Travvy Awards Winners Spotlight: Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International has been delivering the “wow” for more than four decades, consistently introducing innovative and eye-popping cruise ships that attract first-timers and repeat travelers alike.
That’s why the company was named Best Cruise Line Overall and Best Contemporary Cruise Line in the inaugural Travvy Awards.
Founded in 1968, Royal Caribbean in April took delivery of its 23rd cruise ship, the 167,800-ton, 4,180-passenger Anthem of the Seas.
“We’ve always broken the mold with each successive ship we build, and Anthem of the Seas is no different,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
That’s for sure. The company first broke the mold back in 1988 with the Sovereign of the Seas, which at that time was the largest cruise ship afloat at just over 73,000 tons. It introduced impressive features such as a five-deck atrium called Centrum, a lavish spa and the line’s first full casino.
At the same time, the company was developing private destinations. In 1986, it opened Labadee on the north coast of Hispaniola, and four years later introduced CocoCay in the Bahamas.
Fast forward to the next century, and Royal Caribbean again wows the industry with the Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, sister ships that share the title of world’s largest cruise ship (although the Allure reportedly is a tiny bit bigger). Introduced in 2009 and 2010, the two ships are a whopping 225,282 tons and accommodate 5,400 passengers on a double-occupancy basis. Each ship has seven distinct areas called neighborhoods, including Central Park, with its pathways through gardens and trees, and Boardwalk, inspired by historic boardwalks of yesteryear and amusement parks such as Coney Island (think a real carousel and a zipline!).
Now comes the Quantum of the Seas, which entered service in November, and its new sister, Anthem of the Seas, which will move to Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J., in November to operate year-round cruises to Bermuda, the Caribbean and Canada/New England.
The ships are garnering enthusiastic attention for innovations such as the North Star aerial observatory, a glass capsule that takes guests more than 300 feet above the ocean, the RipCord by iFLY sky-diving simulator, and the SeaPlex, which offers bumper cars, disco roller skating and circus school. Not to mention the 18 restaurants and a robotic bartender.
Royal Caribbean also is noted for Broadway-style entertainment and extensive children and teen offerings, including programs divided into five age groups and a partnership with DreamWorks.
With 23 ships and more on the way, Royal Caribbean explores the world, visiting 235 ports in 69 countries on six continents in 2014, including Bermuda, the Caribbean, Europe, Canada/New England, Alaska, South America, Asia, and Australia/New Zealand.
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