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Thu 1 Feb 2007 12:00 AM

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Royal Caribbean introduces fat-free cruising

Royal Caribbean is set to become the first cruise line to offer trans-fat-free menus, which will be rolled out fleet-wide by the end of the year.

Royal Caribbean is set to become the first cruise line to offer trans-fat-free menus, which will be rolled out fleet-wide by the end of the year.

The new menus will see trans-fat-free frying oil replace the old pour-and-fry oil method and complement the cruise line’s existing healthy eating options and tailor made meals for customers with dietary requirements and allergies.

“Vegetable oils that have undergone hydrogenation result in a type of fat that doctors have linked to serious health risks including diabetes, high blood pressure and increased cholesterol levels,” said Michael Bayley, senior vice president, hotel operations, Royal Caribbean International (RCI).

“If we can offer guests a healthier serving of the foods they love by switching to trans-fat-free oils, while maintaining the same level of satisfaction, why wouldn’t we make the switch?”

Royal Caribbean is the only cruise line to boast a Middle East office, and as a result, has dominated outbound cruise sales from the region having secured a strong travel agent network.

According to Debbie Summers, RCI’s regional manager (Middle East), marketing & communications, the new trans-fat-free menu will be another useful selling tool for local travel agents.

“One of the key selling points for a cruise holiday is the all inclusive pricing, which opens the opportunity for the travel agent to explain the various dining options on board. They will be explaining to their clients that they have choices, ranging from the formal dining in the main restaurant and specialty restaurants to the informal options in the Windjammer Café and Johnny Rockets, for example,” she explained.

“They will now be able to inform their clients that Royal Caribbean will have the trans-fat-free menu fleetwide by the end of this year, in addition to the existing ShipShape menus already available on all our ships.”

The trans-fat-free oil was put to the test onboard Navigator of the Seas last November. Although no Middle East guests were sailing on this ship at the time, Summers said there were plenty booked on board the Navigator when she debuts in the Mediterranean for the first time this summer, with sailing departures from Southampton.

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