Ask Adam Blog Series – December 2011 Answers

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Thanks to everyone who continues to read our blog and submit great questions about Royal Caribbean and cruising. This past month’s questions were once again exceptional and an absolute pleasure to answer. If you missed November’s questions please click here, or if you have a question you would like to ask Adam regarding Royal Caribbean news, what he’s been up to or just curious about all things Royal Caribbean, please follow this link to our Facebook discussions page and submit your questions there.

How often do you go on cruises? Are you also the CEO of Royal Caribbean’s sister lines? – Stuart S.

Stuart, I am the President & CEO of Royal Caribbean International and I work closely with Dan Hanrahan, the President & CEO of Celebrity Cruises, and Larry Pimentel, the President & CEO of Azamara Cruises. The answer to your first question is easy: not often enough! Everyone in the family enjoys cruising but we all have to contend with busy schedules, sports training and our attachments to skiing and to Maine. In the end, we cruise about every other year.

Hi Adam, big question about what’s next for Royal Caribbean, Oasis and Allure are so amazing, how can you guys do better? What new things can be done? What innovations can be made? Will there be another ship in the Oasis Class? – Dillon F.

Dillon, I’m happy to hear that you are impressed with the innovations on Oasis and Allure. We’re taking many of these innovations to other ships in the fleet. For example, we recently added the digital way finding system to several ships as well as additional dining options that were originally introduced on the Oasis class ships. You can learn more about this here. As for new ships, our focus is on the new Sunshine class ship that will go into service in 2014.

I was just wondering why the ships do not have more food choices for a diabetic. We just got off Liberty of the Seas and there were limited food and drink choices for a diabetic person. – Jeff R.

I love to cruise RCCL, my only complaint is you don’t cater to your vegan cruisers, we take family cruises all the time and half of my family are vegans and there cruise experience is not as good as the non-vegans. Our next cruise is 12/17/2011 and we are hoping for the best. – Angela M.

We have a special diet request system available, however guests should inform us as early as possible with their specific needs so we can try to accommodate the best way possible. We require a minimum of two weeks’ notice for regular requests, and up to two months for ships based Internationally. All dietary requests are handled by our special needs department. Travel agents or guests should email with their specific request, sail date and booking ID. Once on board, guest should contact their Maitre’d and/or headwaiter to discuss the arrangements.

Later this year we plan to revamp our dietary needs program by incorporating Gluten Free and Lactose Free selections into the regular menu program and call these dishes out. This should eliminate the majority of all special dietary needs requests. We currently receive very few requests for vegan meals and with about 400,000 meals served every day in the fleet, we need to prioritize the needs of our guests. However we are discussing the possibility of incorporating vegan selections into the regular menu program, the same way we did with vegetarian and Indian vegetarian. This in turn allows us to concentrate on the other remaining special needs, such as allergies and do a better job with those. Many of these changes will be incorporated mid-year. In short, dietary needs are a major focus in 2012, to make it easier, more accessible, provide improved training and execution.

Is Royal Caribbean considering adding Charleston, SC as a port of departure? – Hillary C.

Hillary, we do not have enough ships to allow us to home port in all markets. However, we are always considering new itineraries and homeports for our vessels and will keep this in mind for our future planning.

Hi Adam, I was just wondering if there are any plans for an Australia to America cruise. I’m sure this would bring in lots of customers so why not do it? – Noah A.

We have Rhapsody and Radiance that transit the Pacific Ocean between Sydney Australia and Vancouver, Canada via Honolulu, Hawaii. Rhapsody departs Sydney on April 13, 2012 for 18 nights to Honolulu, and then continues on for another 11 nights on April 30, 2012 to Vancouver. Radiance has a similar voyage on April 5, 2012 for 18 nights from Sydney to Honolulu and 12 nights on April 22, 2012 to Vancouver. These voyages are also available in April 2013 and in the reverse direction in September 2012

Hi Adam, please keep RCCL sailing from Bayonne, NJ for many years to come! LOVE Voyager class ships, how about Freedom class to New Jersey?? Thanks! – Gary

Gary, I appreciate your passion for our Voyager Class ships. We will keep your request for a Freedom class ship in mind as we plan our future itineraries.

As a travel agent, I am always looking for better options for my customers. I was very disappointed when Royal Caribbean abandoned the West Coast. So, I am asking you, when are you coming back to the West Coast? Thanks in advance for your reply. – Kelly.

