Ask Adam Blog Series – November 2011 Answers

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Winter is nearly upon and with that comes the November edition of our “Ask Adam Blog Series.” To see the answers to October’s questions please click here, or if you have a question you would like to ask Adam regarding Royal Caribbean news, what he’s have been up to or just curious about anything Royal related, please follow this link to our Facebook discussion page.

Do you plan to build ships (like Radiance of the Seas and Vision of the Seas) that have a central area focused on the centrum, instead of the Royal Promenade? – Alex M.

Alex, I am not able to share information about our plans for our Project Sunshine ships that are in development, however I’m wondering if your question was sparked by the recent announcement about our transformation of the Centrum on our Vision Class ships.  Beginning with Splendour of the Seas, the Centrum will become an entertainment venue that features daytime activities, nightly entertainment and aerial spectacles.  We’re incorporating innovative technology and vertical entertainment elements to our popular Centrum and we also reinvented the Centrum’s Champagne Bar as the R Bar, featuring a 1960’s feel.   

Can you give any insight on the changes that are coming to the Crown & Anchor loyalty program– Mark W.

Hi Mark, we don’t have anything to report at this time, but our commitment to our members is to provide them with any information first… if/when we have something to announce, our members would/will hear it first!  We are very pleased at the positive reaction we have had to the program enhancements we have announced over the last 18 months.

Can you please provide insight about why Independence of the Seas was pulled from Southampton? Will the UK get new ships or itineraries any time soon? – Scott R.

Hi Scott, Independence will continue to operate from Southampton but not for the winter of 2012-13.  The UK market is very important to us and we look forward to the upcoming season as well as her return to Southampton in April of 2013.  Details for summer 2013 will be announced this coming spring.

Hi, my Husband and I are currently Diamond members in the Crown and Anchor Society. We have noticed however that the “dress code” has become very relaxed in the dining room. We enjoy going to the dining room and dressing up and are bothered by jean shorts, jeans etc. Are dress codes not enforced any more? – Carol

Our dress codes have not changed, in particular on formal nights.  It is always our intention that our guests dress in accordance with our recommended dress in the dining room. Our challenge with the dress code is helping to interpret the dress code recommendation to an often times very diverse guest mix whether it be a guest from North America or from anywhere around the world. We also exercise some leniency, in particular on the first night of the voyage, when some guests may have lost their luggage with their travel arrangements.

Hi Adam, I am planning a Mediterranean cruise out of Italy for a large group of friends in Sept/Oct 2012. When is the best time to get a good airfare deal? – Jeannie

Jeannie, There are some people that believe they can predict how the airlines will price at any given time.  I am not one of them.  With fuel price fluctuations, ancillary fees, and flat or declining capacity, anything is possible.  What I can tell you is that you are planning your European Cruise Vacation at one of the best times of year.  Often you can expect very comfortable weather, less congestion at the most popular tourist sites, and yes – some of the better air fares to Europe.  While many of those fare sales happen closer to sailing dates, our ChoiceAir program offers three ways for you to save:

1. We offer the same low fares you will find on many consumer travel sites, and airline sites, plus we offer you our Assured Arrival support, in the event you run into travel disruptions. 

2. We offer FlexFares, that let you lock in our special negotiated rates up until final payment is due on your cruise, without paying in full until you are ready.  You have the security of knowing you have the schedule and fares you want, and the flexibility to re-shop it over the months leading up to your cruise.  While these fares are typically not as low as the lowest non-refundable fares, they provide the right mix of flexibility and value that many of our customers appreciate.

3.  Keep an eye out for our ChoiceAir Specials.  On certain sailings we offer an additional cash discount off of your cruise, when you also purchase ChoiceAir.  You can get more detail from your travel agent, one of our Royal Caribbean Certified Vacation Planners, or our website, 

Leaving for another great cruise on the Explorer of the Seas on Feb 17. Is there any way to find out who the cruise director might be? – Anna

The cruise director will be Richard Spacey, but please note that this is subject to change. Enjoy your time on Explorer of the Seas.

