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Royal Caribbean cruises in May 2022: What to expect

27 Apr 2022
Matt Hochberg

Taking a Royal Caribbean cruise in May opens the beginning of the summer cruise season.

Symphony of the Seas in PortMiami aerial

If you have a cruise planned in May, this article is aimed at giving you a preview of what to expect for sailing this month, as well as helpful tips.

With spring break over, May is generally a slower month in terms of demand (with the exception of Memorial Day Weekend) because school is in session, and most families either just took vacation over spring break, or are about to take vacation next month when school is out.

It's also the month when Royal Caribbean's European cruise season begins in earnest with all the ship that will sail from the region in place to start service.

The Memorial Day holiday in the United States can see a bit more demand for cruises, although primarily for weekend cruises.

Certainly there is less demand for cruises in the first three weeks of May.

Ships sailing in May 2022

Oasis of the Seas in New York with Statue of Liberty
  • Freedom of the Seas from Miami, Florida
  • Anthem of the Seas from Cape Liberty, New Jersey until she moves to Southampton
  • Odyssey of the Seas from Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Allure of the Seas from Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Symphony of the Seas from Miami, Florida
  • Independence of the Seas from Port Canaveral, Florida
  • Harmony of the Seas from Port Canaveral, Florida
  • Mariner of the Seas from Port Canaveral, Florida
  • Liberty of the Seas from Galveston, Texas
  • Adventure of the Seas from Cape Liberty, New Jersey
  • Explorer of the Seas from Miami, Florida
  • Navigator of the Seas from Los Angeles, California
  • Spectrum of the Seas from Singapore
  • Grandeur of the Seas from Galveston, Texas
  • Enchantment of the Seas from Baltimore, Maryland
  • Radiance of the Seas from Vancouver, Canada or Seward, Alaska
  • Serenade of the Seas from Vancouver, Canada
  • Voyager of the Seas from Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Quantum of the Seas from Seattle, Washington beginning May 4, 2022
  • Ovation of the Seas from Seattle, Washington beginning May 5, 2022
  • Oasis of the Seas from Cape Liberty, New Jersey, beginning May 8, 2022
  • Brilliance of the Seas from Rome, Italy beginning May 9, 2022
  • Wonder of the Seas from Barcelona and Rome beginning May 12, 2022
  • Vision of the Seas from Barcelona, Spain beginning May 13, 2022
  • Rhapsody of the Seas from Rome, Italy beginning May 23, 2022
  • Jewel of the Seas from Amsterdam, Netherlands beginning May 27, 2022
Rhapsody of the Seas at sea

Most importantly, the last Royal Caribbean cruise ship to restart sailings since the pandemic will happen when Rhapsody of the Seas returns.

Rhapsody will offer 7-night Mediterranean and Greek Isles itineraries, sailing from Rome.

This is an important milestone for Royal Caribbean in its bid to recover from the pandemic.

The Alaska cruise season will also fully start up in the month of May. Royal Caribbean will have four cruise ships sailing to Alaska in 2022.

Read moreComparing the Royal Caribbean ships sailing in Alaska 2022

Health protocols for May 2022 cruises

Symphony of the Seas sailing away

Depending on where you sail from, the health protocols related to Covid-19 can vary somewhat.  The good news is the core protocols across the fleet are the same, with a few variations here and there.

All Royal Caribbean guests age 12 and older must present proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with the final dose of their vaccine administered at least 14 days before sailing.

Boosters are not required, except for some European sailings require anyone that hasn't had their last shot more than 270 days ago to get a booster.

Royal Caribbean does not require kids younger than 12 to be vaccinated.

Freedom of the Seas aerial at Nassau

A new change this month centers around masking. Masks are optional for vaccinated guests & recommended for unvaccinated children while onboard. Masks are no longer required at Adventure Ocean for kids 2 years and up, they are recommended for unvaccinated kids.

Masks are also now optional while in the cruise terminal before or after your cruise, unless mandated by local authorities.

Guests under 2 years old do not need to wear a mask.

Covid testing requirements are nearly all the same, with the exception of some European countries.

Vaccinated guests must show a negative COVID-19 test result for a PCR or antigen test taken no more than 2 days before boarding day. 

Unvaccinated kids age 2 to 11 must show a negative test result for a PCR test (not antigen) taken no more than 3 days before boarding day. This test cannot be taken on boarding day for unvaccinated kids.

Guests under 2 years of age do not need to complete a pre-cruise test. 

May weather on a cruise


It's going to get warmer in May in the Caribbean, so expect high temperatures to reach the high 80s and low temperatures not getting below the 70s.

In terms of rainfall, the wet season will resume in some areas. You will see lots of passing showers in places like San Juan, Puerto Rico or Antigua.

Over in Europe, the sun will be shining in the Mediterranean without the larger crowds that will come later this summer. May is the best time for a Greek Isles cruise because there is very little rain combined with temperatures in the high 60s and 70s.

The one downside of May in the Mediterranean is sea temperatures tend to be still chilly. If you want warm ocean temperatures in May, the Caribbean is the place for you.

Read moreWhat is the best time to cruise the Mediterranean?

If you're cruising to Alaska in May, expect less rain than normal. May is one of the driest months of the season, with just a 25% chance of rain. 

The average high in southeast Alaska is 54 degrees and the average low is 39 degrees.

Read moreWhen is the best time to cruise to Alaska?


Sailings to the Mexican Riviera, expect more rain in the forecast. The months of May to October are the wettest months of the year (same for Eastern Mexico).

The eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15 and ends November 30.