Category Archives: Royal Caribbean

Family Cruising with Nickelodeon and Dreamworks

Watchout Disney…NCL and Royal Caribbean are bringing it. I was recently on the NCL Epic 2 day Inaugural cruise and was introduced to Sponge Bob and Dora the Explorer. When I returned home my kids loved the pics of the water slides and of the Nickelodeon characters. Within hours of showing my family the pics from my 3 day NCL Epic adventure, a Norwegian Cruise Line commercial came on Nickelodeon advertising Nickelodeon at Sea. My 3 year old went crazy, saying “daddy take me on that cruise”. Of Course the NCL commercials did a much better job than my pics at making the Nickelodeon characters come to life.

Sponge Bob & Dora at Sea

Sponge Bob, Dora, & Jimmy Neutron on NCL Epic

A few days later, I saw a TV commercial advertising the Royal Caribbean Dreamworks Experience with Shrek and Donkey. The beauty of these relationships is the advertising that will draw families onboard for a one-of-a-kind vacation experience. Parents have a hard time saying no to their kids. If your kids have seen these commercials featuring their favorite characters placed in the middle of their cartoons, I am sure you are already well aware of their effectiveness. It’s a page out of the McDonald’s Ronald McDonald playbook. Get the kids constantly asking to go on a Cruise vacation with Dora the Explorer and sooner or later that family will be on Nickelodeon at Sea vacation. This is the main reason why families have been paying a sizeable premium to cruise on Disney Cruise line for years.

The only issue now is which cruise to take my family on next NCL’s Nickelodeon at Sea or the Royal Caribbean Dreamwork’s experience. Are your kids more into Nickelodeon, Dreamworks, or Disney? Would that be a driving factor in choosing your next family vacation?

Here is a video from Kevin Tacher’s family reunion cruise. They were one of the first families to cruise 7-nights on the NCL Epic. 


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Filed under Family Cruising, NCL Epic, Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean comes back to New Orleans!

Really big cruise news was announced today that has me excited for my friends in New Orleans!! Royal Caribbean announced today a new redeployment strategy for a few of their ships. It appears that the catalyst for the move is the struggling California economy not being able to support the price points that a ship of the calibre of the Mariner of the Seas should be commanding.

The Mariner of the Seas will be heading toward Europe on January 16th, 2011. On her way, she will make several South America voyages including one during Carnaval. July – September 2011 The Mariner of the Seas will be sailing roundtrip from Rome on 7 night Sailings. It is interesting to not that during the 2011 Summer, 50% of Royal Caribbean’s fleet will be in Europe.

Now for the News that got me excited, quoted directly from Royal Caribbean’s Nation of Why not Blog:

Voyager of the Seas to relocate to New Orleans and restart our New Orleans program that we stopped after Hurricane Katrina. The program will commence on November 12, 2011 and last until April of 2012. The weekly 7-night Western Caribbean itinerary will offer Falmouth, Jamaica; Cozumel, Mexico and George Town, Grand Cayman.

New Orleans has received a 6 month committment from Royal Caribbean on one of their huge Voyager Class Ships. This is great news for the city of New Orleans. It shows that Royal Caribbean has confidence in being able to fill a large ship every week for 6 months. This will be an incremental increase of 3800 new visitors to New Orleans on a weekly basis.  A significant increase which should help support New Orleans remarkable story of rebuilding and growth.  Congrats New Orleans!

Related New Orleans News: Social Fresh Cruise announces it will depart from New Orleans


Filed under Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean Transatlantic Cruise Deal

Thanks to left-over group rates, has the 14-Night Transatlantic Cruise departing on November 7th from Barcelona spain to Galveston, Texas. This Transtalantic cruise vacation is on the Voyager of the Seas which is one of the largest ships cruising across the Atlantic this fall. is offering this voyage for $607 per person for an Inside Cabin with a $100 credit to spend onboard the ship. Oceanview Cabins are only $713. Compare this exclusive deal below to the Royal Caribbean rates of $799 per person with $0 in shipboard credit. That is a $500 savings!! At 3PM ET on April 15th, 2010 only had 3 inside Cabins and 3 Oceanview Cabins remaining on this deal.

Call 800-668-6414 Now to book this exclusive offer!

Click Picture to enlarge Comparison:

Royal Caribbean Selling Transatlantic Cruise for $799 pp


Filed under Royal Caribbean Teams up with has teamed up with Dynasty Athlete Representation, LLC to host a group cruise for the agents and their growing client list of Professional Baseball players. They will set sail on October 4th on the Monarch of the seas to the sunny Bahamas. This is an awesome opportunity for the players to get away, relax, connect with other players, and of course have FUN! Dynasty Athlete Representation shares my passion of interactive media. They are a leader in Sports Blogging; you can find all of their original content on

While on their cruise you will be able to follow them on Twitter at @DynastyReps, @Darren_Heitner, and @BryanSwalley…. (if you enjoy Baseball and Sports start following them Now!) and are teaming up with the best content producers on the internets to create one-of-a-kind group cruise experiences. We are excited to now include Dynasty Athlete Representation to that list of partners!

If you are an awesome content producer, have an audience, and have thought about using a group cruise to share your passion and to strenghten your connection with your audience and friends, call me 704.965.0228 – that is what I do!
Happy Sailing ~ Rich Tucker

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Filed under Royal Caribbean, Social Media

Oasis of the Seas, drops below $900

Announcement: The Oasis of the Seas is now selling for under $900 on multiple dates in May 2010. All cruise vacations between April 11 – May 22 have been selling for quite a discount. The Cruise Lines can’t wait to get beyond Spring and into this Summer. Cruise Rates in the Summer have been continuously increasing while the Spring has been difficult especially in the Caribbean.

