Aug 30

Princess Cruises Unveils Hip Night Sky Lounge Aboard Regal Princess

New Exclusive Nightclub Under the Stars Debuts this Fall on Caribbean Cruise Itineraries

The top-deck Retreat Pool will transform into the new Night Sky Lounge one night during each cruise, inviting guests to enjoy an upbeat and modern, South Miami-style nightclub vibe, including atmospheric pool and furniture lighting, glowing drinks and a DJ spinning tunes on a state-of-the-art audio system. Cruise guests will sip sophisticated cocktails, even in the two Jacuzzis, enjoy a flair bartending demonstration, dance the night away, and can even reserve a cabana with hosted bottle service. SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (August 26, 2014) – A new, cool nighttime experience will debut on Regal Princess in November, enabling guests to enjoy a chic and contemporary outdoor nightclub under the stars. The new nightclub, Night Sky Lounge, will debut in November when the ship begins her inaugural Caribbean season.

“The Retreat Pool aboard Regal Princess is such an inviting space, and so transforming it into a cool lounge that offers an entirely new evening experience will be sure to delight our guests,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “We think the lounge’s great location, beautiful lighting, specialty cocktails and music will be a winning entertainment experience.”

Guests will pay a nominal charge to enter the Night Sky Lounge.

Regal Princess begins her Caribbean cruise season on November 6 with a short preview sailing, followed by a schedule of seven-day cruises to ports in the Eastern Caribbean including St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Princess Cays in the Bahamas.

via Princess Cruises Unveils Hip Night Sky Lounge Aboard Regal Princess : Princess Cruises.

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QUANTUM-CLASS SMARTSHIP OVERVIEW

Aug 25

Quantum Technology – The SMART Ship

A brand new venue onboard Quantum of the Seas, Bionic Bar, is set to make waves with robots at center stage.  Guests place orders via tablets and then have fun watching robotic bartenders hard at work mixing cocktails

A brand new venue onboard Quantum of the Seas, Bionic Bar, is set to make waves with robots at center stage. Guests place orders via tablets and then have fun watching robotic bartenders hard at work mixing cocktails


 

Quantum of the Seas will offer new RFID WOWband wristbands, which require only a simple tap to quickly navigate the ship, make onboard purchases, serve as the room key and more

Quantum of the Seas will offer new RFID WOWband wristbands, which require only a simple tap to quickly navigate the ship, make onboard purchases, serve as the room key and more


 

Royal iQ, available as a downloadable app and provided at freestanding iQ stations around the ship, allows guests to manage details during the cruise, includes a convenient calendar that provides at-a-glance views of their program, and keep in touch with one another and home via phone and text capabilities.

Royal iQ, available as a downloadable app and provided at freestanding iQ stations around the ship, allows guests to manage details during the cruise, includes a convenient calendar that provides at-a-glance views of their program, and keep in touch with one another and home via phone and text capabilities.


 

Guests onboard Quantum of the Seas will be able to track luggage in real time on their smartphones.  Luggage will be tagged curbside with RFID technology at drop-off, and guests can monitor their bags’ progress through key points en route to the stateroom.  On departure, the process is reversed.

Guests onboard Quantum of the Seas will be able to track luggage in real time on their smartphones. Luggage will be tagged curbside with RFID technology at drop-off, and guests can monitor their bags’ progress through key points en route to the stateroom. On departure, the process is reversed.


 

Royal iQ, available as a downloadable app and provided at freestanding iQ stations around the ship, allows guests to manage details during the cruise, includes a convenient calendar that provides at-a-glance views of their program, and keep in touch with one another and home via phone and text capabilities.

Royal iQ, available as a downloadable app and provided at freestanding iQ stations around the ship, allows guests to manage details during the cruise, includes a convenient calendar that provides at-a-glance views of their program, and keep in touch with one another and home via phone and text capabilities.


