Royal Caribbean to resume cruises from the US in time for Fourth of July weekend

Royal Caribbean has announced a six-ship line-up for its return to cruising from the United States, beginning with a Fourth of July weekend sailing aboard Freedom of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean has joined Carnival Cruise Line in revealing its US cruise restart plans, with six ships due to begin sailing from American ports by July 2nd.

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Building on its upcoming return to cruising in Alaska this summer, Royal Caribbean’s US cruise restart now includes itineraries out of ports in Florida and Texas in July and August.

Royal Caribbean’s US comeback will kick off on July 2 in Miami, the cruise capital of the world, with Freedom of the Seas embarking on a special Fourth of July weekend sailing to Perfect Day at CocoCay.

This means that by the end of August, a full 12 Royal Caribbean ships will be cruising once again across The Bahamas, Caribbean, Alaska and Europe.

Odyssey of the Seas, which is already alongside in Port Canaveral after her planned Israel cruise season was cancelled, will officially debut on July 3rd, sailing from Fort Lauderdale on 6- and 8-night Caribbean cruises.

Odyssey of the Seas

She’ll be followed soon after by Allure, Symphony, Independence and Mariner of the Seas.

Guests should not that Freedom, Odyssey, and Independence of the Seas’ new 2021 summer sailings are the existing itineraries for Navigator, Independence, Explorer and Liberty of the Seas, respectively.

Guests booked on these ships will be automatically transferred to the new ship, according to the cruise line.

Royal Caribbean plans to announce plans to reintroduce its full fleet around the globe by year’s end, while the 2021 summer cruises are available to book today.

Freedom of the Seas was the first Royal Caribbean ship to get the Royal Amplified treatment in 2020 and will be the first to resume sailing out of the US in 2021

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“This is it. 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,” said Michael Bayley, President & CEO, Royal Caribbean International.

“I would like to sincerely thank our guests and travel partners for their incredible patience and understanding during this very difficult period. 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,” he added.

According to Bailey, around 90% of Royal Caribbean guests currently booking cruises are either already vaccinated, or planning to get vaccinated before their cruise.

Royal Caribbean’s full summer lineup:

Freedom of the Seas – 3- and 4-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay sailings from Miami, starting July 2

Odyssey of the Seas – 6- and 8-night Southern and Western Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale, starting July 3

Serenade of the Seas – 7-night Alaska sailings from Seattle, starting July 19

Allure of the Seas – 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral, starting Aug. 8

Ovation of the Seas – 7-night Alaska itineraries from Seattle, starting Aug. 13

Symphony of the Seas – 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings from Miami, starting Aug. 14

Independence of the Seas – 7-night Western Caribbean sailings from Galveston, Texas, starting Aug. 15

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

The expanded summer lineup will go beyond the U.S. to include international ports across the Atlantic, like Barcelona and Rome, when Harmony of the Seas returns to Europe.

The Oasis Class ship will set sail on 7-night itineraries to the Western Mediterranean and visit iconic destinations like Palma de Mallorca, Spain and Provence, France from August 15th.

The new U.S and Europe cruises extend Royal Caribbean’s previously announced plans to return to sailing, which include Adventure of the Seas departing from The Bahamas on June 12th, as well as Anthem of the Seas sailing out of the U.K. and Jewel of the Seas from Cyprus in July. The complete list of Royal Caribbean’s 2021 cruises is available here.

In a departure from Royal Caribbean’s previously announced vaccination mandate, the cruise line now strongly encourages, rather than requires, that cruise passengers be vaccinated.

“Those who are unvaccinated or unable to verify vaccination will be required to undergo testing and follow other protocols, which will be announced at a later date,” the cruise line said in a statement.

The Alaskan cruises, however, will remain vaccination-mandatory for guests older than 16 years of age.

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