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What’s New & Coming to Royal Caribbean in 2021, 2022 & 2023

07 May 2021

New cruise ships, new destinations and more are coming to a Royal Caribbean cruise near you between now and 2023.

Change is continuous at Royal Caribbean, and despite the challenges the cruise industry has faced since 2020, expansion plans are still underway.  After all, cruise lines have to think long term in order to ensure their return to service is successful.  

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

Prior to the global health crisis, Royal Caribbean had orders placed for a number of new cruise ships, including a brand new class of ships, known as the Icon Class. They also had a host of port projects that were announced.  Unfortunately, the fact the cruise industry had to deal with billions in losses meant many plans had to be paused, delayed, or even cancelled.

The good news is many projects are still moving forward, including all of the new ship construction plans on order. This means there is a lot of exciting things coming to a cruise port near you.

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

Odyssey of the Seas

Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship is complete and ready to begin cruises.

Odyssey of the Seas was delayed by a year (a common theme among anything Royal Caribbean had planned beyond 2019), but she is complete and now part of the fleet.

The 4,180-passenger vessel is a 16-deck-high, 1,138-foot-long ship, and is the second vessel in Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Ultra Class of ships — stretched versions of three Quantum Class vessels that began debuting in 2014.

Odyssey packs a lot to do onboard, including multiple pools, aqua park for kids, surfing simulator, observation pod, and sky diving simulator.

There are even bumper cars you can ride, along with an array of complimentary and specialty restaurant options.

Odyssey of the Seas originally was scheduled to sail out out of Civitavecchia, Italy, but those plans were changed due to the global health crisis, the ship will be based out of Haifa, Israel and only open to Israeli residents.

Her summer 2021 cruise season will be available exclusively to Israeli residents who are fully vaccinated.

After Odyssey of the Seas completes her summer season in Israel, she is scheduled to move to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in November 2021 to offer cruises to the Caribbean in the winter.

Wonder of the Seas

Delayed until 2022, Wonder of the Seas will be the fifth Oasis Class cruise ship in the fleet.

Her debut was pushed back from 2021 to 2022 due to the global health crisis. The impact of worldwide port and shipyard closures has created delays in the construction schedule and delivery of Wonder. 

Between March and November 2022, guests can sail roundtrip from Shanghai to Japan. Wonder will transition to warmer climates and homeport in Hong Kong, November 2022 through January 2023.

Wonder of the Seas will be the first Oasis Class cruise ship to sail from Asia.

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 will be the first of its kind to be designed with eight neighborhoods, introducing the new Suite Neighborhood alongside returning favorites Central Park, the open-air AquaTheater, sporting a new look and where jaw-dropping, high-diving acrobatic and aquatic performances take place; Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea; and a 25-meter zip line 10 decks above the Boardwalk neighborhood.

Galveston cruise terminal

Construction began in April on a new cruise terminal in Galveston, Texas.

Cruise Terminal 3 is scheduled to open in October 2022, although there is an option for it to slip to early 2023 if the cruise industry remains shutdown longer than expected.

The new Terminal 3 in Galveston will be built on 10 acres of land at Pier 10, and will be used exclusively by Royal Caribbean. It will be large enough to handle an Oasis or Icon Class ship.

When the terminal does open, Allure of the Seas will begin offering cruises in November 2022.

The facility will feature 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.

Freeport port project

Another major port project that is still moving forward based on local reports is the purchase of the Grand Lucayan resort in Freeport, Bahamas.

Negotiations have been ongoing for months, but the agreement seems to be in place for Royal Caribbean and ITM Group to purchase the hotel, along with the surrounding area near the port to build a new port project.

Prior to the cruise industry shutting down in March 2020, Royal Caribbean announced it would revitalize and expand the Grand Lucayan resort so that it could be transformed into Harbour Village.

It is unclear if or how those plans have changed under the new deal apparently struck to purchase the resort, but the original plans called for a a world-class beachfront destination.

Two phases of the project were announced that focused on the Grand Lucayan resort first, and then the surrounding area after.

Phase One of the Lucaya Property will consist of a beachfront destination – including a 526 room hotel, shopping village, spa and wellness center, water based family entertainment (including water and adventure theme park), a 40,000-square-foot convention center, adventure activities (such as zip lines and off-roading), restaurants and bars, entertainment and nightlife.

Phase Two – Harbour Village – will be at the cruise terminal in Freeport Harbor. The expected enhancements will allow visitors to enjoy numerous spaces with multiple shopping and dining venues, beach areas, shore excursions and more.

Additional plans for Freeport included a new transportation hub providing infrastructure for water ferries and ground transportation, including buses, vans, and jeeps. Holistica Destinations will partner with local business owners and entrepreneurs providing opportunities for guests to experience additional shore excursions in Grand Bahama.

First Icon class ship

Royal Caribbean has plans to introduce a brand new class of cruise ships with the Icon class.

There are not many details publicly available, but we do know some basic information, which has been hinted as a "game changer" by Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley.

Based on filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, we know the first Icon class ship is scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2023.

The ship will be built in Finland (Meyer Turku shipyard). Each ship will be powered by a combination of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and fuel cell technology.

At 200,000 tons, the as-yet-unnamed vessels will be bigger than Royal Caribbean's Quantum class ships but not as big as the Oasis class ships.

Royal Caribbean has not announced a name or a design, but they did trademark the name Icon of the Seas.

Bahamas beach club

Another project announced before the cruise industry shutdown is a new Beach Club in Nassau, Bahamas.

Royal Caribbean first announced intentions to build a private shore excursion option in Nassau in March 2020, but has provided no official updates then.

What we do know is the beach club will be built at the western end of Paradise Island, and would be cruise line guests.

Since then, there has been paperwork filed with the Bahamas and statements to Bahamian officials that seem to indicate the project is still a go, with a final deal to secure the land the next step.

Permits filed with the Bahamas indicate the club could feature dining pavilions, a 26,000 square foot pool, 4,000 square foot “splash pad” for children, 14 beach bars, restrooms and cabanas.

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 cancelled. 

These are projects and ideas Royal Caribbean announced at one time, but there has not been an update in quite some time.

Since there has not been any statements or updates for quite some time, I have to assume these are on hold until we get an update.

  • Perfect Day at Lelepa: Private island in the South Pacific
  • Royal Beach Club in Antigua
  • Royal Amplified program: Ship upgrades to Oasis, Freedom, and Voyager class ships.  On hold until further notice
  • Perfect Day makeover for Labadee

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."

Royal Caribbean abandons unused cruise ship name trademarks

22 Sep 2015

Over the last couple of weeks, Royal Caribbean filed to abandon United States federal trademarks it had registered for that would have been used for a new cruise ship.

On Monday, September 7, 2015, Royal Caribbean abandoned the following trademarks

  • Emblem of the Seas
  • Passion of the Seas
  • Pulse of the Seas

On Monday, September 14, 2015, Royal Caribbean abandoned another three trademarks

  • Apex of the Seas
  • Joy of the Seas
  • Spectrum of the Seas

The reason provided for all of the names being abandoned was "No statement of use filed".

All six of these names had been registered between 2012 and 2014.  Some of the names in those groups were eventually used for cruise ships, including Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the SeasHarmony of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas.  

Royal Caribbean still has an unnamed fourth Oasis class cruise ship on order that will be delivered in mid-2018 and an unnamed fourth Quantum class ship on order that should be complete in 2019.

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