When is Grandeur of the Seas getting refurbished? – Kirsty

Grandeur of the Seas will be revitalized in June 2012.  Stay tuned to our Facebook page or visit our website for updates on all of our ship revitalizations:

Adam, can you provide any new details regarding Project Sunshine? – Justin T.

When will we get more details on the Project Sunshine ship(s)? We are all holding our breath in anticipation! – Mark

Just finished a cruise on the Allure of the Seas. We heard tidbits about a new class of ships due out in 2013. When will further details be available? – Timothy

At this time there is not a lot I can disclose about Sunshine, however, there are some things that I mentioned in a blog post that might interest you.

Why did you pull your cruise line out of Norfolk, VA and opt for Baltimore? Not many travelers from Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and maybe South Carolina want to travel through D.C. anytime or especially during the late Fall, Winter, and early Spring. – Raymond L.

We have a good relationship with both Norfolk and Baltimore and have had success in each market.  I appreciate your feedback and understand your reluctance to travel North during the cold weather months; however, the market demand for sailings from Baltimore was greater than sailings from Norfolk.

Is there any chance Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas will change their itineraries from the Caribbean to other destinations? I really want to sail on the new ships but I have done those destinations several times and want to go somewhere different. – Terri K.

I am pleased that you enjoy Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.  There are no material changes planned for their itineraries.  From time to time there may be some variation such as on the upcoming December 25, 2011 Christmas sailing for Allure of the Seas, which will include the maiden call to Basseterre, St. Kitts for this class of ships.

Adam, is it possible for larger ships to call on the port of Baltimore? I understand the bridges across the bay and in Baltimore are somewhat limiting in ship size, but is it possible for ships larger than Enchantment of the Seas to call there? – Marshall J.

You are correct that the larger ships cannot call into Baltimore.  The air draft is not sufficient for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and the Key Bridge for ships bigger than Enchantment of the Seas. Enchantment of the Seas is the largest ship in our fleet which can call or turn in Baltimore.

Thanks to everyone for submitting questions, and remember if you have a question you would like to ask, please click here. If you have a customer service related issue, the quickest way to obtain a response is to fill out our contact form here:

  • Sherry Schneideer

    In response to Carol’s comments about dress codes; my husband and I are very close to being Diamond members and have also cruised with other lines. We are tired of having to bring so many clothes with us and enjoy being casual. I don’t have an issue with dressing in dress slacks or a casual dress but having to bring formal clothing is beyond where we are in our cruising lifestyle. It doesn’t bother me a bit if someone wears a nice pair of jeans or shorts in the dining room.

    Thank you for wonderful cruising experiences on the Royal Caribbean ships. We got engaged on one and enjoyed our honeymoon on one. We’re looking forward to sailing on the Oasis or Allure.

    Thank you!

    • JoAnn

      I am also very close to Diamond. I believe one more cruise. My husband and I enjoy the more relaxed dress code for dining. He wears slacks and a dress shirt on formal night and I usually wear a pair of slacks or a casual dress. We don’t go on cruises to have to drag several suitcases just to bring formal clothes and dress shoes. It’s our vacation and we go to relax. I don’t think people need to dress in tuxedos and evening gowns if they don”t want to but I also don”t think people should come to dinner in shorts or jeans.My first cruise with RC we packed the formal clothes and it was a nightmare.Never again. Also we usually go for 10 or more nights. Our last cruise was 12 nights and they had three formal nights. That’s over the top.

      • John Thomspon

        We are one point from diamond plus… We have completed 31 cruises across four cruise lines, but mostly with Royal Caribbean. (our favorite) While I very much enjoy the experience of being at sea, I too do not take a vacation to drag formal wear along. While I don’t mind if some people enjoy dressing up, I do not want to dress up on my vacation. One of the things I have enjoyed with Royal, is being able to have “non-formal” dinning in the Windjammer during formal nights. We have found the last few cruises especially, that we are not alone in this. It seems there are many people who do not wish to have the “formal experience”. I do feel strongly enough about this, that I will not cruise with any lines that emphasize “formal”.

