It's no wonder mass-market cruise lines are trying to attract wealthy vacationers. But does someone looking for a luxury experience really want to spend a week with his family on a floating shopping mall?
Royal Caribbean International will soon add a luxury class to its newest mass-market ships, bringing butler service to its low-price vacations at sea.
The butlers, dubbed Royal Genies, will serve luxury-class guests around the clock as personal assistants and concierges on select Royal Caribbean ships. They’ll take care of restaurant and entertainment bookings, do the laundry, serve in-room dining requests, customize shore excursions and pour hand-made cocktails upon request.
Royal Suite Class service will be available on RCI’s Quantum- and Oasis-class vessels, the newest ships in its fleet, beginning in May 2016.
Star Class, Sky Class, and Sea Class are the new service levels available, depending on the level of stateroom booked. Cruisers will also get access to a private restaurant and sundeck, along with free internet access, free fitness classes, and improved in-room amenities.
The move to a class-system follows Norwegian Cruise Line, which introduced private Haven staterooms on its Breakaway-class ships that launched in 2013. Guests staying in The Haven have access to a private sundeck and pool area, in addition to on-demand service from a personal concierge and other improved amenities.
RCI president and CEO Michael Bayley implemented a similar ship-within-a-ship concept last year on RCI sister-brand Celebrity Cruises when he served as Celebrity’s chief executive.
“The new Royal Suite Class redefines luxury at sea with exceptional experiences that discriminating travelers will appreciate,” said Bayley in a statement. “We offer some of the most amazing and unique suites aboard the most revolutionary ships, and with Royal Suite Class we are creating an experience that is both inviting and invigorating for guests seeking a luxurious adventure that is anything but boring.”
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Photo credit: Balcony staterooms on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's Quantum of the Seas. nathanmac87 / Flickr