Royal Caribbean International

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Royal Caribbean International
Industry Hospitality, tourism
Founded 1969 in Norway[1]
Headquarters 1050 Caribbean Way, Miami, Florida, USA
Key people
Michael Bayley (President & CEO)[2]
Services Cruise line
Parent Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Royal Caribbean International, owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., is a cruise line brand founded in Norway and based in Miami, Florida in the United States of America. As of May 2012, with 21 ships in service, it controls a 17 percent share of the world cruise market.[3] All ships under the Royal Caribbean International brand have had names ending in "of the Seas" since 1991. Sister brands owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. are Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Cruises, Pullmantur Cruises and CDF Croisières de France.

Company and brand history[edit]

U.S. headquarters in Miami, Florida
Night view of the headquarters in Miami, Florida

Royal Caribbean International was founded as Royal Caribbean Cruise Line in 1968 by Anders Wilhelmsen & Company, I.M. Skaugen & Company, and Gotaas Larsen, Norwegian shipping companies. The newly created line put its first ship, the Song of Norway, into service two years later. The next year, the line's capacity was doubled with the addition of the Nordic Prince to the fleet. Continuing to expand, the line added the Sun Viking in 1972. After four years of successful operation, Royal Caribbean's Song of Norway became their first passenger ship to be lengthened. This was accomplished via the insertion of an 85-foot (26 m) section to the vessel's severed center. Following the success of this procedure, Nordic Prince was stretched in 1980. Royal Caribbean finally received widespread global recognition when in 1982 it launched the Song of America, over twice the size of Sun Viking and at the time the third largest passenger vessel afloat (after the Norway and the Queen Elizabeth 2).

Royal Caribbean innovated once again with its 1986 lease of a coastal property in Haiti for use as a private destination for its guests.[4] This destination is now called Labadee. After a corporate restructuring in 1988, the line launched Sovereign of the Seas, the largest passenger vessel afloat at the time. Two years later, Nordic Empress and Viking Serenade entered service for the line, continuing a rapid growth trend within the company. In the same year Royal Caribbean purchased its second private destination, Little Stirrup Cay, an island in the Bahamas, which they rechristened "Coco Cay."

Monarch of the Seas, the second ship of the Sovereign class, entered service the next year. The third ship of the Sovereign class, Majesty of the Seas, was delivered one year later. With a large passenger capacity and a growing market share, Royal Caribbean finally went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1993. Over the next two years the company experienced extreme growth. A new corporate headquarters in Miami, Florida was completed, and the Nordic Prince replaced by a new vessel, the Legend of the Seas.

The next year brought more growth. Two more Vision-class vessels entered service, the Splendour of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas. Also in 1996, the company finalized its contracts for 130,000-ton vessels with Aker Finnyards in Finland. The trend of growth and change continued into 1997. The line's oldest ship, Song of Norway, was sold, and two new Vision-class ships entered service as Rhapsody of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas. The company also merged with the Greek cruise line Celebrity Cruises and changed its name from "Royal Caribbean Cruise Line" to "Royal Caribbean International." The next year marked a transition to a more "strictly modern line", when the last of the company's older vessels, Song of America and Sun Viking, were retired. In 1998, Vision of the Seas came into service, the last of the Vision-class ships.

In 1999, the Voyager of the Seas, the line's newest and world's largest cruise ship entered service with much attention from the news media. The next two years saw the delivery of a second Voyager-class ship, Explorer of the Seas, and the first of a new Radiance class of more environmentally friendly cruise liners, Radiance of the Seas.

In 2000, Royal Caribbean debuted a series of land-and-sea based "cruise tours" in Alaska, featuring glass-domed train cars to scenic destinations within the state and Canada. Over the next two years, they introduced more cruise tours to destinations throughout Europe.[5]

2002 saw the debut of the Voyager-class Navigator of the Seas, as well as the Radiance-class Brilliance of the Seas. Mariner of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas, another pair of Voyager and Radiance-class ships, were introduced the next year, and rock-climbing walls were made a feature of every Royal Caribbean ship. A fourth Radiance-class ship, Jewel of the Seas, followed in 2004, and the line's ship Nordic Empress was refurbished and re-christened as Empress of the Seas, which was later sold to Pullmantur Cruises in 2008. In 2005, Enchantment of the Seas underwent a massive refurbishment, cutting the ship in half and adding a 74-foot (23 m) midsection.

