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Royal Caribbean Cruises! Where Their Slogan
Is Get Out There and They Mean It
by William Lezubski
Imagine a cruise line where choices include ships with golf
courses and rock-climbing walls looming 200 feet over the ocean.
Where there is so much happening, so much to discover and experience
its just possible the crack of dawn will need to be your
wake up call.
They say it is the journey and not the destination and
the case can certainly be argued in favor of Royal Caribbean
International (known everywhere as RCI). Even the imposing names
of the ships are literally synonymous with the experience -
Adventure, Grandeur, Rhapsody, and Splendour!
As the thrum of the engines heralds your departure, miles of
heaven open ahead of you, filled with overflowing free-spirited
fun and entertainment, contagious hospitality, simply superb
dining and an infinity of pleasure. Complete escapes from the
humdrum, these absolutely nautical wonders, literally packed
with adventure and leading edge guest facilities. No wonder
Royal Caribbean Internationals slogan is Get Out
Sparkling, stimulating, sensual, stress-less! You can take a
siesta from the world and glory in dinner by candlelight, walks
by moonlight, excursions by daylight. As RCI put it: get pampered,
get pumped! One of the greatest blessings of a Royal Caribbean
cruise is that the atmosphere allows you to go from unassuming
to absolute glamour with everything else in between.
Ship décor on all vessels is eye-popping, with opulent
surroundings unrivalled by the grandest hotel. Multi-storied
Centrum's are designed as open atriums and crystal sculpture
and cascading waterfalls are not uncommon. Adventure's Royal
Promenade is four decks high and the length of two football
fields and bustles with charming shops, cafes, colorful street
performers and lively street fairs (think New York's Times Square
or London's Burlington Arcade).
Exquisite solariums offer sparkling pools, retractable glass
ceilings and themes ("India during the Raj" describes
the ambience of the solarium on Brilliance where three 16-foot
bejeweled elephants stand guard). More than half the surface
of the 90,000-ton Radiance of the Seas is glass, giving you
masses of open space and unforgettable panoramic views. And
speaking of panoramas, the 360-degree view from RCI's signature
Viking Crown Lounge, perched hundreds of feet above the ocean
is something to behold. Legend of the Seas and Splendor of the
Seas have 18-hole miniature golf courses, basketball courts
and billiard rooms with self leveling tables. Rock climbing
walls are scheduled for all ships.
Gold Anchor Service
Three simple words that define the very personal attention to
detail you can expect from a crew that is expert in courtly,
unpretentious hospitality. The bartender who remembers your
extra olive, the server who recalls the name of your child's
teddy bear, and the housekeeper who reminds you of your dinner
reservation. Friends taking care of friends.
A wide variety is available, such as Royal Suites, Owner's Suites,
Royal Family Suites, Grand Ocean View Suites, and Superior Ocean
View Suites - all with balconies, Ocean-view Staterooms with
or without balconies and Interior Staterooms. All accommodations
come complete with vanity area, hair-dryer, mini-bar, radio
and closed circuit TV with satellite programming, classic movies,
and children's programming. Staterooms have phones so you can
call home, other guests, or order room service. On some ships
you can receive unlimited dial-up Internet access for a reasonable
charge if you bring your laptop.
Bedding varies by category. To give you just two "suite"
examples, the Royal Family Suite has two bedrooms with twin
beds that convert to a queen-size, two bathrooms, one with a
tub, a living area with double sofa bed and Pullman bed, fridge
and private balcony. It easily accommodates eight. There is
also an ocean-view Family Stateroom with two twin beds (convertible
to queen) an additional twin bed, a sitting area with a sofa
bed and a Pullman bed.
Whether your preference runs to chandeliers and escargot, the
glories of Italian cuisine, or perhaps just a simple clubhouse
sandwich on your private balcony, you can expect venues and
menus guaranteed to suit any frame of mind.
No matter how you wish to dress for dinner (or not dress for
dinner - there's 24 hour room service), expect the best in casual
dining and elegant multi-course meals from the accomplished
chefs in RCI's famous galleys. Lively and witty waiters offer
sumptuous cuisine to fashionable crowds in formal, romantic
settings, and to those who select more relaxed casual environments.
Selection ranges from penne cooked to al dente perfection and
juicy steaks with all the trimmings to succulent seafood and
voluptuous five-course spectacles in the truly stunning main
dining rooms. And will you refuse the sweets served at the sinfully
delicious chocolate buffet? Of course not - you're on vacation.
Remember that you can always select low fat, low cholesterol,
low calorie and/or vegetarian dishes. And there's always pumping
up your heart rate in the fitness center (that ought to be good
for seconds on the cheesecake).
If you thought there were a lot to do during the day, just wait
until the stars come out. Life quickens as the ship's illuminations
light the sky and the party's on! So when it's time to up the
tempo, come and play with fortune in the casino, then cheer
the dynamic, showy, contemporary productions performed in the
magnificent theatres. You'll think your ship has docked on Broadway.
