Alt Text!

Everything I ate on Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas

In:
18 Sep 2021

Odyssey of the Seas is Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship in 2021, and included onboard are some terrific dining options.

Royal Caribbean has steadily improved its onboard food over the years, and Odyssey of the Seas represents some of the best culinary options you can find on any cruise ship.

In the name of research, I took it upon myself to sample as much of the great food you can eat on Odyssey of the Seas.  I did not manage to eat everywhere, but I tried my best to hit up as many places as possible.

Here is a look at all the food I ate on Odyssey of the Seas, and which items truly stood out as the best.

Windjammer

No Royal Caribbean can properly begin for me unless I eat lunch in the Windjammer because this is one of my personal cruise traditions. Every cruise I have been on has begun with embarkation day lunch at Royal Caribbean's signature buffet.

The Quantum Class Windjammer is massive, with plenty of buffet stations to choose from. Salads, soups, sandwiches, curries, cheeses, pasta and more.

Lunch on embarkation day would end up being the only time I ate in the Windjammer, but chalk that up to so many good choices.

Ultimately, I had to go with my all-time favorite food Royal Caribbean offers in the Windjammer, and that is Indian curry.

I had a serving of chicken curry and chana masala over a bed of rice.  Combine the two, and you get some excellent flavors.

I was content with just that, until I saw Odyssey has an ice cream station featuring more than just vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.  They had coffee ice cream, which is my all-time favorite flavor.  

Izumi Teppanyaki

Perhaps there is no better crowd pleaser for dinner on any Royal Caribbean ship that the hibachi dinner at Izumi Teppanyaki.

On Odyssey, the Izumi sushi and hibachi are separate restaurants, which allows both restaurants to have plenty of space.

Before we get to the food, the views were outstanding given you can see the ocean behind the chef.

Besides our chef (Orlando) being really good, the food was even better.  Freshly cooked meats, vegetables, and rice served with a heaping amount of garlic is a recipe for success.

I had the chicken option with my meal, and it really hit the spot.

Cafe @ Two70

If you are in a rush, the best place to get a good breakfast and coffee is at the rear of the ship in Cafe @ Two70.

Similar to Park Cafe on other Royal Caribbean ships, Cafe @ Two70 has a good assortment of grab-and-go breakfast, such as bagels, muffins, wraps and more.

Of course, they also have a good selection of coffees, which are valid if you have a Royal Caribbean drink package.

A iced caramel latte is the best way to start any day on a Royal Caribbean ship.

Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade

Following a fun day in the sun at Perfect Day at CocoCay, we decided to keep it casual and head to the SeaPlex for dinner at Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade.

I love that Royal Caribbean put Playmakers in the SeaPlex, because it perfectly compliments the sports action below, as well as better utilizing space in the upper part of the SeaPlex.

Between our group of friends, we ended up ordering nearly one of everything, and two items really stand out as the best of the best.

First, is the Pile On Nachos.  Personally, I enjoy nachos that are overloaded with veggies, guacamole, cheese, and whatever else they pile on.

And then there is the Campfire Cookie, which is so darn good. 

I know at the end of every meal you are thinking "I'm stuffed, there is no way I can eat dessert", but the Campfire Cookie is worth it.

Main Dining Room

Just like the Windjammer, I only made it to the main dining room once, but I do not regret my visit here at all.

I had breakfast on the first sea day, and I purposefully went here so that I could enjoy the aesthetics of the dining room.  In short, it is a beautiful space and I love how Royal Caribbean altered the look of the dining room on Spectrum and Odyssey so that it fits in more with the flow of the ship.

I ordered an omelet just the way I like it, and it came out perfectly.  The nice thing about eating in the dining room is the slower pace, so you can sip your morning coffee, check the news, and then have breakfast brought to you.

I wish I could have eaten dinner here as well, because of how impressive the space looks. Maybe next time.

Solarium Bistro

An easily overlooked restaurant on Odyssey of the Seas is the Solarium Bistro, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and costs nothing extra!

I think most people are unaware it exists until perhaps later in the cruise, and I love how there is a much greater variety of choices than at other restaurants.

Read moreTop 10 Odyssey of the Seas hidden secrets

Solarium Bistro has long been an excellent choice for vegetarians, but I find plenty I like to eat here too. The Mediterranean salads are what draw me in every time, although the German sausages and bratwurst looked so darn good.

Just like the main dining room, you can have breakfast here and enjoy omelets cooked to order.

