalcompanies.com/honorees.

About the Ethisphere Institute

The Ethisphere® Institute is the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust and business success. Ethisphere has deep expertise in measuring and defining core ethics standards using data-driven insights that help companies enhance corporate character and measure and improve culture. Ethisphere honors superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical Companies recognition program and provides a community of industry experts with the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA). More information about Ethisphere can be found at: https://ethisphere.com.

SOURCE Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

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12 Things You Must Know Before Purchasing a Royal Caribbean Drink Package!

One of the most popular add ons when you book a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation is Royal Caribbean’s Deluxe Beverage Package. The beverage package can be pricey, but could it could also be a fantastic value. One of the the questions that consistently comes up in our Facebook Group, Royal Cruise Group is “Should we buy the drink package?” Well we’ve prepared 12 tips that will help you decide if the package is right for you.

 

1. Pre-purchase your beverage package online

Pre-purchasing your beverage package online through the Cruise Planner is the best way to get the lowest price on beverage package! Royal will generally offer you 30% off the beverage package and will occasionally go to 40% off on select sailings. You should book the package early and if the price happens to drop you can cancel and re-book at the lower price point. Now it’s important to remember the package is priced per person, per day and they will add an 18% gratuity to the total.

 

2. All guests in the same stateroom must purchase

Royal Caribbean does require all guests over 21 years of age staying in the same stateroom to purchase the deluxe beverage package, even if only one member of your party desires to purchase the package. Now there are exceptions to this rule where they will allow you to substitute a non-alcoholic beverage package, however you will need to call in and speak with a Royal Caribbean representative to discuss your specific needs and options.

 

3. Will you drink enough to make it worthwhile?

This boils down to your individual habits while you are on vacation. It’s important to remember that the package not only covers alcoholic beverages up $13, but it also covers non-alcoholic drinks such as bottled water, freshly squeezed orange juice, specialty coffee & teas and one of our favorites… energy drinks. With all this in mind, you could easily consume north of 8 beverages a day with a mix of the above mentioned choices and still get your money’s worth.

In our past sailings we’ve started the day with specialty coffee and fresh squeezed orange juice before heading to the solarium where we would enjoy a combination of beers and premium cocktails throughout the day. Then a lot of bottled waters and finishing the day with a glass or two of wine, a redbull to keep us going and then cocktails in the casino to end the night. This ads up to an average of 10 plus beverages a day and we definitely get our money’s worth. At this rate we never felt like we were over indulging.

 

4. Call your liquor

Your beverage package includes top shelf premium brands. When ordering, instead of asking for a vodka and cran you should specify your liquor by ordering a Tito’s and cran instead as this would be included in the package. There are many premium brands available and they would be included as the package includes beverages up to $13

 

5. Try some new drinks

You’re on vacation and this is a great time to try out some new drinks and find your new favorite cocktail. Don’t like the taste of what you ordered? Put it down and order something else. We love experimenting with new beverages almost every time we sail.

 

6. Use your package at private stops

When deciding on whether to purchase the package, a stop at one of the private islands should be a consideration as it greatly increases the value of the package. When you purchase the beverage package you’re also able to use it at Royal Caribbean’s private destinations, Labadee and Perfect Day at CocoCay.

 

7. Don’t share

A common misconception of the beverage package is being able to share it with other guests. If you have purchased the package it is for you only and you will only be served 1 drink per SeaPass.

 

8. Don’t over tip

Be careful about over tipping, when you buy the package you are automatically charged an 18% gratuity on the package and that covers all drinks ordered on your voyage. However if you want to tip extra, just remember gratuity has already been included.

 

9. Do you have to purchase a package?

No, The beverage package is a nice way to splurge but is not required. The free beverages included are tap water, milk, tea, coffee (regular and decaf), lemonade, iced tea, flavored waters, juices (at breakfast and not fresh squeezed) and hot chocolate. If you’re deciding to purchase the beverage package you’ll need to decide whether you will drink enough each day over the entire duration of your cruise to cover the cost of the package. Take into consideration the number of days of your sailing, how many days you’ll be off the ship (excluding the private destinations) and the number of drinks you think you’ll have on a daily basis. These are all very important factors when making a determination on the beverage package. The bottom line is no it’s not required but definitely nice to have if you enjoy adult beverages, premium teas and coffee, sodas and such.

 

10. Don’t overlook the non-alcoholic beverages

If you’ve ordered the Deluxe Beverage Package it also includes numerous other non-alcoholic beverages on the ship such as: Bottled water, fresh squeezed orange juice, latte’s, espresso, red bull and more.

 

11. It works at restaurants.

When you sit down for dinner at a specialty restaurant or the main dining room don’t forget your package works there also. You can order anything from a glass of wine to a hand crafted cocktail, even a cappuccino with your dessert. This is something that is easily overlooked when calculating how many beverages you’ll consume daily.

 

12. It’s truly unlimited

Unlike other cruise lines, Royal Caribbean’s beverage packages are truly unlimited. The only time you can expect not to be served is if you have had too much to drink and you’re really showing it. Just remember to keep it classy!

 

Let’s break down the 3  beverage package options Royal Caribbean currently offers for 2020.

