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Royal Caribbean updates: Utopia of the Seas, new cruise ship orders & more

08 Apr 2022

It's almost the weekend, and I've got a new report to share of various Royal Caribbean updates.

Steel cutting ceremony for Utopia of the Seas

Between the major announcements, there are a good amount of smaller updates that occur every week, so this is a quick round-up of Royal Caribbean news from this week.

Many thanks to the RoyalCaribbeanBlog community for helping spot what has changed.

If you ever have a news tip, feel free to email it to [email protected] for possible inclusion in a future update!

Utopia of the Seas construction begins

Utopia of the Seas construction milestone


As we reported earlier this week, construction formally began on Royal Caribbean's sixth Oasis Class cruise ship, Utopia of the Seas.

Among other changes, Utopia will be the first Oasis Class ship powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas) when she launches. Royal Caribbean believes LNG is the cleanest fossil fuel available to cruise ships today and additional environmentally friendly applications on board Utopia will boost energy efficiencies and further reduce emissions overall.

In addition to Utopia, Icon of the Seas will also be powered by LNG when she launches a year earlier in fall 2023.

Utopia of the Seas is expected to launch in Spring 2024.

Royal Caribbean considering ordering more new cruise ships

Speaking at the Celebrity Beyond delivery event in France, Royal Caribbean Group CEO Jason Liberty indicated ordering additional new cruise ships is something they are considering.

Travel Weekly reports Mr. Liberty said Royal Caribbean Group is considering ordering new ships for all three brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises & Silversea.

New ship orders would be placed "as soon as business is back to normal pre-Covid levels, which is not far out."

"It could be later this year, or next year, but we have ships still on order through to 2026, so we have a little time."

Currently Royal Caribbean has orders in place for Utopia of the Seas and three Icon Class cruise ships.

Hideaway Beach construction update

I have a new photo update of the progress being made on the Perfect Day at CocoCay expansion, which will add a new adults-only beach.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader Steve Cohen snapped photos of the Hideaway Beach construction from onboard Independence of he Seas.

Hideaway Beach could open mid to late 2023.

What’s New & Coming to Royal Caribbean in 2022, 2023 & 2024

07 May 2021

New cruise ships and destinations are coming to a Royal Caribbean cruise near you between now and 2024.

Change is continuous at Royal Caribbean, and despite the challenges the cruise industry has faced since 2020, expansion plans are still underway. In fact, Royal Caribbean just broke its own record for most cruises booked in a single day and week.

This is a great indication that demand is high for cruising, and Royal Caribbean is ready to deliver with the newest amenities, ships, itineraries, and more.

From time to time, Royal Caribbean reveals its long term plans to give customers a glimpse of what is coming next. There are not usually a ton of details shared until Royal Caribbean is ready to pull back the curtain more, as the nature of cruise ship development is that some decisions are changed or purposefully left undecided until closer to launch.

Here is a project by project look at everything new and coming soon to Royal Caribbean.

Wonder of the Seas

Wonder of the Seas is the newest cruise ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, offering the latest and greatest of the cruise line's features and amenities. Her maiden voyage was on March 4, 2022. She will spend the summer 2022 cruise season in Europe prior to being homeported in Port Canaveral, Florida.

With a gross tonnage of 236,857, the ship is 362 meters long and 64 meters wide, and it features a total of 18 decks and 2,867 staterooms to accommodate up to 6,988 guests. Wonder of the Seas is the largest cruise ship in the world.

Wonder of the Seas is also the first cruise ship to feature eight neighborhoods, including the new Suite Neighborhood alongside returning favorites such as Central Park and the open-air Boardwalk. Something else new to Wonder of the Seas is The Mason Jar, a southern-inspired restaurant featuring a menu of dishes from various regions of the American south.

Read more about Wonder of the Seas:

Icon of the Seas

The next new cruise ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet will be Icon of the Seas, which is currently being built at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland. Icon of the Seas is said to be a “game changer” for the cruise industry.

Icon of the Seas will be the first ship in Royal Caribbean’s Icon Class, and will be followed by two additional Icon Class ships. The ship will be powered by LNG (liquified natural gas) and include environmentally friendly applications that will reduce carbon footprint.

Royal Caribbean has not released many details about Icon of the Seas, and many are eager to learn more about the new Icon Class. After all, the last time Royal Caribbean debuted a new class of ships was in 2014 with Quantum of the Seas.

The ship is estimated to have a capacity of around 5,600 passengers and will be 200,000 gross tons in size. Icon of the Seas will be homeported in Miami after debuting in the UK summer season of 2023.

Utopia of the Seas

The sixth ship in Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class has begun construction and is expected to launch in spring 2024.