El Loco Fresh

I am a sucker for fresh salsa on just about anything, and El Loco Fresh has plenty of it to go around.

Located on the pool deck, El Loco Fresh has quesadillas and burritos, but do yourself a favor and skip the pre-made ones and go right to the made-to-order area.

You are given a fresh tortilla, and you can load it up with rice, beans, chicken, beef and all sorts of toppings.

Giovanni's Italian Kitchen

When I boarded Odyssey of the Seas, I knew dinner at Giovanni's Italian Kitchen would be at the top of my list of things I was looking forward to doing.

I sampled the menu on Freedom of the Seas, so I was eager to get back and try the food out again here.

Luckily, it did not disappoint.  Truly the "problem" with Giovanni's is there are so many good items on the menu to choose from.

I think their pizzas are fantastic, and all their pastas are made fresh daily so it would be a crime not at least eat some.

Let us not forget about the appetizers, which are served family style and just try not to pick at them while it sits on the table.

To that point, I have to confess I just had to try the meatballs, which contain beef and pork. I do not eat pork, but they looked so darn good that I just had to give it a go and it did not disappoint.

This time around, I really liked the margherita pizza the best of all the pies we had.  Whenever I go to an Italian restaurant, chicken parmigiana is my go-to order.

Along with the side of pasta, it hit the spot.

Chops Grille

A last-minute decision was to go to Chops Grille, and it is one of those restaurants on any Royal Caribbean ship you can bet on being a solid meal.

Given it is a steakhouse, the steaks are what everyone orders when they visit and it is tough to beat their filet mignon (although I prefer the filet at the Coco Beach Club restaurant).

My personal favorite item on the menu is actually the tuna tartare, which has a lot of raw tuna and guacamole.  Such a great combo.

Giovanni's Italian Wine Bar

Another great change Royal Caribbean made to Odyssey of the Seas compared to her sister ships was to transform Vintages Wine Bar into Giovanni's Italian Wine Bar.

In addition to the selection of wines, you can order food from Giovanni's Italian Kitchen.  There are even two items only available at the Wine Bar: the arancini and lasagna bites.

A good tip to remember is if Giovanni's Italian Kitchen is ever too full to seat you on a whim, go next door to the wine bar for basically the same food.

Just like at Giovanni's Italian Kitchen, we also ordered a large sampling of food and got to revisit some favorites from the previous night.

I think Italian food fans are going to really enjoy so many options.

Wonderland

Our final meal on Odyssey of the Seas was Wonderland. We chose Wonderland because there was some friends with us that had never dined there.

Wonderland is a blend of over-the-top decor, odd looking food, and exploration inbetween.  It may never be my favorite restaurant to dine at purely for the food, but I do think it is a fun experience.

Our waiter took us through the entire meal and provided fun entertainment as we went through the various courses.  Nearly all of it looked odd, but most tasted better than it looked.

Top 5 things I ate on Odyssey of the Seas

Now that I have listed all the restaurants I dined at while on Odyssey of the Seas, I wanted to list my top picks of what I enjoyed the most.

There was a lot of good food, so needless to say I did not leave the ship hungry or disappointed.  So I wanted to share which dishes truly stood out as my personal favorites.

1. Pile On Nachos

2. Lasagna bites

3. Hibachi dinner

4. Margherita Pizza

5. Indian curry

Top 10 Odyssey of the Seas hidden secrets

In:
07 Sep 2021

If you've got a cruise book on Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas, I've got ten lesser known tips and tricks to share with you about this amazing ship.

Odyssey of the Seas is a Quantum Ultra class ship, and Royal Caribbean has packed her with so many things to see and do, and inbetween are a few good tidbits that might enhance your cruise or give you a heads up on what to expect.

All cruise ships have their own style to them, and you can usually find something unique or hard to find onboard that most other guests easily overlook.

After scouring the ship, I'm sharing my top 10 Odyssey of the Seas hidden secrets so that you can know all about them before you sail!

10. Solarium bridge wings

If you want the best vantage point for a selfie, check out the bridge wings at the front of the ship.

On both sides of the Solarium are viewing areas you can walk to and enjoy a view of the ocean and side of the ship.

To get to the wing viewing areas, go to the Solarium and proceed all the way forward.

9. Zone Zero

Zone Zero is less a secret as much as it is an easily overlooked experience onboard.

