Posts Tagged ‘Oasis of the Seas’

Diamond Club

Recently Royal Caribbean began a new policy of offering complimentary drink vouchers per night to select levels of Crown and Anchor Society members to help offset congestion in its Diamond and Concierge lounges.

How does these new complimentary drink coupons work?

Three drink vouchers per day will be applied to each eligible Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club members corresponding SeasPass card to be used to get a free drink at bars on the ship.

One drink may be redeemed at any one time.

Who is eligible for the drink coupons?

Guests who are Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club members.

When can I use the drink coupons?

Between 4:30pm and 8:00pm

Which drinks are available with the coupons


  • Bacardi Rum
  • Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • Tanqueray Gin
  • Finlandia Vodka
  • Dewar’s White Label Scotch Whiskey
  • Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey
  • Jose Cuervo Gold Tequilla
  • Courvoisier VS Cognac
  • Sandeman Port Wine

Wines by the glass

  • St. Martin Chardonnay
  • Zonin Pinot Grigio
  • Beringer White Zinfandel
  • St. Martin Cabernet Sauvignon
  • St. Martin Merlot


  • Budweiser
  • Miller Light
  • Amstel Light
  • Corona
  • Heineken

Can I still go to the Diamond Lounge if I use these coupons?

Yes, Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle members can continue to enjoy all the amenities in the Diamond Lounge.

Where can I not use the complimentary drink coupons?

Drink vouchers may not be redeemed in the dining room, specialty restaurants, room service or Windjammer.

Are the drink coupons available on all cruises?

Not yet. Royal Caribbean promises they will be rolled out by Fall 2014 but already a number of ships are offering it, including Navigator of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean has begun a new policy of offering complimentary drink vouchers per night to select levels of Crown and Anchor Society members to help offset congestion in its Diamond and Concierge lounges.

Emails are starting to go out to Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club members who have an upcoming Royal Caribbean cruise booked to alert them about this new policy.

Diamond Coupons

The SeaPass card of each eligible Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club member will be loaded with three drink vouchers for each night of the sailing. Vouchers expire daily. Drinks vouchers are not valid in the main dining room, the Windjammer Café or in specialty restaurants.

It’s widely believed this new policy of offering drink vouchers is an attempt by Royal Caribbean to offset crowding in its Diamond and Concierge lounges.

This new policy will be rolled out to the entire fleet by Fall 2014.

Which ships are offering it right now is in flux, but we know that at the latest Freedom of the Seas will by July, Navigator of the Seas by September.

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may-bogo-header Buy One Get One 50%

Good Things Happen to those who plan ahead.

There’s never been a better time to plan next year’s vacation. And who better to vacation with than Royal Caribbean International®. Right now you have the best choice of itineraries, ships, schedules and accommodations for 2015 and 2016 sailings. To sweeten the deal, book now for travel next year and your traveling companion enjoys 50% savings. So don’t delay. Make 2015 a year you get more of a very good thing. Destination WOW.

Hurry – This limited-Time offer is only valid from May 1-31, 2014.

Choose where you want to sail and then call The Cruise Experts at (866) 968-2789, and we will make all the arrangements. Payment plans are available on most sailings and we are group specialists if you want to make a party out of your next cruise.

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Oasis of the Seas






By Barry Vaudrin

For those cruise vacationers who have been on many cruises over the years, you might know some of these secrets of cruising, however; it’s my challenge here to come up with cruise secrets that avid cruisers may not be aware of.

1. Always seek out a Cruise Expert agency to book your cruise.

I have a few friends that regardless of my advice, continue to fall for the mistake of booking their cruise directly with the cruise line, or with a travel agency that doesn’t specialize in booking cruises.  Not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with booking directly through the cruise line, it’s simply in your best interest to find a Cruise Expert agency, because they are aware of and granted by the cruise lines based on their booking volume, special perks, upgrades, discounts and amenities only offered to high volume cruise agencies.   You may get a great deal on your cruise booked directly with the cruise line, and it may even be the same price quoted by a cruise-only agency, but what you may not know, is that that same cruise booked through the cruise-only agency can offer a special amenities package that the cruise line does not offer.  You could save money.  You could get an upgrade, and you can receive unbiased advice from a cruise-only travel agency.  It does not cost anything extra to book through a cruise-only travel agency, and I think you will be pleased with the results the next time you plan to book a cruise.  Tap-in to the upgrades, discounts, special amenities and other nice surprises the next time you book a cruise with a cruise-only travel agency.