Construction commenced on Freedom of the Seas, the line's newest ship, at Aker Finnyards in 2005, and the vessel launched the next year as the largest passenger vessel in the world. Freedom of the Seas' sister ship, Liberty of the Seas, was launched in 2007, and Independence of the Seas was delivered in 2008.

An even larger class, the Oasis class, featuring Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, was launched in 2009 and 2010, guaranteeing Royal Caribbean the ship size lead for years to come. In December 2012, Royal Caribbean announced that they had ordered a third Oasis-class cruise ship from STX France, which would be larger than the previous ships in the class.[6] In March 2014 Royal Caribbean announced that they had ordered a fourth Oasis-Class ship from STX France.[7]

In February 2013, Royal Caribbean announced the first two ships of their newest Quantum class, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, which were being built at the Meyer Werft shipyard.[8][9][10] In May of that year, Royal Caribbean announced that they had signed a contract for a third Quantum-class ship for delivery in mid-2016.[11]

Royal Caribbean cruise ships[edit]

Each Royal Caribbean ship includes a top-of-ship lounge called the Viking Crown Lounge offering sweeping panoramic views, onboard rock climbing walls, bars, lounges, spas, gyms, a main dining room and alternative dining venues. The line has a special kids and youth program known as Adventure Ocean.

Quantum class[edit]

The Quantum-class of ships debuted as the second largest class of cruise ships in the world. The Quantum-class ships were the first ships built for Royal Caribbean by Meyer Werft since the Radiance class and share many features with those ships, including indoor pools with retractable roofs, vast expanses of glass, outdoor seating in the Windjammer buffet, and self-leveling pool tables.[12][13] Other distinctive features of the Quantum-class include the "North Star" observation capsule mounted on the end of a 41-meter-long (135 ft) crane arm,[14] "RipCord by iFLY" a skydiving simulator,.[15] the three-deck-high Two70° lounge and performance venue at the aft of the ship featuring panoramic windows that convert into projection screens,[16] and the multi-purpose SeaPlex facility which hosts activities such as basketball, roller skating, bumper cars, and a trapeze school.[17] The Quantum class was the first class designed specifically for Dynamic Dining, and feature several separate complementary dining facilities instead of a single main dining room.[18] Each venue will maintain the same menu and staff throughout the cruise.[19] Unlike the earlier Voyager, Freedom, and Oasis class, Quantum-class ships do not feature a Viking Crown Lounge or ice skating rink, and the Royal Promenade mall down the center of the ship is not featured in its traditional form.[20][21]

The first ship in the class, Quantum of the Seas, first sailed in November, 2014. Two more ships, Anthem of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas, will debut in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Ship Year Built Gross tonnage Approx. Berths Areas of Operation Homeport(s) Image
Quantum of the Seas[22] 2014 168,666[23] 4,905[23] Eastern/Southern Caribbean, Bahamas, Asia Bayonne, New Jersey/Shanghai, China[24][25]
Quantum of the Seas - Wedel 04 (cropped).jpg

Oasis class[edit]

The first ship of this class, Oasis of the Seas surpassed the Freedom-class ships as the world's largest cruise ship in December 2009. She is able to accommodate up to 5,400 passengers at double occupancy and over 6,000 passengers when sofabeds and pullmans are included, has a registered tonnage of 225,282 tons and cost the line around US $1.4 billion. Oasis-class vessels have primarily sailed the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, but Royal Caribbean may also choose to deploy these vessels in other parts of the world. A second Oasis-class ship was ordered on April 2, 2007, and was constructed at STX Europe's Finland Yards (formerly Aker Finnyards), Turku, Finland. She was delivered on October 28, 2010 and went into service December 1, 2010.[26] The second Oasis-class ship is currently the largest cruise ship in the world.

