Royal Caribbean and Port Canaveral reached an agreement that will keep Freedom of the Seas sailing out of Brevard County, Florida through 2015.
The deal was approved by the Canaveral Port Authority board unanimously. The deal's specifics say Royal Caribbean will keep Freedom of the Seas, or another ship that size or larger, in the port through the end of 2015.
Freedom of the Seas was once the largest cruise ship in the world and remains in the top five, sailing out of Port Canaveral, Florida with 7-night sailings throughout the year to the Eastern and Western Caribbean.
J. Stanley Payne, Canaveral Port Authority Chief Executive Officer, is happy the deal got done, "It has been a big day for us. I think that's a vote of confidence for the port."
Royal Caribbean has been forced to cancel stops to its private island in the Bahamas, CocoCay, through Monday due to the effect Hurricane Irene had on it. Royal Caribbean's reasoning for cancelling is being described as, "we feel our guest's experience ashore would be disrupted".
The following stops have been canceled
Majesty of the Seas - August 27
Monarch of the Seas - August 28
Freedom of the Seas - August 29
As a result of this itinerary change, Royal Caribbean has decided to amend the following itineraries as follows
Monarch of the Seas will now stay overnight in Nassau, Bahamas, arriving at 12:00 p.m. today and departing at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 28.
Majesty of the Seas will also stay overnight in Nassau, Bahamas, arriving at 12:00 p.m. today and departing at 5:00 pm. on Sunday, August 28.
Freedom of the Seas will call on Nassau, Bahamas, on Monday, August 29 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
No word at this time if any further cancelations will be necessary. Royal Caribbean reported sending a team yesterday to evaluate the damage to the island.
Tropical Storm Irene has caused Royal Caribbean to change a few cruise itineraries. Oasis of the Seas will reverse its itinerary and now visit Cozumel first on Monday, Tuesday is a sea day, stop at Falmouth, Jamaica on Wednesday, stop at Labadee on Thursday, sea day again on Friday and return to Fort Lauderdale on Saturday
Freedom of the Seas will also reverse its itinerary and left port today to go to Cozumel first on Tuesday, followed by Grand Cayman on Wednesday, Falmouth on Thursday and Labadee on Friday.
Allure of the Seas will now stop at Nassau, Bahamas on Saturday instead of Monday. The rest of her scheduled stops at St. Thomas (Wednesday) and St. Maarten (Thursday) will take place as planned.
Finally, Serenade of the Seas will have its cruise order changed as well. It left from San Juan, Puerto Rico today and will visit Aruba on Tuesday, Curacao on Wednesday, St. Kitts on Friday and St. Thomas on Saturday.
Royal Caribbean has canceled port stops for the Oasis of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas in St. Thomas and St. Maarten. The passengers on the Oasis of the Seas will have the biggest effect to their route.
The Oasis of the Seas will spend Monday and Tuesday at sea, leaves on Wednesday to Costa Maya and Cozumel on Thursday after, as planned before it goes back to Fort Lauderdale. The Freedom of the Seas will be diverted on Wednesday to Grand Cayman on Thursday and is also in Cozumel.
The "Ben & Jerry's Sweet" on Royal Caribbean's Freedom-class ships are probably the only inside cabin on a cruise ship called a suite. For fans of Ben & Jerry's ice cream booth, cabin 6305 on the Liberty of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Independence of the Seas is a real insider tip. Shown on deck plan as a normal cabin and not specifically mentioned in the catalog this "Ben & Jerry's" cabin is but one of the most unusual cruise ship cabins of all.
If you believe the myths surrounding this cabin, then she's on the Freedom of the Seas, rather emerged by chance. Cabin 6305 was a normal first inside cabin category of a promenade stateroom with a window to the Royal Promenade. The cabin lies directly above the Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop on the Royal Promenade. And because on the porch of Ben & Jerry's two life-size cow figurines, the passengers look through their window on the right - sorry - back part of these cows. It also fell on Royal Caribbean, and so we needed a way, this disadvantage for the passengers of the cabin 6305 to compensate a little. And so began gradually the cabin's changeover with some cow's and Ben & Jerry's equip design.
The rest, as they say, is history: Cabin 6305 has a separate door plate and became the "Ben & Jerry's Sweet." Through the entire car pulls to the cow motif, with cow-sheets, pillows, cow, cow's picture on the wall and much more. The best thing about the cabin but the vouchers for a complimentary ice cream at Ben & Jerry's and - unheard of for an inside cabin - access to the Concierge Lounge (for passengers over 18 years), which are otherwise only available to passengers reserved for those who booked a suite . On the other hand, consistently, since the "Ben & Jerry's Sweet" is indeed now the name for a suite.
Welcomed the passengers of cabin 6305 with a witty letter in which the unusual design of the cabin is explained:
Welcome aboard the Freedom / Liberty / Independence of the Seas!
Due to your stateroom's proximity to our delicious Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop and because of your unique view of Ben & Jerry's mascots, overlooking the Royal Promenade, we've proudly designated this stateroom Ben & Jerry's "Sweet".
Accommodations in this "sweet" come with benefits not available to our other guests.
Complimentary Ben & Jerry's ice cream treats for each guest (Enclosed in your folder are two complimentary vouchers. These vouchers are valid for seven visits per guest.)
Access to the "Cow" concierge lounge on deck 10 aft.
A fun themed stateroom, uniquely to Royal Caribbean International
However, should you find the cows outside of your windows to be a "moo" isance during your cruise vacation with you, please contact Guest Relations by dialing "0" and we'll be pleased to "moo" ve you to an "udder "stateroom (if available).
In the meantime, we wish you a pleasurable cruise vacation.
However, not all passengers are completely happy with the cabin. On one side it borders namely at a service area, some passengers reported here from disturbing noises in the night . To the other side there is a connecting door to the neighboring cabin and cabins with connecting doors are always wide-impaired as a cabin with a solid wall to the neighboring cabin. But that does not feature the "Ben & Jerry's" cabin, but a feature of many other cars is also on board.
Cruise passenger traffic is up for Royal Caribbean at Port Canaveral, Florida. The amount of passengers for Royal Caribbean's ships based out of Port Canaveral is up 1 percent for the year at nearly 360,000.
This figure is slightly skewed when you consider the fact that Royal Caribbean ships have made nine more voyages out of the port so far this year. Royal Caribbean has matched competitor Carnival Cruise Lines in replacing smaller ships with larger ones at Port Canaveral during the past two years.
Royal Caribbean currently home ports Freedom of the Seas and Monarch of the Seas out of Port Canaveral for year round trips.
Port officials also report total cruise revenue is up year to date about 19 percent.