Royal Caribbean announces its next leap forward with Quantum of the Seas

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Royal Caribbean International boast 40 years of innovative and creative design expierience, today they unveiled first details of the next generation of cruise vacations – Quantum cruising.

The much anticipated details were unveiled by stage, television and film star, Kristin Chenoweth – Godmother of Quantum of the Seas – at an exclusive event for media and special guests in New York City this morning.

“This new generation of ships gave us an opportunity to make another leap in vessel design. Innovation has always been part of our DNA and we have taken advantage of all that creativity to design Quantum cruising,” stated Richard D. Fain, chairman & CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. “The unique features on Quantum will boggle our guests’ minds, but the real strength of the design is how our people have integrated all these diverse components to create a comfortable and exciting experience.”

Unprecedented “Firsts At Sea”

Having led the industry by introducing incredible signature offerings such as the Rock Climbing Wall, ice-skating rink, FlowRider surf simulator, Central Park and AquaTheater, Royal Caribbean will advance the onboard experience even further by delivering a groundbreaking lineup of “firsts at sea” on Quantum-class ships. New features exclusive to Royal Caribbean include:low_1365713986_RCI-RipCordPass2-5K

• RipCord by iFly, the first skydiving experience at sea which allows everyone from first-time flyers to seasoned skydivers to enjoy the sheer thrill and exhilaration of skydiving in a safe, controlled, and simulated environment.

low_1365714000_RCI-NorthStar-Exterior-5K-No-Antenna• North Star, an engineering marvel, takes guests to new heights – literally – with a jewel-shaped, glass capsule, transporting them on a spectacular journey more than 300 feet above the ocean and over the sides of the ship to deliver awe-inspiring 360-degree views.“We are excited to be introducing major advancements in ship design and offerings on Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas,” said Adam Goldstein, president & CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “The innovative spirit of our brand is alive and well, and with Quantum class, we will deliver more unexpected activities in the most extraordinary spaces. Our guests should prepare to be wowed.”

Royal Caribbean marries new innovations with significant architectural design elements to introduce spectacular spaces. On Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas guests will find endless possibilities with three new signature venues.

• A revolutionary concept, Two70° is a multi-level great room that is sure to become one of the most iconic venues onboard Quantum class. The space is aptly named for its magnificent 270-degree panoramic sea views through vast, floor-to-ceiling glass walls spanning almost three decks at the stern of the ship. Two70° seamlessly fuses entertainment and technology to create a transformative journey from day to night. The perfect setting to connect with the sea during the day, Two70° provides a modern and comfortable living room space for guests to sit back and relax. As the sun sets and the lights go down, the dazzling space gradually reveals its evening persona, delighting guests with spectacular, mysterious and unexpected entertainment at night. Unparalleled technology means every show at Two70° is multidimensional and immerses the audience through a combination of live performers, including aerialists, as well as breathtaking video and digital scenery.

low_1365713929_RCI-SeaPlex-BumperCars-5K• The largest indoor active space at sea, SeaPlex is a distinctive and flexible sporting and entertainment venue with thrilling new features that will inspire guests of all ages to let loose and connect with their playful sides. Delivering more first at sea experiences, guests can experience a circus school with flying trapeze, or play basketball on a full-size regulation basketball court. By night, the first-ever bumper car and roller skating offerings deliver fun and excitement. Or, guests can dance to music orchestrated from a floating DJ booth which hovers above the activity below.

• A performance hall and the hottest live music venue on Quantum class, Music Hall is the place for guests to enjoy intimate and exclusive access to live performances, DJs, theme night parties, billiards and more. Rebellious and edgy, Music Hall’s two-story design is inspired by the spirit of rock and roll.

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Royal Caribbean debuts the most spacious and luxurious accommodations ever, introducing rooms that on average are nine percent larger than those of Oasis class ships.  Boasting Royal Caribbean’s new smart design concept, each stateroom features contemporary designs with easy-to-use customizable layouts and  larger storage solutions.

Now every room on Quantum of the Seas has a view, with the exciting introduction of VirtualBalcony staterooms. This design concept brings virtual balconies to interior staterooms offering expansive real-time views of the ocean and exciting destinations.