There are plans to construct two more larger Oasis-Class ships, with the 3rd vessel launching in 2016.[6][7]

Royal Caribbean International, in conjunction with USA Today, sponsored a contest to name the vessels.[27][28] [29]

Ship Year Built Gross tonnage Approx. Berths Areas of Operation Homeport Image
Oasis of the Seas 2009 225,282 5,400 Eastern/Western Caribbean Port Everglades, FL
Oasis of the Seas (cropped).jpg
Allure of the Seas 2010 225,282 5,400 Eastern/Western Caribbean, Europe Port Everglades, FL & Barcelona, Spain/Civitavecchia, Italy
Allure of the Seas (ship, 2009) 001.jpg

Freedom class[edit]

The Freedom-class ships are lengthened versions of the second-generation Voyager-class ship, and contain a 400-foot (120 m) Royal Promenade mall running much of the length of the ship, an ice skating rink, basketball court, several pools, a mini-golf course, and a rock wall. New features on the Freedom class include the FlowRider surfing simulator, the H2O Zone kids water play area, a boxing ring, and hot tubs cantilevered over the side of the ship. At 154,407 gross tons,[30] the Freedom-class ships were the largest ships in the world until the debut of the Oasis class in 2009.

Ship Year Built Gross tonnage Approx. Berths Areas of Operation Homeport(s) Image
Freedom of the Seas 2006 154,407[30] 3,634[30] Eastern/Western Caribbean Port Canaveral, FL
MS Freedom of the Seas in its maiden voyage (cropped).jpg
Liberty of the Seas 2007 154,407[30] 3,634[30] Europe, Short Caribbean Port Everglades, FL & Barcelona, Spain
Liberty Of The Seas 22-04-2007 (cropped).JPG
Independence of the Seas 2008 154,407[30] 3,634[30] Europe, Eastern/Western Caribbean Southampton, England & Port Everglades, FL
MS Independence of the Seas in Southampton (cropped).JPG

Radiance class[edit]

Radiance-class ships have a gross tonnage of 90,090. All ships have environmentally friendlier gas turbine engines. The Radiance-class ships have over 3 acres (12,000 m2) of glass, glass exterior viewing elevators, over 700 balcony staterooms, two-level glass windowed dining rooms, alternative restaurants, a retractable glass roof over a pool, an outdoor pool, as well as the first self-leveling billiard tables at sea. The Radiance class ships were constructed at Meyer Werft, Papenburg, Germany. Unlike the preceding Voyager class, these ships are built to the Panamax form factor, allowing them to pass through the Panama Canal.

Ship Year Built Gross tonnage Approx. Berths Areas of Operation Homeport(s) Image
Radiance of the Seas 2001 90,090[30] 2,143[30] Alaska, Australia/New Zealand/South Pacific Vancouver, BC/Anchorage, AK & Sydney, Australia
Rcclradiance (cropped).JPG
Brilliance of the Seas 2002 90,090[30] 2,112[30] Europe, Western/Southern Caribbean, Canada/New England Tampa, FL; Boston, MA; & Harwich, England
BOS at Valetta 121410 (cropped).JPG
Serenade of the Seas 2003 90,090[30] 2,110[30] Bahamas, Western Caribbean, Mediterranean, North Sea New Orleans, LA; Barcelona, Spain; Civitavecchia, Italy; & Stockholm, Sweden/Copenhagen, Denmark
RCI Serenade of the Seas.JPG
Jewel of the Seas 2004 90,090[30] 2,112[30] South Caribbean, Alaska San Juan, Puerto Rico & Seattle, WA
Jewel of the Seas (cropped).jpg

Voyager class[edit]

