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What We Know About Royal Caribbean Group's Muster 2.0

16th September 2020

What We Know About Royal Caribbean Group's Muster 2.0

While it may not be the most exciting way to begin your cruise holiday, a muster drill is a completely necessary part of your time onboard. Required to take place within the first 24 hours of a cruise, the muster drill is designed to familiarise guests with emergency procedures. In the past this meant gathering in large groups, however, thanks to Royal Caribbean Group's virtual safety briefing, Muster 2.0, guests will be able to take part in the drill without even leaving their stateroom.

From the sound of the siren to where to meet on deck and how to put on a lifejacket quickly, it's essential that guests are aware of the emergency evacuation procedures on a cruise ship. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, gathering large groups of people either on deck or in a theatre to take part in the briefing no longer seems to be a viable option. To adapt to the need for social distancing, Royal Caribbean have introduced Muster 2.0.

A virtual safety briefing which can be accessed through stateroom TVs or via an app, guests will be able to review all the information before heading to their muster point where a member of crew is on hand to check that all steps have been completed and answer any further questions. This will be available on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises. Silversea, Azamara Cruises, TUI Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd.

However, it's not just through the Muster 2.0 Drill that the Royal Caribbean Group is using technology to enhance their onboard health and safety. Thanks to their app, there are several other ways in which cruise lines are reducing social contact between guests and crew:

  • Online check in
  • Allocated boarding times
  • Digital stateroom keys
  • Stateroom lighting, temperature, TV and windows controlled through the app
  • Entertainment, activities and dining reserved through the app

Thanks to this technology, guests will be able to enjoy their cruise knowing that the utmost is being done to ensure that social distancing is maintained from start to finish of their cruise. To find out more about other health and safety measures being introduced by cruise lines, visit our page on cruising with confidence.


Royal Caribbean Private Islands

19th November 2019

Famed for their unrivalled passion for adventure, Royal Caribbean’s private islands are no exception. Each offers something for families, couples and solo cruisers, boasting exhilarating activities from North America’s tallest waterslide to a number of outdoor pursuits. [More]

Are Cruise Lines Becoming Greener?

3rd September 2018

Fans of cruising can often find themselves wondering, ‘what are cruise lines doing to help and contribute towards protecting the environment?’ There are in fact a number of initiatives to reduce waste and carbon emissions, including the use of solar panels as well as powering private islands with waste materials. Cruise companies have been making great strides in increasing sustainability and protecting the environment, and this will only increase in the future .

 

 

How Are Cruise Lines Protecting the Environment?

 

Many cruise lines have backed plans to protect the various environments on their itineraries in several ways. For example, there's now an alliance between Carnival Cruise Lines and the International SeaKeepers Society, which monitors water quality in locations visited by Carnival Triumph and Carnival Spirit. Equipment is has been built into these ships to gather data wherever they are. This is then relayed via satellite to scientists at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Miami, where they can keep on top of the water quality levels.

However, this is merely one example of many systems in place for monitoring the environment's health. There are groups all around the world dedicated to tracking this kind of data, including the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research and the Southeast Atlantic Coastal Ocean Observing System.

 

What Changes Are Being Made to help the Environment?

 

One of the biggest and most common changes we’ve seen is to the hull on cruise ships. By painting the hull with silicon-based paint, the ships glide through water more efficiently, therefore saving fuel. Royal Caribbean Cruises have taken this a step further by designing aerodynamic hulls, increasing the benefit of this fuel-saving tactic.

Fuel is a key economic and environmental issue for cruise lines. Keeping the incredible ships afloat and operating at 100% takes a huge amount of energy. Today’s cruise ships can carry more 6,000 passengers and 2,000 crew members - which is the equivalent of a small town - but measures can be made to increase the efficiency of the fuel used.