Thank you for your suggestion. We continue to evaluate opportunities to add additional departures from the U.S.west coast. We recently announced Vision of the Seas’ winter 2012-13 Caribbean season for sale. In addition to a robust Caribbean program, we are offering Panama Canal-transit sailings, and two of the Panama Canal itineraries (14 Night and 15 Night cruises) will sail from San Diego in Spring 2013. You can find the specific itineraries here.

I love RC and am a platinum member. I am very concerned about the many negative reviews Liberty has gotten recently about their food! Our family is Italian and the quality of the food is extremely important. What is RC doing to rectify this?

In addition, I too have noticed a significant decline in service (less staff) and increase in onboard costs. We have always raved about RCCL to our family and friends, but now I am going to have to think twice.

Please ADAM, please save RCCL and bring it back to the quality and excellence that it once was! – Annette C.

Thank you for your question, Annette. The dining experience onboard is something that we take very seriously. Culinary training of our staff to the standard and certification of the American Culinary Federations remains at the core of our culinary operation. We have not made any changes to the quality of food in recent years other than improvements. In 2010 we invested an additional $2 million in food upgrades in addition to investments to offset inflationary costs. In 2011 we invested again to offset inflationary costs. We continue to develop and update our menus to our guest’s expectations and requests. We continue to review guest comments and closely monitor guest satisfaction ratings. In 2010 we received the highest level of guest satisfaction ratings based on guest survey results in the past decade for food and these results have held steady in 2011.

In regard to costs, we continue to offer core complimentary products such as The Main Dining room, The Windjammer, Cafe Promenade, and more. In fact we have added more choices and selections, such as chef’s suggestions/special, Vitality menus and daily alternatives. As part of our ship revitalization program we have also added more complimentary dining venues to several ships such as Park Cafe, The Boardwalk Doghouse, Wipe-Out Cafe, Vitality Cafe, Sorrento’s Pizza and Concierge Gourmet. At the same time our specialty dining venues continue to grow in popularity as well and guests have the choice of either option. We have added additional choices for a charge such as Giovanni’s Table, Chef’s Table and Izumi in our revitalizations.

Hi Adam, I will be traveling on the Explorer of the Seas on July 19, 2011 for a 9 night Eastern Caribbean 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.

Hi Kelsey, the cruise director for your sailing will be Richard Spacey, enjoy!

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. – Koretta

The choice is yours when it comes time to plan a cruise for a group of 20+ people. You can either contact your travel agent who is professionally trained on what Royal Caribbean can offer, or you can contact one of our Certified Group Vacation Planners who can walk you through the process step by step. Both options will ensure you have the easiest booking experience so you can begin your group vacation. To find your travel agent, go to and use our Travel Agent Locator. To speak to a Certified Group Vacation Planner, call us at 1-800-465-3595 (residents of US and CAN) or 305-341-0204 (residents outside of the US and CAN). You can also learn more here.

Have you given any thought to adding an artificial reef at Labadee? I know one was built at CocoCay, 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 P.

There are plenty of reefs in Labadee so there isn’t really any need to add an artificial reef. At CocoCay we have experimented with “reef balls” and other structures to attract the growth of coral and marine life with limited success. So in short, we are not planning anything at Labadee. Also, over the last two years we have been offering two snorkel tours in at Labadee where the local tour operator takes guests to one of the local reefs and a sandbar.

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

Hi Ken, while the Explorer of the Seas laboratory no longer has guest displays, we have enjoyed a long-standing partnership with the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science in running this lab onboard the Explorer since it first set sail in 2000. Since 2008, the lab has been fully automated, sending continuous, real-time oceanographic and atmospheric data to external servers, which is utilized by the academic and scientific community to better understand climate and ocean dynamics. We are currently expanding this program to the Allure of the Seas and will also be selecting a third ship in the next few months on which to deploy this innovative technology. .

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:

  • Steve Loxham

    Why is the RCI website down so much? For someone who lives in an area that is GMT -4, it seems that every time that I log on the website is unavailable or the Crown & Anchor information is unavailable. I have never known a site that is down so often!