The fifth largest passenger ships at sea (behind the Oasis class, Freedom class, Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Epic and Cunard's Queen Mary 2), the Voyager-class ships were the largest class of cruise ships in the world when built and were the first ships to have an ice rink at sea and have Royal Caribbean's iconic Royal Promenade. They were built at Kvaerner Masa-Yards' (now STX Europe) facility in Turku, Finland. They have a gross tonnage of around 137,000 tonnes. These ships include a 350-foot (110 m) indoor mall known as the Royal Promenade, featuring indoor pubs, shops, cafes, and bars. Activity options on all five ships board include a basketball court, at least 3 pools, a mini-golf course, a rock wall, an ice skating rink and, originally, an inline skating track. Navigator of the Seas replaced the inline skating track with a Flowrider surf simulator in 2014, and similar upgrades are planned for Voyager and Explorer.[31]

Navigator of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas are second-generation Voyager-class vessels, and feature glass stateroom balconies that extend out from the superstructure of the ship and a larger Windjammer buffet area.

Ship Year Built Gross tonnage Approx. Berths Areas of Operation Homeport(s) Image
Voyager of the Seas 1999 137,276[30] 3,114[30] Asia, Australia China; Hong Kong; & Sydney, Australia
Voyager of the seas1.jpg
Explorer of the Seas 2000 137,308[30] 3,114[30] Eastern/Southern Caribbean, Bermuda, Bahamas Bayonne, New Jersey & Port Canaveral, FL
Explorer of the Seas Bayonne (cropped).jpg
Adventure of the Seas 2001 137,276[30] 3,114[30] Southern Caribbean, Mediterranean, Europe Southampton, England; San Juan, Puerto Rico; & Port Canaveral, FL
Adventure of the Seas ship (cropped).jpg
Navigator of the Seas 2002 138,279[30] 3,114[30] Western Caribbean Galveston, TX
Navigator of The Seas at Linnahall 10 June 2007 (cropped).jpg
Mariner of the Seas 2003 138,279[30] 3,114[30] Asia Singapore & Shanghai, China
Mariner of the Seas Crete.jpg

Vision class[edit]

Technically speaking, the Vision class consists of three pairs of sister ships and is not a "class" of ships in the same sense as the Radiance, Freedom, Voyager, or Oasis classes. Legend and Splendour, built at Chantiers de l'Atlantique, Saint-Nazaire, France have a gross tonnage of approximately 70,000 and are the only ones which have a golf course. Grandeur and Enchantment were built at Kvaerner Masa-Yards, Helsinki, Finland and had an original tonnage of approximately 73,000 GT. The final pair, Rhapsody and Vision were also built at Chantiers de l'Atlantique, and have a tonnage of 78,000 GT. In 2005, a 74-foot (23 m) midsection was added to Enchantment of the Seas, bringing its tonnage to over 80,000 GT. All ships of this class feature over 2 acres (8,100 m2) of glass.

Ship Year Built Gross tonnage Approx. Berths Areas of Operation Homeport(s) Image
Legend of the Seas 1995 69,130[30] 1,804[30] Europe, Eastern/Southern Caribbean, Panama Canal, Canada/New England Copenhagen, Denmark; Stockholm, Sweden; Oslo, Norway/Hamburg, Germany; Quebec City, QC; & Port Everglades, FL
Legend of the Seas (1) (cropped).jpg
Splendour of the Seas 1996 69,130[30] 1,804[30] Europe, Brazil Venice, Italy & São Paulo, Brazil
Splendour of the Seas (Split, HR, 2011-07-14) (cropped).jpg
Grandeur of the Seas 1996 73,817[30] 1,950[30] Southern/Eastern/Western Caribbean, Bermuda, Canada/New England Baltimore, MD
Rhapsody of the Seas 1997 78,491[30] 1,998[30] Australia/New Zealand, Alaska, Mediterranean, Greek Islands, Black Sea Seattle, WA; Sydney, Australia; Istanbul, Turkey; & Civitavecchia, Italy
Rhapsody of the Seas in Sydney (cropped).jpg
Enchantment of the Seas 1997 82,910[30] 2,252[30] Bahamas Port Canaveral, FL
Enchantment of the Seas.jpg
Vision of the Seas 1998 78,340[30] 2,000[30] Southern/Western Caribbean, Bermuda Colon, Panama; Port Everglades, FL; & Tampa, FL

Sovereign class[edit]

At approximately 73,000 GT, these were the first "mega-ships" in the industry (with the exception of the SS Norway, an ocean liner converted into a cruise ship), built at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. The first one, Sovereign of the Seas, was launched in 1988. The Sovereign-class ships were the first cruise ships to have an open atrium area.[32] Like larger Royal Caribbean ships, the Sovereign-class ships have pools, open bars and lounges inside, and grand theaters.