 

 

Here are some examples of other positive changes:

  • The US National Park Service has taken measures to reduce the environmental impact of cruising in Alaska, and there are strict regulations for the passage through Glacier Bay. Only one ship at a time is permitted to enter the bay and the number of total visits per season is also restricted.
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  • Holland America Line has partnered with the US National Park Service and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to protect whales in the oceans. Together their programmes educate mariners about recognising when whales are in close proximity and how to avoid them.
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  • Royal Caribbean has invested $100 million into converting wastewater treatment systems into advanced purification systems, and also uses over 18 million gallons of biodiesel used each year, a much more sustainable, renewable alternative to diesel.
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  • Disney Cruise Line recycle the condensation from air conditioning units and use it for things such as laundry or cleaning decks, which saves gallons of water per day. They also recycle a mix of materials onboard; some of which is processed by their partners, Keep America Beautiful - an organization which is all about preserving the environment.
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  • Celebrity Cruises, have heat transfer windows that allow more light, which then reduces the cooling needed in the cabin.
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  • Norwegian Cruise Line have adopted a number of different strategies to protect the environment and increase sustainability. The cruise line uses eco-ballast technology which is a water treatment system ensuring the ship doesn’t send toxins into the water, and donates cooking oil to farmers in port cities to be re-used as fuel. Steps have also been taken to remove the use of plastic straws across the entire fleet and Norwegian Cruise Line’s two private islands. Excitingly, a partnership with Ocean Conservancy means that the cruise line is the first to join the Trash Free Seas Alliance, which is a huge step forward in the cruising industry. Finally, Norwegian Cruise Line’s campaign, Hope Starts Here, aims to rebuild schools and structures damaged by hurricanes in the Caribbean islands. In addition, Norwegian Cruise Line have funded the opening of a nature trail with Alaska Raptor Center, a dedicated avian hospital that rehabilitates injured birds of prey in Sitka, Alaska.
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    Overall, it’s clear that a number of popular cruise lines are investing in the environment in one way or another, and as science develops, this will surely only improve. If this information has struck a chord with you, find out more about how you can do your bit for the world and the communities in it, with our five holidays that make a difference.


    A Cruise Expert's Review of Symphony of the Seas

    31st July 2018

    Updated March 2019

    We love sending our staff out on various cruises and ship visits so that they can continue to hone their expertise and pass on knowledge to our customers. This being said, we felt it absolutely necessary to send a few of our guys out on what is now (at the time of writing!) the world’s largest cruise ship; Symphony of the Seas. Find out what cruise specialist Chelsea thought of this incredible ship.

     

     

    There are many, many awe-struck moments that you will feel onboard Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas. But then, this is what they do best.

    When you arrive you are hit instantly by her sheer size. She dwarfs all other ships in port and dominates the view. Many people are a little worried about the 5,518 passenger capacity onboard, but they really don’t need to be. Most of the time, you don’t even realise you are sailing, never mind on a cruise ship!

    The ship is so vast that you don’t feel swamped by other passengers at all, and instead, you simply feel relaxed. The only time you might see the majority of the other passengers is in the theatre, which spans over two decks towards the front of the ship. I was lucky enough to watch Hairspray here, and was taken aback by the staging, the lights, and the whole performance. It really does rival the West End!

    Inside the ship, you feel as though you are in a huge shopping centre. It’s filled with entertainment, restaurants, shops, and bars. Each ‘neighbourhood’ is truly amazing in a different way;

     

  • Central Park with its trees and plants really makes you feel like you’re having a coffee in a park
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  • The Boardwalk boasts the Aqua Theatre and sports bars
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  • The Royal Promenade is the heart of the ship, and where you will find the majority of shops and bars
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    Not to mention all the other amenities onboard the ship; waterslides, the Abyss, the Pools, FlowRider, the zip-line, rock-climbing walls, laser tag - is it possible there’s too much to do?

    The cabin we had was a Balcony cabin overlooking the Boardwalk. It was perfect for two people and had a sofa area by the balcony. We had a great view of the Aqua Theatre, but this did also mean we could hear the Aqua Theatre Show when our door was open. If the door is shut, you hear next to no noise at all which is great for the evenings.

    As great as our accommodation was, I would, in fact, recommend an Oceanview Balcony cabin on this ship. Aside from these cabins, you can only see the ocean beyond the Aqua Theatre and from the windows in the main restaurant - it isn’t visible elsewhere on the ship. By staying in an Oceanview Balcony, you would know you were holidaying on a cruise ship after all!