  • Anthony

    I am going on the Allure of the seas in May with a group of thirty people. I love cruising and have been on many cruises. I have recently added an extra person to the mix when having our first child. We booked Allure a year ago and when we go on the cruise my child will be two. I love Royal Caribbean, but I was a little disappointed that a child no matter what age was the same price as any other guest regardless of age. Why is this? I noticed that if you have a child under 13, you are not able to visit specialty restaurant after 7pm. This limits what we can do, but because the child paid a full fare I believe they should be able to do everything any other person should be able to do. Would you guys ever consider lowering the cost of children under a certain age?
    Thank you and cannot wait for Allure,
    Anthony Flores

  • johnney /thompson

    Any chance of cruises out of San Francisco, Ca.?We love Royal Caribbean cruises but lately have been doing a lot of Princess cruises because of the convenience.

    • Adam

      We currently have no plans to sail out of San Francisco, Johnney but please keep an eye on our Facebook page for any itinerary changes.

  • Jody

    Last year I went on a cruise with my family, and am Celiac. We gave tons of notice about this (almost 6 months) and though I didn’t get sick during the cruise, I can only really say I had a good experience during dinner sittings in the dining room and specialty restaurants. Our Head waiter and waiter were amazing and always gave me the menus a day ahead so that i could make my selections. They handled it beautifully and were always asking questions to make sure I felt safe. For breakfast and lunch, however, there were times that I was literally in tears because the staff were not properly trained on how to handle my dietary requirements. Not their fault, they genuinely didn’t seem to know what they did wrong. The options were also EXTREMELY limited, and quite gross as far as gluten free foods go (mainly the bread). If I hadn’t brought my own box of cereal on the cruise just in case, I probably would have gone hungry quite a few times because there just wasn’t enough options during the day. Overall, I loved cruising with RCCL, and am cruising again in about three weeks, but I will be bringing my own box of cereal again.

    • Adam

      We’re glad you brought this to our attention, Jody. We strive to create the best cruising atmosphere for all of our guests and we will certainly take this into account for future cruises. Thank you.

  • Theresa

    Comment Regarding putting Gluten-Free on the Menu

    While I understand and applaud the line’s willingness to work with those requiring special diets, please do not use these items on the menus as the only available gluten-free selections. My daughter is disabled, diabetic and requires a gluten-free diet. Things could not have worked smoother on our Med cruise last summer on the Navigator. She loved it so much we booked a Med cruise on the Mariner this coming summer. If you limit gluten-free selections to what’s on the menu, my guess is she will not want what’s listed since she is a very picky eater.

  • Sharon

    Hi Adam,

    Any thought about adding Weight Watchers support on your ships? I find Friends of Bill W everywhere, but no help with Weight Watchers. I love cruising on Royal and think this would be helpful to a lot of your cruisers.

    Leaving on Saturday on the Explorer and am all packed and ready to go!!!

  • Tommy

    Adam, I asked this question last month and still haven’t gotten a response. I thought the dining and drink selections on Allure of the Seas were nothing short of outstanding. Any sort of drink or food I could think of wanting at any given time was available aboard the ship save one: Good old fashioned Southern style sweet tea! You already have the ingredients and machines to make the sweet tea; tea, sugar, and a tea brewer. The first thing I did when we disembarked in Ft. Lauderdale was go straight to McDonald’s and get a large, ice-cold sweet tea. The only thing missing from my cruise was being able to walk around the deck after a long day as we sailed away from Jamaica, Cozumel, or just at sea watching the sun set over the horizon with a nice glass of sweet tea. Please consider adding this to Allure, and all of your ships that depart from the U.S. Thanks!

  • Elizabeth Linnie

    I am very glad and relieved to read that Lactose Free items will be available soon on RCCL ships.
    My son has recently been diagnosed with Crohns Disease and is Lactose Intolerant so we were a bit worried about how this would affect him on the Allure in December. Thank you for all the information on who to contact with regards to special dietary needs.

    • Adam

      You’re more than welcome, Elizabeth. We’ll see you onboard soon.

  • Eleanor

    Last year I put a suggestion that All the fans of the week should be brought together to share their experiences.the reply was it was something they would look into .Is there any more thought on this .I,am sure it would be great photo and lots of fun.

  • Millie R

    I am so disappointed that you are no longer sailing our of the west coast ports. I’d like to make an itinerary suggestion. If you were to sail out of San Diego again, instead of sailing south to Mexico, why not sail north from San Diego to Vancouver or Victoria BC. You could offer stops in Catalina, Long Beach or Los Angeles, San Francisco,and Seatle. For short cruises, you could offer Catalina to Long Beach or San Francisco, and back to San Diego. Just food for thought. Then again, you could always just go back to Mexico again.


