Royal Caribbean is quietly changing its ice cream options aboard 13 vessels – specifically, the ships that have already offered Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream will no longer have the brand.
Beginning in mid-December, the brand will be discontinued onboard and a different option offered in its place. What sweet scoops could be in store for Royal Caribbean cruisers?
Ben & Jerry’s Leaving Royal Caribbean Ships
Royal Caribbean International has reached out to travel agents to alert them that the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Shops onboard will be changed to new branding in the coming days, though the cruise line has been vague about the immediate details.
“Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Shop onboard 13 of our ships will be moo-ving out and making way for something sweeter!” the announcement read.
Royal Caribbean has confirmed that the new ice cream shop will be an in-house brand, but has not yet released details on the type of ice cream or whether or not the new offering will be complimentary or an add-on charge. Ben & Jerry’s was always an extra cost, not included in the cruise fare. Prices ranged from $2.50 to $5 (USD).
Now, guests onboard will need to go without Cherry Garcia, Chunky Monkey, and other classic flavors from the popular brand, but who knows what will be in store with the new ice cream parlors.
Depending on the ship class and layout, Ben & Jerry’s has either been separate ice cream parlor venue or available as part of another stand. Those spaces are likely to be rebranded with the cruise line’s new ice cream, rather than being converted into completely different venues.
The exact timing of the rebranding has not been announced, only that it will be complete by the end of 2023. The switch is likely to vary slightly from ship to ship depending on available supplies of ice cream and exactly when the conversion work can be completed with new signage, coloring, menu boards, and other details.
This change follows the quiet removal of the cow-themed staterooms associated with Ben & Jerry’s (the cow’s rear end providing a uniquely obstructed view of the ship’s promenade), as well as the loss of the benefits – free ice cream – of those staterooms.
What Will Replace Ben & Jerry’s?
Royal Caribbean is closely guarding the secret of which type of ice cream may replace Ben & Jerry’s, and all that is currently known is that it will be an in-house brand, rather than another partnership with an ice cream retailer.
There are several possibilities, however. Hand-scooped ice cream similar to Ben & Jerry’s and other popular brands is always an option, or the cruise line could offer soft serve or frozen custard choices. A sundae bar or frozen yogurt mix-your-own would be a fun selection, or more elevated options of gelatos, sorbets, or gourmet flavors would be welcome.
It is also possible the ice cream parlor space may be rebranded into a new sweetshop offering more than just ice cream, such as Sugar Beach on the Oasis-class ships, or the new Desserted milkshake bar debuting aboard Icon of the Seas.
Other Ice Cream on Board
Even if guests prefer not to splurge on Ben & Jerry’s, free soft serve ice cream has always been available at Sprinkles or on the pool deck, though the flavors are generally limited to vanilla, chocolate, and maybe strawberry, depending on supplies.
Ice cream is occasionally offered as a dessert either at the Windjammer buffet, or in the main dining rooms, often accompanying other treats. Other frozen treats, such as milkshakes, are also available in different venues.
What type of ice cream would you like to see on Royal Caribbean ships? Share your sweet requests on the Cruise Hive boards!