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Royal Caribbean International – Background

Established by a group consisting of 3 shipping firms from Norway in the year 1969, the first cruise vessel from Royal Caribbean was the Song of Norway, and this was launched into service in the year 1970. This was a definite first in the cruise ship industry, as the ship was purpose built so as to cruise in warm weather as opposed to point to point transportation. Song of Norway was also the first ship to have a cantilevered cocktail lounge, the lounge cantilevers from the smokestack of the ship. This was accepted widely, and was named the Viking Crown Lounge, and this later became the norm with all ships part of the fleet of Royal Caribbean.

In the year 1988, Royal Caribbean underwent a merger with Admiral Cruises, and this lead to a substantial spurt in growth, and also the introduction of the new Sovereign of the Seas, which had a capacity of 2, 3 50 passengers, as well as an atrium that stood five decks tall. The Royal Caribbean offered an IPO in 1993, and made yet more additions to the fleet. In 1997, the company changed its name to Royal Caribbean International, as it was felt that the global image and itineraries of the line needed to be represented in the name as well.

1997 was also the year when Alaskan itineraries were introduced, with Rhapsody of the seas being the ship of choice. 1998 was another great year business wise, but in the year 1999, Royal Caribbean international scored yet more points with customers, and made competitors jealous by the introduction of yet another class introduced – The Eagle Class. The first Eagle class vessel was the Voyager of the Seas. The ship had a lot of industry firsts incorporated, as well as being extremely well designed. The Voyager of the seas was the first ship to have a rock climbing wall on board, which was the first time. To cap it all, a new ice skating rink was also set up.

At present, Royal Caribbean International continues its tradition of trail blazing, and new innovations being made on a regular basis. There are a good number of ships that have been introduced in the recent years, and the cruise line is building up a list of industry firsts with amazing regularity. There have been new itineraries that are introduced, like the new options which have been made available in the Gulf of Mexico. The Alaskan adventures also have been expanded substantially. Itineraries to Europe have also been given additions, plus there are now more than 15 ships that cruise the Caribbean.

Spirit of Endeavor
Explorer of the Seas

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