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Johnny Rockets to Launch Drive-In Movie Experience

Johnny Rockets to Launch Drive-In Movie Experience

Get your kicks (and fries with shakes) on Route 66!

Johnny Rockets is looking to bring back the days of soda fountains and classic Americana with the launch of the burger chain’s brand-new concept, Johnny Rockets Route 66. The four-fold dining experience includes Johnny Rockets-branded food trucks, pop-up restaurants, and new drive-in theaters, which will be popping up all over the country starting this fall.

Drive-ins used to be a cinema staple in America through the 1970s, but now there are only 350 left. Johnny Rockets will be partnering with USA Drive-Ins to open up new drive-in theaters around the country that will show family-friendly movies and serve (what else?) Johnny Rockets burgers and shakes.

Johnny Rockets will also be adding drive-thrus throughout the country. We really hope that means there will be waiters and waitresses delivering burgers on roller skates.

Venturing into more modern-day territory are the pop-up movie theaters with attached mobile restaurants that will be traveling around the country, as well as Johnny Rockets food trucks, which will mainly be used for catering and events.

For the latest happenings in the food and drink world, visit our Food News page.

Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi


The Untold Truth Of Johnny Rockets

Hamburgers may have German origins, but the hamburger as we know it today is truly a symbol of American cuisine. If you need any more proof of that, just look at the sheer number of fast food burger options out there. There's a good chance you probably have at least half a dozen to choose from in relative proximity to where you live. Whereas fast food burgers are meant to be quick, cheap meals with pretty much zero employee flare, Johnny Rockets takes a different approach.

The California-founded, but Massachusetts-based burger chain is all about serving up freshly made hamburgers in a fun atmosphere that pays tribute to the heyday of soda shops. And to stand out even more from the competition, there's a good chance that if you visit, you'll witness the crew bust out some dance moves. It's this commitment to offering more than just a burger and fries — and we can't forget those milkshakes — that have helped Johnny Rockets bring a piece of Americana across the globe. From its early years to where the brand is today, this is the untold truth of Johnny Rockets.


Some other bottomings

Here are some other bottomings you might want to try either solo or in a blend: Ketchup, mustard (or mustard sauce), mayo, steak sauce, Kansas City style barbecue sauce, thousand island dressing, salsa, remoulade sauce, balsamic vinegar reduction, aioli, chimichurri sauce, tonkatsu sauce, mayo with a few drops of sesame oil mixed in, hot sauce in sour cream, smashed avocado or guacamole, horseradish cream sauce, sweet-sour pickle relish, roasted garlic, minced jalapeño, or giardiniera.

Toppings

The famous Build A Better Burger Contest seems to be all about the condiments. Me? Some of these concoctions sound wonderful, but they are just too fussy and hide the meat. I’m fine with lettuce, tomato, and onion. Period. OK, maybe two strips of thick bacon. I’m not even a big fan of cheeseburgers.

Lettuce. I want crisp, cold lettuce that crunches and squirts cold water on top of the hot meat juices. This is the perfect use for iceberg or Romaine lettuce. Especially the thick bottom parts.

Tomatoes. As for the tomatoes, try to find big beefsteak style tomatoes the same diameter as the patty. When you use small slices, they move around too much and usually fall out. Always use ripe tomatoes, no underripe pink rocks. They’re too acidic. Nowadays you can often find real ripe tomatoes all year ’round that are grown in greenhouses. Campari tomatoes are grown in a greenhouse, usually grown hydroponically (in nutrient solutions and inert media like gravel, no dirt), about the size of golf balls and almost always delicious, perfectly ripe, and juicy. Interestingly, many come from Toronto. Plum tomatoes are less juicy if you want more substance. If I can’t find ripe tomatoes, I live without them.

Onions. As with the tomatoes, I like a single thin slice of raw onion the same diameter as the patty. In season, I go for a slice of sweet onion like Vidalia (May through July) or Walla Walla (June through August). If they are not in season, it’s red onion for me. Sometimes I put the onion on top of the burger while it’s on the grill to take the edge off and make it less slippery. If you’re making a cheeseburger, you can anchor the onion in place by putting the cheese on top. Just don’t slice the onions long in advance. Onion slices or chopped onion can get really stanky when it sits around for an hour or more. They taste best when freshly sliced.

Many people prefer grilled, griddled, or caramelized onions. I have a soft spot for these, but they’re slippery, and they’re a bit sweet for me for regular burgers, although I love them on cheeseburgers. A lot of pubs like to top burgers with breaded fried onion rings. I’ve even enjoyed burgers with those crunchy fried onions from the can, and I’ve seen menus with pickled onions.

Cheese. Put cheese on it and you’ve made a cheeseburger. In parts of the Southeast, pimento cheese spread supplants both the melted cheese of the cheeseburger and the need for ketchup or other sauces. More on that soon.

Bacon. What doesn’t go well with bacon? Add bacon and you get smokiness, sweetness, and saltiness. A remarkable variation on the theme is, are you sitting, pastrami as served at Hymie’s in Merion Station, PA. Clcik here to learn how to make your own bacon or pastrami.

Stylin’. If you agree with McNair and want to do some stylin’, try: my recipe for sweet sour pickle slices, pickle relish, grilled tomato, roasted red peppers, sautéd mushrooms, thinly sliced pears or apples, potato chips, or slaw. Or go to his website, which has some amazingly creative creations.

In Chicago, the spectacular Kuma Burger at Kuma’s Corner has a sunny side egg on top to complete the steak and eggs combo.

In LA it is not hard to find crumbled spicy Mexican style chorizo sausage on top, a sort of South of the Border chiliburger.

