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New Explorer and Freedom Deployments Booking


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2 hours ago, monctonguy said:

You knew with the money and advertising they are pouring into Coco Cay....they want big ships and lots of ppl going there to drive revenue.....not surprising really at all they are using Freedom class ships for this.

Especially if they have to reduce capacity.  Bigger ships means more guests with reduced head counts.  More guests at PDCC means more revenue.

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Grandeur and Enchantment are "sisters" in the same class but different namely an extra section in the middle.   For folks that had Radiance subbed in for Explorer cruises that represents a signif

Think RCCL are missing a trick here, not everyone wants to go to their private islands, or visit the same ports year after year, it certainly makes you look at other alternatives to RCCL

I agree with others that not everyone is all that interested in CocoCay.

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1 hour ago, Okgladgal said:

Well, that's not what I wanted to see today. What can y'all tell me about Explorer?

According to my notification I just received-- Explorer is a sister ship to Freedom!  I was on Explorer about 5 years ago.  Nothing was bad but she could have used some enhancements back then.  Had the amplification happened to Explorer, I wouldn't mind so much.  No way would I refer to Explorer as Freedom's sister!  Cousin maybe but a bit distant.

Also, $100 OBC to accept the swap is NOT going to make up the difference ... not even close.  I still like the itinerary though but still can't see it happening yet.  Does Royal ever do any negotiations behind the scenes??  I'm only in a junior suite so there is ample room to upgrade!

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1 hour ago, Dad2Cue said:

According to my notification I just received-- Explorer is a sister ship to Freedom!  I was on Explorer about 5 years ago.  Nothing was bad but she could have used some enhancements back then.  Had the amplification happened to Explorer, I wouldn't mind so much.  No way would I refer to Explorer as Freedom's sister!  Cousin maybe but a bit distant.

Also, $100 OBC to accept the swap is NOT going to make up the difference ... not even close.  I still like the itinerary though but still can't see it happening yet.  Does Royal ever do any negotiations behind the scenes??  I'm only in a junior suite so there is ample room to upgrade!

How are you seeing the new itinerary, does not even show on RCG website at this minute.  I personally am getting real tired of them selling cruises to me then switching either the ship or itinerary at a later.  I book early to get the location I want and lo and behold over half my cruises for the past 3 years have had major changes.  I'm just getting real frustrated when the RCG management.

 

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5 minutes ago, CruiseGus said:

How are you seeing the new itinerary, does not even show on RCG website at this minute.  I personally am getting real tired of them selling cruises to me then switching either the ship or itinerary at a later.  I book early to get the location I want and lo and behold over half my cruises for the past 3 years have had major changes.  I'm just getting real frustrated when the RCG management.

 

On top of the above looks like her upgrade /renovation was put off, so not nearly the same ship or quality as Freedom

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2 hours ago, CruiseGus said:

How are you seeing the new itinerary, does not even show on RCG website at this minute.

 

I guess the itinerary might only be "similar".  I'm just trying to see something positive about all this but Royal is trying to make it sound like it is all good news!  According to the notification-- it says:

"The good news is, our sister ship, Explorer of the Seas, is heading to San Juan, Puerto Rico! The even better news? She'll sail on the exact same day as your original cruise and will visit similar destinations!"

 

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The Explorer is not a sister to the Freedom.  Freedom is one of three in the Freedom Class.  Explorer is one of five in the Voyager class.

The Explorer is now pushing 20 years old.  The Freedom is somewhat newer.  All of this makes the NCL Epic look better to me.  Newer ship than either RCCL vessel in question.  An itinerary which includes Grenada and has more ABC options than RCCL at least for now.

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Just looked up my Freedom cruise for November 2021 and is now showing switched to Explorer and doubled the price. In the email I got telling me my cruise was switched it said the price would be matched to when I booked would carry over. I guess I'll sit on hold for hours to get the price match back. My wife and I were really looking forward to being back on Freedom again.

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17 hours ago, RCVoyager said:

Thanks for posting this.  I did not know about it.  I love the San Juan market, and I don't see this as a positive for it.  Carnival is currently pulled out, and now this.

