Royal Caribbean’s second Oasis-class mega cruise ship, one of the largest in the world, was to go into the Navantia Cádiz shipyard in mid-March for a 58-day dry-dock that was to see a whole host of new features added to the vessel.
Royal Caribbean had planned to add the Ultimate Abyss 10-story aft slide, The Perfect Storm trio of water slides, newly designed kids venues, the first Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar and other features.
Instead, she will spend 30 days at the shipyard and the work will be of a primarily technical nature, according to shipyard chairman José Gallardo.
“The refurbishment of the hotel-side of the vessel is not going to be done, which is logical given the situation of the cruise ship business,” he said, referring to the industry-wide global shutdown of cruise operations amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
Allure of the Seas is 11 years old though, and requires a ten-year refit to replace and inspect a number of technical aspects of the vessel. It is understood upgrades will be made to her propulsion and navigational systems.
It was at the same shipyard that Allure of the Seas underwent her five-year technical overhaul, which involved the replacement of one of her propellers.
— RCISam (@RCI_Sam) May 10, 2020
Allure of the Seas is currently underway from Southampton, where she has spent the last two months sailing in circles in the Atlantic, only docking every ten days to take on supplies.
While spending the last few weeks in hot lay-up off Southampton, she has periodically shown her support for the NHS in the UK during the Coronavirus pandemic, with messages spelt on her side using cabin lights.
The Allure of the Seas showing it's support last night while docked in Southampton. pic.twitter.com/wrMvkDtQs4
— Gareth (@Original_GSP) March 26, 2020
She is due at the shipyard at the end of the week. When she sets sail once more in April it will be into ongoing uncertainty over the future direction of the cruise industry.
While she was meant to cruise 7-day Mediterranean voyages out of Barcelona, Spain throughout the summer, those itineraries have been cancelled.
Her next scheduled season is in the Caribbean, cruising roundtrip from Terminal A at Port of Miami, Florida, but those plans are contingent on the CDC in the United States lifting its no-sail order for cruise ships.
While Royal Caribbean recently indicated that it has enough capital on hand to survive a year long suspension of cruises, the cruise line has taken a number of steps to reduce expenses, hence the reason for re-thinking Allure’s refurbishment.