Royal Caribbean fleet
Review of Royal Caribbean
RCI (Royal Caribbean International) is a subsidiary company and largest brand of RCG (Royal Caribbean Group, fka RCCL-Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd). This Norwegian-American corporation is currently ranked the world's second-largest passenger shipping company (after Carnival Corporation/39% market share). However, RCG owns the world's biggest passenger ships. As of 2020, RCG controlled ~24% of the global ship cruising market (fleet passenger capacity), had full ownership of 4 brands (RCI, Celebrity, Silversea, Azamara), 49% stake in Pullmantur (51% owned by Springwater Capital), 50% stake in TUI Cruises (50% owned by TUI AG), 19% stake in Wamos Air (fka Air Pullmantur).
RCG-Royal Caribbean Group (royalcaribbeangroup.com / renamed in 2020 from RCCL-"Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd") is based in Miami (Florida USA) and incorporated in Liberia. The company was formed in 1997 when RCCL (Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, established 1968) purchased Celebrity Cruises (established 1988). A decision was made to keep the two brands separate. As result, RCCL was re-branded RCI-Royal Caribbean International (royalcaribbean.com) and RCCL was founded as the parent company of RCI and Celebrity.
Royal Caribbean Group's current management team is led by Jason Liberty (RCG's Chairman, President, and CEO since January 2022) and includes Naftali Holtz (RCG's CFO) and the RCI's Michael Bayley (President and CEO), Jim Berra (Chief Marketing Officer, Senior VP Marketing), Vicki Freed (Senior VP Sales), Michael Goldner (VP Revenue Management), Jessie Ortiz (VP Finance and Administration), Gregory Purdy (Senior VP Marine Operations), Nick Weir (Senior VP Entertainment), Sean Treacy (Senior VP Hotel Operations), Laura Hodges Bethge (Senior VP Product Development), Bert Hernandez (President of Royal Caribbean China). RCG's Managing Director for China and Asia is Zinan Liu.
The name RCCL (initially "Royal Caribbean Cruise Line AS) was officially accepted in 1969 (on January 31st). Other suggested names for the company included "Pleasure Cruise Line" (PCL), "Holiday Cruise Line" (HCL), "Crown Cruise Line" (CCL), "Royal Caribbean Line" (RCL). RCCL's "crowned anchor" logo was designed by Morits Skaugen and accepted in March (1969).
Around 55% of RCI's total revenue comes from the USA. The brand's other major markets are Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. As of 2020, RCI ships visit a total of 322 call ports worldwide, offering 4500+ shore excursions through local tour companies.
Company changes 2022
On Jun 15th, RCG signed with Eagle LNG Partners LLC (Eagle LNG) a contract for providing LNG (liquefied natural gas) and bunkering services to LNG-powered RCI liners, the first of which is Icon OTS. The gas supply is sourced from Eagle LNG’s facilities in JAXPORT-Jacksonville Florida, shipped throughout the Caribbean and bunkered by Eagle LNG-owned newbuild vessels.
In March was launched the online booking service "Royal Caribbean Hotels" via partnership with Priceline (1997-founded online booking agency specializing in travel-related products/flights, hotels, cruises). The program (available only for residents of the USA, Canada, and Mexico) allows booking pre-/post-cruise hotel stays (in all RCI ports, including in Europe, Asia-Pacific. Caribbean-Americas) with exclusive discount rates and the guarantee that RCI will cover any hotel cancellation fees if the voyage is canceled or the itinerary modified.
Company changes 2021
RCG's 2021-Q3 report included Adjusted Net Loss USD 1,2B ($4,91 per share), liquidity ~$4,1B ($3,3B cash), 40 ships in operation (~65% fleet capacity), ~USD 2,8B in cruise deposits (of which ~1/3rd in FCCs/future credits).
In October was announced RCI's first "World Cruise" scheduled for Serenade OTS. The 274-night itinerary (Dec 10, 2023, thru Sept 10, 2024) is roundtrip from PortMiami and visits 150 ports/islands (57 new for RCI), 65 countries, 7 continents.
Since 2021, on all RCI ships passengers can use for US$ 2 per person per day a "guest-to-guest chat" feature (part of the Royal App) without purchasing Internet packages. The feature allows chatting between guests one-to-one, as well as group chats.
In September RCG signed with USVA (US Virgin Islands) an MoU for two future port developments - Crown Bay (St Thomas Island) and Frederiksted (St Croix Island). The agreement included increased calls to both islands and guaranteed by RCG minimum revenues.
In September RCG signed with TraceSafe a 2-year contract for "Tracelet" (trademarked by RCG in October 2020). These are wearable tracing bands used on RCG ships for identifying the close contacts of a COVID-positive passenger/crew. The technology was introduced on Quantum OTS when the boat restarted operations from Singapore.
On May 20th RCI patented "WATER-BASED PYROTECHNIC ILLUSION". The patent (number 20210146396) is about "systems and methods for firework water illusions" and includes a device with at least 1 rotating nozzle spraying water in a radial direction, with a system to illuminate the water and create an illusion of pyrotechnics.
RCG's 2020-Q4 financial report revealed US GAAP Net Loss of USD 5,8 billion (EUR 4,774B, or US$27,05 per share) and Adjusted Net Loss of USD 3,9 billion (EUR 3,21B, or US$18,31 per share). In 2020, RCG raised ~USD 9,3B (~EUR 7,655B) through bond issuances, loans, public common stocks) and as of Dec 31 had liquidity ~USD 4,4B (EUR 3,62B, including $3,7B in cash-cash equivalents plus $0,7B from a year loan).
In mid-February RCG established a USD 40 million fund for USA-based qualifying travel agencies. The program allows 3-year, interest-free loans (max US$250,000) via CruisingPower.com.
On January 19th RCG announced an agreement to sell the brand Azamara Cruises for USD 201 million (~EUR 165,8 M / ~GBP 147,6 M / carve-out transaction) to Sycamore Partners. Sycamore Partners acquired the entire brand and its 3 ships, plus all the associated intellectual property rights and goodwill. The all-cash transaction was closed on March 19, 2021. Azamara's CEO (Carol Cabezas) was appointed President. The deal was assisted by Perella Weinberg Partners (financial advisor for RCG), Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (legal counsel for RCG) and Kirkland & Ellis (legal advice to Sycamore).
After selling 8 ships - 3x Pullmantur (Horizon, Monarch, Sovereign), 3x Azamara (Quest, Journey, Pursuit), 2x RCI (Empress, Monarch), RCG's global fleet capacity decreased by 12316 berths (5984+2138+4194).
Company changes 2020
In February RCG purchased land ("multiple real estate parcels") on Paradise Island's (Bahamas) western coast, at the cost of ~USD 54 million (~EUR 50 million). In mid-March 2020 was announced RCI's second private resort property (after Fort James in St Johns Antigua) - Royal Beach Club Bahamas (at Paradise Island, close to Nassau).
On March 23rd RCG loaned USD 2,2 billion (~EUR 2,03 B) with maturity in March 2021 and an optional extension for 364 more days (till March 2022). With the new financing, RCCL now has USD 3,6+ billion of liquidity (cash deposits plus undrawn credit facilities). The money was secured term-loaned from 3 US banks (JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America Corporation, Goldman Sachs Group) plus the French banking group BNP Paribas.
On July 30th RCG was officially renamed to "Royal Caribbean Group". The logo was also changed.
In late-July RCI introduced "Muster 2.0" (patented, Internet-based safety drill conducted via the eMuster mobile app). The patent was filed on September 12, 2019 (issued March 3, 2020).
Company changes 2019
In April RCG partnered with IDEMIA (fka Morpho) - Paris-based French company specializing in security and identity solutions. In 2017, Morpho merged with Oberthur Technologies. IDEMIA's services will help speed up RCCL passenger disembarkation at select US homeports via the company's MFACE (high-speed 3D facial recognition) technology. The list of homeports, for now, includes NYC (Cape Liberty NJ) and PortMiami, with more Florida homeports to me added by the end of 2019. MFACE compares disembarking passenger's facial identity with those of embarking passengers, also matching against US Customs and Border Protection provided TVS (Traveler Verification Service). Passenger's privacy is guaranteed as no photos are stored neither by RCCL, IDEMIA or US Customs after the cruise's completion.
On June 4th the USA banned travel to Cuba (effective immediately). On June 5, RCCL officially canceled all pre-scheduled for 2019 Cuban cruises. On both affected RCI liners (Majesty OTS and Empress OTS) all Cuban ports were substituted with alternative Caribbean ports. All affected customers were provided with the option to either remain on the revised cruise and receive 50% refund (in OBC) or cancel the booking with a full refund.
In late-July on Symphony OTS was introduced "Fast Track" - expedited boarding program offered in all call ports of the current itinerary. Fast Track is available for passengers in Star-Sky Class suites, Pinnacle members, "The Key" (pre-purchased daily package that includes lunch at Chops Grille, Jamie's or Giovanni's specialty restaurants), disabled passengers, and families with strollers.
In October 2019 were opened for booking RCI's new "Spa Cabins" offered on all liners in the ship classes Radiance-Voyager-Freedom-Quantum-Quantum Ultra-Oasis. The new Spa staterooms (available since 2021) offer as bonus amenities priority Spa reservations, 50% discounted Spa treatments (1 per cabin), daily room service (coffee/tea), BOSE Bluetooth speaker, tranquil artworks (on the walls), plush bedding, feather pillows, upgraded bathroom amenities (Jacuzzi showerhead, premium brand toiletries, luxury slippers and bathrobes), cushioned balcony furniture, Welcome Aboard gift (fresh fruits).
In November RCI signed a 5-year partnership deal (until 2024) with Singapore Tourism Board (under Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry) and Changi Airport Group (Singapore airport operations and management). This 3-party deal is for promoting fly-cruises to Singapore mainly (from China, India, Southeast Asia, USA) on Quantum OTS with expected ~623,000 international tourists spending ~USD 430+ million on flight+cruise packages. This is ~60% growth in comparison to the previous tripartite partnership (2015-2018) when in Singapore was homeported Mariner OTS.
In December RCI sighed with Port Galveston an agreement for building Cruise Terminal 3. The new (USD 100 million) facility is scheduled for inauguration in November 2021.
Company changes 2018
Since March 2018, RCCL offers one login for RCI and Celebrity websites and mobile apps. The new policy allows one account to be used for loyalty program benefits, bookings, and reservations with both brands. The account security was also simplified and strengthened to ensure customers' personal data.
Since May 2018 fleetwide are used only cage-free eggs and gestation stall-free pork. By the year 2024, for all its USA-based ships, RCCL will purchase poultry only from GAP-certified producers/dealers. The corporation will require chickens to be slaughtered and processed in a manner that doesn't involve live dumping and shackling, thus eliminating conscious throat-slitting and scalding.
Since June 2018, RCI's ship bars serve cocktails with optional plastic straws (not by default) - a new policy aiming to reduce sea pollution. "Why no straws?" signs at onboard bars fleetwide now indicate that drink orders will not automatically receive a straw, but only upon request.
In June-July RCCL acquired 2/3 of the top-luxury brand Silversea. On June 14, 2018, RCCL and Manfredi Lefebvre D'Ovidio (Silversea's majority stock owner) announced an agreement for RCCL to acquire 66,7% equity stake in Silversea, at purchase price ~USD 1 billion. At the time, Silversea was valued ~USD 2 billion. RCCL financed the deal (through debt) in October. In addition to the cash money, Lefebvre family received ~472,000 RCCL shares. With the addition of Silversea (4 expedition ships) and the newbuild Celebrity Flora (Galapagos), RCCL's expedition fleet in 2019 grew to approx 2,5% of the corporation's combined fleet (compared to 0,5% in 2018). By combined expedition cruise berths, RCCL is ranked the world's 4th largest operator - following Ponant, Hurtigruten and Lindblad. In July 2020, RCCL-Royal Caribbean Group purchased Silversea's remaining shares from Heritage Cruise Holding Ltd. The purchase was in the form of 5,2 million RCL shares (~2,5% of RCCL's total common stock).
(deposit program changes) Since November 2018, RCI customers booking non-refundable deposit cruise fares don't receive onboard credit (USD 100) per stateroom. Instead, they are promised the lowest pricing on the fare.
RCCL's has a call-center in Springfield OR, operated since 2006. The customized office resembles a cruise ship. In 2014, the company employed there over 700 people. In August 2018 was announced that RCCL plans to outsource most of its Springfield jobs (~90%, excepting only sales employees) to the company's call-centers in Jamaica and Guatemala. This means that US sales agents will do the bookings, but when customers call back with issues they will be re-routed overseas.
On October 1st RCI announced that the company's 50th birthday cruise (themed "50 Years Bold Birthday Cruise") will be held on Symphony OTS (November 2-9, 2019). The 7-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary from PortMiami visited St Maarten, San Juan Puerto Rico, CocoCay Bahamas, and featured unique programming, special events, surprise guest performers.