 

Aug 25

THE SMARTSHIP – QUANTUM OF THE SEAS DEBUTS NEW TECH TO DELIVER HASSLE-FREE TRAVELS

FOR THE SMOOTHEST TRIP, SAIL THE SMARTSHIP - QUANTUM OF THE SEAS DEBUTS NEW TECH TO DELIVER HASSLE-FREE TRAVELS
“Sidewalk to Ship” in 10 Minutes; Real-time Luggage Tracking; the First of 40,000 Free Windows Tablets for Crew; Exceptional Variety and Choice – oh, and a Robot to Fix Your Drinks

Papenburg, Germany, August 25, 2014 – Tech-savvy modern travelers will be wowed by Royal Caribbean International’s newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, which incorporates unprecedented levels of technology to amp up the vacation experience.

“Cruise vacations have a romantic past – but they also have a lively, adventurous, state-of-the-art future,” said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.  “We were determined to take the best advances in modern technology, turn them into shipboard WOWs, and take the frustration out of the vacation.  This ship’s combination of ease and flexibility would make a yoga instructor proud.”

Boatloads of bandwidth keep guests connected; easy-to-use systems expand guest choices and simplify schedules; and RFID technology speeds the boarding process and allows guests to keep track of their luggage every step of the way.

Altogether, customer-centered technology makes Quantum of the Seas six kinds of SMART:

 

SMART Check-In:  From sidewalk to ship in record time

Quantum vacation begins at home, where guests can generate boarding documents online, upload their own ID photo, and receive digital boarding confirmation.  By the time they arrive at the cruise terminal for departure, Royal Caribbean guests can go from “sidewalk to ship” in 10 minutes with no check-in counter, no forms to fill out and no lines to stand in.

Guests will be able to track luggage in real time on their smartphones.  Luggage will be tagged curbside with RFID technology at drop-off, and guests can monitor their bags’ progress through key points en route to the stateroom.  On departure, the process is reversed.

 

SMART Concierge: Flexibility at your fingertips

Quantum of the Seas will offer new RFID WOWband wristbands, which require only a simple tap to quickly navigate the ship, make onboard purchases, serve as the room key and more.

Simplicity and efficiency are also at the heart of two new apps that put guests in charge of their cruise choices: Cruise Planner, which allows guests to research and book dining reservations, shore excursions, spa appointments and more before their vacation begins; and Royal iQ, available as a downloadable app and provided at freestanding iQ stations around the ship.  Royal iQ allows guests to manage details during the cruise, includes a convenient calendar that provides at-a-glance views of their program, and keep in touch with one another and home via phone and text capabilities.

“Every vacation minute counts, especially on Quantum of the Seas where there is so much to see and do,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Executive Vice President, Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “Guests can now tailor everything about their cruise in advance, so they can start enjoying their vacation the minute they step onboard.  In essence, they get back the first day of their cruise.”

 

Taken together, these features take the company’s time-saving efforts to a new level,” Lutoff-Perlo said. “Every minute we can save our guests is another minute of their vacation they have to enjoy.”

 

SMART Connect: Downloads at the speed of modern life

Quantum of the Seas will operate with unprecedented bandwidth using satellites launched by tech partner O3b Networks.  With speeds that match fast broadband connections onshore, guests can be online 24/7, no matter what personal device they bring onboard.  Guests can watch streaming video, check email, share images on social media and enjoy face-to-face video conversations – even in the middle of the ocean.

“Even when they are getting away from it all on vacation, people want to be able to connect,” said Lutoff-Perlo.  “Our satellite network will make things possible at sea that could never have been done before, and will make all the difference in the way guests share their Royal Caribbean experience.”

In addition, Quantum’s connectivity makes it possible for one of the SeaPods in SeaPlex to become a live global video gaming suite where guests can enjoy Xbox Live and compete with other gamers worldwide.

 

SMART Experiences: Shaking martinis and spinning screens

Technology also powers surprise-and-delight elements on Quantum of the Seas.  A brand new venue, Bionic Bar, is set to make waves with robots at center stage.  Guests place orders via tablets and then have fun watching robotic bartenders hard at work mixing cocktails.