Sovereign of the Seas and Monarch of the Seas were transferred to the fleet of Pullmantur Cruises in October 2008 and April 2013, respectively[33][34][35] and Majesty of the Seas will be transferred in April 2016.[36]

Ship Year Built Gross tonnage Approx. Berths Areas of Operation Homeport(s) Image
Majesty of the Seas 1992 74,007[30] 2,350[30] Bahamas Miami, FL

Future fleet[edit]

Ship Class Estimated Completion Current Status Approx. Berths Gross tonnage Planned Home Port(s) Notes Image
Anthem of the Seas[22] Quantum class Spring 2015 Keel laid November 2013[37] 4,180 167,800[23] Southampton, England and Bayonne, New Jersey[25] Sister ship to Quantum of the Seas
Both "Anthem of the Seas"-Sections floated out at Meyer Werft (cropped) (levels).jpg
Ovation of the Seas[38] Quantum class Mid-2016 (planned)[39][40] Steel cutting began September 2014[38] 4,180[11] 167,800[11] TBA 3rd Quantum-class cruise ship
TBA Oasis class Summer 2016 Keel laid May 2014 6,360[41] 227,700[42] TBA 3rd and largest Oasis-class cruise ship. Planned to be largest passenger ship in the world.
TBA Oasis class 2018[43] Ordered in May 2014[43] TBA TBA TBA 4th Oasis-class cruise ship.

Retired ships[edit]

Former RCI ships no longer in the fleet
Ship Name with Royal Caribbean Class Year Built Year Retired Current Status Current Name Current Operator Current Home Port(s) Notes Image
Song of Norway Song of Norway-class[citation needed] 1970 1997 Scrapped in 2013[44] Formosa Queen
Sundream (cropped).JPG
Nordic Prince Song of Norway-class[citation needed] 1971 1995 sold for scrap M/V Pacific PV Enterprises International
MV Aquamarine off Patmos (cropped).jpg
Sun Viking Song of Norway-class[citation needed] 1972 1998 Operating as a floating casino Oriental Dragon OCEANIC GROUP INTL LTD Hong Kong
Omar III Exterior (cropped).jpg
Song of America 1982 1999 Operating MS Louis Olympia Louis Cruise Lines Athens, Greece/Kusadasi, Turkey
ThomsonDestiny (cropped).jpg
Viking Serenade 1982 2002 Operating under Thomson's all-inclusive Island Cruises brand MS Island Escape Thomson Cruises Palma, Majorca Entered service with Royal Caribbean in 1990.
Island Escape (cropped).JPG
Nordic Empress/Empress of the Seas 1990 2008 Operating MS Empress Pullmantur Cruises Spain/Malmö, Sweden Renamed Empress of the Seas in 2004
NordicEmp1 (cropped).jpg
Sovereign of the Seas Sovereign class 1987 2008 Operating MS Sovereign Pullmantur Cruises Barcelona, Spain/Rome, Italy/Genoa, Italy
RCI Sovereign of the Seas (cropped).jpg
Monarch of the Seas Sovereign class 1991 2013 Operating MS Monarch Pullmantur Cruises Caracas, Venezuela/Colon, Panama/Cartagena, Colombia/Aruba
Monarch of the Seas (cropped).JPG

Ship amenities[edit]

