The wait is over: Royal Caribbean unveils summer schedule

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T0614ODYSSEY_C_HR [Credit: Royal Caribbean]
The new Odyssey of the Seas will sail six- and eight-night Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale. Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean International will launch six ships this summer from ports in Florida and Texas in July and August, with the first revenue sailing departing July 2 on the Freedom of the Seas.

The line’s newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas, will launch its first cruises on July 3 from Fort Lauderdale on six- and eight-night Caribbean cruises. Royal said it plans to reintroduce its full fleet worldwide by year’s end and will have 12 ships in service by summer’s end, in the Bahamas, Caribbean, Alaska and Europe.

“This is it,” said Michael Bayley, CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “Vacationers can finally plan to take their precious time off this summer and truly get away after what has been a challenging time for everyone.”

Royal’s summer U.S. summer lineup will be:

• Freedom of the Seas: 3- and 4-day Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay sailings from Miami, starting July 2.

• Odyssey of the Seas: 6- and 8-day Southern and Western Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale, starting July 3.

• Serenade of the Seas: 7-day Alaska sailings from Seattle, starting July 19.

• Allure of the Seas: 7-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral, starting Aug. 8.

• Ovation of the Seas: 7-day Alaska itineraries from Seattle, starting Aug. 13.

• Symphony of the Seas: 7-day Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings from Miami, starting Aug. 14.

• Independence of the Seas: 7-day Western Caribbean sailings from Galveston, starting Aug. 15.

• Mariner of the Seas: 3- and 4-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay sailings from Port Canaveral, starting Aug. 23.

Royal said that as of June 4, it has received approval to conduct simulated cruises on the Freedom, Odyssey, Allure, Symphony, Mariner and Independence. The line will launch the Harmony of the Seas in Europe on Aug. 15, on seven-day sailings from Barcelona and Rome. The new plans for the U.S and Europe add to Royal’s previously announced plans to return to sailing with the Adventure of the Seas from the Bahamas on June 12 and the Anthem of the Seas from the U.K. and Jewel of the Seas from Cyprus in July.

Michael Bayley thanked the states, municipalities and ports for helping to vaccinate crew, calling it an act of humanity.

“This act of understanding and humanity has been deeply appreciated, and we are grateful for their support, which is enabling the health and safety of our guests, crew members and the communities we visit,” he said.

Bayley also said that that the vast majority of Royal Caribbean passengers are getting vaccinated. “Thanks in large part to the successful rollout of vaccines, the world of adventure is beginning to open up, and we are all excited to start delivering great vacations to our guests, who have increasingly told us they are getting vaccinated,” Bayley said. “As of today, 90% of all vacationers booking with Royal Caribbean are either vaccinated or planning to get vaccinated in time for their cruise.”

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