I'm not seeing it as less cruising out of SJU as much as RCL trying to jam as many people as possible to CocoCay.

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19 hours ago, MLH said:

I thought the new deployments were already available to book, but I am not seeing them.

On this note, new sailings will be added to "the system" first and then the website. Website tends to lag behind, so keep that in mind when those new itineraries for 2022 go on sale in November/December.

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1 hour ago, RRoberts said:

Just looked up my Freedom cruise for November 2021 and is now showing switched to Explorer and doubled the price. In the email I got telling me my cruise was switched it said the price would be matched to when I booked would carry over. I guess I'll sit on hold for hours to get the price match back. My wife and I were really looking forward to being back on Freedom again.

It should adjust automatically in a day or two. And, another plug for using a travel agent because they'll make sure it's correct for you!

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29 minutes ago, Mike.s said:

Think RCCL are missing a trick here, not everyone wants to their private islands, or visit the same ports year after year, it certainly makes you look at other alternatives to RCCL

Agree here.  To me, St. Martin is a little tired.  I wouldn't avoid it, but again choosing between it and Grenada is easy for me.

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5 hours ago, RCVoyager said:

 

The Explorer is not a sister to the Freedom.  Freedom is one of three in the Freedom Class.  Explorer is one of five in the Voyager class.

I'm aware of this.  I'm really trying to stay positive about all this.  I decided to sleep on it to see how I felt this morning. 

Given that our B2B on Freedom for January 2022 was the result of two "lifts and shifts" of cruises scheduled in 2021.  Considering the time spent to make it so we could stay in the same stateroom.  Then factoring in that we upgraded our rooms because the price guarantee that carried over to the cruises in 2022 seemed attractive.  Finally given that we were very pleased with the net result and this was all done about one month ago ...

I have slept on it and have concluded that L&S is nothing more than Bait and Switch!

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8 minutes ago, RCVoyager said:

I agree with others that not everyone is all that interested in CocoCay.

Ding! Ding! We don't have any interest to get on a cruise ship as transportation to a land resort. Not our personal interest when it comes to cruising. Other's mileage may vary.

I think in general...reduced capacity (for the foreseeable future) will result in reduced numbers @ CocoCay in comparison to their original plan...unless they start pushing more ships and/or capacity there.

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5 minutes ago, Gears said:

Ding! Ding! We don't have any interest to get on a cruise ship as transportation to a land resort. Not our personal interest when it comes to cruising. Other's mileage may vary.

I think in general...reduced capacity (for the foreseeable future) will result in reduced numbers @ CocoCay in comparison to their original plan...unless they start pushing more ships and/or capacity there.

For me, CocoCay or a day in a real port will ALWAYS go the direction of selecting an itinerary that has the port (even if it is a multi-time repeat location).

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42 minutes ago, Dad2Cue said:

I'm aware of this.  I'm really trying to stay positive about all this.  I decided to sleep on it to see how I felt this morning. 

Given that our B2B on Freedom for January 2022 was the result of two "lifts and shifts" of cruises scheduled in 2021.  Considering the time spent to make it so we could stay in the same stateroom.  Then factoring in that we upgraded our rooms because the price guarantee that carried over to the cruises in 2022 seemed attractive.  Finally given that we were very pleased with the net result and this was all done about one month ago ...

I have slept on it and have concluded that L&S is nothing more than Bait and Switch!

Didn't mean to come off to forward.  I just wanted to be sure you knew the facts.  Good luck with your choice(s) here.

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32 minutes ago, RCVoyager said:

Didn't mean to come off to forward.  I just wanted to be sure you knew the facts.  Good luck with your choice(s) here.

Your comment was absolutely fine ... no problem with it.

However, Royal's notification to me about the changes were another matter --- here's the excerpt from the notification I was referring to ... in Royal's words:

"The good news is, our sister ship, Explorer of the Seas, is heading to San Juan, Puerto Rico! The even better news? She'll sail on the exact same day as your original cruise and will visit similar destinations!"