As of August 2014, complementary amenities available on all ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet include in-stateroom televisions and telephones, a main theater featuring Broadway-style and headliner shows, a rock climbing wall, a basketball court, an indoor fitness center, a multi-story main dining room, the Windjammer buffet, 24-hour room service, the Adventure Ocean children's program, a multi-deck atrium with glass elevators, and multiple lounges. Paid amenities on all ships include ship-to-shore calls from stateroom telephones, WiFi and cell phone access at sea, a casino, bingo, a full-service spa, and multiple shops and bars. All ships except for Majesty of the Seas have a concierge lounge for guests staying in suites and Crown and Anchor Diamond-Plus-level members. Other amenities that are not specific to one specific ship or class of ship are shown below as of 9 April 2014 (amenities in italics are available to all guests and are complementary):[45]

Ship Outdoor Pools Indoor Pools Hot Tubs Flow- riders Mini Golf Outdoor Movie Screen Ice Rink Royal Promenade Centrum Aerial Show Dynamic Dining Park Café Dog House Johnny Rockets Ben & Jerry's Cupcake Cupboard Italian Restaurant Chops Grille Izumi Asian Cuisine Mexican Restaurant Samba Grill Chef's Table Coke Free- style Diamond Club Nursery Dream Works Experience Night club
Quantum of the Seas 2 2 6 1 No Yes No No No Yes Café@
Yes Yes No No Jamie's Italian Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Oasis of the Seas[46][47] 6 No 10 2 Yes Yes Yes Yes No planned Yes Yes Yes Cups & Scoops Cups & Scoops Giovanni's Table Yes Yes Sabor No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Allure of the Seas[47] 6 No 10 2 Yes Yes Yes Yes No planned Yes Yes Yes No Yes Giovanni's Table Yes Yes Rita's Cantina Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Freedom of the Seas[48] 3 No 7 1 Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes Giovanni's Table Yes No Sabor No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Liberty of the Seas 3 No 7 1 Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes Portofino Yes No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Independence of the Seas 3 No 7 1 Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes Giovanni's Table Yes No No No No No Yes Yes No Yes
Radiance of the Seas 1 1 3 No Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes No No No Giovanni's Table Yes Yes Rita's Cantina Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes
Brilliance of the Seas 1 1 3 No Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes No No No No Giovanni's Table Yes Yes Rita's Cantina No Yes No Yes Yes No Yes
Serenade of the Seas 1 1 3 No Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes No No No No Giovanni's Table Yes Yes Rita's Cantina No Yes No Yes Yes No Yes
Jewel of the Seas 1 1 3 No Yes No No No No No No No No No No Portofino Yes No No No No Yes No No No Yes
Voyager of the Seas[45][49] 3 No 7 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes No Giovanni's Table Yes Yes No No No No Yes No Yes Yes
Explorer of the Seas[31][45] 3 No 7 planned 2015 Yes planned 2015 Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes No Portofino No No No No No Yes No No No Yes
Adventure of the Seas 3 No 7 No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes in Café Promenade Giovanni's Table No No No No No No Yes No No Yes
Navigator of the Seas 3 No 7 1 Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes in Café Promenade Giovanni's Table Yes Yes Sabor No No No Yes Yes No Yes
Mariner of the Seas 3 No 7 No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes No Giovanni's Table Yes No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Legend of the Seas 1 1 4 No Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes No No
Splendour of the Seas 1 1 4 No Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes No No
Grandeur of the Seas 2 1 6 No No Yes No No Yes No Yes No No Yes No Giovanni's Table Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Rhapsody of the Seas 1 1 6 No No Yes No No Yes No Yes No No Yes No Giovanni's Table Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes No No
Enchantment of the Seas 2 1 6 No No Yes No No No No Yes No No Yes No No Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes No No
Vision of the Seas 1 1 6 No No Yes No No Yes No Yes No No No No Giovanni's Table Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes No No
Majesty of the Seas 2 No 2 No No No No No No No No No Yes Yes No No No No No No No Yes No No No No

* Portofino planned to be replaced with Giovanni's Table during an upcoming refurbishment.