 

Classic Soda Package

Coca-Cola souvenir cup and unlimited soda at any venue onboard or at the private islands as well as Coca-Cola Freestyle Fountain beverage refills.

Onboard pricing is currently $12.99 – $15.00/per day for 2019-2020 sailings.

 

Refreshment Package

  • A Coca-Cola souvenir cup 
  • Unlimited soda at any venue onboard or at the private islands and Coca-Cola Freestyle beverage refills 
  • Non-alcoholic cocktails (mocktails)
  • Bottled still and sparkling water
  • Premium coffees and teas
  • Fresh-squeezed juices

Onboard pricing is currently $29.00 – $38.00/per day for 2020 sailings

 

Deluxe Beverage Package

  • A Coca-Cola souvenir cup 
  • Unlimited soda at any venue onboard or at the private islands and Coca-Cola Freestyle beverage refills 
  • Non-alcoholic cocktails (mocktails)
  • Bottled still and sparkling water
  • Premium coffees and teas
  • Fresh-squeezed juices
  • Spirits and Liquor cocktails
  • Beer 
  • Wine by the Glass
  • A 40% discount on bottled wines priced up to $100
  • and 20% discount on wine bottle prices above $100

Onboard pricing is currently  $63.00 – $89.00/per day for 2020 sailings

Average Beverage Costs Without a Beverage Package Before Gratuity

Cappuccino $4.00
Espresso $2.50
Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice $4.95
Red Bull $4.50
Wine White/Red/Sparking $10.00-$16.00
Beer $6.50
Cocktails/Frozen Drinks $11.00
Water Bottle $3.25
Sodas $2.95

Beverage Cost Breakdown

We have created a sample beverage cost breakdown of a typical cruise based on what we consume on a 7 day cruise with 3 stops and one of which is a private island.

Onboard pricing is currently  $63.00 – $89.00/per day for 2020 sailings so let’s find a number right in the middle and say they are $76 per person per day for the purposes of this cost breakdown.

beverage breakdown

We hope this has helped you when deciding whether or not to purchase the beverage package. 

If it has, please consider subscribing on YouTube and to our e-mail list so you get notified right away the next time we post.

Watch the video here

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Royal Caribbean Signs Agreement to Bring Royal Beach Club to Antigua

Royal Caribbean has announced it has signed an agreement with the government of Antigua and Barbuda to bring the Royal Beach Club to the island of Antigua.

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Created exclusively for Royal Caribbean guests, the Royal Beach Club at Antigua will sit along more than a half-mile of pristine beachfront and combine the island’s striking beaches with the cruise line’s signature service and amenities. The ultimate beach club experience will offer guests exceptional views from private cabanas and a stunning pool with a swim-up bar, complemented by locally inspired experiences. Featuring regional fare, island-style BBQs, live music, along with thrills such as jet skis, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and a family splash pad, the beach club will make for an unforgettable day at the beach.

Symphony of the Seas comes to Antigua

stjohn

Royal Caribbean also went on to say they are also committed to bringing the Symphony of the Seas to the island. Symphony will be the first Oasis Class ship to visit the island nation with a call on Nov 3rd, 2020 to the capital city of St. John.

 

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Royal Caribbean Lifts Restriction on Chinese Passport Holders in Place to Stem Coronavirus spread

Royal Caribbean has announced it is suspending its policy that prevented guests from boarding who held a passport from China, Macau and Hong Kong.

Royal Caribbean released a statement late last night:

“Royal Caribbean has ended its temporary general restriction on holders of passports from China, Hong Kong and Macau.  The general restriction was adopted last week in response to numerous ports and governments around the world restricting travel for Chinese passport holders, often with little advance notice.

Now that these governmental restrictions have been clarified, we are able to clarify our own policies.  Our 15-day restriction on all individuals who have traveled from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau remains in effect, and so do restrictions on individuals who have been in close contact with persons who have traveled from, through or to China, Hong Kong and Macau in the past 15 days.

We maintain a list of our current boarding policies for all travelers, together with a list of current local travel restrictions at https://presscenter.rclcorporate.com/press-release/53/current-port-restrictions-for-china-passport-holders.  We encourage holders of China, Hong Kong and Macau passports to be aware of the potential for a disrupted vacation, and to contact us with any questions.”

The cruise line continues to have a policy in place that denies boarding to individuals that have traveled to certain Asian destinations in the past 15 days, or has come into contact with anyone from these areas.

“Until further notice, all ships in the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. fleet will adopt the following health screening protocols:

1. Regardless of nationality, we will deny boarding to

a. Any guest who has travelled from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau in the past 15 days.

b. Any guest who has come in contact with anyone from mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau in the past 15 days. The CDC characterizes contact with an individual as coming within six feet (2M) of a person.

2. There will be mandatory specialized health screenings performed on:

a. Guests who are uncertain about contact with individuals who have traveled from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong, or Macau in the past 15 days.

b. Guests who report feeling unwell or demonstrate any flu-like symptoms.

c. Guests presenting with fever or low blood oximetry in the specialized health screenings will be denied boarding.”

Any guest denied boarding due to these restrictions will receive full refunds.

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