Royal Caribbean International is getting ready to sail from Texas and Florida once again this summer.
The cruise line plans to begin sailing six ships from ports in the southern states this July and August, starting with Freedom of the Seas in Miami on July 2. The company had already announced plans to sail from Seattle to Alaska on round-trip itineraries starting in July.
“This is it. Vacationers can finally plan to take their precious time off this summer and truly get away after what has been a challenging time for everyone,” Royal Caribbean President and CEO Michael Bayley said in a Friday news release.
Summer cruises are available to book, according to the release. The company plans to reintroduce its full global fleet by the end of the year and said more details will be made available in the coming weeks.
Royal Caribbean is set to begin sailing six ships from ports in Texas and Florida this July and August. (Photo: Courtesy Royal Caribbean International)
Do you have to be vaccinated to sail on a cruise?
Royal Caribbean announced last month plans to resume cruising this summer.
All crew members will be vaccinated against COVID-19, while passengers are “strongly recommended” to be fully vaccinated, according to the release. Those who are unvaccinated or unable to verify their vaccinations will need to undergo testing and follow other protocols, although Royal Caribbean has not laid out all of its policies yet.
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Protocols are more stringent for cruises to Alaska. Passengers on Alaskan-bound ships in July who are 16 and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and the age requirement drops to 12 starting Aug. 1. Those departing from international ports must meet the travel requirements of that country.
Bayley said as of Friday, 90% of vacationers booking with Royal Caribbean were either vaccinated or planned to get vaccinated in time for their cruise.
When will Royal Caribbean cruise ships sail again?
Here’s a list of Royal Caribbean ships and when they’re set to sail. By the end of August, the cruise line plans to have 12 ships cruising across the Bahamas, Caribbean, Alaska and Europe.
- Freedom of the Seas: 3- and 4-night cruises to the Bahamas and private destination Perfect Day at CocoCay from Miami, starting July 2.
- Odyssey of the Seas: 6- and 8-night Southern and Western Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale, starting July 3.
- Serenade of the Seas: 7-night Alaska sailings from Seattle, starting July 19.
- Allure of the Seas: 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, starting Aug. 8.
- Ovation of the Seas: 7-night Alaska cruises from Seattle, starting Aug. 13.
- Symphony of the Seas: 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings from Miami, starting Aug. 14.
- Independence of the Seas: 7-night Western Caribbean sailings from Galveston, Texas, starting Aug. 15.
- Mariner of the Seas: 3- and 4-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay cruises from Port Canaveral, starting Aug. 23.
Cruises not on the list will be cancelled through the end of August, and affected customers will have the option to receive a full return, according to Royal Caribbean.
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