All RCG-owned vessels are serviced by Wartsila (Helsinki Finland-based corporation, marine equipment manufacturer and maritime services provider). In 2018, RCCL and Wartsila extended their service agreement to 2028. Under the agreement, Wartsila optimizes machinery efficiency through improved Turbocharger maintenance, also provides OEM (original equipment manufacturer) spare parts, workshop services, technical assistance for the entire RCCL fleet. The deal covers a total of 196 marine diesel engines on 46 vessels. Most RCCL liners are equipped with Wartsila-developed monitoring technology sending real-time engine data to a land-based center for analysis.
Royal Caribbean International (RCI)
Royal Caribbean is in the top 3 best family cruise lines and owns some of the most popular ships for young adults, kids, and teens. As a mass-market company, RCI is recommended mostly for young and middle-aged, active and sports-oriented travelers.
A signature feature of RCI ships is the "Viking Crown Lounge", introduced in 1970 with RCI's first ship MS Song of Norway (scrapped in 2013 as "Formosa Queen"). As RCI ships grew in size, the lounge also grew. On the Vision-Class (ships 1995) its location was changed - from forward to midship-aft (near the smokestacks) allowing more space to be allocated for the new amenities and entertainment.
In 2014 and 2015, RCI introduced the Dynamic Dining concept that replaced the Main Dining Room concept on Quantum-class ships.
- RCI vessels with Dynamic Dining don't have the main dining room. Instead, they feature complimentary table service restaurants, each with its own theme and menu: "The Grande", "American Icon Grill", "Chic" and "Silk".
- Suite passengers have access to "Coastal Kitchen" (complimentary restaurant). Similar to the Freestyle concept on NCL Norwegian, passengers make reservations for their restaurant choice for each night in advance.
- Each venue maintains the same staff and menu throughout the cruise. Anthem OTS has a "Dynamic Dining Classic" option, allowing guests to rotate between dining venues but keep the same waiter, assistant waiter, and tablemates.
The company had planned to extend its dynamic dining concept to Oasis-class ships. During 2014-2015 drydock refurbishments, decor and signage was installed on the 3 levels of the MDRs/Main Dining Rooms of Allure OTS and Oasis OTS to prepare them to function as separate restaurants ("The Grande", "Silk", "American Icon Grill"), although the 3 levels continued operating as a single MDR. The suite-only restaurant Coastal Kitchen was also installed. However, on July 15, 2015, RCI announced that the dynamic dining concept would not be rolled out fleetwide.
Besides the Main Dining Rooms, RCI also features the "Chops Grille" steakhouse, "Windjammer Cafe" buffet restaurant, Johnny Rockets, Asian "Izumi", Poolside Bars and 24-hour Room Service. "Cupcake Cupboard" is a ship bakery available on the newest and refurbished ships. It offers 30 delicious cupcakes. Select Royal Caribbean ships offer Starbucks Coffee at sea.
RCI's new alcohol policy allows passengers to bring their own wine onboard and consume it in cabins (for free) or for a corkage fee (additional charge) in public areas.
(trademarks) New services, venues, trademarked ship names
Note: OTS="Of The Seas"
In January 2017 were trademarked (USPTO-registered) the ship names Valhalla OTS, Sunrise OTS, Icon OTS, Symphony OTS. On September 15, 2014, RCCL trademarked the ship names Spectrum OTS, Harmony OTS, Emblem OTS, Joy OTS, Apex OTS. In September 2015 were abandoned the trademarks Emblem OTS, Passion OTS, Pulse OTS, Apex OTS, Joy OTS, Spectrum OTS. Other currently trademarked by Royal Caribbean ship names include Gallant OTS, Phenom OTS, Valhalla OTS, Sunrise OTS.
In September 2018 were trademarked 3 ship names (could be used for future newbuilds) - Eon OTS, Gallant OTS, Phenom OTS. In October was trademarked Metropolis OTS.
In September 2018 was trademarked the Oasis-Class ships' smokestack area (located top-deck midship). The design features a crown-shaped bottom section with 2 slanted funnels above. In October 2018 was trademarked the hull's oblong-shaped stern. The design features AquaTheater Suites (with balconies), Ultimate Abyss (2 cascading waterslides) and RCCL's logo. In December 2018 was trademarked the name "Fly Rider" (amusement park ride/similar to a zip-line roller coaster ride).
In October 2019, RCI partnered with Funky Buddha Brewery (Oakland Park FL) for an exclusive beer label available only on CocoCay Island. The private beer label ("Chilla Thrilla") was trademarked on July 8, 2019. The craft beer (5% ABV) is a tropical ale (with mango and guava) packaged in 12-oz cans and is offered in different labels themed after CocoCay's areas.
In April 2020, RCG filed a trademark application for "Seaface" - its own sanitary mask brand ("medical apparatus") intended for cruise ship services.
In October 2020 were trademarked the names of 4 new shipboard venues - Vue Bar, Cask & Clipper (pub restaurant?), Wonder Playscape (kids playground?), Cantina Fresca (Mexican food bar).
In January 2020 were trademarked 15x names for new services and shipboard venues - Go Green, Roosevelt's Table, Royal Dueling Pianos, Royal Suite Club, Cloud 17 (adults-only sundeck), Lou's Jazz Club, Playaway Park (kids), The Overlook, The Yard, The Lemon Post (bar), Absolute Zero (ice bar), Challenger's (bar), Surfside (bar), Salty Sip (bar), AquaDome (glass roof over the pool deck).
In March 2021 was trademarked the phrase "America's Cruise Line" (software-related).
In October 2021 were trademarked 3x shipboard BBQ restaurant names ("The Mason Jar", "Savannah's Table", "Palmetto Room"), as well as "RCTV" (in-cabin TV programming), "Cruise Compass" (daily onboard newspaper), "RCG" (abbrev) and "Royal Caribbean Group" (shipowner).
In November 2021 were trademarked 6x names for ship waterslides - "Perfect Storm", "Hurricane Hunter", "Category 6", "Pressure Drop", "Storm Surge", "Storm Chasers".
In December 2021 were trademarked 23x possible ship names (all with OTS) - Magnificence, Melody, Fantasia, Paradise, Vibrance, Splendor, Grace, Sanctuary, Illumination, Unity, Intrigue, Aria, Awe, Aura, Eternity, Eden, Euphoria, Bliss, Utopia, Marvel, Nirvana, Haven, Divine. Also was trademarked "Royal Beach Club" (Nassau).
In January 2022 was trademarked "Accessory Place" (retail shop services that include selling jewelry) and "Cruiseverse" (virtual cruise ship services).
In June 2022 were trademarked the ship names Hero OTS, Majesty OTS, Marquee OTS, Monarch OTS, Nova OTS, Splendor OTS, Star OTS, Sun OTS, Titan OTS.
RCI cruise ships classes
RCI's fleet has vessels in the following classes:
- Note: All vessels have an Outdoor Movie Theater (poolside large LED screen for movies), Solarium (adults-only pool deck), Aqua Park, Rock Climbing Wall, FlowRider (surf simulator), 3D Cinema, Virtual Balcony Staterooms.
- "Oasis Class" ships (Oasis, Allure, Harmony, Symphony) feature Neighborhoods, AquaTheater, 3D Movies, Waterslides (Harmony, Symphony), Zip Line, 2 FlowRiders, 2 Climbing Walls, Carousel, Ice-Skating Rink, Loft Suites (2-deck cabins).
- "Icon Class" is a new design vessel with GT ~200K tons and passenger capacity 5000 (more details to be announced on a later date).
- "Quantum Class" (Quantum, Anthem, Ovation) and "Quantum Ultra Class" ships (Spectrum, Odyssey) feature North Star (top-deck, mobile observation capsule), RipCord (sky-diving simulator), Seaplex (large indoor sports complex), Two70 Lounge (3-deck high), Loft Suites, Music Hall (2-deck venue).
- "Freedom Class" (ships Freedom, Liberty, Independence) feature Ice-Skating Rink, Royal Promenade (indoor street).
- "Radiance Class" (ships Radiance, Brilliance, Serenade, Jewel) feature Glass Elevators, Gyroscopic Self-Leveling Pool Tables, Mini-Golf Course.
- "Vision Class" ships (Grandeur, Rhapsody, Enchantment, Vision) is the fleet's oldest, excepting only the "Sovereign Class" ships Majesty and Empress.
The Voyager-class, Freedom-class, and Oasis-class vessels have Royal Promenade. It is a centerline promenade in a multi-deck Atrium with a pedestrian (shopping mall-like) area lined with restaurants and shops. At night, the Royal Promenade turns into an entertainment venue hosting live parades and dance parties. Royal Promenade's upper levels have "Promenade Staterooms" (each with a large window overlooking the promenade below). Next aerial photo shows a Voyager-class cruise ship (Adventure, Explorer, Mariner, Navigator, Voyager).
Next aerial photo shows an Oasis-class cruise ship (Allure, Oasis, Harmony, Symphony) as looked from above.
On February 18, 2019, RCI signed a shipbuilding agreement with Chantiers de l'Atlantique Shipyard (St Nazaire, France) for a 6th Oasis-class liner (shipyard's 23rd vessel built for RCG) planned delivery 2023-Q3. The new ship has GT 231,000 tons, LOA 362 m (1188 ft) and 2857 cabins (capacity 5714 passengers at double occupancy, max pax 6700). On April 24, 2019, at Chantiers de l'Atlantique started construction works on the 5th Oasis-class liner (Wonder OTS) delivered in 2021.
Next is shown a Quantum-class ship as looked from above.
Instead of Royal Promenade, Quantum-class ships have "Royal Esplanade" - 2-deck high shopping complex without any overlooking "Promenade cabins".
Royal Caribbean ships offer a wide list of onboard facilities, the main of which include Grand-style productions Theatre, Live Comedy Club, Disco/Nightclub, Casino Royale, Library. Feature sports facilities include Studio B Ice-Skating Rink, Rock Climbing Wall, Flow Rider surfing simulator, Multiple Sports Court, Walking/Jogging track, Golf Simulator, ZIP-line, H2O Zone Waterpark with Waterslide, Adventure Beach, and on Quantum ships only Bumper Cars, Skydiving Simulator, North Star rotational capsule.
In 2016, RCI entered the "Guinness Book of World Records" in the category "Highest Viewing Deck on a Cruise Ship". The record was because of the "North Star" glass-walled observation capsule rising over 300 ft (91 m) above sea level and rotating upwards and over the ship's sides providing 360-degree views.
Adults on RCI cruises can enjoy adults-only relaxation areas and spas. Teens can do rock-climbing or try the 12-m (40-ft) surfing "simulation" and zip-lining across the ship's top deck on the world's largest passenger liners ever. Families cruising with infants and toddlers benefit from the "Royal Babies" and "Royal Tots" nursery programs. Kids club activities are also available by the "Adventure Ocean" program.
CocoCay Island refurbishments 2018-2019 expansion
Since 2015, RCCL invests huge money in the corporation's private Bahamian island CocoCay. In March 2018, Royal Caribbean announced a USD 200-million project (named "Perfect Day Island Collection") for developing private land destinations in the regions of the Caribbean, Asia, and Australia-Oceania. As part of this project, on CocoCay will be built unique water attractions.
- Thrill Waterpark attraction to be constructed, with 2 water towers (Daredevil's Tower, Family Tower) with a total of 13 slides. The Daredevil's Tower complex consists of North America's tallest waterslide (named Daredevil's Peak, height 135 ft / 41 m), Dueling Demons (2 drop slides), Manta Raycers (2 high-speed slides), Screeching Serpent (fully vertical slide), Green Mamba (coiling slide), as well as Caribbean's largest wave pool (Adventure Pool ) with obstacle course (lily pads), rock-climbing wall, . The Family Tower complex consists of all 6 waterslides, including 1 tubed (The Twister, capacity 2 persons sharing 1 raft), 1 zero-gravity (The Slingshot, capacity 4 persons) and 1 racing (Splash Speedway, with 4 lanes).
- Caribbean's biggest freshwater swimming pool (named Oasis Lagoon) has a swim-up bar and water loungers.
- Caribbean's only Zip-line with water landing has length 1600 ft (488 m) and crisscrosses the island at heights up to 50 ft (15 m).
- The Bahamas' highest vantage point (an attraction named "Up, Up and Away") is a helium balloon flying up to 450 ft (137 m) above ground.
- Shipwreck Galleon ("Captain Jack's Galleon" kids park) has 30 water cannons. The Sprayaway Geyser sprays water up to 82 ft (25 m) in the air. Both are part of Splashaway Bay aquapark. This is the enlarged version of the Royal Caribbean ships upgraded onboard aqua parks for kids, fitted with fountains, splash pools, sprinklers, geysers, cannons, whirlpools, slides, 2 drench buckets.
- Captain Jack's is a new bar and dining venue - designed as a rowboat, with waterfront views, serving beverages and fast-food items (including chicken wings and steak fries).
- Skipper's Grill serves lunch fast-food (including sandwiches, burgers, tacos, salads).
