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Odyssey of the Seas

Royal Caribbean looks to take live cruise ship acts to new heights with drones

In:
22Sep2020

Royal Caribbean is going to take their live shows on cruise ships to new heights, according to a recently shared video.

Nick Weir, Senior Vice President of Entertainment for Royal Caribbean International, shared a video on Twitter of a demonstration of the cruise line's drone technology for an upcoming show on its newest cruise ship, Odyssey of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean has used drones in shows in the last couple of years, but Mr. Weir characterized this drone performance on Odyssey of the Seas as, "most complex technology yet."

A total of 48 drones are being used in the technical rehearsal with a performer in the middle of them, appearing to command the drones around him.

Royal Caribbean has already used drones on at least two ships, including Symphony of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas.

The new show is being developed for Odyssey of the Seas, which is currently under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard.

Royal Caribbean has not yet revealed the entertainment for Odyssey of the Seas, but Mr. Weir enjoys showing off brief teases on what we can expect to see.

September 22 photo

The shipyard released a new construction photo this week of Odyssey of the Seas, which is due to be delivered in Spring 2021.

Once complete, Odyssey of the Seas will be Royal Caribbean's second Quantum Ultra Class cruise ship, sailing from Rome in Summer 2021.

After her inaugural season in Europe, Odyssey will then continue its inaugural year in Fort Lauderdale, FL with 8- and 6-night Caribbean itineraries.

Odyssey of the Seas construction photo update - September 14, 2020

In:
14Sep2020

It is a new week and with it comes a new Odyssey of the Seas construction photo to share.

The Meyer Werft shipyard shared a new webcam image of Odyssey of the Seas in Hall 6, this time with a view of the front of the ship.

September 14 photo

Many cruise fans will notice the rather large ship name adorned to the side of the hull, which was highlighted by the shipyard last week.

Just about every week, Meyer Werft updates its webcam to showcase a new photo of the ship and progress being made.

Odyssey of the Seas is scheduled to begin cruises in April 2021 out of Rome. She was originally going to debut in November 2020, but those plans were delayed.

Royal Caribbean's second Quantum Ultra Class ship will begin with cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean for the summer season.

She will then continue its inaugural year in Fort Lauderdale, FL with 8- and 6-night Caribbean itineraries.

Odyssey of the Seas construction photo update - September 11, 2020

In:
11Sep2020

The Meyer Werft shipyard shared two new photos of Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas that highlight the majestic size of this new cruise ship.

It is no surprise that Odyssey of the Seas is going to be a giant cruise ship.  While she may not attain the status of the world's largest cruise ship (that honor goes to sister Wonder of the Seas, which is under construction in France), she is still a very large ship.

Meyer Werft provided a look at the ship's name on the bow. In the case of Odyssey of the Seas, the "O" alone measures 11.2 meters (36 feet) in height!

The entire "Odyssey of the Seas" name is 87.4 meters (286 feet) long.

It is also worth noting the name is positioned lower than on other Royal Caribbean ships.  In fact, the bottom of the "O" seems to go below the waterline of the ship.

Compare the placement of Odyssey's name to sister ships Ovation of the Seas and Spectrum of the Seas, which have their names higher up on the hull of the vessel.

Odyssey of the Seas is slated to become Royal Caribbean's next cruise ship to join the fleet, and will debut in summer 2021 in Europe instead of fall 2020 in Fort Lauderdale.

Odyssey of the Seas construction photo update - September 10, 2020

In:
10Sep2020

Just a little over a week since our last construction update, Meyer Werft shipyard has released a new photo of Odyssey of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship is under construction in Hall 6, and this week's photo is from the opposite end of the ship compared to last week.

 

September 9 photo

September 1 photo

The photo was released by the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

Once complete, Odyssey of the Seas will be Royal Caribbean's second Quantum Ultra Class cruise ship, sailing from Rome in Summer 2021.

After her inaugural season in Europe, Odyssey will then continue its inaugural year in Fort Lauderdale, FL with 8- and 6-night Caribbean itineraries.

Odyssey has been under construction since the steel cutting ceremony in February 2019, but delivery was delayed due to the impact of the global health crisis.

Odyssey of the Seas construction photo update - September 1, 2020

In:
01Sep2020

There is a brand new construction photo of Odyssey of the Seas that was released to the public on Tuesday.

Photo by Meyer Werft

The Meyer Werft shipyard released the photo of Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship, which is located in Hall 6.

The delay in getting a new photo follows the shipyard shutting down operations for six weeks due to the current health crisis.

Odyssey of the Seas is scheduled to begin cruises in April 2021 out of Rome. She was originally going to debut in November 2020, but those plans were delayed.

Royal Caribbean's second Quantum Ultra Class ship will begin with cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean for the summer season.

She will then continue its inaugural year in Fort Lauderdale, FL with 8- and 6-night Caribbean itineraries.

