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Wonder of the Seas

Royal Caribbean updates new cruise ship delivery schedule

In:
01Mar2021

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.

First look at AquaTheater on Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas

In:
15Feb2021

We have a first look of a photo from onboard Royal Caribbean's next new Oasis Class cruise ship.

Wonder of the Seas is under construction and slated to enter service sometime in 2022.

At the aft of the ship is the iconic AquaTheater, which is an outdoor ampitheater home to some of the best stage shows on any cruise ship.

Senior Vice President of Entertainment for Royal Caribbean International, Nick Weir, shared a photo on Twitter of the still under construction AquaTheater.

Photo by Nick Weir

While the venue is still being worked on, we can easily noticeable one of the most striking new features of the space, which is the enclosure around the very back of the space.

Read moreWhy are new cruise ships still being built?

Wonder of the Seas may be the fifth Oasis Class cruise ship, but Royal Caribbean is not "copying and pasting" her based on the previous vessels.

AquatTheater on Harmony of the Seas

From just the concept art, it is clear you can see structural differences to the ship when compared to existing Oasis Class ships.

Wonder of the Seas was originally slated to debut in 2021, but the global health crisis pushed those plans back and will now be delivered sometime in 2022.

Under construction in France, Wonder of the Seas had to be delayed in order to spread out spending. She is still scheduled to sail exclusively in China.

Read more5 plans Royal Caribbean will and won’t be able to do in 2021

The new cruise ship was floated out in September 2020, but there have been few updates regarding the ship since.

Royal Caribbean has not released itineraries for Wonder of the Seas to book, nor indicated when exactly in 2022 Wonder will start sailing yet.

Odyssey of the Seas will debut first, with a spring 2021 delivery.

5 plans Royal Caribbean will and won’t be able to do in 2021

In:
15Dec2020

Before the cruise industry shutdown due to the global health crisis, Royal Caribbean had big plans for 2021 and like so many other things in life, their plans had to be changed.

Much of Royal Caribbean's big ticket spending had to be paused in order to conserve cash and be as fiscally responsible as possible.

In 2021, there are still some plans that will go ahead and others that have been delayed.  Here is a look at what we can and cannot expect from Royal Caribbean next year.

Still happening

New cruise ship: Odyssey of the Seas

Photo by Jeroen Houtman

Delayed from launching in 2020, Royal Caribbean's next new cruise ship will instead be delivered in 2021.

Odyssey of the Seas is under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany and will be the cruise line's second Quantum Ultra Class ship.

Originally Odyssey of the Seas was going to start cruises in November 2020, but a combination of Royal Caribbean's financial turmoil and issues at the shipyard contributed to a delay.

Instead, she is scheduled to be delivered in Spring 2021, with her first sailings in April 2021.

Galveston terminal construction beginning

Just like Odyssey of the Seas, the new cruise terminal in Galveston was scheduled to begin construction in 2020, but is now scheduled to begin on April 1, 2021.

The new Terminal 3 in Galveston will be built on 10 acres of land at Pier 10, and will be used exclusively by Royal Caribbean.

The new cruise terminal is the linchpin in Royal Caribbean's plans to bring an Oasis Class cruise ship to the Galveston cruise market.

According to the Port of Galveston Trustees, Royal Caribbean asked to delay the start of construction by a year, and is "very much insistent" that they will begin work in 2021.

Likely not happening

Antigua Beach Club

In late 2019, Royal Caribbean announced a new kind of development that would be a sort of small scale private enclave for cruise guests.

The Royal Beach Club was described as the ultimate beach experience, which would offer guests unique features and flavors of each destination.

The first Royal Beach Club was to be built in Antigua, which will open along a half-mile of beachfront near Fort James and was scheduled to open sometime in 2021.

Since everything shutdown in 2020, there has been absolutely no mention by the cruise line of the Antigua Beach Club, or any Royal Beach Club. Moreover, Royal Caribbean Group informed investors it would conserve cash by reducing capital spending through 2021.

"We have reduced our planned capital spending through 2021, which may negatively impact our execution of planned growth strategies, particularly as it relates to investments in our ships, technology, and our expansion of land-based developments."

So while Royal Caribbean has not provided any kind of official update on the fate of the Royal Beach Club, the likelihood of the Royal Beach Club project moving ahead for 2021 seems unlikely.

Ship upgrades

Just like the Beach Clubs, spending on ship upgrades also Royal Caribbean hit the pause button.

Once it became clear the shutdown was going to last a while, Royal Caribbean postponed its upcoming amplifications until further notice.

Two Royal Caribbean ships were scheduled to be upgraded in 2021 as part of the Royal Amplification process: Adventure of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas.

Planned upgrades for Allure of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas that were scheduled to take place in 2020 also never happened and are also on hold.

New cruise ship: Wonder of the Seas

Similar to Odyssey of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's next Oasis Class ship delivery was delayed.

Wonder of the Seas was originally scheduled to be delivered in 2021, but will instead be delivered sometime in 2022.

