Royal Caribbean Shifts Timing of a Popular Loyalty Benefit

Royal Caribbean International has reached out to guests about another change to its free loyalty drink vouchers for Crown and Anchor Society members, this time in a way guests will undoubtedly appreciate. Now, the time frame to use vouchers is being shifted, which will give guests more peace of mind when enjoying late night drinks.

Time Change for Drink Vouchers

Royal Caribbean guests who have reached the Diamond, Diamond Plus, or Pinnacle level of the cruise line’s Crown and Anchor loyalty program have long enjoyed daily drink vouchers as a special perk for their loyalty.

A problem, however, is that the time to reset the voucher use window has always been midnight. This means that vouchers redeemed after midnight would count toward the following day’s total, though many guests consider a late night of karaoke, comedy, or hanging out past midnight to be technically part of the previous day.


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Best Cozumel Beaches Near the Cruise Port

As we prepare to explore the best Cozumel beaches near the cruise port, let’s make note of where our cruise ship is docking. On Isla Cozumel, there are three cruise ship terminals at this busy location – Terminal de Cruceros Plaza Langosta, Muelle Internacional and Muelle Puerta Maya. Which of these spots you will disembark depends on which cruise line you are sailing.

All three terminals are conveniently located near the main town of San Miguel and have access to everything you would like to do while in port. Once on land, you will quickly discover that this island (only 30 miles long and 10 miles wide) offers unique beach experiences.

Best Beaches in Cozumel

While all locations in the Caribbean have exceptional beaches, the shoreline here comes in three types – rocky, white sand and a hybrid variety. The natural qualities of those on the west side of the

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Another Major Cruise Line to Raise Gratuity Rates

Holland America Line has quietly added an announcement to the “Crew Appreciation & Service Charge Policy” page of its website noting that as of February 1, 2023, gratuity rates will be increasing. While the increase is relatively minimal, this follows the trend of other cruise lines likewise raising gratuity fees.

Holland America Line Raising Gratuities

Holland America Line, part of Carnival Corporation & plc, has announced a slight increase in gratuity rates to take effect on all sailings from February 1, 2023. The increase will be $.50 (USD) per guest per day in all stateroom categories.

The new rate will then be $17.50 per person per day for guests in suites, and $16.00 per person per day in non-suite stateroom categories such as balcony, oceanview, and interior staterooms.

Holland America Line describes these fees as “a daily amount for each guest that will be automatically added to your onboard

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How to Text on a Cruise Ship for Free

Out at sea, there are no cell towers. That’s why cruise ships utilize at-sea providers like Wireless Maritime Services or Cellular at Sea. Guests can use their mobile devices and ship-to-shore services.

However, sending and receiving texts and using your phone can be very expensive using these services. So, to avoid costly fees, learn how to text on a cruise ship for free.

How Can I Send an SMS Text Message?

Text messages travel over your mobile network. Therefore, you can send and receive only text messages (no pictures) in your phone’s app wherever there is service.

After your cruise ship leaves port and travels 12 miles out to sea, the vessel switches to at-sea providers. You will lose your cell tower signal if you don’t place your phone in airplane mode before reaching this distance.

Guests need to be aware of what happens next. Your phone will automatically

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Weekly Cruise News Update: December 10, 2022

The past week in the cruise industry has been busy, so Cruise Hive is here to make sure don’t miss a thing. We’ve got cruise news updates on multiple new ships, including from Carnival, Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises and Virgin Voyages, along with a price hike from Norwegian.

Cruise News Update

It was another busy week of cruise news, but no fear as we have you covered. It was dominated by new cruise ship news with Royal Caribbean’s new mega-ship floating out onto the water at the shipyard for the first time, the world’s largest cruise ship celebrating its naming, Carnival’s third excel-class vessel being delayed, Virgin Voyages taking delivery of its third new ship, the naming ceremony for MSC’s new vessel and NCL hiking the price of gratuities.

Icon of the Seas Floats Out

Icon of the Seas has officially touched water for the first time, as the

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World’s Largest Cruise Ship Named at Port Canaveral

The largest cruise ship in the world, Royal Caribbean International’s Wonder of the Seas, has finally been officially christened in a ceremony at her new homeport, Port Canaveral in Florida.