- The beachside restaurant Chill Grill is CocoCay's largest. Also new is the food bar, Snack Shack.
- Newly added amenities include wave runner and boat tours, snorkeling, private cabanas and daybeds for rental, several beach bars with upgraded menus.
CocoCay has 3 new beaches. Chill Island Beach offers private cabanas and daybeds. South Beach is specifically designed for beachside activities (volleyball, basketball, soccer, paddleboards, glass-bottom sea kayaks, zorbs / inflatable bumper bubble balls) and offers bungalows, daybeds, teepees (cone-shaped tents). Coco Beach Club is an exclusive beach with overwater cabanas providing premium island vacation experiences. Coco Beach cabana rentals are inclusive of 1 hammock, 1 waterslide, dedicated service (by an attendant). The complex also has a freshwater infinity pool, full bar, restaurant.
In May 2018, RCI announced plans to build permanent accommodations on CocoCay allowing Suite passengers to stay on the island overnight (or longer). The concept includes premium cabanas serving passengers on any of the RCI ships calling at CocoCay.
In 2017-2018 was constructed a new pier (can handle RCI's largest boats), as well as a basketball court, bocce ball court, bowling court, volleyball nets, large-size pool table.
In 2016 the private island was upgraded with a swim-up bar at Barefoot Beach, new cabanas, new island dock (for tenders), 35 beach bungalows (capacity 6 persons each) at Barefoot Beach.
In 2015, the island was upgraded with new trams (quieter and taller) and was added a new / shorter tram route and a new freshwater shower (at Barefoot Beach).
(NEW) Lucaya Resort Bahamas
In March 2019, the joint venture company Holistica Ltd (RCCL and ITM Group / Mumbai India) signed a letter of intent with The Bahamas government for the purchase of Grand Lucayan Resort (an all-inclusive resort complex) and redevelopment of the Bahamian cruise port Freeport Harbor. The 2-year, USD 195 million project includes Grand Lucayan Resort's purchase (USD 65 million) plus USD 135 million for development works. The new (RCL-exclusive) cruise port is expected to bring ~2 million additional tourists to Grand Bahama Island annually. The project includes the construction of a theme park and a 5-star hotel. Grand Lucayan Resort suffered significant damages during Hurricane Matthew (October 2016) and was forced to close 2/3 of its property.
On June 24, 2019, RCCL and ITM Group established the Miami-headquartered joint venture company "Holistica" which specializes in cruise port development projects worldwide. Holistica's first project was the USD 275 million Grand Lucayan Resort in Freeport Bahamas. Developments by Holistica were also planned for Costa Maya (Mexico), Roatan Island (Honduras) and Kumamoto (Kyushu Island, Japan).
On March 2, 2020, RCCL officially announced Holistica's USD 300 million private cruise resort project "Lucaya Property". The investment includes redeveloping (expanding) the Freeport Cruise Terminal (to be renamed to "Harbour Village") and building a leisure complex with a large hotel (526 rooms), wellness facilities, shopping village, convention center (sized 40,000 ft2 / 3720 m2), theme park (with water slides, outdoor playgrounds, zip-lines).
Lucaya Property is approx 9 mi (15 km) west of Harbour Village (Freeport Cruise Terminal). At Harbour Village for tourists will be introduced new shopping and dining venues (bars, restaurants), live entertainment and nightlife programming, beach zones, new shore excursions, new transport infrastructure (serving ferries, buses, passenger vehicles). The Lucaya Property project is planned for completion in 2022-Q4.
RCI "VOOM" Internet
VOOM is the trademarked name of RCI's high-speed Internet service providing faster connectivity at sea, with almost the same Internet speeds as on land. The new satellite technology utilizes each ship specifically.
VOOM Internet has latency 120 ms, ping ~300 ms, download speed ~4,6 Mbps, upload speed ~5,2 Mbps. VOOM allows fast streaming of music and movies (incl YouTube, Netflix), uploading multiple (incl big-sized) pictures, also video chatting (FaceTime, Skype, conference calls), checking email, web surfing, stable and fast VPN connections. The onboard system is based on the 802.11b wireless connection (theoretical bandwidth peak of 11 Mbps).
- Onboard Internet access is integrated to the stateroom number and the personal onboard account. Following the log-on to the ship's wireless network "Royal WiFi", there is an option for creating an Internet account where the passenger can sign up for a particular Internet plan or pay by the minute. The charge is always applied to the cabin (onboard) account.
- While using the VOOM Internet package, passengers can switch between various mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops). However, the number of devices connected at the same time is limited by the Internet plan.
- The cruise ship also has several Internet workstations available for all passengers on an FCFS basis (a first-come-first-served).
- Among the cheaper alternatives to the VOOM are connecting onboard (while the ship is in ports of call) or ashore (in restaurants, bars, etc).
New Internet packages cost (2021 prices)
RCI's ship internet offering was revamped from only one plan into different per day packages with pricing based on the number of included devices. Two new packages are currently available for booking:
- Note: All below listed unlimited Internet package prices are "Cruise Planner" booking rates and include the 30% pre-cruise booking discount. Packages can be purchased onboard and also pre-purchased (before the cruise) via RCI's "Cruise Planner" booking system.
- "Voom Surf Voyage" is the "light package" providing high-speed Internet for general web browsing, e-mails and social media platforms (excepting video streaming). The "Voom Surf Voyage" Internet package cost (per day) depends on the number of mobile devices using it. "Voom Surf" pricing is as follows: $13 (1 device), $12 (2 devices), $10 (4 devices) and $20 (Single Day Pass per device / per day).
- "Voom Surf + Stream" is the "real deal", offering unlimited Internet activities, including high-speed video streaming (music, movies, video chatting, texting, VoIP apps /Internet phone calls). The "Voom Surf + Stream" Internet package cost (per day) also depends on the number of mobile devices included. Voom Surf + Stream pricing is as follows: $18 (1 device), $16 (2 devices), $14 (4 devices) and $28 (Single Day Pass per device / per day).
Occasionally, Royal Caribbean offers VOOM package discounts for passengers with pre-purchased online (via Cruise Planner) internet packages. Discounts are also offered for Royal Caribbean loyalty program members (Crown and Anchor Society) when the VOOM package is purchased onboard.
Loyalty program (Crown and Anchor Society)
Through this program, regular customers accumulate points (booking 7-day and longer voyages) to become members and earn discounts and gifts.
Since January 2013, RCI's exclusive partnership with MGM Resorts International provides benefits to members of both companies' loyalty programs (Crown & Anchor Society/M life) and access and rewards at MGM Resorts' properties in the USA (casino gaming, hotel accommodations, dining, spa) and onboard RCI's liners. MGM Resorts' portfolio of resort brands includes properties in Las Vegas (Bellagio, MGM Grand, ARIA, Vdara, Mandalay Bay, Delano, The Mirage, Luxor, New York-New York, Excalibur, Park MGM, NoMad), Detroit (MGM Grand), Mississippi (Beau Rivage, Gold Strike Tunica), Atlantic City NJ (Borgata), Oxon Hill MD (MGM National Harbor), Springfield MA (MGM Springfield).
GOLD Level (3-29 points)
Gold level members receive loyalty program-only benefits (Onboard Offers, Exclusive Rates, Desk for inquiries, member newsletter, exclusive email offers), priority notices (promo offers, new ships/itineraries), additional points (for bookings Suites and/or single cabins), various onboard discounts.
All above levels receive these perks by default.
These are exemplary discounts for Gold level members - up to 50% off wine-beer-soda by the glass/2x coupons per voyage, -25% Coffee Beverage/excluding Starbucks, -50% Johnny Rockets Milkshakes/2x coupons per voyage, -10% any VOOM-Internet Package, -10% Logoed Products/min purchase US$25, -10% any Spa Service/excluding Medi-Spa).
PLATINUM Level (30-54 points)
Platinum level members receive robes (onboard use only), Signature Lapel Pin, booking discounts (on Balcony cabins and Suites).
EMERALD Level (55-79 points)
Emerald level members receive Welcome Waters & Snacks (with Beverage Selection) and bigger booking discounts (on Balconies and Suites).
DIAMOND Level (80-174 points) perks
- Discounts on booking Suites and Balconies - US$225 discount per cabin (7-day itinerary)
- One day free VOOM internet access
- Exclusive access to Diamond Lounge (complimentary brand coffees, continental breakfast, light lunch option/sandwiches-fruits-desserts, evening happy hour/appetizers)
- 4x free drinks pp per day
DIAMOND PLUS Level (175-699) perks
- Discounts on booking Suites and Balconies - US$225 discount per cabin (7-day itinerary)
- Two days free VOOM internet access
- 5x free drinks pp per day
- 1x BOGO offer (dining at any specialty restaurant paying 1x cover charge and the second person dines for free) - except Izumi Restaurant (Japanese) and Chef's Table (VIP Dining Room).
After 340 points is offered lunch with an officer (in the MDR/main dining room), with a special menu (champagne and wine included).
RCI cruise gratuities (2021)
Daily gratuities are per person (pp):
- USD 14,50 pp (interior, oceanview, balcony staterooms, both adults and kids)
- USD 17,50 (suites)
- Daily gratuity is an automatic service charge added to the passenger's onboard account each day.
- Passengers can prepay gratuities.
- The amount of gratuities is split between the ship's staff - dining (wait and cooking), housekeeping staff, room stewards (cabin and suite attendants).
Lifeguards on RCI ships
Since 2017, all RCI ships have onboard licensed lifeguards by the line's "water safety program", implemented fleetwide. By the new program, water safety signs are placed throughout the ship.
Ship's lifeguards are dressed in special uniforms (in bright red and white) and stationed at every swimming pool, including the Solarium (adults-only retreat) during the complex's opening hours. All Royal Caribbean lifeguards are trained through the RCI's partnership with StarGuard Elite (Florida-based lifeguard training center).
- The water safety program includes a 15-min presentation (on embarkation day). The instruction is for by both kids and parents and held during Adventure Ocean's open-house session.
- Swim vests for all kids (aged 4-12) are readily available. Additional signage is added around swimming pool areas and in all cabins to encourage parents to use them.
- Kids under 12 require a parent or guardian to be present when swimming in any of the cruise ship's pools.
RCI's water safety program was rolled out fleetwide in 2017 (February-June). Follows the list of all RCI ships and the itinerary dates when each ship implemented the new lifeguard service.
- Oasis (February 26-March 5)
- Harmony (March 7-11)
- Independence (March 11-16)
- Anthem (March 11-14)
- Liberty (March 12-19)
- Freedom (March 22-29)
- Allure (March 23-26)
- Brilliance (March 24-30)
- Quantum (March 26-31)
- Ovation (March 29-April 3)
- Navigator (March 31-April 5)
- Serenade (March 31-April 7)
- Jewel (March 31-April 4)
- Rhapsody (April 5-8)
- Majesty (April 21-24)
- Empress (April 24-29)
- Adventure (April 26-29)
- Enchantment (May 8-12)
- Grandeur (May 13-18)
- Explorer (May 15-26)
- Mariner (May 26-June 4)
- Radiance (May 28-June 6)
- Voyager (June 5-12)
- Vision (June 15-27)
The news made RCI the 2nd major cruise company with shipboard lifeguards - following DCL-Disney (employing certified lifeguards since 2013) and followed by NCL-Norwegian (in 2017 summer) starting with NCL's 4 largest vessels and employing onboard lifeguards fleetwide by 2018.
Shipboard poolside activities (listed in the newsletter "Cruise Compass") vary, but some of the common ones include watching movies (on the LED screen), playing bingo, hosting fun competitions, games, classes (scuba, fitness, dance, yoga, etc).
RCI "NextCruise" (onboard booking)
In August 2017, Royal Caribbean changed "Next Cruise" (onboard cruise booking program). NextCruise allows passengers to book a future RCI itinerary while on the ship. The old program included booking with reduced deposits.
Since August 2017, the deposit required for onboard booking is the same as the deposit required with shore bookings (ranging between USD 100-450 per stateroom, depending on itinerary length).
Since December 2017, NextCruise shipboard booking customers are eligible to pay a reduced deposit (USD 100 pp) regardless of voyage length - but only if they book with non-refundable fares. Refundable fare bookings still require a full deposit. This offer is available on all RCI cruises - excluding only China roundtrips. The USD 100 pp deposit is applicable when booking Interior Cabin up to Junior Suite.
- Grand Suite and above stateroom bookings require a full deposit.
- Group bookings are also not eligible for the USD 100 pp deposit.
- In case that non-refundable fare bookings are canceled, "Future Cruise Credit" will not be issued.
Currently, the only benefit from onboard cruise booking is the future onboard credit (abbrev OBC), which is based on cabin type:
- 4-5 night itineraries - Inside and Oceanview cabins (USD 25 per cabin), Balcony Stateroom and Junior Suite (USD 50), Grand Suite and higher (USD 150)
- 6-9 night itineraries - Inside and Oceanview cabins (USD 50 per cabin), Balcony Stateroom and Junior Suite (USD 100), Grand Suite and higher (USD 300)
- 10-night and longer itineraries - Inside and Oceanview cabins (USD 100 per cabin), Balcony Stateroom and Junior Suite (USD 200), Grand Suite and higher (USD 500).