Like Icon of the Seas, Utopia of the Seas will be powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas), the first Oasis Class ship to do so. By using LNG power and the addition of further environmentally friendly applications onboard, Utopia of the Seas will reduce emissions and boost its energy efficiency.

As Utopia of the Seas is an Oasis Class ship, she will likely share a similar layout to other Oasis Class ships, offering venues and amenities like the AquaTheater, Central Park, Ultimate Abyss, and more.

As Wonder of the Seas had quite a few differences compared to other Oasis Class ships, it’s unclear yet whether Utopia of the Seas will share these same features.

Related: Wonder of the Seas vs other Oasis Class ships

Galveston cruise terminal

Royal Caribbean is currently building a new cruise terminal in Galveston, Texas that is set to open in fall 2022. The $125 million cruise terminal is 161,300 square feet and features state-of-the-art technology, including mobile check-in and facial recognition to expedite guest arrival. The terminal will be designed and developed sustainably to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental) certification standards.

Allure of the Seas will begin offering cruises from Galveston in November 2022.The terminal will also be able to accommodate Royal Caribbean’s Icon Class ships.

Suite guests sailing from Galveston will be able to enjoy an exclusive VIP area in the terminal, providing suite guests with an upgraded seating area to enjoy before boarding begins.

Related: Royal Caribbean previews new cruise terminal in Galveston

More cruise ships

While Royal Caribbean currently has orders in place for three Icon Class cruise ships and Utopia of the Seas, the coming years may see more orders placed for new cruise ships.

At an event for the delivery of the new Celebrity Beyond, Royal Caribbean Group CEO Jason Liberty said the company is considering ordering new ships for its three brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea.

No information has been shared on what these cruise ship orders will be, so it’s unknown whether the additional cruise ship orders will be for additional ships in Royal Caribbean’s existing ship classes or for a brand new ship class altogether.

Hideaway Beach at Perfect Day at CocoCay

Hideaway Beach, an adults-only area of Perfect Day at CocoCay, is currently being constructed and set to open in mid to late 2023. The island’s capacity is predicted to increase by 2,000 - 3,000 guests following the completion of Hideaway Beach.

The beach is located to the west of the island’s pier, adjacent to CocoCay’s Thrill Waterpark. The western side of the island is still undeveloped aside from storage and housing for some crew members, so this is the first project to expand Perfect Day at CocoCay on that side of the island.

Most details about Hideaway Beach are still unknown, including whether or not the beach will be complimentary and what facilities will be located at Hideaway Beach.

Royal Beach Club

In March 2020, Royal Caribbean announced plans to build the Royal Beach Club on the western end of Paradise Island in Nassau. Royal Caribbean owns thirteen acres of land on this part of Paradise Island and an additional seven acres are leased to the cruise line by the Bahamian government. The land is conveniently located right next to the Nassau cruise port.

Royal Caribbean’s plans for the Royal Beach Club are to develop Paradise Beach and Colonial Beach to create an arrivals area, family zone, water sports center, food and beverage services, and swimming pool for guests to enjoy. Cabanas, daybeds, water sports, alcoholic beverages, and local tours will be available as well for an extra cost.

The Royal Beach Club will be able to accommodate around 3,500 passengers. Therefore, unlike Perfect Day at CocoCay, the Royal Beach Club will not be a complimentary island stop for all passengers. Instead, it can be expected that passengers will reserve the Royal Beach Club as a shore excursion for an additional fee.

There is no set opening date for the Royal Beach Club, but Royal Caribbean hopes to welcome the first guests sometime in 2023.

Perfect Day at Lelepa

Despite delays due to the pandemic, construction is still underway for Royal Caribbean’s newest private destination, Perfect Day at Lelepa. The private destination will be located in the South Pacific country of Vanuatu on the small, uninhabited island of Lelepa.

While Perfect Day at CocoCay features amenities like waterslides and a wave pool, Perfect Day at Lelepa will provide a more tranquil, traditional beach day for visitors. In addition, it will be the world’s first private cruise destination to achieve carbon neutrality, and all energy consumed on the island will be generated from renewable resources.

Related: First look at Perfect Day at Lelepa

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley explained how Perfect Day at Lelepa will focus on showcasing the island’s natural beauty and diverse local culture.

“We believe our destinations should be sustainably designed. That idea goes beyond simply protecting the ecological features of Lelepa and includes showing respect for the people and traditions that make this a special place.”

Perfect Day at Lelepa will handle fewer passengers than Perfect Day at CocoCay. Approximately 3 million passengers visit CocoCay each year, whereas Perfect Day at Lelepa is estimated to accommodate around 800,000 visitors per year.

There is no set opening date for Perfect Day at Lelepa, although it is expected to open within the next few years.

Panama canal cruises

In 2021, Royal Caribbean began sailing from the port of Los Angeles for the first time in over ten years, with Navigator of the Seas offering cruises to the Mexican Riviera.