Odyssey of the Seas has the SkyPad virtual reality trampoline experience, but there is another virtual reality game you can play onboard in the SeaPlex.

Zone Zero is a complimentary virtual reality experience for up to 4 guests at a time, and it is only available on Odyssey of the Seas.

8. Least crowded restaurant: Solarium Bistro

If you want something different to eat and avoid crowds, check out the Solarium Bistro.

Located in the Solarium (although the entrance is near the stairwell), Solarium Bistro is a complimentary restaurant most guests have no idea exists.

 

Regardless of which meal you want to enjoy, you will find barely any crowds.  

In addition, Solarium Bistro is a boon for vegetarians or just anyone that wants to eat a little bit healthier. There is a large salad bar, as well as a good mix of Mediterranean inspired dishes.

And yes, kids can dine at the Solarium Bistro despite being in the Solarium.

7. Secret Solarium entrance

On deck 13, you will find a door leading to the Solarium without having to go up to the pool deck first.

On deck 13 forward, if you walk all the way forward past all the staterooms, there is a door that leads right out to the lower level of the Solarium.

This is especially helpful if you book a cabin on deck 13 to be able to quickly get in and out of the Solarium.

6. Skypad glass walkway

If you like glass floors, you will find a rather large one on the side of the SkyPad.

Guests can walk around the SkyPad to see the ocean as well as people below jumping on the trampolines.  Half of this walkaway is made of glass, providing a view straight down to the ocean below.

5. See-through floor

Yet another glass floor is found between deck 13 and 14 in the aft stairwell.

Royal Caribbean added this see-through floor for one of the steps, which allows guests to peer down more than 10 decks to the Royal Esplanade.  

Be sure to bring your camera, especially when kids see this for the first time.

4. Comfy outdoor chairs

On sea days the pool deck is a beacon for many passengers, but if you want to enjoy some super comfortable chairs with a breeze, head to the SeaPlex.

Right outside the SeaPlex are day beds, padded chairs, and couches you can enjoy.  Many of these are also in the shade, which makes it a little more comfortable.

You can find these seats by walking to the back of the ship on the upper pool deck, or find the doors that lead outside from the lower level of the SeaPlex.

3. Thermal spa pass

The Vitality Spa on Odyssey of the Seas has a special pass you can purchase to provide you with unlimited access to the thermal suite.

The thermal suite is made up of four areas that you can enjoy all cruise long:

  • Heated stone chairs
  • Rainforest shower room
  • Caldarium chamber
  • Laconium dry heat chamber

The cost for an unlimited pass is $99 per person.

2. The pub has food

While there is an English style pub on almost every Royal Caribbean ship, most do not have food you can order, but there are food options on Odyssey of the Seas.

At the Crown & Compass Pub, you will find a selection of bar bites that includes fried pickles, soft pretzels, poutine, burgers and even deep-fried apple pie.

After a few drinks, you can order food to enjoy without having to leave your favorite table.

1. Giovanni's Wine Bar has a food menu too

Royal Caribbean decided to replace Vintages with a new wine bar concept attached to Giovanni's Italian Kitchen, which includes its own menu.

In addition to the standard Giovanni's Kitchen menu, you can stop in at the wine bar for various platters, antipasta and more.

The menu includes an assorted meat & cheese platter, fried lasagna bites, stromboli and pizza.

The wine bar can be a great alternative if you cannot get a reservation at the main restaurant.

Did I miss any Odyssey of the Seas secrets? Share them in our comments!

How Royal Caribbean reimagined its signature Italian restaurant

In:
23 Aug 2021

Italian cuisine is among the most popular kind of cuisines on land or sea, and Royal Caribbean has relaunched one of its most popular specialty restaurants with an all-new menu that features fresh new choices.

Two of Royal Caribbean's cruise ships now offer Giovanni's Italian Kitchen, which is a refresh of Royal Caribbean's Italian specialty restaurant.

Just like how Royal Caribbean looks to evolve and enhance its cruise ships with new things to do, the Food and Beverage team saw an opportunity to improve on Giovanni's Table.

Royal Caribbean Vice President Food & Beverage, Linken D'Souza, said his team looked at how to amplify this particular restaurant, "it was about bringing something fresh, new, but also something that's traditional to our guests."

"We decided to make them younger and fresher and a little bit more contemporary."

"Giovanni's Italian Kitchen came out of that, and it was this opportunity to to introduce some new things, but also keep the favorites that's guests had."

