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Navantia Shipyard assigned to upgrade Grandeur of the Seas

Posted by RCI fans on January 25, 2012 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (0)

As part of its ongoing effort to revitalize its older ships, Royal Caribbean has confirmed that Navantia shipyard in Cadiz, Spain has been assigned to complete the refurbishment project for Grandeur of the Seas.

This is the second Royal Caribbean ship to be upgraded at Navantia, following Splendour of the Seas which received similar upgrades in November last year. All of these upgrades are part of Royal Caribbean's Royal Advantage program. Royal Caribbean is currently focusing on upgrading the Vision class of ships, some of the oldest in their fleet.

The work will consist mainly of improvements in propulsion systems, rudders, bow thrusters, anchors and chains, plus many odd jobs in the engine room. Work will also be carried out in the Centrum. The duration of the work is expected to take four weeks, during which around 350 people will work at Navantia and its subsidiary companies to complete the work.

Royal Caribbean crewmember Indicted For Sexually Abusing 14 Year Old Girl

Posted by RCI fans on January 12, 2012 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (0)

The Baltimore Sun reports today that a Grand Jury in Baltimore, Maryland indicted a Royal Caribbean crewmember of sexually abusing a minor during a cruise ship out of Baltimore.

According to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, crewmember Fabian Palmer, age 25, befriended a 14 year old girl and her family during a cruise that departed from Baltimore on December 17, 2010.

The newspaper reports that on December 23, 2011, the victim told authorities that she was alone on a deck on the cruise ship when crewmember Palmer took her into a men's locker room and "began having sex with her." He stopped only when another employee knocked on the door.

The cruise ship's CCTV video cameras captured images of the crewmember, the victim and a second employee outside the locker room around the same time that the victim said the abuse occurred, according to the newspaper. During an interviewed by Royal Caribbean security, crewmember Palmer admitted having sex with the girl, but claims that he believed that she was 16.

The newspaper does not identify the cruise ship, but it appears that it involved the Enchantment of the Seas.

The Grand Jury returned the indictment yesterday.

The FBI has special maritime jurisdiction to investigate crimes like this involving U.S. citizens on the high seas. An adult engaging in sexual intercourse with a 14 year old minor is in violation of federal law and is considered to be "sexual abuse" which can be prosecuted by the Department of Justice.

This incident comes at a time when the international media is reporting on the rape of a 15 year old girl on another Royal Caribbean cruise ship, the Allure of the Seas.

The newspaper reports that Royal Caribbean did not immediately respond to a request for comment today.

A similar incident occurred in November on a Carnival cruise ship when a crewmember identified as Kert Clyde Jordan, age 35, a waiter from the country of Grenada, took a 14 year old child into a bathroom on the Carnival Liberty cruise ship. He was indicted on sexual abuse and is in jail in Miami awaiting trial. You can read about that incident here and here.

Source: www.cruiselawnews.com

iPads For Every Stateroom

Posted by RCI fans on November 23, 2011 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (2)

When Splendour of the Seas comes out of drydock next week, she will be offering all of her guests regardless of stateroom type, an iPad. In addition, Royal Caribbean is planning to roll out iPads to every Vision Class ship (Vision, Grandeur, Rhapsody, Enchantment and Legend of the Seas) by 2014.

Passengers will be able to;

•Access the daily Cruise Compass

• Access daily itineraries, including shore excursions

• Monitor their onboard account

• Order room service

• View restaurant menus

• Access the internet *

• Watch movies

* - Additional charges apply

Royal Caribbean senior vice president of Hotel Operations, Lisa Bauer, commented on the news, "Based on consumer research, we added the iPads to greatly enhance guest communication, interactivity and to continue to offer industry leading technology that helps enhance the guest experience. This is just one of the many exciting ways that Royal Caribbean continues to provide our guests with the ultimate cruise experience."

Royal Caribbean expects every cabin onboard Splendour to have an iPad by February 2012.

Centrum Upgrades on Vision Class Ships

Posted by RCI fans on November 22, 2011 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (2)

Royal Caribbean International is set to transform the Centrum areas on its Vision Class ships. Work is currently being done on Splendour of the Seas. The Centrum, located in the center of the ships, will become a venue featuring day-time activities, nightly entertainment and aerial spectacles. The Centrum’s Champagne Bar also will be reinvented into the R Bar with a 1960s vibe and signature cocktails.

The R Bar offerings will feature a return of classic cocktails such as gimlet, martini, brown liquors, gin and whiskeys served in unique glassware with surprising garnishes. The venue’s resident mixologist, selected from the cruise line’s fleet to be the face and personality behind the bar, will create drink specials to complement each evening’s theme and aerial spectacular.

