New Florida Lottery Scratch-Off game offers a chance to sail on Oasis or Allure

The Florida Lottery today announced a new Royal Caribbean themed Scratch-Off game: Cruise for Cash. With ticket sales beginning today, the $5 game offers Lottery players the chance to win up to $200,000 instantly. And, a second chance promotion on the Lottery’s website offers players the chance to win a seven-night Caribbean cruise vacation for two aboard one of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas or Allure of the Seas. The new game is available at Florida Lottery retailers statewide.

“Tourism is a vital part of Florida’s economy, and this partnership between the Florida Lottery and Royal Caribbean International is a unique opportunity to bring together Florida’s public and private sectors to promote one of the state’s greatest tourist industries – cruising,” said Florida Lottery Secretary Leo DiBenigno.

Florida is home to the top three cruise ports in the country: Port of Miami, Port Canaveral and Port Everglades. According to the Cruise Lines International Association, the North American cruise industry generated $35.1 billion in 2009, with Florida port embarkations growing by nearly three percent – making up 59 percent of the U.S. total.

“We are pleased to be working with the Florida Lottery on the Cruise for Cash game, which helps raise additional funds for education,” said Vicki Freed, Senior Vice President Sales and Trade Support & Services, Royal Caribbean International.

“We expect Cruise for Cash to have a wide appeal among Floridians and visitors to our great state, helping us maximize sales for the enhancement of public education,” added Secretary DiBenigno.

In addition to four $200,000 top prizes, Cruise for Cash also features more than 1.6 million cash prizes ranging from $5 to $2,500. The game’s overall odds of winning are one in 3.87. The game is the latest themed Scratch-Off in the Lottery’s game portfolio, offering players instant cash prizes and additional chances to win via a second chance promotion on the Lottery’s Web site.

Beginning today, players may enter their non-winning Cruise for Cash tickets in five Royal Caribbean International Cruise Package Second Chance drawings to be held from Oct. 6 to Dec. 15, 2010. Each cruise packages include seven nights aboard the Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas or another Royal Caribbean cruise ship sailing select itineraries. Winners of the second chance drawings will tour their respective Caribbean destinations in a balcony stateroom, with an ocean view for two. Cruise winners also will receive $1,000 in ship credit and premium accommodations for two at a deluxe hotel prior to departure. There will be a total of 112 cruise packages awarded with this game.

The Florida Lottery offers more than 50 Scratch-Off games at any given time through instant ticket vending machines (ITVMs) or on-counter displays at more than 13,000 retailers statewide. Scratch-Off games are an important part of the Lottery’s portfolio of games, making up approximately 53 percent of ticket sales and generating more than $396 million for the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF) in fiscal year 2009-10.

Royal Caribbean ships set for makeovers

Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas, pictured here, and her sister Liberty of the Seas will soon feature a number of amenities presently found on the line’s newest ship - Oasis of the Seas. Photo by Matt Roseboom

By Michael Coleman

A series of new onboard amenities and experiences, having successfully been launched aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas last fall, will soon debut on Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas.

Rolling out in early 2011, passengers will soon enjoy new dining opportunities, entertainment, children’s programming and other enhancements.

The line is set to introduce an-as-yet named Broadway production on Liberty. Announcement of the show’s title will soon be made. A family musical geared for children, such as the one playing in the Adventure Ocean Theater aboard Oasis will debut in the main theaters of both Freedom and Liberty.

A big hit aboard Oasis — the world’s largest cruise ship – Royal Babies and Tots Nursery will now be available for Freedom and Liberty passengers. The nursery care program for babies and tots ages six through 36 months old offers parents a safe, fun and interactive vacation environment for their toddler too. Look for various playgroups and activities developed exclusively for Royal Caribbean with partners Fisher Price and Crayola.

Oversized outdoor video screens similar to those wowing guests on Oasis will make their debut aboard Freedom and Liberty. The large 18.5-foot video screen aboard each ship will overlook the main family pool area and will feature movies and entertainment programs throughout the cruise for families, friends and couples to enjoy, morning, noon or night.