Then there’s the pizza burger topped with tomato sauce and melted mozzarella cheese. Or the Carolina Pimento Cheeseburger, Green Chile Cheeseburger, Beanburger, or one of the other regional styles. How about a “Guberburger,” topped with peanut butter and served at the now deceased Wheel Inn Drive-In in Sedalia, MO? Or the “Nutburger” at Matt’s in Butte, MT, which has a blanket of chopped salted peanuts mixed with Miracle Whip. How far would you drive for one of those?

My favorite combos

Steakhouse Steakburger. Bottomings: 1 tablespoon Meathead’s Glop. Toppings: 1/4″ slice raw sweet onion (Vidalia, Walla Walla), 1 leaf crunchy iceberg or Romaine lettuce, 1/4″ slice wide tomato (only if ripe otherwise skip it), 2 slices of bacon, not too crunchy.

Cheeseburger. Bottomings: 1 tablespoon Meathead’s Glop. Toppings: 1/8″ slice of cheddar, 2 thick slices of bacon, griddled or caramelized onions.

Did I miss something? Let me know what you like on your burgers by adding your favorite items to the comments at the bottom of the article.


Epic movies at drive-in are as big as all outdoors

8 of 9 Chris Rumfolo, from left, with grandson Joey, 2, and her husband, Johnny, with grandson, Carter, 5, are the co-owners of the Showboat Drive-in in Hockley, which has been open since 2006. Jerry Baker/Freelance Show More Show Less

9 of 9 From left, Johnny Rumfolo, son Michael, grandson Joey, wife Chris, daughter-in-law Dinah, grandson Carter and son Joseph make the Showboat Drive-in a family business. Jerry Baker/Freelance Show More Show Less

More than 30 years ago, Johnny and Chris Rumfolo of Tomball often went on dates to the old I-45 Drive-In in north Houston.

Even though the theater closed in the early '90s, they never forgot their pastime.

In 2004, the Rumfolos began to scout for land to launch their own drive-in.

"You have to be careful, though, because you can't put one too near the city or you'll get ambient light," said Chris Rumfolo, 49. "But it's gotta be close enough so that people will come."

Rumfolo shouldn't have worried about attendance. When the couple opened the Showboat Drive-in in 2006 in Hockley, eight miles west of Tomball, more than 2,400 people showed up.

With 34 acres of land, the Showboat Drive-in operates two screens that show first-run movies. Playgrounds sprawl beneath each 40-by-80-foot screen, which Johnny, age 50, purchased second-hand, dismantled and reassembled himself with the help of a son to save money. A concession stand serves hamburgers, nachos and more.

"People come from all over," Chris Rumfolo said. "Even today we'll have people drive an hour to an hour-and-a-half to see a double-feature here."

About 1,500 people show up on a typical Saturday night in summer. The theater is open Wednesday through Sunday in summer, and Friday through Sunday come fall.

Adults pay $6 to see a double-feature and kids pay $4.

"That's what we had in mind when we opened this &hellip we didn't want to be expensive," Rumfolo said. "If you go on a date to a regular movie, you spend $50 on tickets and a couple of sodas or popcorn. Here people get to buy a ticket for $6, they can stay in their car, and they can even get out their cellphone if they want and nobody will be mad."

At the end of each summer, the couple takes stock of what needs to be added for the coming year. In 2012, they spent $160,000 to switch from film projectors to digital technology.

"The choice was either make the switch or go out of business," Rumfolo said. "Lots of drive-ins closed in 2013 when studios announced they wouldn't distribute 35-millimeter film anymore. Those mom-and-pop places just couldn't afford it."

As far as studios go, Rumfolo said traditional wisdom among drive-in theater owners holds that ticket sales pay the studios, while earnings from the concession stands pay the workers' wages.

Studios typically get half the price of a ticket, Rumfolo said. The Showboat Drive-in employs 25 people each summer and 15 or so come winter.

Rumfolo declined to provide annual revenues, but said it's more than doubled since they first showed "Ice Age" back in 2006.

According to John Vincent, president of the United Drive-In Theatre Owners Association, there are 350 drive-ins like the Showboat throughout the U.S.

"That's down from a high of 4,300 in the '50s," Vincent said. "But that, actually, was too many because you had theaters basically sitting on top of each other. There are several things that led to downsizing, including the rise of real estate prices and the fact that for some areas, you can only do business three or four months out of the year."

The Rumfolos' theater got its name from the Showboat Restaurant, which Johnny's grandfather operated in north Houston in the 1950s. Now 74, J.W. Rumfolo still visits the theater, and the Rumfolos' two sons run the projection and ticket booths.

Since some summer double features don't end until 2:30 a.m., the Rumfolos even built a bedroom for their grandchildren over the concession stand.

"My favorite part of all of this is seeing the reaction from customers," Chris Rumfolo said. "For people my age, it brings back great memories. For people who are 16 to 25, they're amazed because it's something they've never seen before."


20. Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen is a lot like Sonic Drive-In in that it's great for what it is but shouldn't be the restaurant you go to when you want to eat a great burger. Dairy Queen has a ton of Blizzard flavors, and many of them are amazing. They also have other sweet treats including ice cream cones and sundaes that will make you smile from ear to ear. Go to Dairy Queen when your sweet tooth is begging for a dessert — but don't visit this restaurant when you have a craving for a burger.

At best, a Dairy Queen burger is a rubbery, disappointing sandwich that you'll try to forget as you eat your Blizzard. At worst, their burgers are a charred, soggy nightmare that might even get you sick.

The only good thing to report about the burgers at Dairy Queen is that they are indeed not made out of human flesh. While that's definitely a plus, you'll need to think of another satisfactory excuse for why their burgers are so bad if you make the mistake of ordering one.


Vermont's Drive-Ins: And Then There Were Three

In our 2014 Summer Preview issue (May 21), staff writer Ken Picard asked, "Is the Curtain Rising or Falling on Vermont's Drive-Ins?" The owners of Vermont's four drive-in movie theaters faced three choices, he wrote: convert to digital projection (at approximately $80,000 per screen), gamble on the continued availability of 35mm film prints, or close.