I was not expecting the Oasis of the Seas to be reduced below $900 until the Winter of 2010/2011 when the Allure of the Seas will be competing for passengers. If you are looking for an Oasis of the Seas deal over the Summer, the rates are increasing steadily with rates starting at $1299 per person.

If you are looking for one of the larger Suites on the Oasis of the Seas, you will need to start your search for after the 1st week in August 2010. Click here to see all of the 2010 Oasis of the Pricing. ~ Happy Sailing ~ Rich Tucker

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Filed under Caribbean, Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean, Spring Break

Carolina Nightlife SpringBreak Cruise, departing in 3 days!

Photo by @adrants on the Carnival Destiny 11.12.10 teamed up with Carolina Nightlife, a leader in party promotions and Facebook Marketing in the Southeast.  The 1st Annual Carolina Nightlife Spring Break Cruise to the Bahamas sets sail on March 8th, 2010 from Port Canaveral on the Monarch of the Seas.   We sold the group out 2 months prior to the departure date.  Some of the top party schools will be represented on the Spring Break Cruise including East Carolina, UNC-Wilmington, App St., & UNC-Charlotte.   Follow @CLTNightLife on Twitter as Hunter will be live-tweeting and posting pictures from the Spring Break cruise as connectivity allows.  When they return we will post pictures from their cruise.

Join the Carolina NightLife Spring Cruise Facebook Group so that you will be able to take part in the 2011 Spring Break Cruise!   Remember to book early so you do not miss the boat in 2011.

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8 tips to Avoid Online Cruise Booking Errors

Booking Cruises online is growing in popularity thanks to many of the sites being extremely user-friendly, people are becoming more comfortable making online purchases, the convenience, and they are finding the best deals online.  Here are 8 tips to help you avoid some common errors when booking your cruise online without the assistance of a Travel Agent.  If you are ever confused about what you are booking, call the agency’s 800 number and talk to an agent. 

#1 Booking a Category 1A cabin on a Carnival Cruise and not realizing that a Category 1A is one twin bed on the floor and a twin bed that comes out of the wall.  Basically, it is bunk beds.  The least expensive inside cabin on a Carnival Cruise is a Category 1A and when you see “rates starting at $199 on a Carnival Ship” it is for 1A.

# 2 Booking an Obstructed Ocean View Cabin thinking that they were getting a full view.  The least expensive Ocean View Cabin on most ships with all of the cruise lines are obstructed by life boats.  The cruise industry considers cabins on the outside of the ship to be Ocean View.  First time cruisers get very upset when they book an Ocean View cabin online and then they get to the cruise ship there is a life boat in front of their window.   The best way to prevent this from occurring is to printout a Deck Plan of the ship that you are booking onto and see where your cabin is located.  There is usually a pretty steep jump in price from Obstructed Ocean View to the full Ocean View. 

# 3 Not understanding Cruise Line Cancellation Penalties.  If you book a cruise and the full payment is required at the time of booking, then you are already within the timeframe in which cancellations are penalized.  When you book online, you are fully responsible for knowing the cancellation policy of the cruise line and of the agency you are booking through. does not charge any admin fees for cancellations, but we required to follow the cruise lines policies.   Some other agencies charge booking and cancellation fees on top of the cruise lines policies, so you need to be aware of those as well.   Cruise line penalties usually start around 80 days prior to the sail date.  Adding Travel Insurance is the best way to reduce the risk of being penalized for last minute cancellations.

#4 Not Understanding what it means to book a Guarantee.  When people book a cruise online and do not get a cabin assignment at the time of booking or they book an Inside or Ocean View Guarantee they sometimes do not understand what they are booking.  A Guarantee means that you are Guaranteed at least that category of cabin depending on availability.  So it leaves you opened to getting upgraded, but because you are giving the cruise line the ability to assign your cabin that once it is assigned the cruise line will not move it for you.  This is usually the way to get the best deal, but you give up control of location for the low price and the hopes for a “free” upgrade. 

#5 Not giving themselves enough time to get to the pier when they book their flights.  Every port and airport is different so you need to find out what are the recommended arrival and departure times for flights for that sailing prior to arranging your flights.  You have to be to the pier 2.5 hours prior to the cruise ship departing. 

#6 Bonus Offers: A growing online trend is great bonuses like Onboard Credits and Free Gratuities being offered by Online Travel Agencies.  These bonus offers set online agency’s deals apart from the cruise lines offers.  These offers can lower the total price of your cruise when booking online, but these bonus offers can also be confusing.   Many of these bonus offers only apply to certain cabin categories like only applying to balcony and suite.  When booking online, make sure that the cabin you are booking gets the bonus offer.  If it is confusing, call in to speak with an agent.  If you feel the site was misleading, then move on to another online cruise agency.

#7 Coupon Books: Coupon Books vs. OnBoard Credits –  The Coupon Books are advertised as savings up to $400…  if you are choosing between coupon books and onboard credits which is actually cash to spend on board… then take the deal with On Board Credits. 

#8 Early Booking Savers – If you are booking Carnival Cruises a few months prior to the cruise, the lowest rate offered is a rate that requires a non-refundable deposit.  The early saver rate is about 20% less than the other rates and gives the consumer the guarantee that if the rate drops.   I think the rate and guarantee is worth the non-refundable deposit.  As with any booking, I recommend buying travel insurance at time of deposit to protect your investment and yourself

 Happy Sailing ~ Rich Tucker

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Filed under Carnival, How to Find Cruise Deals, Royal Caribbean