2. Order more than one entrée.

When you are onboard a wonderful cruise ship and dining in the main dining room, why limit yourself to only one entrée?  This is a little secret many don’t know, which is you can order multiple entrees if you see several option on the menu that appeal to you.  Go ahead, the next time you’re in the dining room, order two entrees, or two soups, or two desserts, you’re on vacation!

3. Book Shore Excursions online, before your cruise.

Many cruise lines now offer pre-booking shore excursions well before your cruise date.  You may not save money doing this, but here’s the key….if you wait to book your cruise once you board the ship, you may find that the best shore excursions are sold out.  Don’t find yourself in this situation, plan out which excursions you may like weeks or months before your cruise,  and secure your excursion tickets before they are sold out.

4. Use the showers and steam room in the spa.

The bathroom and shower in your stateroom may be very nice, but I have found that the showers in the spas sometimes have water-pressure.  Also, many of the spas have a steam room that is free to use in the men’s and women’s changing areas.  I love a nice steam to wake me up for the day.

5. Change-out bed linens and pillows.

Chances are you will find your bed and linens to be very comfortable, but if you discover you’re not entirely comfortable with your mattress, the linens or pillows, talk to your room steward and explain your concern, because often times there are special mattress-toppers, linens and pillows your steward can find to make your bed fit your comfort needs.

6. Never purchase bottled water onboard the ship.

I’m amazed when I see passengers spend their hard-earned cash on something like bottled water.  The modern cruise ships have incredibly high-tech water filtration systems onboard, so the water right out of the tap in your stateroom is going to be exceptionally purified and clean.  When you pack for your next cruise, buy a nice water / juice bottle and pack it in your luggage.  Fill your water / juice bottle using the sink in your stateroom.  One extra little trick I do, is bring several boxes or packets of your favorite Crystal Light or the new MioEnergy “liquid water enhancer” and flavor your water, add some ice to make it cold and ta ta…..you have a refreshing drink that doesn’t cost you a penny onboard the ship!

7. If you don’t like your table-mates?

It happens; sometimes you may get placed at a table with people who might not fit with your idea of good dinner companions.  At the entrance to the dinning room, ask to speak with the Restaurant Manager or Maître-d, and simply request to be place at another table.  You will be discreetly moved to another table.

8. Gratuities

Most cruise lines now offer automated gratuities to make it simpler to thank and tip the service crew that clean your stateroom and bring your food in the dinning room.  For those, however; who want to have more control of who receives a gratuity from you, and how much you give, you can visit the purser’s desk and ask for the automated gratuities to be removed from your end-of-cruise invoice.  Once this has been done, you can determine how much you want to tip certain people that have made your cruise an excellent experience.  This is a personal issue, and I often enjoy rewarding those who go the extra mile by personally handing them an envelope with my cash-gratuity inside.  The automated gratuity system is convenient for those who don’t know how much to tip, and who should receive a tip.  I like to tip the old-fashioned way, and personally hand that waiter, maitre d, or cabin steward my personal thanks with cash in an envelope.

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Huge Cruise Ships With Intimate Spaces: See Your Travel Agent To Find One

by Chris Owen on AUGUST 22, 2013

Post image for Huge Cruise Ships With Intimate Spaces: See Your Travel Agent To Find OneGreat big cruise ships with thousands of passengers on board might bring thoughts of crowded decks, lines for everything and anything but an intimate experience.  Those who book staterooms with a private balcony may do so to escape just such scenes.  But  while private verandah’s are surely a common way to customize our cruise experience, they are surely not the only choice.

As new cruise ships are rolled out, the do indeed include more balcony options than ever before.  New Royal Princess debuted not long ago and oceanview staterooms with only a window were not even an option, speaking to the popularity of private spaces.

“Increasingly, cruise lines are creating intimate spaces for guests, even on the largest ships,” says Christine Duffy, President & CEO, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), noting that while cruise travelers embrace the entertainment and activity experiences of cruising, they are also looking for quiet time and increased personalized service.

a10lon gTopping that list are balcony accommodations with new generation Disney ships sporting them on 70% of all staterooms. So popular are balconies that Royal Caribbean International’s refurbished Navigator of the Seas will emerge next year with “virtual” balconies – LED projection screens showing live images taken by exterior cameras–for interior cabins.

