Royal Caribbean Brings Wonders of Holiday Season on a Cruise Vacation

Families and friends can celebrate a very special and stress-free holiday together on a Royal Caribbean International cruise this winter season. With a wide range of innovative onboard amenities that offer something for every age, Royal Caribbean ships are ideal for multi-generational families to enjoy a most memorable Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s holiday cruise, where the season’s traditions and festivities are mixed with a generous serving of the cruise line’s renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service. Royal Caribbean holiday cruises offer revelers many choices and destinations among the cruise line’s fleet of innovative and family-focused ships, offering departures from 10 convenient and easy-to-reach domestic ports, including Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ, Baltimore, Port Canaveral, Miami, Port Everglades, Tampa, Galveston, San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“Spending the holidays on a Royal Caribbean ship will bring all the wonders of the holidays without all the work,” Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “A cruise holiday helps alleviate the stresses and messes that are usually associated with the holiday season, and provides more time for guests to celebrate with loved ones. And with cruise prices that offer the best value in a very long time, the whole extended family can plan on celebrating an unforgettable holiday on a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation.”

This holiday season, revelers also can give the gift of a cruise to family and friends. For a limited time until September 18, 2009, travel agents will exclusively offer the new Royal Incentive Rewards to consumers. Just like gift certificates that can be redeemed for merchandise at a retailer, Royal Incentive Rewards are individual cruise certificates that can be redeemed for a Royal Caribbean cruise for two. A range of certificate levels are available, which offer an array of choices in departure ports around the world, ship selection, itineraries up to 12 nights, and inside, outside and balcony accommodations. There is no expiration date and gift recipients of Royal Incentive Rewards can upgrade their certificate or transfer it to another person. Certificates redeemed after 2 years of the issue date will provide a cash value toward the cruise price.

Families can enjoy more time with loved ones and leave the cooking to Royal Caribbean’s chefs this Thanksgiving holiday, where the cruise line’s main dining rooms will feature a gourmet turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Kids also will enjoy Thanksgiving-themed activities in the cruise line’s award-winning Adventure Ocean programming. A special eight-night Bahamas itinerary aboard Explorer of the Seas, sailing on November 21, 2009, from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ, willhelp bring the whole family together for a wonderful Thanksgiving and kick off the festive season. Guests will enjoy Explorer of the Seas innovative onboard amenities, such as an ice-skating rink, rock-climbing wall, and street parties and parades in the Royal Promenade, a boulevard that runs nearly the length of the ship, flanked by boutiques, restaurants, bars and lounges.

Royal Caribbean also will celebrate the Festival of Lights, offering Hanukkah-themed festivities throughout the holiday. A Rabbi will be onboard every ship to conduct services and preside over a Menorah lighting ceremony. In the main dining room, guests can enjoy the cruise line’s delectable food options or request a kosher meal, an option that Royal Caribbean offers on every sailing throughout the year. The December 12, 2009, sailing of Independence of the Seas from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, will combine the Jewish holiday with an eight-night Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard a Freedom-class cruise ship, with its exclusive amenities such as the FlowRider surf simulator, H2O Zone kids’ water park, cantilevered whirlpools suspended 112 feet above the ocean, and the Presidential Family Suite, which sleeps up to 14.

Royal Caribbean will deck its ships with boughs of holly and other seasonal decorations throughout the month of December to herald the jolly holiday. Classic movie screenings, guest and crew caroling, cookie decorating, festive ambient music, and special readings of holiday tales will get guests into the Christmas spirit on a festive family cruise. A Catholic priest also will be onboard to lead the holiday’s observances. Families can still book staterooms aboard the December 19, 2009, sailing of Oasis of the Seas, the newest and most revolutionary cruise ship to enter service in December 2009 from Port Everglades. With Oasis’ seven themed neighborhoods offering the most options of any cruise ship at sea, every guest of every age will have an unsurpassed holiday.

All Royal Caribbean ships also will usher in the New Year at sea, with a Cruise Director and Captain’s Countdown and with themed parties in all onboard lounges. The cruise line’s younger travelers will enjoy the extended late night party zone where kids and teens will be celebrating their very own respective New Years parties and countdowns. Vacationers from the West Coast can ring in the New Year aboard Mariner of the Seas’ December 27, 2009, sailing on a seven-night Mexican Riviera gala cruise from Los Angeles. Mariner is the most exciting ship on the West Coast, also offering an ice-skating rink, rock-climbing wall, inline-skating track, nine-hole mini-golf course, Royal Promenade, and a unique pool deck adorned by pop-artist Romero Britto.

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