With major Hollywood studios announcing the phaseout of film, the owners of the state's indoor theaters have already bitten the bullet and gone digital. But it's an even bigger commitment for drive-ins, which are seasonal businesses with erratic attendance. "You need good weather with a great movie," says Peter Trapp of the Fairlee Motel & Drive-In Theater. "It's the luck of the draw."

Since Picard's report, Vermont has lost one outdoor movie option. As the St. Albans Messenger reported in July, that town's 66-year-old drive-in "has seen its last picture show."

What of the other three drive-ins? The one-screen Fairlee went digital last summer, while at Colchester's four-screen Sunset Drive-In Theatre, owner Peter Handy plans to take things slow.

Meanwhile, Adam Gerhard and Regina Franz, the New Hampshire couple who were in the process of converting Bethel's tiny Randall Drive-In, report that the property's owner has declined to renew their seasonal lease. In early October, Gerhard says in a phone interview, they received a letter asking them to vacate, taking their lease-to-own digital projector with them.

It's a blow to the pair, who had done "a lot of renovations" at the drive-in, says Franz, including repairing and painting the screen and overhauling the concessions. In May, their Kickstarter campaign for a digital projector raised about $22,000 &mdash enough for a down payment.

"We really did get community support behind us," says Gerhard. He notes that the 140-car theater had four sold-out nights in 2013 &mdash rare in recent decades. On the Randalls' Facebook page, the couple's announcement that they would not return drew more than 50 comments lamenting the loss. Many noted that the drive-in would have difficulty surviving in coming years without digital projection.

Although Gerhard and Franz had recently purchased new 35mm equipment, the switch to digital became imperative when "we had a hard time getting film this past season," says Gerhard. They changed over in the third week of June.

Some people inherit drive-ins others, like Trapp, get into the business because of fond childhood memories of outdoor cinema. Gerhard and Franz don't have those, they say. "But once we started going [to drive-ins] as patrons, we became very involved with them," Gerhard says, "and we thought, How about running one?" To operate the Randall on weekends, they commuted more than 100 miles from Newmarket, N.H., where Gerhard works as a web developer.

"Now I'm the one making payments on this projector," Gerhard says ruefully. "We've been looking for other drive-ins or even land to build our own. We've been contacted by a few drive-ins much further away."

Their preference, they say, would be to continue running the Randall. At press time, owner Scott Corse had not responded to requests for comment on his plans for the property.

"We want the Randall to survive regardless of who runs it," Gerhard says. "We wish [Corse] the best of luck, even if we can't be there."

In Colchester, Handy is busy running the Starlight Inn, the year-round, movie-themed motel that he opened in May next to his Sunset Drive-In. He says he has no intention of closing the theater, which his family has owned since 1948. But when it comes to digital conversion, Handy adds, "We want to wait. We're going to feel it out." That could mean converting one projector for the coming season.

"We're in denial about this digital thing," Handy says with a hearty laugh. Studios, he points out, "have been saying for years that this is the last year of film. It hasn't happened yet."

Case in point: Last summer, a 35mm print of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy "had tremendous legs for us," Handy says. In the fall, when new prints became harder to obtain, the drive-in "picked up the slack" with retro programming. Cars lined up for Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Exrta-Terrestrial (1982), which "behaved like a first-run feature for this time of year," Handy says. He promises more classic flicks next year, though "not as a steady diet."

Down in Fairlee, Trapp joins other theater owners in lamenting a slow year for the film business and increased competition from "people downloading the movies." His digital equipment isn't cheap &mdash a successful May Kickstarter contributed $38,000 &mdash and it came with a "learning curve," he says. But once Trapp figured out how to stop burning out bulbs prematurely, he was happy with the "brighter picture" and "crisper" sound. "It's like night and day," he says.

While new technology keeps drive-ins alive, the key to their future may lie in their power to evoke the past. Retro diner chain Johnny Rockets recently announced a partnership with USA Drive-Ins, an Indiana company with plans to open a whopping 200 new drive-ins by 2018. Bloomberg Businessweek suggested in October that drive-ins have become a "relic of Americana," just like Johnny Rockets' décor.

And that's a selling point. "For families and groups in the summer, it's the nostalgia that drives the drive-in," Trapp says.

But if Vermonters want the option of movies under the stars, they'd better exercise it. "If you have a local drive-in, you really need to attend it," Trapp says. With three theaters left, that's a hard message to ignore.


RCI ship refurbishments schedule

Royal Caribbean vessels are usually drydocked in Freeport Bahamas (Grand Bahama Shipyard), Singapore (Sembawang Shipyard) and Cadiz Spain (Navantia Shipyard). The ships usually enter drydocks in up to 5-year periods.

  • waterslides (Cyclone, Typhoon, Deck 13)
  • Slashaway Bay (interactive water park, Deck 12)
  • FlowRider (surf simulator, Deck 13)
  • Izumi (sushi restaurant, Deck 5)
  • Chops Grille (steakhouse restaurant, Deck 4)
  • Boleros Lounge and Bar (Latin-themed entertainment, portside on Deck 4)
  • All staterooms renovated
  • New exclusive Suite Lounge (Deck 14, portside)
  • Over 100 new cabins, including spa staterooms (all oceanview, forward on Deck 12)
  • added 5 Studio Interior cabins (Deck 2)

2020 (March 13 - May 9) Royal Amplified

2020 drydock (USD 165 million)

2015 drydock (May 1-19, Cadiz)