    • Adam

      Thank you for your note, Millie. Vision of the Seas will be sailing out of San Diego, CA and through the Panama Canal to Fort Lauderdale, FL in October of this year and then again in April 2013. We appreciate your feedback and we hope to see you onboard soon. You can view her itinerary here:

  • adelia

    Hi, I have read that the Allure of the Seas now has the new coke machine,which you can choose a variaty of fountain drinks. I would like to know if the Oasis of the Seas also has this same coke machine? I will be sailing with the Oasis this coming July ans was just wondering if they had one too.


  • Jarod

    I am a business major college student and wondered if any internship type opportunities were available onboard any of the ships, and if there were, who I should contact.

    Thanks Much for your time.

    -Jarod Schut

    • Adam

      Hi Jarod, please click here to view Royal Caribbean’s internship opportunities.

  • Ulza

    I have booked and paid for three balcony staterooms on the Vision leaving Copenhagen on the 26th of August 2012.
    At the time of booking I couldn’t select the staterooms before finishing the booking process and doing the payment. The site said I could only do it after. But it still doesn’t alow me to do it. It says that we are garanteed the balcony room but gives a GTY by the stateroom number and deck. I did query it and the response was that a room would automatically be assigned 7 to 10 days before the cruise. Can you tell me why this is? We would like to be on the same deck at least. Why can’t they just assign us staterooms now. I’m worried that we’ll find out only 10 day’s before that we’ll be stashed somewhere in a little hole.

  • bernice jarvis

    We just discovered Again that our cruise this Sunday on the Freedom dropped 470 dollars and because its past final payment and there are no other higher cabins available – we are now in a Junior Suite that its our loss – and truthfully we are not pleased at all – This happened to us last December to the tune of 400 dollars – now making it a total of 870.00 that we have lost – Our Travel Agent has tried to help us out, but on both cruises there were no upgrades available – We are very avid cruisers and have only done one Celebrity cruise out of a total of 32 with your company.
    Therefore we are now looking to other lines and if this remains the case we will not be putting any more deposits, booking future cruises, etc in the future – We will take our chances on other lines and book last minute — If any Royal cruises come available that we may be interestedf in we may book with Royal again – We have been very Loyal to Royal but Royal is not Loyal to their regular cruisers

  • Larry Smith

    Do you have wifi available on Mariner of the Sea?

    • Adam

      Hi Larry, wi-fi is available on Mariner of the Seas. Please click here for more information.

  • Ferdinand Torres

    Hello Sir Adam, why royal caribbean give to their employees a different position,different salary,but in the jobs were all the same doing in our jobs..they put as like 3rd assistant,2nd assistant,1st assistant and full pledge..but in our jobs are all the same,and sometimes some full pledge or 1st assistant they don’t have knowledge how to use a ARC welding machine, TIG welding machine and how to fabricate,and how to handle their position.their almost 5-10years above in the company, but until now no progress…but in your sister company like Celebrity Cruise Line and Azamara,their salary for their technical is the same even your a new hire…im just only worried sir about my future here in RCCL because until now im 3rd assistant.were doing the same jobs,but in salary they have a big different….plenty of your crew are still 3rd Assistant,but their doing the same jobs..Maybe that is the reasons why our fellow crew members transfer in another cruise ship company after 1 or 2 contract here in RCCL, if you see this happening, you can think that RCCL is like only a training ground for all the new hire..because after their 1,2 or 3 contract here,their gone..cappot…

  • Alan

    Adam –

    I am a “Loyal to Royal” Diamond member. I’ve completed 10 cruises and will be doing my 11th in September. Everyone on the crews has been super and made our vacations memorable. Did my first Royal cruise in 2004, between trips to Iraq, and have never considered another cruise line. Oasis is da’ bomb!!

    Do have a comment, though. The website lists the theater on Enchantment as the Palladium, which is the name of the theater on Grandeur (been on Grandeur four times). The theater on Enchantment is the Orpheus – been on her twice and going again in September!!

    Keep up the great work! I intend to have many more pleasant cruises with Royal Caribbean.

  • Larry Johnson

    Mr Goldstein

    Why doesn’t RCI offer the price reduction to RCI members who have booked and paid for their cruises when RCI reduces the price of its cruises? Why is this option only offered to new bookings? I reserved a cruise, paid for it in Oct 2012; and just saw that this same cruise for the room I reserved was reduced by $500.00 per person. I sail on the Vision, on 4 Jan 2013. My reservation is 3242598.

    Larry Johnson