For multi-generational families, Family-Connected staterooms deliver more flexibility, using three different stateroom categories which connect to form a special layout that provides separate bedrooms and bathrooms for all. These accommodations allow families and groups of friends traveling together to enjoy the best of both worlds when it comes to together and alone time.

With Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean introduces the largest variety of state room categories, including new Studio staterooms, some with balconies for single travelers, three Junior Suite categories and larger Loft Suites.

The adults-only Solarium, along with an outdoor pool, a new indoor pool with operable roof and a H2O Zone kids’ aqua park, will be featured on the top deck. Signature Royal Caribbean venues and experiences popular with families such as the Rock Climbing Wall; FlowRider surf simulator; the award-winning Adventure Ocean children’s program; the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery; and the DreamWorks entertainment and events featuring the characters from animated movies: Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar; will all be back on Quantum class.

Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas also will make a quantum leap forward in its culinary offerings providing the most flexible dining options and more specialty restaurants than ever before. Additional details about dining, entertainment and other unexpected features and amenities on Quantum of the Seas will be unveiled in the coming months.

Quantum class will debut in fall 2014 with Quantum of the Seas, followed by her sister-ship Anthem of the Seas in spring 2015. Quantum ships span 18 decks, encompass 167,800 gross registered tons, carry 4,180 guests at double occupancy and feature 2,090 staterooms.

Quantum of the Seas will sail out of the New York Harbor from her homeport of Cape Liberty on 7- to 12-night itineraries during the winter 2014/15 season. Bookings will be available to Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program members starting May 27, 2013 before opening to the general public on June 4. More information on Quantum of the Seas is available at RoyalCaribbean.com/Quantum.

Royal Caribbean planing a fleet wide ship revitalization

Some of the best features in dining, technology, staterooms and more on the Oasis-class ships will be added to Royal Caribbean's whole fleet of ships over the next couple of years. Photo by Matt Roseboom

By Jackie Roseboom

Royal Caribbean has announced it will bring the latest innovations to all their ships and introduce the highest guest-rated programs from its Oasis-class ships. Coming soon at are a variety of new onboard dining and entertainment options, pervasive Wi-Fi, iPod docking stations and more.

“The Royal Advantage revitalizations takes many of the best features that we have created in recent years and introduces them across our fleet, offering our guests enhanced vacation choices around the world,” said Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “We never stop trying to make the experience even better, and no other cruise line can offer the same high quality vacation experience with such an array of choices that cater to every guest.”

The Royal Advantage revitalizations began with Radiance of the Seas in May, and will be followed by Splendour of the Seas in November. In 2012, revitalizations are scheduled for Vision-class ships including Rhapsody of the Seas (March 2012) and Grandeur of the Seas (May 2012) as well as Radiance-class Serenade of the Seas (November 2012).

The revitalized Grandeur will offer vacationers seven-night Western Mediterranean or 10- and 11-night Greece and Turkey itineraries from Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and Venice, respectively, in summer 2012. Moreover, the newly revitalized Rhapsody and Radiance will offer vacationers additional dining and entertainment options for a cruise in Alaska in summer 2012 or Australia and New Zealand in winter 2012-13.

Among the revitalizations and enhancements to the Vision-, Voyager- and Radiance-class ships throughout the next three years, will be:

– New Technology: Guests will enjoy pervasive Wi-Fi, interactive flat-panel televisions in staterooms and electronic mustering.

– Digital Wayfinding Systems:  Onboard activities, real time updates, customized directions and routing, as well as ship factoids will all be at guests’ fingertips with new touch screen signs prominently placed throughout each of the ships.

– Outdoor Video Walls: Oversized video screens will be installed on the pool decks to liven up outdoor entertainment and programming.

– Royal Babies and Tots Nursery: Fun, safe and interactive vacation environments for babies and tots ages six through 36 months will be available in nurseries designed just for them.

– New Staterooms: New levels of accommodations will be added.

– Various Dining Options: Dining options from the extravagant Chef Table to the fun casual Boardwalk Doghouse (hot dogs stand) and many more.

Each ship will enter dry dock for approximately a month and re- emerge as better versions of the ships that guests love, complete with new dining venues, entertainment options, technology enhancements and more.

