Tag Archives: Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean to Drop Corkage Fee!

Rumor has it that Royal Caribbean will be dropping their $25 per bottle corkage fee for personal wine consumed in the dinning room. Royal Caribbean currently allows each passenger to bring aboard two bottles of wine or champagne which previously had to be consumed in your cabin or pay the $25 corkage fee for the dinning room.

This is a positive move for RCCL!

Does size matter?

Well, I’m talking about cruise ships! That being the case, does size matter? We have sailed on small, medium, and large ships …….. so what is the difference in size and how do you tell the difference! When people talk about cruise ships, they usually compare the gross tonnage of one ship to the gross tonnage of the other.  Because the word “tons” is used in connection with this measurement, people often think the gross tonnage is the weight of the ship. However, as Captain Herman Zini of Royal Caribbean explains, “The tonnage is not the weight, it is a volume measurement. So when we are talking about the tonnage of a ship, we are talking about the volume inside.”

The measurement was developed in order to be able to assess a ship’s cargo capacity. In fact, “tons” as used here is a corruption of “tuns”, an archaic term for casks of wine!

Traditionally, one gross ton was equal to 100 cubic feet of Space. Today, however, tonnage is worked out using a formula but still translates into the internal capacity of the ship.

Gross tonnage is a different standard of measurement than displacement. As Captain Stig Nilsen of Royal Caribbean explains, “Displacement is the weight of the water that a ship displaces. It is actually the weight of the ship.”

Military ships are often stated in terms of its displacement. For example the USS Ronald Regan had a displacement of 102,000 tons while the Brilliance of the Seas measures 90,000 gross tonnage. It would be a mistake to compare these two ships as to tonnage as you would be comparing apples and oranges!

Similarly, gross tonnage is different than deadweight. Deadweight is the amount of load that a ship is allowed to take on board. While the Oasis of the Seas has a gross tonnage of 225,000, her deadweight is only about 25,000 tons!

All that being said, as to cruise ships if we compare gross tonnage, we should have an apples to apples comparison. The gross tonnage normally relates to passenger load also. For example the Azamara Quest has a gross tonnage of about 30,000 tons and a passenger capacity of about 600. Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance has a gross tonnage of about 90,000 tons and a passenger capacity of about 2000, therefore the Brilliance is about three times larger than the Quest!

As most of you know the trend is to build larger and larger ships. For example, the evolution of Royal Caribbean ships has been: Vision class – 78,340 tons, Radiance class – 90,000 tons, Voyager class – 138,000 tons, Freedom class – 160,000 tons, Allure class – 225,282 tons. However RCCL’s new Quantum class will only be 167,800 tons. As a rule gross tonnage does translate into not only the size of the ship, but also number of passengers, added activities, more open space, more restaurants, etc. So, size does matter.

Personally we prefer the smaller ships, like the Azamara Quest or RCCL Radiance class, but we have also had some great cruises on larger ships.

As for me, going forward I am going to think not only of the ship’s gross tonnage …………. but that the ship might be able to hold that much wine!!!

Online Vacation Center Spring 2015 Transatlantic Cruises


OnLine Vacations has released some of their Spring 2015 Transatlantic packages! If you have never sailed Transatlantic, this is a great opportunity. Not only is the cruise included, but also airfare (return to port of embarking), transfers, and a couple nights hotel! We have used OnLine for Transatlantic cruises and they may it seamless! If you enjoy relaxing, reading, and enjoying a beautiful ship, then a Transatlantic cruise with lots of sea days just might be for you!

Azamara Club Cruises!


If you have never sailed with Azamara Club Cruises, you need to get them on your bucket list! Azamara is the top end of the Royal Caribbean family and with only two ships they make you feel like family! Their two ships, The Quest and The Journey, are about 30,000 tons and have a capacity of about 600 passengers. Azamara is all inclusive with gratuities, port transportation, and on-board drinks (wine, beer, and cocktails) included in your cruise price. Azamara tends to sail into smaller ports that larger ships cannot get into or closer to city center of ports which are frequented by larger ships. Azamara does tend to do a lot of over night ports so you can enjoy the port in the evening. We have sailed Azamara twice, both on longer repositioning cruises, one from Singapore to Athens and the other from Seville to Miami. We enjoy the sea days and ability to enjoy the ship. We have had the same Hotel Director and Cruise Director on each of our cruises and they do make you feel like family. With the smaller ship you do get to know the crew and passengers more than you would on a larger ship. The ship’s food is awesome …………. whether you dine in the main dinning room, one of the two speciality restaurants, or at the self service cafe with outdoor seating, you will not go away hungry! Consider becoming part of the Azamara family! Azamara does reciprocal elite benefits with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity which is not common with other cruise lines.

Cruise Ship Dining Options

Have you noticed the trend with cruise ships going away from the traditional two seating dining. In the past your options were to dine early or late if you dine in the main dining room. Over the past several years there has been a trend to offer “mytime” or “anytime” dining options. Some cruise lines and ships have made the change to the anytime dinning option. A lot of people have enjoyed the traditional dining option, knowing when they will dine each evening, having the same table mates, and the same servers.  With anytime dining you can still reserve the same time each evening, usually the same table and servers, and you dine either at a table for two or select a larger table and dine with others. We like the anytime dining option because it puts us in charge . Based on what is happening on a given evening we can adjust our dining time to fit our schedule.  Royal Caribbean’s two new ships  will only have anytime dining and have eliminated the traditional dining option.  I feel this is the future and we will see this trend continue.  Ships will continue to offer a multitude of other dining options with grills, buffets, and  specality restaurants.