The glass elevators facing into the Centrum will feature large LED panels across their length, providing a backdrop of moving visuals five decks high. Aerial acrobatics vignettes can be viewed at close range from the different decks.

Daytime activities will include chef demonstrations, towel-folding demonstrations, dance classes, game shows, Nintendo Wii competitions and Captain’s Corner, when guests spend time with the captain. Additionally, there will be performances from musicians and singers as well as themed parties such as the Disco Inferno dance party.

Splendour of the Seas Refurbishment

Posted by scottishemma123 on November 19, 2011 at 5:20 AM Comments comments (3)

Yesterday I read a great article by Adam Goldstein, President and CEO of of RCI about the refurbishment of Splendour of the Seas which is taking place in dry docks in Cadiz right now.

One of the changes he detailed was the changing of the Viking Crown Lounge into Chops Grille which I think is a great idea as passengers will have amazing views from the highest point of the ship while they dine.

124 balcony cabins are being added to the ship which will be a welcome addition for those who enjoy a bit of private outdoor space. All bathrooms are being completely refurbished too.

I was onboard Splendour of the Seas in September 2010 and really enjoyed the ship. I thought it was a great size and liked the open plan feel of the two-teir dining room with its large windows.

There is also major changes taking place in the centrum of the ship (pictured above in September 2010) and a new nightclub Izumi is being created.

Grandeur of the Seas Review

Posted by RCI fans on November 6, 2011 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

I thoroughly enjoyed my cruise onboard the wonderful Grandeur of the Seas. First impressions of the ship were very surprising. The ship looked much bigger than I was expecting. After being on Independence and Oasis of the Seas, I thought Grandeur would be dwarfed by the bigger ships. It was noticeably smaller, but standing next to her at Palma Port made the ship look huge!

As we boarded the ship, it was clear straight away that Grandeur was in need of a major refurbishment. Luckily though, Grandeur of the Seas is expected to have a full refit in the New Year. There were no speciality restaurants onboard such as Chops Grille and Portofino’s. The only restaurants onboard were the two deck Great Gatsby Dining Room and the Windjammer Marketplace. We explored the ship while waiting for our suitcases to arrive. The Centrum is a wonderful area. It is a place where all the decks are connected together and alcoves of little seating areas and bars, such as the Champagne Bar, are located. I would say I prefer the Centrum than the Royal Promenade on other Royal Caribbean ships because of the spirit the place holds. It makes it a lovely spot for catching up with friends and family. The pool deck is also a lovely place on the ship. You can relax in Solarium or sunbathe near the main pool.

The Palladium Theatre is one of the grandest theatres in the fleet. I love the ‘sofa seating’ arrangement where you can have a private sofa for 1, 2 or 3 people. In my opinion it is better than the seating on the Freedom and Oasis class ships. On the more newer ships they seem to cram as many people in as possible, whereas this theatre was much nicer to sit in.

We spent the next day in Barcelona. We visited the Segrada Familia, walked along Las Ramblas and had a trip on the Metro. We boarded the ship just in time as when we got through security, the heavens opened and there was a thunder storm which lasted the remainder of the day!

The next day we docked in Ibiza, where we would be docked until 11.00pm so some guests could have a taste of the Ibiza nightlife. There isn’t much to say about it really. We had a relaxing day on the beach in the nearby town of Playa de Bossa.

The next stop for the cruise was Malaga. Jason and Joan boarded their cruise here on Adventure of the Seas in November last year, so they knew what to do.

*RCI fans Tip*

Don’t buy Royal Caribbean’s coach transfers for this port of a call, as a local service bus picks up in the coach bays next to the terminal and drops you off at the same point as the coach transfer does. Royal Caribbean charge $10 per person for the transfer, but it is around €1.45 per person return, so you do save quite a lot. You should only buy the RCI transfer if you plan to make several trips to and from the ship.

The next day we arrived in the British town of Gibraltar! This port of call was by far the best place out of the cruise itinerary. Royal Caribbean do not run a transfer into the town, as it is within walking distance of the town centre. I was also shocked when I heard there were no taxi’s in Gibraltar apart from the ‘Rock Tour’ minibuses which do drop you off in the town for €2 each. As I am from England, I loved walking down the Main Street and seeing English shops such as BHS and Marks and Spencers. Alcohol and Tobacco are also very cheap here, but you are only allowed to bring 1 bottle/packet back onboard. We walked to the Cable Car station to go up the Rock of Gibraltar. We waited for around 10 minutes. You will see companies outside the Cable Car entrance trying to get you to go on a tour with them. I would advise you not to go with these people. Although they are legitimate tours, it is easier and cheaper to do it yourself on the cable car. Plus it is a great experience! The monkeys were adorable, yet dangerous. If you follow the rules posted around the site, they shouldn’t bother you. When you go up you should try and keep all bags closed and do not carry and plastic bags as the monkeys love them! (Watch our video on YouTube!) We spent about an hour up there laughing at the monkeys play around and taking in the views of the coastline of Africa, before heading back down the rock. We decided to have a meal in a restaurant called ‘Mamma Mias’ it is situated next to the cable car station and they serve delicious Italian pizza’s cooked over a stone baked oven. I would highly recommend you visiting.