In May 2019, RCI introduced the "Book Later" booking option available at all ships' NextCruise Offices, in addition to "Book Now" (booking a specific itinerary). Book Later allows future bookings up to 2 months thus providing more time to consider itineraries while retaining the shipboard booking discount/bonus. Book Later requires a non-refundable deposit of USD 200 per stateroom (US$100 per cabin if booking a specific itinerary) and gives up to USD 600 in OBC or instant savings. Book Later deals expire within 1 year (after creating the onboard reservation) and the deposits paid will be lost.
RCI Cruise Cancellation Policy
Starting April 18, 2018, Royal Caribbean passengers who want to cancel an upcoming cruise without penalty have to do so farther out from the departure date than before. The new RCI cruise cancellation policy simplifies the penalty fee schedule by reducing the number of itinerary categories from 5 to 2: those of 1 to 4 nights and those 5 nights or longer.
- Under the old policy, travelers booked on 1 to 5 night long itineraries could cancel up to 60 days prior to departure without a cancellation fee.
- The new RCI cancellation policy changes the cruise length/itinerary duration to 1 to 4 nights (including short holiday and mini-cruise deals) and requires cancellation at least 75 days before departure.
- Cruises 1 to 4 nights-long canceled between 74 and 61 days out incur a fee of 50% of the total price. Cruises canceled 60 to 31 days out incur a fee of 75% of the total fare and any cruise canceled within 30 days or less of departure is not refunded at all (100% cancellation fee).
- The second tier of cancellations includes any itineraries 5-night or longer, including cruise tours and holiday voyages. Under the old policy, cruises 6-nights or longer, holiday voyages 1 to 5 days, holiday voyages 6-night or longer, and cruise tours had separate cancellation penalty schedules. By the new policy, itineraries 5-night or longer must be canceled at least 90 days prior departure date in order to avoid the cancellation fee. Previously, RCI customers could cancel 75 to 90 days before departure, depending on itinerary category.
- Cruises 5-night or longer canceled 89 to 75 days prior departure incur a penalty equal to 25% deposit paid. Cruises canceled 74 to 61 days incur penalties of 50% of the total price. Cruises canceled 60 to 31 days incur penalties of 75% of the fare Cruises canceled within 30 days or less of departure is not refunded at all (100% cancellation fee).
The previous time when RCI updated its cancellation policy was on March 7, 2016.
Shore Excursions Cancellation Policy
On June 15, 2017, Royal Caribbean International implemented a new "Shore Excursions Cancellation Policy" fleetwide. The new policy transitions from 1 day / 24-hour prior to land tour departure date to 48-hours prior to cruise port arrival date.
- Shore Excursions can be modified/changed or canceled up to 2 days / 48 hours prior to seaport arrival date without any penalty.
- Land Tours that involve travel by air/flights (international and domestic), trains, also special/themed events, overnight hotel stays and Private Journeys (customized tours) must be canceled 30 days prior to cruise departure date to avoid cancellation fees/penalties.
- In the event a land tour is canceled 48-hours prior to seaport arrival date, a full refund is provided to the passenger's onboard account.
At the end of March 2017, RCCL corporation launched its own land tour travel website - GoBe.com. The website is non-cruise travel-related and allows international travelers to book tours and excursions in 97 countries and 896 cities worldwide.
- As of 2017, tour prices (per person) ranged from USD 14 (Cape Town bus tour) to USD 3,785 (Rome helicopter tour).
- The new website is managed by Larry Pimentel (RCCL's Chief Destination Officer, also Azamara Club's President and CEO. The website provides full tour information, including duration, activity level, languages, etc.
- Optional custom itinerary planning is also offered.
On select voyages, RCI offers behind-the-scenes crew life tour with duration 2 hours. The "All Access Crew Life Tour" (priced USD 79 pp) can be booked via CruisePlanner and offers a glimpse of what it is like to work and live on the ship.
RCI fly-cruise packages are via the company's Air2Sea program.
Non-Refundable Cruise Deposit Policy
On July 1, 2017, RCI implemented fleetwide a new, non-refundable cruise deposit program.
- USD 100 "cruise change" fee per person (pp) is imposed on each booked reservation (under "non-refundable deposit fare") opting to change the originally selected vessel and/or departure date.
- Multiple adjustments to the vessel/departure date result in the assessment of USD 100 pp change fee for each qualifying change made to the booked reservation. RCI doesn't limit the number of changes.
- Outside of final payment, when a non-refundable cruise deposit cancellation occurs, booked passengers receive "Future Cruise Certificate" in the amount of the cruise deposit, minus the USD 100 pp change fee.
- Non-refundable deposits are the only option for booking higher-grade Suites, and also for all guaranteed cabin categories.
In late February 2017, the RCCL corporation imposed a fee of USD 65 pp in case of leaving the cruise early (whatever the reason might be). Passengers who refuse to pay face the prospect of being banned from RCCL cruise ships FOREVER.
RCI pet/animal policy
In August 2018, RCI updated its "emotional support animals" policy by banning such animals fleetwide. Support/companion animals are not recognized by ADA. By definition, these are pets determined by a medical professional as providing benefits for handicapped people (cruise passengers with disabilities).
In an officially issued statement, RCI explained as the main reason for its policy change to differentiate support from service animals, the latter of which are trained and certified to actually help the disabled. Service animals traveling with physically / non-physically disabled passengers are still allowed on the ships. Pets are not allowed on RCI ships.
Photo packages prices
In late June 2017, Royal Caribbean added two photo packages available for online purchasing at "Cruise Planner".
- The photo packages include 2 options - all digital (unlimited photos are uploaded on a USB stick) and printed.
- The unlimited digital photo package costs USD 250.
- The 20-prints photo package costs USD 200.
- Before 2017, Royal Caribbean offered photo packages available for online purchasing on a separate website.
RCI "Cruise Compass" (onboard newsletter)
"Cruise Compass" is named the RCI's onboard newsletter delivered by cabin attendants each evening. This is a daily guide for news, onboard events, and activities on the cruise ship scheduled for the next day.
The newsletter also provides valuable information regarding forecasted weather, bars with drink specials, itinerary ports of call and shore excursions info, themed events (parties, lectures, seminars, etc), sporting events.
- Some of the events are not repeated, other activities change daily.
- RCI doesn't publish "Cruise Compass" guides for upcoming cruises in advance.
- age 1 is an overview of what to expect the next day, including port, weather report, specials, highlighted events, dedicated "Important things to know today" section.
- Page 2 lists more onboard events, sales, and special offers. The "Activity and Entertainment Highlights" section lists headlines of all evening show performances onboard,
- Page 3 lists all the ship's venues (bars, restaurants, food bars, lounges, Spa, Gym, etc) and their opening hours. Here is also the RCI's main dining room dress code. At the page's bottom is the "drink of the day" special - a discount-priced cocktail.
- Page 4 lists all the next day's activities broken down by time (morning, afternoon, evening) - all shipboard events, each has time, title and deck location.
- "Adventure Ocean" is another newsletter providing information about kids programming (small children and teens) scheduled on the cruise ship. Some of these events are also listed in the "Cruise Compass". "Adventure Ocean" newsletter has "Daily Planner" with kids and teen activities (broken up by ages).
The "Royal iQ" app is available on some RCI ships and features a "Cruise Compass" digital copy. This mobile app allows adding specific events directly to your own digital calendar. Via the app, you can make reservations (spa, dining, etc) or add activities directly from the "Cruise Compass" to your own calendar. Your own daily schedule will be automatically updated. Unfortunately, the app works only on Quantum- and Oasis-class ships.
RCI's shipboard "DreamWorks Experience" program
"DreamWorks Experience" was a family-themed program via a partnership between Royal Caribbean International and Amblin Partners (DreamWorks SKG's owner company). Universal Pictures is the distributor of the DreamWorks movie productions through its subsidiary company Touchstone Pictures.
RCI's DreamWorks programming featured 3D movies and DreamWorks characters meets-and-greets. It was introduced in June 2010 and terminated in March 2019. This new entertainment program was geared toward families and offered DreamWorks movie-themed activities on only 9 RCI ships (Allure, Oasis, Harmony, Anthem, Ovation, Quantum, Freedom, Liberty, Voyager). The list of such activities included:
- DreamWorks characters meetings and greetings (with photo ops). The list of characters included Po ("Kung Fu Panda" movie), Shrek, Fiona, Puss ("Shrek" series), Alex, Gloria, King Julien, penguins ("The Penguins of Madagascar" series, "All Hail King Julien" series).
- Character Breakfasts were offered (at surcharge pp) in the Main Dining Room restaurant.
- 3D DreamWorks movie screenings were available in the Royal Theater (Cinema Lounge), including first-run movies which premiered on the ship were on the same day they went at land-based theaters. Among the films were "Shrek", "Madagascar", "How to Train Your Dragon", "Kung Fu Panda".
- DreamWorks channel was part of the in-cabin TV programming.
- Themed activities and games (by ship's "Adventure Ocean" / complimentary youth program) included 3D animation workshops, storytime, themed dance parties, character story-based adventure games, regular character visits to kids facilities, onboard parades, meet-and-greets with photo ops (throughout the ship).
- DreamWorks shows were available in Studio B (ice rink theater) and AquaTheater (Oasis ships).
The DreamWorks-themed shows at Studio B and AquaTheater were replaced with new Royal Caribbean Productions. All cruises departing before April 1 (2019) had the DreamWorks program available for the entire voyage.
RCI's shipboard kids and teen programming
Also complimentary the company offers to kids and teenagers supervised activities at dedicated facilities and youth counselors on each vessel.
For toddlers (2-3 yo) on each liner are provided at-fee nursery services (hourly charge) via highly experienced and professionally trained staff.
RCI's children program (named "Adventure Ocean") covers ages 2-17 and features brand partnerships (with Fisher-Price, Crayola), Family Disco Hour. dedicated areas and facilities, including toddlers-only pools, computer rooms, video game arcades, separate kids- and teen-only clubs.
On September 30, 2018, RCI discontinued fleetwide its in-cabin babysitting service ("Sitters at Sea" program served by crew members, upon request). Service's only alternatives still available are the shipboard nursery (on some liners only, serving toddlers and kids up to 3 yo) and group sitting ("Late Night Party Zone" program for kids 3-11 yo, served by Adventure Ocean staff). The other two kids programs (Adventure Ocean, Royal Babies, and Tots) remained unchanged.
Shipboard VIP passenger program "The Key"
On two liners (Liberty OTS and Oasis OTS) is currently being tested a new VIP passenger access program (called "The Key"). The program's test period was November 2018 through March 2019. It has limited quantity and is available on select voyages.
The VIP package is available for purchase only via CruisePlanner. Currently, the package's cost is USD 25,99 per person per day. However, all roommates ages 6 and older must purchase the package to receive its benefits (available via SeaPass cards and starting on embarkation day).
"The Key" VIP package is inclusive of:
- Carry-on luggage service (max 2 bags pp) - drop off at Royal Theater or MDR (by 2 pm), cabin delivery
- Welcome MDR lunch (Chops Grille/steakhouse menu) on embarkation day between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm. Dining reservations are not required.
- Daily private visits (reserved hours) at signature shipboard facilities - including FlowRider, Rock-Climbing Walls, Ice-Skating Rink. VIP seating at live shows must be reserved online (via CruisePlanner) prior departure.
- Early access at the cruise terminal, priority check-in (embarkation day) and tendering (ship-to-shore ferry) service at call ports without docking facilities.
- Complimentary room service (during the entire voyage)
- 25% discount on all shipboard dining purchases
- Early access at the Theater's shows (reservations are required)
- Complimentary VOOM Internet ("Surf and Stream" package for 1 device).
- Priority debarkation with exclusive a la carte breakfast (between 6:30-9:30 am).
IMPORTANT: Currently, "The Key" package is not offered only on Majesty OTS, Quantum OTS and Voyager OTS. Priority check-in and boarding are not offered in Vancouver BC Canada and at Australian homeports.
(NEW) RoyalUp - cabin upgrade bidding
On November 28, 2018, RCI introduced fleetwide bid-based cabin upgrade program called "RoyalUp". Booked customers receive an email if their cruise is eligible. They can browse through available for booking higher-grade staterooms on that voyage. Then select their bidding price for a particular cabin upgrade and submit the bid.
RoyalUp upgrades are priced per person, for the entire voyage, based on twin share. Only the first and second passengers in the cabin are charged the extra - regardless room's grade and max occupancy. These upgrades are based on availability. Cabin location can't be specified.
Group bookings are also included but without a guarantee that all reservations will be upgraded. If all reservations are upgraded, RCI doesn't guarantee that all upgraded staterooms will be located close together.
