By Ensemble Travel Group · January 2022
Cruising has been back at it for nearly a year now, but many of us are just barely getting our feet back into the vacation “waters.” We caught up with Vicki Freed, Senior Vice President, Sales, Trade Support and Service, at Royal Caribbean International to learn how travelers can “rise to the vacation” with RCI in 2022.
Q: What makes Royal Caribbean unique from other cruise lines?
I like to say what really sets Royal Caribbean apart is how we uniquely blend quality and energy. Cruise lines that you associate with high quality tend to be a bit more subdued when it comes to liveliness. And cruise lines that you associate with high energy may not be as high quality. Royal Caribbean combines both for an experience you can’t replicate on any other cruise line.
Q: Tell us about Royal Caribbean’s new ship, Odyssey of the Seas℠?
Odyssey of the Seas is the first Quantum Ultra Class ship to sail from the U.S., and it offers guests revolutionary experiences they may not have interacted with on a cruise before. For instance, Odyssey boasts the largest SeaPlex activity complex in our fleet, complete with a 4D virtual reality experience. The pool deck is massive, and its new resort-style design really gives your pool day an upgrade. The entire ship is truly state-of-the-art and will make your jaw drop as you island hop!
Q: How can Royal Caribbean help travelers “Rise to the Vacation”?
Pulling off the perfect family vacation isn’t always easy, especially when you’re trying to cater to different ages and preferences. Fortunately, Royal Caribbean is known for delivering great family getaways that wow guests across multiple generations. Every ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet is packed with palate-pleasing dining options, incredible entertainment, and unforgettable activities for all ages included in the cruise fare — not to mention itineraries that take you to some of the world’s most adventure-filled shores. But the other half of the equation for helping guests rise to the vacation is using a travel advisor! They’re the experts at matching clients with the ship and itinerary that’s perfect for them.
Q: Many travelers are searching for amazing experiences closer to home, and the Caribbean is a great option. What are some experiential opportunities for travelers when sailing the Caribbean with RCI?
No other cruise line offers a private destination experience like Royal Caribbean. Perfect Day at CocoCay is our exclusive island in The Bahamas that resets adventure to a whole new level. You’ll discover incredible ways to thrill, chill or have a blend of both – like the tallest waterslide in North America, Daredevil’s Peak, the biggest wave pool in the Caribbean, and the first floating cabanas in The Bahamas that bring a bit of Bora Bora to your getaway.
Q: Obviously, safety is a huge concern for passengers right now. What protocols is Royal Caribbean taking to keep passengers safe on board?
We’ve been back at sea for over a year now. The health of our guests and our crew has remained the top priority throughout. And our partnership with expert medical and scientific minds has guided us each step of the way. With tools like vaccination, testing, medical-grade cleaning, and advanced air filtration, we’ve proven we can deliver a healthy vacation, and our guests are able to get back to doing what they love — making memories.
Q: BONUS: What’s one thing you want travelers to know about Royal Caribbean at the moment?
Royal Caribbean delivers incredible vacation experiences in the safest and healthiest way. After living through the pandemic for nearly two years, families and friends are looking for new experiences to share together. With our comprehensive health and safety protocols in place, our guests can enjoy their long-awaited vacations knowing that they are in a fun, safe and healthy environment. We’ve all come to value time that we took for granted in the past, and now we want to take the opportunity to create experiences that will be long remembered over material things. People who used to dream about their bucket list for some unspecified time in the future are now making it their to-do list. We’ve all come to learn that time and family are most important.
Image and Video Credit: Royal Caribbean International