Day 6 was spent at sea. The most interesting thing happened that day, as a ‘medical emergency’ happened. The captain informed us that we would have to make an abrupt detour to the nearest port, so that a passenger could get air lifted to hospital. The ship went ‘full throttle’ to get just off the coast of Cartagena, where we saw a glimpse of Mariner of the Seas! 9We were eating at the dining room when all this happened, so we took no photos, which was a disappointment.) The ship stopped and dropped its anchor all outside decks were closed off and sunbeds were stacked away. We then waited for the helicopter to arrive. A man was airlifted onto the ship to attach the ill passenger. We were never told what was wrong with the passenger, but it must have been serious for this to happen.

The food onboard was fabulous each night. There was a good selection of food on the menu. We had a fantastic waiter called Idege who served us every day.

I would definatly like to go back on this vessel sometime in the future. It would be intersting to see what it would be like after the ‘revitalization’ has been done. I highly recommend you cruise on this ship!

Grandeur Diaries - Day 1

Posted by RCI fans on October 24, 2011 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Welcome to our daily diary from our cruise on Grandeur of the Seas.

We arrived at the airport to be greeted by a Royal Caribbean Representative. He told us what we had to do when we got off the plane. I was surprised when he said he had never been on a cruise!

First impressions of the ship were very surprising. As the coach transfer dropped us off outside Grandeur, it seened surprisingly big! We passed through Palma terminal quickly and easily and boarded the gangplank leading to the ship. It was very clear, straight away that the ship was in need of a major refit. Luckily though Grandeur of the Seas is scheduled for a overhaul in the new year. As the ship was built in 1996, dining options are limited. There is only really the Great Gatsby Dining Room and the Windjammer to choose from. There are no speciality restuarants such as Chops Grille or Portofinos at all. This will change, however, when the refit commences.

We explored the ship briefly while waiting for our cases to arrive. The centrum is a wonderful area. Staitcases interwine through floors and cosy alcoves of seating are all in this area making it a great spot for catching up with friends and families. The lovely pianist plays great tunes as you stroll around the area.

The pool deck is also a nice place to spend time. You can relax in the Solarium or sunbathe near the main pool.

The Palladium Theatre is by far the best theatre in the Royal Caribbean fleet. The chairs are in groups of 1,2 or 3 and have cup holders. They a re much better than the seating on the Freedom and Oasis class ships.

We didn't get to see much of Palma, but the Cathederal was superb!

After dinner it was straight to the Palladium Theatre for the evening show. The entertainmet was a circus acrobat which sounds good, however he was not. He did a few good stunts, but mostly did lame dancing to porolong the show. It was clear that a lot of other people thought he was rubbish too as he recieved very little applause. He even interupted the Cruise Director to try and get some extra claps.

That was Day 1, we'll be posting more diaries after we get back! See you soon!

Grandeur of the Seas - 3 Day Checkpoint

Posted by RCI fans on October 19, 2011 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Well, I can't believe it, I'm posting this message exactly 3 days before we depart on Grandeur of the Seas

That means we will be taking a weeks vacation from our website and other social pages. We will however be keeping you up to date on our voyage via Twitter. We will be tweeting a couple of updates throughout the week. During this time we would like to remind you not to be offened if we don't reply back to any of your mentions or emails.

We will be taking lots of photos and videos (3GB worth of SD card memory to be exact!) of our time on Grandeur of the Seas including a stateroom tour of our JUNIOR SUITE! Yes, in the last few days we recieved a free upgrade from Royal Caribbean International from a Balcony cabin to a Junior Suite. It's the first time ever we have stayed in a suite, so this experience will broaden our knowledge to help you even more with your cruising questions!

When we get back from the cruise, we will be writing a review about our cruise on Mikey's site, mikeyscruiseblog.com We will also publish a few videos on YouTube showcasing our time on Grandeur. We hope to also record a podcast about our cruise, when we get back, but this is still unconfirmed.

We hope to publish a farewell message just before we leave as well!

We will be back to normal on 31st October (in time for Haloween!) See you soon!!! Bon Voyage!