They're back: Most cruise ships are now in service

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The Carnival Splendor. The ship was the last of Carnival's fleet to return to service.
The Carnival Splendor. The ship was the last of Carnival's fleet to return to service. Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line

Royal Caribbean International is the latest cruise line to celebrate the return of its full 26-ship fleet after deploying the Rhapsody of the Seas on a seven-night European sailing Monday. The Rhapsody is now sailing to Italy, Greece, Croatia, France and Spain. 

Marking a major milestone for the cruise industry's comeback, Carnival Cruise Line announced its entire 23-ship fleet is now back in service for the first time since the pandemic.

The final ship was the Carnival Splendor, which set sail Monday from Seattle to Alaska.

Carnival is the first major cruise line to reach that capacity mark. Royal Caribbean International will have all of its 24 ships back in action by the end of May.

And Norwegian Cruise Line will see its entire 17-ship fleet in service by the end of the week: The Norwegian Sun sails Wednesday from Seattle to Alaska, and the Norwegian Spirit leaves May 7 from Hawaii to Tahiti.

MSC Cruises has all but one of its 19 ships back in operation. The final ship, the MSC Musica, sails June 5 out of Venice.

Princess Cruises will have a dozen ships, 80% of its fleet, back in operation by the end of the week. The Royal Princess began sailing Monday from Vancouver to Alaska, and the Crown Princess is scheduled to depart Seattle for Alaska on May 7.

The three remaining ships are scheduled to return to service by September.

Holland America Line and Seabourn both returned their full fleets to service last week.

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