  • Kelsey

    Hi Adam,
    I will be traveling on the Explorer of the Seas on July 19, 2011 for a 9 night Eastern Carribbean cruise with my large family and cousins. Is there anyway for us to find out ahead of time who our cruise director will be? I would love to know if it is the same gentleman we had last time, such a delight!
    Thank you for your time,
    Kelsey M.

  • Koretta

    Which is the easiest way to plan a cruise for a group of 20+ persons? We would be coming from Trinidad&Tobago to Miami to the Bahamas.

  • Marie

    I have been on 10 cruises and Richard Spacey is the best cruise director I have encountered. He has the most energy I have seen in anyone. I really look forward to him being on future cruises I go on. Do not lose this special person. Thank you.

    • Adam

      He like all of our cruise directors are certainly special. We can’t express our gratitude enough for them and how lucky we are to have each one.

  • Le Anne

    I know RC pulled out of California ports departing to Mexico but do you see that RC will come back to California ports and do a Western Coastal cruise of some kind in the near future?

    • Adam

      Thanks for your interest. We are constantly reviewing our options for the West Coast but do not have any specifics which we can share at this time.

  • Jill Corlett

    I think the soda card plan should be made more accessible to those of us who purchase. I have been on other ships who charge less for the card and make it easy to refill your cup. Having to constantly ask someone for the soda I wanted was a pain in the butt. And talk about germs! I had to hand over my cup and they would take it behind a curtain and refill. How about put the soda fountains where they are accessible to get on your own, with your seapass card!!

    • Adam

      Hi Jill, thanks for bringing your concern to our attention. The answers to your questions can be found here. Thank you.

  • Carole R.

    We have sailed from Baltimore twice on RCII and both times were wonderful. If you work with a travel agent he/she may be able to find you a package where if you stay one night many hotels allow you to leave your car (at little or no cost) while you are cruising. In addition to storing our car, at no charge, our hotel transported us to and from the dock.

    I am sure you can tell by my email that I am a cook. I miss the Gally Tours but I understand that after 9/11 it is unsafe to allow people in the kitchens. I would like to suggest that the chef or assistants give cooking classes/demos during the cruise. I would love to learn how to carve fruit.

  • Round

    Why were guests allowed to smoke in almost all the bars on adventure of seas and on so much of the promenades the excuse we were given was that it is predominately spanish clientele but Spain is very anti smoking now.

  • Patrick Roberge

    Good day Sir,

    I was suprise last February when we went on the Allure of the Sea to find out that their was no Connoisseur club onboard. I found out that we could smoke cigars at the bar outside on the 17fl (I think), but it’s not the same a lounge. Specailly when it rain, cool or windy. Any chance that there could be some change in the future? they do have two photo studio. The one beside Vintage would be great. Specially if you could change it for our next vruise at the beginning of March :)


    Patrick Roberge

  • Mike Paugh

    Have you given any thought to adding an artificial reef at Labadee? I know one was built at Coco Cay, but it would seem that putting one in Labadee would provide some short term jobs and also provide other activities at that stop, such as snorkeling and SCUBA.

    Mike Paugh

  • Jim Moore

    Regarding the answer about larger ships for the Port of Baltimore – earlier this year I had asked a similar question of Adam, and he said that Radiance-class ships could clear the bridges for Baltimore. I find the current answer about the Enchantment being the largest ship interesting because it deals more with the length of the ship (990′) and turning. The Radiance-class ships are only 962′ in length, so does that change the answer? Many of us realize that the Enchantment can carry more passengers than a Radiance-class ship, but we are interested in the other ship features of that class – especially the WOW factor added to the Radiance of the Seas. Sure, Enchantment is scheduled for some enhancements in December 2012, but it will still not match the Radiance-class. And you are absolutely correct – you will always fill up a ship leaving Baltimore no matter which one is here. We are very happy that we have a year-round ship from a quality company – all you need to look at is adding a few longer itineraries to our schedule so we can get South of Antigua from time to time – or even over to Falmouth and the Caymans. Thin about it for 2013, please.