Royal Promenade[edit]

The Voyager-class, Freedom-class, and Oasis-class ships feature the Royal Promenade, a centerline promenade in a long multi-deck atrium featuring a pedestrian mall with shops and restaurants. At night, the promenades are used as entertainment venues, hosting dance parties and parades.[50] The upper levels on the Royal Promenade are home to "Promenade Staterooms" that feature a window overlooking the promenade. The Royal Promenades on the Voyager-class and Freedom-class ships are 390 feet (120 m) and 400 feet (120 m) long, respectively, and are 4 decks high.[51][52] The Royal Promenades on the Oasis-class ships are only 3 decks high but are twice as wide and feature a mezzanine level.[50] The Quantum class does not feature a Royal Promenade, but instead features a 2-deck-high "Royal Esplanade" shopping area that does not have any overlooking cabins.[53]

Dynamic Dining[edit]

In 2014 and 2015, Royal Caribbean introduced their new Dynamic Dining concept to replace the Main Dining Room on the Quantum-class and Oasis-class ships.[46][47] Ships with Dynamic Dining do not feature a main dining room, nor do passengers have the same table and servers each night.[54] Instead, these ships feature several complementary restaurants with their own theme and menu: "American Icon Grill", "The Grande", "Silk", and, on the Quantum-class, "Chic". Guests staying in suites also have access to the complementary "Coastal Kitchen" restaurant. Similar to the Freestyle concept used on Norwegian Cruise Line, guests make reservations for their choice of restaurant for each night in advance,[18] and each venue will maintain the same menu and staff throughout the cruise.[19]

Private resorts[edit]

Royal Caribbean operates two privately owned resorts that are used as stops on some Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries. They are Labadee, a resort on the northern coast of Haiti; and Coco Cay, a private island in the Berry Islands region of The Bahamas. Each resort features canopies for eating, lounge chairs, palm trees, white sand beaches, and a number of activities.


Norovirus outbreaks[edit]

In January 2014, an outbreak of norovirus aboard the Explorer of the Seas sickened 689 of 4237 passengers and crew (16.3%), causing the ship to return to port two days early.[55][56] The outbreak reportedly marked the greatest number of cases of illness aboard a cruise ship in two decades,[57] barely exceeding a 2006 outbreak aboard the Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Liberty that sickened 679 of 3970 passengers and crew (17.1%).[58] Royal Caribbean offered all passengers aboard that cruise a 50% refund of their cruise fare, an additional 50% (plus 10% for each day sick passengers were quarantined) of their cruise fare as a credit towards another cruise, and reimbursed extra travel expenses for guests returning home early.[59]

Docking in Haiti[edit]

In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Royal Caribbean continued docking cruise ships at the Labadee resort, located approximately 60 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake, during the ongoing humanitarian crisis. The ships provided a source of income to the devastated Haitian economy and delivered valuable relief supplies to the affected. Furthermore, the company promised to donate all proceeds from the visit to help the earthquake victims. Most passengers on board understood this, although some were "sickened" by the company's decision to dock in Haiti. Associate vice president John Weis defended the company's decision by stating that the company had "tremendous opportunities to use our ships as transport vessels for relief supplies and personnel to Haiti ... Simply put, we cannot abandon Haiti now that they need us most." The Labadee resort is leased to Royal Caribbean by the Government of Haiti.[60][61]

George Allen Smith case[edit]

On July 5, 2005, passengers on board the Brilliance of the Seas reported what appeared to be blood on a part of the ship below the passenger balconies. After a search, George Allen Smith was discovered to be missing and thought to have fallen overboard. A criminal investigation into possible foul play was conducted, and a brief press release on the company's investor relations website announced the settlement of the case,[62] later revealed to be more than $1 million.[63]

Environmental record[edit]

In 1998 and 1999, the company was fined US$9 million because one of its ships, the Sovereign of the Seas, had repeatedly dumped oily waste into the ocean and tried to hide this using false records, including fake piping diagrams given to the US Coast Guard. Because the company was and is incorporated in Liberia, Royal Caribbean argued that this case was not in the jurisdiction of US courts. Despite their argument, they were unsuccessful.[64]


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