Need more evidence that intimate spaces are high on the cruise line priority list in what they offer passengers? CLIA presents more proof:

Club sections take exclusivity and pampering to new levels. Similar to luxury hotel concierge floors, many ships have club or concierge level cabins with upgraded services and intimate lounges. For example:

  • Holland America Line’s Neptune Lounge, open to guests in a Neptune or Pinnacle Suite, is a private lounge with a wide screen TV, continental breakfast and coffee, tea and snacks throughout the day as well as concierge service.
  • Oceania Cruises’ Executive Lounge, available to guests in Owners, Vista, Oceania and Penthouse Suites, features complimentary soft drinks, coffees and snacks throughout the day and a dedicated concierge; a separate Concierge Lounge is provided for guests in Concierge Level Veranda Staterooms.
  • Royal Caribbean’s Concierge Lounges, available to upper-tier past guests and those who book suites are a special place to visit with a full-time concierge on duty to arrange just about anything they can think of

Cabanas, usually rentable by the day or for the whole cruise, put guests in the heart of the action while indulging them with special services. For example:a5

  • Celebrity Cruises’ “The Alcoves,” on Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection come with fresh fruit, chilled towels, use of a pre-loaded iPad and more. An attendant is also on hand to arrange for spa treatments, food and other services.
  • Holland America Line’s “Cabana Club” on the Nieuw Amsterdam offers airy, tented cabanas with plush upholstered seating where guests receive extras such as bathrobes, chocolate-covered strawberries, champagne and a pre-loaded iPod.

Adults-only areas are becoming increasingly popular, especially on kid-friendly sailings. While spas have long been serene retreats, adults-only spaces for everything from dining to swimming and sunning are now popping on a wide array of ships. For example:

  • Princess Cruises pioneered the Adults-only Serenity area which has become an integral part of the Princess a7longEscape Completely experience.
  • Disney Cruise Line’s Quiet Cove Pool and Cove Barinvites adults to sunbathe, swim, sip a cool drink or soak in a hot tub overlooking the ocean.
  • Royal Caribbean International’s glass-canopied Solarium pool area and café, with cantilevered whirlpools that jut out over the sea, are popular adults-only spots.
  • Carnival Cruises Lines’ Serenity adult-only area, offered on many of its ships, features plush lounge chairs, bar and food service, whirlpools and soothing music.

Hidden hot tubs, tree houses and more are also adding fun, new twists on serenity on many ships. For example

  • Celebrity Cruises’ “The Hideaway,” available on Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection, resembles an avant-garde tree house with cozy suspended “nests” and pods where guests can try out Apple products from the Celebrity iLounge or cuddle up with a good book
  • Seabourn’s new ships, Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Quest, offer tucked away nooks such as the top deck Sun Terrace, with double sun-beds nestled behind a clear windscreen. And all Seabourn ships feature a secluded whirlpool spa on the open foredeck, ideal for a celebratory glass of champagne as the ship leaves port.

The cocooning concept goes one step further with the creation of the new wave of elite sections on some ships. Here, guestsa3 find everything they need in their own private retreat. For example:

  • MSC Cruises’ MSC Yacht Club, called a “ship within a ship,” wraps guests in a private pool, solarium, restaurant and butler-serviced suites.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line’s “The Haven” has butler-serviced cabins that surround a private two-story courtyard with pools, whirlpools, a massage room, private restaurant, cocktail bar and concierge lounge.

Libraries aren’t just about books any more, either. Large or small, ship libraries offer quiet yet sociable spots for reading, writing and board games. For example:

  • Azamara white IMG_9067-0002Azamara Club Cruises’ Drawing Room by Assouline is a quiet spot to relax with its collection of lifestyle and travel books by Assouline.
  • Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 has the largest library at sea which displays more than 9,500 books, audio books and publications in a relaxing setting for readers.
  • The Library Bar on Carnival Cruise Lines’ newest ships, Carnival Breeze and Carnival Sunshine, feature self-serve wine dispensers and bartenders set the mood for quiet conversation, board games.