The ceremony, held the evening of Friday, December 9, 2022, included a blend of traditional moments as well as high-tech, energizing snippets showcasing the ship’s innovations and celebrating her in style.

Wonder of the Seas Named

Royal Caribbean International has finally named the line’s newest ship, Wonder of the Seas, in a “Caribbean Chic” ceremony at Port Canaveral, with cruise line executives, VIPs, and media in attendance for the momentous occasion that has officially christened the new ship.

Festivities onboard the vessel included previews of the new, high-energy, tech-infused production shows, spectacular high dives in the AquaTheater, aerialists, and live music for the assembled guests.

Traditional elements, meanwhile, included the bagpipe performance always seen at Royal Caribbean’s ceremonial

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Royal Caribbean Reveals New Details on Icon of the Seas

Royal Caribbean reveals new details on its most anticipated new cruise ship ever, Icon of the Seas. The cruise line details some new offerings that will be featured in the Thrill Island and Surfside neighborhoods.

It comes as the giant LNG-powered vessel continues to be constructed at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland. As Royal Caribbean gets close to the ship’s debut in January 2024, even more new details are expected to be revealed.

Thrill Island’s Latest Features

The excitement continues for Royal Caribbean’s record-breaking new mega-ship, Icon of the Seas, which is still under construction. The cruise reveals some new spaces that guests can enjoy onboard, more specifically, at the Thrill Island and Surfside neighborhoods. The cruise line initially revealed the new vessel in October 2022, including the eight different neighborhoods onboard.

Royal Caribbean Icon of the Seas
Render Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

To be featured in the Thrill Island neighborhood, Basecamp will

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Disney Cruise Line Tightens Temporary Refund Policy

Many cruise lines have been exceptionally lenient with cancellation and refund policies since sailing restarted while strict pandemic protocols were still in effect. Disney Cruise Line is now tightening their policies, however, with a shorter refund window and requiring tests for guests to take advantage of the policy.

Shorter Window for Last-Minute Cancellations

All major cruise lines have had temporary policies in place for guests who may test positive for COVID-19 shortly before their sailing date, when they may be ill or infectious to others during their cruise.

Disney Cruise Line’s policy has been that guests who test positive within 14 days of embarkation would be able to use the “Temporary Flexible Refund Policy” to “receive a refund in their original form of payment without Disney-imposed cancellation fees.”

Guests also have the option to “apply their cruise fare toward a future sail date” if applicable. Now, that policy has quietly

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Latest Construction Update on Carnival’s New Cruise Ship

Although her official release date is nearly a year away, Carnival Jubilee‘s construction is progressing as planned. The Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, provided an update on the Excel-class cruise ship today, already showing her name and livery on parts of the hull in a picture released on Monday.

Carnival Jubilee will have many of the same features as her sisters, Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration, such as the Waterworks Aqua park, Shaq’s Big Chicken, and of course, one of only three rollercoasters at sea, Bolt. 

Carnival Jubilee Construction Update

Carnival Cruise Line’s third Excel-class cruise ship, Carnival Jubilee, is currently under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. While her sisters, Carnival Celebration and Mardi Gras, were both constructed at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, Carnival Jubilee is the first to be built in Germany for the Miami-based cruise line in

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Princess Cruise Passengers Face Unwanted Price Hikes

Princess Cruises is introducing several price hikes, including a higher rate for the daily gratuities guests are expected to pay onboard. The price for the crew appreciation and service charge will increase by $1.50 per guest per day for all cabin and suite categories.

With the current inflation levels affecting most people worldwide, increasing gratuities is a way for Princess Cruises to lessen the impact on its crew.

Princess Cruises has also announced a significant price increase in onboard Wi-Fi. Although the service has been touted as one of the best at sea, it seems unlikely guests will be happy with the new pricing. 

Princess Cruises Gratuity Hike

Introducing price hikes will never go down well with everyone; however, with inflation skyrocketing worldwide, cruise lines are forced to bring some relief to the thousands of crew members onboard. That’s why the cruise line announced to travel advisors that the company

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