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26 minutes ago, Dad2Cue said:

Your comment was absolutely fine ... no problem with it.

However, Royal's notification to me about the changes were another matter --- here's the excerpt from the notification I was referring to ... in Royal's words:

"The good news is, our sister ship, Explorer of the Seas, is heading to San Juan, Puerto Rico! The even better news? She'll sail on the exact same day as your original cruise and will visit similar destinations!"

That is dishonesty on RCCL's part.  The Explorer is clearly not a sister ship to the Freedom.  I find it hard to believe they thought nobody would call them out on this.  RCCL needs to clarify and correct this notification.  This is sad if Royal has come to this.

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Freedom class is a stretched version of Voyager class.  Voyager Ultra class.  Other than the extra 90' feet in the middle, the ships are basically the same.  They literally took the Voyager class design and added 90' in the middle.  This new space afforded a dedicated Sorrento's pizza venue and a Ben & Jerry's ice Cream shop in the promenade instead of pizza being offered in cafe Promenade.

Personally Voyager class is a real sweet spot for me.  I have always found them to be the perfect blend between being a large ship but also being easy to get around.  Voyager class is still larger than anything in the current Carnival whale tail fleet so they are large ships, make no mistake.

Explorer's cancelled amplification is definitely unfortunate.  Much like Allure's cancelled amplification is also a disappointment.  These are extraordinary times without a doubt. 

When I sailed Explorer in 2018 for a Royal Caribbean Blog group cruise I was surprised my cabin was already refreshed.  Many areas of the the ship had been refreshed without calling it an amplification because Royal did that back then without all the marketing hype.  The Tavern for example with a large screen TV for watching sports.  

Here is the 2018 trip report from that group cruise with Explorer pictures.

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/6634-explorer-alaska-62218-7-nights-rclblog-group-cruise/

The big thing lost from the missed amplification is water slides.  If water slides are important to your family that is probably the biggest consideration.  The pool deck area may have been updated with new furniture and decor but that is largely cosmetic.

I understand change is always unwelcome at first.  It represents an unknown.  Take a second to look at Explorer with fresh eyes as if you weren't already booked.  I'd have no issue booking Explorer tomorrow absent of the history of how you got here.  With that fresh perspective made an informed decision.   

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37 minutes ago, twangster said:

Freedom class is a stretched version of Voyager class.  Voyager Ultra class.  Other than the extra 90' feet in the middle, the ships are basically the same.  They literally took the Voyager class design and added 90' in the middle.  This new space afforded a dedicated Sorrento's pizza venue and a Ben & Jerry's ice Cream shop in the promenade instead of pizza being offered in cafe Promenade.

Personally Voyager class is a real sweet spot for me.  I have always found them to be the perfect blend between being a large ship but also being easy to get around.  Voyager class is still larger than anything in the current Carnival whale tail fleet so they are large ships, make no mistake.

Explorer's cancelled amplification is definitely unfortunate.  Much like Allure's cancelled amplification is also a disappointment.  These are extraordinary times without a doubt. 

When I sailed Explorer in 2018 for a Royal Caribbean Blog group cruise I was surprised my cabin was already refreshed.  Many areas of the the ship had been refreshed without calling it an amplification because Royal did that back then without all the marketing hype.  The Tavern for example with a large screen TV for watching sports.  

Here is the 2018 trip report from that group cruise with Explorer pictures.

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/6634-explorer-alaska-62218-7-nights-rclblog-group-cruise/

The big thing lost from the missed amplification is water slides.  If water slides are important to your family that is probably the biggest consideration.  The pool deck area may have been updated with new furniture and decor but that is largely cosmetic.

I understand change is always unwelcome at first.  It represents an unknown.  Take a second to look at Explorer with fresh eyes as if you weren't already booked.  I'd have no issue booking Explorer tomorrow absent of the history of how you got here.  With that fresh perspective made an informed decision.   

Good call Twangster as usual for you.  However, for RCCL to call Explorer a sister ship is dishonest.  They are the one's who named the ships and put them in classes to begin with.

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