Royal Caribbean International operated a diverse and exciting set of ships at the turn of the century. Here’s what the Royal Caribbean fleet looked like in 2000:
Enchantment of the Seas
Passengers: 1,950 (as built)
Still in service with Royal Caribbean International, the Enchantment of the Seas was built in 1997. A Vision-class ship, it was subject to a major overhaul in 2005, that included a lengthening. In a shipyard in Rotterdam, Enchantment was cut in half and received a new 22-meter mid-body section that added 151 cabins and new public areas to it. Recently, the ship has been sailing to the Caribbean from Galveston, Texas.
Explorer of the Seas
Completed in 2000, Explorer of the Seas is the second Voyager-class ship. After 15 years sailing in North America and the Caribbean, it was redeployed to Asia-Pacific in 2015. This spring, it was scheduled to receive a major upgrade, with the Royal Amplified project. The $110 million investment would see the vessel gaining new restaurants, waterslides and more. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, postponed the work indefinitely.
Grandeur of the Seas
Based in Baltimore since 2013, the Grandeur of the Seas was scheduled to leave the Royal Caribbean International fleet in 2021. The Vision-class ship was set to be transferred to Pullmantur Cruceros, a Spanish cruise line partially owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises. This past June, however, Pullmantur filed for insolvency under Spanish laws and the future of the 1996-built vessel is now unknown.
Legend of the Seas
Built in 1995, the Legend of the Seas was one of the smallest ships of the fleet and was sold off in 2016. Currently named Marella Discovery 2, the ship left the fleet in March 2017, joining TUI AG, the parent company of Marella Cruises. The British cruise line was already operating Legend’s sister ship, the former Splendour of the Seas.
Majesty of the Seas
The last ship of the Sovereign class, the Majesty of the Seas debuted in 1992 and is one of the oldest vessels of the current fleet. Subject to a major refurbishment in 2016, the vessel was based in New Orleans before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monarch of the Seas
The Monarch of the Seas was transferred to Pullmantur Cruceros in 2013. Controlled by Royal Caribbean at the time, the Spanish cruise line deployed the ship in the Southern Caribbean year-round, to serve Latin markets that included Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and Panamá. With Pullmantur filing for insolvency under Spanish laws in June, the ship is currently being scrapped.
Renamed Empress of the Seas in 2004, the ship is still in service with Royal Caribbean International. It left the fleet for Pullmantur in 2008 but, in an unusual move, returned to Royal Caribbean in 2016. In the same year, Empress was modernized in the biggest refit of its career ahead of a Cuba deployment. Based in Florida, the vessel cruised to Havana and other Cuban ports until 2019.
Rhapsody of the Seas
Built in 1997, the Rhapsody of the Seas is one of the six vessels in the Vision class. It went through a $54 million revitalization in 2012. In the last few years, the 2,000-guest vessel has been spending its time between the Caribbean and the Adriatic.
Sovereign of the Seas
Once the biggest cruise ship in the world, Sovereign left the Royal Caribbean fleet after exactly 20 years of service. Since 2008, the vessel has been operated by Pullmantur, alternating seasons in Brazil and in the Mediterranean. After Pullmantur’s insolvency, the ship was sent to a scrapyard in Turkey.
Splendour of the Seas
Currently named Marella Discovery, the former Splendour of the Seas was the first Vision-class ship to leave the fleet. Sold to TUI AG in 2015, it joined Thomson Cruises on the following year. The brand, which was renamed Marella Cruises in 2017, also operates the former Legend of the Seas. Previously, Splendour used to spend its time sailing in both Europe and Brazil toward the end of its Royal Caribbean career.
The former Viking Serenade was scrapped in 2018, after a few years in lay-up. Built in 1982, the converted cruise-ferry left Royal Caribbean’s fleet in 2002. It was transferred to a new joint-venture created by Royal Caribbean and First Choice. Renamed Island Escape, the ship sailed for Island Cruises until 2015, when it was sold to a group of investors.
Vision of the Seas
The Vision of the Seas entered service in 1998. Still sailing for Royal Caribbean, the ship has been offering cruises in Europe and the Caribbean in recent years. In 2021, Vision is scheduled for cruises departing Barcelona and Fort Lauderdale.
Voyager of the Seas
The Voyager of the Seas was Amplified in 2019 after a $97 million investment. The biggest ship in the world when first launched in 1999, the vessel is scheduled for a season based in Sydney in 2020/2021.