Exotic dining spaces set the scene for personal evenings. These very private areas can be ideal for special anniversaries or other occasions. For example

  • Paul Gauguin Cruises’ M/s Paul Gauguin offers private dining on the water sports marina for up to four guests to enjoy gourmet cuisine at a table set with white linen, fine china and crystal glasses along with live Polynesian entertainment
  • Oceania Cruises’ Riviera and Marina both offer Privée, a dining room that can be reserved for up to 10 guests, where the plush décor features a white Venini glass chandelier, white baby crocodile throne chairs and backlit onyx-clad walls.

Cozy dining rooms with special wine and food pairings are another way ships are creating distinctive, intimate dining experiences. For example:555 tabletop

  • Crystal Cruises’ Vintage Room seats up to 14 for multi-course wine and food pairings at its private tasting table.
  • Oceania Cruises’ Riviera and Marina offer seven-course wine and food pairings for up to 24 guests in its La Reserve by Wine Spectator room.

After dinner lounges, piano bars and jazz clubs provide a tranquil oasis on a wide array of ships, but on some, cigar bars and original designs add to the sense of exclusivity. For example:

  • Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 provides Churchill’s, a 12-seat salon for cigar and pipe smokers.
  • Crystal Cruises’ Connoisseur Club offers a clubby Old World ambience for cigar smokers, while Pulse on the Crystal Serenity and Luxe on the Crystal Symphony are designed for quiet dancing, karaoke and relaxed conversation.
  • Disney Cruise Line’s intimate lounges include Disney Fantasy’s Ooh La La, a French boudoir-style club, and Disney Dream’s Pink, a small, upscale cocktail lounge.

How do we find such customizable options?  For expert advice, travelers can turn to CLIA travel professionals, who stay current on the latest offerings and trends, and can help their clients select the ship with the features that will fulfill their dreams. To find a CLIA travel professional in your area, visit http://www.cruising.org and click on Vacations.

Photos- Chris Owen

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Monday,  Royal Caribbean will start its 3 day sale. This is what you have been waiting for and you have to call on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday Oct 15th through Oct Oct 17th. You will receive on board credit to use on your cruise to buy what ever you would like, and the Deposits are reduced so you don’t have to come up with such a large initial cash deposit as usual. See the brochure for all  the details, then call The Cruise Experts at (866) 968-2789, email us at info at thecruisexperts.com or visit our website at www.TheCruiseXperts.com. Remember, what you see online are general pricing options, so you need to call us so we can find specific fare codes that may be less than what you see online. We will find you the best deal for sure!

 Flyer >3 Day Wow Sale!

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All information technology (IT) at Royal Caribbean Cruises and its brands falls under Bill Martin, CIO, who has the daunting task of overseeing shipboard IT infrastructure along with shoreside systems, websites, agent systems and more.

The latest ships, including the Oasis and Solstice classes, and the two Project Sunshine newbuilds, run on a fiber optic network for TV, data and voice.

That has been upgraded, said Martin, from the days of multiple networks using copper wires, also saving a notable amount of weight.

“We have dual data centers,” he added, talking about the Oasis and Solstice vessels, “with a backup data center housing the mission-critical applications that need to survive in an emergency. They are located in separate fire zones.

“A very high percentage of our servers are virtualized,” Martin explained, meaning software that divides one physical server into different environments to become more efficient.

While he constantly has his eye on technology change, the ship systems are hotel and back office systems, and its consumer technology that changes quickly.

Passengers with mobile devices are eating bandwidth, which cruise lines have to manage carefully.

Managing bandwidth includes compressing packets and optimization, including caching and also eliminating certain websites, such as streaming video portals.

The company has gone as far as making sure emails going through the ship’s servers actually need to go back to headquarters in Miami. If those emails are between shipboard employees, they stay on the ship and don’t utilize precious bandwidth.

 “But you have to have bandwidth, that is the bottom line,” Martin noted.

And what most passengers don’t understand is that data travels close to 100,000 miles every time they request a website or want to check their email. It starts at the ship with a request that eventually travels to satellites thousands of miles up, and back, using ground stations in between, and being delivered in roughly 750 milliseconds.

Bandwidth is not the biggest challenge staring down Martin, but rather all the application systems onboard.

More systems are going on the ships and “you have to get creative with how you integrate them,” he explained, meaning an integration hub, so systems can talk to each other.