Among the many features coming to Odyssey of the Seas include:

  • SeaPlex - the largest indoor space for recreational activities at sea
  • Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade with club-level views of the SeaPlex
  • Reimagined Adventure Ocean kids program and a maxed-out teen lounge with gaming consoles, music and movies
  • Teppanyaki restaurant
  • Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar
  • Two-level pool deck will feature two open-air, resort-style pools and four whirlpools with shady casitas and hammocks
  • FlowRider surf simulator
  • Skydiving with Ripcord by iFly
  • North Star glass capsule
  • Robot bartenders at Bionic Bar

Odyssey of the Seas lifeboats delivered to shipyard

In:
12Aug2020

New photos shared online show the new lifeboats for Odyssey of the Seas on their way to the shipyard.

Unimedien shared photos and even a video of lifeboats being delivered for Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship.

The lifeboats were moved from the Fassmer shipyard in Berne, Germany through the Küstenkanal canal to the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

On June 30,  Royal Caribbean announced Odyssey of the Seas will be delayed until April 2021, when she will begin sailing in Rome.

The cause of the delay is a combination of the global health crisis, delays in the supply chain, and fires at the shipyard compounding other shipyard issues.

Odyssey of the Seas will be Royal Caribbean's second Quantum Ultra Class ship and will come in at 168,000 gross-tons.

Shipyard where Odyssey of the Seas is being built to shutdown for six weeks

In:
19Jul2020

Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany announced it will shutdown for six weeks due to the current global health crisis.

DisneyCruiseLineBlog spotted the news of the shutdown, which will last until August 30, 2020.

 The shipyard is facing financial hardships due to a lack of demand for new cruise ships, so beginning on Monday DW is reporting Meyer Werft will halt production and suspend operations for six weeks.

Meyer Werft is where Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ships is being built, Odyssey of the Seas.

On June 30,  Royal Caribbean announced Odyssey of the Seas will be delayed due to a combination of the global health crisis, delays in the supply chain, and fires at the shipyard compounding other shipyard issues.

Just like Royal Caribbean, Meyer Werft is facing its own financial difficulties because of cruise lines delaying projects or delaying delivery of new ships. In either case, it means longer periods of time without being paid.

Shipyard owner Bernard Meyer said the current situation is "precarious", and that Meyer Werft needs to save €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) to stay solvent. It looks like the shipyard may benefit from local and federal funding from the German government.

Reports out of Germany only mention the P&O Iona and Saga Cruises Spirit of Adventure. With Odyssey already officially delayed until next year, the six week shutdown this summer is not likely not a short-term factor.

Odyssey of the Seas will be Royal Caribbean's second Quantum Ultra Class ship and will come in at 168,000-gross-tons.

Odyssey recently reached another construction milestone when she was moved about 150 meters from a dry construction dock to a flooded construction dock.

Odyssey of the Seas construction photo update - July 13, 2020

In:
13Jul2020

There is a brand new photo construction photo to share of Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship, Odyssey of the Seas.

Photo by Meyer Werft

The photo was released by the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

Just about every week, the shipyard releases a new photo of the work being done in Hall 6 of the ship.

This week's photo is of the ship in her new positition, about 150 meters away from where she used to reside, and now sits in water instead of being completely out of the water.

Delayed until 2021

In case you missed it, Royal Caribbean announced Odyssey of the Seas will be delayed, and not debut until April 2021 in Rome.

The cause of the delay is a combination of the global health crisis, delays in the supply chain, and fires at the shipyard compounding other shipyard issues.

When Odyssey does start sailings, the plan currently is for it to start in Europe in summer 2021, sailing Eastern Mediterranean itineraries out of Rome.

The 168,000-gross-ton Quantum Ultra-class ship will then move to the United States in November 2021. 

New Odyssey of the Seas photos of move to wet construction dock

In:
06Jul2020

Despite a nearly six month delay in her debut, construction work on Odyssey of the Seas continues, with the ship reaching a new milestone.

German shipyard Meyer Werft shared photos today of Odyssey, having successfully moved about 150 meters from a dry construction dock to a flooded construction dock.

The move means Odyssey of the Seas' hull now sits in water, instead of being completely out of the water. It is also part of the new ship construction process, which is a kind of giant assembly line, where ships are put together in one part of the hall, and then as construction progresses, the ship gets closer and closer to departing the hall and eventually into the water.

Now that Odyssey is moved into her new area, further work on the ship can continue.

Ship deferred but not denied

Progress on building Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship continues, despite a massive delay in her debut that was announced last week.

Royal Caribbean informed guests with reservations on her inaugural sailings from Fort Lauderdale that those sailings have been cancelled. The cruise line cancelled all sailings between November 5, 2020 - April 17, 2021.

The cause of the delay was a combination of the current health crisis, a fire that broke out on the ship in the construction yard, as well as impacts on Royal Caribbean's supply chain.

It seems Royal Caribbean anticipated a delay in the new ship's debut, having warned investors in May 2020 that it expected delivery delays of ships previously planned for delivery in 2020 and 2021.

