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Odyssey of the Seas

First look photos around newly delivered Odyssey of the Seas

In:
31Mar2021

Odyssey of the Seas was delivered today to Royal Caribbean, and we have our first look at some areas around the ship.

The 25th ship in the fleet, Odyssey was handed over today during a virtual ceremony.

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International Michael Bayley, and Master of Odyssey of the Seas Captain Per Kristoffersen received the new ship from Meyer Werft Yard’s Managing Partner Bernard Meyer and Managing Director Jan Meyer in the customary handover ceremony with a virtual twist.

The new ship weighs 169,000 gross tons and measures 1,138 feet (347 meters) long and 135 feet (41 meters).

Sneak peek around Odyssey

Royal Caribbean will celebrate the delivery a bit later today, but the excitement has already started with new photos from onboard.

Royal Caribbean and Meyer Werft shipyard shared a sneak peek at a few areas of the ship.

First up is North Star, the observational pod on Odyssey of the Seas that lifts guests 300-feet above the ocean.

Guests board an all-glass observation capsule that takes them for a short ride up in the air to enjoy some incredible views.

One noticeable difference on Odyssey of the Seas compared to other ships is the color of North Star's Arm.  On Odyssey it is white and lime green, whereas other ships have a white and navy blue motif.

North Star on Quantum of the Seas

North Star is a complimentary activity, and can be booked onboard the ship or prior to the cruise via the Cruise Planner.

Your best bet is to book North Star before your cruise, because reservations go quickly due to high demand.

Next, is a look at Royal Caribbean’s first Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar.

Royal Caribbean has reimagined its classic Italian specialty restaurant, which will debut on Odyssey of the Seas. The photo shared has a look at the pizza menu.

According to Royal Caribbean, the new restaurant will serve up " rustic Italian dishes and a contemporary flair."

No Royal Caribbean cruise ship is complete without a rock-climbing wall.

Ever since rock-climbing walls first debuted on Voyager of the Seas in 1999, all ships have featured this signature activity.

Guests can choose to climb up different paths based on their difficulty, with the goal of reaching the top and ringing a bell.

Last, but not least, we have a look at the Sky Pad.

Another complimentary activity, the Sky Pad is a virtual reality, bungee trampoline adventure. Guests put on a VR headset, and then get strapped into a bungee harness that allow them to easily jump on trampolines while traversing a virtual world only they can see.

Another signature venue of any Royal Caribbean ship is the Schooner Bar.

Featuring a nautical theme, the Schooner Bar is where you can go to enjoy live music, cocktails, and many events throughout the day

Delivery today

Royal Caribbean will celebrate the delivery of Odyssey of the Seas with a special online event for cruise fans on March 31, 2021.

Meyer Werft Executive Director Jan Meyer celebrated the launch of the last Quantum class ship, "We have now successfully delivered the third cruise ship from Papenburg to our customers during the pandemic. This is an important sign of the strength of our yard and the entire industry."

You can tune into the live feed via Royal Caribbean's Facebook page beginning at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

The event will feature Odyssey of the Seas' ship's blessing, and a performance from onboard the show in Two70.

Royal Caribbean moves back and shortens Odyssey of the Seas inaugural cruise from USA

In:
30Mar2021

Royal Caribbean has informed guests booked on the first sailing of Odyssey of the Seas from the United States that the inaugural sailing has been moved and shortened.

An email going out to guests on Tuesday informed them that the first scheduled sailing of Odyssey of the Seas from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on November 11 has changed.

Royal Caribbean says the impetus for changing the sailing is a result of welcome events scheduled for the ship.

"Odyssey will host a series of welcome events and as a result, we've had to make some modifications to our itinerary planning. Regrettably, this means your clients' cruise has been cancelled."

Odyssey of the Seas will still offer its first sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida - just departing on a different day with a modified itinerary. 

If guests booked on the November 11 sailing do nothing, they will automatically be moved to the new first sailing on November 15, 2021. The automatic move will begin on April 14, 2021.

The original stateroom category price will either be protected at their original cruise fare rate or reduced to the current cruise fare rate (whichever is lower). This excludes taxes, fees, gratuities, and other non-cruise fare items.

As a way of saying sorry, Royal Caribbean will offer $100 USD onboard credit for Interior, Ocean View, and Balcony staterooms and $200 onboard credit USD for Suites.

