Royal Caribbean has big plans for 2019, with plenty of new additions and changes to the fleet. Perhaps no change is bigger than the anticipated arrival of a new cruise ship and refurbishment of quite a few others.
Each year, Royal Caribbean plans on changes to its fleet of ships and if you are considering a 2019 cruise, then you are certainly going to want to consider some of these ships that are getting new upgrades or are joining the fleet for the first time.
Here is what you need to know about the cruise ships joining Royal Caribbean's fleet and which ships will be upgraded this year.
New cruise ships in 2019
Royal Caribbean will add one new ship in 2019 to its fleet, which will be the first subclass of an existing class.
Spectrum of the Seas
The first Quantum Ultra Class ship joins Royal Caribbean's fleet in 2019 with the launch of Spectrum of the Seas.
Spectrum of the Seas is the first Quantum Ultra Class vessel. What separates Spectrum from previous Quantum Class vessels is the fact she will boast private enclave for suite guests, new stateroom categories, innovative dining concepts, and stunning features and experiences – many of which have never before been seen at sea.
Accommodating 4,246 guests at double occupancy and 1,551 international crew members, Spectrum will be the largest and most expensive ship in Asia when she sails from Shanghai starting in June 2019.
Spectrum will debut Royal Caribbean’s first exclusive suites-only area, which will feature the exquisite Golden and Silver suite accommodations in a private enclave at the forward end of the ship on decks 13 through 16. Vacationers booked in these luxury suites will have special keycard access, a private elevator and a dedicated restaurant and lounge. In addition to a range of exclusive amenities, guests will have access to The Balcony – a private outdoor space for sunbathing and relaxing – that offers the best views on board; and The Boutique, a shopping area where travelers can book private shopping experiences.
Another big change for Spectrum is the ship's take on dining, The three-level main dining room will serve a variety of Chinese and Western a la carte options rotating each day of the sailing. The Windjammer Marketplace – 20 percent larger than those on Quantum Class ships – will offer a wide buffet selection of Chinese and Western dishes, including noodles, pizza, Japanese teppanyaki and mini hot pot.
Spectrum will boast a number of specialty restaurants, including Wonderland’s Dadong (run by Chinese chef Dong Zhenxiang), Jamie's Italian, Izumi, Chops Grille and the new Leaf and Bean traditional tea room and café parlor.
Spectrum of the Seas will feature bold and unexpected experiences, including the iconic Sky Pad, a virtual reality, bungee trampoline experience located on the aft of the ship.
Cruise ship refurbishments in 2019
Royal Caribbean is always looking to add more value to their ships and in 2019, four Royal Caribbean ships are getting upgrades, refurbishments and some nice changes.
Here is a list of what you can expect to see changed in the coming year.
Navigator of the Seas
Refurbishment dates: January 3 – February 23, 2019
Royal Caribbean will start 2019 with a major refurbishment of Navigator of the Seas. Navigator will undergo a $115 million upgrade, as part of the fleet's Royal Amplified program.
Royal Caribbean will add all-new features and firsts, including a revamped Caribbean poolscape, two waterslides, the first blow dry bar at sea, nightlife and dining, and activities for the whole family.
Navigator of the Seas will return to service on February 24, 2019 and offering 3- and 4-night Caribbean cruises from Miami.
Empress of the Seas
Refurbishment dates: February 3, 2019 and March 3, 2019
Empress of the Seas will undergo a dry dock for maintenance work in February 2019.
There are no sailings scheduled between February 3, 2019 and March 3, 2019.
No word on what work will be done, but it is expected to be mostly a maintenance effort to keep the ship running in great condition.
Voyager of the Seas
Refurbishment dates: September 10 – October 14, 2019
Like Navigator of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas will also undergo a refurbishment in 2019 as part of the Royal Amplified program.
Royal Caribbean has not announced the exact changes that are coming to Voyager of the Seas, although it stands to reason the changes should be similar to recent changes made to Mariner of the Seas or the scheduled changes for Navigator of the Seas.
Oasis of the Seas
Refurbishment dates: September 22 – November 23, 2019
The Royal Amplified program continues with upgrades coming to Oasis of the Seas. Just like Voyager of the Seas, Royal Caribbean has not announced any specific details on what will be changed on Oasis quite yet.
Oasis of the Seas will undergo the refurbishment work after wrapping up her summer cruise season in Europe. Following the bow-to-stern revitalization, Oasis of the Seas will change her homeport to Terminal A at PortMiami for the fall and winter seasons.
Royal Caribbean describes the goal of the Royal Amplified program as something that will, "innovative attractions, pools, bars, and dining." Royal Amplified targets three key areas: pool deck & attractions, bars & nightlife, and onboard dining.
Quantum of the Seas
Refurbishment dates: November 2019
Prior to Quantum of the Seas' six month homeport in Singapore, she will be revitalised in a multi-million dollar project that will see the ship refreshed and upgraded.
If you are wondering what work will be done on Quantum of the Seas, so are we. Royal Caribbean has not announced yet the scope of changes coming to Quantum of the Seas.
Which ship addition or refurbishment are you most excited about? Tell us in the comments!