Royal Caribbean, buoyed by the success of the “smart ship” Ovation of the Seas in the Asian region, is looking to grow destinations and port infrastructure.
Gavin Smith, vp international of RCCL, who flew to Singapore for the first visit of the Ovation class vessel to the region, said there were challenges with a ship containing 5,000 passengers.
But the company has become an investor and was talking with governments to accelerate destination growth..
“We are talking to governments across the region. There are no specifics yet but we are holding many conversations with many governments,” he said.
Sean Treacy, managing director of Singapore and Southeast Asia, said the take-up for the vessel in Indonesia and Malaysia was strong, and he thanked the Singapore Tourist Board for helping educate the trade about the vessel.
With Mariner and Voyager of the Seas, Royal Caribbean now has the largest fleet in southeast Asia, and Mr Treacy said the company had instituted agent training programs across the region, including India.
He said the company was looking at 30 per cent growth in all the ASEAN markets where they were operating.
He said agents were receiving special incentives, including commissions and familiarisation cruises.
The Ovation of the Seas is proving an amazing draw card. ASEAN Cruise News was aboard her for ceremonies in Singapore and Malaysia, where she was hailed as a game changer.
Despite a price tag of over US$6,300 for three nights, the new Suite Class aboard Royal Caribbean has proved such a hit that many sailings are already sold out.
The suites, one a duplex sleeping six, come with a concierge called a “Royal Genie”, exclusive dining room and access to the best activities, many of which quickly gain queues.
Suite Class has a new set of inclusions, including drinks packages that put it on par with luxury ships and their all-inclusive offerings.
The Royal Loft Suite is 840 square feet on two levels, with enormous picture windows running up two floors at the back of the ship.
ASEAN Cruise News visited the suite while the vessel was in Singapore. It had been occupied by a Singapore family of six.
It has a huge balcony, a private open-air spa pool, facilities to eat on the main back balcony and a generous dining table for six.
There is a walk in wardrobe in the master bedroom, special mattress and a private media room which converts to a double bedroom.