The cruise line will also reimburse non-refundable airline charges with receipts (up to $200 USD per guest for Domestic flights or up to $400 USD per guest for International flights).

If the new sailing does not work, guests can be moved to another 8-Night Southern Caribbean itineraries onboard Odyssey of the Seas.

Guests moving to a different sailing will also qualify for the $100 or $200 onboard credit offer, along with reimbursement for flights.

The other option is to move a different ship and sailing, or a full refund.

When Odyssey arrives in North America to begin her cruise season in November, she will offer 6- to 8-night itineraries from Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean.

A look at the specialty restaurants on Odyssey of the Seas

In:
30Mar2021

Have you thought about where you can eat on Odyssey of the Seas?

Odyssey of the Seas is about join Royal Caribbean's fleet and begin sailings from Israel this summer. Guests now have the option to reserve dining onboard, and it is a good opportunity to look at what is being offered.

Specialty dining options have become a major component to the cruise experience in recent years, and which restaurants are available on any ship is an important consideration.

Keep in mind this list is what guests sailing from Israel are seeing, and it remains to be seen what changes Royal Caribbean may make before the ship moves to North America in November 2021.

Here is a breakdown of all the specialty dining choices you can expect on Odyssey of the Seas.

Chops Grille

The signature steakhouse on Royal Caribbean ships, Chops will be available on Odyssey of the Seas.

The experience at Chops across the fleet is consistent, and that means a choice of your favorite cut of steak cooked just the way you want it.

In addition to steak, there are other type of meats such as lamb, salmon and chicken.

Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar

Odyssey of the Seas will feature the new update to Royal Caribbean's Italian specialty restaurant with Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar.

Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen first debuted on the amplified Freedom of the Seas, but since that ship only offered one sailing before the cruise industry shutdown due to the global health crisis, guests on Odyssey of the Seas are still among the first tto try out this new concept.

According to Royal Caribbean, the new look for Giovanni's is a "new take on its signature Italian trattoria."

"Inviting guests to gather for authentically rustic dishes, from hand-tossed pizzas fresh out of the oven and made to order, to charcuterie delights, the elevated menu caps off this “Sunday supper” experience with a wide selection of wines and limoncellos from many of Italy’s well-known regions."

Izumi

If you enjoy Japanese cuisine, Izumi will be found onboard Odyssey of the Seas with a twist we have not seen yet: a Kosher menu.

Izumi will be one of five venues onboard to offer at least some Kosher meals onboard.

In fact, Royal Caribbean states that Izumi sushi restaurant will offer a "full Kosher experience".

Teppanyaki

Speaking of Izumi, guests can also dine at Teppanyaki, which serves up the popular teppan style Japanese meal.

Hibachi on Royal Caribbean has quickly become a hot ticket onboard, and new ships have gotten more space for this option.

Chefs cook in front of you as you enjoy a show with your meal being prepared. 

Wonderland

A signature specialty restaurant of any Quantum/Quantum Ultra Class ship, Wonderland is available to try on Odyssey.

Wonderland is loosely based on the Alice in Wonderland tales, and is a very different kind of dining experience because of how much emphasis there is on presentation.

At most restaurants, you are given a menu and order what you like. At Wonderland, it is more a culinary tour around food themes.

This may sound a little odd, but the food tastes great and while different, dinner at Wonderland is worth trying.

Solarium Bistro

Another Kosher option on Odyssey of the Seas is the Solarium Bistro.

Guests can dine at Solarium Bistro for breakfast and lunch, but at dinner it becomes a dedicated kosher specialty restaurant for dinner. 

Here is a look at the Kosher menu that is posted on the Cruise Planner.

There will be complimentary Kosher meals available as well:

  • Windjammer Café will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • The Main Dining Room will offer Kosher dining on deck 4, reservation is required.
  • Sorrento’s and Café Promenade will offer Kosher quick bites all day long.

Chef's Table

If you are looking for an intimate epicurean experience, look no further than Chef's Table.

Chef's Table offers a guided five-course experience with an upgraded menu and wine tasting to a limited number of guests. 

Each serving is carefully prepared for you, and your host takes you through each glass of wine and dish to provide context on how they are linked, and what makes each interesting.

Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade

While Playmakers is not new to Royal Caribbean, Odyssey of the Seas will be the first ship to have a location that offers "club-level views".

Located inside the SeaPlex, Playmakers has a new prime location that features lots of TVs around the bar to keep up with games back home.  But it also offers views of the games on the court below.

