Fred's Friday Thought: Dave Chidley Interview (Video)

Aloha adventurers and welcome to another ‘Friday Thought’ here on Fred.\ Holidays TV. This week, we’re excited to have another guest here with us. From Royal Caribbean, we have Dave Chidley, National Account Manager.

Dave’s here to talk a little bit about what Royal Caribbean can offer to cruisers, as well as the latest news from the cruise line and, hopefully, what the future holds.

Chris: So Dave, the last time we saw you was at the launch of Anthem of the Seas, the latest Quantum class ship to be introduced. What do you think of the ship?

Dave: Fabulous, I had a great time. We were very fortunate to bring you guys from Fred.\ Holidays on board and we all had a wonderful time. The ship is fantastic, it’s the second of our Quantum class and the facilities are incredible; the dining and the facilities that we've got that are innovative for the cruise line are just phenomenal. So, I recommend people to give it a go.

We certainly enjoyed our time on board. Where does she fit within your favourite Royal Caribbean ships? Do you even have a favourite?

Well, we've got 21 ships now and each time we launch a new one you get the wow factor. But, I have to say, I've worked for the company for over 11 years and this really was a wow factor. So, I think it’s got to be up there, certainly my favourite ship now.

Royal Caribbean has always appealed to families, due to the range of different things for children to do on board. But there’s plenty to attract other types of cruisers too, isn't there?

Yeah, absolutely. I think we've always been known to cater well for families and even more so now with the fact that there’s lots for little people with the crèche and nursery facilities. But certainly; kids, teens, but if couples want to go on a holiday just for themselves it’s perfect. It’s great for multi-generational families too. We’re finding a lot of grandparents are bringing their grandchildren and travelling on their own as well, so across the board, there’s something for everybody on board.

And then there are those adult only areas if you did want to escape the kids as well.

Yeah, that’s it. And the great thing about the ships is that there are great kids clubs so the children do tend to go there and leave the ship open for everybody else. And if you do want to go to the solarium or the swimming pool in the solarium area, we do leave that adults-only so there are lots of places that adults can go to and enjoy it free from the children.

We've recently learnt that there is to be a fourth Quantum class vessel, in 2019. This will follow Ovation of the Seas as well as Harmony of the Seas, the third Oasis class ship, which will both be launched in 2016. What can we expect from these new introductions? There are sure to be some exciting additions in terms of facilities, right?

So we've got Ovation of the Seas which will be our third Quantum class ship and Harmony of the Seas which will be our third Oasis class ship coming very soon next year and we’re very pleased we how Quantum and Oasis have been and the world loves them as they are so we’ll pretty much keep things in the Oasis class as they are. But we have had a bit of a secret told to us that it looks like we’ll have some water slides added, so that’s a new thing for Royal Caribbean. That will be quite exciting to add those to the Oasis class ships. And with the Quantum class, it’s all about innovation and hi-tech and if people were to have a look through our brochures and have a look at our videos they’ll know that it’s all about the latest technology. So, who knows in a years’ time, two years’ time, what’s going to change with technology, so I’m sure whatever the latest gizmos and gadgets are they’ll be on board as well.

I'm sure you've been on many different cruises, but what’s your favourite port that Royal Caribbean ships currently visit?

Yeah, over the years I've been fortunate enough to travel around. We are renowned for our Caribbean cruises, as the name suggests, so probably half of our fleet will be in the Caribbean throughout the year and we're fortunate to have a couple of our own islands; one called Coco Cay, in the Bahamas, and we've also got Labadee, which is on the peninsula of Haiti and that has to be one of my favourites. The whole of the ship, when it docks in Labadee, gets off. So all of the staff gets off and they have BBQs and all the bars are open and the entertainment staff will be intermingling with the guests. It’s just a really nice place and it’s only the Royal Caribbean customers that get to experience this idyllic island, so that’s definitely one looking further afield.

But I do love the Greek islands, a little bit closer. We've got Splendour of the Seas that’s doing that itinerary in 2015. I particularly love Santorini. That idyllic picture of white-washed roofs and blue domes, so there’s definitely something quite special about that as well.

Finally, what would you say to someone who has never cruised with Royal Caribbean but is perhaps considering doing so in the future? What can they look forward to?

Yeah, I’d say take the leap. We always say this; if people have been on the cruise ship for the first time then they go back again, and again, and again. It’s just getting those people on there for that first time because people do have these misconceptions about what a cruise is going to be about. But, if you want a floating, five-star hotel taking you to a different destination every day, with first-class accommodation, great shows, and the most beautiful dining experiences then, certainly, Royal Caribbean is the way to see the world. So I recommend it; it’s got to be done.

Ok, that’s everything we have time for this week. Thanks a lot to Dave Chidley for being with us today and I hope that’s helped a few of you to understand a bit more what Royal Caribbean are all about. If you would like to book a cruise with them, and I’m sure Dave would be very pleased if you did, you can go to fredcruises.co.uk for a range of different itineraries. So, thanks for watching today and we’ll see you again next week for another ‘Friday Thought’ from Fred.\. Goodbye.

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