The first thing the team did was not only look at the existing Giovanni's Table menu, but they actually went back to the Italian restaurant concept that has since been retired from the fleet, Portofinos, to identify what did guests like and not like about each of these experiences.

One missing piece they saw was hand-tossed fresh pizza, and immediately they looked at how to bring that option to cruise ships.

Royal Caribbean worked with Renato Viola, who is one of Italy’s best Master Pizza Chefs in the world. 

Before the shutdown, crew members went to Chef Viola's restaurant to spend a week learning how to stretch and perfectly treat the dough, as well as make the recipe.

Royal Caribbean started out with 42 different pizza recipes just to figure out the right dough to use, and then worked on picking out the perfect San Marzano sauce.  The sauce has no added sugar, and relies on a simple recipe of San Marzano tomatoes, water and herbs.

Mr. D'Souza says they are using the highest quality cheese you can get for pizza, and then added hand selected meats and greens to top it all off.

"My inspiration of that quality of pizza was I want to have a pizza that rivals what you would get in Naples."

Mr. D'Souza went as far to say he believes it is the best pizza at sea right now, "We said let's go out and figure out how to make the best and without bragging, I do believe it is the best pizza at sea."

On top of that, Royal Caribbean installed an electric oven that can heat up to 900 degrees, which is essentially the highest temperatures permissible on a ship.

The result? Chef Viola told Mr. D'Souza the pizza is as good as a pizza in his restaurant. Mr. D'Souza thinks that while it's not quite at that level, it is excellent and very good.

The first Giovanni's Italian Kitchen launched on Freedom of the Seas just before the cruise industry shutdown due to the global health crisis, but that ship is sailing again.  In addition, Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar is onboard Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship, Odyssey of the Seas.

Giovanni's on Odyssey is an extension of the new restaurant concept, with Giovanni's taking over what used to be the Vintages bar area on other Quantum Class ships and offering a smaller bar menu there, such as fried lasagna bites. These small plates are meant to go really well with a glass of wine.

Mr. D'Souza said they focused a lot on the main menu at the restaurant, "we spend a lot of time really developing American Italian favorites and then going a little bit nontraditional."

Top 3 Giovanni's Italian Kitchen must-try's

Holy Cheesus seven cheese pizza

What should you not-miss when you dine at Giovanni's Italian Kitchen?

I asked Mr. D'Souza for his list of the top three recommendations for anyone trying out the restaurant.

  1. Holy Cheesus seven cheese pizza
  2. Steak Muffuletta
  3. Chocolate raviolis

Calamari & Polenta appetizer

Mr. D'Souza added if someone considers themselves an adventurous eater to try the Calamari & Polenta appetizer and the Truffle & Eggs pizza, which offers a traditional fried egg recipe commonly found in Europe.

"In Europe, you see fried egg on pizza quite often. There's actually restaurants in every pizza they said we'll do a fried egg on it."

Spotted: Royal Caribbean charging to reserve pool deck casitas on Odyssey of the Seas

In:
18 Aug 2021

Ever since Royal Caribbean started offering casita day beds to their pool decks, they have been extremely popular with guests. So much so that the cruise line is now charging for them on at least one ship.

Guests sailing on Odyssey of the Seas now have the option to pre-book a casita on a sea day or port day for an extra cost.

Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner site lists the Casita for reservation, with a price of $199 for the day on a sea day and $149 on a port day.

According to the item description, the rental includes towels, a cooler, storage for your belongings and a charging outlet.

You will also get two complimentary Welcome Drinks and four chilled waters with your reservation.

Guests can order more drinks by pushing a button to summon a waiter.

Casitas have been added to the pool decks of other Royal Caribbean ships, including Navigator of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, and Oasis of the Seas.  On those ships, the casitas had been complimentary and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

It is unclear if Royal Caribbean will charge for the casitas on other ships. The option to reserve one on Odyssey of the Seas is the first I have seen pop up.

It is also unclear if all casitas onboard Odyssey are only available if paid for, or if some are still complimentary.

In the past, Royal Caribbean has rationalized charging for select activities and amenities that were previously complimentary as a mechanism to control overwhelming demand, such as with the escape rooms.

Royal Caribbean has also begun charging for the North Star experience on Anthem of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas sailings in certain situations. 

In the UK, North Star is only chargeable on Anthem of the Seas for “extended experience” which is 15 minutes additional time where the observational pod goes over the sides of the ship. It’s still free for the shorter “up and down” experience.