For more information visit royalcaribbean.com

Carnival Legend lives up to her Fun Ship name

The Carnival Legend looks spectacular all lit-up at night, as most ships do. Photo by Matt Roseboom

The museum quality artwork on the Carnival Legend depicts legendary stories through the years, hence the ship’s name. The ship’s activities and ports will definitely keep you as busy as you want to be. Continue reading “Carnival Legend lives up to her Fun Ship name”

Princess to allow you to show off your ship to friends and family

Princess Cruises’ new Bon Voyage Experience brings back the tradition of allowing non-cruising guests onboard. The experience includes a four-course lunch. Photo by Matt Roseboom

By Matt Roseboom

In the late ‘70 and early ‘80s, when “The Love Boat” was a hit show on television, cruising was popular, but not nearly as popular as it is today. So many first-time cruisers’ expectations came from watching the TV show. Many were probably not too happy when they compared the size of their cabins with those on the show. But even before they got to their rooms, they may have been surprised to find out their non-sailing friends and family members weren’t allowed on the ship.

Being able to give your guests a tour of the ship you’re about to sail on is a tradition from the early days of cruising. Now, the same line that hosted “The Love Boat”, Princess Cruises, is bringing the tradition back, for a small fee.

They’re calling it the Bon Voyage Experience — a new twist on the departure celebration of bygone days, complete with lunch in the dining room and tour of the ship.
 
Now unique in the cruise industry, the Bon Voyage Experience will enable passengers to extend an invitation to their guests to join them onboard during sailing day for a four-course dining room lunch with wine, a ship tour and a souvenir photo. Passengers and their guests will enjoy priority embarkation and will be able to spend approximately four hours together on the ship before it sets sail. The cost for the program is $39 per person, but it can be applied toward a future Princess cruise.
 
The program will debut in March in the ports of Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale, and then roll out to New York, San Francisco and Seattle.
 
“Long-time cruisers will recall the fun of the bon voyage send-off with their family and friends, and we’re excited to re-introduce a new, modern version of this experience,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president.
 
After you’ve booked, you will be notified about the program through pre-cruise e-mails as your cruise date approaches. In-port guests can be booked from 120 days, up to six days before the sailing date. Once registered, guests will be able to input their security information through the line’s Cruise Personalizer.
 
But there’s reason to hurry and register if you’re interested. The number of guests who will be able to participate in the Bon Voyage Experience on any given embarkation day is approximately 50.
 
The roll-out schedule for the launch of the Bon Voyage Experience is:

– Sapphire Princess — March 6 in Los Angeles
– Crown Princess — March 6 in Fort Lauderdale
– Coral Princess — March 7 in Los Angeles
– Emerald Princess — March 7 in Fort Lauderdale
– Island Princess — March 10 in Los Angeles
– Ruby Princess — March 10 in Fort Lauderdale
– Golden Princess — March 14 in Los Angeles
– Royal Princess — March 27 in Fort Lauderdale
– Star Princess — April 10 in Fort Lauderdale
– Caribbean Princess — May 18 in New York
– Sea Princess — June 1 in San Francisco

During the Alaska season, Sapphire Princess, Golden Princess and Royal Princess will offer the program in Seattle, beginning in May.

Cruise Guide: Cruising with a group brings many benefits

Cruising with a group of family, friends or coworkers can bring many benefits such as discounts on special excursions. Photo by Matt Roseboom
Cruising with a group of family, friends or coworkers can bring many benefits such as discounts on special excursions. Photo by Matt Roseboom

By Matt Roseboom

cruiseguideheadersmallWhether it’s a family reunion, a wedding at sea, a business meeting or a gathering of fans, cruising with a group can bring a great many benefits.

Besides ease of planning and the fun and everlasting memories you’ll create, group cruises can bring financial benefits as well. Most cruise lines offer incentives for groups. In addition to benefits for the whole group, those arranging the trip may receive a free cabin or generous cruise credits. Continue reading “Cruise Guide: Cruising with a group brings many benefits”

Cruise Guide: Top ten reasons to book your cruise today

Cruising is all about choices without worry. You can choose to relax by the pool, partake in the poolside games, pull up a seat next to the buffet or just do nothing. It’s all up to you. Photo by Matt Roseboom
Cruising is all about choices without worry. You can choose to relax by the pool, partake in the poolside games, pull up a seat next to the buffet or just do nothing. It’s all up to you. Photo by Matt Roseboom

