Staying Power

Royal Caribbean adds features for consecutive guests and eases disembarkation


By: By Marilyn Green

Royal Caribbean International has introduced new fleetwide procedures to make the departure process easier, and the company is also providing a seamless transition for guests who are immediately continuing on the following cruise aboard the same ship.

On departure day, guests will have extended access to their staterooms, as well as continued in-stateroom television entertainment. Passengers will also receive an “As You Depart” notice, which explains the new enhancements and the location of departure lounges. Among these lounges, which offer refreshments and light entertainment, will be a dedicated Family Zone. The Family Zone will include refreshments, as well as toys and games geared toward younger cruisers. And guests in suite category staterooms will be treated to a continental breakfast hosted by guest services or the concierge. Also notable, there will be a minimal amount of ship-wide public announcements all morning to maintain a relaxing atmosphere, with nearly all departure updates limited to the departure lounges.

Royal is making sure that guests are aware of the Express Departure option that provides a window of time when they can elect to hand carry their own luggage, and be the first to disembark.

Those booking multiple cruises on a Royal Caribbean ship will receive a “sneak peek” Compass, a variation of the daily Cruise Compass program schedule. The special Compass will offer an overview highlights of the following sailing’s itinerary. Guests booking consecutive cruises will receive special attention, activities, and dining options, such as personalized services, a letter from the Hotel Director, calls from Guest Services, and assistance to ensure main dining room seating requests are made in advance of the following cruise.

Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, hotel operations, said that early testing aboard Freedom of the Seas has yielded very positive guest feedback, with the enhanced communications cited as one of the most helpful tools for on departure day.

“We also continue to see an increase in guests sailing with us for multiple cruises,” she said, “and our focus on special communications and programming for these guests will also greatly enhance their overall cruise experience.”