Under construction in France, Wonder of the Seas had to be delayed in order to spread out spending. She is still scheduled to sail exclusively in China.

Royal Caribbean trademarks names for possible venues on new cruise ships

In:
28Oct2020

Royal Caribbean Group's legal team was busy this week with a variety of new trademarks that sound like it could be names for new venues on its cruise ships.

Trademark registrations may not end up being used by the cruise line, but it does provide insight into what may be currently planned.

Four new trademarks have been filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office earlier this week:

Vue Bar

On October 23, a trademark was made for "Vue Bar" under the category of "cruise ship services".

Cask & Clipper

Another registration made on October 23 is for the "Cask & Clipper", which is filed under two categories:

  • Cruise ship services
  • Restaurant and bar services

Royal Caribbean's English-style pubs on its cruise ships tend to have names that combine two words in a similar style to Cask & Clipper.

Wonder Playscape

The trademark filing for "Wonder Playscape" sounds a lot like the name of a new play area on Wonder of the Seas cruise ship.

Wonder of the Seas will be Royal Caribbean's fifth Oasis Class cruise ship, which is set to debut in 2022 and sail from China.

The description for Wonder Playscape says, "Entertainment services in the nature of children's dry playscape attractions".

The trademark might correlate to a series of renderings for a newly imagined concept for families that popped up online. Or it could be something completely unrelated.

Cantina Fresca

The last trademark filing was made for something called "Cantina Fresca" and is described as "restaurant and bar services".

The name infers a Mexican inspired venue, of which Royal Caribbean has targeted this particular cuisine in the past with Sabor Modern Mexican and El Loco Fresh.

What do these trademarks mean?

Trademark applications are usually quite vague and do not indicate exactly how the cruise line will utilize them, if at all.

In fact, a lot of trademarks never get used for many reasons.

It is also worth noting these registrations are filed on behalf of the Royal Caribbean Group, which means they could be intended for a subsidiary cruise line that is not Royal Caribbean International.

Read moreWho owns Royal Caribbean?

Royal Caribbean has two cruise ships under construction set to debut in the next few years, Odyssey of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas. With new ships comes new opportunities to potentially introduce new venues that will help market a ship and differentiate it from other vessels.

In addition, the Icon Class cruise ships are also on the horizon in the next few years.

Japanese hibachi restaurant confirmed for Wonder of the Seas cruise ship

In:
05Oct2020

There are not many details about Royal Caribbean's next new Oasis Class cruise ship, but we can confirm one specialty restaurant that will be onboard.

Izumi Teppanyaki will be available onboard based on a social media post by the creator and mastermind behind Izumi specialty restaurants.

Chef Travis Kamiyama posted on social media that Izumi Teppanyaki will be added to the fifth Oasis Class ship.

Izumi has become one of Royal Caribbean's most popular and most widespread specialty restaurants, many new ships and ship refurbishments having an Izumi location onboard.

Izumi hibachi is a teppanyaki-style restaurant, which is sometimes referred to as a “Japanese steakhouse."  Made famous by Benihana restaurants, the experience combines cooking and service into one fun performance.

Izumi's teppan style dining has become a big hit with guests, and newer Izumi locations have seen more space dedicated to the hibachi side than the traditional sushi side of the restaurant.

On the other four Oasis Class ships, Izumi is split into two restaurants: the sushi side and the hibachi side. It is unclear yet if that setup will continue on Wonder of the Seas, or if the layout and/or location will change.

Wonder of the Seas will not join Royal Caribbean's fleet until sometime in 2022 and will sail from Shanghai and offer sailings around Asia.

Royal Caribbean has not released itineraries for Wonder of the Seas to book, nor indicated when exactly in 2022 Wonder will start sailing yet.

Drone photos of Wonder of the Seas under construction

In:
07Sep2020

Over the weekend, Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas reached an important milestone when she was floated out at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard.

Photos by @josselinchevessier

Josselin Chevessier took the opportunity to send up his drone to grab some great photos of the next world's largest cruise ship right before she transfered to the outfitting dock in  Saint-Nazaire, France.

The term "floated out" refers to the transition a cruise ship under construction makes when she starts off being built in a dry area, and then is transitioned to the ocean for the first time.

Using tug boats, Wonder of the Seas was moved into position from one area of the shipyard to another.

Now that Wonder of the Seas is floated out, much of the work to be done will focus on the ship's interior spaces.

Wonder of the Seas will not join Royal Caribbean's fleet until sometime in 2022 and will sail from Shanghai and offer sailings around Asia.

Royal Caribbean has not released itineraries for Wonder of the Seas to book, nor indicated when exactly in 2022 Wonder will start sailing yet.

New Royal Caribbean ship floated out in France

In:
05Sep2020

Wonder of the Seas was succesfully floated out at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard.

 

Photo by Pascal Collin Photography

At 7am on Saturday morning, Wonder of the Seas was moved from Basin B to Basin C, with the help of 7 tugs.