Booked customers are allowed to bid multiple cabin categories. Travel agents are also allowed to bid for their clients. Upgrade bids are accepted until 2 days prior departure. Passengers with accepted RoyalUp biddings are notified via email. They are allowed also to modify or cancel the upgrade (until 2 days prior departure) if the offer is not been accepted by RCI and their credit card is not been charged.
RCI's wedding packages & vow renewals
Call port/ashore or onboard cruise ship weddings and vow renewals are available by contacting RCI's weddings department a minimum 90 days before the itinerary's departure date. The company assigns dedicated coordinators for customizing the ceremonies and the reception events, as well as assisting with marriage licenses.
Standard wedding packages include priority services (dockside check-in and boarding), non-denominational officiant, pre-recorded music, 3-tier cake, chocolate-covered strawberries, a specialty restaurant dinner and in-bed breakfast (onboard), themed cabin decorations, 1-hour photo service, 1x champagne bottle (Moet & Chandon), keepsake wedding certificate (listing the ship/cruise port).
Wedding package add-ons may include beauty services (haircuts/styling, nails, barber), live music, DJ (private party), cocktail reception (at a VIP venue with bar service).
Wedding packages are priced between USD 2000-5600 (the couple plus 10-75 guests).
(Coronavirus crisis) passenger shipping pause 2020-2021
Due to the Coronavirus crisis, RCG-Royal Caribbean Group (shipowner) suspended its entire fleet's passenger shipping operations (RCI-Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity, Silversea) worldwide by canceling all voyages with pre-scheduled departures in the period March 15, 2020, through early-July 2021.
Next are listed all RCI ships and their first departure dates/regions/homeports - ADVENTURE OTS (June 12, 2021/Caribbean from Nassau Bahamas), ALLURE OTS (Aug 8, 2021/Port Canaveral), ANTHEM OTS (July 7, 2021/Europe-UK from Southampton), BRILLIANCE OTS (Dec 16, 2021/Tampa), ENCHANTMENT OTS (Dec 23, 2021/Bahamas-Caribbean from Baltimore), EXPLORER OTS (Nov 7, 2021/Caribbean from San Juan Puerto Rico), FREEDOM OTS (July 2, 2021/Miami), GRANDEUR OTS (Dec 5, 2021/Caribbean from Bridgetown Barbados), HARMONY OTS (Aug 15, 2021/Mediterranean from Barcelona), INDEPENDENCE OTS (Aug 15, 2021/Galveston), JEWEL OTS (July 10, 2021/Mediterranean from Limassol Cyprus), LIBERTY OTS (Oct 3, 2021/Galveston), MARINER OTS (Aug 23, 2021/Port Canaveral), NAVIGATOR OTS (Nov 19, 2021/Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles), OASIS OTS (Sept 5, 2021/Florida-Bahamas from NYC), ODYSSEY OTS (July 31, 2021/Fort Lauderdale), OVATION OTS (Aug 13, 2021 and May 5, 2022/Alaska from Seattle), QUANTUM OTS (Dec 1, 2020/cruises to nowhere from Singapore, and May 4, 2022/Alaska from Seattle), RADIANCE OTS (April 23, 2022/LA to Vancouver-Alaska), RHAPSODY OTS (May 23, 2022/Europe-Mediterranean from Rome), SERENADE OTS (July 19, 2021/Alaska from Seattle), SPECTRUM OTS (Oct 14, 2021/cruises to nowhere from Hong Kong China), SYMPHONY OTS (Aug 14, 2021/Miami), VISION OTS (March 7, 2022/Fort Lauderdale), VOYAGER OTS (April 15, 2022/Europe), WONDER OTS (March 4, 2022/Maiden Voyage/Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale).
- ODYSSEY OTS was scheduled to start on June 2nd Eastern Mediterranean roundtrips from Haifa Israel. However, due to "unrest in Israel and the region", this Cyprus and Greece program was canceled in May.
- VISION OTS was scheduled to start on June 26th Bahamas roundtrips from Bermuda (King's Wharf), but the program was canceled.
- Royal Caribbean's Australia 2021-2022 winter program was canceled due to travel restriction uncertainties. Two ships were affected - QUANTUM OTS from Brisbane (planned restart October 30) and OVATION OTS from Sydney (planned restart December 13).
- VOYAGER OTS had scheduled an Asian 2021 program with homeporting in Tianjin-Beijing (China to Japan, starting August 1) and in Singapore (starting November 4), but in July 2021 the program was canceled through April 2022.
- In August 2021 RCI postponed the restarts of BRILLIANCE OTS (planned for Sept 4/Tampa), RADIANCE OTS (for Oct 15/Miami), and RHAPSODY OTS (for Dec 14/Tampa). The affected bookings were moved to similar out-of-Tampa voyages on SERENADE OTS.
All affected bookings received full refunds (100%), including on prepurchased through RCI cruise packages and services. With rebooking are offered 125% refunds in FCC (future cruise credit) to be used on itineraries that depart up to September 30, 2022. The FCC must be redeemed by December 31, 2021. Full cash refund or changing the FCC to a monetary refund (100%) must be done by March 31, 2021. Within 45 days (from the cancellation date), all taxes, port fees and pre-purchased (if any) packages-amenities are automatically refunded to the original form of payment.
RCI's Cancellation Policy (Cruise with Confidence) was extended to allow penalty-free cancellations up to 48 hours prior departure (all itineraries) and receive an FCC. The policy was also enhanced with two new rebooking options - "Best Price Guarantee" (you can change the price and promo offers on the booking up to 48 hours prior departure) and "Lift and Shift" (you can rebook the same itinerary departing within 1 month from the canceled date, with protected original price and promo offer and keeping the same cabin category).
In the period August-December 2021, all unvaccinated passengers (12 and older) on RCI cruises from Florida ports were required to have a valid insurance policy of a minimum USD 25,000 pp (medical expense coverage) and USD 50,000 pp (for onboard quarantine and COVID-related medevac). Before this new policy, RCI covered up to USD 20,000 per person for Coronavirus-related costs. The money was for shipboard medical treatments and safe quarantine plus providing safe return to home travel arrangements. If a passenger tested COVID-positive while on the ship, RCI also provided a full monetary refund (100% of the cruise price) for the infected and his/her travel companions.
Itinerary of Royal Caribbean
RCI offers year-round roundtrip departures from Baltimore MD (South Locust Point Terminal) where is currently homeported Enchantment OTS. The ship cruises to ports in the Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda, and Canada-New England. The fleetmate Grandeur OTS operated out of Baltimore between 2013-2020.
IMPORTANT/Itinerary changes 2022-2023 (Europe-Caribbean-Alaska-Australia)
In late-July 2022, RCI announced fleet deployment changes, moving 2 ships out of Europe (Brilliance, Enchantment) and 2 ships out of Australia (Adventure, Voyager) due to IMO's new vessel speed regulations/max-speed restrictions.
- Brilliance OTS' summer 2023 European schedule (starting May 15, 2023) was canceled. Instead, the ship was moved to Alaska (homeported in Vancouver) starting April 3, 2023, and to Australia (homeported in Sydney NSW) starting October 23, 2023.
- Enchantment OTS was deployed in Alaska (homeported in Vancouver, starting April 3, 2023) and in Australia (homeported in Sydney NSW, starting October 23, 2023). These programs were both canceled and the ship moved to Baltimore MD (thru April 20, 2023) and in Europe (homeports Civitavecchia-Rome, Piraeus-Athens, Ravenna-Venice) starting May 15, 2023. Follows the Caribbean (out of Tampa) in November 2023. All bookings on Brilliance OTS were automatically moved to Enchantment OTS.
- Voyager OTS was deployed in the Caribbean, leaving from Fort Lauderdale (thru Nov 4, 2023) and from Port Canaveral (starting Nov 10, 2023). This program was canceled and the ship moved to Galveston (starting May 9, 2023). Adventure took Voyager's Florida homeporting program.
RCI's Australia 2023-2024 season is based on 3x liners/homeports - Enchantment OTS/Sydney NSW (8-11-night roundtrips), Ovation OTS/Sydney NSW (9-11-night roundtrips, including around New Zealand), Quantum OTS/Brisbane QLD (3-13-night roundtrips).
World Cruise 2023-2024 (Serenade OTS)
In October 2021, RCI announced the company's first World Cruise, which is also one of the world's longest.
The 274-night itinerary (themed "Ultimate World Cruise"/December 10, 2023, thru September 10, 2024) is scheduled for Serenade OTS. The roundtrip from Miami visits 150 ports/islands (57 new for RCI) in 65 countries and on all 7 continents.
Itinerary segments include:
- (Dec 10 - Feb 11) "Round the Horn: Americas and Antarctica Expedition" itinerary visits 36 ports/islands, 3 continents, and destinations in the Caribbean, Central and South America, Cape Horn, Antarctica, Rio de Janeiro (New Year's Eve overnight), Los Angeles (overnight).
- (Feb 11 - May 9) "Wonders of Asia and the Pacific Expedition" itinerary visits 40 ports/islands, 3 continents, and destinations in North America (Hawaii), Oceania (French Polynesia), New Zealand, Australia, Asia (Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, India, Japan).
- (May 9 - July 10) "Middle East Treasures and Marvels of the Med Expedition" itinerary visits 44 ports, 3 continents, and destinations in Arabia (Dubai, Jordan), Africa (Egypt), Mediterranean (Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, Spain), Adriatic (Croatia).
- (July 10 - Sept 10) "Capitals of Culture" itinerary visits 40 ports, 3 continents and destinations in the Mediterranean (Spain, Morocco), Baltic (Russia/St Petersburg, Norway), with the Transatlantic crossing from Europe to the USA (via Iceland and NYC New York) ending in PortMiami.
- Full-paid early bookings (made by January 6, 2023) receive a 10% discount. Additional costs include taxes-fees-port charges (USD 4667 USD pp).
- Balcony stateroom cost USD 75,000 ($136 pp per day), the 4-passenger Royal Suite cost USD 760,000.
Fares are inclusive of business class flights, land transportation, pre-cruise 5-star hotel overnight. Loyalty program's Platinum and above members (Emerald-Diamond-Diamond Plus-Pinnacle Club) receive as perks shore excursion package, Deluxe Beverage package, free Internet (VOOM Wi-Fi), free laundry service.
Panama Canal cruises 2023-2024 (Rhapsody OTS)
For winter 2023-2024, Rhapsody OTS has scheduled an RCI-first Caribbean and Latin America program based on 3x homeports - two in Panama (Colon, and Panama City/Fuerte Amador) and one in Colombia (Cartagena).
The 7-night roundtrips also visit Panama Canal and The Netherlands' ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) in the Leeward Antilles. The Panama Canal itinerary (8x departures from Fuerte Amador) visits Cartagena, and Costa Rica's Puntarenas and Quepos.
RCI Caribbean 2022-2023 ships and itineraries
In November 2020, RCI announced a lineup of Caribbean cruises scheduled for summer 2022 on 3 Oasis-Class ships (Oasis, Harmony, Symphony) homeported in Florida and NYC.
- Two Oasis-class ships Harmony OTS and Symphony OTS offer Eastern and Western Caribbean 7-night itineraries from Florida (Port Canaveral and Miami, respectively). New for 2022, Symphony doubles the number of Eastern Caribbean cruises and offers evening stays in Puerto Rico throughout the summer. Harmony visits St Thomas USVI, St Kitts and Falmouth Jamaica, along with CocoCay.
- Oasis OTS from NYC offers 7-night roundtrips to Florida-Bahamas leaving from Cape Liberty (Bayonne, New Jersey). Almost every voyage visits CocoCay.
- Mariner OTS introduces 8-night cruises from Florida to Bermuda with 2 days in Kings Wharf, prior to heading to The Bahamas (late-night stay in Nassau and a full day at CocoCay). Mariner OTS also offers 8-night roundtrips from Port Canaveral to Aruba, Curacao, St Croix, Puerto Rico, Dominicana, CocoCay.
- After a winter homeporting in Puerto Rico, Explorer OTS returns to Miami for 8-night itineraries to Southern Caribbean (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) and 6-night roundtrips to Western Caribbean with CocoCay.
- Liberty OTS from Galveston TX offers 7-night Western Caribbean itineraries to Belize City and Cozumel Mexico.
In mid-January 2021, RCI announced the company's first-ever homeporting in Bridgetown Barbados with Grandeur OTS. The winter program (December 2021 through April 2022) also features 3x new for RCI Caribbean ports - Scarborough (Tobago Island), Port-of-Spain (Trinidad Island) and Kingstown (St Vincent Island, Grenadines). RCI's ex-Barbados program is based on fly-cruise deals (roundtrip flights from the USA) and 3x itineraries (two 7-night, one 14-night) visiting Castries (St Lucia), Roseau (Dominica), Trinidad-Tobago-St Vincent, St Georges (Grenada), Oranjestad (Aruba), Kralendijk (Bonaire), Willemstad (Curacao). Bookings opened in February 2021.