Royal Caribbean continued to expand its itinerary options by announcing itineraries that depart from either Colón, Panama or Cartagena, Colombia. The sailings will be 6 or 7-nights on Rhapsody of the Seas between December 2023 and April 2024.

One of the biggest advantages of these sailings is the opportunity to traverse the Panama Canal, which had usually only been reserved for Royal Caribbean’s longer repositioning cruises. Plus, the itineraries feature lesser-visited ports like Quepos and Puntarenas in Costa Rica and Cartagena in Colombia.

Royal Caribbean Blog is offering a Panama Canal group cruise from March 16-24, 2024 for those interested in sailing around the Southern Caribbean and Panama Canal.

Projects on hold or abandoned

The public is at the mercy of Royal Caribbean to give updates on projects, or for there to be statements made as a matter of public record, to get a sense of any progress.

Many projects were announced before 2020 that are at best on hold, or perhaps even canceled. These are projects and ideas Royal Caribbean announced at one time, but there has not been an update in quite some time.

The Royal Amplified program, which upgrades Oasis, Freedom, and Voyager Class ships, has been on hold since the start of the pandemic. Ships like Allure of the Seas, which was due for amplification in 2020, do not have any enhancements scheduled.

In addition, the Royal Beach Club in Antigua, which was originally supposed to be finished by 2021, appears to be on hold. While Royal Caribbean still plans to build a Royal Beach Club there, their priority is to finalize the Royal Beach Club in Nassau first.

Likewise, there have not been any new updates on a Perfect Day makeover for Labadee.

Lastly, while Royal Caribbean originally planned to purchase the Grand Lucayan Resort in Freeport, Bahamas, the sale was determined, as stated by Bahamian administration, to “not be in the best interest of the Bahamian people.”

Related: Royal Caribbean’s plan to buy Grand Lucayan resort in Freeport canceled

Royal Caribbean’s Senior Vice President and Chief Product Innovation Officer Jay Schneider indicated in March 2022 that Royal Caribbean still has plans to continue with port development in Freeport.

Royal Caribbean trademarks names for possible venues on new cruise ships

28 Oct 2020

Royal Caribbean Group's legal team was busy this week with a variety of new trademarks that sound like it could be names for new venues on its cruise ships.

Trademark registrations may not end up being used by the cruise line, but it does provide insight into what may be currently planned.

Four new trademarks have been filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office earlier this week:

Vue Bar

On October 23, a trademark was made for "Vue Bar" under the category of "cruise ship services".

Cask & Clipper

Another registration made on October 23 is for the "Cask & Clipper", which is filed under two categories:

  • Cruise ship services
  • Restaurant and bar services

Royal Caribbean's English-style pubs on its cruise ships tend to have names that combine two words in a similar style to Cask & Clipper.

Wonder Playscape

The trademark filing for "Wonder Playscape" sounds a lot like the name of a new play area on Wonder of the Seas cruise ship.

Wonder of the Seas will be Royal Caribbean's fifth Oasis Class cruise ship, which is set to debut in 2022 and sail from China.

The description for Wonder Playscape says, "Entertainment services in the nature of children's dry playscape attractions".

The trademark might correlate to a series of renderings for a newly imagined concept for families that popped up online. Or it could be something completely unrelated.

Cantina Fresca

The last trademark filing was made for something called "Cantina Fresca" and is described as "restaurant and bar services".

The name infers a Mexican inspired venue, of which Royal Caribbean has targeted this particular cuisine in the past with Sabor Modern Mexican and El Loco Fresh.

What do these trademarks mean?

Trademark applications are usually quite vague and do not indicate exactly how the cruise line will utilize them, if at all.

In fact, a lot of trademarks never get used for many reasons.

It is also worth noting these registrations are filed on behalf of the Royal Caribbean Group, which means they could be intended for a subsidiary cruise line that is not Royal Caribbean International.

Read moreWho owns Royal Caribbean?

Royal Caribbean has two cruise ships under construction set to debut in the next few years, Odyssey of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas. With new ships comes new opportunities to potentially introduce new venues that will help market a ship and differentiate it from other vessels.

In addition, the Icon Class cruise ships are also on the horizon in the next few years.

Royal Caribbean trademarks possible new cruise ship name

03 Oct 2018

Royal Caribbean has trademarked the name Metropolis of the Seas, which could possibly be used as a name of a future cruise ship.

The cruise line registered the trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on October 1, 2018.

Royal Caribbean trademarked three other possible cruise ship names in September. In addition, Apex of the Seas was registered in 2017 and is still a live trademark.

Royal Caribbean currently has four unnamed ships on order, in addition to Spectrum of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean trademarks three new ship names

10 Sep 2018

Royal Caribbean has trademarked three new ship names that could be the names of new cruise ships in the future.

