Ask Adam Blog Series – May 2012 Answers

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Summer is back and so is another edition of our Ask Adam Blog series. To see responses from April please click here, or if you have a question you would like to ask Adam regarding Royal Caribbean or what he’s been up to, please follow this link to our Facebook discussions page and submit your questions there. Now onto our most recent Q&A.

Do you cruise often? Which ship would you choose to go on right now and why? –Jeffery B.

As I have previously written, asking me to pick between ships is like asking me to pick between my children. At the moment my personal choice would be to cruise on Voyager of the Seas in China to see how we are doing with this new and important program. More likely, however, would be a cruise on Oasis or Allure with my family and my children’s friends.

Hi Adam, first I want to start by saying a BIG “thank you” to all Royal Caribbean International staff. We sailed onboard Radiance of the Seas back in March and could not fault the ship, crew and hotel staff. My question is about gratuities. It is custom in both Europe and Australia that gratuities are completely discretionary and actually a private matter between the patron and the service provider. Our first cruise sailed out of Ft. Lauderdale, so not knowing any different, we pre-paid gratuities. However, our recent cruise was predominantly Australian. I was a little shocked and disappointed to find a very US-centric policy/custom in place. Would you adopt more localized customs regarding tipping when departing from a non-US territory? – Simon E.

We are constantly evaluating our gratuities programs. We do not have anything to announce at this time.

Adam, can you shed some light on the design process for Project Sunshine? What does the timeline look like from the time the keel is scheduled to be laid to the sea trials? When will we begin to see “teaser” sketches and details for the first ship of this class? – Scott G.

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. From keel laying to delivery is approximately 2.5 years.

Dear Adam, we were on the Monarch of the Seas recently and were informed of a change in the duty-free store policy regarding the delivery of alcohol to staterooms. I was unofficially told that too many people were abusing alcohol consumption on the last day of the cruise. Did this change have to do with the timing of Spring Break, and if so, is it a temporary policy change? – Thomas S.

The standard policy is any duty-free liquor purchased onboard is delivered to guests on the last evening of their cruise. However, ships have the option to deliver the liquor on departure morning and we leave this option to the discretion of the Hotel Director in coordination with the Beverage Manager.

Adam, what can be done to make parents aware of the pool rules before they book as well as after? What can be done about making sure the staff is empowered to actually enforce the stated rules? Too many folks are unaware of or go against the rules about children in diapers or non-toilet trained children being in the pools/whirlpools. –Toni V.

The Open Deck Manager onboard Freedom of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas should refer guests to the diaper-friendly section of the H2O Zone. If guests do not follow directions from the staff, they are first warned, and if repeated violations occur this is then considered a violation of the Guest Conduct Policy.

For all other ships Pool Attendants go through a monthly training on Guest Conduct Policy. The training includes specifics applicable to our pool operations and more specifically, how to address children with diapers in the pool as well as drinks in the pools/whirlpools, disruptive behavior and deck chair reservation. The pool attendants are asked to address the guest in a polite manner and in the case of a negative or lack of response to then escalate to a supervisor.

The policy is also on our website.

If you are Diamond Status and traveling with a companion who is not, why do you not allow the travel companion to attend the evening get-togethers? –Teya S

The evening events for the Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club members are considered an earned benefit of the Crown & Anchor Society program. By allowing other guests entry, many of our current members at these tiers would feel it an oversight in following our standard promise to our most loyal guests. We also try our best to plan the appropriate venue to accommodate guests at these tiers. By adhering to our program rules we ensure we have an appropriate space and the experience expected. All other lounges are open throughout the ship during pre- and post- dinner cocktail hours for enjoyment.

Hi Adam, I absolutely love Explorer of the Seas and have been on it for the past 5 years. I noticed that the Easter/Passover cruises have gotten shorter. We started with a 13-night cruise and they’ve gradually shortened; next year there is only a 7-night cruise. Why did they take out the longer itineraries? –Anna F.

Hi Anna, thanks for the question and feedback. I appreciate your support over the years. You are correct that we have shifted to more 7 night cruises in the spring and Easter period. This change has been driven by feedback that we have received from guests, travel agents and others requesting shorter cruises during the school breaks/vacations. That said, we continue to review this every year. What you will see is that over the course of the winter and spring we do have a variety of different itineraries.

Hi Adam! As a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) we have two separate reservation numbers even though we are all staying in the same suite. Is there anyway Royal Caribbean can rework the reservations system so that families with minor children can all be on the same reservation without having to link the reservations? –Brooke K.

At this time, our reservations system can only accommodate four guests per booking. While our ships have grown and the staterooms have become larger and more elaborate, we are still working on updating our reservations system. We aren’t quite there yet, but we are working on it.