By Matt Roseboom

cruiseguideheadersmallAnytime is a great time to take a cruise, but with the economy the way it is, now’s an especially great time to start planning your next cruise. The deals are unheard of. You’ll find bargains ranging from free excursions to bringing kids for free, to just great prices.
If great deals aren’t enough to convince you, here are the top ten reasons to book a cruise. Continue reading “Cruise Guide: Top ten reasons to book your cruise today”

NCL hosting 7th gay and lesbian family-friendly cruise

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is continuing its successful partnership with R Family Vacations, family-friendly vacation specialists catering to the gay and lesbian community led by travel entrepreneurs Gregg Kaminsky and Kelli O’Donnell. This year, R Family Vacations is offering a summer adventure cruise to Alaska aboard the 2,240-passenger Norwegian Star from July 11 to 18, roundtrip from Seattle. This Alaska cruise is the seventh time in five years that NCL has hosted R Family Vacations and their guests on board one of its ships. Continue reading “NCL hosting 7th gay and lesbian family-friendly cruise”

New theater, teen club, balconies added to Carnival Conquest

CARNIVAL CONQUESTThe 2,974-passenger Carnival Conquest resumed service this week from Galveston, Texas, following an extensive, multi-million-dollar renovation that included the addition of a new Circle “C” club for 12- to 14-year-olds and a massive LED screen on Lido Deck. Eighteen balconies were also added to existing ocean view staterooms. The Camp Carnival and Club O2 facilities for children and teens, respectively, were also updated. Continue reading “New theater, teen club, balconies added to Carnival Conquest”

Cruise Guide: Oasis of the Seas set for big debut

By Michael Coleman

A new Royal Caribbean cruise ship is set to turn the industry on its ear when it debuts in late 2009.

Its not just the sheer size of the vessel which is turning heads this week some 220,000 tons, 5,400 passengers and 2,700 staterooms but rather what Royal Caribbean will do within the space of the worlds largest cruise ship.

Oasis of the Seas will feature cruisings first neighborhood concept complete with a Central Park, Boardwalk (look for eateries, retail outlets, carnival games and a handcrafted carousel) and AquaTheater, a venue that will host acrobatics, synchronized swimming, water ballet, professional high-diving and elaborate fountain shows – synchronized to music and lights – in the evenings.

Look, too, for an urban living concept aboard the ship as 28 two-level loft suites an industry first – will also be introduced. The ship will feature 37 different categories of accommodation

Two rock-climbing walls and the first zip-line at sea, suspended nine decks above Boardwalk, have also been incorporated in the design.

But, the Pool and Sports Zone and the Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center neighborhoods, unveiled this week, have only added to the vessels wow factor.

Stretching the length of the ship, the Pool and Sports Zone will feature private cabanas, pools and two FlowRider surf simulators and a sports deck with the first Beach Pool at sea. It will have a sloped entry, flanked by two whirlpools.

Look also for an intimate adults-only Solarium featuring a tranquil swimming pool, two serene whirlpools, and four cantilevered whirlpools suspended 136 feet above the ocean. The Solarium will feature a Bistro by day then it transforms into a romantic and intimate setting for specialty dining and dancing under the stars.

Royal Caribbeans signature H2O Zone a kid-friendly onboard waterpark has also been designed for the young at heart. Separate wading and current pools, as well as a dedicated infant and toddler pool, will be surrounded by both adult and child-sized lounge chairs. 

The water fun aboard the ship does not end there, however. The more competitive set will find haven in the Sports Pool, where afternoon water team sports will include basketball, badminton and water polo while the morning hours will be dedicated to lap swimming. 

Royal Caribbean favorites such as the nine-hole miniature golf course, Oasis Dunes, will challenge players of different abilities while the Sports Court will house basketball and volleyball courts.

The Vitality at Sea Spa, meanwhile, will include a Thermal Suite featuring heated tile loungers, saunas and steam rooms; three couples massage suites and seven individual treatment rooms. Kids and teens will also find their own dedicated Spa in which to enjoy specially catered services. 

The Fitness Center will offer a varied selection of the latest cardio and resistance equipment for working out alone or for joining one of several onboard classes, including spinning, kickboxing, Pilates and yoga. 

The 16-deck ship will sail year-round from Fort Lauderdale. Bookings open Sept. 3.