End of an Era: Ben & Jerry’s Departs Royal Caribbean

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Royal Caribbean's Amplified Liberty of the Seas Cruise Ship being towed by a tub boat
  • Royal Caribbean is ending its partnership with Ben & Jerry's and replaced by an in-house ice cream brand.
  • The popular ice cream shop will be removed from 13 of the cruise line's ships by December 15, 2023.
  • This move is part of a broader strategy by Royal Caribbean to reduce reliance on licensed brands, as seen with previous changes in their dining offerings​.

Royal Caribbean International has announced that it will discontinue the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Shops on its cruise ships. The change, slated to be completed by the end of 2023, affects 13 ships in the fleet that featured either full Ben & Jerry’s shop or smaller ice cream counters.

Royal Caribbean Waves Goodbye to Ben & Jerry’s

Close up of a tub with nougat cream and chocolate ice cream from a ben and jerry’s on Royal CaribbeanPin

Royal Caribbean communicated to travel agents, announcing the removal of Ben & Jerry’s from across their fleets. The announcement stated that the final day for Ben & Jerry’s onboard is December 15, 2023, and an in-house brand will replace the famous ice cream shops.

The announcement read, “Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Shop onboard 13 of our ships will be moo-ving out and making way for something sweeter!”

The cruise line confirmed in-house ice cream brand will replace the partnership with Ben & Jerry’s, which includes extra-cost ice cream options ranging from $2.50 to $5.00 for classic flavors like Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey. Royal Caribbean has been tight-lipped about the specifics of this new offering. And there’s been no announcement of whether the ice cream will be complimentary or an add-on.

It is speculated that the decision to remove Ben & Jerry’s is a cost-cutting measure as Royal Caribbean continues to reduce its reliance on partnerships and licensing deals.

The move follows a pattern of the cruise line transitioning away from licensed experiences, such as replacing Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian with Giovanni’s Kitchen and removing Johnny Rockets from its new Icon-class ships.

Royal Caribbean’s In-House Ice Cream Brand

While the future of ice cream aboard Royal Caribbean remains somewhat mysterious, there are various possibilities for the new in-house brand. These could range from hand-scooped ice cream to soft serve, frozen custard, sundae bars, frozen yogurt, or even more upscale offerings like gelatos and sorbets. The rebranding of the ice cream venues is expected to be completed with new signage, coloring, menu boards, and other details, though the exact timing will likely vary from ship to ship.

Until more details are released, guests can continue to enjoy the free soft serve on the pool deck.

Article by

Marcello De Lio