INTERNATIONAL. Starboard Cruise Services has launched a diverse array of retail stores and experiential concepts onboard Royal Caribbean International’s Symphony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship. Starboard has designed the Royal Shops onboard with a varied offer across jewellery, watches, beauty, spirits and fashion accessories, in almost 8,000sq ft of shopping over three decks.

LVMH-owned Starboard said the ship “is redefining cruise travel with revolutionary new adventures for guests” and hailed the “exciting array of premier brands and innovative experiences” onboard, under the slogan ‘Shop Royally’.

“Redefining cruise travel:” Symphony of the Sea houses almost 8,000sq ft of shopping over three decks.

Symphony of the Seas will launch its first Caribbean cruise today (17 November) from Royal Caribbean’s new cruise terminal at Port Miami. The Caribbean season follows the ship’s summer inaugural sailings in the Mediterranean.

The Royal Shops are located on decks 5, 6 and 8. They include stand-alone boutiques for luxury timepieces from Bvlgari and Hublot, as well as a Cartier Espace. Other stores include:

  • Regalia: Fine jewellery and timepieces
  • Solera: Fragrances & cosmetics
  • Port Merchants: Spirits
  • The Shop: Exclusive Royal Caribbean wear
  • Surf Shack: Surf-inspired apparel and sunglasses

Michael Kors, Cartier, Bvlgari and Hublot are among the luxury brands partnering with Starboard on the world’s largest cruise ship.

Themed and experiential shopping concepts, now a feature of the Starboard approach onboard its partner ships, have been designed to include:

  • Rock Your Look for jewellery
  • Be Bold with timepieces
  • Be Daring with beauty
  • Stand Out with accessories, and
  • Mix It Up with fine spirits

The slogan ‘Shop Royally’ also calls on travellers to experience the Royal Shops by joining makeovers, trunk shows, jewellery making, spirits tastings and pop-up promotions. These include:

  • Rising Tide Watch Event: Guests enthusiastic about Swiss timepieces are invited to the Rising Tide Bar, where they can learn more and socialise with other keen guests.
  • Rock Your Look: Guests learn about diamonds and other jewels while the music plays.
  • Lead the Way with Le Vian Jewellery Fashion Show: Guests try on Le Vian jewels (popular with many celebrities) and have their photo taken.
  • Truth or Dare Beauty Challenge: Guests learn about cosmetics and fragrances while taking part in a beauty challenge.
  • Find Your Fragrance: Guests discover the signature scent that works best for them.

Starboard continues its focus on linking retail with experiences across its stores. Themes include Rock Your Look (jewellery, above), Lead the Way with Le Vian (a fashion show with jewellery) and Truth or Dare (beauty)

“Symphony of the Seas inspires boundless adventure, and it was our mission to capture that same spirit in retail,” said Starboard Cruise Services President and CEO Beth Neumann. “The shops on Symphony of the Seas are designed to offer merchandise and experiences attractive to the ship’s family audience and to be on par with other ship attractions. By shifting the retail approach from conducting transactions to creating memories, we have created a more engaging environment for fun opportunities for guests to interact with each other and enjoy exceptional hospitality.”

Events at the Rising Tide bar arranged by Starboard educate guests about spirits and other categories.

Starboard is a long-standing retail partner to Royal Caribbean, operating on nearly every ship across the fleet. Starboard will launch a new line-up of shops on the cruise line’s megaship Spectrum of the Seas, scheduled to sail in 2019.

*See the October edition of The Moodie Davitt Report for an interview with Beth Neumann about the company’s latest big initiatives and views on the fast-changing cruise retail market.