  • propulsion system repairs (1 of the 3 Azipods had worn bearings, 1 damaged propeller)
  • new theater programming (Mamma Mia) new venues (Sabor Taqueria, Tequila Bar)
  • Izumi restaurant removed to Deck 4 (Windjammer area) and upgraded with the Teppanyaki menu.
  • Viking Crown Lounge replaced by Suite Lounge and Coastal Kitchen (Deck 17)
  • new cabin categories introduced (Deck 17), including 10 Suites (6x Grand, 2x Royal, 2x Royal Family)
  • Pinnacle Lounge transformed into OL-Owner Loft Suite
  • Pinnacle Chapel transformed into GL-Grand Loft Suite.
  • new designer boutiques (Decks 5 and 8 /shopping arcade: Coach, Kate Spade New York, Michael Kors)

2018 (April 21-30) Hamburg Germany

  • Oasis-class upgrades (new specialty restaurants, expanded complimentary dining, fresh bar and lounge concepts, nursery, renovated staterooms and bathrooms, more onboard shopping and innovative entertainment)
  • Oasis-class upgrades (new specialty restaurants, expanded complimentary dining, fresh bar and lounge concepts, nursery, renovated staterooms and bathrooms, more onboard shopping and innovative entertainment)

2020 (Royal Amplified) March 17 - May 6, in Cadiz Spain

2020 drydock (USD 110 million)

  • Perfect Storm (outdoor complex with 2 waterslides - Cyclone&rdquo and &ldquoTyphoon&rdquo) plus the raft slide &ldquoTidal Wave&rdquo
  • redesigned pool deck (Lido Deck 11) - adding poolside hammocks, daybeds, casitas (small wooden cabins), in-pool chaise lounge chairs
  • "The Lime and Coconut Bar" (3-level poolside bar / on 3 decks)
  • completely renovated Solarium (Deck 11 forward)
  • Giovanni&rsquos Italian Kitchen (Italian specialty trattoria restaurant, also offers hand-tossed oven-baked pizzas and made-to-order dishes, premium Italian wines and cocktails)
  • "Playmakers Sports Bar and Arcade" (sports-themed bar lounge with 52 HDTVs on its walls, pub-type drink, and food menus, arcade games, trivia contests, sports tournaments, pool table, Owner&rsquos Box /VIP seating)
  • Johnny Rockets Express (pool deck food and beverage service)
  • Starbucks (kiosk/brand coffee beverages and pastries)
  • Studio B (2-level lounge upgraded with the glow-in-the-dark laser tag game "Clash for the Crystal City")
  • Adventure Ocean (kids complex) redesigned and upgraded with new rooms and activities by age group
  • Teens-only club lounge redesigned and upgraded with an exclusive open-air sundeck and new activities
  • Chef's Table (gourmet, private dining package experience)
  • Board Room replaced by 4 new oceanview cabins (Deck 2 starboard)
  • Chamber disco replaced by 19 new interior cabins
  • 5 new oceanview cabins
  • 15 cabins (starboard) taking space from the Art and Photo Gallery (Deck 3)
  • Chamber disco (level 2) transformed into Giovanni's Table, Eco-learning station and Aquarium Bar replaced with The Tavern (Deck 4)
  • outdoor theater Jumbotron installed, Portofino (Italian restaurant) replaced by Chops Grille (Lido Deck 11)
  • Nursery, new Spa cabins, Adventure Beach replaced with Outdoor Youth Area (Spa Deck 12)
  • In-line roller track removed, FlowRider (surf simulator) added (Deck 13)
  • "Diamond Club" lounge (Deck 14)
  • multipurpose rooms (Cloud Nine, Seven Hearts) replaced by Izumi (Asian restaurant, Deck 14).
  • Digital signage (way finders)
  • Wi-Fi coverage upgraded to shipwide
  • new inside cabins added, category changes, cabin amenities were upgraded
  • (2018 drydock) cabin renovations, Slashaway Bay (kids aqua park on Spa Deck 12 aft)

2020 (Royal Amplified) January 12 - March 7

  • new cabins added, stateroom renovations
  • Cupcake Cupboard
  • DreamWorks Experience
  • Nursery
  • 3D Cinema
  • outdoor movie screen
  • BRITTO Gallery
  • R-Bar
  • Giovanni's Table, Sabor Modern Mexican
  • all staterooms renovated, redesigned mini-golf course, existing venues redesigned and renovated
  • Perfect Storm with waterslides (Cyclone, Typhoon)
  • The Blaster (water coaster) and Riptide (mat racing slide)
  • Splashaway Bay (interactive water playground)
  • pool deck's sunbathing areas received more shaded seating (daybeds, hammocks, swing seats, casitas/wooden cabins), Solarium renewed
  • new venues - To Dry For (blow-dry bar), Lime and Coconut (2-level bar with live music), Bamboo Room (bar lounge), Johnny Rockets Express, Playmakers Sports Bar and Arcade, Starbucks Bar, The Observatorium (Royal Escape Room)
  • new restaurants - El Loco Fresh, Giovanni&rsquos Italian Kitchen, Hooked Seafood, Izumi Hibachi & Sushi
  • Battle for Planet Z (laser tag course at Studio B) for "Clash for the Crystal City" gaming experience
  • routine maintenance
  • stateroom renovations
  • Voom Internet
  • complimentary "Park Cafe" (deli)
  • "Chef's Table" (gourmet dining package)
  • "Chops Grille" (steakhouse)
  • "Giovanni's" (Italian cuisine)
  • "Izumi" (Asian/Japanese cuisine)
  • new "Centrum" program (aerial acrobatic spectacles)
  • "R Bar" (the 1960s themed)
  • Nursery
  • "Viking Crown" (received new a la carte menu)
  • New lounges ("Concierge" and "Diamond")

