We spoke with Royal Caribbean’s Director of Sales, Benjamin Bouldin, for some exclusive insight into what’s to come for the cruise line.
Read on to find out more about new additions to the fleet and future plans for this extraordinary cruise line.
Firstly, tell us a little bit about Royal Caribbean.
“At Royal Caribbean we aim to shake up perceptions when it comes to cruise holidays and demonstrate that a cruise is, in fact, a much richer experience than it’s often given credit for. Our aim is to give guests of all ages a holiday to remember with an array of wow-inducing features and brag-worthy amenities only found on Royal Caribbean ships, such as robotic bartenders, the tallest slide at sea and jaw-dropping entertainment.”
What are you most excited about? What have been the big milestones for the business in the last few years?
“This year it’s our 50th birthday, so a chance to celebrate our legacy of innovation when it comes to introducing industry “firsts” that have never been seen before at sea or on land.
We’ve just launched the first in the Quantum Ultra class of ships, Spectrum of the Seas, who will be sailing around Asia from her homeport of Shanghai. She is set to revolutionise the Asian cruising market, boasting our first private enclave for suite guests, new stateroom categories, innovative dining concepts and stunning new features and experiences.
A huge milestone for us this year is the launch of the Perfect Day Island Collection, a series of unrivalled private island destinations around the globe – starting with Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas, launching this month.”
Last year, we saw the extraordinary Symphony of the Seas launch and become the largest passenger ship in the world, what makes her so special? How will you top it?
“All of our ships offer something for everyone, but Symphony takes family holidays to a whole new level with energy and options never before found in one place.
Symphony was designed to really change the game for how holidaymakers of all ages can travel, and with her restaurants, activities and unparalleled entertainment, she does just that. At Royal Caribbean we try to make even the unimaginable possible, so I have no doubt that what’s to come will be even more extraordinary.”
The use of technology and smartphones is becoming more and more popular on cruise ships, how is Royal Caribbean adapting to this demand?
“Yes, we’re keen to ensure guests have the same smartphone experience on our ships as they would have at home. In 2016 we launched VOOM, our exclusive, onboard high-speed internet service – the fastest at sea – which is available fleetwide.
We know that our guests like to have all necessary information in the palm of their hand, so our Royal Caribbean app is designed to assist guests during their cruise, providing details about their planned activities and maps for each deck of the ship. This means they can even book shore excursions and reserve onboard activities without getting up from their sun lounger!”
What is something everyone should experience on-board their Royal Caribbean cruise?
“Every aspect of a Royal Caribbean cruise has been meticulously thought out in order to exceed all expectations, however, our entertainment is not to be missed. The quality of our offering is truly exceptional. In addition to our fully-licensed West End and Broadway shows, our Royal Caribbean Productions original shows really push the boundaries of what’s possible in entertainment with the debut of cutting-edge productions on stage, in the air, under water and on ice.”
Which ship would you say is the best for someone new-to-cruise and considering Royal Caribbean?
“If they are travelling with children, I would recommend our Oasis class ships – Symphony, Harmony, Allure or Oasis – there’s so much for people of all ages to enjoy and there’s zero chance of any boredom! I personally really enjoy our Quantum class ships. Their ground-breaking technology and spectacular features are second to none. We’re really looking forward to having Anthem of the Seas in the UK next year – for the first time since 2015.”
What is your favourite cruising memory?
“I’ve got so many, but sailing from Southampton on Anthem of the Seas in 2015 will always be an invaluable memory, not just for myself, but also for my family who shared the experience with me. Anthem’s a spectacular ship with so much to offer – a real highlight was trying out RipCord® by iFLY®, the onboard skydiving simulator, it’s such an incredible experience and we all loved it.”
What is one thing Royal Caribbean simply couldn’t exist without?
“This has to be our invaluable staff and travel agent partners. Behind every Royal Caribbean sailing there are onboard and onshore teams who go above and beyond to help ensure our guests have the most extraordinary and memorable holiday that they deserve.”
The private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay, is soon to be a mainstay on a number of itineraries to the Caribbean. Could you tell us what you’re most excited about for it?
“Perfect Day is particularly exciting because there really will be nowhere else quite like it and I can’t wait for the response from Royal Caribbean guests. It may be a bold claim, but Perfect Day promises to be just that, the perfect holiday day for all our guests – no matter what that may look like.
Whether it’s racing down the tallest and most thrilling waterslide in North America, riding the tide of the Caribbean’s largest wave pool, taking in the highest view in The Bahamas from a helium balloon 450 feet in the air, unwinding at the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean, or enjoying the perfect beach day, guests won’t fail to be amazed.”
What is it like to work for Royal Caribbean?
Take a look at our latest Royal Caribbean sailings by clicking the link below, or call our Cruise Concierge team on 0808 1234 118 for more information.
Have you sailed with Royal Caribbean before? Do you have a favourite ship? Let us know in the comments below.