These live productions are offered several times each week and
feature the outstanding talents of The Royal Caribbean Singers
and Dancers. Plentiful lounges and clubs offer every type of
music, from jazz to swing, disco to classic rock.
Restaurants, cafes, lounges, showrooms, clubs, billiard clubs,
card clubs, coffee bars, champagne bars, casinos, ShipShape®
Spa, solariums, pools, whirlpools, sports courts, jogging tracks,
internet cafes, miniature golf courses, golf simulators, cinemas,
video arcades, shops, libraries. Some ships have in-line skating
tracks, rock climbing walls (walls and ice rinks are on Explorer,
Voyager, Mariner and Navigator). Rock climbing walls are scheduled
for all ships.
Adventure Ocean Youth Activities Program
RCI knows that a 16-year-old's idea of fun is a far cry from
a 5-year-old's. The Adventure Ocean(SM) Programme is designed
with that in mind and it is broken down into five different
age groups with activities designed accordingly. Each staff
member holds a degree in Education, Recreation or related major.
All are certified in CPR and Basic First Aid. They have extensive
backgrounds in working with large groups of children 3-17 and
from 3 to 5 years working in team situations.
Kids dine with Youth Program staff members and friends (offered
on select nights). Special menus at the Windjammer Café
and Solarium are available. Aquanauts Ages 3-5: Adventure Science,
Adventure Art, and Pirate Night, Camp Aquanaut Night, Sail into
story-time. (Pagers are available to all Aquanaut parents).
Explorers Ages 6-8: Wacky Water Workshop, Wacky Olympics and
Talent Show, lots of art projects. Voyagers Ages 9-11: The Mystery
of the Making of Motion Ocean and The X Games, beach relays,
tug of war and parachute games.
Navigators Ages 12-14: A less structured atmosphere and Navigators
can come and go as they please. Activities include scavenger
hunts, adventure sports, video game challenge. Guests Ages 15-17:
These soon-to-be-adults have more freedom and can come and go
at their leisure. Events include a hot tub party, theme parties,
and even a battle of the sexes. The Living Room and Fuel are
two great places for teens to get away from it all. Living Room
has a laid-back atmosphere where kids can just hang and chill,
and Fuel is a party where they can gather, dance and enjoy the
Golf Ahoy® Program
A unique combination of a world-class cruise and championship
golf on courses worldwide. Royal Caribbean is the official cruise
line of the PGA TOUR and the Senior PGA TOUR. The Adventure
of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Jewel
of the Seas, are a few ships listed that offer a 9 hole mini-golf
course onboard, putting greens or golf simulators.
Ship Shape® Fitness Program
Ship Shape Fitness Program features low- and high- impact aerobics,
a jogging track, basketball (on some ships) and wide selection
of exercise machines.
Ship Shape® Spa Program
Flawless pampering is practiced by the genies amid the tranquility
and serenity of the incomparable ShipShape® Spa. Through
their invigorating therapies, you're pretty much guaranteed
a new lease on life. There is also a fitness program, which
features low, and high impact aerobics, jogging track and a
wide selection of machines.
Royal Romance Wedding Program
Royal Romance Wedding Program helps you plan a shipboard wedding,
from ceremony to reception to honeymoon.
Offered on Voyager-family ships sailing Caribbean itineraries
only. Events will be scheduled by the ship and based on shipboard
needs and requirements. There is a minimum of eight cabins to
qualify. Royal Reunions Package #1: Welcome letter from the
Captain, Aqua Park passes or Sports Desk Fast Pass, Photo package,
Door decorations, Personalized cake, Royal Reunions gift set,
Daily Royal Reunions challenge.
The Crown & Anchor Society
The Crown & Anchor Society is RCI's past guest programme
which rewards their most loyal guests with exciting benefits
and savings. There are three membership levels: Gold (after
1st completed cruise), Platinum (after 5th completed cruise)
and Diamond (after 10th completed cruise). The benefits increase
at each level. The more you cruise, the more you receive. Benefits
include a subscription to the award-winning magazine, Crown
& Anchor, special on board events and special savings certificates
to use in the spas, casinos, bars and more. Other benefits include
an invitation to join Member cruises whereby exclusive savings,
complimentary wine tasting, welcome back parties and commemorative
gifts are available.
Royal Caribbean still boasts the largest and most innovative
ships at sea with most in the 70,000 to 90,000 ton range. Nordic
Empress, even at an impressive 48,000 tons, is a whippersnapper
when compared to the Adventure of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas
and the brand new Mariner of the Seas which weigh in at a staggering
138,000 and 142,000 tons respectively. RCI has just announced
a design for an even larger and more spacious class. Dubbed
Ultra Voyager and deliverable in 2006, this ship will be full
of the world's biggest "this and that's!" Guest capacity
will be 3,600 double occupancy, 500 more than its Voyager Class
predecessor. Registered tonnage will be just under 160,000.
About the Author
William Lezubski (Accredited Cruise Counsellor (ACC), and Certified
Travel Counsellor(CTC) - William is a professional in the Travel
Industry and the author of Discount Caribbean Vacations
Web Site available at http://www.discount-caribbean-vacations.com/index.htm