2018 (April 4 - May 4 / Royal Amplified) Freeport

  • Splashaway Bay (large-sized interactive aqua park) with water slides (Cyclone, Typhoon, Boomerango, Deck 11)
  • Izumi (Japanese restaurant with Teppanyaki grills)
  • "Playmakers Sports Bar" and Arcade Room added replacing the Photo Gallery (Deck 4)
  • "On Air Club" replaced with staterooms (Deck 3)
  • "Romeo and Juliet" restaurant (Deck 3 aft), "Macbeth" restaurant (Deck 4 aft) and "King Lear" restaurant (Deck 5 aft) renamed to "Dining Room"
  • "Connoisseur Club" transformed into "Library - RC Online" (Internet computers room), increased in size (Deck 5)
  • "Independence Dunes" (mini-golf course / aft-portside, Deck 13) replaced with waterslides ("The Perfect Storm"), "Sky Pad" (bungee trampoline) and FlowRider (surf simulator)
  • "Cloud Nine" and "Seven Hearts" replaced by exclusive "Suite Lounge" (Deck 14, forward-portside)
  • (deck 15) "Skylight Chapel" (wedding room) replaced with "Escape Room" (adventure gaming)
  • Fish and Ships (poolside a-la-carte food bar)
  • Sugar Beach (ice cream bar/candy shop)
  • laser tag course, larger ice rink, FlowRider
  • renovated Royal Theater
  • new "Panoramic Ocean View" category cabins

2016 (March 21 - April 6) Cadiz

drydock 2021 (technical, classification inspection)

  • new cabins, stateroom renovations
  • Portofino restaurant replaced by Giovanni's Table (Italian specialty restaurant, Deck 6)
  • Seaview Cafe replaced by Izumi (Deck 12)
  • Vintages (wine bar) replaces Champagne Bar (Deck 6)
  • Seaside private dining room replaced by inside cabins (Deck 4)
  • Explorer's Court replaced with 1 inside cabin (Deck 8)
  • RCI's Nursery (Royal Babies and Tots, Deck 12)
  • digital signage boards
  • Wi-Fi coverage upgraded to ship-wide, VOOM Internet available
  • poolside outdoor theater (Jumbotron movie screen, Lido Deck 11)
  • Hollywood Odyssey replaced by Concierge Club (Deck 13)
  • Chops Grille, Spa and retail shopping areas redesigned

2016 (January 10 - February 6) Freeport

drydock 2021 (technical, classification inspection)

  • new 89 cabins (26 panoramic oceanviews, one 2-bedroom family suite, 24 new outside, and balcony staterooms)
  • Perfect Storm aquapark with waterslides (Cyclone, Typhoon, Boomerango)
  • Splashaway Bay (kids' water play area)
  • new restaurants/bars: Izumi (Asian), Giovanni's Table (Italian), steakhouse, Vintages bar, Sabor (Mexican), Cupcake Cupboard (bakery)
  • Nursery, Suite Lounge
  • a poolside large-size outdoor movie screen
  • flat TVs in all cabins
  • amenities upgrades - faster Internet (Voom)

2018 (May 8 - June 24 / Royal Amplified) Singapore

  • Perfect Storm (waterslides "Cyclone" and "Typhoon")
  • FlowRider (surf simulator)
  • SkyPad (virtual reality trampoline)
  • laser tag course ("Battle for Planet Z" / glow-in-the-dark gaming room)
  • Slashaway Bay (kids aqua park)
  • The Observatorium (Escape Room by Puzzle Break)
  • Jamie's Italian Restaurant (replaced Giovanni's Table)
  • The Bamboo Room (cocktail bar)
  • Izumi (Japanese restaurant / sushi
  • Playmakers (sports bar / arcade)
  • updated cabins and public spaces
  • 100 new staterooms
  • DreamWorks Experience was removed
  • (2018 refurb cost USD 100 million)
  • routine maintenance
  • stateroom renovations
  • Perfect Storm aquapark, 3 waterslides (Cyclone, Typhoon, Boomerango- raft slide)
  • a poolside large-size outdoor movie screen
  • new restaurants/bars - Izumi (Asian), Sabor (Mexican), Giovanni's Table (Italian), Chef's Table
  • Vitality at Sea Spa / Fitness complex (Deck 9, new equipment, carpeting)
  • DreamWorks Experience
  • amenities upgrades - faster Internet (Voom)

2019 (Sept 22 - Nov 23) Royal Amplified

2014 drydock (Sept-October, Rotterdam Holland)

  • routine maintenance
  • new staterooms
  • "Boardwalk Dog House" (fast-food bar) added (Deck 6)
  • Viking Crown Lounge and Bar transformed into "Suite Lounge" and the restaurant "Coastal Kitchen" (Deck 17)

2019 drydock (USD 165 million)

  • 51 new cabins (inside and oceanview) added
  • Blaze Lounge upgraded-redesigned to Blaze Comedy Club (Comedy Live now Diamond Lounge)
  • On Air Club (karaoke-sports bar) replaced by "Spotlight Karaoke" (with 2 private rooms for parties)
  • retail zone changes (new shops)
  • 3 old venues ("Cups and Scoops", "Arcade", "Sabor Mexican") replaced by "Playmakers Sports Bar and Arcade"
  • Sabor Bar replaced by Ultimate Abyss waterslide's landing area
  • Candy Beach replaced by "Sugar Beach" and "Beach Shop"
  • Picture This (portrait studio) replaced by Central Park Library
  • Adventure Ocean (kids complex) completely refurbished-redesigned
  • Card Room replaced by Royal Escape Room ("Mission Control: Apollo 18" /puzzle game)
  • Solarium Cafe renamed "Solarium Bistro"
  • added "The Perfect Storm" (3-waterslides complex)
  • "Pool Bar" and "Sand Bar" replaced by "The Lime and Coconut Bar" (level 1 of 2)
  • H2O Zone redesigned to "Splashaway Bay" (outdoor playground/kids aqua park)
  • The Living Room (teen lounge) replaced by "Portside BBQ" (a la carte restaurant
  • teen facilities (Fuel Disco, The Back Deck) redesigned
  • Wipe Out Cafe replaced by El Loco Fresh (outdoor food bar)
  • 2 outdoor venues ("Sky Bar" and "Mast Bar") replaced by The Lime and Coconut Bar (level 2 of 2), added 2 whirlpools
  • Aft Deck 16 installed entry-level for Ultimate Abyss (10-deck waterslide) replacing Wipe Out Bar
  • new Quantum-class venues - "Music Hall" (2-deck dancing lounge) and "Bionic Bar" (served by robotic bartenders). Bionic Bar replaced Champagne Bar, Music Hall replaced Dazzles Disco
  • "Clash for the Crystal City" is a new laser tag game at Studio B's Ice Rink.