What will be the world's largest cruise ship completed the 500 meter-long maneuver in just about one hour time.

Wonder of the Seas is still under construction and does not yet have its engines operational, so she requires the tugs to move her around.

This is the third Oasis Class ship built at Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint-Naizaire, France (Harmony and Symphony of the Seas).

Now that the floating out process is complete, Wonder of the Seas will remain in Basin C until her delivery to Royal Caribbean.

Wonder of the Seas was initially scheduled for completion in Spring 2021, but due to the global health crisis, that has been postponed until 2022. When she sails, she will set sail from Shanghai, China.

Wonder of the Seas to be floated out on Friday

In:
02Sep2020

Royal Caribbean's fifth Oasis Class cruise ship is scheduled to be floated out on Friday of this week.

Photo by PO-ND

Ouest France reports Wonder of the Seas is under construction at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, and will be floated out on Friday afternoon.

Following her float out, she will be transferred to Basin C on Saturday morning, weather permitting. The shipyard scheduled the move for 7am local time in order to take advantage of the high tide.

The future largest cruise ship in the world will move from Basin A, where she has been under construction since the beginning, and move to Basin C, where work on the interior of the ship will take place for six months.

Wonder of the Seas has no operational engines yet, so tugs will move her the 450 meters. The move should not last more than an hour.

Space for Wonder of the Seas in Basin C is available due to MSC Virtuosa moving out of the area.

Delivery of Wonder of the Seas has been rescheduled to 2022 due to the impact of the current health crisis. 

When Wonder of the Seas does debut, she is scheduled to begin sailings from China.

Royal Caribbean updates Wonder of the Seas arrival date to 2022

In:
04Aug2020

Royal Caribbean announced Wonder of the Seas would be delayed, and now it looks like the new target date for her arrival is 2022.

A new marketing graphic distributed to travel advisors shows a new date of 2022 for when Wonder of the Seas will arrive in China.

A few weeks ago, Royal Caribbean informed its Chinese guests that the next new Oasis Class ship will not arrive in 2021 as originally scheduled.

An update on the cruise line's Chinese website announced the delay due to the current global health crisis.

"The construction of the new Oasis Class Wonder of the Seas was delayed due to the impact of the shipyard operation. Royal Caribbean had to delay the deployment of the Wonder of the Seas from a Chinese home port. However, we look forward to the arrival of the Wonder of the Seas after the epidemic has been brought under control as soon as possible."

Dr. Zinan Liu, Chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises Asia commented on the announcement, "Royal Caribbean always firmly believes that the fundamentals of China’s economy have not changed due to the epidemic and that the trend of the cruise market will continue to develop. After the public health risks are controlled, people pursue social interactions. The instincts of reunion and leisure will not change, or even be strengthened. Royal Caribbean has prepared three lines of defense for the health and safety of tourists and crew under the new normal of epidemic prevention, including source control of viruses, multiple monitoring on board, prevention and isolation measures and emergency plans in case of an outbreak. We are fully prepared to show the public that the Royal Caribbean Cruise is a safe place."

Wonder of the Seas is the second Royal Caribbean ship to be delayed, following Odyssey of the Seas delayed from November 2020 to April 2021.

Initially, Wonder of the Seas due to be delivered in 2021. She will be the world's largest cruise ship and first Oasis Class ship to sail the Asia Pacific.

Wonder of the Seas is under construction in Saint-Nazaire, France.

Could this be the next new concept for a Royal Caribbean sports deck?

In:
01Aug2020

A Chinese architectural firm posted renderings that look like a brand new concept for family fun on Royal Caribbean's activity and sports deck.

100architects posted a series of artist renderings from two different projects for a two-deck playground space on an unnamed Royal Caribbean ship.

None of these renderings, nor the project itself, have been announced by Royal Caribbean.  It is entirely possible these will not be used on any cruise ship, as project designs, budgets, and needs can change

Waves Splash

©100architects

The first project is noted as having been done for Royal Caribbean in September 2019, and is described as "a colorful playscape for the top deck of an international cruise boat".

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The architects were inspired by the ocean waves, and designed this colorful playscape for the top deck of a Royal Caribbean ship. The firm's website lists it as a design for the Icon Class of ships.

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It is an hyper stimulating playground for the top deck of ICON’s Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship. The design tries to be appealing not only for kids, but for yougsters, millenials and adults alike.

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There are 7 waves and each of them has a different and particular function to offer for different age groups.

Funky Tree Houses

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A second project on 100architects website lists as Funky Tree Houses.

The firm notes that this area is both a playground and an open public space, where kids and adults can find fun activities to explore.

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There is also a 9 hole mini golf course as part of the design.

As you can see from the renderings, the area has a very colorful playscape look that takes inspiration from surrealism.  The architects note that it intends to immerse guests, "in a surrealist world, where big flowers work as sun shading objects and tree houses including playful features to free kids’ imagination."

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Each house contains a different activity taking into account both, aspects of children’s development, as well as being fun and safe to use.

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