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

In:
29 Mar 2021

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:
25 Mar 2021

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:
22 Mar 2021

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:
13 Mar 2021

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:
09 Mar 2021

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:
04 Mar 2021

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 Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The new ship will set sail from Fort Lauderdale on new 6- and 8-night Caribbean cruises.

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:
03 Mar 2021

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.

Odyssey of the Seas completes journey to the sea

In:
02 Mar 2021

Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship successfully reached the ocean to reach a major milestone in her construction.

Odyssey of the Seas completed her conveyance over the weekend, which means the ship is now in position to enter the open ocean.

Odyssey completed a journey that took over 10 hours to traverse 20 miles from Papenburg, Germany up the Ems River, to her current position in Eemshaven, Netherlands.

The conveyance is a process unique to ships built at Meyer Werft, as the shipyard is situated inland along the Ems River, and the ship must make the journey backward and down the river to get to the North Sea.

Fun fact: Now that Odyssey of the Seas has completed her conveyance, she can never return down the river back to the shipyard because of the added weight in new features, fuel and other enhancements.

Since arriving in the Netherlands, she has conducted a variety of work already, including pendulum slip tests and lifeboat tests.

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.

What's next for Odyssey

Now that Odyssey of the Seas is at the North Sea, she will conduct a few more tests and have some other work done onboard.

The next major milestone for Odyssey will be sea trials, where the ship will go out to sea to test out her engines and navigational ability.

If all goes well, delivery to Royal Caribbean would soon follow.

A big debut

Almost as significant as the movement itself, is the other big Odyssey of the Seas news that the ship will begin her career sailing with Royal Caribbean in Israel in summer 2021.

In lieu of her scheduled European season, she will shift her homeport to Haifa, Israel, where she will offer sailings beginning in May 2021.

Israeli residents will be able to choose from 3- to 7-night roundtrip cruises to the Greek Isles and Cyprus.

Photo by Jeroen Houtman

Odyssey will then cross the Atlantic to begin its inaugural North American season in November, offering 6- to 8-night itineraries from Fort Lauderdale and visiting far-flung destinations, including Curacao and Aruba. 

Royal Caribbean updates new cruise ship delivery schedule

In:
01 Mar 2021

The global health crisis has wreaked havoc with Royal Caribbean's plans, including its schedule of new cruise ships.

One of the big questions throughout the cruise industry shutdown has been what impact will there be on new cruise ship orders.

As part of Royal Caribbean Group's fourth quarter 2020 earnings filing, the company included an updated schedule for new cruise ship deliveries.

For a while we have known Odyssey of the Seas was delayed until 2021, and Wonder of the Seas delayed until 2022. But what about the rest of the schedule?

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.

As of December 31, 2020 the schedule for new ship order delivery is as follows:

"Wonder of the Seas and our sixth Oasis-class ship, which are expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2022 and the second quarter of 2024, respectively, and the first three ships of a new generation, known as our Icon-class, which are expected to be delivered in the third quarter of 2023, and the second quarters of 2025 and 2026, respectively."

  • Odyssey of the Seas delivery in 1st Quarter 2021
  • Wonder of the Seas delivery in 1st Quarter 2022
  • Unnamed first Icon class ship delivery in 3rd Quarter 2023
  • Unnamed sixth Oasis class ship delivery in 2nd Quarter 2024
  • Unnamed second Icon class ship delivery in 2nd Quarter 2025
  • Unnamed third Icon class ship delivery in 2nd Quarter 2026

This filing confirms that orders are still in place for the three Icon Class ships, as well as a sixth unnamed Oasis-Class ship. Moreover, the original plans for these ship deliveries is essentially pushed back by a year across the board.

Read moreWhy are new cruise ships still being built?

In addition, the filing adds some details about the next new class of cruise ship.

Ever since Royal Caribbean announced the Icon Class would be its next-generation of cruise ship, details have been scarce.

The Icon Class ships will be built at Meyer Turku and be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and fuel cell technology.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is envisioned as the primary fuel for the new vessels, which would dramatically reduce or even eliminate emission of nitrogen oxide (NOX), sulphur oxide (SOX) and particulates, as well as cutting carbon dioxide (CO2). The ICON Class will also introduce fuel cell technology, which in combination with hull air lubrication means that the ships could potentially be some of the most fuel efficient cruise vessels ever constructed. 