     

     

    A cruise isn’t a cruise if you don’t mention the food. The Main Restaurant on Symphony of the Seas is beautiful, and the standard of the food you just cannot fault. The Windjammer is everything you expect and caters for every fancy. The speciality restaurants that you see on other Royal Caribbean ships are also present; Jamie’s Italian, Izumi, and Chop’s Grille for example. As with some of the other large ships in the fleet, 150 Central Park and Wonderland are also both onboard. My only regret is not being able to try Wonderland’s ‘Imaginative dining’ - I would advise anyone to book a table here in advance through your Cruise Personaliser, so as not to miss out.

    As for the staff, we couldn’t fault any of them. They always - always - went above and beyond as usual.

    Take a closer look at life onboard Symphony of the Seas, or if you’re already sold, browse through our range of Symphony of the Seas cruises.


    Discover Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum of the Seas

    14th June 2018

    Expected in June 2019, Royal Caribbean's Spectrum of the Seas brings with it some new and innovative features that will certainly have cruisers buzzing with excitement. With a homeport of Shanghai, she will be the largest ship in Asia – hosting up to 4,246 guests at a time. She will also be the first Quantum Ultra Class ship, sharing features with other Quantum Class vessels but introducing some extra special aspects too.

     

    Which destinations will Spectrum of the Seas sail to?

     

     

    In the summer of 2019 Spectrum of the Seas will depart from Barcelona and make her way to Shanghai on a 51- night voyage, taking in 13 countries along the way. After this, the itineraries will include some brilliant new ports:

    • Hakodate, Japan – located on the south side of Japan’s north island

    • Vladivostok, Russia – the final stop on the Trans-Siberian railway in eastern Russia

    • Niigita, Japan – found on the west coast of the main island of Japan

    • Ilocos, Philippines – the north-west region of the Philippines’ Luzon island

    The winter of 2019 will see the ship reposition to Hong Kong, from where she will embark on some fabulous Asian cruises. 

     

    What will dining be like onboard Spectrum of the Seas?

     

    Food on onboard the ship will feature a mix of Asian and Western dishes, with the main restaurant, and more casual Windjammer Marketplace buffet serving everything from pizzas to Chinese hot pots. Speciality restaurants will include:

    • Jamie’s Italian – for your favourite hearty Italian meals

    • Dadong Wonderland – serving succulent duck and other Chinese dishes

    • Chop’s Grille – a rustic steakhouse serving the best cuts

    • Izumi – where you’ll find tasty Japanese cuisine

     

     

    An authentic traditional Asian tea room will also feature on Spectrum of the Seas; the Leaf and Bean. Here you can indulge in some tasty cakes and pastries as well as sampling some Chinese teas and coffee.

     

    What kind of entertainment and activities will be onboard?

     

    There will be a wealth of choice when it comes to things to do onboard Spectrum of the Seas. Some of its fantastic features are:

    • SkyPad – a trampoline park with option virtual reality mask

    • Star Moment – an exhilarating Karaoke venue

    • SeaPlex – a sports and entertainment area with bumper cars and more

    • Flowrider – Royal Caribbean’s well-love surf simulator

    • RipCord iFly – an adrenaline-fuelling sky diving simulator

    An innovative venue known as Two70 will also be onboard. This is a space which uses Vistarama technology to project a range of digital shows on panoramic windows.

     

     

    What will accommodation on Spectrum of the Seas be like?

     

    The team at Royal Caribbean have opted to use this new Quantum Ultra Class vessel as the venue for their brand new private suite concept. This Golden and Silver suite level accommodation comprises a private space at the forward end of the ship, across decks 13 to 16, which can only be accessed with a key card. Here guests will enjoy a private lounge and restaurant, The Balcony for sunbathing, and The Boutique for private shopping experiences.

    Other accommodation includes a range of stateroom categories, as well as two Ultimate Family Suites which can cater for up to 11 guests.

    If you like the sound of cruising onboard this new ship, have a look through our range of Spectrum of the Seas cruises and speak to our sales team today.

    Stay up to date with news about Royal Caribbean and all your other favourite cruise lines, by signing up to our mailing list.


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