2019 Oct 19 - Nov 16 (Singapore)

  • general maintenance
  • technical overhauls
  • refreshed interiors
  • new attractions (Laser Tag, Escape Room)

2019 Jan 3 - Feb 23 (Royal Amplified)

  • Oasis- and Quantum-class cabin updates, virtual balconies
  • Perfect Storm waterslides (Cyclone, Typhoon)
  • The Blaster (aqua coaster, 244 m / 800 ft long 2-person raft slide)
  • Riptide (headfirst mat racing waterslide with transparent tube)
  • completely redesigned pool deck area (more swimming pools, Splash Pad for tots)
  • Lime and Coconut (new 2-level bar with live music)
  • To Dry For (blow dry bar - hairstyling, champagnes, and wines)
  • Bamboo Room (bar lounge)
  • Johnny Rockets Express (fleet's first)
  • Playmakers Sports Bar and Arcade (with "Owner's Box" VIP room)
  • Starbucks
  • new restaurants (El Loco Fresh, Jamie's Italian, Hooked Seafood)
  • The Observatorium (Royal Escape Room)
  • Mini-golf course
  • Battle for Planet Z (Studio B) laser tag course

2019 (Oct 19 - Nov 16) Singapore

  • steel replacement and propeller (propulsion unit) maintenance works
  • new complimentary dining options (Park Cafe deli, Dog House)
  • new specialty dining options at an additional charge (Giovanni's Table, Izumi, Samba Grill, Rita's Cantina)
  • poolside movie screen
  • Nursery, English pub
  • new lounges (Diamond, Concierge)
  • 2 new dining packages (Chef's, Radiance)
  • updated cabins and public spaces
  • routine maintenance
  • upgraded amenities in all cabins
  • a poolside huge movie screen
  • new lounges ("Diamond" and "Concierge")
  • new dining options ("Giovanni's Table", "Izumi", "Chops Grille", "Chef's Table", "Viking Crown" new a la carte menu, deli "Park Cafe")
  • Nursery
  • upgraded "Centrum" entertainment program (acrobatic shows)
  • "R Bar" (the 1960s themed venue).
  • routine maintenance
  • upgraded cabin amenities
  • a poolside huge movie screen
  • new lounges ("Diamond" and "Concierge")
  • new dining options ("Giovanni's Table", "Izumi", "Rita's Cantina", "Chef's Table")
  • Nursery
  • upgraded "Centrum" entertainment options (acrobatic shows, LED screens)
  • "R Bar" (retro 1960s themed, replacing the Lobby Bar), "Vintages" Bar (wine), English pub

2014 April-October (Rotterdam Holland)

2019 (September 10 &ndash October 14) Royal Amplified

drydock 2019 (USD 97 million)

  • "The Perfect Storm" aquapark with 2 waterslides (Typhoon, Cyclone)
  • "Battle for Planet Z" (laser tag course) in "Studio B" (ice-skating rink)
  • "Adventure Ocean" redesigned, kids programming (3-12 yo) upgraded
  • "Royal Babies and Tots Nursery" (for babies and toddlers) - Voyager OTS is currently fleet's only liner without a nursery.
  • Teens-exclusive hangout updated, added an adjacent outdoor laid-back/sun deck
  • Vitality Spa and Fitness Center (wellness complex on Deck 12) enhanced, enlarged and relocated (from forward to aft)
  • 72 new staterooms (interior, balcony)
  • 2 new exclusive lounges (Suite Lounge, Diamond Lounge)
  • new cabins (25 oceanview, 23 interior), new forward spa cabins, cabin categories changes, new flat TVs in all cabins
  • theater renamed "La Scala" (DreamWorks Experience added)
  • Photo Gallery renamed "Focus", size reduced
  • Vault disco replaced by "Giovanni's Table"
  • Aquarium Bar replaced by The Tavern
  • Main Dining Room renamed "Sapphire"
  • Champagne Bar replaced with "R-Bar"
  • Inside cabins converted to Virtual Balcony
  • a huge poolside movie screen
  • Portofino restaurant replaced with "Chops Grille"
  • Island Grill Bar and Florist Shop removed
  • Video Arcade added
  • In-line Skating Track replaced with FlowRider
  • Cloud Nine and Seven Hearts rooms replaced with Izumi
  • 19th Hole lounge replaced with Diamond Club
  • Digital signage (touch-screen way finders) installed
  • (2018) waterslides "Cyclone" and "Typhoon" installed (next to the FlowRider simulator, Sports Deck 13)
  • (2018) "Slashaway Bay" kids aqua park (replacing the Outdoor Youth Area, Spa Deck 12).

At the following tag link can be found listed all CruiseMapper's news related to drydock refurbishments. This page is also integrated with our hub for cruise ship refurbishments where are listed all other cruise companies fleets with deckplan links to each vessel.


Johnny Rockets to scrap nostalgia for modern look

A brand refresh at Johnny Rockets features rich wood finishes on walls and contemporary fixtures like glass globe pendants. The new look will be unveiled Friday in New York.

The new Johnny Rockets dining counter is finished with dark wood siding and a light color counter top giving it a modern feel. The furniture includes both upholstered booth seating and tables with warm gray tones and red chairs.

Johnny Rockets is adopting a new design that features warm wood planking, glass globe pendants, tables and chairs with warm grey tones, wood detailing and a splash of red. The open kitchen has white wall tiles and stainless steel wall panels.