With the new filing, we know its capacity will be 5,600. In the original announcement, Royal Caribbean said it would accommodate approximately 5,000 passengers. This would make the Icon class ships larger than the Quantum Class ships, but slightly smaller than the Oasis Class ships.

Royal Caribbean will debut new Odyssey of the Seas cruise ship sailing from Israel

In:
01 Mar 2021

We now know which Royal Caribbean cruise ship will be the next to sail again, and it will be the newest ship in the fleet.

Odyssey of the Seas will join Royal Caribbean's fleet and offer her very first sailings from Israel in May 2021.

Royal Caribbean announced Israelis can sail on 3- to 7-night sailings departing from Haifa, Israel to the Greek islands and Cyprus. 

At this time, only Israeli residents living in Israel and who are vaccinated will be able to sail.

The new sailings will go on sale on Tuesday, March 9.

In addition, both guests and crew members above the age of 16 will be required to to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Royal Caribbean says more details on additional health and safety measures to be implemented will be announced at a later date.

"We are thrilled to debut Royal Caribbean cruises from Israel with our newest and most innovative ship, Odyssey of the Seas. Israeli travelers will be looking to get away, relax with total peace of mind, and enjoy the travel experiences they are missing dearly; and that is what we do best," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Sailing from Israel is an opportunity we have had our sights on for quite some time. We greatly appreciate the government of Israel for their collaboration and confidence in us to deliver memorable cruise experiences to their residents, and look forward to delivering on that promise aboard our newest ship – the first 'Green Island' at sea." 

Royal Caribbean's announcement of Odyssey sailing from Israel comes a week after cruise line executives dropped a major hint the next ship to restart cruises would likely restart outside the United States.

According to Israeli travel agents, here are some of the sailings:

  • 3 night seas days  only 4-June, 11 June
  • 4 night seas days only  7-June
  • 4 nights Haifa ,Limassol , Rhodes , Haifa 28-June
  • 4 nights Haifa, Rhodes , Mikonos ,Haifa 14-June, 12-Jul, 27-Aug , 5-Sep , 9-Sep, 13-Sep , 22-Sep, 26-Sep
  • 5 nights Haifa, Rhodes , Athens, Mikonos, Haifa 18-June , 2-Jul
  • 5 nights Haifa, Athens  ,Mikonos, Haifa 23-June 17-Sep
  • 5 nights Haifa , Rhodes, Santorini Athens, Haifa 7-Jul , 31-Aug
  • 7 nights Haifa, Limassol , Athens , Santorini , Mikonos , Haifa  16,23,30 – Jul  6,13,20 Aug

Cancelled European season

As a result of the redeployment, previously scheduled Odyssey of the Seas sailings in Europe are cancelled.

Royal Caribbean issued this statement about making the change, "The current situation throughout Europe is still uncertain, and Israel has been praised for their effective COVID-19 management by global experts and communities, and thus is well-placed to resume cruise operations."

Guests currently confirmed on an impacted European cruise departing May 9 — October 28, 2021 will have the option to request a refund of the funds paid or leverage Lift & Shift to move to any 2022 sailing of their choice; otherwise, a 125% Future Cruise Credit (FCC) will be automatically administered.

A special $100 Onboard Credit per stateroom will be issued to those guests selecting a Future Cruise Credit or the Lift & Shift option. 

Hint of this news

During Royal Caribbean's fourth quarter earnings call, Chief Financial Officer Jason Liberty told investors a second ship could sail outside of the U.S. soon, "We are already operating Quantum of the Seas in Singapore, and our second ship in the water could also be outside of the US."

Jason Liberty told investors during the call his company is working with governments around the world about opening back up, "With regards to ship starting in Australia or China or Europe or elsewhere, for example, we literally are in discussions globally around the world with different governments and looking at where they are with COVID and vaccines, et cetera, et cetera."

"I think the point is that there's a lot of opportunity that's starting to open up globally in terms of what's occurring with COVID. And so we are in discussions around the world."

Odyssey of the Seas just completed her conveyance, marking a major milestone in her construction.

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 is scheduled to come to the United States for her North American debut in November 2021, where she will sail from Port Everglades.

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