Previously, North Star was completely complimentary while in North America and Europe markets.

North Star has had her capacity limited due to Covid-19 protocols, and that could play a role in charging for the experience in order to manage demand.

Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas begins inaugural sailing

In:
31 Jul 2021

At long last, Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship has begun cruises with passengers onboard.

Odyssey of the Seas is set to depart Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday to begin her first revenue sailing. 

The 16-deck-high, 1,138-foot-long ship is one of the largest ships in the world, and can accommodate 4,180 passengers.

The cruise industry shutdown greatly impacted Odyssey's timeline for debut, having been delayed in the construction yard and two different inaugural seasons cancelled in Europe.

 

Nonetheless, Odyssey of the Seas has begun her first sailing and is yet another Royal Caribbean ship that has been able to start up operations this summer.

The new ship sailed a test cruise on July 19 to gain approval by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Odyssey of the Seas is the second Quantum Ultra Class ship, which is essentially a stretched and enhanced version of the original Quantum Class ships.

 

While she may not be as large as the Oasis Class ships, she is still packed with plenty for families and guests of all ages to enjoy, including multiple pool areas, an aqua park for kids, sky-diving simulator, surfing simulator, and even bumper cars.

Cabins onboard range from studio staterooms fit for a single traveler to spacious loft suites that span two decks.

Odyssey is the first Quantum Ultra Class ship to cruise from the U.S., which features SeaPlex - the largest indoor and outdoor activity complex at sea - and a vibrant, Caribbean-inspired pool deck.

  

Just like all Quantum Class ships, Odyssey has four signature activities on its top deck: North Star observational pod, the Ripcord by iFly sky diving simulator, FlowRider surf simulator, and Skypad virtual bungee trampoline experience.

Other fun activities and things to do on Odyssey include:

  • Caribbean-inspired pool deck– Sporting a whole new look across two decks, Odyssey’s two open-air pools, four whirlpools and Splashaway Bay, anchored by a Quantum Ultra Class first – The Lime & Coconut bar – are designed for all travelers to enjoy the sun and stars in style.  
  • SeaPlex – The next-generation of a longtime Quantum Class favorite, this SeaPlex is the largest indoor and outdoor activity center at sea, and debuts this venue’s first Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade.
  • Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar and Teppanyaki – Two Royal Caribbean restaurants new to North America join the varied lineup of dining options on board. The fresh take on the cruise line’s signature trattoria is the first to introduce its new wine bar concept while the other serves up East Asian flavors in the traditional Japanese style for which its named.
  • One-of-a-kind entertainment – In typical Royal Caribbean fashion, Odyssey’s full-scale productions take top billing in teched-out venues such as the Royal Theater and Two70, where immersive technology, unparalleled special effects and world-leading performers and aerialists take the stage alongside six agile Roboscreens for a multidimensional live show.

Odyssey will sail 6- and 8-night Southern and Western Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale.  

Royal Caribbean had originally scheduled Odyssey of the Seas to begin sailings in 2020, but the global health crisis forced that debut to be delayed by a year.

Subsequently, her inaugural season from Rome was cancelled, and instead scheduled to sail from Israel this summer.  Violence in the region forced Royal Caribbean to cancel her entire summer season and the ship was re-scheduled to start sailings from Fort Lauderdale.

   

More Odyssey of the Seas information

Royal Caribbean releases which venues on its newest cruise ship will be open to vaccinated passengers only

In:
26 Jul 2021

Odyssey of the Seas is Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship, and when she sets sail for the first time, certain venues will only be available to fully vaccinated passengers.

Just like Royal Caribbean's other ships sailing from the United States, certain areas of Odyssey are designed for fully vaccinated guests. These are indoor areas where adults tend to congregate the most.

Royal Caribbean, like all cruise companies sailing from U.S. ports, is guided by CDC regulations which currently govern many aspects of the onboard operation.

When indoors, CDC guidelines require all guests 2 and older to wear masks unless they are actively eating or drinking. The CDC makes allowances for guests to remove their masks in venues and events dedicated to fully vaccinated parties.

The 16-deck-high, 1,138-foot-long ship is one of the largest ships in the world, and can accommodate 4,180 passengers.

Thee venues that are for fully vaccinated passengers are as follows for Odyssey of the Seas sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida in July and August:

Unvaccinated guests have access to the turquoise colored boxes and not to the white boxes. 

