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The five most exciting Royal Caribbean cruises in 2020

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04Nov2019

With November here, time is running out of 2019 and we cannot help but look forward to some of the exciting cruises coming in 2020.  By the looks of it, things are shaping up to be a big year for Royal Caribbean.

If you are considering booking a Royal Caribbean cruise for 2020 and want to be a part of Royal Caribbean taking a step forward, then consider these cruises (assuming there's still availability).

Odyssey of the Seas inaugural sailings

With the arrival of Royal Caribbean's new cruise ship, there is little doubt that 2020 will be the year of Odyssey of the Seas. 

Odyssey of the Seas will be the second Quantum Ultra Class ship, and will debut in November 2020 from Fort Lauderdale, FL.

For her inaugural season, Odyssey of the Seas will kick off in the Caribbean’s clear blue waters with 8- and 6-night itineraries to the Caribbean. Odyssey will then sail to her homeport of Rome in May 2021 and become the first Quantum Ultra Class ship to cruise Europe for the summer.

Allure of the Seas Amplification

In 2020, Allure of the Seas will undergo a $165 million transformation that will add signature feats and innovative experiences to the ship.

Guests will be able to enjoy a wide variety of new offerings with Allure’s upcoming lineup of new features, including the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea; The Perfect Storm trio of water slides, completely redesigned Adventure Ocean kids and teens spaces, the first Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, and Quantum Class original Music Hall. 

Allure will open its season of 7-night Western Mediterranean cruises from homeport Barcelona, Spain on May 10, 2020.

Freedom of the Seas Amplification

Continuing Royal Caribbean's Royal Amplified program, Freedom of the Seas will be the first Royal Caribbean ship to be amplified in 2020.

Beginning March 8, 2020, the reimagined Freedom will sail 7-night, roundtrip Southern Caribbean cruises from San Juan. The year-round itineraries are set to visit tropical locales in the region, including Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; Castries, Saint Lucia; Bridgetown, Barbados; Saint Johns, Antigua; and Kralendijk, Bonaire.

The ship will receive a number of new features, including The Perfect Storm duo of water slides, a redesigned Caribbean poolscape, a new take on a signature venue with Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen and completely transformed kids and teens spaces. 

Oasis of the Seas sails from the New York area

Summer 2020 is going to be a fun time with Oasis of the Seas sailing out of the Big Apple, starting in May 2020.

Oasis will become the largest ship to sail from the Northeast. An amped up Oasis of the Seas will sail from Cape Liberty, New Jersey with itineraries that visit The Bahamas all summer with 7-night itineraries, as well as a select number of short cruises north to New England and Canada.

Return to New Orleans in 2020

Photo by Michael Hicks

Royal Caribbean will sail year-round from New Orleans when Majesty of the Seas arrives to her new homeport in January 2020.

Majesty will take guests on 7-night sailings to destinations in the Caribbean and Bahamas, including Perfect Day at CocoCay.

The five most exciting Royal Caribbean cruises in 2018

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06Nov2017

With November here, time is running out of 2017 and we cannot help but look forward to some of the exciting cruises coming in 2018.  By the looks of it, things are shaping up to be a big year for Royal Caribbean.

If you are considering booking a Royal Caribbean cruise for 2018 and want to be a part of Royal Caribbean taking a step forward, then consider these cruises (assuming there's still availability).

Return to New Orleans

Photo by Michael Hicks

In 2018, Royal Caribbean will return to New Orleans as a homeport after a number of years absence.  

Starting in Winter 2018, Vision of the Seas will offer weeklong cruises from New Orleans to the Bahamas, as well as destinations in the Western Caribbean.

Mariner of the Seas refurbishment and new home

Mariner of the Seas will undergo a six-week modernization program that will see Royal Caribbean invest over $100 million in upgrading the ship.  When she finishes her refurbishment, Mariner of the Seas will be a great ship for first time cruisers and those new-to-cruise.

If you are looking for a rather long sailing, Mariner of the Seas will take a "Global Odyssey" cruise, going from Singapore to Dubai, then on to Barcelona prior to her arrival in her new home in North America.

Mariner of the Seas will call Miami, Florida home in 2018, and will be the first Voyager Class ship to offer short Caribbean sailings. Mariner of the Seas will offer 3- and 4-night itineraries from PortMiami, beginning on June 21, 2018.