Navigating the two ships will also be easier, thanks to the line’s groundbreaking “wayfinding system’’ which was launched on Oasis. Onboard activities, real time updates, customized directions and routing, as well as ship factoids will be at passengers’ fingertips with new plasma and LCD touch screen signs that will be prominently placed throughout each of the ships.

Need a sugar fix? Oasis’s specialty bakery boutique, Cupcake Cupboard, will soon charm passengers aboard Freedom and Liberty. The new locale will feature an array of fresh gourmet cupcakes á la carte, and will also offer hands-on decorating classes plus include a separate space for guests looking to celebrate special events from birthdays and anniversaries to reunions.

Wine aficionados rejoice. The Vintages lounge aboard Freedom and Liberty will soon feature a new trendier décor and offer guests a range of fine wines. Guests also can enjoy self-pour opportunities from a selection of notable wines, thanks to the line’s new Enomatic serving system.

Guests, meanwhile, aboard Oasis will have the groundbreaking opportunity, literally, to participate in a new shore excursion opportunity. As part of a new series of “voluntourism” activities, “Voluntourism: The Mexican Red Cross Landscaping Project” offers passengers the opportunity to contribute to the local community of Cozumel, thanks to a partnership with the Mexican Chapter of the Red Cross.

As part of a beautification project, passengers will be outfitted with materials and tools for this four-hour excursion that will allow them to assist with the planting of trees and shrubs at the local chapter’s new facility.

On the webwww.royalcaribbean.com

Our top 10 most read cruise stories of 2009

As we end our first year of Cruise News Weekly online, I thought it’d be a good time to go back and look at which of our online stories had the most views. Here are our top 10 most read cruise stories for 2009 – counting down to number one.

Number 10

Guests to christen Seabourn Odyssey
A new ultra-luxurious yacht, set to debut in June 2009, will be christened by each of its guests prior to its maiden voyage.
Full Story


Number 9

New cruise ships poised for debut
The cruise industrys top players will be positioning five of their latest ships in Fort Lauderdale this winter.
Full Story


Number 8

Fairy tale romance aboard Ruby Princess
This is a tale about the Ruby Princess. She is large but beautiful, always ready for fun and romance, and she’s all about great food. No this isn’t a fairy tale, it’s life aboard Princess Cruises’ newest ship.
Full Story


Number 7

Carnival Alaskan cruises to sail round-trip from Seattle in 2010
For the first time ever, Carnival Cruise Lines will operate a schedule of seven-day Alaska cruises round-trip from Seattle beginning in May 2010.
Full Story


Number 6

Detailed model of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas
One of the busiest booths at this week’s Seatrade Cruise Shipping Miami conference (besides Mexico’s when they were giving out free beer) was that of STX Europe, the builder of Royal Caribbean’s upcoming newest ship.
Full Story


Number 5

Music’s top stars on board for One Splendid Evening
Carnival Cruise Lines and Mayercraft Carrier 2 will present “One Splendid Evening,” a special concert event to benefit the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. The one night only event will take place the evening of March 26.
Full Story


Number 4

Carnival Dream to offer on-board social networking
The new Carnival Dream, debuting Sept. 21, will take seagoing technology to a new level with the introduction of the FunHub, a comprehensive shipboard intranet portal featuring the cruise industry’s first on-board social network, along with access to a wide variety of information on the ship’s services, facilities and daily activities.
Full Story


Number 3

See rendering, video of Carnival Dream’s water slide
Carnival has released a new artist’s rendering and a test video of The DrainPipe, a unique water slide that will be on the new Carnival Dream when it launches Sept. 21.
Full Story


Number 2

Win prizes in Royal Caribbean’s new online game
Royal Caribbean International is offering vacationers the opportunity to discover the cruise line’s experience without leaving shore. Royal Caribbean’s “Clues to the Cruise” promotion is challenging adventurers of all ages to explore the new Nation of Why Not and the many ‘why not’ moments guests can enjoy on a Royal Caribbean cruise.
Full Story


Number 1

Oasis, Allure poised for debuts
The largest cruise ship ever constructed will debut in just seven months but the company launching Oasis of the Seas is hard at work preparing for the unveiling of an equally mammoth sister-ship.
Full Story

Video: Seven celebrity godmothers help name Oasis of the Seas

Oasis naming

Royal Caribbean International officially named its newest cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas, yesterday, during an elaborate maritime celebration designed especially for the world’s largest and most revolutionary cruise ship.