Guests who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 will have full access to venues onboard, and won't need to wear a mask at vaccinated-only venues. 

Masks are not required in your stateroom when you are with your traveling party, outside on the open decks, or at Perfect Day at CocoCay, unless in a crowded setting. We will update you if there are any changes to the CDC guidance as it relates to face masks.

Your SeaPass card will be required to access lounges, shows and dining venues.

Vaccinated guests will receive a wristband and those who are unvaccinated (or choose not to disclose if they are) will have a hole punched in their SeaPass card.

It is important to remember the protocols will likely change often with changes to onboard rules throughout the summer and fall.

Dining 

For Main Dining, Royal Caribbean will designate areas for everyone, including parents and unvaccinated children, and areas for vaccinated parties only. My Time Dining will not be available to parties that include unvaccinated guests.

Some specialty restaurants will be open to everyone, while others will be for vaccinated parties only. If you prefer a buffet, Windjammer will be open to everyone for breakfast and lunch, and the food will be served by our crew.

Grab-and-go cafes will also be available for everyone.

Bars and Lounges 

Many bars and lounges will be open to everyone and others will be available to vaccinated guests only. There will be crew stationed nearby and signage to help direct guests.

Casino 

Given the casino’s physical constraints, there is not enough space to accommodate everyone. The casino will be open to vaccinated guests only.

Fitness and Spa 

The Fitness Center will have dedicated operating hours for everyone as well as hours reserved for vaccinated guests only. Salon services will be available to everyone but given the enclosed space and longer length of spa services, the treatment rooms used to provide facials, massages and other services will only be available to vaccinated guests.

Entertainment 

Entertainment venues will offer spaced seating and more showtimes throughout your cruise. Select showtimes will be for everyone and other showtimes for vaccinated guests only. 

Diamond Lounge for Loyalty Members 

The Diamond Lounge will be open and operating at 50 percent capacity to allow for physical distancing.

Adventure Ocean and Teen Lounges 

Youth spaces will be open to all children and teens.

Vaccine status when sailing from Florida

Because of Florida's law prohibiting businesses from asking their customers if they are vaccinated, passengers must voluntarily disclose that information to Royal Caribbean.

Guests sailing on Odyssey will receive an email from the cruise line with the option to submit their vaccination status.

All unvaccinated guests must undergo multiple COVID-19 tests. Testing at the terminal prior to embarkation and onboard prior to disembarkation will be conducted by licensed and accredited third-party testing providers Royal Caribbean has contracted.

Unvaccinated guests must register for this testing and agree to the third-party testing provider terms and conditions. Registration details will be sent via email in advance.

The total charge for unvaccinated guests 12 and older from the third-party testing vendor for these tests is $178. This amount will be applied to the guest’s onboard expense account. 

For children 2 to 11 not yet eligible to be vaccinated, Royal Caribbean will cover the cost of any required testing.

New show for Odyssey of the Seas revealed

In:
21 Jul 2021

We now know the name of the show Royal Caribbean's newest show on Odyssey of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean Senior Vice President of Entertainment, Nick Weir, posted on Twitter the name of the new show for the Two70 venue.

While Odyssey of the Seas launched months ago from the shipyard, the entirety of the entertainment onboard has not been known.

Guests on Odyssey of the Seas can enjoy "The Book" in Two70, which has a subtitle of "Seven Chapters, One Adventure."

Mr. Weir revealed the poster artwork on Twitter.

He added, "Using the powers of observation and deductive reasoning, (plus previous clues), the name of the production should be fairly easy to determine."

According to Weir, the show will be fine tuned this summer, and will feature a character known as The Librarian.

"Here is the mysterious Librarian, in his special library, with his equally special collection of books."

The Book will be in addition to the Oceanides show previously announced for Two70 on Odyssey of the Seas.

Two70 is the venue Royal Caribbean designed on the aft of its Quantum and Quantum Ultra class ships that offers immersive scenery on a 270 degree wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. 

The projection surface in Two70 measures 135 feet wide and 22 feet tall, and has a 12k digital screen along with  8-foot-tall, 4-foot-wide robotic screens.

Odyssey of the Seas will set sail from Fort Lauderdale on new 6- and 8-night Caribbean cruises, beginning July 31.

Odyssey of the Seas to begin her first test cruise today

In:
19 Jul 2021

Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship is ready to begin her first test sailing today from south Florida.