The new Johnny Rockets dining counter is finished with dark wood siding and a light color counter top giving it a modern feel. The furniture includes both upholstered booth seating and tables with warm gray tones and red chairs.

To assure its future, Lake Forest-based Johnny Rockets is scrapping much of its past.

The iconic Lake Forest-based burger chain is saying goodbye to dancing servers in white paper caps, jukeboxes, red-vinyl booths and stainless steel counters. The 30-year-old chain founded in Los Angeles is unveiling today a contemporary restaurant in Syracuse, N.Y., with wooden finishes, pendant lighting and a self-serve ordering kiosk for to-go orders.

&ldquoWe were showing our age. We were looking a little old a little tired,&rdquo Chief Executive Charles Bruce said in a phone interview Wednesday.

While there&rsquos &ldquoequity in the brand,&rdquo Bruce said, the chain&rsquos 350 restaurants have not seen the kind of repeat foot traffic needed to keep the chain going another 30 years. &ldquoThe frequency wasn&rsquot really good.&rdquo

The prototype New York restaurant looks like a modern fast-casual diner with glass globe lights, wood finishes on walls and tabletops, dark-colored booths and bright red chairs and barstools.

This year, the chain plans to grow aggressively with 70 new locations domestic and worldwide. Of those, one-third are adopting the new look. The rest of the chain, including older locations in Southern California, will adopt elements of the changes in stages, the company said.

The most dramatic changes are wiping out key 1950s-inspired features that have made the brand a Southern California institution.

In New York, servers are dressed in black or dark denim jeans with white oxford shirts. No more paper hats and nostalgic soda jerk-style uniforms. Quaint hospitality-driven touches like servers creating smiley-face ketchup designs next to an order of fries and spontaneous dancing are also going away.

Bruce, who came on board last year as CEO, said &ldquosomeone dancing isn&rsquot really relevant these days&rdquo to most customers, including millennials.

The changes are meant to move the brand forward by reaching out to millennials, while increasing sales among core customers &ndash families and Latino diners. In 2015, Johnny Rockets generated nearly $206 million in sales, down 4.6 percent from 2014, according to market research firm Technomic in Chicago.

For now, the chain is focusing on making design changes to new restaurants. The core menu remains the same, though efforts have been made to add more limited-time burger specials in the last year.

Darren Tristano, president of Technomic, said shifting from its nostalgic brand roots is risky.

&ldquoMoving away from what consumers identify with the brand could be potentially confusing,&rdquo he said.

Still, he said the chain&rsquos decision to first introduce the change to newer locations is a good approach.

&ldquoI think you test and see if it works,&rdquo he said.

Chain officials declined to say how much capital the privately owned company is investing in the new design. However, Bruce said the redesign might look &ldquoupmarket&rdquo and &ldquoeye-catching&rdquo but the costs are &ldquoon par with where Johnny Rockets has been.&rdquo


10 Movie Rockets More Kick-Ass Than The Fireworks You Saw Last Night

There’s nothing more American than cylindrical projectiles. After all – fireworks are loud, volatile, and smell like ash – much like us. While the whole exploding part is pretty gosh darn boss, really the true wonder comes from the pure act of launching something as goddamn far as we possibly can into the air. We like to know that we can conquer all three dimensions.

So in the spirit of good ol’ American propulsion lust, here are some of the more excellent tubes that movies have shot into the sky.

10. The Freedom and The Independence in Armageddon

It’s not that this movie is bad, just badly made. Like – the acting is fun, the plot is mindlessly acceptable, but the execution – the little things – that’s the suck right there. For example – the scene at the end when the nuke finally explodes the meteor – immediately following it and also right before it we are treated to shots of people around the world running for their lives and praying and then eventually celebrating, and no matter where they are it’s daytime. Just, daytime around the world. It’s such a ridiculous oversight, but sadly it’s one that we come to expect from Michael Bay at this point.

But whatever – the film also has a bunch of oil drillers launch into space and drive around in space buggies that are inexplicably armed with mini-guns. Because lord knows you need that in space. It’s still awesome – as is the two rockets that simultaneously launch side by side to save the day. Duel rocket launches may be horribly dangerous but they are still awesome to look at.

9. Totenkopf’s Ark in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Sky Captain should have been more popular. There are far worse movies out there that get a fan base, and had they kept making films in this style I think it would have been a blast. Not only is this the first ever film to be entirely shot on a green screen, but it was also a gorgeous justification of that process. They didn’t do it just to see if they could – they did it to put the actors in a moving piece of art. For this story, it worked. Also Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow already look computer animated to begin with, so that was a plus.

Also, sweet rocket. The film was so sci-fi retro that it would have been a shame not to feature a rocket ship at some point, and thankfully it came in the form of the finale scene as our heroes struggle to stop a doomsday ship from blasting into space after blasting the earth into oblivion. The whole ordeal is beautiful and ends with a bunch of animals parachuting from the sky, which is how every movie should try to end.

8. The Luna in Destination Moon

This film was the space film all those other hipster space films wish they could be – it had retro rocket ships way before it was considered cool, not to mention that the film outlines a plot surrounding a space race between the U.S. and soviets that leads to man’s arrival at the moon a full seven years before Sputnik and 19 years before we later managed to actually reach the moon. That’s how OG this film is.

One of the best moments is when they first launch, and instead of focusing on the ship’s journey into the heavens (possibly because of budget and technological limitations) the film stays on shots of the astronauts’ faces as they contort and pull back from the incredible amount of G forces that would occur during such a moment. Something about keeping the focus on the characters’ fear and discomfort makes the experience much more real than any model ship could during that scene. It’s a hip choice.