Putting a new twist on one of maritime’s longest standing traditions, the global cruise line had not one, but seven celebrity godmothers — Gloria Estefan, Daisy Fuentes, Shawn Johnson, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Michelle Kwan, Jane Seymour and Dara Torres — preside over the festivities. The celebration took place throughout the seven signature neighborhoods onboard Oasis of the Seas, culminating with the traditional Champagne bottle breaking ceremony followed by a fireworks display in the AquaTheater, the ship’s dazzling oceanfront theater.

Marking the finale of 10 days of preview sailings, the naming ceremony provided Royal Caribbean the opportunity to give back to the community, doubling as a one-night inaugural celebration-fundraiser to benefit the non-profit Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Celebrities including NBA legend Michael Jordan, Corbin Bleu of High School Musical and Olympic gymnast, Oasis godmother Shawn Johnson and Dancing With the Stars professional dancer, Karina Smirnoff were in attendance, granting the wishes of several children that wanted to meet them.

Royal Caribbean has enjoyed a long relationship with Make-A-Wish. Since 2000, the cruise line has hosted more than 1,300 children who wished to go on a cruise to destinations around the world and has contributed more than $2.8 million in in-kind services and $372,000 in discount savings through its Wishes at Sea program.

Through employee and guest fundraising efforts, Royal Caribbean has also raised more than $480,000 and 460,000 frequent flier miles, used to secure airline tickets for children’s wish travel and help the Make-A-Wish Foundation conserve critical financial resources. The cruise line donated 1,000 staterooms for this inaugural, once-in-a-lifetime event to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, with all proceeds benefiting the nonprofit organization.

Cruise Guide: Oasis of the Seas review, photos and videos

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Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world, recently made her much anticipated debut at her home port in Ft. Lauderdale. Oasis is unlike other ships in more ways than one. She sets a new standard in cruising …

Click Here to read the full review, view videos and more than 100 photos.

Onboard: Videos from day one on the Oasis

Cruise News Weekly Publisher Matt Roseboom is aboard a two-night preview cruise of the new Oasis of the Seas. Here are some of the videos he’s posted from day one. Check the Twitter account at twitter.com/cruiseguide for the most recent updates, or become a fan on Facebook at facebook.com/cruisenews.

Seven godmothers chosen for Oasis of the Seas’ seven neighborhoods

When Royal Caribbean officially names its newest cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas, on Monday, Nov. 30, 2009, the cruise line will continue its tradition of innovation by putting a new twist on one of maritime’s longest standing traditions.

While normally bestowing the honor of godmother on one special person, Royal Caribbean has chosen seven extraordinary godmothers to represent the seven neighborhoods onboard Oasis of the Seas. Each of the seven godmothers was chosen because they personify strength of character, exemplify the spirit of giving, and are role models for men, women and children alike.

The godmothers include:
Gloria Estefan, world-renowned singer, songwriter, actor and author, who was godmother of Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas
Michelle Kwan, the Olympic Games medalist is an all-time great and the most decorated figure skater in United States history, and is also an American Public Diplomacy envoy promoting education, positive health practices and respect for diversity
Jane Seymore, a multiple Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor, as well as an Officer of the British Empire, who remains actively involved in the J and J Foundation benefiting children in need. Based on her philosophy that keeping an open heart despite adversity can bring a wealth of love, hope and inspiration into life, she founded the website www.KeepAnOpenHeart.com, a community where people can share stories and engage in a dialogue about living with an open heart.
Dara Torres, twelve-time Olympic medalist and oldest female swimmer to compete in a record five Olympic games (1984, 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2008)
Keshia Knight Pulliam, film and television actress is well-known for her role as Rudy Huxtable on the classic sitcom “The Cosby Show.” The youngest actress ever nominated for an Emmy Award when she was only 6 years old, she presently stars on the TBS television comedy “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” and was most recently seen starring in the hit motion picture “Madea Goes To Jail.”
Shawn Johnson, four-time medalist at the 2008 Olympic games for women’s gymnastics and cancer philanthropist, who in addition to serving as a godmother for Oasis of the Seas, will be granting wishes onboard as part of her work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Daisy Fuentes, international television personality and producer, beauty and fitness expert, and recognized role model for Latin-American women in the United States, who is committed to improving children’s health and treatments through St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Starlight Children’s Foundation and the March of Dimes.

