Royal Caribbean Launches $300 Million Upgrade

| Monday, 11 Jul. 2011

Radiance of the Seas just finished dry dock renovations in Victoria, B.C.

We already know that Royal Caribbean has tested the waters for upgrades to some of its more popular ship like Liberty, Freedom and Oasis of the Seas. Now they are ready to make many of the same upgrades to more ships in the fleet from the Radiance, Voyager and Vision classes.

These new "Royal Advantage" upgrades will be rolled out to Splendour of the Seas in November. Next will come Vision-class ships including Rhapsody of the Seas (March 2012) and Grandeur of the Seas (May 2012), as well as Serenade of the Seas of the Radiance class (November 2012). Each dry dock will take approximately one month.

The restaurants to be included on each ship include:

Izumi - a Japanese restaurant with sushi, sashimi and more Asian-fusion style food - the menu is a la carte. Park Café - a traditional New York style deli, with table seating, self service and no cover charge. You can get freshly sliced deli meat sandwiches as well as bakery items and delicious specialty coffees.

Rita's Cantina - originally introduced on Allure of the Seas, is a standard Mexican food eatery which comes with mariachi singers and other special entertainment. There is an a la carte menu - no reservations are required.

The Boardwalk Doghouse is an all-you-can-eat, Coney Island style hot dog stand. There is no cover charge for the dogs. You can get them with any traditional accoutrement you desire; sauerkraut, mustard, relish, catsup, onions, etc.

They will also add the popular "Chef's Table" where a select group of diners are personally served by the chef and a small staff in a private room. There is a $95 per person cover charge - alcohol included.

Oddly missing from the list of eateries to be added are two restaurants which were just included in the recent Radiance upgrade; Samba Grill, the Brazilian Churrascaria and Giovanni's Table family service style Italian restaurant.

Other new features to be added to all of these ships listed above include:

New flat panel televisions in all the staterooms, bow to stern Wi-Fi service and "electronic mustering," which we don't really have a definition for yet, but mustering is the process of teaching passengers how to use their lifejackets and showing them where to assemble in the rare case of an emergency. Also known as the "lifeboat drill," required on every cruise sailing in U.S. waters.

"Digital Wayfinders"- are electronic touch screens near the elevators on the Oasis-class. They will show you not only a map of the ship but the best path to take to get from your location to any room. They also provide information about the restaurants onboard and show, giving you the ability to make and instant reservation and slide your key card to record it. If there is charge for anything you book there, including shore excursions, the charge is added to your bill when you slide your key card. Outdoor movie screens will be added on the pool decks.

New facilities for infants and tots aged six to 36 months, called the "Royal Babies and Tots Nursery."

Just last month the line completed upgrading Radiance of the Seas in a month-long dry dock in Victoria, B.C. Canada. For a better idea on how these additions will be implemented, see our article on the Radiance Upgrades in Pictures.

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