When Royal Caribbean Ships May Start Sailing Again

Harmony of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International has announced an extension of its pause of service through mid-June, also making changes to the Alaska and Canada/New England seasons.

A look at the expected first sailing of each Royal Caribbean ship as the cruise industry gets back into service (all information is subject to change due to the COVID-19 crisis):

Adventure of the Seas
Date: June 13, 2020
Homeport: Cape Liberty
Length: 5 nights
Itinerary: King’s Wharf

Allure of the Seas
Date: June 14, 2020
Homeport: Barcelona
Length: 7 nights
Itinerary: Palma de Mallorca, Marseille, La Spezia, Civitavecchia and Naples

Anthem of the Seas
Date: June 20, 2020
Homeport: Southampton
Length: 8 nights
Itinerary: Lisbon, Vigo, La Coruña and Bilbao

Brilliance of the Seas
Date: June 12, 2020
Homeport: Amsterdam
Length: 10 nights
Itinerary: Dover, Belfast, Greenock, Holyhead, Cork and Le Havre

Empress of the Seas
Date: June 29, 2020
Homeport: Cape Liberty
Length: 7 nights
Itinerary: Hamilton and St. George Island

Enchantment of the Seas
Date: June 12, 2020
Homeport: Galveston
Length: 7 nights
Itinerary: Key West, CocoCay and Nassau

Explorer of the Seas
Date: June 14, 2020
Homeport: Civitavecchia
Length: 7 nights
Itinerary: Santorini, Kusadasi, Mykonos and Naples

Freedom of the Seas
Date: June 14, 2020
Homeport: San Juan
Length: 7 nights
Itinerary: Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire and St. Maarten

Grandeur of the Seas
Date: June 20, 2020
Homeport: Baltimore
Length: 5 nights
Itinerary: King’s Wharf

Harmony of the Seas
Date: June 14, 2020
Homeport: Port Canaveral
Length: 7 nights
Itinerary: CocoCay, San Juan and St. Kitts

Independence of the Seas
Date: June 12, 2020
Homeport: Fort Lauderdale
Length: 3 nights
Itinerary: CocoCay and Nassau

Jewel of the Seas
Date: June 18, 2020
Homeport: Copenhagen to Stockholm
Length: 10 nights
Itinerary: Warnemunde, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Visby and Riga

Liberty of the Seas
Date: June 14, 2020
Homeport: Galveston
Length: 7 nights
Itinerary: Cozumel, Costa Maya and Roatán

Majesty of the Seas
Date: June 13, 2020
Homeport: New Orleans
Length: 7 nights
Itinerary: Key West, Nassau and CocoCay

Mariner of the Seas
Date: June 12, 2020
Homeport: Port Canaveral
Length: 3 nights
Itinerary: Nassau and CocoCay

Navigator of the Seas
Date: June 12, 2020
Homeport: Miami
Length: 3 nights
Itinerary: CocoCay and Nassau

Oasis of the Seas
Date: June 14, 2020
Homeport: Cape Liberty
Length: 7 nights
Itinerary: Port Canaveral, CocoCay and Nassau

Ovation of the Seas
Date: July 3, 2020
Homeport: Seattle
Length: 7 nights
Itinerary: Inside Passage, Juneau, Skagway, Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier and Victoria

Quantum of the Seas
Date: June 12, 2020
Homeport: Tianjin
Length: 5 nights
Itinerary: Nagasaki and Fukuoka

Radiance of the Seas
Date: July 3, 2020
Homeport: Seward to Vancouver
Length: 7 nights
Itinerary: Hubbard Glacier, Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point, Ketchikan and Inside Passage

Rhapsody of the Seas
Date: June 13, 2020
Homeport: Venice
Length: 7 nights
Itinerary: Kotor, Corfu, Piraeus, Mykonos and Argostoli

Serenade of the Seas
Date: July 5, 2020
Homeport: Vancouver
Length: 7 nights
Itinerary: Inside Passage, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Tracy Arm Fjord

Spectrum of the Seas
Date: June 14, 2020
Homeport: Shanghai
Length: 7 nights
Itinerary: Osaka, Kobe and Yokohama

Symphony of the Seas
Date: June 13, 2020
Homeport: Miami
Length: 7 nights
Itinerary: St. Maarten, St. Thomas and CocoCay

Vision of the Seas
Date: June 13, 2020
Homeport: Barcelona
Length: 12 nights
Itinerary: Santorini, Kusadasi, Mykonos, Piraeus, Civitavecchia, La Spezia and Marseilles

Voyager of the Seas
Date: June 12, 2020
Homeport: Singapore
Length: 3 nights
Itinerary: Penang

Oasis of the Seas will summer in N.Y. in 2020

Royal Caribbean International said the Oasis of the Seas will make its 2020 summer home in the New York metropolitan area, sailing seven-night itineraries to the Bahamas from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J. It marks the debut of the 5,400-passenger ship in the Big Apple.