The gameday menu features buffalo wings, sliders and the signature Playmakers Burger.

Bonus: Diamond Lounge Preview!

The Diamond Lounge has absolutely nothing to do with specialty restaurants, but Royal Caribbean released new photos of the special area for its top Crown and Anchor Society members.

Royal Caribbean will take delivery of Odyssey of the Seas March 31

In:
29Mar2021

Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship will officially join the fleet this week.

Odyssey of the Seas is scheduled to be delivered to the cruise line on March 31, 2021.

Up until Wednesday, Meyer Werft shipyard still technically owns the ship.

Delivery of a cruise ship is similar to buying a new car: until you sign off on everything, the dealership owns the vehicle until all the paperwork has been signed.

Quantum of the Seas delivery

Traditionally, cruise ship delivery is a major event with representatives from the shipyard and cruise line on hand to sign the deal and shake hands. With the global health crisis still looming, things are very likely going to be different.

To celebrate, Royal Caribbean is holding a special Facebook Live event at 5:00 p.m. EDT hosted by  Senior Vice President of Entertainment for Royal Caribbean International, Nick Weir.

You can tune into the event by visiting Royal Caribbean's Facebook page.

The event will include Odyssey of the Seas' ship's blessing, and a performance from onboard the show in Two70.

Participating in the event will be Royal Caribbean International President & CEO Michaely Bayley, along with Royal Caribbean Group Chairman Richard Fain.

Read moreWhy are new cruise ships still being built?

Odyssey of the Seas just finished her sea trials in the North Sea, which went off without any incidents.

′′All systems work great and we have reached another important milestone for the ship with the successful test drive," said project manager Thorsten Kroes von Bord.

Odyssey's delivery has been a long time coming, as she was delayed from her original completion date in 2020.

Read moreRoyal Caribbean updates new cruise ship delivery schedule

What makes Odyssey different?

Odyssey of the Seas will be the first Quantum Ultra Class cruise ship to sail from Europe and North America, giving a new audience the opportunity to experience this class.

Like all new cruise ships, Royal Caribbean always makes an effort to include other changes and new features that make a ship stand out from the rest of the fleet.

Here are a list of the major features on Odyssey of the Seas that we know about:

  • SkyPad bungee trampoline experience 
  • 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 will also be the first Royal Caribbean cruise ship to sail roundtrip from Haifa, Israel.

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

Odyssey of the Seas successfully completes sea trials

In:
25Mar2021

Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship has passed the last major stage of her construction.

Shipyard Meyer Werft announced Odyssey of the Seas has returned from her sea trials in the North Sea and the ship successfully passed all tests.

The ship is now back in Bremerhaven, Germany.

Translated from German, Meyer Werft seemed pleased with the results

Project Manager Thorsten Kroes von Bord said, "All systems work great and we have reached another important milestone for the ship with the successful test drive."

What are sea trials?

Sea trials are when a new cruise ship gets its systems tested out in order to ensure all of its features work, as well as push speed and steering to their limits.

Everything from the ship's propulsion, to navigation, to engines are tested before it can be ready to join the fleet.

Sea trials range in duration, sometimes one or two sessions is common.

The sea trials are conducted with a combination of Royal Caribbean crew members, as well as shipyard workers. 

When will Odyssey of the Seas be delivered?

With the sea trials complete, there may be some final tweaks and changes onboard before the ship is prepared for delivery.

No official delivery date has been announced by Royal Caribbean or Meyer Werft.

Until delivery takes place, the ship is still owned by Meyer Werft.  Like many other ships during the global health crisis, the delivery is likely to be a very low key event, perhaps even a virtual event.

Sister brand Celebrity Cruises took delivery of Celebrity Apex in a virtual delivery, where the cruise line took official command of the new ship via a video conference with officials from the shipyard.

Inaugural season

Odyssey of the Seas will debut for Royal Caribbean in Haifa, Israel this summer.

She will sail roundtrip from Haifa, Israel and offer cruises only to Israeli residents who are vaccinated.

Sailings this summer will visit ports in Greece and Cyprus, including Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos and Athens, Greece and Limassol, Cyprus.  

Odyssey will then cross the Atlantic to begin its inaugural North American season in November, offering 6- to 8-night itineraries from Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean.