 

Robots drive another entertaining feature on Quantum of the Seas.  Two70 is home to a playful and agile troupe of six Roboscreens that stage surprise performances during every cruise, creating scenes while soaring and twisting solo, or uniting as one.  Guests will also experience Vistarama, floor-to-ceiling glass walls that transform into an expansive ambient surface that projects any scene, real or imagined, including the multidimensional performance spectacle, Starwater.

Quantum of the Seas will take advantage of technology in functional forms as well.  Guest staterooms are equipped with device-charging USB outlets, as well as energy efficient and environmentally friendly lighting systems. Interior accommodations are outfitted with Virtual Balconies that display real-time sights and sounds of the sea through 80-inch LED screens, ensuring every stateroom has a view.

 

SMART Service: Crew can connect better with guests – and with home

The technology benefits of Quantum of the Seas extend to the ship’s crew.  Custom apps will allow crew members to keep better track of guests’ tastes and preferences, allowing staff to tailor their already remarkably personalized service to an even higher degree.  Whether a guest prefers gluten-free dining, early show seating, or shiatsu massage, the features of the smart ship allow crew members to anticipate every need.

And the ship’s remarkable capabilities give the company an opportunity to make life better for crew members too, since Royal Caribbean will present every crew member on Quantum of the Seas with a free, personal Microsoft Windows tablet, with a suite of services and apps that is theirs to keep.  And as technology upgrades are made across the company’s fleet, every shipboard employee in the entire Royal Caribbean International fleet will also receive their own tablet – a total of 40,000 tablets.

“The Royal Caribbean men and women who provide such great vacations are the real heroes of our fleet and these gifts demonstrate our appreciation in a tangible way,” Fain said. “This technology isn’t only about giving our guests a better vacation – it’s also about giving our crew and their families a closer connection than we’ve ever been able to”

 

SMART Sustainability: Cleaner and greener

Technology has even played a part in making the ship more environmentally friendly.  Sophisticated computer modeling was used to reduce the vessel’s energy consumption with efficient hull configuration, engine design and energy saving devices.  The ship has eliminated the use of incandescent bulbs; all lighting will be provided by low-energy LED or fluorescents.  Motion sensors even dim hallway lighting when no one is present.

The Quantum Class spans 18 decks, encompasses 167,800 gross registered tons, carries 4,180 guests at double occupancy and features 2,090 staterooms. Quantum of the Seas will sail out of New York Harbor from her homeport of Cape Liberty for her inaugural season before departing to her new homeport of Shanghai (Baoshan), China. Anthem of the Seas will debut in Southampton, U.K. in April 2015 sailing Mediterranean itineraries. More information on Quantum class is available at www.RoyalCaribbean.com/QuantumoftheSeas. Media can find more details, images and videos at http://bit.ly/1q6Sn8G.

Video

Quantum of the Seas – The SMART ship

Aug 24

Cruise lines catering to younger crowds – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Hannah Sampson The Miami Herald

For their next vacation, Jessica and Michael Hammer are heading to Sweden, where they will stay with friends and immerse themselves in the rhythms of daily life.

“We want to learn about the country,” said Jessica Hammer, a 31-year-old Coconut Creek, Fla., resident who works for a software company.

One place the couple won’t be found anytime soon: on a cruise ship, which they view as “a floating prison,” “generic and commercial” and “plasticky.”

Wielding craft beer and cocktails, speedy Wi-Fi and apps, celebrity chefs and Broadway shows, cruise lines are increasing their efforts to appeal to discriminating young adults like the Hammers, part of the millennial generation that accounts for an estimated $1.3 trillion in annual spending.

“Millennials love to travel; they love to show off their travel on social media,” said Debbie Fiorino, senior vice president of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based travel agent networks CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. “We have a great opportunity to get them as first-time cruisers, and we believe they will become lifetime cruisers.”

Earlier this year, the Cruise Lines International Association identified the growth of millennial passengers as a top trend for 2014. The trade group’s most recent market profile study, released in 2011, showed that the average age of a cruise passenger was 50 and only 7 percent were between 25 and 29.