Symphony of the Seas European inaugural sailings

There is little doubt that 2018 will be the year of Symphony of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship.  Symphony of the Seas is the fourth Oasis class cruise ship in the fleet, and will debut in Barcelona, Spain on March 31, 2018.

For her inaugural season, Symphony of the Seas will spend the summer in the Mediterranean and offer stops in Provence, France; Rome, Naples and Pisa, Italy.

Panama Canal sailings

Before making her way to New Orleans, Vision of the Seas will offer two 16-night sailings through the Panama Canal from Miami to Los Angeles, California. This will be the first time in three years that Royal Caribbean has offered a cruise through the Panama Canal.

The first of the trips, departing on November 13, 2018, will go from Miami to Los Angeles. It'll be followed by a voyage from Los Angeles to New Orleans.

Symphony transatlantic and new home

Following Symphony of the Seas' European debut, she will embark upon a transatlantic sailing that will bring her to new home of Miami in November 2018.

Symphony of the Seas will be welcomed to Miami with the brand new state-of-the-art terminal at Port Miami, known as the, “Crown of Miami.” This 170,000-square-foot Royal Caribbean terminal will be LEED certified and showcase the innovation and elegance travelers expect from our ships, with a striking “crown” design and facade lighting to illuminate the city’s night skyline.

The five most exciting Royal Caribbean cruises in 2015

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25Nov2014

November is almost over and that means time is running out of 2014, but that also means that we're close to 2015 and already next year is shaping up to be a big year for Royal Caribbean.

If you're considering booking a Royal Caribbean cruise for 2015 and want to be a part of Royal Caribbean taking a step forward, then consider these cruises (assuming there's still availability).

5. Explorer of the Seas refurbishment 

Explorer of the Seas will be the last of the Voyager class ships to get a ship-wide refurbishment next year and when she emerges from her month-long dry dock session, she will be a brand new ship.

Changes coming include a new FlowRider surf simulator, 3D movie theatre and a new range of onboard restaurants. There will also be refurbished staterooms and suites, plus virtual balcony staterooms. 

In late April 2015, Explorer of the Seas will offer three- to 16-night roundtrip itineraries from Southampton, England to the Mediterranena, Canary Islands and Northern Europe.

4. Allure of the Seas goes to Europe - May 2015

Allure of the Seas is heading to the Mediterranean in May 2015 to spend the summer season in Europe instead of the Caribbean.

This will be the first time an Oasis-class ship has left Florida to spend an entire season in a different region.

Allure of the Seas will offer seven-night cruises from Barcelona to Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Marseilles, France; and La Spezia, Civitavecchia (near Rome) and Naples, Italy. Passengers can join the ship either in Barcelona or Civitavecchia.

3. Liberty of the Seas comes to New York - May 2015

A little lost in all the excitement over the Quantum class is the fact Liberty of the Seas is coming to the Big Apple in 2015.

Having a Freedom-class ship based in New York is a big deal and while she may not be as new as Quantum of the Seas or Anthem of the Seas, she is a rather large ship that offers quite a bit.  Broadway shows, great onboard dining, FlowRider and so much more.

Liberty of the Seas tends to "fly under the radar" when it comes to Royal Caribbean hype but she's a wonderful ship and for a New York market that has been used to Explorer of the Seas for the most part, Liberty will be a big deal.

2. Quantum of the Seas begins epic journey to China - May 2015

As we all know, Quantum of the Seas is heading to China but her journey there is a cruise experience in of itself.

Royal Caribbean has organized a 53-night cruise around the world for Quantum as she makes her way to the far east.  Epic is the least of the adjectives to use for this kind of a cruise.

Starting on May 2, 2015, Quantum of the Seas will depart the New York City area and head to Shanghai (Baoshan), China and stop at some of the most cosmopolitan cities along the way.

If 53-nights is a bit too much, you can also choose from five other mini-sailings built into the 53-night affair, ranging from three to 16 nights.