    • Adam

      Thanks for the interest. We are please with Enchantment of the Seas and her performance out of Baltimore. As for the Southern Caribbean, we will continue to review these destinations but do not have any immediate plans.

      • Jeremy

        Just discovered this blog and love it. I took my second cruise (both RCL) in August and went from Baltimore instead of FL…what a dream coming from DC area. I figured that was the case when we went under the bridges that Enchantment was one of largest able to go to Baltimore. It’s a shame though because I’m sure the Freedom class and even Oasis class ships would be full from Baltimore. I’d love to see some other itineraries though. And looking forward to even more enhancements to the Enchantment…can you please update the bathrooms in cabins (no more curtains!).

  • Rick D.

    I love to cruise and have completed 22 cruises (7+ days in length). I was one of the many people over the last few years who had a career change. With that I lost alot of vacation time being with a new company. I would love to see more short cruises or cruises to no where out of New Jersey. I can easily fit a 2 or 3 day cruise into my schedule but can’t afford the extra day to travel to/from Miami. Right now I can only squeeze in a 5 day to Bermuda every other year. A 2 0r 3 day cruise I could easily do more often. Why does RCCL not schedule more short cruises or cruises to no where out of New Jersey? I love RCCL and would love to sail more.

    • Adam

      Thanks for the suggestion. We do not have any immediate plans for short cruises-to-nowhere for the region. One of the reasons is that there are significant tax consequences on that type of cruises which we would not have on a longer cruise which has a port of call.

  • Angela Domek

    My husband and I are Diamond Members and really enjoyed the Diamond Lounge on the Oasis of the Seas in November. I understand that not all ships have the lounge (yet) but what I don’t understand is why the ships that have a nightly Diamond Event don’t have the same selection of complimentary cocktails (ie beer, mixed drinks) that the lounge offers. It was a great loss when the Conceirge Lounge was removed as an amenity for less than Diamond Plus status and feel like our loyalty is underappreciated.

  • Angel Duran

    My wife and I we are anchor members but I have a little problem my self we love sailing on RCCL but personally my self can’t go to other cruses if someone from your staff can call me will love to ask ceveral questions about making diferents trips ob RCCL. Thanks for all those lovely moments that my wife and I has had ob the cruses we have done with you. Have all a nice day and happy holidays to every staff from RCCL.

    Angel Duran

  • Dina Rimi

    I was on the Grandeur about a year ago and in the Solarium there were children running all over the place and jumping around in the pool. This was not just one family it was numerous children of different families. I went to the attendant and was told that it is not enforced anymore. I travel on ships with a solarium because of the peace and relaxation that I get there. Why is this rule no longer being enforced?

    Geraldine Rimi

  • Ken Harasty

    I recall that the Explorer of the Seas was outfitted with science laboratories, but that project ended several years ago. Are there still science data being collected by the ships in your fleet?

  • Linda

    Is there any way to get credit for cruises taken before the Crown and Anchor Society was created? Our very first cruise was 14 days on the Nordic Prince back in 82. I loved that ship and was sad when she left the fleet. I would really love to get credit for those 14 wonderful days. Is there any way this is possible? I can even still remember the CD….Ray Rouse. :)

  • Jackie Ferguson

    I am having a problem with one of Adams replies

    When is Grandeur of the Seas getting refurbished? – Kirsty

    Grandeur of the Seas will be revitalized in June 2012. Stay tuned to our Facebook page or visit our website for updates on all of our ship revitalizations:

    I have a cruise planned on Grandeur June 11th thru June 22nd out of Venice. How can Grandeur be revitalized in June 2012 if it has bookings in the same month.

    • Adam

      Hi Jackie, Grandeur of the Seas revitalization will have no effect on your cruise. Thank you. We look forward to seeing you in June 2012.