While not announced by Royal Caribbean, Odyssey of the Seas appears to be ready to set sail today from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for a test sailing.

These simulated voyages are required by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) in order to get approval to sail from the United States.

Odyssey of the Seas has had a long journey to this point, having been delayed during constructed and had a few inaugural sailings canceled due to the global health crisis in Europe and Israel.

Any Royal Caribbean cruise ship sailing from the United States is required to undergo a test cruise so that the cruise line can demonstrate to the CDC the new health protocols onboard are effective at keeping passengers and crew members safe.

So far two other Royal Caribbean ships have successfully conducted test cruises: Freedom of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas.

It is not clear how long this test voyage will be, but if all goes well, Odyssey could be ready for her scheduled first sailing with paying passengers on July 31, 2021.

Odyssey will offer cruises from Fort Lauderdale this summer, fall, and winter.

Odyssey is the first Quantum Ultra Class ship to cruise from the U.S., which features SeaPlex - the largest indoor and outdoor activity complex at sea - and a vibrant, Caribbean-inspired pool deck.

Royal Caribbean chose to do test cruises instead of requiring 95% of its passengers be fully vaccinated as a way to ensure families could continue to sail.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley posted recently on social media there are a substantial amount of children too young for a vaccine on most sailings, "As a family brand, Royal Caribbean typically sails with 10 percent of our guests under 12 years old, and today, they are ineligible for the vaccine."

As a family brand that traditionally has over 1 million children sailing onboard, leaving kids out (and subsequently their parents and extended family) was not an option Royal Caribbean ever considered.

Royal Caribbean International's senior vice president of Hotel Operations, Mark Tamis, indicated choosing to do test cruises was a clear decision, "When the first set of potential regulations were published, it was such an obvious choice of the path that we had to go down."

"Once there were two clear paths, 95% or under 95%, it wasn’t even really a consideration."

Mr. Tamis called the decision "obvious" given how many kids sail with Royal Caribbean, along with the cruise line's dedication to remaining a family brand. "A good 20 to 25 percent of our guests are kids."

Test cruise requirements

The CDC has a laundry list of tasks required to be completed during a test cruise before a ship could be approved.

Cruise lines have the choice of doing all of these steps on one or over multiple test sailings, but thus far, Royal Caribbean has opted to conduct its test sailings over the course of a single voyage.

  • Embarkation and disembarkation procedures, as approved by U.S. port and local health authorities as part the cruise ship operator’s Phase 2A agreements, including procedures for terminal check-in.
  • Onboard activities, including seating and meal service at dining and entertainment venues.
  • Medical evacuation procedures.
  • Transfer of symptomatic passengers or crew, or those who test positive for SARS-CoV-2, from cabins to isolation rooms.
  • Onboard and shoreside isolation and quarantine, as per the terms of the cruise ship operator’s Phase 2A agreements, of at least 5% of all passengers and non-essential crew.
  • Recreational activities that the cruise ship operator intends to offer as part of any restricted passenger voyages, e.g., casinos, spa services, fitness classes, gymnasiums.
  • Private-island shore excursions if any are planned during restricted passenger voyages. The following measures must be observed on the private island:
    • Only one ship can port at the island at any one time.
    • A routine screening testing protocol must be implemented for island staff who are expected to interact with volunteer passengers or crew, unless they are fully vaccinated or have documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
    • Mask use and social distancing must be observed in indoor areas while on the island.
  • Port of call shore excursions if any are planned during restricted passenger voyages. The following measures must be observed on port of call shore excursions:
    • Shore excursions must only include passengers and crew from the same ship.
    • Cruise ship operator must ensure all shore excursion tour companies facilitate social distancing, mask wearing, and other COVID-19 public health measures throughout the tour while in any indoor areas.
    • Cruise ship operators must have a protocol for managing persons with COVID-19 and close contacts at all foreign ports of call. At a minimum, the protocol must include the following:
      • Disembarkation and housing of persons with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 needing shore-based hospital care and their travel companion(s) for the duration of their isolation or quarantine period.
      • Commercial repatriation of U.S.-based persons with COVID-19 and close contacts only after meeting criteria to end isolation and quarantine per CDC guidance. For commercial repatriation of foreign-based persons with COVID-19 and close contacts, cruise ship operators must consult with all relevant public health authorities.

Royal Caribbean delays Odyssey of the Seas inaugural sailing from U.S. due to Covid-19 among crew members

In:
15 Jun 2021

It looks like Odyssey of the Seas first cruise is once again delayed.