Here are a list of the major features on Odyssey of the Seas that we know about:

  • SkyPad bungee trampoline experience 
  • 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

First photos from Odyssey of the Seas sea trials

In:
22Mar2021

Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship is somewhere in the North Sea conducting her sea trials, and we have our first look at her in action.

Odyssey of the Seas is undergoing her most rigorous testing yet by sailing around to properly vet the ship prior to being handed over to Royal Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean shared photos of the ship in her sea trials, which began on March 14.

Sea trials are the one of the major parts of a new ship construction, where the ship is put through its paces to verify its systems are not only working, but can handle extreme conditions.

Everything from the ship's propulsion, to navigation, to engines are tested before it can be ready to join the fleet.

Once her sea trials are complete, she will return to Bremerhaven, Germany.

It is not clear how long sea trials will be exactly, as they can vary in duration. Sometimes one or two sessions are common.

Shipyard Meyer Werft is still in ownership, and once the sea trials are complete, hand over to Royal Caribbean is likely.

No official delivery date has been announced, but Royal Caribbean International Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations, Mark Tamis, said recently it could take place on March 24.

Odyssey of the Seas is a 169,000-gross-ton ship that measures 1,138 feet (347 meters) long and 135 feet (41 meters) wide.

She will begin sailing in May from Israel and sail the eastern Mediterranean throughout summer 2021.

Odyssey will then move to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in November and make her North American debut.

Odyssey of the Seas will begin sea trials on March 14

In:
13Mar2021

The last major milestone in the construction of Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship will begin this weekend.

Odyssey of the Seas will begin her sea trials on the evening of March 14, 2021 in the North Sea.

Shipbuilder Meyer Werft confirmed Odyssey will begin her test runs on Sunday.

Sea trials are tests of a cruise ship's navigational and technical systems, which are the final part of cruise ship construction prior to delivery.

Odyssey will test her technical and nautical systems in the North Sea, before returning to Bremerhaven.

It is not clear how long sea trials will be exactly, as they can vary in duration. Sometimes one or two sessions are common.

The ship has been in northern Germany since completing her conveyance down the Ems River from the shipyard in Papenburg.

Read more13 Beautiful photos from Odyssey of the Seas conveyance

In addition to the sea trials, work is continuing on the final interior work so that the ship can be delivered "in a few weeks".

In the final weeks before delivery, Meyer Werft announced, "extensive protective measures on board" following the reports of a few shipyard workers testing positive for Covid-19.

Among the enhanced protocols, a new task force will be deployed onboard to implement and adjust necessary protocols, while reducing personal contact among workers.

The several hundred shipyard workers onboard are undergoing daily antigen testing. Anyone come onboard must show a PCR test less than 48 hours old.

While Meyer Werft has not announced a delivery date yet, it appears that will occur later this month.

Royal Caribbean International Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations, Mark Tamis, told travel agents during a webinar that the date the new cruise ship will be handed over on March 24.

Read moreWhy are new cruise ships still being built?

Odyssey of the Seas is a 169,000-gross-ton ship that measures 1,138 feet (347 meters) long and 135 feet (41 meters) wide.

Once Odyssey of the Seas is handed over to Royal Caribbean, she will begin offering cruises in May from Israel during summer 2021.

Royal Caribbean releases new Odyssey of the Seas sailings from Israel

In:
09Mar2021

Israelis can now book the newly announced Odyssey of the Seas cruises from Israel.

The new sailings have been loaded into Royal Caribbean's website, and are available between June and October 2021.

Sailing from Haifa, Odyssey will offer sailings ranging in duration between 2- and 7-nights to destinations in Cyprus and Greece.

Ports visited include:

  • Limassol, Cyprus
  • Rhodes, Greece
  • Mykonos, Greece
  • Athens (Piareus), Greece
  • Santorini, Greece

Interestingly, inside and oceanview rooms are not currently bookable.  Only balcony rooms and suites are offered as bookable options.

Read more13 Beautiful photos from Odyssey of the Seas conveyance

Royal Caribbean is working with Israel’s health and tourism authorities to offer the first to offer fully vaccinated sailings, where both crew and guests above the age of 16 will be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Details on the additional health and safety measures to be implemented by Israel and Royal Caribbean will be announced at a later date.

Royal Caribbean's website noted at the bottom of the page that its health protocols are subject to change depending on the destination and time the cruise sails.