  • Jim

    What about opening up Charleston SC as A Port? Its is just 4 hours from Raleigh NC , and half way between Miami and DC.

    Jim from NC

  • Tim Braden

    My wife and I chose Royal Caribbean to be the cruise line for our
    first cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The cruise we
    selected departed from Colon, Panama and stopped at four ports, Columbia
    ,Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire before returning back to Colon, Panama. We had
    also asked 4 of our closest friends to join us on this journey. Soon after
    boarding the ship we were informed that this cruise was geared toward the
    Latin and Spanish-speaking passengers. At no time did Royal Caribbean
    notify our travel agent or us of this itinerary. Needless to say, all
    activities were presented in spanish making it impossible for our group to
    participate; this included all shows and even the menu. I feel we were
    short-changed in our cruise experience that we had waited more than a year
    for. My wife and I had such high expectations and were so disappointed with
    our time on the ship that I doubt we will ever return to this cruise line.

    • Jeremy

      Didn’t it occur to you that a cruise leaving from Panama (a Spanish speaking country) would likely have a majority of its passengers from nearby Spanish speaking countries??? I would imagine this is the case for any cruise in the world.

  • Marjorie G. Lang

    Are there any plans for new ships to be added to the Voyager Fleet? We love that size of ship…we are diamond members and have sailed on the Explorer-3 times,Adventure,Navigator and have a cruise on the Voyager scheduleld for April,2012. Also we have cruised on the Empress,Enchantment and Serenade. Enjoy RCCl very much and keep up the good work. Best wishes for a happy holiday season to you and yours, Marjorie G. Lang

  • joseph gill

    adam just off the oasis on the diamond cruise it was a great cruise with a great crew and great entertainment,the diamond events were very good,my only negative was with the sauna there had to have been a giant mistake made when it was designed the seats were made of tile instead of wood any unsuspecting user sitting down was in for a rude surprise i have never encounted such a set up in any other ship
    thank you joe

  • Glenda Kuehn

    Wow! We just returned from a B2B on the Majesty and it was fantastic. This was my 31st cruise and I have never been treated as well. The staff is the greatest…as a returning guest they call out your name as you walk through the ship, are happy to help you with any problem (What Problem? Not!). I have reservation for the Liberty in January and look forward to that cruise but not as much as I do returning to the Majesty for a redo B2B and ASAP.
    Thanks to waiter Migue for excellent service. The Maitre d was fantastic along with others on the dining room host staff.
    First time I have been really impressed with the Customer relations guys. They were all super and so friendly even though they had a rough group to deal with on the first leg of our trip.
    The majesty really has something going on. They appreciate the loyalty and show it. I can’t say enough about the whole Majesty staff. Thanks Majesty,Glenda and Sam

  • Elizabeth Linnie

    Hi Adam

    I just wanted to say that the staff onboard the Allure are the best I have ever met.
    I was on the 12/4 sailing and every single member of staff I came in contact with was smiling,helpful and good at their job.
    I am hoping they will still be there on my next cruise on 12/2/12
    Congratulations to them all for delivering the Wow.
    Merry Christmas,Happy Holidays,Joyeux Noel.
    from Critter Captain Liz

  • Lucille mackie

    My husband and I have cruised 6 times and are sailing on the Allure in April. I was checking out your Wow sales that you have on now. The cruise that we booked on our last cruise for April is still exactly the same price as we booked it for back then. I was wondering why you are calling this a sale? Every time I check one of your “sales”, I find that the prices are exactly the same as when there is no sale. Could you please explain! We also received an inboard credit so I don’t think that is the promotion.

    We love Royal Caribbean and are planning our cruise after the Allure. Maybe in December 2012.

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  • Rhea

    Hello Adam!
    I am currently studying about cruising and Independence of the seas is one of my chosen ships.
    I would like to know the recent refits like stateroom refits etc that ship has made and what sorts of energy effienct features you have, for instance key cards, pool surge tanks to reduce water consumption etc etc.
    I would appreciate your answer!
    Thank you :)!