While the cruise industry has long been moving away from its history as a grandparents’ getaway with assigned dinner seating at set times and limited entertainment, operators are finding even more ways to diversify options in entertainment, food, drinks, activities and itineraries.

“Cruising is adapting to this generation by adding features that will appeal to a lot of people — but are must-haves if you want to get a millennial on a cruise ship,” said Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor in chief of the website CruiseCritic.com.

There is no consensus yet on where the millennial generation starts and stops, but most definitions include at least the 18-34 age range; the number of millennials is believed to be between 80 million to 95 million. The group is known to be tech-savvy, global in world view, careful about spending and hungry for new experiences, according to experts.

“Affordable adventures are a huge theme for millennials,” said Jeff Fromm, president of millennial-focused consultancy FutureCast and author of the book “Marketing to Millennials.” He said the group has a greater desire than any other generation to visit every state and continent, values experiences over status brands — and must be able to share those adventures quickly with their social networks.

That makes them ideal targets for cruise lines, which promote value, the ability to visit multiple destinations and diversity in options that can let young workers without much vacation time steal away for a quick weekend trip.

Lucy Garcia, a 30-year-old travel agent in Hialeah, Fla., who owns a Cruise Planners franchise with her sister, finds that she sells a lot of weekend cruises to fellow millennials — and goes on many herself. The length is a good option for first-timers, she said, as well as those on a budget.

via Cruise lines catering to younger crowds – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Aug 20

Most cruise ships not tapping into Vancouver shore power

Fewer than one-third of cruise lines docking in Vancouver are connecting to the electrical power grid five years after Port Metro Vancouver made it available to them with economic incentives as a way to reduce diesel emissions and greenhouse gases.

The four of 14 cruise lines (or 29 per cent) using electrical power are Princess Cruises with six ships, Holland America with three, and Celebrity Cruises and Disney Wonder, with one each. Together, they represent 98 (40 per cent) of the 243 total cruise ship calls to Vancouver in 2014.

Those cruise lines not on board with shore-based electrical power are Carnival Cruise Lines, Crystal Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Noble Caledonia, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Phoenix Reisen, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, and Silversea Cruises

via Most cruise ships not tapping into Vancouver shore power.

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QUANTUM OF THE SEAS FLOAT OUT

Aug 13

Regal Princess Naming Ceremony Will Launch Princess Cruises’ 50th Anniversary Celebrations

Original Love Boat Cast Will Be Godparents to Cruise Ship; Honoring Role That Iconic TV Show Played in Line’s History

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (August 13, 2014) – It’s been nearly forty years since the iconic television show The Love Boat went on the air and introduced viewers to modern day cruising and, in the process, madePrincess Cruises and its ships synonymous with vacations at sea.

As Princess prepares to celebrate its milestone 50th anniversary year in 2015, the company is honoring the role that The Love Boat played in its history by selecting the original Love Boat cast members to serve as godparents for its new cruise ship Regal Princess. All six Love Boat cast members – who played the roles of Captain Stubing, Gopher, Isaac, Doc, Julie and Vicki – will reunite to christen the new ship on November 5 in Fort Lauderdale.

The ceremony will officially launch the golden year anniversary celebrations for Princess Cruises, which will celebrate five decades of operation throughout 2015.

The actors include Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing) Fred Grandy (Gopher, the chief purser), Ted Lange (Isaac,the bartender), Bernie Kopell (Doc, the ship’s doctor), Lauren Tewes (cruise director Julie) and Jill Whelan (Vicki,the captain’s daughter).

“We can think of no more suitable godparents for our newest ship than the cast of the show that put Princess Cruises on the map,” said Jan Swartz, the line’s president. “The show has been such a visible part of our company’s history, it made sense to kick off our anniversary celebrations with this special tribute.”