7. Dr. Evil’s moon ship in The Spy Who Shagged Me

Like every joke in the Austin Powers series, you are no doubt shuttering at the very thought of it. These movies created a period of viral quoting so embarrassing that we’re still trying to recover today – they’re the Macarena of comedies. But of course there’s a reason for it – there’s no denying that the jokes in these films, when first heard, were funny. There’s nothing wrong with them, just like there’s nothing wrong with the Macarena until you can’t stop hearing it wherever you go. Hell, even the films themselves kept repeating their own jokes, and no matter how good a joke it might be – it will die with repetition.

But hey… it’s pretty funny that his ship looks like a big penis still. Maybe not for everyone, but there’s a reason that we’ve been drawing dicks on things since the cavemen times: they’re just hilarious to look at. Face it – they’re God’s joke.

6. Homer’s rockets in October Sky

West Virginian coal mining town, young boys in a coming-of-age story, main character named Homer, NASA, this film is as American as pooping your pants at the fair – and while the movie’s rockets don’t exactly have a red glare, most of them are definitely bursting in air. And sure – they are not the biggest rockets around, but it doesn’t matter it’s a true American story that anybody at any age can relate to: elaborately blowing shit up as a child. I did it to my G.I. Joes growing up just like my father did it to his toy soldiers before me. Circle of life or something.

The film is set in the real town of Coalwood, with residents that appear to represent the struggles that most hard-working Americans go through to make it in a rapidly changing nation. However this would have been a lot more convincing if the entire town didn’t keep stopping everything to watch some kids fire a rocket. I mean – how bored is this town when the kid making it into a science fair is a massive crowd event?

5. Gandalf’s dragon firework in The Lord Of The Rings

If there’s anyone who knows how to pull off a killer fireworks show, it’s a wizard. The bonus is that even if things go wrong, with all that hair on their heads it will surely be delightful to watch. It’s surprising that Gandalf even goes near a pipe – but considering the primo wizard stash he no doubt carries it’s probably worth that risk.

The dragon firework, which is prematurely let off its chain in Fellowship, has to be the most perfect firework ever created. It covers all four stages: anticipation, delight, mortal terror, and finally celebration. Terror is a very important one – it’s the magical moment where the sparks begin to descend and everyone realizes, for only a second, how irresponsible the whole event is. It’s childishness on a massive scale. But before you can truly register this, another firework goes pummeling upward and it starts all over again.

Fireworks are why birds shit on us.

4. The Phoenix in Star Trek: First Contact

Nothing better shows the spirit of American ingenuity than a half-drunk yahoo moving faster than sound through the clouds in the hopes of breaking a speed record. Throw in rock and roll and two Starfleet officers who’ve traveled back in time and you’ve got yourself a great moment in Star Trek history. First Contact wasn’t the best by far – but it filled in a great piece of the Trek timeline by showing us the moment when Zefram Cochrane tested the very first warp drive, drawing attention to Earth and causing our first ever contact with aliens. It’s a cool story, and we also get to see Worf kill some Borg and Troy get drunk – all good things.

Interesting bit of information about Cochrane – while the role was written with James Cromwell in mind, they did almost go with another actor: Tom Hanks, who happened to be a big Trek fan. Turns out that Hanks had a previous commitment and couldn’t do it, and while a lot of people (including director/Riker Jonathan Frakes) thought it was ultimately for the best, it would have been neat to see Hanks in the Trek universe.

3. The Space Ark in When Worlds Collide

They just had to be different, didn’t they? When everyone was going all nuts over rockets launching vertically into the sky, the makers of When Worlds Collide went ahead and reverse-bobsleded that shit. But hey – it got them an Academy Award out of the deal so the joke’s on us.

What makes this film so badass is that it has almost all the typical space-disaster staples in it long before they were popularized. Everything – the lone scientist pleading with world leaders only to be laughed at, the threat of extinction and the race against time to build escape ships whose occupants are selected by a lottery, young lovers who are separated by said lottery, and people heroically sacrificing their seats. It really sets the stage for many of the extinction porn we see today – if only the rocket sled track thing caught on, that would be boss to see done with modern visual effects. The characters also wore these killer space-robes, which should totally be a thing.

2. Johnny Knoxville’s Big Red Rocket in Jackass Number Two

If there were a human on this earth that perfectly represents the freedom our founding fathers had in mind when fighting for the United States, it’s Johnny Knoxville. No other person is so happy doing something so unwise, and the image of this man strapped to a big stupid rocket is more American than the flag itself.

The funniest thing about Jackass is the outrage people have for it – not the superficial outrage mind you there’s nothing wrong with finding their stunts upsetting or too gross to watch or anything like that – I’m talking about the people who see Jackass as some kind of sign that our country has gone downhill. People who throw up their arms about Jackass because its violent displays of fleeting comedic physicality have clearly never seen a Buster Keaton film or a vaudeville or side show act. Like the daredevils and freaks before them, Jackass scratches a very traditional itch in our country.

1. The Saturn V in Apollo 13

No denying this launch for a few reasons – firstly, it’s an amazing moment of movie visual effects, and secondly, while it’s badass enough to watch any movie character get launched into space –it’s a whole other enchilada when it’s something that actually happened. Seriously – can you imagine it? It’s space! They went into space! It doesn’t matter what happens to them after that, hell, just getting off the launch pad is beyond Fonzie-cool. There’s no way that you can fail after that moment. Sure – they had some problems up there, but even so – the worst-case scenario in space is that you die, and dying in space is 10 times more badass than doing anything on earth. It’s win-win.

This is why we need this NASA business: it’s not about doing something useful with the effort but rather proving to ourselves, God, and any snot-nosed alien out there that we don’t need air to have a good time. It’s about working a job that requires a 50 million budget and five-star actors, directors, and producers to recreate. Ron Howard sure as shit isn’t interesting in recreating just anybody’s boring work week – so we need to crank it up. Let’s get our ass to Mars. Go America!


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Watch the video: Johnny Rockets!! (January 2022).