Royal Caribbean confirmed the first few scheduled sailings will be canceled due to positive cases of Covid-19 onboard the ship among crew members.

According to the cruise line, all the crew members on Odyssey of the Seas were tested on June 4 when the ship arrived in Port Canaveral, as part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Conditional Sailing Order.

The crew were tested again on June 10, and eight crew members tested positive.

Royal Caribbean's medical team is monitoring the crew that tested positive, and they are "in good health".

In addition, and in an abundance of caution, Royal Caribbean has made the decision to ask all crew members to quarantine for 14 days to ensure the health and safety of everyone on board. 

As a result, Odyssey of the Seas debut is being delayed and her first few sailings are canceled.

The ship was scheduled to begin sailing on July 3, but will now start sailing on July 31.

Guests booked onboard will be contacted with refund and rescheduling options.

Royal Caribbean said the change was unwelcome, but the safety of everyone onboard is the top priority, "This was an unexpected but necessary decision to make, and we are committed to doing the right thing for everyone’s well-being."

Here is the full statement from a Royal Caribbean spokesperson:

Out of an abundance of caution, we are postponing Odyssey of the Seas’ first sailings from July 3 until July 31, 2021. The simulation cruise, originally scheduled for late June, will also be rescheduled.  

During routine testing, eight crew members received a positive test result for COVID-19. All 1,400 crew on board Odyssey were vaccinated on June 4 and will be considered fully vaccinated on June 18. These positive cases were identified after the vaccination was given but before they were fully effective. 

The eight crew members, six of whom are asymptomatic and two with mild symptoms, were immediately quarantined and are being closely monitored by our medical team. To protect the remaining crew and prevent any further cases, we will have all crew quarantined for 14 days and continue with our routine testing. 

Guests and travel partners will be notified and given several options to consider. While disappointing, this is the right decision for the health and well-being of our crew and guests.  

This is not the first time crew on Odyssey of the Seas have had a brush with Covid.

In late May, Royal Caribbean disembarked four crew members in Spain who had tested positive for Covid-19 onboard the Odyssey of the Seas while the ship was moving from Israel to the United States.

A week later,Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley posted on Facebook that the crew members have tested negative.

"They continue to remain asymptomatic (no symptoms) and yesterday all tested negative and will need one more test before being released on Friday," he said.

"Plans are to re assign the crew to Harmony and Symphony of the Seas. As our protocols work and all our crew get vaccinated we are on the road to Freedom."

Odyssey of the Seas is Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship, but her debut has been delayed numerous times due to Covid-19.

She was originally scheduled to be built and delivered by 2020, but that was pushed back a year.

Then her inaugural season from Rome was cancelled, and instead scheduled to sail from Israel this summer.  Violence in the region forced Royal Caribbean to cancel her entire summer season and the ship was re-scheduled to start sailings from Fort Lauderdale.

Odyssey of the Seas will offer roundtrip cruises from Fort Lauderdale.

Odyssey is the first Quantum Ultra Class ship to cruise from the U.S., which features SeaPlex - the largest indoor and outdoor activity complex at sea - and a vibrant, Caribbean-inspired pool deck

Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas arrives in Fort Lauderdale

In:
10 Jun 2021

It may not have been exactly as Royal Caribbean originally planned, but Odyssey of the Seas has arrived home.

The newest cruise ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet sailed into Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, which will be her homeport until at least next summer.

Port Everglades welcomed the massive new cruise ship as she pulled into port on Thursday.

Odyssey of the Seas arrived around 7am, and was met with a traditional maritime welcome of water canons.

Odyssey of the Seas will offer roundtrip cruises from Fort Lauderdale beginning on July 3, 2021.

Assuming the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approves her sailings, she will offer six- and eight-night Caribbean cruises through 2022.

Before she can start cruises, Odyssey needs to conduct test cruises to prove to the CDC the effectiveness of safety protocols developed to prevent onboard spread of Covid-19.

The 16-deck vessel is 1,138 feet long can accommodate 4,180 guests at double capacity.

Many thanks to Trent Kelly for sharing this video of Odyssey of the Seas sailing into Port Everglades.

Odyssey is the first Quantum Ultra Class ship to cruise from the U.S., which features SeaPlex - the largest indoor and outdoor activity complex at sea - and a vibrant, Caribbean-inspired pool deck

Subscribe to Odyssey of the Seas