Health and safety protocols, guest conduct rules, and regional travel restrictions vary by ship and destination, and are subject to change without prior notice. Due to evolving health protocols, imagery and messaging may not accurately reflect onboard and destination experiences, offerings, features, or itineraries. These may not be available on your booked voyage, and are subject to change without prior notice.

Odyssey of the Seas is currently scheduled to be delivered to Royal Caribbean from Meyer Werft on March 24, 2021.

In addition to releasing the new sailings, Royal Caribbean has added Odyssey of the Seas to its app.

Odyssey now appears in the list of supported ships that can be found from within the app.

The app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

13 Beautiful photos from Odyssey of the Seas conveyance

In:
04Mar2021

The only thing better than a new cruise ship are great photos of a new ship.

Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas just finished her conveyance to the North Sea, and with the ship in port it has given plenty of photographers the chance to see the new ship up close.

One of my favorite cruise ship photographers is Jeroen Houtman, who has been taking photos of new ships for many years.

He took some fabulous photos of Odyssey of the Seas while docked in Eemshaven, Netherlands, which deserve to be showcased.

Odyssey of the Seas comes in at 169,000 GT and measures a length of 347.1 meters, and has a capacity of more than 5,000 passengers.

She will not claim the title of the largest, because Odyssey is smaller than the Oasis Class cruise ships, which currently hold the title for the largest in the world.

Read moreWhat Is the Biggest Royal Caribbean ship?

Odyssey of the Seas will be the second Royal Caribbean cruise ship to sail since the cruise industry shutdown, when she starts her inaugural season from Haifa, Israel.

The itineraries, roundtrip from Haifa, Israel, will include visits to destinations in the Mediterranean, including Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos and Athens, Greece and Limassol, Cyprus.  

These cruises from Israel are only available to Israeli residents.

Odyssey will then cross the Atlantic to begin its inaugural North American season in November, offering 6- to 8-night itineraries from Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean.

Here are a list of the major features on Odyssey of the Seas that we know about:

  • SkyPad bungee trampoline experience 
  • 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 scheduled for delivery to Royal Caribbean on March 24

In:
03Mar2021

Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship has a probable delivery date.

Odyssey of the Seas is currently scheduled to be delivered to Royal Caribbean from Meyer Werft on March 24, 2021.

Royal Caribbean International Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations, Mark Tamis, told travel agents during a webinar that the date the new cruise ship will be handed over on March 24.

"Now, technically, the ship is still owned by Meyer Werft shipyard, and coming up in just a couple of weeks, I think, on the 24th of March, we'll take delivery and then we become the owners," Mr. Tamis said in the call.

Photo by Jeroen Houtman

Odyssey of the Seas just completed her conveyance down the Ems River from Papenburg, Germany to the North Sea.

With the ship in position on the open ocean, she is ready to begin her sea trials soon.

What are sea trials?

Sea trials are when a new cruise ship enters its final part of construction.

In these final steps, the ship gets its systems tested out in order to ensure all of its features work, as well as push speed and steering to their limits.

Sea trials range in duration, sometimes one or two sessions is common.

The sea trials are conducted with a combination of Royal Caribbean crew members, as well as shipyard workers. 

What's different about Odyssey?

Photo by Jeroen Houtman

When Odyssey of the Seas begins sailing from Haifa, Israel, she will offer a few firsts for a Quantum/Quantum Ultra Class ship.

The ship's pool deck has been reimagined to match Navigator and Oasis of the Seas pool deck designs, which feature a bright Caribbean vibe.

Most notably, the indoor pool feature for all guests is now open air.

Speaking of the pool deck, El Loco Fresh will be one of the new venues offered on the pool deck. 

Guests can enjoy complimentary tacos, burritos, salsa and more.

The SeaPlex is another area of the ship that is different from her sister ships.

Playmakers is coming to the SeaPlex, where beers, food, sports and more will be available behind a brand new backdrop.

The SeaPlex itself has been reworked to offer more to do, with the removal of pods and the addition of a large screen and new venues.

Adventure Ocean on Odyssey of the Seas will match the new amplified Adventure Ocean program first seen on Oasis of the Seas.

Another major change is the addition of Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar.

At the revamped Giovanni's, you can "enjoy rustic Italian dishes with a contemporary flair."

Photo by Jeroen Houtman

Mr. Tamis also told travel agents that the Solarium adults only area will have areas to cool down, but not a pool.

"Adults only pool, there is not."

This sounds similar to the Solarium set up on Harmony of the Seas, which does not have a pool in that Solarium.

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