  • An 11-night Ocean Voyage – Cape Liberty to Spain cruise, departing May 2, 2015, from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J., to Barcelona, Spain, with calls at Ponta Delgada, Azores; and Cartagena and Palma De Mallorca, Spain, 

  • A 16-night Suez Canal – Barcelona to Dubai itinerary, departing May 13, with calls at Rome (Civitavecchia) and Naples/Capri, Italy; Athens (Piraeus), Greece; and Aqaba, Jordan, 

  • A 14-night India & Southeast Asia itinerary, departing May 29, which features overnights in Dubai, UAE; Cochin, India; and Singapore, as well as calls at Muscat, Oman; and Penang, Malaysia, 

  • A 3-night Short Malaysia itinerary, departing roundtrip from Singapore on June 12 , calling at Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Malaysia, 

  • And a nine-night Exotic Asia itinerary that departs June 15 from Singapore to Shanghai (Baoshan), China, with calls at Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Vietnam; Xiamen, China; and an overnight in Hong Kong. 

1. Anthem of the Seas inaugural cruise - April 2015

In 2015, it will be all about Anthem of the Seas, as she debuts in Southampton, England to the public. Like sister ship Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas will offer a brand new cruise ship experience.  Unlike Quantum, this ship will stick around England and North America for a while longer so there's more opportunity to see her.

Inaugural cruises are always a big celebration and if Quantum of the Seas' inaugural was any indication, there will be a lot of hype coming with Anthem's first official cruise.

The five most exciting Royal Caribbean cruises in 2014

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25Oct2013

It's almost November and that means time is running out of 2013, but that also means that we're close to 2014 and already next year is shaping up to be a big year for Royal Caribbean.

If you're considering booking a Royal Caribbean cruise for 2014 and want to be a part of Royal Caribbean taking a step forward, then consider these cruises (assuming there's still availability).

5. Refurbishments for Adventure of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas

Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein recently referred to the Voyager class of cruise ships as one of the strongest cruise ship classes Royal Caribbean ever built and starting in 2014, these ships will start to get upgrades.

As part of the fleet-wide refurbishment to add Oasis-class ammentieis to older ships, Adventure of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas (more on this later) and Voyager of the Seas will get some upgrades all around the ship.

In addition to a facelift, the Voyager class ships will get 75 new staterooms on each ship, which means more people can enjoy these newly refitted ships!

4. Explorer of the Seas will move to Port Canaveral - November 2014

Port Canaveral has been a popular port for cruises and Royal Caribbean is upping the ante by adding a third cruise ship.  Joining Freedom of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas will offer four- to nine-night cruises.

The Port Canaveral cruise market is always competitive and by offering Explorer of the Seas here, guests can expect more variety in terms of itineraries and cruise ship options.  

Explorer of the Seas has been a popular ship for a long time in New Jersey and this will be the first Voyager-class ship in Port Canaveral since Mariner of the Seas was repositioned.  Plus, three Royal Caribbean ships out of one port that has easy access to a major airport (Orlando)? Sounds like a great option!

3. Oasis of the Seas goes to Europe - September 2014

Ask any Royal Caribbean fan that lives in Europe, and they'll tell you they are excited to finally get the chance to cruise on Royal Caribbean's flagship class.  For the first time ever, an Oasis-class cruise ship will cross the Atlantic and offer a few European cruises.

Oasis of the Seas is really headed to Europe for a quick refurbishment, but Royal Caribbean is offering a few cruises around that drydock stop.  It's just a few cruises before she heads back west to Florida, but if you want to cruise on Oasis of the Seas without having to fly around the world, this is your opportunity.

2. Navigator of the Seas refurbishment ends featuring virtual balconies first - February 2014

If you ask me, the coolest new feature of the Quantum-class cruise ships is the virtual balcony staterooms and before they debut on Quantum of the Seas late in 2014, you can see them first on Navigator of the Seas.

Navigator of the Seas is scheduled for a revitalization in February and when she is done, she'll get the usual Oasis-class upgrades along with one extra change: virtual balconies.  Royal Caribbean is using Navigator of the Seas as a "test bed" for the new technology to figure out any technical issues first here before the grand reveal of Quantum of the Seas.

So if you can't wait for Quantum of the Seas or don't want to pay the premium price she will command, Navigator of the Seas will offer a preview.

1. Quantum of the Seas inaugural cruise - November 14, 2014

There's no question that the event of the year will be Quantum of the Seas first cruise on November 14, 2014.  Royal Caribbean will put the full court press on when it comes to marketing this ship and her first voyage will be an opportunity for Royal Caribbean to pull out all th stops.

Inaugural cruises are always a big deal and there's no doubt Quantum's ceremonial events leading up to the first official cruise will be a sight to see.  

If you want to be a part of history and in the center of it all, this is the cruise for you.