Photo recognition does not just happen with security, but now with the ticket system, e-mustering, point-of-sale, and more, totaling about a dozen places that the cruise line needs a guest’s photo to pop up.

Not usually covered in drydockings are changes happening in the IT infrastructure onboard.

Old copper networks can’t be replaced, but they can be beefed up, as Royal adds ship-wide wireless internet and interactive TVs.

New ships are not only larger from a tonnage standpoint, they also have more systems than before.

Martin said there were some 20 new application systems introduced on the Oasis, highlighted by the food outlet traffic flow system, which utilizes shape recognition cameras to keep count of passengers in the restaurants.

“That’s shared across the network to digital signs around the ship to let people know where the availability is,” he said.
Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Summer 2012

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Your next vacation should be one that you will remember for a long time, not one that you remember because everything was screwed up because you booked it online. Peggy was the only one that answered the customer service phone number and she (he) had an Indian accent. You thought you were paying a lower price, but with the service fee it was the same as the cruise line.

The Truth is, we all get the same prices from the cruise lines that you will be sailing on. The cruise lines pay us, so we don’t charge you. We actually look out for you and make sure you get what you expect, advise you of potential problems, fines, penalties, or lower prices on other dates, or other cruise lines. We look out for you because that is what we do and we do it better than anyone else. If you book direct, you are on your own, and the cruise lines will do everything they can to get as much of your money from you that they can. We see it all the time, clients calling to say they are so sorry for booking directly. Now they must talk to the cruise line and feel like they are being bullied, and are just a number, because they are. All because they thought it would just be easier and they happened to be online anyway.

If you can get your cruise for the same price as online as you can with us, why would you take a chance booking online with a stranger who is looking out for them instead of you. Or if you go with a big corporate travel conglomerate who outsources calls to order takers in another country, well you know where that is going. They may speak English, barely, but they don’t have a clue as to what you mean. Why not just make it easy on yourself and book with the Experts, a local company that is looking out for you!

Reasons to use a travel agent:

We book cruises daily and are aware of various traps that the cruise lines use to trap you, causing you to pay additional fees after booking those early saver rates that look really good at first. What they are designed for is to be able to charge you for any changes that you may have to make, or worse yet, to keep your money if you have to cancel for some unforeseen reason.

After you hit the enter key and wonder, did that go through? I hope it did! Did I get a guarantee, or am I in a specific stateroom? I wonder what deck I’m on? Do I need a passport? How much is the Parking at the cruise terminal? What time is my dining each night? Did I get 2 twin beds or a king? I wonder what that category is that I just think I bought? I hope it wasn’t a bunk bed cabin!  What can I take on board with me?….on and on and on the questions go.

Have you noticed how hard it is to find a phone number to call customer service online? They don’t want you to call! They hope you won’t. If you manage to get the phone number, what country are you calling? Do they understand what you are asking? Do they even care?

I can’t go on the cruise that I just booked because of an emergency, do I lose all of my money? I hope I booked the right fare code. How do I know if I did or not?

If you book a group with the cruise line, you as the group leader will have to use your credit card to pay for others in your group that don’t have a credit card, then you will have to be the personal banker of those other group passengers. By booking with us, we handle all the payments from all the passengers. We handle all the details, deliver the invoices, keep track of the payments, and send all the notices to all the group passengers. All you have to do is promote the group, hand out flyers, post your cruise on your Facebook page, or tell the others to just call us. We make it easy for you.

We can set you up in a group for extra benefits:
Reduced Deposit
Payment Plan
Price Guarantee
On board credit
Rebate paid to the group leader in some cases.
Set up group events, like cocktail parties.
Cross reference everyone so you are dining as a group.

The bottom line is that we do this for a living. We have handled thousands of bookings and know how to make sure you get the best of everything for what your hard earned money is buying. Do you think that anyone with a laptop can do your job just as good as you because they have the internet? Really? Think about it! Why would your risk your hard earned vacation for no extra benefit? Not only are you not saving a lot of money, but you could cost yourself time and money by doing it yourself on the internet. To use an analogy; You could cut your own hair to save money. So why don’t you? So what kind of joker would cut their own hair if they could get it done by a professional who does it every day, if they could get it done for free? There you have it. Why would you book your own vacation if you can get it done professionally, for free?

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