For winter 2022-2023, Rhapsody OTS is also homeported in Bridgetown Barbados (starting November 2022). The boat has scheduled 5-7-8-14-night roundtrip itineraries that visit ports in Trinidad, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Columbia, Aruba, St Lucia, Dominica, St. Vincent, Bonaire, Curacao. The 14-night roundtrips offer overnight port stays in Oranjestad Aruba and Cartagena Colombia.
Starting October 30, 2023, Allure OTS has regularly scheduled 3-4-night itineraries (out of Port Canaveral to The Bahamas' Nassau and CocoCay) which makes it the first Oasis-class liner to offer Caribbean mini-cruises.
Europe 2022 summer deployment (7 RCI ships)
In December 2020, RCI announced new itineraries and ports in Europe for the summer 2022 season - from Italy and Israel (Mediterranean-Holy Land) to the Arctic Circle and the British Isles.
Voyager OTS has scheduled a maiden season in the Baltic Sea. Brilliance OTS is leaving roundtrip from homeport Venice Italy. Three more liners (Anthem, Allure, Odyssey) in summer 2022 are homeported in England (Southampton), Spain (Barcelona) and Italy (Civitavecchia-Rome).
Mediterranean voyages from Italy
- Odyssey OTS is scheduled to return to Rome and sail on 7- and 9-night voyages to the Greek Isles and Turkey, as well as 12-night Holy Land cruises. Ports of call include Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, Rhodes, Kusadasi-Ephesus, Capri Island (from Naples), Haifa-Tel Aviv Israel and Ashdod-Jerusalem. New in 2022, Holy Land cruises visit Limassol Crete.
- Brilliance OTS is due to embark on 7-night voyages to Croatia, Greece and the Greek Isles. Departing from Ravenna (Venice), travelers can explore the Adriatic port cities (also Dubrovnik) and Athens, as well as enjoy the beaches of the islands Mykonos and Santorini.
Mediterranean voyages from Spain
- From Barcelona Allure OTS sails on Western Mediterranean 7-night voyages that include late-night calls in Rome, Capri Island (from Naples) and Livorno (port to Florence and Pisa). Roundtrips from Rome are also offered.
- Vision OTS has new 8-night Western Mediterranean sailings for summer 2022, and beginning September 2022, adds 5-night roundtrips for the autumn. The liner visits French Riviera ports (including Toulon and Monte Carlo) as well as Italy's Cagliari (Sardinia Island) and Palermo (Sicily Island).
UK, Baltic, Canary Islands
- Voyager OTS has an inaugural Northern European season with 7-10-11-night Baltic Sea roundtrips from Copenhagen Denmark (May-June and August) and Stockholm (July). Signature destinations are the Norwegian Fjords, Tallinn Estonia and Saint Petersburg Russia (overnight).
- Jewel OTS introduces a new itinerary for RCI in September 2022. The 9- and 10-night sailings between Tarragona and Piraeus-Athens visit Katakolon-Olympia, Santorini, Monte Carlo, Amalfi Coast (Italy), the French Riviera. Prior to repositioning to Tarragona, Jewel OTS offers 12-night itineraries out of Amsterdam Holland to Iceland, Europe's Arctic Circle (Norway), Norwegian Fjords, UK (British Isles).
- Anthem OTS is scheduled to arrive in Southampton UK (for a second homeporting season) in May 2022, for 7-12-14-night ex-UK roundtrips to Iberia, Northern Europe, Western Mediterranean, the Canaries.
Customers can opt for 7-night voyages to sail along Norway's coastline, visit picturesque ports and cruising the fjords, experience Scandinavia's city life, enjoy French wine tastings and tapas tours in Spain.
RCI's longer summer vacations in Europe include the Canary Islands (12-night from Southampton to Vigo, Lisbon, Funchal Madeira, Arrecife-Lanzarote and Tenerife. Another special Mediterranean itinerary is the 14-night ex-UK roundtrip to Nice (Villefranche-sur-Mer), Rome, Naples, Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza and Lisbon.
Europe 2023 summer deployment (8 RCI ships)
RCI-Royal Caribbean's 2023 European summer program initially included 9x ships visiting 25+ countries. Destinations range from the Holy Land to the Amalfi Coast, British Isles, Croatia, Canary Islands, Greece, Israel, and Iceland.
The program of 35 itineraries starts in May 2023 with voyages ranging from 5 to 12 nights.
- RCI targets the family market in Europe with Odyssey OTS from Civitavecchia-Rome and Anthem OTS from Southampton (England UK). Odyssey sails on 7- to 9-night Rome roundtrips to Naples, Greek Isles and Turkey, and 12-night Holy Land voyages to Cyprus, Kusadasi-Ephesus (Turkey), and Ashdod-Jerusalem (Israel).
- Symphony OTS sails from Civitavecchia and Barcelona on 7-night roundtrips to Naples, Palma de Mallorca (Majorca Island, Balearic Spain), and Aix-en-Provence (France).
- Explorer OTS sails from Venice, Brilliance OTS from Civitavecchia, Venice, Piraeus-Athens (Greece) and Barcelona.
- Rhapsody OTS is the first RCI ship to cruise from Limassol (Cyprus) and Haifa (Israel) for two summer seasons (2022 and 2023).
- Voyager OTS is scheduled to be cruising from Copenhagen (Denmark) and Stockholm (Sweden) for Scandinavian itineraries. Jewel OTS from Amsterdam (Netherlands) offers 12-night roundtrips to the Arctic Circle, British Isles, Ireland, Iceland.
Note: In July 2022, RCI canceled Serenade's 2023 Baltic schedule (based on homeporting in Copenhagen Denmark and Stockholm Sweden).
Australia 2023 summer deployment (3 RCI ships)
RCI-Royal Caribbean's 2023-2024 Australia cruises feature returning favorites, firsts, and brand new itineraries.
Ovation and Quantum OTS, among the most ground-breaking cruise ships in the world, return to Australia to sail out of Brisbane and Sydney. The season welcomes a Down Under debut via the arrival of Enchantment OTS, touting new destinations from Sydney.
2023-2024 itinerary highlights include:
- Quantum OTS (from Brisbane) is returning after her first summer season sailing from the port of Brisbane in 2022. Vacationers can choose from 3- to 13-night sailings to Queensland’s coast, including destinations like Airlie Beach and Cairns, or discover the South Pacific by visiting Port Vila (Vanuatu) and Noumea (New Caledonia).
- Ovation OTS (from Sydney) is setting sail on her 5th season in the region. Vacationers can choose from a mix of 20 voyages, including 9- to 11-night cruises that visit destinations along New Zealand’s coastline like Bay of Islands, Milford Sound, and Wellington. Guests can choose from a series of 3- to 9-night voyages around Australia to visit Adelaide, Eden, and Hobart, as well as journeys to the South Pacific islands.
- Enchantment OTS (from Sydney) is calling at new destinations for Royal Caribbean: Gladstone and Kangaroo Island. Vacationers can experience the South Pacific on 8- to 11-night cruises and visit Isle of Pines, Mare Island, and Noumea (New Caledonia), Lifou (Loyalty Islands, and Port Vila (Vanuatu). A series of special voyages are also offered, including an 11-night South Pacific & Fiji Christmas trip, and longer 16- and 18-night sailings along Australia’s Top End/West Coast, like Darwin, Exmouth, Fremantle. Passengers can combine the two itineraries back-to-back and enjoy a 34-night Australia & New Zealand adventure.
In late-February 2021, RCI opened bookings for short Caribbean cruises - a total of 17 itineraries leaving in 2022-2023 roundtrip from Florida and Texas. The Caribbean mini-cruise program is based on 8 ships (2 year-round, 4 seasonal), 5 homeports, 3- to 5-night itineraries.
During winter 2022-2023, Liberty OTS (from Fort Lauderdale) alternates 3-4-night voyages to The Bahamas (CocoCay and Freeport Grand Bahama), while Mariner OTS (from Port Canaveral) visits CocoCay and Western Caribbean ports. Brilliance OTS (from Tampa) offers 4-5-night Western Caribbean itineraries, with select 4-night roundtrips to Nassau and Key West.
Rhapsody OTS (from Tampa) is scheduled for 4-5-night roundtrips to Cozumel and Grand Cayman/George Town (in spring-early fall), with a 7-night itinerary (during the summer) to Isla Roatan, Belize City, Cozumel, Costa Maya.
Adventure OTS (from Galveston TX) has scheduled 4-5-night roundtrips to Mexico (Cozumel and Costa Maya). For summer 2022, Grandeur OTS has scheduled 4-5-night roundtrips to Mexico (Costa Maya, Cozumel).
RCI's Caribbean 2022-2023 winter deployment (6 liners) and 7-day itineraries were opened for booking on March 3, 2021. The program features extended port stays and late-night visits to Oranjestad Aruba and San Juan Puerto Rico, and calls at CocoCay Bahamas.
For the first time ever, RCI is homeporting in Galveston Texas an Osis-class ship. Beginning November 2022, Allure OTS starts 7-night Western Caribbean roundtrips from Royal Caribbean’s new cruise ship terminal in Galveston (construction/completion April 2021 through November 2022). In Florida RCI is homeporting 3 Oasis-class boats - Harmony OTS, Oasis OTS, and Symphony OTS. Itineraries combine popular seaports like Nassau Bahamas, Cozumel Mexico and Falmouth Jamaica, Basseterre St Kitts, Philipsburg St Maarten, Charlotte Amalie St Thomas USVI.
In Florida (PortMiami and Port Canaveral-Orlando) are homeported two Oasis-class vessels. From Miami, Symphony OTS offers 7-night Eastern Caribbean (St Maarten and St Thomas and Western Caribbean (Costa Maya, Cozumel, Roatan Honduras), all visiting CocoCay. From Port Canaveral, Harmony OTS offers 7-night Eastern Caribbean (St Thomas, St Maarten, St Kitts) and Western Caribbean (Nassau, Falmouth Jamaica, Labadee Haiti) - all visiting CocoCay.
From Galveston (for the first time) beginning November 2022, Allure OTS offers 7-night Western Caribbean itineraries to Roatan and Mexico (Cozumel and Costa Maya).
After the summer homeporting in NYC New York, Oasis OTS relocates to Miami for 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries (all with CocoCay) between November 2022-April 2023. Eastern Caribbean roundtrips visit Labadee, Charlotte Amalie, San Juan, Western Caribbean - Costa Maya, Cozumel, Roatan.
Following a short season in Northeast USA, Voyager OTS relocates from Boston to San Juan (Puerto Rico) in November 2022, with scheduled 7-night Southern Caribbean roundtrips to Barbados, St Lucia, St Croix, Curacao.
The 2023 seasonal Caribbean voyages are expected to make waves with a summer of firsts. Debuting in March 2022, Wonder of the Seas headlines the lineup with her first summer in the USA from Port Canaveral (Orlando Florida). The newbuild is joined by Mariner of the Seas, while Harmony of the Seas homeports in PortMiami Florida for the first time. The lineup is rounded out by the first Oasis Class summer season in Galveston TX.
5-night sailings and 7- to 8-night voyages to Bermuda and the Eastern, Western 7 Southern Caribbean are offered from April through October 2023 and include the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao), Puerto Rico, Mexico, St. Kitts, as well as Royal Caribbean’s private island destination in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay. A day on Perfect Day at CocoCay is among the highlights on most voyages from Florida.
- Allure OTS (from Galveston TX). Allure OTS is expected to become the first Oasis Class cruise ship to call Galveston TX home for the season. Royal Caribbean extended Allure’s Texas debut in winter 2022-2023 and opened the lineup of 7-night Western Caribbean voyages. Vacationers can benefit from destinations like Costa Maya (Quintana Roo Mexico, Riviera Maya),Cozumel (Quintana Roo Mexico, Riviera Maya), and Roatan Island (Mahogany Bay-Coxen Hole, Honduras). Allure OTS continues to set sail from the new, US$125 million terminal of Royal Caribbean which opens doors in October 2022.
- Wonder OTS (from Port Canaveral FL). Following the debut of the world’s largest cruise ship in 2022, the cruise company keeps the good times rolling for vacationers. Wonder OTS is due to sail her first summer in the United States from Port Canaveral FL, extending her newly announced 2022 winter season starting in November. Highlights of the 7-night Western and Eastern Caribbean cruises feature Philipsburg (St Maarten Island, Dutch Antilles), Saint Thomas Island (Charlotte Amalie, USVI), Cozumel (Mexico), and CocoCay.
- Harmony OTS (from PortMiami). The world's cruise capital is Harmony’s summer homeport for the first time. The liner sets sail on 7-night voyages to the Western and Eastern Caribbean. Destinations include Basseterre (Port Zante, St Kitts Island), St Thomas Island (Charlotte Amalie, USVI), Oranjestad (Aruba Island, Dutch Antilles), Costa Maya Mexico, CocoCay.