“It is a humbling and equally exciting privilege to have these seven exemplary women take on the responsibility of being godmothers of Oasis of the Seas,” said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises. “We felt it only fitting that our most revolutionary ship be named by an outstanding group of women who embody the same excellence in their respective fields.”

The seven women will take their posts to officially name the ship at a ceremony during a one-night inaugural celebration-fundraiser onboard Oasis of the Seas to benefit the non-profit Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Tickets for the once-in-a-lifetime event begin at $500 per person.

Guests who wish to continue their adventure onboard will receive an exclusive discount price, beginning at $650 per person, on a four-night cruise package sailing to the cruise line’s private beach destination, Labadee, departing the morning following the event on Tuesday, Dec. 1 (rates based on double-occupancy and stateroom package).

For reservations to this exclusive event combined with the four-night sailing, contact Cynthia Paez, Royal Caribbean International, at (877) 202-1520, ext. 12751, or [email protected]

Watch as Oasis of the Seas is welcomed into Port Everglades Friday

18176-17 Oasis Of The Seas copy

Royal Caribbean International’s newest cruise ship, the highly-anticipated Oasis of the Seas, will make her U.S. debut into her homeport of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. this Friday, Nov. 13. Hundreds of eager onlookers — ranging from Royal Caribbean top executives to local government officials and residents — are expected to be on site to celebrate her arriva as she is welcomed by a flotilla of fireboats, private watercraft and other maritime escorts.

The public is welcome to watch from John U. Lloyd Park, Dania Beach.
– 6:30 a.m. — Oasis is visible from the shore line. (The Jetty Pavilion will open at 7 a.m.)
– 8 a.m. — Oasis arrives at mouth of inlet.
– 8:30 a.m. — Oasis is positioned inside basin.
– 9 a.m. — Berthing at Terminal 18.

World’s largest cruise terminal opens at Port Everglades, ready for Oasis of the Seas

From left to right: John Foglesong, Broward County Director of Public Works, Department Seaport Engineering & Construction Division; Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman; Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Sr. Vice President of Land Operations Craig Milan; Hollywood, FL City Mayor Peter Bober; Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman Richard Fain; Royal Caribbean International President Adam Goldstein; Port Everglades Director Phillip C. Allen; Broward County Mayor Stacy Ritter; Royal Caribbean International Vice President of Port Operations Juan Trescastro; Broward County Commissioner Sue Gunzburger; and Broward County Commissioner Lois Wexler.
From left to right: John Foglesong, Broward County Director of Public Works, Department Seaport Engineering & Construction Division; Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman; Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Sr. Vice President of Land Operations Craig Milan; Hollywood, FL City Mayor Peter Bober; Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman Richard Fain; Royal Caribbean International President Adam Goldstein; Port Everglades Director Phillip C. Allen; Broward County Mayor Stacy Ritter; Royal Caribbean International Vice President of Port Operations Juan Trescastro; Broward County Commissioner Sue Gunzburger; and Broward County Commissioner Lois Wexler.

The largest cruise terminal in the world to serve the two largest and most revolutionary cruise ships in the world officially opened at Port Everglades yesterday (Nov. 6, 2009), one week prior to the arrival of Royal Caribbean International’s 5,400-passenger Oasis of the Seas.

Local county and city officials, as well as Royal Caribbean executives, were on hand for the opening celebration. The event also featured Royal Caribbean dancers, who performed a number from the Hairspray musical.

