Royal Caribbean International has seen a number of company adjustments, fleet changes and deployment moves since COVID-19 began, plus the resumption of cruising aboard the Quantum of the Seas from Singapore.
Here are the main moves that took place for the cruise line since the pandemic started:
Newbuilds Odyssey of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas Delayed
In July, Royal Caribbean confirmed that the Odyssey of the Seas was not going to be delivered as initially planned.
Under construction in Germany, the Quantum-Class ship was delayed six months and is now scheduled to join the fleet in April.
A few weeks later, the company revealed that the Wonder of the Seas was also delayed. The China-bound Oasis-Class ship was previously scheduled for a mid-2021 delivery and is now expected in 2022.
In both cases, Royal Caribbean cited the coronavirus pandemic and its impacts as the main reason for the changes.
Royal Amplified Postponed Until Further Notice
When the pandemic started, Royal Caribbean was in the middle of a program of fleet modernization called Royal Amplified.
Two ships were scheduled to go trough the work in the second quarter of 2021, including the Allure of the Seas. The Oasis-Class vessel was set to undergo a 58-day, $165 million drydock, starting in March.
Now, all the work is suspended until further notice. While mandatory shipyard work was actually performed on some of the vessels, the major modifications were suspended.
Empress of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas Sold
In December, Royal Caribbean confirmed that the Majesty of the Seas and the Empress of the Seas were going to leave the fleet.
Grandeur of the Seas Stays and Debuts a New Homeport
A few weeks after confirming the Majesty and Empress departures, Royal Caribbean announced that the Grandeur of the Seas will operate a new program from Barbados, starting in December.
Built in 1996, the ship was in limbo after the Spanish brand Pullmantur Cruceros filed for insolvency last June. The sister company was set to receive the Grandeur early this year, which was announced back in 2019.
Healthy Sail Panel Launched in Partnership with Norwegian
In an effort to develop what it called “enhanced cruise health and safety standards in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic”, the Royal Caribbean Group partnered with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings in July.
Putting together a group of experts, the companies formed the “Healthy Sail Panel”, which, in September, revealed a 65-plus-page report detailing 74 best practices to protect the public health and safety of guests, crew and the communities where cruise ships call.
The new protocol is expected to be adopted by Royal Caribbean International when sailings are resumed globally.
Cruises Resumed in Singapore and Global Resumption Plans
With the approval from local authorities, Royal Caribbean started sailing from Singapore in early December. Sailing a program of short cruises to nowhere, the Quantum of the Seas became the first ship to resume service in the company’s fleet.
Globally, company cruises are cancelled until May 1, when the company may restart operations in some areas of the world. Some destinations, however, have different timelines.
By the numbers:
- Ships shed: 2
- Ships added: 0
Result: – 2 ships
- Berths shed: – 3,961
- Berths added: 0
Result: – 3,961 berths