- Mariner OTS (from Port Canaveral). Returning to Orlando for the 3rd consecutive summer, Mariner OTS offers short and longer itineraries of 5, 7 & 8 nights to Bermuda, the Eastern, Western & Southern Caribbean including destinations like the Dominican Republic, Aruba, Curacao, St. Croix (U.S. Virgin Islands). On all 8-night Bermuda and CocoCay cruises, there are 2 nights in Bermuda.
On March 1, 2022, Royal Caribbean released new itineraries to destinations in the Caribbean for the 2023-2024 cruise season. The new itineraries include ships like Harmony OTS and Symphony OTS.
- Harmony OTS moves from PortMiami (Florida) to Galveston (Texas) in November 2023 and start a 4-night cruise on November 1, 2023, before changing to 7-night voyages through April 2024.
- Symphony OTS shifts to Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades, Florida) after sailing back from Europe in November 2023. From Port Everglades, Symphony OTS sails alternating 6- and 8-night voyages to the Caribbean.
- Odyssey OTS remains in Port Everglades as well, sailing alternating 6- and 8-night voyages through April 2024.
- Oasis OTS moves back to PortMiami after completing her summer voyages from New York (Cape Liberty Bayonne NJ-NYC). Oasis of the Seas starts with a 4-night voyage on November 1, 2023, and then switches to 7-night alternating cruises from PortMiami through April 2024.
- The world's largest cruise ship, Wonder OTS, continues to offer 7-night voyages from Port Canaveral (Orlando, Florida) through April 2024.
- Brilliance OTS starts offering 7-night voyages from Tampa (Florida). She returns to the port after her summer season and sails 7-night Western Caribbean voyages.
- Voyager OTS calls Port Canaveral home and sails 6- and 8-night voyages around the Caribbean.
- Icon OTS, the first in the Icon Class (debuting 2023-Q3) will be homeported in Miami,
Royal Caribbean itineraries by ship
Follows a review of the Royal Caribbean itinerary program for 2022-2023 scheduled itineraries. For sailing dates (departures, arrivals), ports of call times and RCI cruise prices per person follow the ship pages listed below.
|Ship Name||Homeports||Itineraries Changes|
operates on roundtrips to Eastern Caribbean (St Croix, St Kitts, St. Maarten, St Thomas, Dominica, Martinique) and Southern Caribbean (Antigua, St Lucia, Grenada, Curacao, Bonaire).
Adventure OTS returns to Cape Liberty (NYC) in 2022 with various 5- and 9-night summer and fall itineraries to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Bermuda, Canada, and New England.
(May 2022 - April 2023) Adventure OTS is homeported in NYC-Bayonne for roundtrips to Bermuda, Caribbean and Canada.
2022-2023: Adventure OTS is due to sail from Galveston TX for 4- and 5-night trips to the Western Caribbean visiting Cozumel and Costa Maya.
(2023) Starting November 2022, Allure OTS is homeported in Galveston Texas. Allure OTS is expected to become the first Oasis Class cruise ship to call Galveston TX home for the season with a lineup of 7-night Western Caribbean voyages. Destinations include Costa Maya (Quintana Roo Mexico, Riviera Maya), Cozumel (Quintana Roo Mexico, Riviera Maya), and Roatan Island (Mahogany Bay-Coxen Hole, Honduras).
Starting October 30, 2023, Allure OTS operates 3-4-night itineraries (mini-cruises out of Port Canaveral/Orlando) to The Bahamas' Nassau and CocoCay.
(summer 2022) Anthem OTS is homeported in Southampton UK for a second consecutive year (arriving in May 2022), opetaing 7-12-14-night roundtrips to Iberia, Northern Europe, Western Mediterranean, the Canaries.
(October 2022 - April 2023) Anthem OTS is homeported in NYC-Bayonne for 7-day roundtrips to Bahamas (Nassau and CocoCay) and 11-day to Southern Caribbean (Puerto Rico, St Maarten, Antigua, St Lucia, St Kitts).
(summer 2023) homeported in Southampton (England UK)
operates on roundtrips out of Tampa to Western Caribbean (4-day Cozumel Mexico, 5-day Key West FL, Cozumel).
In the summer, the ship operates in Europe on Mediterranean roundtrips out of Barcelona (Italy, Greece, Turkey, Malta, Adriatic Sea).
(Mediterranean 2022) Brilliance OTS ooperates 7-night voyages to Croatia (Dubrovnik), Greece (Athens), and the Greek Isles (Mykonos, Santorini).
(winter 2022-2023) Brilliance OTS is homeported in Tampa for 4-5-night Western Caribbean itineraries, with select 4-night roundtrips to Nassau and Key West.
(Europe 2023) from Civitavecchia (Rome), Venice (Italy), Athens (Piraeus, Greece), and Barcelona (Spain)
|sold/left the fleet|
IMPORTANT: In mid-December 2020, RCI sold the ships Empress OTS and Majesty OTS to an Asian company. A total of 40x Empress OTS cruises (itineraries scheduled between March 6, 2021, and April 16, 2022) were canceled.
The Empress ship's planned by RCI 2021-2022 itinerary program included voyages in the Eastern-Western Caribbean (7-day roundtrips from PortMiami / March 6 through April 25, 2021), roundtrips from NYC New York to Bermuda (April 5 - August 9, 2021), four 7-day Canada and New England cruises (NYC roundtrips, May 24, June 21, July 19, Aug 16, 2021), 10-11-day Canadian cruises out of Montreal (September 2 - October 4, 2021) and the rest were 7-day Southern Caribbean cruises from homeport San Juan Puerto Rico (November 6, 2021, through April 16, 2022).
Vancouver (BC Canada)
Since 2021 operates roundtrips to Bermuda, Canada-New England, Florida-Bahamas and Caribbean. Deprtures are from Baltimore's South Locust Point Terminal.
The fleetmate Grandeur OTS operated out of Baltimore between 2013-2020.
(Alaska 2023) 7-night roundtrips from Vancouver visiting Hubbard Glacier and Dawes Glacier
(Australia 2023-2024 from Sydney) calling at new destinations for Royal Caribbean: Gladstone and Kangaroo Island. South Pacific 8- to 11-night cruises visit Isle of Pines, Mare Island, and Noumea (New Caledonia), Lifou (Loyalty Islands, and Port Vila (Vanuatu). A series of special voyages are also offered, including an 11-night South Pacific & Fiji Christmas trip, and longer 16- and 18-night sailings along Australia’s Top End/West Coast, like Darwin, Exmouth, Fremantle. Passengers can combine the two itineraries back-to-back and enjoy a 34-night Australia & New Zealand vacation.
operates on South Pacific Islands itineraries (Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu) and also on Cruises to Nowhere (out of Sydney AU).
(winter 2021-2022) 7-night Southern Caribbean roundtrips from San Juan Puerto Rico. The ship replaced the previously scheduled voyages on Freedom OTS.
(summer 2022) Explorer OTS returns to Miami FL to sail alternating 8- and 6-night itineraries exploring the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) with more time in Willemstad, Curacao and Oranjestad, Aruba on every 8-night cruise. The ship's 6-night trips in the Western Caribbean call at CocoCay Bahamas.
(Europe 2023) from Venice (Italy)
operates on 7-day roundtrips to Eastern Caribbean (Labadee Haiti, Puerto Rico, St Maarten, St Kitts) and Western Caribbean (Costa Maya and Cozumel Mexico, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Belize, Roatan).
(2022-2023) 3-4-night roundtrips from PortMiami to Nassau Bahamas, visiting Royal Caribbean's private island in the Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay.
In the period 2013-2020, Grandeur OTS was homeported in Baltimore MD.
(December 2021 through April 2022) Grandeur OTS is homeported in Bridgetown Barbados. RCI's first-ever roundtrip Barbados Caribbean program is based on fly-cruise deals (roundtrip flights from the USA) and 3x itineraries (two 7-night, one 14-night) visiting Castries (St Lucia), Roseau (Dominica), St Georges (Grenada), Oranjestad (Aruba), Kralendijk (Bonaire), Willemstad (Curacao), plus 3x new for RCI ports - Scarborough (Tobago Island), Port-of-Spain (Trinidad Island) and Kingstown (St Vincent Island, Grenadines).
(summer 2022) Grandeur OTS from Galveston TX offers 4-5-night mini-cruises to Mexico (Costa Maya and Cozumel).
operates on 7-day roundtrips to Western Caribbean (Cozumel Mexico, Jamaica, Labadee Haiti) and Bahamas-Eastern Caribbean (Thomas, St Thomas, St Maarten).
The ship offers inaugural season itineraries in Europe out of Barcelona Spain (7-day itineraries to France and Italy).
2021-2022: Harmony OTS from Port Canaveral offers 7-night Eastern-Western Caribbean itineraries (alternating), all visiting CocoCay.
(summer 2022) 7-night Eastern Caribbean from Port Canaveral to St Thomas USVI, St Kitts, Falmouth Jamaica, CocoCay.
(2023) PortMiami FL is Harmony’s summer homeport for the first time. The liner is due to set sail on 7-night voyages to the Western and Eastern Caribbean. Destinations include Basseterre (Port Zante, St Kitts Island), Saint Thomas Island (Charlotte Amalie, USVI), Oranjestad (Aruba Island, Dutch Antilles), Costa Maya (Quintana Roo Mexico, Riviera Maya), and Perfect Day at CocoCay.
Icon OTS is the first of three ICON-class RCI ships and is planned for delivery and inauguration in 2023-Q3. The design is bigger than QUANTUM and slightly smaller (218,000 GT) than OASIS (225,000 GT), with capacity ~5600 (lower berths).
What is confirmed so far is that the liner will offer ex-UK departures (from Southampton) while in Europe, then will be deployed in the Caribbean with homeporting in Miami.
operates short roundtrips to Western Caribbean (Costa Maya-Cozumel Mexico, Belize) and Eastern Caribbean (Labadee Haiti, Jamaica).
(2022-2023) Port Canaveral to Bahamas (full-day calls in Nassau and CocoCay)
operates roundtrips to Eastern-Southern Caribbean (St Thomas, St Kitts, St. Maarten, Dominica, Aruba, Curacao, St Lucia, Antigua). REPOSITIONING (Transatlantic): During summer, the ship operates in Europe on roundtrips out of Rome (Civitavecchia) to Greece and Greek Islands, Turkey, Italy (Sicily).
(September 2022) Jewel OTS introduces a new itinerary for RCI. The 9- and 10-night sailings between Tarragona and Piraeus visit Olympia (Katakolon), Santorini, Monte Carlo, Amalfi Coast, French Riviera, among others. Prior to repositioning to Tarragona, Jewel of the Seas is due to offer a mix of 12-night itineraries out of Amsterdam to Iceland, Arctic Circle, Norwegian fjords, and the British Isles.
(summer 2023) 12-night cruises to the Arctic Circle, British Isles, Ireland, and Iceland from Amsterdam (Netherlands)
operates on 7-day roundtrips to Eastern-Western Caribbean (Costa Maya and Cozumel Mexico, Roatan Honduras, Grand Cayman, Jamaica).
(summer 2022) 7-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Galveston to Mexico (Cozumel, Costa Maya) and Roatan Island
(2022-2023) alternating 3- and 4-night Bahamas roundtrips from Fort Lauderdale visiting CocoCay and Freeport
sold/left the fleet
IMPORTANT: In mid-December 2020, RCI sold the ships Majesty OTS and Empress OTS to an Asian company. A total of 60x Majesty OTS cruises (itineraries scheduled between March 6, 2021, and April 30, 2022) were canceled.
The Majesty ship's planned by RCI 2021-2022 itinerary program included 7-day Florida-Bahamas and 7-day Western Caribbean voyages leaving roundtrip from homeport NOLA New Orleans. The Bahamas roundtrips were planned to visit Key West Florida, Nassau and CocoCay. The Western Caribbean roundtrips had planned visits to Mexico (Cozumel, Costa Maya) and Honduras (Coxen Hole on Roatan Island).
Mariner OTS operates on Asia roundtrips out of Singapore (to Thailand and Malaysia) and out of Shanghai (to South Korea and Japan).
(2022) Port Canaveral Florida to Bermuda and Bahamas cruises with an 8-night itinerary to Kings Wharf (2-day stay/overnight) plus Nassau (late-night departure) and CocoCay (full day stay). This unique option includes the following departures in 2022 - May 15 and 28, June 5, August 21, September 3 and 11, and October 8 and 16.
(winter 2022-2023) Mariner OTS from Port Canaveral has 7-night itinerary to CocoCay and Western Caribbean.
(2023) Returning to Port Canaveral (Orlando) for the 3rd consecutive summer, Mariner OTS offers short and longer itineraries of 5, 7 & 8 nights to Bermuda, the Eastern, Western & Southern Caribbean including destinations like the Dominican Republic, Aruba, Curacao, St. Croix (U.S. Virgin Islands). On all 8-night Bermuda and CocoCay cruises, there are 2 nights in Bermuda.