“We finished building Cruise Terminal 18 on time and under budget, which is a demonstration of government at its best,” said Port Everglades Director Phil Allen. Port Everglades, located within the cities of Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Dania Beach, Fla., is governed by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners. “There may be bigger terminals that service two ships at the same time, but Terminal 18 was constructed specifically to handle one Oasis-class ship at a time.”

At 240,000 square feet (5.5 acres), Cruise Terminal 18 is more than three times larger than it was just 22 months prior to opening when Royal Caribbean Cruises reached an agreement with Broward County to homeport both of the new Oasis-class of ships at Port Everglades.

“We are very appreciative of the efforts of Director Phil Allen and his team at Port Everglades to create a state-of-the-art facility that will provide a seamless experience for our guests,” said President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International Adam Goldstein. “Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas will present an unprecedented vacation to guests and Terminal 18 is an integral part of delivering that offering.”

To accommodate these revolutionary cruise ships, the Port invested approximately $75 million to build Cruise Terminal 18. The terminal’s mega-size will accommodate the more than 5,400 cruise guests and their luggage so that both arriving and departing guests can go through processing procedures simultaneously. Each Oasis-class ship is projected to generate approximately 584,000 passenger movements annually at Port Everglades. The first of the 225,282-gross-registered-ton ships, Oasis of the Seas, is scheduled to begin sailing year-round from Port Everglades in December 2009, with the second sister-ship, Allure of the Seas, to begin year-round sailings one year later.

Royal Caribbean takes delivery of Oasis of the Seas

18176-17 Oasis Of The Seas copy

After nearly six years in the making, Royal Caribbean International took delivery today of its newest and most revolutionary cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas, from STX Europe in Turku, Finland.

Kicking off a 12-day countdown until her U.S. debut into Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Wednesday, Nov. 11, Oasis of the Seas will be departing Turku on Friday, Oct. 30 with Capt. William S. Wright at the helm. Her transatlantic crossing will be chronicled on OasisoftheSeas.com as new webisodes are posted daily and via Twitter by following @OasisandAllure. A new feature to OasisoftheSeas.com will allow visitors to view a Google Maps application and follow Oasis of the Seas journey. Richard Fain’s “Chairman’s Blog” on OasisoftheSeas.com and “Adam’s Blog” by President and CEO Adam Goldstein on NationofWhyNot.com also will provide personal updates.

Oasis of the Seas introduces unique industry “firsts” including a neighborhood concept — seven themed areas providing guests with the opportunity to seek out relevant experiences based on their personal style, preference or mood. Within these seven neighborhoods — Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone — are elements such as the first park at sea, a thrilling zip line that races diagonally nine-decks above an open-air atrium, an original handcrafted carousel, 28 multilevel urban-style loft suites boasting floor-to-ceiling windows, an aquatic amphitheater — called the AquaTheater that serves as a pool by day and a dazzling ocean front theater by night; and an array of epicurean innovations that allow for new culinary experiences each day of a guest’s cruise vacation.

This November, just in time for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, Oasis of the Seas will be unveiled on ABC’s “Good Morning America” who will be there to welcome her into her home port in Fort Lauderdale as well as give viewers an exclusive first glimpse of the ship during a special live broadcast on Friday, Nov. 20.

The official naming ceremony for Oasis of the Seas will take place on Nov. 30 during a one night inaugural celebration-fundraiser to benefit the non-profit Make-A-Wish Foundation. Tickets for the once-in-a-lifetime event begin at $750 per person and guests who wish to continue their adventure onboard will receive an exclusive discount price, beginning at $650 per person, on a four-night cruise package sailing to the cruise line’s private beach destination, Labadee, departing the morning following the event on Dec. 1. For reservations to this exclusive event combined with the four-night sailing, contact Cynthia Paez, Royal Caribbean International, at (877) 202-1520, ext. 12751, or [email protected]
Bookings are also available for Oasis of the Seas’ inaugural sailing departing on Dec. 5. The inaugural sailing will include exclusive entertainment and gifts for guests to commemorate the special occasion.

Oasis of the Seas spans 16 decks, encompasses 225,282 gross registered tons, carries 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and features 2,700 staterooms.

For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit www.royalcaribbean.com or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.