Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Radiance OTS 2011 Makeover

2011 - The Year of the Makeover
For Royal Caribbean Fleet

Last November we reported that Royal Caribbean International® had scheduled dry-dock make-overs for five of their 22 ships.   When unveiling the the new enhancements to their fleet for 2011, Royal AdvantageSM was announced.   The program would expand their most popular innovations to select ships, giving more to see, more to do, and more to love, to more guests than ever before.

The five ships being updated are as follows: Liberty of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas, and Splendour of the Seas.     Read more:  Introducing Royal Advantage

Exciting News for the Solo Traveler

If you travel much, you are familiar with the term "double occupancy".    It has been the pricing standard in the travel industry (including cruises) for as long as I can recall.   Hotels and cruise lines provide pricing based on two people occupying a room / cabin.   If you are traveling alone, you still pay the price that two people would pay, and in some cases, even more.

In the cruise industry, even though pricing is double occupancy,  quotes are provided on a per person basis.    For the solo traveler, the pricing includes what's called "single supplement".   Over simplified, this is a fancy way of saying that you pay the same price as two occupants or even more.   Sometimes there are lower rates during a promotion, but that is fairly rare.  

Obviously this makes traveling alone quite expensive and quite frankly turns many potential cruisers away, which is quite unfortunate.   What about the married couple that has cruised for years and their mate is now too sick to travel or is no longer alive?    Does that mean they have to now give up one of their favorite pastimes?    In many cases, unless they could find someone to travel with them, that was indeed what happened.

Good news ...    Last year Norwegian Cruise Line was the first to introduce cabins specifically designed for the solo traveler, and more importantly, priced for the single traveler.    No more paying the price for sailing alone.    Photos:  Norwegian Epic Studio Cabins

Radiance of the  Seas goes into dry-dock this May, and will emerge in June in time for the Alaskan cruise season.   In addition to the previously announced addition of the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, there will be three inside cabins added for solo travelers.   This will be the first for the Royal Caribbean fleet.    We suspect that Royal Caribbean is testing the waters to see how well the cabins are received. 

We see this as a positive step in accommodating  a segment of the public that has been unable to purchase a cruise vacation due to the penalty pricing for solo travelers.   It's only three cabins, which is dwarfed by the 100 cabin offering on Norwegian Epic, but it is a start.    Norwegian Cruise line has two new ships on order which will further expand the solo studio offerings.      I suspect this is only the first of many more changes for the solo travelers in months and years to come.

Radiance of the Seas Sails from Seward to other adventurous Alaskan cities, including Juneau and Skagway.

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