(2021-2022) from PortMiami's new Terminal A (in the summer) and out of Fort Lauderdale (winter), Navigator OTS offers 3- and 4-night roundtrips to Bahamas and CocoCay.
starting November 2021 from Los Angeles (San Pedro) Navigator OTS offers 3-4-5-7-night California and Mexican Riviera itineraries visiting Santa Catalina Island, Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas.
operates on 7-day roundtrips to Western Caribbean (Cozumel Mexico, Labadee Haiti, Jamaica) and Bahamas-Eastern Caribbean (Nassau, St Thomas, St Maarten).
(summer 2022) 7-night NYC to Florida and Bahamas (from Cape Liberty / Bayonne NJ), almost all visit CocoCay Bahamas.
Odyssey OTS was scheduled for inauguration on November 5, 2020, and to be initially homeported in Florida USA (Port Everglades/Fort Lauderdale).
(Mediterranean 2022) Odyssey OTS is homeported in Civitavecchia for 7-9-night roundtrips to the Greek Isles and Turkey, as well as 12-night Holy Land voyages. Call ports include Santorini, Mykonos, Piraeus-Athens, Rhodes, Kusadasi-Ephesus, Naples, Israel (Haifa, Ashdod), Crete (Limassol).
(summer 2023) 7- to 9-night cruises from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Naples (Italy), Greek Isles & Turkey, and 12-night Holy Land voyages to Cyprus, Ephesus (Kusadasi, Turkey), and Ashdod (Jerusalem, Israel)
operates on China roundtrips to Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea.
Ovation OTS was deployed in Alaska (the first Quantum-class liner there) via repositioning from Sydney AU to Seattle WA (Alaskan homeport). The ship offers 7-day roundtrip itinerary to Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria (BC Canada). In Alaska, Ovation joins the fleet mate Radiance OTS.
(Australia 2022 from Sydney) 9-12-night to New Zealand, 5-7-night to Queensland, 6-8-night to Tasmania
(Alaska 2022) Ovation OTS operates 7-night roundtrips from Seattle to Canada (Victoria BC) and USA (Sitka, Skagway, Ketchikan, Juneau).
(Alaska 2023) 7-8-night from Seattle to Victoria BC, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Skagway
(Australia 2023-2024 from Sydney) 20 voyages, including 9- to 11-night cruises that visit destinations along New Zealand’s coastline like Bay of Islands, Milford Sound, and Wellington. Guests can choose from a series of 3- to 9-night voyages around Australia to visit Adelaide, Eden, and Hobart, as well as journeys to the South Pacific islands.
(Australia 2022 from Brisbane) 3-night Weekend Getaways, 7-9-night South Pacific Islands.
(Alaska 2022) Quantum OTS operates 7-night roundtrips from Seattle to Canada (Victoria BC) and USA (Sitka, Skagway, Ketchikan, Juneau). The ship has two Alaskan repositioning cruises via Hawaii (Honolulu) in 2022 - in April (to Vancouver) and in October (from Vancouver).
(Alaska 2023) 7-night from Seattle to Victoria BC, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Skagway
(Australia 2023-2024 from Brisbane) 3- to 13-night sailings to Queensland’s coast, including destinations like Airlie Beach and Cairns, or discover the South Pacific by visiting Port Vila (Vanuatu) and Noumea (New Caledonia).
operates on roundtrips to Queensland, New Zealand and South Pacific Islands (Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu).
REPOSITIONING (Alaska-Australia through Hawaii). The ship is relocated for the summer Alaskan cruise season from Australia to Canada (and reverse) through Hawaii.
(Alaska 2022) Radiance OTS operates 7-night itineraries between Vancouver and Seward, visiting Haines (full-day), Sitka, Ketchikan, Juneau. The new for RCI Inside passage itinerary features scenic cruising (Endicott Arm, Dawes Glacier, Hubbard Glacier). The northbound itinerary visits Icy Strait Point.
(Alaska 2023) 7-10 night roundtrips from Vancouver combinable with Land Tours (like Denali NP).
(Caribbean 2022-2023 winter/November thru April) Radiance OTS operates Western Caribbean itineraries out of New Orleans and Galveston TX.
(Mediterranean 2022) Starting on May 23rd, Rhapsody OTS offers 7-night roundtrips from homeports Piraeus-Athens, Barcelona, Civitavecchia-Rome, Ravenna. Destinations include Greece, Adriatic, Greek Isles, French Riviera (Cannes and Nice).
(Europe 2022 & 2023 summers/Aug-Sept) Rhapsody OTS is homeported in Haifa (Israel) and Limassol (Cyprus Greece). The 7-day roundtrips visit ports in Greece (Thessaloniki), Greek Islands (Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos, Skiathos), Turkey (Istanbul, Kusadasi), Israel (Haifa, Ashdod), and Egypt (Alexandria, Port Said). Roundtrips from Israel (Haifa) are also offered.
(Caribbean 2022-2023) 4-5-night roundtrips from Tampa to Cozumel and Grand Cayman. During summer, the 7-night itinerary visits Isla Roatan, Belize City, Cozumel, Costa Maya.
(winter 2022-2023) Rhapsody OTS is homeported in Bridgetown Barbados (starting November 2022) for 5-7-8-14-night roundtrip itineraries that visit ports in Trinidad, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Columbia, Aruba, St Lucia, Dominica, St. Vincent, Bonaire, Curacao. The 14-night roundtrips offer overnight port stays in Oranjestad Aruba and Cartagena Colombia.
Serenade OTS restarted operations in the Caribbean from Tampa (4-5-day roundtrips) to Mexico (Cozumel, Costa Maya) and Bahamas (Nassau, CocoCay).
Serenade OTS' 2023 Europe/Baltic schedule (homeporting in Copenhagen Denmark and Stockholm Sweden) was canceled in mid-July 2022.
CURIOUS (World Cruise 2023-2024) RCI's first such voyage is currently planned as a 274-night itinerary (Dec 10, 2023, thru Sept 10, 2024) for Serenade OTS. Leaving roundtrip from Miami, the voyage visits 150 ports/islands in 65 countries and on the 7 continents.
|Spectrum of the Seas|
From Shanghai, Spectrum OTS cruises to japan on 4 roundtrip itineraries:
From Hong Kong, Spectrum OTS cruises on 3 roundtrip itineraries:
December 2021 through January 2022, Spectrum OTS is homeported in Hong Kong for 4- to 9-night roundtrips.
(January through October 2022) the ship has scheduled 4-8 days roundtrips from Shanghai and Tianjin-Beijing to ports in Japan (Nagasaki, Fukuoka, Sasebo).
(summer 2022) 7-night Western Caribbean from Miami (evening stays in Puerto Rico)
(summer 2023) 7-night cruises to Naples (Italy), Palma de Mallorca (Majorca Island, Balearic Spain), and Aix-en-Provence (France) from Civitavecchia (Rome, Italy) and Barcelona (Spain)
operates on Mediterranean roundtrips out of Venice (to Greece and Turkey).
REPOSITIONING (Suez Canal)
Vision OTS from South Florida (Fort Lauderdale) offers 10- and 11-night Southern Caribbean itineraries.
(Mediterranean 2022) Vision OTS offers 8-night Western Mediterranean voyages. In September 2022 are added 5-night itineraries to French Riviera ports (Toulon and Monte Carlo) and Italy’s islands Sardinia (Cagliari) and Sicily (Palermo).
operates on roundtrips to South Pacific Islands itineraries (Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu).
The ship was homeported in Singapore for 3- to 9-night itineraries in Southeast Asia (Thailand and Malaysia). The roundtrips from Singapore include:
(summer 2022) Voyager OTS starts an inaugural Northern European season based on 7-10-11-night Baltic roundtrips from Copenhagen (May-June and August) and Stockholm (July). Passengers can explore the Norwegian fjords, the oldest European medieval town in Tallinn Estonia, and overnight in Saint Petersburg.
(October 2022 - April 2023) Voyager OTS is homeported in Boston for 7-day roundtrips to Canada and Maine USA (St John, Halifax, Bar Harbor, Portland) plus 7-day to Caribbean-Bahamas (Dominican Republic, St Thomas USVI, CocoCay).
(summer 2023) cruising from Copenhagen (Denmark) and Stockholm (Sweden) for Scandinavian itineraries
The new ship (2021-Q2) was originally planned to be deployed exclusively in Asia (year-round). The "Asian Maiden Voyage" was scheduled for March 26, 2022 (5-day roundtrip from Shanghai to Japan/Fukuoka and Kumamoto). Bookings opened in mid-April 2021.
However, in mid-September 2021, RCI announced that instead of China, the ship's inaugural season will be in the Caribbean with homeporting in Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades' Terminal 18). The "Caribbean Maiden Voyage" is currently scheduled for March 4, 2022. Follows a Transatlantic crossing and Europe-Western Mediterranean deployment with homeporting in Barcelona (starting May 2022). Bookings opened in mid-September 2021.
(2023) Following the debut of the world’s largest cruise ship in 2022, Wonder OTS is expected to sail her first summer in the U.S. from Port Canaveral FL, extending her 2022 winter season starting in November. Highlights of the 7-night Western and Eastern Caribbean cruises feature Philipsburg (St Maarten Island, Dutch Antilles), Saint Thomas Island (Charlotte Amalie, USVI), Cozumel (Mexico), and CocoCay.
Utopia OTS is the 5th OASIS-Plus class liner, currently under construction in France and scheduled for delivery in 2024 May.
The aircraft has confirmed/scheduled launch in 2030. Construction of the "space and cruise ship" hybrid vessel is already underway.
Royal Caribbean's "Private Journeys" excursions
RCI passengers seeking personalized shore excursion experiences can take advantage of the company's "Private Journeys" program.
The USD 100 concierge service enables passengers to book port calls tailored to their interests, travel style and budget. Private Journeys (custom-made tours) allow access to 1 of 9 professional Destination Insiders who help planning every detail of the shore excursion before the cruise starts. Activities can include private yachting, cooking with Michelin-starred chefs, food tasting. The USD 100 fee for Private Journeys is applicable to excursion's final cost.
Private Journeys are offered as a 3rd excursion choice (besides independent and RCI-sponsored group tours). The new choice offers direct booking through RCI (ONLY via Royal Caribbean). Booked passengers have to provide Private Journeys' staff with their idea/basics of what they want (duration, preferred places, activities, meals, etc). Then they work with local (professional) tour guides to design the excursion. The contact with Private Journeys is by email or phone.
"Private Journeys" RCI tour deals guarantee: priority disembarkation, sure return to the cruise ship (if the tour runs late, the ship waits for you), convenient access to private tour vehicles, quality of service (reputable/insured operators in direct contact with the RCI cruise ship's personnel).
Royal Caribbean cruises to Cuba from Florida (Miami and Tampa)
The newly-refreshed Empress OTS had scheduled a total of 58 voyages (4- and 5-night itineraries) in the period January 2018 through March 2019, with more than half offering overnights in havana. Empress was homeported in Tampa for summer 2018, for 4- and 5-night itineraries to Key West, Costa Maya, Cozumel and Havana (on most voyages). For the winter 2018-2019 season, the ship repositioned to Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale).
On December 1, 2017, RCI added 2 new Cuban ports (Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos) included in 4- to 8-night long Caribbean itineraries on Empress of the Seas. The new 7-night "Best of Cuba" itinerary from Miami visits Cienfuegos, Havana, and Nassau. The 5-night itinerary visits Key West Florida and Havana (overnight). The 8-night itinerary visits Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba, Grand Cayman Island, and Labadee Haiti.
Majesty of the Seas offered 4- and 5-night itineraries to Havana (day visits and overnights) leaving roundtrip from Tampa (in the period April-October 2018) and from Fort Lauderdale (November 2018 through March 2019). In July 2017, RCI unveiled the company's 2nd ship to Cuba - Majesty OTS, homeported in Port Canaveral. Starting March 25, 2019, the liner offered a 4-night voyage calling at Havana.
On June 4, 2019, the US Government announced new regulations (economic sanctions) that ended group travel to Cuba, including via US-homeported cruise liners, effective immediately. The ban relates to "private and corporate aircraft, cruise ships, sailboats, fishing boats, and other similar aircraft and vessels". The US travel restrictions impacted hundreds of pre-scheduled cruise itineraries, which were adjusted to no longer stop in Cuban seaports.
Note: According to the current Cuban law, US citizens of Cuban origin (born in Cuba) are not allowed to visit the island country (including on cruise ships). Regardless of their US citizenship status, Cuba-born Americans were denied booking on cruise itineraries visiting ports in Cuba. However, the situation changed in April 2016, after Carnival Corporation negotiated with the Cuban government for allowing ships with Cuban-born passengers, as such US citizens are allowed to visit the country on USA-Cuba charter flights. The Carnival-fathom line started Miami to Cuba cruises in May 2016.
Alaska Airlines offers regular nonstop flights to Havana from Los Angeles (California USA). An 80-min ling JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale (Florida) to Havana costs less than USD 100. Previously, air travel from the USA to Cuba was thought charter flights only.
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