The Oasis will be the first ship in its class, and the largest, to sail from the Northeast.

The Bahamas sailings will include a stop at Perfect Day at CocoCay; the private island will receive calls from 10 different Royal ships in 2020.

The Oasis will have a Canada/New England season, as well.

In addition, the Adventure of the Seas will return to Cape Liberty in 2020, sailing a variety of five- and nine-night summer and fall itineraries to Bermuda; New England and Canada; the Bahamas; and the Caribbean.

Travellers can extend their leaf-peeping experience with longer sailings aboard the Vision of the Seas, which will offer three 10- to-11-night, open-jaw itineraries between Cape Liberty and Quebec City with an overnight in Quebec’s capital.

Royal Caribbeans Major Revitalizations

Image result for independence of the seas in dry dock
Independence of the Seas in Drydock.

Among the big out-of-water projects for Royal Caribbean Cruises, this year are revitalizations of the Adventure, Mariner and Independence of the Seas, plus the complete refurbishment and transformation of the Adonia into the Azamara Pursuit.

The company’s large-scale drydocking projects are overseen by the newbuild and innovation department, headed by up Kevin Douglas, vice president, who joined Royal in 2004 as a project manager overseeing a large-scale revitalization on the Sovereign of the Seas.

While smaller dry dockings (known as a “shave and a haircut”) are generally run by the brands, Douglas said his group comes together to plan the big changes, working closely with the operations teams to craft a program vision, whether it’s the Royal Advantage or Celebrity’s recent $400 million Edge-upgrade scheme.

With a schedule that calls for dry dockings every five years, the planning starts with a holistic look at each ship, and how they fit into the class and the brand

“The principal goal is how we improve the guest experience, offering a more meaningful product,” said Douglas. That ranges from stateroom upgrades to new restaurants and other features like the FlowRider surfing simulator. “We look at how we can add in IT and the smart ship concept, upgrading the technical experience and entertainment.”

Projects are evaluated not only on cost but in the number of containers and raw materials needed.

“We know how much material we can deal with on a daily basis, and that determines how much time we need,” Douglas said.

The technical scope of jobs is increasingly complex.

“Then we look at the stability of the ship with the increase in weight and the increase of the centre of gravity, and whether we have to add a ducktail to the stern.”

Allure of the Seas at Navantia

Another major technical project has been installing scrubbers (the company prefers to call them Advanced Emissions Purification Systems).

“They are about the size of a school bus,” Douglas noted.

Royal Caribbean has had its scrubber program going for five years, with some 20 ships outfitted with various systems from a number of suppliers with the project being overseen directly by Matti Heikkinen, vice president of newbuild.

“He and his team have done an awesome job,” added Douglas.

Under the waterline, the company has an on-going initiative to study hull coatings, with a new direction expected to be announced in early 2018.

“There is a massive benefit on fuel efficiency on drag and resistance,” Douglas said.

That project is being spearheaded by Captain Patrik Dahlgren, senior vice president of global marine operations, and Anshul Tuteja, director of energy management.

“We are looking at every type of paint, and which coatings work best in what areas,” Douglas explained. “Patrick and Anshul are looking very carefully, and we can actually track the performance of a hull coating relating to efficiency and how much fouling they are getting.

“We probably have every type of paint coating in the fleet, and are now starting to review final recommendations for future coatings.”

Royal Caribbean has also grown the scope of its drydocking work along with its shipyards, continually working to get leaner and manage bigger projects.

“Twelve years ago we were doing 12 to 16 containers a day and thought ‘wow.’ Now we are doing 50 containers a day and think nothing of it.”

And the spending is skyrocketing.

“We used to be at $800,000 per day, and now its $2.8 million; and we want to go even higher,” Douglas said.

The next hurdle may come in Asia, with a number of company ships in China. One of those ships has already been in a Chinese drydock for a repair, which Douglas said went well. SkySea also recently drydocked at a yard in China for a small refit.

Years of planning, million-dollar decisions and executing on a tight schedule, Douglas said it all came down to partnerships, whether internal, whether with the shipyards or with turnkey suppliers.

“It’s about how we do these projects in a short period of time, minimizing the risk and maximizing the planning.”