The cruise line registered Eon of the Seas, Gallant of the Seas and Phenom of the Seas via the United States Patent and Trademark Office last week.

It is worth noting that Royal Caribbean has registered other cruise ship names that it never ended up using for actual ships. Joy of the Seas and Apex of the Seas were registered back in 2017 and have yet to be used.

Royal Caribbean currently has four unnamed ships on order, in addition to Spectrum of the Seas.

Tip of the hat to Lloyd Marchand for alerting us to this news.

Royal Caribbean trademarks two new cruise ship names

02 Jul 2017

Royal Caribbean filed two new trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for what appears to be cruise ship names.

Royal Caribbean filed for new trademarks on Apex of the Seas and Joy of the Seas on June 27, 2017.

Royal Caribbean had registered both trademarks in September 2014, but the trademarks were abandoned on September 14, 2015.

The registration comes just days after Royal Caribbean registered for a similar trademark for Spectrum of the Seas.  The cruise line has not made any announcements of its intentions for these trademarks, if any. Royal Caribbean currently has six ships on order and/or under construction, although two of the ships already have names associated with them (Symphony of the Seas and Icon of the Seas).

Royal Caribbean trademarks Spectrum of the Seas ship name

29 Jun 2017

Royal Caribbean has filed a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for "Spectrum of the Seas", which could be the name of a new cruise ship that is currently under construction.

Royal Caribbean filed the trademark application on June 24, 2017 and it is currently active.

This is not the first time Royal Caribbean had applied for a trademark on Spectrum of the Seas. Back in September 2014, Royal Caribbean trademarked it, along with 4 other names.  The trademark for Spectrum of the Seas was abandoned on September 14, 2015, and now the cruise line has re-filed for the same trademark.

It remains to be seen which ship, if any, will bear the name Spectrum of the Seas. Royal Caribbean currently has six ships on order and/or under construction, although two of the ships already have names associated with them (Symphony of the Seas and Icon of the Seas).

Thanks to Lloyd Marchand for alerting us to the filing.

What do you think of the name? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Video: Royal Caribbean’s Ship Designers Stay Ahead of the Curve

27 Jun 2017

Designing and building the world’s largest cruise ships is no small feat for Royal Caribbean’s Newbuild team. Creative collaboration between the team’s designers, architects, shipbuilders and executives is the key to building industry-leading vessels. Often spanning six or seven time zones, the team is brought together by a shared passion. They’ve built a rapport that allows them to feed off of each other, making innovation the norm. And when the most talented minds in the cruising industry come together, the result is ships that others only dream about.

Royal Caribbean trademarks three cruise ship names to possibly be used for new ships

27 Jan 2017

Royal Caribbean has filed to trademark three new cruise ship names this week, with two of them not associated with any ship yet.

On January 21, 2017, Royal Caribbean filed trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the following names:

  • Symphony of the Seas
  • Sunrise of the Seas
  • Valhalla of the Seas

We reported on Royal Caribbean registering Symphony of the Seas, which is rumored to be the name of its fourth Oasis class ship, but the other two names are yet to be tied to any rumors. 

There are currently six Royal Caribbean ships on order, with two of them tied to rumors of what its name will be (Symphony of the Seas and Icon of the Seas). That leaves four ships without any indication what they might be called. Royal Caribbean has not officially announced the name for any of these ships yet.

Royal Caribbean's April Fools joke invites man behind funny ship name to name next Royal Caribbean ship

01 Apr 2016

Royal Caribbean has "invited" James Hand, the man who recently entered a contest in the UK to name a ship Boaty McBoatface, to "help" Royal Caribbean name its next cruise ship.

Coincidently posted on April 1, Royal Caribbean  knows that James Hand has forever altered the business of naming ships, and perhaps could make a career out of it. Therefore, Royal Caribbean is thrilled to extend James Hand an offer to bring his talents on deck, and help Royal Caribbean develop the name for a future ship.

With five ships debuting in the next three years, Hand’s clever copywriting skills will surely be put to good use.

"The people of the United Kingdom know the name of a great ship when they see it," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Like the rest of the world, we fell in love with the name Boaty McBoatface when we heard it, and we knew immediately that Royal Caribbean could use James Hand’s talent to name our next ship."

As the first step, Royal Caribbean is inviting James Hand to sail on its newest and biggest ship, Harmony of the Seas, when she launches in Southampton, UK this May. Hand will meet with the cruise line’s very own ship naming experts to discuss potential names for a forthcoming ship.

"If James accepts our offer, who knows, perhaps he could name all our future ships,” added Bayley. “James Hand, Chief Naming Officer, Royal Caribbean International. It has a nice ring to it."

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