With the first few months of cancellations, it appears Odyssey will now debut in Europe, sailing from Rome first.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog readers were not terribly surprised by the news, but were concerned if this was one of many dominos to fall.

"I knew this would happen," Karen Houle Rosepiler wrote. "I was just keeping my fingers cross that all would be right in the world again.

"This can't be a surprise to anyone," Charlie Welf wrote. "The shipyards work has been slowed/stopped and they just had a fire on the ship that needed to be repaired."

It looks like the first Odyssey of the Seas sailing may not depart until May 2021. 

Royal Caribbean cancels all Odyssey of the Seas sailings through April 2021

In:
30Jun2020

Royal Caribbean has announced due to COVID-19's impact on the cruise line and shipyard operations, it has cancelled all scheduled Odyssey of the Seas sailings between November 5, 2020 - April 17, 2021.

The cruise line made the announcement on Tuesday that the next new cruise ship on order is officially delayed due to a variety of factors that Royal Caribbean faces in the current economic climate.

In the wake of COVID-19, our initial global suspension and its subsequent extensions, we understand the uneasiness all of this has caused both for you as a travel advisor and, of course, your clients whose vacations have been regrettably disrupted. The health crisis has unfortunately also impacted shipyard operations, as well as our supply chain. As a result, the debut of our newest fleet member, Odyssey of the Seas, will be delayed, resulting in the unfortunate cancellation of all sailings between November 5, 2020 - April 17, 2021.

In addition to the cancelled sailings, Royal Caribbean also announced two other changes to Odyssey of the Seas.

First, the trapeze school will no longer be a feature of the SeaPlex.

Second, the age restrictions for the Sky Pad virtual trampoline experience will change: guests must be at least 7 years old to jump, and at least 13 years old to jump with a virtual reality headset.

Compensation options

Just like all cancelled Royal Caribbean sailings during the pandemic, guests have a few options if they were booked on any of the affected cruises.

Lift & Shift: Select next year’s sailing with the same itinerary type, sailing length, stateroom category, and within the same 4-week window of the original cruise date, and you can take your existing reservation and move it to next year. Option expires on July 17, 2020.

125% Future Cruise Credit: Guests are eligible for a 125% Future Cruise Credit (FCC) that is based on the total cruise fare paid at the guest-level to be redeemed on-or-before December 31, 2021 on sailings through April 2022. This option is automatic and will default as if neither of the other options are selected.

FCCs for cancelled Odyssey sailings can be expected via email no later than August 7, 2020.

Refund: If you prefer a cash refund, you can do so by requesting this option on-or-before December 31, 2020.

You can expect their refund to the original form of payment within 45-60 days from the cancellation date. 

Switch ships: Royal Caribbean has added another option for Odyssey cancelled cruise. Move your Odyssey of the Seas reservation to another 7-night Caribbean sailing that departs within 1 week before or after your original sail date and you'll receive the following:

  • Your original Odyssey cruise fare paid will be price protected at the original cruise fare rate or reduced to the current cruise fare rate (whichever is lower) of your new reservation. This excludes taxes, fees, gratuities, and other non-cruise fare items.
    • If you had already paid in full and your cruise fare rate decreases, you will get a refund if there is any difference in pricing. You can expect to receive your refund to your original form of payment within 45 days of the price change. Kindly note, refund times may vary depending on your financial institution.
    • Royal Caribbean will also waive any non-refundable deposit change fees associated with the move.
  •  Please know, if you weren't previously booked on a holiday sailing (Christmas, New Year's, and Easter), sailings during that timeframe are excluded from your options.

MOREWhat you should do now that Royal Caribbean cancelled your cruise?

Onboard credit: One additional option is available for guests that want to convert their pre-cruise purchases, such as shore excursions, specialty dining, beverage package, and other add-ons, into onboard credit.

Guests choosing the FCC option can elect to convert their purchases into an onboard credit (OBC) valued at 125% of the amount paid via the Cruise Planner tool.

This can be opted-into by July 17, 2020 for Odyssey of the Seas sailings.

Warnings of a delay

The news that Odyssey of the Seas' debut would be delayed should not come as a shock, given the warning signs that have been around for months now.

In early May 2020, Royal Caribbean told its investors it believes COVID-19 has impacted shipyard operations and will result in delivery delays of ships previously planned for delivery in 2020 and 2021.

A few weeks later, Royal Caribbean International President & CEO Michael Bayley spoke briefly on the topic of Odyssey of the Seas, indicating there were delays at the shipyard, and that Royal Caribbean's newbuild team was working with Meyer Werft to craft a strategy.  

"I think there may be some delays, but we're working through it as a team to try and figure that out."

This past weekend, Meyer Werft shipyard posted a video that spoke about delays related to both the virus impacting shipyard operations, as well as a construction fire onboard the caused a setback.

"And the fire at 713 Odyssey of the Seas is another stroke of fate in this overall very difficult situation. It results in high property damage and leads to further expensive delays."

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