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.

  • Janet Bailey

    hi ADAM
    On March 21, 2012 I notified Rccl that I had not received credit for a cruise I took on Nov 21, 2010.
    They responded that they would check it out.
    I have heard nothing from them and the cruise points have not been added to my account.
    WHAT IS THE BIG PROBLEM???????
    THANK YOU

  • Barbara

    Hi,
    We are sailing on Grandeur of the Seas in October, 2012. I know this ship recently underwent some renovations. Did this include the staterooms?

  • Dale dreyer

    Hi adam! !!!would buying rcl stocks or shares. Would that help any future cruises? And if so how many shares? Thank you sur.

  • Jon Hansen

    I have heard that Royal Caribbean may be returning to the west coast(Los Angeles) in the near future, Is there any truth to this? We are so looking forward to having the line back here.

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Hi Jon, we continue to evaluate opportunities to add additional departures from the west coast. We did announce last year that Vision of the Seas’ winter 2012-13 Caribbean season would include two Panama Canal itineraries (14 Night and 15 Night cruises) sailing from San Diego in Spring 2013. You can find the specific itineraries here.

  • http://ROYALCARIBBEANINTERNATIONAL Carolyn Zauner

    How come Crown and Anchor members receive brochures advertising cruises and coupons but when we go to use them we can only use one or the discount for a member status. i.e. My son and I are both Diamond members, we get $200/ 225 off on a room but can’t use certificates with the members status discount. WHY SEND A BROCHURE TO DIAMOND MEMBERS AND ABOVE IF THE CERTIFICATES CAN’T BE USED IN COMBINATION WITH MEMBER DISCOUNTS?

    • David Allen

      Being Diamond members as well, we recently ran into the same situation. Adam, we would like to hear an answer to this question. Thank you.

  • Chrissy morgan

    Hi Adam

    Firstly a big thank you to all staff on Indy, especially Luke Aerosmith cruise director, for a wonderful and entertaining cruise.

    My question is this! Is itbatball possible that RC could add the direction of the beds in staterooms to the deck plans? I.e. F= forward facing, A = aft facing.
    I get sick on any form of transport when travelling backwards and I know a lot of other people do too. Having this information added to deck plans would be a real help in choosing a stateroom. I feel the data could be easily collect by stateroom attendants, then handed in and sent off to be coreralated by admin.

    Thank you in advance.

    Chrissy Morgan

    Indy here we come again, may 2013 Norwegian fjords

  • John & Mae Gorga

    We sailed Freedom OTS 12/2/11 and now we remember all the things we love about RCCL. We are saving up to do Allure hopefully by 2014. Keep up the good work.

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Thank you for the kind words. We look forward to welcoming both of you onboard Allure soon.

  • Thomasina Lindsay

    Hello,
    This past June (June 23-June30), was my first time ever taking a cruise. I went with my best friend. This was her third cruise. We were on the Oasis of the Seas. It was the best first time experience on a cruise that I had had ever had. The ship was gorgeous, the food was wonderful, the people (guest and employees) were so friendly. There was something always to do. I really did not know what to expect being my first cruise, but I was very pleased with everything. The balcony room was wonderful and the view was breathtaking. Our stateroom Attendant (Ryan) was wonderful. At dinner our Waiter Kevin, assistant waiter Daniella were very friendly and made me feel very comfortable. I know in the future I will be taking other cruises with Royal Caribbean. I will pass on how great everything was when we sailed with you.

    Thank you for all the hard work that you have done and thank you for making my first time a very memorable one.

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Thomasina, it makes us so happy to hear you speak about your experience onboard Oasis of the Seas in such high regard. Thank you for letting us know how much you enjoyed your trip, we look forward to welcoming you back on your next cruise.

  • Robert Jagar

    My wife and I are Diamond Plus members. We live a short driving distance from Cape Liberty. We love cruising on Explorer of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas and Celebrities’ Silhouette. Unfortunately Silhouette will not be leaving again from Cape Liberty. Royal Caribbean needs more ships embarking from Cape Liberty. Every ship is sold out! Hopefully Royal’s new ship under construction in Germany will embark from Cape Liberty. However, Cape Liberty can handle and sell out more ships. Adam, I will be very grateful for any help or information concerning my request for more ships from Cape Liberty.
    Also, I took my entire family on Explorer to celebrate my mother’s 90th Birthday. The Captain and entire crew were beyond WONDERFUL – Thank You.

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Hi Robert, we currently have no plans to place anymore ships in Cape Liberty. As for your mother’s 90th birthday, we are glad she had a wonderful cruise.

  • Scott

    Hi,

    RCCL is our preferred cruise line, but over the last year I am seeing that from a pricing perspective RCCL is not very family friendly. My family is myself, my wife and our daughter who is now 3. RCCL charges for our daughter the same regardless of age, which doesn’t seem fair since the available activities, support and things for a small infant/toddler are much less then what is available for older children.

    The other item that I have noticed is sale pricing for families. In the majority of the recent sales, even the July WOW sale that just ended, there was no sale pricing for my family. We also see that the guarantee categories offered on some sailings are also not available to family’s. We would like to continue to cruise with RCCL, but each time I price an RCCL sailing against other family cruise lines, RCCL is always more expensive.

    Please consider improving your pricing strategy and offer better to families and not just to couples/2 person parties.

    Thanks

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  • Timothy Scholze

    Adam,

    My wife and I love Royal first of all, but we do have a concern. My wife is in a wheelchair and wonder way you have made the choce not to make any cabins above JS cats wheelchair accessable. Except for Osais and Alure. I just found out the it is the same on Quantum. Do you not beleave the Disable travelers desirve a higher level Suite? Please respond.

    Timothy Scholze