The pilot episode of The Love Boat, shot aboard Princess’ 730-passenger original Sun Princess in 1977, began the relationship between Princess Cruises and the show, which for ten seasons eventually became one of the highest rated and longest-running shows on television. The Pacific Princess and Island Princess were the primary floating stars of the show, while later episodes and specials were filmed aboard many of Princess’ other cruise ships in destinations around the globe.

“I’m absolutely thrilled that my former cast mates and I will be part of Regal Princess’ U.S. debut,” said Gavin MacLeod, who has been Princess Cruises’ ambassador since the show ended in 1986. “The fact that The Love Boat continues to air in international syndication around the globe is a testament to the show’s longevity and the world’s fascination with romance on the high seas.”

The 3,560-guest Regal Princess, which entered service in May of this year, is arriving in Fort Lauderdale to begin her maiden season of Caribbean cruise vacations. Among the special features found on board is a dramatic multi-story atrium serving as the social hub of the ship, offering a host of dining and entertainment options; an over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on water; the Princess Live! television studio; the largest pastry shop at sea; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; and balconies on all outside staterooms.

“The ship’s naming ceremony is just the beginning of the celebrations that will mark our company’s golden anniversary,” said Swartz. She added that beyond the Regal Princess festivities, guests sailing on any of the line’s fleet of 18 cruise ships during 2015 will enjoy a wide range of anniversary experiences.

Aug 13

Celebrity Cruises Launches “Signature Event Sailings”

 

 

Celebrity Cruises is broadening its immersive vacations in 2015-16 with its new exclusive array of “Signature Event Sailings”. Guests can experience iconic global events and celebrations as part of their Celebrity vacation while sailing to popular locales in Europe, the Far East and South America.

Providing vacationers with inside access into a series of the most desirable events across the globe, Celebrity’s Signature Event Sailings immerse guests in each culture-rich destination with specially designed shore excursions that place them in the middle of the action or a VIP vantage point. Vacationers seeking to explore and experience a destination’s unique and authentic cultural events can set their sights on celebrating the star-studded Cannes Film Festival,Cannes Film Festival, the historic Redentore Festival in Venice, Italy; Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, the vibrant Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and more.

To further enhance the Signature Event Sailings vacation experience, guests also will be entertained and engaged onboard with unique shows, speakers and activities inspired by the highlighted world event.

Signature Event Sailings for 2015-16 include:Anzac Day - 100th Anniversary Commemoration in Turkey: As part of a 12-night Turkey and Greece cruise departing on April 22, 2015, history buffs can step back in time with a visit to the battlefields of Gallipoli, one of the world’s most historically significant military sites, during the 100th Anniversary of Anzac Day. Guests also have the chance to explore and enjoy a tour of the Gallipoli Peninsula, which showcases Turkey’s rich culture and history.

 

Onboard Celebrity Constellation , vacationers can learn about World War I and II from historian and author Peter Donovan, plus there will be a special viewing of the 100th Anniversary of Anzac Day service televised from the beaches of Gallipoli as well as a commemorative onboard ceremony.

Cannes Film Festival On a 10-night Mediterranean cruise, departing on May 11, 2015, from Barcelona, Spain, Celebrity Equinox will make an iconic visit to Cannes, France, where the hot-ticket event of the summer will be taking place – the Cannes Film Festival. Vacationers can indulge in the epitome of A-list Hollywood glamour and sophistication by attending an exclusive VIP rooftop celebration ashore with live French music, cocktails and a can’t-miss view of the locale’s picturesque harbor. Onboard, guests can enjoy Celebrity’s film festival – a celebration of past Cannes Film Festival winners – and watch live presentations from a film historian.

Redentore Festival in Venice: This 14-night Turkey and Black Sea cruise, departing on July 5, 2015 from Istanbul, Turkey, will visit Venice, Italy during the historic Redentore Festival – a festive celebration that dates back to 1577. Onboard Celebrity Constellation, guests can watch one of the most prolific fireworks displays in the world illuminate decorated boats gathered in Saint Mark’s basin, and enjoy a themed poolside and interactive masque event inspired by a Venetian masquerade ball.

 

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