After delaying and amending the refit and refurbishment plans for several cruise ships in its fleet, Royal Caribbean has announced an update on the work to be done on Explorer of the Seas.
Explorer of the Seas was meant to go into dry dock in May this year for a major US $110-million refurbishment as part of the cruise line’s wider fleet amplification project.
The ship was meant to receive the popular Perfect Storm racer waterslides, Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen, a standalone Starbucks outlet, a redesigned, resort-style poolscape with signature poolside bar The Lime & Coconut and transformed kids and teens spaces.
Instead, she will go into dry dock in July for a far more limited refit and class inspection.
Cruises aboard Explorer of the Seas have been cancelled through August, which means she won’t be part of Royal Caribbean’s yet-to-be-detailed phased-in return to service in August (assuming the CDC in the United States lifts it’s no-sail order).
Launched in 2000, the ship is due for a mid-life class inspection and technical overhaul anyway, which is probably why Royal Caribbean is going ahead with the slimmed-back dry-dock (just as they have with Allure of the Seas).
Allure of the Seas is currently in dry dock for a refit that involved mainly technical work, rather than the planned US $165-million refurbishment. She will no longer be cruising from the new Royal Caribbean cruise terminal at Port of Galveston, Texas either.
Work on the 170,000 square feet facility at Pier 10 was meant to start in April but was derailed by the Coronavirus pandemic. The new terminal to accommodate Allure of the Seas is now expected to be completed in 2022.
Until then, Liberty of the Seas will operate cruises from the port instead.
The planned amplifications for Adventure of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas have also been postponed with no further details of when they will take take place, although this isn’t unusual as the ships were due for their dry docks until 2021.
Royal Caribbean has currently suspended operations until August and cruises in Canada and Alaska for even longer.